Monday, September 29, 2008

Good Night

I walk carefully out onto the cool, wet grass. I hope that the motion light on the back of my house will shut off soon because I'm not loving the look of my shadow on our privacy fence at the back of our yard.

I breathe in the night air and it's so close to the real thing. I shut my eyes and listen. There are some frogs, crickets, and my neighbor's water feature. So close to being in the country.

I've opened my eyes and thank goodness, the motion light is off. I look up and see some stars. Yes, the night sky is muted along the horizon, where the city lights glow. But straight up, there is my big dipper and my north star.

Breathe deep, find my center.

Sometimes a mama just needs a little fresh air.

As I walk into the house, I pray that the motion light will come back on. Please! I don't really want to squish dog poo on my way back to the house.

Yin and yang. Pros and cons. I'm becoming a city girl, but I can still find a little piece of my country life.

I just have to go looking a little harder sometimes.


Friday, September 26, 2008


My cousin introduced me to the touring production of Rent, about 6 years ago? I don't even know the year. We saw it in Lincoln, and I loved it. I can't even tell you how many times she saw it.

Then came the movie, which I also loved. It's a great story and the music is soul-stirring.

The final showing of Rent on Broadway was recently filmed, with the original cast performing. It's showing in theaters this week and I'm going on Sunday with said cousin!

I'm just a little excited. Just a little.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To Be Two

I will scream if you cut my apple in pieces. And don't even try to hand me a banana that you've accidently broken.

I will scream. As loud as I can. Until even my ears ring a little.
I will laugh soon after, because I'm so stinking cute.

I'll tell you I've pooped. But I won't want you to help me clean up. Or go on the toilet.

I will want what I want, when I want it, and then some.

I don't like stripes. Only shirts with basketballs, baseballs, soccer balls, or footballs. Thank you very much.
Unless I want stripes.

I'll throw toys. Right at my sister's head. If I'm so inclined.
Then I'll be mad at YOU for the time out.

I will drink juice.
No water!
No milk!
Unless I want water or milk. Right now!

I am two.

I will also say things like, "I love woo."

And sing my ABC's in the cutest twang you've ever heard.

I'll tell you when things are too girly. Because I'm ALL boy.

I'll melt your heart into puddles with just a sideways glance.

I'll play with my trains, my cars, and run around outside.
But will also beg my sister to play barbies and draw.

I am creative and beautiful and smart.

I am two.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Moving On

We went back to visit my parents on this same weekend last year. I think it will be an annual autumnal tradition. The corn is turning a golden, dry yellow. The wind crackles. The sun tires much earlier in the evening. It is good to go to the country at this time of year.

I visited my grandmother and also grandfather and grandmother. They've both got apartments in the nearby city now, having moved from their overwhelming homes. It was good to see them, good to reconnect.

I walked through the home my grandparents moved from. Just down the driveway from the home I grew up in. They've moved on now and all that is left are some boxes filled with odds and ends, their odds and ends.

I will take care of my grandmother's sewing machine. The one she used to make quilts for my children. The one that she used for her wonderful talents. I hope maybe I'll give it a spin soon, maybe sew a dolly dress or the edges of a scrapbook page.

Our grandparents had these things, that mean something. These possessions, that they held on to for so long. My children, they may not find that I've done that. I donate anything not being used. I hold on to nothing.

Now there will be a few keepsakes from great-grandparents. Those, I will hold on to.

It makes a person sentimental, all of this going back.

Tomorrow starts a new day, a new week. I need to shift back to the city me. The one who teaches and runs around and tries to do it all. The one who wasted a lot of money this month paying bills a little late, a symptom of procrastination and a tired mind. The one who needs to tend to her home and get on track.

I'm not sure I've got it all figured out just yet.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Three little heads bobbed to sleep on the way home.

Disney on Ice was a beautiful, magical, musical fairy tale. Complete with a villain, heroes, and tons of great musical numbers.

I had fun.

The kids had fun.

It was a night well spent.

And we all lived happily ever after, though we are far from the end.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Broke

My sister-in-law suggested to our little man that if he would stay in his big boy bed, then maybe the sleep fairy would leave him a treasure under his pillow. I know there's a sleep fairy story book, I think she even has it. We haven't read it. But the little man was intrigued.

I had this dilemma. Obviously candy is not a great wake-up-in-the-morning treasure, though he'd be fine with it. I didn't want to add to our stock of plastic crap, so no more little toys either.

I'll (the sleep fairy, I mean) leave quarters! I thought to myself. One under his pillow in the morning.

Well, our B was pretty ticked when she saw he's getting paid. She's been staying in her bed independently and going to sleep in 10 minutes or less for years. So now there's a quarter for her each morning too.

People! This adds up! I can't keep using the same quarters each morning (which I've done several times) because eventually B will figure out that her stash is not growing.

I feel like I need money for laundry again. I guess it's off to the bank with me for some rolls of quarters.

The up side? Little man is figuring out how to go to sleep on his own. For only $1.75 a week.

