Sunday, October 26, 2014


We've had a whirlwind of visitors the past few weeks!

First my brother, his girlfriend, and their daughter came for a quick trip to meet the baby.

Just a little while after that, we got Gertie, the St. Bernard pup, which made it feel like we had a visitor at first, though now it's almost like she's always been here.

Then Ross's dad and his lovely lady came to visit - lots of fun! We took the ferry to SF for dim sum at Yank Sing, grabbed a drink at Forbidden Island, and just had some good family time.

And 3 days after they left, mom came to see us! This was probably the longest time we've gone without seeing her since the first kiddo was born - almost 2 months! I really can't wait until she and dad have a place up here, and can split their time between Alameda and Orange County - less than a year left til Dad retires and the party is on!

It's been lovely, but it'll be nice to have a few weeks of downtime, a chance to settle in to a normal routine as a little family of 4 + dog, before the holidays get going!

Dad will be here for the big kid's birthday in a few weeks, and then it's Thanksgiving, and before we know it, we'll all be piling into the car for a trip down south for Christmas!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Just a Nice Little Wednesday

I've been back at work for a little over a week now, and while it's still hectic and I'm still learning the names of my students (I think I know all my seniors by name, and about half my sophomores...not too bad for my 10th day of work this school year) I'm also at the point where I'm starting to enjoy myself more than I worry.

I wasn't quite sure where to start off my classes, because although my amazing sub did an amazing job, she couldn't possibly make it exactly like it would have been if I'd been there doing the teaching myself. So I started back unsure of what I should teach, and after a mini panic attack, I decided I should start with what I love best, and not worry about the calendar so much!

So seniors have had a week of feminism in AP Gov, and are going to start a unit on Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, and Privilege next week. I reviewed the French Revolution with my sophomores, made fun of Napoleon a bit, and taught skills rather than content (outlining, listening for lecture cues, making educated guesses and practicing being wrong (and being ok with it)). Next week, they'll be starting the Industrial Revolution.

I have a pretty great "hook," or intro, for my Industrial Revolution unit: I bring in tiny coffee stirrers and feathers, show the kids how to make quills, then divide them up into teams (modern versus pre-industrialized). The modern team gets 2 members, and the rest of the class is on the pre-industrialized team. Then they have to race to make illustrated books with some of my favorite quotations about history. The modern team always wins the race, but they never make books that are as interesting or beautiful as the pre-industrialized team. It's a pretty cool way to talk about how technology replaced the artisan, especially since my students are so very artsy.

This year is also my first year at my school not running student activities. It's strange to not be super-involved in everything that's going on, but also awfully relaxing. My prep time so far hasn't been interrupted more than a couple of times (the equivalent of what a typical hour was like last year!) and the stress levels of just teaching, versus teaching while planning expensive events for hundreds of people but also teaching leadership and event planning skills to teenagers who sometimes would prefer fun to work, are just so much lower!

Honestly, a good part of today, including my walk to MUNI and the BART ride home, felt a little bit like a vacation! Because seriously, for a working mother of a 2 month old and an almost 3 year old, indulgence is listening to NPR streaming on my phone while absolutely no one touched me or tried to steal my food!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Additions

So, we had a baby, which has been pretty exciting, and he's awfully cute! Looks so much like Ross, even down to his frequent grumpy faces.

almost smiling...almost!
And then, because things were just too calm around here (ha!), we got a puppy!

5 months old and already a giant!
Gertrude will probably grow up to be more than 100 lbs, maybe even bigger! E#2 will probably get that big too, eventually, but it's gonna take him a lot longer!

