20 November 2009

here I am

So it's been six months...
when i come here to write...i am empty, or too full.
but today...my sister sent me this picture, and i want to write.
some of you know i have a private blog...very uncensored to the workings of my mind and heart. i have rarely written anything over the past few months. i have missed writing, but it tends to evoke too much emotion...and it makes me realize how fragile i am inside.
how scared.

I've learned a little over the past 6 months...in my silent listening.
like i'm really not in charge of things. and life doesn't go as planned.
i've learned to hold onto my husband closer, and tighter.
and i've learned a lot about letting go.
of expectations. assumptions. control.
I don't want it to sound like I've had a terrible 6 months,
because it's been wonderful. but hard.
this miscarriage was harder than i thought...and continues to affect me. my sister's graduation was harder. the family reunion was harder. going to south carolina was harder. dance has been harder. reuben's last semester of nursing school has been harder.
all good, but hard.

and i think i know why... after my miscarriage i became really numb. detached. in letting go of the baby, i let go of others.
and although it served it's survival purpose...it makes things harder.
but i have needed to focus these past few months.
in south carolina i realized i was pregnant again.
i felt guilty for not being happy and excited.
i cried a lot at night, when i should've been praying.
i wrote a lot back then, but posted nothing.
then my words stopped.
i went off my medicine as soon as my intuition was confirmed.
it took me four days to tell reuben i was pregnant.
it took us 16 weeks, and 2 heartbeats to tell the girls.
i was detached. anxious. protective. defensive.
being off my medicine is a big deal for me. i've had to simplify my mind. sometimes that means being quiet. sometimes too quiet. and even though i am still somewhat disconnected...i want to open up a little today and tell you...

10 days ago...
my reuben, lynzee and emi huddled around an ultrasound.
we heard a beating heart and saw a healthy growing body.
and a complete face...reuben squeezed my foot at this sight.
[my medication causes cleft lip and palette. to see perfect lips never meant so much before.]
I was excited for the girls to see their little brother.
I was sure we were being sent a prepackaged crazy bundle of testosterone
to keep us grounded during this next season of hormonal drama girls.

but I was wrong.
We saw a perfectly healthy baby...girl!
it's another step in learning that I'm not in charge.
of a lot of things.

22 July 2009

Wizard of Oz...May 22

Yes, it's late coming...and yes, it will be followed by a plethera of photo albums from my sister's graduation, my month long trip to South Carolina and the recent Hyde family reunion last weekend...but first things first.

Off to see the Wizard...and it was a wonderful Wizard of Oz!

and here are some albums of my classes...each of these girls is truly a joy in my life.

yes, that was over 220 photos...and did you see that backdrop!
My dear Reuben, Colby & Ashley, Amy Gabbitas, Maren and Jen and mostly Amy Richen helped me paint that in less than a week...plus three other side backdrops!

Here's to long nights and early mornings...
Here's to sweeping glitter and gluegun burns...
Here's to cutting music and long phone calls for costumes...
Here's to the support of so many that love me...
Here's to the support I have for these tiny girls...
and here's to the moms...

26 May 2009

Queen for a Day

I'm late posting Emi's birthday...she was Queen for the Day.
and of course what is a queen without a real crown.
she got her favorite breakfast in bed...and her loyal subjects took their bears to build-a-bear for a makeover. then we took some kiddie kandid pictures and went swimming at the cool indoor aquatics center...I was very grateful to have my sister there...that's when the miscarriage started so the pictures stop there.
it was ironic to celebrate birth and loss during the same day...i'm very grateful for my emi. this miscarriage has been hard for her. even tonight while we were shopping she said, when i see little baby clothes it makes me feel very sad mom. i feel it too.
when we discovered there was no heartbeat she cried a lot and said she really wanted to hold a baby. i told her our neighbor katie had a tiny newborn and i bet she could hold her. i could see katie on her porch. as i walked with emi down the sidewalk i hollored out...can emi hold your baby. my throat caught with the word "your" and i didn't say much more. i didn't hold the baby, but i touched her tiny head and that thick dark hair felt like silk. emi held her for a while and then ran off to play. since then she told me "it is different mom to hold other peoples babies"...as if i didn't know.
so...i'll tell you about the performance next...i need to finish the slideshow.
it really was a great experience.

