Teachers, You Are Top Tier.

What a crazy school year it has been!

It’s been such an emotional rollercoaster this whole year. With all this craziness, I have to give it up to all the teachers who thugged it out and extended their patience peak for not only the students, but for the parents as well.

They kept it calm and cool, as best as they possibly could. They were going through their own life stuff with their own families and dealing with their own anxieties during a pandemic and they still tried to make it as easy and seamless as possible for our children. No doubt they were the real MVPs this year.

As much as I was so hesitant in letting Kole and Monroe go back to in person learning, I’m glad I decided to let them continue the year that way. Monroe was able to get a little experience in class as a kindergartner and Kole was able to spend some time with half the class before bidding farewell to 5th grade. Now that we are ending the year, we still feel like we want more time with their teachers! They really are hella amazing. Hella.

Last year, I couldn’t get Monroe interested in reading or writing at all. His teachers not only got him to read AND read well, but also got him to LOVE school. Big ups to them, for real for real.

With Kole, it’s no surprise that he loves school but his teacher kept him excited to learn each day even if it was from a distance and with half the time.

Now it’s the end of the year and time to say goodbye to zoom classes, asynchronous/ synchronous learning, and our wonderful teachers. So I do as I always do and show our appreciation with end of the year teacher gifts.

I dusted off my cricut and got busy in design space. I used black heavy cardstock to line an 8×10 display case and decided to use school supplies to decorate the inside. I didn’t really feel like taking out my glue gun so I just used a mix of adhesive dots and Crafter’s Tape. Both did the job well! We thought this would be a great piece to put in their office at home or use as part of their decor in their classroom next year!

They deserve way more than these DIYs, but hopefully they felt all our love and appreciation.

Leave Meeting. Have a great summer!


Crayola Crayons | Cat In the Hat Bookmarks | #2 Pencils | Index Cards

Holly Daze. 2018.

This holiday season was sure a busy one for me this year.  Since I started my holiday shopping pretty early this year, I had this idea (from Pinterest of course) to decorate my Christmas gifts my own way.  I bought Kraft paper rolls and used my paint pens to address and decorate the gifts.  Although it took a whole lot of time, it was the most satisfying holiday craft project I’ve done!  It was a great way to put my little personal touch to the holidays!

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On to Kole’s class.  If you know me or follow this blog, then you know I can’t let a major holiday/event go with making the class goodie bags.  Last year, I made the kids little snowflake ornaments and this year I knitted mini stockings and stuffed them up with a couple of holiday candies.

His teacher and his classmates thought it was pretty cool and were all smiles so I’d say we had another class Holiday success!

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Everyday I start the mornings off with the news on tv.  That may not always be the best idea because of how absolutely depressing the entire world is right now, but it’s always a good idea to keep updated.  While I make breakfast for the boys, Kole is always paying attention to the news as well.  Last year he was so concerned and felt such sadness for the victims of the Tubbs Fire that he asked me if there was something we can do.  (And yes, that made me cry!)  So that was the beginning of a new family holiday tradition.  As a family, we decided to make a donation cup, which Kole decorated himself, and leave the cup in the middle of the dining table during Christmas and ask the family if they’d like to donate.

We are a small family but I know our donations helped a little and it surely did teach the kids in our family that the holidays are not only about all the gifts they receive for themselves but also how small gestures and just the act of love and care can be a huge gift to someone else.  Last year we donated to SonomaStrong Fire Relief and Recovery by Rotary.  2018 news had a whole lot of coverage on the homeless.  It’s sad how many people live on the streets here in the Bay Area, absolutely heartbreaking.  So just like last year, Kole chose a cause and he wanted to try to help the homeless somehow.  Our donations are going to a great organization started and ran by a family friend of ours called, The City Eats.  Ryan has volunteered with this organization and has even brought Kole along to help prep the meals as well.

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -Dr. Seuss

With the way the world is today, I am doing everything I can to make sure I raise little gentlemen that move through this world with intentions of love and care for others everyday and especially during the holidays.

Hope you all had a magical holiday full of love and lots of Christmas lights!! 

 

My Favorite Moments – June ’18

My last Favorite Moments post was all the way back in September 2017.  The holidays crept up on us, as usual, and I was getting a little more involved in Kole’s school and class that the blogging took a little backseat.  It’s now summer time for the kids so I’ll try to take advantage of any free time to get back to typing away.

