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Friday, October 23, 2015

Mastitis and Breast milk baths

Not a good week for the Tata's.  Tuesday night I was feeding baby and told my husband my boob felt bruised, little did I know, that was probably a clogged milk duct.  Being that I did nothing about it, continued to wear a sports bra, sleep on my stomach, and be too lazy to pump before bed, it got infected.  Wednesday evening I was having hot flashes and was extremely tired by bed time I was so hot I couldn't stand it.  My skin was on fire, my bones were achy and I got no sleep.  As for baby that night she slept 7 hours!  I was dying for to wake up and nurse to relieve some pressure.  Imagine that she finally sleeps a good night and I am praying for her to wake up...  Anyway the next day wasn't much better, i thought I had the flu, Friday I went to the doctor Friday morning and get antibiotics and hopefully will be all better.  Now heres the FUNNY in all this my husband is convinced he can also catch mastitis.  its a bacterial infection which is NOT contagious.  It also only affects breast tissue so in very rare cases men could possibly get mastitis but he wasn't worried about his breast he was just positive it could infect his nether regions!!!  

Moral of the story, if you are breast feeding and your breast are tender and have a bruised looking spot call the doctor, otherwise you will feel like you've been hit by a Mack truck!!  Some things to avoid include wearing a bra that is not too tight, not sleeping on your stomach, and do not avoid the pump.  When your baby begins to sleep longer stretches at night and you become engorged can cause plugged ducts which lead to mastitis.  No worries you can still nurse your babe, all the good stuff in your milk will protect them.

Also this week we tried our first breast milk bath.  If your like me for the nine months of pregnancy I was on pinterest researching breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing and pretty much anything baby related.  I kept finding posts like '155 cosmetic and medicinal uses for breast milk'.  basically it can be used for anything from baking cupcakes, to removing makeup, to clearing up dry skin.  My husband and I would sit back and laugh at these lists until today.  I saw a friend post a picture of her son in a breast milk bath and a light bulb came on.  Thats how you clear dry skin, not by squirting on yourself.  So I put 3 oz in a baby bathtub and gave her a bath and we will see how well it works.  I have no idea how often this needs to be done so I am going to try for 2 times a week.  (and I would feel like I'm wasting milk but I was getting close to having throw a lot away because our deep freezer is full of fishing bait!)

Anyway until next time
~Coxy :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Starting Over

So, we had a miscarriage in September 2014 but have now been blessed with our rainbow baby.  It is now October 2015 and our baby girl is 10 weeks, and 14 pounds.  I can't tell you how many times in the last few months I have heard Awe is this your first baby?, when I respond no we have a 12 year old, people look at me surprised and say oh your starting over...  hence the title of this post.  :)

I am also starting over with the blogging.  Being that I have taken some extra time off work I have extra time to blog.  So my goal here is to be real.  No perfect family perfect pintrest, perfect body posts.  

The name of my blog is Coxy's life.  That's me.  my maiden name, which my husband and brother in law still refer to me as.  Red Pens, Binky's, and Barbells refer to teaching, mom-ing, and bodybuilding.  I hope to keep writing about the state of education, but also my life with a newborn and 12 year old, and my fitness journey while humoring and motivating others.  

I kinda forgot to think of a word to add to the title that refers to our farming.  but I will also share stories of our farm.  I call it a small farm right now it kinda grows and shrinks depending on how hungry the pesky fox is.  We mainly raise free range chickens.  We had a free range goat but that turned out to not be the best idea, more on that later, and a donkey.  I will introduce all of these guys in a later post...  Oh yeah and I almost forgot about the 9 cats that we now have too!!

