Friday, October 31, 2014

A moment of triumph

A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail saying my superintendent wanted to observe my classroom. Apparently he's working on getting into everyone's classroom over the years and I'm next on the list.

Ensue all-consuming panic and the frantic scouring of my schedule to see which class period would be best for him to see.

And then I realized, I was fine. I have this. No matter what class he wanted to come into or subject he observed; I'd be okay. For the first time in my 6 years of teaching I feel completely on top of things. Yeah, I have my bad days and bombed lessons, but overall I'm doing a great job. My classroom management isn't flawless, but it's effective. My lessons are dynamic, intersting, and my kids are engaged. More than that, I'm comfortable and confident enough in my curriculum (even our brand-new writing curriculum) that I feel like I could rock it out any time of day. That's a first. And a really amazing feeling. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How my kid eats a cupcake

I don't know if I should be proud, or embarrassed. Awesome mom that I am... I'm leaning towards proud.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

King of Christmas- Win an artificial Christmas tree!

This post is brought to you by King of Christmas

Here's the debate; real or fake? I'm talking about trees here. Every year I have this internal debate because, while real trees are gorgeous, they're pretty much a pain. Artificial Christmas trees always just seem so much easier and they look so pretty now, it's hard to tell that they're not real! We always end up with pine needles, water, and sometimes sap all over the place. It's a mess and a headache, but we keep going back. I'm not sure if it's because we're gluttons for punishment or because they can be so expensive. However, King of Christmas is doing an awesome giveaway for a 7 foot artificial Christmas tree WITH LED lights (which means you don't have to play the Christmas light game). The second place prize is a $100 gift card for which will go a long way towards a tree. 

Sound like a good deal? I thought so too. Head over and enter right away though, because their giveaway ends soon! Want to enter? Here's the link.

22 Weeks Pregnant

This week was a big week for us. And yesterday I had the startling realization that 22 weeks means only 18 weeks left. Which is mind blowing. It's going by fast, but this time it doesn't freak me out like it did last time. Maybe it's knowing what's coming or just how busy we've been, or just the fact that we have all the "stuff" we need for this kid, but I'm not stressing about this little one's arrival like I did with Fynn.

  • I'm feeling better again this week. Still a little nauseous, but at least I'm not getting sick again
  •  We had our 20 week ultrasound (at 21 1/2 weeks) and this beautiful little boy looks awesome and healthy and super active- and I totally called it when I said he was all over my bladder. The ultrasound tech even commented on how uncomfortable it must be.
  • The morning after the ultrasound I had my first "mutant belly" moment. Baby Boo flipped over and stick his little butt out right right under my rib cage. Up until that point I had plenty of kicks, but no major whole-body rolls. It was cool, but also a little freaky- and just a hint of what's coming.
  • Baby is the size of a papaya this week; 10.5-11.8 inches long and 12.7-20.8 ounces. Getting bigger! Last time at Fynn's 20 week ultrasound they gave an estimate of how big she was. They didn't this time, and I forgot to ask, but at my next check up I'm going to see what they thought, just because I'm curious about how big he is compared to his sister at this point. 
  • I'm noticing a difference in the activeness of Boo #2 compared to Fynn. Fynn was very aggressive in her kicks and made me VERY aware of her presence. This kid is more laid back and the movement is more swirly and lighter kicks. I'm hoping that means that this little boy will be a little less rambunctious than his sister... or at least sleep a little better. Now that I've put that out there, it probably won't happen. 
  • Sorry about the awful blurry pix. I'm not sure if it's my phone or the case, but half of my photos are coming out awful lately. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The 10 Healthiest States in America

Brought to you by Annie Davis

Obesity remains an issue in the United States, one that you hear about a lot in the news. You get all this information about the worst states to live in, or the unhealthiest states, but sometimes you come along information about the "Healthiest" states, and you have to wonder; what makes them so healthy? How are they different from my state? Or, if you're lucky, you get to gloat about your state being on the list. Sadly, Maine isn't on this infographic from UIC Online for the 10 Healthiest States in America, but there are several other New England states on the list... so I guess we have that going for us? The rating scale for this infographic came from obesity rates, percentage of sedentary adults and the average life expectancy. It's interesting to see the difference between Hawii at #1 and New Jersey at #10. It would have been really cool if all 50 states were included, but I guess that would be a LOT on info in one graphic. Regardless, it makes me really interested to see the numbers and rankings for Maine and see where we stack up in the scheme of things. 

