Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chanukah! Oh Chanukah!

And so tonight begins the 8 nights of Chanukah!
During this time, we celebrate the story of Judah Maccabee & the fight against tyranny the Jewish people faced thousands of years ago. We light the Chanukah menorah for 8 nights, play dreidel & eat foods fried in oil.
Huh? Fried in oil? Surely that can't be good for you. True. It isn't, but it is a custom that Jewish people the world over follow. Eating latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) remind us of the miracle of the oil that lasted for 8 days when there was enough to last for only 1 day. And boy are those latkes & sufganiyot delicious!
For many families, there is a tradition of giving a present to each child on each of the 8 nights that are celebrated. The first year that Erin was home, we did just that. She got 8 presents from her mother & father. And then there were the presents from anyone else who wanted to give her something. Holy cow! She made out like a bandit at 12 months old! And had no clue what was going on. Thankfully, David & I wised up by the time she turned 2 & decided that we were going overboard so we came up with a new tradition. Yes, she does get a present each night. One night is from her grandparents - both sets. She gets gifts from other families on different nights, & David & I fill in the other nights.
This year we had a first. Erin came to me a few weeks ago when we were at Borders. She had found a book that she wanted to buy - for her daddy. And she beamed tonight as she handed him his gift. And he beamed in amazement that she did this all on her own.
Happy Chanukah to everyone!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My 8

I'm done with my back. Therapy has been really helpful as has constant bed rest & staying off my feet. I'm hoping that by next week I have little to no pain. So. Onto the other stuff.
I've been tagged again. Viv & Super Mommy want the scoop, & I'm here to give it up. Here are my 8.
8 Favorite TV Shows: (I'm not much for tv so this was hard.)
  1. Bones
  2. General Hospital
  3. One Life to Live
  4. Dirty Jobs - have you seen Mike Rowe?
  5. How Its Made - Erin loves this show
  6. Mythbusters - a fave of David & Erin
  7. Deadliest Catch - cool show & Mike Rowe narrates it
  8. Hannah Montana - hey! I live with a 6 year old. Remember?

8 Things I Look Forward To:

  1. Going back to work (I hate bed rest.)
  2. Viv, Corey & Kerri's visit at the end of the month
  3. Retirement
  4. Scrapping with my gals
  5. Craft time with Erin since we never get enough
  6. Saturday morning snuggles with David & Erin
  7. Watching Erin's face light up when she unwraps her Chanukah presents
  8. Going on a date with David & having no guilt

8 Things on My Wish List:

  1. My dad's health getting better
  2. Viv's mom regaining her health
  3. Lori's FIL regaining his health
  4. A cure for diabetic neuropathy 'cause that one really sucks - just ask my hubby
  5. Erin growing up healthy & happy
  6. Having enough money to help where it's really needed
  7. A change for the better with our economy
  8. A clean house

8 Things I Did Yesterday

  1. Therapy for my back
  2. Dropped Erin off at school
  3. Chatted with my friends on the phone
  4. Watched WAY too much tv
  5. Read blogs
  6. Helped Erin with her homework
  7. Sat on the couch
  8. Rested

8 Favorite Restaurants:

  1. Moon Thai & Japanese
  2. Makino Japanese Buffet
  3. Longhorn Steak House
  4. Big Bear Brewery - the BEST French onion soup around!
  5. Annie's Pizza - yummy pizza & great wings
  6. Westside Bagels
  7. La Granja - delicious Peruvian food
  8. Olive Garden

8 Friends I Tag:

Now I know that a few of you don't normally do the tags, but I enjoy getting to know people, so if you'd like to do it, great. If not, I'll have to stalk you to find out the answers.. Have fun!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Therapy - Day 1

Yes. I did stay home today & will be staying home tomorrow as well. I woke up in tears this morning (not that I slept for more than an hour here or there.) & when David offered to stay with me, I took him up on his offer. Have I mentioned that I love this guy?
He called the doctor early this morning only to find out that the doctor never received my original phone message on Friday. And, let's top it off right here. He won't get my message now until tomorrow morning. The earliest I can expect to hear from him is "sometime" tomorrow afternoon. That was it. I broke down into tears & used language unbecoming a lady to say the least. Once I pulled myself together, I had David call the rehab place for an appointment. They were amazingly easy to get into today.
My meds had worn off about an hour before my appointment, but I decided against taking them. Anyone who takes pain meds knows that you tend to go further with them in your system which can lead to further injury. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, I was in an amazing amount of pain & nauseous. After filling out their questionnaire, I was taken within minutes. (Are you as shocked as I was?)
The therapists couldn't believe that I was walking & talking. I guess I must have been green (forget around the edges, just all out green) & was barely standing up. They had me lay down to alleviate any more problems & started to ask questions. When I explained that I'm hyper-extensive & can bend to the floor & put my palms flat, they thought I was nuts. David popped in to let me know he was leaving to pick Erin up from school. I asked him to tell them about my flexibility. They thought my drugs were talking till he told them just how flexible I am. (Lucky guy!) While they tested me & my range, their eyes were bulging. They couldn't believe that I can bend in the amount of pain I'm suffering.
So. Under VERY strict orders, I can no longer bend forward from the waist. Now I just have to remember that. Erin has been told so my watchdog will "tell on me' if she catches me doing it. They gave me some exercises to do, & there was a hint of the progress to come. By the time I left the office, my nausea was gone, & I could breath a little bit. I'm also not supposed to stand or sit in chairs for too long. Oh. That's going to be easy. Thank G-d for bosses that appreciate their employees. Bob is very accommodating as are the rest of my co-workers. The rest of my therapy appointments are all set. Now I have to go & do some of those exercises.
Thanks to everyone for all of your kind thoughts!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Have you seen my back?

