January 28, 2010

Day 12

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:46 pm by Erin

Good news: P had a good day at school yesterday, despite the awful start to the morning (I know that was good news yesterday but I didn’t get home until almost 11 last night); today, I attended my first meeting for the major academic committee to which I was elected; I made a reasonably healthy dinner for my family in 20 minutes (spaghetti and turkey meatballs, and salad); and I started spotting but didn’t get depressed!  Oh, and J had a really great interview (within a few minutes, the interviewer apparently said “Let’s consider you for the management positions instead of the analyst positions.”) and they’re planning on making their decisions within a few days…here’s hoping for that!

I have my tough days on Wednesday and Thursday.  Wednesdays I have 7 hours worth of classes.  My evening class, a lecture and lab, is 4 straight hours and ends at 9:45 at night.  I’m wiped by the time I get home.  Thursdays I have two lecture classes in a row, but my second is 2 hours long and so I’m in class from 11:30 – 3 p.m.  And today that was followed by immediately hopping in the car and driving to a different campus for that meeting.  I’m beat!

But I have no classes on Friday, and we’re going to visit friends out-of-town from Saturday to Sunday, so two tough days followed by a great weekend is a breeze!

January 26, 2010

Day 11

Posted in Momming, Ramblings o' P at 2:22 pm by Erin

Good news: good workout this morning!  Delicious blueberry tea at work!  About to eat taco salad for lunch!

And on the opposite side…we are struggling so much with parenting P lately.  He’s such a sweet kid under most circumstances, but sometimes he just gets in these moods and they’re awful.  Defiance, arguing, tears, etc.  He had one this morning right before school and we actually had to send our neighbors on without him (we carpool and it’s their week to drive) so we could deal with him.  We haven’t found a way to get through them yet, and it’s wearing on us.  And they’re never followed by a good day.  Case in point: he had on on Sunday before Sunday school, and his Sunday school teacher asked me “Is he getting sick?  He was just not himself today!”  I’m not expecting today to be a good day for him at school.

I think a lot of it is related to him being tired.  He didn’t get a good night sleep on Saturday since we were out at our friends’ house until 9 p.m. (he usually goes to bed at 7:30).  Last night, I got home from work at 8 p.m. (don’t worry, I didn’t have to leave to go in until almost 4) and the kids were not only still up but playing downstairs!  I was so ticked at J, let me tell you…  But the fact is, he missed almost an hour of sleep last night and threw a tantrum this morning.  We need to be extra-vigilant in getting him to bed and hope that takes care of most of it.

*sigh* This parenting stuff is hard.  Fun most of the time, but hard.  Now I need a nap!

Oh, so that I only end on good news: I only have to be at work for another 40 minutes and then I’m going home to play with my kids!  And J is making dinner tonight!

January 25, 2010

Day 10

Posted in Teaching traumas at 12:45 pm by Erin

Good news: it’s a sunny day, which is a wonderful change from the cold, pouring rain of yesterday.  I had a fabulous workout this morning and a delicious and healthy breakfast, and have been playing with K all morning while J is out doing stuff.  J is still excited about this job opportunity and was told his resume is being forwarded to the president of the company 🙂  Yay!

Pardon me while I vent for just a second here.  I have a student (I know, half or more of my vents are about students) who is already driving me crazy.  We cover chemistry early in the semester for background, but my bio majors’ students have a chemistry pre-req to get into the class.  Since I know they’ve already had it, I buzz through it really quickly because I’m really just reviewing it for them and not teaching it.  This student informed me that she somehow managed to get the pre-req waived and has not had chemistry, and therefore doesn’t understand it.  I explained that she would have to learn it and I would answer questions she had outside of class time but that we don’t have time in class for me to teach the chemistry that they’re supposed to already have had.  She was upset about that but didn’t push it.  (And what I didn’t say, but thought, was: There are 23 other students in that class who’ve HAD the chemistry.  I’m not wasting their time and putting a burden on them to learn the other material in less time because I spent lots of class time meeting the needs of 1 student.)

Since the class last week (mind you, we’ve had all of 3 classes), she’s e-mailed me several times.  One was to complain about a question in the online book material that I give them.  She got upset that she couldn’t answer the questions because there was no “tutorial” session online for them.  She apparently missed the part that they’re supposed to read the chapter before doing the assignments, because the answers were in there.  Then, I told my students that we’d be finishing the chemistry chapters and completing the next chapter tonight.  And I said we’d also be starting the one after that tonight, even though it’s not on the schedule to start until our second class this week.  She flipped out.  How can she possibly be expected to learn 4 chapters in a week, she said?  She works full time and is taking another class, can only really study on the weekends, and it’s just too much.

