Sunday, September 29, 2013


there is one thing that I cannot get enough of in life right now, babies
and right now I am very blessed to be surrounded by so many new little ones
a few weeks back we welcomed our newest addition to the group
miss hazel
and thankfully, I was lucky enough to get to take her picture
just hours after being born
little Hazel was brought into this world with an amazing natural delivery
and getting to talk with her mama about the experience just hours after her birth
was a pretty amazing thing
it is strange, in the current climate around deliveries in the U.S.,
I really do feel a kinship to other moms who have shared in unmedicated deliveries
because right now, they are hard to come by
and man, look at how great both mom & baby are doing so soon after delivering
Hazel was already rocking clothes
[don't worry, there had been lots of skin to skin lovin' earlier in the day]
I don't think poor Everly had clothes on until we left the hospital
it seriously never even crossed my mind
anyways, Hazel, we can't wait to hang out with you more
and I'm very thankful to get the opportunity to pick up a camera
and help capture some moments for the loved ones around me!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

oh hey, I'm 47 weeks old

sorry I haven't been writing lately
I've been too busy re-arranging my home
I am currently liking an open concept space
with all coffee and end tables pushed to the sides of the room
this allows me maximum play space
lately I've also been helping mom and dad with everything
you want me to put away laundry?
consider it done
well, maybe not done, but I will gladly pull every piece out of the basket
throw it over my head behind me
and go back for more
mom and me also went through the shoes in my closet
turns out my foot is growing pretty fast
and I'm in between baby shoes, and the shoes I actually need for walking
so I guess we will be on the hunt for those
[and mom is taking any suggestions]
we also ripped apart my room and put away all of the little clothes I've grown out of
[and no, mom isn't ready to get rid of any of it yet]
we are officially gearing up for fall
mom loves the chilly weather for extra long snuggles
and my mom and dad even picked out some special fall clothes for me last night
in other news, I got a new baby doctor
and man, was mom a happy lady after my check-up
I now weigh 16 pounds 1 ounce
and according to this doctor, that puts me in the 10th percentile for weight
which we are all great with
dad called my new doctor "an old hippie"
and we kind of love that about him
he pointed out how I have great weight on my thighs
and my chin and cheeks, and that no part of me looks too little
finally, someone who gets that I'm just tiny
and mom was very happy to have a "professional" see more than my numbers
finally, I am very close to walking
I even took a half step at my grammy's house this past week
but only my mom saw it
so everyone is looking forward to a repeat performance
-Everly Mae

Monday, September 23, 2013

first spaghetti dinner

Tonight, Everly got to have her first spaghetti dinner.  She was pretty into it, ate a good amount, and threw even more on the floor.  Her poor dad was very stressed by the mess she was making, but hey, she was having the time of her life.  So we just drew a quick bath, got out the hose,  and called it a night.
 happy first spaghetti everly!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

instant gratification

Weddings these days are attacked by technology every which way.  I am so conflicted, because yes, you have hired an amazing professional to document the day, but I just can't seem to put my phone down.  Yes, just five years ago when the Mr. and I were married, the iPhone was not what it is today.  It was the time before social media took over the world, and in some ways, that is pretty great.  But today, I'm going to share one part of social media & weddings that I love, personalized hash tags.  Yes, the good ole' hash tag has made its way into even the world of weddings, and I'm very okay with it.  Last weekend [was that just last weekend, it already feels like it was a month ago, at least] our awesome friends got married, and had an equally awesome wedding celebration.  And I'm not just saying it because we love the couple, their wedding rocked.  When I saw the little instagram hash tag cards Jaymee designed in the boxes we were packing up for the reception I literally squealed with delight.
So, suggestions for rocking a personalized hash tag at your wedding, here you go:

-Check in advance for just the right hash tag that will not be shared by others.  If you have a unique spelling to your name as our Jaymee does, then, you will have an easy time with this one.
-Make sure to share with your guests the hash tag to use.  Even though Jaymee did this, some guests still weren't sure which hash tag to use, so they made up their own variations, which was pretty entertaining in itself.
-If you are participating in the hash tagging, STAY OUT OF THE WAY of the professional photographer.  Thankfully, we happened to know the photographer at this wedding, because she has also shot every important moment of our lives.  So when we were being obnoxious with our phones at the end of the night, we could all have a good laugh about it, but I wouldn't suggest this with a professional you do not know.  Thanks Sarah for not punching me in the face when I smacked your oh so expensive camera with my iPhone!

