Despite the stress at work, and surrounding the PTA, there is much I am loving these days. Here are a few things that are making me happy.
~ Magnesium. Seriously, I really do think magnesium is helping me so much, and has helped my daughter (again!) so much. I really need to keep taking this stuff forever and ever.
~ Hanging out with my daughter. She is so much fun when she can manage her emotions. She’s interesting, insightful, and she straight cracks me up. I’ve really been enjoying my time with her lately. She is also at an age where a lot of movies and books I loved as a kid are interesting to her. We just watched the Never Ending Story together and have plans to watch The Princess Bride and The Last Unicorn soon. I also think she’s ready for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (to read together first, of course), which is my favorite in the series.
~ One-on-one with my son. My baby is about to turn four, and he’s definitely struggling with a lot of big feelings (frustration being the most prevalent), but recently I’ve had opportunities to spend some quality time with just him and that has been awesome. We used to go to the zoo and the Academy of Sciences together a lot, but neither has happened in a long time. We went to the zoo this weekend and it brought back a lot of fond memories of alone time we used to share when he was younger. Watching my daughter grow in such a fast and furious way, makes me acutely aware of how little time I have left with him as a preschooler. I was in such a hurry for my daughter to grow up, but with my son I’m determined to savor these last years of his “little-hood.” I’m looking forward to make more of those kind of outings happen in the future, and to appreciating the wrastling and hanging out together on the floor, building Legos or playing with cars.
~ October! Halloween! I do not remember being such a fan of October, or Halloween, as a kid, but as an adult I really love it. I love the slow decent into colder weather, which after the Indian Summer month of September (and weeks in October) I’m always so ready for. I love decorating for the holidays (both Halloween and Day of the Dead). It’s also my son’s birthday, which he is so excited for after enduring everyone elses’ birthdays in June and July. I also love teaching and celebrating Día de los Muertos, which officially takes place the 1st and 2nd of November, but which we talk a lot about (and decorate for!) in October. Also, I am a pumpkin spice fan, so I get excited when those products start appearing on the shelves (though I do appreciate it’s gotten way crazy in the past few years).
~ Disneyland and California Adventure! We’re taking the kids to Disneyland next week! They know we are going, but think it’s happening over my son’s birthday weekend, which is still a few weeks away. I’m really excited to surprise them on Sunday morning as we drive down (we’re going to tell them we’re driving somewhere else, to something boring, when we get in the car). I LOVED Disneyland as a kid and I LOVE Disneyland and California Adventure as an adult, and I’m really excited to see my son’s face when he first lays eyes on Radiator Springs, and sees Lightning McQueen in real life (he is a massive Cars fan). His head is going to explode. I’m also excited to go with my husband (last time I went alone with our daughter, when she turned four). I will also admit, I’m stoked to miss two days of school too (and another staff meeting!).
~ Family Halloween Costumes! Every other year we do up our Halloween costumes big time, and this year we’re all being someone from Star Wars. I already have my Princess Leia white dress and boots, my daughter’s Rey costume, my husband’s Chewbacca jacket, and my son’s Han Solo costume (or Yoda sweatshirt, in case he changes his mind). I just need a few accessories (quarter staff, blasters, light saber) and we’ll be all set (sorry Chewbacca, no crossbow for you). I’m looking into a place to get our photo done right, because I really do love the matching Halloween costume thing. Two years ago I did Where the Wild Things Are and a set of those pictures are my favorite of all time.
~ Argan Oil. I randomly got a bottle of MyChelle’s Argan Oil at Whole Foods a couple of months ago, because I’m still looking for something really hydrating at night (but don’t want to pay for “anti-wrinkles” yet). It was on sale, and not all that expensive full price, so I gave it a try. Well, I am happy to report it’s been amazing. My skin looks incredible ( I’ve had several people mention it so it’s not just in my head) and feels even better. I’m definitely sticking with this stuff for the foreseeable future.
~ Our fish tank. I will admit I was so done with our fish tank after this summer. I was frustrated that I bought a new one after the first one developed an intractable case of overgrown algae, and I seriously considered just getting rid of it. Instead I cleaned it out, we got new live plants and two beautiful new guppies, and we made a habit of actually turning on the light every day. Now it feels like the center piece of our living room. It’s so pretty and it makes me really happy.
~ Making a new friend. I have become friends with the woman on the PTA board who doesn’t need to be helping me so much, but is actually my right-hand woman. We worked together a lot last year, but this year we talk or text pretty much every day. We had drinks together two weeks ago, and my husband and I bought tickets to attend a Mezcal tasting with her and her husband in early November (maybe we could be couple friends! A girl can dream. 😉 Her son is VERY similar to mine, so we have lots to talk about besides PTA. She is also exactly my age, which is a rare find (usually parents with kids my kids’ ages are a good decade older than me), and which I really appreciate.
~ New teaching method (and textivate). I love the new way I’m teaching this year, even if it has been really hard to learn how to implement it along with all the other changes. The kids clearly enjoy it so much more than how I used to teach, and creating unique characters and stories in each class keeps my interest piqued. I am also loving a new internet-based program, which generates activities based on original text that I input. With this program, I can offer valuable activities that promote fluency, and are based on each classes’ unique characters and stories, without doing all the work myself. It’s also super easy to track my students’ progress.
~ My current morning coffee. My morning coffee has been evolving for years, and I am a huge fan of its current iteration which includes (but is not limited to) Mexican Chocolate and Coconut Coffee. Sipping my coffee on the way to work is a great way to start the day. It makes me happy.
~ Braving the Wilderness. I am a MASSIVE Brene Brown fan (she is my spirit animal). I have loved (and listened multiple times to) all of her books. I think her work on shame and vulnerability are truly life changing. But I believe her new book is even more important than anything else she has written, especially in today’s political climate. I really wish every adult would read this book, I think we’d be a much happier, healthier country if we did. (I promise to write more about it when I’m done).
~ My marriage. I wrote about this already, so I won’t harp on it more, but I’m really enjoying my husband and our relationship right now.
What are you loving these days?