Movie Confession

Monday, February 23, 2015 2 comments
I've been picked on a time or two about things I like. I'm sure you have too! When it comes to my movie confession, my best friend thinks it is ridiculous though deep down I think she is really a fan, too.

Ok, here goes. Confession time.

I LOVE a cheesy, happily ever after sports movie! That's what I DVR. That's what I watch after everyone goes to bed. That's my thing. I love it! I love when the underdog wins! I'm a non sports playing sports movie fan! Here are a few of my faves in no particular order. :)
@imdb 
No, they're not all just for kids! 
@imbd
Most recently, I've fallen in love with this one. Love, love, love! Seriously, if you haven't seen it, please do! We watched it with T and he loved it as well! Great cast, even better story and its true!
So what is next on my sports movie list? This one.
McFarland USA is a Disney film based on a true story about a coach starting a cross country team. There's way more to it than that though! Have you seen the preview? If not, here you go!  
Who knew my DisneySide would include sharing my love of sports movies?!? I'm hoping I will love it just as much as Million Dollar Arm or Sandlot. Wait, there is just no topping Sandlot! 

Do you have a movie confession? I won't judge!

What We're Reading Sunday

Sunday, February 15, 2015 No comments
We are making time to read in this house and is not easy friends! NOT EASY! 

T had a yucky virus last week. Please note he has not been sick ALL YEAR! The rest of us (including the baby) have been fine so far....knocking on wood, carrying rabbit's foot, wearing horseshoe necklace, eating Lucky Charms, and crossing fingers. :) I enjoyed having him home with us though! It's terrible, I know! I just love this guy! We spent lots of time watching tv and resting, but we read some, too. He loves reading to the baby!
Photo by T, after he read Guess How Much I Love You
T is reading this sweet book from his teachers! It was his Valentine gift! What a great idea especially since 2/14 is International Book Giving Day!!! I wonder if his amazing teachers knew that...
Look at that note! It's too much! Totally stealing this idea! 
I'm reading (like one page a day) Habitudes by Tim Elmore. I'm reading it (again, like half a page a day) with several teachers at my school. I'm liking what I've read so far. I really like that it is interactive and I'm a big fan of the author! 
I'm also finishing the Amy Poehler book. It's good! I need more (not tired) hours in the day!

What are YOU reading?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 14, 2015 No comments
Happy Valentine's Day from My Mommy Reads! 

Want some Valentine reads? See this post!

I Love a Flip Chart!

Friday, February 13, 2015 6 comments
This post is sponsored by Mentoring Minds. All opinions are my own, as always.

I love a flip chart. It's true. They are kind of the thing right now in education. You can get a Fundations flip chart with sounds and letters. You can get a guided reading flip chart. You can even get a flip chart of tips for differentiation. One of my favorite flip charts features the Common Core Standards by grade level and it is available through Mentoring Minds.
Our kind principal bought each teacher one when we adopted the Common Core Standards. When I say we use this all the time, we really do! At our team collaboration meetings, it is a must have! 

Another favorite is the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) wheel also from Mentoring Minds. This guy is in my lesson plan book for quick and easy reference. It's only $9 and it was worth every penny.

If you are looking for critical thinking teacher resources, flip charts, vocabulary cards, etc, check out Mentoring Minds. If you are looking for (another) great blog to read, check out theirs!  
Here they are on Facebook and here they are on Twitter, too! Be sure to look for Mentoring Minds when you go to conferences, too! They love teachers! 

Hmm...maybe it's time I share my flip chart suggestion with them! I want one that serves our special education population-accomodations, recommendations, etc. I think it would be big seller! 

What flip chart do you NEED?

Our Valentines

Thursday, February 12, 2015 No comments
Did your child have to make a Valentine card holder for school? Of course they did!! This is our first year making one and I'm going to be honest and say....I was excited! Someone check with me in three years to see if I feel the same way! 

At first T was going to paint a box, then he saw a Minion box and decided he wanted a Minion. I think we all know I am NOT crafty, but I told him we would do it. Guess what? We did!!!

