Monday, June 30, 2008

Orlando Trip

So here are the details of the Orlando trip. Did I tell you yet why I went? I was at the Model Schools Conference, so it wasn't just fun. It was a little bit of work too.

It all started with a long plane ride to Orlando. Of course, our flight was delayed, so I think I spent at least an extra hour in the airport.
We finally got to our hotel at about 10 o'clock at night, as it took forever to get our luggage and then arrange for transportation and then take that transportation to the Walt Disney Resort The Swan and The Dolphin. We stayed at the Dolphin part of the resort, but we could never figure out why it was called The Dolphin as we saw not even one dolphin while there. Instead, the logo had some kind of weird fish looking thing. So, I decided to call the hotel The Fish instead.

We found some expensive food at the Picabu cafeteria, which was hidden in the deepest netheregions of the hotel. From the beginning, it looked like there was no way that the $200 per diem given to us by the district was going to last four more days.

We then went to sleep in the most luxurious beds I've ever seen. They had feather pillows, down comforters, and super soft mattresses. I think they called them Heaven beds or Heavenly beds and they were that. Just a little bit o' heaven.

The next day, we rented a van and we all piled in to go to Universal Studios Orlando. It was a hot and humid day. Okay, everyday was a hot and humid day (I don't know how people live there all the time). And it rained (it did that everyday too). These are the rides we went on: The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man, Dueling Dragons (twice! Try the front seat. It's awesome!), the Pteradon Flyers (I don't think I spelled that right) which we stood in line an hour for to find out that it was a kids' ride that lasted about 30 seconds, Terminator 2 3-D show, The Simpsons, and The Mummy Returns (twice on that ride too). The best part of the day was spending time with teachers who I don't usually even see during the day and getting to know them better. I laughed all day long, except when I slipped and fell (I still have a bruise on my knee and my back still bothers me from the embarrassing accident).
On Monday, we went to several sessions, including one by Dr. Paul Nessbaum, which was about the brain and how to keep it healthy and another by Dr. Harry Wong, who is something of a celebrity in education circles. I think the best thing that I took away from the entire conference was what I heard from Dr. Wong. I have to have better procedures in my classroom; if I do that, I'll have fewer discipline problems.

We went to dinner that night together at Charley's Steakhouse. I ended up listening to a teacher and a VP talk about baseball all night long because I sat in the wrong place. Boring! But the food was pretty good. I don't know if it was $777 good (that was the total!) but it was good.

Tuesday, Amy and I went to a class about technology and reading, which kind of turned out to be a plug for Read 180 (which we would love to have, but it costs $35,000. If anyone has that kind of money to donate to my school, will you please let me know?). We then went to a session about Lexile scores, which Amy and I have been playing with ever since our students took the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) in April. We then went to a session put on by Scholastic about Read 180, where we got to pretend that we were in a Read 180 classroom. Once again, it looks cool, but I don't know how we would do it since, in order to be really effective, the students have to be doing it for 90 minutes everyday, and we're on a block schedule.

After a day of sessions, we went to the Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld. And it was a lot of fun, but it made me 1. Miss the good old days of going to Disneyland with my cousins when we would run from one end of the park to another (not that I could run), and 2. Miss my boys whenever I saw little kids enjoying themselves, and 3. Made me wish that I had a little girl everytime I saw one dressed up as a princess. But, like I said, it was fun. And again, I laughed so hard I could hardly move (which was rather embarrassing as I held up the ride at Space Mountain). Oh, here's a picture of the Haunted Mansion, which looks quite different from the one at Disneyland.

The next day we kind of hung around until we had to leave for the airport at 1:30. Oh, wait, first the hotel tried to charge me $10 a day for some "special" that they had made "available" to us. So, watch your room charges when you stay at The Swan and The Dolphin.

I finished reading The Host on the plane. And that's about it. That was my trip to Orlando. Oh, wait, also, watch for alligators if you ever go to Florida. There was a story on the news about a guy who saved his life by gouging an alligator's eyes after it bit off his hand! I was glad that I didn't run into any alligators while I was there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kung Fu Panda Style

I meant to write about Kung Fu Panda a couple of weeks ago, but totally forgot. I guess I still have some pregnant brain. However, I did want to let people know what I, and my boys, thought of the movie, since a lot of you have children the same age as Daniel and Andrew.

