Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On to BIGGER and better things

With all of the budget cuts in education, I knew there would be changes coming my way. But, I was not expecting to be moved from my job as a 5th grade special ed teacher to my new position: 18-21 year old special ed teacher. Those are some BIG kids.

I will start this crazy new job at the High School next year. Last week, I popped in my future classroom to see what my kids will be like. I learned quickly that they are exactly like the little tykes I teach now, just supersized. The cool thing is that my teaching will be less focused on ABC's, and more on what adults do during the day to keep themselves busy. And yes, there is cooking and a Wii involved :)

Things I anticipate I will love:

- teaching them how to be adults in the world and prepare them for the day when "the bus stops coming".

- getting to take my group of 8 kids (or should I start calling them adults?) on daily field trips to the store, jobs, parks, and all community resources.

- getting them all YMCA memberships and having some work out sessions with them-since that's what adults do.

- getting them hooked up with jobs in the real world and watching them gain a sense of self worth.

Things I anticipate will take some getting used to:

-zits and B.O. Lots of it.

-getting beat up. (it's okay, I can run really fast if I have to)

-no more V-necks or skirts.

-no cutsie classroom decor. More like college dorm room set up. No biggie. Feel free to donate your twilight posters :)

-bus routes--we'll be using the transit on a daily basis.

I'm always up for a challenge, so this is right up my alley. I just like to teach, I don't really care who I'm teaching. So, as I get a little sad to pack up my apple bulletin boards and my alphabet puzzles, I am pretty psyched to run around with big kids in the real world and see how they (and I) do.

(Here is a totally unrelated pic of me at Fish Camp, Port Angeles, WA, a couple weeks ago. Here, I'm sporting Dad's fleece, and socks with birkenstalks. This is how I plan on dressing for my new job.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Legs!

In April I celebrated my 4 year anniversary with running!

I started in 2007 when we were living in Pullman. I was BORED, getting out of shape, and wondering how in the heck I was going to keep my body fit without organized sports. (LOVE sports).

Then I heard of some gals my age running marathons. I never tried running before. Ever. But thought-why not? It's cheap. I'm bored. And girls always look cool in their little racing bibs on race day. I called Heath and said, "hey-let's run a full marathon!". She said, "Cool! Let's do it! How long is a marathon?" And that's how it started.

Since then, I've ran 2 full marathons and 8 half marathons. I am currently training for a full marathon this September. I know - crazy.

Now, I still wouldn't call myself a "runner". And, I definitely do not LOVE running. Do I love tying my shoes before an 18 mile run? Heck no! Do I love putting on my running shorts on a rainy day after a long day at work? Of course not! I run mostly because of how it feels after the run.

I love how it feels to do something good just for me. I like how I feel when I put my clothes on and they fit right. I like that when I get up at 6:00 a.m. and run 4 miles before work, I have this weird type of mental energy that I can't get from coffee. I like the simplicity of running-no gear, no equipment. Just me and the road (and Andy, if I'm lucky).

I know I'm going to keep running because there's no reason I should stop. I know I will keep running because I can get jealous when I see another girl running on the street even though I just finished my own 10 mile run. Psycho, but it happens.

I have runs that are boring, runs that are breathtaking, I have runs with Andy where we talk about life, runs with Heath where we laugh our heads off, runs when I'm sad, runs when I'm mad, runs where I pray, and runs that seem like they never end.

Yep, me and running have come a long way together. A definite love-hate relationship. Either way, it's because of you, running, that I sit and enjoy this icecream sandwhich in

my skinny jeans :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meet Henry!

7 pounds, 10 ounces.

Dark thick hair.

Chubby little cheeks.

Quiet little cry.

Easy to love and hug.

He's my new crush: Henry.

And here's how we got him:

On Friday morning at 4:30 am, Heath called and told me, "it's time! I've been having contractions since 1:30, and am feeling like just like I did with Amelia. It's happening!". So, I jumped out of bed (looking fabulous) and headed straight up to Snohomish. On the drive up, I was hoping I wasn't "too late" and worried that I might miss the birth. Little did I know what lied ahead-24 hours ahead....

Once I got to Snohomish, Amelia was up and at em', getting ready to spend the day with "gamma Tanya". Heath was watching tv, counting through her contractions every 5 minutes. Amelia left soon, and it was just Heath, me, and Grant. Waiting.

