Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting over the blues...

I'm getting out of my "blues" funk...

--I spent 6 hours at my school this week. Took a prior student with me. She was a SUPER help. She climbed up and down the step ladder and took down ALL of the posters the prior teacher left in my classroom. Amazing what kids are willing to do for lunch at the Olive Garden. :) I was able to clean out the desk and filing cabinet, as well as 2 of the 5 storage cabinets. Whew! I am feeling less overwhelmed now....still a lot of work to do, but at least there are places I can shove/hide MY stuff if I am not able to fully unpack everything before school starts. Now I am even beginning to think I may be able to finish setting up my classroom before school starts. Hooray!

(--On a weird note, I slept poorly that night and had a bad dream that my new principal called me and was angry because I had thrown out much of the prior teacher's personal items and she wanted to claim them. Ugh. In reality, I spoke to her via phone before I cleared out the room, to make sure she had gotten everything she wanted out if it.)

--DH's bro, wife and their twin boys are here in FL for their vacation. The boys are SO, SO sweet and we've enjoyed seeing them. J has recently learned to is adorable! I had forgotten how toddlers bobble back and forth in an almost waddle when they first learn to walk. And little S looks SOOO much like his Daddy. Makes me smile and think about what it might have been like when DH and bro were little ones. Emma and I were able to go to the beach with them yesterday---wonderful time. Today we went to the library for story time, followed by a monorail train ride (the monorail here in Jax only has 8 stops...but it is a $.50 air-conditioned ride and the kiddos all seemed to enjoy it.) We ended our outing with lunch in the park. It was a nice day! More family that I wished we lived closer to. I think DH and I are really going to have to think about which is more important: weather or family, when we consider moving again. (Bro-in-law and his family live in Ohio too.) (But did I mention that I hate the winters in the mid-west? Yowsers.)

--I leave tomorrow for a "Girl Power" OU reunion. There are a group of 10 girls from my college who have stayed in contact over the years. Every summer they have some type of GP weekend. I have been able to attend 2 GP weekends in the past. I usually miss the reunions because they are typically held in Ohio and I can't afford the travel expenses for an extra trip, not to mention babysitting for Emma. (And part of it is I have a hard time justifying the flying expense JUST FOR ME. Moms---you know how it give your last $2 for your kid....$400 airfare is a lot of dough for a weekend get-away when the family isn't included.) This year, the reunion is the 10th year of GP. They are holding the reunion in Banner Elk, North Carolina. I AM GOING! SOOOOO excited. I leave tomorrow. It will be an 8 hour drive for me, a 6 hour drive for the gals from Ohio. There is one other OU alum who is flying in from NY. It will be soooo nice to see everyone and have some girlfriend bonding time! We have rented a cabin for the weekend. We'll spend a day in Asheville, NC sightseeing at the Biltmore. Another day we'll hang out with beers/drinks on the cabin deck, hike the mountain trails, and go see the Mamma Mia movie. Mostly, I am just glad to see my old college pals, many whom I haven't seen since 5 years ago at a wedding. Yea! (DH was able to get time off work, so he'll be staying with Em and they'll be able to spend time with his bro and bro's family as well, which is nice.)

--I've been looking into Master's of Education programs. Right now my biggest concern is cost. We're still paying off DH's loans from his bachelors and he graduated in '97. We're nearly done...but do I want to start new payments now? A year or two without any loans would be nice.
(And thank you, thank you, thank you Mom and Dad for paying for my college!!!!)

--Thinking of getting a big-wheel for Emma. We only have a tricycle and she struggles to pedal it. When in Ohio, my parents had a big-wheel in their basement which Em rode independently. I guess she can just reach it better? The tricycle is on the shortest setting, but she just can't seem to get the hang of it.

--Thanks to those who have left comments and/or sent emails regarding the blog. I started this blog venture for myself, but it is neat to know that others are reading it. :) I guess that is all the latest. More next week with GP pics. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Vacation Part II

My Mom babysat Emma so DH and I could spend a day
at Ohio University. Neither of us has been there for
9 years.

