Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Funnies or Don't Touch Poo Poo in Your Butt

Linking up with Actually Mummy for Wot So Funee?

Wot So Funee?

My son and I were driving home from work/daycare.

"Mommy," he started.


(Now, first, I must explain something. Parker uses the phrase "last year" to explain anything that has happened before, whether it was 5 minutes ago or last night.)

"Last year, I had fog in my throat!"

"A frog?" I asked.

"No, FOG. From Daddy's fart!"


Parker had been taking too long in the bathroom.

"Parker, what are you doing?!" I shouted to check on him.

"I'm touching my poo poo!"

(Of course, I dreaded the mess that could await me on the other side of that bathroom door. I opened the door, looked in, saw no mess, and my boy was standing there with his finger in his butt. Whew. Much easier to deal with. He washed those hands good to a chorus of, "We don't touch poo poo! We don't touch poo poo in our butt. Yucky!" These are the words of wisdom you can get around here.)


"Mommy, do you like to hear my voice in the world?" Parker asked one day while we were in the backyard.

I thought, What a cute kind of question.

I said, "Yes, of course, I love-"

"AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!" He screamed at the top of his lungs.

"Oh, okay, I got ya. OK, THAT'S ENOUGH SCREAMING!"

Wasn't so cute anymore.

Google Images

As long as it's not poo poo.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Use my Power for Good

For Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!

22 Things I Have Done – Testament to my Strength

1. Survived 25 hours of labor and pushed a baby out my hoo-ha.

2. Cooked 3 separate meals a night for over two months when I was on Jenny Craig, and I still made dinners for my husband and my picky-picky boy.

3. Wrote and defended a 60 page research paper for my master’s in 2002.

4. Wrote and defended a 113 page thesis for my specialist’s degree in 2004.

5. Survived colic.

6. Commuted in Phoenix traffic during the summer in a car with a broken AC, a broken window that couldn’t roll down, and an over-heating issue that made me turn the heater on full blast to cool the engine.

7. Rode 70 miles in one day on my bike on RAGBRAI in Iowa.

8. Went to a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party with a hangover.

9. Worked behind the counter filling orders at a McDonald’s one night as part of a fundraiser.

10. Went on a “death hike” with my husband in which the following happened: we got lost, we hiked countless miles, I had a panic attack, I started to become delirious, my hands went numb, my toes started bleeding, I had a black toe for one year.

11. Watched Disney Cars 7, 985, 432, 022 times.

12. Taught second grade (According to me, much harder than teaching special education or being a school psychologist).

13. Driven a U-Haul truck through LA traffic at 5:00 pm and then through the night to Arizona without cruise control.

14. Figured out how to use a sewing machine so my son could have a Disney Cars valance above his window.

15. Held my boy while he puked and cleaned up diarrhea without gagging.

16. Won 2 dance contests (Nothing technical here, just club dancing. Oh yeah.)

17. Climbed a fence to get my son in a park.

18. Kept a cat a secret for a year while living in a dorm.

19. Put stucco on houses and installed insulation on a Native American reservation in New Mexico for volunteer work one summer.

20. Drove from Flagstaff, Arizona to Tijuana, Mexico lying down in the back of a pick-up truck.

21. Stayed up all night to help my dad throw Sunday papers on his paper route.

22. Found time to write this blog post even though I’m a full-time working mother who freelance writes on the side and likes to make food from scratch (of which I bought by cutting coupons).

I. Am. Freaking. Awesome. Or, as Samuel L. Jackson says, “A bad mother fucker.”

Google Images

And now the lyrics to a kick ass song by Flobots – Handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars
I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
Hands in the air like it’s good to be
Alive and I'm a famous rapper
Even when the paths are all crookedy
I can show you how to do-see doe
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Ericson
I know all the words to De Colores
And I'm proud to be an American
Me and my friends saw a platypus
Me and my friends made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want 'Cause


I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome
No metronome
I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone

Look at me, look at me
Just called to say that it’s good to be
Alive in such a small world
I'm all curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine
64 miles to the gallon on gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computer survive aquatic
Conditions I know how to run the business
And I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance 'Cause

I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone
With a microphone
And I can split the atoms of a molecule
Of a molecule
Of a molecule

Look at me Look at me
Driving and I won't stop
And it feels so good to be alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure

I can handout a million vaccinations
Or let ‘em all die from exasperations
Have 'em all healed from their lacerations
Or have em all killed by assassinations
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don't like 'em
I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command because

I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite
And I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope

And I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars
I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Proud Mama

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about parent teacher conferences from the teacher side of the table.

