Random Thoughts – 09.14.17

I’m sorry that I’ve been inconsistent in posting lately. Life has gotten the best of me. In between vacation, school starting, work and my sorority, I’m burning the candle at both ends. Things will slow down soon. I promise to try and catch up on what I can. Here’s an update on where things are with me.

New Followers – Oh Yeah!

Thank you to my new followers. I have almost 2,000 WordPress followers and I am overwhelmingly blessed by that. I’m truly astonished. I can’t believe that you’ve chosen to follow me on this journey in this thing called life. I mean I’ve seriously grown by leaps and bounds these last few months and I’m happy to have you a part of this walk. I can’t thank you enough. Please check out my Who Am I? page to learn all about me.

Busy, Busy, Busy

This week has been hectic. I had so many meetings and court on Monday. My son’s father and I finalized the parenting agreement in mediation and the court accepted it and now it’s part of our file. We had 5 outstanding items that they refused to handle and I’ve accepted that at the moment, I can move on with my life and rebuild my leave balance because I have only been an employee a little over a year.

My Munch

Munch had Back-to-School Night on Tuesday and this was my second time meeting his teacher (I met him on the first day of school). He seems like a really nice guy and I’m wishing Munch and all the little kiddos a happy and productive school year. I have also decided that I will be enrolling Munch into a Math tutoring program this school year to help strengthen his math skills. I realize that I was stressing him out last year and he was stressing me out. But, I don’t play with academics so whatever we can do to help – will be done.

Munch must also take band this year. Apparently, it is mandatory in the fourth grade here in Maryland. I went to school in Texas so I don’t know. Munch decided he wants to play the trumpet as his first choice and the flute as his second. I just received an email from the band teacher asking would some of the parents be willing to switch their children to the clarinet. Umm, nope. He didn’t pick the clarinet. The clarinet sucks.  Can’t the teachers do what they can?

But, it’s a good year. I like his teachers and Munch wanted me to meet his PE teacher at Back-to-School Night. He likes PE. Did you know that she said she sees the kids for 35 minutes once a week and sometimes twice a week? I remember taking PE every day when I was in elementary school.

Finally, I’m feeling better about his school this year. This is a big change from where I stood last year feeling like an outsider. I joined the PTA and volunteered at Munch’s school. I made it work. I got to know the parents and fund raise for the school. Munch’s new school was made smaller by my efforts to fit in. I’m happy to say that my anxiety has diminished and we’re ready to tackle the fourth grade. Together.

My Love

Mr. C is great. He and I are progressing in our relationship and just loving our happy black a** lives. It’s an adjustment with all that we’ve both had going on, but we’re looking forward to stability and celebrations in the coming weeks. His birthday is later this month and then our anniversary is next month. Woohoo! We’ve been dating for almost two years and in a committed relationship almost a year.

We love where we are and we continue to learn and grow our relationship. I’m in a lot of groups on FaceBook and one of the things that I’m learning is that we as couples don’t know how to talk to each other. We want this picture perfect relationship without doing the work. Mr. C and I work at our relationship. Constantly. Daily. Heck, hourly sometimes.

He gets me. He gets when I need him to just protect me and love me through all the bulls*hit that I’m experiencing. It is in those moments that I sigh and thank God for this man. This man that makes me feel as though I can do anything, but reminds me all the same that he’s willing to help me because I’m not alone. Do you know how special that makes me feel?  Whew! I’m blessed ya’ll.

My Sorority Year

Has started back. We take the summers off and we’re now back. I’m on a couple of committees and working to make a difference in my chapter, organization and of course community. First up is a Mother/Daughter Tea that we have this weekend, which is part of our fundraising efforts for scholarships. I am so excited because we’ve sold out the place. I will be the mistress of ceremony for the event and my mommy, sister and niece will be attending. I’ve also volunteered to chair the Veteran’s committee and work on some programs this year including our Wreaths Across America. Munch loved that program so I’m happy to help in any way possible.

That’s a brief synopsis of what’s going on with me. You are all missed and thank you for being an invaluable piece in my life. Your reading, sharing or commenting truly make my day. I’ve been slow to respond, but trust me that I will catch-up. Please continue to love and take care of each other. We’re hurting in this country and we have to remember that we are all loved, valued and appreciated.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Welcome June

Welcome a new month. A chance to make new memories. Forget about the past and focus on the present. Summer is almost here. School’s almost out here in Maryland. Time for family, BBQ’s, festival and fun. Don’t forget the beach.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Tuesday Thoughts

Hello Good People!

