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Wednesday, 8/24 Whirlwind week

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hi everyone,

Here is a quick picture of the rest of my week... It is especially marred by the fact that my regular pool is still closed and will probably stay that way through Labor Day weekend and beyond. The brief time that I can go to the available pool (from 5 to 6) is really causing me a lot of grief. the tradeoff is that I am still getting pool time in and it has been absolutely gorgeous outside day after day.

Work has been hectic, busy in a positive way, and challenging. I am trying a new spin on my program that is allowing me to serve a lot more children. I am traveling into a couple of classrooms and I am supporting the classroom teachers with materials, planning time, ideas while seeing two groups of children in the time frame that I can only see one group normally. I have done work with their entire classes and am open to flexible work with both of them. I am enjoying a lot of children and some fun whole group instruction that is relevant to all kids. I am also enjoying the fact that I am physically up to scurrying up and down hallways in a way that I haven't been able to do for years and years. Hooray for that. We are also changing a staff activity that we have been doing to a format that I think is far better and that I have experience in managing at one of my former schools. I will be managing it again which gives me an entire new task to add to my work day, but I am so glad that we are improving on what was done, that I know it will be fine.

My fall grad classes start tomorrow. I have one class (Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students) that meets on Thursdays from 5:30-8:10. There goes my pool time until the fitness center is open. The other class (Foundations of Language Minority) meets 4 weekends starting this weekend on Fridays from 4-8 and Saturday from 9-3. That takes the pool away from me on Friday evening as well--on Saturday, the water slide park is open until 6PM, so I'm good then. I'm glad that I have a bike, bands, stability balls, and weights at home to take up the slack for me.

Anyway, my week has whirred by. I have a doctor appointment after school on Thursday. I also had a lab work appointment with a different doctor today. Things just keep me hopping in a really figurative sort of way.

I'll talk to you soon!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 8/25/2011 11:44AM

    You are busy as usual in a most productive way. Making maximum use of your time and getting good results.

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_LINDA 8/25/2011 9:18AM

    That is frustrating when your main form of exercise is unavailable. I know I am impatient to get back in it and wish my foot would hurry up and heal. So glad you are getting to do a program your way and have found a way to reach more children! That is great news you can handle the moving from class room to class room! Did all those shots you got work for you?
Hope you can get some good sleep or rest to help carry you through this frantic week. Always make time for yourself, you need it..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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Monday, 8/22 New Children's Book "Maggie Goes on a Diet"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hi everyone,

I am really overcome with thought on a topic and I wanted to share it here as well as on my teams. (This is quite different than my usual blog, but as a teacher, and a reading teacher this really hits home. I have always thought that children's books are a great avenue for teaching our children about life issues including the death of a loved one or a pet, divorce in the family, disabilities, illnesses, and other important life events. I am totally baffled by this or the need for it.)

I just finished reading an AOL news article on the "Huffington Post" entitled: "Disturbing New Children's Book 'Maggie Goes On A Diet' Encourages Young Girls To Diet." It showed the cover with a chubby "Pippi Longstocking" looking child holding a pink dress up to a mirror, imagining herself as a thinner child. The article went on to be very biased against this book. It pointed out that the target audience is girls around the junior high age although the cover clearly was for younger children. It told the story of a girl who worked to lose weight and became a soccer star because of it--and I think I remember that the girl did go on her diet using "exercise and hard work."
www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-stample
r/disturbing-new-childrens-_b_931532.h
tml?ncid=wsc-huffpost-cards-image

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
This article brought out pages of comments and lots of opinions from people. I read about 20 comments and stopped. I think the male author of this book has certainly pushed a few buttons and I thought I'd see if it might have pushed yours.

Take care,
Sylvia

PS I was able to download my daughter's solo here. It took a while to do, but the directions at SP made it relatively easy. I hope you enjoy it too!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MZSUZANNE 8/24/2011 1:55PM

    I would definitely agree that if kids can be taught to eat a balanced healthy diet and exercise rather than junk food and soda sitting in front of the tube, video games or computer they would have a better chance of growing up at a healthy weight and not NEED to diet. There are way too many obese kids in this country because they are not learning about or getting good nutrition. Thanks for the good topic.


