auntiemeesh: (out of gas)
I woke up this morning and couldn't bear the thought of being conscious. I let the dog out to pee, fed all the critters, called off sick, and crawled back into bed. Slept until eleven. Took Shadow for something approximating a real walk (maybe half a mile) and settled back with increased allergy/cold symptoms. I finally took the Zyrtec and my sneezing/coughing/runny nose has cleared up but the headache isn't going anywhere and my ears still feel like they're packed with cotton. Another week before I can expect the Flonase to really kick in and start clearing all this mess up. Yuck!

I'm finally all caught up on Hawaii Five-0 and looking for some good fic to read. All I seem able to find at AO3 is slash pwp. I don't mind the slash so much, but I'd really like some good, plotty, episodic fic. Any recs would be welcome.

No more hockey until next week. Boo! I feel about this much the way some people feel about Doctor Who being gone for months at a time. OMG, what am I going to do for a whole week without any hockey?!? Oh noes!!! I really am quite pathetic.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Today was a howling wilderness in the threes room. Adults approach Friday with the joy of knowing that the weekend is within our grasp if we can just hold on for a few more hours. Three year olds approach Friday with social exhaustion and behavioral melt-downs. They're tired, cranky, haven't seen their parents in days (seriously, these kids often get picked up, given supper and a bath and put to bed on weeknights) and just can't hold it together anymore. Not even a rare chance to play outside was enough to overcome their utter misery.

The matter was compounded by the fact that a parent volunteer came in this morning to do some pumpkin carving with the class. Because of how many children we have, we split the kids into two groups. One group ate morning snack first and the other group did pumpkin carving first, and then they switched. Only thing is, these kids are little. It's hard for them to understand 'you'll be next'. One little girl in the pumpkin carving group was miserable because she was hungry. One little guy in the snack group was miserable because he thought he didn't get to do the pumpkin activity. By the time we switched, little guy was so disgruntled, he couldn't even participate in the pumpkin carving (not that any of the kids actually participated so much as observed and pulled seeds out of the gunky innards), instead isolating himself in the book corner. It was one of those rare days when we decided we'd better have lunch and nap early, and then also let them sleep almost half an hour later than usual. The afternoon was much better than the morning!

One bright spot - I got to read one of my all-time favorite Halloween stories, Big Pumpkin, to the kids.

Another oasis of joy and wonderment during the day - one of the parents (perhaps sensing something of what was in the air) brought a box o'coffee and a box o'donuts in for the teachers this morning. Truly a wonderful woman!

In other news, yesterday I received an almost last minute invite to a Halloween party, tomorrow. I have no costume, because I wasn't expecting to go to any parties this year. But the kids at work did manage to come up with some excellent suggestions for me, which included but were not limited to: Spider-woman, a king, a princess, and (my personal favorite) a castle. I've decided to attempt a princess in a castle. I'll be sure to photo-document the attempt at creating such a thing.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
So, the state of me.

I'm exhausted and cranky and I kind of hate my new room at work. I'll get used to it, I'm sure, but currently it just sucks.

The past two days were insanely crazy and today I didn't get a lunch break (which was a shame since I needed to run to CVS in order to buy some lunch - oh well, who needs to eat?) which meant it was crash time when I got home (apparently, I need to eat). One minute I was mostly fine, the next I was soaked with sweat, feeling all wobbly and shaky, and frantically stuffing all the wrong sorts of food into my mouth in a vain attempt to make myself feel better. Real food was eventually obtained, though, and I'm feeling much better now.

There are some good things, though. I'm very grateful that my family is all safe from the flooding in central and northeast PA. [livejournal.com profile] westwindschild, [livejournal.com profile] wbkbb and Younger Brother were all evacuated, but they all had somewhere to go, so as far as I know, none of them ended up in emergency shelters. WWC was the hardest hit and it will take a long time to get her life back to normal, but she and Nephew are safe and dry, which is the most important thing.

And it's the weekend. Two days to relax, get caught up on household chores and shopping, and hopefully sleep in a bit. Mornings have been extra hard this week, so sleeping in would be really, really nice.
auntiemeesh: (rainbow)
I had an all-day workshop today, in which I made a necklace out of lace, fabric samples and old film spools; took apart an old radio/cd player just to see what was inside; played with the coolest blocks I've ever seen; had a long chat with a woman about costuming (she's just getting started on a Civil War era ballgown without having ever made much more than a pair of pjs before); and incidentally got some really great/fun ideas for the classroom. Some days I think I have the best job ever.

