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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just your typical Saturday morning...

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Friday, July 30, 2010


The video quality is terrible but you'll get the idea!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2 Posts in One Day. Grad school classes are definitely over.

Things I'm Thinking About Presently:

1. Why can I never find the mute button on the remote?

2. If I ever have a landline, I might make a special effort to find a Duck Phone that quacks instead of rings.

3. If I had an acronym to describe my life, it would not be GTL. Mainly because I passionately hate doing laundry.

4. I might be watching JS reruns right now, while I cut out laminated cubby tags for my classroom that doesn't even have any cubbies. Wishful thinking and/or preparedness.

5. I never told you how sad I am that my favorite scripted reality TV show has ended. I loved The Hills. Every season. Even with KCav. The ending was phenomenal and I watched it by my lonesome, drinking cherry wine in Michigan. I quite possibly teared up a bit when Holly got emotional over Heidi's disappearance.

6. I have started reading Breaking Dawn. Bella and Edward are about to tie the knot. I never finished Eclipse, though I saw the movie on opening night and loved it. Since I have almost 2 years to finish the last book, let's hope I can make it.

7. I found another great buy from Walmart! Especially for us elementary educators! They are carrying a line of {PJ} tops right now sporting Dr. Seuss characters! First Eric Carle, and now Seuss! Love it. And it's only 7 bucks. Perfect for Dr. Seuss' birthday celebration in March. And to wear out running errands in July ;)

8. Please refer to above pic for proof that I do, in fact, make my bed daily. It just so happens that for the majority of the WIWW outfits, I hadn't made it yet...

9. Movies I currently have from Netflix to watch: The Time Traveler's Wife and Remember Me. Seen them?

10. School starts three weeks from yesterday. Siiiiiiiiigh. Back to cutting out cubby tags.

Preschool Prediction???

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My little stinker starts preschool in a month. And after our brief (less than 30 minutes) stint in story time at the local library last week, I have my concerns. As the above pictures attest, Becks couldn't sit still which makes me wonder how he'll fare during story time and seat work in a structured setting? I guess preschool is all about socialization and learning routines, but I'm still a little worried. I can't tell you how many times I whispered sit on your heiney under my breath as I watched from the art table while he was that kid romping around while the teacher sang 5 Little Monkeys. My little monkey just couldn't be tamed!

Even having me sit with him on the floor wasn't an effective approach - those foam sitting squares were too cool to sit on. He wanted to, well, throw them. During story time. Shoo.

He can also be a bit of a show-off...future class clown???

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Story About a Plumber, Dog Hair, and a Flood

It's Monday night. 11ish. I return home from watching The Bachelorette with my girlfriends, open the front door and walk into a house that smells highly of a damp towel that's been sitting on the floor of the laundry room mildewing for a week and half without anyone noticing. I immediately alert B to this terrible odor and he insists that he doesn't notice it. Men.

Well, then, I must investigate alone, all while convincing myself that our home has a mold infestation and we will likely all suffer black lung and die of dysentery Oregeon Trail-style. {Dr. Google confirms that black lung happens to coal miners, but whatever.} The smell seemed to be circulating through the vents, so I naturally blame the basement. The cold, dark basement that houses the mice compound, mounds of laundry, and enough dog hair to outfit several small long-haired chiuauas. Needless to say, I don't go down there unless it's absolutely necessary (i.e. when no one has clean undies).

I decide to make the trek downstairs anyway. I open both the washer and dryer and give both a good sniff, praying that they're the culprit. Because, you know, it's not uncommon that I would leave a load in the washer for, hmmmm, a week before rewashing it [twice] and transfering it to the dryer. Despite my inability to do laundry in a timely manner, the washer and dryer both check out and I move on to sniffing other things.

Like the wash basin (gross!) and the drain (grosser!).

And then I move onto the ceiling. I am a tall girl, so sniffing the ceiling really wasn't that difficult. My nose leads me directly to a drip. A drip we've known about for toomanymonthstoadmit right under the bathtub. I call B down at this point, since he's even taller than I am, thus putting his nose even closer to the ceiling of the basement than my own. He pulls out the "I've been telling you about this for months!" card and I [silently] agree [in my head] that something should have been done much sooner. Like, say, January? Niether of us are willing to touch the area of the possible drip, lest we contract black lung or dysentery and decide that I will call a plumber in the morning.

