Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Letter

Dear Sister,

About your miscarriage.

I’m so sorry you’re joining this sisterhood. You asked what mine were like? How did I know?

I just knew. Before the ER visit. Before the ultrasound. As I told myself everything was fine. I already knew.

I knew it when I went to the restroom and found blood. I knew it when I hurriedly looked for sanitary napkins, the ones stored away because I shouldn’t have needed them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Review: All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann

~I recently joined Net Galley, a website that allows bloggers, educators, librarians, etc. access to publishing houses’ unreleased drafts. Members can choose the genre of books they prefer to read and scan titles to request previews. In exchange, you review books that resonant with you.~

So my first request and review was All Different Kinds of Free by: Jessica McCann. Bell Bridge Books is the publishing house.
The novel is set in (1837) pre-Civil war America. It opens in the beautiful and optimistic city of Philadelphia, PA.

Friday, March 25, 2011

All in the video

After a week of downers, I peeped a vid that I had to steal from the star of my high school softball team :o) The video was just so special and spontaneous and delightful! I could not resist...

Behold; The Roots:

p.s. show her blog some love

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I had to watch the Chris Brown/Robin Roberts for myself before penning anything on the subject. And you can see the interview below:

So, my take-away from the interview was the Chris seemed pretty closed off from the beginning. His body was turned away from Robin and he failed to make direct eye contact with her. It was kinda like the Vice Presidential debate in 2008 when Sarah Palin essentially told Gwen Ifill, she would be answering the questions how and when she wanted; for her fans/America.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Not bad for a Tuesday!

I missed Glee :o(
But I did discover an awesome book review column ran by a colleague, started a twitter account for My_Iced_Tea, and became a book reviewer, in my own right, through Netgalley!

The only problem is, most of this transpired after the boys were put to bed, and after I subsequently fell asleep in the tub!

I have a feeling, I am really going to "feel" all this late-night productivity tomorrow. So, goodnight and good luck :o)

Oh, and please follow me on Twitter!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Out like a lamb??

I just thought I'd list all the weird earth/environmental things that have happened so far this year (according to my aging brain :o):

1. Dead birds all over the world
2. Dead sardines
3. Japanese mega quake and tsunami
4. Abominable Midwestern/Southwestern/Northeastern/Northwestern snow and ice drifts
5. March 21st 20th Hail storm in Northern Illinois (see view from my window above)

Then file these under "Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mission: Accomplished

I did it! Four cups of tea and two Dentyne Pures later, I pass my Finals!!!!

The weirdest part was that after the tests my sugar cravings reached an all-time high?? What is that about??

Then today, as I was going through my Academic Plan, I realized I have one more term (May-October) until I can start my Demonstration Teaching!!!!

I'm almost done! I can't believe it, the end is finally within my grasp!

7 UCC1 US Constitution Part I 1
7 UCT1 US Constitution Part II
7 EOO1 Economics Part I
7 EOT1 Economics Part II
7 WRC1 World History to 1400
8 WTC1 World History 1400 to Present
8 WHT1 World History Part II

All that has to be taken care of by October (it's okay to shudder for me)

And to think, back in 2008, I was soooo nervous about going back to school. I wasn't sure if my brain had melted. Or if I wouldn't be able to find time to still engage my boys. And now with work, school, and their activities, we're still managing to hold it together.

I've been reading a lot lately about other moms. Moms cooler and more successful than me. Who still experience the same anxieties that I experience when thinking about my babies and my goals.

Sometimes it difficult to know how and when to balance everything. Honestly, I kinda think "balance" may be a huge big fat fallacy that makes moms feel bad.

Because some days I'm 100% with the boys and some days I'm more like 40%. And there are some weeks that I can't bear to check into to class, let alone research another paper when dinner has to be made, one kid had a rough day, and the basement is leaking.

But we just keep charging through it, hoping that in the end the pluses were more than the minuses, the positives more than the negatives.

All the while, I'm getting closer to my dreams...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mission: Impossible

~My mission, if I choose to accept it, is to pass two finals without breaking Lent.~
Tomorrow I will attempt to do something I've NEVER done before....

I will take and pass a Final without the aid of sugar.

Yes, you read that right. I have done the papers, studied, and will take TWO Finals in Behavioral Science and U.S. History 1865-present on Sat. and Sun.; without CANDY!

(ok, so let's just ignore yesterday's little mishap)

But if I manage to pull this off it will forever change the way I study post-Lent. And probably lower my chances of getting diabetes down the line...

Wish me luck homies :o)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I was doing SOOOOOO good. I've resisted pound cake, and bakery donuts, and Junior mints (in just this week alone). All while completing a class and taking two assessments! Planning a class reunion! And helping to Spring Clean our classroom. Normally, I would be a sugar madhouse right now. But I had abstained from sweets.

