Day #2 And the Big Oh No!

Well today's post will be short and sweet mostly because the details are well I will let you be the judge. I did all the stuff I was supposed to do and the rumbles started. Thank goodness for a 2 hour delay. 

I ate an excellent breakfast of 2 hardboiled eggs and a banana. The rumbles continued. But finally settled by the time I got to school. I determined to lay off the fiber part of this all that it was just aggravating the IBS too much. I followed the rest to a T. 

I have to be honest. I feel good. Not exactly I feel great. I don't really want to say how much I
Stomachache_l have lost at this point because I am worried it is "water" weight given the circumstances. I love the program but I am struggling with the side effects. 

I did really good till almost through the whole day today and then again with the rumbles. I feel and looked visibly ill. I love what it is doing for my body and but I am struggling with what it is doing to it at times. 

I am not wanting to quit nor will I. But I am trying to figure out how I can get it to be the "gentle" cleanse. But I expected as much. My body always reacts very indifferent when challenged.

I ate left over salsa chicken tacos for lunch and tonight had spaghetti squash spaghetti. I am not eating near enough I know. But I am trying. I cannot eat enough fruit or veggies to save my life. But I am trying.

So wins for today

  • I stuck it out and don't want to quit even though IBS is trying to rule
  • I just told my students the truth and I got overwhelming support and love 
  • Girls are quite proud of me
  • No pepsi for day 2
  • Tons of water was drank by me
  • I feel amazing

Losses for the day

  • Too many bathroom trips
  • Stomachaches 
  • I stand in front of 30 kids at a time for most of the day which proves interesting with a stomach ache

A little something different.

On the first day of school my students walk in and I have a big circle on the board. A circle I ask them hard to look at and define its purpose and meaning. None of them ever can. I pretty much know they will fail. I want them to. But then I go on to explain I require one thing in my class and that is an open mind (hence the circle). I also use it to describe that I will never fit into that box of the traditional teacher and the only way we will get along is if you see around the circle, to the side of it, inside of it and out it. I believe in my heart that this is my pedagogical purpose in my teaching. My "teaching philosophy" if you will. I believe that students need to have an open mind to learn. Everything else is second. 

This summer I began reading my teacherly magazines that I subscribe to all year but have no time to read. I kept seeing all over the place this idea of a 20% project. It was intriguing to me. It was me to be honest. The idea, the concept and the carry out. It is putting learning back into the hands of the students. A sometimes daunting but I am guessing rewarding experience. 

But finally sold me was this video and Kevin himself: 

Don't have time? Well let me summerize. The 20% project is giving students back 20% of their time in class and letting them teach themselves something. They are driving the car and are also responsible for showing me exactly what it is they learn. 

Your first question probably is how can this be tied to learning? And how do you assess? That is the easy part honestly. I am in a language arts classroom and I have kids completely journal the process. They are journaling, they are writing, they are critically thinking and I make them prove it. Then they have their proposals where they have to propose to me what exactly they are doing and argue for it. Then the big whammy at the end. The presentation of what happened. 

I introduced this project the first week of school and it went really well. Kids were stoked to have some control in their learning. Then there were the kids who freaked at having no one tell them exactly what to do. Then the next 20% day came and the next and the next and guess what happened. Some things were amazing. Some were out of this world amazing like I cannot even talk about it because I can't. Then there are still some that are drowning with their freedom. 

I even have some groups who realized their original ideas just were not gonna work and they already failed only to come up with project # 2. The learning that is happening though is so hard for me to put a number on. The goal here is for me to be more a facilitator of learning and less a teacher. They guide the ship and I just help them to read the map. 

But I am still so proud of this project and will be rolling it out to my freshmen in the next semester. I hemmed and hawed on how and when I would do it with them. I think it fits more nicely into my next semesters classes. 

I have always found great comfort in being a "unique" teacher. It is so much easier sometimes to do something that no one is doing then repeating something that everyone else has done. They both have value in my classroom and I try and balance them. But usually I fall just left of the left meaning I march to the beat of my own drummer and I get good results in doing so. 

