Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can you stand the cuteness?

video

We apparently are NOT paying enough for daycare if this is the kind of stuff they are teaching him. Stan & I heard it the first time when Caden was walking down the hallway. We just heard the part about the naughty girls and making them cry.

I looked at Stan & asked, "Did you teach him that?"

He said, "No!"

We were parking the truck at Kroger today when we got him to sing the whole thing and we cracked up. It's the funniest thing I've ever heard!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Workshop Day

What's the best part about going to a workshop? An hour and a half long lunch and getting to pee whenever I want to!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's a girl to do?


The relationship between a girl and her mailman is a very tenuous and important one.

I've just realized how much so.

There's something going on between me and mine.

He leaves the box open when it rains so my mail gets wet.

He wads up magazines and newspaper ads so they are crumpled and torn when I retrieve them.

The other day, he stuffed a package in there and I almost couldn't get it out.

I question myself - did I do something? Did I antagonize him in any way? Whenever I've seen him, I THINK I've been politely friendly. I mean, I've never baked him cookies, but to tell you the truth - my cookies aren't that great, so maybe that's a good thing...right?

Should I leave a note in the box? Stickers? A McDonald's gift card? Lotion? Those polyester uniforms must certainly chafe the skin.

Have any of you gone through this turmoil? It's killing me inside to think that someone I don't know very well could have this animosity towards me. If it was someone who knew me, I could understand - I'm cute & funny & have cool glasses.

But that's a whole other post.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Injury time-out

The other night Stan, Stumpy, & Caden went to the A&M Consolidated football game. Nana & I stayed home. When they got home, Caden put his football helmet on and began running around the room, tackling Nana & throwing his football.

He then laid down on his back, hiked his pants leg up and yelled, "I hurt my knee! Someone needs to come look at it!"

Obviously the kid watches too much football. He even re-enacts the injuries.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's never dull!

Last night the whole family went to Macy's to get some fancy britches for Stan. We're walking around the men's department upstairs and they have tons of mannequins that are only from the waist down, showcasing their collection of slacks.

We were shopping and Caden was running and playing, but then Stan & I got distracted. Caden had been quiet for a minute (& that's never good) and when we looked up, he was standing on the little platform gripping the mannequin tightly just below the waist.

I said, "Caden, get off of that."

And he said - or yelled - "NO, THAT'S MY DADDY!!!!"

I informed him that it most certainly was NOT his daddy & he needed to let go RIGHT NOW.

I cannot make this stuff up.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeling a little sad

Last night I went to my first Varsity Consolidated football game. Those of you who know me may think it's weird that it took me this long to go, but I really had no desire to. I don't know ANY of the kids playing. I have one Bengal Belle & 2 sophomore cheerleaders, but that's it.

And as the band played, I teared up because I remember the last few years being eager to be at the games so I could take pictures of my kids, hurriedly get them developed at Walgreens and then take them to school Monday morning so I could have them up on the wall before the kids came in.

I remember Adolfo, my incredibly mature, sweet-natured kid who led the drum line in band but played football too so he would get out there and march during halftime in his uniform. But he did it barefoot because he said it was easier to march that way.

I missed Dino, one of my alltime favorite students (I know as a teacher I'm not supposed to say that, but it's true!). I watched him mature from a little sophomore all the way to a self confident senior. It was so much fun watching him grow and I loved snapping pictures because he has 'that face' and it's so expressive.

I missed watching Danny get so frustrated on the sidelines when things weren't going their way. He'd stand with his hands on his hips and then shake his head in disgust when a play didn't go as planned.

I missed watching James, Cordrick, and Jared laugh and goof off when the team was on and the game was good. As a teacher, getting to see them in their element was exciting and I tried to bring football into the classroom more because of them.

I missed watching Coach Tuck get so irate that his bald head would turn red as a beet and he would have those big macho players quaking in their cleats. Whenever I had trouble with football players in class, all I had to do was email Tuck. Problem solved.

I missed seeing all of my sweet babies in the stands. I love seeing students outside the classroom. It reminds both of us that we're people and we're not just 'student' and 'teacher'.

I missed seeing Bethany & Jill in their cheerleader outfits, catching my eye so I could take their picture.

I missed working the gate and seeing former students come back to the game, or have them sneak up behind me to give me a bearhug and tell me they missed me.

I will forever miss bringing Caden to school one day and having the star quarterback come by my room on his 'aide' period, hold out his arms to Caden and Caden jumping to him, and then both of them walking around the school for half an hour. I didn't worry about Caden at all because I knew he was with Brian and he was safe.

All of this is running through my mind - as the band is playing and the game is getting started - like a slideshow. I didn't have my camera with me. I hadn't even thought about bringing it.

I know this is part of being somewhere new - and especially someplace so incredibly huge as Consolidated, but I'm still struggling because I miss my kids. I miss my kids. What makes me love teaching is what made the decision to leave Cameron so heartwrenching.

So please pardon the melancholy nature of this post. I promise not to wallow. But for one night at one football game, the memories were just too much.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The gas factor

I got gas today.

Now, normally that wouldn't be blog worthy. I used to fill up my car every 3 days.

Today was the first day I got gas since AUGUST 20!

That's right - I made it from August 20 until September 28 on one tank!!!!!

So, last year at this time, I would've already paid $420 purchasing gas (or more with all of the fluctuations) for my car & right now...since the beginning of the school year (really a week before), I've paid a total of $42!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not quite so separated

Yesterday I showed up at school, stepped out of my car, and inexplicably heard the sounds of drums and guitars. I looked over at the front of the school and there was a band, all set up, singing their hearts out - about Jesus!

Wow! What a way to start my day. It was awfully early, but the kids were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed - and they sounded good!

Way cool.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oxford Street

I am sooo sad that Oxford Street has closed down! Stan & I went there on our 1st date, well, our first official date. We also ate there the night of our wedding. My family had a celebratory lunch there when I graduated from A&M. Stan & I celebrated our 11th anniversary there.

I get so sentimental about dumb stuff, but this was a really special place to me. If Stan & I had to pick our restaurant, this would've been it - not the place we went to all of the time, but the place we reserved for the special occasions. We always had good food, good service, and I loved the atmosphere.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a tragedy - far from it. But it's one of the little things that meant a great deal to me and I'm sad it's gone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mama & Caden's Day. of. Fun!!*



So school is out today to house evacuees from Hurricane Ike and Caden's school is closed b/c CSISD is so we have had a super fun day!

I (stupidly) stayed up late reading b/c I didn't have to go to school today. Oh wait - I have a 3-year-old who has decided to get up at 6:30 every morning now!!! Oh, the joy. But he was super sweet and let me bribe him with Spongebob Squarepants and Dora while I slept. I told him I would get up after Dora and when I did, he said, "No - I want to watch another one" so I got to sleep until 8:30! He watched TV and played with his new trash truck in our bed. So sweet.

When I woke up, he told me that it was not raining and we could go to the park this morning. (He remembered me saying that last night.) So we got up, got ready, and went to McDonald's for breakfast. We sat on the same side in the booth - so fun. Then we went and got my car inspected. Not so fun, but one of those life necessities. But it was cute listening to Caden try to say 'inspected'.

