Friday, January 31, 2014

The things we learn in science class

Me-“Cells are the basic building block of life, every living organism is made up of cells, sometimes millions of cells.”
Kid #1 “Like us, right? We’re made up of billions of cells”
Kid #2 “What? I thought we were made up of pixels???? Are we really not made of pixels?”

Me (dying from holding in the laughter) “Nope, we’re actually made up of cells”

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Yesterday was Fynn’s 18 month checkup where we reaffirmed that she is indeed ridiculously tall and ridiculously smart. Sorry (I’m not sorry) to brag, but like every mom I think my kid is a genius. She blows me away with everything she can say and do. Her doctor was impressed that she can up 3 or 4 words together. I knew she was verbal for her age, but I didn’t actually think it was that impressive. She was a champ getting her shot and even handled the attempted blood draw pretty well. Yes, I said attempted. I guess she has tough veins and the phlebotomist couldn’t get one. I think Fynn was more upset about being held down than the needle shoved in her arm. The second we let her up she was fine and ready to play more. Drew’s off on Friday, so he’s going to try to take her again. Not going to lie, I’m not exactly disappointed to be missing out on that one.

Baby hair. What the heck? Fynn’s rocking some mad baby mullet which is adorably 80’s. However, lately the hair in the back is all straw-like and frizzy. We brush it, we’ve tried conditioner… not helping. Anyone have suggestions on how to tame this rat’s nest? Right now it looks like we’re bad parents who don’t wash her hair. We obviously have our parenting fails, but this baby gets a shower every other day.
The pups- finally relaxing
This week we’re dog-sitting for my inlaws. Want to hear how that’s going? Night one, within 10 minutes of getting home we cleaned up three pee spots and one deuce… This is going to be the best week ever!

And finally. Yesterday I got to work and as usual the stupid, obnoxious, lazy parents had their cars idling in the bus lane while they walk their kids in rather than parking like they’re supposed to. This is a daily occurance, and while it bothers me it’s not a huge deal. What was a huge deal was when I noticed a 3 year old sitting alone in the back seat of one of the running cars. Who leaves there kid like that? The distance between the bus lane and the front door of school takes at least 5 minutes to walk. When  I got there, I sat and waited for the parent to come back (I didn’t feel right just walking away, too many scary things can happen these days). I stood outside for 10 minutes before the kid’s mom came out. TEN MINUTES! Who knows how long she had been gone before I got that. Worse? The car was unlocked too. Unlocked, running, baby in the back seat. And the woman gives me a dirty look because I was standing there. Blows my mind.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This kid cracks me up

My daughter is a ham. She loves to be the center of attention and she loves to make us laugh. Every day she develops more and more personality. Kills me. Right now her favorite thing to do is "sassy face":

This girl even does it on demand for pictures. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So What Wednesday

I haven't linked up with Shannon for awhile, but it seems like a good week to say "So What?" if:

  •  I love when Drew has to plow after Fynn's in bed for the night. It happened Saturday night, and it's nice just to have some time to myself (love you Drew!). I got to use the computer, watch netflix and not have to talk to anyone. These days, that's my idea of a perfect Saturday night
  • I'm addicted to watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. I forgot how much I love this show. 
  • Some nights, when it's half an hour until bed time and Drew and I are wiped out... Fynn gets to watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do
  • I've clearly restarted my Diet Pepsi habit. I was doing so well for awhile. I even went a few months without drinking it... but I'm weak, and I love it.... I'll give it up again in a few months.
  • Thief!
    Wrong again, kid!
  • I get really annoyed when Fynn hijacks my Sudoku puzzles... clearly she doesn't get it and I'm tired of erasing her wrong answers. Good thing she's cute. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January Ipsy

My Ipsy bag came on Saturday, which was a shock since I didn't even realize it was on it's way. I don't know if I missed the e-mail, deleted it, or if I actually read it and then forgot. Either way, I was happy to see it. 

Cute bag. Not my favorite, but one I will reuse it unlike a couple of the ugly ones I've gotten in the past

 Mica Beauty Tinted Lip Balm in Natural (~$15- 4g is $30, and my sample is 2.5g)- This lip balm is okay, not awesome. The color is nice. Just a little darker than my natural lip color, but the feel of it isn't like most balms. It's very smooth, almost waxy but doesn't feel sticky at all. I like it, but it's not the type of lip balm you wear day after day. 