Day # 1 Or the Day My Insides Cried

I was eager and excited to start this new adventure. So excited in fact that I stayed up till midnight with my guy and KPuff and had a horrible no good for me dinner, a glass of wine and a can of pepsi. I woke up and was anxious to start this. #2 was anxious for me too. I am not sure what she thought
566a815d9764574d37792bdd39d52281 would happen but I can tell she wants to be extra supportive, so I had a challenge partner in her. 

I had an mandarin Spark and it was okay. I am not a huge orange person, so it was good. But I did take comfort in having caffiene and felt a little more able to cope with the day ahead of me because of it. Soon after it was time for the fiber drink. And I am gonna be honest here…FIBER DRINK SUCKS! It is so thick and so just ick. I watered it down and guzzled down a full 8 right beside it with each gulp. I only heaved and swallowed it back three times. # 2 had quite a giggle fest from that. 

Eventually it was time to eat. Thank goodness for Pinterest and hardboiled eggs. I couldn't even do all I was supposed to for my breakfast because of the darn fiber drink I am guessing. So I saved my peach for my morning snack. After that morning snack it became a bit more of a struggle. I think my body realized it was not getting it cans of pop. I jumped in a hot shower and that helped. 

By the time I was ready it was time to spark again and this time I had the fruit punch and I loved it and had no problem guzzling that down. About a half an hour later it was time to have some salmon and quinoa and broccoli. It was okay. I am not in love with salmon but thought I would try it. 

Soon after that I started feeling pretty sluggish and tired so I climbed into bed and took a snooze. Not bad, just sluggish. My addiction is bad so I was expecting this. It isn't the product it is my poor beverage choices. 

Unfortunately, after this I grew pretty uncomfortable and had massive bloating. I worried the cleanse part of the this thing would strike because of IBS and it did. The darn fiber drink is a struggle and I knew it would be. But it did settle down and I am okay. 

Time for another snack so I had some nuts. Emerald makes some awesome options here that are natural and good for you. So I had one of those and a few grapes. I felt like I needed the sugar. 

DietAnd because it is a rainy sunday and my #3 looked so cozy I climbed in bed and cuddled her and took yet another snooze. But I liked it and could. 

And now to dinner. I am making salsa chicken a recipe I got from one of my FB friends who is a clean eater. Basically, baked chicken with salsa poured on it. My salsa is natural and has no sugars or anything extra that sometimes can sneak in there. That was a treat to find. I am making enough for lunch tomorrow at work too. I am going to have a lettuce taco without cheese and with black beans. I am actually kinda excited for it. 

Overall, I am not gonna lie the hours of 2-4 were very hard. I contemplated if I could really do this. My stomach hurt and my head was hurting. But a nap with my girl gave me some perspective. It isn't that bad. Yea I don't feel the best, but I also feel better than I do every single day since I have been battling my pepsi issue. Therefore, I know I can do this. 

I know it could drastically change tomorrow. I imagine day 2 and 3 to be the hardest. But I think it will help being at work. I will have less time to think about it and dwell in what I am not having. I will also not have the girls foods tempting me. 

Wins for the day: 

  • No pop
  • Currently holding steady at 90 oz of water
  • I don't feel near as bad as I thought I would
  • My guy is an excellent support although he thinks hugs and kisses make it better
  • I love Spark and see it as an alternative to ever going back to pop or coffee
  • My # 2 is making a diary of this and that is just super cool
  • I am one step closer to a non-caffienated me which is the ultimate goal

Losses for the day: 

  • Upset stomach that disrupted my plans to take my girls to movie
  • Upset stomach that I can't have tomorrow
  • I really do want a pepsi
  • Slight headache
  • And the fact that I hate water…no I really hate water
  • And that nasty no good fiber drink

My insides may be crying, but they certainly weren't jumping for joy with all that sugar and caffiene from pop. I know I just gotta get through this and I know I have been through worse. Remember me after my surgery. The mystery illness that lasted for a little shy of two months. Yea that was feeling like dirt and muck! I am not there. In fact, I am not even close to there. 

