Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cliche Christmas Post


It's funny that Jodi mentioned she didn't want a Christmas post to be on the top, because now there is going to be one on the top again (Jo, just write something real quick to knock it back down!). Sorry this post is so late..

Christmas Eve, which I normally LOVE, was actually a little rough. I haven't been sick in forever, and I actually got a little sick (of all days, go figure!). Jer had to work a half day, and all I had planned that day was to make cookies with the kids and to clean the little girls' room (I wanted to get it cleaned out for their new presents). That was a big fail. I never did get to the cookies (Jer baked them after work), and I threw up twice while cleaning the room. Afterwards, we went to my mother in law's house for dinner and presents. Things got a little weird there. I don't want to get into it, but I am thinking that my in laws are pretty jacked. 

We got home around 11pm, but Jer and I had to stay up late to do all the "Santa" stuff. Filling up their stockings was pretty fun. Jeremy always buys the stocking stuffers, and he always goes overboard. We usually end up cramming so much stuff in the stockings that it defies a few laws of physics, and the kids can barely get the stuff out again. After we finished with the stockings, we had to get an arcade sized air hockey table from our lower driveway (we had it hidden in a shed) up a hazardous, WET flight of stairs IN THE DARK, through our sunroom and into the family room. The table was SO HEAVY. At one point, Jer and I were straining to get the monstrous table around a corner, and I slipped on a wet leaf, causing us to almost drop the thing off the mountain. By the time we got it in and put it together, it was almost 2am. 

Christmas was wonderful! Shelby woke us up at 7am screaming, "Santa came! Santa came!" The kids got their stocking stuff, and then we took turns opening presents. I got a really NICE robe, PJs, a big tin of popcorn, tons of Bath & Body works,  some new slippers, and a bunch of stuff in my stocking. I got Jeremy a stainless steel, 9-drawer tool chest (that was a feat on its own! The kids had to help me get it in the house and hidden...it's pretty big!).  The kids love the air hockey table (they are playing it right now). 

We went to my parent's house, and opened more presents. I got  a homemade jewelry box (from my Grandpa), an outfit, a rooster thingy, a beautiful ring (from my Dad) made out of white and rose colored gold, new shoes, a new purse and GORGEOUS and fashionable overcoat (from Jo and Clint), new underwear that was made into a kite (from my Grandpa, and yes, I realize that seems bizarre), fudge, a $75 gift certificate to the Bass Pro Shop, and a couple other things. :-)

My family unanimously selects me to be on trash duty EVERY SINGLE YEAR. 

My Dad made prime rib for dinner, and it was delicious! The whole day was just really great. I think being around my in-laws has just generated even more appreciation within me for my own family. They are so fun to be with, and there isn't the tension and phoniness I feel elsewhere. I am so grateful to have them. 
One downside of the day was that I still felt sick. My stomach was fine, but my head hurt all day, and Excedrin wouldn't do anything. I also felt really fatigued, heavy, and a little dizzy. I forced myself to ignore it. 

And this cold, or whatever it is, just won't go away. Luckily I only had to work two days this week because of the holidays. But I still feel bad, even today. I thought it was getting better yesterday, but I relapsed today.

I had this plan to keep writing regularly, but the Sandy Hook thing happened, and that paralyzed me for weeks. I am not one of those people who turn to the internet or social networking when something devastating occurs. That one really punched me in the gut. Hopefully I can get more consistent with this. :-)

Well....Happy New Year! 

Personalized Dishes

I have nothing to say right now but it's almost 2:00 a.m and I'm having a nice little bout of insomnia, so I thought I'd get on here and try to type some sleepiness into my body (I don't think I'm making sense).  Plus I want to bump my last post down.  I don't know why, but I don't like it when holiday posts sit on the top of my blog too long.  Maybe it's because everyone writes about their happy Christmases and it just gets old and cliché, like "Okay, we get it, you had a nice holiday and your life rocks, yada yada...." Hey, I do it too. 

My dishwasher broke a couple of weeks ago.  It actually broke the day after my friend Kristyn's dishwasher miraculously started working, so I think her dishwasher somehow sucked the life out of mine.  Granted hers lives in Texas and mine lives in California, but since we're talking about magical life-sucking appliances anyway, I don't think the geographical distance matters.  So Clint's solution to a broken dishwasher?  Pack up all of our dishes.  But leave one of everything for each person.  One cup, one fork, etc.  AND use a permanent marker to write our names on our assigned dish.  Basically if you want to actually eat your apple sauce with a spoon, you better be damned sure that your spoon is clean or else your shit out of luck.  And don't make the mistake of using someone else's stuff...I used Trin's fork the other day and never heard the end of it.  I'd love to say all of this is a temporary thing, but I don't view a universe in which I will be willing to buy a new dishwasher anytime soon.  I hate buying appliances.  The thought of spending all that money for something that just blends into your house makes me cringe.  Maybe if our current dishwasher was like pea green or something, I'd be excited to replace it.  But our current dishwasher is a very nice stainless steel model.  Now it's a very nice stainless steel dish rack.  Well, if we had more than four forks to put in it, anyway. 

My laptop still won't let me respond to comments, which is really getting on my nerves.  My home computer does, but every time I'm home, the home computer is always being horded by the hubby and kids--pretty much because WoW is downloaded on that computer and they're all complete addicts. 

Tomorrow afternoon we're leaving to go up north.  I can't wait.  I absolutely love road trips.  I can be in a car all day long watching the scenery fly by...I'm like a content labrador.  But I'm also really excited to spend time with Matt and Alana.  The only downfall is I know it's going to feel a little strange ringing in the new year without my sis and all her kids. 

I'm going to eat some peanut butter now and head to bed. 

Oh, it's only when I'm sleep-deprived that I compare myself with a dog.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas yesterday was wonderful, which is no surprise--we always have amazing Christmases!  Although this time we did have two little setbacks.  The first one was that Clint got stuck on the phone with Verizon for over an hour on Christmas morning.  I won't get into the whys, but it was such a bummer because he wasn't able to eat breakfast with us, help me clean up the gift-opening mess, or load the car.  By the time he got off the phone, we were running late and had to leave the house in a frenzy.  Once we were at my folks house, we were able to calm down and enjoy the rest of the day (except for we forgot Dylan's gift), but it was a rough way to start our day. 

The second setback was the fact that Clint had to get up at 4:45 a.m. this morning (the day after Christmas) for work.  Normally we would have stayed at my parents house until 8 or 9 on Christmas night, and I would have sat with my mom and sis during that last hour and enjoyed a glass or two of Moscato, knowing that Clint and I had the whole day after Christmas to relax.  But because of Clint's work schedule, we ended up leaving earlier.  I actually didn't mind having some time at home last night, but I felt bad that Clint had to get up so early this morning to work a twelve hour shift without getting any time to unwind from yesterday's busy day.

