Tag Archives: school

Quick Update

I have lots to write about but not enough time the day before school starts so this is just a tiny update before the bigger recap of last week that includes vomit, chipmunks, a septic system and a dog.

But I’m in a rush because I (drum roll)


I’ve wanted to get back to school for a long time.  I’m hoping it helps get me back to forced writing because I will be out and at the library.  And I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a while now.

I called a friend yesterday who recently went back to school and asked her how it was.  Of course, she is going back to get a teacher certificate and is full time and not auditing one class so next time I go to a Spanish-speaking country I can ask for gluten free nachos.  (This is supposed to be a humorous dig at me learning Spanish and has nothing to do with my glutationous consumption.)

She said I would have to give up things.  It would be a sacrifice.  Homework is a killer.

I thought: “This won’t be like that because it’s ONE class.  I know the basics already.  I HAVE been to Cancun.  Twice.”

Then I logged into my book and workbook online.  I couldn’t figure it out.  You can buy a book for A LOT of DINERO (look Spanish) or you can buy an e-book.  But e-books are hard for me.  I have to scroll around.  I have to enlarge.  I can’t seem to figure out how to drag the answers over.  It’s driving me insane.  MUCHO LOCO.  or MUY LOCO.

I dunno.  We didn’t go over that on the first day.

So I’m seriously considering buying the book because I’m old and need paper.

And today I’m rushing around getting back to school hair cuts and activities I’ve put off for the whole summer (the Sapphire Mine was not a high priority) and getting my daughter and her friend’s nails done for the first day of school (should not have been a high priority, but come on)  and I made a goal to make healthy lunches this year and dinners and plan it out and I’ve been talking about this so much I’ve been asked to teach a 10 minute spiel (oops  German.) and so I’ve been researching that.

So I’m going to have to give something up because I’m running out of time to do my homework for class tomorrow.

I think my nails may have to start growing hang nails and looking sad and pathetic again.

Except how will a class full of 18-20 year olds respect me if I have bad cuticles?  I feel like I must show them that life gets better after 40 (even though I’m only admitting to 35 in that class but I’m going to tell everyone how much I look forward to turning 40).

Vanity must not be put aside.

Pizza for lunch and dinner for the next 180 days it is!

See?  This whole going back to school thing is gonna be a cinch.

(I apologize.  I can’t post the picture of my nails.  My phone is having issues from trying to do my homework on it. )



But Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I had one of those “Parenting” moments this morning.  One of those moments where you have no idea if you’re doing the right thing so you just pick one and decide Dr. Phil would be on my side.  And if he’s not, it’s ok because he can be a little self-righteous.

It’s my yearly goal to only buy my kids one winter coat.  I’m very vigilant about asking them where they’re coats are.  I generally buy the coats too big in hopes I can use them two years.  Last year I bought a 3-in-1 coat that you can unzip the inside fleece for one son and my daughter.  This is the warmest coat at Land’s End.  I also thought it would be the most versatile.   Until my kids started unzipping the coats themselves and leaving the inner or outer coat different places.

My son is missing the inner liner.  He’s decided the outer liner is actually colder without it.  (I think it’s because it’s nylon rather than fleece.)  So he wouldn’t wear it this morning.  I could’ve either:

  1.  Forced him to wear the coat
  2. Let him be cold so he would “learn a lesson.”

I chose #2 even though as a kid I would never admit I was cold until about 15 degrees.  So I have some of that “my kid’s gonna be cold Mommy guilt.”

Then I decided to buy him a new coat that doesn’t separate.  But it isn’t rated to -15 and in Montana, that can be important.

A friend buys her kids warm coats and then embroiders their office logo on it so when her kid leaves it somewhere no one will take it.  I’ve been thinking about doing that.

Because when I wrote my number on the back of their coats in large, permanent numbers, there were some unwanted results.

What Did You Melt With a Car’s Cigarette Lighter?

When I was a kid, the cigarette lighter in the car kept us entertained for hours.  We burned the edges of every plastic snow scraper my mom got for free from car insurance companies.  We burned both ends of pens.  (After taking the ink out so it wouldn’t explode.)   (We weren’t stupid.)  It was fun for all ages.  But we always knew that it was hot and we shouldn’t touch it.  That’s why we melted things with long handles and we kept our hands far, far away.

We knew what a cigarette lighter was for;  we saw people lighting cigarettes with them and we saw the fire they created.  It wasn’t anything taught us.  It was something we intrinsically knew.  It was part of society.

Not so anymore.

My new car doesn’t even have a cigarette lighter, but our older car does.  My husband and I never thought about it.  Until our boys decided to see how the lighter works.   They didn’t realize they started fires.  Even though they know it’s called a LIGHTER.  My youngest got a blister. They thought it would just shock them.

