Sunday, November 16, 2014

Skydiving and then some

I made it. 
I survived skydiving. 

Then again, I wasn’t nervous or scared about it at all. It went by so quickly. Well, the jumping out of the plane and the free fall went by quickly. The sailing down was no different than paragliding. My pilot was a grizzled old Vietnam vet who trains people at the Navy Academy. He was close to 2 feet shorter than me. I was bummed because I thought I would get someone closer to my height. Anyway, he had no patience and when he was fitting me in my harness, he kept slapping my hands away when I checked the strap. It made me laugh a little bit. I’ve climbed many, many times, and that’s just what you do, you double check your harness. Anyway, he cinched me SO TIGHT, I waddled when I walked. Now, as if that wasn’t enough, he kept yanking and tightening us together once we were in the plane. That is a good thing, right? Well, I looked at the other people in the plane and their pilots weren't doing anything other than clipping on. Needless to say, I was really, really squished. I am definitely going diving again though. It was cool. What makes me go “hum” is, I get more nervous and panicked when I scuba than I did skydiving. 

I don't know why we HAVE TO sign this. 

This plane takes 2 tandem jumpers at a time. 
Our plane held 5 tandem jumpers.

We were just so excited, we couldn't stand it.

Here we are practicing.

Here is my pilot. I'm surprised he wasn't swatting 
my hand DURING the picture.

If you ever wondered what he did in the off season.....

Dawn, ya, she got someone her own size.

We are so stinkin' cute.

I put my life in the hands of that little backpack right there.
Yep, that's it. That itty, bitty, pack.

O Speaks
The following are from phone conversations I've had with O.

Unintelligible wailing, something about a shower and then more wailing. "Dad isn’t acting like a Dad, it’s like he doesn’t have any kids. He’s making me take a shower.  I don’t want to take a shower in the morning. I want to take it at night, but daddy is making me take it in the morning."

"Dad owes me $4.95 and he won’t give it to me. He owes me $4.95, I polished his best shoes and he only gave me a compliment. He owes me $4.95."

Boob Talk
O was having a rough night and throwing a fit about brushing her teeth. We told her she needed to go into the bathroom to brush her teeth and she couldn’t brush them in our bedroom. She stomped past me, in the bedroom, and reached out and grabbed my boob. 

The boob note I added to my last post is also my desktop. 

Well, O had a friend over. They wanted to listen to some music on Spotify, so O woke up my computer and HELLO BOOB SIGN. Her poor friend was quite disturbed. I felt so horrible, I told her Mom and apologized. (Her daughter was seriously upset.) Fortunately, her Mom is a good friend of mine and she just laughed at it. What a relief. I don’t know how most people feel about boob talk with their children.

Another person who saw this was my Dad. Once I noticed my desktop was open, I closed it as quickly as I could. I was embarrassed he had seen it.

O - “Mom, I’m going to miss you.”
Me - “I’m going to miss you too. I won’t have anyone squeezing my boobs until I get back on Saturday.”

On the Nightstand
Well, I finished the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. The plot is different than Hunger Games, but the same messages are present. The “Hero” is forced into killing people they don’t want to kill.  The internal struggle of the “Hero” to make sense of what they did and how they are going to live their life post the traumatic events. I liked that, even though it is young adult fiction, it didn’t have a cheesy, everything ends up happy ending. It was more realistic than the lovers can be together after all, or everybody ends up alive and happy. If O chooses to read it as a teenager, I think we could have some interesting conversations. 

The Hound of Rowan , by Henry H. Neff
I decided to start another book I took from my nephews stash this summer. They were at my Mum’s house, so they were fair game. This one has potential. 

One of the really cool things I get to do with my 5th graders is something called, Team Time. Twice a month, I get each class for 30 minutes and I am suppose to teach them a lesson on a monthly topic given to me by the guidance counselors. WELL, I decided to take the time to get know them this past Team Time. SO, I took them outside to play games and, yes…. we did, Dum-Dum-Da-Da. :) It was hilarious watching them try to figure it out and keep up. Oh my gosh, I don’t know if it was more entertaining for them or me. 

Recently, I went with a class to the Chesapeake Bay for field work. We rode on a boat and harvested oyster shells. Yay/Ew. A teacher wanted to keep some shells to put on a doc panel in the hallway. Okay! and Okay? We brought them home in a ziploc bag. I left it open and on my desk when we returned. I wasn’t at school the following day because I was suppose to skydiving. Anyway, when I came to my desk on Monday, I saw the bag and, it didn’t stink! YAY!!!  I picked it up and then… the stench…oh, the smell. It almost knocked me over. It was SO BAD.  I put water and soap in the bag and let it sit in the staff bathroom for the day. I laughed to myself wondering what others thought when they were in there. :) Well, since I knew the smell was toxic and I didn’t want it spilling in my car, I held the bag the ENTIRE drive home. I opened the bag and put it in the sink. This was Monday, I didn’t get to scrubbing them until Tuesday night. I set them on cloths to dry and left the room. I came back and OH THE STENCH! NO!!! Scrubbing didn’t help, so I just put them in the garage. It will be interesting to see what the teachers have to say.

