A Thinking Break

I literally cannot think anymore.  I have to stop for as long as it takes to write this post.  This time next week, we will be in Florida, getting ready to go on our long anticipated cruise! Yes, that is super exciting, but to get from where I am here sitting with mounds of papers in front of me, to a hotel in Miami…well, many, many things have to happen before then.

For instance, I gave the girls a list of how many and what kinds of outfits they would need to pack.  The plan is to stop at some resale shops this week and fill in the gaps in their wardrobes.  Cause, hello, a cruise is expensive!  So all day today it was try this on. It doesn’t fit…I don’t like it…I don’t have a shirt to match. AHHHHH!  That is the scream I was screaming in my head while I tried to patiently tell them to write down what they needed.  Because while they were doing all their pre-packing, I was working on 2 week’s worth of lesson plans, making caramel corn for a bonfire we’re going to tonight, and doing laundry. All at the same time.  Plus Phil needed my help to close the pool up for about 20 minutes in the midst of all that.  Thus the mental screaming.

My brain is melting. I’m sure of it.  Their are too many details and while I’m excellent at compartmentalizing things, when all the boxes spill into each other, well, it’s ugly.  The cruise details are kind of a huge thing.  Do I have the proper documentation?? I don’t want homeland security taking me out in the middle of boarding!  Do we all have enough of our medications?  I need to get refills.  The good news is the baby bottle warmer works beautifully at heating the distilled water for my nasal rinse!  I tried it today to be sure.  Then there’s the whole writing of lesson plans for a substitute teacher.  Which is about 10 times harder than when I write them for myself.  I can read my own chicken scratch.

I know that all the details will work out.  I know that once we get there it’s going to be AMAZING and AWESOME and all the good words you can think of in caps.  It’s the getting there that’s got me right now.  I just can’t see it.  I love having this blog where I can dump some of my thoughts to free up some room for the thinking I have to do.


Mr. Sandman, please bring me a dream

I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  I’m pretty sure it’s got a lot to do with the head cold thing I’m still fighting.  Sleep is key for me.  If I don’t get enough I’m a wreck.  And if I get too much…wait, there is no ‘too much’ with me.  I’ve always envied my friends who are able to get by, and not just get by but actually thrive, on 6 hours of sleep a night.  I’m more of an 8 hour minimum type of person.

The issue it seems is that I either wake up a lot tossing and turning, or I dream crazy dreams all. night. long.  Like last night.  I dreamed I was in a store that was a cross between a BigR Store (city meets country) and Zern’s (not sure there are words to adequately describe this market.)  When I was growing up, my family used to go to Zern’s on Friday night.  Just scroll down in this newsletter to see some of the um…interesting people you will see there.  And really, what farmer’s market is complete without the stand where you can purchase a headstone?  Anyway…my dream.  I’m not really sure what I was looking for in my dream, but I kept walking around looking in all these aisles and never found what I was looking for.

Tonight, there will be no dreams. No tossing and turning.  I’m taking Nyquil.  It’s a magical thing.  I take a nice big swig of that stuff and sleep like a rock.  The only thing is the ‘hangover’ in the morning.  But that’s why there’s coffee 🙂


Diet Tips I DON’T Recommend

Today has been long. Oh, so very long. I’m back to counting calories as our cruise is quickly approaching.  That always makes things a little bit harder, but I haven’t gnawed off a table leg or anything yet.

To make things even more challenging I’ve been fighting a cold/sinus thing for almost 2 weeks now.  I give up. I called the doctor, but the soonest they can see me is not for another 5 days.  Advil is my best friend. Coming in at a close second is my bed.

Even though I only work part time, it’s wearing me out.  Today was even more trying. I was frantically finishing assessments this morning.  Then one of my students threw up right at my feet today, just as I was starting our numbers lesson. Thanks to a quick response from the office, he was taken care of, but the area behind my desk is…ick.  I sprayed my shoes and socks and pant legs with enough Lysol to fumigate the building, and went and finished the lesson.  Needless to say, my appetite took a nosedive today.  Which worked out really well for the whole counting calorie thing.

I have parent/teacher conferences the next 2 days and I had to finish report cards tonight.  Since my throbbing head isn’t letting up, my dear husband ordered pizza for dinner.  And thanks to my inability to eat lunch, I had enough calories left to be able to eat 3 slices.  I am now happy 🙂

After Party

As I sit here eating  birthday cake (a very small piece 😉 and sipping my coffee, I thought I’d tell you about Marissa’s birthday party.  Well, it was last night.  It was fun.  I have a big mess to clean up in the kitchen.  The rest of the house fared pretty well.

