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Teacher’s Notes

The job I am in now is very different from where I have been. Now I am at the epicenter of the school and each day I learn new things. Things that had I known as a parent when my eldest was in elementary school I might not have done half of them and probably drove the staff and teachers secretly nuts.

You probably are too and just don’t realize it.

I’m here to help.

Did you know?

You shouldn’t call the school and tell them your child is going to be out that day. The day they return send them in with a signed and dated note explaining the absence. Unless your child has the H1N1, then call because you will need classwork for him/her to do.This way they are caught up when they return to school. However, that being said…

If you call for your child’s homework, give it at least 24 hours before you go pick it up. A teacher’s day is jam packed with all kinds of stuff they have to do and gathering your child’s classwork they are missing is not part of the daily plan. However, they will gladly do this for you, but not immediately. They definitely thank you for your understanding.

Your child must be fever-free without medication for over 24 hours before they can return to school. So if little Susie spikes a fever at 3am and you give her Tylenol, you’d better be ready to stay home the next day with her. Nine times out of ten the school Nurse will be calling you to come pick her up anyway. Scientific Fact.

Head lice can happen to anyone, even you. Hey, I have a handy tip to help keep those pesky bugs out of your life. Ready? Use gel in your child’s hair. Hair spray? More, please. Lice hate hair products, so the more you remember to use them, the less likelier you will have to deal with head lice. So next time Johnny wants a fauxhawk in his hair, do it! Now, excuse me, because all this talk of head lice is making my head itch.

Yours too? Yeah, there’s another scientific fact for you. I’l be here all week. Enjoy the veal.

The highest percentage of phone calls I field begin with “Someone just called me from here.” Folks, a school is BIG. Lots and LOTS of phones dial in and out all the time. Caller ID is great, but chances are whomever called you used an internal line and it kicks to the front office when you call it back. The people in the front office have no idea who called you. So I offer this one piece of advice: Check your messages first before you call back. If a teacher or staff member is calling, they will most likely leave a message. This will help us help you better when you return the call. Also? If your child likes to call you to have you bring them lunch, or lunch money, or whatever, remind them to leave you a message. That helps the front office expedite your call enormously. /soapbox

We are now a few months into school, and the kids pretty much know how to get around the school campus. Parents, you no longer need to walk them to class, even if they are tardy. Let’s be honest, walking them to class is more for you now than it is for them. It’s time to let them walk to class on their own. They can do it. I promise. Let them. They like to show us how grown up they are.

Please, please, PLEASE do NOT send your child to school with a soda in their lunch. For so many reasons, but mostly because the chances of another student stealing it are rather high. If you are doing that (and sending in candy as well), it’s a pretty safe bet we know how you feel about your child’s teacher. Warm fuzzies optional.

The most important thing you need to know? If you are bringing McDonald’s to school for your child to eat at lunch with you? Make sure you bring some for those kind, friendly front office clerks that greet you with a smile everytime you come through the door. It would be greatly appreciated ;)

Posted by Shash @ 3:55 pm | 9 Comments   | October 21, 2009

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Thanks, Kelby, for naming a conference after me!*

Last weekend I flew to Asheville, NC for the Type A Mom Conference. Some of the things I took away from it were:

Good Friends

It’s always good to go somewhere
and reunite with really good friends.


Even moms can work it down a fashion show runway.
(and look smokin’ too!)


When you least expect it,
you find the courage to face a crowd
and help them learn something new.
(photo credit: Rick Bucich)


Bonds and new friendships can be made anywhere;
and passion transcends anything.
Even when talking about Special Needs.

Speakers Dinner

Over dinner, we can learn so much about each other,
it’s like we have been friends for years.

Pajamas & Drinks

Nightcaps in pajamas in the hotel bar
are the perfect way to end the day.

Dress of Courage

A great dress, sexy shoes,
and great supportive friends make anything possible.


Tiaras make everything awesome.
(photo credit: Kristile Cain)

What the heck was THAT?!?

Flying in small tin-can airplanes is made better with good friends
and funny jokes about mandatory poops and “lightening the load”.
Jessica, I’ll sit in your lap anytime. :)


No matter where you go,
it’s always good to come home to those who love you.

