Friday, June 28, 2013

The 100% House of Cards Viewership Club

Before the week is out some final thoughts on being in DC this historic week.  First off what did I do for the other 5 days I was there?  Simply put, I was in government geekery heaven.

The majority of the days were at Georgetown Law school in class covering different aspects of the Supreme Court from partisan politics of confirmation, the impact of amicus curiae briefs filled by special interests groups, to preparing and holding a moot court in the Georgetown Law Trial arena (super cool.)

We had an amazing group of presenters including SCOTUSblog creator, Tom Goldstein and New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak.  I was humbled to be in the presence of not only real authorities about what to expect once in court but also getting their perspectives on how the remaining, undecided cases would be played out.

On Monday we had reserved seats in the Court for the opinions to be released at 10am.  As we approached  the Court, we saw scores of media and protesters outside.  After storing everything we carried in required lockers, minus paper and pen, we were seated in the court by 9:00 for primo court-watching of arrivals.  Being the nerdy teachers we are, we created a cheat sheet with docket numbers and holdings to take notes.   Most awesome was sitting 20 feet from the media area containing NPR God Nina Totenburg.  I wanted to reach over and tell her her voice is Barry White for news junkies everywhere.

Justices O'Connor and Stephens also were seated just before the court opened.  When O'Connor entered in a bright red suit there was audible reaction to her presence.  One of the lead attorneys in the Prop 8 case, Theodore Olsen, came over and introduced himself to our group and thanked us for encouraging students to want to study law.  I still think it is nuts that the opposing counsel in Bush v Gore teamed up to fight Prop 8.  I think it is entirely nuts he came over and talked to a bunch of squirrely teachers barely able to contain their excitement, when he could have been talking to so many more important people.

At 10 am a loud bell went off and the justices appeared from behind the red velvet curtains and took their seats.  Each of them look just like I've seen in courtroom sketches or in the media.  Speaking of courtroom sketches, from where we were sitting we could watch as the artist was capturing as each of the 5 cases being released Monday were read.  I wondered if he captured Alito's eye roll towards Ginsburg when she opted to read three separate dissents from the bench.  The largest of the cases was the Fisher Case, an affirmation action challenge to the top 10% law in Texas allowing students in the top 10% of their graduating class to go to a University of Texas school of their choice. Outside of marriage equality and voting rights, this case had the potential for fireworks.

A dissent being read in open court is rare unless a justice vehemently opposes the majority. Scalia is famous for his lengthy dissents that typically make news.  For all the ways that Ginsburg looks like a strong wind would blow her over, when she began to speak, again a hush came over the audience.  In her dissenting opinion she cited the long history of racial and gender based discrimination.

After court we had lunch with a panel of clerks who had worked with the Justices in 2011-2012 term. Monday night we had a reception back at the Court for our final night.  Each year, one of the justices speaks to the group at the reception.  Justice Ginsburg was our speaker and gave a rousing speech about the role of the court protecting the voice of the minority.  I cannot tell you how much this was a once in a lifetime experience to be in her presence as well as see Justice O'Connor in the flesh.

I  have such tremendous respect for the road each of them paved for women in the legal profession as well as their decisions that have upheld issues vital to women's equality.  One only needs to look to Wendy Davis and her filibuster in the TX Senate this week to know that role models for our children, both boys and girls, are fighting the good fight everyday.

Our group of  29 other teachers from all parts of the country, represented a gamete of schools from  a New England prep school to a charter schools in East LA to the good ol' suburban paradise that I call home.  I did take my two blocks of free time to tour Smithsonian American History's 150 year Emancipation Proclamation and 50 year anniversary for the March on Washington special exhibits.  I also finally got to see the Newseum and their collection of artifacts on civil liberties.  Wouldn't you know it that it was the final weekend of a special exhibit commemorating the 5th anniversary of Tim Russet's death.  His entire office from Meet the Press from his desk, book collection, artwork from his son Luke, pictures of all the people he had interviewed were displayed.  Of course one very famous mini whiteboard had prominence.

I am especially appreciate that Beth H. arranged a private tour of the Capitol for our group.  I was able to meet her for drinks as well as dinner while in DC and chat child-free. I only wished I could have still been in DC for the Wednesday marriage equality decision.  Many of our group opted to stay an additional day just to be in the crowd.

