Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smile, it's contagious

So today while waiting at the copy center having a book spiral bound, I saw this posted on the wall:

Smile first thing in the morning (and get it over with).

At first as I began reading this my mind jumped ahead and I assumed the poster would say something like, Smile first thing in the morning and you will have a smile all the day long. But instead, it threw me a curve-ball with the - "and get it over with".

What is this supposed to mean? Smile in the morning, then you don't have to make the effort to smile the rest of the day? Is this person just a downer? Am I reading too much into this poster? Is it supposed to be funny? satirical? I don't have the answers. I just thought it was something worth blogging about and getting others' opinion.

Though, I must say, it sounds like something Maxine of the greeting cards would say.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mental/Emotional Breakdown update

Things have been much better at work. The teacher is now apt to give a parting instruction to either his group or to me for his group before he leaves the room. Our class is more or less back to its routine. End-of-year testing has started so some days are a little wacky due to the schedule changes for the tests, but all-in-all its better.

I have not had to rely on caffeine to get me through the day. I don't feel drained, exhausted and grumpy at the end of the day like I did before.

Now my life is just busy between Cub Scouts, Cooper's soccer and my classes starting up this week for the Spring Term.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Burns, part 2

Once my fingers were burned I was pretty useless the rest of the day. We had been house cleaning, tidying the yard and cleaning out the garage. I was able to use a push broom, but I pulled it with my left hand. Do you know what else is awkward to do with your non-dominate hand?

Try going to the bathroom. Not only do you have to wipe your butt with your opposite hand, but try zipping and buttoning your pants too. Then try doing your hair, brushing your teeth, putting on make-up, or shaving your legs with the opposite hand.

Somehow I was still able to look presentable for church on Sunday even though everything seemed backward, opposite or just awkward. As I had mentioned before, I was leading choir practice that day. I led the music with my right hand as usual. But with all that movement and action, the blood was flowing through my arm veins and into my fingertips. The pulsating made my blisters feel really weird.

So, for leading Sacrament and Relief Society music I led with my left hand. That was weird too. I kept the beat just fine, but was focused on the presentation of my arm/hand. Really focusing on control that I didn't look up from the hymnal. I was also focused on wondering if anyone out in the congregation realized I was leading with my left hand and not my right.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So Saturday I was mowing the lawn. I did the front yard, then moved my way to the backyard. Then I began doing the very back of the yard. There was a lot of tall grass. I kept a look out for rocks and such hidden in the tall grass. But, sure enough Kchink!! the mower stopped.

I turned off the mower and put it on its side so that I could see if a rock or stick was caught in the blade. Now, I'm not that stupid to put my hand in where the blade is unless I'm totally sure that the mower is off. But I am stupid enough to burn my fingertips on the hot muffler of the lawnmower motor. Check out the picture.

While the mower was on its side it started to tip away from me and I wasn't done looking. I also wasn't looking where I put my hand to steady the mower. YEOWW!!!

I went running off into the house to put my fingers under cold water. I ran past Kyle. He knew that I had been mowing the lawn then sees me running into the house holding my hand. He thought, "Dear Lord, she's cut off her hand." He comes in after me, then sees that I only burned myself. I think he was relieved that we would not be making a trip to the emergency room that day. He was also glad that he didn't have the gruesome task of looking for my bloody fingertips in the grass to put in a baggie of ice for re-attachment later at the hospital.

I did have to keep my fingers on ice for several hours before the pain would go away. Then I put on some antibiotic cream and aloe gel then covered with brightly colored Band-aids (that's all we had). Later that night Kyle went to the store and bought me some brown finger-tip Band-aids so I wouldn't stand out at church on Sunday. (I lead the music for Sacrament. I also happened to be subbing for the choir director and the Relief Society chorister that day).

I found the brown Band-aids to be cumbersome and went back to the multi-colored ones for work today. Everybody asked what happened. I showed the boys the blisters. They were thoroughly grossed out.

I wonder if I will have fingerprints after the blisters are gone.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Visit to the Aquarium

Today we went to The Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah. You can check out their website at This week is Spring Break and we didn't have any money to go out of town so we did stuff around town. Yesterday was the movies and today the aquarium. I had been there 2 years ago with a class, but Kyle and the kids had never been. Everybody was there. I saw three families I knew from Spanish Fork and one from Provo.

Anyway, there's a lot of cool stuff, and the next time we have family in town I want to take them there.

The aquarium has a section dedicated to local freshwater life. We saw trout, salamanders, bullfrogs, toads, brine shrimp, catfish, and snails. There was even a boat that the kids could pretend to drive while there was a video playing of boating around the Great Salt Lake.

They had an exhibit with tarantulas and cockroaches. Ewww!

