Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY Door Sign Project

I finally made a DIY project for Carson!  I knew I wanted something to hang on his door, but I had no idea what I wanted.  I considered some sort of wreath because my friend Kelli made a super cute felt wreath for her baby girl (due in June!) but I think a wreath is too girly for a boy's room!

I decided something personal would be fun so I went to Michael's and picked up some supplies to make a door sign.  If you want to make something similar, here is what you will need:
  • 1 small canvas (I used 8x10...it was $3.50)
  • 1 piece scrapbook paper ($1)
  • letter stickers of your choice ($2)
  • embellishment for your sign (I picked a wooden character for $0.20)
  • ribbon for hanging (I had this at home)
  • scissors
  • mod podge and foam brush (also had this at home)
  • hot glue gun (who doesn't have this?!)
My total cost for this project was under $8

To start, I cut my scrapbook paper about 1" past my canvas on all sides.  After this, I cut a slit at each corner to allow the paper to "wrap" around the sides of the canvas.
After this I added some Mod Podge (best invention ever) to the canvas and paper.  I did a layer on the outside of the paper for added protection and to help the corners stay in place.  After first painting the Mod Podge on, I was worried because it looked a little wavy....
The next morning, it was flat!  I carefully layed out my lettering and embellishment to decide on spacing before putting anything in place.  After this, I put all my letters on and hot glued the embellishment in place.  I put a thin layer of Mod Podge over my lettering just to be safe.  Then I flipped the sign and hot glued my ribbon in place:
And finally, here is my final product!  It's hanging on a clear wreath hanger here but I plan on geting a 3M hook instead.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Update!

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  We had a productive weekend and made a lot of progress on our "Carson To-Do" list!  We signed him up for daycare (I can't believe I already wrote his first tuition check), painted his nursery, ordered his crib, and ordered his curtains!  I love his daycare.  We visited a few and this one was my favorite for sure so I'm glad they'll have a spot for him in August!  Also, his nursery is finally starting to come together and I'm so excited!  Once we get the crib (expected to arrive this week), I'll put up some before and after pics!

This past week I came home to a "just because" gift from the hubby - a beautiful orchid!  Nick has really been awesome lately.  I have NO idea why he bought this for me, but I love it (and I'm scared of killing it).  He also mopped our kitchen and vacuumed our family room over the weekend which says a lot if you know him!  ;)  I didn't even ask him, he just took it upon himself.  Back to the orchid.  The directions say to feed her 3 ice cubes per week.  Weird, right?  Anyone have an orchid that would like to give me some advice so I don't kill mine?!

Also, I received another blog award!  You all make me feel so loved!  This time my award came from the lovely Sara at Smiling in Second Grade

I'm going to nominate Allie at Table for More for this award.  She always leaves me the sweetest comments and I'm SUPER sad she moved away from my hometown - booo!!!  Come back, Allie!  If you haven't yet, check out both of these awesome blogs!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who Likes Oreos?!

A few weeks ago, I pinned a bunch of sweet stuff on Pinterest.  A friend of mine joked that it was obvious what I've been craving. :)  In all honesty though, I've been craving salty and sweet foods! 

Once I saw this Oreo Pudding Poke Cake, I knew I had to try it out.  I was lazy and used box cake mix for this recipe, but it still turned out delicious.  I think I messed up the recipe just a little because I was too anxious for it to be done.  The recipe says to make the pudding right before the cake is done so it isn't set up yet and it is still runny.  I made my pudding too early so it didn't soak into the cake as much as it should have.  The cake was still VERY moist (anyone else hate that word?!) and very delicious!

Oreo Pudding Poke Cake
*Preheat the oven according to your cake recipe (aka Betty Crocker)
-1 box chocolate cake mix
-2 (4oz.) boxes of Oreo pudding
-4 Cups of milk (the recipe calls for 2% or higher.  We don't do that here so I used skim.)
-10-15 crushed Oreos

Prepare cake as directed.  After removing cake from oven, poke holes in entire cake using a wooden spoon or straw.  Do this while the cake is still warm!
After the cake is covered in holes, prepare your pudding.  I did this before taking my cake out of the oven and it was too early.  I suggest doing it after poking the holes in order to achieve the correct consistency.  Once your pudding is ready, let it sit for about 1-2 minutes, but do NOT let it fuly thicken!  Pour the (liquidy) pudding over your cake.
Next, stick the dessert in the fridge for an hour or more.  When you are ready, sprinkel the cake with crushed Oreos and devour it like we did!
(You can see in that pic how my cake didn't really absorb the pudding like it should have.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

