Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Varied Diet

Would a nutritionist consider this a varied diet? (And no, this was not all eaten in one day!)




Egg Drop Soup


Split Pea Soup

Tofu Sandwiches (Fried tofu, with soy sauce, italian seasonings, and ketchup)

Bean and Rice Burritos

Spanish Rice

Hummus and tortillas



Grilled Cheese

Pupusas (Tortillas stuffed with queso fresco)


Scrambled Eggs

Chex Mix



Mix in a healthy dose of fresh fruits and vegetables, an occasional smoothie, and life is good!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On the Front Lines

I'm on the front lines. I've caught a two year old half a second before he would have been hit by a car, after an overburdened mother of four accidently left the daycare center's gate open. I've been the target of hits, kicks, bites, and screams, without the option to fight back. I've been witness to a three year old's sudden violence after too much stimulation, and caught children literally flying through the air. I've worked with children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, autism, Down's Syndrome, bipolar disorder, and Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I've been bled on, and wondered how much I should worry---the child's mother did do drugs.

Name any bodily fluid, and I've encountered it. Projectile vomit? Check. One day in the one year olds' classroom crossed that one off my list. Poop? The infant room did that one in, when a child with a stomach bug had a leaky diaper. Blood? I've had a bloody hand unceremoniously dumped in mine after a rough fall.

I've translated for a frantic grandmother whose granddaughter was locked in a car, a mother who just got divorced, and a teacher when a sweet, peaceful child got badly bitten.

I am the subject of violence on a daily basis, without the option of fighting back. An angry child in the midst of a manic episode can have superhuman strength!

And people still think teachers aren't underpaid?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Dinner Isn't Late...It's Suspenseful."

I absolutely love this new blog. Matthewsers is funny, smart, and slightly irreverent. What's not to love? Here are a few choice quotes:

"Dinner isn't burnt/completely carcinogenic/could be used as charcoal sticks for caveman drawings...it's smokey. Or Cajun?"
"And the biohazards in the fridge? Just think of them as biodiversity. Flourishing biodiversity. Perhaps you'd prefer to think of them as wildlife?"

So go check it out, and get a few laughs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So far, my center has had:

  1. Pinkeye (three times)

  2. H1N1

  3. Impentigo

  4. Lice

  5. A Staph infection

Are we cursed?

Monday, April 11, 2011

I've Worked in Childcare Too Long

I've worked in childcare for far too long. Last night, I dreamt that I was singing an impromptu song about carrots. Yes, even in my dreams I was making up songs to entertain sad-faced two year olds.

This is after I was caught singing about yogurt in our local co-op by the very professional looking lawyer I babysit for. How, exactly, do you explain that? If there had been a child in sight, I could have pretended my song was directed at him, but sadly, there were no children in sight. Just me and my roommates.

I think a good long weekend is just what I need.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why I Won't Be Watching "The Eagle," "The Town," or Any Other Popular Violent Movie

I forgot one important detail when choosing a movie: after Guatemala, it's hard to see anything violent. I saw enough dead bodies there, and heard enough gunshots in the night. I had to worry about violent holdups on public transportation, and being mugged. You never went out after dark unless you planned on having multiple people walk you home. I lived across from a "bar" (AKA a house of prostitution), where even the Guatemalans didn't want to walk at night. Let's just say that violent movies make me very tense---they bring back all of the old memories. So if I choose not to watch a violent film, now you know why.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ice Storm!

There is nothing more entertaining than trying to get a solid 3/8ths inch of ice off of a car. My Toyota was totally encased in ice---when I opened the trunk, a huge slab fell off.

Let's just say that I have no plans to go to work, optional teacher workday or not. If my car is still covered in ice, who knows about the roads. A half hour drive on these roads is nothing to shrug off.

Is it just me, or is it crazy to deem roads too icy for kids to be out on, but just fine for teachers? Are our lives less valuable? I guess they figure that we are able to judge just how challenging the roads are, and can decide for ourselves whether or not to make it in to work. However, if you don't show up, you have to use personal leave time. Luckily, as AmeriCorps, my only requirement is to get 1700 hours in 10 and a half months. I can take off a day for a crazy ice storm, without wondering if I can make rent or pay for doctor bills that month without working for the day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dumpster Diving

My roommate's dad is a professional dumpster diver. He makes about $1,000 a week scavenging useful items that have been thrown away and taking them to the scrapyard or reselling them.

As a result of her family background, my roommates and I have begun dumpster diving. First it was for a bookshelf, which had been thrown out because the back was coming off. A couple of nails could easily fix that problem.

Next we scavenged an artificial tree for Christmas. The stand was missing one leg, so it had been thrown out. We propped it in a corner and decorated it. Given our budget, there was no way we could have afforded a tree that we would only use once before moving. This allowed us to add a little festive touch to our apartment.

Today we found a gorgeous lamp with five individual lights, which can be twisted to point any direction. The only discernible flaw is a little chipped paint on two of the lights. Not only was this totally functional lamp thrown out, but so were the three energy efficient light bulbs in it.

I love dumpster diving!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday's Successes

Today I:
  1. Made enough homemade pizza for my roommates and I to have supper tonight, lunch tomorrow, and some leftovers. I used Betty Crocker's Stir and Roll Pizza Crust recipe, and random ingredients from the fridge. It was super tasty, but I should have had the oven a little lower (maybe 375), and checked it at 15 minutes. It was a little crispy, but still tasted wonderful!
  2. Made a batch of homemade Chex Mix to take to work for a snack, and to my EDU 119 class tomorrow night. It will be another day of not getting home until 8 or later, but I have my three roommates in the same class, so it's fun.
  3. Took a long overdue nap. I've been working over fifty hours a week for the past three weeks, with very few breaks. It felt so good to relax and get caught up on sleep!
  4. Researched an article for my EDU 119 class.

What did you do today?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Signs You Might Work in Childcare

You might work in childcare if:

1) You cough into your elbow (to avoid spreading germs)

2) You avoid touching children's elbows, knowing that they just sneezed into them.

3) You know what lice look like, and can identify a nit.

4) You can discuss exploding diapers without flinching.

5) You find yourself singing the clean up song as you clean your apartment.

6) You have four spare pairs of gloves in your winter coat for the children who don't have any or forgot theirs at home.

7) You use positive reinforcement and avoid negative statements. "Use your walking feet!"

8) You find yourself telling someone to not lick the window, and then wonder how you could have phrased it positively.

9) You've ever had to explain why your pockets were filled with toy cars and plastic monkeys at the security checkpoint at a hockey game.