Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Favorites



I haven't done a Friday Favorites post in a long time.

This week I decided to focus my "Friday Favorites" post on stuff I've liked on my Bloglovin' feed within the past two weeks (roughly).

Without further ado, here is my list this week...



1. 13 of the Funniest Things Kids have said to their teachers via Buzzfeed.

2. The $1,574.48 Haircut via Karly Kim.

3. How To Make A Miniature Pom Pom via 504 Main.

4. Cherry tomato and tortellini soup via Melanie Makes.

5. 25 Mason Jar Valentines via A Night Owl Blog

6. How to Make DIY Confetti Sticks via Best Friends for Frosting

7. 26 Things Only Bloggers Worry About via the Daily Tay

8. 22 Struggles All Curvy Girls Know to be True via Buzzfeed.



Well that's all my favorites to be shared, for now.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Things I'm excited to do Post-Pregnancy



In case you don't already know this, there are a lot of things you're not suppose to do or consume while pregnant.

While I don't eat most of things that you're not suppose to eat anyway, there are a few I missed indulging in.
Like the following food and drinks:

1. Dirty Chai Lattes...which I sometimes like refer to as the nectar of the Heavens.
For those who don't know what this is, let me explain it. It's a latte made with Chai Tea, some sort of milk (I prefer soy) and shot(s) of Espresso.

I drank way too many of these in Grad School...judge away.
I avoided these throughout my entire pregnancy because of the caffeine content.

2. Raw Fish. Specifically, I mean Sushi and raw Ahi Tuna.
One of my favorite meals is from a local place that does an Ahi Tuna Salad and I prefer the fish to be half-way pink.

3. Feta Cheese. I love Feta Cheese, but avoided it like the plaque all through my pregnancy.
It was really sad to turn down Greek food all the time. My parents know all the best restaurants to get it.

I generally avoided soft cheeses in general because of possible bacteria, so even Brie was out of the question for me. I plan to splurge on some soft cheeses in the very near future.

4. I didn't really miss alcohol.
However, I do like the idea of being able to start having a glass of Red wine again when in the mood to do so.

Other things I missed during my pregnancy:

1. Being able to sleep on my back.
During pregnancy, you're suppose to sleep on your side because sleeping on your back could cut off the baby's oxygen flow (yes, this a real thing).

The whole concept is scary.

2. Yoga and Pilates.
I did both during the first part of my pregnancy and even took Pre-natal Yoga... but it started to become a chore because many of the exercises have to be adjusted so it's safe for both mom and baby.

3. Attending Concerts.
After a certain time in my pregnancy, I attempted to avoid anywhere with busy crowds and lots of noise.
Mainly because, I didn't want to startle my little guy.



**********

This little boy is still worth missing all of those things above.

For those wondering, he still is in my womb.
We're starting the induction process tomorrow and if he's not here by Monday morning, we will be officially induced then at the hospital.

**********

Mommas, care to share anything you missed during your Pregnancy?
Non-Mommas, care to share anything you miss when dieting/during lent/etc?



The Grits Blog

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What it feels like to be past my Due Date



It’s a super strange feeling to be past that 40 weeks pregnant mark.

If you had asked me in the beginning of my pregnancy, if I would still be pregnant at this point…
I probably would have laughed at you.

I would have told you “Oh, I’ll probably deliver early.”
…Because clearly, I’m delusional.

So what is my pregnancy like past my due date?
Let me tell you:

I feel like I’m going to fall forward most of the time.
I've told Jason I feel like a rolly-poly or some sort of weeble wobble toy.
I lose my balance super easily
.

I’m highly oversensitive at this rate.
I'll pretty much cry about anything and then want to cry over the fact that I cried about something so small.
It's kinda funny actually, but don't expect me to admit that other than this blog post
.

Every Part of my Body Aches.
My feet are swollen.
My back hurts.
I can never find a comfortable sleeping position at this point.
I have been sick for over a week and actually do not have a voice at all...I have been having to text my husband to communicate with him.

It feels like this kid is swinging on/kicking away at my ribs thinking they are some sort of jungle gym
.

I have an irrational fear of my water breaking at the most inappropriate moments.
Because I've been so sick I haven't really gone much of anywhere but for some reason I've envisioned my water breaking in every public place imaginable.

Maybe we should just take him to the busiest restaurant we can find and get it over with? ;)

I’m convinced I’m going to give birth to a record breaking sized baby boy at this rate.
I actually haven't gained any weight in weeks but for all I know, this baby could be a the size of Bigfoot at this rate or maybe a small Beluga whale, we shall see.

I’m playing the “what if” game that something may go wrong or something completely out of the ordinary may happen.
I had no idea babies could have green scales, wow Baby...you sure are something.

It’s awkward putting on clothes.
I totally use to think the whole not being able to reach your feet thing was a myth and while I can still reach my feet (barely), I can't put on my own socks and shoes for the life of me.
My husband has been putting on my snow boots for me and helping me take them off.

I’m incredibly impatient with my body.
To be completely honest (and all jokes aside), I sort of feel like my body is crapping out on me.

I am more than likely going to be induced after we talked to the doctor yesterday.
I am very nervous about the whole process.

After all these things, I'm still so excited to be meeting my baby boy, hopefully by the end of this week!
Pretty please with sugar on top little guy?!

Mommas, did you deliver on time? Early? Late?
Did you have any irrational pregnancy fears?




Glossy Blonde

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Story of my Nose Ring and other defunct piercings


me,circa 2011.

After looking at old photos of myself, I felt inspired to write this post.

In August of 2013, I took out my nose piercing.
In doing so at the time, I oddly felt like I lost a piece of myself after having it for years.

So here goes the story of my piercings (just for fun):

In college, I got body piercings because I found them to be fun. I felt somewhat like a rebel without a cause every time I got a new one. I contemplated getting many more than I actually ended up getting.

First, I had my belly button pierced just because... it was pretty much something that every college girl did at the time. I even had a custom piercing made with a turquoise colored crystal stone and an anchor charm. I lost interest in the thought of a trendy piercing so it maybe was only in a year or so.

My second piercing, was a stud underneath my lips on the left side.
I remember feeling super cool after getting it, I constantly tried to not push on it with my tongue but I wasn't very successful. This piercing actually only lasted on my face for three weeks because it actually fell out during a very large and rowdy college football game during halftime. I still have a very small scar (you can't even notice it).

My sophomore year, I decided to get my nose pierced. I was super excited. I ended up getting a silver ball stud one friday night when piercings were on sale. It seemed like I constantly snagged it on towels after the shower or while sleeping. While wandering around the living room in our apartment, I somehow knocked it out onto the carpet and that was the end of that... until I eventually had it redone.
...when I originally was at the tattoo/piercing shop to get it done, there was another customer who wanted to watch me get it done so he could "feel the pain." He then got both of his nipples pierced at the same time. ouch.

Next, I ended up getting my eyebrow pierced with my then best friend.



The eyebrow piercing lasted a couple of years. In that time, I had my nose re-pierced.

I had my nose pierced through half of college + all three years of grad school + a good year after school.

The whole time I had my nose pierced and with a nose ring, I did not have a hard time finding employment or being regarded as professional until...

In June (or July of 2013), I had an interview from hell where the woman described the company as being "conservative" and constantly bashed the fact that I had a nose ring even though early on in the interview I stated I would have no problem taking it out since I would be in fact "representing their brand." What's ridiculous is I was dressed professionally (it was actually a second interview with this company) and here, she was wearing skin tight white jeans, a plaid shirt that was buttoned down revealing her cleavage and her eyebrows were drawn on poorly.

Some people need to review what dressing conservative is, especially in a business atmosphere. Here I had worked both in the educational field and in retail and they didn't have a problem with my piercing because I was good at my jobs.

