Saturday, June 14, 2014

CELEBRATE This Week: June 14, 2014

Life has been full of twists and turns and new beginnings recently.  I have been actively reading the Celebrate posts for the past thirty five weeks and even contributed to one or two.  However, I have been struggling to find a celebration in my life.  Deep down I knew the reason why I was struggling to be happy, but I never thought I had the courage to do anything about it.  One day my five year old daughter made a comment that woke me up out of my funk.  I knew I had to make a major life decision.  Despite the many negative comments that people have shared with me, I knew this decision would be the best one for my children and for me.  My children deserve to have a mommy that's happy all the time.   

My celebration is that I finally decided it was time to leave my husband.  He is a great father and we did have some great times together.  I don't intend to bash him or say negative things about what went wrong.  I am celebrating the fact that we are getting along throughout this entire process.  We are able to have friendly conversations about our future plans and what is best for the children.  I grew up with divorced parents, so he is relying on me to say what will and won't work for the kids.  Many people keep telling me that it won't stay that friendly, but I am going to make this divorce what my marriage was not - a great environment to raise my children.  I was so scared to become another statistic of a failed marriage.  Yes, I am becoming that statistic, but I do plan on becoming a statistic of an even smaller sub group at the same time; a successful co-parenting relationship.  

This process is going to be full of many unpredictable ups and downs.  I have an incredible group of friends and family who are being very supportive with both my ex and myself.   There are some things that I am going to have to give up (All-Write and NerdCamp just to name a few) to make this a smooth process, but in the end that's what will be best for my children.  I looked at a new house today and even though I hate to move from our current house, the move is what will be best for my children.  I'm more than ready to get to know myself again and relearn what it means to be happy and positive!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

SOLC Day 6: Witness Protection Program

Currently, our 7th grade students are listening to Don't Look Behind You by Lois Duncan as a read aloud.  If you're not familiar with this story, it's about a family that enters the Witness Protection Program because the father testified against dangerous criminals.  In order to get the students engaged in the story we had them imagine what life would be like if they just had to leave everything and start over without being permitted to talk to anyone or do anything from their former life.  The students have some very strong opinions about what this would be like for them to go through.  In order to build some background knowledge we had the school resource officer come in and talk to the students about the Witness Protection Program.  I don't think I've ever seen the students so engaged in a conversation as I did with this one.  

Here are five of the most interesting facts that I learned from this conversation:

1.  The Witness Protection Program started in 1871 and was known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.  This was started as a way to actively combat attacks upon African Americans.  
2.  The majority of families that are entered into the Witness Protection Program are dangerous criminals who have ratted out other criminals.  They enter the Witness Protection Program as protection from revenge.  
3.  When families enter the Witness Protection Program they are only given enough money to support their basic needs until they find a job to support them.  The goal for families that enter this program is to blend in and stay out of the spotlight.  
4.  No one can be forced to enter the Witness Protection Program.  Participants in the program can return to their previous life at any time (still with the risk of being killed).
5.  The U.S. Marshalls are in charge of the Witness Protection Program.   

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SOLC Day 5: Sick Day

Yesterday, I received a phone call around noon that my oldest was sick and wanted to be picked up from school.  I quickly left my school to find a happy little boy sitting on a cot in the nurses office at his school.  I knew the smile was just an act because he had been complaining about an upset stomach for the past 24 hours.  When we got home, he ended up sleeping for over four hours while I caught up on some of my reading.  That was such a peaceful time for me as I could just sit and read while also watching him sleep.  

Today, the oldest still wasn't feeling well and my youngest woke up complaining about an upset stomach as well.  My husband quickly volunteered to stay home with all three kids because he knows how hard it is for me to miss work. When I got home from teaching tonight, not only were my kids happy and excited to tell me about their day with daddy, but our house was immaculate!  The dishes were washed and put away, the floors were swept and mopped, every inch of the house was disinfected and all of the laundry was put away.  My husband knows I would rather spend my time playing with the kids and reading than I would cleaning, so for him to clean everything was a huge relief to me.  

