Thursday, December 14, 2017

I love to read!!




I struggle with reading. And I don't mean that I struggle with reading the words. I'm a great reader and have been for a long time. What I mean is that I struggle with having the time to read. I keep telling myself that I'm going to read more and then I do for about a week, but then I read less and less again. I used to read right before bedtime because that was the perfect time for me to read each day. And you know what, I'm going to start doing that again!

I had a goal this year that I set through the website Goodreads, to read 20 books in 2017. Well, I met 65% of that goal with a whopping 13 out of 20 books read. I can't remember what my goal was for 2016, but I'm pretty sure that this year I was closer to my goal than 2016. And hey, I shouldn't say that I "was" closer to my goal, because the year isn't over yet!!!

There are currently 3 books that I'm reading so I'm going to work on reading at least 2 of those by the end of the month!!!

The first one is First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. It's about a pair of sisters who find themselves following very different paths 15 years after a tragedy in their family. The anniversary of that tragedy is coming up and they must not only confront the issues that divide them, but come to terms with their own choices they made. In that journey toward understanding and forgiveness, they discover that they need each other more than they knew and that love always comes first.



The next book I'm reading is Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella. She wrote the Confessions of a Shopaholic series so when I saw this book, I figured I would like it. And I was right! From what I've read so far I am definitely enjoying it!!! It is about a 28 year old who wakes up in the hospital and is in for a big surprise! She was in a car accident and lost 3 years of her memory! She went from being a 25 year old working girl to a corporate big shot with a much more glamorous life! Oh, did I mention that she is now married but she doesn't remember her wedding or even meeting him?



And the final book I've been reading is Oola for Women: How to Balance the 7 Key Areas of Life to Have Less Stress, More Purpose, and Reveal the Greatness Within You. I got introduced to this book through Young Living. Oola is that state of awesomeness you experience when your life is balanced and growing in all the key areas of health and well-being. Those 7 areas are called the 7 F's of Oola and are: fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends, and fun. It has a quiz that you can take in the back to see where you rank in all 7 areas. I am going to see if I can find my results from when I first got the book and then take it again after reading it to see where I stand now. I highly recommend checking out this book!!


The first 2 books I borrowed the e-book versions from the library and the 3rd one I own. So I'm going to need to see which of those 2 I can borrow right now and then start reading! I've only got 18 more days left to see how close to my goal I can get!! What are some good books you've read recently or what are you reading right now?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas is coming!!!

Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here!!! Big E is 3 and a half this year so she is a lot more into Christmas this year than she's ever been!! I've been trying my hardest to start some Christmas traditions this year that we can keep going year after year. So here is a list of the traditions we have going so far:

- Our Christmas tree went up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we all helped decorate it! My step-mom has been getting a new ornament for the kiddos every year so I decided that we would do the same and also get one for me and my hubby. This year his was a little golf caddy and mine was a Coca-Cola can!



- The kiddos got matching Christmas PJ's and we went to our local library to listen to the Polar Express!! This has been such a popular event that this year they added a 2nd night and we almost didn't get to go because we were put on a waiting list!!!

 


- Last night we put together a gingerbread house!! Well, I should say we decorated one because it was already put together in the box. We still had fun with it!!!

 

- Last night, Elsa left Big E and Little E a stack of 12 books that are individually wrapped!! We are going to unwrap one each night until Christmas Eve and read it at bedtime!!!


With there being 12 days till Christmas, we still have plenty of time left for more Christmas traditions!! We already made some Christmas cookies but I want to make some more sometime next week!! And there are a few Christmas movies that I'd like to watch as a family!! What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Leave me some comments!!! 

Our elf is back!!

Last year our Elf on the Shelf joined us for the first time!! Well, this year she is back and now she actually has a name! Last year Big E just called her "Elf". So this year I suggested she give her another name. The name she came up with was Elsa!! Here is what Elsa has been up to since she has been back...








These are only a few pictures of what our elf has been up to recently. There are 6 more but I will make another post about them later this week. What is the craziest thing your elf has done? Leave me a comment!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Don't feel guilty about these 9 things

I was reading the November issue of Parents Magazine and came across an article called "9 Parenting Hacks Not to Feel Guilty About". I thought this article was great and so true!!!

1. Popping a pacifier back into your 7-month-old's mouth after it falls on the floor: Come on, we've all heard of the 5-second rule, right? Unless the pacifier falls into a pile of dog poo, I see no reason for needing to thoroughly clean off a pacifier after falling on the floor every single time. The article even says it's alright to pop it into your mouth real quick before putting it back in their mouth because "exposing your kids to your own oral bacteria via sucking their pacifier can help lower their risk of developing allergies." But it isn't something you want to do on a regular basis. But the bottom line here is that a little dirt isn't going to hurt your little one.

2. Letting your kids roughhouse: Unless it looks like someone is seriously going to get hurt, let them wrestle a little. According to the article, "research suggests that rough-and-tumble play in kids ages 4-11 can strengthen neural networks in the brain that control memory, attention, and impulse control, and also improve social skills."

