Monday, June 27, 2011

An e-mail in the life of a teacher:

Dear teacher/prufessor/Mrs. Flugleir (or my personal favorite: Monica),

i saw on the schedul that the dates for the discussion assignment were wed/fri and then fri/sun and i wasn't sure which wun to use so i didn't post at all and i'm sending you this e-mail to explain that i will post now but i was confused about the dates.

also, you say we're studying chapter 9, evaluation but my book has chapter 8 as evaluation not chapter 9 which is something else. am i supposed to read chapter 9 or chapter 8 or how's that messed up and i noticed that the sample essays you talk about and say are on pages 300-311 are not actually in my book and pages 300-311 don't fit in chapters 7 8 or 9.  what's wrong here?

finally, i am going to be out of town on the day that the final essay is due and the second to final essy so can i turn them in at my convenience in November?

(No signature, of course, as I'm supposed to know who they are from their e-mail address which doesn't correspond with school documents).

NOTE: This is *not* an e-mail from my student.  It is a fictitious account of the types of e-mails I get from my students.  Because of privacy laws, I'm not allowed to share the actual stupid things they say.  So, to be fair, I made this one up by changing some words here and there, but trust me when I say, this is the compilation of three separate e-mails I've received over the weekend from students.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Without further adieu: Mothering FAIL

Or rather, I guess I should say mothering and language FAIL.  Or growth FAIL.  Or nurturing FAIL.  Or whatever.  I guess the point to remember is that I strive to be a good person and, like that old Muppets song goes: Everyone makes mistakes oh yes they do. Your sister and your brother and your Dad and Mother too.  Big People. Small People. Matter of fact all people. Everyone makes mistakes so why can't you.  But this failure is important to me and I'll tell you why:  Because I've been recently discussing language and being nice to the humans you love and how important it is not to be mean.  So when it happens to me - when I'm mean or cruel -  I'm humbled and saddened.

But I will say this:  It started with a near car-accident caused by noise and yammering from my 5 year old.  No, I will clarify further:  it was the result of total and absolute fear after my second near-miss in the car caused by yammering and fighting and noise and Ohmygodwouldyougetthatoutofthebaby'smouthrightnowbeforeshediesplease?

I know.  Excuses, excuses.  And now you think I'm going to say something like "And so I stopped the car and beat everyone."  But I didn't.  I just beat them up with my words and that's the FAIL.  But it's also kind of funny, the amalgam of idiocy at play and so I feel like I really need to share it.

So you know there was the stress from the near-car-accident.  You should also know that one thing I've said sometimes as a parent is I would like to hit that toy with a hammer.  Often I don't say it out of malice, it's just a thing I say when faced with a particularly irritating or annoying toy.  Or sometimes if, say, I've stepped on my fourth Lego of the day.  I'll scream One day, if you cannot respect and take care of your things, I will hit *insert thing here* with a hammer!

And on particularly bad days, you should know that I sometimes think of that *thing* that my children want more than anything else in the world.  And sometimes when that happens I say If you cannot respect the things that you have, I'm going to go get *insert thing they want most in the world* and hit it with a hammer.  No, it makes no sense.  I get that.  It's a total fail in terms of parenting to threaten the thing they don't even yet own because they can't respect the things that they do own.

But humans are not rational creatures.  In any way, shape, or form.  They're even less rational when they're going into their 3rd hour in the car, headed to their second omgreallyfun thing of the day, with the children who don't seem grateful for the fun, and they've just almost rolled into the street out of the McDonald's parking lot right into another vehicle (because of the potential car accident and omgIalmostspilledmycaramelicedcoffeefromMcDonalds).

Now I should tell you that the thing my 5 year old wants more than anything else in the world is a snail.

That's right.

I did it.

I nearly hit another car.  Then I came mommy-unglued and super ugly.  If I'd eaten pea soup in the past 24 hours, I might've spit it.  My head probably turned around once or twice.  And my son laughed because let's admit it - when mommies go all sputtering nonsense, it's funny.

And so I said:
I'm going to buy a snail and smash it with a hammer.

I'd like to say it's the weirdest thing I've ever said as a parent, but I'll be honest, it's one among dozens of regrettable phrases like The only things we flush down the toilet are pee and poop and When you're not sure whether it's poop or chocolate, you wash it off, you don't eat it.  It was irrational and stupid, triggered by being scared and being mad and being reminded that my children often know I'm more bark than bite.  They've always known it.  And it makes me feel powerless when I'm seat-belted into a car and unable, really, to do any sort of discipline whatsoever.

And I apologized.  And when the boy got his snail, the very first thing I said was I think he's cute.  I promise I will not hit him with a hammer.

Okay, really, I forgive myself.  But it's a good reminder that words can hurt.  Even when they're put together in bizarre and irrational phrases.  And the best lesson is the apology that followed and the hope that I can calm down and not do it again, right?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kid-ISMS, updates, and a True Mom Confession

Carter: blah blah de blah blah blah
Me:  Are you speaking in tongues? 
Carter:  Um.  No. I'm speaking in English.  With my tongue.  

