High Heels and Hot Deals

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Project 52 - Week 34

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

This kid wants nothing to do with me these days.  The second he sees his friends in the neighborhood, he's gone.  And when I call him to come in he always has an excuse as to why he needs five more minutes.  I love that the neighborhood kids congregate in the yards behind our houses, but unfortunately he's got rather good negotiating skills at quite a young age...

We moved this sweet pea into her big girl bed this weekend and surprisingly she had no problems.  My heart got a little sad as I looked at her tiny body in that huge bed.  I'm sure she would've slept forever in her crib if we let her but unfortunately Baby Sissy will need it here shortly.  Now if she could just get rid of this darn cold and her 39423409 ear infection we'd be golden.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Friday Night Lights...On a Saturday Morning

As summer begins to fade and fall slowly makes the way in, I'm once again reminded of another year that is passing us by just like that.  We are just weeks away from turning into a Party of 5 and let's be real here, I'm holding on to every string of denial that I can.  Not because I'm not excited - I really am excited to venture into the newborn world one final time.  But more so because I am struggling with the thought that my family is growing up and I'm not sure that it's fair.  Mr. Cohen will be 5 in less than two months.
He's in Pre-K this year and already soaking it all up like a little sponge.  I couldn't be prouder of him.  But this fall we decided to get him into some organized activities because the kid is all boy.  He needs to be busy 24-7.  Plus I wanted him to meet some kids his own age that he may recognize when he heads of to Kindergarten next year.  

So what did we decide on?

Flag football my friends.

And guess what else is so amazing about this situation?
His dad is his coach too.

My heart has been so full watching the two of them leave for practice despite the one evening of tears and frustrations from both ends.  But last Saturday was their first game and I don't think I could have smiled anymore watching the two of them work together with their team.  I was a bit nervous at first because Cohen's attention span is the size of a flea's.  But my worries were quickly smashed when he was passed the ball for the first play of the game and ran it down like a little lightning bolt to score his team's first touchdown.  Even though he was technically supposed to pass it off to another kid, Cohen was determined to score and that he did -- TWICE!!!  He played some great defense ripping off those flags and worked like a champ with his teammates passing off the ball to let them score touchdowns too.  Kurtis was a great coach too making sure all the kids got the ball and played together.  Lola and I enjoyed cheering them on from the sidelines and I'm so excited for this Saturday's game to see how much they have improved!

So here's my warning now.  Be prepared to have your feed blown up with adorable football pictures over the next 8 weeks.  

I'm taking my big lens next week...


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Work Smarter, Not Harder - A Teacher's Dream Tool

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#SchoolYearReady #CollectiveBias

It's that time again - back to school time!  We have already been back at it for over three weeks now (and of course I am already down for the count with Bronchitis...) and my gears are turning with new activities and ideas for the school year.  This is my tenth, yes TENTH, year as a teacher and honestly it still is just as hard, if not harder than when I first started the profession.  But I believe that good teachers educate themselves with new and exciting lessons to make the learning experience a fun one.  Every year you will see that each class is different, so I have to switch things up to make sure I'm meeting the needs of everyone in my class.  But the one phrase I ultimately live by in my teaching career has been - "Work smarter, not harder."  Because let's be real here, any teacher knows that your time is precious, especially the lack of time that you are given to plan and create these fabulous lesson plans!

 The tenth year will be a memorable one as you can see.

This year I decided to switch up my math layout because I have some super high math kiddos in my class.  I have decided to incorporate more small groups so I can narrow down my focus of each of the math skills I teach to make sure each student is learning at their level.  I have always done some type of math stations but this year I have decided to make my stations leveled for the groups.  I love creating new math games but as a busy mom of two, well almost three, and with just 50 minutes of prep time a day if I'm lucky, I really need to live by my motto - "Work smarter, not harder."  So each time I make a new math station I plan on laminating it to protect it from the wear and tear of 22 (or really 44) little hands that will play it as well as preserve it for at least a few more years.

Sounds easy, right?

Well it totally would be if our school laminator wasn't on the complete other side of the building and didn't take 50 hours to warm up.  Plus it's the beginning of the year and everyone and their brother has the same idea of course.  For me it's just easier to make my activities at home, so I decided to head to Walmart to stock up on some ink and other teaching supplies for the year.  As I was browsing the stationary aisle and stocking up on more things than I really needed, my eyes caught the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator.  At a price of around $20 I could create, print and now laminate my own work at home!
Insert clapping emoji and throw in the dancing lady one too!
I was pumped!  I grabbed a pack of the Scotch™ Thermal Pouches Letter size 50 pack too so I would be well prepared for my at home laminating adventure.

