Tumblebug really enjoys the opposites books by Leslie Patricelli.  We have BIG little, Yummy Yucky, and Quiet Loud. He loves to be able to point at the things he knows.  I wanted to make him more books with a personal feel.  I made a book for his classroom with photos of items in their classroom that are mostly a color.  It was a hit and I have made more copies for students that have moved to a different class.

I went through my photos and chose examples of things that are similar, but way different sizes, just like in the book BIG little.  I also took more pictures throughout the summer to add to the book.  Some examples are much better than others.

I used Photoshop to add the text to each picture but you can also use Picnik or any other photo editing software that lets you add text.  I went with the text from the book: Elephants are BIG. Mice are little.

Some of the pictures are things that are similar and some are things that go together, but they are all things Tumblebug should recognize down the road.

Once I developed all the photos I just stuck them in a cheap plastic photo album.  I used a picture of my dad and Tumblebug as the cover.  There are still empty pages, so I am going to find more BIG and little things to add.

Sunday Night Blues

6 1/2 days off from school plus 4 weekend days is a good break, but I am never ready to go back to school.

I always wish for one more day.  One more day to clean up the house.  One more day to get back into my sleep routine.  One more day to play out side with Tumblebug.  One more day to craft.  One more day to do laundry.

But then Sunday night comes and I realize I don’t have one more day.

Unfortunately I took a nap today, so here it is 11:00 and I am blogging instead of sleeping.  I am not ready for class tomorrow.  I didn’t bring anything home because I knew I wouldn’t look at it.  My third graders are hoping for a word round-up puzzle and I haven’t finished one for them yet (see my previous post about perfectionism).  I am going back to the start of the unit with my second graders, so I am planned for that.  Everything else I am going to wing and plan for the rest of the week tomorrow afternoon.

And what the heck am I going to wear?  I just hope it isn’t too cold tomorrow.  As long as I have clean clothes for Tumblebug, I’ll find something for myself.

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!  I am starting over.  Really I am.  Maybe what I need to do to keep this blog going is to set up more posts in advance.

To kick off the new year I am focusing on cleaning my house.  With a toddler running around I am finding more and more things he shouldn’t touch and things that are just in the way.  I have also been looking forward to when he is a school age kid and wants to have a friend over or when he is a teenager.  Hopefully we will have moved by the teen years (and the elementary school years, God willing), but I don’t want the CHAOS to follow us.  We hardly have anyone over now, but I want to have more time with my “new mommy” friends next summer.

I typically overestimate the amount of time it will take to clean up a spot.  I am also a perfectionist.  It keeps me from doing a lot of things.  If I can’t do it right, I am not going to do it.  Driving (I was 20 before I got my license), auditioning (I would love to be in a show, but I won’t audition if I am not going to get the part), knitting (I have no “first swatch” to show, because I ripped everything out).  If I can’t make my closet look exactly how I want it to look I would rather not put my clothes away.  I don’t cook because I am afraid of messing up.  I don’t hang art or photos on my walls (partly because they are 160 year old plaster and lathe) because I am don’t want to regret where I hung things.  Crafts, school work, packing, and house work.  These are all things I get anxious about.  I am working on that.

I have started the decluttering with Christmas.  As I got out and put away ornaments I put some aside.  I filled a bag with ornaments I have received from students over the years so I can hang them on my tree at school.  I also pulled ornaments out for my sister.  She really likes angels, so she is getting all my angels plus some that don’t really fit my newly established “themes”.  Any she doesn’t want will go to our church for the next Christmas bazaar.  I have decided to stick with some themes for decorating next year.  Snowmen, stars, primary colors, ornaments that represent things that happened during the year, and Hallmark ornaments.  I would like to get a small tree for my son’s room to hang snowmen ornaments on.  When we have a bigger place I would like to have more than 1 tree.  I envision one that is all stars and white lights, one that is my Hallmark ornaments (mostly Peanuts and Wizard of Oz), and one that is ornaments we have made or represent our years as a family.

