Growing Up

It’s bittersweet for me to say that Emily will be starting preschool in less than two weeks. She is so excited! I am a mess. I’m excited for her, but also a mix of amazed, worried, proud, sad, eager…

Being a teacher, I’ve always heard parents marvel at how quickly their child has grown up. I never gave it much thought until my daughter turned 4, when I realized that it would soon be her turn to start school. She missed the birthday cutoff to attend last year, so now this is it. Now it’s my turn to marvel.

Buying the school supplies was surprisingly fun! More for me than for her, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s something almost magical about a new box of crayons or pack of lined paper. They hold so much promise for learning and the school adventures to come. Anybody else feel that way?…..Anybody?……

Without a doubt, she’s going to love learning so many new things in Junior Kindergarten! She’s one smart cookie, if I do say so myself. But still, I worry she might not fit in, or she might be too headstrong, or that she’ll learn the hard truth that not everyone knows how to play nicely. It’s the age-old dilemma of wanting to release her into the world, and yet keep her safe and sound in the comforts of our home.

One bonus is that she will be attending junior kindergarten at the school where I teach 3rd grade. I can sort of keep an eye on her, all the while chanting, “I will not be a helicopter mom. I will NOT be a helicopter mom” in my head repeatedly. I don’t expect any special treatment, but if you’re reading this and you work with me, please keep an eye on my dear little girl, too. Thanks.

A Life List

In a mere 2 and a half years, I will be turning 40. My older brother passed away when he was that age, and so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Thinking about my life. ย Thinking about how many blessings I’ve been fortunate to experience or have to call my own. Thinking about what other goals I hope to accomplish. Thinking about life in general…

I found a bucket list floating around Facebook and decided to adapt it here for my blog to make it more of a “life list.” Looking over the list, you will see that there are some things that I don’t think anyone would want to experience! But that’s how life is. We have to take the good with the bad.ย The heart icon indicates that I’ve done the item. If you would like me to elaborate on any of them, please let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

  • Fallen in love ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Gone on a blind date
  • Been Married ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Had children ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been divorced
  • Had a pet ย ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Watched someone give birth
  • Watched someone die ๐Ÿ’œ ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
  • Skipped school ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Started up own company
  • Been fired from a job
  • Been to Canada
  • Been to Hawaii ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to Europe ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to Las Vegas ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to Washington D.C ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to New York City ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to Nashville
  • Been to Los Angeles ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Visited Florida ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Visited Mexico ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Seen the Grand Canyon ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Seen the Northern Lights
  • Ridden on a motorcycle
  • Flown in a helicopter
  • Ridden in a hot air balloon
  • Ridden on an elephant
  • Been on a cruise ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Served on a jury ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been in a movie
  • Danced in the rain
  • Played in a band
  • Been to a concert ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Did karaoke ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Laughed so much you cried ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Caught a snowflake on your tongue ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been sledding on big hill ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been snowboarding ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been water skiing
  • Ran a marathon/race ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to a professional sport event ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Traveled to all 50 states
  • Jumped out of a plane ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been to a drive-in movie ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been in a theatrical productionย ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been on TV
  • Been in the newspaper ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Had something publishedย ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Met someone famous ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Broken a bone
  • Gotten stitches ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Ridden in an ambulance ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Stayed in the hospital ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Donated blood ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Gotten a piercing ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Gotten a tattoo
  • Shot a gun ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Driven a stick shift vehicle ๐Ÿ’œ
  • Been scuba diving
  • Ridden in the back of a police car
  • Gotten a speeding ticket
  • Studied abroad ๐Ÿ’œ

I Am More

I am more than just a mommy…

I am a nurse. I can make bumps and boo-boos better with lots of hugs and kisses, and soothe tummy aches and fevers with mint tea or a cool wash cloth.

I am a teacher. Not only do I teach my children the alphabet, shapes, and numbers, I also teach them about empathy, consideration, right from wrong, and social skills.

I am an artist. I create beautiful masterpieces with crayons and a coloring book, all under the watchful eye of my 4-year-old daughter. It’s important for her to know that art is about creativity, not perfection.

I am a super hero. I make bad dreams less scary with a reassuring hug. I find missing shoes just when all hope is lost for them. I replace old batteries and fix broken toys.

I am a chef. I take my children’s health and well-being into consideration when I plan and lovingly prepare delicious meals, also knowing that breast-feeding my baby boy is the best nourishment I can give him.

I am an entertainer. I can create fantastic bed-time stories, sing silly songs and lullabies, dance along to music with my daughter, and make-believe wonderful things using my imagination.

I am a judge. I listen to all sides of the argument, carefully consider the evidence and motivation, and dole out the appropriate consequences to those found to have done wrong. Usually it’s Emily who is at fault, not our dog who she oftenย blames.

I am a friend. I provide guidance, support, a shoulder to cry on, and loyalty. When my children get out of line, I am the first to remind them that they can try harder and/or do better. When times are tough, I cheer them on and encourage them to keep going. I listen to their problems and am someone they can trust. I love them unconditionally and I love them forever.

I am all of these things and so much more.

