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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Same old, same old.

I haven't had much blog material lately.  Mostly because I would be writing the same post every day.  The same things you've probably read here, oh, at least a dozen times before.

Life is soooo busy.  I'm stressed out of my mind.  The laundry isn't caught up.  My house is a wreck.  I haven't cleaned the bathroom in over a month.  Becks is still terrible-two-ish (and very sweet at times too!).  I can't believe how fast the year has gone by.  School is running me dry.  Grad school is a load of busy work.  I am tired, tired, tired.  Etcetera.  Etcetera.

Sound familiar?

Sometimes I wonder if being busy is a blessing or a curse.  Because I usually thrive when I'm most busy.  I budget my time more wisely, I think better on my feet, and feel most creative when it's crunch time. 

But this busy - the kind of busy where I do stupid things like forget to complete the application for a grad school class that is, gulp, due tomorrow - this busy is anxiety-inducing and not-so-much inspiring.  I am drained. 

I wish I could add about four additional weekends in the month of December just so I have time to enjoy the season and still find the time to create Christmas-themed units for my classroom and holiday shop and find the time to make a homemade pumpkin pie because I've never made one in my life. 

But, again, this busy-ness is nothing new.  It's a season in our lives.  And, admittedly, if I were speaking in terms of semesters, this one really has gone by quickly.  What was once August is now December. Crazy. 

Stop and smell the poinsettias, anyone?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Omiword.  I haven't blogged in four days!  Stop. The. World.

I have plenty of excuses, though.  All valid.

Here's why I haven't had a spare second to even so much as get on a computer {no, really, I haven't been online since Monday!}...

We left Wednesday morning for Meeeeechigan, and Becks made it his first car trip without a pacifier since the mice carried away the jee-bahs about three weeks ago .  We listened to "his music" (Taylor Swift) and only had to turn on the Wiggles for the last hour of the trip  He was extremely well-behaved in the car, much to our surprise. 
Don't you love when you tell them to "say cheese!" and this is what you get...

Obvs, we were up north for Thanksgiving.  We delighted in spending time with my extended family, and Becks had a ball with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  As always, the turkey was yummy, the pumpkin pies were whipped-creamy, and the Detroit Lions lost.  Some things never change.  {And if I have to hear the Ohio State fight song one more time today, I'm going to throw the remote at the TV.  Booooo on OU.} 

I went Black Friday shopping for the first time in my life.  Now, I've shopped the day after Thanksgiving before.  But not at 4:15am.  Now that's shopping on Black Friday.  My aunt and my sister somehow persuaded me into rising waaaay too early yesterday to accompany them to Meijer's so my sister could get an iPod touch.  And if you're up that early, you might as well grab and Eggnog Latte and continue on your merry way to every other store marketing doorbusters on November 26th.  So, I did.  And besides checking off Go Black Friday shopping at 4:15am off of my bucket list, I also scored some deal-icious Christmas loot.

Aubbers and Aunt Ann celebrating her buy...
We visited The Cider Mill in Franklin and Becks had a time throwing crackers to the ducks.  It was a balmy 22 degrees, so the hot donuts were a welcomed treat.  My sister suggested we alternate taking turns sticking out heads inside the donut bag to warm up.  It really was a good thought.

In one of the more exciting events of the past four days, Becks' dream came true and he acquired a set of hand-me-down wooden trains and tracks from my aunt.  Seriously, he loooooooves it.  I had a hard time dragging him away from it so he could take a nap today.  Thanks, Aunt Ann and Uncle Chris!  It was like Christmas come early :)

Well, our holiday weekend isn't over yet.  We have more family to visit with tonight back in our home state.  Happy Saturday, y'all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 1: Christmas Traditions

