Sunday, February 28, 2010

Here We Go Again

On this blog you here lots and lots of stuff about my two kids. But there are two other kids that are also a big part of our lives here, Rich's two.

Rich has two wonderful kids. Justin is a junior in high school and is a whole lot of fun. He is smart and articulate and really makes all of us laugh. Bella especially loves him and talks about him all the time. Sarah is a sixth grader and just is a bundle of energy. She is fun, loves life, and is just a lovable sweetheart.

When they are with us we do a lot of laughing.

When they are with us we play UNO and baseball.

When they are with us Sarah and Bella run around and giggle, stay up all night talking, and make some wonderful creations.

When they are with us Sarah loves to help me cook.

When they are with us Justin and Andrew act like cool dudes and play video games.

When they are with us Sarah and Rich cuddle, have bedtime talks, and she just can't get enough of her daddy.

When they are with us Justin and Rich have deep conversations about airplanes, politics, and they are two peas in a pod.

When they are with us Sarah makes her dad cards and pictures telling him how much she loves him, that he is the best dad, and how "he rocks"

When they are with us I get to witness just how wonderful of a father Rich is, and I fall in love with him more each time.

When they are with us our world is complete and life is good.

Unfortunately, getting them to be with us is such a horrible, sad, ugly, ordeal. Without going into all the gory details no matter how happy they are when they are with us it takes a lot of money, time, tears, and a great deal of effort to make those times happen. Getting Rich's court ordered visitation time is no easy feat.

It breaks my heart each and every time we leave them, or they leave us. We know that all the happiness that we ALL feel when we are together slowly turns into hateful hurtful e-mails, and phone messages.

It breaks my heart to watch Rich go from amazing dad to heartbroken dad when he goes weeks without talking to either of his kids.

It breaks my heart to hear how Sarah doesn't like to be around me and how badly I treat her when we are together.

It breaks my heart to watch the man who is one of the most amazing dads I know, who loves his children more than anything, go through such trials just to see his kids, especially when he tries so hard to make it all work.

It breaks my heart to know that these kids are missing out on a relationship with a great dad.

He never gives up, he rarely complains, he goes about his life with this burden. I can't imagine what it must feel like to have such an amazing relationship with my kids when they are with me, but when they are not hear such ugly and hurtful things come out of their mouths. What hurts the most I think is when they say they don't want to see him.

So here it is time to try to see his kids for Spring Break and here we are in the midst of gut wrenching turmoil.

Tonight I am sad, for Justin, for Sarah, and for Rich.

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Project 365 Week 8

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Can you believe we are almost in March?? For me, being a school teacher, my year really starts in September and WOW has this year flown by!! For a peek at my week see below, for a peek at everyone else's week go on over to Sara's blog and check them out.

Food Glorious Food

This was a very good "keeper" dinner. We had never done ka-bobs before, I know crazy. However, I had two chicken breasts and one steak so we just skewered them up along with some veggie ones and Rich grilled them. They were so good. I also made a batch of asparagus risotto, and you know what they say about asparagus...oh never mind. Wow it was a good meal. For the record I don't think that I could go a week without a food shot, so much of my week is spent cooking!!


Too Much Time On Their Hands

These 8th graders had WAY too much time on their hands and had WAY too much fun. During one of their free periods they built a ramp out of music stands and put an "X" with tape on one of their heads and tried to roll a small water bottle down the ramp to hit the "X". They had so much fun and laughed a lot!!

Impatient Pooch

This funny puppy was sitting in his car when we went to get frozen yogurt. Bella loves this picture, mostly because she loves dogs. I was so afraid that the owner was going to come out while I was taking this picture.

Maggie, My Personal Trainer

This is how close my dog Maggie was to me as I was stretching after doin' The Shred. She wouldn't leave be alone. I had to keep shooing her away. Don't worry Jillian no "phoning it in" for me with the Magster around.



We went to dinner at Red's BBQ and this is my proof that Andrew, my son, still exists. If you look REAL close you can actually see that he got his hair buzzed...finally. Of course my Bella is always in the mood for a picture.


My school had its "winter" party tonight. It was a luau. I got to hang out with Rich and my classroom mate and friend Lisa and her boyfriend Chris. We had a lot of fun. It is an odd thing not drinking and watching people you work with let loose. It is a real good social event for us all. It is fun to hang out with people who you don't always see everyday.

P.S. Geez, I need to get my haircut!!

"Mom, Phineas and Ferb are Making a Title Sequence"

Today my picture represents relaxing and just doin' not much of anything. Bella and I love watching Phineas and Ferb together and they had a new episode on today. If you haven't seen this cartoon, you gotta watch. It cracks me up!!

In Summary: I love to cook and I don't care who knows it!! I do have a son and now I can prove it. Dogs are just so funny, especially mine. Eighth graders are just like you me just more "inventive"... But mostly, I love hanging with my girl and you are NEVER too old for cartoons.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, February 26, 2010

Did You Know?

Did you know that I am not a very good delegater of recipes when I know that I am not going to be home before 6:30?
Did you know that I thought that I could get home at 6:30 and make a great meal of Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers with Roasted Potatoes?
Did you know that I am not a very good and responsible cook when I get home from work at 6:30?
Did you know that it is WAY easier to just go to Red's BBQ at 6:30 then to start cooking Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers with Roasted Potatoes?
Did you know that Red's BBQ has French Fries that are bigger than half eaten corn dogs?

Did you know that Bella's WOW-LOOK-AT-THAT face cracks me up?

Did you know that teenage boys don't like to get their picture taken?

Did you know that teenage boys with buzz haircuts look really good??

Did you know that we went to Red's BBQ on the night they were giving away a free dessert?

Did you know that they made martini glasses that big?

Did you know that it is hard to pick out only the vanilla ice cream from the huge dessert covered in chocolate sauce?

Did you know that I rose to the occasion?

Did you know how much Bella wanted me to take this picture and put it on my blog?

Did you know how scared I was that the owner of this dog was going to come out just as I was snapping this picture?

Did you know that it is very frustrating to get home late, help with homework, get a little girl to bed and sit down to blog only to have the computer konk out?

Did you know how easy it was to say "to heck with it" and go to bed early?

Pretty easy I tell you!!

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The One Where I Pull Out the White Flag

I realize that one quick way to be put on the social black list to to talk about religion or politics when gathering socially. However, I have had some very interesting conversations with my students this week regarding religion and I just feel the need to share.

Being a choir director in a school setting we always have to walk a fine line when it comes to singing religious pieces. Even though probably 85 percent of all choral music is religious based and to avoid religion would be avoiding a substantial chunk of our music history and be a disservice to the students we teach. I especially feel strongly about teaching each of my groups one Africian American Spiritual. February is Black History Month, Spirituals are the bases of ALL music that is truly American like jazz, blues, pop, R&B, AND it is a HUGE chunk of our American History.

OK, Amy, tell us how you REALLY feel.

Since I teach in a private school I have always had more leeway than if I were to teach in a public school. When I say leeway I mean that I have always been able to perform whatever I want, as long as I tried to be diverse and touch on many cultures and religions.

This past week has been a test on all of my aforementioned beliefs.


One of my Sixth Grade Chorus classes is singing the spiritual Ain' a That Good News. Two girls decide that since they are Jewish, as are over half of their classmates, they don't feel comfortable about singing a song about Jesus.

OK Amy here is your teachable moment.

So I go into my spiel about how this is part of our history, how I don't expect them to believe what the song suggests, but that I think it is important that they learn about that culture by singing a song that the slaves actually sang. Well the conversation that ensued turned into a big ol' middle school hissy fit. Some kids mad at the two that don't want to sing and some kids sticking up for the two. Come to find out that just as this classroom out of control and a teacher clearly unable to get a handle on this situation lively discussion was going on an admission tour was walking by my window looking like they were about to come into my classroom. A parent, administrator, and potential student were about to embark on the madness. My accompanist was panicking. She told me later that if that door would have started to open she was going to start playing one of our songs very loudly in hopes that I would catch on and just start singing.

I love my accompanist, she always has my back.


My Middle School Chorus consisting of seventh and eighth graders are singing the spiritual Little David Play on Your Harp. In the song the text Hallelu is repeated throughout the song. Here is one of the conversations between me and a couple of my students.

Student 1 - Ms. Roscigno I am not allowed to say the word Hallelu.

Me - Why not.

Student 1 - Because of Lent.

Me - You gave up the word Hallelu for Lent?

Student 1 - No Hallelu means the Lord is risin and he doesn't rise until Easter so we can't say that Hallelu until Easter

Me - (trying oh so very hard not to laugh) Well don't worry Hallelu does not mean the Lord is risin, I promise.

Student 2 - Well even if it did mean that we have had over a thousand Easters so far so just pretend you are talking about last year. Anyway this song is a Jewish song.

Me - I am pretty sure that this song is not part of the Jewish culture.

Student 2 - Is the David we are singing about Jewish?

Me - Yes

Student 2 - Is this song entirely about David and his harp?

Me - Yes

Student 2 - Well then....

Me - uhhhhh


My Upper School Chorus is singing a Shaker Song called Ye Followers of the Lamb and as we are rehearsing it another admissions tour comes walking in. The administrator who is giving the tour is one of my most very favorite students mother. After the tour leaves my student says "Oh great, my mom is going to ask me AGAIN, why we only sing religious songs."

So I am pleased to announce that next year my entire programming will be chosen from the Disney movie The Jungle Book.

Until PETA comes and gets upset that we are portraying animals in a unfair light.

Oy Vey!!

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boy is this a Random Dozen

It is time, thank goodness, for Linda's Random Dozen. It is a really random group of questions this time. Answer them on your blog and then link up at Linda's site. It is a whole bunch of random fun!!

Here I Go:

1. Have you ever fired a gun or shot a bow and arrow?
No, and it is a very good thing, because I am pretty sure involuntary man slaughter is still a felony.

2. Do you know where your childhood best friends are?
The farthest back I can go to a friend I currently have is about 8th grade. This makes me kind of sad...

3. Do you usually arrive early, late, or on time?
I believe to be early is to be on time, however, I have yet to instill that precious piece of life wisdom upon my kids. They are slower than a turtle stuck in molasses when it comes to getting out of the house and for that matter getting out of the dang car once we get to school. If I am the only one I need to get ready, and out of the house, I am early.

4. Are you more of a New York or California type?
Well since I live in California I guess that makes me a California type, but I would LOVE to be a New York type. New York city has always been a place that absolutely fascinates me. Just love it there.

5. Do you have a special ring tone?

btw - did you know that if you accidentally hit TAB when you are typing a post it publishes that is not very good thinking.

6. What is your favorite type of chip?
I love Salt and Vinegar potato chips. My step dad used to eat them when I was younger and I thought they were disgusting. Looking back I now wonder if it was the chips or the fact that my step dad liked them? It would probably take some deep therapy to figure that one out, and believe-you-me there are WAY more important things on the top of that list.

7. Best comedy you've ever seen is ....
Christmas Vacation. I realize that I am like a broken record on that one, but I laugh my buttocks off when I watch that movie...

8. Have you ever cut your own hair? To quote Dr. Phil, "How'd that work for ya?"
If I did it would have been that 2 year-old-got-a-hold-of-scissors hair cut. I have never cut my hair on purpose. If I am acutely aware of anything it is my limitations and that might just be at the top of the list...

9. If you were going to have an extreme makeover, would you rather it be about your house or your personal self?
Wow Linda, these questions are are tough little boogers.

I am all about improvement. The good Lord knows that my personal self needs a good overhaul, but I have seen those extreme body makeovers and to that I say - No. Thank. You. This is coming from the woman who went through natural childbirth, twice, because having an epidural required me to have a large needle inserted in me. So plastic surgery not so much an option for this chicken. I guess I would have to then say my house, except I am selling it. Wouldn't that be totally ironic...I extreme makeover my house and then sell it...ha ha.

10. Are you allergic to anything?
What are you my doctor or something??? Funny how doctors always ask that, shouldn't they know?? They are looking at my chart...and they have asked me that EVERY time I come it. My answer is always the same "not that I am aware of".

11. Why is it so hard to change?
You are killing me Linda. Geez. Am I going to get a bill for this couch session?
I am going to leave this one up to Peter Brady:

12. One last question dedicated to February love: CS Lewis said, "To love is to be vulnerable." Please share one example of that assertion or share any thought you'd like to about this topic.
In order to love and be loved with all the power that pure emotion entails, you must give in completely thus opening up yourself to be hurt. Anytime you open up yourself to be hurt you are vulnerable. You can't have true love without giving of yourself completely. It just doesn't work.
So there!

In Summary: I might need to get some NRA pamphlets, cause this girl is clearly lacking in the gun department, no militia for me. I am pretty sure that wasn't the "change" Linda was looking for, but when you teach middle school boys to sing "change" has a whole new meaning. I could probably use an extreme makeover for both me and my house, and as long as I don't have to cut my own hair or deal with needles, sign me up. But most importantly I have found the person that I can love without worry, with total vulnerability, and it makes me feel amazing. It is a many splendored thing.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, February 22, 2010


Have you ever wondered where Pig Latin originated?? I am sure that really hasn't crossed your mind in awhile, as other life pondering questions have taken over. Well I did in conjunction with writing this post, so I did a little research. However the author of the site I found lost me at " first the idea was to simply amuse using puns Latin endings appended to English roots" but if you are suddenly curious and have a couple of hours to blow here is her site.

I didn't think so...

My theory was it was started with a group of teenagers who were bored and wanted to pull one over on the adults. Just like when I was in junior high my group of friends started, what we called, "elf" language. It was simple. You put the word elf before any vowel sound. So my name Amy would be elf-a-melf-e. And saying Good Morning would be Gelf-ood Melf-or-nelfing.

Wow that really brings back memories, and not all of them good I might add. Like those awful glasses and braces and really digging this guy who I though was nerdy enough to like nerdy old me but clearly I was a level of nerdy he wouldn't touch, because he didn't give me the time of day...sigh.


My daughter is trying to be the next developer of a non-existent language. However, hers is a bit more subtle and is going to be WAY harder to master.

It all started with Rich. He has been making funny faces at her when he sees her. She has decided that he is trying to communicate with her, and that they have now developed their own language.
Here is a picture of them "communicating". BTW's this picture may or may not have been taken at our favorite restaurant, Reds. And we may or may not have gone there because mama didn't not want to cook chili after soccer practice, cleaning up after a sick dog, and a long days work.
This was her first attempt at telling me I love you in her new language, however, after seeing the picture she said that her nose wasn't scrunched enough so we had to try again.

This clearly is better. Thank goodness for the clarification. We wouldn't want to offend anyone. I just hope people don't start to think she is having a stroke and innocent medics get involved.

She tells me that I'll never know what they are saying.

I'm thinkin' neither will Rich.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far

As I sit down on a Sunday night to write my blog post I have many thoughts running through this cluttered brain.
I could tell you all about Bella wearing her bunny ears around tonight, and needing to make four colored squids out of Sculpty clay because she decided that the pieces in a classroom board game were falling apart and they needed new ones.

OK, sounds reasonable.

But what I was really looking forward to showing you was a picture of my son's new haircut. He has always had his hair buzzed, as he has always liked it really short. However, the trend these days especially in California is to have longer hair. So he decided he would like to try to grow his hair out. Well Bella didn't like it long, as you can tell by her Valentine's Day Card to me. I really didn't like it long, but I bit my tongue hoping that Andrew would come to that conclusion all on his own.

Thankfully, he did.

I really wanted to take a picture of his new haircut.

After much reasoning on my part which may or may not have included me reminding him how he got on this earth, who feeds him, and who makes sure he has clothes on his back and a roof over his head. He wouldn't let me.

For some reason he has this aversion to having his picture taken. How crazy is that?? I know this is coming from someone who gets hot flashes when she has to backtrack, has an obsessively neat Tupperware cupboard, and can't seem to drive anywhere without having a conversation with the cars around me.

I know this about me...I was hoping for better for my kids.

Bella isn't spared either.

When she first learned how to use our shower Rich told her that she needed to snap twice before turning on the water. She and he giggled and she frequently asked me before I showered if I snapped.

I thought she was kidding.

Apparently not.

As I sit here typing the post Bella is in the bathroom about to take her shower when I hear...snap snap and then water.

I think all of these things are called personality.



More Later
- A Ro

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project 365 Week 8

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It's Week 8 of Sara at Make Music With Your Heart's Project 365. Go on over to her blog and check out all of our weeks in pictures.

Here's mine:

Happy Valentine's Day
Here is my girl with her favorite thing from her Valentine's bag. A Club Penguin 30 day membership. She loves penguins and so this on-line site is perfect for her. Of course Andrew got a Valentine's bag too, but he ran screaming when I pulled out my camera. I swear people are going to start wondering where the heck my son went to.

Vocabulary Words Made Easy
Bella has a BIG vocabulary test next week so we made flashcards and played the memory game. She ACTUALLY had fun doing this. Where is my Mother of the Year award, I'm tellin' you??