There is so much more in my home I need to weed out, but that’s a story for another day.

Hoo Are You? Tuesday

1. Do you prefer to write in cursive or print?

I prefer to type.  But I don’t really write in cursive or print, I scrawl.  Except in my classroom.  I have to print slowly and well in my primary grade classroom.

2. Do you prefer to shop online or go out and actually go to the stores?

I prefer to shop online, but sometimes it is nice to go to the stores.  I hate trying on clothes in a store, but I am terrible about returning things I get online (case in point: 6 bras and a pair of capris in a box in my living room right now).

3. Would you prefer to go camping or stay in a motel?

Motel-schmotel, I need an all-inclusive resort.  My idea of “roughing it” is a motel.  But I do keep thinking it would be fun to have an RV or pop-up camper.

4. Do your prefer going to the movies or staying home to watch one?

My husband and I love to go to the drive-in.  It has been especially good that we love drive-ins now that we have a kid.

5. Do you prefer a shower or a bath?

I would love to take a bath, but I don’t fit in the tub.  I don’t really care as long as I have the opportunity to be clean.


Hoo Are You?

1. Do you sing in the shower or car when no one else is listening?
I sing all the time.  In the shower, in the car, in the store…where ever.  It is easier now that I have a little kid cause I can pretend I am singing to him.  I have never been one of those who sings into a hairbrush, but I sing all the time.

2.  Do you have a nickname you go by now or growing up?
My mommy called me Big D.  Some of my high school friends called me Dawnothan and some of my college friends called me Dawnald.

3. Do you speak another language?
I studied French for 3 and a half years in high school and 2 years in college, so no.  I can fake it in Montreal, reading not speaking though.  Right now I wish I spoke Baby.

4. Where is you favorite vacation spot?
Star Island.  In 4 days I will be sitting in a rocking chair smelling ocean breezes, drinking lime rickeys, thinking of nothing.

5. What do you cook the most for dinner?
I don’t cook much of anything for dinner.  The thing I cook the most part is homemade macaroni and cheese.


What I wish I had said

Not long ago, although before I had my baby, we had a substitute at our school who I wish I could have put in her place.

I work in a school that is nearly all women.  We have had nearly every female medical problem you can name.  At one point we had 4 women of childbearing years wishing to be pregnant.  Three had about a dozen miscarriages and 3 babies between them.  And 1 (um…me) couldn’t do the thing you have to do in order to get pregnant.  It had been a very traumatic few years for my three friends and a stressful time for me as well.  Our coworkers knew some of what was going on, although not a lot of details about my condition.  People were very sensitive to what was going on.

One day we had a substitute who had never been to our school before.  She didn’t know anyone at the school.  She was eating lunch at the same time as 2 of the women who had had multiple (3-5 each) miscarriages in the past couple years.  Both yearned to have children and had serious complications several times.  She looks at the younger of the two, sitting next to her, and says, “Do you have any kids?”  And when the answer was negative the substitute starts lecturing her about how she shouldn’t wait to have kids and how great they are.  Both of my friends just sat there not knowing what to say but getting more and more upset by the minute.  I wish I had been there, because I would have said,

I am so happy for you that you have had such a perfect healthy life.  You must be so blessed.  Although you have clearly missed a few lessons in manners over the years.

Do you know what it is like to be unable to be intimate with your husband?  Have you heard of vulvodynia?  Have you ever had stabbing excruciating pain when touched in your most sensitive of area?  I have been on several antidepressants – each with their own really fun side effects, been through physical therapy and biofeedback – $3000 out of my own pocket, shots in my “down there”, therapy, breakdowns, and extreme pain.    And yet after 6 years of marriage (and 8 years since diagnosis) I am still struggling every day.

What a blessing it must have been for you to get, and stay, pregnant so easily.  Do you know that up to 40% of conceptions end in miscarriage?  However, after one miscarriage your chances of having another are only 25%.  On the other hand, 1% of women have what they call recurrent miscarriages which is 3 or more in a row.  Do you know how many women in this room have suffered miscarriages?  No, you don’t, because you just shot your mouth off without considering that you don’t know anyone here.  1% in the world is actually 10% here at our school.  So the next time you decide to lecture someone about their life choices maybe you should consider not everything in life is a choice.

