Sunday, November 15, 2015

Small Improvements

I had a nightmare last night.  I was driving home from Blacksburg with Brien and the girls in my van.  I was taking the I81N on-ramp off 460--this I remember because I had thought to take the right exit and then swerved to take the left turn onto the ramp instead.  As I rounded the curve, I found my van was outside the guardrail. 

As often happens, B thought to "correct" my driving (seriously, he's being helpful, but I of course object and go off the deep end) and said, "You need to get back on the road, you're on the other side of the guardrail!"

"I know!  Can't you see I'm TRYING to get back??!?"

At which point I realized there was no way I was going to make it back on the road and and we were falling off a cliff--a steep on.  In that instant I knew we were all going to die.  I apologized to everyone (as we were all frozen in terror) and kept repeating over and over, "I'm so sorry.  I love you all so much!"

I awoke before we hit bottom, shaken and crying.

Last night was obviously not a good night for sleep.  And, I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something.  I'm doing my best to listen.

I've been trying to pinpoint why I'm struggling so much now with everything when I didn't have this much trouble when Hannah died.  Yes, I struggled then, but I didn't freak out about everything.  That was about survival, and really, I didn't give a crap about anything that involved the state of my house. Lily was a peanut of a thing, in a daycare environment where she was loved and cosseted and I could focus getting through the day without worrying about anything.

Now, I'm not in the same sort of survival mode.  I have two school-aged children with their own schedules and their own needs.  I have a fourth grader, and lord have mercy the transition to fourth grade is going to kill us all.  I have a husband finishing a master's thesis.  And, for all I know, I'm either losing my flipping mind or I'm starting to go through menopause.

This week is a prime example of the chaos I currently find myself in:

Monday: Get to work at 8:20 (my teacher will be out, so really I need to get there earlier, but that's the best I can do with the girls going in with me), teach all day.  Lil has running club after school and won't be finished until after 5:00.  We'll wait for the carline of pick-ups from running club to disperse and get home around 5:20.

Tuesday: Get to work around 8:20--my teacher will be back and I'll need to catch her up on what happened while she was away.  Lil has Battle of the Books club after school until 4:45. (We do BoB because the librarian REALLY wanted her to do it.) Get home close to 5:00, hustle Bean into swim gear, get her pj's and undies in the swim bag, get her pb&j sammich made (she gets HUNGRY!) and head out at 5:30.  Swim from 6:00-6:30.  Shower there, head home by 7:00.  Dinner then bedtime.

Wednesday: B drives to DC.  Work at 8:20 because that's what we do. Early release for the girls.  Conferences scheduled for the entire afternoon.  Who's going to watch the girls?  Who cares, I have to be at work.  I'll find someone--either Jenni or Crystal.

Thursday: Work at 8:20. Early release and conferences until 7:00.  B's in charge of pool duty which includes taking Sally.  Who's got the girls from 1:30 until B gets home?  Who knows.  Oh, and Lil conference at 4:00.  Yay.  That should be a blast.  :oS  Gather materials for Family Fellowship at church the following night. 

Friday:  Get up early enough to get the baked ziti in the crock pot if I don't get it put together the night before.  Plug in crock to go all day.  School at 8:20--teacher will leave at 11:30 for afternoon treatment.  Early release.  Girlies go home on the bus on Fridays to play with Nicole and Emily anyhow.  Stay at work long enough to ready the classroom for Monday when my teacher won't be there.  Stop by store to pick up dinner rolls and salad fixin's.  Go home and prep salad.  Dinner at church at 6:00 where I will lead and share what our family does for Advent. <--i a="" actually="" advent.="" all="" and="" another.="" around="" as="" be="" bring="" celebrate="" dinner="" evening.="" fellowship="" forward="" fun="" good="" hearing="" how="" i="" inappropriate="" it="" kids="" looking="" love="" m="" nbsp="" one="" op="" others="" p="" play="" run="" should="" the="" this="" to="" wine...="" with="" would="">
Working full time with little kids in preschool is much different from working full time with school aged kids.

I still need to get items together for Thanksgiving. 

I still need to clean.

I still need to find my brains and stop panicking. 

I need to let things go.  I need to lower my expectations.