A Five, Six, Seven, Eight
I realize that my Tuesday pictures for a while have been in this room, with these kids, but it is where I am and this is what is going on. Here they are working on a routine that will eventually include bowler hats. So for today they grabbed what they had just so they would have something in their hands. You'll see shoes, calculators, and folders. One of my students even had her lunch box.

Let the Games Begin
Today was Bella's first soccer practice. It was such a busy afternoon, it is a wonder I made it through without having to drink heavily...ha ha. Don't worry, I did (get through it not drink heavily). However, this is the day that I lose my Mother of the Year Award that I got on Monday.

A Lunch Date
Here are my Thursday lunch buddies. I wrote a post about them here. How do you look at this picture and not smile?? I am one lucky teacher.

Coffee House
Every year our school puts on a student talent show called Coffee House. They decorate the black box theater and students perform songs, skits, poetry, and short stories. It is such a fun evening. Rich and I took Bella, Andrew and his friend Jamo. My students were awesome and I was so proud of each and every one of them.

Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine
So it is late on Saturday evening and I am realizing that I haven't taken a picture today yet. Let me tell you it wasn't that much of a picture worthy day. However, as I am walking around trying to figure out what picture to take Rich is busy cleaning up the kitchen and doing dishes all by himself. This is the day I lose the Fiancee of the Year Award. How dare I let him do all the work?? Will he ever forgive me??

In Summary: Yes I still have a son named Andrew...I promise, and I am still engaged even though I am a slacker. Andrew playing baseball and Bella playing soccer will be the death of me. But looking back on this week I realize that even though I work my tail off, I really do have the coolest job ever.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, February 19, 2010

Songbird Rising from the Ashes

I want to sing again...

...there I said it.

I was reading one of my colleagues blogs. He is an English and Creative Writer teacher. I think he reads my blog sometimes.

That scares me a little.

Anyway he is a very good teacher, I know this because my son had him. He is a very good writer.

I read his blog too.

See he can be both. He can pursue his writing career AND be a good teacher.

Why can't I??

I want to pursue my singing AND be a good teacher.

So today when my room was empty, I pulled out my aria book and sang away.

I still have some chops although they are a bit rusty.

So I have decided to take the following steps to move myself towards singing again.

  1. I will sing everyday. Singing with my students doesn't count.

  2. I will sing with good technique even when I am singing with my students. No laziness.

  3. I will use my voice in everyday talking in a healthy way. No more talking over students. No poor vocal health.
These things will be very hard. I am a HUGE creature of habit. I realize that those are just first steps to singing again, but with my busy schedule that is really all I can realistically handle.

Wish me luck and I'll keep you informed.

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Juliette and Eliza

I have two Seventh Grade students who grace me with their presence every Thursday during their lunch. They not only have to traverse the campus to get to my room, they also give up eating lunch with their giggly, gossipy, fun friends to come eat with this 40 year old music teacher who doesn't remember how to giggle or know who Justin Bieber is currently dating. But they come anyway.

It makes my day.

Here are some of the things that get discussed:
  • Hair cuts
  • We complain that there isn't enough stuffing in the regular Oreos.
  • Juliette talks about her nephew whom she lovingly refers to as "Fatty", sometimes she draws pictures of him on my white board.
  • Eliza tells us about living in Maine and how much she misses it.
  • Why does Juliette saves her chips for last? Because they take the longest to eat.
  • We tell Juliette how much we miss her in choir.
  • Juliette tells us how she would rather be in choir than her mandated computer class.
  • I tell her that learning about computers is very important
  • We come up with ideas on ways to deal with mean girls and cute boys.
  • The dress code and how Eliza's hot lime shoes haven't gotten her in trouble yet.
  • Eliza and I try to convince Juliette that tomatoes are very very bad for you.
  • Why Juliette has to take Chinese because she already speaks Spanish and French
  • Eliza tells us how hard it is to be the child of a celebrity
  • Juliette tells us how hard it is to be the child of a teacher at her school.
  • That Eliza's brother will tell her he loves her only on Tuesdays
  • Complaining about how peanut butter sandwiches get stuck in your braces
  • Old songs we sang last year in choir and how "young" they were.
OK I guess I do giggle a little, but I still have no idea who Justin Bieber is dating.

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The One Where You Roll Your Eyes About Half Way Through

It is days like this that really do me in. Here is a recap, so you can leave me a comment and say "Aw poor baby" or "Buck it up" or rub your fingers together and say "Here is the worlds smallest violin playing your sad sad song" or "Would you like a little cheese with that wine" Really, anything you pick will work just fine.

It is days like today where I have no idea how working mothers with MORE than two kids do it.

4:30 - Up doing the level 3 of the 30 day shred...I know what was I thinking?

5:15 - Showering and getting ready

5:45 - Trying disparately to make lunches and breakfast so that I am not late. Not to mention making sure the house is presentable. Since we are trying to sell it, it probably shouldn't look like Neanderthals live here, not that there is anything wrong with Neanderthals...actually I have no idea how they live, it just sounded good. Thankfully Rich took care of the bed and the dishwasher...

6:10 - Out the door to pick up the kids from dad.

6:40 - Coffee Bean in Hand Gather kids and head to school.

6:50 - Get to school and start the process of trying to hustle the kids out of the car. I am not kidding they take FOREVER to get out of the car. I know...right??

7:00 - Zero block class, vocal to sing some old jazz standards and hear some solos on "Somebody to Love" I hate picking solos, I have a hard time picking one student over another especially when they are of equal abilities.

7:50 - Finish rehearsal and to faculty room for some quick copies.

8:00 - Subbing for a homeroom

8:05 - Throw chairs around room to set up for my Upper School Chorus

8:10 - Upper School Chorus rehearsal, more solo picking, more of the guilty feelings.

9:40 - Finish rehearsal and quickly check e-mail, put out a few fires, and quickly fill up my To-Do list.