Anyway baby is beginning to fuss so I'll talk to you guys soon!!  :)


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our system's focus

T.E.M 3.0 and T.E.M 4.0...  if you are a teacher you know how much has changed in last 9 years when it comes to evaluation.  When I first began teaching there was a bunch of paper work that went along with being evaluated but what it all boiled down to was a lesson plan, a reflection, and a plan to improve, it wasn't too bad.  Now Our system is focused on teaching and NOT learning and there is a difference!  In my district every year they are rolling out a new teacher evaluation rubric.  And this thing has 7 domains, each with 5 levels and each level has indicators that must be met.  If you are not at least a 3 in a vast majority of the domains you are in danger of losing your job.  These indicators say things like 'All students can explain or demonstrate lesson objectives'  'All students are challenged' 'All students are engaging in appropriately challenging work'  That all sounds good but what happened to administration being happy to have teachers who are up and teaching.  Who cares if students are in groups 'providing each other with feedback'  If you really think they are working when they are in those groups you are crazy...  If students are working well in those groups, I know from experience, it doesn't mean the teacher is a great teacher, it means she threatened them pretty good!  It shouldn't matter if I have CCSS on my board or an S.P.I.  as long as the students are being taught.   I shouldn't be knit picked because I forgot ask a student what our objective for the day was, or because I didn't relate the problems to the students interests...  TCAP nor CRA do that...  I teach in my math class not to get hung up on a word that you can't read or don't know and pay attention to the ones we do know, because that is what happens on the these tests, they use big words trying to confuse the students.  But anyway back to my point Teaching is an art, a science, just like an artist each teacher has their own style stop trying to make all of us like robots who do the same activities and say the same things!!  I understand that learning has to be tested but as long as students learned what they were supposed to learn it shouldn't matter how the teacher got them there!

Anyway just rambling again,
Moral of the story, goes back to the quote I read somewhere the other day, "Our system is focused on teaching not learning and there is a difference'

Friday, October 17, 2014

Understanding Common Core

As a teacher that has had the opportunity to be trained on Common Core I have strong beliefs that if these standards are used as intended they are not terrible and actually lead us to a more cohesive way of educating our kids.

In Education there have always been standards, things that the state and districts say teachers must teach their students by the end of the year.  My first 5 years or so of teaching it was kind of an each teacher for himself type mentality.  The 6th grade teachers had their S.P.I's, as the standards were called then, the 7th grade teachers had their own set and 8th grade had their own set.  As far as I know/remember no one ever thought about looking to see if we were teaching the same things from grade to grade.  As students came to us we just assumed that our students did not know the things listed on that S.P.I list and we taught until we covered all 36 (maybe more maybe less) of them.

Makes sense right?  As long as I teach my students what they need to know to do well on TCAP its all ok right?

This is where Common Core State Standards (CCSS) come into play.  Before delving into the actual we as teachers have to accept the fact that out kids know stuff.  Someone other than us, me Mrs. Ward or you Mr./Mrs______, did teach our kids something.  That maybe our fellow colleagues did do their job and teach.  Its a crazy thought but once you can let go of the thought that I have to teach this, once you get brave enough to just throw your students an assignment to see if they can figure it out you'll be surprised how much they already know...

So what does all of this have to do with Common Core?  The Common Core Standards were built on the idea of progression.  For example in Kindergarten students are introduced to equations in the form of:
          Write all the facts you can think of that equal 9.

Then in first grade Students must be able to answer a question similar to:

           For each equations state whether it is true, if not explain why.


By sixth grade it looks more like this:
          Can these two expressions b equivalent?  Give and example that would make them equivalent            and an example that would lead to two expressions that are not equal.
                     4x + 3x = 3x +20

In 7th grade students begin to write their own equations from real world situations.

Through these grade levels you should see a progression in K students are learning what it means to have a math problem equal something.  In first grade it gets a bit more complex, students are introduced to the idea that our math problem may not always equal what is on the opposite side of that equal sign.  The idea progresses through third, fourth and fifth grade...  (this information can be found by simply googling common core progressions expressions and equations)...  until middle school Where by now students should have a complete grasp on what it means to be equivalent.  Standard 6 EE 4 Says identify when two expressions are equivalent....

Is that not what we have just shown that our students have been being taught since kindergarten??!!??

So this goes back to the idea that if we as educators trust each other, our students probably know more than we give them credit for.  I recently attended a training that used the term 'unfinished learning'  to me it made perfect sense.  As a 7th grade teacher I should be able to give my students a word problem and have them write equations from a word problem because they already understand variables and equivalence.

Here recently with the adoption of the CCSS, teachers have began to accept that their students know stuff when they walk through the door but we expect them to be ready to dive in head first into something new.  If we don't show our students how what we are learning today relates to something they already know they will be able to make connections.

Back to the 'unfinished learning' business...  in 6th grade the students were just beginning to get good at identifying equivalent expressions and understanding variables therefore in 7th grade  I cannot just throw a word problem in front of them and expect them to be able to write an equation.  I need to go back to expressions and say, hey remember these?  what can you tell me about them?  Why is there letter in my math problem?  What does this letter mean?  etc....  pull that previous learning out of them and then build on it...  The idea of understanding expressions and determining if they are equal is now going to grow into, look at this word problem, is something being added, subtracted, multiplied or divided, what is the thing that is unknown, and what are we wanting it to equal in the end?

But for this natural progression work we need total buy in from teachers from Kindergarten all the way through high school.  Teachers will only buy in with proper training and proper training will only come if the state feels EVERYONE is on board with the idea.  That EVERYONE is mainly the parents.  Parents we as teachers need your support, yes the 'tasks' that come along with common core are more challenging for your child but isn't that what we want?  Don't we want our children challenged and not just drones picking A B C or D.  and yes the teaching strategies that come along with common core may not be what you are used to but again sometimes we need to let our children struggle before we give them a hand.

In any case my ramblings may make sense to you they may not but in the end if we overthrow CCSS before ever giving it a whole hearted try there will be new set of standards with new challenges that some people will like and others will not.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Peanuts story

I should be 10 weeks pregnant, almost through the 'danger zone' and into the second trimester.  Two weeks ago I had my first prenatal visit.  I loved the doctor I had chosen , I loves the nurses , I couldn't wait to get to know them better.  At the end of the visit the doc said let's go get an ultrasound before you leave.  I stopped and asked if insurance covered that he answered probably not but I like to do an early one to make sure everything is ok.  So I went with my husband to the ultrasound room.  The tech began rubbing my belly and pushing buttons on her machine. After a few minutes she said she was going to get the doctor and they were going to try a vaginal ultrasound to get a better look.  They both came back a few minutes later.  I immediately suspected something was wrong. My fears confirmed when the doctor took a look at the baby.  We had already determined I should be 8 weeks along. Peanut was only measuring 6 weeks.  The doctor explained it could be due to late ovulation, a slow developing baby, or a sign of miscarriage.  I left with my husband devastated.  I didn't get off the couch for 3 days except to go to work where I had to frequently step out of the classroom so my students didn't see me cry.  My husband left that prenatal appointment with a different view that everything was going to be ok Peanut was just taking his or her time.  After having friends pray with and for me I decided everything was ok. I came out of my funk and began to convince myself for 11 days that everything was fine and that I had a happy healthy growing baby inside.  We had a follow up ultrasound yesterday. I could tell as soon as the screen came on that nothing had changed that Peanut had not grown. I didn't need anyone to tell me what was going on  I knew.  The ultrasound tech got up from her seat without saying a word and left. The doctor proceeded to explain that 1 in 8 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. And that means that if you get pregnant twice you have a 25% chance of miscarriage and that if you get pregnant 4 times you have a 50% chance. At this point I wanted to scream. I'm a math teacher I don't need statistics explained to me!!  He continued to say most women's will miscarry before they even know they are pregnant. I wanted argue and tell him they are the lucky ones instead I just cried.  I
 I knew for 10 weeks I was pregnant.  For ten weeks  I  dealt with nausea, headaches and being so tired some days I didn't think I would make the 30 minute drive home from work. 10 weeks discussing names and nursery logistics with my husband.  10 weeks dreaming of holding a baby boy or girl in my arms in April.  We had decided I would breast feed and to add salt to the wound yesterday morning before I left for the doctor I was researching cloth diapering.  I spent 10 weeks wondering if the roosters would keep a baby awake at night and picturing a tiny arm reaching through the gate to pet Hank the donkey, picturing a toddler pulling my precious kitty cats tail and hearing a little giggle at tWillie the goats antics.  All of these dreams seemingly ripped away in just a few short seconds.
I know this isn't the ms we can try again. But after years of longing for a baby this seems so cruel. It hurts even though many may say at least it is early on this was still our baby, our Peanut.