I was going to take him to Tanglewood Park (so he could put rocks in his new trash truck) but when we drove by the park at South Knoll Elementary, he decided he wanted to go there. There were plenty of rocks and also plenty of sun so I cajoled him in to going to the mall and playing at that playground.


We had fun. Caden was very shy and withdrawn at first. I really hope I don't project my social phobias on to him. After a bit, he started running around with the best of them. I think he's too passive at times. There was this little girl who made the most inhuman noises as she ran every kid off of whatever they were playing with. Her and her little friends then picked up the little frogs & bees and repositioned them so they could play with them exclusively. I just figured this out (I'm not the typical playground mama) - if you're wondering who the 'playground bully' belongs to, 98% of the time it's going to be the parent who is paying absolutely NO attention to her child. Seriously, I wanted to spank the girl. And her mother.


We then traipsed back to Macy's where Caden wanted to ride the escalators. He did fine on the way up. As we're walking to the down side, he stuck his tongue out and grinned at the cleaning lady. We stepped on. Caden stepped off. I kept going. And Caden begins screaming and crying. The sweet cleaning lady ran around the corner and picked him up and carried him down for me. I felt horrible. One more reason to get in shape - to run UP the down escalator!


I asked him if he was OK & he looked at me with big ol eyes and crocodile tears running down his face and said, "I cried for you!" Gah! Knife to the heart right there.


So we came home and in a guilt-induced fit I gave him candy. Yeah, I know - lesson learned. He was bouncing off the walls (literally one time!) for hours. I'm just hoping he stays in bed tonight.



*You have to read this as Janice from Friends. If you're not familiar with this, then it's really not that funny & I'm sorry.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Funny Caden

We drove by my school this afternoon and saw the football players. Caden asked what they were doing & I said they were practicing. He asked why and I told him so they could get better.

A little later we drove by a park and there was a trainer there with several people he was working out. Caden looked at me and said, "They're practicing so they can get better."

Yes, Caden. Yes they are.

That hasn't happened before!

I just ran to Kroger & I saw one of my students there! I guess now that I'm teaching in town, that's going to happen more often!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Poo on the library

I tried to renew some items last night & the system wouldn't let me do it for 2 books b/c I'd already done it once already. OK, I'll just go up to the library, turn them in, & then recheck them out. Right?

Wrong.

I have to leave them there for 24 hours to give someone else a chance. Pardon me for being a selfish cranky pants, but if someone wanted them, they could've requested them online like I did.

So I came home & immediately put the request in - that the desk guy told me I couldn't do - and they'll probably be ready for pickup this evening.

If everyone would just play by the rules of Aalbersland, life would be sooo much sweeter!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

And now you know why I'm an English teacher

I am totally addicted to the online library program. I taped my barcode number to my computer so I wouldn't have to jump up and get my card out of my purse every time I wanted to look at my account. As if that isn't a scary enough thought - that I like to look at my account that much - I have the entire fourteen digit number MEMORIZED now! I don't even need to look at it anymore!

And the really bad thing - I have 31 books checked out right now. And 8 more that are ready for pickup.

You see, I browse this discussion board about books and I see some that I think I might like. I look them up on Amazon.com to be sure I'll like them, and I reserve them online at our library. A day or two later, they call and tell me they're ready for pickup. But honestly? Most of the time I already KNOW they're ready b/c I've looked at my account online!

I asked one time what the limit was and the lady said, "Oh a hundred." A HUNDRED???

I probably shouldn't have access to that information...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 4 & counting...

The first week of school is almost over! I am one of those teachers who wishes that we started on a Wednesday every year b/c the 1st week is soooo long! I go home every day & put my PJs on and chill out.

It's still nerve racking. I like to have a routine and I'm comfortable with what I know. EVERYTHING is different here and I'm anxious for the time when I'm used to everything.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shout out to my homy

The stress only escalated from the time of the previous post. I was frantically trying to fix my room and I was at the point where I didn't know what to do because so much needed to be done - you know what I'm saying? And there was interruption after interruption and I was hustling from faculty meeting to department meeting to 'level meeting' and then I had to go to a deaf-ed meeting b/c I have 2 hearing-impaired kids and then I was called downstairs to take my picture for my temporary id because the picture I had to go downstairs for earlier in the week was for my PERMANENT id and it won't be here before Monday. And this was all on Friday!!!

So I am finally back upstairs after there was an equipment malfunction with the id machine and they said, "We'll call y'all back down in a minute." I am ready to scream. 5 minutes after I get back upstairs my cellphone rings and it's Stan. Bless his heart. He asked me how things were going and I know him well enough to snap at him. Don't know those Consol people that well yet. So after I said I was trying to get stuff done but people kept INTERRUPTING me, he said that he had gotten Caden dressed (they stayed home together on Friday b/c Caden was sick with a fever) and they were going to come help me in my room.

Blessed peace. Right as I was getting off the phone with him, I heard the announcement to go back downstairs for pictures. When I got to the front of the line, Stan still wasn't there so I traded places with a friend at the back of the line, thinking I would be through it before Stan got there. Well I was, but I didn't know we had to sit around and wait for them, but another friend said she would pick mine up for me and put it in my mailbox.

So we go upstairs and Stan asks what I need him to do for me. The man got to work. He put my stackable trays together ( a harder feat than it sounds like), he then put my rails together for my file cabinet (turns out I don't need them, but a sweet first year teacher wants them so that's my good deed for the day!). He then helped hang all of my posters. And the best part? Caden was a DREAM the whole time - all 2 hours! He played and he helped pick stuff up. He was so sweet!

When we realized we couldn't push our luck with Caden too much longer, we went to eat and Stan suggested I go back and get all of my work done (stuff he couldn't help me with) that night so I could enjoy my last weekend.

I thought that was a good idea so I went back and worked. And worked. And worked some more. I looked at the clock and it was 11pm. Scary time to be in a big school all by myself. I gathered up my stuff...saw the scissors sitting on my desk...and I grabbed them. I took off down the hall in full stealth mode - nobody was sneaking up on me. I saw the doors to the cut-through stairs and as I went through, the doors closed back and it got pitch black dark in the stairwell. No thank you, I've seen enough scary movies to know THAT'S a bad idea. I took the long way, all the while holding my scissors in full attack mode.

Safe inside my car, I relaxed and enjoyed my EIGHT MINUTE commute back to my house.

A girl can never be too careful...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Living on the edge

This is the time of year I really dislike being a teacher. I am so utterly psyched out!! (Do people say that anymore?) New school, new kids, new coworkers, new boss(es!) - my insides are all a flutter. Bring on the medication.

My nerves are seriously shot & anything and everything is getting under my skin. I can usually laugh off an apostrophe misappropriation, but I almost got into a throwdown the other day. And bad drivers usually just make me sigh and shake my head (quiet Stan) but lately I've felt really heated when the umpteenth driver goes straight at the Rock Prairie exit from the 'right turn only lane'...while talking on their cell phone. And this whole chinese underage gymnast thing has boiled me over so much, I stopped watching!

Once Monday is over with, a lot of this will go away.

