Friday, April 22, 2011


Prog-ress: (noun)
1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage:the progress of a student toward a degree.
2. developmental activity in science, technology, etc.,especially with reference to the commercial opportunities created thereby or to the promotion of the material well-being of the public through the goods, techniques, or facilities created.
3.advancement in general.
4.growth or development; continuous improvement: He showsprogress in his muscular coordination.
5.the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level.

Yes, people, any way you look at it... we are making PROGRESS. And, it's exhausting...
Let me count the ways-
He moved in with us on March 17 for a change of scenery and to make some lifestyle/life choice changes. I'm very proud to say that not only has he been able to follow "Hayman Household Rules" but he is working full time, making positive decisions and just being a great "kid" to have around. I call him my "kid" or "baby" brother, but the truth is that he towers over me. Oh well, I can still take him.... But, best of all, he is making PROGRESS with his life. :)
2. Will's degree.
Last summer, when my grad school courses really picked up and we realized that my fall course schedule was going to be even more demanding on the household, Will took time off from his online advanced degree to "pick up the slack" around the house so I could finish my degree. That set him back several months, but now, he is back full force in online coursework. Ugh.... I will be SO glad when we are both done with school and extra degrees and such! My graduation gift was a $35 watch from my favorite accessory store in South Tampa. His graduation present is going to be a boat. That's fair, right? :) Either way, this degree has been a goal of his for a LONG time now and he is making PROGRESS! It sucks right now as he is missing day trips and events with James and I, but I'm trying to keep the BIG PICTURE in sight. :)
3. A new position for me.
Last Thursday, I had an interview with a six-person panel to be a teacher evaluator for the district. The official term is Peer/Mentor Evaluator. It's a very controversial position because you spend your days observing and evaluating teachers in your field/grade level. Your evaluations correlate with their yearly evaluation score and for some teachers, their salary. Yes, it's high stakes people. But, I went through this observation/evaluation process this year and survived and I'm convinced that the process can be effective, informative and objective. As for the interview itself, I LOVED IT! Twenty whole minutes to myself with people asking me questions about teaching techniques and classroom theories and evaluation of techniques? Yes, please! I've always been a pretty good interviewee and even though I was sick to my stomach before the interview, once I got into the "hot seat" and into my zone, it was smooth sailing! Nothing is set in stone yet as I haven't accepted the position officially, but I do have the support and blessing of my principal, assistant principal and fellow teachers, which means the world to me. When I return to the classroom in 2-3 years (it's a temporary position), hopefully I will be a better, stronger teacher for participating in this experience. Yep, this Life Long Learner is hoping to make PROGRESS in the classroom! :)
4. James
I can't make a post without at least ONE comment about the progress of our Little Sunshine! A few weeks ago, while going for an evening swim before bedtime, James announced that he wanted to dive (instead of jumping off the side.) So, I coached him how to put his toes on the edge, bend his knees, tuck his head down and point his fingers. Sure enough, perfect dolphin dive off the side of the pool. Ever since then, he loves diving off the side (and does it very well!) Now, he will dive off the side and swim across to the other side. Or, a new favorite is to dive down to the bottom of the deep end and touch the drain. He also loves "racing" me across the pool. He can actually go pretty fast once he coordinates both his legs and his arms. Michael Phelps, watch out! I love seeing his PROGRESS in the water. His comfort level and ability continue to amaze me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Conversations with James

It is very hard (for me anyway) to believe that my baby is almost FOUR years old. I mean, seriously, when did I become the parent of a four year old? But, I digress...
Lately, my little socialite/conversationalist has taken our conversations to new heights.
Yes, he has introduced that little, three letter word that every parent dreads- W-H-Y?
I don't know what I was thinking or WHY I thought we would skip this phase of Life, but it completely caught me unguarded. And overnight (it seemed) every sentence, utterance and conversation would be saturated with the word/question/demand "why?"
We read to him every night. Sure enough, after EVERY page of EVERY book, "Why mommy?" And most of the times, no matter how many times I answer him. He always comes back with "Why?"
Therefore, I have been forced to institute the go-to-ever-popular-mommy-phrase "Because I said so."
Scenario- Driving home from school
James: "Mommy, fish can't talk."
Me: "You are right James. Fish can't talk."
James: "Why?"
Me: "Because they live underwater."
James: "Why?"
Me: "Because that's where they live."
James: "Why?"
Me: "Because that's where their home is"
James: "Why?"
Me: "Because they have gills instead of lungs. They don't have vocal chords to produce sounds like we have because we are humans and they are fish."
James: "Why?"
Me: "Because I SAID SO!"
James: "Oh, Okay Mommy."

Boating with Friends

I'm a firm believer that it's better to have friends with boats than having a boat of your own. Unfortunately, the hubs doesn't share this same philosophy, BUT he IS a saver. So, until our "boating" saving account holds enough for the boat of his dreams...
we rely on the kindness of our friends for our boating adventures.

Last Sunday, our friends invited us out on their boat for the afternoon. We gathered up the kids, snacks, drinks and plenty of sunscreen and headed out to a nearby island. I captured this picture of James as we were heading back into the neighborhood. He was completely enamored with the "boating scene" and loved every minute of it.
Here he is with his friend Steven, enjoyed some cool Capri Suns on the bow of the boat.
Once on the island, all of the adults got to relax in the sun/surf while the kids played in the sand. It was such a perfect, relaxing, fun day! And best of all, I got to share it with my "baby" brother who is staying with us for a few months. I'm looking forward to the summer and more boating trips!