May 30, 2024

Update on the library of lost things

I was cleaning out a filing cabinet last week and I found the small stack of papers I lost at school. Obviously 3+ months after I needed them. It legitimately didn't matter at that point and it honestly is the thing on this list that affected me the least but it really just made me feel like i was going slightly insane. Purely inconvenient, you know? I am also that teacher who swears that every year, every semester, every quarter, every week that they're going to be more organized and it never actually happens. High hopes for August I guess. 

I have never found the black skirt.  I did actually buy it in topiary green when I came across a sale, but the worst part(!) is that I can't remember what size the original was so I was just kind of guessing and so I hoped for the best. Talk about double frustration. It does fit but I haven't worn it yet. I think it'll be better over tights in the late fall/winter know, which is why I was so desperately looking for the black skirt in the first place so I could wear it. 

I've definitely never found the Daniel Tiger toy. I'll probably come across it when Sutton is a teenager. Or at least as soon as she exits the Daniel Tiger phase (can we pray that's soon btw?). 

And I was looking for a piece of paperwork last week, regarding teaching, and that is probably buried in a box or tucked away somewhere or, more likely, thrown away but I don't know why I would throw it away but I also don't know why I wouldn't have it with the other paperwork. 

Your guess is as good as mine. 

I misplaced something else that will now drive me insane: I bought these name labels for Sutton last fall and I kept the sheet of extras in a drawer all year and then, at some point this spring, I cleaned out the drawer and, no doubt, put the labels somewhere "safe". 

I can't find them. 

Sutton doesn't exactly go to a big enough daycare operation where I even need to label everything but it's super frustrating to know I have these and I can't find them.

Anyway, as I move into the summer season of cleaning/purging/organizing, I thought an update was warranted on what's currently making me crazy. 

May 28, 2024

Summer wknd #1

I'm going to try to keep track of the weekends this summer, along with recommending some favorites on Fridays. Linking up today with Hello Monday! 

Anyway, it was a big one, technically. 

Scout turned 11, so he and Jett got to celebrate with salmon filets for dinner.

We marked 15 years of marriage, as our anniversary was on Sunday.

(if you had told me I'd be living and working in middle-of-nowhere MO, with a kid graduating from kindergarten, 15 years ago...I wouldn't have believed you. but I wouldn't have believed most things about army life back then :)

Wells graduated kindergarten. 

And Sutton "graduated" her first year of daycare. 

Scott also has gotten a brevet promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, as he's been in an LTC's position for the last year and will continue on with that for the next year.

Other than that, it was a bunch of days ending in 'y' so lots of thunderstorms and tornado watches and, honestly, if someone told me we had to leave Missouri tomorrow, I'd be out the door. 

I didn't sleep on Saturday night when it was raining because Scout the dog kept me up with his panting and rustling and pacing. Which ramps up my anxiety, which I swear he can also sense. 

Also, Sutton got a stomach bug and fever over the weekend which is so odd for her. I don't actually remember the last time they were sick. It's been a few months at least. 

This is the first week I haven't had the Sunday scaries for obvious reasons but we do have a few appointments and a (potentially still) sick toddler so I'm sure that'll make things go smoothly. 

This is the summer Wells has to learn how to ride a bike. I'm going to throw this scooter away if that's what it takes (only kind of kidding...).

May 25, 2024

Friday (er, Saturday) Recommendations, 5/25

 1. The Mayor of Kingstown.

I started watching this a year ago and gave up after two episodes. Since it permanently pops up on Amazon for some reason, Scott and I started it again last week. Once you fall into it, you will not stop. I have discovered that I basically like my TV as violent and vigilante-ish as possible and I don't know what that says about me. I just think you'll fall in love with the character of Mike McCluskey. He's smart and he's patient. This show gives you almost no information and just throws you into the story. 

It's not for the sensitive viewer; I've definitely had moments where I've fast-forwarded (or left the room if Scott is watching), but the storyline is enthralling. 


I just finished this book (FREE ON AUDIBLE) and it's been forcing me to reframe how I deal with all children, mine included. They don't need us to solve all their problems, but we do. They don't need us hovering, but we do. The over-monitored recess is a huge part of the problem because that's why kids don't know how to play together. In my one district, we had to track how many kids we interacted with during recess and there were cameras to make sure we were floating among the kids and not just standing off to the side.
This book is such the opposite of what I've seen lately from the Christian mom community ("my children won't leave my side") and I'm really trying to think about what kind of balance I need to seek. 