I do and he shows up about 4pm yesterday. Let me give you a mental image: dude is 7 feet tall and roughly 400 pounds. And dressed in a black {too tight} tee shirt and black {too short} shorts. And boots, of course. He is so tall that when I lead his nose to the basement, his head grazes the underside of our basement stairs. In doing so, his buzz cut attracts a huge clump of dog hair. And then I must carry on a serious conversation with this man about my concerns that the entire first floor is going to collapse due to rotting from the drip, all while a mass of Leland's fur is attached to his head. Five minutes in and I am less concered with the drip and more concerned with containing my laughter to the inside my head. Also, he is sweating profusely and wiping his face with a roll or paper towels that he brought into my house. Not one paper towel. The entire roll. Would you believe me if I told you flies were swarming him too? Because they were. And they were not from inside my home. Swear. It was like Pig Pen (from the Peanuts Gang) in the flesh, as a plumber.

Turns out, the drip is minor and due to improper shower seals and has nothing to do with any pipe damage or anything. And it cost $75 for this diagnosis. But the comic relief may have been worth it.

Yet, the story goes on, which brings us back to the smell. Which was not, in fact, resonating from the drip in the ceiling exactly. But, from a pile of old clothes sitting beneath the drip that had mildewed/molded, for a long time. Too long. Common sense tells you I would have guessed that first, but, no I didn't and we didn't discover it until the flood.

Oh yes, our basement flooded with 4 inches of water last night after a 45 minute torrential downpour and our outdoor drain was clogged with mud and our indoor drain was clogged with, you guessed it, dog hair. Upon removing any and everything that got wet and putting it straight into the garbarge, we discovered the moldy clothes pile and now life is good.

Just thought you would appreicate that story. Have a glorious Wednesday.

What I Wore Wednesday

Lindsay over at The Pleated Poppy has been hosting a What I Wore Wednesday every week for the past couple months, so I decided to play along this week.
Gold necklace - Target
Black dress - Walmart
Flops - NY&Co.
Shirt - NY&Co.
Skinny jeans - Plato's Closet (Old Navy)
Nude pumps - Miley Cyrus for Walmart
Pink Tank - Walmart ($3.50 - go buy one!)
Shorts - Old Navy
Trusty sidekick - God
Headband - Target
Scarf - NY&Co.
Grey Tank - Walmart
Pleated skirt - Banana Republic Outlet
Slip-on Shoes - Walmart
Yellow Tank - Walmart
Sundress - TJ Maxx
Flops - Rainbows
Blue sweater - Gap outlet
Pink sundress - Gap outlet
Sandals - Target
Purse - Thrift Store
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Go visit Lindsay - she makes the cuuuuuutest stuff!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Completely Random

1. You would never know by looking at my new room, but I have done a lot in there over the past week. Since I am changing grade levels, I had to move rooms which was a feat in itself. I completed all of the bulletin boards and have organized as much as I possibly can...but...I'm missing a crucial aspect of organizational success. Namely, student desks, cubbies, cabinets, and student computers. My new room is the former art room so I am acquiring an in-room sink (big deal for us elementary school teachers who have a thing for art projects!), lots of windows, and space! Oh my, the space! I love it! But, again, no classroom furniture besides what's pictured below. Supposedly, it was all ordered months ago. I can deal without cubbies for the start of school but I don't think I can maintain order without desks, lest we all be sitting campfire-style on the floor singing Kumbya for our song of the week. Also, yay for Teacher Week! It's on! Hopefully, I'll get to posting details later this week. If you're an educator interested in taking part, see the post below :)

2. Just some cute photos of my boys swimming this weekend. Becks has ditched the support ring in favor of swimmies only. He's quite a little fish, and even jumps off the board unassisted (i.e. into the arms of no one!). Of course, there are about five sets of adult eyes on him, all ready to jump in fully clothed if necessary. I predict that he'll be swimming proficiently by next summer!

3. So Crayola markers are black now, which apparently makes them greener. As in better for the environment since they're made from recyclable material. Who knew?
4. Becks is big into puzzles these days. Particularly one puzzle that shows a scene from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. He will help me construct it over and over, and before he destroys it he stands on it. Interesting.

5. It's a chore-kinda-day at our house. I have a big ol' heap of laundry to do and we need groceries something desperate. Becks lunch yesterday may have been hotdog, lima beans, and some wrinkly blueberries. Yeah, I agree: FAIL.

6. My sister and I took our kiddos to a farm last week to take advantage of [cheap] produce. Of course we had to pose for a picture on a picnic table infested with bumble bees. Sutton is being stung as the picture was snapped.
7. Meet Homey B. He's all about wearing a baseball cap. Backwards.

