Sunday, August 29, 2010

Being a Baby With Evelyn – How to Help Assemble a High Chair


Hi, I’m Evelyn and today we are going to put together a high chair for Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Sometimes, as a baby, it’s hard to know how to do big people things, so I am going to walk you through it! 


First you have to lay out all the parts so you can see them.  Make sure they’re all there!


Read the directions very carefully.  You want to make sure that the baby doesn’t fall out or get hurt because you thought you could just “figure it out”.


Teamwork is very important!  Make sure everyone works together! Say things like “Good job!” It makes people feel good.


Once all the legs are in, make sure they are sturdy sturdy sturdy and you can finish the job!


As a baby, you should always ask for help when getting into your high chair.  Ask a grandparent, aunt or uncle, and make sure to wear your seat belt.


Now you have a nice, tall, highchair to use at Grandma and Grandpas, and Grandma can give you the best treat in the world!




Monday, August 23, 2010

Doc’s Birthday and Applesauce Cupcakes


So Doc turned 26 last week!  We celebrated with a quick lunch in the City with his parents, and then a big bash with my family here in town! 

Cakes are difficult because there is normally way too much and we don’t need to eat all of it.  I hate throwing it away as well, SO I like cupcakes!  They are a good size for a serving, and you can make as many or as few as you want.

I made Applesauce Cupcakes from Cupcake Recipes.  They are amazing!  I added 1/4 cup of caramel bits to the batter to add a little bit of flavor and used Granny Smith Apples.  I topped them with a little bit of whipped cream and caramel, then dashed some cinnamon across the top because it was pretty!

These were delicious and really not that unhealthy to eat, compared to some other choices.

Doc loved them and they were easily the best cupcakes I have ever made, so try them out this fall!  They have a perfect cinnamon warmth for the upcoming season!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reason Over Sentiment

Last weekend, Doc and I went through all of Evelyn’s old clothes we had boxed up.  We went from 3 boxes and 2 bags to one small box of clothing we are keeping.

The rest is being donated.

I know many parents keep their children’s clothing for the next baby, BUT….

We don’t know when/if we’ll have more children.  By that point, who knows if it will be another girl or the same time of year, or if we’ll even want to put that child in the same clothing, or buy clothing that is softer material, etc.  We received a lot of very thoughtful gifts that Evelyn was never able to wear or that just really were not practical for our use.  Doc and I feel that despite the attachment we feel to a lot of Evelyn’s things, it makes more sense to donate her old things so that someone else can use them and benefit from them instead of the clothing sitting in a box in storage.

We kept a few things that were unisex or items we were very attached to, but the rest is off to Goodwill.

I kind of consider this a part of my “green” mommy-ing.  No sense keeping what we aren’t using when someone who needs it could be benefitted, especially now with so many families struggling to provide for their children.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Need a New Direction

Well, my blog has frolicked around in “no real main theme” land for a while now.  I’m trying to decide which direction to go in, so I think I’m going back to the heart of what I consider the most successful period of this blog.  Green.  Nature-friendly mother-wife-person choices and how they work.  So I’m back to it!  We’re re-shifting…sort of. 

So I am interested.  What “green” projects have you always wanted to try but are worried about practicality and would love me to try for you?  I’m looking for new projects and inspiration for eco-changes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Teaching Children to Respect Insects

That’s right!  Who would have thought I could throw my “respect our Earth Mother” ways into my classroom.  Today, I introduced my “unexpected guests” policy in my classroom.

For all “unexpected guests” such as grasshoppers, crickets, mice, etc.:

1.  If a student notices an unexpected guest in our room, they will gather a piece of paper, and a cup to collect said guest. 

2. Said student will then remove said guest from the classroom and re-release them into the outdoors near our classroom.

3. Student will quietly rejoin the class.

If a student is caught killing an unwanted guest in my classroom, they get an automatic strike (care of our 3 strikes, you’re in detention code of behavior).


6 Unwanted crickets were escorted today.  There are two exceptions to our guest rule.

#1 Spiders:

Spiders are sometimes poisonous.  It is not always safe for a student to try to catch a spider and release it, so spiders should be caught by the teacher, or killed by the student if they are on the floor.  I value my student’s wellbeing over a spider in this case.

#2 Snakes (yes, it’s an issue)

Snakes are also a safety hazard.  A snake should be immediately reported, and then students should move quietly and calmly to the other end of the room while we contact the office.  Most snakes in the building previously have been harmless, but we will take no risks when it comes to safety.

So excited!  I get to teach about environmentalism, and recycling, and all sorts of fun stuff this year!  You KNOW I love it :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pity Parties

I have been throwing these a lot lately. 

