24 September 2009

Good times

Hey guys, sorry I've been such a lazy blogger. Since my grading and story-writing frenzy died down, I've felt a little restless, and have been spending my computer time searching for new jobs! So far, I'm really excited about pursuing writing some lesson plans for readwritethink.org, the resource website for the National Council for Teachers of English, and possibly doing some freelance public relations work. That last one is really still hypothetical; I've talked to several local people, but no one wants to spend extra money on PR right now. So hmmmm....if it's God's will, I'll find some jobs, and if not, okay! This week I had the ephiphany that I've not gotten several full-time positions in the past couple years that I really thought would be absolutely perfect for me, but God had a better plan for me! I know if I would have gotten any of those jobs, I would be totally committed and wrapped up in them still, and feeling torn about having Claire in child care and all that. This time a year and a half ago, I actually said to Jay that what would be absolutely ideal for me, professionally, would be if I could teach a couple classes at the college and do freelance writing, and that's it. And look where my wishful thinking got me!! I really feel like I gave that to God and He has rewarded me so richly with this great balance of work and family.

We've been just cruising along lately, taking it easy mostly: watching football games and hanging out with family on weekends, and doing our normal weekly routine. Jay is going nutso about hunting season coming up--having to do all these various trips and duties associated with preparing for the big day of bow season opening! Last Friday night, I asked him if he had to work on Saturday, and he said he did, and I made the mistake of not asking him what he would be doing specifically. Turns out working was brush-hogging on my uncle's ranch to clear sight paths. Lovely. I needed to go shopping for Claire's fall play clothes, anyway.

I've also been pretty wrapped up this week with the premiere of Dancing with the Stars, of course! Ah, the sequins and spray tans are back!! How I've missed them. I could really do without the three-night extravaganzas though. I can't keep doing this.

I guess I better document this little incident which other people seem to think is hilarious, but I still think was nothing but annoying. Maybe in the future, I'll be able to appreciate it. I met Claire and Diane at McDonald's the other day after class, and I was hanging out with Claire for a little while after she finished dipping her apple slices in ketchup (repeatedly!) to play on the playground.

I've only ever played with her at the Chick Fil-A playground, and turns out, its climbing steps are quite a bit shorter than the ones at McD's. Claire could get up them with some extra effort, but getting down was the problem. You see where I'm going here.

I encouraged her to go up to the car at the top, so yes, I know, this whole thing was really my fault. Hence, its annoyingness. Anyway, Claire made it to the car at the top and was quite pleased with steering it toward the on-ramp directly ahead of her. When it was time to go, she crawled back through the tunnel with no argument, but then as she eased herself over the edge of the first step, she apparently realized her legs weren't quite long enough to reach the next step while she held onto the window above.

She started calling, "Help me, Mama!" I calmly assured her she could do it (as she had done on the lower steps that didn't have that window to cling to). She apparently thought I couldn't hear her well enough though, because she only yelled louder, combinations of "I can't do it, Mama" (one of her new favorite saying--how do I deal with that one?) and "I need help!" and "Help me, Mama!" Finally, I eased through the kid-size tunnel and sat on the first step. Tried calling from there, thinking my closer proximity would ease her nerves. Nope. Managed to get my feet under me, stooping very awkwardly in my swingy maternity skirt, lean forward to the next step, and then twist my protruding belly around to sit on it.

Again tried to talk her down; she just kept yelling. I repeated this horribly awkward process, hoping no one is looking through that bubble window at my grunting twists and turns. When I finally reached the point where I could see her feet, they were dangling no more than TWO INCHES above the next step!! When I saw this, my pleas became as frantic as Claire's: "Claire, just drop down; you're almost touching! Let go, you'll be on the next step!" I tried yanking on her ankles a bit, but she was not letting go! One more step--Stoop, twist, grunt, and sit again. Wrest Claire's fingers from the holes in that stupid window, and hoist her down each and every step while she cries.

When we finally got back in the car, what was her first comment? "That was fun, Mama."

04 September 2009

School days...

