Saturday, August 31, 2013

oh hey, I'm 43 weeks old

lately, life is all about standing
I stand everywhere, all by myself
and just to show off how strong my legs are
I like standing up from a sitting position
no hands to help me up, all leg muscles
my other favorite past time is to move all of our furniture
my parents just don't seem like they know where to put the stuff
so I show them new ways to configure our coffee table
the bar stools are always put in the same place, so I like to mix it up
and my favorite furniture pieces to move are the kitchen chairs
because man, they move so easily
mom now has her phone ready to go at all times
because any day now, I'll probably be taking my first steps
we will just have to wait and see
tooth number seven has officially made it's appearance
and I'm eating three meals a day of "real" food
a nice little mixture of solids, purees, and of course, boobie snacks
my high chair is still my favorite place to hang out
[as long as there are blueberries present]
and I'm getting in a little more play time in my crib and play pen
hopefully, next week mom will have a better photo of me standing
but hey, at least she has a few cute pictures of me in my high chair
until next week
-Everly Mae

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

you are now entering a mini meltdown

Hey, remember way back when, like a couple of weeks ago when I said I was ready to go back to work?  Yeah, that lasted a few days.  I have been trying to hang on, but today, I had a meltdown.  The kind of meltdown when you find yourself not only crying in front of your teaching partner, but also your principal.  Thankfully, these two people are amazingly supportive, and get my emotions, but still, not so smooth.  This year feels like my first year of teaching all over again.  Once again, I find myself following in the teaching shoes of a legend at my school, and everything I do and say is compared to that legacy.  Once again, I need to not "rock the boat" and go with the established program, but that can be oh so challenging to do.  I'll be asked if I gave the spelling test today, and I didn't even have spelling on my teaching radar.  Right now I feel like all of my time is being spent in the classroom doing everything but working on my lesson plans.  Between being out of the classroom for district required trainings or professional development, losing prep time assisting teachers on campus roll out the online based assessments I trained them on last week, or trying to figure out how to get almost thirty chaperones cleared and ready for a week long science camp we are attending in October, I never seem to find a single minute to focus on my teaching.

I need to work until 5, or 7, like every day, and mind you, I get to work before 7 in the morning.  But guess what?  I can't do that, because I've got a baby who needs me too, and I want to be with her so bad.  I have now officially pushed my workday so that I literally see the Mr. for five minutes before he is off to work.  And let's not even get into how bad that sucks right now.

I know that I will start to get everything under control.  And that I just need to take things day by day, but I HATE teaching that way.  Next week you ask?  Nope, I have no idea what is coming.  And that was never how I operated, and can't be the way I roll for much longer.  Because teaching one day at a time quickly begins to feel like you are trapped in a drowning car.  Ok, that might be dramatic, but I already explained the tears, didn't I?!?

Thankfully, I have amazing students.  I have a happy and healthy family.  And I am so thankful for these things.  Everything else that is giving me stress hives will just need to wait, and I'll get to it.  Probably not today.  Most likely not tomorrow, but some time.  I'll get to it.

And because I was too busy having an emotional moment in my class this afternoon, I don't have any school related photos to go with this post.  So I'll share a few of Everly's serious face photos I took last week.  Not a bad way to end this post, if I do say so myself.

Monday, August 26, 2013

chewbeads [mommy approved]

I'm not a designer purse girl, or into name brand clothing.  But guess what?  This girl likes her some mommy goods.  With that being said, my jewelry has survived pretty well the first nine months of being a mom, but let's just say the beads have hit the floor lately, literally.  My babe is strong, and teething, and playful, and I needed to find a better option, because my super old forever 21 necklaces just weren't cutting it anymore.  I had seen some of the teething necklaces before in those yuppie mommy boutiques, and never really paid too much attention to them.  However, last week I decided to do a little online search, stumbled onto Chewbeads, and made an order.  The Mr. and I still had some Amazon gift card money from our Easter egg change loot, so I made the big purchase.  The necklace isn't a bargain, but manageable, and when it came in the mail today, I was pretty excited.  And guess who else is pretty happy with this purchase...

