November 20, 2010

Aliens versus Do-It-Yo'self Home Building

Holy Moly....yep...don't adjust your's actually know, Malin...."Mom the Bomb," as it were....I wish I could tell you some spectacular lie about where I've been, such as helping Pelosi downsize her office abode (tee-hee) or jetting back and forth to D.C. to explain to those top government officials how public education SHOULD work (seriously ya'll, do we really need to hop on every "research-based" bandwagon that putt-putts by our children, who, by the way, are so bleary-eyed from practicing their high-stakes test takin' skills they look like they've pulled a couple of all-nighters at the nearest Chuck E. Cheese?)
But no, my life has been fantabulously busy with more, shall we say, less enticing situations?

Take for example, the three (count 'em: THREE) cases of pink eye my boy-who-needs-a-bubble brought home from preschool...and the one R-A-G-I-N-G case he gave to both eyes...for real, ya'll. I've also missed roughly 1.2 days per week since my last post to other germy attacks, a'la preschool-style, mainly in the form of exorcist-worthy vomit-fests (via previously mentioned two-year-old), snot faucets running full blast (again, via the precious, precocious T-Man, who fearlessless battles any and E-V-E-R-Y germ that crosses his path...*sigh*) in addition to the unsundry and evil exploits my underactive thyroid keeps throwing my way (we have yet to get my meds right...but we're getting closer...unfortunately my doctor says he's not sure if he can do anything about the ailment my husband refers to as "witchy with a 'b'." I personally have a remedy for that, but have enough sense to know it is not for public consumption as of this're really thinkin' about that one, aren't 'cha? *GRIN*).

In addition to our health woes, we've been building a house...and I swear it's from scratch. Kingdaddy and I decided we'd be frugal and practical and forgo any "lock-and-key" situation (you know, the simplest, least stressful mode of know, the one where you say, "This is what we go make it happen," and then roughly 3-8 months later your new house appears on its designated lot with your contractor  handing you your keys and everyone's all smiley and stuff). No, no, no....we weren't gonna have that, not in this economy, my goodness! No, we decided with all our expertise and stuff, we'd "help" the builders along as much as possible.
 My husband, seriously, is slowly morphing into Bob Vila, constantly talking about mortar, sheetrock, and other constructionable words. I have spent HOURS perusing the web for the perfect windows to install, the pros and cons of hardwood flooring versus a manmade imitation, and listening to Kingdaddy wax on about drilling holes into the porch floor (apparently it takes a few kazillion to get a porch floor just right...bless his heart, he's GOT to be tired of handlin' that drill).

Why just this morning our entire family, T-Man included, cleaned up the house from all the excess sheetrock that the installers didn't use. ****Excuse me for a moment....I had to laugh at that last line....I love how I made it sound as though we simply waltzed into the house, summoned the pieces to float out the door, and then load themselves on the bobcat (our very own tiny bulldozer - seriously, ya'll) and the dumper truck (my father-in-law's).*** Okay, the moment of amusement is over...onto the details: Chore Fairy Jr. and I got there first while Kingdaddy and T-Man secured the use of the dumper truck from Dear Old Daddy Freeman. She and I moved the 2.65 tons of sheet rock into the front room (what will eventually look like a living room) and it went really well...and really fast! By the time we had that done, the men showed up and we all loaded our tiny dozer (through the back door...of the house...not the dozer) of all the sheets, chunks, blocks, etc., from the back rooms. So far, all of that wasn't too bad. But then we had to move all the front room stuff out through my GEEORGEOUS (yes, I know it's not spelled right....I'm emphasizing each syl---a---bbllle for dramatic flair...come on, keep up) front door, down the porch, and off the end into the dumper truck. I kid you not, it took TWO truckloads to get rid of all that stuff! We could've easily sheetrocked SEVERAL handfuls of tents in third world countries with all that we threw out. Kingdaddy didn't think much of it, but I'm convinced we bought way too much of that stuff.

Once that was done, Chore Fairy Jr. and I spent an hour or so sweeping and scooping up the smaller debris, which sort of looked like gravel and sand. After we'd done almost all of the rooms, the men returned from their hauling off venture, and Kingdaddy commented that while our sweeping and cleaning looked good, perhaps it would be best if we just "leave it" because the dirty, sandy mixture is just  going to be covered up by more sheet rock mud, sand, etc., and the mess that's already there might just help prevent all that wet mud that's gonna be done this week from sticking too badly to the floor, making future cleanups easier. Well thank you for that opinion, however questionable the logic may's good to know things like that....BEFORE the fact, not AFTER. Hhmmph.

