Well today Joel is 19 weeks. That is almost five months week-wise. Yesterday he and I ventured to Babies R Us to pick up some toys for him. Of course there are no toys that are labeled "five months," so my choices were three months and six months. We went with six months because he's pretty active, and the challenge associated with toys for that age may be good for him. Plus, most of the six month toys were good for up to 36 months of age. So, we got this toy with balls that fly everywhere. The baby on the box looked really happy. Fisher-Price does a good job of labeling their toys with information concerning the developmental tasks the babies will reach when playing with the toy. With this particular one, he'll increase his gross motor skills, learn cause and effect, and one other skill. The teacher in me is really excited to watch how this toy works to teach these skills and then what we can do to mimic that for a cheaper cost (these toys are expensive...thank goodness we have a ton of gift cards still)
Joely reaches and grabs things, but up until today I didn't see him do it often. Sometimes when I rattle things in front of him, he doesn't really try to grab them. Of course, all babies are different so I wasn't really concerned. Today, Joel and I woke up and we played with one of his block toys. It is a large block that has different things on it that he can move around. He really focused on the items on the block and loved grabbing them and moving them. He got so excited that he knocked it off the table. Mr. Soup was really happy about that. Don't ask why! I guess he likes that his son likes destruction.
After we played we read Trick or Treat with Elmo. The book is pretty busy, but Joely had fun pushing the buttons. He then had some tummy-time and after his time was up, I put on Spongebob and he stayed on his tummy with his head up to watch. So cute! He also grabbed the little music-maker on his tummmy time mat and pulled it to his face.
We tried having Joel sleep in his nursery this week. He slept in there two nights this week (woo-hoo!). We're really trying to be organic about the whole thing, so if we put him in there and he cries for twenty minutes then we take him out and bring him into our room and put him in his pack n' play. I think Mr. Soup and I aren't quite ready to have him sleep in his own room, but we realize that we don't want him sleeping in our room still this time next year.
So, work for Mr. Soup is going really well, but work me is blah still. I'm trying not to get too down about it. I just need to not take my job too seriously. My main concern, as always, is my students. I have to remember to always put their interest first and not worry about all the other stuff that complicates things. I think I'm probably too sensitive in some ways and I want to do the best job all around and not make mistakes. I think I'm probably way too critical on myself as well. I know I feel as though I'm not doing my best as a teacher, but when I look around I see a bunch of people doing even less than me. Not that I compare myself to anyone else...well...yeah..I do..which is why I've been feeling down in the dumps. While another career choice might be ideal for me, I just can't imagine doing anything else. I really do love teaching and I really love teaching middle school students. I just know that the environment in which I'm in is not allowing me to be the teacher I want to be. I hate the current educational climate--high stakes testing, but it's the same everywhere. What can I do? Luckily, I do have an opportunity to be the teacher I want to be every week when I teach at the community college.
So, to add even more drama to my life, my stepdaughter's mother is acting really strange. She successfully turned my stepdaughter against not only us, but also Abby's maternal grandparents; however, now her mother is trying to push Abby onto us more. I can tell my stepdaughter doesn't want to talk to us and we've kind of respected that. When she wants to call we let her talk, but we don't force her to call us. Now her mom calls us and has my stepdaughter call us and kind of coaches her in the background. The other day she called Mr. Soup and told him that she not only wanted Abby to spend Christmas with us, but she also wanted Abby's little sister too. Yeah. Obviously, we felt conflicted. I know that's probably hard on Abby's sister to see her go spend time with her dad and now that Abby has a little brother, her sister is jealous. Our time is valuable though too and we don't want Abby to have to share us with her sister. So, we kind of put our foot down and said no about the little sister and that Abby could spend Christmas with us only if she wanted to. I just wish I could figure out what her mom is up to and how we should act in the best interest of Abby. On top of that, Abby hates school and is being bullied by kids because of her weight and hygiene. I'm trying to see what anti-bullying program they have at her school, but I fear that they may not have one at all. School is Abby's one outlet from her home-life. She excels and always performs above her classmates. An avid reader, she retains and applies so much of what she reads. I'm afraid she'll grow to hate school and drop-out once she reaches high school.
Yeah, so I hate to end this post on a sad note. I have a knack for that right. You can always scroll back up and re-read the section on my little Joely. He's pretty amazing, right?