Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"You have to say please"

Words often said by adults to children, right? Yeah, not today! If it weren't for little pink loving KGB costing her mommy and daddy an arm and a leg (well worth it, though) I would have walked out and NEVER come back. After telling one of my students to get away from my table (he had been all over it since this morning when he spilled coffee on it) he got in my face and looked as if he was daring me to step back. Then, I again told him to get away from my table. He said, and I quote, "You have to say please."

Let me preface this with the fact that when I die, I want my impeccable manners to be noted on my epitaph. I am THAT teacher that tells my kids that I say yes, ma'am and no, ma'am and so will they. I'm willing to bet that 99% of the time, I add please to ALL requests (including don't throw that bag at me, please) and an EIGHT year old has the nerve to tell me that I have to say please? Dear Lord, what am I doing thinking about bringing a child up in an environment where this is acceptable???

In defense of those needing it, my AP said that I should have called for assistance immediately, but it was at the end of the day. This student's mother was WONDERFUL and said she would IMMEDIATELY discuss this issue with my student. Those things said, when did we become a society in which that behavior and language is even contemplated? I just don't know sometimes...what will I do for KGB and school? What will I do for me and school??? My little Physical Therapy guy said I needed a hobby and badly! I have time. But he's I type, my neck muscles are spasming so much that I can hardly keep my neck up! Scrapbooking it will be. I am going to throw myself back into that. It is mindless and time consuming, can be done alone or with groups, and will be a reward to myself and my family for generations to come. John's going to love this!

Oh, and guess how much birth certificates and marriage licenses cost? LOTS, I tell you! LOTS!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trading my worries for woes...

When I was little, and I had some ache or pain and told my mom or dad about it, they would respond in that lovely, parental way--"Want me to make the other (insert body part that DOESN'T hurt) hurt so you won't pay attention anymore???" I loved that. Not really. That seems to be what I am doing, which is ok with me, though. School for the last two days? Ah, the same. Aggravating, stressful, frustrating, yada yada. Worse? All the stuff for the adoption! Finding others going through the same trips on different blogs, I am learning all sorts of stuff I don't think I want to know!! John's military status will make this much more difficult. The fact that we have military health care will make this much more difficult. And that's just the start of it...I just have to suck it up and take things one step at a time. Otherwise, I will go insane.

I did bring KGB a new book home today--Pinkalicious. I just know her favorite color will be pink. It will, it will, it will!

Friday, February 22, 2008

HO-LY COW is there some paperwork!!!

Well, friends, snow day. As you know, I am not a huge advocate of those, but in this case, yippee. Our Social Worker called yesterday and told me she had a cancellation for today if we were interested in coming up there (Crofton) for the initial interview!! Worked out perfectly. Although, I will say I was a little grumpy because I did not get the phone call that comes when school is out, got up, complained that today actually SHOULD be a snow day, got dressed, came down for coffee, went back upstairs to do makeup and see on the news that SCHOOL IS CLOSED! Where was my call? I could have slept!! Even better, my call DID come--at 7:53 am. Eight minutes AFTER I am expected at school and seven minutes before kids normally gallop through my door. What organization! Who says education is in trouble?

Anyway, we got the checklist for the dossier for Kyrgyzstan. It is MONSTROUS! Being military, it's even harder because there are some tricky little residency issues. As if the adoption is not costing an arm and a leg, the possibility of John having to be a Maryland resident (thus taking away our cushy Florida residency and tax break) is on the plate and neither of us are happy about that--that's possibly an additional 5-7K A YEAR that we would end up having to pay!! Hopefully our licenses (Florida, but with our Maryland address) will work. We also have to have a million different documents from a trillion different agencies all over the country and then we have to trust those documents in the Maryland State Department office for certification. This is all very overwhelming right now. I don't even think John has A CLUE of what is involved, or what I am looking at getting together. That's why I don't feel ONE BIT BAD about leaving the trash in the can until it flows out the door--trash is his job!!! This, apparently, is mine. Whew.

Hey, and spellcheck works now! Woohoo! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another day down, another snow day 'a comin'

Well, a day down, and darn it all if me finding out about early school dismissal if we don't use snow days is coming to haunt me! As I type, big, fluffy snow flakes fall furiously (can we say alliteration?) to the ground and I just know that we will have at the least, a late arrival. There's supposed to be more tomorrow night, too, meaning that Friday may be a loss as well. Friday's an early dismissal day anyway!! WHAT A WASTE! Ah, well...why fret over the uncontrollable when I can fret over the items on my plate as it is...namely, adoption! The age of the Internet is fabulous, but on the same token, there is something to be said about information overload! There is SOOO much out there I feel I should know, and yet, I have to admit that I really just hope this agency tells me what to do, when to do it, and what comes next. We have collectively dished out in one weekend nearly $5000 and there's another 25K or more to go. Not that there's a price on a child, sister-in-law told me she had a friend that adopted a little girl from China (back when it didn't take four years) and was often insulted at some of the questions she got. She said she wanted a t-shirt that had quotes like, "She's priceless, thanks for asking." or "Yes, I think she looks just like me too!" Nanci, I can't remember what your add-on to those quotes was, but if you do, tell me, because I thought it was hilarious! I guess in the big scheme of things, I should just be thankful that the option is available to us, and in truth, I still rubs me as very sad, though--all the rigmarole that goes into (not to mention, the money) giving a child a good life.

