Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Life Lately...

We're spending the week at my parents' house in Virginia. It is absolutely gorgeous & we're soaking all of the sunshine in. I had to laugh though because I've only been out of school for 5 days & they're setting up the Back to School section at their local Target! I did snag a few things for my new elementary classroom from the dollar spot, but other than that I'm not even close to ready to look at backpacks & notebooks. #ineedmysummer

We're about to head off to hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains this afternoon, but I thought I'd pop in quickly & show you what we've been up to lately! 

Way back last Thursday, we had our last day of school for the year! Comparison photos are my favorite, and this one by the fence shows just how much my little Ella has grown. I cannot believe it was her last day at in-home daycare & she'll be at Pre-K next year. 

And oh Livy, she was such a tiny little thing back in September. Girl is a full on chunk now though! 

These two sweet girls have been at Miss Jennie's for almost 4 years together! Addy is off to pre-school in the fall too, so they're both leaving together. Sidenote - Addy is actually almost 6 months younger than Ella, she's just REALLY tall for her age! 

And my last drop off with two kids in tow... 

On Thursday we had our last faculty meeting of the year, finished packing up our rooms, and then we headed to our big staff BBQ at my best friends house. This was super convenient because I was able to drink with my friends without worry about driving home, since she only lives two blocks away. 

Like all responsible teachers, we had a beer Olympics that included flip cup & beer pong. I was on Team Ireleand and my friends below were on Team Jamaica. I was hired the same year as these two & one left to work at another district, but we're still good friends & I love being together with them! 

On Friday, I had to work a half day for a program I'm running next year, but then we loaded up the car & got on our way to Virginia! Thankfully, my grandma made the trip with us & she was super helpful in keeping the girls happy while I drove. We arrived around 9 pm that night & even though I was ready for bed, everyone was too excited to sleep when we got there! 

The neighbors have so kindly offered their playset to us & Ella has loved it! 

And Livy has been snuggling up with her Gramps as much as possible. She's wearing just a diaper as much as possible too. 

Ella set up a chalk & bubble station off the back porch too - just like at home. 

On Sunday, we had a family BBQ with my uncle & cousins who live in Richmond. Livy was pretty curious about my cousin Tyler, but they were besties by the time he left! 

Monday, we hit up the Country Club! They have a great kiddie pool off to the side, that has a connecting playground. Ella had this whole area to herself, and even though we went to the big pool to swim too, this was her favorite. 

I take that back, the french fries were actually her favorite. #thanksgramps

And yesterday we headed to Tysons Corner Center to do some shopping! We were on the hunt for summer clearance & the last few items that we needed for our vacation to Disney! Of course Ella thought she needed this too... #nothappening 

I did get her this cute sunhat at GapKids though! 

Both of the girls napped for over an hour, so we shopped in peace for awhile. 

We strung the trip out just a bit to avoid rush hour on the way home, but ended up driving in pouring down rain instead. Thankfully, the rain cleared up & we found a Chick-fil-a on the way home...

And this morning, we woke up & went swimming in the back yard! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Lake Life

I'm not quite sure when the transition happened. The Fourth of July used to mean hometown fireworks and family BBQs. These days though, when you mention the Fourth of July, I immediately think of the lake - and I wouldn't have it any other way! We'll be spending this Sunday on Conesus Lake with friends at their annual party and then for the Fourth, we'll head out to Canandaigua Lake to meet up with my sister at her in-law's lake house. While Eric & I are excited, I think Ella is most excited. She absolutely loves the lake, mainly because the girl loves to boat! 

This summer, Discover Boating - a nonprofit program sponsored by the US recreational boating industry - wants YOU to experience the fun of boating too! If you're looking to get your feet wet - pun intended - is an online resource that has tons of information on all things boating related! I personally love that they have a whole page devoted to renting boats - because we aren't in a position to buy right now, but love to get out on the water! They also have a great water safety section - perfect for "kids" of all ages to educate themselves with. If you are in a position to buy a boat, they have a cost calculator, as well as a boat selector tool, to help you through every step of the boat buying process. 

Summer awaits! Get out on the water & enjoy yourselves! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Camping We Will Go with Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes

A few weeks ago, Eric & I left the kids with my parents and set off for the wedding of my brother-in-law, Mark, and my now sister-in-law, Katie. I love getting together with our family, so I was really excited about the wedding portion of the weekend. The portion of the weekend I wasn't so excited about - camping. Yes, at the request of my brother-in-law, the whole family was camping in tents after the wedding. A fact that all of my friends thought was hysterical. I am not the camping type. 

We had to practice setting up the tent that we got as a gift & never used up until this point...

I agreed to camping because I absolutely love Katie & wanted her wedding to be perfect, but let me tell you the the word "tent" gives me anxiety. Knowing this, my husband went to Sams Club & stocked up on anything & everything that might make the experience a little easier on me. 

First, he bought a whole lot of alcohol. Second, he purchased bug spray & sunscreen. Then, snacks. Lots of snacks. And finally, he bought me Cottonelle Fresh Flushable Wipes to make the portapotty a little easier to take & leaving me with a #ConfidentClean

We keep this little box of wipes on the back of our toilet at home...

We always have Cottonelle Fresh Flushable Wipes at our house because Ella has a hard time wiping herself. I love that they get me totally clean, but I can flush them right down the toilet just like regular toilet paper without worrying about any backups. They're completely sewer & septic safe - making them perfect to use at home. But they're also perfect to take on the go with you when your facilities may leave a little to be desired - like when you're camping or on a road trip. 

... and the box is easily taken along with us! 

