Weekending

Got to hang with my girl for some extra hours on Wednesday and also a bit on Thursday morning!  Holden went to school on Wednesday.  We are way too slow moving for him.  He did get to have extra time at home with Mommy and sister on Thursday thanks to a 2 hour delay for me.

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Gosh, why do I hate Sundays?  They overwhelm me from the moment my feet hit the floor.  I absolutely hate it!  I saw this funny e-card somewhere that said “Sunday…when we try to get our whole life together in twelve hours.”  So true and so unrealistically crazy!

I think the concept of Sunday as a day of rest is a wonderful idea.  However, Mommy and Daddy have to go to real jobs on Monday morning.  All the home jobs have to get done some time.  I can tell you that Monday afternoon at about 4:45 is probably not going to work for us (or 5:45ish in the case of the Mr.’s arrival at home).  So anwayyyy!  I obviously got a bit bogged down in the Sunday workday blues, but I/we had a wonderful weekend.  Nothing but great times!

Friday – Got off early, got my teeth cleaned (no cavities!), got my blood tested (so not fun but so worth it to be able to donate milk to the local children’s hospital milk bank), took a walk with some of my favorites and went to bed early

Saturday – ran ran ran in the morning after giving Hellie Bellie her first taste of bananas.  This went better than rice cereal.  Plus, her spit-up is now delightful!  A sweet, banana smell!  My mom aka Moochie visited us for the CHKD Make-a-Scarecrow event.  We’ve done this every year since Holden was born.  All proceeds go to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters!  We ate an early lunch at Commune…highly recommend!  Glad we got to go!  When I say it was a fast lunch, I mean it!  Holden changed into his soccer duds in the parking lot.  We picked the Mr. up on the way to the game.  Holden did great even though it was super hot at the game. P.S.  All this was done prior to 2PM.  Whew!  My mom and I left the kids with the Mr. for nap time and enjoyed fro-yo and coffee plus some grocery shopping/craft store shopping.  Love having her visit!

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Sunday – Baby food making!  So far, we’ve got bananas, avocado, pears, and sweet potato.  Helen has only had rice cereal and bananas.  Lots of freezer food!  We also took a nice walk at First Landing State Park.  It was such a great temperature and a perfect day to check out a new trail that we don’t usually take.  We came up on a nice little beach and let Holden and Roscoe (and maybe the Mr.) run wild.

Hope your weekend was a great one!  I can’t wait for another.

On a sidenote…I got stuck in the room I pump in at school this past week.  I found it hilarious, and I kind of wanted to not call anyone to help me out.  What does that say about how my work weeks have been going?  Hmmmm….The picture that I texted the Mr. below.  I was doing some slightly hysterical laughing.

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P.S.  Holden got a new bike.  He’s officially getting so tall and so big.  How is this happening!?!?  I want Helen to grow, and Holden to hold steady for a little bit.

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Weekends v. Weekdays

We are in the thick of the “weekdays” right now on this Wednesday morning.  It feels like it has been raining for 100 years, but it has really been only a full day of rain.  I woke up once for Helen and once for Holden last night.   Both times it sounded just like someone had turned a faucet on over our house!  Don’t you just hate the rain?!?!  It’s kind of cozy if you can stay home when it’s going on.  Unfortunately, that’s not what we were up to yesterday.  I have about a 30 minute drive to work in typical traffic.  Yesterday’s rain extended that quite a bit.  I just hate being late to work!  I have a hard time keeping the day going in a positive way when that happens.  Which brings me to what’s on my mind…weekends v. weekdays!

This past weekend was Holden’s first soccer game.  He loved it, and we loved watching him!  It was pretty warm with temps in the mid 80s.  The team split into two small teams, so the kids could play the whole time with no subbing.

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P.S. Boys 6 and under soccer is when things start to get a little more serious and a little more competitive!

Besides soccer, we got to attend a baptism of our old friends’ baby boy.  The Mr. was the godfather.  Doesn’t he look handsome?!  Baby and Godfather!14355539_1462250590457984_1420083822664243896_n.jpg

It was a beautiful service with lots of delicious food afterwards.  We also had a visit from Holden and Helen’s Meme and C-Pa.  This delayed nap time, so Holden was quite pleased! It was such a nice (and busy!) weekend.  I confess that Monday was not my favorite, and Tuesday was really not my favorite.  I’ve been really not feeling the work scene lately, and it’s been very noticeable.  Not to mention I’ve been pretty vocal about it!  Don’t ask me how I feel unless you REALLY want to know.

I know when I have times like this the most important thing I can do is to pray more.  Well, (sadly) I feel like I tend to pray less.  This morning I finally got myself together and spent a little time reading.  I came across this verse in Hosea 7 (verse 14).

They lie there sleepless with anxiety, but won’t ask my help.  

