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Archive for March, 2008

So, as some of you know, my Sub, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Business, is about to become an 8th grade math teacher. 

It seems that the Powers that Be have helped her decide that she needs to be a teacher…thanks to all the interviews that seemed so promising that turned out to be NOTHING.  She and I both have looked at the job search like this…what is meant to be…will be.  And none of the many interviews she went on turned into anything that would ‘be.’ 

So, when she started subbing at the junior high and started really liking it, it seemed like the good Loward was directing her in a different direction.  The Middle School math direction.

And thus, she has started expanding her wardrobe, with an emphasis on “cool teachery clothes.” 

The Sub’s gonna be a math teacher…who’da thunk it?

Why is that defining.  When I started this last night what did I think was defining about that little Sub story. 

Maybe defining in that she is buying “work clothes” and not 50-dollar jeans at American Eagle?  Maybe that she is buying “outfits” that will “mix and match” instead of a hoodie? 

Well, whatever.  All I know is it is pretty fun watching her morph.

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Dear CBS:

I am not sure you understand that my Thursday evenings begin with Survivor.  So, let me be the first to tell you that when I get off work on Thursday afternoons and realize that there is no Survivor on, I get sort of cranky and it makes my whole TV watching for the evening all wiggidy whack. 

Yes, I realize that the NCAA tournament is important.  Heck, I watch it.  I have brackets.  But on Thursday nights I’m watching LOST and Eli Stone on ABC anyway.  You’re gonna get me during commercials, checking scores and what not.  You have me all weekend.  All day, all weekend.  You could give me my Survivor fix…if not on Thursday, then give me a Wednesday show like you did last week.  I’m perfectly fine with that. 

I just feel like I need to remind you that I’ve been watching since the get go and feel like I deserve some consideration when it comes to just skipping a week.  I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t have a life, really, and when my TV schedule is amended…well, I get sort of cranky.

See you at the merge,

Chrisyub

So, now that that is taken care of, I’m going to take a second to mommybrag about The Boy.  We got our TAKS results yesterday and it seems the Boy made the highest score in his 3rd grade class in TAKS Reading.  His teacher, Mr. Cook, who, incidentally, has been teaching since BEFORE I WAS BORN, made a point to come out to the car at pickup this afternoon to tell me the news.  He was tickled.  Yet, in Mr. Cook fashion, he felt the need to remind us that the math TAKS is April 29 and “that’s his weakness.” 

Thanks for the good news, Mr. Cook, and the pointed reminder that the math TAKS might RUIN HIS LIFE. 

Okay, he didn’t say as much, but his expression, while he was giving thumbs up for the reading TAKS, said OMG HE MIGHT NOT BE COMMENDED ON THE MATH TAKS.  

See, here’s the thing.  We have had 3 girls go before the Junior and the Boy, all of whom killed every TAKS test they ever took.  I guess you would call them all-around brilliant.  Yet, with the Junior and the Boy, I have realized that the world doesn’t begin and end if your kid doesn’t get commended in every single portion of the TAKS. Hell, I remember the Junior’s 4th grade teacher calling me the week before her TAKS writing test, telling me that my little 4th grader was so worried about the TAKS that she was crying every day, anxious over the fact that she just couldn’t think of what she was going to write about.  My gosh, we had to talk the then 4th grade Junior off the ledge so many times in preparation for that damn TAKS test.

Funny how you never see the Junior without a pencil and notebook now.  She writes incessantly…stories stories and stories that one has in her head.  For the record, she was not commended and didn’t get any medals for her writing skills that year, yet she cannot stop writing now. 

So, yeah, I’m not going to stress out The Boy about the math TAKS.  I’m just going to tell him to go slow, check his work, and get on with his life.  His 3rd grade life.  I know that 9 x 7 is going to click in his brilliant little mind at some point…maybe it will be next year…but it will click and he will be fine.

I think we put way to much emphasis on standardized testing anyway.  When we were in school, do y’all remember the yearly ‘achievement tests’?  There was no teaching of what was going to be on the achievement test.  We just knew that at some point during the year we would be herded to the lunchroom and handed packets that we had to crack open with our freshly sharpened #2 pencils and read along, as the teacher read the instructions aloud. 

I remember one year, I think it was my 4th grade year, where I got off count somewhere and skipped an oval, so that every single answer was filled in on the wrong number.  I remember sitting on the swing and crying my little heart out, thinking I was going to be the biggest failure EVER in the 4th grade achievement test. 

But I wasn’t. 

And if the Boy isn’t commended or recognized on his math TAKS skillz, he won’t be either.  Period. 

