Friday





Happy Friday! This may be our last weekend with no plans for awhile...we are entering "life" again, since it's getting a little warmer, and the winter is withering away (hopefully). I think I just added about a dozen events - showers, bachelorettes, birthday parties, etc - into our calendar. Sorry, babe!



ONE // PARENTING
I've been struggling with Cam lately, feeling like I am constantly correcting him - don't do that, quieter, be more gentle, don't feed your sister bbq chips, etc...This article is so DUH, but it's amazingly effective. Whenever I am correcting him, I'm across the room doing dishes or answering emails or something not with HIM. I know that I can't be with him 24/7, but if I am just closer, it will cut down on my yelling.





TWO // SHOPPING
I love Amazon. My mail lady must think we are billionaires because of the constant delivery of Amazon Prime boxes. (We're not. Not even close.) But I had no idea about some of these tips.





THREE // FOOD
I have lost four pounds just from eating healthier...I haven't even been working out. I do so well at work, but at home, I struggle. These instant oatmeal jars are totally my jam. They're easy, they're healthy, and they help keep me full. #winning






FOUR // TEACHING
This article reminded me why I teach. There are so many ups and downs and more failures than successes, it feels like sometimes. I was emailing with a parent this week, and it kept coming to my mind how much more I care about my students as PEOPLE than as STUDENTS. Obviously, I want them to learn and succeed, but if they don't have the feeling of love and support, they'll never succeed.





FIVE // QUOTE
This is me today. So tired, so burnt out, but a little Missy Elliot on the way to school helped perk me up a bit!



Have a great weekend! Here's to wine at gymnastics, 50% off at GAP outlets and some warm temps on Sunday. 








Confessional Thursday





My brain dump for the week with Jess!! I confess...



...that I really want to use the BLW method with Louise, but I don't want to clean up the mess. There. I said it. I am forcing us to do it at least a few times a week, but otherwise, homegirl gets waffles, baby crackers, yogurt bites and jar food.

...that I am still catching up on posts from Last Friday. Sometimes, I just hit the "read all" button, but I actually want to read so many posts! When did life get so hectic?

...that I started a 3-Day Refresh last Monday because #pizzafordinner5timesaweek, and I didn't even make it to dinner that night. I've done it twice before, and LOVED the results, but I came down with a nasty cold on Monday morning, so I was feeling icky and needing some comfort food. When Chad popped in the pizza for Cam, I couldn't resist one bite. Then a slice. Then two. Maybe next week.

...that I just learned how to make risotto. And brussel sprouts. And how to steam vegetables. I think Cameron knows how to cook more than me!

...that I was off from work for nine days last week, and I didn't wear anything other than yoga pants. On Valentine's Day, I didn't even make it out of my pajamas.

...that I washed our sheets on Sunday...we just put them back on our bed last night. #fail

...that I am so freaking happy that it's Friday-Eve! I think we might go on a date tonight (woohoo), we can bring wine to the kids' gymnastics class tomorrow night (holler!) and we have NO PLANS this weekend, which means we can do whatever we want!






PS: Amazon has 30% coupons for a bunch of home stuff: diapers, cleaners, detergent, etc...I just stocked up on some good brands!




Catching Up




Last week was our "February Vacation," which was started in the northeast to close down the schools to save on heating. I don't think our school was closed for even one day last week, but I didn't mind the break.

The kids and I didn't do much - it was so cold over the first weekend that we jetted out of the house first thing Monday morning and hit up the Bounce Zone. Cam bounced for two hours non-stop then napped for three. #praisejesus



Tuesday, nobody napped, so I dropped Cam off at my Dad's and took Louise to the mall. We returned a few things and bought some new bras and undies at VS...crazy girls' night!

Wednesday, we met up with some friends at Maine Academy of Gymnastics for a too-short open gym (less than an hour) then went home and watched a movie because nobody was tired. It's too bad it's so short because it's really fun...there are two floors of "contained" space then an entire open area with bars, trampolines, rings, etc...I think they could have spent all day there!



Thursday was our library day. Our main library has such a great kids' section with TOO MANY books to choose from, a Moose to touch and a little play room. Of course, we spent more time in the play room than anywhere else, but we brought home a few good books! (What are your favorite books for a 4 year old? We are getting into a whole new category of authors!)

Friday, we met some different friends at The Yard for three hours of playing (They would have stayed longer - It was amazing.) and lunch. Conveniently enough, Portland Pie is right next door, so there's that...if only we could have ordered some beers to go!



And I'm now contemplating installing two swings in our yard because that's pretty much all they did!


Saturday, Chad took Cam on a day date to get a hair cut, run errands and grab lunch. We had a quiet family afternoon then headed to Portsmouth for dinner at Bratskellar. It's a pizza joint in the back basement of a fancy restaurant, so only locals know about it. It's perfect with kids because it's so loud that nobody cares! I'm glad we live an hour away, otherwise, we'd be there every week!