Speaking of children and good lives...ha ha. Today was basically as frustrating as the previous 111 school days have been, but a nice quote (again, Nanci, thanks!) helped put it in perspective. It's true, I just need to remember I am not alone and all things are of God's plan. The Lord is my refuge and my ever-present help in trouble. I have that run through my head often (funny, as it was part of a Sunday choir presentation in Pensacola YEARS ago, and the tune has not left my head!) and I think I just need to hang tighter to His promises. I tell my kids (at least the ones who feel they are above the rules of the classroom) that no one is more special than the other--I love them all just the same. I guess I hear God telling me the same thing..."Lori, you are no better than Job, or Hezekiah, Moses or my beloved Son...they endured their trials, so shall you." So...I guess the better prayer is not for these 69 more school days to end, but that I have the patience and strength to endure them in the way that God wants me to.

And for that, all the adoption info on the Internet sure does help take my mind off my woes!!! KGB, I am very, very, very eagerly anticipating you and hope you don't get mad at me one day for preemptively calling you KGB .... What am I saying? You can't speak English yet...I have a little bit of time to make it up to you!! For the record, the picture attached is a 'sample' of what Kyrgyzstan babies can look like. This is a boy version of what I looked like as a baby. Actually, I DID look like a boy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

70 more days to wake up

Well, friends, I am sad to say that today was not a great school day. The disrespect I endured today, in addition to the complete and total disobedience by several children, simply firms up my decision. Education is not the place for me. A dear, dear friend once told me that sometimes we have to do what God wants us to do and that doesn't always turn out to be something we like to do. I have for a long time felt that I was doing what God wanted--I know that I have been a life-impacting person in the lives of many children and their parents--and am profoundly honored to have been given that opportunity. That being said, I do not--nay, cannot believe that this is what God wants me to do--wake up dreading every school day. Go through the day wondering when it will be over. Feeling absolutely terrible for those sweet, kind and bright children who are losing precious education because some of their classmates think NOTHING of being disruptive, disrespectful and disobedient. Wishing I had gone into some other line of work, and feeling like some of the decisions I have made regarding my occupation were not necessarily the best decisions. Being a miserable, grumpy person to be around. What kind of example for God am I living when I dread every day? Rather, every school day. I'm spent, I'm tired and I'm disappointed that I just don't have the drive or fortitude to suck it up and continue. At this point, I am waiting for the call that says our baby is ready for us to pick her up. I hate wishing my life away, but at this juncture, it's better than the alternative....waking up and feeling this way--over and over and over. Our joke is that we live the life of Groundhog Day, that movie with Bill Murray. That's what it's like these days. Different days, SAME crap. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when the weather gets warmer. God help me...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I had to jinx it...

Well the old saying about being better off sometimes not knowing something really rings true right now. TWO DAYS after I learn that if we don't have any snow days, we get out of school 5 days earlier and TA-DA! Snow day! For not much at all! I sooooooo wanted a late opening, but no, whole day wasted. To top it off, I didn't really get to enjoy the sleeping in part because I got up at 5:30 and the call didn't come until 5:44. I hadn't even looked out the window, so I was going about my business of getting ready for a day that included an observation, a Valentine's party and as always, that fun feeling that's similar to herding cats, when "Riiiiiinnnngggg, SMCPS are closed." The bad part about all this is that we actually have nice little breaks in February, spring break in March but NOTHING in April or May to really give us any regeneration break. I'm betting I will need this snow day in April! So, as I sit and watch the cheesiest daytime commercials EVER, I have to gather the motivation to make use of the day. Bookshelves, laundry, schoolwork (a teacher's work is never done), maybe even some Valentine's Day cookies. John and I don't really celebrate--ever since the first one where I got a plastic writing pen that said, " I (insert the shape of a heart, don't know how to do that) You" and a lovely plastic container of Hershey's Kisses (nice, maybe, for those who like chocolate) we decided that our relationship would probably work better if we didn't have that holiday in it. That's just fine with me, too, for real. I don't need any more events in my for which I have to orchestrate presents and feelings! My cup runneth over right now...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The pain of it all

