Monday, September 25, 2006

Calling Mr. Michael Petko

Recently I have been looking online for a Mr. Michael Petko who taught middle school in Florida in the early 90s. If you have Googled yourself and found my blog, Mr. Petko, read on. Everyone else, humor me.

Back then I was Jennifer Presley. I was a student of Mr. Petko's for 2 years--sixth and seventh grade. We had quite the personality clash. I would have sworn that he moved up to teach 7th grade that second year I had him *just* to irk me.

One time he threw me out of class. Another time, though he called me to the front of the room. He used to teach at a podium. And I stood there and he quietly asked if I hated him? This was toward the end of seventh grade, and I was taken aback. I had becomes used to Mr. Petko by then and he had shifted from being a demon in my eyes to a "cool" teacher. It was on the tip of my tongue to say,"You're a hard teacher to hate, Mr P."

But I didn't say it. Some experiences from his class have stuck with me through the years longer than say, any ones I had in Math class. (Sorry Mrs. Swope). I do remember being quite terrified of my English teacher, but that's another story.

I remember watching the news in class when we were at war and had just gone over to Kuwait. I also remember something that made me laugh, and still does to this day. I remembered it again recently and told my husband about it.

We were in class and Mr. Petko mentioned Muslims. I was confused. "Muslims?" I asked, "Isn't that what you make sheets of?"

Now it was Mr. Petko's turn to look confused. I referred to one of the Little House on the Prairie books, where the character said the made bed sheets of "muslim.' You have to hand it to Mr. Petko--he didn't laugh at me. I would have laughed at me. He simply said "muslin," kind of shook his head, and continued with the lesson.

So, that's about it. I have been wanting to find Mr. Petko and tell him, if he even remembers me, that I was a snarky little brat in his class. I deserved to get sent out of class that day, and I didn't hate him. I had fun in his class. I also remember making those little 3-D paper globes. I think he was were a good teacher.

I tried to find him at the school but he is no longer listed on the staff. I just wanted him to know.
I know I complained numerous times to friends and family about him, and him asking me if I hated him was thought-provoking. I simply said no and sat down.

I hope he sees this and the knowledge that I, a student he might not even recall after teaching thousands, (or worse yet, someone he recalls to this day as the bane of his existence) think he
was a good teacher, and that it brightens his day.

Jenn, walking down memory lane.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Around the house

Here are a few more pics for today. Again, out of order, but oh well. If you click on any of the pictures in any of the posts, they will enlarge so you can see them better.

The kids are on top, fresh off the bus from the first day of school.

Second, a shot of our house. Has anyone seen it yet? I thought that I took a picture with my cell phone and passed it along, but in case y'all haven't seen it, there you go. See the giant yard? Fun to mow, just ask my dad. We put our visiting guests to work, you know? LOL!

And everyone knows we own the smallest car on the planet, well it just looks dwarfed by the house.

Finally, the obscene mushrooms. They are called stink horns, and yes, they smell terrible. I took this picture and then thenext day, two more clusters had popped up. They look vulgar and smell nasty. There's your giggle for the day.

So, now for a real post. Steve is at work and the kids are at school. Time to start eht maintenace cleaning. First the bathroom. I am trying to do Flylady and she says always keep your bathroom company ready. What do I see? A discarded towel. *hangs it up* Toothpaste globs in the sink. *Swishes out sink* Paper towels that have jumped ship from the trash can. *Picks them up*

Onto the kitchen. Cereal runches underfoot. Tanks kids! Oh well, at least there isn't a milk puddle today, though the empty carton is on the counter instead of in the trash can, and so is the empty box of cereal. *throws them away and sweeps floor* But the sink is empty. Where are the dishes? Yay, dish hunting, one of my favorite household sports. Right up there with laundry stalking.

*Refolds blankets in the living room* Oooh the phone!

CONGRATULATIONS to Julie and Jeremy, proud parents of twin boys, born at 2:31 and 2:32 this morning, Friday, September 22, 2006. Noah James, a little redhead, was born first, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces, and measuring 18 inches. Baby B, whose name is still being decided as we speak, was born second, weighing 6 pounds 9 ounces, and also measuring 18 inches. He is in the regular nursery and doing fine, and Noah will be in the NICU for a day or 2, because there is a little fluid in his lungs. When babies are born, fluid is squeezed from their lungs as they travel the birth canal. But Julie's babies were C-section, so no squeezing, and a little fluid is still in the lungs. But a day is not so bad, and they will probably all go home together in a few days. They were born at 35 weeks, 1 day, and are huge for their age! But Julie makes big babies. Yay for jumbo shrimp!

