Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dare Devil





Basically, my kid is a maniac! He is just such a little dare devil. I have caught him trying to ride his bus up the stairs, stand on the back of the couch, run into walls because he has a blanket on his head and is running full speed around the house, climb up the back of the kitchen chairs (only to have it fall back on him and then he just laughed), get his bus rolling and then stand on top of it while it is still going (and then he shouts TADA! at the top of his lungs!), and walk right off the side of the pool (into my waiting arms, thank goodness!) Of course, once in a while he will lay down so sweetly, say "Night night!" and pretend to sleep. Just when I think that he has finally calmed down, he jumps up and starts it all over again. *sigh*


I thnk he just might be the next Travis Pastrana, which would most likely cause me to have multiple heart attacks. He just has no fear of anything. For a while, I thought it was just me still getting used to the boy mentality, but none of the other young kids I interact with on a regular basis are like this! It sure makes life interesting! I can definitely say we laugh a lot around here....what else can you do? :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

school days, school days

All of the sudden, I'm back in school and I no longer have as much to say about my favorite topic (Caleb!) Here are a few things that have happened recently:

* Today, my sister's dog Parker (a boy dog) was peeing outside in the grass when the kids were all outside. Caleb has never seen how a boy dog goes to the bathroom, and he was quite intrigued! In fact, he was so interested that he reached out to touch the stream of pee!!! Eww!

* I had to have an administrator remove a kid today. Why? Well, it started with him playing with a stupid toy during class. I reached out my hand and asked him to give it to me. He refused and began thrashing and throwing things. When I gave him the choice between giving me the toy and an Action Plan (an in-class disciplinary action), he ripped up the Action Plan. Then he screamed in my face and broke his pencil in a violent action. Basically, he went nuts....over a stupid toy that he could have had back at the end of the day....*sigh* It's going to be a long year.

* A kid asked if she had to write down her homework. I said that of course she did. She then replied that she didn't want to write all of that. In my typically sarcastic way, I said, "No, you don't have to write it down. It's voluntary. It's just a suggestion anyway." Her reply?? "Really? Cool!" Once again....*sigh* It's going to be a long year.

* Caleb has started asking questions during his bedtime routine to avoid going to bed. "Mom? Where's Becky?" "Momma? Where's Daddy?" "Mommy? What's that?" The mom is the inquisitive word for when he really wants to know something. The mommy is when he's trying to be cute and sweet. The momma is usually more like MOMMMMMMMMMMA!!!! Caleb saves that for when he really wants my attention. Well, I have realized quickly that I could answer questions all night and he wouldn't be satisfied. I've had to just answer a few and walk out, closing the door behind me. Of course, this hasn't gone over well and has resulted in a ton of crying for long periods of time.....so Matt put him to bed tonight because Caleb never asks him questions! It worked like a charm! :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

* Coldstone: As mentioned in previous posts, I pretty much am obsessed with Coldstone Creamery. I know the phrase they say as you enter (as well as the tone and pitch in which they say it)---"Hi, Welcome to Coldstone!" I know the tip songs they sing and that they won't sing unless you put in paper money, no matter how much change you put in. I know that Candy Land is the absolute best Creation. I know that if you sign up for their birthday club, you get a free Love It Creation coupon on your birthday. Basically, it's the best ice cream place you could ever go to. It beats the PANTS off of Baskin Robbins!!! AND, I have a $15 gift card!!! :)

* Kids That Bring in All of Their School Supplies: As a pretty organized teacher, I like to make a little list for the kids to look at on the first day telling them what to do with each of their school supplies. Then, I make little signs on my back table to help them put the "community" items in the right spot. Well....it is just beyond me why you would send your child to school on the first day with absolutely NO supplies! Yet, it happens EVERY year! No, your child won't need a pencil...a notebook...a folder....we just supply all of that! Anyway, this is supposed to be about my favorite things, so I'd better be a little more positive. I absolutely adore the students who have EVERYTHING on the supply list on the first day of school! It just makes it so easy on me to be able to put everything away at once and check them off. Plus, you know they have everything and you don't have to send home reminders....only to get nasty notes back from parents saying that the school asks for too much stuff...oy!

