Monthly Archives: August 2007

I Missed My Own Anniversary

Two years (and ten days) ago, I started this little writing experiment.

I was encouraged to start a blog by Kizz, who’d been my gateway drug to this particular habit and who told me that I could be really really great at it.

images5.jpegI don’t know if I’ve achieved greatness (or, even, if I’d want to, given the inherent dangers of notoriety on the internet), but I do know for sure that I love it. I love the writing and all the thinking that comes ahead of actually sitting down to write. I love the feedback and am learning so much from the perspective that others are willing to give on the questions I ask. I love the sense of community; I’ve made friends through this forum – people have reached out to me, and I to them, in ways that have made my life richer (and, I hope, I’ve done the same for them in whatever small way I can). So far, having this room of my own has been a really positive thing.

As I head into year three, I want to thank my friends – you know who you are – for supporting, challenging, amusing and encouraging me. Thanks for inviting me into YOUR spaces and allowing me to see things through your eyes. Thanks for calling me on my shit and for suggesting ways for me to tweak my thinking to get better results. Thanks for correcting me and for letting me teach you something every once in a while. Most importantly, though, thanks for making me laugh out loud.

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Filed under admiration, Blogroll, celebration, love notes, my oh-so-exciting life

The Beginning

This is weird.

The girls started school yesterday. All went well: each of them was dropped off at her respective place of learning and handed safely to her teacher, and each of them managed to find her way safely home on a bus. They both had homework… for us – I filled out a bunch of paperwork yesterday afternoon – and they had stories to tell of getting settled and of meeting new people. It was good.

We’re doing it again today. Beanie just helped me put lunches together while Punkin’ and Daddy negotiated their showers. As soon as I hit “publish,” Bean and I will head upstairs to do our morning thing while Dad and Punkin’ eat some breakfast and contemplate what time they should leave today – taking yesterday’s experience into account – to arrive at school at a more comfortable time.

What I’m writing about here, though, is the weirdness of this week. The kids go to school Wednesday and Thursday, then have the next four days off. This is going to make establishing a routine (which Punkin’ is already resisting) that much more difficult. I’m thinking that I’m going to continue to wake them at school-day time on Friday and Monday, and that we’ll run through everything that needs to happen in the morning anyway – even if we don’t have anyplace we need to be. The quicker we can get settled into a routine that we don’t have to think too much about, the better off we’ll all be.

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Filed under general kid stuff, my oh-so-exciting life

The First Day

Today is the first day of school for the Mini Chilis.  Punkin’ Pie and Daddy just left for the walk to the middle school – the bus drove by just as they were leaving – and Beanie is eating breakfast, barely able to contain her excitement at the idea of going back to her beloved elementary school.

Their backpacks are loaded with stuff; new binders and notebooks, pencils and sharpeners, folders, book covers, rulers, and index cards.  They’ve got boxes of tissues and disinfectant wipes to donate to their classrooms, and their lunch boxes contain their favorite sandwiches, contraband Kit Kats, and surprise love notes from Mommy.

I love the start of a new school year, and for many reasons.  The wonderful “starting fresh” feeling is something that I – and my children – really take to.  Whatever mistakes or bad habits or bad feelings you had last time (whatever “last time” was – whether it was a school year or a college term) don’t count anymore.  You get to throw out all the old and dirty and broken stuff and start again with shiny new stuff that works.  You get to see old friends, but they’re a little different; and so are you.  There are new faces, too – different students in the class, different teachers – which means the opportunity for making new friends and learning new things.  Yep.  The first day of school rocks.

I’ll post pictures this afternoon – Mr. Chili has taken the camera to the middle school to document Punkin’s first arrival, and we’ll take it with us to capture Beanie’s triumphant return to her school – I’ll upload the results when I get home this afternoon.

Happy First Day, Babies!!

