Around Here Week 5: 01/26-02/01

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.


Intentional Outdoor Hours:  4+ hours (of 1000)
Only 20 minutes short of my January goal for outdoor hours and I'll take it! My February goal is to add another 8 hours, so I'll make 8 hours and 20 minutes to stay on track for the year!

Reading and finishing The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. One of the quotes that had me teared up at the end was, "Once you figure out what matters, you'll figure out how to be brave." I started reading our next Books&Brews book club book, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and heart wrenching and important and brutal.

Laughing and rolling my eyes about fourth grade band. Who thought it was a good idea to give our son a saxophone? We get an almost daily 'concert' that often includes the 'Tugboat note' which consists of Grey blowing as hard as he can into the sax without using any hands. Send ear plugs and chocolate please!

Bursting into tears when I read this post from @workingmomkind on instagram. One part crying because I need to be kinder to myself regularly about this exact thing and one part because it's what I have always wanted/meant to say when people give me the 'ole "I don't know how you do it" line. I frequently get it because of our big family, or because I read, or because I write this blog, or because I work full time and volunteer with our kids and my students...but it is so frustrating to me because I want to say - "I get the same hours in a day as everyone else! I don't know what you think I'm doing, but it's survival - how is anyone doing it?!" but this quote was exactly the right and truest thing about motherhood. It's about figuring out which ones are plastic and which are glass.

Starting a daughter/mother journal with Gemma for us to share and write notes back to each other. She is super geeked out about it and loves it - we are going on a streak of daily messages so far. It two fold good to help us communicate but also really is supporting her reading and writing too.

Encouraging Violet to 'read' her Level A readers each day and continue to practice writing her first and last name. She says she is both excited for kindergarten and a little nervous; we keep reminding her that she still has lots of time until next fall. I can see this growing up struggle in her emotions though and she's been whipping back and forth between acting overly babyish (whining, wanting to be carried) to super big girl (getting dressed on her own, putting on make up secretly, carrying a purse!) We will get through this little stage, but it's been pretty tiring helping her work through it.

Proud of my students who put on their show this week. They performed Dear Gabby for the entire student body on Thursday afternoon and then went on to put on three more presentations of it throughout the weekend. Next up - the musical!

Completing my first college assignment this week and getting my research topic approved. I'll be researching the use of physical and digital manipulatives to support kinesthetic (and all) learners in the secondary classroom. We do a lot of movement in my classroom (dancing fridays, walk-around quizzes, games, running dictation, etc) and it's something I really believe is lacking in young people today (movement!) I have this whole research study in my mind that I'd love to pitch to someone or to unofficially do myself about why (it seems to me) that teenagers are getting so many more severe injuries these days. I have kids in 9th-12th grade who have already had knee, ACL, and rotater cuff surgeries! Kids are in boots or crutches all the time and constantly kids are on modified days for concussions. I just don't remember it being like that when we were growing up. I have a some theories that involve: lack of free outdoor play in early childhood (climbing trees, sliding down dirt piles, etc) combined with overuse in one specific sport in early childhood (year round travel teams) but those are just my hypothesis. Can someone do a real study, please? k, thanks. I also had to turn in a reference page in APA format and ughhhhhhhh (which is how I feel about tedious formatting).

Grateful to kiss January goodbye. Good grief, longest month of the year and no snow days! We are all feeling a little wacky from the cabin fever, and the rain, and go-go-go. We could use a snow day to just lock us all home for a whole day, but doesn't look like it's in the cards for us - maybe this whole winter (!!)

Spending 3 hours between the waiting room and needle pricks for my 3hr Glucose test after my failed standard one. bleh. But I got a lot of grading done for school and started reading Just Mercy - so it was productive at least. B had the four kids at the basketball games on Saturday morning while I was getting my testing done.

Installing our new tv! Since I had already purchased the prom raffle ticket prize of the flat screen tv back on Black Friday and then an unsold ticket was hit that day - we just kept it. It's been overdue; our tv is over 12 years old (!) so B got it set up just in time for the Superbowl!

Winter sporting with seven basketball games for Grey (!) and two practices. This was the last big week and now two of the teams only have playoffs/ships this coming week. We'll be done to only two teams and that's looking pretty sweet to me. (Although then it's only one week of "calm" before indoor baseball practices start twice a week LOL)

Spring sport prepping by mailing out the baseball sponsorship letters to local businesses that support our league and organizing the communication list to share with the board members. We also got all three soccer kids (Gem, Vi, and Rust) officially registered for AYSO soccer too! Rust man is so excited and cannot understand how/why we have to wait a few more months before soccer practices start (hah). This will be the first year I won't be coaching one of our kids' teams because as I explained to Rust and Violet, "I can't be jogging up and down the field teaching you how to play, our baby brother will just fall right out!" HAHAHAH, how I wish that is how it worked.