One Last Thing # 2

“So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.” ― Malcolm XThe Autobiography Of Malcolm X

One last thing I forgot to tell you in my last round of "One Last Thing" is that I am doing something about it. Originally, I had intended on sharing with no one. That was for two reasons with the first being that I didn't want others opinions of what I was doing and the second because I am not 100% I can succeed which could lead to embarrassing myself. 

But I have since changed my mind because the closer this "thing" came around the more I realized I am gonna need a whole lot of support. I also realized it will also give me a chance to keep it real (aka be accountable). I have always done that in person and in the internets. So what is it you ask that I am doing, right?


I am doing Advocare's 24 Day Challenge. About 6 months ago I started hearing a lot about it. I also talked with my doctor about it and their program, Ideal Protein. Both were very similiar. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the program. There was one downfall though. Both were a time and financial committment. 

As well, I had to wrestle with my own beliefs on dieting. I don't do fad diets. I have in the past and I hate the way they make me emotionally and psychologically feel about myself. A huge part of losing and gaining weight will always be psychological for me. As well, toying with my diet means toying with my head as in migraines. I pretty much can trigger a migraine by peeing at different times in my day. So imagine my fear when I don't eat normal or drink normal. 

But the buzz I was hearing on both programs both from users and experts (doctors and nutritionist) were saying these programs were legit and more about a body reset and change than a fad calorie count type of thing. I had no interest in that AT ALL. I began discussing it with my guy who is leary of everything and had him check them out and he came to similar conclusions as myself. 

I just kind of sat on it for a few and finally I think my Advocare person I was checking out realized I was getting nosy into the program and contacted me. We talked about my concerns and then I sat on it even longer. Then school started and my caffiene/pop intake tripled. I am currently feeling so sluggish and unable to get through a day without multiple cans of pepsi. 

I am not okay with that. I have tried to give it up by myself and cannot. I also am having horrible acid reflux all day from the constant carbonation. It just so happened I had an doctor's appointment a week ago and we could revisit and he convinced me I would feel 100x better going with one of these programs. 

I knew I couldn't do it alone and I begged KPuff to come along with me because I needed someone to comiserate with. She and I often tackle tough things like this together and I know she has been feeling similarly to myself lately. 


We committed and ordered the expensive product. I have been even more intimidated since it arrived but I am ready to try it. I am ready to commit myself to this for 24 days. 24 days is not a long time. I also have really tied this into the fact that my birthday is in a little more than 30. I deserve this. I deserve to feel better and tackle this one last thing

There are two major concerns I have but I have talked to multiple people about them and I feel fairly confident that I can handle them. That is the kickback headache that will surely happen from the caffiene and sugar addiction. This can and will likely turn into a migraine for me. My doc seems to think it will be a manageable one. As well as others who have tried it agreed they are manageable. The second is my IBS. I have lived my whole life with IBS and it isn't all that teacher friendly. If this causes a flare up I will have issues. But again I have heard everyone say just the opposite. 

The worst thing that will happen is I lose a little weight and realize the product won't work for me because of my headaches and IBS. The best thing that could happen is I relieve myself of this caffiene addiction, I feel better and I lose some weight.

It is worth a try for me. The money has been spent. All I have to do now is dedicate myself to it and I plan to blog through out. So wish me well. 

That is why I married him.

Wed3I met Kyle at a weird time in my life. I was young, stupid and trying to figure it all out. I had some bad relationships and wasn't really wanting anything with anyone. We went out on a whim. I kinda of jerked him around a little bit. Mostly because I was clueless of what I wanted. But he never was. He was solid, stable and wanted me. That is why I married him. 

But something happened along the way. I did fall in love with him. He was amazing to me. He brought me such happiness and a source of love and comfort that I never had really ever. We dated a full year off and on. Finally about four months before we got engaged we both pretty much knew it was forever. We were inseparable and he made me laugh. I mean all out belly laughs that make your stomach hurt. That is why I married him. 

