This Could Easily Sum Up My Day

I read this story in a newsletter yesterday and laughed out loud because I could be this teacher any given day and in fact, have been for many.

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?  He asked for help and she could see why.  Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on.  By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.”  She looked, and sure enough, they were.  It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on.  She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet.

He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.”  She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?”, like she wanted to.  Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.  No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, “They’re my brother’s boots.  My mom made me wear’em.”

Now she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry.  But she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.  Helping him into his coat, she asked, “Now where are you mittens?”  He said, “I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots.

WHOO HOO!!!!

I just had to let that out because…my second semester of grad school is officially over!!  YIPPEE!  So nice to have it done.  Now I can focus on more important things this month like eating, sleeping, and television watching.  Did I mention sleeping?  And eating?  *sigh*  can’t wait.

Phew!

Finally, it’s MARCH!!!  My favorite time of year begins in the spring and ends with summer.  Life seems so monotonous and bleak during the winter months especially January and February.  Ever since I was in high school on the track team, I’ve always considered March (which was the start of track season) to be the beginning of spring, even when I lived out in Utah and the ground was still covered in snow and I was wearing a winter coat – it was still spring.

I’ve been incredibly busy and felt overwhelmed the past month with work and school, but especially this past week.  It was one of those times were everything in life converged together simultaneously and all I kept saying to myself was, “If you can just make it through February you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through this weekend you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through this assignment you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through…..”  And I started to realize that I’m guilty of doing this all the time.  If I can just make it…blah blah blah.  What a sad outlook.  I might as well say, “If I can just make it until I finally keel over I’ll get the rest I’m looking for.”

For three weeks I filled in for my boss at work – it was only supposed to be for one.  Her daughter was pregnant with twins and went into labor really early and had some complications.  I’m very happy I could fill in for her so she could go and even more happy that everything turned out ok for mom and babies.  It’s just the timing really sucked.

I would go to work at 7am and get home between 5:30-6:00 and have to be in class or work on papers until I collapsed in bed usually sometime between 11 and midnight, just to get up a few hours later and start over.  I admit I’m one of those people that honestly needs at least 8 hours of sleep so 6 felt grueling and my brain was fried.  The energy required to keep up with preschool kids astounds me sometimes.   And I’ll admit showering started to become a burden and an annoyance because that was time I felt was better spent sleeping.  So consequently there were days I wasn’t so April fresh and shaving practically went right out the window.  So bless the child at the preschool who randomly asked me one day, “Miss Natalie, are you a supermodel or something?”  and with no hesitation on my part and a straight face responded with, “Yes.  Yes I am.”  haha  I have no idea what his idea of a supermodel is but I’ll take it.  He’s learning and will make some girl very happy in about 20 years.

From Friday to Saturday I spent 11 hours in one class and on Sunday spent 14 straight hours working on a paper worth 40%, yes that did read 40%, of my grade for said class.  This didn’t include the other assignments and projects that were due for other classes during this same weekend.  At one point of the weekend I got so mad at the printer for something so completely lame (I even recognized in the moment that it was lame and that I was completely overreacting) I literally punched it with my fist multiple times.  I guess I just needed to relieve some built up stress.  And I have to say I felt momentarily gratified.  And though my mom was mad when I did it (it is her printer after all) we were both able to laugh about it two days later.

Lesson learned:  drop out of grad school.  No, the lesson learned is not to procrastinate (isn’t that always the same damn lesson needed to be learned for everything?) and that I’m freak’n AMAZING b/c I got it all done on time.  Of course that said, I haven’t received any of the grades yet.

But now it’s my blessed month of March.  Looking ahead school doesn’t get overwhelming again (I don’t think) until the end of April and I’m back to working my regular part time shift.  And in fact I have 4 1/2 days off right now.  I got 9 hours of sleep last night and arranged my whole day around one errand.  Sigh.  Did I mention it was sunny and 70 degrees here today?  Thank you March.  Thank you.

