Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tis' the season to be...Pooping?

I have an addiction to Snowmen. Lot's of them. Everywhere. 

I like to share my addictions. So every year during Christmas, I do. 

I just finished stuffing 70 Ziploc baggies with mini marshmallows and Tootsie Rolls, attaching a poem and stickers.

Probably thinking:"WTF?" 

Every year a put together these bags for my students, as a last day before break snack/sugar rush/get hyper in someone else's class gift. *snicker*

I usually don't have a problem putting these together. The way it goes is in half the baggies I put mini marshmallows, and in the other half I put Cocoa Puffs. I purchase the pretty holiday Ziploc baggies and I attach a poem which reads:

"You've been Naughty, 
Now here's the scoop!
All you get for Christmas is some Snowman (Reindeer) Poop!"

I started using Cocoa Puffs for reindeer poop when I realized that not every kid liked marshmallows. You would've thought that would have been my first indication given my chocoholic-ness, but I didn't realize this until after the first year. So now I am considerate of those chocoholics who would rather the puffs than the mallows. 

This year's Poop bags, not so easy. 

Mini marshmallows? Check. Easy to find. :)

Christmas baggies? Nope. Not a one. 

Cocoa Puffs? No Cocoa Puffs. What the hell??? I couldn't get my hands on anything that resembled Cocoa Puffs. Not even the generic Malt-O-Meal puffs. 

Now shit is getting real. Now I am getting a case of the ass. So I start thinking how to make this work? I am not giving up dammit! 

So I did what every great mother and teacher does. What you ask? Improvisation

I gotta say it was a success!

Baggies were just plain baggies. Then I got my hands on holiday stickers and decorated them up with stickers. 

For Reindeer poop I used the next best thing: Tootsie Rolls. 

Yea, I did it. And it worked. I done good. ;)

Now let's see what the jury says. They better like it. Or else!

Actually, it doesn't matter. They eat the sugar, toss the bags and chuckle at the poem. The whole thing lasts like 10 minutes, which is a long time given the audience. They have the attention span of a gnat. But I digress....

I am just happy everyone is getting poop tomorrow. 

Happy Friday tomorrow!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

It can always be worse

Hello Out there in WebLand! How is everyone fairing today?

I've had better days. Way better days. 

Today felt like a terrible Broadway production that you just can't stop watching. Or maybe that's a train wreck. Either one, I felt like I was spectating the director of my life thinking "CUT! CUT! You're doing it all wrong!"

So here is how it went down.

Get outta bed! Sore as shit! Because someone in my dysfunctional WTF brain I thought it would be WAAAAAYYY cool to go on a 13 km (7+ miles) hike with the Boy Scouts this weekend, in the cold, wet raining mess that was Saturday. So I was aching in places that didn't make sense, like the back of my right knee. Really? WTF?

At any rate I had it in my head when I went to bed that I was wearing green and white to commemorate the Sandy Hook lives. But I was having one of those mornings. You know those mornings when you start off thinking you are going to wear one thing and then realize you look, not like a cow, but a lactating cow. So yea, welcome to Monday Mel, stay awhile. Talk about joyful. 

Then one look in the mirror and I knew it wasn't a temporary suckage, it was an all day type of suckiness. Swollen eyes.

My eyes were swollen to the point that make up was only going to enhance the swell, really distinguish the puffiness that was my upper lid. Yesterday the Princess and I watched The Perks of being a Wallflower, and whatta tear jerker that was. Sprinkle in some allergies and a good hearty cry over the Newtown tragedy and well that was a recipe for a good ol' cry.

Not done yet, haven't left the house even.

Enter in coffee pot, stage left. Fuckers empty and I don't have time to make it. 

Enter in Bear, stage right. Lost his key, missed the bus, needs ride to school. 

Enter rain, center stage. Just enough rain to get him soaked on his small walk from where I had to drop him off to the middle school. 

Then I get into the classroom, running late mind you, and a student starts talking about the shootings on Friday. I lost it!

I started crying in front of the class. Uggh! :(

I had to step outside and compose myself, which only worked momentarily, until the same student came out with tissues and an offer of a hug.  Then I was crying all over again in the classroom. The kids were great and very thoughtful as I babbled what was wrong and how I was feeling. Did I mention that I slipped and used the word "asshole" when referring to the shooter. Thank Jesus they are high schoolers, and that word is part of their daily vernacular. That could have ended ugly today.Sheew!