How are you this Tuesday afternoon? You’ve been missed. I took some time off to regather and regroup my spirit. I needed to unwind and sleep. Mama is tired.

School is ending in two weeks for Munch and I’m planning summer activities, camp and work (yes, my baby will be working on Math and Reading this summer). I’m excited by the prospect of new adventures and no rushing to school and work. Less traffic is always a plus. For whatever reasons, there tend to be less cars on the road during the summer.

But, I’m thankful.  I’m thankful for great opportunities. I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for family and friends.

I got to spend time with my niece this weekend. Munch hadn’t seen her since Christmas because she was away at college. She is heading to another state to spend the summer with her dad next week so the time was precious. There were fights, arguments and lots of hugs and playing. He missed her. They are like siblings. He told her that she was a moron. She told him that his belly was fat. He cried.

I laughed. I explained that when you choose to call people names, you can’t get mad when they call you names back. The key is to not do it. Let your words be positive and productive and not cruel and hurtful. Alas, they made up and he fell asleep on her. It was beautiful.

There was peace.

The peace reminded me that even in my worst days when I feel like I can’t catch a break and things are not working…there is always love. Love between cousins. Love between parents and children. Love with your significant other. Love from your family and friends.

I am loved.

You are loved.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

#NationalTeachersDay

Today is National Teacher’s Day and I wanted to publicly thank all you wonderful teachers out there. Today is a day where you should be honored. Honored for all the hard work that you do. The countless hours spent on lesson planning and making sure that you are providing both knowledge and life skills to the little minds you teach. I thank you.

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I thank you as a former student of some wonderful teachers. Teachers that encouraged me to go after my dreams. Teachers that stayed late after school to tutor me or came in early to make sure I understood the lesson. Teachers that made me believe that I could learn anything. You are truly appreciated.

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I thank you as a mother to a wonderful little boy that has learned the value of who he is by your continued support and encouragement in the classroom. Having no prior foreign language experience, you create an environment where he is learning French. Your wishes for him have come true and he is learning by leaps and bounds. He is both confident and fluent in French and I thank you.

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I thank you as the daughter of an educator. It is sometimes a thankless job to teach children that seem disconnected, but if you continue to encourage them and create a spark of interest you will realize that their flame of knowledge is burning. They listen. They know that the future will be brighter because you took the time to invest in them.

May your day be as wonderful and encouraging as you!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Parenting Rights

One of the things that I refuse to apologize for is how I choose to raise my son. I don’t think anyone starts off trying to be a bad parent (okay, most people don’t). However, for the sake of this argument we will say that many of you are good working people that love your children and you’re trying to do the best that you can in order to raise them to become independent and productive citizens. Do we make mistakes? Absolutely.

No one is perfect. We try things with our children. Some things work. Others need to be modified and some just don’t work. That’s why it requires us to keep working at it. To keep parenting. However, your fundamental right as a parent is that you can choose how to raise your children however you want.

Here are some things that people may question you on:

  • TV/Computer time – Researchers say you should limit the amount of screen time. I think it’s something like 30 minutes a day. Umm, I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. Munch gets about 30 minutes in the morning while he’s eating breakfast to watch his Ipad. He gets additional time after we finish homework and dinner. It is probably an 1.5 hours. So, he gets about 1.5 to 2 hours a day during the week. He watches cartoons only so I’m not concerned about the screen time. We read during homework time each day so he’s not behind. In fact they told us that Munch reads above grade level. Not surprised. His dad and I did so it’s not a big deal. He likes the Ipad, but if he acts up, it is taken away along with television and he truly misses it. No time out or no spanking. We take away what he loves most. Note: Find what works for you.
  • Multiple activities – When he was younger, I put him in activities that I thought he would enjoy. He was a toddler. He didn’t know what he would like. As he grew older, he decided that he hated Tae Kwan Do and didn’t want to do it anymore. So, we stopped. Munch made the decision that the only activities that he would like to do are: swim lessons, guitar lessons and soccer in the Spring. No fall soccer. We let him decide and we tend to stick to the schedule he wants. So, nope I’m not over-scheduling my son. Note:  Let your children lead you with this one.
  • Sleep time – The recommended amount of sleep time for Munch is 10-11 hours. Can I tell you that he never slept that long unless he’s sick and on sleep medication or truly exhausted? That has been a total of 4 times in his 8 years on this Earth. Because I get him home from school around 6:15 pm, he’s eating dinner between 6:45 and 7:00 pm. We then do homework from 7:30 pm to 8:30 – 8:45 pm. We do bath and play time before shutting it down. Munch will get one hour where he’ll watch his TV and sit and draw characters from his Ipad. Lights out at 10pm. He sleeps until 6:45 am. He sleeps between 8 and 9 hours. It depends on him. Note:  As long as he’s not falling asleep in class, he’ll be fine.

