I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Musings...

(I teach remedial English at a community college.)

Each semester I get a new group of students, which brings a new batch of personalities and background stories.  It's not like elementary teachers who are occasionally sad to see their students go each year- I'm more than happy for them to go bye-bye because it means I get a break and get to meet new students next semester. 

This semester I have a decent sized group and by the 4th day I had all their names memorized (yet some of them still pronounce my  name wrong.)  I always have an assignment the first day where the students have to give me a short bio about what they think I should know about them.

I am very impressed because this semester and last fall I have had three students in particular who are single moms and they work harder at my class than most of the other students.  They each have more than one.  It impressed me because I hear so many moms say that they can't go back to school or they can't finish school because they have children at home.  One of the most important things I think that a mother can teach her child is that you don't have to give up on life to become a parent.  It's okay to devote a crap ton of time to your children, but you don't have to give up on what makes you happy or your dreams.

I myself finished my bachelor's degree when my daughter was 3 and my son was 1.  Currently I am teaching and taking 3 grad classes so I can finish what little I have left of my MA.  Right now my children are 6,4 and two months.  I'm not gloating or trying to talk myself up, but I'm proof that your kids are not in the way of school.  Just like these three girls I'm referring to are achieving their goals.  I love seeing their drive and hearing them say that they are doing it to give their children better lives.  In a world where it's so easy to live off the government and not work, it's great to see young girls who want more for themselves and don't just give up or become lazy.

Random off topic musing: It bugs me when I make a joke and some of my students don't laugh or smile.  I think I have three students who have yet to crack a smile... it irks me... are they robots or do they think all teachers are nerds?

Veggie Tales: The Penniless Princess- God's Little Girl Available Now!!!

So, if you're unfamiliar with Veggie Tales, you're missing out!  Veggie Tales feature Bob the Tomato and his good pal Larry the Cucumber.  They have a slew of other vegetable friends (and some fruits) that help them tell their stories.  All their stories have a religious overtone, but it is not being shoved down your throat and it helps teach kids great morals!
"In this Veggie-version of the children’s book A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Larry the Cucumber stars as Captain Crew and helps to teach an important lesson about knowing your own true worth to his young daughter, Sarah, even if only through his spirit.
Sweet Sarah has everything a little girl could want. But when life takes a turn and she goes from riches to rags, will she realize that her true worth lies not in what she has, but what she has in her heart?
This was especially cute for me because I used to watch A Little Princess with Shirley Temple all the time when I was little!

My kids love watching Veggie Tales and as a parent, I love that it teaches them many good qualities and traits about life without being disgusting or obnoxious like a lot of the current cartoons are.  
Family Time Factor:  Personally, I think it can be enjoyed by all ages, but I'm biased.

MOTR Grade: A

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Awful Daycare Experience

I wrote a couple years back about a bad daycare that my kids were going to.

Well, I just had another unfortunate experience yesterday.  They is a daycare on campus at the college I teach at.  Although it is not affiliated with the school (they rent the space), it is still in the school.  It is very pricy, but it was convenient for me to send my son to last year.  I never had a problem with L going- he liked it, he didn't throw a fit going and there seemed to be no problem.  This year, L will be going to preschool elsewhere, but I needed daycare for Baby H.  I only teach one class Mon-Thurs and it lasts an hour, so I figured having H go to the daycare wouldn't be a big deal.  He was only going to have to go on Mondays and Wednesdays because I have family caring for him the other two days.  Of course, it's ridiculous to pay for a full day when he's only going an hour, but the convenience to me was worth it.

As you may or may not know, I used to be a stay at home mom while earning my bachelor degree online.  A didn't go to daycare for the first time until she was 2.5.  L was 6 months and it was so hard because he cried every day when I dropped him off.  It was only a couple days a week, but it was still difficult.  You think that no one can take care of your children as well as you can (of course they can't.)  So, the idea of Baby H going to a daycare at 2 months was very scary to me, but like I said, I didn't think two hours a week would be that bad.

I was wrong.  When I got there to drop H off, there were two women working with 8 babies that looked like they ranged in age from 3 months-16 months.  There were some screaming, a baby in a swing crying, it was chaos.  I know that the state licensed facilities are only allowed to have 4 babies per one adult, so it wasn't as though they were doing something illegal and had "too many" babies there at one time.  I felt bad leaving him and since I was early, I figured that I would feed him a bottle and rock him, hoping he'd fall asleep.  I stayed as long as I could, but he wasn't asleep so I put him in a swing.

Fast forward until I got back.  There was one woman eating in a corner.  The other was spoon feeding one child at the table. H was in the same swing as when I had left, but was crying so much his voice was hoarse.  He was sweaty and he had puke on his clothes.  His bottle hadn't moved from where I left it.  I picked him up, got his stuff and left.  When I got to the car I held him until he calmed down and I cried. 

There is absolutely NO WAY he is going back.  I would rather quit my job than send him back to that place.  Luckily I have found other arrangements that I am much more comfortable with as it is someone I know who has watched L before.  I had David call the daycare and tell them neither of my kids would be returning.  I just can't believe that people can sit back while babies cry and scream!  I care too much about my children to force them into a situation like that.

My poor baby...

Monday, August 13, 2012

iCarly The Complete Fourth Season is available now!!!

One of Nickelodeon's biggest hits has been iCarly. It stars Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock cutie, Drake & Josh regular) as Carly, a girl who becomes a quasi celebrity in Seattle after broadcasting a webshow starring herself and her friend Sam. Carly's friend Freddie is the technology guy for their show.

