Thursday, March 27, 2008

Adventures in cleaning

I've cleaned half of my house. I still have to go through the living room and kitchen (yes, I left the worst two for last!) and I need to vaccuum the baby's room and finish picking up in there. I got rid of all the boxes though, which is nice. I went through my closet and got rid of things that I never wore or barely fit before I got pregnant the first time (which means I may never fit in them again) and kept the things that make me really happy/comfy. This has left me with a few extra hangers. I'll probably go through the movies tomorrow and books to send anything that I don't want along with the clothes to Goodwill. I also have to make sure I get rid of all the cat fur in the baby's room (which isn't to bad and is only in a few places. All I need to get at this point is a mattress and a breast pump and I'll have everything that the kid could possibly need for awhile.

Our vacation was nice. There will be pictures later.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bug Update

Currently, we think he weighs about 3 1/2 pounds. Now, this is not exact and could be off by a pound in either direction. I am really hoping he decides to slow down on the growth just a little. We still have 10 weeks left! He's also practice breathing, which is apparently, a little ahead of schedule. But it seems he's getting a little ahead of me - I'm 29 weeks and 5 days today. He measured at 30 weeks 1 day. Not a huge difference, but in the 6 weeks since we last saw him on u/s he's gotten ahead. There are also small changes in my cervix. It's still plenty long enough, at 4 1/2 cm, but it's actually lost a little length, because we started at 5.2 cm. As long as we're over 3 cm, it's all good. But the change means that my cervix is getting started with the shortening, which if the kid is coming out, obviously needs to happen. My doctor said that doesn't usually start until 33 weeks, but mine's already started. This makes me wonder if he'll be like his mom and decide to be a little on the early side. He's also flipped himself head down. Hopefully he decides to stay that way. The kicks are easier to deal with up into my ribs than down into my poor bladder. I have an u/s picture, but I have not scanned it. It's also not real good cause he wanted to put his hands up over his face the whole time... gee, that sounds like grandma.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mini vacation

Over spring break we're going to go to Atlanta. We're spending 2 days, and we're going to see: http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/, http://www.zooatlanta.org/home.htm (where they have a 2 year old baby giant panda bear!), and http://www.woccatlanta.com/. And we're going to have dinner at: http://www.emerils.com/restaurants/atlanta_emerils/. That should make for a nice couple of days. Hopefully it's not to hot.

Oh yeah, and spring break is only one week from tomorrow!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Homeschooling and why it may not be as great as it sounds

First off, this post is spawned by this article:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/07/MNJDVF0F1.DTL
Now, California has some very different regulations from other states mandating what is required to obtain a teaching crediential and as such may not be the best example in the world to use here, but they're the people doing it and so, here goes.

First of all, I applaud what California is trying to do, although I think some of their reasoning is flawed. This is not to say that they have chosen a bad reason (to be able to monitor all children more closely for abuse) but rather that the reason they have chosen may eventually shoot themselves in the foot. Because there are very real reasons why homeschooling needs to be more closely mandated. As far as I know, in most every state, in order to homeschool you esentially set yourself up as a private school. Private schools are not regulated by the current public school standards which say that, to teach you must have a teacher's license issued by that state. Most people look at this and go "So what?".

Have you ever heard of "unschooling"? It's a concept that essentially says that children will learn what they need to if you just let them go about their own merry way. And hordes of people buy into this concept. And their children spend their days watching tv, playing video games and pretty much being children. So, what exactly does one learn by watching tv and playing video games? Well, I'm not sure either but I know it can't be much because I've seen plenty of video games in my time and watched plenty of tv (and avoid many shows now, for that reason). Unless you're only allowing your children to watch the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel or the local college tv programs I can pretty much guarantee that they aren't learning much.

Yes, this is legitimately allowed to go on. I can point you in the direction of people who do it. And, in fact, think it is the best thing in the world, because the public schools suck.

Well, you won't hear me argue otherwise. The public school system is in a right state. No Child Left Behind has destroyed anything that may have otherwise been left in the school systems that were good. Teachers are forced to teach to tests, even though the makers of said tests swear that's not their goal. Tell me, when your job is dependent upon the test scores your students produce what are you going to do: Teach creative and useful things that aren't being tested or make damn sure you try and drill into their tiny little heads exactly what the state says will show up on that test. In any other arena, this would not be a hard decision. Why would anybody think that teachers would react any differently? We want our jobs as much as the corporate muckity muck does. It's human nature.

