Moving Day

Tater Tales has officially moved!

Please follow me to my new home at  Purty please with a tater on top?  I hope to see you there, friends!

From Trike to Bike…Almost

David put Tater Tot’s second bike together last night and showed great restraint by not sitting on it.

It took a little coaxing, but Tater Tot finally agreed to a little lesson.

He gave it a good try.

Eventually he said he wanted to walk it for a little bit.  Just to be safe.

That’s okay.

There’s nothing wrong with being on the safe side.

Another MODNAR Post

Sometimes RANDOM/MODNAR is all that will come out of my brain.  I’m hoping things will get better and I’ll have more ideas for posts once these first couple of weeks of school are behind me.  It takes a little while to get back into the swing of things.

MODNAR #1 – The heat index has been so high lately that we’ve only been able to take our classes outside to play twice since school started.  We were coming back in yesterday, and one of my sweetie pies said, “OH!  I just might fall out from all this hot heat!”  She has a flair for the dramatic, but I thought is was cute.

MODNAR #2 – It appears that I’ve been relieved of my weekend maid duties.  David has hired a cleaning service to come tomorrow and give the house a deeeeeeeep de-dirtying.  What can I say?  The man is a saint.  A saint who is tired of living like Fred Sanford.  I don’t think the two chicks with a broom will be regulars at our house, but it sure will be nice to come home tomorrow to a neat, clean house.  Of course, it will take Tater Tot and Small Fry approximately three minutes to make it look like a tornado came through.

MODNAR #3 – Tater Tot has a new bicycle.  A real one with training wheels and everything and he was SO EXCITED TO GET IT!  He asked David to show him how to ride it, so David, thinking he was being cute, sat on the thing.  Guess what?  Bikes for four-year-olds aren’t made to support a grown man’s weight.  He broke the thing right there in the driveway.  Just bent the heck out of the training wheels.  Tater Tot forgave him in return for a popsicle, which in this heat makes everything better.

MODNAR #4 – Do you have a recurring dream?  I do.  It’s the one where all of my teeth fall out.  Every time I have that dream, I wake up scared out of my wits.  Wonder what the dream means.  Ideas?  Anyone?  Anyone?

MODNAR #5 – I know I sound like the blogger who called, “New Design!” but the new version of Tater Tales is on its way.  Everything will soon be transferred to the new address, and then it’ll be a done deal.  Perhaps it will happen this weekend.  If not, definitely early next week.

And that concludes Random Post #294.

Have a lovely weekend.

At Least We Made It One Week

We made it through one whole week of school before Tater Tot came down with some little bug, so I’m home today with the little ones while trying to nurse Tater Tot back to health.  I think he’s nearly recovered, but every now and then he comes to find me for just a little more snuggling.  Suits me.

Yesterday afternoon he complained that his neck was hurting, he had a headache, and he was running just a smidge of fever.  It wasn’t high, but enough to make him feel lousy.  I knew we wouldn’t make it to school today when he refused a snack yesterday afternoon, a sure sign of sickness.

He’s curled up on the sofa watching something on Disney while his little brother wreaks havoc with every toy he can find.  The den looks like a war zone.  It was relatively tidy a few hours ago.  It pains me a little to wander in there, but what are you going to do with two little boys?  It’s their job to play.  And mama’s job is to pick up the debris.  Seems fair.

I can’t help but think about my little group of 21 second graders, and I wonder if they’re driving the sub nuts or charming the shoes right off of her.  It’s not like they’ve established a solid routine on only day 6 of school, so I’m a little nervous.  Plus, the plans that I emailed another teacher were, “I don’t care what they do as long as they’re busy and don’t spend the whole day in the bathroom.”  I may get back tomorrow and find that every lesson I’ve planned for the entire week has been taught.  Oh, well, such is life when there are little ones at home who like to remind you who’s really in charge.  🙂

Like I said, Tater Tot is on the mend and Small Fry is blasting full speed ahead.  By the way, he’s really bad about grabbing a phone and dialing, so if you pick up your phone and hear, “DAHHHHHHHHH!” then you’ve been contacted by the smallest tater.  I just thought I’d throw that in.