And on the day he did propose he unbeknownst to me went to my Dad's house and asked if he could marry me. All I knew is I was making a chicken dinner for us and we were watching 8 Seconds (out in 1994) It was our Friday night ritual. I was growing irritated because he was later than usual. But once he was there we ate and started watching the movie. He wouldn't sit still though. Finally he asked me to pause our VCR tape (yes feeling older and older) and he pulled out a dozen red roses and was on one knee. That is why I married him.

And when the day finally came I heard a story. A story of him at the end of the aisle. At the end of the aisle a man who was barely out of boyhood crying. When he was asked why he was crying his response was, "I just love her so much." I never knew this until after I got back from my honeymoon. But what a story. That is why I married him. 

That same man who has left his work countless times to come fix my flat tire. We are on tire # 13 in our life together. The same man who laid on the ground beside me with the birth of every daughter just to hold my hand and get me through the next contraction. The man who held me up last year when my grandfather died and I was supposed to read his eulogy. That is why I married him. 

We grew up together and have bought two houses, lived in two apartments, had 8 jobs, 3 college degrees, 4 pregnancies, countless poopy diapers and rounds of baby vomit, four dogs and four deaths. Traveled through at least 11 states and flown on an airplane 14 times. But we have been laughing and loving the whole way. That is why I married him. 

Last night I was climbing into bed and #3 wasn't tired. I heard her say, "Color with me Daddy." And I heard his voice go a little higher in a voice reserved for our girls and he said, "Want me to color a pumpkin for you, Buddy?" A special nickname he has for just her. She says, "I love you, Daddy." I hear rustling and him audibly squeeze her and say, "I love you too, Buddy." That is why I married him. 

And just now as I was looking through our old wedding photos and I relished in the fact that they
Wed2 are faded, tattered and look worn I realized something. I saw this picture of kissing and I got butterflies. I still get butterflies. I look at him now and see slivers of gray, wrinkles on his eyes from smiling or crying and I see this life we have created together. And I still get butterflies. That is why I married him. 

This week I have been especially exhausted from work. I mean ready for bed around 6 exhausted while he is in another round of TMJ pain and would probably like a early bed time too. But nope. There he is up doing dishes and finishing that last load of laundry before he heads to bed for the night. That is why I married him. 

And yes he does have a lot of "stuff" he does like coaching, he is a sheriff reserve, football officiating and baseball umping. He is a stand in coach for the girls when needed and quite the proud #dancedad (check his twitter) running the girls here and there. That is why I married him. 

Oh and he still rubs my feet every single night. Yup been doing this since our third date. Every single time we have been together in a day he has rubbed my feet. The only time he has not done this is when we are separated by states. Even on those 6 o'clock bedtimes. I wake up around 10 to him sitting on the end of the bed rubbing my feet. It is just what he does. That is why I married him. 

 The heartaches, the happiness and I know I would do it all again. That is why I married him.  


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Mommy Rhetoric, The Teacher

There is some old saying in teaching that is supposed to adhere to the beginning of the year. It goes
Inspriational-Quote something like, "Never smile till Thanksgiving." I used to think that was the teacher I wanted to be. No actually that is what I thought a good teacher did.

Then this summer as I reflected back on my first year in the 9-12 setting I realized the one mistake I made is I believed that one masterful type of personality made a great teacher. You know a person that acted like THIS and responded to everything THIS way and did exactly THIS every single time. At the end of the day if he/she held "THIS" then there would be guaranteed success. 

Teaching is no different than life. We are all different. We all teach different things, so to say that you have to be THIS means none of what makes a teacher a human exists. So essentially in my classroom that cuts off some of the very best parts of me. As with anything in life to be successful you have to be you. I have finally learned this. 

Last year I spent most of the year trying to figure out exactly who Mommy Rhetoric the teacher was. Sure I had Mommy Rhetoric the college instructor figured out. But I had a whole new audience and a whole new work environment that I was clueless of navigating. 

When people see me this year and they ask me about my school year and I happily respond back, "I love it." I mean that. I found me in the classroom. I am the emotionally invested teacher. This serves as probably my greatest asset as a teacher and also probably my weakest too. But this year I can balance them so much better.

