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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Escape

I walk into the cold air, with my terry cloth bathrobe over  my bathing suit.  My feet are barely clinging to my flip flops, as I rush to my destination in the winter cold.  I walk through a  narrow path that has been shoveled out, just for me and my trips to this special healing place.  I gasp as I throw off my bathrobe, exposing my skin to the frigid night.  I toss my flip flops in the snow and walk up the snowy steps.  I submerged my cold body into the hot, steaming water, and I suddenly feel my body relax, as the bubbles are surrounding me.  I breath in the cold moon-lit air, and feel the warm sensation of the jets, the bubbles, and I find myself forgeting all my worries of the day.  I forget that I have worries that keep my up at night.  I forget all the items that were not checked off my famous "To Do" list.  I forget that I left my classroom, with a million things left undone.  I am surrounded by the dark night, with the moon shining bright upon me.  The stars flashing, as if saying, "You did good today.  Just do your best, and that's all you can do."  I hear the humming, like I always do, of some mysterious machinery.  I always ask myself, "What is that sound?"  And then I relax, because up to this night, it has proven to be a harmless sound.  The chlorine fills the night, as I push on again.  This seems to be my routine;  two rounds of bubbles and jets.

And then, as time always does, it sneaks up on me, and I realize that it's probably late, and my two rounds of bubbles has landed me close to 10:30PM.  Just as fast as I take off my robe, I put it on even faster, if at all possible.  I quickly seal my retreat, feel my flip flops in the cold, grab my towel, and run back through the narrow path that has been shoveled out, just for me.  Just for me on these nights that allow me to find my inner peace.  My escape.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Daylight Savings

My opinion on Daylight Savings....

I do not like Daylight Savings because I it makes me feel out of sorts.  This morning, I missed waking up to the shimmering sunlight, that warmed my face minutes before my alarm clock honked.  I missed a hour of sleep yesterday, so not quite feeling myself since I am drowsy.  While at work, I stayed late, not on purpose, but I thought it was much earlier than I thought, because of the sun still shining at 5:30.  My husband, late from work, because "he  probably thinks it's much earlier, like what I thought earlier," I told my kids.  Stepping in at 6:45 laughing, my husband told me just that.

This Daylight Savings is quite the trickster.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Heat Wave

On Sundays, I usually go grocery shopping.  The kids and my husband went skiing for the day, so I enjoyed a nice, quiet Sunday morning, but knew the trip to the grocery store was lurking.  I had to go, and leave the peace of the  house.

With  my shopping list, I headed out the door.  Before leaving, I looked at our thermometer and it said a balmy 38 degrees out.  With one of the coldest Februarys on record, 38 degrees is warm.

I looked through my jackets, and found my winter vest.

And I was so excited to not have to be all bundled up, it my down feather coat.  It was light and springy today, at 38 degrees.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Nap Day

I have been so tired today.  I took 2 2-hour naps.  It was a very lazy day.  I am so tired that all I can think about is how it's really 10:40 and not 9:40.

Hoping I am feeling better tomorrow.

Too much to do tomorrow to take a couple of naps!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fridays in Kindergarten

It's been a long week...
Today is Friday.
My students are always cranky on Friday.
It's been a long week.

Jai'Quan is crying because he can't stretch out the sounds in  "monster."
Lilly is crying because she thinks William will tell on her because she butt him in line.
Liam is at the nurse's because Alex accidentally hit him with his lunchbox.
And now Alex is crying.
Leah is crying because she misses her sister.

So many kids are crying.
It's been a long week.
Today reminds me of when my own children were toddlers, and they would cry for silly things if they were tired.

Today is Friday.
Everyone in Mrs. Walz's class is tired and cranky.

Smile Mrs. Walz.
No tears.
It's Friday.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sick Day and Do Sub Plans?

Last night, I came home from work exhausted, not being able to concentrate with head pain.  When I went to bed last night, I somehow found comfort in the fact that if I woke up feeling sick again, I WAS going to call the sub finder system, and I WAS going to call in sick.  Come on, you know you won't, but if it makes you feel better, go to bed thinking that.

When my alarm went off at 6  AM, I still wasn't feeling well.  I snoozed my alarm for awhile, and thought to myself that I had until 7 AM to call the sub service.  After 7, it is too late.  

Well, as the story always goes, I didn't want to do sub plans.  I really detest sub plans.  At 7:01, it was final.  I was going to my kindergarten classroom.  I would make them the green eggs and ham that I promised them.  I would make the most of my day with them.  They deserved that.  

As always, when my kindergarten students arrive, I don't have time to be sick.  My head pain takes a back seat.  I get through it, like I always do.  Today, with the lights off.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Personal Chef

I have a personal chef.  

When I come home from work, my house is filled with aromas; better than any scented candle.   I walk in, and I float through the kitchen.  "Mmm," we all say, amazed every single afternoon.  I smell the chicken basking in the spices.  Rosemary and basil.  My chef has been working furiously all day, for 7 hours.  My chef knows that I find comfort in his healthy and warm meals.  My chef knows I am home with the kids for a very short time afterschool, until we rush to our afterschool activities.  For that short time, we find solace in the meal that he prepares.  My personal chef knows that he is saving me from insanity.  My chef knows that we all love him.  

My chef's name is Mr. Crockpot.  I love him.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Windshield Wiper

Driving in a blustery winter storm today, my windshield wipers were once again frantically wiping the blowing storm away from my view in my heated car.  I kept repeating to myself It's March 3rd.  Why is it still snowing?  I wish I had snow tires.  I am DONE with this winter of 2015.  

