Thursday, February 19, 2015

Home Wants/Needs

**just a reminder that this blog is moving to mrscomethunter.wordpress.com - update your bookmarks and feeds! I'll cross-post for a while**

My theme for my goals this year is re-evaluation, and one thing that led to my choosing this theme was a constant battle in our minds: whether to stay in this house or move.

Our house is old, like 1910's old. That means we a) have a tiny kitchen, b) very little storage, c) a creepy basement we'll never use for more than laundry/workshop/dumping grounds, and d) have tiny bathrooms (we're lucky we had space to put a 1/2-bath  on the main floor - a hot commodity around this neighbourhood).

When I get in one of those "GOD, I HATE THIS HOUSE!!!" moods, the things I dream about are:

- a more open floor plan on the first floor
- a kitchen with more cupboard space and an island between it and the dining room
- a large mudroom/laundry combo off the front (MORE SPACE for all our clothes/bags/gear/etc)
- a MUCH bigger upstairs bathroom
- a finished attic, so we can have a second living area (and a place to move all the kids toys so they're not the first thing we see coming in) --- which could house a THIRD bathroom!
- being on a much quieter street (I know I can't change this, but I'm DREAMING here!)

During and after these moments, we often start perusing through the MLS listings, searching for houses. We talk for hours  about whether it's worth it to stay here and do the renovations, or would it be better to try and find a house that hits all our "must-have's". It's our own personal "Love It or List It", without any help from professionals.

Sure, we can easily find homes that have everything we want...for a much heftier price tag than what we paid for this house. 

And, just like Cloud wrote about recently, these things are much more WANTS than NEEDS. When I really thing about it, we're pretty darn lucky with our life (and house) as it is now. Why do we feel like we NEED more room, or NEED a bigger bathroom, or NEED to have main floor laundry?

We look at bigger, newer, more "fancy" houses - with their huge kitchens, giant walls of windows, massive master suites, and living room/family room/game rooms - as though that is what we NEED.

Yes, we could afford to go with either of these options, but then it hits us: what are our priorities in life? Do we want to spend money for years on making or getting a bigger/"better" house, or could we spend that in a way that could really make a difference in our lives in other ways. Like,  being able to do more of the things we enjoy like golfing, going to baseball games, going on family vacations, or taking art or music classes.

We get so tied up in what we WANT in a house, as though having an island in our kitchen or a walk-in closet would make us happy.

So, we are trying to keep these things in mind and we move forward with these types of decisions. We will constantly be re-evaluating our goals and aligning them with what our priorities really are.

How do you reconcile between what you WANT and what you NEED.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Joyous Understanding

**just a reminder that this blog is moving to mrscomethunter.wordpress.com - update your bookmarks and feeds! I'll cross-post for a while**

I've mentioned a few times that I started a new blog to write about my experiences in teaching and education. Now that I have a few posts, I'm ready to start sharing it!

My teaching/education blog is called Joyous Understanding. The title is derived from a Carl Sagan quote:

The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.
Yes, that's right - two blogs with two titles from two Carl Sagan quotes. What can I say? He's been a big influence on my career.

In the blog, I'll write about my experiences as a teacher in the classroom and about my own learning, and I'll also share resources that can be used at multiple levels of education.

I'm very excited to write about my experiences more fully, and to connect with other math and science educators and bloggers.

Come on over, check it out, and let me know what you think: joyousunderstanding.wordpress.com

Friday, February 13, 2015

Our Little Linus

**just a reminder that this blog is moving to mrscomethunter.wordpress.com - update your bookmarks and feeds! I'll post this reminder in each new post for a while**

C has never really been a big cuddle baby, and isn't too fond of stuffed animals or cuddly things,

But in the past few of months he has become VERY attached to his blanket.

He needs it first thing in the morning, for naps, first things when he gets home, and for bedtime of course. He needs it anytime he's upset, and gets really made if it's out of reach even if he doesn't need it at that point.

A couple months ago he was sick and got some vomit on his blanket. So, given this attachment and the fact he was sick (and therefore exceptionally needy), you can imagine how big of an issue it was that it had to be in the washer AND dryer for practically two hours!

We tried distracting him with toys, games, going for a walk. Everything. We tried every other blanket in the house (we've amassed quite a collection since E was born). Nothing would work. He was like a crazy, possessed, Chucky Doll. I'm pretty sure his head floated up and turned 360 degrees.

So, in order to make sure that never happens again, I bought a back-up blanket for the house, and we have another at daycare. Now he carries it slung over his shoulder.

He's our literal little Linus...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blogger -> WP

I am in the midst of trying to move my blog from Blogger to WordPress – mostly because I like all the options of WordPress. I think I’ve managed to redirect the main page, but am still working on other things.

So, I apologize if things get messed up, because this is not as easy as I thought it would be.

If you have done this move successfully by yourself (to a “example.wordpress.com” blog — not one on another host), please let me know any tips!

If you want to update your feeds and such, the new address will be: https://mrscomethunter.wordpress.com/ (though it might be best to keep the blogger one in case I get fed up with the move!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Social Media Management

I need some advice about how to manage my social media accounts as I continue down the path to becoming a high school teacher.

Right now, the only social media account I've used in my teaching is my Twitter account. Nothing formal, but I have used it to connect with the schools I've worked with, and students have followed me.

I have started a new blog on Edublogs to write about my teaching experiences (I will share this in the near future, I promise!).

I have a second 6-week practicum coming up in March/April, and I want to use social media more in the classroom, but I'm wondering just how I should manage it.

Facebook is completely off the table for teaching purposes right now. I only use it for personal reasons now, and don't think it's a good idea to change that.

I want to have my two separate blogs, since it's a natural split to have my more personal posts here, and teaching-related posts on the other one. I will probably link from this blog to the Edublog, but probably not the other way around (mostly because, even though I don't think I've posted anything all that controversial,  somethings in my archives I'd rather not share with students/parents/other teachers).

I might also make a separate website that is specifically for students & parents with assignments, resources, calendars, etc.

One thing I'm not sure about is Twitter. I have one account right now that's now called "MsAGilbert" (which I changed so I could use it as a teacher). That happens to be the name of my Edublog. I have been using it for both personal and professional use. So, I'm trying to decide between the following options:

1. Keep having just one Twitter account linking to it from both (all) blogs/websites.

2. Keep the one Twitter account and only linking to it from one blog and not have Twitter at all for the other.

3. Creating a Twitter account to be associated with each blog.

I lean toward #3 because I do post controversial/opinionated (to some) things on Twitter that might not good in the teaching world, and I would like to have a teaching account that I can use both in and out of the classroom. BUT, my problem is my current Twitter account is very connect to my personal blog (this one) and most of my followers associate the two. That causes a problem because I'd rather use MsAGilbert for my teaching account - which means having to come up with a new name for another Twitter feed, which could be really confusing.

What do you think, readers? Do you have more than one Twitter account? How do you manage your social media? Any Twitter handle suggestions?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

16 Months

The last time I did an update about Carter was at a year - 4 months ago! Yup, time really does fly.

He is certainly growing and changing fast!

- He's been walking for months, and often runs places (and most definitely away from us, especially when we want him to get dressed!).

- Though he hasn't said a proper word yet, he is excellent at communicating with us and the daycare staff. He knows the signs for "more" and "all done" (the MOST important signs when your life revolves around eating ;)). When he signs "more" he also says "mo". He has sounds for all kinds of things that are oh-so-close to the real world - like Gigi (hard-G sounds) for kitty, and pulls out "mama" and "dada" in context, but not all the time. When he's hungry, he goes over to his booster seat and points at it until we put him in and put food in front of him.

- He's really great at understanding what we say. He can follow complicated instructions with no problems. If I ask if he's ready for bed or bath, he'll "pack up" and start going upstairs.

- He's still no the greatest sleeper and wakes up a couple (or more) times at night. Sometimes it's just to find his soother, other times he wants one of us to take him into the guest room (and we know he won't take anything less if he has his soother in his mouth, blanket over his shoulder, and reaching out to us while standing up). He's doing a lot better in this area since we started being consistent with a bed-time routine.

- He's a big DANCER and loves music! He has some serious moves, which is the cutest thing. Music always seems to calm him down, which is a nice tool to have on hand ;)

- He loves to rough-house with Evan and DH, and  he's a big laugher.

- Like in every other post I've written about Carter, my favourite thing is watching him and Evan together. Their relationship is getting more fun and more violent at the same time. Brothers are good fun ;)