Friday, May 23, 2014

The End.

My last day of teaching. I am so excited to begin this new chapter of my life, but I never want to short sell my incredible experiences from teaching. I have taught at the same school for six years. Three years in fifth grade homeroom//a semester teaching all grade levels math//returned to fifth grade homeroom for a semester, was grade level chair, and co-taught in a Special Education classroom//part-time for a year teaching first, fourth, and fifth grade math//a year back as a fifth grade homeroom teacher. I have taught ESOL students, students with special needs, homeless students, "TAG" (talented and gifted) students and students with EBD. 

And these are the things I have learned (with some eCard gems)...

  • You have to pray for students. All the time. They will drive you absolute bonkers sometimes. They can make you want to consider jumping out of your third floor classroom's window. But sometimes, you just have to stop and pray for them. Remember that they are God's children. Remember you may be the only one praying for them.
And even worse? When they are just tardy, and you got so excited about a <insert student's name>-free day for nothing.
  • All students have gifts. Each and every one has amazing, unique traits. Some are just a lot easier to see than others.
  • It will never be completely done. There will always be more papers to grade, more lessons to plan, more rooms to decorate. Sometimes you just need to leave. Nobody ever said staying until 7:00 every night makes you the best teacher. 

  • Your co-workers can be your best friends. If you don't like who you work with, you won't like your job. Make friends. Listen to others. And don't talk about school during lunch.
  • It is okay to be strict. And it is okay to be silly. There is a time for both.
  • Lessons Bomb. Usually they are the ones you think will be awesome too. It doesn't mean you are a bad teacher.

  • Remember the "Middle Kids" We focus on the high students. We focus on the low students. We focus on those who don't speak the language. We focus on those with behavior disorders. Not all kids fall into one of those groups, but that doesn't mean they are any less important. 
  • Learn how to use the copier and laminator correctly. And learn who can fix it when you break it.

  • Become a real person to your students. They just see us at school (for the most part.) I think they think we live there. Tell them about your family, your hobbies, and interests. They will be more likely to open back up to you. 
  • Listen to students I wish I would have done this more. It is so easy to get so wrapped up in the academic part of teaching, that you can forget they are children with words and feelings. Watch them. Listen to them.
  • Don't become Friends on Facebook I don't know why teachers do this. Overall I think it is a horrible idea. Sorry kids for declining you. 

  • But make sure your principal IS following you on Pinterest So you have a back-up if you forget to post lesson plans

  • Everyday is a new beginning Don't hold a grudge from previous interactions. Forgive daily. 
  • Teach them manners No education compares to Please and Thank You.
  • Love them. Especially when you don't like them.

(Did I master all of these? Absolutely not.)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our Lovely Weekend

It all began last Thursday. Mom e-mailed me at school at lunch time and said that Woody had been throwing up. Woody has never had any kind of stomach illness, so I went home early. When I got home, he was pale and clingy, but I got him some Pedialyte, and by Friday he was back to his usual self. Mom and I even decided that it wasn't a stomach virus, but that he probably just had sinus drainage that was making him sick (because we are MDs and all.)

Then Friday night, Brooks and I planned to enjoy a night of shopping and eating (my two favorite things.) Brooks was in a great mood, then suddenly at dinner he became very quiet...

Time to go home....

Poor guy was so sick all night. I was all prepared to be Nurse Lindsey to him when Mom yells, "Oh no Woody!" He chugged his milk that morning, and it resulted in it coming up all over my rug, couch, and Woody.

Gaines? He only got sick once. It is hard to tell when a baby is sick, but he spit up a lot. He almost never spits up. Plus it had a weird smell to it. He was fine after that thank goodness.

Saturday Vomit Count (TMI?):
Woody- 1, morning milk
Gaines- 1
Brooks- too many times to count

We were supposed to go to a wedding on Saturday, obviously we didn't. Then Sunday came...

And poor, poor Mom. She spent Sunday night in a hotel!Y'all, this thing was evil. (Major knock on wood) I am still ok! I keep waiting for it to hit me, but so far, so good!

I would post pictures, but nobody would want to see our state of being this weekend. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gaines- Two Months

Intense Peepers

Gaines Facts
  • Weight: 14 lbs 4 oz//Height: 24.75 inches
  • Diaper Size: 2
  • Clothing Size: 3-6 month
  • Sleep: He is still following the eat, wake, sleep schedule. We start getting him ready for bed at 7:00, after Woody goes down. It takes a while to get him down. A lot of rocking, bouncing, nursing, try to put in crib song and dance. I usually have to go in a few times to soothe him some. Once he is settled, he normally sleeps until 3:00 am-4:00 am. Once I feed him, he goes back to sleep until Brooks gets him up around 7:00 am, but I try to top him off around 6:00 am when I leave for work
  • Eat: I nurse him once or twice first thing in the morning. While I am at work, he gets three 5 oz bottles. Then I usually nurse him once or twice at home. 
  • The hours of 6:00 pm- bedtime are his grumpiest. I tend to nurse on demand during this time to soothe him. 
  • The rest of the time, he is such a happy baby. He hardly ever cries. So lucky. And he gives the biggest smiles that melt my heart.
  • His hair is still dark! I wonder if he will stay a brunette.
  • Could win a burping award
  • He is content to be in his bouncy seat watching the world around him. He just likes the occasional chat.
  • Gaines is becoming more aware of Woody. And Woody loves to talk to him, hold his hand, and give Gaines kisses.
  • I love pushing them in the double stroller. However, I am walking way more than I thought I ever would. We might invest in a used double running stroller soon. 
  • Nicknames: Peepers, Gippy, Gainesie Guy, and Woody still calls him Gay

Motherhood is Awesome (Most of the Time)

Everything is awesome about motherhood. Except sleep. That part really stinks about motherhood.

