Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Great Laundry Standoff...

So, in the nearly 6 years that the hubby and I have been married (and living together 2 years on top of that) he has NEVER fully completed a load of laundry.  It's starting to bug me.  He is a plumber and his clothes are usually pretty disgusting.  I don't clean his clothes - he leaves them all over the house and I draw the line and hunting down dirty clothes to wash.  He seems to manage ok with this deal - I take care of the girls' clothes and my own - and I also purchase all of the clothes he needs, so I do take care of him, I swear!  So, he will wait until he has no clothes left, collect a few things - never a full load, and will just leave dirty clothes in plain sight, and throw some things in the washer.  He'll leave it there for about two days, or whatever it takes to get the nice mildew-y smell, and then toss it into the dryer.  Usually it is 5am when he decides to toss it in the dryer, so he's playing a dangerous game waiting for dry clothes so he can get to work on time.  So he chooses one of his two options:  he'll either throw in the bare minimum to dry, leaving the rest of the clothes in the washer to continue to work on their fragrance; or he'll throw everything in and wear his clothes damp to work; I kid you not.  And once my darling hubby has clothes on his back - dry or not - he considers his job done.  Laundry is now done and stays in the washer or dryer until he runs it through either again or I get sick of it/need the machines and toss it in a pile on the table next to the machines.  So, after 8-ish years of this, you can imagine that it's getting on my nerves.  A lot.  It's kind of like that episode from "Everybody Loves Raymond" where they ignore the suitcase on the staircase because neither wants to give in and put it away.  Hubby and I seem to be doing that with his laundry.  Until tonight.  I had finally had enough when I went to collect my clothes from the line only to realize he had brought my clothes in but left them in a ball on the floor of the garage (also our laundry room).  Enough is enough - his clothes are now outside.  Yep, his boxers, socks, tee-shirts, jeans, etc are all out front of the garage door in the alley way.  Juvenile of me.....yes.  Does it feel good?  You have no idea :-)  Can't wait until he discovers my newest maneuver in the laundry standoff!!

Friday, September 17, 2010


So, I live in a neighborhood where about 80% of the moms on my street stay at home with their kids.  I don't.  I drag my kids out of the house at the ungodly hour of 6:15 am - usually with the little one LOUDLY protesting - and I generally yell back.  Anyway, the moms have a little group and it seems they rotate from house to house, with the kids all running around, happily playing and very comfortable with each other.  Do they judge me?  Probably not.  But in my mind I firmly believe that they think I am not a good mom.  So tonight they are all out enjoying the beautiful weather and I'm trying to keep the girls from killing each other as the hubby has decided that dinnertime is the PERFECT time to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen.  So, after trying to put the girls off, they really start to revolt and demand dinner.  Left with few options, I decided to head to McDonalds.  The girls were thrilled.  However, as I pulled up out front of the house with two happy meal boxes in hand, I felt an incredible sense of guilt.  Would they all silently judge me as I walked past with the forbidden fast food?  Would they comment to each other that 7pm
 is too late to feed young children dinner?  As I sat in the car annoyed at myself for caring so much what others think, I tried to convince myself that it's ok to feed the kids McDs.  It really is.  Just not every night, right??  So now I'm positive that they are wondering why I am sitting in my car, turned off, by myself.  I bit the bullet, filled my hands with the forbidden fruit, put my head down and speed raced into the door.  The local moms may not be impressed with my fine dining for the night, but two little girls sure were thrilled, and really, isn't that what it's all about?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Game Time!!

Lately, in my house, game time has been around 4 am - jealous, aren't you?!?!?  We put Eilis into a "big girl bed" this summer - and boy hasn't that been fun!  For the first month and a half I had to lie with her while she fell asleep - we had visitors so this was easier (or so I reasoned!).  Once the visitors were gone we went the baby gate route - as in put it at her door since she can open her own door, and let her cry until she gave in.  She did this for about 4 days, and then finally she now goes to bed in her bed without protest.  However, she just doesn't seem to want to stay there.  So, most nights we get a visit around 3 or 4 am.  The door creaks open, her little ponytail can be seen bobbing in the light from the hall, she climbs up onto the hope chest and then launches herself into the bed - doesn't matter where she lands, or how hard for that matter!  Since she is small, it shouldn't matter that she is added to the bed.  However, we already have Ned as a bedfellow as well.  Ned is our 30 pound puggle who, at night, becomes our 500 pound elephant.  I swear, this dog gets bigger and heavier while in our bed (hmmmm...maybe that explains my weight gain over the past 5 years - maybe there is something in our bed??)  So with Ned the puggle/elephant, Gary the dead sleeper who loves to stretch, Eilis who has to be touching me, my nights have not been much fun.  So my new game is musical beds - good times, huh?!  Both girls have queen sized beds, so some nights I'll go and cuddle with Niamh - but she is a sleeper like her Daddy, so this doesn't usually last.  Lately I've been winding up in Eilis' room.  I have to admit, those pillow pets are pretty comfy - must remind Santa to get a few more this year!!  So as I settle in with my cow and bunny pillow pets, my ladybug quilt, a hard plastic rainbow bright doll that has to be in the bed, and the godforsaken waterbaby that goes everywhere with us, I realize that I am NOT enjoying this round of musical beds and wonder - would it just be easier to buy a King-size bed??!?!?

