29 September 2009


I had a revelation today. Let me back up--on Saturday, we spent quite a bit of time hunting resale shops for clothes and shoes for Kayci's class scarecrow. Kayci and I had a bit of a meltdown at the last store over shoes, and we left with both of us grumpy. After a few minutes, we were able to talk it out and come to a compromise, but I have to admit, I was pretty pissed (sorry, there's no other word) at how ungrateful she was. Well, at how ungrateful I thought she was being, I should say. I've spent quite a bit of time the past several days on said scarecrow, and today I had to work in even more scarecrow time between work and a meeting with the Girl Scout recruiter (seriously)...and I have to say, I was feeling like such a MOM. Then I realized something. Kayci doesn't care about the time I spend doing things FOR her...she cares about the time I spend WITH her. Such a little thought, really, but think about it for a second.

Do you get it now? As a parent, I tend to tally up that FOR time...but I should focus that energy on the WITH time. Makes you think, doesn't it?

g l a m o r o u s

it's a glamorous life i lead, i know...met a friend for coffee this morning at Starbucks (it's becoming a weekly ritual that i really look forward to!), went to the dollar store and spent a LOT more than i'll admit here on stuff for several classroom projects, came home and worked on a report, now it's time to shut the laptop and clean this house of ours. last night i was so tired, i didn't clean up any of the evening madness noble left behind...which means the house is a PIT today, and i've got a lady coming for a meeting at 1:30. so why, you ask, am i blogging and not cleaning? because i haven't written in what feels like forever. i miss it! i've got a lot on my mind and i keep thinking i'll sit down and purge...but seriously, no time right now between work and real life. i just finished reading making work at home work and it was such a blessing for me to sit down and read someone who's been where i'm at, felt what i feel, etc. already i've made a lot of progress with being honest with myself about what i can-and can't-do/commit to and i've forced myself to make time to do the work i need to do, even if the house needs cleaning, etc. i can't live like a stay at home mom and make a full time salary without burning myself out, and i'm over that one. so i'm learning to balance...it's not easy, but it's satisfying. i'm in the middle of a major work thing right now which is consuming my thoughts more than i'd like, but other than that, i've really been able to focus on my kids and BE in the moment. i could totally do better...but for the first time in a long time, i'm not counting the minutes til bedtime so i can get my work done, or resenting the minutes lost when one of them wakes up early in the morning. for the most part (this past sunday excluded), i'm getting my work done during the office hours i've set (thanks to the book, again--novel concept, right, hours??). i won't lie--my house isn't kristi-clean, but it's clean enough (today excluded, of course) to have someone drop by any time and eat. don't eat off the floor if you're not noble, and you'll be okay. so, i'm making progress. oh, and i still count the minutes til bedtime...but that's just 'cause i'm ready for time with my boy, no distractions. :)

28 September 2009

Story of my life...

...by Noble.

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

24 September 2009

Who Wooden Want These?!

Last week as we were packing up what didn't sell at the MOPS garage sale, I found these beauties. Come on, who wooden want these?! I'm thinking they'll find a home in our new flower bed...

Can you imagine the conversation when this couple drives by our house? Hey, those look just like those shoes I brought back...hey!

22 September 2009

It's Scarecrow Time!

It's that time again here in Brenham...Scarecrow time! :) Of course we're helping Kayci's class with their scarecrow...but this year, once again we made the mistake of letting the kids choose. Naturally, they chose the scarecrow the grown-ups are least excited about...Junie B. Crow. Anyone have any tips on how to bring her to life? We're going to have each child write a diary entry, and we'll definitely find some purple glasses and colorful, sloppy clothes...but beyond that, we're stumped! Help!

21 September 2009

Reason #4,597 I need my own office...

do you know how hard it is to work in this peaceful house at my nice, clean desk with my nicely prioritized to-do list...and THIS right behind me? hmm, let's see, write a report...or take a nap. fill out those forms...or take a nap. go through those courses...or take a nap.
i consider myself a pretty strong person--but i'm weakening.
can feel myself...drifting...

20 September 2009

It's been a good run...

Hands down, the past 13 or so years have been the best of my life.
We've had a good run, James and I.
Some would say that it's inevitable, then,
that something would finally come between us.

I miss you already, boy-o.

18 September 2009

Mom-me time :)

I feel better already...

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

17 September 2009

Worth the drive...

