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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Sixth Birthday Christian!

At 6:27am, six years ago today I had a baby.  It was a beautiful, perfect pregnancy.  It was a quick and perfectly natural delivery.  When I held that baby for the first time it was the fastest I'd ever fallen in love.  The second his bare skin touched mine my heart was his.  I kissed his slimy head and didn't want to ever let go.  He was seven pounds, fourteen ounces of perfectness.  I was so at peace.  

January 25, 2008
I just reread your baby book.
I loved how I looked when I was pregnant with you!

6:00am on January 28, 2008

It was sooo worth it!

Mama Jeanne brought Victoria to the hospital just a couple hours after you were born.
She couldn't wait to get her hands on you!

The day you were born I worried how having a second baby would change our family.
Six years later you are your sister's best friend and she yours.
I couldn't have dreamt it any better.

This is January 29, 2008, the morning we took you home.
We were only in the hospital for 29 hours.
You were immediately a wonderful addition to our family!

Six short years later...
My how things change!

Papa and Mama were so excited to meet you!

They bought your birthday dinner tonight.
You chose Old Country Buffet.

I think you might wear your birthday crown until you're seven!
That was one of the highlights of your day, you said:-)

I've loved to watch you sleep since the day you were born.
I have dozens of pictures of you sleeping.
You look so peaceful and perfect.

Here you are tonight, on your sixth birthday.
You still look like a sweet peaceful little angel.
Most night I cover you up, move your body to the middle of the bed and kiss your cheeks and forehead and whisper to you what a good boy you are and how much I love you.
I will keep doing that until you are old enough to stay up later than me.
Then I'll just do it in the morning when you sleep in.
I've got it all figured out.

Your favorite sport is baseball and Joe Mauer (and Jonathan) is your favorite athlete, 
we had a small family party with a TWINS theme.
You loved sporting your Mauer jersey and TWINS hat.
Since your party you've commented how much you love this picture.
You are old enough now to appreciate what people do for you.
I love that about you.

January 28, 2014.
Whoa, were you excited!
The Birthday Bird came and decorated the house.
You woke me up at exactly 6:00 and said,
"You're never going to believe what the Birthday Bird did!!"

Brecken gave you a Superman cape and wrist band that plays the theme song.
You kissed him and thanked him.

Even though there was a chance school would be closed today due to cold weather
(-35 windchill) you were excited when you got to school and got your crown.
You've been talking about the crown for a couple weeks now.

Even though you are getting older, you still love to cuddle.
You love when I scratch your back.
You love when I read Junie B. Jones to you.
You love to see me in school.
You still wave at me with a huge, but somewhat shy smile.
You are a friend to your big sister.
You are a role model to your little brother.
You can be wild, but yet a good listener.
You are so athletic, but yet, sometimes too shy to participate.
You are smart and learning to read.
You still reach for my hand when we're walking next to each other.
You recently learned how to write your last name.
You are my helper.
You love to do jobs.
You love to receive compliments.
You are so cute, I can't help but kiss you at least a dozen times a day
 - sometimes even at school;-)

I love you so very much.
Happy Sixth Birthday to My Little Boy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2008 in More Ways Than One

Today is two days away from Christian's 6th birthday.  He happen to ask me how many months old he is.  I figured out he's 72 months.  Then I wanted to figure out how many days old he is.  He's 2,008 days old today.  He was also born in 2008.

Fun fact of the day!

Waiting for Superman Made Me Think Of

The other night Molly and Brian were over and we were playing crockinole.  We were giving each other recommendations for movies that each other should watch.  Brian told me I should watch Waiting for Superman.  It's a documentary about public education.  I'm only five minutes in and I'm still not sure which side it's leaning towards, but it already has me fired up.  It made me think about a meeting I was in on Tuesday.  They spoke of our reading scores not going up in 5 years.  Someone said something to the effect of What do we need to change?  What aren't we doing?  It really got me thinking the days that followed.  What else could I do in my classroom each day?  There's always more each of us could do, every single day.  However, I'm human.  There's also things I could do each day to be a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend.... Again I'm human.

Then I thought about how difficult teaching is.  If you're a good, quality teacher, it is a really tough job. On top of the actual teaching, there's the planning, the cleaning, the organizing, the teaching of life skills: hand washing, nose blowing, being a kind friend, how to shake a hand, how to organize a desk...., then there's the hugs I give out, the listening to their problems that would make your heart break, the meetings, the parent letters, the parent phone calls, the report cards, testing.....

The actual teaching of the curriculum is a small part of my job when you really look at what I do every day.  When these kids come to my class at around seven years of age and they don't have the foundation they need to learn the curriculum, or they can't sit still and/or focus and comprehend what I'm teaching or they didn't eat breakfast or they come from an abusive home or they don't have an adult that tells them to do their homework let alone help them with it or they aren't being read to, or..... Again the list goes on.  There's only so much I can do.  I'm not a miracle worker and that is part of my job.  Finding a way to reach every student.  I think I do, do a good job reaching them on an emotional level. I know I am a solid teacher.  It seems that every year my students' home lives are more and more complicated.  It seems each year I have more and more students that have medical issues that make learning more difficult for them.

With all these factors it drives me CRAZY when media outlets and politicians speak poorly of teachers.  I know there are teachers who don't do a great job.  That's a sad fact.  However, there are also crooked politicians and dirty cops, etc.  Most do a good job.  Most do the best that they can.  Just like us.   What the "people" expect teachers to do is unrealistic.  I can't change who these kids are.  I can't change their parents.  I can't put food on their tables.  I can't fix all their problems.

I can make them (most anyway) feel good about themselves.  I can build relationships in class so they feel comfortable and safe enough to be able to learn.  I can give them hugs.  I can be a good listener. I can make my lessons fun and interactive so they get the most out of it.  I can read interesting stories so they (hopefully) learn to love reading.  I can give them challenging work.  I can listen to them read and guide their reading.

I can do a lot, but I can't do it all.

Now, I'm going to go and finish the movie and see where it's all leading.

Bonus Day #4

Absolutely, unbelievable!!!!  Another bonus day!!  Christian's birthday is on Tuesday and I would LOVE to spend the day with him!!  I have started making my list for tomorrow:
* Laundry
* Homework and practice with Christian
* Gift shopping for Christian from V & B
* Finish cleaning the aftermath of the first birthday party
* Read for pleasure
* Possibly sneak in a pedicure
* Snuggle and smooch my baby lots and lots!