Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our 2010 Family Vacation

For the first time since Justin and I went to Canada with his parents in 2005, we actually took a vacation this summer. Not a trip to Redding or a short weekend in Vegas or Humboldt or anything holiday related. Nope, this was an honest-to-god, real vacation.

Yup, we went to Disneyland.

When Justin first suggested it this Spring, I thought he was crazy. (This is my typical reaction to his ideas sadly.) He used to take his students there every year, and he loved it. (20 8th graders for a week...see why I doubt his sanity?)

But we looked into it, and eventually I got on board the Disneyland-crazy train. The trip was not that expensive. I mean, we didn't go on the cheap. We stayed at the resort and got tickets for four days. But again, it has been FIVE years since we had a vacation. And this summer was going to be the best time for a vacation. Em is four. We don't have another little one. And neither Justin or I are working summer school. Plus, my mom agreed to go.

So we booked the trip and waited impatiently for the end of the school year, the end of my master's program, etc. Right before our vacation something wonderful/awful/strange happened. I got not one, but two vice principal interviews. Right.Smack.Dab.In.The.Middle.Of.Our.Vacation. Of course.

After a few tears (alright, a lot of tears) and whining about it being "not fair", Justin helped me grow a pair and get over myself. I asked if I could have a phone interview for high school, which was granted, and I arranged to fly in for middle school. Problem solved.

On Monday, we left at the butt-crack of dawn and drove from Elk Grove to Anaheim in six hours. (By we, I mean my husband drove. I sat in the back and watched Cars and Barbie Musketeers. I feel I contributed.)

We arrived at Disneyland at 2, and after some hotel-room debacles, we headed out to lunch (STARVING), and the park. I have to admit, that first day was pretty magical. I wasn't sure how Em would do on rides (we had a slightly traumatic experience on a fish ride at Funderland.) But Em loves rides, especially carousels and Dumbo. That girl could not get enough of Dumbo. Adorable. We went on It's a Small World, which brought back positive childhood memories of my first trip to Disneyland. And that night, Justin and I got to go out for drinks. Sweet!

Tuesday was my one full day, so we made the most of it. We took in the tea cups, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean (well, mom and Justin did that one...Em not so much), and Winnie the Pooh. We headed back to the hotel for some pool time (Pro--poolside drinks. Awesome. Con--15 minute pool shut down cuz some kid pooped in the pool. Not awesome.) After pizza, we headed back to the park for Dumbo (told ya she loved it.) Em was pretty done at that point. So my mom and I went on Space Mountain and Pirates.

Wednesday was a weird day. It started with my phone interview for high school vice principal, which was a pretty awful experience. I felt very rambling and it was weird not knowing who the 12 people were in the room. Ugh. (I was later told that I did better than I thought I did, but that is another post.) Afterward, with my heart still thumping, we headed to California Adventure. We had made reservations for a princess lunch at Ariel's Grotto. Totally worth it. Em was enraptured. It was very adorable.

Wednesday afternoon I left for Sacramento, and Justin, my mom, and Em stayed for one more day in DL while I took care of some interview business (again, a story for another day.)

Now we are home and returning back to normal. It was a wonderful trip, but the best part of all was how much Em loved it. She had a great time, and it brings tears to my eyes to realize how grown up she is. We had a very special time with our little girl.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Update on the Crazy

So here's some updates on things:

I got my period last Thursday. So I'm starting to get closer to being almost regular. I still don't think I'm ovulating, but I have no actual science to back it up. Anyhoo, my period kicked my ass but at least it came. Whew!

We began the second week of swim classes with no tears (from Em or Mommy). Actually, there were tears when Em had to get out of the pool. It's cute to see her have so much fun. She's not much of a listen-to-the-teacher kinda gal, so we have things to work on.

On the job front, I have scheduled two job interviews next week. Yes, this is the week of our Disneyland trip (OF COURSE), but I was able to get one on the phone. The other one (the one I think I have a chance of getting) I will fly up for the one on Thursday. It is all very exciting news. Now I have to practice. And practice...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Very Strange Week

This week started okay, but it turned out to be very dramatic and significant. I am left feeling more than shell-shocked.

On Sunday, Justin's parents stopped by as they headed home to Redding from Visalia. We had a lovely evening, eating hamburgers and relaxing. They put Em to bed so we could watch a movie.

During the movie I got a text from a teacher at my high school. She told me that a student of mine had been shot and killed at a graduation party. I am not overstating it when I say that my heart broke.

D'andre was the first student I've lost, and it has shaken me to the core. I cannot believe that he is gone. I taught him my first year at Valley and he was a god-send to me. He was funny, kind, and, unlike most of his peers, not interested in pissing me off. Yes, he was hot-headed at times. But he matured a lot over the past three years, so it was terribly shocking to hear that he died in such a violent way.

