Saturday, May 12, 2018

Three weeks

We're nearing the end of the school year and it's hard to believe that my first year at the new job is drawing to a close. There's exactly three weeks left until summer break. Statewide standardized testing started last Monday and the whole school has been feeling the strain of hours of testing, rearranged class rotation schedules, heavily monitored classrooms during testing (which are a state requirement), and on and on. I don't know who's more tired or stressed out--the kids or the teachers. Wednesday afternoon a boy got in trouble during his ELA exam for letting out a heavy sigh and muttering, "I hate this fucking shit". Ha! He pretty much summed up how everyone feels right now, teachers and students alike!

There's more testing next week, then final exams the week after that, but the last week of school will be easy. There will be an awards day, and a "castle day" which is when the kids get to spend most of the day outside playing games and sports, and then the last three days are merely half days. I'm so looking forward to summer break--this will be my first free summer since I was a young teenager myself!

Speaking of three weeks, it's been that long since I started making some serious and drastic changes in my life in an effort to lose weight and get healthier. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to my phone and have been logging every single bite of food that goes down my throat. Although the actual logging can be a bit tedious, I love the way it not only tracks your calories, but also keeps a running tally each day of your stats as far as vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, sodium, percentages of carbs versus proteins versus fats, and on and on. You can also log exercise, both cardio and strength training. If you put in your starting weight and height, and your goals, it will give you a daily calorie count to safely lose no more than 2 pounds per week. I like that. Twice this week I finished my day enough calories under goal that I got a prompt warning me that I needed to eat a little bit more. (I was banking calories ahead of planned indulgences the next day, not being silly). It's a good tool. I've been trying to use up my calorie allowances each day with high quality foods. And even better, I've finally started establishing the habit of getting up an hour earlier in the morning for a good walk with the dogs. Forty five minutes in the morning, along with another forty five in the evening (we always walk the dogs at night) equals about 5 miles of walking per day. Not bad! Of course, that's nothing compared to my friend Mary Moon who's been absolutely crushing it on her daily walks lately! Her beautiful (and long!) walks are an inspiration.

Also happening in three weeks (a few days less, actually) my friend Marla is due to have her new baby. Since I have the summer off, and she only lives about a mile away, I'm looking forward to seeing her and the baby often and helping out if they need anything. Our mutual friend Martina has knit the cutest little combination stuffed kitty/blankie thing for baby. I feel like a bad auntie because I haven't knit a single stitch (yet). Of course, no baby born in South Carolina at the end of May has any need for knitwear for at least 6 months, but still. As soon as school is out I need to start something. I know that there are at least a couple of knitters who read here--can anyone recommend a (not too difficult) pattern for a small blanket? I'm looking for ideas and inspiration. Martina and I are also planning to have a small "Welcome Baby" shower for them later on this summer and that could be an extra gift from me.

What does the rest of May hold for you?

24 comments:

  1. What a lovely summer you have faceing you. I remember the start of this job, so long ago now. Please keep up your healthy eating; this is the perfect time to get food under control and in order for the rest of your life. We have become too addicted to sugar, starch, empty calories, but eliminating them changes life for the better. Tidbit: mankind suffered almost no ulcers before the invention of refined white sugar.

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  2. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/waffles

    I just made this for a co-worker; took me 1 month.

    here is an easy sweater pattern too:

    https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/five-hour-baby-sweater

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    1. Thank you! I will check these out right away!

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    2. are you a member of ravelry, jen? I am phillygirl9654 there; friend me if so!

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    3. I am, but I haven't logged in in years. I'm not sure I even remember my login information.

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  3. Oh, Jennifer! Thank you for the shout-out. That makes me feel even more determined to keep this up. And five miles a day is amazing, however you do it!
    You know, instead of knitting a blanket, you could sew a little flannel blanket with blanket binding on the edges for that baby. A printed piece on one side, a solid on the other? Or maybe a very simple block pattern? That could come in really handy. Lightweight, something to put the baby on or to cover him/her with at night. I made one like that for Jessie's last baby and she has used it a lot.
    I am so excited for you to have the summer off. How amazing! This job has changed your life.
    I wish that kid hadn't had to get in trouble for saying what he said but I understand that he had to. Still- as you said, he only said exactly what everyone else was thinking.

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    1. I've never sewn a stitch in my life, Ms. Moon. I would love to learn how as I think it would be a super useful skill to have. And I adore the dresses you sew for Maggie and the embroidery you do on the babies' clothing.

      The kid only got a lunch detention...the assistant principal (a sweet, easygoing young man) treated it as a very minor offense! :)

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  4. This sounds like a great summer for you and Maria !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I hope so! Marla barely mentions the impending arrival...until that baby is here, safe and sound, I think she's trying to maintain a certain emotional distance. Which is completely understandable in her circumstance.

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    2. Ever since you told me about the baby, not a day goes by that I don't think of her.
      I am sending best thoughts.

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    3. You are so sweet, Gayle. I'll be sure to email you a picture as soon as the baby arrives! :)

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  5. Only three weeks to go until the summer holidays? Wow, that is an early start! None of the 16 federal states of Germany start their school holidays before July, and although they start and end at different dates from state to state (to avoid more than the already existing traffic jams on our main roads), they are all of the same lenghth: 6 weeks.
    Has it really been already a year since you changed jobs? That is amazing!
    Congratulations on your new health regime.
    For me, the second half of May means the return to work and normal life after the enforced 4 weeks break due to my eye OP. I will see how it goes on Monday.

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    1. The last day of school is June 1st. The kids don't go back until mid August. And it's no wonder German public education is so much better than what we have here!

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  6. Hard to believe you've had the new job this long! You are going to love having your summer off. I've used the MyFitnessPal app before and had good luck with it as long as I actually recorded everything...

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    1. Logging everything does get tiresome sometimes!

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  7. Oh, baby time! As for me, the rest of May is recovery from "this fucking" eye surgery. I am NOT having fun, but it's going fine.

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    1. I hope your fucking eye surgery recovery is going well and is over fast!

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  8. I chuckled about the boy who said, "I hate this fucking shit". He should have received an award for this remark! I am surprised to learn that you get all the summer off. I thought the school's admin team might have a week or two's work to do after the end of the school year and a week or two of preparatory work before the new school year starts. You lucky thing!

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    1. Actually, it depends on what sort of employee you are. Teachers and certain staff members (like me) are 190 day employees, so we have the longest summer break. The assistant principals and guidance counselors (as well as the bookkeeper and attendance clerk) are 200 or 210 day employees, and the principal and her secretary (as well as the custodial staff) work all summer.

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  9. Re. your fitness changes -- bravo! It IS amazing to have the summer off. Every time I get frustrated with my job, I have to remind myself of that!

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    1. I know! It's so exciting to have the whole summer off...one of the biggest perks of the job!

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  10. Walking to Marla's will be good exercise and part of your program. I'm glad you found something that works. I just try to remember to eat less and move more. It is slow, but sure. The stress of school will be over soon and life will get a bit easier, hopefully.

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