Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is It Friday Yet?

What a week and it's only Wednesday! I spent all day Monday cleaning my house because, for some reason, it's everyone's goal to trash it over the weekend. And they always make their goals. The messier, the better. My couch cushions are covered with unidentifiable stuff so I've been washing slip covers this week. What are the chances the couches will stay clean until Christmas when everyone comes over to my house? LOL! I just crack myself up.

I've been finding poor amputee gingerbread men all over the house too. Not even their M&M buttons were spared. I've given up cleaning my floors. With all the snow and salt being tracked in everyday, there's no way to keep up with it. Speaking of snow...

Yesterday, Jackson went on a field trip to a museum downtown. They left the museum at 2:00 PM and didn't get back to the school until 8:00 at night! They were on that bus for SIX hours! Although I was worried about my son and their safe arrival home, I think I was more worried about that poor bus driver! You know how nerve wracking it can be to drive in a snow storm. Add rush hour traffic, a huge bus full of fourth graders who haven't eaten or gone to the bathroom in hours, singing 9,999,999 bottles of beer on the wall... I think I would've driven off a cliff. She deserves a gold medal.

The school, however, gets a flunking grade from me. They made one phone call about the situation. I had just gotten a phone call from the junior high saying that after-school activities were canceled so when the grade school called with their message about the cancellation of after-school activities, I listened for a minute and then hung up. I guess at the end of that message, they mentioned that the fourth graders on the field trip hadn't gotten back to school yet and wouldn't be there in time for dismissal. That was my fault for not listening to that message in its entirety. However, the school never made another phone call after that. Not one call from 3:00 to 8:00 when the kids finally made it back to the school.

At 4:30 I called the school to get an update. "What's going on? Are they almost home?"

I was told that they were fine; just stuck in traffic and should be back to the school by 5:30. "Between 5:30 and 6:00," she added.

5:30 came and went. 6:00 came and went. 6:30 came and went. When I still hadn't heard anything at 7:00, I called the school again.

"I'm calling for an update on the fourth graders."

"Oh they're fine. They stopped to let the kids use the bathroom so that took a little extra time, but they're back on the road and should be arriving soon."

"OK, I was wondering about the bathroom. Those kids have got to be really hungry now too."

"Yes, they stopped for a bathroom break because that could get really uncomfortable if they didn't."

"OK, why you aren't using the AlertNow message system to update parents."

"Well, we made one phone call."

"I haven't gotten any phone calls. Not one. And by 7:00 at night, there should have been several calls made!" (I realize now that I did indeed receive that first call, but didn't listen to the message until the very end so I missed the part about the fourth graders being late.) Still, that was the only call made all evening. And that initial call only came to my home phone, not my cell like alerts usually do. I feel really bad for the working parents who weren't home to get that one phone call.

Finally at 8:00 PM, I got the call that Jackson was back at school.

Now I know, living in Chicago, bad weather happens. It's unavoidable. You deal with it. What I don't understand is why the school didn't keep the parents informed of what was going on. We were sitting at home worried, as we heard reports of crashes happening during that awful commute yesterday. There's just no excuse for the lack of communication. And it's not even like we have to use a phone tree with volunteers calling a dozen people each. Oh no, we spent a bunch of money on this AlertNow system. All the principal had to do was record an update and it could have be sent out to everyone. Ta da. We could have received hourly updates, but no. They didn't do that.

Not only that, but when I asked Jackson about the trip, he said, "They never stopped for us to use the bathroom! They stopped a couple times for the driver to clean off the window. That's it." I doubled checked with a friend who was a chaperone on the trip and she confirmed Jackson's story that they never took a bathroom break. I don't think the secretary just lied to me, but clearly there was some miscommunication happening.

Let's see, what else has been going on? Clay had his Christmas program at school today. I forgot my camera. I ALWAYS have my camera! I bring it everywhere! And today, I forgot it. And do you think I got teacher's gifts in time? Last night, as I lay awake in bed, following my routine which goes a little something like this... Pray, remember something I forgot, pray some more, think about another ball I dropped, jump out of bed to switch loads of laundry one more time, go back to praying, remember a few things I have to do in the morning, push Brooklyn over to the other side of the bed, remember another ball I dropped, jump out of bed to write a check out for lunch money, make a mental list of stuff I need to finish this week, remember something else I screwed up, move Brooklyn's feet off my spleen, then finally fall asleep about 2 hours before my alarm goes off. Anyway, as I lay there last night, I realized I never got any teacher gifts. Ugh.

