Friday, August 27, 2010

Ribs, Anyone?

The last 8 or 10 days have been a whirlwind of craziness here in the Stagg household, but it all came to a head yesterday, when at 2:30 a.m. I woke up in agony. I pretty much diagnosed myself with having a heart attack, until I realized that the pain was on my right side. I stayed in bed hoping for the sweet relief of sleep or death, whichever came first. I probably slept for a sum total of 30 minutes - and it was the first day of school. After describing my symptoms to my physical therapist/husband, he said, "I think you should call a chiropractor."

So I got my kids out the door for their first day. Aren't they cute?

Thankfully, kindergarten doesn't officially begin until September 7th, after placement testing, which did begin yesterday. Also thankfully, placement testing means sitting in the same chair with one kid at a time (standing at this point was not an option). And by the time lunch rolled around, I had an appointment with a chiropractor. After a few simple tests he said, "you have a subluxated rib."

If you've ever had a searing, white-hot dagger hooked to electrical shock wires piercing you through your back to your chest, then you know what I'm talking about. Ouch.

Dr. Froggley did his thing and I was able to walk out of his office more fully upright than when I went in. It's still a little tender today, but I'm more willing to move, walk, bend, breathe, etc. Also, due to the aforementioned whirlwind, I ended up with a day off!
So the question is, do I clean up the whirlwind's effects or do I chill on the couch with the Rachael Ray Show? Hmm. That's a tough one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slip-Sliding Away

Do you ever feel like you're living on borrowed time? Or that whatever time you have is being pulled right out from under your nose? I'm not talking about the deep, philosophical, facing-my-own-mortality kind of fleeting, in case you're wondering.

But sometimes you just gotta put on your swimsuit without shaving your armpits, know what I mean? In1999 when my daughter was born, I walked away from a lucrative teaching career, vowing to never again return. I knew I would go back to work one day, but I had visions of working in a furniture store and using my paycheck and employee discount to buy pretty things on which to park my patootie.

Flash forward eleven years, and I am embarking on my third year of teaching kindergarten. That vow I took? You know, the one where I vowed never to set foot inside of a school as an employee? Today was one of those days when I was reminded why. Unfortunately, there are no furniture stores here in Midway, so there but for the grace of God go I.

And since returning to teaching, my summers have become sacred. I appreciate, enjoy, and dare I say it, relish the carefree lifestyle that summer offers to teachers. Do I sometimes leave dirty dishes in the sink at night? Yes. Do my kids and I stay up way too late watching Amazing Stories? Naturally. Do we plan to go swimming 10 minutes before we go swimming? Without a doubt.

I have the next few days of blissful summer left before school brings it all to a grinding halt on Monday. What will we do? Anything we want; because, after all, summer is being yanked out from under our noses... and sometimes there's just no time to shave.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Today was one of those perfect summer days. You know, the kind of care-free day that makes you wish summer would last just a little bit longer? I got up and went for a bike ride, which turned into a walk after my rear tire went flat; but I got to cross a river and walk amongst bright yellow sunflowers, so no complaints there. After I made it back home, my neighbor knocked on the door, very excited to show my kids the very fat and very orange caterpillar she had found in her yard. My kids were fascinated by its walrus-shaped face. My daughter and I then made apricot fruit leather. Remember that stuff? You'd peel it from the cellophane and mold it to the roof of your mouth... you know you did. When I was a kid, I ate it until I got sick. It's so much better than the food-colored corn syrup stuff that they sell now. Once the fruit leather was leathering up in the oven, we packed a picnic and headed for the park, where we met up with friends. We attempted to fly kites, emphasis on attempted. And then in one of those fabulous, spontaneous, impromptu moments, we swapped kids. Her son came home with me and my son; my daughter went home with her and her daughters.

Can I just say, I very well had the two cutest boys in the galaxy spend the afternoon at my house? They quoted Phineas and Ferb, sang me the Perry the Platypus song, played with Legos and the Wii. They swam and I read a book. They raced toy boats down the river in our back yard. The phrase of the day: "We have soooo much in common!" The phrase frozen in time also comes to mind, because there's nothing more darling than a 7-year-old with a fresh haircut and his friend singing the Perry the Platypus song in the back seat of a 2001 Chevy Tahoe.

After a dinner of grilled drumsticks and green beans, our two families met back up at our favorite ice cream shop. If I haven't mentioned this place before (Corner Sweet Treats) then I apologize. They have no less than a dozen homemade flavors on hand and you can get a giant, four-scoop, super sundae for $5.30, emphasis on giant. The scoops are the size of softballs! If you're ever in town, be sure to try the lemon custard with hot fudge; it's divine. So we hung out, we chatted, we laughed, and the kids raced each other up and down the sidewalk.

The nights here are already starting to cool off; a few renegade leaves are already turning yellow, and school starts exactly two weeks from today. But today? Today was a perfect summer day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's What I Do

This sign struck me as funny. It says "it is illegal to harrass fish..." I spent the next 10 minutes coming up with insults to yell at the salmon.

Your mother was a trout!
Hey fishy fishy... saa-wim fishy! Swim!
Hey, is that a bear over there? Ha ha! Made ya look!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm Baa...aaack

So I took a little time off to go on a cruise with my husband, in celebration of my perpetual 26th birthday. Ahem.

We went to Alaska. Just the two of us. It was spectacular. No phone calls. No kids. No responsibilities. There WAS, however, lots of unbelievable scenery, delicious food, and a helicopter ride.

If you're not the kind to get away without your kids, I highly recommend it. Not that I don't love my little brood. But when my batteries are recharged, it's so much easier to like them, too. A few years ago, there was a woman who wrote an article about how she loved her husband more than she loved her kids - and boy did that stir up a hornet's nest. Frankly, I got what she was saying. I love my kids. I do. But in not-so-many years from now, they will be grown and gone, even starting their own broods. That is what they are supposed to do. But if I haven't nurtured, defended, and protected my relationship with my spouse, then where does that leave us when the kids are gone? He's my husband, not my roommate.

So the escape was terriffic. We held hands, walked arm-in-arm along the waterfronts, kissed on a glacier, ordered lots of desserts, and generally reminded each other that despite the distractions of life, we are in love. I'm still swaying from the motion of the ship, but I like it because it's as if I'm still there. My return-to-the-school-year letter was in the mail today, but I don't care. I've got 19 days before I need to worry about it. Until then, I will be planning our next cruise!