Friday, October 10, 2014

List #13 - Things I am Not Ashamed of

Last Friday, someone from my past threatened to "expose" lies he seems to think are true about me (via a nasty email to my family and friends), along with a few things that actually are true, in an attempt to make me feel awful about myself, to intimidate me, and to get me to do something I do not want to do. This got me thinking that, even though he's wrong about a pile of things, I'm not I'm ashamed of things that I am, or things that I was, or things that I did.
How many things he's wrong about

My experiences are a part of my self, and I think I'm pretty alright. So here is a list of things I might not talk about all that often, but that I'm not ashamed of:

1. I took antidepressants. For that time that I was depressed. It's a pretty common thing, and I know lots and lots of people who've done the same. They helped me. When I was depressed, I couldn't figure out how to get past the "I can't possibly face the world" feelings long enough to even get myself to a therapist, which is kind of important for getting better. Antidepressants made that possible. They also helped me get some real sleep and quieted down some of the mean thoughts my brain was having. I didn't have the best experience stopping them (some quack told me it was fine to just stop...SO not true - that landed me in the ER with serious withdrawal symptoms), but all in all, I'd recommend that someone who is as depressed as I was in 1999 talk to their doctor, 'cause they just might help. Definitely not ashamed.

2. I had an eating disorder. You probably know about that already. I've written about it a few times. No shame - in fact, I want people to know, because the more people know about eating disorders, the easier it will be for others who have them to speak up and seek out help.


3.  I am a feminist. (Yes, seriously, he seems to think that I won't want people to know that). I get the idea he hasn't read this blog.

4. I enjoy sex. Being the typical adult woman that I am, I'm not anti-sex. Most women like sex. Most people like sex. We are created through it, we have biological and emotional and social urges to do it. We talk about it, see it in movies and on TV, think about it, make huge decisions about who to have it with and who not to, and how to have it, and when, and where, and how often, and what should the purpose be, and how to avoid it with people we don't like, or people we used to like but don't anymore. Sex is a huge part of humanity, an important part of a healthy marriage, and I don't think that's a shameful thing at all. I think it's fascinating. When I grow up more, I want to be like SueJo. Have you ever seen her? It's amazing. She's so sex-positive and non-judgey and seems like she just has so much fun, with sex and with life aside from sex.

And she provides such a service to people! How wonderful, to know how to really enjoy such a huge part of the human experience! We are lucky that she does what she does. And that Dr. Ruth does what she does. Also, Masters and Johnson, Good Vibrations, Violet Blue, and on and on

These people are some of the ones who taught me that you can choose your choice. That advocating for what you like is the best thing for you (in regards to sex and to life in general). That liking one thing one time with one person IN NO WAY obligates you to like that thing again, with the same person or with a different one. They are how I know that the "nice guy syndrome" exists, and how I know why men who claim to be "nice guys" in that way really aren't.

"Perhaps you need a crash course in taking hints. Here's your first lesson: We're not actually walking somewhere together; I'm trying to leave this conversation and you're following me." via xkcd

5. I dated people before I got married. Some of those people had jobs. Maybe even jobs that not everyone would choose to do, or choose to tell people they did. But only one guy was ever really mean to me. And that had nothing to do with his job. Also, I don't have to own responsibility for the jobs that all the people in my life have had at some point or another. Don't like the job that someone I once dated had?

6. I changed colleges. I started at Cal Berkeley and then transferred to San Diego State. For reasons. Those included depression, wanting to be a teacher, and my future husband living in San Diego. A full 1/3 of students transfer, "most commonly in their second year" which is when I did. Not a big deal. Definitely not shameful. 

7. I'm clumsy. Like all the people in infomercials. I think "As Seen on TV" products were made with me in mind.

via buzzfeed
8. I startle easily. Like, really easily. I'm like this guy, except that I think it's funny. 

Seriously, yesterday I asked Ross for my toothbrush, and then got startled when he handed it to me.

9. I used to drink whiskey. I'm sure you're shocked. It was usually Jack Daniels. Now I tend to prefer Bulleit Bourbon. Oooh, or Breaking & Entering Bourbon from St. George. Or wine. Mmm, wine.

I'm sure there's more. I'm not particularly ashamed of much of anything in my life. Are there things I would do differently if given a second chance? Probably! But who wouldn't? Also, I wouldn't be the exact person I am now if these things hadn't happened, and I like me.

I am thankful once again for my husband, who stands by my side through everything. And for my sister, who can make me laugh about even the worst things, and just that makes it all seem more manageable. And my parents...dang guys, you got put through it this week. I love you. Also I'm thankful for our new giant dog. Gertrude is awesome!