        “Wah I have so many responsibilities!

                 Wah, Doc is away again!

                         Wah, I haven’t slept in a year…”





I’m over it.  I’m sick of my own inner monologue.  I’ve been trying to stay positive, but that inner monologue just won’t shut up.

A few of you may know my messages on the mirror trick.  I’ve used it before when such periods in my life have led me to be a less than positive person.  Like now, when despite all the awesomeness in my life, I revert to teenage angst.


Truth is, we can all find plenty to whine and complain about.

Truth is, it’s not sexy.  It’s not attractive.  AND beyond the occasional vent (which has merit) it’s not healthy.

So I’m using my technique once again.

I love mantras.  I love dry erase markers.

My mirror will now read:

I am a young, sexy, wife, mama, pencil-skirt and stiletto wearing, tree-hugging bad ass – and bad asses don’t whine.

So that is message to you, my friendly readers, for the week.  Be bad asses.  Find what it is about yourself that you are proud of and remind yourself how incredible you are!  You are awesome!  Every single 20 of you!  AWESOME!  Bumps may appear in the road, but you are a sports car who handles them with finesse and pizzazz!  Be PIZZAZZY!

What will you write on your mirror?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Energy Efficient

I love being a mom. I love my daughter.  I am so excited to be able to make her food for her, still be breastfeeding (6 month goal has turned into 1 year), take her on adventures, play with her, sing to her, etc.  Since she is in child care during the week now, I certainly milk the time I get with her for all it is worth. 

I love being my husband’s partner.  The times we do share together I look forward to and saver as long as I can.  Right now our schedules are opposite.  He leaves for work when I get home, I go to work before he comes back.  When we do see each other, he is so tired we don’t really get to talk or share our enjoy one another.  It’s draining to have someone who means so much to you feel so far away.  I am incredibly thankful that we got to spend the day together today (with Doc napping here or there).

I love teaching and I am so excited to be starting the school year.

Truth is, I am so exhausted right now.  Just from 1 week of work (which I love), I am finding that being mom, wife, and Mrs. Fowler is so energy draining!  It’s true when they say there is no rest for the weary.  Wondering what the day of a working momma looks like?

My Work Day Schedule

5:00 AM – Get up, shower pump, get dressed

6:30 AM – Get Evelyn up, get her dressed and packed.

6:45 AM – Load up car, leave for work.  Stop to pick up little cup of coffee and snack.

7:00 AM – Drop Evelyn off at Daycare

7:10 AM  - Arrive at work.  Work butt off trying to get everything ready and coordinated until 3:30

3:30 PM – Pick Evelyn Up from Daycare

3:45 PM – Arrive home, take A.C.E. outside, snack time for Evelyn, prep for dinner.

4:00 PM – Laundry/pick up time with Evelyn

4:30 PM –  Start cooking/music time with Evelyn

5:00 PM – Dinner for Evelyn and myself

5:30 PM – Clean up kitchen, floor play time with Evelyn, reading time

6:30 PM – Bath Time

7:00 PM – Start Evelyn’s bedtime rituals (walking with music, bottle, then singing time, then bed)

7:45 PM – Start “take home” school work, finish laundry, relax for a little while.

9:00 PM - bedtime

So I need to figure out someway to get my energy up!  Adding sleep isn’t an option, and as I am still nursing, caffeine is a limited resource.  Any suggestions out there?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Family Food

Evelyn eating table food leads to new challenges.  Now, when making meals I need to think about saving food for her.  This was surprisingly easy with my first attempt: Fiesta Potatoes!

For those of you who haven’t had Fiesta Potatoes, basically, it’s nachos but instead of chips you use a baked potato.

So to start dinner, I brown beef and bake potatoes.

IMG_1935 IMG_1936

IMG_1940Once the beef is browned, I set aside some of it in a small container for Evelyn.  There is enough for 2 or 3 meals for her.

I made sure to pull the meat out before I season it, as Evelyn does not quite need to eat taco seasoning just yet.  I also use lean ground beef (97/3).


Meanwhile, Evelyn has music playtime on the kitchen floor by using a spoon to drum on pots, pans, and lids. The bottom cabinets all have plastic or metal items so that she can pull out and play with them.  I normally will pull out one thing for her to experiment with.  I sing all the time with her, so she makes music and dances while we sing songs about cooking!

Back to the meal -

I pull out all of the add on items we will use on our potatoes tonight. IMG_1938

Evelyn can eat cheese, but should probably hold off on jalapeƱos and salsa (for at least a little bit).

