Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It…with Freebie…Hopefully :)

I haven't been very productive with making things for awhile due to family visits and my trip Outside (the lower 48). This last week I went into my classroom to try to help me get into school thinking mode. It worked! I went and bought new fabric for my white walls and I started placing the big furniture around. I said "good-bye" to my teacher desk as a teacher desk and started thinking about my year with a kidney table. 

I knew I would need one of those fabulous teacher toolboxes! Are you tired of seeing this in Monday Made Its? I'm not! I love to see what everyone decides to put in their drawers and the labels they use. I'm not as crafty as some others when it comes to creating fun labels so I used the labels I found at  Teaching with a Mountain View. You can find all sorts of pre-made labels if you look. 
I'm also not sure what to put in the last two little drawers so I am going to leave them and see what accumulates that needs a home. :)

 I also decided I needed a shelf or table of some sort for my toolbox and phone. I found this table at WalMart. I "made" it all by myself! I was pretty proud :) It may be too deep for the space I am wanting, but if it is I have a couple of other places I can probably use it. 

My brain kept spinning and spinning and thinking about things that I necessarily couldn't complete right away and it was driving me crazy! I am one that if I write it down, I can usually calm down and leave it alone. I decided to make a Back to School checklist. This has already helped me focus on what I can accomplish now and what I have to talk to other people about first.

Finally….. a freebie!! I do not have a TPT shop and don't have plans of opening one. I don't think I'm the type that could handle that and my family in my time out of work. The blog is enough for me. :) However, I may create some basic thing every now and then for me, so why not share? Please let me know if you are able to actually download this. I'm using dropbox and I'm not quite sure how this works sharing with the public. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday Snapshots {July 26}

Kasila hanging with her great grandparents! The lighting isn't good but you do what you can with a  phone camera and a toddler. :)

Such a good helper...

She ended up with her own seat and we both enjoyed it very much!

I asked her to go stand over there so I could get a picture of her new shoes. She walked over, turned around and said "Cheese!" 
Please excuse the random items on the floor. I'm still recuperating from our travels. :)

Out on our walk… she didn't really want a picture this time.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Into the Classroom...

I've done it. 
I went into my classroom earlier this week and now my brain is constantly thinking about what I need/can/want to do in my new room. I have a new room this year and it is kind of an irregular shape. It's like a rectangle with a corner taken out, I share a folding wall with our 5th grade SPED teach, and I have a skylight with no other windows. 

Before I moved out my teacher desk and a cute little classroom helper

A little bit of progress. 
I am thinking of painting that pinewood shelf that my hubby made me with the left over blue paint from our sandbox. 

Let's play "I Spy"
I spy an old teacher desk being used in a different way….
My custodian is an amazing man and he asked if I would be able to keep my room because he doesn't have a place to store it right now. So I did what I could to keep him happy because you know, he is my best friend at school. :) 

These are for my bulletin boards. I'm super excited about this color! It's bright enough to be happy but not overwhelming.

I'm also busy thinking about what else I can do for Monday Made It. I have one little project done but we'll see if I get another. 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I'm Wearing, Wordless Wednesday {July 23}

Are you country or city at heart? 

  This dress was my splurge during my trip, but it was still a great deal.  This was from Gordmans ($35), which I guess is similar to a little bit nicer Ross. I love this dress for a few reasons, but the main reason is that it is a maxi dress with sleeves! Because of my religious beliefs, I don't wear sleeveless clothing. All my other maxi dresses I have to wear a shirt under or a cardigan over. Sometimes that's not the most comfortable thing. 

I love this detail too! It makes it so that it doesn't show every line underneath the dress.

I could't leave out my little girl and my nephew this time. They are ready for church! Baby K is wearing an adorable smocked dress made by my grandmother. All the white embroidery on the smocking and the tatting on her collar was done by hand. 
Nothing beats good quality homemade with love!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Traveling Baby Stories & Tips

*Super Long Post Warning*

I just got back from 2 1/2 weeks with my family in Eastern Oregon. Baby K and I flew by ourselves, which I was slightly nervous about, but everything went well. This was her 4th trip, bringing her total of takeoffs/landings to 14 due to stops and layovers. Each trip was a different experience and I thought I could share some insights and tips to flying with an infant. I do want to note, that these are just things I learned from my experiences and may not work for everyone.  (There may be some TMI but you never know unless people share.)

