It’s almost OCTOBER?

Yeah….sorry about that! Things have been crazy!

I was hired by one school board, botched an interview with a second (closer) school board, then got hired by the first to cover a long-term leave for a physics teacher!

So, I am now teaching grade 11 and 12 physics at a public high school about 1.25 hours away. It’s two periods a day, so that gives me the other two to get my work done, so I can come home, pick up the kids, make dinner, put them to bed, then work some more usually :PIt’s been 3 weeks since I started, and it’s been a roller coaster! From having massive panic attacks about not being able to do it to really enjoying it. I’m loving being in the classroom, but the prep is a lot of work – though at least I was expecting that!I often feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, or that I’m missing something, but I’ve been told that will go away in about 15-20 years of teaching. So, I’ve got that to look forward to!It’s been scary, exciting, fun, and aggravating all at the same time, and that’s just what makes life interesting, isn’t it? If you want to read more about my journey and experiences, check out my teaching blog: Joyous Understanding.October is a big month in our family: both boys have their birthdays, Thanksgiving, my “re-birthday” (has it been 3 years since my stroke?), Halloween of course, and just the awesomeness of Fall.How are you doing?

Brief Book Blurb

I just finished my first-ever Stephen King book: The Stand.

Woah.

  1. It was LOONNGG: 1153 pages (longest novel I’ve ever read)
  2. The story was engrossing and epic.

For those who have not read the book, it’s an apocalyptic tale where a deadly virus gets accidentally released and kills 99% of the population. There are two groups of people in the United States (those in the East and those in the West) who are brought together by two figure-heads (a 108 year-old black women in the East and very dark and shady man for the West) through dreams.

The first 600 pages were a bit slow, but the cast of characters were interesting enough to keep me reading. Then things picked up and I whipped through the last 500 pages really quickly.

Even though this book had a lot of religious themes (which is usually a big turn off for me), I really enjoyed it, and give it a 4/5.

Have you read Stephen King before? If yes, what is your favourite book of his?

SK Grad

Yesterday, E “graIMG_4367_cropduated” from senior kindergarten (SK). Here in Ontario, the kids start kindergarten the year they turn 4, and do 2 years (junior, and senior).

When E started, we were a bit concerned because of his shy and very dependent nature at the time. It was at least a couple of months before he wouldn’t fall asleep on the couch around 5pm every evening.

It was a bit of a tough transition, but he has grown in so many ways over the past 2 school years.

His writing is actually legible, and he’s beginning to sound out the spelling of words and being able to read sight words.

He’s very good with numbers, patterns, and anything math related (though a lot of this probably has to do with his parents!).

He’s much more confident now, and it sounds like he’s a leader in the classroom. He’s more willing to try new things and to take more risks.

He has made some good friends and seems to be pretty well-liked by his classmates.

We and his teachers definitely think he’s ready for grade 1, and he will probably do very well! It will be exciting to see how he grows with this next big transition from play-based learning to a more traditional classroom setting.

Our Kids to a “T”

It was just after the kids went to bed, and I needed them both to sign a Father’s Day card for DH.

I go into C’s room first. I creep inside, whisper “C, are you still awake?” Dumb question. As I get close I see his eyes are wide open and he has a big smile on his face. I tell him I need to turn on the light and he needs to “sign” DH’s card. He gets very giggly and exuberantly signs the card multiple times. I tell him that’s good, and he lies down and practically yells “goodnight mommy!!”.

Then I got into E’s room. I had just left about 5 minutes before, and he is completely passed out. Luckily, since it wasn’t for long, I was able to wake him up (which is usually impossible*). After a few false wake-ups, I was able to get him to sit up and he mumbles something completely incoherent at me. I put the pen in his hand and ask him to sign DH’s card. He used the wrong side of the pen first, and then didn’t press down hard enough his second try. Then he signed his name quickly, laid down and promptly fell back asleep.

These two are as different as night and day in so many ways!