Oh and the projection lamp went out on our TV. Do you hear me? I have 2 more days until all 6 kids will be home every minute of every day for a solid 2 weeks and the TV isn't working!!! A warning had flashed across the screen every day for about a month, alerting us to the fact that the lamp was about to go. Do you think we paid it any heed? Oh no. Well, actually, that's not entirely true. We looked up how much it would cost to replace the lamp and decided that clearly, the warning was wrong and the lamp couldn't possibly burn out soon because it's too expensive to replace.

On the bright side, we do have a small TV in my bedroom and the kids have gone in there to watch it a couple times. Unfortunately, that also means, they've trashed my room, but hey, it's worth it to have the little ones occupied for a half hour, right?

Oh yes, and 2 nights ago, Lexi lost a tooth. Amazingly the Tooth Fairy remembered to come and take her tooth. On the first night, no less! Last night at bedtime, however, Lexi lay awake crying her eyes out. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"I miss my tooth!" she wailed. "I want it back!"

Oh for crying out loud. That's a new one for me.

Now I hear my washing machine hopping across the floor with an unbalanced load and I have to go pick the middles up from school. Gotta go!

*****Edited to add - I have another giveaway over HERE. It's for a Word World Moon Sand Set.*****


Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn,

I'm sorry to hear that you had to worry through most of your evening. I think it's amazing that no one thought to give y'all more than one update. You have every right to be peeved.

I love your tooth story. My youngest son, Noah (4 year old), had gotten a haircut from his Daddy. He was initially pleased with the results until a few minutes later. Noah came in crying saying that he wanted his hair back... he missed his hair.

~Lisa K, Dallas, Texas

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the school didn't communicate better. I hope that poor bus driver is okay. Six hours on a bus with fourth graders is enough to put anyone in the loony bin.

I hear ya about wishing it were Friday. I'm definitely ready for a break.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. How old is your tv and who made it? Replacing the lamp is expensive business regardles of who made it, but one thing I've learned from working at a call center is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you are willing to invest the time to call the manufacturer and complain about the repair cost, chances are you can get them to cover at least the parts.
It's worth a shot.

Christina said...

It is unfortunalty friday here storm hit us and we are not use to snow soooo schools' closed untill January. And the tooth fairy made it on the first night that is a record for the tooth fairy as the one who visits us seems to fall asleep as soon as the kids do!

Anonymous said...

Oh Dawn--I feel your pain. That's way too many things to happen in such a small period of time. Today my daughter's bus drove past our busstop after school and I freaked out. I can't imagine what you were going through. I know you always keep things in perspective, so just concentrate on the health and well-being of your children and everything will work out--it always does.

Funky Kim said...

I would have been LIVID at the school for not simply sending the auto messages that everything is still OK. I know that some people operate on the no news is good news principle, but I'm not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Ah the AlertNow system. Our daughters school has one and they used it at 6:15 last night to cancel the Christmas Program and move it to sometime in January.
But hey, it worked?

Andi said...

And I thought I had a bad week. I am so glad that Jackson is ok, and that you didn't get in a wreck during the storm either.

Good luck with the one tv. My kids are too spoiled to go wiothout a tv for long. That is my fault entirely. My mother used to shut off the tv on us when we were little and I swore I'd never do that to my kids. I just take thier phone and video games away. It hurts them more than the TV. Have a better last half of the week. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

What really bothers me is if they knew there would be inclement weather coming, they should have rescheduled the field trip to another date instead of taking that risk, especially in Chicago. I would definitely voice my disapproval over the lack of care they put forth into my child's well being with the exception of getting them home safely. No restroom break, not even a stupid cracker. I'm sure the school would have reimbursed the adults for some crackers and a small fountain soda. UGH! Want me to call them and give them a piece of my mind for you Dawn? You know I can make myself heard ;-) Hello, Dawn's School? This is Shan. You have pissed Dawn off and I won't tolerate it!!!


Anonymous said...