*Clix: Clix is a fairly new photography studio in Dunkirk that has taken some beautiful pictures of Caleb and our family. My mom taught the owners' daughter, so I was willing to give it a try for Caleb's one-year-old pictures. Well, they got some beautiful head shots as well as some cute ones in chairs and such. We went back this summer for some family pictures and they are also very, VERY cute. They give little referral cards with one of your pictures on it to hand out to your friends. If a friend uses it, THEY and YOU get a free portrait sheet!! I have handed out quite a few! :) They also have $9.95 deals where you get a whole bunch of one pose in lots of different sizes. There are Clix studios all over the country, so if you're looking for a good place to get pictures done, try it! http://www.clix.com/

* Fisher Price Ball Popper: I seriously don't think Caleb has played with any toy for as long as he has played with this. We started playing with it when he was just three or four months old (holding it in front of him and letting him watch the balls/feel the air) and he hasn't stopped yet! He loves the variety of music and will chase after the balls for hours. Once in a while the balls will kind of get stuck, but Caleb has even learned how to turn the popper to help the ball get out! It really was a good investment....worth all $3 I paid for it at a yard sale! :)

* Chalk Markers: I'm allergic to chalk, and my 4th grade classroom has a smaller dry erase board than my 3rd grade classroom did. Of course, the chalk board is huge! My friend Sheila (I had her son last year) got me some Chalk Markers to try. They are more or less highlighters for the chalk board. They are wet-erase and could also be used on the windows, dry-erase board, etc. They are available in lots of different colors, and the kids think it's really cool to write on the board with "markers." I am finally able to use the chalk board a little more now!

* Balloon Animals: When I went to Urban Hope in Philly as a senior in high school, we put on a street carnival. The people who ran it handed me some balloons and a pump and told me that I was in charge of making balloon animals. I'd never made a single balloon animal in my LIFE, but they replied that the kids around there had never seen one either, so it was okay! Let's just say I made a lot of snakes, swords, and hats that day! Since then, I have continued to study ballooning and love to do it when I have an opportunity. I can do flowers, humming birds, swans, mice, dogs, dogs on a leash, butterflies, cats, octopus, giraffe, a couple of different hats, light sabers, swords....probably some more too. It's basically trial and error and I am mostly self-taught with the help of some books. I am going to be ballooning at Bay Fest this weekend, so if you are in SOMD, come visit the GBC table! (There will also be puppets and face painting).


Until next time....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The First 2 Days of School

The first 2 days have gone pretty well. It's never overly enjoyable, since it's nothing but going over procedures, trying to learn names, and cramming a ton of information into small time constraints! You should have heard me trying to go over hallway procedures and resource schedules before they went to resource for the first time yesterday! The kids are a bit chatty, but that's to be expected. I'm staying on them so that they know my expectations. I am hoping to get that all under control very quickly.

I have some really nice kids, and I'm hoping that my reading students will be just as enthusiastic and eager to learn as last year's group. It will be hard to top them!

I did write my first referral of the year today!! 2 students got in a fight, which is an automatic referral. Of course, there is no consequence since it is the first one! I don't really care too much for that rule. Go ahead, set fire to the school! We'll forgive it this time as long as you don't do it again. We won't even call your parents!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, Monday

Today was a long one. We had a 2 hour staff meeting, School Improvement Team subcommittee meetings, special event committee meetings, and a 4th grade team meeting. We had 10 minutes, here, 15 minutes there in between meetings. There is even less time to work in our classrooms this year than there is normally, which is frustrating. I have so much to do but I tutored tonight and couldn't stay late. I have already told Matt that I'm not coming home tomorrow until it's done. I hate having to work up until the last minute. I don't do well under pressure and much prefer to start earlier and take my time. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed in our rooms until 2 days before we started (because of inspections) and children weren't allowed....which meant I really couldn't work too much before we started.

