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Just the way things are

My trip to France was lovely and my host family were the best I could have ever asked for.  I walked the streets of Paris, road the bullet trains of Europe, strolled the water front of Marseille, and ate croissants every morning in Avignon – truly once in a lifetime.   Once I got back I had some serious catching up to do.  Over the 9 days of my trip I skipped my whole “prep” week between class groups and the first 3 days of my new class.  I was poorly prepared.  I’ve been working hard to try to catch up and I think it’s been working because my class tested very well this last week. What little troopers they are!

If you’re interested in seeing my photos from France, you can see a small collection of them here:

Tomorrow is my last day of work and I’ll be off for 2 glorious weeks.  But again, I’ve been poorly prepared and King’s Christmas present is going to end up being late.  Thankfully the orphanage will be getting him a scooter on their end to hold him over the extra couple of days we’ll need.  Speaking of King, things aren’t going so well with our adoption process. I know some have heard me cry about this already but yet again, his file was sent back to the orphanage that holds his paperwork for rewriting.  We have no idea how long it will take to complete and be resubmitted to the committee but we are always hopeful that it could be as little as a week, but really it could be as much as weeks/months.  Much like I did last year when thinking about 2011 – I’m hoping that 2012 is OUR year.

I’m already working on my “Year in Review” post for 2011 and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone.  I’ve failed at many of my goals for the year but was successful in a couple of them.

All is quiet in the west…..

No news on that previously reported rumor.  It’s been 2 weeks since we heard it could happen “at any time” but we’re far from the only ones in this boat of ambiguity.  If nothing else, this extended timeline has given me some extra time to build some relationships and do some reading/research on older child adoption and attachment.  It’s become my new goal to dive into those topics until the day comes that we will actually be using their theories to help King.

My resolutions have been going well and I’ve been completing my “Daily Joy” exercises every day now for the last 21 days.  To be honest they’ve been very helpful.  It’s been nice to be able to look back at my week when I’m feeling particularly blue and see a list of all the good things that have happened in my week.  In the heat of a “downer” it’s not always easy to see the positives.  One of my best ones from last week was about my kids at work.  Our newest class tested their first 3 official GED tests and out of 39 administered tests, 37 of them were passing!  95% success rate is pretty darn good when some of them walked into my classroom with a 6th grade reading level last fall.  I’m so incredibly proud of them all – I can’t wait to brag them up at our graduation ceremony in June.

I also had a doctor’s appt several weeks ago with my new insurance provider and they really wanted to run the whole gamete of testing on me.  Good news: my thyroid is good, my liver function is strong, and my B12 levels (as well as all the other little things) are right where they should be.  Bad news: my Vit. D levels (which in a healthy adult should be between 50-75) were a whopping 8.  That’s right – EIGHT.  Now I know that we live in a place that not exactly known for it’s abundance of sunshine (in fact is regularly joked that we have liquid sunshine) but 8 is pretty stinkin’ low and qualifies me for the label, “severely deficient”.  I’ve been on supplements for about 10 days now and I’m feeling pretty good.  Fingers crossed that I’ll get some more energy (which has been historically low) and I’ll be feeling a little more perky (which has never been my strong suit) once my body realizes what it’s been missing.  Anyone have any experience with this?

All and all, the little joys have added up and so far things in 2011 have been good.  I’m looking forward to a “girl’s weekend” next week where I’ll be hanging out with Dallas with some girlfriends and having a blast.  It’s a much needed me-cation, BUT, I also hope for it to serve as a celebration.  I won’t be holding my breath – just counting up the daily joy life has to bring.

Goodbye 10am wake ups

Today was the last day of my winter break from work. I just had 2 weeks off and it was great. Don’t get me wrong, I have the best job – quite possibly the perfect job for me – but it was still awesome to get 2 weeks off. And no matter how much I love my job, it’s still going to be tough to roll my tired carcass out of bed at 7:15a. I was getting quite well aquatinted with 10a wake ups but for now I have to say goodbye. Don’t forget about me 10a, you’ll see me tomorrow in my classroom teaching a math lesson, not in bed.