Everly and I were having fun with these beads today.  They are great for gnawing on and they have a really pleasant scent to them [the scent I wish our Sophie giraffe had!].  I really loved when I would start chewing on a bead with Everly and she would give me the silliest look, and take the beads from me, like, mom, these are for me.  So, bottom line, I totally recommend this necklace.  It comes in a ton of colors, and a couple of styles, and I kind of want another one.  [See, mom product obsessed, guilty as charged].  

Friday, August 23, 2013

yep, I'm twenty-nine today

seriously everly, you don't need to cry about it
your mom loves the number twenty-nine
it sounds about right for a career woman of seven years
married for five years
mama to the most amazing baby girl ever for almost ten months
in check with her pyrex obsession [pretty stable at 98 pieces]
still doing the happy dance her master's is done [major pay raise please and thank you]
and who has a bed time of ten p.m. because the alarm clock is set way too early
yes, twenty-nine it is
happy birthday to me
oh, and the husband and I have some fun "special" plans this afternoon
I'll be sharing here soon!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

getting all techy in the classroom

Well, not really, but kind of.  This week I began doing an online based assessment system with my students to replace our outdated, not useful, benchmark tests we have been using for far too many years.  Our district is ramping up for our state standardized testing that will be computer based here in the near future, and wanting to make sure our students were becoming "digitally literate" when it comes to assessment.  I have always been the youngest person on staff, at every single school I've worked at.  Not always the newest, but always the youngest.  And guess what, being born in the 80's means when there is an opening on a tech based committee at school, you are probably going to be asked to take charge.  Besides having to be out of my class one day this week for the training, I had no problem getting on board.  And after today's successful staff training that I led with another teacher, it feels good to be getting back into the swing of being a teacher.  Last year was a blur.  I swear no one even knew I existed, so today, getting to teach teachers felt pretty great.

However, the past two days I've been using the fancy new Chrome Books we got for this testing, and I hurt my back.  No, it wasn't the ounce that these slim little devices weigh, but I clearly twisted and jumped around my classroom trying to help students with connection issues one too many times.  Oh, and I wasn't wearing orthopedic shoes.  This morning I woke up feeling like an old lady, which I find ironic, because tomorrow I turn twenty-nine.  Not old.  In fact, I get to celebrate the last year of my twenties.  The decade that anything goes and you don't have to act too grown up.  Well, clearly I'm ready for thirty, when the time comes, because I technically fit all of the adult criteria, even though I don't quite feel like I do.  I think I'll milk this back issue of mine for one more day so I can get another ride to work in the morning [even though I am really enjoying my bike rides, it does a nightmare to my hair, and I would like to not look like a hot mess on my birthday, just saying].  And for one more year, I'll pretend to be young and crazy, because next year, I'll just be young, and a little less crazy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

oh hey, I'm 41 weeks old today

life lately has included working on two more teeth
pretty soon I'll have eight
which is craziness, because many babies my age have none
so there you go

I do find them oh so useful when eating
since I've written last I've enjoyed a few new foods
including yellow squash, peach yogurt, and pears
I've mastered picking up anything little
even the squishy things like avocado

I'm officially turning into a blueberry from the amount of them I eat daily
I also love corn and colby jack cheese
no longer am I eating a bite or two
and throwing the rest on the floor
no sir, in a day I'll eat a whole yogurt
whole cheese stick, many fruits and veggies
and some purees my mom is trying out too
not to mention boobie snacks

so let's just say mom is expecting some weight gain at my next doctor appointment
I'm not walking yet, but I am standing from time to time for a few seconds
and cruising all around the house as long as I have something to hold on to
and I can crawl crazy fast [and loud]
lately I'm wearing 6 & 9 month clothing
but most of my newborn onesies still fit
[those things are SO roomy]

