MIR: The Good, The WTF, and The Alt-Good. Welcome to Life, 2017-Style. It's Been A While.....Time to Catch Up.

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It’s been some time since I’ve blogged. Over a month, actually. Why? You could say that life has gotten in my way. Or, more specifically, work.

So. Much. Work.

Report card time can be stressful when you service, IDK, about 60ish students, I am learning. Also, dedicating a week-plus to writing up a detailed report on every kid’s progress to the detriment of sleep, family time, and at times, my sanity, has, plainly, sucked. Plus, after finishing all 60 reports, I then had to enter another round of student observational data, or risk falling behind on that. Because you know, after writing 60 reports, writing 47 more narratives is exactly the kind of wind-down activity I long for.

Yeah. It’s been a rough life, these last few weeks.

WTF, USA?

Additionally, so much has been going on in a political sense over the last two fortnights, I legit wondered if it was possible that the United States of America was getting Punk’d. I’m still holding onto a shred of hope that our current President Tangerine TwitWit will pull off his orange mask at a press conference and reveal a hysterically laughing Ashton Kutcher…. maybe even holding a roll of Mentos candies, like in that Foo Fighters video from the 1990s.


A classic from my angsty teenage years, released the year I graduated high school. Good stuff right here.

Unfortunately by now, I presume that if the last month in government was a literal joke rather than an inferential one, Ashton Kutcher would have to be a sadist to “Punk” us for this long. Honestly, the joke would be no longer funny by this point. And that’s #realtalk.

Surprise, bitchez! I wish.

So, that means….. all that has happened over the last 30 days is….. reality. My country’s actual reality. Reality that will continue to be the “norm” for the next 47 GD, holy hell, WTF, FML, head-shaking, brain-burning, nausea-inducing months ahead. Part of me wants to just pack my family and some essentials into our Volvo and head north, specifically straight into the chiseled, eloquent, empathetic, woke, swoon-worthy arms of one Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Swoon. Yup, I said it twice.

 Can I trade the one on the left for the one on the right? PLEEEEASE??

But more on America: The Hot Mess, later.

Being that this is my first personal post in quite some time, instead of a Week In Review, I decided to do a jumbo-sized deluxe-model Month in Review. There will be 5 highlights followed by 5 lowlights, rather than the usual 3 and 3. Hope you enjoy!

Highlights: Jan 19-Feb 19, 2017

  1. S10 took first place in her school’s PTA Reflections contest!
S10 with her accolades at the Reflections Awards.

The Reflections contest celebrates children’s contributions to the arts in various categories including photography, art, music, dance, and writing. This year, S10 wrote a fantastic original story centered around the theme, “What Is Your Story?”

The result of S10’s hard work and efforts? First place in her division, and she was even asked to read the first page of her story to the audience the night the awards were given out. Twas a proud Mama moment for me that night, yes indeedy.

2. S2 received her first ever report card!
S2 is one of the youngest toddlers in the two-plus class at her preschool, yet she still kicked milestone butt. S2 received GA (Goals Achieved) or GP (Goals in Progress) in all but 4 areas! Her 4 W (Working On Skills) areas were:

“I can hop on one foot.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her do this, so perhaps she was just refusing to do it for her teacher at school? IDK. This is not a make or break skill in my mind, as I’m sure it will come, eventually.

“I can complete 6-8 piece puzzles without help.”

S2 is now the Puzzle Masta.

As soon as I read the above, I immediately ordered a set of 4, 6, 8, and 12 piece puzzles from Amazon Prime and in about a week, S2 had mastered the 4, 6, and 8 piece puzzles. Rather than master the 12 piece, however, S2 lately prefers S10’s old 24 jumbo piece puzzles, one of which she can now complete on her own. So I’m thinking by the next report card in June, she will most likely be in the “goals achieved” camp regarding this particular skill area.

The other two Ws were in these areas:

“I am potty trained.”
“I show interest in using the potty.”

Sigh. No argument there. Baby girl DNGAF about anything potty-related. Hoping that will change soon.

On a positive note, S2 knows her numbers to 12, some letters, her colors, and her shapes. I was also very pleasantly surprised that she was marked as progressing toward goals in both sharing and listening!