12 Fun Things That Happened As a Teenager That Just Arenโ€™t the Same When Youโ€™re an Adult

I honestly just stumbled across this on the Internet and since it spoke to my heart, I thought I would share it with you. Number 12 is especially true for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ The link is below.

 

Photo credit: thoughtcatalog.com

“I used to imagine how I would be as an adult when I was a teenager. Now as I look back I reminisce the days when I was a teenager.”

Source: 12 Fun Things That Happened As A Teenager That Just Arenโ€™t The Same When Youโ€™re An Adult | Thought Catalog

The Truth About Being a Working Mom

This article from The Bump.com (see link below) pretty much sums up my life right now with trying to juggle being the mommy of my 2 precious children, a loving wife, a productive teacher, a fun friend, and my quirky self. It is not easy!ย I often take work home with me. Some days I don’t eat breakfast until about 10 am. The mail piles up all week until I can sort through it on the weekend. It is taking me forever to finish reading a novel that I started a couple of months ago. A few of my friends probably think I’ve disappeared. It’s difficult to find time to write for this blog… You get the idea.

—Andie

The Truth About Being a Working Mom — Know what to expect after maternity leave. Get the inside scoop on what a working mom’s life is like.

Source: The Truth About Being a Working Mom – Your Life – Parenting

The Joys of Christmas

I love this time of year!

There’s my birthday and of course, Christmas. Mugs of delicious hot chocolate to sip. Twinkling lights all around the city. Decorating our Christmas tree and house so that everything is festive. Favorite movies such as The Holiday, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Serendipity,ย and Love Actually.ย Cozy nights spent by the fireplace. Holiday parties to attend…

Santa blog

My two children are my greatest joys and blessings!

As a mommy of a 4-year-old daughter and a newborn son, there are just so many joys for me this holiday season:

  • hearing the oohs and aahs from my daughter, Emily, as we drive down streets festively lit up with beautiful and bright yard displays
  • buying fun, funky, and unique gifts for my nieces, nephew, students, and my children
  • cherishing the smiles from my newborn son, Logan, and hearing his first giggles
  • seeing my mother lovingly cut out and glue homemade ornaments with my daughter
  • eating all of the delicious treats (homemade or not) given to us by various friends
  • reading the heartfelt messages written to me by my students in their Christmas cards
  • feelingย how the holiday spirit brings out the love and generosity in others–so heart warming!
  • watchingย the excitement grow in Emily when she opens each little window of her Advent calendar as we approach Christmas
  • baking banana bread with Emily because that’s what she wants to give her Nana (my mom) for a Christmas gift
  • loving my family and friends a bit more than usual because I know that our time together here on Earth is not unlimited
  • delighting in all of the warm wishes I received for my birthday, which is 4 days before Christmas
  • being thankful for my life and for my children, which I know are the most precious gifts God has ever given me
  • enjoying my 2-week-long Winter Break with my family (a perk of being a teacher)
  • experiencing the joy and magic of the holiday season through the anticipation and delightย of my children

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for your continued support of my blog and we’ll see you next year!

He’s Here!

Well, it’s almost a month later, but I am finally getting around to announcing the birth of our baby here on my blog! Our bundle of joy, Logan, was born on September 30 after a very short 4-hour labor.

wpid-20151001_091922.jpg

This little guy is such a blessing! He lets me sleep a little bit longer at night than my daughter did when she was a newborn. I’m still sleep-deprived, but I don’t feel like a zombie. He reminds me to be patient, which is a character trait I have struggled with for a while now. ย All seems right in the world when he is cuddled up in my arms and has such a sweet, serene expression after being nursed. He brings out maturity and responsibility in Emily, who loves being a big sister. She happily throws away his dirty diapers and lovingly kisses him on the head when he cries. My mother adores Logan and, since someone mentioned that he resembles my late brother when he was a baby, she has a look of bittersweet joy in her eyes every time she looks at him. (One of his middle names is Thomas, after my brother.) With his innocent and wide-eyed baby gaze, Logan eases some of the stress my husband has after a long day teaching his high-school students. Even our dogs, Porkchop and Beans, seem happy that there is another member in their pack.

In short, Logan completes my little family in such a perfect way. โค

My little cuddle monster.

My little cuddle monster.

A Blog Post from Babble

Even though it’s a year old, I just read the following heart-warming article on Babble.com and thought it was worth sharing here on my blog. The timing of discovering this article seems to be just perfect, because this will be my life in a couple of weeks when I have my baby boy. I’m nervous, but I’m also excited! I feel blessed that God has trusted me with my little family of my precious nearly 4-year-old daughter and my son, who will be joining us soon. โค Please click on the link below.

(PS: The article was not written by me or anyone I know.)


Everything they don’t tell you about being a little boy’s mama, and more on Babble.

Source: What It Really Means To Be a Little Boy’s Mama โ€” Babble

Mommy Necessities

It happens to all of us…

You are in Buy Buy Baby, armed with your scanner gun, ready to fill up your baby registry. Excitement is building as you dream of your little one! Then you take a look at the sheer size of the store, not knowing where to begin. Panic sets in. What if I don’t scan the right items? How do I know what I will need right away and need later? What if my baby doesn’t like the items I’ve picked out? What if I get too carried away and want to scan everything? (This last one almost happened to me, but luckily my dear hubby saved me.)