I feel badly about displaying so much emotion to them, but maybe it will humanize them. Maybe it humanizes me as a teacher. I don't know.

I just can't stop thinking about losing a child. From the kindergarteners to the 26 yo teacher, there are Moms & Dads mourning the loss of their child right now as I type this in the comfort of my home with both of my children safe here. 

Am I the only one that feels like one big exposed, raw, emotional nerve? 

I started thinking about my daughter leaving to college, and that started the water works again. WTF?

I can't stop hugging and loving on my children. 

I know that I will move on from this emotional-ness and it won't be so raw in a few days, but for those Moms & Dads they will never move on. They will learn to live with the grief, to make it bearable.

So when I come full circle to what a shitty Monday I had, I still have it better than others out there. Life is about perspective and I need remind myself of that every day. 


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

What I really want to say Wednesdays

So a fellow blogger, The Whispering Writer, has a piece she does every Tuesday called "Hey it's ok". Once upon a time, when I had time, I would write a post that I could share with the "Hey it's ok" theme.

As of late, I find myself swamped with a new part-time job, which requires lots of take home work, i.e. grading. Add to that a Boy Scout Troop in full Christmas tree sales and getting ready for Klondike...and, and, and... I don't have the time to write on Tuesday, or any other day.

But I love my blog. More importantly I like the fact that I can get it out there and someone might read it and find humor in it.  Or empathy. Or the need for a straight jacket. It's all the same.

Despite my lack of time to write, I am not at a loss for topics and things I would LOVE to share on my lil' o' blog. What I mostly want to share is all the crap that I keep bottled up. Shit I don't say but would love to just blurt out. Inappropriate comments, rants, and just straight up truths that would blow most people away.

Oh wait! Why can't I say these things on my blog? It's my damn blog, right? And the world is ending in like 16 days according to the crazy ass Mayans, right?

So here it is. The premiere of:   "What I really want to say Wednesdays".

         When we were in school, and still now, we tell kids "There is no such thing as a stupid question." Well that is true when they are in elementary school, and it might be true sometimes on occasion in middle school, but high school... different story. There are stupid questions. When they ask those dumb questions I just want to say: "Did you really just ask that? Seriously?" Today's example: "Do I have to take notes?" What I actually said: "I would advise you taking notes unless you have a really good memory, and that is a whole lot to remember." What I wanted to say: "Of course you should take notes! How the hell else are you going to study? It's not like you bring the book home with you." See that was a stupid question.

         I volunteer for my son's scout troop. I coordinate their activities and collect money and such. It isn't a hard job, it's just incredibly time consuming. Last night I had a parent who wanted a "back briefing" of all that he had missed. I asked if he was getting my emails, which I send out with all the information. He answered: "I have pages and pages of emails that I have not had a chance to check. So I will probably not get around to looking at those." Ummm... ok. I asked if there was a work email that I could send it to that might be easier to check on a more regular basis. Answer: "No. I don't want to get my roles confused." Da' Fuck? Really? Ok. So I asked if he or his scout were connected to our Facebook page. Answer: "Not really a Facebook guy, and the boys don't get on often enough because they are usually in trouble for something."  What I said at this point was:"Ok well let's see how we can get you up to speed." What I wanted to say was: "Hello asshole! I have offered at least 4 different modes of communication, all of which you turned down! What part of 'this is a volunteer position' is difficult to process? Maybe I can send up smoke signals. How does that sound?" Didn't say it. Instead I just sat there and answered the 50 fucktillion questions he had. Did I forget to mention he wasn't the only parent who needed something that night? Fucktard.  *sigh*

       To all the Army officers who have no idea how to truly lead and make what should be an easy existence in a very small elite Army unit, I living hell, my thought for you is YOU SUCK! I hate playing the grip and grin game of niceties. I hate having to pretend I like you and that you don't make my husband's evening a rant session about whatta douche you are. I hate the fact that you make people wish they were stationed in Iraq instead of being here. I just want to scream: "You're an ASSHOLE! And I hope Santa shits down your chimney this year!" Instead I am relegated to "Hello Sir. How's it going? Oh Merry Christmas to you too, sir! So lovely to see you again." BARF!

Yea.... that is What I really want to say.....

Thank You Baby Jesus for giving me a head-mouth filter that works when I need it to. Amen.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dry humping my last good nerve

Teenage daughter.

