Showing posts from November, 2010

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." -Maya Angelou

On my drive home tonight, I was thinking about blog topics.  "Maybe I should write about things that annoy me," I thought so cleverly to myself.  I had this great list of things that annoy me and was even going to end it in such a witty way.  But I don't know if that is where I want to focus my attention.

Another thought was to write about my lack of motivation and overall stagnation these days.  My motivation level is low, and I'm pretty much just coasting along in so many ways.  

Perhaps I could write a little bit about what it is like to be a multifaceted individual (aren't we all?) that can put on a good, strong front, but also go through the battles and challenges of depression, low self-esteem, or life's general ups and downs.  Just seemed...boring.

Something else that has been going on lately is that I've felt very detached from a social scene and in my friendships.  Right now I'm going through some challenges with someone who I love very much, an…

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...How do you measure, measure a year?"

December is almost here!  December is this week.  This year, like last year, has flown by so fast.  Summer break flew by, then Thanksgiving break.  Three work weeks until Christmas break.  I am so excited for Christmas break, let me tell you!  

When I was younger, I remember my parents and other adults talking about how fast time flew by.  I didn't understand back then, but I certainly do now. For instance, I remember once asking my dad how old he was.  His reply was, "Twenty-seven."  "Dad, you're old!" I told him.  On December 31, I will be turning 27.  Brandon just turned 27.  My daughter is 1-1/2.  I remember when she was just 1-1/2 days old.  I remember when we measured her age in weeks.  Now it is in months. Before I know it, we'll be counting her age in years, just like we do for ourselves.

Somehow, I think having the job of a teacher seems to make the time fly by even faster.  My job is punctuated by holiday breaks and spring break.  Punctuated by …

"Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles...Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings...These are a few of my favorite things."

Many people that know me know that I enjoy couponing.  I don't do it quite as often as I used to, but I enjoy couponing with my partner-in-coupons, Mom.   She was a couponer back in the day before there were even websites with all the deals laid out in black and white.  

Tonight, I decided to try out one of my recent scores, a Schick Intuition which offers the luxury of all-in-one shaving.  Being pretty lazy in the shaving department, I decided to give it a go.  These retail around $10 at your local drugstore, such as CVS, and around the same price at Walmart even.  Who is going to spend that much?  I might have before couponing, but never again!  I got two of them for free after coupons and CVS extra care bucks.

Many of the products I purchase, I give away to friends and family, and I have a box filled to the brim with items just waiting to be donated.  (I just have to get out and drop them off...)

However, I will admit there are some products that I've gotten for cents or even …

On Death and Dying

This week, it seems like death has been a topic on the forefront in my life.  I don't even feel like I can say that without somehow having to face such tragedy myself.

When I was at Publix last night, I ran into the mom of one of my former students.  I wasn't even a "real" teacher yet.  This was about 7 years ago, when I was still a volunteer.  That year, I spent much of my free time with a 3rd grade class.  My wavering choice whether to become a teacher or not was decided by the experience I had with that class.  The students were wonderful.  They inspired me.  Anyway, you know those times when you see someone you know and you sometimes say hi, while other times you are too busy?  Well, last night I saw Josh's mom, and I said, "Hey!  You're Josh's mom!"  To which she replied, "Yes, how are you?"  I have been amazed that she always remembers who I am.  I told her I was doing well, and I asked her how Josh was doing.  "He passed awa…

From the mouths of babes. Also known as, fun things Ayla says...

Ayla has lots of words now, and I don't want to forget how fun this age/stage of developing so much language is.

Some things Ayla says, in no particular order:
Hep me (help me)Thank you (which sort of sounds like thin thin)Upol (sounds like apple, means open or up)DownBooNoNa nice (not nice)Yes'rush (Brush, as in her teeth)NanaOmaElmoPa (for G-Pa.  We literally call my dad G, like the letter, pa...for grandpa of course)Amer (for Amber...we're teaching her our names)Branbran (for Brandon)Palm Bay (ask her where she lives)One (when asked how old she is)Sitting (when asked what the rule for the couch is)Get (when she wants the dogs to back off her)CheeseDog, owl, catCarPeese (please)Sorry HugPoopPeePotty (sensing a theme?) Boob (she says this while pointing at mine...funny)ElbowBaby, Mama, Papa, Daddy, Mom Been been (blanket)TummyTaz/Tash (the name of two of the main the cats in her life) Nose (she says this when she wants a tissue)'side (for outside)...set, go! (she finish…

"Money, it's a crime...Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie ..."


For most people, the subject of money is very touchy, very private, and very stressful.  Last night, I was watching Downsized on WE (television for women).  The gist of the show is a blended family with a total of 9 people, the father's construction company went bankrupt, and the mom is a teacher.  This mother never had to want for anything as a child, and she spent most of the episode beside herself for not being able to do the same for her kids.  She also was sneaking Starbucks coffees and hiding her trash, even after meeting with a financial adviser.

