Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bring Your Child to Work Day

Ahhh.  Another bring your child to work day--which equates to half of my students being absent.  It reminds me of when my children used to go to work with me.  There was one year when my daughter, when she was just a little first grader came to Hinkley High School.  She stood in front of my seniors, perform one of her cheer routines, and then gave them a speech all about Earth Day and why conservation should become a part of their lives.  She was adorable!

And the time when she came to Hinkley High School with me, as a 2nd grader, performed another cheer routine, then proceeded to read the opening soliloquy of Romeo and Juliet.  The students looked at her with awe and admiration--then knew my expectations of them would be really high.  After all if a 2nd grader could read it, there would be no excuses for them.  Over the years as she got older, there were times when she came with me to Sky Vista--sometimes making my copies, sometimes helping out the kids, sometimes just waiting for us to go to lunch.  This is the first year in quite sometime that she hasn't come to work with me.  But she was here on Tuesday, when the Juniors were taking their ACT exam, helping me with all of my copying.  Taking her to work with me every so often will be one of those things that I'll miss when she gets too old and too busy to come.

My son is a whole other story.  When he went to Sky Vista, he would want to "go to work with me" and basically just sit at my desk all day.  He was just content to not have to go to any of his classes.  Another part of him revered in the fact that the students that were there had to attend, while he got to just hang out with mom.  Yeah.  There were years when he went with his dad though and he'd come home talking about how fun it was to play on the computer, play soccer at lunch, and go out for lunch.

Take your child to work day--something I'll miss, something I already miss a bit with my own kids.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Wait

Every night that my son has to work, I sit and wait for him to get home.  I can't sleep.  I can't relax.  I can't stand when he's even two minutes past the time I expect him to be home.  So that's what I'm doing.  Sitting here.  Waiting.  And hoping he gets here no later than the expected 9:30 arrival time.  *sigh*

And so I wait.  With Marissa.  Who doesn't seem to have any of the impatience that I'm experiencing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

That's What Friends Are For

Yesterday as I was getting ready to leave school and head home, my husband called--something's that a bit out of the ordinary.  Usually it's me that gives him a holler, as I'm racing toward the gym or home or wherever.  I picked up the phone to the sound of his voice, except this time it was filled with worry.  Our good friend, J, was suffering from a migraine so severe that her butt was planted in the ER.  I rushed home as quickly as I could and the two of us zoomed on over to Rose.

When we walked into the ER, I'm not even going to lie--I was nervous, petrified, expecting to see iotas of bodies on the verge of death.  I slumped behind my hubby, grabbed ahold of his arm, and continued down the hall to Room 8.  There was a doctor sitting at my friend's side, her head tilted down, the pain obvious.  I gave her mom a hug hello, as J looked up at us.  She looked awful.  Poor thing!  There was an IV sticking out of her arm, the monitor going, and although the lights were dim--not dim enough to anyone who knows, has, and understands migraines the way I do.  I've been a sufferer for years and let me tell you, it's not fun.  According to the doctor, they'd been trying different meds all day, but J's body wasn't accepting any of them.  She continued having allergic reactions, her poor face a bright crimson from scratching at it.  "Hey train wreck," my supportive, caring, and sensitive husband began.  And I won't lie, I did crack a tiny tiny smile because the poor thing did look a bit like a train wreck.  

The doctor finally left, and my husband left the room to go and call J's husband, Chiz.  He was out of town caring for his sick grandma.  Luckily the girls were at their friends' home and J's mom would soon be getting them.  J and Chiz have two little ones--four and three and just the cutest, sweetest little girls ever.  I swear, being in the ER is ridiculous.  Here was my poor friend, who's head was pounding beyond belief, she was unable to even open her eyes, when every noise under the sun began.  First it was the maintenance people, who just HAD to unload boxes right at her doorway--and of course, dropping them and creating more noise than is necessary.  The intercom then came on with this woman's high, squeal of a voice.  Next the machine, that the doctor unhooked from J, started beeping loudly and making all these loud pumping noises--hello!  The doctor unhooked her from it, but never bothered turning it off.  There's NOT GOING TO BE A BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK!  I frantically texted Kent to get back to the room because I couldn't figure out how to turn the damn thing off.  Plus, she was a bit pale and, as we know, puking and migraines go hand-in-hand, and I DON'T DO PUKING!

