Getting to Know Your Teacher Questionnaire {*FREE* Printable!}

I know I’ve said it on here before, but I LOVE giving teacher gifts. Teacher gifts are my JAM.

These fantastic people see my children more than I do during the week and pour love {and knowledge} into them. Why wouldn’t I want to show appreciation/admiration/respect/love for that?!

Every year I send a little “get to know you” questionnaire to each of my kiddos’ teachers. I choose to send one to every teacher/educator my kid comes in contact with–so not only specials teachers, but also EIP teachers, speech therapists, administrators, counselors, etc. If you work with my child, I want to know your likes!

Then, periodically (sometimes it’s a total random Tuesday, other times it’s a holiday) I’ll send in little gifts. And it doesn’t have to be big things! One of my favorite things we did last year (which I didn’t blog about, grrr) was on St. Pat’s Day–we sent in dollar store leprechaun socks, a handful of chocolate coins, and a couple of Lucky 7’s scratch off tickets in little bags to each teacher with a sticker on it that said, “I’m LUCKY you’re my teacher!” It was cute, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, here’s the survey I send in to the teachers. After I get them all back I…warning, nerd alert…I make a spreadsheet (I can’t lie: I LOVE a good spreadsheet) and stick it in my wallet. That way if I’m at Walmart real quick I can check a teacher’s favorite candy or double check when their birthday is, etc. 

If you like it all you have to do is click here for the printable questionnaire! Enjoy!

Or if you’re not ready to print it yet, click on the link below to save it to your Pinterest!

 

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And Now He Is Two {Say It Ain’t So!}

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Yesterday my sweet Lala turned two.

And this is what I wrote on Facebook:

Today you are two. Everything about you is such a juxtaposition, sweet boy–it seems like just yesterday you were born, but I’m certain you’ve been with me whole life. You were so unplanned at the “wrong” time in my life, but really it was perfect timing and you made everything right and good again. You are happy go lucky, but opinionated; you are calm, but have a wild streak; a pleaser, but mischievous; a cuddle bear, but “all boy”. Basically, you are perfect and I can’t imagine my life without you for one single second, Lawson Thompson and I can’t wait to see what you will grow up and be (please lay off the junk hoarding tendencies though, ok? Ha!). 

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Two Days Old

The prayer that I pray every time I’ve rocked you since the day you were born is for you to be a good and honorable man one day. I pray you see the good in the world and that every day of your life you speak truth and goodness to others. That you will make the world a better place…and I’m certain you will because my life in infinitely better with you in it, darling boy. 

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One Year Old

I love you to the moon and back and back again, my sweet Lala. Happy birthday.

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Two Years Old

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A Hodge Podge for This Friday

I’m sorry for the radio silence since Monday. Blame it on first week back to school exhaustion PLUS 26.5 weeks pregnant exhaustion PLUS planning a trash/junk birthday party for a certain little almost two year old {not really that big a deal–we’re keeping it small} has left me all sorts of tired by about 8:30 at night.

If it’s okay with you I thought I’d show you some pictures of what we’ve been up to the last week. I promise to get back to the regularly scheduled program soon–I’ve got some great things to show you like MM’s quilt she made (mostly) by herself that’s almost finished, nursery things I’ve started ordering (eek!), the baby’s quilt that is currently at the quilter (double eek!), etc.

Last Saturday our sweet little cousin turned 2 (he’s 9 days older than Lala) and he had a farm party at the farm. The kids had a blast, especially Lala who loves all birds (he calls them “gee” as in short for “geese”).

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And then here’s the same sweet little boy when I asked him if he had pooped {TMI, sorry}. He scrunched his nose and said shook his head no.    …he had.

Moseby went on his first trip to Durhamtown with his daddy and godfather. They rode their four wheelers all day and he only fell off once. Man, he’s growing up!

See this gorgeous salad? Less than 6 grams of net carbs and less than 300 calories (not watching calories are anything while pregnant, but this would be a great meal for those that are–remind me to tell you about the guacamole, best I’ve found!). Take that, gestational diabetes!

I can still button my pants so some days I don’t think I look pregnant. And then I lift my shirt up at the gym to change clothes. Yep, there’s a 14″, 2 pound baby in there all right!

Moseby is rocking kindergarten and so far has gotten up every morning with a smile (this is HUGE!).

The oldest two took a kids’ yoga class yesterday for the first time. I joked on Instagram that Moseby was so relaxed from yoga he couldn’t hold his head up afterwards. Actually he’s probably so relaxed because MM told me he pooted every time he bent down. Y’alllllll, between Lala’s secret pooping and Momo’s public tooting, I’ve got my hands full! Boys are so stinky!

