October 29, 2012

knights and killer rabbits

Even though the weather is supposed to be absolutely crappy, I can't help but get excited for Halloween ...

Costumes are made and ready to go!

October 25, 2012

oh boy (here i go again)

Everything that Pearl is wearing in today's "fashion" post (with the exception of the baby tennis shoes) was purchased specifically for her.

Onesie: Child of Mine (thrifted for $0.50)
Jeans: Koala Kids (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Walmart (pack of ten for $6.00)
Shoes: Old Navy (hand-me-down)

I feel like I have to point that out because, as you can see, the stripes on the onesie are primary colors.

Not pastels.

Not pinks or purples.

Not (here I go again!) girly enough ... 

Even though the jeans are a bit ruffly!

I guess I keep coming back to this because, I just don't buy into the "girls need to wear pink (and boys need to wear blue)" mentality that many of the people I encounter each day seem to have.  I have never been much of a "girly girl," myself, so I am perfectly comfortable in letting my daughter just be.

I honestly don't care if strangers I meet at the store don't know if she is a "he" or a "she" based solely on her clothing.

She is little.

She doesn't need to worry about gender just yet.

That day will come.

(And, oh, my God ...  I'm not even a little bit excited for that day to come!)

But, for now, cute is cute ...  Regardless of the color of the wardrobe!

October 23, 2012

a little perspective

This week is a busy one ... 

It's OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) time!

To all of you non-educator types, this means that I am responsible for meeting with students at a physical testing location and administering the test to them (a different subject for each day of the week), during two separate sessions each day (as a virtual school, we have to be flexible to our students' needs and meet them when they are available).

So, not only does this make for a hectic day, it makes for a long day as well.

A day where I feel like I am always go-go-going ... 

Five days in a row.

Even though this full week of testing only happens twice a year (once in the fall, and once in the spring), it's weeks like these where I can I see just how lucky I am.

Where I am so thankful that I (usually) have the luxury of rolling out of bed, occupying my kids, and working from home. 

Sure, there are many days where I'm overwhelmed and wishing for a vacation (a teacher's job is never done, no matter where their classroom is!), but it is a lot less stressful when you don't have someplace to be ...  Or when you don't have other teachers and students waiting on you so that a test can begin!

I know I've said it before, but I don't know how "normal" working moms do it!

How they get themselves ready in the morning ...

How they get the kids dressed, fed, and ready to go, too ...

How they get the kids' stuff together ...  Food for the baby, changes of clothes, extra diapers ...

How they make it out the door without forgetting something ...  Food for the baby, changes of clothes, extra diapers ...

Mostly, how they get anywhere on time ...

(Please tell me your secret!)

I'm only one full day in and I'm already exhausted.

And, like I said, thankful.

So incredibly thankful that, most weeks, I don't have to worry about any of this ...

Sure, there are different deadlines and expectations there, too, but they can all be met from the comfort of my own home ... 

While I'm in my pajamas, and my kids are laughing in the next room.

It's hard to think of anything better than that ...

October 19, 2012

the brain of a three-year-old

Like magic, when he hit his third birthday, my usually-agreeable kid turned into a hard-to-please force to be reckoned with.

Lately, Malcolm has taken to using the phrase "me don't like!" over and over again ... And while it is adorable to hear him say it, it is getting old really quickly!

Here is just a sampling of the things that Malcolm says he "doesn't like" ...

His mom.

His dad.

Any one of the usual videos that he watches.

Not being able to watch one of said videos.

The dark.

Having to turn a light on.

Eating dinner.

Being told that he has to wait for dinner.

Taking a bath.

Getting out of the bath.

Playing with his toys.

When Pearl grabs one of his toys.

Wearing his "big boy" training pants (and using the potty).

Wearing a diaper.

The child is a walking contradiction!

He even cried the other day because he wanted to wear socks, but be barefoot.

At the same time.

It makes my head hurt to think about it!

I guess that's why, as adults, we don't remember the early years of our lives.  We're better off thinking that things were simpler, easier, better back then ...

Not that they were wrought with such conflicting emotions!

October 18, 2012

dressed for the fest

We went to the "Fall Pumpkin Fest" out at Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania over the weekend.

First, we enjoyed a parade down Main Street (complete with leaf throwing while we waited) ... 

Hooded sweatshirt: The Children's Place (thrifted for $2.00)
Long-sleeved tee-shirt: Old Navy (thrifted for $1.00)
Jeans: Arizona Jean Co. (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Kidgets (thrifted for $1.00)

Then, we moved on to Conneaut Lake Park for (more leaf throwing, obviously, but also) craft and food vendors galore! 

All in all, it was the perfect way to spend a gorgeous fall day.

Definitely worth another trip next year ...

October 15, 2012

pearl: seven months

Even though this post is all about Pearl, I wanted to reminisce for a moment ...

When Malcolm was seven months old, I was just starting up this blog, and one of my early posts contained a picture of him wearing the same Ghostbusters tee-shirt.

It blows my mind to see my little girl, now seven months old herself, sporting the same thing (in the same spot of the back yard!), and looking equally adorable ...

