Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Why Can't We (Women) Just Take a Complement?!

While on the treadmill last week I was watching my daily dose of the Today Show and there was a brief segment about how women struggle to take a compliment.  It was interesting to me because I often struggle with taking a compliment and will deflect the attention back onto the person (looking at you teaching partner ;)) or give a reason (i.e.: "I've had this dress forever" or "it's from XYZ").

The segment was all of 3-4 minutes but in that short time the hosts were having general conversation when compliments came out and they too were challenged to accept them graciously.  Why is this? Is it because social pressures to look good, to always be at the top of your game or are we just too humble to accept praise?

I was reminded again of this segment as #TeamA was sitting at the kitchen table tonight colouring and I complimented her on her colouring and her response was "Thanks, mom!".  How can my 3 year old graciously accept the complements thrown her way, yet us gown adults (most often women) can't? I have been teaching her when someone is speaking to her and they compliment her on her hair, clothes, behaviour, whatever to turn and say thank you as an appreciation.

Where do I lack in this? Am I just too humble? Am I just too self-conscious?

Here's an article from Today.com from back in 2013 that is still relevant today.

Do you take compliments graciously and humbly?

Sunshine & happiness, today and always!

Stephanie :)

My (Nagging for 24+ hrs) Wish

Now I want to preface with that I don't usually ever wake up wishing my life away or that things would be different, but today I have had a nagging thought in my head.

Today I can't stop thinking about how I wish my children could have a summer home of sorts that we could spend all day and night lounging and relaxing at.  This and this summer home I would love for it to be on a sandy waterfront so that my kids can continue to do what they absolutely love to do: play in the sand and get wet.  I want somewhere that I am confident taking the kids alone while DH works and everyone is safe and comfortable.  I want somewhere I don't have to pack up every weekend and that we can entertain family and friends who visit.

I don't know why this thought just won't leave my head or why all of a sudden I am aching for such reality, but I am trying to figure out how I can fix it.  It is not that we cannot afford a summer home, but more that we are so busy that beyond the summer months we would be pressed to make good use of it. DH is admittedly not a handyman, so he's not into tending to landscaping and projects more than he has too.

This weekend we are going to visit a cottage/second home of a former coworker of DH, so it will either calm this nagging thought or make it even worse!  In the meantime, the kids and I have retreated to our backyard where we will continue to make amazing memories of Summer 2016.

Sunshine & happiness today and for always!

Stephanie :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Accountability Check: Getting Back on the Bandwagon

Now that summer is here so is the dreaded bathing suit season. I am not one to usually get hung up on what I physically look like, but I do like to feel comfortable in my clothes.  Like anyone else, the winter brought on lots of hardy soups and breads plus the results of having two little ones literally just over 2 years apart.  I made a commitment to DH that I would focus on getting my body back into an appropriate shape over the summer, and he is on the bandwagon with me.

So far, both of us have been up and at 'em before our days start working out in the basement, him on his stationary bike & me on my treadmill. It is a love/hate relationship I have with my treadmill because as everyone has, there are good runs and ones that you'd much rather be somewhere else.  This time around, I have to also time my workouts to #TeamA & #TeamO's schedules so that I can actually work at working out instead of constantly being interrupted.

One of my biggest challenges is going to be the accountability to myself.  I can't start cutting corners, taking time off my run, not doing my weights etc. I find it very easy to finish my run and then sit down on the floor with the kids and start playing instead of finishing off with the weights.  I need someone more to check in on me & hold me accountable.

I am loving my time at home and can't let a day go by without working out so that it becomes second nature to jump on the treadmill before starting my day.  I have a weight goal in mind, but I also have a routine goal in mind once we head back to school in just over 8 weeks.  I want to still be able to workout before school so that I don't fall into the winter slump again.

Please keep checking in with/on me over the summer to see how the routine is going.  Don't be afraid to ask me if I got through my whole workout or if I cheated. I won't be offended!

Do you have fitness goals? If, yes, what are they? How to you keep yourself accountable and motivated?

Hello Summer Vacation!

Today was the first official day of summer vacation and if it is the one that sets the tone, I'm looking forward to the rest of the 9 weeks.

We had been away for the long weekend watching baseball and daily routine was totally mixed up. Nap time was almost non-existent and we were certainly not eating our normal diet.

I was not sure how this summer vacation would work out since it is our first with two very mobile children. Questions that kept creeping into my head included: what are we going to do all day, how am I going to entertain both at the same time with likely two different activities, what am I going to make for lunch that they will actually eat, how can I make sure that I'm able to workout each day?  Today all questions were answered! It was like a picture perfect day. I woke up just after DH left for work and waited for #TeamO to rise so that I could jump on the treadmill. In hindsight, I would have had time to workout before he woke up, but I needed to play it safe to not be interrupted. #TeamO and I headed for the basement for a long run on the treadmill to the tunes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and #TeamA joined us part way through. We spent the better part of the rest of the morning playing outside in the backyard with a mix of blowing bubbles, sandbox and climbing on the structure.  Lunch brought me some stress, but the kids seemed to enjoy a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  (I'm not sure why I keep thinking I need to make a whole meal for lunch time when this and that work just as well, if not better).  Then came the coveted nap time!  This has to be a highlight of our days at home as it sets the tone for the rest of the day and into the evening.

