Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Witty Wednesday

I was doing my usually noon time search around yahoo for interesting articles and came across the following. While TJ is only 2 1/2, I know my time is limited before we hit this stage.

User post: How to awaken a teenager

user by Manic Motherhood, on Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:50am PDT

When you first become a parent, nobody tells you that the tiny, cute, little baby in your arms will someday grow up to be a teenager. Oh sure, we all expect it to happen, but seriously, are any of us fully prepared for the teen years?

No, we aren’t. Or at least, I’m not. And that’s why I’m reaching out, helping others to survive the turbulent years we call the teens. Okay fine. I’m complaining and venting, but really…is there a difference?

One of the first things you notice as your child morphs into a teenager is sleep. They do it all the time. I swear some days my teen sits at the breakfast table, eyes fully open, shoveling food in his mouth and all the while he’s totally asleep. Turns out teens need lots and lots of sleep. Which isn’t the problem.

But waking them up? That’s the problem. Seriously. I’d rather wake up a bear two days before hibernation ends than wake up a teenager in the morning.

Waking a teen is dangerous. It requires you to go into the teen’s native habitat (his room) and tell him to stop sleeping. Really. Once you’ve tried this, I swear to you, the bear thing looks better and better. Anyway, through extensive personal research and at great risk to life and limb, I have come up with a way to awaken a typical teenager without having my head ripped off.

First, understand that the teenager’s bedroom must be approached with extreme caution. The teenage species has laid many traps to deter waking. These traps include piles of clothing, shoes and textbooks on the floor.

Once you have approached the teenager and gotten through the hidden traps, you should stop and assess the situation before proceeding further. If there are animals in the room (other than the teen), use treats and/or your best happy voice to lure the animals from the bed.

Congratulations! Now the teenager is defenseless, except for his smart mouth.

At this point, you will need to locate the teen. Like many of his species, the teen will be wrapped in a cocoon of blankets with pillows stacked on his head. Due to the mess associated with their habitat, finding the teen in all the piles can be difficult. However, if you simply locate the cords to his ear buds and carefully follow them, you will discover the teen’s head. Note: If you locate his iPod, you are on the wrong end. Just follow the cords the opposite direction.

Now that you have located the elusive teen, you can wake his butt up. My favorite way to do so is the “let the sunshine in” method. By simply opening all the shutters and turning on the lights, the room is flooded with intense light that even the most buried teen cannot bear. If they yell or scream, “it’s too bright” you can be certain the method worked and that they are awake.

Once the teen is awake, his primitive response system will send him into “fight or flight mode” which means he will curl up into a tiny ball, pull all the blankets over his head, stack some pillows on top and ignore you (some teens will also whimper and cry; don’t fall for this, it’s just a ploy to let them sleep for 5 more minutes). At this point in the teen wake up process it is critical that you do not leave the room. To do so will enable the teen to sleep even longer, ensuring the teen misses his 0 period class.

Your only choice now is to scream “get your butt out of bed now” and then steal his iPod. Really. That whole bear thing is looking better, isn’t it?

Now there are other methods, such as allowing the teen to set his alarm clock. In my personal experience, this method doesn’t work well. Once the teen hits the snooze button, he will immediately fall back into a deep sleep. I also know of parents who have tried increasingly desperate methods such as allowing siblings to jump on the bed, playing a bugle or pouring water on the teen, but I don’t support those methods. Frankly, the siblings could lose an eye, I don’t play the bugle and the water just gets the mattress all wet and makes the teen even more smart-mouthed than usual.

Of course, once you wake up the bear, you could send him into the teen’s room. That could work.

This article cracked me up. Maybe because I am sitting in my classroom observing 3 very sleepy teenage boys.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Throw Together Pasta

Last night I decided to clean out our fridge and see what I could make for dinner using what I found. We had some tomatoes that needed to be used, an onion that was about ready to go soft, some pretty wilty basil, a half bottle of dressing that was about to expire, and half a bag of mozzarella cheese. I am not the type who can just throw stuff together, but this turned out well.