Last year I was fearful of being too nice, but too mean. I was fearful of being too hard or too easy. I never found that balance. I never trusted in this idea that this is my God given talent. I have been a teacher, mentor and leader my whole life. My whole life prepared me for this moment.

Today we had a class get together where I could look around the room and see a roomful of students.  As I am looking I noticed one thing in common with each and every one of them. That is that I could name something amazing about each and everyone of them. 

This is why I am a teacher. I see the good. Yea I know the bad exists and I know sometimes they bring it to me. But I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS 100% choose the good. That is what Mommy Rhetoric the teacher brings to the party. I don't ignore the bad, I just choose to see the good. 

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Just Write: # 4

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

I thought about you again today. I think of you most every day. I think about you still. It has been 10 years since I told you goodbye. Thankfully the day passed again without my thought. But two days later. I did. I thought of you and I cried. I felt it the way I feel it every year. A sad and horrible loss. I think about what could have been and long for what wasn't. But I also am grateful that I have this now. This life. My # 2.  

Then I dig in my closet and I come across your quilt.  And I know it isn't fair. I know I changed that day. I know Daddy changed that day. I know there was the me before and the me after. She was innocent. She was hopeful and clueless that pain could exist. Then there is me. The one that has been left dealing with it. And yes it has gotten easier. But sadly that means the memories fade and grief like that doesn't. I am conflicted. 

But I am finally at the top of that grieving hill. I feel at peace and rest knowing that what was meant to happen happened as it should. That doesn't make it hurt any less. I still have to know always that a part of me is missing. A part of us. I have to never bring you up mostly because it is too hard to explain. Sometimes I want to shout it to the world and other times it feels unbearable to even utter your existance. 

But usually I just put on a smile and I live the life like you never existed. Sometimes it hurts. But usually it just is. I thought about you again today. I think of you most every day. 

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One Last Thing #1

A few months ago I cooked up this idea for an anonymous blog. I have since obviously reconsidered that because I have been, always will be Mommy Rhetoric. Anyway the title was going to be "One Last Thing" and it would be solely dedicated to accomplishing one last thing. 

Many, many times in my life I have had others tell me I can't do something or I shouldn't do something. Or even they are goals I have set for myself. I have without any hesistation been able to accomplish each and everyone of them.

But there a few random ones out there that eat at me. They make me a little crazy because I cannot conquer them fully. The biggest one ties into the Less of Me series I am sure most of my readers remember. The fights I had with myself skinny self and fat self. Now I would never call myself fat. But the fat me does. 

That has always been a thorn in my side and I have made so many wonderful strides in working on it and then life just changes. I start a new job, I get horribly sick after a surgery or I have a simply absolutely ridiculous addiction to caffiene that I cannot kick. 

All of those are what they are. Excuses. They are the things that keep me from accomplishing that one last thing. To be honest that peeves me off. I hate not feeling in control of my own life. So since this past summer have been researching, educating and talking with experts on ways I can lop off the last of this weight. 

I did so well with the workouts and understand the physical aspects of my weight and how to lose it.
Tumblr_mn457mmzRe1qkxrtro1_500 But what I have never been good at is the eating aspects. I am so darn picky. For a few reasons and the biggest is my dairy intolerance and second is yea I have IBS and I work in front of an audience all day long so frequent bathroom trips = not good.

Diets or changing diets scares me. I also never want to do a fad diet. Sure I have tried a few. None of them have overly impressed me. I love food and I have a great relationship with it. I don't eat overly junky. Since I had my girls I have really cleaned up my family's diet.

However, I have a massive love for pop. Not even love at this point. It is a necessity. A necessity that is slowly killing me, my health and many other things too. I mean I spend most of my days in the ebb and flow that pop provides. That means a peak and crash followed by another peak and another crash. 

Finally, I have came up with a plan to kick my caffiene addiction to curb. I also have found out that my body is stupid and retaining fluids unnaturally and have a "plan" to combat that too. None of this will be easy. Or completed with out support of my family and friends. But it is possible to tackle this one last thing. 

