< Upheaval: January 2005

Sunday, January 30, 2005

What I learned in church today

There is this girl (woman) that goes to our church who shall remain nameless. I don't even know her well; not more than a "hello" or smile on Sunday mornings. She is very pretty, the type of pretty that would look good standing outside of a stage coach with a parasol and a giant fru-fru dress. Daniel (my devoted spouse) has even commented before on how pretty she is. (It was something guyish, like "What is she doing with HIM?" but I got the drift.)

ANYWAY. One of the most noticable things about her is that when she smiles, her eyes get squinty and turn into these little rainbow shapes. Or maybe little sunrises, I am not sure. But they are cute. She makes you want to get her to smile. I am sure this sounds very weird to you, but the point of my story is that I spent a good majority of church this morning trying to make my eyes into little rainbows, as well. I am sure this was to the great entertainment of people across the aisle, because I was distorting my face in a rather painful attempt at cuteness. I was in my own little world until I caught a little girl watching me.

I don't think I attained "cute rainbow eyes" but I am also not sure who saw my display. I probably should give Daniel some background information so that he won't be confused by the looks of sympathy next week.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Name change

I changed the name of my blog because this more accurately describes my life at this time, and because I can.

Shout Out

I am an avid reader. My favorite things in my house are my seven-and-a-half-foot, wall-to-wall oak bookshelves that I fill with all sorts of reading material - fiction, crime stories, non-fiction, education research, kids' books. Needless to say, I am always excited to find a new author, because that usually opens the door to a whole section of books I haven't read!

I picked up a couple of books last week at Hasting's from the clearance table and I am loving this author! Why were these books cheap? They are great! Her name is Angela Hunt, and you should check her out. She is a Christian author, but SHE IS NOT HOKEY AT ALL. The Christian books I have read before have been so boring and smarmy. (Ha! I love that word!) She writes cool stories about real (ish) people!

If you already knew this, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT HER?!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Friday Night Live

I have looked forward to taking a nap since last weekend. Today, I rushed home from school, and started a fire since it is cold and rainy. I curled up on the couch and tried to take a nap. And tried to take a nap.

Something is wrong with that sentence because I have been on the verge of collapse for five days. I couldn't sleep! Daniel came in and we ate. I still couldn't sleep.

I watched the 5 and 6 o'clock news, and Wheel of Fortune. Two episodes of Friends. I got super bored cause Daniel is painting the bathroom.

The final result is me, with gray smudges under my eyes from all my attempted napping, wearing athletic socks and my wedding dress, and eating pickles from the jar. I prefer Polish dill to Kosher dill, which is something I recently learned. It is only 8:22, but I think I will de-frock and go to bed.

Can anybody beat that for an eventful Friday night?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


I am proud to say that I have wonderful self-control and an unusual amount of patience with my students. Today, however, I almost blew it. I almost said an ugly word in front of my kids. Let me describe the scene for you.

It is nap time, so the kids have gotten their mats out and are laying down in their assigned places. Well, not really. They are hitting each other with their mats and scootching all around on the floor to get next to their friends. I am trying to help our newest friend, Katelyn, get situated in her corner. Her nap area just happens to be in our Dramatic Play center. This week in that center, we are playing rodeo. We have chaps, a real saddle, ropes, horses-on-a-stick, and a large plastic steer head for roping.

I grab her mat off the shelf and head over to where she sleeps. I am saying the usual teacher things, like, "Alright, Friends. Let's get still and quiet." and "I LIKE how Victoria is being such a good rester." In retrospect, I should have said, "Blake, quit rolling all over the floor like a bowling pin" because at that moment, I tripped over Blake's feet. I took a GIANT step to avoid the area where his body should have been. Unfortunately, he was propelling himself across the floor and his body was nowhere near where I thought it was. I almost stepped on his little face (that would have been GREAT to explain!) and instead twisted my ankle and impaled myself on the plastic steer.

During the course of this slow-motion event, I was saying something intelligent like "BBBBBBLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"

All of the kids were wide-eyed when I finally righted myself and threw the mat down.

Overall, it was quite a performance. But I must say, if I had been less of a patient, controlled person, there is no tellin' what stories their mamas would hear around the dinner table tonight.