Claire and I are settling fairly well into our school routine: Mondays and Wednesdays, she goes to Mamaw's and Papaw's house while I teach classes and do office stuff from 8 to 11. Thursdays, she goes to Thursday School at 7th and Beech from 9 to 12. And Friday, she stays with my good ol' cousin-in-law, Kim, and her daughter, Claire's buddy, Katelyn, for a couple hours while I go to school. I usually spend naptime either doing stuff for my writing or doing stuff for my class, and then when Claire wakes up, we usually do some house cleaning or errand-running.

Thursday School has been awesome the past two weeks; I've had Oklahoma Today deadlines both weeks, and have used that time to pound out a story. Claire seems to really enjoy school--the first week was a little rough, only because she didn't want to leave! She just about threw a fit to stay and play with Play-doh. Also that first time, Katelyn got upset when her mom started telling the day's Bible story, and couldn't hold Katelyn, and that made Claire start crying, too! But since she now understands about me coming to get her after lunch and some Play-doh time, she's fine with it and says bye to all her teachers and friends just fine.

Yesterday, I asked Claire what her Bible story was about that day, and I asked, "Was it about God?" She said, "No, Jesus!" and then I asked, "What did Jesus do?" and she said "Crossed the river." I asked her if he walked on water, and she said "uh-huh." So in any event, Claire remembered learning that Jesus at some point crossed a river.

Claire is also becoming quite bossy, and sometimes about weird things. Like if I lay my head down on Jay's shoulder in the car, she almost always says, "Don't lay your head down on Daddy, Mommy!" and sometimes she adds, "Sleep in bed!"

She's also becoming an avid drawer of things, usually cows and deer and fish. Hmmm, is she a country girl or what? But her shapes are actually starting to look somewhat like the animals they're supposed to--a cow is a big humped circle with sticks coming out of the bottom and back, and a deer has additional sticks coming out of its head. A fish is again, a humped circle, with a few other shapes drawn around where the fins would go.

Speaking of fish, Finding Nemo is definitely her movie of the moment. She loves the sea turtles, and will say, "Did you see me? Did you see me?" like Squirt, or "Gimme some fin" like Crush. Also, the other day, she asked for something, and I said, "No problem," and she said, "Like Dory!" And if I say something like "Ah!" she'll sometimes pipe up with some "Hoo hah, Hoo haha"s! It's pretty funny.

Here are some other highlights from the past couple weeks:
  • Saw Mamma Mia in Dallas with Kim and her mom and sister. So fun! Probably one of the most enjoyable musicals I've seen.
  • Went to Norman last weekend to do some interviews and exploring for two Oklahoma Today stories. Claire and I spent the night with Amanda and got to go to Edmond to see my niece Abby in a musical production of Annie. We went to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History Saturday morning. Claire loved pushing all the buttons on the interactive exhibits and playing in the kids' Discovery Room. We even got to see some lizards get their daily dose of crickets doused in powdered vitamins!
  • As I posted on FB and texted almost everybody in my phone (including one person who didn't know who I was--whoops, old number!), we found out we're having a girl, and are thrilled. It's going to be neat to have two girls two and a half years apart, almost just like my sister and I. We are actually just 21 months apart. I had my five months' appointment this week, and everything is going well.
  • I've starting to feel the baby's movements in the past couple weeks, which is amazing. Jay's even felt it a couple times.
  • I wish I could think of something exciting to report about Jay, but he's just staying busy, as always. The other day I asked him, "Don't you feel like you're so overworked since you've been working most Saturdays this summer?" And he said, "No--Haven't really thought about it." He said if you're working for somebody else, getting up at the crack and working on weekends is a pain, but when you're working for yourself, it's just what has to be done, no bad feelings. Or something like that.
  • Oh! I thought of something about Jay--He is building my Nana and Grandad's house in Coleman, right next to their old house. So that's really exciting; they've been in their house now for like 40 years or something (Aunts and uncles, correct me in the comments!), and it's going to be so nice for them to have a new, sturdy brick house where the family can all gather a little more easily.
  • But we'll still have to suffer through a few OU games in the old house though!
Speaking of which, BOOMER SOONER!