Sunday, September 30, 2007

Homecoming x2

It has been quite a busy weekend here at the MeyPfan house, due to the fact that it was Homecoming for both Butler and Zionsville (and also Brownsburg, although this luckily will not affect us until Bryn gets into school!). After a crazy week of mounting student excitement (for Homecoming) and panic (for the large papers and project that were due on Friday), I finished up my last full workweek for this year and proceeded into a hectic evening. Cathy dropped Bryn off at Alicia and Suellen's house for me, and they took her to the park, fed her snacks, and generally spoiled her while I went to work at the ZCHS concession stand. Blessedly, the girls' volleyball team proved to be superstar workers, and my wonderful husband showed up to take over for me after a mere hour and a half of preparing massive amounts of hot dogs and popcorn.

After rushing home and changing out of my concession-stink clothing, I met up with Alicia, Suellen, Bryn, and one of our good friends from college, Kristen. As it was nearly 7:30 by this point, we headed out immediately for Ruby Tuesday's, where we feasted on salad bar and were later joined by another good college friend, Krysten, and her husband, Adam. Aside from some fussiness out of Bryn (which was understandable, as she ended up being awake far past her bedtime), we had a great time all getting caught up.

Kristen spent the night at our house, and Krysten and Adam stayed with Al and Suellen, and we all met up again the next morning to grab some lunch and head over to Butler for the Homecoming festivities. We visited some of the favorite old spots, ran into old friends, and hit the bookstore for a restocking of Butler wear. Our family decided to bail before the actual game, due to the fact that it was past Bryn's naptime. The whole gang reconvened at our house that evening, where Krysten prepared us a scrumptious Italian feast and Ben indoctrinated the out-of-towners with a game of Bang.

I had to rush out in the middle of the game, though, in order to get to ZCHS in time to chaperone the Homecoming dance. This was actually a lot more fun than it might sound like. Kids came up and hugged me and showed off their dress-up ensembles and dates all night, and I was actually asked to dance by four junior boys (I refused them all). Experiences like that really remind me why I went into teaching--not for the content, or the grading, or the discipline, but because I love teenagers and being with them makes me happy. Not to mention that it's a huge plus when they love me back. I would say that the only downfall of the night was that I discovered our unborn child's apparent love for bad rap music, as she was dancing up a storm in my stomach all night. As in, both I and the parent chaperone sitting next to me could see my stomach bouncing all over the place from her kicks. Yikes.

Today held the youth service with my awesome small group at church, then family naptime, then many chores and a winning Colts game. I am thrilled to report that I only have 3 days of teaching left before my "retirement" for this year. I will miss the kids desperately, and I have no idea how I'm going to grade 71 poetry analysis papers by Wednesday, but I have to admit that it will be wonderful to sleep in, put my feet up during the day, spend more time with Brynie, and get caught up on projects and on time with friends.

Anyway, here's a few of my favorite pictures from this weekend:

Bryn rides the bulldog at Hinkle Fieldhouse
Here's the reunion gang: Kristen, Ben, me and Bryn, Krysten, Adam, Suellen, and Alicia

Monday, September 24, 2007

Glory Days

This past weekend was the big Dunlap Class of 1997 reunion. I was on the planning committee, and to quote Ben, "Wow, it's like you get an hour of your life back every day now that it's over!" I am quite glad that all the planning and organization is over (I even got to sleep in a little this morning as a result of not having to sort through RSVPs before going to work), but I wish the reunion itself could have lasted longer.

Ben and I both took half days on Friday in order to drive over to Illinois and make it to DHS in time for the pre-football game tour and potluck. This weekend was Dunlap's Homecoming (thus why we did the reunion this weekend), and Ben and I managed to get stuck in traffic for about 20 minutes while within sight of the high school as the annual parade was ending. Those who are familiar with Dunlap will appreciate the irony of this situation, as this is probably the one time of the whole year that actually generates a "traffic jam" in the town that doesn't even have stoplights.

