Get moving

Its just a number.
Its doesn’t define me.

But it does scream. It yells eat your vegetables.  Do not drive through Dunkin this week.

Its just a number it.
It doesnt define me.

But it does scream.  Its says those pants don’t fit like they used to. That shirt doesn’t look quite right today.

Its just a number.
It doesn’t define me.

But it does scream. It begs you to get off the couch. To lace up those shoes again. To put one foot in front of the other and move.

It screams Get Back Out There!

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Pinterest, oh Pinterest…

Pinterest oh Pinterest!
I hate you, you stink
I wish I could wash you down my DIY sink!
If only mind ready to remodel
Could resist.
Pinterest oh Pinterest
My credit card needs a rest.

Id rather run miles than
Make construction yard gift bags,
But here I sit Pinterest-ing in fits!

My mantle looks vintage,
With DIY aging.
Aidan’s birthdays sure to be a hit.
With hard hats and DIY work stations.

Pinterest oh Pinterest!
I hate you, you stink.

But wait – the stress is leaving,
Aidans face is aglow.
Giggles and “yay Mama I a big kid”
Pinterest oh Pinterest,
I guess you’re a hit.

The call, the routine

ANOTHER call from day care!
Friday 3:15 – Mrs. Weathers Aidan has a 101.5 fever. 
My heart shatters – I’m pulling in the parking lot, be right there.

My boy is miserable. The doctor closes at 4. We’ll never make it to Orland in time. Home. Movies and cuddles. Early to bed.

The routine – set in place 6 weeks ago when the FIRST ear infection settled into our home….

Up by 6.
*Chug a Spark
*Scrub the kitchen. Disinfect the counters, the chairs, the refrigerator, the pantry.
*Scrub all 3 bathrooms.  The toilets the sinks the floors the door knobs and light switches. Replace sick toothbrushes with clean ones.
*Clean the playroom. Disinfect as many surfaces as possible.  Open windows, be gone germs be gone!
*Wash all things day care. Push start on the laundry, disinfect the laundry room!
*Wash floors in kitchen and hallway.
*Spray Lysol everywhere!
*Noah is awake.
*Take a 3 minute luke warm shower.
*Whew, Tommy got Noah.

Write a quick blog post about the reality of being a Mama with sick babies. Babies that I try so hard to protect, yet the curse of Day Care germs is a tough competitor. Going to go cuddle and play with Noah while Aidan rests in his fever ridden slumber. Doctor later….

Student Spot Light!

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All week long my students have been eager to write. They have created draft after draft. It is awe-inspiring to watch their brilliant minds imagine, dream, observe, and recall memories as their pencils race across the page. We talked about where our inspiration comes from. Whether it be the forever abundant snow piles outside our window, or a mind boggling Math problem, ANYTHING can inspire us to write. Even nothing, yes nothing. One of my students wrote a humorous slice about Nothing! There’s one catch to this challenge though, I told the students, “I am going to take a step back as your teacher. These are your thoughts, your feelings, your observations. You write it, you format it. I will be your spell checker, your cheerleader and your number one fan! But I will not sit and confer and write with you. These pieces are to be authentic 4th grade pieces.” Here I stand, corrected and humbled. My 4th graders has risen to the challenged, faced their writer’s block head on and created Masterpieces!!

I am honored to share with you my very first Spot Light: Student Slicer Jesse Perez  “I was just thinking about my day, and thoughts of my grandpa came into my head. And the poem just popped up! I wanted to turn a sad event in my life into a happy memory. So I wrote it.”

Don’t leave we’ll take care of you.
Don’t leave we made breakfast.
Don’t leave we’ve got cooked fish.

I understand you have to go
Please stay for one more night.

You have to go now.

We’ll spread your love.
We’ll spread your passion.
We’ll spread your ashes.

I’ll see you in Heaven.

~Jesse Perez

There’s a wine for that

Summer days with my best friend tag teaming our clan of toddlers while attempting to catch up on our semi adult life -There’s a wine for that! Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling

Sunday winter nights cuddled on the couch, wrapped in my husbands arms winding down after a long weekend – There’s a wine for that! Estancia Pinot Noir

Johnson ladies night out laughing for hours, retelling family stories we’ve known for years with 12 of my most favorite chicks – There’s a wine for that! What ever kind my mom brings Sauvignon Blanc

Celebrating our annual Girls Christmas Dinner, eating way too many cheese slices and olives, devouring delicious gossip stories we’ve collected through the months and laughing til our cheeks hurt – There’s a wine for that! A ridiculously over priced Napa Valley Red.

A casual summer get together with neighborhood families, playing bean bags and splashing in the kiddie pool – There’s a wine for that! Coopershawk White Sangria.