That's it in a nutshell. Need I say more? Probably not, but I have a feeling you want more so here it is.

This teenage daughter wasn't all bad, at one point I liked her, actually enjoyed her company. Now her mere presence makes me want to punch her in the face. Yea yea, a bit violent, but I have raised/spawned this teenage witchy monster, and I am now paying the price. So if I want to punch her in the face, I feel entitled to those feelings. I feel entitled to do it, but I am not sure how that plays out in family court. *chuckle*

Anywho.... she was recently in FL visiting her bio-dad. While she was there she got her driver's license. Not a problem, she can drive in the states. Great! Bravo! Rock it out!

HUGE problem here in Europe!

For starter's she has only been driving for like a hot minute. I have grey hairs that are older than her driving privileges; grey hairs that have been plucked and regrown, older than her driving experience. I have forgotten more about driving that she has experienced. She literally had her license for 4 months before we moved here to Germany, and she hasn't really driven that much in the last year and a half.
Uh huh.

So there's that.

There is also the extensive test you have to take here. I mean 150 signs you have to learn, extensive. There is the speed limit, which is about 80 mph, on average. There is the fact that driving in Europe is totally different than stateside driving. Merging, traffic circles, and all sorts of other shit.

Oh wait! Yes, the biggest factor of them all..... insurance. We called USAA to get an estimate of what it would cost us to add her to the insurance. *drum roll* It would DOUBLE our premiums! DOUBLE! Just so she can drive. Best part of all, she can't drive a stick shift, which is Hubby's car, and she sure as hell ain't driving my NEW car.

So having said all that... she approaches me this morning, and says very matter-of-factly that next week I need to take her to get her USAEUR driver's license (United States Army Europe). I CALMLY ask her what for. She responds so she can drive. DUH! I calmly told her everything I just mentioned above. She huffs and puffs, and says: "I'll figure something out." What do I say: Nothing. Why? Because at that moment kind words escaped me, and I was channeling some evil spirit who wanted to pop her head like a grape. So I did what any (in)sane mom would do, I walked away. What did I want to say: "Figure something out? This coming from the teenager who wanted an iPhone...had to have it... made a deal to pay for her $80 a month cell phone plan, who now finds herself over $500 in the hole? Thank goodness we pay that fucker or else it would be turned off! Maybe what you need to figure out is how to get a mutha freakin' job! Oh wait you don't think you need one or that you should have to pay your cell phone since we make enough to cover it! You over privileged brat!" 

Does her audacity end here? Nope.

We took her visit a college recently in Georgia. Did the tour and when it came time to see the dorms she was impressed. Hell! I was impressed! They were phenomenal. So we look into the bedroom of this 2 bedroom apartment type dorms, and she says to us: "I don't know about this one. It has been years since I have slept on a twin sized bed. I am not sure how that's going to work."

I wish I could tell you she was joking. That she was like: "bahahaha! Just teasing!" She wasn't.

I thought I was going to have to peel the Hubs off of her. He was ready to come unglued. We didn't raise her to see the things she has as an entitlement, but more of a privilege, a gift we give her out of love and a desire for her life to be better.

Despite that, she truly believes she is entitled, deserving. The nerve.

The straw, the camel, broken back.... Twitter. If you read her tweets, you would think we were the most horrendous parents to ever have walked the face of the Earth. She tweets #fumingatyou, #ihateyourguts, #fml, #cantwaittoleavehere, and all sorts of other hash tags about the injustices of her life.

Same girl who doesn't have a job, doesn't have any real chores, doesn't have any responsibilities other than her grades.

All I can say is that if her intent was to make empty nest easier for me, BINGO! Mission accomplished.

The winds of change are blowing in a storm, and I don't mean the kind that blows in Julie Andrews to spoon it away with sugar and a nifty carpet bag. I mean the kind that takes you someplace where you gonna wish you could click your heels to escape.

I have one nerve left and she is not just dancing an Irish jig on it, she is dry humping the shit outta it.

Watch out folks.... Momma's gonna blow.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Catching up

So life has been kicking it into overdrive since school let out for the summer in June. Yea yea... I know it's November. Got it! It's been friggin' crazy here though! Promise.

I guess I should start where I left off, summer.

I am going to try to summarize the events of this summer, but I might not get to it all and some events might probably could have their own post however it's old news so a summary will have to do. Suffice to say that I have been going going going since June 13.

