A roller coaster ride that never stops.

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Too Nice

Here’s a good problem to have: all morning I have had to try to convince the girls to spend their book fair money on themselves instead of other people. That, coupled with how cooperative they were getting ready this morning, has gotten this day off to a great start. Notwithstanding the caffeine deprivation.



I am very tired of hitting Wednesday and being deeply sleep-deprived and burned out from lack of “down time,” which in my world means time at home to do my housework and organize myself. I spend the whole week flying by the seat of my pants and making mistakes and running. Not good for my soul.

The Gift

Today something wonderful happened to me: I was a guest star in a very exciting classroom. Mike C., a student from my first years of teaching, who was in sixth and seventh grade at the time, is now himself a third grade teacher, and he invited me to visit with his class during the first day of a poetry unit. He started by getting the kids’ ideas on what poetry is, and then we started reading the book Love That Dog together, which takes the reader on a journey through one boy’s coming to terms with poetry thanks to a very savvy teacher. We discussed “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams, which comes up in the book, and then, after much excellent teaching and guiding by Mike, they went off to write their own poems in the same style, curling up in various places around the classroom. I went around to see what they were writing, and was blown away by how much they had taken away from the lesson and how much poetic sensibility they already had. I saw from the beginning how comfortable they were reading and talking and reacting and evaluating. They were in very good hands.

What was so astounding about all this is that *I* was treated like a celebrity, since I had taught their beloved teacher and been lucky enough to talk about the same things with him for two years. How I came out on top in this deal I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: I taught a much better class tonight to my own students after seeing just what good teaching can do.

It Just Don’t Add Up

It has just occured to me that adding in the teaching of a course to my parenting and administrative schedule has come to mean that I have much, much less time for other things. I have been very frustrated about not getting to my yoga-as-a-path-to-knee-repair agenda, but I think it might be because there is no time left for that. At all. Maybe there is a point at which you simply can’t squeeze everything in. I always think it’s because I’m terribly disorganized and scattered, but maybe time itself isn’t helping much. I shall have to speak to him (time) about that.

Just Hanging

I decided to take Tim wherever he wanted to go this morning, since I have been trying to spend more quality time with the kids. He wanted to go play with the trains at Mumbles and Squeaks in Ellicott City. For a nice bonus, it was beautiful out, and we walked around outside and over and under bridges a lot. Here’s a nice pic of Tim enjoying the river.

Brace Face

Jane is having a rough time with all the metal in her mouth. Having palette expanders on both the top and the bottom is just too much. Somehow, though, the twins have gotten the impression that it’s all about them. They can’t handle the drool and the dramatic eating debacles. Today, they both refused to sit next to Jane in the car because they were afraid they would get drooled on. I get it; it’s gross, but can’t we show a little compassion? I reminded the wounded Jane later that the dentist assured me that their mouths were headed down the same road in a couple years, and she and I enjoyed a cruel laugh together. That’s about all we can do for now.

Missing the Herd

Every Sunday the kids go to my parents’ house for about 5 hours. For the first hour, I am ecstatic, because I was burned out by about 8am or so. After that, I start missing them more and more, to the point where I start looking out the window in hopes that they will be pulling into the driveway. I can tell when they come running toward the door that they are as excited to see me as I am to see them. Ain’t love grand? And ain’t absence useful for reminding us how grand love is?

The Daily News

The plan here is to document the spectacular adventure that is life in the Cochran house, with only four small children here to run the show and two adults who are always getting in the way. If you want a more philosophical/spiritual take, check out For the crazy things that come out of everyone’s mouths and pictures of nearly every ill-advised thing we undertake, stay tuned.

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