I think the reason why I love this idea so much is the instant gratification that comes with it. Every person who took a shot of your wedding can share it immediately where you the bride, and all your family, can enjoy them together.  I loved when Jaymee and I were enjoying some quiet time at the "after party" skimming through their hash tag, because at that point, that was all the energy we had left!  Back when I was married I remember I had only one picture taken of my wedding ceremony that I got to see before our professional ones were ready, and that one just wasn't enough.  I also love that you can catch the moments that your professional photographer may not be present for.  For example, who knew the lighting in the stark white waiting room with funky botanical prints hanging on the walls at the venue was going to yield some of my favorite photos of Everly and I?!?  I also love that you can instantly see parts of the wedding you weren't physically a part of, because who can be everywhere all at once?  Not this mama!  Oh, and sometimes you get a photo like this one that instantly becomes the lock screen on your phone...

Thanks to the following wedding guests for sharing your photos with my via #drewandjaymee - 
@megacatz  @carriekeyes   @jsrp     @qwelli   

Monday, September 16, 2013


This weekend our amazing friends Drew & Jaymee tied the knot after ten years of dating. I could not imagine any two people who are more deserving of such an amazing celebration of their love. I had a blast instagramming the whole wedding, well, until my phone died!  Seriously, you could feel the love just about everywhere this weekend. But, even love can get you tired, so I'll share more photos here soon!  But no, not tonight.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

middle school teacher...

I haven't written about my classroom lately.  This is for many reasons.  This year has been overwhelming, and I find it so hard to even blog my updates on Everly, let alone talk about my work day, that seems to keep getting longer and longer.  However, today was a day that I want to remember.

It was a great day.  And for a very simple reason.  I had a really great day with my kids.  I teach two very different groups of students, one is an accelerated group of amazingly well behaved students, and then my other group is low socio-economic students who have been known to give their teacher's a run for their money.  My "challenging" group has a variety of needs, including 6th graders who are reading at a first grade level.  And guess what, when you cannot read, you typically are not the most attentive student in your middle school history class.

But I've been working hard with this group.  I want them to love history, or at least the history they learn with me.  They are my first group of the day, and I've got energy, and use a "whole body" approach when teaching.  You should see me acting out a hominid hunting scene, by myself, in front of thirty tweens.  Really, it has got to be a funny picture.  But hey, it keeps their attention, so you better believe I have my "man discovering how to make fire" act all lined up for tomorrow.  

Today we were learning about our second hominid group, and it was pretty classic history lesson model.  Read textbook, fill out our interactive notebooks.  We read together, I read a paragraph, and then everyone reads the next one with me.  So the kids who don't speak English aren't singled out, the kids who can't read aren't either, and the one who is having a hard time waking up, well, maybe the loud choral reading gets them what they need.  We were just having fun today.  I wasn't stressed about staying on schedule.  Today we learned about one hominid, and I'm okay with that.  They were engaged, participating, and enjoying the whole thing.  

At one point in the lesson we were circling important details in the photos in our interactive notebook when one student pointed out I had made a crazy smiley face with all of my circles.  And sure enough, I had.  We all laughed about it, and it seems like nothing now that I write about it, but it was something.  One student even said out-loud that "this is the best class ever".

So, what made this so magnificent?  It wasn't some ridiculous new teaching strategy.  It wasn't the fact that I used all of the current buzzwords in my classroom.  Instead, today was the day that I realized I have built a community in my second period.  This is the same group of kids who seems to always have a hard time on campus, never doing the "right thing", but they are enjoying each others company, and they seem to enjoy mine.  They are safe in my room.  They are excited to talk about whatever craziness I'm throwing at them.  They know that they can point out something as silly as a smiley face I accidentally had drawn on the board while being super serious with my hominid notes.  

