Saturday, April 9, 2011

Halen's One! (Photo Extravaganza)

I can't believe it! I think I've said this before, but it truly feels like the blink of an eye and an entire lifetime simultaneously. How can my precious baby boy be a thriving one-year-old? It seems impossible. We had some family and a few friends over today to celebrate Halen's first year.

Before the food.

David's mom Shanna, step-dad Wes and brother Andrew are in town (more on that later), and my aunt Sherry came, along with my brother Chris and sister-in-law Laura who drove up from San Diego with their 6-week-old daughter Quinn!

Wes, Chris and Quinn

Laura, Quinn and Halen

Halen loves his Auntie and baby Cousin!

Laura, Sherry and Quinn

Halen with Gramma Shanna. Guess who discovered his nostrils this weekend?! And so it begins...

David being his usual bad-ass self...

The Strattons and the Coxes. Not my best photo, but look how good everyone else looks! Taking this one for the team.

Halen and his Daddy!

Mr. Happy

The birthday King!

Slobber Chin

Birthday cupcake!

Birthday frozen yogurt is more up his alley...

Yucky cupcake gets the drop :)

I love this picture!

Mr. Halen has 8 teeth. He weighs about 20-21 pounds. He is crawling and standing like a madman, but afraid to walk and not quite there yet. He will, however, pull himself up to a table or couch, grab anything he can get his hands on, and start tearing/chewing/smashing. He’s our little destroyer

Halen is sleeping really well these days. He'll go down around 8, and more often than not he'll wake up between 1 and 4 to eat, and then he goes right back to sleep until sometime between 6:30 - 7:30. Often times, he doesn't wake up during the night at all. During the day he takes 2 naps, usually around 11:30 and 3ish.

Halen mostly drinks milk, but he also has 3 meals a day of organic jarred baby food. His favorite foods are pears, bananas, carrots and sweet potatoes. He’ll eat other veggies and meat if I mix in fruit and rice. He’s a pretty good eater, but he still doesn’t do anything solid or chunky. He gags on the smallest bits, so we just do the mushy stuff for now, and occasionally give him something solid to gag on, like fruit pieces or tofu.

His favorite toys are his mailbox, his train and car, and his books. He has a curly blondish mullet and giant blue eyes. His favorite words are “mama”, “dada” and “giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle…” Sometimes I look at him and I’m in awe because he’s just so beautiful and I can’t believe how much I love him. All the poopy diapers and cranky-pants tantrums are well worth it.

Where Has the Time Gone?

Sheesh. Where do I ever begin?? Here's a quick summary of my life from September - March:

Monday through Friday I get up at 5 am. Okay fine, 5:15... I get ready for work, (which includes about 45 minutes of pumping), run out the door and hit the road. It's a 25 minute drive into downtown, and I'm usually there by 7:15. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we have staff meetings at 7:30 and then school starts at 8.

This year, we got a class-size reduction grant which requires all 9th grade classes to be capped at 20 students. Since we weren't in compliance until early December (I had 30-35 kids in each class), we had to drop all of my classes to 15 and add about 4 new sections to compensate for the overflow. Until then, I was the only geometry teacher at my school, but now there are 2 other teachers with 1-2 geometry classes and I had to give up my English class to make way for a 6th geometry class.

Since all of the 9th grade classes shrunk, we had to rearrange all of the classes to make everything work. Unfortunately, we can't find any teachers to fill our vacancies because we have 1-3 openings for almost every subject, and no teacher is qualified for all of the subjects we need. LAUSD has a shortage of biology/spanish/world history/pe teachers (that's one teacher qualified to teach ALL of those classes). As a result, we're all teaching extra classes without a planning period. Of the 18 teachers at my school, only 2 of us have a prep period. And no, I'm not one of them.

So, basically, this has been good and bad. Good for me, because my classes shrunk significantly and now I only have to prep for 1 subject instead of 2. But bad because all of us are majorly overworked and no one has time or energy to do anything. That's bad at a small school like mine where there are so many out-of-class requirements. It's just simply a lot of work.

School ends at 3:10 and if I don't have meetings or 10th grade presentations to attend (don't get me started) then I leave to pick up Halen from daycare. David drops him off every morning at 8, and I'm usually there between 4 and 4:30 to take him home. Part of me has some maternal guilt about how much time Halen spends at daycare every day, but I know that he has a great time there, and they love him and treat him well. I've come to terms with being a working mom, and I feel blessed to have a career that gives me so much time off! (Like spring break, which is only 1 week away! Counting down the days...)

What else has been going on with me? Well... nothing. Life right now is work, Halen, work, Halen, etc. My favorite times are visits from family, which have been happening a lot lately :) For more on Mr. Halen, click here.