Sunday, January 24, 2010

Best Mom Tip #77: Keep getting up

I don't really have a choice about whether or not I get up in the morning, I suppose. But I wish I did sometimes. This past week was a bit wearing. Work wasn't great, Griffin STILL has some sort of cough, my throat is killing me, and I haven't had my full voice since last Tuesday. That is difficult when you're a teacher.

So, I have to remind myself to keep getting up. I am certainly not in extreme circumstances like my friends and family members who are or will be serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't know hunger or poverty. So guilt for being whiny actually helps me get my act together and get going.

But I am tired. And whiny. And I really don't like it when it rains constantly. We've been in a drought for the last few years and it seems like the heavens are making up for it all this year.
We even cancelled school for flooding, which really never happens in Atlanta. By the way, our county just announced that we would not be allowed to make that day up and, instead, our pay will be docked.

Decisions like that make it hard to feel loyal to my profession and employer. Maybe it's just a phase in my pregnancy and I'll snap out of it in another week or two. Until then, I will keep getting up. Mostly because it is hard to make sub plans from my house.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Best Mom Tip #76: Put labels on your storage bags and boxes

I have lost my maternity clothes. All of the pants and skirts I'd compiled over the last two pregnancies. The various sizes of maternity shirts I've needed. The dress I liked so much I bought it twice after I left the first one in a hotel in Miami. The one pair of maternity shorts I've ever tried on and been willing to wear. The tank tops I wore as undershirts almost every day.

All of this is because I don't label things. The best I can figure, I got the bag of maternity clothes mixed up with a bag of clothes to be given to Goodwill. Somewhere out there pregnant mothers who wanted to dress like me and shop at Goodwill are very happy. Although, I'm not sure anyone wants to actually dress like me so maybe they're still there and I could go try to buy them back at very reasonable prices.

I am an idiot without clothes to wear during the months of March, April, May, and June. Maybe I'll just wear the same thing every day and focus on accessories. Of course, I only have two pairs of shoes to wear because I can't wear heels so the variety will be limited.

I realize that this is not a real problem and that I am very lucky to be able to just buy new clothes, but I am still annoyed. Booooooooo, me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Best Mom Tip #75: Eat your words

I bought a minivan. I have sworn for as long as I've been aware of minivans that I would never drive one.

My mom had one of the first versions of the minivan in the early '90s and I had to drive it to work at Ruby Tuesday on occasion. One fine summer evening I was driving my 17-year-old self home in the van with the windows rolled down and the warm wind blowing. I felt young and free and like I was capable of anything. Then I remembered I was driving a minivan and that it is simply not possible to look cool in a minivan. Even at 17.

So I am traumatized. Our 4Runner proved once and for all that it is possessed on Christmas Eve when it began locking and unlocking its doors on its own. It made me think of that movie Christine where the car starts killing people. Anyway, we determined that the only vehicle we owned capable of carrying our relatively-soon-to-be family of five could not be trusted.

Thus, the need for a new car. We got rid of the 4Runner and got a Honda Odyssey. It is really roomy and has all sorts of crazy places to put cups. I have equipped it with paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, diapers, large trash bags (lesson learned from the barfing incident of Christmas Eve '08), and a make-shift trash can. None of this is visible to the passengers. All of it makes me feel older and older by the minute.

I have already hit the garage door with it and Jay has already scrubbed the paint off the fender. I have already been waved at by perky teenage students riding in their moms' minivans while driving to work in it. I have already had cheerios spilled in the floorboard.

One of my students told me I was too young to have a minivan. She is now my favorite student.

I have embraced my mom-hood on a new level. I'm already thinking about how nice it will be on family road trips. So I humbly take it back. I own a minivan. And I'm really glad that I do.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Best Mom Tip #74: Keep warm

It is really cold here. I realize that other parts of the country have temps in the teens on a regular basis, but those places also have things like double-paned windows, snow plows, and actual winter coats. Here in Atlanta we really don't invest in any of those things. So the weather forecast that predicts highs of 35 for the next 7-10 days are really depressing.

I combat this by sitting directly in front of my space heater while snuggled up in my fleece blanket until I feel uncomfortably warm and ready for bed.

Last night I got to stay warm by sitting in front of the fire and visiting with friends I've had for 15 years. There were 5 families who came to celebrate the New Year at our house, and although not all of them actually made it to midnight, it was still a lot of fun.

Jay, Jason, Allison, Candy, and I all met in the fall of 1994. I met Kim and Cheryl a year later--technically I met Cheryl before she graduated from high school--when they came to UGA. Swami (not his real name--obviously) I met somewhere during that sophomore year of college, but really got to know him our junior year in 96-97. Josh, Millie, Adam, and Jon all "married in" between 5 and 8 years ago.

I am very lucky that I know such wonderful people who continue to encourage and sharpen me after such a long time. I can't even begin to explain how fun watching and holding the 11 children we have between us was.

I'm a little chilly, but my heart is warm. Thanks, guys. We had a great time.