I hope your day is perfect!

I’m Running Out of Ways to Say “Random”

All I’ve got for today is a bunch of random nothings, and quite frankly, I’ve just about beaten the random horse to death.  How many ways can I say it?  Maybe I’ll make up a new word for it, like “modnar,” which is random spelled backwards.  I like to let my creative side loose every now and then.  It should come as no surprise that I keep it under lock and key for the majority of the time, because MODNAR is what it spits out when left to its own devices.

Ah.  The weekend.

By the time we all got home Friday afternoon, we were completely pooped.  The first week back to school wore up slap out, and it was all I could do to get everyone fed, bathed, and kissed goodnight before falling flat into bed all before 9:00.  I think I may have even slept in my clothes.  Even with a sweet class, the first week of school is always a week of sleep deprivation and raw nerves.

Speaking of my sweet little class, I am proud to report that my snaggle-toothed cutie lost that dangling front tooth Friday.  The rejoicing and congratulating went on for a good little while, as we were all very caught up in the drama of it all.  Those sitting near her were actually relieved.  It is hard to pay attention to a boring old teacher when your neighbor may lose a tooth any minute.  (You may think it’s sad to play second fiddle to a loose tooth, but I’ll take it.)

In addition to the lost tooth, the class earned 10 compliments by Friday, which means they’ll have a compliment treat sometime this week.  I promise not to blog about their every move, but please remember that last year’s class NEVER made it to the compliment treat.  E-V-E-R.  So I’m just sayin’.

Okay, back to the weekend.  Tater Tot was up and at ’em by 6:30 Saturday morning, but he’s finally old enough to play with his toys and watch cartoons without my having to be completely awake and engaged.  GLOR-EEEE!  So I catnapped until Small Fry woke up at the sweet hour of 9:30.  Lord, bless that child.  Once both children were fed and burning off the calories from a nutritious breakfast of breakfast bars and Pop Tarts, David kindly offered to let me hide back under the covers for a couple of hours.  Sometime around Thursday I came down with the back-to-school sinus meltdown, and nothing helps it like a few doses of Mucinex and a good nap or two.  Sure enough, after about an hour and a half, I was much better.  David was worn to a frazzle, but he’ll recover any day now.

Sunday was kind of crazy.  Small Fry slept again for nearly 15 hours, waking up at 10:30, making it too late for the two of us to make it to church, but David and Tater Tot went, and David decided to let Tater Tot go to “big” church.  Except for having to use the bathroom three times, David said Tater Tot behaved very well.  By the time they got home, Small Fry had eaten a huge breakfast and had a much needed bath.  When he eats a Nutri-Grain cereal bar, he uses his whole body, and it’s not pretty.

We left around 4:00 to drive to Jackson for a goodbye supper for our niece, Caroline, who leaves Thursday for college.  I really can’t talk about it much.  I’m still in denial that she’s old enough for this to be happening, seeing as how she was only about 5 the last time I looked.  My brother- and sister-in-law hosted the get-together.  Their youngest child, Emma, greeted Tater Tot at the Jeep and that’s the last we saw of either of them except to eat about 4 bites of their hamburgers.  Emma is 8 and can boss Tater Tot around in a really sweet way, and Tater Tot loves it.  He thinks Emma is the queen of the world.

We loaded everyone up around 7:30 and made it back home with two Taters fast asleep in the back seat.  They barely woke up enough for us to change them into pajamas and tuck them into bed.

Yes, our weekend was full of MODNAR activities, none of which were exciting at all, but exactly what we needed.

I hope yours was just what you needed, too.

(By the way, the blog switchover will most likely happen sometime this week.  (BIG GRIN!)  Please say you’ll follow me to my new home!  Purty, purty please!)

A Few Unrelated Items

It’s late Wednesday night, and I’m about to work on lesson plans for tomorrow – because I like to stay on top of things – but I thought I’d pop in for a short post.  What would a week be without a few posts about randomness?