A Prego's Dream Come True

Drew's office is pretty sweet. He works in the pricing department of major supermarket chain which means he often comes home with product samples and free food. Sometimes it's tried and true items, and sometimes it's products they're thinking of selling. 

5 Minutes Later
My favorite day of the year at Drew's office is cake sample day. That's right. It's amazing as it sounds. Vendors bring in all the cakes that will be sold in their stores for the following year. Which means Drew brings home entire cakes. This year the winner was a scrumptious red velvet cake that fulfilled all of my pregnancy-cravings dreams. Needless to say, we've been having cake every night for the past couple of nights. Even better? Drew being the awesome guy that he is, even brought home an extra cake for one of my friends who is also pregnant. How thoughtful is he? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Team Pink or Team Blue?

I had a couple of awesome followers weigh in on my Facebook page, all of them were sure Baby Boo # 2 is on Team Blue. I originally thought blue from the beginning until a couple of weeks ago when I started to doubt myself. I constantly referred to baby as "he" and jokingly called him Teddy... even though we wouldn't be using Teddy as a name if it ended up being a boy. Fynn was sure it was a girl. Several friends were sure it was a girl, but two friends from work were convinced boy. Drew wouldn't really weigh in. Right before the ultrasound he said he had no idea. 

Last Monday was the big day. We went in, the tech asked if we wanted to know if she could tell, and we started measuring. We measured belly, looked at the heart, then got to the legs and without any warning the tech said "it's a boy!". In a way I was surprised, but in a way I wasn't. Part of me knew it from early on. 

We are sooo excited, though Fynn was a little disappointed because she said it was a girl and we were going to call her "Milk". 0 for 2 kiddo! That said, the name game can now commence. Right now we're just throwing out suggestions, but there's nothing we're seriously considering or in love with (though I do have one name I'm loving... but we'll see if the infatuation lasts). 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

21 Weeks Pregnant with Boo # 2

Ugh, I've fallen into posting late again. Still without a computer. Which makes blogging rather difficult! However, here's what went down during week 21:

  • I've been super sick this week again... I really thought I had gotten past that point, but I've had to pull out my Zofran again just to keep things down.
  • I've gained two pounds this week, bringing my grand total to just eight pounds. Pretty sure that's about half of what is expected weight gain at this point. Not that I mind not being a whale yet, but I just worry that being sick again is going to keep this little nugget from getting what he/she needs.
  • Monday is our big 20 week ultrasound and I'm super excited to see baby and find out whether it's a boy or a girl. I've been thinking boy from early on, but Fynn's convinced it's a girl and the only names I've found that I love are girls names. I guess we'll see on Monday.
  • This little bugger is a-moving and a-shaking these days. Kicks are getting stronger, and are all super low which makes sense because I feel like the kid is sitting on my bladder.
  • Drew informed me the other day that I'm not as wide as I was last pregnancy... I guess I'm supposed to take that as a complement? 
  • Baby Boo is the size of a pomegranate this week; 10.5 inches long and 12.7 ounces.

And now I must attempt to upload pictures to this post. I apologize in advance for any funky formatting that results.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Art Gallery for Kids Review

This review was brought to you by and My Art Gallery For Kids.