9:50 - First Sixth Grade Chorus class, gave them the bad news about the quiz on Monday, I know a quiz in music could I??

10:30 - Go to the bathroom, and I only had 7 minutes to get to bathroom and re-set up for next class...yes I made it, c'mon you doubted me??

10:37 - Second Sixth Grade Chorus class, they are a class behind, so they didn't get the quiz they still like me!!

11:20 - Finally sat down for the first time since 4:30, well except the car ride, and man it felt good.

11:45 - Ate lunch while I trolled some blogs.

12:30 - 1:45 - It is amazing how this time fills up so fast. Copying, preparing for rehearsals, grading papers, answering e-mails, arranging kids schedules, random student interactions. OK a little chatting with colleagues.

1:50 - Set up for Middle School Chorus

1:55 - Middle School Chorus.

2:45 - Grab a quick snack of oranges and biscotti

3:00 - Upper School musical rehearsal.

4:15 - Rush out of school with Bella, change in car (her not me) and head off to soccer.

5:00 - Soccer, spilling Caffeine Free Diet Coke on my beach chair, so had to stand for most of practice...did I mention how tired I was and how much my feet hurt by this time.

6:00 - Back home, thankfully Rich got off early so he could go pick up Andrew from baseball so I didn't have to head BACK to school to get him...30 minutes away.

6:15 - Starting dinner

6:45 - Eating dinner

7:10 - Cleaning up dinner, staring homework with Bella and checking some e-mail, and I may or may not have checked Facebook.

8:00 - Wednesday night ice cream, and I may or may not have had a cup of soft serve with rainbow sprinkles.

8:30 - Sitting here complaining blogging.

Thank you oh so very much for letting me vent and I hope we are still friends.

More Later

- A Ro

And the Gold Medal Goes to: The Random Dozen (yahhhah)

I sure do looovvveee some Random Dozen on a Tuesday night. If you do too and want to see what randomness lies about, go on over to Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee take a peek. If you are really brave you will go on over and link up your own crazy's fun...really.

1. If you could compete in one Olympic event (not necessarily winter sports) what would it be?

As crazy as it sounds I would love to speed skate. I know it is a hard sport, (I realize that is a grand understatement, like saying "giving birth is hard work"), but they make it look so effortless and just flying around that ice track (can't remember the official word for it, but I am sure there must be one) Although last summer Olympics I decided that I would like to enter the Clean and Jerk. There was a 40 year old mom from America that entered and I thought I could do that!!! I think my only hope, quite frankly, would be curling. Wielding a broom is something I am good at.

2. Do remember a specific Olympic moment from the past?

I can't help but recall the Kerri Strug perfect ten vault with an injured ankle and Bela Karolyi carrying her to the!! Then I sometimes her parents could stand even watching that happen. Seeing her get so hurt and then watching her do it!!(again)

3. Have you ever known anyone who competed in the Olympics?

No that would be too cool, even for this diva.

4. If everyday activities were Olympic-worthy, which activity would you have a gold medal in?

Oh man, you opened a can of worms on this one...Here is a small list:

  1. Worrying
  2. Obsessing about Tupperware cupboards
  3. Road rage
  4. Making a mess in my kitchen
  5. Shoe shopping

If you want an answer that puts me in a good light I would have to say brownie making.

5. Do you know anything about your ethnic heritage?

I am a mutt...I have a lot of Swedish in me, evident by the fact that I could survive a cold winter on my fat stores and still birth babies with these hips. Other than that...mutt.

6. Do you enjoy sleeping late?

I enjoy sleeping...period. However, I am not able to sleep too "late" because I just feel like I am wasting time by lolly gagging in bed all day. So if getting up at 7:30 instead of 4:30 is sleeping late, then yes I am a big fan of that.

7. Have you ever performed CPR on anyone? Do you know how? (Yes, that's two, I know. Whatevs.)

No I have never had to perform CPR on anyone. Yes I know how, if knowing how means I can perform CPR on a plastic dummy that smells like alcohol, has no legs, and is named Annie. Any other situation might cause me to go into panic mode and need CPR myself. I'd like to think that I might rise to the occasion, but if it is going to be you then you might hope there is a doctor near by.

8. Name one country you'd like to visit and explain why.

Studying as much Italian opera as I have, I would love to go visit Italy. I just love that language and culture...maybe someday.

9. Have you ever fixed up a couple romantically?

I try to stay out of that business. Next thing you know I am hooking up the next Tiger Woods, or Lorianna Bobbitt. I just can't handle the possible outcomes of my matchmaking...too much pressure.

10. What is the last book you read?

Brain Rules by John Medina. I know it sounds all "scientific" sounding but I am always looking for ways to understand the human brain and thus make me a better teacher.

11. Does it bother you when our athletes get up on the gold medal stand and bumble through our national anthem?

Wow what a great question, Amy. Yes, as a matter of fact it does bother me, thanks for asking. I have a hard time finding fault with those athletes. We as a society don't value music education or really singing anything other than the top 40. We can't have any attachment to a specific song when we don't have any attachment to singing culturally. Not to mention that it is a really hard song to learn and sing, but that it another soap box for another time when Linda gives us a freebie random dozen question.

12. What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?

This is like asking me what my favorite pair of shoes are...have you seen my closet? Likewise you haven't seen the number on my scale? If I must choose I would say veggie pizza at Palermos. There I said it.

In Summary: I will never win an Olympic medal unless I start petitioning for general psychosis or Brownie making to be events. Maybe I need to rethink my weekend alarm clock setting and quite possibly re-read my CPR manual. I think I would be a better matchmaker, if I would put down the brain mumbojumbo books and pick up a romance novel, but then maybe some self help books might be a better solution.