ode to the sun

(from my personal and private files...)
today i woke up to find it was suddenly summer.
no more school. no more dance. and the roses bloomed early.
i've decided to postpone my trip to fallon so i can sit on my swing and remember why i live among these gigantic green mountains that turn pink at precisely 9 at night.
i woke up this morning to find my house framed in arching roses.
and mr. darby had exploded into at least ten heavy blossoms that smell like lemon starbursts.
and my peony out back was full of large fluffy very bright flowers.
I sat on my front porch swing today.
I played with my family in the grass.
I took the girls out to terabithia...my tree
and although she is still surrounded by the high water of the river...she was beautiful.

this was my third time to see her this spring.
a while ago...on a hard day i went. she was submerged in the river. when i saw how unreachable she was...it affected me deeply. i sat on the bank and looked at her root system in the water and wondered how she had survived such a great fall. she still reached out over that river with all these new branches sprouting upward. yet she was her own island. I felt unreachable that day too...I wanted to feel alive like her...so I waded out thru the freezing water and sat on her lap of a trunk...my legs were red and numb. i wanted to be numb too. i wanted to stop hurting. to stop feeling so angry. i wanted to feel strong and supported and supportive. i didn't climb thru her. i just sat and tried to still my mind for a few hours...i watched the twisted current around her...until i could feel my legs and then i waded back to the trail and walked barefoot on that hot paved trail back to my car...

today...she was extra isolated because of the heavy rains all night long...and i stood on the bank with emi and stared at her. emi said, "you know mom we could still get to her." obviously she had been figuring it out in her mind...just like i did a while back. she explained how to get to her...and she was right.
terabithia was indeed reachable.
"but let's leave her alone. and come back when the water is lower"
came the realistic conclusion and off we went on our bikes...emi is right.
it just takes time, and some sunshine...and water will subside.

from the private blog...

her name is terabithia...it's time to go see how she braved the winter
and to sit in her roots and breathe in her green. there is something very healing about the color green and the sound of water.
there is another tree nearby. it does not belong to me. it belongs to everyone.
and there is a very high swing...where one can practice...
how to fly and the art of letting go
either way it takes your breath away.
and then you sit in the uprooted roots of Bithia...and breathe green.
air can be green...when it is alive with growth. movement. water.
it's like the yellow sun absorbs the water and sky and somehow
fills the air with green...and it filters in the houses

yes. green is a good color. and it's back.

from the private blog...

I held Emi today as they gave her a stinging shot and put her under for her dental work. When she was coming out of it she couldn't open her eyes and the nurse was trying to wake her up...she was trying to get her to nod. or react in some way. she put a cold ice pop on her tummy and asked her if she could take it off. Emi didn't budge. I started talking to her asking her if she wanted to go home...she was out cold. or so it seemed. Then the nurse asked her...do you know where your mommy is? and with all her energy my emi flung her arm around my head and neck. I kept whispering in her ear...say "mom" and they will let us go home but you have to use your words. Somewhere inside that drugged little body came very slowly 'mom'...and we went home.

(for the next five hours she threw up and shook and cried in delirium...there is a youtube video of a little boy in the car from a dentist appointment and he screams and talks nonsense...i use to think it was funny, but not anymore.)

When we got home there was a note on the door that Lynz made before her ride picked her up for school...we had to leave before her. Emi was still half dead and was so upset that her eyes weren't working and she couldn't read it and she couldn't see anything right. But the note meant a lot to me. Despite the fighting and fits...there is actually a lot of love in this little house.

I held Lynzee too, she was a train wreck today...she asked to be held...and around 6:30pm she fell asleep in my arms in the rocking chair I bought when I was pregnant with her...I use to rock them every night and measure their bodies as they lay across me...I remember when Lynzee's legs were long enough that they fell over the arm of the chair...

I haven't taken time to hold them for a while.

it hurts. i'm not sure why it hurts so much...but it also heals.

everyone needs to be held...and everyone needs to do some holding.

29 April 2009

no heartbeat

actually...there was one. mine. and that's pretty important.

So it's time to tell you about the miscarriage...
let me read you a letter...and tell you a story...or two.

