Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Dream Come True!

1. I've been waiting years to have one.
2. I never went through that whole "it is totally not cool to own one" fad.
3. I will no longer have to think about & plan how to fit 347 boxes (totally made up #, but you get the idea) into my little car because...

I am now the proud owner & operater of a minivan!!!

Thanks to Scott's very generous parents who decided to get a car & knew that they weren't going to get much of a trade-in on their van, we became the owners of their old van as of yesterday. Yes, it has its issues-no air conditioning (will be fixed come springtime), cracked windshield, iffy back windshield wiper, etc., but it's all ours & we love it! With my 6' 1" frame, I'm so happy to have the extra room & glad to not be crawling into my car anymore. It is a very happy day indeed in our household!!! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ahhhhhh, Friday!!!

Since it's Friday-I feel like relaxing, but since I haven't posted for awhile-I once again have all of these random ideas floating around in my head. So...here comes another post of random thoughts...

*Over the past 2 weeks, I've been to 3 different doctor offices for 3 different appointments. Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with me (well....I'll let you decide that on your own!) They were just some of those regularly scheduled "maintenance" type of checkups (mine & Luke's), but I've noticed that there are a few 'weird' things that go on at these places. First of all, there is always a wait. Even if you get called back quickly (like I did everytime amazingly), you still have to wait. If you don't have the loooong wait in the waiting room, you will inevitably have to wait FOREVER for the doctor to actually come into your examination room. Sometimes I think that I'd just rather wait in the actual waiting room-that at least makes sense to me. I did, however, enjoy getting to read the "How to Pee in a Cup" poster over & over again in the examination room of one of my visits-very educational! :)

*Why are people always telling me that they "admire me, they could never do it" or "I think that it's just so wonderful that there are people out there like you who can do that" or "you've done such a wonderful thing for him" when they find out that we have adopted our child? First of all, I don't know for sure, but I don't think that a lot of people walk around telling pregnant ladies these things. Maybe I need to walk around telling all of my fertile friends & relatives these same things when I'm with them & their children-they may think that I have finally fallen of my rocker! :) Also, how do these people know what his life would have been like for Luke if he wasn't adopted? We are the ones who have been blessed to have in OUR lives & although he may be better off with us in the long run-it is still at the expense of someone else's pain/grief & I NEVER forget that!

*Exercise, Exercise, Exercise-I did alot of it (for me that is) this week & that dang scale didn't even want to budge! Grrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

*How did Thursday become Friday in my head & now that it is actually Friday-it feels like it has be 2 weeks since last Friday?

*Watching Luke walk all over our house today, I imagined that one day he would be rounding that same corner as a kid, teenager, adult, etc & that one day he will leave home-it made me feel quite sentimental & sad, but also joy that I can cherish these days now because they won't come around again. When he came back around the staircase towards me, he looked at me & smiled & I thought "I hope that he will always smile like that each time when he comes home again!"

*I hope my weekend at home this weekend will be quite relaxing-once October starts-we're booked every weekend, which makes for a loooong, but fun month! Can I get a KitKat bar anyone-I need a break?!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I am a catechist!

During the school year, almost every Wednesday night you can find me up at church teaching kids about the Catholic religion. I teach the 2nd graders, so it's definitely not brain surgery by any means, but I do feel like I have actually learned quite a bit about my faith just by teaching them the basics about it. I am a "cradle" Catholic meaning I was born (baptized as an infant) & raised Catholic my entire life. My faith has always been an important part of who I am & does influence my viewpoints on things (family, politics, life in general, etc.), however, there are/were many things that I do automatically just because that is what I have always done. Becoming a catechist (PSR or Public School Religion teacher which I means I teach religious ed to kids who don't attend Catholic schools) made me actually have to THINK about those things & why I/we do them as Catholics. Besides making me think about my faith, it has also brought me much joy because of some of the things the kids do & say. So in honor of Catechist Sunday (today!), here are 2 of my favorites.

1. We were learning about the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the first of which is the "Agony in the Garden". If you are unfamiliar with it, it is about the pain/agony Jesus was feeling & the praying he was doing (this is where the "Our Father" came from) in a garden as he was awaiting the time of his betrayal & death. The question posed to the students was "What was Jesus doing in the garden?" (answer we were looking for was 'praying') One of my the students looked at me innocently & answered
"Picking vegetables?" I liked the answer, but I highly doubt that vegetables were being thought about at the time.

