Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Spooktacular

After a full week of being sick with H1N1 (both Katie and I), we managed to get better in time to enjoy a little Halloween. We were sad to miss the neighborhood activities last week, though. Next year.

When I asked Katie what she wanted to be for Halloween she immediately said "a tiger!" Amazingly, she was very consistent in her desire for the tiger. Even after we got a princess costume when I wasn't sure that I could find a tiger costume in her size, she still wanted to be a tiger. So, I managed to find one. It truly demonstrates how difficult it is to buy clothing for young children without having the child try it on first. After trying on 4-6 and 6-8 size costumes for my 3 YEAR OLD that were too small, I ordered the 6-8 size tiger costume for her. When it arrived, this is what we found:

Fortunately, 4 safety pins and one hair rubberband later, we managed to find a workable tiger in there.

Mommy even got into the fun with her own costume.

The downside of these wonderful costumes this year is definitely the weather. It was 80 degrees and humid today so the headpiece only lasted for half the walk up the street.

I'm afraid we had to forgo our standard picture of weighing the candy bucket and the child stuffing her face with candy this year. After moving, we haven't found the scale yet and, a reflection of how sick Katie has been, after eating one lollipop, she said she wanted to go to bed.

The great part about Halloween this year? Being in our super family friendly neighborhood. There were kids everywhere and tons of places to trick-or-treat. Like last year, we bypassed the scary houses. Unlike last year, there still plenty of houses to go to, just on our street. The kids and parents we met walking around were all really nice and I can't wait to get to know more of them better in the future. All in all, we had a great Halloween in our new neighborhood.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Phone Photo Sunday

I keep meaning to do this on Friday but here they are!

When I returned from NCCAT last week, I was greeted with a great big hug from my daughter. One of the things that I love (and sometimes hate) about Katie is her uninhibited exhibition of emotions. She does everything big. When I came home from NCCAT, she screamed "Mommy!" and ran down the hallway at daycare to fly into my arms. When we got home, she wanted to cook so we ended up having our first impromptu Mommy/daughter cooking session. Our first dish? Mac and Cheese. This is the result:

The work.

The "Mommy, I'm done taking pictures" picture.

And, the perfect pose to please Mommy.

I see cookie baking and lots of kitchen fun in our future.

The bell's ringin' Bossie, it's our turn at the trough

Well, this post was supposed to post last week but I miust have done something funny because it didn't get posted. Just pretend that you are seeing this last week while I was away at NCCAT.

One of the best things about NCCAT is definitely the food. The learning is nice, the meeting with colleagues is great but seriously, being fed 5 times a day and waited on while sitting at a table with white tablecloths, no screaming wiggly child who is flicking milk everywhere with her straw, and, of course, no clean up, just makes my whole week worth the extra time spent on sub plans.

The downside of all this wonderful food is...I have not had a hunger pang in 2 days. Seriously. Not that being full is a bad thing but the next meal is starting before I've had a chance to get hungry again! I haven't even taken advantage of the snacks available around the clock in the residence because, really, I'm NOT hungry. Not even the slightest hint of the munchies. When Heather, my friend and fellow teacher started pushing me to come here, she often talked about the food. Her words, and I quote, as I was leaving last Saturday were, "Just assume you will gain ten pounds and take stretchy pants."

Fortunately, I decided going in I wasn't going to worry about just how much I was eating and I am just enjoying being pampered and waited on. Heaven knows that won't happen again any time soon! So, in the meantime, I'll enjoy a short respite from hunger pangs, knowing that next week I'll be back to starvation by 10am.

Just roll me home.

Fairest of the Fair (Part 1)

Thursday night we went to the NC State Fair and had a fantastic time.

Since eating is a very important part of what we do at the fair, we started by eating. First, Katie ate half of a corn dog over a period of an hour. She was too excited about riding the carousel to eat it before riding anything.

Then she started our rides with the carousel.

Then there was her first pony ride. (Hopefully the first of many!)

After which she just HAD to ride on the airplanes. We kept trying to get her to push the button and take the airplane up but we never quite got the message across. She had a great time, obviously.
We also rode Mommy's favorite ride, the swings!

Vroom vroom!

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday love

I watched this unfold at daycare this morning, about waist-high to me...

Nate: Hi, Katie! Where have you been?
Katie: I was at my house.
Nate: I missed you so much! After you put down your jacket, I want a hug.
She puts her jacket in the cubby and he follows her to that side of the room. They hug.

Dropping the kid off has its rewards :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

While Mommy's away... body and my mind. spirit. love of teaching.

I had the amazing opportunity to attend a seminar this week for beginning teachers at NCCAT, an institute in the mountains of NC that is dedicated to helping teachers remember why they got into education in the first place. We are treated as professionals and adults (not something we always get in our schools and districts) and given an opportunity to become students again and remember that learning can be fun. Since we are always so stressed out with the demands placed on us, we are also pampered, just a bit, with private rooms and bathrooms, white tablecloth meals that we don't have to cook OR clean up after, and some downtime for reflection and relaxation.

The seminars for career teachers allow educators to become students and learn about a topic that is fun and interesting to them. As a beginning teacher, I am attending a seminar to remind me about some of the information in my methods courses and Master's classes and help me put that information into practice, now that I have my own classroom with my own kids. While we all teach different grades and subjects, we have enough in common that we can easily share strategies about what we are struggling with or what we have figured out. We are different enough that approaches a kindergarten teacher takes with her students can prove to be just out of the box enough to be usable in a middle or high school classroom.
For me as an individual, it is nice to get away from the hectic and chaotic atmosphere at home where I can't move a foot without tripping over boxes. It is also an opportunity to step away from the frantic demands of paperwork, lesson planning and grading to reflect on how my teaching can improve to lesson the pressure I feel in the classroom.

Thanks, Heather. I definitely needed this week.

We'll have to check in with the folks at home to see how they are faring this week while Mommy is away. Keep Jim in your thoughts and prayers this week as he is balancing a heavy workload, the craziness of unpacking at the new house and all of the loving, nurturing, and disciplining load that is Katie. Thanks to those of you helping him out and a big shout out to Super Dad whose skills with all of that allow me to leave for 5 days and not worry about what's going on at home.

Phone Photo Fri...(I mean Monday!)

These are some pictures I took from my phone shortly after I got my first camera phone. This is like Little House on the Prairie meets modern grocery store mama. These are some of my favorite pics. Where did my baby go? Who is this little girl looking so grown up?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shopping for Halloween Costumes

She just couldn't decide what she wanted to be...

Dorothy? Tinkerbell? Or...the Wicked Witch? Hmm, maybe Glenda...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who turned out the lights?

This was one of those times when you try reaaaaly hard not to laugh too hard. I pulled out some zucchini bread to eat this evening and inadvertently cut it into 4 pieces. Habit dies hard after you've been cutting 4 pieces after a year!

Katie: That's Ricarda's piece!
Mommy: Well, Ricarda is pretty far away right now. Do you remember where Ricarda is right now?
Katie: She's at Germany! She's hungry right now.
Daddy: Actually, I think she's asleep right now.
Katie: Yeah, but we aren't asleep. We waked up because it's light outside.
Daddy: And Ricarda's asleep right now because its dark outside.
Katie: Yeah, somebody at Germany turned off the lights!

My daughter, the budding physicist.