Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Sum Up...

Ah... November. I will look back on this month in future years and wonder...


Ok, a little overly melodramatic.

Suffice it to say that November came, November saw, November conquered.

I had a laundry list of things I wanted to accomplish during the month of November. If you recall my previous post, I had a list of 5 different things I would be working on / towards during the month, plus a few added points of interest. Here is a summary of the results:
  1. My classes - still going strong, still plugging along. My seniors say I'm too hard for AP, which I take as a good sign, even though I don't feel I'm pushing them enough. My juniors say I'm too hard for CB. Good. I'm trying to prepare them for their SATs, the SOLs, and college. My freshmen decided that, as a whole, they did not like reading the full The Odyssey. I haven't been told I'm too hard, but I do know I'm pushing them. I've somehow kept up with all the assessments, hoops, and requirements. Let's hope I'm able to continue.
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - um...didn't happen. Besides, I figured that, rather than doing as I did in the past, rereading the book before the movie then being disappointed by the movie, I would, instead, view this movie as a movie. I know it was part I, but Steve and I were still disappointed by it - he thought it moved too slowly. And as cinematic effect, I understand the theory behind the shaky-camera, but that only succeeds in making me nauseated. I hope the last edition of the HP series is more stable. Movie did better in catching up some important points, but I will now have to truly reread the book to determine how good of a job it did...
  3. CPR certification. I am a card-carrying life saver. Or so, I hope to be if I ever need to use it, and I hope I NEVER need to use it. My training included infant and child. I have to renew in 2 years, but for now, I am, hopefully, capable of successfully assisting anyone who may be in need until professional help can arrive.
  4. Three Cups of Tea...hmm...well, I had some extenuating circumstances develop. I, unfortunately, had to contact my discussion leader and inform her that it just wasn't going to happen. I knew I was being ambitious, but I had hoped...
  5. NaNoWriMo - I learned a lot from this venture. I am very proud of what I accomplished, little as it may be, and I am quite excited to try again. I understand now, the writing process when it comes to novels - before, I would read through and edit what I had written. Write. Then edit. It's no wonder I only got 3 chapters done. This time, I didn't worry about chapters. I didn't edit. I didn't even reread what I had already written, save the most recent paragraph so I knew where to pick up from. I would give myself an A for effort. I made it just shy of the word count for my freshmen, which was 17,000. I wrote 26 pages of single-spaced prose. I had so much fun doing it, and the kicker was that a lot of it wrote itself. My fingers were merely the vehicle for discovering my story. I have a LOT to work on - I still don't know the major conflict; I have only 3 characters; I truly don't know where it is going. But I have a fascinating start that, if nothing else, intrigues ME, and I have a desire to finish it. I think, though, that all things considered, November is one of the worst possible months for this program or challenge.
November houses the true kickoff to the holiday season. November embodies the kickoff to the 'ill' season. I was side-lined several times over, and not just by my own ambition.
  • The month started well - I only got off target by a small margin with my novel. However, it was compounded by my desire to be certified in CPR. I took a weekend break from writing to finish my class, and then had my skills test.
  • After my CPR break, I was determined to not fall any further behind and did quite well for a few days. Then, Sydney got the stomach flu. Good golly - the vomitous erruptions were actually quite impressive and did, in fact, strike awe in Steve and myself
  • I had family come in for Thanksgiving, which means I was doing more cleaning (especially since I didn't want them to catch the flu), shopping, cooking, etc., which impeded my work on my novel. I knew it was coming, though, so I was trying to keep up and work ahead (hahahah!).
  • Family caught the stomach flu. I truly don't think they caught it from Sydney, though I don't know the actual incubation period for this virus. However, there was isolation, cleaning, and entertaining of the healthy ones to work around. Oh, and I had more family come in for the day after Thanksgiving, which meant, too, more cooking.

Ultimately, I gave up. I changed my goal from the 50,000 I was supposed to accomplish, since I'm older than 17, to half of that, to the 17,000 my students had. I didn't make any of those. Sigh.

But, I had a wonderful time visiting with my family, albeit the illness, and Sydney is flourishing again. He also has his 6th tooth. FINALLY! And, last, I will close this with a slew of pictures taken from the month of November so Reed can see how much Syd has changed. Hugs to everyone!

Syd LOVES being tossed in the air.

Syd and his Great-Grandfather, Charles. Handsome pair, here.

How do you entertain 3 tweens? Grab some old eye-liner, draw faces on your chin, hang upside down, and tell jokes! This particular specimen is Megan.

Here we have Morgan. I attempted to do a Cleopatra-ish eye...

Youngest is Maci, who had lovely lashes!

This villainous face would be my sister, Shelly.

The girls had a lot of fun coming up with the facial features on my own chin. I think I'm a mix between a pig, Cindy Crawford, and Betty Boop.

Mommy, Daddy, Sydney getting ready for the Drumstick Dash. I didn't get a group photo on my camera, so you'll have to wait for Shelly to send them to me for me to post.

Here, we're all dressed in aprons and preparing Thanksgiving Dinner! From left to right: Morgan, Maci, Megan, Shelly, Me, and Syd.

Syd was still recovering from his stomach flu. The only thing I could get him to eat that day was my pumpkin creme brule, which I made instead of pumpkin pie. This picture also documents the first time he fed himself with a utensil! I loaded the spoon, layed it down on his tray, and he would feed himself, which is why there is so much custard on his face. Gotta love it!

Last, Sydney is helping Mommy by pushing the laundry basket to the stairs. He's such a big help!


  1. You should be proud of yourself, Dionne. You accomplished a lot! You also crossed a milestone--watching your child vomit for the 1st time! Wish I could say it gets easier but perhaps next time it won't be soo shocking!!:) Missed you guys at Thanksgiving. Next time you see Sharon ask her to show you the pics I posted on fb. I need that recipe for pumpkin crem brule!! Love you!!XOXO

  2. Love you, too! Miss you! I'll post the recipe on the blog if I remember... Keep your eyes peeled! (What a disgusting thought. Where did that ever come from ?)