Home Sweet Home... Very Soon!

Hello all! Life has been a roller coaster as we have continued trying to purchase our first (and last???) home. We are so close and should be moving in by mid-May, after closing next week. My husband and I just keep on dreaming about all the projects we want to do once we have the keys, and to that end I have made a little campaign, just to hurry along some of the items on our list.

Thank you for visiting,

Slice of Life Day 17: Goofball Baby

I just want to think today about the look on my little girls face when she is playing and acting silly. She is just shy of one, and acts like she is going on five. She plays with her tongue half way out of her mouth. This is convenient, because she can easily coo and spit a little if something excites her.
Today I came to the sitters early to pick her up. She just kept on playing and smiling, as if she had something mischievous going through her mind. She did not stop playing to come into my arms, until the normal pick-up time. That little goof is on a schedule. I should have known.
It makes me so happy to watch my babies emerge as their very own people.

Slice of Life Day 16

First day of testing and I am so proud of the kids for their energy getting through all the units. Our timing was not perfect (maybe even bad), and they just smiled and made the most of it. Who knew this would be more exhausting than a day of teaching?
I'm setting up everything for my husband to get the babies to the sitter in the morning and getting as much rest as possible.
I am so tired!

Slice of Life Day 15: Rocky Road Day

Another day! I went to bed too late last night and had some odd dreams, before waking up in a bad mood. It was a long morning for me, and a long day altogether. Not too long ago my husband called to tell me that we have a house!
We'll be closing in a month and settling into the new old home soon. This is our first home purchase and it doesn't seem real.
In one of my dreams I was at the kitchen sink when the floor fell in! That was not too good. Ups and downs and finally ups today.
I hope everyone else had a more level-headed day.

Slice of Life Day 14: Trying Again on the House

We went house hunting again this morning. We've been going nearly every Saturday morning for something like a month. We are bringing along the kids, because we are pinching pennies (see trying to buy a house here!!!).
It is getting to a point where I am feeling a lot of guilt every time I put my little one into the car seat. She is so tired of being in that bucket position. I don't blame her. I've even added a towel to my own seat because the bucket-y-ness is too much for me, so I can only empathize with her. Poor thing. Every time I put her in I remind myself that I am doing it to keep her safe, and that the ends (having a house and yard) do justify the means (having her spend a few more hours than I would prefer in that bucket).
We are hoping that this was our last Saturday morning spent house hunting. We put an offer on a giant house with nearly an acre of land, just 8 miles from my husband's work, no worries about my commute since I teach from home. So wish us luck, because I think this one feels right.
New topic: I love writing every day! We really are nearly a month through the challenge, and I am thinking about the writing habits I will carry on past the month of March. I am hoping to add a weekly Tuesday Slice, and maybe one or two other themes to keep my blog alive! What do you think of Virtual Educator Fridays or Mama Resource Mondays, or something else... I'll think about what is realistic for me, and what I really have something to say about.
Keep on loving and writing folks!

I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge brought to us by the genius teachers at Two Writing Teachers.Thank you ladies!

Slice of Life Day 13: Growing Hipster

Look at my boy drinking his milk out of a mason jar! Could he be any cuter? I say No. He was so happy to use this thing, and it made me proud because he was so careful.  There was less spilled from the mason jar than he normally spills using a sippy cup.
Sometimes the very simple things make us so happy.
By the way, you have to love his mismatched socks too!

Slice of Life Day Twelve: Yummy Tootsies

I bought these shoes off Zulily a few months ago for seven bucks. I've been so excited since I am making the switch this spring from typical shoes to minimalist shoes. They are basically glorified socks, so I have waited for the weather to change so I could start wearing them. So comfortable!
My little guys toes are in the pic too,  because they are just yummy!

Slice of Life Day 11; Testing, Testing... 1, 2, 3!