I CAN TOTALLY RELATE! And what's up with every school in the entire state canceling but the one your kid goes to, THEN when the roads are the most treacherous, they decide to send the kids in buses and ICY DANGEROUS ROADS home early? Who are these people that run these schools? Do they HONESTLY let their kids go to school on seriously bad days???

The tooth thing, reminds me of the time my daughter smashed an ant because it bit her, then she felt bad and wanted mommy to put a bandaid on the ant and make it all better! Right, thats gonna happen in this century! HA!
Hang in there, Dawn, the year is almost over with! Alas, a new one awaits you in a few short weeks!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I'm glad he got home safely. I would have been worried sick. I can't believe the school has an expensive alert system but doesn't take advantage of it when they actually need it!

LOL--"move Brooklyn's feet off my spleen."

Anonymous said...

So my kids are supposed to be getting ready for bed, and my son came down all ready for bed. He asked me what I'm doing and I told him I'm reading. He asked me to read it to him and I said, "No, this is mommy's to read." So he started reading over my shoulder. I guess I can't keep things that are in print from him anymore. He's 6 and a better reader than I realized...I'd better be careful!

Sila Lumenn said...


It sounded like you needed a big one. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I too would have been frustrated, what is the point of the Alert Now system if they are not going to use it. Glad he made it home safe. As for the preschool thing, rest assured you are not the first, nor will you be the last one to forget the camera as well as the gifts for the teachers. We have all had those moments. As a preschool teacher, I can tell you that the gifts can become overwhelming and sometimes it is nice to come back after break even and receive a nice suprise gift. :)
Kim F.

Abby said...

I agree with Kim about the presents after break!! And besides, then your kids stand out from the sea of gifts. =)

I love my school's auto alert system.... except when we have no power and can't get the messages. We've been out of school since last Wednesday due to the ice storm that hit MA on Thursday and wiped out trees and power throughout the region. There are folks who STILL don't have power! Canceled for tomorrow because the roads are still too bad & and big snowstorm coming in on Friday, I guess I'll be seeing my students in January. Yay for 3+ weeks of vacation (and going to school all summer)!!

Anna said...

Oh... My! I wonder what the state would say if I kept my child from using the bathroom that long? I wonder how they would try to prosecute me? That is horrible and sad. I am afraid I would also be upset at the chaperons... I am sure at least one or two of them had cell phones and could have let the kids call their parents so that they could tell the parents what was going on. I was a HS teacher and we would do that.

It sounds like several people dropped the ball on that one. I am so sorry. I would have been beyond worried.

Jen Bowie said...

I was missing Chicago for Christmas recently. I grew up in the suburbs (fellow Fremd grad). We moved to Texas two years ago. I definitely don't miss the snow and traffic. My husband's commute from LaGrange to South Elgin was horrific during a rush hour snow storm. Poor Jackson! Not even a bathroom break!!

Anonymous said...

Glad Jackson got home safe. Yes, the school should have communicated better, and feeding the poor kids a little something would have been nice!

About the TV situation, just set your bedroom up with a stocked, small fridge and a lock on the door ;)

Congrats to Lexi! The Tooth Fairy in our 'hood is forgetful!

My washing machine also tries to escape, hopping its way across the floor until it stops, exhausted.

Sue R said...

Sorry to hear about the frustrating time with the late bus! We've had late buses from church trips before, but they usually do keep the parents updated.

I'm going to suggest you keep a notebook by your bed, and when you think about something you need to do, take a minute to write it down so you won't worry about forgetting it. It might help you sleep better.

At work, I often write a list at the end of the day of what I didn't get done and leave it on my desk. It really helps to have that reminder the next day. At home, I'll put reminders where I'll be sure to see them, taped to the mirror or on top of my purse. I figure I have so much to stuff in my brain every day, it leaks out my ears. So I have to help myself remember!

Anonymous said...

Now that's a post!!

Our school has Alert Now System also, so this morning I had 2 different schools calling me 3 different times (an hour dely, two hour, schools cancelled) on 2 different phones--those calls were starting to drive me bonkers but I'm glad that they kept me posted.

