Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

There are a lot of things I will admit to, and some that I probably shouldn't. I'm going to come clean now on some of them. But remember this is MY list. You can disagree, but no judging! Only *I* can judge on my page ;-). So here are some things I like, enjoy or take part in but would not admit to just anyone, until now:

1. 80's hair bands and their ballads...Nothing more enticing than Poison or Warrant singing a love song. I could listen to them forever in my car, singing my little tone-deaf heart out. Seriously, "Heaven" is just that. I defy you to NOT sing along. And if you can honestly tell me that "Every Rose Has its Thorn" or "Something to Believe In", didn't do it for you in high school (or college maybe), you were a wannabe who was busy with the Dead and their whole bandwagon. Not that I'm judging...

2. Twinkies and Ding Dongs...They take me back to childhood. I used to have one in my lunch everyday, back in the day when kids just ate yummy stuff and didn't have to have healthy junk shoved down their gullets. Hostess cakes still taste as good, but I swear they are smaller than they used to be!!

3. Soap operas...I love soaps and I am not afraid to quote them! Adventure, romance, fashion and too much plastic surgery. I love the fact that some of these people have been on my tv since I was in junior high. I love it when the new writers screw up and rewrite history that I lived through with the people of Port Charles or Llanview. I love that Tom still remembers how we scheduled classes around One Life To Live the first couple years of college. Mostly now it is General Hospital and One Life to Live. I gave up All My Children years ago, but I can still tune in a be kind of up to date a few times a year. Soaps are the epitome of guilty pleasures because it is all so fake. From the relationships to the stolen babies to the rampant mobsters, that crap ain't real! But the people are pretty and the romance is overboard fabulous. You can't beat it!

4. Sitcoms...I do not care that they are "mindless and insipid". I think that people who act all high and mighty and criticize sitcoms are just afraid that after all this time of looking down their noses at them they might actually LAUGH if they watched one. They are funny...if you can watch a whole episode of "Two and a Half Men" and not laugh there is clearly something wrong with you (Brian V!!). There is nothing like classic Fraiser or Will & Grace episodes either. Hysterical.

5. Frozen pizza...I love most of it...especially ones that taste like good old-fashioned cafeteria pizza. It doesn't mean I don't like REAL pizza, it just means I appreciate both kinds. I can go both ways, you know? And what ever happened to John's pizza? Remember those? They were small and came three to a box. We used to eat them after school. I miss those.

6. Romance novels...I love them...Nora Roberts, Linda Miller, Catherine Coulter. My favorites are what my friends and I affectionately call "prairie sex" novels. Those are old west romance novels. You have to kind of suspend belief about how horribly those people all smelled and just go with the rugged romance. Very hot.

There are other things in life that are pleasures...but most of the above would be things that some of you would be all "are you serious?" about. But everyone has SOMETHING they like that fits in that category. If you say you don't you are either lying (shame, shame!) or BORING. Seriously, have some depth people...and share it with the rest of us. Let us be the judge ;-).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

How does an ant get on the second floor of my house? Interesting.

But my original post was to be about Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day to all paternal types!

On to my husband...A fabulous dad everyday of the year! He is hands-on and laid back at the same time. He spends time with the kids, time with me and gets the yard work done. He is fun, calm, fair and loving. He is not afraid to say, "I love you". He is afraid of cantaloupe though. That however, doesn't come into play that much. ;-)

He has learned to appreciate my need to make lists over the years and I have learned to appreciate his "spur of the moment" plans. It is a good match and that is only good for the kids.

Happy Father's Day...let's barbecue some stuff!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vent of the day...

It is a beautiful sunny day. I spent the day at a soccer tournament with older son and his very nice teammates and their parents. I got some sun, stepped in some mud, ate some fruit and enjoyed myself.

I'm going out to my fav restaurant with the spousal unit that is very nice.

Why vent? Well, thank you for asking. I got younger son's baseball schedule for summer and his team has games scheduled for the evening of July 3rd and noon on July 4th. WTF??? Not only is it a holiday weekend, but games on BOTH days? What's more, the game on the 4th is right at noon which is when the super-fabulous-family tradition inspiring town parade begins. So the little league schedules baseball games so that 8 and 9 year olds can't go to the town parade and families have to split up since I'm not making the other son miss the parade?? I know my sentences are running on, but I'm PISSED off. I love 4th of July. We have family/friend traditions that will have to go down the tubes this year.

I know, I know....spaz down. And I will get over it...The husband will go to one game with the kid and I will go to the other game. One of us misses the traditional BBQ with all our friends and their families and one of us misses the parade. My kid misses both and we don't get to be together as a family. Annoying, but again, I know, partially my fault for signing the kid up for baseball.

The kicker? My older son who plays in the next baseball league up has NO games that weekend because as his coach said, "Its a holiday weekend for families." Thank you very much...I like that coach better ;-).