A Valentines Love Story

The title may be a tad misleading but it got you here right?  Naturally with Valentines around the corner our lives have all been saturated with (or in my case commercials that contain) cards, flowers, heart shaped candy, pink, red, love, …well you get the point.  I’m not a hater of the holiday but I honestly think it’s sort of ridiculous.

But then I caught a snippit of a morning news show that said something so wonderful I thought I heard it wrong.  So I made a beeline to google and found this article confirming the joyous news!  Chocolate is better for you than fruit!!!

Holy crap –  I am the healthiest person alive!!

And if this wasn’t good enough news, I read that white chocolate isn’t REALLY chocolate.  Thus confirming what I’ve always suspected.  Of course my suspicions were based  on the fact that “white chocolate” is disgusting and vile but now I have scientific confirmation that it’s an impostor to the chocolate family.

This is shaping up to be quite the Valentine’s Day.

Princess and the Pea

image

It’s interesting that as you get older different types of gifts make you happy.  As a kid, toys were probably all I ever wanted.  This year I liked quite a few gifts and none of them were toys.

One gift in particular were flannel bed sheets.  Nice warm, cozy flannel sheets.  I guess I have to admit I have developed a thing for accessorizing my bed.

It all starts back when I was in high school and thought it would be a good idea to trade in my single bed for a hideaway bed.  It was not.  I of course didn’t realize this until much later.  A hideaway is basically sleeping on a couch.  There is no mattress to pull out, no real room to move, and it creases right down the middle where the fold is.  I guess age must play a part because as a teen I didn’t notice how uncomfortable it was.

Then I moved away from home and slept on the mattress provided by the dorms, the ones provided in Mexico and Guatemala which let’s be honest, were not much more than a thin piece of foam.  And then since I couldn’t afford to move out my furniture across country, the mattresses that came with my apartments.  I could feel every single coil and spring in those.  Those felt so rotten that when I did move my hideaway/couch across country it felt like sleeping on a cloud.  A cloud that went from cumulus to stratus in record time.

Then came the time when I lost my job in Utah and decided to move to Arizona.  I received my severance check and went right down to a furniture store and bought a nice, semi-expensive queen sized bed.  Ahh, the relief.

But like most things we get, I felt like I had to tweak it and make it even better.  First there was the duvet cover that had me sinking into the bed like I was being swaddled in a cocoon.  I then acquired a thin mattress protector pad thing that added just the slightest cushion.  And then a few months ago I bought another mattress pad (I don’t really know what these are called) that you put underneath the bottom sheet.  To top off the whole bed ensemble, I bought a tempurpedic pillow on black Friday that was marked down from $100 (insanely ridiculous) to $25 (still ridiculous for a pillow but compared to $100 it was worth it).

At the fluffiest points my bed comes up to my waist and I have to lift onto my toes to actually get on it.  Is it the prettiest bed?  Nope.  Does it still need a headboard?  I guess.  Should I put one of those skirt things around the bottom so it covers the mattress?  Probably.  But I don’t care.  No more waking up multiple times during the night b/c my back is sore or because I don’t have enough room to roll over on the other side.  Or because my shoulder and arm fell asleep because they were stuck in the crease of that wretched couch.

And now I have flannel sheets to make it extra soft, warm, and perfect.  It’s a wonder I’m able to get up at all in the mornings.  It may not be as high as in the Princess and the Pea, but man I love my bed.  Rather than upward, I may have to start expanding outward.  Grand King anyone?  Yes please.

*the pic looks a little funny but I was testing out how to directly upload from my phone.  Try to do that you preschool pipsqueaks (see post below)

One Down

…two years to go.  Three hours ago I officially finished my first semester of grad school!  Whoo Hoo  You know, it wasn’t all that bad.  And as long as I did ok on the paper I had to submit today I’ll end up with an A in both classes…please do ok…please do ok…  For the next month I can focus on the really important things in my life like eating, sleeping, and cleaning my room.  And oh yeah, that online Arkansas History class I want to knock out before the next semester starts.  And in honor of my semester completion, Psych is airing TWO new episodes tonight.  You’re welcome North America, you’re welcome.

