Lesson Plans and La Leche Meetings

trying to balance life as both mommy and teacher

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*I’m not going to even address the fact that this is waaaay overdue. Well I guess I just kinda did, so let’s just leave it at that.


Dear Macklin,

It’s hard to believe that it has been one whole year since you made your appearance on the night of the Blood Moon lunar eclipse. As I look back through pictures from one year ago, I’m filled with pride, longing, and of course tears. Even though you were born over 9 pounds, you were still so tiny compared to the big toddler looking boy that you are now. The days of snuggling your sweet newborn self seemed so long ago and so fleeting. What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days just to smell your little (big) head and feel your warm body sprawled out on my chest.

Of course, I wouldn’t trade the days we have with you now. You are so entertaining and I truly enjoy playing with you/chasing after you. You are still obsessed with all kinds of balls and are an expert at fetch. You screech “dall” anytime you see a ball and immediately must have it in your hands. You still get into all sorts of mischief, but the adorable little grin you give me when I say, “No Macklin” is enough to make me not care that you are singlehandedly destroying our house (maybe a slight exaggeration). You have started to really get into books and being read to…and ripping the pages but that’s besides the point. I got Dad a basketball A-Z book for Father’s Day and you could sit and look at it for a good 20 minutes which is hours in baby time. Your other faves are Goodnight Gorilla, I Love You Stinky Face, and Five Little Monkeys. 

Eating and talking are a couple of your other most liked hobbies. You are up to two scrambled eggs for breakfast and are pretty much a bottomless pit at dinner time. You easily can eat more than your sister (which isn’t saying much because picky toddlers), and are rivaling my portion sizes. I can already foresee our grocery bills getting astronomical as you get older. You seem to be saying more and more words each day, which is a stage I absolutely love. Right now, you’re saying mama, dada, yay yay (for Elliot), Pa (my dad), La La (Justin’s sister), wa wa (water), dog, buh bye (with the cutest little wave), mo (more), go, and ah done (all done). I think you know you have to hone in your language skills if you ever want to get a word in and be heard with little miss chatterbox big sis.

I absolutely adore you, Mackles, and I cannot wait to see you continue to learn and grow into toddlerhood. Even if it does make me just the tiniest bit sad.



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Dear Macklin…x2

*So I’ve become a really terrible blogger/mother for not staying up to date on these posts, and now I have some major catching up to do. Because you know I can’t just skip two months of Macklin’s life in his virtual baby book (let’s be real this is his only baby book. Mom fail, again). With T-4 days until the big numero uno, I figured I should take a short jaunt down memory lane.




Dear Macklin,

How can it be that my sweet baby is turing into a little monster toddler?!? You keep me on my toes every second of every day. If I turn my back on you for even the shortest amount of time, you are most definitely half way up the stairs or knocking down any and all picture frames that are within arms reach. Or pulling the trim off the sliding glass door. Or unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper. And taste testing it. Or dumping the dog dishes upside down and mopping up the water with your onesie. I use that as an opportunity to say the floors have been mopped so that last one I’m not too concerned about. And I promise I’m not a neglectful mother, but you get into these predicaments so quickly!

Although you cause quite a bit of mischief, you are also the sweetest lover boy. Probably your number one word right now is “mama” and I don’t mind it a bit. It never gets old seeing you reach your chubby little hands up towards me and calling for me. You sprawl your arms out into great big hugs and are learning to give those wet, open mouth baby kisses. Usually followed by a bite. Tormenting your sister is the name of your game and you prefer to “play” with her toys more than anything else. And by play I mean steal and immediately put into your mouth. Which sends E into a tizzy because now said toy is all drool-y and has to be washed right away. Your other favorite love has become balls, which Dad is pretty pumped about. You sit in front of your mini basketball hoop throwing down dunks for a good period of time, excitedly squealing “baw” over and over again.

You are getting into one of my favorite ages because you are learning new things every day and when we try to teach you something, you actually will repeat it. You have really caught on to signing, and you try to say new words each day. You are getting closer and closer to walking on your own, which I’m not sure I’m quite ready for.