Trip #1: 
Age: 6 months
Bottle fed pumped breastmilk (she never nursed)
2 Adults, 1 lap infant, Coach 
Flight: Anchorage to Seattle (3 1/2 hr with 1 1/2 hr layover) Seattle to Boise (1 1/2 hour)

I had a baby carrier to wear, but you can't "wear" your baby during take offs and landings. By the time I could put her in the carrier, she was passed out and it difficult to move around to position her. I ended up just holding her. I never fed her during the take offs and landings like I had read. She usually fell asleep prior or was looking out the window. We did not take a stroller or carseat with us. We were traveling to my family that had my nephew's old car seat we could use. This made it easier for us with using carry on luggage. I didn't carry a diaper bag. I put what I needed into outside pockets of the carry on. I also had my breast pump as a carry on. We fed her on the way to the airport and then I pumped during our layover in Seattle. Bigger airports should have a Mother's room/lounge. Seattle's is near the play land area. We also waited to board until almost the end instead of the early boarding. This gave her more time to move freely before being confined to our laps. Having 2 adults and her being small made us able to do so without causing havoc when we did board later.

TIPS from TRIP #1: 
-Research the airport(s) you will be visiting. Find out what amenities they have for mothers and children.
-Choose a window seat if you don't think you'll need to get up to change a diaper. That way you have an arm rest and the side of the plane to help prop your arm/baby.
-Have all breast milk out and easy to access for the TSA. It doesn't have to follow the 3oz rule but they do have to wave a little paper over it.
-If you are using a pacifier, get a clip/keeper. You don't want to be digging for it on the floor of a plane. It's crowed and just yucky.
-TMI ALERT: If you are able to, keep your most recent pumping of milk out so you don't have to worry about warming milk on the plane. It keeps for a few hours at room temperature before going bad. 
Check here for milk storage guidelines.

Trip #2: 
Age: 7 months
Bottle fed pumped breastmilk (she never nursed)
2 Adults, 1 lap infant, 1st class one way, Coach one way 
Flight: Anchorage to Salt Lake City (4 1/2 hrs)

First Class? I'll take it! This was a last minute trip due to family stuff and when looking at the price/miles of 1st class versus coach, 1st class was actually a little cheaper for one way! It was pretty nice. We had bigger seats and dinner served to us! Dinner was kind of interesting because of Baby K. She wanted to grab all the food. Overall, it was a pleasant flight. I think some of the other passengers weren't too excited to see a baby up there, but no one said anything. This was a daytime flight, while all other had been nighttime. It was nice to have the bigger seats and only 2 wide. It gave Kasila a little more room to wiggle around without me having to worry about bumping the person with the aisle seat. THis trip we had to bring her infant carseat with us. We gate checked it. Since we didn't have a layover, it wasn't a hassle to carry it around in the airport. We would have just checked it all together, except we didn't put a cover over it and I had read stories about getting back broken car seats. I was nervous about our flight home. It was a long, nonstop flight home and we were in coach in the very back where the seats don't recline. While at the airport, we went up the counter by the gate and was going to gate check our carseat again. The ticket agent was extremely nice and looked at our seats. The flight wasn't full and so he said we would be able to have the middle seat open. We ended up bringing our carseat on board with us. It was probably the most pleasant flight we've had with her! Kasila sat in her carseat and both my husband and I were able to be as comfortable as you can be on a plane. We gave her some snacks and she fell asleep. Neither of us had to hold her and we were also able to sleep. Yippee! 

TIPS from TRIP #2: 
-If you can afford it, an extra seat does wonders. I know that kids under 2 fly free as a lap infant, but sometimes that extra cost is totally worth it. I would say especially if you have a wiggly kid. The carseat is familiar and *most* kids seem to fall asleep while in the car in their carseat, why not a plane? 
-If you can't afford an extra seat and need to bring the carseat with you, ask the counter agent if it's a full flight. The worst that can happen is that is full so you have to hold your little one like you were already planning on doing. 

Trip #3: 
Age: 9 months
Bottle fed pumped breastmilk (she never nursed)
2 Adults, 1 lap infant, Coach
Flight: Anchorage to Seattle, Seattle to Great Falls, MT with a stop in Helena

Off to a friend's wedding! This was another trip we brought the car seat and had a layover. We checked 1 bag and did as much as we could with our carry ons. I still had my breast pump in addition to our small carryon size luggage and Baby K's infant car seat, which we gate checked again. Not much changed on this flight. We didn't do much different than previously. I didn't bother with the baby carrier. We also had baby food in a pouch for Baby K to eat. Baby food from a jar/container & spoon = no fun, a big mess, and more you have to pack. By this point, Kasila had just started walking and wasn't too excited to just sit there for a few hours. We luckily had a window seat and she loved to watch what was going on outside. 

