Monday, March 31, 2014

Feeding, Frustration and Fun.

Dear Sunday, you were just one of those days. Well you started out being rough...

I finally decided to bite the bullet and go buy Miley some formula to supplement. I have been very torn about this decision but to simply put it, my milk supply is not where it needs to be and I'm taking it very hard.

So I went to one of those big retailers to pick up the type of Formula that M's doctor suggested.

It's down pouring rain and then it starts sleeting, it's frigid cold and here I am in a hooded sweatshirt.
I run into the store only to realize there is not one single cart when you walk in the door. Crap.
I run back into the parking lot to find a cart because I have to buy a few other important things like Laundry Detergent and Doritos for my Husband. I am soaking wet by now, running through the puddles and dodging cars who just could care less about pedestrians. I grab the Laundry Detergent so I don't forget it and then I head towards the aisle I have been dreading, the formula...

In the aisle, I had an interaction with the rudeness sales associate ever.

Apparently me being polite must of bothered her because she talked to me like I was a total piece of garbage. She wouldn't let me actually look at any of the containers of formula and she attempted to argue with me when I told her she grabbed the wrong formula then what I wanted to purchase. She even acted like I was going to steal the formula guarding it up against her body (which grossed me out) as if it was powdered gold.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Frustrated as ever, I texted my husband "F*ck this place."

I bought what we needed and I headed home in the rain. My husband was at the door with open arms to give me a hug. I told him the conversation with the worst employee ever and while he agreed how ridiculous it was, he helped me get my mind off of it.

He reminded me that giving my baby Formula is okay. That I'm not a criminal for doing so and having to buy it in the first place.

My Sunday then picked itself back up.

I had a cuddle session with Baby M, made some Chicken Parmesan from scratch for Dinner, painted my nails and spent the evening on the couch watching baseball and the Walking Dead with my husband and little guy.

Even in days filled with frustration, you can find fun moments.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Things my Husband Says (No.1)

It should be noted that my husband and I always say to each other after one says something funny and/or ridiculous "There is one to write down!" But the thing is, I have a blog so I do actually write many of these things down...

Introducing Things my Husband Says...

On Drinking Soda:

Me: "You have been drinking way too much soda lately."
J: "Not really, maybe only like 5 Cokes a day."
Me: "WHAT?!?! That's way too much."
J: "I mean Juggalos probably drink that."
Me: "Like Faygo? Wait a second, did you just compare yourself to an Insane Clown Posse fan?!"
J: "Just Kidding. I don't drink five sodas a day but yeah, I probably should cut back."

On Baby M being hungry:

"He's doing his O face again! He's just showing his Orioles pride. O, O, O, OOOOOOO! Yeah!"

"Hey little guy! Want a hoagie?"

Singing while bouncing Miley up and down: "Cheesesteak! Cheesesteak! All day, everyday, Cheesesteak! Want a cheesesteak little cutie?!"
(I blame the Geico commercial for this one.)

On Baby M having to go to the Bathroom:

"Look your Mom is dancing to a fish commercial, it's that not enough to make you go, I don't know what is!"

"Get It! Get It! Get It, little guy!"

....I have a feeling this will be a continuing series. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Card and Art Making with Miley

This time last week, I was working on a birthday card with Miley for my brother...

Miley has yet to take any handprints successfully so I decided to trace his hands and make cut outs to use instead.
These are made from my Miley's left hand at 5 weeks old.

Besides the cut outs, the card featured a message from Miley to his Uncle and some more tracing of his hand in ink.

My Brother called it the "Best card ever."

Besides making cards with me, Miley has gotten into drawing...

He's really good at gripping things so Dad picked him out some colors and I gave him some markers to doodle and voila! This happened...

Miley's first drawing ever, at seven weeks old.

...We're excited to see what he makes next.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Appreciation & Four Year Old Quotes

Today, I came home and decided that I wanted to blog.
Truth be told, I miss blogging when I'm too sleep deprived busy.

I usually have a million things on my mind and blogging is a tool I use to organize some of those thoughts as well as something entertaining to look back on.

So what do I want to share on my blog today?


Today, one of my Pre-k student's Mom told me how much she appreciated me and all the things I do for her child.