I've been away for quite a while now. It's not that I don't want to blog. It's not that I haven't had anything to say. Quite the opposite. There's a lot going on here, but did you all hear it?
You know. The "OUCH!" that should have been heard all the way over in China.
The day before Halloween I had a day off. Yes! A whole day, & it wasn't even a federal holiday! Anyway, I was shopping in WalMart by the Halloween crap. (After Halloween it's crap. Before Halloween? It's treasures.) While I was strolling along, minding my own business, I felt it. That special something that tells you your back will never be the same again. I stayed in Walmart & finished my shopping. Then I moved on to another favorite store - Learning Express since I had some birthday presents to buy for upcoming parties. (That would be about 4 hours of shopping knowing there was a problem.) My back just kept nudging me so I finally went home around 12:30. I can remember sitting down & thinking that I'd get up "in a few" to go for my mani/pedi. Well, that never happened.
And here I am now. It's the beginning of December, & my back is still in WalMart. I've been in some considerable pain, so I finally gave in & went to the orthopaedic doctor. Gee. He had some great news for me. I have pinched nerves in my lumbar region.
The doctor wants me on bed rest. Uh. Who the heck has time for bed rest!? I work 2 jobs, have a husband & a 6 year old!! I told him to put me on light duty at work. Now I know why he looked at me & shook his head. I've come home from work every day this week in tears. My boss thinks I'm nuts & has told me that I'm only getting worse. Yesterday, I had the look of Man during evolution. Walking all bent over that is. And, yes, I did give in. I called his office to ask how long he expects me to be out since the pain has gotten worse. Did you hear back from him? Maybe he called your phone number 'cause he sure didn't call mine!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This is what I am thankful for. My sweet girl. Erin has changed my life so many ways - all good. I have made some wonderful friends because of having this child in my life. I have watched my husband turn into the most amazing father which is a turn-on all on its own. (I know. TMI. You'll all have to deal.)
There are no words that I can find to express the joy that I have in my life because of this child. So I'm going to say thank you to my brother Seth & his friend Kathy. Seth is the one who guided us to his friend Kathy who introduced us to China.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I know. Shocking isn't it. I haven't blogged in forever but seem to need something. Super Mommy has this on her blog, & she seems to think that I need to get back in action, I thought I'd give this a shot.
Scattergories . . .
It's harder than it looks! Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things . . . nothing made up. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
  • What is your name: Tammie
  • Boy name: Thomas
  • 4 letter word: tart
  • Girl name: Tina
  • Occupation: teacher
  • A color: turquoise
  • Something you wear: thongs (think flip flops here)
  • Beverage: Tab (dating myself, huh?)
  • Food: tortellini
  • Something found in a bathroom: towels
  • A place: Tallahassee, FL
  • Reason for being late: tossing & turning all night long
  • Something you shout: TURN HERE!!!

Your turn now. Have fun if you choose to do this.

Book Meme

I guess I'm popular. Who knew!? I've been tagged by both Viv & Super Mommy for a book meme. I enjoy the doing these memes, but when it also involves one of my loves - reading - I'm even happier.
The Rules:
  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the 5th sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the most intellectual - pick the CLOSET.

On Basilisk Station by David Weber

If a hostile task force emerged within energy weapon range of the defenses, those defenses would be destroyed before they could reply, but ships transiting a wormhole junction arrived with a normal-space velocity of barely a few dozen kilometers per second, far too little for a high-speed attackk run. (page 56k sentence 5)

And now I tag Michelle, Lori & Magi.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

They Heard Us! They Heard Us! Our Vote Rocked the World!

I couldn't stay awake last night. By 10:30 I was exhausted. It had been a full day at the bank with work & talk of the election. David & I had planned on ordering dinner in so that we could concentrate on the election coverage. I spent the evening watching the coverage & IMing with my friend Lisa. Like so many Americans, we were waiting to see what would happen. Well, I couldn't handle it anymore & went to bed.
Sometime around midnight, David came in to wake me up with the news. We have a new President - Barack Obama. I went back to sleep. And at 3:00 am I woke up & asked David if I had heard him correctly. He wasn't happy at being woken up but sleepily said yes.
When I woke up this morning, it was with a smile. Of course I am also crying here.
The People have been heard. The country has realized that it really is time for change. No longer do we have to listen to someone telling us that there are no problems with the economy. We have an incoming president who understands that there are problems - and not just with our economy.
History has been made. Congratulations President Elect Obama!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Fun!

