6.26.2013

Short classroom visit

Today I went in to my classroom to do a little bit of work.  I did nothing.  My friend was there and we started off just chatting.  And then another 1st grade teacher came and we all were talking and trying to figure out schedules and stuff for next year.  I sent off a couple of e-mails and that was the extent of my day at school.  I did bring a couple things home that need to be worked on (I don't know if "need" is the right word, but...), but other than that, I did nothing.  And I'm OK with that.  My room is the same was as it was when I left.  Nothing has been cleaned up.  Nothing has been touched.  So it's not like I can do anything anyway.  I figure I will go back at the end of July or beginning of August and start putting it together.  If I get my work done that I brought home, I can take it in and put it away and get something new to bring home.  I doubt I'll get that far.  My motivation is fleeting right now! 

The only reason I was able to go in is because my daughter is taking an art class this week.  She seems to be enjoying it and wants to sign up for another one.  I will take that!  Some time for myself is always nice.  I should be getting more done than I am, but oh well.  It's summer...I need this time to relax and rest. 

Speaking of summer, here's our forecast for the rest of the week:

Thursday: Sunny. Hot. Light wind becoming south to 10 mph, high of about 104°F.
Thursday night: Clear, low near 67°F.
Friday: Sunny. Hot, high around 104°F.
Friday night: Mostly clear, low of about 70°F.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Hot, high near 106°F.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, low around 71°F.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Hot, high of about 104°F.
Sunday night: Mostly clear, low near 70°F.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Hot, high around 99°F.
Monday night: Mostly clear, low of about 69°F.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Hot, high near 101°F.
 
Lovely, right?  I know it's summer, but we don't normally get this hot til middle of July or August.  One year it was so mild we didn't 100+ til August.  I guess we will be hermits and stay inside next week as much as we can.  I love summer, but the hot heat makes me want to be lazy, lazy, lazy! 
 
Well, I'm off to see what I can get accomplished while my daughter practices her drums.  Good times! 

6.25.2013

7 Years

That is how long I have been a mother.  To the day!  Today is my daughter's 7th birthday!  My baby girl isn't a baby any more.  She's a smart, bright, funny, inquisitive little girl who sometimes thinks she is 17.  And I love her more than anything. 

These last 7 years have flown by at Mach 4.  It was hard to think she would be in school when she was younger, but now she's going into the 2nd grade.  I remember her just lying there like a bump when she was a newborn, not able to do much for herself.  Now she's the most self-sufficient kid I know...unless she's watching TV and then she can't do anything for herself!  :) 

Growing up, I never had the big dreams of growing up, having a lavish wedding and then having my 2.4 kids.  I knew one thing for sure - I was going to be a teacher.  And that was it.  I never didn't want to be married and have kids, but first things first, was my motto.  Right after I started teaching, I met my hubby.  We dated forever and then got married.  A small wedding at my parents house.  Perfect for me.  Then came the idea of having kids.  Originally I had wanted 4.  Then we agreed on 2.  Then life decides for you! 

In 2003, after we had been married for a year, we decided we were ready for kids.  I don't know if anyone is truly ready, but we thought we were.  6 months later, we were pregnant!  Yay!  Now before you go and tell me my math is wrong, just wait!  We found out we lost the baby at 10 weeks.  :(  If that isn't enough to make you feel horrible, then nothing is.  It then took us over a year to get pregnant again.  (Tequila helps, if anyone is having difficulty!).  But we did get pregnant, she "stuck" with us and was born 7 years ago today.  It wasn't without difficulty of course, but I guess nothing great is. 

I had planned on having a normal delivery.  I even said I didn't want the epidural.  I didn't want someone behind me poking stuff into my back.  Well, that changes when you have horrible back pain from the contractions.  Lucky me!  But the pain meds helped a little.  And in fact, it was much easier for what was still to come.  After 2 1/2 hours of pushing, baby girl wasn't coming.  She was happy where she was (and my pelvis is really small...now they tell me!).  So off to a C-section we go.  I wasn't against it, as long as she was born healthy.  At 1:05pm, my little girl came into the world.  And all was good.  She was healthy and beautiful and mine (or ours, if you count hubby!). 

We had a room to ourselves in the hospital, which is unheard of.  I was able to have her with me and try to sleep.  Hubby would come home at night and sleep.  I was able to stay for 4 days since I had a c-section.  She was born on a Sunday.  And by Wednesday, I was deathly ill.  