Not fancy, cheap and delicious!

Sunday, we cleaned, interviewed a new babysitter (who we hired) then I had a staff meeting at school. On Wednesday, February 17, one of our seniors - and one of my students - killed himself. He posted a suicide note on Facebook, his friends called the police and rushed to his house, but it was too late. It's tragic. It sucks. It's so hard. It's hard to not feel guilty, as his teacher and case manager. It's hard to try to talk to the students because they want answers and clarity, and there just isn't any. I'm so glad that we are all together, in school, to support each other. 

If you are the praying type, please pray for his family, who is not doing well. They won't speak with anyone, and they don't want a service. I am trying to respect their wishes and their privacy, but I want to reach out to them so badly. His mom was the sweetest...she wanted to help him more than anyone, and he wouldn't let her in. He wouldn't let anyone in. 

If you know anyone who needs help, please push. Don't stop. Don't think they're going to be okay, because they may not be. He wasn't, but we all thought he was. 


So, today, we are all wearing purple to support Suicide Awareness...even Louise!

Don't mind our blurry Monday morning picture!





And, to end on a happy note...I can't even handle these kids. 

Our threenager who hates to wake up in the morning...
unless it's 5am, then he's all "Let's watch TV, mom!"

And that butt-in-the-air and those little feet...



So here's the good in life and the bad we go through to make us appreciate the good. And please remember Dexter's parents this week, month and year. 





Valentines Weekend: In Pictures


Holdays are WAY more fun with kids. This past weekend was all about them, and Chad and I found a few minutes to spend together, too!



PART I: SCHOOL
Cam and Louise had pajama day on Friday, when Cam also exchanged Valentines with his classmates. He got everything from glow sticks to tattoos, to pencils to candy, of course!


Louise's new bff, Jada...Jada still loves Louise, even though she gets eaten on a daily basis.





PART II: SATURDAY NIGHT (wild) PARTY
Dr Love...Check out IG in case you missed him wearing and identical shirt two years ago!


With temperatures in the negative digits (seriously, so cold), we couldn't go far, so we made pizza at home! Can you believe we've never made pizza at home? It was so quick, easy and GOOD! Cam even got to make his own....talk about heaven for a 3 year old!








On Sunday, after the kids went to bed, Chad and I cooked together! I actually made the risotto (all by myself, with some instruction - this show how little I know about cooking! I hate it!) while Chad seared the scallops and a few shrimp. We stayed in our pajamas (another negative degree day), drank some wine and watched the debate...one of the best Valentines I've had! ;) 






Some other shenanigans that happened during this bitterly freezing cold weekend including Cam turning on the blender with no cover...thankfully, my mom laughed instead of crying that her entire kitchen is now purple. 



Louise started pulling up on more and more stuff, including her crib. We lowered her mattress, and she seems so far down now!




Louise also started throwing back some drinks...



She got her first bruise on her head (see it? Kind small, but it had to be documented.) She lost her balance at day care and smacked her head into the fridge. I think she fell about 38 times this past weekend trying to pull up/couch surf on her knees.


And a parenting fail...I though Louise would love to be in the bathtub with Cam, so I pulled out the laundry basket. She screamed bloody murder, but her brother loved it. Whatever. 





That was it for our weekend...a LOT of time inside. A lot of movies, games and books. And wine. And vodka. 


Happy Tuesday!








Friday Favorites




PSA: GAP is having 40% off when you buy 5 items, and their sale is so good it's easy to find 5 things! GO SHOP!


Happy Friday! We are embarking on nine days of stay-home-days, as Cameron calls them. Hello, February vacation! (For all of you who don't live in Maine, we get TWO spring breaks...holler!)



ONE // RECIPE
I made this Buffalo Chicken Dip for the Super Bowl party we went to, and it was a hit, of course. We've had a few people bring it to our parties, and it's always gone immediately, so I knew that I wouldn't be the only one scarfing down Fritos full of dip. We served it with celery, carrots, Fritos and nachos...don't judge us if we serve this at every. single. party we have. 
PS There's NOTHING healthy about this, except the chicken, and I don't even care!






TWO // PARENTING

Ok, seriously guys, the comments and support keep coming, and I am so thankful for this little community. You make me feel more sane. :) 

One of the things we are working on with Cam is his letters...If I tell him to find a D, he can. If I ask him what letter the D is, he can't say. We are also working on his confidence so he will try writing more letters than just a C. (These are two areas of concern by his teachers, too.)

I found these cute little printables that I am hoping will trick him into working on his letters and writing. They also have Easter ones!





THREE // MAKE-UP

I have SUPER dry skin in the winter, so in addition to my special face wash and lotion, I have to be careful about my make up choices. I did a little review, and after crossing off the $100 options, I ended up grabbing this at Walmart. And I love it, so far. I am STILL on the search for a primer. The one from this same line ended up not being so great.  