Kole | Kole finished off second grade this month and I am extremely proud of his school year.  His teachers and his classmates had nothing but good things to say about him.  He learned so much academically this year.  I loved his explanation of common core and friendly tens he learned in math, I loved the little bits of knowledge he’d tell me about ants and spiders (ew!!), and I loved all the little projects he brought home that took planning, testing, and follow through.  He’s always been into books and getting lost in the stories he’d read but this year he really fell in love with writing.  He took every advantage of the times he had in school to write and illustrate stories/books with his classmates during Writers Workshop and he also took time at home to create little books.  His imagination and creativity is boundless.

School was so great for him this year that he has shed some tears because school is over.  Not only because he’d miss his friends and recess but also because he genuinely enjoyed every part of the school day as well.  He even went as far as to say “Two months of summer is soooo looonnnggg!”  What kid says that? LOL.  Even though I have never felt that way in my whole life, I am really happy that he feels this way.  This feeling may not last forever but I will do my best to keep him just as interested in school as I can.  And I also am hella grateful for the educators that keep that school spirit alive!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Monroe | My little baby boy turned three this month!!  He. Is. A. Terror.  But the most lovable kind.  He most definitely is a sour patch kid.  Sweet one minute and sour the next.  But lately, his sweet has leveled up!  He is giving me more hugs and kisses and I get a lot more random “Mimi, I love you”s.  And if you know us well, you know his sacrifice of the green M&Ms for me is quite the gesture coming from that little M&M monster.  Conversations with him are getting easier and we are understanding each other more.  As much as I love all the growing, it is making me a little sad.  It’s already hard enough for me to accept that Kole isn’t teeny tiny anymore and now my littlest baby is growing up at the same super speed as his brother.   Time goes impossibly fast when you measure it by your growing minis.

Young, Wild, and THREE!img_8482-e1530204561486.jpg

What started off your sweet summertime?

 


Snoopy Sweater: Uniqlo | 3rd Birthday Shirt:  Willow Bee Apparel 

Ms. B., You Were A+. Second Grade Was Super.

This school year just flew right on by. When we first met Ms. B. we fell instantly at ease and in love. Having had the same teacher for two years straight, Kole was a bit nervous starting second grade. But since the first day of this school year he had deemed Ms. B. as one of his favorite teachers. I had the pleasure to sit in and volunteer in the class a bit more this year so I got close to her and the students pretty quickly. She is a great teacher with a whole lot of patience and a very kind heart. Kole came out everyday being able to do mental math so quickly. Thank goodness for common core and friendly tens!

Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company…and that means a little “send off to Summer” gift sets. This year I rounded up some sidewalk chalk and bubbles to remind them to put the iPad down and get outside. Also adding washable paint to remind them to stay creative. Keep your body moving, live life, and enjoy your sunny days, kiddos!

“Have a whole lot of summer fun! Love, Kole”

To the person who handled 17 of our precious, energetic, hard to handle at times, minis…thank you for all the new knowledge, skill, and memories you gave our kids. You get the sweetest of send offs.

Kole loved being in her class. We especially appreciate her opening her classroom doors to me and Monroe. We hope she enjoys every single minute of her summer break. She deserves it!

“Thanks for making Kole, one smart cookie!”

Thank you Second Grade. You were super. Off to Third we go!

Happy summer and enjoy every ray of that sunshine! ‘Til next school year.

Sidewalk chalk (Target) | Kids’ Washable Paint | Treat Cups (Michael’s clearance) | Cellophane Bags | Bubbles | Photo Box | “One Smart Cookie” Pot Holder | Cookie Cutter | Candle (Bath & Body Works)

HMD. 2018.

This year I’m going to give a shout out to my boys. After all, without them I wouldn’t be part of this motherhood club.

They have changed my life in so many ways. Never in my life have I felt so anxious. Anxiety and panic attacks come full force. I’m deathly afraid of anything just in the case they get hurt in any way or in the case I get hurt in any way. Because who the hell would take care for my kids the way I do if something happened to me? No one. Because even if their dad can take care of them just fine, he still can’t do it like mommy does. (Ask him. He’ll co-sign. I promise.) Before I had kids it was that YOLO life. Now, as a mother, it’s YOLO but LET’S BE CAUTIOUS YALL!!!!

But that’s ok with me. I always thought of myself as a selfish person in my young adult life (which I’m sure we all were). Thinking of throwing myself in front of danger for someone else made me think twice and lay out pros and cons before I actually would decide whether or not I would do that for someone no matter how much I loved and cared for them. Then I had kids.

And once I entered motherhood I had already made up my mind. I would run into a burning building for my children and I would lift any heavy machinery in my way to get to my kids. No doubt about it.

