Monday, February 23, 2009

My new Breast Friend...and a second look


My honest personal opinion...don't whip out your boob in public! I know that people feel differently on this topic, but I have breastfed four children...some longer than others...so I feel I am entitled to my opinion!

I had 'one of those days'...staying up late trying to find the folder of 'legal documents', waking up early to run to downtown Provo to pick up a copy of Addi's birth certificate, running back to register her for Kindergarten, trying to figure out her and Sophie's schedules next year, changing Sophie's preschool schedule, going to the bank to transfer money to the business account (because I wrote a check and forgot about it...hopefully it didn't already bounce...oops.) All with two wonderfully active little ladies.
When lunch time rolled around, I figured I deserved a playground/restaurant. (I was trying to think of what to feed my company tonight for dinner...the smell of hamburgers helps me think better.)
I'm sitting there, juggling my sweeties. (Forcing fast-food in them as a stipulation to the privilege of enjoying a germ infested playground) They ate enough crap to go swim in the germs, so I sat back and relaxed to the sounds of screams and crying kids...but not my kids...so I can't hear a thing.
Then...being the people watcher I am...I noticed a toddler who took a quick drink break. But it was no ordinary drink with a straw, oh no, not with my luck.
His mother lifts up her hoodie/sweater and shoves his head into her boob. Are you kidding!?! The kid was just eating french fries...so there can't be any 'health benefit' bull-crap reasoning. The economy is pretty bad...but the kids meal's comes with a drink. It only saves something like 30 cents to buy the hamburger and fries only to leave out the drink. This particular restaurant even sold milk as a beverage option in the kids meal. Should I keep going!? Yes, because they sell chocolate, strawberry, and regular milk.
She looked like a conservative enough, typical Mo-town (Mormon town) Mom with a bazillion little kids running around. She and a girlfriend were just chatting it up! Her side/back was to me and the rest of the restaurant. (which was full of parents/grandparents and kids) So, out-of-the-blue, my relaxing moment turned sour...literally, I think I caught a whiff.
Due to the lack of proper nursing attire...her shirt was pulled more than half-way up her back...tramp stamp...and a boob. FANTASTIC! And while the tramp stamp was a enough to make my eyes widen and a smile appear...then I saw the boob and kid's head...and I threw up in my mouth a bit. There goes my relaxing moment for the day.
The kids gets his drink and then leaves to continue his play. I couldn't help but close my eyes and shake my head. She was a human drinking fountain.

I'm not in the anti-breasfeeding club. I'm not even opposed to discreetly breastfeeding in public. But, well...I'm not quite sure how I catagorize what I witnessed today. Whatever it was...I must say I am opposed.
There it is.

In taking a second look (not at my new breast friend...one look will last me a lifetime) I must clarify something...
I was talking to a friend on Saturday about Cori's school situation. I know, I know...I just can't let it go. In my defense, I don't bring it up...but I still get questions. Anyway...
We were discussing closure and how hard it is to let something go if you don't feel you have closure.
That night, Mike and I were talking about things. I was talking about how I was still surprised at how everything played out, not at all how I expected. I pulled up my letter I had written to read it again. I was honestly surprised...the things I had written were not quite how I remembered.
So, to clarify some of my assumptions...
In the letter, along with all my complaints and problems with her teacher...I expressed my desires to remove Cori from the Spanish Program. So, while I had concluded the decision was not mine...it really was. From the principals perspective, I think he was just trying to give me what I wanted.
With no discussion or explanations, I took it as avoiding the issue. I was really surprised at the abrupt response...but in his defense, he was probably trying to be respectful and avoid further confrontations. Anyways...I guess I didn't get closure on many of the things I had gone through up to that point. For whatever reasons...things worked out the way they did.
I really feel blessed with the outcome. Cori is so much happier and lives a stress-free 3rd grade life. As it should be.
I'm glad I took a second look at the letter. Coming from a different perspective, things weren't handled as poorly as I thought. I will sometimes come down with a case 'diarrhea of the mouth'...and I must say that I believe it is a virus. There is really no magic pill or quick cure. And it is contagious, so I apologize if I have exposed anyone over the last couple weeks.
Again, there it is.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In light of recent events...

