Holy Smokes Batman!

Holy Smokes Batman! It is February 2016 already! What does that mean???

Well…it means that Little is turning 5 years old!! My youngest will be 5. He will be old enough for his own library card [which he has eagerly been waiting since he was 3 years old for]. He will go to Kindergarten in August. He is definitely no longer a baby.

Little is SUPER into Batman for the last year. So into Batman that he has even been watching “Batman” on Amazon movies. This movie was from 1966 [Wikipedia page here]. He spent his Christmas money on a Lego Batman 3 video game and his favorite shirts, “stretchy pants”, and graphic novel are all Batman related. *Seriously, this kid is stuck on Batman* He is so into Batman that he has requested a Batman birthday. A Batman birthday at the local Chuck E. Cheese. So, what is mommy doing? Well among assigned reading, homework assignments, Big’s projects for school, cub scout activities, and day-to-day life, I am planning his birthday party.

First thing first. Invitations. Which actually turned into the second thing. BECAUSE, while I was searching on Pinterest I found this awesome printable: Water Bottle Labels. Which I printed on card stock and used the paper cutter at the library to cut into book marks. Little and Big LOVE them. Super easy to use once I figured out how to extract the file (my PDF and zip file viewing capabilities on Windows 10 is kind of wonky). WP_20160205_007

So, the actual reason I had gotten onto the internet (and skipped a perfectly awesome child-free afternoon nap) was to find an idea for invitations! Where a bit more exploration lead me to this AWESOMELY simple idea! DIY Batman Party Invitations at Simplistically LIVING. I downloaded her Batman symbol template. I was able to work with it to remove the yellow background after some work and I just printed it straight on yellow cardstock. (2 per page) I then created a oval shape and added text boxes to fill in the information for Little’s birthday celebration information.

WP_20160205_005

WP_20160205_006

-I didn’t put them in envelopes since his teacher is handing them out to his classmates and he is handing the rest to his soccer team and the neighbors. He is SO excited about the great invitations for his party and I’m so happy with how simple it was! I am a smidge behind on my personal homework (I just have about 50 pages of reading for Foundations of Information Science to finish by Tuesday for a discussion board BUT there is a Mardi Gras holiday so I don’t have class that night!). I’m also about 300 pages of reading behind in collection development. I should probably get on that. We’ve got Valentine’s Day parties at the boys’ schools this week and this mommy has to help make valentines.

However, last weekend was full of moments for our family. We spent a lot of time together. Little had his first soccer game of the season last Saturday.

He  played for almost 45 minutes straight and he played hard. Kid earned those cheese nips snacks and his favorite pizza at SoulShine pizza. He loves pineapple & ham pizzas. I’m not sure where he discovered this love but he tried it once at a pizza buffet and it’s all he wants anymore.

After our soccer excursion and lunch we had to make a stop at Academy to pick up some folding chairs. We had a cub scout pack meeting at a personally owned lake where the owner had gear and tackle for the boys to fish for Rainbow Trout and Bass in his lake. They then did a fish fry (and cooked some in the two bonfires set up) with the fish the boys caught. This property was fenced in and had a small trail and two bridges set up so when he got bored with fishing Little and I did laps around. [FYI: Mommy hates fishing.] My goobers LOVED it. After fishing (and playing) we roasted hot dogs over the bonfires, ate some of the trout the kids caught, and then roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. YUM!

 

Well the boys learned Saturday that our new agreement with watching cartoons QUIETLY until 8 AM [at which time Mommy would be sure to get up and they could then play video games] was to be upheld. By not holding up their end of the agreement there were no video games Saturday morning (and we got home too late for there to be any that night). So, Sunday I heard them briefly when they got up at 7 and let the dog outside to go potty. I also heard them go upstairs where they were quietly watching cartoons when we got out of bed at 8. They were super excited when daddy told them they could play on the Xbox One then.

They played video games while mommy and daddy worked on the drainage issues in the backyard. We started in the side area trying to make sure it is all angled downward and the holes that had been eroded away were filled and packed in. We then had to run to Lowe’s where we got some plastic sheeting to lay down before we placed the rocks back into the trench bed. It actually looks pretty good and we’re supposed to get rain next week so hopefully it works getting the water where it needs to be [which is not flooding our garage] and we can work on fixing the drainage issues in the back at a cost of less than 5 grand. I actually think it looks better than it did (it might be because we removed the leaves [why did we buy a house with so many darn trees!?].

Oh yea, and the last member of our family? She enjoyed playing with her boys and being lazy in general. Seriously, I was playing with her and I took out my phone. She started posing for me to take pictures to send to my momma. Haha. So, I took some pictures with her after she was done posing. I’m not sure she was amused.