My point is this…you do the best that you can. You find what works for your children and you adjust as necessary. Don’t stress yourself that you’re not following the expert’s recommendations. As long as your children are happy, healthy and thriving and you’re doing your best focus on that. Allow your children to lead you into their interests. We’ve got this parenting thing!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Supermom Chronicles – 2/2017

Hey Loves,

I’m sending a quick email to let you all know that I’m hoping to catch-up on all my 1,100 remaining posts this weekend. Please bear with me. I’m exhausted because I just returned from Tennessee on Tuesday after visiting my father.

The trip was short and apparently well needed for me. I slept on average 11 hours a night and I needed naps. Never before had I felt the need to sleep. I couldn’t understand why I was so exhausted. I actually get a minimum of 7 hours of a sleep a night so this was definitely my body saying “Rest sweetie. It’s time.”

I listened and obeyed.

I slept.

I went home to check on my dad who had a pacemaker put in about 3 weeks ago. He’s fine. Walking and talking as usual. We were able to spend some time together.

I came back on Tuesday afternoon and picked up Munch after leaving the airport. He was so excited to see me. I grabbed take out and went home to review and work on homework. I had to go to the store and I had an interview with a doctoral student regarding middle class mothers. Yep, I did that. It was a two hour interview and I felt proud to be contributing to her research.

Nope, I haven’t unpacked my suitcase yet. I have to wash Munch’s clothes this weekend and change his bedding while he is with his dad. I’m still reading books that I’m behind on, editing, writing reviews and working on a couple of pieces for submission. I’m drowning in work it seems.

Another obstacle presented itself before I flew home last weekend and I just jumped over it and will see how it plays out. I will update you shortly on that. Munch’s book report is due Tuesday and we finished it last night along with his visual presentation. All he needs to work on this weekend is the oral presentation with his dad.

I had all this done and him fed, showered and in bed before 9 pm. I even signed up to volunteer at his school for the next 3 months. I’m knee deep in paperwork, renewals and RFP’s and the day to day but I can’t forget to be there for Munch. Yep, I was supermom this week.

I wanted to pat myself on the back, but I didn’t get a chance to yet. LOL. I need a drink. Not a big one. Just a nice glass of wine and a good hug. Being able to spend some alone time with Mr. C should allow me the opportunity to have both.

Thank you for your continued support and bear with me as I catch-up on your posts and respond to the comments you’ve left on my blog. You are truly appreciated and valued. I’m just trying to prioritize.

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Can I Brag?

Love for me can be summed up in one word…God. God’s love has allowed me to be blessed in so many ways. Too many blessings to count. However, I would like to talk and brag about one of those blessings right now.

My son was conceived after years of struggling to get pregnant. We went through IVF to have Munch. Two cycles. Painful injections. Killer mood swings. I was an emotional wreck. Until I knew I was pregnant.

I would touch my stomach every night wondering what this little boy (I always knew I was having a boy) would be like. Would he look like me? Would he look like his dad? Would he be smart? Would he be funny? Would he be athletic? Would he be artistic? I had no clue. And in all honesty, I just wanted a happy and healthy baby.

I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would love this little boy more than life itself. He became my saving grace. He gave me purpose. My life was now about being the best mother that I could to God’s gift in my life. I would lead by example. I would encourage. I would combine discipline and love and not be too strict.

I had a lot of rules on how I was going to do this parenting thing. Many things went totally out the window when I had him. I just started winging it. But, then I reached out to you…my community for suggestions from self-esteem, to parenting, reading and negative thoughts. You’ve given me suggestions and guidance and made me feel like I have a community.

A community that is invested in my Munch. That is why I wanted to share a proud mommy moment with you…

Munch got 11 A’s, 1 B and 1 C on his report card for second quarter.

Yep! I’m so super excited. I can’t believe it. That C is in Math. It is a high C, but we need to get it back up to a B. He told his grandma “I struggled with fractions a little bit this quarter.” LOL. He did.