Mike's Valentine's surprise was fantastic. He's so thoughtful, and so good to me.
My stellar lil' sis Manda, came and watched the kiddos overnight. She bathed the girls, cleaned their rooms, and washed their bedding! Cowsers!! I told Mike that we need to do that at least once a month. She's the best!
***
Last night was my Heber Valley Camp Meeting. I am getting so so excited!...so excited! We have our first committee get-together Sunday night. I can't wait to get to know these ladies. I have already witnessed the Lord's hand in planning this year. He guides us through...and makes up for our weaknesses after all we can do. He knows these YW and loves them so dearly! I pray I can be open and receptive to the spirit, he has helped me get this far.
After the meeting, we all went to eat and chat. We talked about things we can do different this year. How to avoid getting feelings hurt, and issues in the past. One of our presidency members said "some people chose to be offended" and it is so very true. We had a situation two years ago where someone said they would never come back to camp. It was a grown adult who had made this decision.
It makes me sad...because it only hurts them. Camp is such a wonderful place, and this person will not get to experience what the rest of us look forward to all year.
In our meeting, the wonderful Camp ladies of Heber Valley talked about the spirit touching our YW. She said that the spirit the girls feel up at camp may be the only time during the year they feel those things. They said that you can touch the girls more in those 5 days than during the entire rest of the year.
Taking the girls out of the crazy world they live in, those walls and barriers come down. And even though they are not happy with us about denying them their cell phones and iPod's...it's the funnest week with their friends and leaders.
I thought about my experiences last year, and some of the feelings I had after camp. I think that I could have decided to never return to camp. I could have never returned to church AT ALL quite frankly.
I'm so glad the Lord helped me through that time...and how I feel is really is my choice. I teased with the girls last night that I just always pretend that everyone likes me. "What's not to like? right?" and I am not part of any particular social circles, so I don't hear much gossip until things are over and done. I can just say "what? someone doesn't like me? I've never heard that!" and just deny the gesture, because nobody told ME!
They say...you can only make SOME of the people happy ALL of the time, or ALL of the people happy SOME of the time. You will never make ALL of the people happy, ALL of the time.
Amen!
***
Mike got to take Cori on a daddy-daughter date for Activity Days. It was a survivor type activity. Cori painted stripes under Mike's eyes, and Mike drew Y's all over Cori's face. (That's Mike's idea of war paint...'Y'...obsessed much?)
They won the individual Challenge Course, and the group Challenge Course. Mike was so proud to tell me it involved him running and sliding under a bar 18" off the ground.
Here was our breakfast conversation...
Mike said "Hey Cori? Who won the challenge course last night?" Cori looks at me and bobs her head up and down with a familiar grin "Weeeeee diiiiiiiiiiid" Our girls are destined to be just like the two of us...just a tad bit competitive.
When I got ready for church last Sunday, I came out of the bedroom and Cori stopped me. She did the same head bob and said "Lookin' goooooooooooood" and rolled her shoulders with serious attitude. I said "Wow! Thanks...you sound exactly like your Dad...you even have the body movements!"
***
3rd Grade Update: Cori absolutely loves her new class. She has aced her last two spelling tests and is so proud of herself. She has some catching up to do in Math and cursive writing...but it will be great to have something for her to do over the summer.
'Mama Bear' has gone back into her cave. The claws are gone and the teeth are no longer showing and I stopped growling and snarling. The cubs are safe and sound.
I register Addi for K-garten on Monday...crazy. My 4-foot-tall baby is going to school. Which means at this time next year...I will be sending my last baby to K-garten and into the world. I will have a moment of sadness...a moment...then I will celebrate my freedom with kid-free trip to the gym and shower with nobody watching me! Hooray!
***
On my plate today? I get to make a movie to show our new camp committee on Sunday. We want to get them pumped up and excited before we drowned them in responsibilities and meetings. I'm excited to put the movie together. It will be showing the fun and goofy side of the week. The only dilemma will be trying to narrow down the fun pictures...but you better believe the movie will showcase the infamous polka-dot bras.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

High School

Were you Student Body President? Cheerleader captain? Or the girl nobody asked to the prom? Or a guy nobody wanted to eat lunch with? Were you an "innie" or an "outie"?

I can feel a long post coming on...

About two weeks ago one of those "25 random things about you" got passed all over. I found it interesting to see random things about people you wouldn't know otherwise. I think it was funny and insightful.

I will say that I am NOT a fan of the 'tag' things, nothing against them...it's just not my thing.
I posted a while back about a few blogs I found while snooping. The questions on this particular list addressed this woman's goals and dreams in life. I was disappointed with some of the answers and felt sad at the pressures placed on woman and their image.
Well...

I have recently found another hilarious list of questions that has started circulating. I mean no offense to anyone who has participated. My feelings are not about anyone's answers to the questions...it's the questions that killed me.
What kind of car did you drive?
Were you considered a flirt?
Were did you sit at lunch?
Did you go to Homecoming and who with?
Were you in any clubs?
Have you gained weight since then?
Who was your prom date?

