Tuesday, August 31, 2010

243 / 365: Outside looking in....

Stupidity occupies my brain this week.

My house keys only work on the deadbolts, not the actual door locks. Well, I forgot to tell AAC which lock to use with my house key. Well, I got the phone call before lunch. Luckily the AAC and boys were fine and went to LA's house.

I spent my lunchtime trying different combinations of keys on different combinations of locks on different combinations of doors. I even used modern technology and looked up a locksmith on my phone. When "PopALock" wouldn't answer, I then Googled "How to Pick A Lock". The paper clips were not an adequate substitute for a flat hair clip (anyone?.....).

Desperate time calls for desperate measures: the almighty crowbar!! I used this wonderful tool and managed to pry the lock open without major damage. After an hour in the sun, my sweaty, mosquito-eaten body so wanted a shower, but alas, a change of shirt was all that time allowed.

On the "To-Do" list for next week: locks!

Until next time.....pick away!

Monday, August 30, 2010

242 / 365: A day in the life....

Four trainings
Eight videotaping sessions
Cut grass
Cleared driveway
Cooked dinner for tomorrow
Finished cleaning downstairs bathroom
Packed lunch
Clothes out

Brain is just too fried to blog!!

Until next time....fry away!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

241 / 365: The Blind Side

Lots of lessons in this movie: (from JOR and SRR)
-treat everyone nicely no matter what they look like.
-family is really love.
-everyone helps.
-hard work is a great responsibility.
-thankful for my family and what I have.

Until next time....sob away!!! (I LOVE this movie!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

240 / 365: A date?

Mommy had taxi duty today: JOR to football practice in the morning, then JOR and SRR to a birthday party this afternoon.

Imagine my surprise when Hubby wanted to accompany me on the party run. "Let's go for coffee while we wait for the boys!", he said as he picked me up off the floor.

We dropped the boys off with the gift and cel phone number. I asked dutifully for a pick-up time and was told to return in about 4 hours. FOUR HOURS? WITHOUT CHILDREN? WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITY? WITH MY HUSBAND?

Hubby picked me up again and we headed for Starbucks. We drank our precious nectar in the van trying to plot out the remaining 3 1/2 hours. This was worse than planning our wedding. We went through the list of every retail establishment and eatery in the area and nothing appealed to us. I guess being broke means never having to say "Let's Go Shopping!"

Sadly, shopping it was. Hubby needed his back-to-school shoes. Luckily we hit the jackpot at Shoe Carnival: his shoes were on sale, the store had a "Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off" sale, and I got to spin the sale wheel at the front of the store and got an additional $5 off! Awesome!! We celebrated with a lovely Greek dinner, followed by a Mini-Blizzard for moi.

This time alone gave us an opportunity to chat, to dream and, most importantly, to laugh. Time needed and time deserved. We even thanked the boys for going to the party, so we could have some "Mommy and Daddy" time. Their questioning looks were priceless!

Until next time....date away!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

239 / 365: The Forgotten Room

It has many purposes: holds our food, washes our clothes, keeps our shoes, welcomes our guests, and houses our cat. It is also a surrogate locker room for sports gear and the launch pad for our morning departure, housing backpacks and lunchboxes. However, it is probably the most abused and least cleaned room in the whole house.

This "red headed stepchild" of our domicile is the laundry room / pantry. It has served all of the above duties, and more, without so much as a whimper. This week it started to call for a little attention by emitting an unknown odor. Since we weren't sure of the source, Mom went on a mission. After a few hours of elbow grease and a few trips to the trash can and shed, this little room looks important again (and it smells much better too!). It feels good to have our "launchpad" ready to go as MGR and the boys get ready to start a new school year.

Until next time....launch away!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

238 / 365: Done!

Just finished the last of the 7-5 days. Whew......

Until next time...sleep away!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

237 / 365: Stuck

My inner brat is coming out this week. I think it's because I haven't had much of an opportunity to do anything but work. No time + no money = no fun!

I also feel stuck. I feel like I can be doing more with my life, but it's not happening. This overwhelming desire to have a more fulfilling existence (and a more fulfilling income) is driving me crazy. Somewhere deep inside of me is a better person waiting to come out. I am hoping God will open some doors for me, as I'm getting claustrophobic.

