Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hit Me

It is so funny how something so small can make such strong feeling creep up out of nowhere. The day was almost over and I just happened to check my mailbox at school and I saw a letter from Pantene Great Lengths thanking me for donating my hair this year. Some of you may not remember ,but we lots a teacher at school at the end of last school year to cancer and the day she passed was the day my mom's cancer diagnosis was confirmed. That was possibly one of the worst days of my life and Brent and I have already  awarded 2012 as the crappiest year of our lives. Between the cancer and Joan's job this year has sucked. I actually hate saying that because there has also been so much good that has happened this year, but I feel like the crap has outweighed the good. 

It is SO easy it is to forget how sick mom is when she is feeling so good.Then she gets sick again and it is like the bottom drops out. Mom had her fourth round of chem last Friday and we have all been holding our breaths waiting for her to get sick again and guess what bless her heart she is back in the ER. She isn't as sick as last time, but she is just not well. I still don't understand why the chemo affects her so negatively, but it really is killing her to save her. It really does blow my mind to know that this poison they are pumping into my mom is really working, but I honestly don't think I ever thought it would be this bad.

I feel kind of useless right now because there is nothing I can do to help. I can't make her feel better, I can't make it go away. I don't like being useless. I must be doing something at all times so I guess blogging about it is my way of doing something. I guess this is better than sitting around and fretting waiting for a phone call. Ha that's funny because I am still doing that and will be doing that all night. Sadly I just contemplated making some coffee because I know I won't sleep tonight so I may be posting again in a few hours.

Please keep mama in your prayers and pray that she get fluids and meds and is sent home to recover. Four down Two to go. October can not get here soon enough. I feel like we will all be able to breath again. Thanksgiving may actually be enjoyable knowing that she is past the worst and everything is down hill from there. We will be have a very large very loud party after her last treatment with lots of margaritas and everyone is invited!

If you get a chance check out and sign up for our Race For The Cure Team go sign up and come race with us.

Creedon's Crusaders
I shall be wearing these race day now we just have to make up a team t-shirt to go with.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Month 13

Yeah, I know, whatever, you are 1, but it is easier to say 13 months because I already did a year update so let it go people.

This past month has been absolutely freaking insane little lady. From school starting back to hospital visits I am more and more thankful everyday you are such an easy baby (I need to remind myself of that every now and then especially not that we are in full blown teething hell) and you just kind of go with the flow because if you weren't we would all be up a creek without a paddle.

I feel like you and I are back on schedule now that school has started back and it feels like everything is right with the world again, you know except for the whole cancer B.S., but you know mama likes a schedule and a schedule means we are sleeping better so yippee for school. You would be really proud of your mama for being so on top of things lately. I make all of your lunches and snacks on Sunday so I am not scrambling for something healthy for you to eat that day and I even make most of your breakfast ahead of time. Taking a little time out of my day on Sunday makes my life and your life for the rest of the week SO much easier.

People always look at me like I am crazy when they ask "how's the baby doing?" and my answer is always "Oh she's a nut job!" I say it with all the love in my heart and I absolutely love your spunk and craziness. You are truly a little individual and I will never ask you to be like anyone else no matter what. I know I have to say this because I birthed you from my loins, but you are absolutely the most beautiful child I have ever seen and you get more beautiful everyday. I will always toot your brain horn the loudest, but I will always remind you how beautiful you are no matter what.

Now let's see what important stuff have you accomplished this past month. 

You are officially 100% a toddler. You walk or I guess I should say run and or trott everywhere. You actually crawled last night and your daddy and I were so confused because it felt like you hadn't done that forever. It really threw us off. You are getting into absolutely everything and you are determined to get into any locked room or cabinet. The more we don't want you to do something the more you want to do it. It only took a few times of shutting a drawer on your finger for you to learn that sucks and you won't be doing that anymore. I am constantly running around shutting doors I forgot to shut or locking the stove or dishwasher. Speaking of the dishwasher you are fascinated by it and by putting stuff that doesn't go into it, into it. 

