Sunday, October 31, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
6:00 Wake up because Little Dude is screaming/crying. He's been having some sleep issues lately that have been affecting all of us. Thankfully he doesn't wake up the baby (in the next room) and he falls back to sleep.
6:30 Wake up for real with my alarm clock. Take a very long, hot shower. I feel guilty every morning for taking long showers that are very hot, but it's cold and dark and I am very tired.
7:00 Warm up some oatmeal and eat my breakfast. I like to make a big batch of oatmeal and keep it in the fridge to warm up on other days. Then I go blow dry my hair, get dressed, and do my makeup. I bought new makeup the other day and I'm still not sure I like it. Instead of just powder I bought a creamy foundation that has a powder finish. It seems fine; it is just a bit more obvious that I'm wearing makeup and I feel self-conscious about it. I've never liked wearing makeup, but I don't feel professional without it.
7:40 Run downstairs to get my computer bag and check on S-Boogie. She should be awake, so I open her door and turn on the hall light. I get in my car and drive to school. The one advantage of teaching an 8:00 class is that I can still get a good parking spot.
8:00 Teach my first section; about half the class is actually there, but a few more straggle in as the hour goes on. Attendance in this class has really dropped. Some days it bothers me, but I figure it's not really my problem. It's a freshman course and most of my students are in their very first semester of college and still figuring things out. I nearly failed an 8:00 class my freshman year too. Today goes well and I feel energized when class is over. I was trying to teach them about how to read an academic text, as well as introduce the idea of different approaches to a topic. I printed out different journal articles about Harry Potter and had them look at them in small groups to get a feel for what academic writing looks like. We have a good discussion about understanding different angles of vision for topics (things like economics, literature, law, etc) and about taking notes while doing research.
9:00 Run to the next building to teach my second section of class. Thankfully they are pretty close to each other. Teach the same lesson and feel happy when it goes well also.
10:00 By now the parking lot is pretty busy so leaving school takes a while and I have to dodge many jaywalking students. I decide to stop at Rite Aid on the way home because we need a few photo mailers and I know that they have some good couponing deals this week. Spend some time figuring out the best combination of items to buy to maximize my savings. Sadly, they are out of photo mailers and they don't have any more of the lotion that could be free after coupons. Maybe I'll check back later in the week to see if they have restocked. Monday morning is usually a good time for shopping there, but sometimes if you get there too early they won't have finished stocking the shelves. At least I get some conditioner that ends up being free after coupons.
10:30 Get home, change, and go downstairs to talk to Mr. Fob about how the morning went. He's on the phone, so I plug my computer in and check email and look at blogs. I start a DVD for Little Dude and ask how his morning went; he tells me he slept in until 9 and I am grateful for that. He is in a good mood and I think the extra sleep helped him.
11:00 Little Dude's show is over so I go upstairs to make him some lunch. I also eat a banana with peanut butter for a snack. I hear the baby making noise in her crib, so I go back downstairs to ask Mr. Fob what time she started her morning nap. She really shouldn't be up yet, so I ignore her and go to the kitchen to do the dishes. When Mr. Fob comes upstairs a few minutes later he says she is still awake. I decide to just let her get up and play so that she can possibly take a nap during Little Dude's school time. After I put her down in the living room I realize that I need to sweep the entryway because there is a bunch of dried mud there. I have to sweep fast since she follows me around trying to eat the dirt. After I sweep, I feed Little Dude lunch and finish emptying and reloading the dishwasher (all the while moving the baby back to the living room with her toys instead of under my feet). I play with the baby while supervising Little Dude as he finishes getting ready for preschool.
12:00 Our neighbor picks up Little Dude for preschool. I feed the baby a bottle and put her down for a nap (for real, I hope). Then I eat my lunch--leftover soup and salad. Usually Mr. Fob and I can eat together, but he had a meeting on the phone and then he needed to leave to go to Toastmasters. Then I spend a little too long on the computer checking blogs before I tear myself away to grade papers.
12:45 Start grading papers; get into a groove and manage to grade for an hour until S-Boogie gets home from school. Monday is her early-out day, when she gets out at 1:30 instead of 3:00. I did get one section of grading finished, but I still have another class to do. It seems to be so hard to get grading done because I can't do it while kids are around.
2:00 S-Boogie calls a friend and he comes over to hang out for a while with her. I leave to get Little Dude and his friend from preschool. Pick them both up and drop off his friend.
2:30 Supervise the putting away of school papers and the homework. Grade one last paper before realizing that it just isn't going to happen with the kids around.
3:00 Baby wakes up and I make her a bottle. Then I make popcorn for the bigger kids to have a snack. I decided today that I won't be buying popcorn for a few more years until the baby grows up because the other kids can't avoid dropping it on the floor and then she manages to get it in her mouth.
