Monday, April 30, 2012

Spaghetti, Dr. Seuss

Spaghetti, spaghetti, all over the place,
Up to my elbows—up to my face,
Over the carpet and under the chairs,
Into the hammock and wound round the stairs,
Filling the bathtub and covering the desk,
Making the sofa a mad mushy mess.

The party is ruined, I’m terribly worried,
The guests have all left (unless they’re all buried).
I told them, “Bring presents.” I said, “Throw confetti.”
I guess they heard wrong
‘Cause they all threw spaghetti!
--- Dr. Seuss :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Wonder of Change

A few years ago, I was pregnant with Noel and teaching 9th grade.  I wasn't an awesome pregnant person - I was a sick pregnant person.  I threw up every morning, had horrible acne, hated my maternity clothes, and ate during every class to stave off the nausea.  I hated running into people that said things like "I loved being pregnant - I got sick a few times, but saltines always solved it."  Those comments didn't help.

The other thing that didn't help was a student in 3rd period.  I'll call him Cody.  I would give directions, Cody wouldn't listen.  I would ask for the students to be quiet during a test, Cody would talk to his neighbor.  I would teach a lesson, Cody did anything but participate.  Somehow we survived the year, though neither of us was sad when we said goodbye.

Fast-forward to the present.  I presented scholarship material to the current Junior Class for a few days this week, prepping them for their senior year.  Cody was there, but it was a completely different experience.  It took me by surprise, but why? 

The reality is this:  we've both changed.  I'm not pregnant and moody, Cody is no longer a 9th grader.  Looking back, I can see a micro-managing teacher.  I had to have absolute silence during my lessons; I needed 100% attention when I spoke.  During the presentation this week, I noticed Cody made comments a few times to his neighbor.  And I did nothing about it, because it didn't matter.  He was probably making a comment about something I said - or maybe he was saying, "I can't wait for lunch."  And it was okay.  Because it just wasn't that big of a deal.  He was still respectful - sitting in the front, asking questions, and remembering to take the handouts with him.  In 9th grade, he would have crumpled them up on the floor, then asked me for them again the next day. 

I ended the presentations, and looked back at how far we've both come. 

I have two children under two - and I've obviously learned how to chill out.  I can't micro-manage Noel, and I certainly can't micro-manage a teenager.  I don't have a perfect kitchen, and I don't expect a perfect classroom.  I have to laugh at myself, and I'm okay that others laugh with me...or at me. 

Cody is 17 years old and has grown-up from his freshman days.  Instead of resisting help from adults, he's accepting it.  Instead of saying "I'll respect you when you respect me", he simply gives respect because he wants to.  He still doesn't laugh at himself (how many 17-year-olds do?), but he is more than willing to laugh with me at my foibles.

The wonder is not that we go through life experiences - those are bound to happen.  The wonder of it all is when we change.  And allow others to change as well. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Best Friends

They said it would happen, and though it seemed like a dream for a very long time, my two little girls are starting to be best friends.  No one can make Juliet laugh more than Noel, and no one can play peek-a-boo better than a little sister who thinks you're the greatest.  Their mom thinks this recent development is the greatest stage yet.

Friday, April 13, 2012

An American - Foreign Film

I had pestered Scott for the past four months that I wanted to see "Hugo", and he finally relented.  The Academy Awards gave it "Best Special Effects" and a few other awards, and so we kept checking at RedBox to rent it.  Last Friday we rented it - and Scott has now made an executive decision:  I will never again be allowed to choose the friday night movie. 

Have you seen it?  There's a great 60-second message, but for the rest of the 2 hours, we kept saying, this is the strangest movie.  I had to tell myself to think of it as a foreign film, and that made it a little better.  But for some reason, we felt compelled to finish it.  There is always that hope that the movie will get better in the next 5 minutes, and so we stayed up until midnight watching a movie that we could only label as unique and foreign.

We seem to go through periods of choosing bad movies.  Just uninteresting, long, weird, void of symbolism movies.  We hear about a movie, and even though no one else has seen it or recommended it, we check it out, convinced that we are on to a great discovery.  It never pans out - we only discover why everyone was silent on the topic.  A few years ago we watched several horrid films in one month:  Australia, The Curious Tale of Benjamin Button, The Band's Visit, and Where The Wild Things Are.  If you liked any one of those three films, maybe you were in a movie rut as well.  I won't go through the pitfalls of each movie - except that as we left the theatre after each one - I heard several people say "There's two hours of my life I'll never get back."  And I felt the exact same way. 

It's Friday night again, and under no conditions am I allowed to rent a movie without Scott's consent.  We'll see what tonight brings... Maybe this is why we stick to super-hero movies.  You feel good at the end and you know that Superman fights for truth, justice, and the American Way.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Little Fish

We went on a little outing to Temple Square to see the flowers.  We all loved it, especially Noel who wanted to swim in every fountain.  Here are my attempted pictures of the little fish...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Song

Noel wants to sing everywhere, every song, and for every reason...and I record her every chance I get, because I think it is pretty entertaining.  Here are some recent performances of the little munchkin in all her glory. 

Lovin' Cousins

We love our cousins!  We had a family reunion a few weeks ago, and here's some pictures of Noel and Juliet's favorite playmates.

                                           2010:  8 grandkids total: Noel is the baby

                    2011:  9 grandkids total, 5 at reunion:  Juliet is the baby

               2012:  9 grandkids total:  no newborns! 

And some pics from this year: