Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to School

For the majority of my life (like, 25 of the last 34 years!), this time of year has always meant one thing: Back to School.  Whether as a student or a teacher, the end of August has been a fun mixture of all the emotions: anxiety, excitement, stress, relief, nervous anticipation, unexplainable giddiness.  Even now, as an online instructor, I think my year will always be measured by the beginning and end of new semesters.

But while my online class doesn't start for another few weeks, I have been feeling left out of all the back to school festivities this week.  True, I am so grateful to be able to stay home right now, but I definitely miss my school family.  Part of me still feels a responsibility towards my principal, co-workers, and especially my students.  I know the school continues to function in my absence, but still.  After spending five years helping to build a program and a culture, it's hard to let go.

I've been thinking, however, that even though I am not technically going back to high school this August, I am definitely going back to a different kind of school.  In what I hope is no more than a few days, I am going Back to Baby School.

You know how kids forget all that they learned the previous school year over the summer break?  That's how I feel right now.  It's been two years since I had a tell me again, how do I do this?

How do you keep a baby alive?
How often do you feed a baby?
How do you get a baby to stop crying?
How do you change a baby's diaper?
How do you hold a baby?
How do you survive on only 2 hours of sleep at a time?

And don't even get me started on how you take care of a newborn AND a toddler at the same time.  That's college-level stuff, and I assume it involves a lot of show-watching and bribery.

So, back to school I go, accompanied by the fun mixture of all the emotions: anxiety, excitement, stress, relief, nervous anticipation, unexplainable giddiness.

Still not sure when my schooling will begin (please, please, please, don't make me wait another week!), but here's to a great year!

My First Baby School Instructor


For three of the past four school years, I have had a silly tradition to take selfies to mark the passing of the days and weeks.  The first year I did it, I took a daily outfit picture.  The second year, Jackson and I took a picture every Friday morning before we rushed out of the house.  Last school year, we continued the Friday morning selfie tradition.  He was definitely a less willing participant as he got older, and admittedly we missed a few weeks (mornings were and still are rough around here!), but it was something I looked forward to each week because it meant the weekend had finally arrived.

(Several people have inquired whether or not we will keep up our weekly pictures this year - and how in the world I'll be able to take a selfie with a child in both arms! - we shall see!)

So, without further ado, here is our #katiejandbabyjfridayselfies from the 2015-2016 school year.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Jackson's 2nd birthday, which is really weird because I'm pretty sure he just turned 1 a few months ago... but then again, when he woke up this morning, he looked like he was 4.  Time is not only flying, but also turning around in somersaults.

The day of his birthday was pretty unspectacular.  We had just moved into our new home, and everything was (and still is) a complete mess.  For all my motherly desires to make the day special, nothing was planned.  No cake, no party, no big presents.  Part of me felt like a failure, and the other part of me knew that it was all going to be okay.  The 9-month pregnant momma gets a pass on a few things, right?

But what started as an uneventful day actually turned out pretty great.  Grandma brought over balloons and Nothing Bundt Cake Bundtinis, cousins happened to be coming into town, Daddy had ordered a few small presents from Amazon, and to top it off, we decided to head over to Chuck E. Cheese's for an impromptu party.

A few days later we had a second (super simple) celebration with the other side of the family: pizza, cake, and a few presents.  The state of our house had not improved much, but I at least felt comfortable enough to have people sit in the living room.

A few things to love about my 2-year-old baby boy:
  • Although his diet seems to consist mainly of chicken nuggets and rye-ryes (French fries), he is an excellent eater.  Loves vegetables and fruit.  Can eat an entire avocado in one sitting.  Unlike his mama, he loves green beans.  It's not hard to make him happy in the food department. 
  • His expanding vocabulary impresses me daily... and keeps me on my toes.  He is now at stage where he repeats everything we say, so when I mutter "Oh, crap!" under my breath, I have to remember that I now have a little echo of "Oh, cap!"  I love that I can understand almost everything he is trying to tell me and take a weird delight in translating for other people.  
  • He told us the other day: "I need haircut."  Ummm, okay?  Since when did you start making decisions for yourself?  He is becoming very independent, which is awesome, but at the same time, we are staring the Terrible Two's right in the face, waiting to see who blinks first.
  • His smile, his laugh, his blonde hair that gets curly when long or humid or wet.  His sense of humor.  His growing imagination.  Everything about Jackson just makes him that much cuter.  Sometimes I can hardly stand how adorable this little boy is.  
So, even though I'm a little behind in documenting the event, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my soon-to-be-big-brother little boy.  We love him more than words can say.