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I can feel it. This year started out like no other. It was my first first day in which I experienced zero intestinal distress due to nerves. I know, TMI, but for reals, this is the life of a teacher.
I think it's because I have my third first year under my belt. I know that sounds bizarre, but for teachers, whenever you change subjects or grades, or even curriculum and textbooks, it's like being a first year teacher all over again. It's exhausting, overwhelming, stressful, and ugly-cry filled territory. Last year was my first year teaching seventh and eighth grade, and just math, with textbooks I'd never used before, so I had a lot of new going on.
I started this year with the knowledge that I survived one year already so I got this. There's still lots of room for improvement, but I have a base to build on now, so it's just going to keep getting better.
Enough about me. Isn't my little (gigantic) Zoe Bug sweet? This is her first year in middle school and I have her with me, under my nose, where I am sure to deepen the scar tissue of her youth.
And my little Stinky Dink is in fifth grade now, at the elementary school without her big sister to look up to, and she has a new independence. I shudder to think of the trouble she might be causing without her sister to tattle on her. Perhaps it's best that I don't know.
I did something out of the ordinary this year, and I took the girls school clothes shopping before school started. I know, doesn't everyone do that? Well, as a parent I sometimes suck, so it was kind of a big deal for me.
Anyway, it was the coolest thing how we shopped for clothes this year. I had $40 in Kohl's cash to spend, so that's where we went. We walked in and we each got a little cart. I sent the girls off with instructions to 1) stay together, 2) find and try on pants, long sleeved shirts, and only one short sleeved shirt for the 96 degree first day of school, and 3) come find me when they were ready to pass inspection.
While they were busy, I was busy shopping by myself, unhindered by children farting around in clothing racks and forcing me to use my angry eyebrows and Secret Mommy Triceps Pinch. It was awesome. Everyone was happy.
Once they had filled their carts with options that worked for them, we all traipsed back to the dressing room so that they could try everything on again and get my approval/disapproval. For the most part, they did great. I said no to a few things and traded some things out for different sizes, and in the end we all left the store pretty happy campers.
And we earned $80 more in Kohl's cash. It's a vicious cycle.
I'm dying here, I can't stop laughing. Stinkerbell's fall soccer team has the prettiest pink uniforms. I'm in love with them. Stinkerbell dry heaves every time she has to put it on. I gush over her and snap pictures, telling her how pretty she looks in pink. She glares at me as if she is willing my head to explode, thereby making her uniform a more palatable color.
Is it wrong that this makes me smile?
And aren't these the coolest pencils on the planet?
I mean in a really creepy sort of way. I had them engraved for my classroom loaner pencils, in hopes that students wouldn't walk out of the room with them, not wanting to be caught dead with one. It would be like Social Death.
I have to say, having used them for two weeks now, they're pretty effective. If a student tells me that they haven't a pencil to use, I squeal excitedly "Would you like to use one of my Justin Bie-e-e-e-ber pencils?!!!!"
I don't know why they aren't as excited about them as I am. What happened to Bieber Fever, man?
So, here's the deal. I promised you a classroom tour in pictures, and I do have that for you, but I don't want to kill you with picture overload so I'm going to put that one up on Sunday. Watch for it if you're interested. See you then!