3. Leaving your  kid(s) with a babysitter or child care while you're at work. In an ideal world, maybe more people would stay home with their kids until they are 5 years old and in Kindergarten. But for a lot of women, that may not be an option. And guess what, there is no need to feel guilty about having to have your child at a babysitter or child care center. The article says that "moms who work outside the home may be more likely to raise daughters who grow up to take on a leadership roe at work and sons who take on caregiver responsibilities." It also says that feeling guilty about being away from them during the day while you are working may make you more lax in disciplining them when you are at home and that can lead to behavioral problems as they grow up. So give yourselves a break mamas, being a working mom with young kids that aren't in school yet does not make you a bad mom and don't feel guilty about it!!

4. You serve up store-bought baby food: For Big E I made my own baby food but with Little E, I didn't even think twice about buying the already made food for him because I just didn't have the time or energy to make my own. The DIY kind of food isn't necessarily healthier than store-bought and may just cause you stress by having to make it. So just save yourself the time and stress and go buy that Gerber baby food!!

5. Skipping a nightly bath: Kids under the age of 8 don't have well-developed sweat and oil glands, so they don't perspire with the stink that we as adults do. Doing a bath every other night is fine and even healthy for kids at a young age. As long as you get them in the tub right after an explosive diaper or that spaghetti dinner they enjoyed, bathing every night is not a necessity.

6. You stop breastfeeding before the one-year mark: Yes breastmilk is great for your babies and if you can, you should breastfeed for as long as possible. But for many mothers, breastfeeding doesn't come that easily and by forcing yourself to continue when it is hard, will just add more stress that you don't need. If you have to switch to formula before your little one is a year, don't feel guilty or be too hard on yourself. As long as your baby is getting the nutrition they need and are growing, that's all that matters!!

7. You don't buy the expensive organic diapers: Alright, I know I'm all about getting toxins out of my home, but the organic diapers are not necessary. The article says that "studies show conventional diapers are safe and contain only trace amounts of chemicals." Now of course if your little one gets a rash or has some type of reaction to typical diaper brands, then by all means switch to an organic kind. But don't feel bad if you use regular diapers. There are plenty of other products out there that we can switch to in order to avoid using chemicals on our little ones.

8. You tell your kids you're not their short-order cook: You don't always have to cook up your child's favorite meal. It's ok to say no to their favorite food one night and let their tummy growl. "After a few nights of going to bed hungry, most kids will start to dig into whatever you're serving." There are plenty of nights where Big E doesn't eat a lot (if any) of what I've made for dinner. But do I feel guilty about it? Nope.

9. You allow your kids to play on a tablet at restaurants: This one I definitely do every single time we go out to eat! It just makes our experience a whole lot better going out to eat with 2 little ones. Just be sure to limit their screen-time to 1 or 2 hours a day. I've been getting better with this. The TV is either on in the morning or afternoon when I'm home with the kiddos and I'm starting to limit Big E's time spent on her tablet.

What are some other parenting things that you do without feeling guilty?? Leave me some comments and have a great rest of your Thursday! The weekend is almost here!!!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Activity time!!!

So every now and then, Big E will ask to do activities!! And the way she says "activities" is the cutest!! I have scoured Pinterest and even bought some Learning Resources from Amazon to help the kiddos with colors, numbers, patterns and more!

Today we got out the mini muffins! She sorted them by color, counted them, and even got some fine-motor skill practice in. With Little E being older now and being in the "monkey-see-monkey-do" stage, there's no way that I can do these learning activities with Big E, without Little E wanting to be all over our business!! So to keep him happy, I gave him a few muffins to play with.

Here is how Big E was playing with them:

 

And here is how Little E decided to play with them:

 


He would throw them on the floor and then go under the table to pick them up. He did this probably 4 or 5 times.

Big E also did some tracing from a tracing book I got at Five Below. We haven't done too much work with a pencil but I thought she did pretty good!



It's so exciting that she is starting to do more things! She knows her ABC's and can identify her letters. Now the next part we are going to work on is either the sounds they make or being able to write them. She has some apps on her tablet that work with both so I just need to be sure she is playing those games when she is on her tablet. She also does a pretty good job counting from 1-10 but she can't recognize the numbers yet so we need to do more practice with that as well.

I know I've said in a lot of previous posts that I was going to do a lot of learning activities with Big E. I haven't been able to keep up with that and do them as much as I would like but I'm trying. I've been working about 3-4 days a week so I don't have as much time to do activities with her as I would like. But going forward, I'm going to do my best to squeeze in some educational time with her whenever I can!! And Pinterest will continue to be my source of inspiration!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Where are my friends?

In a recent post I said something about being at the point in my life where I need to focus a little more on family than friends. Well, I'm kind of taking that back. That's not to say that I'm focusing more on my friends than my family, but more like I'm  going to work on balancing the 2. Recently I've been feeling that ever since I went back to substitute teaching 3-4 days a week, I haven't seen many of my friends. We stopped having as many playdates as we used to and we haven't gone to any in a while. It's kind of like I went to being around 2 kids a day to being around 25-30 a day! Being at home with 2 kids and teaching a classroom full of 25-30 kids both have their challenges. And one main thing that the 2 have in common is that there (for the most part) are no other adults involved.

So what I'm trying to say is that I miss the adult interaction that I've come to get used to by seeing a mommy friend at least once a week before I started working again. I think it is so important for every mom out there to have mommy friends that they can lean on and talk to when needed. But recently I feel like I haven't had the support like I used to. Yes I have some friends that I chat with through text and messenger, but it's been a little bit since I've been able to be face-to-face with another adult that isn't my husband or my mom.

And yes I know, we are 26 days away from Christmas and everyone is super busy. But recently I've had 2 different things set up with a friend and both times the plans got cancelled. It just seems like that's the story of my life. All my life, especially in high school and right after, I would make plans to hangout with someone and then most of the time something would come up and it would get cancelled. But then there was a time in my life where I would make plans with people and we would actually get to follow through with those plans so I got so excited that my plans were actually happening. But recently it's been back at the point where plans get cancelled. Or plans don't even get made but me and the other person just keep saying we are going to make plans and then never do.

Again, I think every mom, especially stay-at-home moms and part-time working moms, need to be able to talk to another adult (outside of their family) in person at least once a week. I'm not asking for someone to spend the whole day with me. Just a few hours or so or even 30 minutes will do! I have a few friends that I talk to through facebook or text every few days and I'm very thankful I have them. But I also wish I could have that one "person" that I can go to for anything because right now I don't feel like I have someone like that.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Time to clean up!

One room in the house that we struggle with keeping clean is the playroom!! Big E is 3 and a half now so she definitely understands what it means to clean up. Now Little E on the other hand, he still just tries to take toys out as soon as you go to put them away. Occasionally he will put toys away when he sees us put them away, but that's very rare.

So since we had a hard time putting all the toys away in the playroom, I decided to go through them and get rid of the ones that weren't played with. There were a lot of tiny toys that we just didn't need. Here is the before and after of one section of the playroom.

 

The other big area of the room that has a lot of toys in it is the stuffed animals bin. My amazing husband built the kids a little stuffed animal zoo type thing and it is great!!! But the kiddos have way to many stuffed animals. I've tried before to get rid of some but there's just so many that have sentimental value so I can't get rid of them. But I went through them yet again and got rid of a full trash bag of them!

 

It doesn't look like that much of a change, but at least I got rid of some of them. Here is another before and after of the playroom. I am very pleased with how it looks and am definitely going to make sure that Big E and Little E clean up after each time they are done playing in it.

 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

This Is Us

*Spoiler- make sure you are all caught up on This Is Us before reading, as this post contains some spoilers*

So I don't know about you, but when I first saw a preview for the show This Is Us, I was so excited for this show!!! My hubby and I watched Parenthood on Netflix together and this show looked very similar!! Well, NBC definitely did not disappoint with this show. I look forward to watching it every week. The other week my hubby was away from a Tuesday-Friday, so we had to wait even longer that week to watch that weeks' episode!!

Every week I'm on the edge of my seat and am looking for more clues as to how Jack died. I keep wondering "When will they just tell us already?" Well, for the first time ever, this past week I didn't care one bit that we wouldn't be finding out how he died or even get anymore clues. If you're all caught up on This Is Us, we all know that Kate had a miscarriage. They told us at the very end of an episode and then dived into it deeper the following week, which was last Tuesday's episode.

One in 5 women will have a miscarriage, which is more people than you actually think experience it. The reason we think not that many people experience miscarriages is because it isn't something that is talked about a lot. I personally don't know what this feels like first hand, but I have read many stories of women who have gone through this. I applaud NBC and the writers of the show for discussing this issue. It isn't a happy issue to talk about at all, but I'm sure that this episode has helped some women in some way.

I'll admit, up to this point I've never shed a tear while watching the show. Yes there were tons of other sad parts in the show, but none of them were powerful enough to bring me to tears. I guess being a mother and the fact that I've been pregnant twice before, it just hit me a little harder than the other sad parts it. As I already said, I've never had a miscarriage and there's no way I could ever know what someone who has is feeling, but there's just something about this episode that made me tear up a bit. I can't even begin to imagine how heartbreaking it must be to lose a baby that you've never met before. No matter how long you carry a baby inside you, it is still your baby and it has got to be one of the worst things in the world to lose that before you even get to meet him or her.

Again, I applaud NBC for shedding some light on this issue that is so hard for us to talk about. I hope this episode helped at least one person out there!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

30 days!!!!

Can you believe that Christmas will be here in 30 days?? I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving spent with family and ate lots of yummy food!! We went to my aunt's house and spent it with my aunt, uncle, 2 cousins, and grandparents. Then yesterday on Black Friday I stayed in my PJ's until 2:30 in the afternoon and went out with my mom last night. I bought some necklaces from my friend who sells Paparazzi and a LuLaRoe dress to go with my Christmas leggings for my hubby's work Christmas party!! It's a Nicole dress so it was made for me!! I'll be sure to post a picture of me wearing it after we go to my hubby's Christmas party.

Today we went to Sam's Club, like we always seem to do on the weekend. Ever since our new Sam's Club has been open, I don't think a weekend has gone by without a visit there. We don't always go for a ton of things. Sometimes we go just for 1 or 2 things but then end up getting a few extras. Today we mostly went to get a Dyson cordless vacuum that was on sale. I have never been so excited to vacuum!! I'm serious, now that we have this thing, I'm going to vacuum every day! Before all we had was either a big corded vacuum and a small corded vacuum. But with this, you just hang it on the wall to charge when you are done using it and you don't have to worry about any cords!! This whole year I've been all about keeping our house cleaner, and now with us having about one month left of the year, I think we've finally got something that is going to help us do just that!!

