Tuesday, September 4, 2018

It's been a while!

Yikes! Life is busy and beautiful and chaotic. I posted one year ago a post similar to this one, and hopefully I can find time to write and update a little more regularly. 

We had a great summer! We went on LOTS of trips. Maybe too many, because the momma never really gets to rest on vacation, right?!  But we got to enjoy time on the lake, Jake visited Lake Hartwell with some college frat buddies, I went on a girls trip to Asheville and saw the breath-taking Chihuly exhibition at the Biltmore Estate, I took the girls to visit some family up in PA over Memorial Day, Jake and I went on a couples trip to Jekyll Island for our anniversary, and we went to IOP as a family.  Yep, busy!

Head over to instagram if you want to catch up with photos of all those things [smwalden11]. 

Additionally, I've really enjoyed having more time for reading this summer! I thought I would round up some of my summer reading favorites for you.  Some novels, some education books, some personal development...

The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator's Creative BreakthroughThe Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator's Creative Breakthrough by Wade King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is full of great ideas. I enjoyed the Audible version and hearing the authors read it in their own voices. As an art teacher, I felt some of their ideas did not completely apply to me as the book is geared more towards classroom teachers, however many could be adapted for my content area. I especially loved the idea of transforming spare classrooms for all in the school to use and benefit from. I think every person in a school could gain something from this book.

Be the OneBe the One by Byron Pitts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this entire short book in a few hours. His words are heart wrenching, captivating, and hopeful. As a future teacher, this book will stick with me for a long time.

The Perfect CoupleThe Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this new book by Hilderbrand. The characters were interesting and the plot kept you guessing, even when theorizing about who was guilty. It left me wanting more!

It Won't Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to TeachingIt Won't Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching by Tom Rademacher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a fantastic, quick, and easy read and was written with a practical voice of a veteran teacher who was still in touch with school as it currently is today. He is witty and self-deprecating, and was enjoyable to read. He brought up so many poignant elements that one might encounter during their first year of teaching, and overall I think it could be summed up by saying that he helps you to understand picking your battles on the many fronts you may face them. Highly recommend this one!

These were the highlights, but I did read a few others that were just okay. 

Where do you get ideas for which books to read next? I love following blogs and seeing what they suggest, and also through my friend's Goodreads accounts.  I've been in the mood for another Liane Moriarty book so I think I might start one of those next!

Now, back to grad school and football season!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hello again!

Well, this blog has suffered over the past several months. Having a new baby and not being in front of the computer every day over the holidays turned me into a blogging slacker and then starting grad school this spring has left little free time in the schedule! I want to get back at it more regularly though!

So to catch you up on our lives....Last summer while I was pregnant with Aubrey, Jake and I started thinking about what our lives would look like with two kiddos and we thought it would be the right time for me to take on more of a part-time working role.  With my previous job being about a 40-45 minute commute each way, that just wasn't making sense to stay there if I cut back to part time.  Just with travel, it would add two more hours to the workday.  Plus, there wasn't a whole lot of opportunity for growth since it was a small business and I felt like I was ready for a change in job and a change in schedule.

Ever since I started college, I have had an interest in teaching. At first, that was more of a desire to be an adjunct professor one day.  But one day it sort of clicked for me that the things I have always wanted to do in a career (1) be creative, (2) not do the same thing over and over each day, and (3) something art related.  Well, hello! Teaching art allows me to make art every day, be creative with my lessons, and introduce new and exciting units constantly! I guess going into college for my undergrad I didn't consider art education because of the money. But, now as a wife and a mother, the salary and schedule fit our lives perfectly. I am really excited that I will be able to have all of the school breaks and holidays off with my girls.  I am excited to teach students new and interesting techniques and lessons.  I am finally feeling like I have found what I was meant to do with my life.  It has also been so enriching for me because as an artist, we tend to find what we love and stick with it.  As a student, I am learning all of these different mediums and techniques that I haven't used in years or haven't ever tried.  I'm loving it! I have a renewed love in watercolors and I am finally getting back to making art on a regular basis.  So, officially I am in the Master of Arts in Teaching program for Art (K-12).  I'm almost finished with my first semester and I have two more years to go.  I was lucky enough to receive a Graduate Associate position doing the marketing, advertising & recruitment for the College of Education Graduate programs, so that has helped with having a flexible, fun part-time job while I'm in school.