I cooked a box of thin spaghetti according to the box. In a separate skillet I slowly heated up the dressing and added the chopped onion and some garlic. Once that was warmed through I added the diced up tomatoes and continued to let the sauce heat up. I combined the cooked pasta with the sauce. Ayron and I each added some mozzarella cheese and basil to our bowls along with some diced grilled chicken. It was a nice light meal, but still managed to fill up Ayron, which says a lot!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ayron Can Cook!

If you know my husband, you shouldn't be surprised that he can cook. You can hand that man an empty kitchen and he will come up with something tasty! Since he is now working from home, he does a majority of the cooking, and for that I am thankful!

If you know my husband (and his family), you will know that they cannot eat enough chicken wings. I have managed to get them to step back from the messy chicken wings and into the buffalo chicken dip I make (much easier and neater to eat). Ayron decided to combine his love for cooking (although he isn't a big fan of doing the dishes) with his love of chicken wings and this is what he came up with.

He took a 2lb pork roast and put it in the crock pot. He poured 1/8C. of vinegar over the meat and made sure to roll the meat around in the vinegar. He then added about 1/4C. of Franks Red Hot Sauce. He set the crockpot to high for 4 hours and let it go. The meat was actually cooked after about 3, so he pulled the roast out and shredded it. For dinner he made a mix of chunky bleu cheese dressing and mayo and spread it on sandwich buns, topped it with the shredded pork, and ta da! A spicy (but not too hot) pulled pork sandwich with bleu cheese spread. It was actually very tasty! We did both take an antacid pill before we ate though, we didn't want to risk it.

I will admit that I was skeptical at first when he told me what he was making for dinner, but it was very tasty, and we had enough left over for lunch today.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training

We have really begun trying to tackle the issue of potty training with TJ. Some days he is ok with the idea, other days the mention of the potty sends him in to a tail spin.

Yesterday morning we ran some errands and then decided to go to a restaurant for brunch. TJ needed to have his pull up changed so Ayron took him into the men's bathroom. Since the bathroom didn't have a "diaper deck," Ayron stood TJ up on the toilet tank and took of TJ's pull up (Thank you easy velcro sides!) He told TJ to stand still as he bent down to get a new pull up out the diaper bag. He heard TJ say, "Uh oh daddy. I peeing." Ayron looked up and saw that TJ was peeing (while standing on top the toilet tank) down into the toilet bowl. Ayron laughed and told him to just keep going. TJ came back to the table and proudly announced, "I peed!"

I briefly thought about letting him stand on the back of toilet tank at home, but the medicine cabinet on the wall would prevent him from being able to stand up. Hopefully we can get this potty training thing figured out soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Teacher's Life

I have been teaching (professionally) for the past 5 1/2 years. In that time span I have been cursed at, yelled at, praised, and torn down.

I have witnessed emotional break downs, mental break downs, physical fights, temper tantrums, fits of rage, fits of jealousy, frustration and elation.

I have seen success and I have witnessed failure.

I have been called every name in the book and bitten my tongue.

I have had to have students arrested, and I have had to testify against them.

I've had students runaway and be found. I have had students run away and not be found. I have stayed up many nights worrying about those students.

I have blown the whistle on child abuse and sexual misconduct.

I have seen students fight, flip tables, destroy books, scream, yell, cry, pass out, destroy my property, and destroy themselves.

I have witnessed students on meth, cocaine, marijuana, and various other prescription medicines.

I have worked with students who refuse to take their mental medications and suffer from the voices in their head.

I have had students cry on my shoulder and then turn around and spit in my face.

I have worked with exhausted parents and guardians.

I have been lied to and deceived.

I have given up personal vacations to work on strengthening my curriculum.

I have spent countless hours rewording my materials and tests so my "LD" students can comprehend their work.

