June 24, 2022

5 Friday Favorites. 6/24

1.  This swimsuit.  It is so flattering and so comfortable. I tried several one pieces on this year. After that experience, I remember why I always preferred two pieces: I really think I have a longer torso and one pieces just do not fit me correctly 90% of the time. Does anyone else have this problem? They're just likely to be incredibly uncomfortable so I never want to bother with them. 

2. The Old Man on Hulu is really good. It's on FX but airs on Hulu on Fridays, I believe. The third episode is out this week. Seriously a thrilling show. 

3. I'm pushing myself to fill our days with things, instead of just trying to survive nap to nap and bedtime to bedtime. Yesterday, we went to the playground and splash pad. The day before, we went to library story time. I have a playdate set for next week. 


(Let it be known that I don't actually *know* any of Wells' friends from preschool, let alone know their parents...so I tell him we're going to play with friends and he asks if it's his friends and I'm like ummm no, new friends.)

4. This book is out this week. I read The Lies I Tell via Netgalley a couple of months ago (?). I got a reminder email that it's released this week. Usually I don't keep up with my Netgalley reads (probably why I keep getting denied lately) but this book was really good! 

5. 







I've never seen June described so accurately. I had such hopes for maybe 80 degrees and sunny or partly cloudy for like 2 weeks. We've got 90+ and sunny for the entire month and I know (I know) it won't get better til September-ish. 




Lastly, if you're a teacher, you will understand this. It was in response to an article about why teachers are leaving the profession in remarkably high numbers. 







June 22, 2022

How I feel about quitting my teaching job (again)

If you're new, you can find the links to my previous teaching jobs on my about me page. The only time I ever intentionally quit a job to stay home was in 2018 when Wells was born. 


This year, since I was pregnant when school started in August, I knew I likely wouldn't be back for a second year. I stayed home for two full years with Wells. I couldn't fathom sending him to daycare; I was too anxious about his well-being. I read horror stories at one point about babies and daycare and, well, that was enough for me. 

This time, the logistics involved seemed like too much for me to handle. I know moms do it. I end up doing most of the day-to-day parenting because of Scott's work and travel schedule. And since we don't have family around to help, I would have to seek out strangers to assist me and I am not up for that. 

Logistically, this past school year, I would leave the house with Wells around 7am. I would drop him off at preschool before-care at 7:15-7:20. Then it would take me anywhere between 10 minutes and 45 minutes to get to work. I say this because my work was about 4 miles from his school. Since it was on the military base, the line to get through the gate was unpredictable. I can't tell you how many times I was late. Kids arrived at 8am. Usually I was getting there 5 minutes before them. It would, most days, take about 30 minutes to go those 4 miles. That is completely nonsensical. No one needs that kind of stress in their life. In order to go back this next school year, I would need to find a daycare for Sutton and add a second drop-off to that time schedule. You might say, you should've left the house earlier. True. It was really hard to get out the door with a 3 year old who fought me through the entire getting-ready-journey in the mornings though. I could not make it happen before 7am. Sorry. Plus, you weren't supposed to drop them off before 7:00 at preschool. So, theoretically, I could've left at 6:45am, but that only ever happened a few times when the stars aligned (literally, as it would still be pitch black outside at that time). 

So logistics are the biggest reason I'm not going back. I can't deal with that kind of schedule in the morning just to pay about $1400 a month total to have someone else take care of our baby and teach Wells. 

Secondly, my school wasn't enough to draw me back. Sorry. It just wasn't. Details aside, I didn't feel like I was getting what I wanted and needed there. If I had been going to go back this year (like if a baby hadn't been a factor), I would've tried to move to another building anyway. I could not go through all of that up there for another year. Add in all the extra teacher responsibilities too...I want to want to teach, so it's really unfortunate that I didn't want to try to make it work. 