To be  the less of me I know I can be. I have demonstrated my own will in many other aspects of my life. So it is time to do it here. I am not saying I will ever be able to officially call this battle won. Right now I don't feel good because I am not taking the best care of myself. That is my goal in this. I am less hung up on saying, "I weigh ______" and more hung up on saying, "I feel better because I decided to put myself first." 

The good news is that is happening. It is happening right now as we speak. I have consulted experts. I have made the decisions and I lined up my support. And on this journey I will eliminate this one last thing. 


One Last Thing is a series all about self empowerment where I tackle the things I never thought I could do or would do. To read more click here. 

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Just Write # 3 I am me.

Blogging when your brain is tired is not recommended. What I wanted to blog about in a few quick statements. 

I guess I am a mystery. I have heard about five times in the last two weeks that people cannot figure me out. But maybe I don't want to be figured out. But I think it is less for the reasons you may think. It is me, not you. Maybe you caught me in a moment of contemplating. Or I was insecure. Or I was just taking it all in. But it was probably me just listening. I am working on real listening lately. Not that fake shake your head and say, "Uh-huh" stuff. The all out I am gonna validate everything you just said to me listening. I must get better at that. 

But I am not a mystery. In fact, I am anything but. But in case you still think that there is probably a few things you should know. I am all that below and I waiver on nothing. I know where at every moment I stand. I pray every day I keep that fire and drive and I don't the world change me. But so far it has not. I also try and love those I love truthfully, with kindness and caring. But no one said it better than this Aristotle quote and to be honest I am not convinced Aristotle said it and if I googled it I think I would find that out. It doesn't sound very Aristotlian. YES THAT IS A WORD!


I get it I do, but it is still not okay.

Warning: If you can't handle a little mom brag than move on by this post.

My girls are amazing readers. They have always been amazing readers. My oldest two were reading before pre-school and I can truthfully say that my # 3 read a book to me just last week with a full two days of pre-school under her belt. People ask me what I do and envision my home with a militant ENGLISH teacher mom forcing them to read. And I am not her. I don't. 

Sure it helps that I am an English teacher. It helps that their parents are educators. It helps that the the third person that they have spent the most time with beyond us is a retired reading teacher (their Grandma). But nothing helps more than the fact that we have raised them all to understand the importance of academics and education. I am not a hoover mother pouncing on every point taken off of their homework and calling the teacher and banging down the door when I disagree with their assessments of my children. Rarely, do I let my career path and motherhood cross paths in my children's classrooms. 

But sometimes it does. And I am in that mode right now and I am trying so very hard not to shove what I know I know down people's faces. I want to. My middle daughter is unique. Her skills set is amazing and off the charts, so when we look at the paper version of her it is easy to decide what she does and does not need. But no child exists in paper. 

So here is the teacher side of me colliding with the Momma side of me. No child in any classroom any where in the world is a piece of paper. No child fits into a perfectly molded tiny box. We have to look at them each individually and decide what they are capable of. I find myself absolutely offended that we (our society) even considers anything less. 

Maybe for her it is placing her into environment that looks at her as an individual not a label and then tell her she needs to fit into that box to keep that label. I call crap. And maybe what I need to just say here is the truth. I don't agree always with the assessments of my daughters. I see numbers, I see a time stamp and I see projected paths. I see a snap shot of that girl sitting there at a computer taking a test at that exact time of day and that is all. Yes sometimes those numbers tell me nice things. But they don't add value to them. 

Instead when I get those numbers, I see the girl at home that struggles socially in massive ways, that skipped a grade, who despite a test saying she can read well above her grade level cannot and a girl that just desparately wants to please her parents who have taught her the value of academics. I deal with that little girl and love her more than life itself. 

That is what I bring to my classroom full of students. I understand that they are special to someone that is sharing them with me for a full year. Trusting that I will protect them and see in them what they maybe cannot see so clear. And that is all I have ever wanted for my children. I want them to have that teacher. That administrator. That piano teacher. That dance teacher. That baby sitter. I want my daughters (and daughter in this specific case) to be more than a piece of paper.

So I guess my response is. I get it I do, but it is still not okay.