A huge thank you to my friends Shari & Myke for Erin's costume. She had such a great time getting dressed up as her all time favorite secret pop star Hannah Montana! If you are ever in need of a costume (for any event), just high tail it over to their business - Exteme Halloween. They have it all! And their customer service? Great!

I had to catch a hug with the secret pop star!

Happy to be out trick or treating this year.
And yes, we do know how to decorate for Halloween! We Floridians have our own style you know! Warning! These are not pics of my home. For the first time in years, I didn't decorate our house. Too lazy this year. What can I say?

The Pumpkin Patch (Octber 19th & 25th)

We went to a local pumpkin patch twice this year. We've never gone before because Erin hasn't really been into the whole thing even though I love it. I'm so happy that she finally changed her mind!

The first time we went, on the 19th, we went with our friends from our FCC group. It was a great idea because we took pictures of all the children in the pumpkin patch. My friend Candy had her hubby snapping his usual fabulous pics. David knows how to capture these children at their best. The man has never taken a bad picture that I know of!

(Of course my camera's lens was filthy but I did take pics anyway.)

Then on the 25th, Erin & I went to the pumpkin patch again. This time we went with our friends from school. Zhanna with Sam, Shari with Alyssa, & Erin & I went to a local bookstore for some Halloween activities and then we moved on to the patch. We went to the same patch because it really was a great place with face painting, pumpkin painting, a 3-in-1 bounce, snacks, places for photo ops & of course buying pumpkins. Sam, Erin & Alyssa have been going to the same school since they were all 3 years old. They had a great time in preschool & are loving going to school during the week & Hebrew school all together. In fact, we meet every morning Monday through Friday by 8:00 so the kids can play & chat while we moms chat about - well, nothing much really.

Fall Festival (October 18th)

Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do here! I didn't realize it but I have been a bad blogger. I'm keeping this blog for Erin, & yet I have done an amazingly poor job of recording what has been going on this month. Here's my chance for a fresh start.
Erin goes to a wonderful charter school that is really close to our house. In fact, I found out Friday night that many of the people we know from her school live in our community! On Saturday, October 18th, her school had their Fall Festival. Local businesses set up tables so the people attending could stop by & get to know the business or buy stuff. I was there representing the bank I work for along 4 of my co-workers. There were so many things to do that I was really surprised.
Hmmm . . .
  • Discover Toys
  • Cookie Lee Jewelry
  • Magnetic Jewelry
  • Mary Kay
  • The Breakfast Joint
  • Wachovia Bank (Do you like my shameless plug!?)
  • Bounce Houses
  • Pony Rides
  • A Cakewalk (You should have seen all the yummy goodies people brought in!)
  • Tupperware
  • Food galore - roasted corn, carmel apples, hot dogs, beverages, etc

I got there at 8:30 to help set up & had a blast. Of course, while my home looks like a bomb went off in it, I love to organize so I was a happy camper! My friends showed up later to man their own stations since Shari had volunteered all of us to work. Hey Shari! How'd you get out of working The Festival? Did you tell them you were on schedule at your office? (Don't worry. We'll get you back.)

The fundraiser was a total success. The PTO raised almost $4,000 at this one event. No one expected that kind of success.

The best part? It was a great day!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I voted!

I registered to vote when I turned 18 years old. Voting is a privilege afforded me as a citizen of this great country. Voting is a duty because of this great country. I choose to exercise this privilege & to make sure that someone knows what I think.
After dropping Erin off at school this morning, I went to my local library to vote early. I got there at 8:30 & got on line. I expected to have to wait forever. The line moved so quickly that it was shocking. People who don't know each other chatted amiably about anything & everything.
The process was a new one - or maybe this is how they do early voting. I don't know, but I do hope that this is the new way for FL.
When I got back into my car, it was 9:26. Not bad considering my friend Lisa took almost 2 hours to vote today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quirks? I have quirks!?

Who knew!?
Viv wants me to list my quirks. These tags are so much fun but goodness they make you work!
  1. I'm territorial. That may not be quirky to you, but trust me that for me it is. I'm left handed & use my mouse on the left side. If you move my mouse to the right side, fine. But put it back where you found it. Don't move or touch my things without the knowledge that you better put it back where you found it. If you don't, you will hear about it from me.
  2. I almost never take lunch breaks at work. Most people need their 30 minutes (or however long they take). To me a lunch break is a waste of time. I'm in the groove, doing my thing & you expect me to stop so I can eat? Why? Do I look like I'm missing out on food or something? Are you kidding!? The only day I consistently take a lunch break is Fridays.
  3. I love science fiction tv shows & movies. However, I absolutely cannot read the stuff. It bores me to tears when it's in the written word.
  4. I yawn. All the time. Even when I'm not tired. I don't mean to do it, & I can't help myself but I yawn. My mother used to say that I came out yawning & not crying.
  5. I sleep with 2-3 blankets each & every night. At least I start out that way. My hands & feet are always cold so I can't fall asleep without being all bundled up.
  6. I love to shop. I mean grocery shop. I find it very relaxing. If I could make a living dong people's grocery shopping, I would.
  7. I love to be driven around. Ever since I was a child, if I was stressed out, my parents would put me in the car & just drive. To this day, David does that for me. Back when we didn't have much, a big night out was dinner at McDonald's & a drive down A1A.

