Happy Hurricane Day!

I live in Northeast Ohio.  We kind of get the short end of the weather stick in a lot of ways.  We’re a little too far north to get lots of tropical temps and all the benefits, and we are a little too far South to get enough snow to do awesome things like build igloos.

However, we do manage to get heat waves, floods, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes (!), lake effect snow, droughts, northeasters and massive rain and wind storms.  But a hurricane.  That’s pretty much something we avoid, being smack dab in the middle of a continent and all.  Until now anyways!  Ohio got it’s first hurricane last night!  Woot!  Hi Sandy!  Lots of rain and wind and my house made noises it is probably not supposed to really make!

Anyways, here is my favorite interpretation of Ohio’s four seasons for you to giggle at.  Or point and make fun of.  Whatever.

Season One: Almost Winter (some people call this fall)

Season Two: Winter (this season lasts six months in Ohio)

Season Three: Still Winter (some people call this spring, I think)

Season Four: Construction (aka-when we get the shit done we can’t get done the other ten months of the year. Notice that the grass is all dead from the extreme heat)

I would not have lived for 30+ years in Ohio if I did not enjoy it, so do not fill my comment boxes with nastiness about moving if you don’t like it.  I don’t have to move if I don’t like the weather.  I live in Ohio.  I wait five minutes.

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Excuses. I am bad at them.

You gotta love some people with new babies and/or first pregnancies.  Cuz they have weird ideas.  And I probably had the exact same weird ideas.  But now I know better.  Like this whole “my baby needs all new stuff” mentality.  Hardy har.

The first time you lay out $25 bucks on an outfit that uses 1/4  yard of fabric…and then your kid barfs orange on it the first time it gets worn, your tune will change.  Promise.

Not all people have this mentality.  Which is awesome.  Me, I’m a bargain hunting momma.  Garage sales, resale shops, I’m all over it.

Because I know one thing…whether I spent $2 or $20 on an outfit, there are only two options….

A) They will stain it.

B) They will not stain it, but they will grow out of it.

So thank you, I would rather spend the $2.  Obie-kaybee.

I was not aware there was a soapbox there…but I think I just got off it.

Anyways…

Consignment sales.  I love’em.  A local church has them twice per year, and at first I was a buyer…then a volunteer…then a consignor…and now I’m usually all three.  (The addiction-it grows.)  It’s seriously like visiting 40 garage sales in one pop.

Here’s the one that I use. For those of you living in northeast Ohio.

Plus, it’s like having your own garage sale only not as much work.  You type up tags on the computer, pin them to your stuff, drop it off, volunteer (if you want), pick up the leftovers, and get a check in the mail a week later.  I love it.

I also spend approximately the same amount I make.  But whatever.  So in reality all this is leading up to the fact that my excuse for not blogging lately is that I have been working on consignment sale stuff.

In other news:

Life, it is exciting.  There is a full-time spot open in my district and I should be interviewing for it sometime next week.  Looks like I have a good shot.  If I can get it, it will make all the difference in the world for my family. (No pressure.)  Plus, it is a gifted teaching spot, which was kind of always my end goal, I just never imagined it would be a possibility in my 5th year of teaching.  (Districts usually only have 2-3 gifted teachers, so spots are pretty rare.)

I get weird looks from some people and most teachers when I tell them I want to teach gifted.  The general idea is that it is much like herding cats…but then I taught preschool for 10 years…so herding cats I can handle.  Plus, I was a weird little gifted kid myself.  So I get it.

I had a rough week when I registered Ashlynn for preschool and Corinne for kindergarten.  My babies are growing up!  I need a new one! Pronto!  Ashlynn’s preschool is lottery drawn.  We didn’t win that big $600 million lottery (possibly because we didn’t play?) so I’m thinking that should improve our chances..right?  Statistics aren’t my strong point.

My children are currently addicted to Barbies and Skylanders, but that is a whole new post in itself.  Let it be said that I am THE PortalMaster, and we’ll leave it at that for now.

Let me leave you with this conversation…as it is possibly the best one I have ever heard, and seriously, we all need a good laugh.

(I was in the living room, I overheard all this from the kitchen where my husband was cooking dinner while the girls watched/helped.)

Kirk: Shit.

Corinne: Daddy, why did you say shit?

Kirk:  Don’t say shit!  It’s a bad word!

Ashlynn:  Hey Daddy!  Dammit is a bad word, too!!