At any rate, we eventually made it to the high school, where I was immediately thrown for a loop by the fact that what used to be the front entry hallway is now blocked by a large wall. We meandered through the newly constructed hallways until we found the commons (which is what other schools call a cafeteria), and we were able to take our bearings from there. As Derek and Damon said, the tour itself was not nostalgic as we certainly never attended that high school. There have been so many additions in the past 10 years that most of the school is unrecognizable to us old alumni. Only the football field itself felt nostalgic. That hasn't changed much, although I think the football team has won more games so far this season than they did in our entire high school careers combined.

I thought the best part of the Friday night portion of the reunion was getting to see all my former classmates' kids. Some of them have up to 3 kids, which I guess shouldn't be all that shocking to me since we're about to have our second, but was really surreal to see all the same.

It was so cute to see the little (and some big) kids running all over the place and rather amusing to see my former classmates turned parents. It was weird to realize that we're all grownups now. Some of the people that I thought were big screwups in high school are now holding down good jobs, raising children, attending medical school, etc. Wow.

My stay at the Friday reunion was rather short, however. Bryn had developed a nasty cough/cold combo during the week, and her snuffliness kept her awake for the entire car ride to Peoria. So she didn't feel well AND she hadn't taken a nap, which is the perfect combination for the creation of Fussy Baby. We tried to go into the stands and watch the football game, but we ended up sitting right behind the student section. Now, this was problematic for a few reasons. For one, all the students stand for the entire game, so if we wanted to see anything, we, too, had to stand on the bleachers. This was a precarious enough position for the pregnant lady and the not-quite-2 year old, and it became even more so when we discovered that the current DHS students take ANY excuse to jump up and down wildly to shake the bleachers (which are possibly the only thing at the whole school that have not been replaced since my time there). This led to a terrified Bryn burrowing into my shoulder and crying, while I sat down and clutched my seat for dear life and her yet-unborn sister kicked wildly in protest. Because of all of this, we left at the end of the first quarter, which was especially disappointing because we didn't even get to see the band's halftime show--which, as we all know, is the real reason for attending football games at all.

I hear that the rest of my former classmates had a good time at the game and at Kelleher's downtown afterwards, but Ben and I went to Dad's house, put our fussy baby down to sleep, and promptly fell fast asleep ourselves. Bryn slept in on Saturday morning but then spent the rest of the morning whining and crying pitifully. She was awake for all of two hours before she fell asleep on the five-minute car ride from Dad's house to Mom's--yet somehow she couldn't fall asleep during the 4-hour ride the night before?? Anyway, we stuck her in the crib at Mom's house, thinking this would be a 20-minute power nap or something. 3+ hours later, she finally woke up and promptly resumed her crying. We had made plans to meet some of my friends at local park, which we had thought would be fun for the kids. But while Bryn usually loves slides and swings (both of which she calls "whee!"), she was having none of it that day. She spent our entire trip to the park crying on my chest, so we cut the visit short and returned to Dad's house, where she was somewhat placated by watching the "Baby's First Signs" video we have borrowed from Christopher.

Bryn spent Saturday night with an adoring Grandpa and Grandma while Ben and I attended the DHS '97 reception downtown. This was definitely the highlight of my weekend, partially because it did not include a crying baby and partially because it actually allowed me to get caught up with my friends and former classmates. It was absolutely wonderful to see my friends, and it wasn't long before we all started planning our own reunion weekend for hopefully sometime in the spring. Life, jobs, kids, etc. all prevent us from getting together as often as we used to, but somehow, when we do see each other, it's like no time has passed at all and we all just pick up right where we left off. While many of our former classmates elected to visit a local bar following the reception, my friends decided to hit up Old Chicago for some pizza, since the appetizers at the reception had been far from filling. All told, it was nearly 1:00 by the time Ben and I finally got back to Dad's house, which is 2:00 our time and darn close to Ben's typically wake-up call for Wizo work. We were happy to sleep in a bit in the morning!