To my Kole and Monroe, I want to thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for reminding me about hope and love on dark days. Thank you for the random hugs and kisses you give. Thank you for saying “please” and “thank you”. Thank you for loving me unconditionally despite the irritation, the yelling, and especially despite the limited tech time I offer because of all the irritation you both offer me. 😒

I thank them because they made me a mom. And because no matter how much I think I am the worse mother in the world, little things like opening the door for me and giving me the green M&Ms because green is my favorite color, remind me that I’m not such a bad a great mom.

Cheers to our children for making us mothers.

And cheers to us moms. We hold the home down, we channel our inner superhero for our little ones, and we catch throw up with our bare hands. MVP.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Daily Conversations With My Kid.

With all the scary situations that have gone on in the world since Kole was born, it has brought my stress level to its highest. I have never been brought back to the calm side of the spectrum ever since I became a mother. I have considered homeschooling him and keeping him away from all people. I have considered watching his every step to make sure he never comes in close contact with a bully. But life doesn’t work that way. I can only trust in the way I raise him and have faith on how he follows through.

Ever since he started school, three years ago, I have said the same things to him during drop off and pick up. When I drop him off I always say “Be good, be kind, and learn a lot.” Every day.

I remind him to be good. Teachers work hard everyday with 20-30 of our rowdy children. As parents, reasons we often complain about our children is how they don’t listen and don’t follow through, just to name a few. And we only have to deal with 1-5 kids on average. We know the struggle and to put all these kids with all different personalities together can be stressful and tough for an underpaid teacher with whom we have entrusted with our most precious treasures for 6-8 hours a day.

I remind him to be kind. Children are sensitive and remember everything. We all know mistreatment from their peers can stick with them for a lifetime and cause uneccessary violent action. As adults in this world today we are surprised by kindness. Videos about kindness go viral like it’s a foreign action. That says a lot about the world today and it’s not a good thing. I want him to grow up knowing kindness should be normal, given and received. To everyone. From everyone.

And lastly, I remind him to learn a lot. I want him to be open to learning everything and anything. I want him to be engaged so he is always interested on learning both sides of a coin. Ask questions. Be open to the answers even if he doesn’t like them. Not only listen but to understand.

And on to our conversations when I pick him up.

I always ask..

“How was your day?”

“What did you learn today?”

“What did you do and who did you play with during recess?”

“What was your favorite thing about the day?”

“What was your least favorite?”

I know that seems like a lot but it gives me all the information I need and I get him used to knowing that, as a parent, asking him a bunch of questions are not for interrogation. It’s for conversation. To always remind him I want to know about and keep up with his life, not because I don’t trust him but because I’m truly interested. Wanting to know how his day went and what he learned are a given. But it’s important for me to know what happens during recess when the kids are left to socialize with each other on a more independent level. I want to know if the list of people he plays with change, if the list has downsized, or if it has increased. What kind of games they play and if who is in charge of these games are the same person/people or if that role changes from time to time. Hearing about his least favorite parts of the day help me figure out what makes him sad, uncomfortable, or upset so I am able to catch anything he may not express to me directly. Knowing his favorite parts help me remember the things that bring him joy.

If I can’t protect him from all the bad in the world I can only hope I am helping raise good to at least be able to spread a little bit of light in all this darkness. Let’s face it, our world is shit. I want his tomorrows to be brighter than our todays. We just have to make sure we show the love and keep the conversation up and running.

On A Wednesday In February. 2018.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to get crafty for Kole’s class. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know candy is not my go to. Last year I knitted puffed hearts for the entire class and teacher and this year I wanted to make something for the boys and something for the girls.

For the boys:

Minecraft is a huge thing in our home so I decided to knit up Minecraft creeper baggies and got some bouncy balls to fill.

For the girls:

I knitted up some cute strawberry pouches and got heart bracelets to fill.

For the teacher:

Since Kole has a different teacher than he had last year, I decided to knit up a mini version of the Puffed Hearts and place them in a repurposed candle jar in hopes she will cherish the crafts and find use for the jar in her home.

These were thought up and made with a huge amount of love and care. I wanted Kole’s classmates to know their friendship is appreciated and his teacher to know that her kindness and patience means the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018! Let this day be a reminder to give and show love, not just for that one day in February, but for everyday of the year.

“Do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

Mind Your Own.

My kids are not perfect. There are times they don’t listen. There are times they fight. There are times they throw tantrums.

It. Is. Normal.