{Christmas Traditions}
Some of my most memorable Christmas traditions originate with my family, and will likely carry over to my new little family this year.  This will be the first year we celebrate Christmas morning at our own home, just the three of us.  We decided last year we wanted to start some of our traditions, so that Becks would have memories like we did when we were young. So, I'll tell you about some of my {goofy} family traditions from growing up...
Christmas Eve service at church with my family, followed by a viewing of Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation.
Writing notes to Santa and leaving cookies for him, along with carrots for Rudolph.  I did this with my sisters even after I was married :)
My dad reading us T'was the Night Before Christmas as my sisters and I read in unison with him.  He found this very annoying and would threaten to stop reading every time we broke away in a fit of giggles as we mocked him.  He then read the story of the first Christmas from the Bible.  Again, this continued well into my marriage. 
My sisters and I all slept in the same bedroom, telling stories way after our parents forbade us to be up.  As long as we promised no to go downstairs this was acceptable.  (Family inside joke: an almost ruined down comforter after a midnight spill.  Bleh!!!)
Before getting married, my sisters and I awoke to "Santa's sleighbells" around 5am as he exited our rooftop.  Our Santa was a very excited kind of Santa who couldn't wait to wake us up on Christmas morning.  I kid you not, at 22-years-old, my heart woke with a flutter when I heard the bells chime, even knowing their source wasn't from the pawing and prancing of Rudolph above.  After Chels and I got married, and as the brood of grandkiddos increased to 3, we still continued this tradition. 
Whoever wakes up first has to alert the other two and then we "wake my parents up."  My dad goes downstairs first and always exlaims Holy Toledo! when he sees the presents under the tree.  We all sit on the stairs while my dad starts the fire and my mom makes coffee, waiting for the okay. 
Here is the customary picture my mom snaps every Christmas morning.  We all look pretty awesome at 5am.

We all sit in the same spot in the living room every year, and request that our presents be scattered underneath the tree instead of grouped in piles.  My dad plays Santa and hands out presents v-e-r-y slowly to make the morning last as long as possible.

It makes me a little sad that these traditions will start to fade for us this year.  However, I do look forward to starting new ones with my boys :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Activities for First Grade

I finally had the opportunity to do some themed planning, and after frequenting The First Grade Parade {my new FAVORITE blog!} I was inspired to incorporate lots of her Thanksgiving literacy activities into my own curriculum.  I owe her heaps of credit and am thankful that she posts so many easily doable activities on her site.  If you teach primary, you must check her out.  Enough italicizing, on with the projects!

It just so happened that we were studying long a words this week, and this darling printable was available at TFGP.  The kids could choose real words or "silly" {nonsense} words to write on the feathers, which is why this student wrote thave.  They're totally adorable. 
We read The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern, and then used a graphic organizer of the Mayflower to sort statements about what life was like aboard it.

 Afterwards, they created these adorable "suitcases" that they would pack if they were able to travel on the Mayflower in modern times. 
 We read so many Thanksgiving-themed books this week, that I forget the one we read before we created this Venn diagram about pilgrims and Indians.  I think it was about Squanto, though. 

 We created another graphic organizer that discussed things the pilgrims did in the 1600s compared to what we do in the 2000s.  Then, as a follow-up, the kids created a pilgrim child and were given the sentence starter "I can_____, but the pilgrims could not."

For morning work one day, I gave each child a copy of a Thanksgiving poem that they were to write for the Thanksgiving placemats we created.  The turkey feather spread were marker-tye-died coffee filters and turned out adorable.   

 We also made scrapook paper turkeys with button eyes.  Love them!  First grade artwork is the best!

This idea was my own and incorporates graphing, making predictions, along with connections.  After reading so much about the pilgrims plight on the Mayflower, I decided to give my kids a taste {literally} of what life may have been like.  They had to predict whether or not they thought they would like Mayflower fare - "salted beef" and "dry biscuits."  The "salted beef" was regular beef jerky and the "dry biscuits" were drop biscuits made from Jiffy mix.  The kids loved the taste test. 

Our focus in reading was predictions, so we created a prediction chart for T'was the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey.  The kids loved this story!  We followed this activity with the scrapbook turkeys pictured above. 

 And, if you want to read the poem above clearer, here is the sample I showed the kids. 
Again, please remember that I borrowed many of these ideas for TFGP! 

Week in Review

This past week has been too busy for words.  Literally.  I am awake waaaaay to early this morning, but I figured I'd blog before the boys are up and at 'em.  Here's my week in review...

