Friday, August 31, 2012

On like Donkey Kong!

Oh thank the heavens! It's FRIDAY PEOPLE!





Obviously, this isn't ENTIRELY true. I do give more than 4% to my kiddos. But the thought behind is true!

Here are my top 5 things this week.

1. My book from the book swap I am doing came in!

I love Jennifer Weiner and I haven't read this one yet. Super pumped!

2. Finished week 2 of first grade. My little firsties (especially my 11 boys) are exhausting but super adorable. I've had to pull out the mean voice a few times, but it's showing them that I care.

3. THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Source: someecards.com via Mary on Pinterest

Sorry parents out there. I'll take your kiddies back on Tuesday. After I enjoy being away for three whole days. :)

4. Jaguars won their last pre-season game last night. Now I know it's just pre-season, but I'm ridiculously tired of the Jags getting crapped on by the national media. They are not bad at all, and I think Blaine Gabbert, our quarterback is pretty hot. (Because a hot quarterback is all that matters, am I right??)
Source
5. I'm actually going to the gym today. YAY FOR ZUMBA!

Hope you had a fantastic week. Bring on 3:15!


Photobucket

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thunderstorms... eek!

Thanks Isaac. Even though I am miles away from your center, you are still terrorizing my world. Not only do your rains mean NO RECESS (ugh, first graders with no recess are torture!!) but you mean thunderstorms too!

Have I mentioned I HATE LIGHTNING?!?! In 5th grade, on my safety patrol trip to D.C., my tour group got stuck on our tour bus in the middle of the craziest lightning storm ever. 10 minutes after seeing a documentary on the dangers of lightning. Perfect timing right? Since then I've been freaked out by it.

So I find it ironic that I live in Florida, which during the summer and hurricane season, seems to be the lightning capital of the world. I barely made it home from work without completely freaking. Lightning everywhere!

So to take my mind off things, I made some macaroni and cheese. I threw in some chicken sausage and broccoli. Childhood memories anyone? Yum. Yum.

So if you are facing the wrath of Isaac, stay dry and stay safe. Know that a girl in Jacksonville is fully commiserating with you.

PS. Bloggy friends, do me a favor and check out my friend Lauren's blog, Dandelion Days. She's starting this whole blog adventure so show her some love. Plus, she has awesome ideas AND she posted one of our favorite recipes from when we lived together, Salsa Verde Enchiladas. Or as she put it, Party in Your Mouth Enchiladas! :)


Monday, August 27, 2012

Eat up, eat up

Yummy food. That was the theme of my weekend. If you know me, you know I love food.

Saturday:
Even though back to school week left me exhausted, I still woke up early. I went and helped freshmen move into the dorms at my alma mater, Flagler College.

The main building, is the former Ponce De Leon hotel. One of the girls' dorms (the main one when I went there) is housed in this building. Each room is completely different, because each room used to be a hotel room. Some of the dorm rooms even have fireplaces!

Total blast to the past for me! I helped many girls move in. The parents were all really grateful. I checked out all three of my old rooms. Memories hit me left and right, even though the rooms were different.

The yummy food aspect was not the food I ate for lunch in the Dining Hall, but just simply eating in my old dining hall:



You can pick your jaws up now. This beautiful place is where I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three years! Crazy right? When the alumni office director invited me for lunch, I immediately said yes!

Ah, memories. :)

Later that evening, J and I celebrated two years at the Melting Pot. I'm a bad blogger, I took no pictures. Wanted to enjoy the evening with J.

The food = AMAZING! So stuffed by the end of the night. Our favorite was definitely the bananas foster fondue. I read J the dessert options and the second I said "White chocolate!" he was in!

Sunday
Yesterday was my brother's 23rd birthday. Guys, when did my pipsqueak little brother turn 23?? The one who used to copy my every move? The one who you use to eat all my food? Scratch that.... the one who STILL eats my meal? He bought his very first car today... CRAAAZY!

J.P. loves Japanese food. So off to Wasabi we went! I love smothering my whole plate in shrimp sauce. It's just wonderful. Plus, it was my lunch today!!

That was my weekend. Hope you had great ones! If you are in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, stay safe and dry! It poured buckets here in Jacksonville.

Linking up for Weekend Update!
 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Woo! It's Friday!

Oh thank goodness, this week is finally over! It's been super long but great.

1. Survived my first week back in first grade and at a new school. Completely forgot how chatty firsties can be!




2. Survived Open House. My ELL parents were grateful for my mom and my non ELL parents seemed comfortable with the fact that their child is part of this class.



3. My two year anniversary was this week. Will be celebrating it tomorrow at the Melting Pot!

4. Will be helping out new freshman at my alma mater tomorrow. Love the good ol FC!


5. My school picture turned out great!


Hope you had a good week too! Hopefully I'll relax this weekend. Linking up Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A shining light amongst the stress...

So I've been busy. Another long day today, and two more long days ahead. But as I was sitting here thinking "I cannot write another post about school!"  a better topic hit me:


I could talk about how it's been two fabulous years with this guy. Exactly two years ago today, J and I met at Jaguars game. A Jaguars game that kept getting rain delayed due to a ridiculous summer storm. A Jaguars game that once it started, I got soaked because it was still raining. Our first date ended up being the next Jaguars game! (Side note: The Jaguars will be playing in London the next four years. I will make it to one of those games. Somehow!)

We've done some pretty cool things together:

SKIING!!! My first time skiing was on our trip to Asheville in 2010. So much fun (and in the beginning, I was better than him!)

CRUISE! We had such a blast on our cruise. He even surprised me with a balcony upgrade.

I know I drive him crazy with my school talk and my dramaticness. Sometimes, he drives me crazy with all his quirks. But I've never had someone who is so entirely there for me. The man bought me a heavy duty pencil sharpener for my room (those things are not cheap!). Last night, when I pulled my back, he took care of me and let me borrow his nifty little clay heating pad. (Thing felt amazing, let me tell ya!)He pushes me to be better, not for him, but for myself.

I love him bunches, and am so glad that he is in my life. I really wouldn't want it any other way!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Heat pad is my bff...

HIMYM is one of my absolute favorite show. I'm watching "The Sexless Innkeeper" and it's making me laugh really hard. Which is a good and a bad thing. Good: helps me relax. Bad: aggravates my pulled back muscle.

Yep, I pulled my back on the first day of school. I leaned down to one of my kiddos and when I stood back PAIN CENTRAL. Even my students were like "Ms. Albino, you ok?" Thanks to J, I do have an amazing heating pad to use. J just keeps racking up the awesome boyfriend points. (Tomorrow is our two year anniversary! CRAAAAZZZZY!)

Besides the pulled muscle and the torrential downpour at dismissal, today was pretty fantastic. My ESOL parents were really happy to have a teacher who could understand them, and my non ESOL parents were pretty kick butt themselves. I met everyone's parents. THAT'S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! I have 19 kids, 11 boys and 8 girls. Had to bust out my mean teacher voice a few times, but overall I think it will be a really fun group.

Hopefully tomorrow goes just as well. At least I'll have more than 20 minutes to prepare! If the rest of this week goes as smoothly then I'll be able to enjoy my weekend. :)

Have a great week everyone!



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Whew... I'm alive I promise!

I'm exhausted and I haven't even had a group of students yet. As I've said before, I am at a new school this year. My first grade team is comprised of seven people: myself, two teachers who have been at my new school for awhile, and three teachers who have only taught first grade, and one brand new teacher. My team is great! But it's been overwhelming making sure I help all the new teachers as well as get ready for my own brand new experience of teaching mostly English language learners.

I know I made the right choice, but earlier today I broke down, thinking to myself that if I had just stayed at my old school life would be easier. I'd know what to expect come Monday. but I know in my heart I made the right choice. I knew it when I saw both my principal AND assistant principal moving boxes and cleaning up the rookie teacher's classroom. That kind of support is invaluable. Change is hard people!

So here are pictures of my new classroom:








I need to take my own advice. I'm as ready as I can be, so I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon/night watching some Pretty Little Liars, baking some brownies, and making sure my outfit's in place for tomorrow.

Sorry, I've fallen off the face of the planet! I hope to get into more of a routine once the first week is over. I hope everyone had fabulous weekends!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dinosaurs, turtles, and space oh my!

First day of pre-planning done. And because of today, I've decided to institute a law. A school law. The law is that all first day of pre-planning must take place at a cool science museum.

Around these parts, the first day of pre-planning is full of BORING meetings. Meetings about expectations, meetings about data. Boring, boring, boring. But my new principal rocked our meeting today.

It kicked off with a scavenger hunt of the museum we were at, MOSH:

Source

It was a good way to get to know people. My team got extra points for coming in third, but I'm not really sure who won.

Skipping over the boring meetings (pretty sure no one wants to hear about skills block or math work). Lunch was catered by The Secret Garden cafe. The sandwiches from there are to die for. Mine came with a yummy pasta salad. (Sorry, no pictures, didn't want to weird my new teammates out with my blog habits!)

After lunch was the traditional THESE ARE THE RULES/PROCEDURES stick to them or die speech. It's that hardcore, I promise.

Finally the best part! Watching a cool star show at the largest single lens planetarium in the world. i mean, really, does a pre-planning day get any better than that?

I'm still overwhelmed, because there are a million things I don't know. Well not a million, but you get the idea. Plus, I have to get used to being in charge of a group of people. I'm going to be flexible but firm. Does 1:30 p.m. on Thursday work for our grade level meeting? sounds a lot more confident than So, what time would be best for you to meet? Thursday morning? This afternoon? Friday? 

I have to remind myself that I'm not a meek person, even if that's my instinct in new situations. I'm a good teacher and a knowledgeable one at that. My principal picked me for a reason, and she doesn't do things randomly.  Be firm but flexible.

I can do it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bring it on!

No, I'm not watching the fun teen movie (though come to think of it, I haven't watched in awhile, that needs to be corrected!) I'm pumped for the school year to officially start. :)

I had a fun final weekend of summer. It kicked off Friday night with the Jaguars first pre-season game.


Have I mentioned how much I love going to NFL games? It's such an electrifying place to be. You feed off all the energy from the people, the music and the game. My brother, uncle, dad and J all went so it was a really good time. Cherry on top? The Jags beat the defending Super Bowl champs 32-31. WE ARE JAGUARS!!!

Yesterday, I spent the day with my brother. I think it's pretty neat that he and I are so close. Kind of mind blowing when I realize in two weeks the bugger turns 23 years old.


How cute were we?

Later that day, I met up with J. He bought me a set of milk crates so that I could create cubbies similar to these for my classroom:




My cubbies will be blue, red and green. I'm supposed to use this closet to store student belongings but the idea of 20 first graders try to cram their way towards the closet freaks me out. I will have these in my classroom instead!

After we hit up Wal-Mart, J and I went to this great little Mediterranean restaurant. It's like a Chinese food place but with Mediterranean food instead. I had chicken kabobs with hummus and rice pilaf. J had this shredded lamb with hummus and yogurt salad. It's making me drool just remembering it all.

Today was pretty simple and boring:
  • I went to the grocery store with my mother, cleaned my room and car, did my laundry. Yay for productivity!
  • Picked out my outfit for tomorrow. First impressions are important you know!
  • Printed out some things that I will need to get laminated tomorrow. Hopefully School Aids isn't too crazy. Oh who am I kidding? The school store is INSANE the week before school starts. Teachers will cut you if you dare skip in line or take the last owl poster.
  • Relaxed by watching a string of HIMYM episodes on Netflix. I adore that show and the older I get the more I relate!
Now I'm off to enjoy the Olympics Closing Ceremony. I have to watch it just for the Spice Girls alone. Here's where I date myself by telling you how  at my friend's birthday party in 6th grade, we all stood on chairs and pretended to be the Spice Girls while lip syncing "Wannabe". I played Posh Spice.  Ah the fun of being a pre-teen obsessed with a pop group!

So here's to hoping tomorrow will go great and I won't puke from all the butterflies that will be in my stomach. Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Linking up with Carly over at Lipgloss and Crayons for YOLO Mondays!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Last Friday of Summer Vacay

Ooof. It's a little painful to type that title. This summer flew by. Even though I didn't do much it was a pretty great summer. I relaxed, hit the gym (even though I really dropped the ball on that the last few weeks),spent time with friends and family, and spent time with myself.

It's also been a hectic week. But I still have some great things to talk about it! Hit it!


1.  This is what my classroom looked like on Monday. Not like a classroom at all. But with some help from my family and J, I did get it done! Well mostly done. The fact that my room is ready impressed my newbie teachers on my team. Guess it gets easier and second nature the more you do it! (Oh and I will post pictures once it's totally complete!)

2. I figured out my back to school outfit! These aren't the EXACT items, but they are pretty close.




first day!

My dress has sleeves and teal stripes and my wedges are strappier but still comfy.

3. I went shopping for myself for the first time in OVER a month. Loft had their Friends and Family sale, so I picked up these pieces:
loft


The best deal was the skirt, it was only 15 dollars! Looks great with the purple top too!

4. I've kept the school spending under control. I've been saving for this, but still have only really bought things I've needed. Go me for sticking to a budget!

5. Finally, the most important part of this week:


It's football time! Tonight is the first game of the pre-season for the Jaguars. I hope they do great and silence all the nay sayers from the NFL Network! Cannot wait to put on my jersey and enjoy some FOOTBALL!

Have a great weekend everyone! Don't forget to link up with Lauren over at My Grey Desk!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Getting it done!

This is not a teacher blog. But it is a blog about my life, right? And at the moment, my classroom is on my mind. Just can't help it!

My wonderful mother came and helped me today. Which was important. Why? My school bug bombed all the classrooms (they had to, all of the classrooms open to outside, easy access for bugs!). Which means I found a lot of dead cockroaches. Gross, I know! I can't handle those nasty little buggers, even dead. Every time I found one, I shrieked.  So my mom cleared them for me.  Mom handled that like such a champ!

She also cleaned and wiped down all my cabinets and helped me organize my room. Seriously, I'm so lucky to have her. End the gush fest about my momma. :)

My classroom is coming together. Crazy how much easier it gets the longer you've been teaching. My newer teammates are freaking out about their rooms, so I'm trying my best to help them out as much as I can.

Each day I'm at the school reminds me that even though it was a hard choice to leave CRES, it was the right choice.

Tomorrow, I'm going to set up my classroom library and J is coming on his lunch break to help. Isn't that so nice? Giving up his free time to come help. I'm going to use his height to finish my bulletin boards. Being short is such a problem sometimes.

I'll post pictures once I am done. Linking up for:

Blog-working Wednesday! 

 If you're new, leave me a comment! I promise I talk about a lot of other things besides teaching. Pinky swear :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Whew, what a day!

I made into my classroom today. At first I was completely overwhelmed. There were all of these boxes along the window. Then I realized they belonged to the previous tenant of my room. Freak out numero dos occurred when I started worrying when she would pick all of her stuff! But it was all gravy, because she came and got it!

My other issue, was that the a.c. wasn't working. The temperature read 84.5 degrees in my room. My brother and I were DYING! Luckily, I caught the janitor and he worked some magic.

Here are some pictures:






Did you get anything done?  Ha! Doesn't look like much, but I definitely did. I threw out a bunch of garbage from all of the drawers; with little storage space I can't waste a single drawer. I moved furniture that I didn't want out of the way, and arranged my meeting area.

Oh! The other reason I didn't get more done was because my translating skills were needed in the front office. The first dad, super sweet. He just wanted to find out what his little girl needed for kindergarten! The next guy, first class jerk. His friend was trying to register her daughter. The mom had no records for her daughter, except a birth certificate, because they came from Cuba to Israel, lived there for a while and then came here. I told him that the ESOL office would contact him and we would get him the right info. His reply, thanks and do you think next time the front office could find a better Spanish speaker?

SO RUDE! I really wanted to say, you're lucky there was even a Spanish speaking teacher available. I know my conversational Spanish is rough. It takes my mind awhile to get going and sometimes I can't pull the right words.Even when I only spoke Spanish, I had issues with my r's so I have a funky accent. But I comprehend it very well. Once I'm speaking it for awhile, it comes freely. He made me feel really self conscious. Not being able to speak it well enough is one of my biggest worries.

I hope to get more done tomorrow . My mom volunteered to help, so it should be a good time!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New beginnings...

Tomorrow is August 6th. It's a date that signifies the start of something new. Even though I don't officially go back to work until the 13th, my school is open to teachers tomorrow. Tomorrow I will see my new classroom. I will meet my new co-workers. I will begin to learn the ins and outs of my new school.

It would be a complete lie if I said I wasn't nervous or scared. My last school was my home. It's where I felt comfortable. I knew it like the back of my hand. It was so small, that I knew almost every student's name. I honestly never thought that I would leave (not at least until I had children.) But then last year happened. I was made to feel like an incompetent teacher. My grade level wasn't respected because it wasn't an FCAT grade. Last year was draining, both physically and emotionally. So even though I adored my co workers, I made the decision to transfer.

I am excited about my new school. My principal seems great and I won't be the only newbie. I get a chance to be role model for other Hispanic kids. Growing up, I never had a Hispanic teacher. I'm excited to better my communicating skills in Spanish. I'm excited to work with my ESOL babies. I'm nervous about being team lead, but I know I'm the best choice. Most of the teachers on my team have less than 2 years experience. The other two veterans are new to primary. It'll be a fun challenge. A challenge I'm ready for.

My friend once told me, it's okay to feel scared when change happens. It shows you how important that change is to you. So wish me luck!

P.S. Cross your fingers that my new classroom isn't full of old file cabinets, broken books, and speakers the way my very first classroom was!
P.P.S Cross your toes that I win the giveaway over at About Fais. An Erin Condren planner would be a great way to start my year!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Overall, I'd give this week a 9.5

Like my Olympics reference in my title? Yea, I know, gymnastics stopped using the 10.0 system ages ago, but I think it fits. :P

Like I said, overall this was a pretty great week. Let's recap it shall we?

-On Monday, I went to the Jaguars training camp. Pretty cool seeing all the players out there, getting their practice on. But the best part? Paul Posluszny, my favorite player, signed my jersey! When I told him he was my favorite, Paul graciously thanked me and gave me a high five. ::SWOON::  Other players signed my visor, but Paul's trumps them all!



-My grandma came in to town on Tuesday to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday. Love this picture:


-The only positive from my otherwise atrocious training this week, was that I got to hang out with my closest friend from my old school, Megan. It really hit us that we aren't going to be working together this year, so we agreed to make time to meet up during the school year. Oh and I met one of my new teammates, Samantha. Seems like a super sweet girl.


-Paige over at The Eloping Stethoscope wrote some really sweet things about me for her sponsor post. I know I'm sponsoring her blog, but she didn't have to say all of those nice things. Love all the new friends I've made through this blogging adventure!

-Both Bethannee over at The BB Life and Nicole over at Me and the Moon nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks ladies! If you want some random facts about me check here and here.

Like, I said great week. The only downer was the training. But it's in the past, and I have another fun weekend coming up! Happy Friday to everyone!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Leaves are falling, leaves are falling...

Well, they aren't really falling, but I do wish they were. I adore fall clothing and cooler weather. Believe it or not, North Florida does actually get cool so I do get to rock some cute fall outfits now and then. :)

My current crush this week revolves around Loft's new collection. Loft is my absolute favorite store, but I only shop there when they have a good sale (hello, teacher here!). I browsed their website earlier this week and these are my favorites:

Loft Favorites


1. I love jackets! This one has really little stars on it. I think it's such a cute twist on a traditional trench.

2. This dress may possibly be my first day of school outfit. I love the colors and I would totally buy the belt to go with it.

3. I've been searching every where for a cute pair of wedges. I love any shoe that is patent leather. I've heard good things about Loft's shoes, so I may save for these.

4. I could totally pull of these orange pants. With a cute blazer, they'd make a great addition to a work outfit. (Most of my clothes must be able to work double duty!)

5. If you look in my closet, you'll find boatneck tops. It's such a flattering shape on me. I like this orange color a lot.

6. I want to get more into skirts. The color of this skirt is gorgeous and I like the lace detailing on it.

Really wish it was fall already! What fall fashion pieces must you have? Oh and link up with Danielle at Framed Frosting!