Monday, October 31, 2011

I Think I Am Going to Sleep In

I am up before the sun and try to have my FF out the door to his paramedic classes and the muppets buckled in before 6:15am.  That allows me about 30 minutes in my classroom to get started for the day.  I finally found a way to keep the three stooges quiet (N is too cool and hangs out at his locker) so I could work.  The girls have a desk, right next to mine with books for them, a Barbie laptop to work on with Mommy, papers, sticky notes, colored pencils and whatever little trinkets caught their attention at that moment.  B draws or plays with a field hockey ball or hangs out with one of our janitors who seems to have developed a mutual admiration for my kids.  It works worked.

Now, my room seems to be the hang-out for the early birds.  Teachers and staff come for no real reason, just to chat and I get nothing done.  I hear about dreams, Turkish game shows I just have to see, you name it. Not only do I get nothing done, but I lose my quiet peaceful children.  Since the environment is no longer quiet, neither are they.  So now, I am entertaining teachers, trying to plan in my head, shushing my children while reminding them this is a classroom and not a playground.  UGH!  What is a girl to do?

Solution?  Well, since I get nothing done and I come in early to get something done, this is not working.  So, I am simply going to stay home an extra half an hour and maybe, I don't know, eat breakfast or something crazy like that.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Can we say, DUH????

Okay, I have 2 big k9 boys.  I mean BIG.  Great Pyrenees are a giant breed, the slobber and they shed and they love whole heartedly.  My wonderful firefighter took my kids to his parents house so I could get papers graded and grades entered.  It was so nice to just be able to work.  To not have to deal with bickering or tattling or mommy separation anxiety or, or, or.  I graded papers this morning.  I ate lunch in peace.  I even got  an hour long nap in.  I can't tell you the last time that happened.  I definitely needed this to recharge my batteries.  So, it is a nice day and I thought it would be a perfect day to go to the dog park.  We are there several times a week, but this is the first time I have gone totally alone.  That means me, handling a couple hundred pounds of dog alone.  No worries.  They love the dog park and the dog park loves them.  They are the hit of the crowd, everyone flocks to them.

Today was interesting.  We had our first doggy argument.  Scares the heck out of me.  My guys are sweet, but their mouths are so big, they could fit most other dogs' heads IN their mouths. The other dog (probably a 50lb mix) started yapping and my boys had to go see what he was talking about.  So, they got there and this little guys jumps at Bear, snarling and snapping.  Well, Giovanni did not like someone yelling at his guy and he got involved.  Words were exchanged, the mutt started crying, his owner started freaking out.  I pull my boys away and the owner shrieks at me, "How can you let your monsters come scare my baby?  He doesn't even like dogs, especially not big dogs."  I think I stood there with my jaw slack for a few moments.  Really??  Did she just say what I thought she said?  So, several people came to the boys' defense and the woman and her family were asked to leave.  But I couldn't believe what she said.  First it was a dog park and second she was in the BIG dog area.  Umm, yeah, okay.  Bye crazy lady.

On a lighter note, we met our first other giant breed tri-pawed.  It was very cool to see.  The whole park buzzed about it.  It was very cool.  So, now, I am home.  The k9s are sleeping, my house is still quiet and I am getting caught up on my DVR.  I would say that this makes for a great day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Word of Thanks

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you.  We are at our one year mark with this crazy life.  Thanks to everyone who reads my rantings, ramblings and ravings.  Thanks to everyone who takes a moment to let me know I am not alone in this fire world.  Thanks to all the fire wives who post their experiences on their blogs.  Fire Life is a far cry from the educational world.  Most of our friends and family just don't get it.  It is just a nice feeling to know I am not alone even when it seems like I am.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FF, I Love You, but now I need you to back on shift

The other night, I was flying totally solo. Hubby had OB rotation at the hospital and then a study group at 7:30pm at one of the other firehouses.  I got my house cleaned, lunches made for the next day, homework done, muppets fed and in bed by 7:30pm.  The boys could stay up and read, but I had to have the TV and the first floor to myself.  It was sooooooo nice.  And it dawned on me.  My hubby has been home for a month and it is driving me crazy.  I thought I would love having him home, but he goofs up my routine.  I don't get out of bed as easily, I stay up talking too late, I don't get as much work done around the house.  I NEED him to go back to work!

