Any non-bill mail is good…but THIS is GREAT!

July 29, 2005

Yesterday, the very day Colleen got her custom-designed Clobber t-shirt in the mail, I received my very-first-ever gift from a blogging buddy!

Behold the cuteness that is LadyBug bookmarks:

ladybugbookmarks
Aren’t they adorable?!

Who knows? I may even start reading ACTUAL BOOKS again sometime in the near future, now that I have these cute little critters to inspire me!

Thank you, Colleen!

And look! They make fabulous earrings, too!
ladybugearring
Yes, I might possibly have used my (nonexistent) Photoshop skillz to oh-so-carefully disguise what could perhaps be a blemish. Maybe.

. . .
P.S. Thanks to Kristine‘s man Shaun for designing Colleen’s t-shirt (on very short notice, I might add).
Click here to visit Shaun’s CafePress store, Holeyshirt.

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Remember that one teacher you HATED? Yeah, me too…

July 29, 2005

This post over at Bucky’s place reminded me of cranky old Mrs. Williams, my 2nd year French teacher from my junior year of high school.

Our teacher the previous year was Mrs. Bergman, a gem of a lady who was kind and sweet and…hey, whaddyaknow, spoke fluent French. Unbeknownst to the students, Mrs. Bergman had moved over the summer, leaving us with the foul and wretched Mrs. Williams.

My relationship with Mrs. Williams started badly and got progressively worse.

First day of school: I was semi-tardy to class…I say semi-tardy, because I crossed the threshold of the classroom – I kid you not – approximately one second after the bell rang. As in {{RING}}…STEP. Now, most teachers were fairly forgiving on the first day of school, especially at this school, which was a huge, two-story building, and easy to get lost in. When I walked into the classroom – ONE SECOND after the bell rang – Mrs. Williams looked down her wrinkled old nose at me and said, in the most condescending tone she could muster, “Aren’t you a little OLD to be tardy?”

Those were the first words the woman ever spoke to me, and I’ve never forgotten them.

I probably stared at her in bewilderment and disgust for a few seconds before I explained that I was running late because I had helped a BLIND student find her way to class (no joke – I was seriously helping Ricki – a blind girl who was in MARCHING band with us – she totally rocked – find her way from the Band Hall to her second period classroom).

About a week or so later, we all arrived in class, the bell rang, and…no Mrs. Williams. We waited. No teacher. No sub. No one.

Now. Keep in mind, this is a HIGH SCHOOL classroom. Without a teacher’s supervision, it takes approximately 2.6 seconds for students to start throwing spitballs and making loud, juicy fart noises. A FULL FIVE MINUTES after the bell had rung, Mrs. Williams finally decided to join us. I, of course, being the clever little smart-mouthed kid I was, said…

{You’re getting ahead of me, aren’t you?}

Yes. That’s right. I looked the old bat in the eye and said, “Aren’t you a little OLD to be tardy?

Yeah, so we never could get along after that.

She also made it a habit to ALWAYS call me by the wrong name. My first name starts with an A. She kept calling me Allison. My name is not even CLOSE to Allison. I kept correcting her. For SIX FRIGGIN WEEKS, I corrected her repeatedly. Finally, I told her if she couldn’t get my name right, I’d start calling her “Mrs. Wilson.” And I did. Every time she said, “Allison…”, I’d say, “Yes, Mrs. Wilson?” And, you know what? SHE FINALLY GOT MY NAME RIGHT.

Old hag.

Did I mention the woman didn’t even speak French? And we were 2nd year French students??

Yeah. So there was that, too. The fact that, after she treated us all like shit she wished she could just scrape off her old lady shoes, we might’ve gone to great pains to make sure she knew that WE knew that she didn’t have a clue what she was doing.

. . .

Y’know, Mrs. Williams…my attitude really sucked that year. But you know what? YOURS SUCKED FIRST.

**I feel it necessary to mention that, outside of this relationship with this one particular teacher, I was generally a model student, even a teacher’s pet, at times. I had even won the “Who’s Who in French” award the previous year, and usually got along great with my teachers. But I guess everyone has that ONE teacher they look back on with repugnance, huh?**


Happy Birthday Colleen!

July 24, 2005

Today is my Best Blogging Buddy Colleen‘s birthday!