There are a million other problems that teachers face. Parents who don't care or expect the school to discipline their children. I've had parents tell me over the phone "What do you want me to do about it? I can't control him/her." Verbatim. Parents who don't take the time to pay any attention to their children - like their kids are simply an accessory they take out for show. Do you think those kids care? Kids whose parents encourage doing the bare minimum. "Look mom, I got a C!". "Oh great job honey - here's a new car!". Yes, that happens too. Kids who are only in school to sell drugs. No, I'm not kidding. This list could go on and on and on. My point? Sure there are crappy teachers. There are crappy doctors, crappy lawyers, crappy executives, crappy mechanics, crappy insurance salesmen. Why would teaching be an exception?

The things I've heard people say about teachers astounds me to no end.
"It's easy to be a teacher!" (Yeah right. You try it.)
"They get the whole summer off." (True, but not a good reason to be a teacher.)
"Anybody can be a teacher, those tests are so easy." (Depends on the person, in my opinion.)
"I spent time correcting my teacher all the time. All they do is read out of a book and they read it wrong most of the time." (If you really think that this is how teachers are trained to teach... well, I don't know what to say to you. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't even HAVE books for the first part of the year, so I guess I just stood up there and made things up until I had books.)

I would defy most people to walk into a classroom of 25 kids and teach them. I bet that most people would be floored by what they found. In fact, most of the people I see criticizing teachers haven't been in a classroom since they were a student. They have no idea what goes on in one or why. But they have an awful lot of critiques. If you asked the general public, most people would probably tell you how easy teachers have it. If that's true, why is there a shortage of teachers? Walk into any high school and ask the principal of the school if they have an abundance of teachers. They'll probably laugh at you. Sure, some areas have plenty of teachers. There are a lot of social studies and english teachers. If you can find me an unemployed math or science teacher who isn't unemployed VOLUNTARILY (or was fired for some egregious offense), I'd be amazed.

The general public has a severe misunderstanding of teaching and teachers and if they think the solution is simply to teach their kids at home we are going to be a very interesting looking country in 20 years.

It's things like this that make me wonder why I don't go work in a lab. At least there my skills would be valued. Because as a teacher nobody (parents, children or bystanders) values my worth. Why in the hell would anybody want a job like that?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Grumble

Why, oh why, will the monitoring system for absences not let me enter my maternity leave? I can't fathom this... Stupid computer. And then, I tried to do it online but apparently the online version only works with Internet Explorer 4.0. Oh yeah, you read that right - version 4.0. Why does the universe do things like this to me? I'll have to wait until Monday to figure out why the stupid thing hates my absence and won't let it exist.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It has come to my attention...

that my blog doesn't get used much. It should get used more, as it's a very useful little blog. And now that I only have 12 weeks left before the little Bug is born, well, it seems more than safe to go back to writing. I've been very reluctant to write because I was terrified I'd jinx myself somehow. Don't ask me how. But now we're into the third trimester. And lo and behold, I'm still pregnant. Believe me, the kid won't let me forget it. :D

Now there is some confusion in my brain. Mainly trying to accept the fact that there is, in fact, a child in there. And he's mine. And oh yeah, in 3 months he'll be coming home with me. This is a startling revelation to a person who was convinced that she would never get near this day. Now I'm trying to figure out when my mom should come down and if I have enough baby clothes and if I have all the things we'll need. Everybody has a different opinion about what you need and don't need to have a happy baby. I have a feeling that the kid will let us know exactly what makes him happy though. For that reason, I'm holding off on buying anything like bouncy seats or swings until he gives me a hint as to what he prefers. I'd rather not spend the money just to find out that he hates swings and would rather have a bouncy seat.

I'm also still trying to figure out this boy thing. I'm not sure I know what to do with a boy. I mean, my husband doesn't do the football thing (thank God!) but that doesn't help, really. All the experience I have with boys to this point, is really high school boys. They're pretty much asses from what I've seen. Ok, this isn't true of ALL high school boys (and I hope it's not true of mine) but a large majority of them certianly are. It's quite annoying. Plus, I keep forgetting that my son is not going to be quite like most of the kids around here, if he's at all like his mom and dad. Cause his mom and dad are geeks, to put it bluntly. Role-playing, Disney loving geeks. Who don't watch football or basketball. And don't hunt. We are ren faire, D&D loving, once larpers who have a very... different view of the world. Hopefully this rubs off on him and he becomes a Star Wars loving, Harry Potter reading wierdo.

Actually, I think nothing would make me happier. Now break out the Little People and the Duplo blocks. Those, I can work with.