Only to be done in by a two, count em', two Lemon heads!!!!

Noooooo, how could I let this happen? My first Lent was going so well.

Perhaps my first "backslide" was when I bought the boys candy for their classes (to celebrate St. Patty's day). And somehow, they all ended up with a few left over and brought them home to me!

Of course Lent would be the one time them bring candy back.

So, after dinner, the OFFENDING SWEETS were sitting on the counter when they caught me eye.

...and before I knew it I had wolfed two deliciously satisfying Lemonheads down.

The Horror!!!

And to add insult to injury, I wasn't even conscious of the fact that I was breaking Lent until a full Glee episode later.

sigh...so I'm back on the wagon...smh

Abstaining is getting more and more difficult, especially since "my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak".....

Monday, March 14, 2011

So much for brother-in-laws

I was working on my Behavioral Science assessment and came across some interesting facts about Tibetan cultural history....

Prior to the Chinese government changing laws in the 1960's, it was common for a woman in Tibet to marry a set of brothers. This allowed the family to receive maximum use of their land (without splitting it between heirs). Parents on either side would seek an arrangement that was mutually beneficial.

My husband were discussing the practicalities of this. And he felt since marriage was primarily viewed the vehicle to produce children/status, there wouldn't be the same problems we'd might experience with sharing spouses.

I, on the other hand, was thinking more along the lines of getting pregnant and having to birth sons by several different brothers (I'll pass!).

I even wondered if there were concubines for sexual pleasure, so the wife didn't carry all of the "burden". I'm just saying...

But upon further research, I found that oftentimes only one husband would be home at a given interval. The men were prone to long trips, so a woman with three husbands, could go years with only one of them on the family land.

It's interesting how religion, cultural norms, and geographically circumstances influences values/practices.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Secret

I'm not sure how I managed to miss The Secret mania, a few years back. But I did. Just happened across the book in my Kindle store (while searching for something else).

The prologue was intriguing enough to merit the cost of the download. The book is based on/explores the premise of The Law of Attraction. Essentially, we humans, draw our lives and outcomes to ourselves through our thoughts. Which, apparently, is why some of us experience great success, while others flounder for a lifetime.

I can see both truth and exaggeration in that thesis, but since we're taking a mini family vacation this weekend, I'm going to plow ahead and see what the Masters (people who have experienced great wealth and success in life) have to say.

:o)By way of update: I have yet to finish this book. As I said before I agree with the basic thesis of controlling your energy/thoughts/motivation and thus redirecting your life. However, in my opinion, this book takes it a little too left field for me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's like that?

Wisconsin Republicans decided to go ahead and thwart the will of the people by ramming the anti-union bill through Congress.

Not only did the Senate strip away all the budget provisions, in order to avoid needing a quorum, but they also failed to provide their Senate colleagues, and the public at large, 24 hour notice of this vote.

Stripping the economic features of this bill was altogether shady (since that was the very premise Gov. Walker tried to sell this bill on).

But not allowing a full and open vote on this new "stripped" bill is downright ILLEGAL.

And now I'm really beginning to wonder why the national democratic committee as well as the President have been so quiet on this entire episode. No governor, party, or committee are above the rules we use to legislate.

This whole, changing the rules, while you're playing the game thing, is crazy!

And just because you think your side is right, does not mean you can illegally implement your ideas.

I sincerely hope the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Attorney General recognize/abide by the rule of law much better than these Congressmen do.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lent things

Can you believe I never knew what Lent meant?? One of my kids' mother brought a Kings' Cake (quite tasty) complete with a hidden plastic Jesus, to class today. She proceeded to give us a mini-lesson on this time of year and what her family does to commemorate it.

Lent, essentially is the time between Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) and Easter, when people of various Christian faiths fast/sacrifice in remembrance and preparation for the celebration of Resurrection Sunday (when Christ rose from the grave).

All this new info led me to ponder what I could/should give up though out this religious period. Fasting has always brought me greater clarity, and since I am seeking wisdom, why not join my Jewish/Catholic brothers and sisters in preparing for Easter.

So now for my abstaining....I agreed with one of my homies to collectively refrain from complaining for the remainder of the week (and we'll be checking in with one another). This is no small task since each morning I generally curse under my breath for having to stand in the cold on playground duty. However, it's definitely a sacrifice that can and should be done. Gratefulness has it's own rewards.

So that's that.

But, I think I want to take this a bit further... and resist sweets during this period as well.

Of the two, sweets is the bigger deal to me. I am an out and out sugar head, so I'm resolving to banish candy/desserts/etc. from my mouth until Easter morning. If that doesn't give me clarity, nothing will!

