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So, Adam's sister in law is a photographer, and incredibly talented if I do say so myself :) Anyways, she did our engagement pictures the other day!!!!! I only have a few, the rest will come in a few weeks, but I wanted to put them up!













So far that one is my favorite :)
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Just a few pictures :) I got bored and made this cake from scratch...just made two bundt cakes, stacked them, turned white icing orange and made a pumpkin......the face is a bit messed up but I have NEVER done ANYTHING like this before, so I'm damn proud.
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Just my new favorite quote


"Now, you all know I'm a Washington outsider...I don't really know how you guys work....."


Sarah Palin



really?
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There are so many debates about our children’s education.  Should there be stricter guidelines?  What are the benefits of the “No Child Left Behind” act?  What aren’t we teaching enough of?  What we often  fail to pay attention to however, is what is going on everyday, hiding behind the political front of education.  What we are missing, is what is happening in our children’s classrooms.  The fact of the matter is simple.  Our children need to pass the test.  We, as teachers, need to ensure that our students are learning what they are “supposed” to learn and at the “appropriate” pace. 

Has anyone thought, through all the “supposed to” and “appropriates”, that we are actually harming our children’s development as opposed to furthering it?  The big question in my field of education (Child Development with a concentration in birth through Kindergarten) is defining D.A.P. (Developmentally Appropriate Practices).   I ask you, is having a five year old forced to walk laps at recess because she wasn’t able to sit perfectly still during circle time “Developmentally Appropriate?”  The answer is pretty simple. No.  Should there be guidelines?  Yes.  There should be guidelines.  It’s called, natural consequences.  If a child is prone to speaking out of turn, maybe you should have a group time focused on learning about respect.  If your child is having “outbursts” in class, maybe you should look into giving that child an opportunity to have quiet time, a chance to calm down, learn to self-soothe.  Often it’s the classroom environment that is the true root of most “problem” children.  A five year old is not “wired” to listen perfectly, sit still, and only speak when spoken to.  If you ask me, nobody is.  Here is a little secret…nobody is the same.  Nobody, no child, will ever be the same as the next. 

See where I’m going with this?  If nobody is the same, then no child’s development is the same.  Sally may be reading “better” than Johnny, but that does not mean that Johnny is atypical….he just has a different development rate.  Johnny may recognize all the words and letters on a page, but hasn’t quite learned how to vocalize it as clear, or as fast as Sally has.  Johnny will most likely go on to be one of the best readers in his class, as long as he is encouraged and supported by his caregivers. 

Our children learn so much through play, which is what Kindergarten USED to be all about…social interaction amongst peers, learning through play and exploration.  Any child can practice social skills, math skills, science, language, all areas of development through play and guidance.  Should we go back to that way?  Well that would be ideal, but with all of the standards we are now forced to meet so we don’t leave anyone behind it’s pretty difficult, but not necessarily impossible.  Think about what we are doing to our children.  We are making five year olds sit at desks, writing ditto sheets and expecting them to enjoy it…..to be excited to learn. We are terrified that we won’t teach them enough by the time they get to their first grade testing.  We take away their rest, their recess, their play.  I don’t think that a kindergarten classroom should be children running wild and screaming.  I believe in structure.  I believe that you should pay attention to children, and their interests.  How can you plan what to teach children before you meet them?  How can you appropriately educate them, further their exploration and development if you have no idea how they learn or what they are interested in?  You can still teach the alphabet to children without having them sit down and copy it robotically.  You can journal, you can encourage writing, reading, and you can be a role model for them.

Our children are being forced to have silent lunches.  They are being made to walk laps around the track during recess instead of getting that social interaction that they so desperately need.  They are afraid to go to school…….what happens if they get a red light during class…..to them it may be the worst thing in the world.  Sure it sounds ridiculous to us, but imagine your boss coming up to you because you didn’t do something the way he or she wanted it perfectly done….they tell you that you need to STOP, and instead of grabbing lunch with your co-workers, you need to walk around the building a few times and think about what you’ve done…alone.

