Sunday, July 30, 2006


Zachary is OBSESSED with the movie Cars. His grandparents took him to see it when he visited them for a week in June, and he came back and recited the plot to Darren and me. We took him to see it again, here in Houston, and we had to keep him from telling us what was about to happen. He loved that movie so much that he can recall every last minute detail about it, and did one day when we were walking to the mailbox and back. It's scary.

Now, we are in the process of amassing a collection of Cars merchandise that is growing by the day. Like all good parents, I took him to McDonald's regularly for Happy Meals, and even ate some Happy Meals myself, to make sure we got the complete collection of eight cars. When we didn't get two of them, I ordered them off eBay. I even bought extra Lightning McQueen cars on there. In addition to the Happy Meal toys, we now own the soundtrack on CD (which he can sing to), a t-shirt, lunch kit, spiral notebook, underwear, and toothpaste. Zach's birthday is coming up August 23rd, and I bet you can't guess what kind of party we are having? He visits the website numerous times a day to play with this poster that you can magnify to see and hear details about each car.

Zach has explained exactly which Cars toys he expects to receive for his birthday. He has even woken me up at 3:00 in the morning to further describe the Mack truck that he is sure he is getting. The problem is, they don't make some of the toys that he thinks he will get. I have bought most of the toys that are available at Target and Toys R Us, and there is a Mack playset, but it doesn't talk like Zach has requested. He will also be disappointed when he does not receive the red Cars TV/DVD player combo that is in the stores. Those Pixar people are clever at placing Cars merchandise in every area of the market! There are snacks at the grocery store, as well. There are certain aisles that I have to avoid so that we don't have a battle in the store.

While I am glad that Zach has gotten attached to such a wholesome movie, I will not be sad to see this obsession end. I know it will continue for a while, because the movie, and more merchandise, will probably be released at Christmas time, forcing me to trudge through every store in search of one elusive item that Zach sees on TV. I guess it could be worse; he could be obsessed with Barney or something (I shudder as I type that name).

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Sometimes I really can't stand my child. Today is one of those days. He has been in a rotten mood all day, has yelled at me numerous times, and refused to comply with anything I ask him to do. It's exceptionally hard to be nice to him when he is like this. Reasoning with him does not work, nor does time-out or spanking him. I just can't figure out what the solution is, and I've had it. I really feel sorry for his kindergarten teacher this year; she has her work cut out for her! I'm starting to wonder if he is ready for kindergarten; his listening skills seem non-existent at times. He'd be bored if he had to repeat preschool, though.

I just wish he'd stop yelling at me, demanding things, and ordering me to do things. The problem is, he gets his way, because it's easier than starting a war over minute things, and other people in my family (who shall remain nameless) give him what he wants and don't make him wait for anything. Consequently, he has no patience, and since I am the one who tries to break him of the instant gratification habit, I am the one who he does not listen to. I am the bad guy.

We got home about fifteen minutes ago. He screamed at me the whole way home because I wouldn't turn around and buckle his seatbelt. This is something that he can do on his own, and insists on doing most of the time. He just didn't want to this time. Once we got home, he went to play with my new vacuum cleaner, and I specifically asked him not to touch it. He did touch it, and emptied the filter all over the carpet. I tried to put him in time out, and he hit me and yelled "NO" at me. So, I spanked him, then put him in time out. After time out, I sent him to his room, and told him he has to stay there until I calm down. I am trying very hard not to cry right now, and I just hope this parenting business gets easier. It's times like this when I seriously can't imagine having two kids to deal with. I'd lose my mind!

I have two weeks from today until I go back to work, and get to spend the day with 95-100 children, aged 10 and 11. I can't wait! It will be much better than endless days with a four-year-old, and the added bonus is there will be adults to talk to.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Adventures in Dentistry

I have always had a fear of the dentist. I think it's because I have such bad teeth, and ALWAYS have cavities when I go. I've had bad experiences with a couple of dentists that I had to go to, because of my insurance. One dentist filled a large cavity, and put metal next to a nerve in my tooth. Every time I drank something hot or cold, I felt this unpleasant "jangling" feeling. I then had to go to another dentist to remove that filling and put another one in.

