This is where the magic begins happening.

I guess at the start of every school year there is an adjustment, right? Add in that you are in a brand spanking new school and add more stress. Hello here folks, this is me. I guess it is one of those things like parenting, you can say it over and over again but you don’t get it till you are living it. And folks, I am living it.

I am so in love with my job. I love being there, working with the kids and teaching them. I feel it in my bones, soul and their faces. They get it, they are engaged. I make mistakes. I actually probably make quite a few daily. Instead, of covering them up, ignoring them or blaming them on others I have just started claiming them. The only person expecting me to know it all and do it all is myself.

But finally in the last two weeks it is starting to feel like we are doing our thing. They come in so excited what we are gonna do next and how I will relate these hard to understand Victorian novels to their life. Sure I am busy but I see it happening. My main focus teaching them that they are already readers and writers and they just need to fine tune it. Their faces when I say that are like, huh?

We are about three weeks into our newspaper and yearbook and they are both student lead groups and their is magic there and I am just facilitating it. It is awesome. I don’t even know what else to say. I picked the leaders and they lead. They want to work. They want to please me and they want to be proud of the end product. We all do!

Sure I am really busy, but I am finding a balance. School work, being a wife, mom and student seems to be slowly coming. Some days harder than others. The hard part is the social part. I never realized how attached to my old world I was. This academic world that I have been in for the last 11 years where we had conversations about composition theory and where we were gonna go for our PhDs.

Now I teach in school with professionals who don’t really know that world and that isn’t to a fault. It is just the setting I am in. It is different. So when we talk about the things teachers and k12 educators talk about I try and incorporate what I do know and can. But honestly, sometimes I can’t. It just isn’t my world yet. It is becoming my world sure but now it just makes me miss my previous community.Mostly because in that community I was respected for what I brought to it and worked with others on moving it forward. I am doing the same in this community but I gotta prove myself again. I gotta earn that respect again.

That I suppose is the last and final transition that I will and am making. The social side of working somewhere else. It has been a long time since I worked so closely and tightly in a community. Thankfully, I love everyone I work with. They are great leaders, teachers and people. To most that know me will probably be surprised when I say this, but when I am out of my comfort zone I don’t thrive. Meaning I am the guy in the back of the room trying to not get noticed. In this new setting I cannot do that. I need to lead and not just take it all in until I can break out of my shell.

It is all a process and in the wise words of countless others….this too shall pass.

Advertisements

MommyJargon Makes Stuff

I really like to make stuff.  I know how to sew.   Sort of, anyway.  I know how to knit.  I used to teach classes.  I also love all kinds of other crafts- jewelry making, painting, drawing, paper mache, the list goes on and on.  If there is an aisle for it at the craft store I want to do it!

I had a couple of productive weeks as far as craft projects go.   Here are a few things that I made, finished, and took pictures of!  (That last one always being the most difficult to remember to do!)

Here was a plain ‘ol Hanes sweatshirt that I made a little more snazzy.  I found the inspiration for this one on Pinterest.

DSC01335 Mine.    i want!Pinterest.

I went with fewer strips since the sweatshirt was already very purple.  I can always add more strips later if I get bored with it.

I was going to make a circle skirt from this fabric, but once I got started I didn’t have quite enough fabric anymore since I have gone up a size (or two…)  So 2/3 of the skirt is the circle pattern and the front 1/3 is a more narrow wedge.  I really like the result, it lays in a very flattering way.  The only problem is without the extra fabric in the front it is very difficult to get on and off over my hips.  So, I need to add a zipper instead of having just an elastic waste.  If my fabric had some stretch I would have been good though.

DSC01338

I also finished a couple of knitting projects that have been tucked away for a few months.

DSC01342DSC01352

I made the green baby pouf from a free Lion brand pattern and for the large brown and tan pouf I used the same pattern, but doubled my yarn and needle size.  The color block green and white pillow I just made up on my own.

Are you crafty too?  I would love to see pics of the things that you have made- send me a link!

There you are dear sweet blog.

In effort to make my life more about 85% instead of 110% I will come here and make no apologies for my random absences. You all know what is going on. My life is going through a heck of a lot of change. Change is not easy. But I know I love it, and it is worth it.

