Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Night Fog

Why am I always so exhausted on Fridays? Was it the classroom full of 25 first graders that did me in? Maybe. I just want to curl up and sleep! But I'm not gonna. Here's what's going on in my world:

I actually swam 500 meters today (mostly with my butt up so the lower part of my body was NOT dragging) and so I'm feeling better about this whole mini trialthalon thing. I could feel it when I got into a rhythm and my feet kicked as well and I was actually moving a bit faster than a snail's pace. I do backstroke when I'm too tired to keep doing freestyle. This is a more restful stroke but dangerous! There you are la-la-la-la-la looking at the lovely ceiling acrchitecture and thinking about how you need to file your fingernails, when BONK! you reach the wall. Hello wall. Were those stars on the ceiling before?

Soccer started. I froze to death watching Nathan's game on Wednesday night. Spring soccer weather is always so volatile. You have to dress like you're heading for an Arctic expedition just to get through the game. He scored two goals! Way to play Nate!

Adrie made it to school on time once this week! Congrats Adrie! Way to be! She's slacking off since the term is over. But I must admit, she about killed herself off making up all her unexcused absenses last week. And now she's so tired she's just creating MORE unexcused absences. Such is the life of a high school student who goes to a school where the attendance policy borders on fascism.

Leah was darling in her clogging performance last night, but I kept wondering why did they put her on the back row and the tall girls on the front row? I couldn't see my own kid. Just wondering.

At my writers' meeting I learned all about character development and now feel inspired to use some of the techniques in my book that keeps calling out to me. Thanks, Clint Johnson, for an inspiring evening.

My book club this week was a riot. We read the young adult novel "Life as We Knew it" about a family that must live through the earth's tempestuous climate changes when a meteor crashes into the moon. They live for months on food storage with not heat or electricity. We discussed how we all felt like hoarding food after reading this novel. Nancy pointed out that she had flenty of food storage in her hips, and then that got us all talking about our own personal food storage. I said I had at least six months around my middle! It was a riot. We laughed and laughed.

Now on to more sobering things. Earlier this week I posted a very negative blog about Iraq and President Bush. I decided to delete it, but still would like to say a few things without going on a tirade (I hope this is possible). Four-thousand American soliders are dead as we enter the fifth year of the war. President Bush stands up and speaks about this saying that these heroic soldiers will not die in vain and this makes me incredibly angry and sad and the needless loss of life. I am disgusted at him and his policies and can only hope that some day he'll be humbled enough to realize what he's done. Check out to see the damaging affects of this very reckless decision by a very arrogant man.

I am calmed a bit when I think of going to London next summer. Here is a picture of the London Centre where we will live with students and other faculty families. Start saving up to come and visit us 'cause in case you didn't know, the dollar is not just weak, it's gasping for breath! Isn't this just the coolest?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Adrienne and Samantha are both out of braces now. Both have beautiful smiles that light up their faces and my life. Sammie's big day was last Wednesday when all of the sudden she was amazingly transformed from cute girl to gorgeous girl when those brackets came off.

The refreshing thing is about Sammie is that her appearance was the last thing she cared about. I don't think she hardly looked in the mirror. Instead she was focused on NOT going to school that day and devouring the huge bag of "no-no treats" (sticky candy, etc) that the orthodontist had given her as a a congratulations for getting her braces off. Then she came to the elementary school with me where she played kick ball with the sixth graders and swung on the swings. She did make me take her to Hogi Yogi after recess, but she was mostly happy as a clam hanging out at home.

So we have some light up my life (think Debby Boone--I sang that song until there were tears streaming down my face in the 70s) smiles going on around here. I'm sure my other two kids will have their own turn to get straight teeth in a few years or so. Having braces seems so much of the norm right now for kids. I know it is because all my friends who didn't get them or did get them and they didn't work are NOW getting them in their 30s and 40s. I think my aunt in her early 50s is a metal mouth tinsel teeth.

I doubt if anyone calls anyone metal mouth or tinsel teeth or brace face (thanks Mark) anymore since a good majority of kids and some adults too, have braces on. If some kid was so bold as to shout out "Hey tinsel teeth" in the hallway at the junior high, perhaps 40 kids might turn and glare at the bare-toothed kid and he'd feel like a total outcast.

My babish friend Alison--check out the link to her blog--just got hers off. Wow! My equally babish sister-in-law Cathy got hers off a while ago--Yowza! It's amazing that these two women could get any more beautiful, but they did!

All I can say is getting braces on and off these days is sweet compared to what I "went through" in the early 80s. Here are the top ten reasons why it's totally better today:

1. If you brush well, you get to put your name in a drawing to win ipods and mall gift certificates or a flat screen TV (well maybe not that last one).
2. Your orthodontist wears gloves so you can't feel his freezing cold hands and smell their metally smell from working on the previous kid.
3. You can watch TV or any DVD of your choice while you're getting worked on. I would have killed for Brady Bunch or Gilligan's Island or anything while I was sitting there with Dr. Ammott.
4. Orthodontists stand behind you instead of next to you now so you don't have to hear their growling stomachs at a lunchtime appointment.
5. Your Mom has to check you out of school to go to the ortho because there's not way you can walk a few blocks by yourself in this day and age.
6. You get to choose which color you want laced through your brackets and change them every month! For example, you can be green in March for St. Paddy's Day and orange for Halloween, pink for Valentine's Day. All I had was silver. And those bands went all the way around my teeth. Today they're called brackets and they're only adhered to the front somehow.
7. They don't pull teeth anymore, they make space for them. Having four teeth pulled was awful!
8. Who's ever heard of a head gear anymore--the implement that said "extreme loser" if you dared wear it to school.
9. If you want to pay more, your braces can be invisible.
10. Orthodontists are in it for the business. You're going to go to the one who tells you you're absolutely beautiful, and with that smile we're going to create, you can stop traffic. You won't choose your orthodontist just because your next door neighbor is his assistant/secretary!