Until next time....wait away!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

236 / 365: Surrounded


Today I feel surrounded and suffocated. Hopefully it'll pass soon.....

Until next time....breathe away!

Monday, August 23, 2010

235 / 365: He's back....

...and better than ever!

This kid has had to endure:
-getting a small part in his drama production.
-the fear of hitting and getting hit in football.
-getting hit and spraining his wrist.
-playing his first scrimmage.
-24 hour stomach virus
...all in one week!!!

All of this behind him, he is back to being the happy (goofy) JOR we all know and love. I'm so glad he's back, the world is too!!

Until next time....cheer away!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

234 / 365: Nap or Narcolepsy?

Doctors have suggested these, people around the globe have these daily, benefits include increased physical and mental energy, lower rate of heart disease and increased concentration in the work arena.

Then why are naps so frowned upon in our society? Could they be seen as a sign of weakness? A sign of laziness? A sign of apathy? When I toured Europe, there were little villages that turned into ghost towns during the afternoon siesta. Nothing was open because all eyes were closed. The back of my American head kept thinking, "How do these shops and restaurants stay in business if they sleep the day away?" I came to find out that many of these establishments were around longer than my parents, and are doing nicely, thank you.

Many years later, I can understand the importance of these siestas. I thrive after my naps. I am usually very productive physically and mentally with my energy level high and stress level low. Sadly, these events can only occur on the weekend, when the naps almost happen in a narcoleptic episode: I sit in my recliner, read 2 or 3 pages, then zzzzzzzzzzzzz............... Sometimes it's a 30 minute respite, other times a 2 hour coma. Either type leaves me refreshed.

Here's hoping that someday we can have jobs where the afternoon break is not only allowed, but encouraged. Yes, I had that dream during my nap this afternoon.

Until next time....nap away!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

233 / 365: Angel on the Sidelines

He has been the silent cheerleader, the obedient son, the super helper, the comedian, the great kid!

SRR has been the angel on the sidelines, biding his time while big brother played the gridiron. He was the support system while JOR dealt with his football issues, the consoling friend to his physically and emotionally injured brother. The night of the wrist injury, I went in to tuck SRR in for the night. I found him on his hands and knees, praying at his bedside for his injured brother. Tears streamed down my face.

While Mommy was working and JOR was in Drama Camp, SRR has been spending lots of quality time with his Daddy, helping him setting up classrooms for the upcoming school year. Usually this pairing is not a good combination, but miraculously, they had a wonderful week. One more to go.

My angel has made us laugh to the point of tears, has been a helper, has been a support system, and has truly been a son of which I am extremely proud. I love him!!

Until next time....support away!

Friday, August 20, 2010

232 / 365: Emotional downs and ups....

Yes, today started on a downer, but it did pick up. I had to call the doctor for JOR's wrist, call his drama teacher and pack an activity bag for the boys, anticipating a long day of hospitals, x-rays, and casts. I was braced for the worst.

Arrived at the doctor 5 minutes early (a miracle) and they took us right back (another miracle!). SRR had a wellness check. Eczema flared up, but other than that, he's in great health! Thanks be to God! The nurse practitioner determined that JOR's wrist wasn't broken, just sprained. She wrapped it in an ACE bandage and encouraged him to go to football practice. Mom wasn't keen on this, but I totally understood where she was coming from. He didn't want to tackle or block. He was scared to death!!

This afternoon was just pure torture. JOR was a nervous wreck all day and soothed himself with video games. I tried to nap, but I wasn't doing much better. MGR couldn't even bring himself to take him to practice tonight. Mommy to the rescue!

We got to the parking lot and he had a total meltdown: tears, shakes and nerves. Oh, we were both in agony! My heart hurt watching him fall apart. I used all my mommy powers to get him motivated enough to hit the field.

I had to bite my nails for the first 75 minutes of practice as they ran through drills. Then, the games began. JOR was assigned to one of the biggest kids on the team. I was ready to throw up.

