Monday, December 30, 2013

Success, and some screaming

I've pretty much made it through my first month with my class. Tomorrow is a short day, in theory everyone should be picked up by 3 so we can enjoy our new years.

I had to turn in my lesson plans and monthly newsletter on Friday and got them back with only positive comments. Guess I'm figuring out what my bosses are looking for.

A new kiddo started his first full day today. He did an amazing job except for a meltdown right after nap time. Nothing I could do would calm him down, so I let him have his freak out with a few reassuring words from time to time. Eventually, (after waking up half the class) he threw himself back on his mat and just stayed there for a while. My grumpy little friend kept pointing at the new kiddo to let me know he was crying for his mom - in case I couldn't tell from the screaming.

In case you were wondering, and I know you were, Tom got me some very cool things for Christmas. Some highlights (since you don't really need the full list) include a Whirley Pop popcorn maker, a plaque to hang my running medals on and this super cool map engraving of Alaska from 1889.

And my rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock shirt. The Big Bang Theory is hilarous and this shirt happens to be the softest shirt ever.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry day after Christmas and Happy Birthday Mom!

Well we survived the holidays. I'm super tired and plan on crashing early tonight. We had a lot of variety for Christmas: we had time to relax at home, some time with Tom's family and some time with friends on Christmas eve. We also had lots of fun things to unwrap.

I woke up at 7 on Christmas and kindly let Tom sleep until 8 when I woke him up so we could open presents. There was coffee already made so he wasn't too upset about being woken up. :)

Buddy got a snazzy new coat for Christmas. He wore it for a while yesterday after we came back inside. I think he likes it.

I only had 4 kiddos at work today so it wasn't too bad, though time seems to move slower when things are less insane. I should only have 3 or 4 tomorrow and then it's the weekend! It feels weird to have Christmas in the middle of the week.

Also, Happy Birthday Mom! Hope you're having a great day!

Mom in Ireland in 2006, coffee and doughnut in hand.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I got my Christmas packages sent off this morning. The line at the post office was pretty short considering Wednesday is Christmas and the man at the counter was really nice.

The snow is mostly melted and it's unseasonably warm out so Buddy and I went for a run, which we haven't managed in almost a month. I even went on a day they charge for parking, which I usually avoid.

The snow wasn't quite as melted at the park as it was by our house.

We had to walk a lot of the time because of the ice, but we ran through the snowy parts. I'd like to think I burned more calories trying not to slip in the snow. Luckily I had my trail running shoes on so I had some decent traction.

It was a little muddy in some places.

Buddy was really interested in checking out these cows.

It was actually nice because the ice made me take some new paths than I usually go on when I'm there.


And Buddy wasn't in the mood to have his picture taken.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Busy busy

Another week just went by. I think I must have slept at some point, but it doesn't really feel like it.

I'm still working too much. I did have a couple of early days (read: normal 8 hour length days) this week, but I also had some long, crazy ones.

Starting this job around the holidays is hard, there are a lot of extra things happening in addition to all the normal things I have to do. I still need to have the kids make their "parent gifts" which are not happening in a timely fashion. I also have to bake some holiday cookies with them next week. I stayed up way too late last night finishing up a scarf I was knitting for my secret Santa gift. And I need to figure out something to get for my assistant.

"Santa" came to work today, I think he may have been one of the maintenance guys. The kids were a little freaked out, but accepted cookies from him (don't take candy from strangers!). We have three pictures of terrified children (who volunteered) sitting in his lap, it's kind of funny.

Now it's time to relax and enjoy the weekend.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Time flies

We got a few inches of snow yesterday, which now has a layer of ice over the top. Buddy was a little surprised his first few steps outside this morning when he dropped through the top layer of ice. He didn't want to stay out very long.

We braved Sam's Club yesterday and it wasn't any worse than usual. Every time we go there people amaze me with their total indifference to those around them. They stop in the middle of aisles, cut you off with their cart and otherwise act like they're the only people in the world who matter. It's annoying.

Work does secret santa. Rather than pick through all the names to pull mine out (I don't know people yet and they didn't ask if I wanted to participate) I was allowed a couple picks to get someone I had at least met. I still don't know her well, but I'm hoping she likes her goodies anyway. Some people were talking gift cards, but I think it's way more fun to have something to open.