A positive outcome of today: our principal did some door prize drawings and I got a $15 Coldstone gift card!!!! I was sooooooooooo ecstatic and proclaimed my excitement to the whole staff! I absolutely love Coldstone and we pretty much go whenever we drive by one...whether we've had dinner or not! :) There's always something positive, even in a dull day.... :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How am I related to Michael Phelps?

My mom's maiden name is Phelps. My grandmother was a Buckler with a whole slew of siblings and we are just about related to everyone in the county. My grandmother and her sister (my great aunt) married two brothers---Lewis and Philip. Therefore, their children are all double-cousins. One of my Aunt Betty's sons' names is Michael...making him Michael Phelps.

Is he the Michael Phelps that is covering the newspapers and news channels right now for breaking an amazing Olympic record? No. But let me tell you a little about him, because he's pretty amazing too.

My cousin Michael was married to a woman who had a daughter from a previous relationship. Michael went through the steps to adopt her and loved her as his own. He also had one son of his own (Philip) who is now in high school. When his wife left him when Philip was pretty young, he committed to raising him and also kept a relationship with his step daughter. Philip still saw his mom, but Michael was his primary caretaker. He loved his son and did his best to provide for him. Michael worked hard as a jail warden and was loved by just about everybody in the local law enforcement. To know him was to love him!

In May of 2003 when I was just getting ready to graduate from college, I was at a Campus Crusade event when I got a phone call from my mom. Michael had been in a motorcycle accident and his helmet had come off when he hit the pavement. He'd been thrown to Shock Trauma and it wasn't looking good. Although Michael was close to my mom's age, I was around him a lot growing up (he even played Santa Claus when I was a kid at the family parties!) and felt a close connection to him.

Unfortunately, Michael did not recover from his internal injuries and died a few days after the accident. He left behind a son that adored him, a family that missed him, and a county of police officers that respected him so much that most of the county and state police officers serving in the county came to his funeral. He was very loved and respected by so many!

So, no, the Michael Phelps I knew didn't set a bunch of world records in swimming. He couldn't swim the butterfly or swim underwater for an insane amount of time after turning. But I'd say that he was pretty amazing too. He loved God, loved his family, and worked hard. That's something to be proud of, and his cheering section is just as big as the Olympian's.

There you have it. That's how I'm related to Michael Phelps! I hope it didn't disappoint you! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Second Day of School

Well, Friday was actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, considering that I was in meetings all day. Here are the highlights of Friday and Saturday:

*I got a compacted curriculum to do with my honors students, which allows us the freedom to do a lot more research, extension, etc. This curriculum narrowed down the best stories in the anthology for honors students and matched them up by indicator. Now our compacted curriculum is completely aligned to the VSC (our national curriculum).

* Because I had an honors meeting that lasted the entire morning while all of the other 4-5th grade teachers got to work in their rooms, I was quite behind in getting my work done. In our afternoon meeting, the reading supervisor let the honors teachers leave early since we'd already done our curriculum planning. I got to go back to my school and work without anyone there, so I got a lot done. It is sometimes hard to work when there are a bunch of people around.

* I was still feeling overwhelmed, so I went in on Saturday for a while to work. Matt had a meeting, so I thought I would have to take Caleb with me and not get very much done. My sister offered to take him for me so that I could work.

* I got to spend some QT with Owen and Sara this afternoon while Amy worked for my dad. Since Owen will be starting Kindergarten this year, it was fun to hang out with him a bit. They are quite a pair! Let's just say the ball pit got quite a workout and is now deflated on one side....

*Barbara came for dinner tonight and got to spend some good time with Caleb before she stays with Isaac and Ezra for the week. Caleb really enjoyed playing with her--especially when we were all throwing the ball around! For some reason, he kept literally doubling over with laughter and was even "silent laughing" at times! We've never seen him do this before and didn't really know what he found so funny! Eventually, I think he kept laughing because we were laughing at him!