So in August, I took out my beloved Nose Ring. The more I thought about it, I did it for these reasons:
...Because I realized it was just an accessory.
...Because I realized I shouldn't let people judge me over a small piercing.
...Because my career couldn't be defined over a piece of jewelry.

I no longer have any "body piercings," only my ears and a cartilage piercing in the top of my left ear.

Do you have any piercings?
Have you ever judged someone because of a piercing?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Sketchbook Pages

If you saw my I'm Not a Quitter post a few days ago, you're probably wondering what else is in my sketchbook.

I planned to work some more in my sketchbook today but since my fatigue is real (yes, Baby M still is taking his time arriving)...

Here are some more spreads to share before I go take a nap:


Bat Boy, Graphite, Construction Paper, Marker


Two Beetles, Marker, Watercolor, Collage


Things in My Left Coat Pocket, Ink, Graphite, Watercolor

All of these are towards the beginning of the sketchbook.
You'll be seeing more beetles and triangles popping up throughout.

Do you have any sketchbook and/or journal pages up somewhere I can view?
Feel free to leave a link in the comments.

I'm off to nap now. ;)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Waiting...



Well, today is Baby M's due date and here I am waiting.
Patiently and Impatiently at the same time.

So far I've had a good day, spending time with family and trying to relax.
I visited with my Grandparents and had lunch with my Parents and Uncle.

Tofu Pad Thai and Snow Pea leaves with garlic.
And Baby M, you should know that you started kicking like crazy when I finished.

I'm currently listening to music to keep my mind off of thinking about if/when the baby is coming.
I've had a lot of mixed feelings on the thought of being induced and by mixed I mean...
I'm super uncomfortable with the thought.

I really don't want to be induced, I want natural contractions.

Here is one of the songs from the playlist:



"Jesus Christ" by Brand New always leaves me feeling calm.

I'm going to go wait some more in hopes that you show up soon little guy, the suspense is rough.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A letter to Baby M



My little guy's due date is tomorrow and I'm hoping we get to meet him shortly.
I'm growing very impatient.

I thought I would write him a letter to tell him bits and pieces about my pregnancy, so here goes nothing:

Baby M,

I've never been so excited to meet someone in my life. I apologize in advance for being forgetful sometimes, which is why I'm trying to document the little things in advance.

Here is a list of some things you may want to know, in no particular order.

1. We first found out of your existence in May.
Your father was so excited, he hugged and hugged me...and told me how much he loved me.

When we first told your grandparents, we were at their house for a dinner of steamed crabs.
My mom thought we were joking.
Don't worry Grandpa told her we wouldn't joke about such a thing and she started hugging your dad.

2. The first time I felt you move was at a Baltimore Orioles game over the summer.
I told your dad I felt weird, got up and walked around while my stomach felt like it was fluttering away.
Dad just reminded me you were excited about the baseball game. Let it be known you also made me sick several times on the monorail over the summer going to and from said baseball games.

3. We kept you a secret.
I was really good about keeping my mouth shut about being Pregnant till September. You'll learn now that Mom is pretty superstitious.

4. Daddy got really excited when we saw you were a boy during the ultrasound.
I'm serious, he clenched his fist and yelled "YESSSS! I love you babe!"
I laughed, the technician looked mortified.

5. It took us a while to decide on your name. You were named after relatives on your Great Grandfather's (maternal) side.
All the M's in your names come from your Great Great Grandfather and your Great Great Uncles who perished during the Holocaust. We did this so you'd realize the amazing linage you came from...strong men with great values who would do anything for their families.

We originally wanted to name you a different first name, but your Great Grandma wasn't having it and I couldn't live with the fact that I was making her blood pressure going up.

6. During my pregnancy, we ate a lot of carrots, blueberries and guacamole.
I joked that you would come out bright orange.

7. You're coming into a family of collectors.
Take care of your Grandma's Sea glass collection, your Mom's art/art collection and your Dad's baseball card and music collection. These are our treasures to give to you when we're gone.

