Sunday, October 31, 2010

304 / 365: Trick or Treat!

The fam had a wonderful Halloween night. We actually celebrated JOR going out to Trick or Treat for the first time in 2 years. He had been very sick each year and could never go out. We were having a blast visiting friends and family.

Then Daddy got sick.

He's been complaining of a cold and ear problems the past few days. We were chalking it up to seasonal allergies and working in his 80 year old building. Tonight the pain and discomfort were beyond severe. To top it off, he lost his voice! To many, this could have been a blessing, but because tomorrow is parent-teacher conference and he has to talk to 13 parents, this is not a good thing. I made the executive decision to go to Patient First and get to the bottom of it.

Glad I did. Bronchitis.

We were there for an hour doing the whole gamut: x-rays, blood work, swab, etc. Luckily we were able to get most of his meds there. I picked up the rest later.

Now he's resting and hopefully will get through tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have to brag. JOR and SRR were truly my angels tonight. They were amazing in the waiting room as I skated between them and their daddy. They sat nicely playing their DSi's and watching CNN. The staff was quite complementary about their behavior. While checking with them for about the 40th time, JOR asked the technical question, "What kind of diagnostics are they doing on Daddy?" I guess he thinks Dad is a Buick. Gotta love that child!!

Until next time...heal away!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

303 / 365: The Nut House

Fall sports are over. My soccer mom duty is over. The first marking period is over. The van problem is over. The refrigerator problem is over.

Does this mean life is "normal" now? You figure it out.

Until next time...figure away.

Friday, October 29, 2010

302 / 365: The Best Medicine

It was a rough week: long days, stress at work, broken water dispenser, lots of bills, end of the sports season, etc.

Watching the three amigos at the dinner table was just what the doctor ordered. You really don't want to know what they were laughing about, but just the sound of their laughter was healing for me!

Until next time...laugh away!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

301 / 365: That's it!

Sweet dreams!

Until next time....sleep away!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

300 / 365 : Waiting for Superman.... wake up!

Kryptonite has infiltrated every pore of our "Supermen" (and "Superwomen"). This is a very dangerous thing that can suck the life out of every teacher. It can cause them physical, mental and emotional breakdowns.

This kryptonite comes in the form of......MEETINGS!

It's not just one meeting. It's a series of them. Teachers can endure them in small doses, but when they are bombarded with these events, it drains them of all motivation, creativity and excitement.

In one week, an average teacher can experience all of these meetings:
Literacy Coach
Math Coach
School Improvement
Technology Trainings
Team Planning
Administrative meetings

I counted 10 of these. That's 2 per day. When will the teachers prepare for their own students? When will they grade? When will they live? When will they breathe?

It's no wonder children are waiting for Superman. He's probably hiding from the next meeting. If he was smart, he'd sneak in a nap as well, 'cause when the kryptonite's hell!

Until next time....hide away!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

299 / 365: No time....

Co-taught 3 hour class this morning.
Led 4 keyboarding classes this afternoon.
Facilitated a group presentation at the School Board meeting this evening.

Missed my family, missed my TV shows and even missed my vitamins!

Until next time...miss away!

Monday, October 25, 2010

298 / 365: Time flies....

I don't really want it, but.....has anyone seen my Monday? I don't recall it at all.

Until next away.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

297 / 365: My Savior

This woman took a chance with me and I'll never forget her!

SMP was the Performing Arts Specialist for CCPS since 1997. July of that year, she took a chance and interviewed me for an elementary music position. This was her first interview as PA Specialist. I was a nervous wreck as I made the 8 hour drive from NY to VA. Was I wasting my time? I kept thinking that if I screwed up this interview, at least I had my old job.....

Interview? Was that an interview?

I was still in a state of shock as I left the school board building. Yes, she read my resume. Yes, she saw my credentials. Yes, she looked at all the pictures and concert programs, and yes, she asked some very thought-provoking questions.

But no, it did not seem like an interview.