I am officially that mom! That's right, T's box rocks! I wrapped a box in yellow (thanks to Mrs. Smith for grabbing it for us!) and other than the hole and tongue, he did the rest! Oh, I did the feet, too but he colored them. We had a little issue with the teeth, but T worked through it! I then made him take a picture posing like a Minion so I could prove to my little sister P that we did it! She was impressed!
Knowing that I am not a crafter, you will appreciate that since T was 4, he has made his own Valentine cards every year. This year, he wanted to make every kid a bracelet and card.  So he did. :)
I love this kid. I love his creative soul. I love his big, crazy no tooth smile. I love his tenacity. I love that he is my Valentine. I love that I am his Valentine, too....well, kind of. I'm second place to my niece A, and I'm ok with it. 

What is on your Valentine box or what would you put on your box? 

Don't Forget Your Teacher Valentine!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 No comments
Valentine's Day is just days away and I know you are looking for a quick, fun gift for your favorite Valentine teacher! Right?!?! I know my best friend is! Here are 5 of my favorites! 
*Post It Super Sticky (gotta be Super Sticky!) Notes
*Expo dry erase markers in totally fun colors!
*Paper Pro stapler (best.stapler.ever!)
*Paper Mate Flair pens (in a rainbow of fun colors!)
*Duct Tape (any design will do!)

If you are like my bestie, you need something reasonably priced and that does not need to be ordered (she likes to rock the last minute!) Well, good news! All of these items are between $3-$15 and can be picked up at Target, Walmart, Michael's or even the grocery store! 

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your favorite teacher!

Baby's Firsts....Giveaway!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 83 comments
This is a review made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided product free of charge to facilitate my review but all opinions are my own, as always! 

It was no surprise to me that the very first diaper put on baby M a few weeks ago was a Pampers Swaddler. I may have been out of the baby business for a long time, but I remember T coming home in Pampers six years ago, too! Pampers Swaddlers are the #1 choice of hospitals in North America, including our hospital which delivers the most babies in Atlanta! 

Pampers has made a few changes over the years though! Swaddlers are now available up to a size 6! This was not the case with T and the bigger the size he wore, the more I missed the softness of the swaddler! 
Just like with T, I'll be buying Pampers Swaddlers after my hospital supply runs out. Why? We have two big reasons. First, we LOVE the color changing indicator. It has made many days and nights easier for this mommy! Our second reason is the Absorb Away Liner. It magically pulls the mess right off of the baby's bottom. #magic

Pampers is celebrating firsts and I am too! The firsts are so special-first feeding, first skin to skin, first moment with big brother, first smile, and the first time big brother feeds baby brother. 
Check out Pampers Journey of Firsts Video and be sure to register below for the Pampers Giveaway!
Let's celebrate baby's firsts during a Twitter party with Pampers and Double Duty Divas on Wednesday, February 11th at 9pm EST! Click here to RSVP! Click here to follow Pampers on Twitter and here to follow them on Facebook (so many cute pictures and tips, too!)

Now let's have a giveaway!! Enter below to win all of this!!
Be sure to share this giveaway with your friends! This is perfect for moms AND someone who knows a mom! Contest ends 2/20. Thank you Pampers for hosting the giveaway! 

What We're Reading Sunday!

Monday, February 9, 2015 1 comment
My last week of school before maternity leave was  so emotional. I love my class. They are silly and sweet and smart and I knew it was going to be hard to leave them.....and it was. 

They are also full of surprises, too. The little monkeys hosted a shower for me just days before our little guy arrived. I knew they were up to something, but I thought they were making something and all bringing it in before I left. Boy was I wrong! 

My para pulled me out of a meeting one afternoon and said, "They broke something." I asked what it was and she told me to just come look. I said, "Well, we can fix it...unless it's a computer!" When I walked in the room, there were balloons everywhere, an adorable cake, my whole class grinning from ear to ear, and lots of parents. 

Then there were tears, lots of tears! It was such a wonderful surprise and it just reminded how lucky I am to have this career, this class, these parents, and this sweet baby boy.

We received all kind of cute gifts, but I'd like to share the books first because this is what we're reading Sunday! 
These are a few of the books the class gave us. T and I have been reading them with each other and he's been reading them to baby M. We've marked them with a special note so we will always remember they are from my class. They are treasures. 

What are you reading?

Ten Years!!

Friday, February 6, 2015 1 comment
Truth be told, my anniversary was yesterday. If you follow the blog, you know that also happens to be my little sister's birthday! She was kind enough to share it with us, but I thought I shouldn't push my luck ten years later.