Your 2 bottom front teeth are in and your top left tooth has made it's way through  and your top right tooth is trying to make an appearance also. Teething is not for the faint of heart people. Brent and I have honestly scouts honor never really freaked about anything Mckinley related. Even the night we had an emergency room visit I feel like we were pretty calm and collected. I may have cried a little, but we both remained very calm, but we honestly no lie almost took you to the hospital when that top tooth was coming in. It was like you were possessed by a demon. You body went stuff and we couldn't even touch you. it was absolutely awful. Lucky for us only 4 of your 20 baby teeth are in. yeah! Now that we know Hyland's teething tablets and gel work for you we might make it out alive. 

You are still the best eater and the only thing you ever get a little finicky with are strawberries because you don't like it when they are tart. You eat a lot of eggs, Nutrigrain bars, veggies, fish, sandwiches, cheese, chicken, meat, peanut butter, stuff on toast, beans, food. I pray everyday you keep it up because it makes my life so much easier. 

Your LOVE bath time and get pissed and I mean pissed when I get the towel and get you out. You actually try to run away from me to the other end of the tub so I can't get you and you scream at me when I take you out. I have to completely drain the tub and take all of the toys out before even attempting to get you out. Diaper changes are WWE matches nowadays. You act like we are killing you and it usually takes 2 of us to change you. Mind you there is usually only me home to change you so I usually can't change you on the changing table because I am afraid you will roll off and kill yourself. 

You are so independent and love spending time by yourself playing in your room, but you are still a Mama's girl. I am noticing little moments with Daddy that I try to play up. Anytime I am holding you and you reach for him I immediately hand you over and I love how his eyes light up when I tell him how upset you get when he leaves. You run to the door and cry which makes me sad, but I love that him leaving means something to you. Daddy and you just recently had your first night alone and he of course nailed it. You woke up 3 times, but he handled you like a boss.

I have said it a million times, but I will say it again, but I honestly don't know what I would do without you in my life right now. Knowing that you depend on me and need me helps me keep going. Now I might pass out a little earlier than usual because I am worn out from school and life, but I absolutely love every minute of it!
This has been one of the toughest years of all of our lives and without you I can't imagine making it through with the little bit of sanity I have left. You are truly a little nutty blessing and I love you more and more each and every day.

Sugars My Little Nut

Peace Out
Helping Mama Do The Dishes

Our Fluffy Winnings!
How We Know Mckinley Has Been In The Room

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Month Of Meals

My back to school resolution has been to get organized and stay organized. I did pretty good last year by making sure most everything was ready and prepared the night before, but this year I am going above and beyond. I am already on top of things at school and I make sure I spend a few hours on Sunday preparing for the next week, but know there has to be even more I can do. 

I found This on Pinterest, 
but no matter what link I click on it take me nowhere, but I get the general gist from the picture. Different types of meals are color coded and the recipes are bound together and hung below for quick reference.

Pure Genius I tell you!

I already have the calendar on my fridge and my new awesome chalk board wall is right across the fridge which will make it super easy to write down the ingredients I need each week. It will take me a little while to get everything together and I am currently working on a monthly meal calendar which should make being prepared even easier.

So far I am going to stick to Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Whatever Wednesdays, Thursdays are usually a Meat/Chicken/Fish Day, and Friday we like Homemade pizza or Date Night. I don't usually "Cook" on the weekends we just eat whatever is around the house. I just finished September's calendar and my grocery list so we will see how this goes. If this goes well I will be working on October's calendar very soon. I foresee lots of yummy soups with grilled cheese bites in our future,


My emotions have been all over the place these past 2 days. One second I have been on cloud 9 and the next second my heart has been broken for someone I love. 

First off I am probably one of the luckiest people I know because I have such great examples of what a woman and a mother should be like. It makes me sad some people don't have anyone to teach them these things and I am spoiled to have 2 strong women in my life. I can honestly say they have made me who I am today.

My mama had her fourth out of six rounds of chemo yesterday and after the last round all I can do is pray for God to give her strength to and patience during these next few weeks. I am so happy they are going to give her fluids today and everyday next week and I am hoping that is the answer to keeping her home and what I guess you can call well or as well as she can be right now.

My mother in law was also on my mind all day yesterday. Right now she is suffering a loss, but like the truly faithful woman she is she is more worried about the people around her than getting mad and throwing in the towel. She always helps me put life especially tough situations into perspective because it is such a waste of time and to be angry and to just give in and give up. She is truly the epitome of  the saying when the going gets tough the tough get going.