SMP is one of those rare gems who could make you feel like a queen when you feel your worst. She could make you feel "at home" when your stomach was in knots. She makes you feel like "Super Teacher" when you felt like a "Super Loser". And....she makes you LAUGH!!

That's all I can clearly recall of that interview 13 years ago. We laughed so hard at times, the tears smeared my eyeliner. I remember my stomach hurting, not from nerves, but from laughing nonstop.

Needless to say, she recommended me for the position I eventually held for 10 years. While we still laughed, we also worked!! SMP expected (and got) only the best from her staff. And, speaking for myself, I didn't mind. I'd give her the world if I could.

Sadly, she moved on to bigger and better this year. Tonight we had a reception in her honor. Many of her staff came out to celebrate her numerous achievements in CCPS. I went to say "Thank You" for changing my life....and for making me laugh!!

Until next time.....laugh away!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

296 / 365: My pumpkins

The family had a very busy day: football game, soccer game, pumpkin patch, Mass, Fall Festival, Heroclix. A nap was thrown in for good measure.

I love this time of year. There was a crispness in the air this morning, but by the time we got to the pumpkin patch, it was short sleeves time. The leaves are turning, albeit with a dull hue due to the drought. The bright spots are there. I just have to look for them.

I think found some in this picture.

Until next away!

Friday, October 22, 2010

295 / 365: Gratitude

This is just my usual "Gratitude Check".

I have begun reading the works of Andy Andrews. Andrews lost both his parents when he was 19: one to cancer, the other to an accident. He became a "lost soul", homeless and confused. As he searched for himself, he read the biographies of successful people and found many of them to have seven traits in common. He wrote about these traits in a story entitled, "The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success". One trait I relate to is gratitude.

Andrews wrote an interesting post in his blog: "One of my friends recently talked to an exchange student from an impoverished country. As they compared and contrasted her experiences in the United States with her home, she remarked, 'You Americans get to complain about the nicest things.'"

That hit me right between the eyes!! Time for a gratitude check.

For those of you who don't know, I keep a gratitude journal. Every night, I write down at least five things for which I am grateful. Every night the first word I write is "family". Yes, I moan and groan about them. Yes, I fuss about them. But, yes, I have one, and yes, they are the nicest things that ever happened to me. And yes, I should shut up and stop complaining about them because they ARE wonderful! I can't take them for granted.

Until next time...thank away!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

294 / 365: Little Patient, Part 2

The ENT called it "Graduation Day". I called it a relief!

Little SRR was nervous, but he got through it. The nurses were wonderful with him. An infection was found along the ear canal, so there was extra bleeding and oozing. I told him his brain was leaking out and he was OK with it!

He and his patient advocate, JOR, got popsicles. Then the patient got wheeled out to the car. All was right with the world.

Many thanks for the prayers and positive thoughts. By the end of the day, they were killing each other, now they're sleeping in the same bed. Life is back to our normal.

Until next time...heal away!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

293 / 365: Little patient

Little man is trying to be brave, but it's not working.

SRR is having "minor" surgery tomorrow: the ENT is taking the ear tubes out. They've been in for 2 years, a rarity since most kids' tubes fall out eventually. (Why would SRR be part of the norm? He's never been before!) Supposedly, it's a five minute procedure: pull the tubes out, seal the hole in the eardrum, done. While at the pre-op exam today (where the picture was taken), the pediatrician said both tubes are packed with wax (yuck!) and that it was definitely time to take them out.

We've known about this surgery for a few weeks now. You'd think SRR would buck up and be a brave soldier. After all, he did go through the surgery to put the tubes in (at the same time he had his tonsils and adenoids out).

The brave soldier started to crumble today. He drove his daddy and teacher crazy this morning, was very chatty with mommy this afternoon, and was very clingy to daddy tonight. A few minutes ago, I found him sleeping with his brother and his favorite stuffed animal.

I pray that the surgery goes well. While it's short, he's still going "under", so I'm nervous.

