Thursday, August 31, 2006

Purple Little Pill

Last weekend I suffered some severe heartburn. If you know me I always sleep within arms length of a bottle of Tums. My general rule of thumb is when I'm eating fine I don't have heartburn. If I am eating junk, which I have been, I get heartburn often. Sunday night I found the big bottle of Nexium that my mom had given me 9 months ago. I have taken one pill a night for 5 straight nights. The heartburn is gone and I've actually slept better. No waking up reaching for the Tums. I think one of the side effects is GAS. I am having a hard time making it through the day without putting myself in embarrassing situations. When you are in front of kids 2 1/2 hours at a time it is hard to keep excusing myself to the restroom.

My embarrassing moment came Wednesday as I sat in a leather chair while the students worked on a project. The gas build up was more than I could bear so I decided to let out a little "tester." I would see if I could slip one out silently and odorlessly. Relieve a little pressure. It was silent, but DEADLY. A few students started gasping and asking who dealt it. After a few seconds of commotion I threatened a few girls because they were "off task." They had the nerve to ask me if I had eaten beans for lunch.

So what should I do? Take the purple little pill only on occasion, or keep taking the pill knowing I'll get better sleep at the expense of my colleagues and students?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cake or Death

If you ever watch an Eddie Izzard stand up comedy routine make sure you see Dressed to Kill. In his monologue he talks about the Inquisition and how things might have been if the English were in charge. The following is a sample of dialogue:

Cake or death?
Cake please!
Very well.
Cake or death?
Uh, I'll have the cake.
Cake or death?
We've had a run on cake so it will be death.
But I want cake.
Oh, alright then.
Cake or death.
Death please. I MEAN CAKE.
Oh, you said death!

This came to mind as I sat and watched Animal Planet's Most Extreme as they analyzed the world's deadliest animals. More people are killed by hyenas, jelly fish and scorpions than sharks. Scorpions kill more than 1000 people a year. Yet, here in America sharks get all the publicity. Just as many more people are killed in car accidents than plane crashes, people fear flying more than riding in cars.

In other news: The Jeep is sold and delivered. It only got into the 80's today AND we got plenty of rain. Summer isn't over yet, but today was a breath of fresh air.

Friday, August 25, 2006

General Things

Successfully made it thru the 2nd week of school although we are currently experiencing our 19th consecutive day of 100 PLUS temperatures. This is rough on everyone because a few days it has been too hot to have outdoor recess and the other days it is almost too hot to stand outside monitoring the kids. The 10 day forecast calls for 2 more 100+ days and it looks like starting next Monday we will have temps ONLY in the 90's.

Seems like we have our Jeep sold. We will be a one car family without any car payments. In my 11 years of marriage we may have been without car payments for about 3 months. It is a nice feeling not being upside down on a trade or being stuck in a car we don't like. Pray our 2000 Neon serves us well. Not sure when we are going to pull the trigger on a used car. May go to an auction with a friend.

Made it to the gym 5 days in a row and have exercised 6 in a row. This may be harder to do since my wife will have to drop me off at school and she wouldn't generally pick me up until 5pm or later. A "resourceful" friend may give me rides to the gym after school and my wife could pick me up from there.

3 birthday parties for the daughter on Saturday. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Guess I'll have son duty then. Need to thoroughly clean the Jeep in 100 degree heat!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

School Start Dates

I think the legislature of Big State finally passed a law that pushes back the start dates for schools next year. Actually there is a law already in place, but districts are allowed to petition and ask for an earlier start date and they are always granted the request. The new start dates will be the week of the 20 something as opposed to the August 7th start date that my wife's district had this year.

I remember starting school the Tuesday after Labor Day. YES, we started in September. I still remember those damp dew laden mornings that required a light jacket be worn. There was a true sense of seasons changing. Here in Big State it is August 23 and temperatures are still in the high 90's, low 100's. This means kids do not get outdoor recess if the temps hit 95. They only get 10 minutes if it gets up to 90. Forecast thru Wednesday, August 30th call for temps in the high 90's-low 100's. This is ridiculous.

