Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I realize that I told you I got a job for the fall, but I don't believe I said WHAT job I got...

It wasn't a library job, which is what I've been interviewing for the past THREE summers. Bummer. School library jobs are about as scarce as money trees where I live, with districts that have traditionally had librarians in all their buildings cutting all but ONE of their library positions. Good times. Most elementary schools around here have a "librarian" but they are not paid on the professional teacher scale and many of them do not have library or even education degrees.  That, I suppose, is a conversation for another day.

ANYWAY - If I was going to go back to work, but not in a school library, the job I have is exactly the one I would have chosen. I am going back to the school where I did my student teaching, and then where I worked for years 3 and 4 of my career, leaving at the end of the school year when I was pregnant with Harper.

You guys, I LOVE THIS SCHOOL. I wish I could link to the website here, but that would be pinpointing a little too precisely where we live. (If you already know where we live, you could, uh, just do a search for independent schools in this area, and you'd find it.)

I am going back to teach first grade - which happens to be the grade I taught previously at this school and at the school where I worked the first two years of my career. Certainly some things have changed in the past eight years, but enough of it is the same that I'm not stepping into completely unfamiliar territory.

Have I mentioned that the school I will work at is about four minutes from our house? There are songs on my iPod that will last longer than my commute.

The school where I'm working is an independent school - which means a lot of good things, but one of the best is that our maximum class size in the lower grades is 18 students. Yup. 18 students is a BIG class at this school. Things can still change before the start of the year, or even during the year, but right now there are 12 names on my class list. Love it.

The icing on the cake is the fact that the people I'm going to be working most closely with - the other first grade teacher, the reading specialist, and my principal are all people I've know since I did my student teaching. They are amazing educators that I have tremendous respect for and I know that working with them raises the level of my own teaching. Not only that, these women are my friends. And have been for years. I get to go to work every day with people I adore.

So here I am, thirteen days from the beginning of the school year. I'm thrilled about the job and nervous as heck about the how this transition will go for our family. I have that feeling I used to get standing in line for the big roller coasters at the amusement park, especially when the wait was long... pretty sure I'm going to have a blast, but not 100% certain that it won't kill me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Status Updates

So I'm off of Facebook until my summer coursework is finished. Which may very well mean you won't see me back on Facebook until mid-August (er, when I'll be back to work, so I might not be on much then either).

Not that many people are out there wondering lots about us due to my lack of status updating, but I have found that I am kind of missing posting that way. If I WERE using Facebook, recent updates may have gone something like this:

  • Three of the five creatures who live under this roof peed either in their beds or on the floor on the same day. That's too much laundry.

  • The AAU  girls' basketball team Matt coaches is playing in a National semi-final game tonight (yes, for real, tonight - July 17th).

  • I love that AAU nationals are in Cincinnati so we can to go the games and support Matt's team. I love less that our schedules have been 100% upended because of it - last night the kids at sandwiches for dinner at 7:45, which is SUPER late for them.

  • Harper is attending bowling camp this week. Bowling for 5-12 year-olds. I was a little worried when the gentleman running it began with a packet of handouts. The little kids were looking at it like they had no idea what it was for! Fortunately he's actually really good with the children and has the patience of a saint...

  • I was hoping to have all my school work finished before we went on vacation. Um, that is really, REALLY not happening. The good news is I can do some homework poolside?
And finally:

  • Homemade water slide:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Some Firsts

Recently Michael has developed an all out obsession with baseball. Earlier this summer he actually sat through all nine innings of a minor league game. He has favorite players, favorite teams, and likes to watch the umpire to see whether a pitch is a ball or a strike. So this year, after a good long afternoon nap, we let him stay up to watch the first inning of the MLB All Star Game. 

Unfortunately he doesn't quite have the concept of all-star down and kept asking exactly which teams were playing.

Michael never used to sit still to watch television at all - now he'd watch all day as long as some kind of sporting event was being broadcast.

Harper's first was a jump off the high dive at the rec center where she's been taking swimming lessons. I was really excited for her - she just marched up there and did it with barely any hesitation at all. I don't recall the first time I jumped off the high dive, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't seven. She accomplished the feat yesterday, twice, and wasn't sure she'd do it again... "It feels like I'm falling," she explained, "and I don't really like to fall."

But I convinced her to give it another go today so her brother could see it in person - he was totally impressed - and so I could capture the moment.

Climbing the ladder:

Walking the plank:

Jumping off:

And then she did it again so I could get it on video...

As for me, I did something for the first time in a LONG time... bought an academic calendar. In a little over a month I'll be back in the classroom - yikes!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Stripey One

This summer, almost without fail, when I've sent Michael to his closet to pick out clothes, this is what he chooses:

Even though I very specifically ask him to pick something with short sleeves and shorts, he comes out with the hanger bearing this outfit. Every. Stinkin'. Time. And every summer day I've had to send him back and explain he can't wear those clothes because it is too hot outside and I accompany him to his room to find a more suitable outfit.

That picture was taken this morning when he decided to try something new and just put the clothes on instead of bringing them out for my approval... too bad the forecast called for temps above one-hundred degrees today.

"But Mom," he protested, "I'm not even hot at all!"

You see the striped shirt and pants with stripes down the sides compose his most very favorite outfit ever. Incidentally he also asked for it every day this winter, and always wore it the first day it was clean from the wash. Aside from being inappropriately warm for any summer day, let alone with the crazy heat wave we've been a part of, the outfit is also getting too small. He is going to be devastated when I pack it away with the other things he's outgrown. You can believe I will be scouring the stores for similar items as soon as the fall things hit the sales floor. Probably any day now.

This striped outfit, and Michael's fondness for it, is just one of the many little things I want to remember about these days. It takes so little to make him happy.

I made a concession about the clothes - agreeing to let him wear them as pajamas tonight. They only lasted about half an hour before he decided he was too hot and deigned to be changed into something else but it made him willing to compromise this morning.

One other Michael-related tidbit from today - he was getting full at lunch and asked to be finished eating. I asked how much of his banana was left, to which he replied, "Oh about fee-corders." For those of you not fluent in Michael, that would be "three-quarters." And he was actually right! By pure coincidence I'm sure.

I saved the fee-corders of a banana for him to eat with his dinner.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Growing Up

A couple of people commented (Hi, Swistle!) after the last post that Harper is suddenly looking quite a bit older. I think this is true. Actually I started having that feeling early in 2012, partly because she is turning eight this calendar year, and eight is an age I firmly remember being. (Incidentally, age 8 is the year I recieved the book The Ballet Shoes from my godmother. I've read it so many times it is held together with a rubber band.)  Part of it is the adult teeth, for sure. And the rest is made up of all these things I'm watching her experience, the ways her friendships are developing, the choices she is starting to make for herself.

Then, a couple of days ago, she was feeling a little under the weather and walked into the kitchen looking like this:

(She reluctantly posed for the picture, she's so clearly over it...)

(Also? She seems unaware of the wedgie situation going on there. Kids!)

I don't know if this will make sense to many of you, but when she walked in with those pajama pants, tank top, flip flops, and messy ponytail I suddenly felt like I was getting a glimpse of my daughter during her exam week as a freshman in college.

(Did you pick out Exam Week Outfits*? You know a comfy combo perfect for alternating between sleep and study? No? Just my friends and I then? Moving on...)

Dear Time,

Move slower.


*And by "outfit" I mean either a t-shirt (long or short sleeved), a sweatshirt, and probably a choice between boxer shorts or flannel pajama bottoms, color coordination optional.