Kirk: STOP SAYING BAD WORDS.

I laughed my ass off.  (Oops, ass is a bad word, too.)

Dirty Thirty

As I sit here typing at my computer, I look at the clock and realize I have less than 6 hours left of my twenties. And I know some people take that as just one more chance to have a big old get drunk blow out, but I will not be doing so.

I am (virtually) (almost) (kinda) thirty and I have never once been drunk. Nor do I plan to be. Not on my life list, really.

Am I a little uneasy about turning thirty? Sure. It means I’m “old” depending on who you ask. But one thing makes it lots easier:

I’m RIGTH where I want to be right now.

When I was younger, I pictured myself at thirty with a husband, a happy marriage, a nice home, three children, and a teaching career, hopefully in my alma mater district.

Ok, so I don’t have three kids. Yet. But other than that, done, done and done. I am so happy with my life. Are there things I would change? Sure. Who doesn’t have a few? But to see myself edging up on thirty and still have all my dreams right on track? I don’t think many people can say that. It’s something to be proud of.

A decade is a long time. Your first decade is spent learning how to basically be a human being. To interact, read, write, behave (or not). Your second decade is spent being most likely a teenager with some sort of temporary personality disorder. (Have I never been drunk? Yes. Was I still a crummy teenager? Also yes.)

But my twenties were truly a whirlwind decade of change. I really figured out who I was and got myself aligned in the right direction, I am so, so blessed!

Let’s just take a peeky…

2002-(20) I was working at KinderCare in the toddler room, and going to college while living at my parents house. I was madly in love with my then boyfriend, Kirk since Dec. 99.

2003-(21) Still at KinderCare, still in school, moved into an apartment with Kirk and became his fiancee in July!

2004-(22) Still at KinderCare, still in school, still at the apartment, married August 14 to my soulmate and the best man on Earth. Sorry ladies, he’s taken. Journeyed to San Diego, Tijuana, Key West, Cozumel, and Belize…quite the awesome year.

2005-(23) Still at Kindercare, STILL in school, bought our little happy home in March and moved right in. And adopted our dog Sadie!

2006-(24) Still at Kindercare (God I was there a long time), living in our home, and I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a reading endorsement from the University of Akron (Summa cum laude..I know, I brag). Five days after graduation, I find out I’m pregnant with our first baby! As our “babymoon,” we visit Puerto Rico, St. Thomas (a.k.a. heaven on Earth), St. Maarten, and the Bahamas. We know that’ll be the last time we travel far for a while!

2007-(25) Still at KinderCare (sigh), and on February 15th, life forever changed when we welcomed Corinne Nicole into the world!

2008-(26) Through a miracle, I get offered a position at Catholic school for the 08-09 school year. Two months after I start, that little pink line turns up again!

2009-(27) Ashlynn Cari brings our family total to four when she arrives quite judiciously four days after the school year ends on June 8th!

2010-(28) Through a set of circumstances that can only be described as orchestrated by God, I interview and get hired to teach at my alma mater school district. Also? I got an Iphone!

2011-(29) Life settled down and things have been awesome. The girls are growing, the house is holding up, and plots and plan for baby #3 are in the wings. Attempting my master’s degree has become both more intriguing and more horrifically scary.

2012-THIRTY..well, tomorrow!

It’s amazing how I can start a decade living at home, in college, childless, single, and just ten short years later have my own home, degree, dream job, fantastic husband, and two gorgeous children. Home ownership, career, wifehood and parenthood in ten years or less! I should make an infomercial or something!

Can a decade be a long time? I suppose, if you look at it that way. But for me, it flew by so fast it feels like I missed most of it!

Bring it on, thirties. I’m ready for you to be the best yet.

I Am Going to Join the Circus

Do you know what I’ve noticed? 

I’ve noticed that the majority of my blog referrals come from Facebook. 

I’ve also noticed that when I post a blog to Facebook, the first 30 or so words from my blog appear next to the link.

So, I think I should make the effort to make those first 30 words really electrifying and gripping.  Like, “And then my hair was on fire.”

Except obviously not this time, since I just blew my first 50 words talking about my first 30 words.  So stay tuned!

I have decided that my talents are quite suited for the circus. 

I’m going to be a professional juggler.

Except, you know. I can’t juggle.

PHYSICAL OBJECTS!!