It’s A Party

I celebrated my birthday like any self – respecting 31 year old should, with a party! …with 16 preschool kids.  Holla!  Ok, well maybe it wasn’t the party of the century but it really was cute.  When I walked in, all the kids were sitting down in a circle and at once they all yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS NATALIE!!!  Then they all jumped up and ran over to give me hugs.  Very sweet but little over powering.  I had to grab the wall so I wouldn’t fall over on top of them.  There was birthday banner strung up and this is what the white board looked like:

Apparently ‘E’ is a favored letter with someone.  Later in the morning they sat down again and handed me cards they had brought or made.  Here were some of my favorites:

I was told the drawing in the top left card is a picture of me, the red lined drawing in the card underneath is a picture of a house (floor plans maybe?).  In case I am ever curious about who sent me the card on the top right Anna made sure to write her name in it over and over, only she spelled it Anno and Aiden just might be the next Picasso with another self portrait of yours truly in the bottom right card.

When Anna handed me her card she was positively beaming.  Not only was I presented with a card but with this:

I know what you’re thinking because I thought the same thing.  EEK! Creepy!!  But according to her mom, Anna felt I just HAD to have one of her dolls and wouldn’t be consoled until she was granted permission to bring it for me.  The sentiment is very sweet.  The doll however, well, is not.

For morning snack my mom had brought over cupcakes with plastic rings sitting on top.

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture until most of them were gone.  I don’t know what kind of dye was used in that frosting but it stained fingers and faces.  Hands down the messiest cupcakes eaten at the preschool to date.  But they were so much fun!

Here we have Jeremiah who was so kind as to draw my picture in his card, Anna the doll giver, and Haley.

The little boy in the red shirt on the right is the one who designed my future house in his card.  I know neither one of these pics makes it look all that messy but trust me.  These were taken within seconds of them receiving their cupcakes and the rest of the time I was on frosting control.

As soon as the cupcakes were finished and kids were cleaned we pulled out the playdoh.  Another totally messy activity that’s a pain to clean but fun never the less.  And as soon as I had scraped off the last piece of playdoh from the kitchen floor it was time for lunch.  What could we possibly eat that would top the mess of cupcakes and playdoh?  Oh yeah, spaghetti.  On the positive side, no one had dyed purple and blue fingers and faces anymore.  Instead they were all orange.  It looked like we were holding oompa loompa try outs in that kitchen.

This was hands down the best work birthday party I’ve ever had.  I really wish this last picture wouldn’t have turned out so blury.  But I didn’t have my camera and this was the best I could get.  Here are my kiddos:

Here Are the Pics

These are just some of the pics that show the highlights of the vacation.  If you want to see the nature pics from Washington and a couple from Idaho go here – come on, you know you want to!

A Good Day

Picture this, it’s about 80 degrees out with a slight breeze with little to no humidity.  The smell of grass being cut is in the air (I happen to really like that smell) and Bob Marley is serenading me on my Ipod as I walk around my neighborhood.

The lady whose pre-school/daycare I helped out at a couple of months ago asked if I could start back up again in a couple of weeks after her daughter leaves for school.  AND I have an interview at another school on Monday to see about doing some part time work there.  No promises on that but an interview is more than I’ve had in over a year.  Neither are my dream jobs but I’ll take them both.  And do so with a smile, work is work and money is money after all.

Then I found out this afternoon that I’m getting money back from my taxes.  I was fairly certain I wouldn’t get anything and almost just as certain I would end up owing some.  A good day indeed.

The only thing that could make today better would be to head to the ball park and take in a game while munching on a hot dog.  Ahh, spring, I love you.