#miscarriage #devastated #heartbroken

Monday, September 19, 2011

The grass isn't always greener

well we are 5 weeks into the new school year and I have found out the hard way that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.  So far, not only have we had ridiculous rules set for us regarding lesson plans ect.  but I also have a borderline stalker parent.  She sends a letter, email, some form of communication everyday.  A three page letter that she wants me to respond to before the end of the day.  At his point I am done having any interaction with her child.  I am also done responding to her ridiculous letters.  I am back at the same point I was in previous years, get me the heck outta here!!!!!!  It really sucks to know I need to keep this job simply for the insurance.

Not to mention the more I think here lately I realize I am more and more like my father.  I really don't like dealing with other people.  I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  I visited my dad's cabin in Lobelville, TN last weekend and fell in love.  I loved being out in the middle of nowhere.  the idea of being able to just disappear into the woods all day is so appealing.  If i want to sit on the roof all day and look over the mountain I can.  I'm sure I would eventually get bored and my mom says I would never make bc there is no where to shop.  But what people don't understand is I am completely comfortable in my faded holy blue jeans and old navy tank tops.  Give me a book, itunes, and mtv and I will be fine.  As much as I think I would love this I then think this is another grass greener on the other side idea.  while Im working a job I still don't like and running around like a chicken with my head cut off I cant help but think ohhhh the country life seems sooo appealing.  But then I think I ll be bored I might get lonely, although I don't see anyone when Im here anyway, and there is no kroger to go to!!  So who knows for the moment I can't stop imagining what it would be like to slow down and live the country life but for now I guess I will just go and visit on the weekends.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I was just thinking...  I should be keeping better track of all the traveling I do.  Well its not just me, its my family, but this blog is about Coxy's life soooo  :)

 This summer we started of in New Orleans, La.  for those that don't know my husband works here year round for the Army Corps of Engineers.  Luckily I have a job where I can spend summers here with him!!!  While we were here he actually got a rainy day off or two.  This is when Maggie's Captain Jack obsession began LOL.  We went to the movie theater for lack of anything else to do, hubby wanted to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4, I thought oh no Maggie is going to hate it....  Boy was I wrong!!!  We have since had to watch the first three and buy numerous Captain Jack novelties.  On this trip Maggie and I also went to the Audubon Zoo.  It is very nice, especially if you have never been to the Memphis zoo, but one thing it had that the Memphis zoo does not is a water park area.  Not just sprinklers shooting out of the ground but slides and all kinds of cool stuff!!

After 13 days we all traveled home for a Willie nelson concert, actually we went for Brantley Gilbert, but who needs specifics :)  We also got the Skeeter, our 21 foot, (give or take a foot, I mean whose really counting anyway?) bay boat running!!  Man I loooove that boat.  I feel soo much more safe in it.  After the week end I had to attend a PD session for work on Monday.  Justin had to return to work in New Orleans.

Maggie and I spent some time at home.  We went to see Beauty and the beast at the Orpheum.  She loved that!!  After about a week at home, we were gone again.  This time to Biloxi, Ms with my in-laws.  of course we girls spent plenty of time on the beach while boys went deep sea fishin'.  We took some time to go mini golfing, shop, and make some great memories!!  After 4 days in Biloxi it was time to move on to Venice, La.  Although there is absolutely nothing to do in this city it is a definite 'must with your own eyes' kind of place.  The wildlife is amazing, the roads are usually underwater, the boats are awesome, the fish coming in off the ocean in the afternoon are so cool and I loooooove the sound of the ocean liners fog horns.  Its just a neat place that most folks don't even know exists!  While there we actually got a flier to attend a party thrown by the "Swamp People" Trapper Joe and Tommy (you know from the tv show on the history channel).  But the Corps guys got sent home.  So we were back on the road again.