10 years! My husband and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary! Sitting on the beautiful beach in Maui on our honeymoon, we told each other that on our 10th anniversary, we would come back to Hawaii with our two kids and celebrate our ten years together as a family.  Ha! Again, you know what happens when you plan, right? :) 
The wedding and the honeymoon. How young were we?!?!
Instead of whale watching in Maui, we are having takeout Mexican from our favorite little place, finishing T's Valentine project, and rocking M to sleep. We couldn't be any happier about it either!  

Happy anniversary to my very best friend, the world's best daddy, and the love of my life! I am so lucky to have you! 

Little Sister

Thursday, February 5, 2015 No comments
Today is my little sister's birthday. For my own health and safety, we'll just say she's "30 something." 

She is the best little sister in the whole entire universe! We've been through thick and thin together and I feel so lucky that we are as close as we are today! 

Cheers birthday girl!

She is an amazing mother to my fabulous niece, a pretty good daughter to our mom and dad, an amazing aunt to T, and I think N gives her two thumbs up as a sister in law! 


Happy birthday to my PW! I miss you and can't wait for our next adventure! 

T's Reptile Birthday!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 5 comments
We tend to...well, go overboard for birthdays  around here (see Mad Scientist.) We always have--thanks to Daddy! I was on team "let's have a party every other year" and he was on team, "sure, I'm agreeing to that now, but when it's time, I want to have great big parties every single year!" His reasons are strong though. Birthdays are special! Birthdays are a celebration of life! Birthdays only come once a year! I fall for it every time!

This year, T asked for an animal party. He wanted a live panther and a panther cake. Since there are no traveling panthers in Atlanta, we opted for reptiles. T is quite the animal lover so really any animals would do! The party was a huge success! 

The food.....
 
Snake cake with panther by Miss Mamie's
I can't even tell you how delicious and adorable this cake was!!! Miss Mamie's was also wonderful to work with, even with the crazy panther request! If you are in Atlanta, head to Marietta Square and check out their cupcakes (blueberry is my favorite) and cakes! When I tell you grownups requested seconds, I'm not kidding! YUM!
I was so excited to stumble upon Moms and Munchkins FREE printables for food fun! She has tons of party ideas, too!! We had gator tails (veggie straws,) gator bait (goldfish,) and snake eyes (grapes.) 
Don't worry, it's really just green punch. Yes, I really had to say that! :)
The reptiles......
We used a company called My Reptile Guys. Our animal guy was Glenn and he was fantastic! I think he may have been a teacher in a former life! We learned about the animals and had fun while we did it! The animals were amazing, the kids were enthralled (adults, too) and it was easy peasy on Mommy and Daddy! 
All pictures courtesy of Freckles and Locks! They are local, amazing, and happen to also be family! 
The crafts......
We made coiled paper snakes and wooden shaky snakes! 
The reptile egg hunt.....
We wrapped up the party with a reptile egg hunt! Fun, fun, fun! 

I was saying goodbyes when T walked up to me and said, "Thanks for making my party so perfect." Ah, mommy bliss! 

He had an amazing birthday and is already planning for next year. I'm really not ok with it though! I'd like for him to be 6 forever! 

Hello Baby M!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 7 comments
Baby No Name arrived a few days early! I'm going to be really honest and tell you that he did not have a name until about an hour before check out time at the hospital! We were the talk of the maternity floor! We did name him though, with the help of T and lots of little prayers! 

Meet M! He weighed in at 8 pounds and 13 ounces. He is 21 inches long and absolutely precious.
 Photos by big sister cousin, A
His arrival......
I was reading with T last week, getting ready to figure out a few things for my supply teacher when I started having some pain. T was a week late and not interested in joining us even then, so I was induced with him. I remembered this pain I was having though. I remembered it, but it was in an "I was already medicated by the time this started happening" kind of way. 

I decided to start timing what I thought were contractions. N was pretending none of this was happening. They were about 10 minutes apart consistently. I called the doctor. She said to come in if they got closer or the pain increased. About an hour later, they were 5-7 minutes apart and I was in tears. N went into superhero mode! We arrived at the hospital around 10:30 and were told we would be having a baby! 

It was a whirlwind and our little trooper T was with us the whole time! I was waiting to be moved to surgery and he said, "mommy, I know I'm going to have a lot schoolwork to makeup, but I wouldn't miss this for the world." I love this kid.

We are all doing great and we feel blessed beyond words to have two, happy, healthy little boys. Our little family is complete.

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