No one knew what was wrong.  I kept getting sick.  I would have horrible pain in my stomach and then get sick.  It was awful.  Finally, after the nurses trying anything and everything they could think of, I was sent off to x-ray to see what was wrong.  Well, BINGO!  That told them.  Apparently, a nurse didn't know how to count very well.  During the C-section, they use sponges to sop up all the blood and goo and help keep things from touching other things.  And sometimes they get lot.  Apparently.  So for me, I had a sponge that was laying on my bowels and not allowing them to work correctly.  And I had a lovely infection starting to grow.  And I was becoming septic.  And I had a newborn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So, another surgery that night took that sucker out.  But it wasn't that easy.  Due to everything that I had happened, I had an NG tube in to help clear all the stuff out of my stomach.  Makes me gag just thinking about it.  Then, because of the infection, I was on STRONG IV anitbiotics for 3 days (I didn't get sick that whole school year!).  And then, to top it off, my body was fighting so hard to kill the infection that my heart rate went through the roof.  And they had to move me to the cardiac unit so they could monitor me better to make sure I didn't have a heart attack or a stroke.  Just want you want to think about when you have a 3 day old.  I couldn't take care of her.  I couldn't feed her, I couldn't change her.  I could barely hold her.  Doesn't make you feel so good. 

But then, 2 days later, I was getting better.  I was able to get up and walk, I was able to get the awful tube out of my nose/stomach and I was finally able to drink something.  And I was able to hold and care for my daughter.   And a week after she was born, we went home.  There were some more complications after that, but nothing severe.  She was healthy and happy then and is still to this day. 

With everything that happened, I did not want to have another child.  Some people tell me it's selfish.  Some tell me that the same thing wouldn't happen again.  Well, it shouldn't have happened then.  I was sad that I would only have one child.  But then I think about what I can give her.  I started to feel a little better about it and came to accept it.  Hubby had a harder time with it, and still regrets it, I think.  But I can't think about what could have been.  I think that all things happen for a reason.  I even had a doctor tell me that maybe I just wasn't meant to have kids.  I don't think I'd go that far, but I wasn't going to tempt fate again.  I love my daughter with all my heart and I also feel that I am able to give a little more to my kids at school.  They are like my own for those 180 days of the year.

So today, I will celebrate my daughter's birthday and enjoy the fact that she is mine and I am hers.  And on Friday, I will celebrate the fact that I made it through after she was born and am around to see her grow up! 

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

6.24.2013

One thing leads to another

I had every intention of working on stuff for school today.  It hasn't happened yet.  The day isn't over, but I don't see myself getting to the computer today (I'm on the iPad right now enjoying a cool summer day...it'll be over 100 by the end of the week!).  I worked harder than I had planned, but I got stuff done!

I got up like I have been doing and went to work on the ever present weeds in the front yard.  I got the last little section taken care of (the ones I had planned to do, anyway), and then was going to be done for the day and work on my summer cleaning inside.  But then somehow I ended up in the backyard.  More specifically, my patio.  It was a disaster!  It had been ignored and my chickens decided to make it their new home.  You can imagine what 4-12 chickens can do to a patio!  So, I came out to clean up a little.  Well a little turned into a lot!  There are things thrown away (shhhh....don't tell my hubby!), things put away, things that still need a new home - mine or someone else's - and it's that are still waiting for me to figure out what to do with them.  The patio table and chairs got a good scrubbing, the leaves and cobwebs have been vacuumed up and the grass area has been blown clean.  And now I'm tired!  

Ad after all that, I went out to try to corral the chickens back into their pen.  I see one out now - darn little bird!  I want them to stay in their area and stop pooping in my patio!  Tonight hubby is supposed to finish fixing the problem with more netting.  Chickens can't fly, but they can jump pretty high!  Sneaky little buggers!  I went out to the chickens, gathered the eggs, raked up their mess and then decided to call it a day.  For most people at 5:15, they'd start making dinner.  Not me!  Hubby has appointments til almost 7, so dinner will be made later.  I'm thinking a nice hot shower is in my future!  

While I didn't get anything done for school, I did get something accomplished today!  And I have my ideas written down and actually have something in the works.  It's only one thing...my brain can't think of more than one thing right now...I'm on summer mode!  

Happy Monday!  I have a very busy week ahead and a lot of things on my to do list.  Lets hope I can get it all done!  

6.22.2013

Books, Books and More Books!

Today I went shopping!  I went into Orange County to the Scholastic Warehouse book sale.  It's like an early Christmas present for me and my class.  Actually, it was like Christmas for everyone.  I think we all got something out of the trip!  Hubby stopped at a Law bookstore before and got some thing he needed and then we were off to Scholastic! 

I had signed up to go to the sale in May, but I was gone on the weekends they were having them.  I won't go during the week (I was still teaching, so couldn't really) as I don't want to fight with everyone trying to get to work in OC or LA.  Too crazy!  I figured I had missed it and was OK with that.  But on Wednesday, as I was cleaning out my school bags and throwing things away, I found the postcard.  I went on line to see if they were still having the sale and they were!  It ended today.  So, I printed off my coupon and asked hubby if he would mind driving out there.  He said as long as he got to visit the law bookstore, we were good to go!  So we went! 

