Monday, March 27, 2006

I've Changed My Last.FM

Let's just say I did not like having Michael Bolton and Kelly Clarkson showing up on my list. When Mindy was here she downloaded a bunch of music which included those two fine musicians. Since I'm not a fan, I changed it. Plus it will update more often so when I'm listening to Neil Diamond or Tom Jones, you all won't know.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Zoo

Today has been the best day. We decided last night to put our family zoo pass to use and go today. After breakfast we went, and had such a great time.

This is Scott and Emily in the Lorakeet exhibit. For a buck you get a nectar cup, and the Lorakeets come and eat it from you. (I have another with two Lorakeets on Scott's head, but his eyes were closed in that picture.) Emily thought this was terrific.

Here we both are in front of the Sia Ming exhibit. I wish that we could have audio that could accommodate this shot. It was so loud. Why aren't they called "howler monkeys?" I think for a moment Emily got a little scared.

We also went off to the giraffes, gorillas, elephants, tigers, lions.... a lot. I am so pleased to have a beautiful zoo near by.
Oh! And also on the other side of the river from the zoo is a 15 acre botanical garden that is attached with zoo admission so the entire zoo is full of amazing plants and flowers. Right now everything is in bloom!

The best part of the day is we were done by lunch, were able to eat lunch, and get home before Emily's one o-clock nap. We all took a nap. It was great!

Monday, March 20, 2006

The black eye

I had my first church women's softball game of the season this evening. So, one would naturally predict with a title of "the black eye" that it came from either a softball, bat, or some other game paraphernalia. But sadly... no. I left my digital camera in my classroom, or I would totally be taking a picture to attach with this post. Maybe tomorrow.

Let's just say that I have a cut under my right eye, and a cut across the bridge of my eye. Sexy, I know.

How did you get it you ask? Well, you see... there are these gates that go into the dugouts. This particular gate had a very solid metal handle, and I guess I was so excited to go up to the batter's box, that I didn't see the big metal handle on the gate. It caught me right in the face... thus, the black eye, and cut up nose.

To make matter worse, or funnier, depending on how you look at it, I didn't even know that I was hurt. I think I said, "ow" and then walked up to bat. It wasn't until after the first ball went by that I put my hand up to my nose because it tickled, and it was then that I realized I was bleeding all over. Too funny. SO... I actually got a base hit, and after running through first base, I turned to our coach at first and said, "UH.... Jimmy? I think I did something." He looked at me like "how in the world????"

Yeah, only me. I am the only one that can get hurt at a softball game by a gate handle. This should be an interesting season!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The first birthday party!

So this is a little late on the posting, but that's okay. Emily's first birthday party was last Saturday. We had my mom, sis, grandparents, cousin, and some friends over. The weather was in the low 80's so we BBQd outside. The entire day was nice, minus Emily getting sick toward the latter part of the evening (and yes... it was ANOTHER double ear infection, even after the tubes, but that's another story).

Anyhow, everything went really well. Emily got a new trike with a handle that goes up to my waist so that I can push her. She also got a new wagon to tote all of our things to the pool this summer in. Really, she could care about any of that. She really just liked the cake. Oh, and hot dogs. We gave her a hot dog for the first time, and she liked that a lot. Oh, and cheetos. She thought Cheetos were awesome. Okay Geez. So we fed our child junk all day.

I still look at her and wonder where the first year has gone. And then my next thought is, "man I want another." Hopefully Scott will finish school soon. Kids are great!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Reading Mid-Terms

I have discovered if you ever want to make a teacher's life hell - write well over the maximum amount of pages given.  Students had to turn in a 3-5 page midterm reflecting back on the class.  Well I've had one 17 page paper, a 16 pager, several 10-12 pages, and several more 7 -10 pagers.  Since I have no ownership of the assignments, I wasn't the one who came up with the page limitation.  I have taken off points becuase of the great lengths of some of the papers but this is taking me forever to finish.

Monday, March 06, 2006

One year ago tomorrow...

Emily was born! I can't believe it! I thought about setting the alarm to 3:32 am (the exact time my water broke) and waking Scott up to tell him "it was time" just to see what he would do in his sleepy stupor. But I have decided against that. That first week of being new parents was so challenging with all that Emily went through. It is unbelievable how all of that plays no part in how she is today.

To look at how different our life is now than it was a year ago is crazy! And in so many ways in addition to becoming parents. Emily has totally changed the way that I see all children. I watch her as she constantly learns new things, and it never ceases to amaze me at how fast she catches on. I love to watch her explore and observe everything around her. What a little learner she has already become!

The other night when I was reading her a bedtime story, she reached down for the bottom right corner to grab the page. She couldn't quite separate one page from another, but when I separated them for her, she knew to grab the page and turn it. And once the page was turned, her attention went back to the new page. Little things like that are so simple at first, but it just amazes me. It also makes me realize that even at her young age, she is constantly watching our every move.