Imagine my excitement when JOR stood his ground!! While he didn't really tackle, he did manage to hold his own against this boy. The boy didn't make any headway, as JOR blocked him over and over. I was so proud of him. To affirm his success, I checked in with the coach who told me, "He's going to be OK!" Whew!

The ride home was a celebration!! We were pumped!! I got him home and showed him the video I took. He and Daddy were so excited!

JOR went to bed happier, more confident and hopefully, at peace. This has been a stressful week for him....for all of us!! I hope we keep going up because if not, I may have to hurl. I don't know how much more I can take.

Until next time...climb away!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

231 / 365: BJNR starring....

Good: Countywide technology conference went well....and it's done!
Bad: JOR hurt his wrist at football practice tonight. It's probably broken.
Ugly: Mommy after a 17 hour day.

Until next time...pray away!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

230 / 365: You didn't have to....

Dear God,
You didn't have to spare us extensive damage to the house and deck, but You did.
You didn't have to save JOR from injury while he was in his room, but You did.
You didn't have to wait for no children to be in the yard, but You did.
You didn't have to fall a tree when we were going to pay for it to be taken down, but You did.
For all of these....THANK YOU GOD!!

Until next time....thank away!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

229 / 365: Friendmily Weekend

A synopsis of our fabulous friendmily taking our fabulous offspring to South Carolina. A weekend the boys will NEVER forget!!

If I haven't said enough, I'm going to say it again: We are SO blessed!!

Until next time....vacation away!

Monday, August 16, 2010

228 / 365: Hypocrites....boo.....a Haiku

"Christian" women....ha!
Pray you'll stop your hateful ways.
What would Jesus do?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

227 / 365: Feelin' Flabby

Problem: Body and Soul out of shape.

Symptoms: Tired, no energy, blah, gained a few pounds, faith is wavering, trying to do things on my own, not letting go, feeling scared.

Treatment: Body and Soul workout: Butt to gym tomorrow. Nose in Good Book tonight.

Prognosis: We'll see....

Until next time....exercise away!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

226 / 365: Remember

Family movie night became a valuable lesson this evening. We watched "Remember the Titans", a classy football flick. This true story emphasized the importance of teamwork and friendship with all people, and not judge people based on their skin color.

True to form, the young people in this movie got the message before the adults. Sadly, the same holds true today.

Until next time....befriend away!

Friday, August 13, 2010

225 / 365: Tools of the trade

Brave Mommy went to JOR's practice tonight and survived.

JOR did a great job in his drills tonight. He seems to really enjoy himself and is very stimulated by the cognitive and physical exertion. Maybe this football thing won't be so bad after all.....

Tackling starts Monday. I hope my fingernails are long enough by then.

Until next time....bite away!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

224 / 365: God's Hand

Thirteen years ago this week, I took the plunge and relocated to Virginia. I placed my faith in God to help me grow into the person I needed to be.

Fast forward thirteen years: wife, mommy, teacher trainer, small business owner, choir director, 30 lbs. thinner, a little more athletic, an ex-smoker and happy!!

His hand continues to be on me. Thank you God.

Until next time....thank away!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

223 / 365: Creative

Yes, it looks like he's about to renact a scene from "Star Wars", but my SRR had grander plans.

My son created a game. Sort of a mix of air hockey, marbles and catch all at the same time. Played against an opponent, in the dark, while the light sabers blink. We thought through the steps of the game, the final objective and collaborated on ways to make it more exciting. Ah, learning!

I know, it's no big deal to be imaginative, but I fear this creativity will be squelched in school. Through no fault of their own, teachers do not have the power (or time) to nurture the creative process so critical in our "21st Century Society". They have to be solely concerned with test scores while creativity, critical thinking and collaboration all get pushed to the back burner.

In the interim, Mommy is going to do her best to let him blossom and create all that he wants. After all, isn't that how the peeps at Nintendo got their start?

Until next time....play away!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

222 / 365: Grumpy

Rough start to the day.
One lab wasn't ready for training.
Minimal air conditioning (code yellow...).
Interrupted husband's computer game (and heard about it).
Haven't had quality time with my boys in 1 1/2 weeks.
Had to cut the grass tonight.
I'll stop grumping tomorrow. I hope.