Ok, vent over. I have to go get dolled up for dinner. A drink may do me well...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some Questions...

Some things I have been wondering since it is summer and I am not at work...Feel free to answer or just be confused, as I am:

1. Are you supposed to eat the skin on a baked potato? I'm never usually I eat part of it so that it looks like I might have eaten some by mistake.

2. If someone calls and wakes you up in the morning and you lie and say they didn't wake you, is it then ok to make up a lie about why you can't talk just then? Or, are you obligated to go along with the farce about you already being awake?

3. If a "check engine" light or something like that comes on in your car but then goes away after a day or so, do you have to "check engine"? It is usually ok to just pretend you never saw it, right?

4. When people wanting money call from your college or PBS or something am I the only one who says that I'm not home? I like to just say I'm the babysitter or something. I'm nice about it and all....

5. Does everyone think my mom talks too much? Or, is that just my sister and me being bitchy? I love her very much but sometimes I just ask her how her day was and then I put the phone on speaker and go about my business and just call out an occasional, "Oh, really?" or "Wow." I taught my sister that trick...and she is getting good at it.

6. What exactly is Coke Zero? Is it a diet drink or an energy drink or none of the above? I don't get it and I am too lazy to pick up a can and read it.

7. Victoria Beckham isn't real, right? She is plastic. I'm sure of it.

8. Am I weird that I don't believe in running the washing machine or dryer when I'm not home? I think I heard once about a house that flooded when the water line broke and another house that burned down from a lint fire. Tom thinks I am neurotic but I prefer to think of it as careful.

9. Am I the only mother who gets annoyed when her kids are sick? I mean, shouldn't they just be able to suck it up and move on? I do. Ok, if they were REALLY sick, I'm ok with it. But fake sick, like a cold or swine flu or something like that annoys me.

10. Who else likes Drake and Josh?

11. Since it is summer I will be watching more Oprah. Let's vote...who wants her to stick with people who have bizarre problems and stay away from all the spiritual crap? I hate it when she gets all "best life" and I love the hoarders!

12. Who else thinks that the people adversely affected byt the "D tv" switch aren't worth worrying about? Seriously...Every watcher for themselves.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brady Bunch Trivia!!

Enter at your own risk. I love the Bradys. They rock. I have read their books and have seen every episode, movie, special, variety show and spin off. The prize here is my eternal admiration. Go!

1. What is the name of the cat that Bobby is attempting to save when he is safety monitor and goes into the abandoned building?

2. What actress does Bobby see fireworks with when he kisses her? Bonus: What illness does he worry about getting from her? (And get your mind out of the gutter, this is Bradyland!)

3. Why did Jan flip out when she found a childhood picture of Aunt Jenny?

4. Who did Bobby get locked in Sam's meat freezer with?

5. Ok, here is an easy one...What was the name of the Brady kids singing group on the talent show they entered? Why did they enter it?

6. Who played the old prospector that imprisoned the Brady's in the ghost town on their way to the Grand Canyon?

7. On the famous Grand Canyon special...what did Bobby and Cindy hide in their flashlight?

8. Same special: What Native American name did Peter get that he did not like?

9. What was Peter's name when he pretended to be an older high school student so he could double date with Greg?

10. What did the boys put in the girls' sleeping bags during Marcia's sleepover (the one that she almost didn't have when she was falsely accused of "doodling Mrs. Denton").

11. Name 4 famous (for the time, lol) people who guest starred on "The Brady Bunch".

12. In subsequent Brady Movie specials when Bobby was a race car driver, who played his wife?

13. Bonus question: Which Brady brother would I date?

14. Bonus, bonus question: What feature did the first home Tom and I owned have that was ever so "Brady-like"?? you feel lucky, punk? Do ya?? Answer away!

Vacation count down...

Next month the family (me, husband and two sons) will be traveling to the land of dreams and wishes...yes, Disney World. I have never been there and I have been researching furiously in my eternal quest to maintain CONTROL. We will be driving (too expensive to fly). I think that will be fine once the drugs kick in...for the kids of course ;-).

So, here is my quandary. I have to plan some things, but not over plan, right? I mean someone has to know what is going on and that someone is ME. The children didn't sign up for that and the husband isn't a "small detail" type (which is why we compliment each other so well, btw).

Things I have looked up online about Disney already:

1. Internet access (of course!)...bring a cable and pay $9.95/24 hours and you are online (phew!!)

2. doing laundry there...yep, you can! $2 per load to wash and $2 to dry if you use their machines. You can also send it out for same day service but that is supposedly expensive.

3. dinner reservations for 3 of our 5 nights...I picked BBQ, Italian and a steak place.

4. stuff to do at Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom...there is too much so this is where the communication breakdown between my planning and the other 3's desires will occur.