We can teach our children without being afraid of what they won’t learn and instead help them grow, develop, and explore the world around them.  We will be amazed at what they are capable of teaching themselves.  I sometimes think that people forget that children are human beings, and not just these little creatures we need to prepare for the real world.  Let’s face it….after kindergarten it is a standardized test’s paradise.  Let our children be children for as long as possible.  Where would doctors, lawyers, presidents, firemen, policemen, or even teachers come from without an education?  Well if we keep treating children as test objects, giving them completely unreasonable punishments, and ultimately belittling them, we won’t have to worry about that.  We won’t have any of them stick around long enough, or enjoy their education enough, to become anything.  So I thank all of the teachers out there that value children…..it’s just a shame there are so few of us. 






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So.........in March I started having these awful "gas" pains.....cramping in my stomach, pain in my arm, couldn't move or breath..........yeah, "gas."  So, as usual, I ignored it. 

About three weeks ago it happened again, this time I literally fell to the ground it hurt so bad.  I called my mom and we decided I should probably go to a doctor, and the appointment was made. 

I told the doctor everything, and that I had done my own research and it seemed to be a gallbladder problem.  It's genetic (my mom and my grandpa had gallbladder problems) it happens to mostly women, and it can happen after rapid weight loss (I had lost 20 lbs in a month.)  She didn't have to say much besides that she also thought it was classic gallbladder symptoms.....to the ultrasound machine I went, and low and behold, gallstones.


So, apparently there were so many stones the surgeon explained it to me like this.  "If I had a handful of sand, and you wanted me to count each grain, that is how many stones you have.  It has to come out, and soon."  GREAT.   Now, please keep in mind that this was during the last month in school, and I not only had to finish all my exams and finals but start a full time job AND have surgery. 

Okay.  I could do this.  The plan was to have the surgery on the 7th, this was the day after all of my exams.  Take a week off of work, and then bam.....perfecto.  WRONG.

My surgeon said he couldn't, and wouldn't wait that long.  It had to come out the 1st of May...........oh wonderful, the day BEFORE exams....

I spent that next week not sleeping, and working like crazy to finish all of my final projects/exams before surgery.......so, then the big day comes.....

Please keep in mind, I haven't had surgery since I was 4........so I was pretty damn nervous.

I went into the hospital, and the fun started........the nice nurse lady went to start my IV.  Well, I hadn't been able to eat or drink in 24 hours so finding a vein was no easy task.  She stuck the needle in my hand and then dug around for a good minute or so before deciding to switch to my other hand........she found a vein right away........this part was not fun.  Now, I'm the type of person who watches all of those Mystery Diagnosis shows and crap and I'm CONVINCED I'm going to wake up during surgery, feel everything, and not be able to say anything.  (Yeah, I freak out.)  So, waiting for them to come take me away from my family, the nurse came in again and this time said she was going to give me some "Margaritas!"  haha........Okkaaay..........so, she gave me "4" and all I remember was feeling, really, REALLY, happy.  I didn't care where I was, where I was going, I just didn't care......so, I get my surgery and I wake up in this room with like a bunch of other people and for some reason, I'm crying..........apparently anethesia just makes me like, weep..........uncontrollably..............I kept asking for my mom, and after they pumped me full of morphine they let me go see her.....


So, I'm still in pain.  They give me more morphine.........and a percocet :)  Now, I'm good.  Adam had to leave because he had to go back to Boone and work but he kissed me goodbye and I sat around for a while before they finally let me leave too. 

Recovery hasn't been so bad.  I'm still extremely sore.  It's getting a LOT better but I found out, I didn't just have stones in my gallbladder............it had fat attached to it (not good for organs), it was "kinked" and it was starting to whither away......EWW.  no wonder I was in so much pain......

So it's been a little less than a week and I'm back in Boone now.  I still can't do a lot, like take the dog out, lift anything up, walk around for too long.  Hell, yesterday I went to the grocery store and to pay my rent, and I was in so much pain, and so tired afterwards I wanted to die.  Today I'm not allowed to do as much.  Which is funny, you wouldn't think that going out for an hour would set me back so far, but oh, it did. 