We took the kids out of school a day or two early and flew back to the states. We had a great time staying with friends in Maryland and going to see my dad in NYC. Life was good and the kids loved being back with their friends!

Hubby and I got to hang with our friends and attend a vow renewal for some close friends of ours. We drank beer, shot the shit and had fun in the process!It was a whirlwind two weeks and talk about exhausting.

Did I mention expensive? Holy shit! Just car rental alone could finance a small village. Ugh

Either way here is a glimpse into our fun two weeks.
I loved our time in NYC!

Our friend's backyard oasis was exactly what we needed.

Only in Time's Square... for the record the two knuckle heads on either end were "mine."
The numb nut in the middle is the "weed" pleader. 

We even got to go to the zoo this summer. (And yes, I took this picture!)

We got back to Germany had about a week to recover and BAM! we were back at it again. My grandmother, uncle, aunt (his wife) and my cousin all came to Germany from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. They were our very first FAMILY VISIT!

What a different experience to see the newness of Europe again through someone else's eyes. To remember what I felt like exactly one year prior and be able to take them on the grand tour.

We had a blast taking my grandmother to castles, churches and other historic places. For an octogenarian she made her way around Europe like a teenager! There were a few nights we had to rub her feet and prop them up because they were swollen from all the walking, but she was no worse for the wear.

They were with us for a total of 3 weeks, and we made the most of those three weeks. (No granny was hurt in the making of these pictures.)

This is my 84 year old Grandmother!
She loved all the flowers in Germany.

Don't ask. I won't tell! ;)
She seems to have had youthful fun!
She cried when the security escort pulled away.
So did I. 
Grandma left and the house was quiet. Thankfully we weren't there long enough for it to matter. We have a week to recover before our LONG awaited Mediterranean cruise.

Yes. I just typed that. 

We took the kids with us on a 12 day Mediterranean cruise. And it was AWESOME!

It started in Barcelona, where we spent two days prior to the start of the cruise. We sailed to Marseilles, France then to Italy where we hits the ports of Livorno(Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome), and Naples. We then floated for a day and arrived in Croatia. BEAUTIFUL! Then off to Venice and then back down and around to Sicily. 

It was the most amazing vacation yet! The kids loved it! We loved it! 

Thanks Carnival Cruise Lines for an amazing time. Well worth the money. 

High water mark of summer....most definitely. 

View from ship of Marseilles, France

Battistero di San Giovanni


Venetian "Traffic"


Pompeii was beautiful and hot!
La Rambla, Barcelona

The streets of Barcelona are gorgeous!

Entertainment on the cruise *cough* for the kids of course. ;)

Arch of Constantine

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Adriatic Sea during our sea kayaking adventure. 

Arriving at the port of Venice. 

Messina, Sicily
As you can see it was a whirlwind summer full of adventure and great times. I could not have asked for a better summer. This is why I was radio silent over the summer months.

This only covers until August, when school started again. That my friends is a totally different kinda post..... the bitchy venting kind. 

Stay tuned. 

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stay Tuned!

So Volleyball is over. Life will settle down, and I can start blogging again. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! Be ready.... so much shit has happened and I need perspective and who better than the internet to help you right your thoughts! LOL Anyways.... I will be started the writing process again.... just you wait and see! WOO HOO!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Crazy Life

I love my blog. I love blogging. It makes me feel good. I don't know why. Maybe its the diary aspect of it. Maybe its the social media sense of validation I get from it. I don't pretend to know. I just know that my life has been a crazy friggin' mess lately and I haven't had a chance to blog, which in turn makes me unhappy. Yes UN-happy. The act of UN-doing something.... so I was happy and now I am UN-happy. I really need to make time to blog, but how does one do that when I have to schedule in rest time? If I didn't purposely make time to unwind I would be going, going, going like the bunny. You know the bunny. 
Hopefully in two weeks when I end my coaching season, and Bear ends his soccer season I will have more time to do what I like... blog. Until then, this will have to provide a small snippet of happy. :)

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Little time, little post

So  it's been awhile. I know. Truth is I have so much I want to write about but so little time. I wanted to get back here and write about our awesome cruise! I wanted to pour out all the wonderful fun we had as a family and the quiet moments hubby and I had together.

But I never did. 

I wanted to write about my new job! I am teaching again. WHOOP WHOOP! I wanted to share how I love the kids, which I usually do. However my jury is still out on how the district runs things. There are things that need changing, but I am not there to rock ANY boats because I would like to teach again next year and I am temporary right now. So mums the word!