I’m pretty confident that S2 will achieve all of the age two-plus goals by June. Well, except maybe the potty-training ones. But all the rest, she’s got those, I know she does. 🙂

3. S10 made All-County Chorus!
I am amazed at all my girl has achieved this year. The Reflections contest win, making the Odyssey of the Mind team for the second consecutive year (of which only 7 kids in grades 3-5 are chosen), and now, this! Only 4 kids were chosen to represent her school at the All-County music festival, and S10 claims about 20 total kids tried out. S10 is truly a Girl On Fire this year, and in three of my favorite educational areas: the arts, academics, and music. Woohoo!

Fonduuuuuue. Yum.

4. A Happy Pre-Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day fell on a Tuesday this year, and ain’t nobody got time for romance on a Tuesday in this here house with two young kids to take care of. So instead, my very generous mother-in-law, along with my father, offered to take both little ladies overnight the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, so that Mike and I could have some quality, kid-free, husband-wife time. It was an offer that Mike and I certainly couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t refuse!

Mike and I ending up having quite a lovely evening! He bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and we ate like royalty at The Melting Pot, a restaurant that specializes in fondue. We ordered: cheese fondue with veggies and artisanal meats, salad, a main course of brothy-oil-like fondue with a mixed selection of meats, and for dessert, chocolate fondue with fruits and pastries. Holy food!

Yay for a night out!

Unfortunately, after the main course, I was so damn full that we ended up getting a raincheck for the chocolate dessert course. Once we arrived back home, we both then fell into a deep meat coma. You know you ate well when that occurs. You also know that you are …..well….. old. Ha. Party all night? Not anymore. 11 pm, and we were out for the count. We are so 40 years old.

Buh-Bye!!

5. BIG BIG NEWS….. S2….. IS….. PACIFIER FREE!!
I still cannot believe it. I thought it would never happen, as S2 LOVED that stupid baby cigar. However the moment I read on S2’s report card about S2’s slight lisp, and that said lisp is a common issue that her teacher sees with pacifier-lovin’ kids, I decided the time had come to wean. I had promised myself that I’d be cool with the paci so long as it didn’t mess with S2’s teeth or speech. The moment one of those areas became affected, it would be adios, binky. Problem was, I had NO IDEA how to do this gently.

Enter S2’s preschool teacher, The Paci Whisperer.

Her teacher offered to first take S2 down to the infant room, visit the babies, and talk to her about how babies need pacifiers while big girls do not. The following day, she asked S2 if she would like to give her pacifiers to the babies because the babies really need them to help them stop crying.

Total. Effing. Brilliance.

S2 loves to help, and happily gave the babies her pacifiers. She did ask for her paci on the ride home from school that day as well as at bedtime, but I just had to remind her about giving her pacis to the babies at school. The following day, she didn’t ask for a paci at all, and she hasn’t asked for one since.

Tough as nails, this one.

S2’s preschool teacher ROCKS. I nominated her for Employee of the Month due to her amazing weaning skillz, and I hope to hell she gets it. I’m also in awe of S2, who got over what I thought was an intense addiction in just one measly day. It took me 17 years to quit smoking, for eff’s sake! Kids are no joke. I’m incredibly proud of my baby girl. Such resilience. She is bad ass.

Lowlights: Jan 19-Feb 19, 2017

1. Work Overload.
I pretty much covered this earlier, but I am SO incredibly happy to be done with all that progress report/data entry work. It was absolute insanity. I feel so much freer now! Until the end of March/Early April, when the third quarter ends and I get to do it all. over. again. I’m trying not to think about that right now, however, and just enjoy the current moment.


Damn effing straight. For not enough money, too.

She looks so peaceful, but getting to this point is quite the battle.

2. Sleep Strike: Toddler Edition
So, apparently there is a psuedo-sleep regression at age 2.5 that I never knew about. My Wonder Weeks app ended at 18 months, and with it, my ability to predict future baby sleep issues. Man, that timeline was super helpful. I miss it.

S2 still sleeps through the night, its not that. Its that it now takes her FOREVER to fall asleep. Some nights it takes an hour. Other nights, two. Even naps are a struggle at times. Some nights S10 actually falls asleep before S2, though her bedtime is 2 hours later. Last night, S2 actually fell asleep right away. Hurray! Wait-not so fast. She also refused to nap yesterday afternoon, so there was a trade off. For realz, toddler sleep is like playing roulette. The odds are stacked against you such that you probably wont win big tonight. Or, most likely, any GD night. Sigh.

A visual representation of our current elected “representatives.”