So here I am.  Laying on the couch, scratching because percocets make you OH SO ITCHY, and waiting to just feel normal again.  It wont happen for about 3 weeks, but at least next week I can go back to work.....I just can't lift any of the kids up, but hugs are just as nice :)  I have to go to my professor's house tonight to turn in a few things but I'm not staying.......I'm sure she'll understand. 


by the way, if this post seems silly or not put together well, please remember the high dosage of pain medications I am on haha...........
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So,  my mom's birthday is on New Years Eve.  This year, my dad took my grandmother's (my mother's mother) engagement ring and had the diamonds taken out, bought another diamond, and put it into a new, white gold ring (she's allergic to gold).  It's GORGEOUS.  Adam was here, and saw it....and how much I liked it.  Then, the next day he says..."When do you want to get married?"  I was like UHHHH....OH SHIT....

not that I don't want to get married, but I thought he meant like, "hey...lets just get married now."  I said, "Well, I'm not sure.  Not in a very long time, but then again I'm only 21, I still feel like a baby most of the time." 

"What if I were to purpose to you next year?  I mean like, around our 4 year anniversary?"  (This would be June of '09.) 

We talked a lot about it.....engagement ring prices, saving money, where we will live, jobs and what not. 

I want to be engaged for about a year.  It's not like I want a big wedding, but I want time to plan, and not rush. 

Here is what we are PLANNING on doing......

Adam graduates this May, and I graduate in December '08.  Adam and I are going to get a 6 month lease, or sublease, but live together in Boone until I graduate.  During that time, Adam is going to work and save money, while trying to find a job in Raleigh.  Sure, Raleigh isn't my first choice but there are a LOT of job opportunities for me there.  We plan on moving to Raleigh in Jan. 09.  We then will both work, and hopefully get engaged sometime that summer.  Then, in June of 2010, I would be married.....

I would be 24.  I think thats a good age.  And I'm excited :)  I've already looked at rings haha.  AND i've already decided who is going to be in my wedding (yeah, I'm a dork.)  I haven't said anything to my family.  I don't want to freak them out.  Hell, I may be excited, but that does NOT mean I'm not freaking out a little bit.....a lot. 

But then again, this is all just a plan.  Things happen, I'm not stupid.  I'm not saying ANYTHING in life is written in stone, but still nice to think about :)
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Hello, don't write much. thought i'd vent....

 

These past few weeks have been probably the worst I can remember....

 

My mom may have breast cancer. she gets surgery to remove the clustered calcium deposits soon (she finds out today when) and then they will biopsy it and see whats going on.......

I had the flu right before thanksgiving, and finally started feeling better the day after Thanksgiving....

Then, on Sunday, I woke up and around 8 am I got a bloody nose.  Weird, not whatever.....it stopped in about 5 minutes....

 

11 am and I get another one....this one a bit worse, but still ends about 30 minutes later.  Now I'm woosy because I've lost some blood and I'm dizzy and feeling sick (probably from blood going into my stomach.)

Adam and I leave and start driving to Boone around 2:30.  We get 30 minutes away and all of a sudden, it starts again. MUCH worse than before, I can't control it.  It's like a faucet coming out of my nose.  Adam gets freaked out (though he doesn't show it) and calls my mom......I'm laying on the grass at a gas station bleeding uncontrollably at this point.  He gets me a cup (paper towels dont work at this point because there is too much.)  We turn around and he takes me to Urgent care where my mom and my sister are waiting.....

 

This doctor is a moron, he cannot make the blood stop.  He's singing Christmas songs in my ear.  Dear Mr. Holly Jolly Doctor man.....SHUT UP. I'M BLEEDING. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THIS SHIT. 

He tells me he can't stop it, and I need to go to the emergency room.   AWESOME.

I go to the emergency room, at this point I'm very scared and I've lost a LOT of blood....I passed out in the emergency room and was put into a wheelchair as they brought me to my room.  I started coming to a bit more though I was still pretty loopy.....I bled until 7.....from 3-7....THATS A LONG TIME. 

So, to stop the bleeding, at 7, They inserted packing into my nostral and all the way into my sinus cavity.  The packing was surrounded by a balloon which they inflated once it was in my nose.  Mind you, I had no pain meds, i've lost a lot of blood, and they're jamming a giant tube into my face while I'm wide awake....this was no fun. 

The tube stayed in until yesterday. This was terrible.  It was the most painful experience ever and taking it out was no joy either.  They deflated the balloon and just pulled it right out....

So now, i'm swollen and bruised but at least that damn thing is out of my nose.  It's still very sore but it's gone and that is all that matters.  Needless to say, I've been advised to not go to school until Friday.....good thing it's the last week of school and i have like 4 final projects due.