Lately, I've spent a lot of time thinking about money.   It seems like having two college-educated adults in the household should somehow equate to not feeling as though you're drowning in financial hardship, but it doesn't.  Let me preface this whole post by saying that I know a lot of my friends are struggling even more than I am, so I am not trying to compare, but rather just share my honest experience.

We want t…

Wedding madness

For most of the day, my mind, time, and energy has been devoted to the planning and daydreaming of our wedding.   It is hard to believe that at this time next year, I will be a newlywed.  A newlywed with a two-and-a-nearly-half year old daughter, at that!  

The number one thing I have dreaded about having a wedding is the wedding dress shopping.  In my mind, I've considered not shopping for a dress until the last minute or even having a courthouse wedding just to avoid trying on dresses in my current state of weight.

Based on the recommendations of a couple of my girlfriends, I decided to start at a local shop called Elda's.  The owner, Kristine, and the consultant, Ericka, were wonderful.  I certainly think they ooh-ed and ahh-ed a little more than I found believable, but then again, maybe I'm wrong.  I tried on several dresses, including some that didn't even make it out of the dressing room.  My decision came down to a beautiful satin Alfred Angelo and an organza Ella…


With it being only 11 months away, I figure it is probably time to start planning the wedding we are planning to have.  My eyes are on a specific venue, I know a store I want to check out first for dresses, and oh yeah-I have the fiance that I definitely want to marry.

Originally, I wanted a springtime wedding.  Nice and green, lush, and lively.  And now I guess I want a brown, dead one.  Kidding, really.  I think somehow I got sucked into the idea of a fall wedding whilst looking through wedding stuff online.  Acorns, pine cones, squash and pumpkins, indian corn.  Orange, yellow, brown, cranberry red.  How I miss fall-I spent 18 years watching things die and come to life later, and I guess I didn't get a good appreciation for fall until I was gone.  You see, when fall came, I started dying away.  I spent the fall and winter of my life ages 12-17 falling to pieces physically once fall hit.  Many of those years I'm not sure I got out of the bed, except to pee...and even that was…


I have to say, I am rather embarrassed to even go here, but I have a serious temper/anger problem.  It doesn't come up often, but if I'm stressed beyond belief, I really just snap.  It has been like this for years, and it isn't something I want to keep up.  Tonight, I couldn't find my purse anywhere, and after losing my wallet recently, I couldn't take anything else!  I was slamming doors, swearing, and literally on the floor beside myself.  Feels like someone just took over my body...

I guess I need to figure out a better way to cope with the extreme stress of a situation rather than falling to pieces and throwing a grown-up sized tantrum.  I'm not quite sure how to change this old habit, but the Irish gets the better of me, and I'd rather not set that prime example of what not to do for Ayla.


Crazy owl lady

Our wonderful babysitter, Danielle, is like a sister to me.  She has been in our lives by way of her relationship with my brother Denny for years and years now.  One day, she remarked to my mom that Ayla had worn owls of some sort pretty much every day that week.  
It's true.  I can't resist the urge to purchase all things owl.  Ayla's toddler bed set is an owl/forest theme (even though she's too little for it still).  The lamp in her room goes with the theme.  I buy her owl pajamas, owl shirts, and various other owl-inspired ensembles.   Not only does Ayla get to be surrounded by owls, but my students do as well.  I got an awesome owl-themed classroom jobs kit, as well as other various owl classroom products.  This year, my class theme is the Wise Owls.  I've never been able to commit to a theme before this, but now...I've got one!
My love for owls has a story.  My grandmother, Kathleen, was a wonderful artist and nurse.  She was involved in her church and commun…

Guilt: just a "4-letter" emotion

Of all the horrific and terrifying tales I was told while pregnant, I was never told that as a mother, a feeling you are destined to experience on a frequent basis is GUILT.  Now, I'm not saying that I don't recognize it being misplaced.  Unfortunately, it doesn't make it any easier on me or any other mom.

Tonight, I felt guilty for growing frustrated with Ayla as she climbed to a stand on the couch over and over again, despite my telling her repeatedly, "Sit down."  I tell her, "Look at mommy, what did I say?"  She shakes her head, saying, "No no no.  Sitting."  After one of her many full-on, fall down screaming tantrums for the evening, my patience was done.   Guilty.

If ever I should fail to read her a story when I put her to bed (though this is usually Brandon's specialty-reading the stories with excellent sound effects), I feel guilty.  

When she gets chicken nuggets and frozen peas for lunch, I definitely feel guilty because I saw Food,…

Meet the other Kiddos

Driving home tonight from some couponing at Publix, I was thinking to myself that I haven't really written about my other "babies" in my blog.  