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MALKS_ARIA 8/24/2011 9:38AM

    Healthy is different from "Diet" and We all know this... I am hoping that kids can learn the difference too! I am not sure that this book does that, but it does put forth the need for exercise, and a mindful goal. I do agree, that many can take this book as an encouragement to encourage unbalanced eating such as not eating enough calories (often a diet issue), and other unhealthy ways diets affect our life. Balance Diets, Fruits and Veggies make a HUGE difference in a kid's life. I make sure the kids get them. Hope you do to!

aria

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/22/2011 10:59AM

    As a nurse I'm not a big fan of dieting for children. They need nutrients and a balanced diet. Access to healthy choices and limited access to fast food and junk food. What they need is physical exercise and it should be provided in school and at home. It's the best way to keep kids within a normal weight range. Almost every child would love to exercise if it is in some way they find enjoyable whether it's dance or golf or bowling. The bottom line is to get away from the comupter and TV.

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Marissa's Church Solo

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This is a video I took of my daughter singing at church.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDRAAAR 8/22/2011 12:40PM

    WOW! She's amazing!

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_LINDA 8/22/2011 11:06AM

    Marissa has amazing talent!! Such a mature voice for one so young. She sure can hit the high notes with out any break!! She could go as far as she wants with a musical career!! She could be a fabulous opera singer!!!
Thanks so much for letting us hear and see this wonderful performance!!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/22/2011 11:02AM

    Beautiful!!

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GRACEISENUF 8/21/2011 11:05PM

    Her voice is a beautiful gift from God!

Thanks for sharing.

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ENUFF81020 8/21/2011 8:55PM

    Thank you--and I am quite frustrated because I can't get this to load for me. I will have to "assume" that it is working okay for others now.

She wants a career in music--Shenot only sings, she plays oboe, tenor sax, percussion, piano and is in every music group and activity in her school. Madrigals, show choir, jazz choir, musicals, marching band, pep band, jazz band, and it goes on and on. Her high school choir has been asked to perform in Washington DC along with 11 other choirs from around the country. It is exciting to see her find this in her life.

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MKPRINCESS007 8/21/2011 8:47PM

    Her voice IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing! So, not only are you a proud Mom, but you are completely accurate.......she is awesome! :)

Karen

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Sunday, August 21 Week in Review

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hi all,

I finally finished getting my weekly menus transferred to SP from my written journal last week--and when I looked everything over, I haven't changed what I am eating much (except that I can chew more these days. My mouth is healing slowly but surely.) However, I noticed that I actually added more protein and more whole grains to my daily meals. I will thank WW for making me look at those things better. I think I have looked at the daily feedback sheets from SP so long that I am not making changes any more to improve them. The payoff came at the scale when I lost 5.8 pounds. That is typical of me the previous 3 times I joined WW. Our meeting topic was "meatless meals" and I am going to try a meatless day this week, even if I have to fix some meat for everyone else. I would like to see if I really feel satisfied with that.

Work has been trying in many ways. I cannot discuss specific children here, but I can say that I bring a lot of experience and professional knowledge to the table when we talk about a child and it frustrates me to no end to not be listened to when an issue comes up--and then to be "right" after time passes. Wasting time is not a friend to children who need academic support. **Official end of rant** I went to school yesterday and with the help of 3 of my kids, we set up 48 book baskets for 1st and 2nd graders. It is an awesome lot of work and it took us 4 hours to do it. I'd still be there if the kids didn't help me.

I am hoping to add a video to this blog of Marissa singing at church. When you hear it (if you hear it,) remember that this is the voice of a child who just turned 16 2 weeks ago. I am a proud mother, no doubt, but she is amazing. I'll leave it to you to agree or disagree with that statement.