After dinner we headed back outside for more bubble blowing, sand boxing and a new feature...a dish pan of water! #TeamO is a stereotypical little boy that loves mud, trucks, tractors and more mud. I was thinking how I could help fuel his curiosity in all things dirty and remembered I had brought home a white dishpan/bin from school. It would be perfect for outdoor play!  I filled it up with water and watched the excitement explode.  He came out dirtier, happier and certainly more tired than usual.  Once we headed inside, he chose 3 different stories to read before bed and at the end of the third one, he headed straight for his bed.  No fight to sleep tonight!

I can't wait to see what tomorrow and the rest of the week has in store.  I've got a plan to go for a walk to the grocery store in the morning after my workout to pick up a few fresh snacks. It's supposed to be beautiful out, so a walk should be perfect.

Keep checking back in to see what adventures we get up to over the next several weeks.

Sunshine & happiness, today and for always!

Stephanie :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Math Talk: A Recordable Moment

Today in math I wasn't planning on teaching addition with regrouping because I wasn't sure that my students were there yet.  We have been working on mastering our facts to 10 so that we have solid foundation.

It has been touch and go and I've been trying to make it as interactive as possible.  My students are always up for anything that I present to them and today was just the same.  I went into today's lesson thinking that I was going to start subtraction (without regrouping), but once I wrote the header on the board, I came to me that I needed to do more addition, but with regrouping this time.

We warmed up with a card game (similar to "war") where students work in pairs with a deck of cards and they each flip a card over and add the faces together.  Whomever adds up the faces correctly first gets the cards.  It has been a major hit with my students (because they are uber competitive and sponges for learning), so I figured it would be a good lead in to the addition with regrouping.

I reconvened everyone and presented a problem where they had to regroup.  We discussed the need to remember the place value columns and what the digits in a two-digit number meant.  We spent a few minutes composing and decomposing numbers to get the idea of what numbers were really made of.

We were then off to the races to try and add with regrouping.  In trying to keep it simple, I stuck with a simple algorithm that they could follow the steps/pattern to.  With everyone engaged and wanting to share what they thought was the "right way", I turned the floor over to them and asked for a turn & talk.  They needed to talk to the person beside them how they were going to solve 38+96.  This is where I went scrambling for my ipad to record a conversation between two students (grade 2s) about what they immediately saw about the numbers and the steps that they were going to take to solve the problem.

This left me so proud of where they have some from since September when they wouldn't even talk about what they saw or what they wondered.  It was an unintentional moment, yet perfect.  I was ecstatic that could capture it on video.  Next time I would stop questioning them and hope that they would continue to talk about what they saw and hopefully get up and demonstrate their ideas on the board to solidify their understanding.

Until tomorrow, I hope that there's sunshine & happiness in your day similar to what I had today with my math talks.

Stephanei :)

Hockey. Is. OVER!

Hockey. Is. OVER.  Yes, you heard it right...hockey is over. Over. Over. Over!  Yesterday marked the end of DH's hockey school for the season.  We DH has been in full hockey mode since about November and to put this in perspective, #TeamA & #TeamO are just learning how to skate so he is running a hockey school for other people's children.  DH spent much of his paternity leave organizing the behind the scenes aspects of the school in between parenting our two amigos.

This was the first time that balancing home and work life has really been a challenge as now we were both back to our full time jobs and we had two amigos.  There were many days that although I was putting up a brave & positive face, I was crumbling and melting down on the inside because I just could do it anymore.  I couldn't parent and I couldn't teach; both were demanding so much more of me than I was able to offer.

Throughout all this, our home looked much like a sports store with equipment & apparel strewn all over.  Throw in a curious little monkey in #TeamO and you've got yourself a part-time job trying to keep a lid on things.

It was 4 months of single parenting on nights and weekends when DH was out running practices, convening tournaments and coaching games when he had a chance.  I will admit that on more than one occasion I hit up the McD's drive-thru just so that my children would actually eat the meal I put in front of them without coaxing and bribes.

All in all, I hope that the players and parents that participated in some and any capacity this year understand the sacrifice and dedication that not only DH puts into the hockey school but as well as our entire family.  While he was out coaching other people's children he was missing many "firsts" of his own children, quirky comments around the dinner table and the endless cuddles on weekend mornings while we all watched cartoons in the big bed.

Over the next 5 months we will all settle in and enjoy being a family of 4 again so that come November, we will be prepared to lose DH again for another hockey season.

Until then, it will be sunshine & happiness in our house!

Stephanie :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

I did it!

I sometimes think people believe in my technical abilities too much because I have just uncovered something new this morning. I am actually writing this post from my phone!  I have been saying to myself for a very long time now that I wish I could write from my phone because I can't walk around with my laptop for those spur of the moment posts.

Today, being a rainy day off, I took the plunge to see what would happen from my phone. And all be darn, IT WORKED!!!  I've got 100s of ideas flowing through my head so you my be onslaughted with posts over the next bit now that I can post from my phone!

Until then, back to the little eggs because it's almost lunch time!

Stephanie :)