Sunday, October 23, 2011

I know, I know

It's been ages. Well, at least it feels like ages.

Part of the reason I haven't posted is because I (we) are crazy-busy. Homecoming just wrapped up this weekend and as Frosh class adviser I spent a fair amount of time dedicated to the whole process. Not nearly as much time as some other staff members though - yeesh - Homecoming is a time consuming monster.

The other reason is that blogger is blocked when I'm logged into my school e-mail. So even at home I have to switch G-Mail accounts in order to access this page. Not a super big deal, but with me being a. busy and b. lazy, it really hampered any serious blogging.

Not like I'm going to get into much serious blogging anyway - it's almost 9:30 and I have my plans finished, have half of my grading done, and I'm exhausted. My bed is seductively calling my name, but I wanted to get at least a few things down first.

Griffin is 18 months old - a whole year and a half! He's been celebrating this by sleeping slightly better (thankyouFSM), adding a few new words to his vocab (remote, moo, sorry), and climbing. On everything. I posted his growth charts to Facebook, but he's 95% for height (as always) and 50-ish% for weight (as always). He's tall and lean - just like his Daddy. His curls are coming in quite nicely and he's very close to rockin' the Billy Cyrus mullet. Still haven't gotten him a haircut and I'm not planning on it anytime soon. I love his mop.

Poe is fast approaching 3... going on 18. She's into the back-talking phase (although if she's anything like her mother that's not really a phase). She is also the nice police. Bryan and I have a habit of playfully smacking each other on the rear. Penelope does not like this and will often say (mostly to me, since Daddy is her favorite). "Stop that. Be nice and no hitting or you will sit in a time-out!" So now we sneak in our love-smacks while she's not looking.

We also tattle on each other to her. Which just goes to show how incredibly mature we both are at all times. :) She enjoys scolding us I think.

She is also big into singing now. She's seems to be constantly singing... the ABC's, some Princess song, The Wheels on the Bus, and Itsy-Bitsy Spiderman... it goes like this:

The itsy bitsy Spiderman went up the water-spout
Down came the rain and washed Spiderman out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy Spiderman went up the spout again!

So hilarious.

I briefly mentioned Homecoming above - and I want to revisit it at some point because Pen got to be in the Homecoming parade. G and I were in it as well, but it was just so we could sit with her and the other Princesses (Disney theme). She dressed as Belle and had a grand time waving to everyone and shouting "hello people! Happy Homecoming!"

She was supposed to be in the halftime show with the other girls, but it ran too far past bedtime and she had had enough. So we bowed out and she went home and fell asleep about 2 seconds after she lay down.

I have lots of pictures and I promise to try to post them soon.

There is really so much more... but I now that I'm actually sitting down to type I can't remember any of it.

Hopefully things settle down a little and I can find more time to post. I miss chronicling all that the kids do.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lets talk for a minute about schedules

I've been complaining a lot on Facebook about BTSA. It's a program for new teachers that is supposed to support new teachers. Sounds good huh?

Well, it's not. It is, in fact, the one thing that is stressing me out to the point of tears. Mostly because it is incredibly time consuming... your first year of teaching is time consuming anyway - what with all the planning, grading, adjusting, evaluations, working on things like classroom management and effective lesson planning, trainings, and that little thing called a family (and this is the short list). Add in mounds of paperwork (the relevance of which is not entirely clear) and mandatory meetings and seminars, and you have one time-sucking program.

I have an "assignment" due on the 7th. In addition to some collaborative logs which were due Friday that I didn't complete. The logs are apparently due every month, but that was not made clear at the beginning of this whole process. In fact, little was actually made clear at the beginning, which is why I find the whole thing so stressful and supremely annoying.

Here's my daily weekday schedule. Let's see if we can find some time in it where I should have worked on BTSA instead of something else.

5:30am - wake up, shower, eat, dress, make lunch
6:30am - leave for work
6:45am - arrive at work, grade, respond to e-mail, make copies, write objectives on the boards of my multiple classrooms
8am - school starts
10am - prep period: make copies, grade papers, input grades, respond to e-mails
12:05pm - lunch: eat, grade, respond to e-mails, attend the occasional meeting (at least two a week), give make-up tests, pee
2:50pm - school ends: meet with students, meet with teachers, check mailbox, respond to e-mails, organize my rolling cart for the next day, pack work into my satchel to take home.
3:30pm - go home (or supervise a Freshman flower party), pick up the kids
4pm - spend time with the kids, play outside, run errands
5pm - start dinner, do dishes
5:45 or 6pm - eat dinner
6:30pm - bath time
7pm - winding down with Kipper
7:30pm - reading time with Penelope, Bryan rocks Griffin
8pm - kids in bed, grading, responding to e-mail, updating grades, lesson planning, having a conversation with my husband
9:30pm - go to bed

So what do I do? Not grade? Not plan? Not spend time with my kids? Stay up until midnight and wake up at 4?

