No one ever pays attention to me.

At my literacy center today we shared Weekly Readers about Healthy Foods. (Thank you donorchoose.org and the FABULOUS people who made this teacher’s dream come true.)

To prepare, I made word cards for some of the words that the children would see over and over. One of them was the word ARE. I showed them ARE; we talked about ARE; we wrote the word ARE and even used magnetic letters to make the word ARE.

Then, we read a poem about healthy food that ended EACH TIME with “Colorful Foods ARE good for you.”

At the end of the 15 minutes of the ARE barrage, I asked the kids how to spell ARE.

Frank immediately raised his hand. “A. S. S.”

And so endeth lesson number 4,321,405. (Oh sure, he lisped, but I KNEW what he said.)


I am bundled up and weathering the storm.

I am struggling to stay afloat in this tumultuous Sea of Change. I reach out to draw my children under my wings, only to find that they have managed to become strong human beings.

Each morning I open my eyes, only wide enough to view the day. My heart aches a bit if I find myself looking to far around the corner, and I instinctively wrap my arms around the day. Just the day.

I am surprisingly lifted, incredibly lifted, by the warms thoughts and deeds flowing in my direction. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and can honestly say that I feel each and every good thought. As soon as I land from this painful journey, I will share some of these amazing stories.

I would ask, however, that if you do find the time to send a thought and prayer this way, that you wrap each of us in your wishes. All of us.

In the meantime, I spent a few minutes over here today, having coffee with my girl.


And now it's unanimous- I NEVER know the right answer.

As winter approaches, I have been searching for ways to blackmail and bribe The Golden Boy to keep active and help himself in this struggle to be “healthy”, as he grows into himself.

He shocked and surprised me when he told me he was trying out for his middle school basketball team. While I am bracing myself for the gut-wrenching “didn’t make the team” possibility, I am also holding out hope that his natural ability will outweigh the fact that he is probably twice the size of most of his prospective teammates.

We had to go to the doctor’s office for the re-certification physical, because apparently even though we JUST had a physical for school, they HAVE to look at him AGAIN. (I guess they need my twenty dollars desperately to help pay for their NEW bazillion dollar building.)

We approached the building when he turned to me and said, “He’s not gonna grab my stuff, is he?”

“WHAT?” I replied, trying not to crash into the stone wall.

“Last time I had my physical he grabbed my STUFF. You know, my b..”

“STOP! I think I know what you mean. And no, I think it’s just a weighing and measuring thing. It’s a re-cert. Not a REAL physical. No grabbing of the stuff.” I felt confident that I knew what I was talking about. After all, he is my THIRD child.

We sat in the chairs as the doctor discussed the Boy’s growing height and weight, and he reminded him about healthy life choices, activity level, blah, blah, blah.

The doctor pushed his chair back, stood up and I was convinced we were done.

He turned around, grabbed a latex glove and put it on his hand.

The Golden Boy’s head snapped around to face me, his eyes wide in shock.

I ran out of the room. Like any respectable parent would.

Did I forget to mention my oldest two were GIRLS?

Yeah. Fifty years old and I’m STILL a rookie.


I didn't even know they TAUGHT that in college. (You know. Common Sense.)

Bitchy and Sassy were both home for the weekend to attend a family function, and it was decided that Sassy would leave her billion dollar (free) car at home so that the various aches and pains it was experiencing could be fixed.

I didn't realize any of this, of course, until I was informed by her that Bitchy was refusing to allow her to take HER car, that sits in our driveway while college is in session for Bitchy.

Being the incredibly WONDERFUL and GIVING mother that I am, I offered her MY car.

Keep in mind, mine has been indisposed for FOUR MONTHS because we thought that it had a broken crank shaft. It was just recently discovered that it was everything except that, and now $950 later I am finally back in my car.

"You can take my Sorrento back to school. You'll be back in a week for break, right? I can live one more week without it." It was just about then that I was returned to the last four years of my life.

"WHAT??????HELL NO!!! That car is a GAS GUZZLER. I don't want to spend my money on gas. I want the Honda. "

Blink. blink.

I stared at her in confusion. "Who are you and where is my daughter?"

I don't know what they're putting in the water at the University of Podunk, but I like it.


A pick-me up; and not a MINUTE too soon.

You know that hard-working guardian angel of mine, Marguerite? Well, she's gone out of her way recently to wrap me in courage and strength. And sometimes, she makes me smile.

I received an email last night from the parent of one of my active boys, Josh.