2. One Wednesday night, I had a student walk in with a mohawk. I could tell that he was very proud of it, so I asked him about it. He said "I've wanted one for years & mom & dad finally let me have one!" (It made me wonder how long he had actually wanted one since he was only 7 years old at the time!) :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

2-8

Happy Birthday to Me!
Today I turn 28-doesn't it just sound like a good number.
One quirky thing about me is that I am quite fond of even numbers for some reason. I don't really know why, but I do know that I have been this way for a long time. I can remember being a little girl & my sisters & I counting 1-2-3 to race or to start whatever activity we were doing. I remember thinking "Why 3? I like 4 so much better." However, counting 1-2-3-4, never really caught on no matter how much I tried. 4 & 8 are two numbers that I have just always really liked. 6 & 10 not so much, but 2 was okay too. :) Odd numbers have never really appealed to me, is that odd considering I was born on 9-19! :)
So to say the least, the prospect of turning 28 seems quite exciting to me. For some reason, I just feel like it might be a good or at least a memorable (I'm hoping in a good way) year for me. I guess I'll just have to wait & see. Am I ready for it? You bet! Ready-1...2...3...4...Go!!! (Still not so catchy-is it?)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Who was that moron in the parking lot?"

As they were walking down the street past the doctor's office today, they heard a loud
"Thump" & "Crashunch!"

They turned & looked around for where the terrible sound came from & trying to figure out who & what was being demolished.
Then, a few seconds later, there was that sound again
"Thump"
followed by the sound of a motor running & a car moving. The car stopped & the driver got out to inspect the car. The driver looked under the car checking for damage & then upon not having seen any, got back in the car & drove away-all the while looking around hoping that no one had witnessed such a terrible blunder.
They (the passerbyers who may have witnessed this event) were probably wondering "Who was that moron in the parking lot...driving over the parking curbs?"

The answer: ME!

That's right-I had a total brain fart today & drove my car (I'm not sure if it has forgiven me yet!) over the parking curb. In my defense, I was in one of those spots where you park facing another car (most of the time there are not parking curbs in between these spots-think shopping malls, Walmart, my school parking space, etc.) so when I saw the empty parking space in front of me-I did what comes naturally & pulled forward. You can imagine the morification I felt when I heard the first terrifying sounds & had realized what I'd done & that I had to go over it again because the curb was under my car! I debated for a few seconds whether to go forward or backwards, but figured there were more things that could be damaged on the front end of the car so I went forward. Just keep your fingers crossed that my car (& tires!) are in okay condition tomorrow morning!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Warning: Procrastination ahead-Oh Wait, Not this time!

How do I cope when I'm stressed out? Well, I either choose to eat something nice & sweet (chocolate-yummy), which is great for my health-Not!-or I make a list of ALL of the things I need to get done. I then start trying to cram them all in, don't get them all done, then feel bad that I didn't & start a new list-vicious cycle isn't it. I have been doing well the past few months coping with both of these coping mechanisms. I've been trying to exercise more & eat better so that occasional piece of chocolate doesn't affect me quite so much & I've developed a few good habits & routines to help me get things done in a way where I'm not stressed out trying to get them done AND they actually get done! I plan on writing a post sometime in the future about the latter, but the reason I brought this up at all today is because I fell back into my old ways just a bit this weekend.
Last week was a fairly stressful week at work for me, between mass scheduling confusion, some poor communication & delayed planning for this week because of the two previous things (& then only a little time left to actually plan for my classes-you teachers out there will definitely get what I'm talking about here) let me just say, I was not a "happy camper" by the time I came home on Friday afternoon. So what did I do Friday night, I made a list of all of the chores I wanted to get done before we left our house today (we were gone all day & I wanted to come home to a clean house). Usually, if I'm successful, I may only get about 1/2 the list finished, since I plan WAY more things than I can actually complete in the time allotted. However, this weekend, I actually completed ALL of the things on the list-thanks to a husband who kept our son corralled & entertained & helped where/when he could. I was able to move from one task to the next & stop to play with Luke every so often. It was just what I needed on Friday evening/Saturday & it is such a good feeling to know that I finished it (I love being able to cross off that last thing!) So because of a cooperative husband & son & a little "cleaning" therapy, I am ready to head back to work feeling slightly rejuvanated & with a positive attitude. I hope your weekend was just as good! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Da...da...da...da...daaaa!