Just bring it already!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Stan & I are driving to Caden's school to pick him up when I see a cop pulling over to the shoulder coming at us. I ask Stan if he's coming for us, Stan looks down at the speedometer & says "Maybe". He then looks into the rearview mirror, sees the cop do a U-turn & turn on his lights, and says, "Oh yeah."

I'm smirking because Stan's always getting on to me about my driving. I know that's not very wifely, but I'm human. Still got some issues to work out.

Stan pulled over on a side street and had his driver's license & insurance out and ready to hand the cop when he walked up.

Cop - Do you know why I pulled you over?

Stan - (handing his stuff to the cop) Yeah, my wife asked if you were coming for me and when I looked down, I noticed I was speeding. I just wasn't paying attention.

Cop - (handing Stan's stuff back to him) I'm not going to give you a ticket. I just...

Me - (leaning over increduously & interrupting) SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

Cop - Do you want me to give him a ticket?

Me - (looking away) No.

Cop - (to Stan) Oh, you've got one of those!

He then thanked Stan for pulling over on a side street so he didn't get hit.

We drive off & Stan's laughing. Because he ALWAYS gets a warning!!!! I NEVER get a warning! And I'm nice too! I apologize. I have my stuff out.

You have GOT to be kidding me!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Why?

We're at the 'Why?' stage now.

Example:
Me - Caden, you need to put your shorts & underwear in your hamper.
Caden - Why?
I glare at Caden for the 2 seconds it takes him to pick them up & leave the room.

Let the games begin...

On a funnier note (from my perspective anyway. Some of you may think the why? questions are VERY funny), he just informed me that "the light is on" (the sun is out) and we can go to The Bounce now.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Half a life ago

I had a sobering thought yesterday...I was thinking of something that happened when I was 17 & I realized that was HALF MY LIFETIME AGO!!

How does this happen???

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Before I die I want to...

Travel to all 50 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connnecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia

Skydive

Learn to scuba dive

Take a tropical cruise

Take an Alaskan cruise

Swim with dolphins

Live 100% debt-free except mortgage

Visit Disneyworld

Go on an African Safari

See a concentration camp

Visit Pearl Harbor

Run a ½ marathon

Walk across the Great Wall of China

Cross-country road trip: West coast, East coast

Travel to: Ireland, England, France, Italy, Holland, Mexico, Germany, Greece, Costa Rica

Travel to 6 continents: Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, Africa

Go to a taping of the Rachel Ray show

Present at an English conference

Go to a Nora Roberts’ book signing

Go to Le Tour de France

Ride in a helicopter (but you know, not in a ‘life flight’ kind of way)

Attend a Beth Moore bible study in person

Celebrate my 60th anniversary with Stan

Go on a mission trip

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yeah!!!!

Guess whose favorite doctor now accepts Scott & White insurance???

MINE!! MINE!! MINE!!

I already have an appointment.

Yippee!!!

(Should I really be this excited about going to the doctor?)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Like mother, like son

So Caden falls in the pool today. 6 feet of water. Just like me.

They had gone to the deep end with lifejackets & Caden climbed out and was sitting on the side. His teacher had just taken his lifejacket off and was helping another kid up the ladder when he just slid in. She grabbed him within 2 seconds & he popped up grinning.

It was right at the end of lessons, so he ran over to us shouting, "That was fun!"

Seriously? Probably the best thing that could've happened. He's been so scared of going under water & now he isn't.

But it sure did take a few minutes for my heart to start beating right again!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Swim lessons!

Swim lessons started this past Monday. Caden's the youngest one in the 'frog' group, but he's got a great teacher who's letting him go at his own pace. He's doing everything the other kids are, but he really doesn't want to put his face underwater. The first day, they lined up all of the kids on the side & then let their teachers come get them. Stan was wondering why I was so nervous, and I told him that when I was 4 (Nana - is that right?) I was sitting on the side of the pool for lessons, when all of a sudden, "Poof!" I slid right in - (the deep end. Weren't people just really intelligent back in the 70s?) A nice woman grabbed hold of my hair and pulled me back up. I looked at Stan and said, "Caden doesn't have any hair to grab" Luckily it's only 2 feet where they're sitting.
It took a bit of coaxing to get him in...

but once he was in, he wouldn't stop grinning!

The other kids would jump in on their own, but Caden gets a little help from 'teacher'

He is so proud of himself, walking around on his own. Calm down Nana, it's only 2 feet deep.

Once more, I'm reminded that he's no longer a baby or even a toddler, but a little boy now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christian the Lion

This video was on the Today show. Apparently these 2 guys bought a lion and then realized they couldn't take care of it so they released him into the African wild. This is their visit with him a year later...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

H, I, ... K?


We discovered tonight that Caden has a problem with the letter 'J'.

He has this wooden alphabet book & this evening, he picked up the letter 'J', walked over to my living room chair, and put it under the cushion.

"I don't like the letter 'J'", he says to Stan.

I immediately crack up. I mean, what the heck is he thinking?

Stan gets a little irritated because it doesn't make sense. Stan likes things to make sense.

He tells Caden to get the letter out from under the cushion and put it back where it belongs.

"But I don't like it!"

By this point, I'm holding a towel in front of my face because I'm laughing so hard.

Stan tells him, "I don't care if you like it or not - put it in the book where it goes."

Caden walks over to the book (holding the offending letter as carefully as possible) and throws it down on the plastic cover.

He looks at me and says, "I don't like it and that's where I'm putting it."

What in the world did the letter 'J' ever do to him???

Monday, July 14, 2008

Working it for 12 years

I love this picture because even though it was the most stressful time of my life, and I look horrible, and feel worse, Stan is still looking at me with the most adoring expression. I love this man.

A few weeks ago I posted about the realities of marriage, at least my marriage - it's not always pretty, but it's real - for us, anyway. A few days later I was reading a Hollywood gossip magazine (I know, I know) and this one young starlet stated (about her boyfriend), "If it's real love, you shouldn't have to work at it". Shouldn't have to work at it? Sister, if that's how you feel, you are in for a world of hurt. And sorrow. Because "working at it" rocks.

This past weekend, we celebrated 12 years of marriage. A little history. I met my man on Christmas Day 1993, 2 weeks after breaking off a serious relationship. (We were working at McDonalds and if you were a manager, you had to work either Thanksgiving or Christmas.) One of my friends had (unbeknownst to me) told Stan that he could take it easy since he had been there all day already. I, not knowing this & being in a bad mood anyway, just saw some guy taking it easy while I worked my tookie off. I didn't like him & I honestly can't remember saying even 2 words to him. I vaguely remember standing close to him in the office counting money, but again, I'm not sure we talked. I told someone a few days after we worked together that he was lazy and obnoxious. Their response? "He's not lazy!"

Fast forward a couple of years. There are four of us who are planning on going to McDonalds management class* in January of 1996 & we are meeting together 3-4 times beforehand to study up. My friend Kristin is heading up our training and after one of these sessions, she invites Stan to go eat with us. She told me later, she thought we'd make a cute couple. I barely looked up at him when he told her he couldn't. I still didn't like him and wasn't crazy about going to Houston with him to the class. Around this time, I was having dinner with my friend Kristin and we actually saw him out on a date!

