Sunday, January 18, 2015

Life Lately

Go ahead and brace yourself... this isn't a "kid post"!
It's been forever since I updated you on *MY* life so, I figured I'd take a few moments at 12:30am on this MLK Jr. Day to document my life as it is right now. Why at 12:30am, you ask? Because I made a pot of coffee. At 3pm. And I'm STILL going strong from the caffeine. HA!
And for kicks and giggles - since I know you *love* seeing pictures of my presh baby boy, I'll weave in a few pictures of his adorable self for you too. Don't want you going through shock/withdraw ;-)
So let's get started. Let me tell you about work this year. Let me tell you how AMAZING my kids are. Let me tell you how WONDERFUL my team is. Seriously, this is my best year at Pangborn yet. My students are the sweetest group that I've possibly ever had... they are kind to each other, smart, funny, and they love to learn. They make me excited to come to work every morning. :-) Now don't get me wrong - there have been kiddos in past years that resemble all of those characteristics as well - but I can honestly say I don't have a "stinker" in my room this year. It's amazing to be able to teach without having to manage problematic behaviors left and right. Another REALLY exciting work-related tidbit is I am mentoring my first student teacher this semester! You may know her, actually. She used to be a disc jockey on 104.7 WAYZ... anyone remember Katy from the Tiny and Katy Show? ...Yep, Katy is my student intern! I'm so excited to work with her this semester. I can't wait to see how much we learn from each other through this experience :-)
I was pretty busy with my photography business in November and December. I have taken most of the month of January off to decompress, and I'm already starting to book a few sessions for friends over the next couple of weeks. {{As if I need another business venture...}} I have also *very recently* signed up to be a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA! This is something that I wanted to do to get my essential oils at wholesale prices... but honestly, these oils have worked in so many amazing ways in my life that it seems like a shame NOT to share them. I have some events on the horizon where I will be sharing doTERRA oils with others and helping to educate them on the many wonderful powers of these oils.
If you've known me for any length of time, you know that my immune system is TERRIBLE and I get sick frequently (and Jesse, unfortunately, seems to have inherited my weak immune system). Well, I have been using On Guard oil on him and I through most of December and January... and guess what?! NO SICKNESS! There have been a couple of mornings where I did wake up with a scratchy throat and congested sinuses... but after mixing up some oils (On Guard, Lemon, and Oregano) with some warm water and honey, and also applying Breathe Oil to my sinuses and nose, I feel better within an hour... like, SERIOUSLY BETTER... like, normal. And the rest of the day goes on and I feel totally fine. These little oils are such precious miracles. I also use Lavender Oil on Jesse and he sleeps SO much better when his has his oils on (or as he says "Oy-wees"). Since my big fancy order, called the Home Essentials Kit, has arrived I have also broken out the Frankincense and Melaleuca oils to combat that scratchy throat/sinus congestion. Frankincense is pretty powerful stuff, amazing healing properties... it's no wonder the Wise Men offered it as a gift to Baby Jesus! Now, I don't want to become an annoying salesperson who posts non-stop about their business, so I will try to keep my doTERRA posts to a minimum - but if you ever want a 1:1 consult or to schedule an event to learn more about the oils, feel free to email me. Otherwise, I'll just share out my testimonials as these little miracles continue to heal me and my family.
Here's my website if you want to educate yourself on what essential oils are, where they come from, and how you can use them.
Another "thing" worth updating you on is my New Year's Resolution to get healthier. On 1/6/15, I posted this, which pretty much sums things up:
So far, so good! I'm exercising (willingly, not even having to force myself - woohoo!) 6x per week for at least 20 minutes on each of those days. I'm also tracking my calories/nutrition and trying to stay within 1600 calories a day (the estimated # of calories I should consume, based on my weight, to lose 1 pound per week). I'm hoping to be 20 pounds thinner by my birthday in July. I'm learning a lot about portion control and how to plan out healthier meals/snacks so I'm less likely to resort to poor food choices. I'm part of a Christian health/fitness group on Facebook where I'm held accountable for my weekly food/exercise goals. I'm also reading Made to Crave: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food which has helped to shape my mindset for success. So far, almost 2 weeks into my "plan", I have lost 4 pounds. I'm super proud of myself because the weight is slowly starting to come off - and I would rather lose the weight slowly making realistic lifestyle changes instead of depending on shakes/pills/whatever else people use these days to drop a lot of weight quickly. My hubby is supporting me with this endeavor too. Tonight, he took over baby duty so I could do a 55 minute workout on my Turbo Fire DVD's. It's wonderful to have his support, and to hear him telling me I can do this.
text excerpt from Made To Crave that really spoke to my heart!
One of my newest favorite healthy snacks is Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt. It's packed with protein and not a ton of sugar. I can't eat the entire bowl in one sitting, so this recipe makes 2 servings for me:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP peanut butter
splash of vanilla extract
2 TBSP chocolate chips
pinch of salt
So there you have it... a little update on my life. Life is as busy, chaotic, and hectic as always... but it's a good life. Cheers to the new year, everyone!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Good Tidings We Bring!

