Thursday, June 30, 2011
Do you think that you get more confidence after you lose weight and become more healthy? Is it a part of growing older and more established? I don't know if the "why" part matters, but something is up with me. I have tackled a few major issues head-on rather than my former way of "putting up" with things that aren't right or fair like the former, shy Sylvia did. I called and talked to one of the park board supervisors about a wayward employee who was making life at the summer program unpleasant for every other adult involved and I simply ended the conversation by telling the supervisor that "you need to shut her mouth." I also returned an email by the PhD candidate who is supposed to be observing our summer program for her class and who is trying to act as a principal and told her that I wasn't expecting an evaluation and that there were rules about that. (I also hit the "reply all" button so this went back to administrators and everyone else in the program.) She was pretty upset with me today and we had a tense conversation--but in the end, she is not doing the "evaluation" and will come by at an appropriate time to observe a variety of ways that I teach reading. I needed relief from these things and I spoke up and got it, just like I got ahold of administrators about carrying heavy classroom materials and things are now set up for custodians to move things back for me.
Anyway, what has happened to me that I did something about all of this stuff rather than quietly swallowing it and accepting it. I think a few things have impacted me. I have had a tough relationship with my principal for the past 5 years and I finally had to call out for help because she was so mean and inappropriate with me. I know that she cares mostly about appearances, so having an obese, disabled, non-walking employee made her cringe--but that is not right for her to do. A second thing was my new doctor who offered to call my employers and who wrote a detailed restriction list of what I absolutely NOT do which includes overhead work, lifting more than 5 pounds, and repetitive bending at the waist. I took responsibility for my own actions in moving things--because I had no available help, just a custodian who was badgering me to hurry--and I handled it to save some face. I also think that I don't need to hide out from the world like I used to do because I am more comfortable with my appearance. Losing a lot of weight made me happier in my own skin, and gave me some sort of internal permission to finally become visible and speak from my heart.
I wish that I hadn't been so ashamed of myself for how I looked for so many years--I think that was the result of how people treated me in my life. Everyone from my own parents, my siblings, kids at school from elementary to high school all make fun of me constantly and it hurt. Staying away from that prevented it from happening and I think it became a way of life. It has taken me a long time to find my voice and to use it. I think I like the outcome, because even if several of these people are probably irritated with me, they have agreed that I am correct in my comments and things are really going my way. I wonder how much work I have done and how much rudeness I have accepted because I didn't want to make a scene and be noticed.
I really have gotten better!!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Part 2--I'm back!!
I left off my week of activity describing our Adventureland trip--I have lots more photos to share. Anyway, we got home around 11:50 PM and everyone was asleep or went right to sleep except me, of course. I tried the best I could and slept a couple of hours, just in time to wake up with no time to spare to get ready for church on Sunday.
Sunday started out with church. We had a wonderful service followed by our bi-annual Congregational meeting. The UCC churches figured out long before the rest of the country that women were important players in business matters and we have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time. After church was over Marshall, Micah, my husband and I went to the "Feastival," a fund raising and educational program set up by the Tri-City Jewish Center. They had a wonderful menu, but we used a bit of restraint and avoided their wonderful foods and baked goods. We did buy raffle tickets and participate in activities and historical opportunities there. It was good for my youngest son to have the opportunity to visit their Temple. After that, I came home and worked on household chores before preparing for the coming week.
Monday was a bit out of hand. My day started out at the dentist's office. I was going in for three crowns, but the dentist realized he could save a tooth he had thought needed extracting and he repaired it FREE OF COST. He was so kind and gentle that I am so glad the other place was so lousy. I wouldn't have ever found this thorough, kind dentist otherwise. He spent over 2 hours working on my mouth and I missed my morning reading lesson due to no fault of my own. The final nicety at this office was the cost of the work dropped by almost $700 from their original estimate. That was sweet.
I got to school and found out that the squabbling by the folks in the park program had trickled over into my work. Their vindictive employee who was told that she couldn't stay with her daughter instead of doing her job actually told parents and families that people were not treating kids well and added in that the "reading teacher didn't even write lesson plans." Grr-rr. I don't even have to give this any time of day because my work and record keeping speaks for itself. However, this program is kind of my baby and I resent her trash mouthing that could prevent us from getting subsequent grants in the future. I called her "boss" and told her exactly that and suggested that since this young woman was her friend that she should do something to close her mouth. Topping that was the PhD candidate who sent out an observation/ evaluation schedule for me (and others in related programs.) I object to that as well--evaluations are part of our negotiated contract and a 6 week, 24 day summer tutoring program does not warrant that type of thing--this woman's desire to be an administrator needs to stay exactly her desire at this point in time. I said as much in a much gentler tone of voice.
After school, I had physical therapy and then my annual women's exam (yuck to that.) I had to make contact with the pediatrician to check on Marissa's well-being since we know that Megan's embolism was a genetic issue. I want to make sure that she is safe. I also had to get caught up on some laundry before I went to the pool.
Tuesday was much more calm. I got a report from two people in the park board that the offensive employee is denying her comments. However, the rest of the staff was glad that I brought it all out into the open because things have been stressful and uncomfortable for all of them. I got a call to take Marissa to the lab Wednesday afternoon for her lab work and she doesn't want to go, but she will. Then, two of my new crowns came out and I had to miss the pool to go back to the dentist. I learned a lot about temporary crowns and different cements. After that, Miles, Micah, Mitchell and Laura (his girlfriend) and I enjoyed a baseball game by our local minor league ball club. It was a gorgeous, perfect evening for a ball game--no ball park snacks for any of us, yay--and the only down side was that our team lost.
As we came home, my crowns came out again. The dentist thought that might happen because with my partial, they didn't have support. They didn't want to use the permanent cement because I don't get permanent crowns until July 13 and they would have to drill them off. It looks like we will have to do that after all of this.
Anyway, it's been busy and busier. I am going to leave you with a few other photos from the past few days (mostly because they are fun!!)
This is a funny display at one of the gift shops at Adventureland.
Here's the Adventureland train that we were riding on (behind this part f the photo.)
Micah liked the gentle "Tea Cup" ride.
Friendly geese were all around on land as well as in the water displays.
One more view of their gorgeous water park!
It's about bed time for me now--more is coming Wednesday. After work, I have an appointment for the second set of injections in my left hip and Marissa has to go for her lab work. I also have to work in my garden and go to the pool. I need to call the dentist back, but I don't know when I can see him. And, of course, there are the several unplanned things that will undoubtedly come my way. I think that final item will have to be part of my plans.
Happy Wednesday everyone!!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Hi there friends,
I am still waiting for things to settle down in my life and my current guess is that with eight kids--even those who are grown and are growing up--that life will never settle down and that having "down time" probably cannot happen. I have wanted to blog every day since my last one and either late nights or falling asleep on my feet has prevented that from happening...
Thursday--My husband came to pick Micah and I up from the workshop. They went to the river and to the car show as I finished the last part of my very good training week. We stopped at the mall on the way home as I went back to the store that was closing and bought 4 pair of jeans and 8 blouses for my daughters for $47.00 We took Micah to have a small Chicago style pizza on the way home. I was able to go to the pool after that and then tried hard to get some sleep--that nap in the car didn't help me get nighttime sleep, but not sleeping so well at the hotel helped the car to lull me to sleep like a newborn baby.
Here is a river shot and some of the car show autos that Micah took photos of when I was in training and he and my husband were out and about.
Friday--I went to work and made up another of the four days off that I missed. I am sorry that the kids lost those days of my service, but I am important too. That 4 day training was good for me professionally and emotionally. It was even better for Micah who has had an impossibly awful summer thanks to a few uncaring and insensitive people starting with a teacher who just won't get the fact that she is obligated by law to give a disabled child an appropriate education. Anyway, I got to the pool early in the day and then made it home to start work on some chores and things, but finally fell asleep early and caught more zzz's than I usually do in a day.
Saturday--Mitchell, Marshall, Micah and I left for Adventureland around 7AM. The weather was cool, but as we traveled west, it got cloudier and cloudier. It started raining as we pulled into the parking lot. We decided to give it a chance and we spent the first hour and a half or so dodging raindrops to go on rides. It was chilly enough--and then, we went on a ride called the "Raging River" that left me drenched. I simply took off my shorts to wear my swim suit with my shrug. We had a lot of fun and after lunch, we braved the waterpark portion of Adventureland. They have a lot of water slides and "Iowa's longest lazy river." That was the warmest part of the park, but it was too cold for me to stay there too long. After Mitchell had a chance to try almost all of the water slides, we got dressed and went back to the rest of the park. We finished out the day there and left for home around 8:30 PM.
Adventureland village, rides, geese and the water park were some of the things we say and enjoyed on Saturday. This theme park isn't a big Six Flags, but is quaint and fun, just the same.
I will finish this update in my next blog...
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Imagine my surprise, as I am working out in the pool last evening, to have a hotel employee come in and tell us that there is a tornado warning and that we must go to the Grand Ballroom to be safe. Honestly--I got out of the pool and grabbed my suit cover and a couple of towels and headed that way with Micah. I was freezing and found out that there were funnel clouds all over the Chicago area--the wind pulled open a door at the entrance to the hotel and knocked this big plant thing to the floor. I'll try and show you a few photos again tonight if the technology will let me.
This is the big plant in the lobby that went flying.
Here are photos that Micah wanted me to take of the clouds about an hour and a half before all of the trouble happened.
We saw the clouds on our way home from walking and visiting a mall that had a really cute play area that you can see above.
The mall also had this really neat double decker carousel in it.
Tonight there are all of these trailers pulling into the expo center next door and another area down the road that are carrying cars for a car show. Micah was pretty excited about that and although most of them are well protected from the rain that is here again, these are a few that apparently can get wet.
My workshop ends tomorrow afternoon. My husband is coming tomorrow morning so that I can check out on time and so he and Micah can spend time together while my work is finishing up. It has been a positive trip and a good break from the hectic pace that is my life. I have gotten in as much activity and have come to realize that if we lived in a real "city" type area that we could get by without driving except for things like big grocery runs. Micah and I have walked all over this part of this town and have had fun doing it. We have seen ducks and bunnies and squirrels. We counted the rings on a tree trunk and he learned about some of the issues when I walk with my walker. We found a great closing sale in a shop and I bought some awesome clothes for my girls--much to Micah's chagrin. It is fun to enjoy each others company without having to charge around from one crazy activity to another. I am so glad that I came, even though it meant that my students lost two days of my tutoring. I made one of my four missing days up last Friday and will make the other one up this Friday. I have learned a lot about mentoring new teachers and the new IL Professional Teaching Standards, and I can do more to work with my colleagues who might want my support.
We go home tomorrow and get ready for our Saturday trip to Adventureland in DesMoines, IA. Then things will calm down somewhat and I can take it easy again. My left hip is a lot better--gets the other injections next week. My right hip is being even naughtier than the left one was. I lost another pain patch and let my back get out of control again. I don't even know where these things go. They aren't stuck in my clothing. Here, at the hotel, it isn't such a big issue, but at home where my dogs could find it and ingest it (like they do with any number of inedible objects,) it could be a serious problem. I need to find a solution for this and will talk to Dr. F and the pharmacist. I am only able to get 10 of these a month and they are supposed to last 3 days each, but when they disappear early, that messes up the schedule. These things are controlled substances and I can't just go get a spare.
I am going to try and go to sleep a bit early tonight--that way I might actually get enough before I wake up at 2:30. Take care of yourselves and beware the clouds and storms!!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Father's Day was a really great day for me and my family. It started out with church. My husband bought the flowers for the alter--we always put them up to recognize the kids' birthdays, so it was Megan's turn. He picked beautiful flowers (pink roses and white flowers that I don't know the name of) and after the service, Megan picked a couple of wonderful people and gave them away. It made me proud of my daughter to be so kind.
We came home and I did some work in my gardens. The weeds and the creeping charlie just won't give me a break. I think it has a lot to do with all of our spring rain. I learned a long time ago that a weed is simply a plant growing in a place that you don't want it to grow. Anyway, my gardens aren't big--but I'll share photos. It's important for everyone to remember that it is significant that I am able to do things like bend over and weed, plant flowers, spread mulch... Last year at this time I was giving up my wheel chair to walk!!
Oh hang it, I cannot get my photos to upload here--the internet service isn't strong enough would be my guess.
Anyway, we went to Mason's girlfriend's graduation party after the gardening. It was held at the Botanical Center. I love that place--it is a gorgeous place and I love it. When we got home, the weather was still beautiful and none of the predicted rain was in sight, so Micah and I went to Whitewater Junction. It is a local pool with water slides and I'll share those photos later as well. I got in my workout and had a lot of fun while my son hit the slides. I have done one of those and it was a bit tough on my back--but the big problem is climbing up all of the stairs to get there.
When we got home, we did some cleaning in the house and then had a cook out. It was a really nice day in all ways. All of the fresh air and exercise helped me to fall asleep far earlier than I planned and I didn't get my packing for the trip to St. Charles finished. I got up early and pushed to get mine and Micah's finished then. The one lousy thing that happened on Sunday was that junior high band teacher decided to remove Micah from the summer band program because he makes noises in her class. There is no way that I can make that @#$#$%@@ woman understand that he doesn't do that to be naughty but that is part of his Asperger's. That is part of the condition and as much as he would like to not do it, he cannot control that. We are trying to teach him strategies and the doctors are working with both medicine and behavioral therapy to teach him how to manage it, but he is a work in progress. She is just an awful teacher and person. (I apologize for that comment because it is so blunt, but it is simply the truth.) I have tired hard to educate the staff at that school, but they don't get it. Anyway, to make him feel better, I asked him to join me on my trip--and I promised that we would still take him to Adventureland Saturday. The band is playing their and then having a "fun day." She cannot prevent him from going to a public amusement park with us--and he can see his friends. This may be a tough day on me--but Mitchell and Marshall are going along. I am thinking that I can now fit comfortably into seats on rides and as long as I don't pick rides that whip this fragile back and body around, I can have fun too.
We got to St. Charles about 8:30 after a ride that lasted 2 and 3/4 hours. They let me check in early because the room was ready. They served us a big breakfast and lunch as well as a big afternoon snack. I took plenty to share with Micah and there was so much good fruit and many awesome veggies at lunch that I feel pretty good about my choices. It was tough not to eat a lot of things like sweet rolls, brownies, candy, muffins and so on. I took watermelon (my favorite summer fruit!!), fresh pineapple and strawberries and I may have over eaten those things, but I think I'll be okay.
Micah and I took a 3 hour walk to the businesses around the hotel. It was a fun time and we got to talk about everything. I loved that part the most. We did a bit of shopping--he forgot yo pack his swim trunks. We had dinner--I ate a half of a BLT and brought the rest home. We have a fridge and a microwave in our room, so that was a good idea. Micah had the teenager diet of a burger and fries. Then we walked back and I got ready for the pool. It was chilly, but I was able to do a good work out even without some of my equipment. We enjoyed some time in the hot tub. There were other teachers in there, so I got to be part of some good conversation.
All of the teachers at this workshop are National Board Certified teachers, the majority from CPS (Chicago Public Schools.) It is wonderful to be around so many highly committed and professional folks. We are being trained by the state Board of Education to mentor new teachers based on the State Teacher Standards. It is a top-notch workshop with excellent presenters who are experts in these skills and the background. We are helping them with the program and working with the recent state revisions to requirements and our names will be on the documents as co-authors for some of these things. I am happy to get to do some of this since in my current situation, I am not included in professional activities any more. (I am over qualified and over trained--however that can be.)
Anyway, it is awesome to be healthy enough to be active to do the things I have been doing for two days in such beautiful weather. We had big loud thunderstorms at 2:30 in the morning--I am guessing it will result in more weeds for me to deal with. I will share my photos with you when I get home.
I am happy and am enjoying my work and my son. This is a nice hotel--Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles. It is a bit of a break for me from my usual stress and nonsense. Yay, time to refresh and relax. That is something I rarely get.
Get An Email Alert Each Time ENUFF81020 Posts