Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making Sandwiches Fun

 Griffey is so picky when it comes to eating.  He will go through phases where he loves a certain food and then doesn't want any of it for a long time. 

This happened with sandwiches, which he used to love.  So I made them fun! I cut out the ducks and told him the scrap pieces were water for the ducks. haha
 He didn't want his picture taken.
 I was invading his privacy.
 "Okay, I'll deal with you."
He likes it!

Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie

This Chicken Pot Pie is so good and you need to try it.  It is so good that I ate it for dinner and for lunch the next day, which is a big deal to me because I despise leftovers.

The recipe is here.  It is so good and so easy, so please try it! Tell me what you think!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I remember...

In one of my classes we have been learning about different ways to get students interested in writing.  The main thing is to let students write about what they know and what they are passionate about.  One exercise that we practiced is to write a paragraph starting with "I remember.."  If you like the topic you wrote about in that paragraph, then write another "I remember..." paragraph to continue the story.  If you decide to ditch that topic, then do another "I remember..." paragraph on something else.

The idea is to keep writing and edit later, so that your mind stays in the process of reflecting and writing.

I found this exercise very helpful for journaling and I think when I am stuck in my journal, I will write "I remember..." and see where it takes me.

Our homework was to write for an hour, and I found it very theraputic for me:

I remember when we got that phone call.  The call that led to so much anger, tears, and loneliness.  Adam and I were on our way to the mall to blow off some steam and let our minds relax in the middle of a busy winter term.

I remember sitting in the car next to Adam and interpreting the conversation from what I could make out on our end of the phone.  I knew it wasn't good news.  Actually, I knew it was horrible news.

I remember sitting in the car with him, crying.  Adam was going to Iraq in two months.  It was uncomprehendable.  Adam was supposed to be getting discharged in less than two weeks.

I remember hopelessly, helplessly wondering how my  husband could be stop-lossed.  What is stop-lossed and why my husband? He was a student, five months from graduating and a soon-to-be father.

I remember for months not believing this was happening.  Am I really that story?  That girl whose husband left for Iraq while I was left picking up the pieces and still preparing for my child to come?

I remember my first night in my dad's studio--the small room connected to his house.  I pushed the twin bed up against the wall, so I would feel a little less alone.

I remember the first time we talked since I waved him goodbye in Salem and drove home.  I shouldn't have been on the road-- I couldn't see past my tears and I didn't want to getr bac to my broken life in Eugene.

I remember sharing in the feeling that our reality was just some mix-up or bad dream.  It wasn't real and it was bound to be sorted out soon.  The shock was slowly wearing off and the realization that he was really  gone hit Adam before it hit me.

I remember hearing my husband cry uncontrollably for the first time.  I tried imagining the scene on the other side of the phone.  My husband's life was now a cot in a room full of strangers in a strange town.  They were there for a month preparing before going to Iraq.

I remember crying for him.  At least I had my family and my possessions and my environment and so much of me still.  Adam had nothing but some pictures and, luckily, some memories.

I remember consuming my life with school, friends, t.v, -- anything, really.  I adapted fast, as much as I could with half a heart.

I remember growing up that year. I paid bills for the first time and got the oil changed on my own.  I even went to Les Schwab and got new tires all on my own.

I remember when I found out that Adam was coming home for Griffey's birth.  I remember when I found out he wasn't, a week before Griffey was to be born.

I remember the anger when Adam called me saying he had his bags packed and was ready to get on the plane when they told him he wasn't leaving.

I remember that I shut down that day for the first time.  I fled.  I drove to the river and sat by the water. I shut my phone off because Adam told our parents the bad news and everyone was calling me.

I remember that I didn't want to be checked on.  I didn't want anything.  I just wasnted to sit by the river and sob uncontrollably.  The kind of sob that come from deep inside and doesn't sound like any sound I've ever made.

I remember looking down at my pregnant belly wondering how I was supposed to feel so much joy in less than a week.  I remember never wanting to move.  I didn't want to surface.  I didn't want to be consoled.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Almost there....

School just started up again after winter break and I should actually be doing homework right now, but I needed to decompress a little first.

From now until June, our lives are going to be very crazy.  I will be student teaching part-time until April and then I will be student teaching full-time.  Also, I have night classes from 5-9 and 3:30-9 three days a week.  Luckily until April, I am done student teaching at noon so I have a few hours with Griffey until my night classes.

Griffey takes a nap a 12 or 1 for a few hours, so this is when I will be doing homework. So, actually I will only be with Griffey for about an hour while he is awake everyday besides when I am dropping him off at the babysitter and picking him up.

When I get out of class at 9, I go work out, clean the house, do a little homework, unwind a little, lay out my clothes for the next day and go to bed.  This term is going to be very monotonous and long, especially because I have to prepare a unit plan that I will be teaching for three weeks to my students, on top of the 1-2 lessons I will be teaching everyday.

I am feeling depressed and guilty for the quality of life Griffey is going to have until June.  Luckily, I get to see him and play with him for a little bit, but not very much.  His babysitter has a boy his age, so he has a friend that he looks forward to seeing everyday and our parents are helping out watch Griffey at night, so he gets to be around a lot of people that love him..

It may be harder for me to get used to than him, actually.  Winter berak was just so awesome.  Griffey and I would wake up, go to the gym where he would play in day care, then we would go do errands, dink around thrift stores, go to the library, or go out to lunch.  Then we would come home and play and nap and then wake up and play more.  It was so great to just hang out with him all the time and it is such a big change now.

I wake him up at 7 and we are out the door by 7:15 and we only see eachother for a little bit during the day.

People have had it a lot harder though.  My sister-in-law, Desi, went through the same program last year with a half hour commute to school and two kids waiting at home.

Although school doesn't get done until August, it will lighten up in June.  I just have to power through until then and know that this is just a short part of Griffey's life and I am in school to have a better life for us and show him the value of education.

So, anway, if you want to bring us dinner or come give me a back massage, you are welcome to. just kidding...kind of...

On a positive note, my cooperating teacher from my fifth grade class last term called me yesterday and told me I needed to come in because I have a pile of Christmas presents on my desk waiting for me.  So sweet! I love that class.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Snow Village

When I was a kid, I looked forward to helping my mom set up the snow village every Christmas.  I wanted the people to be set up just right and imagined where they were going and what they were doing when I placed them in the village.

I knew that when I was older, I would have a snow village too and put it together with my kids.  Luckily, I was able to get so many of the houses and figurines on clearance when I worked at Michaels.  I have slowly been building it up over the past few years, and my grandma gave me her snow village to add to mine also.  

My favorite building is the little church on the far left.  That came from my grandma's snow village and my mom had the same one in her village.  I always put it on a hill and out of the way, so it is peaceful.  ...I get pretty into it...

 Griffey was fascinated with it this year and he helped me sprinkle the snow on.

 Everyday he asked if he could touch one, so I would let him look it over and choose one to touch.  He loved it!
I only found his trains making their way through the village once.

Duck Football

Griffey went to his first football game this year.  Adam and James went and Griffey and I met them at half time and stayed for the second half.  Griffey was a little overwhelmed by all the people and because he was actually at the football game.

 Whenever we drive by Autzen Stadium, he asks if he can go to a football game. It'll be fun to take him next year.

I had to take advantage of my last year getting student tickets, so I joined Adam for the last couple of games.