Our first dog was rescued by Brandon up at the SPCA in Orlando.  We decided on a different dog that was days from her demise, but luckily when Brandon went to see her, she'd already found a (hopefully) forever home.  Then, there was Boo.  We bantered back and forth while walking down the beach during one of the tumultuous times in our relationship, discussing names for the dog we put our hopes into.  Somehow, we came to the agreement that we both liked Boo.  Sidenote: the first dog I had as a little girl was named Bo Jangles.  My dad let me pick him out.  He was a german shepherd and my best buddy as a little girl.  When we had to let him go to a home with more wide-open spaces, my heart broke and so did my dad's.  So...pretty exciting getting a dog.  When I drove to Orlando to see Brandon and meet our new puppy, I was te…

Blue jeans...

Recently, I began a weight loss challenge group on Facebook, and I have a handful of friends (old and new) involved.  At this point, I've tried everything but starvation and liposuction, so might as well give this a shot.  My brother's ex (from way back in high school) suggested it to me, and when I saw her results-wow!  She looks better now than she did in high school!

First and foremost, I am looking forward to going wedding dress shopping when I've lost 15-20 lbs. of the 35 I want to lose. jeans.  I have so many wonderful pairs of blue jeans that I miss wearing so much.  Right now, I'm stuck with these Old Navy ones that are cut higher on my stomach because, well, that's how they'll fit me.  And they pinch, they bind, and they make me so uncomfortable.  Much like my weight.  I can't wait to fit into a pair of old jeans again, a luxury I never thought I'd have to go without.

Colder weather is upon us, and I refuse to go a 3rd winter wearing mat…

Standing up.

Brr-this chilly weather is getting to my poor, broken body.  Thank goodness my brain functions better than my body does (though that's not saying much).  

I've come to the conclusion that it is so difficult to be someone who tries to be fair and stand up for what's right.  By no means am I perfect-I'm far from it.  I fail often, and my shortcomings are many.  There have just been some instances lately where I have tried to handle situations diplomatically, and I am not sure why I try.  It doesn't involve anyone that I'm close to, and it isn't anything that affects me in my personal life.  Why, I wonder, do we have guidelines and procedures if we aren't going to follow them across the board?  I suppose that this is life.  On a grander scale than the woes of my day-to-day frustrations, I know there are people who commit crimes and get away with it.  A young man drove drunk, killed my grandparents, and got to live his life.  No doubt, he had his own struggl…

Update: baby fever has broken, sanity level back to normal

Usually, I'm so excited to pick Ayla up from Danielle's, but lately I've considered hiring Danni for a short-term mother position.  You see, my very bossy and opinionated daughter has decided to really test the limits lately.  How, you ask?

1. She will raise her arms into the air and make her mean face (a classic, I tell ya), demonstrating that she is about to slap the crap out of me.
2. She kicks violently during diaper changes.
3.  When I tell her, "Nice...gentle," she hugs me or touches my face softly, followed by a slap or kick to the nearest tender spot on my body.
4. When I tell her no and redirect her by having her do what I'd like her to be doing (for instance, sitting on the new couch-a rare splurge-rather than running up and down it after just seconds ago falling headlong into the floor), she looks at me, says "No no no no," and does it anyway.
5.  She has random outbursts of crying and/or screaming for no apparent reason.  I know there's a…

Baby fever!

My dog eats his own poo and then vomits it.  I guess we're back to putting crushed pineapple in his food.  Apparently it makes their shit taste like...shit.  Novel concept, really.

Okay, where was I?  Baby fever.  My beautiful, precious, awesome new niece (my 2nd) was born around 4 this morning.  Her name is Elisabeth Mae, and she has an awesome set of parents (my brother Dave and SIL Jess) along with her big sister Naomi and big brother Will.  Is it estrogen-y in here or is it me?  Babies are all around me, and let me tell ya, it's hard not to catch the fever!  We aren't going to try again for awhile, but it doesn't mean that the sweet smell of newborns' heads doesn't tempt me.  I wish I could hop on a plane to Iowa and sniff in the deliciousness of her dark-haired little head!  They make beautiful babies.  My SIL homeschools, and she puts Betty Crocker to shame.  Both of my brothers chose ladies to have in their lives that I happen to genuinely love and consid…


My mom has always told me that I have a story to tell.  A book to write.  Of course, she's my mom so she has to say that.  Incredibly, this spur-of-the-moment blog I created has been well-received.  I wasn't even sure if I was going to put it out there, but I've gotten such encouragement and even praise that I'm driven to continue.  Somehow, my thoughts out there on the 'net have been validated by the people in my life who took a moment to read something I wrote, for whatever reason.  I'm a terrible critic of myself, so it is no wonder I find it surreal to experience such positivity out of the rubble and ashes and ramblings of my exhausted, incoherent mind.

Honesty is so important.  This is a lesson I learned from my mom.  Many parents of her generation have detached themselves from sharing who they are with their children.  On the other hand, my mom has told me everything from the tragedies in her life to the greatest joys and triumphs.  When Ayla grows up, I w…