From the many conversations I had with colleagues during our work together included a dissection of the show House of Cards in every way possible. I do believe each of us checked the viewership box on our applications.  I am so thankful for several days to work with like minded teachers.  I am thankful that Bill and I were able to work out me coming and being away from the kids.  I am so, so thankful that this opportunity of a lifetime was mine.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wow, just wow

Where was I on this historic day?

At Ben's 7 year doctor appointment waiting.

Ben: "Mom, why are you screaming and crying?  Are you ok?"

Mom: "Let me give you a big, big hug and tell you that one day I hope you marry the person you really love. I'll love them as much as I love you."

From Justice Ginsburg at our parting reception Monday night during her speech to the 2013 Georgetown Law School Supreme Court Institute, "discrimination is wrong, but legal discrimination begs for remedy. The role of the Court is to speak when the voice of the minority is being suppressed."

I cannot believe that I was party to the last days of this historic week in the Court.  Truly a chance in a lifetime opportunity to be not just watching history, but standing in the center.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


The is the start to a variety of camps this week.  Around February I set up my paper worksheet to price out camps, sign up for popular camps likely to have a waitlist, and to start filling in our summer trips.  Every summer I give myself a budget and then try to pack as much as I can in for my money.  The goal is to have someone, somewhere at least 1/2 day.  Having one kid at home is a gazillion % better than two fighting it out over some stupid Lego piece for 10 hours a day.

Here is my ginormous mess before I put everything into Google Calendar with notes including address, times, and needed materials like swim gear and snacks.  

Once finished the final copy will look more like last year's once I can print it on cute paper for our fridge and laminate it.

This week Ben is at a 1/2 day wilderness camp at the YMCA. We lucked out with great, not hot and humid weather.  So far he has reported that between archery, fishing, a boat ride, and meeting with a park ranger to touch a snake, that this is the best camp ever.  

Uh... what about Jr. Jazzercise Ben?  Less you forget that next week is time for this year's foray into getting your jazz hands on for whatever theme the teacher/world's most peppy 50 year old cheerleader has planned.  Remind me to tell you about her teaching the kids the 1980s Christian music hit, "Love in Any Language" for the Cancer Awareness walk.  9th circle of hell, for sure.  

Mom is DC bound after camp drop off this morning.  Back next week with lurid tales of hot Supreme Court action.  Ok, a stretch that the only thing hot in DC is the weather.  I am beside myself at getting to spend 5 child/obligation free days in DC in the freakin' Supreme Court in the final week of the 2013 term.  Big decisions likely going down and yours truly will be witnessing it all. I promise not to rush the bench or stage dive into Scalia's lap.  Hold me people, this is of epic awesomeness and supreme teacher geekery.   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

School year end for Ben and Ian

Ben finished 1st grade on June 10th and Ian's last day in daycare until late August will be this Friday.  For both boys we have been blessed with teachers that fit their personalities and temperaments.

At the start of the year Ben was super sad that he had not gotten the teacher that leads Jr. Jazzercise.  At one point of the year his own teacher commented, I think he has a crush on her as he writes stories about her, has drawn pictures of her.  Ben didn't need to have this teacher based on what I know of her and her magnanimous personality.

He needed someone who could be fun, also had defined rules, handled transitions with expectations, and held Ben to the type of student she knew he could demonstrate.

From the first day she suggested that we try not to use a behavior contract like he had finished the year with in kindergarten.  This proved to be a large motivator for Ben to not feel singled out, and instead worked for incentives in the class prize box as well as the shared group effort for what she called "warm fuzzy table points." Ben swelled with pride when he felt like he was helping his table win prizes.

The largest areas of improvement for Ben including reading comprehension and fluency.  At the start of the year he was behind, even with the help of a summer tutor.  Ben liked looking at books, but often shied away from wanting to read to us.  By end of the year, he finished on grade level and most nights reads a book to his brother as well as his assigned homework reading.  He wanted to participate in the local library summer reading program with the incentive of additional bear bucks for books finished.

His class had an end of the year ice cream party and I was glad much like the once a month I was able to volunteer with his class.  Mainly I helped on select Fridays and planned a special snack and book related to the week's theme.  I also helped with math and literacy centers on the few days I was able to swing meeting Ben for lunch.  As much as I would have loved to volunteer more, given my own full time schedule, I was happy that every month both Bill and I had at least one morning or afternoon to get to know Ben's teachers and class. I loved seeing him in the environment he spent most of his waking hours in for the past 10 months.

