Lindseyjuly's Blog

My life as a math teacher, wife, daughter, and new momma.

Holiday Happiness Coming Right Up November 18, 2014

Filed under: Good Times,Holiday Happiness — LindseyJuly @ 2:38 PM
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With Thanksgiving only a little over a week away, Christmas commercials everywhere, and Amazon’s Pre-Black Friday deals happening already, it’s virtually impossible not to have the holidays on my brain! It seems crazy to believe that Avery’s second Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. And with that comes all the driving and visiting family that is so very exhausting. I love all of our family, I love spending quality time with them, and I want them to get to experience what Avery is like right now…but I just wish there were a way to make it easier. I want to please everyone, while also doing what it best for my own little family. I also want to have some of our own traditions that Avery can look forward to each year. Adam and I want to see if we can make that happen this year.

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And with that, I cannot wait to decorate for Christmas this year! Especially because I think Avery is going to LOVE it. Whether or not she can leave ornaments within her reach alone…that is still to be determined. Below are some gorgeous ideas that are really getting me in the decorating mood.

Adding a large graphic design element (like these snowflakes from The Dollar Tree) draws attention to the tree. It also helps space the other ornaments evenly by creating "compartments."

An all white-themed tree. Found on theyellowcapecod.com

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Elf on the Shelf Ideas

We got one of these for Christmas last year, so I can’t wait to get him out. Found on blossombunkhouse.com

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Candy Cane Blossoms

I’m not usually one to be big into baking…but these really make me want to make some to take to work.

Found on bakedperfection.com

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A Colorful Christmas Tree Idea! #gradient #christmas #tree

A gradient Christmas tree. I definitely want to do this some day, when we have room for more than one tree.

Found on ebay.com

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Christmas stove top potpourri on iheartnaptime.com ...makes your home smell like Christmas!

This I hope to do over Thanksgiving break as I decorate the house.

Found on iheartnaptime.net

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And lastly…bundling and snuggling. Two of my favorites with my sweet girl!

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My dearest husband, you can make that trip up to the attic any day now.

And to everyone else, wish me luck with all of this decorating I plan to do while I have my toddler running around everywhere getting into EVERYTHING. It will certainly be a challenge. :)

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Oh Parent-Teacher Conferences… October 28, 2014

I type this as I am in the midst of the final night of parent-teacher conferences for the school year.  Being my 8th year teaching, I find that I am not nearly as nervous as I once was, but still find several of the encounters a bit unsettling.  Here’s why:

 

1) While I have many more conferences than a lot of my fellow teachers, it is quite disturbing that out of the 150 some students I have, just under 20 parents care enough to meet with me.  Granted, I could eliminate around three-quarters of that 150 whose teenagers have good grades and are doing just fine in my class.  On the flip side of this however, I have at least 20 students who are failing and another 10 or so that are barely passing.  Not ONE of those parents has contacted me or set up a conference.  Of those 20 parents who did show, two had C’s, and the rest have A’s.  So for the most part, I didn’t actually meet with any parents that I actually needed to.

 

How can one care so little for their child, that they don’t even bother to find out why they are failing?  Or what they can do to fix it?  Even if you hated school yourself, it is your child’s ticket for getting farther in life…whether that means going on to college or simply being able to get a good, career-type job.

 

2)   On the other end of the spectrum, I have parents coming in truly disturbed by their child’s grade in trigonometry because they only have a B+.  And even one or two last year, that had a 98% and were not happy with that.  They act as if their child is a horrible student and beg me to tell them what they can do to help them improve.  Because of their “poor grades,” several of those students will now have outside tutoring to attempt to get their grades up.  Unless it is the student themselves who wants desperately to have that A, then I just feel bad for them.  Their parents seem to put so much pressure on them to essentially be perfect.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was one of those crazy, school-obsessed students myself, who thought life would be over if I ever got an A-…BUT that was coming from within myself.  Not because my parents wanted me to have an A, but because I wanted an A.  There was definitely never pressure from my parents to be perfect.  I can’t even imagine trying my very best, and then having my parents telling me that my best was just not good enough.  Why would a parent chose to make their child feel so poorly about themselves?

 

3)  I seem to be reflecting and thinking deeper about all of these conversations and interactions, or lack-there-of with various types of parents, as I now directly transfer it to how I imagine Avery might be.  And, then on to how I will be as a parent in a similar scenario in the future.  I like to think that Adam and I will be somewhere in the middle of the above mentioned extremes, but I also know that is easier said than done.  It would be extremely difficult to sit back and just let her get a B, when she makes it very known to us that she is not actually giving 110%, as my Dad used to say.  But at that the same time, if she is happy and succeeding and still learning, then perhaps that is good enough?