"Hello parents,
I'm afraid I have some sad news, but I'm determined to turn it into a learning experience. I began having some difficulties with my pregnancy this past week and on Wednesday had to get my first substitute for dance class (thank you Rachelle!) so I could go in for a dr. appoinment. We could not find the heartbeat and a later ultrasound confirmed that I was in the early stages of a miscarriage. Gratefully the miscarriage completed itself yesterday (this past Saturday), although I am tired I would like to continue with our dance classes this week.

I want you to know how I am going to present this news to them. I will talk to them in the middle of class so all the dancers are there and they still have time to dance after the news...I'm hoping they can process it thru movement. I'm not worried about the children under 5yrs, some of the 3 yr olds still tell me they are growing a baby too, and their concept of when a baby comes is very vague.

But the after school classes...although they are resilient, it's going to stick with them a bit. I want to talk to the girls about how our bodies are amazing creations and forming a baby is a miracle...and it is also a miracle that our body knows what to do when things aren't forming right. Tell them how blessed I am that my body recognized right away that something was wrong and stopped it. Tell them how wonderful it is to have each of them with their perfect beautiful bodies that can do so much. Focus on the miracles that they are. I want them to know it is ok to be sad, that it is a sad thing, but it is also a blessing. "Imagine if I told my husband to paint the studio pink and I meant the inside, but he started painting the outside walls and on the windows...we would need to stop him right away. we would say "stop, that's not right" then we would need to clean it up and start over. I am very blessed and lucky that my body said "stop, that's not right."

now here is the story...it happened yesterday...in dance class.
with these 7 girls...plus 5 more [yes, it's a big class.]

Ten little familiar faces line up against the wall, listening to my every word as I tell them what we will be doing at barre today "two demi plies. one grande. releve. balance..."and little Maddie comes in a little late with a bouquet of flowers and a huge bag of cinnamon bears (i love those)...she doesn't say anything. she gives me her sweet smile and takes her place at the barre. I try to go on...and in comes Miranda with a big envelope...handwritten "I am sorry you lost your baby" and she holds on to me tight. I was undone. Every girl left her spot at the barre and surrounded me...almost knocked me over actually.

It's pretty amazing...children know how to wrap you up and make it all better. They don't need to know if it is their job.
They just follow how they feel.
Somewhere along the way, they learn how to be guarded and hold back...
fear I suppose. of rejection perhaps. they reach out at one point and are turned away...so they stop reaching.

I reminded them how amazing and beautiful our bodies are. I reminded them of the light that spreads thru our heart and out our fingers and all the way thru our pointed toes. I told them that it was a miracle to create a body inside of us...it is amazing because we don't tell it what to do. Our body just knows. And our body knows when it's not going right and it stops it. I told them that I was not going to have a baby right now. that it is sad. but it's ok. Miranda raises her hand and I let her tell the kids about her little brother Adam that could not breathe when he was born and died. Suddenly, every hand went up. Everyone had a loss. Alexa actually said it Allie...she raised her hand and said "my grandpa died Miss Amber and I was sad too." She knew she was not alone. We were together. Everyone had been touched with death. I wasn't meaning to go there, but soon everyone was hugging everyone else. no tears. but smiles.

We all needed to be held. just a little bit.
and then we danced.
that, my friends, is called...'mourning with those that mourn'
moments like this make my studio sacred. you can feel it.
it is a safe place.

It has never been about the dance steps...It is always about the experience.
When I built this place I said I wanted it to be "a safe place for expression".
A place where these girls would learn about their bodies...
where they would love themselves and learn to love the differences of others.
It would be a place where they would teach each other more than I could teach them.
Where they would learn to deal with every emotion...I didn't realize what I was creating.
But it has happened. It has become bigger than myself...a creation of its own.
It is invisible to the eye...but you can feel it.

There was a point in the miscarriage, at the end, when I finally got to lay down on my bed...and my big sister Brittney came and laid next to me. I saw The Little Prince by my bed and I read to her...about the rose garden. and the fox. and being responsible for what we tame. how it is the time we devote that makes each other so important. I have devoted a lot of time to these girls...almost every week [besides summers] for four years...they have come and danced with me. I have held them when they fall down or just bonk into each other...and also when their parents get divorced and they don't know who is coming to pick them up.

