Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Happenings (and lots of other randomness)

Remember that time I neglected the blog for over a week? Teaching pregnant is no joke and most evenings I am just too tired. But you know what? I don't feel like "me" without some quality writing time. Some I will post in this space and other musings I keep to myself in the form of a journal. Either way, writing is my jam and I sort of missed it last week. 
Last week we had "Pumpkin Day" in class (I love this fun day with lots of parent helpers, some great science and math explorations, and of course carving Jack O'Lanterns!) On Friday we celebrated our class Halloween parties and our costume parade. I recycled my Pete the Cat costume and was super excited that it fit over the bump! After school Friday I finally did it: Click List grocery pick up at Smith's and I am a fan! Not only is it convenient, but my weekly grocery haul was significantly cheaper than usual thanks to no impulse buys! I will totes be using it again. I went home, made myself some hot apple cider, curled up to watch Hocus Pocus and was in bed early (my '30's are a wild time, guys). 

I finished up book 51 of the year, The Art Forger, and really liked it. It's reminiscent of The Davinci Code and really kept my attention. I have a few books requested from the library and up next on my nightstand is "Talking As Fast As I Can" by Lauren Graham. Nothing beats a good book on a chilly fall day. 

I've been making these "adult lunchables" for a few lunches lately and kinda love the simplicity: peanut butter english muffin, cheddar cheese, raisins, carrots.....good to go! Speaking of food, we had my family over for dinner this weekend and I hunted around the internets for a healthy, not too sugary fall dessert. I landed on Crockpot Pumpkin Custard. I won't be a hater so I won't link to the recipe, but oh my Lord. This was nasty, guys. NASTY. And such a waste of good pumpkin too (sigh). I'm doing my best to cut down on my sugar in take, but a special fall dessert is not the place to make those concessions. Needless to say, sometimes you just gotta have the real thing. 
Hadley's Pumpkins: Last year we started the tradition of painting pumpkins to bring to Hadley. We picked out craft paint that went with her nursery color scheme and painted them up last night. We aren't the most artistic of folks, but I'd like to think Hads appreciated that her mommy and daddy tried. Pumpkin painting and my Special Fall Day with Hadley are some of my favorite traditions to remember and celebrate our best girl. 

The Disappearance of Maura Murray: This summer a friend of mine told me about a podcast she liked called True Crime Garage. Being true crime fans, AJ and I listened during our Oregon road trip this summer. Last week there was an episode about the disappearance of Maura Murray. Then we found out there was a docu-series on Oxygen channel all about the case. Well friends, I binge watched all 6 parts last weekend. SO fascinating. There's also a book about it that you know is now on my "to read" list. 

Well, tonight is Halloween and I've got a big bowl of candy ready. If anyone comes to the door as Pennywise I might legit scream. Have a great one, guys! 
Bad Luck Brian never gets old! 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This & That

Hi There,
   It's been a little bit since I blogged! Last week went by super fast with a short 3 day week then fall break! I've got my work bag out and my lunchbox on the counter ready to be packed for tomorrow. But I'm not even sad about it because 1) my class rocks and 2) there are only FIVE Fridays left at school before Christmas break! How's that for some exciting news?

 We've taken it pretty easy this weekend, enjoyed some meals with friends, house cleaning, and yours truly spent a solid 4 hours at the IMC Lab for my glucose test. I failed Thursday's by a few points (waaaah!) so I returned Friday morning for the 3 hour version. I passed that one, thank goodness. I was super bummed out when I got my initial results Thursday afternoon but was glad I was able to bust out the 3 hour test on a day I had off anyway.
Bump and I in our fave loungewear: Old Navy yoga pants, long gray cardi, and bun in the oven tee

My view for 3 hours: I journaled, read, and people watched. It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but it was still bad. Haha
I hit my goal of 50 books for the year! Woohoo! My initial goal was 30, then 40, then 50! I am now hoping to read 56 before the year is up for an average of 1 per week. I've read some good ones lately.
This one is a suspense/thriller. It was meh. Weird ending I didn't love. 

LOVED this book. Easily in my top 10 of the year. It opened my mind to experiences I cannot even fathom. Jesuits are my peeps! 

Super light and fun. Got me in the holiday/baking mood! 

This one came up on my Nook Recommends list. It's cute classic chick lit (with an R rating---be warned) 
Anyone else loving Pink's new music?! I loved her SNL performance last week and immediately downloaded her newest album and I cannot stop listening, it's so good! Remember her awesome speech a few months ago? Chills.

In other news, AJ has finished painting baby's room and I just love how it's shaping up! 
Isn't he cute? 
I'm just enjoying all kinds of fall-ish things over here. I've got my Sweet Cinnamon pumpkin candle lit nonstop and just baked up these Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Muffins today (I used sugar free cranberries and cut the sugar amount in half.....diabetes stay away!), and am gearing up for "Pumpkin Day" fun in class on Tuesday. 

Have a fantastic week ahead, everyone!