Rock on Sleep Fairy.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Suddenly my thoughts turn to fall, then to winter. It will be Halloween soon. We've got to get a date on the calendar to go out to the pumpkin patch. We've got to round up costumes for the kids. And maybe even some for the big people this year too, since we're going to a party or two. Which means I need to get a sitter too.

Then it will be Thanksgiving time. Figuring out who's going where and when. What we'll eat. How we'll fit it all in and enjoy every moment.

Which brings us to December and the usual rush of Christmas. Only this year I'm determined to slow down and enjoy it for the wonderful time of year that it is. Simple gifts. Simple plans. Lots of togetherness and gratitude.

The details tend to swirl in my mind. I'm think of starting some sort of notebook this year and keep waiting for Beck to post on the secrets to hers (hint, hint). I want to do more, give more, be more. And do it with simplicity.

If my thoughts seem a jumbled mess, they are. I am adult onset attention deficit disorder at its finest. My mind races with thoughts of all that is to come. While my body decides to have a sit on the comfy chair and watch a movie.

That's my life. That's who I am.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

This made me cry. Sob, actually.


Friday, September 12, 2008

The Winner

I put the names in a cup and had my B pick out a winner.

It's Janna!

The funny part is that it's B's best little friend's (Kendall) mom. So he'll get to go now too!

I suddenly realize I don't really love contests because I want everyone to win!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Worse Than the F Bomb

I used the word "retard" in my classroom today.

Can you believe that students with disabilities actually use this word on each other? It is a widely used, widely misused, word.

It makes me incredibly mad.

I talked to my students today about bullying each other. It's something they do with each other, just like a lot of other teenagers. The teasing, the name calling, the picking on each other. There are several students who get really fired up and loud, they are the most fun to tease, since they can really put on a show.

I told the kids that the word r-word makes me madder than the f-word. That made a few eyes go wide.

I just don't get it. And I hear it a lot. Kids use it as a common adjective, synonymous with dumb or stupid. Only it has a little more bang to it, I guess.

I also hear plenty of adults using it. "That's retarded." "My mother-in-law is such a retard."


It is not okay to use that word. Just like you wouldn't use any other derogatory word about a group of people to perpetuate a stereotype. Well, some people do that too, but they shouldn't.

The students I teach are diagnosed with mental retardation, mental handicap, or cognitive disabilities, intellectual disabilities. Nebraska state law uses the term mental handicap (mild, moderate, or severe), but the other terms get used elsewhere. It's all the same thing, but it doesn't deserve to be used as a word for dumb.

My students can learn. They are differently abled. They bleed, they cry, they feel. They laugh, they love, they soar. They are people, deserving of respect for the challenges they face, deserving of being treated like...people.

I've been trying to articulate my feelings on this post since the controversy about the ridiculous
Ben Stiller movie (an actor that I usually enjoy) that used the word numerous times. There are several blogs I read that have talked about boycotting the movie, and believe me, I won't be watching that movie. Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes knows plenty about it, as does LuvMyPeanut. Visit either one of these lovely ladies and you'll get the scoop.

I've also considered ending my reading of celeb news at Perez Hilton (total guilty pleasure, I do in secret on my google reader). He uses the term "celebutard" when describing celebrities' offspring. It's not funny.

So today I taught my students something else. The word retard is not allowed in my classroom. Several have known it before today, when I corrected their individual behavior. Now they all know. I went there and laid it all out for them.

I just really hope they were listening. That you are listening.

Retarded is not an appropriate adjective. Retard is not a funny word.
Please don't use it.

You can read more on the topic here. If you're interested.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cooler Times

It was pushing 90 degrees for weeks on end. The kids happily wearing shorts and tshirts to school, me happily dressing them without much thought. Suddenly, it's not even hitting 70. And it's September! Fall approaches and it's time to put another year's worth of summer shorts away. I'm a little sad this year, for some reason. I usually make the switch without a second thought. This year, I guess I wasn't quite ready.

I'm not quite ready.

I need to make the switch for myself too. From sandals to shoes. From capris to pants.

It's my favorite time of year, I guess it just snuck up on me this year. And now I need to go shopping!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Than Just a Baby Bed

Our little B in her little nursery.

She grew so quickly.

Then there was her brother, our little man.

Both children quickly grew.
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My white, Fisher Price crib. Purchased at KMart for less than $150. Purchased by Grandpa and Grandma J for the OM babies. You have held two babies as they slept. You have held two babies through play times, tummy time, and time outs. We are so grateful to have had such a strong piece of furniture that lasted the past five years.

Last night, the little man realized he could effortlessly climb to the other side of your rails and step down easily. He felt proud and thought it was hi-larious.
Today we will say good-bye to you. I will find out if a local human service agency could find you a good home. You can help a new family with their baby. You can hold a new baby as he sleeps.

It's another milestone. Another step into this time when there are no babies in our house.
It's happy-sad.
Thank you, white Fisher Price crib, for your service in our home.