Monday, November 30, 2009

18 month stats and pics

Aliza had her 18 month check up recently (WHERE did the time go!?!?). Here are her stats:

Height: 31 1/4 inches
*Weight: 22 lbs. 9 oz.
Head circumference: 47.5 cm

*She lost a pound after a bout of pneumonia.
She's had a busy are some highlights:

Sitting at the table (like a big girl!) for Fake Thanksgiving:

"Feeding" Charlie (the puppet):Blowing out birthday candles:

Funny hair during her bath (a.k.a. splash-splash):

Swinging with Mommy:

Working hard:

And finally- making some calls on Daddy's Iphone:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

One is silver and the other gold...

Four short days into NaBloPoMo and I missed posting three days in a row.....Russ kept saying "You HAVE to post, it's Nablowoowho month...." (He doesn't quite get the acronym.) I kept telling him, "Be a guest poster for me, I can't do it!" but he didn't....I'm a bit relieved honestly. I mean, I was hoping to make it a little longer than four days but seeing as how all of my creative writing energy (and free time) is going into my thesis, I just didn't have it in me this year.

Anyways, all that aside, we spent a lovely morning visiting with some dear friends whom we don't get to see nearly often enough. They were in town for the weekend and called us up to see if we were free....miraculously, we were!

Sparing you all of the details (like the fact that Aliza ate three of these super yummy pumpkin muffins my friend made, which is more than she's eaten all weekend- she's getting quite finicky about her food which is making me crazy!) I'll skip right to the point....seeing these old friends was like coming home and putting on cozy clothes. We haven't seen each other in awhile, nor have we talked (my bad, I'm so horrible about staying in touch, it is one of my biggest flaws), but somehow, seeing them today, it was like no time had passed. We resumed conversation as if we were just chatting yesterday.....fell into jokes like we always had in the past.....and felt the ease and comfort that only comes from years of knowing one another and going through some of life's biggest, and hardest, changes together. It made me crave friends. Or rather, it made me crave the easygoing friendship I have with those people who have been in my life for so long that they know the best and worst of me and love me anyways. All those people in my life (with the exception of one) live far away, and the time I get to see them is very few and very far between....

I left wishing there were mere towns separating us, rather than states.....

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

From bad to worse

The stabber bit me today.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


As a teacher, I know, theoretically, the impact that language development has on a child's learning. I had one student who received intensive special education support, not because he was learning disabled but because he was adopted and spent the first few years of his life living in a home where he wasn't spoken to much at all. After adoption things changed, but this kid was forever impacted by those first, formative, years....
I've known this in theory.

The reality is so much more amazing. Not to brag (but I'm going to) Aliza, at 17 months, has an amazing vocabulary. She comes out with new words every day (yesterday it was Ipod).
I'm also proud to report that she LOVES books. She won't even watch T.V. Oh sure, she'll give it a glance if it's on, maybe even sit still long enough to watch it for a full minute, but that's about it. She prefers books. And crayons. And toys. Over T.V. Can't say I mind all that much either...she also requests books by name. Sometimes by their title (like Dog or Cat) and sometimes by the first line, or maybe a repeated line, in a text. Like this one, or this one. She's a reader already.

Of course, the way she talks is just so darned cute. Some of my favorite words that she says just a bit funny are captured here on this video....listen closely for yellow and yes.....two of my favorite Aliza-isms.

Monday, November 02, 2009


There is a book that must elementary school teachers know- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. I like to think of poor Alexander whenever I have a day like the one I had today....
My morning started with a daughter who is clearly still thrown by the time change and decided to wake up at 5:20 a.m. I listened to her screaming while I showered and then kept her occupied while I attempted to get dressed.
Got into my car, only five minutes late!, only to discover a warning light flashing at me alarmingly from the control panel. I chastised myself the entire way to daycare, convinced it was the oil light telling me that I made the wrong decision to stay at home and work on my thesis this weekend instead of getting the much needed oil change. A quick stop at the Mobil station and I filled my oil tank, hoping it would do the trick. As I sat in an impossibly long line of cars waiting to get onto the parkway, I looked up the warning light that was still glaring at me from the dashboard and discovered that it was not, in fact, the oil but rather the tire pressure. Great.
There were yellow warnings printed in bold letters about Accident! Serious Injury! Damage to the car! all over the owner's manual so I drove to work worried about THAT. When I finally arrived at school (an hour later.....ahh, morning commute, how I love thee) I actually looked at the tire in question and, frankly, dismissed all of my fears as unreasonable because the thing didn't look remotely flat.
Going about my morning....students arrive, get working, all seems OK. Time to go to music at 9:40 and one of my little girls is in tears with her mom waiting out in the hall to talk to me for "just a quick minute". I send my student teacher and para off to bring the kids to music, figuring nothing could really happen along the short walk while I talk to the girl in question. Do my best cheerleader interpretation, reassure the mom, solve the problem, yay me.
Begin walking the girl to music and run into my para who has come to let me know that one of my little guys has stabbed another kid with a pencil.
Get to my class, waiting outside the music room, and attempt to get the stabber out of line to visit the principal. Temper tantrum, screaming fit and he throws himself down in the middle of the front entrance way and refuses to budge.
It's not even 10:00 yet and I have about fifteen more minutes before I am supposed to be in a meeting with a former parent of mine who is planning on suing our district (again). I grab the principal, who disciplines the student right there in the hall because he won't move, then am told to track down the special education teacher and the school social worker. Fine. Grab both and leave my screamer in their capable hands while I go to my hour long meeting with the former parent.
That meeting ends, as expected (he'll sue- again), and I check in on my student. He's now in the school social workers office, still quite unhappy. Head off to another meeting with the parent of the stabber....thirty minutes later, meeting is over, stabber is settled down and in the classroom.
Lunch time hits and I walk my kids outside and watch the stabber as he hauls off and hits another student.
Repeat visit to principal (much calmer this time) and visit to school social worker. I leave the kid with her while I make a phone call to the parent of the kid who was stabbed, and some copies and, blessedly, finally, make it to the bathroom. Stabber makes his way inside for lunch and I finally sit down to eat mine- with five minutes to do so.

Luckily, the afternoon passed without incident.....

And tomorrow is a brand new day--more importantly, a day without students! I'm hoping the teachers don't get bored during our workshops tomorrow and stab one another with their pencils......

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Aliza's second Halloween was even more fun than her first.....she still doesn't quite get what trick or treating is, but tolerated her costume and even walked (and rode) around the neighborhood a bit with our two good friends and a bevy of other parents and children. Next year we will have to practice saying "trick or treat".....

We started our evening by carving our pumpkin while Aliza played outside (as an aside, Russ decided- after viewing the pumpkins in the neighborhood- that next year he needs to improve on his pumpkin carving ability. I tried explaining that the fancy ones he saw were, most likely, patterns, but he is determined to put on a better show next year):

After a yummy dinner of pizza with Grams and Gramps (a.k.a. Mem-mem and Pop-pop) Aliza got dressed in her costume just in time for Nonna and Pop-pop's arrival:

She quickly decided it was time to head outside:

Although she got a bit confused about the fact that we were supposed to visit houses, and not our own backyard:

We decided to strap Aliza into her vroom-vroom to walk around the neighborhood:

She got out and walked a couple of times, but seemed a tad overwhelmed with all of the neighborhood kids we were walking with and opted to stay close to my side.

We returned home to say night-night to Mem-Mem and Pop-pop and enjoyed some trick or treaters before bed....although now we seem to have a ladybug infestation:

Overall it was a fantastic Halloween!