Babies Babies Babies!!!

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Disclaimer: This was written in APRIL and I forgot to post it. Obviously, some of these babies have been born and are super adorable!!!

 

OH MY GOODNESS! It’s babies galore up in here! An old friend, Sarah had her baby two weeks ago Saturday, Jen had her baby that following Monday, and Kristen had hers on Friday! Congratulations to all the new mommies! And let’s not forget Meg, Melissa,Rachel and Liz all due May – October.

All these babies make my ovaries start to ache, HAHA! I was chatting with Melissa earlier tonight and it made me think. I wrote about my favorite things in my last post but there a few things that we really like that I didn’t mention.

Our humidifier is great. Not only is it cool mist but it also plays “music.” We leave it on the white noise option. I don’t think it takes more explanation.

Britax B-Safe Infant car seat is the one we chose to get. Cole seems really comfy in it and it’s top of the line as far as safety goes. He’s 20 pounds now and I still carry him in it. We have one of those covers that keeps him warm in the cold weather. Which is one of the reasons we’re still using the infant seat and haven’t switched over to the convertible seat. I have to say, my biceps have never looked better!

If you read any of my earlier posts, two of them were about jogging. That’s were the City Mini stroller has come in handy. It isn’t a high end jogging stroller with extra suspension or anything like that. My intention was not to become a runner but to be able to take my son with me when I go for a walk down the street, at the park, and when camping. My family are big campers and I can’t wait to join them again this summer. It’s a super simple stroller to fold. Literally grab a handle and pull. I actually just carried Cole in his carrier in one hand and the stroller in the other up a flight of stairs. That’s how easy and light this thing is!

I couldn’t ask for a better baby monitor than the motorola. It’s fantastic! The battery life is really good. I’ve actually never run out of battery. Then again I don’t carry it around all day. I only use it in the evening. It has the ability to add another camera. So if you have a second or third child you can add extra cameras and it switches between the two.

There are also a few things that you shouldn’t waste your money on. A bottle warmer is not necessary (at least not in our house). We have a keurig coffee brewer that brews hot water pretty quickly. Also, our kitchen water gets really hot. Then of course in the middle of the night it’s “mommy to the rescue,” no bottle necessary. A wipe warmer also falls in the category of not necessary. If they never get used to it they don’t even know! We bought a sterilizer and it sat on our counter top for months never being used. Really, I’m not sure I get the point. You can easily boil water if you don’t want to sterilize in the microwave (which I don’t) but everything can go in the dish washer.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton more stuff that we use and love, but they’re things that you don’t really need recommendations on like our graco pack ‘n’ play, or boppy, or the links that attach to every toy so they don’t hit the ground every two seconds.

If you need recommendations for anything and would like my opinion or want to know what we use, feel free to ask! It’s all about sharing the knowledge. Why not make life a little easier for each other. Why should everyone have to do the leg work on their own? I still suggest you do some research for yourself. I mean, who am I?

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One New Mom to Another

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Back a few years ago when my friends were having the first round of little ones I asked around to see what their favorite or most helpful gifts or items were. Many women had a hard time thinking of what to tell me. I asked again once I got pregnant and got some better responses but still a little vague or obvious like a stroller. Well, duh. So when Cole came along I made sure to keep track of the stuff that was really useful and helpful in those first few months. Well, I’m really glad I did. I have a few friends that are going to be first time moms in the coming months and of course there were showers to go to. I had the perfect gift!

I put together a “basket” for each mommy of my favorite things. I know I’m not Oprah but I’m allowed to give away my favorite things too! Inside I included a note explaining each part of the gift and why it’s such a hit at our house. Here’s the note:

Baby Shower Gift1

From One New Mom To Another.

When I was pregnant I asked a bunch of friends what their favorite/most useful things were. I didn’t get very good responses. So the things in this gift are items that I found the most useful.

The Keep-It Caddy from 31 has been wonderful for keeping a few toys in the living room. They stay contained and our dog Izzy isn’t able to get at them.

The HALO Sleepsack Swaddle was great when Cole was little. When they are so young they don’t have a lot of control of their arms. Cole would wake himself up a lot because his arms would smack him in the face! He was able to wiggle his arms out of the sleep sack but they weren’t going crazy and waking him up.

SUGGESTION: If you choose to use a pacifier – The WubbaNub is FANTASTIC! When he was tiny he would spit his pacifier out and it would roll on the floor, get dirty, get lost, whatever. With theWubbaNub he would spit it out but it would stay put. Now that he’s older and chewing on EVERYTHING he munches on his elephant. It’s really easy for him to hold and manipulate. They’re great for in the car seat too. I put the elephants’ legs in the car seat straps so it would hold the pacifier in place. Now that he’s older he can put it in his own mouth.

Speaking of chewing on things; He LOVES his Innobaby teether! It’s light weight, easy to hold and he’s able to get it in his mouth where he really needs it.

I included something for mommy to chew on too! In the middle of the night when you’re up feeding your little one you will more than likely be hungry too. I found keeping a little basket (or Keep-It Caddy) stocked with snacks was really helpful. Yogurt covered dried fruit individual packs, granola bars, and Wegman’s breakfast bars are the best. They are individually wrapped and easy to eat quickly so I can get back into bed.

The last thing is the half blanket. My friends’ mom made me two of these as well as a couple of blankets. It is perfect for covering up your baby in the swing or car seat, not too bulky. Cole has recently started playing peek-a-boo with his. They are so soft! Cole gets his monthly pictures taken on one of these blankets.

Baby Shower Gift

Tons of people will be offering you advice on how to raise your child. Here’s my two cents and I’m done. Do what you think is best. Your gut will help you figure things out. My mother-in-law said something that has really stuck with me, “You may be new parents, but you’re the experts on Cole. No one else knows Cole like you do.” So I hope you’ll keep those words too. Ask for help when you need it. That’s really hard as a new mom because you want to do everything for your little love. But cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking dinner, feeding the baby and everything else that goes along with being a wife and mom starts to take its toll when you’re not getting to sleep longer than 2 or 3 hours at a time.

Those first few weeks are tough until your little one starts smiling back at you. You can do it. I know you have a ton of people you can call on for help or advice, but please know that I’m available if you have questions or want to know how I did stuff with Cole, or want a different perspective. You know I’m still up like a million times in the middle of the night (it does get better. I promise)…perfect time for Facebook.

Congratulations! Welcome to the wonderful journey as a new mom. You will love it!

NanasComfyShop NanasComfyShop

Jogger Mom Part II

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I completely forgot to update! I did it. I actually “ran” a 5k!!! My husband and son came to cheer me on at the start and be there for me while I passed the finish line.

As I said before, I’m not a runner. I want to be but I’m not. I heard about Johnny’s Annual Run Like Hell 5k and that they were raising money for Mended Little Hearts, which as you know has a special place in my heart now. I was determined to run it even if that meant walking the whole time. I completed the 5k in 39 minutes. Not too shabby for a new mama who hadn’t trained at all.

It’s been a really cold winter and I wasn’t about to take Cole outside. As soon as the weather breaks we’ll be back out taking our walks and “runs” to get ready for another 5k, even if it is Johnny’s Run Like Hell in October. Hey you have to have a goal right?

ohmygoshicantbelieveimfunctioning

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Holy Cow. Being a mom is tough! I knew that but needed to say it. I knew being a mom would take a lot of patience, love, caring, giving of yourself etc. What I didn’t know is that I’d still be doing it all sleep deprived at almost 7 months. I love this little guy to the end of the earth, there is no bound for what I would do for him but MAN! He needs to learn to sleep through the night (STTN)!

Sleeping Cole

He’s tricked us a couple times. He normally sleeps for about 3 hours then wakes up and eats. Well, he figured out that sleeping on his belly is more comfortable. One night he slept for 5 hours and I thought the heavens were opening to shine glorious light down on us. Nope. The next night he was up every 45 minutes to an hour. He did sleep better for a few nights though. Just last Thursday he slept for almost 6 hours. He only woke up once that night and I thought it might be the start of a beautiful thing. Wrong. Up every 45 minutes to hour and a half. That continued for two nights. Then last night? BAM! 6 hours of sleep, he nursed then fell asleep again. 3 hours later he fussed a little but was soothing himself to sleep and that was it! I’m not getting my hopes up anymore. I think he likes to lull us into thinking we’re on a good path just to throw us a curve ball to see what we do. Of course now that we had a good night, we’re going to the doctor for a check up on his ear infection and getting the rest of his vaccines. So obviously whatever might have started with good sleep last night is going to be over.

My friends and family have commented a few times, “I don’t know how you do it,” or “How are you functioning?” I. HAVE. NO. CLUE. This is my new normal. Apparently, my brother-in-law didn’t sleep until he was one. ONE! Oh no, this kid will learn to sleep before he’s one. I might loose my marbles if he doesn’t.

Then again, when this little face smiles up at you in the morning, how can you be tired anymore?

Smiley Guy 2.17.14

****Please keep any and all comments about your child STTN at 3 months old etc to yourself. No need to kick a momma while she’s down (and very tired).

Jogger Mom

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So way back before we knew there was a baby on the way, I was working out. I wanted to run a 5k. It’s a goal that I randomly came up with but became very excited about. Once pregnant I just didn’t have the energy to go to the gym. Well, I’m getting back at it. Cole and I have gone “running” (I use quotations because I’m not sure what I’m doing would be considered running to anyone else), twice now. About two miles in twenty minutes isn’t too bad but it’s certainly not the six minutes and 45 seconds that I was down to before.

My Jogging Buddy

My Jogging Buddy

I really want to get in shape and be a good roll model for my son. I want to be healthy. There’s a 5k fundraiser for Mended Little Hearts coming up in October. Even if I know I won’t be very fast, I still feel the need to run this race as well as help raise money and awareness for this organization. I’ll post the information as soon as I have it in case anyone wants to join me!

#problemsofanewmom

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We went to the pediatrician the other day for Cole’s 2 month check-up. I took him out of his car seat and uh oh! Someone needed a diaper change as well as an outfit change. Somehow, between home and the doctors office, his diaper got so full that there was no more room! As I started changing him he kicked and got his foot in it which then touched the table which he then put his leg on. Oh the problems of a new mom.

We have a very healthy little man! He’s now 25 inches long and a whopping 12 pounds 11 ounces!

Mommy's Big Boy!

Mommy’s Big Boy!

In the late afternoon we had plans to meet up with a friend and her little girl at the park. Just as we were about to leave, someone needed to eat. I won’t name names but it wasn’t me. So of course that made us late. I hate being late! Problems of a new mom.

We had a nice walk along the pier and back to the playground. Just as we got to the playground, Cole started to fuss. I thought he was starting to get hungry so we decided to leave and head home. I took Cole out of his car seat and felt something wet! Second blow out of the day. Into the bathtub he went! He wasn’t fussing because he was hungry, he had poop all the way up his back! I would be fussy too.

Cole’s Story

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One of the happiest days of my life happened in October of last year. I found out that I was pregnant! Waiting for 12 weeks to pass into the “safe zone” before telling anyone is one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever had to do. However tired I felt was nothing in comparison to the wonderful feeling of knowing a life was growing inside of me. 

Our world was turned upside down on February 28th. My doctor called me to inform me she saw some abnormalities in the ultrasound. She scheduled an appointment with a high risk doctor for me a couple days later. 

The high risk doctor, we’ll call him Dr Dan, confirmed that our baby had a congenital heart defect; transposition of the great vessels. Basically, oxygenated blood was going back to the lungs and un-oxygenated blood was going to the body; opposite of what it should be. Of course this was devastating news. The doctor said that with heart defects there’s often other chromosomal issues, so we had an amniocentesis done as well. If there was something else wrong with our baby, we needed to know so we could prepare. Either way, God had this little person picked out for us. Fortunately, after a week of waiting, we were told our baby didn’t have any other issues!