I sat yesterday with the family and we had a looooooong family huddle.  I told everyone how sorry I was for my behavior and that I was really trying hard but I knew I was being awful.  We developed behavior modification charts for the girls for their chores and clarified expectations.  I wrote out a daily schedule for myself and one worked with Lil to generate one for her.

I feel better.  I'm willing to live with the filth and squalor that currently exists in my house.  I found a huge chunk of time for me in the evenings after everything is done.  I can still craft, I just have to prioritize.

Church today helped.  I sat and listened and refocused and recentered.  It grounded me.

My dream last night scared me.  I don't want to go over that cliff and take my family with me.  It's time to determine what is most important and move on from there.


1.  We went to dinner and then to the Yankee store Friday.  They were all decked out and ready for Christmas and I found myself becoming excited!  Hooray!  The Grinch won't be stealing Christmas from me after all!

2.  In addition to the chores behavior modifications, we also created one for Lil with regards to homework and schoolwork.  Here's hoping we see improvement.  Otherwise, girlfriend's gonna be the death of me.

3.  The schedule I created for me has me out of bed at 5:30 (ungodly, I tell you) so that I may get it 30 minutes of exercise.  I'm no longer taking my daily CW walks and I need that exercise.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with my current state of mind.

4.  My little Kindergartners are so precious.  I'm so grateful I work with K on Sunday and NOT fifth grade!! :oP

5.  Cooler temps.  I sleep better when it's cooler.

6.  Kind internet friends who offer suggestions and send hugs and warm wishes when you've lost your marbles.  Thank you all!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What is Going On?!?

Funny how life keeps you busy, and the place you once came to dump everything is now the place that is most neglected. 

I'm busy.  I work in a late school.  I'm living in hell. 

Pick your excuse. 

My life lately has just been 

See that glass of red wine?  Lovely stuff that.  It helps make homework so much more tolerable some nights. 
And, then something like this happens and red wine winds up all over the table, homework, the seat cushion and the floor. 


I feel like I can't catch a break. 

Mom and I had a long email conversation today.  Twenty-four messages exchanged to be exact.  Most of them revolved around my mental health and well-being and the fact I feel like I'm losing my flipping mind. 

I'll be 39 in 12 days. 

My husband says I'm no longer Pollyanna.  He says he's been worried about me because I haven't been able to put a positive spin on anything in a long while.  I fake it, but I don't always feel it. 

I find little joy in anything.  I'm grumpy and irritable and pissed off at the world.  I snap at my children.  I can't remember jack squat.  I can fall asleep, but good luck staying asleep.  I awaken to the most godawful hot flashes and have them throughout the day.  I've gained weight that refuses to budge (not that I've been a small person in a number of years).  My periods, once so regular, are now coming far more frequently than I want. 

In short, I hate who I am and I hate how I feel and oh dear lord starting a new job in the midst of all this is about to kill me. 

Liss wants me to see my gyno and get my hormone levels tested.  There's a family history of early menopause.  If there's a way to make this awfulness that is my current life go away, I'd be thrilled. 

I still haven't gotten a grip on the house.  I'm so beat by the time the weekends roll around I don't WANT to clean.  Or, we have a swim meet or other plans.  We've always tried to hold the weekends as sacred family time.  This is about to change and I'm heart broken over it.

I can't take living like this any longer.  If I have to spend every moment of our free weekends cleaning, I guess I have to spend every moment of our free weekends cleaning.


I'm in a rough place right now.  I feel like if I could survive losing Hannah I should be able to handle something as simple as going back to work full time.  And yet, I can't.  I can't seem to get on top of everything.  And, worst of all, it's not MY room.  I'm not doing all the planning.  I'm not doing all the grading and report cards and have all the conferences (although I was just informed I'm to sit in on all conferences and I get that, I'm there every day, I could have things to contribute) and be required to do all the data collecting and teacher observations and assessments.  What in the world am I going to do come next year?!?

Liss told me to get tested, that I'm NOT losing my mind, that there IS help for me.  Let's hope it's a hormonal imbalance and not just me going crazy and losing it.

