We were this close

I have been hiding something from James.  Back in summer I bought tickets to see Katy Perry. Katy Perry, the singer of James’s favorite song, Roar. I knew he would be so pissed if he found out.

My friend Laura is a big Katy Perry fan (“no one is bigger than Katy Perry” she maintains) so she emailed me and a few other people who solely listen to 95.7 in Houston.  I would not have called myself a giant Katy Perry fan, but what else would I have been doing on October 10th? Putting children to bed? Getting yelled at by James? No thank you. I decided I preferred to be with thousands of other people’s children.

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You guys, it did not disappoint. Laura got us tickets on the fifth row. FIVE ROWS FROM KATY PERRY. I had no idea. But, when you go to a pop star concert at 36 you might as well be on the 5th row. You can finally afford it. So can these gentlemen who arrived with their twenty-something “girlfriends” and sat in the 4th row.

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I don’t know why I have not been sitting that close my entire life. I mean, I do, but having done it, I totally should have used my rent money to get closer to the Indigo Girls. We could see the sweat on her dancers and got hit with so much confetti.

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And because I am 36 I can also afford all the Katy Perry merchandise I want, like this “shirt” that I call a sleep shirt. Who would wear that in public? It is like a super short dress but too long for a shirt. I do not understand these teenagers. But I love their music.

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And my children love the Katy Perry flashing wands I purchased them. They flash and strobe and you can wear it around your neck. Again, what teenager would want this? My five and three year olds think they are light sabers and love them.

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I recorded her singing Roar for James and he lit up when watching it. Luckily he didn’t understand that I got to see her this close and he didn’t.

Everyone needs a monogrammed pumpkin

And some greenery to nestle it in. Clearly.

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Last year around this time I was gifted with the cutting machine that would change my life. I know I am prone to exaggeration, but not this time. When my friend Courtney asked if I wanted her Silhouette machine I had no idea how much I would love it or use it. As in, I use it all the time.

Since she would not let me pay her for it, I made her a monogrammed pumpkin. How else would one say “thank you”?

Then, I made myself a little one to go next to my purple skeleton head and glass jar of more mini-pumpkins on the mantle. Alex just pretended like his life was not happening. But it is, ALEX. You have a purple glass skeleton head on your mantle.

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This year, I made one for my sister as you know I don’t like for her to be left out/she needs more decorations.

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And for my friend Maria. She is part of the Blue Pumpkin Project, which raises awareness of kids with food allergies. I love how the pumpkins look together!

If you don’t have a monogrammed pumpkin, now is the time to get one. The fake pumpkins are on sale at every craft store and the vinyl letters are so inexpensive on Etsy.

I thought it was a good idea

Zach has been in school now for six weeks now. Part of me can’t believe it has been that long and another part of me is already ready for a break. This getting up early thing is for the birds. Well, when you have grumps in the morning it is. Like myself.

It takes the boys about five minutes to really wake up. There is the turning on of the lights and me shaking them, but after about five minutes they are fully awake. And talking. On the other hand, it takes me like an hour to be awake. I am not exaggerating. I am actually being generous with the hour statement.

So I try to put on a “mommy is awake face” (I don’t ask for comments on how that is going) and push on. They get up, get dressed and then eat breakfast. At 7:30, breakfast has to be done to get shoes on, brush teeth and head to the garage.

Where we get on the bikes.

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Anyone who talked to me during the summer, knows how excited I was to bike to school. I can’t remember why now.

I have a bike trailer which James rides in, but not happily. Every. Single. Morning, he cries that he does not want to go. Please keep in mind we are a 4 minute ride from the school. We ride there, walk Zach in and ride back. it is like 15 minutes tops. Then we come back and James gets to play or watch a show before his school starts at 9. It does not matter. Every day, without fail, James will have a fit about some part of our morning routine. Most mornings I fly down our driveway with him screaming about how he does not want to go. People are going to start thinking I am a kidnapper.

One morning I decided to Love and Logic him with acceptable consequences and let him wear his pajamas and no shoes into Zach’s school. He was thrilled. I was not.

So I tried suggesting he ride his scooter home. This, obviously, took about ten minutes of negotiating on where he would be able to get out of the trailer (not on the street near school with all the traffic) and if he had to wear a helmet (yes).

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Success! This option worked well for a while, we could take all the time we needed to get home, no rushing and it ate up the time between drop offs.