And then I left the all day workshop and raced what turned out to be a really terrible storm to work. I made it, just barely. According to the news, we got about three inches of rain in an hour. In a few places around town the flashflooding was severe - they reported six feet by the zoo - and at least three people were killed. Yikes! Luckily, it all calmed down to a nice, quiet drizzle by the time I headed outside again to go home.

And now it's the weekend!
auntiemeesh: (Default)
I was supposed to go shopping this morning, but the Pittsburgh Marathon had other ideas. My friend was completely unable to get from her house to my house via any known roads, so we postponed for afternoon.

In order not to waste the day, I started doing laundry. When I went down to the basement to switch from the washer to the dryer, I found the drain sink completely full and overflowing, with a good half inch of water standing on the floor in the laundry corner (which is raised above the rest of the basement by a few inches and doesn't have a drain in the floor). Grimacing, I reached into the sink full of grey, murky water and fished around until I found a rag blocking the drain. Then I ran upstairs and borrowed my landlady's old mop (the kind that requires a bucket with a wringer, which I don't happen to have). I then spent half an hour mopping up the standing water and hand-wringing it all out. Not my favorite half-hour ever.

But then it was time for shopping, and by some miracle, I think I managed to get everything that I had on my list, plus a few other things that I forgot to put on the list but really needed. I have a new, fun floor lamp which will beautifully illuminate my living room as soon as I buy light bulbs for it. I have a toilet seat which doesn't make me cringe, a plunger to replace the one with cracks in the rubber part, a new Libman Tornado mop, a watch to replace the one that broke last week, a pair of capris, a skirt and three t-shirts (all of which are very boring and moderately ugly but nice and modest with little to no cleavage - we had a dress-code meeting at work last week), and a set of plastic storage drawers to go next to my newly cleaned off desk.

The floor lamp is assembled and all ready for light bulbs, the toilet seat is in place, the laundry is folded and put away, the dishes are washed, the bits of styrofoam packing from the lamp box are all vacuumed up and the bed has been scooted over to make room for the storage drawers. Now I should really do a bit of that work-work I brought home with me. But I really don't want to.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Another weekend that flew by.

I went in to work for a few hours on Saturday, to do some work on the room while there were no children in it. I tore up a cheap photo album and taped one sleeve down on each toy shelf. Now we can slide pictures of the toys in and out easily as we rotate the toys. I've been wanting to try this for some years and just never got around to it. I also rearranged some of the furniture to hopefully facilitate better, more focused play from the kids. Our block corner was tiny and if one child was sitting in front of a shelf playing with blocks, no one else could get to any of the other toys on the shelf. There was much crying and anger in that corner.

The rest of the weekend was about as lazy as you could possibly imagine, which was exactly what I needed this weekend. Yesterday I spent the whole day watching/following hockey games. Lots of hockey talk ahead )
auntiemeesh: (Default)
It's been quite a week, and not one I'm sorry to see end.

Maggie is finally starting to sound and act better. Up through yesterday she looked pretty miserable and I actually asked her owner to take her to the vet. The owner made her an appointment through the Humane Society, but it's a two week wait so it's a good thing Maggie finally started mending on her own. Honestly, if she hadn't stopped sneezing the way she was by today, I would have gone ahead and taken her to my vet and just footed the extra bill. I was really worried.

To keep with the theme of worrisome cats, Mal decided this week that he didn't want the dry food I've been feeding him for the last three years. He barely ate for two days and this morning I finally broke down and opened my last can of wet food to tempt him. He chowed down so fast I'm surprised he didn't regurgitate it all immediately. He did eat the dry stuff perfectly normally this evening, however. I noticed last night that he was nosing at his full bowl, went to the other cats' bowls, nosed their food and then wandered away, confused. Maybe his nose was still a little stuffed and he couldn't smell the dry stuff. The wet stuff certainly has a much stronger odor than the dry stuff.

For myself, to cap off a week of sleepless nights, I woke up with a headache today. I finally beat it midafternoon, but it's left me feeling every bit as exhausted as the sleepless nights did. Bleh!

On the brighter side, all the cats seem to be feeling better today and the headache is gone. It is Friday, the weekend should be a bit warmer than the past few days, and I remembered to get stuff done at work by the deadline, for a change. We had an unannounced visit by our state licensing rep today, and our room got through with shining colors. Luckily for me, all we had to do during this visit was know how many children we had and what their names were. Even the names part was a little bit of a challenge for my poor head this morning, lol.
auntiemeesh: (rainbow)
What an exciting afternoon. We were given a chance to put our Emergency Weather drill into practical application at work. There were a variety of tornado warnings/watches for our area, just around the time that parents come to pick their children up. So all the kids from upstairs were sent down to the basement (where we Infant/Toddler folks hang out anyway), including a number of parents who had already arrived to pick up.