First off, let me show the before and after pics of my bathroom. Here’s the before (note the dated rose wallpaper of death.)

Bathroom Before







And here’s the bathroom after two days of scraping wallpaper, one day of filling holes, and two days of painting:

Bathroom After








Not a massively huge change, but the wallpaper is gone and that’s what really counts.  It’s hard to get a decent pic in that room, so this is what the shower curtain looks like.  I love that someone told me it looked like stuff from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and it all came from Walmart.  So did my bedding.  As much as I hate that store, sometimes it’s nice to me.

Marissa actually turned 16 last month, but we finally got around to celebrating with our friends last night.  And celebrate we did!  I was going to do a taco bar thing for dinner, or chili and cornbread which translates into: crockpot meal.  A member of my family (who was not the birthday girl, and shall remain nameless) vetoed that plan siting that tacos are too messy, and chili has beans.  Well then.  I decided to go with an Olive Garden/Italian theme for dinner.  I made 2 trays of baked ziti (the regular, old high fat cheesy good kind) and two trays of Hungry Girl’s “Have You Bake and Ziti Too” veggie ziti.  It was really for me, but I thought for sure some people would go for the veggie option.  I have 1.75 trays of the veggie one left, and 0 of the regular.  Sorry, Lisa Lillian (aka Hungry Girl.)  My guests are not as calorie conscious as we are.  I had 3 salads (one from Olive Garden), 30 Olive Garden breadsticks, and Italian bread.  Oh, and 4 lbs. of meatballs, and 3 lbs. of Italian sausage.  There’s LOTS of meat left.  Not a lot of carnivores showed up (only one really…and she hates cheese too.)  I had a crock pot with marinara sauce for dipping the breadsticks in.  Thus the huge mess in my kitchen.  I’ll be scrubbing crusted tomato sauce the rest of the day.

The big hit however was the coffee.  See, I’m not alone in my obsession.  I had a regular pot going with Starbuck Cafe Verona coffee in it, and then I used the Keurig for those who wanted decaf. or flavored coffee.  There was a line people!  If the whole teaching thing doesn’t work out, I’m told I could open a coffee shop and sell my home made caramel corn (which we also had at the party) for a living.  Considering being in the kitchen is one of my least favorite things to do, I’m thinking that would be the worst job ever for me.  And let me just apologize to my crunchy granola, earth saving friends now, and the planet.  I bought disposable everything.  If I could have bought a disposable crock pot and saved myself the scrubbing of crusted on marinara sauce, I would have.  My carbon footprint yesterday was about the size of Texas.  Thank you Costco.

The real success of the party though, was the friends who came!  I love those people.  At one point I think we had 35 people in our house, half of which were in my living room playing a marathon game of Taboo.  It was hilarious.  I think for the next party we need to take it up a few notches and get a low-watt tazer to replace the buzzer with.  That would definitely keep people from saying the wrong clues.  We ended up not having enough chairs in the house, so we had to pull in all our deck chairs too. It was also about 1,000 degrees in my house, so some people sat outside on the deck.  We had a great time!  Most importantly Marissa did.  She most wanted to play games, and that’s what everyone did.  They played numerous rounds of Big Boss, Little Boss, a card game.  We tried to get a game of Mao going, but it didn’t take.  There was much laughter, and lots and lots of coffee.  It was a great night!

Wild Game of Taboo
Another fun game is "Find Your Shoes"
Cake! Happy Birthday, Marissa!
We go to great lenghts not to cheat...even by accident!
Some people just gotta ruin the picture! (my husband!!)
How many people CAN we fit in my living room??


For the record our last guests left at 12:45 am, and everyone left happy (some with treat bags full of caramel corn.)  I call that a successful party!

Fa, La, La, La, La, La I’m on Fall Break!

It’s a morning for dancing and singing.  Coffee…of course. But much dancing and singing.  We are on fall break!  Which means two glorious days off of school for the girls and I.  So needed.

I just woke up at 11am.  I probably could have gone back to sleep again, but since I’d already slept 11 hours, I figured I shouldn’t be lazy or anything.  I’m still fighting a cold which is taking it’s toll on me (thus the needed sleep.)

Even though we’re off today and tomorrow, we are going to be busy.  Make that BUSY.  Marissa turned 16 last month, and we’re finally getting around to celebrating with a party.  And when I throw a party…well, it’s a par-tay.  Throw in a good dose of my OCD, and it can be a recipe for disaster.  Thankfully with us being OFF of SCHOOL (can you tell I’m beyond excited about this?)  I have time to clean and shop and all that business.