A few weeks ago Fynn and I got an awesome package in the mail; the My Art Gallery for Kids- to display her art work. I've been trying to keep some of her projects, but they usually end up torn or wrinkled or lost, whoever thought of this art gallery has clearly had the same issue. 

The concept is simple; a 3-frame art gallery where the picture frames can be stuck together, or displayed separately. You can use the giant magnet that's included to display artwork on any metal surface, or each frame also comes with stand features to stand alone. You could also do the traditional nail in the wall method to hang the frames. What makes this product unique? The fact that each frame is designed to hold 35 pieces of artwork. That's a total of 105 pieces that can be stored, while displaying three at a time. There's also a little spot for a picture of the artist to be displayed, so if you had several kids, each could have their own, personalized, art gallery.

Fynn was excited to open the package (as always) but she was even more excited the next day when we put one of her pieces of artwork into the frame. She loves her pictures, and is always excited to show them off. She kept pointing to her picture and saying "that's mine". So stinking cute. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter to see how others are using their My Art Gallery to show of their kid's artwork. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

20 Weeks Pregnant With Boo #2

I'm temp-blogging form this beast of a dinosaur computer we've had sitting in the closet for ages... which means it is huge, and heavy, and slower than old school AOL dial up.  However, it works better than the iPad because I can type  normally, watermark my pix (in theory... I tried to do it, and it didn't work), and post links. So here goes this week's (which is really last week's) update.

  • 20 weeks! The halfway point... this is going by fast!
  • This week baby Boo is the size of a banana at about 6.5 inches long and 10.2 ounces
  • I went to two Fit Club workouts after school this week. One of our gym teachers puts on workout videos and we make fools of ourselves. Not going to lie though, it makes me feel good that I can do them still (every now and then with a modification). I was a lot more active when I was pregnant with Fynn, but I was also a lot less busy.

  • I've gained a total of 6 pounds so far... last time I had gained 11 pounds at the 20 week mark. Not going to lie, a part of me is a little nervous that Baby Boo isn't getting what he/she needs. I've been eating as much as possible this week, but have been getting a lot of stomach aches and nausea which limits things a bit. Next week we have our big ultrasound, so we can check to see how this baby is growing
  • I'm also sleeping like crap lately... several nights this week I don't even think I actually slept at all... which means some zombie-like days at work... kind of feels like when Fynn was little and up 5-8 times a night. Can't wait for that phase again :/
  • I know one thing, this baby is moving about just fine. Lots of little kicks and swirls going down. This week I started to feel them a little more often during the day, but they're strongest at night when I lay down. Best feeling in the world :) 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

19 weeks pregnant with Boo #2

This week little Boo is the size of a mango- about 6 inches long and 8.5 ounces

I ran for the first time in about 6 weeks and it felt amazing. At almost 5 months pregnant it was much more difficult than it had been this summer; I was breathing hard pretty fast and could only do about 2 1/2 miles, but it was a start and it went a long ways towards feeling better about my body and feeling strong again

Speaking of strong, this little bugger is getting strong. I'm feeling him/her more every day. I love those random moments during the day when I can feel movement and I love lying in bed each night feeling that swirling, kicking feeling.

All I want to eat this week is cheese and crackers and chicken nuggets. Honestly I could live off those two and be a very happy camper

My students are very interested this week in how big the baby is and whether it's a boy or a girl. It's cute to see their enthusiasm, but I can see it going into the awkward realm soon.

Speaking of gender. Fynn is convinced the baby is a girl. I've asked her a couple of times if it's a boy or girl and she always answers girl... I don't even know if she knows what gender means, but she's pretty adamant about it

Fynn also likes rubbing. He belly these days which is really sweet. She seems so happy about having a baby come, I just hoped that enthusiasm continues. Every time I call her my baby lately, she goes "I not the baby, I Fynn" and when I ask her where my baby is, she points to my belly. It's amazing how much of this she can understand at the age of 2.

