Quarters in the Jar

To snark, it will cost you a quarter...unless it's true.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The last minute...

is the best minute. At least that's what I like to tell myself so I don't get all stressed out and start crying. Oh wait. I still do, but only in front of trusted colleagues and my DH. I always tell myself as I'm furiously _______ (fill in the blank with any chore including but not limited to assessing students and filling out grade cards) that next time I will make sure and start much earlier. But, I never do. Never. I even tried to make it a resolution. But, it was to no avail.

So, tonight I am cleaning my house in preparation for family coming tomorrow night for Passover on Monday night. If only I kept my house sparkling clean I would not be sweating right now from running the dryer (trying once again to conquer Mount Purex), turning my oven on to self-clean (a 5000 degree chore), and moving every piece of furniture I have to get all the hidden dirt that I tend to ignore when no one is here but us. They will be here in less than 24 hours, and this week was Third quarter conference/Cub scout pink eye/Camper springs a leak in the window/Run a fever/DH gets called out week. So the house, prior to my four hour (so far) merry maids marathon looked like something that almost could be seen on the show, "Hoarders." Almost. Without the National Geographics from 1972.

What I am I doing writing about cleaning instead of actually doing it? Well, mother, it is not 4pm tomorrow. And, crying makes my eyes look a lot bluer.

Monday, March 22, 2010

You're kidding, right?

Have you ever been in a situation where there are so many things that you are incredulous about that you don't even know where to begin to tell the whole story? This is me tonight.

On Saturday, after the marathon (3 1/2 hours!) pinewood derby (did I mention my cub was the winner in the Tiger division?), our den leader reminded me that we were going on a field trip Monday. She gave me the form to sign, and as I was filling out the paperwork I asked, "Where are we going, again?" She told me we were taking a hike...TO CASEY'S (the neighborhood convenience store). Oh-kay? This is wrong on so many levels, but I didn't argue because I'm trying very, very hard not to be "that mom" in the pack. Really, just because I equate hiking with state parks, doesn't mean everyone else has to. So I was all like, "Why the convenience store?" I was told it was to learn about nutrition and making money decisions. Hmmm. Not too sure about that one, but I was going with the flow.

So tonight, our little den took out for the sketchy side of town to go to the gas station. Thank goodness it was still light. When we got there, we talked about all the things in the gas station and how the snacks were at the front and blah, blah, blah. Then, each Scout got a little money to spend. This is where I'm still a little flabbergasted. One of the dads said to me and everyone else in the store, "I need a snack and I'm buying this (holding up a giant Pepsi and king size candy bar). No wait actually, the government is buying me this." HE WAS HOLDING UP HIS EBT CARD!!! Ok, where I come from a) you eat a little healthier than that (unless there are donuts in the lounge), b) you don't shout it from the rooftop that you are spending everyone's tax dollars for a sugar fix, and c) if you do have an EBT card, you buy real food for your family. PLUS, part of our trip was about nutrition, and everything he chose I'm pretty sure was in the "fats and oils" food group.

I know I gave him a look, I couldn't help it. Maybe I am "that mom", and that's ok.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why did it have to be on Saturday?

The snow that is. You see, by the building of the new high school carrying over into August, we did not start until after Labor Day, therefore giving up a chance of any spring break. At all. None. The big goose egg. Nada. Oh wait, there is Good Friday, but that's the only full day off until the end.

I've got to tell you. I need a break. We all need a break. We are at the time in the year where we are tired of pretty much everything and everyone. Teachers are catty with each other. Students wear on the nerves even faster. A good week of lazing around the house and not getting dressed until 10AM would help a lot.

Just last week I called my sister to chat. I forgot she was off school for the whole week. This is how it went.
Me: Hey how's it going?
Her: Fine, we went to the zoo today.
Me: What?
Her: We're off so I thought it would be fun.
Me: Oh (crying silent tears so I wouldn't make her feel bad).