As I am saying all these thoughts to myself, I see my windshield wiper on the driver side fly off, and into the black of the night.  Are you kidding me?  Where did that wiper go?  

I am only a mile or two from my house, so with careful driving and a heated dashboard that melted the snow once it hit my window, I was able to navigate myself home without any problems.

My driver wiper is in a ditch somewhere.  When the snow of 2015 finally melts, my wiper will be an artifact of this intense and coldest winter that I ever lived through.  Rest in peace windshield wiper.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Friend Pia

Pia and I at the Dresden International School.  
Today is my friend's Pia birthday.

We met at the Dresden International School.  Our husband's were both working in Germany, and our kids were students at the school.  My kids had been there since September;  Pia's kids were new to the school in December.  I had been living in Germany for 5 months, when Pia first moved to Dresden, Germany.

When your kids go to an international school, you immediately find comfort with the people from your nationality.  I had my American friends, and I naturally made lots of friendships with people from other countries.  My friend Mona, was from Germany.  My friend Bibi, was from Malaysia.  My friend Angie was from New Zealand.  I loved making friends with all of these intinguing women, but I did find my comfort  in my American friends.

I remember when I met Pia.  She was walking through the doors of the elementary building, and she was having troubles opening up the doors, since she had her 3 year-old daughter in the stroller.  I held the door for her, and I immediately knew she was American since she said thank you in an American way, without the hesitation or accent.  And she smiled at me.  Americans smile all the time.  I smiled back and made a comment about the weather that morning.  I remember it was so icy out, that people were falling all over the place on the busy sidewalks of the city outside the international school.  It was her first week living in Germany.

We became instant friends.  We would drop off the kids at school, and go to Starbucks.  We had lunches together.  Her daughter always in the stroller with us;  I adored her as well.  Then her parents came to visit, and I loved them.  

Pia and I talked about our lives.  We loved every minute of our lives in Dresden, Germany.  We knew we were lucky to be living in such an amazing city, and showing our kids (literally) the world with our travels.  We were always laughing, but we also poured our souls out.  

My husband was assigned to move back to  New York that July, and I remember having lunch with Pia and her daughter, and her son.  Her parents, who were living in Italy at the time, came back to visit, and we all had a good-bye lunch together.  My husband's company was putting us up for 2 nights in a hotel in the city center, since the moving company had already boxed our things.  We stood in front of the hotel and cried.  We had to say good-bye.  I loved this woman.  I loved her friendliness and her positive energy.  She was my perfect friend.  But I know, my life-long friend.

Pia stayed in Germany for one more year.    Her husband got relocated to Portland, Oregon.  My husband's family lives there, so we plan on visiting this summer, and I hope to spend some time with her.  

Today is her birthday.  I wish her the happiest of birthdays.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Writing Challenge for March...

So this month, I am going to write everyday on my blog.  I am participating in the Slice of Life, in which I am to write about a slice of my day.  So here is my first entry...

Maggie at her swim meet
This morning, our alarms went off at 5 AM.  Yesterday morning, I woke up at 9:30 without an alarm, so I am NOT a morning person and I love to sleep in.  After the dreaded alarm went off, my body went in mom mode.  You know what I mean...when  it's up to you to get the kids up and to move, direct and give orders.  We had to be at RPI College this morning by 7 AM for my daughter's swim meet.  7 AM was when warm ups were.  We weren't going to be late this time!

Waking up the kids was fun.  Maggie laid, kept sleeping, and she even hit me in her sleep.  Riley mumbled that he didn't want to go...why did he have to go...  But after 10 minutes, the kids were up, I was showering, and my husband was getting things in order.

We drove to RPI, got there by 7:05.  Maggie was in the pool, warming up, and I was off finding what events she was in, and when they were.  Swim meets are literally crazy.  Once you walk into a swim meet, it's up to you to find where the locker room is, the pool, and where to park yourself for the 4+ hours you will be there.  Parents can only go into the pool area when their child is swimming.  There's traffic in and out of the pool, a pool marshall is directing traffic and kicking parents out of the pool bleachers.  It's complete craziness.  And at 5 AM, it's a slow motion craziness.

Once we found out the events she was swimming, we relaxed and found a place to camp out in the basement of RPI.  Maggie swam in 3 events:  the 50 freestyle (she took off 1 second off her personal best), and the 100 Medley (she took off 3 seconds) and the 50 backstroke (which she placed first in her heat).  I was so proud of her.  She really is a good swimmer.  I love watching her swim, and how peaceful and graceful she is.  The craziness of the swim meet is all around me, but when I watch her swim in those 3 races, I found serene peace as I watch her gracefully float in the water with her smooth motions.  I am amazed.

After the races, it gets crazy again, as we are urged to leave since Maggie has finished her race.  We need to leave and exit to the basement, so the next set of parents can see their kids swim in the little area on the bleachers.  But before I exit, I walk to Maggie's area and yell below that she did great.  I do this after each race.  I want her to know how proud I am of  her.

When she finishes the last race, I meet her in the locker room, and help her change.  We see girls crying in the locker room.  We hear moms telling their daughters that they needed to swim harder.  I look at my 10 year-old daughter, and she looks at me.  I smile.  We don't even need to talk.  She knows I am proud of her.  In the locker room, I witness the "swim moms," and it shocks me that these moms are pushing their daughters.  "Swim moms," "Soccer moms," Dance moms..."  I am seeing it firsthand, and not on some reality show.  Wow.  I squeeze Maggie and comb her hair, and I am proud of our relationship.  She did her best.  She always does.  

5 AM.  An early start to the day. But what a day it was to see my daughter swim her heart out.