*One evening, our fire alarm (which is located right outside our bedrooms) went off for a good 10 minutes, with us running through the house, turning on lights, yelling at each other trying to find the source of the smoke**. E never even flinched once. It’s a bit scary.

**C has put one of my old stuffed animals on the bulb in my bed-side lamp and it practically burnt to a crisp. We were luck it didn’t go up in flames! We now use LED bulbs in all our open lamps!

IMG_0587

Poor 1980’s Stegasaurus

Things I’m Learning

I don’t know if it just comes with age, but I feel that I grown many ways in the past couple of years and have come to understand things like I never have before.

  • There will always be people doing things better than you, or doing what you want to do, and being jealous is just a waste of time and energy
  • I’m the most at peace with my body than I’ve ever been. I don’t focus nearly as much on what I look like, but on how I feel.
  • There is always room for improvement and learning
  • I need to fiercely protect my down/alone time in order to keep my anxiety and fatigue at bay
  • Everything is a phase; it will change for better or worse
  • Being outdoors brings happiness and peace
  • Finding time to do the thing you enjoy is hugely important; drop other things if you can
  • Never read the comments
  • Surround yourself with people who build you up, who you can laugh with, and who you can be real with
  • Spending time together is more important than stuff

I’m in the tail-end of my 30s, and I feel myself becoming more confident, comfortable in my own skin, and caring less about stuff that doesn’t matter. 40 doesn’t bother me at all – I’m looking forward to what’s ahead, especially this is any indication:


What have you learned as you’ve gotten older?

(Not) Listening

Okay all…I know I haven’t been blogging much, but boy, I need help!

C is right smack in the middle of his terrible 2’s, and it’s really, truly, terrible. I remember this stage being difficult for E, with a handful of major temper tantrums, and a lot of whining, but this is practically impossible to deal with.

E has always been a rule-follower. He tends to push right to the line, but rarely goes over. C, on the other hand, sprints over the line and jumps off the cliff backwards with his eyes closed.

He doesn’t listen to anything we say. He always says “no” to absolutely anything. He has extreme meltdowns regularly. Time outs don’t work. Positive-reinforcement doesn’t work. Negative-reinforcement doesn’t work. Yelling doesn’t work. Hugging doesn’t work. NOTHING WORKS.

I know my description of his behaviour probably sounds “normal” to everyone who’s had a 2-year-old, but please trust me in that this is completely different than anything I’ve ever seen.

Does anyone have any suggestions – techniques, websites, books, secluded institutes we can ship him off to, anything?

I NEED HELP, especially since summer is coming up and I’ll have both boys at home (ARRGH).

I’m done teaching my university and college course, so I’m heading into the post-secondary summer (yay for 4 months!).

E will stop attending before/after school program starting tomorrow, and I’ll be walking him to and from school every day. I’m excited about it because a) it’ll force me to move and b) I get to spend some good 1-on-1 time with him.

C will be going back to part-time at the daycare and will be home with me on Tuesday/Thursday each week. This will allow me to have some nice 1-on-1 time with him as well.

I’m a bit nervous, because the summer last year was very hard for me because it was just TOO MUCH kid time after a very stressful and busy academic year. But, I’ve put some things into place that will hopefully make this summer more enjoyable:

  • I’m taking a couple additional qualification courses for teaching (special education and getting my physics teachable). This will help me make strides toward my goal of getting into a public school board, but shouldn’t be too stressful (I hope!)
  • I’ve registered E in 3 summer camps, so that’s 3 weeks with him out of the house and being around kids his age
  • Both sets of grandparents will be visiting
  • We have booked a cottage for a week
  • I have joined a women’s soccer team in the hopes it will motivate me to move more AND I get automatic social time every week

At the end of summer last year I was more frazzled than at the beginning and ended up taking a not-so-great job just so I could BE AWAY. So, here’s hoping this year will be better (and hopefully with some kind of decent employment in September.

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