I miss the old me.  The happy me.  I miss having time to sit and craft and clean and grocery shop and pack lunches and read and be me.  Sure, when I'm working full time, I won't be able to have all those things (I need to review that time management piece I keep harping on Lil about), but if I could just be happy. :oS

I'm not even looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Y'all know how much I LOVE Christmas.  This year it's stressing me the hell out and I don't want to do it.  At all. 

This is NOT me.  It makes me sad I feel this way.  I'm going to have to "fake it til I make it" for the girls.  I'm desperate to get gifts purchased and wrapped already.  I have no clue when I'm going to make candy and cookies.  We have a meet Dec. 5 and 6.  We have a 5k the 12.  Then the following week is Bitty's birthday, and given the 'flu hell we were in last year, we owe it to her to have a fun birthday. 

I want Christmas to feel festive and fun, not like WORK.  :o( 

Y'all, this sucks and I don't like it and I don't wanna do it anymore.  :o( 

Sparklies: (If ever I needed to find sparklies, it's now.)

1.  Last week we had our SCG dinner at the B's house.  Although I miss Novembers with cold weather, it was lovely sitting outside to eat by candle and fairy light.

2.  Beanie continues to love swimming.  We had a meet last Saturday:

She swam 25 free and back and once again dropped more time from both. 

The were awarding duckies for heat winners.  Beanie desperately wanted a duck and swam her heart out for her back event.  She came from behind to almost beat the girl who was winning from the get-go.  She was devastated when she didn't win a duck and Bella was so sweet and gave her one.  Of course, Bella one every heat she swam in and had duckies to spare. ;o)

It was so fun to be with all our pool buddies last weekend!

3.  Work is good.  It really is.  I love my class and I love being in the girls' school with them.

4.  B's thisclose to being finished with his Master's.  I never thought we'd get there. 

5.  Hokies ball tonight and pizza for dinner.

No milestones.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Groove? What Groove?

I knew it was coming. 

First it was Crystal's and Michelle's last fall.  Then, Jana's in the spring.  This summer it happened to Jenni and Lindsay. 

Lily had taken something into the garage and came upstairs to say, "There's a weird sound in the garage, kind of a" and she made an air escaping a tire sort of sound.  "I'm sure it's jut the flame on the hot water heater, it's okay," said both B and I. 

Oh, it was the hot water heater, alright. 


And, up to that point things were going so well.  :sigh:

B and I had discussed ways to make my life easier at home--a very stressful conversation because I was in a ridiculously awful frame of mind and hormonal to boot.  I had sat down and written out all the really pressing cleaning items in the GBBOE.  I was really freaking out because I realized that Liss and Paul will be coming for Thanksgiving and OMG, my house is in no way ready and it's going to take a lot of energy and elbow grease to get it there and holy cow I just don't have the time and ARGH!!!!!

But, writing it all out, I saw that it's not that bad.  We made a plan of attack, and I even wrote out my Thanksgiving week menu (okay, the time we'd have company at any rate).  I also wrote out Christmas lists and we had just talked about taking a drive along Skyline Drive (Did you know that every fourth grader in the US gets a free National Parks pass this year?) and about finding a pumpkin patch along the way.  :o)

All was running smoothly. 

And then, it wasn't. 


There went that. 

So, instead, we researched hot water heaters.  And B went to purchase one.  Because of his aneurysm, he can't lift anything more than 30ish pounds so we had to have it delivered and installed.  They told B over the phone they could have it here Monday.  The guy from the local store called today to say it would be here sometime mid-week. 


B said he talked to the guy and explained that we ARE WITHOUT HOT WATER! and need that new heater ASAP.  Oy!

 Because of our aborted plans, this was our trip to the pumpkin patch--good old TJ's! ;o)

We invited ourselves over to N&P's for pumpkin carving, dinner and showers this evening.  Thank goodness they live so close.  I always love having them close by but man was it lovely this evening. ;o)

We had a great time carving pumpkins--Bitty carved her own this year!--and all was going well until Bean started complaining about her sore throat, and then, couldn't get warm. 

Fever.  Sore throat.  Headache.  Stomachache. 

Oh boy. 

I've decided there's really no such thing as being "in a groove".  You hit a groove and you roll with it for a bit and then you hit a scratch.  Things finally seemed to be plugging along and then we hit a bump.  And then another. 

You know what?  It's okay.


Hannah's tree is gorgeous. 