*  We’re still waiting on the little cutie in my room to lose her tooth, and it’s driving the other children to the point of frenzy.  They are inundating her with tips on how to pull it:  twist and pull, wrap a rubber band around it and yank, and the old bit about biting into an apple.  Several of the boys have gallantly offered to pull the tooth for her.  Wisely, she’s turned them all down.  At any rate, we’re all sitting on pins and needles waiting for Loosey-Goosey-Toothy to fall out.

*  In two days, my little class has received four compliments on their hallway and lunch behavior from staff members.  This is overwhelming for me considering that last year’s homeroom never earned four compliments in…well, the entire year.  Oh, second grade, I adore you.

*  I’ve stopped at Starbucks the last two mornings for a hot cup of coffee to ward off the chill from the 104-degree cold snap we’re having in Memphis.  I’ve run into so many of our faculty that we could have our morning staff meetings there.

*  The new blog design is underway and I love it.  I may make the leap within the next week, and I hope you’ll follow me to my new home.  I have the option of using a tagline under “Tater Tales,” but I’m having a hard time coming up with something catchy.  Feel free to offer up suggestions.  Who knows.  If I end up using your suggestion, there may be a little prize for you.

*  Small Fry is trying so hard to get some words out.  He’s 15-months-old and should have a few words in his vocabulary by now.  However, the pediatrician told us that it may take a while for him to catch up seeing as how, prior to getting tubes put in, he was practically half deaf for the last nine months.  So far he’s trying to say “dog” with all kinds of enthusiasm.  “Car” is the other word he gets excited about.  And there’s something he says that he uses for both “milk” and “more.”  Maybe he just wants more milk, which kind of makes sense.  Anyway, I’m trying not to stress out over the lack of words.  After all, we spend a lot of time wanting our babies to walk and talk, and then we spend the rest of the time wanting them to sit down and be quiet.  We are a strange people, no?

*  Tater Tot is entering into the phase where he really wants to “help,” but his efforts are usually (a) a surprise, and (b) not exactly helpful.  For example, the other night I found a wad of wet clothes just outside the washing machine.  I asked if he did it, and he said that he wanted to help me do the laundry.  The problem was that there were already clothes in the dryer, so he decided to let the other clothes air dry.  Bless it.  His heart was in the right place. (Too bad the wet clothes weren’t.)

That’s about it from here.  I’m off to plan something that will keep 21 second graders and their teacher awake for at least half the day tomorrow.

The Tooth Fairy Ain’t What She Used to Be

I love my little second grade class.  Twenty-one of the cutest little people you’d ever want to meet show up at my door each morning (okay, it’s only been two mornings) with big ol’ toothy grins.  Or snaggle-toothy grins.  My room is a hotbed of loose teeth, my friends, and it is SO EXCITING!

One of my Wranglers lost not one, but two teeth Monday.  We put them in little tooth necklaces and he went to the office where he got a congratulatory pencil.  He was the most popular child in the class for the rest of the day.

And then yesterday, one of my sweet girls had a tooth so loose that it was just begging to be pulled.  She worked on that tooth all day long, but she couldn’t quite get it to come out.  We all kept an eye on her, not wanting to miss the big moment, but our hopes were dashed when 4:00 came and the tooth was still hanging on.  There’s always tomorrow.

Several other kiddos have loose teeth, and I had forgotten how thrilling and all-consuming the prospect of losing a tooth can be.  Not only is it a relief not to have a dangly tooth flopping around, but there’s also the knowing that once pulled, the tooth fairy will come in the night and trade a hefty sum of money for your little tooth.

When I was of the tooth-losing age, the tooth fairy paid about a quarter per tooth.  After a couple or three pulled teeth, you could really rack up at Ben Franklin’s Dime Store with that kind of loot.  I remember thinking I had more money than I’d ever know what to do with.

