When she goes down….

IMG_2830And after I have played with her and fed her……IMG_2797I work.

What is it about my job that keeps me completely enthralled? Is English Language Arts all that exciting? I will argue, YES it is. Reading books, analyzing lesson plans, researching ideas, reading English blogs, perusing texts…it all excites me. What is wrong with me? I do this in my free time. Most people go to the news or the latest Hollywood gossip as their sites du jour, but me? I go to Englishcompanion.ning.com or.. TED talks or… some other writing blog. My never-ending question: How can I engage my students? How can I teach them to THINK? How can I insert the needed skills in their head by connecting all the reading/writing/speaking/listening modes simultaneously? AND of course….they need grammar grammar grammar. What new ways can they get it?

The questions persist and they drive me to continue seeking best practices.


1969 Revisited

We got it!
Sesame Street, Old School…1969-1974. Supposedly at 4 months, I watched the PREMIERE of Sesame Street. Sooooo, mom ordered it on Amazon and Tater is watching right now as I write this.

“On my way to where the air is clean…Can you tell me how to get..how to get to Sesame Street…”


Crazy, I remember these scenes! Man, this is bringing back memories. I think Big Bird has very few feathers in the first shows; he’s more poofy now!? Also, Bert and Ernie are taking baths and it’s no big deal. Now? It would be weird! It seemed very innocent. The sets are incredibly simplistic, but sans the techno-garb and the stimulating lights, it works so much more effectively. It’s slower and less opulent. She won’t ever get ADD with the slowness and purely unadulterated scenes. Nowadays, one would say this is “boring” and perhaps lifeless, but back then? They didn’t have the issues of constant need for stimulation. Things did not light up when you touched them. Every button did not make a noise!

IMG_2772 IMG_2775Mealtime is no longer a cryfest. Poor thing. The first 9 days of introducing solid food into her system was heckish! Eating rice, oatmeal or multigrain cereal sans sweetener definitely would make me want to eat my fingers instead as well! But alas, she is enjoying her pears, bananas and apples with her cereal now. Delish!
At lunchtime, we have added veggies! WOOHOO! The fav? Drumroll….Yep, like mommy like daughter: squash and sweet taters…(aptly named!)

Now, if she could only keep the food IN the mouth. This plastic bib is garish, but what’s a mom to do…a wash after every feeding? Apparently yes 🙂

At least she is still enjoying her bottles! Here she is with my dear friend Susan. IMG_2782

While I tutor Olivia, she watches Taters. Well, at least she was. Now, Tatum has developed this “attachment thingy” so she now has to sit on my lap the whole time. Who is in charge again? Ehhem? 🙂IMG_2796Yep, Mom…  You are (wink wink.)

Keeping up

Now that Tatum is one week past 7 months, I’m shocked at how much she has grown.

Photo on 6-26-13 at 7.32 AM #3I just finished watching this: The Science of Babies by National Geographic. It documents one year of a child’s growth. Interestingly, humans are the only species which are completely dependent for the first year. Other mammals come out of the womb ready to walk/fly/crawl… Babies need love and nurturing. Others? Not so much. They need sustenance.

Most of babies’ development is learned. That is to say that if they miss out on the love and nurturing, they don’t develop well. They mentioned an orphanage in Russia wherein babies just stared at the ceiling for their first year. Tremendous effects! Tremendously bad.

She may bypass the crawling stage and go right into walking. They mentioned that some babies don’t crawl but scoot or roll right into walking! Aye!

I’m keeping up right now; soon it may change. The time we have been spending together is priceless. Her crying when I leave the room or give her to someone to hold is sweet, but it worries me that she is not being “adjustable.” I used to crave this, and now I feel bad when I have another watch her. She screams and cries! What happened to my sweet dispositioned child? Keeping up…keeping up. Tatum, my darling girl… I pray to keep up with you and I pray for God to grant me wisdom when I cannot!




Tot time on the mat + Reading!

I’m so enjoying my summer. First, it involves lots of Tot Time!
With this, I tend to be horizontal on her mat as she inserts all of her toys in her mouth. Her latest obsession is my iPhone. However, the other day, she decided to grab the book I was reading to see what it was about.


IMG_2720This book is a grabber…I must admit! It’s the third book I’ve read this summer. The first one, To Kill a Mockingbird (assigned to my rising 8th graders) was probably the best book I’ve read in ages. Scout’s wisdom and her sassiness makes me want to meet Atticus! On the other hand, I picked up The Breadwinner (since I assigned it to my rising 7th graders for summer reading), and it made me appreciate good writing. How do some of these books get published?

The Fault in Our Stars‘ dialogue among Hazel and Gus cannot be described; it’s wit beyond words. John Greene makes these characters so addicting, one just wants to reach in the book and have coffee with them. How can he do this while characters in a book like Mango Shaped Space fall flat?

So, now, I just started reading Stand Tall by Joan Bauer, and part of me feels like I’m betraying Hazel and Gus from Fault. Isn’t that funny? It’s like you’re married to the characters and you don’t want to leave them!

As I read today, Tot and Coti hang out with me.

IMG_2732 IMG_2739