Upcoming projects: Big has a “Famous Americans” performance at school where he has to dress up as Francis Scott Key. We are working on his Wolf Scout badge activities. Valentine’s day is coming up. Little’s birthday party. Homework [of course]. Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby is the same day as Little’s party and we have a soccer game that morning. SUPER busy day! [Not to mention we still have to make the cars.]

Seriously, we are a family of procrastinators! Big waited until the night before to do his reading fair project (which turned out great! He got 3rd in the k-2 group) and his famous American assignment (had to do an oral report and visual display – he got a 100.) I will definitely be sure to share those pictures with you all next time! Oh yea, and mommy and daddy chronically wait until the last minute to finish our homework too [no matter how early I get started on it].

Do you have chronic procrastination issues? How about Batman lovers and days that sometimes feel way too busy but you wouldn’t trade for the world? It’s a crazy life with all of these boys but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

 

Graduate School

It has been a CRAZY fall! I had my first full semester of graduate school on my way towards receiving my Masters in Library Information Science! I am SOOOO close to completed for this semester. I’ve finished up my cataloging class and just have one more assignment left in my reference class. I am working on a graphic novel review article for my graphic novel seminar class which I LOVED! I’m super excited to be able to apply everything I’ve learned in this class to help the patrons -and to spread the love of graphic novels-.

Manga-me avatar

Seriously! This is my avatar that I created for the class!

One of the strangest things for me when my graphic novels class started was the creation of booktalk videos. A booktalk is an event where you try to talk up a book to a group so they’ll be interested in it BUT you have to be sure not to give too much away! We created, recorded, and shared booktalk videos on YouTube for four graphic novels for age groups: k-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

So, I chose:

If you are searching for graphic novels by a specific age group/grade level I super, super, super encourage you to check out the ALA’s lists! (http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs/booklists/grphcnvls : k-8) (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/great-graphic-novels#top10 : teens)

Seriously! AWESOME lists! I also have a great list printed out from my professor AND another one from a guest lecturer from a previous year. I’m so excited to get to go through all of these awesome graphic novels and mangas!

I’m also in the process of submitting my application to get my children and youth services certificate as well as my masters. It turns out there was some miscommunication when I was applying and requested guidance and the application wasn’t completely done. So I’m now working on getting that portion submitted so I can actually get what I’m working so hard towards.

Big and Little are keeping us on our toes too. We’re all ready for winter break! Hope you’ve had an amazing fall!

Are you into graphic novels, comic books, or manga? I’d love to hear why you do or do not like them! Until next time!

My own little world

So, I’ve been off in my own little world lately. We finalized on the house and moved at the end of August. I started school mid-August again. I also worked for a week at the Digital Lab at my university. Then I got accepted for a position with the public library in our new town. It’s part-time, shelving books but I’ve been loving it. We’ve had a very small splattering of moments over the last month as we’ve been preparing for the move and trying to unpaWP_20150830_003ck and settle in.

WP_20150830_005Thankfully, we have three kids across the street who are around the boys’ ages. They love to visit with them and play with them.

Our dog, Kit Kat, is a chocolate Cocker Spaniel. She finally is able to come and live with us. She has spent the last year and half living with my mother and step-dad. She’s grown to love it too. She misses running the house like she did at my mom’s house; and doesn’t like the much more frequent baths and ear cleanings she is subjected to. Although, she likes to pretend to she is a ferocious guard dog when we’re together in the morning for work.

Kit Kat guarding the window

WP_20150916_004
Big has started Cub Scouts again. We’re in the Wolf Scouts this year. So far we’ve only had one pack meeting and have absolutely no idea what’s going on. So far….pretty much the same as before…except we used to have weekly den meetings now we only have a monthly pack meeting.

Little has gone back to preschool. He kind of likes it. He thinks the work is really boring and his writing is already (at least pretty close to being) better than his brother’s. He is getting a new teacher on Monday. He’s not excited for that. He really liked the one who is leaving.WP_20150919_003

Our Moments

In my life right now I’m trying to really focus on the moments I have with my family. Sometimes, I fail. And I fail hard. Other days, I really remember that these moments pass by way too quickly. So here are some of our fleeting moments.

Visiting Mama Ruth’s house:
The Men of my family
Daddy & the boys visiting Mama Ruth’s house
Little holding a flower
Little with the flower he picked for MawMaw. The sweetest picture of our Little!

We made a trip to visit Mama Ruth. Mama Ruth is my husband’s grandmother. She is in her 90’s now, I think. She is a sweet lady. Our boys had the best time visiting her! They got to pick vegetables from the garden, pick apples off of the tree, try to entice the birds to land on them, learn about different types of flowers, and see their cousin Emma who they hadn’t seen in a long time. We actually hadn’t been up to see Mama Ruth in almost two years all together. It was a pretty awesome trip.