1.  In addition to parent-teacher conferences, my grade also completed our service learning project.  Our kids made fringe fleece blankets for this organization.  I also did a plethora of super fun Thanksgiving activities that I have every intention of posting about...but I keep forgetting to take pictures!  Argh.

2.  I went thrifting with my sister.  I bought a cute scarf for 50 cents and that was about it.  Well, and I might have bought the most adorable Babygap peacoat for my future daughter.  That I don't have the intention of having for another 2-3 years.  I couldn't resist it for a buck fifty.  Is that weird?  Don't answer that.

3.  Becks and I went to the new Kroger that just opened in our area.  LOVE IT.  Omiword, it has a Starbucks in it, enormous aisles for your 2-year-old to sprint down as you barrel after him, and I was one of the first three hundred customers there yesterday morning (mostly for Starbucks and donuts) so I got free cheese!  It doesn't get better than free cheese at 8am. 

4.  Strangely, despite the chaos, our house managed to stay somewhat clean, the laundry was caught up, and we had food to eat.  It is uncommon that all three of those things are mastered simultaneously.

5. I bought Becks Christmas jammies.  That he insisted on wearing immediately.  Again, 2-year-olds are awesome.
 6.  I probably haven't mentioned it much in the past couple months, but I am taking two grad school classes this semester.  And, honestly, grad school has been the least of my worries. Dare I say that I have found it to be substaintially easier than undergrad?  Like, totally cake.  Anyway, it's the end of the semester, so of course there's like 20,000 things due.  I spent most of yesterday writing a 5-page paper on a cultural immersion experience.  It was thrilling.

7.  Can I just take a second to note that I feel like everyone is pregnant?  If you check out the sidebar blogs that I frequent, TEN of the blog authors have added recently or are adding to their family soon.  And I have many other IRL friends who are preggo too.  Not that I'm jealous or anything...

8.  Don't you hate how all things expensive tend to hit in the same month?  I mean car insurance and car tags both being due in December is just wrong. 

9.  B and I went to a jazz lounge last night for one of his classes.  We actually really enjoyed ourselves.  It was kind of like a mandatory date. Something we haven't made the time for since life went crazy busy back in August.  
10.  The upcoming week is just as busy...but more relaxing :)  And our Thanksgiving forecast includes snow showers.  I'm pumped! 

Off to the new Kroger for the Sunday paper!  Have a great day, y'all :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not a whole lot to say...for once!

I have been staring at this screen, trying to come up with words, and nothing is coming.  I guess I wasted all my words during 24 15-minute conferences over the past four days.  Essentially, in addition to the regular amount of talking I do {which is a lot, if you couldn't guess} I did an extra 6 hours of talking this week.

So, my mind is kind of blank when it comes to blogging.  It's taking enough energy to find mindless comedy {The Office} funny, let alone attempt to actually be entertaining in writing. Forgive me. 

Plus, I haven't done hardly anything that has been remoting interesting since Saturday - unless you count a super sweet trip to Walmart wtih Becks, where he was so enthralled with the blow-up Christmas decorations that we walked down the aisle a half-dozen times at his request.  His eyes would grow big every time we'd pass by the hidden CD player crooning Christmas music, as if it played by magic.  And then I let him pick out a $2 penguin ornament {recent obsession}, and let him touch the Christmas tree.  Love him.


{PS.  I haven't had a chance to read many of your blogs lately!  So sorry!  I'll catch up over the weekend!}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Cutest Boy in {My} World

Beckham's First School Picture
2010-2011 School Year
I can't help but just gush over this cute little guy.  He's my favorite.  Love him.

{Parent-teacher conferences have had me swamped all week!  You know I'm busy if I didn't participate in WIWW.  Ha!  Back with more substantial posts soon - once I can think normally and not in terms of stanines and standards...}

Monday, November 15, 2010


I wish you all could see my desk right now.  It is an absolute wreck.  It all but killed me to leave it in such disarray today, but I just didn't have the energy to sort through the stacks of papers or staple report card data together after spending 16 hours in my classroom in the past 36 hours.  Thanks be to parent-teacher conferences.  Anyway, that's niether here nor there (though does account for my blogging absence over the weekend).