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Creamy Eye Pencil in Penny (~$7.50- again price adjusted based on my sample size). I hate the color, but I do love this eye pencil. It's very smooth and creamy. Goes on nicely. I don't know if it lasts long, since I took it off when I looked in the mirror and saw how awful copper-colored eye liner looks. Seriously, not cool. 

Nourish Organics Moisturizing Face Lotion- (~$7) This smells amazing. Like oranges and something else I can't figure out. Delicious. It's a little strong, but it's a good strong, so I don't mind. It's lightweight and feels great on my face. I just wish the bottle I got was bigger. It's only half an ounce... so it's not going to last me very long. 

 Healthy Sexy Hair Leave in Conditioner- (~$3.60) I love all the Sexy Hair products I've gotten in the past. In fact the soy texture spray I got a few months ago is the one product I used on an almost daily basis (if you know me and my lack of effort when it comes to hair care/beauty routines, you know that using one product multiple times a week means that it must be pretty amazing). I can't wait to try this, although I'm not loving the scent of it. Hopefully it works well enough to make up for the smell. 

 Willa Naturals On The Go Face Towelettes ($4.50)-  These smell amazing. I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but they're the perfect little pack to throw in my bag for work or when travelling. 

Over all, this month's Ipsy bag is valued at about $37.60. Almost 4 times what I paid for it. I say it each month, but I love Ipsy and I love getting to try out new products every month. If you're interested in signing up, it's only $10 a month.

Monday, January 20, 2014

18 Months

I love looking back at the old updates posts I have written about Fynn. It's amazing to read about her old milestones or to see all the things she was doing at any given age. I think these are my favorite posts to re-read and especially to look at all the pictures.

  • Fynn is saying all kinds of new words and even a few phrases lately. I'm loving the fact that I can understand so much of what she's saying and wants. These are some of the new things she's saying:
    • "hish"- fish
    • "mok"- milk
    • "iwanmok"- I want milk
    • more
    • "yook"-look
    • "iwan"- I want
    • "that thu"- thank you
    • no touch
    • Happy "thew new"- new year
    • up
    • "s-hit"- sit
    • "druck"- truck
    • hat
    • she also signs please, thank you, and more.
  • She is obsessed with fish. Goldfish crackers are her favorite food, and she'll ask for "hish, hish" all day. She also loves to find fish in books. There's a book that has Flounder from The Little Mermaid in it, and every time we get to that page she gets super excited and points to the "hish".
  • This girl is a chocolate fiend. M&M's are her favs. Drew thinks it's hilarious and will hold one out and ask her to sit... she plops right down. We're thinking we should try to teach her lay down and roll over next
  • Fynn is still a little dancer, and loves some music. Right now her two favorite songs are "Timber" by Pitbull and Ke$ha and "What Does the Fox Say?" In fact, if you ask her what the fox says she will wiggle her shoulders and say "ni-ni-ni-ni". Too, too funny
  • This girl is just like her mama and loves shoes. She has some adorable black booties that she loves wearing all day every day, but she really loves to wear my shoes and even Drew's shoes.
  • Books are a favorite. Right now she loves reading The Foot Book, At the Zoo, Bubbles Bubbles, What Makes a Rainbow?, Red Fish Blue Fish, and Goodnight Princesses. She loves to grab books, bring them over to me, and then sit in my lap to have me read. I'm glad that she loves reading so much.
  • She LOVES, Loves, loves being the center of attention. She knows just how to ham it up to get people to laugh or interact with her. Sometimes she takes a little while to warm up if there are a lot of new faces around, but she ends up chatting away, giggling, dancing, and playing with everyone. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Social

It's been a couple of weeks, but I'm linking up today for Sunday Social

1. Top 3 favorite kinds of food
Kinds of food means I get to be broad and include all my favorites: candy, carbs, and ice cream. 

2. First 3 things you do in the morning

Depends on if Fynn is still sleeping. If so, I get to wake up slowly, get a drink of water, and put in my contacts.

If she's the one waking me up then it's all about getting her (and all her blankets and stuffed dog) out of her crib, getting her some milk and sitting down for some sleepy baby snuggles.

3. Last 3 things you do at night

Check on Fynn, Plug in my phone and the baby monitor, and kiss Drew good night.

4. 3 TV shows you NEVER miss

5. 3 places you want to visit
France, Italy, and England

6. 3 people you can always count on

Drew and my two BFFs A and C

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sensitive Skin #ItsNotMe

*Disclosure- I received complementary products from Influenster in exchange for my honest opinion

I've always had sensitive skin. The kind that breaks out with certain lotions or makes ups. The kind that gets angry-irritated when I shave. However, the new Venus Embrace Sensitive says that #itsnotme and it's probably my old razor. Entirely possible since my current razor is a cheapo grocery store brand one. Makes my legs super smooth... but maybe the cause of my irritated skin. It's been so bad this winter that I actually avoid shaving my legs... okay, it could also be that I'm super lazy. Maybe.