Around 9:00 am, we decided we should move this labor along, so I coordinated a jogging and jump jack routine that lasted about 15 minutes. It was more of a laughing hysterically at Heather trying to do these things than the actually exercise, but it was a good distraction. Still, the contractions stayed the same frequency and intensity. It was getting a little tiring to watch, but, don't worry, I was okay. :)

We watched Jersey Shore and read some People mags for about 3 more hours. Still, Heath's contractions didn't change. When she had contractions, we muted the tv, put the mags down, and counted through it with her. After about 25 counts, the tv was unmuted and we resumed our convo about Jessica Simpson's life going down hill.

Then around 1:30 (a wee 12 hours of contractions for Heath), the contractions became more intense, the celeb gossip had come to a lull, and we decided we should get in the car and head to her midwife's home, where we better be havin this baby.

So, the midwife checks Heath, to find that she is 2 1/2 cm dialated. You've got to be kidding me. This labor is going as slow as Kristi Alley's weight loss. Heath is in so much pain, and it doesn't quit. 2:30 rolls around, then 5:00, then 6:00. Heath is silent, exhausted, and her face showed excruciating pain. The midwife checked her again. She was only 3 cm. This is when I cried. I know, such a wuss. The contrations were never ending. I'd spent the last 13 hours staring into her pain-filled face, squeezing her hand, imagining the pain. She told me that counts "3 through 20" were the most painful, so it was during that time that my face mirrored hers. Not because I could feel her pain (I wished I could), but because I know her face (it's just like mine) and I know what every wrinkle meant. Pain. Exhaustion. Sometimes I just felt like she would be in labor for the rest of our life, and that absolutely nothing will ever be as horrible as watching her go through this. Oh ya, that's when I lost it.

From 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, she continued contractions every 3-5 minutes. Grant and I held her hands while she squeezed and we took turns counting with her. He kissed her all the time, and sometimes she would smile when he did. I was so glad she had him.

At 11:30ish , the midwife checked Heath again. She was still 3 cm. I couldn't believe my ears. All of this pain and no change. Then the midwife asked Heath if she would like her to break her water. Heath didn't hesitate. "Yes. Do it", she said calmly. After that, Heath kind of lit up for a second and had a look on her face that "IT'S GO TIME". And that's exactly what happened.

All of a sudden, Heath turned into the incredible Hulk. With one push, she went from 3 to 6 cm. Another push, 6 to 9 cm. One more push, she was at 10 cm. Grant and I were cheering for her, she was so focused and so determined. No screaming, no yelling. Just totally focused. Three more pushes, and there was Henry.

It was a surprise gender, they didn't know what it was going to be. We were so tired and glad to be finished, it didn't matter what it was - we were just thankful Heath was finished. Both Grant and I agree, it could have been a monkey and we would have said, "great. let's go home".

So, that's my birth story. Henry is absolutely adorable, and Heath is amazing.

I'm so glad I have a new baby to hold and am so happy to be Aunt Meg to this cute little guy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Slow Mo

Today I had, what I like to call, a "slow motion" moment.

It's hard to explain, but I'm going to try really hard, because it's important enough that I need to record it somewhere so I never forget it.

Today was a normal Thursday in my classroom. The way I have our schedule arranged, everything is SUPER predictable, very routine. There are never surprise events, or random activities. Everything is super repititive. It's what's best for the kids. As a result, things can get pretty mundane. It's great for the kids who need that kind of structure, but can sometimes drive an adult a little coo coo for cocoa puffs.

But, at around 2:30 during snack and story time, I like to leave a little room in the schedule for me to talk casually with the kids, play with them, whatever. Most of them can handle this, but one of them CANNOT. This kid is very much in his own world. I've had him for 3 years, and I've never been invited in.

For 3 years, he's acted like I'm not even there. He has never looked at me. Never touched me. Never spoken or muttered anything to me. Cried for hours and won't give me the slightest clue what he needs. He never smiles at me. Today, something happened.

During my 'casual time' I walked over to him and sat next to him. I patted him on the back and said hi, and as usual, he completely ignored me.

Then, I put my fingers on his hand, and slowly walked my two fingers up his arm and tickled his neck. He twitched his head.....almost like a laugh. Then I did it again, but just a little faster this time, and I even said, "gitch you, gitch you!". And HE LOOKED AT ME. AND HE SMILED. It was the weirdest looking smile I have ever seen. Teeth everywhere. A totally lopsided smile. It was like time just completely stopped. Then he looked away again.

I tickled him, for the third time now, just to see if I could get another glance. But, no. Oh well. I had it. I was in his world for a only a few seconds, but it was definitely a slow motion moment--one I will never forget. And it was absolutely incredible.