Dear Mrs. Smythe,

I had to share with you a precious moment in the lives of my boys. Let me set the stage for the story. My youngest son Jack (2 1/2 years old) likes to give kisses and hugs. Josh is not very affectionate and he usually thinks girls are yucky until a week ago.

We were driving in my van tonight and Jack was telling us he has a girlfriend at his preschool. That did not surprise us. Josh usually gets embarrassed about girls, so we decided to ask him if he had a girlfriend. Before he could answer, Jack says, "Mrs. Smythe!!" Of course, I start laughing so hard. Then Josh says very seriously, "No, she is like 31 years old."

I thought you might enjoy knowing that you have made an impression on my two year-old and according to a kindergartner you are very young looking.

I laughed and laughed. Until I realized that 31 years old, to a five year old, is really A HUNDRED. I've learned a thing or two these last 10 years about five year olds and numbers.

31 = 100.

It's the new math.


I DO have the most important job in the world. And I don't take it lightly.

I totally stole this from Wacky Mommy. And it made me cry. If you have three minutes, please take the time to watch it to the end.

I have never been more proud of what I do.


I have my own staff of graphic artists. (Stay away, Pixar. They're all mine.)

The Dot family was enjoying a day in the yard....

when they were attacked by a crazy dude from Thtar Warths..

and then a Man With a Thousand Fingers saved the day.

The end.

(Don't forget to visit me here. I'm lonely. )


The newest language course offered at the high school? Texting 101. (Well, at least they SHOULD.)

I'm over here today- sharing and wondering about the new-fangled art of texting. (If you have a moment, please leave a comment. It's for a great cause.)

Sigh. Dare I say it? Remember the olden days when we had phones that plugged into the WALLS?????????

In those days we shouted.

Today, we text.


It was BOUND to happen sooner or later....

Yesterday at parent teacher conferences, I met with Frank’s parents.

Of course, his name is not REALLY Frank. It’s, um, Jack. Yeah. Jack. Jack SPRAT.

But guess what? At the end of the conference, I called him Frank.

I did.

I said Frank.

Sweet jesus, someone shoot me.


'cause he's a travelin' man...

Our friend Frank has been making friends of all the kindergarten teachers this year. He barrels in with his gravelly voice and bear hugs and we have all fallen in love. Well, I might love him a TAD bit more, but that’s a given.

The other teachers are QUITE content wave to him and smile at me knowingly as he makes my way into my room, and I smile as well - knowing in my heart that he is probably about to make my day.

Frank is particularly enamored with the new young kindergarten teacher (Chloe Smithjones, you remember her...) who works right next door to me. Our rooms are connected, and we often zip in and out of each other’s rooms- sharing ideas, math manipulatives, stories and smiles. It makes for a great work environment.

Frank, I have recently discovered, is also zipping in and out of her room; at various times during the day and without permission. Now, it’s not that I run an incredibly tight ship or anything, but I DO think I’m supposed to know where the children in my classroom are at all times. He’s decided I’m not.

Ms. Perky (We recently changed her name...) told me that usually he’s just sticking his head in and shouting across the room to her, “Hi Ms. Perky!!” in his booming voice.

In fact, the children in her room are so used to it by now, that now they glance up quickly and just say, “Frank’s here.” And go about their business.

Today, while our kids were at specials, Ms. Perky came to my room to share what Frank did this morning.

“He YELLED good morning across the room again.” She explained, covering her mouth to control a laugh, “and then he screamed ‘You’re my BEST FRIEND Ms. Perky!’ and ran out the door.

I’m gonna have to have a talk with that boy. He just recently told me I was his best friend.

He’s two-timing me.

(I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.)


I'm gonna have to lift some more weights.

I'm finding that this tiny, little matter of saving my own life is no easy task.

I take a deep breath each morning, pack my pockets full of courage and strength and march through the day. There are times I search for the remains of strength that I will surely need to meet the night - and miraculously find them in places that surprise me.

I am finding my thoughts flitting here and there, like the hungry butterfly searching for nectar. It's hard to focus on matters that need attention, and am thankful for my friends who gently take my hand and walk with me down this path.

In that regard, I want thank you for wrapping me in your own thoughts. I can feel them and with each email or comment, I am lifted back up onto my feet.

I've been listening to this song by Queen Latifah. (Even when I hear it for the MILLIONTH time, I am in awe.) While I know it is not a song about my particular battle, I have to say that it is speaking to my heart. Please take a moment to listen - I hope it lifts you, as it surely lifts me.

Your homework? How about a suggestion for music that will lift me? I need it. Right about now.