Anyway. I was excited when Influenster e-mailed me saying I qualified for the Venus Sensitive voxbox. Not going to lie, I always love it when I get free products to test out. I've only tried it once, but so far I love this razor. 5 blades for a super-close shave and moisturizing strips are supposed to help soothe your skin. It will be interesting to see how long this razor lasts and if it keeps performing as well once it's been used a bunch.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Datevitation and a giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free Datevitation booklet in exchange for my honest opinion.

 When Datevitation contacted me about reviewing one of their gift books, I was excited to check them out. They create adorable little coupon books that you can give as gifts to friends and family. They can be cute, fun coupons or more adult themes. Whatever you're looking for. You can customize the cover, coupons, text, and even your pictures to make it 100% you.

I decided to make a coupon book for Drew with some fun activities that we could do together. There were literally hundreds of activities to choose from. Everything from romantic date ideas to skydiving to a coupon to clean a messy room. You could make a gift book for anyone with all the different choices. It's not just dates though, you can make coupon books for kids, family members, and even friends. Another cute feature is that you can put your own pictures onto the coupons for an extra personalized touch. This makes your coupons adorably hilarious. I was cracking up while I was trying out different pictures on the site. It was really easy to upload and include. 

For Drew's book, I did coupons for a food massage, a run together, dinner that I would make (hey, I never claimed it would be edible... just saying!) his pick for a movie date and a brewery tour. It was really easy to order online, and my book came in just a few days. It's made out of sturdy cardstock, and the coupons rip easily out of it when you're ready to "redeem" them. 

Now that I've told you how awesome it is, I have two ways for you to get your own! Books normally start at just $25, but right now if you use the promo code "MYSHOW" you can get $10 off AND free shipping, a total value of $13.50*. If you order before February 3rd, your book is guaranteed delivery by Valentine's Day. I also want to give you the chance to win a free, customized book, just in time for Valentine's day. Just enter below in the Rafflecopter widget.

*promo code expires 2/27/14 

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Thoughts...all about school

  • I know as a teacher I should be all, boo snow days, but we had two snow days last week and a two-hour delay Monday... I loved every second of it... it was like the Christmas vacation that never ends. Amazing.
  • Of course that meant my kids were majorly still on vacation mode all day Monday. I was too, that day was basically a wash. We focused on getting back into school mode, that was pretty much it.
  • Since Tuesday we've been in major work mode though. I'm getting these kids in gear because there are 99 days left of school, and a lot to be learned.
  • I'm also getting a student teacher in my room next week, which both excites and scares me. This is my 6th year of teaching, but I still feel like a newbie most days... how am I supposed to teach someone else to be a teacher?!? I'm also a control freak, so letting someone else come in and gradually takes over my class scares the living daylights out of me... especially since I don't know him yet.
  • My 3rd grad school class started yesterday. This class is all about classroom motivation which I'm psyched about because I'm always looking for ways to get my students involved and interested in their learning.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

December Reads

Like last month, I'm continuing to keep track of the books I'm reading this year, with a goal of at least 30 books to match the 30 books I expect my students to read this year... might as well lead by example! 

9. Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery

A lot of people on Good Reads didn't like this book, thought the main character was too pathetic...  but I actually kind of liked it in the predictable ending kind of way. Kerri is a single mom with a young son dying of an awful genetic disease. She needs a lot of money, and fast, to help a local researcher find a cure. She decides to blackmail billionaire Nathan King into donating the money. Then comes a lot of drama, tears, and eventually the realization that they are in love with each other. The issue of the son's disease adds another element to the story, but wasn't really enough to keep it from being obvious. 

10. The Beach House by Jane Green

At first I really didn't like this book, I actually almost ditched it, but I'm glad I kept reading because it ended up better than I expected. It was a slow start with the introduction of a lot of characters, but as the book progresses, the characters start to come together and when all the connections are explained it's really interesting and catchy. I couldn't put it down for the last couple of chapters. 