I really wondered if this was started by TAMN. It's got her name written all over it!

Since I signed up for Facebook, I have been re-acquainted with 99% of the people from my past...okay not really, but it feels like it. But on a positive note...I helped put together a gathering of people from my past. I have been thinking about our get-together. I am excited to see everybody, but in so many ways I think it will be like meeting new people I haven't met before...we'll just have some funny things to laugh about.

It is both strange and funny to see what people from my past are up to. Some people are completely different...while others don't seem to have changed AT ALL.

It seems that (with some exceptions) the jocks are still jocks, the popular girls are still popular...and all the popular girls are still 'besties', and the nerds and geeks are very smart and successful. It seems as if the girls who thought they were fat...still talk about thinking they are fat. And the guys who talked about being tough...still talk about being tough.

So it makes me wonder if life is a continuation of High School...how many of us are different? How much of our High School behaviors play a part in our adult lives? In so many ways I think we still play our roles as geeks, cheerleaders, bookworms, and jocks. We just don't label them as such.

I've heard stories of Michael Jordan being cut from the Jr. High basketball team, and Henry Kissinger being teased and called "a little fatso". President Gerald Ford lost his senior class president campaign. So why are so many other people exactly the same as Graduation Day?

Now we are all grown-up's, but thanks to internet social networks and reunions, we still get to be connected with old friends...and not-so-much friends. (I don't believe in enemies)

Some people are honest with their REAL reasons for going to High School reunions, but the important question is why do we still care? I know that personally, going to my reunion was a major disappointment. Maybe it was because it was so similar to ten years ago. People still sat at the certain tables with certain people and our goofy school representatives were still goofy. It felt way too much like our lunch break between second and third period. Or maybe an assembly...with more comfortable chairs.

My reasoning behind attending my reunion was simple. I felt the need to prove I wasn't a total screw-up. Why?? I'm the only person who really cares, not-to-mention, I'm the only one who knows if that's even true. (and 'screw-up' can be defined very differently)

Yet, while we mature and gain a better vocabulary after high school, I think the habits that we pick up in high school stay with us for the rest of our lives. Age doesn't change our emotions. Getting married and having children does not require maturity. Heaven knows I have learned that over the years.

I think that maybe we "mature" after high school, but often keep the same beliefs, we just practice them in different manners than we did before. Maybe blogging or Facebook gives more information than I want to know about some people.

So, in light of celebrating adulthood. Here are my version of some questions I consider a little more 'grown-up'. I'm tagging everyone who's glad High School is in the past, and would never revisit those years...

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a CFO or high up in a banking or lending company, I wanted my degree in business/finance...but I always knew I would someday be a Mom.

What quality do you have now that you didn't have before you became an adult?
Probably patience with and compassion for others...and I still don't have that according to some people.

What is something you like about yourself...that you didn't appreciate before adulthood?
Independence. I didn't know that a lot of what others identified as rebellion...was actually independence and a form of self-worth.

What do you wish for your children?
I hope that they have the abilities and drive to accomplish things in life. I think that most of all, I hope they love themselves.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Trying to 'keep it together' with daughters who are 13, 15, 17, and 19...just thinking about it gives me a headache.

In High School...where did you see yourself in 10 years?
Sitting here, blogging about the ramblings in my head to avoid folding the laundry...okay, maybe not!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Hearts


I remember (it doesn't seem like that long ago) when not having a boyfriend on Valentine's was devastating. Or having a boyfriend....and spending the week anticipating what he would do for me, or what he might give me. Even better...in Elementary School when the message on the conversation hearts was taken as a boys direct feelings for you. Ohhhhhhh so sweeeet!

I remember what I wore on Valentine's Day or on my Valentine's date was crucial. I remember wanting particular young men to magically fall in love with me on Valentine's and profess that secretly...they had always loved me.

Somewhere over the late teenage years...my heart grew some tougher skin. I was not a fan of the cheesy, sappy love notes and meaningful song dedications.

I also am not a fan of flowers...they just die and get thrown away, waste of money. I'm not a fan of jewelry either, money wasted on something to sit on my dresser. Which just leaves me with chocolate. Well...ummmm...chocolate and I have developed a love-hate relationship...so now I can't eat a box without feeling guilty. Some might call it low maintenance...but in reality, I'm a party pooper!

Having been married a while, Valentine's has somewhat lost it's 'ummph' in more recent years. We've been good at celebrating our Anniversary, but Valentine's has never been a big deal around these parts.