And since I can't post a pic of him for confidentiality reasons, I would love to post another pic of a slow motion event:

This is just another one of those moments that seems frozen in time :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolutions Shmesolutions

So last night (New Years Eve) we partied with our good friends T and S. Before we showed up, Tim suggested coming prepared with up to 5 "things you want to do" in 2011. Not resolutions, "things you want to do". The difference, I think, is just that they need to be something specific and do-able, rather than vague and kind of unattainable.

After a delicious happy hour at Tutta Bellas, we shared our stuff. As expected, stating my goals infront of 3 other people made me take them quite seriously.

So, here are 5 things I want to do in 2011 (I know, your just dying to know, right?):

1. Train for a marathon by myself (never been done). Kinda scares me just thinking about it.

2. Speak up. If some one is being mean to me, just one time, I want to tell them that I think they are being mean to me (Also, never really been done as an adult). This could be anyone. A co-worker, Andy, or maybe even YOU! So, watch out!! Kidding. On a more serious note, I'm not saying I am constantly getting bullied or asking for pitty. Definitly not. I just think sometimes I ignore a lot of things, let it bottle up inside me, then completely blow up or have a cry fest over something really small. So, I guess I just want to be more assertive and hold less resentment. Easy, right?

3. Love my body. I want to love the skinny parts, the chunky parts, all of it. I'm sick of trying to change things. I look good and I work hard, so I need to like what I have.

4. Go fishing with dad. If there was one 225 pounder out there, there is bound to be another one...maybe even bigger :)

5. Let it go. Let go of a hard day at work. Let go of trying to be better than other people. Let go of cleaning the stupid stains off the bathroom floor (they will never come out). Let go of trying get ahead. Let go of trying to be right.

And there they are!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Note to self

(Yeah-that's me running into the water. There's just no danty way to get into the ocean).

Andy and I just returned from a super fun trip to Mexico. This is our third time vacationing in this hotspot. We go around the same time each year: mid December. This is an exceptional time to go because 1) I am extremely stressed at work and feeling burned out of the kids and 2) it is totally gross in WA at this time.

Every trip to Cabo just gets better and better. This year, we spent our time doing what we do every time-laying out in the sun, watching our skin turn brown and our stress wrinkles disappear, drinking lots of margaritas, and forgetting that we have any other cares in life. It is absolutely WONDERFUL.

We totally kick back together and just really enjoy having fun together. At one point, we both agreed that the carefree lifestyle made us feel like we were back in the "dating" stage of our relationship. We decided this is because the ONLY decisions we had to make together was where we were going to go to eat, how we were going to dress, and if we were up for dancing or just sitting in the hot tub.
And after 8 days, we start to wonder, why do we stress out so much? Life is so much better when we just keep it simple and enjoy the fun things together.

After the return flight, we came home to a pile of bills, a grocery list, and a schedule full of work. ....OH YA, THAT"S WHY WE STRESS out so much.

I'm kind of starting to wonder: does it really have to be this way? Should we just drop everything and move to Mexico? Andy can play guitar and I will sell jewelery. A perfect plan :)

So, without sounding cheesy, I'd like to make a note for myself to remember: relax and enjoy the day. Throw my hair in a ponytail, go do something fun with Andy, and make a fancy drink--even if it's only Tuesday and I'm sick of my work week. Don't spend 5 days of the week tired and angry, and 2 of the remaining days lazy. That is just no fun. Relax and remember: Cabo 2011 is just months away.......

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Every teacher in WA state has to take classes to earn their "Professional Certification" after a certain number of years. It's basically a series of classes and a TON of paperwork.

Before enrolling in the program, I heard horror stories about this program from lots of people. A few teachers have deemed it "the most difficult thing they have ever done in their life". One teacher even told me "I would rather go through child labor without epidural than do Procert". Nice.

I was kind of excited to find out what my perspective would be. Would I find it SUPER difficult, sorta hard, or do-able? It's been 5 years since I've been a student and not a teacher, so I was eager to find out what kind of a student I am.

On the first day of class, I raised my hand to ask a question, and kind of talked my way to an answer. Afterwards, the teacher said a quick one-liner, "Wow-you are one smart cookie, Megan". My face turned red after she said it, and for some reason, it meant THE WORLD to me. I thought to myself, "ya, I'm smart. This will be easy for me!"

Now, I am halfway through the program. It's not so bad. Ever since I internalized the idea that I "might" be smart enough to do this, everything has felt really do-able. It's so funny that it just took one comment from my teacher, and I feel like I can handle anything she gives me.

It really reminds me how important those little gems of reinforcement can be to my own students--and to anyone, really. When someone believes something about you, you start to believe it yourself.

Oh, and another thing that makes my Procert class AWESOME is that my class thinks I look like Giada from Food Network. I think I can see the resemblence. I might be a little more bubbly, though.