Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Hallmark Card

Today I attended a Hallmark PR event
at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas.

It was a great event, and I'll write more about it tomorrow,
but for now, I want to share with you an exercise they had us do:

We were each given a photo and told to make it into a birthday card.
Here was my photo:


So I captioned it,

"Happy Birthday a little late,
 from one hot mess to another."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ten Thousand Tweets


I reached 10,000 tweets today over on Twitter

Annie is not impressed.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Golden Memories

6 months ago we were in San Francisco with my mom.

Memories like these make my heart happy.

Memories like these make me forget how one son talked the other into drinking his pee.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trying to Look Smart in Front of My Kids

One of the hard parts of being a mom is answering any and all questions that come our way.
Sometimes I have the answers, sometimes I don't.
And as my children get older, the questions get harder.

My 15-year old is now in pre-calculus, which is as far as I got in math, 

so this might be the last year I can help him with anything in that subject.
A couple of days ago, he had a question on his homework that he asked for my help. 

It went something like this:

Identify which one of the following functions as decreasing

a. outdoor temperature as a function of time
b. air pressure in earth's atmosphere as a function of altitude
c. water pressure in the ocean as a function of depth
d. The Dow Jones as a function of time

I was stumped. 

I wanted to impress him with the correct answer right off the bat, 
but that didn't happen.
I turned to google.
(the correct answer was b.)

My brain capacity as a function of time: increasing or decreasing? 
(don't answer that!)

In the car this morning, I was telling my 10-year-old son about the civil war in Libya 

and how the U.S. Ambassador was killed there.

He asked, "What's an ambassador?"
I said, "It's a person from our country that goes to their country and lives there and does government things. And you know, makes friends there and represents our country."

His next question, "Where is Libya?"
Crap. Geography was not my strong point.
I said, "I think it's in Africa somewhere."

Then he asked me, "When was our Civil War?"
I knew I should have paid more attention to dates in history, 

if anything so I could look smart in front of my kids.
I decided to bluff it.
"I think it was around 1860 or so."

When I got to work, I googled it.
Libya is in northern Africa.
The American Civil War was from 1861-1865.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pre-Cal, World History & Chemistry, Oh My!


Monday night was Curriculum Night at my son's high school.
It's an opportunity for parents to follow their child's class schedule and spend 10 minutes in each class, meeting the teachers and hearing about the curriculum for each class.

I forgot how much walking one does in a big school. 

Up and down the stairs, down different long hallways, all in the 3-minute passing period.
Did I mention they don't have lockers

Every student has to carry everything in a backpack.
The school mascot is a bulldog

so every single room had a bulldog poster or photo or figurine. 
It became a game to find the token bulldog in each room throughout the night.

Here are the main thoughts I came away with for each class:

Football - I didn't make it to the school in time for my son's first class, which is football. But, that's okay, because I made the beginning of the year football talks from all the coaches. He has football first thing in the morning ... and for over 2 hours after school each day. However, with his multiple knee surgeries and healing time, he's missed a lot of football. 

Pre-AP GT Pre-Calculus - This is one of my son's favorite classes, because he loves math. And I was seriously blown away by the fact that this teacher records her daily class lessons (audio and whiteboard) and uploads them to her teacher website daily, so if a student misses class or needs to review the lesson while doing homework, it's right there!!  Seriously cool.

Spanish III - My son will be eating well in this class, because they will be making all varieties of Spanish-speaking countries' cultural dishes. The teacher is from Mexico, and she speaks pretty much only Spanish to them during class. She was peppy and hilarious. Also, their entire textbook and workbook are online! (although the actual textbooks are also in hard copy in the classroom) No excuses for not getting work done. Love it. I was ready to sign up for this class by the time we left! Hablo un pequito espanol.

Pre-AP Chemistry - I didn't like chemistry when I was a sophomore...but now, I think I might find it a lot more interesting. Atoms and Electrons, chemical reactions, moles and acids and bases. They have labs once a week! If you show up to a lab in open-toed shoes, you have to change into socks and spare shoes she keeps in a cabinet. She's serious about safety!

AP World History - They are going to cover 10,000 years in 33 weeks, and this teacher is going to push those kids to their limits. It's a college-level course, and the teacher said the kids are going to hate him, and he's going to make them cry.  I can tell this will be my son's most challenging class. And he likes history. Part of me was totally challenged by the teacher's intensity ... and the other part of me wanted to run out of the room crying.