Besides those issues, the day was awesome.  I hate to define Christmas based on the gifts, but I made out big time.  Clint wasn't supposed to get me anything because he's remodeling the bathroom for my Christmas gift, but he wanted me to have something to unwrap, so he ended up surprising me with this clock from Kirklands:


I absolutely love it.  It is now hanging over my fireplace.  And--also from Kirklands--he bought me these two toss pillows, minus the pink (the pink areas are chocolate-brown in real-life):
And of course there were stocking stuffers; everything from fur-lined suede gloves to Ghirardelli raspberry-filled dark chocolates. 

I also received some great gifts from my extended family.  Some of the ones that stand out are a gorgeous shawl from Teri made from soft, gray, silky fur, and three beautiful scarves crocheted by Moo (since when can that girl crochet?).  Shan gave me an entire outfit.down to the necklace, earrings, and shoes.  I modeled it for her and my mom yesterday, and it is so adorable.  It helps that she can try everything on herself first, never having to worry if it will fit me.

But the gift that stands out the most to me this year was from my dad:



This is a ruby gemstone on a white gold band.  My dad is not in the habit of giving me pricey  jewelry for Christmas, nor do I have expensive taste.  But this particular ring has a back-story--I'll explain it another time.  For now I will just say that it means a lot to me.   

I was going to write down what I got everyone for Christmas, but given that it is now well-past midnight and Christmas was no longer yesterday, but two days ago, I think I'll head to bed now. 

I can hardly believe we are getting ready to enter 2013.  Remember when the year 2000 seemed so far off and futuristic?  And now here we are, almost thirteen years into the new millennium.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Downright Giddy"

Somehow Christmas Eve is tomorrow morning, and we are so unprepared.  Tomorrow we will have to finish our shopping, which should be mayhem at its finest.  I personally don't mind last minute shopping, but Clint starts wigging out when he has to deal with crowds.  I still remember being a little girl and running around Wal-Mart at 2:00 a.m with my mom on Christmas Eve (back when they used to be open 24 hours), trying to find socks for Grandpa and stocking stuffers for my dad.  It was chaotic yet fun; I think because my mom always had a sense of humor about it.  And there's almost a camaraderie between you and the other shoppers, like "Hey, so you're crappy procrastination tendencies landed you here in the pits of hell on Christmas Eve too."

Christmas Eve with my inlaws is at our house again this year.  It will be the usual pajama party with breakfast served in lieu of dinner.  On Christmas morning, we will do our own little family-thing in the morning, and then head over to my parents house.  Again, it's all the usual stuff, but I am so, so excited.  For all of it; Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  The best (and laziest) way I can explain it is simply by quoting Kristyn in one of her recent posts:
I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! I’m like a little kid, I love all the lights, the tree, and the pretty, colorfully wrapped gifts! I even enjoy some of the music and movies. I feel downright giddy that the day’s nearly here.... (click to view full post).   
That pretty much sums up how I feel.  I never outgrew my childhood excitement over Christmas, and I never plan to.

I am bummed out that I never sent out Christmas cards though.  It's a silly thing, but the act of sending out Christmas cards makes me feel...well, normal.  It's like laughing in the face of all the insanity being dumped on you and declaring, "Bring it on!  I'm still going to do this one traditional thing and you can't stop me!"  This year it feels like the insanity won.  Ughhhh.

Today we saw Matt and Alana!  They're up for the holidays, and we only had enough time to do lunch, but it was still awesome to see them.  We're going up to their place from the 29th to the 1st, so I'm looking forward to a more extended visit.

As promised, here's the owl I painted for my mother-in-law: 


I tried a gazillion times to take a picture of the canvas without the frame, but the flash kept turning the black paint a weird reddish-brown color.  Yet when I took the picture with the painting inside the frame, it took care of that flash problem.  I'm thinking I can just crop the frame out later if I feel like bothering with it.    

Oh, here's Elijah with the painting, just so you can see the size: 



I'm not much into painting animals, and after painting feather after blurry blue feather, it was hard to tell if it was even coming out.  But then I come across things like this on the internet and it makes me feel a little bit better:


This is a 9 x 12 oil painting being sold by the artist for $325.00.  Shan, you collect roosters...you want me to whip one of these up for you? I'll cut you a deal...I'll only charge $320.  =)

I'm sure I won't be back on this blog for a few days now, so Merry Christmas to you and yours! (and no, I will not do the weak-ass PC 'Happy Holidays' crap--sorry).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fire and Ice

I don't know how to start this entry because I'm so behind on writing, and so much has been going on. 

I think the first thing I want to address is the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  Like most Americans, I was horrified by what happened on Friday. This feeling intensified last night when I came across a CNN article that actually gave the profiles of several of the victims.  Reading about little 6 year old Jenny who loved her chocolate lab Sasha, or about 7 year old Cody who was getting his first bike for Christmas (randomly generated facts, but you get the point)...it was just crushing.  On the spur of the moment I texted my principal and told her I was going to start a charity drive for the Sandy Hook Memorial Fund.  I made a giant collection box and decorated it in green and white with a soaring eagle to represent the school's colors and mascot.  During lunch this week Builders Club will be collecting students' spare change.  None of this will do a damn thing to allay the families' grief, but I just feel like my school can--and should--do something.  I'm still absolutely chilled by the fact that so many families In Newtown, Connecticut are going to experience Christmas day beneath such a black cloud.   

Okay, much needed change of subject before I start shuddering with rage again.  On Friday night Tarius (a teacher/colleague) and I put on our school's Winter Dance.  We were nervous as hell about it because neither one of us had ever been responsible for an entire dance before, and there is a ton of work that goes into them--everything from advertising, creating/selling your tickets, getting all of your approvals turned in, buying/making decorations, planning for concessions, and so on.  The most stressful part for me was the decorating.  We had three periods to pull it off, which sounds like a lot, but the cafeteria proved to be a massive space when you're trying to fill it all in with a chosen theme.  Our theme was 'Fire and Ice', and we ended up with a wall of fire on one side of the cafeteria and ice on the other.  We also had columns of balloons everywhere--red/yellow/orange for fire, white and pale blue for ice; not to mention streamers, sparkly snowflakes, garland, piles of white "snow" (made from fluffy strips of cotton), white silky fabric draped in various places, and so on.  The best part of the fire side was a huge red arch with flames coming out of it.  The best part of the ice side were the giant snowflakes (they were the size of Saint Bernards) and all of the white Christmas lights.  We had four choreographed student performances that night, and we also crowned a Fire Queen and Ice King.  The dance turned out to be awesome.  Tarius and I had both been losing sleep over this dance for nearly two weeks, so we were on such a high when everything was over--we were thrilled that we had actually pulled it off!  After the clean-up (which lasted over an hour), we went to wine night at a colleagues house (Mr. A) to celebrate.  I am proud to say that this time around, I stayed away from the red wine.