I must admit that it is my fault. When we were first married...I remember cooking fancy dinners and experimenting with recipes and ingredients I had never used. I loved the challenge of creating something new, that maybe neither of us had tried. I guess we are now either too spoiled, or too old! I'm not sure there's anything we haven't eaten...(obviously)...and I'm not going to attempt to duplicate some of the authentic food we've had in restaurants. Not to mention...I've come to a place in my life where not having to cook or do the dishes is extremely romantic.

Wow! Now I would love to wear sweats, sleep in, take a long shower...alone...and not be bothered for an entire day. Lucky Mike?!...how pathetic!

Which is why I was so surprised this year when...

Mike had 3 dozen amazing roses delivered to me on Thursday...that's 36 red roses. 36! He also gave each of the girls a rose. My sweet hubby has planned a surprise this year for Valentine's. I will admit that I am shocked! I can't remember the last time he planned a date night, let alone a Holiday! He been good at keeping it a secret (because I don't like secrets) and I have tried to not bug him about it.

On Friday morning...the girls found Valentine's in the mailbox from their cousins. They were the cutest cards about "Roses are red, moldy bread is blue....Roses are red, old cheese is blue" and cute things like that. They were so happy and excited. It was too late to send Valentine's back, so we wrote thank-you's.

I made some homemade chocolates and took them to Mike's work yesterday, he was quite surprised himself! We also gave the girls little presents that morning, and I sent heart-shaped sandwiches and cards in their lunches. The girls came home from school and devoured the rest of the homemade chocolates.

Maybe we are setting ourselves up for major disappointment next year...but I will admit that it has been a fun week.

But, with all the novelties aside...I really am in a happy place. I think a lot of my expectations regarding love and affection have been replaced with things like commitment and trust. I don't worry that I am not loved, and I am very happy with my life and my family. I feel so blessed to spend my life with my best friend. I love each of my sweet girls and they have so much love for each other. I realize that my life could have played out much different, I could have none of those things. So, I must express my love for my family this February 14th. I am grateful for all that I've been given.

I will enjoy my sappy-lovey-dovey holiday this year...after all, I told Mike that it won't be long until romantic surprises may be defined as a unexpected prescription for Viagra. (hee, hee)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FHE: Economics 101...the value of a dollar


About three weeks ago I saw a commercial for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Lexi's basketball season ended in December, and Cori's started in January. I thought the girls would get a kick out of watching talented players using their skills for comedy.
I'm not sure when...but sometime in my childhood, I remember watching the Globetrotters play. I really enjoyed it.
In an effort to have more FHE we thought we would have it on Sunday. It works fine, it's just a bit boring...and I thought this would be a good FHE to get the kids excited.
I was shocked when I went to Ticketmaster. Online, it had a Family 6-pack for $14.00. Wow! That's an amazing FHE activity. I told Mike that the tickets were so cheap...they must really be trying to get families out to this. I even called my sister and invited her family to join us.
We got downtown and paid $5 to pack close, it was real cold and I knew the kids can't walk very long when it's super cold. I went to get out of the car...and Sophie had gotten out first. Mike yelled "Oh! Sophie's out!" (It sounds like she's a dog or something that gets loose now and then) I grabbed my wallet and camera, and I go out of the car in time to grab her hand before she got too far. I looked down and...she didn't have shoes on! "Sophie! Where are your shoes?" I asked. "I dunno" she says and gives me the huge cheesy grin.
When I told the girls to all get their coats on and get into the car...Sophie decided to just get her coat on. Cori said "Mom, I brought her out some shoes". I look in the car and see a reflective, shiny, pair of Addi's shoes...a kind for dress-up. Addi has gigantic feet, so I just tried to slip them on and Mike knew he'd be carrying around another 30 pounds all night. (And she's not a calm 30 lbs...she's a quick and sneaky 30 lbs.)
When we get down to Will Call to get the tickets, the nice older gentlemen ask to see my bag. He said "Is there just a camera in there?" I said yes and tried to just blow by to get the tickets. He asked to see inside. Then I get "Oh no, no...you cannot take this inside." I of course furrow my eyebrows in disbelief, I said "Why not?" The older man said "they do not allow professional camera's inside." Seriously? I of course said "This is NOT a professional camera" and he looks at me like I'm a drug smuggler, "I'm sorry...but this IS a professional camera, ma'am! I can either escort you upstairs to our Customer Service desk, or you can take it back to your car."
Now...here's the thing. What do they think I'm going to take pictures of? If it's a flash issue...no problem! I've been to many places and museums where I couldn't take pictures with a flash. I understand that request. Are you telling me that I can't take pictures of the Harlem Globetrotters but I can take 300 pictures inside the Vatican? What do they think I'm there for? I want picture of my kids!...not the stupid clowns playing basketball. I figure pictures will prove that we once DID have a cool FHE...once. The pictures of Cori playing in her last game are a million times more valuable than pictures of the Globetrotters. SERIOUSLY! Standing there with my four kids...one of which is flopping around in sparkly pink princess flippers...do I look like trouble?
Mike said he would run the camera back to the car. The girls sat on the bench behind me as I walked up to Will Call. They handed me a rather small envelope. I sign for the charge and sit back down. I looked inside and...one ticket? It has a row and seat number... hum? I walk up to the booth and ask "I purchased the family 6-pack...does this ticket just mean there are 6 seats on this row?" and I get "No ma'am. You need to purchase 6 of the family 6-pack tickets...sorry, it happens a lot. I can get you more seats...it will be $84 for all six." Ha! Ya right!
So there I am...sitting...wait for Mike to come in from the freezing cold...wondering how I will explain myself. He walks in and sits down. Do I let him thaw? "Hey...we have a problem." He looks at me, not too surprised, almost like it's not a surprise at all. I explain the tickets. He asked if we should just go ahead and buy the rest. Heck no! I said we can go see a new movie for less. We walk back out to the car. Thanks to the invention of the iPhone, I find the Clark Planetarium has a cartoon 3D space movie.
I've taken the kids there...and they absolutely LOVE the Planetarium. We leave our 20 minutes of parking for $5, and drive two blocks to the Planetarium. We walk through the parking garage door, up the staircase, and into the back of the main lobby. I see the place to buy the movie ticket...no one is there.
I find an employee who tells me there are no movies 'like that' tonight. Great! Nobody told the iPhone that info. He leaves and comes back with a slip of paper. I did notice it seemed really slow...especially for a Monday night.
The slip of paper gave a rundown of the evenings events. A Under the Sea 3D Family Adventure show and a Saturn show in the Dome Theater. I asked where we get tickets. He said to just walk in the theatre...tonight it's all free. Wow!