Take care everyone...I'm off to add the video now. Then I get some "down time." The girls are doing laundry and my husband and son are fixing dinner. The other guys are doing yard work. And I am doing this, hmm...It must be a holiday or new moon or something weird!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/22/2011 1:42AM

    Sorry about your work frustrations -that is just plain rude of people not to listen to you :((
Speaking as a person who has all meatless meals at home and some meat meals at my Mom's -I am very satified and don't miss it. But I also make sure my meals are well balanced with protein, fat and carbs. I use soy beverage, cottage cheese, cheese, egg whites, beans, lentils, yogurt, nut butter and a protein supplement for protein and it seems to satify me well enough. I use bread, cereal and grains that have a higher than usual protein content. Really into label reading to find the best possible product nutrtionally out there to meet my needs. I am never lacking in protein for my daily needs, and that is important to feel satisfied in a meal without meat. I have been a long time vegetarian and used to snack in between meals like crazy before I learned to pay attention to getting enough protein, then I felt satified and not hungry later on.
Nice to hear you are getting a relaxing evening for a change -you deserve it!!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MKPRINCESS007 8/21/2011 8:23PM

    Sounds like things are successful all around, for the most part. I hear ya about being a professional and people having to find out the hard way that you were right about the needs of the children you work with.......definitely been there!

Hope you have a great week,
Karen

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Tuesday, 8/16 Staying flexible

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hi Everyone,

It is always a blessing to read your comments on my blogs. I sure appreciate your support. I went to work yesterday at 6;30 to get caught up on cleaning up my classroom because I left in a hurry Friday so I could go to the pool. Interestingly enough, I ended up doing the same thing yesterday. The schedule of available hours at the pool for these next two weeks really messes with my life. However, I will dow hat I have to so that I can work out. I won't get to go to the pool tonight because I have a doctor's appointment. They are open from 1-4 for open swim and from 5-6 for adult lap swim. I think it is really unfair that the after work hours are so brief, I had to lop off part of my workout and some of my laps yesterday in order to fit in the time frame. I made up for that with all of the physical work I did yesterday between walking all over our big school and the heavy lifting I was doing in reorganizing some book areas in my classroom. (They don't call them "Big Books" for nothing.)

I expected to spend yesterday teaching, but I spent more of my day testing a couple of children. This is something that I haven't been "allowed" to do in our district for the past 4 years. Even though I am a reading specialist and part of my training has included detailed work in assessment and diagnosis, our district policy changed back then and only classroom teachers were to do any reading assessment. It is no secret that I have fought this silliness and disagree greatly. I do understand that it is best if the person who does daily instruction has a great advantage in planning if they know how their students operate in detail and they teach to the child's strengths while building on their weaknesses. I also understand that the old days when I might spend weeks doing almost all of the assessments for a building limiting my time to actually teach. However, they "tossed out the baby with the bath water"by not allowing me to assess my own children or to do anything to help the staff or building using my expertise. We adopted an online assessment program last spring for all students in grades 3-12, so that means I can now assess as is needed again. It feels good to use a part of my own skills in working with children again.

I am back doing the Weight Watchers "Points Plus" program that I tried to start in January. I would have stuck with it then, but their meetings are way too crowded in January and paying to attend a meeting that I didn't get to attend because I spent the entire time in line waiting to pay for my meeting and be weighed didn't make any sense to me. The strength of any weight loss program is the combination of a healthy eating program and community--like SP and WW both do quite well. I thought having some accountability at the scale might help me to stay focused. The thing that I am getting from this is a renewed focus on reading labels and on weighing and measuring foods. I needed to tighten up my portion size--not only to manage amounts of all of my foods, but to make sure that what I was counting as a serving of fruits or veggies was actually an entire serving. I have been very good at measuring those target foods like desserts, but I needed to get back in the habit of measuring other foods as well.

I started out yesterday feeling a bit yucky again. I hadn't felt that feeling since we reduced my dose of Savella, I am wondering about nausea and a kind of off-center almost light-headedness when I haven't eaten yet in the morning or haven't eaten for a while. I do best as do many people with a small meal every few hours, but now that I am back to work, it isn't quite as easy to do that. I guess I am worried about dips in my blood sugar levels while I am more physically active than I was in the summer. I was busy beyond busy, but I could manage the "when" for eating and activity in a different way than I can when I am "on the job." Maybe I am more in-tune to my physical reactions to food and activity as well. In any case, I ended up doing an emergency run for fast food at 6:30 and given my available time and opportunities, that put me at McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. I am not an egg person, but I analyzed their menu carefully with one of my WW books. It was the best choice for me at the time to provide something that was both not sweet and that had protein in it, even if it wasn't one of my favorite foods. I hope to do better today and avoid even a well-planned choice from such a place. I might just use my time away from the pool tonight to stock my refrigerator. Around here, that is a big job!!

