Saturday, May 30, 2009


This site is under construction. Thanks to Jaymee over at Our Surrogacy Adventure and some miscellaneous help from the Internet I was able to at last create a 3-column blog. Hooray!

However, I still have a long way to go....

Ideally I'd like my blog posts to be in the center with a left and right sidebar. As you can see right now, I am stuck with two right sidebars. For some reason I am unable to drag the "Blog Post" box when I try to edit my layout.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!

Until I figure it all out, this site will remain under construction...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Yea! Just when I was feeling disgruntled at messing up my blog layout...(I tinkered with the html trying to make my 2-column layout into a 3-column layout. It didn't work. And now my header and fonts are messed up. Sighs!) Anywho...I was feeling bummed out and irritated with myself, when I started reading comments on my blog.

Lo and behold, I had a comment from my blog buddy Marie stating she had nominated me for a blog award. Hooray! Thanks, Marie! :)

Here are the rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award:

1. When given the award, you write about seven things that you love.

2. Pass the award to seven bloggers that you love, and be sure to tag them and let them know they've won. (You can copy the award and post it on your sideboard.)

So, here goes...

1. I love my family.
--My wonderful DH is my best friend and confidant, I love him to pieces! (As I type this he is in the kitchen cooking dinner. He cooks much better and way more frequently than I do. My DH rocks!)
--My sweet daughter is a joy! I love watching her learn and explore new things. Her smiles and hugs make my day! (As I type this she is watching "Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang" for the 3rd day in a row. My child LOVES musicals just like her mother. Yea!)
--My two sisters are amazing, strong women. I love spending time with them...and wish we lived closer so that I could see them more often.
--My parents are supportive and caring role-models. I hope to be as good a parent to my Emma (and hopefully #2 someday) as they've been to me.
--DH's parents who live nearby have made me feel like one of their own kids. I appreciate them, especially as ALL of my family is out of state.
--DH's siblings are fun too! We love spending time with D, M and their 2 boys. A and B are newlyweds, and we're all eager for them to have a child someday.
--Shout out to my Wisconsin cousins who sometimes read this blog. I hate that we are so far from one another. You all are fabulous people who I wish I could hang out with more.
--My dog Viggo. Nothing beats his excited greeting each time we enter the house. And his large brown eyes...I love his sweet demeanor.

2. I love reading. I am a book guru. I am excited that it will be summer-time soon so I can read, read, read. I love to read on the deck in the summertime! Though I don't read as much now as I did pre-Emma, I still spend many a night staying up late with a good book. I especially enjoy teen lit and books that I can recommend to my 8th grade reading students.

3. I love green. My iPod, my car, my cell phone, my Blog layout, etc. These are all green items. I find green soothing and peaceful. Also Ohio University is where I met DH and the school colors are green and white. Go, Bobcats! :)

4. I love Scooby-Doo. I have been a Scooby fan since I was a little girl. My 'screen name' for many things pertains to one of the characters on the show. I love Halloween time each year, because I choose an episode of Scooby to use in my classroom. My students view the show as we are learning literary elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. They love it and the nifty Scooby plots are easy to determine literary elements with before we move on to dissecting more difficult written pieces. My parents report that I learned how to tell time due to Scooby-Doo. Apparently, I'd ask and ask all day long if the show was on yet. My Mom made me a notecard with a clock showing what time Scooby started. By "matching" the card to our clock, I could determine whether or not it was time for the show yet. I have many Scooby trinkets and toys. Someday I hope to have a larger house and find some type of curio or shelving unit to display them all in my office area. (Right now the majority are in storage in our garage.)

5. I love teaching. I love helping struggling readers learn strategies to help them decipher text. I love watching students grasp concepts for the first time. I love the READ180 curriculum at our school. And yes, I love summers off...

6. I love exploring. I wish we had more $$$ to travel. (I WILL go to Ireland someday!) However local adventures are almost as fun. I love museums, zoos, seeing musicals, hiking/picnicking in state parks, hanging out at the library, going to the beach, finding new inexpensive places to visit, etc.

7. I love blogging. I've been blogging for 10 months now. I love using this as an outlet! Not only is my blog a written and photo journal of my life, it has led me to form online friendships. And the wonderful community I've met via Mel's blogroll has been a super source of comfort and advice. I almost cried when I thought I had messed up my entire blog layout. Not because I thought I had lost my "buttons" and "gizmos" and "gadgets," but because I thought I had lost the list of blogs that I follow and whom follow me. GULP! What would I do without these connections? Thank goodness, it all turned out in the end. :)

Now for my nominees...

