Highs and Lows

Welp, it’s been a heck of a long time since I’ve blogged. And I’ll just put it out there for the 3 of you who aren’t members of my family and have been wondering where I’ve been: I’m not pregnant! That’s right, my 3 month blogging hiatus is not due to exhaustion and morning sickness. I’m just lazy. But we all knew that!

Now that that’s out of the way, I thought I’d use a certain, unoriginal, tried and true method of blogging to jot down a little bit about our summer and early fall: the highs and lows post.

Ahem.
July Highs:
Dave and I escaped and went out on a fancy, long date to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and then dinner for our anniversary.IMG_4572

The kids and I spent a week in New York while Jane was in town and all the sibs briefly got together (to take a picture).

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Lows:

None that I can think of… Well, July might have been the month that we let our tenant get a dog. Sigh…

August Highs:
The garden was in high gear giving us more produce than we could handle, especially tomatoes! I actually froze a ton of them this year and we’ve been using them in soups and chili. It makes me feel very Ma Ingalls-ish. Except she didn’t have a freezer.IMG_4779

My friend Annemarie hosted a FUS reunion that we made it to and that was a blast! It was nice to catch up with old friends and see our kids play together.

Lows:
Sara got a tummy bug at the tail end of the month and it was so sad.IMG_4771

September Highs:
We took an epic trip down to Raleigh to visit some of Dave’s family and then to Virginia Beach to soak up the last bit of the summer. And I was able to reconnect with a dear college friend while in Virginia Beach! We went on a sushi date and it was glorious!IMG_4854

When we got back, our preschool co-op started back up, and Sara LOVES it. Her pre-literacy skills are just exploding. My former preschool teacher self is totally geeking out over her academic growth.

GUS FINALLY STARTED WALKING! Listen, people. The kid is 27 pounds. It was time he started pulling his own weight around here.IMG_4927

Lows:
Everyone (except me!) came down with a stomach bug while we were on our epic trip. So. much. puke. And Sara had only gotten over her other stomach bug a couple of weeks before this one! I’m really trying not to let that whole ordeal color my impression of the entire trip but I’m not succeeding.IMG_4840

With the cold setting in at the end of September, some little furry friends decided to move on into our cozy house. We’ve had mice here and there over the last 4 years that we’ve lived here, but this is the first time that we’ve had some in the attic (how did they get up there????) as well as in our kitchen and bathroom. Any recommendations for your best traps would be appreciated! I’m really trying to fake it till I make it, because I know it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but! ! ! They’re gross.

Well, that kind of covers it I guess! I’m not going to make grand promises of more consistent blogging, but I don’t intend to shut it all down or anything. ¬†So if anyone is still reading, thank you. ūüôā You’re a very patient and charitable person, and I like you.

 

 

7QT: Mostly Clothes, a little Montessori

Linking up with Jen Fulwiler again for 7 quick takes Friday on Saturday!

1. It’s the weekend again, I can’t believe it! ¬†That old cliche about the days being long is so so true, but the weeks, not even years are flying by for me right now! ¬†Gus turned 2 months old on Wednesday and last night he only woke up twice to eat. ¬†Granted he woke up an hour after his last feeding because he was very anxiously working on a poo and needed some comfort. This guy gets so bent out of shape when he’s got a poo coming!

TMI Mom.

TMI Mom.

2. ¬†Thanks to all you ladies who helped me with my mom jean dilemma! After much¬†deliberation and a solo return trip to le Gap to try on the online pair and other pairs back to back, I decided to keep the online pair! I’m still a little weirded out by how high they come up, but holy comfortable!

3. Along with the new jeans, I’ve added a few more items to my momdrobe recently to help usher in the fall. ¬†I got this pair of crops from Old Navy and I’m very pleased with how they fit and look. ¬†I really really really wanted them in the Go Pinot Go color (a burgundy color) but they sold out like hotcakes. ¬†The navy ones I got are really cute though and go with a lot of my neutral wardrobe.

4. Also,

awkward head tilt

awkward head tilt

this tee shirt was $8 at Old Navy. For some reason I’m JUST catching on to the fact that cranberry (especially heathered cranberry like this tee) works really well with my complexion. ¬†And, it goes with pretty much all of the main colors in my wardrobe: navy, white, gray, khaki/beige. ¬†You know, neutrals. ¬†Woot!