We actually got the first round of the storm earlier in the afternoon, while our kids were having snack. The sky was almost pitch dark, it was raining heavily and there were some flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. We love to share weather experiences with the kids, so one of the teachers went to our back door and opened it up to let the kids hear/see the rain. And then it began hailing with ice balls maybe a centimeter in diameter or a little less - the biggest hail I can remember seeing prior to that. I have since seen bigger.



This was what was in my yard when I got home from work, a good forty minutes after the second round of hail came through. I am so glad it came at 5:20, while I was at work and not 6:20 when I would have been walking home from work.

The storm has calmed down considerably, but I was still glad to accept a ride home this evening. It's quite exciting to have that sort of shared group experience with a storm - we all stood around chatting about how none of us had ever seen hail that big before - but it would be the pits to be caught out in it!
auntiemeesh: (Default)
My brain seems to have recovered most of its functionality today.

I took part in a discussion about this article, Why Chinese Mothers are Superior. We have these 'coffee hour' discussions once a month or so, at work. This one was a follow up to a Cultural Sensitivity workshop we had during our in-service day last month. Our director led this discussion, and while everything we did was interesting and thought-provoking, I felt like the main point she was trying to make was very peripheral to the ideas in the article.

The article itself really struck a nerve with me, though, and has given me a lot to think about. It really points out how much culture determines what is acceptable and expected behavior. Things that we might consider terribly inappropriate if not downright emotionally abusive in our culture are considered the proper way to motivate one's children in another. For me, it was a little difficult, at first, to set aside my own biases and read the article without making judgments, but after letting it percolate a day or so, I can see a lot of places where there is a good middle ground to be found between the two extremes of western and eastern child-rearing as they are presented.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
It's a beautiful, clear and breezy night. The full moon is shining down into my living room like a cold, white sun. It's so bright even my dinky little camera can get some sort of picture.



This must be the explanation for the kids at work today. They were acting suspiciously crazy and violent, like very small werewolves, claws included. At least we were able to take them outside a lot this week. I'm not sure I would have survived, sanity intact, otherwise.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
If I was a two-year-old, I would probably be standing in a corner right now, crying for no discernible reason, much like N did for the majority of this morning. I have a slight sore throat, my head hurts and all of my sinus cavities ache. I'm hoping some cold meds and a good night's sleep will make this all go away, because no matter how crappy I feel there will be no calling off work this week. One teacher is off all week for a death in her family, another has some sort of strep/mono something and is off all week, a couple of teachers have the flu. There are no subs to cover any more sick people. There are times when I love my job. Today is not one of them.
auntiemeesh: (snowtree)
I played in the snow with the kids today. It was the perfect sort of snow for packing, so I built them a little snowman. They had a ton of fun adding (microscopically small) bits of snow and patting them down until one of them patted a little too enthusiastically and Mr. Snowman fell back into his component bits. They accepted his demise philosophically, turning their attention to the sky and looking for airplanes (it was random, but they're two - random is the name of the game). It was a good day.
auntiemeesh: (penguins)
The Pens had a good game tonight. Fleury got his second shut-out of the season. Craig Adams scored the only goal of the game, for either team. Very low scoring, but lots of fast-paced, end to end action. It was a nail-biter goalie duel of a game, against an unknown rookie who was playing out of his mind, but Fleury won the duel in the end. Now we enter the All-Star break. No more Penguins hockey until next week. Maybe Malkin will be ready to play again by then. Crosby seems unlikely for probably a few more games after that.

That's pretty much it. Work was crazy - the kids haven't been outside in forever and they're going out of their ever-loving little minds. At lunch today, they just sat at the tables and screamed. Not out of anger or sadness, just because they like to hear themselves scream and as soon as one starts, all the rest join in. Maybe tomorrow we can get them outside.

