Monday, May 31, 2010

Teach Mentor Texts

I haven't officially announced my new blog on this blog yet!  I started a new blog to devote to all the books I read to keep up with my students.  Here it is:

I am super excited about this new blog.  It focuses on books and how teachers can use books.  My goal is for it to be a resource not only for teachers, but for parents, too.  I have worked hard to get it all up and going.  I hope you stop by and check it out!  From now on, any children's, middle grade, or young adult book will be reviewed at Teach Mentor Texts.  I'll stick to just reviewing the adult books I read here at this site...which means there will be less book reviews!  It will be weird for me not to blog here about all my books, but that's okay, I'll get used to it!  

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Random Updates!

Lara requested a black Croc here it is!  Jordan is so proud of his black Crocs!  Today we saw another boy with black Crocs and Jordan pointed them out, "Hey, he's got black Crocs, too!"  He has a Mater and a Sally jibbitz.  
I love this boy more and more every day!  
Asleep in the car on the way home from his friend's house.  He was conked out!
We discovered Push-Pops this week!  Yum!
A messy smile!
Cheese!  I was trying to take a picture of my belly and Jordan wanted a picture taken of him, too!
And here's my latest belly picture!  I was 34 weeks on Wednesday!  That means 6 weeks to go...but I'm hoping to be induced in 5 if my "body" seems ready.  I know my brain is ready!  We're so excited to meet this new little baby!  I'm dying to know if it's a boy or a girl!  On my to do list this weekend is to make a list of things I need to get ready for the hospital...I forgot what all I need...anyone have anything they couldn't live without at the hospital besides the super obvious stuff???  Help!  I actually have to birth this child!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Carfty Craze!

Two weeks ago Jordan and Chad spent the Saturday at Great America and left me home to sew and craft my heart out.  It was awesome!  I had a ton of projects all lined up - and all for my friend Emily's baby shower.  I love making things for other people AND I love creating with a theme in mind.  Emily's baby nursery is a safari theme and the shower was a safari theme so I had to make everything in safari colors of course!  

I'm missing one picture because the flash just didn't work out right and you could barely see it.  The first thing I made was a towel with a neck strap so you can wear the towel while you give the baby a bath and then when you're done with the bath you just scoop the baby up in the towel you already have over your head.  I think it's a great idea!  I'm going to whip up a few for myself before our baby comes!

This is a picture of a little changing pad.  I pieced together fabric for this side and the other side is all brown with a piece of quilt batting in the middle.  I love this to throw down to change a baby where-ever that isn't on the actual changing pad.  I already made one for myself for our downstairs diaper caddy.  
I'm so proud of how this little cutie turned out.  It's from the book: Softies By Therese Laskey.  It was a little tricky to turn the arms and legs inside-out because they were so teeny tiny but it was worth the time spent.  
Close-up!  I just love this face!
These are hand-crocheted washcloths.  I worked on these for a couple of days before my wild crafty Saturday, but ti counts.  I have never actually tried these but I've heard they are great, and I thought they went so well with this gift.  I've gotta get more yarn to make some up for our munchkin.  I love to see them all wrapped up like this.  I just did a simple square of single crochet.  
These are two bibs made with a fun safari  print that I found in the fat quarter section.  From two fat quarters I was able to make two bibs (because I wanted the front to be different from the back).  I hope they fit...I used a pattern and I tried to get Jordan to try on one, but he wasn't having it.  
And this is probably my favorite of all my projects - or at least tied with the monkey doll - a safari banner.  I cut triangle pieces out of the different safari fabrics, cut and ironed-on letters, and then strung them on bias tape.  It's hard to see, but it reads, "Hakuna Matata", which is from Disney's The Lion King and means "no worries".  I loved it as decoration for the shower and I hope Emily finds a place for it in the baby's room.  (And even if she doesn't, I'll still love her and love that I made it - no pressure, Em!)
I hope you enjoy seeing my projects as much as I enjoyed creating them!!!  

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Danny Gokey Love!

I'm so behind on blogging it's not even funny...I'll get caught up!  I promise!  I just wanted to post this picture of Chad with Danny Gokey from last week when Danny visited his school.  Chad was so excited.  It was all I heard about for sooooooo long, that's it's nice that it finally got to happen.  Chad was on cloud nine all day.

Other Idol news is Lee won Idol this year!  I could almost not bear to watch last night, but it was okay because Lee did win.  I loved him from the very beginning so I'm so glad that he won!  I'll post more updates this weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jordan Turns Three!