Art I - The perfect class to have AFTER World History. It looks much more relaxing and a conduit for flowing creativity. The teacher shared his Twitter handle and shared his "primitive art" philosophy. He burned dead tree branches to make charcoal sticks for the class to draw with, and he's growing indigo at home for blue dye. He's going to use rust to make a yellow ocher color and get those red dye bugs for the students to mash to create red. He bought a ton of old books that the library was getting rid of, and gave one to each student to decorate and make their own ... and these will be there sketchbooks throughout the year. Also, I want to take this class.

Pre-AP English - Over the summer they read Into The Wild and had to write an essay on it. Before school even started.  hehe They are currently reading Lord of the Flies. The teacher has a wonderful southern accent. They are going to read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Shakespeare's Julius Cesaer and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I want to read all those with them. 

I liked having the chance to meet my son's teachers and see his classes. 

I made him show me where he sat in each room. 
I got his opinion about each teacher and each class while we were in each class.

We had to make a pit stop at the vending machines to get my younger son a snack 
(or he was going to die of starvation, clearly), 
and I saw this machine: 

It's a Snapple Machine, but it's full of Yoohoo.

Every single option was Yoohoo.

Also, are asymetrical skirts and dresses in fashion right now? 
Because I saw lots of mothers and daughters wearing them ..

What was your favorite class in high school?
I loved English and Latin and Photography!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Do You Want To Die?

Last night was Curriculum Night at the high school.
I'll have another post about that tomorrow.

However, as we were leaving the high school and headed home,
my 10-year-old posed a question.

"How do you want to die?"

 My 15-year-old immediately responded, "Of natural causes in old age."
To which the 10-year-old says, "Oh, that's boring."

I was still flabbergasted by the question.

Where had this come from?
Had he been thinking about death?
Had someone been talking to him about dying?
He thinks certain ways to die are boring?!
I'm clearly on the verge of a full blown panic.

Before I completely freaked out, I decide to ask him,
"How do you want to die?"

He has his answer ready.
"Being chased off a cliff by naked women."

My jaw dropped.

Both boys dissolve into giggles.
Good lord have mercy.

(for those of you who don't know, apparently that is a scene from one of the Monty Python movies.)


Friday, September 7, 2012

My Husband Has A Girlfriend

My Husband has a Girlfriend

It was only a matter of time really.
We've been separated for 3 years.
We're still technically married, but we have no plans to get back together.
However, this is the first either one of us has started seeing someone else.
(and since we've been together since we were 13 years old, that's really saying something.)

I'm happy for him,
But, I'm definitely a mix of emotions about it all with large streamers of feelings swirling and twirling into a frenzied knot inside my head:

Part of me is happy. This is good for him, emotionally healthy. I want him to be happy.
Part of me is jealous. He's replacing me. He's dating someone else before I am.
Part of me is angry. The kids need to come first. They are now going to have to compete for his time.
Part of me is sad. Our relationship didn't make it. I wish things had been different.

Only time will tell how serious he is about this one.
Or if she will be the first in a series.

I'm happy for him, really.
I just need time to adjust to this new step and all its implications. and I'm a little vulnerable from my village being destroyed.

Lots of people have to deal with dating after divorce.
I'm not the first, I know.
I remember my parents dating after their divorce, and I didn't like it.
I felt like it took away from my relationship with them.
I don't want that for my children.
But, then again, I didn't want my children to have divorced parents either, but that's the path we've taken.

Since he lives in a different town than the kids and I do, we haven't had to deal with any real changes.
But more changes are coming, I know that.

What are your thoughts on dating after divorce?
Wait, maybe we should go ahead and get that divorce first! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Village Has Been Gutted.

 I've always said that it takes a Village to raise my children.
And it's true.

Since I split from my husband 3 years ago,
I've relied on my village to help me out.

And now that period of support has come to an end.

 My mother and stepfather are moving away.
My grandmother is moving away.
My dad is moving away.

For the past few years, we've all lived in the same town,
within a mile or two of each other.
And now, hundreds and thousands of miles are going to separate us.

My Village is gone.
It's gutted.
It's become a ghost town.
I'm devastated.

Not only will I miss their companionship and our regular family dinners,
but I will also miss their help and support in raising my boys.

 I suddenly feel so very alone.
Left behind.

So, please excuse my funk.
It's going to take a while to grieve this huge life change.