Then an odd thing happened. I was late to one of the prep sessions and I walked in after the other 3 people were there. Now the chairs are in a horseshoe shape in a room designed to hold approximately 20 people and the other 3 people are spaced out with many chairs between them. Where do I sit? Right next to Stan the man. I have no idea why.

January 25(ish) comes and we are off to Houston. The first night we go out to eat and sparks begin flying. The next day, we can't stop staring at each other. That night we drive all over Houston, getting lost, and then finally seeing a movie. We are inseparable.

At the end of the weeklong class, Stan drove me and another coworker back home. I believe it was a Thursday. He told me I wouldn't see him Friday, but he would call me and we could get together on Saturday. True to his word, he had flowers delivered to me at work on Saturday & we went to Oxford Street for dinner that night.

On Valentine's Day (2 weeks later) he picked me up from work (really Feb. 13, but after midnight 2/14) and drove me out to Peach Creek Rd. where he proposed to me in the bed of his pickup.

We were married 5 months later on July 13, 1996!

A lot of people are shocked by how fast we got engaged and married. At first we had people telling us, well it's your first marriage & you're so young you'll be OK if it doesn't work out. People told us that we didn't know how to work at marriage because both of our parents were still married. Excuse me? Doesn't that mean we've seen 2 marriages become successful because they worked at it?

We've gone through money troubles, job issues, health issues - both Stan & my dad, family dynamic issues, me going back to school, having a child of our own, and having our house break in half. (Some of these things were good, but still stressful)

If we hadn't learned to "work at it", we'd've been divorced long ago.

I don't want to harp on the bad stuff; there's been a lot of good.

~We both love road trips and traveling.
~We laugh at the same things.
~We've had a child together and we get to see each other be a parent.
~We want the same things out of life.
~He loves my parents and I love his.
~He 'gets' me and he's my best cheerleader. If it weren't for him, I may not be teaching now. I don't think I would've made it past that first year.

So...2 weeks of dating, 5 months of fianceing, 12 years of marriage.

There's nothing better than working at being married to your best friend.


*McDonalds management class was a very serious and competitive thing; that's why we met so much beforehand to prepare. And I have to say - in ALL of my jobs, I have never had more competent supervisors than at McDonalds. I've worked in retail, in banking, at a computer business, and at 2 schools. They were the best managers of people & I learned a majority of my skills there in my early 20s.


Monday, July 7, 2008

It's not you, it's me

To whom it may concern:

Once upon a time at the delicious age of 19, I was innocently walking in the mall when a new store caught my attention. I stopped when the salesperson/demo-goddess asked if she could give me a demonstration of this awesome new product. I, having nowhere to go (ah, to be 19 again!), said that would be fine.

She took my hand and I was forever changed. I had to have the product - Juniper Breeze liquid soap. I bought it and the lotion and went back to my apartment and giddily put them in my bathroom. It took me about 4 1/2 minutes to convince myself that the shower I had taken a mere 2 hours before had surely worn off and it was time to cleanse again.

My love affair began that day. The freshness...the beauty...it was fantastic.

And now, 15 years later, Juniper Breeze is breaking up with me.

We've both grown, changed, and evolved over the years, but our connection has always remained tight. I thought we were at that dreamed of 'home free' place where nothing could go wrong. I was horribly mistaken.

Last week, I found out Juniper Breeze was moving on. It's being discontinued - so there's room for the NEW fragrances. Oh, the salesgirl tried to fix me up with a couple of scents, but I wasn't in the mood. How could I want someone new so soon? I was inconsolable, sick with regret. Remember, this is a relationship I've had longer than my marriage!

And now I cry the lament of the brokenhearted girl - Why, Juniper Breeze? Why can't we go back to the way we were before? I'll change! I'll come in more often and purchase more of your products. I said I was sorry about Green Clover & Aloe! It didn't mean anything & it was just that one bottle!

Please, please come back. Don't go.

I love you.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Where's the kleenex when you need it?

We took Caden to visit Oma & Opa Thursday night and the plan was for him to stay until Sunday afternoon. He cried a bit when we were getting in the truck, but we were assured with a phone call Friday morning that he did just fine after we left.

Friday night we got the call that Caden was not doing so well; he missed his mommy & daddy. And the only way they could get him to stop crying was to tell him that he would see us the next day.

Stan went to get him this morning and he was VERY happy to see his dad. When they got home, I asked him if he missed us and his eyes got real big and he said, "Mommy & Daddy got in the truck. And Caden wasn't in it!"

We felt horrible! I teared up and Stan said it just about broke him down.

Needless to say, Caden got lots and lots of hugs and attention today.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Attack of the Insomnia

I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I am still up. Haven't slept a wink all night. I read a bit, watched TV, played on the computer - nothing.

So all you friends of mine who just had babies, give me a call. I'll be glad to talk or come by and let you catch a catnap while I watch your little one.

Ahhhh, I hope this is temporary!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ewww

Caden is very proud of himself when he goes poo poo on the potty - or as he says, 'poo poot'.

Tonight he called me in there when he was done so I could wipe his booty & he turned around and said, "Wow! That's a big snake one! No - that's a hippopotamus one!!"

So gross.

But I gave him a sticker anyway.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some random conversations...

#1
Mama - Caden, I need you to be real good this morning because Mama has a really bad headache.

Caden - (with a look of concern) Did you run into a wall?

Caden's learned the art of bargaining recently; we're not sure where.

Daddy - Caden, you have two minutes until bedtime.

Caden - No Daddy, three.

Daddy - Caden, TWO minutes.

Caden - THREE

Daddy - Do you want to go to bed right now?

Caden - (pause) Two minutes.

#3
Daddy - Can I have a hug?

Caden - I need ice cream.

Daddy & Caden hug.

Caden - (running into the kitchen)Now it's time for ice cream!!!

Seriously, where do they learn to barter like that???

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Marriage

I am happy to say that Stan & I are coming up on 12 years of marriage next month.

Through the grace of God we found each other & recognized each other and we've worked really hard to make our marriage work. Having a child - and especially having one so late in our marriage (9 years in) - changed the dynamics some, but we're a team by every definition of the word.

That's not to say we don't have our little tiffs. When Caden was a few months old, I looked at Stan and told him that I thought we may have a strong-willed child on our hands. His response - you think??? I guess he's right - I shoud've been prepared for Caden's spiritedness given his parents' stubborness and hardheadedness.

There are days, I walk around giddy in love with my man. He can do no wrong. I can't do enough for him. We are basking in the glow of eternal bliss.

There are other days we are puttering right along, perfectly content with each other and life in general. Busy, but happy.

And there are the other days.

The days that nobody talks about. The days that I like to pretend don't exist. These are the days that I actively choose to love him. He hasn't done anything wrong, but I'm not on the high of love. Luckily these days don't last long, but I think they're good for our marriage. It's during those times that we truly work at our marriage, that we realize, 'hey, this person isn't perfect; how are we going to get through this?'

And coming out of those days? Into days of bliss?