A very big thank you to his teachers for making 1st grade a positive and successful year for Ben.  At this point he is staying on the medication that seems to be working in terms of weight gain, increased appetite, and  overall good behavior for most days.

For all the ways that poor Ian suffers from 2nd child syndrome, he won out on daycare.  I commented to the director as I signed yet another accident report yesterday, that Ian has been happy and content in the second year at his daycare.  We could not be happier with his care of the excellent (and patient) teachers.

This year he has had two wonderful, loving, and yes firm with him teachers.  One of his teachers recently left for a month long overseas trip to visit family.  She mentioned that Ian told her that she should pack "sandwiches and a waterslide".  Ian has flourished this past year with a language explosion and after a rough patch of not napping, is back to most days an hour long nap.

I appreciate them both working with us through trying behavior throughout the year.  Both teachers report that Ian has turned a corner in the last few weeks.  We at home have also noticed and rewarded better decisions and behaviors.  I've been trying multiple strategies as well as trying to anticipate behavior that will trigger fighting, whining, and in general child nastiness.  I would be nuts to think a lull is anything other than a lull, but I'll take it.

Thank you teachers for making the 2012-13 school year positive for our boys, we thank you so very, very much!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Where everybody knows your name

Laura, Jamie, Melissa and I once again met up on a gorgeous Saturday to spend at the lake and on the Potter's boat.  I cannot believe it has been 20 years.  TWENTY YEARS! since we all graduated from high school and started out adult lives.

The reality is once I sit down with any of my childhood friends it is like the last two decades never happened, we can just pick up where we left off.  One of the things I love best about seeing everyone's kids is I remember my friends at the same age.  I see each of my friends in the faces of their kids as I remember them in our mutual 1980s bad clothes, glasses and braces wearing, preteen awkwardness.

I remember Jamie and I dancing to Lionel Richie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" on her mom's parquet floor. I remember when Laura and I decided that we would have a ballet contest on top of the torn up carpet in our den.  I remember Melissa coming over and polishing the floor of my playhouse with Dawn dishwashing soap straight out the bottle as we were playing  Dukes of Hazard and that Boss Hogg and tracked mud on our floors.  I remember way too many Brownie Scout events to even name.

Even if I don't make it to the official 20 year reunion later this summer, I'm glad we have started this annual event to catch up. Thanks Worthy, Linker, and Potter family for once again for sharing your 2013 lives with us.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The fat lady has sung

August 25, 2012

June 13th, 2013

*note a completely empty mailbox.  A first for the year!

As of around 2:30 yesterday 523 Seniors had graduated, postcards had been mailed wishing students a good summer and appreciation for working with me this year, a classroom packed up and cleaned out, mounds of paperwork refiled after being neglected for a semester. I moved in a second cabinet and desk for moved for whoever is sharing the room with me this fall.  The proverbial yogurt that I always have in the fridge on the last day tossed. I locked the door, turned in my keys, said my good byes and drove away (in a car with broken air conditioning!)  

It has been a good year, a long year, a rewarding year, a draining year. I worked harder to create materials for a new course and pulled many long hours. The payoff was I will be teaching the same course this fall. One in which I watched in horror the events that happened at Sandy Hook not only as a parent but also as a teacher.  I starting crying not once but twice when students asked me about the tragedy.  Note I cannot remember a time I ever cried in class about anything, even when I was at my wits end.  This story still hits me like a ton of bricks and the day it doesn't, I question do I need to be in this job.

Do I need to be in this job?  I asked myself that more times than in any other year I can remember.  Much has changed since I was starting out in 2000.  Curriculum is different, kids are different, parents and supports are different, high stakes testing now accounts for a percentage of my base pay.  I feel like I have a lot on the line to make it worth spending 10 months of the year in a freeze pattern of exhaustion for 8 weeks of vacation.    

I am reminded by students at the end of the term that thanked me and showed appreciation that even on the hardest of days, I can't imagine doing anything else with my adult life.  One of my students gave me the biggest monster hug and simply said, "you did more to help me when I needed help and it had nothing to do with anything you taught me." That was one of the best compliments I've ever received.

I truly believe that building relationships is more important than teaching content.  Anyone can teach checks and balances, or the Krebs cycle, or how to factor an equation.  I am convinced that those teachers that make the most impact with the short amount of time, are those that attempt to make the relationship the most important goal and let learning the subject take a backseat.