The down side to this whole visit became apparent on Sunday morning, when Bryn began crying pitifully as soon as she became conscious. We decided to scrap our Sunday plans and head straight home. She cried the whole way back, which led Ben and I to wonder if we had somehow become stuck in a time warp or if the trip from Peoria to Indy was always that long. The unconsolable crying, coupled with runny nose and coughing, continued all night. Ben ended up taking today off work, as Bryn was too sick to send to Cathy's house. He managed to get her in at the doctor, where we learned that her cold had morphed into bronchitis. Oops--bad Mommy and Daddy for dragging her out of town in such a condition!! On the up side, she was feeling much better after getting some medicine in her and taking a 5+ (wow) hour nap this afternoon, and she was even playing like her old self by this evening. Thank goodness!

Here are a few pictures of the reunion for those who you former DHS-ers who weren't able to make it:
DHS Class of 1997 Alumni

Clan reunion: Caroline, Chuck, Maria, Corey, me, and Damon

Clan friends and significant others: Maria and Jason, Caroline and Cosmos, Crissy and Chuck, Liz and Corey, me and Ben, and Damon

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Colts Kids - Updated

A real post will hopefully follow sometime soon, but I just had to post this adorable picture that I received from Cathy. This is Bryn and Chris showing off their team spirit on the afternoon of the Colts season opener last week. Isn't Bryn just ridiculously cute?!?!

Update - here's one from Game Night last night. Bryn and Hannah were sporting matching pink Colts jerseys. This picture was taken mid-meltdown for Bryn, so we're pretty lucky it turned out as well as it did. :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Quick Update

This week has pretty much been madness, so for all of those of you who I owe phonecalls or emails, they're coming, I promise! Here's a quick update of our week--sorry, no creativity right now. :)

Monday - Hooray for Labor Day and no work! Libby was here visiting, and we spent the vast majority of the day painting furniture in Bryn's big girl room. This led to many great hours of conversation and catching up, which was just the right way to spend the day. We also did dinner at BW3, since none of us had been there since, well, probably when Libby last lived here (over a year ago). Bryn became obsessed with the video games and small machines holding 25 cent prizes, and we eventually had to drag her out of there.

Tuesday - Back to work. My day was spent discussing Antigone and Robert Frost. The highlight was when Libby brought me a delicious Eagle Creek sandwich for lunch during my prep, which led to more good visiting, as well as Libs getting to see some kids. I left school almost as rapidly as the kids in order to drive frantically to Carmel to make it to my OB appointment, where I got to be a human pincushion for the sake of my 28 week labs. All I can say is, orange drink, yuck. I completely crashed following this experience, waking up only for dinner.

Wednesday - I spent four periods watching a deadly boring video about Emily Dickinson. It was so bad that I almost don't even blame the kids for falling asleep.... although I did still give them a quiz at the end to make sure they had been paying attention (I'm mean). The big news of the day is that we finally got our fence installed! It looks fantastic, and best of all, it means that we don't have to take the dogs out on leashes anymore. We are quite happy!

Thursday - My students were extra hyper for some reason, possibly in anticipation of the Colts game. The game itself started too late for teachers and babies (all of 8:30), but we had Cathy, Eric, and Christopher, Alicia and Suellen, and Mike, Kathleen, and Emily over for a pre-game cookout and round of Lifeboat (which, by the way, Ben enjoys so much that he started talking in his sleep about it the other night). I argue that I should have won the game, but it seems that Eric is our champion by a technicality. :) Oh yeah, and Colts win!

Friday - My morning featured students explaining to me that they had not done their homework because they were watching (or attending) the game. I further exemplified my meanness when I told them too bad, homework was due anyway. I mean, really. The afternoon featured the continued efforts of my 6th and 7th period classes to drive me to insanity--they are just extremly "high energy," so much so that at one point I threatened to go into early labor if they would not be quiet. Bryn was apparently a bit of a monster for Cathy this morning. (Conversation as reported by Cathy: Cathy says, during Bryn's first tantrum at 8:15, "Bryn, are you going to be a wee beastie all day long?" And Bryn replies, "Yup." And then followed through. My take on it? At least she's learning to reply in the affirmative, and at least she's honest!) Friday night held another full-family running of the concession stand, thankfully with student and parent workers this time. It was about a million degrees in the concession stand, and Bryn's little face was beet red after being in there for about 10 minutes, so Ben and I had to take turns chasing her around the stadium during the game. She was alternately fascinated by the band (yeah!), the cheerleaders, the crowd, and the rocks on the ground, but did not seem too interested in the actual football, except when the players all jogged directly past her to get onto the field at the start of the game.