Can I just say how much FUN it is to celebrate Christmas through the eyes of a small child? Every time we plugged in the tree or drove around looking at Christmas lights, Jesse was full of Whoa!'s and Wow!'s. I decided to decorate the tree as I normally would, because I figured I would wait and see how Jesse responded to the tree and ornaments before I started removing ornaments at the bottom. He actually does really well with the tree! He calls it the "Tiss-miss chee", and he has unplugged it 3 times altogether. :-) 
He has also taken bites out of my fake popcorn garland, and he has a favorite ornament that he routinely kisses before bed. He also gives the tree a hug before bedtime. Whenever we leave the house, he waves to the tree and a stuffed snowman I have, saying "Buh-bye Chee!" "Buh-Bye Snow!"

Santa came to our house and left behind some treasures for Jesse to find on Christmas morning. The tree looked magical with all the presents underneath!
Kitty kept a watchful eye out for Santa.
Of course, when Jesse came out the hall on Christmas morning, the first thing he went for was the little bike (which was purposefully parked BEHIND his presents so it would be one of the last things he saw). And then he saw the vacuum cleaner... he LOVED that!
I had to physically sit him down with the presents to get him to open them. He caught on quickly and started tearing the paper away. He would hand each piece to me and say, "Tank-ee" (thank you).
Of course, he completely ignored the big awkwardly covered gift... had to bring his attention to that one to get him to see what was underneath :-) The Little People Sky View Race Track that has been catching his eye every time the advertisement came on TV.
In his stocking, he found a new toothbrush, mittens, a hat, a movie (Elmo in Grouchland), and flashcards. I must say, I am pretty sure this is my absolute favorite pic of Jesse from Christmas Day. He was so excited about his toothbrush :-)
Later Christmas morning, we headed to my husband's parents' house to exchange gifts and have a meal. Jesse missed that critical nap window and was a grouchster during the presents.
After lunch, Jesse and his Daddy took a 2 hour nap... and he woke up in much better spirits!
Then we headed to my parents' house for snacks and more gift exchanging!
And a visit to Nanny and Poppy's house wouldn't be complete without silly dancing!
When we left my parents' house, we drove through the memorial park in Williamsport to see all the Christmas lights. It didn't take long for Jesse to fall asleep and he was completely out by the time we got home. He went straight to his crib when we got home, and when he woke up on Friday and saw all his new toys under the tree, you would have thought it was Christmas morning all over again :-)
The days following Christmas were extraordinarily warm and beautiful (for December). We took advantage of the nice weather by going outside to play. Jesse enjoyed riding his new bike. We also took a nice walk to deliver Christmas gifts to our neighbors.
There were other family get-togethers as well throughout the holiday season. Here are some of my favorite pictures from those gatherings :-)
Yesterday, I managed to round up all of Jesse's new toys and get a picture of him sitting with all his Christmas presents. Had to bribe him with some jingle bells ornaments, but hey - I got a smile outta him! :-)
This boy loves his Daddy! Caught this special moment the other night when they were reading books together.
Lastly... I leave you with our 2014 Christmas Card. I pray that each of you had a merry and bright holiday season filled with lots of love!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

19 Months Old

To my sweet, dear boy,
You are 19.5 months old. Everyone warned me about how quickly time would fly... and initially when we were up to our elbows in dirty diapers, sleepless nights, and milk-stained burp cloths, time did seem to take its grand ol' time. Don't get me wrong - I totally miss those early days when our biggest goal/priority was good sleep... and the snuggles... oh, the snuggles... but you are so much FUN right now and time is whipping right by. With every stage you grow into, I find myself thinking, "Now THIS is my favorite stage of all..." only for you to learn another cool new thing and then I develop a NEW favorite. My point is, life with you is so fun, entertaining, full of excitement, wonder, and adventure. Time is passing us by so much quicker than I would like. One of these days, we will wake up and it will be your first day of Kindergarten already. I still remember the day you came into this world with vivid detail, it feels like it was only yesterday. Please, Father Time, be kind to us.
The basics: At your 18mo doctor's appointment, you weighed 25 pounds (70%ile), and were just about 32 inches long (70%ile). You are healthy in every way, and your language development impressed the doctor. He asked me how many words you can say, and I told him that I keep a running list on my phone and we are at 20+. He raised his eyebrows and said that they expect you to know 6-8 words right now... so you are well on your way :-)
I know I'm your Momma and I may be a bit partial, but I seriously am blown away with how smart you are! You not only play with your toys, but you also take them apart and try to figure out how they work. Then you put them back together (or try to).
You love to play chase *especially when it's time to go somewhere, you take off running from us through the house*. You love to hide and be found. You love to run, jump, hop, walk backwards, and dance. You can do motions to many songs, including "My God Is So Big", "Running Over", the hello song that we sing in music class, the jumping song from music class, and Itsy Bitsy Spider.
You love rough-housing with your Daddy. You two give me daily heart attacks. The running through the house, tossing in the air, piggy back rides, wrestling... I feel like it's only matter of time before one of you breaks a bone. As much as ya'll scare me to high heaven, I love seeing your relationship grow. You love to be in the garage with your Daddy, climbing behind the wheel of trucks that he's working on or rearranging his tools. :-)
We just completed a semester of toddler music classes and it was SO much fun! You looked forward to music with Ms. Tracy every Tuesday night. I would tell you Tuesday morning when we were getting ready that we would be going to music class that night and you would gasp, smile, and say "Tay-cee" because you loved going to music class with Ms. Tracy. You particularly loved the jumping song, as well as dancing with scarves, following the leader in circle songs (your eyes were always glued to Ms. Tracy!), and playing instruments. Although during singing songs you would mostly just watch while sitting on my lap, you would repeat the songs (or the tune of them) later on at home.
I mean, with a flutist as a mother and a grandfather who plays bass guitar, it's only natural that you become a musician of some sort! ;-)
Your personality is unfolding in so many ways  as you become more and more able to express yourself with words. You call me Mommy, Momma, and today you started calling me "Mom" on occasion. I told you that calling me "Mom" isn't acceptable until you're a teenager :-)  I prefer to stay Mommy or Momma until then. You ask very clearly for milk, your bink, your toothbrush, your "Boo Boo Buddy" (ice pack for booboos), cookie, crackers, bath, and snack. When I meet your request, you smile/laugh and clap your hands as if you're praising me for understanding you. :-)
You are such a little love bug - you still love to snuggle/cuddle, and you give the best hugs and kisses. I pray that your sweet, affectionate spirit always stays with you!
Some of your "loves" include Elmo ("Melmo"), Mickey, tractors and tractor rides ("trac-to" and "trac-to ry"), books, our pet kitty, cars/trucks, balls, your "big boy bed" (not for sleeping, just for snuggling and playing pillow fight with your pillows), remotes, outlets, bowls/pans from the cupboards, most fruits and veggies, chicken, tuna, peanut butter & jelly, Life cereal, cookies, goldfish crackers, yogurt, your bink, keys, Barney, balloons, drinking from cups without lids, brushing your teeth, taking bubble baths, and helping Momma clean (sweeping and vacuuming).
You are all-boy. You love adventure and are constantly BUSY. Sometimes, that means getting into things you aren't supposed to get into. We are teaching you to stay away from the "no-no"s using time-outs when necessary. You are at the age of curiosity and testing limits, so this kind of behavior is to be expected. Trying to show you early on that behaviors have consequences. We try to praise you whenever you listen to directions and celebrate when you stay away from no-no's.
Our lives were so empty before we had you. Of course we didn't realize it, but now that we've spent the last almost 20 months with you in our lives, we know what we were missing out on before. Our time together as a family is so precious, and we cherish and love every second, minute, hour we get to spend with you. Love you, baby boy!