Luke is quite the noise maker these days! As of yet though, there isn't much variety going on. At any given moment, you may hear him making several 'sound effect noises' or saying his favorite thing to say "Dada, Dada, Dada". He gets a big grin on his face everytime he says it, especially when we repeat it back to him. Of course, I should have known that "Dada" would get all of the glory-he is the one that probably tends to be more 'fun' in our child's eyes. Scott is the one who is constantly making a goofball of himself for Luke's sake. I try to provide fun songs & funny voices, but Scott is the one who will do most of the 'rough-housing' & rolling around on the ground with Luke & for Luke's entertainment, which from a kid's point of view is usually alot better. Now I'm not saying that Scott doesn't do his fair share of "Luke work" because he definitely does, but I can say that he definitely does get to have a bit more fun too. When the time comes that worrying about household chores, picking up toys (as opposed to throwing them everywhere), laundry & basically just trying to keep your house from becoming its own landfill is actually considered fun from a child's perspective-well, then-Mom will win the 'fun-factor' hands down everytime, but until that time comes...I'll just continue to listen to the cheers of "Dada, Dada, Dada" come out of my little boy's mouth & hope that the first time he says "Mama"-it isn't a whine/cry, but a happy sound too! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If Walls Could Talk

Walking through the school today, I stopped and actually listened. I decided that there are just some things that you will only hear in an elementary school setting. Here are a few of my favorites!
"Walking Feet, Remember to use your Walking Feet"-wouldn't it be fun to say this to people as they're rushing past you on the street or in the store.
"We're coming to a 'Quiet Zone' (office area)"-I'm sure that as Luke gets older-I'll wish we had our own 'quiet zones' set up throughout the house!
"Was that/Are you making a good choice?"-Sometimes it would be kind of nice to have someone constantly reminding me to think about my choices.
"1-2-3, That's enough for me!" (overheard at the water fountains to prevent kids from camping out there)-portion control is always important! :)
"Use your indoor voices"-I like to use this one on Scott from time to time-if you don't know him, well let me just say...he's a bit of a LOUD talker
"Where's your bubble?"-What?! you might be thinking, but this is a method used to keep the little, little kids quiet in the halls. They puff out their cheeks (like they're holding their breath), keep their lips together & put their finger over their lips (quiet sign)-it's called their "bubble" & it works like a charm & is super cute when you see a line of 15-20 preschooler coming down the hall holding their "bubbles" :)
Last, but not least (& one of my absolute favorites because I'm terribly guilty of using this one) is talking about yourself in the third person-teachers do it like crazy! "Mrs. Smith likes how you were acting Joe!", "Mrs. Jones isn't very happy right now!", etc, etc, etc....
There are so many more that I hear everyday that I could share, but "Anita's pretty tired, so she's going to end the post now!" ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Grandma" for a moment

It was only about 15 minutes, but today I was someone's "grandma" (or 'special person' as the classroom teacher kept repeating).
Our school has been celebrating Grandparents' Day (Friday, today & tomorrow). This morning one of the teachers asked me & a couple of the other girls I work with to come down to her room later around 2:15 because she had a few students who might not have a "special person" show up & we would take their places. She did not want any of the students to be left alone without someone there for them. Of course, (can't you feel the tugging of heartstrings here) I couldn't say no, so at 2:15 I was off to her classroom. She thought she was going to have 5 students without visitors, but actually only ended up with 2 & I was one of the chosen ones to help out. I sat with my "grandson" as we watched the class video of activities they've done so far this year & made sure to 'ooo' & 'aaaa' over him whenever he was shown. I also let him read the book he had made to me (he was supposed to finish it with his visitor-his mom-but since she didn't show-he wanted to save it for home, so she could do it then). I asked him about his favorite movie (SAW-which I must say perturbed me quite a bit considering he was only a first grader!) & then we got refreshments. About this point, the teacher said "thank you" & that it was okay to go whenever I was ready. I finished up my snacks & told him that I was glad that I could be his "special visitor" & headed out the door.
I hope that his mom did eventually show up, but I was at least glad to be able to fill in for a moment just so he wouldn't have to be all by himself while the other kids were visiting with their guests. It wasn't quite this, but it was still quite rewarding.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Responsibility Strikes Again

