26 May 2012

Nerd in the World: Month 7

 I'm a week behind on this entry, just like last month! Agh!
7 months!

So I bought photo editing software a few weeks back and started playing around…bear with me and the many attempts at getting a "good shot" of the nerd.

The Nerd in cooler tones...
…and in warmer tones...
This was the first time I successfully clipped a barrette in her hair!
Mal couldn't help but play with the giant sticker on her onesie. I had to remove it for a couple of photos.
"I'm tired of sitting, Mom."
Can't do ANYTHING without Mojo getting involved!
Loving this onesie dress.

Age: 7 months
Weight: ~17 lbs.
Length: ~27 in.
What can she do now?
  • roll over from front to back to front again without any hesitation
  • eat chunky purees
  • take sips from her sippy cup
  • move from a sitting position to an on-stomach position
  • recognize that hands reaching out for her means she should reach back (makes for much easier baby pick-up)
  • "pet" Mojo (more like "reach out and grab a handful of his butt fur when he sits nearby")

Celebrations from the past month:
  • I officially resigned from my teaching position. Well, that's not really the "celebration" part. The fact I haven't freaked out over the lack of job/career plans for when my paycheck runs out is the thing to celebrate. Could my OCD be on the wane?
  •  We. Went. Swimming. With. Manatees. Holy marine mammal experience, Batman! Michael planned it as a part of my 30th birthday celebration (which makes him Husband of the Year). So we overpacked the VW with swim gear and baby clothes and made the 8-hour drive to Homosassa Springs, FL. We even brought Michael's parents along to share in the making of family memories. For the tour, we all donned matching wet suits  (think Fantastic Four) and took turns in the water so that someone was with Mal at all times on the tiny boat. The only manatees we encountered were in waters so murky, you couldn't see the entire animal all at one time. Nonetheless, each and every encounter was worth swimming in pea soup. I want to live here.
Michael and his dad, Mike, are in the orange snorkels watching a manatee swim away.

My turn to get in the water. Had to check with my mother-in-law, Mary, to make sure Mal wasn't giving her a hard time.

Mike climbs aboard; I throw on my mask and head for the sea cows.

At last! Using the required one-handed touch to pet a manatee in her own habitat.

After gushing about my manatee obsession to the tour guides, they escorted me to this female away from the crowd. Talk about an incredible experience!

Mary soothing Mal before naptime.

In a different part of the river, we were able to swim in crystal clear spring water. This is me swimming away from the enormous sinkhole (bottom left) near a spring source. 

Back to the boat for the three of us who swam the spring: Me, Michael, and Mike. Apparently in the winter, the manatees pile up in these waters. I'm thinking reunion tour in December?

Anyone who knows me realizes that swimming at all is a huge fear for me to overcome. I failed all swimming lessons as a child and have a terrible fear of drowning. Mind over matter works.
Fulfilling lifelong manatee dream  > Scared of inhaling water

Holding hands with the hubs on the return swim to the boat. We like each other. ;)
  • I celebrated my first Mother's Day as a mommy! A few of my students made me cards or wrote me letters. Family and friends send cards or gave Facebook shout-outs. But I loved my rainy day holiday with my two loves (well, three including Mojo). Michael made me his world-famous scrambled cheese eggs and oven-cooked bacon, and he gave me a very sweet card. Then after much relaxation, we braved the weather to buy garden stakes and flower bulbs at Home Depot. We had never taken Mal out in such terrible weather before, but we managed to keep her from getting soaked by wrapping her in a hoodie blanket. As for my big Mother's Day gift, Michael treated me to something else I've always wanted to do: take a photography class. It was led my Melissa Pepin, our wedding/engagement/maternity/newborn photographer. Here are some shots I took of the nerd at home after learning many helpful hints from Ms. Pepin herself!

Looks like she's going to have my eye color.
Mojo, the skeptic.

Daddy's Nirvana baby. Come as you are.



A Mother's Thoughts:
"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."
There is some dispute over whether Dr. Seuss was the one who spoke these wise words. But whether it's an ancient proverb or something written on a napkin in a dive bar, the meaning behind them is still the same. It is a quote that morphed into a personal mantra these last couple of weeks as I packed my classroom and turned in my resignation. There certainly have been days where happiness wasn't quite the word to describe the career: writing up students for fighting on the playground, spending 4-5 hours each quarter filling out report cards, getting cussed out by a parent when I wouldn't accept a project she completed instead of her child, seeing increases in furloughed days and decreases in benefits. I will not miss these things. But I am grateful for so many memories and experiences from the last 8 years in education. There is simply nothing more satisfying to me as an educator than witnessing the look on a child's face when they grasp a concept that I have taught them. No, I take it back. There is nothing more satisfying than having another educator come to you saying that they have met or taught one of your former students who couldn't stop talking about how wonderful a teacher you are. Sometimes, it's not an educator, but rather a child's parent who tells you something like this. To be an educator is to be given great power, and with that power comes responsibility in how your students perceive and regard you. I am far from being the ideal teacher, but I relish the idea of sending my students back into the world smarter and stronger than before they were a member of my classroom family. I will greatly miss meeting new students in the fall, being just as nervous as the kids because we don't yet know each other. I will miss having inside jokes and creative nicknames. I will miss bonding with parents and hosting Christmas parties and getting hugs from random kids in the hallway who know my name better than I know theirs.
But if I had stayed, I might have missed the most precious years of my little girl's life. I am a good teacher. I am a good mom. I am NOT a good Career Teacher Mom. Sometimes you have to give up something you love for someone you love. Education isn't going anywhere. I can always return to the classroom as a lead teacher in the future. Heck, I'm applying for parapro work if anyone out there knows of a position! As for now, I'm smiling through the tears. Happiness can be tough, but completely and totally worth the sacrifice.


09 May 2012

Write-A-Caption Wednesday

You know what to do in the comments section!

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