3. Hello Government? You Suck.
Good gravy. The current executive and legislative branches of the United States government is like a combination of the House of Slytherin, the Capitol of Panem, the Inner Party of Oceania, and the Volturi coven all rolled into one big steaming POS. Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.” 45’s whiny tweets regarding his fragile wittle ego. Ties with Russia. Pissing off China. Literally inventing terror attacks that never occurred. The phrase, “fake news.” The laughingly unqualified Cabinet picks, with terrifyingly near-unanimous GOP Senate support for said picks. For realz, every time I open Facebook, I’m legit afraid of what I’ll read about next.

Yet…. I’m sure that 95% of the sheep Republicans and do-nothing Democrats in Congress will get re-elected in 2018 and 2020. Which is possibly the most frustrating reality of all.

My life for the past many weeks.

4. The Never Ending Sickness of 2017.
These first two months of 2017, I have been sick more often than over the last 5 years of my life. Either I’m getting feeble in my old age, or some kind of mutant germ is permeating my and my family’s surroundings. It started with S10 getting sick with a stomach thing for a couple of days. Then Mike caught her bug which lasted a week for him, because men. Then S2 had some iffy diapers, so she was sequestered to the homestead for a few days. By this point, I figured since I’d made it this far, along with my boss level immunity, I was in the clear.

#Nope.

Friday night, lets just say that I revisited my college years, without the preceding good times. Only once, though, and after a healing 2 hour nap, I was fine once again. Yep, I was sick for a total of 5 hours. I then figured that since we’ve all had a turn with the sickness, my family was now FINALLY in the clear.

#Nope.

The following week, S10 started coughing and just looking terrible. She also lost her voice (which yes, I did take advantage of haha. It was nice to be able to give orders without fear of an argumentative reply). She ended up quarantined at home for yet another 4 days. Soon after that, S2 started pulling on her ear, warranting a doctor visit. Diagnosis? Ear infection. Mike has been coughing since December, so for him nothing really had changed. However for me, over last 10 days, I have had various bouts of sinus pressure, a runny nose, and a cough. So much for my boss level immunity. Sheesh.

5. Betsy “Broomstick” DeVos is the new US Secretary of Education.
Let me just start off by saying I was NOT a fan of previous EdSecs Arne Duncan or shudder John B. King, Jr. In fact, I thought both were terrible choices and I wasn’t pleased with Obama for either pick. FFS, I live in NY, where King was the Regents Chancellor for YEARS. King LOVED standardized testing so much I thought both he and Governor Cuomo wrapped their naked bodies in Scantrons and rolled around in bed like that at night for pleasure. Barf. I truly didn’t think there could possibly be a worse pic for EdSec.

Could it be worse? Enter Trump. “Hold my beer.”

Yes, it could. The USA now has an EdSec that has never worked in education, in any capacity. She is, what rich people label, a “philanthropist.” WTF does that even mean?  By using my context clues, it sounds like “a person who throws money around so people will do whatever he/she wants.” Which is pretty much the way our government works now, amirite? cough, cough, oligarchy cough.

Evil: The Visual.

Seriously. As a teacher, my ultimate boss has never taught, attended, nor enrolled her children in a public school. DeVos wants public schools to be held accountable for student learning, but her beloved charter and private schools? Surely you jest! No! DeVos is so unqualified that even two REPUBLICAN Senators voted against her confirmation. You know s**t is bad when Republicans dare to separate from the herd.

Alas 2 Republican senators + 46 Democrats + 1 Bernie Sanders + 1 Angus King = not enough no votes to send Betsy back to Gargamel’s castle or wherever the F she lives. Because Mike “Voldermort Jr.” Pence was the tie-breaking vote. And there you have it.

You best just let me teach and do my thing, DeVos.

Yes folks, the GOP sold out our children and our teachers. And the fact that there are some people who think middle class teachers are the enemy, rather than these out of touch billionaires, truly boggles my mind. Oh, and please, stop saying you love teachers but hate teachers’ unions. Who do you think makes up the unions? Teachers, you uninformed assmunches! Shaming the teachers’ unions is just a PC way to shame teachers. So why don’t you just say what you really feel? Isn’t that what modern Republicanism is all about, nowadays? PC is out, DBaggery is in! Right?

Oh, Betsy, you best not even try to mess with public schools in NY. Go clutch your pearls somewhere else, and let the qualified grownups teach. Please, thank you, and GTFOH.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Until next time!

 

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