Small steps forward

Since my last post, nearly 6 weeks ago, things have been developing in small ways.  Sissy turned 6, I turned 28, we bought a dog, I got a job, The Hubs quit his job, and we still have no news on King’s paperwork.  Small measures of achievement but no real progress.  My heart is full and aching at the same time.

Sissy’s birthday was great.  She wanted a small family party with a slumber party afterwards but through a series of unfortunate events, her girlfriend canceled at the last minute.  With the neighbors out of town, we were led to a hastily organized trip to the water park and a family party at the InLaw’s.  She loved every minute of it and remarked regularly how much she loved turning six.

My birthday was less eventful.  The Hubs surprised me with a new iPhone 4 that he had ordered the first day of pre-order (over a month previous – how’s that for forward thinking?!).  It was awesome…or rather….it IS awesome.  I spent the actual day of my birthday having an interview with a local non-profit that serves at-risk youth in our community.  They were needing a new GED teacher – well not any more!  The next day I was called back for a lesson with the class and later that same day I was offered the position.  We were so grateful.  With public schools in the shape they’re in now, being a new teacher (while economically beneficial for school districts) is hard with the rules and contracts being enforced by the teacher’s unions.  Most school aren’t even looking at application for teachers who have less than 5 years experience teaching – I was entering the job market with 1 1/2 years of student teaching and a degree so new I feared the ink would smudge if I looked at it wrong.   Not only is this new job exactly what I wanted to be doing but the pay was just what we needed for The Hubs to be able to dedicate full time to school.  This is his last week before he is officially a fulltime student.  He’s so excited.  But let me tell you – working 40 hours a week is no joke.  I can’t remember the last time (if ever) I had a real job like that.  Oi, it can really take it out of you!

Now on to the cute factor:  Our newest-newest member is named Bogart.  He is a great dane pup who will be turning 5 weeks old tomorrow.  We have visited him twice are totally in love.  While he’s teeny-tiny now, in just a few short months he will be a small pony.  I will post pics as soon as he’s home for good.  The kids have been readying the house for his pending arrival.  To be honest, it has been a pleasant distraction from the worry of King’s paperwork hang up.  The hang up to which there seems to be no end.  It’s one of the most depressing things in adoption, to know that there’s a child out there who calls you mom but cannot be with you; a child who probably wonders every day why you aren’t coming to get him and bring him home.  I know everyone is well intentioned and we are SO thankful to have such a great support system but if I hear, “how’s the adoption thing coming”, or, “have you heard anything about King” one more time, I think I will scream.  And I hope the poor soul who is asking will forgive me when I do it.

Sigh.  I guess I’m off to bed now, after all, I have to be at work in the morning!!

The quest for work

I’m working today as a substitute at a school I love.  I’ve worked here for the last 5 or so years in various positions but today it makes me sad.  These are the last few weeks I will be here before I have to move on. Graduating from school has been bitter sweet in that regard.  I have to leave the school that has no open math teaching positions, and find a school that is hiring.  Yea, good luck with that one, right?  With my newly obtained master’s degree I have to get a real job.  One that pays a living wage – and provides insurance.  I could sub all year and probably make out just fine but the kids and I can’t be without insurance.  Makes me sad but it’s the grown up thing to do.  Ugh, I get shivers just thinking about the possibility of having to work in a main-stream math classroom.  One that houses an assembly line of middle schoolers – 30 in for 60 minutes, 30 out and break for 5 minutes – 30 new ones in for 60 minutes, 30 out and break for 5 minutes – repeat for 6 periods a day.  *shiver*

4th period is about to start, I just have to enjoy what I have for now and cross my fingers that I can find an alternative program that’s hiring.  Wish me luck. | 502: Bad gateway

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