Instead, they worship heathen gods asking them for crops and for prosperity.

So true in my case!  I have chosen to fret and worry and obsess and just WALLOW about in my despair over working outside the home (let’s be real…there’s work inside the home too!).  Right now it seems to be my portion.  Although people say you can always change your course, I don’t feel that’s anything I can do now.  I’ve got to figure out how to make this work AND somehow enjoy it aka not be super miserable everyday.  A key part that I’ve been missing is PRAYER.  I totally have been skipping this in my life right now for worry, crying, whining, anger, and just general despair.

 So…I’m going to try to do better.  Does this seem like it’s the theme of your days?  I feel like it happens to be mine.  I am thankful for new days and fresh starts.  Even if today I may float away on the way to work.  It’s STILL raining!

Have a great hump day.

Natalie

 

To Teach or Not to Teach

Hi there!  I confess it’s WAY too late for me to be up on a school night.  My mind is absolutely spinning with some situations that really strike at the heart of me.  For me, it seems to be helpful to rehash everything 25,678 times when I’m upset about something.  So…you, my dear reader, are subjected to rehash 25,677 (<-I’m hoping to be able to give it a rest tomorrow!).

This is my tenth year teaching.  I’ve been at the same school for all those years.  I started with a provisional license that became my professional license in 2009.  I’m licensed in Specific Learning Disabilities, K-12.  I’ve taught self-contained K-2 as well as a mixed class of K-1 self-contained/resource students.  Basically, this means that some students need more help/more service time than others in that same group.  I’ve taught inclusion in grades 3 and 4.  This year I’m teaching in 4th and Kindergarten.  It is nice to be able to work with the little kinders again.  However, I confess it makes me want my own classroom again (like I had when I was self-contained).  I confess that I enjoy the younger kids more.  I think this would probably surprise some people that know me, but it’s true!

The point of this post is to say…I think I’m reaching my max of special education.  I know there are some teachers who go all 30 years plus in special ed, but I don’t think that’s me.  The special education paperwork, the general education paperwork (yes, I have to do both or help the general education teacher with hers), the model of inclusion (great for kids!  hard on this teacher), constant grade level changes, constant change of cooperating teachers, and just general attitudes really are wearing me down.

I don’t know what the next move is.  The Mr. and I spent a good hour tonight discussing my job and future possibilities.  No clear path revealed itself.  Short-term or long-term solutions did not appear.  A few truths though are…

  1. I do like kids, and I don’t mind teaching them!  ;)
  2. I’m reasonably good at it.
  3. I may be on the verge of “going off the deep end” soon if the little car temper tantrum is any indication.  Yes, I had a temper tantrum that resulted in flying objects all because I couldn’t find my car charger this morning.  Projecting my issues much!?!?!?
  4. I’m not too ambitious.  This lack of ambition is directly related to the fact that I very much want to be home with Helen (and Holden although he is in preschool and loving it now).
  5. I like to be in charge (#firstbornissues) and feel like I have some control in my job.  That, my friend, is lacking in my current situation.  I feel like things are changing all the time, and inclusion necessitates me being like a traveling teacher piecing together my day flying between classrooms that are not mine – Don’t get me wrong…my co-teachers are great and gracious!  However, I have no space that is clearly mine.  So it goes!

There you have it! My angsty, slightly whiney post!

What’s a teacher to do?!?!  Career switch suggestions??

A Sweet Weekend

It seems like our weekends are just as busy as our weekdays!  Honestly, I think I kind of like it that way.  I do have a tendency to overuse the “b” work aka BUSY!

I was admittedly very tired and more than a little overwhelmed on Friday afternoon.  I received a text from Helen’s daycare that she was a little more fussy than normal.  :(  Also, I had a lot of work that sort of plopped in my lap towards the latter part of the day.  Unfortunately, it had to be done THAT DAY!  Hate when that happens!  Lots of flaking out for us on Friday evening.

The Mr. left early Saturday morning to work on his hunting property, so the Hs and I had a nice, quiet morning until we went out around 10:30.  Holden and I made pancakes.  Helen and I snuggled bunches.  IMG_4095.jpg

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Our errands included Dollar Tree, the library (duh!), a make-your-own-chocolate-bar event (at The Royal Chocolate), the car wash, and the drugstore.  Whew!  We were home by 12:30!

Holden picked gummies and marshmallows for the inside of his bar and sprinkles for the outside.  We got to mix it up and then pour it into a mold.  Next, we sprinkled on our super-cool sprinkles!