1. Sunny is one of my newest online pals. We have bonded because sadly we're both in the secondary infertility boat. I love her honesty and candor.

2. Mrs. Gamgee She's an avid reader! And her positive attitude and optimism are superb! I wish we lived closer, I'd truly love to meet her for a girl's day out in real life. :)

3. Looking4#3 Recently learned she was PG after a long struggle with secondary infertility. I've enjoyed reading about her journey.

4. Miss La My real life younger sister. She's fairly new to blogging. She blogs primarily about her career as a high school Spanish teacher. LOVE the humor and wit she uses to describe her student's antics. A nice break from the IF/parenthood blogs I usually frequent.

5. Fishsticks and Fireflies was one of the first women I connected with after my January miscarriage. Her reassurance and caring attitude were MUCH appreciated. She is mom to 2 beautiful toddlers and a beautiful newborn girl...proof that hope and "trying" do work out sometimes! :)

6. Parenthood for Me has created an amazing blog and website in support of parents who are enduring IF treatments or are trying to adopt. I love reading her first-hand experience about adopting, especially her recent post about the "delivery" of her son via JFK Airport. Amazing!

7. Carrie at Letting It All Out is a fellow mom/teacher I enjoy reading about. She has 3 young children and her DH is in the military and will be leaving for overseas duty soon...her heartfelt emotions as she prepares to endure their separation has been touching to read.

There are so many others who have blogs that have touched me in some way. HUGS to all!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

Memorial Day: Let me begin with a giant SHOUT OUT for all of the U.S. armed forces past and present. I truly appreciate your devotion to our country and the sacrifices that you (and your families) make! "Let freedom ring!"

The Weebles Wobblog blog encourages people to take note of "perfect moments" that occur within their lives. I've been fortunate to have a few during this Memorial Weekend...

--DH was SO excited about the Stowaway seats in our new van. When carting items around yesterday, he was pleased with the easy 1-2-3 steps to store the rear seats into the floor of the van. It made me happy that he was so tickled.

--My sweet daughter was thrilled yesterday when she found a snail outside on our deck. She brought him into the house, named him, Sam...and spent literally a few hours hanging out with her snail. She was really disappointed when we asked her to release him outside.

Blurry shot of Sam

Em with Sam and his "antlers." (Aka antennae)

Close up of Sam on Em's hand

Last night we drove to Fernandina Beach---about a half hour north of Jacksonville. (Em loved the 10-minute ferry boat ride.) We had a nice time walking along the beach, enjoying the first rain-free weather we've had in nearly 10 days.

While at the beach, I had 2 "perfect moments." One-- of all the sharks' teeth I've found during the 10 years I've lived in Florida, last night I found my largest one yet.

Two-- watching Em run in and out of the ocean, smiling and giggling was SO precious. Love seeing her enjoy herself so much.

My final "perfect moment," is my new motivation for weight loss. (I pray that I stick with it, as in the past I have not been good about sticking to my weight loss goals.) I began run/walking last week. (Definitely more walking than running.) Yesterday, I purchased a NikeiPod device that monitors distance and speed while run/walking. Last night I went 2.1 miles....LOVED the motivation of having the device plugged into my iPod telling me how far I had gone. Plus, it has a cute little cartoon icon of me and my running stats that I was able to place on my blog---again VERY motivational for me. ("Print" makes me me more accountable than "verbal" words!) Anyway, my "perfect moment," is that I ran farther than I've gone in several years...this made me happy with myself.

Hooray for perfect moments! :)
On an unrelated note: I have my blog layout set up as a 3-column layout, but it is only showing 2-columns. Do any readers have words of wisdom as to how I can alter this?? Thanks!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Show and Tell-- New Car

This week you're getting a 2-for-1 special...

1. New Show & Tell---New Van
Yesterday we bought a new mini van to replace DH's '99 Explorer. The Explorer had been nickle and dime-ing us lately. Though we weren't planning on buying a new car quite so soon, the deal we found was too good to pass up. We put down LESS $$$ than we did when we purchased the Explorer back in April '99, and we bought the 2009 van for LESS total cost than the Explorer was. We didn't get a lot of gadgets....but the key less entry and CD player are a step up from DH's old car, so he is loving it. And we were able to get $1500 trade in for the stinky, dirty, coffee stained, broken armrest/center console, nasty old Explorer. Hilarious! I thought we'd get $800 at the most.