Hope you all have a good weekend–I can’t get over my little fella is going to be 2 on Sunday. Absolutely blows my mind that two years have gone by since this because I swear it was just yesterday…and a lifetime ago at the same time.

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Pregnant Woman Stuff: Real Talk About Preeclampsia & Gestational Diabetes

I was going to save all this for my second trimester recap post sometime next week (I’m 26 weeks today, eek!), but since my latest complications have consumed my life I thought I would share them with you.

{For a short recap: with MM I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension at 20.4 weeks, preeclampsia at 26.6 weeks, and gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I couldn’t control my gestational diabetes (I’ll refer to it as GD–bad acronym, I know) even though I never cheated on the diet (seriously never) given to me by the diabetic nutritionist at the hospital and ended up on four insulin shots a day. My blood pressure (BP) wasn’t well-controlled either and by the time I delivered at 37.5 weeks I had been in the hospital five times, had been on bedrest for three months, and my BP during delivery got up to 240/170.  With Lawson I was diagnosed with GD at 18 weeks (it was controlled by diet (yay for Keto!) and exercise except for my fasting number and I was on one insulin shot/day), pregnancy-induced hypertension at 19.6 weeks, and preeclampsia at 28 weeks. I was never on bedrest (my BP was well controlled with medicine), but delivered again at 37.5 weeks when my placenta started detaching (common PreE thing). Wait, sorry, this was supposed to be a short recap.}

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison with my bio babies.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. I’m 95 pounds lighter (than with MM and 55 pounds lighter than with Lawson) and started this pregnancy at an “average” weight/healthy BMI and a VERY active lifestyle (working out six days/week hardcore). Every person that I mentioned my concerns over my old complications flippantly said something along the lines of, ‘Well, you’re so much healthier now so I’m SURE you’ll have a normal pregnancy this time!’

And while part of me hoped they were right, part of me always got my feelings hurt–because those people were implying that my weight gave me the complications of my last two pregnancies. That I caused and deserved them.

And I, too, bought into it. I fat shamed me. I always felt guilty for what my body did (or didn’t) do, all because of my weight.

But here’s the kicker: I STILL have pregnancy-induced hypertension (21.3 weeks when I was diagnosed this round) and I still have gestational diabetes (25.1 weeks when I was diagnosed this round; at 15.3 weeks my blood sugar was perfect (85) on the one hour test–2.5 months later my blood sugar more than doubled on the same test). Now it’s just a waiting game to see when I start spilling more protein in my urine so I can get my PreE diagnosis (I’m guessing in the next three weeks). I’ve only missed one workout my entire pregnancy so far (the BP meds make me feel like I have mono 24/7 (totally not kidding) and I skipped one of my yoga classes because of it and then felt crazy guilty afterwards), I eat low carb, and I’m crazy active and I STILL got the same complications.

While I feel vindicated (yay! my weight didn’t cause the problems!) the complications still suck big time (wait, my body stinks at pregnancy!).

So that’s where I am now. Smug and depressed, ha!

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Two Down, Two to Go

…to be in school all day that is.

{And since one isn’t even born yet I’ve got A LONG time until they’re all in school! But oh what a sweet day that will be! 😉 }

Here’s some pictures from yesterday’s first day of school adventures.

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(I can’t help but post this of MM on her first day as a kindergartener three years ago…gosh, time flies, y’all!  One thing funny to point out–MM was NINE INCHES taller than Moseby when she started school, HA!!)

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MM told me every minute detail of her day {of course}, whereas Moseby told me “I don’t remember” about basically everything {of course}.

Here’s hoping for another 179 good days this school year!

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Back to School Teacher Gifts

I’ve mentioned before on here that I love giving teacher gifts.

Specifically themed gifts (I posted about teacher Easter baskets here and their end of the year baskets here). I just can’t help myself–I love a good theme and I’m an elementary school teacher myself so I know how fun it is to GET gifts.

Last night was MM and Moseby’s open house at their schools. We brought in two giant bags of school supplies each (with mermaid labels for her and pirate labels for him on them), but we also brought each teacher a basket. At their schools the grade level puts down a wish list (markers or paper towels or stickers, etc.) so we made sure to get each item from the wish list for their teacher plus a little more.