Friday, January 21, 2005

All apologies

I have to post something. I can't stand opening my blog one more time and seeing that yucky picture. I will definitely wear makeup and contacts next month, and I will probably not show you quite so much of my undergarments.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

This is me, seven weeks pregnant. The bulge that is there was there two months ago, so don't even say anything about that!

Afternoon snack

I am feeling nostalgic about my job, seeing as how I was sent home from it today. My eyes had some abnormally gross crusties all around the lids and I am talking like a pack-a-day smoker does after about twenty years. Apparently, I am not supposed to take care of my nineteen babies on a day like this, I am supposed to come home and take care of myself. OH!

My job teaches me many things. I probably learn more than the kids. Well, at least as much as they do.

I know that I need to eat a snack in the early afternoon. It makes me in a better mood. I stop what I am doing and eat about ten goldfish and a glass of milk, or one graham cracker with a Capri Sun juice pack. Mid-afternoon snacks should be a national mandate.

I know that everyone wants to pretend to be a cowboy. So sometimes, I take a minute to gallop around saying "yeehaw" just because it is really fun. At school.

I know that birthdays are the most special day! You gotta tell everyone! Just so they can be happy WITH you.

I know that kids songs are cool and when I listen to them all day, I sing them all night and weekend. But I have learned some great ones that I didn't know as a kid. Like "The Grand Old Duke of York." But the one on the "Nursery Rhymes" cd is better than the "Kid's Ballads." For obvious reasons.

I know that tiny bo-bos need attention, no matter how small. That is why I run to Daniel with my hangnail or miniscule bruise for him to examine. It is comforting.

I know that it is so easy to love Jesus as a child. They know He is in their heart and they know He is a "good guy like the Power Rangers." They want to make Him happy and they believe that He watches them all day, every day. When we have our state-required daily "moment of silence," I tell my kids to talk to God. They say heartbreaking things like "Hey God. Thanks for the weather." and "Hi God. What are you doing?" and "God, I want my momma to come pick me up today cause I don't like to ride the bus." It is amazingly sweet.

These are just a few reasons that I fit in pretty well with four year olds. So, if ever in casual conversation, I throw in a "Yee-haw" just out of nowhere, take a moment to recognize that you have wanted to say that all along.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Seven degrees of separation (or Kevin Bacon)

Anyone who gets chain-emails is familiar with this theory. You are within seven contacts of knowing every person on Earth. Well, this weekend, I have not only proven this theory, but found an exception. I present:

The Three Degrees of Ricci Jean Wilson

Ricci is a dear friend of mine, and also a co-worker. She has a sweet heart and would do her best to help you if you needed it. Ricci also knows roughly 25% of the population of the earth. Part One of my theory is that the rest of the population can be reached by her within three degrees. The proof is in the following story.

I only told one person at Woden (my small, rural school) that I was pregnant. I did also tell my blog readers, and my family. I really wanted to wait until later to tell my co-workers, just because it is SO EARLY. So I had conversations with Ricci without even mentioning this secret.

But I told my Grandma Collier (#1) on Friday who told her brother, Uncle Sambo (#2) who called his old neighbor, Nancy Taylor (#3). Nancy called her daughter Ricci, and Ricci called me at 11pm on a Saturday night with her feelin's hurt.

Part Two of my theory is this: Seeing how Ricci knows so many people, the most efficient way to spread news is to tell her, encourage her to tell her contacts, then sit back and wait for the phone to start ringing!

I love you, Ricci, and I'm sorry!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Jessica's Quiz

This is a quiz I got off of Jessica's blog. I don't have much to write about this morning, so I thought this would be fun. YOU HAVE TO FILL IT OUT AND RESPOND!

3 names you go by:
1) Amanda
2) Mandy
3) Miss Johnson

3 screen names you have:
1. reciprocating_engine
2. hotchickfromtexas
3. number2isalie

3 things you like about yourself:
1. my short, almost-black hair
2. my love of all kinds of music and the way I sound by myself in my car
3. my right shoulder, which pops loudly when I lay on my right side at night.