In the midst of all of this, I had an interview to get ready for. D'andre's death strengthened my resolve. Not to sound corny, but we really don't know how much time we have left. So I'm not interested in spending it all crying and wringing my hands. I gots things to do.

So I interviewed for an admin position at Cosumnes Oaks High School. I thought I did well; I know my answers were solid, but my voice shook in a couple places. That was the kiss of death. For some reason, appearing nervous during an interview in my district means everything. Part of me (the bitter part mostly) finds this really annoying. Do they really expect one to not be nervous?! None of the people interviewing had a ton of experience, so if a person is super confident doesn't that reveal a bit of arrogance? Cuz that's what we want--more arrogant admin.

As you can probably deduce, I did not get the job. But the director I spoke to on the phone said she was sending my name forward for vice principal interviews. This was very exciting news. Last year I couldn't even get invited to the dang party, and now this. It's all very lovely.

Of course, there is one potential, huge snag. A friend of mine, who may also be invited to the show, told me that the vp interviews will be June 23rd and 24th, right smack dab in the middle of our Disneyland vacation. Ugh.

I am hoping she is wrong, or that something changes in the next two weeks, but I find that unlikely. Again, ugh.

So, as I finish up this last crazy emotional week, I am repeating a few key ideas so that I don't go completely bonkers and starting banging my head into the wall:

1. Unlike the dozens of people who are saying awful things about D'andre's murder online, I really knew him. And I was lucky to.
2. My students the last three years, including D'andre, have taught me not to apologize for myself and what I want.
3. There are these things called airplanes, so if necessary, I can fly up for an interview and fly back. Annoying yes, but possible.
4. I got very positive attention during my interview. I am in the right place, and I am doing the right things.

So, yes, my inner mantras are a bit long-winded, but that's how crazy my mind is right now. I need some serious talking to. That's today's plan. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I=annoyed as heck right now. And it is all my body's fault. (Yes, odd, I know that I disassociate myself with my own body, but whatever.)

May 7th, finally, I got my period after being off the pill since March. It was the first time I ever remember being happy about getting my period.

So, I noted the time, and moved on.

Well, it's after June 7th. Not pregnant. Meaning my body is still not "regular."

This is very frustrating. Yes, I know it can take up to a year for things to get regular, but I am not known for my patience.

So, I repeat myself: ARGH.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I'm on Vacation?

Cuz it sure didn't feel like it! For a four-day week that was supposed to begin summer vacation for me, it was quite a doozy.

Actual Memorial Day was nice. Justin's parents were here, and we went out to lunch. Later, a couple friends came over to help us with left overs. It was much less frantic than the rest of the weekend (we had a HUGE party for my graduation and Em's birthday.)

Tuesday wasn't shabby either. I got a massage. I'm using up this coupon for a salon in our neighborhood that Justin got me for Valentine's Day. So far I've had a facial (surprisingly nice), manicure (underwhelming), and Tuesday was the massage. It was very nice, but I am always mystified that people would go into a profession in which they are required to touch people.

Wednesday is when things got wonky. First, I had an application due for a job in Elk Grove. We had no ink, so I had to rush over to Kinko's, then over to the district office to turn it in, then to my old school to pick up a letter of rec for another position. In the meantime, I was trying to get Em ready for a short trip to the Bay Area.

The rest of Wednesday was nice. Em and I saw Shrek 3 with my mom, went out to dinner, and got some frozen yogurt.

Thursday I dropped off Em at my cousin Beth's because I was going to visit my old school and participate in an end-of-the-year activity they do with their 8th graders. It was great to see everyone, and I needed a reminder what middle schoolers are like, considering that I am aiming for a middle school admin job.

It was a good day, but it was a lot of driving. First, an hour to Milpitas, then an hour back. Then, after a very eventful, not so awesome dinner at Mimi's, Em and I head back to Sac, so that was another hour or so in the car. I was done.

But Friday I needed to not be done. I needed to be focused. Friday was a big day; I had three admin applications due yesterday. The typical application requires a resume, credential copy, three letters of rec, and a letter of intent. I have been an applying machine, so I had everything ready but the letters of intent.


I hate writing letters of intent.

Some might tell you that they are not important, but I don't think I would agree. This year I have applied for 8 admin positions. For four of them, I've used a pretty generic letter of intent. And got zero response. So I decided to take a different tack. For these letters, I included research and specific comments about the district/school. It was a good idea, but it was a long process. Yesterday, I worked on my applications from 7 to three. Like a work day.

But at least my "work day" ended with a call saying I have a job interview in Elk Grove.


Dang it! Now I have to get a suit. There goes my Saturday. Well, it's a happy problem. :)