Monday, November 29, 2010

Pink Eye

The little kid germs have got to me once again. It seems that when you work with seventy children under three years of age, the occasional case of pinkeye is inevitable.

I have it all: the sensitivity to light, the blurry vision, the yellow discharge, and the watery eyes.
After a quick stop at a walk-in clinic for prescription eye drops, I will have to eschew my contact lenses for a week. Not fun. Not fun at all.

At least I avoided the head lice going around our center, and the staph infection that one little nine month old has. All in all, I think I prefer pink eye.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ways You Know You Work with Children

You may work with children if...
1) You've ever told a child "Don't pee on the sink!"
2) You find yourself singing the clean up song at home while washing the dishes.
3) You can push a swing one handedly.
4) You can put five kids to sleep in ten minutes or less.
5) You spend your mornings scraping congealed cereal and milk off the floor.
6) You have calluses from pushing swings.
7) You've perfected your "teacher's voice": loud and no nonsense
8) You break up three fights a day, wipe ten noises an hour, and diaper eight children
9) You've ever picked up a spider to save it from being squashed by anxious children.
10) You get twelve hugs and sloppy kisses at the end of the day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Would You Eat This?

Food in Guatemala was always an adventure. Not only are you dealing with new kinds of tropical fruits and vegetables, but often you may be unable to identify the food on your plate. That was the case with this dish.

Think green potatoes with little cords in them, mixed with a gooey reddish paste. Not your typical dinner.

What was your most adventurous meal?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Today I:
1) Made a big pot of vegetarian chili---this will be lunch for the next week.
2) Finally e-mailed off a photo I took for a friend so long ago in Guatemala.
3) Cleaned out my fridge and located some tempeh I need to use up before it expires.
4) Found books to take to the local thrift shop.
5) Bought salsa and whole wheat flour in bulk (before I run out of food stamps at the end of the month).

All in all, it was a pretty successful day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blood, Spit, and Tears

My little three year old at the Head Start center was busy today.

One of the other three year olds taught him how to use spit as a weapon, prompting much disgust among the other children and two "think times" after he tried to spit on teachers.

Ew. That's all I can say. Ew.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Things to Do

Things I need to do this week, to finish off October:

  1. Contact the head of the magazine turnover division at my local library, to get all of the magazines slated to be recycled. We can use these at the Head Start to make collages and find interesting pictures to post on the wall (Hello, Diversity Project!)

  2. Type up a summary of the apple tasting to send to my AmeriCorps supervisor to officially finish with one of three nutrition projects.

  3. Fasten my new, $2 corkboard message board onto the wall.

What's on your To Do List?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Laundry Room

My roommate lives in my laundry room.

There. I've said it. She came to us out of a really bad situation (her landlady gave her less than 24 hours notice that she'd need to leave due to a messy divorce), so she originally was just going to crash on our floor for a few days. A few days turned into a couple of weeks, and no housing leads were panning out. Money was tight (AmeriCorps offers a living stipend just at the poverty line), and we all really enjoyed each others' company. My other two roommates and I were open to having her stay, but knew that she couldn't live in our living room forever. Even though she repeatedly reassured us that she was fine with the situation, and could easily make up a partition out of curtains, we knew that it wouldn't be a comfortable long term arrangement.

Our one empty space was the laundry room. It's six feet by four feet, and uncarpeted. However, for someone who's just looking for a place to sleep, it's perfect. We knew it was likely that eventually she's crave her own space and find an apartment, but were fine if it turned out to be a permanent arrangement.

It's been two months. Even though it was really awkward when her mom visited and saw our huge apartment, and then her little room, she repeatedly reassures us that she loves the space.

What secrets do you have lurking in your closets?

Monday, November 1, 2010


Today I saw a two child pile up. When all that could be heard was wailing, I rushed to the scene and picked up a little two year old. Carrying her over to the bench, I asked her what was hurting. In reply, she threw her bloody hand onto mine.

Today a child bled on me. The dangers of blood born pathogens are pounded into you since you were in preschool: you could get AIDS. Or Hepatitis B. Or any number of other horrible diseases.

After brushing off the excess blood from my palm, I led the girl inside to clean her up. Ten minutes and a new bandaid later, and she was happy as could be. Yet all I could do was worry. What had I been exposed to? Given that she's only two years old, it couldn't be anything much, could it? The blood didn't get into any open wounds, which is a definite plus, and I washed it off within minutes.

Sometimes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a curse.

Margarita Monday

You have to love Margarita Mondays. 99 cent margaritas, with special flavors (such as Desert Pear or Blackberry) just 50 cents more. There were also plenty of sides for just $2. I enjoyed the seasoned fries. What's not to love?

We had a nine person group of fellow AmeriCorps childcare workers, which let us discuss all the craziness at our centers, our success stories, and our struggles. We commiserated with the member who had a screamer at her center (a three year old who literally loved to get right up in your face and scream endlessly). We traded behavior modification tips for two year olds who loved to hit (buy a punching bag if at all possible, or find a loud drum or squishy ball they can take their agression out on).

It's a fun tradition, and fairly reasonably priced (as long as you ate beforehand and didn't catch a meal at the restaurant).

Where do you go for a cheap night out?