Well, you wondered about my quirks. There you have them! No one ever said that I was normal. Besides, being normal is so humdrum.

And those of you who follow? I want to know about your quirks too!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

7 Facts

I've been tagged. Not once. Not twice. Three times! It seems that Gretchen. Vivian and Mary all want to learn more about me. Go figure.
So I'm sitting here trying to think of 7 things about me that people might find interesting. Hopefully I'm up to the challenge!
  1. I am married to my first and only love. I met David in 1982 and have been in love with him ever since even though we broke up for a few years before getting back together permanently in 1986.
  2. I love my jobs. Truly. During the week I work at a bank (how boring!) where I get to help people with whatever their needs. I also act as the office liaison - purchasing for the office, keeping the peace, reminding everyone that if they don't like what they're doing they should find something else 'cause it ain't worth it to be unhappy for 40 - 50 hours a week for years. I really believe that. On Sundays I teach 1st grade at a synagogue. I really love interacting with the children. OTOH, I really hate the politics at both jobs. Gee. That's a surprise.
  3. I love scrapbooking even though I'm one of the least creative people you'll ever meet. I started about 2 years ago with the encouragement of a very dear friend. I now have tons of scrapbooking supplies but no dining room table.
  4. Years ago I snored myself awake. Yup. You heard it here. I used to always complain to David that he was keeping me awake with his snoring. One night I woke up & yelled at him to stop snoring when he looked at me in that way that only a man can have & said "Honey, I'm reading. See my book? You snored yourself awake." Oops. He's never going to let me live that one down. (I can't really blame him though.)
  5. I'm very flexible. Even at my weight. I can stand up straight, bend over & touch my hands to the floor. Flat. Without any problems. It ooks people out. And Erin is even more flexible than I am.
  6. Like my friend Lori, I absolutely can't make a go of my day without my morning coke. David brings me a can of coke every morning so that I can get out of bed. And when I get to the office, I drop my stuff down & go make the pot of heavily caffeinated coffee so that I can become human. The joke in my office is that if you want Tammie to know something, wait till she's had her first sip of coffee 'cause it won't stick without the coffee. I can drink regular coffee & fall asleep in minutes. I drink so much caffeine that I never have a problem.
  7. I love to read books. I absolutely love to read romance, mystery, true crime but can't stand reading science fiction or fantasy even though I love to watch it.

There you go. I don't know if it's interesting stuff, but there it is. And now I have to tag 7 other people. Yikes!

  1. Sandra - Are we ever going to meet in person?
  2. Shari - I know you're busy right now, but Halloween is almost here so you'll have more time eventually.
  3. Grace - You may be new to blogging but I love what you have to say.
  4. Magi - I have loved reading all about your sweet girl. Now it's time to read about you!
  5. Kim - I can't wait to see what you have to say!
  6. Candy - Your turn! Now we get to know you!
  7. Sandy - It's not like you're busy or anything, but if you get a chance, we'd love to know more!

Have fun everyone!

Friday, October 10, 2008

She Eats Peas!

Woo hoo!!! She ate them!! David & I walked away from the dinner table while Erin was still sitting there eating. (She takes forever!) When David turned around, she was eating peas by the forkful, & I mean a real forkful not 1 or 2 peas on the fork.

He looked at her like she'd grown a 2nd head or something & the conversation went like this:

David: Are you eating peas Erin?

Erin: Yes (smiling with huge grin on her face)

David: Since when?

Erin: I don't know.

Me? I'm happy. Now she can't look at me & say "I don't do green!" By George, I think we've made progess. Yay!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Guess I Need My Bamboo

You Are a Panda

You are a very philosophical, introspective creature. You project a calm vibe.

You have amassed a good deal of wisdom in your life. You can teach anyone who is ready and willing to learn.

Solitude is very important to you. You don't truly feel at peace until you are alone.

You enjoy a few friendships but only when those friendships are with fellow loners.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Don't Vote!!!

It is not a privilege to vote. It is our duty. It is our right. Why would anyone not vote? Don't you care about what has happened to our country? Could people be any more blind to what is happening?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hey! Stop Movin' My Cheese!