It was not good.  Kent got the damn thing to stop beeping, but it kept going off which further upset poor J.  I found some orderly in the hall and got him to find someone to do something about the noise.  ERs are ridiculous!  We did make our way back to J's house, got her snug like a bug, and I zoomed on back to our place to feed the dog, grab our stuff for an overnight, and stop for food.  When I got back to the house, the girls welcomed me with lots of hugs.  J still looked like crap, and after awhile took off to bed.  Kent and I snuggled with the girls, reading them their bedtime stories and giving hugs and kisses once again.

And in the middle of the night, when CoCo woke up, I didn't hear a thing.  Sorry J!  Although I did finally get up--I'm a little out of practice.

In the morning, I heard their bedroom door open up and this little head peered over by the couches.  "Do you want to jump in for a snuggle?" I asked the ReeseMo--she flew over to me and under the covers for a snuggle.  And it made me miss the days when Fuzz and Roo were small--the way they loved snuggling on a Saturday (or Sunday) morning with me before we started our day.  Pretty soon another little head peeped around the corner, but then took off to find a good hiding place--which she did because neither Mo nor I could find her.  She was curled up behind the rocking chair, not making a sound--until she saw me.  "Mere Mere this is a good hiding spot," she said.  I gave her a hug and we were off to make breakfast.  

Little CocoBoat was eating her muffin, with the pink napkin over her little legs, when she said, "Mere Mere is pink your favorite color?"  It must've been my pink bag or my pink sweats or my pink computer that was giving it away.  "It sure is," I replied.  "I want to show you something," and with that went in search of the step stool.  "I got it!" she said, lifting the stool in front of her.  "Mere Mere you have to come here to see it."  I headed into the kitchen where she was standing on the stool in front of one of the cabinets.  "It's in there," she said pointing up to the cabinet up above.  As I opened it up, she said, "I think I want a bagel with chocolate and pink for breakfast."  There in front of me was a jar of pink sprinkles and a chocolate, nutella-like spread.  "Would your mommy let you have this for breakfast?"  "Oh yes Mere Mere," with her little head shaking back and forth.  She's just too cute!  As we made her chocolate, pink sprinkled bagel, J was coming down the stairs looking like death had finally passed her over.  Her eyes were actually open and the pain seemed to be lifted--not entirely, but much much better.  Plus she couldn't help but crack a smile as she watched her daughter pouring pink sprinkles on her bagel.

And I'd do it all again in a heartbeat because that's what friends are for.  And I know my friends would do it for me, for us, in a second.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Latest Glass Heel Article!

Things I Never Knew Until I Became a Mom

Hope you like it!  =)

Gator Tator Pumpkin Pie.

I love my dog.  He's so damn cute and cuddly and just adorable.  I love the way he brings me his ball, drops it in my lap, sits down, then waits for me to toss it.  Oh the little things that make him happy!

This past weekend my hubby, my son, and I took Gates to the doggie park.  It's always an adventure because we never know how he's going to behave.  He's still a puppy--only 2 years old--so his behavior can be sketchy.  But I like taking him there.  Gates loves being social, loves to run around like a crazy person, and seems to have a good time.

The moment we mention the word "Park" he gets a little nuts.  He hops up and down waiting for his walking collar, tongue just a flying all over the place.  When we head out into the garage, he eagerly sits as the car door is opened--and then in one huge leap, launches his body up and into the car.  I love the way he paces, lies down, sticks his head out of the window, and then plants himself between Kent and I.  He's too cute.