So Monday I decided that 12 years of having to look at the hideous rose wallpaper in the bathroom was entirely too long.  It was time for  it to come down.  The thought of having people over and them having to look at the hideous rose wallpaper in the bathroom was more than I could take.  So I started ripping.  Which meant a trip to the hardware store for Dif products (amazing stuff btw) and much mess in taking off the wallpaper.  Since our bathroom is small (a blessing in this case) it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.  After two more trips to the hardware store, Target, and numerous other stores, I had everything I needed to redecorate the bathroom.  The fact that I waited 12 years to do this, and started working on it days before I’m going to have  a house full of people just goes to show how badly I really need to be in therapy. Anyway…

The dancing and singing of this morning is not only due to being on fall break, it’s also because the paint that was supposed to cover in one coat (which as of last night when I went to bed I still doubted) actually worked!  No second coat is needed.  Yeah! Just a few touch-ups.  I’ll be sure to post the pics of it when it’s all done and prettied up.

I best get going since I’ve spent the past 3 days focusing on the bathroom, so the rest of the house has gone to the dogs.  Or in this case the kids.  Happy fall break!!

Story Time

I was going to blog tired and random today, but I’m pretty sure it would just come off as me hating on life.  Which I really don’t…hate life that is.  It’s just kind of how I’m feeling right now…in this moment.   Because not unlike drinking and driving, blogging when I’m this tired (physically, mentally, emotionally, and in ever -ally you can think) is an accident waiting to happen.  So I shall blog responsibly and tell you a story instead.

It’s an old story with an updated twist. Maybe it’s because of my job, or just who I am, but this is how I think through the things of my life, and scary as this may be, I thought I’d share. So, grab a cup of coffee (or tea if you’re one of those people…I guess hot chocolate would be ok too;-) and enjoy, “The Little Red Mom.”  And just so we’re clear, I’ve totally taken ‘creative license’ to this story.

One autumn day, the Little Red Mom went to the cabinet and found it empty.  “Oh dear!” said the Little Red Mom to herself. “I must make a grocery list.”  She asked the Oldest: “Will you help me make a grocery list?”  “Not I!” said the Oldest.  She asked the Middle One: “Will you help me make a grocery list?”  “Not I!” said the Middle One.  She asked the Littlest: “Will you help me make a grocery list?” “Not I!” said the Littlest.

“Then I will make the list myself,” said the Little Red Mom. And she did.

Soon the list was done, and the Little Red Mom knew it was time to go to the store.  “Who will help me do the shopping?” she asked.  “Not I!” said the Oldest.  “Not I!” said the Middle One.  “Not I!” said the Littlest.

“Then I will go shopping for groceries myself,” said the Little Red Mom.  And she did.

She got the groceries at the store, and when she got home they were  ready to be carried into the house.  “Who will help me carry the groceries into the house?” she asked.  “Not I!” said the Oldest.  “Not I!” said the Middle One.  “Not I!” said the Littlest.

“Then I will carry them in myself, ” said the Little Red Mom. And she did.  She carried those groceries up the stairs and into the house.

When she got them in the house, she asked, “Who will help me put these groceries away?” “Not I!” said the Oldest.  “Not I!” said the Middle One.  “Not I!” said the Littlest.

“Then I will put the groceries away myself,” said the Little Red Mom. And she did.  Soon all the groceries were put away, and it was time to make dinner.

“Who will help me make dinner?” said the Little Red Mom.  “Not I!” said the Oldest.  “Not I!” said the Middle One.  “Not I!” said the Littlest.

“Then I will make it myself,” said the Little Red Mom.  And she did. After the dinner was made it was set on the table to cool.

“And now, ” said the Little Red Mom, “who will help me eat dinner?” “I will!” said the Oldest. “I will!” said the Middle One.  “I will!” said the Littlest.

“No, I will eat it myself!” said the Little Red Mom. And she did.

The. End.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Here’s another installment of Tiny Talk Tuesday where I share the funny things my students say to me:

Every morning before we start morning meeting, we sing our “Welcome” song.  The other day I kept having to remind a few of the students to clean up so we could start class. One of the little girls who had already finished cleaning up and was sitting on her spot in our group area pipes up and says, “So we can start our busy day, right Mrs. Mongold?!?” (one of the lines in our Welcome song is “First we’ll put our things away, then we’ll start our busy day.”) At least I know someone is listening!

One of the little girls was in the art center and was writing “PAPA” and “RARA” (her name for her grandma on a paper.)  I praised her for such a great job, then asked her to draw pictures of her grandparents also.  She looked at me and said, “My RaRa is THIS big.” (with her arms spread way out to her sides)  The thing was, her mother was still in the classroom and heard this, and she laughed so hard.  It was funny.  I just hope she doesn’t describe me that way 😉

At snack time, one of the little girls said, “Water is SO great you can’t even see it!”

