Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I haven't linked up for Thursday Thoughts in awhile, but I have some randomness that needed spilling and this is the perfect link up for it.

  • Why is it that little kids wake up when they're still tired, and refuse to go back to sleep? If I wake up too early I'm all *roll over, pass back out*. Fynn though will get up anyway and be a cranky beast for the entire day because of it. Worse, is that beast mode usually interferes with nap time, thus prolonging the agony of over-tired toddler. 
  • Watching Drew hang out with Fynn always manages to melt my heart no matter how annoyed I am with with either (or both) of them
  • I also have to brag, I went to one of those paint night events last week with a friend and I painted this awesome picture. Me, the one whose 5th graders laugh at her stick figure drawings year after year... yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself.
  • We randomly saw a Mama duck and her little babies under a neighbors bush the other day, so every time we walk by Fynn points and yells "duckies, I want the duckies!". They were pretty cute, but they're long gone now. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying "So What" if:

  • Shannon never really does this link up anymore, so I'm just doing it on my own
  • I'm REALLY looking forward to my curriculum training next week because it's 4 whole days spent around adults who hopefully wont scream at me asking for pops... and if I need to go to the bathroom, I can actually go by myself AND with the door closed. I can't even wait
  • Fynn and I had to leave story time at the library yesterday after only ten minutes because she was screaming her head off and then bit me because she wanted gummies
  • After putting her down for her nap I went and ate a pack of gummies just to spite her (even though she would never know I had done it, totally made me feel better
  • I have a ginormous project due tomorrow and instead of working on it, I'm writing this post and contemplating taking a nap because holy hell am I tired.
  • I envy those moms who make staying at home with their kids look easy. It's so not, and everyone who has seen me this summer knows that it's not easy for me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hi, my name's Amanda, and I'm a dork.

I love grad school. I love school really, but grad school has been a whole new ball game of learning and pushing myself. Yea, I'm one of those dorks who loves learning.

Right now I'm mid-way through my 4th grad class. This one is all about integrating reading and writing to further student success and I'm loving it. I love the articles I'm reading, our textbooks, and the conversations I'm having with my classmates. Already I'm coming away with tons of ideas I can use in my classroom and a new understanding about how kids learn to read and write.

Teaching writing has always been an area I felt like I struggled with, but between this class and the new writing curriculum my school is starting in September, I'm really excited to teaching writing this year. That's definitely a first for me.

Each class that I take in my master's program seems to occur at the perfect time for my professional development needs and personal learning goals. It's been really cool. I actually don't mind the workload. Some weeks it can be stressful, but with summer vacation right now, it's been easy to fit in the time to complete my course work. I have a harder time during the school year, but even that is manageable because I put together a work schedule and I'm really good about sticking to it and getting work done on time. In fact, dork that I am, I usually have things passed in 2-4 days early.

While I started working on my masters primarily for the raise that comes with getting it, I'm loving every step of the program and all the things I'm learning that I can use with my students. And now I'll stop, because I'm sure you all think I'm nuts. I'm cool with that. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our day on the farm

A local farm does an all-ages "Friday on the Farm" event that a woman from work told me about. 4 of us decided to go together (with our combined 7 kids). I could not have asked for a better activity to do with a two year old- or really any young kid that loves animals. 

We got to collect eggs from the chickens, visit with pigs, miniature horses, dwarf goats, and  milk cows. Fynn was in heaven. This girl is obsessed with animals. She loves watching them, petting them and feeding them. This place was all her dreams come true. For about a week after she kept telling Drew and me about "the babies". 

The farm does an awesome education piece, explaining the different animals, what they're used for, what they need to grow well, and they get the kids as involved as possible. Fynn was even allowed to collect eggs and put them in a basket (with my help, obviously). I love the focus on engaging the kids and letting them experience these animals. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Workout Plan: Week 5

Thursday last week I was a slacker and didn't work out. I could make excuses about not being home, yada, yada, yada, but the truth is I just didn't make time to do it. My bad.