P is for Pomegranate

Baby Carson is now the size of a pomegranate!  Up until last week, he was "scheduled" to be a papaya until about week 26-27 (I believe) but just recently, the Bump upgraded their fruit comparisons!  I checked out the pomegranates at the store a few days ago and to be honest, they looked similar in size to the "large" naval oranges.  Carson was supposed to be the size of an orange at week 15!  Nevermimd the accuracy, the fruit comparisons are still fun!

The Bump tells me that Baby Carson is 10.5-11.8" long and weighs between 12.7 and 20.8 oz.  I would love to have an ultrasound to see how accurate these estimates are but I just have to hope he's right on track in there!

How far along? 23 weeks!
Total weight gain: Probably hasn't changed...I'm guessing I'm still somewhere in the 5-6.  Maybe I'll say 7 to be safe. :)
Maternity clothes? Yes, finally!  I went shopping with my friend Kelli and got some work pants (and a bunch of cute stuff for Carson)!  I also made Nick go to Target and Old Navy with me to use up some gift cards.  I picked up some clearance jeans at Target and a few tops at Old Navy.  I feel like I look so much more pregnant in maternity clothes....check out my new bump pic below!
Stretch marks? no
Sleep: Sleeping pretty good but I get cold easily.  I miss my heated blanket!
Best moment this week: Wearing my new maternity pants to work.  They're actually really cute and look a lot like my old pants and OMG they are COMFY!
Miss Anything? I'm still missing my Starbucks and like I said above, my heated blanket!
Movement: Carson is constantly moving around in there getting cozy and I LOVE it!
Food cravings: Salty and sweet snacks.  Also, randomly oranges.  I ate one last night and it was amazing!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Gender: Baby BOY Carson!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Nothing this week!
Belly Button in or out? innie...starting to get shallow....!
Wedding rings on or off? on still...very loose this week again due to the COLD weather!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Super happy still! I can't help but smile when I feel Carson moving around in there!
Looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery.  We finally chose our paint color last weekend.  I prepped the walls and we bought the paint so I'm thinking we might be doing that this weekend (hopefully)!

Here is me yesterday at 22w6d.  The first pic is normal and the 2nd is me pushing out trying to have more of a bump.  I'm about ready for people at work to stop asking "WHEN are you going to have a real bump?!"
Maternity pants, regular shirt....
Pushing out to make an actual bump! :)

P.S. Yesterday Nick & I celebrated 9 years of being "official"!  Ok, we didn't celebrate at all, but I always remember the date.  We met back in 2002 and finally made it official January 25th, 2003.  Time flies!  For your viewing pleasure, here is a pic from my prom:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaching Character Traits

Some of my third grade reading intervention kiddos were having some difficulty with character traits.  They were having a hard time describing familiar characters (orally and in writing).  Since I only have 30 minutes a day with them, I came up with a few quick, small activities. 

First, we revisited a few Amelia Bedelia books we had read earlier in the year.  After revisiting the texts, we made two webs.  One web described what Amelia Bedelia IS and one described what she is NOT.

After this, we decided to conquer a chapter book.  (So exciting, but also difficult for my students!)  We chose a book with a familiar character, Arthur! 
Each day we got through about 1-2 chapters.  After each chapter, we did a brief summary of the important event that ocurred in that chapter using a simple chapter grid that I designed.  At the end of the book, we talked about Arthur.  We discussed how he was in this story compared to other stories, how he was in the beginning versus the end, etc.  After our discussion, we filled out individual character traits worksheets.  I used this worksheet from Scholastic because I liked how it gave a list of traits to choose from (my kids added their own as well).  The next day, we took turns adding character traits to a large web for Arthur.  Here are the webs we made for familiar characters:

Now that my students had the hang of describing familiar characters, I decided we should do something fun for Friday.  We made our own personal "character" trait webs!  The kids LOVED this and their traits cracked me up (handsome, moody...haha)!