Moseby’s teacher was also MM’s kindergarten teacher and so I knew what she liked (chocolate turtles are her jam) and also what her room theme was (paw prints). I send a little questionnaire into my kids’ teachers (homeroom, specials, counselors, administration–everyone!) the second week of school to get to know them better–I’ll have to post the form I use on here next week for you–but I wish I knew more about MM’s teacher(s) so I could fill her/their basket with a few more personalized goodies because compared to Moseby’s it’s small. #sosad

Here is Moseby’s teacher gift.

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The baskets came from Target and I had a friend do the vinyl decals. The paper plates, Ziplock bags, magic erasers, and reward sticks were on the wish list. Everything else I got because it was fun–lots of fun-colored Sharpies and Expos, fun tape, copy paper, the teacher’s favorite reward candy, pawprint-themed items, and masking tape (because she asked for that specifically).

This is MM’s teachers’ baskets (she has a homeroom teacher and another teacher that teaches two subjects).

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If you’re a teacher what’s your favorite teacher gift to receive? Mine is fun colored Sharpies or felt tip pens. Though card stock is pretty sweet too!

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A Guide to Dauphin Island

Click here for the printable version.  Or you can Pin it below!

So this is my last post about Dauphin Island (click here for a bunch of pictures or here for a bunch of fresh seafood recipes). I thought I would post here all the little tidbits we did/saw/ate on the island a couple of weeks ago.  (The only thing I wish we could have figured out how to do was to get a boat on the sandbar right as you cross the bridge on the left–the water was gorgeous and calm and there was no one around–next time we’ll get there!)

Here are the links to the things mentioned in the guide:

To Do:

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To Eat:

To Shop:

If you have any suggestions on something to add to the guide just let me know! I’m sure there was a ton more we could have done. 🙂

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A Recipe Post for Great Beach Meals

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Dauphin Island has some restaurants, but there’s just one grocery store and no fast food restaurants. And Lawson is at that awful little boy age of 22 months old that means he HATES sitting at a restaurant for more than thirty minutes (he honestly hates any sort of high chair all the time) so I decided to cook dinner every night at the beach house instead of going through the hassle of getting everyone showered and ready just to wait on a table at a restaurant while my youngest loses his mind.

I’m smart like that. 😉

The only downside is having to use someone else’s kitchen. No food processor (so I made biscuits in a blender), no liquid measuring cups and only 2/3 and 1 cup dry measuring cups (which meant most things I just guessed at), no chopping board, no grater, only one big bowl, etc. Buuuuut it all came together in the end.

Please note these are photos from my phone and are horrible quality and are not staged at all…but I had 8 hungry mouths (including myself) ready to eat, ha!

The first night we had spinach linguine with cream sauce and sautéed Ruby Red shrimp (all our seafood came from Skinner Seafood Market on the island or caught by us).

We found these homemade dry pastas at the Mobile Farmers Market the day we drove down and bought a pound or so of the spinach angel hair (you can even buy it online here!). It was delicious! I paired it with a homemade alfredo sauce and sautéed shrimp. C. liked it so much he ate leftovers for lunch two days in a row (and he never ever ever eats leftovers!).

The next night I made homemade crab cakes with remoulade sauce, chive biscuits, and coleslaw.

A pound of lump crab meat made about a dozen crab cakes.

Note: Make the remoulade sauce before you go to the beach (it requires the most pantry items) and stick in your cooler (I also do that with my homemade ranch). For the biscuits I made my own buttermilk.

Oh and these crab cakes? BEST I’VE EVER HAD.

On the third night we had low country boil.

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What would a trip to the beach be without a low country boil, right?!  I should note I always add vinegar to the pot of water–I saw the hint on the back of the Old Bay seasoning can years ago. I researched it and the vinegar acts like a lemon–it heightens/brightens the seafood (and nothing tastes like vinegar so no worries).

These may look like red snapper at first glance, but they are actually vermilion snapper. And y’all, they make some of the tastiest fried fish tacos I’ve ever had. Actually, not “some of”. They are THE BEST fried fish tacos.

I used this beer batter recipe. I love how simple the ingredient list is since we didn’t have a fully stocked pantry at the beach. For what’s it’s worth, I used non-alcoholic beer (all we had on hand) and it tasted great.

I served the fish with warm tortillas, lettuce, homegrown tomatoes, avocado, poblano slaw, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. I also made some spanish rice out of a packet and cooked some fresh corn with a little butter and some chopped poblano.

(This was this best dinner in my opinion.)

The next night was our last night at the beach so we did a clean-the-pantry out dinner. We used more of the vermillion snapper, but this time I cooked it in the oven. I added steam broccoli, mac n cheese (the kids are not big fan of broccoli and baked fish, who would’ve thought?! HA!!), creamy corn-cucumber-tomato-onion salad (that’s the bomb dot com), and corn bread muffins.