We are in the process of moving rooms around and preparing for Baby #3, so my office area has been moved to the loft.   The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator is compact enough to keep out on my desk or simply put on a shelf when I'm not using it.  Plus it is super easy to use too!  I am so excited about this tool that I have decided to share one of my math stations with you too!

Here's a link to a game I created for my class to use while focusing on 10 more and 10 less.  The students will work in partners and all you need is this game, two different colored counters and a 20 sided dice.
10 More and 10 Less Partner Game with 20 Sided Dice Printable

Five Simple Steps to Creating Long Lasting Math Stations

1.  Place the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator on a flat, secure surface and turn it on.  Make sure to use the 3 mil setting since you are using standard printer paper.

2.  While the laminator is warming up, prepare your activity and insert it into the Scotch™ Thermal Pouch.  (Sidenote:  don't cut your pouch until AFTER you laminate it!  Otherwise it will jam your fabulous machine!)

3.  When the blue READY light comes come, you are ready to roll!  Adjust the input tray to the width of your pouch and insert your pouch, sealed-edge first.  Be sure to hold on to to it until the laminator pulls it forward.

4.  The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator will pull your pouch right on through.  Let it cool down and double check that it has sealed.  If it is thicker, it may need to go through twice!

5.  Cut and prepare your math station - and remember the beauty of this all is that you were able to do this at home, probably in your yoga pants!

Teaching is something I am truly passionate about and I'm excited to start back with a new group of students each and every year.  I love being able to change things up and try new activities but like everything else, of course that takes time.  This has been by far one of my most favorite teaching tools I have purchased in my career.  I'm serious.  
And teachers, never forget - "Work smarter, not harder." 

Share with me!
I've shared how I'm using Scotch™ Laminating Products to get ready for Back-to-School! What project are you planning to use them for?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Project 52 - Week 33

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

We are in the second week of our flag football season with our first game approaching on Saturday.  Last night he got upset because someone tackled him and as he said, "This is flag football, not tackle football.  We do not tackle, Mom!"  I also think the combination of his late night shenanigans doesn't help the exhaustion.  If someone has any tips on making the kid go to bed early please share them with me.  Like yesterday.

This sweet girl is all about the babies these days, which I'm hoping is a good sign.  She loves to pat her baby on the back, shush her baby and most recently feed baby yogurt at breakfast.  Poor Baby needs a bath but I'm afraid it will ruin baby if we do so.  I'm excited for her birthday and for Santa to bring her some fun stuff for the babies.  I loved dolls so much when I was little and it makes me excited that she is just in love with them too.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans - When It Rains, It Pours

Another week along with another weekend that has passed.  Seriously, every weekend I think, "I could use another day."  But it never magically appears.
What if...

Last week was our first full week back at school for everyone.  Luckily things went off without a hitch and both kids are loving school more and more.  The teachers in Lola's room seemed a bit devastated when I shared that this would be a temporary placement for Lola since I plan on keeping her home with me once baby comes.  I do have to say that I love that her teachers seem to love her just as much as we do.  Cohen has taken quite a liking to Pre-K this year with all of his old buddies.  This weekend he was sharing some things he learned include the fact that there are seven days in a week along with all the days of the week.  The teacher within was quite impressed and I'm excited to see what my little sponge will suck up in the upcoming weeks before he heads to Kindergarten next year.

But what's a first full week without illness, right?  

Friday evening was Kurtis' family night at work.  I'm so mad I didn't take my camera because I could have taken some amazing shots of Cohen on the FlowRider machine and Lola splashing in the kiddy pool.  Parenting fail right there.  Saturday was hot and humid.  Kurtis was on call so it was just me and the kiddos.  Poor Lola has been placed on a morning Miralax regime after her sad afternoon Saturday.  When she woke up from nap all she did was cry and want to be held, which is nothing like that child.  We tried to cheer her up in the pool, which worked for about 10 minutes and then she wanted to be held the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning we awoke to another sunny day but this time my sweet little girl's nose was stuffed to the brim.  Seriously, can't the kid catch a break?  Luckily after a brief morning catnap she seemed back to herself a bit more and was ready to tackle the afternoon.  When Kurtis got home from work he took Cohen on a long bike ride and fishing while Lola (and Mama) enjoyed a three hour nap.  They ventured to the basement to cool down with toons and apparently a nap.  I guess everyone around here naps...but me.  
Hello.  I'm the pregnant one here.

But it's time to attack a new week full of busy plans.  Football practice, doctor appointments and the transferring of rooms is all on the agenda.  Our goal is to have Lola transition into her big girl bed on Friday.  Wish us luck.

