Monday, September 29, 2008

Big mouth strikes again

Last week was parent teacher conference week at the childrens' school. Punx teachers sent a note saying that we did not need to meet, that was nice. DD's and Bug's meetings went a little differently.

I have been getting notes in Bug's study buddy about three times a week. "He did not do so well with his listening today." "He didn't do as he was told and lost some recess today." "Today when I told the kids to go to their desks after carpet time he stayed on the carpet and spun in circles." You get the idea. We have been discussing every bad note and celebrating every good one.

A couple days ago there was yet another bad note and I looked right at him and said, "This is not a good note." He looks right back at me with dead eyes and in monotone goes, "I don't care." Get to time out, right now. I was on the couch studying and stayed there where I could see him sitting in the corner on the stairs where I left him for a long time. After about twenty minutes I start saying, "Do you care now? Huh? Do ya?" And then left him in there awhile more. We had a long talk about him never saying that kind of stuff to me. Ever again.

Next day, good note. The day after that, not so much. I look at it, and look at him. He looks at me and before I can say anything at all, "I care."

Alright message received, but we are still getting bad notes, but at least I am not getting attitude over it anymore.

Then yesterday, Bug's primary teacher tells me a good story of what he said in front of the whole primary. I have started getting the kids ready for my weekend trip. "Mom is going away for a couple of days and Aunt Jenny is coming to stay with you guys." They don't know that I am getting Dan at the airport and we are going to the lake for the weekend. I told them that I am just taking a little break. After telling DD that she doesn't get to ask me why I get to take a break, I went on to explain that it was just for like two days and they would be with their cousins and Aunt. You'll be fine.

Bug raised his hand and told all of the primary, "Um, my Aunt Jenny is coming to our house for the weekend 'cuz Mom needs a break."

He also told his teacher about me being unhappy about my birthday, by way of the unhappy face that I had put on the calendar. I told the kids it was because Dan was gone not the numeric significance. That got me a batch of really good homemade cookies, which I totally snarfed. Now that the whole primary thinks that I am coming unhinged. Oh well, I will be too busy actually spending time with my husband. Holy crap, ten more days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


That was written on my A&P test. "Good." With a sticker of a flower on it. And a little note that said "tied for 8th."

I got a D.

I got 49 out of 72 points. Technically it was out of 83 points but he knocks off 11 out of the goodness of his heart. With his grading I got 68%, really I got 59%.

I stewed over the "good" and the sticker for a few days. He said nothing about grading on a curve. I wasn't holding out hope that my D was somehow miraculously a B or even an A. 8th out of 70 is pretty good, right? But never in my life has someone told me good job on a D. Or given me a sticker, although I don't think I have gotten a sticker on any of my work in about twenty years.

Finally today I asked him. Your grading scale is up front right? Percentage equals grade? Yes, that's right. Ok, you see I'm confused. I got a D, right? You wrote "good" on it. Did you get a sticker? Yes, I did. I put stickers on the ones I think still have hope. oh, alright, thanks.

Honestly, I think I'm starting to come around to him. There have been a few nursing students in the Library printing off his stuff for their upper-level classwork. They all say that they have forgotten everything and his stuff is the best. Everyone that didn't have him for A&P is now suffering. Anyone that had him and actually passed is doing fine. Maybe it really should be this hard. Maybe, gulp, it's only going to get harder, so I better get a good foundation now. From someone who forces you to actually learn the subject not just pass the test.

I think I will sign up for his class for the next level of A&P that I need next semester.

Until then, I have already printed out the study materials for the next test in two weeks. I have to take it early since the test in on the day that Dan comes home. But I am limiting myself to two hours a day, during the day. No more late nights. No more overdoses.

As in all things, I must find that balance. At least I know what is coming now. Until the next test, I have my first Algebra test tomorrow, first English test on Friday, and first A&P Lab test on Tuesday. One test at a time.

Wouldn't life be great if 68% were a good job on other things? I paid 68% of the mortgage payment this month- good job! I paid attention to the kids story about 68%- good job, although I think I would have to pay attention more to hit that percentage.

This has shaken my whole reality. Good job! For a D.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things that make you go hmmm...

I had a crappy week. I had been studying non-stop for my first Anatomy and Physiology test. At a minimum I put in thirty hours of study. I was doing about four hours a day on a light day and that was just last week. The test was on Friday and I am almost positive that I failed it. If I knew where this professor lived he would find a flaming bag of dog poop on his doorstep. No multiple choice, no matching. All short answer, define, or sketch and draw. I went through the study materials four or five times. It was about 100 pages. It would appear that the things that did stick weren't on the test. If I don't get a good grade in this class I will have to take it again. And not just because I care about my GPA, although, I really do. Getting in the radiology department isn't a given, you must apply and be accepted. My two classes of A&P are the only health field related classes that I take. I can't imagine that a poor grade makes me look like a promising candidate.

First thing I did after I turned in that joke of a completed test was go eat. I have given up food until Dan gets home but I made an exception for Friday. And I made it a point that I wasn't going to think about that stupid test until Monday when hopefully I will get the results.

Saturday, I took the kids to a video conference with Dan. It was really nice. And weird. I literally hadn't seen my husband in about nine months. Seeing him was surreal. The kids acted like the monkeys they are but if they weren't there, I think Dan and I might have had an awkward time of it. We talk on the phone a lot and our conversation never lag, but now looking at each other through a bad pixelated screen, what do you say? It made me suddenly really nervous for R&R. Then we had a baptism for a friend and I dropped them off at Super Saturday. I had originally planned on canceling but changed my mind for some retail therapy.

I got my haircut, found the outfit for the airport. I took mostly everybody's advice, nice and casual. New jeans with a nice three button jacket. And really cute dark plaid heels with shiny black on the toe and heel. It felt really nice to buy a pair of jeans two sizes smaller and they just went right on, no squishing.

Then today, it looks like Punx might have pink eye. Second week in a row of missing church. I missed school last Monday because Bug was sick and now Punx. I got him a doctor's app for the afternoon but now I have three more days to freak over the test.

So I needed a laugh. I remember my chopstick paper that I kept from one time taking the kids to the nearby buffet always intending to share it but forgot. So here it is...

In case you can't read it: Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks the Traditional and typical of chinese glorious history. And cultual

All punctuation and capitalization is as it appears on the original. That also reminds me, on my birthday we went to PF Changs and my fortune cookie didn't have a fortune. That is really bad right? Not getting a fortune on your birthday?

This got me to thinking of something I read in The Time a while back about the Chinese translating all their signs for the Olympics into English. They didn't do so well, I did a quick search. Spent a whole lot of time laughing and decided to share my favorites...

#7 is the head scratcher.

I need a laugh, that was good. All I did was google Chinese funny signs.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I need help

Yeah, yeah, go ahead and get the jokes out of your system. I really do have a problem here. It is two-fold. Dan comes home in one month. Hold on, I need to do that again.


So the first part of my problem is the freaking out about all the things that I need to do to be ready for when he gets here. The house sparkling clean, food in the house, maybe even have some freezer dinners, yard work, garage, haircut for me, haircut for the boys, write real to-do list of all the things I want to get done, etc. Everyday I live in this house and it seems fine and then I think about Dan coming home and it's a crap-hole. One disgusting mass of kids mess and filth. And the various depositories of my belongings that I haven't taken care of. This house looks exactly like what is does when Dan is home and that is now all of a sudden unacceptable to me.

The thing I am really freaking out about is what I am going to wear at the Airport to pick him up? Seriously. I am running circles in my head about what I could wear to the airport and can't figure it out.

Casual or nice
New or old

There are many pros and cons to each side. Casual would be the pinnacle of what I am, jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops is how I live my life. So Dan's first sight of me being something he is used to sounds reasonable.

Nice though has it's upside as well. I don't dress nice very often. So when I do, Dan likes that. It's a special occasion so shouldn't I dress up?

Then the old or new question. Should I wear something that is from my somewhat skinny collection that I couldn't fit when Dan left but that he would recognize. Once again touching on the whole comforting angle.

New to make me feel better and also get to shop more and celebrate my new size.

What about mixing up the categories, old outfit but nice clothes? Casual clothes but new?

Welcome to the endless circle of my thinking. I will accept all suggestions and then pretty much do what I want in the end but I still need guidance. The other part that worries me is isn't it too early for me to be putting this much thought into a decision like this that let's face it Dan won't really think about all? I'll get the "you look great" and he'll mean it. But he won't think anything about the energy or time put into the decision. He's a guy. And he's not incredibly neurotic. And I am not going to tell him either, no use giving him ammunition for the committal hearing. But I am going to face reality, my reality here. I am going to have this on my mind until I make a decision.

So go ahead and take it both ways, I need help. oh, oh, the really great side of new and nice is I'll get new shoes. I hadn't thought of that one before.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Abstract and selfish

I know that everyone must feel this way. This day is just off. Going about regular business, school, chores, swimming, feels out of whack. Staying at home watching the news feels weird. Everything about this day makes me feel like I've forgotten something.

This year more than any other.

I think of that day when I turned on the TV and saw. No one could have grasped then that it would mean that our lives had changed to pre- and post-. I didn't. Dan had just gotten out of the Guard and had contacted with the ROTC to join the Air Force after graduation later in 2002. He signed his contact on Sept. 9th when the world made more sense. Dan joined the Guard in 1999 to help pay for school and then fell in love with the military. He decided that if he was going to make it his career he should go Air Force and finish school. Dan's Guard unit was called up on Sept 13th for two years. All I could think of was how glad I was that he had gotten out and was now joining the Air Force, where he wasn't going to be asked to do anything scary. years later he is in the Army and in the war that started a month later. He has a desk job, he is not in danger, I do not worry about that. We are blessed, lucky, and grateful. But he is gone. And he is going again, all too soon. That is all I can think about. He isn't home from the first one and the second one is already looming on the calendar.

