Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Busy Busy

As the title of this post suggests, I've been busy, busy - but, none of what's keeping me busy has anything to do with teaching or my classroom! I know this is a teaching blog, but it's summer, after all, so I don't feel guilty about taking a little teaching break! However, I do plan on going to my classroom sometime later this week to pick up my Daily 5 and Cafe books so I can participate in this book study - it's been awhile since I've reviewed both books, so I'm excited to join in - are you going to read along, too? 

Thanks to those of you who left sweet comments on my last post - saying goodbye to a beloved pet is never easy, even if it is something that needs to happen. Both me and my other cat, Maggie, were in mourning for a few days, so my vet suggested getting another cat to help with the healing process. So, part of what has been keeping me busy these days is my new kitten, Abita. She's precious, see?

It's only been a week since I said goodbye to Corona, and Abita is not a replacement by any means, but she is certainly helping me not be as sad as I've been. I'm in love with her name, too - my friend Emily suggested giving her a beer-related name, since Corona was named after the beer, and my sister came up with Abita, which is perfect because not only does her name pay tribute to Corona, but Abita is a Louisiana beer, and I was born in Louisiana. My boyfriend spent his middle and high school years in New Orleans, so he instantly liked the name, too. Maggie is still gets a little uneasy if Abita gets too close, but she's definitely made progress in tolerating her.

Another thing that's been keeping me busy is Pinterest. Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics has been hosting a Monday Made It linky party, but I can't participate quite yet because nothing I've made has been teaching/classroom related. However, Amber from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher is hosting another linky party called I Saw It on Pinterest, and I can link up to that one! There are a few new things I've made this summer from things I've pinned (mostly recipes), so I'll share those as well as a few things I'd like to make:

First, I made this bread, and it was delicious AND easy:
pin; website/photo source
I've been making homemade pizza dough for awhile now (recipe here), so I decided to make my own pizza sauce, too:
pin; website/photo source
I also just bought a popsicle mold at Ross (it's not a Zoku, like the recipe below shows; mine's just a regular plastic mold), and these Nutella fudgesicle pops are currently being frozen in my freezer (I made them this morning!):
pin; website/photo source
I want to make a few crafty things this summer, too, and these cute gold tube bracelets look super easy:
pin; website/photo source
For my classroom, I'd like to set up my first Donor's Choose project, and the information found here will be very helpful, I think:
pin; website/photo source 

There are many other things I'm itching to try, and you can see all my pins and boards here:

I have plenty of teaching related boards, so feel free to follow me! Link up over at Amber's blog to see what everyone else has been up to this summer!

As for now, I need to get after some cleaning and tidying - my mom is coming to town on Saturday, and she'll be staying in Austin for a whole week! I'm excited to get to spend some quality time with her and my sister, so that means I'll be absent from blogging for another week or so while she's in town. Until then, friends!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Summer Begins

My students' last day of school was May 31st. My last day was June 1st. As soon as I finished packing things up on Friday, I drove to Dallas to see my family, since I hadn't seen them since Christmas (sad!). My brother had just turned 9 the week before, and this is the first year I haven't been there on his birthday - usually school is out by then, but not this year, and he was a little miffed I wasn't going to be there. He told me I should "order a substitute" so I could come up on his actual birthday. Ha! Once I got there, though, we had a lot of fun - we saw The Avengers, went to the Lego store for some birthday Legos, made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream (without an ice cream machine!), and worked on a collaborative Avengers art project.

Then, I spent a day in Ft. Worth with my boyfriend and his family, then we came back to Austin. For my one full day back home, I went back to my classroom to finish up a few things, and came home to clean, do laundry, and pack...because Thursday morning we had to get to the airport before sunrise to head to New York for my friend's wedding. I had a really great time in NY, exploring during the day and spending time with my friends in the evening, and weddings are always fun to celebrate.

But then, when I got home from NY on Sunday night, I noticed my cat, Corona, was not acting right. I have had Corona since I was in the 4th grade, and my dad found her in the woods on a golf course when she was just a tiny kitten. She had been attacked by something, and as a result she had to have her back left leg and tail amputated. Regardless of her disability, though, she had never had any issues walking, running, or jumping with just three legs, but on Sunday, she was losing her balance whenever she tried to walk, and when I went to pick her up to see what was wrong, she hissed and growled at me, and even bit me so hard that I started to bleed. She has NEVER done that, so I knew something was wrong. I called the vet immediately and made an appointment for yesterday afternoon (I would have gone in Monday had I not already promised to babysit for the kids I used to nanny for in college).

Once I got Corona to the vet, he checked her out and the prognosis was not good. The leg that had been amputated so many years ago was done below the knee instead of above, so she still had a tiny bit of her lower leg attached, but it had popped out of the knee socket, and that was what was causing her so much pain. I knew it wasn't going to be a good diagnosis, and I had prepared myself for the inevitable. I had to say goodbye to my sweet Corona yesterday afternoon, and while I'm at peace knowing she's no longer in pain, I am so, so sad that she's gone.

So, I've spent the first week of my summer vacation running around like crazy, enjoying time with my family and friends, and now that I'm home, I'm without my feline companion. I've been an emotional wreck this morning, but sharing about her passing is helping me heal. Eventually, I'll post about how we ended the year in my classroom, or I'll move ahead to talk about what I'm doing to prepare for next year, but for now, I'm in mourning.

If you have a pet, be sure to hug them extra tight for me today.