So yesterday was a tough teaching day. I teach a class called AVID(Advancement via Individual Determination). It is a class meant to address kids in the middle, kids who would be first generation college students, kids who need to develop the skills to go to college because they want to but don't have the resources to do it on their own. I work with my students on note taking, critical reading skills, working in tutorials, leadership skills, and advocacy skills. The program is a huge success in a lot of schools with most AVID students going to college and completing degrees. So you have an idea of what it means to some students I found this video some kids in CA made... Anyways, yesterday we got word that the high school our students go on to is dropping AVID--leaving the kids we have been working with for 2 years without a place. At the most critical point in their academic careers. So I was feeling pretty low about teaching and what I can do for kids last night, when my phone beeped. It was a text from a former student. I had coached her for 3 years in basketball and got to have her in class for a memorable 8th grade year. She was texting me for advice on college and life and making decisions. I didn't have any answers for her, I could just tell her what I thought and that really life is about not knowing what was going to happen and doing it anyway. I haven't had this young lady in class for almost 5 years and here she was reaching out to me. Now this is a special young woman. I used to pour a ton of energy into my teaching and relationships with my students. The girls I coached became my surrogate daughters for awhile. We laughed and cried together, experienced a lot of highs and some lows. They taught me a lot about myself and how to be a good teacher. Now a lot of my energy goes into my own family and not my relatiosnhips with students. I am still a good teacher, I still are for my students but it isn't the same as those years in Denver(and that's OK there is only so much of me to go around).
All of a sudden it made sense. This is why I love my job, this is why I do what I do. Love you Layla--thanks for giving me a reminder of the impact I have had.
Image from here! I have always struggled with weight always. I went through a period in high school where I worked out compulsively every morning in our garage and ate one meal a day. I gained the Freshman 15(maybe more like 40), hid my body in men's clothes and smiled like it didn't bother me. I gained even more after graduating and working my first real job with time and money to eat lunch out and go out for dinner and drinks with friends. All though that time I worked out, I lifted, I did cardio, I even hired and worked out with a trainer. But I never dealt with my food issues.
After I picked up and moved to Denver, I just decided enough was enough and went to Weight Watchers. After weighing in at a shocking 230 pounds, I started the program. I eventually lost 60 pounds and kept it off. I went through periods where I gained a little more than I would like, and I would renew my commitment to counting points and the weight would come off. I always knew when this happened that there was something else behind the eating, some feelings I wasn't dealing with--stress and unhappiness at my job, moving to a new town after getting married, something that had I really talked about and addressed instead of eating my way through it wouldn't have resulted in a gain at all.
So after having a baby, one of my biggest concerns was my weight. After 8 months, 3 really where I focused on my eating and working out, I was back to my prepregnancy healthy weight. Until today. I have studiously avoided my scale for 3 weeks. I have been feeling down in the dumps and have been eating my way through these feelings--a handful of chocolate chips here, a handful of pretzels there, way too many meals out, a morning mocha latte, a sundae at the end of the day, birthday celebrations that I rationalized having multiple treats at. And so today I stepped on the scale.
I have gained 5 pounds back. 5 pounds that I fought for, skipped dessert for, did extra cardio for, got up at 4:30 to go to the gym before work for. I know its not much and my friends would tell you they can't tell but I can. It represents sadness and stress and a belief that I wasn't worth fighting for.
Remember when birthdays were all about blowing out the candles on your cake and diving into a pile of presents?
This weekend I turned 35. It was an important birthday to me, I feel like this is a turning point age. The age at which we must decide if we are going to have another baby since I will be labeled with the scary "Advanced Maternal Age" and be tested numerous times since its more dangerous to be pregnant at this age. I think it should be relabeled Mature Mom or something. I didn't meet the man of my dreams since I was 30 and we married when we were 32 and had our first when we were 34. I think that is a Mature choice not an Advanced one. Although in high stakes testing land, Advanced is good. Most days I would be happy to get a Partially Proficient score as a Mom.
I expected fireworks and balloons, and cake and candles and singing.
I got a low key celebration at home and a bigger one at school the next day.
I was feeling pretty disappointed and brought it up to my husband about how I had wanted him to make it a bigger deal and put some more thought into it--a very mature thing to do! And then I thought about the non material gifts I got. I mean how can you not be happy with this face! i have a wonderful husband, a beautiful and happy baby, a supportive family, a job and collegues I love. life is good--even at 35!
who made up this saying, really? Because they are not the deep quiet sleepers that this phrase calls to mind.
First, let me say I know many moms who have it much worse than me and will roll their eyes with this woe is me post. Elle is normally a good through the night sleeper.
But that being said, every once in awhile...
She wakes up at 2 or 3(which is really the worst time for mama--I think that is my deepest sleep time). SO I drag myself out of bed, feed her 2 ounces(I know THEY say don't feed them in the middle of the night, but THEY don't worry about every ounce my baby has to gain). And put her back down, I don't play with her, I don't turn on lights, I try to make it as business like as possible. I turn on her light and sound machine that is supposed to lull her back to sleep, and the crying begins.
I let it go 15 minutes and I know I am not going back to sleep and neither is she. I know THEY say let them cry, she is fed, warm, safe, etc. But I can't. SO I drag in m big pillow and a blanket and put her on the floor of her room with me. As I watch my baby fight sleep, I fight the clock in my brain that is calculating that if I fall asleep now I can get X minutes of sleep before getting up for the day. Finally with her face smashed against mine we both fall asleep. On the floor, on the giant pillow, with loose blankets(report me now). And then I awake with a start(after what only seems like 10 minutes of glorious sleep which was hopefully 40-60 minutes) realizing I don't have my phone/alarm and I need to wash my hair today. Luckily it is only 10 minutes past my alarm which my husband has graciously turned off and rolled back to sleep.
I rush through my morning routine--making our lunches, breakfasts, sterilizing the bottles, getting ready for the day--while my baby blissfully sleeps on the big pillow in her room. And so does my husband. Now tonight is his night, but she will probably sleep through, saving these early morning floor campouts for mommy!
I have had this awesome template from Jenn Lindsay for awhile and I had pictures, I just haven't had time! This was a picture I took of Elle Belle for Kevin's Valentine's present. It works nicely with this cute template and this Love mini kit from Sara Schmutz.
Inspired by The Dating Diva's date. My sister is in town so we had free babysitting service!! I whipped up an invite, attached it to some sour gummy worms and off we went. I made up 6 tasks and had Kevin pick a number and off we went! We hunted down crazy book and magazine titles, dream vacation spots, children's books we loved, recipes to try, and future birthday gifts(although my husband picked JWoww's book for me--saying I needed an easy read). We had so much fun and thanks to a Groupon had 20 bucks to spend. We bought some books for Elle and some of my guilty pleasures(magazines!!)
So I sent my friend Shelley of SingleStoneStudios this picture and explained that I wanted to do something like it, but I didn't have the wall space for all the individual squares and I needed some help with the vinyl. I had previously made this on a canvas for Elle's room(Nursery Tour Video), so I swapped the colors and made this alphabet canvas
--now I just need Kevin to put some wire on the back and actually hang it up! Thanks Shelley for making my vision a reality!