Jordan had a great third birthday party on Saturday!  We had so much fun with our family!!!  Jordan was all smiles and couldn't wait for his party to begin!
Chowing down with Alex and Maddy
A Thomas and Gordon Birthday Cake!!!  He loved his cake!
When I asked Jordan what was his favorite part about his party, he quickly said, "Presents!"
It was such a fun birthday party!  The kids had fun playing at the train table and opening presents.  When Jordan opened his new black Crocs from Gramma and Papa he said, "I've wanted these forever!"  He was so sweet giving hugs to everyone who gave him a gift.  It was just a ton of fun!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lee DeWyze Live!!!!!

I still can't believe I actually got to see Lee perform live on Friday night!  I was frantically trying to get tickets on Wednesday after he made it through to the top three.  I actually never got through to get tickets, but luckily my friend did and he got me and Kathy tickets!!!!  It was so cool to see Lee live and to see how emotionally overwhelmed he was from the whole experience.  I thought he was awesome before but he was great live and I just think about how much it means to him.  It was very fun and I can't wait to see him perform tomorrow night!  He's definitely my number one pick for Idol!!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jordan's 1st Dentist Visit

I realized I better post this before Jordan's party today because then I'll have to post party pictures!!!  This week Jordan went to the dentist for the very first time!  They had an opening so we weren't really planning to go, I think that kind of worked in our favor because he didn't have too much time to think about what it was going to mean to have to go to the dentist!  

He loved looking at the cool fish in the fish tank when we got there.  They had a really neat puffer fish.  Before he could get bored they called him back.  The lady was super nice and had cartoons on the TV in the little room.  Jordan climbed up into the seat and let her get to work.  She said he was super mature considering he had just turned 3 the very day before the appointment.  I was a proud mama watching him...and taking pictures nonstop...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jordan!!!

Jordan celebrated his 3rd birthday yesterday!  It's crazy to think that three years have gone by but at the same time it's amazing to think that he is already three years old.  I can't even explain how much I love my little peanut.  He's just such a character sometimes.  Tonight he is sleeping over at my parents.  I tucked him in before I left.  As my mom, my sister, and I walked out of his room he said, "Good night, Yankee Doodles!"  I mean, where does he come up with this stuff??  He's just so much fun.  I was so excited for him to have a great birthday.  In the morning we opened presents and he had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  In the afternoon, we had ice cream with blue sprinkles with his friends at daycare.  Then, we were off to meet our friends, Alex and Maddy, for Chuck E. Cheese madness fun and then dinner at Panera.  Jordan was so proud to be the birthday boy and to tell everyone he was three years old.  I feel kind of bad that he has to wait until Saturday for his birthday party but I can't wait to see how excited he gets when Saturday rolls around!!!
All smiles opening his presents!  He got big kid Legos!
Daddy and Jordan

Mommy and Jordan

The Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife
A Reliable Wife
By Robert Goolrick

This was our book club book for this month...and that's why I finished it.  My friend Christina called me before I even started to say she had abandoned it.  I decided to gut through it.  It did get more interesting as the story went on and some twists were thrown in but overall I wasn't sure who to root for and it was hard to relate to the characters.  It's about a wealthy man in Wisconsin who puts an ad in the paper for a wife.  There are all sorts of weird twists and turns after that but, honestly, none worth reading about...but that's just my opinion.  It'll be interesting to see what my book club friends say, I already talked with my Barnes and Noble friend who didn't really like it either and have heard from many people that it was a dud.  Bummer.

The Lemonade War

The Lemonade War
By Jacqueline Davies

I have fallen in love with this book.  It's a great late elementary read so it was pretty easy to zoom through but a great story.  There's something about stories that just can break my heart when I can relate to them and this one did just that.  It's not a sappy book, but the boy in the book just has to deal with some disappointments and it just reminds me of little disappointments in my life...I was remembering the time we went to the zoo with summer camp and my mom gave me $10 to spend at the zoo.  We had to pack brown bag lunches and we ate at tables at the zoo.  After lunch, I packed everything up and threw my lunch away...with the $10 bill inside of my lunch sack.  I was devastated later in the day when a counselor was taking kids to buy ice cream and I realized I had thrown my $10 away.  And I was remembering the time when I was in the spelling bee at school.  All the 5th grade classes came to watch the spelling bee and there were tons of parents there, including my mom who got off of work to come see me in the spelling bee.  My first time up at the microphone and my word is "bicycle".  I proudly spelled it, "bycicle".  I was crushed when I realized I had spelled it wrong, went back to my seat, and then watched my mom sneak out the back since I wasn't in the competition any more.