We herd ourselves into the IMAX theatre, get 3D glasses and sit down. The theatre is maybe half full. The Director of the Planetarium comes to the front and introduces himself. He welcomed us to the first showing of this educational documentary from IMAX the first one they've done in quite a few years. The show doesn't open until Friday...so he says we are the first to ever see it. He thanked us for coming...this is when I started to worry...then mentioned how excited he was to do this Utah State Legislator Family Night. He ask the Planetarium Board of Directors to stand...we clapped...then he asked the State Legislator's to stand...again, clapping. I look at Mike with my big bulging eyes. Hum...was the garage door we came in supposed to be locked? Sure enough, all the men in the room over 30 were dressed in nice suits and ties. I guess it's good that Mike looks like he's an overgrown teenager.
The movie was GREAT! Even Sophie loved it...and kept reaching out to touch everything.
Sure enough...it was all FREE! last night...and it wasn't crowded.
We enjoyed the Museum then went into the Dome Theatre for the new release of Saturn: Jewel of the Heavens...which opens later this month.


As we are waiting for the show, a nice older gentleman behind us strikes up a conversation with Cori. Nice older man named...Senator Jake Garn. He tells Cori and Addi about his trip aboard the space shuttle Discovery. He tells them how many times he orbited the earth...how many sunsets and sunrises he saw...the speed he was going...etc. As he's talking to the girls I talk with his wife. She tells me about the astronauts they have over for dinners and events, their home in Nevada...girly stuff. He told the girls about the next shuttle launch this May, his shuttle launch and what to expect. He said he still cries when he watches a launch. "So sorry if you see me cry tonight." He also asked Cori if she would fly in space someday?...she got her cute shy look, tilted her head to the side and said "I dunno? maybe!"
Then the Planetarium Director came in and we get all the info on this new show from the Planetarium. I leaned over the Cori and whisper "Someday...you will be sitting in science class...and you will realize the importance of the man you were talking to." She just smiles with raised eyebrows..."Wow!" she whispered back.
The Saturn show was really cool. Besides the nausea and near vomiting I had at the end. My motion sickness really sucks in that Dome Theatre...I'd be a lousy astronaut.
When we left the Parking Garage we paid a difference of $1 from our validated parking pass. I dare say it was a $1 well spent.

So there it is...how a night of disaster and wasted money can become one of the most fun and educational nights of our lives.

Globetrotters, Globe-shmott-ers! Phw!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Make no excuses, have no regrets...own it.