Now on to the other side of my emotion roller coaster  My precious, hard working, honest, devoted, lovable, kind, goodhearted, determined, hilarious, calm, rational, hunky, better half has accepted a new position within his company. He will soon be an Program Clinical Consultant.
Right now he is a Foster care supervisor and he is on call every four weeks, he gets the shaft when he team isn't doing their work, has awful hours, and is so stressed I think his heart might give out before 35. With his new position he will NEVER be on call and he has been on call since we got married 4 and 1/2 years ago, doesn't have to drive into dangerous areas of Memphis, and a little more money doesn't hurt. I had a good feeling about his interview this time no matter what Brent said. He never likes to talk himself up or acknowledge how truly amazing he is, but I am working on teaching him that it is ok to toot your own horn sometimes. If you are good at what you do and you do it well then go right ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. 

So can you see where I am coming from? I am torn between all of these emotions and I just don't know which one to land on. I think I am going to do what I usually do and just keep going until I crash and then I won't have a moment to really stop and think about it. During the week I am so busy with school and trying to be as organized and prepared as I can possibly be. For some reason whenever I am sad or whenever I am praying something our Bishop always says always pops into my brain and it makes me feel better. 

God is Good All The Time And All The Time God Is Good.

It is so true. No matter how awful life seems and how bad things get All The Time He is Good and All The Time He Is There. I am going to try to remember this during those time all seems lost and everything seems dark. I feel like after we have the bad weeks where there is crying and worry and doubt that he touches our minds and says you will forget hoe bad this was so you can be string again and make it through the next bump without dwelling on this and lumping it together. It is a gift he gives us to be able to forget for a little while how bad things were so we can handle the next round of yuck better. Kind of like what I always say about being pregnant. God makes us forget because if we remembered how sick, miserable, and how much it hurt no one would ever do it again. 

I am looking forward to what next week brings. I feel like it can't get any worse and it can only go up from where we have been. I am going to just keep myself busy and like I said before if I just keep going and never stop and sit down I will be just fine. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Another Day

I started a post about school starting back the other day and then school started back and I never got a chance to finish it. My life is now consumed with my little family and school and making sure I am prepared ahead of time so I am not running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. 

I have done surprisingly well so far. I put together all of Kinley and my lunches and snacks on Sunday and I make sure her bag is fully packed the night before. I tried laying out my clothes last night, but I have this syndrome where even if I have worn that exact outfit a million times I will hate it the next day. I already changed from my teal cotton dress to my black cotton dress and now I am wearing my brown polka dotted shirt dress and I am feeling pretty cute and comfy. 

Now I am just waiting for this little gal to finish eating her Eggies and peanut butter English muffin or English muff as we call them in our house while one of us giggles and yes we are that immature and yes it is usually me giggling or saying "That's what he/she said". I have issues and I am aware of this and Brent always says the first step is admittance.

My posts may be a little farther between as I get into the swing of the new school year, but I will try to at least stop in to post updates on mom and of course Mckinley updates since she is the whole reason I started this blog. Speaking of updates Mckinley's top left tooth is through, but it in a holding pattern and as long as it isn't hurting her and we can get some sleep I am a happy girl. 

Hope everyone has a great day and are getting as ready as we are for some Tiger Football! We kwwp saying the first word Mckinley will know how to spell will be T-I-G-E-R-S Tigers!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gimme Gimme

I be a little greedy tonight, but I just can't help myself! 
I got my new diapers from The Hot Fluff Cool Baby Cloth Diaper Giveaway from Just Add Cloth

Just Add Cloth
And I just might be entering a bunch more giveaways because I am addicted to fluff!! Right no I am filling out the rafflecopter from for something even better than fluff an Ergobaby Bundle of Joy Baby Carrier from
Being Frugal and Making It Work

I have 2 carriers that I registered for because I knew I would want to keep Baby Girl close and some sweet friends were kind enough to get them for us, but they just weren't comfortable. I also have a Maya wrap ring sling that I absolutely love, but I am dying for an Ergo carrier and will definitely have one for the baby D 2.0 some day.

If I can I would LOVE to win one and not have to pay a few bucks, but if I must I must, but darn it I will try.

Mckinley needs an Ergo Being Frugal and Making It Work so pick us pretty please!
I am feeling lucky! It must be the awesomeness left over from Duran Duran last night!

P.S. I am also entering the

Shabby Apple Dress Boutique Giveaway

Hungry Like The Wolf

Duran Duran in 10 words or less


Date Night

Dancing Machine


Just Dance

No Words

Friday, August 17, 2012

And That's The Tooth

Holy crap teething is no joke!
We made it through her 2 bottom teeth coming in at the exact same time unscathed, but this top left tooth has not been fun! 
Of course it decided to choose the night before the first day of school to make it's appearance and my child's teeth come in very slowly. Needless to say she has not been a ray of sunshine this past week.
I can see the darn thing , but it just won't come in all the way. I am hoping since it has already broken through the skin we are good to go because the writing in pain on the floor and screaming like a wild animal was not fun. 

If you would like to donate to our save the mama and daddy from teething hell we are taking any and all teething tablets and Hyland's teething gel.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Things First

I honestly don't think I have EVER had a first day of school go so well because today was absolutely Perfect! granted I only had 7 babies and it was a half day of school, but the babies I had were absolutely precious!

Now let's talk about how I have decided to be all organized and prepared because today I was more unprepared than I have ever been. I am still not sure what we got done during Inservice and I am not sure what I was doing yesterday at my mom's because I thought I had gotten a lot done, but I guess I missed the important stuff like our Kissing hand craft or the cookies with the children's names for our Who Stole The Cookie From The Cookie Jar game. I honesty felt like I had done absolutely nothing the past week. Don't worry my babies all had a craft to complete and a cookie for the game, but I just wasn't ready when everyone started arriving at school at 7:30 (school started at 8:00 today). 

Lesson learned and I am ready for the next 3 days and will be working on the rest of next weeks lesson plan this week and this weekend. I got to far ahead of myself by about 10 months (I planned out my whole year before my maternity leave) and that didn't work for me because I forgot a lot of the stuff I wanted to do or how I wanted to do it so I want to only be a week or 2 ahead with everything so I am never scrambling to get everything together.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sharing Is Caring

I know I do some updates on my Mama here on my blog, but today she asked me if I would set up a CaringBridge
site for her friends to be able to check. I will be posting updates on mom's treatment and recovery here as well as her site and I will periodically post links to the website here and on facebook in case anyone needs it.

Today has been a good day. We are watching a movie and just had a little lunch which if you knew how sick Mama has been the past few days you would know that is pretty awesome!

Please send her prayers for her next round of chemo. We are hoping the Dr's. are even more vigilant than they have been and we can keep her from getting so dehydrated which seems to be what is keeping her so sick.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed, sent flowers, treats, cards, meals, or done anything else for our family over these past few months.

If you ever have a friend or loved one going through anything like this the most important things I have learned that you can do are

1. Don't hover over them, but check in on them. Mom likes having company, but just talking wears her out so we chat for a bit, but I try to leave her alone until she asks for me.
2. Easy freezer meals that aren't spicy, greasy, rich, and are nutritious are the best thing you can fix for a family in need of feeding. Mom may not be able to eat everything everyone fixes, but this has been a wonderful resource for dad and Jen. this may be the #1 thing you can do for a family in need, but check and make sure they aren't overwhelmed with meals. Mom's friends have coordinated a schedule which has been awesome.
3. Helping out around the house while you visit might not seem like much, but just cleaning off a counter or emptying the dishwasher can be a huge help to a family experiencing illness.

The biggest thing you can do for someone in need is of course to pray for them which I believe with all my heart works.

Simple Thanks
For our restful sleep at night,
For the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend,

For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks I render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back To School

I snapped a few quick photos of my Parent Orientation Set up and a little bit of my classroom before my camera battery died. That's what I get for having a mobile child and nowhere to plug in my camera battery. Damn you tiny house!

Station # 1 
Parents signed in and filled out how their child would be going home each day. We have some students who leave half day at 12:00, most go to Car Line at 2:30. Some are picked up by older siblings, and a few go to After school care.

Station # 2
Parents picked up the folder with their child's name on it which contained the student information packet to fill out and the Classroom information we would be going over together.

 Station 3
Each parent chose a Portfolio Page to take home and complete with their child. This will be the first page in their child's assessment portfolio.

Station # 4
Everyone got to chose a treat for their child and a treat for them to take home and enjoy as a little Thank You for coming and not laughing at me for turning 5 shades of red. 

