Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do NOT read if you have a weak stomach (unsavory contents)

You'll be glad that I've decided to forgo photos on this blog entry once you read the details of my kindergarten morning.  I knew that helping out in 'Shroom's class today was going to be a crazy day as the originally-scheduled parent helpers weren't able to make it.  Sooo . . . I had volunteered to "fill-in" for two people.

The day was fairly normal until after snack and recess time.  Back in the classroom, 'Shroom's morning class was joined by the afternoon class (today was an "overlap" day where the AM students and PM students overlap for an hour).  As 'Shroom's teacher managed 48 kids on the rainbow carpet while the other teacher was at lunch, I tried to finish my long list of to-do's before the day ended.

"Mrs. Yee!  Mrs.  Yee*!"  The was no mistaking the urgency in the teacher's voice.  "I need your help RIGHT NOW!"

I rushed to the rainbow carpet where there were several students standing.  One of 'Shroom's classmates was heaving and ralphing.  The teacher had quickly grabbed the nearest trash can and placed it under the boy's previous splatter.  Uggh.  It was a mess.  Vomit (chunkage and all - remember, this is after snack and recess) was everywhere as this boy had walked while barfing.  It was my lucky day.  I got to hold the trash can as the boy continued to toss his cookies (or whatever it was that was in his stomach).

I waited a bit before escorting the boy to the bathroom.  After a moment's hestitation, I turned back and grabbed the trash can.  Just in time.  Another heave.  And more spewing.  Somehow we made it to the boys' room where I looked at the poor kid.  I didn't know where to start.  Clean his face?  Get the bits out of his nose?  His dripping hands?  What about the hair?

I'll spare you the details of the clean up, however, when I went back to the classroom to get a plastic bag to hold his soaked shirt, I saw two other boys stripping down to their undershirts.

"Oh no!"  I thought.  "There are more kids barfing!"  I found out moments later that the boy had thrown up on two other kids (thanks to minimum days with 48 students crammed on one rainbow rug).  One victim had vomit on his face -- and it wasn't even his own vomit.

Needless to say, when I walked back into the boys' restroom, I noticed another disturbing scene.  Some child had used the toilet (no bathroom stalls or doors around the toilet) and had explosive diarrhea.  The evidence (and aftermath) was in the toilet, on the seat and yes, even on the walls.

Well, even with the interruption, I still managed to finish my to-do list.  I think I should get bonus points (or extra credit of some sort) for mopping up vomit and wiping diarrhea off the bathroom wall.

Yeah, mothers seem to have flabby stomachs from pregnancy and stuff.  But I tell you, we may have a jiggly mid-section (okay - so maybe I'm speaking only for myself here) but our inner stomachs are made of iron.  IRON.

* I don't mind posting this name as it isn't even my surname.  Somehow, so many people mangle my (rather simple) three-letter last name that I now respond to this on a regular basis.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Design on a Dime

Ever since we've moved into our new house, I've been wanting to paint our very vanilla walls in our living room and dining room.  We've managed to paint most of the Artists in Trainingupstairs rooms and half the downstairs rooms before we moved in but we've been wracking our brains on what to do with the high ceilings.

Air Boss and I aren't quite ready to pay for a painter to take care of our two-story living and dining rooms.  Nor are we quite ready to rig a scaffold in our stairwell so we can try our hand at painting 16 feet up.  So in the meantime, I thought an easy way to splash some color on the walls was to simply slap some large-scale painting on the walls. 

RedBut then I remembered that I'm cheap. 

I couldn't bring myself to spend $100 on some mass produced abstract artwork that I thought my kids could paint for way less.  So that's just what we did (little did 'Shroom and Lolli know that they were being exploited for their creativity).  

PinkFor less than half the price, 'Shroom and Lolli have injected some--er, very colorful---original artwork that's prominently on display in our living room.  As they do on HGTV's show "Design on a Dime" here is how I spent my money:


1.  acrylic paints and paint brushes:  $8

2.  aprons for kids:  free (they just used their Home Depot aprons)

3.  drop cloth:  free (reused from a previous home painting project)

4.  two 36"x24" stretched canvases:  $44

5.  painter's tape:  FREE (leftover from painting upstair rooms)

6.  warm CA sun that dried the paint in less than half hour:  free

7.  finished artwork:  PRICELESS

 The results, I believe, turned out better than a "paint-by-number" project that I attemped many years ago.  I simply had 'Shroom and Lolli "wash" the entire canvas (both panels) in a dark plum acrylic paint.  After the paint dried, I used painters tape to section off areas that they would fill in.  They picked the colors.  They picked the shapes.  The final product was a pleasant surprise. 

Hmmm . . . I wonder if I can convince the kids that climbing scaffolding is like playing on a jungle gym . . . 