And I’m good with that.  Every kid has strengths and weaknesses, and personally, I think it is more important to focus on the strengths.

But that’s just me. 

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unless you have also promised your Junior who is in love with Joe Jonas, of the hugely popular Jonas Brothers, or as the Junior calls them “JoBro,” tickets, not ONE but TWO tickets, one for her and one for a good friend, for her 17th birthday (which will come a little less than a month after the actual concert where her head explodes and I am left with a mangled headed almost 17-year-old daughter). 

Now, the coolest thing ever is that…the Junior and I have finagled a way for the Sub to take the Junior and her to-be-named-after friend to the concert.  THAT MEANS NOT ME.  That means I will NOT be in the audience of 12,500 squealing adolescents. 

By the way, that doesn’t make me Bad Mommy, since last summer I took the not yet a Junior to the John Mayer concert when he came through Dallas. Bottom line…I can do John Mayer (literally…no, not like that), but I cannot do the Jonas Brothers.  That, I’m afraid, is for someone much younger than me…which is why we have recruited the Sub to haul the Junior and the to-be-named-later friend to the Jonas Brothers concert. 

Now, I have promised that, to the best of my ability, I will be crazy mad trying to buy 3 tickets come Saturday morning, 10 a.m.  We should really hope, big time, that I will SCORE tickets and the Junior will be at the concert come summer, along with her to-be-named-later friend.

I think, after watching her at the Mayer concert last summer, that she is ready to go to a concert at smirnoff superpages.com arena.  I feel even better that the Sub will be ‘there’ for them. 

I will be sitting in the backyard, probably tending a fire, waiting to hear how the concert was and praying the Sub doesn’t call me for directions to the venue…

Because while I am indeed the World’s Best Mother (because I got Jonas Brothers tickets for the Junior), I am the world’s suckiest direction giver when it comes to Dallas and I will route the girls through the greatest pits of hell before they go hear the angels  Jonas Brothers sing.

On other concert news…Counting Crows have chosen the day to be in Dallas…September 6…aka my son’s 10th birthday.  My best guess is that the day will be consumed with birthday type activities and not me standing in a mass of 10,000 plus singing Counting Crows songs.

What we do for our children.

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Easter 2008 at the Yub house started with a visit to the church house with 4 of 5 of the spawn…one of which, the one with the new skaterboy hairdo Photobucketwas in charge of FIRE at the church house.  After having some church time with the spawn, we came home and had a lovely Easter luncheon of bone-in ribeyes, grilled expertly by the Mr., medium really rare, big ol’ baked potatoes and grilled asparagus.  The Longhorn’s quote of the day…

“mmmmmmm.  it’s been so long since I’ve had beef.” 

Yes, it was awesome.  Awesome beefy-ness enjoyed by all.

After lunch, the Mr. retired to the shed to partake in the Mavs vs. Spurs/UT vs. whomever basketball games and the Boy went to skateboarding/scootering, the Junior needed to watch some OC/DeGrassi/Hannah Montana, so me and the Longhorn and the Sub watched Dan in Real Life, which, incidentally, was so completely sweet that my teeth were hurting by the end of it. 

After the movie, the Sub hit the road…headed back to Austin and classes and meetings and work…and to come down off the NYC high she is on.  She made a darling video to document the NYC Love, and if she gives me permission, I will certainly show ya’ll.

After that, I realized that we still had not partaken of the Easter ritual of coloring eggs, so I decided to dust off the egg coloring kit from last year (since we didn’t partake of the egg coloring ritual last year) and get some eggs colored that we weren’t going to hide by any means, but we certainly wanted some tuna salad and needed some colorful chicken embryos to make that happen Photobucket.  Somewhere between the boiling of the eggs and the preparation of the dyes in cups, the Boy decided he might just want to play Photobucket

(which our friend Colleen gave him, two sets – one set legit and one set that only rolls 7s and 11s – you know, to further his career as the kid at school who is playing craps in the bathroom). 

I vetoed that and made him come in and actually finish the job Photobucket.  He did a couple, I did a couple, the Junior did one to chronicle her love of some guy from the Jonas Brothers Photobucket  I think it is the brother named “joe.”  At some point, the Boy reminded her that no matter how much she loved her “Joe” egg, he was going to be made into tuna salad and she did this…wait, for some reason, I don’t have that on this computer and will insert the priceless picture tomorrow

*edited to add Photobucket

Anyway, we all got to do an egg if we wanted to, but just enough to make a really decent tuna salad to feed us the day after Easter.  The Mr. did one, too…and of course, he had to outdo us all.  He did a ‘concept’ egg.  A fellow with a beard or something Photobucket.