It is the time you devote to taking care of someone...listening to them, yes, even sitting and watching them...just being there...that's what establishes such a strong tie between people. Antoine De Saint-Exupery is right, it takes time...and it is the only way we understand anything at all. We only understand what we have tamed.

And I have spent a great deal of my time taming children...
and being tamed by them.

I know most of you will not go out and read this book...
so I'll do you the favor of posting this part.

THE LITTLE PRINCE, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."
"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."
"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince. But, after some thought, he added:
"What does that mean...'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."
"To me, you are nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."

"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince.
"There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . . "

"It is possible," said the fox. "On the Earth one sees all sorts of things."
"Oh, but this is not on the Earth!" said the little prince.
The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.
"On another planet?"
"Are there hunters on that planet?"
"Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?"
"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.
But he came back to his idea.

"My life is very monotonous," he said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . . "

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
"Please! tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time.
I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox.

So The Little Prince tamed the fox.

And when the hour of his departure drew near . . .
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm;
but you wanted me to tame you . . ."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back and say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."

The Little Prince went away, to look again at the roses.

"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world." And the roses were very much embarrassed.

"You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you. But in herself alone she is more than all the hundreds of you other roses; because it is she that I have watered; because it is she I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies): because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing.
Because she is my rose."

And then he went back to meet the fox.
Goodbye," he said.
Goodbye," said the fox.
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated,
so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have devoted to your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have devoted to my rose" said the little prince,
so that he would be sure to remember.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
You are responsible for your rose . . ."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated,
so that he would be sure to remember.

20 April 2009

the bunny brought bubbles

Easter is about dresses and eggs and lots of chocolate and kites and golf
and bubbles and green grass and oh yes...all about hope.

i'm not really a fan of the bunny.
i'm not sure what it's purpose is . . . and it's nice to get credit for the basket and goodies. i really wanted church to be about the resurrection . . . or the atonement . . . and i tried really hard not to be so bothered when they talked about provident living.

when i went to nursery. . . shauna brought out her magic toys and somehow came up with a cave with a stone that rolled in front. the twelve little faces stared at her and gathered so close as they watched the little mary figure come and cry at the tomb. and we learned that Jesus came back to life after all. nursery is a very magic place.

my mom and sister were in town and that made my house the easter gathering place. britt brought her family down from idaho and colby and ash came too...that's about half the fam! it was heaven sent for me and posting these pictures makes me want to rewind time a bit . . .
i will let the photos do the telling . . .

Hip Hop Hunt

07 April 2009

better just tell you

it's a bit early...but I feel like I had better just say it
yes. I'm pregnant. Surprised? me too.

22 March 2009

my babies

i think my baby is growing up...
but at least she's safe in her daddy's arms
lynzee's life revolves around her social network. texting on my phone. calling on the real phone. chatting on gmail. passing notes. friday playdates. and the hope of a sleepover. there is a 5th grade boy that has the power to make or break her entire day....her entire life. it's drama.

my little emi revolves her life around her upcoming 7th birthday and the constant revolving invite list...i think she has the biggest parties ever. last year there was like 50 people at her HSM party...and the year before every single person came to her disneyland party...all dressed up. i think every child in the world is ready to party in april...spring! this year...pixie & pirates party!
and the invite list is over 30 kids. oh dear.

20 March 2009

need to say...

i just need to say...i've really appreciated the support.
i feel it.

i also need to say...this charter school has a lot of pros.
i'm not going to list them all right now...i'm tired.
but it's a good school. a great school.
i could be complaining about a lot worse things than too much homework and pushing my child to fast. in lynz last school we had issues with sex education and inappropriate touching. heavens that is not an issue in this school....lots of respect.
the experience has been so growing.
i love mrs.s and i've learned this is her first year teaching. bless her heart. i remember my first year teaching dance and i wanted to implement everything...i've been able to filter what really works now.