Today I got annoyed and slammed a jar of lingonberries on the counter while emphasizing a point, and the jar ended up breaking.  It's weird, I haven't broken anything out of anger since my early twenties (I broke a bathroom mirror once with a hairbrush a long time ago).  But this jar did indeed break, and at first I didn't notice, until I was flinging my hands around emphatically and I saw red drops puddling all over the floor.  I realized the jar was broken and thought the red splatters were the lingonberries, but it turned out that I was flinging my own blood all over!  I looked at my finger and it was dripping with blood.  Even beneath water and with pressure it would not stop bleeding for a good twenty minutes.  It was a small cut but it went in deep (haha, serves me right).  Trin asked me later what happened to my finger, and I said "I was throwing a temper tantrum and decided to shatter a jar."  She thought this was really funny and said "Are you still mad?"  And I said "Yes, because I'm really craving lingonberries." 

Other things I want to talk about but will have to wait for another time include:  Our new(er) Great Dane pup, an upcoming visit with Matt and Alana (yay!), another finished painting, a current bathroom remodel, and...I think that's it. 

Oh, but real quick, I want to paint this picture.  I found this back when I was searching out ideas for 'Fire and Ice'.



And I love this song.  Rihanna's lyrics are happy, but somehow the song sounds sad.  In the video, I find the scenes with the horses incredibly sweet.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Just another typical week

love the weekends SO much. I love sleeping in, and staying in my PJs until noon. I love spending the morning watching a couple Netflix movies with Jeremy and the kids. I love the feeling of not having to go anywhere. I love cuddling with Shelby on the couch.

This week was a rough one at work, and I feel like a vegetable today. On Tuesday night, one of my teens (who is no longer enrolled in my adolescent program) drove himself to the program and told me he overdosed on 30 Abilify the night before. I was trying to get him admitted into inpatient, but his parents were not there to sign him in and I couldn't find anyone to write the 5150 hold. Ultimately I got him in (he had to go to the ER first to be medically cleared because of his OD attempt), but it was a fiasco for sure! 

On Wednesday, one of our patients enrolled in outpatient stabbed herself in the belly with a kitchen knife in the lobby bathroom. She was sent to the ER, then admitted to our inpatient unit. That same day, a patient on our more acute unit somehow busted through the doors twice and broke free. I saw the paramedics wheeling him out, scraped and bleeding on a stretcher, to take him to the hospital.

On Thursday, a teen from the adolescent unit somehow got onto the roof of our hospital and tried to jump off the roof (I guess he climbed a tree from the patio when the teens were outside). Two of our male staff climbed on the roof after him and managed to yank him back right before he jumped. Later that day, a woman from outpatient showed up late to the program after cutting her arms. My supervisor and our outpatient RN were trying to admit her inpatient, and she freaked out. We had to keep all of the other patients in the group rooms, and my supervisor called over a bunch of mental health workers for help, as the woman became quite aggressive. 

On Friday, I went over to the adolescent unit to check on my teen (the one who had overdosed). I was only on the unit for about 3 minutes when suddenly our staffing coordinator collapsed to the ground. There was a whirlwind of activity  as the nurse's station and then the operator called out on the intercom, "Code Blue, Unit 1, Code Blue, Unit 1..." The nurses were checking his vitals. I run over there, and I'm yelling, "Get a pillow!" I am worried that he is having a seizure and his head is on the hard ground. I notice his pants are wet (it appeared he wet himself), so I added, "Get a blanket too!" Me and a nurse are cradling his head, and she rolls him to his side. Another nurse brings the pillow and blanket. The nurse and I place the pillow under his head, and I put the blanket over his groin area (I guess it was silly, but I didn't want him to feel embarrassed by the wet spot). I'm saying his name, and asking him if he is okay. My heart is pounding. Suddenly he opens his eyes, gives me a thumbs up and says, "Happy Friday." I'm thinking, whaaaaaaat the hell??? Then he says, "I wanted to tell you so bad, but this is a drill." CRAP. It turns out that the nurses had made several mistakes during a real code blue earlier that week, so they decided to do a drill, and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It also turns out that the guy is a DAMN good actor. None of us knew it was a drill, but I felt so damn foolish. 

Two good things came from this week. On Monday, I was told my psych assistantship application went through (I applied almost 3 months ago). I have to accrue 1,500 post doc hours in order to become licensed as a psychologist, so now the clock is ticking (It will take me about 9 months from this point to complete the hours). The second good thing: After the situation from Tuesday night, I talked to my supervisor about becoming certified to write 5150 holds. I'm alone in the department on Tuesdays, and she agreed that I should have that ability. I will be taking the class and getting certified in January. :) 

Jer told me that "Skyy" Vodka does not cause hangovers. We have a giant bottle of it in the cabinet. Purely for scientific purposes, I will be testing his theory tonight. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

It's been SO long since I have written!!! Almost 2 months I think! I am the worst blogger roomie EVER. 

I can explain, really! I graduated in October (the day I have eagerly anticipated for the last 3 years), and I didn't write about that. Then my father in law went to jail (AGAIN), and my sister law stayed with us for a while, and I didn't write about that either. Thanksgiving was nice (didn't write about that), some pretty crazy things happened at work (didn't write any of that), and there was some family drama with the in laws (you get the idea). The longer I went without writing in the blog, the more it started to feel like this massive, rapidly growing pile of laundry that needed to be folded. 


Okay, I can almost hear my sister exclaiming, "That is the most pathetic and crappiest explanation Shan!" Oh well.

In order to acclimate myself to writing again, I'll just write about this past weekend. Jer and I made a Thanksgiving feast over the weekend. Even though it was the week after Thanksgiving, we made a 26 lb. turkey ("we" being Jer...I made the stuffing). This is the third year we have made a Thanksgiving feast after the actual holiday. We have our real Thanksgiving at my parents house, but we like to have our own too because it gives us a fridge full of leftovers. Oh! I tried turkey heart. Jer kinda dared Cass to try a piece, so then I tried a piece. It was...ew. Ugh. Gross. I washed it down with a glass of milk. It didn't beat or anything. 

We also put our Christmas tree up and decorated the house. Oh, and Jer made Turkey gumbo. And then we watched the entire 1st season of "How I Met Your Mother." 

Okay, hopefully this gets me in the writing mood again. :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Darker Side of Teaching

This morning as I crossed the parking lot to enter my school, I heard a woman's voice scream, "Get the f* out of my car!"  I turned around in time to see a female student--an eighth grader--stumble out, as if pushed.  The driver took off.  I ran up to the girl and asked her if she was okay.  She was holding the side of her head and crying.  She said she was fine.  I asked her what had happened, and she said her mom had yanked her hair, screamed at her, and pushed her out of the car. 

In moments like this, it's hard to stay calm.  Being a mom, I understand how easy it is to feel angry at your child--especially when he or she reaches those hormonal teenage years.  No parent is perfect, and we have all said things and done things that we are ashamed of.  But even in my worst moments, I have never screamed at my child.  Never.  I can be pretty cold when I'm upset, but the way this mother screamed at her daughter, and the words that came out of her mouth--it's just...mind-blowing.  Not to mention the physical assault on her daughter.  My God.  I just don't get it.