*For those who know me, the fact that I was going to a conference called Type A Mom, it made perfect sense. :)

Posted by Shash @ 9:45 pm | 2 Comments   | October 4, 2009

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Sometimes A Change Can Do You Good

Wow, so the last time I updated was the first day of school?

Apparently I’m a very bad blogger. And I guess I need to be punished…

And at the beginning of this school year, I thought I was being punished. I was going from one position into another, one that was not what I had been doing for the past three years.

And I have loved what I have been doing for the past three years. It’s been very rewarding. I have learned so much, and I have had awesome opportunities.

But I wasn’t given much of a choice. I mean, I was given a choice, but it wasn’t a good choice. Especially since I knew I should have been given at the very least a opportunity of another choice. So I guess it wasn’t the choice I was expecting. So I thought I was being punished, but I had no idea for what.


So I started my new job at the school. And I found that I was actually very good at it. It was very comfortable. More importantly I enjoyed it.

I had looked at it from the outside in and thought “I could never do that.” “I don’t think I could do that job as well as the people currently doing it“.

(My subconscious rushes me back 20 years ago when I was just graduating high school and at the 11th hour I thought I wasn’t cut out for teaching. I panicked then. I took a road that has led me here to where I am today, but I have done myself a huge disservice. It still stands as one of my biggest regrets. But I had the exact same thoughts then.)

So this time I start in a new job. I give it 110%. I listen. I watch. I learn. And quickly I realize this is where I belong. For now.

Probably for awhile. A long while.

The point was driven home yesterday when the team I work with flawlessly handled a life threatening situation. Flawlessly. It could have gone a hundred different ways, and not many of them good. But because of our quick thinking, communication, and ability to read each other and give each other what the other person needed in that moment, we saved someone’s life.

That was huge.

It was a sign. Earlier in the day, I had been offered an opportunity to go back into my preferred line of work. I turned it down. I’m not going to lie, I second guessed that decision for several hours afterward. Mostly because I wanted to go back into the classroom. I love working with the children. It was what I had hoped for all summer. And when I knew this opportunity was going to present itself, many people were telling me that I was right to be patient, that good things come to those who wait.

I realized that they were right. But not in the way they meant.

I’m right where I belong. And I love it.

Posted by Shash @ 8:27 pm | 6 Comments   | September 10, 2009

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Growing Up

The alarm clocks awoke us both from our blissful slumber. As we came out to our daily meeting point, the sofa, we rubbed the sleep out of our eyes.

“Is it time yet?” he asked.

Nope, not yet, I replied.

We went about our morning tasks. Medicine taken, breakfast eaten, bodies dressed. The checking of the backpack to make sure he had everything he needed, but more importantly, that he knew where they could be located.

Teeth brushed, hair combed and then tousled so he had that ‘I just rolled out of bed’ look. Deodorant applied just in case he forgot. A quick glance in the mirror showed him he was ready.

Some downtime on his brother’s DS while the last few minutes clicked down to seconds. The familiar rumble of the bus outside. A hug, a quick kiss, a few “good luck!”‘s, “I love you!”‘s and “have a great day!’s” and then he dissappeared into the dark and a few moments later the bus rumbled away, it’s strobe light pulsing in time to the beat of my heart.

Yes, son, it’s time.

High school is going to be great.

I love you.

Posted by Shash @ 7:04 am | 13 Comments   | August 24, 2009

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Because teenage angst is not only reserved for teenagers

Dear ex-friend of Spiff,

Yep, I saw you today. I saw you scowl at my son, like he had done something terrible to you instead of the other way around. He has been nothing but a good friend to you, worried about your happiness and just simply wanting to be your friend. You have said many mean things to him, and all he says is “Oh, she’s just grouchy today”. Or “moody”.


I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I don’t expect you to always be friends, but I was kind of hoping that he would have one friendly face in the crowd; one person that could be his touchstone while he figures out the new school, the new schedule, the new everything.

It’s not going to be you.

Okay. Just do me a favor, ok? Leave middle school in the past and let the others get to know him before you tell them how you feel about him. Give him a chance to meet other people and make some new friends so he will finally do what you clearly want him to: Leave you alone.

