Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Steady Humming of Little (or not so) Mouths

Life has changed drastically for me over the past 10 days. I am happy to say that I like the changes, I like the pace, and I'm not slowly going insane like I thought I would being the "para educator aide" in an autistic class full of 7-9 year olds. But the first five days however, all I could think was "What have I done, what have I done?" I didn't necessarily want to undo it, but I wasn't sure I wanted to keep on doing it.

Along about Wednesday of last week Darren said, "So, I'm worried about you. You don't like this job like you did last year, I can tell." I have learned through trial and error that if I don't like my job I don't tell Darren. I pretend like I do. He will accuse me of never liking any job ever, and I didn't want that. So I told him all was well, that it was just the first week that was really hard, and that things would look up. Then I started praying they would. And they did. Thankfully.

I didn't get any bruises or scratches this week like some of the other teachers in the other classes did. I didn't have any kids throw themselves on the floor and kick and scream and refuse to participate like some other classes. I didn't have anyone run away.

I did chase one wild boy all around in order to get him to sit down, and now I don't need to do any exercise at all this week. Phew! I did get my elbow fondled by another boy, which was the strangest experience ever. He kind of went slack-jawed and all glassy-eyed as he stroked the rough spots. While this was happening, the teacher started laughing and said, "He does that to me all the time!" I was deflated and a bit jealous. I thought my elbows must have been something extraordinary. I guess not.

Other highlights of the first days of school:

* Getting hit in the head--hard--with a basketball and feeling a bit lightheaded.

* Watching Meaghan pick out every single gosh-darned crunch berry out of her crunch berry ceral and getting screamed at because I poured the milk on before they were all off.

*Groveling to the lunch ladies for extra french toast for Toby. I was told he'd have to pay for an entire other breakfast, but that couldn't he have some fruit or yogurt to fill him up? Lunch ladies don't budge, from their hairnets to their toes. That's what I learned. Yessiree.

*Realizing that my brain CAN function in the morning if I coax it a bit. This was a lovely revelation, because for many years, I have truly believed that my morningitis was a degenerative condition. The good news! I can change.

*Everybody, regardless of age or station should have a MANDATORY ten-minute relaxation after lunch where they are forced to be quiet, close their eyes and listen to nice music.

Today I have been married 20 years! For 20 years Darren has put up with me. We promised to always drive each other crazy and we have done exactly what we promised. We have both fulfilled our marriage vows and then some. I got some chocolate covered cinnamon bears from the BYU Bookstore (divine!) and some Burt's Bees Foot Cream. That was a major hint on his part that my feel need a little TLC. Love you sweetie!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back to School or Baby that was Short

It has not been a great summer of posting. I seem to have hit a writing slump, and I have slumped down pretty far. But I'm hoping to pull myself out of whatever funk I've slipped into in and start producing again. I know my fans are heartbroken that they haven't heard from me for so long. Tee hee.

SO . . . How's your summer? Mine seems like the shortest on record. Every year I say that but this year . . .phew! Maybe it's because things have chnaged and I'm actually going back to school this year with the kids instead of staying home while they go back. Yes, I must say that my life is about to change in a big way.

No, not the master's degree thing. That's still a big old maybe. The teaching thing. At Foothill Elementary from 8-2 every day. I will be an autism aide for six hours a day!! I don't know if I am up for this, but here goes. I have a senior in high school and college tuition looming for her next fall and several expensive (just look at the weak dollar!) months in Europe next summer. I need to work. Plus Darren says I am much happier and spend less money when I work. If I'm at work, I'm not shopping. Funny how that works. I always said he was brilliant!

Did I just write that my daughter's starting her senior year? This is mind boggling, absolutely terrifying to think that that wailing red little human(Sorry Adrie) will be living next fall in a dorm with friends and not under my roof. I feel like I have been smacked across the face. I am stunned and I feel like crying. Seventeen years has passed way too quickly. When she was baby I was in a time warp. Time never seemed to pass. Then all of the sudden . . . . .she's even more beautiful than I ever thought, and I love her more than I ever thought.

So things are different this year, and there is a lot to do to get ready. We had a fantastic vacation up at the cabin, probably the best ever, and made many lovely memories. Now it's time for reality to hit. Four kids and me have to be ready to go to school on Monday the 18th. That's in a week. Darren has to go to his school, too, but I'm gonna let him get ready himself, thank you.

I am so done with all three girl's birthdays. Three in one month is a killer financially and otherwise. Sammie's was on Aug 7 and we had a big family dinner for her a few days before that. Before we went to the cabin she got a cell phone. This was a big deal! It's lime green and has keyboard for texting. She was thrilled. She wanted to get pastries at Gloria's Little Italy on her birthday and so we went. Chocolate cannoli, anyone?

The day before I took her school shopping. This included a new pair of glasses, two new pairs of shoes, two pairs of levis and assorted shirts. This also included a break at the Nordstrom cafe which kept us going even longer. It's not "shop til you drop." On this particular day it was "shop until you are comatose, and then go home and fix dinner." The next day she got her hair cut and needed various styling "products."

Sheesh. And that day was also junior high registration. Double sheesh. Not cheap in the land of many children per family school district. And that was just one kid!!!!!!

Darren made her make salsa with him and work in the garden because of all these extravagances. How can junior high registration be an extravagance? Hang on, honey, high school registration is next week. They will probably make us pay more for the privilege of being a senior and because the school is being rebuilt. Go Orem High Tigers!

Top ten things to do before next Monday at 8 am.

1. Buy food for lunches. Good food, the kids said, not carrot sticks and yogurt. Good food to them means Zingers and Pringles. I haven't bought Zingers since my senior year in high school. That was the same year my friend Chris Tebben bought a coke and candy bar every day for lunch when her Mom thought she was buying school lunch.

2. Get Nathan's hair cut whether or not he's kicking or screaming.

3. Do all the laundry so that it won't pile up more than three feet that first week of school.

4. Put up my PTA bulletin board at Cascade before back to school night.

5. Lose 10 pounds by Friday night so I can get into my swimming suit for the ward swim party.

6. Find Nathan a guitar teacher. Any suggestions?

7. Sign Leah up for BYU creative dance.

8. Celebrate my 20-year wedding anniversary!I made it 20 years, but I don't know if Darren has or not. I'll let you know on that one . . .

9. Go to back to school night and pretend that my son's teacher isn't the same teacher that drove us all insane with ridiculous homework when Sammie had him.

10. Make everyone lay out their clothes on Sunday night, except for the teenage girls who will try on 20 different shirts Monday morning, leave them ALL on the floor as they leave claiming they have NOTHING TO WEAR! I will find many of these shirts, perfectly clean, but now wrinkled, in the wash a few days later. I know they will do this because it's in their genes (not jeans!)

Wish me luck.