Around Here Week 04: 01/21-27

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to be in our family just this moment. 

selfie cred: Miss Baylee

from the book: You'd Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 2+ hours (of 1000)
We had a puppy playdate on Sunday with a coworker/friend's Golden Retriever and our Osa. They are headed out on vacation in a few weeks and we are going to babysit their pup (also an energetic 1 year old) - so we all hung out in the yard while the two dogs ran around and played together to get introduced. The playdate went great and it only dawned us right then that they are an unneutered male and unspayed female...LOL. We are going to roll the dice though because Osa is not in heat and also because we are dumb. fingers crossed that we do NOT get puppies.

Reading You'd Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow (a borrow from my student Emma). I am really loving the teen perspective of a family effected by addiction. Very insightful and I'm grateful to be reading it. 

Getting stuck in a snowy ditch while dropping Grey off at pitching practice. Hah! I got stuck in a tread on the road and immediately start to feel the pull towards the ditch and was literally calling out, "oh, no, no, no, no!" as I slid right down into it. Hahha. I couldn't work my way out of it, so back into pitching practice I went and requested for Grey and a few of the fellas to come push me. First they tried to push my out in reverse and then we tried again with them pushing from the back and after the second try - the car was free. The boys were all whooping and hollering, "Let's go!" My heroes for the night! 

Blasting the song Worth It by Fifth Harmony on Sunday night while having a full blown family dance party in the living room because I was brave and stood proudly in the value I think I bring....and it paid off big time. So proud of myself even though I literally cried four times that day and had to get two hype up talks from Brandon and another one from my sister Uch before getting the guts (LOL).

Getting the official call on Tuesday night after the board meeting that I was hired at my new school! I am so excited and inspired to try something new (still Spanish but across new grade levels [grades3-10]) and to have an opportunity to collaborate with a department! My new school has one other Spanish teacher and 2 French teachers! It's a bigger school, only an extra 15ish minute farther drive, and a significant bump in salary which will ease most of my grocery bill shopping anxiety (hah!) No, but seriously- we have been talking so much about time slipping by as Grey and Gem are speedily moving through the upper ages. If we are going to take a real family vacation - now is the time. If we are going to do some remodeling to the house to make it suit our big family better - now is the time. And this change will help make those things happen from a financial sense. I am so excited and also so sad. Thinking about leaving my kids (students) is breaking my heart. Thinking about making a big change (schedule, curriculum, meeting new people, resettling in, emptying my current classroom) is very overwhelming. But life is about growing, and spreading wings, and taking here I go! 

Finishing our family puzzle! We did it! Violet worked on it the most and she was thoughtful enough to leave about 12 pieces at the very end to let each person in the family get a chance to put at least 1 or 2 pieces in it (sweetest - I told her I was so proud of her thoughtfulness).

Really over winter. LOL (it's January, Tabitha. You are such a crybaby). Okay, maybe it's that I'm really over the darkness. I need sunlight and longer days. The kids need to be outside longer, I need vitamin D, my morning routine needs more daylight. Ugh - seasonal frustration just felt like it was at an all-time peak this week. 

(I know, I know,) I know that someday I will miss it, but this week I was literally cringing every time my (bottomless pit stomach) children said to me, "Mum, what's for dinner?" The amount of space that "food" takes up in my mind (ie. inventory of what we have stocked, meal planning, stressing about the equation of nutritional-value + cost + quantity + children-approved-meals, shopping, unpacking from grocery bags, making, and cleaning up) is honestly about 85% of brain power at this moment of my motherhood. IT IS UNREAL. 

Keeping some kids home from school this week. Stomach bug, fatigue, fever dreams - ya know normal mid-winter type of stuff. Rust missed a day, and Gem missed two days (her first two all year!) And then by Saturday night, I started to feel a little funny and lo and behold, yep - stomach bug. Ughhh.

Teaching bullfighting and watching Ferdinand in Spanish 1. Spanish 2 read chapters 1-4 in our novel Ekeko and Spanish 3 and 4 started their Preterito-s cereal box projects (a fan favorite!) From Wednesday on, it's been a lot of emotional heavy lifting at school since I announced that I got the job offer at my new school. I went home each night completely drained from carrying big feelings of kids that are sad to see me go - which obviously feels validating but also so sad too. I love these kids - all my kids!! - so this next part through the transition is going to be tough. We are working on figuring out my timeframe and I definitely want to get through the prom fundraiser before I go so I don't leave anyone hanging...that's early February - so I'm hoping for a mid/late February ending date (gulp). 

Sporting Vi had a Sparks soccer practice and Gemma had 1 basketball practice, 2 basketball games, and kept the book twice for the JrHigh girls basketball team. Grey had 1 baseball practice, 2 basketball practices, 2 basketball games, and a basketball tournament this week. Brandon had a Franklin basketball game and we lifted only once this week.  Oh! and I registered four of our kids (Gem, Vi, Rust, and Red) for AYSO soccer and signed up to be a coach for 4U. 