More later

- A Ro

Monday, February 15, 2010

The One Where I Decide to Leave My Daughter More Stuff Than My Son In My Will

I have to start off with a question to all four 1/2 of you. Lets just say I post a post, and then while reading said post I find that I left out a comma, or put the word "day" instead of "say", hypothetically of course because we all know how diligent and meticulous I am. But just for the sake of argument I did that and then fix it and re post. Does it show up in your blog feed each time I re post?? This is really important because I need to know how carefully I should proof read before I post, cause if there is something I hate more than tomatoes, celery, freeway looky-loos, and moving it is proof reading.

Thank you and now back to the regularly scheduled post:

Running errands with both kids in the backseat makes for trouble great conversation.

Now it is a true alignment of the stars to actually have both kids in my car when I am running errands. Andrew is now old enough to stay home with Bella when I need to run a few errands, and for some reason she would rather stay at home and play Club Penguin than walk endlessly through grocery store aisles because her mom can't seem to put a coherent grocery list together....hmmm.

Anyway one of today's errands was to get Andrew new shoes so he had to go, although he would probably try to convince me that he didn't actually need to be there I could just take an old shoe and estimate....did I mention he hates going out on errands too? He just knows me too well, we go out for shoes and end up at Target for hours.

So I load both kids up in the car, along with Rich, because, according to Bella, Rich likes to be wherever I am...(did I mention how much I love that man)?? Did I also mention that none of us have school or work today?

On our way home from our errands we start talking about having a garage sale. If you know me you know I hate garage sales. If you don't know me and want the top 10 reasons why I hate garage sales you can check out my I Hate Garage Sales post. But we probably are going to have to have one because of our upcoming move/downsizing/pain in my butt.

Here is how this conversation went:

Mom: (testing out my daughter voice) Should we sell your bike Bella?

Bella: (sad voice) I really don't want to learn how to ride a bike, so I guess we should sell it.

Andrew: (voice of reason voice) C'mon Bella you are going to want to know how to ride a bike someday.

Bella: (snotty little sister voice) What do you think...I am going to enter the Bicycle Olympics.

I kid you not, that is what she said...

Andrew: (sarcastic older brother voice) Good thinking Bella 'cause the only time you will EVER want to ride a bike would be the Bicycle Olympics...whatever that is? You are going to want a bike when you go to college because all your friends will have one and want you to go too.

Bella: I won't mind because I will have my mom.

awwww, I love her most!!!

Andrew: C'mon Bella we all know that in 3 years you will want nothing to do with your mom.


Me: (slapped in the face voice) Do you realize that I am in the car and can hear you?

Andrew: You know its true, mom, about the age of 13 is when it happens.

Bella: I will always want my mom.

awwww, I love her most!!!

Andrew: What about your friends?

Bella: What if my friends are mean to me.

Me: (hurt mom voice) Wait a minute...So Andrew what you are saying is you want nothing to do with your mom anymore?

Andrew: You know that it is only GIRLS that feel that way.

that boy of mine is a VERY quick thinker...

Me: Ah yes of course.

Andrew better be careful or he will end up with a little neon sticker on him with $.25 on it... just kidding, I love him more than my Kitchen Aid Mixer.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Just an Ordinary Day...Except with Gifts!!

First things first. A couple of comments have asked me questions and if these questions were yours here are the links to answer them...if not...well then...carry on.

Cake pop recipe

The Rich and Amy story one left out detail...our brothers ran into each other in Iowa while we were, unbeknown'st to each other, divorcing in California.

I had a very nice Valentine's Day. Except, really, each and everyday with Rich is like Valentine's Day. He is always attentive, loving, kind, and adores me. Today was no different, except I got gifts!!! Rich got me some pajamas from Victoria's Secret...and no I am talking about real every night pajamas, but I just love VS pajamas. The kids (aka Rich) got me a beautiful heart necklace. My daughter made me a great card. On the front and inside there were the usual cut out hearts, lots of "we love you's" but one of the inside parts was this:

Some explanation:
  1. Rich is the "bad man" Bella has named him this. She says he is a great person, but a bad man. This comes from anytime he would do something she didn't like or would tease her, she would say Rich you are a baaad maaan.

  2. Maggie is "goose"...I could try to explain how Maggie got that nickname, but it would be easier to explain quantum

  3. Bella is booty bongo girl. We watch Phineas and Ferb and they had a show that had a song called Betty Bongos in it. Well one morning I was getting her up and her little booty was sticking up in the air so I started singing and playing the booty bongos....yeah that explanation was a little better than the quantum physics attempt but not much...we are a weird family.

  4. Andrew is Mr. "I need a haircut" He ALWAYS kept his hair buzzed. I was so happy that I didn't have to deal with a hippy boy like all the other boys with their surfer dude looks. Alas he has decided he wants to "grow it out". I am only hoping that he gets sick of it before I do. Clearly Bella has reached her threshold.

  5. But did you notice that they love me so so so so so plus infinity??? That's a lot, I'm telling you.
We had our first open house today, so Rich and I had to vacate the premises. We had a nice lunch at TGIFriday's while watching the Daytona 500. He is not feeling well, I mean to say he is SICK!! Poor guy. Yet he still opened the door for me to get in the car, and anywhere else we went, he still told me how beautiful I was at every turn and I got a couple of whistles, or as Bella would day "Mom, Rich just woot wooed you." Yes even sick the man makes me feel adored.

I will leave you with this picture. This is my niece Abby.

I love this picture for the following reasons a) she is smiling that great big smile b) she has red hair c) she is my niece d) she has her heart footy pajamas on e) she is the cutest thing on the face of this earth.

I hope you had a great Valentine's Day, even if it was just an ordinary day with gifts!!

More later

- A Ro

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Project 365 Week 7

It is time once again to take a peek into the lives of fellow bloggers with Sara at Make Music With Your Heart's Project 365.