This warehouse we went to is one for their book fairs.  There are shelves and shelves of books.  We walked up and down each aisle, or at least the aisles that pertained to me and my first graders.  I started tossing books in the cart left and right!  It was wonderful.  I was able to get some books of authors/series that I am collecting for me and my daughter - Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, anything by Mo Willems and many more.  Like I said, I just started tossing things into the cart.  My hubby and daughter spent time looking at the cookbooks and then went looking for books for her.  While she is going into second grade, she is a big chapter book reader, so she was looking for books for her.  She found quite a few.  Success! 

But then came the bad news.  I had to scan the books to see how much they really cost.  And some of them were just too much.  :(  I was very sad.  Hubby said it was OK to buy a couple of the $$$$ books, so I limited myself to 2.  Some were a fantastic deal while others were just an OK deal.  We left a little poorer, but that's OK.  That will get me my new book buying bug gone for a while!  Plus, I have a whole bunch of books to go through and read and add to my collections!  And to top it off, there were adult reading level books there and I was able to pick up a couple of books for pretty cheap.  I hope they are decent reads! 

Speaking of decent reads, I just finished Home Front by Kristin Hannah.  All I can say is WOW!  I read it in about 6 hours over 2 days.  Hubby was a little irritated last night that I was just reading, but it sucked me in.  I don't normally cry reading books, but this one did it!  But I thought it was a very good book.  I have only recently started reading Kristin Hannah and I think I am hooked.  I read Fly Away last month and really enjoyed it as well.  If you are looking for some good fiction-but-could-really-happen, then check these out! 


Now I am waiting for my next summer read to come on sale on Tuesday.  I have, in the last couple of years, started reading all the books by Elin Hilderbrand.  They all take place in Nantucket.  I've never been, but I want to go now!  She writes one book a year and it always seems to come out in summer.  A good summer read.  I plan to go to Sam's Club on Tuesday morning and get it!  Can't wait to stay up late reading when it's all quiet in my house! 

And then, a new Danielle Steel book will be out soon, too.  She is my go-to author.  Easy reads, but I enjoy them. 

Add these to the cupboard of books I have to read someday.  I really enjoy reading, but I don't make enough time during the school year to read.  I need to try to do more of it, since it is so relaxing and enjoyable.  That's why I like easy reads where I don't have to think too much and can just enjoy the story! 

Well, if I want to be able to sit down and read tonight, I should get something productive done today.  We were gone all day, so nothing got done.  And I'm kinda tired now, so I can't guarantee that anything will get done tonight!  Happy reading! 

6.21.2013

On a roll?!

Wow!  Two posts in two days!  Amazing what happens when the stresses of work are gone.  I now have the stresses of home, but that's a different kind of stress, like what time should I get up?  What should I work on outside today?  And the big one, what should we eat for lunch today!  I can handle these stresses!  :) 

I felt very accomplished yesterday.  I got up relatively early, worked outside for a bit on the weeds, worked on cleaning my mini-hoarder's room, cleaned my office and got a couple things started for next year.  Amazing what happens when you put your mind to something.  Today is no different.  I was back outside this morning, though later than yesterday.  I stayed up too late reading last night and then was awake too early this morning.  My daughter and I got her room almost cleaned, or at least as clean as it's going to be for now!  She has so much crap and isn't willing to part with 99.99% of it.  That's her hoarder part...and she's only 7!  Heaven help me! 

I've been saying it for a year+ now, but I am going to finally start reading The Daily 5.  I might start today even!  I want to try it next year.  I figure now is as good a time as any.  We will be knee deep in Common Core and we have been given the green light to try new things and see what works.  We'll see how long that lasts.  And, our daily schedule has changed a bit, so I feel like I will have more time.  We'll see how it actually works out.  If it goes according to my plan, I will have an hour or more between recess and lunch to do groups and centers.  I have been trying to cram it all in to 30 minutes.  60 seems so much nicer.  I *think* I will go for the gusto and see what happens.  Only time will tell!  If you have any words of wisdom, please pass it on! 

I feel much more relieved in knowing we will be a team of 4 next year.  The teacher who caused so much stress and sadness and madness was moved to second grade.  I think it will be best for all involved.  She gets to keep about 15 of her kids that she has had since Kindergarten and she got to farm out the kids she didn't want to keep.  Perfect for her!  She gets to stay in her classroom and keep all the materials she has gathered over the years with 1st grade money.  But, the best benefit is that she won't be with us!  She will be working with 2nd grade and have nothing to do with us!  I can't tell you how relieved I am.  It's been a long 5 years with her.  I'm glad it is coming to an end.  Hopefully we can make good ground as a grade level again and really work together on figuring out Common Core and how to make it work for our kids. 