anyways. i just needed to say that.
i'm grateful for the school. it's been a gift.
{with a big tangled up bow...but a gift nonetheless}

a little long trip to the school

{math homework...a few weeks ago}

here we go...
a bit detailed for those of you who want it...and for my own clarity

i get up yesterday and i absolutely must order costumes for my upcoming dance performance of the wizard of oz. i'm on the phone with denise in virginia when i start getting beeps...check the caller id...it's the school. hum. so after the fifth one denise goes on hold.
hey mom.
who's this? (cuz i can never tell)
it's emi.
is everything ok?
what's the matter?
i need my unfinished work because we are doing it all afternoon and it all has to be done and there is a special treat for if we finish and i don't have any of it here so mom i need you to bring it to school right now.
[oh this is funny. the unfinished work.]
well...i'm coming in at 12:30 can i bring it then?
hurry mom cuz that is all we are doing today.
k. see you soon. love you bye.
i flash back over to denise and finish up my costume order. before i head over to the school i shake reu awake and he has one suggestion "take a fire extinguisher"...love that man.
i told him i was only taking matches.

here comes mama bear. not so much a tiger today. not confrontational at all. not here to fix it all, just here it tell you how i feel and what i'm willing to do and how i don't care about how that affects my child's grades. this is my nightly agreement: i will do 2 math worksheets. study 10 spelling words. read 30 min with my child. and write the monthly story. that's it. if there is more worksheets i will be throwing it away. and i don't really care about the grade repercussions. i'm all set.

i arrive at the school and check in at the front desk. two of emi's classmates that i know really well are sitting in the office, the little girl says "hi miss emi's mom" but she is quickly silenced by the secretary, "you don't get to talk when you are in here, you are in trouble and we have work to do so you need to be quiet." oh heavens. i speak up.."oh i don't think she was talking to you and i feel it would be very rude for her not to say hi to me. hi katrina. i hope your day gets better. and you too a.j." the secretary realizes she was rude and apologizes...and off i go to the classroom. it's lunchtime. perfect.

i walk in and hold up the yellow folder...i'm not mad. i'm almost apathetic. "now, i'm confused...why did we send this home for the weekend if it's all they are working on today." she smiles at my joke. "i know i know. we just wanted them to get as much done as they could, get a headstart for today."

i have a seat and say "you know i have a big problem with this unfinished work." she knows. i begin to tell her about emi's day yesterday. how she came home drained and couldn't even play at the fairy party. how she fell asleep at 5 and didn't get up until this morning at 7:30. how she feels like it is never done. i hold up the folder and tell her emi obviously did not do any of it last night. i pull out her math folder and show her emi's unfinished math work. (she is not the math teacher) and then i tell her emi was also unable to study her spelling words for the pre-test. Then i tell her how my daughter woke up this morning out of her mind stressed because all of this was suppose to be done. she was paying the price for sleeping. her day was started and she was half buried. and now, worst of all to a 6 year old, she was not going to get the treat for having it done.

we talked. she listened. she shared my absolute disgust for grading these kids. she agreed that it was teaching them to focus on what they did not complete rather than dwelling on all they did. they didn't look at the twenty 100% but rather the four 0% that powered their grade. she agreed. but it is the school's policy. we talked about the school's 'underlying principles' and how she is required to have a specific curriculum with shurley spelling, spalding english and of course our saxon math. it was a lot...but required. i turned it a bit...she is doing the same thing with unfinished work. they never get to dwell on what they've done because there is always so much more to do. (i'm not sure if she got it)

it was then that i realized she has two agendas. she is a very creative teacher who wants to do all these fun projects with the kids...and this is a priority of course. but the school's curriculum leaves her little time. so really...the kids are getting two curriculums. she is trying to fit in the fun stuff between the academic worksheets and constant testing. I'm confused at why it can't be swapped...why the worksheets can't be lowered on the priority and fit in between the fun stuff. at any rate, shurley, spalding and saxon get top seat. this is tough on her and the kids. so i see her dilemma. she is not willing to cut out her fun stuff (i would hope not) but she is unable to limit the academics. after all...it's very important for my 1st grader to be diagramming sentences. true story. diagramming. go figure. so i venture to say perhaps there is a creative fun way of implementing the academics. maybe. just maybe. shurley and spalding don't have to be done in worksheets. ya think?