How to Find a Paramedic School Near Morgantown, West Virginiathumbnail
Unfortunately, he has PM classes and clinicals until January and that is sooooo far away. Maybe I just need him to stay and study once every three days. :D

On a positive note, my FF takes his last exam for the department.  After 6:30 tonight he will no longer be a f@#$&%g Cub.  When he returns to the station, I am certain that he will enjoy it so much more.  Think he will take all that energy he used to put into cleaning and clean the house for me???  Prolly not, but a girl can dream!  Happy Hump Day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back to Square One

Or that's how it feels anyway.

We have been in PM classes for 3 weeks.  That's it.  And yet, it feels like it has been FOREVER!!  I feel like everything that can go wrong has.  O's hair had to be treated again from the cooties and so it started coming out is clumps.  We have to shave her down in back because it looked so bad. So, now she looks like a cutey pootey with short hair (we saved as much of her bangs as would stay).  And she woke up this morning missing her ponytail.  It broke my heart! I had to take 8 loads of laundry to my dad's house yesterday, which meant my whole day was shot.  In theory, Maytag is coming today, after 3:30pm which means I have to zoom out of class to get home and meet them.  But, I will believe that when I see it.  The list goes on and on and on.

I forgot how much I HATE this single mom gig.  Yes, my husband comes home every night.  Yes, I get to sleep with him every night.  But that is it.  It is night after night of studying and study groups and more studying.  Which is good.  But that leaves me to fend for myself, again, until at least January, again.  And I am just not cut out for this single mommy gig.  It is not my thang!  When J and I started dating, kids were not on my radar.  Funny, now that I have 4.  I just put so much pressure on myself that it makes me nuts.  Kids get sick, I have to miss multiple days.  Laundry repairman comes, I have to fly home, after picking up four kids.  We need groceries, I need to get the groceries. Yes, I know, "Just don't put all that on yourself."  "Make J do some of that."  "Just give yourself a break, the house doesn't need to be perfect." I know, have heard it all.  But, how else will it get done?  It won't which means I have to do it. My house was a mess, my in-laws were over while I was at my dad's and I had to just push it out of my mind.  I did not have a Saturday to clean.  It sucked.  I hate it.  Single moms who pull this off 24/7/365 so ROCK!!

I am becoming miserable. I am going back to what I did last year at this time, when I was going through the same thing.  I was miserable a year ago and I am finding my way back to that again...and I HATE it.

So, five things every post that I am grateful for.  I can vent about what is driving me crazy, but I have to remember the good things.

1) I stink you, Momma - something that started with the muppets and Daddy that O has invited me into.  Is there a better expression of love?
2) My Giovanni  - the resiliency of dog's amazes me.  How well G has adapted to life as a tripawed and to our crazy clan is amaizng.
3)Watching my K9s frolic and play - Ignore me yapping to the FF on the phone in the background!  :D
4)The Maytag Man FINALLY came today I will have the parts sent to my house this week and they will be here next week Tuesday to install them and I will have my washer back!

5)High school kids who think I must make the coolest mom ever Now, if only my own will think that in a few years.  It is nice to have them want to come with good news and bad.  One was so sweet, he gathered up 6 tickets for me to take my friends to Six Flags this weekend.  I do love my job!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They Will Save Lives

Smoke detectors.The most tragic of fires happen in the dead of night, while the kids are tucked so snuggly in their beds and stresses of the day are put to the side for a moment.  Until the screaming sirens wake you from the  land of slumber and the panic sets in that it is your house that trucks are racing to save.

That was the scene (images can be seen here) at 2:22 this morning and tragically a mother and her 10 year-old nephew were lost.  She did what every mother  hopes to do, she saved one of the children by throwing her out a window, another was able to make it out on his own and the MFD saved a 2 year-old they found in their search of the house.  Not the most valiant, not the most nurturing, but when those flames are raging, there are no style points.  The FFs had to jump out of the window, the fire and the power lines falling on the hoses were far too dangerous for the firefighters to continue their rescue efforts. It was an inferno.  I can't even begin to imagine the pain the family is feeling today.