Happy Birthday, my New Jersey friend!


Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway…

July 19, 2005

I’m leaving work at noon today, and we’re heading out of town for an overnight trip. I don’t have a laptop, so I’ll be (gasp!) unable to communicate with my beloved blogosphere until tomorrow evening or Thursday morning.

Please feel free to miss me terribly.

UPDATE 7/21/2005 8:20 AM:

We got home yesterday evening, exhausted from spending eight hours in the car in two days’ time. The trip was mostly business – Deputy Dad’s – but we did get to see some of my family. We had also arranged to meet up with my grandparents while we were there, so the girls could go home with them to New Mexico. They’ll be there until Monday. I plan to start missing them any moment now.

Thanks for all your sweet comments. Seeing so many waiting for me upon my return was like a virtual hug. I’m swamped at work (with – yes! – actual work), so I’ll respond to comments and emails as soon as I get caught up and have a few moments to catch my breath.


Big Boy 13-Month Newsletter

July 18, 2005

Dear Big Boy:

Friday you turned thirteen months old. I keep thinking that’s not right, it just can’t be right, and I check the calendar again, and…yes, I suppose you really are thirteen months old, and just growing up so fast.

The past month has been a busy one. We had been looking forward to summer, thinking schedules would settle down, hoping for some rest, but – wow – we’ve been so busy this summer. The Drama Queen and Miss Attitude finally finished up the t-ball/softball season at the end of June, and we’ve been busy with swim parties and kids’ birthday parties since then. At one point, we had five late-night (7:45-9:45) swim parties in six days’ time. You had fun swimming, but you were so exhausted, bless your little heart. The bright side, however, is that you started sleeping later in the mornings. Barring illness or disruption, you’ve been sleeping ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT, until 6:45-7:30 in the mornings. Your daddy and I couldn’t be more thrilled that you are finally, consistently sleeping well. We love you with all our hearts, Son, but we were seriously considering trading you off to the gypsies, if you didn’t start sleeping at night.

You’ve been having so much fun with the new toys you got for your birthday. I think your favorites are your big, chunky Lego blocks. You love to sit in the floor and ‘play blocks.’ You started out just pulling the blocks out of the wagon and handing the blocks to me (or your sisters, or Daddy, whoever happened to be playing blocks with you), and I’d stack them for you. Then you figured out the ‘stacking’ part. Now we’re building towers together, you stacking, stacking, stacking, and me working to stabilize your creation and keep it from falling over. You and I have built approximately forty thousand towers together. (What? You don’t think it could be that many? Well, it seems like it, anyway.) You love to stack the blocks as high as you can, and you do it with such a look of concentration on your face. You are such a sweetie-pie.

After we build our tower, you spend time taking the top blocks off and putting them back on, taking them off, putting them on, until you decide you’re finished; then you dismantle the tower and put the blocks back in the wagon. That’s right, Son. You actually put the blocks back where they belong. I’m hoping that this fondness for putting your things away will stay with you always. I’m also hoping your sisters might learn from your example. Please note: I’m not holding my breath on either count.

You also got a half-pint-sized four-wheeler for your birthday. Any notions I may have had about boys being taught to play like…well, like boys, were thrown out the window the minute we sat you on your new four-wheeler. It was the first time you’d ever been on ANY ride-on toy, and you immediately started making that deep, throaty, “RRRRNNNN” car-motor sound that boys make. I just stared at your Daddy in disbelief. He, of course, was beaming with pride and practically oozing testosterone.

You’ve ridden your four-wheeler all over the house, round and round in a big loop through the kitchen and living room. Your sisters love to help you drive it, and you, of course, are thrilled to have their attention. You’re so crazy about those girls, grinning and talking to them, hugging and squeezing them. And they are so sweet to you, helping you, watching out for you, mothering you.

DramaQueenandMissAttitudehelpBigBoywithshoes

Update: Yes, I know what I said about not posting photos of the girls, but I chose this one because The Drama Queen’s face doesn’t really show, and I cropped most of her out of it.

The girls like to read to you, which is wonderful, really, since you still absolutely adore your books. The past couple weeks you started bringing them to me, instead of just waving them in the air, when you want to be read to. You’ll crawl across the floor with a book in one hand, then hand me the book and climb up into my lap, ready for your story. I love that you love your books so much.