Edited: I wrote this a couple of days ago, then discovered that I couldn't use picmonkey on my iPad, so this weeks pix are sans watermark (gasp)

Biting the bullet

Some of you may have seen on FB (you can follow me at that our computer staged a strike the other day, suddenly refusing to start with out any apparent provocation. Sadly It appears our computer is going to be MIA for a bit longer- Drew's still trying to figure out what the problem is and whether we can fix it. So I'm sucking it up and blogging from the iPad. Please excuse any formatting glitches and the likely lack of pictures since watermarking my pix is significantly more difficult on the iPad than the laptop. Oh technology, how easily we become dependent on you! I'm hoping Drew's current attempts to fix the laptop will be successful, but until it is, I'll be semi-posting as much as possible.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Social

1. Favorite Month and why?
June because it's the end of the school year, so I get all the fun stuff with my kids followed by the first couple of weeks of summer vacation.

2. Favorite Holiday and why?
I like holidays like the 4th of July because they're low key, I don't have to decorate for them and there's none of the frantic scurrying from one family event to another.

3. Are you getting the new iPhone or are you more of an Android person?
I have the iPhone 5, and I'm perfectly happy with that for now. I'm not the type of person that feels they need the latest upgrade.

4. Most thoughtful gift you have ever received from someone?
Drew gave me a gift certificate to get a "mommy to be massage" for my birthday last month... I'm waiting to use it when I'm ridiculously uncomfortable because I know it will be that much more satisfying then. 

5. Something you can’t wait to splurge on?
I want to get a jogging stroller for after Boo #2 is born. I also can't wait to splurge on decorating our new house in a couple of weeks. Though I normally hate decorating, this place actually has me excited to make it our own and to finally live someplace that is finished. We've lived in our current house for 5 years and there are just a few decorative touches (and only on the 1st floor!). This time I want to do it right. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Top Ten: Things I should have thought about before getting pregnant again.

You know how it goes. You're kid's almost 2, and she's so freaking cute, and you think to yourself Wow, we should so do this again! or She'd make a great big sister or even There's never going to be a "good time" why not now? So you decide to "see what happens" and wham, bam, kid number 2 is on the way. Then, and only then, do the realities of having another kid smack you in the face. Here are some things I wish I had thought about before... though to be honest, they probably wouldn't have changed anything.

10. I'm older, and more tired. I know, I know- not like I'm rocking a walker and some dentures, but having kid #1 aged me considerably and I'm already lacking in energy. I was 25 when I had Fynn, and I'm 28 for this kid... three years with kids is the equivalent of about 15 without which means I'm getting up there in years. 

9. The poor dog. My poor dog who about had an emotional breakdown with my first pregnancy and the appearance of the first tiny human is losing it. We now have daily "accidents" (can it be called an accident if it may be done out of spite?) to clean up/step in and a pathetic little dog that looks like she wants to cry. It's probably going to break her poor little puppy heart with tiny human # 2

8. Our poor house. Fynn, aka walking disaster #1, has done a number on our house. From peanut butter handprints in doorways to creative crayon art on the wall, our poor house will never be the same. Just as we clean up one mess, another seven have been created. Now let's multiply that by 2 walking disasters and you see where my future is headed.  

7. This kid was just getting some independence. As in I could walk away to start the laundry, do the dishes, or just sit on the couch and read a book for a bit... come March any semblance of me time is going to fly out the window.

6. Sleep? The thought alone is laughable. Having another baby means many more sleepless nights, and let's be honest, Fynn will probably have some type of sleep regression once this kid gets here just to make sure no one gets any sleep in our household. Bring on the caffeine and concealer! 

5. Two kids at home with me! Snow days, school vacations, SUMMER... now I'm going to have two tiny humans dependent on me all day long on those days that feel like weeks.

4. Two kids in daycare. Daycare's expensive for one, now we're going to double that. Geniuses that we are that thought didn't weigh nearly as heavy on our decision as it probably should have.