 

Only time will tell on this one.  For now, I will just soak up every moment of watching Avery continue to learn and discover the world around her.  Life as her Momma is the best job there is.

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Favorite Parent Quote of the Night (of one of my freshmen girls):  “D. says you you have such cute clothes, are so pretty, and are by far her favorite teacher.”  (This student has never particularly liked math, or thought that she was good at it.  And now she has an A, and actually seems to enjoy Algebra 1.)  I love it!

 

Flash Forward Six Months October 10, 2014

Filed under: General,Good Times — LindseyJuly @ 2:25 PM

….and then six months passed without me writing a single blog post.  Whoops.  Let me touch on the highlights…right after I set the October theme with this picture:

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  • Avery hit the one-year mark, and is now only 20 days away from being a year-and-a-half old.  Every day I look at her and am amazed at how much she has grown and continues to change.
  • After several ridiculously minor technicalities, I finally met all of the requirements for my master’s thesis by the end of the summer, and officially graduated.  I now happily have my Masters in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Mathematics.
  • Adam has taken on a crazy amount of responsibilities this school year, particularly here at the beginning while coaching football.  I’m so proud of him and thankful that he is willing to work so hard for our family.  Avery and I enjoy every little bit of free time we can get with him, because he has very little!
  • My school year is off to a very different start than his.  I only have two preps, both of which I’ve taught before…needless to say, it’s easy!  My number 1 focus right now is pretty much just Avery.  It is wonderful!
  • We had such a great summer, although it was a busy one.   We  went to a Springfield Cardinals game, Dogwood Canyon south of Branson, the zoo, multiple trips to Silver Dollar City, went pontooning on Table Rock, and had trips to Macon and Bolivar to see the grandparents.  Avery and I also went on a LOT of walks, went to multiple playgrounds, and had several trips to the city pool-which she LOVED. I also ran quite a bit in June and July…130 miles to be exact.

 

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AVERY is amazing.

-She is talking like crazy.  She has over 40-50 words that she says all the time.  Every day it seems she is saying something new that I had no idea that she even knew.

-She is obviously walking by now, not only that but practically running at times, and climbing on everything.

-She is a sweetheart, and loves to be snuggled and kissed on.  She gives great hugs, and sometimes kisses too if you are lucky.

-After being at daycare all day, she doesn’t let me out of her sight from the moment we get home.  She follows me everywhere, and wants me to hold her as much as my arms can allow.  ;)

-In my eyes, she is of course impossibly cute.  So adorable still that I really could just watch her all day long and never bore of it.

-She loves to play and loves to get into everything.  She is interested in absolutely everything.  She loves books, and loves to bring them to me to read to her.  She loves music, and enjoys dancing and clapping her hands to anything with a beat.

-She is not the best eater, but she is improving.  Her favorites though, are cheese and crackers.  Oh, and chocolate too.  (Though she rarely gets any.)  Can you believe it Nannie?

-She has stolen my heart forever.  I thank God every single day for blessing me with such a precious daughter.  <3

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The Last Few Months in Pictures April 8, 2014

Filed under: Good Times — LindseyJuly @ 3:15 PM
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Obviously I have been MIA on my blog posting the last few months. I have been taking no less pictures than usual, including Avery’s 10 and 11-month pics…but have had absolutely no time to sit down and edit pictures and write posts. Today I found about five minutes at work, because I was desperate for a break, to make a post of random pictures I’ve taken with my phone. So for now that’s the best I can do! The end is in sight though!!!

-One week until my thesis defense.

-Less than two weeks until my final thesis is to be turned in.  (Hoping I meet the deadline.)

-Another week after that until my comprehensive exams.

-And one more week after all of that until my last final.

If I can be successful with each of the above items, then my graduate degree will be complete…and I will have much more time for blogging again.  :)

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In a nut-shell, Avery loves to play!  And the last picture is of Avery’s first trip to Silver Dollar City and her first train ride.  I adore my little family and feel oh-so lucky to have them.

-Shout-out to Aunt Pat & Uncle Ross for the super cute Valentine’s Day card for Avery.  Thank you!

(P.S.  This post is especially for you, Nannie.  I love you and I’m sorry I haven’t had time to post more for you to see!)

 

 

9 Months Old February 8, 2014

Filed under: Baby,Baby by Month — LindseyJuly @ 12:56 PM
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Avery was 9 months old on February 1st!  It’s very hard to believe that she is  closer to being a year old than to being a newborn.  The past month went by very quickly, as it was super busy.  We spent a fun Saturday in Bolivar with Granny and Granddad, and had a great weekend in Macon with Grandma and Grandpa.  Adam and I started a grad class this semester…which makes it feel like we have even less down-time because now we always have math homework looming over our heads.  However, the best part about this class is it’s my last one, EVER.  I have absolutely no desire to ever get my doctorate, so this will be the end for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  The countdown begins to the end of this semester, to the end of my master’s, and to a summer off with our sweet 1-year old!!!

