Okay... I haven't written an honest-to-God blog post in AGES which means you may need to get a cup of coffee and curl up on the couch if you plan on reading this all the way through... it could end up being a doozy.
I feel like the school year got off to such a quick start that I haven't even had time to catch my breath yet and we're already five weeks in! I want to be a better teacher this year - last year was a nightmare, coming in partway through the year and feeling totally unprepared made me want to change a lot of things that I do. I've been trying to improve my unit plans, collect data so I can tell if what I'm doing is working, and still keep up on grading and everything else. I have been literally BURIED under a stack of grammar assessments for a week and I am just now finishing them up and getting the data organized. I know it's valuable information, but seriously, I need a TA. Add to that the mix of kids and behaviors that I have this year and it just makes for a frustrating day. My mornings are awesome but my afternoons are really tough. I feel like I spend a lot of time babysitting instead of teaching and I hate that the kids that really are there to learn are being distracted by the handful of kids who act like kindergartners. Normally, I have my room clean and organized, my lesson plans done two weeks in advance, my copies made ahead of time and organized, and my grade book updated... this year, I feel like I'm behind on EVERYTHING and I just can't catch up. I go in early and stay as late as I can but the pile just gets bigger and bigger and my to-do list gets longer and longer.
It doesn't really help that I decided that while working and having a toddler it would be a great idea to get my Master's degree AND my Professional Certification. Every second that I'm not thinking about work because I'm AT work, I'm thinking about it because I'm doing homework of some sort. I'm just finishing up finals this week and I'll have a few glorious weeks of freedom. I am normally such an 'on top of it' person - I have a plan, a schedule, and I stick to it... so to feel so frazzled with assignments and classes is foreign to me. I have to get online each day and post on a discussion board, which seems easy, but so often I just don't get the time to sit down and read through my colleagues' posts and comment on them, which hurts my grade. It wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't totally overwhelmed with doing my ProCert at the same time. I feel like I'm working on two degrees at once and it's exhausting.
On top of all the craziness with work and school, I've spent the last month planning Addison's birthday party. My baby girl is a year old. I struggled with that concept for a while - I felt like time had passed to quickly, that my baby had moved on to being a toddler, that the magic of the first year had passed us by. Now that the big day has come and gone, I realize that life still goes on after your baby turns one. I love watching her learn new things everyday and grow, literally, right before our eyes. She amazes me, to put it simply. There is nothing that lights up my day like having her throw her tiny arms around my neck or snuggle into my shoulder when I'm carrying her... seriously, BEST. FEELING. EVER.
Which brings me to my next blogging point... Now that Addison has crossed over the one year milestone, I have begun to feel the twitch. It's like my ovaries woke up one morning and started yelling, "HELLO!!!??? When are we making another tiny person??" It really caught me off guard because I have been struggling with the idea of having another baby for awhile. I adore Addison, more than I ever thought possible and I couldn't fathom the idea of sharing that love with anyone else, even another child. I also still [vividly] remember how awful it was to be pregnant - I was bloated, in pain, itchy, and in the hospital more times that I could count. Then there was the epic adventure of breastfeeding and caring for a newborn... mastitis, sleep deprivation, losing baby weight, and not to mention PPD... I was sure that it would take me years to want another baby (honestly, I wasn't sure I'd ever get there...) but now I feel that urge again... I understand now how people can have ten kids - there is something addicting about being so completely in love and wanting to experience it again and again.... I know that we won't start trying again until after the New Year, simply because I don't want to get pregnant and be due before I'm done with my Master's degree, but the thought is there and growing every day... and nagging in the back of my mind is that it won't happen, that we lucked out with Addison (which I would be fine with and am EXTREMELY grateful for) but the roller coaster of infertility is hell and I don't know if I could go through round two...
This last part, I almost didn't include, simply because it's personal and about my dad and I usually don't blog about what is going on in my family's lives out of respect for their privacy... but I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't worried sick about my dad. He has cancerous spots on his head - for years he's had areas that they have burnt off and treated but it's never been a big deal. After his trip overseas, however, the doctor found actual cancer cells and while he was here last week he was taking chemo. He was sick and miserable and it was horrifying to see. He's my DAD. He's supposed to be invincible and it scares me to see him like that. I've been praying that it's nothing, like the doctor said, and that we don't have anything to worry about... but it's still bouncing around in my brain all day and night...
I'm sorry that this post was so many random topics crammed into one... As I said before, I've avoided blogging for a few months because I didn't want to acknowledge how fast the year has gone by... but I have found that blogging is very much like pooing. Once you get the urge you had better just sit down and take care of it or you're just going to get more uncomfortable and unable to focus on anything else as time goes on... =]