Matt is preaching tomorrow for the first time at Calvert GBC. (Well, he spoke at youth Sunday, but it was more topical....this is the first one that is a part of the series, has notes, a PowerPoint, etc. Plus, PWag wasn't there the last time!) Pray for him in the morning!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

first day of school

My first day back was actually pretty good. I didn't even let tears fall when I left! (I did, however, hold and cry over Caleb for a long time before I put him to bed last night...he was very concerned about me!) There are several teachers who are leaving little ones at home, so we bonded and shared pictures. :)

Some positive notes from the day:

*I am very excited about our new and improved team this year. I think we will all work together really well, and I like our new teacher a lot. I'm hoping that a more cohesive team will help me to keep this positive attitude I've been trying to have!

* I heard a really inspiring speech today at our opening meeting and then watched this awesome video about a guy who runs marathons while pushing his son who has cerebral paulsy (sp?) I felt very fresh and motivated when I left the auditorium! (sometimes those meetings can be pretty dry, so this was a nice change!)

* I got my class lists (yes I said LISTS, because I basically have 3 different classes...oy!) and they weren't quite as big as we'd been expecting. I have 23 in HR/Science, 27 in reading (not so horrible...they are Honors), and 20 in math. We were expecting at least 28 across the board, so it's not so bad.

* One of my students from last year got the highest reading/LA MSA score in the school (across grade levels)!!! He is an incredible writer and an extremely abstract thinker, but really needed to be pushed a lot to reach his potential. I'm so excited that he proved to everyone else what I already knew. I'm just really proud of him.

* I have already thought of 2 people who could probably use a friend this year. One is an adult and the other is a student, but I'm hoping that God will give me opportunities to be a good friend to them both in different ways.

* I have revamped my homework policy in response to new grading policies that I'm not overly fond of. I've decided that HW will not count for a grade, but is still mandatory. If you don't do it, you do it for catch-up. If you do it, you get tickets (to buy things out of my treasure box). Honestly, tickets mean more to kids than grades anyway, so I'm hoping this will work. I don't want to get into the whole grading policy issues, but I think that this is the most fair way to do it.

All in all, a good day! Of course, tomorrow I will be in meetings allllllllll day and not even really with my team at all. Hopefully it will be fairly painless! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Attitude is Everything!

I have been reminding myself of my own motto tonight...and I need to try to see why I am in the position I am in. Inevitably, there will be at least one kid in my class that I will make a real connection with this year who will help me to see that there is a reason I am still teaching. I always love my kids and enjoy teaching. I know that I'm supposed to be teaching right now, even though I am struggling with leaving Caleb. I pray that God will put people in my way that I can reach so that I can get my mind off of myself and onto others! (If you're reading this, I may need a reminder come about 7 a.m. tomorrow morning....maybe I should print this and put it on my mirror!) :)

bittersweet

Today is my last day of summer and my last day of staying home with Caleb. If you haven't had to leave your child with someone else and go to a very demanding job, you can't understand how difficult it is. You can pretend that you do and say that it will be okay and that at least he is with family, but the reality is that you don't know what it is like having to walk out the door and listen to your son calling for his momma. It is just so hard.

Yes, he is with family that loves him. Yes, my niece and nephew absolutely love him and thoroughly enjoy their time with him. Yes, my grandmother dotes on him and gives him whatever he wants. Yes, my sister takes him for walks and does fun activities for him. Yes, Matt gets to have him on Mondays and has father-son bonding. But none of that is the same as if he were with me all of the time.

If you are reading this, you are probably thinking that I am selfish and ungrateful. I'm not. I love my family and so appreciate that they are willing to watch Caleb so that he doesn't have to be in daycare. Like I said...if you never had to do this, then you wouldn't understand.

Today the thought is unbearable, tomorrow will be tearful and difficult, but Friday will be better. Then it's the weekend. I'll get through it--I've done it all before.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

computer crisis

I had my "new" computer (new to me--a parent got a bunch donated to our school that were used in the White House...George Bush touched my keyboard!) :) on the coffee table, and Caleb picked it up and dropped it on the floor. What I first noticed was that the wireless card was broken. That was frustrating enough, considering that the new computer is much faster and has a lot more memory than this one. What I didn't realize (until I went to plug it in later) was that the charger is also broken! Right where the charger plugs into the computer completely broke off and is nowhere to be found. Chances are, Caleb probably ate it. I guess I'll find it tomorrow... :)

I promptly tried to save as much as I could as quickly as I could onto my flash drive, then turned off the computer as not to waste the battery. Then I got on our old computer to find a replacement part at www.dell.com. Thankfully, my wonderful computer specialist dad counseled me to paste the Dell model number into www.google.com to try to find it cheaper. Thanks to my dad, I found it for less than 1/2 the price!!