The most gorgeous art is hanging in our school.

Nana's pumpkins are so precious!

I was sorely tempted to take this to the register just to see if it was actually a penny.  So tempted. 

5.  Nana and Pop helping us out. 

6.  Feeling better and having a plan in place.

No milestones.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

So...About That Groove

My groove and Ellie's jacket...they're about the same.  :oS 

I miss my slow mornings where I could sleep in until 7:00 and then get the girls on the bus and head over to CW for my morning walk. 

I miss my walk.

I miss working through life and living with C.

I miss autumn in CW. 

I miss crafting.  (Okay, who am I kidding?  Prior to working, I hadn't done much in the way of crafting since May.)

I miss my mornings with GG. 

I miss my afternoon phone calls with Roob. 

I miss so much of my old life. 

I miss not feeling rushed and harried and keeping my house clean. 


Buuuuuut, as for being in a school and in the classroom, I'm in a total rhythm and groove.  It's like I never left.  I'm still utterly wiped out by the end of the week, but I'm comfortable and confident in what I'm doing, and that's what counts.

Of course, I was never far from the classroom anyhow.  I've taught swimming, I've taught Religious Ed.  I've kept my fingers in all sorts of educational pots because, well, it's who I am.  For better or for worse, I was born to be a teacher.  I accept that. 

My struggle now is my routine at home. 

I'm up at 6:00 and out the door by 8:00.  That's an hour to get ready and an hour to pack lunches and hustle the girls through breakfast and morning chores and getting ready for the day. 

We are a late school and my hours are technically 8:45-4:15.  I'm rarely out of there at 4:15.  Mondays and Wednesdays we're there until 5:00 because Lil's in running club and chess club.  There's no point in leaving school and returning 15 minutes later for pickup.  Oh, and every first and third Tuesdays she'll have Battle of the Books meetings.  (The librarian reeeeeally wanted Lil to do BOB, so here we are.)

When you leave work that late, you get home and you get no down time.  I get home and it's time to do dinner and make sure homework is being finished and settle into our evening routine.  This is further complicated by Bean's swim practice schedule.  She needs to be at W&M at 6:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This new schedule was already going to wreak havoc on my evenings BEFORE I started working again.  But now?  Now it's rather insanity.

Mixed into all this, there's no time to clean.  None.  After dinner and baths and bedtime routines (and finishing unfinished homework and reading BOB books and yeah...) it's time to clean the kitchen (and pack leftovers for those of us having them for lunch) and THEN I have a moment to sit and rest.  At that point, I'll have been going since 6:00 a.m.  I'm beat and have NO desire to clean.  So, I sit and veg.  Vegging is good. 

But, my nasty house ISN'T good.  When I was staying home, I'd have a couple of chores a day and the house would be cleaned once a week.  No, everything wouldn't be cleaned at once, but it was all cleaned throughout the week.

I have NO desire to get up any earlier and clean before going to work, nor do I have any desire to pack lunches at night and clean before going to work.  I think it's the "clean before going to work" thing I object to.  Who wants to do that?!?

I suppose, though, I may have to.  :o(  I can't stand the state the house is in.  The question is, which can I not stand more? :oP

All this to say, I have to find some balance.  B is still working on his Master's and has serious work demands.  The girls, well, they're five and nine, and although so helpful in so many ways, they're still just kids and you're a kid for such a short period of time I hate to put even more on them.  They already do so much as it is.  We've had some lovely afternoon temps and those are limited--they need to get out and enjoy them. 

I know I need have help from the family.  The Sunday before my first full week we had a Sunday family huddle about it.  I thought we were all on board.  Things have reverted and I'm feeling stretched sort of thin. 

For the tl;dr crowd, work is going well, figuring out what the hell I'm doing at home and how the hell I'm going to make it all come together is a whole different kettle of fish. 


1.  Red wine.  I had a glass of red wine and a 5mg melatonin the other evening and I SLEPT.  Hard.  No dreams of my class.  It was lovely.

2.  Autumn and the smells that accompany it. 

3.  Ice cream.

4.  Lil went on a field trip to see the Virginia Symphony Orchestra today.  I'm a bit jealous.

5.  Being able to stay after and plan with my teacher so that she doesn't have to write sub plans and so that I knew EVERYTHING that's going on and how SHE wants me to take care of things.