It hit me out of nowhere because I wasn't expecting that conversation. Here I am rattling all the important bits and pieces of his day and she hugs me and tells me I'm always doing so much. She mentioned she thought I came back to work too early post-baby but how glad she is that I am back because she knows how much her child needs me. When my days become rough, I will remind myself of this moment.


...And of course more quotes to brighten up your day from my four year olds:

Student: "Ms. Jenn, I want to be like you!"
Me: "I don't know, I'm pretty old."
Student: "I don't think you're old, I think you're young and plain."
Me: "Plain?"
Student: "Yeah! It's good to be plain."

Me: "Please stop doing that, _____."
Student: "No thank you!"
Me: "Who taught you to say that? Did I teach you that?"
Student: "Yes, you did!"
Me: "Really? I taught you that. I'm an enabler."
Student: "Yes, Ms. Jenn you taught me...No thank you! No thank you!"

They're too funny.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Week at a Glance

I really wanted to blog more than I actually did this week but exhaustion/time took over.

After returning to work, I usually went to bed around 9:00pm. I then woke up in the wee hours of the morning to tend to and play with Baby M.

So what else happened this week?

1. I built numerous train tracks and Lincoln Log Houses for my students.
2. I returned to my handy snacks of string cheese and carrots.
3. I finally drank a Chai Latte with a Shot of Espresso like I'd been dreaming of during my pregnancy.
4. Baby M and I enjoyed our car rides together to and from school.
5. Numerous ideas are flowing through my brain about art to make and things to write.
6. Baby M has already started developing a love for books.

Happy Saturday friends, I'm off to spend mine with my little guy!

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Back to Work and Quotes from Four Year Olds about Pregnancy

(This picture really has nothing to do with this post, I just love this picture of Baby M).

Hello 4:00 am, we meet again.

Being a Mother has put me on the weirdest sleep schedule and it's become a REAL schedule already. Besides my constant need to get up at strange hours to tend to my little guy and his ever-growing food supply, I now have to double check I packed everything for him and I that we could possibly need for school.

How was M's first day of school? He rocked away in swings and was cuddled by all by coworkers.

How was my first day back in the classroom?
There was a bag full of Chocolate and Valentine's from my Kiddos.
There were lots of hugs.
Lots of comments about how cute Baby M is and of course my students wanted to see pictures non stop.
Shamrocks were colored in, watercolor stained the tabletops.
Checking in on Baby M to see that he was either being cuddled or sleeping.

...And of course this post wouldn't be complete without some of my favorite things my four year olds said:

Student: "Ms. Jenn! Ms. Jenn! Ms. Jenn! Did you know I missed you so much?!?! I missed you so so much. I missed you so much that I wanted to cry but I didn't. Can I play with your baby?! I can't wait to have a baby one day."

Student 1: "Ms. Jenn, the baby is no longer in your stomach right?"
Me: "No, he's down the hall with ______."
Student 1: "Oh yeah, your stomach looks flat."
Student 2: "I don't know, it still looks like there is a little bit of baby in there."

Student: "I remember you, your name is Ms. Jenn."
Me: "I'm glad to hear that you remember me!"
Student: "Did you have a baby...How did it come out of you?"
Me: "It was a miracle."
Student: "But how?!?"
Me: "You can ask your parents that one."

I'm super happy to be back at work and that Baby M is down the hall whenever I want to go visit.

Monday, March 17, 2014

To My Good Luck Charm

Happy Birthday and St. Patrick's Day to my Husband.

Here is the birthday card I made him (since I'm really proud of it)...

I tried to get a handprint from Miles, but he refused... so a quick trace turned into a cut out of his left hand will have to do.

I love making cards, I wish I had more of an opportunity to do more.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Standard Sunday

Can you believe this guy turns six weeks tomorrow?

Where has the time gone?!

He starts "school" tomorrow with me and he's so excited. He cannot wait to make new friends and play with all the fun stuff in his classroom. It's bittersweet for me, it's crazy how fast he's growing and he can't even walk and talk yet. Meanwhile, I go back to spending the majority of my days having a blast with my favorite four year olds. Baby M will be down the hall, in great care.

So far this little guy has spent his Sunday attempting to eat his body weight at every feeding, watching College Basketball (he's a little sad that VCU lost) and hanging out on his own personal Jungle gym (also known as Daddy's lap).


...The rest of our Sunday thus far?

My husband and I are discussing how badly we want to take a trip to the Winchester House. I've been obsessed with that place since I first read about it in college and my husband is down for anything Haunted. Did you know they have Friday the 13th Flashlight tours?! Creepy.

Tonight we are excited for the Walking Dead. My tweet during last weeks show..."What is even going on right now?!?!" which I think will float into tonights episode.

We're starting to celebrate my husband's birthday. Tomorrow is not only St.Patrick's Day at this house. :)

How's your Sunday going?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: More Sketchbook Pages

Most people post pictures of themselves as kids in there throwback Thursday posts, but here I am posting pages from old Sketchbooks of mine...

All of these pages are in Moleskine Sketchbooks because I used to be a Moleskine snob.

-My sculpture professor made the best comments in response to stupidity in Critiques

My college-self was making collages with a lot of backgrounds from National Geographic and stuff I found in thrift stores. Maybe I'll share some more next week.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

These are the moments I live for, happy small moments.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Roaches, Repairs and My Sketchbook

This morning didn't go as I planned...

... And I should of known that would happen.

I woke up, tended to Miles and set out to get an oil change for my car. As soon as I put the key in the ignition, nothing happened, my car just wouldn't start.

I called AAA and they were wonderful and quickly a truck came out to our place. The man was kind enough to test my battery and alternator and told me my battery had hardly any life was then that I started calling around town/the county to find somewhere to take my vehicle immediately. Some of the places I called were extremely rude but then I tracked down a place that had the type of battery my car needed.

It's not in a good area.

The staff was not friendly, apparently saying "Hi, How are you?" at the front desk was bothersome to the man behind the counter.

It smelled of gasoline and body odor.

But worst of all, I sat there for three and a half hours watching roaches crawl all over the floor and mice skid across the room several times after being told my car was leaking oil.


So while I didn't have an ideal morning so to speak... I did have time to spend with my baby boy when I got home and I did do something in my sketchbook. I did receive a big hug and smile from my husband before he left for work. Lastly, my car is now drivable.

...and those things I am grateful for.

*Media in sketchbook pages above: Daniel Smith Watercolors, Gesso, Salt, Graphite, Construction Paper, Found Magazine Images

Ember Grey.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Don't Tell Other Moms How to Parent

Being a new Mother is a wonderful gift and I truly cherish my Son. However, sometimes things other Moms say to other new parents really tick me off.

...And let's not forget this blog is called Thoughts, Rants and Art for a reason.

Awww here it goes...

At Miles' last doctor appointment I talked to his amazing Doctor about the thought of supplementing formula when I go back to work. Our Doctor fully supported my decision and gave me advice on how to go about doing such a thing if I decide to go forward with it. Although, I'm sure there are a group of mom bloggers/forum posters out there that would frown upon this personal decision. Do I care? No. Why? Because it's my decision as a Mother and it won't hurt my child.

Miles' Doctor joked that "feeding your child formula or breastmilk won't be the ultimate decision that gets him into Harvard University and don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Every parent is entitled to make their own parenting decisions when they're of sound mind.

I'm just sick of the unsolicited advice/judgemental questions/comments.

"Are you sure you're holding him enough?"
"You're holding him too much."
"You take him out too much."
"Are you sure you're taking him out enough?"
"Is he getting enough food? Maybe you should do this or this."
"Hmmmm are you sure those boppy pillows are safe?"
"He just doesn't seem happy, maybe you should do something differently."
"Are you sure he's happy?"
"Why did you dress him in that?"
"I wouldn't hold him like that, maybe you should do this."
"I wouldn't of done that to my child."
"Really daycare? I would never do that with my kid."

...This list really could go on and on.

I just need to learn to tune all these comments out, but the comment of "You're not holding him enough" really struck the wrong chord at the time. As a Mother, I am doing the best that I possibly can.

Parents, just chill out with the unsolicited comments. They aren't helpful.

