Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanks and Giving

          First, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to spend time with family and friends.  I had the wonderful opportunity to take a moment and reflect on all I am thankful for throughout this month.  It was a chance to stop the whirlwind of my day and bring a smile to my face and heart.  Too often we go through our days focusing on the negative moments. Did you know it takes more facial muscles to frown than smile?  And I don’t know anyone who enjoys the crinkles caused by frowning!  So, I am going to continue this practice.  More importantly, I am going to share my thankfulness with those who are the direct result of my happiness.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, it is time to think about spreading joy to those we care about.  It also is a time to think about those who are not as blessed as we are.  Therefore, I am using this blog post as my Public Service Announcement.
For the past few years, the students in my class have donated to Project Linus  This is a non-profit organization started in 1998.  Handmade blankets are made by “blanketeers” and distributed locally to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.  In order to make this a true, service learning project, our class discussed ways we could raise money to help pay for materials.  It was decided they would make a one week chore chart to help out at home.  Each chore has a designated amount.  The goal is to raise 5 dollars in one week.  The students know, they must do chores to earn the money. 
This year, I will be telling the class about two other worthy causes we could donate to.  A Connecticut author friend of mine, Lynda Mullaly Hunt ( has organized an initiative to bring books to children in foster care.  It’s called the Book Train:  Lynda has written a lovely middle grade book about a young girl’s experience in a foster family entitled One for the Murphy’s.
Another organization I read about is the Santa Anonymous Winter Boot Project sponsored by the Thames Valley Council for Community Action’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program:
My Christmas wish this year is that everyone will take a little time to donate/support a group or organization that is less fortunate.  It will make you feel fantastic!  I promise!
I hope you all have a fabulous holiday season!    

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Did I Just Step in Pee?

            You know that expression, “look before you leap”?  Well, in my home, I need to look before I step, sit and, if I’m smart, before I walk out of the house.  Let’s start with step.  Hazards in my household fall into two categories: liquids and solids.  It is quite unpleasant to be merrily walking along, when, “Oh” a sudden chilly spot appears underfoot, as the material of you sock begins to absorb the mysterious liquid.  Now, if I am in the kitchen, there’s little to worry; chances are it is a drinkable liquid. I tip my head to the side in order to locate said spot, (if it hasn’t already been completely wiped away by my sock), grab a paper towel and move on.  Occasionally the spot will have a chance to dry, thus leaving a sticky spot.  These can be identified when walking along, and your foot momentarily gets stuck.  These spots require a bit of spray cleaner - a bit more work.  I then have to decide; do I continue to wear the sock or change into another pair. 
But when this occurs in the bathroom, the reaction and clean up take on a tiny HazMat reaction.   The first time this happened, I froze.  At first my brain went into liquid spot mode but then I quickly looked down.  My foot was closer to the base of the toilet than the base of the vanity, therefore making it less chance the liquid was water.  After I cleaned up, there was no question what to do with that sock!
My boys are pretty good about cleaning up their toys.  Even though, there always manages to be one or two leftovers.  Of course they are strategically positioned where my grownup foot will land.  They are usually around a corner or at the edge of the couch.  Perfect places since I am rarely looking down when I walk.  It is also the hard toys with sharp edges or wheels that are in harm’s way. It’s amazing how the tiny wing of airplane can send such shooting pain through my foot.
The couches in our home are multipurpose furniture.  The boys used them to watch TV, have snack and play.  I approach the couch cushions with caution.  I do a quick scan with my eyes, brush off crumbs, and push aside toys before sitting down.  This method has proven to be 99% effective.  There is the occasional moment when I sit and “Oh,” just like the kitchen floor, I feel a certain sensation on my behind or back of the leg.  The “spill-proof” and “leak-proof” cups have found a way to seep out onto the couch.  Luckily, I invested in a mini carpet cleaner for doggie messes years back, and now it is my go-to appliance when the couch needs some TLC.
            The last place I find random spots is my clothing.  I really thought this would end once the baby spit up phase ended.  Who knew there were additional joys such as snot, toothpaste, blueberry juice and peanut butter to add a little flair to my work outfit?  Who needs jewelry?  If I am a fortunate to spy these spots before I head out the door, (in the midst of all the craziness that is the boys and I getting out of the house), I consider it a small victory for the day!  But, chances are, I will discover these spots when I first head to the staff bathroom.  The blaze of the florescent lights and long mirror hide nothing!  I am then torn.  Do I just leave it? Maybe I’ll try to scrape it off a bit to make it less noticeable?  I know that any attempt to wash it off will leave a large wet spot which is surely to be noticed.  (If it is snot, it’s a no-brainer!)
            I quickly learned that having kids is an adventure.  I just never knew the variety of adventures I’d encounter!  So for now, I will take each spot with a smile, a quick clean and move on.  What other options do I have?  J

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Hurricane

A thump, a bump, a screech, a scratch,
Outside my window last night.
I pulled the covers up over my head,
It gave me such a fright!

A whoosh, a howl, a creak, a crack,
On the roof an awful sound.
I slipped out of bed onto tip toes
And decided to look around!

A shadow, a shape, a dash, a flash,
Along my bedroom wall.
I reached for the switch – it went click
Blackness down the hall!

A patter, a smatter, a splish, a splosh,
Against the window pain.
I looked for ghosts and goblins
And saw a Halloween Hurricane!