And now because I've been thinking mostly in list-form all day (as in, how many more things do I have to accomplish before Thanksgiving break?), here's a quick snapshot of our weekend...

1.  Dr. B and I ventured to the Holiday Market in Cinci on Saturday and - stop the world - we totally had a glass of wine while we walked around.  How fun is that?!  I bet I told Katie 200x how pumped I was to be there!  It doesn't get much better than Christmas shopping, time with one of your bests, and a glass of pinot.  Love. It.
 2.  I bought some fun things at the market.  One of my best buys was from one of my FAVORITE vendors out of northern Michigan - dark chocolate covered dried cherries.  YUM.  I tried to justify my buy by telling myself I was purchasing them to give as Christmas gifts.  Negative.  I'm eating them right now.
3.  We had a fabulous time at B's parents' house.  Becks found this "spooky hat" (as he calls it) in the basement and wore it for all of dinner.  Two-year-olds are kind of awesome like that.

4.  I battled my brother-in-law, P, in Just Dance.  OMIWORD.  I LOVE this game!!!!!  How nerdy to do I look?!  Let me just tell you, it is a work out.  I was sweating and out of breath after I battled P and B in back-to-back dance-offs.  Incredibly {I'm pretty sure the controller was broke}, they both beat me!  Ha!  I am too long and gangly to do anything that requires more coordination than snapping/clapping and swaying at the same time.

B and P are doing a duo to Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend.  I'll spare you the video I recorded, but - trust me - it was hilarious.
5.  The "spooky hat" resurfaced today.  And I bought Becks the cutest little knock-off Uggs from Cosco!  He adores them.  So do I.  Couldn't you just eat him up?
I know, this was a really random and poorly written post.  But my mind is twelve kinds of fried and I have to be back at school at the crack-of-dawn for Day 2 of conferences. 

BUT, t-minus 8 days until a FIVE DAY break!  Yay!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blog Fodder, er, Fudder?

Our little Elmer Fudd...
Tonight, Beck and I were snuggling in my bed and I was doing a really scratchy rendition of  Dear John John Deer when he informed me - so sweetly - that he was "touching his boogers."  Lovely.  He also likes to say "You hear that, mommy?!" with such incredulity that it's believable that it comes as a surprise to him every time he hears himself pass gas.  This further confirms that boys delight in the disgusting and that I am completely unprepared to handle a male pre-teen someday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CMA Stream of Consciousness

1.  Let's admit that we all kind of want to be Carrie Underwood sometimes.  Mainly for the hair.  And body.  And voice.  And looks.  And wardrobe.

2.  Gwyneth Paltrow would be a good alternative though.

3.  How fast do they have to change Carrie backstage?  I mean, 13 seconds? Maybe?  I would be concerned something was not zipped or strapped or that something was hanging out.  Not that I have much to hang out.  But if I did.

4.  Brad and Carrie are pretty much awesome hosts.  I love all the corny jokes.  And I get embarrassed when no one laughs at them.  Or it's a stifled, awkward laugh.  I'm an awful joke teller, so I can totally relate.

5.  Can't help it y'all.  I don't care if she's not the best live performer ever, but I HEART TAYLOR SWIFT.

6.  The Brad Paisley/Lady Gaga montage = Phenomenal.  I laughed.  Out Loud.  LOL.

7.  LeAnn Rimes, I don't feel sorry for you. 

8.  I could sing Need You Now by Lady Antebellum over and over again.  Alone.  At the top of my lungs.  In my car.  I feel similarly about Dear John. My night will be made if Taylor sings it.  And even more so if they flash hateful images of John Mayer in the background.

9.  Again, could Carrie be any more beautiful?

10.  Could Rascal Flatts look any less country?  Great band, but very urban, *sparkly* cowboy.

11.  I always wonder, while watching live performances on TV, if the singers have some sort of secret move that they do to indicate if they can't hear themselves, their mic goes out, or they feel like they're going to pass out.  Like, did he just hold his shirt for a reason? Was he trying to tell someone offstage something?