From there, Dr Dan set up an appointment for us with a pediatric cardiologist at Strong Memorial Hospital. My husband and I decided to take another day off of work to digest all the information that was just given to us. There were two paths we could take; be devastated and live in fear or take a troubling situation and try to keep it positive. There were lots of prayers that night and all through the next day. We chose the latter. Competition ensues! Did I mention that we didn’t find out the gender of the baby? From the very start, I was convinced we were having a boy. The hubs however, was sure we were having a girl! We went out to find a little boy outfit and a little girl outfit to have a competition with.  

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The next few months were difficult. We chose to share the fact that our baby had a heart defect only with family for a while. We eventually let our closest friends know what we were going through. The support we received was overwhelming. Prayers were being sent up for our little bean by so many of our loved ones. 

My pregnancy went really smoothly. I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to deal with being sick, swollen, or hurting. I did, however, have to wait an extra 5 days after my due date to meet my baby. 

IT’S A BOY! Our son was born and was whisked away to be checked out by the NICU doctors and nurses. I have no idea how long it was until I was finally able to meet him. It felt like forever.

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Cole was rolled in and I got to hold his hand for about two minutes before they took him away again. That was one of the hardest moments of my life (mind you I had just gone through labor). I didn’t get to see Cole for another five and a half hours and didn’t get to actually hold him for the first time until SEVEN AND A HALF hours after he was born.

The NICU nurses that worked with us were amazing. Erin and Robin were so good to us. They were understanding and helpful. Erin helped me change my fist dirty diaper. Cole was only in the NICU for a day and a half. He was doing so well that surgery was scheduled for the following Monday, 8 days after birth. He was moved to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) because he didn’t need as much watching as some other babies in the NICU. He did still need to be hooked up to monitors so they could make sure there weren’t any surprises.

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Cole was eating so much that he gained an entire pound in 5 days! Which was great. The more he gained and the bigger he was the better for surgery. Cole had open heart surgery on July 29th to switch the vessels to the correct sides. Surgery went very well. The top portion of his lung wouldn’t fully re-inflate so they left his chest open. It was already hard dealing with the fact that he needed surgery but even harder seeing him with an open chest. We couldn’t hold him and it was nearly unbearable to look at him. If that doesn’t make you question yourself as a mother I don’t know what would. The hubs and I had to do “fly-by” visits. We were able to handle seeing him and talking to him for a few minutes. If I stayed for too long, I ended up breaking down and having a really hard time for the rest of the day.

Finally, on Saturday, five days later, the doctors closed Cole’s chest. It was a momentous day. Now they could stop the paralytics and soon take out his breathing tube. We were finally able to hold him again on Monday, August 5th. Our baby started looking like the little boy we knew before surgery. 

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Things started happening very quickly. After the breathing tube came out I was able to start feeding him again. We moved from the bay (open rooms) to a private room. Cole spent another week recovering. He was healing and starting to gain weight again. Finally, he was discharged from the hospital three weeks and one day after birth and two weeks after surgery. The only evidence that he was ever in the hospital was a bandage covering his scab and a daily vitamin that we had to give him. 

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We’ve been home for four weeks now and life is…interesting. We are over the moon to have our little guy home with us. Schedules are…no more. Cole is a really happy baby. We have tons of cuddle time and tummy time and smiles everyday. Now if we could just get this kid to sleep more than two to three hours at a time at night. 

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Hurricane Day!

I never thought I would ever have a “hurricane day” as a teacher in NYS. Yesterday as the school day progressed the wind picked up and the rain came down. By two o’clock all after-school activities for students and staff had been cancelled. By three o’clock I had heard rumor that two school districts on either side of ours had cancelled school for Tuesday. At that point I knew it was just a matter of time before ours was closed. We have more walkers than they do. I was right! At four our district was closed on the recommendation of Monroe County! So today is a day to sit back and relax since I finished all my planning on Sunday. It’s so nice to just cuddle with the puppy and do whatever else I want!