Here is where it becomes even more tragic, MFD ffs canvased the neighborhood in July, in an effort to install smoke detectors in every home.  No one answered the door.  Literature was left at the door with an open offer for smoke detectors and with fire prevention tips.  They must have fallen on deaf ears. The firefighters were back this afternoon, canvasing the neighborhood, with smoke detectors in hand.  Our firefighters will walk up and down streets, day after day, to avoid carrying that small, lifeless body out of a house.

Residents or tenants in one or two-family homes who do not have a working smoke detector can call the Milwaukee Fire Department 's smoke detector hotline at (414) 286-8980.  Firefighters will deliver and install a smoke detector.

Don't Be Afraid

After spending an afternoon cleaning out the girls' hair and dodging projectile vomit, I still had to go back to work.  I have been in my current position for 1 year and 7 weeks.  (We just had conferences, which come at the 6 week mark.  Makes tabulation quite easy.)  One of my FAVORITE things about this school is the technology. We are a 1:1 laptop school.  Every student, 6-12, has a laptop computer.  Sounds perfect, right?  Well, I think so.  Helps me move towards a paperless classroom, no excuses about printers, access to soooo many pieces of software that helps aid their journey through education.  Sounds great, doesn't it.  Afterall, with 3 sick kids and two heads that had creepy crawlies yesterday, I can still teach my kids.  I am home and still teaching.  How cool is that, right?  Not all parents think the same way I do.

Last night, I had a wake up call. A half filled lecture all.  Our principal brought us in (his technology "rock stars") to speak to the parents.  One of the English teachers puts together an awesome Prezi, we all smiled and bragged about what cool things we are doing.  Then it was opened to the parents.  Want to know what they were upset with - no books.  So many of our books are e-books now.  That we provide.  Saves a ton of money!  Sounds good, right?  Nope, they forget the questions as they look for the answers, two windows open at once is a no go, why don't all publishers make their books the same, my kid won't give me their Moodle password...on and on.  One common theme that came up throughout the night, "my 6th grade boy." 

That says it all, I have a 6th grade boy.  But what the difference is with the other 6th grade boys and mine - they don't have me at home with them.  I am a rock star after all!

This May Have Been My Nightmare Come True.

My kids have cooties!  LICE. Ewwww!  Nearly 12 years and no cooties.  All this time in the public schools, kids and parents both, and NO LICE.  Everyone is finally in private school and now both girls have cooties. To make things worse, O was puking while I was combing out her hair.  While I started working on her, I get a call from work.  N was in the office puking.

So, puke buckets and bugs crawling around in my kids' heads.  The two things I just can't stand!  Mind you, upon inspection this morning, both were clear.  Everything is in bags and heat.

Can't hurt, let me, circle, dot, dot now you have a cootie shot.

Guess what, it was a blue shift!  Even though my FF is in his med classes, the curse continues...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Another Maniac Monday

I got everyone out the door, only 10 minutes later than my goal.  Pretty good.  Get to school, no one's waiting for me - awesome.  Write my early dismissal notes for the muppets, as we HAD an appointment (rescheduled) for the Washer to be repaired this afternoon.  My morning class went wonderfully, until the fire engine siren screamed from my phone.  Our repair appointment got cancelled, AGAIN!  And J needed me to call a reschedule.  Deep, cleansing breaths.  Then came my prep.  Being department chair you get a ton of weird stuff, but above all, you keep your head secretary happy.  So when she requests that I speak to a member of my department.  You take a deep breath and ask, "About????"  When I found that it was taking attendance, all I could do was shake me head.  He did not know the web address for our attendance page, his password, nothin'.  So, I got all of that taken care of for him.  Walked him through it.  His response, "You mean, I have to do that, everyday, for BOTH my classes?"  And he was serious.  SMH.  Yup, you do.