Grocery shopping is a regular pain when I am feeding this many people. I have to really balance budget with who I am feeding. Besides a costly food budget, I have to make sure they know which foods are available to them and which ones they must leave alone. That is also hard because they aren't always here at the same time and I seem to forget who I told what to. Oh my, I can get back into the swing of being at work. I also have to balance when I can do my sparking and the filter at school now complains about almost every spark screen I open. I do not understand why that is--the CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) filter has to prevent the use of internet shopping and blogs, but there is a lot of SP that is neither. I cannot understand why my spark points page triggers the filter now. I am guessing there is some new upgrade and in a few days, I will petition our tech people to let it go. It may or may not work depending on the rules and reasons.

Anyway, I think that being flexible is my new mantra in many ways. I will figure out my details and as always, I will count on you for both suggestions and support. Have a great day!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALKS_ARIA 8/17/2011 4:54PM

    Hope You have a GREAT Weekend!!!

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ENUFF81020 8/16/2011 9:46PM

    Hi there,
i think I misrepresented a couple of things in the way that I said them. I am glad to have a friend like Linda who pays attention, but I need to correct this for others reading. First of all, when I said desserts, I meant soft foods that I have eaten recently with my oral surgery which included ice cream. I don't eat a lot of sweets--I am a fruit person too, just had raspberries as a matter of fact. However, I will eat a fiber one bar or if I have pudding or frozen yogurt or anything like that, I have been very good at measuring them. The same goes for animal crackers or anything like that.
As for sparking at school, the only time I even touch my computer is when I get the random break or this year--I have a lunch break. Another time I might check my emails and SP is if I am waiting for a ride when I am working late and am waiting for my ride. I sure don't have time for anything like that while I am work. I wrote this blog before I left for work 2 hours early this morning.
I wish I could get my family on board with me too--I also wish we had a Costco here because I often hear about all of the great deals there. A houseful of teenagers and young adults is an interesting challenge and sometimes they just won't do things my way. I have good kids who do what lots of kids do and who avoid what lots of kids avoid.
Thanks for keeping me honest and honorable, my friends!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

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_LINDA 8/16/2011 9:27PM

    A couple of red flags here -tracking dessert? Why is dessert needed in a healthy lifetstyle? Substitute fresh fruit or veggies with yogurt for a dip.. Tracking absolutely everything is truly vital to get a handle on your calories..Its difficult with being at work to eat small meals throughout the day, but if that is what works for you, sounds like you need to be packing healthy little meals to take with you. I am an advocate of eating a good healthy breakfast, well rounded with protein, fat and carbs to give you a boost and help keep you going.
You have to go to the school really early to clean up your classroom and yet you are having time there during regular hours to Spark which is really just recreation and unfortunately a big time absorber. Sounds like you should be using the hours you need to be at school to do this work for school organizing/cleaning. When you are so busy, you must make every second you have work for you. It makes more sense to me to do your school work at the school in every free minute you have there. You must put your life and work before Sparks.
Its a shame you can't get your huge family on the same page with eating healthy. Buying fruits and veggies in bulk is a lot cheaper than smaller amounts. Belonging to a place like Costco, where large quantities are much cheaper then the grocery stores may be way for you to save on your bills. Your membership would pay in no time for the amount you have to buy. It has certainly paid for just the three of us..
I hope the treatments are helping you feel better,
Take care of yourself,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/16/2011 10:16AM

    You are so busy and I'm sure have to be very organized to fit it all in.

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NANCYBOAT 8/16/2011 8:21AM

    I also believe that flexibility is a key in being successful at weight loss. Good luck with WW!!!

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