Back in February, This American Life did a two part series on an inner city Chicago High school.  I loved this piece for many, many reasons.  I loved it so much I wrote a letter to the show and thanked them for bringing this story to a national audience. These two episodes are why TAL is so, so good and worthy of your time to tune in weekly. I remember clearly that I literally stopped whatever I was doing, sat down, and just listened to the show. I couldn't focus on anything else but the stories being told.  By the end I was emotionally invested and yes, even shed a few tears for students and teachers I will never know.

If you haven't listened, check out two amazing and inspiring stories. Be prepared to have to stop what you are doing and just listen.

Harper High School- Episode 1
Harper High School- Episode 2

What I can tell you without more elaboration is investment in relationships matter. Taking the time to make a genuine effort to see the positive in every student, not just the easy and polite ones, matters.   Good teachers and good school leadership, matter. Show me a school with high staff turnover, and I will tell you this is not a place to send your kids.    

This job has an enormous learning curve.  Many of the moments of this year that stand out I dealt with because I have maturity and experience on my side. I did things, planned things, made decisions because I know in the long term that building students up for success is and should always be the end goal.

Adequate funding and being able to make a living wage matters.  Our state government is dismantling public education in a highly political and visible way.  If you are local, you should be following the direction our elected leaders want to take regardless if you have school aged children. I continue to teach in part because we have a 2nd income. Good teachers that I know and loved are not returning in the fall because after 5+ years of a salary freeze they simply can't sustain a livable lifestyle on the salary they make.  I am most likely renewing my National Boards over the next two years, giving this job another decade to reap the bump in pay and then getting out.  At that point I will have 25 years and a decent retirement.  For the first time ever I feel like I need a long term exit strategy.

Today is the only day of the entire summer that both boys will be in full time care.  Today is about a mountain of house and yard tasks to be completed. Starting Monday someone is somewhere each day, but only for a half day.  I have once again worked my summer child care budget like a boss.  While I am (thankfully) not teaching online, I am working on AP Government for the over ninety students enrolled for the next year. Ninety students, the most I've ever had to teach something worth going to work to do.

I'm also writing test items for the state test on a paid contract.  I thought long and hard about the time it will take, but the benefits of extra money plus the opportunities afforded through networking makes this a good use of time.

Tomorrow I've driving the boys over to Charlotte to meet up with my high school girlfriends and their kids at my friend's home on Lake Norman.  This will be the 3rd summer we have met for a mini reunion and a great way to kick off the next 8 weeks off from work.

Happiest of weekends and end of the school year.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to party like you are seven years old

When I asked Ben what he wanted to do for his 7th birthday, without hesitation he answered , "water slide party, again."

As there are 10+ children on our street we regularly play with, I limited him to only the boys in his class and his choice of 3 additional people from either after school program or a long time friend.  The result was 21 kids plus parents.

With the torrential rain on Friday I feared that the party would begin to look more like Woodstock than a seven year old's party given the amount of expected mud.  Luckily the party rental place sent a slide with a giant pool at the bottom so the mud was minimized.  We used the same company again, Inflate a Party of Apex, with great success.

My friend Eileen made Lego Chima cupcakes and designed several of Ben's favorite characters for several of the two dozen.  A very big thanks to Eileen for taking on our birthday among the many, many graduations and other parties she was committed to finishing.  If local please consider using Sugar Mama Cakes and Sweets, not only is she one funny lady, she makes mad tasty cakes.

Outside of having a giant water slide on a sunny summer day at our disposal, the best part was my brother Brian was able to join the celebration.  I promised him unlimited water slide racing once the party was over.  And did we ever.

My favorite picture of the whole day was captured on our last time down the slide.  Someone commented when I put this up on facebook that my mom was likely smiling down, seeing her kids and grandkids so very happy.

I had such a great time and know that the kids did as well.  While we were sad to see Brian leave (as well the deflating of the slide a full 6 hours after it had arrived.) I hope it was great birthday for Ben.  He assured me that a day of sliding and water gun fights = AWESOME.

