Monday, August 31, 2015

What I'm missing about teaching as a SAHM

Before I get into this post, let me say that I am incredibly grateful that I was able to stay home with my daughter last year (she was born in November) and that I get the opportunity to do it again this year.  I know that many would kill for the chance to do the same and being a mom to this little cutie has been the most rewarding gift.  
Buuuuuut (there's always one, right?), as everyone around me goes back to school I'm feeling a bit left out and missing some things that I NEVER thought I would miss ha!  Last year, I wasn't missing work at all since I was *super* pregnant at this time of year and couldn't think about anything other than getting the baby out!  And then came figuring out how to take care of a newborn.  Now that Gracie's nine months, I finally have time to reflect on what is going on!  Here's some of the stuff I've been longing for.  

Note:  I do realize these are all superficial components of teaching...but that's probably all I can handle right now!  And all I need at this moment to fulfill my longingness (word?).
First up, school supplies (and games and books and toner and arts and crafts stuff and containers and everything else teachers buy during the summer)!  I get knots in my stomach as I walk through Target and see all the new crayons and buckets of glue sticks and pencils.  I know I don't need the stuff (I have plenty still in a closet upstairs) but I still want to buy it and add it to my collection.  Because someday I might need it, right?  If my husband didn't have me on a budget and so toys and stuff for my daughter obviously comes first, I probably would buy them anyway!  Priorities change I guess.
Sharpening pencils...beyond the first week of school I hate sharpening pencils.  I always try to pass it on to a kid, but they break the pencil sharpener or arguments begin or they can't sharpen the ones with the lead that keeps falling out over and over so sometimes I'm stuck with it.  But right now it seems like fun.  Maybe I should find the ones I have and just sharpen away and then I'll have enough for the rest of my teaching life.
This is my poor lonely laminator collecting dust at the bottom of a bookcase...and I don't even know where my cutting board is since it's not with its partner.  True story, I asked on the Facebook page for my local community if there are any teachers nearby that need help doing this stuff because I can do it at home at night.  It's too hard for me to actually volunteer at a school right now because I have my daughter all day, but I'd totally do it at night.  My baby is turning one in a couple months and I'm already thinking about what I can make to use my laminator!  
Containers and labels...new ones, colored ones, decorating them, sorting supplies into them...all teachers love doing this right?  Soon we are making a playroom for Gracie.  I guess I'll have to get my fill there.  Poor girl is going to be going to mommy school before she can talk!
Books!!  It seems like every year I spend forever labeling and sorting my library books (in a different way than the year before of course).  Mine have been in bins for a year!!  I miss them.  Actually I want to buy them all again and put them in Gracie's room.  Is that weird?  I don't want her to have the used books that have been in and out of my classrooms for nine years, but new ones.  Even if they are the same.  She probably doesn't care, so I guess it's me who wants the new ones.  But when I go back to work, I'll need books for school and books for her, right?  
Whoever thought I would WANT to wear dress clothes?  I have apparently forty pairs of work slacks...I need a reason to wear them.  I actually find them comfy!  Jeans aren't that comfortable.  But if I were to wear black slacks around home they'd be covered in cat hair, milk, and baby drool.  And I'd love to wear my flats again!  Right now I live in flip flops.  
I miss rushing around, being busy every second, and having the day fly by.  I always loved the morning rush to get to work as soon as possible once the building was open so that I could have as much time to myself to work as possible (I'm a morning person, not a night person).  The day being over before I knew it, no chance to eat or sit or use the restroom.  Yes I miss that!  Sometimes I have no chance to eat or use the restroom now too, but the day doesn't go by as fast and sometimes I feel like I have accomplished nothing and struggle with what I am supposed to be doing.  Never a problem as a teacher.  Always something to do.  I'm sure if I was doing it right now I'd feel differently, but we know the grass is always greener on the other side!  
Then there is the heart of teaching, planning, collaborating, working with students, making a difference in their lives.  I'm not sure I miss this yet (well I miss it, but I'm not ready to actually do it), because I don't think I could handle it along with being a mom.  I wouldn't know how to split my time or how to not do something completely.  So to those of you who do, you are amazing!  I don't know how you do it all.