3:30 The older two are playing the game Life with S-Boogie's friend. For some reason they are all yelling instead of talking, and all at the same time. I put some potatoes in the oven so we can have baked potatoes for dinner. I thought I'd make them early since we might still go to the library in after the friend leaves. Then I decide that I want to make some zucchini muffins for our FHE treat and I start making the batter. I manage to make muffins while supervising the game, repeatedly reminding the kids to use regular voices, and repeatedly moving the baby back into the living room.
4:00 S-Boogie's friend goes home with his mom and she keeps playing the game with Little Dude. I decide not to go to the library after all. We usually go on Mondays, but it's getting late in the afternoon, it's cold, and I'm tired. There are things I need to get done, but none of them are happening with the kids all awake and home. I decide to just sit on the floor and read a book/play with the baby while I wait for the muffins to finish baking.
4:45 I take the baby downstairs to check my email and do a little computer surfing. This doesn't really work because the baby is feeling hyper, and Little Dude wanders in to sit on my lap and mess with stuff on the desk. Mr. Fob is still working and I don't think he really appreciates our interruption. S-Boogie is done with her game and the kids are kind of bored, so I break our usual rule and let them watch an hour of TV before dinner.
5:15 I give up on computer time with the baby in the room and take her upstairs to feed her dinner (squash and peaches with yogurt). Then she eats Cheerios while I finish getting our dinner ready and served.
6:00 Mr. Fob comes upstairs and helps me get the dinner on the table. We all eat. S-Boogie isn't very hungry and we have to remind her about a hundred times to stop turning around to play with the baby.
6:30 Dinner is done and it's time to get the kids ready for bed. S-Boogie goes downstairs to shower and get herself ready. I coerce Little Dude into the shower while Mr. Fob puts the baby's pajamas on. Then I feed her a bottle while Little Dude dries himself off and gets his pajamas on. I love having two kids old enough to do a lot of their own maintenance; Little Dude still takes some coercion, but he is capable of doing a lot on his own.
7:00 Baby is off to bed and we do FHE. Tonight we decide to carve our pumpkin that we grew in our garden. Little Dude wants it to look like a dog and S-Boogie wants a cat; we tell them to work it out and they decide on a cat/dog. Mr. Fob is our resident artist and so he carves a pumpkin that has one side of the face like a dog and one side like a cat. The kids eat zucchini muffins and milk while we watch him carve the pumpkin.
8:00 The kids brush their teeth and get in their beds. We usually like them to be in bed at 7:30 and give them some reading time, but FHE generally makes bedtime later. As usual, Little Dude refuses to lie down in his bed and pops out of his room every thirty seconds to tell us that he can't sleep. I finish loading the dishwasher, hand-wash the things that need it, and tidy up the kitchen.
8:30 Although I'd love to have more time for grading and other things, I need to return some library videos that were due today. While I am out I stop by a different Rite Aid for photo mailers and to buy some other cheap things (candy and body wash) with coupons. Then I also swing by Maceys where I get some frozen juice (more coupons) and a small-ish pumpkin for S-Boogie to decorate for the school contest.
9:15 Get home and congratulate myself on running my errands super quickly. Spend time checking email and chatting with Mr. Fob about our vacation for next summer and some other things.
9:40 Eat pie and chat with Mr. Fob in the kitchen. Eating dessert every night is bad for our diet, but it's one of our favorite things to do. We are both mystified by the fact that our kids have refused to eat this apple pie that I made a few days ago.
10:00 I should be in bed, but I come back downstairs to enter grades for my class that I have finished grading. I do a few other computer-related things for school and I enter today's shopping totals in my budget. This takes longer than I had planned on.
11:00 I'm typing a blog post when I should be in bed sleeping. I feel disappointed that I didn't get a chance to read more of my book tonight. But, even though I don't have to teach tomorrow morning I do need to get up and ready on time because I'm volunteering at S-Boogie's school for an hour. Before I go I want to get some stew in the crockpot for tomorrow's dinner. I'm already thinking about how tomorrow I need to grade papers, take S-Boogie to dance class, make appointments for visiting teaching, make bread, and a few other things. It never ends!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Then this evening we thought we'd have a fun fall excursion with Mr. Fob's mother. She can't drive, so we offered to take her and Mr. Fob's grandmother (who is living with my mother-in-law) for a little drive to see fall leaves. First of all, we got started a bit later than we had planned. Then, when we put the baby in the car she started screaming. Sometimes she does that initially but then calms down after the car gets going. This time she didn't. She screamed for most of the hour-and-a-half that we were in the car. At one point she stopped because we realized that we had a bottle in our bag, and we found a church and ran in to fill the bottle up with water from the drinking fountain so we could make her some formula, but once the bottle ran out she was mad again. I'm still not sure what she was mad about, but it turned a possibly pleasant drive into a major stress-fest. At least the leaves were pretty.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
1. Monday I canned twenty-four quarts of peaches with my sister-in-law (we each kept a dozen). She had never done canning before and so I offered to do it with her. I discovered that canning goes a lot faster when you do it with someone else to help you. Since I had already canned a dozen quarts before, I now have a total of twenty-four quarts of peaches in my basement. I haven't had home bottled peaches for years so I'm looking forward to eating them.