 At Station # 4 I also included examples of all of the class supplies and offered extra supply lists in case someone needed one.

All in all I think it was a success. I don't think I made too big of a fool out of myself and my Principal kindly stayed out in the hallway behind me while I spoke. His sweet little girl is in my class this year and I jokingly told him he wasn't allowed to sit directly in front.of me while I spoke. I was glad his sweet wife was there because she knew a few things I could not answer and was super helpful.

I still have a few things to finish the next few days and I hope to take better classroom shots, but here are my centers as they are right now.

Dramatic Play
Here my babies can dress up and pretend to be and do whatever they want. I want to create different settings for them to play in. I would love to create a dr. office, vet office, dentist office, restaurant, grocery store, stage for performing, and many other fun ways for them to use their imaginations.

Listening Center
This center needs a little help right now. I am planning on getting a small rug to place on the floor so my babies can sit and read.

Prayer Table
teaching at a Catholic school is an amazing job and I love teaching my babies all about prayer and the Catholic religion. I want to use this table as a way to showcase the Liturgical calendar and to reflect what is happening during the mass at that time. I would love to create a place for my babies to pray and reflect by placing the Liturgical colors on the table and other elements.

This is my area. My fabulous rocking chair and our Daily Calendar.

Weather Chart 
Each day we graph the weather and decided which type of weather has the most and the least. 

Letter of The Week Chart
Each week we have a letter we focus on and this is where we display this. Each letter has a poem, Uppercase adn lowercase cards, pictures that begin with that letter, and a tactile card the students use to feel how to make the letter.

Daily Routine. The colorful pockets on the far right and the clouds on the sticks about them are how my babies sign in each day. When they arrive in the room they hang their bags up, take out their K.I.T.E. binders, and find their cloud adn place it in a pocket on the attendance chart. After lunch and after they go potty they take their cloud out and place it on the board so we can keep track on who has and hasn't gone.
To the left of the attendance chart is our job chart. Each student has a job they complete each day and these change weekly. To the left of the Helping Hands Chart is out Compliment chart. If the whole class is doing a great job walking in line in the hallway or they are being great listeners they can earn a letter and whatever they spell out is the Compliment Party we get to have. Our favorite Compliment Party is a Pajama Party, but we also have veggie parties, toy parties, s'more parties, hot coco parties, and many more. On the top far right is our dismissal chart which helps us keep up with who goes home how everyday. To the left of that is My happy face sad face signs. If someone makes a good choice I have a happy face. If someone doesn't make a good choice I change it to a sad face. Last, but not least are my Direction Numbers. Whenever we have an activity to complete I place direction visuals next to the number that they should complete it. This really helps with babies asking me over and over again what they should be doing.

Block Center

Felt Board

 Reading Center

 Math and Manipulatives

 Computer Center
Aren't my new classroom computer beautiful??

Art Center

Science Center

My Writing Center and Prayer Center aren't shown because they aren't ready just yet. They will be up and running by the first day of school don't worry. We need them with a classroom full with 19 babies. I still have a lot to do, but I feel like I am ready for the first 3 half days coming up so wish me luck. 

Balancing Act

I am not going to lie I am not very good at the whole balancing thing.

I work full time as a teacher, have 2 big dogs, 1 Little Lady and 1 hunky husband and a lot of other stuff going on much like everyone else in the world. You just do what you can do and hope you aren't dropping too much.

I am a priorities kind of gal. I have high priorities like my family and low priorities like making my yard look all put together. And right now family trumps everything. My mama was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and is currently going through very aggressive chemo and right now on my list of priorities making sure she is taken care of is on the top of my list. Thankfully I have been off since the beginning of June and I have been able to make her priority #1 along with my own little family, but now that school is starting back I feel like I have to rearrange. 

I am just not sure how I will be able to balance all of this, but you can bet your bottom dollar I am gonna try.
The only way I know how to do it all is to be prepared for anything. I have to be on top of my game and have things prepared ahead of time. I have to have Mckinley's meals prepared for school and her bag packed. I need to try to cook meals for the weak on Saturday or Sunday, and I have to get everything ready for the next day of school the night before or I know everything will come crashing down. Like I said my yard is a very low priority so cleaning out the shed might not happen anytime soon and you know what I am ok with that. 

Thankfully I have a great support system behind me and all I have to do is ask.

This little girl also helps me keep it together.