Monday, April 28, 2014

Last Week of School!

I think I can...I think I can...I think can...

All week I'll be chanting this to myself. Why? Because it's the last week of school! Finals are next week and grades are due the week after that. I've got plenty on my plate to finish up, but I can't help that my mind has already started to work it's way into summer. And you know what's funny? I'm ready for summer so I can start planning for the next year and working through tweaks and adjustments for school. Weirdo, I know. Summer break and I'm wanting to spend it prepping for the next.

I can't help it. I'm totally psyched to get organized this summer and prepared for next year. My whole goal is to have every single lesson plan, class, advising sheets, etc. ready for by August. I just know it will make my life a thousand times easier if everything is labels and set for the next year. Not semester. Year.

Why wouldn't you already have that done, Julie? Great question! You see, for technique classes, I like to see the kids and plan around their abilities first, but I've realized that's not always necessary. Adjustments can be made at any time if a solid foundation is there. I experimented with one class like this--having a whole semester's worth of lesson plans ready to go and made adjustments as I saw fit--worked like a dream! Therefore, I'm doing it for every class. It gave me time to work through other things like new lecture classes.

New lecture classes? Do you have new lecture classes? Not that I know of , but every semester has been a little bit different, adding in a new class here and there. I want all of that set for next year as I do not foresee any new changes coming my way. Never say never though...

This is going to be the summer of pre-planning and organizing, otherwise known as "Getting Stuff Done!" Don't worry--I've got a personal summer to-do list of things for me, fun things like reading, cooking, and crafting. But I'm determined that at the end of the summer I'm going to look back and feel like I accomplished so much!

OK--so that's my motivation this week: Get through the end of this school year, wrap it up in a nice bow so I can move on to the next thing and prepare to enjoy all next school year more than ever!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tales from a Puppy Mama

It's been three weeks and so far we're surviving with three fur balls in the house. I have to admit, at times it can be a little chaotic, but what's life without a little chaos? Even though I remember Piper, my puppy sister and family golden retriever, as a puppy, I'm starting to realize that I didn't really understand what having a puppy meant until Penny. She's like a fuzzy four legged toddler with teeth. Because of that, Pyro Man and I have really started to grow as fur parents.

When we got married and moved in together, our kitties came, too, of course. That was a process in and of itself. Nearly two years later and each kitty is still partial to their respective person. Honey sleeps with me at night, lets me hold her whenever, purrs in my arms, and hugs me close. It kills Pryo Man when she runs away from him or loudly fusses when he picks her up. She's a bit dramatic.

Layla, although she can be affectionate towards me, much prefers the man of the house. In fact, she sits on the dryer and cries for him any time he goes out of town. No amount of treats, toys, or coaxing will get her to move from her watch post most nights.

But Penny? She's definitely ours and that means we're finally having to work together to raise her together. We're learning. We're growing. As a new puppy mama, I've learned quite a bit so far so I thought I'd share.

Top Ten Things I've Learned as a New Puppy Mama

1. Biting can mean many things including:

  • I love you
  • I'm excited to see you
  • Pay attention to me
  • You have peanut butter on your hand
  • I piddled on the floor
  • I really love you 
2. Puppies bark for a number of reasons. You should always pay attention to each one. Chances are the ones you ignore are the ones in which they're telling you they need to go outside. 

3. Invest in paper towels. 

4. Woobies are super fun to play with, but not quite as cool as live woobies (aka. Honey and Layla). The hissing, spitting, and batting make the game so much more interactive. Plus, when they live woobies run away, puppies can chase after them adding into their cardio workout for the day. Score!

5.  If you stray beyond the puppy boarders, aka the baby gates, it's very traumatizing for the puppy. Even though she can still see you, you're too far away to gnaw on and therefore she must bark and whine about it. 

6. If your lap is open, the puppy will be in it. 

7. It takes about four times as long to do anything because the puppy is always into something, onto to something or chasing something.

8. Now you might think that silence is great, but oddly enough, silence is suspicious.

9. No shoelace is safe and tears in pants are inevitable. 

10. Unlike cats, dogs love to get dirty and frolic in muddle puddles. I don't think I need to explain this one. 

At the end of the day though, puppies are great and there's nothing like a bouncing ball of energy bounding towards you when you come home. You can't help but melt when that fur creature falls over itself trying to welcome you home no matter how long you been gone. It's a pretty sweet deal being a puppy mama. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Busy Little Bee

It's been a busy start to this spring season. Once Spring Break ended, I hit the ground running. There was so much to be done at work and the projects, grading, and to-do's kept coming. I haven't had much chance to catch my breath until now. Things have slowed down but there is certainly plenty to do between now and May 10th. In fact, I really should be looking at work right now, but I'm giving myself permission to be a myself for a few minutes.

I've managed to carve out some time for personal to-do's. Pyro Man and I planted our garden and we've got so much coming in already! Summer squash is growing like crazy and our onions have popped up. I can see cantaloupe making their way up, green beans, cucumbers, and watermelon. Our tomatoes and peppers seem to be enjoying the spring weather. Pyro Man build an easy green house around the plants when a cold snap came through this past weekend. We're going to have to put up chicken wire around it this weekend to keep a certain fur ball from running through the garden plot.

That's right, we finally brought Penny home! She's a fireball for sure! A very active pup, she likes to play hard and then sleep hard. In two weeks we've already pretty well destroyed all three of her stuffed woobies (read: Stuffed Squeaky Animals). I'm going to see if I can possible sew them back together. She loves to chew on anything and her favorite thing in the world is a good belly rub. She also likes peanut butter. A lot. What can I say? She's definitely my dog.

The kitties are adjusting just fine. They let Penny know who is boss in this house but they're still working on getting used to her. I'm sure it will take some time, but that's expected. We're all one fuzzy happy family now!

Well, it's time to get back to the grind. A few pictures before I go though!

Puppy's first bath! 

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