So learn from our pain.  If you have an older car, DO NOT assume your kids know that cigarette lighters are actually hot enough to burn.  (And DO NOT assume that the large red circle will give them the slightest hint.)

DO sit them down with a can of root beer and the first season of Starsky and Hutch.  Everything should come together by episode 10.

(Maybe read a book about how you can increase your children’s common sense, too.  And email me your findings.)

I Had a Perfect Plan Until I Went to my Kids’ School Open House

OK.   I’ve planned 2-3 hours a day to write.  I have an amazing schedule. It has different colors.  And a place for everything.  It’s an amazing schedule. AMAZING.

Then I went to my kids’ school open house.

And I signed up to bring snacks for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.

And I signed up to volunteer in the classroom.  Because supposedly it shows I care.  And it helps my kids succeed.  And having a relationship with your teachers is supposed to be a good idea.

And I told the PTO I’d help in any way they need.

And I told my son’s 5th grade teacher that I’m not as flighty as I seem.  (Seriously?)

And all three kids are in piano.

And 1st grade means reading really boring books every night.

And 3rd grade means working on math facts every night.

And there’s dinner.


I am doomed.

I am doomed.

So we’re gonna see what happens in September.  And if men in white coats take me away, we’ll know my plan didn’t work.

(When times get really tough, I figure I’ll just remind myself that at least I’m not dancing on a stage half nude surrounded by giant teddy bears and Robin Thicke dressed as the Hamburglar.)

What I Should’ve Learned in 10th Grade

Recently, my daughter has discovered Percy Jackson. This has led to a desire to learn Greek Mythology.

I have a confession.

When I moved from Connecticut to Utah, I had the opportunity to go into honors English in 10th grade. But to do that, I had to read a Greek Mythology book over the summer. And Greek Mythology scared the living daylights out of me. I think it was because the book had a dark cover with a foreboding marble statue. So I didn’t take the class.

And now I wish I had. Because sometimes I get Athena and Aphrodite confused. But luckily I have 3 kids and at least one of them is always correcting me.

(I may have told them that I confuse these two Goddesses because you have to be smart about who you fall in love with, which I think is a brilliant cover up, but my kids see through it and just think I’m old.)

Going back to Law School

I recently went back to Iowa for my friend’s daughter’s wedding.  I hadn’t been back since I graduated law school almost 11 years ago.  I also haven’t used my law degree for about 11 years.

I was an average student.   I was looking for an average, medium-powered job and people get referrals based on how good a lawyer currently is; not on their rank in law school.  (I get excellent referrals, by the way.  They just have nothing to do with law.)

This pictures proves I graduated from here

This pictures proves I graduated from here

I walked in and almost felt a whoosh carrying me back to the past.   I should have 20 lbs of books on my back and a constant prayer on my lips I wouldn’t be called on that day.  But then I noticed a couple things:

1. The entrance has furniture now.  There are actual chairs to sit on.  We had chairs on the first and fourth floors but not on the main floor, where you spend a lot of your time.  The ground was good enough for us, thank you.

2.  There were TV screens in the building for announcements.  It also displayed the weather.  11 years ago, we had to walk up to a board and read a piece of paper for our announcements.  We had to look out a window to find out the weather.  We had to earn our info.

3. The biggest change: the cafe serves Starbucks coffee and real food.  I don’t drink coffee, but even I know this is a step up from the big black bags they used with “Regular” and “Decaf” stamped in white.  And you didn’t stop here for lunch.  You bought water, a Diet Coke and, on bad days, a giant Snickers.  I think they had instant oatmeal you made yourself.

We only had a water spicket coming out of the wall

We only had a water spicket coming out of the wall

I worry about the future of the law.  Because it looks like law students are getting soft.

New Year’s Resolutions

Disclaimer (I’m writing this on my iPad and I’m unsure how this will post.)
I’ve decided to go light this year. I have 2 resolutions:
1. Get to know my family better. I have no measure for this. I figure if I know they’re favorite colors in 12 months, I win.
2. Accomplish one thing a day. This does not include getting children up, getting them fed, getting them to school, getting me up, exercising, feeding myself, after school activities or homework and laundry.
Yesterday’s goal was grocery shopping. But then a friend called and wanted to go to a movie so, being adaptable, I changed my goal to going to a movie.
Today’s goal is now grocery shopping. It’s my only one. I’m pretty sure I can do it. After I get kids up, dressed, fed, off to school, exercise, and shower.
I think having only one goal a day will work for me.