When we arrived at the doggie park on Sunday, there were a ton of dogs everywhere.  It was a beautiful day and it seemed as though everyone had the same idea that we did.  We grabbed his huge jug of water, his portable bowl, attached him to his leash, and headed out toward the enclosed area.  The moment we released the bondage that held him, he flew across the park and onto the backs of new friends.

Seriously.  Onto the backs of new friends--or so he thought.  I swear, we had the ONLY dog that couldn't behave himself.  He was trying to hump everything in sight--from the Great Dane to the Cocker-spaniel.  It was ridiculous and very embarrassing to say the least.  I was driving my poor husband crazy because every time Gates decided to go a-humping on some poor dog I would say, "Kent!  KENT!"  "What do you want me to do?!" he kept saying back--well, hell, I don't know.  CONTROL THE DOG?  haha

I could hear the voices in the other dog owners' heads--"Keep that horn ball at home," "What's wrong with that animal?", and "GET YOUR DOG OFF OF MINE!"  Seriously.

I love my dog--I really do.  But I wish he could extend his greetings to the other dogs in another manner.  How about a friendly bark hello?  How about a nice little wag of the tail and sniff of their butt?  Is it really necessary to get up on that?

Eventually he did settle down and simply run around with Brandon--chasing after the ball and bringing it back to him.  He drank almost 1/2 of the jug of water, and I know he tried to listen when we called him.  Selected hearing seems to run in our family with all of our children...including Gates.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Like Paper Facebook.

A few days ago I had a "silent discussion" happening in my classroom.  This is where the questions are posed on butcher block throughout my room and my students travel from table to table, quietly answering the questions and leaving responses for their peers.  They love it because everyone in the classroom has a voice--which can be as strong or silent as they choose.  They are pretty anonymous, believe me when I say no one knows each other's handwriting like we did when we were kids.

The days of passing notes, getting the love letter from the cute boy, and talking smack by passing the notebook back and forth are long over.  I can't remember the last time I've "confiscated" a note being passed.  Nope.  These days it's all about texting, messaging on Facebook, or the occasional email between friends.  Everything's electronic--making a statement dependent upon the font being used.  And god forbid it's in bold or all caps--look out.

When the discussion was over, I asked my kids what the experience was like for them.  I heard the same thing all day long--they loved being heard, feeling anonymous, and getting responses on their answers.  They liked how I was able to respond to so many of them and how they "talked" to some kids in the class that weren't necessarily their friends.  Everyone had a voice, not just the confident kids.

And then period 8 rolled around and one student gave the best analogy of the day.  "Miss Dr. Collins," he began, "it was like paper Facebook."  I couldn't help but grin just a bit.

He was showing me the importance of social media--the importance we all place on the feeling of being heard, which is exactly what Facebook does.  We put our thoughts out there, and hope to get a response.  The more responses we get, the more validated we feel.  We thrive on feeling connected--it's what links us all together, regardless of our walks in life.

So it was with a smile that I told him how right he was, wrote down his analogy so it wouldn't be forgotten, and let him know I'd be sharing his thoughts with my Facebook friends.  To which he got the most perplexed look on his face and said, "YOU have a Facebook?"  Yeah, if that didn't make me feel ancient, I don't know what will...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tattoo--Number Five and I'm Done.

For those of you that know me, know I have a few tattoos.  The first one I ever got was when I was on the brink of divorce in 1997.  It was a way for me to demonstrate my independence--do something permanent.  Perhaps it was because my relationship wasn't, perhaps it was like a teenager in defiance of what was not deemed acceptable, perhaps because I just wanted one.  Regardless of the answer, I decided to venture out and get myself a tattoo.

My choice of tattoo is not one that most can understand--especially if they truly know me, and know my fears.  Number one fear is mice--any rodent really.  It's not the typical "Oh my god, it's a mouse!" type of fear either.  It's heart-stopping, blood-curdling screaming, sweating, breaking into tears type of fear.  I've been terrified of mice since I was little.  Hate them.  Absolutely detest them.  First tattoo--Mickey Mouse.  On my ankle.  You figure it out.