At any rate, I introduced myself to the girl, and we talked.  I asked her if this type of behavior happens often.  She said yes.  I asked her if she had reported it to the counseling department, and she said that she had once before, but she didn't know if they believed her.  So of course I reported this incident to admin. and the counseling department.  Later I filled out a mandated-report for CPS.  Thankfully, about an hour after the incident, the school received a phone call from a parent who had also witnessed this same incident taking place.  I felt relieved that there was someone else out there who could corroborate what I had witnessed.  Despite everything, it's not my goal to get the girl removed from her home.  I just want this incident to be investigated; I want the mother to get the help she needs, and I want this student to be safe.  CPS can decide how to make these things happen.

This incident gnawed at me all morning.  I hate it that some kids are growing up in a household where they are never given a chance to experience the warmth of a loving family.  And I know similar things are happening to students in my own classroom, but unlike today's parking lot issue, such incidences are conveniently tucked away behind closed doors.  Year-after-year I get the painfully shy student, or the student starving for attention, or the emotionally disturbed student...how many of these students are entering my classroom after enduring a morning of screaming--or worse?

On the other end of that, I feel so grateful that my own kids were born to ME.  I might not be Mom of the Year (wow is that an understatement), but my kids have zero doubt they are valued and loved. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

'Til Ink Do Us Part


Look at what Clint got tattooed on his arm today!  This is the underside of his forearm.  We thought the whole process was going to take about an hour, so Clint dropped off the kids and I at Starbucks, and then drove himself to the tattoo parlor.  He ended up being gone for two hours.  It was all good until Elijah's laptop ran out of juice, and he started to get hungry and bored.  So I walked the kids to a nearby Burger King, and then all was right with the world again.  When Clint finally joined us, I was dying to see his new tattoo.  I was absolutely shocked.  I think I might have hyperventilated a little. I knew he was going to get the image of the Menora, Star of David, and Ichthus on his forearm, tied together as one image, but I had NO idea he was going to have my name added.  We had jokingly talked about him getting a tattoo that included my name or initials a few years ago, but his overall response was a big fat hell no.  I have no idea what prompted him to do this.  Even now, it trips me out to see my name emblazened on his flesh--and not itty-bitty, either.  It takes up his whole wrist.

So it's official, if we end up not working out, he'll have to find himself another Jodi.  I started looking up other Jodis on facebook, and most of them are pretty cute, so he should be fine.

But seriously, it's hard to feel even remotely irritated with someone who has your name engraved on their arm. 

Oh, one more thing.  He said my name was the most painful part of the tattoo.  Is it wrong that I feel a tiny sense of pride over that?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas [Apocalypse] Wish List



Every year, both my family and Clint's family request that we write them Christmas lists.  Since there are ten people shopping from our lists, we always have to come up with a variety of stuff.  I sent mine out--along with the kids--last week.  Clint finally finished his last night. Okay, so check these out:

 Jodi's Christmas List 
  1. Soft cuddly throw blanket
  2. Hampton Tomachi Knife Set --multi-colored
  3. Long-sleeved night shirts
  4. Knitted poncho or knitted shawl
  5. Cute work clothes, size 5 or size small
  6. Stylish Boots, size 8, low heel, black or brown
  7. Cute dresses--size small
  8. Cameo necklaces (like the ones on my Pinterest)
  9. Custom-made quill pen (also on my Pinterest)
  10. Book Cover-Making program (do those exist?)
  11. Pretty or unique wine glasses
  12. Any home-decor from Kirklands
  13. Neverending Story Kindle cover 
Nice and normal, right?  Yeah, now onto Clint's.....
 
Clint's Christmas List
  1. Splatter targets
  2. Exploding target powder
  3. M48 Apocalypse Tactical Tomahawk
  4. Bullets:  .223 rounds
  5. Survival food
  6. Other survival supplies
  7. Parachord—550 rated
  8. Sawback machete
  9. Survival books
  10. Scope/scope mount for Mosin Nagant
  11. Range finder
  12. Black leathermen's newsboy hat
Do you notice any disparities between the two?  Like, I don't know, the fact that my husband is INSANE? 
Grannie B is gonna have a blast shopping for him this year. 
To his credit, he did at least ask for a hat. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halloween, etc.

I'm still alive; I'm just a terrible blog owner.  But if you consider my sis's shoddy additions lately, I should come out as a blogging goddess.

My laptop isn't letting me access my comment frame on this blog, which is really frustrating (sorry for you leaving you hanging on that last one, Kristyn--I'll figure it out soon). 

Halloween was wonderful!   Funny considering how much I despise that holiday.  Although let's face it, my dislike for Halloween has really lost steam these last few years.  This year stood out mainly because Clint allowed us to take the kids trick-or-treating for the first time ever.  We went with Becky, Shan, Jeremy, Jeremy's brother Josh, and Josh's fiance, Liz.  We had 14 kids between all of us.  But please note that I spawned only two of those 14.  In addition to the trick-or-treating, we also had our family theme night (the theme was "Greek" this year), and I ran the trick-or-treat booths during our school's haunted house.  I also carved pumpkins with my "angel" (the student I mentor), and the kids of course had their annual dojo party.  I remember saying this last year and I'll say it again: We sure are busy the week of October 31st for a family that doesn't care for Halloween.

Today Niecy, myself, and two other language arts teachers had to do a presentation in front of the staff.  I took the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe and rewrote it to make it connect with the focus of our presentation, which was how students benefit from PLC (you can look up PLC if you want something to lull you to sleep).  We decided to do a dramatic reading of the poem.  We set the mood by turning off all the lights in the library, playing spooky background music, and putting fake candles on the tables.  All of us wore black and shined flashlights on our faces as we read the poem.  I thought the whole presentation came out great, although the poem ended up being a little long...three pages to be exact (I don't know when to shut-up).  My principal loved it though and made me e-mail her a copy so she can forward it to someone in the district. 

This Saturday I'm taking 18 middle-schoolers and 11 high-schoolers to Six Flags for the Kiwanis Fall Rally.  Haven't lost a kid yet, but wish me luck just in case.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gumball Machine

When Elijah was a toddler, he used to walk up to every gumball machine we passed and spin the crank.  He would then proceed to lift the metal flap and peer anxiously inside of the opening, hoping to find a gumball.  I tried to explain to him that you had to put money into the machine to get a gumball; that no matter how many times he spun the crank, he would never get a freebie.  I don’t like to see my kids hope for something and get let down, so I needed him to know it didn’t work that way.  Life didn’t work that way. 

After about a year, I almost had him convinced.  Though he still checked the machines occasionally, he lost his fervor.  His search for a miracle gumball had become a half-hearted mission. 
Then one day, on our way out of the mall, he decided to try yet another one.  He spun the crank.  Almost instantly, I heard the soft sound of a small object clanking its way down the interior of the machine. 
He lifted the flap, and there it was.  A blue gumball. 
The look shining in his eyes suggested that every wonderful thing he had ever thought about the world had been confirmed. 