11. Until There Was You by Kristen Higgins

If you read my book reviews last month, you know I've been loving Kristen Higgins books, which is what made this one so disappointing. Posey, the main character, was just too pathetic and depressing that I found her annoying rather than sympathetic. She's been in love with Liam since she was a teenager, even though he "broke her heart". I put broke her heart in quotes because what he did was pathetic and not at all what I expected. He didn't date her and then leave her, or cheat on her, or anything. They weren't even ever in a relationship. He just made fun of her once in high school and she was crushed... fast forward to the present and she's still obsessed with him in an almost stalker-ish manner, however then he starts paying attention to her. I just found the book too self-deprecating to really enjoy. 

12. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I was warned that Gillian Flynn was dark...I just didn't realize how dark it could get. I got a taste of her darkness with Gone Girl, but this book takes it to a whole new level. If you don't like gore, you honestly shouldn't read... it was really too much for me in a lot of places, and I ended up skimming over a lot of sections. That said, it was still an amazing book. Complex and well thought out just like Gone Girl, unraveling in a way that captivates you. 

The book starts out with Libby who survived the horrific massacre of her mother and two sisters. Her brother, Ben, has been in jail for the crime for the last 25 years, partially due to Libby's testimony that she heard him do it. Libby is physically and emotionally scarred by the event, when she meets a group of people who are convinced Ben is innocent. As the story unfolds, you see that night through the eyes of Ben and Patty (Libby's mom) as well as through the things Libby is learning and figuring out in the present. 

I love the way Gillian Flynn unfolds the truth slowly, and through multiple perspectives. Each time something new was shown, it completely changed everything you thought you knew. In the very last chapter I was sitting there, glued to my phone in horror and amazement as the truth came out.

13. Too Good to Be True by Kristen Higgins

This was my favorite Kristen Higgins book so far. It was funny, cute, and interesting all the way through. Grace's ex-fiance is dating her little sister... and Grace can't stop obsessing over him. She's been making up fake boyfriends her whole life when she felt alone, so now seemed the perfect moment to make up Mr. Right. She tells her family that she's dating a pediatric surgeon who is hot, rich, and of course perfect. Her family obviously wants to meet him, and Grace has a harder and harder time making up excuses. To further complicate matters, Grace has a thing for her new neighbor; Callahan who is the epitome of a bad boy. Grace has to figure out who to deal with the fake boyfriend, the very real ex, and the possibility of Callahan being "the one".

What have you been reading lately? Any suggestions for me? I'm always looking for new books to read! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bullying and Cosmetic Surgery

On the Today show Friday and then on an episode on Dateline Sunday night, I saw this story about teenagers who were opting to go under the knife to "fix" their looks because they were being bullied. Let me just say too, that the girl in this story was not horrific looking or deformed. According to the article:  "Before her plastic surgery, 15-year-old Renata was diagnosed with a condition which caused her nose to lean to the left."

Um... yeah, pretty sure my nose isn't perfectly straight either... and I realized a couple of years ago that my eyes aren't even either... I should probably get that surgically corrected too, so that people don't make fun of me.


What happened to helping teens realize that it's what is on the inside that counts? What happened to overcoming adversity and standing up for yourself? Nope, I guess it's just easier to have cosmetic surgery.

This blows my mind. I get it, we live in a tough world. Bullying is a huge problem for people of all ages, especially young adults who base so much of their self worth on the opinions of others. But isn't it the parent's job to help kids navigate these difficult times? What are we teaching them when we help them alter their appearance rather than deal with the bigger issue?

I was bullied as a kid. Isn't just about everyone at some point or another? I was overweight for many years, I've always been short, and I had an awful speech impediment that even some of my teachers made fun of. Yes, I went home and cried because "no one liked me" and "everyone was mean". And then I found real friends. Friends who liked me because of who I was, not because of how I looked or the way I talked. 

It breaks my heart to think about kids feeling that the only way to be liked by others is to look a certain way, and that if they don't look that way naturally they have to change themselves. Especially with something as radical as surgery. Elective surgery, on a growing body... a body that could grow out of that awkward phase on its own in just a few years.

I'm going to pull one of those parental "never will I ever" claims right now. Never will I ever help or support Fynn surgically alter her appearance, especially not if it's because of bullying. She needs to learn that sometimes in life there are mean, crappy people, and how to deal with them; not run away from them.

Did other people watch these shows? What did you think about it? Am I overreacting, or does this seem crazy to you too?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Social

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year?
I always plan to... it just doesn't usually happen. I do want to be better about all the junk food I eat. If I ate right I'd probably be incredibly skinny... I just lack that discipline. 