That's why I got soooooooo excited when snow was forecasted. Until it started snowing on Saturday during the pinewood derby (3 1/2 hours of my life that I can't get back, but yay! for a first place finish in the Tiger Cub division!). So...Saturday the snow came dashing my hopes of a Monday snow day. By Sunday afternoon the roads were great. So, I will be getting up before the crack of dawn (thanks a lot daylight savings) tomorrow. In the shower I will wish for a break. But, what you want and what you get are two very, very different things. At least it wasn't too cold to wear flip flops on our days off before school.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adventures in babysitting

Sometimes, when the RGP is out of the building, I get to pretend to be the Queen. Yesterday was one of those days. She asked me about two weeks ago, and I gladly accepted. I enjoy it and it's good experience. You see, someday I will be the one who has to find someone to cover the building for me. I say that absolutely definitively (redundant, I know).

It's kind of strange putting on a different hat. Even though I'm still a teacher, for one day I was the principal. Friends, friendly colleagues, and frenemies treat you a tad differently. I can't really explain it, but I was a little lonely.

One would think that being in charge for one day would give a girl something to write about. In this case there was so, so much that happened that it is all one big blur, really. All I really know is that my graduate tuition was not wasted on a career path that I am not actually interested in.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Rolling Stones said it best

You can't always get what you want. I thought really long and hard about how to write this post. I knew if I wrote it on Friday, it could have very well turned into a multi-paragraphed rant. Everyone needs a little rant time every now and then, but that's not really my style.

Here's what happened. Our assistant superintendent e-mailed the entire district staff at 2:51 p.m. on Friday (the same way you hope to get the machine when you intend to flake out on a friend, they can't react) to rock our worlds. The memo said that in order to keep class sizes to a minimum, children of teachers in the district must attend their neighborhood school or home district, unless there is room for them at the school of their parents' choice. I wouldn't be writing about this if it didn't directly affect my family.

My first grader has only gone to the school where I teach. My daughter enters kindergarten next year. I had intended for her to go to the same school as well (mostly because my school really rocks-- I teach there, after all). That seems to be off the option board next year because we live in another school district. I have either taught or subbed (SAHM I'm not) in our district for 11 years, and I know how good it is. I know there could be room for the both of them next year, but I don't think I want her to start kindergarten one place, and then have to transfer because the numbers were to high later on (it's bad enough to do it to my first grader).

So really, this has given me the push I might (probably) have needed to explore the district where we live. Sometimes, you get what you need.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Activate the Plan!

For the last few days, I have noticed that my preschool daughter has become increasingly snarfley*. This is our fourth round. Someone (probably me) sneezed in her general direction. Yesterday, she started the coughing. I sent her to school with strict instructions to blow her nose when she started coughing and to make sure she drank a lot of water. When I picked her up she was coughing even more than in the morning. The afterschool program lady made sure to tell me that she was coughing a lot. Apparently it was not enough to call me to come and get her. However it WAS still enough for afterschool lady to make it a point to pull me aside and tell me about it with a raised eyebrow (you know the one your mother uses on you).

When we got home, I gave her some honey elixir and a drink. Her seal impersonation continued into dinnertime. My DH looked at me and said the fateful words, "She can't go to school tomorrow." Insert alarm sounds here. In my mind I'm all like, "Man your stations we are at DEF CON 1!!!" Instead I said, "I agree."

The plan for who stays home is quite elaborate. First, I asked DH if he had any appointments during the day. He said no but his rotation for call-out started at midnight. The next step is my mom** (love ya!). I had already talked to her and she was hanging with my nephews for early out. Then comes me. I called my really great principal (or RGP from now on, and I promise I'm not saying this sarcastically) to ask for a sub. I already had one for the afternoon because I was going on my daughter's field trip (she cried big boohoo tears when she learned she couldn't go), but now I needed one for the morning, too. I had to leave a message on her really echoey answering machine. Then, the waiting game began, and I set out to find some review work online (superteacherworksheets.com is AWESOME).

Not too long later, RGP called me back and gave me the news that while I did have a sub for the afternoon, she wasn't sure if I would have one for the morning. Yikes. My actual friends were going to be so mad at me when they each got eight from my class.

