Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's Wrong Here?

The past three weeks I've had an eerie feeling I've struggled to shake off. I kept feeling like there was something I was forgetting: an event, a bill, a due date. I rifled through every aspect of my life, trying to find what it was I neglected. I finally decided I hadn't forgotten anything.

Then I figured out what was bugging me--I have had a ton of free time lately. And that free time is pretty much uninterrupted until grad school starts again next fall.


Allow me to explain.

Since the Spring of 2006, my family and I have moved every year:

* Spring 2006: Pregnant. Desperately needed to live in a downstairs apartment with a washer and drier. Complications--on bed rest during move, pretty sure my husband almost died from exhaustion.
* Spring 2007: Tired of living in San Jose and paying ungodly amounts for rent. Decided to transplant to Sacramento area. Complications--one year old daughter decided to learn how to crawl one month before the move. Fun.
* Spring 2008: We made the mistake of moving into a crappy apartment in Elk Grove and the management was jerking us around. We decided to rent a house. Complications--my sister moved the weekend before. My family LOVES us.

This year, however, we aren't moving. And I cannot fully explain how wonderful that is. Our moves for the past three years have always coincided with the end of the school year and our daughter's birthday. By the end of June, we are always exhausted, broke, and, to be honest, a little hung over.

My happiness fully hit me today as I was planning Emerson's upcoming third birthday. We finally get to host her party at our house. We tend to invite a lot of people to her parties; we have a ton of family that we don't get to see very often. So we've had to have her parties the last two years at the park. I do not enjoy. Parks seem like a good idea. They are not.

This year we'll be at HOME. I'm sure we'll be tired (and slightly annoyed at overextending ourselves), but we will be home. Finally.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Torrential Pee

My almost three-year old daughter is not potty trained. Not hardly. And it's not that we don't talk about it. We do. All the time.

Here's a typical excerpt from one of our mommy-daughter potty conversations:

Me: "Emerson, do you wear underwear or diapers?"

Em: "I wear diapers. You were underwear, Mommy."

Me: "Do you want to wear underwear?"

Em: "Yes! Yes! Yes! With Dora on it!"

Me: "If you wear underwear, then you will have to use the potty."

Em: "Oh...No thanks."

Here's other attempts on my part to ratchet up the potty excitement in our household:

1. Em says to me, "Mommy, I'm not a baby; I'm a big girl." I leap on this opportunity with a well-placed: "Well, big girls use the potty. Do you use the potty?" Em considers this and answers: "Well, I'm a little girl."

2. I bound out of the bathroom and exclaim: "I just did the most fun thing ever, Emerson! I went potty!" And she looks at me like I'm a crazy person you smile at and hope they go away soon. (I could see where she gets that idea...)

3. I've made sticker charts, bought toys...the works. And I have bumpkiss to show for it.

However, I don't push. I don't make her, and I'm not panicking yet. Yet.

Unfortunately, there is a new issue related to the potty. That issue would be torrential pee.

Allow me to explain.

My daughter can hold her urine for HOURS. It is seriously shocking and I am a bit worried that it may not be too healthy. However, I have no idea how to convince her to do otherwise. Lately, this holding of urine has cause exploding diapers. No joke.

It starts innocently enough, most of the time at night with a small "Mommy/Daddy, I pee-peed." coming from her room. I stumbled into her room, trying to avoid the 20 pound cat who thinks I could only possibly be awake at 3 am to feed her.

And Em is SOAKED in pee. Head to toe. The pillow. The mattress. The sheets. The toys. Everything. It almost makes me think I didn't put her diaper on at night, but no. She has it on and it is so full of urine, it's actually pulling off her body.

This has happened twice at night and once during the day. It's very messy, inconvenient, and obviously distressing to Em.

My new plan is to not allow any water before bed. We'll see how that goes. But I'm seriously considering covering her bed in gortex.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sloth

That is my new name.

I have always struggled with extremes. Either I eat like a bird and exercise all the time or I eat nothing but hamburgers and win endurance awards for sitting on my rear. Either I run around my classroom teaching the heck out of everything or I sit at my desk, staring into space, praying for the bell to ring.