Sometimes life throws things in your path to see how you adjust. That is exactly what's happened to me.
I work for a bank. Not just any bank, but a bank that has been in the news. I started out in March 1996 as a brand new employee of First Union. It was my birthday present to David. I had been out of banking for a year & was totally miserable. Even though I had management experience, I wanted to take it easy & start over. After working there for about 3 months, I got bored & started training to be a customer service rep. I did the entire program in 3 months which shocked everyone. When I decide to make a move, that's it, watch out. In late 1999 I made a career change but stayed with the bank. I can't tell you how lucky I am. Even though I bitch & moan at times, I really do love what I do. I enjoy being able to help people & guide them.
Sometime in 2001, First Union merged with Wachovia Bank. I was so afraid but did my best to hide it. Right after the merger, I was asked to temporarily transfer to another office & guide the employees through the merger. It took me a few weeks, but I finally realized that while I, as a First Union employee, was losing my identity because of the name change, they were losing an operating system & in many cases their home since offices were closing to consolidate. This realization made me more sensitive to why the people in that office were so resentful of me coming in. In the last few years, Wachovia has gone on to merge with other banks. I have tried to remember what I learned during the First Union - Wachovia merger each time.
Now it's my turn. Over the last few months the banking industry has been facing challenges that I have never seen in my 21 years as a banker. Wachovia has been facing some amazing challenges during this time. Clients everywhere have been worried. Employees have been worried. Monday morning the news hit. Wachovia has been acquired by CitiBank.
What does this mean? Nothing really at this point. It's business as usual. So why are people coming into our offices & being so mean? The bank DID NOT FAIL. It was acquired. That means it was a merger. The news has been crazy so people have been crazy. For me the stress has been way overboard. I spent a good amount of time Monday crying whenever I was alone. I have been off from work since late Monday for the Rosh HaShanah holiday. During this time off I've been contemplating what it all means to me. Hopefully, when I get back to work tomorrow, things will have calmed down some.
So. Yes. My cheese has been moved. Once again. Now I just have to follow it or even better anticipate where it will be moved to next time.
Thanks for reminding me that this is only a moment in time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rosh HaShanah

From our home to yours, we wish you a very happy, healthy & sweet New Year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Make Viv Smile!

Apparently I make my friend Viv smile. She has decided that I deserve this award, & I can only hope that I really am worthy. I love the quote at the bottom of the award. "Always remember to be happy because you never know who'd falling in love with your smile."
Anway, I now have to choose 5 friends who make me smile. Let me tell you how hard that is. If you're my friend, or if I read your blog, you leave me smiling. However, I must choose 5.
  • Sandra - Just reading your blog & seeing how you guys are doing makes me smile. I look forward to seeing what you & your family are up to. Whenever I see Jazzie, I remember "back in the day" & think of that red thread from Erin to Jazzie. Whenever I see Tahlia, I remember how thrilled I was that we had another red thread going from Erin to Tahlia.
  • Lori - I'm so happy that you're blogging everyday although I'd rather your mom's ribs be all better. You have a way with words that just makes me laugh with everything Katie Starr & Ethan are up to. And let's not forget the rest of your family. You guys put a smile on everyone's face.
  • Michelle - Girl, my heart goes out to you when it comes to that job of yours. How you keep a straight face when you go in to the office is beyond me. Whenever you post about Luca, I know that it's a great time. When I think of the runs you do, & why you do them, I smile. Why? Because you do it all so selflessly.
  • Kim - I miss you terribly my friend. At least Viv stayed on the same continent! I smile whenever I see you've blogged. Why? First, I'm thrilled that you're living your dream. Second, I can just hear you chatting away with me or someone. BTW, I miss searching for beets at the salad bar with you.
  • Magi - From the first time I came across your blog, you always managed to make me smile. Now that Sera is home & growing up, I look forward to seeing what she's up to.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spitting Nails

Right now I'm so pissed off that I could spit nails! I don't even know where the heck to begin so I'll try to do this bullet style.
  • Why did I have to buy over $100 worth of school supplies for Erin? Will she actually use 9 yellow folders, 1 blue folder, 1 1-inch binder, 1 marble composition book, 5 yellow wide-ruled spiral bound notebooks, a pack of 48 crayons, 1 pack of dry erase markers, 1 pack of sharpie markers, 1 pack of copy paper, 1 pack of erasers & all the other crap I had to buy!! Impossible! So far when she's come home with homework, I've wondered why the teacher didn't send home any of the pencils, crayons, notebooks or paper that she will need to complete the assignment. How the heck can a child learn to write properly if you don't give him/her ruled paper!? Why would you assume that after going to 2 different stores & spending over $100 that I have any of those same supplies in my house!? I sent them in to school!!! SO WHERE ARE THE SUPPLIES??? Who is using them?? Certainly not Erin.
  • I have Erin enrolled in Hebrew school at the synagogue that we belong to rather than the one at which I have taught for the last 17 years. Why? Because she shouldn't be in my classroom, & the other 1st grade teacher has a tendency to spoil Erin. David went to the Open House for Erin's Sunday school class. On the way home from my own teaching, I called to see how things went. He warned me. He told me I wasn't going to like it. Then he made me wait the entire half hour till I got home to discuss things with me. Why is my daughter using a book that teaches letter recognition that is just plain ole wrong!? How can I say this? Easily. I've taught 1st grade Sunday school since 1989. I know what I'm talking about here. Hebrew letters are NOT the same as English letters. They may make the same sound, but there is no comparison beyond that. Her books teach that there is a comparison. And because, the director of the school knows me, I have to tread lightly. I don't tread lightly well. I kind of do a stampede when I'm in this mood.
  • After not being sure of whether or not I should continue teaching on Sundays, I went back. My director & I had a long talk. We came to a point where we both got what we wanted. Cool. Great. Couldn't be happier about it. On top of that, I've got a class this year that I'm so happy with I can't wait to go in & teach. My co-teacher has a habit of walking in while I'm in the middle of a lesson to ask me stuff. You know. Where am I in the lesson? Will I be doing all the work in class or sending some home? If she doesn't come in, she'll send her student aid. I constantly have to remind her that I'm in the middle of a lesson & we can talk after class ends. I have never liked being interrupted. Ask David. He'll tell you that interrupting me can be taking your life in your hands. I consider it the ultimate in rudeness. In this case, I loose my class because now they're distracted. I have to be almost pissy with the other teacher who is a very dear woman.
  • On top of all that, I can't sleep. David passed out over 2 hours ago. Erin went in without a fight for the 2nd night in a row about 8:00. And, me? I can't fall asleep for nuthin'!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Start of Sunday School