It has probably been one of the longest weeks of my life thus far.
I appreciate all the words of encouragement and support I received last week. I'm so grateful for this outlet I have to express my thoughts through writing. It feels so therapeutic, and I somehow feel that once I've written it...I can move on and let go.
I really believe that playing team sports has helped me with many of my life's situation. I think that there is something to be said for "there is no 'I' in team" and "go hard or go home". These type of phrases have stuck with me and have helped me in many ways. One of my favorites is "No Regrets". This has meant the most to me in my life and the crazy situations I've faced.
I'm not a believer in the "No Regrets" that encompasses the "no apologies" philosophy, but I think you have to try the very best you can, and not look back in regret. In basketball, we were told to play with no regrets. That meant to give everything we had...you don't want to look back at a game and wish you had given it more, or done things better. I have made a ton of mistakes in my life, decisions that I am not proud of. And while the consequences have been hard and often extremely painful, I wouldn't be who I am today without those experiences. There cannot be rainbows without rain.
There is little in this world that bothers me more than people not owning their actions. As adults, we decide what we do, or don't do...what we say, or don't say. At a certain point...our decisions are ours. No matter what someone else did to us or say to us... what we choose is our own choice. There can be no blame, or excuses...we have to own it. Step up, and take responsibility.

I drove home through insane weather and got home early this morning (1:00am) from spending the weekend with my sisters in Moab. It was ironic that everything with Cori went down right before leaving.
Moab is my idea of serenity. Clean air, amazing trails, quiet sounds of nature...away from anything stressful in my 'rat race' of life, and enjoying some of God's most incredible and breathtaking creations. Since my first trip to Moab, I've known that God is an artist. His palette is this earth, and I'm so glad I can enjoy his masterpieces.
The morning I left, I wrote a letter to Cori's principal. Of course, I was still very passionate about the situation (although I'm pretty passionate about most things I feel) I got Cori' heartbreaking letter, finished my blog, and then wrote the letter to her Principal. I was frustrated that there had been no progress in the meetings with the teacher and I didn't know what other avenues to pursue.
Mike and I had discussed the decision of removing her from the program if things didn't get better...but I think her letter was the tipping point, so I expressed our position in my letter. I really thought there might be progress and we could move on with a better understanding of each other and meet somewhere in the middle.
Tipping Point: The tipping point is the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development.
On Thursday, after meeting with her teacher twice and the principal once...Cori was still failing Language. It was now one full month into the quarter and only one of her assignments had been entered into the computer correctly. Have it be her Aide or her...Cori was working her tail off, and her work was lost somewhere in the shuffle. Her problem with turning in her homework was corrected, but her grades were not reflecting it. Cori would cry i hopes that she wouldn't have to do work over again (like 6 page Grammar packets that took her over an hour to complete) I knew this either needed to be corrected, or she needed to be removed from the situation. So...that's what the letter said. I figured there would be more discussion before the decision was made and was mentally preparing myself.
I was excited to go on this trip with my best friends. I could get my mind off things and relax. Since I cried to the Principal, cried to Mike and barely held it together in front of her teacher...I figured some time away would let me 'pull it together'. I'm not a person who cries. I had cried at least once a day since Monday...ridiculous!!!
On my drive...somewhere between Soldier Summit and Green River...I received a phone call. We exchanged 'hello's' and the voice simply said "Cori will be placed in a different class on Monday." I was a bit surprised and said, "Okay...thanks." There was a 'your welcome' and that was that! Very short, blunt, without emotion and to the point.
For the rest of the drive I ran through the last week in my mind. I thought about Cori, and how she would feel. I second-guessed EVERYTHING I had said, typed or thought.