I'm hoping for better dreams tonight. Last night's was just stressful and anxiety producing. For many years I almost never had bad dreams, but the past year or so, they've been creeping back in. I do not approve. I much prefer my weird, wacky, adventure-laden fun dreams. Although, hm, there was a weird, sentient cheese moon guy at the end of last night's dream, that seemed to signal a bit of a shift in the tone of the dream, just before I woke up. It reminded me, for some reason, of a book by James P. Blaylock, which I cannot remember the title of. I'll have to look it up at some point. But not now, because now it is time to go to bed and hopefully have fun dreams.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Luckily, I'm not in school anymore and don't have any homework lying around, because if I did, Zoe would certainly eat it. The girl's gone paper crazy! She uses those sharp little teeth of hers to rip up everything in sight. When I get dvds from Netflix, I have to hide the envelopes if I want them to be in one piece when I'm ready to send them back. Good thing she's so adorable, or I'd have to send her back.

Mal had me worried yesterday evening. He puked up a hairball but didn't feel any better afterwards, wouldn't eat, etc. Finally puked up a little more, and had a small piece of salad dressing packaging in it (the individual serving packet that you get with pre-packaged salads). Poor guy, he loves to lick and chew the package after I've used the dressing but he's never swallowed any of the plastic before. I'll have to be more careful with the packaging from now on.

I can't believe it's June already. Summer is here, ready or not. I always find myself wishing for just a little more of that lovely spring weather, and looking ahead to fall. It seems unfair to hate summer so much, when it was the highlight of the year for my entire childhood. No school! Let's go outside and play, play, play! Spend all afternoon at the local swimming pool, riding bikes, climbing hills. I don't remember ever minding the humidity or the heat as a kid. Now I go outside and wilt. All the strength and energy drains out of my body and all I want to do is turn around and go back inside. Or at the very least sit down somewhere and be a very passive observer of the world around me. Unfortunately, when one spends one's day supervising highly active and disaster prone one-year-olds (good grief, we've got such babies this summer) passive is not a word in one's vocabulary. Yeah, provider of happy memories or not, I hate summer. September can roll around any time it likes.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
I had to be at work early today, but that means I got home early as well. It just adds to the feeling of a long weekend to get home almost three hours early on a Friday afternoon. The day went by pretty quickly - got the new room all set up for the kids and everything, so next week so go pretty smoothly.

I intend to take it super easy this weekend. As always, my arm is feeling really not good (and getting worse). Maybe if I don't use it at all (other than for some typing of the fic-writing kind) it will start to feel better soon. One can hope, at least.

Exciting news: Pittsburgh will host the Washington Capitals in the 2011 NHL Winter Classic on Jan 1st. It wasn't exactly a secret that Pgh was at the top of the list, but they made the official announcement today. I would really, really love to go to that game. Tickets are very hard to come by if you're not a season ticket holder, but I can dream, right?
auntiemeesh: (computer)
And just like that, I am done (at least for the moment) with my archives project. I've spent the past few evenings pulling together a functionally searchable container list and writing up a finding aid, which I have just sent off to my director. At some point, she claims that she wants me to put together a presentation explaining/justifying my function as the center's archivist, at which time she'll re-evaluate whether or not to continue with the project. The summer months are usually a little bit hectic, so I don't expect to have to put that presentation together too soon.

I'm glad I got it all done, even if I didn't really want to end the project. If nothing else, I now have two projects (the other one from my internship) to put on my resume. Which I need to spruce up and start sending out again. I heard from my student loan people today and they are not too pleased with the lack of progress I've made paying them off.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
It's a beautiful, blue-sky morning and I could smell honeysuckle as I walked to work. What a lovely way to start the day.

Today is the last day with our current crop of toddlers, which makes me a little sad, but also excited. These kids are so ready to move on to bigger challenges, and we are all ready for a new group of tiny little toddlers to fall in love with.

Happy Thursday, everyone!
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Another weekend over, another work week about to begin. After barely dipping my toe in the water the past five or six months (at least), I'm going to do some archiving this week. Time to wrap this project up and be done with it. I've also got parent conferences to line up and prepare for, so it will be a busy month.

I managed to stay awake all afternoon only by dint of drinking a lot of diet soda. Now, having drunk a lot of diet soda, I'll probably be wide awake all night. Nothing new there.

Hockey update:

*The Penguins won their game yesterday, leaving them up 3-2 in the series. They go back to Montreal tomorrow, where they could end the series if they could muster up the energy for back-to-back wins, something they haven't managed yet in this series.

*The San Jose Sharks eliminated the mighty Detroit Red Wings in five games. This is the first time in, I believe, four years that the Red Wings won't be in the Western Conference Finals. This makes me happy.