Stats:

Weight — 16 pounds, 9 ounces. (up from 6 lbs, 15 oz at birth)

Length —  27.75 inches. (up from 20 inches at birth)

Month 9 - Front  Month 9 - Grin and Kick

Month 9 - Funny Face 2 Month 9 - Funny Face Month 9 - profile

Month 9 - Crawling Month 9 - Sitting

Momma&Avery MommasSmiler Month 9 - Closeup

Month 9 - Standing Backside Month 9 - Standing CUTE

What has changed over the last month?

-Avery is crawling everywhere.  She finally figured out how to crawl forward and not just backwards.  So now she is all over the place.  It’s so cute!  

-She is also pulling up on everything.  She can even cruise around objects, holding on and inching herself all the way down the couch.  Avery also loves to be a daredevil, standing there with only one hand securely on an object…almost as if she’s pointing out how talented she is.  Pretty funny.  

-She “talks” and talks and talks…still, but is now making even more sounds than before.

-Avery has definitely mastered the wave.  She can wave hello or goodbye and can even do it just after hearing the words, not simply by mocking someone else.

-Her favorite things to play with are not any of her toys…it’s any object that she can find that we’ve accidentally left in her reach like a remote control, magazine, or bottle of water.

A Favorite of the Month:

All of her big firsts.  It was so exciting to watch her crawl for the first time and to see her get more efficient at pulling up and standing up on pretty much anything she sets her mind to.

In the next month I am most looking forward to…

Surviving and enjoying the relaxing moments.  Lot’s of homework and work to get through this month, and crossing my fingers that none of us get sick again.

 

8 Months Old January 4, 2014

Filed under: Baby,Baby by Month — LindseyJuly @ 7:16 AM
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Avery was 8 months old on January 1st.  She continues to grow and change each and every day…which is so incredibly amazing and fun to watch.  Being another month older, she also got to experience her first Christmas.  It was quite exhausting for Adam and I, but it was also even more enjoyable than in years past–watching Avery’s reaction to opening gifts and thinking about how very different it will be next year.  She is still my little sweetheart and I love her endlessly!

I was not able to capture her huge grin for her 8 month pictures.  She is much too focused now and what that contraption is that keeps flashing at her.  If she keeps this up I may have to switch over to taking these pics with my iPhone, which she is much more used to.  She also did not want to stay in one spot!

Stats:

Weight — 15.5 pounds…my estimate. (up from 6 lbs, 15 oz at birth)

Length — 26+ inches. (up from 20 inches at birth)

Month 8 - 2

Month 8

Month 8 - rollover

Month 8 - side

Month 8 - serious

Month 8 - sitting 2 Month 8 - sitting
Month 8 - yawn

Month 8 - closeup  Month 8 - tummy

What has changed over the last month?

-Avery is still not crawling…but boy is she close.  By rolling, twisting, squirming, and scooting backwards she can pretty much end up where ever she would like.  Although she tends to get stick under our furniture quite frequently by scooting backwards, then can’t make it out going forward.  Maybe crawling by next month?

-She “talks” and talks and talks…constantly.

-Avery loves to eat.  So far I haven’t fed her anything that she doesn’t like, other than she is still pretty set only eating pureed food.  Granted she has no teeth, so maybe that will change when some teeth finally come in.

-She loves to play with anything and everything, particular those things that aren’t actually toys.

– Avery can give high-fives, can sometimes wave, every now and then will mimic back a sound you have made, and she will laugh back at you if you laugh.  Love this!

 

A Favorite of the Month: Her giggling fits!  Several times I have made her laugh over and over again for almost five minute solid.  It’s hilarious and usually occurs at night right before she is about to drift off to sleep.

 

In the next month I am most looking forward to…

-Time.  Always time with my two loves!

 

Favorite Books of 2013 January 1, 2014

Filed under: BOOKS, Books, books,My Favorite Things — LindseyJuly @ 7:51 AM
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The best 8 Books I Read in 2013:  (though not necessarily released in ’13)

1. Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

2. The Last Letter From your Lover by Jojo Moyes

3. Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos 

4. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

5. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves  

6. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

7. The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

 

~My favorite book of 2013 was probably Where’d You Go Bernadette?.  I really enjoyed this one a lot!  It also has extra special meaning to me, because I finished it a mere 3 hours before I went into labor in the middle of the night with my precious Avery.  In that way, this book will always be linked to her in my mind, and will remind me of that amazing night.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

 

 
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