"Mr. Responsibility" is a nickname that I loving placed upon Scott during our dating days (obviously not right away-we had to make it through the 'don't let him know how weird you really are phase' first). It has kind of been dropped to the wayside since our first year or so of marriage, but every so often-he'll say or do something that reminds me of this name that I use to call him & I pull it out of my arsenal again.
He is just so 'responsible-minded' that sometimes he just can't help, but tell you what the 'right' way to do something is. For instance, one time (actually several times if you know Scott) when we were dating & I was driving, we came to a stoplight that was green. I had to wait on traffic to make a left turn, so I did as I've always been told to do & have seen my parents do countless times, I pulled out into the middle. I always heard that you do this so that if the light turns yellow/red-you then have the right-away to make your turn. Scott ever so responsibly informed me that that is not the correct way to do it, instead you are suppose to stay behind that white line until you can make the turn. I informed him that I was taught this not only by my parents, but also my Driver's Ed teachers. He, of course, did not agree with me & everytime he drove-I would encourage him to just pull out there a little bit so that we wouldn't be stuck if the light turned red. He always stuck to his guns though & neither of us ever checked the "Rules of the Road" to see who was actually correct so the debate does linger on to this day occasionally.
Another example of his 'responsible' nature is when we are out at my parents house. They live in the country & it is very flat-you can literally see everything for at least a mile (or more) in any direction. They live about 1/8 of a mile from a stop sign. Now I know that it is actually illegal to NOT stop at a stop sign, but when you can see that absolutely nothing is coming from any direction & it is quite a rarity to even see a cop out there-I admit-I don't always stop. Oh, I slow down & almost stop, but most of the time-I will do a slow roll through. Believe me, this was a BIG deal a few times for Mr. Responsibilty, especially when I'd mock him for coming to a complete stop & then waiting for 5-10 seconds before proceeding through the stop sign (when you could see that there was abolutely no one around).
A couple of months ago, we got into a debate about hayrides too. They are a fairly popular occurence in rural areas, especially during the fall & as a way of getting from the wedding to the reception when you get married (at least in the area I grew up anyway). I asked the question "Could you be ticketed on a hayride because there are no seat belts & no car seats for kids?" Scott,of course, said "Yes, but they just kind of let it go or don't pay attention to it most of the time as long as you stick to the back roads & don't go onto any major roads/highways". I was intrigued having been on countless hayrides over the course of my life. I responded that I had never ever heard of a hayride being ticketed, even if it was on the highway. Mr. Responsibility then stated "Well, you deserve to be ticketed if you go on the highway with a hayride!" I said "What about if it's for a wedding-you would want the wedding party to be ticketed!" & I proceeded to remind him that on our wedding day we did cross a highway with a hayride & wondered if he thought that counted & that I was also involved in a wedding party (my cousin's) that actually took the highway for about a mile or so with a hayride. He kind of backed off of it, but I could see that he was not convinced. About that moment, I remembered the nickname & just said "Mr. Responsibilty Strikes Again".
I was reminded of this last night when we were driving home & we saw someone riding a bicycle after dark. It lead to a short conversation that ended with "They're really supposed to have a headlight on the bike if they're riding after dark." I just thought, well maybe they are, but I didn't know for sure. I just love though that Scott seems to know all of these random facts/laws & can't help, but share them with me so I said "Okay, Mr. Responsibilty!" We enjoyed a good chuckle & I was reminded of the above situations where I had whipped that name out before.
It kind of makes me think-maybe it is good that he is "Mr. Responsibilty" & tries to keep me in line. After reading over the above, apparently, I'm prone to criminal behavior! We'd really be in trouble if he was too! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How can I help you?

Luke has gained many new skills over the past few months & I am constantly thanking him for his "help" :) I'm hoping it will pay off someday down the road & he will love doing his chores!
Here are just a few of the things I thank him for everyday:
1. Folding laundry-as I'm sitting there folding the clothes, he likes to scoot his way over to the basket & fling the clothes out of the hamper. I just say "Oh thank you, that shirt was stuck under the clothes! You did a good job of getting it free." (as I'm walking across the room to retrieve it)
2. Emptying the dishwasher-as soon as he hears me pull out the rack, I can hear the sudden rushing of wheels (the walker) headed my direction. He has become quite adept at getting the bowls out of the rack & of course (watch for a theme here) he flings it across the floor. I say "Thank you, that is very helpful!" (now if only he was tall enough to actually get it to land on the shelf!)
3. Changing his diaper-this is the one task where he is definitely the most helpful! As soon as he is lying down & I've started to take the diaper off-he sits straight up! (he is very proud of the fact that he has finally mastered this skill & is no longer trapped on his back at all times) So I push him (gently) back down & continue. He sits straight back up. I repeat pushing him back down & then grasp his ankles to lift & wipe his bottom (very difficult to sit up in this position, but he sure does try) & then attempt to put a new diaper back on him. During the whole process, he is repeating the sit up/lie down process as well as checking to make sure he is, in fact, still a boy. It's all quite lovely & I make sure to thank him for "trying to be physically active by doing all of those sit-ups!" Of course, he does reward me after the whole process with a look out the window. He sits up (shocker-I know!) & scoots to the edge of the changing table (don't worry, I'm right there) & pulls the curtain back from the window. He looks out the window & then looks at me with an expression of "Isn't that great!" & all I can think is "Yes, Luke it is...Thank You!"