Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In the weeks leading up to my return to teaching, I had nightmares pretty regularly: I would give the class a directive and they would just continue to talk and do whatever they wanted. I would wake up freaked out and tell myself, "it's not really going to be that bad." Needless to say, my nightmares are becoming my reality.
The kids were in a pissy mood yesterday because the rest of the region got a snow day and because of the geography of our district, we did not. We got some ice and a light dusting, so we only had a 2-hour delay. The first 20 minutes of the day is Homeroom and there is a school-wide expectation that students are engaged in silent sustained reading during that time once the teacher had done morning announcements. Yesterday, we also had locker seals presentations. My class is one of the largest 7/8 homerooms in the school ---25 kids. Most homerooms are between 12 and 15. It took forever for me to do the announcements because kids kept socializing with their neighbors and if they are talking, I stop, stare at them, and wait for them to figure it out before continuing. I then explained that it was going to be difficult to award all the locker seals in one day, but I would try. In order to do this, I needed their cooperation. They should be reading silently and wait for their name to be called for locker seals.
They ignored me and continued to talk. Only 2/3 of the kids even had a book to read! This is a school-wide expectation. They know they need a book every morning. I restated the expectation. I'm sure my voice sounded a bit irritated by that point. I explained again that in order for me to do locker seals, I needed they to be silently reading. One lovely little girl had the balls to look me directly in the eye and say, "yeah.....like that's ever going to happen" with her best 13 year old sarcasm. It was at that moment that I snapped. It is never okay to yell at students, but I did it. I told her, in front of everyone, that it most certainly WAS going to happen even if I had to get the principal himself to come in.
This awful moment has made me physically sick ever since. Honestly, I am not sure how I am going to repair the damage done. I'm already known as a pretty "mean" and unpopular teacher. I am okay with that to a certain extent, but yelling is something I am working hard on eliminating in my family interactions and I don't want it to bleed into my work as well.
Monday, November 22, 2010
So last Friday I decided to test Liam's intolerance by eating a yogurt (and some chocolate too). BIG MISTAKE! The next day, not only was there projectile vomiting, he was shrieking in pain as well. It sucked.
The confusing part is why he tolerates the formula but not a yogurt filtered through my body.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
As for the work-outs, that has been challenging now that I'm back to work and completely exhausted at the end of the day. I'm still doing them, but the running is not going very well. I have not been able to get past the 2 mile/25 min mark. Some days even that isn't possible. I did a 60 minute power lift class on Thursday and I am so sore. My legs and butt are killing me, so Friday I got on the treadmill and couldn't run longer than 5 minute stretches. Even walking hurt. Then toward the end of my time on the treadmill (I think I was at 2.33 miles), this man got on the treadmill next to me and he smelled horrific. Not like stinky pits, but like pure filthy funk. He smelled like he was homeless, which is doubtful given that if he were homeless he probably wouldn't have a gym membership. The stink was so unbearable, I had to leave.
I am heading to a 30 minute step class this morning, still sore.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Today, the burden was lifted! One of our Title 1 teachers who does have experience teaching older pre-readers agreed to take on the intervention class period in exchange for me teaching her 6th grade Title class. That, I can do pretty confidently. The curriculum is developed and I will have an assistant. I haven't taught 6th grade in 4 years, so that will be a nice change. It also means that I will get to know a group of 6th graders who will most likely be with me in 7th and/or 8th grade for top-tier when they exit Title.
Pumping milk is also more difficult this time around as I am so much busier and have more responsibilities at work than I did 3 years ago.
All complaining aside, work is going well. My top-tier classes are planned through winter break, so now I am focusing on my small-group intervention class. It is definitely busy. Fortunately, I know more than half my students from last year, so it was like I never left.
And that's all I have time for today! Tomorrow is my Weight Watchers weigh-in and I'm scared.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Then there's my age, which I think factors into the physical difficulty. If I allow my body to fully recover from my recent pregnancy and continue to protect Li Li's milk supply, it will be at least 7 months before even considering becoming pregnant. That puts me at 38 during the pregnancy and almost 39 at the time of delivery and that is if we get pregnant right away. Do I really want to be 60 at my child's graduation?
The biggest reason NOT to add to our family is money. We are currently in a 1000 sf home with 3 small bedrooms (10 x 10) and only one full bath. There is no real attic space and no basement. Where would this third child sleep? With his/her brother or sister I suppose.....a tight squeeze. Selling the home is obviously not an option with the market the way it is and on my meager salary, there is little chance of getting approved for a loan large enough to cover a bigger house anyway. Then there's the issue of child care.....if Dad works, then we pay for 2 kids in full-time daycare and 1 kid in before/after school care. Estimated cost: $2300/month. It just doesn't make sense. That relegates Dad to the home for several years. Will he even be able to get a job after that long away from the workforce?
