Monday, March 16, 2009

That's Ms. Hammer to you!

Spring has sprung. I can tell because

  • The daffodils are up.
  • There are buds on the trees.
  • My sinus pressure is rapidly approaching the point where my eyes might actually be pushed out of my head.
  • My children have completely lost their minds and forgotten that people call me The Hammer for a reason. (People really do call me The Hammer. Mostly people who I have specifically told to call me The Hammer because I find it amusing, but it still counts.)

Yesterday, Jacob was laying on the couch under 5 feet of blankets. He was complaining of headache, stomach ache, and any other ailment that he could invent. Since Claire had a stomach bug on Friday, I was willing to believe the stomach ache. I told Jacob that he could skip church if he spent the time working on a book report that I had been nagging about for a full week. He readily agreed. I arrived home an hour or so later to discover a three sentence book report on a book with 50 words in it. 50 words! Not 50 pages, but 50 words! The Hammer came down and lo, there was much weeping in all the land. Eventually, Jacob read a book that was a little closer to his reading level and wrote a 4 sentence report.

Then this morning, Claire got in the act. I was in my room trying to get dressed in the dark without waking Nick. Claire was in her room on her bed, completely dressed except for socks. She hollered, "Where are my socks! I need my socks! No tights! I need my tights! Red tights! New red tights!" By that time, I was in her room hissing at her to be quiet little missy and don't you dare wake up your father because I am tired and he is tired and he is going to sleep for 15 more minutes so help me God. She stuck out her little chin, pointed her little finger, and said, "I don't want to hear what you are saying."

I replied, in my most mommish voice, "You are going to hear what I am saying because you know what, little girl? U Can't Touch This."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Best Compliment This Year

"Wow! Your eyes are really green! You look like the Incredible Hulk!"

Monday, March 9, 2009

Little Toughie Flies a Kite

We had a false spring over the past few days. It was warm and windy and beautiful. Everywhere I went, people were outside taking advantage of the weather. We were no exception. I spent more waking hours outdoors than in. The children were out even more than that.

Saturday evening, Nick told me about football in the backyard with the kids. I knew that they had been out there because I heard the squeals and giggles through the window. Nick told me that they'd been tossing the ball around and tackling each other. At one point, Claire snatched the football from Nick. She held it in her hand while giving the sinuous booty-shake that is universal among 4-year old girls - a sort of nya-nya-nya-nya. Then, in a moment of pure brilliance, she said, "You think you can get his ball from me, Little Toughie?" When I finally stopped laughing at Nick's portrayal of Claire, I determined that his nickname shall evermore be Little Toughie. I might occasionally shorten it to L.T.

Sunday blew in from Kansas. Jake took one look at the wind and unearthed the pocket kite that Santa had left for him. Unfortunately, Santa is a cheapskate. The pocket kite experience was a vast disappointment for both Jake and Little Toughie. It was such a disappointment that L.T. made the trek to Target to buy a bigger kite. He arrived home with a 55" Spiderman kite and a maniacal grin. "Jake! Let's go out into the backyard!"

"Erm, Nick..." Our backyard is a city backyard. It's large by city standards but only because we don't have a garage hulking back there. The entire backyard is scarcely larger than the footprint of the house. "I'm not sure there's enough room for this big kite back there."

"I know what I'm doing. It'll be fine. JAKE! CLAIRE!" I zipped my lip and watched them go out the back door, the kite tails stretching from out the back door, through the porch, and into the kitchen. I giggled when Nick shut the door on the ribbons.

I had just settled myself into a chair when Jake came running back into the house. "I've got some good news, and some bad news, and some good news. The good news is that we got the kite up. The bad news is that the kite got stuck in a tree. The good news is that Dad got it out." Little Toughie hollered from the back door that they were going to the park and thirty seconds later, I was alone and laughing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A little fun

Lifted from Katie because it suits my mood. Pick a musical artist/group, then answer the questions using song titles from that artist. Guess who I chose.

  1. Are you male or female? My Sweet Lady
  2. Describe yourself: Looking for Space
  3. How do you feel about yourself? Rhymes and Reasons
  4. Describe where you currently live? Back Home Again
  5. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Two Different Directions
  6. Your best friend is? Annie's Song
  7. Your favorite color? Cool an' Green an' Shady
  8. You know that? Some Days are Diamonds
  9. What’s the weather like? Southwind (or windy)
  10. If your life was a TV show, what would it be called? Sunshine on my Shoulders
  11. What is life like to you? Poems, Prayers, and Promises
  12. What is the best advice you have to give? Let It Be
  13. If you could change your name what would it be? Calypso (OK, not really. But that would be fun for a day or two.)
  14. Your favorite food is? The Eagle and the Hawk (or roast poultry)

Yes, some songs are covers. I am ok with that and I encourage you to be ok with that too.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gulp. I just sent this note.

Good afternoon, Ms. Kindergarten Teacher!

Jacob has been talking a lot about the mice in your classroom lately. He told me a week or so ago that you offered to give them to him after the school year. Is that true? If so, would you be willing to let us have a trial run of caring for the mice over spring break?

Jake is really pulling hard for this at home, so I want to make sure that we all have the same understanding. I am not familiar with mice as pets at all and so am unwilling to just say yes to him. So if adopting the mice is a possibility, then fostering the mice might be a good idea.



UPDATE: Eeek!! It's not a misunderstanding. So I guess we'll be mice-sitting after Easter.

Thank you?

I have been turning inward a bit lately. I am trying to have a productive Lent. My spirituality has been a little mechanical lately. So I'm giving something up (which I have not done in years and years) in the hope that a little more focus and a little less distraction will eventually bear fruit. So far, not so good. That's the trouble with fruit. It requires patience.

Last Wednesday, I attended the most unsatisfying Ash Wednesday service ever. I was sick. It was my lunch hour and I was feeling rushed and pressured. It was a different parish than my usual and I didn't know the priest. The church was newer, with less decoration than I prefer. The homily was about wild fires. Pick an excuse - it just was not working for me.

Instead of fighting it, I let my mind wander a bit. I knew that I had to develop a lesson plan for Sunday's Children's Liturgy, so I started thinking back to activities that had succeeded in the past. That's when I remembered the sin lesson. I found the lesson online the first year I taught Children's Liturgy. The goal was to teach the children how sin can change us from the inside out. I had a heart shape cut from plastic transparency, a marker, and some Windex. We took turns talking about ways that we hurt other people and putting a big black mark on the heart to illustrate that sin. Once the heart was almost black, we held it up and looked at each other through it and laughed about how very distorted we all were. "Sally is missing her nose!" Then, of course, we Windexed the transparency clean again to demonstrate God's ability to transform us.

Since then, I have been mulling over my marked up heart. It is patently obvious that I'm viewing certain people and events through a dirty filter. It is a little less obvious exactly how to get that filter sparklingly clear again. How do you get a fresh take on a not-so-fresh relationship? Where do I buy spiritual Windex and can I get a coupon?