12.  Hmmmmm, Kelly Pickler.  Not sure what I think of that dress.  Just sayin'.

13.  The beauty of attending the Country Music Awards is that you can wear a plaid, flannel shirt and overalls and really feel quite confident you pulled off the look.

14.  I don't usually believe artists when they immediately thank God at the music awards.  But, when I watch the CMAs, I believe them.  I think that's stereotyping.

15.  I want to know who looks at their tiny , unnamed, newborn baby girl and thinks, You know what?  That, right there, is a Reba. 

16.  How cute is that Boys of Fall song?  Takes me back to my high school days. 

17.  Omiword, how is it only 8:58pm?  Daylight savings time is killing me. 

18.  I'm missing my weekly dose of Brick Brick. 

19.   Carrie's outfit changes so far = 5. 

20.  With country music on my brain, how many of you danced around to Shania's Any of Mine?  I'm pretty sure I made up dance moves to  shimmy, shake, shimmy shake, make the earth quake kick, turn, stomp, stomp, then you jump heel to toe, do si do.  Probably holding a hairbrush in front of my mirror in my bedroom. 
21.  My girl's on!  I'm pullin' for her.  Come on, Taylor!  Well, she didnt' sing Dear John.  Boo :(

22.  This is so random.  But it's a stream of consciousness, so it's my rules.  Has anyone seen the episode about the "Woo Girls" on How I Met Your Mother?  Hilarious.  My friends from college and I definitely did our fair share of woooooing.  We still do it.

23.  Sugarland is darling.  But that doesn't explain the freestanding tutu.

24.  I think I need to listen to more country music.  There are some cute songs out there that I have never heard before!

25.  Ending it here.  {Prediction: I'm sure Carrie will have another 12 outfit changes and continue to be beautiful.  Just a guess.}

Happy Wednesday :)

* Feel free to add on to my list - Miss Chelsea's comment made me die laughing!  Go read it!*

What I Wore Wednesday

Another {What I Wore Wednesday} is upon us, and I actually added a smidgen of color to my always grey and/or black wardrobe.  If you want to play along or check out everyone else's outfits, visit The Pleated Poppy!

The Can't Think of a Name Outfit
sweater - goodwill
white top - banana republic outlet
slacks - ny&co
ruffle flats - target

The B & G Look
 sweater - kmart
skinnies - gap clearance center
knit uggs - dunno

The Lakehouse Look
 top - ny&co
sweater - tjmaxx
skinnies - gap clearance center
slouchy boots - yardsale

Stop the World There's Color Outfit
 black top - express pre-marriage
blueish greenish dress - burke's outlet
leggings - white house black market
rosette flats - target

What?! More Color?! Outfit
sweater - plato's closet thrift
yellow dress - burke's outlet
leggings - h&m
ruffle flats - target

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Real Life...

My friend Britney wrote a really good post about living real life.  She she inspired me to write a similar post about real life at our house...

Real life at our house is Brandon studying.  Constantly.  He's a bookworm these days and can be found sitting on the couch, Spanish book in lap, conjugating verbs and translating words with his good friend SpanishDict.  We're all counting the days until the semester ends.

Real life at our house is a Halloween ghost still hanging from the fan above the dining room table.  Just not a priority. 

Real life at our house is Castle on Mondays, Teen Mom on Tuesday, The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town on Wendesdays, and The Office on Thursdays.

Real life at our house is a plastic grocery bag taking the place of garbage bags.  Forgot to get them on my Target run last night.  Doh!

Real life at our house is playing ball-related sports indoors.  Mark my words, something important is going to get broken soon.

Real life at our house is Dave Matthews, John Mayer, or Jack Johnson on Pandora.

Real life at our house is a worn pair of Converses that show off boyhood to the fullest.

Real life at our house is an unmade bed that I can't wait to crawl into every night.  Still sleeps the same as a made one :)

Real life at our house blocks, balls, and all things boy. 