Erin & I both started Sunday School a few weeks ago. This year it has been hard for us since last year she was going to the school that I've been teaching for the last 18 years. I cried all the way to work that first Sunday morning. I have always been excited that Erin would be with me on Sundays through 3rd grade. However, this past summer David & I made the hard decision that this wouldn't be right for Erin. As much as we all wanted her with me, she needs to go to school along with the children with whom she will be celebrating her bat mitzvah.
While each school has the same curriculum, we use different textbooks. To be honest, at my school, she would have been using more advanced books than her school uses right from the beginning. While this sounds great, she would have been bored to pieces going into the 3rd grade / keetah aleph class. That said, she has her daddy taking her to school on Sundays. And, thankfully, she really loves it. She has children in her class that she's known she was 2 years old. I have a feeling they're going to give Miss Debbie a run for her money!
My class has 15 children which is pretty small for me. I'm excited as always. I've been at the same synagogue for so long that I can remember when many of my students were born because I've had their older brothers &/or sisters! I love the curriculum I'm using. The books are great, & the projects that we do are lots of fun. I guess it's a good thing since I'll only have off 8 or 9 Sundays this year!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Annies Costumes' Top Halloween Costumes for 2008

Annie's Costumes has been around down here for what seems like forever. A few years ago, they switched to being an online business.

They have an excellant selection of costumes. Their customer service is wonderful. They ship all over. Need I say more?

Oh. Yes. I have to. The owners are very dear friends. They love Erin which is great considering she adores them!

So take a peek at the video. You may see someone you know!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

I can't really remember life before Erin. However, I do know that since Erin came into our lives, we have met some very special people.
When Erin was a baby, & home not very long, David & I were both home sick. I was reading email (as usual) & there was a plea for help on one of my boards. A woman in the paperwork stage of her adoption was having trouble getting some documents notarized. I happened to have my notary stamp home so I emailed her that I'd be happy to help her out. We scheduled a time for her to come over, & the rest is history.
This family has become so special to us in so many ways. While they talk about how Kerri wouldn't have come home (Bull hockey!) without my notary work, they gave us a greater gift. That same little girl has shown David that he really can love more than one child. He seems to have this special bond with Kerri. When Viv & Corey were worried about guardianship plans for Kerri, David spoke out & told them that we would take Kerri if the need ever arose. WHOA!!! That sure blew Viv, Corey & me away.
Today is their day. Today Viv & Corey are celebrating 7 years of love, friendship & marriage together. And we couldn't be any happier for them.
We love you guys! Enjoy your special day!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lunch & Fountains

Today we went to lunch at Big Bear. Nothing was going our way today so we decided to have lunch at one of our fave places. Today rather than have her usual chicken tenders & fries, Erin decided to have their pizza. I knew it wouldn't be right for her since she really enjoys a New York style pizza, & Big Bear's is thin to say the least. She ended up with a bowl of fruit from their brunch menu. Our server was very accomodating & Erin thanked her so sweetly! It would have been nice if Erin ate all the fruit, but since she's not eating without arguing lately, I was happy just to see her enjoy the watermelon, grapes & strawberries.
After lunch Erin asked if we could hang out by the fountain that is in front of the restaurant. She has always loved fountains, & it really is such a simple request that we always say yes - unless it's raining. I have to wonder what goes through her mind as she stands there just watching the water.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Erin's First Day of School

Ready to go to 1st grade!

In her new classroom.

Erin with me in her classroom.

Ready for some serious learning!
Erin started school last Wednesday after Tropical Dud Fay finally left the area. She is in the same class as 3 of her friends from her last school so things have been easier on all of us. Her teachers all seem to be pretty nice.
The 2nd day of school we had one of our usual morning chats. It really was sweet.
Erin: I don't like 1st grade Mama.
Me: Why not Erin?
Erin: I miss my friends.
Me: Erin, aren't the twins & Alyssa in your class?
Erin: Yes, but I miss everyone else.
Me: Erin this is a great opportunity for you to meet new people & make new friends. Besides, don't you see your old friends in aftercare?
Erin: Yes I do. But I wanna play with them.
Me: Then we'll make playdates.
Erin: Really? Okay, then I'll go to 1st grade Mama.
What goes through a child's mind always amazes me. Each conversation should go this easily!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feeling Better & Ready to Craft!