Just walked in the door; everyone's asleep, but this was waiting for me:

out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone


I am so melancholy today--for me, the hardest part of my job (well, my "main" job) is working so closely with people I care about. That means when they're frustrated, I take that on. When they're discouraged, I take that on. When they're sad, I take that on. And then when a bunch of them are all those things all at once, I truly could just sit and cry. Today's one of those days. I'm an optimist at heart (optimists can be sarcastic, too) and it's hard for me to sit back and just let the hard times happen--I want to be the one saying, "things will get better!! we can work this out!!" but you know, when someone's at the end of their rope, they don't need to hear that. So I'm waiting for the sun to shine again for my friends. Until then, I'm like a big ol' sponge that's soaked up all this stress...had the "why do I do this again?" conversation as I was driving home from Houston last night at, hmm, dark-thirty and knowing I had to do it all over again today. And it all comes back to the fact that I love what I do, I love who I do it for, I love who I do it with (erm, alongside, maybe?). So I'll pack up my spongey self and heavy heart and hit the road here pretty quick...

14 September 2009

Slipping Through My Fingers...

Every day on the way to school, Kayci and I listen to "Slipping Through My Fingers." I know Kayci is only 6, but already it feels like there's this giant Wizard of Oz hourglass with sand just pouring through...time is going so fast, and she's changing and growing so fast. Already she needs me less, and I know the days are coming when she won't want me, either. She's not a big girl but not a little girl, either...she's somewhere in between, and I think there are times that this frustrates the heck out of her. (It's not easy for me, either, by the way, but I know that she'll live through it--she doesn't.) Kayci...I don't blog about her as much as I do about Noble, just because nobody wants to hear (well, my Mom would love it!) every day about how awesome Kayci is. Because she is. I've never met another child quite like her, and I'm so grateful that I LIKE her so much (loving her's a given...come on!). There are days, of course, that I don't like the attitude she's trying on that day, but luckily those times pass quickly. It's times like yesterday, when we sat down together to work on her San Antonio scrapbook, that I wish I could freeze.

And now today it all starts again...we've got a crazy busy week coming up, and there are a million opportunities, it feels, for the big kid to get lost in the shuffle. But at the same time, I have to focus on the times that I can and do focus on her...taking her to school in the mornings, taking her to work with me on Wednesday, going on her field trip Friday, fixing her hair in the mornings, reading with her in the evenings...these are all times that are just about her. I hope these are the times she remembers, and not the times that we're asking her to watch Noble for a second so he doesn't hurt himself or telling her to wait a second while we finish changing/cleaning/pulling Noble down from something.

I know we can't hold back the sands of time...but my prayer is that I stay really present and cherish each grain that slips through my fingers. I know they can't all be big moments (thank God for that!), but the sum of the little moments is what makes up our memories, and our life, and our attitude about the world. I wonder what my kids will remember?

"Slipping Through My Fingers"

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures?
The places I had planned for us to go?
(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...

10 September 2009

It's a Small World After All

I wrote this Thursday night...and fell asleep before the image loaded. :)

So, today was day #2 of my new LaPorte gig. Last time, one of the principals I met turned out to be a girl I knew in college (great girl, by the way!). Today, I was at her school when I went to observe an inclusion PreK class, and the teacher was a girl I grew up with. It IS a small world! :)

09 September 2009


One desk & the work closet down...one desk to go!!

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

Barking at the rain...

It's raining here. Sami, God love her, is standing outside--next to her covered area. Barking. And I'm sitting here working and thinking about the dog that's so busy barking at the rain that she won't help herself and take two steps to shelter...I am reminded of too many situations and people. Today has been a very frustrating day for me professionally, and when it gets this hard I have to really step back and breathe.

But here's what I'd tell Sami, and what I wish people would understand, too: you have shelter available to you. You don't HAVE to stand in the rain, you CHOOSE to do so. And then you're barking at the rain? The rain isn't the problem, really. Look around, and find the shelter that's offered to you. Even if you do nothing more than sit a while, take a few deep breaths...maybe these simple acts will better your stress level and your situation.

Here's what I'm going to do, instead of barking at the rain: after lunch, I'm going to take time out of my work day and organize my desk(s). Then later when I need to go find a project I'm working on, I won't have to dig. It will save time and frustration.

Now, I could choose NOT to do this...and bark at my husband later about how stressed I am and how I don't have time to do my work and my desk is buried...but what would that accomplish, other than making me look like a fool and pissing him off? Nothing. And I'd still be in the same exact place where I started. So I'll go help myself here. My shelter? Organization and calm. Peace of mind. I'm ready to get out of this storm today, believe me.

Point: don't just bark at the rain. Freakin' help yourself get out of the storm. And definitely don't bark at the people who are offering shelter...I'm just saying.

In fairness to Complete Savings...

I received the following e-mail from Complete Savings, and they have refunded the money they removed from our bank account in full. So no harm, no foul on their part--but let this serve as a cautionary tale to all of us (even those of us, ahem, me, who think we are too savvy to fall into something like this!). Thank you, Complete Savings, for making it right.