So yeah, lots to consider. And not a whole hell of a lot of time to decide.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Do not be drawn in by "sales" either. There are always sales. Seriously. Set up an email address that you use specifically for shopping. Subscribe to email alerts for all the stores you typically shop from. You will soon discover that there are always sales going. Check that account once or twice a week and clear it out. When you really do "need" something, go to your special shopping email account and do it up.
Idea #11: Avoid commercials on TV.
These just suck you in and keep certain products (usually the worst ones) in the forefront of your mind. Remember, these huge corporations have psychologists on staff whose sole job is to trick you into thinking their product is one you cannot live without. So just avoid them. How? Limit TV watching in general. This does not mean you have to avoid your favorite shows. Utilize Netflix, OnDemand, or DVR and with the last two options, FF through the commercials. If you are watching network TV with commercial breaks mute the commercials and get up and do something so you aren't looking at the screen either. Think of all the crap you can get done in those commercial breaks.
Friday, November 12, 2010
He was a good eater from the start, nursing efficiently and often.......and doing a lot of spitting up. At one of his earliest doctor appointments, I was told that he was just overeating and would soon outgrow it. Okay.
At about 3 weeks old, he becomes "colicky" screaming for hours on end. Pooping at least 5 times a day and constantly spitting up. Another doctor appointment. He *may* have colic. Okay. He will outgrow it. Okay. He is still gaining weight, so the puking is no big deal. Okay. We'll try some reflux medication. Okay.
The medicine did not help whatsoever. I began asking other moms who suggested I cut dairy out of my diet and see if it helps him. Okay. He stops pooping frequently. Still spitting up. Another doctor appointment. He *may* be experiencing difficulty digesting milk protein and if so, he probably would have trouble with soy too. He has an immature digestive system. He will outgrow it. Okay.
I cut out all soy. He begins seeing a chiropractor and taking probiotics. He improves. Less vomiting. Less screaming. Not pooping very often. Lots of gas. We begin to phase out the chiro treatments--3 weeks between adjustments. He gets worse. No pooping at all. Lots of pain, shrieking, increased vomiting.
He is now 4 1/2 months old. I recently switched my primary care to a natural family clinic and explained to the naturopath what was going on with the baby, as well as my own life-long digestive problems for which there has been no real diagnosis. She thought for sure gluten was the culprit. I had my blood tested for problems with iron, thyroid and gluten. All came back negative. So still no definitive answers. She suggested I go gluten-free for a couple weeks and see how Li Li reacts, mainly just to rule it out. Then I need to bring him in for more testing.
I am considering taking him to a specialist at Children's Emmanuel. I just want to know what is wrong with my baby and fix it.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Idea # 8: Non-bathing. Think of all the money you will save on bath products not to mention really sticking it to the man by "stinking it up" in capitalist paradises like shopping malls or even better, the workplace.
I tried desperately to find a link to the article so you all could read for yourselves, but couldn't so I will try to summarize. In the Oregonian the other day, there was an article about so-called "non-bathers." Apparently it is a movement to return to the good old days when people reeked and had to slather themselves with perfumes to cover the nasty stench of sweat and filth. The exception being that perfumes are toxic and pretty much taboo in the "natural" community (I personally decry perfume, but support bathing). I do get that bathing daily is not always necessary in order to stay clean and it is a fact that daily hair-washing damages your hair and scalp. But......the fact remains that we do live in a society that has certain social norms and expectations. Yes, sometimes those norms have been discriminatory and in those cases it is important to fight the power and change the norm. Non-bathing, however, can definitely go too far and I refuse to consider myself a hater because I would not want to spend the day working in a cubicle next to Stinky McStinker. I can barely stand to ride in the car with myself after a workout....the smell of sweat is just plain icky.
Idea #9: Make your own cleaning products.
This idea is one that we follow somewhat at our house. No only does it keep you from supporting corporations that wish to chemicalize your home and body, it also saves money and is eco-friendly. We have not yet ventured into home-made soap, shampoo, etc. I may just give that a try at some point. If you are considering going the "non-bathing" route due to the harmful chemicals in soaps, why not make your own. That way the stink factor is under control and you can still call yourself eco-cool.
I still intend to keep up with blogging as I venture into the world of middle school from 7:00 am --3:00 pm each day. I'm sure I'll have lots of humorous stories to share (those kids really are hilarious).
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I can only hope he doesn't hate us for doing this to him.
We've all heard "you get what you pay for" and this mostly holds true (not always). It is far better to have 5 pair of $100 shoes than 50 pair of $10 shoes. This idea compliments yesterday's idea in that it fights the "planned obsolescence" that cheap commodities thrive on.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I am definitely guilty of this one. Too often I will throw away something once it's broken or messed up mildly and go out and buy a new version of the same item. How wasteful! And it encourages planned obsolescence which drives the greedy corporations to make more cheap crap with sweatshop labor.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
If you just can't let go of your favorite brands despite their *ahem* less than favorable business practices, you can still stick it to the man by purchasing them used. Consignment and previously owned products are not limited to clothing. Furniture, bikes, toys, and baby gear can all be purchased via craigslist if consignment store shopping is too labor intensive for you. Many children's consignment shops operate on a trade system, so you bring in the stuff your kids have outgrown and get store credit toward things they can use.