I will have to get another internet card, but this time I am getting an internal card so that this won't happen again! I'm not sure why I didn't do that in the first place...and since the new laptop only has one USB port, it will be a lot easier to not have to unplug the internet card when I need to load pictures/print something/save a file to my flash drive.

Before all of this happened, I was able to print some more scrapbook pages. I have been working on a black-and-white book where I framed each picture and added a gray background. Every page has a quote that relates somehow to the picture. It is turning out really nice...nice enough that a few people just might have a very similar Christmas present! :) I'm still learning how to print them on my computer so that the border is the same all the way around. Every time I think I have it right, something goes off-center again and I get a funky border. I don't care about it for my scrapbooks, but I want to get it right for any gifts I make.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chesapeake Children's Museum












For our last family outing before I go back to school and the chaos begins again, we went to the Chesapeake Children's Museum in Annapolis. Although it normally costs $3, you can get in free if you bring some school supplies. Let's just say it's a good thing that we didn't have to pay.

The place was actually an old run-down house, and everything was pretty dirty and unkept. Although they did have some turtles, snakes, fish, etc. that Caleb enjoyed, a lot of the "museum exhibits" were actually things we had at home! They had a train table, books, blocks, a play kitchen, ride-on toys, etc. While he loved playing and we got some fun pictures, I didn't see where it was anything special. There were a bunch of unsupervised kids there that were not very mindful of others, so I was constantly watching them to make sure they didn't plow over my son!

They did allow the kids to touch the turtles, and you could handle the snake with assistance (we didn't). The poor turtles were permanently scarred by the hooligans that thought it would be fun to pick them up out of the water and see how far they could drop them. I finally had to say something, and so did the other woman (who was actually watching her children!) but the mother of these boys seemed oblivious. We decided that the turtles had had enough trauma for one day and just let Caleb do a one-finger stroke before quickly washing his hands lest he put them in his mouth and contract salmanella!

They had a whole room of dress-up clothes and a stage to perform on.....but after seeing the condition of the rest of the place, I opted out of the whole wearing-clothes-that-probably-haven't-been-washed-or-disinfected-in-ten-years idea. There was supposed to be an herb garden and a playground---the herb garden may have had a few illegal plants hidden in there, but no one would be able to find them for all of the weeds! The playground was nothing but a few plastic pieces in a sand pit.

So....while it was fun to be together as a family and kind of officially say goodbye to summer, I certainly will not be recommending this place to any of my friends. In fact, my sister was going to meet some people for a play date there tomorrow because she thought it looked pretty cool as well....I called and told her to make other arrangements!! :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun times outside











As you already well know, I LOOOOOOOOOOVE my camera! I am able to take such sweet close-up pictures that I could never do before because the lens was off-center by several centimeters on my old camera and anything closer than 2 feet away was blurry! Here are some sweet ones from this afternoon when we were playing outside. I'm trying to teach him how to throw a frisbee! :)

Gotta love a good deal...















I had a yard sale at my sister's community yard sale on Saturday, but I spent almost as much as I made! I did get some really good deals though--namely, a 2-step stool with a drawer, a Sit-and-Spin, and a ball pit in the shape of a race car.






The stool was pretty banged up with lots of paint chips, but never fear....I've already repainted it!! :) It looks great now. The Sit-and-Spin is a little difficult for Caleb to do on his own, but he does enjoy being spun around on it!






