Friday, January 29, 2010

Giving it Away

At times I'm overwhelmed by the need to help others. It's pretty selfish to even say that I get to be overwhelmed.  I read the article in the paper about the kids in Haiti who are sitting mute in camps and no one knows what their names are or whether their parents are alive, and I think I'm pretty lush in my 2 bedroom apartment with food in the fridge and shoes to wear. And a bed. Goodness knows, if you have a bed, you are really well off.
Then, when you start thinking of helping them, you start thinking of the guy who is pushing a Foodland cart filled with stuff from Kahuku to Laie, and the couple who, granted, are deadbeats, but their kids who don't have a place to live after being evicted. There are just so many people out there that need help. It's devastating. I wish I had confidence to give more. To do more. I wish it didn't feel like I had to take care of my own stuff and I could get myself to go take care of other people's stuff.
Me and my bleeding heart have the luxury to even consider ourselves sad for everyone else.

I felt pretty good about my students for raising $200 in change and dollars for Haiti in one week. Mostly my two classes, but a few other classes at school chipped in and now that I've donated the money through Foodland (for American Red Cross) we've doubled it to $400 with a per dollar match. So I think my students are awesome right now. As much as I complain about them behind their backs and to their faces, and even though the money they had was probably from their parents, the fact that they considered the difference between buying a Monster for breakfast and putting that money in a box is pretty significant to me. Because their little bit of considering someone outside their present needs is a big deal for a teenager.

So, yeah. Seeing that, as a teacher, is making my day. Kids are good. Even the rascals.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I think I have to blame my poor attitude lately on my general malaise. I am constantly finding myself storming into Pam's room (at home or school) to complain loudly about the newest thing that is driving me crazy. I am quite aware that everything is driving me crazy and anything is likely to set me off.
Now, I have considered all the many people that might be reading this blog and I think that some of them will think they are being implicated by my pointed bullet points, but I assure you. There are plenty of people that I enjoy talking to, helping out, and being with, and these people have nothing to do with the irritating people that I do not enjoy talking to, helping out, and being with. It's an important distinction.
These are the latest irritations that I have encountered that seem to fire me up the more I think about them:
1) People who think I have nothing better to do than to do their work for them. These people suggest helplessness in such a way as to imply that I should suggest just picking up the slack for them. These people are especially ones who seem to me to be completely not busy, ever. In fact, I wonder what they do other than plan ways to rope more capable and responsible people into working for them.
2) People who wish to chat. For long periods of time (friends, please note the disclaimer above). A friend e-mailed me today while a student of hers was waxing prolix about the origins of her name, state facts, and family history--a conversation that was practically holding her hostage during her free time. These are the kinds of people I'm talking about. People who have zero assurance from me that we are even friends, yet keep behaving as if we have made that connection.
3) People who think they know better than me. WHO do these people think they ARE?

I'm hoping that once this trimester is over that my normally cheery happy self will return (HA!), or at least that I will be able to keep my mouth shut a little better.
So all my ranting lately has got me thinking that I should at least let other people do so. What's bothering you?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tiny Dancer

I'm not a good mom lately. I mean, my growing fetus may be completely ignorant to my mom skills even though he/she is totally demanding and seemingly getting what he/she wants, but I am possibly the worst mom ever in outside the womb life.
I eat cocoa puffs for breakfast these days, and Amaya gets none (and yes, she lets me know about my unfair-ness).
I chew gum in front of her, but put her in a long time out after she finds my stash and consumes 10 pieces at once.
Every afternoon and other time when I am home I lay on the couch while she is being entertained by anyone or no one at the Palmer's house. I only go over to look about every 20 minutes. When she comes home, I make her play in her room, or watch a show. Good thing we have a lot of movies. If I feel really good-bad, then I take her to go get some food at Taco Bell. And the worst part is I feel absolutely no desire to be any different. It's exhausting to be any kind of social and I don't enjoy it. At all. I just want to hide, in my house, all the time.

