Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Duds

Friday Duds

Friday! Sammy is headed to the dentist with my husband while I wrap up my Friday work stuff.

I wanted to send him in something cute because he's been in jammies the last two days. Also I usually try to dress him up for appointments. Osh Kosh always has several items that really stand out. Sammy always gets a lot of compliments on this sweater. (sidenote I wish I would have gotten the next size up!) I love a shirt underneath because I worry he may itch. Tall chucks are pretty much a no brainer!

Hope everyone enjoys their weekends!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Now reporting 12344566 lost pairs of gloves


Last night I got my daily report for Sammy. Each day I get a report that tells me what lessons he worked on during school AND any tidbits about his day. Yesterday was a reminder that they were going to keep going outside every day that they possibly could- and parents need to send appropriate cold weather gear. 
Face meet palm. I have sent 4 pairs in as many weeks. Sammy has managed to lose a pair a week. And that is not even counting the random one orange glove I can't match up. Lord help me now. I am praying this trend slows down. I did what any self respecting mother would do in a new school setting... I got some more mittens. Gap is having a 50% off sale event going on so I got a new pair. I am going to try harder to prevent their losses because at $4 a pair they are starting to add up. I am also hitting up target to hopefully find a multipack and stuff his jacket pockets with random pairs. Take that little preschooler bent on making Mommy look flustered. (No need to try! I am doing fine with that on my own!)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why Montessori?

I wanted to talk a bit about why we decided on a Montessori education for Sammy. There were several reasons and I thought it would be a great discussion.

First being current state of public schools. We live in an amazing school district. Top scores all around. The only problem is that those top scores come from testing the heck out of students so that they pass all of these things that "experts" say need to happen at a certain grade level. I feel strongly that kids should be at school and learning to love to learn rather than learn to pass a test. I object to the down time when testing isn't immediately on the horizon and I object towards teaching our children that the benefits of learning come from good test scores rather an progressing onto more complex topics and better understanding of our world.

Second diversity of children. We're AP loving, pretty crunchy for the most part, fussy parents. My husband is an Engineer and I have a background in Advertising and English. We're both pretty into reading and learning. We both research the heck out of everything. We're usually the oddball parents and we want Sammy to grow up being the norm. Montessori offers that to us with a respect of each other and the environment.

Third - we just love the method and what it offers to Sammy. We love the pace of his learning in three hour cycles. He gets to work on what he'd like to work on. They respect his ability to learn and let him direct himself. I agree that Sammy learns through his own ability to grow and not through anything we impart to him. He is the one with the power and I respect their method towards giving him the tools he needs to get there.

When we have done parent/teacher conferences in the past with Sammy's traditional daycare teacher she has always mentioned that Sammy doesn't do great with circle time. He doesn't want to learn in a group setting. I frankly feel like public kindergarten is a leveling out class. It is a time where my son's abilities are stalled because he's above the other children in terms of exposure to education who have not been to any kind of school (including homeschool). I feel that every moment is precious in terms of understanding and public school has no choice but to teach to the middle and also move at a pace that works for the average student. What if my kid needs a slower pace? What if they need a faster pace? What if I don't want my kid to be lectured to for an hour when he's still so young and can't sit still? I feel like Montessori addresses my concerns there.

Lastly which I just touched on is that I want my kid to move. We have an obesity epidemic here and children are not given the opportunities in the day to move their bodies. They need things like yoga, slides, running around, swingsets, and giggling. Freedom is what teaches these children and I don't want him sitting down all day at a desk trying to stay awake. I also feel that he should be able to move from one subject to another at his discretion. I don't want him to feel like he's a certain type of student based on a grade and test score.

We're really happy with our choice- he is totally flourishing there and even though drop offs can be tough- he really likes it. I know it's a great place for his second home. Our biggest hurdle will be when he turns 10 and we need to move him to traditional school. I am praying a Montessori Middle School and High School open up in this area.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Praise the Lord it is Friday.

This week I feel a bit defeated. I wasn't running particularly on time this week at all. There were too many sugary dr peppers in my life... And I for sure yelled at my husband when I was hangry. Well more spoke harshly to. But I am betting he's not making that distinction.

Really glad to have a few days off and I feel pretty happy I haven't scheduled the bejeezus out of them. I am still doing a few more activities than I would prefer. (sit on the couch with heated throw and netflix anyone!?!)