If you want to keep up with what I'm doing in the art world, follow my instagram @SMWartwork

Monday, January 30, 2017

Aubrey's Birth Story

Well, it has been quite a while.  Our family has had just a few changes since the beginning of October -- quitting my job, applying to grad school, having a baby, "maternity leave", the holidays, starting grad school, and Aubrey starting daycare! So, more on all of that another day, but I wanted to write Aubrey's birth story on here before I get too far removed from remembering the details!

So, one day shy of my due date I woke up at 6am on Saturday, October 29th to some pains.  I wasn't sure if it was Braxton Hicks, since those had been happening more lately and were getting stronger.  I turned on some TV and slept on and off for another hour and a half until Jake woke up. I told him I wasn't sure if it was anything or not, but I was having pain every 45 minutes or so and felt "off."  I knew this feeling well from when I went into labor with Ryleigh, and being so close to my due date we both figured "well, this will probably be the day!" Once Ryleigh woke up, Jake got her ready and they left the house to go help some other Kappa Sigma alums move everything out of the KS House since they were no longer at Winthrop.  It also gave me some time to rest and see what was going on. I kept monitoring the pain and the contractions started getting closer- about 20-30 minutes apart. Since it was not going away, even when I laid down and drank some water (all the tricks they tell you) I figured I needed to shower and make sure everything was packed and ready.  I texted my parents, who were designated as the ones to watch Ryleigh while we went to the hospital, and let them know what was going on. We decided they would come over to our house around 3pm.  I updated Jake on the timing and he and Ryleigh got back home around 1:15, when my contractions were now getting stronger and about 20 minutes apart.  We had been prepping Ryleigh about how mommy would need to have a sleepover at the hospital once Aubrey comes, and that she would have a sleepover with Pom-Pom and Grandpa, so we put her down for a nap and told her that it was time for that sleepover so we wouldn't be there when she woke up from nap.  I will never forget everything going through my head giving her that last hug before she went to sleep!  My parents came over a little early around 2:30, and Jake & I got on the road at 3pm to head to the hospital.  They took me in to triage to check everything, and told me I was at 4cm. My contractions were now about 4-5 minutes apart so they admitted me to a delivery room.  They started my gbs antibiotics and got all the monitors hooked up.  I had progressed to 6cm and started begging for an epidural.  A little while later,  the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural and then they had me lay down to monitor me and said they would be back to check on me in about an hour.  Jake left the room to go move our car out of the Delivering Mom spot, and just as everyone was clearing out of my room, I felt my water break! I told the only nurse who was still in the room and she came over to check me, to find out that yes my water had indeed broken and I was also at 10cm with Aubrey in view!  (all of this, going from 4cm-10cm happened in about an hour and a half! talk about painful....) I knew that I had progressed past 6cm when they were giving me the epidural but they wouldn't check--they learned their lesson, haha....my body just turns things into overdrive once labor starts.  I texted Jake and he ran back to our room, they did a rush page to get the doctor there and after two pushes she was out! It was different than with Ryleigh when they had me push during a contraction. I guess since Aubrey was already 100% effaced, they had me do a test push and she moved right there so they just told me to push whenever I felt I wanted to.  She was born at 6:12pm during the 3rd quarter of the UGA game (an unfortunate loss for the team..and yes it was on tv in the delivery room!) and we were in awe that the next piece of our puzzle was here!

The entire time the nurses were monitoring me before she was born, they were telling me she felt like a bigger baby and they were sure she would be at least 8lbs. One woman even asked me if I had gestational diabetes because they thought she was such a big baby! Well, I don't know what they were feeling because she came out almost the exact sizes of her big sister:  6lbs 14oz, 20.25" long.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 36 weeks!

How far along? 36 weeks, 3 days!

Total weight gain: +28 lbs

Maternity clothes? always 

Sleep: not always great. I'm waking up a lot to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and it's not as easy to fall back asleep these days.

Best baby moment this week:  Finishing up purchasing a lot of baby stuff.  Feeling very accomplished!

Miss Anything?  Sushi

Movement: yes, and unfortunately I'm starting to feel her pushing her feet up into my ribs and diaphragm.  Not so comfortable.

Food cravings:  milk, cherry coke, ice cream

Anything making you queasy or sicknope

Gender: girl 

Wedding rings on or off? Still wearing my pearl ring 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and tired.

Looking forward to:  Still seeing our maternity pictures and getting the nursery finished up!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Parenting Penrose: 2nd Baby Checklist

During a pregnancy, I feel like at times it goes by slowly and at times it rushes by.  All of a sudden you get to a certain week and feel so far along.  That definitely hit me at 35 weeks this past Sunday.  Wow. 5(+/-) weeks to go. One month. Or less? Or more?