I'm talking up a storm still
lots of dadadada sounds and an array of hi-yahs
my newest game is throwing all of my toy's out of my crib
and the best part is when someone throws them back at me
dad also lowered my crib all the way down 
because I'm such a big girl
[and mom didn't want me to fall out]
speaking of mom, she's now back to work at school
and I'm having a hard time adjusting to the early wake-up calls
I've also starting my newest trick of tongue clicking
and kissy faces
and a combination of the two

this past week I also took my first trip to donner lake
for my grammie's company picnic
the weather was beautiful
the lake literally shimmered with gold [fool's gold particles?]
and it was overall a great way to spend the day
except mom wouldn't let me jump into the lake like I really wanted to
but I got over it
until next week...
-everly mae

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

working mom [it's all about mindset]

When I went back to work in March, I was NOT ready.  Due to some misinformation from HR, I was originally going to be out until April, and going back a month early just threw me for a loop.  I was emotional, upset, moody, and most of all, did not want to talk about it.  Summer could not come quick enough, and man, I have enjoyed being a stay at home mama.  At the beginning of summer I told the mr. that I wanted to spend every minute with Everly, like, every minute.  However, something strange happened a few weeks back.  I started to think about going back to work, and I didn't have the same reaction as the first time.  I began to realize that I was having a very hard time being a mom, all day long, every single minute.  Sure, the mr. was there in the evenings to help, but guess what, Everly will have her mommy moments, and just need me.  And lately it seemed like those times were happening way more frequently, and it was hard.  Even though Everly is such an amazing baby, I found myself feeling very overwhelmed by it all, and needed to do something else.  The other night I started sweeping outside, and the mr. offered to do it for me.  I politely told him no, I NEEDED to sweep right then, and I NEEDED him to hold Everly.  And so that's what we did.

Sure, there are so many things I am going to miss about being at home with Everly.  But here is the thing, I don't have the option to be a stay at home mom, and if I did, I would probably feel different about things.  But I have to work, so I better make the best of things.  Maybe that's what my brain is doing right now, tricking me, and I'm ok with that.  Your attitude when it comes to life makes such a big difference with everything, big or small.  This week I've been back in the classroom, and my kids come on Thursday.  We are getting back to our routine with Everly, and she is doing great.  Because this girl loves her daddy, and does so amazing with him, especially when it is just the two of them.  So I will share her.  I think if I was always at home he would never get to have the type of relationship with her that I so greatly want for them.  Not to mention, I really do love my career, and I think that is also key.  I will work hard this year to figure out my balance with home and class, be thankful that I am done with my masters, learn to cook healthy dinners for one and a half people, and hopefully get back to blogging some more of my classroom this year.  I really missed not having the passion for posting last school year, it just wasn't in me.  So we will see, I only make half promises.

And on a side note, I won this little treasure today at our professional development.  Thank you pinterest for giving this idea to our leadership team.  I think it may stay in tact on my desk for some time.  It is just TOO pretty!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

ten on ten [august - 2013]

ten photos over ten hours on the tenth of each month
hosted by Rebekah of A Bit of Sunshine

^my happy way to start the day^

^we'll get around to re-painting the door, but for now, enjoy the rustic country thing we've got going^

^hanging succulents, the newest addition to the family^

^lunch at jack's with four generations, we do this every week^

^afternoon snack in great gram's backyard^

^did a little makeover on some of my grandma's outdated mix-mash of frames^

^found this little guy, my dad and his first car^

^tidying up & putting away my farmer's market haul, babe in one hand, produce in the other^

^late night porch snack, and no, my baby doesn't get her tan from her mama^

 ^good night^

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

the best august

Typically, life in this part of the country can be pretty unbearable in the month of August. So far, we have been blessed with some amazing weather, [I haven't been swimming in weeks] and people walking by my porch right now are even wearing sweaters!  I will take the high in the eighties and cool delta breeze at night each and every day that we get it. The thought of returning to school next week when it isn't 110 out really makes me smile.

So for now, we will enjoy each night that we get with daddy before he goes back to working nights [and this mama working days]. And we will surely soak up the cooler weather, and the few clouds that are actually found in the sky.  It is amazing how nicer weather can really put you in a better mood about things in general, just what we needed in the dreaded month of august.  I really do feel like summers have become exponentially shorter in the past few years.  Just saying.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

natural parenting styles [what works best for you?]