This sort of brings me to our new goal planning. We decided to stop making the same old resolutions and plans that we've been making forever. We decided that the reason those things failed was that we were thinking about the ending and not about the journey to get there. And that we didn't yet have the skills needed to make it to our goal and needed to break each goal into mini goals so we could build the skillset needed and also stay focused more easily.

January Goals:
Drink only one sugary drink per day.
Always treat each other with respect and patience. Issue polite requests.
Work out 3 times per week.
Find Reasons to eat meals at home instead of out to dinner.

That is our plan. I am not really ready yet to give up my Dr. Pepper. I know it is bad for me. The sugar I do not need to consume but if I could give it up cold turkey I would. I am going to work on this goal for now and then reduce the amount I let myself have. We overall try to do low carb so I know there will be more goals that pertain to that.

So here's to Friday. A day that promises all the best things of the weekend! May it last forever, give way into a lengthy Saturday and Sunday, and return again with some serious haste so we may enjoy another weekend soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Yesterday Sammy had the day off of school. My husband was off of work as well. Mommy had to work. Boo. Sammy and Daddy enjoyed their day together and I was glad that we didn't have to hire an outside babysitter or send him to wrap around care (which is $30).

I got home from work tired. Verge of horrible period and just not really interested in doing anything. We signed up to bring a dish to a friend's event- A Multicultural Event in Honor of MLK and were to bring a dish. I didn't want to dissapoint and Sammy was still sleeping. I got to cooking and got us ready and out of the door in time to be late. Great right!! My new thing is trying to be on time. Well not working out so great I guess.

Sammy was kind of tired and over it. So many strangers. So we were there about 30 minutes. Most of my dish was gone- that was a win! I fulfilled my commitment and felt like a good friend. Went home and watched some netflix and ate a piece of my husband's lemon birthday cake. Life could have been worse right!?!

So all in all just glad today isn't still Monday. We're making progress through this week and one day closer to the weekend. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seasonally Appropriate Sales

January has always been my reset month. I am a big fan of resolutions and trying to be the best me for the New Year. Part of that is starting to plan everything out that we'll need and ways to make our dollars stretch farther.

Enter in post Christmas Sales. There are a few things I really like to get now.

* Next size Winter coat. I try to take advantage of sales to get a great coat for Sammy. I have always found really steep discounts and I am able to get a much nicer coat for less. Some places I really like to check... Department stores- if you have a Von Maur this place is amazing for this. Gap, Old Navy, Carters, Target... Ect.

* Winter Boots in next size. Keep your eyes peeled for a good winter boot in the next size(s). I have a few pairs of Hunter boots in storage for Sammy and got them a rock bottom prices. Boys' clothing is so much less trend dependant.

* Winter mittens/hat/scarves. See a theme?!

* Hilariously enough short. Tea Collection and Zara both have amazing sales right now on basics. I try to get those items for very low prices because we end up needing a bunch of shorts and tees in the Summer when it seems like we change clothes every hour.

I mentioned it above but check out Tea Collection's 40% off sale. Register your email and let them send you their million emails. You know first of great deals and get coupon codes that translate into some pretty serious savings. I love to do this at higher end clothing stores where there isn't a sale every day. Tea Collection is a great example. Their clothing is so well made but really pricey. They don't have sales all of the time and sometimes coupon codes are hard to come by- take advantage!

A side note, I really recommend using Google for your email provider for this reason of promotional emails. There are three tabs- one for actual email, one for promotional emails, and a third for all social media stuff. It really helps me be able to just delete out any emails that are sales and brand advertisements. If I'm not in the market for anything I can just delete and not give them a second thought.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tough Drop Off... Tough Friday.

This morning we were just off. Sammy woke up at 5am and could not get back to sleep. I sort of need him to sleep a little longer so I can be a little more functional in the morning. We're just not morning people.

Really we're both so happy to be awake and there is a lot of snuggling, but we are not productive. Like at all. This has to change! We're going to work on this.

Sammy got to school and it was tears. We are only a few days into the new school thing and it has been ok until today. School was cancelled yesterday and the loss of the new routine was pretty horrible. His new teacher was not in the room because it was music day and the other teacher was sick. And the teacher who was sick is very loving and supportive- just enough to rock the boat enough. He was hysterical. Screaming. Crying. Desperate that I wouldn't leave. I did what all moms have to do in that moment. Leave. It's the most heartwrenching thing in the entire world to walk away when your little one is screaming for you to come get them. But I know that by not leaving I am prolonging this entire episode and hurting him worse.