2. Any workout tips to get us back in shape after the Holidays?
Try to find something you enjoy. I get bored easily, so I try to mix up my running route and throw in some different workouts now and then. If I get bored, I start to dread the workout. And when I dread it, it usually doesn't happen.

3. What is your favorite thing you did over the Holidays?
Spending extra time with Fynn, Drew, and our families. Lately everything has been so rushed and busy, it was nice to have a week and a half off to relax and enjoy time with people. 

4. What is something you hope that you accomplish in 2014 that you did not in 2013?
I don't think I had any specific goals for 2013 that I didn't accomplish... probably because I didn't really have any specific goals. 

5. Name 3 things happening this year you are excited about and why.
1. Getting a new school next fall- I'm super excited for this, we're getting a big, gorgeous, new building with technology built in and all kinds of features to make my job better and my work environment healthier

2. We're planning on moving some time in 2014... not exactly sure where to, or what the new house will be like, but we want to sell this place and find a new one... hopefully the new one wont involve as much work as this place!

3. Continuing grad school. I love school (nerd alert!) so I'm excited to keep working towards my masters degree.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sometimes being a mom isn't all it's cracked up to be

I saw this in How I Met Your Mother when I was watching one day during naptime (have I mentioned I love nap time these days?)... and I totally identified with it. Yes, being a mom is amazing, and a blessing, and I am head over heels in love with my daughter... but sometimes? Sometimes it's the hardest thing in the world:

Friday, January 3, 2014

3 hour naps? Yes please!

Fynn's done better and better sleeping through the night and taking good naps the past couple of months. She doesn't always do great at daycare-I think it's too loud and she's too worried that she's going to miss out on something- but she's been doing great at home.

All during vacation, Fynn took 2, 3, even 3 1/2 hour naps. I was in Mommy Heaven. With that break during the day I could blog, work on school work, watch Netflix, even clean (haha... good joke). It was also refreshing to have that break... just as I was getting frustrated with her needing me every 2 seconds and/or attempting to give me a heart attack, I'd get a nice break. She would wake up in a great mood to a mom that was refreshed and ready to play. Win-Win.

I have no idea what changed, as far as I know our bedtime/naptime routine is the same, but something finally clicked and Fynn realized that she does enjoy sleep. She doesn't always love going down, she'll fuss for a bit, but then she's out and all is right with the world. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

  • Today was supposed to be the first day back to school after vacation. Luckily for me, the weather gods intervened and we have our first snow day of the year! So excited. It's cold out (like -40 degrees) so we wont be going out to enjoy this snow, but it's an extra day home with my baby boo AND tomorrow's weather looks just as nasty, so there's a possibility of another snow day. Score! 
  • On another positive, my next grad school class doesn't start until the 8th, so I have a few more days until all that work begins again.
    Mom's slippers are awesome though!
  • What is it with Fynn wanting to wear everyone else's shoes... but screaming every time you try to put her actual shoes on. I was worried that maybe they were too small...but they're the right size, and I even tried a size larger just in case. She hates them.
  • Why is it that my house gets to be a complete mess .2 seconds after I clean it? Yeah, the kid doesn't help... but she's not making all the messes that somehow consistently take over my house.
  • Why do so many shows, movies, and books include so much gore and violence? I know this isn't a new phenomenon... but it seems like everything is getting more graphic and explicit these days.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve. However you celebrated (or didn't) I hope you're ready to enjoy this fresh start that a new year brings. I have several plans for making the most of 2014. Not so much resolutions, as we all know how quickly those pitter out, but goals I want to work towards this year:

  • Run more 5k's and work up to a 10k race
I love the feeling of finishing a race (though at the beginning of it I'm usually wondering what the heck I was thinking). I want to run at least 4 this year, and at least one 10k... which means I need to step up my running routine to make that possible. 
  • Lose 10 pounds
While I've lost all the baby weight, I'm still not feeling great in my body. I want to get in better shape. To do that I know I need a specific goal, so 10 pounds it is.
  • Keep my 4.0 GPA in grad school
I worked hard my first semester in grad school, and I want to keep that up.
  • Be the mom Fynn deserves
I don't mean be perfect, I know I'm far from perfection, but I want to be a more patient mom who is in the moment more. I want to focus on her, what we're doing together, and not worry so much about doing things "right".
  • Take the time to appreciate all the good
It's so easy to get bogged down in all the negative, all the things that don't go the way I want them to. While I know I can't completely erase all of that just by saying so, I want to make an active effort to notice and appreciate all the good things; big and small. 

What are your goals for 2014? I'd love to hear what others are focusing on at the start of this new year. 
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