Weekends go by so quickly. Back at it early tomorrow. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tomorrow's a "home day!"

I ended my week on a high note, even though I worked 10 1/2 hours today.

My super awesome borax ornaments turned out. The kids are super impressed and really want to smash it to tiny pieces, because that's what two year olds do.

We only had 6 kids, and ended up having some early pickups. I was on my own after my lunch and the kids were really focused and fun to be around. My grumpy little friend had a great day (no crying at drop off!) and was smiling when his mom came to pick him up! 

Tom and I are planning on having a movie night, which will be nice because we hardly see each other with our work schedules the way they are right now. Weekends are the best.

Also, I just ate about half of this box (thanks Dad and Barb!). Someone please stop me - only don't, they're delicious.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Highs and lows

Working with kids is always so full of highs and lows. They're very intense in everything they do, which means days can go really good to really bad and back again in a matter of minutes.

Today went really well overall. We had our moments, but that has to be expected. My grumpy little friend was out sick the last few days and I was worried we might be starting back at square one, but he recovered quickly after drop off and had a really good day. He even participated in art for the first time!

My bulletin  board is now back to being awesome.

The hallway is not quite wide enough for me to take a picture of the whole board. The kids decorated these wreaths at art today. I freehand cut all the bows, which is why none of them match and all of them look a little like butterflies.

I lined our sensory bin with a garbage bag to make cleanup a little bit easier later, and filled it with fake snow today. Cornstarch and foaming shaving cream makes a really fun, moldable fake snow that the kids really enjoyed playing with.

I also had attempted bitings, face grabs, pulled hair, and kiddos who refused to leave their cubbies because they "just need Daddy." Every moment of life is dramatic and all important when you're two.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So sleepy

It was quite a morning this morning. I fell back asleep after my alarm went off and woke up a half hour later when Tom's alarm went off. Luckily I usually wake up an hour before I need to leave so I still had time for coffee.

Then my car door latch froze open. The door wouldn't latch. Tom tried several different plans of attack but it finally got late enough I gave in and drove the Jeep to work. At least I had that as an option. I got there right as my first kiddo arrived.

After I got to work Tom managed to fix my car so I got to switch it out when I came home at lunch.

All this work is making me tired - like, really tired. My boss told me I needed to change some of the plans I had for art (because of a not using any printouts policy no one told me about) and even acknowledged that she hadn't told me. Even though it really isn't a big deal, it really felt like one at the time. It was one of those I-try-SO-hard-and-nothing-I-do-is-right moments.

Which is totally ridiculous. My plan book "looks wonderful," and all other feedback I've gotten is really positive. I just need to get some sleep.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow day

It almost felt like being back in Oregon the way everyone was panicking about the snow today. We got a couple inches, but the roads were really fine.

Between the snow and sickness we only ended up with 4 kiddos today. Since our ratio is 5 kids to 1 adult, my assistant and I didn't really both need to be there. I ended up staying until 2 and then headed home to the crazy dog.

I was cutting paper circles for an art project later this week (wreaths) and was suddenly possessed by a non-wasteful creative person. I took all the scraps and made this -

It's going on the bulletin board tomorrow (the final product is taped a little straighter).

I made these cookies (minus the cookie cutter) after I got home. They're pretty tasty - next time I might add some mini chocolate chips.

The one in pieces is obviously a quality control cookie, not just me eating them.

Boss is officially looking over my plan book for December, hopefully she likes what she sees.

One day I'll go running again. Maybe when I'm not working during all my waking hours.

Monday, December 9, 2013


There were some little victories at work today. My grumpy little friend actually laughed! He also sat at the table for lunch and snack (which he hasn't done without sitting in my lap) and ate some things. I love that he is doing so much better.

Those victories help when other kids are having non-listening days. Kids who are capable of understanding you but just willfully ignore you are some of the most frustrating to deal with. I had one of those today. And then she took some of the well behaved ones down with her. Circle time was very brief.

In other news, Tom and I melted the pillow part one of Buddy's beds in the dryer - oops. (And no, the dryer wasn't on high - we're smarter than that. Mostly.)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Buy ALL the things!