I felt a combination of joy--the little guy's efforts had finally paid off--and defeat.  I knew that this little blue gumball had created a monster. 
And I was right.  For the next five years, he would continue to turn the crank of every single gumball machine we passed with abounding  optimism.  This time, I knew there was no way I could talk him out of it.  Because even though disappointment stings, the tiniest fleck of hope goes a long way.

But hope is also a pain in my ass.   Sometimes I wish the little blue gumballs in my life would go away and quit teasing me with their empty little promises.   

Uh oh…somehow my warm and fuzzy little anecdote derailed toward the end.  Which is weird because I'm actually in a pretty good mood.  Oh well...I’ll try to post about Halloween in the next few days, and that one will be more upbeat.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Somewhat Punier Nutshell

Okay, here's life in a smaller nutshell than the slightly oversized one from a couple of weeks ago.

So last weekend:  We drove down to Camarillo and painted my grandma's house (interior) for her 75th birthday.  "We" being my mom and dad, Shan and Jer, and me and Clint.  It was an awesome day, with the highlights being the fact that everyone blamed me for every single splatter of paint that ended up in the wrong spot (really, I was only responsible for about 87.9% of splatter-mishaps), the fact that I got to gob paint on my sis, and the fact that I got to play a role in giving my grandma a memorable birthday.  She was so thrilled just to have us all there, and after about six-and-a-half hours of painting, the house came out great.  We went to the Soup Factory for dinner and presented her with an enormous chocolate cake (thank you Costco).  The next morning, my dad made everyone a breakfast so huge it was like being at a Vegas buffet.   

Tomorrow is my sister's graduation!  She is getting her doctorate!  I know I'm going to weep like a baby during her graduation.   

I have so much more to say, but I still have a gazillion things to do tonight, so they will have to wait.

Shan, write a damn post!  Well, accept your degree first, or your blank rolled up piece of paper with a fancy ribbon or whatever, and then write a damn post.

Speaking of, this is post #476.  I was thinking we'd go to 500 and then switch over to the new blog.  Only 24 more to go.... 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Apathetics

Celia was six years old the day she stopped liking people.  

She and her best friend Annie had trailed a little too far into the unfenced depths beyond Annie’s backyard when they stumbled upon the most perfect tree.

“Let’s climb it!” Celia pumped enthusiastically.  Annie reciprocated with an eager “Me first!” scrambling up the trunk before Celia could object.  

But when Annie reached about four feet from the ground, her foot slipped from the branch.  Celia watched in horror as her friend fell.  

Luckily it wasn’t the biggest fall in the world.  Annie waved her arms wildly on her way down, grasping onto chunks of tiny branches and fistfuls of leaves, slowing her cascade to the ground below.  But she still hit the rough hard-packed dirt with an impressive thud.     

“Owwwwwwwww!”  Annie yowled, clinging tightly to her bare left thigh right below her jean short cut-offs.  The skin on her thigh was already puckering with a splendid scrape; vibrant red in the center, bluish along the edges.  Blood oozed from the skinned crevices of her raw flesh like thick lava worming its way from a sleepy volcano.

Celia, heart pounding, ran frantically to her friend.  At their fresh age, injuries of this magnitude were rare.  Annie might as well have lost a limb for the panic that Celia felt pulsing through her veins.

“Annie!   Oh my gosh, Annie!  Are you okay?”  Celia reached down to help her.

“Oh Celia, it hurts soooo bad!”  Annie answered in a high-pitched voice, her body writhing.  Her eyes darted fretfully to Celia’s as she reached forward to accept her help.

But when their fingers touched, something unusual flickered across Annie’s pupils.  A look that Celia had never seen before on her friend...yet one that she recognized.  A look of uncertainty, followed by the briefest glimmer of guilt. 

Celia gasped in pain. 

What?  No…!   

She ripped her hand from Annie’s and doubled-over to grab her thigh.  Although it wasn’t puckered with red and blue, pain surged through her leg.  She could feel the raw skin, the little pieces of tree bark embedded within her flesh, the bruise swelling beneath the surface of her skin.  Logically she knew that none of these things were actually there—this was Annie’s injury, not hers.  But she could feel all of it.  Tears sprung to her eyes as she glared over at her best friend.

“Annie, how could you?!”  Hurt and fear laced her voice.  

“I’m sorry,” Annie pleaded.  “I never meant to…I’m sorry.  I just couldn’t take the pain.  I won’t do it again.  Please, Cee Cee, you would’ve done the same thing.  I just couldn’t take it….”

And that was the day Celia stopped liking people.  Because she lived in a world where people could give away their pain.  And in a world where people broke their promises.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Slightly Oversized Nutshell

My week in a nutshell:

Monday I stayed home from work because I got food poisoning and I thought I was going to die.  Okay, that might be an exaggeration.  But I did get food poisoning, and it was probably the sickest I have been in four or five years.  Clint got it too, and it was quite the bonding experience as we both raced for the bathroom at the same exact time (1:18 a.m) where we became the world's most talented synchronized pukers. 

Tuesday through Friday I worked.  Friday was our fall carnival, but this time our carnival fell on college week, so we made all of our booths college-themed.  My club decided to do "Pin the Tail on the Mascot"--the mascot being Scotty the Bear from UC Riverside.  It was very cute.  We also sold nachos.  I have no co-advisor this year, so I had to have Teri run our Pin the Tail booth, while Clint ran the nachos booth.  They both did such a great job.  After the carnival, we had to dash over to Elijah's school for his parent teacher conference.  As we were rushing into his school, Clint pointed out that all of us were wearing the same t-shirt (we still had our Builders Club shirts on from the carnival).  I just burst out laughing because it was SO corny, like something Clark Griswold would force his family to do.  "Let's all be matchy-matchy for the kid's conference!"

Once home, the kids went to karate, and I headed over to my friend/colleague's house--"Mr. C"--for wine night.  He was the one who was awarded Teacher of the Year, and also the same one whose mother died in a fire last year.  I bring this up because this was the whole purpose of this particular wine night.  Last night was--or would have been--his mother's birthday.  He decided he wanted to surround himself with good friends to help him cope.  Mr. C did have a few emotional moments here and there, but as it turned out, the evening was far from somber and really enjoyable.  There was a great mix of people that meshed together really well...it was just fun.  Unfortunately I was stupid again and went for the red.  I started with a glass of white wine, but switched over to red by glass number two.  After that, it was all over.  I swear red wine is the devil.  My dear friend Mr. A (same teacher who taught me how to ski, taught me how to play three-card poker, and talked me into getting my Master's degree) not only drove me home, but carried me to my house.  Or drug me there.  I'm not sure exactly.  I just remember being delivered from his arms to Clint's.  I apologized to him profusely this morning via texting, and he said no apologies were necessary--that it was just a big bro taking care of his lil' sis.  That made me smile, but I'm still embarrassed to have been so incapacitated in front of coworkers.  This can NOT happen again.  I need to figure out a way to say NO to red wine.