6.  Patient children who allow that to happen even if it means hanging around school until almost 6:00.

7.  The pups are SOOOOOO good about their crate training.  Also, there's no sign of wanting to eat the kitties, more of "Hey! Come play with us! Oh, you wanna run?  We'll play chase!"

8.  That mornings that start out craptacular can turn around and make for lovely days.

No milestones. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ellie's First Swim Meet

We attended a dive (for a swim start, not you know, scuba diving) certification clinic a couple of weeks ago so Beanie would be ready to roll for her first non-summer swim swim meet.  According to our team and rules, the children must be USA Swim certified to dive before swimming in a meet.  I'm good with that.  Anything that is intended to keep my baby safe in the water is good by me. :o)

The Top Banana 8 and Under Meet, sponsored by our swim club, was held at Ft. Eustice Saturday afternoon.  Parents weren't allowed on deck, instead, the each kiddo was paired up with a swim buddy to guide and direct them.  Ellie's buddy was Rachel, and she was delightful--I know, because we met her. :o)

She made the sign for Miss Bean.  Isn't it incredible?  Most of the signs were fun and had the child's name on them, but this one, well, it was the best.  Ellie and Rachel had never met, but they were a perfect pairing.

She was bubbly, friendly, effusive, and fun.  All the things Beanie is!  And, she (and a host of others) thought Miss Bean was utterly delightful.  Because she IS, duh. ;o)

They warmed up and huddled up for a cheer and then it was off to wait.

The meet FLEW by!  Yes, it was indoors and it was hot and REEKED of chlorine, but it was still fun!

 Rachel helped make sure she and Bean stayed on track.

 I know it's hard to see, but Bean's the one behind the blocks in lane three, and Rachel is the one squatted down next to her.

Ellie had her best times ever in both her events.  I don't have official times yet, but from the stands, I timed her 25 free at 47 or so seconds and her 25 back at 37ish seconds!  That means she dropped almost ten seconds off her freestyle and 20 off her back!

Best of all, she had fun!  The minute this stops being fun for her, we'll stop.  I don't want to be a pushy parent.

That bag in her hands?  It was a goody bag from her swim buddy.  Rachel brought Ellie to us in the stands and Ellie excitedly held out her bag and exclaimed, "It's FULL OF SUGAR!!!"


She shared that bag of sugary treats with Lily R and Ryan who were sitting in the stands while their siblings competed.  Bitty B?  She was having a blast at C's house.  We told her she WILL have to go with us to support her sister, but not always.

Because El had such a blast, we'll be continuing our time with CGBD and going to evening practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays...

I really resent those times, drat it all.  6:00 is family dinner time, NOT swimming time.  :o(  But, it is swimming time, and this is our new reality and I need to face that.

I'm still trying to get settled in, and after last week, I'm feeling less tired.  I'm still working teacher's hours, not sub hours, but I don't know how to NOT do so. 

We get home later than I like and race around frantically trying to get homework done and dinner fixed.  It's hard because right now, I'm out of the house three nights a week.  B said he's going to start going to work earlier so he can be home earlier so he can pick up the cooking slack. 

We made a pretty good meal plan for the week (we used this cookbook for a couple of the meals, and have marked SOOOOO many more!), and hopefully we can stick with it.  I love me some Micky D's as much as the next gal (holy happiness, hot fries!), but I do feel rather blah afterward.  I like me some whole, unprocessed foods, and with any luck we'll be back on track with that.

The kids are trying to find a new rhythm as well as the grown-ups and that makes things just a little trickier.  Both girls are typically up and on tablets by 7:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.  Today neither appeared before 9:30.  I wasn't about to wake them to as they've been so busy and tired, but I did feel bad about missing church.