Project 365 button designed by

Here is what my week looked like:


Under One Roof

With the return of Bella and Andrew and Rich being home, I went to bed Sunday night with my family back under one was really comforting, and I am sure short lived. I will enjoy it while I can.


Ill Prepared

Here are three of my students auditioning for our school's Coffee House. It is an evening with poetry, theater, and music. We decorate our Black Box Theater like a small coffee shop with live entertainment. These three failed to copy the music they needed so they all crowded around the piano with one teeny, tiny, fake book...too funny.


Why I Love My Job

Musical theater rehearsal, with very very crazy kids. It really makes the long afternoons bareable. Carly and Chelsea are making their chipmunk faces...not really sure why.


Invention Convention

Today was the Fourth Grade Invention Convention. My daughter's invention was called Lazy Bella's Ball Thrower. It is a device that throws the ball for our dog Maggie so we don't have to get up off the couch. She looks so very cute in her unifom. Don't you think??


Life Changes

It would be nice if all of the pictures of 365 could be happy ones, but you know what that isn't life. Today's picture has been one of a few that will really capture this day. We are losing our house. The divorce, the state budget cuts, and the bottomed out market has caused us to have to short sell our house, hopefully. Today when we got home from school the sign was in the yard. Now before you are too sad for me, to me a house is just a shell, it is what's inside that makes it a home, and I am certain that God has a plan for us. Everything will be just fine, I know that in my heart.


Valentine Cake Pops

Bella and I made cake pops for her teachers last night. I forgot to take a picture last night but remembered before we boxed them up today...phew. We had "fun" making them and ALL of her teachers are so glad to get a pop for the holidays.


Running Shoes

This picture is a sad one. I got up to run today. I have not exercised for a week because I hurt my knee and today I took this picture as I got dressed so I could document my first day back on the street. However, I never got my run in. I was a little nervous about doing it as I didn't want to re-injure my knee but I was just gonna do it. Until I went downstairs and my ipod was out of was an omen. So here is my picture of what didn't not happen today...ha ha.

In summary: I love my job (I know you are all getting tired of hearing that). My daughter is the cutest little inventor there is and hopefully her invention will be the next Snuggie. I need to get my lazy butt out of bed tomorrow morning and hit the pavement...those shoes look awfully lonely!! Most of all I need to start collecting boxes (and ben gay) for the move ahead and thank God each night for the peace I feel.

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Think I Need an Intervention

Why is Valentine's Day on a Sunday?

Why is Bella's Valentine's Day party on the Friday BEFORE Valentine's Day, when clearly MONDAY would be CLOSER to the ACTUAL Valentine's Day?

Why do I have to be the kind of Mom that HAS to BAKE and CREATE and make people HAPPY?

Why does writing in capital letters indicate emphasis?

Clearly the many questions in my mind just had to be pushed into the mental file folder along with "Why drivers drive slow in the fast lane?" and "Why does it rain the day after you get your car washed?"

Because yesterday when I got home from working, and putting gas in my car (because I can't seem to do it before the gas light goes on), feeding my children, and running an important errand AS I helped with homework and the Valentine's Day cards Bella needed to prepare WITH Rich being gone having had to work the late shift I made:

As I was putting the last of the dirty dishes in the dishwasher at 10:15 pm absolutely warn out I wondered why the heck did I do all of that??
Then I realize that making myself is just what I do.

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Laziness Not Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Today was the Fourth Grade Invention Convention. It is like a Science fair, but instead of vinegar and baking soda volcanoes they made up inventions.

Now as I am pondering my daughters invention I am realizing that the apple did not fall far from the I-hate-to-get-off-my-butt tree. Then I thought about most inventions these days, all are about feeding our lazy sides. I mean after you invent all the necessities of life like electricity, central heat and air, indoor plumbing and the Snuggie, what's left except items that allow us to work less. You've got remote controls, power steering, elevators, microwaves, and the Clapper. We are a society looking to sit on our butts.
These fourth graders really had their finger on the pulse of society.
One Fourth Grader invented the dog bed that has everything a dog would need at a paws reach. Don't think I didn't get ideas on how to set up my bed to look like this. Mini fridge, water cooler, box of books, i-touch, and laptop. Only problem is I would end up just like this poor big as my bed.
Another invented this Sick Shirt. It has all the things you would need if you were ill stuck to your shirt. Kleenex, cough drops, Tylenol, even a tooth brush and hair brush. I am thinking to myself why stop at items you need when you are sick. I need a shirt that Velcros my car keys, phone, lip gloss, and wallet to me. It isn't laziness it is just being prepared.
Now Bella was no different. In fact the word Lazy is even in her title.

Bella's invention is a catapult meant to throw the ball for your dog. When you are sitting on your butt watching TV and the dog wants to play with you all you have to do is train your dog to put the ball in the bowl and you stomp on one end to send the ball flying. So now we can add playing with your dog to the list of things we can sit on our booty to do. The only work you have to do is put your foot down on the one side...oh and train your dog to put a ball in a bowl. Obviously lots of people are looking for an easy way out too. She was totally swamped with visitors. She expressed to me afterwards that being an inventor takes a lot of energy. Standing there giving her pitch to customer after customer was really tiring. I told her that once she makes it big we have an invention that sells your stuff without you even breaking a sweat.

It is called telemarketing. Sign her up she said...

....that's my girl.

More Later

- A Ro

Ahh Love to Love the Dozen...

It is that time once again!! Head over to Linda at 2nd Cup. Tell her to get better, answer her random dozen, enter her giveaway, and link that order!!

1. Are you pleasant when you're ill, or are you a grumpy, fussy patient?
I am very pleasant. I think in general moms have to be...I mean the saying "If Mama ain't happy no one is happy" is very true. I just keep on truckin'...I might have a little less steam, but I am happy darn it.

2. When you find out that school is canceled (due to inclement weather) what is your gut reaction?

am I making myself clear??

