What Do We Have Here?

I have been trying to figure out what exactly the focus of this blog is or should be. Parenting, traveling, career, oh my! I was agonizing over this when I realized that there are no rules that dictate I need to come up with a focus. I have many interests as, I am sure, you do too.

Way back when, in the mid-nineties, I created a website (before blogs were a thing) for a post-graduate class that discussed education topics. They can be found here: Multiculturalism, Year Round Schooling, and School Vouchers. The idea was to read articles about a hot topic in education, write about what I read and start a discussion. Who knew I was on the cutting edge of internet communication at that time? So, should this be the focus of my blog to continue to discuss educational hot topics?

When I was a student teacher for a second grade class I created not just a lesson but a whole unit on dinosaurs. I turned the classroom into a museum where the students were the employees. Not only did I teach them about dinosaurs, but I also taught them how to apply for a job, participate in meetings and training, and earn a paycheck. I decided that this was such a wonderful unit that it should be shared with teachers everywhere. The lessons and activities can be found here: Dinosaur Unit. So, should this be the focus of my blog to continue to post my lessons and units?

On a personal note, I also started posting info about all the places we have been traveling as a couple. Looking back, I provided very limited information, which I thought I was being clear and to the point. I realize now that it may not be the best way to continue recording our travels. Since being offline, my family has been documenting our vacations in a journal. These will eventually make their way to this blog as I love sharing our adventures. So, should this be the focus of my blog to continue to post our travels?

Not long after having my first child, three weeks precisely, I was home alone with a newborn and needed an outlet. This blog as a way to share my parenting experiences, a Mommy Blog shall we say, and a way to feel like I was connecting with the outside world. I have been enjoying reading through those sleep deprived moments and seeing that I could find the good in some of them. My kids are pretty cool (I’m sure yours are too) and have always had strong personalities. It was fun to read about them when they were really young and realize how much they have matured. So, should this be the focus of my blog to continue to record the goings-on of my kids and impart the wisdom that I have come to obtain?

In writing about what this blog has evolved from and into I realized that it will be what it is, an exploration of the world that I have come to create. Teaching, traveling, parenting and whatever the next chapter is. I am excited to share my journey with you, everything from the good, the bad and the ugly. So come along with me and explore my world.

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Blog vs. Facebook: The Ebb and Flow of Communicating

The time I have spent off the blog was replaced by another familiar internet entity, Facebook. I joined Facebook and it wasn’t long before I decided that my blog was no longer the best way for me to express myself. First off, I was noticing that most of my blog posts had to do with my kids and not so much with parenting, a.k.a. I was dong a lot of complaining. I was also noticing that on Facebook I was receiving much more instant gratification, where the blog was a slower process to get people to comment. So I went from having to type long(ish) tomes to short bursts of information while getting likes and comments all within minutes and hours. Seemed like a no brainer for a mom who had very little time to herself. Plus I was able to catch up with friends and family in an instant, no phone calls or emails. The hard work I was putting into being a mom was being offset by this very readily accessible way to communicate with the outside world.

This past school year I had the opportunity of having both kids in school full time and I noticed a switch in my priorities as far as communicating with my friends and family. No longer do I intently check Facebook at multiple times of the day to see how everyone else is experiencing life. No longer do I post multiple times a week or day to receive that instant gratification. What has changed? I no longer craved to be part of the “Look at me and what I am doing right now” crowd. I think while my children are growing up and experiencing the expansion of their world, I am experiencing a similar phenomenon.

There is an ebb and flow throughout our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Physical development from when we were young, mental development as we grow up and intellectual and/or career development as we grow older. I seem to be hypersensitive to these changes in myself and my children. I have made a point to educate myself on how to best guide my kids through their ebbs and flows, most of which is just common sense. When they were young they developed so quickly and now as they are getting older it has slowed down, but for me, become even more rewarding to assist them in becoming independent. I know that they are not mine to keep and want them to be the best adults they can be with me always there on the sidelines.

Now that it is my turn to focus a little more on myself, I find myself being more reflective and less instantaneous. What do I want to do for the family and my career? Less and less posts on Facebook have turned me into a stalker of others and less of a sharer. I do find the need to share my thoughts and so here I am back on the blog. With some ideas for my career in motion and the groundwork being laid, I will reveal my plans when the time presents itself. Until then, you will be able to enjoy my thoughts on a much deeper level than Facebook can provide. Ebb and flow, so I join you to come with me while I go with the flow!

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I’m Back!

It’s been 6 years to the day since I last created a post. I have spent that time being a mom of two very cool children, ending a job, volunteering my time at the kids’ preschool and local library. The main focus of that time off has been the kids, local causes and trying to figure out what I want to do when they grow up.

One thing I am very excited about is that my children are growing up to become very interesting, yet very different people. The kids are now old enough to experience the world and we are getting back to traveling. A goal that my husband and I had (some many years ago) is to travel all 50 of these United States. We have been to a most of the states up and down the east coast and a coupe on the west coast, but I think it’s time to expose the kids to the many different areas of this country. We recently went to Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania for some camping and hiking. I cannot wait to share with you our experiences and the spectacular views we captured.

As I mentioned, I am trying to figure out what I want to do when the kids grow up. I have some ideas rattling around my head and thought this was a good place to brainstorm. Traveling has allowed me to get away from the routine and open my mind to new experiences. Being a mom has given me confidence and the kids have become my inspiration. I want to show them that ideas can become realities if you keep at it and follow through. So, this is me starting yet another journey and sharing it with you.

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What happens when the very thing that you are supposed to be best suited for is the very last thing you want to do anymore?

I am a teacher. I have always been a teacher. From the time I was young, I had no problem instructing my brothers what to do and how to do it. I have taught children and adults. I have taught them most anything. It doesn’t matter what the subject as long as I have a little knowledge in it. I try to be creative but more importantly give them a chance to succeed or fail on their own. Sounds like I have my career cut out for me, right?

I have been teaching steadily for about 12 years. I have substituted for elementary school, taught 3rd grade, instructed teachers and adults on the internet and web site design. I still teach at a community college teaching web design. I teach my children, ages 4 and 11 months, throughout the day on various subjects. I try to make every possible opportunity a teachable moment. Sounds like I’m happy with what I do, right?

The sad part about all this is that I’m not happy with what I do. I’m not as patient as I used to be with my students, the administration is providing their fair share of obstacles and I am just plain bored with the subject matter. I love coding web pages with html and css. Yes I’m a bit of a geek, but I do enjoy it. What I am not enjoying is passing this information on to the next generation.

What I need is a kick in the pants. What I need is change. But what do I change? Do I change location? Do I change subject matters? Do I stop teaching all together and find something else to do? Hmmm.

I love being home with my kids, but as any stay at home mom will tell you, if she doesn’t get at least some time to do what she wants to do the quality of her work will suffer. I desperately want to get my passion back, but I am finding it hard to figure out what is the best thing to do. I have some time before the next semester starts. I’ll let you know what I decide. Until then, I will imerse myself in my children and learning the piano. Maybe being the student for a change will open my eyes to something I was missing.

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A Smile Just For Me

Alina has been really focusing on people’s faces lately. She has the cutest smile and greets me every morning with it as well as every time I get her from her naps. It is the biggest toothless grin you could imagine. Little did I know she saves most of them for me…

Technically the smiles are not just for me as Chris can get her to smile and Aiden does attract her attention. It has seemed lately that she grins and giggles when I just look at her and just say “Hi!” I have a friend who is determined to get a big grin from her, but so far she only does it for me.  I am one loved mommy.

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