1. I taught high school English for seven years. Through the years, I had every age, from freshmen to seniors, and it was an experience. The kids made me batty, but they always grew on me like little fungi. Every day, I attempted to spread my love of reading to my students, but most of the time, I think I was lucky if they paid more attention to me than their phones. I spent a good portion of my day with struggling readers, so I eventually earned my Master’s in Reading and Literacy and tried to improve my teaching and my students’ learning daily. I love teaching, but….
2. I’m now a stay-at-home-mom. My last day with students was May 24. After much talk with my husband, Chris, and introspection, I decided to resign and stay at home with my son. I really struggled with the choice, but ultimately, I was losing my sanity trying to be the best as both a teacher and a mother, and I felt I was doing a half-job at both. Some days I wonder if I was crazy to choose to spend all my time with a tiny dictator. And days like today, where I handed off Bug to my husband the moment he walked through the door and told him that I need a time-out, I wonder if I’m cut out to stay at home. I really do wonder some days if I have the patience and the creativity to entertain a toddler for eight hours a day; although, I suppose I only have to fill six hours when you include a nap.
3. Our family started with two dogs, Buddy and Clancy. Buddy is the brains of the operation in our house; he can find his way into any trash can you set in front of him and even many trash cans flanked by kitchen chairs and step-stools. He’s definitely the calmer of our two dogs, but he’s about as sneaky as they come. Clancy, on the other hand, isn’t bright enough to be sneaky. He is the most loving dog you can find, but there isn’t really a lot going on in his little head except food and snuggling. Chris adopted Buddy the day he moved into his (now our) house in August of 2006. I thought he was teasing me when he asked about adoption forms, but he brought Buddy home that day. We met Clancy at the local St. Patty’s Day parade the following March. I saw him walking, and I knew he had to become part of our family. When we asked about “that little dog walking in the parade” later that day at the animal shelter, the woman asked, “Clancy, are you sure?” He was too small to stay in the kennels, so he was hunkered down in a basket of towels in the laundry room. When she opened the door, this vibrating ball of puppy came flying out at us. He was jumping on and licking everyone he could find. Six years later, he’s still that vibrating ball of puppy.
4. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. On vacations, I used to carry a suitcase just for my books. I can’t explain how happy my husband was when I got a Kindle and could carry all my books with me on one, small device. I’m still not sure about giving up physical books, but I do love that Chris is frequently nagging about the room my books take up. Currently I’m reading The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements. Now, I am terrible at chemistry; I’m not sure I would’ve passed if my college chem class hadn’t included group tests. So, keep that in mind as you read what follows. I’m not sure if I like this book. It’s very chemistry-y. So far, the book has been about the set-up of the Periodic Table and electrons and rings and such, and I’m having a difficult time following it; however, this seems to be just an introduction. I’m really hoping once I get into the meat of the book–the stories of the elements, I’ll enjoy it (and perhaps understand it) more. (Also, the blog title is from The Phantom Tollbooth, one of my favorite books.)
5. I run. I won’t call myself a runner, but I enjoy running. I finished my first half-marathon when I was three months pregnant. Not to underplay what I did, but this isn’t as big of a feat as it seems since I walked the majority of the course. I ran the same half-marathon in April of this year and beat my previous time by thirty minutes. Chris ran this half with me, and at around mile eleven, I told him if I ever discussed running a full marathon that he needed to remind me of that mile: My legs hurt, I was sweating and had hideous tomato-face, I was hungry and cranky and ready to sit, and I still had to run two more miles. I’m pretty sure I was distracted by the really shiny medal when I signed up for my next half-marathon; I’ve got until October to be ready for it.
6. I am a knitter. I’m rarely found without my knitting. In fact, Chris and I are going to a baseball game Thursday night, and he tried to tell me my knitting has to stay in the car. (Yeah, right.) I just finished a pair of socks, and I cast-on another pair in a self-striping yarn. Tonight, I plan to cast-on a cardigan after I poll my knit-night group on what needle they would use when knitting this cardigan. (I wouldn’t want it to be too loose, after all.) Right now (and each summer for the past three years), I’m participating in Camp Loopy, a knitting challenge that includes three projects in three months. For three months of the year, I’m an even-more-avid knitter than usual in order to complete three projects (more on this in a subsequent post).
7. I love to eat, and I’m one of those people who loves to take pictures of her food (and Instagram makes it way too easy for me to be that person). I enjoy cooking when I’m not too lazy to actually get to the store and get into the kitchen. I’ve been much better about it and enjoying the kitchen much more since being home. I’m willing to try just about anything once; although, some things do take an awful lot of poking and prodding from Chris. I’m also a creature of habit and, unless pressed, I’ll typically order the same thing at our favorite restaurants each time we go.
8. Coffee and beer. I don’t fuction without coffee in the mornings. Before Bug was really talking, he’d say “ahh” whenever Chris or I would even say the word “coffee”. Yup, I’m an addict. Beer I don’t enjoy as often, but when I do, I’m a beer snob. I think it comes from living in Colorado for a short time and having a variety of microbrews right there, but I just can’t drink the “other stuff” anymore.
9. I like odd numbers.