I'm finally getting on my Christmas shopping. I'm terrible about it. I almost always wait until way too late. Even though I live near actual stores now (unlike Kodiak) I still really like online shopping.

This is partly because people go insane around the holidays and I don't want to deal with them. They forget how to drive, and generally only think about themselves (which is ironic since they're shopping for other people).

It's also way more efficient in terms of time, I can jump around from store to store online way faster than I can with real stores. Now I just have to cross my fingers that things get here in time for me to ship them off.

One day I'll start shopping earlier. Maybe.

I did manage to take advantage of Tom's absence and got a couple of presents under the tree while he was gone.

Friday, December 6, 2013

We made it!

Well my class and I survived week one!

My grumpy little friend actually smiled a bit today and sat and ate snack with everyone. And he will respond to questions now too! It's the little things. His poor mom has been feeling terrible because he cries so much when she drops him off, but he really is doing better.

I'm still not 100%, but I am feeling a lot better than yesterday. I think some of it is just exhaustion. I haven't done the math, but I worked a lot of hours this week!

I'm trying to decide if my body will accept Chinese food for dinner because I've been looking forward to it all week. Buddy and I are laying low tonight and probably most of the weekend too. Tom gets back tomorrow night so I have to clean up the clutter created by my work all the time lifestyle.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

They got me

The kid germs got me. Luckily whatever is going around seems to be short lived.

My assistant was feeling better and came in this afternoon, just as I was pondering how I was going to lead my class and change diapers while laying on the floor.

My boss would rather let me go home early than not come in tomorrow so I headed home at 3. I bundled up and took a nap on the couch with Buddy and already felt much better when I woke up.

He's now in trouble because he stole my saltine cracker. I'm almost hungry, which I take as a good sign because I haven't been all day.

Go wash your hands and take your vitamins.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


My back is sore from holding kids. I'm out of kid shape.

My crying all day kiddo actually played today and only cried excessively in the afternoon. We're making progress. At snack time he decided he was ready to go and pulled everything out of his cubby. He was unsuccessfully trying to put his hat on when his mom got there. Luckily she's laid back and thought it was funny. There are other parents who would not have reacted well.

I have a really wide range of ages in my class, usually they try to keep them within a few months of each other. I have birthdays from February to December in my room. The parents of the older kids are concerned about this fact and have not hesitated to let me know their displeasure. Never mind that it's only day 3 and we're still getting into the swing of things. One of them has already requested that we have a meeting to discuss their expectations. Their daughter is 2. People need to relax.

My coworkers were dropping like flies today. There's a stomach bug going around. In fact, you should probably go wash your hands. My assistant left around 11 and I had a rotation of random people helping out the rest of the day. I'm really looking forward to when I'm not working 10 hour days.

Oh, and Buddy says hi -

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm going to be really strong

Today was not as easy as yesterday. And I didn't expect it to be. We had more kiddos and some rough (and never ending) drop offs. We also had a couple of the new kids, one of which cried pretty much the entire day - except when I held him (my arm is so tired). He was happy to eat snack and play with toys as long as I was right there. Baby steps. He'll get used to it.

We still managed to get everything done that we were supposed to do - including art! - so I'm counting that as a win.

We had Nature today, which was a lot of fun. Once a month a woman comes in and brings some animals with her for a little class with the kids. Today we saw a frog, a turtle, a rabbit and some finches. The kids got to touch the animals (except the birds) with one finger (so they'll be gentle). My grumpy little friend even liked it. He really liked the rabbit (or the "hop hop" as one of the girls says).

I got this giant book today to help me with my plan book adventures.

And here's Buddy when I get home.

Monday, December 2, 2013

First day of class!

My alarm was set for 5:30 this morning. I did not enjoy it.

We made it through day one! There were less kids there than we were expecting so that helped a lot. My assistant Katie is awesome - she's been a floater for a while so she knows the ins and outs of the place.

We managed to do everything I had planned, and everyone napped (even the new kids)! It was a first day of class miracle!

My mom is super sweet and had flowers sent to my work for my first day with the class.

It's another bright (dark) and early day tomorrow. There's a new part-time person who will be helping out in the afternoons in a couple weeks. Then I can work normal hours and maybe see some daylight.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


 In case you were wondering where the name of my blog comes from -

 I'm kind of a quitter.