TIPS from TRIP #3: 
- Pouch food if you baby will eat it! We really like the Plum brand. There was a huge variety of veggies that doesn't come in the containers or that I would likely buy to prepare. If you make your own baby food, there are reusable pouches you can get. We got ours at Wal-Mart.

Trip #4: 
Age: 19 months
1 Adult, 1 lap infant, Coach
Flight: Anchorage to Seattle with a 5 hour layover on the way down, 1 hour on way back, Seattle to Boise

Man was I nervous for this trip! It was just Baby K and me. I checked 2 bags (free thanks to Club 49), bought an umbrella stroller to take, and carried one backpack as a carry on. I had help getting checked in and to security but from there to the end, I was on my own. This was a last minute flight so I had an aisle seat. Yay. *sarcasm* I boarded near the end, ignoring the call for those with kids. I knew I didn't have anything to put in the overhead bins  since I was gate checking the stroller, so I'd just sidle into my seat. Kasila was not asleep even though it was past her bedtime. She is extremely friendly and luckily, so were the people sitting around us. Even so, it was a night time flight and people wanted to sleep. I did pull out a DVD player and her favorite movie, Frozen. She watched about half of it and then I shut it off and turned her around to put her head down. Luckily, she went to sleep for the remainder of the flight. The backpack was kind of bulky because I tried bring anything I could think of to help entertain her if need be. Getting it put together to unload while trying to keep her asleep was kind of difficult. I was so grateful for the lady next to me. She helped me zip it closed, which is really difficult one handed on a big bag. 

Then began our five, yes FIVE hour layover. Ugh! I figured she'd just sleep in the stroller and I could nap since we were in the Seattle airport from 2:00am until 7:30am. No such luck. She woke up while we were getting off the plane and then was absorbed with everything going on around her. It was new and exciting. I thought if we walked around a little bit, she'd crash in the stroller. Nope. After about an hour, I was not the happiest of people. I finally decided to go check out the children's play area. Someone was trying to sleep (weird place to sleep if you ask me) and I wanted to sleep too. Then a bright idea hit me! The mother's lounge! It was dimly light and a small enclosed area that Kasila could run around in but not get too far away from me. Perfect! It wasn't most comfortable place as it just had old wood rocking chairs but it was quiet. I put Curious George in the DVD player and ended up taking a nap while Baby K watched. One of the times I woke up, I shut it off and made her put her head down. Finally, she crashed! I laid a blanket down on the super hard floor (sorry baby) and laid her down. Then I was able to sleep a little bit more. When we were ready to go, I slipped her into the stroller with her blanket and headed to our gate. I really became thankful for that stroller. I didn't have to hold her when she was sleeping and when they made a mistake on the main board as to which gate I had to be at, I was able to move quickly to the correct one. 

This next flight was great. It was a small plane, only 2 seats wide and the seat next to me was empty. I laid the little miss out and we both had some nice naps.

The trip home was pretty uneventful. I did haven an extra bag as a carry on though thanks to all the great shopping and spoiling of Kasila. :) I put everything I didn't need to get to in the backpack and then had a smaller bag with my wallet and the things to help entertain Baby K. I ala carted the backpack and stroller for the first flight so I only had the small bag with me on the plane. It did wonders for leg room! We had a window seat this time, so I loaded early like they asked. I watched as passengers loaded. I was hoping no one would sit next to us. A nice lady sat down and I was slightly disappointed but that happens. I happened to ask the flight attendant if there were any double seats open. After everyone board, there was! The nice lady next to me offered to move so I didn't have to move Kasila and our bag since she only had a book. It was fabulous! Kasila also made friends with the people sitting behind us. She liked to show them what she drew on her Magni-Sketch. Eventually, I pulled out the DVD player again with Curious George and she watched it until she decided to push it aside and lay down and go to sleep. She ended up sleeping clear the unloading, layover , the whole next flight, the drive home and after until 6am. (It was another nighttime flight). I decided to ask for my last flight if they were doing courtesy checks. The agent initially said probably not but after I mentioned that I would like to get rid of the backpack since I had a toddler she told me that they could do that for me. I was relieved! I didn't want to worry about the overhead bin while she was sleeping. 