Carly lives with her older brother Spencer and he is her legal guardian. This leads to the possibility of much more shenanigans and hijinks than when you're under parental supervision.

Each episode has Carly living out her regular life, without letting her fame get to her head. She is an intelligent and honest girl, which makes her a good character for young children to watch.

Another great element of iCarly is the fact that it is very now and current because Carly's show is on the internet. Kids will appreciate that it's not the same old boring storylines that could be transposed into any given decade.

The crazy situations that Sam, Carly, Freddie and Spencer get into make for a big amount of laughs every episode!

"Carly and the gang are back with all ten episodes from the fourth season in iCarly: The Complete 4th Season! This season, Freddie and Sam are officially together; Carly starts dating a super smart guy; Nora returns in a special two-part episode; the crew gets a VIP visit; and so much more, all while bringing on the LOLs. Guest stars this season include First Lady Michelle Obama and Jim Parsons of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. In addition, enjoy five episodes from Nickelodeon’s latest hit show, How to Rock – on DVD for the first time!"

iCarly: The Complete 4th Season Episode Synopses:

Disc 1:
iDate Sam & Freddie
Carly steps in to resolve an argument for Sam and Freddie. Soon Freddie and Sam are coming to Carly for help with every single fight. Now that she’s involved, how can Carly remove herself?

iLost My Mind
Carly discovers that Sam has checked herself into a mental hospital, thinking she’s crazy for liking Freddie. Unable to check herself out, how can the gang free Sam before they have to film iCarly?

iCan’t Take It
Mrs. Benson discovers Sam and Freddie’s relationship after Gibby, now the subject of Sam’s abuse, concocts a plan to split them up. Will Carly fight for Sam and Freddie, or help Gibby break them up?

iLove You
Carly tells Sam and Freddie to try each other’s favorite hobbies. Meanwhile, Spencer bumps into his old babysitter and asks her to dinner. After reverting to their old roles, will they stay together?

Carly tries to impress a new boyfriend by trying to look smarter than she is. Meanwhile, the gang tries to find T-Bo a new place to live after he gets kicked out of the Groovy Smoothie.

iMeet The First Lady
A high-level government agency starts to inquire into the iCarly gang after they hack into a secure network to throw Carly’s dad an online birthday party.

iStill Psycho (Two-Part Episode)
Part 1: After receiving word that Nora Dershlit is going to be released from jail, the iCarly kids see what they can do to keep their old captor behind bars. Meanwhile, Mrs. Benson discovers the real T-Bo.
Part 2: The iCarly gang has to find a way to escape from Nora and her crazy parents. When Freddie figures out how to send a message to his mom, will Mrs. Benson get there in time?

Disc 2:
iToe Fat Cakes
The gang, minus Carly, takes Sam to the Canadian Fat Cake factory, only to find Sam can't get back into America. Meanwhile, Carly has trouble in the tub while getting ready for a date.

After being snubbed in an interview about iCarly, Freddie tries to show his creative side by webcasting iCarly in 3D. Spencer hires an assistant he can't afford to pay.

iBloop 2: Electric Bloopaloo
Christopher Cane, the actor who plays Rex on Victorious, returns to host an in-depth interview with the stars of iCarly and to show their hilarious bloopers/outtakes.

Family Time Factor: This is something that anyone from 4-104 could get into.  The writing is witty, but there are many things that younger kids will find funny too.  Although I think some of the themes such as boyfriend/girlfriend/kissing is not something I want my younger kids watching, it's a pretty family-friendly show!

MOTR Grade: B+

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dora the Explorer: Dora's Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure is Available Now!!!

My kids literally have like 10 Dora DVDs. They used to have more, but I thought it was getting a little excessive. My kids are Dora fiends. Most kids I know are Dora fiends. There is just something about Dora that makes her appeal to every child. As a parent, I love her upbeat attitude, and the fact that she teaches kids everything from Spanish to counting to colors to shapes. It helps them use their memory and critical thinking. My son is 2 and I will hear Dora ask a question and he answers her. It's mind boggling and I love it!

Dora is a little girl who likes to go exploring. She uses a map to tell her where to go, has a pet Monkey friend named Boots who goes along with her and then there's Swiper the Fox, who likes to steal things and hide them from Dora.

 Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure Episode Synopses:

Dora’s Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure
Dora and Boots are practicing for the Fantastic Gymnastics Show when Dora gets a special delivery – a beautiful rainbow ribbon. This means Dora gets to start the Big Gymnastics Show with her ribbon dance! But Swiper comes in and steals the ribbon soDora and Boots set out on an adventure to get the ribbon back in time for the show.

A Ribbon for Pinto
Pinto is really excited about the Big Horse Show and he’d like to win his very first blue prize ribbon. Dora, Boots, and Pinto are taking a train to the show, but the train breaks down and they worry they won’t be able to make it!

Swiper’s Favorite Things
Swiper is packing all of his favorite things for a sleepover at his Grandma’s House -- his pajama trunk, his favorite puppy book, and his very special funny bunny. Just as he is about to leave, a big wind gust comes in and blows everything away! Dora and Swiper journey to Crocodile Lake, through the Jumbled Trees, and race to Strawberry Hill to get Swiper’s favorite things back.

Family Time Factor:  As an adult, I find it tolerable to listen to while I'm cleaning or Facebooking or what not, but I'd never sit an watch it.  In terms of kids, I'd say 2-6.

MOTR Grade: A-