8. When your Uncle (your Mom's brother) found out about you, he promised you two things.
First, a college savings fund and Second, a lifetime membership to the NRA.
I cringed at the NRA comment, please no guns.

9. Your maternal grandparents started buying you things that aren't age appropriate already.
I promise, you don't need that go-kart just yet.

10. You're lucky enough to have a massive electric drum set in the back of your room and an endless supply of art supplies.
If you want to make music or art, that's fine with us but you'll never be forced to. We want you to do what you love but that reminds me of the new point I wanted to list...

11. "No Liberal Arts!"
Your dad and I have been joking about this all of my pregnancy. Honestly, we'll support you in whatever you choose but we want you to dream big.

12. You were hyperactive in the womb.
Your dad and I constantly watched you move across my stomach, back and forth, up and down.

I was unfortunately in two car accidents where I was rear-ended, 7 months and 8 months pregnant. When we were monitored at the hospital when I was 8 months pregnant, you moved so much you kept knocking the fetal monitor off.

13. You really enjoyed listening to hip hop/rap music in the car.
I assume it has something you do when the beats on the songs but you would go from moving around like crazy leaving work everyday to calming down when I put on the radio and drove.

14. You are very loved.
I sang to you everyday during my pregnancy, making up songs. So did your dad on occasion.

We also had two SURPRISE baby showers. You have more toys than you could play with and more clothes than you possibly could wear.

15. Four year olds were constantly giving you hugs.
Working as an assistant pre-k teacher, I constantly had kids wanting to touch my stomach and tell you hi. They asked when you were coming out everyday and if they could watch. They claimed to feel you moving too.

Well little guy, I'm pretty tired but this letter is just a start to the many things I'm going to tell you over the years. We love you so much and are getting antsy over meeting you (hopefully very very soon).

All My Love,
Mom

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm Not a Quitter (Sketchbook Pages)


Media: Colored Pencil, Gesso, Construction Paper, Watercolor, Marker

At 39 weeks pregnant, I have a massive cold and it's currently snowing outside.
I have patiently been awaiting the arrival of Baby M.

Right around New Years Eve, I remembered that I had not been working on my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project
...it seems as if time (or my pregnancy fatigue) just got the better of me and slipped away.

I was really stressed on the fact that I didn't finish my book.
I previously participated in two of the projects, the Limited Edition Sketchbook Project in 2012 and the 2013 Sketchbook Project.

While I think the project is a bit expensive to participate in, I love the idea of challenging myself to fill a sketchbook for a stranger to view.

The project becomes one big experiment for me, I just try to render any of my first thoughts when I open the book to a new spread of pages.

I spill paint.
I cut things out.
I push around graphite.
I find a way to use that random magazine clipping.
I smear gesso to make the surface take more abuse.

Most importantly, I don't get myself any expectations. I just make.


Media: Construction Paper, Markers, Colored Pencil, Found Images, Piece of Old Retail Sticker

Here is the cover of my sketchbook from the 2014 project, that I have decided to not send in.

At first when I made the decision to keep my unfinished book, I felt like I was throwing in the towel.
However, my sweet husband convinced me that I deserve to keep my hard work and not to rush finishing something that can be so personal as a sketchbook.

I'm not a quitter because I plan to finish this sketchbook, my sketchbook, on my own time.

Here is the most recent image that I completed on Sunday:


Media: Gesso, Colored Pencils, Washable Markers, Graphite, Construction Paper, Watercolor

I've currently been inspired by an image of beetles as you can see in the above works, let's see where that takes me.

I'm going to enjoy the rest of my day, stay warm where you are and make something!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Six Perks of Teaching Four Year Olds



For those that don't know this yet, I really love my job.
I'm an assistant Pre-K and after school Teacher and every day offers new challenges.
This week, I thought of a few perks to my job and I thought I would share them with you, so here goes nothing:

Six Perks of Teaching Four Year Olds

1. There are always lots of hugs.
Always. There are always little hands/arms grabbing around your waist or legs to show affection, tell you hello or followed along with lines like this:

"Huggies, Huggies, Hugs!!!"
"Ms. Jenn, I didn't get enough hugs today."
"Ms. Jenn, I MISSED YOU!"