Are you staying at home this year?  What do you miss?  Have you in the past? How did you know you were ready to go back?  
If you are a STAH, then you might understand the post on my personal blog today about my husband always waking up the baby.  Click the button above to find it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

Listening:  I've been binge watching Parenthood and I just started the last season.  I always feel sad when shows that I get into end.

Loving:  This baby is 8 months old today!
Thinking:  She has swimming lessons this morning and it's really hard to get everything to work out perfectly so they go well.  She has to have napped and eaten, but not so far in advance that she is tired and hungry while we are there. She also can't eat too close to going or she might spit up in the pool.  Sitting here with my fingers crossed she wakes up at just the right time from her nap!

Wanting:  One of these years I want to go to Vegas too.  Instead it'll be just me and Gracie here since my husband will  be in Argentina for work.  Maybe we should just take our own trip.

Needing:  My photos will no longer sync with the cloud or my mac.  I even went to the Genius bar at Apple to try to get it fixed because I've tried everything.  They couldn't get it working right either and said I need to try resetting my phone so the software reinstalls.  We had been there an hour already so I figured I'd just do it myself at home.  Always paranoid everything is going to get ruined though.

All Star Multitasker:  I prefer doing many things at once and get more done that way!  I think that as a teacher (and now a mommy) this is a necessary skill.  Yes, I can hold a baby, feed her a bottle, and work the remote, phone, or computer at the same time.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend Warriors 3-2-1 Teacher Bio

I am not one of those teachers who stays out for extra recess, spends an extra 20 minutes on math some days, or who switches around routines.  I always stick to our schedule and routines as much as possible.  I hate assemblies and stuff that messes up our day!  I really think it helps with classroom management.  My students always know what comes next and what is going on.

Tied in with above, I have high expectations for everyone...students, teachers, administrators, even my husband and myself included!  Don't get me wrong, we have fun in my classroom, but my students also know what is expected of them.    I also believe in challenging students.  There is nothing wrong with going above and beyond if students are ready and capable.  Teaching doesn't need to stop just because you met the minimum requirements in your standards.  I don't think highly of the teacher who spends Friday afternoons showing Disney movies or the administrator that never follows through.  

And finally, on the outside I am quite organized.  I can always find that email  or document, my room and materials look neat and clean, and we are always on schedule.  But you'd never find any rhyme or reason with my computer files, my desk drawers are basically filled with trash, and my teacher bags are always overflowing with who knows what...I just fill a new one when one is full.  And if you ask my husband, he'd say I'm a disaster with piles of school stuff everywhere at home.  
So I am either blogging, creating, cleaning, and running errands all at once or I'm sitting on the couch watching Netflix.  For some reason I have a hard time with balance.  Lately, I feel really busy with my daughter (almost 8 months old), but feel guilty like I'm on a nothing trend because I have nothing to show for a day of just hanging out with her except a happy baby.

And I am the most unhealthy eater.  I basically will not eat vegetables and snack on junk all day.  I love ice cream (Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey) and Kraft macaroni and cheese. I am the adult ordering chicken fingers at a restaurant.  For some reason, this has never caught up to me.  Even after having my baby, I was back to looking like me in no time.  Hopefully I'll just stay this way forever!  On the plus side, my daughter LOVES vegetables so she apparently gets that from her father.
I am really dying to go to Disney World.  But, I am going to have to wait at least a couple of years because I want my daughter to actually know we are there and have fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Using Blogger with a .com Domain through NameCheap *Tutorial*


I got my own .com domain and transferred over my blog from blogger through NameCheap!  I know lots of people are wanting to do this, so I thought I'd try to make a tutorial.  You won't lose followers or anything and will still access and post on your blog through blogger.  The only difference is that your blog can be accessed from both the blogspot and .com address.  It is basically forwarding your blogspot address to the .com site.