I really didn't want to be seen as the 'over-protective, crazy woman' who comes to the school and makes a big deal out of everything. And I certainly didn't want Cori to suffer any repercussions of my craziness. I didn't think I deserved an apology, partly because it's only words, I just wanted the correct scores on assignments, and assignments found that had been turned in. I wanted some type of communication if my child was failing a subject so I could help her improve and learn without a gut-wrenching report card. I think that seeing an 'N' on a report card should not be the first time I am made aware of a problem. And while I can move on from last quarter...the failing grade continued this quarter was not correct, and her lack of organization was not fair to Cori and all her hard work.
Fifteen minutes after the call...my stomach ached, my head hurt...but I had only shed two tears. (It's a good thing people were around or it might have been a ton more!) That night I cried...the next day I tried not to think about it. Again, that night I cried, and sure enough...the next night I cried again. I was fine until I laid down at night, nobody was around and my mind wouldn't let it go. I think I have cried more in one week than I have in two or three years combined... HONESTLY!
Before I was a parent, I could make decisions and move forward. What's done was done...and it would work out. I think that now I worry about screwing up my kids. Well, I KNOW I will screw them up...it's just a matter of how badly...and will they forgive me for it?
During our five mile hike yesterday, my sisters and I did a lot of talking. Two of us like to take risks, and aren't afraid of heights...and one of us plays it safer. We were discussing why we were different. I mentioned how I am much more calmer than I used to be.
Mike and I met in Moab, and I always freescaled. That means I would scale up rocks and climb major heights without ropes or equipment. Granted, there were some close calls, but I was the first up the mountain. I love adrenaline!
Since having children, I am smarter about not dying. I'm still not as careful as I should be, but I'm much better than before.
I told my sister that I think I'm that way because I have to live with "no regrets". I think the worst thing is to look back at a moment or opportunity and wish you had done something else. I know that if I don't do certain things...I will always wish that I had. Like two years ago at Flaming Gorge, when I had to swing off a high cliff on a rope swing. (You can see lots of You Tube videos of young boys doing it) Mike's smart enough not to...but me? Not so much. So instead I hit the water and get the air knocked out of me. If I hadn't kept my life vest on, I wouldn't have come back up to the surface. Yep...not the smartest!
Tombstone: Wife and Mother...who died jumping off a cliff, just because..."sorry kids"
Anyways...to make my point...
I checked Powerschool this morning, and as luck would have it?...Cori had credit for all her work. Straight A's and 101% in Language. While I am happy that things were fixed. I am more happy that Cori will get to see that! She needs to see it more than anyone! But now it was too late. I couldn't walk in and beg to have her stay in the class. Decisions were made, and for whatever reasons... it was better to have her leave the class than to correct things or ensure change.
I walked into the school this morning and the Principal greeted us with the information of Cori's new teacher. Cori wrote a letter to the teacher she was leaving, telling her how much she loved her and her class. The only request I asked the Principal was that I "just want Cori's correct grades to transfer, so she doesn't start out behind." To which I was told didn't matter...the grades are erased. Then I thanked him for his help and his understanding.
I could feel his frustration and the tension was thick. And while I received some feelings other than 'warm fuzzies', I don't think Cori had a clue. In fact, on the way to school she told me the teacher she wanted...and as fate had it...that's who she's with now. Maybe the Lord knew she needed something extra in her favor.
Just like every pivotal decision I've had to make...I feel I tried my best to help Cori's situation, and I feel reassured that everything will work out. I can say that things didn't work out how I had expected. But I did what I needed for Cori, and things played out that way. I don't feel I asked for anything that Cori didn't deserve.
Mike and I had some reservations with this Spanish Program for various reasons. When it came time to make the decision of whether or not to put Lexi in...I felt strongly that it wasn't the best thing for her. I let her make the choice, and was relieved when she wasn't interested. Most of the families I know have placed other children in the program if one of their children are in already. I felt funny explaining why Cori was in and Lexi wasn't. Now I think it's a blessing.
I have learned a lot in the past 7 days. And while I have looked to some friends and family for advise and reassurance, it's an internal battle I have to stop fighting. It is over. I have to stick with my philosophy...no tears, no whining, no looking back, no excuses, and certainly NO REGRETS.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Apology Letter