Until next time....pray away!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

292 / 365: Family Fitness Night

I assisted an elementary school in presenting its "Family Fun and Fitness Night" this evening. While the turnout was low, spirits were high.

This school is a lower-income community. The students receive Title I services and many students are in ESL. These children and their families need all the help they can get.

The families that visited my station were very kind and enthusiastic. Some parents took notes, others played the action games from the website and still others helped us create healthy meals on the interactive whiteboard.

If I helped one family make one good choice about one meal or one activity, I will call the night a success!

Until next time....choose away!

Monday, October 18, 2010

291 / 365: My Hero.....

Gets the boys up.
Helps with breakfast.
Drives them to school early (7:30am).
Studies with the boys.
Prepares for his own teaching day.
Attends meetings.
Teaches 22 third graders.
Deals with the daily grind of teaching in an elementary school.
Gives the boys snacks and helps them with homework.
Suits JOR up for football. (Ever try suiting up an 8 year old?)
Feeds both boys dinner.
Takes JOR to practice.
Grades papers in the car while watching SRR.
Finally comes home with boys in tow at 8:30pm
Makes their lunches.

I wonder why!

Thank you Honey!! Hang in there, it's almost over!

Until next time...I love you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

290 / 365: Mother to Mother

Dear Blessed Mother,

I need your intercessions badly! You of all people, can understand why I'm writing this letter.

Tomorrow is one of JOR's last football games of the season. Judging by the lack of playing time he's been getting, it's probably going to be his last.

Blessed Mother, I ask that you help JOR show his best in the game tomorrow night. Pray that he exudes confidence in his skills and shows his coaches (and his father, who's not going to the game) that he CAN play the game. Intercede on his behalf that he demonstrate the poise and strength needed to play this game in such a biased, unfair arena. He has been given chances and blown it, then he's been passed over. I just want him to show the world what he can do!

Mother Mary, you know the feeling when your son is picked on and looked upon as different. You felt the pain I'm feeling when you hear people, especially family, talk about your son like he's worthless. You know the helplessness when your son has to prove himself to the world, only to be slammed down. Please Blessed Mother, pray for JOR, that this stupid game not suppress all the good he has in his heart. He has SO much to show the world. Please help him find the opportunity.

Tomorrow night under the lights would be a wonderful start.

Thank you for hearing my prayer.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

289 / 365: Crazy Calendar

It's only the middle of the month and I'm tired already! Between football, soccer, physical therapy, doctors' appointments, along with the craziness of work, I'm spent!

Tensions are high at the Ranch. I hope and pray things settle down before someone explodes!!

Until next time....settle away!

Friday, October 15, 2010

288 / 365: Movie Night...A Haiku

I love movie night
Keeps all three boys busy YEAH!!
I can read my book!

Until next away!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

287 / 365: Attack of the Paperwork!

Finish training documents
Health Insurance Enrollment
Permission slips
Shirt orders
Grocery Lists
Christmas Lists

Somebody stop me!!

Until next time....list away!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

286 / 365: Ode to Sleep

Early to rise, late to bed.
My pillow really wants my head
To lay itself down in gentle sleep.
To heck with the business of counting sheep.

It's been such a crazy day
Keeping teachers happy and e-mails at bay.
Oh how I wish for a few more hours
To catch up on sleep before my mood sours.

Warning....possible grump alert tomorrow!

Until next time....sleep away!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

285 / 365: PT Mystery

I had my first physical therapy session this afternoon. Interesting.

The therapist has no idea what is wrong with my knee. He bent it and stretched it every which way and made me do a mess of exercises. I was hoping it would do its "voodoo" while I was there ("pop" out of place), but alas, that was not to be.

I have to go through this routine two times a week for four weeks before the doctor will do an MRI. Gotta love insurance.

The bright side? I'm getting a little bit of strength training in before the 8K.

Until next time...stretch away!

Monday, October 11, 2010

284 / 365: You can't go home again.....