PS) a friend convinced me to try curbside grocery pick up. I have my list all loaded into Smith's website but have yet to pull the trigger. Anyone do this?! 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bumpdate: 27 Weeks

The big 2-7! Every day that goes by fills me with giddy excitement, anxiety and fear, shock and awe, joy, cautious optimism, and about a million other feelings! Lately we've had some milestones with being half way done with progesterone shots, the last week of this trimester, and our little man is getting bigger each day and is estimated to be about 2 and a half pounds these days. My big milestone dates are coming up and while I don't want to wish this pregnancy away (I find my heart whispering to my mind over and over: savor! savor! savor!), I am so excited to reach and pass the biggies: 29 weeks when I was hospitalized with Hadley, 31 weeks when I gave birth to Hadley, and 34 weeks, the point at which doctors most likely would not stop labor if it started. Those milestone dates are front and center in my mind.

I feel BIG, folks! I have this theory that I'm bigger now than I ever was with Hadley. Thank goodness for cute maternity clothes, leggings, and dresses. My pajamas make me look like Winnie The Pooh with my belly all hanging out. Haha. Yes, I still puke daily. Honestly, I've spent so many mornings puking over the past two years that it just sort of feels normal now. I've noticed I've been more tired these past 2 weeks than for most of my second trimester. I think bigger baby is catching up with my body. Bring on the naps! I go to the bathroom about a hundred times a day too. Fun times. I haven't had too many cravings, but protein always sounds good: Greek yogurt, meat, peanut butter, eggs. I feel like eating so much in the mornings. I love me a big breakfast.

Little Man moves all. the. time. Truly. I often wake up at 2 or 3 am to a swift kick in the gut or a little pop. AJ can feel the movements from the outside now and sometimes we can even see them on the outside. I love feeling him. It makes me smile when I am teaching and feel a little kick. He starts moving right when I get up and he simmers down a bit during the day (but I'm also super busy during the day, so maybe he is moving and I can't tell), and picks up from dinnertime to bedtime. It has been such a joy sharing this journey with my class. I brought them a sonogram picture a few weeks ago and they were in absolute awe. I have been asked, "Mrs. Steele, how did that baby get in there?" or "How will he get out of your tummy?" Ask your parents is a great response for times like that!!

Thanks to some very generous friends and family, little guy has a stocked wardrobe! Boy clothes are so fun! His nursery is getting its first round of paint this weekend and then we can start really putting it all together. This is probably one of the only times mom and dad will get 100% full say in the room decor (I am dreading the day he asks for a basketball hoop hamper, Paw Patrol bedding, and a Hulk poster or something), so AJ and I are relishing putting a room together our way!

We just love our son so much. We have big plans these last few months and beyond with him. But we know better than most that plans can change. We take it one day at a time. For today he's cozy and active on the inside and that's a good thing. Bring on the last trimester!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday: A Cozy Home

I am super excited about this month's Workin' It Wednesday edition. I'm linking up with Erika and Shay and today we are talking about creating a cozy home!

       While I still love the book, beauty, stationary, and clothes sections of most stores (Target! what what!), I have found that the older I've gotten the more I've been drawn to the home section of stores. This may have to do with all the fun shows on HGTV, the amazing finds on Pinterest, the advent of websites like Etsy or Wayfair, and the increasing importance I know I have personally placed on loving the space I'm in. When AJ and I moved into our house (2 years ago! Time flies!), we had so much fun finding things we liked and making our space our own. (errr, maybe more like I had so much fun. I think you'd have to ask AJ for his honest opinion and I have a feeling he'd reference his love of Ikea cinnamon rolls if you asked him anything about home decor). Last year I wrote a post about the term "Hygge" and how that can translate to your living space. I still love this concept and the ideas and tips involving it. 

I would describe my taste as "comfortable rustic." I love me some natural wood, distressed white paint, pops of color, and big comfy pillows and throws. I also love words on walls and our house is covered in phrases and letters and meaningful photos. I don't love a modern look and if it's "Farmhouse" inspired, then I am all over it. I feel like "cozy" has been fairly easy to achieve in our house because our place is not huge, it feels cozy, and most importantly, it feels like "us." And shouldn't your home feel like you?? 

Here are some tips I have for creating a cozy space:

1. Shop around! We have items from Ikea, RC Willey, Hobby Lobby, Target, Hand-made (thanks to my Father in law!), Macys, Quilted Bear, At Home, TJ Maxx, Etsy, and all sorts of various shops from our vacations. Each piece holds a memory and as someone who enjoys definitive "end points," I have to always remind myself it's ok to not be 100% "done" with the house----it's meant to grow, evolve, and change, as WE grow, evolve and change. 

2. Scents: I love me some Wallflowers. I have one in the dining area and one in our bedroom. I also have scented candles in the kitchen and bedroom. Something about a dreamy smelling home just feels cozy to me. Another great idea for home scents? Bake up a yummy treat! 

3. Plush: I love lots and lots of pillows and blankets in bed and on the couch too. We always have a throw or two on the couch and I cannot get enough of fun pillows. Your home is a soft space to land after busy days and pillows and blankets certainly up the relaxation factor.