I am being selfish. Then comes the guilt. This day isn't about me but that is all I think about, my family and what this day did to my kids. Evil men on the other side of the world decided to murder innocent people because they live in America and wanted to go to work and support their families. Now my kids have to give up their father for big chunks of their childhood. I have to give up my best friend and have a 10,000 mile marriage.

We chose this life, the military life. Together. And more than that when Dan was being let go from the Air Force he had options, civilian life or Army life. We chose this, together. We knew that by going Army he would deploy. We knew that he would be gone and what he would be asked to do. We made this decision with our eyes open.

That knowledge doesn't change a thing. I am still alone at night when the kids cry. I am still selfish, and just want Dan home.

Monday, September 08, 2008

One success, one blunder

Brag, brag, brag. To celebrate hitting the 30 lbs lost mark, I went shopping. I have been on the hunt for two very elusive items. One: a dress, two: a jean skirt. The search has been going on for about a year. Background info for those that don't know of the fashion restrictions. Sleeveless is not an option, skirts need to at least go to my knees, and a few other things like backless, or too low in front. I have been on the hunt for a dress that right from the hanger I can wear. I have two dresses and they are both sleeveless so I wear shirts underneath one and a sweater with the other one. I want a dress that is self-sufficient. Needless to say, I am picky. Nothing I wear is frilly, not big on lace, or those grown-up pinafore looking things. Not going to happen.

Then just like that two dresses in one day. With one being the ultimate, a black dress. I do have to make two slight alterations and then that one will be perfect. Just a little bit of a nip on the neck line so it's not so come and get it and then the other alteration is for me to be just a slight less fatty and I am all set. That is my new goal dress, hanging in one corner of my room, taunting me. The goal is to be ready for it by the time Dan gets home. The other dress is perfect for now, right off the hanger. And two sizes smaller than my last size. Success!

On to the blunder, totally not my fault which is why I can share it so freely, although I am never that shy to share all the stupid crap I do. Every year for my birthday I get myself a present. I go a little crazy on Amazon and add on to the CD collection. But with a mission, this is back-dating that I do. Not anything that I can buy at the store, this is my old-school stuff. The stuff that I grew up on, the songs that shaped my tastes for the rest of my life. I was a child of the eighties but more importantly the youngest of six children, some of whom were teenagers then and took it upon themselves to make sure I was raised correctly.

This year it is some Pet Shop Boys, Howard Jones, and Elvis Costello. And two other obscure CDs, not old but not available at the stores, The Shins and a collection of music from Gilmore Girls. The tricky thing with buying old is that sometimes used is the only option. I normally do alright with Amazon but it is always a gamble. The Elvis Costello one was only available used so I gambled, bet on red baby. It landed on black.

The Elvis Costello comes first and I was so excited, I can already hear Veronica in my head, I am looking forward to a night of uploading to the itunes and introducing the children to Peace, love, and understanding. I open the CD case and there to meet my expectant gaze is a familiar blue CD with the word Weezer on it. Huh?! How hard is it to open a CD before you ship it? The second CD was in there, but come on, let's face it, on a two-disk album the first one is always the best, the ugly sisters go on the second one.

And to get a CD that I already have, that's just insult to injury. All I could think of is any person who has an interest in Weezer has had the blue album for years. The only people still needing to buy the blue album are kids who are now back-dating their collections being that they were like two when it came out. They have no clue who Elvis Costello is. Having said that, if you like Geek rock, you must have Weezer and the Blue album is there first one, sooo great. Then their newest one, the Red album, holy crap it is the best album that I have heard in years. It has a song on there that now tops my top twenty of all time favorite songs, Heart Songs. And another one, Everybody Get Dangerous is like seriously taking a nostalgia trip into my teen years.

I got side-tracked. Now begins the whole email the dude who can't open a CD before he ships it to see if he even really has the CD or if he shipped it to poor some sap buying Wham! Make it Big! Then mail it back, find another shifty seller and hold my breath again.

So in conclusion, yeah for my new dress and boo for incompetence.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What the...?!

Today in Algebra we were broken up in groups and set to work on an assignment. We got our little group of four all together, chatted a tiny bit and got to work. A few minutes into doing some work that didn't require any discussion I hear, "Um, ma'am?"

That would be one of my group members trying to get my attention. I was the only girl in the group and I can assume by his title the only ma'am in the group also. I hesitated and looked around to see how close by the professor was, maybe he was trying to get her attention. No such luck. I looked at him and asked, "Did you just call me ma'am?" Then he realized that he had offended me and meekly apologized.


I'd rather had been called dude. A million times over. Ma'am. shesh.