Erin is feeling better finally. The antibiotics that were prescribed must be really strong because she's just about back to herself.

So what do you do when you're on the mend? Why, you do crafts! Erin always has tons of crafts to do. She got so much for her birthday last year & this year, that we don't have to buy her anything. Today she decided to make slap bracelets. After showing her what needed to be done, I got to sit back & relax.

2 down & 5 more to go!

She really had a good time with this.

Not too messy. Thankfully!

Some of the finished pieces of art.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What did you do on the first day of school?

Ah yes. The first day of school. It was cancelled for today & has now been cancelled for tomorrow. The only reason I'm not terribly upset is that Erin has to remain home until the 20th.
I called Erin's pediatrician this morning as early as possible to get an appointment. David & I are not happy with her lack of progress from the medication for her allergies. So this morning I drove, in the pouring rain with almost no visibility, to Dr. Liang. I couldn't believe how long it took to get to her office because of the weather - almost a half hour for a normal 15-20 minute drive. So after waiting an hour for the infamous Dr. Liang, she finally came in & apologized for taking so long. After a few questions & a quick glance at Erin's throat & nose, the diagnosis came in. Erin has a heck of a sinus infection. Oh goody.
Off we went to the pharmacy to drop off the prescription & then to Publix for a quick shop. When Erin is sick, she refuses to eat so my instructions are to let her eat anything she wants & keep her drinking juice. This way she won't loose any weight. At 39 pounds, Erin is considered very petite. So on with the pop tarts, waffles, pudding & juice. For a kid that doesn't sound like a bad diet, but for a mom who tries to keep the sugar down, it's not good. In fact, normally Erin will eat chicken nuggets, cheese, pasta, but for now she won't even look at that stuff. Veggies? Don't bother. She won't eat them on a good day.
So we came home, played some games, took a nap after Daddy came home. And she took her new meds. According to her, they're gross.
I guess things are normal. And hopefully school will start Wednesday with Erin sitting in her new class.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why not start school in July!?

After all, it seems that the officials don't mind our children being in school during the height of hurricane season. I have to wonder if these same officials have children who are still school aged.
Tomorrow is supposed to be the first day of school. And it's been cancelled in 3 counties - Monroe, Miami-Dade & Broward. Why? Because of Hurricane Faye? Yup. The same hurricane that probably won't be a hurricane. It will work out because Erin is still sick & with no school in session, I can't ask anyone to watch her. I did call my boss & explain the situation to him. Thankfully, Bob's a family guy & understands that kids get sick. Now I have to hope that the other bosses understand. After all, I did call out sick on Friday, & yes, Erin did go to the dr, but calling out on both a Friday & a Monday isn't what you want in the banking industry. Those are the busiest days.
But what are you supposed to do when there is no school, the day care places follow the school calendar, & your kid is sick? I'm guessing I could take her in & have her sit in the lunchroom, but for how long before it becomes a bad thing?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So Here We Sit Waiting

This is the last free weekend before school starts. And life is not happening the way it was supposed to. Shocking! Not.
Friday was the day to meet the teachers, find out about the aftercare program, the lunch program & get the supply lists for Erin & the other children entering her school. After the meet & greet, David & I took Erin shopping for the supplies. The school, like many others around the country, has its own requirements for each grade. Can someone please tell me why they are requesting yellow folders that have holes so they can fit into 3-ring binders? Yellow is the only color that none of the stores have ordered. I can find red, orange, black, pink, purple, blue, green BUT NOT YELLOW!! So now I have 9 folders in yellow without holes & 9 folders in pink with holes. And let's not forget that we need to send in a 6-pack of Elmer's glue sticks with NO color. Ha! No one can find them anywhere!
In the middle of 2 shopping trips, we decided to take Erin to see her dr. She's an allergic kind of kid but for the last week, the allergies have been out of control. She's got this really wet cough. Unfortunately, we couldn't get in to see The Amazing Dr. Liang, but her partner Dr Cheresnick had a free spot. The neat part about Dr Cheresnick is that it was his son Justin who told me about Dr Liang back when David & I were paperchasing.
Anyway, it turns out that Erin is in one of her allergy loops so she's on albuterol for a week till it's done with. So now we have a kid who is attached to boxes of tissues, coughing her brains up & hyper to the Nth degree. She missed one birthday party today & will probably miss the one tomorrow. Thankfully, Erin understands that while she isn't running a fever, she really can't be out & about.
So here we sit. Waiting. For Erin to get back to normal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Do you know this woman?

This past Tuesday after the movie, a bunch of us went to Ruby Tuesday for coffee & dessert. During the course of our conversations, we got to talking about blogs.
Blogs are a great way to deal with the adoption hoopla. The wait alone is frustrating enough. Then you start to realize how much you don't know. And of course everything else that comes along with it. Back when David & I were adopting, blogs were an unknown. I'm sure they existed but not as a popular way to get info or meet people. We all used yahoo groups which in & of themselves are a lifesaver.
Anyway, one of the women mentioned that there is this blog that is so amazing. The writer adopted 2 children & has a wonderful way with a camera & words. Then I mentioned my friend Sandra who is an amazing woman. I told them how met during our daughters' adoptions, & the red thread that continues because her 2nd daughter is from Erin's orphanage.
Start laughing. Grace & I were talking about the same woman. Sandra, you are more popular than you can ever imagine! And as I have been saying for years now, people listen to what you have to say. Please keep writing!
If you haven't taken a peek at Sandra's blog, you really should go on over.