I struggled with making sure that his teachers are recording his grades timely. I email constantly about assignments not coming home. I spend time making sure he understands concepts and is writing clearly. I try to balance his intensive French curriculum with fun. French books and English books. Play dates and movies that will get him to think creatively.

I constantly tell him to do your best. That is all your dad and I ever want. We want to know that you are trying your best and we will support you. Heck, I didn’t think he got it, but I guess I’m realizing that it’s working. He’s finally trying his best.

Thanks for letting me brag about my Munch. If you missed yesterday’s post and you have the financial means to do so, please consider supporting Munch for the American Heart Association’s Hoop for Hearts fundraiser that he is doing. A $10.00 donation is tax deductible and you can make it here: Hoops for Heart

 

 

A Review of 2016 Goals

I started this year with many goals. I narrowed them down in March when I realized that my life needed to have order. I wanted to write things down to ensure that I never lost sight of the fact of what I was working towards.

So, I ended up with 8 goals that I wanted to accomplish in 3 years. My therapist laughed and said it’s supposed to be 3 goals in 3 years or 10 in 5 years. What can I say? I’m an overachiever. Here’s where I stand.

  • Pay off debt (car loan, student loans, credit cards)
  • Save (emergency fund, savings and retirement)
  • Buy a house
  • Pledge a sorority
  • Get a better job
  • Go to graduate school
  • Join my undergraduate alumni association
  • Find love

 

  1. Pay off debt (car loan, student loans, credit cards). Well, I’m not where I want to be, but realistically speaking it’s only been about 7 months. I’ve paid off some credit cards and I’m trying to reduce my debt. This is a work in progress.
  2. Save. I’ve been saving. Not much, but I now have a savings. I’m making progress. I have a long way to go, but I’m learning.
  3. Buy a house. This is a definitely my end goal. Preparation is the key. Still working on this one and it will stay my goal.
  4. Pledge a sorority. Yep, it was my dream to be a part of sorority life in college, but it never happened and God granted me the opportunity to be a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. It was a  process and I’m thankful that I persevered through the process. I have 5 other women that were part of the process with me and a whole lot of new sorority sisters.
  5. Get a better job. Yes! God allowed me to get a new job in June where I’m in management. I have my own team of 5. I just extended an offer to my new person and we are waiting for him to start in a couple of weeks. I love my job and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
  6. Go to graduate school. I still want to do this. I hope to be able to attend grad school in the fall of 2017, but this is so exciting for me. All while working full-time, writing this book and raising Munch.
  7. Join my undergraduate alumni association.  Yes, I did that. I haven’t attended any events yet because of my hectic schedule, but now that things are slowing down I’m excited and will be getting involved and bringing Munch along so he can witness my Terp pride and understand that others should Fear the Turtle!
  8. Find love. Woohoo! Won’t HE do it ya’ll? I have been blessed to have a relationship with an incredible man who supports and encourages the heck out of me. He loves me! Yep and I love him. I’m excited that God allowed him to come into my life and just love me in a good old fashioned and healthy way.

So, that’s it folks. As you can see, I’m whittling through my goals which I will carry forward into 2017. I’ll keep sharing them with you. What goals have you created for 2017?

The New School – Part 3

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post.

The next day as I was driving Munch to school he then tells me that his English Language Arts teacher no longer works there. They have a substitute for that class as well. What? Are you serious? I was livid! I just saw the dang teacher on Friday and she never said a word. No “This is my last damn day at this school”. Nothing.

Why didn’t they send a note home? Is it so dang hard to get a letter together? You have 3 secretaries. Heck, I could type it up. So, if you’re keeping count. Munch only has his original music teacher which he takes weekly, his PE teacher and his art teacher. His main two teachers who make up more than 2/3 of the grades are replaced with substitute teachers.

You know that I’m dying right?

I’m trying to be patient and I’m firing off emails and asking questions. My main issue is this is the mission of the school:

The mission is to provide a rich, challenging, rewarding instructional program based on literacy that will allow our students to become competent French speakers who are active, compassionate, and lifelong learners. We will uphold high expectations and accountability for ourselves and for our students. We will maintain positive and professional collaboration while maintaining open communication with parents and other stakeholders.

This is from the school handbook that they make every parent sign. The last sentence says “We will maintain positive and professional collaboration while maintaining open communication with parents and other stakeholders.” Umm, when Forrest? When will you maintain open communication?

I sent another email to the program coordinator to ask about why grades hadn’t been updated in English since 9/14 and the teacher is no longer at the school. Worse, he had an English report due that we’ve yet to see returned and no grade is entered. Are you serious? It’s been a month. They have to find a better way to communicate. This is their mission and at this point, they are failing themselves.