Priceless.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Favorites of a 3-year-old


foods
*queso
*tomatoes
*sandwiches (he wanted a birthday sandwich for dinner tonight!)

restaurants
*Casa Rodriguez
*Chili's
*Roadhouse (loves all the attention from the pretty waitresses!)

movies
*Incredibles
*Lady & Tramp (calls them 'blue dogs' b/c the DVD is blue as opposed to 'white dogs' which is 101 Dalmations)
*Cars

things to do
*read
*play with trucks
*work with Daddy in the dirt or the yard

outfits
*red shirts
*black sweatpants
*train shoes (Thomas)

toys
*trucks
*John Deere tractor
*blocks

latest habits
*coming to Mama & Daddy's bed sometime in the wee morning hours, climbing over us & snuggling down to go to sleep (we don't wake up, so we don't notice him until the alarm goes off!)
*'checking email'
*making up stories; he's got a very vivid imagination

stuff he's learned/almost learned
*counting from 11-20
*recognizing all letters (upper & lowercase)
*how to feed the cats!

Every day you learn something new Caden, and it's been so much fun watching you. Happy Birthday from Mama & Daddy!! We love you so much!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

3 years ago...

I sent Stan a text message today saying, "Happy going to the hospital day!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blessings on the highway

1 car

2 ladies

3 miles outside Huntsville

4 tires full of air

...And then there were only 3.

Luckily my carpool partner for the week knows how to change a flat tire.

But!

Before she could really get started, a car pulled up behind us.

The guy got out, helped us take the tire off and helped put the new one on. He made sure I knew I could only drive it temporarily and I shouldn't go over 55.

I pride myself on not judging people based on appearances, but this was a nifty reminder of that, for this guy had a doorag on his head, no shirt on, many tattoos on his person, and was puffing away on a cigarette the whole time. I made some comment about why couldn't this have happened in the winter when it would be much cooler and he said that he had been building houses since 6 that morning. It was now almost 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

All he wanted to do was get home, cool off, and relax, but he stopped to help 2 ladies on the side of the road.

God bless you good Samaritan!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day & Caden's birth week

My family has a longstanding tradition that one day is not enough to celebrate the birth of someone, so we have birthweeks in my house. My dad thought this up long ago & Stan has jumped on the bandwagon with both feet.

In honor of Caden & the fact that it is Father's Day, I am copying a letter that my husband wrote a friend of his a few days after Caden was born. It's long, but it tells the story of his lively birth from the interesting perspective of Dad.

Here goes...

Caden Alan arrived on Monday 6/20/2005 at 1:14pm. Weight: 8 lbs. 5 oz. Length: 21 in. Both mom and boy are doing great.

We should have known the delivery would include a rather intense moment after the pregnancy ran very smoothly.

Let me begin by saying….Praise God for ignorance. I never fully understood how serious the situation was until late Monday night. Apparently God knew I needed to stay calm, so he didn’t allow me to understand.

This is going to be a bit wordy, but I think it needs to be in order to get you in the moment.

Because of his size (mainly his head) the doctor induced a little over two weeks early. His head measured 42 weeks at 37 weeks. Most of the other measurements were also around 40 weeks.

We went in Sunday night to start the induction. They gave DeAnn a pill twice during the night to help her dilate. The Pitocin began flowing around 6am. They broke her water around 8am. She got her epidural shortly after that so she was in good spirits. She was checked every hour and was progressing nicely. At noon the nurse felt Caden’s head and estimated he would be born around 4 or 5pm. At 1pm the nurse entered the room to do the hourly vital signs check on DeAnn and see how much she had dilated. The doctor entered the room about 10 seconds behind her. She said she had walked past the monitor at the nurses’ station and noticed an irregularity so she wanted to check DeAnn.

When she checked DeAnn she said the cord had come out. Since Caden had an internal heart monitor attached to his head I thought that was what she was talking about since she said it so calmly. I looked at the monitor and saw a heartbeat so I said, “What does that mean?” She said “We are doing a c-section NOW”. I said “OK”. (Not the words of a man that understood what was going on.) We had a prolapsed cord situation. Apparently Caden moved around and something caused the umbilical cord to start coming out first.

I went and caught DeAnn’s parents at the elevator. They had been in the room with us and just left to go get something to eat. DeAnn sent me because she wanted them there. All I said was “Don’t go anywhere. The baby is coming now. Emergency c-section”. I didn’t have time to explain to them but I’m sure you could imagine how this made them feel.

When I got back to DeAnn I saw her doctor (who is about 8 months pregnant) on top of DeAnn’s bed, strattling her legs. She was holding the baby’s head off the umbilical cord. The nurse was moving at a frantic pace to get everything disconnected to get her out of the labor room and into the room for the c-section. DeAnn looked terrified so I grabbed her hand and calmly comforted her until she got into the other room where we were separated. They immediately took DeAnn to the table and asked me to stand in the corner. The doctor told me I would need to put on some scrubs so I was taken out into the hallway. The assisting doctor walked past me and said “Everything’s fine. We will have him out in two minutes”. I didn’t think anything about it.

Then a nurse asked me to move DeAnn’s labor bed back to the labor room to get it out of the way. So I did.

Then a nurse came in and spoke with me. She appeared a little frazzled and was stammering a bit. Since I was still calm (I have no idea why) I simply said “I am fine. Will I be allowed in the room with my wife?” She immediately calmed down and said if they kept DeAnn awake I would be, but not if they had to knock her out. She pointed to the scrubs on the table and told me to put them on.

I just got to the bathroom in the room to change (roughly ten seconds after the previous nurse left) when another nurse stuck her head in the room and said “The baby’s out and he’s screaming. He’s fine”. I was also assured that DeAnn was fine. They had knocked her out and the doctors were closing her. She said a nursery nurse would come get me in a few minutes.

A couple minutes later the nursery nurse came and handed me my son. I got to do all the new father things in the nursery. When we got to the glass where other people could look in, DeAnn’s mother just stared at Caden with a huge smile on her face. Her dad looked at me with a rather scared expression and mouthed “How is DeAnn?” Apparently DeAnn is a daddy’s girl. I told him she was fine. Then he smiled and couldn’t take his eyes off his new grandson.

Later Monday night we went over what had happened. I finally understood the seriousness of the situation when I saw it through DeAnn’s eyes. I had seen doctors and nurses moving quickly to perform the c-section. I simply saw them doing their job. And they were very good. From the time the doctor called for the c-section until Caden was born was less than five minutes. (We’ve debated this a little, but I had looked at the clock above the door when the doctor came in. It was 1:10pm. He was born at 1:14pm.) DeAnn had seen the looks on their faces, heard the concern in their voices, and had overheard all of the conversations going on around her. Even with all the words I’ve used to describe the situation, I cannot begin to express the emotional toll it took on her. Of course it was quickly forgotten when they handed Caden to DeAnn for the first time.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but now I have an interesting story. When people ask what my job was when my son was born I can say, “I was moving a hospital bed into another room”.

All kidding aside, we are just happy Caden is healthy. We were glad to welcome him to our family.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I don't share bread

Is it wrong that, when I went to get seconds of pasta, I took my garlic bread with me so Caden wouldn't eat it?

Hmmm...

Give it to me now & nobody gets hurt


What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You

You are sweet, mellow, and easily satisfied.
You don't like anything too intense and dramatic.
Deep down, you're a kid at heart... and you're nostalgic for the past.