Teaching Spanish 1 about traditions in bullfighting including watching an actual bullfight! Spanish 2 got started on their Sobre Yo projects and we continue to practice verb conjugations (with the Dice activity) and still it is such a struggle. I swear 2nd year Spanish students who are 'meh' and just there because 'they have to for college' are my most frustrating. Lawd, please give me more patience. Spanish 2 Honors worked on Chapters 3&4 of Esperanza and started making their family trees. Spanish 3/4 Honors dug their heels into the Imperfecto tense and are doing a great job so far practicing when to use the two past tense conjugations in various scenarios. They turned in their Preterit-o's cereal box projects on Monday and I loved seeing their creativity (and how informative they were) shine through. I gave a mid-year check in google form and got back some meaningful feedback from students about their thoughts on learning, discipline, safety, and inspiration is going in Spanish class.

Making bbq ribs and mac&cheese, white chicken chili over rice, shrimp alfredo with fettuccine, and turkey sloppy joes with air fried mini potatoes (a kid favorite!) I made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because the baby brother made me do it (hah), and some cinnamon sugar fried biscuit donuts on Saturday morning.

Around Here Week 4: 01/19-25

Sunday, February 2, 2020

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home this moment.

photo cred: Kate

how the kids feel the day after a sleepover

cookies from my students Laura & Bryce - so sweet!

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  4+ hours (of 1000)
Rusty and I braved the chilly air on Saturday to walk around the yard, weave in and out of the pine trees, and jump in some puddles for a little while. I could see that his little body needed some serious movement, so he, the dogs, and I spent about 45 minutes outside just wandering about in the misty fog.

Reading The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. It is a YA novel (also a Project Lit book!) and it is really bringing to focus to me how important it is to keep communication open with kids as they continue to grow up. To read it from a young person's perspective - the things left unsaid between her and her parents; her and her best friend - are all the things that fill her days and heart. The worrying and creation of what you think might be the reason for the 'secrets' are far worse then opening up the conversation and maintaining a dialogue about even the hard stuff.

Having all the sleepovers and playdates for the Act 80 day for MLK Jr Day. Grey got to sleepover at the Conn's house and Gem headed out to sleepover with the Fiores (thank you all!) The babes stayed with us until the morning. Violet chose to go to daycare because her best friend ever, Grady, was going to be there that day (she even got dressed up for him with sparkly tights and glitter color in her hair!) Rustman spent the afternoon at Pappy & Gigi's house. Then Violet got to have a sleepover that night with her other best buddy Pappy!

Crossing off all the third trimester baby appointments in one day! On the Act 80 day, I bounced between multiple buildings to snag all my baby needs in one clip which was great but also exhausting. We had an ultrasound first (all looks great for Baby Bro - he's weighing about 3lbs already! and my low lying placenta has scooted up a little - just a little more to go for a full green light!) Then I had a check up with my cousin/mid-wife Meg (all good) which included the TDap vaccine, then on to the 1hr Glucose test (ugh, failed), and my Rhogam shot. Sheesh!

Sharing my 100 Small Things List for 2020! I'm already making pretty good progress, including ordering Gemma's first Holy Communion dress and veil from Etsy this week. The big day isn't until May, but I'm glad it's ordered and done and I won't be in a panic when the day creeps up on us in the midst of the rotten 8 weeks of newbornhood.

Visiting the chiropractor with the two big kids. Grey kept asking, "Wait, am I taller though?" because he felt so much better after his adjustment. We are big fans of chiropractor care to make sure all of stuff is aligned and sending clear messages to our brain so our bodies can take care of themselves properly. It felt amazing to get adjusted with this huge belly putting so much strain on my back (ughhh, tailbone pain foreverrr) and I just want to know - what's the cost for adjusting every single bone in my body though? Can that be a thing, please?

Finishing the last week of raffle prizes for our junior class fundraiser for prom. In total we had half the prizes hit winning numbers and half the prizes hit on unsold tickets. Which was okay since we didn't sell as many as we had hoped. The prom committee made great progress on locking in some key people for the big date including reserving our venue, caterer, and photographer!

Celebrating our Aunt Marge at her surprise 70th birthday party at Morrison's Tavern on Friday night. Our Gilmore cousins were in from Etown which makes us all happy and we are working on planning some camping trips for this summer together. Gem had a meltdown to leave Audra and we continue to talk about how being disappointed that the spending time is over doesn't mean the time you spent together wasn't good enough. It's a lot of emotions with that child and we have been practicing some calming breaths to get her to take a minute to get herself under control.

Coloring pictures and enjoying some homemade fried rice to celebrate Chinese New Year (the year of the rat) on Saturday.

Finished the series of CHEER on Netflix. Yes, I loved it. Yes, I want to be more like Jerry.  Yes, I sobbed at the last episode. Yes, I want to be a Navarro Cheerleader. goodbye.

Winter sporting with six basketball games and two practices this week. It's obnoxious but he loves it and the other kids and I have been going to some games and then staying home for some too. The schedule slows down for basketball in until then - it's a lot of jersey washing and schedule coordinating for this house of an obsessed baller.