So instead of trying to do and be all I will get here when I get here. I will never forget about you my dear sweet blog. This is just life.

Tonight is gonna  be so random! Just prepare yourselves!

So I did my first evaluation the other day. Much different than my evaluations at the college level. Plus it is the big bad word all over….k12 TEACHER EVALUATIONS. And sure I could argue the politics all day but here folks it is a reality. Maybe my boss is awesome…wait no I know he is. But my evaluation went great. All positive remarks and damn I was proud. Maybe my students were more nervous than me cause they wooed him too! Or maybe just maybe I do know what I am doing.

My # 3 has had a rough two weeks. A day puking (twice), horribly snotty and allergy struggles, then the croup. But we are on steroids and zpack. So we are on the mend I hope. My other two are minecraft obsessed and we got a new computer to accommodate. So that is ALL THEY DO (after homework of course!).
My guy is doing what he does best….working it out. He has been so great the last month while I am figuring this stuff out! I miss him to be honest. I need a date with him. I have been missing my #3 so much I haven’t slept with out her but two days since school started. I created a monster now and my guy and I both admitted it works for now. Oh well. There are worse problems if you ask me. Thankfully, it is the family bed but the family room. She sleeps on the floor and I do the couch! 🙂
Well off to grade. Too many papers ACK!

And just who is this transition hard on?

People ask me all the time? “How are the girls doing with your new work schedule?” I sit back and I think for a minute. I know in my head I should offer some sort of mixed bag of suffering sprinkled with a little bit of they know it will get better. But nope….my girls have handled it good. Sure they miss me not being there when they get home. Occasionally, they will have a tiny tear or two but mostly what I have seen is a whole lot more reliance on their Daddy. I have been accidentally called “daddy” probably about twenty times this week. And while it does cause me to wince a little, I am finding ways to be okay with it.

I have spent the last 11 years being the main one and they accidentally called him “Mommy”. They have these new people in their lives that they are learning to rely on and even more importantly they are relying on themselves more. All of these are good things, right?

Then why am I struggling so? I tried talking to my guy about it and in natural “I am a guy I will fix it way” he says, “Well you can quit.” But that doesn’t solve anything. I don’t want to quit. I love my job. I love being a graduate student. I love being a mom. But I cannot seem to put it all together and make it work.

Yesterday I woke up with the weight of the world on my shoulders. My friends lives have continued on. They operate on normal mode. My family life seems to operate just fine without me. But my life it feels like one big juggling match and I keep dropping the ball. It was too much. I cried. I finally admitted that I may have finally bit off more than I can chew. How can I do and be all that I am supposed to be and do it to the standards that I have set for myself and that people have come to expect? I can’t.

I did what any grown adult would do in this situation. I began crying in a crying hiccup hissy fit and I called my mom. I confessed, “It is too much. I can’t do it all. I am overwhelmed so much that I can do nothing.” I think that was the first time in my adult life I have ever proclaimed such. She was silent. What words of wisdom did you have for me sweet mother?

She says, “Shannon, you need to lower your expectations on yourself. And know this is not forever.” No it didn’t really help but I don’t think it is ironic that that would be the fourth time I have heard that in two weeks. I know what it means and I know it is the solution but that does not make it easier. I have such high expectations for everything I do. But I will never survive this season in life if I don’t follow her advice.

My OCD is over the top and my hands are raw as hamburger because often when my life feels out of control my way of controlling it is through antibacterial soaps and sanitizer. Thankfully, I have MommyJargon who has listened to me endlessly proclaim it is getting better despite the fact that I am not always sure I buy it. She pretends like she does every time.

My mom told me, “Give it 90 days…In 90 days it will feel different.” I am holding her to that. It is so hard to be good at anything when you feel like you suck at everything. The hardest part is the people who I thought would support me and love me through this are already tired of asking, “Are you okay?” I know it is easy, I am not normally a high maintenance person to have around. But I am lately. I know it.

The most difficult part of this transition is going from the mom I was to the new mom I am. I cannot be the first person there always. And I realize that is on me. I add my own guilt and I need to find a way to excuse myself. But I can’t. I am just not there yet. It says way less about those taking care of my child than it does me.