So, I saunter back to my classroom and sit to make the call to reschedule my appointment.  Akeena answers and I could hardly understand her.  Earliest appointment is a week from today.  REALLY??  I HAVE BEEN WITHOUT MY FREAKING $1200 WASHER FOR A MONTH AND YOU WANT ME TO WAIT ANOTHER WEEK!    Yeah, I politely requested a supervisor, Linda, who was easier to work with.  She suggested going back to Maytag and explaining this mess directly to them.  So, I have another 1-800 number for my lunch hour.  While I was on the phone with A&E Repair, my call waiting beeps.  My vet.
More? Yup, there's more.  Call Dr. Waters, the super vet back.  She vetted Giovanni on Saturday for me and while she was over, I had her look at Willow.  Willow has had an insatiable thirst and loss of appetite.  I should have thought diabetes, given our experience, but I never thought about it. (Embarrassed)  We did a quick check, 434.  Ummm, yeah, time to do some blood work.  My girl's glucose was over 500 from the lab. Not good.  But all other functions are good - kidney, liver panel - all came back clean.  SOOO, where do you want to have the insulin filled?  I don't know.  J's meds are just through Walgreen's.  She suggested Wal-mart as the cheapest, so I text her the address and number of the closest one down here.  

While I am on with her, my phone buzzes, got a text.  It is J - "I would like to go to a study group in Tosa at 7:15. Any conflicts?"  SMH. No dear, go ahead.  I have my super cape on today.  LOL  Ah well, such is the life of a fire wife, right?

Oh, by the way - it is only 11:00 AM.  I can't wait for the rest of the day.  Here come's my study hall, I am SO excited!

I had to ask!  12:20pm and I am pulled out of my class (with food in my mouth) to speak with a reporter regarding our 1:1 laptop program. Me and my big mouth.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just a Firefighter's Wife

Just a Firefighter's Wife

I sleep alone at night, so you can sleep with peace of mind...
I am the woman sitting alone at the little league game, while you hold your husband's hand...
I sit alone at church so your house is spared from a roaring fire...
Yes, I give up my husband to who's need is grave and dire...
I am the woman who puts her career on hold, so her kids can have at least one parent home...
While you have dinner with your husband I quietly miss my own...
I am the woman who can fix a pipe, paint a room and change a flat...
All things I had to learn along the way to save my back...
I am not a hero, don't get paid and don't save lives...

Don't mind me I'm just a firefighter's wife...

~Diana Lucero

Saturday, October 8, 2011


MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 07:  Nyjer Morgan #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after getting the game-winning RBI scoring teammate Carlos Gomez #27 to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in 10 innings in Game Five of the National League Division Series at Miller Park on October 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hall of Famer Robin Yount enters ‘Beast Mode’ after first pitch

NLCS here we come!!!  Tony, you and your red birds should prepare for us.  We have home field advantage and the BEAST!  NO whining about how our boys are having fun and you stuffy shirts are insulted.  Suck it up buttercup and be ready for our boys to UNTUCK 'EM!!  

GO Brewers GO!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Healing Powers of the Tee

MFD Cancer Awareness Pink T-Shirt
It is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  A month where Facebook images, school staff and firefighters turn everything pink.  NFL players have pink cleats and gloves, their coaches have pink hats on the sidelines. Our football team is selling black tees with pink writing for next Friday's game. There are fire departments with pink trucks to go with their pink shirts.  Our department has done a shirt a year.  We have the light pink version from last year.  There is a black with pink writing from another year. (Bad choice, it does not work with the navy uniform pants.) And this year's shirt is navy, like the other uniform shirts and it is actually a cool design. The hope is that the department as well as the community will jump on  board.
MFD Cancer Awareness Black T-Shirt

Since my FF is in PM classes, he doesn't get to wear T-shirts at all - polos or dress shirt with badge only.  He wasn't going to get one. But, I didn't want to miss out.  This afternoon was a day off for me (conferences make-up day) and I ran up to the union office to pick up some shirts.  I picked one for me and some for fire wives in other departments.  A swap.  It is fun - who doesn't like getting something other than a bill in the mail!  For one of the wives in particular, she lost her sister to breast cancer, far too early and this is a cause near and dear to her heart.  As it should be for all of us.  A simple idea like these t-shirts, keeps this killer of women (although, there are male victims and they are not to be forgotten) in the front of everyone's minds.

If you are interested in an MFD shirt, please feel free to click here and order one.  If you are a fire wife, have your hubby bring one from your department home for you.  If you are in the community and just want to show your support to those who have lost the good fight, those are fighting as we speak, those who have beaten the beast and those who might get the news any day - just stop in and ask your local firehouse if you can show your support.

