1. Kate is a shoe-flinger. Her shoes are never side by side. She just kicks them off as she walks somehow.
2. Gracie yells a lot. Maybe just is going to be a singer?
3. Bean said Holy shit. Hope he doesn’t end up with my potty mouth.
4. Our computer is dying a slow, painful death. I should fix it.
5. I had steak for dinner last night. It was delicious.
6. I think Touch, that new show, is stupid.
7. I think The New Girl is the funniest TV show in a while.
8. I love and hate doing dishes.
9. I did 3 loads of laundry and left them in baskets to fold. They are still sitting there.
10. I need to cut my grass.
11. I need to vacuum out the pool.
12. The pool is amazing right now. Refreshing and cool.
13. Someone hit my friggin mailbox yesterday with their car.
14. When I got home yesterday my mailbox and all my mail was in the front yard. WTF?
15. We had a torrential downpour at work yesterday and I had to dig a trench outside so the roof could drain.
16. I’m feeling really good about work right now. Things are going well.
17. I had board members back me up the other day and that felt great.
18. We are going to Atlanta next weekend.
19. We are going to a Braves game.
20. I love the NY Rangers. Ever since I was little.
21. The Rangers are in the Eastern Conference Finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Awesome)
22. Kate is tired of watching Hockey every night.
25. One of our TV’s is broke.
26. Come to think of it, I need to get that fixed.
27. We painting Bean’s room blue. He loves it.
28. Bean said Holy Shit. Hahaha.
29. I love Morgan Freeman commercials.
30. Gracie is so stinking cute with her hair in pigtails.
31. I miss my boys in the NYC.
32. Heading to Gulf Breeze (our home town) the weekend after next.
33. Beans birthday is two weeks away! He wants a Lighting McQueen birthday cake.
34. Kate likes to go into every room and turn the lights and fan on and then leave. I hate that.
35. Kate has been running lately and she looks amazing, so proud of her!
(you see how I did that)
Life is good.
Thanks for letting me brain dump on you.
Gracie has had tubes in her ears for two weeks now, and I cannot get over what a difference they have made in her personality. I knew (or I hoped) that they would make a difference in her health, and they have. She hasn’t been pulling on her ears, running fevers, or battled a runny nose since the procedure, which is really abnormal for her. But more than the health advantages, it’s her personality that has us the most amazed.
They did a hearing test for Gracie when we went in for her consultation a week before the procedure and they told us that she had about 60% hearing loss from all the fluid in her ears. Basically, she heard everything like you would hear it under water. In all the facts and information we were getting that day, I really didn’t pay too much attention to that. Which was kind of crazy, looking back. But now that Gracie actually has all her hearing, it is amazing the difference we’ve seen. She is babbling more and saying more words because she can hear us say them clearly. We had been working with her for months on where her head, eyes, mouth, and ears were and she just couldn’t do it. But in the two weeks since she’s had tubes, she has been able to learn all her facial features. And I just know that’s because she can hear what we are saying so much better.
Another big difference is how much she is walking. My mom actually predicted that one. She wondered if all that fluid in her ears made her a little more wobbly because her balance was off. I’m not sure what the scientific explanation is, but I can tell you that since she’s had tubes, Gracie is walking like a champ now. She’s just about running now. All in about three days. It is crazy how well she moves around now compared to before. What she learned how to do this past week was to get herself standing from a sitting position. And when she gets walking really good and accidentally trips, she can catch herself with her hands and then push herself back up to standing, all while repeating, “Uh oh!” over and over again. It’s pretty stinking cute.
But more than the physical changes in her, it’s her blossoming littler personality that is the more different. Gracie has never been… how should I say this?… She’s never been a content child. She’s got a fierce little temper and just about no patience. I have no idea where she gets it… There weren’t a whole lot of things that made Gracie happy before. At daycare, there were occasionally good days, lots of bad days, but mostly “Gracie days,” where nothing was really wrong, but she was just fussy. But now? Every day is a good day with Gracie. Every day she wakes up, she is happy. Every day when I pick her up from school, she is happy. Every night when we’re getting ready for bed, she is happy. It’s a constant state for Gracie these days. She squeals and shrieks and plays and laughs and it is just wonderful. She started doing this thing this weekend where when she has something she’s not supposed to have, like my cell phone or the TV remote, she’ll come show it to you and then take off running and squealing, wanting you to chase her. That would NEVER have happened before! And it is awesome!
Don’t think that I haven’t noticed that as Gracie’s happiness has gone up, so has mine. For such a tiny little Puffalump, she can make or break the moods at our house. I’m so glad she’s finally happy!!!
Look what I found! My Q&A page! It’s still here! Who knew????
Here’s the thing with this Q&A page. I’m not super thrilled with the layout, but I haven’t figured out how to change it. I don’t like that there are blog posts AND questions here. But, it is what it is and I’m not technical enough to fix it yet, so this is what we’re working with, people.
Turns out though, lots of you use this webpage! So, sorry I left you guys hanging here! I spent tonight answering questions as far back as December. And I’ll be sure to keep up with this page more from this point on, so if you have a question feel free to leave it. Hopefully, it won’t take me six months this time to answer!
Have I mentioned yet how excited I am about summer?
Yes? Okay. Moving on…
With summer a-comin’, it’s time for lots of you to say goodbye to your child’s teacher. As a teacher myself, I thought I’d share some ideas for popular teacher gifts around my school. Even if you don’t want to spend a lot, or if your child has multiple teachers so you can’t do something big for all of them, it is still a really nice gesture to send a little thank you gift to a teacher. Even if it’s just a note. Often times, teaching is a pretty thankless job. Our students very rarely appreciate their school years, so it really means a lot to hear from a parent that your classroom has made a difference because at the end of the day, that’s really all a teacher wants – to make a difference to someone.