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The chocolate event was a last minute plan that I found on My Active Child.  This is a great website for local events if you’re in the Hampton Roads area.  It’s also got plenty of local stuff that just adults might be interested in!  Check it out!  We also walked over to the little pond across from Town Center that we used to frequent when we lived there.  We saw a little duck family!  Then, Holden asked to throw some change in the fountain.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon lunching and trying to nap.  It was wishful thinking, and both the kids were restless.  Once the Mr. got home, we loaded up (along with some pea salad – here’s my recipe!) and went to our church’s annual BBQ.  Holden had a blast in the bounce house.  We enjoyed not doing dishes!  Just keeping it real!  I’m a hot mess and more than a little tired, but I was so glad we went.  I love our church and am so thankful to have such a positive place and people in our lives.

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Sunday was a very busy day!  We got a phone call very early that my mom was not feeling well.  Thankfully, all is better now!  We wanted to rush over to our Moochie but decided to wait a bit and see if things improved.  I’m happy to report they did!  Our Sunday was lots of church (I had Sunday School training), grocery shopping, gym-going, baking (2 lactation snacks – aka all Mommy’s treats), and a little neighborhood walk.  Gosh!  I need a day to recover from my weekend!  ;)

How was your weekend?

What’s the summer food you’ll miss the most?  Mine is watermelon and the easy to grill veggies like zucchini and squash!

What are you most excited about this fall?  I think I’m most excited about the decorations and just being cozy at home.

Have a great week!

Natalie

Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Hi there!  I’m so happy to report that we are in the middle of a holiday weekend, AND I completed my second 1/2 marathon today!  Woo hoo!  I’ve been battling indecisiveness (about doing the race or not), a big case of mom guilt (due to time spent on running – – although I’m not sure why since I usually run very early in the AM!), an aching foot, lots of blisters, and lovely back and blue toenails.

Well, race day arrived this morning at an exactly 4:15 wake up call.  We really weren’t sure what was going to happen as our area got lots of rain and wind from Tropical Storm Hermine on Saturday.  We even lost power at 9AM on Saturday morning until about 7 PM that night.  The Mr. was awesome at staying positive and getting us all organized for the early morning.  The race for Sunday went off as scheduled!  Parking was a little more chaotic for us this time.  I truthfully think we left later from the house (2 kids v. 1 nowadays!).  I had to feed Helen in the parking lot before we could head down to the start line.  Both Holden and Helen were complete angels with the early morning wake-up call, but I was still worried about leaving the Mr.  I know he’s completely capable.  I also know how quickly things can go crazy.  I was home all summer with them after all!

After a lovely port-a-potty visit, I kissed my favorite people good-bye and hopping in corral 2.  If you’re unfamiliar with wave starts, it basically means the race officials left some people go at certain times…this is based on your anticipated finish time.  Faster you are the sooner you start.  Well, corral 1 was looking mighty sparse, so I may or may not have edged up and joined the super fast folks.  I did get to catch a quick glimpse of my favorites as the first group left the start line.  To be honest, I felt like I ran the first 5K slow.  Turns out that I didn’t!

The first 6 miles felt pretty good.  Things did start to go slightly downhill from there.  I got lots of blisters on my toes, and I could tell my nails going to be very painful when I was finished.  However, I did maintain pretty good speed until about mile 10.  Then, we made a turn to head back to the oceanfront.  Wind and a slight hill via a bridge were not my friends – PS I always run on very flat land.  Don’t judge the flat land runners!  A slight hill is a big deal!  :)

I was really struggling the last mile to maintain my pace.  I did a pretty decent job of it.  I do wish I was able to really pick up the pace in my last mile and sprint to the finish.  The sprint at the end is always my favorite part of every race and workout.  I’m thinking less half-marathon distances in my future and fast, shorter courses.  I was really pleased with my final time of 1:43.  This just smushed my previous time of 1:50.  My overall pace was 7:55, but I was faster than that early on.  I was so happy to get to the finish line as the last mile was into the wind on the boardwalk.  I felt slightly light-headed when I finished, but it quickly faded.  So thrilled to see my people!  The Mr. had everything under control, and I am so glad the kids were there to see me finish.  Plus, Helen had to nurse.  She had to come!  No choice little one!  ;)  These are my overall stats…

 

  • OVERALL322 / 6088
  • DIVISION10 / 545
  • GENDER45 / 3331

 

 

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So thankful for these two sweet blessings!  Running is fun and all, but they are one of my greatest blessings and joys!

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Here’s my other biggest joy and blessing!  I am amazed each day by him.  He loves me completely and supports me constantly.  I’m so very thankful that God got us together.

Whew!  No more mushy for now!

I plan to savor the rest of today and tomorrow with my sweet family.  Here’s my little corner of sweetness at work…

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And just for fun…here’s Miss Hellie Bellie!

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Ignore spittle from those cute lips…hers not mine!  Sidetone:  How do none of my children share my eye color!??!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natalie

 

Silent Sunday

Here’s a review in pictures of our weekend with just a few words!  Enjoy and happy Monday!

