Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This wasn't a holiday we celebrated when I was growing up. Oh, I remember wearing green and getting pinched if I didn't have it on but that was the extent of our "celebration".

Since I've married Dave St. Patrick's Day holds a new meaning. Every St. Patty's Day the leprechaun visits our home. His name is Sir Brian Barook (I think I spelled that correctly...). He plays tricks on the children: he turns their milk green, the toilet water green and other messy things.

Today he wrote on the girls bathroom mirror in green marker and drew a giant shamrock! He is so lucky that it came off with windex! He also "decorated" the house in green streamers!! This year he didn't leave any candy gold like he has in the past. I wonder why?

The girls know he's been running around watching them because the cats keep chasing something under our furniture!

We had our traditional cornbeef and cabbage dinner this past weekend because it is very difficult for me to cook on Wednesday evenings. The girls all have dance or gymnastics and we run around getting everyone where they need to be AND then back home again.

I sure hope you all had a nice St. Patty's day. Maybe Sir Brian will come and visit YOU next year!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Neither the time nor the place

Today we found out that one of our colleagues was killed in a car accident. It was quick we were told. She probably had a heart attack and was dead before she hit the concrete wall.

I know that was supposed to ease the pain, make us feel better that she did not suffer. But guess what? This woman had submitted her paperwork for retirement in June. She was finally going to take some time for herself.

Since I was new to this school, I didn't know this teacher very well. What I did know is that she taught those kids who were considered "slow learners". You know, those kids who didn't qualify for special education but whose IQ was low, and lots of them had little to no experiences in life. She loved those kids and worked so hard to give them what they needed.

The children had already gone home when we found out about her death. The teachers will spend their furlough day calling parents so they can break the news to their children.

Yes, a day without pay, but not a day without work, Why? Because caring about children doesn't take a break. Teachers become teachers because of their desire to make a difference, not for the money (there isn't any to be made).

We will try our best to help the students understand that Mrs. H will not be back, and they will not see her again. It will will be hard but we will find the words. The hardest? The kids who only hear encouragement and kind words at school from Mrs. H. The kids who look forward to her hugs and kind words. What do we say to them? How do we help them process this loss?

I know that I am struggling with this death. This woman was set to retire in less than 3 months. She has been working so hard this past year to help her students so they can pass the state mandated tests and she'll never get to see those results.

We don't know when life is over. Today I made sure to tell my father that I loved him, to hug my girls just a little harder, to enjoy those potato chips and to realize that tomorrow is not a promise.

MH you will be missed and you have made an impact both in life and in death. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An ER visit

Dave had to take Grace the ER Monday night. She's been fighting a cold for weeks but it really has been manageable. Until Monday...

Grace starting coughing and coughing. We did our usual routine of breathing treatments with absolutely NO LUCK! The coughing then turned into choking and Grace became combative. We knew it was time to get her to the ER. Grace would have none of it and started to fight us when we attempted to put her clothes on.

It was hard but I calmed her down enough for her to understand how critical it was to get her to a doctor. Grace went willingly with Dave.

Once at the ER Grace was triaged to the front of the line (thank goodness!). She was given a steriod and then also diagnosed with an ear infection which contributed to her asthma attack.

Grace is on the road to recovery but who knows when another attack will rear it's ugly head!? I keep praying that Grace will grow out of the asthma as some kids do. For now we will stay ever vigilant.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our Champion!

Analiese was chosen as her first grade class "breakfast of champion". This is a school-wide student recognition program. Each month each teacher chooses one student who she feels exemplifies the characteristics of a good student.

This was Analiese's first time being chosen. She was so happy and even happier when she saw that Dave and I were both there to celebrate with her! She beamed the entire time, did not eat her bisquit (too spicy) but did drink her chocolate milk!

While walking Analiese back to her class after photos were taken, I told Analiese how proud of her we were. Her response? "Mom, I feel like I am in a dream. I just cannot believe that I've been chosen!"

You know Analiese, that's EXACTLY how I felt when I held you for the very first time!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I have sizes???

When I was younger I never could quite understand when other women would talk about their "fat jeans" or their skinny clothes. I was always so petite that I had great difficulty finding clothes that fit properly. I mean, I remember shopping for clothes for my first "real" job at Casual Corner and not being able to fit into the size 2's!!!

I did, eventually, grow "into" the size 2's and out again, but I never thought of myself as having "sizes"!

Let me give some perspective. I am 4 ft 10 in. tall. When I got pregnant with Sarah, at age 34, I weighed 91 pounds, went up to 145 pounds during the pregnancy and lost ALL of it within 8 weeks of giving birth!

I never had to watch what I ate. I loved fruits, vegetables, potato chips and any kind of gummy candy. I exercised regularly and never, ever had to watch my weight.

Well, all of that changed after we brought Grace home from China. With 2 kids it was harder to get to the gym. I still ate what I wanted but wasn't exercising nearly as much.

Fast forward six years to today. We now have 3 girls, with 3 different schedules, and absolutely NO time to get to the gym. I have to watch what I eat because I can just feel the pounds come and go!

So, why do I share so much? Well, a few weeks ago, when I cleaned out my closet I found something amazing. I had clothes that did not fit and would never fit again. I had clothes that sort of fit but looked, and felt, horrible. And then I had my clothes that fit well.

I have SIZES!!! How did this happen?? This is harder to handle than being close to 50 years old!

I now watch what I eat and am trying so hard to carve out time to get back to exercising. I know I'll never be the size I was years ago but I do want to lose some weight and get back into some of those clothes that "sort of" fit now.

So, do any of you have any suggestions for me? What do you do to stay fit??