3 things you hate/dislike about yourself:
1. the hip fat that I can pinch and pull but it won't ever go away
2. my inability to demonstrate appropriate emotional control without medication
3. my sleepiness

3 things that scare you:
1. losing Daniel
2. losing my parents
3. losing my siblings

3 of your everyday essentials:
1. contact lenses
2. Carmex and Neosporin (don't ask)
3. my tiny, green crocodile purse

3 things you're wearing right now:
1. panties
2. a bra
3. my toering

3 of your favourite bands/artists:
1. Rascall Flatts
2. Amy Grant (I KNOW SHE IS FLAKY!!!)
3. Anything on Sirius channel 12

3 of your favourite songs at present:
1. Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth
2. Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf (okay, we listen to that at school)
3. OutKast - Roses (HA! This song is hilarious - look up the lyrics!)

3 new things you want to try in the next 12 months:
1. giving birth
2. being nice to Daniel every day because he is so great
3. doing my very best at my job because my kids need me

3 things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
1. laughter
2. honesty
3. raw abandonment of any facades (Dr. Phil told me that one)

2 truths and a lie:
1. I have a pet lizard
2. I love to go to the dentist
3. I drink a coke a day, without fail
(now, can you tell me which one is the lie?)

3 physical things about a love interest that appeal:
1. sweet smile
2. strong arms
3. cutest little hiney

3 things you just can't do:
1. cut Daniel's hair
2. balance a checkbook
3. finish this post before Daniel makes me leave for Lufkin

3 of your favorite hobbies:
1. reading
2. working out at Curves
3. teaching (it is a job, but it is ALSO a hobby!)

3 things you want to do really badly right now:
1. dry my hair
2. get dressed
3. be ready to leave so my husband won't be mad at me

3 careers you're considering:
1. career student
2. lifetime teacher
3. autism specialist

3 places you want to go on vacation:
1. South Carolina (have never been to the East coast)
2. New York
3. some exotic tropical island where only stars go cause it is so expensive

3 kids names (either boy or girl):
1. Sarah
2. Jacob
3. Daniel

3 things you want to do before you die:
1. hold my baby
2. see the Northern Lights
3. beat SOMEONE in checkers

3 people who have to take this quiz now:
1. Jennifer
2. Cindy - you send me these all the time
3. everyone else!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Don't cry over spilled....

... urine. That is right. Don't cry about it because that doesn't help the situation and you look even more like a bumbling idiot.

I went to the doctor today for that little ten-footed-secret-that I can't keep secret anymore. Of course, I have to pee in a cup so they can do their own tests. I am shaking like a leaf because this is a stressful thing, even when you are as cool as I am.

At my doctor's office, the bathroom has this little cubby in the wall where you place your "specimin" when you are done. A secret gnome retrieves it from the other side when you are done, but your job is to get it into the cubby.

This proved to be difficult for me. I was concerned about peeing too much in the cup, because I could just imagine what they would write in my chart: "pisses like a racehorse." So I peed a tiny bit, put the cup down, finished peeing, performed basic hygeine rituals, pulled my pants up, flushed, then washed my hands. I picked up the pee-pee cup and headed toward the cubby.

I opened the door with my left hand and had the pee-pee cup in my right. The cubby door, which is springloaded with a trampoline spring, slipped from my left hand and hit my right hand, so the cup of pee-pee spilled all over the floor and my shoe. There were about three molecules of urine left in the cup, so I can imagine what they will put in my chart now: "pees like a tiny mouse."

But, after all of that stress, the nurse said I was right - I am pregnant!

Stewed Figs from the neighbor's neighbor

We made cookies for some of our friends this holiday season. They are darn good cookies, too - cheap to make and easier than buying real gifts. Right before Christmas, we distributed these cookies to friends and neighbors. The nice people next door, who will remain anonymous, appreciated the cookies. "Ister-may Ill-Bay" felt that he wanted to reciprocate our gesture with one of his own, so he dug through his pantry and found some stewed figs. He brought them to us, explaining that someone gave them to him, and he DOESN'T LIKE THEM. I generously took them, so that I could put them in our trash can, because, what is a fig, anyway?