But I never wrote about it. 

I wanted to write about my Bear starting Middle School. About how he loves it! He said he loves the "independence" and let me not forget "they actually give us real portions in lunch." Yes he is an eater! 

But I never stopped by to write about it. 

I wanted to pour out my angst about the Princess starting her Senior Year of high school. I wanted to share how she is looking at the Army Reserves or ROTC in order to help pay for college. I wanted to write about looking through her old pictures and sitting there finding her First Day of Kindergarten picture and crying. I wanted to write about getting her Senior pictures done and how I already miss her. 

But I didn't.

I wanted to share that I am coaching again, JV Volleyball. I haven't coached since I was teaching in North Carolina about 8 years. It has been an amazing experience and most days I love it. Other days I wonder what in the hell was I thinking. Our kickoff weekend is this Saturday, and I wanted to share my anxiety over that. 

But I haven't really had time. 

I wanted to write about Bear getting back into soccer and loving it. I wanted to write about his desire to start Religious Ed classes and how I plan to sign him up... but haven't gotten to it yet. Is that bad? Never mind... I just haven't had time. 

*deep sigh*

There are so many things that I want to share with my blog. Not because my life is so much more important than anyone else's but because it matters to me. And this blog is FOR me, ABOUT me and it makes me feel better to get it out. 

So maybe I will try to come back here and start and finish a whole post about one of the burning topics I mentioned or one of the 10,000 other things I have going on right now. 

Hell, maybe a quick summary of what's going on will have to be my fix for now. 

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'm losing it, or maybe I never had it to begin with

This is not the vacation post I promised. I have a situation for which I need assistance, advice or really just a plain reality check on. I need someone with the similar life experiences to tell me that I am not fucking losing my mind here. Here is my scenario:

It's Sunday. Got a day planned at the lake with friends. Oldest child (Princess) has to work. 

I plan my schedule so that I can take said child to work at 12:45 for a 1:00pm shift, then head off to the lake. 

Said child gets off from work at 9-9:30 depending on closing routine. Got it. 

Blah Blah Blah, Lake, fun, hot, Blah Blah Blah home by 6:00pm

Child texts me at 9:15 or so, needs ride home. 

Head out to pick up said child. 

Arrive at work location to find child dressed in a short, revealing dress with wedges on (heels). No, this is not her work uniform, which by the way I dropped said child off to work in. Said child works in food service industry where uniform is required. 

I ask said child "Where's your uniform?" and "Why are you in a dress?" 

(insert excuses here about not sure when we were arriving home, maybe we would be out until late, not sure if she would need to get a ride home, she packed these clothes this morning when she didn't know what was going on)

Ummm... ride home? Packed clothes this morning? Huh? Not of it makes any sense.

We told her that we would be there to get her from work. Who stays at a lake until 9:00pm on a Sunday night? Who changes after a supposed 9+ hr shift into clean clothes smelling of fried food and sweat?

Child gets defensive. Says she'll bring me her time card to show me she was at work. I asked: "When did simple questions become an issue?" 

Wait! I know! I know! WHEN YOU STARTING LYING TO US!  (No I didn't say this, just the thought that passed between hubby and I as we looked at each in the car)

Yes! That's it! I believe I have the right to be suspicious and untrusting when you exercised your right to be deceitful. 

Best part is still yet to come. What part of the internet does this generation not understand? I know that when I post this blog entry, the entire WORLD could potentially read it (I said potentially, but probably only about 10 will actually read it). I know that this information is out there and regardless of whether I delete this post, ever, it is saved on some far far away server for perpetuity. I get that too!

This generation, Now as I call it, doesn't get it. As many times as she has been busted by Facebook posts, pictures and Tweets you think she would learn. NOPE! 

She tweets: "I can not wait to not live with you anymore. #psycho #getmeoutofhere"

Really? Really? Ungrateful ass! We just came back from a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise, and you can't wait to leave here? Seriously? Stick a fork in me...I'm done, well done. Overcooked. Burnt. 

Oh and then.... same kid who hasn't lifted a finger to take an SAT or study for one, despite having a $40+ book she "had to have." Same kid who wanted to talk to a recruiter and was all gung ho about the Reserves, who hasn't emailed or done anything towards that end either. Same kid who let her grades slip her junior year (one D and one C), her friggin' junior year! She tells me that she is getting information from Duke. HAH! Duke? Duke! She has never mentioned it in the 3 years she has been in high school!