I would be all for school starting after Labor Day weekend, we trim a few days off of our extended holidays, and school let out mid-June. The kids would truly be off school the hottest dog days of summer. Right now they ask all morning what the temperature is because their favorite time of the day is RECESS, then LUNCH, then MY CLASS!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Locked Out

My wife was outside tonight and I followed my daughter out as I was carrying out a bag of trash. I proceeded to shut the door behind me before realizing my son was wanting to come out also. I called out to my daughter asking her to open the door. She told me it was locked. Great, we were locked out and my 2 year old was inside. I peaked in the window next to the door motioning to him to unlock the door. I could hear him moving the deadbolt. I'm sure he was locking the door even more. He remained calm and finally opened unlocked the door. I knew he could because he has unlocked and opened the door before and let himself outside without us knowing. He's a pretty smart guy. Takes after his mommy.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

One Car Family

A guy I know thru church and school came by today and took our 2003 Jeep Liberty for a test drive. I let him have it the whole afternoon because he is in need of a 2nd vehicle. Our lease is up late November and we have 2000 miles left to spare. Our dilemna is whether or not to sell it right now. I think he is interested in buying it since he is between jobs and he needs a vehicle to drive to interviews. If we sell it we will then be a one car family. It will only disrupt our life a little bit as my wife could drop my daughter and me by school on the way to her school. We would only do this until we could buy a cheap 2nd hand car. We are a little apprehensive about this, but trust things will work out.

I am going to break down the financial potentials of our vehicle.

Actual cash value or trade in value is $9000.
Selling it outright we could expect to get $11000.
Retail similar vehicles are sitting on lots for $14995.

There is a $6000 discrepancy between what a dealer is willing to give and and for what it will try to sell it for. We are actually only trying to break even and that means selling it for about $10600.

Seeking reliable transportation, willing to spend up to $4000.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Anger Management

I turned myself in to AMA today, Anger Management Anonymous. I have never raised my voice to my wife in the 11 years that we have been married, but that doesn't stop me from yelling at my kids. I have a 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy and they are really good kids. Our daughter never gave us an ounce of trouble until our son turned 2 in June. It really started before he was 1 when he started getting most of the attention you could see her doing whatever she could to be recognized too. Now that they are old enough to interact it seems that the past 2 months there have been more negatives than positives. First off our son started getting "bullying" reports from church. Then when he started his daycare late July he was receiving bad reports too.

My daughter has mastered negotiating and she is extremely jealous and possessive while my son is mischevious and onery. One night this week while driving home after dining at Arby's they both started bickering and when I looked back he had a hand full of her hair. He was suprised when some came out and stuck to his shake sticky hands. What was I to do, I was driving? It all came to a head this morning when during the 20 minutes that we have together before heading out to school the "MINE" followed with screaming and hitting started. Both received their consequence. Then my son insisted on having a sippy cup that was full of soured milk. When I gave him a new one he threw a tantrum and reached for the sink where I had just sprayed for ants.

"STOP IT!" I yelled. Then I realized that I just yelled at a 2 year old. All of my Love and Logic training for dealing with behavioral children just went out the window. I thought about it all day and still struggle with how to get control of my kids and their bickering. It has gotten to the point where it is easier to split them up between mommy and daddy and go out seperately. Or take long drives and hope he doesn't yank out her hair.

While driving they can fight over the horses they see out their windows. "MINE" they both claim as it turned into a tennis match of MINES.

What to do?

At least tonight after they played in the sprinkler they both went down without a fight. Praise God!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Here They Come

School starts tomorrow and ready or not the kids will be showing up before 8am. This year will be unique in that my daughter will start kindergarten and she will be attending my school. This is my first school aged child and I've yet to get sentimental about it. Maybe tomorrow. It will be weird just knowing she is in the same building as I am.

Top 5 concerns I have about her being in school:
5. bathroom issues: she won't be able to have mommy or daddy assist in wiping
will she actually take time out to go to the bathroom
4. teacher's kid: will my parenting skills be subject to scrutiny?
3. will she sit still? she had a hard time today sitting still in church worship service
2. new friends: she never has problems making friends, but once recently she was the outsider to 2 friends and she "felt" being left out
1. extra curricular things: If I go early she has to go with me. If there is something after school I have her to take with me.

Other than that she will do fine. I have a great relationship with the teacher that she was assigned to. My biggest worry about school right now is finding a couple pair of comfortable shoes to wear.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

2 Things

Thing 1: Sat through a teacher training yesterday that didn't have anything to do with my subject area. It would be equivalent to making a Spanish teacher sit through a teacher training for French. I just don't understand.

Thing 2: I left my tooth paste in St. Louis and all this week I've been brushing my teeth with Dora bubble gum flavored and Bugs Bunny bubble fruit flavored. It just doesn't feel like I've brushed my teeth. My colleagues haven't said anything yet though.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


On my way to St. Louis I drive Hwy 44, or old Rt. 66, and I drive by a town called Dolittle just outside of Rolla, Missouri. I can't help but wonder how the town got it's name. Did the original people who lived in that town do anything? Were they deadbeats?

