28 August 2007

Claire speaks!

Hi everyone! This is me and my friend, Spike. I like to watch him when I'm at Maw-Maw's house during the day.
Today when Mommy got home from school, I was so happy! I love to lay on my back and play with my rattle toys.
~ Claire

26 August 2007

First full week of school--OVER!

Over the weekend, Claire and I went with my mother-in-law Diane and her friend Diane (!) to Dallas to see Paula Deen Live! It was great fun! Claire only got fussy a few times, and that was in her car seat, not in the show, thankfully. Paula Deen is even more silly and funny than she is on Paula's Home Cooking. It was amazing to me that probably 2,000 people paid about $50 a pop to come see her! It was a fun show, though. Her husband Michael and her son Bobby were both there, too, and the first hour was like a talk-show format with Paula talking to everyone in the audience and her and her family telling funny stories about their lives and how Paula got started with the Bag Lady and all that. Then she did a quick cooking segment, but really her assistants did all the cooking, and she just kept laughing and telling stories. She was a hoot, totally unscripted and totally sincere. AND we got to submit questions before the show for Paula to answer, and mine got asked! It was Diane's idea to ask what Paula's grandson Jack's favorite foods that his Granny fixes are. She couldn't think of a particular one, but she said he sure like the squash casserole she fixed a couple weeks ago.

I've only been a teacher for seven school days, but I feel like I've learned enough to have a B.A. in education! Teaching is exhilirating and exhausting, fun and frustrating. These feelings seem like they're all amplified at a small school, where I'm teaching four grade levels and four different curricula, and junior class sponsor and student council sponsor! Picture me last Monday night after our first library day, realizing that the next day, I was going to have to introduce four different works! Up to that point, all my classes had been doing the same introductory type activities, but last week, I had to get into the swing of grabbing a new set of notes and textbook, writing a new bell work activity on the board, and working with a new set of kids every hour. It can be overwhelming, but my days just fly by!

And then when I get home, Claire is such a great de-stresser. I change clothes, grab a drink and snack, and then settle in with Claire on the couch. While I feed her, I watch that day's Paula's Home Cooking (I DVR them!). Then we play for a little while. I thought being a first-year mommy would make being a first-year teacher more stressful, but in reality, I think Claire is making me a better teacher--I'm more relaxed and less frazzled then I would be without her, I think. If I didn't have a baby I had to devote the majority of my evenings to, I know I would be spending way too much time at school after the last bell rings, and working a lot more at home on lesson plans and grading in the evenings. As it is, I have to leave school no later than 3:30 because that's how long the breastmilk supply I leave for Claire will last. Then I wait to do school work until Jay comes home and can take Claire to get her bathed and ready for bed. I don't get graded work back the next day, and I don't think through every moment of the class period, but I think that's how most teachers operate. Claire forces me to relax!

I said to Jay the other day that he and I are both probably working harder now than we ever have before in our lives, and we're doing that as new parents. It's hard, but we're both doing what we love, and our time at home together seems so much more precious and special now.

19 August 2007

New skill!

Claire can now push herself up on her elbows when she's on her tummy! My brother Tyler said, "She looks like a human!"

Claire and Kerrigan together for the first time!

We finally got to meet Kerrigan this weekend! Claire's got five weeks on her. It'll be so fun to see them discover each other in a few months.

17 August 2007

I'm a working mom!

I wrote a post about my first couple days over at my teacher blog, but over here, I'll just talk about Claire. She's been doing pretty well with her Maw-Maw this week, I think. Yesterday she did have a stomachache that made her cry half the day and blow out several diapers, but today she seems to have made a full recovery. Also, I think she's going to drink about as much milk as I'm able to pump at school each day, so that's good. I want to be able to provide for her as long as possible. I read the other day that formula will set you back between $1,400 and 4,000 a year! Yet another reason to breastfeed.

Jay has been flipping burgers at his and Preston's restaurant in Kingston almost every night until close at 7 or 8. Yuck! I am not liking the restaurant business, especially when I have work to do each night for school the next day that I normally can't get accomplished until Daddy gets home.

Well I'm off to take a much-needed walk with my baby.

14 August 2007

Kitchen Adventures post!

Hey, I just posted two great breakfast-on-the-go recipes for the price of one on mine and Audrey's neglected cooking blog: Cappuccino muffins and Oatmeal pancakes!

10 August 2007

Working on my classroom!

I cannot believe I will be teaching high school students next week!! We had New Teacher Orientation today: in the high school, there were three coach/teachers, a family and consumer sciences (that's home ec for you old-schoolers) teacher, a middle school math teacher, a fourth-grade teacher, and me! The fourth-grade teacher is a friend of mine, and we were the only two first-years, but she student-taught at our school last year, and has worked in the office there all through college. So I'm the only true newbie. She gave me the grand tour today.

I also tried out pumping at school today--this isn't going to be easy, but lots of parenthood isn't, right? At least my door locks, and my planning period is close to the middle of the day. (For those of you who wonder what I mean by pumping, you don't want to know--I'm just letting the mommies out there know what I'm up to!)

Claire stayed with Maw-maw and Paw-paw today, another good half-day before the full days start next Monday! Yikes! I stay so busy (more like overwhelmed!) at school that I don't feel like I'm missing her too much yet, but once I see her when I get home, I feel terrible for having missed another day with her. I feel like it takes her a minute to realize that it's me. (This is an approximation of her expression.)

08 August 2007

Mama in Springfield

I've been Simpsonized! Go here to do it.

07 August 2007

Rattles are funny!

I can't get enough of those giggles!

06 August 2007

Fun with family!

Claire and I had a full weekend of family! Thursday night, Jay's brother Brian, his wife Jennifer, and their kids Zach and Abby came down to meet Claire. Zach was very good at making Claire laugh, and Abby is good at getting her relaxed and sleepy.

Friday, My cousin Lissa, her husband Elliott, and their adorable 16-month-old daughter Emma came down from Indiana for a few days. Also my Aunt Neila, Uncle Danny, and their adorable 2-year-old, Allie! Emma loved to be near her cousin Claire, as you can see in her blog post about this meeting.

We filled up Mom's pool about to capacity, played Nerts (those darn Indianans have been practicing!), and had lots of good talks about parenthood. Lissa and Elliott celebrated their anniversary while they were here by sharing a blizzard at the Dairy Queen.

Jay didn't get to come, as he and Preston just bought a restaurant. Jay was literally cooking food for paying customers. Scary! So everyone go to the Burger Shoppe in Kingston to eat a delicious burger or chicken strip basket! Preston is actually a really good fry cook, so Jay is learning. They'll hire a manager soon, so they will not be doing the dirty work for very long. Fine time for Jay to be helping out at the restaurant though, when I'm starting school! August 13 is the first day for teachers, and the kids start August 16. I'm hard at work writing an Oklahoma Today story about blogs (so I figured a break from writing to post to one of my blogs was quite appropriate).

Claire's new friend!

Claire meets a new friend, Dawson! Notice how in the video both babies start fussing, but I just laugh and keep on filming! What a great mom. They just looked so cute, struggling away on their tummies! Dawson is five months old, and he's Jay's partner Preston and his wife Alycia's third child.