Besides, we didn’t want to sit next to you anyway. So there.


Spiff’s Mom

Posted by Shash @ 3:11 pm | 4 Comments   | August 13, 2009

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This One Time, in the Summer, I Became a Pirate!

To read more about this exciting opportunity, click below for the full review!

Avast Me Matey!

The Crazed Mommy Reviews!

Posted by Shash @ 11:44 pm | 3 Comments   | August 9, 2009

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My Aim is Always True, Even if I AM Aiming Low…

So the fantastic, amazing ladies at Aiming Low have chosen one of my posts today for Aiming Low’s Three Day Weekend!

Go here to check it out!

Three Day Weekend

Thanks, Ladies!

Posted by Shash @ 5:19 pm | Comments   | August 7, 2009

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Because Apparently I Enjoy Making A Fool of Myself, Internet.

So on Saturday night I, along with several other of my Dr. Phillips High School Class of 1989 classmates

(yes, I did worry about that sentence structure. But guess what? WAY. TOO. TIRED. TO. CARE.)

will gather at a local hot-spot, and find out if we still remember each other 20 years later. Oh, and take lots of pictures. Also? There might be hugging.

So here is a crib sheet that might help everyone out:

Senior Photo
I do not look like this anymore.
Like not even a little bit.
So don’t look for this person.

Favorite Pants
You might remember I wore these pants.
Yes, they are still my favorite pants.
If I, say, still owned them.

Junior Prom
Yes, I dated him when I was a Junior.
No, I have no idea what he is doing these days.
I can guess it may include “living his life” and “being happy”.
Yes, I have noticed that his smile does look painful.
(my mom thought he looked possessive.)

Senior Prom
Yes, I deliberately cut my hair this way.
No, he is not from Dr. Phillips.
He drove all the way up from Dunedin to take me to prom.
Yes, he’s a nice guy.
No, I don’t keep in touch with him, either.
Yes, I LOVED this dress.

Also, if you see someone that looks like this:


Come up and say hello. I can’t wait to catch up with you!

Posted by Shash @ 6:43 pm | 27 Comments   | August 5, 2009

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Revenge is a dish best served smokin’ hawt!

It took me all summer to earn enough money for those damn jeans.

Seriously. This was back in the 80′s, before the robber baron babysitters of today jacked up the price of babysitting that makes me consider robbing a bank every time I go out on a date with my husband. $10 an hour? Say WHAT? I’d better come home to a cleaned house as well. A REALLY cleaned house.

Does that ever happen? No.


So. Summer. 1980-something. I babysat my ass off to buy a pair of jeans. But not just any pair of jeans. Oh, no.

A pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.

Back then that was what you wanted to wear; had to have. Either Gloria Vanderbilt or Jordache. If you had big bucks you had Calvin Klein jeans.

I didn’t have big bucks.

Quite the contrary. While other girls went shopping at the Limited, Contempo Casuals, 5-7-9 or Rave, I got most of my clothes from JC Penney or Sears.

It was because my mom had credit cards at those places. And it would take months for her to pay off my clothes. Many times she was still paying for clothes after I had already outgrown them.

Needless to say, neither of those stores sold Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.

So I scrimped. I saved. And just before my sixth grade year started, I was the proud owner of a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. I treated them like liquid gold. I washed them carefully, and I hung them up.

What teenager hangs up their jeans? Seriously?


The first time I wore them was to the roller skating rink. Paired them with a top I can no longer remember, but I knew I looked good. I hoped a certain someone might also think the same way. When it came time for the racing around the rink, I took my spot. I was good at this, and I had a feeling…

As I skated past the finish line, and I won, that certain someone was looking right at me, calling me over. As I skated over, exhausted from the race but thrilled he finally noticed me, I didn’t notice her foot in my path. It vanished almost as quickly as it arrived, but the intentions were there.

As I fell to the ground, all my weight fell onto my knee. I collapsed onto the rink with a thud and immediately people rushed over. I was lifted off the rink and whisked into an office; placed on a table and the paramedics came to asses the damage. One came towards me with a rather large pair of scissors. When I asked what he was doing with them he replied “I’m going to cut your jeans so we can look at your knee.”