Please.  It was chump change compared to what kids are getting for their teeth these days.  It’s like their teeth are made of marble or something.  One child told me the tooth fairy leaves $5 per tooth.  Can you imagine how much money the tooth fairy will have to fork over throughout the tooth-losing years?  Another little one told me that he once got movie passes and a Target gift card.  Seriously?  I had no idea the tooth fairy was so with-it.

I’m impressed with the tooth fairy and her generosity these days.  I’m also a little worried because we have two little boys who are sure to enter that long-awaited phase.  And who knows what the going rate for teeth will be by then?

I must say, tooth fairy, you’ve come a long way, baby.


I’m writing this well after midnight, so I can say that yesterday was the first day back with the students, and OH, THE JOY TO BE BACK WITH THE LITTLE ONES!

It was a long, long, long day, and my 20 students and I were together every single minute (except during lunch).  They’re so darn cute that it suited me just fine.

I’ll go ahead and call it after the first day.

I LURVE my second graders!

At Which Point In-Service Redeemed Itself

I’m sticking to my guns about Thursday’s day-long in-service that gave all of un an insight into what hell must be like.  I’m still a little worked up about the seven hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

However, Friday’s in-service was more than worth the three hours that 5,000 Shelby County teachers spent together.

We all gathered that morning for the annual pep-talk by a motivational speaker.  And let me tell you, friends, this one did not disappoint us in the least.  He was PHENOMENAL.

We were blessed to hear from Ron Clark, and if you don’t know who he is, please take a look at the links I’ve posted.  When I heard his name, I kept thinking that it sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place him to save my life.  Once the introduction began, I couldn’t believe how dumb I was.  He’s an outrageously out-of-the-box-thinking educator, author, and founder of the Ron Clark Academy in inner city Atlanta.  A couple of years ago there was a movie, The Ron Clark Story, in which Matthew Perry played Mr. Clark.  I didn’t see it when it aired, but you can believe I’m going to find it and watch it within a few days.

Anyolehoo, I’m glad to know that someone at our board of education knows how to plan a meaningful day of in-service.  And this time, the sound system worked and no fire alarms went off.

In Which My Inner Ouiser Reared Her Head

I love the part in Steel Magnolias when Ouiser says, “Well, I’ve found it.  I am in hell.”  There have been a few times in my life when I’ve uttered the same words.

Yesterday was one of them.  It was the countywide inservice day for us, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s an all-day offsite meeting something akin to Chinese water torture.  At one point I pictured myself curled up in the fetal position in a corner screaming, “Make it stop!  Make it stop!”

There were 2 hour-long meetings in a gymnasium with an audience of over 150 teachers, one presenter, and NO sound system.  At first I thought I might learn to read lips until I realized that I didn’t really care what was being said.  I was too distracted by the numbness in my behind from sitting on bleachers for what seemed like the last 30 years of my life.  In one session I looked at the girl sitting a couple of rows in front of me, and she was reading away on her little Kindle.  She had it neatly concealed on top of the packet we’d been given, and from the way she was holding it, you’d have sworn she was completely engaged in what the speaker was droning on about.  I decided right then and there that if she and I taught at the same school, we’d be fast friends.

The bright spot in our day was an hour and a half lunch break, during which my grade level and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  We considered having a round or six of margaritas, but then we decided that we didn’t need any extra help in passing out during one of the afternoon meetings.  Of course, that would have been impossible to do in the first session because the fire alarm went off no less than seven times during the speaker’s presentation.  With no sound system and an overactive fire alarm system, I’m sure she thought our county school system was all that and a bag of chips.

Three o’clock finally rolled around and we were herded into the auditorium like 300 or so sheep where we were treated to one last powerpoint presentation.  Or as I like to call it:  a quick nap, a little snooze, or a siesta.  Ouiser said that she didn’t go to plays because she could nap at home for free.  I could say the same for inservice days except that since it’s work-related we get paid to nap.

Mercifully, the day ended at 3:30, when I ran screaming from the building and hopped into my car, where it was 135 degrees.  So great was my joy, however, that I didn’t even care.  After the air conditioner kicked in, I sent my inner Ouiser back to her hiding place, where she’ll stay until I find myself in another part of hell.

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