This is Jenn,

Signing Off Now.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Miles' Saturday Afternoon

After lunch with the family, Miles had a very important conversation with his Grandma...

G: "Miles, what are you going to be when you grow up?"
Miles: Blank stares and arms swinging around in the air...
G: "Are you going to play baseball like your Daddy wants?" "Are you going to be a pitcher?"
Miles: Weird cooing noises and more arms swinging...
G: "Or are you going to be a Scientist?" "Are you going to cure AIDs or are you going to cure Cancer?"
Miles: blinking and kicking his legs around.

After this very heavy conversation, Miles rode his rocking horse for a minute and got licked by Max.

He's still very apprehensive about Max. I don't blame him because Max is a total wild card, you never know what kind of crazy thing he's going to do.

Then Miles did one of his favorite things ever, he looked at himself in the mirror which prompted these photos...

Go ahead and ask Grandma, Miles loves taking Selfies. He takes them with her all the time.

Currently, Miles is all tuckered out and taking a nap in his swing after trying to eat his body weight. I wonder what kind of adventures he will get into when he wakes back up...

Happy Saturday y'all.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

Oh hey, it's Friday! So here goes another installment of my Friday Favorites...

This kid is starting to smile and it's the coolest.

...and now for some of the things on the internet I dig:

1. I've fallen in love with this new facebook page called Abandoned in Virginia, which features photos of abandoned Homes, Schools, Theaters and various other places in the state I grew up in.

2. Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad Quesadilla and Sparkling Raspberry Peach Tea Recipes via Melanie Makes. This is one of my favorite food blogs, ever.

3. This post by My Poppet which shows you how you can Upcycle your old t-shirts into a rug! Too cool.

4. I'm a big fan of the Humans of New York project and I just loved this post on advice to give to other kids.

5. 23 Reasons Why Kids Are The Meanest People in the World via Buzzfeed. If you need a good laugh!

Have a fabulous Friday!

Venus Trapped in Mars

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Miles, the Dentist and Lots of Carbs

Today was a day I was kind of dreading before I even woke up.

I was going to my Dentist for the first time in three years and while my dentist is great, her small talk always stresses me out. Also, the fact that it took me three years to go back also made me worry about the state of my teeth...because if you regularly read my blog you know how Irrational I can be at times. I was just going to the dentist for a regular cleaning, not because my teeth were falling out.

So the entire Morning, my favorite little guy Miles refused to take a nap. My crabby baby screamed every minute I tried to do something, anything without him in my arms. I had to hold him while brushing my teeth, attempting to do my hair and trying to find something to wear that looked half way decent. He also ate non-stop. So in his clingy mood I sent my Mom a text and of course, in my Mom's true self she sent back quite the response...

...But what did Miles do at my Mom's house while I was getting my teeth cleaned? He ate and he slept. He let my yellow labs bark away as he slept.

It should be noted that my mom mentioned she forgot to add "read a book" to her list of fun filled activity plans with Miles and that he may be too young for store bought paint so we will have to make some when he's older.

So how did my Dentist appointment go?

Pretty Good. My dentist took me back for my appointment about 15 minutes early because she wanted to catch up. She gave me a hug because she's super touchy-feely. She made comments about how excited she was that I'm now married and a Mom. She's type of woman that is about to bust out in a "Hey girl hey" in any setting. Once when I was in college and had invasilign braces and was up for one of my many appointments she told me I was "so money and I didn't even know it," because apparently she wishes she was Vince Vaughn in the movie Swingers. She told me now that her daughter is in College she'll see a sign and want to go a pizza party but she realizes she can't do that. She clearly wishes she was the life of the party, but she's a good Dentist so that's why I still go there.

Anyway... No cavities. Nothing that I didn't already know. The dental hygienist I've never met before kept telling me how beautiful my teeth are. I'll call that a win.

What did we do after we picked up Miles from my Mom's house? We ate lots of Carbs.

My mom made the comment, "Maybe you should just eat heavier so Miles gets full." Game on, Mom. Funny enough is she made this comment after I told her how much weight I've lost post pregnancy.