But I know this is a season and I know there is nothing I would change to alleviate this hard part. I know that when you are uncomfortable that you are being pushed to the brink of who you are and the only way to make it the other side and is to hang the heck on. So I hang on. I cry a lot. I hope a lot and I know I am right where I belong.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay

MommyJargon Reads Again!

I read a book the other day.   It was an epiphany kind of book.

I know, I know!  I adore books and whichever one I am reading is the best book of all times and a life-changer.  Seriously though, this one REALLY was.  Plus some parts were laugh out loud funny.

After I finished it, I thought-  “Phew!  I am so glad I am not the only crazy person on this planet!”  In fact, I thought why do I even hide all my craziness inside?  It is stressful, it is time consuming, and it makes me seem snobby or mentally slow.  I still claim shy though, I really am sometimes shy.

I have decided to just let the crazy out.  The best part is that maybe the people around me will let their crazy show a little more too.  Maybe.

I won’t have to take too long to answer people by trying to figure out the acceptable way to say things.    I may not even edit all the swear words out!  Because eventually if you stick around me long enough you will find that I can cuss like a sailor.

Seriously though,  I have always had to pay very close attention to that little filter that thoughts go through before they become words.  I get very nervous and just don’t say anything sometimes because I am afraid I will slip and say something crazy like, “Your lips look like they would be soft to kiss.”  at very inappropriate times to people that I really shouldn’t say things like that to.  I don’t actually want to kiss their lips or anything, it is just more like an observation.  But I know it will sound weird.  So instead I am trying to figure out something else to say, but I can’t.  All I can think of is their lips.  Or my thoughts may jump to something else by then.  Like a line from a movie for example, that still wouldn’t be quite right to say out loud.  So I just stay quiet until the filter finally finds something that doesn’t need an explanation after it.

The author from the book has similar issues.  And many more, to be honest.  I think my filter may work a little better than hers, but the point is that she still has people who love her the way she is.  She says her weird thoughts, gets the weird looks, tries to explain, then everyone just moves on.

Who knows, the soft lips person may have totally taken that as a compliment.  Maybe.

MommyJargon Likes

Some things are just too good not to share with your buds.  Chocolate may not ever be one of those things, in case you were wondering.  I will share a few other things that have been making me happy though!

The blog, Putting Me Together, has been a lot of fun to look at.  Very inspiring as I like to start dressing nicer in the fall than my usual 5K T-shirts and Nike Walmart shorts I wear all summer.  The author is so cute and I love her style.

Another blog that I have been subscribed to for long time is Natalie Dee.  Every day at midnight a new comic is posted.  I have to say they almost always crack me up.  She also has another daily comic called Married to the Sea, in case you want to check that one out too.

I picked this comic to share because ever since Mommy Rhetoric clued me in that chicken legs can be made in the oven and not just fried, I have had to make them for kids 1-2 times a week!

The last blog I want to share is Six Sister’s Stuff, a food blog that occasionally throws in a craft too.  Every recipe I have tried from them has been really good even with my picky kiddos!

I finally ventured in to our local Sally Beauty Supply after not shopping there since the store opened.  I broke out my club card (which I had not lost, amazingly!) and saved some moolah when I bought these two things that I ended up loving:

A product thumbnail of Nail Bliss Bling Cosmic LightsA product thumbnail of Beyond The Zone Rock On Dry Shampoo

I normally never wear nail polish because it begins chipping within 48 hours.  I have tried lots of different polishes and “tricks”, but nothing had ever worked.  The bling stickers lasted 12 days (!) before I took them off.  Also because I have very short nails I can actually cut the sticker in half and have twice as many- excellent deal in my book!

I used to always wash my hair every day, but since it has finally gotten longer it was getting very dry and brittle.  Part of that is caused by my hypothyroid, but over washing wasn’t helping either.  So now I have been using Beyond the Zone dry shampoo on the days that it goes up in a shower cap.  If I have any oily-ness around the scalp it takes it away and it leaves my hair smelly powdery fresh, kinda reminds me of baby powder.  It also adds a little volume which I love since my hair tends to be on the flat, stringy side.  Don’t I sound lovely?

Well, it may not be as wonderful as chocolate, but it is close- Biscoff Spread is absolutely yummy on bagels, bread, toast, or off the spoon!