3. What is one domestic skill you wish you could improve?
I am constantly trying to make myself stay on top of my domestic engineering skills. If I would just learn that 15 minutes a day would make a BIG difference I'd be OK. But this would require my procrastination self to take a much needed vacation...then again that just might solve all of my problems...hmmmm...

4. Do you decorate your home for Valentine's Day?
I have a few things that I put out sometimes. I always have a traveling coffee mug that I use to celebrate the season, but mostly it is a few towels, a couple of little knick knack-y things, not too much, but it makes me happy!!

5. What song is on your mind today?
My job is one non stop play list of all the things my students are singing. Today it was a french folk song called "Ton The"...It just spun around and around all day.

6. Do you prefer contemporary movies or classic?
Unfortunately I am the girl who only likes movies with the word "vacation" in the title and starring Chevy Chase...

ok I am not THAT bad

I would say mostly contemporary, but I do love the old movie musicals...sorry Linda...

7. How well do you "compartmentalize" your feelings? For example, how well can you put aside a really trying moment to deal with the immediate situation which is not related to the trying moment, e.g., putting aside a tiff with your spouse in order to finish wallpapering a room.
It all depends. If the other task is teaching, I can put anything aside, in fact my teaching and job really got me through my divorce. I just bucked it up and got it done. Any other task doesn't seem to have the same effect.

8. What is the first thing that attracted you to your spouse? (Or if you're single, to your best friend.)
He was tall, handsome, kind, and very attentive. He was very very mature for his young age of 17. I was totally taken...and still am 25 years later!!

9. When was the last time your heart raced?
Probably the very first time I was ever on stage. It still gets my heart a racing.

10. What are your memories of Valentine's Day at school?
OK this is going to sound VERY pathetic. I always remember that I NEVER got a "special" valentine from someone like some of my friends did. I was a late bloomer...and I am thankful for that.

11. If you were going to receive candy for Valentine's Day, which would you prefer?

am I making myself clear??

12. Red or pink?
I would have to say pink, I am a girly girl at heart. Power red has never done anything for me, but give me something pink and frilly and I am all a flutter!!

In Summary: Judging from my reaction to school cancellations I need to live somewhere other than we-never-miss-school-California. I really need to get my procrastination side a one way ticket to Justdoitville...and I think I need to expand my Netflix queue. I really need my doc to understand my absolute love for all things chocolate and peanut butter. But mostly I really need to thank God for my students, they are such a distraction...not to mention distracted too...ha ha.

More later

- A Ro

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ah To Be A Teenager Again...NOT

C'mon you must remember what it felt like to be a teenager. You know that time of your life where you think that your heart will never stop breaking, and at the same time worried more about what your outfit of the day will be more than that looming Algebra test.

Yeah I thought you might remember those things.

Do you remember what it was like to make a mistake? An innocent juevenile mistake. Not the malicious I know-what-I-am-doing-is-wrong-but-am-deciding-to-do-it-anyway mistake...cause those kind of mistakes, I don't have a lot of patience for. The kind of mistake I am talking about is the kind of mistake that you really made accidently, but still really shakes you up. You fear what your parents are going to say, and how this is going to affect you. In fact moments after the mistake you feel like you want to dig a hole and crawl in.

I remember those feelings too.

I felt those feelings once again having looked into the face of a teenager moments after she made that kind of mistake...

moments after she...

...rear ended me on the way to school. the pouring rain. her new car.

Her face when we got out of our cars to assess the damage almost brought tears to my eyes. She was so sorry, and so completely frazzled.

Now to be totally honest, I don't know what it is like to get into a car accident as a teenager, because that kind of mistake was not one I made, but before you think that I am trying to sound perfect...I could literally write a book about all the rest of the mistakes I made.

I felt for her.

I really hope that my reaction and kind words helped her to at least get through her day with some ease before...

...she has to tell her parents.

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Project 365 Week 6

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It is time once again to let you peek into my week. Go on over to Sara's blog and take a some peeks into other people's weeks too.

Messy Marvin

This is the state of my kitchen after I cook a big meal. I actually closed the refrigerator before I took this...yeah I am horrible.


Poor Baby

My girl is good at math, but she hates it so. Tonight she had to multiply three numbers and she was not happy. I just love the look on her face...really not posed, she was a sad girl.


Hurry Home

Rich is an air traffic controller who just started a new job. It gives him weekends off, but sometimes he has to work weird shifts. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week he worked 4:00 pm to 1:00 am. So I didn't get to see him for about 64 hours, as he was asleep when I went to work, and I was asleep when he got home. It was hard, I felt all out of whack.


Cuddle Bug

Bella and I had some much needed cuddle time on Wednesday (see next picture). She is just so cuddly, I hope that never changes...yeah I know...good luck with that.


Empty Nest...a Preview

Bella and Andrew went with their dad to visit relatives in Los Vegas on Thursday night until Sunday afternoon. I don't like having an empty nest. Thankfully I have a few more years, but they do go by oh so fast.


Don't Leave Me

My School hosted a honors choir festival this weekend. Here are two of my students who participated. They both are Seniors this tear. I have known and sung with Lucy (girl on right) since her sixth grade year. She is one of those gals who listens to everything you say and implements it. I am going to miss her. Rachella has had me for four years and is quiet and mighty. They both are very talented and I will miss them very much.


Samba Guru

Last night Rich and I went to see one of my good friend's band Samba Guru. He is the one at the keyboard. They are an amazing Brazilian band with such talented and generous people. It was a very fun night. You all should go check them out, just click on the link above and be prepared for some fun music.

In summary: I need my peeps all under one roof, this being gone doesn't sit well with me. I need someone to follow me around the kitchen when I cook and just keep me from whacking my head on cabinets. I will miss my seniors very much...I wonder if could just keep them under my roof too?? Who needs college??

More Later

- A Ro