Here are a few fun little gift ideas for teachers, organized by category:
Gift cards are a super choice because they are easy for you to buy and fun for your teacher to spend. But if you can make it personal, it makes it seem more like a thoughtful gift than an “I-am-giving-you-money-because-you-taught-my-kid-to-read” gift. Try to connect the location of the gift card to your child or the teacher’s subject in some way. As an English teacher, I have my own class library that I personally buy books for. A Barnes and Noble gift card would be perfect for my classroom. A teacher supply store card is pretty great, too, since most of us have to purchase our own classroom decor and necessities with our own money. My favorite gift card, though, is for an office supply store because in my school, we have to buy our own ink cartridges and reams of paper that we use for the year. Any extra help buying classroom supplies is greatly appreciated!
(SIDE NOTE: If you’re wondering what supplies your teachers have to pay for, simply call the front office and ask either the receptionist or the bookkeeper what supplies your teachers are provided at the beginning of the year.)
1. An office supply store gift card
2. A bookstore gift card
3. A teacher supply store gift card (jackpot!)
4. A Dunkin’ Donuts gift card
5. A Starbucks gift card
6. A Target gift card
Practical but fun gifts for daily use (either in the classroom or out) are always a big hit. For a secret Santa exchange at my school one year, another teacher gave me a box full of desk supplies – paper clips, post-it notes, pencils, pens, red pens, etc. It wasn’t anything expensive, but it was all stuff that totally saved me a trip to the store for myself. Another big one I love are acrylic cups. These are pretty popular these days, so you can find them anywhere. But they are super helpful for teachers who can’t leave their room during the day to get to the drink machine. Just about every teacher I know has an acrylic cup and straw on their desk at all times. You can fill these with just about anything – candy, gift cards, tea or coffee, colored shredded paper, pencils, erasers, dry erase markers, etc. Super cute and not terribly expensive.
7. Acrylic cup filled with goodies
8. Acrylic monogrammed cup
9. Basket of small desk supplies
10. A big pack of fun colored pens, markers, or Sharpies
11. Personalized notepads
12. Personalized note cards (“From the Desk of Mrs…”)
13. Fun stamps and ink pads for grading papers (Michael’s sometimes has these in their $1 bin)
Bean and Gracie each have three teachers in their classrooms at daycare, so we really can’t afford to do elaborate or even personalized gifts for each of them. Instead, I go for clever and crafty. For Teacher Appreciation Week, I got each teacher a multipack of Extra chewing gum ($2.00 a pack at Target), printed a few clever little tags (“You’re EXTRA special to me!”), tied some curly ribbon around it and voila! A little something to tell them we appreciate what they do for our kids. I got the idea from this website and they have a lot more little craft ideas if you’re looking for something clever.
I think the trick with small gifts is to make them thoughtful and personalized. It doesn’t take a lot to make a teacher (or anyone!) feel special. Just as long as it is sincere and makes them feel like you were thinking about them.
14. Candy with a message (“OWL miss you”)
15. Personalized pencils (“Mrs. Brown’s Classroom”)
16. A houseplant (“Thank you for helping me GROW this year”)
If your child only has one teacher, or if there’s someone special you really want to go above and beyond to thank, I think summer-themed gifts are a great end of the year option. Teachers are just as excited about having summers off as students are, so most of us are ready for sunshine by the end of the school year. Themed gifts are a pretty great way to go, no matter what time of year or what theme, actually.
17. Summer survival kits (beach towel, sunglasses, magazines, sun screen, flip flops, etc.)
18. Gardening kits (gardening gloves, seed packets, spade, watering can, sun screen, etc.)
19. Summer scented goodies from Bath and Body Works
20. A gift certificate for a pedicure at a local nail salon
21. Poolside fun kit (inflatable pool float, drink coozie, freezer pops, beach towel, etc.)
Another option besides large gift baskets are to get smaller items that you have personalized or monogrammed for the teacher. These are extra awesome if they are practical gifts that are just so snazzy a teacher probably wouldn’t buy them for herself.
22. Monogrammed hand sanitizers (these are surprisingly affordable!)
23. Personalized lunch bag
24. Personalized key chain
25. Personalized lanyard for their school ID
If you’re looking for clever ideas for packaging, try giving your gift in something that your teacher can reuse in their classroom.
26. A brightly colored plastic crate
27. A solid color, simply canvas beach tote
28. A metro basket (this link is to one at Target, but I’ve found them much cheaper at Walmart and Home Goods)
29. A picnic basket
30. A wicker basket
Whatever you do – whether it is big and elaborate or small and sincere – you should know that the greatest gifts I have ever received were hand written notes. One from the student is really sweet and a great memento for a teacher, but be sure to include one from yourself as well. Parents who explain ways they have seen their child grow because of their education can articulate what a child cannot. I love knowing that parents see the same growth in their child at home as I see in my classroom. Whatever gift you give, or even if you don’t give a gift, be sure you include a note from both the child and the parent. It will make your teacher’s day!
Most of these ideas – and about a billion others – can be found on Pinterest. Either check out my “Gift Ideas” board, or search Pinterest for “teacher gifts.” You’re bound to find something that floats your boat. (For things I found on Pinterest (all of these pictures), I tried to link up today when I could, but some pictures didn’t have links available.)
Happy summer from a teacher who is counting down the days!