I bit my tongue and replied to her: we’re actually slightly behind because we should have finished the chemistry last week, so we need to finish that in the first 10 minutes of class.  The chapter after that is really short and I expect it won’t take more than about 45 minutes.  With the remaining 20 minutes, we’ll start the one after that since it’s much longer and will take more than one class period.  I explained that since we cover 26 chapters in 30 class days (and 4 of those days are tests), we really need to stay on track with about one chapter a day.  Since I expect this last chapter to take all of next class in addition to what we do tonight, we’ll be exactly on track according to the syllabus.  And I empathized, because I worked 20-30 hours a week through most of college (30+ during senior year) while taking a full load of courses and I know it’s hard to manage it, but that’s what’s required of these classes.  I said to let me know how I could help her stay on track.

Honestly, what I wanted to say was this: it’s an introductory major’s biology class.  I assume she needs it for her future career, which means she really doesn’t have any options…so quit whining and figure out a way to do it!  Complaining to me doesn’t help you learn the material.

She replied and complained more.  No suggestions or ideas about how I can help her, just how impossible it was going to be for her to keep up with the material.  I simply explained that’s the way it works in the class (in nicer words, of course), and reiterated my offer for help.

What surprises me is this: she’s an older student, probably at least 10 years older than I am.  I wouldn’t be surprised to get complaints like this from a new freshman, because they’re not really in touch with college life yet.  But my older students tend to be the most hard-working, “tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it” students.  They have better time-management skills than my younger student because they’ve developed them over a longer period of time.

This is not the first time I’ve taught this class, and we’ve always kept up this pace.  None of the other students have complained.  I think it’s just her.  But if I have to listen to her complain for the next 13 weeks, I’m going to be venting here a bunch more times 😉

OK, back to my good news days: it’s lunchtime!  Food is always good.

January 24, 2010

Days 8 and 9

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:43 pm by Erin

Yesterday’s good news: we had a great dinner and relaxing evening with friends who have kids the same age as ours.  It was really nice to just get Chinese food and relax with them, and be entertained by the kids all playing together (they all get along really well).

I admit that I’m having trouble finding the good in today.  It’s been a challenging day in parenting, coupled with (or perhaps because of) a decrease in patience, a rough night of sleep, no workout, and miserable freezing cold rain.  But I will try…hmm.

Gee, today is really tough.  Um.

OK.  I’ve been really productive and gotten a bunch of things done for work that I was hoping to get done.  I’ve really appreciated my schedule this semester, even with the evening classes two nights a week, because I’m not teaching anything new and don’t feel nearly so overburdened and stressed out as I did last semester.

And I’m about to have a cup of hot tea.  Yum.

Like I said, today’s a tough day.  Hopefully it will get better as it goes.

January 22, 2010

Day 7

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:36 pm by Erin

One week in and my attitude is certainly better than it has been in a long time!  I’m feeling more relaxed, more patient, and certainly happier.  The chicken thighs simmering in barbecue sauce on the stove is helping that…mmm!

Good news today that could turn into wonderfully fantastic news: J is on a phone interview right now with a company.  Since I last posted, he also got called for an interview for another company for next Thursday, and was asked to set up an inteview for a temporary position starting the end of next week.  When it rains, it pours!  He hasn’t had an interview at all since November, so getting three in two days is really good news.  Here’s hoping for him!

Wait, he just walked in (as I pressed publish the first time) and said the phone interview went wonderfully and he’s been asked to come in for an interview with this company next week!  Woohoo!

January 21, 2010

Days 5 and 6

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:13 pm by Erin

I missed yesterday! It was an insanely busy day and while the good news was hard to find yesterday, a close examination of the day shows a a good workout in the morning followed by a fun time with my husband while P was at school and K was watching TV downstairs.

Good news today: I really feel like I’ve connected with my classes better than I have in any previous semester.  I already have students coming by with questions, getting engaged in the material, and being enthusiastic about the topics.  It’s making me feel great. 

Also, I’ve lost 1.3 lbs in the last week.  Yay!  Only another 1.8 until I reach my first goal 🙂  I didn’t exercise this morning because I was so exhausted still from yesterday, but those results make me want to hop on my Wii Fit tonight.  I think I will!

January 19, 2010

Day 4

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:55 pm by Erin

Good news: it was just a nice day.  It was beautiful weather, I exercised this morning, got to spend the whole day with K and then lots of time with P after school, and we had a great time when J got home from court.  Man, court cases can drag on forever!  He closed his firm almost 11 months ago and he still has to go in occasionally for hearings and such.  Ridiculous, I tell you.

My grandmother got us a basket of bulbs for a Christmas present, and they were forced so that they were just coming up when we opened it.  There are beautiful, gorgeous, fragrent hyacinth right now and the tulips will be open by tomorrow.  My entire living room just smells lovely.  It makes me smile everytime I walk in there.

I had a lovely girls night with some of the women in my neighborhood.  We’ve started trying to do this monthly, rotating who’s hosting, and it’s been a lot of fun (Christy, it would be more fun if you were there…we missed you tonight 🙂 ).  Have I mentioned before how much I love my neighborhood?  If my house weren’t too small for more children and falling down the hill into the creek, I would stay here forever.

