Back to School

My 8 year old started school on Monday. Back to school is a bittersweet time. Sweet because after 3 months of them hanging around the house complaining that there’s nothing to do, you finally have a way to occupy their time – School. Bitter because you see these children that you have raised getting older and older by the minute and you can never really believe they’re old enough to go into the grade they’re going into.

My daughter is now in 3rd grade and I am left baffled wondering where the time went. Third grade was a heady time for me. Mrs. Hanibut was my homeroom teacher. She was a
Space nut. She has a passion for Space and passed on that passion to her students. If for only the year she was their teacher. She was one of the teachers who was a finalist to be on The Challenger. Thank goodness she wasn’t picked. She was kind to me and I’ll never forget her spunky attitude.
Third grade is the year I really, really struggled with Math. Mr. Standing was my Math teacher and I remember his classroom clearly as I sat in the back and struggled with the concepts. My parents got me a tutor at Weber State University and it changed my life. Not only did I improve the math skills I should have already had, but she started me on the times tables way before my class did. So the day that Mr. Standing introduced them to the class, I was able to show off what I had learned with my tutor. I impressed the other kids whereas before I was just the shy kid in the corner unable to compete.
Third grade was also the year my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. My parents, not wanting to scare us, didn’t really clue us in on what was going on. I don’t think they realized this scared me more. When Mrs. Hanibut found out about my mother, she immediately paid extra attention to me. I remember the absolute pain my mother was in, but also that she never lost her fighting spirit. She had a million and one mastectomy jokes. Every morning she would get up and walk 6 miles. Two weeks after her double mastectomy surgery, she was out walking again. I can still remember her doing the “finger crawl” exercises she did to regain mobility in her arms. She taught me to never give up in the face of adversity and that laughter really is the best medicine. I don’t remember much from that year, but I remember the important things.
As my daughter embarks on her 3rd grade journey, I have a lot of high hopes for her. Hopefully she is more accepted by her fellow students than I was and doesn’t spend every day being mercilessly teased. I hope that now that she’s on the right ADHD meds she can realize her full academic potential. She’s a smart girl and I hope that now that she can sit still and pay attention she will really flex her intelligence muscles. Mostly I hope she is happy.
On an interesting side note, Thursday night we went to our children’s back to school night. It was broken down into sections and we were supposed to spend 20 minutes during each session in which each teacher introduced the rules of the classroom and expectations. I literally witnessed a miracle. The entire 20 minutes that her teacher droned on, she sat in her seat and paid attention. She didn’t get up once. She wasn’t even distracted by the other student, who is a boy that as often gotten her into trouble. He got up several times from his desk. Reilley is did not. Reilley is different than she was before. I don’t know if her 1st and 2nd grade teachers would ever think that was possible.
I am stunned by how well she is able to just be herself on this new medication without the constant noise in her head. No one really knows what it’s like to have a learning disability unless they have one. It’s like 1,000 stimuli coming at you at once and you’re supposed to still be able to focus. The other night we were watching the news and on came a story of a mother who was arrested for child abuse. Reilley remarked, “how could a mother ever do that to her child?” That made me feel good because I’m obviously a good enough mother that my own child could never conceive of abuse. She was also crying thinking about the abuse that this child suffered at his mother’s hands. I was proud of her for having that capacity for compassion at such a young age.
My little girl is growing up. And back to school is just another reminder of that.

I’m too cool for blogs

Remember when people use to say, “I don’t watch TV” with an inflated sense of self-importance that made it seem like they were too smart for TV and anyone who watches TV is just a simpleton with no brain?

Well, I’ve heard a new one….”I don’t read blogs.” This person said it with the same sort of condescension Madonna used to say with the TV comment. Apparently blogs are for us simpletons. Something to look down upon.
Well I do read blogs. There are a lot of great people out there who have a lot of funny things or intelligent things to say who finally have a public forum.
So I’m sorry if there are some people out there who are “too good” for blogs or TV. But I’ll keep watching and reading for as long as I can.