Friday I bumped it up to Week 3 of Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 workout. Woah is that woman crazy. Week 3 took it to a whole new level and I ended it drenched in sweat. I also did days 7 & 8 of the Butt Challenge. I know it's supposed to be done every day, but I just never remember, so I'm doing it my own way.

Saturday I did day 9 of the Butt Challenge just so I could feel good about myself that I did something. 

And then the week got bad. Fynn only napped once this week, AND I felt like crap all week. So I didn't workout at all Monday, Tuesday, OR Wednesday. Fail. Just fail. Obviously I didn't lost weight this week. In fact I'm shocked I didn't gain any weight. Next week has to be better... right? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Two year old regression?

Fynn has had an odd sort of regression lately: she wants to be a baby again.

Now this is strange because she has always been a very un-baby baby. As soon as she learned how to do something, she wanted to do it for herself. She never wanted to be helped or babied and was constantly striving to take on the next physical task. 

Now she grabs her sippy cup and says "Is a baba" and won't leave me alone until I cradle her in my arms like a baby and "feed" her her cup of milk

Suddenly she likes riding in the stroller again (she's hated it for the past year) and even asks for it "like baby" which means reclined so she can lie down like an infant. She'll go for an entire walk like that without getting bored. She also wants to sit in her old baby swing which she discovered in our guest bedroom. 

While she's always been the kid that wants to run off on her own, she wants to be held a lot more and carried places.

She does a couple of other things too that are young, and asks for help with things she very much knows how to do. 

I'm curious. Is this a toddler thing? Her way of seeing comfort and security in my arms? She doesn't do these things all the time, but it's just a strange series of habits that have arisen lately, and I don't really know what to think about them. Not going to lie, it's kind of cute, and I'll take any opportunity for extra snuggles and love from my rapidly growing toddler. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 More Weird Facts About Me

1. I can't stand the feeling of chalk on my fingers. Thank goodness I started teaching after dry erase boards became prevalent. I would not have been able to handle writing on a chalkboard all day or having it on my hands all the time. I even hate when Fynn's playing with chalk and she hands it to me or wants me to color with her. Ugh. Makes my skin crawl.

2. I don't like when people touch the inside of my wrists. No idea why, but if someone touches there it makes me feel sick to my stomach and I want to cry.

3. I've blogged about this before, but I have double jointed freaky finger toes. Feel free to point and laugh. 

4. I would rather wash an entire sink full of nasty dishes than sweep or vacuum the floor. For some reason dishes don't bother me, but the broom and the vacuum do.

5. I actually like doing laundry. There's something satisfying about taking an armload of dirty, smelly clothes, and getting them clean and put away... doesn't hurt that it's 85% automated. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 2014 Ipsy

Oh Ipsy, my love. I'm usually so happy with you. This month I'm just "meh". I won't use much in this months bag which gives me the sads.

The theme this month was Sensationally Sunkist- perfect for mid-summer. The bag was okay... again a little "meh". I'll use it for something, but it's not one of those super cute bags that I can't wait to use. 

Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude. (~$6 for a .03 oz sample size)

Say that 5 times fast. Seriously, what a name. I like how smooth this cream eyeshadow is and how easily it goes on. The color I got is pretty dark, so I don't know how much I would actually wear it. Being so pale, I tend to go for more subtle shades because even pale colors tend to pop on my pastey-white skin. 

Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass Lip + Cheek Stain in Cherry. ($22.99)

This is rather bright, but if you rub 90% of it off, it becomes a really nice color. Still to bright for my cheeks, but I could see wearing it on my lips. I know it's a stain, so this is kinda the point, but even with soap it doesn't all wash off. I'm going to have to try some of my makeup remover wipes before I think about going outside at all! Also I would never spend $23 for lip stain, just saying. 