But it is getting better!

I have long since lost my Mother of the Year Award, but I feel I can trust you with my dirty little secret...

...Woody watches TV to avoid meltdowns. I know, I know. But breastfeeding a baby while trying to do a puzzle with Woody ain't easy. And Mickey Mouse and Curious George are so darn funny. And they teach him awesome dance moves.

Like spinning in a circle over and over.

Woody is a fan of few words. Most of his communication comes in the form of yelling random sounds. But when he finishes dinner, he always says, "Ah Duh." (All Done)

He is a big fan of selfies.

And I am a fan of baseball caps that cover my unwashed hair.

My oldest delight is also the best big brother. He fills little brother's Pack 'n Play with surprises to cheer him up.

And he kisses him with mouthfuls of food.

Peepers here makes my heart so full. I am concerned with how seldom he blinks though.

Should I be concerned? I will be back soon with Peepers two month update!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

My second Mother's Day! I had one baby on my first Mother's Day, two on my second Mother's Day, but we will be retiring this pattern. Mother's Day is very special because it is also my momma's birthday! On Saturday, my parents, brother's family, and sister's family all met in Birmingham to celebrate our wonderful mother. These pictures are all out of order, but I don't have the patience to fix them. And beware, it is a lot of pictures.

Maddox (9), Jake (5), and Marrell "Momo" (5)
The three oldest cousins. Can you handle Momo's sass?

She is going to hate me for this picture one day! Her sister was being mean to her, and she  needed some momma love.

Woody thought he could climb the rock wall as well as the older kids. He obviously can.

Gran, Woody (22 months), Jake (5), Gaines (2 months), Maddox (9), Marrell (5), Nana
Gran and Nana with their five grandkids! #6 will be here in late August/early September!

Such a special picture! My brother, William Alton, holding Gaines Alton.

We were so proud of the boys for doing so well on the drive to Birmingham. The ride back? Different story. Woody has been fighting a cold, was hungry and tired. And it was Gaines' witching hour. Before we got out of Alabama, we had to make three stops to try and console one of the two. At one point, I look behind, and Woody had spit out all of the chicken I had been trying to feed him and dumped apple juice down his shirt. We pulled over to change his clothes and without thinking, put my barefoot child down in a gas station parking lot. At another stop I was nursing Gaines (who also had to have a diaper and outfit change due to a potty accident) and look behind to see Woody chewing on his feet (remember- the gas station?) Let's all take a moment to throw up.

We made it home, but neither of the two were really down with the idea of sleeping. I have learned not to pray for sleep, simply to pray that I bring comfort to my children, and that God somehow give me the energy to make it another day. And sometimes I pray for self-cleaning houses.

Holding babies in the wee hours of Mother's Day brings all types of emotions that make me leery of Publix commercials. I think of my own mother, who sacrificed so much to give my siblings and me everything we ever needed and more. I think of the times I was ugly and bratty toward her and am thankful for the grace she showed me, and still does to this day.

I think of my mother-in-law, who gave me my incredible husband. The woman who raised him to be loving, caring, and tender to his wife and children. And taught him how to do chores and not complain about them.

I think of my sister. Who is carrying her baby girl in her belly this Mother's Day. The baby she wanted for so long, and how thankful we all are for God giving her this baby. My sister, who sometimes was another mother for me, and now one of my role models in raising children.

I think of my friends who had children before I did. How I thought they were crazy with their obsession with their children. Now I realize how "sane" and "normal" they are. The phrase Momma Bear is a very real thing.

I think of those longing for children. Many who have opened their hearts to my sons. I pray that God gives them their own, and in my own, imperfect way, can show them how grateful I am for the influence they have in my children's lives.

I think of Woody and Gaines. My biggest blessings that I never knew I needed, but could never live without. I thank God for you two and hope that I bless your lives like you bless mine. I am so proud to be your momma.

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Little Caffeine, Lot of Jesus

 After my post on Tuesday, things got even better.
  • I got to stay after school for a lovely faculty meeting...
  • Get home and see my husband is already home. He has to change and go to a client dinner...
  • Woody is sick with a fever and runny nose...
  • Wednesday my mom would be leaving and the boys were supposed to go to Miss B's...
  • I have zero sick days left thanks to my maternity leave...
The idea of crawling into bed with those pillows over my head became very appealing. After consuming my maximum amount of caffeine for the day, I took a deep breath and knew that the load was too big for me to carry, and I had to give it to Jesus. 
  • My mom and Brooks promised that they could take Woody to the doctor.
  • Brooks brought home dinner.
  • I got to take a nice, long, hot shower.
  • Gave Woody some Benadryl, and he slept until almost 6:00 am!! His nose was still runny, but his fever was down. And Brooks decided he was a-ok to go to Miss B's
  • Gaines went to bed before 9:00 pm and only woke up once during the night.
  • I found an outfit that fit for Wednesday morning.
I have learned that during the not-so-great times, you have to soak up anything positive. God never promised us that everyday would be easy, but He did promise that He would always be there. Plus, if this is one of those "hard times" I will take it. The situation could be so much worse. I have food, a house, my family is (relatively) healthy, and most importantly, my stretch marks are fading I am well-loved.

Some real framers from Sunday...

(Gaines' hat didn't exactly fit)

First Day at Miss B's

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