His egg tasted especially yummy in the tuna salad, by the way.  Also, by the way, our tuna salad was very colorful…i would have shown you but the Sub told me it looked like some of the eggs were sort of moldy due to the purple and the pink and the yellow…

but that did not deter us…dye doesn’t deter us from having tasty post-Easter tuna salad.

It was really, really a great day.  I made pictures of the egg coloring so as to make myself a better parent than I was last year when I just completely dropped the ball and didn’t even do any.  Incidentally, mine was the prettiest egg…it was the one up there somewhere that was pink with pretty, pretty flowers drawn on with the wax pencil.  The Mr. might have outdone me on concept but mine was PINK with FLOWERS.

Just sayin’

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I’ll just do this.  If you read it, consider yourself tagged.

You’re feeling: Perplexed
To your left: Window
On your mind: Friendship
Last meal included: Jalapenos
You sometimes find it hard to: Forget
The weather: Awesome
Something you have a collections of: Snowmen
A smell that cheers you up: Cinnamon
A smell that can ruin your mood: Litterbox
How long since you last shaved: Sunday
The current state of your hair: Curly
The largest item on your desk right now (besides computer): Lamp

Your skill with chopsticks: Fair
Which section you head to first in the bookstore: Cookbooks
And after that?: Kids
Something you are craving: Lobster
Your general thoughts on the presidential race: Hope
How many times have you been hospitalized this year: None
A favorite place to go for quiet time: Backyard
You’ve always secretly thought you’d be a good: Psychologist
Something that freaks you out a little: Cancer
Something you’ve eaten too much of lately: Asparagus
You have never: Skydived
You never want to: Disappoint

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Today started in such a lovely way.  I had to wake up at 0800 to pick up the Junior at a church lock-in, where she stayed up all night long…even though she had to work at her new job, that she detests already because she is working with…well, let’s just say…folks that aren’t even remotely like her at all…one girl who is her age (16) who is 2-1/2 months pregnant and one girl who is taking her TAKS math test after high school (is that possible, can you do that?).  To put it lightly, the Junior is super Green when it comes to being out there in the world.  She seems to think that working at the pool over the summer is going to be better…seems she hasn’t talked to the Longhorn, who worked at the pool last summer and had to deal with women who had the F-word tattooed across their chest. 

Knock, knock, little Junior…Real World calling.

I did manage to have a visit with My Favorite Longhorn. That might have been the highlight of my day.  She makes me laugh and feel happy.  She ate my ‘nasty’ rice along with her tuna taquito and refried beans without telling me how nasty the rice was. 

After I write this, and watch a rerun of Dead Like Me, I am going to help the Sub pile in chocolate treats and jelly beans in $1 buckets of happiness.  My best guess is that she is going to be asleep by then and I will be about halfway coherent and someone is going to get 3 Cadbury Cream Eggs who doesn’t even like them…and some poor soul is going to get the all-licorice-jelly-bean package. 

I started sucking as the Easter Bunny/Santa Claus/Tooth Fairy a long time ago…so sue me.

Another weird thing that happened to me on this Day Before Easter is that the Neighbor who Banished me, then kissed me on the cheek in the carpool lane, while declaring his love for me, called and invited the Boy to come to his church for a carnival.  In the goodwill department, the Mr. indeed did take the Boy to the Carnival and the Boy rode things and had a big time.  Later in the evening, while we were out watching the NCAA games/chatting with the Longhorn, it was apparent that the neighbor was in his backyard.  But for the life of me, I don’t know how to go back to the comfortable backyard relationship we had before.  I’m happy that things are more comfortable, but I just can’t wrap my head around the whole ‘you’re banished’ and then 8 months later, let’s be friends.  We’ll just say that I’m open to what is going to happen, but I’m going in cautiously. 

Am I right, am I wrong…

Time will tell.

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Well, we all knew that there was going to be one…that something that made her not ABSOLUTELY perfect.  I just didn’t realize it was going to affect me and my dinner.  See, as it turns out, Belle, the perfect WonderDog, has a penchant for EATING EVERY DAMN THING THAT IS MEAT THAT YOU LEAVE ON THE COUNTER.  To date, she has consumed enough chicken fingers (that I prepared painstakingly in my new ‘cool touch’ deep fryer) to feed us all for a day and a half…and tonight…all the damn fajita steak.

And, oh, she knows she is in trouble.  I’ve never seen this one lay so still and be so quiet as she has been tonight after she ate ALL the skirt steak.  Or she is just full.

Either which, I am decidedly not full…much thanks to Belle.

Some go with jenny craig…some go with dogs that eat every freakin’ thing before you get a chance to.

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