Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why I need a new job...

I'm very bad at turning my "3rd grade teacher-ness" off when I'm, well, not being a 3rd grade teacher. Case in point.... Last night we were at a Sister Hazel concert in Roanoke. We were about 10 feet from the stage and about 3 people deep back standing on the platform in front of the stage. Well, as the concert starts, somebody from the local radio station came up to make an announcement. I sincerely wanted to scream out, "Do you people not hear that man talking? Show some respect and listen to him!" I refrained, but I had to make a conscious effort not to go off on those bad people who would, gasp!, talk while someone else was talking.

Then came the drunk group that squeezed right next to us and pushed another set of people back. Oh, I was fuming. The friend of the girl they pushed out of the way tried, quite politely I might add, to explain the problem to them. They said some expletives back. Oh, how I wanted to do some conflict resolution here. I first wanted to give them a stern "talkin' to", preferably after taking them out into the hall and giving them the mean Mrs. Halsey look. Then I wanted to slap them (okay, I don't do THAT in 3rd grade - but I can't say there haven't been a few times I've wanted to). Then I had to hold myself back from taking the camera (and beer) out of their hands and throwing it as far as I possibly could. The "I'd rather not be in jail for assault and battery tonight because how would I nurse Brenna?" feeling prevailed over the "These people need to learn a lesson and by golly I'm going to be the one to teach it to them" feeling. Barely. We won't even talk about how I wanted to give parenting lessons to the idiot who was up in that hot, sweaty, packed mess with their baby who was about Brenna's age or less - and throwing him up and down in the air. There was PLENTY of room in the grass to go lounge with your baby. Geez.

My conclusion? Everybody should spend one year in "Mrs. Halsey Bootcamp". And perhaps I should find a job where I don't see everybody I run in to as an impressionable third grader.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another Busy Summer

It's gearing up to be another jam-packed summer. I'm excited about that.....but I also know it will make it fly by, which means I'll be back at work before I have time to blink! Anyhow, here is the rundown on our summer plans.

Tonight - Festival in the Park to see Sister Hazel - YIPEE!
June 4 - I'm throwing a lingerie shower for my 3rd grade teacher friends Sheri & Lisa for their upcoming weddings!
June 5 - I head to Galax for a Luncheon for Sheri.
June 6 - I head to Giles for Sheri's church shower.
June 11 - Last day of school!
June 12 - We all go to Fries for Jonathan's gig. Should be, um, interesting.
June 14 - Math conference - yuck!!
June 18/19 - Kevin and Julianna's rehearsal dinner/wedding. Jonathan is DJing!
June 25 - Possible getaway with some college friends
July 16/17 - Chuck and Brandy's rehearsal/wedding. Jonathan is a groomsman!
July 23/24 - Sheri and Justin's rehearsal/wedding. I'm a bridesmaid!
July 25 - July 31 - Beach with April, Jer, and London. SO EXCITED!!
July 26 - Our 2nd wedding anniversary. Maybe we'll have a date at the beach if the Bashams will watch the munchkin!
August 7 - We all head to Richmond for Lisa and Kevin's wedding.
August 21 - Possibly heading to Bristol for the race - we'll see!
August 23 - My first day back at school for workdays.
August 30 - Kiddos come back!
And a picture, just for fun!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Something Positive about my Job