I have done a lot, but the one thing I haven't done....given up on teaching.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My sister sent me these (from and they made me giggle. I thought I'd blog them to brighten someone else's day...that I am procrastinating. I should be working on my take home mid-term, but reading these is much more fun.

1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backward poet writes inverse.
5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.
15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
16. A calendar's days are numbered.
17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
30. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
39. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
46. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.

Friday, October 08, 2010

I Love Ayron

I bet you thought this post would be all mushy and romantic didn't you. Title's can be deceiving. I love Ayron because he cracks me up. The following is a phone conversation I had with him today.

Me: You called?

Ayron (sounding freaked out): There are people raking our yard!

Me: Who are they?

Ayron: I don't know!

Me: Maybe they are supposed to be raking the neighbor lady's yard (she is elderly and has dementia) and have the wrong address?

Ayron: Oh.

Me: Did you think to ask them who they were?

Ayron: No....I'll call you right back.

A minute later

Me: Yeah?

Ayron (still sounding freaked out): It's a group of middle aged ladies and they are in our yard.

Me: Ok....who are they?

Ayron: They said they are from Lakewood Park and are just out and about town today doing community service by raking leaves.

Me: Oh, that's nice! Make sure you tell them thank you. Offer them a banana muffin or brownie.

Ayron: Ok, Oh I gotta go, they are back!

A couple of minutes later

Me: Hello?

Ayron: Ok, they're gone.

Me: So they were just people from the Lakewood Church out raking leaves huh?

Ayron: Well, they had like 2 high school aged girls and 3 older ladies.

Me: Did you tell them thanks and give them a brownie.

Ayron: Yeah. They had to take a picture with me as proof they did rake a yard.

Me: Oh, ok. Well, at least you don't have to rake this weekend!

I think this struck me as funny because he didn't think to go outside and see who the strange group of ladies in our yard were. He seemed freaked out by the fact that strangers were raking our yard. Most people would have been like, "Alright! Cross that chore off my list!" I would like to thank the lovely ladies from Lakewood Park that raked our front and side yard!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

ABC and Baby Update

I hope I am not becoming one of those women who are "LOOK AT ME, I'M PREGNANT! Let's talk about nothing other than me!" I just use blogging as a way to process my thoughts.

We had our 16 week appointment with Stephanie VanderHorst (our mid wife) and all is well. Looks like Baby will be here around March 22. We were able to see the ultrasound and I was hypnotized by the heart beat. Baby is pretty calm and mellow, which is totally different from TJ. TJ was on the go ALL THE TIME. Baby was content to just lay there and let Stephanie try and reposition her. We are pretty sure we are having a girl, but at 16 weeks, it is hard to be certain it is a girl. We will check again at our next appointment on Nov. 2.

I was also able to ask a TON of questions about the ABC (Auburn Birthing Center) and that helped ease my mind. The ABC will be open well before Baby arrives and I really think I want to deliver there. My only concerns are the short length of stay (anywhere from 6 to 23 hours after delivery you are sent home. A nurse does come and do a home check on mommy and baby). I also need to check and see if my Insurance will cover a birthing center.

I thought I was comfortable with the thought of no pain meds, but now I am wondering. She will have several non-drug methods for pain relief and I am really looking forward to the birthing tub (they are now offering the option of actually birthing IN the tub, but that still freaks me out).

I think TJ's birth has be freaked out. I told Stephanie that yesterday and she said, "That was the worst case scenario of any birth I have done. Had you been at the ABC, we would have transferred you and done a c-section, but with TJ he didn't give us the time. I have done 901 births and that was the WORST way to have a baby! That is the only vacuum extraction I have ever done, and it failed. Nothing about his birth was typical. We will just pray that his sister is more cooperative that TJ. I can tell already she is a lot calmer and ok with me positioning her. You have nothing to worry about." That really eased my mind. I said, "He is still here and so am I, so for that we are extremely thankful to you!"

I guess the next step is to call my insurance company and see if they will cover the ABC.