4. Get some fresh air: I love love love having our windows open and having fresh cool air in our home. And being pregnant, I am always hot, so I have the feeling the windows will be open most of the fall! 

5. Soft Lighting: I'm not a huge fan of overhead lighting and I much prefer lamps and dimmer lighting options. I even love to have the lights off in my classroom and have the natural sunlight flowing in. I found a creative soft lighting option for Baby's room that I'm so excited to set up. Lamps, candles, and soft lights are my jam. 

6. Decorate for the Seasons: We don't have a whole lot of room to decorate seasonally (oh how I would love a mantel!), but I do like to mix up some small things as the seasons change. Fall deco is my fave, but I also love my spring decor and of course Christmas!

7. My number one home decor tip: You do you. Don't worry about being a slave to one certain style or look. Your home is not on Pinterest or in a catalog. It's your nest, your haven, your sanctuary.....fill it with things that inspire you, make you smile, and work with your lifestyle. Your home will always feel cozy if you feel comfortable, relaxed, and inspired when you are there. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Day In The Life

It's been a long time since I've done a day in the life post! If you want to check out past editions, click on the "day in the life" category to the side and you can see the old ones.

I tried my best to document the whole day. These are so fun to look back on. Enjoy my Monday!

I wake up at 6:00 and hang out in bed for ten minutes or so checking my email and trying to wake up fully! I finally hop out of bed with the urge to puke....which I do. It's clear I need to eat something so while I used to get all ready and have breakfast before heading out the door, now I eat first to keep the nausea at bay. On my way downstairs, I catch AJ leaving for work. Yes, he really does leave most days around 6:30-ish. Here he is with his new "grading tote" that I think looks like he's carrying a refrigerated heart or something!
 I have one of my fave breakfasts: orange juice and oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins, and cinnamon. I surf the web while I eat (and baby is jumping around this whole time!) and go get upstairs to get ready a little before 7. I make the bed before I get ready and watch 90 Day Fiancee as I finish off my hair and makeup.

That gray monstrosity is my beloved pregnancy pillow and we rolled our rug up because darling hubby didn't want me tripping on it during one of my many many many middle of the night bathroom visits.  

I try and make it out of the house by 7:45 and today I made it with a few minutes to spare. My drive takes about 15 minutes. And for my friends who think there is no life West of State Street or South of 21st, I present to you Mountain View Corridor! So far this road is pretty traffic-free and I hope even with new development it sort of stays that way.

I arrive to school and check my email and get ready for the day. I have been on the hunt for some cute signs to label my seasonal books and found these cute ones. I go through some of my November curriculum files to pull out things to ask my teammates if they'd like. I try and do copies/curriculum about a month or so ahead (some years I'm better at that than others!). About an hour later, I head outside to bring my class in. The morning goes by quickly with Weekend in Review, phonics cards, a math lesson, and snack time.

 Before I know it, it's 10:30 and time for recess. I don't have recess duty today (yahoo!) so I munch on some banana bread I made yesterday, get some papers organized for the week, and get Centers set up.

During Centers I have a parent helper which is really nice. I worked on some phonics skills with some groups and in another group we finished making their "Sentence Buddies," aren't they so cute?
Finally it's time for lunch. I eat with my team and we chat about our weekends and submit the copy requests for the November items I pulled in the morning.
The afternoon is a blur of me getting formally observed during a shared reading lesson (one of four for the year) and we had a healthy choices assembly for Red Ribbon week that was really cute. At this point there was about an hour left in the school day and we worked on a spelling worksheet and handwriting. The last ten minutes of the day we worked on our Christmas songs for the program.

After school I made some copies, organized some papers, got ready for Tuesday and was out the door around 4:15. I stopped by the dry cleaners on the way home to drop off AJ's shirts (we normally take them every 3 weeks or so). At this point I'm pretty hungry so I reach for my go-to snack: Triscuits and hummus. I get in my fully comfy zone: sweatpants, face mask on, contacts out, and chill for 30 minutes finishing the 90 Day Fiancee I started this morning. I then put together our lunches for Tuesday and start working on Wednesday's "Workin It Wednesday" blog post. AJ gets home from the gym around 6:00 and we eat dinner (leftover steak fajitas from last night). We both clean up the kitchen and AJ sets about doing some lesson planning and I head upstairs.

I ended up talking on the phone to one of my college pals for an hour or so (oh how I love reconnecting with girlfriends and picking up right where we left off).

Around 8:00 AJ and I head into baby's room to take some measurements and online shop for a wall decal. We price them out and end up deciding on and ordering one. Yay! I can't wait for it to arrive. It'll look so cute on the wall above the crib.

After that I wanted to update some frames in our house so I ordered some new photo prints last week and finally put them in the frame tonight.

Finally, at 8:30, I curled up with a bowl of Halo Top and some TV By 9:00, I was upstairs reading and ready for bed. Whew! A fun Monday. Thanks for following along!