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Filed under celebration, general kid stuff, Home and Family, kid cuteness, Parenting

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten random things that I love to have around:

1. Harry and David double-dipped malted milk balls. I get them in the candy aisle at Target for about $2.50 a box, two or three a day keep me happy, and I don’t share them with my children.

2. Post-It notes of every shape, color and variety. On my desk at this very moment are sticky notes shaped like dialogue bubbles, squares, rectangles, and mini flags. I never learned the English major / teacher habit of writing notes in the margins of my books – books are sacred and should not be defaced in any way, even in the name of scholarship – and I really hate having a new approach to a reading influenced by the things I thought before. I solve this issue by writing my notes on Post-Its and sticking them to the respective pages. When I’m finished with the book, I put the page numbers on the sticky notes and stick them all to the inside front and back covers on the book. That way, I can go back to them or not as I choose. They’re also great for putting notes on the wall above my desk: I currently have a copy of my teaching schedule and of TCCs grading scale on stickies on the wall behind my computer.

3. Binder clips. I’m not much of a paper clip kind of gal; I prefer the no-nonsense, solid hold of binder clips, and I collect them at every opportunity. I’m running a little short on my supply – as I do every term at about this point – and plan on bringing chocolate to the Goddess at the front desk of TCC in the hopes that she will bless me with a couple of boxes of clips tomorrow.

4. Lip balm. I have several different varieties of the stuff strewn throughout the house – there are tubs of Blistex on the window sills of the kitchen and bedroom, tubes of Softlips in the living room and by my computer, and several different varieties, both tinted and not, in the bathroom, my purse, and the door pocket of my car. I’m not much of a make-up girl, but I do try to keep my lips from chapping.

5. A book. I feel lost if I’m not working my way through a book and, at any given moment, I have at least one – sometimes as many as three – that I’m reading (though, if I’ve got multiple books going at once, they are almost always of different genres). I’m currently reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood for the Dark and Stormy Book Club, and my mother in law brought over a book that she recommends very, very highly, called The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I’ll probably wait to start my MIL’s book, but I take her recommendations very seriously – that woman is a wicked reader.

6. Lemon juice powder. I’ve tried – mostly successfully – to give up soda in favor of water. My problem is that I don’t really like plain water. This problem is solved, though, by a wonderful product called True Lemon. It comes in little, highly portable packets that I can stash in my purse and my briefcase, so I can have light, lemony water whenever I want it. My students are often curious about what I’m pouring into my big Life is Good water bottle – I think they think I’m doing something illicit. They’re like that.

7. Music. I have two different CD cases in my car, and I try to keep a rotating selection of music in them (at least, until Mr. Chili settles on a hard-wire set up for the iPod in my car). I love NPR and, really, am a certifiable junky, but sometimes a girl needs some tunes. I also really love my iTunes on my computer. I’ve got a sweet little Cambridge Soundworks speaker system that I can connect to the laptop to fill the kitchen (really, most of the house) with all my favorite songs. It’s good.

8. Nail files and dental floss. I suppose that MacGyver could do more interesting things with these than I do, but I really hate both the feeling of a “catchy” nail or of something stuck between my teeth. These rescue items – fine grit paper files and mint, waxed floss – live in all of my bathrooms (there are two now, soon to be three) and in my car (in the door pocket next to the aforementioned lip balm). I’ve actually gotten killer headaches from having a bit of popcorn hull or apple skin wedged in my back molars – it may be geeky to have ready access to floss, but it’s better than the alternative.

9. Fine point pens in fun colors. I’ve got a student this term who doesn’t see things in the red family very well, so I’ve taken to grading my students’ papers in purple, but I’ve got a virtual rainbow of fine point pen choices available to me (thanks in part to Organic Mama, who is a wicked enabler of my pen (and chocolate) habit).