Kids are spoiled rotten these days!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Should Have Known

I should have known better about a couple of things before I did them. Have you ever had those thoughts that you shouldn't do something--right as you're doing it? And you keep doing it anyway? Full steam ahead, despite the consequences. Some turn out OK, others stay with you, no matter how hard you try to shed their memories.

I should have known that taking Nathan and his best friend Kyle into a restaurant on his birthday would only end in chaos and embarassment. They are incapable of eating together without turning in to a pair of hiccuping hyenas. Add Sammie to the mix--who eggs them on mercilessly--and Adrie to the the mix-who sullenly glares at me for putting her through such anguish--and you've got an "I should have known" situation. When we drove home, Nathan was still hiccuping, Sammie was still laughing hysterically, and Adrie was texting every friend in her address book to report on how she's being subjected to the horror that is her family.

I should have known that if Adrie got a Facebook account that she would get to chat with MY friend more than me and that they would talk about things and not tell me about them. And that if I happened to look over her shoulder to see what was going on with MY friend, that I would be given a nasty teenager look and told to respect her privacy.

I should have known that when I took the test to find out which Jane Austen character I most likely resemble that I would be Maryanne Dashwood. I should have known that I didn't need to take the test, that I am like her her every way shape and form, even if I wish it were otherwise. And that even if I wish I was more like Elinor Dashwood--level headed, calm and rational--I can't turn myself into someone I'm not.

I should have known that if I got onto the Coldwater Creek website where 400 items are $14.99 or less that I would end up buying several of those items. I should know that I have a weakness for this website, and to avoid it like a classroom of coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing first graders.

I should known that if I bought Darren some clothes that he really needs--not from Coldwater Creek, of course--that he would not want them until he decides that all his other clothes are threadbare and unsuitable for someone in his position. He may not decide this until the summer, when he doesn't really need work clothes anyway.

I should have known that the day Nathan starts soccer practice is not the day to have him try on his soccer cleats to determine that they are so tight he can barely move. I should have known that suggesting he just play with squished toes for one practice would not be acceptable since don't I know that he's been waiting for this day since last October?

I should have known that trying to play that hymn in Relief Society on Sunday after I told the conductor I couldn't play it would result in humiliation and anger. From now on I will only consent to play songs that I know when I am asked to play them with two minutes' notice. I will not pretned that I can just play anything like I used to.

I knew better.

Monday, March 3, 2008

For Some Odd Reason

For some odd reason the kids are off school today, and so I'm off work today. Nathan wants to flood the sandbox with the hose (a July activity) and I told him it was only two degrees above freezing and that the hose wasn't even hooked up. "But Mom, it's burning!" he replied. I don't get how kids' temperatures are completely out of whack with reality.

We celebrated Nathan's 10th birthday this past week. He is such a cute boy. His party was inviting a bunch of boys to the church to play indoor sports games. The highlight was midnight football, where you try to scrimmage the football across the floor on your hands and knees, and in the dark. For some odd reason, the boys took to this game like a bee to honey. They loved it so much, in fact, they wanted to play it again on Saturday. They were having so much fun that I had to bribe them into opening presents and eating cake. Who would have thought.

For some odd reason, I have loved being an aide in the autism class. People think it sounds incredibly hard, and sometimes it is, but mostly it's just great. I had no idea I would enjoy it so much. It was sad this week when the normal teacher came back from her maternity leave and I didn't have to get up and go to work at 8. But it was OK, too. There are a million things I need to do around the house. Not that I want to do them . . .

For some odd reason, my family has stumbled upon an amazing opportunity. We found out last week that Darren will be directing the London study abroad program for BYU in summer 2009, and that our entire family will get to live in London for two months playing and doing touristy things. And since it is in the summer, there is no school to worry about for the kids, just play. We will live in a flat in downtown London and there is a cook who makes meals for the families and students. I cannnot believe our good fortune. My friend Gina told me she didn't want to hear one complaint about anything come out of my mouth for the next five years! I don't know how to express how excited we all are.

For some odd reason, I'm learning to swim for my mini triathalon. I think I will be able to do the swimming part. I don't know about the jogging part, but I'm pretty sure I can swim and bike. Thanks to Adrienne who is training us old fogies not to drown while keeping our butts up in the air and our feet kicking straight. We could not do it without her. We owe her.

Spring is thinking about coming. It decides to comes for a few days, then changes its mind. While it was here on Saturday, Darren and I cleaned out all the flower beds, raked the yard, and got ready to plant peas. On Sunday morning we awoke to a dusting of snow, a sign, perhaps that winter was tired of dumping inches on us and was tapering off a bit. It has been a cold, snowy winter.

For some odd reason and a strike of good luck for me, my sister is moving back to Utah. I can't wait to have her here, close enough to see on Sunday afternoons, close enough to share holidays together. We will all spend some insane days together at the cabin this summer, where cousins will get to be cousins and aunts and uncles can be aunts and uncles. Grandma can be Grandma, and turn off her hearing aid when she can't stand the chaos anymore. We will take walks, play in the lake, pick wildflowers and maybe huckleberries. We will play games, get sunburned, skip rocks, and take the canoe out. Maybe we will see a moose near the cabin when we're sitting on the porch sipping hot cocoa. Uncle Mike will take us fishing, Uncle Darren will take us hiking, and Uncle Mark will take us out in the boat.

For some odd reason, I get to be a part of all of this.