Cheers to another Monday past - and one less Monday spent pregnant.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cohen's First Day of PreK

This guy.
I know.  I seriously feel like he was just in my womb waiting to make his ridiculously crazy entrance.  He will be five in October and a big brother again.  There's so much I love about him I can't even explain it.  This summer was a good one.  Yes, it was all about testing my limits and my mommy voice was quite apparent (as well as my scary mommy eyes too he said) but since he has had the structure of school again this kid is amazing.  He wakes up like a big boy and is ready to go to school to see his bestie, Jack.  It makes me so happy that he loves school.  This will be his last year at the school he's attended since he was two.  I'm super sad about it because it was one of the best choices we have made for him, especially after our horrible previous babysitter experience.  But his vocabulary lately is amazing as well as his what he hears -- both good and well, bad.  I had to laugh today because he innocently told me a story about the time Dad drove into the grass because he was looking at his phone.  Yes, totally busted.  He also asks a million questions and is curious about everything and their brother.  Cohen started his first year in Flag Football on Tuesday.  Even with the attention span of a flea, I think it will be a great experience for him and he seems super excited to go back again tonight.  This weekend he will be moved into Lola's room and Lola will be transferred to his room.  My plan is to decorate his room with vintage superhero decor and he's already told me he's ready to go pick out some pictures of his favorite heroes this weekend.  He can name all the Avengers and will politely correct you when you are wrong.  (FYI Bane is not an Avenger.  He's from Batman.  My mistake.)  I'm excited to see how he grows this year as well as how he adjusts to the new baby in just a few months.  Five will be a big year.  And I can't believe I almost have a Kindergartener. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Project 52 - Week 32

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

This sweet boy has officially started Pre-K.  I'll share more about it later this week but I'm quite certain that I blinked and he was all of a sudden this little man.   He also started his football season, which Lola and I are super excited to head to his games to cheer him on!

Lately this one has been a turd in the sleep department.  She will randomly wake up around 4:00 with this horrible wail and make sure everyone else knows she's awake.  Let's just say that doesn't sit well with this mama's 5:30 alarm.  I'd rather be tired and at home then at work all day.  Seriously Lola.  Quit playing games with my heart/sleep/sanity.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans - Summer Colds Blow. Literally.

I survived my first full week of work.  And then decided I would go out with a bang and spend the weekend ridiculously stuffed up.  I mean like to the point where I woke up Saturday night and realized I couldn't breathe so I almost had a panic attack.
True story, peeps.
I'm usually not such a baby with colds but this was a bad one and being pregnant you know there is basically nothing you can take that really works.  So here I am a few days later with a nose that looks like Rudolph and one nostril that is finally unclogged.  Now let's just pray no one else get this junk.

Saturday wasn't too shabby of a day but we spent it pretty low-key.  Sunday was nasty and gloomy.
You win some, you lose some.
However I did get to spend time with these fabulous bedheads.  Lola and I even got to venture out on a lone Target trip.  Thanks to some princess Goldfish we survived for an hour and I got everything I needed to on my list.  I also was able to get caught up on all my DVR shows and enjoy a nap with Cohen in my bed.  For as much as this kid hates sleep he sure loves a good snuggle.

My husband also painted Lola's big girl room and I made him measure and help me put up her gold dots.  Here's a sneak peek of what we have so far and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't obsessed.  I hope to finish it up this weekend and then I'll share more with you as soon as it's done.  We also plan on being brave and attempting to transition Lola into her big girl bed.  Crossing our fingers...

Here's to a new week that hopefully goes by fast without any illness!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Meet the Doozers + Giveaway

My first weekend after a full week of work and how did I spend it?  Sick of course.  With gloom and rain.  Luckily I was able to introduce Cohen and Lola to some new friends - the Doozers!  Both kids were completely enthralled and I loved the science and music themes throughout both movies.  Plus the cuteness of these Doozers totally helps too!

Let me introduce you to these sweet little friends!

Doozers: Meet the Pod Squad!
Welcome to Doozer Creek where the Doozers live!  They’re green.  They’re cute.  They’re three inches tall and they’re full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm!
Meet the Pod Squad: Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel, who bounce from one fabulous kid adventure to the next. They love to DESIGN, CREATE, and INNOVATE.  These Doozers are DOERS – they put their ideas into action and always manage to have a fantastic time!  Enjoy eight STEM-based adventures with the Doozers!