Height: 27 inches
Weight: 14 pounds

She is getting so big.

*See Pearl's sixth month, here.

October 12, 2012


I have written here before about how I want to instill in my children a self-confidence and an attitude that they can be "whatever they want to be."  I don't want them to feel "boxed in" or limited in any way.  I want them to develop their own interests and ultimately go after whatever their little hearts desire.

That said, I've come to the realization that, deep down, despite all my posturing, I'm actually a hypocrite.

There are some caveats.

Well, at least one ...

I absolutely don't want my sweet little daughter to be a princess.

No girlie-girls allowed.

When Malcolm was newly minted, I spent some time reading a book called "Why Boys Fail" so that I could better prepare him for educational success.  Everything in the book (from cover to cover) made so much sense to both my motherly and teacher-ly sensibilities.  I truly want to be the type of mother that really knows how to advocate for her child, whether he be at the top of the class, in the middle, or even somewhere near the bottom ...  And I want to do what I can, on my end, to set him up for the success that he deserves.

Now that I have a daughter under my roof as well, I stumbled upon a different book, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and, again, I found myself in firm agreement with its contents.  The color pink has come to symbolize a very superficial view of what it means to be a girl ...  And society has jumped on board.

Everywhere you turn, girls' items are blanketed in pink.

Clothes, toys, home decor ... And, if it's not pink, it must not be girl-appropriate!

While I'm not opposed to pink in general (Pearl has accumulated a healthy amount of pink paraphernalia in her nearly seven months), I still don't see why she has to be covered in it in order to be seen as a "girl."

"Look at Pearl in her little boy sleeper ..."  my sister-in-law announced as I carried Pearl into the room one evening.

The sleeper in question?

White with cartoony dinosaurs on it.

Sure, it used to be Malcolm's, but who says that dinosaurs are strictly for boys?

I know that I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid ...  Why should it be any different now?

Again, my mind goes back to the idea of my kids becoming who they want to become, especially if it is contrary to what is considered "normal" in terms of gender roles.

So what if my son snuggles with stuffed animals at night, loves to cook and clean, and participates in a gymnastics class (yes, we're still at it) once a week?

Does that make him any less of a boy?

And what if my daughter decides she likes dinosaurs, or football (although the Cleveland Browns aren't much fun to root for), or anything besides princess gowns and tiaras?

Does that make her any less of a girl?

While I cringe at the idea of raising a girl that is obsessed with the whole princess machine, and I will try to lovingly steer her clear of some of it, I know that she will ultimately end up liking what she likes.  As Malcolm did before her, she will find where her interests lie and I will support her as she pursues them ...

Still, I'm keeping my fingers crossed she'll be a lot like me.

Dinosaurs are cooler than princesses any day.

October 11, 2012

almost mobile

Malcolm seemed pretty "normal" to me in terms of his development (talking notwithstanding) so it is crazy that Pearl seems to be plowing along at warp speed ...

Malcolm perfected sitting with no support at the seven month mark.

Pearl had it down in under six and a half.

Fleece Shirt: Child of Mine (thrifted for $0.50)
Pants: Carter's (thrifted for $1.00 as part of a two piece set)
Socks: Unknown brand (gift)

And crawling?

Malcolm was a little over eight months old when he started.

I think Pearl will get there a bit sooner.

She's almost there as it is ...  Doing that rocking back and forth thing all day long.

I guess all this just goes to show that you really and truly can't compare your children to one another!

Each one is different and unique.

Each one will develop that the pace that is right for him/her ...  Even if, as the Mom, you wish they'd stay little (and, probably more importantly, where you put them!) for just a bit longer.

October 10, 2012

(fair weather) friends

I wonder if he'll continue to love on her after she becomes fully mobile and starts going for his toys ...

I guess I better take lots of these "cutesy" photos while I (still!) can!

October 5, 2012

year three

There is a major benefit to having a husband who is borderline obsessed with movie scores ... I've got plenty of instrumental themes to choose from when I construct these yearly slideshow/videos of my kiddos!

And, after my dismal performance with last year's video, I'm on the ball and actually posting Malcolm's third year within a month of him turning three!

October 4, 2012

snuggly book worm

On most nights, Pearl is fed and put to bed with little fanfare ...  I hate to say that she is "second fiddle" around these parts, but Malcolm's bedtime routine has been well-established and so he often gets priority.

But, sometimes, when Malcolm is spending the night at "Pa-Ma's House" or when he has simply been put to bed earlier than usual (on the rare day he does not get his afternoon nap), the evening is a bit less hectic and so it revolves around Pearl.

She gets time to stretch out in the middle of the living room (without fear of being stomped on).

She gets to "play" with her big brother's things (without having them ripped from her grasp).

And, she gets her very own story time with Dad ...

Fleece sleeper: Carter's (thrifted for $1.00)

As she gets bigger, I anticipate beginning a collective family (or maybe just Dad and kids) story time before bed ...  But, for now, the rare one-on-one time between father and daughter melts my stony heart (and obviously brings out the camera).

October 3, 2012

the engineer

There's just something about trains that is really capturing his attention lately ...

It's a good thing he got some nice, wooden track for his birthday!