How many of you are preparing for the standardized tests in the weeks coming up? It is one thing that makes me feel very un-inspired to write. Sorry, this has just not wound up being a day that I want to share anything extraordinary that happened. I want to respectfully handle the requirements and make the most of the circumstances I have found myself in as a teacher. I tell my students, and I mean it, that the test is a chance for them to show what they know and have learned. I showed them what the test will look like and gave them a limited number of sample problems and questions, but that is it. Did I do enough? Are they going to get to the test and feel as confident and able as I know they are? Will they sit at the computer and freeze? On the other hand, did I give to much of my precious time with the students "teaching to the test" or as I see it, teaching them how to take the test?
I want it to be OK, I will take any results that are positive as proof of the students' brilliance, but I will not take poor results as "proof" that they lack genius. I won't. We need to take the test. We need to make the most of it. We need to let the children know that no matter how they perform on the test, we will not be disappointed.
I am so ready for this to be over with so I can get on to the fun part of teaching. I am planning a science fair for the end of the year. That is what really matters to me. I can't wait to see my genius students (I hope you know that when I refer to my genius students, I am referring to all my students) pursue subjects that they enjoy and can experience hands-on learning.
Deep breaths.
This will be over soon.

Slice of Life Day Ten: I don't even know...

I don't know what to write about tonight. This is a first. It is a little of too much going on over the course of today; I am both distracted and overwhelmed with ideas - not resulting in a great writing environment.

Today I had an opportunity to feel legitimate in my occupation, and at the end of the day I felt able to totally devote my time to my children. It was a beautiful day of feeling balance. Sometimes doing what I do, I feel like I am just not doing anything important. I try, but I don't always have the gratification that I am used to from brick-and-mortar teaching (that is what us virtual teachers call the rest of you). My role is often more of a supporting role, and sometimes I find that people don't know when to ask for support. As the time goes on though, I am becoming more aware of how to find the people who need help. Today was one of those days and it was a good feeling, which allowed me at the end of the day to relax and just spend time with the kids and catch up on some of the housework.

Slice of Life Day Eight: Literacy

Each day my toddler meticulously lines up his letters, either on the fridge or the dishwasher. This picture does not even show how well he does this task, since I had to clean some off the floor after his sister came around to do what she does.
Speaking of his sister, at (nearly) one she was trying to track with her finger while I read a book to her this morning!
These examples go to show the value of creating a literate environment for babies. Pre-reading skills are simple to introduce and make a world of difference for young children.

Slice of Life Day Nine: My Sweetness

Today while driving home from the grocery store NPR was on the radio. I wasn't paying much attention, but I think the program that was playing may have been This American Life. Someone was telling a story about something and described a woman saying "she spared every expense." It made me laugh out loud.

I don't know if that person was talking about a mother, or family member, or what, but it made me think. How will I be described by my grown children. So I am considering what my two year old is experiencing with me, what is life like from his very important perspective.

Our kids see how embarrassing we are, and looking back as adults how do they interpret their memories? I can't base all parenting choices on a fear of what he'll think when he grows, but I will amuse myself from time to time thinking about that.

Slice of Life Day Seven: Emotional Shopping

I do not consider myself an emotional shopper. I am looking for a home and my emotions are very tied up in the search. Biggest purchase of my life and I'm all tied up with emotions. I am starting to feel like I am not ready for this. I am so certain that I need this for the family, but I am just not sure I am emotionally ready to handle to purchase process.

Here goes nothing, our offer went through today, so we'll see what happens next. I am emotionally exhausted tonight.

Slice of Life Day Six: Spring

I'm no poet, but here goes nothing...

Displaying DSC_1225.JPG
Before the Snow became bad

I watched birds flying all around outside my window.
Longest winter, coldest nights.
Not long
Not long
Not forever.
At last the days lengthen
I arrive to fetch my babes and the sun has not yet set!
Melt SNOW! Fall icicles!
Soon I will see to the left and right crossing the street.
Soon, in my spare time, I will be walking through the neighborhood.
Not long now.

Slice of Life Day Five: Don't know what to write, for the right reasons!

This Slice of Life Challenge is doing me a lot of good. Each day I think about fifty times maybe I should use that for my slice today! I'm sure it is obvious that I am not a very experienced writer. My goals are to become a better writer, and a better writing teacher. My goal is also to do something for myself, and perhaps find some new friends and peers in the process...

So for today I will just free-write some of the things that are running circles around my head:

Feeling sick and being a parent - somehow we are supposed to take turns on the sickness so one of us is left to take care of the kids.

The kids are growing too fast, in many ways they are taking care of themselves.

We are hunting for a house... put in an offer today on a property that my husband saw and I did not. We'll see what happens.