There was Calamari with a Spicy Marinara, Mozzarella Sticks and Chicken Pesto Pizza for dinner since I let my husband choose what we ordered. My love for Carbs, Cheese, Seafood and Sun-dried Tomatoes never goes unnoticed to my husband. That's love, right there.

...And now it's time to spend some more quality time with Miles and my Husband, so goodnight all.

The Grits Blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Simple Collage

After cutting through a bunch of magazines to try to rid through my massive stash...
I made this Collage on Monday and I really dig it.

Sometimes it's good to remind myself that I only need found images and glue to make a quick piece of art.

I think I'll go throw around some more ideas on paper today.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Monday, March 3, 2014

JenJenHouse: Prom Dresses Review

I know that a lot of women say they dream about their Weddings as little kids, the truth is…I can’t remember dreaming about my Wedding or what it would be like. However, I do remember in 8th grade flipping through the pages of Teen Vogue and Seventeen magazines thinking about what my High School Prom would be like.

My 14-year-old self, had this vision of wearing my hair pinned up in an up-do with curls, complete with rhinestones accenting every pin. I saw myself wearing a pair of colored high heels even though I couldn’t walk in them to save my life. I definitely saw myself rocking a really fancy clutch that I probably would borrow from my Mom along with sparkly earrings that reflected the color of my dress.

Flash forward to my 16-year-old self, I was a Sophomore in High school and I went to Junior Prom with my boyfriend at the time, Carl. I had gotten the brilliant idea to chop off all my hair off and I had this shaggy bowl-style haircut. There wasn't much you could do to fancy it up, so my friend's mom made these strange little knotted ponytails all across my head in the shape of a crown (yes, my hair was completely awful like it sounds). I wore an overly expensive light pink chiffon/silk designer gown with sequins lining the center seams. While the dress was beautiful, it wasn't flattering to my body type at all.

...If I could go back to being 16 and go to Prom again, I would style myself differently.

With the help of

A-Line/Princess Sweetheart Floor-Length Tulle Charmeuse Prom Dress With Beading
A-Line/Princess High Neck Sweep Train Chiffon Holiday Dress With Ruffle

If I had to pick a new prom dress for myself, it would be one of those above. has a truly beautiful assortment of formal dresses for any event.

Here is why I think you should

check them out...

1. One of the coolest things about their dresses is that you can get them in any color of the rainbow and then some! Their dresses come in a variety of colors based on the material make of each dress (Satin, Chiffon, Taffeta, Organza, Charmeuse and Silk Like Satin).

2. You can get your dress made to order. "Whether you choose a standard size or custom measurements, our tailors craft each dress to order. By selecting "Custom Size", your dress will be personally tailored for your exact fit." Their sizes include sizes for all ladies, including plus sized women.

3. They ship their stylish dresses worldwide. For reasonable rates, you can have your dream dress shipped to any location on the planet!

4. JenJenHouse has rave reviews! Across their website you will see buyers writing how they received their dream dresses and a fabulous FAQ written by their staff.

5. The majority of their prom dresses are under $200! What a steal. You can get a designer style dress without the designer price tag.

6. The variety of dresses they offer. There is absolutely a dress for every type of woman. Strapless, One Strap, Mermaid, A-line, Ball Gown, Halter, V-neck and many more. Just check out the variety here:

For your next formal event, make sure you browse

Disclosure: I was provided compensation for this post as a Sverve Campaign. All opinions of are honest and my own.

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

So I jumped into the pool feet first and took the quiz... The Blogmopolitan Quiz with Erin @ Two Thirds Hazel

From my handwritten answers, (and middle school star doodles) you can see that I...

1. Don't identify with anyone from Sex and the City.
2. Started blogging because someone told me I was a terrible writer.
3. Love food. Bring on the carbs, cheese and the seafood y'all.
4. Being stuck in traffic makes me absolutely crazy.

...and my personal favorite: "I married the first man who danced with me when no one was watching, makes me laugh till it hurts and completely understands my weirdness."

If you link up, let me know. I'd love to read your answers!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Throwback: Sketchbook Pages (early 2013)

This morning, Miles made a mess all over our bedsheets as I was taking him to his room to change him...
So while I get my house in order, here are some older sketchbook pages of mine.

Have a beautiful Sunday!