Real life at our house is an easy dinner - how I love thee, mac-n-cheese, pbjs, and bowls of cereal.

Real life at our house is crazy and busy and chaotic and stressful and wonderful. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

misc. monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

  1. Night 2 sans Jee Bah has been a success.  Becks woke up at 3am last night crying for it, but I just re-explained the mouse issue to him {which apparently makes complete sense to a 2-year-old because he has whole-heartedly bought it and explained it to anyone who asks} and he slept until morning.  He made it through naptime today without one and went down tonight with absolutely zero fuss.  Amen for small blessings.
  2. I have lost my travel coffee mug and we're out of the disposable mugs I keep in the cabinet for instances when my travel coffee mug goes missing or is dirty (frequently).  So I haven't taken coffee to school in two weeks. That means I'm back to 2 cans of Diet Coke by 10am. 
  3. The elusive parent-teacher conferences are {gasp!} next week.  I have at least 1-2 every day leading up to mid-week and then I have 1,302 on Wendesday alone.  Thank goodness they buy pizza and coke for anyone who stays late.
  4. I spent $62 at Target tonight on diapers, wipes, paper towels, milk, razors, and shampoo.  And not one fun thing like a Christmas ornament or cute top even made it into my cart.  That's not to say I didn't consider the possibility of buying both...
  5. I am already wishing for at least one snow day before Christmas.  I'd settle for a 2-hour delay, though.
  6. There are 12 school days remaining until Thanksgiving Break.  Yippeeeee!
  7. I am currently listening to the new T. Swift CD on repeat in my car.  My favorite song = Dear John.  You all will appreciate that Becks asks that I put on "his music" {Taylor Swift} when he gets in the car and then specifically requests that I play John Deer.  Ah, to be raising a boy.
  8. Is anyone else's husband obsessed with the show Castle?  loves it.  My feelings are more like meh, but he insists on watching it every Monday without fail.  I guess Castle is to B, as Teen Mom is to me? 
  9. Did I mention we went to the Lake this past weekend?  We did!  And, low and behold, I didn't take one single picture :(  Boo.
  10. Off to bed.  Or to convince B I need a neck massage.  Regardless, my eyes are crossing in exhaustion staring at this screen.  G'night!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Jee-Bah: A Tribute

It is with much sadness that I inform my bloggy friends that with little warning and quite a bit of sadness {on our end and his}, the beloved Jee-Bah has gone to pacifier heaven.  As of exactly 32 minutes ago, I put my sweet boy to bed sans his source of comfort and support that his been an extension of his body for the past 2 years 4 months 11 days and 5 and a half hours, respectively.  Yes, I was the mom that had a package of Mams ready to go in the the delivery room and begged our overnight nurse to let me give him one despite his poor nursing ability upon birth.  {FYI: His latch was perfect within 2 weeks and he had a paci the whole time.} 

As I said, the decision to detach the boy from his binky came with little warning.  The plan was to wait until Christmas vacation to extricate the beloved Jee Bah from his being.  After all, we have plans to travel in the upcoming months and a pacifier is a welcome addition to any car trip requiring us to leave the 5 mile radius of our home. 

However, as he watched the Sesame Street Sing Along tonight, we heard a gagging noise and quickly noticed he had inserted the entire paci into his mouth.  B looked at me, I looked at him, and we knew.  Little discussion ensued before I snipped the ends off of two pacis and showed them to Becks claiming a mouse must have chewed on them (an old trick I learned from my parents).  At the time, he thought it was funny and attempted to put it back into his mouth.  It fell out {B and I snickered} and then I said they had to be thrown away. (This may or may not have come after he tried to put the whole thing into his mouth.  Again.)

He's sleeping now.  And did, in fact, cry for his Jee Bah for a half hour and told me, upon entering his room to check on him, that he "Just needs one Jee Bah.  From downstairs."  Bless his heart. 

And now, for a picture montage chronicling the life of the pacifier from around 4 months to present day. 

So goodbye and thank you, Jee Bah. It's been a good run.

{And now I will go cry that another part of my baby is gone.}