So, it's crunch time.  My baby shower came at a perfect time because it's helping my severe nesting mode to get all of these little things checked off the list:

Set up nursery furniture
Make nursery wall letters
Hang nursery wall letters & other frames
Wash pass-down & new clothing
Put clothing away in dresser & closet
Hang black-out curtain in nursery
Clear out misc. junk from nursery
Test breastpump
Wash all bottles & pump parts
Stock up on Household goods & toiletries
Clean out closets/drop off clothes at Goodwill
Wrap Ryleigh's Big Sister gifts
Pick up nursery art from printer's
Buy remaining Registry must-haves
 Buy postpartum lounge clothes
Pack Hospital bag for:  me, baby, Jake
Have carpet cleaned upstairs
Buy baby monitor with 2 cameras
Figure out how to work double stroller
Pre-Register at hospital
Pick new Pediatrician
Install Car seat bases
Tour Hospital
Set up Newborn pictures
Purchase organizer for changing table
Purchase new humidifier
Start on purchasing Christmas gifts

So, as you can see we've got most of the important items crossed off the list!  We need to hang some things in the nursery, get breastpump and bottles ready, finish packing the hospital bag (half-done)...We have to buy a new video monitor with two cameras because our model has been discontinued so there is no way to get a second camera! I'm pretty bummed about this because our monitor has been fantastic, but alas, that is how technology goes I guess...Install our carseat bases, and get a few last things for the nursery.  

Also, thanks to my hormones I've decided our carpets should be cleaned before the baby arrives.

Since I'm going to be in my "we have a newborn"/postpartum fog over the holidays, Santa has been trying to stock up on gifts for our girls ;)


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 35 Weeks!

How far along? 35 weeks, 4 days!

Total weight gain: +27 lbs

Maternity clothes? always 

Sleep: pretty good, but starting to be uncomfortable.

Best baby moment this week:  We got to peek in on little Aubrey at my appointment yesterday with a quick ultrasound to check if she was head down (my doctor does this at the 35 week appt).  It was so neat seeing her this far along! We did not see Ryleigh after 20 weeks on ultrasound.  It's crazy how neat technology can be.  She was making the cutest little faces and looked snuggled in all comfy in there!  I'm so relieved that she is head down and in the right position, because I've been concerned she was breech from where I've felt her movements.  We are so excited to meet her in a few more weeks!

Also, my baby shower last Saturday! Everything was wonderful from the guests to the food and the decorations! We got lots of great goodies, necessities, and cute outfits :)  I'm making progress with getting the nursery all set up, if only we could get around to hanging everything on the walls!

Miss Anything?  Not having to pee every 5 minutes. 

Movement: mid-morning and bedtime are still her favorite times to party.

Food cravings:  pasta, milk, apple cider 

Anything making you queasy or sicknope

Gender: girl 

Wedding rings on or off? Still wearing my pearl ring 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and definitely in serious nesting mode.

Looking forward to:  Seeing our maternity pictures and getting the nursery finished up!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 33 Weeks!

How far along? 33 weeks, 3 days!

Total weight gain: +24 lbs

Maternity clothes? always 

Sleep: good

Best baby moment this week:  Feeling lots and lots of movement and flips.  I'm finally starting to feel like she's taking up a lot of room and not just floating around in there, haha! Also, on Saturday we got SO. MUCH. accomplished in the nursery and around the house (hanging things, moving furniture, building stuff, organizing clothes, wrapping Big Sister gifts, etc).  Nesting mode is in full swing and I feel a million times better about the state of our house haha.

Miss Anything?  I picked up some Japanese food for dinner last night and saw their sushi menu.  Why is it that sushi always sounds so amazing when you can't have it?!  At least I have crab rangoons :)

Movement: Tons!  I went to the dentist this morning and I felt like my belly must have looked like an alien was trying to escape the whole time the hygienist was cleaning my teeth.

Food cravings:  Milk, milk, milk and more milk. Also, green grapes & Nutella.

Anything making you queasy or sicknope

Gender: girl 

Wedding rings on or off? Still wearing my pearl ring 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and tired. Although I feel like I've been having hot flashes which make me grumpy in the moment.

Looking forward to:  a mani/pedi on Saturday and Maternity pictures on Sunday!! Let's all collectively pray that it doesn't rain during our pictures.