Your TV problem--it's time for Santa to leave a 42" flatscreen under your tree. ;)

The tooth fairly story--funny!! If the tooth fairly didn't come on the first day you know that your child would have cried about her not coming--it's always something! I'm just glad to know that it just isn't my kids. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad he got home safe. There isn't anything to say that hasn't already been said but will agree I would have been livid! Our automated messages also come through email now. So if I hang up on them I know I can check my email for the entire message in writing and in audio. If it's an emergency it hits my home, both cells, and my emergency contact #s. I also would have been mad and the lack of concern for your if you had no reason to be worried. They were just so blah blah about it. Completely irresponsible all the way around. I'm an easy going person and not someone to create a stink but in this case it would be justified. They need to know what they did wrong and for it to never happen again.

Castaic, CA

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a typical field trip to me. Everything that can - will.
I'm glad everyone is safely home and all is well - er except for the TV lamp! Maybe Santa will come early... (it's the thought that counts, right?) Please tell Lexi I feel for her. I miss my teeth, too. I laid them down somewhere after dinner and... just kidding! But I do know how she feels. Her tongue can't get comfortable without it and won't stop poking around for it, but pretty soon she'll have a brand new tooth to take it's place and her tongue will settle down again. Perhaps she'll feel better when she realizes how badly the tooth fairy must have needed it (to have come so quickly).
God bless you all.

Jessica said...

We made your gingerbread cookies today, Dawn, and they were every bit as good as you said they'd be. Thanks for sharing!

Hopefully tomorrow's storm isn't as bad as they're saying it will be...otherwise, you might just have one less day until Christmas break begins!

Feisty Irish Wench said...

I would have gone bonkers waiting too. And move the TV out of your room for now, or you'll be finding their droppings in 3 years when you finally decide to do vacuum under your bed or something.
And that whole lay in bed, start drifting off, remember something, wake up to tend it, lay back in bed, drift off, wake up to tend it thing is my routine too. I finally realized I got more consistent rest if I just go to bed realllllly late.

Vanessa Rogers said...

That is one crazy week. I hope it slows down :)

Amanda said...

I think yesterday was the day for lack of communication. I even e-mailed our garrison commander (guy in charge of the entire Army post) to tell him how ate up things were here yesterday. My poor husband just cringed and said "be nice." We had roads and parking lots closed because the President came to visit. Would've been nice if they'd tell a person. I needed to go to the post office.

mideastmom said...

Okay, fess up. How many lawyers have contacted you about suing the school for not allowing a bathroom break and not feeding the kids?

Seriously, you'd have a case. Not that I'd file one. I'd let my complaint be known, but I'd not file a suit. However, I'm willing to bet a lawyer or two (or more) has smelled an opportunity in your post and let you know.

Oh, and tell Lexi to just do what my kids do: grow her adult teeth behind the baby teeth and *then* lose the baby teeth. It's much more efficient that way. :-l

noexcuses said...

Great post! I agree with the others about the field trip. Maybe someone could write a short letter to the principal (with a copy to the superintendent) and have the parents of all the kids involved sign it.

I am so with you on the "bed" thing. I also keep index cards around the house to write things on that I'm afraid I'll forget. I always put some fun things to do on the another cup of coffee or remember to go back to bed once the kids are at school. Oops, can't do that one now, for at least two weeks!

You join ranks with the best of moms when you drop the ball on something. I think it's God's way of telling us to slow down and figure out what's really important.

Big hugs to you! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!!! If that'd been my kid on that bus there would've been one principal coming to bodily HARM about hour 3!!! What is WRONG with those people?!! Could they not see it was snowing and get those kids out of there before rush hour?! And Anna is right - to make those kids go that long with no bathroom, food or water is flat slam criminal and any state would prosecute any parent for doing the same. Why didn't the parents on the bus SPEAK UP?!!! I am just dumbfounded over the whole incident! And really glad I no longer live in IL! I do NOT miss all that cold and snow!
From Sparkle in VA

Kool Aid said...

Hi Dawn,

I just wanted to let you know that I've tagged you over at my blog. I've been reading yours over a year and I just love it. You always make me laugh. Thanks for writing and I can't wait for your book!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, The almost same story happened to me with a 4th grade school trip. My son rides his bike to school and that day a teacher called me to tell me he couldn't ride it home after school hours without a parent picking him up. The bad part was my mini-van was broken and I had to ride my bike to the school to meet him. The bus was two hours late and it was September and cold outside. All the parents were snuggled in their warm cars waiting while I froze outside a locked school. I feel your maddness! Kristine in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

just wondering why you didn't wait at the school? I would have been at that school and bugged everyone every minute until they returned. But I guess that may not have been a good solution would it?!?!