Yes, this is 67 Union Avenue, Center Moriches, NY 11934

No, this is NOT my house!!

This cute little domicile was not my childhood home. It is now bigger and prettier than what I was used to. My mother always wanted a patio (there's one in the back) and I always wanted a porch (it's there). I guess in our prayers we weren't specific enough. We wanted them WHILE we lived there!!

Anyway, the neighborhood has changed a little. The woods across the street, where I smoked my first cigarette and found my brothers' Hustler magazines, is now a garden. The dilapidated dock at the end of Inwood Road now has a pretty little gazebo. All in all, it still has its little town feel.

But it will never be home again.

I'm OK with this as I try to live by the saying, "Home is where the heart is". Maybe someday that saying will change to "Home is where the porch is".

Until next time...dream away!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

283 / 365: Back to the routine....


Good to be home.

Until next time...chip away.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

281 & 282: An angel....

She gave them many things, but the most important thing was love.

One of the fondest memories I have with her and JOR was when we visited LI around 2005 (not sure of dates). JOR was older than in this picture (taken in 2002). The last night we stayed with "Babci Betty", she offered to have a JOR sleep with her in the guest room. He LOVED the sleepover with "Babci Betty" and thought is was SO much fun!!

I pray she watches over them now. Maybe she can send us some winning lottery numbers. Whatcha think Ma? PLEASE!!!!

Until next time...sleep away!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

280 / 365: People

....people who need people.....

Don't have a pic of today, but the amount of people who came out to pay tribute to Betty wouldn't have fit in the picture.

Until next away!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

279 / 365: All my bags are packed....

...I'm ready to go. Scary, or should I say miraculous that I was able to fit 2 1/2 days of clothes in one gym bag. It's amazing what one can do under stress.

While prepping to go to NY for Betty's funeral, I had to tend to some unfinished business with my knee. I almost got a diagnosis today (possible torn meniscus) followed by a treatment plan of PT and drugs for a month. Then I get to go back to see if an MRI is warranted.

Guess what? I'm not complaining. SOR had a good soccer practice. I got to have a nice chat w/ a good buddy. Hit a great sale at Kohl's. The lady in front of me had a 30% coupon and she gave it to me. I only had a 20%. Got a great parking spot at the grocery store and 20 cents off per gallon of gas.

I'm praying for safe journeys tomorrow and that somehow I can be a blessing to someone else. Betty would have been happy about that.

Until next away!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

278 / 365: RIP Betty

I can't believe "Ma" is gone! Oh the times we shared.

Betty we love you!

Until next time...cry away!

Monday, October 4, 2010

277 / 365: He Did It!

Yup, he's out there. Yup, he kicked butt. Yup, he played most of the game!

I always knew the joy of watching students when the light bulb goes on and they "get it". But when your own flesh and blood finally understands what it takes to excel on the gridiron, and then they do it, it's just pure excitement from head to toe!

JOR is starting to get it. He's not first string (yet), but he's understanding the game and playing like he should. His Daddy and I are SO proud of him.

The true test will be if the coach finds him worthy enough to play Saturday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and toes and eyes and arms....).

Until next time....cross away!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

276 / 365: Hurtin' Peeps

I feel as though someone set my eyes on fire!

Computer, piano, phone, and age are all taking its toll on my eyes. I need to find a remedy to soothe them. Sleep may help.

Until next time....soothe away!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

275 / 365: Faith

Tonight's Mass had the Gospel reading about having faith the size of a mustard seed.

JOR listened to the Gospel and homily. As he was listening, he leaned over and whispered, "Mustard seeds can used everywhere". We discussed this on the way home and JOR feels we should have faith everywhere we go. A great kid.

Until next time....believe away!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

274 / 365: Food, Glorious Food!

Just got back from the grocery store. Hubby saved us almost 70 bucks and we bought lots of stuff. So much stuff that it doesn't all fit in the pantry.

In this day and age, I'd say this is a good problem to have. Thank you God for giving us this problem.

Until next away!