Anyway, I feel strongly that those little disappointments in life can be hard and they are moments that stick with me still.  This book is about a brother and sister who end up dueling to see who can make the most money at their lemonade stands.  It's a great sibling story, it's a great story about running a business, it's a great story about surviving disappointments in life.  I loved it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I had to take this picture when I saw how Wonder Woman had been haphazardly discarded on our kitchen table near a tree craft project Jordan brought home from day care. Mother's Day is tomorrow and sometimes I feel like moms feel like they have to be super heroes like Wonder Woman but it's just not gonna happen...we may have moments of greatness, but mom's are people, too. I know that I will always do my best and do anything for Jordan and our baby on the way but I also have to accept that I'm not perfect and I'll make mistakes.

"There is no way to be a perfect mother,
and a million ways to be a good one."
-Jill Churchill

Just last night, Jordan woke up not able to breathe. I heard him struggling on the monitor, jumped up, grabbed the glass of water I keep by my bed and ran into his room.

"God can't be everywhere, so he created mothers."
-Jewish proverb

I don't think I did much for keeping calm at first but was able to calm him down after he was screaming and crying and coughing. The water didn't really help. I, of course, had no idea what was wrong...I sprinted back into our room to hysterically scream at Chad to get up and help me figure out what was going on. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what was wrong, if I needed to call an ambulance, if I needed to call the doctor, if I needed to call my mom...he was calmed down enough and I knew he was actually getting air so I opted for my mom first. She said to take him into the bathroom to breathe the steam from the hot water running and to call the doctor. I held my sweet boy who was clinging to me with his little arms in the muggy bathroom.

"A mother is she who can take the place of all others
but whose place no one else can take."
-Cardinal Mermillod

Chad ran to the computer to figure out what to do about croup. He came upstairs telling me he was gonna take Jordan out in the cool air because that's what it said would be good for a croupy spell. All I was thinking was, oh yeah, does seem like it could be croup...why didn't I think of that?

He finally did seem to be breathing better and we snuggled him up in bed next to me with the humidifier and he was able to sleep the rest of the night okay. I woke up this morning feeling like I wasn't cool, collected, or clue-ful as far as last night went, and right before Mother's Day, but I did my best and that's all I can expect from myself.

I strongly believe that mom's aren't perfect and we shouldn't expect ourselves to be perfect 24/7. I also believe mother's need to take care of themselves and treat themselves to massages or Starbucks or online shopping once in a while in order to stay sane enough to take care of their kids.

So to all the moms out there and moms-to-be: you have the most wonderful job in the world but it's not always easy and it's not always fun and you're not always going to know exactly what to do, but that's okay. Keep it up, do your best, be true to yourself and know that you mean so much to your little (or big) munchkins! I wish everyone a great Mother's Day!

The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez

The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez
Most Recently Read Book:

The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodgriguez

By Judy Goldschmidt

How is it that I have kind of forgotten what it was like to be in middle school? I think it's because I work with just a handful of middle school kids and I do work with them in a school setting versus outside of school and I'm a teacher versus someone they would confide any crushes in, but I kind of forgot how boy-crazy, fashion-crazy, friend-crazy middle school girls can be! Well, this book really helped remind me. Raisin Rodriguez is a girl who moves to a new middle school and writes about everything that is going on in her blog. If I tell you it kind of reminds me of Harriet The Spy can you guess what happens? I love how the author truly channeled a middle school as far as the character's voice. It's awesome.

Here's my favorite line, because I still struggle with hair issues today as an almost (gulp) 30-year-old!

"...I went to her bathroom to collect myself. It's a good thing too because when I looked in the mirror, my hair was all out of whack. You know how you leave the house thinking you look gorgeous and then when you check yourself out later in the day, you look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings? I couldn't have CJ seeing me like this."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Most Recently Read Book:

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

By Maggie O'Farrell

This book might have been as confusing as Time Traveler's Wife when it comes to jumping back and forth between present time and flashbacks and from one character to another. At least TTW gives you some guidelines as to who is talking and when they are talking. I finally got into the rhythm of this book though, and I was eager to figure out how all the stories fit into place. It reminded me a little bit of 1000 White Women, because it's about a woman who has been in an institution until her great niece finds out she exists and is being released from the institution. It's amazing how people were treated for how they acted and what they thought. Maybe that's why we have crazy people running around these days...because we don't automatically lock people up...interesting. Anyway, even though this was a little confusing at first, I thought it was worthwhile read!