And that was my week in a nutshell...a slightly bigger nutshell than I was aiming for, and one that ends with me being sloshed.  Yeah, my idiom is unraveling here, so time to give it up. 

I love this song.  It makes me think of Niecy, and Mr. C., and others who are struggling through real life issues.   


*P.S.  I just noticed that my sis posted an entry today, and now mine just knocked hers down.  Sorry Sho!  But to be fair, this blog was lifeless for a week.  In the future, can you please get your writing urges on a different day than I get mine?  I'd really appreciate it--thanks.

Slacking

OMGsh, so much is happening, and I haven't been writing about any of it! Ever since Jo and I decided to start a new blog, I kinda mentally checked out of this one. Her recent posts seem kind of half assed as well, so I am wondering if she is feeling the same way. 

My degree posted this week! My transcripts state my graduation date as 08/19/2012. I can't begin to describe the elation and relief I feel. When I passed my defense, I was happy, but not like this. I was still worried about all the dissertation forms, internship forms, copy & editing, etc...And even when everything was turned in, there was STILL doubt. I kept thinking that there was NO WAY I was finished with it all. Even today, I still get the feeling that I missed SOMETHING, but then I remind myself that the degree has posted, and this is real. I feel giddy.

My graduation is 2 weeks from today. Since I have no class or graduation etiquette, I messed up my graduation invitations. Last Sunday, I sat down and addressed/stamped them all. I was proud of myself, because I don't normally mail...anything (typically, I would have just sent everyone a text or FB message or something). When I was done with the invites, I noticed there was a whole bunch of extra envelopes. It turns out I was supposed to put the invitations in the smaller envelopes and stuff those into the larger envelopes. Instead I stuck them in the smaller envelopes and mailed them.

Jer and I had our 7th wedding anniversary last Monday. I totally forgot about it until I glanced at my calendar at work. So I left work early that day to try and find Jer a present, but all I found was a jug of chocolate, cherry & almond chunks. I figured he had forgotten too, so I wasn't expecting much, but he actually surprised me. I've been saying for a while that I really want to learn how to make jewelry. He bought me a large craft box filled with all the materials and tools to do this. Even better, he filled EVERY drawer with a variety of beads that he picked out himself. I was thrilled! 
Jo and I also turned 34 since I last wrote in this. We went to the LA County Fair with our hubbies and our parents. I really love the fair! My parents let Jo and I pick out a birthday present. I picked out a baby pomegranate bonsai tree. So much else to write, but I am too lazy!   ~~Shannon 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Good suggestion. :)

Gecko mating habits vary greatly. Like most reptiles, the majority of geckos lay eggs. The female gecko lays four or five pairs of eggs between May and August, with two or four weeks between layings. Gecko egg shells tend to be soft at first, but harden quickly...


Friday, September 28, 2012

I (un) Heart Cats

Found out that the cat drank from my cereal bowl (Apple Jacks, in case you're interested).   Which is fine and all, except for I learned this information right after I had finished gulping up the last of the milk from that particular bowl.   So thank you, dear family, for that awesome heads-up.   And thank you, Karfcia, for reminding me why cats are the bane of my existence.

This week was grueling with some good parts and some lousy parts. I should write about it, but I really don't want to.   Maybe my sis will step up and write something worthwhile this weekend (such as more fascinating facts regarding the mating habits of geckos); then I'll officially be off the hook.

Okay, I came on here to actually write a post, but I've already lost steam.  Dang it.  Here, I'm going to insert a cute cartoony image of a cat to make this seem like a real post.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Calm Before the Storm

A couple weeks ago, I reported feeling "remarkably calm." HA! That did NOT last! Starting on Friday, 09/07, I experienced 6 days of emotional hell. I couldn't even tell you WHY. Work was good, home was good...but I was so....blah. Depressed. And not in a "calm" way. It was in a spontaneously-combusting-into-tears kinda way. And then on that following Thursday, I woke up, and I was fine. Which was strange, because physically, I felt like crap. My head was hurting and I felt dizzy. Based on my pathetic physical state, I should have been crabby as hell. But emotionally, I was totally normal again. I could feel the difference only minutes after I had woken up. So....what the heck?

I'm still obsessed with stupid geography stuff. I've noticed much of the obsession is fixated on bodies of water. Did you know that it is impossible to sink in the Dead Sea because of the high salinity? Did you know that in the Black Sea, the lower and upper parts of the water never mix, which causes 90% of the water to be anoxic (unlivable for sea life)? Oh, and there are over 3,000 known species of fish in the Amazon River?

I asked Jeremy for a globe for my birthday.

Speaking of my birthday, I'm getting the new iPhone for my present...yay! I just don't know WHEN. I guess the iPhones are coming out on the 22nd, but when Jer tried to pre-order one for me, they had already sold out. I'm pretty excited though, because my current phone is super glitchy, and the Internet won't even work on it unless I am in my room. 

We had an unpleasant situation with our neighbors. They left a note on my car complaining about our dogs barking too much (but wrote that they had "no issue with the pig"). Jer's response was something along the lines of, "F*** them, they knew we had dogs when they moved in." I was upset though...I felt like a bad neighbor. So we bought a bark collar for Izzy. Initially I was going to buy one for Dusty as well, but the poor dog already lost a leg, and I couldn't handle her losing her bark too. I am amazed at how well the collar works for Izzy. And now that Izzy is barely barking, Dusty is barking less too. Shaddock (my oldest dog) only barks when there is a person or animal nearby, so no way am I putting a bark collar on him. I keep letting Izzy in the house to make sure she is still happy despite the collar, and she seems perfectly okay.

On a side note, this is a Tokay Gecko, and Jeremy has one. 



This gecko got out of it's tank and is running loose in our room. It wakes me up in the middle of the night EVERY NIGHT with a REALLY loud mating call. The mating call sounds like "gekk gekk gekk gekk....POOOO-KAYYYYYYY!" It has been loose for over a week now, and I am feeling a little sleep deprived. I have seen it several times, but it runs off, and it's a MEAN little sucker. Sometimes I wish Jer would just throw a female Tokay in our room and let them hump, so I could get some sleep. But then we would probably end up with a bunch of baby Tokay dinosaurs running amok. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tumbleweed Days Parade

Remember last year when I said I was stuck in a time loop?  Probably not.  But I feel like I am.  I keep repeating the same exact events year after year.  Everything around me seems frozen in a perpetual state of unchangingness (spellcheck is having a field-day with that one), except for me.  I get older every year.  So it's a really f'd up time loop.

That being said, today was the Tumbleweed Day's Parade.  It was awesome!  Even though this event is part of my jacked up time loop, I always come out of the parade on a complete high.  This year we had fifty kids marching.  That was huge.  I was told by past Builders Club members that seven years ago, they only had six or so students participating.  So we've basically gone from six to fifty.  I seem to have a knack for convincing students to sacrifice their Saturdays for grueling, unappealing jobs--it's a gift, really.