so i bring up the 30 spelling sentences. i understand it is implementing lots of skills. punctuation. capitalization. penmenship. spelling. but those words are old. and it takes my 3rd grader almost two hours to complete her five sentences including two spelling words (if i don't offer any help). the point of the assigment is over. why the need to finish it? why not ten sentences? "Well they had a whole week to complete that, i gave them almost an hour every day to work on those sentences." {that sounds like a fun creative hour.} that's not true. i know it. she knows it. but i play along. so you don't have one hour to devote to a fun planet poster project...but every day they can write sentences. let's see that's six sentences each time. seems like there would definitely be a funner way to implement those skills...punctuation. spelling. capitalization. she seems proud of her 30 sentence idea and i leave it be. but she knows i find it ridiculous.
just then!
here comes another mama bear.
oh! but she is angry...like me yesterday
spitting mad. locked jaw. handful of unfinished work.
seems the aid didn't separate hers into busy and graded. yikes!
seems more than one kid had to call mom today.
i'm almost laughing at what the teacher has brought on herself.
in my humor i speak up first.
"so this must be your pile of unfinished work," i smile with a bit of sarcasm, "and tell me dear, how do you feel about it?"
she shakes her head and honestly tries not to smile, this is not a laughing matter, "i don't think you want to ask me that right now?"
"oh i know, cuz i'm right with you." i sympathize...and turning to mrs.s i say "we know how i feel about this unfinished work." and i hand the flaming baton over to the tiger and get my butt out of there. no need to let myself get all fired up again. can't think clear when your mind is in a rage. i find emi in the lunchroom and sit and chat with the kids. i know all of them from kindergarten and they beg me to stay for the day...i feel more confident to speak up for them.

soon, mrs.s comes to get the kids and we head back to class. i ask her teacher how it went with the other angry parent and she says "oh i told her i had to get the kids from lunch and didn't give her much time to vent."
is that what she was doing with me? hearing me out.
no real change. just another venting mom.

but when we got back in the classroom she had her aid take over and asked me if i wouldn't mind continuing our conversation. sure. i told her how i've been trying to understand her teaching methods and although i appreciate that she uses so many approaches [ie:worksheets] to teach a skill or concept...it can be overkill once they've learned it. perhaps she could simplify. she stops me there and said that she and the aid had talked about this. simplifying. that it was too much for them as teachers and they knew the kids were overwhelmed. so i asked her what she was going to simplify. she seemed at a loss.

i offered my own suggestion. when i come help out in class you have at least four things going on, groups of kids doing different things, but then you call out different children to leave their 'assignment' and come test for something...or finish something else. then the child returns to that assignment but can't quite pick up right where they left off...they have to settle into it again. every assignment or project becomes longer with every interruption. for example, last thursday the kids were asked to finish their planet poster in 15 min. but i was asked to pull out the children that hadn't finished their secret animal story and make sure they finished that. that was overwhelming. you tell the children "this is the last 15 min you have to finish the planets, i want them all done today." but i have different instructions, and those six kids that need to also finish another project are suddenly faced with 2 assignments at once. plus, there is a group of kids that need to take a reading test on the computer so they have double duty too. AND we all have to be quiet, absolutely silent, while they test. i just think it makes more sense to do it all together...and whatever doesn't get finished they can work on at home and bring it back...i would actually love to help my daughter tear little pieces of paper into a saturn and look online for three planet facts. now that's fun.

i'm not sure she got my point. but i'm glad i at least offered a suggestion. it bugs me when people rant about something without an idea of making it better.

so here are my papers in the suggestion box:

repetition does not need to be incessant.
1 daily worksheet done well can teach the same concept
as 12 different ones done frantically.
commit to the project.
start it and finish it together.
if a group is testing,
have the other kids in quiet groups too...
not making funny shamrock people, it's too hard to be quiet while doing something silly.
it's Not ever, Never ever, about the finished project.
it's about the experience.

