Saturday, August 27, 2011

O turns one!

Twelve months passed too quickly. Here are some highlights from O's first birthday, a gathering of a smattering of our friends.

And big sister gets in on the act...


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Update on E -- Terrible Twos


Most days I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry because this is a turbulent age, indeed. I don't remember my mom telling stories of my twodom, so I'm not entirely sure if this is a case of payback.

Elsie is two in the most stereotypical sense of the word. She is PASSIONATE! It's almost manic in that she'll be really, really happy, and then without batting an eye, she'll be really really angry. It's worse around drop-off at care in the morning, dinner at night, and bedtime. Wait. Those are the times when it's typically just Mama and Elsie. Coincidence? I hope so, or I'm going to have a complex for the rest of my parenting life..which is the rest of my life.

Should I be concerned when everyone I meet tells me that three is worse than two? Because I'm starting to get concerned.

Aside from the stereotyped behaviors, Elsie is funny, and silly, and...territorial. She likes to dance and quote lines from Yo Gabba Gabba (this morning I went in and she was jumping on her bed singing, "Go crazy! Go crazy! Go crazy!" from the Dancy-Dance segment of the show; the other day we were sampling at Sam's Club and the lady had yogurt and Elsie said "Try it! You'll like it!", also from YGG). She asks to see "Bob Mato" on a regular basis (aka Veggie Tales and Bob the Tomato).

She LOVES her new care provider. From day one I dropped her off and was kneeling down to tell her that I would be back for her, yada yada yada, and she interrupted me and said, "Goodbye," then turned around and started to play. Wow, that was easy.

Every day when we get in the car she says, "That fun." Good.

Now I mentioned above about her throwing a tantrum during dropoff, and yes, that happens sometimes--she usually stalls outside the door and does not want to come in the door. If I have to force the issue and drag her in (since I'm carrying Oscar), she does not take too kindly to that. But once she's in the playroom, it's like there never was a tantrum. Like I never made her mad.

So, that's all I can think of right now. Pray for me.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

I'm excited about school starting with students on Monday. Did you know that this is my eleventh year of teaching? I include the first two years I spent in AmeriCorps in Austin to reach that number. For pay scale and retirement purposes, this is only year nine, but it all counts. Also, strangely enough, this year I have my tenth principal in those eleven years. My first two years at this job (last year and the year before) were the only two years in my career where I had the same principal two years in a row.

In grad school we were always told that the burnout for middle school was three years, and this is my seventh year teaching middle school, so I guess that makes me a tried and true lunatic. To think I thought I wanted to be a high school teacher (and I was for two years) but this age group has really grown on me. Why does it always seem to surprise me that the Lord knows what he's doing?

So, we went back to school on Monday for teacher stuff. This week back at school was short. Very short. The longer I was there the more things I realized I still need to do in order to be ready for students to come on Monday. We had meeting after meeting and even a good chunk of time to spend in the classroom working, but sometimes that was impossible because at the beginning of the week coleagues would come by with questions and concerns, and at the end of the week, students would come with their parents and would peek their heads into the classroom to get a sneak preview, not wanting to bother us and not knowing that they weren't the only ones to have that great idea.

I was blessed this week with the help of two of my girlfriends. They offered and I accepted. M came on Thursday and helped me clean off my countertop (which runs the length of one wall), move my computer to the other end, since I moved my desk to the other end last spring, and move books and adjust shelves above the countertop. It is sleek, clean, and uncluttered (for now). Then she came back Friday and teamed up with J and they tackled my classroom library, labeling the books with their AR levels and quiz numbers. Something that would have taken me a couple of weeks of planning periods working by myself they accomplished together in less than six hours. THANK YOU, LADIES!!

Eli is out of pocket this weekend at a military law symposium in Tuscaloosa. I knew it was coming, but for some reason I didn't realize how much I would need to get up to my classroom and get things done--and there is sooooo much to be done: I need to find a place for everything that is still out on the desktops, I need to dust the room and clean the desks, I need to work on my lesson plans and blocking out the semester's activities, I need to map out my procedures and print CHAMPs posters (it's a classroom management thing), I need to print rosters and put seating info on desks, I need to work on my helper chart, and I need to think through my first day.

And then there's a thousand other little things I have to do that I won't be able to remember until I'm standing in my classroom. I've started a list and we'll see what I can accomplish before 7:25 on Monday.