After such a glamorous morning, I'm sure you're dying to know about what I did this afternoon, right? Well girls, it only gets better from here! After getting T-Man to take a nap (which, by the way, are absolutely WASTED on the young and energetic), and a few elephant-sized loads of laundry, I drove halfway to the nearest town, down a gravel driveway that looked suspiciously like a gravel road one might follow to a lonely country church...or a whiskey still, to look at the walls of a man I've never met before. Yep. Let me tell you, this homebuilding stuff is just one big adventure after another. Now, I know what you're thinkin'..."Why did she drive all that way to look at some stranger's walls?" and that's a very good question (one I actually asked myself a few times), but really it all makes sense when you know that he had orange peel walls.


What's the matter?

OH!!! I forgot I wasn't talking about homebuilding with my dear Kingdaddy, LOL. "Orange peel walls" are one example of adding texture to your walls that sheet rockers can create. It's supposed to add texture, while having the super-nifty bonus of hiding any and all imperfections left behind by the natural sheet rocking process. Basically, they're bumpy walls, which as it turns out, look pretty cool. Honestly, I only went to appease Kingdaddy...he kept insisting I go look at this man's walls, so I figured how much trouble could it be, right? Well, don't tell Kingdaddy this, but I am glad I went, because I decided, after the man jumped my SUV's dead battery off (which is yet another story), I decdied that I would "stomp" the ceilings as LIGHTLY as possible (because apparently it's all but impossible to get a smooth ceiling without any imperfections GLARING at you and otherwise aggravating you in your day-to-day life) in every room and then do orange peel walls in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and hallway, with smooth walls in every other room of the house. Now, aren't you glad you asked? :)

Yep, I'm a regular homebuilding diva. That's me.

Oh, but don't worry, the aliens at school are still alive and kicking....HARD. While I love my kids, I have to say that this is the shall I put this.....hhhmmmm.....this is the most......"challenging" (picture me here   FRANTICALLY doing air quotes) group of young students I've ever encountered. *Ahem.* The principal and I have worked together on some strategies to help get these "challenging" scholars to be less..."challenging" and even he told me he was worried that my hair would soon start to fall out if something wasn't done soon. I told him not to worry...I'm far too focused on my eczema (which the doctor told me was triggered by stress) to worry about hair at this point. Seriously ya'll, my only choices at this point are to laugh or cry...and I've been known to do both simultaneously. Need meds much?

Let's just say this: prayers are needed, prayer warriors MUST be put into FULL TIME ACTIVE DUTY, and praise the Lord, pass the potatoes, we're almost halfway through the school year. I don't want to give you the wrong impression, because there are many wonderful things that can be said about this group - there are certainly some shining stars that stand out in terms of behavior, personality, and smarts - it's just that overall, this group actively "feeds off" each other, creating chaos in ways only these little aliens could create...which usually results in roughly 1.3 visits to the principal's office per week. *Sigh.*'s certainly never boring! :)

So, now ya' know what's been going on with me. I hate that I had to take such an extensive hiatus, especially with it being unannounced and unplanned. I almost certainly have lost my stalker status with Sofia, which I truly hate. Perhaps I can woo her back with some sweet, VERY heartfelt apologies?? One can only hope....if you haven't seen her blog, you absolutely MUST....she's TOTALLY dependable and awesome, unlike yours truly, at least this year anyway. Dependable, I mean. I'm still totally awesome, just not in a way that you can expect to hang your hat on regularly, at least this year anyway. But you should TOTALLY check her out:  from PDX with Love

Now! Shoo! Go comment on her blog...tell her how FABULOUS she is...and be SURE to tell her that I sent you, so that maybe....just maybe, she'll agree to allow me to stalk her again. ;)

September 1, 2010

Holy Cow Ya'll - A New Post!

Well whatda-you know, I'm actually posting on a WEDNESDAY as originally scheduled/planned/guestimated to do roughly a month ago!! Woo-hoo! FINALLY, right? 

I know.

Bad girl. 

Bad, bad girl am I. 

It's not like I couldn't post because I was at a huge unveiling of my blog being spotlighted on that fabulous blog, the punk rock mom (you really, really, REALLY should check it out). Too bad I left my camera at home and wasn't able to take pictures of all the glittering celebrities that stopped by our after party. 

Okay, I made that last part up, but you REALLY should check out the punk rock mom's blog - she's totally rockin' and awesome and I'm so full of blog-love for her because she asked a question I could answer ('cause I'm smart like that) and thanks to her, I've now had my very own first "spotlight" done on my blog. So, that answers THAT "why" question (in case you missed it, here it is: Why was MomtheBomb's blog, bless your heart ya'll, in the spotlight on the punk rock mom's blog? 'Cause I somehow psychically knew she was going to be visiting Mt. St. Helens ya'll, that's why. Did I mention I sometimes have psychotic psychic episodes? Yeah, it's totally true. 