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Last day of the three musketeers (Thursday) meant a library visit, playground time, and fro-yo!  All Holden’s requests!

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How Helen feels about Mommy going to work😦

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My loves

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Front porch coffee time (Dog on furniture, people on the floor…typical)

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8 mile run at the oceanfront = no foot pain!  So thankful!  P.S.  I have no idea how this happened except that I prayed about it.  I didn’t ice it, take meds, put heat on it, stay off of it…no explanation!

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Boogie Board Love at First Ride

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The fourth wheel to our Saturday night beach & dinner date

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How was your weekend?

Any fun Labor Day plans?  Is it too soon to talk about the weekend?!

Natalie

Back to School Decor & More!

The final countdown is definitely on!  Today is our last official full day of the three of us.  Tomorrow is Holden’s last day of summer camp.  His camp had an Olympic theme, so tomorrow is “closing ceremony” day.  Isn’t that the cutest!  We also visited the home daycare that Helen will be off to on Monday morning to drop off a crazy amount of supplies.  With all the forms and things to buy, I felt like we were sending her off to college or something!  I know I will be a hot mess on Monday morning for several reasons…1)  I will have to be up and out the door WAY earlier than my normal for the last 4.5 months (hoping to be in the car on the way no later than 6:45 each day!).  2)  I’ll be thinking/worrying about how the loading and dispersing of children will go for the Mr.  3)  I feel way attached to Helen (sorry Holden!  Mommy loves you!) at this point in her life versus how I felt about Holden and going back to work.  4)  I have to figure out how/when/where to pump for this continued breastfeeding project.  5)  I’m going to have OODLES to do when I get to work!

Let’s defer that hot mess-ness for a few more days!

On this last full day, we are planning to do a few simple summer favorites.  A trip to the playground and the library is on the agenda.  Holden also made a special request for a visit to our local frozen yogurt place.  I’m totally in agreement!  We plan on heading there after lunch.

In an effort to be a little more excited about back-to-school, I purchased some inexpensive decorations at Target back in July.  I really love how the few items look on our mantle.

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I always feel unsure how to decorate for this time of year.  Summer’s over, but fall stuff seems silly!  I am excited about lots of events this fall.  Let’s list a few and focus on some fun!

  • CHKD Make-a-Scarecrow – This is a great local event that benefits the children’s hospital.  All proceeds go to the hospital!  We’ve done it for the past three years.  My mom has always been a main participant, but we’ve had Aunt Dee Dee, my dad, and the Mr. join us for some years.  Register here!
  • Aunt Brooke & Uncle Michael’s Wedding – We’re looking forward to that in October!  Holden is the ring bearer.  We’ve already got him measured for his dapper outfit.
  • Pumpkin Carving – I can’t wait to do all these little things with Helen.
  • Halloween! – Our Granny is coming to visit for the big day.  Holden is dictating an Indian theme for everyone, and he is insistent that he needs a spear, tomahawk, bow & arrow, plus any other possible projectile weapon his brain can think up!
  • Hunting Season – Not my most favorite time of the year, but I am happy for the Mr.  He works hard all the time wether he’s at actual work or at home.  Plus, he’s a pretty good at the leisurely “family” stuff aka schlepping our stuff to the beach this summer and just generally packing the car (and unpacking!) for all of our trips.  Not to mention all the other things he does to make “us” work!  I hope he has a great hunting season!
  • Opera – My sister wants to go to the opera for her birthday.  I am not an opera person, but I’m always up for spending time with my mom and sister.  We’re hoping to go to The Barber of Seville when it’s in town in November.  If you’re local, buy tickets here!
  • Soccer Season – Holden (and we are too!) is so excited about soccer starting up again!  I was on the fence about signing him up for the fall season, but I think it will be great.  We got him some cleats this time which he is in love with (gently used cleats for $9 – great for feet that grow fast!  We got them at Play It Again Sports.).  He even played outside on Wednesday morning for about 40 minutes.  I got quite the view while I finished my coffee and breakfast!

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Isn’t that a good nail polish color?!  It’s Sonic Bloom from Sally Hansen Insta-Dry.  Get it here!  I have absolutely no time for nail polish that takes forever to dry!  

  • Thanksgiving – I just love Thanksgiving.  We visit family on the Eastern Shore for this holiday.  I confess that my most favorite part of Thanksgiving is that it is the official start of the CHRISTMAS SEASON.  After all, my name does mean “Christmas gift!”  ;)

 

What are you looking forward to in the fall?

Any favorite fall traditions?

How do you feel about the opera?  I’m thinking my mom will either hate it or have a Julia Roberts’ experience in Pretty Woman and love it.  Can’t wait to see!

Have a great Thursday!

Natalie

P.S.  I linked up with Annie and Natalie today!  Go over and check them out!

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