I have nightmares about all of my teeth falling out on a regular basis. I take Valium to go for cleanings. The smell of the drill scares me, along with having my mouth open for a long time. I always feel like I am going to drown in my own saliva if I can't swallow ( I think that comes from my bad allergies and semi-permanent congestion). I am a weenie. Therefore, I pay for the better (if you can call it that) dental insurance that my district offers. The worse insurance allows you to choose from two ghetto dentists. I went to one of them once, and while I was in the chair, with all sorts of equipment sticking out of my mouth, someone was telling me how much it would cost me that day, and asking if I could afford it. I never went back. This past year, I got on the "better" dental insurance, which means you can choose which dentist to go to, but you have to pay in full for your treatments up front. They then reimburse you for whatever amount they feel like ( I think they spin a wheel), up to $1000 a year. I think I maxed it out this year, by already having a crown put in.

I had to go to a new dentist yesterday, because a filling that I had broke off. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much Thursday night. I forgot my Valium in my rush to dress my reluctant child and get him to my neighbor's house, but figured all they were going to do yesterday was replace that filling, so it shouldn't be too bad. Right. The dentist was great, and very patient with me, and listened to all of my concerns. However, they started by digging out the old filling, which didn't feel great, then let me know that I should have a crown put on that tooth. I had about six shots, and she hit a couple of sensitive spots when she was drilling, but it wasn't horrible. I get to go back in October and pay another $800 for my permanent crown. Lucky me.

I'm going to get on my husband's insurance in January. It covers a whole lot more, which means less up front. Of course, since my open enrollment doesn't match up with his, I get to pay my premiums until next September. I think it will be less than what I have to fork out in October, though.

OK, I REALLY need to start getting ready to go to a wedding, especially since I sent Darren and Zach to the grocery store...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

On a Cleaning Spree

Well, it's hit me that I go back to work in less than a month. Now, all those projects that I wanted to accomplish this summer are having to become realities, because if I don't do them now, they just won't happen. During the school year, evenings are for relaxing, and weekends are for cleaning. I don't like doing any projects if there isn't enough time to finish them. I started cleaning out our office in June. Darren and I put up some new cabinets for our office supplies and all my scrapbooking stuff, got rid of lots of books, and sold some of the surplus electronics that we had lurking in there. The one thing that I didn't finish was the filing. For the 12 years that we have been living together, neither of us has ever been able to come up with a good system to deal with the bills and mail that we get. I'm so lazy that all of our bills are now paid online, and when they come in the mail, I throw them in a plastic container under our computer desk. Other mail gets stacked on the kitchen counter. I wish we didn't get mail!!! We have also never put anything in the two filing cabinets that we have, and I am trying my hardest to remedy that. I am going to the dentist tomorrow morning, and need to find my x-rays, so I'm on a deadline.

Other exciting things I have accomplished this summer are: cleaning out my freezer, cleaning out our bathroom cabinets, (PLEASE do not give me bath products for a present! They will sit unused in our cabinet until they no longer smell like they should, and even then, I will have trouble throwing them away. Oh, and don't let me buy make-up when there is a bonus. It will sit and rot, too.) and, well, that's about it. I'm sure we'll progress to the linen closet and clothes closets someday. Until then, I'll be reading and playing on the Internet.

I just realized that this post isn't making a whole lot of sense. Oh, well. I probably should stop before I start waxing poetic about new school supplies. When we went to Target today, they were all set out, and looking so pretty and colorful. I only bought a few things, along with the organizers for my bathroom. I LOVE school supplies; I think that's why I'm a teacher. My classroom's really organized; even my filing cabinet! That's one area of my life where I do have control, and it's great!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Playing around with the name and birthday calculator

Name Çalculator

There are 17 letters in your name.
Those 17 letters total to 59
There are 8 vowels and 9 consonants in your name.

Your number is: 5

The characteristics of #5 are: Expansiveness, visionary, adventure, the constructive use of freedom.