MaBunny said...

I would have been positively livid if I had been in the situation with Jackson.
Hope everything else goes well till Christmas:)

Anonymous said...

Dawn, did you see that Lisa Belkin referenced your blog today in the Motherlode blog at the New York Times?

Sheila said...


I'd be livid. And I'm sure you are. I'd go in there are take off a piece of the principal's head.

But that's probably not a good way to get things done, and I'd probably be arrested or something. I suppose it's better just to be helpful and volunteer so you can have more of a positive influence.

But that seems far too mature. And I don't think I could be mature if they didn't stop for the bathroom.

Your poor kid!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Anonymous said...

I would be extremely upset if that was my child. Sometimes I just have to wonder what goes on in the minds of some people.

KAL071203 said...

so i love your blog but um yeah I have a four-year-old and a 10month old and I read Mckmama's blog and want a newborn now and then I read your blog and my dream for many children frightens me a bit:) also I would be freaking out on the school district in a christian what would Jesus do manner such as Jesus loves you but right now this is how I'm feeling about you alert system!

KAL071203 said...

Also thanks dawn for the lands end PJ's I haven't been able to get my kid out of them the last 2 days! He loves them because they have elbow patches wich he requires on all his all normal four year olds lol.

CatholicGirl said...

What a nightmare! I'm just glad all the kiddos got back safe and sound. Although it sounds as though the school needs to review their policy on notifying parents, (and telling them the correct information).

It's times like these that I am very thankful to live in Florida!

And I'll Raise You 5 said...

Dawn! How is it possible for two people to have the same exact evening in two different parts of the country? Change the name "Brooklyn" to "Elizabeth," and our bedtime rituals are identical. How come I laugh when you tell the story but weep when I experience it first hand? Thanks--

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn.

Have you seen this video? It made me think of you. I think you'll enjoy it.

LittleBirdies said...

Unfortunately the world is to attached to their TV's. We don't even own one and have very few DVD's which we limit (sometimes only 1 time a week and sometimes less). True I only have 2 kids and they are both still little--preschool, but they are pretty good about entertaining themselves.

Anonymous said...

The tooth fairy doesn't take teeth around here. The oldest child wanted to save his. Maybe he will be a dentist.

That is just ridiculous for Jackson's field trip. I would have been livid.

Have a good end of the week.


Anonymous said...

Aww, Lexi is just like my baby girl. When she lost her tooth I asked her 'are you going to put it under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy?'

her answer was 'NO! I don't want anyone taking my tooth!'

Patois42 said...

Like Lexi, my youngest mourned the loss of his tooth. He tried to milk it for a few days. I wasn't buying either.

Michelle said...

Ouch. I will say that when we had a lockdown at ONE of the elementary schools recently, we got updates about every 20 minutes. I can't believe you weren't updated at all. Did you talk to the principal or superintendent about it (seriously)? I'm glad they made it home safely. Tuesday was an ugly day (as was today - I assume you had a snow day, too).

Also, email me on the tv issue (seriously). I may have a solution for you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is a SSO question, but does Joe take time off over the kids holiday break? Or is my hottie hubby the only one who uses his vacation to "help" (read dripping with sarcasm) during these two weeks? And how can I politely decline this next year? And at what point do I stop cleaning and let the house got messy until they go back to school?

Please help.
Signed, Wit's End in PA

Court D said...

Hi, just found your site, good stuff. I loved the 'amputee gingerbread men' bit!

Shellie said...

Now that we wasted money on presents, all our stuff is starting to break down too. The only tv with cable is in my room and they trash it a lot. I've been dropping those balls too, I forgot the teacher gifts, but guess what my bright plan is? I'm going to just celebrate on 3 Kings Day on January 3 and give them gifts then. We'll pretend this is normal. They'll never know.

Asher said...

(A little late but just now getting to catch up after the holidays!)

That AlertNow System can be so screwy! Whenever school is canceled, it calls my little sister's cell phone. Granted she is 16 and knows better than to say school is canceled when its not but I'm guessing all alerts would go to her phone instead of our parents!

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