Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First day of school for me too

Actually, today was my second day teaching a persuasive writing class at ASU. But the first day of a college class hardly counts, right? Just the syllabus and introductions. Blah, blah, blah. Today felt like the first day since I lectured and did in-class group work and collected assignments for the first time this semester. And it's good to be back. I forgot how much I love school and love the college atmosphere (although the college atmosphere at ASU currently involves 112 degree heat and a walk across campus, which would be why, when Mister took this pic at 4pm, 4 hours after my class, my hair is still plastered to my forehead and there's still a shine of the sweat that was.)
See the textbook I'm holding? It's "Everything's an Argument." Well, given H's treatment of my return to school, I think he's arguing against it. He did thoroughly enjoy his time hanging out with his new babysitter in the institute building (complete with ping pong balls and a basketball court--could life for H get any better?). BUT he also thoroughly protested the disruption in his schedule by refusing to nap the morning of my first day teaching and the entire day today. That's right. Just a lot of crying going on around here. Oh, and a lot of destruction. Because a no-napping H means not only do I not get anything done, but H creates even more for me to do. Case in point from this afternoon:
That would be cd and video cases, most of which also do not have their contents in them, thanks to H who likes to open each one to inspect it (and remove it).

And then there's this new development called throwing-everything-I-can-find-upstairs-off-the-landing.
There goes the Diego flashlight to join the pile.
So hopefully H adjusts quickly, seeing as how I did actually plan my 1 hr, 15 min class time for right in-between his naps. And hopefully teaching doesn't prove to be overwhelming for me. Today I could have done without the added stress of a standstill on the freeway due to a car accident, nor was losing my textbook somewhere on campus after it fell out of the stroller any fun.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The first day of school and the Mother of the Year award for me

Everyone survived the first day of school! Of course, the day was not uneventful. I mixed up the time that school starts and ends, so I was 10 minutes late to pick them up. And 10 minutes on the first day is not okay. The kids weren't in their classrooms and neither were the teachers, so I went to the office just in time to find Mister and his teacher, who was calling me to tell me to come pick up my child. But no signs of Sweetie. So we ran back to Sweetie's class, but nobody was there, so we ran back to the office again, where we saw Sweetie and her teacher waiting outside in the 110 degree heat, looking tired and frazzled (both of them!) I apologized profusely and handed her teacher the sheet that said I would love to help in the classroom. The poor teacher probably doesn't want me to help in the classroom--a woman who forgets to pick up her own kids on the first day of school cannot be counted on for classroom help, right?

At least I managed to make the traditional back-to-school cakes this year. Not a book, like before, but pencil cakes for each of them. Hopefully the cake-making act negates the lateness. Mister and Sweetie, please remember that your mother made you cakes, not that your mother didn't pick you up on time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saying good-bye to summer (vacation, that is)

I shouldn't be blogging. I should be making lunches--peanut butter & honey sandwiches cut in dinosaur shapes was the request. Plus, Sweetie wants raspberries with sugar in her square container while Mister never deviates from the standard grapes. I need to write names on backpacks and fill out forms from meet-the-teacher night tonight. I need to be getting ready to kiss my kids good-bye and send them off to school in the morning.

I'm feeling emotional at the thought, though. Last year I expected to be emotional, with Mister going all day for the first time. But H was a newborn and life was busy and sleep was a rarity and I didn't have much time or energy for extra emotions. Plus I still had Sweetie at home. But tomorrow it will be just H and I. And, yes, there will be bonuses--naptime free to do what I want rather than play legos or mediate sibling arguments, a shower free of knocks on the door to tattle-tell, and only 1 child to cart around on errands--a child who still sits in the seat of the shopping cart so I know exactly where he'll be at all times. But I think I will be a little lonely. I think I will miss Mister telling me about Star Wars and Batman and Sweetie telling me jokes and singing and recapping the morning's adventures for me. I think I will miss playing "I Spy" while eating lunch. I will miss having someone prattling on about this or that. H only shrieks and says "Whoa!"

So I have tried to slow down this past week and enjoy having these two great little souls home with me. Because who knows if next summer they'll want to build forts in the basement or beg me to play Atlantis legos with them. Who knows if they'll still snuggle up next to me and share their caramel popcorn when we have a read-a-thon. I know that some day they won't and I will wonder why not and what happened.

Here are some pictures from this last week of summer vacation. We also visited the new children's museum downtown, which was a lot of fun. The kids climbed, pretended to shop and bake, painted the castle, and ran through the noodle forest (H and I joined them in some games of hide and seek before I got claustrophobic):

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My new source of power

As I'm sure you know, I'm a firm believer in the power of moms. But let's face it, that power is really cumulative. In everyday life, it seems more like I have no power at all--my "please pick that up"s have to be said multiple times and usually need to be accompanied by threats of no video games for a week before anything gets done. My "don't fight with your sister/brother" and "get out of H's face" are usually blatantly ignored. And what I muster up the energy to do around the house just gets undone in a matter of minutes.

But luckily, J gave me a new source of power for Mother's Day. Lookee here:
I'm now convinced that all moms need a really good knife set. It's oh-so-satisfying to cut that watermelon in half with one clean swipe. And the fat on the chicken seems to fall off with one effortless flick of my wrist. If I have to make dinner every night, then I might as well wield some power while I'm at it.

And here's the meal I made tonight that got me remembering how nice it is to have some power around the house these days:

Kabobs with chicken, onions, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms.
Corn on the cob
Fruit salad

Marinade for Kabobs (I did chicken, which I actually like better with this marinade, but steak is good too)
1/3 c soy sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp seasoned salt

Fruit salad
6 oz light cool whip
1 c buttermilk
1/2 of a lg box vanilla instant pudding
Fold in:
1 can pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained
grapes, apples, banana, strawberries, blueberries
This is a little thin at first. It thickens in the fridge.