Dear Blog,

I am so sorry it has been such a long time. I have been very overwhelmed with life. I'm not sure why I have had a hard time, but I'm struggling.

Camp is in full swing. It is so much fun, but my mind seems to be mushy. I can be creative, but when I try and make myself be creative...as in "be creative RIGHT NOW!" it doesn't work that well. We have decided on the Stake Girls Camp Theme this year. (no, I won't tell) And we have set dates for meetings, firesides, clinics, trainings, and anything else imaginable. Ward camp directors and assistants should be called. Our committee is almost gathered, and I'm excited to see the dynamics of our group! Last year was so amazing and I know it will be different, but I'm sure equally as fun.
There is, of course, already drama. Maybe it's just the case when that many women are involved.
I've decided that maybe I have a curse...no lie! It seems that most of the drama lately is somehow connected to me. Even if I am not involved...I am somehow tied to the situation. Argh!

I was a bit 'enlightened' with the situation from last year. (polka-dot bras, moons, posters, parents, madness!) And truthfully it has put many feelings to rest. It is always difficult to know people close to you have been hurtful...especially when they aren't that way to your face, and seem like good people. Not that they're not 'good' people. But I lose a lot of respect for people who are so judgmental...and self-righteous...and can't be 'adult' enough to own up to what they say, think, feel, or write. I mostly feel sorry for the children of such individuals. I was raised in a 'perfect Mormon family' and boy did we look good at church. What went on behind closed doors is what people didn't know, and the real family I had was scary. I hope the girl/girls involved are allowed to go back to camp...I'm pretty sure she/they will be back. The funny thing is that the girl/girls were just fine. It was a concern for future campers. Here's hoping I can get through the week without the judgment of the 'perfect' parents. I intend to corrupt their daughter/daughters one summer at a time! Hee hee!
With that said...it does feel a bit better knowing. Speculating was very daunting, and way too time consuming. It also answers other unfriendly behavior over the last 6 months. I guess it also helps me sensor what I say in front of...oh wait...me? sensor?...I guess that won't happen!

On an even worse note...I have also been up to my elbows in school crap! If you ever want to really piss me off...just mess with one of my kids. I think that along with childbirth...Mothers get a serious internal rage of protection. I would die for my kids, that's a given. Well...I would also drop-kick a teacher across the room for my kids as well!
As an adult...I can honestly say that there have been few instances where I have felt like physically assaulting another person. (I guess I figure that's what I married Mike to do) Over the past few weeks I have cried, which is not common, and I have yelled, maybe a bit more common, and I am ready to take off the gloves and tell her to "pray for mercy"!


I must say that I absolutely adore most Teachers. I have never had a bad experience with one of my kids teachers'. I think that, next to Motherhood, it would be the most difficult job. They are under appreciated and under paid! I have lucked out to have such great people teaching my kids. With all that said...I have considered serious violent acts in the last two weeks. It will be hard to express myself without explicits.

My sweet Cori is a very sharp kid. She is the clone of her father. She is smart and works hard to be so. She wants to do everything perfectly, and wants to make everyone happy. She is a sweet little nine-year-old and she LOVES school. She loves learning and always has.
When we opened her report card, it was a moment of shock! She was failing Launguage. Not just failing...46%. I jumped on Powerschool (which had nothing recorded is of Jan 1st) Cori was missing homework. Quite a few assignments. She said she had done them, just forgot to turn them in. She opened her backpack...sure enough...EVERY ASSIGNMENT! We had a long discussion about the importance of getting credit for the hard work.
I spoke with her teacher, obviously concerned with the lack of communication. She had 100% in Language first quarter. To receive a 46% in the second quarter is quite a drop. Significant enough to want some notification. I could have helped her before the final grade.
Talking to her teacher was like talking to a wall. In summary...she lied about trying to contact me. Blamed things on Cori. I gave her all the missing assignments and the two assignments she hadn't turned in this quarter. She would grade them, she cannot change last quarter grades, but the newer assignments she would get in the system. She said she would write missing assigments in Cori's HAWKS binder on Friday's.
Last Friday...NOTHING.
The principal assured me he would talk with her.
She called and told me that she wanted to meet prior to Parent-Teacher Conference to address my issues.
As of today...Cori is still failing this quarter. Her teacher claims to have graded her work...but no points are in the computer. She has no points for the assignments that I PERSONALLY handed to her two weeks ago. She claims Cori didn't take her weekly spelling test two weeks ago. Why? She has no idea! She wasn't absent...and her repeated response "Hum, that concerns me". What the hell does that mean?? How does that help the situation.
Why would she not have taken the test?...I'm not sure.
Where is her homework?...I'm not sure.
Well, I know she turned it in...I was here last Friday 15 minutes before class got out. She marked it off on your clipboard...I know, that's why I'm concerned. I don't get any answers...just excuses. I came the closest to losing it when she said how "hard it was to give Cori an 'N'". (which is what they give instead of an F in third grade) She said "I just love Cori".
As for this quarter...she ended up blaming it on her Aide. Supposedly the aide must not have put her scores in the computer. I simply responded "Well, what can I do about that?" She of course said "I know...can you see why I'm concerned?" She even suggested the Aide might have taken Cori's work home with her. WHAT?!
You would think she wanted me to hit her!
Meanwhile...my weekly check of Cori's grades is killing her! She is becoming more and more frustrated. I can't help her. I don't know what else to do. I can no longer punish her...because she is not getting credit for the things I know she turned in...and the assignments I turned in.
WHEW!!!

This is what I got from her tonight before bed...



Now, what Mom would not be upset?

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I go back to the principal?...pull her out of the class?...pull her out of the school? (Charter schools are looking pretty good right now)... try to survive the year?...send my kids to daycare so I can attend third grade with my child?...
I'm ready to have her teacher "meet me at the flagpole after school" That's where all the big fights at Orem Elementary went down. She's a big gal...but I'm sure I can take her.


I promise to write more often. I miss you, my dear blog...and think about you often.

XOXOXOXOXOX