This month I have TWO seminars. Plus I'm supposed to use prep time to observe classes, have weekly meetings with my support teacher, and work on the next "module" which is an assessment of teaching. THE SAME THING I DID IN MY TEACHER CREDENTIALING PROGRAM.

I do not have any TIME.

Notice how no-where in that schedule is there time just for me. I check Facebook/Proboards/my personal e-mail in the morning while I shovel down my toast or in between grading essays. I do not exercise. I do not read for pleasure. This is why I haven't updated consistently since I started working. We recently joined the YMCA and I will be fitting in some exercise time at least once a week. We do have our weekends for family time - and I REFUSE to give that up for BTSA. Refuse.

My schedule is balanced for my job as a teacher. It will get better as I get further into teaching - there will be slightly less lesson planning and I'll become more efficient with my grading. But adding the paperwork for this "support" program into the mix throws it all off kilter. It means I give up my precious weekend time. It means I spend less time with my children. And I am not ok with this.

Nothing better

Than singing loudly and dramatically to Disney Princess songs with the Poe.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I can't find our camera

Not like I'd use it anyway, but our camera has been MIA since the move. It's probably in a box somewhere and FSM only know where the battery charger is.

I do have a camera on my iPad, and I've been using it really inconsistently to take pics of the kids and of life out here in sunny Salinas (and it has been sunny recently, today is as clear as a bell and in the mid 70s, it's gorgeous).

So I feel bad about the lack of picture posting but not bad enough to actually do something to remedy the situation.

Today we went to a health faire that our insurance put on - and got some free flu shots (not the kids, they didn't have the pediatric shots there or some other such nonsense) and picked up a bunch of fliers, half of which I promptly recycled when I got home. Half were actually useful though, so that's pretty good for a health faire.

I did the "free health screening" which I thought was going to be a bunch of nonsense but was actually marginally helpful so score on that front. My blood pressure is so low that the health technician looked at the cuff like something was wrong with it until I told her that I have always had super low blood pressure. Usually it's at 110/80 which is on the low side of normal, but today is was 98/60. It was like that all through my pregnancies (and no, I am NOT pregnant) and my midwives always asked me how I was able to do things like stand, let alone run after a toddler. All my cholesterol and blood sugar levels were in the excellent to normal range and the woman reviewing my paperwork gave me an "A+". My BMI is almost exactly where I wanted it to be. I'd like to knock off a smidge more, but I'm just happy it's back into the normal range.

This is an exciting post, isn't it?

On to the kids.

I have recently decided that Griffin is more wild animal than human being. He's taken to rolling around on the floor and attempting to scale the walls. He's part dog and part monkey, perhaps. However, his vocabulary is coming along quite nicely so I know that there's still human in there somewhere (underneath the layers of dried yogurt and oatmeal). There are hyenas that are neater than he is.

He goes in for his 18 month check up in less than two weeks. I can't believe he's already a year and a half old! And Penelope will be THREE in two months. WTF? Yeah, yeah, yeah, time flies, blah blah blah. I know. But holy crap.

My babies aren't really much of babies. And this is why I only feel the tiniest bit of guilt for enjoying the last time Griffin was sick because he would actually snuggle with me then. Don't judge. 99% of the time he's a blur of activity, so I try and enjoy the rare times when he's lovey... I should clarify. He's lovey a lot - the child loves to give hugs and kisses. But he does so with speed and he leads with his head. So while you get lots of kisses, you also get black eyes and bruised arms. Sick Bubby is a sunggly, gentle Bubby. He's also clingy and whiny, but hey - at least I get my snuggles.

Poe is... Poe. We have a new favorite game. She says "guess what?" I say "what?" she says "I love you!" - it is the

She's also started really singing. The Little Mermaid song, the theme from Aladdin, the Spectacular Spiderman theme song... I promise we don't actually watch that much TV. Unless I need to do something like dishes or cleaning... ok, so we watch an hour a day. Which is more than I had planned on before they were born, but that always happens - you make grand plans and then they all go to pot. We could always move the TV to the garage, but I like winding down with Kipper every night or watching Spiderman on Saturday mornings. I like the occasional family movie night. I like being able to pee by myself. So the TV stays.

I think both kids are due for a tandem growth spurt. Griffin always eats like it's his last meal, but Pen has recently joined him in the "shovelinallyoucan" buffet. They took a three hour nap on Friday and then actually slept for almost 11 hours last night (not straight, Penny was up once and G was up twice). But that's still pretty good...

Griffin's sleep has been better, but he's still up at least once a night. I'm really looking forward to when that stops, but I'm not going to hold my breath. It'll happen when it happens.

I just looked at the clock. I should really start grading essays.


My students are not going to be happy with me on Monday. Some of them wrote decent papers but didn't address the prompt and I am slashing those grades. If you can't answer the question it doesn't matter how great your grammar is, KWIM? Ok, time to be productive.

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs