Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some Good, Some Post Bad, and Some Ugly


It's Saturday, and I'm actually EXCITED about spending a good part of today in front of my laptop WORKING.  Saturday, excited, and working in the same sentence.  Huh. Who'd have thunked it?

But, as excited as I am to get started on my work, I can't until I do what I do...and that would be to write this blog post.  

Being that this entire week's posts have been either depressing and deep, I thought I'd just mash updates and highlights together...and hopefully brighten the mood up in here.  I'm happy.  I'm feeling happy.  I should write happy.

So, let's start with the ugly and work backwards.  Be a little naughty and go against the grain.  Which will also help me end this thing on a high note.

Yesterday, Jelly stayed home because she was sick.  And when I say sick, I mean she had diarrhea the day before, but wasn't exactly sick.  She was still in a good mood, still happy and playful, just didn't want to eat because if she did... it know.  

So, I figured I'd make her stay home from school for the day just to make sure it was completely out of her system.  Hubby was home, so I didn't have to miss any work.  And, to be honest, it was more for the benefit of not wanting Jelly to have some kind of embarrassing accident at school... because that would be TOTALLY devastating for her.  

By the time I got home yesterday evening, she was fine.  Had enjoyed the day home with Daddy, sleeping and resting and had some toast and eggs for dinner.  There had been no diarrhea all day, so she even had a bowl of ice-cream after she ate her dinner.  

But, at 2AM this morning, I was awoken by a sound I do NOT like waking up to.  The sound of vomit.  Or, someone vomiting.  It was poor Jelly, in the bathroom, vomiting up the small amount of food she'd had several hours prior.  The poor baby was as white as a ghost, and did not look good at all.  After she was finished I scooped her up and got her something to drink... but within a few minutes, that was coming back up.  Awesome.  She threw up a few more times between then and getting her to fall back to sleep.

This morning, she's on the couch, with a trashcan at her side, and that's where she's staying.  I'm going to run to the store here in a few and get her some soup and crackers, but that's all she's getting today.

So, that's the ugly.

Let's move in to bad/post bad.

Remember the "issue" I discussed with Butter yesterday?  

Yeah, well yesterday morning wasn't any better.  He woke up with the same 'tude.  Still thought he was all that and a bag of chips, and was popping off insults and mouth left right and center.  So, I did what any mother who has no idea what to do with a mouthy preteen would do.  I ratted him out to the assistant principal and his football coach.  No, he's not playing football right now, but that boy did learn that being a part of that team doesn't just last the season.  And, at the end of the day, even though he may not want to hear what I have to say, he does listen to those two men and will do EXACTLY what they tell him to do.  

After school, he acted very awkward.  Like he had something to say, but didn't know how or didn't want to say it.  The ride home from school was filled with awkward silence, until I asked him what he had to say.  He responded that he wasn't going to apologize because I wouldn't listen or wouldn't accept it.  I told him he hadn't even tried, and that apologizing just because someone told him to wasn't genuine.  If he didn't feel the need to apologize, he shouldn't.  Because, he was right, I wasn't going to accept a half-hearted, forced apology.  He went back in to his grumpy mood, and just told me to stop talking to him because he had nothing more to say about the issue.  So, I dropped it. 

The rest of the evening, he didn't say a word to anyone.  He ate his dinner, he cleaned the kitchen (a chore he's skipped out on for the past couple of nights), and then he went to bed.  This morning, Hubby woke up first and found Butter had already made coffee and was in the process of cleaning.  


Butter knew that by just telling us he was sorry wasn't going to cut it.  He had to do something to try and make up for the way he acted.  The way he treated us.  So, he went straight for the area he knew would win me over: Cleaning my house.  And, he's right.  Manual labor is always the way to go around here.  My kids know that if they want something, they have to work for it.  They have their regular chore every other night of washing dishes, but that's it.  So, in order to "butter" me up, the quickest way to do it is to clean the rest of the house...and save me the trouble of doing it. 

So far this morning, the floors have been swept and the kitchen floor has been mopped.  He cleaned out the cat litter tray (my usual daily task that I've NEVER asked the kids to do), and took out the trash.  He told me that he plans on cleaning the living room as soon as Hubby isn't playing his video game.  

I told him that his work wasn't going unnoticed.  We can see that he's trying to make an effort, and that we appreciate it.  I explained that it doesn't mean he'll get everything back today, but he will know exactly how long he is grounded and it won't be an unreasonable amount of time.  A few days, maybe just the weekend... something Hubby and I will decide together.  There was no deep sigh, no rolling his eyes, but just a look of understanding.  He knows he messed up big time, and that he has to face the consequences of that.  But, he also knows that making an effort goes a long way around here, and the punishment will be fair.  

Right now, he's shooting hoops.  Which he asked to do before he started.  He wasn't sure if that was a part of his punishment.  I told him that his punishment was the loss of his electronics, for a few days. Coming up with ways to occupy himself without them was not a part of the punishment.  

I think we're over the storm, and he will realize that overreacting isn't the way to go...and hopefully he'll take a second to think about that the next time he decides to throw a tantrum.

So, bad turning good and leading in to more good.

I am so flippin' excited to start writing up my reading unit for the week.  I had a hard time getting back to sleep after the Jelly ordeal last night, as ideas bounced around my head.  It took me back to last year when I was so excited to come up with ideas for the reading units I was making then.  This time, instead of doing novel studies, though, I'm coming up with ideas for my students to read the books they want to read, on their reading level, and ways for them to show their understanding for the concepts we're covering.  

I've made the decision to use a layered curriculum.  Meaning they will be selecting the activities they want to do from an assortment of activities.  There are three layers, starting with basic activities and ending with more in-depth activities.  There will be pre-reading, mid-reading, and post-reading requirements they have to complete.  

The "theme" for this next week will be fiction.  A story.  Any story they choose.  We're going to start out simple just to get them acclimated, and then the following week will start the longer, Black History month unit.  

Before reading, they will have to make predictions and explain why they chose the book.  During reading, they'll come up with words they are having trouble with and ways to help them find the meanings. They'll make inferences and draw conclusions.  And after reading, they'll create summaries, discuss author's purpose, identify the problem and solution, and explain the character traits.  All by choosing how they want to do it from their layered curriculum "menu". 

My head is buzzing with ways for them to show their understanding that's away from the worksheet or question/answer format.  Maybe making a "Fakebook" for the main character and highlighting the events of the book through status updates or banter with other characters.  Creating a news article, explaining the problem of the story and inferences on how the problem could be solved.  A post reading article, explaining the problem and how it was solved.  A context clue treasure map, identifying the words they had problems with and the "clues" that helped them solve the meaning.  Using graphic organizers to explain the different concepts.  Writing an alternate ending to the story.  

And I could go on and on and on.

But, can you feel the excitement?  It's rushing through me at 150MPH.  And, I can't wait to get started.  

First, I have to go grocery shopping.  UGH.  Food comes first, apparently.  

Sitting here isn't helping, because it's time I could be out grocery shopping so that I can get home and get started.

So... I guess that's my cue to get on out of here.

Have a fantastic Saturday, everyone!


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