5. I also picked up that sweater I tried on with the jeans at Gap. ¬†I ended up getting it in gray because, NEUTRALS. I ordered it online because they had a 45% off online sale this past week, but also because I can get talls online. ¬†This has been a new, awesome discovery of mine: ordering talls. ¬†I’m not technically a tall person, and tall pants would look ridonkulous on me, but tall tops usually look pretty good on me because they hit my hips at that flattering spot. ¬†And, if they shrink a bit in the wash, it doesn’t ruin the fit as drastically. ¬†I also reordered a pair of shorts in tall this summer because the regulars were just too short. ¬†Talls were an inch longer and it made a big difference!

6. ¬†Now, I need your help again friends. ¬†I’m looking for a good pair of cognac leather flats. Have you seen that blog Franish? ¬†I love love love her style and it helps that I’m basically her SAHM¬†doppelganger. Anyway, she’s turned me on to cognac accessories and I’m on the hunt for a pair of flats like her Banana Republic pair, but cheaper. ¬†It seems as though I should be in luck though because cognac flats are everywhere this fall. ¬†But! ¬†I have this little problem of my feet being newly stretched from this past pregnancy. ¬†I already had big size 10 feet. ¬†Now they’re size 10 wide (a difficult size to find!) or just huge old size 11. [ I should take up swimming again. ¬†With these new and improved flippers, I could totally take on Michael Phelps.]

I already tried these:

Via DSW

So cute! So tight!

Then I tried these¬†on in the store and they’re just not comfortable for big wide feet. ¬†Gap sells these but they show a lot of toe cleavage and I’m not a fan. ¬† So, does anyone have any suggestion for wide footed gals? ¬†I really want a pair of simple flats, preferably with a classic little bow like Fran’s.

7. ¬†Confession: I’ve been a bit of a Montessori hater for a few years now. ¬†I learned about Montessori a little in college while working on my Early Childhood Education degree. ¬†All it was presented as was a teaching style. ¬†I didn’t have an issue with any of the methodology I learned then, but since becoming a mom, I’ve realized how much of a thing it is. ¬†I hate things. ¬†I really hate trendy parenting and education practices because people get so bent out of shape when things aren’t perfectly “Montessori!” or “Attachment parenting!” The thing is, I know there is good in these camps, you just have to pick out what works for you and not be bullied into doing things all the way if you don’t agree with everything. ¬†Case in point: apparently something that is considered to be a Montessori practice is giving your 9 month old a glass tumbler for drinking water. ¬†That strikes me as crazy cakes. ¬†But I shouldn’t write off everything Montessori because some things aren’t my cup of tea. ¬†Or glass tumbler of water. ūüėČ

Anyway, where am I going with this? ¬†Now that I’m embarking on this preschool co-op with friends, I’ve wanted to research Montessori more. ¬†I’m still skeptical, but I’m trying to be pragmatic here and do my research. ¬†I know there’s a lot of good in the Montessori method, especially when it comes to implementing things in a home setting. ¬†Whether we decided to homeschool our kids or send them to school, I’ll always be an educator at heart along with being the first and most important teacher to my kids. ¬†That said, I have a desire to continue to learn and develop my personal education philosophy. ¬†Researching and being open to different methods is part of this process. ¬†I’m reading this book now as part of my research. Do any of you have other book recommendations?

Have a great holiday weekend, friends! ūüôā

Seven Quick Takes: School days!

Joining Jen at Conversion Diary for 7QT. We’ve had a busy week at the Hazzard house, so no shortage of things to write about here:

1) Jude started kindergarten!!!

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Here he is modeling his (borrowed!) uniform. I’m the awesome mom who first ordered the wrong size, then ordered the right size way too late to get the uniforms in time for school.

2) McBrother also started school this week! He’s having a good time at Providence, even though the resident hall powers-that-be put all freshmen guys into quads. That’s right: Himself, who has always had his own room, is now sharing with three other guys. It gets better than that, though. Jim’s roommates are three other kids of Irish extraction. Seriously, our McBrother is in with another Mc, a Fitz and an O’Something. I’m going to send him a can of Febreeze and this sign to tape to his door:

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3) While Jude was having fun at school (and whistling at inappropriate times, according to one reliable source) the girls and I went furniture shopping and then we got McDonald’s (which we had to keep secret from Jude).

Jackie and Carmela try out our new sofa.

Jackie and Carmela try out some seating options.

4) The furniture shopping was one of the final components of the Great Family Room Makeover of 2013. Behold:

BEFORE

BEFORE

 

AFTER

There are still a few things to do, including nailing in the quarter round around the base board and putting the shelves and doors onto the bookcases, but it’s 3/4 of the way done.