5:30pm on a Thursday night, boys have enjoyed another sing a long / drum a long dinner session, wasn’t a bad day but long day, batter up Mama you’re the pitcher – There’s a wine for that! Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon.

Broken vows

A vow is a promise you make with the full honest intention of keeping said promise. You work hard to keep a vow. Temptation may rear its ugly head but in the presence of a vow, love always wins.

I made a vow to my husband.
And later I broke that vow.

I tried. With all my heart I tried to keep my vow. Honest I did. But I was pulled away. Pulled away by the love of another. 

I vowed to my husband that I would finish the laundry. But Noah and those gorgeous baby brown eyes steal my heart every time. I didn’t finish the laundry like I promised. Instead I read books, played peek a boo, airplane and countless rounds of tickle monster.

I confessed my short comings to my husband.  He has forgiven me.

And write they will

Let’s give this a try. It’s a fair deal. I try 31 slices and challenge them to 1 a week.

I read to them. Show them a new writer side of me. Vulnerable.  Honest.  Creative. 

I pep them up. Let’s do this together.  Anything goes.  And just like that the they come alive! Light bulbs flash with each new topic – can I write about my dog. Can I write about my mom? Can I write at home?  Can I write a poem?

Yes! Yes! Yes!
Yes! You can all write! And write they did. Brilliant emotional slices!

I can not wait to see what they chose to hang on our wall this month….

Oh the places you will go….

My sweet babies. You will always be Mama’s baby boys. Always.

When you go to day care and take off your coat all by yourself, know I am proud.

When you step into kindergarten and cross that dangerous line of independence – that line that I can not cross with you, know that I proud.

When you stand up to the bully on the playground, know that I am proud.

When your heart breaks for the first time, but you hold your head high, know that I am proud.

When you pocket your keys and call me instead, know that I am proud.

When you walk across that stage,
Onto that college campus,
And every step in between,
Know that I am proud.

My boys.  You are my greatest joys.

Breakfast

Come on, join US! I said to my colleagues. US I said, as if I should assume myself a worthy member of this brilliant writing community. Its fun, I said! You’ll be inspired, I said. Whelp – day 1 and I’m stumped…..

What have I experienced today that should cast a light of inspiration on my dark writer’s blocked mind.

A very long sleepless night.

A busy morning of indoor balloon baseball.

Church and breakfast with 20 members of the Johnson clan.

A shower. Yes, my weekly shower! Thats it!

Ok I shower often, dont get me wrong. BUT I have mastered the art of shower and dress in under 10 minutes. I’m clean and clothed and onto tackling my toddler tasks without missing a beat. But once a weekend I get up early and stand under the HOT shower until steam fills the room and my head is clear. I treasure this shower. Its hot, long and uninterrupted! Its 20 minutes just for me. Its quiet.

K

nock knock knock – today as I rinsed my hair I was interrupted.  I exhaled, accepted my fate, as I predicted I hear my boys calling Mama. I peered out from behind the curtain to suprised to see my husband dropping off breakfast and sneaking back out the door. Take your time, I’ve got the boys under control. I heard him call.

Wow, he gets it. He gets that sick babies (even as toddlers) need their Mama all night long. He gets that I love my Mama life but sometimes I need 20 minutes to wash away the tired in order to put on my best Mommy face.

Today I faced the day with a clear head. And a heart full of love.

Happy March to my fellow slicers!

Donuts

Every August us teachers eagerly scan our new list of students.  We attempt to put faces with the names in print. We identify the siblings and celebrate our good fortune as another year of goal setting commences.

Every year we invest our heart and soul into molding that list of names into deep thinkers, problem solvers, and my all time favorite “responsible, mature 4th graders.” We plan and execute each lesson with the hopes that those brilliant little minds are listening and learning. And there is a moment every year where I take a exhale and admit to my class that they are the best class I have ever taught. Its a confidence boost for us all. And at that moment I always mean what I say.

I have been lucky this year to repeatedly tell my class how amazing they are. This group of learners dive head first into new writing pieces. They read and question and infer. They work well with others. They have conversations with one another and myself about their reading and writing. They behave like “responsible, mature 4th graders.” They make their teacher proud.

That being said there is always some risk when a substitute is sent into a classroom.  Even the most well behaved class can waiver when the teacher they trust is not present. Yesterday, I was absent from school. I left the substitute lesson plans with a brief note. Please tell the students that my son is sick – they thrive on honest communication.  Remind them that I expect perfect behave.  Perfect behavior will be awarded with donuts.

Today, I returned to work and again praised my amazing students. Today, I read a short note before I began the day’s lessons.

Dear Mrs. Weathers,
Looks like you’re buying donuts!