Ben is going to all boy sleep-over party this weekend.  When I spoke to the parent yesterday, I commented she was a brave woman to host a gaggle of 7 year old boys overnight.  Her comment, "you hosted a water slide for the same group of boys in a rain soaked yard."  I think I'll raise her crazy and counter with an with equal level of crazy.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


My beautiful blue-eyed Ben,

Today you are seven.  While you didn't wake as I curled up with you just after midnight to be the first to wish you a happy birthday, I sense you knew I was there.  I smelled your hair, wrapped your lanky arms around mine, and just listened to you breathe.  My guess is you will never know how many nights I do this until you have children of your own.  

Tomorrow is your last day in first grade.  A year marked by success in your classroom as well as new endeavors you tried. A year marked by worry and stress over if we are moving in the right direction.

I am very thankful that even with setbacks with weight loss, backsliding in behavior, and the time that weekly therapy visits took from an already packed schedule, you are in a much more successful place than you were a year ago.  You will never be defined as a diagnosis, but rather my son who has struggles of your own and are learning to process life on your own terms.

As your parent I feel that every decision we have made this year has come with part prayer and part hope that the right path is being followed.  I have said so many times, that as your mom all I can do is support you, make resources available, and love you unconditionally.  I cannot know what your future holds.  I only have the choices I can make today.

This past year you played T-ball, took many art classes with a special love for clay with Ms. Linda. Not surprisingly, you announced that art was your favorite special at school.  You told me the other day that it makes you happy to see your artwork in the kitchen displayed for all to see.  Me too :)

You loved Jr. Jazzercise summer camp to the point you have watched video footage on a continuous loop all year.  Not surprisingly we had to plan part of our summer around when the class would be offered again.

You played many an afternoon on sun drenched afternoon with our neighbors riding bikes and playing ball. You attended your first sleepover birthday party as well as hosted friends to sleep over at our home.  We had many conversations about being a good friend and making friends.  All of which you listened intently and offered your own 6 year old understanding that good friends are essential to happiness in life.

You asked for a tennis racket and a new bike for your birthday, both of which you got and have already enjoyed yesterday after a fun birthday party.  You spent your 7th birthday today at a special comic book event with your dad in Charlotte.  While I missed seeing you for most of the day, I love that you have this special bond with him.   I am so very glad you participated in Y Guides with your father including a weekend camp out. Camping with dad has become your own special date night as well as a growing love of video games and movies.

As a brother to Ian, while you fight with him daily, you also are overprotective and want others to treat him not as the little brother, but just as your brother.  As much as the days leave me so very tired, I also cherish the loud and crazy life we live.  Seeing your faces at pick up and hearing about school, is the best part of my day.  I love that you still reach for my hand, want to share a secret with me, are proud of what I do teaching students, and love to point out the things we both enjoy like chocolate mint ice cream.

I hope that our mom and Ben overnight trip will be an extension of our date nights for as long as you are willing.  Sitting with you on the steps of the Lincoln memorial was was of the best moments in the last year shared just between us.

While with every passing year you will pull more away from me as you seek out your own independence, I hope that the quiet moments like the ones just before bed when you read to me are the ones you remember.  I hope that our kissing hand tradition will outlast boyhood, if only inside our home. I hope you will always catch my kiss and tuck it away.   I promise to do the same.

My beautiful boy, may the sun always shine on your face as you travel another year around the sun.  So much goodness lies ahead for you.  If all I ever do in my life is to be called mom, then I have lived a good life.


Friday, June 7, 2013

My Mom- By Ben (Age 6 years, 363 days)

Ben brought home a book he made about our relationship.  He excitedly showed it to me as soon as he got into the car. What mixed emotions I have about this year and his last few days as a 6 year old.  As Ben read his book later to me, I have to smile at how many times he incorrectly noted I teach middle school.  There is truth and innocence in everything he wrote.

My Mom by Ben

My mom has blue eyes.  Her name is Heather Vinson.  She likes to listen to the news.  She likes to read chapter books.  She wears glasses. She works at a middle school and he mascot is the purple and gold hulks (meant... hawks.)  (Erased badly, "Her favorite bad food is chocolate mint ice cream.)

My moms favorite color is lime green.  Her favorite food is pasta (does this child not see the amount of cheese I eat!)  Her favorite place is Kenya.  She likes to teach middle schoolers.  She likes my grandmother and my uncle.  She likes to read.

My mom's job is to teach middle schoolers.  She teaches about the times.  She lets me on weekends go to her school and lets me play with her student's play dough.  It is so fun!  She teaches about the Civil War.

