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?