Until next time....grump away!

Monday, August 9, 2010

221 / 365: Back to normal

They're home from their whirlwind weekend in South Carolina. Decompressing from all the excitement, I guess.

Is our house one of refuge or one of boredom?

Until next time....decompress away!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

220 / 365: Balance. Can it happen?

Hubby and I had a rare, in-depth conversation today. Rare because it wasn't interrupted by "Mommy" or "Daddy". Rare also because it was a pseudo intelligent conversation between two educated adults. (Yes, I mean us!)

We talked about how difficult it can be to achieve balance in life. One always seems committed to one thing to the point of no return. Whether it's a sport, a religion, a hobby, or even parenting, something is always taking us away from the other facets of our life. This is a perpetual challenge to which I have no answer.

Until next time....balance away!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

219 / 365: Fun with Hubby Day!

While I'm missing my boys, I'm really enjoying time with my Hubby!

We shopped, went out to dinner, played video games, and did work around the house.

However, my favorite part of the weekend....we LAUGHED!! Great therapy!

Until next time....laugh (and love) away!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

218 / 365: A bad country song...

Coffee cup got knocked over.
Purse broke.
Computer's acting up.
Messed up new phone, I choked.

Spill cleaned up.
Got new purse.
Computer and phone OK.
Now I'm not cursed....

Knock on wood!

Until next time....croon away!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

217 / 365: I made it....NOT!

Well I made it through a long week, but the worst is yet to come.

The boys are leaving in the AM to visit SA in SC. They are traveling with the Friendmily for a fun-filled weekend at the beach. Sounds awesome, right?


In between tears, I can honestly say that I'm not taking this separation well. There are many factors that are contributing to this crisis. I haven't really seen the critters this week because of my 10 hour days and Vacation Bible School. Now that my marathon week is over, they leave.

I'm especially torn up because my JOR already started crying tonight. I just held him and he and I had a good sob together.

We all know that this will be a wonderful experience for them to visit a new place and experience new things. We all know that they have had a wonderful week with their Aunt K and Uncle S so it stands to reason that it should continue with this amazing weekend. We all know the boys will have a great time and hopefully behave. We all know that Mommy and Daddy will be shed a few tears when they leave and welcome them with open arms when they come home. We all know that Mommy and Daddy will have to repeat this process for many times to come. We all know Mommy will not handle any of these well.

Until next time.....cry away!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

216 / 365: 3 down, 1 to go.....

I think I......

Until next time....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

215 / 365: 2 down, 2 to go.....

I think I can, I think......

Done! (If you think this is lame, wait til tomorrow!)

Until next time.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, August 2, 2010

214 / 365: 1 down, 3 to go.....

I think I can, I think I can, I think I ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Until next time....chug away!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

213 / 365: Looney...

This second glass of wine is giving me a calm before the storm. A dose of "Looney Tunes" with the family also helped!

Tomorrow morning, I return to work. While I am extremely grateful that I still have my job, I'm not really "gung ho" about going. The news will be bleak: fewer integrators, more schools, more responsibilities, less time in the classroom, more details on our calendars, the list goes on. If only I picked those winning lottery numbers.....

There is added chaos this week on many different levels. MGR is taking a class at a museum downtown, thus the boys need to be supervised. While I know they could probably be OK by themselves, legally I have to provide adult supervision. (Just kidding!! However, anyone who knows JOR.....) Luckily, my dear friend KSBJ and my bro-in-law will watch the boys for 2 days apiece. I have to drop them off at 6:30am and not see them again until......the next morning!

This week also has an added puzzle piece: Vacation Bible School. I am going to BHUMC straight from work and not returning home til close to 9pm, past the boys bedtime.

The good news is that this mess is only Monday through Thursday. The bad news is that Friday morning, my boys are leaving for SC with the Friendmily. Then I won't see them again til Sunday. I think this is the longest I have ever been without quality and quantity time with the munchkins. A week without real nino time is going to be very difficult for me.

Tonight they got extra hugs and kisses from Mommy.

Until next time....love away!