I had a lot of people offer to help me. Whether it was getting things out of my bag, closing/opening her stroller, carrying Baby K in her stroller up/down stairs, or even helping cover her with her blanket when the wind blew it off while boarding. It was pretty refreshing actually. :)

TIPS from TRIP #4: 
-Check as much as you can and only take the essentials as carry on.
-An umbrella stroller is a great help! It saved my back and gave me some freedom to move around and use my hands. 
-Don't be afraid to ask if certain things are available, all they can do is say no. If you don't expect it to start with, you can only gain from your questions.
-Be friendly! *Most* people like kids, or at least will be congenially. Acknowledge them, at least with a smile.
-Don't expect any help, but be willing to take it if it's offered. People who offer are willing to help, if they don't offer then they don't want to. Kind of obvious really. Don't let your pride get in the way.

You still with me? So, this is a really long post! Sorry! Overall, I've learned that every trip is different but if you are prepared to just do what you can then you will be ok. People were mostly pleasant and even if she cried, which she did do a little bit, no one said anything. I am so glad that I didn't let the stress of traveling overwhlem me and that I've been able to take my little girl different places. Our days of flying with her as a lap infant are over but I definitely think that at 2, they need their own seat! I'm looking forward to the other adventures we can go on with our little family!

If you have any questions about my experiences, please ask. I am willing to share. Good luck to you on your adventures!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Snapshots {7.19}

Just a few pictures I've snapped while visiting family. 

This pretty much sums up the relationship between my daughter and my nephew. Kasila is lucky and has some great cousins on both sides of the family 

This sight just says "Home" to me. The Butte, farm fields and open sky. Love it!

Kasila loves to wave. She also loves cows! She is totally a country girl at heart, not that I ever doubted she would be.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What I'm Wearing Wednesday: {7.16}

I've been pretty quiet as I am still hanging out in Eastern Oregon with my family. Today is a super chill day ending with a family fish feed with salmon and halibut I brought down from Alaska. Normally my hubby is the cook but I guess I get the honors this time around since he's off on a boat somewhere around the Alaska Peninsula. I have had fun shopping at a bunch of stores that is not in AK. :)

It's pretty warm here (102 degrees to my normal mid-70s) so I was looking for shirts I could wear now and for teaching. I'm a pretty casual dresser. I don't really like slacks so I also looked for pants that weren't jeans but still comfy and cute. Here are a couple of my scores:

Shirt: PerSeption Concept from Gordmans.  {OOPS... I went shopping to so many stores, I messed up. This is actually from Ross.} This shirt is super comfy jersey that is light enough to wear to in the heat and nice enough to wear to school. ($10)
Skinny Pants: Rue 21 I'm new to the skinny pants scene, but I really liked these pants. They aren't perfect but I love the color and their price. They were on sale or clearance or something because I got three pairs in different colors and each had their own price. $5, $3, and $2. Who could pass that up!? 

Another shirt from Gordmans  Ross (American Dream brand) that is lovely for the heat and cute enough for the classroom. ($6)
The shorts I think I bought last summer down here and that was the last time I wore them too. I don't wear shorts, like ever, back home. It's either too cold or too many mosquitoes. 

I'll be posting a couple of the things I got from Gordmans. It's still an awesome store. :)

On other note, I did find out that the shift of classrooms at my school has started. That means that I can go kind of start setting up my room when I get back home. Yay! I'm pretty excited. I'm planning on taking a lot of my piggies and finally putting them in my room. It's going to be a good time! 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Five for Five: Americana

Who doesn't love a trip to your local reindeer farm? They are extremely friendly, especially if you have food in your hands. :)

We said goodbye to my parents and nephew earlier this week. However this time is a short goodbye. It was pretty adorable though! My almost 5 year old nephew even let Kasila give him a kiss on the cheek! We leave tonight to fly down to Oregon and see them again!


Miss Baby K got herself some new *kid friendly* headphones!  The package came open while we were in the store so she just had to try them on. Luckily, she really likes them! I can't remember the brand or anything but they are from Walmart and keep the decibel level down. I'm hoping that Kasila will sleep the whole flight (it's a red-eye) and I won't need to bust them out. 

This was her trying to help and motivate me to get packing. It just wasn't happening. 

4th of July! This one deserves more than one picture. I just joined our Auxiliary and they put on a BBQ for the fire fighters and their family after the parade every year. We went down to help even though my hubby is out on a work assignment. We also ended up riding in one of the ambulances during the parade. Kasila loved it! She is a waving fool! She's always waving at random people or even empty, parked cars. Being in the parade was a lot of fun for her…and me as I got to see a few of my students. 

All that fun was a little too much for her to handle all of it. She fell asleep about halfway through the route. :)

Well, it's almost time to head to the airport!

Happy Independence Day America!