We had figured long ago our next vehicle would probably be a mini van. Though vans lose a little in the "cool factor," they have many features we love, especially the rear "stowaway" seats for carting large items, 2 rows of rear seats for carting around family/friends when visiting, or more room for Em and our large 100-pound dog. (You should have seen the 2 of them squished into the back of my Honda Civic last summer for our Florida-Ohio trip!)

(I did have two "ouches" when 2 different workers at the dealership asked us if Em was our "only one." Sighs. But overall, it was a positive experience. We literally were in and out with the new van in just under two hours. Wow!)

Pics below are from our time at the car dealership...

DH reading over some paperwork... (A little scruffy...he's been stressed out this week hoping the Explorer wouldn't poop out before we traded it in.)

Em and her Viewmaster

After Em got bored with the toys and coloring I had strategically packed, we found an indoor Kid's Area

Em at the play yard

Good bye, Explorer and Hello Grand Caravan!


One of my fav features is the upper mirror---enables the driver and front seat passenger to see all of the rear seats/passengers.

The interior..."durable stain proof seats." Sweet!

View in our driveway today, since it started raining before we left the dealership yesterday.

2. Show and Tell---The Old
This week marks the one year anniversary of Show and Tell, as sponsored every Saturday on Mel's Blog. There was a requested "homework" assignment this week. Mel asked that all Show and Tell participants leave a link to their favorite Show and Tell post from the past year.

A few months ago I was fortunate to run across Mrs. Gamgee's blog at Hobbit-ish Thoughts and Daily Ramblings. I've been a follower ever since. I feel a kindred connection with sweet Mrs. Gamgee due to many similarities within our lives. Back in April, Mrs. Gamgee had a wonderful post about her favorite photo of herself. I loved the photo, her description of her sheer happiness in the photo, and the memories surrounding the photo (and her trip to the Berlin Wall.) Check out her super post HERE.

And as always, you can check out what the rest of the class is bringing this week HERE at Mel's awesome blog.

Busy Week and Name Game Revealed

--School Stuff: Student final exams were this week. It's been a struggle getting my 8th graders to focus, since they've finished their final exam, they think they are entitled to "free time" until the end of the school year. Yeah, right!

--Good news: We received confirmation that reading and language arts will NOT be combined next year! This means I can focus on reading strategies and helping my students with reading gains. Reading and teaching reading are my's been a frustrating year having to also teach writing. Next year, things should be much better!

--Emma: I took Wednesday off of work to attend Em's Pre-school graduation party. SO cute and SO fun. (And I SO admire her teacher...I could NOT teach a class of 10 3 and 4 year olds on a daily basis without losing it!)

Em with her teacher Ms. Stephanie (Yes, Ms. Stephanie is young! However she is "certified" and has the ambition of wanting to one day run her own childcare center. She is energetic and creative and Em LOVES her!)

Ms. Stephanie gave an "I Noticed Your Talent Award" to every student. Em's talent was "Most Likely to be a Future Educator." HEHEHE! My 2 sisters and I are all teachers. Our mother was a teacher. And much of my dad's job consists of conducting safety-related "trainings." I am hoping this award is because Em is helpful and informative...and not because she's too bossy.

The class

Eating their pizza party lunch

My sweet girl

Nice banner made by Ms. Stephanie

Em and her classmates L to R: Wisdom, Kaylee, Em, Todd, Christian, Zion, Camille, Jarian

How cute!

Name Game Results: A few posts ago (click here) I posted a Name Game question to determine how many of my readers "pronounce" my name the way I do.

Drumroll please. The answer is: Uh-lawn-uh My family has called me "Lon" for years. :)

Don't worry if you pronounced it wrong. As long as you don't call me "Allen" like Mrs. Carey, my very scary high school geometry teacher did on more than one occasion, we'll get along just fine!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Welcome, ICLWers! This is my 3rd time participating in International Comment Leaving Week. As always, I am looking forward to meeting new online friends, and checking out new blogs. :)

Since most ICLWers are here because of Mel's blog, I thought I'd do a quick run-down of my IF history...

--Met DH in 1994. We lived in the same co-ed dorm at Ohio University. We started dating in 1995 and got married in 1998, shortly after moving from Ohio to Florida.