18 March 2009

a bit pressurized

today i was raging mad
hostile. ready to burn down the village.
i think it's mama tiger syndrome.

some of you know my kids attend this nazi charter school and for the most part i've just loved being a part of it. but this year they had to replace their art, music, foreign language and choir teachers and i'm starting to wonder why they left. it's a fabulous school for the science/math minded. but that's not me. and it's not balanced even if it were. i keep thinking the pros outweigh the cons...and it's a good opportunity for me to have more structure.
now i'm thinking not so much.
emi has yet to NOT get an F on a report card...because a missing assignment counts as a zero. i know! first grade...what is the point in teaching them that this young. if you miss one you're screwed. it feels like college. i'm constantly behind. so last semester i ask the teacher...what is she missing...oh 'turkey scramble'...what the hell?

i was mad today...because this is what happened...

i come in from teaching dance at noon and reu tells me emi's teacher aid called. oh. ok. what's up? well...she just wanted to inform us that she is sending a folder home of emi's missing work to make up so she can get passing grades (it's all about the grades...which they shouldn't even get in first grade) reu says, thanks for letting us know.
but that's not all.
she's calling because emi was "very overwhelmed" when she saw the folder so the aid, so kindly of her, divided the work into two parts...graded and busy work. about 25% of the work in the folder is for grades and we should complete that first. oh ok...is reuben's reaction. me? i'm instantly fuming. for the past year i have watched my 6 year old drag herself home and smack her forehead with a pencil trying to complete her homework in less than two hours...thinking she is not smart. she is not fast. she is not a good student.

if you do not understand why i would be upset with this folder coming home...then forgo reading on

i'm instantly fuming, over the edge, anger as in rage!
i wrote (but did not send) the most hostile email to emi's teacher. then i think, wait, i should see how much work this is and see what emi says. don't overreact. so i wait.

here comes the kids from school...lynz hops out and runs over to help me decorate the studio for a little fairy tea bithday party for some of my tiniest dancers. (it was a busy day) and reu picks emi out of the car...she doesn't lift her head from his shoulder. honey?...emi?...look at these fairy houses...emi...emi? nothing. ok. reu takes her inside...eventually she comes out in her fairy dress and i ask her if she had a good day at school...she shrugs and says "it's the same." oh.

well, let's party. for the next two hours there is a magic party at my house, outside in the glorious 65' weather, in the studio full of so much sparkle dust we are slipping on the floor. we make these little fairies. cake. ice cream. where is emi? for the most part my child is silent. she is watching. at clean up i find her curled in a blanket on the lawn...asleep. she is sleeping now in my bed. and i've just looked at her yellow folder of 'make-up work' and i'm wondering where it came from because we have not been absent this term. and then i pull out her math. two worksheets. both sides. 200 math fact problems to do. and a story problem sheet with another 20 math facts. what the hell?! she has 12 missing assignments! from writing all 30 spelling words in sentences to writing a story about teeth. i'm done. fail out of this damn school. it's crushed my child. emi use to wear stripey tights with rain boots every day and flower clips. now she's nervous if she doesn't tuck in every shirt and it's the end of the world if she can't find her belt. i don't care if the kids are capable of doing this much work...it should not be asked of them.
i help out in emi's class tomorrow.
watch out...here comes one mad mama.

in all honesty...i'm not sure what i'll do...
maybe i will pack up her desk and just leave.
here's just a little proof if you needed it. the thing is, none of it is too difficult it's just that there is so much of it for one little girl in one little night...and you cannot really spread it out over too much time because you lose points for being late and there is always tomorrows work.

16 March 2009

no meat!

so emi is officially a vegetarian
she won't eat animals.
they give us their eggs, their milk to make yogurt and ice cream...why would we eat them too? how very unkind I feel.

she even made a sign "NO MEAT!"

reu is worried about her future protein intake and is grateful he has strawberry protein shake powder. hum...
well, this isn't a surprise...she is very aware of stuff like this.
saving the planet and standing up for the animals.
she wants to be a "koala keeper...in the wild"
i guess i better stop throwing away
the stuff in her recycling bin...
i wonder if she'll eat seafood? hum...probably not.
lynz was telling her at the table today that green beans have
moods & i heard emi say she was going to live on medicine.
her diet is not about nutrition, it's about principle.
her own beliefs.
this is going to be tricky.

05 March 2009

oh lucky day!

My dearest goddess Shauna
is doing a little pay-it-forward game on her blog
and I'm one of the lucky recipients.

Sooooo...here's the idea. Be one of the first 3 people to leave a comment on my blog and you will be the lucky recipient of a handmade gift from me some time this year...and we know how amazingly magic that can be :)
When you receive your gift will be a surprise!