Pur-protect Essential Daily Moisturizer (~$16 for .5 oz sample size)

I love moisturizer, so this is awesome. It smells really good at first, but it does have a slight sunscreen undertone that you don't notice until it's been absorbed. Makes sense because it's SPF 30, but the point of wearing moisturizer with SPF is so that you don't smell like sunscreen (in my opinion). I'll definitely use it, but it's not something I'd go out and buy more of. Also it's $55 for the regular size which is way more then I would spend. 

Marrakesh Endz Argan & Hemp Oil Therapy ($5.99)

This smells amazing. I can't wait to try it. Summer does a number on my hair with all the sun and sunblock, so anything that may make it look and feel a little healthier is a win in my book. 

Models Own nail polish in Red Sea ($5) 

The color is cute, more sparkle than actual color. It would probably be good to layer over something else. I love the shade, and I'll probably use it with some red or coral underneath to really make it pop. 

Overall my Ipsy bag was valued at ~$55.98 this month. While I didn't love it, it's still a great deal for the  $10 I paid for it. Other people seemed happy with their bags this month (and they got some of the same things), so perhaps I'm just too picky. Either way, you can use my referral code to sign up if you're interested! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Social

1. What is the most difficult thing you have been through?
Depends on what you mean by difficult. I think all-natural childbirth and taking care of a newborn has been one of the most physically difficult things I've been through in my life. Emotionally one of the hardest things I've been through was losing both of my grandfathers within 6 months of each other. 

2. What was your best birthday?

My 16th. My parents put together this elaborate birthday plan where they had 16 gifts of varying sizes. Throughout the day I randomly got gifts. My favorite part was that they had my best friend in on it. We were in all the same classes together, so every class that day she had a gift to give me. That was also the same year that my three closest friends threw me a surprise birthday party. 

3. What has been your favorite thing you’ve done in your own city?
Nothing huge and exciting, but I love that I live within 20 minutes of at least 5 gorgeous beaches. I love going to the beach even if it's just for a little while. It's something that I don't get to do nearly as often as I would like, but it's one of my favorite things about living in southern Maine. 

4. What is your idea of the perfect date night?

Dinner out, a walk on the beach, and then home for dessert (preferably something chocolate), followed up by Fynn either sleeping in until a reasonable hour or her being overnight with family so I can sleep in. 

5. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If so which one(s)? If not do you want to?

Never been, pretty sure I don't want to go. What I love about blogging is that I do it my way. I don't care what the "right" way to grow your audience or sell ad space or write posts are. I do what feels right for me, I would lose some of that if I went to a blog conference. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Workout Plan: Week 4

Thursday I did Shape Magazine's Bikini Bottom Workout and Day 1 of the 30 Day Butt Challenge. Whoa, did my glutes hurt after that!  Friday I didn't workout because Drew and I spent 8+ hours painting the house and installing a stupid door that wouldn't quite fit right (the people that built our house had... interesting ideas about how to do certain things. It's been a nightmare fixing all of their work).

I took the weekend off from workout, but still spent plenty of time running around after Fynn and doing stuff around the house. 

Monday I did Lifehack's 7-Minute Workout, Days 2-4 of the Butt Challenge, and then went to my hour-long hip hop dance class that night. 

Tuesday I didn't work out because Miss Fynn (aka the crankmaster) refused to nap. Which means no time for my workout OR grad school homework... I'm still annoyed with her for that. Wednesday I did Hip Hop Abs: Hips, Buns, and Thighs. The workout itself was pretty good, I felt it in my buns, but it was boring and not the dance-ish workout I was expecting. I also did days 5 & 6 of the Butt Challenge.

I didn't lose any weight this week :( but I didn't gain any either... so I guess I have to be content with that and strive to do better next week. If nothing else, these weekly posts are making me more mindful of exercise and making sure I make the effort. 

What are some great online workout videos you would suggest? I tend to just go with Jillian Michaels or gamble on a new video, but I'm sure some of you have found some awesome workouts. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What goes around... ends up back in your classroom?

Like I said; rough shape.
I mentioned in one of my book posts that I found a bunch of old Babysitters Club books in my classroom library. While these were my favorite books back in the day of elementary school, my students don't seem to appreciate them. In 3 years of teaching 5th grade, I've never seen a student read one (kids these days!).