I swear there are twins everywhere around me. Some friends from CA had B/G twins named Isabella Joy and Christian Michael. They are about 9 weeks old now. Then my SIL had hers, that I already posted about, both girls and so beautiful. They will be two weeks old in a few days. Now Julie has her two boys! Yay for babies! Yay for healthy babies! Yay for Julie having a healthy heart! She had PPCM with her last pregnancy and was very closely monitored during this one but her echo yesterday shows normal heart function. She will still be monitored for 6 months, though. I am just so happy for her!

OK I am going to go paint Katie's dresser now. Adios y'all.

More pinning pics

OK so the pictures are out of order, but oh well. These two are of my dad and the kids in front of a little "play" boat. They had a few models that the kids could climb on right by the USS Massahchusetts where the ceremony was held. I, ever the camera freak, snapped a shot of them in front of one. The kids killed time waiting for the ceremony to start by climbing on the models, and managed not to get dirty. I was impressed. But all that climbing, and insisting that Paw Paw come too? My poor dad's knees!

Next is a shot my dad took of me & the kids with the USS Mass in the background. Cheese, y'all.

Apple picking

So after Steve woke up from his post-initiation coma, we took my dad and the kids apple picking. There is an orchard nearby. The first pic is my dad and the kids standing in the shade, waiting for the tractor to come and pull us out to the apple trees. The next pic is of Katie and my dad on a rock. I like this picture because the tree in the background shows how the leaves are turning. It was a nice cool fall day. And then a family shot taken by my dad of us munching apples. They were sun-warmed, sweet and crisp, fresh off the tree. Yum!

The new Chief

Here are a few pics of Steve, from first class to Chief. He was never so happy as the last day he wore his whites! See him cheesin'? Then the next pic is him going through the line of sideboys after he had been pinned. I got that shot right as he walked by. I love that pic!

The third pic was taken either by Steve's mom or sister Mary, I cant remember which. But it was after the ceremony. We were both so happy, and Steve was just exhausted. It was a lovely ceremony, and the kids, MIL and I pinned Steve's anchors on. My dad flew in as a surprise to attend the pinning as well. After we got home, Steve slept for 14 hours!

Monday, September 18, 2006

How much is too much?

In terms of pictures, I mean. I have a whole roll. Here are two more. I clicked on the "large" setting for my previous post but they came out the same size as before. And now this post too!Hmmm.

The top picture is me feeding Alyssa. I thought that when my son Jonathan was born, his hospital bottles were small, but wow, these were just tiny, and with red nipples. Hee hee! Steve is standing in the background, watching MacKenzie in her bed under her grow-bulb.

The bottom picture is of MacKenzie, really mad! She was mid-yowl when I took the picture.
Even crying, I think she is beautiful. I just love babies. That's all for now.


The top picture is of me holding MacKenzie. The middle pic is me holding Alyssa. The bottom pic is Steve comparing his hand size with Alyssa's. We each held each baby and I fed Alyssa and burped her. They are just perfect. They are lovely. How can they be so small, yet still appear big? They are strong. They both peeped their bitty eyes at us, and we got to hear their little newborn noises--those grunts and squeaks, as well as their cries when they were hungry. They made little poops too, and I swear I never saw such small bottoms in my life.

I know I must sound like a blabbering idiot but I am smitten. Enchanted at tiny ears, and fingers. Awed at perfection in such a small package. Amazed at their strength.

And heartbroken at the situation. Yeserday when we went there, MIL asked SIL if she was going to stay the whole hour for both girls' feedings, and SIL said, "Yeah, it makes me look good if I stay for both."

MIL saw the storm cloud that was my face and tried to backpedal, trailing after SIL, asking, "And it's nice to be able to hold both babies, right?" No response from SIL. I died a little inside. She only goes to the hospital to keep up appearances?

Later, MIL tells me she can't wait until htey babies com home, because she is goingot take 2 weeks off work to "play dolls." What the hell? What is with these people? These are babies, real human beings who require constant care, not playthings to be propped, posed and used as attention grabbers. They are not a novelty. They are not toys. They are innocent babies who need love and attention, not to be used as showpieces.

It makes me so frustrated. And I have to it back and watch the trainwreck unfold. Call me bitter but I think that on about night 3 of sleeplessness, the novelty of playing dolls will wear off as MIL realizes that it is not a game. I don't know what, if any, help SIL will be. She will be getting weaned off her methadone, and so she will be itching to go get high, and this usually involves stealing MIL's car in the middle of the night. Finally, there are 2 more children involved to think about--they are 3 and 2. SIL's other kids. Now she doesn't have custody of them but all of them live in the same house.

