Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Well, I never thought I would give thanks for Black Friday, but it really helped me out this year. Zeke was being a stinker and would not sleep. He didn't go to bed until really early in the morning and then woke up around 4am. Not only did he wake me up, but Kristen and Lisa as well. So, what do you do at 4 in the morning when your child is really fussy and threatening to wake up your entire (large) family? You go to Kohls! It was kind of nice. We got some good deals and even found some copies of the calendar with my Auntie Sister on them. I got some new jeans and a few Christmas presents. Lisa found some deals as well. It was good.

It was very nice to see family again. It makes me miss Cleveland. Don't get me wrong, I like Milwaukee. But, there is something about returning home.

On Saturday Lisa, Kevan, my mom, and I went to my High School (Chanel) to see the 50 years of Theater show. It was done very well. I wish the appetizers were a little more substantial, but it was still good. It was hard to be there on a Bingo night. I haven't been to the school since my dad's funeral. It brought on a rush of emotions. I even cried hearing "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors. I just kept thinking about how my sister, Kristen had done a much better job at it. I also thought about how proud my dad was to see her on stage. I remember talking to him on the phone and him telling me how great she was. I also remember my dad coming up to peak in on shows that I was in during Bingo. Then when I couldn't go to a cast party, I would go and wait with my dad after Bingo. That was sometimes the best time to be with my dad. Just me and him. Me shredding instant tickets and him counting money and talking about the show we saw or giving me the latest Bingo news. It was really great. It is amazing how something that didn't seem that special at the time becomes a treasured memory for me. I miss my dad, but I know that he loved all of us and that he would be proud of how things were going in my life and the lives of the people in my family. Things get tough sometimes without him, and I wish I were closer to Cleveland to help with some of the tasks that need to be done in his absence. But, he did give us all a stubborn side, which enables us to not give up when things get a little hard. I know that through God and what I learned from my dad things will turn out okay.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pet Peeves

Well, Mary and I have been talking about applying to the Amazing Race. We can't do it this time because you need a passport and neither of us has one. I was looking at the application and it was asking what pet peeves you have about your partner, what communication problems you have with your partner, and just silly questions to try to figure out if you would make a volatile combination = good TV. So, I told Mary, I couldn't really think of any right now. Part of it might be because we haven't seen each other too much lately. But, we tend to get along pretty well. Therefore, our getting on the show might be slim to none.

However, I do have a pet peeve that I have been thinking about lately. (Kevan is tired of hearing about it.) It is all of these fundamentalist Christian groups that attempt to boycott books or movies. I can understand not going to see a movie for religious reasons, but these people are just ignorant. This has come up because of the stupid snopes comments about The Golden Compass movie. What kills me, is that the person writing about the book admits to never reading it! How can you draw a conclusion if you never read the book! They did this with Harry Potter and many Disney movies. My mom sent me to a very good site written by a nun about the movie. She essentially says watch or read it with your kids. They will see it somewhere and you might as well watch it and discuss it with them yourself. If you want to check out the site here it is (You will have to scroll down a little to find info about the Golden Compass.) Needless to say, I have read all of the trilogy. I really liked the first book. The 2nd two were not that good, but hard not to read after the first. (They leave you with a cliffhanger at the end of book one.) So, please don't tell me not to read or see something that you yourself have not already read or seen. Thanks!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Maya Personal Health Monitor to Strangers

So, yesterday I got to see Jonothan Kozol speak. He is a educational sociologist. He wrote a ton of books. His latest book is called Letters to a Young Teacher. He is one of those people that renew my sense of vocation to teaching innercity kids. He was phenomonal. (If you are on the conservative side of politics, he's not really for you.) He just was very realistic about high stakes testing and the challenges that innercity children have to face. He made the point that many innercity schools have become very militaristic and have taken the creativity and playfulness out of school, which I see at my own school some times. While the suburban schools still embrace this style of instruction. It was really great to see him in person.

While I was there, Kevan took the kids to go and watch the Browns vs. Steelers game at a restaurant/bar on campus. The kids were really good and the wait staff and hostesses were very helpful. They even helped Maya in the bathroom! Now that is going above and beyond! Maya noticed that someone was smoking a ways away from them when they arrived. She asked Kevan why he was doing that. Kevan told her that he was making bad decisions. So, they went on with the afternoon. When they were leaving, Maya went up to the hostess and said, "That man over there is making bad decisions and it stinks!" The hostess just laughed. On a side note, why can't every place be smoke free and then Maya wouldn't need to be the health monitor. I believe in a person's right to cause themself all of the ailments that come along with smoking, but they do not have the right to influence anyone else's health while they are at it. If they could do it in a self contained bubble and be part of society than more power to them, but don't make me have to worry about my own health or anyone else's because of it. Not to mention that it makes everything smell bad. I don't know if it cigarette smoke smells good to smokers. I don't think it does because they usually pour on the perfume afterwards. It is just too bad that cigarettes are so addictive. I know a lot of my friends have unsuccessfully tried to quit. (I love all of you smokers that may be reading this. I know you may not agree with my opinion, but I hope you are able to battle your addiction and quit soon. I care about you and your health. Here's a picture of a cancerous lung in case you need motivation.) Sorry for the rant, but I have been wanting to get that off of my chest for a while. How I miss Ohio and their smoking ban. :)