So then after Sam's Club we went to Target and got a new tree, some ornaments, and a train for the tree. The train ended up being Little E's favorite purchase of the day! And Big E is obsessed with the new Branch ornament that she picked out!!







Oh, and our Elf on the Shelf has come back to visit us!! Last year Emma didn't name her, so this year she named her Elsa!!




That's all for now. I'll be sure to keep you updated with all of Elsa's adventures!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I'm going to sound like a broken record here...

I know...you've heard me say this many times before, everything happens for a reason! But I keep reading, hearing, or experiencing this for myself and I just can't stop talking about it. Just last night I was reading a magazine and I read this article that caught my attention. It was about a woman and her 3-year old daughter that were in a car accident. A woman that was in the car that the first woman hit got a scan done after the accident because she felt some whiplash from the accident. Well, during that scan they found that she had stage 3 lung cancer. If it wouldn't have been for that accident, she would have never gotten that scan done because she never smoked one single cigarette in the 40 years she's been alive.

This story reminds me of someone I know who was diagnosed with a form of leukemia while she was pregnant with her youngest daughter. The kind of leukemia she had causes you to bleed from the inside out, so she is very lucky that they caught it when they did. It is a curable kind of cancer and it may not have been found if she weren't pregnant. So I'd say her daughter is definitely her little miracle that saved her life!!

It's almost coming up on a year since I was in a minor car accident with the kiddos. The backseat wasn't touched at all so they didn't have a scratch on them. And I came out without any injuries as well. But that event was the first of the "everything happens for a reason" things that have been happening to me over the past year. I had never thought that way about things before this happened but I'm sure there have been a ton of things that I could use that saying for that have happened to me throughout my life. It just became a lot more noticeable this past year.

So what is one thing that has happened to you recently that you think definitely happened for a reason? Leave me a comment and have a wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Family comes first

Family is forever. Your mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunt, uncles, cousins, grandparents...all of those people who are related to you, they are your family and I feel like they should always be in your life. It shouldn't matter how far apart you all live either. With the internet and cell phones, there is no excuse that we can't all keep in contact with our family. Unlike friends who may come and go (I've got plenty of experience with this, especially recently), family is forever because with every single family member, we can mostly say that we've all known about each other from birth. Think about it, your grandparents have known you since you were born, you have known your grandparents since you were born. The same goes for your parents, aunts, uncles, etc. These are the people that know you better than anyone else in life that you'll ever meet.

I know the point I'm trying to make is easier said than done. I know that every family has their issues and problems that may never be solved. Even if a family looks perfect from the outside, unless you are in that family you have no idea what problems they may be going through. All I'm trying to say is that family needs to stick together and be there for each other. So even if you have issues in the past with some family members, there's no better time than now to just move past that and start communicating and spending time together.

As I've said on this blog many times, life is way too short so we shouldn't keep grudges against those people in our life that we need most. Recently I feel like I've been trying to hard to make some friendships work and as a result I lost one of them. I think that experience has made me realize that I think I need to focus a little more on my family. I think I'm pretty close with a lot of members of my family but there are a few that I don't talk to as often as we used to and I think it's time to change that. If I don't make a change now, I'm going to regret that later in life when it is too late. I'm not completely cutting off my friends, but I'm just going to focus more on spending time with the ones that I know will always have my back no matter what...my family!

I leave you with this quote that is completely true:


Monday, November 6, 2017

Everyone needs friends

Finding and making friends in elementary, middle, and high school is tough! But...finding and making friends as an adult is even harder. From the time I was in Kindergarten all the way until I graduated, I went to 5 different schools. And throughout those years I've had a few different people that I considered to be my best friend. When I moved from school to school, I didn't stay in touch with my best friend from the previous school. So needless to say, my best friend from high school is no longer my best friend today.

When I moved to where I'm at now a little over 3 years ago, I found a moms club and I'm so glad I did! I've met so many amazing women through this club that I would have never met without it. And I actually found one person that I thought was going to be my new best friend. We're still really good friends but we just don't get to talk or hangout as much as we used to. When we met, we both only had one child and the ironic thing is that we were both trying for baby number 2. I thought it would be pretty cool if we got pregnant at the same time and it turns out that we did! Our youngest kids are only a week or 2 apart! So now we're both busy with 2 kids, I've been working 3-4 days a week, she homeschools her oldest and we're both pretty busy with our oils businesses.

Then just recently I met another amazing women and thought that maybe she could be a new best friend. Turns out she's busier than I thought so we don't get to talk or hangout as much as I thought we would. And I totally respect that. I know that people are busy and I can't expect them to drop everything for me. It just stinks that I met these 2 people that I mentioned at this stage of my life. If I had met them years ago, before we were all busy with kids and work, then maybe I would get to hangout with them a little more now.

So maybe as an almost 28-year old mom I don't need just one best friend but a few different best friends? I think as long as I have a few people that I can talk to about anything, that I'll do just fine. Every mom needs some friends that they can go out with or have over for a ladies night in. So yes, I don't have a "person" like Meredith and Christina from Grey's Anatomy. It sure would be nice to have a "person", but I can be ok with having several "people" that I can rely on.