My second and third tattoos happened together--two Chinese symbols that I got at the same time as two of my friends (one a good friend, the other my Best Friend!).  The symbols mean true, loyal, sincere friend.  It meant something to all of us.  Lower back--got this in my early 30s and yes, before everyone else decided to get tattoos on their lower back.

My fourth tattoo I didn't get until two Decembers ago.  I love the word BELIEVE.  From the way the word looks, to the way it makes me feel.  Love the word.  Keeps me going.  Resonates hope in every sense of the word.  I had this word tattooed on my left foot, along with a little cross.  Second favorite tattoo, which I got when I was 39.

Now up to this point, I have had zero issues with getting tattoos.  While they do hurt, especially the lower back (BIG OUCH!), I never experienced any real discomfort--just the constant stabbing of needles for a little while.  Before each tattoo, I do get nervous--for me it's the usual sweaty palms, anxiously looking at the clock, just wishing for the pain to be over.  Not a big fan of pain, but I DO love tattoos!

I've been planning my fifth tattoo for quite sometime.  I wanted something to honor my love for my children.  Kids names are the only ones I personally believe you should get permanently put on your body.  I found this awesome symbolic tribal thingy that I loved--but I couldn't get my kids' names around it the way I really wanted it.  I stayed focused on this tat for over a year.  For our anniversary, we decided to get tattoos for one another.  My honey would take Wednesday off of work, and I'd plan out the entire day.  And yes, it included our tattoos.  Well, come Tuesday night, I completely changed my mind about my tattoo.  Instead I found this eucalyptus tree, intertwined with ivy.  The symbolism behind it was exactly how I wanted my tattoo to represent my children.  I also decided to just write out their names in my handwriting--after all, it was me who gave them their names, plus the imperfection of my handwriting was another symbol of me.

We showed up to the shop, and my sweating of the palms began.  What I thought was going to be the size of my tattoo was simply too small because of all the little intricacies in the design.  After a little deliberation, and size down from what the artist had in mind, I settled on the size that is now on my left shoulder.  He put the imprint on, I checked it out in the mirror, and straddled the chair that I'd be sitting in for quite awhile.  And then he began.

I don't know if it was my nerves, if I built up getting this tattoo, or if it was the way I was sitting.  Whatever the case, I could not stop sweating.  On top of this, my right foot couldn't stop tapping the floor.  I asked how long it would take, and he told me about 30 minutes.  Unfortunately there was no visible clock, so time became a bigger issue.  It was taking him forever.

About half-way in, I began to feel extremely lightheaded.  Then woozy.  Then my hands started to numb.  Ummm, not good.  I was about to pass out.  I was so embarrassed as I asked the artist to stop.  He took one look at me and started to worry.  "Hey, I never had anyone pass out on me before," he began as I swayed back and forth.  He ran to get me some water and a cool clothe for my head.  Seriously, ridiculous.  So I sat there, in a pool of sweat, waiting for the feeling to pass--and yes, with my head bent forward toward the floor.  And I was SO excited that I was in the tattoo chair right next to the receptionist desk, who kept asking if I was okay.  Okay, yes.  Embarrassed, hell yes.

After a few minutes of these two people looking at me as those I were a circus freak (and let me add that the artist is completely tatted out with the receptionist donning not only tats but a gazillion holes all over her face and body), I got a friggin' grip and he was able to continue.  When he finally finished, the chair needed a good wipe down.  I continued to sweat throughout the entire process, all down the back of the chair, which my head had to lean on.  Every man's dream, I know.

So while I had already planned on this being my last tattoo, this is really going to be my last tattoo.  Unless, I just happen to get one more that's really, really, really little.  Maybe.  Damn, tats--they are SO addictive!