Monthly Archives: March 2012

Exhausting

Exhausting

I can pretty much sum up my life right now in just a few words…”different”, “exciting”, “fun”, and “exhausting”.  I’ve been back at work for 3 full weeks now and I’m beyond exhausted.

I’ve found myself dozing in the evenings before supper when our little guy catches a few winks himself…the other night, Matt snapped a picture of us and I think its pretty telling of how thing are going around here…

yes, I was resting my head on my sweet, sleeping baby’s head.  We both snoozed for a while like this, so I guess it didn’t seem to bother either of us!

3 Months!

3 Months!

Parker James, you are 3 months old!  How is that even possible?

I’m a couple of weeks late in getting this written, but month #3 has been a big month for you (and us)!  To start the month, we took our first trip to Abilene since you arrived.  We had a great time at Kappy & Chief’s house for the week, though I realized just how hard it can be to be away from home for an extended period of time with a baby!  Sometimes its just easier to be at home.

Talking to Chief!

You are talking all the time now and interacting with everyone around you.  Every afternoon and evening after we get home from work, you always smile so big at your daddy and me and “talk” to us about your day with Gigi.  You have become quite the storyteller, little boy!

You pretty much hate tummy time, but sometimes you will tolerate it for a minute or two and other times you cry as soon as we put you down.  You’re very strong and can hold your head up really high and the other morning you even rolled over for me!  You haven’t done it again since then, though you’ve definitely come close.  You’ll do tummy time on our chest and you do a really good job holding your head up when we’re holding you up against our shoulder, so I think you’ll be ok.  We’re still working to help you like being on the floor on your tummy.  You love to watch the lights & colors on the TV, so maybe if we put you on your tummy where you could see the TV…we’ll have to try that, little guy!  We also discovered this month that you sorta like sitting in the bumbo chair.  You can hold yourself up really well for a few minutes before you get tired and want out.  I’m thinking it won’t be long until you’re having a good time in your jumper and activity chair that we’ve got waiting for you upstairs!

Maybe this tummy time thing isn’t so bad…

You’re still a great sleeper, most of the time.  We moved you to your bed upstairs last month after you outgrew the Nap Nanny.  The first few nights I was too nervous to leave you up there by yourself, so I slept up there with you.  The first night was a little rough, but after that you’ve done great!  I also think you’re pretty close to sleeping unswaddled.  Every time I go to check on you or get you out of the bed, you’ve gotten your arms out and you’re all sprawled out.  I’ll probably keep wrapping you up just so you don’t get cold, but maybe we’ll start leaving your arms out.  We give you a bath most night and  put you to bed around 9:00 every night and you sleep until about 5:00 AM!  We feed you at that time and rock for a few minutes before you go back to sleep for a few more hours.  When you wake up for the day, Gigi is at home with you and y’all hang out for the rest of the day.  I know that you eat, take a couple of good naps, and play on your mat, in the bumbo, and your bouncy seat while we’re gone.  You love your Gigi so much and you’re always so happy when we come home to you.

You love bathtime!

After bathtime last week! My sweet little ducky

You really seem to love church.  You’re usually awake when we get there, but you love the singing and it always puts you to sleep.  You don’t seem to be as big of a fan of Bible class though.  Really, I think the problem is that you want to talk to everyone, not sit quietly! You and I usually spend most of class walking around the building to keep you happy.

We’ve also found out that you’re allergic to dairy and most likely soy proteins, so we’ve had to start feeding you a hypoallergenic prescription formula.  You’ve been on it for 4 weeks now and most of your symptoms are almost completely gone!  We’re so glad its working to help you feel better.  You’ve also gained some good weight now that your tummy is feeling better.  You up to about 15 lbs now!  You are wearing size 2 diapers, even though we have a bunch of 1’s left…I guess we’ll have to hand those off to baby Clara for her to use.  You’re also  outgrowing  your 0-3 month size clothes and most of your pj’s are too small for your long feet.  Some still fit, but some are getting to be too short on you and some are starting to get tight on your arms.  Guess its time to move to the 3-6 & 6 month sizes!

I also had to go back to work this month.  It was no fun to leave you and I miss you terribly during the day, but I do enjoy getting out the house for a while and its fun to come home to you and see your face light up when you realize its me!

Parker, your daddy and I love you so much and we love having you in our family!  It is so much fun to see you growing and changing right before our very eyes.  We can’t wait to see what this next month holds for you!

Some Scary Facts about Public Education in Texas

Some Scary Facts about Public Education in Texas

I love my job.  I love teaching.  I love spending my days with teenagers.  I love seeing the progress they make from August to May and knowing that I am helping (most of) them become productive members of society.

Unfortunately, the education system in Texas (and probably the U.S. as a whole) is horribly flawed.  The average school year in Texas is about 180 days.  Out of those 180 days, students spend between 8 and 10 days taking standardized tests.  For high school students, 2 of those tests are given at the end of March and the rest are given over the course of a whole week in the middle of May.  Please explain how testing students ALL day long, for a SOLID week is going to give you an accurate reading of their success for that school year and what they have (or have not) learned.  A teenager has an attention span of about 40 minutes and then they need to move on to something else…it’s no wonder the average student struggles on standardized tests.  All that aside, what if the kid is having a bad day on test day?  What if they don’t feel well, had an argument or fight with someone that morning, what if their home life is unpredictable or their parents are virtually nonexistent?  How do the state government officials expect to get a good reading on our students success by looking at one test given on one day throughout the course of a full week?  It’s just not fair.  And why do these tests matter so much?  Colleges don’t look at their scores as part of the entrance process, employers don’t care how they did on them either.  Why does the state place so much emphasis on them?  Figure out another way to hold teachers accountable.

I find it slightly ironic that people are so concerned with the results of these tests and continue to raise their expectations, yet they continue to cut funding for public education.  If you’re not pleased with the test results, how can we be expected to improve results with decreased funding to our schools?  Our class sizes are increasing dramatically every single year and we’re getting fewer and fewer resources with which to work.  Most districts in Texas can’t even afford for students to have textbooks at home, we only have classroom sets of books.

Our superintendent sent us some eye-opening statistics this morning about funding for public schools in Texas.
State’s Budget by School Year:
2011-2012 – $25.6 Billion
2012-2013 – $25.4 Billion
2013-2014 – $21.9 Billion (That’s a staggering decrease!)

Every school year, Texas enrolls an additional 80,000 students.  How are we going to education 80,000 more students in 2013 school year with  $3.5 Billion less in funding?  It’s a scary thought…

Including inflation, the state’s education budget should look like this:
2012-2013 – $28.6 Billion
2013-2014 – $29.4 Billion

Education in Texas needs major reform.  Our lawmakers need to get their priorities in order.  You cannot continue to raise expectations, but reduce resources and expect positive results.  It just doesn’t work like that.  Stop doing our kids a disservice and give the teachers the resources we need to help these students be as successful as possible, whether they move on to college or the workforce post high school.