Lesson Plans and La Leche Meetings

trying to balance life as both mommy and teacher

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Friday Randomness

Long time, no blog. I REALLY want to make it a point to start blogging again because it’s one thing that I enjoy doing for myself (and all my faithful readers of course…lolz). Anyhow, I’ve collected a smorgasbord of items to share on this beautiful Friday afternoon.

  1. We have two walkers on our hands now, and it is no joke! We were just talking the other day about how each stage of parenthood seems so tough when you’re in it, and then you look back, laugh, and realize how easy it was compared to the current stage. For instance, looking back I wonder what the heck I did with all my free time when there was just Elliot, but in the moment, I know I felt like I had none. Then when I had Macklin, I thought managing two kids (toddler and newborn) was the most difficult thing ever. Now, I find myself once again wondering why I thought that was so hard. I mean Macklin would stay in one place and he was a pretty content baby. Now, he is all over the place, and into everything. And Elliot tries to be helpful by holding his hand to keep him on course, but it usually ends in her pulling him to the ground because his little legs can’t keep up. I can’t wait to see what the next stage brings…
  2. We also have two non-sleepers on our hands. Totally, our fault, but they both have difficulty sleeping without a body next to them. We’ve tried pillows, stuffed animals, the dogs, a life sized Cinderella doll, but no. It must be a living, breathing, warm blooded human being. I’m hoping that when Macklin gets a wee bit bigger, they can become cuddle buddies and rely on each other to stay asleep. Wishful thinking? Just let me dream.


    This lasted about 20 minutes before he realized the bear didn’t have a pulse.

  3. Justin’s sister temporarily moved into our basement while she transitions jobs, and it has been the best. Seriously, I highly recommend everyone have a sister-in-law move in. We weren’t sure how things would go, but she has been a dream come true. She cooks, she plays with the kids, she folds our laundry, she brings home the occasional Steak-n-Shake milkshake. I’m not sure who will shed more tears when she moves out, me or the kids!
  4. I was going to do a whole post about it, but after reviewing my blogging habits, I figured I better just write about it now. I *think* Elliot is in the self-weaning process. She rarely asks to nurse and when she does, often times I can distract her with something else. I can say this now (I couldn’t a year ago), but I am so glad I stuck it out throughout my pregnancy, and tandem nursed for this last year. I know it’s not for everyone, but I truly feel like this was how our nursing relationship was supposed to go. Weaning has totally been on her terms and we are ending things on a good, non-stressful note. I used to think people who nursed their kids beyond infancy were weirdos. It wasn’t in my plans to nurse her this long, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way and I’m proud to be that type of weirdo. 😉
  5. We have Elliot’s first parent/teacher conferences coming up in a couple weeks. Say what?? It’s moments like these that having me wondering how time can go by so fast. It’s strange to be on the other side of things, and I’m a little anxious to see what her teachers will tell us. Of course we think she’s the smartest, kindest, funniest 3 year old around, but I realize they may see things differently. Having Elliot in school has really changed my mindset as a teacher. When I am at my wit’s end with a student, I now stop and think about how that kid is the apple of somebody’s eye just like Elliot (and Macklin) is for us. This mindset has made me look harder for the good things about each student, instead of just recognizing the things that they aren’t doing so well because I know that’s how I would want my children’s teachers to be. People have said that you become a better teacher when you become a parent, and I’m really seeing that this year.
  6. We are less than two months out from our Disney trip, and I can hardly contain my excitement. Last week we got our itinerary that listed all our character meals, fast passes, and appointment at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, and I literally get teary eyed every time I look at it. I am visualizing Elliot’s awe and amazement, and I am so excited to experience it all through her eyes.  I promise a post highlighting that trip for sure (it just may be months after the fact).
  7. So this happened: img_2818I am cherishing the years of family costumes because I know before long the kids will not be willing participants. I already have ideas floating in my head for next year, but I guess we’ll see what Elliot wants to be and if Macklin will have an opinion by then.
  8. Photo dump:


That’s all she wrote. I’ll be back…soon(ish)…I hope.

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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!!!