Right now, Sams Club members will instantly receive $3 off with the purchase of Cottonelle Fresh Flushable Wipes between June 22nd and July 17th - making them a perfect summer purchase for all of those summer activities that keep you on the go! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Show & Tell - All About Charlie

Happy Tuesday Friends! Today I'm linking up with Andrea to talk about our pets... and since we only have one pet, today is all about Charlie! 

Charlie is a miniature American Eskimo. He's full grown at 30 pounds, but looks bigger or smaller depending on if he's had a hair cut recently. American Eskimos are REALLY smart, which is why they were used as circus dogs. Charlie tends to use his smarts for evil rather than for tricks, but regardless, he's smart.

I fell in love with American Eskimo dogs after a family friend was selling a litter. We didn't get one at the time because Eric & I were living in two different places, but it was only a matter of time until I convinced Eric we needed one! In the beginning, he lived in Eric's frat house during the week, so I was only with him Friday night through Sunday morning. So I'd get adorable pictures like this from Eric... 

They were so handsome :) Thankfully, we moved back in together about a month after we got Charlie & we were a happy little family! Charlie went to doggy day care a few days a week, and spent most o of his weekends at the country house. Charlie loves the country & could run outside for hours. He is able to run on my family's property without a leash & almost always comes back without an issue. 

Charlie has TONS of energy! We keep waiting for him to calm down with old age, but it hasn't happened yet. He loves to run with me & his favorite activity is swimming in the pond. He enjoys being outside in general, which is one of the reasons we love the double lot & huge yard at our house. 

I was really worried about how Charlie would be with the kids. He was the center of my world for almost three years before we had Ella & I didn't think he'd like playing second fiddle. He's adjusted really well over time & is great with our kids though! He's very protective of them & is a great watch dog. We have had issues with chewing up toys/dirty clothes, but never anything beyond that...

with Baby Ella

with Baby Livy
So that's Charlie - my first born & highest strung child. I remember how people used to laugh about how Charlie's life would change when I had Ella, and I shrugged it off because I never imagined I could love him less. But they were right. It isn't that I love him less, it's that I think of him as my dog now, not my child. He still sleeps in my bed, but I don't shell out hundreds of dollars a month for him to go to daycare. He still gets a treat every day, but it isn't from a doggy bakery. He gets lots of love from all of us though & that's what matters most. 

And one final fun fact - Charlie is the same breed as Kevin from The Proposal - which is one of my favorite movies :) 

Be sure to check out Andrea's blog to read up on everyone else's pet today - including her sweet little Jack Bauer! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend Recap - It's Almost Summer!

I'm back at my desk for the last Monday of the school year! The kids are taking their finals this week, and we'll be done Thursday at noon. I cannot wait to get our summer started because after this past weekend, I know it's going to be an amazing one!

Eric was gone this weekend at a Bachelor party. He was spending his days at an insanely awesome lake house, out on a boat, playing yard games, & drinking beers. I'd be jealous, but I was hanging out with these two...

We came home Friday night & Ella immediately got into her "pikini" to play in the water table. I figured Liv would just crawl around like usual, but I guess I should have put her suit on too because OMG she loved that water! They played & played & played in that little table! And while they played, I sat in the sunshine! Which was exactly what I needed :)

After a quick dinner, we threw some clothes on & headed to the playground! I love the playground at our local elementary & we almost always have it all to ourselves. It's the perfect size for Ella & she loves it. 

Livy was all about swinging & the noises she was making were too funny!

I think this close up perfectly captures her joy! I think everyone should be this happy at least once a day. 

We went home & watched Finding Nemo, and since they were pretty tired from being outside all evening, the girls went to bed early. Sadly, that meant they woke up early on Saturday. So, we had breakfast & took a walk right back to the playground in our PJs. Ella thought this was the coolest thing ever!

Our big plans for Saturday involved a trip to Wolfy's pool! We had our coach's meeting on her deck, in our swimsuits, while Ella swam & Livy snacked. It was a gorgeous 85 degree day. We don't get too many of those in New York, so we really try to embrace them! 

After our meeting, I got in the pool to swim with Ella & took Livy in with me. She wasn't a huge fan of the float... 

But when I took her out & carried her, she was a wild woman! She loved splashing! Of course, since I was carrying Livy, Ella wanted to be carried too. #momprobs

We stayed at the pool until naptime, then headed home. Ella slept in the car & then played in the water table while Livy took a 2 1/2 hour nap! It was gloriously peaceful & we were all feeling refreshed when it came time for dinner. We ate at home, but headed down to the lake to get some ice cream after! 

On Sunday, I dropped Livy off at Aunt Britt's & took Ella to see her first movie! We saw Finding Dory & it was SO cute. I highly recommend it to everyone. She did much better sitting through it than I expected, but I'm so glad I took her to the nicer theater where she had a big seat to wiggle in. She went between that seat & curling up on my lap the entire time. We have to practice our theater etiquette a bit more, but I was really proud of her! 

And while we were at the movies, Livy went to a BBQ with Aunt Britt & Uncle Matt...

After the movie, we went grocery shopping then it was back to the water table while we waited for Daddy & Livy to get home! 

I had planned to make a steak dinner for Eric, but he ended up eating at the BBQ with Britt & Matt before they brought him home. So Ella & I just had some hot dogs and we all enjoyed each other! Now I just need to survive a week of finals, pack up my classroom & get us packed for a week in Virginia! Summer is SO close... 

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And last, I just want to take a moment to address my absence this past week. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that my niece has been in the hospital. She is the sweetest thing ever & one of Ella's very best friends. Out of respect for her privacy, I won't go into details, but it's been a very long, scary week for us. She is in good hands though & would appreciate any and all prayers for her health. 
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