Heaven have mercy! ....I'm going in

What, if anything are you doing to participate in Lent this year?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Riddle me this?

How do you know wisdom when you see it/hear it? Does it just resonant with your spirit? Is that how you know?

What if the bearer isn't glamorous, or successful? And what if they don't seem to have profited from the very advice they are giving you?

How do you know when to accept advice and when to chuck it back over your shoulder?

I've noticed I am always so cynical now. I don't trust people or their words as I once did. And I suppose part of that is age and "wisdom". But I also suspect that part of it is cynicism, and I'm not sure that its necessarily healthy. But I guess that's where I'm at.

However, where I want to be is discerning, yet open. Open to wisdom, open to truth, open to the universe and it's endless possibilities.

And sometimes when I hear/receive something, I just know it is pertinent, and right, and made for me. But other times I hear myself saying, "If this is so true, why did it not work for you?" "Have you not benefited from you're own advice?"

That my friends, is cynicism....I think.

Because, really, aren't the sum of our mistakes, the very instruments of our wisdom? I guess they are also the loss of our credibility.

Perhaps wisdom is like pornography, you know it when you see it.

And that is, of course, if you don't have your eyes wide shut.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You're right

Today was a hair-puller. One of my students, who is always difficult to deal with, totally wigged me out during our Social Studies period.

And in retrospect, nothing he did was extraordinary. It was similar to the way he always behaves with me. Distant, disrespectful, disengaged. But today, on hump day, it seriously got under my skin. I was flustered, frustrated, and vexed. And to top it off, I felt helpless.

I mean, it is my job to reach this kid, teach this kid, engage him. And I can't seem to break past his tough outer layer to teach him Social Studies!

Seeing my distress, our team lead took me to her office and basically consoled me.

"This is normal"
"These things take a while"
and, of course..."It gets better"

While those words of encouragement certainly helped, I still was super-ready to head home. Soon after our meeting, I was unexpectedly asked to handle the instructional writing period for our youngest student. Now this kid can be quite a handful. While he delights in being mischievous and defiant, he also has an endearing sense of humor.

As I walking him through the writing prompt, I began to notice my shoulders loosening, and the tension leaving my face. After the period, I relayed him how upset I was earlier, but working with him had brightened my day. Instead of his usual, aggressive, "WHY!?!", he gave me the biggest Cheshire grin ever. (insert "AWWWWWWWW" here)

Still, after an impromptu team meeting, I took the scenic route home in order to give myself time to completely diffuse. Driving around the bends and curves on the road, all I could think about was how much I wanted to hug my kids and tell them I loved them; and the reasons why.

God knows, each day makes me that much more grateful to have my boys. They are healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Jon may choke a turkey on a preschool field-trip (true story), but he is still emotionally developed enough to say, "I love you" and "Mom, you're the best". And Pres may experience breakdowns, but his hugs can instantly take the world off your shoulders. And then there's Marcus. Marcus can be rather reserved, but when he is engaged his conversation can be more entertaining than that of an adult.

I'm writing all this because, tonight I picked up my March copy of O magazine and came across "Chaos Theory" by Heather Havrilesky. In it she talks about how stressed she generally is. And how much she wants to be the calm, cool, and collected "glossy magazine" mom. But that is just not her reality, or personality.

Well, Heather, it isn't mine either! I worry, I over-analysis, and I ruminate.

But Ms. Havrilesky had one quote in that fantastic piece, and it straight jumped off the page at me....

"But look how hard we try, you and me, us and them, everyone. Isn't it sort of sweet, to see how determined we are to do better, to be stronger, to make sure our kids and our mothers and our partners and even our dogs know that they're loved?"

And after reading those lines a few more times, I thought...yeah, it is sweet.

Because I do try. I'm not perfect and neither is my life. But I am trying and improving, and most importantly, I'm living and taking chances. Chances that may one day pay off. So, sure I'm stressed today, but I'll just continue to tell myself....

Oh, how sweet it will be. :o)

...and Yes, how sweet it is now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

That darn hemoglobin

After work today, I headed out to LifeSource for my routine blood donation. And I knew, I just knew I was in trouble. Not only hadn't I gorged on red meat and beans (both high in iron), but I had forgotten to stop at McD's for a large orange juice to give me a pre-bloodlet boost.

I'm one of those people with crazy anemic like iron levels. And unless I fortify giving blood is a no-go.

And sadly this chica failed the hemoglobin test. :o(
I'm so disappointed. People need my blood and it won't be there for another three weeks (since that's when I can try again).

But know this, come April I'm having a Barbacoa Burrito from Chipotle, they never let my platlets down. :o)

In the meantime, if you're a healthy individual, please consider donating at your local blood bank. Someone, somewhere will surely thank you for it.