While we are eating snack, one of the daycare teachers usually comes to collect the lunches from the coat hooks of the children who stay for after school care.  One day another daycare teacher was talking to her in the hall while she was doing this.  One of the little girls (who obviously didn’t know this other teacher) said, “Look! It’s Ms. Claudia and another Ms. Claudia.”

During center time two of the children were playing pretend and one of the girls was trying to get her center buddy to try whatever it was she had pretended to make.  I overheard her say, “It tastes like snapple. It’s good!”

Allergies have got everyone in my class coughing, sneezing, and pretty much sharing germs all over the place.  One little girl is also having trouble breathing.  She came up to me at recess struggling to catch her breath and said, “My breath hurts.”  I had her sit out until her breathing was back to normal.  Her best little girlfriend kept coming over and asking, “Does T have her breathe back?”

The daycare preschool class and my class have recess together.  I noticed one of the little boys in the other class constantly rubbing his head. I asked him what was wrong and he told me, “My head is pinching.”  I’m guessing he had a headache.

We had read a book about sharks at story time, and I asked them why they thought God made sharks to they could swim very fast.  One of the boys answered, “So they can go fasterly to get the little fish.”

One of my friends works at a different school and one of the kids came up to her and asked if she could sharpen her pencil.  The little girl said, “It’s low on lead.”

During a Bible lesson, one of the boys randomly says out loud, “www dot com.”  I asked him why he said that (after asking why he was talking out of turn and not paying attention!) He told me, “Cause I like to say www dot com. It’s the internet.”  Ok then.

Last week we started acting out our Bible lesson stories.  We had acted out the story of Baby Moses a couple times, and as we sat down to start our Bible lesson on Friday, one of the little girls asked me, “Are we going to play God today?”  Lol…I totally knew what she meant, but it was still funny.

If you have any funny things the little ones in your life say, I’d love to hear them!!

Bad, Bad Blogger

Oh how far I’ve come from the days where I posted something every day.  I’d love to say I aspire to getting back to that, but honestly, at this point in my life I don’t have the time.

My girls are involved in stuff, and I’m glad for that, but it sucks up my time for sure!  Marissa has joined the group “Future Educators of America” (FEA) and they meet at least once or twice a week after school.  Alisha is going to be part of a science olympiad team starting this week, and Rebekah is taking piano lessons.  It doesn’t sound like much, and it really isn’t, but the driving back and forth is killing me.  It’s the different times they’re getting done with school or meetings.  I’m pretty sure I drive back and forth from home to school to home to another school so much my car could do it by itself. Which would be really cool, ’cause then I could zone out and not think.  Sadly, this is not the syfy town of Eureka, and it doesn’t work like that. All the traffic in town is definitely increasing my ability to be patient with bad drivers. It’s either that or lose it and give in to the road rage.

As for me, I’m trying to find some balance.  I recently realized that most of my real friends are ones I never get to see.  I have one friend who is as purposeful about spending time with me as I am with her.  Everyone is busy. I get that.  But I need friends.  So, when things come up and I am invited places, I feel like I should drop whatever else is going on to be able to go.  Is that desperate?  I’m not sure anymore.  I actually thought of asking someone whose blog I’ve been reading for awhile now to go out to dinner.  She lives fairly close by.  I’m just not sure though.  We tweet each other.  Does that count as being ‘friends’?  I know a lot of this had to do with the fact that we aren’t really plugged in at church yet.  And I also know those of you who would say to jump in and get involved.  Baggage people…I have lots of it.  I’m working on it.  I tried to go to small group. I really did.  I went one week.  I’m just not there yet.  I do have a group of ladies who I do a Bible study with so it’s not like I’m totally alone or backsliding.  Just to put your minds at ease 🙂  Not sure where I was going with all this other than to say, I miss having good friends.  Friends that live close, who I can hang with “just because.”  I’m not whining…really.  I’m just telling you what I miss and need in my life right now.

Other than that…things are great!  I’ve done lots of fun things I should blog about.  I will. Soon.  Oh, and our cruise is coming up next month!! You will be hearing a LOT about that as I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  In an effort to not hate myself in a swimsuit on said cruise, I have been extra careful about my eating habits lately. And it’s paying off! I’ve lost 15 pounds in 2 months, and I’m feeling really good about that.  The only downside is that some of my clothes (the staples) in my closet are much too loose now.  I really don’t want to buy new clothes yet, as I’m still losing (yeah for that!)  So, if you see me wearing the same thing every time you run into me…that’s why 🙂

Thanks for reading! How have you all been?