How can you not have a good day when you're constantly receiving hugs from cute kids who are super happy to see you?!

2. They love giving you compliments. Seriously.
I get compliments from my students all week long such as:

"I really really really like your nail polish."
"Ms. Jenn! I really like your hair and your dress...and your shoes... and your earrings!"
"You know what? You really use scissors good."
"That's a really pretty dress, my mom has one like that too!"

Positive reinforcement, all the time!

3. They're total dreamers.
As far as picking out life goals, they are constantly shooting for the stars. Like this conversation:

Me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Little Girl: "A doctor so I can give people socks."
Me: "You want to be a doctor so you can give people socks? I don't know any doctors that give people socks."
Little Girl: "No shots! I want to give people shots."
Me: "Why?"
Little Girl: "So they can feel better!"

4. These kids are fearless.
It's refreshing at that age to see their own can do attitudes. Even though they are barely reading they're constantly having conversations like this with me:

A: "Ms. Jenn, I can't wait to start taking my driving lessons."
Me: "Oh, A those won't happen till a long time for now."
A: "What's a long time? Two years?"
Me: "Try twelve more years."
A: "Awwww man! That is a long time."

5. They say the funniest things.

One kid recently said to another: "Whoa, I totally feel my blood pressure going up."
I then had to explain to a group of them what blood pressure is and how it's measured (with a fisher price toy).

Another recent gem:
K: "Yay Ms. Jenn! You're having a baby soon and then you can get married and live happily ever after."
Me: Showing her my rings. "See I am already married."
K: "Ohhhhh. Ohhhhkay."

L: "Ms. Jenn, I just wanted to tell you I'm feeling totally out of control today."

While working on the letter W:
Me: Pointing to a picture of a worm. "What is this animal? It starts with a W sound."
G: "A Snake!!"

They are a constant reminder to not take life so seriously.

6. They love any occasion to celebrate.
They get excited over every holiday (even minor ones) and endless birthdays.

This is followed along with an abundance of decorations and all of junk food within the classroom.
Last week, there were glitter cupcakes. Yes, GLITTER CUPCAKES. They were absolutely delicious.



That's all for now, I plan on sharing more fantastic quotes from my students throughout the year.
Have an awesome week everyone!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tu B'Shevat Crafts: My Tu B'Shevat Garland



This past Sunday, my 2nd Grade Sunday School students made decorations for the Jewish Holiday Tu B'Shevat which is coming up on January 15th.

I like to compare Tu B'Shevat to Arbor Day.
In the beginning of the lesson, we talked about how the holiday takes place on 15th day of Shevat (Hebrew Month).
Tu B’Shevat is also known as the birthday of the Trees.

I asked my students if they have ever planted any trees. ..
We then had a discussion about if they know how to identify how old a tree is and the gifts that trees can give us.

Utilizing the fruit from trees as a commandment in the Torah:
For the first three years of a tree’s life, you may not eat it’s fruit. During the fourth year, it’s fruit must be given to God. Only when a tree is five years old may you eat it’s fruit.”

After our discussion, students made paper trees and Tu B'Shevat Garlands for Decorations.
Materials used: Construction Paper, Markers, Scissors, Glue, Yarn, Tape

In the example garland I made I used the following foods representative of Tu B'Shevat:
•Pomegranates
•Dates
•Figs
•Peaches
•Plums
•Barley
•Wheat
•Olives
•Oranges
•Almonds
•Grapefruit





Then my students got creative, here are two examples:





Another successful Sunday School craft!
Hope you all are having a lovely week so far...

Happy Tu B'Shevat to those who celebrate!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

7 Things I'm surprised by in my First Pregnancy


Almost Seven months pregnant vs. 35 weeks.

Today, I am officially Thirty-seven weeks Pregnant. Wowza.