Today, I am proud and grateful to brag, boast, and gush that I recently had the pleasure of attending my very first parent teacher conference on the parent side of the table.

I am shamelessly happy about it!

That's right. It went well.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect going in. As you all know, I have been known to call my child a maniac, among other things. He can be a rambunctious type, full of personality and the dance. He even break-dances and sasses his way to time out multiple times a week.

I could be offended that he saves this behavior for us at home, but I am honestly relieved to know that he puts on the angel face for his teachers.

He was previously on an IFSP for speech language concerns, but his language is still doing well, he is developing age-appropriately with all of his pre-academic skills, and he has been following directions and being friendly.


So far so good.

I sat there, listening to the teacher compliment how wonderful our boy is and just beamed. My husband and I walked out, and I felt HIGH! It was such a good feeling. I was just so happy.

I vow to keep this experience in mind for future parent teacher conferences back on the teacher side of the table. Parents want so badly to know that their child is doing well. If there is a concern to report, it really needs to be done in a way that respects the dignity of the child and encourages healthy communication and trust between home and school.

As for us right now? We are beaming.

Sorry, Carlin, if they had a bumper sticker saying, "My child rocked his preschool parent teacher conference," I would buy it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Domestic Me

Now I know I may be known for swearing like a sailor, bumming cigarettes, and considering a bottle of wine to be one, large glass of wine, but I have another side to me. A very domesticated side that may surprise some.

I freakin' love coupons. I cut coupons. I print coupons. Every time I go to the grocery store, I have at least $10 in coupons (not including the savings from the store card).

I have a sewing machine and have recently taught myself to quilt. I knit and scrap book.

I absolutely love saving money by eating food from our gardens. It is sad that we are now on our last bit of tomatoes and squash. When the tomatoes get too ripe before we can eat them, I like to can them.

I love to make my own pesto - it's so easy! Before the first freeze, I harvest all of the basil and parsley and make a bunch of pesto to freeze for the winter. Alas, the first freeze snuck up on me this year and killed my basil! It is sad. So, I have harvested my parsley and rosemary and am drying them so I can jar them.

When it comes to food, I love finding ways to save money; however, every weekend when I'm shredding a block of cheese, I always think, "Why the hell don't I just buy the damned bag of shredded cheese for cryin' out loud?" But, I saved a dollar!

Those saved dollars add up, you know, so I can blow it all in one fell swoop at Target buying Hot Wheels, Halloween special DVDs, gallon buckets of Miracle Bubbles, and batteries.

Oh well. I try. I am part shop-a-holic, part thrifty saver. One part domestic goddess, and one part swearing rebel.

How about you? What sides of your personality are people not as aware that you have?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Very Scary to Me

I'm getting ready to link up for Red Writing Hood tomorrow at Write on Edge.

The prompt:

Compose a post in the form of a text–160 characters. Your text must elicit or express fear.

Here's mine:

You are the coolest mom in our wine group!! Thanks for agreeing to host the Girl Scout Troop meeting this morning at your house!! See you in 10 minutes!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Smattering of Fall - Wordless Wednesday

Here's a smattering of pics off my phone for Wordless Wednesday!

Once a year, my dear, good friend and I go out on the town and let loose. In the fall, her husband usually takes the kids on a trip to visit family, so we take the opportunity to go out. We live it up so good that I am honestly glad it only happens once a year!

This is a beautiful time of year in Colorado!

HOCKEY season started! I live with someone who is a little obsessed with The Hockey.

I am linking up with Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Kind of Kids

Google Images
These are the kind of kids I think are great!

I am very lucky to only be assigned to one school as a school psychologist. In the school district where I work, the mental health needs of our students is astounding.

I work for a school district that is about 75% military population. Half of our schools are on the army post Fort Carson, and the other half of our schools are in the community suburb along the boundary of Fort Carson.