For starters Dear Heart, you don't get into Duke on whim. You plan for Duke. You work for Duke. You don't fall into Duke by accident, it's by design. Never mind the cost! Without scholarships, we couldn't afford the housing never mind the tuition! So when I giggled because of the absurdity of this, she gets indignant and thinks I am not supportive. 

Really? And yes...that merited a Tweet as well. I think I got a hashtag of fuck off. Maybe it's time to take away the social media sites. 

As I look back on what I did right and what I did wrong in parenting, I know one thing to be certain: I gave too much. 

I never thought that could be the case growing up with little attention, affection and general understanding from my parents. They were always so wrapped up in their lives to be selfless enough for me. So I grew up getting what I wanted through hard work, hard knocks and hard times. I don't begrudge them. They did the best they could with what they had to give emotionally. 

But I swore not to be like that. I vowed to do better. And I thought I had, but there are moments and situations when I know I gave too much. And one word comes to mind: overprivileged. 

Now I don't how to fix it, or if I can. Most would say I am reaping what I sowed, and while that may be the case I am not throwing in the towel. 

There is a cool wind blowing and it's bringing change along with it, and I don't mean Obamacare. 

For now, I just need a sanity check. Please tell me that I haven't lost touch with reality. Tell me that it gets better. That some day I will actually miss her not living with us, and that I will miss these days. Ok well not these particular days, but the good days.  Someone tell me that she will look back and realize that she didn't have it so friggin' bad.  Someone just tell me that I will get through this next year, her senior year. 

Please. Anyone.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Let's Set Sail!

So yea, I am a travel whore. I admit it freely and accept it.

Every summer we attempt that American dream of gathering the family and heading out to a new destination to partake in driving each other crazy for 1-2 weeks. We call it a vacation but really it's organized torture that can cost a shit ton of money.

Every four or five years we go all out and do a HUGE family vacation that tops the last. We had our last huge family vacation in 2010 when we took the entire family to Hawaii for just shy of three weeks. That was your typical vacation with two teenagers and a 9 year old boy. Oh the joys.

Since we moved to Europe we have been traveling quite a bit. This year in travel review has taken us to the exotic locales of Paris, Prague, London, Brussels, Edinburgh, and a whole host of new places in Germany.

Being the Rick Steve's wannabe that I am, I got it in my head that we needed one last hooray this summer before The Princess goes into her senior year.

I wanted awesome. I wanted over the top. I wanted something the kids had never experiences.

I wanted a cruise.

Awesome ports of call. Food. Alcohol. Fun. Alcohol. Things for the kids. Food. Alcohol. You know the important stuff!

Of course what better way to get this planned and paid for: Afghanistan. Now don't get me wrong. I didn't send my husband there, that was planned and executed by the U.S. Army...Thank you very much!

However, what better way to keep all our spirits up then to plan our summer vacation. And that's what we did. We researched, looked at itineraries, looked at different companies and did our homework until we I found the perfect ship, itinerary and company.

We planned this awesome 12 day Mediterranean Carnival Cruise, with a front loaded two extra days in our port of embarkation: Barcelona, Spain.

WOW! We were diligent for months on saving, planning and getting all the moving pieces together.

Voila! We did it!

The vacation is over. The post vacation blues have set it.

Now we just have to get through the next 5-10 blogs about it. But it's my blog, and I'll blog if I want to!

Sit down. Grab a snack and a drink (alcohol is recommended). These could be bumpy blogs. But I promise to entertain, or try to at least.

Let the whoring begin....Travel Whoring that is!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Living through Death

There are all sorts of life-changing events. There is high school graduation, and the moment when you walk across the stage and realize you can conquer the world.

There is the moment you realize the man you are dating is "the one" and you say a resounding YES! to his popped question. 

Of course the day you actually walk down the aisle and say I do, is only shadowed by the day you both realize you are expecting your first child. Words can not express the changes you undergo physically, mentally and spiritually as a result of the birth of your baby. How the miracle of a new life alters yours forever. 

There are changes that come from realizing "the one" wasn't and now you are among the ranks of the divorced single parents. Talk about realizing you don't know shit from shinola. That is life altering.

There are the changes that come with achieving your degrees, having more children, finally finding the one, marrying him and creating a life. Not one you ever thought you would have. 