*The Vancouver Canucks just pulled off a win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Another reason to be happy. Vancouver and Phoenix were the two Western Conference teams that I was pulling for from the start of the playoffs. Phoenix got taken out by Detroit, but Vancouver made it through the first round, only to self-destruct when faced with Chicago in round two. Tonight was clearly a good game, however, and they beat Chicago 4-1. Chicago leads that series 3-2, so Vancouver needs another two straight wins to move on to the Conference finals. It's not likely, but it has been done before (most recently by Montreal in round one this year against the Capitals) but they've put up a fight, so good for them.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
The plumbing saga continues. Now that Land Lady is aware that the pipes are noisy, it's driving her crazy trying to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it. So this morning, as I was sitting here with my heating pad draped over my shoulder, getting lost in various internetz stuff, there came a knock at the door. Yet another plumber, come to see if he could figure out what's going on. The end result, I now have a new faucet in the kitchen, with excellent water pressure (the wp dropped off suddenly about a month ago). He also replaced the tub faucet, because the drop thing that switches between shower and tub no longer worked well and didn't send all the water to the shower head. I've been barely getting enough water to wet my hair, and showering has taken much longer than it should. This is not the first guy to look at my shower, but the previous guy just tested the water pressure and said everything was fine. Today's guy saw the problem immediately. I'm curious to see how much improvement there is.

Now on to the obligatory comments about the other ongoing saga in my life, my arm. Would you like some cheese with that whine? )

In other news, the kids at work are starting to be able to engage in actual conversations. My current favorite kid for this is R (not quite two and a half).

While changing R's diaper, a good 45 minutes before he was due to go home.

R: Mommy?
Me: (this is a common starting point with all of the toddlers) Where's mommy?
R: Um, I think she on her way.
Me: It's a little early. Do you think she might still be at work?
R (very nonchalantly): No. She on her way.
Me: Is she in the car?
R: No.
Me: Is she on the bus?
R: No.
Me: Is she still at work?
R: No. She leaving the house.

This is the same kid who, if asked where Mommy and Daddy work, will say, "Um, I think in the car."

The other conversation we had today was in the bathroom during potty time.

Me: Do you want to put some pee in the potty?
R: No. I put pee in my diaper.
R (after a pause for thought). My daddy poop in the potty. My mommy poop in the potty. I no poop in the potty.

Very self-aware little guy!
auntiemeesh: (coffee)
Note to self: when making oatmeal in the microwave, please remember to put the water in.

I do believe it's time to start looking for a new microwave. I got my current one second hand a few years ago and it already had a big, burned out spot on one side of the interior walls then. It's ticked along well enough since then, but this seems to have put it over the edge, with billowing clouds of smoke pouring out of said burned out spot. It was definitely NOT the oatmeal that was smoking.

I learned, to no great surprise, that Mal is afraid of the noisy smoke detector when it is going off. He sat in the living room, staring at me as I tried to swat the smoke away with no success, crying every bit as loudly as the thing was shrilling. On the plus side, I now know that the battery in my smoke detector is still good, despite being something like 2 years old. On the minus side, everything in my apartment smells like smoke. Now I just have to hope I can put the blasted thing back together when I get home from work. Why don't smoke detectors come with off buttons?

In other news, there was a hockey game yesterday. Final score was Penguins 2, Montreal 0. That's right, folks. Marc-Andre Fleury earned himself a shut-out. Only his second one all year, and his first playoff shutout since May '08. It was a fun (read: nail-biting and crazy-making), dueling goalies sort of game. It all came down to a question of who was going to crack first and in this instance the answer wasn't Fleury. I love Fleury, a lot, but he's had a pretty mediocre season, so it was really nice to see him making the big saves and standing tall in net.

It's going to be a long day. I managed something like four hours of semi-decent sleep before my arm started screaming at me (no great surprise there, either, since yesterday was not exactly Be Kind to Injured Arms Day). Advil did pretty much nothing, so the second four hours involved lots of tossing and turning and 'will this be a comfy position? Why, no, it won't.' I finally gave up on sleep altogether about an hour and a half before I usually get up, which may at least partially explain the brain fart that allowed me to explode my microwave. *sigh* And we're having a room party at work, which means I won't get home until late.

This room party, incidentally, is the Year End, Grandparents and Special Friends Picnic and Cinco de Mayo extravaganza. All the families signed up to bring chips and dip (apparently no one could think of anything else even vaguely appropriate - unimaginative, lazy group). There's going to be a lot of dip and not much else at this party.

In the meantime, I'm going to be happy that my coffee brewed perfectly fine, and go help myself to a second cup of liquid life support.

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