Dear Kristi:
I recently reviewed your post on your blog about our membership program, Complete Savings and I'd like to give you an official response on behalf of our company to be sure that your concerns and questions are fully addressed. I checked our records and confirmed that your membership was cancelled on August 28, 2009 when you contacted our customer service department. At that time a refund of the membership charges was processed. These refunds should appear as credits in your account.
At this time, we'd like to provide you some information on how the membership was enrolled. Our records show that on June 2, 2009 when you completed an online transaction at www.pizzahut.com you enrolled in Complete Savings by clicking on a $10 cash back award and then entering your email address twice and then clicking the "YES" button on the enrollment form. Directly above the section for entering email addresses, the text advised you that you were authorizing the secure transfer of your name, address and credit or debit card information to Complete Savings for billing and benefit processing. I've attached a copy of this page for your review. Immediately after accepting the membership offer you were presented with a membership acknowledgement page. Within 10 minutes of the enrollment, a membership confirmation email with details on how to use the membership was sent to your email address. We sent six more emails to your email address from June 2 through August 1, 2009 with details of the membership. The one that was sent to you on June 19, 2009 advised you that your 30-day free trial period was ending in 14 days and that you would be charged if you did not cancel the membership before the trial ended.
We hope this resolves this matter to your satisfaction and demonstrates that proper authorization was obtained to charge your credit card. If you have further questions regarding this matter or suggestions for improving our service, please contact us at consumeraffairs@webloyalty.com.
person's name here
Webloyalty Consumer Affairs
Complete Savings

08 September 2009

Note to Self

Hartz Chicken Buffet employees do NOT find it amusing when you inquire about a vegetarian option. I was serious, man.

And nope, before you get all up in arms--I do eat meat, just not always. I'm not morally opposed, although my surgeon swears our bodies weren't made to be carnivores. I'm just sayin'...I know mine does better sans little furry creatures on the menu. So, I'm off the meat for a bit until my system gets back into whack. Well, or until someone grills a really good steak. Dang, I wish Brad read my blog...


18 months ago today, Noble was born...
who knew it was going to be this crazy/wonderful/silly/gross/busy/awesome/scary/fun!?
Happy birthday and a half, Noble!

I wish...

This is Noble on Friday night. He found a black marker and, well, did what Noble does with markers. Daddy snapped this pic before they cleaned it up.
The next day, my brother said,
"I just wonder how many of these pictures you guys stage."
Hmm, let me think.
I got the laptop ready for this post, then ran into the kitchen
for a minute to throw something away.
In that time, Noble banged out his own blog post,
then shut the laptop and sat on it until Daddy pulled him off.
(I'm just grateful there was no marker involved...my laptop gets decorated. A lot.)
So to answer your question...sadly...none.
Please, I wish I was funny enough to come up with
some of the things that joker does.

07 September 2009

I did it!

I'll publish my essay here in January after they announce the winner...by then maybe I'll be ready. I wrote about something that's been really hard to write about--feels good to have it off my chest! And now on to Mad Men and some bloody mary mix...yum!

Great weekend, great things to come this week. I'm a happy girl, and feeling very proud that I've done something writerly for myself. Better to try and fail then never to have tried at all, right?

06 September 2009

Time is running out...

Last week I bought a "Real Simple" to read while James had his epidural (I usually don't splurge on that one, but I LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!! A whole magazine about keeping it simple, organizing, etc.? Hello!). Anyway, I came across this:

And I know some of you enjoy writing, as well, so I thought I'd share. If you enter, good luck! :)

04 September 2009

And for my next trick...


-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone


TWO of my friends had little ones start Kindergarten last week...and I have spoken to TWO teary Mommys this week who are just broken-hearted that school isn't at all what they expected. As a Mommy, I'm sad. As an educator, I am FURIOUS. But also as an educator I'm way backed up on a tech project right now...I just want to see what advice y'all have for these Moms...I'm having a hard time being impartial right now!!

Underwear in Public

this is kind of like showing my underwear in public, i know...

This is my desk. Well, one of my desks--if I took a picture of the other one right now I'd wake James up. :) Trust me, it's about the same. On the floor there, that's all of my stuff from staff development 2 weeks ago that I haven't had the time...um, well, haven't put away yet. And on the desk? That's the stuff from Kayci's back to school party that I need to finish putting away. And on my desk in our bedroom...a couple of months worth of stuff has stacked up as well. It's just that time of year...August, December and May are horrible when it comes to my work "stuff" just taking over. Every freaking year it happens, and every year it stresses me out. So, today I have a big project due...then I should have 3 days at home. Just family time, I hope, and time to get caught up on some little--and big--things that need attention around here. Like, say, clearing off my desks so I can be productive next week. Well, there IS that, right?