I made pancakes for breakfast, they made me super happy. When I find a gluten-free recipe that I want to make more than once, that is a great find!

There is no such thing as a normal week around here, it seems like an old and tired topic to write about, but it is so relevant.

We cannot please everyone, personally or professionally, grow a tougher skin and let those nasty comments roll off.

Maybe in the days to come I will flesh out one or two of these and try to make something worth reading. Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

Slice of Life Day Four: What's her sign?

My mother taught me about "self-fulfilling prophesies". What I took away from this wisdom: don't seek psychic advice, don't consult with mediums, don't expect to fail, and don't read horoscopes.

So during my childhood I did not know my "sign", One day while goofing off in biology class, a fellow student asked me my birthday, after I answered the question he proceeded to comment about Libras. It was the first time I had heard the word. I still think very little about my sign and it always catches me off guard when a curious friend, colleague or strangers asks me what mine is.

Now imagine my surprise when people begin asking me about my children's signs! I don't know. I do not even care or give any validation to the question. I shrug my shoulders and say I don't know, and I try to keep it to myself that I REALLY do not care.

Slice of Life Day Three: Doing Something Right!

It is past 11:30, and today I am wondering what I have gotten myself into with this writing project. It is just the sort of thing that I am interested in though. So now three days through and I am still going (if not strong).
Today I am pondering the meaning of that beautiful phrase "work-life-balance". How does it apply to teachers, who are famous for being strangers to their families from August to June. Where do we carve out the time for our families, and how do we meet the requirements of the job we love and have passion for and the family that we also have endless love and passion for.
I am unusual because I am teaching virtually - from home. This makes some aspects of the balance easier - I spend more time with the kiddos, I get a few moments between work tasks to kiss my babes, and the food is so much better than frozen dinners or cafeteria gourmet! But the flip side is also true, does my work suffer from being so cozy with my family? No matter how diligent I try to be and no matter how honest I try to be, I am so distracted when my little child reaches her arms towards me, while I should be writing a lesson, and needs a hug. What can I do?
Today I dropped my little man at the daycare. He pushed me out the door, after a kiss, and greeted me with warmth when I came to pick him up.
I may be feeling experiencing some tension between these two passions, but today I know that I am doing something right, so I will continue to try.

Slice of Life Challenge Day Two: Glamour of Motherhood, or not

I am getting my slice of life done early in the morning as I look back on a night of vomit and tears, and I look ahead to a stressful day, working from home, scrutinized by the powers that be.
My children are two and eleven-months, so the stomach-bug is not a welcome  house guest.
This is not the glamorous sort of  conversation I thought I was getting into when I began this challenge (yesterday).

Slice of Life Challenge Day 1: Late to Mass

It was a normal Sunday heading to church with my 11-month-old Befi. I felt like I was late, but I have the good fortune of only driving five minutes up the road to reach the parish, so when I arrived and the mass had not yet begun and did not seem like it would begin in a matter of moments, I was pleased; I am doing better than I thought!
I was pleased as little Befi rested peacefully in her car seat and I was able to kneel and have some quiet time in prayer. It was a surprise to me when four minutes after 11 some commotion near the alter brought my attention to the fact that it was late and mass was not yet starting. An elderly gentleman in a blazer announced that there had been some confusion with the schedule, but "he is on his way." I relished the extra time to sit in the peace of the sanctuary. Nobody seemed upset, perhaps because we are in an age when nobody comes to church who doesn't want to.
The wait was pleasant for me, with two small children, such peace is so rare. As we waited the elderly gentleman played a video from the Cardinal, saying that we would be watching it anyway, so we may just as well watch while waiting. The cantor sang a song.
At 11:15 Father arrived, mass went on as usual, and surprisingly was finished at the normal time. All a bizarre event I have never before experienced.

Slice of Life

Slice of Life Challenge is coming up in the month of March, just a few short days away. This is a big undertaking for me, so I am not sure how far I will get, but I am really looking forward to giving it a go.
Kumquat entered the den today to feed and water the cat. It was crazy, because I was teaching and he was not interrupting. He rolled out the old desk chair, took the bowl to the bathroom and filled it with water, bringing it back for Jack, my cat. I was impressed. It won't be too much longer before those two are true friends.