Here we all are.  I'm the little dot on the right-hand side, half-crouched with the sunglasses and gray hat near the end of the second row.

Oh, Tumbleweed actually has its own zoo now (can you believe that?), so this year's parade featured a live camel, zebra, and boa constrictor too.  Those were fun additions.  

This morning I woke up to the worst alarm ever.  Olive (the chicken) climbed into the backyard with the dogs, and we woke up to her shrieking all over the yard as they basically attempted to run her down and eat her.  This was right before 6 a.m.  Luckily Clint heard all of the commotion and saved the chicken before she was gobbled up, although there is now a barrage of feathers all over the back yard.  He temporarily put the dogs in our room while he was getting Olive back into her fence, and what does Yang do?  He walks straight to my backpack--the one with all of my students' parade permission slips, sign-in sheet, and other field-trip forms--and pees all over it.  Call me crazy, but I think no person should have to deal with two crazy dogs, one pissed-on backpack, and one frantic chicken before the sun rises.  ~Jodi

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Boring Day Challenge


I hereby dedicate the following boring day to my esteemed colleague, Mr. Moore.

Two weekends ago I woke up, fully alert.  The clock read 7:28.  I decided there was no way in hell I was getting up at an hour beginning with a '7' on a Saturday, so I fell back asleep.  Sometime later, I woke up again.  It was now 8:42.  I decided there was no way I was waking up at an hour beginning with an '8' on a Saturday, so I fell back asleep.  Sometime later I woke up again.  It was now 9:51.  I trudged out of bed, feeling proud that I managed to get myself up before the hour reached the double-digits. 

A pile of laundry greeted me at the foot of my bed.  I ignored its greeting.

Bleary-eyed from too much sleep, I meandered out to the couch.  I hopped on the internet (because that’s my coffee on a Saturday morning) and hit the “like” button on a few random facebook updates—not because I actually liked them, or even read them for that matter, but because I think it’s important to be supportive of my friends even when I don’t particularly care about their lives (see why people line up for miles to be my friend?).       

After my mad liking-spree, I stared at the clock for a while, wondering if I should wake up my kids who were now sleeping well into the double digits.  I decided to give them another half hour because waking up the kids meant that…well…I’d have kids.  While staring at the clock, I noticed that the minute hand was seven minutes fast.  Then I thought for a second that maybe the minute hand was just fine, and I had actually jumped seven minutes into the future.  If I was in the future, I thought it might be a good idea to gather as much information as possible to take back to my own time.  Unfortunately while I was contemplating what information I should gather, seven minutes passed, and I was back in my own time period again.  Strangely though, the minute hand was still ahead.

Once I finished analyzing the clock, I decided to make French toast and over-medium eggs, because it’s one of the two meals in this world I can cook.  I cracked open the first egg.  It was hard-boiled.  I cracked open a second egg.  It was hard-boiled too.  At this point I thought that maybe I should do the “spinning test” on egg #3 to make sure it wasn’t hard-boiled.  So I did, and it flew right off the counter onto the tile floor.  It was raw.  Well at least the test worked. 

After the dog licked up the egg, I made my over-medium eggs and French toast.  We were out of syrup, so I melted jelly and told the kids (who finally woke up) that it was specialty syrup.  Like the blueberry syrup you get at IHOP, but grape-flavored instead.  They looked skeptical.

I spent the rest of my fascinating morning in my jammies, eyes glazed over, staring at a computer screen and wishing I had a robot that would grade all my papers and make me look ten years younger.  I'm not sure how my robot would make me look younger...let's say it's a robot with a magic wand. 

And that concludes my boring day.

Okay, I realize that this technically was only a boring morning, but seriously, I haven’t experienced an entire boring day since 1996.  So this is about as good as it gets.

Mr. Moore, I better get a cookie for this. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blogger and Pre-Teen Issues

Blogger is driving me crazy.  Ever since I changed the URL, nothing on here works.  I tried commenting on Shan's last post, and once again, Blogger won't let me on the comment page (by the way Sho, that part about the patient has me in stitches! Clint says a "true" therapist would have helped him get there faster).  Sometime in the next month or two, Shan and I will be switching to a new webpage.  We already have our new URL picked out; it's just a matter of us getting together and creating our new space.  This time around I want to go through the process with her, so it's actually our blog; not just mine that she's renting a room from.  Unfortunately the new blog will be platformed on Blogger because that's all we know and neither one of us have time to learn a new one, but hopefully starting from scratch will eliminate these current glitches.  I did manage to use Blogger for three years before having any big problems.

I have too much to write about, but I really don't want to write, so I'll sum everything up.  First, I'm overwhelmed with work right now, but that's nothing new.  Second, I've been absolutely addicted to reading lately--more than usual.  I finally broke down and got a Kindle e-Reader, and I adore the thing.  The first book I read from it was Fifty Shades of Grey.  I started the second book--Fifty Shades Darker--but got bored with it, so I switched over to a new book called Divergent by Veronica Roth.  It was a great read, although it got a little heavy and sad toward the end.  I started the next book in the series (Insurgent), and after that I have four or five other books already downloaded, just waiting for me to read.  Third, I'm currently signed up for three 5Ks, one each month for the next three months.  Yeah, I think I might be getting a little carried away.  Fourth, Trin goes to school with me every day now, which is awesome, but she's driving me nuts at home.  She has been this emotional ball of hormones and constantly having these stupid meltdowns.  And since I'm the parent at home dealing with it, I'm the one that gets demonized.  I have ZERO tolerance for all of this girly crap.  Fifth, we decided to go to the L.A. County Fair again for my and Shan's birthday.  It's not until the third weekend of September, but I am already drooling at the prospect of a giant blue cheese burger and fried jalepenos (coincidentally, I've been craving blue cheese dressing too, but have felt no compulsion to stare at muddy rivers or provinces in Canada).

Okay, I'm going to go count to ten backwards because my daughter is making me see red right now.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Little Off

Jojo, where are you? 

So I've been feeling kind of off lately. Not in a bad way either. My mood feels remarkably calm and stable, regardless of what is going on (and no, I'm not on any psych meds!). Today, I had to pretend I was angry at Jer to get him to help me clean the house. I was badgering him, frowning, and storming off, but it was just an act to get him off his butt (niceness doesn't work with him very well). Damn, I love that husband of mine, but he can be such a slacker. 

Another weird thing: I've been craving bleu cheese dressing BIG TIME (no, I am not pregnant!). I know this is disgusting, but I have been eating it in large quantities directly out of the jar with a spoon. I have also been eating a lot of avocados. WHOLE avocados, by themselves. Bleu cheese and avocados are sorta the staples of my diet right now. 

One more thing: I have recently become addicted to...geographic related themes? Last night, I spent hours trying to memorize all the world seas, and the different provinces in Canada.  On Thursday, when I should have been in bed because I had to wake up early for work the next morning, I was on Google Earth until well after midnight looking at different parts of the world ( I never realized the Mississippi River was so...brown and muddy looking). Earlier this week, I was looking up all the fault lines in the world, and information regarding continental drifts. 