That sounds bad.

Ok, I'm kind of a try a bunch of things out and not commit to anything-er. Is that any better?

I like trying new things, but I haven't found too many things that I really stick to. I have tried dragon boating, roller derby, welding, bellydance, guitar, various crafty things (knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, sewing) and I'm sure I've forgotten some.

Some things I stick with for a couple weeks and others last longer. Sometimes I come back to them after a while and sometimes I never think about them again.

My friend Tiny (a name I bestowed on her in college) is pretty used to me starting out sentences with, "Ok, so here's the plan." And she always listens, asks questions and gives the impression that she fully believes I will stick with whatever plan it happens to be, even though she knows I probably won't.

I got my "plan of the day" way of doing things from my mom. She used to stand in my doorway when I was getting ready for bed and let me know the plan of the day, sometimes coming back 20 minutes later with a new plan.

Mom and I on one of our many adventures

"Ok, so here's the plan" is also quite fitting now that I'm teaching again. Anyone who has ever tried to plan activities with toddlers knows how quickly your plans have to change sometimes. You may have an amazing circle time planned, but if the kids are having a crazy day, there's no way you will get them to sit down and pay attention.

Plan book madness

Always be ready to make a new plan!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Home Alone

Tom is off to California for a week for work so Buddy and I are on our own. Buddy has transferred his stalker tendencies to me and follows me absolutely everywhere.

I made a list of things I wanted to get done today and I think I did about two of them. Oh well. I worked on my December lesson plans a bit. I figure everything I write down is one less thing I have to write down later. They have to be really detailed!

Rather than wash the dishes I decided to bust out the Christmas decorations.

There is now glitter all over the house.

I may have made Buddy lay down next to the tree to take this picture. He's getting really good at "stay."

And then I made cranberry bread (loosely based on this recipe) out of some of our leftover cranberry sauce. Naturally.

It's the last day of Pile on the Miles. I didn't make my goal, by any stretch of the imagination. I did about 25 miles this month. Between starting work and getting sick last week I didn't manage my time as well as I could have. Plus it's dark and cold when I'm not at work during the week. 

It's ok, once I get settled in my schedule at work I'll have a better chance of sticking to my running goals.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fun with glue guns

I had to go in and get my second Tb test read today. Apparently it's a normal thing to have to get two of them these days.

I dug out my glue gun and tried to figure out the best method for my bulletin board snowman.

They didn't turn out perfectly round (the head part is way more round than it looks in the picture), but once I add the face and buttons (maybe a scarf and hat?) it should look pretty snowman-ish. I probably won't put it up for a few weeks anyway so I have time to fancy it up.

We're making the most of our Thanksgiving leftovers. Tom made stuffing with eggs for lunch, which was delicious. For dinner we're planning on making some chicken, broccoli rabe and stuffing. I might see if I can fit some cranberry sauce in there somewhere.

I couldn't help myself at the store today and bought these letter pads. They're going to save me a stupid amount of time that would otherwise have been spent tracing and cutting out letters for bulletin boards.

My voice is a little scratchy today, but at least it's back! I was really worried about what would happen on Monday if I couldn't talk.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Shhh - and Happy Thanksgiving

I've had a bit of a cold this week. The little germ monsters at work got me. Then last night my voice started to get a little squeaky.

And then it was gone.

I am way less congested than I was and feel pretty ok other than the voice thing, so I'm hoping it will be short lived. I don't know what I will do if I can't talk to my class on Monday. I'm hydrating like crazy and trying to rest my voice as much as possible.

I made a pumpkin pie this morning and Tom made cranberry sauce last night.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a lot of fun, good food and good company - and as a bonus we managed to not eat to a painful point. I was not very good company at dinner since I could barely talk, but it was still fun.

Here's your daily dose of Buddy. He really wanted to be on the couch and in the sun so he decided this was close enough.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Runaway Dumpster

I totally failed to get an update done yesterday. I'm fighting off a cold and have been running around crazy trying to get ready for my class to open on Monday.

There was a Thanksgiving feast at work today for the kids. All the toddler and preschool rooms ate together in the playroom, I did my best to stay out of the chaos.