Shhhh….Mommy’s working:

Boys playing with paint.    So, I work from home. Sometimes, Mimi (she watches our Goobers while I work and my husband is away staying with family for work) has errands to run. While Mommy is working. Sure, the boys are ecstatic to play video games all day. Mommy doesn’t let that happen. So, what do we do when they’re destroying their bedrooms and the heat index is 105ºF (obviously NOBODY is going outside)? Mommy has to get creative if she wants to get any work done. So, they sat on the tile floor outside my office door and used watercolor paints together. What task did they have? —Big and Little must have some form of direction if they are to play with anything potentially messy or I will end up with watercolor on the walls, floor, children, and probably the ceiling.—Ultimately, the task was to keep busy for the 30 minutes until lunch. It was suggested that they make Mimi and Chief Papa a special picture….2 days later Mimi and Chief Papa were celebrating 33 years of marriage.

Big with paintings                            Little with two paintings

BEACH DAY!!!!

My kiddos used to love to watch Ni-hao Kai-lan. Especially the episode titled “Beach Day.” The characters would jump up and down and (in high pitch voices) chant, “Beach Day! Beach Day!” You could say that was our boys on our beach outing. That was before the two hour drive. The water near our home has pretty pitiful waves AND had an outbreak of flesh eating bacteria this year. We decided to travel.

WP_20150725_024[1]*This is my ABSOLUTE favorite picture of Big and Little!*

        WP_20150725_003[1]  WP_20150725_019                             WP_20150725_016(2)[1]       WP_20150725_023[1]

Little loved jumping over the waves. Big loved swimming and trying to go over and under the waves. Mommy and Daddy just took the time to really play and have an awesome time. That was until Big’s leg met a jellyfish. That was the end of our beach time. There are not signs posted at any of our beaches that tell you what to do about a jellyfish sting….There were quite a few signs about what to do if you were caught in a current though.

So FIY: Rinse the area with SALT water, not fresh water, do NOT dry it with a towel, and do NOT get sand on it. You may scrape it very gently with a card to get any stuck stingers out – thankfully, we did not have to do that. Oh yea, and somehow, don’t panic. SO…Big is playing in the water fine as can be then suddenly starts SCREAMING! He’s not making coherent sentences at this point just yelling, “Owwie!”,”Stings!”, “It burns!”, and “Make it stop!” while we have no idea what has happened. He thrashes through the water, running like a crazed wild man, to the beach. Where he promptly sits right in the sand and proceeds to grab by his knee with his now sand covered hands. We run straight for the bottled water in the cooler to rinse off the area to see what’s wrong AND while we’re at it grab a towel to dry whatever it is off. All that’s there are 3 little red dots…which within 10 minutes turned into a purple slash around the side of his leg/knee area…which then turned into a red rash looking area in another 10 minutes….which went away within 8 hours. He is completely fine. And we are a bit wiser on how to handle a jellyfish sting.

So remember: Yes to salt water. No to fresh water. No to towels. No to sand. NO to panicking. Obviously, we had no idea what we were doing here.

The biggest moment…..THE FIRST DAY OF 2ND GRADE!!

WP_20150806_001[1]     WP_20150807_001[1]

We live in the south. We start school early here. How early? First week of August early. Which means that Big has started 2nd grade. He will be changing schools again in a month but he has started. His concern…it’s not common core and it’s the only school system he’s known and we all loved. On meet the teacher night he noticed all of the aids in the teacher’s classroom for the year were things he either learned in Kindergarten or 1st grade. He did ask if she could teach him anything. I said that I’m sure she can.

Why is my 2nd grader concerned with common core? Well, it’s what he knows and loved. His next school will be common core. And he gets bored very easily. So, what’s my concern? Is he adjusting well? We are 7 days in as I type this. He still hasn’t made a friend, he doesn’t sit with anyone on his bus, and he doesn’t know anyone’s name. When I tried to talk to him about it he just says that he’s different, they already have friends, and he’s going to be moving soon so there’s no point. What a long month it’ll be.

What moments have you had this summer? Do you have any moments in the works you can’t wait to share? I’m sorry there were so many in one post! I’ve really started to work on focusing on our moments and not the minutes so much in our lives. Can’t wait to hear your moments!

New Home

So, Raymond (my husband) started a new job last week! We are so excited to finally know where we are going to be able to settle down for awhile. He currently is staying with family until we buy a home and are able to move the whole family up there. His new job is three hours away from where we are staying. On the other hand, Big starts school in 2 weeks. Yup. 2 weeks. Here they start at the beginning of August and finish mid-late May.