Well, it's official! My doctor has basically told me that I need to quit my job if I want to be healthy and happy. I have ALWAYS loved her! It's military health care, so she's hard to get an appointment with, but she's great and squeezed me in today! It started with my little visit to Physical Therapy for my back. My aching, sore, feels like I have been beaten up, back and neck. I've been going for two weeks now, today being the 3rd time, and bless those cute little boys' hearts, they felt sorry for me! "You have WAY too many muscle spasms. They are all up and down your spine and neck." Yep, tell me about it. Flexoril to the rescue. Like I don't have enough medicines. They also told me to go see my doctor and gave me an in on how to get a coveted same day appointment without having to give your firstborn (good thing, don't have one) away. So, I went, got in (miracle of all miracles) and she nearly cried with happiness for me (told you she was great!) when I told her about the adoption. I told her that I didn't want to add any more medicines to my already large pharmacy, and she asked me, "Lori, are you going to work when you get the baby?" I told her that I had planned to stay at home. She then said, "Then honey, we just need to get you through the next year. When you stop working, so much of your stress will be gone." Don't get me wrong, she went on to remind me that I would be under the stress of being a parent. But she made one key point--I will be able to have some control over that situation. My situation in education right now--not so much control. That's the most frustrating part--feeling like if I do what's right for my kids, the repercussions are mighty. I totally believe her, too...I was happy, healthy (mostly) Lori at Christmas break. John says the school Lori is the "F-bomb" Lori. I hate that Lori. She's mean, grumpy and miserable to be around. Plus, her neck and back kill her. So, due to the simple laws of physics and cause and effect, it's obvious that I need to leave education. Here's to that day. Until then, here's to heat therapy, massages, muscle relaxers and stress-relievers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

School days, school la la la la la

Tired. I am tired. Still feeling under the weather and the kids, as always, tire me out. I did, however, find out about some fabulous news today! Our school calendar has 5 snow days built in. If we don't use them, we get out 5 school days earlier! I was counting down until June 13, now I am looking for 5 days before that!! I hate, hate, hate snow anyway, but here's to NO SNOW DAYS!

Tomorrow is election day so no school (yippee) and I will be filling out and sending in the official contract for the baby (plus the mega dollars that go with that) and our home study. It's very sad that babies can be bought. It's good for all the babies that are wanted so much that people dole out the big bucks for them, but the sad part that goes with that is that there are lots of people who would be great parents and any baby would be lucky to have them--but they can't afford it. Heck, what am I saying? Who can afford it? It's certainly not like we have $30K just hanging out in accounts screaming, "Hey, we're not doing much 'bout checking into a kid?" Anyway, some people who have the privilege of being parents really don't deserve it and others who really want kids sometimes just get screwed. Goes back to what I tell my kids every day, "Life's not fair." And it's not. For instance, I can't get this stupid spell check to work on this blog. So, if anything is misspelled, well, those of you who know me just need to have a good laugh at the irony of it all!

'Til next time...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day two...score 1 for attempted consistency!

We just got visited by the leaders of the Southern Maryland Golden Retriever Rescue Organization. We are going to foster Goldens. Because I don't have enough on my plate. Ha ha. Actually, I am glad to do it--that Pedigree commercial about poor Echo the dog not getting adopted kills me every time I see it, so if I can help even a little, I am up for it.

Finally felt convicted (in church, that is) this morning at Leonardtown Baptist. While John said it was like every other Baptist sermon he heard (which meant that it was telling it like it is vs. telling you what is politically correct), I felt it was exactly what I needed! The pastor preached on either being with Christ or against room for middle ground. He also spoke of failures--deliberate and accidental--against God and His grace in redeeming us though we make them. In this early mid-life crisis I am going through, I have been feeling that every day is an uphill battle and I fail miserably--my kids, my husband, my mom, my Lord, you name it. Good to be reminded that failures are forgiven and how we continue matters. We plan to join this church, which is nice because we have been looking long enough. I have finally come back to my mantra--Bloom Where You Are Planted (even though it often takes me a while) and will not allow me not liking Maryland to be due to my inaction and lack of involvement. That's not fair to Maryland. See, already I am being nicer....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Here goes nothing...

Well, in light of several friends' blogs I have recently had the privilege of reading, here's to mine! Several years ago at a reading conference, a wonderful (and insightful) New Zealand educator read some things I had written and told me I should take up journaling--who knew what could turn into a book? While I don't feel that this will go that direction, I agree with the journaling part of her suggestion--it's nice therapy, a great (and easy) way to keep those you love in the loop of your life and considering that I found a blog my mom had published for a few years before she died (keep in mind that I found the blog about a year AFTER she died), who knows of what importance my little old insights will be to someone someday? So, here's to blogging!

Nothing much to report for today except I still have the same darned crud I have had for a while now. My voice is a bit better, but being in the classroom all week has really put a hurt on the whole recovery process. John told me that I got the results of my immunity test and they said I had immunity. Gotta love military health care. DUH. The purpose of the tests was to see just how much immunity I had, not that I had ever had any. In any event, I think stress and the germ factory I work in, married to all my allergies and the Southern Maryland environment, really just makes me a never-ending URI.

Still leaning heavily toward Kyrgyzstan because the baby will be younger, but a couple of people have emailed me with information about the organization we are planning to go with and I am still sorting my feelings out. There are emails from both the pro and con camps, so I just pray that we make the right decision.

Enough rambling. Let's see who even pays attention... :)