I’m getting glimpses of toddler Macklin every day, and it’s both exciting and heartbreaking. Time goes so darn fast and I know that I’m going to blink and hardly remember this stage at all, so I’m trying to soak it all in while I can. Here’s to hoping you stay my baby just a little bit longer!

I love you so, so much!






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So this happened…


I’m not sure how I feel about it. The bigger part of me is super proud of what a sweet, smart, funny, and brave  little girl Elliot has grown up to be. But there’s a small part of my heart that aches for my baby back. I mean how did we get here already?! We both did good today, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a tiny sliver of me that was hoping she’d squeeze me tight and not let me go at drop-off. I guess the fact that she didn’t just means we’ve done our job and raised an independent and confident little lady who is ready to leave our nest. *Tear*

Like mother, like daughter in the squinting department.


Clearly, the feeling is mutual here.


Here’s to our next adventure, life with a preschooler!

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Come With Me…

…And you’ll be…in a world of pure imagination…

Okay, that’s enough. My blog game has clearly been on point lately so I thought I’d add to it by posting about events that took place over a month ago. Because they don’t happen unless they’re blogged about, right??

Anyways, those of you who know me, know that I’m a sucker for a good themed party. So I was delighted when Elliot decided on Willy Wonka as her birthday party theme of choice. I went straight to my go-to source of creativity and began making lists. And lists. And lists. No lie, I had at least 6 different lists on my phone in regards to her party. Eh, whatever keeps you organized I guess.

Instead of typing out every itty bitty detail, I’m just going to go ahead and do a photo dump from Elle Belle’s par-tay to get everyone up to speed. Oh and one noteworthy tidbit about the day: Elliot woke up feeling not great so after all the weeks of hard work and planning, she somewhat enjoyed herself, but girlfriend was not her normal self. Major bummer for us both. Oh well, onwards and upwards…

Entering Wonka’s factory…errr….our house:


The traditional pre-party family picture:


This photo just exudes happiness, don’t ya think? Maybe if we switch children…



Moving on to the activities:

The inventing room was a fan favorite.


The lickable wallpaper was not. Perhaps it was because Elliot was the only little who had seen the movie and didn’t think I was completely bonkers for getting the go ahead to lick the wall. It got a couple licks from Elliot (and maybe the dogs after the party) so it wasn’t a total wash.


The awesome dessert spread created by our go-to cupcake guru. These might’ve been my favorite cupcakes she’s made for us to date. And for the record, we served more than chocolate and sugar. The meal included tomato soup, roast beef sandwiches, and blueberry pie pops (seems like a bizarre meal especially for the middle of July, but if you’ve watched the movie a zillion times like we have, you’ll get it).

Elliot was able to enjoy one of those. No surprise there.


And probably my favorite picture from the day, Elliot and her “boyfriend” (her words not mine). I love when my friends go along with my themes (Rhys is Mike Teavee and shame on you if you didn’t know that).


Some might say I go over the top a little *cough Justin cough*, but I do it because I really do enjoy it and of course because I love to make my kids happy on their special day. Now on to planning a first birthday party! A month away…eeek! I better hop to it!

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elliot zero

elliot one

elliot two

elliot three

Dear Elliot,

My sweet, sassy, smart three-year-old girl. Three years. THREE YEARS! It’s been three years since I first held your 7 lb. 2 oz. of perfection. Three years since I first laid eyes on you. Three years since I fell completely, head-over-heels in love with your little person.

You and I will always have a special bond. You are my first baby, the one who made me a mother. I think we have learned equally as much from each other in these first three years. I have taught you how to walk, talk, sing, and count. You have taught me patience, pure joy, unconditional love, and how to see things through your eyes.

As your baby and toddler years come to a close and we begin this new chapter as a preschooler, a little girl, a KID, I find myself not nearly as emotional as I thought I would be. Sure I have moments when I hold up one of your old onesies or go through the hundreds (thousands?) of pictures saved to my computer from the last three years and have a good cry. BUT I am so excited for what’s ahead in your life. Your eyes twinkle with wonder when you see something that you think is magical. You’re full of curiosity and you yearn to learn and know things. You want to be a big girl and make friends and do things on your own, yet you still want your mom and dad to cuddle you to sleep and kiss your boo-boos. We kind of have the best of both worlds right now, and I’m kind of loving it.

