Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cute Nephew Quotes from the Past

I found two old snippets of writing involving my nephews when they younger.

The first is from when my nephews must have been 5 and 3 (four years ago!).  We were in Mississippi and I was sitting at the kitchen table blogging.

Justin, 3, walks out into kitchen and opens cereal cabinet.
Jack: What are you doing Justin?
Justin: Nufin.
Jack: You are doing something.
Justin: No. I’m not doing anything.
Then they both wander over here.

I love reading that. My own kid is Justin's age now, and he's using the words "sumthin" and "nuthin" and it's usually pretty cute.
Click here to read full entry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fun with Prefixes

I have awesome classes this year, and they finally gave me a couple of funny stories yesterday. We're doing prefixes and roots to build their vocab as readers. The kids have to use the dictionary to look up some words with prefixes, define them, then look up the actual prefix and define it, and finally list other words with the same prefix. I let them work together, and they actually enjoy it.
"No we don't!" they say.
"Yes you do," I answer. "You love this!"
Kids: "No we don't!"
Me: "Yes you do. This is fun!"
Kids: "No it's not!"

Anyway, one student swore he couldn't find the prefix magni- in the dictionary, and put the dictionary back on the shelf and said dismissively, "I can't use this dictionary- it's OLD." I had to chuckle, because he was referring to the dictionary I won in 5th grade when I won the county spelling bee. So I stopped class and showed them the inscription saying 1985 on the inside. We had a chuckle about a) the kid unintentionally calling me old and b) the fact that the dictionary really wasn't THAT old.

In my other class, I had to re-explain the rules of "Friday Fun Day."

Me: "So guys, when I created Friday Fun Day, I just meant it as a day of choice. You can read or write whatever you want, talk about books, or share your writing. I still want you to be doing something that makes you grow as readers and writers. This class misinterpreted my saying that you were allowed to doodle in your fun journal. I didn't mean you to sit with your friends and talk about random stuff while making signs that say "The Patriots Rule" or "Stay Out of My Room." I really couldn't justify that if, say, the superintendent walked in. Any drawing you are doing needs to be related to your reading and writing. Does everyone understand?"

Most of them looked at me with sad faces. One student said hopefully, "So could I write "Prefixes" in bubble letters and color it in?"

I laugh, then stop. "Wait- you're joking, right?"

Student: "No."

Me: "Oh- OK. Sorry, I didn't mean to laugh at you." (Putting my teacher face back on.) "Um, NO, you cannot draw the word "prefix" in bubble letters and color it in. That's the same thing as writing "Halloween" and drawing a bunch of candy corn. You're not showing that you know anything about prefixes. If you were to say, draw a small circle with "micro" in it, and a bigger circle with "macro" in it, that would be doodling that shows your knowledge."

Kid: "Oh. No, I don't want to do that."

They did pretty good with Friday Fun Day. Many kids read, four boys planned and made a new Friday Fun Day poster clarifying the rules, and one kid drew a creepy character from his book and then a couple other kids drew the same thing because they liked how creepy it was. It's the Friday before Halloween, so I let them get away with that.

Hm. Those stories really don't seem as funny now that I've written them down.

Is this story funny? During Friday Fun Time, one of my chattiest boy students came over and showed me that on several pages in my copy of a large illustrated copy of The Guinness Book of World Records, someone had written "Actual Size" near some drawings of like, the world's shortest man, or the world's largest feet.

Chatty student: "Look at that! That's so annoying! Someone wrote 'Actual size!'

Me, trying to act like I care: "Oh, uh-huh, yup."

Chatty student: "Look! There it is again! 'Actual size!' Isn't that so annoying? That's not actual size!"

Me: "Listen, don't worry about it."

Chatty student: "Look! There it is again! 'Actual size!' That is so annoying!"

Me: "I think it's kind of funny, actually."

Chatty student: "No it's not! It's annoying!"

Me: "Go sit down. If it's bothering you that much, don't read the book." And this is when I have to turn around and just laugh, because the conversations I have during my work day are so absurd... and fabulous. I've always loved the absurd.
Click here to read full entry.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Montessori Tidbits

A Montessori lady spoke after our Stroller Strides class. A couple of things that she said that I liked:

Group toys by theme. Put the farm puzzle by the toy farm. The kid will internalize the logic.

Before age 6, a kid can't misbehave, because they don't have that logic. They can test you, but they are looking for limits. All we can do is control our reaction to their behavior. That's the adult's job. To be the steady leader and authority figure.
Click here to read full entry.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breastfeeding After Breast Surgery

I am reading the Breastfeeding After Breast Surgery page on the La Leche League website and I am beyond inspired by what some women have done to keep their baby at the breast.

I love the following lines from a woman's story who breastfed after breast reduction surgery with a nursing supplementer:

Rebecca showed me how to place the tube next to my nipple so Gabriela would receive the milk in the bottle while she was breastfeeding. That was definitely not the solution I was expecting. But my husband, Elbert, was enthusiastic and supportive of trying new things. He helped me believe it would work. He washed those bottles hundreds of times, often in the middle of the night, and thanks to his support, we kept going.

The last conversation was with a dancer friend of mine. I was in a theater with Gabriela, getting ready to feed her. My friend asked if I had switched Gabriela to the bottle. I answered, "No, we are still using the SNS." She said she couldn't believe I used the device in public. I replied, "I have no reason to change the way my child is fed in or outside my home. I have no reason to be ashamed of it."

Another woman found that although she couldn't exclusively breastfeed her first baby after breast reduction surgery, she could with her second, because her milk ducts had reconnected!

Alex was still intensely nursing at age two-and-a-half, when I became pregnant. I consulted many times via email with Diana West, author of Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery (Available from the LLLI Online Store), as well as other La Leche League Leaders. The hope among all of us was that having an enthusiastic nurser would have given my milk ducts an opportunity to recanalize, restoring their flow so that I might be able to exclusively breastfeed this new baby. I had no idea the body was even capable of such repair. I was skeptical, but thrilled.

Ben was welcomed into this world five months ago. He weighs 19 pounds. Amazingly, he has only had his mama's milk. His brother gave him the gift of recanalized milk ducts and Ben has given his mother the gift of above average weight gain, to reassure me during those times of doubting my body. Both of my babies have given me the gift of trusting my body to heal and to provide sustenance in more ways than I had ever imagined possible. There are truly blessings all around!

It is just incredible what the human body can do, and what a mother can do with education, support and determination.

For a little more clinical detail, you can see this article by Diana West, the author of Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery.

And on the Breastfeeding After Breast Surgerypage, there are stories of continuing to breastfeed after other types of breast surgeries as well.
Click here to read full entry.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cruise Ship Wreck

Me: "I still can't get over the sight of that cruise ship turned over on its side in the Mediterranean."

Sister: "I KNOW!!!"

Me: "I used to think the worst thing that could happen on a cruise ship was a norovirus, but now I know they can actually shipwreck!"

As husband is rolling his eyes, and actually his whole head backwards, my sister agrees, "I was thinking the exact same thing this morning! I was thinking, 'Geez, before I wasn't sure if I wanted to take a cruise because of norovirus, but now, they can actually turn over!"

Husband: "Is this how insanity starts?"

Sister: "It's genetics."

Husband: "Oh come on. When was the last time that happened? Oh that's right, it was the Titanic!"
Click here to read full entry.