Now here is the catch, you have to post the same thing on your blog and do the same for 3 lucky people. GOOD LUCK! This is going to be fun!
what a perfect month for friendship & luck.
love you all!

13 February 2009

tah dah!

so here they are...
no photo of this year's because i am finishing it today.
but it might be the very best. i love it!
no 2005 because it is still unfinished...much like that year.
and 2007 was the year from hell...
so even though it should've been the bestest of all
the valentines, as we grew so close together
we built a studio...but i was living day to day
and like i said, these valentines do take me a couple weeks,
they can't be rushed...anyways, enjoy all the devotion.

i do very much love and adore my husband.
he is my best friend.
he is my bestest lover.
he is why i get up every day.
i don't like to post a lot about him...i'm not sure why...
sometimes things are more potent when you don't spread it out...
when you don't dilute it...
but, for those that wonder his place in my life and his goodness
...a picture speaks a thousand words.
These cards speak millions.

01 February 2009


we made it thru january...phew
now spring can come...wake up pretty mistress of spring
i only give winter until mid february
then i break out the blow dryer on my roses outside.
true story.
two weeks until my favorite holiday.
i wish we would all send love cards instead of christmas cards.
it takes me two full weeks to create reu's valentine
maybe i'll post pictures of the other years (later)
pretty amazing even if i do say so myself
the trick is...
once you start you have to keep it up.
commit to it.
it's a form of devotion.
people "devote" their lives to all sorts of causes...but devotion is a noun, something you own, that you give. I also believe it is an exchange...I think devotion stems from grace. that layer of love that is powerful for the sole reason that we don't deserve it...but we get it, we can see it in their eyes as they forgive. pardon. love us so fully. and in response all we can offer is our devotion. and they can see it in our eyes.
if you don't have a clue what i'm talking about go get a dog.

27 January 2009

i'm freezing

It is currently 14'
the weather place says
it feels like 1'

I call it
"why do I live here weather"

but the sun is about to come over these huge mountains
and the sky is a pale blue...we haven't seen blue for a while
the inversion has lifted...we get blue
but now it's freezing.
and our high is suppose to be 25'

a week ago we were running thru sprinklers in arizona,
it was 82'
it is currently 40' there...suppose to get to 60'
I'm coming back Hays.

08 January 2009

thinking a bit

I feel like I've been talking so much lately
(mostly on the phone)
so when I come to post on this blog I find that
I just want to sit back and listen.
The blog world is so full of conversations and
I like to sit back around midnight and listen to all of you.
But I'm not much for talking right now.
I'm going thru this internal thing.

It's not the whole new years thing.
I'm not one for resolutions...
although I do give reu some...
he has to put rain gutters on the side of the house
that has a fatal ice patch every winter.
both jen and i have almost died. true story.
I just sortof want to stop talking
and be quiet enough
to hear
however, I felt the need to lend my voice tonight...
so you don't forget I'm in the corner over here...
laughing at your mishaps
and sighing with your struggles
silently listening to you.

this year I'm turning 30.
I've been pretending to be 28 all last year.
because 28 was a good year I figured I'd stick with it.
and every time I said I'm 29 people would say
"oh you're going to be 30" like they didn't hear me
and I wanted 30 to be a big deal.

I'm thrilled about my new wiry white hairs poking up and the fact that I can have some validity to my ideas because I'm a bit more qualified by some experience. I'm not a newlywed. I'm not a new mother. I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to not be invited to pampered chef parties and say no. finally...to say
"no, I can't, but I'm sure you'll figure it out."
I've been able to let go of so many expectation (most of them I've put on myself) and let go of all the "shoulds" and the stubborn ideas of how things will be...I no longer think of a right or wrong way to do things...and I embrace the fact that we are all different. I like how we are all part of each other and rub elbows and throw an occasional blow.

I like that I've had friends for over 20 years now...I like that I appreciate my grandparents more...I like that I have friends that I've become a mother with...I'm glad my brothers can now be my best friends too.
maybe that's what it is.
i don't have to proclaim or protest anything.
i have nothing to prove.
so i can finally be quiet.
be still.
and learn from you.

hu...i guess i did have something to say.
happy new year.
thanks for all you say.