I like this “good news” thing.  I’m feeling happier than I have been in a while.  It’s much more fun to focus on the fun things, and I’ve been spending time each day thinking of how things are good and what I should post, rather than what’s been sad and bad each day.  I definitely prefer this feeling!

January 18, 2010

Day 3

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:33 pm by Erin

Many good things today!  I exercised for a good long while, I made a delicious blueberry pie using ingredients that we already had at home (thereby also saving us money), and we had it for dessert after a wonderful dinner at a friend’s house.  It was soooo good.  The husband made Greek food and it was as good as any I’ve ever had in a restaurant.  The kids were polite and well-behaved, and had a great time playing with their child.  It was a really, really nice evening.  Then we looked at the stars as we walked home, and pointed out some of the constellations to P and K.  And now I’m watching 24.  We all know what a huge 24 fan I am, so I will get back to it.

I love days like today!

January 17, 2010

Day 2

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:31 pm by Erin

Good news for the day: I exercised for almost 45 minutes on the Wii Fit this morning.  We got the new Wii Fit Plus and I love it.  I can do more exercises with fewer annoying breaks between each one, and there are many more fun games on it.

I miss having a toned body.  I was never stick-skinny, which is a good thing since I don’t have that body type, but I have been far more toned up in the past.  I don’t need to get back to the almost-six-pack that I had in college (seriously, I had the beginnings of it and it was really cool) but I do want to get some definition back.  I tend to build muscle very easily and have to be careful not to bulk, so my goal now is to burn off some fat and have a little more stamina in my muscles.  This morning’s exercise made me feel great and that I can do it.

And you’re all very, very sweet.  I’m bored of being sad.  I’m tired of being depressed about something I can’t change now.  I know that I will be a mom again in the future, by birth and/or adoption.  While I wish I could be actively involved in pursuing that now, it’s just not going to happen.  J made a comment recently about sex as a means to having a child and I told him that I’m tired of thinking about sex and babies at once.  I want to get back to enjoying sex entirely as a means of being close with my husband, not as a way to bring my hopes up and then back down.  It’s even beyond just “not trying”.  I’ve come to the realization that we really aren’t going to conceive again without our RE’s help and it’s almost a relief to stop getting my hopes up, to accept that it’s not just a matter of “the right time”.  It would have been wonderful but it won’t happen, and I’m coming around to truly being OK with that.  It feels healthy and I think that’s going to help me get out of this slump.

Thank you all for being here to help me.  I really, really appreciate it.

January 16, 2010

A new leaf

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:52 pm by Erin

Or “How to totally let your blog fall apart”.  Alas, I haven’t blogged in a while, either here or at my family’s website.  I have so much to write but I’ve been mired in sadness for a while.  You might have noticed the negative tone of my blog lately.  It was kind of remniscent of how I was feeling, but I couldn’t bear to post nearly so much about how I was feeling.  I know, it defeats the purpose of the blog to not post when I’m feeling bad, but who wants to read negativity?  Hell, I don’t even want to write about negativity often.

I’ve been surprised by several pregnancy announcement lately, and saddened that I’m back to feeling not only the “Why not me also?” feeling but also the “It’s not fair!” feeling that leads to anger and jealousy and hurt.  We’ve wanted to get pregnant again for over 5 years and the only time I’ve definitely been pregnant, I miscarried without even realizing I was pregnant until the miscarriage.  I can’t help but think that we should be celebrating that child’s first birthday right about now, that we should be rejoicing in watching a new son or daughter learn to walk and talk, and interact with big brothers who would undoubtedly dote on their little brother or sister.  Maybe that’s why I’m so gloomy lately.

We’re no closer to having another child now than we were at this point a year ago; if anything, we’re further away.  A year ago we knew that J’s business was closing but figured he would have a new job soon afterwards.  Instead, he’s now been unemployed for almost a year.  We saved up a lot of money when his business closed and figured that as soon as he had another job, we would be using that money for IVF and/or adoption.  Now we’ve used up that money for basic living expenses, which means that we can’t even start right away when he gets a new job.  I just turned 32 the other day.  I gave birth to P before I turned 26.  I just want to be a mom again, and that desperation to actually give birth again is weighing heavily on me.

It didn’t help when I’d been in my parents’ house for less than 10 minutes before my mom brought up wanting a granddaughter.  It was overall a really nice visit, but I had to grit my teeth at times.

I’m tired of feeling negative.  I’m sick of feeling sad and depressed.  Unfortunately, saying it doesn’t make it so but I’m trying to get out of this because I don’t like feeling this way.  So for the next month, I’m giving myself a challenge.  Each day, I’m going to post something good that happened that day.  On the weekends, I’ll post not only good things that happened that day but good things about my life in general.

There’s no time like the present: today, I got P registered for soccer.  Having a child old enough to go out and play sports is exciting, and to see his excitement about it is just wonderful.  He’ll be on a team with two other boys on our street and they are incredibly happy.  I can’t wait to take that first picture of him in his uniform!