She is truly a gift from God.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This weekend

Let me start out by saying that I feel a little better about the cafeteria lady. I am still going to have a little chat with her Monday morning about how stupid she was to have said what she did, but I am proud of myself for not getting angry with her Friday.

Well, our weekend started out pretty well. Scott takes a class that meets most Saturdays, so after we all ate some breakfast together, he was off until his class at four. Emily and I played, and after lunch we got in the car to run some errands. We had a birthday party to go to in the evening, so we ran over to Target to get a gift. About half way there I start to feel a little yucky.

Now... I have to go back and explain what has been going on in my school district. There is this AWFUL virus that has been going around. It really hasn't hit too bad at the school that I am at, but Friday another school not far away from us actually sent all the kids home early at 11 am because they had 300 reported absences due to the virus, and by 10 that same morning, another 100 kids were sent home. The entire population of the elementary school is between 700-800. That is a lot of sick kids! Other schools have seen dramatic amounts of sick kids due to the virus too.

So back to me driving to Target. I don't want to go home because I had already got both Emily and I into the car which any mom knows is a task in itself. So in we go. I'm almost finished shopping, and I start to feel totally ill. What can I do? I push the cart with Emily over to the restrooms, and the cart doesn't fit. I leave Emily outside the bathroom while I run in and totally lose my lunch. Nice. Luckily after that I feel some relief and can check out.

By the time Scott got home, I was feeling a little better, but I still ended up in bed from about 4:30 yesterday evening until I woke up this morning. What a horrible thing! Luckily, Scott and Emily haven't gotten it so far. I just pray they don't!

Needless to say, we missed the birthday party. I still had a mild fever this morning even though I felt just fine when I woke up. Scott took Emily to church and I stayed home, not wanting to spread any germs. I got two hours of house cleaning. Wow. I couldn't believe how excited i was just to have a couple hours of uninterrupted house cleaning time.

Later this afternoon we all went outside so Scott and I could do some yard work. And now that I have brought Emily inside, I type this scared because Scott's yard work has turned into him burning the dead "stuff" that he has raked up in the yard. I am totally fine with small little fires to burn tumble weeds and such like my dad did when I was little, but when I saw Scott bring the gasoline can out of the garage, I got a little nervous. If nobody hears from us in days, it is because Scott caught the house on fire!

Friday, March 03, 2006

The cafeteria Lady from down under (no, I don't mean Australian!)

Today I had the best day in my classroom. It is days like today that really remind me what it is about teaching that I am in love with. We had some awesome conversation about poetry, I graded a math assessment where everybody scored either an a or b, and I just feel like the kids in my class really enjoy each other and enjoy learning. That makes me enjoy teaching.

Then we went to lunch.

Now I know that kids in the cafeteria can be loud. But eating is social. My idea for the cafeteria ladies is: DEAL WITH IT! If there are kids being overly boystrous, then fine. Have them sit by themselves. But my entire class was made to eat a "silent lunch" for three days in a row because I was told "my entire class." was overly loud. Yeah right. By the way, this was the case for the entire fourth grade. Yeah right.

Then to make things even worse, if we don't get the kids there the very minute that we are supposed to, the cafeteria ladies get all angry. They don't say anything to us teachers, but they treat our kids like crap and say things like, "can your teacher be on time for anything" or "do they teach you how to read a clock in fourth grade?"

Today was overly annoying and down right angering. I picked up my kids just to hear them all tell me that one of the lunch ladies actually told me kids that their teacher was "hard headed."

Huh? What does that have to do with being on time to lunch? And to make it worse, three of my kids told her that she needed to watch what she says, and never to say that again. The three got into trouble and had to eat an isolated lunch. Another one of my students got in trouble because she was talking during this silent lunch. Well yeah, she was. She accidently spilled her entire chocolate milk on her jeans, and was asking another student to help her.

Ughhh. So that is the situation. I feel like I am SO being tested because the "hard-headed" part of me wants to march in their and tell those ladies they can stick their own foot up their butt. But I know that I shouldn't and this entire week I have been working on controlling my tongue and that entire verse about "what ever is lovely..." Yes, so telling them where they could stick their foot is not exactly lovely, I realize.

I guess I just feel stuck with an administration who doesn't have the time to deal with the cafeteria issues, and parents who are furious that their kid missed recess again. The sad thing is, I don't blame them for being mad. Scott suggested that I just have the kids get their food and then eat in the room. I thought this was a great plan at first, but then I could see the problem with the logistics of it all.

Oh well. What to do. I keep telling myself that giving them a piece of my mind won't help.... I need to just calm down and very politely talk to them... again. Oh well. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday!