Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Babies,Nursing, and Breast Pumps, oh my! Win a $50 gift card

**This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate**

Bentley is not even 2 yet, and I'm having a little, maybe a lot of, baby fever. Perhaps it's because he's been such an independently un-baby baby, perhaps it's because when Fynn was his age we decided that we were going to start trying for a second (and 6 weeks later found out I was pregnant!), it could also because a woman I work with is about to pop any day and I'm feeling a little jelly belly about her adorable belly and the excitement of it all, but really, it's probably because Bentley stopped nursing about 2 months ago so I officially feel like I no longer have a baby. (and no, I don't plan on having another one any time soon!) 

For me, the weaning phase seems to be the end of thinking of my child as a baby anymore. It just seems so big, so grown up, so toddler/big kid. Such an ending. Not that we weren't ready. In September, I knew the end was near when we were just nursing before sleep. So when we had back to back weekends where the kids spent the night at grandparents' houses (yay for birthday getaway weekends and early morning half marathon races... I guess), it wasn't a surprise that Bentley lost interest in nursing after that and we just seamlessly stopped. It was a good ending, but it was a little sad.
Some of my pumping supplies that were such
a part of daily life for almost 20 months

My life for the last 4 1/2 years has revolved around either being pregnant or nursing. So it's weird not to be thinking about what the best hand breast pump is or how many ounces of expressed milk I needed to have stashed in the freezer... come to think of it, I think I still have 8-10 oz left. I digress. As usual.

The point of all this rambling is that we're done. Nursing that is. And while I'm relieved to have my body to myself (oh what a wonderful feeling that is!), It's also a little of a let down, because nursing was our snuggle time, and now that we're done, there are far fewer snuggle-fests then I would like. I also now have to worry about whether he's getting enough to eat which I never worry about when nursing because of all the benefits of breastfeeding past infancy and the reassurance that he was getting his calories from somewhere. B's pediatrician had us all worried for a few months because he had "fallen off the grown charts", but he's gaining well, super smart, and breastfed (or formally breastfed) babies tend to have slightly different growth charts than their formula fed peers, so I'm not worried.

Now, for the fun part. A giveaway! Because it's been way too long since I've hosted on and it's about time to share. The prize? Glad you asked. It's for a $50 gift card which just about everyone can use at this time of the year- because Christmas is expensive yo, even when you swear it's going to be a low-key, not going overboard, kind of Christmas... yeah, right. So enter it up in the Rafflecopter below by commenting, sharing, and visiting me on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 16, 2016

Life as a librarian

Forever ago I wrote about my job change for this year. I went from being a 5th grade classroom teacher to a 6th-8th grade library/media specialist. Since then, I haven't really blogged much, but things have been a roller coaster of crazy life.

Being a librarian is everything and nothing like I thought it would be. I'm in love with the books. Reading them, talking to kids about them, recommending them- it's everything I've ever loved. I also teach a reading group four mornings a week which I enjoy (but don't love) and teach a daily digital citizenship class for 6th graders that has been a ton of work and equally rewarding. I'm creating the curriculum, designing the lessons, and working with students for 6-8 weeks to develop their concept of online safety, communication, and research skills. This is the part of the job I love as it combines teaching and technology in a way that has been very rewarding for me, I only wish I had more time with each group! 

Aside from my daily teaching though, I do find the library to be a bit isolating. While I see lots of people throughout the day, most of my interactions are quick and I don't feel like I'm developing the relationships with staff and students that I want. It's gotten better as the year has progressed, but I still don't feel like a part of the school community--which is hard to feel after 5 years in my last school feeling like I played a large role. 

That said, I wouldn't change a thing. Our mornings are hectic as I have to be out the door by 6:35 which leaves Drew to do the last minute prep before getting the kids and himself out the door by 7. But, I'm also out of work at 2 most days which gives me time to walk the dogs, workout, and shower before picking the kids up on daycare days or go for a run before heading home on the days where my mom/mother in law watch the kids. Being able to fit in workouts on a more regular basis has been huge for my sanity, especially with the crazy hecticness of the preschooler, the toddler, the dog, and the puppy.

While the schedule has been good, there are other things about my new school that I'm loving. For one, I can't beat the 12 minutes commute. Way less time in the car, way more time with the kids (most days that's a good thing). Then there's the administration of this school- I have never before felt so supported by and encouraged by my bosses. The priority is always what's best for everyone, and people will bend over backwards to make that happen here. 

My favorite thing so far has been the book fair that I planned and ran last week. I loved advertising, drumming up interest, setting up displays, and selling books. Even better? It was majorly successful and the money raised means I get to buy more books for the library. Amazing and super satisfying. 

I'm not sure if the library is my forever home, but I am glad I took the leap of  faith and came to this new school.
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