This time we decided to split the ride home in half and stop in Jackson, Ms for the night.  Bad Idea.  We got there about 9:00 walked into our Hilton hotel and immediately realized we were waaaaaaay underdressed for the occasion in our flip flops, shorts and t-shirts.  We checked in and went up to the room which was spectacular and decided we needed some dinner.  Like we always in Nola, we set out on foot to find a place to eat.  Unlike Nola, apparently everything in Jackson closes at 9:00.  We were forced to eat in the Hiltons restaurant.  It was fun but for three drinks, two sandwiches and a kids meal it was like $90.  Luckily we had enough hotel points to not have to pay for the room but out joke for the night was don't touch anything they are going to nickel and dime us for everything else!!  It was fun!!

Once we made it home we worked on the ole Skeeter some more and took it out to the river.  Did I mention I love that boat?  By the way we are now into the July fourth weekend.  Which is also my mothers b-day weekend.  Anyway we went to the river to see the fireworks, this time we had to take the F&F boat, its a 15 foot (again give or take a few) aluminum boat, not such a fan of this one.  Of course my hubby has the biggest motor he can have on it and it sits loooowwww in the water!!!  I don't like that.  But anyway, regardless, we had a nice night on the river, minus the swarm of mosquitos!!

This gets us to our Chicago trip.  Maggie and I also drove to Chicago this summer with my mom, making our travels cover all of I-55 this summer!!  very nerve racking I had to let my mom drive my HUMMER.  but we made it there in one piece.  We took Maggie to the American girl Place and had Lunch.  Maggie insisted upon bringing both her dolls.  She didn't understand all the walking involved but she did pretty good.  Later we met up with my Bestie Renee!!  I finally got to see her apartment and her charcoal gray with black markings cat Lil.  By dinner time this first night Maggie was so tired she fell asleep at dinner LOL.  The next day more walking, we went to the Aquarium and ate at Geno's pizza.  I usually hate thick crust pizza but that stuff was Awesome!!  I can't really remember what we did after that so now is as good a time as any to mention I went into Tiffany & Co ohhhhh I was in heaven!!  But anyway after our adventures with Renee Maggie and I traveled back to Joliet (where my mom was staying) And met my mom, Clay, and his girlfriend at the race track.  I haven't been to the races in many many many years but as soon as I pulled into to parking area the adrenaline kicked in and it brought back memories of when I was maggies age and my dad would take me to the race track where we live.  Of course most of the time we had to watch from the parking lot because he wouldn't pay for us to get in, but it put a passion for nitro methane and burnt rubber in my soul.  Anyway Maggie was tired at this point she fell asleep during top fuel and funny car...  If you are not familiar with these types of cars, they are so loud they make your skin shake!!  and this kid slept through it!!!  AMAZING...  The big adventure of the trip is when I took mom, clay, Elizabeth and maggie back into Chicago to go to Navy Pier.  I got the buses a little confused and we ended up in the ghetto for a little bit!!  But we all made it out alive  :)  Then it was back south for out crew of 5 in the HUMMER.  it wasn't too bad.

Maggie and I stayed home for two days and hit the road again back to New Orleans til the end of summer.  We have been to Grand Isle, La twice this trip.  It is also a beautiful spot of beaches and fishing.  Very pretty, nice and quiet and again no one really knows it exists.  We also went to Biloxi, Ms again.  Of course Maggie had to ride the Jet skis even though it was pouring down rain!!  We also ate at one of my favorites Captain Al's.  Well I guess that just about concludes our travels up to this point.  Summer is almost over and we will be home again.  At least until labor day :)