And that was we ate for dinner at the beach. Just posting these recipes makes me want to go back again. I’m already looking forward to next year!

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Tour Alabama Series: Our Week in Dauphin Island

We got back from a week at the beach on Saturday. It was relaxing. And laid-back. And none of us got sunburned.

Basically it was perfect.

Since MM was 1 we’ve been Tybee fans. It’s 4.5 hours from our house and right outside of Savannah (my favorite city in the world). We always stayed in the same condo and it became a habit.

This year though I decided to change it since none of the kiddos had ever even seen the Gulf (sacrilege!). I asked around and settled on Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama (between Mobile and Biloxi).

Dauphin Island isn’t huge and there are no fast food restaurants and just a few restaurants and shops, but there were plenty of bike paths and things to do (fishing is huge on the island). Given Lawson’s age (right on the cusp of 2) and the lack of lots of restaurants I decided I would cook dinner every night in the house using fresh seafood–I plan on doing a big recipe post this week ’cause we ate so good at the beach, as well as a must do/must see/must eat guide for the island as well!

We wanted a place (didn’t matter to us if we were in a condo or house) that was very close to the beach, had access to a pool, and had at least three bedrooms (my parents go with us).

We found all that in more with Island Time II–a house right on the beach with a pool on the porch and four bedrooms. It was perfect for our needs.

Here’s some pictures of our time on the island.

First up, our fishing adventures. Including our encounter with a snake.

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I caught this beautiful red snapper at 8:10am. Guess when snapper season ended? 12:01am. That’s one lucky fish!

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It’s just a salt marsh snake–probably got washed into the “ocean side” of the island from all the storms.

But we didn’t just fish, oh no! We did lots of goofing off, laying around, and napping. You know, the really important parts of any good vacation.

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The two youngest are sort of twins in this picture: Lawson is 23 months old and Baby B. is 23 weeks in utero.

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Lawson went to three new states for him: Alabama, Florida, AND Mississippi and got to meet his Mama J.

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We lived in bathing suits and t-shirts and shorts with elastic waists and pajamas. It got so bad that the last night there I MADE us put on “normal” clothes and take a picture (we seriously could have packed two sets of clothes each and been fine!). These pictures were taken right in our “backyard”–it really was the perfect setting!

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Oh, Dauphin Island, you spoiled us, girl. xoxo

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Three Things for Me and Two for Baby: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Time!

So….today is the first day of public access to the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and I wanted to share with you five things I purchased last night.

I don’t know about you, but I love love love the Anniversary Sale. It’s great brands and items that I normally buy…but on sale! And shipping and returns are free, like always!

For me:

I am trying so hard to not buy maternity clothes for this pregnancy mainly because this time is so fleeting, you know? Also, I’m 23.5 weeks and still buttoning my pants (but barely!) and I think I should be able to get away with the rubber band trick through the button hole or leggings ’til the end (fingers crossed).

Here are three items I bought for myself that will work before Baby B. and afterwards.

Barefoot Dreams Lite Circle Cardigan (I got mine in ‘stone’). Y’all this thing is the softest thing in the world–it’s like being wrapped in a cloud. I promise it’s worth the price…and it’s $40 off which never happens (which means you better order in the next couple of days or it will sell out!).

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings. I already have two pairs of these (and have posted about them multiple times) but they are fabulous. They don’t fade. They don’t get little fabric balls all over them. They’re not see through. They don’t get saggy. You can wear them out or to the gym. And both the black and the burgundy are on sale. Best. Leggings. Ever.

Caslon Long Sleeve Crewneck Tee (I got mine in ‘Pink Stone’). I love this brand from Nordstrom and their tees never disappoint. And it’s $19.90. Sounds like perfection to me.

Zoli New Bot Sippy Cup (I got the red and grey pair). One of Lawson’s milk donors (Hi, Katie!) told me about these when I was weaning him from a bottle. He was having the worst time learning how to use a sippy cups. I paid $12 for one back then, but during the Anniversary Sale you can get two for $15.90. I’m already stocking up for the next baby (and letting Lala use them).

Little Unicorn Three-Pack Cotton Muslin Blankets (I got the Farmers Market set). I’ve been eyeing these for awhile on another site and when I saw them on sale for $8/each I just had to bite the bullet. I love the unique prints!

So, tell me, what are Y’ALL getting from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?! I’m all ears!

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