Jennifer from the blog Confident Parents – Confident Kids asked some questions about teacher’s in her post entitled “How Do You Feel About Your Child’s School”

I explained my situation to her and she was very encouraging. She suggested the following:

Wow! That’s tough on everyone it sounds like. So many teachers have left and a new administration. Everyone is dealing with a lot including that Program Coordinator. No wonder she’s not keeping up with grades with that many to enter. Great that you called her. At least you know what’s going on. Being short-staffed is super tough. And sounds like the drop by option is not an option. Since your hands are tied in so many ways, I would tend to focus on my son. Perhaps do a little extra practicing with him. Make it fun if you can.🙂 Trust your gut. If you think he might be struggling in a particular area, give him more support and practice with you. You’ll feel more empowered like you are able to do something and no matter what, the time with you and the extra practice can help him. It sounds like you are trying to be patient, stay positive and wait until the dust settles. That’s smart. Give the new administration a chance to address the issues. And get ready for your parent teacher conference next month so that you can use that time/meeting well. Here’s an article that attempts to help you make the most of your limited time in a parent-teacher conference. All the best to you! Know that all you are doing for consistency and your child’s development is helping and supporting him! Hoping things will improve over the coming month!

I told ya’ll that I love my blogging family right? I will take her suggestions and be patient. I’m also going to level set prior to the county wide parent/teacher conferences in a couple of weeks. I did learn that since grades aren’t being put in regularly as required by the board of education that I can protest any grade that I am not satisfied with.

Ah, you got to love justice right?

Check out Jennifer’s post for suggestions on parent/teacher conferences.

The New School – Part 2

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post.

Friday comes and I am at Munch’s school volunteering all day because it is picture day. I find out by speaking with other parents who attended the meeting that their child’s teacher was also out and that there are 3 out of 4 first grade teachers on administrative leave and one third grade teacher….Munch’s teacher.

I was troubled by this because my son is at a new school and although they can’t do anything, nothing was sent home to parents. They stated that they sent letters home and the woman that I met with is the program coordinator for the school. She stated that they have a substitute teacher in his classroom now and she speaks fluent French and she believes the children will be fine.

She told me that letters were sent home. I asked her to explain how not one parent got the letter if it was sent home. She couldn’t. She informed me that she would resend the letter to me today and asked could I forward it to the parents in the classroom. I agreed to do this.

When the letter came it was dated October 11th. The day after I sent the email about the change and not receiving notification. Umm, strike one. Why didn’t you just admit that you dropped the ball and you would send something home immediately? They were playing games.

But, not trying to sound off and be aggressive and such, I politely thanked them and agreed to send. That same day Munch came home with another note detailing who the sub was and that they will test all the children to make sure that they are where they are supposed to be.

Now, I am not a patient person, but I’m trying to be because I understand that they are literally scrambling but dang it…can I get some sympathy? All of this is new to Munch and I and they are literally being inconsistent as hell with all these changes and he is just supposed to be cool with it? The only thing Munch said he liked at the school besides the principal and the music teacher was his main teacher.

I decided to relax and just keep encouraging Munch and inquiring about grades. Grades aren’t being inputted and the program coordinator has to input grades for 75 children because substitutes aren’t allowed to enter grades. This is in addition to her other duties. I get it. She’s swamped.

Does it change my opinion that they need to do what they need to do about my baby’s grades? Nope, but I’m trying to work on my patience. Literally, I am. That being said, while I’m praying to sweet baby Jesus for strength, patience and understanding with his school, I’m watching the on-line portal like a hawk to see when and if grades are updated.

My stalking the portal showed that Munch had earned a 50 on a math quiz. What the what? Really? Can you please send it home? How can I help him when I don’t know what the issue was? Well, the paper came home and it was in fact a zero. Yep a big fat 0.

Why did they give him a 50 instead of a 0 you may be asking? Because the County says that you can’t give children in grades kindergarten through third grade a 0. You have to give them partial credit. Yep, that’s bull, but I accepted it. What I didn’t accept was that it was a 4 question quiz and that boy got not one question right. Are you serious?

I had him redo the quiz and printed off some math homework for extra work. As I explained to him… your failure to apply any effort means no extras for you with electronics. It means that you will have extra math homework. It means that your free time will be spent studying and focusing on the areas where you seem to be struggling.

He’s mad, but he’ll live.