We all loved this movie. Seth and I thought it was very cute, funny, and tasteful. There wasn't any potty humor, unlike Shrek. Okay, I lied, there was one reference to pee, but it was nothing like potty humor; it was just true! The boys also loved the movie and they still talk about it. I bought them Kung Fu Panda shirts yesterday and they wanted to go to McDonald's because they had Kung Fu Panda toys. It really was an appropriate movie for the entire family. So, go see it if you haven't already.

Do Eat This!

Wednesday, as we were sitting in the Orlando Airport waiting for our delayed plane sitting right next to a Ben & Jerry's stand, Amy told me about "Phish Food." When I went to the store yesterday, I saw that Ben and Jerry's was on sale 4 for $10, so I found the Phish Food, but I decided to pick up the Light instead of the full fat, full calories stuff because I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to stop at the recommended serving size of 1/2 a cup. And it was yummy!

The ice cream itself is this wonderful soft, smooth chocolate concoction and then they've swirled marshmellow cream and caramel in with little chocolate fish. And it was difficult to stop eating. I ate about half of it last night and then the other half for breakfast. And now I need to start my diet.

So, if you have to choose between the Lean Cuisine Pesto Chicken Flatbread sandwich and the Ben and Jerry's Light Phish Food, choose the Phish Food.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Orlando, Woo-Hoo!

Well, I wasn't super-excited to go to Orlando (I don't know why; I think there's something wrong with my brain), but I am so glad now that I went. I learned some cool stuff at the conference from Dr. Paul Nussbaum and Harry Wong and the people from MetaMetrics and Scholastic Read 180 that I'm excited to take back to my classroom next year. I also had a lot of fun at Univeral Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World. I got to sleep in the most comfortable bed ever at The Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World without the baby waking me up in the middle of the night. I had the chance to get to know some of the teachers I work with better and came away with more respect and admiration for them and what they do. And I laughed a lot! It felt so good to laugh like that and to just feel like a normal person again.

That's probably the reason that I'm happiest that I went; I feel like myself again. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but I feel like I'm the person I was before I got pregnant last year. I've felt rather out of sorts since then because I was sick and uncomfortable and tired. And then when I wasn't pregnant anymore, I was Mom all day long, which I'm not used to. I guess it was just nice to interact with just adults for 5 days and remember what I'm like when my life is more than just feeding the children and changing diapers.

Okay, I plan on writing more about the actual trip soon, so stay tuned for all the juicy details. Well, maybe not all of them. After all, what happens in Orlando stays in Orlando.

Friday, June 20, 2008

See All Ya'all Next Week!

Well, it's almost time for me to finish packing up for my trip to Orlando. I leave for the airport tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to sleeping through the night. I mean, Nathan's a very good baby, but he's still a baby and he still wakes up hungry. So, the sleeping will be a nice change. And the beds at the hotel we're staying at look like the most comfortable thing every. I'll probably have to be dragged out of bed, kicking and screaming.

I'll take pictures and show you all next week! Have a good time without me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Warning, do not buy and/or eat the Lean Cuisine flatbread pesto chicken sandwich. It will make you rue the day you paid your hard-earned and thinly-stretched dinero to buy the nasty thing.

Generally, I really like Lean Cuisine. There might be a few that I don't really care for, but this is the first one that I actually found disgusting. It's just all-out weird. I can't even describe how terrible it was.

So, be grateful that I tried one first, because now you don't have to. I just hope that I can get the experience out of my mind (and mouth) soon.

Nathan Gordon

Yesterday, we were all in the car, with the three boys crammed into the back with the baby's car seat and the others' booster seats, on our way to a special place we like to call McDonald's when I heard Daniel talking to the baby and calling him "Nathan Edward." He then said that we should call the baby "Nathan Gordon."

At first I couldn't figure out why Daniel wanted to call the baby Nathan Gordon. And then it hit me and I started laughing: Daniel thinks of this Edward when he says Nathan Edward, not this Edward, who the baby is actually named after.

I think I'll let them believe for a while that the baby is named after one of Thomas' friends. After all, it's probably less traumatic to believe that you're named after a very useful steam engine rather than a blood-sucking vampire.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Miracle!

