Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pictures now up!

Posted pictures from our Monday adventure at Greenfield Village. Go HERE to check them out!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ups and Downs

Get the worst of the weekend out of the way - I lost our digital camera. Yes, "I" lost it, because I was the one who had it last. No use getting in the details, but indeed "lost" is the correct word because I can't even remember when I had it last on Saturday. I remember one specific thing but then - the mind goes blank. So all the cute shots I got of Roman and Iris together.... gone...

It was also d*&% hot out this weekend. Since when is it in the 90s in May in Michigan? But other than sweating (there was no glistening going on) and being very upset about the camera, we had a good weekend. On Saturday we did the Alma Festival and had a fun day. Iris had never experienced bagpipes so Roman took her under his wing. They loved seeing the "fuzzy cows" and the border collies, complete with ducks and sheep to herd - and later, to pet. Again, lost the camera or I would show you all the great pictures.

Sunday we stayed at home. Some little errands around town, such as picking up another litter box and cleaning out the storage area of our basement, including the pee stains in the carpet, were in order. In the afternoon Roman and I went to our local Blockbuster store to rent some kid videos. He picked out "Piglet's Big Movie" and "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command." Buzz is a little too violent but he appears to like it. Piglet is more a "retrospective" of how important Piglet is. I would argue that, as he's my least favorite character. We haven't rented videos in so long we couldn't remember how expensive they were. 3.99 a video for the "general release"! Holy cow.

Today we went to the Civil War Remembrance at Greenfield Village. I do have pictures of this, but they are on 35mm film that I have to take in to the photo guy that I like. Oh, the loss of instant gratification! At noon they had a memorial service that was fascinating. The fife and drum band was right in front of us, and later we saw them perform. Roman got into touring all the different buildings and was quite upset if a door was closed, which meant he couldn't tour the place. We also rode the carousel, a Model-T, and the train. A busy day! Roman adored the carousel. The first time we visited the Village he just watched it but didn't want to ride. Today he saw the zebra and giraffe animals on it and decided he needed to ride the zebra. The boy is so smart - he even pointed out to Daddy how the animals went up and down on the crank shaft thingy overhead. He had a big smile on his face and even rode "no handed!"

Our local paper did have a nice editorial cartoon that illustrates exactly how I feel today. Not that people can't have a good time - we sure did - but I think Americans in general forget that today is, at the heart, Memorial Day, or as it used to be called, Decoration Day, to honor the soldiers who died to keep us free.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Picture Parade

Finally, I upload some pictures. First, Doug's birthday with a quiet little celebration at home:


Next, celebration of Doug's graduation with his Master's degree. Yup, April was all about Doug!


Lastly, this was just too cute not to tell you about. Roman and Daddy got to talking about buying toys with the quarters in Roman's piggy bank. We went to Farmer Jack on Wednesday night with a bunch of change in a Ziploc bag, carried by Roman, that had been dumped out of the "purple pig." Roman picked out these bubbles to buy. He put it on the conveyor belt, picked out the money, paid for it and everything. He was VERY proud of this purchase - the first with his own money!



How many of us don't feel good?

It's been a week of sickness around our house. Pretty sure it's just seasonal allergies - mostly sinus and lots of drainage. Roman is about 2 days behind my own symptoms, but he doesn't like to take his Triaminic so spends a lot of his day being stuffy. He does love Vicks VapoRub, though. We suspect one of our cats - probably Merry - is not feeling quite right either. There has been a large increase in wetting around the basement, with a really obvious one last night, so I suspect there's a urinary tract issue. So have to call the vet about that one.

Otherwise, looking forward to a weekend off. For once, I have had no take-home work all week and that will also include this weekend. Everything is planned pretty much to the end of the school year, and I'm on top of grading. Saturday we are going to the Alma Highland Festival as we like to do most years. Roman loves the drumming. We are meeting my parents up there this year, and they are bringing Iris for the day. The kids will have a great time.

Sunday we are staying close to home, getting some cleanup done around the house and yard. Want to stain the deck eventually and put a railing up, new stairs, that kind of thing. Monday we're heading to Greenfield Village for a Civil War Memorial Day. I'm pretty excited about that.

I signed Roman up today for a swim class to start June 26th - July 12. It's an hour long and aimed at getting kids used to the water with and without parents. A "transition" class to get them ready for actual swim classes. It's for 3-5 year olds so I'm sure we'll take it again. I'm not so sure Roman can float, but he's getting braver about getting his face wet!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Small little stories.

Doug is out watching the Pistons vs. Heat playoff game. Knew someone who ended up with an extra ticket, and I was glad he could go. I do lots of scrapping weekends, dinners with a former coworker, stuff like that - Doug rarely gets an evening out. So Roman and I watched the first few minutes and pretended like we could see Daddy before Roman went off to bed.

This past weekend I co-hosted a baby shower with 2 other friends for Nicole, who is due June 18 with a little boy they are naming Perrin. It was very successful in my opinion, lasting only 2.5 hours with over 30 people in attendance. Roman spent the day with his Papa and Doug at the John Ball Park Zoo in GR. They had just opened a stingray exhibit where people could touch and feed them. Roman was excited about it, until he actually saw them. Then he freaked out, according to Doug, and tried to sit down and crawl away backward. But he ended up just watching them and is still talking about it.

Roman is so smart, by the way, that he can keep all the zoos straight; he calls them "Ball Zoo," "Troit Zoo" and "New Zoo." The New Zoo is the one in Battle Creek. His memory is just amazing. As his birthday is fast approaching, everything he sees he wants on his birthday list. We are only giving him a few little things, as we're going to South Dakota to visit family a couple weeks after his birthday and want to purchase a few "exciting car" items. We also keep explaining that not everything that goes on his birthday list he will receive. Hope it goes okay! He is practicing holding up three fingers to tell people how old he will be.