My idea origianlly stemmed from this pin on Pinterest!

How do you teach character traits?

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Purchases!

Every year, our PTO is kind enough to give us money toward purchasing materials for our classroom.  You can see the desktop easel I purchased with my PTO money last year in this post.  This year since I work in two buildings, I was able to make two separate purchases.  For my morning school, I got $25 and I used it to purchase a magnetic word builder set from Lakeshore:

At my afternoon school, I was allotted $63.  I couldn't decide what I really needed besides a pocket chart, so I started checking out some catalogs that were in my school mailbox.  I decided to order from Learning Resources.  (The same company that makes the recording device I won!)  I only have one (standard size) pocket chart in my room and I'm currently using it for my center board.  I have small pocket charts, but they don't work well for center games.  Now I'll have another standard pocket chart (plus a free stand from school) so the kids can do a pocket chart center!  Please send any and all ideas my way! ;)  I also ordered a letter construction set.  I thought this would be good for an ABC center, early finishers, or even indoor recess.  I also picked the Creative Writing flip book.  It has pictures of Who, What, When, & Where to help with story ideas.  I plan on introducing this in interactive writing and then letting my kids use it as a tool in writer's workshop.  After all of this (with a coupon code), I still didn't qualify for free shipping so I had to throw in one more small item.  I decided on Phonemic Awareness reading rods.  I figured these could easily be integrated into centers somehow.  In the end, I got all of these goodies for $18 out of pocket.  Not too shabby!  Plus Learning Resources shipped me my order in 2 days!

What purchases have you made for your classroom lately?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meet Lily (and an ABC Center Idea)!

At the beginning of the year I knew I wanted to have classroom jobs.  I decided on the jobs before my kiddos started.  My jobs include: Line Leader, Door Holder, Caboose, Teacher's Helper, Messenger, Center Inspector, Scrap Monster, Supply Star, Librarian, and Gardener.

For the longest time, I didn't have a gardener because I was too lazy to get a plant!  I finally went to Kroger and bought a mini rose plant on sale.  I have a serious brown thumb and kill EVERY house plant I own.  I have much more luck with my gardens outside which is nice for my neighbors. :) 

Today I introduced the plant to my kinder friends and we brainstormed a list of names.  In the end, we decided on Lily.  Here are some of the other ideas my friends came up with.  Just for entertainment!
Rosie, Plant-Plant, R2D2, Beyblade, Plantie, and C3P0.  (Can you tell I have a lot of boys in my class?)  So without further ado, here is LILY!
Please cross your fingers for us that Lily survives and thrives in Room 24!

In other news, I've been trying to think of some multisensory center ideas and saw this pattern block activity on Pinterest. 
I printed out the sheets and mounted on red construction paper.  I also added ABC flashcards that I printed free from ABCTeach.com.  My students will use pattern blocks to "build" the letters and then practice their phonics chant for each letter.  For example, "R, /r/, rabbit!"  Here is what I ended up with for this ABC center:

I'm sorry they are sideways.  I've tried a million (aka 4) times to rotate them and they are rotated everywhere except when uploaded to blogger!  As you can see, I have some cutting to do since I just laminated them.  Any volunteers?! ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I hope you like Papayas.....

