Switching Sites!

I’ve been debating for some time whether or not to stick around here on This Blind Mouse. I have really enjoyed having this blog, but as I am evolving as a person and stepping into new seasons of life, I think it’s time that I start fresh.

To that end, I’ve moved to WholeHeartBlog.com!

I’m really excited about this move and I hope that if you enjoyed following me here, you’ll keep following me at Whole Heart!

Thanks so much for tagging along with me!


Family, Holidays, Uncategorized

Habari Gani? Ujima!


Collective work and responsibility is a two-fold idea. The first is collective work. We can work together to make the necessary improvements to our communities. The second idea is collective responsibility. When something is wrong within our community, it is the responsibility of all of us to continue working to make that thing better. I want to use the example of food deserts.

A food desert is an urban area where it is difficult to purchase quality, fresh foods. There might not be many quality grocery stores within a specific community, but in that same community you might find several fast food chains. Because of this, people in those communities are unable to eat well – or have to travel too far to do so.

Collective work would be if Black people around the US got together and committed to making quality food available in these neighborhoods. And this “work” would not only be done by the people in the neighborhoods, but also by people who are outside of them. Affluent Black families would have just as much of a part in making quality food available in lower income areas as families with lower incomes do. Collective responsibility would mean that until there are no more food deserts in the United States – we are all responsible for their eradication.

Collective work and responsibility takes unity a step further, because in addition to simply saying that we are united for a specific purpose – we also commit to doing the work together to accomplish that purpose.

What can you do to make collective work and responsibility a part of your life?

-Get together with some friends and decide on something you’re passionate about changing – then make a plan to help change it!

-Donate to a charity that works for a cause that you are passionate about.

-Commit to building an understanding of the issues that affect your community.

Use this third day of Kwanzaa as the catalyst for the changes that you want to see in your community!


Family, Uncategorized

Chocobo’s Ninth Month!


Our son is wild, and I love it.

He is super strong and always pulling, banging, or (purposely) dropping things. He is a very determined boy, going after what he wants and it can be hard to distract him once he has his mind set on something. We have noticed that he has quite a strong will, and we are going to have to come up with ways to channel his energy into constructive things as he gets older.

He’s been experimenting with a lot of different foods, lately. As a teacher, I once had to save a one year old who was choking on his breakfast. The experience showed me just how easy it is for a child to begin choking, and I have been nervous about letting Chocobo try new foods. At the same time, he is definitely ready for more than breastmilk and purees.

I’ve let him have little bits of carrots, polenta, chicken, waffles, and various fruits. I was really surprised to learn, recently, that he loves cantaloupe! I hate cantaloupe. I’ve also bought him some cereal puffs, to which he is addicted! Over the last few days, I have been trying to teach him to drink from a sippy cup. He’s not totally there, yet – but he’s working on it. I don’t think it will be long.

Another exciting thing we are working on is baby sign! I am starting with the sign for “more,” and will move on to others as he grows. Right now he thinks that I am clapping my hands when I say “more,
(the sign requires you to bring your two hands together), so when he wants to ask for more he starts clapping. It’s pretty cute.

Chocobo and his daddy have been bonding a lot, lately. They have special games that they play together and even though our baby is only nine months, that doesn’t stop my husband from rough housing with him. We definitely have a rough and tumble little boy. We love to hear him squeal with laughter when my husband “attacks” him.

I can’t believe that my son has now spent more time outside of the womb than in it! And I also can’t believe that in three months, we will have a toddler. I am loving our son’s personality and all of the craziness and fun he brings into our lives, but I also miss the days when he was a tiny baby!

Sometimes I listen to the music we used to play for him when he was first born, while staring at his newborn clothes that don’t fit him anymore.

I guess it’s time to start planning some kind of party for his upcoming first birthday!

Family, Uncategorized

Chocobo’s Eighth Month!


Chocobo’s eighth month has been pretty exciting. He started walking (using a walker) and he said his first word, which was “baby!” but he hasn’t said it since. He also got his first tooth! He started waving, blowing kisses, and clapping his hands, as well. The boy is literally all over the place and I’m wondering how we are going to keep up with him when he is up and walking around on his own! He terrorizes the cat – chasing him and grabbing his tail or his ears – and we’re always careful to keep them away from each other out of fear that kitty might get fed up and scratch him one day.

Chocobo consistently says “mama” and “dada” but we aren’t sure if he knows what it means, yet. He also enjoys saying “baba,” “nana,” “yaya,” and just generally yelling out into the atmosphere whenever he gets a chance. He started playing with little balls in his eighth month, picking them up and holding them over his head, sometimes throwing them, and chasing after them as they roll. He’s also started playing with little cars and he loves to play with anything that isn’t actually a toy – water bottles, shoeboxes, earphones, cell phones, and his wipes and diapers.

Speaking of diapers – I don’t know if it’s the more advanced foods he’s been eating or what, but he’s had more blowout diapers this month than I have ever seen him have. In fact, he had one just before I sat down to write this. I ended up just putting him in the bath.

He loves baths, reading, being tickled, and he taught his entire class how to growl.

The kid is a mess. We love him.

Family, Uncategorized

Chocobo’s Seventh Month!



I’m so bad at keeping up with updating each time that Gideon grows a month older. So you’ll have to forgive the spam of “updates,” as I have this 7 month update and an 8 month update to post! At 7 months, Gideon got to visit the beach for the very first time! He had a great time sitting in the sand, but he didn’t like the waves so much. We’ll be taking him to the beach again next week (he’ll be almost 9 months) and the water will be warmer – so perhaps he’ll have a better time with the waves there! Regardless, he loves the water. He’s been to the pool a bunch of times and he always enjoys splashing and playing in there.

I returned to work in Gideon’s seventh month as well, which means he went to school! This was extremely hard on him, in the beginning. He cried every single time I put him down and it was hard to walk out on my crying baby. Over the course of a few weeks, he started to get used to his teachers and the environment, and he’s doing much better.

His language and gross motor skills have grown as well. He was already babbling and pulling up on things, but he began to really master the ability to get around a room by holding onto furniture and walking – instead of only crawling. He began really responding to his name and responding to other things that we do or say by imitating us. I started feeding him more foods – bananas, carrots, applesauce, pears, sweet potatoes, and squash – with the help of his teachers who feed him those items during the school day. He still nurses 4-6 times a day, but it’s fun to let him eat dinner with us when we get home in the evening.

He’s a very inquisitive baby, always wanting to know what’s going on and always watching intently. He is also a very active baby, put him on the floor and turn away for a few seconds and you’ll think you’ve lost him. He crawls quickly and gets into things pretty fast, as well. We’ve had to start using the word “No!” when he is getting into something that he shouldn’t. And I am convinced that he understands when we say no – although he doesn’t always choose to listen!

I’m so in love with this stage of his life, it’s hard to see it going by so quickly!





Education, Uncategorized

Teaching Twosday: Developmentally Appropriate Practice


I don’t know who is responsible for coming up with this quote, but I love it.

I once attended a training in which the instructor asked us to close our eyes and pretend to be one of our students. He then asked the question – what is it like, from a child’s point of view, to spend a day in your classroom?

I really took this question to heart.

One of the things that is really important when working with children is being able to understand what is called “Developmentally Appropriate Practice,” or “DAP.” I find many times that teachers in preschool classrooms do not have a good understanding of what to expect from their students, and so they find themselves unnecessarily frustrated when their students do not (rather, cannot) comply with their instructions. Understanding DAP is so critical to making sure that your students have a good experience in your classroom.

I worked with a woman, recently, who tried to get all of her one year olds in a line before taking them outside. She wanted them to stand in one straight line, perfectly quiet and still, and she wanted them to walk – in absolute silence – from her classroom, down the hall, around the corner, outside, and up the sidewalk until they got to their playground. Once they were on the playground, she didn’t want them to climb, play in the dirt or the grass, or even scream! She would become so frustrated with them for not being able to meet her expectations, and sometimes the children wouldn’t get to go outside at all as punishment. Her students learned, from this experience, that they were not to be inquisitive, curious explorers, and instead had to walk on eggshells around her lest she take away their outside time. And she spent most of the day frustrated and angry – yelling at her kids for being unable to complete tasks for which they were not yet developmentally ready. She was eventually fired for losing her temper with a child.

When you are planning your lessons and trying to manage behavior in your classroom, it’s a good idea to have a realistic understanding of what to expect from your students.

By knowing what behaviors are within the range of typical development, you maximize the learning process and you have much better success managing your classroom. You no longer have to fight for control over your students. They will naturally do what they are wired to do, and the better you are at adjusting to their rhythms, the easier your day will be and the more they will learn.


General, Hobbies, Uncategorized

Back To The Gym…


Mondays and Thursdays are my new gym days. My husband hangs out with the kiddo while I get to go work out in our community gym (which is pretty nice, by the way). Today was my first time heading in there, and man…

I do not know what I am doing.

I didn’t recognize most of the machines and felt like an absolute fool in there. At first that was okay because I was alone. Then, the “regulars” started flooding in and doing their thing. And I just kind of hung out in the corner, hoping no one noticed me trying to figure out what kind of machine I was using and how to use it. Also, I almost died on the treadmill.

After my near-death experience, I decided to get off the treadmill and try something else. So I went to a machine in which I pulled weights, using a triangular, elastic handle-bar. Afterward, I did a few sit ups, and finally to another machine that I couldn’t really figure out well enough to get anything out of it. I tried the spin bicycle, too. It was mostly an exploratory trip.

I’ve never really been a gym kind of girl. I always have liked going to classes and working out in groups. In fact, fitness is one of the only things that I like doing in a group. Working out alone is boring. But I went. I went to the gym. And I’ll keep going and eventually things will get better.

I look forward to progress.