10. Hair things. Clips, barrettes, sticks, scrunchies and bands. I have great hair – thick, wavy and auburn-brown – and it’s something I’ve finally grown to appreciate. In the summertime, though, it can be a bit cumbersome: it sticks to the back of my neck when it’s hot outside, it frizzes out something awful when the humidity is just right (or, really, just wrong), and it can make driving with open windows a hazardous undertaking as it blows all over my head and occasionally blocks my vision. I have various hair restraining devices scattered all over the place: there are clips and scrunchies hooked on the directional and windshield wiper stems in the car, there are baskets of them in the bathrooms (the girls, too, have quite a bit of hair that sometimes calls for taming), and a few implements of restraint tucked into my purse and my briefcase. I’ll often hook a clip to the hem of my shirt or jacket, even if I want to keep my hair down; it’s better to be prepared.

There you have it. Randomness at its finest.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

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Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness, ten things Tuesday

The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side. Oh joy! Rapture! I got a brain! How can I ever thank you enough?

Alternately titled: MR. CHILI IS MY HERO!!!

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I’m back at my computer! She’s got a fresh brain and a brandy-new CD driver, courtesy of my geeky-genius husband! The damage to the circuit board was repaired by a co-worker of Mr. Chili’s who does such things, Mr. Chili navigated his way through a terrifying maze of wires, connectors, screws and clips – and then navigated back again – and we’re back in business! I’m due to get a system upgrade sometime in the next few days, to boot (I’m going to get WIDGETS!), and all is well!

I love my husband!

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Filed under admiration, celebration, love notes, My husband rocks!, technical difficulties

The Patient is Critical

My beloved is in the process of performing a brain transplant on my laptop. In the initial course of the operation yesterday, the patient popped a connector. The outlook is questionable.

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Mr. Chili has brought the connector (and the board to which it is supposed to be connected) to work with him at the University. It’s hoped that a, erm, specialist can repair the damage and save the patient. We’re hoping the prognosis isn’t terminal.

In the meantime, my geeky-genius husband has figured out how to make MY computer appear on HIS laptop, via some techno hocus-pocus involving a portable hard drive. Isn’t that cool? Anyway, I’m hoping to have my computer back soon or, failing that, to get the process in motion for obtaining a new one, because I don’t want to hog husband’s computer for longer than I have to.

Wish us luck, please – it might be sorely needed.

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Filed under admiration, Home and Family, technical difficulties

Breakfast

I am a morning person.

That doesn’t mean that I’m up at the crack of dawn, but I do function better in the earlier hours than I do in the later.  I’m much more willing to get up at 5:30 to start my day than I am to stay up past 11:00, for example, and, in my house, Mommy is the one who gets mornings going and Daddy is the one who tucks everyone in at night.

For all of that, I hate eating breakfast.

I love breakfast foods, mind you.  Cereal, orange juice, muffins and pastries, toast and jam, oatmeal, bacon and scrambled eggs; I love them all – just not in the morning.

Up until I got pregnant with Punkin’ Pie, breakfast for me consisted of a glass of Ovaltine.  That’s it, thank you very much.  Then, my OB prescribed these horse-pill vitamins and, being the good mother that I already was, I took them like I was supposed to.  They turned me green – me, who hates to puke and who was reveling in the fact that she didn’t suffer morning sickness – and I called the OB and complained.  The nurse asked me if I was taking them with food and my answer, “does Ovaltine count as ‘food’?” was met with an order to start eating breakfast.

Meh.

images-12.jpegI ate a decent breakfast regularly through my pregnancies and everyone turned out healthy and beautiful.  Once my body was only sustaining me, though, I went back to the Ovaltine routine.

I will occasionally sit down to eat a breakfast; I eat a bowl of cereal on Sundays before teaching my step and yoga classes and I can sometimes be convinced to sit with the girls over a slice of toast while we wait for the bus.  Really, though?  I prefer to not.  A glass of Ovaltine is really all I want to get me through to lunchtime, and “breakfast” is better served at 11:30 than any other time of day.

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Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness, my oh-so-exciting life