Their needs still have to be met. They are too young for much independence or autonomy. I think all 4 kids will suffer. And it makes me sad that the adults involved cannot see beyond the novelty and the cuteness factor and think of what is in the best interest of the children.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Well I put the pics to medium so they wouldn't be huge. I guess I should have set it to large?

Here are the twins. These are pics that MIL took. Steve was promoted this weekend, and MIL came to the pinning ceremony and gave me these prints. So I came home & scanned them for your viewing pleasure. Alyssa, the second born and bigger of the two, is on top. Her mother decided to change her name from Alyssa Ann to Alyssa Mary. On the bottom is the firstborn and slightly smaller MacKenzie Rose. Don't they look so cute under the sunlamp and in their "shades"?

This is just a quick post since we are leaving within an hour to go to see the babies in person, at which point I will post more pictures. --j.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The twins were born last night

They were born by C-section about 7 weeks early, at 33w 3d. MacKenzie Rose was born at 6:01 PM, weighing 3 pounds, 2.6 ounces and measuring 15 3/4 inches long. Her sister Alyssa Ann was born at 6:02, weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce and measuring 17 inches long. Alyssa is on a CPAP for apnea and both babies are expected to stay in the hospital for the next two weeks. During that time they will undergo detox. They were born high due to their mother's drug addiction.

These are my nieces. I haven't seen them yet, but when I do I will post pictures. We hope to make the trip to CT to see them this weekend. It will be bittersweet for me to see these sweet babies but oh well. I love them and their older brother and sister MaKayla and Anthony even though I do not like their mother or her life choices. All four children are innocent and did not ask to be born, so they will get smothered in love from Auntie Jenn.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The inchworm story

A few of you have heard this, but it bears repeating for those who haven't. Plus it saves me a million repetitions. :-)

Steve and I have been trying for a baby. Recently, I found out (like I do every month) that I was not pregnant. Disappointment ensued. I was talking to Steve and I said that I have not felt or sensed G-d's presence lately, and it was disturbing to me. I have felt empty and ignored. Not fun.

Pause this story. To understand the rest of this story, first you have to hear another one.

I was doing a Bible study in CA. One of the questions we were asked was, where do you see G-d in your everyday life? One woman answered by saying she sees G-d in the vastness of the ocean, or in large things like the Grand Canyon.

For me I see G-d in small things, like ladybugs, or even tiny spiders. I don't like spiders but sometimes you see ones that are so small, you can't smush them. They are no threat and are not scary. But you see this tiny little life that eats, breathes, lives, and you can barely see it. It has a tiny heart that beats, and I can't see that without a microscoope. I can't recreate that. To me, these tiny beings, that's G-d.

Ok, now un-pause the other story. Two days after I had the discussion with Steve where I felt ignored by G-d, I was outside with Katie and we were going down the little path towards the driveway. There, on the path, its bright yellow color in stark contrast to the black asphalt, was a tiny inchworm.

There he was, inching along. His body was making the curve of the letter C with every movement. And Katie was briefly diverted, but quickly lost interest. There are bugs all over around our house. Walking sticks, butterflies, moths, etc. And animals like bunny rabbits. And snakes and frogs, and bears (that we haven't seen yet) and horses. Yeah. Steve tried to get crushed by one in our car, as it ran out of its driveway. Apparently horses don't have turn signals. You all know how small our car is. But anyway.

The inchworm. I was mesmerized because to me, that was G-d saying "I'm still here." And that made my day, because I didn't feel ignored any more.

So that's the inchworm story.

It's been a while!

School starts on Tuesday and I cannot wait to get these kids out the door! My house, which I have been trying to clean, can stay clean. Food will stay in my cupboards longer than 3 days after payday. I tell you they get so bored and want to eat all day!

So what's been up at my house? Steve is almost done with Chief's initiation. I have been incorporating Flylady's principles and ideas at my house. It is a slow going but the site says it can take up to a month to form new habits.

New habits, well here's one. I stopped drinking soda. Thats to my benefit. Lots of empty calories. But I am sure that Julie, Michelle, Diane and Cynthia miss me burping like a piggy on the phone.

My friend Netanya had her baby, a sweet, beautiful girl whom she named Eliana, meaning G-d has answered. I am sure He has certainly answered her prayers and I am so happy for her and Gil! Congrats you guys!

Hey everyone, here is a link to sign up for free chocolate from Nestle. Have at it!