I feel like I've been really negative about my job lately. It's not that I hate it, I really don't. I just hate that it tears me away from Brenna. I know millions of women do it, but I just hate missing time with her. However, I do love my job. I love my students (a lot this year, not always the case...), I love the girls I work with (seriously, who gets lucky enough to work with their best friends?), I have a good, supportive boss who understands how hard teaching 3rd grade is, and I have the most helpful assistants on earth (seriously, people, I sometimes pump 3 times a day - that's a lot of other people teaching my class while I'm busy - so awesome!) Here is a list (you're welcome, Erin) of things I'm totally excited about - which is a great feeling at the most stressful time of the year...
*100% of my online SS test kids passed their SOL. That's 11 out of 11. Three took paper/pencil version - so I'll get those scores back this summer. And 2 of them passed it last year when they were in my class. 91% of them (10 of the 11) got pass advanced. 54% of them (6 out of 11) got a perfect score!!! I'm so proud. Granted, this is the easiest of the 4 tests. They have their hardest one next (reading) and then math and science, too. But, what a good way to start out the testing season!
*I turned in my VGLA yesterday - yay! I won't have the score back for awhile, but I'm just glad it's done! If you don't know about a VGLA - here's a brief summary. It's done in lieu of an SOL test for special ed. students. It's a portfolio of work to prove they've mastered all SOLs. Not bad, unless you teach 3rd grade. We have to provide evidence of all 3rd grade SOLs, but also for 2nd, 1st, and Kindergarten SOLs. And math is the worst, which is what I have done the past 2 years. There are 90 SOLs and most have bullets under them. It's a beast - seriously. However, it saves them rom taking the SOL and gives them a chance for success. I love that. It's totally worth it to me.
*One of my kids brought me the most gorgeous HUGE bouquet of pink flowers yesterday. In a milk gallon jug. Priceless. The sad part of the story? I forgot to bring them home.
*I've received several emails from parents telling me they are glad I'm back from maternity leave. What? Parents that like me? Novel idea.
*I got another email last night from a parent thanking me for everything I did to prepare them for the SOL. It's so nice to be appreciated.
*Everyone at school that I shared my scores with were genuinely as excited as I was. It's so nice to be around people who care as much as I do.
*It's 13.5 days until summer. Yep, I love my job. But I love time with Brenna more. Thank you, Lord, for giving me a job that gives me summers and breaks with her. It's the next best thing to being at home with her all the time.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Merritt wrote the coolest post today. I'm copying it. It was talking about what would happen if she woke up tomorrow and couldn't remember the past 3 years. I really want to read the book that inspired her post! Anyway, here's what I think I would be asking/wondering if I woke up and couldn't remember anything that happened for the past 3 years...
*I would think that I had just gotten back from India.
*I wouldn't know that Jonathan propossed or that we got married 2.5 months later.
*I wouldn't have met Sienna (or Rhys and Owen for that matter) - Kelley and Jonathan would still be in India!
*I wouldn't know my favorite Lisa in the whole wide world.
*I'd be surprised that I live with Jonathan and our baby (what? I had a baby?) instead of Sheri!
*I'd have to go through losing Susan all over again.
*I wouldn't know that I had a brother-in-law (actually 2!) or that my sister had gotten married.
*I wouldn't know that Sheri was engaged, or even know who Justin was!
*The words "Aventura Spa Palace" would mean nothing to me.
*I'd never remember meeting Baby London for the first time. I also wouldn't remember ever holding and cuddling Cara, Jacob, Addie, or Jayla!
*I wouldn't remember a day of teaching 3rd grade math.
*I'd be very confused about how big my classroom is now.
*I wouldn't remember lots of trips to Nascar races and Braves games.
*I'd wonder when in the world we got actual nice furniture - when did we grow up??
*I wouldn't remember pregnancy, labor, or the first 10 weeks of Brenna's life.
*I would be totally amazed at what an awesome life I'm living!

3 years ago, my life was pretty good - totally fun/caring/hot boyfriend who finally said the 3 little words, a job where I loved the people I worked with (not the best group of students that year, but I digress...), a cute townhouse in a great town with a best friend, and great dreams for the future. However, I never could have imagined where I'm at now. I'm married to my best friend, we are blessed with great jobs, friends, church, and families, and we get the honor of being parents to one of God's greatest works! It makes my heart giddy to see what 3 more years has in store for us....and ready to enjoy the ride!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My 1st Mother's Day

Today was my first Mother's Day. It was awesome. I just love my family - I don't even think I can explain to you how much. I am so proud to be Jonathan's wife and so proud to be Brenna's mommy. I never, ever, ever dreamed I could be so blessed with such an amazing life. This may sound like a lot of fluff, but it's so true. My Mother's Day card said something about me wanting to be a mother for so long. It's true - I dreamed of this for a long time. But, you know what? It's better than I could have ever dreamed. The things I thought would be hard (no sleep, crying babies, losing free time) aren't even issues for us really. She is such a good baby, but that isn't the reason I love her so much. I'd love her even if she kept me up all night crying and never smiled. All of that is just icing on the cake. My heart is overflowing, ya'll. Motherhood is totally my thing! :)

Brenna's special Mother's Day shirt! :)

Posing with Mommy way too late at night - when we remembered to take one! The frame is one of my Mother's Day gifts - so sweet. And if you look reallllly closely you'll see one of my other gifts hanging around my neck. It's personalized with Brenna's name and birthdate!
Flowers from my mother-in-law
Brenna's hand - Jonathan did this totally on his own.
I'll always treasure this!
And on one last note, Happy Mother's Day to my own mommy. I only hope I'm as good of a mom and friend to Brenna as my mom was and still is to me. Believe it or not, I wasn't always the perfect daughter. She was always right by my side, no matter what. How did I get so lucky to have the best mom and the best daughter? And my mother-in-law is the best I could have asked for. She loves me like her own, and is head-over-heels in love with Brenna. With such a great Nanie and Nana (not to mention the sweetest Grandma and Maw-Maw in the world), Brenna is sure to know just how blessed she is!

Friday, May 7, 2010

2 Month Doctor Visit

We took Brenna to the doctor for her 2 month appointment this morning. I say we because I made sure Jonathan could go with me since I knew the shots were going to be rough on Brenna (and me!). Here are her stats:

Weight - 10 pounds, 13 ounces (25th - 50th percentile) - 25 ounces in 23 days!
Height - 23.5 inches (90th percentile) - No wonder her NB onesies are getting too short!
Head - 15.25 inches (50th percentile)

She checked out perfectly. The doctor thought we were awesome for using cloth diapers, which equaled no diaper rash! She said it sounded like she was eating plenty, that her gums were a little swollen (already??) so to expect her to maybe start waking up at night again (NOOOOO!!), and that she was impressed by her alertness and neck countrol.