The ball pit was the biggest hit!!!!! There were a couple of tiny holes that let some air out, but I patched those and it's just fine now. Caleb LOVES it...he runs and jumps in, loves to be thrown (carefully!) into it, jumps up and down in it, and (of course) throws all of the balls out of the pit constantly!! He really likes when we get in it...but Matt had a little trouble getting out of it! :)






My favorite pictures are the ones where Caleb is lying down on his back in the pit. Matt has a very similar picture from when he was about 7 or so. I love that Caleb has a similar picture now! :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Good times with Grace Chapel





We had the Grace Chapel youth over tonight for a cookout, and it was lots of fun! It was not an easy decision to leave GC after nearly 4 years, and we really miss those guys! We know that God wants us at Calvert GBC and are so excited about the opportunities we have there, but it was hard to leave the youth group we'd grown to love. Although some of the core GC youth group members were missing because of work and vacation, we had a great time visiting with the Pogars and Roberts families, as well as with Brandon!

Hannah was Caleb's playmate and did a great job of keeping him occupied while some of the others were playing Ladder Ball. Luke was thoroughly impressed with our next door neighbor's collection of classic and RARE VW cars and even got a few pictures. Wally (our neighbor) is so proud of his cars that he is happy to tell you all about them! Tabitha was a pretty good Ladder Ball player, but I can't say as much for Brandon. His first throw landed the ball loop in the trees! After several attempts to get it down with a broom I finally had to get on Matt's shoulders, pull the limb down toward me, untangle it, and throw it down! (He did get better after that!)

We love our GC kids and enjoy all of our time with them. You guys hold a special place in our hearts!

Friday, August 8, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

I have decided to highlight a few of my favorite things every now and then, just for kicks. They will most likely be rather random, but hopefully entertaining! So, without further adieu, here is my first entry:

My Nikon S80. I got this camera in May with our economic stimulus check (we did our part!) and it is absolutely amazing. I have 12 mp, 18x zoom, and a 3 1/2 inch LCD screen. I can take super close-up pictures, use the sports mode to take 30 seconds of nonstop pictures (which, for a toddler who won't sit still, is definitely useful !) and I can make it take take the picture in both color and black/white (I can also change regular color pictures into BW later if I want to, but I like that I can do it in both and save a little time.) I did quite a bit of research and thought I had my camera picked out (a Sony) but when I got to Best Buy and looked at it, it just didn't have the same feel and solidity (is that a word?) as the Nikon. They were comparable in price and features, with the Nikon having a few more for the money. I tell you what, it is worth every penny I spent to have a reliable, good camera! My old one was 10 years old with only 3 mp, so you can understand my excitement about the upgrade!


Cove Point Park. They have an excellent, HUGE playground! There is a really nice toddler playground with special toddler swings. Right next to it is a big playground for older kids. In the future, I can let Caleb play on the big playground while I'm with Abigail/Noah on the toddler playground! It is very clean, and the floor is a cushiony rubber that is very soft. We've gone several times and different times of the day and it never seems to be overly crowded. When we went last night, I did see 4 of my past students though! (that's normally not a bad thing, unless I've just had a rotten day!) There is also a water park. We've never been because Caleb is still a little too young, but I've heard it is really nice and much cleaner than Chesapeake Water Park. If you live in So MD, you should visit sometime!


Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Basically, anything written/illustrated by Eric Carle (Brown Bear isn't written by him, oddly enough!) Caleb absolutely loves this book and I normally read it to him at least 3 times a day. I have it completely memorized, but I still go through the pages because Caleb likes to look at the pictures. He is starting to "say" (I use that term loosely--it's more or less just syllables) the words along with me, and it is just very cute. Eric Carle writes timeless books that are the kinds of books that I want my kids to grow up reading. There's nothing questionable or disrespectful in them. I love the illustrations too. I can't even make a sun using tissue paper, so I can just imagine illustrating entire books! He's quite fascinating.

Okay, well, that is probably enough for tonight. I don't want to give too much away at once or my 3 readers will get bored! :) (Katie, Larissa, and Keba, you guys are great!) :)

Open-window days





Today was absolutely beautiful in So MD: low humidity, temps in the high 70s....amazing for August! We don't have too many spring days around here anyway before the humidity gets in the way, so a break in August is just spectacular! I love open-window days and would do it all summer long if Matt would let me, but he pitches a fit! Today the air conditioning is definitely off and all of the screen doors are open! It is actually cooler in here than what the air is normally set on.