2. S-Boogie has become good friends with a little boy who is in her class at school as well as her class at church. They had two playdates this week and they get along so well. I felt sad when she told me that some other kids were teasing them at school for playing together; that kind of thing makes me really mad and defensive as a parent. I hate it when other kids are lame.
3. This week we also had our first parent-teacher conference with S-Boogie's teacher. I like her a lot; she has been teaching for a few years and seems like a really on-the-ball person. S-Boogie is doing well academically, but has been struggling a little socially with starting second grade. Her birthday is only a few weeks before the start of the school year and so she is younger than most of the kids in her class (she might even be the youngest, I think). Thankfully her teacher realizes that and has been watching out for her.
4. I really like our elementary school. It's small and many of the teachers and staff live in here in the neighborhood; most of the students live nearby too, so it just has a nice feel whenever we go to events there. They got a new principal this year and he has been really great so far too. I am so glad we live close to a good school that generally provides a good environment for my kids and that I'm comfortable visiting too.
5. I've been grading papers (or avoiding them) all week and still have a few more to do tomorrow so I can return them to my students on Monday. I don't really like to do work on Sunday but I didn't do a good job managing my time this week.
6. The weather finally turned cool this week and I've been loving it. We've also had a lot of rain, which is something I've missed for a while.
7. I was hoping to buy a new vacuum cleaner and was prepared to spend some money on a good one, but then I re-balanced my budget and realized that it wouldn't be a good idea until next month. I've developed some bad spending habits lately and so I'm trying hard this month to really live within my means and make better financial decisions. It has been a challenge for me, but a good one because it has forced me to confront some things about myself that I have been in denial about.
8. This morning I had to help with a Relief Society Super Saturday. I'm on the activities committee for Relief Society and I was feeling kind of grumpy about this one because I didn't feel like spending all morning at the church. But it turned out to be a really fun experience and I love getting to know all the different women in the ward.
9. When I got home from my activity today I discovered the Mr. Fob and the kids had spent the morning cleaning up the house. I've been letting things go lately and feeling bothered by it, so I was so happy that they got everything cleaned up and reorganized.
10. Mr. Fob and I have discovered that one of our new favorite foods is sauteed vegetables with balsamic vinegar. We like to mix onion, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms in particular. Just sautee in olive oil and then add some balsamic to it. A few weeks ago we put them on pizza crust with cheese; this week I added some sliced smoked sausage to the mix and we ate it with pasta.
Friday, October 01, 2010
No, I have never read this book before. I've only recently begun to read science fiction and similar things during the last decade of my life. I liked this book much more than I expected too. It was also different from what I had expected; it was much more philosophical and deep than I had anticipated. I think it was a good book and I'm actually glad that I read it as an adult and not when I was younger. Now I just need to read the sequel.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
There are plenty of reviews of this book out there to read, and I agree with most of them. I thought it ended the series well and was much more deep than I expected it to be. I'm still upset about a few of the choices the author made, just because I don't like to see people die.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
A review I read of this book mentioned that it is the type of book that builds to a point where it is impossible to put it down without finishing it. I agree--reading this was somewhat excruciating because I haven't had a lot of free time. I did have to sit and spend a few hours reading the last two hundred pages because I just needed to finish it. I also kept thinking "why am I reading an eight-hundred page book about viral zombies that cause the apocalypse?" It really is that good--it sounds bizarre, but this is an amazing book with a gripping plot and fascinating characters. It may not be the right book for everyone, but if you try it you may find yourself surprised by how much you like it.
Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon
This book was a nice break from all the post-apocalyptic fiction that I had been reading. I checked it out because the premise sounded interesting; my father has been deployed with the military and we have lived in military wards so it felt like a subject I knew a bit about already. I mostly liked the book; the main flaw that I felt was the fact that it focuses on five women in a very short span of pages and I felt like the characterization of each was somewhat superficial. I just wanted a bit more depth to the book. Other than that, it was a good read and I would recommend it.
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
I had heard good things about this book and so I decided to read it even though I didn't know much about the plot. The author's writing style was a little difficult for me at first; the book is written in a first-person, present tense that felt a little distant at first. There is also a major twist in the middle that I didn't see coming and that took me a while to get used to. I ended up really liking this book by the time I finished it.
North & South
After reading the novel last month I decided that I needed to watch the film version. At first I didn't like it; it feels somewhat darker than the book, especially since many of the events that lay out the beginning of the story are condensed or eliminated. However, it grew on me and by the end of the four hours I really liked it. The acting is fantastic and the director has done a great job of really bringing out the themes of the novel.
The Blind Side
Mr. Fob and I agree that this movie was much better than we thought it was going to be. I think it's a good example of what can happen if a filmmaker takes a good story and doesn't mess around with it too much. The movie is a little slow and does not have a lot of major drama, but it works well and is quietly moving without being too sappy.