Today was a good day.  That's it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

oh hey, I'm 45 weeks old!

fun and games
that is what I am all about lately
I love playing peek a boo, but not the baby version of this game
instead, I love finding things to hide behind, and then I crane my neck
to see who's ready to play with me
I also love "running" away from mom and dad
they still always seems to catch me
probably because I stop and giggle too much while trying to get away
but that's okay
because I like when they catch me too
I also love playing on our big bed
I can stand on it, and when I fall down, it is so cushy it makes me smile and laugh
oh, and if you want to chase me around and tickle my tummy
well, I'll be pretty into that too
besides having so much fun playing with anyone around
I also have learned how to put on mom's chewbeads
and I think it is pretty fun to try them on so many times a day

this week I tried some pumpkin puree for the first time
it was mixed with bananas, and mmmm it was good
I ate the entire pouch last night, and for me, that's a big deal
even after I had a good helping big girl food
I am standing up all of the time
and I can stand, hold things, and even do a little dance, pretty impresive
and least my mom thinks so
but no first steps, not yet
for quite some time I've been babbling dada, to pretty much anything
well, yesterday I started babbling mama, again, to anything
the wall, the plastic cup, the dog walking by
but hey, we are moving in the right direction
until next week
-everly mae

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ten on ten [september 2013]

yesterday, I tried to write here on my little space
but all of the ideas I had
just couldn't come out quite right
my days have been long, and hard
and I am finding it very challenging to be a very good teacher
and mom, all at the same time
[and wife to a husband I rarely see]
last year, I did my job, but that was about it
this year,  I'm really trying to gain balance
and do everything well
but man, the days are long
today, I tried to find a little beauty
in these days where I am finding the need to prioritize even my minutes
so I picked up my iPhone
and caught this -

-organized purees makes a happy mama-

-ready to ride to work, had to wait a few minutes for the sun to come up-

-love walking in my room to find parent donations-

-someone eats breakfast at school, and it isn't me-

-we try to do this-

-she always steals a carrot out of my lunch-

-feeling very lucky to have acquired a retired teacher's library-

-this bike is going to get me my teen legs back, or maybe early 20's-

-trying to keep this classroom organized, since student teaching, I've struggled with my paper stacks-

-my newest vintage purchase, I bought it because my mom has an identical one-

-everly took a nice nap in her swing this afternoon, and I did this, 
maybe in 18 years I'll get some real "me time"-

joining the ten on ten project with Rebekah today!
p.s. I shared 11 photos, shhh, don't tell

Thursday, September 5, 2013

happy ten months everly mae

Everly Mae.  You make each and every one of these crazy days oh so worth it.  I wish that today was an easier day.  I wish that is wasn't so long, or busy, or that my foot didn't hurt like crazy from teaching on linoleum floors in less than perfect shoes.  I said to you yesterday that today we were going to be lazy.  And well, that just didn't happen.  There are always baths to be had, and high chairs to clean, and laundry to ignore.  And even though it all seems like too much right in this very moment, you make it all better. 

Your toothy grin is now your favorite accessory, and I swear that smile of yours gets bigger every day.  You are now such a big girl that you can climb off not only the sofa by yourself, but also our bed.  You are quite careful and confident with each movement you make.  I love that your are bite sized, and that you have allowed me to feel like I have a baby for just a little longer than others.  I love that you laugh so often, and have kept your amazingly easy nature. 

And even when you woke your mama up at 3:30 this morning for no apparent reason, I still loved each moment I had to snuggle with you, and the moments when I sang you back to sleep [even though I woke up humming the tune to the Pirates of the Caribbean, but I guess that is all part of the job]. 

Finally, you have come through your first real injury like a champ, I wish your parents could say they fared as well with the whole event.  Your little right eye is back to normal, and all of our positive thoughts paid off with no long term damage or scar tissue.  We are blessed.
we love you Everly Mae
happy ten months

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Everly, and the emergency room

If there is one place you never want to be with your baby, it is probably the emergency room.  Unfortunately yesterday, that is exactly where we ended up.  Our first Saturday off together as a family in ages started out as normal.  Morning visit with the mr.'s parents who were up for the weekend, and then lunch with my mom.  We had about two hours to kill before we headed to a going away party for our friends, so the three of us and Everly made our way to the local antique mall. People were doting over how cute E was looking at the antiques, and mom and I even mentioned how calm she is when we are antiquing.  There are just so many amazing things for her to look at, and I really do think it is the only time she is fairly quiet and still.  Mom had Everly in her arms as we made it to the end of the first row of the antique mall, when something just changed, in a second.  Everly went from smiling and looking at everything, to having her head down, her eyes looked like they were glazing over, and one of her eyes became bright red.  Within moments, her right eye was puffy, and red blotches appeared all over the right side of her face.  Even her little nose had a red blotch on it.  At this point, I'm trying not to panic as the four of us leave the place quickly.  I swear people were still trying to say hi to my cute baby, clearly they didn't read the look on my face of pure terror.  By the time we made it to the door, it was decided we were going to the hospital around the corner.