Doozers: Pod Squad Boogie!
Welcome to Doozer Creek where the Doozers live!  They’re green.  They’re cute.  They’re three inches tall and they’re full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm!
The Pod Squad is performing in the Starlight Concert, but when they hear other Doozers singing, the group decides they need to do something unique to stand out from the crowd. Using the sights and sounds around them, they each discover their own favorite sound and invent new instruments inspired by them.  Enjoy seven other stories focusing on music, dance, and art all with science tie-ins!
Doozers will be available for purchase at Target beginning this month and all other retail outlets in September.
But I thought I'd be nice and give you a chance to win both of these adorable DVDs for your home collection - just enter the Rafflecopter below!

Disclosure:  I was provided a product sample for my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Project 52 - Week 31

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

Today was a rough day in the listening department.  As I stopped his attempt to take his roller coaster car down the slide, apparently I gave him "scary eyes."  He ran to his room crying that I scared him because I had scary eyes.  I guess I have some magic eyes?  Or they are bloodshot with bags from an exhausting week.  Either way, score for Madre!

This one is quite the parrot lately.  She was singing, "Poop! Poop! Poop!" like her brother in the bathtub tonight.  She also chased her brother to his room as he was put there for a time out with her finger wagging in the air and yelling, "Go Coco!"  However, the other day I gave her a stern warning to stop and she looked me straight in the eyes and yelled, "No, YOU STOP!"  
Oh hell nah....


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Baby #3 - 30 Weeks

Let me preface this post with two important (and obvious) announcements:
1.  My husband needs some serious photography lessons.  And your "I'm too tired to take a picture" nonsense is well, bullshit.

2.  I need to stop taking these pictures at 9:00 after a full day of work.

 I feel like when you hit the 30 week mark it seems pretty monumental.  I'm down to my two week doctor visits which made everything feel just a little bit more real.  I know, you're thinking, "How can you be pregnant and not feel like this is NOT real?"  Well people, trust me.  You can.  Now that the wood floors have been laid and the granite placed, I have pushed my husband upstairs to get going on the bedrooms.  I've been selling all of Cohen's clothes as I clean out his closet to prepare his move to his new room and Kurtis made me have a bit of a panic attack today.  He thought it would be funny if "she" really was a "he" instead.  My reply was that he will really enjoy his gray and pink mermaid themed room then - because I won't change it.  Speaking of mermaid room I scored my mermaid lamp for half off -- holla!  

I also got Lola a super cute pink duvet cover from Pottery Barn.  Once the rooms are painted and rearranged I'll share those projects.  This week's goal is to paint at least Baby Girl's room since Kurtis took three days off this week.  I have decided to head back to work for just two months until Baby arrives and take the rest of the year off.  I have a pretty good class so I feel fairly comfortable leaving them to my sub.  My goal this year is to not have my water break at school though...

Here's what's been having lately!
Due date:  October 12th - I just told Kurtis I was ready for Fall.  He laughed and thought I was joking.  I wasn't. 

Gender: Team Pink At least I hope so.  Now Kurtis has me worried... As far as a name I thought we had one picked out and then the husband changed his mind.  But don't worry, he will change his mind back because I have pretty much envisioned this baby as this name.

How do I feel? I'm started to get Braxton Hicks more often and they last longer.  I also cannot breathe until I'm standing up or sitting completely straight.  Then my feet get tired and I have to sit.  I know, #fattyproblems.  Since going back to work I've been too exhausted to not sleep so if I do wake up to one of the kids, I have no problems falling right back to sleep.  Waking up to an alarm sucks.

Cravings/Aversions? Beer.  Champs.  Beer.  But food in general has been giving me heartburn, something I never really had before.  Maybe that means I will birth a child with hair this time around?

How do my clothes fit?  I have like six work outfits I on a rotating schedule.  I refuse to buy anything now because once I have this baby I'm selling all of my maternity clothes anyways.  Luckily I can live in dresses and maxi skirts so I'm hoping this will be the norm until she arrives.  
Sleep:  The restless legs still are around but those damn Charlie horse cramps too!  I had one Friday morning and my leg hurt until Sunday. 

Movement: All I feel are feet or elbows I think.  She kicks to the right side of me constantly and doesn't usually want to let up.  I had a panic moment where one day she was really quiet and I contemplated calling the doctor.  The next day she was whipping and nae naeing in there.

My Exercise Routine: I can not express how much I love my Barre Amped video.  I can do a workout before bed or if I feel really motivated I'll wake up and do one.  But that is very rare these days.  We also go on walks in the evenings so I'm still getting some exercise. 

Tomorrow I head to the doctor to get on a scale and cry.  Then it's really the end of the road from here.  I'll have 2 more two week appointments before I start my once a week once.  Oh Lord, help me because here we go!