Saturday - Bryn and I spent the morning hitting some nearby garage sales, where we made a few excellent finds, some of which will be held back for her birthday. We had planned to attend Fall Festival in Zionsville, ideally at the time that the show choirs performed, but it was simply too humid to keep the baby and the pregnant lady out any longer, as we both were dripping with sweat and needed clothing changes following the garage sales. The afternoon held a huge rainstorm and four-hour naps for daddy and daughter, which a shorter version for me (stupid pregnant bladder). We went to the Saturday night service at church, where we heard a seriously excellent sermon. Then dinner and bed.

Sunday - Good morning! Time for me to wrap this off, as I'm off to the 9:30 service at church to meet my new small group (all freshmen girls) at the youth service. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The ABCs of Our Week

Ah, blogging, how I have missed you. Here's an alphabetized list of the ups and downs of my week:

Antigone - I spent two class periods a day reading this Greek tragedy aloud with utterly uninterested sophomores. I mean, come on, with the well-known high school love of drama, surely they could get slightly interested in a play where people marry their blood relatives and then kill themselves, right?

Bryn - The Muffin seems to be doing far better with going to Cathy's during the day. This week she didn't even cry when Ben dropped her off most mornings, and she has also stopped crying when we drop her off at the church nursery. She does demand intense play time from us in the evenings, but we are happy to oblige.

Concessions - Ben, Bryn, and I are once again managing the concession stand at ZCHS for home football games. This past Friday night was horrific, as we were understaffed by about half, but we powered on through and now have a refrigerator full of leftover hot dogs to show for it.

Dogs - Dagny and Tela are apparently in molting season, as our carpet is covered with hair every night when we get home. Just what the busy family needs--another chore to do. Meanwhile, Dagny had an adventure of her own on Saturday when she pulled out of her collar and took off running through the nearby empty lots, thus scaring the living daylights out of about 100 grazing geese, much to her great delight.

EBay - Ben has had a lucrative week on his "other" job, including selling many of the Disney mugs that Cathy asked us to put up for sale for her.

Fence - We will finally be getting ours installed this week--hooray! It will be such a blessed relief to be able to just let the dogs out to do their business on their own rather than having to stand there with them yanking mercilessly on their leashes. This willl also make a better play area for Bryn.

Game Night- The Return of Game Night occurred last night, so we were able to catch up with seven friends, eat a scrumptious potluck dinner, and play some large-group games that have just been gathering dust all summer. (Ben would like me to mention that as far as "Bang!" is concerned, he is the best deputy ever and managed to kill two outlaws in one turn.)

Heat - After what seems like an eternity of 90+ degree days, this week we actually had two of a decent temperature, which allowed us to play outside with Bryn and get some outdoor chores done. Don't get too comfortable though, next week the heat will return.

In-service - In spite of the fact that I am actually working as a substitute teacher this fall, I was still required to attend the seemingly neverending in-service day of speakers on Friday, when really all I wanted was to be at home in bed.

Juniors - My English 11 classes finished up their American Dream projects this week. I spent four periods a day on Monday and Tuesday in the library while they worked on them, and then four periods a day on Wednesday and Thursday watching their presentations. I would say I'm glad to have them over with, except that our next unit is poetry, which is apparently the universally most-hated topic of students everywhere.

Kept the sprinkler on all night - After getting extremely motivated and putting down fertilizer over our whole lawn, Ben turned on the sprinkler to "green it up" so that "our lawn will be greener than the Jordans'." Unfortunately, he then went to sleep and forgot about it.... so apparently our water bill will be higher than the Jordans' as well.

Libby - Hooray! Libs is in town from California for almost week of visiting. While most of her visit does revolve around Zionsville and her former youth ministry position there, we were lucky enough to steal her away for a nice long visit, Sunday night until Tuesday morning. She is sleeping off her jetlag in our guest room as I write this.