While we waited (forever!) for them to come back with the shots, she was in such a fun, sweet mood. Jonathan and I were just staring at her and talking about how cute and wonderful she is, and how we never even expected her to be so perfect! We are truly blessed - and couldn't ask for more! I prayed and prayed for this baby, and each day I have to remind myself that she is really ours! When they finally did get back with the shots, it was heartbreaking because she was in such an alert, active, smiling mood. She has this totally pitiful cry, and it was awful to stand there and make her endure it. I cried like a baby, too! It killed Jonathan to watch his baby be hurt. Man, how will we do it every 2 months? I think this book they had in the room written by people who had the diseases they were immunizing for, or who had lost babies to them, was a huge encouragement that, although this was tough, it's what is best for Brenna and everyone she comes into contact with. I whisked her up as soon as they were done, she cried for a few minutes, and had stopped before we left the room. She has really been no different today than she usually is - she ate when we got home and then took a 2 hour nap and is still napping off and on. I'm thankful it wasn't any worse and hopeful she'll be her happy self when she wakes up!

I had to snap a picture of her in her bandaids! Poor baby! :(

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2 Months Old!

Dear Brenna,

I'm not quite sure why I'm writing you this letter, because I am pretty sure I just wrote your one month post yesterday. Time is flying, and although we are enjoying every second of it, you are just growing up too fast! You are the most precious baby and you have made my life a million times better in 2 short months!

The two of us got to spend this month together, too. It was so, so, so fun! We went walking at the Rec Center a lot, to Target way too many times, and to visit my 3rd graders a couple more times, too. This month you also took your first road trip - we went to Greenville, SC to see Kelley, Kiran, and Sienna and to meet Rhys and Owen. We also stopped in Concord, NC for you to meet Aunt Pat and Uncle Glenn. And we also took a day trip down to Atlanta for your first Braves game. Aren't your parents cool? You've already traveled more than some adults I know! While we're at it, I should mention you also went to another baseball game - a minor league Salem Red Sox game where my students got recognized for their excellent reading. They all got to hold you that day - and oh my goodness were they excited! You were a great sport - thanks for loving them as much as I do!

You're definitely growing. I don't know your stats - your appointment isn't until this Friday. I hate to tell you this, but you are going to have to get a few shots on that day. I'm dreading it, and you would be too if you knew about them! But they are important so you'll stay healthy! I'm pretty sure you are at least 10 pounds by now - and you've really gotten longer. Some of your newborn clothes are getting a little small, especially in the length. You've worn a few 0-3 month outfits, and you can now wear your size small cloth diapers without leaking! Yay! I'm surprised that you are on the smaller size, since you were so big at birth. But, you are hitting all your milestones and growing plenty, so I know you are healthy and that is all that matters!

You have really started developing your personality - and I LOVE it! You love to smile at people when they smile at you, and you'll even giggle every now and then. It melts my heart. Every time you do it, Daddy or I yell for the other one to come watch. We've seen it hundreds of times now, and it gets us every time! We just adore you! You have really worked hard at getting yourself on a great 3 hour schedule. Mommy didn't even have to really do it! You usually eat, play with us for a little while, and then take a nap. You don't always do this in the afternoons, but you tend to always get tired before it's time to eat again. You eat about 4 oz. six or seven times a day. You've had to take bottles more now that I've gone back to work, and you are doing great! You sleep from about 11 every night until 6 in the morning when I feed you before I leave. Now that we've worked out our nursing issues, I love it. I just love providing for you, and I know that it's the best nutrition for you!

I mentioned that I went back to work. Yesterday was my first day, and it was so hard leaving you. I trusted that Kristen would be a great substitute for me, but I just want you all to myself! I don't want to miss anything you do, but I know that I have to work to provide for you and our little family. Just save all your "firsts" for when I'm home, okay? I'm definitely out the door of school a lot faster these days - I can't wait to get home to you.....even if you do fall asleep right before I get home!

I love every single thing about you, little girl. You couldn't be any more perfect in my eyes, and I can't wait to get to know you even more. Daddy and I can't wait to build a lifetime of memories with you in them - we are going to have so much fun! And speaking of Daddy, I just want to make sure you know how lucky you and I are! Some daddies don't really help out with babies, but yours does. He would do anything for you (and me!) and you'll be able to tell that all the time! He actually stayed home with you today since Kristen had an exam, and he loved it. It's a tiring job - but we both love it when we are able to do it! Always respect your Daddy and remember that it's hard for a Daddy to watch his little girl grow up. Take it easy on him, okay? He couldn't be more proud of you - and neither could I! We love to talk about you to our friends, coworkers, or even strangers. You've sure taken over our world!

I can't wait to celebrate my first Mother's Day with you this week. Thanks for making me a Mommy - I will try to deserve the privilege of you calling me by that name! I love you, my little Sprout, and I'll be typing up your 3 month post before the blink of an eye!