Okay, so I'm not sometimes psychotic psychic, but wouldn't it be fun if I were? I could totally head off any problems like rabid groundhogs or those Gawd-awful attacking flying cockroaches (seriously, they really do attack...they aren't simply blindly flying and happen to land on me like KingDaddy says they do, they ATTACK me ya'll). 

Well, that's enough about all that. Know what I want to talk about? My new online BFF/stalker buddy, Sofia over at from PDX with Love. Ya'll, she is SOOOOOOOOO KEWL, so that answers the question, "Uh, why  are you stalking this poor woman?" 'Cause she's KEWL ya'll! You should stalk her too - you won't regret it! (You can thank me later when your server crashes from all the traffic I'm sending your way Sofia! *wink, wink). 

I guess I need to get on with my "Why's" for the week. Well, for the past two weeks. *ahem*

**** Why can't my aliens behave when I need them to behave the most? Why must they be perfect little angels when there is a sub taking care of them and little hellions not-so-darlin' darlin's when they're with me? Could this be another part of their plot to take over the world one teacher at a time by pushing my sanity over the edge, thereby leaving my brain an empty vessel, a clean slate if you will, for them to fill with whatever 8 year old aliens might want to focus on at any particular moment? 

**** Why does my son INSIST on W-H-I-N-I-N-G for his sippy cup of sweet tea when he could just as easily say, "Tea, Mamma?" And yes, I proudly serve my young'un sweet tea - slap me silly and call me Scarlett, but this is the South ya'll, and we Southerners LOVE our sweet tea. You can just put down that phone you're holdin' 'cause calling Children's Services on us ain't gonna do any good - unless there's alcohol in that sweet tea (and no way hozay would I do that - I may take a nip myself, but none for the babes, my friend). 

**** Why do Huggies diapers have those little Box Tops labels to cut out on their regular daytime diapers, but not on the uber-expensive night-time diapers? What gives "Huggies? Why aren't they on both?

**** Why did my father-in-law buy a brand new truck with every bell and whistle known to man ya'll, including the SYNC thingy, a USB port, heated seats, and pedals and seats that SET THEMSELVES when you put the key in (no lie ya'll) when he can barely operate a standard cell phone (a plain jane one without all the TV, the bluetooth, the camera, the Internet browser, etc.)?

**** Why does my family insist on ignoring me (for the most part) EXCEPT when I'm on the phone? What's up with that? It's like some sort of weird radar that goes off, "Oooh!! She's on the phone!! She's on the PHONE!!! Let's go talk/whine/cry/scream to/near/at her!!"

****Oh, wait, another "why" related to the one above: Why does my entire family steer clear of me (for the most part) except when I'm in our mouse-hole-sized kitchen trying to fix dinner? I mean, even the dog gets in on the act, standing RIGHT UNDER MY FEET AT EVERY TURN. Poor dog - he's so old that he can barely, BARELY see and he's as deaf as a doorknob, or bedpost, or whatever that saying is. He's deaf, end of story, so hollering at him doesn't do any good...which leads to my next question...

**** Why do I holler at my dog, either to get out of the way or to "come here Sweetie," when I know full-well that poor thing can't hear a rabid groundhog attacking his sister dogs, Sissy and Lu-Lu (no lie ya'll, we think a really mean groundhog got into a fight with the girls, but that's another story for another day)?

Well, I really should be getting to bed. I've been MIA on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, here. Just struggling with a few personal issues ya'll - nothin' I can't handle, but you know how it is...sometimes life just swallows you right up and it takes you a moment or two (or a week or two) to get your bearings back in order. Just do me a favor and include me in your little prayers or yoga mantras or whatever it is that floats your boat...and I'll be back soon with more incredible musings and ideas. Okay. Whatever. I'll be back to chat soon. ;) 

Ta-Ta for Now! Big Smooch to ya'll! 

August 21, 2010

Aliens Are Short and Cute - and Sometimes Nerve-Wracking

I think I know why Wednesdays always seem to find me too exhausted to post. I believe I've found the answer that has stumped us all  me these past few weeks. 


Yup. Aliens.

Remember back awhile when I said that I felt like aliens my third graders were sucking the life out of me? Well, y'all, what if they ARE???? I think I may be on the verge of discovering all those government secrets of Area 51 or 53 or whatever - you know, Roswell, where the aliens crashed way back in the 1900's? I think those little aliens DID crash there, then took over the minds of several folks, who then reproduced, but then the government figured out what was going on and they were all like, "We've got to do something about this," but then the scientist folks were all, "No, wait, we should USE these things to our advantage and study them," so the government started this program and here we are decades later, and my third graders are aliens. How 'bout that, y'all! Isn't that something? I know some of you doubters out there will need proof, and boy do I have it...just look:

*Even after all these years, they still do not completely understand our language. I mean, look at what I go through day after day when trying to communicate with them:

                                       ~ When I tell them to sit down, many of them continue to walk around the room as though I never said a word!