Carter:  I wish I had a magic wand.  And I wish that it worked.  And if I had a magic wand that was real and it worked I would use it to turn you into Dad. 

Lilly: :patting my belly chub:  Awww wook, wouldn't it be neat if there was another wittle baby in dere?
Me:  That'd mean more sharing.  Even less time with Mom.  
Lilly:  That might be worth it. (Followed, of course, by a wink and a smile). 

Carter: MOM!  Elsa's finger is bleeding!!! :beat:  Oh, nevermind.  It's just pizza sauce. 
(and a week later)
Me: Honey, there's blood on your finger.  Go wash your hand. 
Carter: Nuh uh.  It's just pizza sauce.  (Puts finger in mouth).  Um.  Mom? 
Me: Yeah? 
Carter: I do not think that was pizza sauce. 

In update land: 
Elsa is nearly 7 months old. I have no idea where the time went.  She's trying to crawl.  
Carter is 5. He's lean and hilarious and more active than I ever imagined.  He's also the bug whisperer - or, rather, the animals-of-all-sorts whisperer.  While he's unable to find his own shoes on his own feet, he manages to find all sorts of bugs, a crawdad, butterflies, worms.  You name it and if it exists around here, chances are good that it's come to see Carter. 
Lilly is 8.  She's just digging in to book 5 of the Harry Potter series.  I'm in awe.  I can't get her to do much, but that girl will read.  And read some more. 

Now, for the True Mom Confession. 

Nah, I'm tired.  I'll save the True Mom Confession for tomorrow.  Suffice to say, it took me 3 days to tell Tim.  I need another 24 hours to tell you all.  FYI: Everyone is fine.  Safe.  Happy.  Well, happy-esque. . . mostly because they don't listen to me and my big mouth when it's wagging and frothing.  Probably because of the stupid shit that comes out of it sometimes. . . 

Friday, June 10, 2011

So I got this crazy fabric. . .

from the remnants section of Denver Fabrics.  I keep going through the tables and picking up fabrics - and then NOT sewing something right away, so I finally decided to do something with this.  It's a crazy black and white print.

I've wanted a maxi-skirt for awhile - and a swim coverup as well, so I figured what better time than the present to turn this fabric into something.  I looked around online at several tutorials and finally decided on one that was more mathematical equation than pattern.  I laid out the fabric and had JUST enough to make it happen, so I cut it out.  Blindly, really.  Then I decided it wasn't quite enough, so I put scraps into it to expand the bottom of the skirt.  I had a lot of problems with the top part - the waistband.  I wanted it to be stretchy but firm enough to act as a strapless dress if I wanted.  I tried an old t-shirt, but didn't like the thickness compared to the soft flowing rayon blend of the fabric, so I ultimately grabbed my Bella Band from my maternity clothes and here we are:

Sum total for this project:  The fabric cost about $3.50 and I used practically every square inch of it.  There's one scrap downstairs I might use to make a headband.  The Bella Band was originally $15, but keep in mind I used it through my pregnancy with Elsa (and afterward as a tummy cover-up when nursing).  And, of course, it took a little time as well.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oh, rainBOWS. . .

For whatever reason, I got a wild hair to make rainbow cupcakes.  I found a tutorial over on Living Eventfully and so I decided to give 'em a try.  Normally I make cakes from scratch, but normally we try to avoid chemicals and too much food coloring as well, so we'll just consider this a total break from our every day life.  The boy had his tonsils out last Thursday and is in need of both calories AND fun.

Fortunately, these had both.

Here are my ingredients.  Or, um, some of them. I bought a mini cupcake tin because let's be honest: it's time to make the move to minis over here.  I also bought an icing set, mostly because neat!  fun! 

 Following the directions, I put a scant cup of batter in each of 6 quart sized ziplocs and added the food coloring.  Then I closed the bags (carefully!) and squeezed them until the color was worked into the batter.  I do wish I would've made the green more vivid.  The original post calls for cake gel colorings, but I only had the wholly inferior liquid food coloring.  We survived.
 Here's all the little baggies with the colors mixed in.  I will tell you - that green is far from vivid enough, having seen the finished project.
 Then I started putting them in the pan.  On the minis, about a dime-sized sploosh.  On the bigger ones I played it by ear.
 I put all the leftovers in a mini loaf pan.  This would prove to be a delicious mistake.
 Here are the minis.  They took longer than I thought they would, probably because I kept peeking.
 There's that loaf pan.  I like to call it FrankenCake.
 Here's the side view of the Frankencake.  You can see that because it was overloaded, the bottom colors were pushed up and out the sides.
 Here are 4 of the minis frosted.  They're in metallic gold wrappers.
And here's one cut open.  Not a bad first run, I have to say -- first time making rainbow cupcakes, first time making cream cheese frosting, first time piping frosting on.  Overall, I'd say not so bad!

It's been awhile. . .

and I'll be honest, I'm revamping a bit.

Why?  Well, because I'm not knitting much.  I am, however, crafting other things - from Pioneer bonnets to rainbow cupcakes and I need to tell you all about it.

So I will.
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