Teaching Spanish 1 who finished the standard section of Somos 5 with a lot of translating through reading and writing. Spanish 2 worked through Somos 1 Unit 12 and did some practice with Personal Belongings vocabulary. Spanish 2 Honors started our next novel, Esperanza and read Chapters 1 and 2 while Spanish 3/4 Honors finished up their Preterito mini unit and worked on a project to demonstrate their understanding of the Preterito verb conjugations.

Making cherry 'pop tarts' with some puff pastry that needed used up in the fridge, baked pork chops and apples, creamy Italian chicken in the crockpot over egg noodles, baked Hawaiian pizza slider rolls, fried rice, and taco dip with some leftover taco meat. I organized our monthly potluck lunch at school this week and made Asian Ramen salad to share (I used this super easy and really delicious recipe!)

Around Here Week 3: 01/12-18

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment.

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 3+ hours (of 1000)
Didn't push it over the three hours yet this week, but we did have one final nice day on Monday that the kids and I went outside for a little after school (although we needed coats, gloves, and hats. Mostly scored little bits of time tending to our chicken girls who are bummed that it actually isn't spring yet. The temperatures took a nose dive later in the week and by Saturday we had rain turned to sleet turned to hail turned to snow.

Reading and finishing With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. I loved it so much! I wish there as more! I picked back up where I left off on The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan and we had our Books&Brews book club meeting at Luna Azteca on Thursday night and decided we'd read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson next and then watch the movie! Double bonus as it's also one of the books on our Project Lit list!

Renting a saxophone for the last two marking periods for Grey while he tries his hand at band. Send prayers and ear plugs!

Loving so much Rusty's new little skit. He holds his hands open (like they are a box) and says, "Kring?" and then I pretend to get a ring out and say "YES!" and then we kiss and he holds my hands while swaying back and forth singing "married, married, married." #imdeadnow The skit doesn't always go the same way though - sometimes he pretends to grab the ring from me and throw it (#geminiproblems) but when it's the sweet version, I'm telling you, my heart becomes a melted glob of goo.

Emailing my college professor to introduce myself and give her a heads up can I put this - I'm having a baby this semester. LOL. She was very sweet in her response and we are on the same page that I have full intentions of everything getting done and on time!

Adjusting the two littlest and Daddy at the chiropractor this week. (so jealous - mine isn't until next week!) The two little kids who have dealt with some constipation issues the last few months and they both had their little pelvis bones fully twisted. The doc straightened them all out (literally, hah!) and Brandon felt two inches taller after they left the office. We haven't been in too long and we are all in need of some adjusted alignment especially after this last bout of sicknesses - we need these nervous systems back to full working order!

Receiving a whole box of baby clothes & diapers from the a very thoughtful teacher & friend. The kids' STEAM teacher, Mrs. Roxby (who they adore) has been out on maternity leave with her newest little fella and she boxed up a bunch of his newborn clothes to pass on to our baby bro! It was so sweet and the kids could not believe that Mrs. Roxby was so kind. They kept oohing and ahhing at all the teeny clothes (how quick we forget how little they are at the beginning!) and commenting that everything smelled like Mrs. Roxby (hahha!) Thank you so much - for the clothes and for being a beacon of kindness and light for our kiddos. We love you Mrs. Roxby!

Living that kid-free nightlife on Friday as all four kids were whisked away to a local hotel with my parents and sisters! First they got to go bowling and then they got to swim in the hotel pool and sleepover! #bestnightever ! While the kids were laughing hysterically (oh, those aunts and Chum can come up with some weird inside jokes...) Brandon and I went out to eat at Living the Dream (in the former Tulune's restaurant) and then came home and.....went to bed early! Hhahahhaa, also - #bestnightever Thank you so much Chum, Abba, Kitty, and Uch for the peace and quiet!!

Winter Sporting with 6 basketball games for Grey and one practice. He gets a little bit of practice on all his teams for different aspects of the game. He wears #8 for CT, #4 for Sportsman's, #11 for Legion and #5 for Storm! And all three of the four teams are different colors, hah! He's still loving all the running around on the court (and between the practices/games) so c'est la saison de basket. 

Teaching Spanish 1 through Somos 1 Unit 5 and creating funny stories madLib style for El Muchacho, El Hermano, y La Novia. Spanish 2 got to learn about the Chilean mining accident and we compared it to our own local history; The Quecreek mining accident. They watched the movie The 33 - such a good movie and true life story! Sp2Honors did an immigration simulation exercise that had a curriculum cross-over with Civics, worked through some song lyrics, and finished a vocab test before we start our novel next week. Sp3/4Honors continued learning the preterite tense (er/ir regular verbs, super 7 verbs, and car/gar/zar endings). It was the end of the marking period this week too - so....a lot of negotiations about grades and explaining to kids, "I'm so glad and proud to see how much you care about your grade - but you also need to care this much the whole marking period, not just now that we are at the end."

Making cream cheese chicken taquitos (a Studer fam superfav!), tacos, chicken parm in the crockpot over pasta (Brandon and Grey loved it!), Korean turkey and brocolli over rice, and buffalo chicken dip.