Rows of desks. Colorful supplies. White dry erase board covering the walls. I love the classroom. But I’m not quite ready to go back full time. So… I signed up to be a sub. Once a week, my cell phone wakes me up at 5:30am where an automated voice offers me a job. I usually accept the first job I am offered. I view subbing as an adventure to experience new schools and grade levels. Anything goes.
I am out-spoken, blunt, and honest. I can’t help it. It’s the way I always have been and probably always will be. Because of this, I am shy and don’t typically like to meet new people. I’ve never been good at blending in and going with the crowd which tends to make one unpopular. Some might say I suffer from chronic verbal diarrhea.
“Mama, can we go to fro-yo, tonight?” Oh, how I wish we could go get frozen yogurt every night. (Frankly, I sometimes do after my daughter has gone to bed.) However, as a parent, I can’t justify letting my child eat that many sweets. I am a self-proclaimed sugar-aholic. I don’t want my daughter to have the same weight issues I did as I struggled to gain control over my sweet tooth. That’s why this dessert is fantastic. Ice Cream in a Blender! However, it is not ice cream in the traditional sense. All you need for this recipe is bananas and milk. There is no added sugar whatsoever. This recipe takes a little prep work, so you will need to plan a day ahead of time. First, take a bunch of bananas that are just starting to turn brown. Peel each banana and break it into chunks. Place these chunks in a plastic Ziploc freezer bag and freeze. I plan for at least one banana per person. Let freeze at least 24 hours. Place frozen bananas in a blender and pour in 1/2 cup of milk to start. Blend. If the bananas get stuck and you hear a whirring noise from unmoving blender blades, stop the blender, stir with a long spoon to dislodge the bananas and add a little more milk. Keep doing this until you have a consistency that looks like this: Scoop out banana ice cream using an ice cream scoop. We like to top ours with a few chocolate chips, a little bit of chocolate syrup or some peanut butter. This ice cream is creamy and delicious and doesn’t have a strong banana flavor. I recommend eating the entire batch because it does not taste as good if stored in a freezer – a strong banana flavor is present. Whenever my daughter asks for banana ice cream, I’m happy to oblige. And my husband is a pretty big fan as well.
My daughter hasn’t been absent very much from school. In fact, I’ve only had to call the attendance line a couple of times. When I dial attendance, I am greeted with a lengthy message detailing all of the information I need to give for my absent child: name, teacher’s name, date of absence, reason for absence, blood type… ok, not the blood type. While these directions would be easy to follow for any normal human being, when I call in, it’s because there is something wrong with my kid. This causes me stress and my brain goes a bit crazy under stress.
I used to be a big ideas NOW person. I would have this amazing idea that I would want to implement… tomorrow. I felt that my big idea would change EVERYTHING. In regards to teaching, I believed I could change student learning with one action. Test scores would dramatically rise. Students would be enthralled. The only drawback was that it would take a complete overhaul of everything that I was doing right then – change the way I organized my classroom, change the way I taught a lesson, just change everything because what I was doing was not working. I was a pretty stressed-out person.
What do you do when you can’t call in sick as a mommy? I fear I have contracted the flu on one of the busiest weekends in months. It’s my second sons 3rd birthday (YAY!) and I always take the boys for a special trip for their birthday. This year we went to Connect 5 (stay tuned for a detailed post) and we had a birthday party today. Tomorrow is Water Day at church.
My daughter, Llama, has been exceedingly patient in having a new brother. Every day, when she comes home from school, we have a routine. She unpacks her backpack, removes her homework folder and starts working at the kitchen table while I put Dude down for a nap. Dude is only 9-months old, so I nurse him to sleep in our guest room which is right above our garage. This process involves me laying down on the bed with him and not being able to move or talk for about 15-minutes. This took some practice with my daughter, but she has learned to be very quiet and not call out for me during that time. I usually park my car in the garage, but currently, we are trying to sell our entertainment center. This large piece of wood furniture was located in our upstairs bedroom, but to make it easier for our potential buyer, we moved it into my space in the garage. Thus, I’m parking outside.