We spent Saturday in the new town with our realtor looking at homes. The last house we went to visit for the day (which had to be rescheduled from third to tenth) was it. It was the perfect house for our family now and ten years down the road. My favorite part — might be that it’s yellow—and that it has a front porch. I’m a porch person. I love front porches. I also have my own office space and the kids have their own floor upstairs that includes a playspace/loft area between their rooms. We made an offer that day. Today (Sunday) the seller came back with a counter-offer. We’ve accepted although we are wondering what our new timeline is for closing. Originally it was supposed to be one month but they requested negotiating more time because they have to buy a new home first. So, now comes the hardest part to buying a new home…waiting to move into it….This week the boys and I are trying a craft from our “boys craft” Pinterest board. I can’t wait to share it!

My family of readers

It is no secret that I want to become a librarian. It is also no secret that I adore children books and young adult literature more than pretty much any genre of book. So many others will say it’s because I have small children and that it will change as they get older. However, I already know how wrong they are! You see, I loved these books before I could share them with the boys. It’s just now, I get to start sharing my favorite books with my favorite readers! So, here we will share our reviews on the books that we’ve read (mostly together, and some separately). I have read every book that will be reviewed. Little, on the other hand, cannot read on his own yet and does not care for chapter books. Those are just for Big.

Big    – 7 years old.

Meet Big!
Meet Big!

This is our eldest. He is affectionately referred to as “Big”. However, at seven years old, he is not very big. He is a whopping 46 pounds and 3 feet 8 inches. He is WAY to smart for his own good. He is obsessed with computers, video games, anything science related, the New Orleans Saints, and the New Orleans Pelicans. He is an avid reader whose preference is anything nonfiction. He loves to learn about weird events, natural disasters, history, and especially people. He is starting the 2nd grade in 2015. At the end of first grade his “AR” level was a 4.5-5.2 which means the books he reads are primarily geared towards a student who is in the 5th month of 4th grade through the 2nd month of 5th grade.

Little – 4 years old.

Meet Little!
Meet Little!

This is our youngest. He is lovingly referred to as “Little”. However, in comparison to his older brother, he’s not that little. At four years old, he is 43 pounds and 3 feet 4 inches. He is such an analytical thinker! He loves puzzles and is especially proud of the fact that he’s been working on 100 piece puzzles since last Christmas. He recently has discovered a love for some video games. He balks at rules in life but only will build with Legos if he has a guide to follow. His favorite author is Mo Willems. He loves the Elephant and Piggie books and the Pigeon books the most. Unlike Big, he adores fiction and does not care for nonfiction books at all. He loves books with bold pictures, bold statements, and imagination. He cannot read on his own yet but loves to listen to others read stories.

Mom – 26 years old.

Meet Mom {Aka: Me}
Meet Mom {aka: Me}

This is Mom (Me). I am 26 years old. I work from home, most of the time. My favorite books are anime/manga/graphic novels (depending on who you ask and where you are the genre descriptor tends to change). Next, I love children’s books and young adult novels. I am not a huge fan of nonfiction books. I do tend to enjoy historical fiction though. I have an overactive imagination like my children. I am not into science, nor am I great at puzzles over 100 pieces, but I am a hard worker, I have a passion for libraries and literature, and I enjoy writing.

There you have it. Us. In a nutshell. I am so excited for the awesome readers my boys are growing into, their opinions on the books that they read/have read to them, and to share these books with you! Are there any suggestions you have? Books that you/your children love?

Work at home

I’m now a work-at-home mom. I still work my 40 hours a week in my office online. Oh the joys of technology. We had to move in with the hubby’s parents for awhile while he tries to find a job. Thankfully, I didn’t have to completely leave a job I enjoyed and try to find another one while we’re here temporarily. I work remotely entering in invoices that get e-mailed to me, managing Facebook and Web site pages, answering e-mails that come in, and writing letters of inquiry and grant applications for the nonprofit I work with.

Working from homeThis is what I look like most mornings during work. Notice the messy hair? It’s from constantly readjusting my headphones. The headphones are because I have to listen to music for 8 hours a day to block out the noise….er..I mean….sounds of excitement and fun coming from the rest of the house. My two boys, mother-in-law, and husband are home every day, all day.

Pros: I like not having to wear scrubs. I hate scrubs. I don’t have to get someone to watch my area whenever I have to go to the bathroom. No dogs barking and constantly ringing phones.

Cons: My children (and rest of the at home family) provide plenty of interruptions. I have to wait for someone to e-mail me invoices and call if I have any issues. I can’t just get up from my desk and track it down for myself. I miss the dog barking and constant ringing phones. Mostly, I miss human interaction outside of the house.

I have learned that I need the quiet time after work to settle down. I also like having a place to go to that is noisy in it’s own way but not sounds of home noisy. Starring at a screen for 8+ hours a day sucks. I may be antisocial sometimes but I really miss human interaction that’s not the people I live with.

Do SAHM and other working from home moms have these problems? Am I just too ungrateful for my situation?