8. At bedtime lately, Becks requests to sleep with his soccer book. So we let him. And when I check on him, he usually looks like this.
9. Ask me if it bothers me that I'm ending this list on number 9?
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Calling All Educators!

Okay, so I know a lot of you that read my little ol' blog are educators and are probably gearing up for the 2010-2011 school year. I know I'm already in full-out back-to-school mode, and have spent far too much time in my classroom over the past week.

With that said, I wondered how many of you would be interested in me hosting a Teacher Week on Babbling Abby where we could all idea-swap, share strategies, websites, classroom photos, etc. sometime during the month of August.

I absolutely LOVE learning new things from other teachers and sometimes the best PD you can get is from collaborating and sharing what you have/know. {Sometimes CO forgets that the best experts are the actual teachers!} Anyway, if you're interested in reading about or participating in such a week, please let me know by leaving a comment! Thanks and have a great day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

:::Changes for The Babblings:::

I have been keeping a life changing secret from my blogging buddies for months now. {And, no, I am NOT pregnant. Sorry to disappoint.} And, to you, it may not be a big deal. But it is to our little family.

Meet the new babysitter, pictured below with Beck. We mostly call him Daddy around these parts.

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B will be leaving his job mid-August to go back to school. Full time. He has a couple years ahead of him to complete his bachelor's degree, and I couldn't be more excited or proud of him. It was a tough decision that we spent hours discussing and planning.

Conveniently, B was able to schedule classes on MWF, leaving TR completely open to take Becks to and from preschool, study, and be Mr. Mom - a title he is willing to accept as I begin teaching fulltime a week before he starts back. (FYI: Becks will still go to his Nana's too.} I am also taking two grad school classes this fall, so I'm thinking our lives are going to revolve mostly around school for the next two years: preschool, first grade, and college (hellllllooooo, tax break!). To say our plate is full is a drastic understatement. Holy cow. I'm going to try to not think about how busy everything is going to be.

Nevertheless, budgets are going to be tighter, family time will be appreciated more, and prayer is going to be crucial. It's encouraging to think, though, that when it's all said and done, B will have a degree, I'll have a master's, and Becks will be well on his way to gradeschool (well, that actually scares the poo out of me). Whether or not he'll get a sibling anytime soon is still yet to be determined... Is it okay to s-p-a-c-e them out? We'll see. Only time will tell.
So, that's it. Our big change.

Love you, B.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Awkward Hall of Fame

My mom was doing some cleaning a couple of weeks ago and presented me with these little gems:
Yup, all four of my high school yearbooks. I started flipping through the first couple pages (you know, the ones where everyone signs with Call me! and BFF4L) and had to fight back the embarrassment. Particularly when I got to the pages headed with **DO NOT SIGN. THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR B!** and then completely filled with sweet nothings from my seventeen year old boyfriend (now husband) as he professes his undying love for me. Oh don't you worry, I filled up at least two full pages in his yearbook too. I gag a little bit thinking about it. Soooooo awkward!

Anyway, when I was in college and lived with three of my bestest girls in a house on campus, we dedicated a hallway wall to post pictures of ourselves in middle and high school. We called it the Awkward Hall of Fame because we were all convinced that each of us was more awkward, nerdy, and loser-ish than the other. Nothing says uncool like permed short hair, oversized glasses, and high waters. Thank goodness we're finally cool now, right girls?! Ha.

While I was definitely a middle school quasimodo, high school certainly lent itself to more awkwardness though I could mask it better through bootcut jeans that finally came in a long length and some better haircuts. Let's move on to the evidence...

1997-1998 Freshman Year
Hmmm. Where to begin? Maybe with the greasy strands I selected to frame my face would be a good place. Because you know that I strategically placed them for the photo. This is pre-eyebrow shaping too. Love it.

1998-1999 Sophomore Year
A slight improvement over the previous year. I remember feeling scandalous wearing this top because it was - gasp - sleeveless! I'm pretty sure my mom made me pack a sweater in my backpack in case the dean caught me. Scratch that. Backpacks weren't cool sophomore year. I opted to lug around twelve tons of books that year instead of strapping a Jansport to my back. I guess I carried the sweater to school.
1999-2000 Junior Year
Oh, the year of the plastic choker necklace. And more risque shoulder bearing. The dress I wore in that pic cost a fortune at Express and had buckle clasps on the straps. I probably spent an entire month's worth of babysitting money to buy it and sent it off to Plato's Closet by spring. These days, I couldn't tell you the last time I set foot in, let alone bought something from Express. Honestly, it's been years.

