Monday, August 6, 2012

This Is Lately

I officially go back to work in ONE week.  Ridiculous.  But seriously, I can't even explain what a difference it makes knowing that I am going to be working part-time from now on.  I am SO happy and feeling so excited to start this next little chapter. 

Last week, as you might remember, I was in classes every day from 8 - 4 at "The AP Institute" - which is really just a fancy way of saying "school to learn how to be smarter than your really smart students." ;) It was a long week and I was VERY happy to be reunited with my boys and sleep in my own bed at the end of it, but it was just the motivational jolt I needed to start off the school year.  Unless you are a teacher you probably won't understand this a bit, but I literally get GIDDY thinking about syllabi, bulletin boards, and lesson plans... This is what I was made for!  Funny, but oh so serious too. (And, yes, the alone time was wonderful and therapeutic, and it made me even more thankful for my "normal.")
Anyway, with that in mind, I think I'm going to declare next week "Back to School Week" here.  I get A LOT of emails about my Classroom Organization post - especially the "yellow sheet" idea - and many of you mention how hard it is to find blogs/resources for secondary teachers.   I'm definitely NOT an expert, but I aim to please folks.  So... I'll be sharing more of my organization techniques, lesson plan ideas, favorite school supplies, and even teacher-fashion inspiration beginning on August 13th.  (I'm also working on a "Letter to New Teachers" that I'm hoping to share Thursday or Friday.) What other back-to-school topics would you like to read about?  Just let me know and I'll do my best to include it!  Also, would you guys be interested in a teacher link-up? I'm always looking for new ideas myself!

Switching gears, but speaking of things I'm passionate about... My baby is disappearing every day and being replaced with a fuzzy-headed babbling BOY.  I know I've been saying this for a year; but, I am really just in awe of how fast time flies now.  He is the funniest, happiest, and (often) wildest little thing.  Right now, he is especially into climbing into and under things (like in the photo below that my mom sent me while I was gone). He is also into gurgling (as in blowing bubbles in his throat with his spit), climbing stairs all.the.time, pointing, and screaming.  I'm pretty much even more obsessed with him now than before. Who knew it was possible?

In his new forward-facing carseat.  Such a big boy!  P.S. The American Pediatric Association recommends that babies stay in rear-facing seats until they are two years old. We are using a rear facing Britax in my car, but we bought this one for Jeff's because it will last us up to 100 pounds. Just in case you were judging. ;)

And, since I'm already gushing, I think I can officially announce Sam's first word now... Although my mom swears it was "girl" (pronounced gurl), we are ignoring that and going with "Mama."  *Score* He's been making these sounds for some time now; but this weekend (shortly after our reunion) he started saying it very intentionally when I would walk away or leave a room.  I died a little bit.  Of course, he also occassionally refers to Jeff/Addy/ his toys as "mama" too; but, I'm claiming it... Consider Friday, August 3rd marked in the baby book* (i.e. this blog).

Let's see... What else has been going on?

After my five days in Williamsburg, I met up with Jeff and Sam (and Jeff's parents) for the Chapman family reunion in Richmond.  We've been going to family reunions with Jeff's family for almost ten years together; but, this was the first time we got to take Sam along and introduce the newest generation.  He, of course, ate up all the attention and was a perfect (albeit loud at times) angel.  It was really special and fun. I'm waiting for a photo of the whole gang from the weekend; so, when I get it, I will post.

I think that's really my lately in a nutshell.  Life is good.  I've got a jam-packed week of trying to get myself back on track and accomplish at least a few things off of my "Summer To Do List," but I'm mostly just going to soak up my mornings with Kathi Lee and Hoda at home.  In the meantime, I'll be back tomorrow to talk about (you knew it was coming sooner or later) my WEIGHT.  Oh happy day!

And P.S. Check out my newest sponsor - The Button Factory.  They have incredible deals on authentic vintage and handmade clothing and accessories.  You will fall in love.


  1. Hi, E! I'm so glad to have found your blog (via Pinterest)! I'm starting my 20th year as a secondary English teacher next week, and I agree--it is exceptionally difficult to find secondary resources. I think a teacher link-up would be fabulous!

  2. Yay for Sam starting to point and saying his first word!! Wooohoooo!

  3. I'm not a teacher. I won't be homeschooling. My kids won't be in school for years. It's totally normal that I am eagerly awaiting all your back to school posts, right? I love everything about this time of year. New school supplies (even if they're just in the stores and I don't buy them), new clothes (just for my gals), change in the seasons, kids being excited, hearing the bell ring at our neighborhood elementary school, high school football games. I love every bit of it. I look forward to living vicariously through you this year!

  4. I'm excited about your new chapter too. All the best for the school year and don't forget your fashion glasses on the first day.

  5. I would love to see a teacher link-up on your blog! It would be fun to connect with other teachers to get ideas, etc!! I can't wait for "Back to School Week!"

    P.S. I am a new teacher without a job, so as of right now, there is no lesson planning for this girl---BUT you never know what may happen after the first week of school around here!!! Ha!!

  6. As a young high school English teacher myself, I'm trying to blog more about my classroom as well! I'd love a teacher link-up on your blog as well and would love to be a part of it. Your Classroom Organization post is BEYOND inspiring. I'm already using a lot of your tips in my classroom.

    Thanks again for all the inspiration. Oh, and your little one is ADORABLE. I don't have any myself, but I'm loving hanging out as much as possible with my little nephew who is 9 months old. Such a fun age. :)

  7. I can't wait for your back to school posts! I discovered your blog after finding your classroom photos on Pinterest. I teach high school journalism and there are SO FEW resources out there for classroom ideas, when you compare it to the millions of elementary posts. I *just* started blogging, but I hope to share more about my classroom soon so I would love a link-up!

  8. I agree with the sentiments of the other secondary teachers. I remember feeling disappointed during my student teaching and my first year that there weren't more resources online for high school teachers. I love the link-up idea!

  9. I recently found your blog through Pinterest. I am an English teacher and love your tips! A friend of mine who also follows your blog told me that you are a Tiger -- I believe you graduated a year ahead of us, though. :) Good luck with the start of the school year. Sam is adorable, by the way!

  10. Any lesson ideas, classroom management, and decoration tips would be fabulous. I'm teaching The Outsiders to ELL students this year, so I'd love to know more about your graffiti project.

    What do you do to create a culturally responsive classroom? I teach (brand new, I should add) in a first-ring suburban school that has 40% of students coming from homes where English is not the first language, so culturally responsive everything is HUGE in my district.


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