At the last meeting, one of the regulars made some comments, not about me, but they reminded me that I am not only the facilitator, I am also meant to be a resource and a leader. I know with more of my energy being directed toward taking care of my Mum, I have not put as much energy into my role of the group. I don’t want it to fail. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy November

This statement doesn't have anything to do with the rest of this post, but I'm so excited about it, I wanted to share it first.

I'm going skydiving this Friday. 

Okay, now I can move on.

I have a lot of stray quotes and conversations I want to share. Carry on and enjoy, if you'd like. (Oh, and I didn't proofread, again.)

O has been obsessed with Harry Potter for quite some time now. For her birthday, she received a Hermonie Granger wand. She loves it. Unfortunately, she misplaced it the week of Halloween, but, fortunately, her aunt had made some wands for a Harry Potter themed birthday party. These pictures are from a trip LT took with her to a Harry Potter Festival on the Eastern Shore. 

Watch out for the Whomping Willow

On the way to Hogwarts.

On Halloween's Eve, Monarch Academy had a reading night and students were invited to dress up as their favorite literary character. 

Hermoine found Harry

O Speaks
O - "DAAAAAAD, I HATE bacon!!"
L - "Who hates bacon? Where did you come from?"
O - "The hate bacon planet."

O and A playing with the prince and princess.

O - "I love you!"
A - "I love you more!"
O - "But, you're married to Belle."
A - "But, I love you more."

O - "Hey Mom, I actually like your outfit. You look like you actually have a job."


"Sometimes, when I want to shake up things in my life, I try to come to a full stop at stop signs." Genny Busch.

Boob Talk
After a girls night.
LT - "What did you guys talk about?" 
M - "Everything."
LT - "Did you talk about boobs?"
M - "No, we didn't talk about boobs."
LT - "Well, that's not everything."

This note could have been written for me.

M - "I love my boobs, they're perfect, and your boobs will be too. If they're not, we'll just cut them off and they'll grow back."
O - "Mom, boobs aren't like teeth."

M - "I know someone who's pregnant."
O - "Who?"
LT - "It's me."
O - "Daaaaad! I know it's not you Mom, you'd freak out."
LT - "Me too."
M - "That's right, I'd yell, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" I turned to LT and said,"I told you to get snipped, it's your fault."
O - confused comments and then, "It's a good thing you guys don't do the special hug!"
M - "Yep, that's right, You only do it to have children."
My poor kid is going to be so messed up.

The 5th grade TA quit and now I am the 5th grade TA. The teachers I work with are nice. It's an adjustment being with the older kids. I do like the sweetness of the Kindergarteners and 1st graders. The older kids are....different. 

One nice thing about being a full time TA is, I don't have to do any more one-on-ones. I called them my "near death experiences."  I hated them. UGH!!!! They where horrible. One of the last ones I had was with two boys in the 8th grade. I was grossed out by so many, many things and by the end of the day, I was crawling out of my skin. I had to keep putting my head in my hands to deal with it. The last class threw me over the edge. One guy, not one of my guys, popped a pimple in the middle of class. It was an obvious, two-handed effort. I gagged. GROSS!!! 

Instead of dealing with one-on-ons, I get to have interactions like this. Some students were being really chatty and rude during a math class, so I announced, "I had a lot of garlic in my dinner last night. If you don't listen, I'll come over and breathe on you." Later, in the same class, one of the students asked me if I'd ever been to ...... I told him no and he said, "they have a great garlic sauce."

On the Nightstand
The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
This is the same author who wrote The Hunger Games and I wanted to see what else she wrote. I'm on the 5th book and I started about a month ago. It's fun young adult fiction. If O chooses to read it in the future, I won't have any concerns. 

Yardsticks, Children in the classroom ages 4-14 by Chip Wood
I had some questions about how to interact with and have appropriate expectations for 5th graders, so one of the Staff Instructors, I don't remember what they are called at MA, chatted with me for a bit and suggested I look through this book. So far, I've found it pretty interesting.

The Price We Paid, by Andrew D. Olsen
This book is in the queue, but I'm not sure how long it will take me to get to it. My neighbor wrote it. Well, I know his little brother more than I know him, but still, there's a neighbor connection. 

Well, That's Just Embarrassing 
I was talking with Judy Davis, a spunky a spry friend of mine and she said, "I'm 73 years old."
My shocked response was, "No way, my Mum died when she was 73!"
Judy - "Gee, thanks a lot."
M - "Oops, sorry."

Q & A with O

What was your favorite part of Halloween?
Dressing as Hermoine Granger

Who is your latest crush?
Uhhhhhhh, no one!

Who is your BFF?

What do you like about 2nd grade?
That we get to learn about times.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Eh, being a wizard... I mean a witch. I would learn like Hermoine did and go in her footsteps.