 Big things are about to happen in your life and I’m so happy that we get to take this wild ride together. No matter where the road takes us, my heart will always be overflowing with love and pride for you.

I love you more than you’ll ever know!




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Dear Macklin…

9 months

Dear Macklin,

My how time is flying! I look at you and can hardly remember the days when you were a tiny, immobile, snuggly little newborn. You’re as sweet as ever, but you have developed a little gleam in your eye that says, “I’m going to cause mischief!” Whenever I catch you heading for something you shouldn’t be getting into, I say your full name (because I mean business) and you pause, turn your head, look at me with that little twinkle in your eye, let out a giggle, then make a break for it double time. It’s the cutest, but I can also see how your toddler years might play out. I think we’re in for it!

You are to the age where every day you are doing something new, which I absolutely love. You have retired from the army crawl and have now mastered the standard hands and knees crawl. You are feeding yourself with your own two hands, which might be my favorite milestone. You are pulling yourself up onto anything that has a place to put your hands. You are consistently saying “dahhg” for dog anytime you see Barkley, Laney, or any other canine. You do something that resembles a wave when we say “bye bye.” You are FINALLY saying “mama”!!! I love this age because we can teach you new things and you actually humor us and echo said new thing. Elliot is (for the most part) enjoying this age too because she can “teach” you things and she is overjoyed when you follow her lead.

I cannot wait to continue to teach you and watch you grow although it brings a tear to my eye that toddlerhood is on the (very distant…I’m in denial) horizon.

I love you soooooooo much!!!




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Dear Elliot…


*I swear I wrote this almost a month ago, but never got around to posting it. Also, thank you for all the phone calls, texts, inquiries, etc. about Justin. All those prayers must’ve done the trick because he is back to feeling almost 100%. Okay, now on to the main course…

Dear Elliot,

You are almost 3 and I can not believe it!! You have turned into a kid right before our eyes and I’m so proud of the kid that you are. Your biggest accomplishment this month has been learning to use the big girl potty. You’re very proud of yourself and make sure to tell anyone who will listen that you’re a big girl now because you don’t wear diapers. You also are very interested in if other people wear underwear like you which makes for some awkward conversations when you ask it about complete strangers (say the person in front of us at the grocery store for example).

Some of my favorite things about you at this age are:

Your quirky sense of style. You want to have a say in EVERYTHING that you wear (which frustrates me sometimes, but I am trying so hard to let you express yourself the way you want). I’ve kept quiet when you want to wear your pink satin Easter dress with your pink Jordan’s to Target (they’re both pink so they match in your eyes). In fact everything must match including hair ties, underwear, and any and all accessories.

Your imagination and creativity. You come up with the wildest things and the best stories. I could listen to you talk all day (and in fact I do 😜).

Your love of learning. Things are holding your attention for longer periods and you enjoy games, numbers, letters, and anything to do with nature. I think you will absolutely love the nature preschool you’re enrolled in because you’ll be able to jump in as many muddy puddles and go on as many bug and rock hunts as your little heart desires.

Your socialite status. You are a social butterfly. Any time you spot a kid you want to go up to them, introduce yourself, and ask their name and age. It has forced my introverted self to become a little more outgoing (as I’m usually dragged along with you). Some kids gladly oblige and will talk with you, but it breaks my heart when a kid ignores you or doesn’t give you the response you want (this is one of my least favorite parts of parenting because in my eyes everyone should love and adore you just as much as we do!)

Your manners. I can see that our constant reminders at home to say please and thank you are paying off when we’re out and about. I’ve had several strangers comment on how nice of manners you have and that makes me so proud.

I have loved every stage of your baby and toddlerhood and I know I’m going to love 3 year old Elliot just as much (maybe more) than 2 year old Elliot.