Sunday, October 31, 2004
Happy Halloween! It's a beautiful, foggy morning. The squirrel is eating our sunflower seeds, yet again. Brian and Claire are sleeping in. I cooked bacon and it smells great! We're having friends over tonight for Halloween. We still need to carve our pumpkins, but we've still got time.

I've started listening to Christmas music already. I'm in search of French Christmas music, but honestly haven't been trying to hard to acquire it! I know a couple French songs by heart from my teaching days and our on-the-road French carolling. That was fun...the other classes enjoyed it and thankfully, my students enjoyed getting the exercise. My voice was always a little hoarse after singing so much with all my classes, but hey, it was better than forcing them to learn something academic two days before Christmas break. We practiced our aural and oral skills as well as tried to boost our confidence.

That's one thing that learning French in the USA is not like learning Spanish. It's rare to find a French-speaking native to practice your French with outside of the classroom. However, I don't know how willing the Spanish-speaking are to converse in Spanish with a non-native-tongue-Spanish-speaker. Maybe someday I'll find out.

We've considered putting Claire into the French-American school for pre-school, but the cost is high... We'll see... I think collecting French music and watching DVDs in French like we've been doing already will count for something.

My sister had a music concert last night. She's an awesome percussionist. I'm glad she's still playing her music cuz she's so good and I can tell she enjoys it even if her school's band doesn't play the hardest of music.

Claire played with a little boy twice her age (1 1/2 years) last week and he had all these noisy toys. She really enjoyed them and I realized our toys (thankfully, for my sake) aren't that noisy yet so yesterday we bought her a noisier toy. I hope she likes it and that it was worth the $18.

Time to eat some bacon and make some fresh coffee.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Communication is a tricky thing. I wish I knew how to talk and listen to everyone exactly as they needed whenever...yet, I'm a realist and know that's not always possible... Urgh.

Lately, I've been worn out. I don't know why. Maybe Claire's been needier lately or I've been getting less sleep or it's the shorter days...I don't know why. Brian gave me a nice break this weekend by taking care of Claire at night and taking her to the store with him. I caught up on some sleep and got in a couple of brisk walks too. I didn't realize how much a stroller can weigh me down!

Claire crawled up some stairs today like she's done it all her life. She hasn't been practicing that much so I was surprised at how easy it was for her.

She's napping now so I'm going to work on a couple of details I've been putting off.

Thank you, Debbie, for coming over to help me clean today in exchange for a loaf of bread!!!
Thursday, October 21, 2004
On Tuesday I subbed at my former school for the first time since I resigned in January. Yes, I still know how to speak French and how to teach, and yes, my former students did seem happy to see me! In an earlier post I vented my frustrations about my former employer's evaluation of my teaching... I still have angry feelings about my last semester there, but I'm glad to know that reality of how I teach is more accurate than his perception (or rather all the parents of the whining children who whined to my employer) of me and my teaching. Urgh!

To sum up for this post's sake, I realized at the end of the day that I am doing the right job right now for me being a stay-at-home mom for Claire. I don't miss being in the classroom, the short, surfacy conversations in the faculty lunch room, having an employer who think they "know best". I speak French well, and I can do it with Claire for now and that's okay with me. The classroom will always be there when I'm ready to go back. Subbing really is the way to go right now, no prepping, no correcting, no taking homework and kid problems home with me...just a little paycheck, eventually.

I was away from Claire only five hours...ideal. If I could get that gig again I would. She did okay, so did my wonderful mother who took care of her, and I survived too. It's a lot easier to be away from her and for others to take care of her now that she can eat food. She loves her Cheerios!

So updates on Claire: she crawled up three stairs three times yesterday. She's pulling herself up to standing all the time and crawling a lot! We tell her no everytime she tries to go under the computer desk where there are lots of electrical cords and plugs and anytime she reaches for a cord anywhere else. My fear of being shocked is dictating this habit. She's doing an "sss" sound. Her hair is definitely looking red too. Well, the little angel awakes so I must sign off for now.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Claire slept over six hours in a row last night for the first time in a very long time! It felt good to realize I'd slept continuously for that long too. It is very rare, but I'm hopeful it'll continue! She woke up at 9am and now is taking her morning nap! I'm enjoying the lazy morning too!

Brian talked at church yesterday about the Bible. He basically said you can't take it all literally, but he said a lot more than that. Hopefully, he'll publish what he said on his blog. My sister who goes to a Presbyterian church and thinks everything in the Bible can be proven as fact and if we don't follow everything it says we're going to hell came to here Brian talk. She's conflicted in what she believes, actually. I can't say what I said before was true about her. I'm praying for her, even though she thinks we don't pray at our house...

I'm reading a Richard Russo book right now called Straight Man. It's funny. I'm thinking this'll be a more uplifting book than The Nanny Diaries which I just finished!

It snowed in the Cascades this weekend. Winter is coming and I'm so excited for Christmas, yes, even before Halloween. Here's a picture of Timberline on Mt. Hood. Hooray for the holidays!
Sunday, October 10, 2004
It's a beautiful, foggy, fall day. I just finished a book The Nanny Diaries yesterday. The book left a bad taste in my mouth, but I'm grateful my children will never have to be put in that situation where their primary care giver (the nanny) is fired for no reason one day and leaves without saying good-bye to the child/ren. Horrific!

Claire hasn't been sleeping well for several nights. I don't know what to do. I worry more about Brian than me cuz he has to go to work whereas I can zone out at home if I need to! Claire seems to function fine during the dayzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (Claire's contribution to my post). If anyone has tips for helping nursing babies sleep more sounding thru the night please comment!
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Claire is eight months today. She's been saying "na" and "da" and combining the two sounds. "nada" & "dada" have been said a lot. I'm still waiting for "mama." Other accomplishments are crawling like crazy, pulling herself up to standing and she even went up a couple of stairs yesterday! Wow!
Sunday, October 03, 2004
It's a beautiful, crisp, sunny fall day and it's my birthday! It's hard to believe I'm 29 today. After church we're going out to lunch, then tonight out to dinner! Next year I'm going to have a big party!

Since my last post, I flew to Boise with Claire for five days to visit my cousin, her husband and her three kids. They are Claire's closest (in-age) relatives even if they are second cousins. I could have written from there, but I didn't want to hog the computer and most importantly, write something they might think was offensive!!! I love my cousin, but I don't agree with all of the rules of her household. The main clash I'll name is the fact that her four-year-old son kept telling me "we can't say that" every time I said "oh my gosh." I think I used that expression to mean "really?" most of the time and quite frankly I don't remember. When he corrected me once in front of my cousin she said nothing. I asked what could be said instead and she said "oh my goodness" and something else I think. What I wanted her to say to her boy was that adults don't always have to do what kids do. Instead she named me and her sister as two people who were always saying the wrong thing in front of her kids!!!! Yikes!

I wonder how I'll be in about 5 years when Claire and probably another child of ours can talk. I hope I'll be a little more tolerant...

Well, I'm going to go try to enjoy my birthday!
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Location: Beaverton, Oregon, United States

I was a French teacher for four years, a life-long dream achieved. Now, I'm taking a serious break to raise a family. I go to a United Methodist Church regularly with my husband, daughter and son. For my future ideal job, I'd love to travel the world eating in great restaurants and write food reviews!!! Someday I'd like to live on the Oregon Coast and be a translator for French tourists! However, in the meantime I'm earning a substantial income with Jewels by Park Lane, subbing & Shaklee!

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