Now, if we are here for another year, and Wells is getting ready for kindergarten and we decide to send him to the local school, maybe I'll try to work there. Maybe, at that point, we could have someone come to the house to watch Sutton, like we used to have for Wells. It just really depends. Basically, I refuse to pay for more than one child to be in childcare at a time. It's not worth it on a teacher's salary. I have a contact in the local district who really vouches for it, so maybe that would be an option in a year or so, for both me and for Wells. 

Until then, I'm good with being at home. Being a military spouse means you are truly the manager of all things in the household. I totally floundered mentally this past school year with Wells and working. I truly didn't have a lot of fun with my job either. I always have in the past, more or less, but teaching was not fun in 2021-2022. I went over that in this post and in this one, so I won't re-hash it here too. But while I wanted to want to go back, that's not where I'm at for 2022-2023. It was a pretty easy decision to choose to stay home for a bit. 

June 20, 2022

3 Months of Sutton


Literally just published the two month post, right?

I think this is just how it's going to go with a second baby! 

Here's month 1, month 2, and her birth story, if you missed anything. 

I kinda think she didn't sort herself out until month two just because she had four different caregivers in month one. That's really weird to think about, but she spent so much time being taken care of by Scott, then by grandmothers, and eventually I took over. So, I mean, no wonder it took us a bit to get a routine. I also couldn't wrap my head around her arrival when she was born. I was okay with Scott taking care of her right then. 

I was talking to Scott the other night and he said he wishes I would look at him the way I look at Sutton (LOL). To which I had to admit that, for the first few weeks, I was pretty indifferent toward her. I hate saying that, but it's true. It's a result of the traumatic birth, no doubt. I think I was still in shock. My birth with Wells was so SIMPLE and EASY. To think that it came down to the wire to get Sutton out safely while I kept nearly passing out during a c-section still boggles my mind. 

I have to say, I'm still mad at the hospital. I literally have dreams about it. I hate that. I hate that I had a midwife instead of an OB. I hate that I was treated like a unique case throughout my whole pregnancy because I was 35-36 years old and then they forced me to induce. Then instead of doing a last ultrasound (which I was told they would do) to see what position she was in, they just judged by my stomach. Like, maybe they would've caught a problem earlier and we could've avoided the trauma aspect of the whole thing. 

I hate that they basically forced me to be re-admitted to the hospital for blood pressure that wasn't even that high, and then gave me toxic doses of magnesium that made me sicker than I'd ever been. They just shrugged their shoulders and said yeah, we know that.  I really hate that Scott had to advocate for me because they wouldn't listen. I hate that I don't trust the doctors and nurses in this hospital at all; I'd never heard a bad thing about OB/maternity here before. 

My sister-in-law very recently had a birth experience that also falls into the 'traumatic' category. All I could tell her was that I feel differently from day to day about it. 

It was entirely worth it to get this baby that I stare at so adoringly, but it was all so unnecessarily difficult. 

This is her outfit. She's in the 6-9 month size, so I'd definitely say it runs a bit small. 

We're only three months in, but she is an absolute joy. I never understood what parents meant by that. Like, of course Wells is a joy... now. But he was not a predictable baby. I never knew what he wanted.

 Honestly, this could just be because he was the first and I figured a bit out since then. But, she has made it really easy. I don't have to troubleshoot all day or all night long. Like, we definitely had a few rough nights the first week or so after Sutton was born, but that went on for much longer with Wells. I remember Scott and I fighting over setting up the bouncer at midnight when he was about three weeks old because we just could not get him to stop crying. "Troubleshooting" was what a lot of Wells' first year felt like to me. 

So, really, Sutton has just been incredibly predictable from about one month onward.

Now. I won't call her chill in the sense that she has a particular yell that means hungry. Also, one for "pick me up" and "change my diaper". But man, she's easy. She just wants to eat and kick and snuggle and sleep. 

Wells was our little traveler so he and I went through a lot together; I cannot imagine wanting to relive that with another baby (driving across the country at 5 months, staying in hotels, at relatives' houses, moving...). So hopefully I don't have to put just how easy of a baby she is to the test any time soon. I will keep our simple little routine going for as long as possible. 