Because according to the Bump, Baby Carson is going to be the size of a Papaya for the next 4 weeks!  That's no fun!  To be honest, I don't think I've ever tried a papaya.  They sound yummy and tropical, but this picture makes me not want to try one anytime soon!
How far along? 22 weeks!
Total weight gain: I would say 5-6lbs.  My belly really started to show this week and even my "big" pants are getting pretty tight! 
Maternity clothes? Not yet but in the VERY near future.  I scoped out some jeans at Target but I want to check around..... (scroll down for a new bump picture!)
Stretch marks? no
Sleep: Sleeping great still....just a bit cold thanks to this Ohio weather!
Best moment this week: Telling my kindergartners about the baby.  They're BEYOND excited!  (Scroll down to see details...)
Miss Anything? A few times this week I wished that I could go get a delicious HOT Starbucks drink.  I know I technically can, but I'm not going to.  Also could go for a dip in a hot tub right now.  (Starting to notice a pattern?!)
Movement: Carson used to move mostly in the evenings but now he moves all throughout the day.  This past Sunday, my mom and sister were able to feel him move!!!
Food cravings: At this VERY moment: salty snacks.  I think I might eat some Chex Mix. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Gender: Baby BOY Carson!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Nothing new.
Belly Button in or out? innie...hopefully forever....eek!
Wedding rings on or off? on still...very loose this week due to the COLD weather!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Super happy! I can't help but smile when I feel Carson moving around in there!Looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery.  I think we have finalized a paint color!
Does my shirt look psychodelic on your computer too?!
So this week I finally decided to tell my kindergartners why my belly is expanding.  Last week we read Our Teacher's Having a Baby and it went RIGHT over their head.  I honestly thought it would be loud and clear, but it wasn't so I had to come up with a plan B.  I got another book Biscuit and the Baby.  Before reading the new story to my kiddos, I wrote a special morning message.  I told them that I had big news for them and gave them one clue (a drawing of a baby).  Of course, they had NO idea what the baby was.  Guesses included snowman, toy in a stocking, clown, etc.  I never said I was the best artist, ok?!  After the failed guessing game, we read the book and I told them to think about what the clue might be.  They came up with the idea of a baby, but it took them quite a while longer to figure out what that meant.  When they finally got it, they were SO excited and had so many questions.  We practiced tally marks and made guesses on whether I am going to have a boy or a girl.  (Most voted boy so they'll be excited to find out they were right when I tell them tomorrow!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting!

I'm linking up with Michelle from The Vintage Apple today!

It's been a while so here are some of my favorite pins as of late....

Teaching Pins

Awesome character traits activity!

Good classroom management technique!

Good practice for CVC words!

Fashion Pins

I might love this for a mommy suit :)

Love the gray and love the gradual polka dots!

Buckeye colors...O-H!

Stuff That Makes Me Smile :)

Seriously, this is too cute!

Can I have one NOW?!

This will be my life VERY soon and I love it :)
Source: etsy.com via Emily on Pinterest

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Does anyone else sing the Gwen Stefani 'Hollaback Girl' song when writing 'bananas'?!  Just me? 

I'm officially 21 weeks!  It's kind of crazy to think that I'm more than halfway now!  I'm hoping the rest of this pregnancy doesn't fly by because I still have a lot to do and I'm enjoying every moment!  According to the Bump this week, Baby Carson is the size of a banana.  Nick was laughing about Carson going from a cantaloupe to a banana.  This was basically our conversation:
Me: "Babe, Carson is the size of a banana now!"
Nick: "So apparently he got long and real skinny this week!"

This week we ordered (and received) Carson's bedding and I LOVE it!  I'm going to use it to pick out a paint color pretty soon and I'm pretty excited about that. 

Here is the weekly run-down.......

How far along? 21 weeks
Total weight gain: Maybe 5lbs by now.  Somewhere between 4 and 5 I'm sure. 
Maternity clothes? Not yet!  I wore my BeBand from Target one day this week but it wasn't really necessary yet so I haven't worn it again.  (I'm thinking it will be necessary VERY soon!)
Stretch marks? no
Sleep: Sleeping great and my cold is gone!  Lately I've only been waking up once every night to pee which is a huge improvement!
Best moment this week: Having Nick feel Carson kick HARD 3 times in a row last night!
Miss Anything? Just warm weather...nothing pregnancy related :)
Movement: Definitely more movement this week!  Carson is moving around as I type this.  He seems to be pretty active in the late afternoons and evenings and sometimes in the morning!
Food cravings: Sweets this week.  I went to the grocery and bought mini powdered donuts, chocolate Special K bars, and ingredients for a cake from Pinterest!  (Don't worry, I also bought a bunch of fruit!)
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Gender: Baby BOY Carson!
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Nothing new....energy level is improving but I'll still have a random night where I get home from work and pass out on the couch!
Belly Button in or out? innie
Wedding rings on or off? on still...hopefully for a while!Happy or Moody most of the time: Super happy!  I can't help but smile when I feel Carson moving around in there!
Looking forward to: Picking out a paint color for Carson's nursery!
Here is the latest bump pic.  I don't feel like I look much bigger than last week's pic but I feel a ton bigger and people at work are finally starting to believe I have a baby in there! :) 
P.S. My butt looks huge and that's real life.  I've always had a ghetto booty :)