Saturday, October 30, 2010

Week 18

I LOOK: While I think I look pretty darn pregnant, everyone else says I look the same. Thankfully my pimples are pretty much gone (minus the scar, gross!).
  • Total Weight Gain: +5 lbs (1 lb from two weeks ago)
  • Maternity Clothes: 100% of pants and a few maternity shirts mixed in with my normal clothes

I FEEL: Pregnant? My belly is firm! Yesterday, as I leaned over a table, I felt the belly in the way and it was a pretty strange. I'm still pretty tired by the end of the day, but the mornings have gotten a lot better over this past week. Tawni and Robyn report that soon after 18w they started feeling energy again, so I'm hoping for that.
  • Baby Movements: I'm sure now; it isn't just gas, the baby is moving and I can feel it :) I feel the baby mostly during the day when I've sitting between classes.

I CRAVE: Cream cheese! Eating it plan seems a bit insane, so I've been piling it on bread and onion bagels.

I THINK: Pregnant "brain" is real and my poor students have to deal with it.

I HOPE: I start to look pregnant soon.

DOCs SAY: At my appointment on 10/20, we heard a healthy heart beat of 151. My midwife also reported that my uterus was measuing pretty high and suggested that the baby is bigger/old than my due date suggests. Other than that, everything else checked out as normal.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have one of "those" class; one of those that makes my head hurt, but also challenges me as an educator more than any other class I've ever taught. I did my fair share of complaining about SELA last year; before this class I thought SELA was a bad as it could get. Boy, was I wrong.

Read 180 can be worse, much worse. BUT, as I'm finding out, it can also be better, much better.

Picture this. Twenty-two students in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade that all read below third grade, some of which read at a kindergarten level. Two hours at the end of the day (after lunch). One teacher, no aide. Students who have continually failed at everything they've done school wise for a multitude of reasons and have pretty much given up. Students who put more effort into trying to get in trouble than trying to do the right thing. Students who care more about their make-up than what the word emphasis means. Parents who have given up in all sense of the word.

Now, here is my task: Raise their reading levels four to five years in one year. Motivate the unmotivated to work hard at improving their reading level for themselves, their school, and their test scores. Use a (fantastically amazing) curriculum and a classroom model that has been "researched" and "proven" successful for motivated students.

The Reality, Part I: motivating unmotivated students is hard! Not impossible, but hard. Normal things like points and grades do not work. Neither does saying "good job" or calling parents for support (whether for positive or negative things). Asking them to do it for you or to be respectful doesn't work either. Some things I've found that do work: tickets for drawings, publicly praising specific behavior that students can emulate, certificates of accomplishments, making a BIG deal about little accomplishments, stickers, competition (no surprise there!).

The Reality, Part II: good teaching can't happen until a classroom is managed. The management style I use in my "regular" class is based on mutual respect and responsibility. This doesn't work in this class. I've got to be creative. Have I changed as a "manager"--YES, pretty significantly. Instead of asking for respectful behavior, I have to define what it looks like over and over again. Not only do I have to define it, but I have to remind them of it at least four or five times per class period. Personal responsibility isn't even a blink on their radar yet. Any suggestions on how to make that one come forward, would be appreciated, we are not there yet.

The Reality, Part III: nothing can beat feeling success for the first time. This is the part that has made this hellish class a bit "do-able." The silly joy I get to see on the pain in the ass kid's face when he's reached a success zone on the computer, or the sense of accomplishment when the smart alec has finished the first book he's ever read from start to finish, or when the immature tenth grader who would rather make fart jokes than try, gets 100% on his 60 word spelling test and literally says, "cool beans"... those are the moments that make all the crap worth it.

I call them my hoodlums... maybe by April they'll lose that title and be perfectly "normal" students, but I doubt it...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 16

I LOOK: Normal? Pimples are starting to go away and my belly is starting to get fuller. I had a student tell me this week that I look pregnant, but I'm pretty sure it was because I wasn't standing up straight.
  • Total Weight Gain: +4 lbs
  • Maternity Clothes: 80% of pants (none of my newer proper size pants zip), no maternity shirts yet
I FEEL: Overwhelmingly tired still. No matter how much I sleep, it isn't enough. I've been going to bed at eight and getting up at six (yes, that is 10 hours!)
  • Baby Movements: I can't be sure, but I think that the bubbles popping in my stomach are baby kicks... I can't wait to know for sure. I've been feeling them every day, for most of the day, since Tuesday of last week.
I CRAVE: Mac and Cheese (still), cold grapes, and ice cold soda with ice

I THINK: I'm ready for the non-tired stage to kick in because I'm struggling to stay away during the morning and at night I'd like to feel like a "normal" person.

I HOPE: This baby is growing and learning the cool tricks that BabyCenter and TheBump tell me he/she is (kicking, sucking the thumb, grasping and playing around). At my appointment on the 20th, I hope to hear a nice, steady heart beat.

DOCs SAY: next appointment is Oct. 20th

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time flies!

God has perfect timing! Dave started his new job today :)

Also, as Tawni reminded me this morning, we find out the gender of Baby Pfeffer in exactly one month and according to TheBump, we have 171 days left!

Cassandra gets Married!

This past weekend, we headed down to San Diego to celebrate the marriage of Cassandra and Jeremy. The bride was beautiful!
First moment of married life of Mr. and Mrs. Olson

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We took my parents to Cheesecake Factory for their anniversary and gave them their little presents. Mom opened and read her bib, but didn't get it.
Dad read his onies outloud a few seconds later and asked, "are you trying to tell us something?" Mom FINALLY got it (see her face).
Re-reading hers the excitment picked up.
Grandma gives the best Kisses and Granddaddy's Caddy
August 18, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sammy's 2nd Birthday

Sammy turned 2 back in August. He was pretty darn cute, but made this funny/mad face when we sang to him... pretty darn funny. The kids played outside in the water while the adults watched and talked.
Audrey helped Sammy open his presents. Between the choochoo trains and trucks, Sammy was good to go!
The pinta caused some issues... this is until Rob got ahold of the bat and killed it.
Cute birthday boy!

So Behind

Check back soon for many, many updates on all fronts :)