Monthly Mowing of the Lawn - Due to the excessive heat and our excessively busy schedules, Ben had not gotten around to mowing the lawn for almost an entire month. Now, let it be said that since we've had no rain, our lawn actually didn't look all that bad, except in comparison to the Jordans (next door) and the Browns (two doors down), who are both lawn champs. In Ben's defense, though, when he did get around to mowing, he did quite the nice job, including fertilizing (see K).

Nighttime leg cramps - These seem to be a standard for this pregnancy. I continue to wake up in the night with intense cramping in my calves, in spite of increases in my potassium, magnesium, and calcium intakes at the suggestion of various friends and books. The cramps are so bad that I now limp during the day because they never quite go away.

OB - This is where I will be spending tomorrow afternoon, doing my 28-week labs for gestational diabetes and all kinds of other fun things. Given my great fear of needles, I've pretty much been dreading this visit. But it does mean that we're down to 12 weeks or so until the arrival of (still unnamed) Baby Girl!

Painting Projects - That's how we plan to spend today. I will (hopefully) be finishing Bryn's Belle mural (pictures to come), and we also plan to enlist Libby's help in giving Bryn's big-girl furniture (all garage sale acquisitions) a makeover.

Quiet - A delightful way to spend the morning. Here it is 10:30 on a Monday morning, and I am blissfully typing away on the blog while Ben relaxes and Bryn plays. Long weekends are wonderful.

Rash - Bryn developed quite the monster rash in her diaper region this week. We're talking red and raw, complete with blisters. Babysitter extraordinaire Cathy actually took her to the doctor for us. And better still, when Dr. Z went to write a prescription, Cathy revealed that she already had the medicine in stock, so we didn't even need to write any money on that. Let it be said that there was no better place for Bryn to be this week than the House of Rash, since Cathy has a great deal of experience in these matters, due to the overall sensitivity of Christopher's bum. :)

Sign Language - Another mark of the great babysitter. Chris is quite fluent in sign language, so Cathy has been teaching Bryn for the last two weeks as well. In the past two days alone, Bryn has mastered the signs for "friend," "eat," "drink," and "help." If she learns too much more, I think Cathy is going to have to give Ben and I a tutorial as well so we know what our daughter is saying!!

Tuesday nights - To conclude a summer of Tuesday night softball, Ben's team played in the championship this Tuesday night (after it got rained out last Saturday). Ben made several awesome catches (one of which particularly seemed to defy gravity) and even hit an in-the-park homerun. Unfortunately, with half his team absent from the game due to the startup of MBA classes, his heroic efforts were not enough to vault them into the lead.

Um - I'm pretty much running out of ideas for each letter here, but I hope you all appreciate my valiant efforts in this area.

Vomit - This Tuesday held what one of my students referred to as "the most intense classroom experience I have ever had" when another kid projectile vomited all over my classroom. As in, he lost it at least six times before he even made it to the trash can. This was especially distressing for me, as pregnant women are known to vomit at just about anything. It took me two class periods after that to settle my churning stomach. And to top it all off, another kid threw up on his way to my class on Wednesday. Intense yuckiness.

Wednesday night - As is probably not surprising after reading the entry for V, I spent all of Wednesday night hunched over the toilet in our bathroom. Whether this was pregnancy-induced or just a reaction to my past few days, I am not really sure. At any rate, I was up sick virtually all night, yet since I am just a sub and am paid by the day, I still had to go to work the next morning.

XC meet - This was the girls' track coach's excuse for her absolute lack of workers on Friday night (see C). As an understatement, we were not happy. Nor were the fans, since we could not work fast enough to keep up with their orders for popcorn and hot dogs.

Yawn - Ben and I were both pretty beat by this weekend. Getting up at 5:00 every day (especially after one night--W--of hardly sleeping at all) has definitely taken its toll on me, and Ben's 3 nights a week of 3:00 am wakeup calls for Wizo work wear out even the man who claims to not need sleep.

Zionsville - It's funny to be back spending so much time in Zville these days after hardly being there at all since last November. It's good to be back with the ZCHS staff though, and I love getting to see the kids. 4 1/2 more weeks to go....

So there's our week in review. After all the effort that I put into this post, I will be disappointed with anything less than a barrage of comments to say hello and catch me up on what all of you are up to! :)