Monday, March 21, 2011

Missing Teaching

I'm currently on my seventh month of taking a leave from teaching. When I moved to Chicago I decided to take a year off and during that time, write my Illinois teaching tests. Then I got pregnant. I'll take the tests eventually but I'm really in no hurry, considering I'm taking a full year off of work for maternity leave.

I really did not miss teaching until, hmmm, December or January. I absolutely did not miss writing report cards. I did not miss yard duty in the dead of winter. I did not miss paperwork or bureaucratic craziness or hyper kids or marking work or EQAO test preparation.

What I do miss is the fun stuff. Making artwork for the different holidays. Friday treat days. Assemblies. Eating lunch with the staff. Having adult conversations. Using critical thinking skills. And most of all, working with kids that I can talk to! I love, love, love joking around with the kids I teach. They think I'm some sort of comedian. Seriously. I know, I can't believe it either.

Don't get me wrong. There are definite perks of my current job too, it's just different from teaching.

Anyway, now I really appreciate the time I spend with my nephews and niece. Nieces as of last week, but that's a story for another day. The pictures below were taken over Christmas break when the kids were sleeping over at my parents' for a night. I bought them a set of make your own rubber balls, just for something to do. I relished in the few minutes of pretend teaching, giving instructions and having them actually listen to me!
Love these kids!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Yesterday in the mail we received a movie from our netflix queue, Catfish. Have you seen it? A friend recommended this movie to me and M and I had a chance to sit down and watch it last night.

***I've tried not to contain spoilers, but if you're really interested in seeing the movie, you may not want to read the rest of this blog post, just in case.

Catfish is a documentary about a long-distance facebook relationship. The movie brings up a lot of questions about social networking and in the bonus materials on the dvd, there's an interesting interview with the directors/stars of the film. One of the questions the guys were answering was whether of not their facebook profile shows a true picture of themselves. They all answered no - they want to portray themselves in a good light, so they only post information and pictures that will do so.

Later, I got to thinking about whether or not this blog portrays my true self. It's interesting how many readers of my blog tell me they think my life is so interesting, I'm always doing fun things, and they live vicariously through me. HA! I am pretty much shocked when people say this because I know I'm just a normal joe who, for the most part, lives a pretty boring life. After work I go home, walk the dog, eat, and sleep. Throw a little tv watching in there most nights. That's it!

Yes, yes perhaps in comparison to other people my age, I have travelled a lot, but that's because I make it a priority in my life. Some people don't care about seeing different parts of the world, put their money towards other things, have kids and can't/won't get away, etc. etc. etc.

My blog shows only a minuscule part of my life. I think when I write, I write honestly, but often with sarcasm that some people might not catch. Often my posts are happy, happy, showing all the fun things going on in my life and great restaurants I'm trying out. I don't write about how I ate cereal for dinner last night because I mean, who wants to read about Kashi Autumn Wheat topped with fruit?

So yeah.. wow, that was a bit of a rant :)
Do you portray your "true" self online or on your facebook page?

PS - I liked the movie, watch it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Reminder To Myself

Yesterday I was a bit sad. My parents just left after a 5 night stay and with all of the craziness that comes with them, it feels a bit empty with them gone.

It's so nice coming home after work to a bustling house, dinner in the works, and the dog walked. It feels like I'm on vacation when they visit! Now, this doesn't happen every time they come - I think they like to help out especially with me being pregnant now. But seriously, coming home to a house that's been vacuumed, the laundry done, and both bathrooms cleaned spotless is the highlight of my year! I am spoiled.

So, while I was feeling sad and sorry for myself, I started browsing the internet and of course stumbled upon footage of the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. I wanted to slap myself silly right then and there for moping about my obnoxious "white girl problems" while people in many other parts of the world have serious, serious issues to deal with.

Sometimes I need a reminder...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Makes Me Happy #5

It's been a long time since I've written a post about my list of 101 things that make me happy. I love this series (lists #1, #2, #3, #4) because it makes me think of the most random occurrences that I'm sure to forget unless I document them somewhere. Here are four memories that are making me smile today!


The man in this picture is Richie, pronounced Reechy. On our very first night of our very first backpacking trip to Europe, M and I met up with people from our hostel for a picnic on the hill at Sacre Coeur. We were already giddy with excitement of being away from home for two months and this was the perfect way to start off our trip. As we sat around drinking wine and eating cheese, Reechy came over with his guitar to sit with and serenade our group. It was just the most random group of people from all over the world, chillin in Paris together, with a very possibly drunk and homeless guitar player named Reechy. M and I went back to that exact spot a couple of years later and that's where he proposed to me!

22) My favourite teaching colleague and I went to a reading conference last year together and when she was done chewing her gum she stuck it on the side of her shoe. I guess this occurs often because she didn't think it was strange at all! Who does this??? It made me laugh then and still makes me laugh every time I think about it. If you ever need a place to keep your gum, you now know a spot.

23) My three year old nephew is so smart when it comes to talking about sports and specific athletes. I never grown tired of asking him to tell about "Wayne Gwetsky" and "Ronaldinho". So very cute.

24) When M and I were on our honeymoon in Thailand, we took a sea canoe trip called "Hongs by Starlight". Our guide took us through a bunch of dark caves and told us to put our hands in the water and wave them around. As we did, the bioluminescent plankton glowed and sparkled like a million stars in a night sky. A truly gorgeous sight to see.

One of my favourite pictures of us as a couple was taken on that canoe trip. I think it screams honeymoon :)

What's making you happy today?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Big Changes...

I'm pregnant!

On December 14th my husband and I found out that we're expecting a baby in August! Exciting stuff! So far we've had two ultrasounds and earlier this week I heard baby's heartbeat on the doppler at my 16 week appointment. So far all three heart rate measurements have been in the 160 range, so I guess that means I'm having a girl :)

I've been feeling so good that it's a bit scary and other than being exhausted by the end of the day, I can't complain of any pregnancy symptoms (knock on wood times a million).

This is the only picture of a baby bump that I have so far and it's a horrible blurry one because the auto focus was turned off (believe me, this was the best one, even with the squinty face). I took this at 14 weeks and it's mostly belly bloat because it's kinda disappeared since then. It's also much more noticeable in this picture than normal because I'm wearing tight clothing. I am looking very forward to getting a noticeable baby bump rather than just looking more pudgy than normal.

And since everyone asks me the same questions, here's a list of FAQ:

1) No, we are not finding out the gender.
2) Yes, we have names chosen but no, we will not tell you!
3) Yes, the baby will have dual Canadian-American citizenship.
4) Yes, I know I'll be hot in August. I can't remember an August where I haven't been hot.
5) Yes, I will gladly take anything baby related you want to give/lend me :)

Any other questions?!