Disclaimer: I used the following tutorials to help me figure this out.  For some reason I had to read several to actually "get it" so if you have trouble maybe one of the tutorials on these sites will be clearer for you!  
Komku

Also, I had never heard of NameCheap before (I've basically only heard of GoDaddy) but I did some googling before purchasing and they seem to be highly recommended and quite popular.
First, you need to check to see if your domain name is available and purchase it. Go to NameCheap.  Type in the name of your blog and see what's available for you to purchase.  If your desired name isn't an option, you might consider .net or changing the name a bit by adding an s or something like that.

As you can see above literacyspark.com is grayed out and there is no price. That's because I already purchased it. You'll have to pay $10.69 for a .com and it will have to be renewed each year. Find the domain that you want and add it to the cart.  Set up an account and make the purchase.  Once you've done that, no one else can take it from you, even if you don't have time to do the rest of the tutorial right now.

Now go back to blogger like you are going to write a post.  Choose settings from the lefthand bar.  Under publishing in the middle you will see your blogspot address (this is another blog I have but don't use...that's why the name is different).  Click on "Setup a 3rd party URL for your blog" underneath your blog address.
Under third party domain settings, type the name of the domain you purchased, including the www.  So I would type www.literacyspark.com and then click the orange save button.
After you click save, you will see what looks like an error screen.  You will need this information to input it on the NameCheap site.
Specifically, the information above in the two columns is what will need to be input to NameCheap in a minute.  Remember that!
 So now open a new tab and go to NameCheap.  Login with the account information you had to create when you purchased your domain.
 You should see a domain in your account (see the 1 above?).  Click view to see your domain.
 Now you should see your domain name in the middle of the screen.  Click on the hyperlink itself, not the box next to it.
The top of your page should say modify domain now.  Over to the left find where it says "all host records" and click.                                 
Under host name you will see @.  In the next column type your domain name (i.e. http://www.literacyspark.com).  Underneath the @ you will see www.  Type "ghs.google.com" in the next column.
 Underneath subdomain settings you need to copy and paste that information from blogger that I said to remember above.  There were two columns of random letters and numbers.  Copy and paste them into each of the columns in NameCheap like shown above.  Save the changes at the bottom.
Now go back to blogger and refresh.  Go back to settings and click edit next to your blog address.  (Note:  Your screen just might look like the picture below already since the setup isn't complete.  Not sure because I can't go back.  If it looks like below, you're good, just go to the next step.)


Check the box about redirecting underneath your blog address like above and then click save. 

It took about 15 minutes to start working for me so don't give up if you go to your new domain and it doesn't work right away.  Some sites say it can take up to a few hours.  Your blogspot address will continue working like normal in the mean time.  Eventually you should be able to go to either the blogspot address or the new domain and see your blog.  Good luck!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five For Friday {6/26/15}


I celebrated my birthday this week!  You can find the above birthday toppers as a freebie in my TpT store.

My husband and I also had our 3rd wedding anniversary this week.  We got married on the island of Santorini in Greece and we loved it so much that we will definitely go back one day.

I became a dot com!  I purchased the domain from namecheap and while they had a tutorial that explained the transferring of my blogger site to the dot come site, I had to look at a few different ones to get it done.  Could just be my ignorance, who knows.  But I think I'll do my own tutorial someday soon.
Making a mess with diapers
This girl LOVES broccoli.  She eats it every single day!  It makes such a mess.
First real pair of shoes.  Apparently they taste good too!
I've been working on using my Instagram account.  I created one two summers ago, posted 14 pictures and haven't posted anything in 2 years.  So posting 6 things this week is huge!  Plus I am learning how to comment and use the hashtags finally.  Any Instagram tips?  Follow me @literacyspark