Saturday, November 21, 2009


I will start off by saying I hate missing work. It makes me crazy so when I got sick last Saturday I told myself I would be better by Monday. After all grades were due, my students would be writing their first DBQ (document based question) in class and it was the week before Thanksgiving break so it would be hard to find a sub. On top of all of that I was supposed to leave right after work Wednesday evening for Austin. I had a conference to attend with my department. Being sick for more than 24hours was not an option.

So I was really peeved Sunday evening when my body temperature went above 101. I called the on-call doctor and he called in Tamaflu. My building has had confirmed cases of H1N1, the latest case was a teacher that I eat lunch with everyday and that I sat next to during in-service training. I knew that I would not be better Monday so I put in my sub request, and I spit and sputtered the whole time I was filling out the information. Did I say I hate missing work and I really hate being sick, I am not a good patient at all. So much for thinking that the on-call doctor was wrong I was still sick Tuesday and would see my doctor Wednesday.

I went to my doctor Wednesday morning, hopeful that she would say you can go to Austin, just drink lots of water on the trip. That of course was so not what she said. I think she delights in telling me what I do not want to hear, not really but it sure seems that way. Her actual comment was you have an unconfirmed case of H1N1 and there is no reason to run the test at this point because you are on Tamaflu. She also stated that she was not surprised that I have it but was surprised that I had been successful thus far in not getting it. She told me Austin was out of the question and that I was out of work for the rest of the week. As you can imagine I was not a happy camper. She gave me prescription cough medicine and sent me home to rest.

So I came home, called in a sub for the rest of the week and went to sleep. I am still not feeling great but I do not have a fever anymore. Now that Thanksgiving break has officially started I am not worried about missing work.

I am worried that my kids are now behind by a week, lets be honest subs do not really teach they practice crowd control for the day.

One funny dream that was medicine induced did occurred early Wednesday morning. I was in a classroom before I got sick and the teacher had the famous Teddy Roosevelt political cartoon up for the kids to analyze and that must have stayed with me because T.R. was in my dream. In my dream T.R. and I were walking the halls of my school that were now shaped like Latin America but instead of carrying his "big stick" he was carrying a big pink highlighter. He had me by the arm and pointed to the math teachers that were highlighting their data, science and English were doing the same and then we got to my department. They all had their highlighters to mark up the data but they had no data to use. I sat up with a start and texted my principal at 6:30 in the morning because I realized that all the data my department need was still in my classroom. She texted back "no worries" because she brought extra data with her. Oh thank goodness was my response back to her and then I went back to sleep until 1 in the afternoon. At that point I finally admitted I was really sick and stopped thinking about work for about 15 minutes.

So the moral of my story is love your job so much that you hate missing it but if you get sick get to the doctor ASAP to get checked out. Confirmed or unconfirmed H1N1is no fun.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

This is my Mom and I when I was 3.

In May I did a tribute to my Dad; today it is my Mom’s turn. Today my Mom turns 70. My Mom does not seem 70 to me that is a grandma age; oh wait she is a grandma and has been for the last 22 years.

So I have been trying to decide what I would say about my Mom. I think in away it was easier to write about my Dad because fathers and daughters have a different dynamic than mothers and daughters. There are so many things to say about my Mom but they do not really capture who she is.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of my Mom is her smile, when she smiles her beautiful blue eyes light up and her happiness radiates across her whole being. This smile of hers makes me smile even when I am not there to see her I can still imagine her smile. She smiles often, especially around her grandchildren.

Mom and Kenzie

My Mom is between her two brothers.

The most important part of my Mom’s life, at least from my perspective, is her family. It is how she was shaped and how at times she has defined herself and in turn how we as a family define ourselves. My Mom puts all of us first and at times has actually put herself last, even when she should have been much higher on the list. The times that she went without so that we could have what we needed. I think most Moms do this but when it is your Mom that is giving up it leaves a mark on your heart because you realize just how important you are to her.

My Mom grew up in a large loving family and she sees her sibling often. They have supported each other and their extended families through thick and thin. My Aunts and Mom giggle like school girls when they get together, especially when my Aunt from Arizona comes to town it really is like they are teenagers all over again. Food, I can not talk about my Mom and her sisters without mentioning food believe me there is always something to eat. I do not think my family ever gets together without eating, everyone brings something to share and when I am home for a visit my Mom makes what I ask for which is so cool of her.

My Mom and Dad, this is one of my favorite pictures of my parents.

I remember when I was in school the bus used to drop me off at the end of the road, it was a long walk at the beginning or end of the day with school books. I mentioned to my Mom that other kids were getting dropped off and picked up right outside their doors but we had to walk. My Mom did some investigating and went to some school board meetings and got the bus to come part way up the road so we did not have as far to go to the bus stop. It was that image of my Mom that stuck with me when I had to fight for our youngest son to receive the services he was entitled to within the public school system.

When I was sick, tired, achy or frustrated my Mom took care of me and even now if I’m sick, tired, achy or frustrated I pick up the phone and call my Mom she makes me feel better just by listening. When I was in middle school I got badly hurt on a trampoline in gym class, I had to go to the emergency room and my Mom stayed with me through that. She was there when I woke up from my knee surgery and she wiped my tears when my heart was broken by a boy. She came and stayed with us each time one of our boys was born. She cried with me when I miscarried and was happy for me and with me when I carried a pregnancy to term.

My Mom has also been a rock for my sister and brother and there have been plenty of times when we have said we do not know what we would do without Mom. She is there in a pinch and helps in whatever way she can. She and my Dad are a team and that is why when I got married I wanted both of them to walk me down the aisle and they did.

So Mom we all wish you a very happy birthday with many more to come and we all love you very much. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAY DEAR MOM HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! That is all of us sing off key, well except for Colin he is right on the mark.

I am sure my sister will also post something about our Mom with pictures as well and that Mom will see this at some point. We Love You MOM!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In the Blink of an Eye

We all know life is short and that we all die. This is a fact that we can not escape but as human beings we try to escape that reality and then it comes up and bites us in the butt. So after the news I had today I picked up the phone and called Son #2 at college, came home and hugged Son #1 and my husband when he came in the door. I sent my family an email and now instead of outlining the trade map for tomorrow’s class I am writing this.

Yesterday I had an icky feeling mid-afternoon like something was wrong but I could not put my finger on it so I just pushed it out of my mind. I get these feelings once in awhile my husband tells me I am spooky I just think that at times I am “very tuned in” to what is happening around me. Then last night I had a dream about a co-worker being at a funeral, so I was just slightly unsettled when I got to work this morning and I opened my email to read that a co-worked and friend lost her husband to a motorcycle accident yesterday afternoon. This friend of mine is a young teacher and is expecting their first child and her husband were perfect for each other. They each walked to beat of their own drum compared to the rest of us but their drum beats kept perfect time together and they were so happy. Now her life and the life of their child will be forever changed because of one moment in time.

The driver that hit him made an illegal U-turn and crossed 3 lanes of traffic to do so. To make matters worse his wife and two young children were in the vehicle and all four of them were injured as well. This is something they will live with for the rest of their lives as well. The driver could very well face vehicular manslaughter and if he does so the lives of his family will also be forever changed.

Why am I writing this all down…to help myself process this senseless act…to let some of my anger and sorrow out…I have to keep it together at school for my kids. They were upset enough as it was. So take a minute and hug the people you love or call them to say I love you.