Caleb and I celebrated by taking a long walk around the neighborhood and checking out the sights. We saw lots of birds (which he pointed out repeatedly until I acknowledged them), a cute Beagle whose howling made Caleb laugh, and several kids that go to my school. It was fun!


Then I made brownies for cook out we are having tomorrow with some friends, and I let him lick the spoon for the first time....trying not to think about the possibility of him getting salmonella! (Of course, I always lick the spoon....but adults can't get salmonella, right??) :P


In the middle of cutting up veggies for the veggie tray, I hear a ruckus in the playroom. I go to check and Caleb is yelling at Becky, saying "No NO NOOOOO Becky! My balloon!!" After further examination, I realize that the beloved Elmo balloon has gotten caught around Becky's collar and Caleb feels that she is trying to steal his balloon. He keeps trying to grab it back, which just stirs Becky up and makes her run away, which makes Caleb chase her and yell, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! My balloon, Becky!" When I finally caught Becky, separated Caleb from her, and untangled the balloon, all was well again.....although Caleb has been keeping a very close eye on the balloon since the episode occurred! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Poop talent

Well, I was changing Caleb's diaper before bedtime and he had pooped. No big deal in itself, but he was very squirmy and not happy about me wiping his bum. He managed to wriggle out of the grip I had on his feet, land his foot in the poop, swipe the poopy foot across my shirt, and then swing it back to slap a poop print on the wall.

All of this happened in a matter of seconds, and I even checked his other foot to see if somehow he had gotten in on both feet in order to get it in two different places so quickly. Alas, my boy is extremely talented! Of course, my shirt happens to be my favorite Relay for Life shirt and the one that Caleb loves because it has balloons on it. I think I see some bleach in my future! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blessed with another day!

In my 6 years of teaching, we have always gone back on a Wednesday. I just assumed we did this year, so I was telling everyone I went back on the 13th. Well, I got an email from my principal today and she mentioned something regarding the opening day on the 14th...Thursday! Jack Smith decided to change the day on us, I suppose!

Those of you who know me well know that although I love teaching and am absolutely thrilled to have Honors Reading this year, my heart is at home with my boy. So, this piece of news was like an extra little gift! Although I could technically go to Kings Dominion with the youth group now, there is no way that I am spending my last day without Caleb! (not to mention that they're not getting home until Midnight and I have to be at school at 8 a.m. the next day!) Sooooo that is my peice of good news for today.

Updates: Caleb can now climb up into his high chair (it's the kind that straps onto the chair) by himself. He has also learned that if he jumps hard and long enough on the baby gate peddle, he can open it! So far, he has only accomplished this once before I hear him and take him away, but it's only a matter of time. He is totally fine on stairs now, so I'm not worried about him getting hurt. I just don't like the idea of him going upstairs and getting into stuff (tissues, toilet paper, the toilet brush, etc.) I'm hoping to keep the gate on for a little longer. At least I can hear him jumping on the peddle!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I love digital scrapbooking!

2 pieces of good news:

1. I was able to get into my classroom (thanks to my favorite custodian Josephine!) and grabbed my all-time favorite resource, MSA Finishline. From that, I was able to make Senteo quizzes up for more than 1/2 of the book during my class on Friday! I saved them very specifically (ie: Geometry p. 23-25) so that I knew exactly what transparencies to pull for each quiz! This is something that I would never have time to do during the school year, so I was very excited that I got so much done.

2. I finally loaded the printer software onto the new laptop, so I printed all of the digital scrapbook pages I had made so far. They look great! I bought a couple of books on sale at Michael's the other day, and I feel so good knowing that I have so much done in so little time!! It seriously takes like 10 minutes (if that) to make a page. Yes, printing can get expensive, but so does all of the Creative Memories materials you have to buy! I know hard-core scrapbookers probably look on this with scorn, but I don't care! I never scrapbooked before because of lack of time, and I'm happy that I have found something manageable! I made 4 more pages last night! :)