I don't like every part of this quote (like the part about not needing to talk for weeks), but for the most part it is true.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Big E and Little E


Recently I've been noticing a lot of differences between Big E and Little E. I've noticed differences about them before but it's really becoming a lot clearer now. For starters, Big E was born at 32 weeks (2 months early) and Little E was born at 39 weeks. So Little E did things like crawl, walk, and talk a lot sooner than Big E did.

The thing that is amazing me now is the fact that Little E is about a year and a half and he understand so much! I think he understands a lot more at this age than Big E did. I think part of that reason is because he was closer to full term than his sister was, but I also think the fact that he is around her all the time is a big part in how much he can do and understand. He can tell us when he wants more, when he is done, when he wants down, it's just amazing!!




And Big E still amazes me every day as well!! Some of the things she says I'm like, "Wow, where did she learn that?" They really are little sponges and understand more than you think!! And her memory...wow! It's crazy how much she can remember. We will go somewhere once and then not go there for a while and she can remember who we were there with before and what we did! Her memory is something I wish I could bottle up and have some for myself!!

So my question for you today, what is one thing that your son or daughter can do that amazes you? Leave me your comments and have an awesome day!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Message in a bottle

From the book "400 Writing Prompts" found at Five Below...While at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it?"

I would want anyone to find it. It doesn't matter to me who finds it, as long as they read the message and pass it along. And this would be the message:


"I don't know you and you don't know me, but you are totally worth it! You can do anything you set your min to. Any goal you have, you can make it happen if yo work towards it! Don't take anything in this crazy life for granted! Life is way too short and you never know yours will end. I know we don't like to talk about that or even think about it, but it's true. Cherish the time you have on this earth. Spend it with people you love and care about. Take time to cherish the small things in life."

What would your message in a bottle say? Leave me your comments! Have a fabulous day!!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

I love being a mom!

Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've been given. I believe that any couple or individual who has the love and compassion for a child and is able to take care of a child, should have that opportunity. I'm sure that everyone reading this right now knows of at least one person or couple who has struggled with becoming pregnant naturally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 percent of women in the US ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. That's about 6.1 million women and that is a lot! To me it is just heartbreaking when I hear about people who have been struggling to get pregnant and all they desperately want to do is have a baby of their own.

So with that all being said...a few weeks ago I applied to become an egg donor. I didn't qualify to take the next steps but I'm alright with that. But I encourage others to become an egg donor if you are able. Like I said, being a mother is such an amazing feeling! Yes it can be overwhelming at times, but it's the greatest feeling in the world to have a little human being that looks up to you and relies on you for pretty much everything for the first part of their life.

My love for children is what made me to decide to go to college for teaching. I just love being around children and teaching them the things they need to know in order to be successful adults! So even though I can't make a difference in someones life by providing them a way to have a child, I still feel like I can make a difference by being a teacher. I can even help more people this way.

Have you ever donated your eggs or know of someone that did? I would love to know about your experience! Have a great day!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hello there again


This is my current view: getting ready to start writing a new blog post, diffusing Joy and Orange, listening to Kelly Clarkson's new album, and drinking a sweet tea from McDonald's (not pictured).

It's been a little bit since I wrote a blog post and I didn't quite know what to write about. I've just been so busy with life that my blog has been the last thing on my mind. I used to think about it more often and randomly think "Hey, I've got to write a post about that!" I'm hoping that I'll eventually get back to that point because I love writing and sharing my ideas with others.

I'm not sure how many people actually read my blog, but I hope that who ever is out there reading it, gains something from it. I try to write about things that I know other mothers out there will be able to relate to. So if you are reading this, I thank you so much for taking tie out of your busy schedule to read what I have to say.

So what have I been up to the past few months? Well, I started substitute teaching back in September and I've been keeping pretty busy with that! This week and next week I have a 4 day week of work! I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I took on all those days of subbing! When I first started subbing again I wanted to just do 2 or 3 a week. But the occasional 4 day week isn't so bad. We had an amazing babysitter for the first 6 weeks that I've been subbing but just recently had to switch sitters and we found another great one! I'm sad we can't keep taking the kiddos to the first one, but I've gained a great friend through that experience. Things happen for a reason and I'm so glad I was able to meet someone as awesome as she is!

About 2 weeks ago I applied for a long term substitute position at a school I've been subbing at a lot. I wasn't looking for something full-time, but I figured that the opportunity was there so I might as well go for it. I didn't end up getting it because they wanted someone more experienced for the position, but I'm totally ok with that. I realized that I'm not quite ready to go back to work full-time. I've had a little taste of what it will be like being full-time by working 4 day weeks and I'm not ready to leave my kiddos for 5 days a week. Yes I know that 4 days isn't a full week, but it's more than 2 or 3 which is what I was doing when I first started subbing this school year. I'm definitely going to have to have a system in place to keep up with all the housework once I do go back to work full-time because housework itself is a full-time job!!