Saturday, September 4, 2010


As a mom, I focus a lot on the concept of "firsts."  First kick felt, first birthday, first tooth, first steps, first day at school, first time with stitches, and the list goes on and on.  Last night Niamh fell asleep while watching her new favorite movie, "Annie."  As I carried her up the stairs I realized that my baby is no longer a baby, and she's actually quite heavy!  My mind began to wander and I began to wonder if, 20 years from now, I'll be able to remember the absolute last time I will carry her in my arms.  Made me start to think about the concept of "lasts."  For every joyous first, there is a last, not nearly as celebrated, not as easy to recall, but it surely does exist.  There are so many lasts that my girls have already had, and I cannot recall the date, the moment when I last fed them a bottle, the last time I changed a diaper (though Eilis still has me with these), the last time I felt them move in me before they were born, the last time I had to interpret what they were saying for others.  As I think of all of the firsts they still have in front of them: first day of "real" school, first time a friend calls the house, first sleepover with a friend, first date (yikes), first school dance, first kiss....  I also think of all of the lasts that will pass us by, not as celebrated, but certainly just as meaningful.  The last time I tuck them in to bed, the last time they need me to drive them places, the last time I buckle them in a carseat, the last time they interrupt me in the shower/potty (though I really DON'T think I'll miss this one), the last time they hold my hand in the mall, the last time I'm allowed to choose their clothes, the last time they sit in my lap.....  Firsts are exciting and milestones of growing up.....  I'm really not sure how I feel about all of these lasts that go along with them!!  All I know is they make me sadder to think about than all of the new, exciting firsts they have in front of them!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I AM Important..... right?

In these less than perfect economic times, teachers seem to have turned into the "bad guy."  Seems every time I read an article about education or teachers, it's followed by at least 20 comments from parents bashing teachers about what a lousy job we do, anyone can do it, we have cushy hours, etc.  Add to that the increasing numbers of people who seem to be homeschooling their children and I must admit that sadly, I seem to be developing a bit of a complex about my chosen profession.  The more I teach, the more I see the connection between motherhood and teaching.  Being a mother can be an incredibly thank- less job.  Little ones demanding sippies to be filled, fights to be broken up, noses needing to be wiped and the list goes on and on and on.  But beyond all of the thank-less moments of motherhood come the amazing moments.  The moments when your little one gives you a cuddle and says "I love you" and you smile eventhough she is covered in chocolate.  Or when she grabs you by the legs so you can protect her, or when she reaches for your hand "just because."  Or when your girls are playing house together, and you realize that they are being loving and caring, and they are mimicking you.  I'm starting to see teaching in this way.  The thank-less jobs of writing numerous letters of recommendation on your own time, being cheery every day regardless of how you are really feeling, always lending an ear to listen even if it is taking up your lunch period, and on and on.  But the moments are there when you realize that education and teachers are vital to the development of the future.  When a student comes to you and thanks you for challenging him, you smile and feel proud.  When you see your "kids" (because they are all your kids) at graduation, you tear up knowing you made a difference.  When a student stays in contact through college and beyond, you know you were not only needed, but you helped.  These are the things about education that go un-noticed.  These are the reasons why we do it.  These are the reasons why kids need teachers - it takes a village and a teacher is another vital member of that village.  No matter how difficult being a mother is, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.  And I feel the same way about teaching.  I love my job, but I am so saddened to see that not everyone sees the value of a teacher.  Day in and day out I do so much more than simply "teach" 150 teenagers a day.  I am a sounding board for their hopes and dreams, I am an adult they can confide in when there is no one else to turn to, I am a role model to them of the result of hard work and dedication.  I am tough on them when they need it, but always compassionate and putting their best interests first, no matter what.  I truly believe that I am NOT the exception to the rule, but I am what you will find in most teachers.  Why aren't we celebrated?  Why are we looked upon as people who chose teaching because it is "easy?"  Why do so many view our jobs and believe not only can they do it, but they can do it better than we can?  Sure, we are flawed, but a good teacher acknowledges his/her flaws and works to improve - the same way a mother knows when her patience are running out and locks herself in the bathroom for 5 minutes peace and "composure" time (please don't tell me I'm the only one who's ever done that!)  I long for a day when teaching will be a profession that is respected and acknowledged as important, because it really, truly is.  Teaching is not for everyone, neither is motherhood.  But those of us who choose teaching are special - because in all honesty, teaching has chosen us.  So as I try to navigate these choppy waters that have become the life of a teacher in a shaky economic time, I need to remind myself that I am making a difference and that I AM important.

**I know a lot of this post is rambling, but having been back at school for 2 weeks and being exposed to a lot of press lately bashing teachers, I have a lot of feelings stored up on the topic :-)