5) The painting and floors were only part of the makeover. Check out what the room looked like when we moved in last year:

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The above picture was taken in the early morning and as you can see, the room was completely paneled and very, very dark because instead of the sliding glass door shown above, it had a small double window that looked out onto a screen-in porch. We painted the paneling to lighten it up but because of the porch, the room got little direct sunlight. This spring, we (by which I mean NOT me) tore the porch down and replaced the double window with the sliders. We also moved the washer and dryer hookups into a closet in the back of the room. It’s a wonderful difference and we’re very fortunate to be able to make these changes. I’m hoping we can make some positive changes to the kitchen sometime in the next year. The previous owners were really big fans of oak.

6) Our Jackie starts preschool next week! If you haven’t already, you should read Ellen’s post on preschool from last week. We decided to send Jude to preschool because he was (and is) a really social kid. He’s always looking for someone to talk to or play with. He’s got a great imagination and is very precocious. He spoke in full sentences shortly after turning one and never seemed to stop. This drove (drives) me nuts. DJ and I decided the best thing for Jude and for me would be to enroll him in PreK two days a week when he turned three.

Jude's first day of PreK 3.

Jude’s first day of PreK 3.

If Jackie had been first, we probably would have skipped the first year of preschool. She’s pretty content to stay home and color or play with her dolls. The only person she really wants to hang out with is her cousin Margot. However, because she’s seen Jude going off to school for three years in a row, she now expects to go to school so she’ll be starting next Tuesday.

7) Here is a picture of my kids watching the iPad, because that’s the sort of Mom I am:

ipadkids

Hope you all have a good weekend!

To Preschool Or Not To Preschool?

School is on many of our minds lately. ¬†I’m seeing a lot of posts about back to school, but they’re all unique in their perspectives. ¬†Some are about homeschooling, some are about traditional school and lately I’ve seen a couple about preschool (Francine & Ana), specifically, whether to send your child to preschool or not. ¬†I was at a friend’s house yesterday morning for a playdate and she asked me my opinion on the matter, since I was a preschool teacher in my former life.

I love preschool. I loved teaching that 4 year old age group and I miss it (although I don’t miss the school politics). I’m always so excited for my nieces and nephews when they start preschool. ¬†I just look at their excited little faces and I know that they’re going to have so much fun.

Lucy!

Lucy on her first day of Lucky Ducks this past week. How adorable is her uniform?!?

And that’s the most important thing about preschool, that they have fun. ¬†Because at the age of 3 and 4, kids are learning so much about the world, they just soak up all there is to learn in their environments. ¬†And they do that through playing and through interacting with others.

But do I think that sending your child to preschool is absolutely necessary?  No, not really.  

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Who’s to say you can’t tally rainy and sunny days at home?

And that’s not to say that they don’t learn anything in preschool, it’s just that it’s nothing they couldn’t learn at home. ¬†Yes, there’s the socialization aspect, but they can also get that through playing with siblings, playdates with friends, or little music, art or tumble classes. ¬†Personally, I think the most important thing that kids (particularly kids who have been at home with Mom since birth) learn at preschool is how to listen to and follow directions from other adults. ¬†When I was a teacher, I observed that the kids who had been at home and who’s first school experience was my classroom were used to doing their own thing all the time, so it took them a few weeks-a couple months to understand how to follow along at school. ¬†But again, if you are choosing to keep your kids home for preschool or you have decided to homeschool, your kids can learn that skill through extracurricular activities.VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Of course, this issue is not as simple as “preschool is fun, but it’s not necessary.” You have to know your kids and know yourself. ¬†Maybe you have a really tireless, precocious, social kid (ahem, Jude!) of preschool age and you have a couple other little ones at home who are taking up your time and attention. ¬†Or perhaps you are completely overwhelmed by life and you need a little break a couple mornings a week. ¬†Maybe you are really not a kid person, and the thought of doing messy crafts in your house makes your head explode. ¬†Sending your kiddo to preschool might be the best thing for your family!

All I’m saying is, if you have a good thing going at home with your little one(s) and you think you could do the whole preschool thing, go for it! ¬†There are so many resources available to help. ¬†Heck, just check out pinterest!

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100If you are looking for more specific recommendations, just leave me a comment and I’ll try to help. ¬†My point in writing this post is to be encouraging whether you’re attempting preschool at home or your sending your kiddo to school. ¬†SONY DSC