Making chicken & cheese quesadillas, beef/broccoli over rice, creamy Italian chicken over pasta, Lemon Herb Pork Tenderloin with roasted veggies, chicken & gravy over mashed potatoes, and baked ravioli. Liv helped me make a batch of peanut butter powerballs and they didn't last 4 hours before the kids ate nearly all of them and then Bullet ate the rest when Olive left the container of them on the floor (good grief?!)

Around Here Week 03: 01/14-20

Saturday, February 3, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to be in our family just this moment. 

photo cred: Pam H

Photo cred: Pam H (most Rusty face ever! love it!!)

Coach Drew with the post match debrief!

selfie credit: Julie

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 42+ Minutes...still(of 1000)
I zipped up a lot of winter coats and adjusted a lot of hats, and wiped up a lot of tracked in snow from winter boots and dog paws this week while everyone else enjoyed the outdoors and snow though! I enjoy a warm drink and a book and watching them out the window. LOL

Reading and finishing Unwind by Neal Shusterman and holy cow, no big deal - just stayed up on Monday night until 4am finishing the last 150 pages. Haha, really enjoyed it and will never stop promoting Neal Shusterman as the author of choice to get those teen reluctant readers to start reading. The dude just puts out solid stories and characters that captivate young men and women (and grown ups!) I am loving all my students accosting me everyday like, "SeƱoraaaaaaaaa, this book!" Next up are two books: Never Whistle at Night (an Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology) for Books&Brews Book Club and You'd Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow (a borrow from my student Emma)

Visiting the art show at Laurel Arts to see the Somerset County elementary & JrHigh art show. Violet had a piece of work that was selected for the show so she and I headed out together to go see all the students' work. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with her. Afterward she helped me make Aldi grocery trip which meant she got to pick the cereal and that is always a treat in a big family - hah! 

Completely enthralled with The Curious Case of Natalia Grace on hboMAX. Um...what a wild ride. I'm a mandated reporter so I knew from the first few moments of the first episode the truth of truths. I feel so sad that so many adults failed for so many years. Besides the heartbreak, there was also crazy. So much crazy. Oh man, if you are getting snowed in regularly like us - you need to make some time to watch this documentary.

Smiling for Gemma who had her wish come true - to be allowed to take photos for the school yearbooks/newspaper/media. She dreams of a being a photographer someday, so getting the opportunity to be 'on the job' with the school media camera as a sixth grader is such a privilege (thank you Mrs. Feathers for trusting her and giving her the chance!) She took photos at Grey's home basketball game this week and was so visibly happy.

Interviewing for a new job! It was set for Friday afternoon, but then the snowstorm came and it got switched to zoom which meant work on top (blazer, earrings, hair done) and snow day mom of 6 on bottom (sweatpants & barefeet). You know I definitely tried the old panic-clean up of our bedroom that would be the background of my screen view (LOL) and God Bless Miss Emma who was there to keep all the kids downstairs and mostly quiet so I could be professional. The interview went great and I am feeling hopeful, excited, and inspired! 

Chaperoning the winter formal. B and I attended our 7th winter formal together and the kids all looked so nice dressed up - they were all excited and so sweet. It is nice to see them outside of school having fun and laughing together. B and I were exhausted after the week of mixed up plans and then the day of wrestling tournament - but it actually turned out the perfect little evening out together. 

Teaching so little in this wacky weather week. We had an Act80 day on Monday then a 2hr delay to start the new quarter on Tuesday. Then a Flexible Instruction Day on Wednesday, one normal full day of teaching/learning on Thursday, and then another Flexible Instruction Day on Friday (?!) Spanish 1 at least started Somos Unit 5 and got target structures. Spanish 2 learned about lustrabotas in Bolivia and read Chapter 1 in our novel Ekeko. Spanish 3 and 4 continued practicing Preterito (regular & super 7 verbs). I planned our staff potluck for this month for Thursday. It was soups, salads, and sandwich themed and like always all the staff totally showed up for it and we feasted. I made BLT pasta salad for it. 

Sporting while Rusty had 2 wrestling practices and then his last tournament at CT on Saturday. I volunteered from 6:30a-8:30a at the check in table and we donated some snacks and baked goods for the concession stand too. Rust had a great day and earned 3rd place. Violet had one basketball practice and a basketball game while Gemma took it easy on her ankle again and only kept stats for one JrHigh game and tried out her ankle at her 6th grade game on Saturday (it went good!). Grey had a baseball pitching practice, 2 basketball practices, and only 1 game due to weather cancelling the other stuff. We lifted twice this week and B started his winter basketball rec league in Franklin this week! 

Making for dinners: spaghetti, egg roll in a bowl, pierogies & kielbasa, and meatball sub sammies. Brandon made us a feast of Hibachi-style chicken, shrimp, veggies, and fried rice; he even made us yum yum sauce! On MLK Jr day while B was home with the crew - he and Grey made homemade chicken wings. On the 2hr delay mornings, I made applesauce & cinnamon muffins and buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake (unfortunately it wasn't cooked all the way through by the time we left for school - so we had it as afternoon snack instead). On Friday's snow day, I made cinnamon rolls with my grandma's boiled icing! For the wrestling tournament bake sale, I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.