--We intentionally waited 4 years before TTC. We wanted to pay off some loans, get settled with our bills, become a 2-car instead of 1-car household, etc. Not to mention, it was great to have lots of "US" time. :)

--Once we began "trying," my OBgyn said not to "worry," until after 2 years, as I had been on various forms of birth control pills over the years.

--Right at the 2 year mark, I became pregnant with our daughter, Emma. She was born healthy and sweet at 37 weeks in Sept 2004. I cherish her everyday!

--For 3+ years now, we've been TTC another child. Emma has mentioned interest in having a sibling many times. She will be 5 in September. As she gets older, I freak out---I don't want her to be an "only" child. I have real issues with this. Sibling relationships are SO important to me. But at the same time, I don't want a huge age gap between her and a it's a bit of an internal struggle for me sometimes.

--Of course, as Emma gets older, I get older too. I turned 34 this past April. I try not to freak out too much, when each month passes and I'm not PG yet. This is somewhat of an internal struggle at times too. When will I know I should give up on my dream of having another child?

--This past January ('09) we were thrilled to learn I was pregnant. DH and I were very excited! We planned to share the news with our families after my OB appointment (scheduled for 2 weeks after my HPT) confirmed the pregnancy. Sadly, I had a miscarriage a few days before the appointment. (If you're interested in details, you can read this post or click on any items labeled "peanut" or "miscarriage" in my blog topic list.)

--After my miscarriage, my OB told me to come back this summer if I wasn't PG yet, and we would figure out our next steps from there.

--On a side note, I suspect that I also had a miscarriage in the fall of '08. However, as I never took a hpt nor went to the OB, this is unconfirmed. But based on the way my body felt, and the miscarriage I endured in January, I'm pretty sure I had one in the fall as well.

--So, I am praying for peace of mind. If I am not meant to have another child, let me figure it out and find peace. If I am meant to have another child, let me stay calm, try to remain be patient and wait for the good things to come.

--Now it's a waiting game... and a hoping game... and a keep-going-without-getting-too-down-on-myself game... Welcome to my blog, where I vent to keep myself sane! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just For Today

Just for today, I am loving my body. I've been feeling fat and disappointed in myself lately. DH started a 90 day "P90X" exercise program. It's a 13 DVD set with workouts for an HOUR a day. He's been at it for a week now and is doing great. Though I get totally annoyed when he devotes so much time to exercise (especially when the house is a disaster zone, the pets need fed, our daughter is watching TV instead of interacting with a parent, etc.) there is part of me that truly admires his perseverance.

I've been toying with the idea of running for a while now. In middle school I was part of the "Fun Run" team. We went running through neighborhoods nearby the school, and had fun workouts with Ms. Hoffman the cool P.E. coach. In high school, I'd run once in a while. The house I grew up in was less than a mile from corn fields in the country. I used to love walking/jogging on Waldo Road...past the fresh flowers, horses in the fields, corn taller than me, etc. In college my friend (and later roommate) Amy and I would meet each other and go running on the awesome biking/walking trail at Ohio U. Then winter came...we both busted our butts on the ice a few times and our exercise regime dwindled "until spring." We just never got back into it.

So I gained the "freshman 10." And the sophomore "20"...and I stopped keeping track of my actual weight. DH and I met my sophomore year, and began dating my junior year at OU. Neither of us was into exercise. But I wasn't "obese," and unhappy with myself.

We got married in '98 three months after my graduation from OU. (DH graduated in '97.) Over the past 10+ years, my weight has been increasing. Though disgruntled with myself, I was never "fed up" enough to stick to any diets or work out plans. (I'm a typical yo-yo-er with regards to weight loss.) I joined Curves (a women only gym) a few years ago. I did great...lost some pounds, built some muscle....and then never went back when my work schedule changed so that I was unable to get to the gym after work anymore.

Em came along in '04. I gained a little weight with her, but not too much. I tried to be supportive when DH started running. He began running and working out when I was pregnant. On the one hand I was proud of him for taking care of himself (as his pounds had increased, just as mine had.) On the other hand, I wanted to strangle him whine and scream that while I was pregnant with our child he was LOSING weight. ARGH!

We've been trying to have another child for 2+ years now. This summer we have an appointment with my OB to determine our "next steps." If I am honest with myself, I wonder how much (if any) of our secondary infertility has to do with my weight. DH has continued to run and workout regularly since he started before Em. I try not to be too hard on myself...and to tell myself that the reality is that my weight may have nothing to do with our TTC. However, the negative "I'm too fat" mindset sets in sometimes.