                                      ~ When I tell them to walk quietly down the hall in a line, they will often form small groups or "clumps" and chit chat in normal tone voices until I freak out and "SHHHHHUSH" them in my loudest shush. And then we repeat the whole pattern again a few moments later.

                                    ~ When I distinctly say, and then write the page number of the book we're opening up for our lesson, 95% of them ask repeatedly, "What page?"

                                    ~ Every day the morning routines and board work are posted on the dry erase board. #1 is ALWAYS "Turn in your folder and put away your backpack." Inevitably 1-2 students will NOT turn in their folders and there's always 2 or 3 backpacks on the floor or near the desks instead of where they belong!

                                   ~ They can be given an assignment to read a certain passage. That passage might contain the words, "Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass," for example. They may, for example, have a question that asks, "What is matter?" They will tell you the answer is NOT on that page and that they've read it two or three times. What the heck?!

*Their eyes apparently have functions that have less to do with actual vision than ours do. Here's more evidence:

                                 ~ Even my own children have this problem: THEY        DON'T       SEE        MESSES. They just don't. It's like their brains "erase" any sort of messiness that we see. I can tell a student to clean up the mess around and on her desk and she'll claim it is clean, despite the huge pile of paper clippings, broken erasers, crayon stubs with no paper on them, shredded crayon paper (hmmm, wonder how THAT got there?), pencils, and a few unidentifiable (OMG - could it be alien paraphernalia??) odds and ends that surround and completely cover her desk.

                                ~ A student can swear he doesn't have a particular book in his desk and swear I must've never given him one (true, stranger things have happened), leaving me to scramble to find a spare one to give him so we can continue on with our lesson.....only to realize that the very book he's looking for is sitting RIGHT ON HIS DESK.......................OUT IN PLAIN SIGHT..............NOT COVERED UP BY ANYTHING............EASILY SPOTTED BY ADULT NON-ALIENS.

*They hate to wear foot coverings of any kind...even in the bathroom where GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT THEY MIGHT BE STEPPING IN/ON IN THERE. 

True story - I've had to punish several of my aliens students for this infraction. See, they take their shoes off when we're walking the track after lunch and as we come in the building, we pass the bathrooms, so obviously, being a whiz at time management (NOT), I have them stop by to use the restroom on our way back to the room. The only problem is that several of them "forget" to put their shoes back on before going into the germ-crawling, pee-covered floors of the restroom. Ugh. Feeling a little sick just thinking about it.......breathe......breathe......breathe.....

*They believe their pencils MUST be sharp enough to perform surgery with EVERY time they use them.

This one makes me nervous. Could it be they are stockpiling weapons in order to take over the school and then the world? A sharp pencil can be deadly you know.

Okay, I made that last part up, but sharp pencils DO hurt when you get poked with one. I would know. I've had my share of run-ins with razor-sharp pencils over the years.

*Bathrooms are a place of ritualistic behaviors, including (but not limited to: roughhousing, jumping, running, SCREAMING, GIGGLING, slamming doors, splashing water, and other general areas of play). 

Yes, I know. I DO NOT teach kindergarten. I DO NOT teach toddlers or preschoolers. I teach aliens third graders. And this is what third graders do in the bathroom. Again, more evidence, I believe, of alien behavior. Perhaps this is their way to communicate with the Mother Ship? They create a ruckus in one bathroom, where I go to investigate & SHHUUUUSHSHSHSHSH them, while the aliens in the other bathroom make contact. That way they can't get caught in their communications, since they know I don't have the ability to be in two places at once. Speaking of which, I wonder if they can do that and if they can, would they teach me?

*Last but not least, my final bit of evidence that third graders are aliens: They plan to slowly take over my mind after I've completely lost it. I doubt I have to give you any other reasons as to why I might lose my mind, but I'll indulge you once more: they plan to make me go insane by talking to me all at one time. And boy do they do it, too. At any given moment during the day, I may have 5 aliens students surrounding me (literally IN MY PERSONAL SPACE), talking all at once as though I am listening only to them, while another one continuously taps me on the shoulder while saying my name over and over and over again, while yet another 3-7 simply call out my name over all the others. 

I rest my case. I am surrounded by aliens that are trying to make me crazy crazier by using odd tactics and practices that regularly blow my mind. 

That's okay. I'm not scared. 

You can't scare me. 
I'm a teacher.