So now, I make my Fiesta Potato, and Evelyn’s Fiesta Potato.


IMG_1943 IMG_1944

Evelyn mixed her foods up as she ate them, but enjoyed her meal thoroughly.  The day care has tons of fresh fruits and veggies during the day, so I’m ok that she doesn’t have a “real vegetable” tonight.  If she needed one, I would have probably added black beans and corn since it works well with the meal too!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Letting Go

Sometimes you have to let go of things that are important to you.  Today, my little bird and I said goodbye to cloth diapering for good.  DHS will not allow the day care to cloth diaper and with the minimal amount of time we are at home right now it does not make sense anymore.  So I boxed up the washed, bleached, and boxed up the cloth diapers, covers, and pins. 

Alas, all is not lost!  The old diaper pail and wet bag are now our recycling receptacle!  Wahoo!  I’m sad to let go of cloth diapering, but I’m willing to admit that green alternatives are not always reasonable and I can’t do anything about DHS regulations.  So I’m ready to be okay with disposables and move on.

Also, Evelyn has been eating only food I prepared for her.  No preservatives and no foods that contain common allergens!  Well, today at daycare she decided she wanted waffles, bananas, pasta, beef, broccoli and cheese.  Hard to argue with a child who decides she is done eating the food you made and ready to move on to other foods.  There is a giant part of me that is so sad to see how fast she is growing up.  My little lady is in such a hurry to see the world…which shouldn’t surprise me.  She’s got my DNA ;)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Can Teach My Child Genius!

Through my sister-in-law's blog, I found a blog that I am now in love with!  I Can Teach My Child is a blog that is definitely worth checking out whether you are a mom or thinking you might be one day…or even if you have a friend who is.  Just check it out!
Anyway, one of the coolest things this woman blogged about are Ziploc Books.  They are the coolest thing.  Essentially, you make a book your child can chew on out of pictures!  So I am making the one she recommended for Evelyn.  There is a set of pictures for Evelyn’s “Parts of My Body” Book.
I had been talking with Doc about wanting to have Evelyn around all of her family more.  I have siblings that live out of town and all of Doc’s family lives outside of Tulsa.  So what better way to expose Evelyn to her family everyday than a book with pictures of them!! 
So now I am going to construct these two books for Evelyn.  She’ll get to see pictures and typed names of her body parts to help her learn words and her family so that she doesn’t forget them. 

Setting the Stage for Adventures in Learning!

I have been incredibly lucky.  I managed to find a teaching job!  I am the newest 5th grade Science and Social Studies teacher at a local school district.  This week I have been working hard to start setting up my classroom, so I thought I’d show pictures of my work in progress.IMG_1923

Above is one of the four walls in my room.  Each of those are wooden cubbies will be assigned to a homeroom kiddo. I love the cubbies because I will be able to see them and kids won’t be tempted to bring things they shouldn’t or things that could be stolen.  Also, they are just too cute!


Around the top of all the cubbies I have put different science lab cut outs.  Part of fifth grade science is learning about science lab tools and safety, so I am glad that I will be able to point at pictures of tools we will use before we go to the actual laboratory.  I also think I will hang student work on this wall as the year progresses.  I love student artwork and projects on display!  Hard work should be celebrate.


This is the back wall!  I still need to cover the top windows with butcher paper so that the glare doesn’t block out the board which is on the opposite wall.  The two main windows will stay open as often as possible though.


The gray planks in the windows are magnetic and can be written on with dry erase markers.  To utilize the space, I will be putting the agenda and calendar each on a plank.  Then another plank will have articles and current events for students to read when they finish their work.  The final plank is a “Where are we?” board.  Students will each have a little colored rectangle with their name on it.  If they leave, they will move their name to where they are in the IMG_1927building, so I can at a glance know where everyone is.  Consider it a less complicated Maurader’s Map.  At the end of each day, my homeroom class will move their squares to the “absent” section so the next morning, anyone who doesn’t put their square down will be left there and I can take attendance in all of 2 seconds!



This is the other side wall.  I currently have a U.S. history timeline and U.S. throughout history maps.  Can’t wait to add some student-made maps, flags, posters, etc. to this wall!

And finally, below is my “teaching wall”.  There is a large white board and a SmartBoard. 


I still have some work to do, but I am well on my way to having a classroom put together before school starts next week.  I still have to rearrange desks, cut out my laminated decorations and posters (once they come back) and organize all of my curriculum materials! 

Also, I need to frame pictures and decorate my desk with images of my family and friends!  I can’t believe I’m really getting to start my career!  Who knows how long I will get to teach right now? I’m going to enjoy every second of it!