5. Typhoon Lagoon...some massive water park there that older son wants to go to. Don't know when we will fit it in!!

6. meals...bought a meal plan for breakfast and lunch. Cost effective and I am nothing if not effective.

7. now I am researching a new backpack to buy...not sure my fab-o purses will serve the same purpose as a good old Jansport backpack (take THAT AdSense!).

I still have to get to AAA to plan our driving route and figure out where we will stop that is a little more than half way. That part seems stressful but I guess my 20 years of AAA membership should start working for me, huh?

Wish me luck...I know more will come to mind and I will be making more lists, researching more and having many more questions. Vacations are just so relaxing ;-).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things Kids Say...In Honor of the Last Day of School!

Remember the whole "Kids Say The Darndest Things" show? It was funny, right? But admit know some of it was staged. The original Alan Funt one was funnier than the newer Bill Cosby one. The newer one was kind of just another Bill Cosby vehicle once the pudding commercial residuals dried up (or skinned over, so to speak.)

But I teach elementary school...this is the end of my 19th year in the classroom. I have known hundreds and hundreds of children. Some of them were pretty obnoxious, some were oblivious, some were dumb and some were just unintentionally funny. Every teacher says they could write a book. And frankly, most of us could. (How horrified would you be to see yourself in the chapter on "God-Awful Parents"? tee hee) But off the top of my head, here are some of the best things kids have said in my classroom (and in Tom's classroom...he gets credit for the best one, IMHO):

1. I had a boy in my class who was having a rough day. I was calm, I was rational. I was talking with him down on the floor, making perfect sense. He was listening and quiet. I finished my little "other people are allowed to have differing opinions and it doesn't make them morons" speech and he looked at me and said, "You really should do something about your facial hair." Alrighty then...move up my lip wax appointment at Red Door!

2. Discussing tv shows with some girls at recess and I shared that I love General Hospital and one little girl told me that her mom likes soap operas too. Her mom watched "The Bald and The Restless" apparently.

3. I was explaining to a child that he HAD to go to the resource room for his reading assistance. He did not agree. It was a constant struggle with him. He told me he didn't need his IEP anymore. I told him that the adults who care about him would decide that later in the year but for now it was a legally binding agreement (he was one of those kids you could talk to like that, I swear.) He looked at me without skipping a beat and said, "Then when I graduate college and become a lawyer I am coming back here and suing you for everything you got!" Actually, he just might...but his parents did like me so I've got that going for me.

4. This is one example of how you can't trust your kids to keep secrets, remember that. The child hands me a note first thing in the morning and before I even read it she volunteered, "It says I have a doctor's appointment but really we have Sox tickets."

5. This one is from my husband Tom's 4th grade classroom...They were getting ready for standardized testing and discussing how it is important to try but not worry about it and stress out. Hand goes up from a little girl and she asks, "If we don't do well can we still make cheerleading in junior high?" Sweetie, if you have to ask that, you automatically get to be captain...I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

6. Also in the category of "things your kids tell their teachers" was this. One of my students was telling me about the driving trip the family was taking over spring break and then she confides this to me: "I hate driving trips. My parents fight the whole time. My dad doesn't know how to plan a long drive and my mom has a bladder the size of a kernel of corn."

7. One of my students was discussing certain ethnic celebrations from his family's background. They involved food, dancing and as he described, "Lots of my mom's relatives." Another one of my students said, "Oh, in our religion we call that a bar mitzvah." I about peed myself on that one.

8. And this is the BEST. ONE. EVER. It happened in Tom's classroom many years ago...Something came up about religions and a few kids were discussing how everyone was either Christian or Jewish. Tom took it as a teachable moment to explain there are more major religions that those 2...Buddhism, Hindu, Muslim. One boys raised his hand and asked, "What about rednecks?" Swear to God/Allah, Buddha/Jehovah it is true.

And with that, I rest my case. My job rocks...who else get to hear stuff like that everyday???

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bear with me...

One more week of school.

My "To Do" list is massive., but it will all get done...because that is just the kind of person I am.

My older son made the soccer team (phew!) and my younger one (who did not make the baseball team) was so genuinely happy for his brother it made me all gushy. So, I got that going for me.

I gotta go do a bunch o'stuff today. I will be back later. Thanks to all for reading!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Ahh, summer...Of course teachers love summer. So do kids and so do all the parents who bitch about it and then send their kids away for 8 weeks of overnight camp ;-). Here are some observations about summer, courtesy of moi (of course).

1. I enjoy going to the pool in my bathing suit. Granted, I don't look amazing, but the things that SOME people wear makes me realize I'm just a normal 41 year old mom trying to enjoy the rays. I'm not huge and I'm not trying to recapture a body I didn't even have in my 20's.