I'm still sharing my love of oils and using them more and more each day! I actually just introduced them to our first babysitter we had (and my newest friend), and she loves them! Maybe that was the reason I needed to meet her, to introduce her to the oily lifestyle? Time will only tell. But seriously, I love these oils and what they do for me and my family. I've been using peppermint a lot while subbing to give me some natural energy. I just roll some on my temples and behind my ears and I'm' good to go! I use DiGize vitality to help with my digestive system, Thieves vitality to help with immune support, and the list goes on an on. It's really not that hard to get started with oils. When you keep it all about staying above the wellness line, it's so simple and makes it all worth it!

Well, I'm going to wrap up this post now. I hope everyone has had a great October and has a great November! This year is going way too fast!! 2018 will be here before we know it!!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Thank you for keeping it real, Shawn Johnson

So I'm not sure how many of you have heard the news from Shawn Johnson and her husband Andrew East from over the weekend. Shawn Johnson is a former gymnast and Andrew East is football player. Shawn posted a 20 minute video that showed her announcing to the world and then to her husband that she was pregnant. That is a moment that every woman who has ever been pregnant can remember and it's usually a moment filled with tons of emotions! This was no different for Shawn. She said that this pregnancy was unplanned but she was still excited and happy about it. 

Then things take a bit of a change in the video. Shawn was on the phone with her doctor and the next thing you see is her and Andrew driving to the doctor's office for her to get blood work and an ultrasound. Then they get the worst news possible: she lost the baby. It's so crazy because some people may think "How can you miss something you never had?" I've never had to experience this, but it completely makes sense to me about how you can miss something that wasn't even born yet. She had known she was pregnant for about 4 days before she found out she lost the baby. That may not seem like that long, but it truly is. From the moment you find out you're pregnant, you have all these thoughts going through your mind about who that baby is going to turn into and how different your life is going to be in 9 months. To have that suddenly all go away...I can't even imagine!!

I think Shawn is so brave to have shared her story with the world. "We feel like a lot of people go through this so we wanted to share it," Johnson says in the video. Miscarriage just isn't something that people talk about and so to see this video out there is just so brave of her. This happens to more women in the world than people may think and I just hope that women who have experienced this in their lifetime know that they are not alone. Like I said, I never had to experience this, but my heart breaks for women who have.

Some of the comments on this video make me angry. I saw one that said "Get over it, it happens to all of us. No biggie." Again, not speaking from experience, but this is in no way a situation in which to say "no biggie." Yes life does go on for people who experience this, but it's not like they just say "Alright, just have to shake this off, no biggie." I'm sure people think about their miscarried babies more than people think they do. Their lives would be completely different had that baby survived, so it isn't something you can just get over.

Along with the bad comments, I think there are a million more good ones!! I'm just loving the support that everyone is giving them. It makes me so happy that there are still a ton of great people out there in this crazy world!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chores...

A few weeks ago when I was in a classroom for a substitute position, we were reading an article in a Scholastic News magazine about chores. It was a debate on whether or not kids should get paid to do chores. It had an argument for both sides and I'm kind of on the fence about it. This is something I had never thought about before but will have to start thinking about in a few years when Big E is a little older.

Here is why I believe kids should get paid for chores: By giving kids money for chores, it motivates them to want to do their chores and help out around the house. It also gives them a little taste of what it will be like when they are older and have to work to get paid. They also learn a little bit about money management. Say there is a toy or movie that they really want, they can do x amount of chores and save their money in order to get what they want.

And here are some reasons that they shouldn't get chores. It was mentioned in the article that moms and dads don't get paid to clean their room, do the dishes, or wash the clothes, so why should kids. I think that is a very valid point. Also, kids should just be expected to help keep the house clean and listen to their parents when they ask them to help out.

So...I'm still not too sure what I'm going to do about this once Big E is a little older. There are valid points for both why kids should and shouldn't get paid to do chores. This will be a conversation my hubby and I will have to have down the road, when the time is right. What do you think? I would love to hear what you have to say!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What the world needs now...

is love, sweet love! That song couldn't be more true right now. It's crazy because it's events like the one that happened in Las Vegas recently that make us stop and think about how precious life really is. It makes us stop and think about how something like that could happen anywhere, at any time. We shouldn't have to live in a life of fear, but when something like this happens, it's hard not to have those thoughts.

Should we stop going to movie theaters because of the shooting that happened in one a few years ago? Should we stop going on airplanes because of 9/11? Should we stop going to concerts because of the most recent tragedy? I don't know about you, but I don't plan on living under a rock just because of the things that could happen. I'm not going to start living my life in fear, because then what is the point of living?

We all know that tragedy could hit at any moment and that tomorrow is never a promise. So that should be even more of a reason to get out there and cherish every moment!! During the past few months I've had a greater want and need to spend more time with my friends and family. Especially now that I live farther away from most of my family and don't see them that often, I cherish every single second that I do get to spend with them! Making memories with the ones you love is what life is all about!! So go hug your loved ones a little tighter today!! Have a great Tuesday!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Something new...

While at Five Below this past weekend (one of my favorite stores!) I found a book for $5 called "400 Writing Prompts". I decided to pick this up so I could use it for my blog. Whenever I hit a writer's block, I'll open the book up and find something to write about! This will hopefully help me to continue producing new content on a regular basis!