The rest of the exhibits are saltwater life. There were jellyfish, moray eels, electric eels, sharks, shrimp, a green anaconda, piranhas, horsehoe crabs, an octopus, a giant clam, hermit crabs, cayman, seahorses, tropical fish, anenomes, coral and sea stars.
There was an open tank where you could reach in your hand and touch the stingrays. They feel like Jell-O with a stiff course tail.

There was also a section were you could touch pencil urchins, green brittle sea stars and horseshoe crabs.

We had lots of fun. Of course, no trip is complete without visiting the souvenir shop. Zane got a 5 foot stuffed snake, Cooper got a stuffed shark and dolphin, and Chloe got two stuffed sea horses.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mental Breakdown

So, I had a real crappy week last week. Just everything seemed to come to a breaking point. Most of it was work related.

I work as an aide in a self-contained Special Ed. class at an elementary school. We have 4th, 5th and 6th graders in my class. The 4th graders are noisy and have very short attention spans. The teacher I work with seemed to have a lot of meetings before, during and after school. So, I was often left alone with the kids. Our class is set up that the teacher has a group, I have a group and then there is a group on the computer or doing some sort of independent activity. The problem is, the teacher would leave on an errand, but without giving his group instructions, or without giving me instructions of what to do with them. I found this very stressful each time.

In a way, I don't fault the teacher. I know he was under a lot of stress getting these IEPs and such, I also know that he thinks, "Aw, Naomi can handle it." While I'm flattered that he feels he can trust me with the class and thinks I can handle it, the truth is I couldn't. I just didn't know what to do with them. I spent time telling them to be quiet, get a book and read, stop running around the room, just a bunch of stuff that takes away from my group.

So, I would try to initiate some activity, pick up lectures where he left off, and the like. One day, we were doing on a worksheet on fractions. I reviewed the problem they had done the day before. Then we did the next problem together. The teacher comes back from wherever, I told him what problems we've done, I had our latest problem written on the board. So he then takes over and explains the problem we just finished doing. I felt really stupid. I just got done explaining that problem and I explained it the way he had the day before. I just felt really stupid like I didn't know how to teach.

Then, other teachers would come in looking for my teacher, and I honestly couldn't tell them where he was. If I were a sub, he would have left plans for me, or I would know why he was away from the classroom. I didn't even get that courtesy.

Day after day this happened and each day I got more frustrated. I began to wonder if I was cut out to be a teacher. If I can't handle this class, what makes me think I can handle my own class. I'm to be starting the Special Ed. Teaching program this fall. So, day after day I would vent in the evening to my husband, Kyle.

Thursday night, I just get home from Scout Roundtable and Kyle is leaving for work. Again, I tell him about the days proceedings. I just feel so stressed with work, my own schooling with finals coming up, and fulfilling my church calling in scouting.

Because of the stress I hadn't been sleeping, I felt too tired to get up and exercise in the morning and went back to my old friend--caffeine. I had had a pretty good run of being caffeine free, but I fell off the wagon, I started to hit the bottle, I couldn't lay off the sauce.

Then Friday morning I go to work. Starts out ok. The teacher is prepping items as if he is actually going to run his groups. The first hour and a half run smoothly. The 4th graders didn't come in that day because of a science presentation. So we have an empty room. I start getting stuff ready for the rest of the day. The teacher comes over to chat. He then says, "Did your hubby tell you he called me last night?" What?!? Uh-oh. What did he say? Did he tell you I'm about to lose it? Did he chew you out or was he calm? These were the things that ran through my head and I said them. My teacher said my husband was calm, just that he's worried about me, that I'm stressed out. The teacher told me that he appreciates all that I do for our class. He knows that when he has to go do paper work, go to meetings or has to run errands that he's leaving the class in good hands.

I said that while I am flattered that he can trust me to be able to handle it--that I can't handle it. I then start to get emotional and have to grab the box of tissues. I explained my feelings of not being given instructions. That the courtesy of instructions extended to a substitute hasn't been given to me. He again apologized and stated that our class will be running better.

The rest of the day was better. Even today ran much smoother. I don't want him to think he has to treat me like a delicate flower or walk on egg shells around me. I hope I'm not that much of an emotional mess, I was just reaching a breaking point.

I told Kyle that while I was a little embarrassed that he called my teacher, the fact that he felt he had to fight that battle for me, I was also endeared to my husband. I thought, "Aw, he does care." He asked me, when has he ever had to fight my battles? This is the first one. He said that he just wanted to get some things out in the open before I bottle up too much and then explode while at work and do or say something that I would regret and that would make it awkward for me to go to work there. Ahh, so he was working damage control.

Well, at least he cared enough to do that. So, now I'm vowing to have better days at work, to lay off the sauce, get back on the wagon and stop hitting that caffeine bottle starting tomorrow.