FOUR // WEBSITE

I am not sure why I've never come across this site before, but Mel pretty much makes menu planning simple. AND they're meals for families, so they're kid friendly but not boring. She also has a section for 30-minute meals and plan-ahead meals. Easy-peasy.






FIVE // QUOTE







It's supposed to be SO COLD this weekend, so here's to hoping that we survive having to stay inside for 48 hours! 







Confessional Thursday



Jess has started a fun new link up that pretty much lets me blurt out all of the random thoughts in my head, and it's not considered inappropriate. (PS Her Viv is going through the same teething madness that we are with Louise...send us wine!)







We took away Cameron's pacifier all-together in September, but I still give him one when I need him to nap (or be quite in the car so Louise can sleep). #whateverworks


"You get what you get, and you don't get upset" gets more use than I'd like to admit. And it works every.single.time. 

Cameron knows exactly what this is and what it's used for. I am not sure why, because we usually finish any bottle we open! :) 


He also pretends the above is a gun, and he shoves it down his diaper like a cowboy...you're warned if you ever come over and drink from an opened bottle of wine.

I really want to be a good blogger, but I'm too lazy. I don't know how to use my real camera, and I don't want to edit pictures. #idrathersleep

Cam and Louise's day care is open until 4:30, and I usually leave them there until then. I need that 1.5 hour of ME time. It's usually spent shopping for them, working, blogging or doing laundry, but it's nice to have a little quiet time.

Cam received some Valentines already, and I ate some of the candy. In his closet. I was "putting away clothes" and couldn't resist. 

We have nine days off from school/work, and as excited I am to get a break, I'm already looking forward to the Monday we return...being home with two kids, when that's not your normal routine, can be hard. I don't know how SAHMs do it. 



Happy Friday Eve!!





Cameron's Answers: Part I


I have been so excited about this link-up, since I heard about it, and Cameron did not disappoint!




Where is your favorite place to go?
Papa's because he gives me chocolate milk and ice cream!


Who is your best friend?
Thomas and Jonah. And Rex and Tino


If you could be a superhero what would your superpower be?
I would get all the BADGUYS (in a yelling voice) with my spiderwebs!


What is your favorite candy?
CHOCOLATE - then ran around the entire kitchen at full speed!

Who is your Valentine?
YOU! And Daddy and Louise (then he got all shy...gah, I love him!)







Check out Jess' blog to see everyone else's answers and March's questions!


Valentine's Day Blogger Exchange: Yoda Best


I am totally a festive person, and I always have great intentions and have gotten so much better at being prepared, so when these girls mentioned a blogger exchange for Valentine's Day, I was all in! I even planned ahead of time and had a super cute Valentine picked out (that included a glow stick...super cool).

Then our entire family got sick. Like SO SICK. And I was walking through Target picking up a cart-full of medicine when I saw these

I mean, who doesn't love fruit chews? AND they're organic. ;)

Then I started feeling better and got a little energy and decided to go for the original Valentine. So Cam and I have enjoyed a fruit snack every afternoon, on the way home from school, and our friends got some fun glow sticks in the mail!







Cam has been way into Star Wars lately...We are not Star Wars fans, but with all of the hoopla with the new movie, I think he started hearing about it at school, so when I saw these, I knew he would love them.



I sent the file to Staples, paid to have them cut (best purchase ever), we punched a little hole in the hand and stuck the glow stick through....


Sidenote: Does anyone else's child love to play with glow sticks in the bath? I bought a tube of 100 on Amazon, and Cam has asked for a bath every night!



LOOK at all of the goodies that Cam and Louise got!! (I may or may not have eaten Louise's snacks! I did share the graham crackers with her...)

We got candy, glow sticks, magnets, dinosaurs, crafts, a counting book, tic-tac-toe, mini flashlights, crayons, sunglasses....SO FUN! Cam thought it was Christmas!









Be sure to check out everyone else's fun Valentines! (I promise they are way better than ours!) 

Tawnya, Scarlett, & Bodhi @ All of Life's Little Adventures
Jennifer & Hattie @ And Hattie Makes Three
Ashley, Waverly, & Avalon @ Being Brickner
Jess & Abbie @ Being Mrs. Beer
Elizabeth & Mason @ Chasin' Mason
Liz & Jude @ Ellie and Addie
Crystal & Mason @ Hall Around Texas
Desiree, Marcus, & Julia @ Macke Monologues
Natalie & Blair @ Nat Your Average Girl
Sara, Mac, & Mim @ Running From the Law
Jess, Cameron, & Louise @ Scott Family of Maine
Jessica, Cameron, & Emerson @ Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom
Sarah, Brantley, & Holden @ Seeing All Sides
Karli, Kaye, & Sawyer @ September Farm
Chrissy & Elin @ Simple Joys Blog
Courtney & Aria | Sweet Turtle Soup
Meghan & Noah @ The Adventure Starts Here
Stephanie & Connor | Wife Mommy Me
Whitney, Kinsey, & Brielana @ Work It Mommy