April 16, 2006...Happy Easter

Well, today I'm mourning the end of my Easter (or Spring, as I teach in public school) break. I had such big plans for what I would accomplish during break...plan out the rest of my year (yeah, right), get the house REALLY clean (not much better), do fun things with the kids (did accomplish some of that), and a host of other things that kind of got lost in the shuffle.

What did I accomplish in nearly 10 days off (counting weekends, of course)? I did our taxes, and we owe an exciting $36 to the great state of Illinois, but Missouri is sending us back $15! I read two books (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The DaVinci Code, which I had actually bought to send to Jim in Iraq but figured I really should read it first!), sent Jim a package of goodies to make life a little nicer in the beach with no water, and did plant some perinnials to liven up a dark corner of the yard...oh, and add a couple of entries to my blog! So I guess I did manage to get a few things done, huh? List the positive things, and it all looks better.

We made sure to get lots of pictures of Jacob and Kelsea with their Easter baskets...obviously couldn't get dressed before checking them out! It's been so unseasonably hot here that Jacob has been sleeping in his diaper. Crazy weather for April! We really should have waited to have them check out the baskets until after breakfast, because once Jacob had a bite of candy, it was all over for the healthy food! We had a lovely fit over the removal of the basket until after breakfast. I did finally manage to get him to eat, though, but telling him not to eat! My little oppositional darling...I'm sure we're setting ourselves up for trouble by feeding into it, but sometimes the only way to get him to do what you want is to tell him not to. Of course, then it probably won't hold much water with him when I yell, "No! Don't go into the road!!", but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Oh, and his favorite thing was the "David" book we got him (he loves the book No, David! by David Shannon...I was going to buy it for him, but the bookstore only had it in hardback, and I'm not spending $16.00 on a book that is in for some rough times with a 2-yr-old! So I got him one of the board books instead.)

The demon child was an absolute angel in chuch, though! He was SO good! We even had compliments about his behavior. He was just a doll...looking around for Father (he loves priests!), reading his books, playing peek-a-boo with the people behind us...it was a lot of fun. After Mass, it was off to my MIL's house for Easter. My extended family celebrated at an uncle's house 2 hours away, and my MIL pretty well expects that we WILL be there for every holiday with her. I love my in-laws, but that expectation (demand, really) rankles. Seems like my family usually comes in second. Jeff is really good about supporting going to my mom's, but he was really not wanting to miss out completely on his mom's house.

Thank goodness my mom isn't demanding of our time. She's always happy to have us there, but if we chose to celebrate only with my in-laws, I doubt she'd say a word. She told me once that she'd watched her sisters-in-law get pulled to pieces between two sides of the family, trying to keep everybody happy, and promised that she'd never do that to us. And my family is very different. Three of the four of my brothers and I have lived a significant distance from home at one time or another and had to miss holidays due to distance, jobs, etc. My MIL has never had her kids live any further than 20 minutes from her.

As frustrated as I get about the holiday shuffle, I know how lucky we are to have two sides of the family who are close, get together regularly, and want us there. I can remember being 4 hours away from my mom's house at Christmas, sitting in my then-MIL's house watching cable television and eating frozen pizza, in tears because I knew that my family was together at my mom's house celebrating together. Quite a few of my aunts and uncles still come to my mom's house for the holidays, so they are kind of like mini-family reunions.

Whew...the blog is almost as long as the day!! Probably the last long entry until summer break...the end of the school year is such a push...trying to make sure that you've taught the kids every last thing that you can possibly manage, assessment, field trips, classroom parties, end-of-the-year activities, etc. And, since I teach Special Education, annual reviews to go over each of my students' progress for the year in detail and implement a plan for the next year. It'll be crazy, but I can't imagine a job more rewarding unless I was paid to parent my kids!


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