Me?  I've had nothing but teaching and teaching stress dreams since I went back into the classroom.  My dreams are filled with current students and insane situations and normal situations and  So, I don't find sleep very restful because I'm so busy trying to teach.  :oS

I'm still tired.  I'm still working on finding that groove.  It's sure to take a bit of time yet.  Finding a rhythm after so much time off was sure to be a challenge, and I've not been disappointed. ;oP


The third girl has worn this dress for her school photos.  My Polly Flinders dress has now been worn by Hannah, Beanie and me in our K photo and Lil in her first grade photo.  Jane asked if I've made a collage and I really do need to.  :o)

 We had dinner out Friday night and it was lovely!  Nan and Pop ordered calamari as an app and the girls helped themselves--to quite a bit.  Lil said something about it being squid and Ellie asked, all wide-eyed, "We're eating SQUID?!?!?!" Hahaha!

Sammy was 30 pounds Friday and Rosie 28.  Those paws.  Mercy.

4.  Feeling at home in a school building and in the classroom is never a problem.  I'm a teacher, it's what I do.  Period.  It's trying to balance that with my home life that's become a challenge.  I think I managed to tread this past week without going under more than once or twice. :oP

5.  Autumn has arrived!!!!!!!  We put the extra comforter on the bed, I'm in jeans and a sweatshirt and all is well in my world. :o)

No milestones.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Maybe I shouldn't be allowed to write blog posts on Friday afternoons.  By the end of the week I'm so blitzed I just need total silence in order to recover.  That just wasn't happening this past Friday. 

I braced myself this morning and headed on in.  I knew Julie wouldn't be in today so I went in extra early (for me--B was home on holiday and put the girls on the bus) to prepare for the day. 

Things went really well.  Not that they haven't been going well, mind you.  It's just really tough to be another person.  I can't be Mrs. D in this classroom.  I have to be Mrs. S and keep it running the way she does.  There's a fine art to that, and I think that may be part of my exhaustion--I'm not being true to the me I am as an educator. 

Brien calls me the "understudy". In fact, that's exactly what I am.  I'm there to be Mrs. S when she can't be there.  Who knew that would be as challenging as it is? 

The kids are a great bunch.  Truly.  There are twenty-five of them, which is tough just because, 25 fifth graders!! But, they're good kids.  She has them so well-trained (for lack of a better phrase) to her way of doing things they pretty much run themselves.  They still need direction and redirection, but they know how Mrs. S runs her room and they make it easy for me to keep it going. 

I spent the weekend doing nothing.  Seriously.  I did nothing that I should have done and I feel no guilt.  My house is still an absolute disaster and I don't care right now. 

I picked up materials for Bean's Halloween costume (she's to be a witch kitty like Lil was last year, and I needed to make her her own cape.  She insisted...) and we took the pups to Petco and PetSmart and they were big hits both places.  They are pretty stinkin' cute...;o)

Yesterday was church and Religious Ed.  That makes for a long day.  Then off to N&P's where we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

I'm still absolutely knackered.  I'm sitting here typing at 5:50 and feel like I could sleep for a week.  But, I think I'm on my way up.  Thank goodness!


1.  B was home today and ran to Costco and cleaned the house a bit.  He SHOULD have been working on his final project for this class, but he decided to ease my burden a bit instead.  I definitely shouldn't feel guilty, even if I do...

2.  Lil's teacher came to me to let me know she's handling a mean girl problem that cropped up in class today.  She told me she does NOT tolerate mean girls and not to worry she'd take care of it.  Good to know because Lil came into my room SOBBING as soon as she saw me today.  It broke my heart. 

3.  B cooked dinner.  Oh, heavenly day...

4.  Autumn has finally arrived.  Hallelujah!!!!!!!! 

No milestones. 

Friday, October 09, 2015


This is my current life. 

This is my childhood revisited. 

Lissie was an elementary school teacher.  My mornings and afternoons were spent in her room. Or, Mrs. Farrell's room, or Mrs. Jones's room, as Jess and I ran the school with Rachael and Daniel and Jill and Petie.  Looking back with a teacher's eyes, we probably were there for no longer than an hour.  However, to a child, it felt like forever.  ;o)

The girls are quite patient, and we ride in together in the morning and ride home together in the afternoon. 

I love that.  I really do. 

I'm reminded of that time in Lissie's room and riding to and from school with her.  I loved those days.  There was a certain cachet in being a teacher's kid, and rather than stay in our mothers' rooms, we played outside, in other mothers' rooms, in the hallways, etc.  We learned that school inside and out.  I think we knew it better than even those on the maintenance crew!