Happy medium is a foreign concept to me. Always has been. Just call me all-or-nothing girl. Seriously, that'd be my super hero persona: here she is to save the day...or not. Who knows?

Well, I am currently in the sloth stage of my activity pendulum. Before I ended class last week, I was on fire. I cranked out 70 pages for my master's project, set up meetings, was an email dynamo, and taught the heck out of Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet.

I put all my eggs in one basket.

I spent all my nickels at the fair.

I am done.

Now, a measly week later, the Julius Caesar tests still need to be graded. I have a stack of rough drafts to mark up. My desk looks like a paper morgue. And I need to get cracking on a proposal to my principal. I actually have to start implementing all the stuff I said I would in those lovely 70 pages.


This weekend I am going to revel in my slothness. Em is gone with her grandparents. Justin and I are going to try to see Star Trek. I did bring some grading home, but I have a feeling it'll probably stay put in my bag til Monday.

Hey, I can always be active later, right?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Exactly What I Wanted

In terms of Mother's Day celebrations, this day, heck, this weekend was perfect. While my first three mother's days were really nice, they were also really busy. Really busy.

1st Mother's Day: I was pregnant, but my husband was very sweet and took me out to lunch. However, we had just moved, so our new place was a wreck, I was on a horrid diabetic diet and semi-bed-rest, and Justin was exhausted.

2nd Mother's Day: The Friday and Saturday before were consumed by my friend Alison's wedding. It was great fun, but by the time I got to Sunday, I was pretty tired (and honestly, a little hungover.)

3rd Mother's Day: Last year, my husband planned an EXTRAVAGANZA. He bought me a dress, my mom watched Em, and we out to dinner on Saturday. The next day, the four of us met up with my sister and husband at the Davis Whole Earth festival. Very hippie. Very fun.

This year, we decided to hang home. My mom had to work this weekend (boo), and I had class yesterday so we couldn't head up to Redding to see Justin's family. While seeing our family would have been nice, this weekend was super relaxing and perfect.

I got home yesterday just in time for one of Justin's yummy pineapple-chipotle maragaritas. Might sound a little weird, but they're really good. So good I had three. Ouch this morning, but totally worth it.

We had a fantastic tri-tip dinner and watched super hero movies late into the evening. This morning, I slept in a bit (dang that chipotle) and finally dragged myself out of bed for some bacon. I cannot remember the last time I had bacon and it was a wonderful thing.

Justin packed a picnic lunch, wicker basket and checked tablecloth included of course, and we headed to William Land Park for lunch. We had a great time, even if we had to avoid duck poop and errant golf balls.

I got cozy with my OnDemand during Em's nap and then she and I ran some errands. We have a light dinner planned. All in all, a faboo day.

I'll need to remember all this come Father's Day. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Time to Breathe

As of today, I am officially half-way on my path towards a master's in school administration. It's hard to believe how far me and my family have come since last year, when all I was worried about was whether or not I'd have a job this year.

Now, gainfully employed and on my way to tenure, I have a daunting year in front of me. I have a project to implement, a master's thesis to write, and, of course, 150 students I haven't even met yet.

The nice thing: none of that is my problem. Yet.

Now, I have that oft-sought, rarely received, opportunity to stop worrying about deadlines, etc and actually just live my life. I have lots of things to do, but luckily all seem rather manageable after this past year.

My Upcoming "Life"

* Finish out the school year without incident (please, god, may the weather stay pleasant)
* Plan for the next school year with my department (please, god, may I remain pleasant)
* Celebrate my husband's graduation from the credential program and my brother-in-law's graduation from college
* Celebrate my lovely daughter's 3rd birthday
* Teach summer school (yeah, it's not awesome, but the extra paycheck is)
* Work on my master's project (again, not awesome, but I might as well get something done)
* Spend time with family
* Actually speak to my husband
* Sit on my butt

The school year is winding down, and it's nice to be in a place emotionally to enjoy it. Last year everything was so uncertain and scary. This spring, I am happy to be employed and I'm doubly happy to have tenure next year.

More importantly, this year has been about working for my family. I'm really hoping to enjoy them over the summer. To recharge. To remind myself why every tear, moment of doubt, every headache, and every moment spent working instead of sleeping was worth it.