OU lore says that if you walk across the seal, you
will never graduate. DH and I smiled at each
other, and promptly stood on the seal...degrees were
earned a while ago, so we had nothing to lose. :)

The "College Green" and its beautiful walkways and brick buildings are what set my heart on OU as a high school senior.
Cutler Hall was one of the first buildings at OU.
Shively Hall...the coed dorm where DH and I met.
Self-portrait of us in front of the Botanical Gardens at OU (where we started dating back in '95.)

One night at Grandma & Grandpa's house, Emma saw her first full
rainbow. It turned out to be a double rainbow on one side. Neat!

We were able to have a nice park picnic day with 2 of my college girlfriends and their kiddos. It was great to catch up with the gals!

Em with SER who is 10 days older than Emma.

They play together wonderfully!
Em with TMR, S's older bro.
Em and the R family with baby TEW. Awww.

We had a great time!

Summer Vacation Part I

Whew! What a summer! My sister Laurel visited with us in Florida for a week. We were able to go the beach and have some nice "hang out" time with her. In addition, we had our first experience at the Wild Adventure theme park in Valdosta, GA. It was fun and Emma LOVED her first roller coaster ride!

Em giggled the entire time she and Daddy spun around and around on the Dragon ride.

At 36 1/2 inches tall, Emma was finally tall enough (with a 1/2 inch to spare!) for her first Kiddie-coaster ride.

She also enjoyed the sack-slide with Auntie Laurel

Emma and I then travelled to Ohio with Laurel, who drove us to our parents' house. Emma and I had a week with them---going to the park, library, firefly catching, etc. It was nice. In addition, my parents' next door neighbors have 3 kids. Their oldest J played wonderfully with Emma and she looked forward to playing in their backyard with J and his siblings many nights.

Em with J (parents' 9 y/o neighbor)

Emma outside Grandma & Grandpa's house.

We were able to visit with some dear Ohio friends, including....

Shannon and her daughter K and their family

Em was able to see her twin cousins. They are now a year and a half old. And cute as can be! Just see for yourself...
Em and cousin J take a conference call
"Cousin S, hold this water, while I hold your forehead."

Did I mention we took our dog with us? He loved running and
playing in my parents' large yard.

Our dog Viggo(left) and parents' neighbors' dog Jasper

DH drove up to join us for 2 additional weeks in Ohio, before the 3 of us drove back to FL.

We met our friends at Young's Dairy Farm---what a nice day. We loved catching up with our former Florida neighbors who are now living in Indiana.

DH (By the way, I've had some people ask, DH= Darling/Dear Husband) and I

at Young's Dairy Farm

Me, MaryAnn, and Laurel
(My "Florida sister" who moved to Indy and my real-life lil sis. WISH I lived closer to both!)

KGP and Em

Em with MaryAnn's Kids:
NRP in front; KGP, Emma, and ZAP in back.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Roller Skating Girl

One of my favorite memories from our recent vacation was watching Emma learn to rollerskate in my parents' basement. I'll post more vacation pics in a day or two, but wanted to share these ASAP.

Recent Emma-isms

On a lighter note than my last are some recent Emma-isms that crack me up!

--The day after learning what a "wedgie" is, Emma stood up in the middle of the movie theater and said, "Mom, there's a weenie in my pants!" (She meant that she had a wedgie! Lol.)

--In a loud and stern voice, "HEY! She didn't even say 'thank you!'" (After we had held the door open for a lady at Barnes and Noble. Ironically the woman HAD said thank you. She turned around laughing and said, "I did say thank you. Thank you is very important, isn't it, sweetie?")

--To our waitress at dinner tonight, while holding a small doll against a larger one, "Look, the baby is kissing Belle's privates!" (Waitress cracked up. Hubby and I wanted to crawl under the table. Of course Emma did not at all mean any sexual connotation, it was just that when the 2 dolls stood side by side the smaller was at the "privates" level of the taller Belle doll. Oh my!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why I'm blue...

I have the blues. Sighs. Here's what's going on in my world...

--We just got back from 3 weeks in Ohio. My daughter, DH, and I were spoiled by an abundance of time with my parents and younger sister. Now we are back in Florida and I miss them all.

--It is BLAZING hot here. (Sign at Walgreen's today said 99 degrees...there's nothing like sweating just by walking to the mailbox. And NO, I don't have a long driveway.)

--I have baby longings. I've been off the pill for a year and 7 months. No baby. Am I too old? Too fat? Too out of shape? Is child #2 just not meant to be? My cycle was late when we left for Ohio. I was so excited to think that we might be pregnant and actually able to tell my parents about the pregnancy in person this time, instead of via the phone like when I was pregnant with my daughter. Confession: I even bought a hpt....and literally started my period the day after the blasted test was negative. I haven't been to the OB for a yearly check for almost 2 years, because I am afraid what she will tell me. Am I pathetic, or what??

--My younger sister and I are 4 years and 8 months apart...I don't want Emma and any future siblings to be much farther apart than that. Emma turns 4 in September. Sighs. This means I need to get pregnant soon.

--School starts in 3 weeks. While I am extremely excited to be teaching at a new school this year, I don't want the summer to end! I am enjoying Mommy-and-Emma time!

--I went yesterday to see my new classroom for the first time. The prior teacher did not take down anything! I stopped counting at 35 posters that are stapled into the wall. In addition, the desk drawers and cabinets are still full of stuff (including 30+ bottles of silly-string spray...sadly I'm NOT kidding.) I resent that I have to spend time clearing out her crap before I can begin to get my own stuff ready.

--Our yard looks like a mini jungle. We just got back from is overgrown and our yard guy hasn't returned my phonecalls. Our lawn mower broke a few months ago, so even if I wanted to mow it myself, I can't.

--I was raised in Ohio. I lived there until just after I graduated from college, when I moved to Florida to live with DH (whom I met in college.) I am still in touch with one close friend I've known since 3rd grade. In addition, I still have some girlfriends from college who I am in contact with.
Since moving to Florida, I have struggled to make girlfriends. It is hard to find people with similar values and/or interests. Those who I have found: Alex---moved to North Carolina last September, MaryAnn---moved to Indiana last November, and now Teri---moved to Michigan last month. What the heck?? For some reason this is a very transient city. I am praying to make some new friends at my school this year.

--I don't know where I want to be. This time last year I was gung-ho on moving back to Ohio. Then in December, DH's grandmother passed away and we went to Ohio for her funeral services. It wasn't even a rough part of winter while we were there. But boy oh boy did I realize how much I hate the snow, dreary weather, and bitter cold. I hate being far from my family, but the 1 - 2 months of extreme heat here are much less than the 4 (sometimes 4+) months of winter they have there. Ugh.

Okay...enough wallowing...

Welcome to the Blog World

So here it is...

I've thought about blogging for awhile, but kept putting it off. Why? Partly because I don't feel my life is exciting enough to share in cyberspace. Partly because I don't feel I compare to the blogs I frequent (Moms who have lost children, Moms of multiples, moms who have adopted and/or combined families and now have large broods...)

However, I have decided to blog for ME. I love scrapbooking, but haven't scrapped since I was on maternity leave 4 years ago. I am not avid about handwritten journaling. My hope is that by typing my thoughts, ideas, and memories...I may one day combine them with photos and create scrapbooks of days gone by. And if not, at the bear minimum I will have created a virtual scrapbook, and a place to help jog my memory when I try to recall things.

Add to this the fact the majority of my family and close friends live out of state, so a blog will be a quick and easy way for them to access current photos and up-to-date information about my exciting (sometimes yes and sometimes no) life.

I'll be back soon with vacation pics and some recent Emma updates. Thanks for reading...