Tonight, all three children are feeling much better.  They were able to have a glow in the dark bath, which provided us with almost an hour of solid giggles.  I hate seeing my children sick, but sometimes a sick day is just what the doctor ordered. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SOLC Day 4: Late Night Conversations

Last night I was having a hard time falling asleep.  Typically, when this happens, I will pick up a book and read until I fall asleep.  However, last night I picked up my phone and sent my mom a text message.  I told her that I couldn't sleep and wanted to know if she was still awake.  Yes, I will be thirty years old this year, I have been married almost 8 years, I have three young children and I still text my mom when I can't sleep.  This is something that I am proud of stating.  I'm proud that I have such a close relationship with my mom, that I can text her and she will talk to me no matter the hour of the night.  We didn't really talk about much of anything, but I will say the conversation helped me finally fall asleep.  We confirmed plans to go to lunch on Saturday, and possibly see a movie.  We talked about the Slice of Life Challenge and how I find it therapeutic.  There were a couple serious moments in our late night conversation, but overall it was a very lighthearted conversation.  This lighthearted conversation helped me to clear my head and catch a couple hours of sleep before my alarm woke me.  It's small moments like these that I appreciate about my mom.  She knows me better than anyone else in my life, and I hope I can be half the mother to my children that she is to me.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

SOLC Day 3: The Power of Words

As I was watching my children play tonight, I was reflecting on how far my oldest son has come with his speech.  He really didn't start talking until 2 1/2 years of age, and even then it was very difficult to understand what he was saying.  He currently receives speech and language services and at times people who don't talk to him frequently struggle to understand what he is saying.  With that being said, he works so hard at his speech is very proud of himself when he finallly masters a new sound or correct pronoun.  My youngest two, on the other hand, came out of the womb speaking.  I seriously can't remember a time when they couldn't talk.  I truly believe that their speech is what has helped my oldest makes such huge leaps and bounds in terms of his speech.  One thing all three of them had in common was using new words my oldest created in place of commonly used words.  Some of my all time favorite creations were:  bajew (cookie), bock bock (chicken nuggets), pow pow (Lightening McQueen) and lasterday (yesterday).  It's funny how I can so distinctly remember hearing him say these words for the first time, but not other moments within his speech life.  Tonight, listening to him sing London Bridge and Ring Around the Rosie with his siblings makes me so proud of how far he's come with his speech. This is especially true since there was a point and time when I was worried about him never learning to speak. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

SOLC: Disconnected

Everything in my life feels so disconnected at this point and time.  I'm hoping that by blogging daily in the month of March, I will be able to begin reflecting and connecting the pieces of my life back together.  I have had people tell me many times that every yes also equals a no.  Lately, it seems as though I have been telling my family no more than yes.  It's difficult for me to cut back on school when I am so passionate about what I do for school.  Typing that makes me feel so horribly guilty, because shouldn't I be more passionate about my family than I am about my job?  My focus for this Slice of Life Challenge is to make more time to say yes to my family.  I want to take time to enjoy the small moments and begin to say yes to so many more larger moments along the way.  

My small moment for the day was my four year old daughter proudly announcing that she got ready all on her own...just like mommy!  As I turned around she was wearing a beautiful shade of lipstick.  This lipstick just so happened to be heavily coating her eyelids.  After taking her picture (I'm a firm believer in teenage blackmail), I helped her wash her face and talked to her about all the reasons that she is beautiful.  She told me that a smile and happiness is what makes her beautiful, but makeup makes her a big girl like mommy.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Slice of Life: Reading Inspiration

Today I had the privilege to go watch some of my students present in the local science fair.  I was blown away with some of the topics that were researched by this group of seventh graders.  However, one of the most memorable event of the science fair was a discussion that I had with a group of random students.  One boy, who is in my language arts class, excitedly approached me to let me know that he finally finished Allegiant.  When I asked him about the ending, he paused and was quickly interrupted by a student that I had never met, so that they could share their opinion of the ending.  Within thirty seconds, there was a group of at least twelve students gathered around debating the effectiveness of the ending of Allegiant.  Opinions were varied, but after much discussion back and forth it was decided that the ending made sense for the overall theme of the story despite the disappointing turn of events.  As we were wrapping up the discussion, a random adult approached this animated group of students and reminded them that this was science  fair, and not a book fair.  Without missing a beat, a student responded that reading is what made him interested in his topic for the science fair. I was thrilled about the random book discussion that had just taken place, but even more impressed by this student's response to some random person about how reading can inspire all aspects of our lives.