I thought it might be a one-time event, but a few days later, "Ister-may Ill-Bay" came over offering soup. It was "a chili-based soup" he said, and he wasn't sure he could eat it. I accepted, and then he revealed to me that the neighbor up the street had given it to him. Does this violate anyone else's social code, or just mine? At this time, I quickly said, "Now that I think about it, I don't like chili-based soup, either."

Was that a good save or what?

To complement my suave recovery, I now run gracefully the other way when I see him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hints, mints

Forget the hints. I can't even think of any hints that wouldn't just flat give this secret away. I have racked my brain and nothing is coming to me. You guys are all smart and will probably figure it out even without my hints. Guess away!

I do have a great joke though, compliments of my brother.

Why does Snoop Dogg need an umbrella?

(Hush if you know this! No fair ruining my one good joke!)

*** !elzzird eht fo tuo yats oT

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Will the real Amanda please stand up?

So, today I think I will write a little about myself. Only the facts, though. No opinions yet.

1) I am a pre-k teacher. This is not the same as being a babysitter. My job is hard and my kids learn a lot during the year. In Texas, they have to qualify for the pre-k program in public schools, so they are either economically challenged, or they speak English as a second language. I have two degrees in order to do what I do, and I probably shouldn't have stopped there.

2) I live in the same town where I grew up. I also went to college here. I love Nacogdoches!

3) I have a dog who is the sweetest thing (this is a fact!). His name is Tux. He is quietly neurotic and he loves ice.

4) My husband and I share many of the same passions such as sleeping, and talking, and putting up with me being silly. The passions we do not share are reading, music, and cleaning house (all mine).

5) I own all available series of Friends on DVD and I watch them because I have a difficult time finding things to laugh at sometimes, and I ALWAYS laugh at Friends.

That sounds like a good start. Watch for a future installment of "WTRAPSU!"

Friday, January 07, 2005

Secrets and a DVR

I have a delicious secret. It is more delicious than this coke float I am having for a snack. It is way more delicious than poppyseed dressing (Jessica)!

I am not the best secret keeper. Christmas gifts kill me. I drop barely-disguised hints, then act disappointed when the recipient guesses what it is. I think this posting is the first of many hints I will post incessantly until someone just flat out figures it out.

To save myself for tonight, I am going to change the subject. I would like to tell you about my DVR. This is something that my husband got for himself, but I have quickly overtaken it. DVR is an option with digital cable and it works like TiVo. You can record shows (up to three at a time!), rewind shows you are watching, and pause the tv if the phone rings. All this for only $2.95 a month! This may be even better than ... oh, I dunno... MY COKE FLOAT?!?!?!

I am not a television watcher, but this has turned me into one! I can fastforward commercials on the shows I record. I can rewind 10 seconds at a time if I missed a word or a phrase. I can fastforward the dance part of Ellen, since it is the same every day! I watch about two hours of television a day now, all in about 36 minutes. Pretty efficient, huh?

I am sure other people have had this kind of luxury for years, but it is new to my little town and I am durn proud of it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Creamy cheesy asparagus... WHAT?

If you don't like asparagus, you will not like it creamed and cheesed. I made this gourmet soup last night that has been occupying space in my pantry for a year. It was a gift - I did not purchase it. The asparagus floats crunchily on the top of the skin of this soup. In one word, it is yucky.

And I have eight cups of it left.

Monday, January 03, 2005

'Twas the night before school

We went back to school today. Just a teacher workday, thank goodness. Kids come back tomorrow. Teachers need this day to cluster outside of our classrooms and catch up on the fun of our Christmas vacations. If kids came back right away, we wouldn't get anything done for all of the talking we had to do.

Of course, I am wasted. Two weeks of sleeping late and staying up late did me no good. Last night, I had the anxiety that has always accompanied a return to school. I woke up this morning with the covers knotted up and the tv remote under my neck. I had to remake the entire bed. (This from a person who used to fold her covers back, Bree-like, and lay still so that I wouldn't have to work hard to make my bed in the morning.) Thankfully, Daniel was working and did not have to witness my pitiful attack of nerves.

Why do I do this? I realize that I am going to spend the rest of my life in school, either as a student, or as a teacher. At least I could train myself to be functional the night before The Great Return. Or maybe this is something I should resign myself to for the next forty years.