Color Palette

Monday, February 2, 2009

25 things about me

Jeanie and Drew 8370
Originally uploaded by
I've been having so much fun reading other people's "25 list" that I thought I would post mine on my blog (that way I won't have to tag you folks - many of whom have already written your list).

1.  I gave birth to my children in the same hospital in which I was born.

2.  I was in a car accident where someone T-boned me.  Two days later, I was almost hit again by the same driver at the same spot at the same time of day.  I was not happy.

3.  I used to want to be a photo journalist, a pastry chef, a doctor, a freelance writer, a musician, an accountant, a financial analyst, a fashion designer.  Now I want to become a school teacher because I hear it pays really well.

4.  I'm a self-professed anal-retentive, meticulous Type-A neat-freak.  This has changed since having kids.  Now I'm just a self-professed freak.

5.  I started kindergarten not knowing much English at all (Chinese was my first language).  I remember being teased on the bus because I didn't know I was saying certain words in Chinese.  I was so embarrassed I decided never to speak Chinese again.  I regret giving up my ability to speak my native language.

6.  When I was a little girl, I used to sleep with 17 stuffed animals.  I fell out of bed more than once because it was a bit crowded.

7.  Speaking of sleep, I used to be a really light sleeper.  I could wake up if I heard a fruit fly buzzing around in the kitchen downstairs.  Thanks to Air Boss (who is an avid and proficient snorer), I now sleep through crying kids, barking dogs, and alarm clocks.

8.  My teeth were so crooked, if it weren't for braces, I would have three rows of upper teeth.  Seriously, when I bit half-way into a banana, my teeth marks would make a "china man" complete with slanted eyes and a mouth.

9.  I had private piano lessons from age 5 - 12 and all I can play from memory is "chopsticks" (is that even a real piece?) and "Long Long Ago."  I'm now working on improving my repertoire.

10.  What I miss about Boston:  my family, my friends, my church, my old car, the green house where we had lots of fun memories, the Charles River, the restaurants, our community, watching my nephews grow up, the seasons (like a beautiful spring and a gorgeous fall), tree-lined streets, the rich history and New England architecture, and my weekly runs to Target with my sister (perusing the dollar bin aisle).

11.  Although I find watching medical procedures and surgeries quite fascinating, I can't stomach gory movies.  It must have to do with something called "controlled bleeding."

12.  I'm a really boring person and this list could be condensed to "5 things about me."

13.  I believe I'm numerically dyslexic as I frequently invert numbers.  When I hear "3-4" I would write "4-3" or when I see 729, I would remember 279.  Pretty scary as I worked two years managing my church's finances and am now considering being a math teacher.

14.  When I was in high school, I used to be able to leg press the entire stack (must have been 400-500 lbs).  That must explain why I'm not even 5 feet tall.

15.  I have had two breech babies and for my first born 'Shroom, both the OB and NP thought the baby was heads down all along.  Turns out they had mistaken his butt for his head.  A surprise C-section involved a knife-happy doctor who cut me way too wide and stapled me shut with 25 non-galvanized staples (not sure if galvanized staples are used in the medical profession but the staples rusted on me).  It hurt like heck when the staples were pulled out 4 days later.  The faulty doc's response in all this?  "oops"  (thanks.  a lot.)

16.  Things that make me cry:  chopping onions, hearing about starving and abused children, praying my heart out to God, watching the last 15 minutes of "Extreme Home Make-over", hearing 'Shroom say to Air Boss "today was a bad day because Mommy was mad at me."

17.  The last time I was spanked for being a naughty child was when I was 14 years old.  My mom really hurt her hand.  I guess she decided I was too old and too big for spanks when I doubled over laughing.

18.  I used to read Stephen King novels in about 2 hours.  Now I can read 2 magazine articles in about 2 weeks.

19.  At one point in my life, I could type 108 words per minute.  And that was using a typewriter.

20.  I once got stuck in the middle of a bomb scare at the Pentagon.  I was in the ladies room taking care of business and somehow didn't hear the evacuation notice.  When I came out to wash my hands, I saw a bunch of yellow tape and a bomb squad.  They were not very happy.  Neither was I.

21.  When I was six years old, I thought we could pick our gender.  I picked boy.  I was not very happy to discover that I had no choice in the matter.

22.  I've played a random bunch of musical instruments (with a wide variety of proficiency):  piano, violin, cymbals, bass drum, baritone horn, xylophone, glockenspiel, and bass guitar.  Now I'm back to playing piano - nothing like coming back full-circle.

23.  I used to "file" my paper recyclables in college by date.  More than once I had to pull out papers that were mistakenly thrown out.  Many of my friends laughed at me for this practice.  They are no longer my friends.

24.  I don't like to cook, clean house, or do grocery shopping.  So what am I doing "managing house"?!?!

25.  I wear a women's size 5 shoe.  Also equivalent to a kid's size 3.5.  And no, not all my shoes have velcro.