I made the unfortunate decision to remove them from my classroom library, but I couldn't stop myself from reading several of them just one last time before donating some to a local book sale and recycling the ones that were in rough shape.

As I was reading one, I happened to flip to the back of the book. Where I discovered it used to be part of the school library. Remember, I went to elementary school in the school I currently teach in. The library check out card was still in it's little pocket in the back of the book. Just for the heck of it, I scanned the list of names. And my jaw dropped. Because there, right above my BFF (at the time)'s name, was my own. Way back in the day, I had checked this book out of the school library, and here I was sitting with it again.

How weird is that? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fact: Toddlers eat more strawberries than they pick.

Since Fynn loved apple picking in the fall, and inhales strawberries, we thought it would be a great idea to take her strawberry picking. Little did we know how good of an idea it would turn out to be.

As soon as Fynn realized that there were actual strawberries sitting right in front of her, she was shoving them in her mouth. We were out there picking for about 45 minutes, and I don't think there was a moment that went by where she didn't have a mouth full of strawberry. Drew and I kept showing her how to pick the strawberries and put them in our box, but the moment they landed in the box she scooped them up and put them in her mouth. Pretty sure the strawberry field owners lost money on this family. We bought 10 pounds of picked strawberries, but I'm guessing Fynn ate at least another 2.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Am I not Turtley enough for the Turtle Club?

Disclosure: I received this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Pretty sure I'm 1 of like 5 people that watched Master of Disguise back in the day. Anyway, I've always loved that part of it and it fits perfectly with the awesome Turtlemeter from Ozeri

"Mom, open it up
so I can play!"
This is the coolest little gadget. It's a turtle toy, which Fynn loves, but it also is a water thermometer. It's meant for bath time to make sure the temperature is just right for little ones, but we of course used it for our kiddie pool. Fynn loved playing with it in the pool, and I loved checking the temperature of it to see if I was going to actually put my feet in it or if it was a "Mommy's going to watch from her chair" kind of pool day. 

The thermometer part actually lights up blue if the water is too cold, green if it's good to go, and red if it's too hot.It activates instantly when it's in water and updates the temperature constantly. I love the fact that it activates and shuts off on it's own. I often forget to turn things off and end up draining the batteries. Another thing I like is that the batteries are actually replaceable and just take 3 AAA batteries... no searching for some funky battery size to keep the thing going. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

The New England Aquarium... with a 2 year old

In the gloriousness that was having Drew home on vacation last week, we decided (in our infinite wisdom) that a two hour trip down to Boston to the aquarium and back was a good idea.

It actually kinda was.

We left around 8, got there around 10, paid the exorbitant 24.95 for each adult to enter the overpriced fish tank arena (thank all that is holy that kids under 3 are free... Fynn will never again visit this place after the age of 3.). But then? Then Fynn was in heaven. This girl loves Fish. Big fish, little fish, blue fish, gray fish... the kid loves them all.

So we spent 2 1/2 hours basking in the type of excitement only a 2 year old with all her dreams fulfilled can muster. We giggled at penguins, gasped at the sharks and desperately tried to get closer to the glass our faces were already pressed up against.

Daddy and his girl,
checking out the boats
And then the excitement faded into "I'm hungry and need a freaking nap", so we ate a snack and headed back to the parking garage. Where we were ripped off a royal $36 for parking because the aquarium only validates parking at that garage for members... no one could have told us that BEFORE we parked there?

Despite paying out the wazoo for this day trip, I'm glad we went. Fynn had a blast, Drew and I had fun too, and it was nice to just get away for a day. We should do that more.

*Please note, I'm not in any of the pictures... the curse of being the photographer anywhere we go. Hint, hint, Drew. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Social

1. Tell us about the family you grew up in, parents, siblings, grandparents.
I grew up with my mom, dad, and two younger siblings. My sister, Abby, is 3 years younger. My brother, Alex is 10 years younger (yes, we have both the same parents and he was not an oops... everyone asks). My mom's parents and siblings (all 7 of them) all lived about an hour North away. My dad's parents and sister live 8ish hours away in Canada and his brother lives 45 minutes South away.

