Thursday, June 13, 2013

Oooh, Child, Things Are Gonna Get Easier.

[Currently listening to: "MoneyGrabber" by Fitz & The Tantrums]

Lord, help me to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can...

I think that's how it goes. I probably botched it like I botch most song lyrics, but you get the gist. I have control issues. [Insert gasps, shock and awe here] What can I say? My "job" (some people don't think that being a stay-at-home mom is a real job. Ha!) was raising my children, and organizing every aspect of our household. I was so used to doing everything that I forgot my son suddenly went from one to eleven. It felt like it happened overnight. Setting out clothes when your child is one: appropriate. Setting out clothes when your child is eleven: notsomuch. Going through a divorce has taught me to let go of most (okay, some) of my control issues. For instance: I let the boy dress himself. He is going to middle school, after all. Does he wear two different shades of blue? Yes. Does he think that bed head is appropriate? Absolutely. I also let the 7-year-old dress herself. Even though she sometimes looks like a canvas of mismatched colors and patterns. Even though she sometimes insists on combing her Rapunzel-length hair into a somewhat braid.

Speaking of control, I'm learning to let go of control when they're with dad. This is downright difficult sometimes. After being the primary caregiver for twelve years, letting go of some of the control has proven to be God's way of testing my patience. Speaking of testing my patience, I'm currently weaning my son off The Minecraft, and electronics all together. Since Chloe's idea of fun is playing outside, tagging fences with water squirters, reading beaver books and doing arts and crafts, this isn't an issue for her. Trevor, well that's a different story. On day one, he went a little "cray-cray" (as he says), but now he's getting used to the swing of things. If I had my way, we'd be electronic free... except for my iPhone... and my iPad (used to update my SPEAK page)... and a desktop computer for long emails and blogs. I've been trying (key word: trying) to disconnect while I'm with the kids. Now that I have to share time with them, it's become quality versus quantity. Oftentimes I put my phone on silent, ignore the problems of the Douglas County School District and the Board of Education (seriously, guys... can you give me one week without being complete douchers?!), and spend quality time with my kiddos. I live in an amazing state with lots to do... it's about time we start exploring it for all its fun and beauty.

That being said, what do you all do for fun with your kids? I need some fun (cheap) ideas for the summer. Minecraft will NOT win, I tell you!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Twenty-Five Hundred?!

[Currently listening to: "If I Ruled The World" by Nas feat. Lauryn Hill]

In honor of 2,500 "likes" on my SPEAK for DCSD Facebook page, I've decided to share the post I wrote to my SPEAK peeps on my blog. Happy reading!

Happy 2,500 "Likes" on SPEAK Day!!!

As I was driving this morning, "If I Ruled The World" by Nas and Lauryn Hill came on my iPhone shuffle playlist. It made me think to myself, "Self, if I ruled the world, what would I do?" After some pondering, here's a list of things I came up with:

1. Fire Fagen. I'd replace her with a superintendent who could actually step foot into a classroom and interact with our children and teachers. We could use that "Rainy Day" fund to buy her out of her contract. I think that would be a great use of the funds, don't you?

2. Fire Betz. I know what you're thinking, "We can't fire her, Chérie! She has that magical pocket in her jeans where she conveniently finds money!" I'll compromise with you all... we'll make her leave her magical jeans behind.

3. Fire Cinnamon and Randy. This is probably more personal than anything. I tend to get all Momma Bear when peeps release personal information regarding kids to crazy people. Yes, PLR, I just called you all crazy.

4. Replace Meghann Silverthorn with someone who has stepped foot into a DCSD school before running for office, and someone who actually has/had children in Douglas County public schools. I'd also replace her with someone who doesn't say one thing to teachers, then does another.

5. Replace Dougie B. with someone who doesn't snicker condescendingly at every public comment who dares to oppose his viewpoints (i.e., privatization). Speaking of condescending, feel free to "like" this post, Dougie, since that's how you roll.

6. Replace John Carson with someone who can speak politely to people, and someone who cares about public schools. I'd also replace him with someone who doesn't have to constantly go onto radio shows, like the Mike Rosen Show, to do damage control. While we're on the subject, Mike Rosen, it's offensive when you refer to moms like myself as simply being a "nice soccer mom who loves her teachers but doesn't understand the politics of public education." As if you're so much better than we all are. I am a concerned parent in this district. I am an informed parent in this district. I am a voter in this district. Do not discount the hours I spend trying to make our district a better place for the majority of our children by simply saying I'm a mom who has too much time on my hands. What positive things have you done for our district lately, Mikey? That's what I thought. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to put a pot roast into the oven for dinner and cut orange slices for the big game.

7. Replace Carrie Mendoza (guilty by association)

8. Replace Justin Williams. I know he's not up for election, but this is an "if I ruled the world" scenario, remember? I'd type up a list as to why, but I don't have that kind of time on my hands. Goodness, Justin, you make it so gosh darned easy!

9. Restore the money back to the high schools so they can get off of this silly schedule. [Old person rant in 5...4...3...2...1...] Back in my day, kids actually went to school for most of the day. Telling me that you gave a few kids a survey and they really liked being out of school for many hours a day tells me nothing. My kids would love to have ice cream for breakfast everyday, but that doesn't mean it's ever going to happen.

10. Listen to the principals, teachers and staff in the schools. Wow, what an idea, right?! The thought of listening to the professionals who are actually IN our schools, and have the education to back up being IN our schools? As my 11-year-old would say, "That's just cray-cray!" (Translation: "That's just crazy!"

11. Sleep. I often wake up in the middle of the night thinking of these things, and knowing they're all taken care of would do wonders for my beauty sleep... and gray hair... and wrinkles.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for all you've done to help SPEAK be as successful as it is today! THANK YOU for volunteering to make our schools a better place for our children. THANK YOU for getting involved and becoming informed. THANK YOU for your patience with me in regards to posting the SPEAK Form, and THANK YOU for all of your hugs, well-wishes and encouragement. I never thought SPEAK would reach 2,500 likes, but look at it now.

Please continue to share posts on your Facebook walls, and encourage others to "like" SPEAK. November is just a hop, skip and jump away!

-Chérie Garcia-Lewis
SPEAK Admin. (who wears a lacy apron and pearl necklace while she cooks and cleans, because after all, she's "just" a mom... who has 2,500 "likes" on her silly little page ;))