January 2013 entries
Here's another one, brought to you by Gabrielle...
"Mom, why are kids' eyes soooo small and what they see is soooo big?"
Aidan brought this home from school. I love the voice he has already in his writing! (Does the heart of a comp teacher good!)
My husband rocks! He directed approximately 150 middle school students in a production of Willy Wonka, Jr. last weekend. Because another teacher's wife was ill, I ended up playing Head Squirrel Puppet and managing stage left. It was a blast, but I'll be honest: high school is a much better fit for me! ("Ok, kids...we start the show in 20 minutes. You should use the bathroom now so you don't have to go during the show" I said to no cast of mine ever!)
The show was great, the audiences were packed (sold out two nights!) and the kids loved the experience. The art teacher and other teachers contributed a community-building experience for the whole school.
The curtain dropped, and Michael took Ellie to the doctor a couple of days ago and discovered while he was there that his back pain was actually lung pain and that his "walking pneumonia" from December graduated into full-blown pneumonia...you know, since his "taking it easy" meant doing Christmas masses and taking 75 band members to Florida and staging a musical.
He's taken three sick days this week...trying to recoup. And the show must go on: we are scheduled to perform a concert in Lock Haven on Sunday!
So, for the two or three people who check my blog in a regular basis, I feel I should explain. It's musical season. It's sort of like play season, but more demanding.
Well, sort of.
I'm learning a few things: plays are demanding because of the literary analysis required (when you select challenging plays, that is). Musicals are demanding because of the spectacle required (when you pick musicals featuring tacky 80s attire and a plot which advances the time-tested theme of "Don't marry the jerk.").
I have an awesome staff: my husband is arranging a talented pit; my father-in-law is ready to start building our set the second the chorus concert is over; my choreographers are phenomenal--the husband of the married couple who run a successful dance studio in town was performing in NYC as an Equity dancer In the 80s. (Ya know, when I was in kindergarten and likely eating those little pillows with the cream inside them.) Their choreography is amazing, and my students absolutely love it! I have great parents involved in helping to build set pieces and finding props. Our children come to rehearsal and are fawned over by my students. My principal has been digging through our basement, finding me a pay phone and old prom decorations.
It's been a truly fun -- albeit time consuming -- experience! (My Type-A binder is bursting at the seams!)
Besides, how often do I get the chance to have the cutest assistant director in the world, order crazy hot pink wigs, and decorate a tambourine for a Boy George character?
Today in our van... After 2 days out sick with strep throat, Gabrielle filled me in on her day:
"Mom, I had those little pillows with the stuff like cream inside them for lunch."
Me: "Uh, snowballs?! You did not eat junk food for lunch!"
G: "No, no. They look like little pillows. They have like white cheese in them?"
Liam: "That's a truck, Mommy!"
Me: "Do you mean ravioli?"
G: "Yeah! That's it. That's what I had for lunch."
G: "Mom, I don't want to get married. Is that ok?"
M: "Well, you are pretty young to worry about that. Does this mean you broke up with your boyfriend?"
G: "No, it means that he likes another girl. She's my friend and I like her, so I let her have him."
Oh thank heavens...there's our driveway!
Ever notice how we start eating sweets and pastries and essentially every food we know we shouldn't have in excess around October ( Halloween) and then proceed to find any and every excuse to eat until January?
Yeah, I've noticed, too.
In October, I was in fairly good shape: I ran a half marathon, for heaven's sake! Then the school schedule ramped up, the school play took over, and my running was tabled. I am not alone in having a hectic schedule: it's the zeitgeist, it seems.
I also began the seasonal abandonment of dietary common sense, and ten pounds later: here I am, out of cardio shape and feeling like an idiot. I know better. It's fairly simple, actually. Let me put it this way: when I eat healthy goods and exercise, my body does what it is designed to do and I feel great. I sleep well, I feel strong, my energy level is steady, my mood is generally lifted.
When I eat poorly and put off exercise, I am grouchy, miserable, tired, off balance, weak, and generally bleh.
So, what should a reasonably intelligent person do? Option A, right?
But we don't, at least not all the time. Why? I am going to have to look into this, psychologically speaking. I mean, Americans have the best educational opportunities in the world, yet we also boast the highest obesity rates. We definitely know better -- we are the product of one healthy-eating initiative after another.
I don't have the answers. Somewhere in our brains, the logos of rational choices must be outweighed by the pathos of holiday comfort foods. And the national epidemic of the flu isn't helping: I could barely breathe through my three miles today, and I only have head congestion. I feel for those who are really battling the flu. But, a weakened immune system might be a sign of our less-than-healthy choices as well.
I suppose it's the time of year for resolutions and decisions to live better lives. And there is no time like the present to redirect our lives, to regain control over our choices. We owe it to yourselves and our future. We know better.
A while back, we opted for a landline...ya know, since the kids should probably learn how to use a real phone and not just a cell phone.
The catch is that we never use the number. In fact, I have it posted on our fridge because I have no idea what the number is. The only people who call the number are debt collectors looking for some woman named Carol, who evidently was not fond of meeting her financial obligations.
So, it has become a running joke in our house to call out, "Carol!!" in a disapproving tone whenever the phone rings.
Today, the phone rang. Little Liam, age 2, was the first to yell, "Carol!!!!" It was the first time he'd joined in on our condemnation of Carol.
It was hilarious.
Sure enough, I answered the phone and was greeted with: "Is Carol there, please?"
After I explained that no Carols were at this number and hung up, I looked at Liam, who just shook his head and said, "Carol."
(Of course, we are probably royally screwing up his vocabulary by making him think the word for "telephone" is "Carol," but whatever...don't judge me!)