Friday, February 29, 2008

Saint Lucia- a photo montage

Saint Lucia was, in a word, PARADISE.

It's a funny island- not funny ha-ha, but funny interesting. It's an island that is clearly on the verge of becoming a serious tourist trap, but is not quite there yet. Tourism only recently, within the last few years, became the major economy of the island. I imagine if we returned in a few years it will be far more developed than it was now....Anyway, I digress....

We spent the whole week doing absolutely nothing--besides sitting on a beach and reading. I forgot how great it felt to read...and read.....and read.....these days the only reading I do is the writing of my third graders or dense articles and books for class. I made it through a few books-- Wicked (didn't love it as much as I had hoped, although I must admit I was cheering on the Wicked Witch of the West by the end of it, and I did like the perspective the author took), Belly Laughs (I have a whole post in mind about this book--it's by Jenny McCarthy and it is all about pregnancy. The whole TRUTH. If you are pregnant or have been, then you should read it.) Nineteen Minutes (A Jodi Picoult book, and true to her style, it was intense and emotional and surprising at the end. And so beautifully written I couldn't put it down. She's an amazing author I think.) And then there were two Nora Roberts books whose titles I truly can't remember but they were perfect beach reads--easy and trashy and fun.
Our biggest adventure was wading into the water to buy fruit from The Fruit Man:
He pulled up every day and guests would wade out to him and order up some fresh fruit. I stood in that glorious water and drank the milk from a coconut that he had just cracked in front of me. Then I sat underneath our cabana and ate fresh mangoes.

Russ drank this:

The local beer--which we discovered you could get for only $2.50 at some bars! He's determined to find a place here in chilly CT that will order it for him he liked it so much.

And I drank gallons of this:
We woke up and looked out our window and saw this every single morning:

Then we would walk outside to eat breakfast and see this:

We ate breakfast (fresh fruit every morning!!!) here:We even checked out some local wildlife:
(That's a caterpiller. Unlike any I've ever seen!)

Finally, we hung out on the beach and checked out the views:
And I did, in fact, rock the bikini.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Where has the week gone?!?

I started a post Tuesday....and suddenly it is Friday and the post isn't finished and, clearly, isn't published. (It's a good post too, I'm hanging on to it for later.) Not that I'm complaining, mind you, I love it when the weeks go fast, but man, this one FLEW. Today is our last day before our winter vacation....which means that in two days I'll be on a beach in Saint Lucia. You can go right ahead and be a little jealous, I would be too honestly. But keep in mind that this is probably going to be our last vacation for some time. (That doesn't make it much better, does it!?!? I'd say I'm sorry, but really, I'm so excited for beaches, bikinis and books that I'm not at all sorry.) I've been told by several people now that floating in the water with my pregnant belly will be awesome, so I'm looking forward to that too....

A few other random thoughts--
Yesterday, the PE teacher and the music teacher were debating whether I had a basketball or a volleyball for a belly. They agreed volleyball. Russ told me he disagreed and he thought beach ball. Thank goodness I love the man so much because he clearly still hasn't learned that he shouldn't say things like that to his pregnant wife.

Yesterday I got a collection of Valentine's from my students....most of which went right into the trash. (Despite what everyone tries to tell you, the baby does NOT need junk food!!! And I am NOT eating for two!!!) I must admit though, that it is rather fun to be working with third graders around holidays. They get SO excited about the littlest things, and they all left yesterday exclaiming over their bags of candy.

This morning I realized, for the first time, that I couldn't see my feet. I'm not really sure when that happened but it's a little surreal to look down and not see your legs or your feet or your toes.... I mean, I know they are all there obviously but I can't see them.

Yesterday we had a scientist visit our class and do some super fun chemical reaction experiments. (Because, yes, in third grade, we learn about physical and chemical reactions and the three states of matter. I feel like I didn't learn those things until at least middle school.) One of the experiments they did was to create this green gooey stuff. Guess how many of them had it all over their hands and clothes? I deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for the amount of patience I displayed yesterday. Even more so after every single one of my parents attending my Valentine's Day party told me that I looked exhausted and then proceeded to stand around and chat while I ran the whole party.....

I am 24 weeks today-which puts me squarely in my sixth month and also a few weeks away from the end of my second trimester. Again, where did the time go?!?

Somehow I got sucked into being videotaped using a Smart Board. I did three different lessons using it--two for Reading workshop and one for math. I initially thought this was just going to be shared with our Central Office staff, most of whom know me, if not by name, then by face, and (I think) respect me as a professional. Then, after I was bullied into it....errr, agreed, I learned that no, this wasn't for Central Office staff, but for the Board of Education. And the Board of Finance. And the Board of Selectman. Once I found that out, I was totally thrown and can honestly say that I have no idea what I said while being videotaped. Hopefully I sounded reasonable intelligent.