Not too much else is going on in the Penvose household. We are still scabies free! I found out that a few of the high school students have staph infections. I'm not quite sure what that is, but I am hoping it is not contagious. I just looked. It is contagious. Actually rather contagious and very easily could be passed to me. Yucky! Paranoia ensuing!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

When it rains...

Well, we had a great night yesterday. We went to the Milwaukee Bucks game and they beat the Bulls. Zeke was really into to it and was clapping and cheering the whole game. I thought for sure he would fall asleep, but the NBA knows how to entertain even the littlest of fans. Going to a game makes me feel like I have ADHD. There is so much to look at and watching the game is almost difficult to keep track of. I almost miss the days when there wasn't all of the razzle-dazzle. However, I don't think Zeke would have been entertained then.

So, we get home. The kids go straight to bed. Kevan and I watch a little bit of SNL and go to bed, looking forward to catching an extra hour of Z's. Well, Zeke wakes up screaming. And me, because of my little bug friends do not want him to share a bed with me. (Kevan has been sleeping on the couch.) So, I get out of bed and tell Kevan to get him. Kevan tries to soothe him, but nothing works. He says Zeke is just laying in bed with his eyes closed screaming his head off and if we ignore it it might stop. So, I try. It does not stop. So, I again go tell Kevan to get Zeke. Well, he takes him out and cannot soothe him. So, bugs or no bugs, I go to save my baby. He immediately snuggles in close to me, but is still upset. Zeke is a little wheezy and I was worried it was Strider, but it wasn't. He just was very upset and a little congested. (I think he is cutting some new teeth.) I quickly tell Kevan to put on the Jack's Big Music Show that we DVRed and that does the trick. Zeke immediately stops fussing. With about 5 minutes left in the show Maya gets up saying her stomach hurts. I ask if she feels like she is going to throw up. (She does that often.) She says yes and goes into the bathroom and does not vomit. "Hurray!" I think to myself. I put Zeke to bed and tell Maya to lay with Kevan. Well, I am just about to reach dreamland and I hear Maya throwing up in the bathroom. She threw up probably 6 times between the evening and morning. She slept with Kevan on the couch most of the night. It is a good thing that she is such a professional vomiter, I don't have to worry about her getting sick all over the place. So, now I am completely exhausted, as is Kevan, and have a ton of laundry to do. Kevan has youth stuff and is off preparing for that tonight and then has a paper and presentation to prepare tonight. I hope he is able to get that all done on his 20 minute nap. Oh, the joys of motherhood. As of right now there are no signs of scabies on any other family members. (Knock on wood.) I hope you, the reader, are well. So that at least one person that I know is feeling fine. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Well, I had three little bug bites on my stomach yesterday and went to the doctor to get them checked out and it turns out that I contracted scabies from a kid at school! YUCK! It isn't that bad physically, I just hope the rest of my family doesn't catch it. I spent last night at the laundromat and washed all of our bedding. Today I am tackling the clothes. I just feel icky and am paranoid that I am going to create a vicious cycle for our family. I had to take a shower last night and put special cream all over my body, even on the bottoms of my feet and my scalp! Then wake up today and wash it all off. The process of getting rid of these little mites is so time consuming! I have decided no more hugging children. A high five or a handshake will have to do. I may even resort to being like Niles Crane and take Clorox wipes with me everywhere, just to make sure. I just hope after today all of them are dead and gone.

Here is the list of childhood ailments I have contracted since I began teaching:
1. scabies
2. ring worm
3. lice
4. pink eye in both eyes

Ugh! Kevan said teachers should get hazard pay.

Yesterday I picked up Maya and noticed she was wearing different pants than she had been in the morning. I immediately worried that she had had an accident at school, which is not like her. Well, she told me that they had a hole in them. I thought, "Well, I must have been in such a hurry that I didn't notice a little hole." No, after examining the pants there was a hole that was about 8 inches long on the seat of her pants. It wasn't even on the seam. I asked her how it happened and she said she didn't know. I asked her when it happened and she said she didn't know. She was just laying down at naptime and noticed it. How is it possible for a person's butt to be hanging out and not notice it sooner? And how do you miss the occurence of a hole that size? I couldn't believe it! My crazy kid! :)