I suppose now is the time that I apologize for my disappearing act. Since the school year started I have been overwhelmed. By the time I get home and play with the puppy, make dinner, and grade some papers I’m so exhausted that it really is time for bed at 8:30. That doesn’t really leave any time for posting. 

I have, however, done a couple of projects and made a few recipes that have been really tasty. But unfortunately, I haven’t been able to keep up with my workout routine. I was sick for a week and then had oral surgery and I’m not allowed to lift anything or bend over.DO NOT chew ice! I did accidentally about 5 years ago and I’ve had to deal with the consequences ever since. Bonus: Not allowed to do laundry! The hubby has been helping me out with that particular aspect of housekeeping, it’s AWESOME!

I will try to be better with posting, promise.

Busier than you would believe!

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Oh. My. Goodness! These first two weeks of school have been INSANE!! Sorry that I haven’t been posting. My days have been filled with work. I’ve continued getting up extra early to head to the gym by 5:15. Whatever I’m doing there in conjunction with weight watchers is absolutely working. I’ve lost gotten rid of 3.5 pounds this last week (and I’m down more this week even though I don’t weigh in until Friday). We’ve been getting to work around 7:20 and staying until about 5 each day. That’s a long day. By the time I cook dinner, clean up, throw in a load of laundry or vacuum the house it’s 8:00 and time to plan. By 9:00 when planning is done I read for a bit and sleep. It doesn’t really leave a lot of time to write. So let me fill you in.

We’ve started playing volleyball at Hotshots again. Rusty Nutz dominated last week with three wins and continued this week shutting out the first team we played and winning two out of three for the second match; we had a double header. It feels sooo wonderful to be back in the sand. I’m feel at home when setting for my team. I wish I could play every night of the week.

Even if I haven’t been writing, I have been cooking. I have two recipes that BOTH make it to the “regular rotation” list to share with you; as well as another recipe we made a few times and a little project. First up: Cherry Tomato & Ravioli Soup from Rachael Ray Look & Cook. 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves crushed or chopped (I like mine minced), salt and pepper to taste, 4 cups of chicken stock, 16 ounces of cheese ravioli (I used Wegman’s brand), 1 cups of whole basil leaves, 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped (make sure you save some for garnishing), a little bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I sprinkled grated over mine but you can shave some off of a chunk).

Here’s the super easy part: in a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes then add the garlic and salt and pepper. Cover it and cook about 10 minutes, shaking occasionally until the tomatoes burst and a thick sauce forms. Add the chicken stock and 2 cups of water. and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Next time I think I’ll try it without the water and see if the broth is a little more flavorful. Add the ravioli and cook for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, wilt the basil in, and stir in the scallions. Serve and garnish with scallions and parmigiano-reggiano. My husband thinks that peas might be a good addition and of course bread is always wonderful. I chose not to add the extra points and temptation to finish a whole loaf. This is 10 points plus but worth every spoonful. I also added a glass of wine.

Cherry Tomato & Ravioli Soup

Tonight we had Pesto Presto Chicken also from Rachael Ray’s Look & Cook. 3 tablespoons of slivered almonds, about a 1/2 cup of basil leaves, 1.4 cup flat leaf parsley, 1 (5.4 ounce) round of Boursin garlic and herb soft cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, salt and pepper to taste, 4 pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 12 slices 1/4 inch thick of vine-ripened tomatoes (about 2 tomatoes).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a food processor combine the almonds, parsley, basil, Boursin cheese, parm, and salt and pepper. Combine until smooth. Butterfly each piece of chicken and pound until about 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Use 1/4 of the pesto mixture in each chicken and fold back over. Top with 3 slices of chicken. Bake for about 20 minutes. I input this recipe to the weight watchers online recipe builder and it’s 11 points plus. I however forgot to drizzle with oil before baking so I’m thinking it’s more like 10 p+. Again I highly recommend this recipe. It’s easy and super tasty!