So, here is the first prompt I have decided to write about: If you knew it would be published, name someone (alive or dead) whose biography you would love to write. You would have full access to their life.

Hands down, I would definitely write a biography about Kelly Clarkson!!! Ever since I saw her win American Idol, I have had a huge girl crush on her!!! I didn't hear about American Idol until the season one finale for some reason, so I didn't get the chance to see her perform on live TV or vote for her. But I've been following her ever since and think she is great!!

She's so humble and down to earth. She'll never forget what got her to the place she is at today. There was a lot of controversy years ago when she came out with the song "Breakaway". People said she was trying to "breakaway" from her Idol ties. But she would never do that because she knows that without American Idol, her life would be completely different!

She also doesn't care what the media thinks about her weight. Her weight has definitely been a hot topic with the media but she just brushes it off. She may not be a size 0, but who cares! She's healthy and happy and that's all that matters. People who waste their time body shaming celebrities must not have anything better to do with their lives.

And along with being a successful singer, and now a children's author, Kelly is a great mother! She has 2 kids of her own with her husband Brandon Blackstock and 2 step-children. Both of her kids are right around the same ages as mine, so I think that's pretty awesome!!

Kelly's new CD "Meaning of Life" comes out October 27th and I am so excited for this! This is her first CD with Atlantic Records. She was previously signed with RCA Records, the record label that she was with ever since winning American Idol. So be prepared to hear a different side of Kelly with this CD. She says about this album This isn't a record I could have made at the age of 20. This is a record you make when you've lived." She has also said that she had more creative freedom with this one than she did when she was working with Idol's record label. So stay tuned to hear more great things from Kelly Clarkson! Here is one of her first singles from her new album, "Love So Soft."


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you are having a great week so far! I substituted yesterday and Monday and now have today and tomorrow off, then I have another job on Friday. I'm really enjoying being back in the classroom. It is making me remember why I went into teaching in the first place. I just really enjoy seeing students learn and understand the concept you are teaching them. When they reach that "Ah-ha" moment and it finally "clicks", that's what is really great about the profession!

So getting to be back in the classroom, even if it is a different classroom each time I go into a school, it is great because I still feel like I'm helping students learn. I also feel like I'm learning because it is getting me back into the education field, which has changed so much since I've graduated. And it's only going to continue to change with all the new technology that we have and will come out in the future.

Now I am off to do some of the housework that I haven't been able to do the past 2 days! Good thing I have my cleaning schedule to help me stay on track!! Have a great day everyone!!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Why teach?



I was just reading through a magazine that I get from my alma mater and it had an article about being an education school. The most popular major at Millersville University is education and it's what I went there for. The dean of College of Education said that he still thinks that their reputation as a teacher's college still stands. But he did note that there has been a decrease in enrollment of the education programs and certifications are also down. He contributes that to the fact that "teaching is not viewed as positively as it once was. A lot of kids today seem to be turned off by the idea of being teachers. Had they been born 20 or 25 years ago, they might be [more willing]."

He has a really great point because teachers are paid poorly for the amount of work they are required to do. A lot of people think teaching is great because they have their summers off but what they don't realize is that teaching is more than an 8 hour a day job. You can't just go to school at 7:30 am and leave at 3:30 pm and think you are done for the day. There's a lot of paperwork to grade and you more often than not are bringing your work home with you.

So do I regret getting a teaching degree? Nope. If I could go back in time and reselect my major it would still be education. I love working with children and don't know what else I would do with my life. Yes it is true that I haven't had a full-time teaching position yet, I have just been substitute teaching. I substitute taught for about a year and then took 3 years off when I had my first born and my second. As I posted recently, I just started subbing again and I'm so glad I did. It's giving me a chance to get back into the education world because I'm hoping to eventually get a full-time teaching job once my kiddos are older.

If you are reading this and have ever considered pursuing education as a career, I highly encourage you to go through with it. We're at a time in education right now where there is a shortage of teachers and even substitute teachers. As the dean of the College of Education and Human Services at MU said "Teachers prepare the next generation of students to participate in our democracy, in our society, and in life." Teaching is so important and if we have no one pursuing teaching degrees, who is going to teach our next generation? Because of all the events going on in this world today, I think there is no better time that we need qualified teachers so that our next generation can be taught properly.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

My 100th Post!!!

Happy Thursday everyone!! This is my 100th post on this blog! Thank you to anyone out there who has been reading my posts. I hope you are enjoying them and get something from them. I know I haven't been as consistent with posting as I keep saying I'm going to be. But we all know that life gets busy!

I'm still getting adjusted to being a part-time working mom. I've only had 2 subbing jobs so far (one of them being a half day so it was super easy), but I've got more scheduled. And I'm trying to figure out the best way to keep my house organized and clean on the days that I'm not working and then I also need to start doing educational activities with my 3 year old. She's been watching a Leap Frog movie on Netflix a lot about the alphabet and she can now identify most of the letters! There are only like 4 or 5 letters that she doesn't recognize, so I think that's amazing!!!

What I'm currently working on is getting my house in tip top shape! I want it to be cleaner than it's ever been!! My hubby is away for work (yet again) and I want him to come home to the cleanest house ever!! He does so much for our family and I just feel like it's my way of saying thank you. Without all his hard work at his job we wouldn't have half of what we have now. So I am super thankful for him each and every day, even though I may not tell him enough. If you're reading this hubby, I love you and miss you, can't wait to see you!!!

