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!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Buddy was catching up on some emails this morning before I went to work.

Today was a little frustrating. It was the first day I felt like I didn't have the information and resources I needed to get things done.

I was supposed to label everything, but didn't have access to a printer.

I was supposed to write up a daily class schedule without knowing the yard schedule, (since my classroom is new it isn't on the schedule yet) or the schedule for the playroom, or the extra activities (music, yoga, gymnastics) that happen once a week or so.

I was supposed to write lesson plans without knowing the skill level, attention span and personalities of the kids.

Any questions I asked were met with not very helpful answers and one not very nice look.

Then I took my lunch and regrouped.

I found the label maker and at least have most of those printed up, even if I can't print out the pictures until next week.

I looked at daily schedules in several other classes and wrote up a rough daily schedule.

I thought of some basic themes and started organizing my ideas for all the areas we have curriculum for (Circle time, Language, Music/Movement, Art, Centers, Science and Specials like sensory and cooking).

I got to spend a few hours with one of the preschool rooms because their teachers had to leave early and met some super sweet kids. They even tracked me down after I left their room to give me some art they did.

Which is exactly the kind of thing that makes this morning's frustration totally worth it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Toy Shopping

Buddy has not been happy about everyone going back to work. We had his crate down in the unfinished part of the basement so he wouldn't set off the motion detector, but he really didn't seem to be handling it well. Since we obviously don't want him to spend his day in a state of total anxiety (and we don't want to have to wash his bedding everyday) we moved his crate up to the living room yesterday. It's working really well so far - which makes everyone happy!

Now we just have to get a slightly smaller crate, this one takes up half the living room. And as you can see, he doesn't really use most of it.

I spent the morning at work picking out some books for my room, which hopefully won't be ripped to shreds instantly (they're not board books). Hopefully I'll get to order some more durable books soon. I also got to pick out a bunch more toys for the room as well as some paint smocks and bulletin board borders.

It was really fun to go through the catalogs and find things I know the kids will like and also have educational elements to them (letters! numbers! fine motor skill development!). I tried not to go too crazy, and the director gave my list the ok so it's getting ordered.

I also went around and took pictures of all the toys because everything still has to get labeled with words and pictures. Here are some of the fun things in my room.

Peg boards:


Blocks (I also just ordered some of the big heavy duty cardboard blocks that look like bricks):



Cute but creepy baby dolls:

Some of the adorable dress up clothes:

And the bulletin boards are up!

A parent chatted with me a bit at pick up to express her concerns about where she thinks her daughter should be in different areas. Nothing like trying to talk about your curriculum plans before you actually have any official ones! I think it went well though and now I know what things I need to be aware of (all were totally reasonable for her age) in my class.

I've totally failed at running this week, getting back in the swing of things with work is really tiring me out. Plus it's totally dark when I get off work. Maybe I'll make up some miles this weekend.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Decals - harder than you might think

Most of today was spent rearranging my classroom, unpacking toys and putting decals up on the wall. I think I made my boss nervous with my room organizing face, but she seemed pretty happy with the setup and my mad decal-putting-up skills.

That's the train table in the center, it's full of knock off Brio trains and tracks. One of my references told my boss how much I like wooden toys over plastic ones so that is reflected in a lot of the toys she ordered for my room. We also have cars, super cool dinosaurs, other animals and people in this center.

This is going to be the "cozy corner" - book and circle time area. My gigantic (and the envy of my coworkers) supply closet is off to the right and we have the kitchen and dramatic play area just in front of the closet. One of the other teachers helped me set up the furniture and was an invaluable second opinion as we went along.

I also figured out how to work the laminator.

Now I have to work on putting labels on all the shelves and toy baskets (words and pictures) and start thinking about what I should put on my first bulletin board. Boards, actually, I think I have 3. They haven't gotten here yet, but hopefully they'll make it soon enough I have time to work on them before the room opens.

The director brought a parent through on a tour while we still had boxes all over the room and furniture everywhere. I think she's a little concerned about everything being ready on time. Luckily all the other teachers are super supportive and ready to help out when I have questions.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Work! For real this time.

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, a little anxious about heading to work this morning.

The plan was for me to be an extra teacher in the room so I could observe and learn the lay of the land. Instead, three teachers and assistants called in sick so it was just me and the lead teacher with 11 two year olds. The day went remarkably well though.