3. Morning sickness with a toddler. No what's worse than throwing up multiple times a day for 15 weeks? Doing it with a two year old who incessently asks "you okay?". No, I'm not okay kid, and you clinging to me like velcro certainly isn't making me feel any better.

2. 8 months of freedom was not enough- By freedom I'm totally talking about having my body to myself for a bit. That's right, I had eight pathetically short months after Fynn stopped nursing before I voluntarily took on the task of loaning out part of my body to a tiny little human who totally doesn't appreciate my sacrifice.

1. Two kids. Yup, getting pregnant again eventually leads to being the parent of TWO KIDS. What was I thinking? I don't even know if the first one is going to turn out to be a half-way decent human being, why would I think I'd be capable of raising yet another one? By the time we figure out how screwed up Fynn is, this second one is going to be 95% screwed up. Probably should have thought that one through. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Conversations with Fynn

*As an ambulance goes by while we're in the car*

Fynn: What's that?
Me: An ambulance, it's going to help people who need help.
Fynn: I need help!

We know kid, we know

*After passing a school bus one morning*

Fynn: I want to ride that bus
Me: When you're older you can ride the bus
Fynn: I'm old!
Me:You have to be 5 years old to ride the bus, how old are you Fynnie?
Fynn: I'm five.

I love the conversations you get to have with toddlers. They almost make up for the temper tantrums and refusal to wear pants... almost. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Reads

Know how you can tell September was a busy and hectic month? By my pathetic list of books I read last month. Seriously, I'm ashamed of myself. I can usually find just a few minutes throughout the day to get lost in a good book, but more often than not this month it didn't happen. Between not running and not reading, it's no wonder I'm feeling so blah overall! My goal this school year is to read 40 books; 10 more than my goal for last year. 

1. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I've never seen the movie, but something about this book just drew me in and I had to read it. I love historical fiction novels like this, especially ones that are older. This is a L-O-N-G book, exceedingly long. Honestly there were parts where I was just annoyed with the fact that it kept going on, but then something would happen and I'd be sucked in again. I wanted to both slap and hug Scarlett throughout the book because she's so clueless and selfish it was like she was a small child throughout, rather than a grown woman with kids of her own. The fact that I felt so strongly about her is a major tribute to Mitchell's writing skill. Now that I'm done with it, I really want to see the movie for comparison's sake and because it's such a classic- I just don't know where to find it! Anyone know where I can find the movie for free?

2. What Really Matters for Struggling Readers by Richard Allington
Could you tell? Totally my book for my grad school class this month. Very interesting books, great ideas, and it sparked some great conversations among my classmates. Allington is a great teaching resource as his books are all research-based and practical. He doesn't tip toe around the facts or try to sugar coat the things that need to be changed in education, and that's really refreshing.

3. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
After reading the first chapter, I wasn't sure where the book was going. It was completely different than I was expecting and I wasn't sure if I even really liked it. However, I stuck with it because several people had told me what a great book it was, so I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm so glad I did because the rest of the book was phenomenal. The book alternates between taking place in the 1920's and 2011, and of course there is a connection between the characters that you figure out way before the author acknowledges it. Heart-wrenching and bittersweet this book taught me a lot about the Orphan Train movement and the people who were affected by it. Before the book, I had never heard of that time period and I was really surprised by all the information about it that was included after the story. There were some great pictures and descriptions of what life was like for those kids. 

4. Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
After reading All Fall Down last month, I headed to the W section of the library to look for more of her books. I loved them back when In Her Shoes first came out, but then lost interest and lost track of her books for a bit. Fly Away Home was just as good of a read as All Fall Down was. The characters in this book were believable and flawed and just plain interesting. The book is based around several members of the same family, both the ways in which they're intertwined and the ways in which they are disconnected. I loved the way characters grew and changed along with their story lines and I was a little bummed out when the book ended because I really wanted to see where they went next. 

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