She loves to eat and she's doing 5-6 oz at a time, instead of 4 oz, at this point. I'm really focusing on full feedings and not letting her become a snacker because that leads to being awake all night as I have experienced in the past.  

She still does take a pacifier but it's not a must-have. She prefers her thumb, to be honest. She usually spits the pacifier out and moves to the thumb. 

I really take any and all sleep expert advice with a grain of salt right now because they still recommend swaddles for as long as possible and she had had it with the swaddle by 3 weeks old. She's been in a regular sleep sack for at least two months now. We've got two of these exact ones.  My mom also sent a super lightweight one but it doesn't have a brand on it. I don't remember if we moved Wells to a sack that early but man, I love them. 

Sutton has fallen into a pattern of bath around 6:30pm, bed around 7pm, dreamfeed around 10pm, and up around 6:00am. I'll then feed her and put her back down (sorry, survival mode over here) and we'll be up for the day around 8 or 9am. (Wells still gets up at 6am and stays up, so he gets the iPad to watch Netflix while I sleep. I'm not even going to apologize for this one. He wants to be in bed with me, so the TV isn't an option. I set his breakfast on the counter for whenever he wants it, feed the dogs, let them out, make coffee, let the dogs in, and then go back to bed.)


She's so perfect and we really do adore her. 

I tried. 




June 17, 2022

Friday Favorites. 6/17

Every time I sit down to write a blog post, I end up not writing a blog post. (Ah! I did write a blog post yesterday about teaching.) I end up scrolling social media on my computer instead of on my phone. There are very few times during the day when I actually sit down at my computer now. This is the problem with two children, I suppose. By the time everyone is in bed, I can't formulate a complete thought. Wells is shockingly independent and Sutton is the definition of an easy baby right now so I don't get it. 

1. 

I ordered Wells his birthday Wyoming shirt and I got Sutton one too! That was a fun thing that never occurred to me I'd ever be able to do. (If you're new here, Wells was born on the UW campus at the hospital there so he gets a UW something for each birthday.)

2. 


We registered Sutton with the military. You have exactly 3 months to do this from the time they're born. We did it with one week to spare, mostly because in Missouri you have to wait 6 weeks for the birth certificate. In Wyoming, we had it in 15 days. 

3.


Scout is feeling better. He had a rough day on Saturday. He went to the vet for his yearly exam and the shot they gave him in the leg muscle really made him hobble around all day. We also got some glucosamine chews for him ($$$) and pain medicine if he's going to be out hunting. It's not that he can't participate. It's that he just gets sore more quickly now :( A lot of this is an effect of the Lyme he had a few years ago.

4. 


I grabbed this toner based on everyone's recommendations. It's a favorite for so many. I love a toner but haven't used one in a few years. I've been doing serums instead and there's no way I'm paying for both from Beauty Counter, you know? I love their products so much but man...we can't be buying glucosamine for the dog and Beauty Counter for me at the same time. 
So anyway, this L'oreal toner is great. 
I realized I didn't have anything to apply it with, then I remembered these two giant boxes of gauze: I ordered alcohol wipes from Walmart a couple of years ago and they were sold out so they substituted regular gauze. (It doesn't make sense to me either.) 
I cut them up into 4 pieces and I have the perfect size for toner application. I used to order these from R+F and they were expensive too. These are exact replicas of those. 

5.




















June 16, 2022

Things I learned teaching in 2021-2022

taken in March, before I left for the year

The end of the school year was a few weeks ago. I took both Wells and Sutton in to see my students on the last day. Only about half the class was there because most had left early for summer vacation and Wells caught a cold from someone he was playing with that day. Go figure. 

I really thought this year would be different than last. Last year was the height of covid. It was like living in the upside down compared to how teaching is supposed to be. But...I had a great year? I was just a long term sub, spending the first half of the year going class to class and most of the second half of the year teaching first grade. It left me with nothing but excitement to get back into a classroom of my own for 2021-2022. I got a job teaching in my former district here in Missouri, in my favorite grade level, and I was ready to get back to it. 

I thought this year would be different than last year. It wasn't, really. It was ... I don't know. 

To begin with, 'masks optional' became 'masks mandatory' in July and we were mandated into masks until the first week of March when the military base dropped them in indoor spaces. Until that point, the only time kids could take off masks was at lunch when they were physically eating. Yes, even running the mile outside for gym class and even at recess they were masked up (and so were we, as teachers). 

The year was spent cleaning surfaces (covid doesn't live on surfaces), keeping 3 ft between students almost at all times (why 3 ft?), and contact tracing for asymptomatic quarantining (5-21 days at a time, depending). 

I was constantly being gaslighted with others saying At least we're here! or It's better than the alternative!

What alternative? Virtual school? That shouldn't be an alternative. How dare we threaten shutting down and denying kids their right to a public education? On a military base, no less, to children of service members. How dare we say Pull your mask up 273 times a day or treat anyone with a cold symptom like a leper? They are children. Kids would apologize for coughing and sneezing. Can you believe that? 

(Whew.)

In January, at the height of omicron, shutting the school down would have been preferable to the complaining I heard ("it's not safe for us to be here!"). They low-key threatened that shutting down was the next step because we had no substitutes and teachers were dropping out left and right (with colds, by the way, but they weren't allowed to work while sick). 

Again, it was like living in the upside down. This wasn't what was best for kids at all

Because of the after-effects of 1.5 years of failed policy, my students were far behind. Coming from all different school systems and countries and each of those had their own way of having dealt with covid. I had a few kids who hadn't seen the inside of a school since March of 2020, meaning they had no 3rd grade experience, and I was supposed to teach them at 4th grade levels and get them successfully to 5th. 

I barely made it through the year, personally. The challenges stacked against me were ...large. The dent I was making was small. 

So. 

What did I learn?

I don't think I learned anything I didn't know before. 

I learned could've used a bigger classroom. And a microphone. And curtains on my windows to block the insane sunlight that ruined my projection during whole-group reading every day between 11:30am and 12:15pm. I learned I could've used a curriculum that made sense and was user-friendly. I learned I could've used a regular SmartBoard instead of a Smart TV. I learned I could've used...eh, I could go on. 

What I did have was a great teammate who I will miss. Supportive and kind coworkers. A few sweet, sweet students. An aide who pushed into the classroom every afternoon for long enough for me to get a bathroom break. So, really, a few of the people and some of the kids are what I will miss. I will miss teaching, I'm sure, and I already kind of do. But it's this kind of teaching that I miss. I learned that that kind of teaching was something I actually had been missing all year long in 2021-2022. 

June 14, 2022

Quarter 2 Books

Thanks to a comfortable rocker-glider, a kindle, and a baby who eats every 3 hours, I've been getting a lot of reading done. I'm 5 books ahead of my goal for 2022, so I will take it. 

You can follow my reviews in real time on Instagram. Who knows? Maybe I'll be back for a book report in July instead of waiting until September if I can keep up this pace :) 

Stay Awake



The One



Darling Girl




The Wife Stalker



His & Hers



Sometimes I Lie



I Know You



The Other Wife



Did not finish: 

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

It was just odd. I didn't care about the characters. I find, honestly, this happens with any book that takes place in France. I just don't have an interest. 

At the Quiet Edge by Victoria Helen Stone

I loved Jane Doe and the sequel wasn't bad either. She even had another one or two stand-alones that I enjoyed. This was just not great. At 20% it hadn't pulled me in at all. It's kind of a weird premise too. And I don't like the title. If you were here years ago, you may remember that I ranted about how I really hated the title "Go Set a Watchman" (and the book was terrible too). > same thing

The Club by Ellery Lloyd

I may come back to this. It just isn't appealing to me? Seems like there's a lot going on. I liked this author's first book well enough. 

Linking up for Show Us Your Books!

June 10, 2022

Friday Favorites 6/10


1. Scott came home on Tuesday after several weeks away. However, since this involved a midnight drive home from the airport, Wednesday was...rough. 


2. Finding Joe Biden stickers on gas pumps makes me feel like we really are "all in this together". (All he has to do is open up the pipelines in the U.S. again. Not only did shutting them down increase our oil/gas prices, it left so many people without jobs.)


3.  Since I will likely never get around to taking all the pictures of the nursery on the same day since the baby has already arrived (note: you should take them beforehand), here's a bit of it. 



Sucking her thumb at 18.5 weeks.
The arrows were from the Colorado house, then Wells' first room.
The floating shelf is great, from Target, years ago.
The white vase was literally sitting on the windowsill when we moved into the house lol. I like it. 


I spent a lot of time looking for aRt ("art", art, etc) for the baby's room. In the end, this was a verse that has been on my mind for years; about myself, about Wells, and then about Sutton. She's really such a miracle. So this simple print from Hobby Lobby fits in perfectly. 

4. Peloton got me with their marketing. I had canceled my subscription months ago because they don't have pregnancy-friendly workouts. If they did, it was very few. But they offered $13 for 3 months this summer so it seems like a good option. 


20 minutes is the perfect length workout for me on the bike and Cody Rigsby is my favorite. 
My bike is NOT a Peloton. 



5.  









June 6, 2022

Amazon (& Target) lately.

Phone screen protector. I have destroyed two screen protectors in the last few months. Both times, I dropped my phone out of my car onto pavement. The phone itself was completely unscathed though. I cannot recommend this $9 purchase enough. Last time I had a two-pack, this is a three-pack. 

Johnny the Walrus. I was actually surprised at the high quality of this board book. The story itself is pretty well-crafted and any adult could appreciate it. Wells thought it was hilarious. When I asked him what he liked to pretend to be, he said a t-rex. 

Formula mixing pitcher. I don't know if I was just living in the dark ages before or if we just don't buy into baby gadgets, but this was another $9 well-spent. To not have to scoop powder into bottles and have 6-8 bottles floating around? Genius. I just refill the same few bottles now. 

Speaking of formula, I have spent more money than I care to think about on Amazon buying the stuff in the last few months. I have a few orders that are supposed to arrive this week but I don't actually believe they will? You basically can't find it on Amazon at this point now. Looking in the actual stores is the best option. 

Collagen. I hate spending money on things like this. Because do you ever really know if it's working? But supposedly it does so I invested and I'm putting a scoop in my smoothie every day. 

Phone case. My toxic trait (ONE HUNDRED PERCENT) is buying phone cases. I love this one. 

I'm including Target in this round-up because I've really come to rely on them? Again, not proud of it. But knowing I can get pretty much any non-emergency need delivered within a week is nice. 

I decided to keep this swimsuit. All three that I tried on "fit" but this was the most flattering. I have another I ordered from Amazon that should be here this week, so we'll see if it's also a keeper. 

I ordered these blush blackout curtains for the baby's room. I have no idea what was happening that week on the target dot com but they were $14.99 a panel, not $36.99. All of the other colors were just as pricey weeks ago when I ordered these. So I call this a bargain and a win. I had previously had some "gray" blackout curtains from Amazon in her room and they were more of a dark periwinkle in person and, if there's one color on the spectrum that I cannot stand, it's periwinkle. 

Target also had a bunch of formula purchases this month and some cleaning products. Again, I really like knowing I can put in an order for something I don't need right away and I don't have to remember to buy it at the regular grocery store. Diapers used to be that thing I'd get at Target but Sutton is spoiled with Pampers at this point so I don't know if we'll go back to Target diapers. I bought some Walmart ones for an emergency because I just needed a few more newborn size and they did not hold up, quality-wise. 

If we're talking about Amazon buys, I also have been buying episodes of Better Call Saul season 6 and I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for a month again because there's like 3 books on there I wanted to read.