Um, WHAT?!?! Cut MY jeans? Oh Hells NO!

I cried. I begged. I pleaded to please just let me take them off. Don’t cut them! Pretty please with sugar on it, DON’T CUT OFF MY GLORIA VANDERBILT JEANS!

My pleas fell on deaf ears. The sound of the cutting into that denim is something I will always remember.

I never got to wear those jeans again.


Fast forward thirty-some-odd years later. I’m shopping for jeans for my trip to Chicago, and on the rack I find a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in my size. And costing a fraction of what I paid for my pair back in the ’80′s. When I try them on, the fit perfectly. I buy them and pack them in my suitcase.

Friday night, I wear them. With these:


I paired them with a halter top and those shoes.


You want to know the best part?

I get to wear this pair of Gloria Vanderbilts again.

HAH! Take THAT, jealous middle school girl and scissor-happy paramedic!

Posted by Shash @ 4:51 pm | 18 Comments   | August 1, 2009

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BlogHer ’09 – Coming Home Again

What I’m taking away from this year’s BlogHer:

Tim & Me

It’s not the LBD, but he liked it anyway!

Good friends: Whether I made new, renewed old, and finally saw those people in person after trading lots of emails, I am truly blessed in my life to have such great people in it. And yes, I mean you.

The Parties: Everyone who was involved in throwing a party deserves high fives and props for providing us with fun, food, drinks and music. I think it’s important to remember that they didn’t have to do this. At all. So a big Thank You for all of your hard work. I laughed, danced, and chatted with people and had a phenomenal time and I can’t thank you enough.

The Panels: Even though there were panels I wanted to see, the ones I did see were inspiring, humorous, and insightful for me. I’m renewed. I’m so proud of my friends who spoke and imparted their wisdom. I learned so much.

The Suites: The Shutter Sisters suite, the Method Suite, The MomTalk Radio Suite were all places I sought out to take a moment to recharge and learn something new. The CheeseBurgHer Suite was beautiful and crowded, but the next morning as the Starbucks Recovery Breakfast Suite was just the ticket to wind down after a busy week enjoying the last few moments of BlogHer. Isabel, Lindsey, and crew, you are awesome. Thank you for your hospitality.

The Swag: I’m going to focus on the positive. Thank you to the people who packed those bags. You are the true rockstars. Thank you to the companies who supplied the contents. Thank you to the people who organized and did the hard work to get the swag. Thank you to Lori from BlogHer who found my friend Janet her BlogHer bag after many took two or more. I was grateful for her help and kindness.

The City: Chicago, you really turned it on for us. The great weather, the friendly people, the beautiful cityscape, the food…I could go on for DAYS. Except for the man who complained at me at the airport for apparently “getting in his way” and the Limo that after waiting 45 minutes never showed up, the rest of my stay was magical. Thank you for throwing out your prettiest welcome mat.

The BlogHer Team: You guys did a great job. All events have issues, but overall this was a top-notch event. Thank you for all of your blood, sweat and tears, because I’m sure there were many.

Facing my fears. I think this sums it up nicely:

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

I did this ALL BY MYSELF. Me. Alone. On a ferris wheel.

Enjoying Myself: The things I did, the places I went, the conversations I had, the laughter I shared. The fact that when I handed you my card and you recognized me, or told me I look just like my Twitter avatar, or loved what I was wearing or remembered the name of my site because you read it, means everything to me. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. I’m honored.

Meeting Tim and Carson, photographing the back of Paula Deen’s head, playing peek-a-boo with Ezra, meeting you, rooming with you or hugging you because it has been so long are the things I’ll keep with me long after those flash drives are lost or filled, the lip gloss tube is empty, and the toys are lost behind the sofa. Those are the things I want to keep. Those are the things I will keep.

Shiny Happy People

Shiny Happy People. Or Shiny Tipsy People. I’m not sure.

Thank you for that. Let’s do it again next year, okay?

more photos can be found here.

Posted by Shash @ 5:19 pm | 25 Comments   | July 28, 2009

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