2000-2001 Senior Year

Omiword. I can't belive I'm showing you this one. In color! It's awful! They didn't even brush out the acne on my forehead for MY SENIOR PICTURE. Gah. Also note the not-so-subtle lightening of my hair. Thank you, Sun-In, for bequeathing me with that brassy shade of orange. I had to use that natural method of lightening before I turned 18 since my mom wouldn't let me highlight my hair until that magic age. So, on December 23, 2000, I not only booked an appointment at a salon to get blonde highlights, but I also WENT TO A FLEA MARKET to get my belly button pierced. (What? You think that's unsafe and skanky? Oh, it totally is, but the tatoo parlor where I wanted to get it done was closed. God help me if I ever have a daughter.)

2001 Senior Superlative: Best Dressed

Despite the bad hair and interesting outfit choices, I manged to be voted best-dressed by my fellow classmates. Riddle me that.

Please, feel free to join me in the awkwardness. And have a happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer needs an extra month.

Summer has escaped me.

As July packs away it's parades and sparklers, August swiftly opens school doors and blows my teacher hat squarely atop my head. Four weeks from today, as a matter of fact, I will greet a squirrely group of first-graders clad in squeaky new shoes and clutching plastic superhero lunch boxes to their chests ready for all-day instruction, lunch, and daily recess. And they won't be the only ones adjusting to a seven hour school day.
Having the good fortune to spend the past two years teaching part-time, half-day kindergarten has been a dream. Becks and I still got to spend a good part of the day together and I never missed a milestone. And while I am truly excited to teach first grade, it is a bittersweet transition as I leave my little guy in the hands of another caregiver while I work. Something I never thought I would do. However, and this is a great big HOWEVER, the new babysitter is pretty stinkin' fabulous with Beck and he absolutely adores this person. I will have no trouble leaving for the day. I will introduce him/her to you soon :) We're also getting ready to go through a big life change in the Babbling Household, so that's on the horizon too. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pure Michigan

I don't really like to reveal the secrets of where we vacation, and not because I don't want you to go all stalkerish on me and follow me up north. It's actually because I love our spot up north and don't want to share it with anyone. It's still largely undiscovered {though much more populated this year due to the rerouting of vacations because of the oil spill}, and I'd like to keep it that way. The quaint little towns, adorable places to dine, the local boutiques and shops all teeming with summer sundresses upon their racks - I just don't want to share. I want to keep it all to my selfish self.
I'm stalling, really. While my 257 pictures upload to the computer. 250 of them including Becks, of course. You'll soon see that the skies are blue and the water bluer - but better than visiting the ocean because the waves are small and the water is salt-free. However, Lake Michigan is a chilly 60 something degrees. Even in the summer heat. Which is really okay. Because the pool water will do just fine fine for swimming and the warm sand on the beach is beyond perfect for sitting in while your two-year-old explores with a pail and plastic shovel.

[Progress...72 of 257 have uploaded. I'm just waiting for the day that my computer hard drive is full. It's going to be soon. I know it.]

Anyway, we had a great time with our little family and our big family too. There was lots to do during the day, enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather (sans humidity, might I add), hopping from shop to shop in search of souvenirs and inspiration, and dining on cherries all week long. Becks really added to the fun since he finds everything entertaining. Whether it was chasing "Chippy" (a chipmunk we adopted and fed peanut brittle during our stay), swimming wearing only swimmies with daddy, or driving a golf cart, he was lovin' it. Lovin' it all.
I will tell you this, perhaps the only negative, was the serious influx of mosquitoes during our visit. We were covered in itchy spots all week long, and even Off! didn't discourage the pesky bugs. Becks probably took on the worst of it, his little noggin polka dotted in pink. He was constantly saying Skeetos! followed by slapping his hand to his head.

Well, the pictures are a plenty, so I'll probably posting them throughout the week. Likely randomly attached to a non-related post :) Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Aaaaah, Michigan...

We're back! We've been in Northern Michigan from the past week and as soon as I sift through a mound of laundry and sort the rest of my life out, I'll be write a more substantial post. In the meantime, here's Becks eating a delicious cone of Superman icecream from the corner store, while scoping out the docks at Leland, MI. We had a wonderful time, but there's nothing like home sweet home!

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