When it comes to being parents, the Mr. and I try not to over think too many things.  It seems like being a parent in 2013 may be harder than any other generation for one simple reason - too much information!!!  Don't get me wrong, I love that with a simple google search I can find the answer to anything.  And I also find comfort in knowing we have so many resources at the tip of our fingers.  So what's so hard about that, well, let me tell you, too much information can be a very dangerous thing. Parenting today is filled with so many decisions, because there seems to be a camp on how to do anything and everything when it comes to our children.  Do we vaccinate, yes or no, and when, how many at one time?  Do we co-sleep with our babies, or put them instantly in the crib, or bassinet? Stroller, or baby carrier, and which one, there are a thousand different versions.  When do you start feeding your baby something other than the boob, and do you start with cereal, or purees, or good ole' fashion "real food"?  Oh, and of course, there is the question about boobs: to boobie snack, or not boobie snack, that is the age old discussion.

While I was pregnant, we didn't have really in-depth conversations about how we wanted to raise this little baby of ours.  We wanted to go with the flow, let Everly guide us with what worked best for her, and us, and that led us to the parenting style sometimes referred to as "attachment parenting" or "natural parenting".  The funny thing about this style, that can of course take on a thousand variations, is this style of parenting is very unnatural for many American parents.  The foundation of this parenting style goes against what many of us have been told is the "right way" to parent, and so some resistance may ensue.  [No joke, I heard a public service announcement ad on the radio while on vacation that warned against sleeping with your baby because you will suffocate them, say what?!? This article is just one of many that supports the practice].  Even with some negativity around it, I do feel like the natural parenting movement is really catching on and becoming more mainstream, and that makes me happy.

The beginning of our natural parenting path started way before I was pregnant.  My mom had had a non-medicated delivery, and nursed both my sister and I, so to me, this was the norm.  I too was able to have a natural birth sans any medical intervention, and feel very lucky to do so, especially in a time when hospitals are not always supportive of these methods, but that would be a different post all together.  And thankfully, even though it took a lot of work, and some stressful times when it came to supply, I can proudly say that my daughter has been able to nurse for nine months, and I would not have had it any other way.  Sure, nursing exclusively, no bottles, no supplementing, can be challenging, and that's an understatement.  I am "on call" 24-7, and even though Everly is needing me less these days now that we've introduced solid food, I still share this body of mine with my daughter in a way no one else can.  And even though that may cut down on the "me time" right now, it is so worth it.  Not just the nutritional benefits for E, but the bond I have with her because of this experience.  For those close around me who have gotten to experience Everly eating could attest to the joy she gains from this connection, far more than any bottle I believe.  I will nurse her for as long as she needs me to, and fingers crossed this body of mine will allow it.

^I think I should have clearly worn a hat on this trip too, oh my^

When it came to sleeping arrangements, we purchased a co-sleeping basket for Everly to sleep in.  This basket is essentially supposed to make you feel like you are not going to roll over on your baby, and I'm sure for some it works wonders.  But for us, this thing was not a hit.  We tried it, every night for the first week, and Everly screamed.  From the very first night, Everly needed to feel human touch to sleep, and in fact, slept in my arms the entire night in the hospital [sorry nurses, it happened].  Looking back, I think she slept two nights in the swing at home, before we realized this was a fight that did not need to be fought.  Everly was new to this world, and needed to feel the comfort and warmth of her parents, and so we began co-sleeping.  Getting to see the progression of her sleeping patterns has been amazing.  In the beginning, she slept on our tummy or chest, then she mastered nursing on her side, and slept tummy to tummy with me for months.  Just recently, she nurses for a bit, then rolls onto her back, right in the middle of the bed, and stays that way all night.  She is needing us less and less at night, and after she turns one, we will begin transitioning her into her own crib.  Co-sleeping gave us a very happy, very secure, very warm, and very connected baby.  I know for a fact that if we had not "listened" to what Everly needed when it came to sleep, I would still be having sleepless nights, and I'm so thankful that our family of three was able to make this work for us.

