Seasons Greetings, Sweet Pea,
It is the year 2017. Much has changed since the last check-in. You are MUCH better at puzzles now, thankfully. There was a time when you would take a piece and rotate it through all the options, but still not place it successfully. It would result in you throwing the piece down and grunting in disgust. That doesn’t happen as much any more. Now, when I pick you up at school, you are occasionally putting a puzzle together with a friend.
The YEAR 2016 in 1 second a day is complete. I’m proud that I’ve inspired a few more recruits to the 1Second habit, a few students and a teacher-friend. The 1 Second Everyday app has climbed in popularity and is now in the top ten of several app categories as of December 2016. Next month, February 2017, will mark the start of the fourth year of capturing a second every day of my life. I remember when I used to use my old Canon power shot digital camera and iMovie to assemble the videos, slim them to 1 second, and save them before the video was ready. Thank you Cesar Kuriyama for pushing through your idea and developing a tool for everyone to use.
What you’re doing these days….
Your drawing habits have evolved a bit. You are now using a collection of colors to cover the entire page. You produce one of these about once a day – which is great to send to friends and loved ones in Thank-You notes.
As we were leaving Costco after a shopping trip, we pushed our cart past an elderly man and his wife. We all made eye contact and smiled, then you asked the lady, who was missing many teeth, “Why you lose your tooth?” She took it humorously, yet didn’t have a quick comeback for you except to show you more of the teeth that she did have.
You are going through a BIG Mommy phase right now. You need a hug and kiss every morning from Mommy before you and I leave, and I’m not favored at all to dress you, bathe you, tuck you in, or serve you in any way unless I’m the only one around. You have cried every morning for the last three weeks when I leave you off at daycare, and even though your tears and fears last for a short time, it hasn’t been fun to leave you sobbing and standing in the corner. Mommy and I are hoping this is just a phase, but it is lasting a long time.
You ask questions about inanimate objects and what they say. For example, “What does the rain say when it can’t get in the car?” “What does the lollipop say when I bite it?” “What does the muffin say when it goes in the toaster?”
One bike ride home you started to moan and cry. We got home and you wanted to cuddle with me, which never happens. Then you Vomited all over me and yourself. You started to sob and said, “I’m not having a good day.”
Mommy and I often use the timer with you….for bed, before we leave the park, but mainly before bed. It used to work pretty well; you’d hear the timer and then shoot up to bed, but now that you’re older and smarter, you ask to set the timer again and again. In January, Mommy and I started a “reward chart,” that keeps track of the behaviors we’d like you to demonstrate. 1. Go to bed without fighting, 2 Eat real food and eat what I ask for, 3. Stay in bed until my light is yellow, 4. not whine or yell, and 5. Be nice to people. If you accumulate 25 happy faces (out of 35 possible), you get a reward that you choose at the start of the week. The first week it was ice cream, and you earned it! The last few weeks they’ve been videos, which you’ve earned as well. The categories that give you and us the most trouble have been eating and going to bed without fighting. You’ve dropped your weekend naps, for the most part, much to our chagrin, and that sometimes can mean a hangry child around late afternoon/evening.
This winter, we’ve been nordic skiing nearly every weekend, and you’ve been along on every ride. Sometimes you ride in the Chariot, other times you put on your skis and ski under your own power. You seem to like both ways, which thrills me and Mommy.
You want to hear stories……The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, and now Star Wars. On drives to the cabin, Mommy and I take turns entertaining you with our made up stories or playing songs from The Lion King, Mary Poppins, or Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America.”
Here’s our entry to The Peabody Family Newsletter 2016.
Why does Gargamel hate smurfs? How do you die? Will Gaga die? How do you juggle? What does the mango say when I eat the pit? Can we set the timer, Daddy?
We got an Amazon Dot, which helps us keep our shopping list, answer easy questions about the weather or business hours, and can play our music. Mommy and I may say, “Alexa, what are the conditions at Stevens Pass?” and she’ll tell us about Stevens Pass. But now you’ve entered the game, too, yelling, “Alexa, put candy canes on the shopping list,” to which Mommy and I shout back, “Alexa, cancel the candy canes.” My favorite command of yours is when you told Alexa to play, “Feeling in My Body by Justin Bieber-lake.” That’s your favorite song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” but it is by Justin Timberlake, not Justin Bieber. Alexa said, “I could not understand your request. ”
Here’s a Mommy quote I heard last weekend: “There’s a little too much talking happening; now let’s see how quiet we can be.”
In my life right now…
This semester, I taught a Global Online Academy (GOA) course called “Power: Redressing Inequity Through Data.” I had 5 students, only one of which was in my time zone. I organized a 15-week experience where we examined philosophies of power, ways power is used, and inequities that exist in areas such as income, water, human trafficking, and gender and LGBT issues. We found data that supports the inequality claim that we made, and then tried to find ways to redress the inequalities. I loved the course, loved the online aspect of it, and am hoping to teach it again. I felt so fortunate that the opportunity was given to me. One of the fun things about it was making videos; since my students and I would never meet face to face, the needed to still see me. Here’s one I did with our school librarian, Anne.
New Years Resolutions used to bother me; I used to say, “If you want to change something, do it now, not wait ’till the new year.” But now I don’t feel that way. That is something I used to say that when I had tons of time, only had to think about myself and my own goals, and wrote more often than I do now. Lately, the new year inspires me to make some new changes.
The changes are small, but I believe they make a difference. For example, at the start of 2016 (1 year ago) I resolved to not consume any cola and have just 1 sweet serving a day. I felt I ate too much sugar as it was, and pop/soda/cola just was extra unhealthiness I could avoid. So I’ve gone without drinking cola for a year now and have kept to my “1 sweet” policy nearly every day, except for a few days out of the year when I have a second piece of cakey.
For this year, I’d like to cut down my consumption of red meat….to next to nothing. I’ve known that red meat consumption isn’t necessary for humans to be healthy. In fact, it is probably healthier to NOT eat meat at all, but I’m not there yet. This resolution came to me last week after I watched Before the Flood at an all-school assembly. Watching this documentary on climate change and our species’ contribution to it, I thought that cutting out meat may be a small contribution I can make this year to help heal the Earth. We shall see how it goes. I have a feeling it won’t be that difficult and I might even feel better inside and outside.
The Donald Trump presidency has begun, which has prompted another resolution for me. I was extremely disappointed to have Trump represent the U.S. as its leader, so I’ve resolved to become a little more involved politically. I don’t have any measurable goals as yet to keep, but I have started to follow my Washington senators (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell) and representative (Pramila Jayapal, Washington state’s 7th district) on twitter to be aware of what’s happening politically. I’ve also kept working on inserting a social justice into my math classes, which has been the front-and-center teacher goal at my school. These are small steps, but in time I’ll have the guts to take more. I was very disappointed when the potential for the first woman president (Hilary Clinton) faded and Trump won the Electoral College vote.
A summary of a book or podcast that Inspired me: Outcasts United by Warren St. John.
If you’re looking for inspirational reading, I suggest you check out “Outcasts United” by Warren St. John. The story is about Luma, a Jordanian woman who chose to defy her family’s wishes and move to the US to live and start a soccer team in a small town outside Atlanta, GA. Reading it reminded me that building relationships, not walls, will help the world we all share. The part that was the “kicker,” for me……all the players are refugees.
You’re still sleeping upstairs, little one, and Mommy has just returned with Boo on a clear winter morning run. Thanks for letting me get this post finished. I love you so much and can’t wait to hear what you have to say today.