I'm at the point where I'm really excited to meet our little Baby M
...I mean I was already really excited, now I'm just having trouble waiting.

There have been so many things going on with my first pregnancy that have surprised me, I thought I would share them.

1. How much my maternal instincts have kicked in already.
This is the thing that has surprised me the most. I'm constantly thinking about all things to keep my unborn baby safe and hopefully happy. I partially attribute this to being in two car accidents (where I wasn't at fault) in November and December. I've never been so scared in my life, mainly because all I could think about was if Baby M was okay as I was on my way to the hospital after the second accident.

Luckily, this little guy is a warrior.

2. I guess in the beginning, I didn't realize how much I would feel him move around.
Baby M is one is little hyperactive boy. The first time I felt him move I was around 13-14 weeks pregnant and we were at an Orioles baseball game. I remember grabbing to feel my stomach thinking "what in the world is going on?"

This kid kicks, punches, dances and moves around all the time. It seems like he can't sit still, like his father.
We've had fun so far guessing if he'll like playing sports and if so...what kind?

3. Those Pregnancy Cravings which I didn't think they were real.
I've been craving spicy things and I've really wanted Guacamole, Mexican Food and sour/tart things like lemons, oranges and Grapefruit juice. Now, I love all of those things without my pregnancy but I seriously had a distaste for grapefruits before my pregnancy. It's almost as if my tastebuds changed.

4. How much my feet would hurt (and still hurt).
At this stage of my pregnancy, I am still working full time at both my full time and my part time teaching jobs. I'll face it, I'm a little bit crazy for that one. However, keeping active at work has kept my mind and body engaged. I'm lucky enough to have a very sweet husband who rubs my feet before I go to bed.

5. How emotional I become over the little things, thanks pregnancy hormones.
I got super emotional when I came home to find Baby M's sheets in his crib. In that moment, it's like I almost saw him in there sleeping away.

In more ridiculous situations, I've also got emotional over fatigue, my dry skin and the weather.

6. How much people try to touch the Baby Bump.
This one throws me off pretty much every time. I'm not against people touching my stomach, I just wish they would ask first. Sometimes, I assume Baby M is tired and just wants to be left alone.

7. How excited my husband and I get when going to the doctor.
Even though many of the things are unpleasant and I get anxiety every time we arrive in the office, there is just something about hearing his little heartbeat that makes us both smile and smile.



Baby M, I can't wait to meet you.
In just a short amount of time, we will be spending lots of time together.

Moms, is there anything that surprised you in your pregnancy experience(s)?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why I don't do Resolutions



Happy 2014 friends!

I've never been one to make a list of Resolutions for the New Year.
Mainly because, I think you're probably setting yourself up for disappointment when you don't complete said list. I also think many people set unrealistic expectations for themselves.

We all know what kind of things we're capable of so we shouldn't set the bar too high.

For 2013, I had ideas of things I wanted to accomplish but I wouldn't call them Resolutions.
Some of those things were really simple like:
•Driving More Traffic to my Blog.
•Getting my Blog Design Changed.
•Quitting my Crappy Job and finding something better I love to do.
•Eating right during my Pregnancy (we’re almost to our due date!)
•Start Drawing more.
•Spend more time with my parents.
•Go on lots of adventures with Jason.



I'm happy to say I accomplished all of the things listed above.

In 2014, I just hope to spend lots of time with my husband, family and Baby M.

Some of the other things I plan to do:
•Keep Blogging but mainly only when I have something to show or say. No filler here.
•Come up with some new recipes Jason loves.
•Create more in my sketchbook just for me.
•Search for Seaglass with my Mom more, which means I need to get some good rubber boots.
•Make friends with more bloggers.
•Try to keep our house more organized.
•Keep up on doing our laundry on a schedule, not until it all piles up.



I hope you all have an amazing 2014.
Do you have any New Years resolutions? Feel free to link up your post or list in the comments.



Images from this post on Buzzfeed