Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Busiest Week of the Year!

August 28, 2011

This first week of school used to have such a different meaning to me. It used to mean quiet, peace, the beginning of organization and clean, excitement, and relaxation after a busy fun summer. Now it couldn't be more different. As a full time teacher and mother, this is the busiest week of my year. I dare say even busier than Christmas. I remember as a child having dreams of anticipation, nervousness, and excitement for the first day of school, but now my sleep is full of dreams of worry on how to protect my students when an uninvited intruder enters my classroom, what to do with all those nervous teenagers in a very hot un air-conditioned room with highs of 90s outside, worries of how am I going to figure out what to wear with my lovely belly bulge, or concern over my children and their feelings towards returning to school and a new family schedule. I get stressed just writing that sentence. To say the least, it was a week of chaos. The fact that after conquering the weeks amazingly long list of events, I had a tired emotional breakdown on Sunday which required my sweet husband taking over and calming me down. He's getting better and better at it as my life gets more and more crazy!

Here are the highlights of our crazy week:

I managed to remember how to teach after a few class periods. It’s amazing how a few months off the job can totally rob you of your skills and experience momentarily. It was scary starting off the first few days as I remembered how to put philosophies and routines into play. The air conditioning hasn’t worked in my classroom all week. The worst part about it is that it works in all the rooms in the new wing except for mine and the one next door to me. Frustrating. My neighboring classroom teacher is wearing a sweater to school. Huh? I’m sweating buckets and trying so hard to maintain a positive attitude as I waddle around my room with sweat pit stains, uncomfortable pregnancy clothes, and all. Supposedly they figured out why my room is so “hexed” and are working on fixing the problem, but we shall see. I’ll believe it when I feel it.

Halen enjoyed her first day of 4th grade. Her teacher was unable to be at school for the first week due to family health issues and Halen was very disappointed. She got over it as she found her friends and cute new outfits to be a benefit of returning to school. As we all say, I can’t believe she’s headed for 4th grade. She has grown so much and matured as well. She is a blessing! One of her favorite moments was making her own pencil holder with a can that she attached to her desk with Velcro. What a cool idea!!! She had a lot of fun during her first week of school and was happy to see her friends all at once again.

Harris was so excited for his new school clothes this year that he wore one of his shirts 3 of the 5 days. Since Mom is already starting her day at high school Harris chose to take advantage of the situation in wearing the shirt over and over again. We had a talk about cleanliness on Wednesday and I told him he can’t wear his favorite shirt two days in a row, so he then skipped a day on Thursday and wore it again on Friday. What can you say? He followed my rule. I had to explain further the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law. We’ll see what he gets out of this rule next week, but the truth is sometimes I just have to be grateful he wore his clothes to school and not his pajamas. That’s just the level of our life right now. He was excited to see his friends as well and is really enjoying being older in 2nd grade. I was looking at some of his pictures from last year and shocked at his physical growth!!!

Brigden struggled this week because as a Kindergartener he wasn’t able to start school yet. He had a testing session with his teacher, but officially starts tomorrow. It was a long week waiting for his first day at home while the others marched off to the bus, but he has finally made it and is super excited to ride the bus tomorrow. I’m excited for him because he is ready for educational stimulation!!!

Bevan is a joy as always. She loves her binky, her toast, and her legos. She’s a horrible eater, but loves toast, especially with cinnamon sugar and the crust cut off (which her mother won’t do, but others will.) She’s speaking full sentences, and most are understandable to the trained ear. She’s a very bright girl and best friends with Brigden.

One of our events this week was to watch Harris in his first soccer game ever. He has been watching Halen for years and waiting somewhat patiently to play. He was unable to join his team practice in the week so his game was his first attempt to reenact what he’d been watching for years. It was one of the funnest games I’ve ever watched, including REAL soccer. First of all, Harris was told by his coach to stay in the back field and play as a defender. The amazing thing was, he did. While all the other kids hovered over the ball in bumble beehive style, Harris stood patiently in his spot and waited for the ball to come his direction. Dave and I were shocked at his obedience. After convincing him to move within his specified area and play with the ball in his position, he started to get more drive to participate in the game, no matter his position. After a while, his coach put him in the middle and front of the field and within minutes he was a scoring machine. This was the really fun part. He would manage to get the ball and seriously dribble through players and take it to the goal and score, sometimes with a really great shot too. All of us on the sidelines were amazed at his determination to score and very much enjoyed watching him. He ended each quarter with a red face and entirely sweaty head. He was running his little heart out and doing awesome! Harris ended his first game with 4 goals and knocking a kids tooth out. I wouldn’t mention the tooth except for it really wasn’t a hazardous situation. The kid chose to slide when Harris had the ball and then Harris plowed him over and the kid’s tooth came out as he hit the ground. After a bit, the kid was excited to have lost his tooth, but what a story. 4 goals and a tooth! Dave and I have always remarked on Harris’ innate athletic ability, but this was crazy! It was so fun to watch and I can’t wait for the next game!!!! He loved it!!!

Halen also enjoyed her first game of the season. Her game however was not as fun as Harris’ for anybody. It was super hot outside and it was her first time playing on the big field. It was very intimidating for the entire team and for the spectators as we roasted in the sun. Even in the shade it was hot. She worked hard and didn’t complain, but doused her head with water each break as she headed out for more torture. She’s past the point of soccer being fun because now it’s more work learning positions, game play, and skills. She’ll do great, but this was a very difficult first game of the season. She was quite the trooper in the heat.

Halen also enjoyed her birthday this last week and a birthday party to celebrate with many friends on Saturday. It was a fun in the sun get wet party and after decorating flip flops, the girls played water kickball, drip drip drench, water balloon toss and then enjoyed presents and cupcakes. It was a great success and a perfectly HOT day to celebrate with water and friends. She received many fun presents including a fish to replace her fish that had passed a few weeks ago.

Dave and I finished off the week with a High Priest Dinner Activity in our ward. We really enjoy the High Priest Group and enjoyed being with adults. We are blessed with very sweet people in our neighborhood and ward.

Today we get to celebrate my brother Kevin’s birthday and my father Chris’ 60th birthday. Amazing! 60 years. I can’t even imagine what my life will be like at that age. It seems so far away, but I know it’s just the day after tomorrow. I love my father very much and am so grateful to be able to enjoy his earthly presence. His determination to do good is examplary.

And last, but not least, near the beginning of this week we found out we are expecting a baby girl in December. I am surprised to find that while I am excited to be having another girl because we have such precious girls already, I am also sad to not be having a boy. No, that doesn’t mean we’ll be getting pregnant anytime soon in search of a boy, just that I’m sad that the era of our boys is most likely over. I would love to have many many children if I didn’t have to have the energy to rear them. We are very excited to have our 5th be a girl however. So much fun. She might even have brown curly hair and look like her mother, but that of course would be asking too much!!!!