You are lively, goofy, and a total blast.
You're incredibly happy, and you always are lifting spirits.

You love the feeling of accomplishment. You enjoy doing what's important.
You feel lost when you have to do frivolous tasks or hang out with shallow people.

The Chocolate Oracle

And speaking of candy - the birthday party we went to last weekend had a pinata, remember? Now this was not the pinata that we grew up with. Nobody had a stick. Nobody was blindfolded. The kids lined up in a sweet orderly line and the pinata had a bunch of strings hanging down from it.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PULL THE STRING!!!

What kind of bad bull is that?

Oh, I get it. It's safer. Blah blah blah.

All I know is - it's not a party unless someone leaves crying with a black eye.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Caden's heart


Every now and then I'm reminded that Caden is his own person and no matter the expectations that I put on him, he's going to go his own way.

We went to a birthday party this morning at The Bounce, a lovingly rambunctious place filled with those big bouncy things - hence the name.

There were quite a few other kids there, most of them older than Caden, and they were running around having the time of their lives.

Not my little man.

He was a tad bit clingy, not very sociable, and not at all interested in playing on the big bouncy castles himself. He wanted to watch before he dove in to the fray.

After a while, he warmed up and started playing - running around and screaming like the other kids, and then it was time for cake.

After cake, his little friend opened her presents, and her parents brought out the Dora pinata. Candy rained down and all the kids dove in and started snatching up candy.

Not Caden.

He hung back and waited for most of the kids to get their fill before he reached down and got some of his own.

And this is what reminded me of what a sensitive heart my little man has. Sometimes he's got to make sure of his place and his surroundings before he jumps in. Sometimes the noise and chatter is just too much and he'll go off and play by himself for awhile before rejoining the group.

I am blessed beyond measure to get to hang out with such a sweet-natured boy.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First time tagged!

OK, I've been a little behind in my blogging, so it took me a couple of weeks to realize that I had been tagged by my sweet friend Jenny!


4 Jobs I've Had in My Life:
McDonalds manager - where I met the love of my life
bank teller - Frost and Nations Bank
Office assistant extraordinaire - UCS
High school English teacher - Conroe, Cameron, & now (drum roll) A&M CONSOLIDATED!!!


4 Movies I've Watched More Than Once:
Coyote Ugly - can't turn it off if I run across it on TV
Nine Months
Shawshank Redemption
The Princess Bride

4 Places I've Lived:
College Station, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Houston, Texas
Pasadena, Texas
(good thing it was only 4 b/c that's it!)

4 TV Shows I Watch/Watched:
House
Grey's Anatomy
The Biggest Loser
The Amazing Race

4 Places I've Been:
Colorado
Washington, D.C.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Pensacola, Florida


4 People Who Email Me Regularly:
Stan
Melanie
Stacey
Catrina

4 of My Favorite Foods or Restaurants
Casa Rodriguez
Taste of Texas
Stan's steak & baked potatoes
banana pudding


4 Places I Would Like to Visit:
Ireland
Italy
England
Yellowstone Nat'l Park

4 Things I am Looking Forward to in the Coming Year:
Hanging on for the ride of being the mama to a 3-year-old redheaded boy!
Teaching at A&M Consolidated
Celebrating 12 years of marital bliss with my honey
Coming to some sort of agreement with my hair

4 Websites I Visit Daily:
www.csisd.com
www.realsimple.com
www.msn.com
www.blogger.com


4 Bloggers I'm Tagging:
If your name is listed below feel free to join in the fun and participate!


Amanda
Shannon
Andrea
Leslie

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So close...



Thanks for a wonderful season, ladies. Gibson - you're the greatest.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I will miss you!!!!!

Cameron - Yoe High School - Class of 2008


Yoe High School English department

Thursday, May 8, 2008

City boy goes country

This past weekend was a big one for the Cade-man. He was my prom date on Saturday

& on Sunday he got to go to the country fair held at our church.


I was more scared than he was, I think. He wouldn't pet the horse, but he was bound and determined to get on and ride. His little face was set in complete determination. All the way home, he kept talking about the horse.

I can't believe he's almost three...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Life lessons on Racheal Ray

I was watching Racheal Ray the other day (see what I did there?) and she had Leah Remini on from King of Queens on. It was interesting because she wasn't interviewing her so much as sharing her story about her daughter.

See, her daughter is 3 1/2 and is STILL ON THE BOTTLE!!

She made many self-deprecating remarks about how she and her husband are horrible parents and they do everything wrong. For instance, her daughter has THREE rooms, yet where does she sleep? Right between Mommy & Daddy in their bed.

Not only that, but she goes through SIX bottles filled with water every night. Six bottles every hour or two - all night long.

Leah made the comment that she's very consistent; she gives in all the time. She seemed proud of the fact that her daughter ruled the house.

She kept saying that she had to "follow her heart" and having her daughter cry because she wanted the bottle seemed wrong. "After all", she said, "what could it hurt?"

She talked to her pediatrician who only addressed the fact that most children are off of the bottle by 12-18 months. (Remini was aghast at that and didn't seem to believe it.) She even let a 'regular' mom come in and give her some pointers about taking the nipple off of the bottle and giving it to her daughter that way.

It didn't work. Remini couldn't bear to listen to her daughter cry. She was happy at least that they went through 2 less bottles that night. Nobody informed her that the daughter still won.

What struck me through the whole show - and what nobody else was saying - was the real issue wasn't bottles; it was who was in charge. The daughter is indeed ruling the house and her parents seem oblivious that this shouldn't be the case. She has figured out how to get her way and she has become a master manipulator in the process.

Don't get me wrong - I don't blame the child one bit. She's figured out how to get her own way and her parents are reinforcing this message every minute of the day.

I see a burgeoning Paris Hilton in our midst.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My new hobby

There have been some really good comments on the "Hospitals are our friends" post. If you haven't read the post or the comments, please take some time to check it out.

And I always welcome comments!

Change of pace now.

So I'm at the gym this morning at the unholy hour of 5:15am. I know, I know, I'm weird. But if it doesn't get done in the morning, it doesn't get done.

I am a completely inappropriate people watcher! That is what I've learned about myself in the past month since joining the gym. I cannot stop watching other people.

There's a guy there who is strangely flexible. He leans over with his feet out and puts his face between his knees so it is touching the mat. Meanwhile I'm struggling at an 84 degree angle. I look like I'm merely resting, while my hamstrings are on fire. Sweet mother.

I always wonder what people are up to when I see them at the gym. Where do they work? What time do they have to be there? How long have they been working out? Is their spouse taking care of the kiddoes? Do they return the favor in the afternoon and let him/her work out then?

There's a few older women who are there regularly in the morning. I think that's awesome and I hope I'm in that good of shape when I'm their age. Heck - they're kicking my tail now and I'm probably thirty years younger than they are!

It's a good thing I'm so self-confident because if I see one more 7-month-pregnant woman kicking my booty on the elliptical machine, I'm going to scream! So far the count is up to three. I had no idea so many pregnant women - REALLY pregnant women - worked out so hard on the cardio. I think Stan walked around the block with me a few times and that was it. Of course, that thinking is probably what got me so out of shape in the first place!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I would do it completely differently

My wedding, that is.

I wouldn't have the extremely traditional wedding dress. I got married in July for pete's sake & I had the whole poufy shoulders, long sleeves, and cathedral train.

Good grief.

I wouldn't have the corkscrew curls that hairdressers do so generically. I would have something more soft and natural - more me.

I wouldn't get married inside of a church. I would do it outside under some trees and near water. Not sure where this perfect location is (or how much it would cost!) but I would definitely try to find it.

I would get married in the evening. The July sun was a killer and under a shade tree at 8:00 would've been much better.

I wouldn't care how my bridesmaids did their hair. I can't believe I wasted valuable time worrying and thinking about that.

For that matter, I wouldn't care about their dresses. I would give them a color and tell them to go get what they wanted.

I would've had a 'food' reception. We were trying to save money, but if I could do it over again, I would have some kind of buffet set up - again, very casual.

Anything you would do differently???

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Uncle Terry uncled his nose...

Isn't Anezka's little dutch girl dress precious???


Saturday was one of those days to relax, reconnect, and laugh with family. We had a blast at my in-laws' house. We got to spend time with Stan's sister, Sheila - not an easy feat since she married a navy man. We got to laugh at Gerrit, Caden's older cousin by 4 months - he and Caden had fun running around being silly. And we got to snuggle with Anezka, the newest cousin, who's 6 months old.


We found out when we got there that Uncle Terry and Gerrit had been in a go-cart accident a few days before. Uncle Terry had stitches in his nose (hence the title; that's what Caden said today when I asked him if he had fun yesterday!) and Gerrit hurt his right arm a bit. He didn't want to use it too much, but then he and Caden would get to wrestling and he would forget that it was hurt.



The goal was to get all of the grandkids together for a nice picture before Sheila and Terry move to Washington (state), but alas, the two older cousins had prior commitments. So...we decked the remaining 3 out and snapped pictures outside my in-laws' house. It was a hoot. A 3-year-old, a 2 1/2-year-old, and a 6-month-old - can you imagine? We'd get one set up and looking good and then Caden or Gerrit would jump up to see what the picture we had just taken looked like. Sheila was trying to hold Anezka because Caden and Gerrit were having none of it. Gerrit didn't want to get dirty so we couln't put them in front of the tree. Nobody would be still and smile at the same time, and the adults barely got in any good pictures because we were laughing so hard!




I miss spending quality time with that part of the family and I wish they lived closer - BUT! - it is fun to travel and visit them wherever they are stationed. So far, we've made it to Pensacola, FL; Charleston, SC; and Memphis, TN. We had tickets to go to Connecticut to see them there, but that was the day after the BIIIG power outage across the country and it was a big rigamarow, so we had to cancel that trip. I'm still a bit bitter.



So...even though we wished they lived closer, we are already planning the Washington trip to go visit them!


We love you Uncle Terry, Aunt Sheila, silly Gerrit, and snuggly Anezka! We'll see you soon!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Getting closer!

We have been working. Working. So. Hard. Trying to get Caden potty-trained. The reason we've been really working on it is because we can tell he knows what's up; he's just being stubborn. He goes at school, so ergo, you would think he would go at home, right?

Not so much.

Until Friday night.

He had been in bed until I got home late from a district UIL meet and I walked in his room when I got home at 9:00 pm. He was awake so I laid down with him and I could tell he was NOT going to go to sleep anytime soon. So...we let him up for a little while longer.

At 10:05 (I know - we're horrible parents) I told him it was time he really went to bed for the night, and I asked him if he wanted to go potty. He said (screamed), "NOOO!"

I then had an epiphany.

I asked, "Caden, do you want to go potty on the BIIIIG potty?"

He said, "Uh uh" and walked off. He got his stool and told me to turn the light on. He pulled his shorts and his pullup down, stepped on the stool, and lifted the seat - such a big man. He stood there for a few seconds and let out a few sighs. I thought it was a no-go, but then - he grinned at me real big and I saw the stream going in the potty.

CADEN WENT POTTY!!!! For the first time at home!!!!

I was so excited. I then gave him a little toy that I had been saving for this auspicious occasion. Stan wouldn't let me take a picture, much less post that on the blog. Doo-doo head.

We didn't have such luck yesterday, but we bought him some sidewalk chalk today and I told him this afternoon that if he wanted to play with it, he needed to go potty again. He tried to tell me a few times that he had gone potty, but he flushed before I got in there so I don't think he really did.

I told him I had to see it before he could play with the chalk.

He said, "OK" and walked in there. Same routine as Friday ending with him peeing in the big potty. Proof, I tell you, that he is just stubborn and pig-headed.

I went outside with him and we played with the chalk!

Now what do I use for incentive now???

Friday, March 28, 2008

Can't get offended

Last night at the Aalbers' house...

I'm sitting in my chair when Caden drives up to me on his digger. I put my foot up to make sure he didn't run me down.

Caden: (pointing at my foot) That's yucky.

Me: laughing my patooty off

Caden: Yucky, yucky, yucky!

Me: Caden, that's mean!

Caden: It's OK. (Pointing to his own foot) Yucky too.

You can't pay for entertainment like this, folks.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hospitals are our friends

I was lurking on a blog the other day - one that I frequent - and the post really made me stop and think, and the more I thought about it, the more irate I became. You see, the author is pregnant with her 2nd child and this time around, she's doing the whole midwife / home delivery thing.

I could not disagree with her more.

When I was pregnant with Caden I gave about 10 minutes of thought to the idea of a home birth. Enough time to say, "Gee, I guess that's an option; what would that entail?" After a few minutes, I decided that no, that most certainly was not for me.

And it's a good thing, too.

Because if I had? I wouldn't be a mom right now. I wouldn't have had a baby to bring home from the hospital. I wouldn't have ever known Caden.

We had a prolapsed cord situation and 5 minutes after my doctor discovered it, my son was born via emergency C-section. We're talking straight off an ER script - my 8-months-pregnant doctor is riding on my gurney with her hand holding Caden's head off the cord; nurses are yelling "STAT"; doctors and nurses are running from every direction in the hospital; cords are flying. The last thing I remember is them POURING iodine on my stomach and asking me how much I weighed so they would get the anesthesia right. (I was oh so tempted to lie and say "a buck twenty", but you don't want to lie when numbing is at stake).

The doctor looked at my husband afterwards and said, "That's why you have babies in hospitals."

So I feel mighty strongly against the whole home birth thing. Isn't that what people in the 1800s did??? Didn't we have a lot of babies and WOMEN die in childbirth???

My stomach churns when I hear someone say they are more "comfortable" giving birth at home.

Me? I'm more "comfortable" knowing life-saving equipment and a staff of medical personnel are there to save my baby if needs be.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A long overdue 'thankful' post

It's been awhile since I last did one of these, so without the alliteration, here's my 'Thankful Saturday'.

1. An extremely well-adjusted and happy child
2. Kids who make me laugh all day
3. A very fulfilling job; I get to feel like I'm making a difference
4. Great teachers to work with
5. Spring Break - mine is THIS week!
6. Good friends I'm still connected with
7. A husband who enjoys talking to me
8. Parents who will drop what they're doing to watch Caden when necessary
9. Never having to have paid anyone to watch Caden
10. Digital cameras
11. Nora Roberts books
12. A husband who will let me enjoy Nora Roberts books
13. A son who loves reading as much as I do
14. Franklin Covey planners
15. Golds Gym
16. Quality time on my best girlfriend's porch
17. A car that has 96,000+ miles (in 3 1/2 years!) on it & gets AWESOME gas mileage!
18. The writers' strike is over - bring on 'House'!
19. Upward season is over & I have my husband back on Saturdays!
20. There's a chance the dirt is on the way out of my driveway - stay tuned...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Incentive

Today a friend brought her new baby up to school to show her off and she is absolutely precious.

But I was more interested in the stroller.

That and the matching diaper bag are almost enough to make me want to have another baby.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Today

Want to know what I did today?

I kept nineteen 17-year-olds absolutely quiet - not a peep - for FIVE and a HALF HOURS! With only a small 30-minute break for lunch in there.

Why would I ever attempt such a feat?

TAKS, my darling - the wonderful test of all tests.

Now I just have to convince them that we still have to work for the rest of the year...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ode to Monkey


A few weeks ago, I had school and Caden's school was closed, so we called our bestest babysitter ever, S, and she agreed to babysit. She has 3 wonderful kids - I'm convinced they do no wrong - and they're usually happy whenever we let them babysit Caden.


Stan picked him up and said that he had a great time over there as usual and he even brought home a souvenir - Monkey. Now, we have bought Caden bears and other stuffed animals, but he has no attachment whatsoever with them - only Monkey.


He sleeps with Monkey. He watches movies with Monkey. He even eats with Monkey. Every Friday at his school, they have 'Show & Tell'. He's taken Monkey ever since he got him. Stan lets him take Monkey in the truck with him on the way to school & he'll leave him in the truck when they get there. Not so this past Wednesday. He would NOT leave him in the truck! Thankfully Ms. Beth said that he could bring him in to school that day.


So thank you S & little L for giving Caden Monkey! Our lives would be so empty without him, and we love him so much!!



video

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This is how we work

Our weekends lately have consisted of much basketball.
Well, maybe not mine so much - directly - but my life has definitely had to shift because of it!

Case in point, Friday nights. I go straight home from school and Stan & I pick Caden up together. We then make the all-important stop at Wendy's to ensure that our boy's stomach gets full of food as soon as possible, and then make the trek to the school to set up for Upwards basketball the next day.

Caden eating with Monkey, whom he has taken to 'Show and Tell' the last 5 Fridays! He also took him to school on Wednesday when it was NOT 'Show & Tell'


That's when the workin' starts according to Caden. He LOVES to work and if his daddy is doing something, he needs to be helping him. Stacking chairs and pushing the dolly is better than going to the park for this kid!


After the work is done, there's always a bit of playing that needs to be done.


This is our family's Friday entertainment. I'm more worried about the end of Upward season than I was the end of football season! Here's a great picture of my 2 most favorite boys in the whole world.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Remembering

Yesterday I went to the funeral of my first cousin once removed (he's my mom's cousin & I'm her kid - hence the 'removed' part - I think!)

He's a little older than my parents and he'd been in ill health for about a year, but I was still surprised when I found out this weekend.

In honor of my 'Uncle' Kenny, here's what made him unique.

He called a handful of girls 'George'. Until yesterday, I thought I was the only one, but alas, that is not the case! 'We' made the preacher's speech as he said there was a very special group of girls who could say they were known as 'George'. That made me happy.

He judged sandwiches by how messy they were. He would put a big glob of mayonnaise on the bread and then slap a tomato on it. A really good sandwich would have the juice flowing down his arm. EWWWW!!

He was driving somewhere with his radio turned up very loud when a policeman pulled him over. He turned it down, pulled over, and waited for the cop to come up to the window. The cop came up and apologized for pulling him over saying, "I'm sorry sir. I heard some loud music, but it must have been some kids who pulled off the road." Kenny LOVED that story!

On a sadder note, he could not attend funerals. He would go, and then drive around and around the church where the funeral was being held. When he was in Vietnam, his friend was killed and he got a picture of the friend in his coffin in the mail. From what I hear, he was never able to go to a funeral after that.

He wore overalls everywhere and was just a laid back, casual guy. One thing that was said over and over again at the funeral was that if you needed him to do anything, he dropped whatever he was doing and helped you out.

The funeral was very simple and moving. Being a vet, he had 2 members of the military there and watching them fold up the flag and present it to his wife, Pat, was nice. What was even more moving was watching the Vets who were there tear up when Taps was played.

After the funeral, we all piled back in our vehicles and headed over to the First Baptist Church. In typical southern fashion, there were 2 tables loaded down with food. It was so nice seeing family I hadn't seen in years. There's just something about being with family (even the crazy ones - and some of them are looney!) that is just so calming.

I would be doing just fine and then something would happen and my mom would start to cry and then I would lose it. You can't NOT cry when your mama's crying!

So anyway, to a really sweet guy who never had a bad word to say about anyone and enjoyed the simple things in life - you will be missed and you are loved tremendously.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Update Post

It's been so long & I truly apologize to anyone who is still checking this. Hopefully I haven't lost too much of my fan base.

Anyway, here's a rundown on my life the past couple of months.

If people who have no intention of going fast would stay out of the fast lane (or at least avoid driving the exact same speed as the person exactly beside them) I would be a lot happier. Me and my anxiety medication would thank you.

Moody people need to get over themselves.

Administrators who say "data" and "TAKS" and "benchmark" make me want to spank them. Seriously.

The next 2 weeks of Upward need to run smoothly. For everyone in the Aalbers household's sakes. If you receive an email from my husband, ANSWER IT! Do not make my husband call you and the 30 other poeple who did not respond to said email on a Thursday night. He is already giving up one whole day of family time. You don't get Thursdays too. A simple "I can ref" or "I"m not available" will suffice.

Not to name names but a certain contractor with the initials GW has attained "Awesome" status in our house. Seriously, he can do no wrong in any Aalbers' eyes.

If anyone has a good product to make your nails stop cracking & splitting, I would appreciate a shout-out.

Freshmen students need to be observed 24/7. You cannot rush out of a computer lab with 16 freshmen left unattended because your pea-sized bladder is about to spill. If any administrators are reading this, no, I did not do this personally.

Juniors rock. There is something about the 16 to 17-year old psyche that I love. God bless the 11th grade.

Caden likes peeing in his pants. And really, how can I argue with him? He doesn't need to stop playing or eating in order to go to the bathroom. The kid's going to be 4 before he uses the potty.

To the cop who made me turn the other way when I was physically unable to get in the turn lane of my choice because you were directing traffic into it? I don't care for you.

Dirt piles do not belong in driveways longterm.

Chace Murphy is back doing the news on Candy 95 in the morning. Everything is all right now.

If your child takes 30+ minutes to open presents on Christmas morning, you have bought said child too many presents.

Big boy beds are easier to go to sleep in than toddler beds.

Caden's favorite song right now is "Wipeout" from the 1950s/1960s.

I really don't like shaving my legs, but I dislike that prickly feeling when I get into bed even more. I suppose Stan does, too.