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Then he got tripped up by an acorn, fell over the scooter and that option was done. It was a slight scrape, but you would have thought he broke something. Again, my neighbors might be calling CPS soon.

Plus there is the sweat. Oh my Lord the sweat. You would not think going less than a mile at a casual pace would make a girl sweat – but then you would not know me. This humidity is killing me. When we get home I have to put on all new clothes. Usually just more exercise clothes, obviously.

Then I drive James up to his school for his 9:00 am start time. As you might have guessed – he does not want to go there either. He finally stopped crying two weeks ago. As in, after he had been in school (THE SAME SCHOOL HE HAS ATTENDED SINCE HE WAS ONE) for four weeks. I mean, I love that I am his favorite and clearly he knows something the rest of you don’t and wants to hang out with me all the time, but dude, cut a mom some slack and be cool. I will be back in four hours.

So by 9:15-9:30 I feel like I have worked out, I have done a ton of negotiating and taken two modes of transportation. I am beat. Just reading this post exhausts me.

But Zach loves to bike. Loves it. I bought him a combination lock which uses a four letter word vs numbers for the code. I set it as one of his sight words he was struggling with and felt like the mom of the universe. Until I had to keep telling him it over and over while sweating at the bike lock. L-I-K-E. I don’t.

I think if I was more of a morning person this would be great. Zach is in a great mood in the morning. He is super chatty and wants to tell me all sorts of things about bugs and poop. I just have a really hard time wanting to hear it at 7:40 am.

But this was totally my idea and he is fully on-board. Plus, we all know I would just be sweating getting he and James in and out of the car in the morning. I am an equal opportunity sweater – Alex is so, so lucky to have me.

And I do like the ride home. While hot and stickyer, I love to hear the things he did that day when they are fresh in his mind. We go slower and chat the whole way. That sort of makes up for the morning. Sort of.

Not just a pretty face

If you are in my moms group (hi friends!) or paid attention my leaving note on my other blog (hi friends with attention to detail!) you have heard that I am starting a small business selling teacher gifts. As one of the husbands said, including mine, what exactly are you doing?

Valid question husbands.

Before I left work, I was forcing encouraging my boss to make this latte card for her daughter’s teachers. She said off-hand that I should start a business selling teacher gifts. I could not imagine taking anything else on at the time, so I just waved the idea off.  Then this past summer my friend Beth, who started selling the Rodan + Fields skin care line, wanted to partner with me to make end of summer gifts for teachers using the R+F sunscreen. We both loved the idea, but seeing as she lives in Baton Rouge, we just could not make it work.

But I decided to do a small test run of making various gifts for the end of the school year. I contacted some moms I know that are too busy for this stuff and/or don’t want to deal with M&Ms in a jar. I created a quick PDF and also had a link to my teacher gift Pinterest board. Everyone really liked the gifts I dropped off at their offices/homes, with instructions for them to take complete credit for it. My friend Allie even sent me some referrals (thank you again Allie!).

You guys, it was fun. I loved it actually.

Oh, but did I mention I sort of forgot to tell Alex about it? Whoopsies. I just felt silly for some reason and thought he would not think it was a good idea, so instead of being a grown up and telling him, I just went about my business (pun intended) and left him in the dark. He did not say ask any questions as to why our kitchen table was covered in bags, beach towels, insulated cups and glass jars. Not a peep. I do love him so for not questioning my crazy crafting. His attempt to avoid my crazy is one of my favorite things about him.

Don’t worry, I did finally tell him, but he insists on referring to it as my super-secret business.

So what am I doing exactly? Well, if you look up on the black ribbon under the heading of the blog, you will see Teacher Gifts.

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There I have my five offerings. The way it works is that you pick which item you would like and I create it for you and deliver it to your work or home. OK, I really could have just led with that sentence and saved you all a ton of time.

Anyway, if you don’t like those offerings or they don’t fit with what you need, you can send me a link to most anything on Pinterest, either on my board or others and I can re-create them for you. And, as always, I deliver!

I also have links to many of the printables here on the blog too. On the right hand side under Blog Categories, you can click either Printables, for all printable things, teacher and otherwise, or Teacher Gifts, which is pretty self-explanatory.

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PS are you loving my use of the Snipping Tool?

That is enough business talk for a while, back to stories of me getting peed on and run out of places.

But when you need a teacher gift, I hope you will think of me!