Avenger Underwear is the Source of the Problem

I’m having one of those days I have once or twice a month.  Those days you have when you wake up and you can’t take your life anymore.  Where you spent yesterday doing all of the laundry only to wake up today with the laundry basket full again.  How does this happen?  Do my kids know that I get cranky when the clothes overflow so they hide stuff until it’s empty?

One of the days when you washed 5 pair of your 5 year old’s underwear only to open the drawer this morning to one pair.  You had bought this 5 year old Avenger underwear which he declared unfit so he put all of his underwear with his sister’s pj’s.  Even the favored Star Wars underwear.  It took me a full five minutes to get this information.  And five minutes is a huge chunk of time when getting 3 kids to school.

One of the days when Starburst wrappers on the bed spread spark a continuous stream of mumbled words focused on being underappreciated to come from my mouth.

I always apologize once I realize they’re children and my room is messier than theirs (which is also not my fault) and then I start to blame myself for buying my daughter a Sunday coat so that she has two coats to hang up or the fact I bought my son underwear without consulting him on the style.

I apologize once I hear words I’ve spoken coming out of their mouths or them blaming each other in a similar tone to mine and then I drop them off at school and see my 5 year old running into his class and it tugs at my heart and I think, does it really, really matter? And I think of all those talks I’ve heard about enjoying my children’s youth and how I’ll look back on these times and not think about the laundry.

And then I think: that’s a huge load of crap.

Right now, I cannot get ahead of anything I’m responsible for: laundry, dinner, homework, piano playing, etc.  Because every day I get up, it starts all over again.  Occasionally we have crackers and cheese for dinner and occasionally I completely drop the ball on homework, but generally it gets done and it has to get done every day. And there really isn’t any headway to be gained.

And if this wouldn’t cause you a little frustration, you’re weird.

It looks peaceful and non-threatening. But it is evil. Evil, I tell you.

Free Time

My last child is in school.  I now have all this free time.  People keep telling me I have free time.  Or they ask me what I’ll do with all of my free time.

Because now that my last kid is in school, I no longer have laundry.  My pantry is perfectly stocked and the groceries are delivered.  My refrigerator has nothing growing in it and never will again and when all of the kids walk out the door, their toys now float back to the right spot.

The bathrooms never need to be cleaned; the floors don’t need vacuuming.  The bills are all paid for the rest of my life.

My husband will never again forget something he wants me to do/pick up/ deliver.  “When ever is fine, but what are you doing now?”

Snow will fall everywhere except for my driveway and sidewalk and the leaves blow magically away.

My kids are in school so I won’t need to volunteer and help the teachers or go on field trips or be a part of the PTO to make sure I know what’s going on in their school.

I won’t need to prepare for 3:15 when chores need to be done with my supervision to make sure they are done semi ok; when piano needs to be practiced; when homework needs to be completed; when kids need to be taken to sports; when dinner needs to be made; when reading needs to be supervised; when “playing” occurs with crying; when computer time needs to be regulated.

I am so INCREDIBLY lucky I have all this free time.

Ooh Look! Semi-trucks!  I think I’ll learn to drive one with all of my free time.

Why I am Thankful (the magazine edition)

Four moms and I teach a co-op preschool class.  We have it twice a week and each teach two weeks at a time.  This week is my week and tomorrow I am supposed to have the kids cut up magazines I have around the house to make an I Am Thankful For collage.

After collecting what I had lying around, I came up with this possible collage.(Note: just because I have the magazine does not mean I have a SUBSCRIPTION; it is ok to read crap every week as long as it is not actually sent to your home.  And the following statements may or may not reflect the viewpoints of the author; they may just be the only thing I could come up with.)

I Am Thankful For:

  1. Cranberry Clafouti (Martha Stewart Living)- no clue what this is but looks yummy
  2. Comedy on Television and/or Melissa McCarthy (Last Week’s Entertainment Weekly)
  3. Kermit the Frog (This Week’s Entertainment Weekly)
  4. Feel Good Drape Cardigans (Latest Land’s End Catalog) – looks compfy
  5. Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State and is only serving one term – I think this covers both sides nicely (Last Week’s Time)
  6. Switzerland still has a finishing school (This Week’s Time; it didn’t have much to be thankful for; mostly about crappy economy.  Must have been a very depressing week.)
  7. SmartWool Pressed-Flower Ankle Socks (Latest Garnet Hill Catalogue; it’s the only thing in it I think I can afford besides monograming but can’t afford whatever they monogram.)
  8. Kim Kardashian didn’t stay in a loveless marriage one hour (minute, second) more (People) I buy it for the crossword.

So if you had to choose what you are thankful for by what magazine you read, what would it be?