Earlier this week, (the day after the "Biggest Loser" finale, actually) I was thinking that I should run in a half marathon. Then I remembered that there is a yearly half marathon at Disney World. (I *HEART* Disney World!) I was thinking that it would be really cool to run the half marathon there... Why when I haven't run in nearly 10 years did this strike me as a good idea? I'm really not sure. I think I've hit my "breaking point" of disgust with myself.

By coincidence, last night, DH mentioned that he had been in contact with one of our old OU buds via FaceBook. The friend had stated that she and another OU pal might be running in the half marathon at Disney in March! I haven't mentioned my secret ambition to DH yet. I am forcing myself to write this post...because printing it makes me accountable. I don't know if I'll be ready by March...but I would love it if I was. Running 13 miles straight by March....that would be awesome!

So I started today. I RAN today. Baby steps....I ran every-other song on my iPod. Walked for two songs, then ran for all of "Cotton Eye Joe," walked a song, RAN for half of "Devil Went Down to Georgia," walked 2 songs, then finished by running for ALL of "All 4 Love" (Love me some "Color Me Badd!") Went nearly 2 miles total...not sure how far was running...but at least I did it!

So just for today, I am happy with my body. This body that helped me carry my sweet Emma. This body that I KNEW was in labor even when the doctor blew me off. This body that delivered Em ALL naturally without any epidural, not because I planned for a natural childbirth, but because I was already 5 cm dilated by the time we got to the hospital. (Em arrived less than 2 hours later. She was a super quick delivery...and too fast for an epidural.) If I can go through the pain of childbirth and recovery (I will never forget the pain of stitches "down there" without any numbing hurt almost worse than the delivery itself!) If I can endure the heartache of miscarriage and longing for another child. If I can nudge myself by remembering that I want to be the best mommy I can be....and by acknowledging that right now my fat bum and junk food eating exercise habits are not setting a good example for my Emma... then I CAN RUN!

Yes, just for today, I am loving Me! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Show and Tell--World of Nations

The first weekend of May, Em and I spent Saturday attending the "World of Nations Celebration" held in Metro Park in downtown Jacksonville. Metro Park is quite large. There were over 35 tents/booths set up representing different countries from around the world. At each booth, there was art work, food, and items for sale that were native to the country represented. In addition, many booths had dancers and/or music native to their country.

Free with the $5 admission, was a small "Passport" book. At each country's booth, people could receive a sticker of the country's flag to place in the book. Em loved this!

Unfortunately my allergies (which I didn't know I had!) kicked in, so I skipped Show & Tell the week we attended because I spent the remainder of the weekend in bed.

Pics from the World of Nations are below...

Entrance Sign

Passport Book

Stickers inside our passport book.

Em loved playing the drums at the South Africa booth

Cool entrance to the Cambodia booth

Tower display in the middle of the park

Em was super excited to pose with this Troy and Gabriella cutout from High School Musical 3 (at the Radio Disney booth.)

Puerto Rico reps had a small parade

Em saw this woman dancing in the Thailand area. Em ran over to the stage area, sat down criss-cross-applesauce on the sidewalk and was mesmerized by the dancing. So cute!

Later she posed with the Chad and Taylor cutout. Em LOVES the HSM movies.

At the Duval Co Foreign Languages booth, Em was spending such a long time coloring a Spanish tile, that the workers asked her if she wanted to come behind the table and sit down while she finished her art work.

It was blazing hot, but we had a great time! :)
To see what everyone else is bringing, check out Mel's Blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Secondary Infertility

I googled "Secondary Infertility" today and came across this amazing article (CLICK HERE) about a woman experiencing secondary infertility (SI.) The article wonderfully explains what I've been feeling the past year and a half...

The author, Victoria Lambert, drew me in with this PERFECT description:
"I fully appreciate that I am infinitely luckier than all those who are unable to conceive at all – either through infertility, timing or sheer bad luck – but that doesn’t make the pain any easier to bear.

What I could not have known before my daughter was born was that infertility is infertility, plain and simple, whenever it occurs. I had no idea that trying for a second child would be like starting with a blank page; that my accumulated wisdom and experience of motherhood would count for nothing in terms of conception."

--Lambert goes on to describe the guilt she feels about one child not being "enough," the frustration with her body...why can't it create another child?, the guilt the current child gives because they want a sibling, the pain of seeing all of the baby items she keeps stored in hopes that she can use them for another child. YES! SOMEONE OUT THERE UNDERSTANDS! This is completely and totally what I am going through.