Completing a baby registry is usually quite fun, yet it can be so daunting (and tiring) if you have no clue what is necessary for your baby or what will never end up being used. So with the help of my good friend and fellow mommy, Jacey, we’re here to help! We’ve compiled the following list of only some of the most essential items we feel are needed for a new mom. (Please note that this list is only a bare minimum. If we were to list everything, we’d be here for quite a while and you’d end up feeling overwhelmed.) Since I’m going to be having a newborn again soon in a couple of months, this is a great time for me to start thinking about what I used for my daughter and what I will need to get for my son.

As a general reminder, be sure to register for both pricey and inexpensive items. You may luck out and have a couple of people pitch in for a big ticket item like a crib! Score!

  • You must have a safe, age-appropriate car seat if you plan on doing any traveling with your baby. Even if you are planning on keeping baby at home for a while, away from germs, loud noises, and strangers, you will have to take your newborn to the pediatrician for check-ups.
  • Burp clothes are a must, unless you don’t mind getting baby’s spit-up on your clothes and smelling like sour milk all day.
  • Diapers and wipes! It goes without saying that your baby is going to go through a ton of diapers, so register for different brands and sizes. Sometimes the cheaper generic ones work, sometimes they won’t. You won’t know until you try them out. (A helpful hint: if you end up getting tons of packages of newborn-sized diapers, which your baby will quickly out grow, you can always take them back to the store and exchange them for bigger sizes.)
  • Onesies. These simple outfits will keep your baby clothed, are easy to open at the crotch for diaper changes, and there are so many stylish ones available.
  • Infant gas drops saved both my daughter and me many tears. Before I knew about these drops, Emily would cry and fuss from the gas pressure and pain in her belly, and it would just break my heart feeling like a helpless mommy who couldn’t provide comfort to her baby. A friend of mine told me about these wonderful drops, and they provided relief for my daughter.
  • A diaper pail should be considered. The smell of diapers is not something you want building up in your regular household trash cans! Pretty much all brands of diaper pails will seal shut each time you place a new dirty diaper in it, therefore sealing away any offending odors. The one I had was also pretty easy to change once it got full.
  • Lastly, you might want to consider registering for some bottles, even if you plan on breastfeeding. There may come a time when your husband wants to feed the baby, and he’ll need a way to do that with your milk. (Bonus points to him if he does one of the nighttime feedings so that you can sleep just a little bit longer!) Or if you return to work, your baby will need a way to drink the milk you’ve pumped. I am a big fan of Dr. Brown’s Bottles.

Have fun, take a snack with you, and don’t worry if you go overboard. Enjoy being a first time mom.ย Now get to scanning!

Finding My “Sole” Mate

Anybody who knows me knows how much I loveย shoes. Most of my closet is devoted to my shoe collection. This collection has been a growing obsession of mine as I’ve filled it with wedges, slides, sandals, sneakers, heels, slippers, boots, flats, etc over the years. For casual days, I turn to my fabulous, red, low top Converse All-Stars. For jogging, I know I can count on my purple Brooks Flow2 running shoes. I was told about them by a fellow runner/friend and they’ve been a great investment. For a special night out on the town, it’s my gold, strappy Melania heels from Ann Taylor Loft. They are simply gorgeous shoes.

I especially love high heels. I am well aware of how bad they are for my feet/legs/back, but there’s something so powerful about strutting down a hallway, being a couple of inches taller than I normally am. My runner’s calves look fierce in heels. I feel feminine and strong in heels. (Interestingly though, I am not much of a fan of platform heels. I know my height limits.)

So here I am, 25 weeks pregnant with my second child and of course, a number of my shoes are collecting dust. My feet are longing to put on something with a little bit of vertical joy, but alas, my baby belly and common sense remind me of my safety.

What’s more is that my husband and I are going to Europe later this month for a couple of weeks, and I am having some doubts about my shoe choices. (With my first child, I think I wore mostly flats and flip-flops.) Nothing I own seems to be the right shoes for a European vacation when I will be in my third trimester of pregnancy.

And so, I’ve set out to find a pair of cute (yet sensible) sandals for a pregnant woman to wear whilst strolling around the lovely British countryside and the romantic streets of Paris.ย 

So far, my results have been dismal. And discouraging. Many of the sales clerks have directed me to shoes that would be more fitting for a 70-year-old woman. I suppose this is because most shoes made for younger women aren’t really designed with comfort in mind. In my closet, a shoe without a certain amount of moxie just doesn’t belong. But I want comfort and style without having to pay too much. So my quest continues.

I was recently given a gift card to the online store, Zappos. Oh. My. Goodness. Hundreds and hundreds of shoes at the click of a mouse button! After refining my search a little bit (narrowed it down to tan/brown, less than 1.5 inch tall sandals), I think I may have found a pair of shoes that will work for me! They will be delivered (for free!) around Friday and so we shall see if they make my feet happy and this pregnant shoe-maven feel less frumpy. Fingers crossed!