But.  But! BUT…

I can juggle a million other things.  I do it without really thinking, too.  I am an absent-minded juggler.  Wouldn’t you pay millions of dollars or at least a quarter to see an absent-minded juggler?!

I daily juggle motherhood, wifehood, daughterhood, teacherhood, car hoods, sisterhood, bill-payer-hood.  I’m all up in the hood, apparently.

And I could make you a big list of the little things that go into each one of those big things, but that would be boring and I am also not that much of a whiner or attention whore.  Plus if I saw an actual list of this stuff, I would be all overwhelmed and probably just freak the heck out.

This, for example, is my partial grocery list. That woman in the center must be a neighbor that wandered in and got lost. Cuz she sure as hell ain't my secretary!

The good news is that I seem to pulling it all off.  Or give the impression of doing so, anyway.  And instead of being all overwhelmed, I am actually really happy with my busy, crazy life. 

(Well. Usually. I have my moments when I am like OHMYGOD)

(And except for laundry.)

(I hate laundry.)

(But I love parentheses!)

And I seem to be doing okay.  Neither of my children is in therapy.  They actually seem to love me most of the time except when I say “No, you cannot have one more squinkie or mommy will just explode.”

My husband still hangs around and seems to like me.

And I’m getting lots of praise for my teaching.

So I must be doing something right!

Plus, I love to look at the optimistic side of things.  I’m busy and crazy but I’m never bored…and I interact with so many people in a positive way that I have a smile on my face at least 90% of every day.  Who can complain about that?

Look at me juggling happily! Isn't my hair cute? Oh wait, that's not me. I don't have shoes that color. Or lips that big.

 Although I do have to admit that some things may slip through the cracks.  Which may be why I toured the entire Akron Zoo yesterday with my shirt inside out.  You win some, you lose some.

In Which I Tell the Truth and Do Not Care What You Think

Today was a day.

I had to wake up early (er) than usual due to a meeting, and after a three day weekend no less, but the thing is I got out of the house without waking up the husband, the kids, or the dog.  The gerbil was already awake.  I claim no blame for that.

When I do wake up the children, I always think “Man, wouldn’t getting ready be easier if they were still in bed?”  And when I do not wake up the children, I always think “Man, now I can’t kiss and hug them before I leave.”  Because I am impossible to make happy, that’s why.

I temporarily subbed in kindergarten this morning.  It was fun because I absolutely love kindergarten.  It was unfun because I had no clue what I was doing.  Fortunately, 5 year olds are pretty easy to fool.  They had no idea I had no idea.  We were all idea-less together.  It was awesome.  And we sang songs.  One involved sticking our butts out, so that was a big hit.  More awesomeness.  That’s why I don’t teach high school.  Because they would have to be all snotty and call me on having no clue what I was doing.  And they’d probably comment nastily on me and my butt sticking out.

I came home to hear that my children had been wonderful for the babysitter.  I don’t know what children she’s watching, but they are not mine.  I don’t know why I pay this woman to watch other people’s angelic children.

Within three minutes of my being home, Corinne had jumped off the arm of the couch twice.  She landed on the dog the second time.

We went to Burlington to return the too-small dress shirt my husband had purchased.  My daughters took turns running down the aisle to try on different funky men’s hats, then running back to show them off.  Usually I stop them from doing this, but today I had put on my tired mom hat so I just pretended I didn’t notice.  Oddly enough, everyone lived.  Stores shouldn’t put straightways around the place if they don’t want races, is what I say.

When we got home I intended on putting in some quality play time but instead we laid on the couch and watched Disney movies because the temperature has fallen below 70 so I am preparing for hibernation.  Thanks Walt Disney for raising my children today!

During the ten minutes I got to see my husband (and by see I mean talk on the phone over screaming children between his double shifts) Corinne slammed Ashlynn’s finger in the door.  If I ever find the direct connection between my phone’s power button and my children’s volume, I WILL sever it posthaste.

Corinne is beginning her second and final year of preschool tomorrow.  I am pretending this is not happening.  If I pretend hard enough she will just be a baby again and the end.  She may protest the diapers but I bet she’d take a bottle in a red hot second.  I am also pretending that I wam not completely missing having a part in it, since my husband will drop her off and the sitter will pick her up.

Thus, the day.  Now I am watching Hoarders and typing a blog.  I should cricut some stuff.  But meh.  It’s that kind of day, I say!