Pesto Presto Chicken

The other recipe is a glorified grilled cheese. Get some sandwich sized English muffins cut them open and butter the inside. Put the buttered sides down in a frying pan top each with a slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese, melt. I cover my pan  so that the cheese melts better. Then add one slice of beef steak tomato to one half of the English muffin. Top the side with tomato with a side that only had cheese. Let it cook a little longer. Enjoy with a bowl of tomato soup.

Fancy Grilled Cheese

I decided to make another pinterest craft. Get a foam-ish type wreath thing from JoAnn’s ($4.99), some yarn ($2.99), and a little bit of felt ($1). Wrap the yarn around the foam. Be sure not to pull the yarn too tight. Hot glue the ends. Create flowers by cutting out a circle (I traced a coaster). Then cut in spirals. Here’s the tutorial http://www.littlethingsbringsmiles.com/2010/12/felt-fun.html If you’re not in the mood to make one yourself, I’d be happy to make one for you 🙂

Wreath Step 1

Wreath Step 1 Completed

Completed Wreath

Izzy really, really wanted to eat the flowers!

Izzy trying to be sneaky and get a flower

Hopefully I’ll get into a routine that allows me to write more frequently. As it is I should be creating a Smart Board lesson on Union and Intersection for my Integrated Algebra kids. So until next time have a great day!

Welcome Back!

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That’s what I had to say to students walking through my door today. I was genuinely very excited this morning. We have what’s called CREW. This is instead of  traditional homeroom. There are about 15 kids assigned to each CREW teacher. This is in hopes that relationships are developed so that students feel more connected to school and have someone that they have a real connection with. My CREW kids are the BEST! They were awesome today. Fortunately, they do not travel to all their classes together. In my opinion, they would get to clique-y and it would be hard to get them to participate in activities. However, I’m a little sad that some of my CREW kids are in the classes that they are. Two of my afternoon classes are pretty chatty and one of them has SIX kids in it who failed last year. Tell me how it’s fair to put SIX very disruptive (proved it today) students in a class with special needs kids? I have a lot of work ahead of me with discipline in that class. I’m crossing my fingers that my co-teacher isn’t a push-over.

Two battles that I did NOT have to fight today were uniforms and cell phones. The kids can voluntarily turn in their cell phone in the AM and it is returned to them in the PM. However, if they don’t turn it in and it gets confiscated, it’s kept until a parent comes to get it. The eighth graders were 98% in uniform today, and the only time that I need to worry about addressing it is in CREW. So much better than talking to kids who have probably heard the same thing four times before they get to me.

I’ve kept up with going to the gym at 5 am. I’m crazy I know. It seems to work for me though. My “trainer” Tom has me changing things up a little bit everyday. Today I only had a warm up of seven minutes on the elliptical and then moved to the 30 minute circuit with “aerobic movement” in between (squats, lunges, etc). I’m feeling it in my arms especially, a little in my legs, and certain movements make my abs ache all over again. I weigh in again on Friday (lost two pounds last week) I just hope the Pizza Hut last night didn’t kill my progress.

Dinner tonight was very satisfying. What did we have? You will be amazed. Shocked! Awed! Grilled chicken. Yup…chicken. Nate and I each picked our own spices and he grilled them up. So juicy. Nice job baby! On top of my chicken I chose to put a little bit of blue cheese and some Frank’s Red Hot. On the side we had Asian Veggies, stream fresh from the frozen section. Those veggies are now a favorite for us! I know it doesn’t sound like much but the flavors and the portions (1 chicken breast and 1 cup of veggies) were filling and tasty. I wasn’t looking for anything else to eat when my plate was cleaned.

I now have to spend some time typing up the smartboard portion of my lesson for tomorrow. Happy back to school time for anyone with kiddos and good luck to those of you who work with said kiddos.