The title is a little's not about letting your kids do whatever they want, I promise. It's about making sure your child is doing age-appropriate tasks independently. 
For example, I was walking all over the place with my cousins by age 10. I could not imagine letting my 10 year old do that today...I don't even like letting my almost-6-year-old go on field trips alone. But is that sustainable? No. Is it helping him? No. 

Anyway, this is a must-read for all parents, and teachers too. It's an excellent pairing with Abigail Shrier's Bad Therapy: Why The Kids Aren't Growing Up. 

3. Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams

I read this book almost 3 years ago when it came out because I can never wait long to get to whatever Beatriz Williams writes next. However, this one was unputdownable. It's 75% off on audio right now if you need a new book. 

In case you can't tell, I'm building a summer to-read and to-watch list...

4. I'm going to re-recommend a product here that I can't get enough of: the Blue Lagoon Cleanse from Adel. I use it to wash my face at night and I promise my skin has never looked better. I've used it almost every day for 6 weeks and the bottle is still half full. 

5. I'm going to attempt these lists again every Friday for the summer. I get my best ideas from blogs, always, so hopefully you find something useful. 

May 17, 2024

Friday Favorites, 5/17

LORD. It's Friday. Still have another week of school but you know.

Jett is going back to the doctor in 2 weeks to see if the medicine he's on has helped.

Scott has poison sumac.

Sutton has stopped sleeping again.

Wells is finishing up kindergarten.

I am ready to shut the book on this school year. 

Scout is Scout. 

We went for a nice hike on Mother's Day (not where the sumac came from) so it felt good to get out.

1. Schedule send. 

I have been schedule-sending my emails for work. I am constantly like, I should answer this or send that and then it's like nope, I'm not going to do that on a weekend. I'm not going to make someone think I expect a reply on a weekend or at night. Or...I don't want people to think I'm willing to work at night or whatever. However...sometimes you've got to get this stuff out of your brain and your inbox while you're remembering to do it.

So, after 4pm or so, I just schedule send the email for the next morning. 

2. I spent a lot of time watching roller coaster videos this week. I came across one article and then I went to youtube and fell down a rabbit hole. It started with seeing how they apparently closed a brand new roller coaster at Cedar Point after less than a week of it being open. This ride was to replace another ride where a woman was injured and permanently disabled and her family won a lawsuit. 

So then I obviously had to watch all the vlogs about people riding this roller coaster they just shut down and talking about how amazing it is. Anyway, I do not do roller coasters. Just watching the videos made me sick. 

This makes me think that we have to go to Silver Dollar City this year. Two hours seems like a long time to drive to go to an amusement park. I grew up driving maybe 40 minutes to an amusement park. But we also would drive 3 hours to Hershey or to Kennywood or wherever often as well. It just seems like a lot with small kids right now. 

3. I saw this last night on my Facebook feed and remembered that it took me until Sutton was 6 months old to realize we'd accidentally named her after a town in Alaska:

4. Speaking of things found on the Facebooks:

But I was reliably informed by Twitter that This Guy is a Horrible Person. And apparently women don't want to get married or have kids unless they may by chance want to and career is first and I really hope all the feminist fans leave the Chiefs fandom cult that they only joined because of Taylor Swift. 

What a conundrum. Maybe You Need to Calm Down.

To all the random working moms who piped up with an opinion: I promise no one cares if you work for a nonprofit doing "important" work and you put your kids in daycare. Your job isn't that important (*my* job isn't that important). You're a Chiefs fan too? Isn't this kicker like the winningest in the NFL right now? Sure, get rid of him. No one has said a word from the Chiefs organization because they know they won't get rid of him. And if they do, everyone (but the Chiefs) will win.

A religious man says religious things at a private religious college graduation and suburban moms are offended. That should be the title of this controversy. 

I'm not Catholic but Benedictine College in Kansas is now on the list of places where my kids are allowed to go. 

May 13, 2024

Amazon in April

Freddy's Fry Sauce. This stuff is so good. So much better than CFA sauce. I wish, wish, wish they sold it in stores. You can buy it at Freddy's or you can buy it on Amazon. A weird purchase but one I do not regret. 

iPlay swim diaper. It's that time of year. I really thought I had an extra laying around from Wells at age 2 but no. I had to rush order this one a few weeks ago. I got her this suit from Old Navy (I love it!) and this fits nicely underneath. 

Biokleen Citrus Laundry Detergent. This is a a re-purchase for me. I love it. It's non-toxic and highly concentrated so you don't need much. It's a pleasant scent and not overpowering. 

Thinkbaby mineral sunscreen. this is a re-purchase from last year (maybe the year before?). I like it for kids. There's a lot of info out there on what sunscreens are safe and what aren't. These days, I buy this and I buy Blue Lizard and then I buy Supergoop glowscreen for me. 

I bought this romper. I wear my others so often that I figured it was worth it. Usefulness TBD but I got a small and it runs huge. 

This will not interest you unless you are in the need of exactly what we were in need of, so no links, just a story about why Amazon always wins. I had to get a replacement belt for our vacuum. We have a Bissell vacuum, bought in 2020, and it wasn't working correctly. I ended up taking the whole dang thing apart by myself, cleaning and washing all the pieces, and then determining that the belt had snapped. Scott read the part number off to me and then I searched it up and got 4 replacements for $10. When they arrived, I watched a quick youtube video and then replaced it myself. The vacuum works like new. 

These are the supplements I got for our dogs. Tumeric paste (currently sold out but I also got these chewables), hemp oil, and then milk thistle. I don't know that they are doing any good for Jett but they're not harming them so I will keep at it. All are supposed to reduce inflammation and help heal naturally. 

May 10, 2024

Friday things. 5/10

1. I splurged on this for Mother's Day. Holidays are the one time Scott will buy me whatever I want even if he thinks it's dumb. Air purifiers fall into that category. He thinks they're a scam. I, however, live for the smell of clean air. My *classroom* has one, bought during covid times as a way to keep the school sAfE or whatever. I thought about just bringing it home for the summer. Lol. (Not really. It's kind of ugly.)

This is the one I got but I bought it at Costco because you get a free extra filter for the same price at Costco and the filters are expensive. 

2. I took Jett to the Mizzou campus on Wednesday to the animal hospital. It was a rough day. We had nasty storms, school was dismissed early, Scott had to leave work at noon to pick Wells and Sutton up, and then Jett and I got home at 6pm. It was a day entirely to myself, which I never get. The procedure they did took about 5 hours so I spent 5 hours doing work at Panera and in the waiting room. The funniest thing in the entire world were the college students studying in Panera saying they just can't wait for their finals to be over so they can sit on the couch and relax. I wanted to shake them and say This is the easiest your life will ever be, youhavenoidea. Now, look at me: using that degree so I can sit here and do actual work in order to pay for dog surgeries. After I was up all night with a toddler

3. Brightening eye mask.

This one isn't my favorite, compared to the gold ones, but I wanted something different. I like the smell of these, they still work, but they are thinner so they don't stay on as well. Again, if you have sensitive skin like me, they haven't affected me in a bad way, so I recommend! I literally use them every morning and keep them in the fridge (see: up all night with a toddler). 

4. I bought two pairs of casual neutral sneakers and I've spent the last two weeks trying to decide between them. I'll probably just keep both since I haven't bought sneaker-like shoes since August. I rarely buy shoes so, when I do, I buy 2-3 pairs at once to fill the holes I'm noticing. 

I wore the Keds with a dress the other day. Not one person complimented my shoes so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, you know?

5. I wish I had a bunch of funny things to share but I'm not that organized this month. I like what Amy said about giving grace during the end of the school year. 8 more days (after today) with students. 

May 6, 2024

Currently in May (late but that's better than nothing)

Loving. 13 days of school left. Long ago I started plotting for next year. But I've been waiting forever for May. I think we, parents/teachers/etc, make May so. much. harder than it has to be. We don't need 204840 activities happening at school or at home. Just, like, let summer roll in and begin. It doesn't have to be such a big deal. I mean, I'm glad there's a cute little kindergarten graduation and all, but we need to cool it on the 384 field trips, fun days, and celebrations. We had like 4 milestone activities and celebrations in the last week and it has broken me.

Looking forward to.  I'm looking forward to summer in a way I haven't looked forward to summer in years. 

Also, this week is our vet surgeon appointment we've been waiting a month for. I would appreciate prayers as I haul Jett halfway across the state to see if he needs surgery. 

Seeing. Ball pictures. We went to the regimental ball last Friday night. I try to take a similar picture at most balls we go to....

Reading. Books are posted here for this past month. I'm currently reading: 

And I've really embraced audiobooks again lately. 

Wanting. I really wish I could reform some of my worst habits. We all have bad habits. But my literal worst might be that I bite my nails will just not respond to messages. DMs, FB messages especially, texts. I just don't. It feels so heavy to have to have conversations when I'm not expecting to have conversations, if someone just randomly texts or sends a message. Like, I'm not choosing interaction at that moment and then the moment is gone and suddenly a friend sent an Easter text and I forgot to reply and then the only time I remember is when I'm driving or something so I just seem like a bad person. 

Does this happen to anyone else? 

Linking up with Jennifer!

May 2, 2024

April books.

I'm back with more books sooner than expected because I've been reading more this month. Some are audio but that counts. Plus, we've got a fun new book link-up to join! 

Head over to one of these blogs and share your current reads. 

The World After Alice by Lauren Aliza Green 3.5 stars

This was sent to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I liked this story. It'd make a great movie. There's lots of back and forth in time and there are no, in my opinion, likable characters. It works but it's depressing. I can't say much without giving away spoilers but my Goodreads review has spoilers if you want to go over there. The only thing I'll complain about is that the author really liked her thesaurus. That will jump out at you right away and is *not* a spoiler. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 2 stars

I am the last person to read this and I decided I would try it out and see what all the hype was about. I ranted on Instagram last week. I have a lot to say. Basically, I was intrigued and pulled into the story immediately. I enjoyed the main character at the beginning. The premise (a version of Beauty and the Beast) was somewhat interesting to me. However....Maas started throwing around the word "glamour" and I started having flashbacks to 2008 and I saw green forests and Volvos and vampires in this story (iykyk) when it's not actually about vampires. ACOTAR is about fairies....I thought "glamour" was specific to vampires. 

Essentially, by the end of the book I was convinced that Maas had taken Twilight + The Hunger Games + maybe a little of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and whipped it into a fantasy series of sorts. That didn't work for me. It seemed like a recreation. I did finish the book though with some heavy skimming toward the end.

And she really liked the phrase "my bowels turned watery" and I'm not sure why she used it so many times.

Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena 5 stars

I listened to this in two days. I really enjoyed it. I don't usually jump for her books immediately but they don't really let me down. I'm not sure why I don't read all of her novels right away. It's a mystery with many layers. Lots of lying. Maybe some unreliable narration. I kind of predicted the ending but it was a good ride getting there. 

Well to the Core by Robin Long 4 stars

If you already follow Robin and her Pilates company, most of this isn't new. But her approach is motivating and made me realize I don't have to do-it-all in a season where I'm at the edge of barely functioning. (Seasons change and hopefully this one is almost over.) And when anyone says "oh you're thin" (I don't condone's awkward) or, my favorite, "do you run?", I always feel dumb if I say I do pilates. But this is ALL I do at this point. I wish I had time to walk every day but I don't. I can usually do 15 minutes of pilates though and it makes a difference. 

Her podcast is really good too, so I recommend it. 

If you're looking for a balanced way to even out your habits and your health, this is worth a read. I've followed her since 2014, so I knew I'd get to this eventually. It was released last fall. 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

I don't really "rate" kids' books. But this is going to be an unpopular opinion: I loathe this book. I, as an intermediate teacher, managed to avoided it for several years. I knew I wouldn't like it. I don't do animal stories. I especially don't do sad animal stories. But, when I moved into a new school, I inherited 50 copies and an already-bought novel study so I had to do it. It's a 300+ page slog of depression and sadness. And if you look up the story of the real Ivan, that'll make you sad too. I don't think the kids disliked it but it was way too long to hold their attention and the chapters aren't numbered so it was really hard to give them reading to do because I'd have to use a range of pages and it just didn't work. There was a lot of violence and animal abandonment and adult themes. I'm not going to do it next year.