The car ride was thankfully only five minutes or so, and she seemed like she was doing a little better. Still all red and puffy, but she would give her daddy a giggle in the back seat.  We tried to calm down, and decided to try the urgent care they had at the hospital instead of going straight to the ER.  While we were getting checked in at urgent care, my mom grabbed Everly so I could have my hands, but seeing her poor little face made me start crying right there in the office, so I took her back in my arms so I couldn't see how bad she looked.  Everything was happening so fast.  She hadn't eaten anything different for lunch, and hadn't touched anything at the antique mall, so I was at a lost.  And of course, because this is my baby we are talking about, my mind just started to wander off.  Any weird thing that I have ever heard about happening to a baby, well yes, that was what was hitting me.  I was trying not to panic, but she was just fine, like ten minutes before, what had happened?

Well, thankfully the nurses at urgent care let us see the doctor who just happened to be walking in the hallway right away, because they had a two hour wait to get in officially.  However, it is never good when the urgent care doctor says we should take her to the ER instead because she didn't feel confident to treat her there.  What?!?  She started mentioning infections, and that the hospital could do blood work if necessary.  Um, okay, freak out legitimate at this point.  Thankfully, the young nurse [my mom even commented the girl didn't look old enough to have a job] walked us to the back door, and showed us we just had to cross a small parking lot to get to the ER.  Okay, well that at least was good. Another short wait, and we were talking with the triage RN.  They were all so calm, and I was trying to be calm, but something was just not right.  After waiting for about thirty minutes or so, Everly did another little episode that was just making me feel like something was really wrong.  I can't explain her look, other than she closes her eyes, buries her head, gets a very dazed look about her, and then looks like she wants to fall asleep.  In my book, that just doesn't sit well.  They take her temperature, and all of her vitals seem normal, or at least I assume they did, because no one said anything else.  Finally, they tell us that we are just waiting for a bed in the ER to open up, and then they will take us back.  I also got the okay to let her sleep, if she wanted to.  She didn't.  At this point, she's fussy, and I'm scared and exhausted, and we still had no answers.

Finally, they call Everly's name, and we see the ER doctor within minutes.  He asks us all of the normal questions, and I kept emphasizing the fact that this happened so suddenly.  And that no, she hadn't been sick.  He starts pushing that she must be allergic to mangoes, and I'm just not accepting that answer.  Thankfully, he also wanted to check to make sure she hadn't hurt her eye somehow.  The doctor put dye in her eye, and then used a black light to see if there were any scratches.  And man, you didn't need a medical license to see what had happened.  Glowing across her entire cornea was a giant scratch.  We were prescribed antibiotics to stop the eye from getting infected, Children's Motrin for the pain, because of course, everyone had to remind us how painful these injuries are.  Seriously people, I don't need you to remind me how much pain my baby must be in, I've got that seared into my brain already!  We also were scheduled a follow up visit with an Opthalmologist because of the severity of the scratch, unless it heals properly, it could affect her vision.  Oh wonderful.

We tried to go to the party we had planned last night, but it turned out, the mr. and I were toast.  We ended up dropping off the fifteen pounds of pasta salad I had made in the morning, and went home. Our first attempt at the eye drops [which we have to put in every two hours while she's awake] was alright.  And she even seemed to like the Children's Motrin.  But since that first time, things have progressively gone downhill.  She shuts that little eye so tight that there is no chance the whole drop is getting in there.  So I just hope enough of the medicine is getting into her little body to let her heal properly.

We still have no idea how she scratched her cornea so badly.  The doctor even looked at her nails, and he wasn't positive that they were the culprit.  So today I am going to try to take it easy.  I was so thankful that this whole ordeal happened when I had not only daddy support, but grammy support too. If this happened when I was all alone, it would have been pretty scary, even more than it already was. We also have learned that our daughter does not cry when she's in pain.  Instead, that little head goes down, weird faces begin, and glassy eyes are her way of telling us she is hurting.  So, at least we know that.

And with that, I will say our little Everly can take all positive thoughts [or prayers] that she will recover with limited pain, no infections, and no loss of vision.  That is our hope.
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