--Lambert brought me to tears with the closing of her article: "These days, it has to be said, I long for my need for a second child to go away almost as much as I do for a positive pregnancy test."

I myself am not at that point yet. I've always envisioned my life as being part of a family of 4. Right now, I'm not willing to give up my dream. But I am wondering how will I know when enough is enough? When should I give up my dream of another child? Sighs.

And does the hurt ever go away? In January the week the OB confirmed I was pregnant, the mother of one of Emma's schoolmates also learned she was pregnant. I remember talking and planning things with DH and we thought it was interesting timing that Baby #2 would be born around the time of Em's September birthday. My miscarriage occurred a week later. This week I heard from the schoolmate's mother for the first time in quite a while. She was overjoyed at her Sept 13th duedate. 4 days before Em's bday. Ouch!

I've dealt with many pregnancies-of-friends-and-acquaintances over the past few months. One of my college buddies is due anytime...I am thrilled for her. There is a teacher-intern at my school who is due in June...I am genuinely excited for her. Yet for some reason, Emma's schoolmate's mother is just so painful for me to deal with. Perhaps because the timing of her pregnancy? I don't know. But I feel like such a bitch when I plaster on my fake smile and try to speed up any encounters we have. I certainly don't have any ill-will towards her personally. I am just experiencing bump envy again. ARGH!

I feel a little better now that I've ranted. Thank you, dear Readers for letting me vent. And to those experiencing SI, I encourage you to read the really moved me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

School Stuff and A Name Game

--School Stuff: This week my students took their final Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) test for the school year. (The test is taken via computer near the end of each quarter. It is used to determine students' Lexile reading level.)

The goal for our county was to have students "gain" 75 points from their first score in October, to the score they received this week. They consider 75 points equal to one year of growth (or one reading "grade level.")

The Bad: I have 4 students' whose Lexile level dropped. (This indicates they didn't test well today, not that they are reading at a lower level.) I have 5 students who showed growth, but did not have 75 points of growth.

--The Fabulous: I had 26 of 35 students make 75+ point gains. I also had 24 students score over a 100 point gain. WAY exciting! Also exciting----6 students who gained over 200 points in their reading level, 3 students who gained over 300 points in their reading Lexile level, and 1 student who gained over 400 points in his Lexile level! YIPPEE! (He started the year at a 370 Lexile (2nd grade reading level) and is now at a 864 Lexile level (7th grade reading level.) Best of all, I have 8 students who are now considered grade level readers!! SUPER AWESOME!

--My name: I'm wondering how many readers who've never met me IRL "pronounce" my name correctly when they read it?? My entire life people have mispronounced my name. I learned long ago not to be offended by this, as there are so many different possibilities. But I am curious...

Do you think the correct pronunciation of "Alana" is:
a. Uh-lane-uh
b. Uh-lawn-uh
c. Allen-uh
d. Uh-lan-uh

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

For the amazing women I've met the past several weeks who have accepted me into the IF community. Happy Mother's Day! To those whose children are no longer with those who long for a child of their those like me who have 1 or more children, but are longing for at least 1 more, may today be a reminder of the hope that surrounds our community. I'm thinking of you all today!

On a brighter note, this is a fun video that a few friends emailed me...

Show and Tell---Wicked

Last night, DH and I had our first "date night" in several months. We dropped Em off at DH's parents' house in the late afternoon. She spent the night with Nana and Papa while DH and I went out to dinner (at the Outback---yummy!) We then went to see the musical, Wicked. I LOVE Wicked---I enjoyed the book (mostly), love the music, and saw the musical in Ohio with my sister last summer (Thanks, Lal!) We were worried because sometimes the theater opportunities here in Jacksonville aren't all that great. (We saw Phantom of the Opera a few years ago and it was awful!!) We ended up being very pleasantly surprised...the lead singer who played Elphaba was very good. The orchestra was super. The set was spot-on to the high quality I had seen in Columbus last year. Great show! Great time! Yea!

Pics from my cell phone are below...

While waiting in the lobby of the theater, we had fun entertaining ourselves with the attire of others. I pretended I was texting, when I snapped the photo of the hooker lady with a very short dress above. She kept tugging the dress down, because with each step she took it would ride up even HIGHER than in this photo. I commented to DH that I didn't know how she was going to sit down without exposing herself. Ick!