The good news is, that when I came in to leave my sub plans/assignments (consisting of roughly 10,000 worksheets...because you know what they say about idle hands) my afternoon sub was there and was just going to do the whole day for me. Yay! The bad news? We didn't get to go rollerskating and we're out of Kleenex.

*made up word
**eliminated from continuum if there is need for a "burp bowl"

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Hey, this is kind of like a fancy restaurant...

said my seven year old as we begin our candlelight feast of bologna sandwiches. Why oh why would you have cold cut sandwiches and chips on a Friday night, you ask? Shouldn't you be making something like a delicious turkey breast coated in herbs? Why, yes that is what I should have been making.

Here's how it started. I mean I don't know exactly how it started at the transformer. I'm assuming some random squirrel took a game of Truth or Dare a little too far. Like, "Hey Rocky, here's your dare...you have to go to the transformer and do a small dance on top." Rocky chuckles to himself as he thinks, "Oh man, this is too easy." Little did he know this would be his last dance, ever. Did I ever tell you my favorite comic is The Far Side?

Back to my house. I'm on the stairs doing part one of my basement circuit (who needs a personal trainer?) and the lights go off. I go up the stairs muttering, "Will you all please leave the lights alone?" I flick the switch...nothing. I go back downstairs into the family room. Nothing. I go back upstairs and the kitchen is totally dark. I did have a turkey breast cooking in the oven. Now it is just in the oven. Then I proceeded to call the electric company. It is never a good thing when you call and immediately go to hold after business hours. Finally, the operator comes on and takes my name and address, then informs me that there is a large outage in our area. She does not tell me when I can expect the wonder that is electricity to refill my home.

Meanwhile, we are all famished. I decide to make sandwiches. On the count of three, I grab meat and mayo as quickly as possible from the refrigerator (she didn't give me a timeline for the power to come back on so I had to preserve the cold). We all sit down to the table around a giant lilac candle (those teacher presents do come in handy sometimes), when my son notices the ambiance. There's nothing like a sandwich and Cheetos eaten in mood lighting.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010


You're a rockstar if you read the title to the tune of "Saturday Night" just now. You and I should go for chips and salsa...soon. Although, I'll warn you in advance that I might be funny and you could end up spewing soda out of your nose while laughing uncontrollably. Might not happen, but be advised all the same.

But, I digress. Twelve of my friends qualified for our first ever Behavior Celebration complete with pizza, Kool-Aid, cookies and chips. They could have only two notes on their behavior calendar for the entire month of February. No easy task for anyone because my elementary nemesis of "talking at appropriate times" counts on the calendar.

I forget how easy the young ones are to impress. I heard several of them say, "This is the best day I've ever had." Really? The BEST day ever? Really? Talk about a huge ego boost. My company + a slice of Domino's goodness = THE BEST DAY?

I wonder what would've happened if I had given them candy, too?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Is "Do Your Best" really the motto?

Because if it is, then assistant pack leader and den leader, I'm worried. We had den meetings last night for the Cubscout in my home. I was the one who went. It was mostly because I love my husband so I took one for the team. It was painful.

Our pack was assigned to make the centerpieces for the community banquet. Did our den leader have a cohesive plan? No. Did the other person in charge have a plan? No. Did they have a bunch of random supplies? Yes. I mean really I'm all for creativity but how in the world are they going to use 24 ink pens and Styrofoam balls to make a centerpiece. I'm good, but I'm no Vern Yip (for you HGTV watchers) nor MacGyver when it comes to making things. I tried very hard not to get the look on my face that says, "You're an idiot." Not so sure I was successful.

Then, THEN...they could not, would not (Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss) make a decision about what it should look like. Meanwhile, the Scouts are losing it. The siblings of the scouts are EVERYWHERE. I'm about to pull out my teacher voice on everyone in the room. Finally I said, "Here's the plan. You do this, you do this, you do this...and so on." Everyone listened (reluctantly on the part of some people, but she didn't say anything aloud after I gave her a "Save it Sister" glance), and they did what I said, and our centerpiece looks great. You know, for something that I pulled out of my hat using popsicle sticks, construction paper, a pot and markers.

I think I deserve a badge.

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