2. Tell us about your husband, fiancé, boyfriend, significant other.
12 years ago
Drew is my husband of 5 years. We've been together since we were 16 and are complete opposites in many ways, but strangely alike in others. Luckily he calms my crazy and gives me the middle piece when we make brownies.

3. Tell us about your children. If you don’t have children, talk about your fur children.
Fynn just turned 2 and is opinionated, spunky, sweet and hilarious. She knows just which buttons to push to get me to the edge and then wraps her arms around me, says "wuv yoo" and melts my heart of stone. 

4. Tell us about your best friends. How long have you known them? How did you meet?
I met my best friend ten years ago at the summer day camp we both worked at. Since then we have worked together a total of 8 years (both summer camp and after school care), had babies within 4 months of each other and made our hubbies (and now our daughters) be besties as well. She's someone that I can go weeks without seeing and pick back up like we saw each other minutes ago. I don't have to clean my house for her to come over or put on make up. Which is why I love her. 

5. Tell us about any other special people in your life.
I am super close to my in laws (weird, I know) and love them more than I ever though possible. I think part of it is literally growing up in their household and part of it is how awesome they all are. Family gatherings with them are always a blast; Drew's mom watches Fynn almost every Friday; and his brother sends me snapchats that make me cry laughing. We see Drew's parents as much as humanly possible and his two brothers whenever they're in town (one lives in Boston, the other outside NYC- If one or both are reading this- they should move back home, just saying.)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Workout Plan: Week 3

Wow, three weeks in and I failed already. 

I didn't workout Thursday, Friday, Saturday, OR Sunday. I know my goal was to work out every week day, but I figured if I missed a week day, I would just make it up on the weekend. Clearly that didn't happen this week. Between Fynn not napping on Thursday and Friday, her birthday party on Saturday and both lunch and dinner plans on Sunday... I was a bum. Yeah, I can make excuses, but the truth is that I just didn't make time and prioritize a workout.

Monday I was good and did Ripped in 30: Week 2. I should have gone to my dance class Monday night, but somehow I missed the fact that it was Monday and realized it 45 minutes after my class ended. Bummer, because I REALLY like it! Tuesday I did Ripped in 30 again and Wednesday I switched it up and did Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown: Week 1 workout. 

No surprise, but I gained back a pound that I had lost. Between not eating well over the weekend and missing several workouts its not a surprise, but it is a reminder that my workouts do make a difference. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fynn's Birthday Weekend.

Fynn's birthday was on July 3rd, so with the holiday weekend she got several days of Birthday fun

Thursday (The actual birthday)

We had Drew's parents, my parents, and my brother and sister over for dinner and cake. Fynn and I went to the grocery store that morning to pick out her cake. She had so much fun looking at every last cake. She told me over and over that she wanted a blue cake... but then she picked out a pink one. Go figure. Totally the cake I would have picked out if I had been in charge of it. Then the lady who wrote Happy Birthday on the cake screwed it up by writing Happy 2th Birthday... yeah.

When Drew got home, we gave Fynn her present from us. Originally we bought her a Power Wheels F-150 AND Jeep (Craigslist deal: score!). But we realized that she's too little for the F-150, so we're saving that for later. The Jeep is a little old for her, but she had so much fun learning how to drive it and scaring the crap out of us when she got going. Then we did dinner, cake and gifts with the family. We didn't want to do anything huge, but we wanted to acknowledge her actual birthday.

Saturday was her birthday party. 

Again, we kept it pretty small: family and some friends. Little decorations. Decorate your own cupcakes. Low key. We had easy snacks and just enjoyed hanging out together and celebrating Fynn's birthday. I liked this so much better then last year's giant party. I got to spend the time with Fynn instead of visiting with people we hardly ever see and Fynn wasn't overwhelmed by all the people. 

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