It is truly amazing how much stuff parents are made to think they "need" in order to parent.  I walk through baby stores and realize we have a ridiculously small fraction of what they sell.  For our first year, we have taken the term "attachment parenting" fairly literal.  When we did not get the stroller we had registered for, we took it for what it was, and invested in a baby carrier instead.  Our daughter has not been in a stroller, and won't be for at least her first year.  As she gets bigger, and enters toddler-hood, we will re-look into the stroller option.  But for now, we are baby-carrying fools, and love it. Right now, we are rockin' the Ergo carrier, and LOVE it.  Everly is always so cozy while being carried, and either enjoys the view, or takes a wonderful nap in it.  I think the baby carrying thing is the one part of our parenting style that we joke most about.  The Mr. and I love the movie "Away We Go", and Maggie Gyllenhaal's character always cracked us up when yelling, why would I want a stroller?  Why would I want to PUSH my baby away from me?  And when all was said and done, that was exactly what we decided was best for us.  Go figure.

About a month before Everly was born we decided we should probably take a parenting class, since we had zero experience with newborns, or babies.  Most of the information was fairly basic, but the one piece I really took to heart was that there is no such thing as spoiling a newborn.  A newborn baby can never be held too much, and letting the baby "cry it out" is hopefully a way of the past.  I remember sitting there, oh so very pregnant, and so happy to hear this.  You mean I don't have to do what I see on t.v. or in the movies?  I don't have to close the door to the nursery and listen to hours of a new baby crying?  Oh, thank, god.  It was silly that this had to come from a stranger, but it did for me.  Hearing this woman say these words made me so at ease.  Looking back, I do feel like these few simple words made me realize I needed to parent however the hell worked for me.  It was our decision as a family how to make this work, and no outdated manual was going to tell us otherwise.

And so, that's what we did.  We parent the way that feels right to us.  Sure, people may have passed judgements, or said that we were making mistakes, but that's fine.  We've been oh so natural and very attached to our Everly, and we just stumbled into it all.  I love realizing that what we were doing had a name, and countless other parents are doing some of the same things.

So here is to parenting our babies the way that works best for us.  Here is to parenting the way that feels right to us, and not letting anyone tell us that we should be doing things differently.  If you parent the complete opposite of me, guess what, we can still be friends!  Had a planned c-section, bought stock in baby formula, and live and die by a sleep schedule, have at it friend.  If it works for you, so be it!

Monday, August 5, 2013

everly mae is nine months old

Nine months ago today I had you, my Everly.  Thinking of all of the wonderful ways you have grown and changed, the personality that you have becomes clearer each and every day.  This past week you have really started to feel like quite the little lady.  You laugh all of the time, and that smile of yours gets bigger and brighter with each passing day.  Now when you smile, that mouth full of teeth is such the opposite to your petite frame, you still seem far too young to have so many teeth, but they give you even more character.  Now you stand so tall and sturdy, and cruise around the coffee table, and use all of the chairs as your own personal walking devices.  You and Luna chase each other around the house, play with string together, and truly have become best buds.  I love the way you talk yourself to sleep, sometimes humming, other times, making quite the spectacle.  These little things are so uniquely you, and I love them all.  Now when we are eating you have already mastered shaking your head "no" when full, or not into whatever I'm feeding you.  You are playful, determined, and have brought so much joy to our entire family.  Strangers adore you, and there is always plenty to talk about when it comes to you my dear.  Clapping your little hands, giving hugs, and practically leaping into my arms after I'm done changing you, these are some of my favorite moments right now.  And by next month, the list will be added to and changed, and I'm so excited that I get to watch you grow, and call you my own. 
 Everly, thank you for all that you do.
We love you to pieces, understatement of the century.
Happy nine months Everly Mae!!!
[and that beautiful motel chair that is popping up in all of everly's photos lately are thanks to my amazing in-laws who got me a pair for graduation, and now make for the BEST photo spot too]
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