The expression or destiny for #5:
The number 5 Expression endows with the wonderful characteristic of multi-talents and versatility. You can do so many things well. The tone of the number 5 is constructive freedom, and in your drive to attain this freedom, you will likely be the master of adaptability and change. You are good at presenting ideas and knowing how to approach people to get what you want. Naturally, this gives you an edge in any sort of selling game and spells easy success when it comes to working with people in most jobs. Your popularity may lead you toward some form of entertainment or amusement. Whatever you do, you are clever, analytical, and a very quick thinker.

If there is too much of the 5 energy in your makeup, you may express some the negative attitudes of the number. Your restless and impatient attitude may keep you from staying with any project for too long. Sometimes you can be rather erratic and scatter yourself and your energies. You have a hard time keeping regular office hours and maintaining any sort of a routine. You tend to react strongly if you sense that your freedom of speech or action is being impaired or restricted in any way. As clever as you are, you may have a tendency to make the same mistakes over and over again because much of your response is glib reaction rather that thoughtful application. You are in a continuous state of flux brought by constantly changing interests.

Your Soul Urge number is: 7

A Soul Urge number of 7 means:
With a number 7 Soul Urge you are very fond of reading, and retreating to periods of being alone and away from the disruptions of the outer world. You like to dream and develop you idealistic understandings, to study and analyze, to gain knowledge and wisdom. You may be too laid back and withdrawn to really succeed in the business world, and you will be much more comfortable in circumstances that are tolerant of your reserve, your analytical approach, and your desire to use your mind rather than your physical being.

You are very timid around people that you don't know very well, so much so at times that casual conversation and social situations can be strained. You tend to repress your emotions to the extend that some people have a good bit of difficult understanding you. You tend to be very selective with friends and you don't easily adapt to new environments or to new people very quickly.

The negative traits of the 7 include becoming too much the introvert and isolated from others.

Your Inner Dream number is: 7

An Inner Dream number of 7 means:
You dream of having the opportunity to read, study, and shut yourself off from worldly distractions. You can see yourself as a teacher, mystic, or ecclesiastic, spending your life in the pursuit of knowledge and learning.

Birthday Calculator

You entered: 9/24/1974

Your date of conception was on or about 1 January 1974 which was a Tuesday.
You were born on a Tuesday
under the astrological sign Libra.
Your Life path number is 9.

Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 3, 6 & 9.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 1 & 5.
You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 7 & 11.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 4, 8 & 22.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2442314.5.
The golden number for 1974 is 18.
The epact number for 1974 is 6.
The year 1974 was not a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 1/23/1974 and ending 2/10/1975.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Tiger.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Raven; your plant is Ivy.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Hathys, the third month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 14 April 1974.
The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 14 April 1974.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 27 February 1974.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 2 June 1974.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 9 June 1974.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Tuesday, 17 September 1974.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Sunday, 7 April 1974.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 26 February 1974.

As of 7/5/2006 6:20:40 PM EDT
You are 31 years old.
You are 382 months old.
You are 1,658 weeks old.
You are 11,607 days old.
You are 278,586 hours old.
You are 16,715,180 minutes old.
You are 1,002,910,840 seconds old.

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 4.54285714285714 years old. (You're still chasing cats!)

There are 81 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 32 candles.

Those 32 candles produce 32 BTUs,
or 8,064 calories of heat (that's only 8.0640 food Calories!) .
You can boil 3.66 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1974 there were approximately 3.7 million births in the US.
In 1974 the US population was approximately 203,302,031 people, 57.4 persons per square mile.
In 1974 in the US there were approximately 2,158,802 marriages (10.6%) and 708,000 divorces (3.5%)
In 1974 in the US there were approximately 1,921,000 deaths (9.5 per 1000)
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

Your birthstone is Sapphire
The Mystical properties of Sapphire

Though not meant to replace traditional medical treatment, Sapphire is used for clear thinking.
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Agate, Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli

Your birth tree is
Hazelnut Tree, the Extraordinary
Charming, undemanding, very understanding, knows how to make an impression, active fighter for social cause, popular, moody and capricious lover, honest and tolerant partner, precise sense of judgement.

There are 173 days till Christmas 2006!
There are 186 days till Orthodox Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were
born was in its first quarter.