My favorite was a woman who was wearing a tight black long sleeve dress. She had a floral BIKINI top OVER the dress, and a matching floral skirt ON TOP of the dress. WHAT the heck? As DH said, "I just couldn't decide if I was going to go to the beach, or the theater." I tried to get her pic, but it didn't work. Rats!

There are many lovely artistic pieces throughout the theater lobby area. DH made me giggle when he said the sculpture above reminded him of "Han Solo in carbonite." Hehee!

Self portrait after we were seated and waiting for the show to begin.

My sweet DH. Is he a charmer or what? :)

Me with playbill. We had a great time!

To see what the rest of the class brought for Show & Tell this week, head on over to Mel's Blog.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Nothing really new going on...just some things I've been ruminating about lately.

--Allergies--My newly diagnosed Hay Fever is kicking my butt! I am thrilled that I don't have a throbbing headache as I did most of the weekend. However, I have a scratchy throat and mild congestion. Mostly, I am just SOOOO TIRED. The Zyrtec is helping, but it makes me so very sleepy. Seriously... I can't believe how wiped out I am. The doctor gave me a narcotic to take "as needed for pain," but of course one of it's side effects is drowsiness, so I haven't taken any since I was off school on Monday.

--Teacher--There is a teacher from my school who is in a chemical induced coma after suffering brain damage after having multiple seizures over the weekend. (Cause of seizures is unknown.) She's a cancer survivor in her young 40's, with a son who attends 7th grade at my school. It is just so heartbreaking...the email my principal sent to the faculty made it sound as though her husband doesn't expect her to live through the week. Makes me remember to be grateful for each day....
--She was the co-teacher/inclusion teacher many of my students had when they were in 7th grade last year. Thus, it's been a difficult week helping the students to cope.

--Home--DH and I are going on our first date night since my parents were here in November! Yea! We're going to dinner and to see the musical "Wicked" this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it. :)

--Emmaism-- Emma has been very into spelling lately. Especially opposites yes/no, in/out, open/closed, etc. Yesterday we were riding in the car and she said, "Mommy what does WEJZ spell?" She became upset when I told her it doesn't spell anything. "Yes it does! It's always in your car! You know, 96.1 WEJZ."

Heheeee. Go my little speller!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Verifklaoputf8iowkemph. That's how I've been feeling lately.

Saturday: Went to the neat "World of Nations" event downtown with Em. Had a great time. Started to feel headachey and "bleck" by end of day. Went to bed at 9:30ish. Crashed hard. Hubby ended up sleeping on futon after my loud breathing (he said it was "raspy" and "slobbery" breathing more than actual snoring...) woke him. (Sorry, DH!) At least I'll have cool pics for Show & Tell next week.

Sunday: Slept until 8:40 a.m. (Em actually slept in!) Felt like I was run over by a semi truck. Head throbs, throat aches, guess I'll go back to bed. Wait! I'm already there...Stayed in bed all day and slept, slept, slept. After some book reading and movie watching went to sleep for the night around 9:30 again.

Awoken at midnight by Emma whimpering in the living room. Poor baby...throwing up all over the place. Rushed her to the bathroom, pulled her hair back, rubbed her back as she threw up some more...

...rubbed her back as she went back to bed. Went to clean vomit on carpet in living room, only to discover dog had already "cleaned" it all for me. Thanks, Viggo. Big EWW!

Monday: Em and I stayed home from school today. I felt yuck much of the morning, though not as incoherent as on Sunday. Tried to rest. Em played and giggled and laughed, sang, yelled, watched TV, ran around, etc. Sighs! Em has no fever and seems fine all day....she probably could've gone to school while I got some rest. Oh well.

Late morning went to Urgent Care. In and out in less than an hour....with Emma in tow. Sweet!
LOVE the Urgent Care center.

Diagnosis: Hay Fever. WHAT?!? Not strep, not Swine Flu...Hay Fever knocked me on my arse for 2 1/2 days. Some Zyrtec and nasal spray later....tired, but feeling "normal" again. I'm not typically an allergy girl...but apparently the pollen and "spring" got to me when we were at the World of Nations festival this weekend. Weird.

Tuesday: 12:18 a.m. Em just woke me with loud crying. Crap! Did she vomit again? I didn't prepare for a sub at school if I have to take off another day. Whew! Everything's okay....she fell out of bed, but isn't hurt.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming....