New Schedule...

We are somewhat settled in. Life is different with me back at work and Gary with a revised schedule, but we are doing okay. Last week was tough, but I managed to deal with things pretty well. I miss Lainey, but the students have a strange way of keeping you very distracted. And the silver lining of Gary's new work schedule is that he gets a bit more time with her in the mornings. I know he is enjoying that (and so is she)!

Lainey turned 9 months old on Tuesday! I can't believe it. It's so cliche, but I never knew time could pass so quickly. In 3 short months, she will be ONE!!! One!! What happened??? It just passed before my very eyes. I'm loving every second of it. Every day she seems to be soaking something new into her brain.. new words, new sounds, new faces, new gestures, new teeth. She's clapping, waving, and saying two words (book and doggy)! It's unbelievable. I'm so thankful to be her Mommy. Now, if only she'll add THAT word to her repertoire! I'm working on a new craft (a family photo book to teach her faces/names of everyone). I will post pics once I've finished that. I'm also working on a toy box project. Next up after that? Birthday party invitations! Yikes! Until then...

9 Months-
I have subtitled this- Who stole my baby and brought me a little girl??!?

Sweet summer time...

Alas, you have come to an end. This has by far been the best summer of my life. Since we've been married, we've moved twice during the summers, and last summer, Debbie died and I was pregnant. Needless to say, summers have either been busy or difficult. But this year, it was different! Every day held an adventure, whether it was coffee with my friends, shopping with my mom, or just lazing around the house all day seeing what new stuff Lainey would come up with! She has been such a joy to be with- always sweet, always fun, and always spreading her little baby wings. I never knew life could be so enjoyable!! She has continued to hit milestone after milestone, and I think this is the thing I'm going to miss most about being with her- just missing the day in and day out stuff and watching her soak things up like a sponge. My mom has promised to learn how to video chat via FaceTime, so I can catch up with baby girl during my lunch breaks at work!! That will be awesome- especially once she begins to talk more!

I can't believe the summer went by so quickly. It seems like graduation was just yesterday and I was walking out the doors saying "see you in August." But August is here already. Tomorrow I will go back and listen to the blood borne pathogens speech (again) and start getting my classroom set up! There's something thrilling about a new school year- freshly sharpened pencils and a chance for everyone (teacher included) to start fresh! Last year I was a bit distracted (with all of the life changes and such), but this year will be a different story!! I'm going to hit the ground running (watch out students). I have two sections of AP English (a first for Augusta Christian), and I'm SO excited. They are an amazing bunch of students, and I know that they are going to do an amazing job! I also have two sections of 11th grade honors and one section of 9th grade honors! It's going to be a good year- I know it! So here's to new beginnings, and changes, and all of the things that come along with those things (eloquent, I know). And here's hoping that I do okay this first week without my baby Bug. I will miss her so.

English Nerd Already- (note the book)

Blog Hop

Fun way to find new blogs!!

Your hosts for the hop are Mama G at Growing Up Geeky and Kristin at Our Growing Garden. Each week we'll have a featured blog, randomly selected from the previous week's links.

This week's featured blog is The Stauffer Shenanigans. Ashley has two beautiful daughters Brooklyn and Emily, and her blog is full of adorable pictures of them. Go say hello! :)

Mommy Motto

I was reading a magazine the other day (Parents or Parenting or one of the like- they kind of get confusing, title-wise!), but whatever the case, I came across an article about being a "zen mommy." The ideas of the article are rooted in the religion/teachings of Buddhism to which I do not ascribe, but I must admit that the article had several good ideas to help Mommys stay cool, calm, and collected. I have decided to adopt one of the sayings as my new motto- "Do what you're doing while you're doing it." In modern terminology? Stop multi-tasking. Stop watching T.V. and playing on the computer at the same time- I mean, really, your mind can only take in so much glowing screen. Stop thinking about something else when your husband is talking to you. Stop checking your e-mail while playing with your child. You get the drift. BE ALL THERE. Be focused on what you are doing in the present. Such a simple concept, so hard to follow, but it's my new mission. When I get tempted to multi-task, I stop and remind myself "Do what you're doing while you're doing it."

In other news, my summer with Lainey has BLAZED by, and by blazed, I mean blazed (astute, I know). We have had loads upon loads of fun... it has been such a joy to watch her grow, change, and hit milestones. I'm trying to wrap my head around going back to work. I do love my job, so that is incredible helpful, but I know it's going to be a tough adjustment. Thankfully she has a good Grandmommie who will be taking care of her full-time again. I don't know what we'd do without that blessing. Our summer has been filled with reading, playing, crawling, zoo trips, shopping trips, coffee shop trips, and lots of general hanging out! She is such an amazing little girl, and I am stunned by how blessed we are to have her in our lives. I'm smitten!! And I think we have an awesome new milestone- FIRST WORD!! She's been obsessed with making the "B" sound lately, so Gary and I have been trying to get her to say the word book. At first, she didn't really get it, and she definitely doesn't know how to make the "k" sound yet, but this morning, I reached into a bag and pulled out a book and she said "Booooo" (sounded like book but without the K)! :) I was so excited! Gary says we can "count it" as her first word!! Haha! Who knows if she *really* knows, but you never know, right?

Eye candy- (on our Virginia trip)

I'm going to be *that* Mom...

at least for a moment. The mom who spouts advice off like it's nobody's business. The one who annoyingly tells you all the things that worked for her kid, so obviously, they will work for your kid. You know the Mom that I mean. I'm sure you've met her. So yeah, I'm going to give you all of the cool advice that I've received (and some that I've made up on my own)... Take it or leave it! They worked for my kid...

(1) Double (or triple) wrap the bed. Mattress pad. Sheet. Mattress pad. Sheet. You get the drift. It cuts down on the time you spend wrangling the crib mattress in the middle of the night when your baby has wet through her pjs.

(2) Share responsibilities with your husband. He helped you make the baby, he should help take care of said baby. I know many men think that a lot of baby things are the "woman's responsibility," but I couldn't disagree more. I think things need to be shared- maybe not equally, but shared nonetheless. Just help each other out.

(3) Make your own baby food! It's SO easy, not very time consuming, and it brings about a great peace of mind knowing exactly where the food comes from. Plus, it's a lot cheaper than buying jarred food. Lainey LOVES her homemade food, and I feel like an all-star mom when I give it to her! There are so many resources on this subject, but I really love the cookbook called The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet: Know What Goes Into Every Bite with More Than 200 of the Most Deliciously Nutritious Homemade Baby Food. You can find it on Amazon (or a used bookstore like we did!). It has recipes through toddlerhood.

(4) Sign up for Swagbucks. I have saved SO much money this way. Check out my link (yes, this is a shameless plug)- I can give you more information, but basically, you win points for searching the web and you can trade the points in for giftcards. I always get Amazon cards- this makes wipes/other essential baby items practically free! I LOVE, LOVE it.

(5) Don't worry about housework when the baby is awake. This is one that I'm still teaching myself. I don't have to have the perfect house. Lainey will only be this age once. We will only have this day ONCE. If she's awake, I'm doing my darndest to be fully engaged with her. Granted, I do have to get things done, but I make it a point to talk to her and include her in my activities.

(6) Check out cloth diapering as an option. So many people (including myself, originally) say: "Cloth diapers?!? Ewwww! No.way.Ever." Yeah, that was me, but then I started thinking about it and really had a change of heart. We now cloth diaper about 75% of the time. We still do disposables when we go out for long trips (like tonight's zoo trip) or when all the cloth is in the washer, but we're working on it. Again, I can give you more info if you care to know more about this subject.

Okay. Stepping down off of the soapbox. Again, take it for what you will, but the ideas listed above have truly been helpful in my life (along with SO much more that I'm not thinking of). We're off to the zoo tonight to hang out with some awesome friends. Tomorrow we will celebrate Gary's first Father's Day (pictures to come), and on Sunday I'm leaving for a week of work training. I will miss my little person SO SO much. Thank goodness for Facetime (and a visit on Wednesday).

Wordless Wednesday

This is why I love June... and being a mother!

Cloth Diaper Giveaway

I just entered it... you should too!!