These girls are much better than I ever was, that's for sure!  They come in in the morning and work quietly.  They typically reach the room before Julie and me and go in quietly and sit down to do their homework.  And that, I think, is the difference--we didn't have homework. 

We're a late a school.  Teachers' hours are 8:45-4:15. Even though I'm a sub (and making sub pay), and really, those are my hours, I can't do it.  I can't NOT be a teacher.  I'm there at 8:15 and typically in the building until 5:00 or so.  (Wednesday we had a "meet the teachers" at 5:00 so I was at work from 8:10-6:10--I'm not kidding.)

This makes my evenings a lot more hectic. 

The last time I was working, I didn't have a child in school or after school activities.  I arranged our schedule with the idea my work life would be a bit more flexible. 

I have this "thing" about family dinner every night.  I have another "thing" about planning and preparing.

I was given no time to plan or prepare for this job.  I got the call Wednesday evening and reported Thursday morning.  No time at all to get my little ducks in a row. 

As for the other, we were already struggling with family dinner because Miss Bean's swim practice on Tuesday and Thursdays in 6:00-6:30.  That means leaving the house by 5:30 and returning around 7:00. When you leave work at 5:00 there's no time to cook before you're rushing kiddo into a suit and racing out the door. 

Add to that Lil's going to start doing running club after school on Mondays and Wednesdays (alternating with Chess Club every other Wednesday) and it goes until 5:00.  This is actually an easy one because Lil will just come to "my" room when she's done and we'll head home.  But, again, dinner doesn't get cooked until later and my Little Beanie with her 7:30 bedtime is not getting in bed as soon as she should.

Oh, and lest I forget, Wednesdays I have Bible Study.  ARGH! 

I'm frustrated because I'm flipping exhausted.  I'm not used to keeping these hours and spending so much time on my feet.  I'm frustrated because my house in an absolutely disaster area and I have to clean it tomorrow (I could ignore it, but it's driving me batty) instead of just laying round doing nothing which I would LOVE to do.  I'm frustrated because I can't find my groove--I'm struggling.  I can't get my feet under me and I'm not used to being in this position.  I'm usually on top of everything and I'm not and it's hard.

I'm struggling with feeling guilt that my husband who is thisclose to finishing his master's and should be focusing on school work in the evenings is now needed to help out around the kitchen. 

I'm seriously knackered.  I'm tired of noise and movement and children and spouses and dogs and my inner introvert is DYING for peace and quiet.  Instead I have a hubby snuggled up with me, noisy football on the TV (and losing Hokies which isn't helping), and noisy children playing board games in the kitchen.  I just want to run away from it all--from the noise, the mess, people.  I keep feeling a need to escape.  I don't even know if that makes sense. 

I HATE this.  I HATE feeling this way. This is one of the reasons I stopped teaching.  I would give it all at work and had nothing left for my family.  It's not fair to me or them.

I LOVE teaching.  I love that I'm able to be there for my teacher and the kiddos and their parents.  I just wish I felt like I had it all together. 

Tomorrow, in all that spare time I'm going to have, I need to sit down and look at a couple of different crock-pot recipe sites I have pinned.  Tuesdays and Thursdays simply have to be crock-pot meals, that's all there is to it. 

If I can get the house back under control (tomorrow is cleaning day--kitchen counters and floor, bathrooms, vacuum, dust, laundry, etc.), I think I'll feel a little less flustered. 

If I can get to JoAnn to get the fabric I need to make Ellie's costume, that will help as well.  I somehow managed to forget the frantic frenetic-ness of weekends when you work.  I think I did it on purpose. 

This little girl has her first swim meet next Saturday, to further complicate things.  I'm thrilled we have her in swimming, but I don't like feeling this hectic. 

Maybe I just have a case of the Friday evenings and I just need a good strong drink and a good night's sleep.  I look forward to sleeping in until 7:00 tomorrow. :oP

For now, I'm just busy.  So damn busy.

(And, apparently whiny...)


1.  A job I enjoy, even if I am tired.

Puppies!  Sammy's 28 pounds tonight and Rosie 26. 

3.  My girls with me at work.

4.  People who love me even when I'm awful.

5.  This house that is in desperate need of cleaning.  It's a GOOD house. 

No milestones.