Basically, I don't know what the hell is going on with me!

So yesterday at work, I accidentally walked in on a patient who was jacking off. OOPS. I just quietly left. I told my supervisor, and she told me I deserve hazard pay for that. 

Work is going SO good (when patients aren't vigorously whacking off). In addition to all my normal responsibilities, I have recently taken on two patients for which I am providing longer term individual therapy. My first patient has advanced stage hepatitis C, and needs a new liver (recovered alcoholic). He is an absolute joy to work with, but it is tough too, because he probably doesn't have a lot of time left, and he experiences chronic pain. My second patient is a compulsive hoarder. She experienced sexual trauma as a girl, and she also suffers from chronic depression. I have known both of these patients from groups for about a year now, and I just love them. 

I feel I should offer an update about school, but there isn't much to say. I started the copy and editing process, and uploaded by dissertation to "ProQuest." I found out last week that I have to dish out another $600 to get the copy, editing, and binding complete. Just another way for my school to ream me. I am probably ordering my invitations and cap and gown this weekend, if I can get myself motivated. 

Tomorrow we are going to Knott's Berry Farm for no particular reason. I told Jer a few days ago that I wanted to go, so we're gonna go, and I am totally looking forward to it! 


(Still says "Jodi." What douches). 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shannon's Non-Twitter

Since Jodi has a twitter and I don't, I have created a "non-twitter." These are some sporadic non-tweets I have jotted down in the "notes" app on my iPhone since July. Because even non-twitterers have random thoughts too. :)

07/08/12 4:17 pm
Sitting in the car on a stuffed boa constricter so the seat doesn't burn my ass.

07/08/12 11:34 pm
Is it normal to have a hidden stash of brownies in your underwear drawer?

07/11/12 8:03 am
On the news: Guy was trying to get rid of spiders by setting them on fire...he accidentally burned his house down. Oops.

07/22/12 9:31 pm
Is there a 12-Step program for chocolaholics? "My name is Shannon and I am addicted to York Peppermint Patties..."

08/12/12 10:05 pm
"It's so hot that the squirrels up here have to use pot holders to grab their nuts."

08/22/12 6:35 pm
Dog peed in the hallway and the cat puked on my bed. Home sweet home.


(Still says "Jodi" on bottom because Google is evil).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Days Drifting Away

Today was a shopping frenzy. The kids start school on Monday, so we took them shopping for school clothes. We also got our hair cut, and we all went to Chili's for dinner. $1,003.00..poof! Gone. These damn kids are expensive. Okay, well....I got some stuff too...:) 

Things are about to get a lot more hectic (like they were EVER calm), and not just because the kids are returning to school. Samantha is starting back in soccer, so she will have her weekly practices and games. Cass is starting piano lessons in September, and Dylan will be starting kick boxing. I told Cass if she keeps her grades up, I will let her take dance lessons, but she will have to get there herself. Me, I'm just gonna be drinking a lot of Moscato. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about school anymore.

Holy smokes! I forgot to write about school. I passed my dissertation defense last Monday, so I'm done! I just have to submit the thing for copy and editing and then get it bound (I'm in the process of doing that now). I spent this week making sure all gazillion of my internship forms were turned in, and I applied for graduation and degree conferral. I can't believe how many hoops they make you jump through to get a stupid doctorate degree. They even charged me $250 to apply for graduation. My graduation ceremony isn't even until October 20th (by that time, I will be so over it). 

Now that I am done with school, I have to complete 1,500 post-doctoral intern hours. I plan to stay at my current work to complete those because I am pretty damn content there. Then I have to take two enormous tests to become licensed as a psychologist. I decided to wait until October before I start studying for the first test. My brain needs a siesta. (Knowing me though, I will procrastinate and try to cram 6 months of studying into 6 days). 

My poor house is so neglected right now. I should....clean it or something.

(Once again, ignore Jodi's name at the bottom...I still can't log in to my stupid gmail account!) 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Not Cut out for This

In case you were wondering, I SUCK at single-parenting.  Clint is on a job right now conducting trains back and forth to Arizona, and it's taking him away from home two to three days at a time.  During these last ten days, I've run over our fence, broke our living room lamp, lost my keys, locked myself and the kids out of our house, broke the pond's filter, locked myself out of my car, and stubbed my toe on a roller skate.  Oh, and the house got overrun by ants (again).  It's not like these mishaps can be blamed on Clint's absence...I'm sure I would have walloped my toe on that damn roller skate whether he was home or not.  But I've noticed in the past that whenever Clint is gone for long periods of time, things start falling apart.  A long time ago, back when he trained as a dispatcher in Texas for nearly three months, I remember I did stupid things ALL the time--like accidentally leaving one-year-old Elijah in Trin's kindergarten classroom on her very first day of school.

The thing is, with the kids in school and me back to work, I just can't seem to keep up with all of the responsibilities by myself.  Yesterday I had to go to a conference all day, so the night before I was trying to pack the kids for school, make sure their homework was done, create sub plans, make dinner, make sure everyone had clean clothes, and so on, only to have my alarm go off at 5:00 a.m. and sleep walk through the day.  I feel like every day I'm collapsing in bed with no down time whatsoever.  And then I'm losing so much sleep because I spend hours in bed with my mind racing,  worrying about everything coming up the following day and trying to figure out if I've remembered everything.

What's worse is during Clint's absence, there is almost no communication between us.  He's not allowed to use his cell phone on the train, so the only time he can call me is from the terminal.  But so far, every time he's at the terminal, it's either the middle of the night and all the sane people are asleep, or it's the middle of the day and I'm teaching class.  He did text me last night saying, "I'll be at the terminal soon and will call you in about twenty minutes.  I'm dying to hear your voice."  It was already getting late, but I opted to stay up for his phone call since it had been 48 hours since we had last talked.  That's one silver lining...all of this time away actually gives us opportunities to miss each other.

Clint finally came home today and brought me lunch at work.  Later, when I came home, the lawn was mowed, the pond filter was fixed, the ants were gone, and the pantry and refrigerator were stuffed with easy-to-prepare food.  He was watching TV, and I told him, "I don't care if your ass just sits around staring at a screen all day long, I'm so glad you're home!"  And it's true.  Right now, he can just sit there and be a non-communicative blob for all I care.  It's a huge sigh of relief just to have him home.

Oh, I tried an energy drink for the first time ever!  During the first hour of the conference, I was trying desperately not to fall asleep, so one of the teachers gave me a Red Bull.  Holy geez.  Maybe I'm just not used to these things, but within a half hour, I could not stop moving.  At one point I had to sit on my hands just to get them to stop tapping the table.  I wanted to go run laps, but our conference didn't really afford an opportunity for that.  There is now two teachers, a principal, and an assistant principal who will never let me touch a Red Bull again.