At work, I and a coworker Lisa decided that we are going to take on a student teacher next year for the first semester. We interviewed him today and he observed both of us in class, and asked to come back to do more. He seems very eager and very definite that teaching is what he wants to do. Lisa noticed a quiet confidence; I noticed an organized and methodical person. So I think he will work out well. I just wish I wasn't on a d$&# cart again next year. I know I have no choice; and I could have a half-size room off in D wing if I requested it; it's just frustrating to go from room to room and not be able to keep supplies somewhere. The half-size room full of 8th grade stinky bodies isn't appealing.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Helen Keller lives here

Have you ever read a biography of Helen Keller? From all accounts that I've found, once Helen made the connection of the words spelled in her hand and an actual thing (the breakthrough for Helen being water from the handpump), she drove her teacher crazy wanting to know the name of everything she encountered. So it goes with Roman. Our dreaded question is not "why?" but "what's that called?" because it is usually followed by a "what's that do?" Roman wants to know the name of everything and how everything works. Example: I allowed him to have a disposable camera this week. It took only one showing of how to wind to the next picture, and the boy was shooting like a pro. He has taken the camera everywhere, and I mean everywhere - daycare and Michael's craft store, even! At Michael's he took pictures of the Thomas trains that he wants but doesn't have. Nice, huh? I'm dropping the camera off this afternoon to see if any of them actually are decent. Lots with his hand in front of the camera, I'm sure. But he's very proud that he can take pictures.

I don't like to make a big deal out of Mother's Day weekend. I'd rather people acknowledge my birthday. However, it's convenient that the scrapbooking Mega-Meet is always held on Mother's Day Weekend. I am granted by my wonderful husband, all Saturday to browse and shop at the convention! This year my Mom and I are taking a class in projects using "Basic Grey" which is a line of paper we really like. I'm looking forward to it! It's supposed to rain all weekend off and on, so while I'm trying to hold onto my money at the scrapbook convention, the men & boy are going to be puttering around the basement. Lots of little things to be done; painting the train table, putting some trim up, perhaps even finishing off the stair-wall with paneling.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Darn the voters, anyway.

Toured the Ford Rouge Plant this afternoon as part of the American History Grant I participate in. Only 3 of us went but it was a great time. We watched the F-150 being built; car doors, windshield, air bags, steering wheel, and final inspections. Quite fascinating, really. The three most interesting facts I learned: 1) the Rouge has a deep-water boat slip for delivery of raw materials; 2) the F-150 assembly line is 4 miles long; 3) The Rouge complex itself is 1 mile long by 3/4-mile wide. Just amazing, the vision to build that thing.

Disappointing things occurred in the voting booths of the two cities I am involved with. In the city I live in, the vote was between 2 candidates for school board; voting for the incumbent meant you supported the "Legacy" plan of closing a few schools and re-aligning grades in all the others (k-4, 5/6, 7/8, 9-12). A vote for the challenger meant you supported the group that is suing to have the Legacy plan blocked. The challenger, unfortunately, won. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Secondly, the city in which I work was attempting to pass a bond on the heels of one last year. This year's bond was in two parts: the first would repurpose the oldest middle school and build a new one in the southern region of the district, where all the new building is occurring; along with this would come new classrooms for my own school and another one to handle the kids dislodged from the middle school to be closed. The second part could only occur if the first one passed and was also approved; this would add a theater and pool to the third high school (which doesn't have either of those items), and improve the football and baseball fields which all 3 high schools share.

Alas.... the first one failed by 210 votes. Which means the second one couldn't occur, but that one would have failed anyway. So although the district approved a third high school a few years ago, and approved a new elementary school last year, apparently middle schools don't need to be added. Even though of 5 middle schools, 3 are at capacity, one is over capacity, and the one that is below capacity is the one that was going to close.

Blame the committee, the residents, the economy... but based on this vote I can safely say I will never have a classroom again as long as I'm in this district, even if I return full time. Mark my words. But there are fresh strawberries in the fridge that need to be cleaned and eaten, so I'm off.

Monday, May 01, 2006

April is a busy month

I should have pictures to go with all the excitement from last week, but I either don't, or haven't uploaded them yet. The day after we met Thomas the Tank Engine was Doug's birthday. Your typical Monday, unfortunately. Met parents VE for dinner Wednesday to do birthday "things." Thursday Doug went in to work early, took a quick break to see his child around dinner, and headed back to work until about midnight. Friday was my birthday, a pretty deflated one at that. Most people remembered... eventually. A summary of our birthdays would be for Doug: undercooked cupcakes. For Amy: we had Wendy's for dinner. Hooray.

My own parents came on Saturday and we got a lot of work done around the house with my Dad helping in the yard. Sunday morning brought Doug's graduation from U-M-Dearborn with his graduate degree in Engineering Management. So parents VE came with friends Paul and Nicole, along with my own parents, to see the ceremony. And did I mention that Roman was a fantastic little boy through all this excitement? He rolled with the punches and even played well for the 1-1/2 hours he stayed in the Field House for graduation. He eventually got to watch a video with his Grandpa in the car for the last part of the ceremony. We then all 9 of us trooped out to a yummy late lunch at Bravo's Italiano.

Sunday afternoon found everyone driving back home, and us looking at an Open House for a home I had been wanting to see inside of for months. It's been on the market forever and I wanted to see what was "wrong." Just location, on the corner of 2 busy streets. Way out of our price range, but if it was IN our price range I'd put an offer on it tonight. I really liked it.

We were all in bed much earlier than our usual bedtimes. Roman was exhausted and in bed by 7:30, asleep by 8pm. Doug went to bed about 9:30 and I followed around 10pm. Whew!