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary

You see that handsome man in the picture above? I have been lucky enough to be married to him for the last 10 years. Saying we’ve been married for 10 years sure makes me feel old. We got married when I was just a wee lass of 21. I was so young!! How could I ever think that getting married so young would be a good thing? Turns out, marrying Casey was the best decision I have ever made. I love him more than the English language has words to articulate. He is my best friend. He is my soft place to fall. There is no where in the world where I feel safer than in his arms. He is the best father my 3 kids could ask for. They’re lucky to have him. I’m lucky to have him. I don’t deserve him in any way. So even though I normally don’t gush about him too much (I find it annoying when others do it), he is worth the gushing. I love you Casey! Here’s to another few decades of happily ever after.

My Horoscope was right

A week ago my horoscope told me to give up on a dream. I should have listened. Because today I was told that I have to give up on a dream. It’s not my choice. I don’t want to give up on it. I was hoping the answer was yes.

I’m not comfortable sharing what my dream was. But it was a simple dream. Nothing extravagant. Just something I was hoping would be a benefit for me, and most importantly, my children’s future. Oh well, I guess I’m not worthy to dream and to hope. It doesn’t matter how hard I work, some dreams are just not meant to be mine.

I changed

That’s right. I changed my header picture. Again. I really like how my hair looked the day I took this picture. I had to capture a time when my hair actually obeyed me. I also get bored incredibly easy and I got bored of looking at that picture whenever I looked at my blog. So there you go. New picture, but not a new blog.

Best. News. Ever.

You see this beautiful building right here? One of these bad boys is being built right now 2 BLOCKS FROM MY HOUSE!!! My greatest dream has come true. Now I don’t have to wade through the unwashed masses at the mall to get my Chick Fil A fix.

Now I will be able to gorge myself on these:

And these:
To my heart’s content.
Life is good.

Jerk Chicken

Last week I had the fabulous opportunity to attend the National Families Supporting Adoption Conference and get paid for it. It’s no secret that I love Adoption. I met some great people from all over the country and attended some great classes. I might write a post about just how awesome this year’s Conference was.

The food. Oh, the food. I didn’t think it was possible to make food so expensive and yet so disgusting.
Friday night was the big semi-formal banquet. It was a sit down dinner with waiters. I have to say, the salad was excellent. I usually hate salad. I hate iceberg lettuce. But this lettuce had a lot of dark green leaves that I like and the ranch dressing was almost kind of spicy. The dinner rolls were also very good. But the entree. Yuck personified. It was some weird chicken breast with the wing bone left in (for presentation?). It was on this weird rice pilaf pad that looked like it was fried. Next to that were the weirdest broccoli stalks I’ve ever seen. I thought it was asparagus at first. The worst part was the sauce on the outside of the chicken was like a flourescent orange. Every instinct I had told me not to eat this chicken. It was a stuffed chicken with a sauce in the middle. My friend Kari discovered this. I really didn’t want to eat the chicken, but there were a lot of people at my table who I didn’t know and I didn’t want them to think I was some spoiled brat who thought I was too good for my chicken.
So I took a few bites. And that is when my throat started swelling and I knew that I was having an allergic reaction. After a while, the waitress finally came back around and I asked her if any part of the entree had nuts in it. She said the sauce inside the chicken had nuts in it. What the heck? Who freaking pairs chicken with nuts except in Thai food? And if you’re going to serve a dish to a large group of people (we’re talking about 2,000) and you’re serving something with a common allergen in it, don’t you think you would warn everyone first before they ate it? Oh no, not them.
After I told the waitress that I was allergic to nuts she offered me the vegetarian option.
I’m not allergic to meat, I’m allergic to nuts!
Luckily the allergic reaction I had wasn’t too bad (I didn’t eat any of the sauce) so I just popped a couple of Benadryl. I was completely high by the time I left the Conference for that night and I probably shouldn’t have driven home.
I could go on and on about how bad the food was at the Conference, but I have already given this episode enough energy for one lifetime.