Because I am at one school, I am able to really get involved with the culture and people of that school. I am able to build relationships with the families I work with.

It is amazing how every year it seems that the number of students impacted by special needs, for example, autism, ADHD, multiple disabilities, and emotional disabilities, increases exponentially. Since I've worked in this district for almost 8 years, our number of special programs has doubled (e.g., Significant Support Needs classrooms, Affective Needs classrooms for children with emotional/behavioral disorders, Autism programs for both high-functioning and severe autism). Additionally, all of our preschool programs in the district are now Early Intervention programs, serving only children with special needs because the need is so great in our community. We have no room for "typical peers" in our preschool programs.

Our schools on post not only employ a school psychologist and counselor at every school, but now have offices for medical psychiatrists in each school as well.

We speculate as to why special needs is on the rise in our district. It could be that we are a magnet military post for special needs (if a family has a child with special needs, they are typically stationed at a post that is known for accommodating special needs with multiple special programs). It could be that the impact of multiple deployments on families is causing more stress on families than we could have ever imagined. It could be a natural increase that occurs everywhere as awareness of mental health and special needs increases.

All I know is that the mental health needs of our children cannot be ignored, and in particular, the mental health needs of our military families are almost at a crisis level, to state it mildly.

Sometimes, I feel really tired. I wonder if I am having an impact. I cannot "fix" these kids. I do not have a magic wand. I try my best. Sometimes, you wonder if your best is enough.

I get frustrated, very frustrated, with the stupid politics that plague the employees of even public schools (oh, you wouldn't believe the shit that goes on). Sometimes, often, I dream of moving my career onto something else, or finally bringing in the big bucks with my writing. Ha!

But, I do so love those kids that I work with. They are the best part of what I do every day. Without them, there's no way I could keep going and working my butt off. I would have long ago said, "No, thank you. I am done being put through a ringer every day for shit pay." I have not thrown in the towel on those kids. Those goofy, maddening, messy, loud, and silly kids. You gotta love them. Sometimes, love is enough.

It takes a special person, I tell ya.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Scary Parent Teacher Conferences

"Why they call you Mommy Renzen?" my son asked.

"They're calling me Mrs. Lorenzen because that's my last name," I said.


I had already had the guilty thought, I wonder if my boy wonders why I spend most of my days with all these other kids?

Even though I am a school psychologist, for now I explain that I am a teacher so that it can make more sense to him.

"All these kids have to call me Mrs. Lorenzen because I'm a teacher. But only one boy gets to call me Mommy," I say as I grab him and kiss his cheek.

We are playing on the playground where I work. It is sunset on the first day of parent teacher conferences. I had to bring my son to work that night because my husband was also working at parent teacher conferences and all of our babysitters are teachers as well.

I was worried about how it would go having my boy at my school for so long, but he had a blast. Other kids kicked a soccer ball with him, he was quiet playing in the corner of my meetings, and we played games together in my office that I usually play with students.

Ahhh, parent teacher conferences.

A stressful time for all.

I am so grateful to have the perspective of being a parent so that I can relate easier with those scary parent creatures.

Yet, parents usually think we (educators) are the scary creatures (some really are, but I won't name names and lose my job).

I will go to my first parent teacher conference next week on the other side of the table. The parent side.

And I know that what we, as parents, want to know is that someone really LIKES our child.

That someone is skilled and capable to teach them what they need to learn.

That even if discipline is needed, it is done with care.

We want every teacher to understand that, no matter our situation as parents, we send in the best of ourselves through those doors each day.

But enough of the sappy stuff. You wanna hear some eye-brow raisers from during parent teacher conferences?

-How about my own child yelling, "ROOOOAARRR!" right after requesting permission for a special education evaluation from a parent (Yeah, I know I said earlier he sat quietly during my meetings, but I lied. Don't all us parents lie? I guess "quiet" to me means that nothing ended in a big, giant, snotty fit.)

-Whatever you do, please wear a bra. With your too-big tank top. That's all I'll say.

-If a friendly school psychologist attends your meeting, don't assume it's for a bad reason. Especially if it's me. I'm very nice and fabulous. Nothing to worry about.