There are events in a lifetime that alter so absolutely and completely that we are never, ever the same. Death is one of these events. 

Instinctively we know that death changes everything through the absence of someone, and the permanence of it's finality. These changes are obvious in how the living go on about their lives. But it's the little changes that strike me so much more than the obvious ones. 

I know you are probably thinking "where is this coming from and where is she going with this?" I promise I have a point. Just bear with my train of thought.

Three weeks ago my uncle, his wife (my aunt), my cousin and my grandmother arrived here in Deutschland. This was the first time I had seen my grandmother since my grandfather passed last July. It's coming up on a year since his death and the changes I have noticed in her, while subtle, speak volumes of the absence of my grandfather. 

Mind you she is 84 and spent the better part of 64 years with him, but his absence and the reality of death has really changed her, and that saddens me. 

She seems less independent now. Less able to make simple decisions about what to eat, and what to drink. 

She seems unable or unwilling to be alone. Being left in a room alone makes her call out for someone to come sit in the room with her. 

She speaks about times past when she travelled and how much she was able to do. 

She speaks with longing about times with my grandfather and things they did together. 

She still has a memory like an elephant and maybe that makes things harder. I don't know for sure. However she can recall with accuracy all sorts of past events and comments and weird instances in which she visited me at different duty stations. She can even remember details about the homes I have lived in. Things that I can't even remember! But then again, she always had a great memory... so much has changed there. 

She has more aches and pains, and visits the doctor more frequently. I think she worries more about her health. 

She seems more needy now. Perhaps it isn't my grandfather's death and just more the fact that she is getting older. 

She seems displaced and she complained that when her apartment was sold many things were "lost". She complained that people get rid of things or took things. She seemed very agitated and upset that her things were now "missing." I can't imagine being self-sufficient for years and now having to live with your son. 

Perhaps I am the one who is looking for changes since his death. Perhaps I'm just scared that the older she gets, the closer to losing her I get. That is a hard reality to face. 

I know someday I will have to deal with her passing. But for now I am trying to deal with her getting older and frailer. That is scary enough. I just wish there was a way to ease her loneliness and pain at losing her life's companion.

I wish I could ease her pain at living through his death.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Welcome back, Kotter

So this past year in Germany I have been unable to find a teaching job. Not for lack of trying, because my application has been in for the last two years. My only contact with the teaching world has been through my position as a substitute teacher at the local intermediate school, and of course my friends who are still teaching. This was a challenge because I am a high school teacher. I like teaching that age group, hence why I am certified in that area. Intermediate is 3rd-5th. Yes third grade through fifth grade. This age group is only fun is they are your little crumb snatchers, not someone else's.

But either way, I did it. I subbed and survived this year. 

Then I get an email while we are stateside. "Can you interview this Friday?" NOOOOO!!!!   I wasn't going to be back from the US yet. Just my luck. 

After missed flights, jet lag, and scheduling conflicts I got my interview. And I ROCKED IT! That and a great letter of recommendation from my previous principal, which didn't hurt any at all. Hell I wasn't sure if he had the right person when I was reading it! Thankfully he actually mentioned me by name so I am pretty sure he was talking about me. 

So I got the job. WHOOP! WHOOP! My inner goddess is doing the Ally McBeal baby dance.

The job is only part-time, but it's a perfect fit for my Euro lifestyle. (AKA Travel Whore)

I will teach 3 classes a day every other day. Yup...part-time teaching ROCKS!

This schedule couldn't be better if I had created it myself. Because of the nature of the school's A/B day rotation, one week I work 2 days and the other I work 3 days. It still leaves me plenty of time to continue my work-outs, keep up with my travel whoring, do the BS mom thing, and I might even keep my little bar tending gig. Who knows? The possibilities are endless! Ok well maybe not endless...but you get my drift.

I am excited! I am thrilled to be back in a classroom. I am excited to get back to teaching, and doing what I love. I am just excited to feel relevant again. That my friends is the biggest part of all of this. I will matter again.

I know I matter to my family and friends, but there is validation in doing what you love and loving what you do. This matters to me, and it completes the circle of who I am.

So the song plays in my head...
Welcome back,
Your dreams were your ticket out.
Welcome back,
To that same old place that you laughed about.
Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But those dreams have remained and they're turned around.
Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (Who'd have thought they'd lead ya)
Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya)
Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've hot him on the spot, welcome back,
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

P.S. Hopefully I haven't dated myself with the references to old TV series.  :)

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