In addition to all the playing and reading, you’ve spent some time sampling new foods this month. Turning one year old opened a whole new world of culinary delights to you. And by “culinary delights” I mean, of course, junk food. You’ve tried pizza and Oreos and hot dogs; but your latest obsession is CHEETOS. I bought a small bag of Cheetos at the ballpark concession stand one evening, in a desperate attempt to get you to stop squirming and fussing while we watched one of the girls’ ball games. It was LOVE AT FIRST BITE. You ate the entire bag, save what you dropped on the ground. You now recognize Cheetos – in or out of the bag – whenever you see them, and you will throw super-size mega-fits to get them. You’ve decided they’re the best thing since breast milk.

Speaking of breast milk, you weaned yourself this month. I had planned to wean you slowly, over a couple of months or more, but you seem to have decided you’re all grown up now and don’t need Mom’s milk anymore. I’m happy that you’re becoming more independent, but I’m a little sad to see the end of our nursing days, and to have yet another reminder of how quickly you’re growing.

Big Boy, we see changes in you practically every day. Little changes, like the fact that you’ll need another haircut before too long; and big changes, like discovering your temper and throwing yourself on the floor when you don’t get your way. Watching you grow and change is an amazing privilege. What an honor to be allowed to help mold and shape you into the man you’ll be someday. Of course, I’d be happy if that “someday” would just hold off for a while.

Sitting in the floor with you this afternoon, reading to you as you sat in my lap, I just squeezed you and smelled your hair and nuzzled your neck, trying desperately to freeze that moment in time, to etch it permanently into my memory, so I can hold onto it forever.

BigBoyJuly-2005 

I love you, my Sweet Baby, my Big Boy.

Love,
Mama


Stuff Portrait Day – Just under the wire

July 15, 2005

I don’t usually participate in Stuff Portrait Day, for the same reasons I don’t participate in the other “themed” days: (1) I just don’t have time for that many additional commitments, and (2) trying to make time for those commitments would make this blog feel like a burden, and I decided long ago that if blogging stopped being fun and started feeling like a burden, I’d stop.

BUT! This Stuff Portrait Day, with its delicious 80s theme, sounded like so much fun, I just had to jump on the proverbial bandwagon.

Please note: I’m typing fast – fingers are flying – to try to get this thing posted under the wire, so you’ll just have to ignore any typos.

First up: Something from the 80s you can’t let go of.

I didn’t take a lot of stuff with me when I moved out of my mom and step-dad’s house years and years ago, but I couldn’t leave behind my yearbooks or academic and band awards. (Yes, I was a band nerd. No, I never went to band camp.)
SPD2005-0715-3

Second: A picture of you from the 80s.

I’ve never posted a picture of myself here; so, to make up for depriving you of seeing my lovely mug all this time, here’s an overdose of the 80s LadyBug:
SPD2005-0715-1
Question: What is with the disembodied head picture??

Lastly: A CD or movie you have from the 80s.

CD? What is this CD you speak of? In the 80s, we had CASSETTE TAPES, which we played in our super-cool WALKMANS, thankyouverymuch.
SPD2005-0715-2
Yeah, these were the only tapes I could find. I know I’ve got a stash of them somewhere; I just can’t find them tonight. And yes, I listened to the Judds (shutup). And I will be forever grateful to the When Harry Met Sally Soundtrack for introducing me to the magic that is Harry Connick, Jr.

Special thanks to Kristine for this excuse to go through all this old stuff. The Drama Queen and Miss Attitude had SO much fun looking through my yearbooks (“Mom, what is WITH your hair?”)and photos (“Mom. You’re just…you’re just different.”) (Oh! And my favorite…The Drama Queen looks at my first grade picture, looks at me, looks at the picture, looks at me, then declares, “You have your eyes.” *snork*)
We certainly enjoyed our blast from the past!


PMS Blues

July 13, 2005

Kit emailed me this link today.

She had no way of knowing just how timely this was.

She also had no way of knowing that I bought that Dolly Parton CD several years ago, just for that song.

She also had no way of knowing how very fitting it was, yes, very fitting, since this was one of those evenings, an evening filled with much screaming and yelling, and ending in tears all around.

Sigh.

PMS Blues, indeed.