This came up because last night I was looking at a blog and really, unfortunately, coveting this woman's extra bedroom that she uses as "her" space. It was all white walls (love white walls!) and yellow painted furniture and red and blue accents...I just wanted to move my stuff in and be done! So, I said to my boy later, I know it's a few years away, but I can't wait to have my own "space." And my poor boy, forgetting my stress level, looked disgustedly at my "desk" (crap holder) in the office and said, you have TWO spaces. Why can't you use one of them? So then I had to whine a bit about how I wanted my OWN space with my OWN walls and my OWN stuff displayed to inspire me...and he totally got it. Because he's wanted his own space for about 4 years now, since he had to start sharing the office with me. And then Kayci. And now Noble. So he gets it.

Alas, I shall have a room of my own. And I promise you, it will be a happy place. A place where I can dream and write and create and make messes and clean them up and be productive. But until then, I've got a nice table waiting for me by my bedroom window. When I get it cleared off, that is. :) Until then...it's sofa city, sweetheart. A girl can dream, though. And blog instead of working which is why she's up at this ungodly hour...

(Oh, yeah, 16 candles, baby!)

03 September 2009

Mom-me (did you hear it?)

Today, I attended my first MOPS meeting in almost 3 years. Well, technically I only missed last year, but this was the first time in years I just ATTENDED a meeting. I'm there in no leadership capacity, just as a mom who needs some "me" time, some time in fellowship, some time to reflect and learn and hopefully, emerge a better wife, mom, person.

So I'm excited. It was a great first meeting, too--we actually watched a DVD from MOPS that explains the year's theme a bit, and listening to the speaker was like listening to my own thoughts. It was pretty intense and I have to say, a bit uncomfortable, because the things she struggled/s with are the things I'm struggling with. But that's another blog, another day. Hey, speaking of another blog...check out the blogroll--new MOPS blog today! Digging it, too! :)

I'm too tired to be witty or thought-provoking tonight. It's been a big day, all around. Something pretty big may be in the works at work...it's exciting but frightening all at the same time. Ever wished and wished and prayed and prayed for something...only to get it and then be like, crap, now what? Well, that's where I am today. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies in my tummy...and makes me want to go to sleep and wake up next year. But we'll get through it, and it'll be great. It's just a LOT to think about when I'm already so overwhelmed and tired. And I suspect the poor teacher this is happening to is there and then some.

I may be too tired to make sense, even. So I'll say goodnight...well, goodnight, blog, anyway. Time to work a bit then maybe go to bed early so I can wake up even earlier...big deadline tomorrow. Wish me luck!

02 September 2009

Oh, my soul...

Hands down, this is the best part of my day. I just got home from Houston (in work's defense, I did go to dinner with Mom before I drove home), and everyone's asleep. I'm hanging out, going through today's e-mails on my phone since my laptop's busy getting all Snow Leopard-ed. :). And even though I've got a lot on my plate--and even more on my mind--I'm just happy to be here...at home...on my bed...listening to my Boy sleep-breathing. All's right in my world.

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

01 September 2009

"Just Playing"

I was just blog-browsing (yup, supposed to be working but needed a quick break) and I came across a Mommy who's frustrated with homeschooling and how it feels...suddenly teaching and learning have become stressful and unnatural. Even though I don't know this woman, my heart went out to her because I've been there as a Mommy and a teacher. I shared the name of this poem, but here it is in case someone reading here hasn't seen it--or needs to see it again. This is the reason behind learning to play*playing to learn. This week I've been reminded at how those words were true 9 years ago, and they're true today...and they'll always BE true. Sometimes the simplest truths are the most profound, no?

Just Playing--Anita Wadley

When I am building in the block room, please don't say I'm "just playing". For you see, I'm learning as I play, about balance and shapes. Who knows, I may be an architect someday.

When I'm getting all dressed up, setting the table, caring for the babies, don't get the idea I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play; I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay, please don't let me hear you say, "He is just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm expressing myself and being creative. I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair "reading" to an imaginary audience, please don't laugh and think I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with choice things I find, don't pass it off as "just play". For you see, I'm learning as I play. I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some "plaything" at my school, please don't feel the time is wasted in "play". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate. I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods, please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is "just play". I'm learning to follow direction and see differences. I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run and move my body, please don't say I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning how my body works. I may be a doctor, nurse or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I've done at school today, and I say, "I just played", please don't misunderstand me. For you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. I'm preparing for tomorrow. Today, I am a child and my work is play.

the devil you know

feeling stressed today with a couple of big deadlines/projects colliding in the next 24 hours...needing some inspiration and focus to keep my head down and keep pushing along. :)

liked this:

--Spanish proverb