All my professors have been very helpful though and they're working with me to get things turned in late.  They just want me to sleep and feel better. 

I have pictures of what I looked like with the tube that I'll put on later

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Sometimes I feel like I have to believe in God because everyone else does.  I'm not saying that I don't believe in God, but then again, I'm not saying I completely understand/agree with the idea either.  I'm trying to just figure it out as it goes. 

Everyone in my major is incredibly religious with the exception of two girls, soriety girls.  Let me just say, there is nothing wrong with believing in God, and there is nothing wrong with joining a soriety.  It's just that neither one of them are my cup of tea. 

Earlier tonight, some girls from my class picked me up so that we could work on a project for class.  The entire car ride consisted of listening to some ridiclously loud christian rock and gospel.  Again, thats cool if that is what you're into.  But sitting in the car, watching every single girl sing along and have a really great time......while I stared out the window and wondered about when the next time I was going to smoke a ciggerate, I felt completely out of place.  Thats when I started wondering......and no, I wouldn't actually do this.........but I felt like I had be a hardcore christian to really feel like I fit in. 

That's when I realized something.  I think a lot of people feel this same way.  Not just about believing in God, but other things as well.  Call it a classic case of peer pressure, but I wonder how many people in the world are TRUELY individuals.  I'm in no way saying that I am.  I try to be, but I can easily be talked into a night of drinking when I really just want to go home and sleep.  I'm sure I could think of a million circumstances when I've done something just because other people were doing it.  This isn't something to be proud of, but is it just human nature?  Imitation....... 

Back to the believing in God thing.  It would make my life, a WHOLE lot easier to be religious.  I would fit in with my classmates, my parents would be over-joyed, and to be honest, going to church and honestly believing in this awesome, almighty, wonderful being would be extremely comforting.......

But I guess living an easy life just isn't the way the cookie crumbles eh?
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The topic of teachers being undpaid is often discussed.  It's not an opinion, it's a fact.  While money has never been important to me, respect has.  I feel like the reason that teachers are underpaid is BECAUSE they're not respected.  For all the people who judge me for wanting to possibly teach kindergarten, and tell me things like "Oh you're just going to be blowing noses all day and teaching ABC's," I wish they truely understood the importance of teaching.

I have to go into classrooms with an open mind.  I need to be able to look at a child, and not see an assessment tool but rather an individual.  Many things that people do not understand about children, is that when they're born they have as many connections in their brain that we as adults have.  From the moment they are born, they are genuises.  The only differences is, they do not know HOW to use these connections.  If a child is born, before you cut the cord or clean them off, you could set the child on their mothers stomache and they will make their way to their mother's breast and feed.  This happens seconds after birth.  This, is amazing.  The child will forget or "loose" many of these connections. 

A teacher's job is to allow the children to reconnect.  Teaching isn't the same as babysitting.  Watching a child of any age overcome a milestone is possibly one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.

Many people have also said that professions such as doctors are more "respectable" jobs.  Don't get me wrong, if I had it in me to become a doctor, that would be great.  Saving lives would undoubtly bring overwhelming satisfaction to anyone's life.  But how does one become a doctor?  THEY HAVE TEACHERS. 

On childcare.........another sensitive subject.  How and what is developmentally appropriate when it comes to children and the way they learn.  Furthermore, what we discussed in class today was the topic of "How young, is too young to enter a child into childcare."  My opinion.....children are being put into childcare as early as 6 weeks old.  I think that this is incredibly sad, as the child is loosing out on precious time to form attachment to it's primary caregiver.  Who's fault is it?  Good question.  You tell a single mother that has just had a baby that she gets a six week maternity leave.  What should she do?  Quit her job and be unable to provide for her child?  There are so many people who judge parents for entering children into childcare at an early age, but as the old saying goes.....walk in someone else's shoes.  Some mothers have NO CHOICE.  We as childcare providers should not judge anyone, unless of course it is for health and safety reasons.  Beyond that........walk in someone elses shoes.
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I needed a place where I could write, where I could get real opinions.  I want to talk about things without hurting feelings, or receiving biased feedback.  I don't really have much to say at this point, but I do plan on writing plenty, and often, about a lot......
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