Well, it looks like lunch time is calling my name!  Happy Friday! 

6.20.2013

I'm still here!!!!

Not sure if anyone still checks in to my blog or not, but I am still here!  I had lost my mojo for a bit (which happened a lot this last year), but I am getting it back!  Summer vacation is here, I am home all day with my daughter and I am trying to relax and enjoy the freedom that no work has to offer!  In fact, we just got back from a glorious cruise to Alaska on Monday!  It was a great vacation with fantastic weather (I packed for cold, not warm weather) full of new and exciting experiences (I went in a helicopter for the first time, went dog-sledding on a glacier, held glacier ice that has now melted, saw humpback whales breech in the middle of the ocean and saw Orcas!) that I was able to enjoy with my family.  It was the best way to start summer vacation and we were all sad to see it end.  But, vacations can't last forever and there are things to do at home! 

By the end of the year, I was not creative at all.  I had ideas for next year, but didn't want to think about them.  I had big plans to start things, but decided against them.  I had even told myself I would wait til July 1 to think of school.  Well, that lasted 2 days of being home from vacation.  I was working on cleaning my office at home and started organizing some things I had lying around.  I have also been on Pinterest a lot these last 2 days and that has sparked some desire to start planning for school.  Again, I was going to wait, but then I got motivated and realized that I am supposed to be teaching Common Core and I need to start looking at it and getting ready!  I'm not a fan of change, so it's going to take me a while to get into the groove. 

I did manage to do a couple things today to get me started for next year:
* I printed out a calendar and started to fill in the dates of things I know for sure.  Never too early to be prepared!
* I made my to-do list of things to try and make or find for next year!
* I started organizing my papers for my teacher binder for the year.  I'm normally very organized, but this last year I was not.  I was sad about it.  This year, I will be more organized and back to my normal self!  :) 
* I did one thing on my to-do list!  It was an idea I had rolling around in my head for the beginning of the year.  I know that number sense has never been a strong skill that the kids have coming in from Kinder.  And I know it's a biggie in Common Core.  So, I figured I would make a review/teaching page for each number, 1-30.  It covers writing the numeral, the word, drawing a picture for the number, making tally marks, showing the number on a 10 frame and finding the number in a group.  I figure this will take them a couple minutes each day, but it will be a good review for the kids.  I posted it in my TPT store.  I have a new goal to post 1 item each month, hopefully more.  For some, that is nothing, but for me, it's a lot!  If you'd like to check it out, click on the little number guy below and head over to my store! 
 
 
I will give away a packet to the first 2 people to leave a comment on my blog!  Just leave me your e-mail address so I know where to send it!  :)
 
 
Now I am off to have a productive night of doing who knows what!  
 

6.03.2013

Two More Days and then Vacay!!!!!!!!!!!

It's been forever.  And I am wiped out!  The end of the year has kicked my butt and I am ready for a nap.  Everyday at like 10am, I feel it should be nap time.  But, it's not.  Instead, I am trying to keep my kiddos busy til that last bell rings on Wednesday. 

My kids did well this year.  They aren't as high as students in the past, but they will be able to hold their own in 2nd and do well.  They are loving, caring and eager to learn.  I hope they stay that way.  It seems our students get a bit off track sometime in 2nd or 3rd grade.  Students who were well behaved with us end up being the worst behaved children at the school.  I don't get it.  And it worries me with some of my kids.  I can see them go down the wrong path.  :( 

It's official...we will be a grade level of 4!  The one who caused us so much grief and heartache earlier this year will be in second.  She is getting to keep *most* of her kids.  Her behavior problems will of course be going to other teachers.  Honestly, her class is out of control this year and I am glad that my students won't be dealing with that next year.  The downside to this is that we will have 27 next year.  That's a whole lot of kids, especially since I had 22 all year this year.  I'm going to miss my small class.  :(  But I will NOT miss the chaos that we had this year with the drama queen.  :)

Come Thursday afternoon, I will lock my door for the last time this year.  Yeah, I will be back in the summer on and off to do random things in my room.  But come Friday morning, I will be on a plane heading for Seattle.  We are going on a cruise to Alaska on Monday.  We've never been and I am super excited to go.  My daughter can't wait to go on a cruise (she's never been) and we are taking her on the Disney cruise.  I am so ready to be on vacation, see something new and be away from home for awhile.  It will be a nice way to start the summer! 

Well, I am one tired momma tonight.  It was a long weekend and I am ready for some sleep.  Busy day tomorrow with field day and being in the sun.  Better go and rest up!  Happy end of the year!