My Classroom

As some of you may know, my initial plan for my adult life was to become a pediatrician. For various reasons, I changed my mind. I decided to go to graduate school to pursue my doctorate in infant cognition and perceptions. Because of illness, I had to give up that dream, though not before publishing my masters thesis.

Then I spent about eight years (on and off) teaching English in South Korea. When I came home, I battled illness, both physical and psychological. An excellent treatment team consisting of the University Hospitals, Cleveland bariatrics program, a general practitioner, a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

Just over three years ago, I applied for jobs in the child care/early childhood education industry. Despite what some may believe, we are not baby sitters. We are qualified educators with requirements to maintain our qualification. Like our K-12 colleges, I have to write lesson plans, do assessments, set goals, have parent/teacher conferences and much more. It really annoys me when someone tells me it must be so much fun to play with babies all day. Yes, it is a lot of fun, but it’s a TON of work, especially with the youngest infants.

I landed a job at a center just four minutes from my house. I began as a preschool teacher. Although I liked what I was doing, it wasn’t just right for me. I spent one summer developing and running the Summer Bridge program to help insure our school aged students didn’t lose too much ground over their long vacation. That definitely wasn’t the right place for me. I have so much respect for my K-12 colleges. I could not do their job. After returning to the preschool for a while, I found my true love, unsurprisingly, infants.

I started working with the older infants, 12-18 months of age. I enjoyed my ability to watch development, in what seems like fast forward. Then COVID hit. Our center closed. When we reopened, due to staffing difficulties, we combined the younger and older infants into one room. We being providing care for infants beginning at six weeks of age. So far, the youngest infant came to me at just under four months. She’s now 14 months old and it amazes me every day how much she’s changed. My little Londynn was basically a blob when she came. I had to feed her, hold her, carry her, decipher her cries. Not anymore. She’s saying single words and even a phrase or two (like “eat eat” when she’s hungry). I’ve been home sick for the last week (scientists don’t need to develop bioweapons, just use baby snot), so she just might be walking on her own now.

That’s a long preamble to post some pictures of my classroom. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I have a bit of a perfectionistic trend. I take great pride in keeping my room fresh and interesting. I have taken continuing education courses on how to set up an effective infant or toddler classroom. When we had our Step Up to Quality visit a few months ago, I received great feedback from the assessor. I’ve helped other teachers set up and enhance their classrooms as well.

Without further ado…

I love displaying the artwork the babies do. I generally have a theme for the bulletin board over the changing table. Currently, it’s summer. In the photo above, we did some tape resist painting using their initials. Other artwork is on the walls using inexpensive bulletin board boarder from the dollar store to frame it. The red, yellow and green posters are pictures of the babies in various activities. One is them eating, another is them doing art and the final one is them reading. And boy do they love to read. The large bulleting board above the play kitchen area says, “What Us Learn… and Grow!” and features pictures of them doing various activities.

As for how they do art? There’s an art to doing art with babies, but once you discover the methods, it’s a lot of fun, and surprisingly not very messy. I have a container and marbles that I put paper and paint in and let them shake, shake shake it. I have a salad spinner that I load with paper and paint and they push the plunger, sometimes with some assistance from me. I put the paper and paint in a plastic zipper bag, seal it up and they pick it up and smush and squish to their hearts desire. The next method is the one with a higher chance of mess, but it’s not too bad. You take your paper and paint (or even wooden forms) and sandwich them between two slices of deli paper (or any other sort of paper bigger than the artwork) and let them pat it, hit or rub it. Peal the deli paper away and your art is left behind. This is how I helped them make their initial. For those who are brave, I’ve done handprints. And for those who are super duper extra dedicated, take their shirts off, put on an art shirt and let them finger paint. There is nontoxic washable paint on the market, or you can make your own using various edible materials.

I hope you enjoyed


Parma Walk/Run for Pierogies

Yesterday, I was supposed to do the 5K at the Parma Pierogi Run/Walk. Unfortunately, I hurt my knee a few weeks ago.

Actually I think it might just be an arthritis flare. About 10 years ago, Gidgette scratched my leg and I ended up with a blood stream infection and septic arthritis in my knee. They went in and surgically debrided it. Since I didn’t have any insurance, I wasn’t able to get physical therapy afterwards. The knee has never been the same.

Regardless, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go 3+ miles yesterday. I turned off at the 1 mile walk mark.

I ended up doing the mile in 18:45, which isn’t too bad considering I didn’t stress my body too much. I’m totally happy with it. Mainly because I DID IT!!!!! It was my first race.

Before the Race!

I’m going to get an orthopedist appointment in the next few weeks. I really like the guy who treats my arthritic shoulder. Hopefully he does knees too. If not, I’ll gain another orthopedist to go along with him and the back specialist (years of being beyond obese wrecks havoc on joints).

I really do want to do a 5K. I signed up for the Cleveland Marathon 5K in October.

Lovely Blog Award

Wow, my blog was nominated for The Lovely Blog Award by Daily Life With Fibromyalgia. Just.  Wow!

The requirements of the Award are to mention who nominated me and link back to his/her blog, display the award image anywhere on my blog, reveal 7 things that you may not know about me, nominate 15 blogs (I only did 7, I don’t read that many blogs) for the award and tell them of the nomination (linking their blogs in this post) including a link back to this post.

7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

  1. I used to collect ballerinas of all types
  2. I love seafood of all shapes, sizes and species
  3. I lost a bunch of weight by switching from soda to sparkling water
  4. I finished college in three years
  5. I love children’s literature
  6. My favorite age group to teach is preschool
  7. I can not spell and stump spell checkers on a regular basis


My nominations

  1. The People Behind My Eyes
  2. Patient Anonymous: Just Another Head Case
  3. bloggerdygook
  4. Becoming Three
  5. Beautiful Dreamer
  6. Lafemmeroar
  7. Cat vs. Human


I did a small portion of the P90 workout.  I did mostly the stretching, but a bit of the strength (sans weights or resistant band).  Amazingly I don’t hurt over my current baseline.  Tired.  Yeah, but for some reason I’ve had a hard time getting to sleep the last few nights.  Might be waking up from nightmares — getting phobic about sleeping thing I’ve gone through before.  Today I was lazy, mostly.  I did go through the new books I’ll be teaching.  I spent most of the day listening to old podcasts.  There’s a podcast on virology that I find fascinating.  The hosts are funny and although some (errr, a lot) of it is over my head, they hosts do work hard to make it accessible for the “educated” (science background) lay population as well as those working in the field.

I don’t regret going into psychology, and I’m sorry that the PTSD got in the way of my education.  There’s a twang in me that wishes I went to medical school, though I’m pretty sure that would have been suicide for me.  Now with the bulk of student loans hanging over me, there is no way I could go back to school even if I wanted to.

Now I’m going to get ready to go to work tomorrow.  Yay for four day weeks.  Boo for all day seminars the following weekend.  So yeah, basically a five day work week for me.  I have no idea what these people can talk about for 8 hours.  But if it isn’t in English, I’m sleeping.

Butter Chicken

Funny, my favorite Indian dish is Butter Chicken.  Glad we have a good Indian place in Daejeon.

You Are Butter Chicken

You are warm-hearted and caring. You celebrate and commiserate along with your friends.

You are hard-working and persevering. You don’t take no for an answer.You love to bond with others. Your happiest moments are when you’re around other people.

You are practical and matter-of-fact. You prefer to take the pragmatic approach.

Rusted Iron Maybe

You Are Iron

You take your time and make sure things are done right. You hate to make mistakes, no matter how big or small.

You choose your words carefully to make sure you communicate effectively. You always get your point across.You aren’t afraid of adventure but you don’t seek it out. You rather tend to your own garden.

You pride yourself on being detail oriented. You never forget about anyone or anything.

Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!

Your Mind is Sharp

You are rational enough to see things clearly. You don’t allow your mind to play tricks on you.

You have a crazy good head for facts. Once you commit something to memory, you remember it forever.You have a reputation for being a perfectionist. You are a stickler for having things a certain way.

Even when a problem is difficult, your mind is up to the task. You can make sense of complexity.

Sharp as a dull needle maybe…

I Wantz

funny pictures - Ebony and Ivory
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For the longest time I’ve wanted a black Turkish Angora to go with Ivory.  I was totally going to name him/her Ebony.  Go ahead.  I dare you to do a Google image search for black Turkish Angoras.  I’m in love with the breed.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Gidgette in all her mutt-ness, but my dream is to have a second Turkey.


As an aside, my old apartment was stray cat heaven.  For the first time since moving to Daejeon, I’ve heard the “mating cry” of a female cat in heat.  It isn’t pretty.  Ask me how I know…

Vacation! Yay!

That just about sums it up.  The Korean New Year is February 3rd.  We have the 2nd- 6th off.  I realy need this little break.  I plan on doing a lot of resting the first two days.  Buy Friday most places should be open again, so I’m going to do some proper grocery shopping and pick up a few things I need for my classroom.

I had no water this morning.  They were digging up the street, starting at 7 AM.  Luckily they were finished by the time I got home at 7:30.

Now I’m warm and sleepy.  I’m going to retire to my bed and finish reading a few things online from the comfort of bed.  I love my little netbook.  It isn’t great for heavy duty stuff (Cafe World on Facebook, I’m looking at you) but basic web browsing is fine.