-When someone farts in a parent teacher conference, it is never a comfortable experience. And, no, it wasn't me. Maybe it was passive aggressive behavior by someone else, but it was not me.

I honestly have other examples but cannot figure out a way to tell about them without fear of consequence. I have to be careful what I publish about work-related things.

Tell me - When you go to parent teacher conferences as a parent, what do you want from the teacher?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keep Hoping and Start Again

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” –Stephen King (On Writing)

This is the memoir prompt from Write on Edge for Tuesday’s RemembeRED.

I’ve been mulling on a post for three days. It seems as though I dropped off the face of the earth since last Thursday. Life has been crazy, I’m just trying to keep up, and I cannot for the life of me think of a fabulous post. A few possibilities have crossed my mind as stories for the above prompt, but nothing has struck like lightning as THE EXACT RIGHT THING. Honestly, the one thing I can think of that truly captures the above saying for me is (TMI ALERT – IF YOU ARE NOT A FAN OF TMI, DO NOT READ ON!): the first poo after child labor. Now, if that wasn’t a scary moment before the start, and then things only got better, I don’t know what is.

I just don’t have my mojo today I guess.

All I can think of are examples of times when I excitedly and optimistically began something, and then after a while, I reflected, “Uh oh, this isn’t really going so great.”

Cases in point:

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner – That always seems to start out “fun.” It doesn’t always end that way.

Doing a presentation at work – I always think it’s going to go great, and then the self-criticism comes in afterward.

Writing my book – The exact thing that the above quote is probably referring to. I started out on my novel excited, optimistic, and probably a little over confident. Now, the poor thing sits on a shelf with notes scribbled all over it because I want to edit and revise the ENTIRE thing. It’s a project that looms ahead of me. Every time I feel as though I’m getting somewhere with it, I feel like I have to change the whole thing. And, I am shy about it too. Only my husband has been allowed to read what I have, and my best friend has read a small part. That is all.

So, in actuality, the quote above has caused me to reflect on the angst I have on my own darn book.

I can let myself hope that the scariest part is starting again.

It is the only way. To keep hoping and starting again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Open Heart

The above quote is a prompt from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop this week.

I have too many close family and friends who read this blog for me to feel comfortable divulging freely on my thoughts about the above quote.

It definitely makes me think of someone.

Someone I wish would take actions to show that they care about what I'm doing and how I am.

Similar to the quote above, I also tell myself, "I will put in to this relationship only as much as I get out of it."

It is a simple way I have chosen to manage a complicated, on-again and off-again relationship in my life.

So, when I try to reach out, but the card comes back "recipient not at this address," I have already lowered my expectations and the hurt doesn't hurt so much anymore. It's just a dull bruise that is noticed from time to time. I have come to a place of acceptance, or resignation, that this is the way things are. Not everyone shows love in the same way, and I know that love is there. What I am uncertain of is the level of thoughtfulness or caring that is there, which reminds me of another quote I think of from time to time:

Love more. Care Less.

Love with all your heart, but care less about what others should be doing. Live your own life, free from worrying about what you cannot control.

Every once in a while, I still put myself out there to this person, but now I know not to have high expectations for what is given in return.

Instead of focusing on what is given in return, my heart is ready and open for all the joy that I have around me all the time: my son, my husband, my mom, my brother, my niece, my close friends (Thank you, God, for friends!). My heart remains open.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

What a crazy ass weekend! I need another one, but alas, I do not get another one today. It is Monday, and I need a little help, so I'm linking up with Java for Meet Me on Monday!

1. I can't stand when someone ________?

I can't stand when someone loudly pops and chews their gum. Why do they think other people want to listen to that?

2. Do you do daily, weekly or monthly grocery shopping?

Grocery shopping is the bane of my weekly existence.

3. What kind of car do you drive?

I'm low maintenance when it comes to cars and willingly accept hand me downs from my husband. I am driving a Ford Escape.

4. Crunchy or soft tacos?

Mostly soft but sometimes crunchy.

5. What's the habit you are proudest of breaking?

I'd like to say smoking, but I still bum some here and there. I hadn't had one for a few months - since my best friend visited this summer, but then we did our annual birthday celebration for my husband at the casinos this weekend. I had some.

Now aren't you glad you know that much more about me?! Happy Monday!