"It's a miracle! Miracle! A true blue spectacle, a miracle come true!" Yes, it is a miracle. As I was getting ready for church this morning (unfortunately missing the sacrament, which was my whole reason for getting ready for church today because I haven't been to church since before the baby was born), I decided to try on a skirt that I bought before I got pregnant last fall. And it fit! It's a miracle! I guess I'll have to go through my other clothes and see what still fits. Yipee!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Running Away...

I just got back home after I ran away for a couple of hours. I tried to run away earlier, but Daniel saw me leaving and he wanted to go too. And then Andrew saw Daniel getting ready to leave and wanted to go too. So I spent an hour with them at Michaels with Daniel saying most of the time, "Let's go home now, Mommy."

Then I had to get away without the children. Nathan is fine; it's the two who can talk who were driving me nuts. And the husband was watching a war movie and I was so sick of hearing things being blown up I was about to scream.

So I ran away again. I ended up at the dollar store listening to other people's children scream. I just wanted some quiet time!!! I guess I'll have to wait until bedtime to get some of that.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Can't Wait for Dawn to Break!

Yesterday I got to read the first chapter from Breaking Dawn. My friend Amy bought the special edition of Eclipse and she let me read the extra stuff at the back. And all I can say is that it's going to be a long, long wait until August!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Here's the Story...

So, most of those who read this blog have already seen the above picture, but I haven't taken any more pictures so I'm just going to post this one. But you probably have heard the story of how Nathan Edward came into the world. Here it is:

Last Wednesday, I was really starting to feel anxious about having, as I was calling him before he was born, "this baby." I didn't sleep at all Tuesday night because I was having panic attacks wondering if I would have to go back to work after Wednesday (I took Tuesday and Wednesday off as family sick leave because my boys were sick and because I couldn't stand the thought of being at work anymore).

So, going into my doctor's appointment on Wednesday at 2:10, I was not the happiest camper. The doctor's MA mentioned that I was my normal, happy self. Nope, I was not. I wanted to have the baby! So, the doctor stripped my membranes again, told me I was 80% effaced and dilated between a 3 and a 4. He told me that if the hospital weren't so busy, he would send me in that day to have my water broke, but the hospital wouldn't let him do that. He then said that if I started feeling any contractions at all to go to the hospital. I wasn't to worry that they were a certain number of minutes apart or anything like that. He wouldn't let the hospital send me home. Then he gave me a note for the district saying that I needed to go on maternity leave that day.

I had decided earlier that I would go into the school after my appointment to get some grading done. But as I was driving (it took me maybe 15 minutes), I started having contractions. And they started coming strong and fast. I got to the school, went inside, and told my friend that I wasn't going to stay and grade; I was going to go to the hospital. I called my husband and told him to meet me at the hospital. I was just going to drive myself to the hospital, but the other teachers convinced me that it wasn't the best idea (for which I was grateful later). So, my friend Amy drove me to the hospital in my car while Shauna followed us so she could take Amy back to the school.

When we got to the hospital, I called my husband and he had just dropped off our boys and was on the way. I was a little bit stressed. When we went into the hospital, they took me right into triage and Amy stayed with me. I'm sure it was uncomfortable for her, but I was glad that there was someone there with me until Seth got there. So, after what seemed like an eternity, my husband showed up and the person taking down my personal information was finally done (seriously, I was in pain and she was asking me questions like we were just hanging out or something), and I was wheeled into a delivery room. And, bing, bang, boom, the baby was born.

Okay, it wasn't quite that quick, but there was never a moment to just relax. I went from being dilated to a 5 when I got to the hospital to a 9 within an hour. This baby did not want to wait! So, I figure from when I first started feeling contractions to when Nathan was actually born was all of about 3 hours.

So, that's the story. Nathan was born at 9 pounds (my other two were both under 8 pounds when born) and he is 20 1/2". And so far, he's been a really good baby. He gets upset when he's hungry, but that's about it. And as you can see from the picture, the boys already love him. Daniel likes to talk to him and hold him and tell him that everything is okay.

And now it sounds like he's starting to get fussy, so I guess I better get a bottle ready.