When I was a kid, I used to sign up for classes through Tucson Parks and Recreation. I did ballet, tap dance, acting, piano, magic, painting, baton twirling, babysitting, pottery, self defense, gymnastics… you name it, and I probably took a class in it. As I became an adult, I found less and less time to pursue those types of leisure activities. Now, with two young kids, its almost impossible to leave the house. Having young children is rough and neither my husband nor I like to have two kids by ourselves during the bedtime hour. Very difficult. However, I miss learning the fun skills that let me pursue new artistic ventures. Those classes gave me an outlet to express myself as well as accumulate a ton of random interesting hobbies and skills (I actually switched to private baton lessons for a little while). Since my schedule is pretty tight for the time being, I’ve found my creative inspiration in Craftsy. If you haven’t checked out Craftsy.com and are arts-and-crafts inclined, I suggest you take a look. The site has a wide variety of video lessons to choose from. Everything from sewing and drawing to cooking and… jewelry! I’m refining my jewelry skills through a class on Craftsy right now by learning how to work with wire. So far, my teacher on Craftsy has taught me how to wire-wrap top-drilled stones which is how I made these lovely earrings: And used the same elements in the design of this necklace: Also, I learned how to create the nifty wire circles that appear in these earrings. Look for a Whimsicle necklace that uses that wire circle soon. All of these items are available for sale as well 🙂 Classes range anywhere from $15 to $50. The class includes materials lists, step-by-step beautifully produced videos and access to the instructor and other students. The online class hosts its very own online community where students can post pictures of their work and ask questions. Best of all, the video lessons are available to you forever. If you need to re-watch something to remind yourself of how its done, you can. If you are looking for a new hobby but can’t find the time to take a class, I definitely recommend Craftsy. If you end up enrolling in a class, let me know! Especially let me know if its good so I can add it to my wish list. I’m a little addicted.
Running With A Stroller I’ve written before about running while sick. When I was on the brink of a horrible sinus infection and had loads of disgusting mucus, I was able to push through and make every run on my training schedule. This weekend, I skipped my long run. It doesn’t matter how sick I am, but when I have a sick child, it completely derails me. My son, Dude, is 9-months-old and hasn’t had a fever (lucky) his entire life until this past week. It started with a cold and low-grade fever, then went away for a couple of days and came back hard on Friday night. That night, Dude joined us in our bed, (which he does every night but that’s another post). He tossed and turned and cried out uncomfortably. The soles of his feet and palms of his hands radiated heat. I reached for the thermometer on my nightstand and took his temperature. 103. Panic rushed through me. I go berserk with fevers in my children. I always imagine the fever continuing for days and days and the doctors aren’t able to figure out what’s wrong and it turns out to be some horrible, deadly disease… I’ve watched way too much television. I gave Dude the recommended dose of Infant Advil. Once it took effect, he went to sleep. On Saturday night, same thing. Except this time, it was apparent he had a stomach ache too. He wouldn’t nurse. I got out of bed and bounced with him. Then, he had three massive diapers in a row. After that, his fever miraculously broke and he slept. I could have gotten up early on Easter Sunday to run, but I decided to forgo it in favor of the extra hour of sleep. On Monday morning, after nursing all night to soothe his tummy, Dude woke me up my throwing up all over me. It was 6 AM. Funny thing is that it didn’t even faze him. He just rolled over and went back to sleep. I was up though. So, I went running. I was expecting a horrible run, but once I started, it felt great. Easy, even. Some Boston marathon mojo must have been in the air. Their start time was the same time I began my run. When I came back home, I looked like this. Yes, I’m exhausted. I still am, but I’m hoping that Dude is on the mend and I get much better sleep tonight. Tomorrow starts another running day. I’m still pushing on for that 5k on May 31st! Read on: Fixed Mindset Miss a week of the Running with a Stroller series? Catch up here: Running with a Stroller
“MOOOMMMMM…Carson pooped on the floor!” I grab a plastic bag and walk up the stairs, mentally preparing myself to stay calm. I take one look into the room and scream, “CARSON! Bad Boy.”