OK, that's it for now.....hopefully I'll finish that other post soon, although it may have to wait until AFTER Saint Lucia......(Sorry, I had to throw it out there one more time!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen snippets...
1) Last weekend (awhile ago, I know) was a crazy busy weekend, but a very good one. I spent time with family and began the process of registering for my baby showers. We decided that registering for a baby is way more overwhelming than registering for a bridal shower. So many choices! And they all seem so important! And some are so foreign! Thank God I have an older sister who gave me good advice on brands and on what I don't really need. If I followed the Babies R' Us guide, I would be registering for five pages worth of baby products!

2) I've spent the last two and a half weeks frantically writing and revising new curriculum for third grade teachers for reading workshop. The reason it was frantic, and only two and a half weeks, is because that's when my team found out we were to present the new curriculum to the third grade teachers on a professional development day on February 5th. The process of writing this year long curriculum has been frustrating, to say the least. The work itself is not frustrating, but the overall process and leadership has been frustrating. We've been saying, as a team, the same things from the beginning of our work together a year and a half ago now but no one seems to be listening- or hearing. Tuesday's presentation was the ultimate in frustration with our district coordinator literally making changes to the unit as people were walking in for the presentation.....However, standing before the third grade teachers, I was proud of the work we've done.
3) To continue in that vein--it's all about perspective really. As frustrating as this process of writing curriculum has been, one of my teammates put it all in perspective when she said "Just think, the work we did will impact thousands of students." I hadn't thought of it like that and suddenly, the long hours and the fact that I'm behind in my regular school work was all worth it. We did good.

4) I'm ready for a snow day, even though vacation is a mere week away.

5) Did I mention that we finally booked our February vacation? That's right, in just nine days I will be here: Saint Lucia.

6) We spent more money than we should have, but justified it by saying that it's our last vacation for awhile. That and the fact that frankly, we've both earned it.

7) I already know a lot about my daughter. I know, for example, that she likes Twizzlers and banana ice cream, especially in milk shake form. (This sounds like I've eaten a lot of those, but I truly haven't. I've only had banana ice cream maybe 5 times and Twizzlers twice. And I'm six months pregnant. Not so bad.) But every time I eat those things she wiggles and bops around. She also likes music, Old 97's seem to be her favorite band so far. Oh, and she loves it when her Daddy reads to her, which he did the other day. (Good Night Moon, a classic) She doesn't like sushi, or at least not since the last time I tried it and threw it all up. (Which is such a bummer for me.) She wakes up in the middle of the night and moves around, unless she's been particularly active during the day, in which case she'll sleep through the night. (Mental note, keep her active during the day so she'll sleep through the night.)

8) I need to buy some shorts for our vacation. And maybe a maternity bathing suit, depending on how horrible I look in my old bikinis. The thought of walking around half naked in my current state is a bit daunting so I may have to splurge and buy the maternity bathing suits. Where in the world do you buy shorts? Maternity shorts, at that? In February?!

9) Two weekends ago, Russ hung up these curtains. They were our first baby purchase. We discussed the fact that we probably should have started with something a bit smaller (and less expensive) like, say, an outfit, but it was still fun. Every time I walk in the room now I get a little thrill of excitement. Imagine how excited I'll be when there is a crib, and rocker and changing table and...

10) I have a few students that are adorably excited about my daughter. One little boy, who I swear barely comes up to my knees (OK, not really, but the little guy is tiny) literally dives for the ground any time I drop something. He also actually tried to help me up the other day by supporting my back. And then I have one little girl who I will find, every now and again, right in front of me, wanting to rub my belly. It is very sweet and very endearing.

11) I threw up this morning. Blech. That's calmed down considerably but still resurfaces every now and again. And it's still not fun.

12) I spent Monday shadowing an administrator at the high school I graduated from. Wild. I actually got to sit in on an observation of a teacher I once had, whose son had a major crush on me which led to a conversation with a teacher that ended up making me want to teach. Even more wild. The experience was such a great one....he struck me right away as the kind of principal I want to be. If I ever get there.

13) My next graduate school class has started. I know that I am crazy, but I am one of those weird people that loves being in school. I love learning and thinking and having my ideas challenged.....I even love the professor who talks too much (kinda like the one I have now) because inevitably, they'll say something super interesting that will make me nod my head or scribble furiously in my notebook. I don't love the homework, but it's a small price to pay (well, that and the bill I got) for an education.