2. Taking a walk in the evening is about the most relaxing thing to do. I grab my freaky dog and walk around town. I usually see people I know and I get to wave and feel all "small towny" when kids yell, "Hi, Ms. K!" out their car windows. That's nice. Of course, if I am carrying a bag of dog crap I have to make sure to wave with the other arm or things get all yucky very quickly.

3. Summer is just long enough for me to play stay-at-home-mom. By the time mid-August rolls around I'm sick of the 4 of us being home together and I look forward to school and having more structure. My favorite is the moms who tell me I am "brave" for staying home with the boys all summer. Huh? They play, we swim, it's fun. What's brave about that?

4. This summer we are planning a trip to Disney World. Wow...I'm guessing I will have a lot to write about after that! 2 days in the car each way. The way I figure it, no matter what happens it will give us stories to tell for years to come...even if they are the kind of stories that aren't funny for about 15 years. By the time they ARE funny we can tell them at the boys' weddings.

5. I love summer evening little league games. We have had good experiences with the people on summer teams and I look forward to it again this summer. Hanging out in the bleachers with some fellow parents, playing on my Blackberry, cheering on the boys and the smell of marijuana wafting over the field from the skateboard park nearby...ahhh, summer!

6.I like to be tan...I know it is isn't good for your skin and blah, blah, blah...but I like it and I think I look nice that way.

7. I don't like mosquitoes. What is their purpose? So, they provide food for other animals...but those other animals eat other, less annoying insects. Mosquitoes serve no purpose and they carry disease! When those mosquito abatement people come can't they just spray a teensy bit more poison to kill ALL the mosquitoes? Pretty please?!

8. I don't water my lawn. Tom and I have owned 2 single family homes over the past 8ish years and we have never once set up a sprinkler to water the lawn (for the boys to play in, yes). Our lawns have always been fine...not the best, but not dead. It is a waste of water and I think it is silly. So there. Sue me.

9. We live on a dead end street that has bunches of kids. In the nice weather they all play out in the, riding bikes, capture the flag, water balloon fights. It is like the nicest, hokiest, cheesiest thing ever to look out there and see them all yelling, running and laughing. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I know in about 6 or 7 years they will be drag racing down the block and sneaking through the bushes into the bakery parking lot to smoke but for now, it's all good.

10. How great is it in the summer to run out the screen door, jump in the car (no boots, no coat, no scarves in the way) and drive somewhere with the windows down? It is just so easy compared to going anywhere in the winter in Chicago! Makes you appreciate summer all that much more.

What is your favorite thing about summer? Or, do you have a summer confession (like my lawn neglect)? Please share!

Only a few more full school days left until summer...if only I could turn the heat off in my house...

Monday, June 1, 2009

The media should be flogged....

The way they went all kaflooey and psycho about, excuse me H1N1 Flu!! Absolutely INSANE!!

Here is the fall out that has personally affected yours truly due to this unnecessary hysteria:

1. Every time some kid sneezes or coughs or whines in school now they pretty much get sent home. At the end of the school year when I am trying to finish things up, assess for end of the year exits and maybe, just MAYBE have a fun bonding moment with the best class I've had in over a decade I never have a full fricking class!! SUCKS!

2. Parents went insane about cleanliness, which cracks me up all the time. Do they REALLY think their kids wash their hands multiple times a day at school? Ri-goddamn-diculous! Of course they do not! And if I took the whole class 2 or 3 times a day to the washroom to wash their hands do you know how much instructional time I'd lose? Plus, too much cleanliness reduces my body's chances to build immunity.

3. The administration came to realize that having Clorox wipes and other antibacterial products in the classroom to keep clean is apparently ILLEGAL. Huh? And WTF? Yep, you read that right, ILLEGAL as in not legal, as in against the law. They are toxic and not "green". As my son said, "What do they think? We are gonna suck on the wipes?" So...we had to get rid of all the wipes etc...that we have kids bring every fall to offset the fact that most classrooms don't have hot water (don't ask) and our paper towels are the product of "low bid" and don't actually absorb. (When there is a big spill I use Kleenex.)

So, no wipes....I have quite a stash in my car...anyone interested?
4. Any kid who goes home from school with flu-like symptoms has to stay home for 7 full days. That is a horrid waste of time, and I mean everyone's time. My niece is home on day 5 now and my sister is ready to kill someone. I don't blame her.

5. Did I mention I no longer have Clorox wipes in my room to clean up marker marks, spilled aquarium fish poop water or anything else?? I find this more offensive than "toxic".

That is all off the top of my head...I am sick of hearing this hysteria. It is over, the media overreacted and caused complete chaos. I love Mexico, been there several times. It is lovely...but let's face it, the medical care ain't the best in some places. They reacted poorly to the beginnings of this flu. And I am paying the price.

I hate it when world events screw with my daily life.