Saturday and Sunday I did very little around the house. Saturday morning I was all ready to take the kids to the gym while I worked out when the wife mentioned that my son hasn't stayed home in over 2 weeks since his daycare started, we worked out the previous Saturday morning and of course he is at church Sunday's from 8-noon. So I stayed home. This is a hard thing for me to do. I've always got to be doing something. Saturday I did leave the house 2 times. Once, for a drive thru breakfast and a second time I went to the grocery store for ice. I did make a homemade pizza for dinner Saturday. Everything from scratch including the crust. 1/2 bar-b-que chicken and 1/2 spicy sausage. Major accomplishment considering we average eating out 3 meals a day. Sunday I did go to church and to eat lunch afterwards, but the rest of the day I stayed home.

School started for teachers yesterday and it was a slight welcome in my book. After school I mowed 3 front yards and one whole yard and actually felt like I accomplished something. I even slept better last night.

I think I made the trip to Missouri last week in fear of doing little.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm Back

The Ballgame: I went with Minhaul to the game and it was hot. We parked for FREE on the White Castle parking lot. A friend of mine lives next door to a WC manager and he worked it out to where we could park for free. I was a little worried that for some reason the car might get towed. It didn't.

We received our tickets and I saw section 132 and got excited...."WE GOT GREAT SEATS." Minhaul then informed me it was section 132 Standing Room Only "seats." After the first inning Minhaul scoped out some seats about 25 rows up and we sat in them the whole game. Cards lost 5-3 in an uneventful game. They currently are stuck in a 7 game losing streak, but are still in first place.

The Ride Home: This was my 3rd trip to St. Louis in 2 months. It is at best a 9 1/2 hour trip, but it usually turns into an 11 hour trips with unforseen traffic or multiple restroom breaks. It is entertaining to listen to songs you haven 't heard in years as you travel across cattle country. I personally do not want to listen to another Cher song in my life. I also think George Michael tunes should be banned.

Last Day Off: Today is my last official day off for the summer. I do have a meeting at school from 1-4 today that I'll make part of. I do have my daughter and I don't think she'll sit quietly for the 3 hours.

Yesterday I went to school and Pigs helped me get my classoom going. Last year she stressed as I waited until the last possible minute to get my room ready for "Supply Night" or meet the teacher night. This is fun for her, necessary for me. I get professional help in setting up my room and she gets a full detail of her car. Bartering is not bad!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

First Pitch Tickets

The St. Louis Cardinals are playing their first season in the new Busch Stadium and I have really wanted to go to a game this inaugural season. My family has been to St. Louis 3 times this summer and I've yet to make a game. Tickets are hard to come by as most seats are sold out. A person can only buy standing room only seats or single seats for all games. You could go to or other ticket agencies and get tickets, but this usually costs a good 25% above face value when all is said and done.

The Cardinals have a "First Pitch" ticket program. The first 125 people lined up outside the ticket office at 9a.m. purchase a voucher good for 2 tickets for $11 total. Considering the cheapest seats are $13 this will at least be a $15 savings. I went down this morning with my daughter and bought a voucher. After juggling possible options of who I would take to the game Minhaul opted to forego his softball game and committed to going to tonight's game. We will need to arrive at Gate 4-15 minutes before game time to get our 2 tickets. We could get Field Box seats valued at $78 each or general reserved seats valued at $13 each. I guess some of the excitement is built around CHANCE. The type of seat depends on which seats are turned back into the box office from players, promo companies, etc. Generally unused tickets.

I am excited to be going. The easy route would have been to stay home and watch the game on TV. I really didn't have anyone that interested in going with me so when I went down this morning I really went down in blind faith.

General comments about my experience so far:
1. If you take a 5 year old take something for her/him to do. Otherwise go alone.
2. You can actually park near the stadium for $2. I was worried about parking and almost took the Metrolink to the stadium.
3. Arrive by around 8am if you want a decent spot in line. For weekend or Cubs games get there even earlier. I am sure some people will camp out overnight for these tickets.
4. Plan on using up 3 hours of your morning time. Left my mom's about 7:20am and arrived back just after 10am.
5. Take a foldable chair and something to read. Or strike up a conversation with complete strangers......easy for me!

I am sure tomorrow night's post will be about my first game to the "new" Busch Stadium. Or the 10 hour drive back to Texas.