I have only had the creamy version- and I can’t really say enough about how yummy this stuff is!  I think I have had some for breakfast or a snack almost everyday since discovering it earlier this summer.  Has it added to my crazy weight gain this summer?  No, I am sure it hasn’t!

Nope, not at all!

Really!

MommyJargon, the Annoying

Last week while Oldest and Middle kiddos were in school, I decided that youngest needed some major cramming for preschool.  So far he had resisted all of my attempts at teaching him to write his name, sing the alphabet song, and count higher than 5.

I dove right in,  after breakfast he wanted to play with Magnetix.  (This toy is no longer made, sadly.)So while he was building,  I made little basic shapes: triangle, square, rectangle, etc.  I was telling him the names of them, then began asking him which was which.  He put his hand up and said, “You are messing me up!   I am trying to build!”

The next activity was playing catch.  I decided it would be fun to count each throw we made.  After a few passes with me counting, Youngest dropped the ball and decided he didn’t want to play anymore.

I tried to turn everything we did into an educational opportunity.  Youngest seemed to sense the “teacher mode” immediately and would give me a look that read “I am on to you.  You will not succeed.”

One rainy afternoon, I was out of ideas and said, “What do you want to do?”  Youngest replied, “Let’s snuggle and rest on the couch and watch cartoons.”  So we did.  And they weren’t the educational kind either.

After that I let up on the poor little guy.  I was obviously driving him crazy.  I would throw out an educational statement here and there, but I was no longer shoving it down his throat.

Over the weekend while I was cleaning (ok, really I was playing a game on my Nook, but that sounds lazy) Youngest came up to me carrying a big Magnetix thing he had built.  “Look!  I made a rectangle!”  He said.  And it was!  It was a great big rectangle!  I got a little teary and said, “That is the best rectangle I have ever seen!”

And it was.

Why can’t I be normal?

So I am exhausted. Up at 5:30. A delay. Many texts with friends to keep up! Long day at work finally. Before I know it time to go home. Come home. Cook dinner. While cooking, working on homework, talking with the girls, talking with my guy, looking at my guy’s weirdo spine. Start fretting about what that means for him. No time to worry. Gotta get dinner stuff figured out for tomorrow and two loads of laundry moving. And home work. Yes that homework did not do itself. Simultaneously carrying a textbook around while cleaning. Boom and I look at the clock and it is time for bed for the girls. Why oh why can’t this get easier? I brought it one myself, yes, I know. But I just want to be one of those wives that magically goes to work. Comes home and dinner is magically ready, and family and friends are magically taken care of. I feel like I currently have three hundred balls in the air and when one is staying afloat the others are bouncing on the floor.

I knew this would be hard but the hard part is missing parts of my old life that I just can’t maintain anymore. I keep feeling like I figure it out and I do for a day and then. I don’t. I suppose some day I will be normal.

Just Write: Brick Walls

This new job is a challenge I hit these brick walls almost daily. You know the ones. The ones that feel insurmountable. Maybe it is a weight issue or your attitude. Or it is people. We all have them. In teaching, I feel like there are so many times I think to myself I cannot do this. Only almost every single time an hour later I am.

There are students at both levels that have issues that seem impossible for me to fix or break through. I try to show I care and remind myself I can only do some much. Some of the choice has to be theirs. It is no secret that this is my Achilles heel when it comes to teaching. I want and believe I can fix everyone and truth is. Some are just unreachable. But I type that and I know I don’t mean it. I just whole heartedly believe someone somewhere can reach them. It may not always be me but it is possible.

In college, the chase is minimal. In high school that is the biggest difference. You can chase (ie call parents) and maybe it will work and maybe it won’t. But they are most certainly accessible. But the brick wall I have is continually reminding myself I can do this! I will do this! It is hard to not want to be the favorite or have them like me. I don’t care about it I really don’t. But I do want them to feel like they can do it because of me. When that doesn’t happen it is hard.

So I suppose we all have brick walls to overcome. My brickwall now is juggling it all and convincing myself I can do it. As I sit and drive in the car daily and wonder how I will do all I need to. I still feel like a failure. I still less than. But I can and will do it.