My two favorite shops are Bella Stella and Piccolina. And while I'm at Piccolina, I can jump across the street to Mother Nature's.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Below you will see a list of things I have every intention of making.
Friday, November 5, 2010
I sincerely apologize for the lack of links in this post. I promise to revisit Idea #3 and add links to worker-friendly companies as soon as possible. For now, I only have time to post the idea itself.
Idea #3: Buy products from companies or manufacturers who employ fair trade policies and even better, those who do so while employing American workers in American factories.
I know that sometimes it's just not possible to find what you need at a locally owned business, but you can purchase products that were made outside of sweatshops or made in the USA by companies who treat their employees with dignity, respect, health care, and a living wage.
My aunt has been an employee of Costco for many years and I know they are one such company. In fact, it's a good place to apply if you find yourself in need of a job.
I hear a baby crying, so more later...I promise.
On the up-side, Thursday is my Weight Watchers weigh-in and despite using up all flex points and nearly all activity points for the week, I managed to lose another pound. I appreciate that WW is not a "diet" but rather a way of ensuring that you eat the right amount and right balance of foods each day.
I am doing a great job of staying off processed foods and refined sugars. I am also avoiding soy and dairy due to the little guy's digestive issues.
So that's that.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I did a simple search for practical ideas on cutting oil use. Stuff anyone can do without drastically changing one's lifestyle or shelling out a bunch of money. Here's the link...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
So what can we do as struggling Americans? How can we jump-start our own economy and preserve the American worker identity?
Idea #1: Shop at locally-owned businesses. Here are some ideas for those living in the Portland area.
Groceries: New Seasons Market (beware...Fred Meyer is no longer locally owned)
Fast Food: Burgerville
Fatty Breakfast Food: Elmers
Outdoor Clothing and Gear: REI
Hardware: Parkrose Hardware
Appliances: Standard TV & Appliance
We are hoping to have a larger home by the time Zoe is in 5th grade. That means either selling our current home or doing an overhaul and adding a second floor. I thought it might be fun to list out all the things I hope for in our next house.
Location: W/in the city limits and school boundaries so the kids will attend Franklin, Cleveland, Grant, or Douglas for HS.
Lot size: 7000sf is ideal
House size: 2000--2500 sf
BR: Master suite w/ plenty of closet space, large bathroom w/jetted tub and stall shower; 3 additional bedrooms--one for each kid and a guest room.
BA: master bath, 1 other full bath, additional 1/2 bath would be great, but not necessary
Floorplan: fairly open with living/dining/kitchen all w/in view
Family Room: either in a finished basement or above. Must accommodate kids' video gaming area as well as movie-viewing.
Laundry: can be anywhere
Kitchen: large, lots of counter space and storage space; separate pantry for dry goods, double oven.
Green Features: lots of windows and skylights, rain barrels, bamboo, solar panels
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Tell us the story of a piece of jewelry you own. Where did it come from, and what does it mean to you?
When I was fifteen, I decided to leave the small theater school I had been a part of for four years. I had never attended public school and, as an actor, was curious about "experiencing" the typical high school thing in order to use it later in my work. I knew I probably wouldn't enjoy it, but nonetheless, I did it and looking back, I am glad. I made several lifelong friends during the short time I attended FHS.
Now back to the prompt......the jade and silver ring. As I was leaving the theater, one of my teachers and fellow performers was also leaving to take a job with a rep company in another state. She always wore this ring on her pinky during performances. I think it was a bit "much" for her everyday jewelry rotation. While getting ready in the dressing room one evening, she gave me the ring. She said it had been given to her in a similar way. I still have the ring even though my fingers are too fat to wear it.
So what will I be blogging about this month? Perhaps the transition from maternity leave back into the working mommy camp. Yes, I've done it before, but this time is sure to be a different kind of challenge. My little guy eats a LOT more than Ms. Zozu did (yes, she's a "Ms." as you're never too young to be a feminist) and he has food intolerances even when filtered through my breastmilk, so that makes the whole thing much more complicated.
I also had this grand idea of giving myself and the 2 or 3 people who read this blog some simple ideas for fighting the big corporate giants (aka capitalist pigs) and doing each of them. I know how to do it, yet I find myself often too lazy to DIY and instead running to Target.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I began Weight Watchers a month ago and have lost 7 lbs. I am still working on eliminating snacking after dinner. That is a difficult one to manage, but it's my goal for this week. If I can make it a week with no evening snacking, I will treat myself to a 90 minute massage.