Support breast cancer awareness and research.  Guys, realize that women love a man in uniform and it is even more attractive if you are brave enough to wear the pink to save us. Ladies, please don't forget to

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Dance is a Nice Way to Start the Day

Crazy as always, someone can't find part of their uniform, B's out of socks, O doesn't want to go by her aunt's house, D's mop o' curls looks like it has been ignored for a month - you know the normal 5AM in the house of hounds.  But today, it got to me.  I have conferences this week.  I still 4 assignments to grade TODAY before conferences tomorrow.  My FF had a late night studying for his PM class.  N was a BEAST last night and that is all so draining.  And I think my FF saw it.

So, he kicked everyone out of  our bedroom and brought me close to him to dance.  No music, just us. It was a nice way to snap me out of the chaos.  Until O came back in tattling because the 3 Musketeers weren't giving her enough space at the sink to brush her teeth.  But you, what can you expect with four kids and 3 huge canines?

But, it as nice while it lasted.  I hope you dance...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Zombie Monday

Hubby was up late studying his drug cards for a quiz today.  I tried to ignore the light as he studied.  My little O was up allllllllll night.  She was in my bed, kicking me in the head, returned to her bed, cried for mommy.  We changed PJs, I think she may finally have to accept that she has out grown her faves.  Put back in bed, cried to the point that the Pyrs were on high alert, bugging me to go check on her.  Calmed her down, she snuck back into my bed, returned her to bed.  You get the idea. It was just a never ending circle of sleeplessness.  When the alarm went off at "Oh you must be kidding me" AM, I cringed, looked over at my daughter, blissfully asleep by my side and I whimpered. I am still in a bit of a haze.  Almost an undead Zombieness.  Only 4 hours and 18 minutes left to go.  But who's counting?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Can I Wish My Crabbiness Away, Please??

Okay, I am going to apologize.  My washer died two weeks ago.  We just spent $1200 in late spring for it.  You know the high end front loader that does everything but transfer it to the dryer.  We also got the dryer to match.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Here I am a few months later and it is dead...well more like on life support.  If there are weights around the drum, one has shifted.  It is HORRIBLY loud and can't get into its high spin.  A load of laundry will take me 2+ hours, just to wash.  So...we call Maytag.  You know the company whose repair man is always bored and or sleeping because they never break down - pfffffft, whatever.  Anyway, today they were supposed to come fix it.  BUT, they called the cell phone we give the kids when they go to their friends houses.  NOW, in Maytag's defense.  That number used to be our house number.  But that would probably be why my FF asked them to change it when he set up the appointment.  So, they called the other phone and N told them we were not home - cringing on SO many levels.  Nevermind that we were in the front yard discussing mums.  Anyway, repairman told N he would be over in a few minutes.  N called us and we came in.  After an hour, J called the repairman.

Well, your kid told me you weren't home so I went to my next call.  Can you come back after you are done? We are still in our repair window.  You have to call this 1-800 # and they have to send me back.  Yeah, let's just say after 4 hours, several CSRs, being hung up on, transferred to company that is closed, speaking to several supervisor, a scathing email to the company, or two, comments on their FB page and still not having a repair date for another week and a half. Needless to say, I HATE MAYTAG right now!  Their customer service is horrible.  Even with a warranty.  And how is it that the 1963 Avocado Green Whirlpool set we inherited from a teacher where I student taught worked until the day we got rid of it, this sucks that after a few months I have to wait a FREAKING MONTH to get my washer back.  I made a trip to the laundromat and tomorrow we are heading to grandpa's so I can do laundry.

My cramps are killing me (sorry guys), my boys can't figure out how the heck to find a clean room, I have to grade a TON of tests and essays before midterms are due in 36 hours, my girls did not nap and I could go on and on and on.

BUT, I enjoyed the afternoon with my dad, my hubby put carpet stair treads on the stairs to ease Giovanni's trips up and down - it is heck with these steep stairs and only three legs, the Brewers won Game 1, the Badgers are making an exciting game tonight and I get to watch both the Packer and Brewers game tomorrow afternoon (I am taking the TV from my bedroom and setting it up next to my dad's TV on a table - sad, I know.), my hubby survived his first week of paramedic school, I made it through the week of fall-out with the Homecoming fiasco, I got a tremendous compliment from my principal this week.  And I could go on and on.  I just need to focus on these blessings.  I am working on it, I really am.

But, I still hate Maytag.
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