I called about 20 minutes later and he was fine. No red face, no tears. Circle time with new friends. I'm more shaken than he is. It takes less for him to have everything come crashing down but it takes me hours to rebuild after. I just don't recover at the same speed.

We're planning on having a mini game night with just our own little family. Sammy got his own game that we'll play. Fudge is on the docket. A lovely family moved in next door and we're hoping to bring them a little something to welcome them this weekend. Plus minivan shopping. Hopefully the weekend moves slowly. Like about the same speed Monday and Tuesday seem to pass. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

First Day of School!

First Day of School!

This top from Target- Genuine Kids is very adorable! I was thrilled to find it. Green looks great on a redhead but it's not cliche with this one.. Just subtle and really adorable. Pics to follow! Some khakis that are more yellow than sand and some velcro chucks. He takes his shoes off when he gets inside at his new school. I think that is lovely. What a fun way to make everyone feel so welcome. Very excited for these changes at our home!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Current Obsession

Current Obsession

Right now these sets are getting a LOT of love over at our house. I am just in awe of the things that can be created and built! My mom got Sammy the playmags set after I noticed Sammy and his classmates were into them at school. They got them in some sort of contest and the blocks were a hot ticket item ever since. The Tegu blocks are a bit pricer but wooden which we prefer. They also have some nice sets that make good gifts. The playmags set is a bit more affordable and I believe they have some off brand sets as well. I'd personally get the cheapest set because it isn't like playmags are super well made or worth so much more than the others. You probably can combine sets but I don't know that for 100%. 
If you are looking for something that is quiet and can keep kids entertained for a while- this is your best bet!

Happy New Year!

Bring on 2015! Looking back 2014 was a tough one. My grandfather passed away in October and that has been kind of the defining thing going on. He told me he had pancreatic cancer the year before (on my wedding anniversary). When the whipple procedure failed I knew. I started grieving then and don't think I've stopped for a long time. It's tough to define how I felt about my grandfather. On one hand he aggravated me. Like so many grandparents he had a harder time with adult Andrea and tended to either ignore or pretend I was someone else.

When he got sick that's when our relationship started to really become close. He asked me to take care of his sister. I was to become her Conservator and Guardian. Big shoes to fill. It was scary. I felt really honored that he felt like I was a good replacement. In many ways that is the most he'd ever really said about how he felt about me and how things had turned out for me. It was a giant act of validation and love. We talked near daily until he became too sick. Hearing the man who didn't even drink on the phone slur his speech from Vicodin was tough. But it made me tougher.

Everything else has been the same in a way- tremendous growth towards the person I see myself in the future being. Friendships- While I added so many amazing friends to my circle of friends- some had to come and go quickly. I feel so happy with the group that is left and a little bit battle worn from the constant drama. It's been my belief that women are above the petty backstabbing and gossip that we are portrayed so often... Turns out that is only true of some women so I had to weed out the ones that didn't fit with my own goals and community pretty early on. Life ebbs and flows.

I feel my marriage is stronger than ever. The hubs had a schedule change and it has left a lot of things to be desired time wise but I really feel that we have connected better in 2014 than we did in previous years. We are currently minivan shopping and it is pretty hilarious. I often wonder how my 18 year old self would feel about how things have gone. I feel confident she'd be pretty mad about the current jean size... But thrilled with with the amazing little boy that got us a wee bit off track. She'd be proud of so many things I think so I am going to leave myself thinking overall she'd be happy- but want some more running to take place in 2015. I am probably going to stick to yoga. I feel like gentle is my new thing. And at some point you have to take a long look and say this is who I am right now. Mama is going to find her mat.

Sammy turned into a little boy instead of a baby this year. Three to four has been an amazing year for him. He was able to give up diapers! He is articulate and funny. He is kind,silly, and mischievous. He loves to read and adores all things trains. He is so smart. Today is his last day at a daycare and Monday is his first day of school. So it beings.

Goals for 2015 are fairly simple. Good health, working on good wealth, and continue to be present and self aware so I can surround myself with good people and great ideas. Happy 2015!