Moms Just Wanna Have Fun!

Some of the FCC moms decided to go out & have a movie night. No hubbies. No children. Just good ole fashion fun, song & laughter. Mamma Mia was the perfect movie for it too! Clueless me, I had no idea that it was a musical. After all it had Meryl Streep & Pierce Brosnan in it, & they are definitely not known for their musical abilities! Didn't matter though. The music was fantastic. Trust me. I think everyone in the theater was singing. I know that my friend Lori & I were singing every song - & we both knew all the words. My friend Brenda lost control at one point in the movie & grabbed me. Of course I grabbed her too. After all these years, I still love the music of ABBA.

After the movie, we went out for dessert to Ruby Tuesday. Their desserts are sinfully rich & extremely decadent. We had a great time chitchatting the evening away. Two of the moms brought along guests. Grace brought her mother while Lisa brought her mother-in-law. It's always so nice when the grandparents want to be involved with the adoption process & want to meet the people their children are hanging out with. Candy & Minouche came along for the fun & I'm sure chatted about how their beautiful girls will be starting school together this coming week. Shari organized the evening, & I can't thank her enough!
We ended the evening standing out in the parking lot with more chitchat & finally left at 12:30 AM! I do have one question though. What the heck was with that young boy riding around in the parking lot in his jammies!? At 12:30 in the morning!? Where were his parents?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Halloween in August



Erin as Dorothy

Katie Starr makes a beautiful Minnie Mouse

Ethan is the cutest Mickey Mouse

Marc & Lori vamping it up!

Saturday was a busy day for Erin & me. Our friends Shari & Myke own a local business that sells Halloween costumes. They are getting ready for their very busy season right now. All this while they're in the midst of adopting from Vietnam! I don't know how they're still standing.

Shari & Myke invited a few of our FCC children to participate in this year's video. The children got to dress up & play games for a few hours. In the end, they'll have a video to show off all of their amazing costumes. Erin has already planned her Halloween costume for this year!

Wow! What an amazing weekend we had!
Friday night, I took Erin over to my friends Lori & Marc to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. They had invited some of the families from our local FCC group for a quiet (ha!) evening. One couple is in the process of adopting from Vietnam while the rest of us have adopted from China. We enjoyed a dinner of Chinese food. What else would you expect from us!? Our children got to stay up super late & play the night away. Erin enjoyed the fireworks but really couldn't have cared less about the rest.
As the children of China marched onto the field, I started to choke up & cry. All I could think of was how much China has given up by adopting out their children. In fact, for one moment, I was bitter that China could even consider giving up just one child. And then I thanked G-d that China does adopt out their children. After all, if China didn't, then Erin wouldn't be in my life. Neither would these families who have come to mean so much to me.
At one point in the evening, Lori & Marc set up their computer so we could skype our friends The Choi Clan. It was my first experience with skype, & I must say that I'll be trying it soon with my Canadian pals & my family. Kim & her children came across a 10 foot screen & said hello to all of our town. I'm sure my cousins who live around the corner heard Kim invite the town to watch the Olympics. Erin thought it was cool to see Aimee, Hansen & Cadence on the screen.
It was a lovely evening! When Erin & I got home, we fell into bed. I think I was asleep before she was!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Family Pic

How often do you find a picture of yourself that you like? Me? Almost never!
This past Sunday, my friend Lori & her husband Marc invited us to their son Ethan's naming ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony, & I can't thank them enough for thinking to include us.
Ethan's godmother Shannon has a really cool mom who also loves to take pictures. Patti almost always has a camera in her hand. I'm so glad that she had her camera on hand because she took what I consider to be a wonderful picture of us.
Thanks for sharing the pic Lori!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Waiting & Waiting - Not So Patiently

Tomorrow is the BIG day. My dear friend Vivian & her daughter Kerri have their interview with the Canadian Dept of Immigration.

What are they looking for in the end? Why their official notice that they are now legal residents of Canada! Once they have their residency in place, Viv & Kerri will be able to work, go to school & most important of all they'll be able to travel outside of Canada. We're waiting (very impatiently mind you) for a visit! Viv & I try to talk on the phone at least once a week. Thankfully our hubbies not only understand this but also encourage it. Kerri & Erin are in dire need of a face-to-face visit. These girls just absolutely love each other. It's a great bond.

And now I wait for a phone call that better be good news!
Yay! Canada has decided to give Vivian & Kerri their residency. And now they have to wait to receive their actual cards. Without the cards, Vivian & Kerri can't get back into Canada should they leave. Tomorrow she'll be contacting Canadian Immigration to ask for a rush so they can come visit her parents. Hopefully, Canadian Immigration works faster than the US Immigration!