And I feel pretty vindicated knowing I've been right about how *I* would feel about this book all along :)

However, I also found the movie on Youtube and we watched it after finishing the book. The movie is great! Wells watched it too. I would recommend that as a stand-alone, 100%. 

Did not finish:

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

Funny Story by Emily Henry

These two books are exactly the kind of movies I would pull up to watch on Netflix. They would hold my interest. They would maybe even make a cute series. But I know exactly how they end. I just don't know the exact path the author will use to get there. So I enjoy the start of them and I can appreciate the set up and then...I lose interest. They are too tropey for me. I want to watch them. I don't want to read them. So it's not them, it's me. 

Currently reading: 

April 29, 2024

Unpopular opinions #958

I wish I'd actually kept track of how many of these I've written. Maybe it's like 9 or 10 by now. Who knows?

Let's start off with a good one: Long hair is not a personality trait. I don't know how women, especially moms, spend all their time flipping their long hair about. Like, doesn't it bother you? Shoulder length is fine, ladies. There's nothing you can't do with mid-back hair that you can't also do with shoulder length.

I bought a (cheaper) waterpik because my dentist insisted for the third visit in a row. I hate it. It is awful. There is no reason why anyone should have to use a waterpik, ever. I will never actually use it regularly and I keep thinking that if I slip and miss, I will lose an eye. 

Kids should not be allowed to chew gum. It ruins their teeth. This is 100% my most unpopular opinion these days. Wells keeps saving all of his gum until he's "six". Benchmark is about to move to "seven". 

Hey Dudes are the actual worst. You will never convince me that these are worth $60+. Crocs, Hey Dudes, list of ugliest shoes in the world continues to expand. I know when you look at the Hey Dudes site, they don't look *that* bad and, hey, they'd be great for a weekend at the lake (per the pictures). But there is SOMETHING about grown adults wearing them in professional settings that makes me think our civilization is coming to an end. Like, this is it. We're done. There's nowhere left to go. 

Spirit weeks at school are not really spirit weeks when they come once a month. Back in the day, we'd have one spirit week for Red Ribbon Week in October and everyone would get really into it and it would culminate in Halloween. Then, we'd have maybe one more for the week before state testing, just to do something fun. Now, it's every week before a holiday break, the whole month of December, the whole month of May, and a few days in between. I cannot keep up so I stopped trying. It literally doesn't matter, it doesn't make me a better person to participate, and you'll never convince me otherwise. 

Make me feel better about being so picky about things. Give me an unpopular opinion. 

April 23, 2024

No summer school


I made the decision that we would not do summer school this year. If anything, this summer will be my experiment into homeschooling, doing some of the basics each day. We can go to library story times, Wells can play tball, we can go to the pool since Sutton is older this year and hopefully more agreeable. 
There is no reason why Wells needs to be in summer school. I need that entire two month break and I think he does too. 

The Sunday scaries hit me in a big way each week, and I can't imagine pushing through an extra month of that. Sure, it'd be an extra paycheck, but the regular daycare will not be available in the summer. I can't fathom dropping Sutton off *somewhere else* and leaving her there all day. I also don't want Wells going on field trips without me. Last year, I went on the field trips with him and I still had moments where I wished I'd stuck an airtag on him. You see,  I've taken kids on overnight field trips.  I've done field trips to any and all places you can imagine including amusement parks and water parks. I, for the life of me, do not understand how parents just...let their kids go on field trips? I never didn't do the best job I possibly could and we never had any issues. one watches your kid like you do. I follow way too much true crime for me to believe he's always going to be safe. 
And I don't trust my 5 year old who can't swim at a pool without me. Unfortunately all the field trips are to the pool this summer. If I were teaching summer school, I wouldn't be able to go on the primary grade field trips with him. I'd have to go on my own trips, Sutton would be in a strange daycare, and Wells would off somewhere without me. 

Call me neurotic, but it is what it is. 

So the plusses of teaching summer school (one extra paycheck for the month of June and not having a stranger in my classroom) do not outweigh the minuses.

Plus, Scott's block leave is in the summer and, while I don't know that we're taking a big trip or anything, it's nice to have the option.