What are some of your best tips on juggling working part-time and being a full-time mom? Have a great day everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The search is still on...

So we still haven't found a babysitter for Big E and Little E while I substitute teach, but we are meeting someone tonight and I have a great feeling about this one!! We met with 4 so far so hopefully this will be lucky number 5?

Finding the perfect babysitter is hard! You have to be able to trust whoever it is that you are leaving your children with. Then you also have to find someone in the right price range. You also have to make sure you can find someone who is willing to be flexible with your work schedule. I was going to only substitute on Tuesday and Wednesday, because that's what worked best for the first person we met, but now I'm realizing that I'm going to need to be more flexible than that. So, before even meeting this person tonight, I found out from them that they would be flexible with which 2 days a week she watches them, so I am happy to say I picked up my very first substituting position! I actually got 2, one in October and one in December!

So, fingers crossed that this one is a match! This past year or so has been the year of "things happen for a reason" for me and I believe that things didn't work out with the other 4 people we met with because this 5th one is the one! Have a great rest of your Wednesday, halfway to the weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Life is too short

Why is it that it takes a tragedy for us to realize that life is short? I'm sure you've heard the saying before, you don't know what you've got till it's gone. But I just found this:


I think that is absolutely true. We never think about losing things or people, and then when we do, we're in shock. Then we start thinking about how life is short. We hug our loved ones a little tighter, start telling them we love them every second we get.

A few days ago I got a call from a family member and it started out by her saying "I have some bad news." I immediately knew what she was going to say next, but it still didn't prepare me for it. I had no idea who she was talking about when she said those words, but the second she said who it was, I was just in shock. I would have been shocked no matter who it was.

It definitely got me thinking about how life is way too short and tomorrow is never promised to us. I know it may be a little morbid to even think this, but it could be the end for any one of us at any moment. So let go of those regrets, those grudges, those things holding you back from living your life to the fullest. The most important thing in our lives needs to be family and friends. Reach out to that brother, sister, mother, father, whoever it is, that you haven't talked to in a while. You never know when you'll lose them for good.

I think the saddest part about this tragedy is the fact that 3 of my cousins are now without a father. My heart is breaking for them and I can't imagine what they must be going through right now.

So now tomorrow when my hubby gets home from work, me, him, the kiddos, and my mom are headed up to my aunt's house. This will be the 6th time that me and the kiddos have seen her this year but this time it isn't for a happy occasion. There will be lots of tears shed this weekend and lots of hugs given.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Pinterest Round Up

I'm going to start doing a post each week with things I found the previous week on Pinterest. So here we go...

I'm going to be doing a bunch of crock pot meals this week since we have stuff going on every night this week. So this is a new recipe I'm going to try. It looks really good!!!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/5911043246945996/


This looks like a fun activity to do with Big E so I'm going to print it out and see how she does with it!



 I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I have become obsessed with avocados recently, so I'm looking forward to finding some new ways to eat them! The cucumber tomato avocado salad looks really good! I think I'll try that one first!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Moana Fever!!

Moana is officially the new Frozen in our house, are we the only one out there? Both of my kids, but mostly Big E, are obsessed with this movie!!


She asks to watch Moana almost daily! And she loves the songs so much that she asks to listen to them every time we get in the car!! But you know what, I don't mind one bit! I love the songs, especially "Where You Are" and "How Far I'll Go". The one day Big E was actually singing some of "How Far I'll Go" without the song playing!

Besides the songs, I love the story line in this movie. It isn't the typical "princess falls in love with prince" story like in a lot of other Disney movies. Moana isn't even a princess at all, she's the chief's daughter. She is independent and strong. We need more movies like this for our little girls (and boys) to watch so I'm so glad Disney came out with a movie like Moana.

If you haven't seen Moana yet, I highly recommend it!! If you have Netflix, you can watch it there!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mr. Independent

Recently I've been noticing how independent Little E is becoming. No longer is he a tiny little baby that needs me almost 24/7. Now he's walking and running all over the place! It makes some things easier, like going to the park. Although we haven't done that in a while, I expect the next time we go to be a lot easier than it has been in the past. One thing that is different is that I no longer need a stroller or carrier for Little E. Now that he is walking, I can just let him run around the playground.

It also makes things at home a little easier. Now that Big E and Little E are playing together, I can go upstairs to put wash away and they are okay downstairs for a little bit. This is actually the only way I can get the wash put away. I'm doing a lot better at getting wash from the washer, to the dryer, and put away all in the same day!

It is just so crazy that I have a 3 year old and 1 year old!! They definitely keep me busy!! But I am so glad to be done with the newborn stage. Don't get me wrong, I loved the newborn stage and all the snuggles that came with it!! But I'm so glad to be getting more sleep at night and not being as attached to Little E as I was when he was still breastfeeding. But now he's gonna make us go broke with all the eating of regular food he's doing, haha!! Every time we go to McDonald's, we have to order the kiddos a Mighty Kids Meal that comes with 6 chicken nuggets instead of 4. Just wait until Little E is big enough to eat his own kids meal...I feel like that day will be here very soon!