The upside is two of us have each had a boy, one had 2 girls, and one adopted a preschooler from Haiti.  And as far as I know, that sub never came back.

Hoo Are You Tuesday

1. Have you ever broke a bone or anything on your body?

When I was in my twenties, I had a terrible cough for weeks.  One day I was playing with my daughter’s 4 year old, picking her up and swinging her around.  The next day I could barely get out of bed.  I coughed, my chest hurt and I could barely roll over.  I suffered for about three weeks before I finally went to the doctor.  The cough had subsided, but the pain was still there.  As she pressed on my chest she confirmed what I feared: broken rib.  And of course there is nothing you can do about broken ribs.  All told I think I lived with it for over 2 months.

2. What is your favorite drink?

Drink-drink?  amaretto sour, light on the ice
Soda? root beer and ginger ale
Juice? fresh squeezed orange juice

3. When is your birthday! You don’t have to tell the year you were born!

I was born on May 16.  I turned 34 this year.  My 33rd birthday present was my son, born nearly 10 hours after the moment of my birthday.

4. Do you have an allergies?

I learned a few years ago that I am allergic to amoxicillin.  I had a sinus infection and the doctor gave me a scrip.  After 24 hours I was covered with hives.  They were worse than the sinus infection.  I also think I have seasonal allergies, but I have no medical confirmation.

5. What is one of your all time favorite movies?

As a little kid I would have said The Muppet Movie.
As a preteen I would have said Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
As a teen I would have said Say Anything.
In college I would have said Jerry Maguire.
As an adult I could watch just about anything with Reece Witherspoon over and over.


Upcycled finger paintings

This spring my little guy started finger painting at school.  We have 2 big paintings from the first time he ever finger painted and we are going to have them framed, but he came home with several other sheets of paper covered with his cute little handprints and I couldn’t throw them away.  Then my husband’s grandmother moved into a nursing home near us.  All the other doors on her hall are covered with pictures and art, and I wanted (Great)Gramma’s door to look pretty too.  I spied the paintings and project was born.

I needed:

  • finger painted picture with mostly handprints
  • scissors
  • green paper, it’s Crayola printer paper, but any green paper would do
  • tape (I couldn’t find a glue stick)

Look at those cute little handprints!

I carefully cut around the handprints so they looked a little like mittens and a large piece became a vase.

I think they look a little like tulips.

Then I grabbed my green paper and cut some random strips for stems.  I didn’t want them all to be perfect so I used the scissors instead of a paper cutter.  I also freehand cut leaves out of the rest of the paper.  I tried to do varying sizes.

I cut out way too many leaves, but that part was fun.

The whole time Bug was watching me from his holding pen.  I knew what would happen if I let him “help”.

"Please Momma, I won't eat the paper."

For me, the last part was the hardest.  I matched stems to flowers and then had to figure out how to arrange them in the vase.  I wanted some over lap, but not too much.  Once I got them arranged I taped them to the back of the vase and added the leaves.

I had some help picking the leaves.

Our beautiful bouquet.

They were a big hit with (Great) Gramma and now her door looks a little more welcoming.

Blooming bouquet

Thankful Sunday

I have so many things to be thankful for this weekend.

  • old friends who pop up out of no where
  • eating breakfast at a local diner where everyone knows you
  • real Vermont maple syrup
  • a syrupy sticky baby
  • bright beautiful sunshine
  • my sister getting married
  • to someone nice
  • my parents’  great friends
  • they also have access to a great pool
  • my son’s joy in the swimming pool
  • new friends
  • turkey burgers
  • frosted cookies
  • sandboxes
  • big kids and little kids
  • swings
  • feeling comfortable with people you’ve only just met
  • a sandy chocolately baby
  • a clean fresh baby
  • a sleeping worn out baby
  • a busy day that was crazy fun