What I love most about my mom is she makes the awesomest mini-hamburger.  She lets me play outside after school.

My sweet Ben, be still my heart at your take on our relationship.  Happy early birthday. I can't wait to race you on the giant waterside at your party tomorrow.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Last night we went for summer haircuts and ice cream on our nightly walk with the dog.  Ian insisted he get a "bub" cut just like Ben.  I spent way too much time running my hands over their heads for the rest of the night.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May Wrap Up

May, you were busy....

Before too many more June days pass, a quick May recap.

-took the boys for a long beach mother's day weekend of awesomeness
-finished 3 books (Where Did You Go Bernadette, We Live in Water, re-read Rules of Civility)
-hosted my old neighborhood bookclub for summer drinks and desserts
-found the perfect dress for my upcoming 20th high school reunion
-took Ian for stitches, twice and reward ice cream once
-in general the whole "let's walk the dog to get ice cream" became a weekly item

-got the acceptance letter of a lifetime for the Supreme Court Institute later this month
-purchased a few more professional summer dresses to where in DC plus work in general
-finalized and paid for all summer camps for the boys, all weeks with notes attached for Bill in Google calender
-volunteered one final time with Ben's class
-saw a movie in a movie theater that did not involve animation with another adult. Bonus pts for being a documentary
-started several summer lists including the work list, the fun list, the book list, the kiddo list (the word "swimming hole" was written on more than one list)
-booked and have already bought most everything for Ben's 7th birthday party this weekend

Add a giant waterslide, Sugar Mama cupcakes, and the boys only list from his 1st grade class and let's get this party started.  I'm stoked that my brother is coming to help celebrate, and race me on the waterslide.

Few people take pictures of plants and containers gardens. Then, there's me.  My favorite pictures this month are of pots I designed and assembled and now can look at every single day of summer on my porch.

I <3 you summer.

Monday, June 3, 2013


We wrapped up a long week with a picnic on our front porch Friday night.  None of our neighbors were home but Ben and Ian still wanted to play outside. We stayed out until Bill came home around 8:30 with bike  vs scooter races a plenty along with lots and lots of wrestling.

Saturday I took the boys to Cary Dog Days at a nearby local park.  Granted it was hot, but the boys loved watching the dog frisbee contest and just seeing all the dogs in general.  We made a donation to a local charity and got Vegas washed.  We ended up after hitting the playground at the boat dock after stopping for snacks.  A kayaking class was practicing in the water and the boys watched with amazement.  We then had a much longer than expected conversation about why we couldn't take our dog on a paddle boat and we would have to return another day.

Saturday afternoon I took the boys to our neighborhood pool and hit up a couple hours of wearing them down. I think half of Ben's 1st grade class was there for an epic watergun battle.  Saturday night Ben had our neighbor over to spend the night camping on the porch.  This was the first real "sleepover" he has had at the house.  I am NOT that brave mom that hosted a 8 boy sleepover birthday party. Waterslide party with 25 kids, yeah I'm that kind of crazy.  Having 8 boys in the house overnight, not yet.

The boys did well, but got a little freaked out at the noises from all the frogs.  Bill wound up sleeping on the downstairs couch and come morning (like 6 am) both boys were ready to be up.  I'm glad that this weekend again I went to bed both nights really, really early.  I expected Ian to pitch a fit and had planned to make a tent in his room, happily he just went to bed and to sleep almost immediately.

We tried out our new fire pit with roasted Smores after grilling out for dinner.  Having our grill directly hooked into our gas line is super convenient and results of lots of grilled meals all summer long.

Sunday the boys and I did church and then attempted to go to Y camp orientations.  Ian's behavior honestly was so difficult at points of the weekend that I found myself putting myself in time out after putting him in time out (and yes, having to lock him in to stay in time out.)  I was holding trying out the Y pool as leverage to getting him to behave but after 2 times leaving to slip out to control him we packed it up and left.  I went home, put him in time out and then took Ben to our neighborhood pool.   Luckily once, home he had calmed down and after an early bedtime I hit the grocery by myself for some super double coupons.

While not the most exciting of weekends.  I mean really do you need to know I started the week of laundry on Friday night once the boys were in bed, or that it seemed every doorknob was sticky all weekend long or I saved close to 100.00 with my well organized coupon strategy.  It was quiet and not packed with events and frankly what we (ok, me) needed.