Monday, April 23, 2012

Running for Home

There are 7 more days in April. Then I have 25 teaching days at MMO in May. And then it's summer. And thank goodness. I'm dying here. MacTroll just started his fourth week home -- this year. Yes, he's home on the weekends, but he's been flying in a lot at 9 p.m. on Friday and out at 6 a.m. (or 2 p.m.) on Mondays. And really, I feel like when he walks in the door I'm like, "Here is your child." And then I vacate the house -- because let's face it, the boys don't ever leave and that drives me INSANE.

But this Friday is a vacation day, thanks to a Unit 4 Teacher's Institute. I'm going in to help X-man's teacher pack up to move to the new school for an hour and a half. I also have to stop by the ARC and get my registration packets for the 5k and the 10k this weekend. I haven't been training for them, admittedly. I wanted to, but it was hard to get an hour out of the house somewhere where I was allowed to leave the building with my child still IN the building. And let's face it, as strong and as fit as X-man thinks he is, he's not up for doing 3-6 miles with me.

So I'm making my plans for the countdown of our time in Illinois. If everything goes okay, we'll (fingers crossed) be putting our house up for sale next February. I have a lot to do, and some personal sanity to find. Therefore, I'm not going to be teaching at MMO next year because I fully think that I'll need something full-time once I get to California. Therefore, I'm going to take next year and just walk my kid to class -- and work the hell out of my body. Seriously. It's priority 1 starting after Memorial Day weekend.

I got my Fuel band to sync. I had to do a factory reset, so I lost some mileage, but It's nice to have something tracking what I do all day. And, as you might have guessed. I'm not a sedentary person. I walk, on average between 12,000 and 20,000 steps in a day and I'm in some kind of motion (usually low activity) for 10-14 hours a day. Whenever I got to fitness class at 4:30 it goes up a lot. Same with when I walk the dog for an hour. And I like having it on my arm.

In other news, I'm addicted to nutella. Get that shit away from me. Seriously. I bought it to make a Cooking Light (ironic, right?) recipe for Chocolate Banana French Toast. A surprise to no one, that I am an empty pit when it comes to bread and chocolate. So while Sunday's brunch of the French toast with a side of fruit salad might have seemed a bit of a splurge... it was a CRAZY splurge as I kept spreading the brown, yumminess on the bread and chowing down on it.

Other splurging this week includes going out with some girls on Wednesday and on Thursday. I know, sugar daddy's back in the house, so I'm going to jump out and enjoy some grown up time while I can. But it does remind me that I need to schedule a trip somewhere for myself. I just got my passport renewal back. I should be safe to make it through customs today without them wondering what happened to myself. Or maybe I'll just swing the other way. Where instead of asking me if I had gastric bypass, they'll ask me if I swallowed a donut store between the time the photo was taken and now.

Mmm, maybe I should change that analogy to "nutella factory."

School is having an art fair fundraiser on Wednesday from 12-2 p.m. at MMO. We're raising money to buy new playground equipment. If you'd like to stop by or make a donation, we'd love to show you around the school and have you check out what some of my Clownfish have been up to in class (as well as all the other classes). It's supposed to rain, which will probably only add to the misery on our current playground. We've had some vandals take some equipment apart over the last year, and it's not what it was, but with some of the DCFS requirements and agreements we've had with the church, it was the best we could do with the funds we had when we moved.

So, now we're trying to make it a bit better than the Little Tykes stuff.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


In weight management class, I'd been feeling terrible about 2012. Mostly because I've been having trouble recording things and keeping a handle on numbers. I knew I moved, but I wasn't sure how much I moved when I didn't set aside at least 60 minutes for a workout. But I work with small children, and although I'm not a helicopter mom or teacher, I am rather -- into my parenting and my teaching. That is, I'm a teacher you'll find rolling in the grass or blowing up soda bottles with mentor or putting a pile of dirt in a water table and getting it wet with water so my students (or my child) walk in the mud and get to know what it feels like. I allow bird seed in my sensory table, even though I know it goes all over the floor. I don't mind when playdoh colors get mixed.

So, I decided I needed to embrace the fact that I'm not on it as much as I used to be or I needed to find a way to track part of something effortlessly. And suddenly, in January, out comes advertisements for the Nike+ Fuel Band. It's not for "athletes" by nature. It's more for high tech folks who want to be in good health and keep an eye on how much they're moving. Think of it as a techno geeks step down from a heart rate monitor. It looks like one of those non-profit group bands, but it has a fancy LED screen on it that reports the time, the numbers of steps you take each day, the numbers of calories it estimates you burned depending on your steps and then it gives you a "fuel" number.

I asked for one for my birthday in February and it just arrived two days ago. Its' easy to wear, easy to use and I was checking it's accuracy with my steps and it was pretty spot on. The calories also matched what I usually get on my heart rate monitor when I'm in exercise class. The first night I plugged it into my MacBook and it launched the Nike+ web site and downloaded perfectly. Then last night, I plugged it in to download my information, and a notice came up saying that there was a firmware update. So I ran it and now, for whatever reason, the stupid numbers will not download to my account.

There's a bluetooth connection too, so I ran that on my phone and the updated activity and fuel numbers come up on the home screen, but when I push "Activity" it says that "There's No More Activity." But none of my numbers cord, but I can still see them on the LED monitor on the band.

So, I sent a notice to the help desk over there. I'm hoping they're able to figure out what the deal is. I've done everything we did when there was snow.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Great Eggspectations

We held our annual egg hunt for our friends today. As usual, people were way more generous than the 12 eggs I ask them to bring. We always do it the weekend after Easter, so we get all the eggs at least 50% off, so people go nuts. There are like 300 eggs and like 14 kids. :-) The rule is -- you're done when your basket is full.

We divide the backyard into two areas: Candy and Non-Candy. It's safer for friends with younger children and for those with allergies. And it works out really well.

You can tell MacTroll hadn't seen PG and Lightning McColin lately.

And it's not a surprise who the first three through the gate were to get eggs. 

X-man put out nearly all the candy side eggs. It's my guess he memorized which ones had the Starbursts in them.

The kids filled their baskets and immediately checked out their haul. This is normally an easier task, but Savoy, which is always windy, had a high wind warning. Everything was everywhere. No tricky hiding this year. If an egg was up high... it got blown to the ground.

I had this basket filled with eggs to put out for the hunt. Maya found it on the kitchen counter and decided she needed to sleep in it. She snoozed all day. Then, the poor thing, had to lift the front part of her body out to eat her dinner... Isn't her life sooooo hard?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hanging with Friends

It was not my intention to disappear for over a week. Sorry about that! We went to Nebraska for Easter weekend to visit some friends who moved away almost two years ago. It certainly doesn't feel like it's been two years, and, honestly, it was funny to watch our boys get together. They still look like freaking bookends. :-) 

We went to the Pizza Machine which is kind of what would happen if Chuck E Cheese and a Carnival Ride group got together and opened an all you can eat buffet for $6.95. We also visited a Native Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Park and saw wolves, black bears, bison, etc. 

There was an egg hunt at grandma's house where X-man also got to ride (as a passenger) on an ATV driven by Dr. Dave or MacTroll. And the boys also went to play Laser Tag! 

It was a lovely weekend of lots of activities. Hopefully another two years won't go by before we see them again.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sorta on top of things... Sorta not

I'm an organizer. I really am. I'm not neat or spotless, but I usually have my shit together. But every once in a while my brain totally reboots and I'm a bit lost in the woods. Over the last month, it's been happening more and more. I get dates confused, places confused, people confused. I started calling two of my students by the wrong name. It's a bit odd. This usually means I'm over busy... but it's the last push until summer, so it's not like I can give up now.

I've been planning out X-man's summer. The only thing that's not fitting in right now is swim lessons. He isn't a giant fan of his current instructor, and I can see why. But he doesn't want to go to group lessons. I'm also trying to figure out my own summer goals. They're big. And they will take every free moment that X-man is away at camp, and gym with available childcare when I need it, and probably not just a designated couple hours in the day.

On a good note, the four camps X-man wants to do, I've signed him up for. They're half day programs. He's also feeling like he's outgrowing the Little Gym, so I'm going to bank the rest of the classes and use them for parent night outs. Because he likes the free time, but not so much the classes. I think after being in school all day -- he's kind of had a full day of following directions, so when he gets home, he just wants to chill or play.

And I don't blame him. Same with summer. It shouldn't completely be planned. There should be free time. There should be time to be a kid... and then claim to be bored all day.

Nightmares and An Angel

Funny how all of my nightmares include leaving children (my own included) unattended. A few weeks ago I dreamed that I ran off to Chicago for "business" and left my child with the Supers, but told them I'd only be gone a couple of hours.

Last night I dreamed that I took my director's children to the movies... and then decided just to drop them off and go somewhere else to get some work done and forgot them there. I kept thinking. Has it been a couple hours? I should go get them... but then something else would come up.

Yesterday, X-man and I had an outrageously good day together. No whining. Thank goodness. As it turns out he was starving after this therapy appointment, so we walked over to 301 Mongolia at 3 p.m. and had a very early dinner. Then we went to pick up Lily at doggie daycare and came home. I went upstairs to change into my workout clothes, and then we ran around the front yard in fire hats putting out "fires."

Afterwards, we walked to the Rec Center. I worked out for an hour and X-man played in the kids room. Then we walked home. He ate bedtime snack while I worked on my newsletter update for school. Then we read for 35 minutes and off to bed he went.

I for, some reason, didn't fall asleep at 9 p.m. like I had on Tuesday. Instead, I sat up watching Melissa and Joey. (Or is it Joey and Melissa?)

Tomorrow we're flying to Nebraska for Easter weekend with some friends who moved there a couple years ago. One last day of school... and I'm guessing my child will be a PITA since yesterday was so spot on.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Come on Fruit!

Mama needs to buy a new house in California next year...

This news, if proven true, would help greatly in the process.

Every day week I'm at seeing if new listing have popped up in the 95125 zip code and then seeing if the houses magically appear on the map within the 4 streets that define the Booksin Elementary neighborhood. Are they closer to the main street or are they closer to school? Have they been redone in the last 40 years, or has someone just died and or retired and is trying to get the same price for something where nothing has been done as the guy down the street who totally renovated within the last three years?

I know. I have 10 months before my house is on the market. Who knows how long it will take to sell, or if it will sell. But it can't help to look, right? See what's in the area?

In other news, Clawdio got two teeth removed. He's been a much nicer cat and his heart didn't give out while he was under the anesthesia. So that's a win/win. It was 400 degrees outside today. All of my students were red cheeked and sweating.

X-man is very excited about his school carnival next week. But he's torn between wearing his Scooby Cat or his deep sea fish hat for Cap Day tomorrow. Today, he wore his "That's How I Roll" Rollerskate T-shirt that he got from Bubba. He was so happy when he pulled it out of the drawer. :-)