So when I heard about Polynesian Dance Class, I thought, this may be a good way for me to boost some mom-points. Something totally for her, if she wants to do it, and she'll see some friends I never take her to see while she's there. Even though going to the class sounded downright awful for me, I figure I will only be feeling like crappy pregnant woman for a couple more weeks, right?
I talk about it with Amaya. We all know she doesn't totally love organized anything. She immediately gets excited and starts talking about it. When I pick her up from school she asks if we're going and cheers when I say yes, so I think, yeah, maybe this will be better than I thought. I'm feeling like super mom. Because this is what good moms do. They take their kids to do things that they like to do.
We arrive on the scene. Probably about 10 kids there. Amaya looks around kind of shyly, and then sees Mahea. Mahea holds Amaya's hand and walks around with her on stage. This seems ok, even if Amaya's acting a little shy. Pretty soon about 25-30 other little girls show up and the teacher is starting class. The teacher organizes the girls into lines and 3-5 year olds of all sizes are following directions perfectly. Everyone's an arm-length apart.
Except Amaya.
The second the teacher tries to direct her to a space on the stage (next to Mahea), Amaya goes and stands on the steps. With hands in mouth. Eyes downcast. Shoulders slumped.
No problem, I think. We'll just stay for the first class. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't like it. I'm not making her dance anything. If she decides it looks fun she'll join.
She runs down to me, and I tell her that we're going to leave unless she wants to stay. She goes back up. To the steps.
Then I think she's getting on the stage to dance. But no. She's walking to the back of the class where the windows are. Every little girl up there is shaking her hips and raising her arms on cue and Amaya's playing with the windows. After she gets tired of this, she walks to the curtains and starts pulling the ropes. At which point I know I'll have to stop her so the dance class doesn't get a curtain-call.
I walk over to the side of the stage and say, "Amaya? Do you want to go home? Do you want to dance?" Amaya sits down on the steps and starts crying, loudly. Not, "I'm a little sad" crying, more like, "I'm going to throw a tantrum" crying. I try to talk to her because I'm surprised by this new development, but she's not listening at all or responding in any way except for louder crying, so I take her outside.
At this point she throws herself on the ground and screams, "I WANT TO GO TO DANCE CLASS!" and is kicking her feet and desperately hiccuping. Of course, there's no way we're going back inside now so I'm taking (dragging) her to the car. She's getting louder as we get in the car, drive home, and when we get inside she demands to watch Dora. I say no. She screams at me. And into time-out she goes.
I leave her there for a long, long time. She's screaming her little heart out and kicking her legs on her bed for maximum effect. Jake asks me when I plan to take her out. I wait a little longer even after I hear she's quiet. I go in there.
She's asleep. Clutching her stuffed animal. I guess 30-minute tantrums are pretty exhausting.
Later I tried to ask her questions about what was going on. I don't get any answers. When you ask Amaya "Why" anything, as in "Why were you crying at dance class?", she says, "That's why" and repeats whatever you said. So in this case, she says, "That's why I was crying at dance class." She's really good at questions, but we've never worked out the answers part. She even seems to think it would be a good idea to go back to dance class.
Yeah, RIGHT. We're staying home and I'm going to be bad mom for at least two more weeks. Let's hope it doesn't last any longer than that.

Monday, January 18, 2010


This is what you come back from the store with when you're 12 weeks pregnant:

1. a box of cocoa puffs

2. a tube of pillsbury cinnamon rolls

3. a can of chili

4. a pack of mint gum

And you seriously considered buying a box of hamburger helper, but decided that it would require too much cooking and it's too unethical considering your previous beliefs on such foods. I mean, I've crossed lines already, but this may be just too far.

Friday, January 8, 2010

That's What I Said

My cute student informed me that people in my class were surprised to hear about my pregnancy. They thought I was too serious to be pregnant.

I replied, "Yeah, because serious people don't have sex."

On Tuesday I was reading aloud student snapshots (descriptive paragraphs) about their Christmas vacations. After reading about a cheese party (gingerbread, chocolate, and blue cheese), I had to go stand in the bathroom and chew my gum very vigorously and concentrate. On not vomiting.

I have become a gum-chewing, non-cooking, stupid TV episode-watching worthless human being. Besides that I have started eating school lunch (with its own problems), because I cannot bear to put together two pieces of bread with meat and cheese for my own lunch. I can barely heat up water for cup o' noodles.

It's hard to imagine that I will ever recover normal life again.

When I informed Jake for the umpteenth million time that I did not feel good he said, "Oh?" with those raised eyebrows like, "is this really a discussion we're going to have again?"

I know. It's SO getting old.
I want to take a poll. Is it better to vomit and feel better for 5 minutes, or do I keep holding it back because once I do I'll never be able to hold it in again?
This is pretty much the most forefront question on my mind these days.
I also keep wondering if I am just weak stomached, or exceptionally strong willed?

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve

After our hot dog roast we went home. Did you know it was a blue moon? We heard a lot of booms outside of arials all over Laie. I kept trying to see what was going on and Jake wasn't even fazed. As soon as the wind picked up suddenly I noticed he was outside checking out what was going on with the weather. He said, "The weather is much more exciting than fireworks." Amaya was so scared of our silly little fireworks (small spinning things, and a car that was propelled forward by sparks) that she sat in the car with the doors closed. "Don't do that again," she told us. After we put her to bed Jake made chocolate chip cookies (while I backseat baked) and I fell asleep while we watched a movie. I have turned into the most exciting adult I know.

Here's to 2010. And our peanut.
If you didn't know already, I'm 9 weeks pregnant. Just don't hug me, or I might puke on you. The first trimester has felt like 9 years to me.