The other day, my kids and I were at a store and Monroe, who is 2 years old, had a tantrum. The woman behind me felt the need to make all sorts of comments and show all sorts of disgust on the fact that Monroe was upset, irritated, and crying. I don’t much care about what others think but it still isn’t easy to hear other people make you feel you are a complete failure as a parent and absolutely more upsetting to see your oldest child hear someone say something unkind about his little brother.

But make no mistake, if you feel free to make your side comments behind my back, do not be surprised to hear my harsh comments to your face. I am a mother protecting her cubs. I bite.

If you have a toddler, you know it’s that time in their lives they just don’t understand why they can’t have everything they want in the world. That’s where us parents step in. We try our best to teach them right and wrong, good and bad, and patience. We all know trying to teach a child that takes time and a whole lot of patience on our part as well. It’s frustrating as hell but that’s our job, to make sure we do our very best to raise them to be good people.

When we say no to our kids, do you think we enjoy watching them cry and get upset? Absolutely not! I choose to say no to them for certain things they don’t need. I choose to have my heart break everytime they cry or get upset because I took something away from them they didn’t deserve. So they will understand they will get it back when they have earned it from hardwork, kindness, etc. and not because they yelled for it. I choose this way so they don’t become grown men who throw tantrums and so they understand the word NO when they hear it.

Look, I’m doing my best here. So if you aren’t here to help, then keep on walking. I don’t need anybody making me feel less than. Parents do that to themselves enough.

Moral of the story, if you see a toddler out there throwing a tantrum, you can either help the poor parents or just STFU.

Merry Everything And Happy Always.

Christmas has come and gone but I still wanted to share what Kole and I came up with for his class giveaway this year.

Last year I crocheted mini wreaths and attached a mini candy cane to it.  They were the cutest little things!  It was a hit with the class and with his first grade teacher as well.  I’ve got to say it brings me and Kole the most joy when we see people enjoy the little gifts we give.  They are never too big but they are made and put together with lots of love and excitement.

This holiday we decided on giving friends and neighbors homemade sweets.  I happened to buy the treat boxes and treat bags with snowflakes all over them on two different occasions so Kole and I decided to go with the accidental theme.  This year we came up with snowflake ornaments to give to his class.  All I needed was a crochet hook, some yarn, mini ornaments, and a treat bag.

I crocheted the snowflakes and attached the mini ball ornaments to the front to spruce it up a bit and put the finished product in a little baggie to keep it safe until it got onto their tree.

The kids LOVED it! I had some girls in his class tell us how cute they were and some boys tell us how cool the snowflake was.  So I’d say it was a major hit!

We did it!  We brought a little merry and a little bright to a few little hearts which brought a lot of joy to ours.

Hope you had a merry everything and we wish you a happy always.

Hey, BOO!

One of Kole’s favorite “holidays” is fast approaching. Halloween!! The parts he loves most are pumpkin patching, painting the pumpkins, and of course, the costumes! This year, because Ryan was off training and because of the dreadful beginning of fall colds, we didn’t get a chance to paint pumpkins just yet but we nailed the other two so far!

For the past few years we’ve gone to the same pumpkin patch because Kole is a creature of habit. It isn’t the biggest or the most active but we get to do exactly what we want, a quick hunt for a few pumpkins and the most difficult family selfie photo shoot. We never stay too long but we always leave making memories and feeling that family time high.

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Every year I love putting together little goody bags for Kole’s classmates (as per usual, for every and any occasion I can 🙄). I know that’s not news but, you know, segway. Kole is not much into candy and we hate hoarding them, usually because Ryan and I fall victim to candy coma, so I try to stay away from giving too much. I tend to pack the goody bags with bubbles, stickers, or spider rings, etc.

This Halloween goody bag giveaway, I decided to go crafty. I crocheted skull ornaments and Kole picked the little lollipop treat to go with it. ecdefffb-9a33-495c-9db8-7b5c4509682dI got some little spiderweb printed baggies to hold those two things in and there you go. A simple and not too sugary goody bag!

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The costume.

Kole has been so into Ninjago even before it was a movie. He definitely binged on the Ninjago show and all things Ninjago on YouTube. His 6th Birthday was even Ninjago themed, which I’ll blog about in the future. But since the movie came out, his love for the squad sprouted up again in full force. His favorite character always changes but for Halloween he chose to dress up as Lloyd, The Chosen One and Master of Energy!


“Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore. Scary witches at your door. Jack-o-lanterns shining bright. Wishing you a haunting night.”

Have a sweet and safe Halloween from us and the Green Ninja.