I spent my day at work trying to make the room look finished (and totally forgot to take a picture for you) and working on my welcome letter, newsletter and lesson planning. It all seems to be coming together, though maybe not by Monday. I still don't have a trash can.

Speaking of trash cans:

One of the dumpsters by the house decided to take a drive down the hill this morning while Tom and Buddy were outside. Tom was ready to try to deflect it if it looked like it was going to hit a car, but luckily it cruised past and fell into the yard.

It's still sitting there.

This is what Buddy does when you tell him to get off the couch.

And these are the kind of things Tom comes home to now that I'm back at work. Any guesses what this will be when I finish it? I'll give you a hint, it's winter related.

I love how Buddy holds his toys, it's pretty cute.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Go with the flow

The heaters at work are all wonky. This morning some of the rooms were 49 degrees, and by the time I left this afternoon my classroom was 76 degrees. I think I prefer the 49.

I had to go in early today to fill in for one of the preschool teacher assistants who was coming in a bit late. No big deal as the lead teacher has been there forever. But when I got to work I found out that the lead teacher had called in (her son was home sick). So since I didn't know any of the kids from her room, and couldn't easily organize a large group of preschoolers who don't know me, I combined with another preschool class for a while. It seems like maybe there should be some subs who could get called in...just a thought.

We managed the chaos of the morning and then I borrowed a few of the kids who are going to be in my class to come hang out in our new room. One of the new kiddos was there with his mom so they came down to the room with us to help him get used to being at school (he's always had a nanny). They were overly excited about all the new toys (so they threw them all on the floor) but eventually calmed down and seemed to really like being in the new space.

I also got shanghaied into watching a class while their teachers were having a meeting with a parent. It was only supposed to be 15 minutes so naturally they were back about 40 minutes later. Luckily most of the kids were napping when I got there and I got the last few to sleep fairly quickly.

I finally got to have lunch 6 hours into my shift.

The keeper of the color printer was back at work today so all the pictures for my labeling got printed off. Then I had to cut them out, glue them to construction paper, add their label and cut them out again. I got about half of them done. Tomorrow I have to laminate them and then cut them out again.

It's a whole thing.

But on the bright side, they should look pretty nice when all the cutting and gluing is done.

Buddy and I had a nice sunset walk when I got home from work.

And then I was possessed by someone much more productive than I normally am, and did all the dishes and swept and swiffered the floor.

Buddy had the decency to wait for it to dry.

I think my boss is being extra nice this week because she knows that next week I will most likely be working long and crazy hours. I'll just start mentally preparing myself now.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Germ monsters

Thanks to work I now have another thing to waste time online with. Between general googling and Pinterest, I have been spending lots of time looking up ideas for my classroom. The internet is a dangerous time suck.

Buddy really likes having us both home on the weekend. But not as much as he likes sleeping in the sun behind the curtains.

I've been drinking tea and taking emergen-c all weekend, the kiddo germs are trying to take me down. The first few months of working with kids are always hard on your immune system.

Tom made some really delicious soup for dinner tonight. It had Italian sausage, kale, zucchini, carrots and beans. It's really cold out today so it was a good day for soup.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Lazy day

 We didn't do anything terribly exciting today. We slept in a bit, lounged, and ran some errands.

Buddy and I went for a short run before it got dark this afternoon. We just did a couple of miles around the neighborhood, but it was good to get out.

People are funny. I had two women we passed by on our run who seemed to think Buddy was dangerous. One lady crossed the street to avoid us, and the other warned her friend to "watch out!" as we approached. Buddy didn't so much as look at any of them so I thought it seemed a little overcautious. It's not like he was running free or growling at anyone - I sometimes wonder if he would even be helpful if I was actually in danger.

Also, the sunset was pretty tonight.

Friday, November 22, 2013


It really takes working to make you appreciate the weekends.

I spent most of the day in one of the preschool classrooms since they were shorthanded.

Some of my toys already came in!


Fun matching game! 


And blocks! I chose to not think about the fact that I had to assemble 40 blocks when I ordered them. I managed to get about half of them done today.

I came home to my package of Thanksgiving goodies from my grandma - peanut brittle, poppycock (caramel popcorn for those not in the know), my favorite tea and a cute doggie ornament.

An excellent start to the weekend!
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