A few highlights, because I'm REALLY tired.

  • So. many. toddler. hugs. :)
  • Three of the kiddos fell asleep at the lunch table.
  • Boxes and boxes of shiny new toys in my classroom just waiting for me to open them up.
  • The catalog of bulletin board/room decorations I get to pick things out from.
  • Super nice coworkers

Hopefully I will have some time to work in my classroom tomorrow. There are a lot of things I need to get done in there before December, and it sounds like it's going to be a full room!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lazy Sunday

We had a good lazy Sunday today. Coffee and tv in the morning and then we took Buddy to the dog park in the afternoon so he could run around and get some energy out. He's now passed out on the couch.

Tomorrow is my first official day of work. I'm going to be spending time in another one of the toddler rooms so I can get to know some of the kids (and their parents) who are going to be moving to my class in a couple weeks.

The beginning of any new job always makes me a little anxious. I know everything will be fine after a few days, but trying to get the hang of things (and everyone's names!) the first day or so is always a little stressful.

Wish me luck!

Just so you don't feel deprived of Buddy pictures:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fun Ruiner

This morning I was up bright and early so I could drive down to Scarsdale for my CPR class. Thankfully Tom has an extra GPS that I have abducted for use in my car or I would never go anywhere (or would just be lost ALL the time). I've never used one before I moved here and I have to say it's a whole lot easier than trying to read a google maps printout.

We had a fun ruiner in class. The instructor brought doughnut holes for everyone and begged us all to eat them so she didn't have to take them home. The fun ruiner said "I would, but I know the nutritional information."

Now, it's wonderful that she's a healthy eater, but that doesn't mean that she should judge everyone else or make them feel bad about eating a doughnut hole or two. I try (for the most part) to eat healthy, but I also don't deprive myself. It's a matter of moderation. And really, it's fine that she feels that way, but maybe keep it to yourself.

I ate an extra doughnut hole in her honor. Fun ruiner.

I tried to get a picture of one of the creepy cpr baby mannequins with its face removed, but it didn't work out, so here's a picture of how Buddy was sleeping on the couch last night.

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm an idiot and my RoadID

Some days I'm kind of an idiot. We got this nice hands-free leash which has been great, but I really wished it was a few inches longer for when Buddy feels the need to zig zag in front of me (every two feet) and today I had the brilliant realization that I'm actually an idiot. I had it adjusted wrong and now it's plenty long enough.

Today I got my RoadID in the mail. It's not something we generally like to think about, but if something were to happen, especially as a runner who doesn't usually have more than my house key (and sometimes my phone) on me, a RoadID makes so much sense.

You can personalize them with your name, emergency contacts, allergies and anything else you can think of. They sell different sizes and styles so you can find one that won't bug you when you run (they are great for bike riders too!).

Mine has my name, birth year, the town I live in, Tom's number, my mom's number and even my blood type. All good information to have at the ready.

Now I just have to remember to wear it! :)

In other news, I bought a Kong for Buddy at Target today (because he keeps chewing his nylabone so violently that he makes himself bleed). I put a treat in there and he worked at getting it out for about ten minutes.

Disclaimer: RoadID has no idea who I am, I just wanted to share their cool product with you.


I think I'm finally done with all the address changes, new accounts and registrations! This morning I switched out my license plates and took my car down the street for its inspection. The place was super busy so I left the car and walked home. Buddy and I were going to drive over to the park for our run but since we didn't have the car we just went for a run around the neighborhood.

The hills around here kill me. I keep thinking they have to get easier at some point, but for now they are kicking my butt. I'm working away at my goal for Pile on the Miles, we'll see how I hold up once I start work next week.

There was a brush fire across the river this morning, so the whole area is a little smokey and smells like campfire.

Brush fire haze

 To reward my productivity I drove to Target and spent too much money. Is it possible to leave Target without spending way more than you mean to?

Essential snacks
And this shirt.

For some reason I couldn't leave without this

Please ignore my claw hand and the clothes all over the bed.

I don't really know when I'll wear it, but I really like it

I also got another shirt that will be good for work, it was my one good sale purchase. And I managed to not buy more running clothes that I don't technically need.

Buddy has been trying to catch a fly all day


And this is the look he gives you after you trip over him eight times and tell him to go lay down.

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