SoL #8 Drained

Cross grade level learning walks all morning. 

Squeezed all my intervention kids from a whole day into a half. 

3 hour union meeting. 

Crazy winds here in MI today, came home to clean up a shattered patio table and furniture scattered across the yard. 

One drained teacher…


SoL #7 Love Bug

Sunday I was spending a little “me” time baking (more on that another day). My husband and son were upstairs doing whatever. It was very quiet, never a good sign, but my hubby was up there so I wasn’t too worried.

My son comes down to the kitchen with a sweet smile and something behind his back…

He used a kit to create this little robot bug ALL BY HIMSELF! And he gave it to me! It’s so cute and goes by itself if you pull it back. He even added a heart on the top just for me! I love this little boy with my whole heart. Obviously the bug was named Love Bug.

SoL #6 Sneaky Squirrel

I watched in shock yesterday morning as this acrobatic squirrel accosted my bird feeder. It’s been up since July but this is the first squirrel to discover it! I watched him carefully climb up the middle of the pole – I am not sure how he even did this. 

Then he proceeded to jump from the pole onto the bird feeder. 

At one point this gluttonous little squirrel was hanging upside down by his back legs and scooping bird food into his mouth with his front paws! 

I guess I’ll be putting the squirrel guard on the pole today!!!

SoL #5 – My Weird Cats

It was December 23rd, 2012. We were getting ready to head out of town to celebrate the holiday with my inlaws. I sent my husband and 3 year old son out to play in the snow so I could finish packing. A few minutes later my husband is calling my phone. I think “Oh crap, please don’t let either of them be hurt!” 

No injuries, my husband tells me they found 2 tiny kittens under the deck and should he bring them in? It’s 25 degrees and blowing snow. So he brings them in and the rest, as they say, is history. 

As kittens they were young and playful. They would follow me everywhere, chase each other and wrestle, and sleep side by side on my lap. They loved being part of our family. 

As they’ve grown up they’re still sweet but they’ve developed some weird habits along the way… they both love to eat plastic bag handles, not the whole bag, just the handles. One loves to lick windows… I’ll wake up some mornings to the sound of his rough tongue on the glass. The other one loves to eat any kind of plant he can get his paws on, dried leaves-anything. They both love rubber bands and have gone to amazing lengths to find them. One follows me around like a dog, if I sit he’s on my lap, if I lay down he’s laying by my feet. The other one will only lay with me if he can be as close to my face as possible. I’m pretty sure he’d eat me if he could. These are just a few examples of my strange cats. 

They are only 4 1/2 years old. I love them dearly, but I wonder what kinds of weirder habits they’ll develop over the next 4 years. 

** They both go to the vet regularly. The vet knows about their quirky behavior and is not concerned . They are both healthy and happy, just strange. **

SoL #4 – What I’ve learned so far

Well, here we are on day four of my first Slice of Life Challenge and I’ve already learned so much about writing, myself, and how this relates to the little ones I teach. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Writing every day is hard
  • I do have important things to say
  • I am normally thinking about or rehearsing 2-3 ideas in my head
  • Having a community of writers is important, the daily and supportive feedback is what keep me going
  • I am constantly thinking about ways to support my students with the above items
  • Slicing has made it easier to connect and empathize with my writers

Just 27 days left, can’t wait to see what other truths I will uncover. 

SoL#3 – Water

Last July we packed up our clothes, furniture and belongings and moved for the 2nd time in 4 years. We moved from our “dream” house in a beautiful subdivision, with an acre lot to a small, quirky, lake house on a hill. I worried about our decision for weeks. I was unsure and unsettled. We had decided our “dream” house was no longer a subdivision with hours of yard work, we decided that our real dream was to live on a lake. But was that really true? My husband was sure, I was not.

We spent the summer swimming, having friends over, and even bought an old pontoon boat to float around the lake. I felt better about our decision, but was still not 100% convinced.

The fall brought stunning views, bonfires and marshmallows by the lake and even a little time in my hammock in early November (remarkable Indian Summer here in Michigan).

The winter brought sledding down the hill on our next door neighbors toboggan run and ice skating (short-lived as it was). I still had my doubts about this quirky little lake house.

And then it happened, last month the ice melted in a freak 60 degree spell and I saw it, the water moving and rippling. The sun sparkling on the waves. The lights of our neighbors houses reflection on its surface. The moon reflecting back at me. This was when I knew. Being close to the water was the only place for us. We are taking this quirky house and making it our own. There is no place I would rather be than by the water.

SoL#2 – The Good & The Bad…

I have a 7 year old son. That is still hard for me to say (type) or even believe. It seems like just yesterday I brought that little bundle home. Here is the good and bad about having a 7 year old.

The good thing about having a seven year old is playing Legos, Star Wars and every other game he can create.

The bad thing about having a seven year old is stepping on a Lego every day.

The good thing about having a seven year old is watching him become more independent every day.

The bad thing about having a seven year old is that he needs me less and less every day.

The good thing about having a seven year old is he still loves to cuddle.

The bad thing about having a seven year old is knowing our cuddling days are numbered.

The good thing about having a seven year old is watching him grow into a remarkable little human.

The bad thing about having a seven year old is feeling your heart break watching him grow up.


No one said this mothering gig was easy…

SoL Day #1 – Girls Brunch

As I drove to work on Monday morning I realized I was in a great mood. This is quite unusual for Mondays for me. Normally I find myself wishing it was still the weekend, that I had time to get one more thing done, that is was summer break…

I reflected, why was I in such a good mood at 7:30am on a Monday? Was it the sunshine – which we haven’t had much of here in Michigan recently? Was it that I felt ready for the week ahead? Maybe, but as I drove and thought I realized it was something else. On Saturday I had met some of my girlfriends for our monthly brunch.

We met at a little hole in the wall bar. Mimosas were drank, big breakfasts were eaten, and great conversations were had. Most importantly I spent a good 2 hours with some of the special people who have known me the longest. They know everything about me, the good, the bad, the ugly – and they still love me. It doesn’t matter right now that we don’t really get to spend much time together due to kids, families, work etc. When we get together it’s almost as if no time has gone by.

I read once that being a teenager is like swimming across a rough and choppy sea to being an adult. And that teenagers need a wall (a parent or adult) to be able to “swim” back to if the waters get too rough. I would argue that being an adult is not much different in that sense. You still need people you can “swim” back to if it gets too rough. I am so lucky to have found my walls. Being with them buoys me up until the next time I see them.

My First blog post

Well, here we are. My very first blog post on my “writing” blog. I am excited to join the Slice of Life Challenge in 2 short weeks, but I am nervous as well. I keep having to tell the doubting voice in my head to be quiet. The one that says I have nothing important to write about, the one that says people will judge me if I make a mistake, the one that says I don’t have time, the one that says I’m not a writer… If as a 30-something adult I am feeling this way, I can’t imagine what my students must feel everyday when they are asked to write. I’m reminded of the first chapter in Conferring with Young Writers, we really do need to be their cheerleader first and coach second. I’m off to find a cheerleader of my own!