Tuesday, November 7, 2017

6th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap Reveal!

I might not have a lot of time these days, but I had to make time to host The 6th Annual Great Pumpkin swap with Kristin!  It's a fall tradition that I love!

This year, due to an uneven number of participants, I got to be part of our first ever swap trio!  Regine, Brittany, and I were grouped together.  I mailed a swap package to Regine, Regine sent to Brittany, and Brittany sent to me.  I won't lie, we were confused at first.  Haha!  BUT we figured it out.

Here's my package from Brittany:

This is such a perfect fall package!  As a new mom, I've realized that caffeine is a must in my daily life.  I've tried and just CAN'T do coffee, but I discovered I can do cappuccino.  So the travel mug is a perfect addition to my collection.  The scarf is beautiful, and you just can't go wrong with Ghirardelli squares!

Brittany, thank you again for a wonderful package and for joining this year's swap!

I can't wait to see what everyone else got in their packages!  Link up below!  (And instead of a blog post, you can share the link to an Instagram or Twitter post, if you prefer!)  Don't forget to share your pictures on Instagram and/or Twitter and tag @kedarhower and @rebeckann2 and use #GreatPumpkinSwap!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Teacher Thoughts: Technology in the Classroom

So I thought I'd stop by to write a very quick blog post and ask those of you in the blogosphere for your help!

There's an amazing organization called DonorsChoose.org that helps teachers get donations for their classrooms.  Currently, I have a project open for a technology need that I have in my classroom. 

While you wonderful, generous people are more than welcome to help me by making a donation, I am also asking that if you know anyone who would be able to help that you share the link with them!

Thank  you all in advance for helping me to be a more effective teacher! :)


Monday, September 25, 2017

Guess What Time It Is?!?


So I know I've really been MIA around here lately.  This being a new working mom thing isn't easy.  I've been working really hard to make time in my day to complete life essentials, and unfortunately, blogging just isn't one of them for me.


I couldn't pass up the opportunity to host the 6th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap with Kristin!

Here's how it works:

1. Fill out the form to sign up for the swap! Sign-ups end on Friday, October 6th at 11:59 PM (EST)
2. By Monday, October 9th, you will get an e-mail from one of us with your swap partner.
3. Once you know your partner, please make contact within 48 hours (by Wednesday, October 11th) to get to know a bit more about each other.
4. Spend $15-$20 (excluding shipping) to put together a fun fall themed package for your partner.
5. Mail your package on or before Tuesday, October 24th.
6. Link up with us on Tuesday, November 7th to share your swap goodies! You can link up your blog post and/or share on Instagram or Twitter. Use #GreatPumpkinSwap and tag me @rebeckann2 and Kristin @kedarhower!

That's all there is to it!  You don't have to have a blog to participate.  
Want to join?
Fill out the form below!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ryder's Birth Story

Why, hello there!

Remember me?

I used to be a blogger.

Then I went and did this thing.

I had a baby.

And time has suddenly slipped away from me.  One minute I have a day ahead filled with promise, and the next thing I know, it's night time and nothing got accomplished.

Right now, I sit on my bed with a 3 month old asleep in his pack 'n' play at its foot, and I thought, I think I'll finally take some time to share the story of how this little boy was born.

So here goes...

Back in December, I shared the news that we were expecting.  Then in January, I was able to share that Baby was going to be a boy!  Then the wait for his arrival on May 25th began, but as always, things do not go as we planned.

On May 19th, my cousin, Tori was getting married.  Originally, I was supposed to be in the wedding, but due to a HUGE error by David's Bridal, I was not able to exchange my bridesmaid's dress for a larger size to accommodate my pregnant belly.  Tori still wanted me to be a part of some picture taking and asked if I could be at the venue early.  I readily agreed, glad that I could still have a special part in her day.

On Friday, May 19th in the very wee hours of the morning, I woke up with some cramp-like feelings. It was a little annoying but nothing major, so I went back to bed.  Around 10 AM, I was having the same feelings, and I called my doctor's office to be sure this was normal.  I told them that I thought I was having Braxton Hicks contractions.  I was instructed that all was in fact normal, and that if I got to a place where I couldn't walk or talk through the contractions to call back.

Scott and I got ready and headed out to the wedding venue in order to arrive by 2 P.M.  I was still dealing with cramping every now and then, but it was nothing I couldn't handle.  I took a few pictures with Tori and sat through a very lovely (and very HOT ceremony*).

*Seriously.  Earlier in the week, it had been in the 60s.  On this day, it was near 80 degrees.  My pregnant self nearly melted.

I was progressively feeling worse, but this was my cousin's wedding, and there was free food to be had!  ;)  So I pressed on.

Helping Tori bustle her gown after the ceremony, and looking MUCH happier than I felt.
We had dinner, and Scott and I left pretty soon after (around 8:30 P.M).  I just felt so awful.  Since he had been drinking, I drove home, and we went to bed.

Around midnight, I woke up from the cramping.  I thought if I changed positions I would be more comfortable so I went downstairs to try to arrange myself on the couch.  Scott came down a little later wondering where I was.  By this point, I had been tracking the contractions on my pregnancy app trying to make sense of it all.  They weren't coming at regular intervals.  Sometimes, I would go 10 minutes, and sometimes, only one or two in between.  Everything I read stated that they should come more often, get progressively stronger, and be relatively the same time apart.  When Scott had enough of me grabbing his ankle when one would come on, we called the doctor.

The doctor on call said to come in to the hospital to get checked out.  Of course, I hadn't had my hospital bag packed (though I had been planning to do it for weeks....).  Fortunately, most of my daily toiletries were in a backpack in our bedroom because we were remodeling our bathroom and I had been getting ready over the tub or at the kitchen sink while our other sink was out of commission.  So Scott gathered up a few things with the promise to come back for more later if we needed it.

On the way to the hospital, I was so worried that they would tell me to suck it up and stop being a wuss and send me home.  At this point, I was looking for relief from the pain, and I knew that if it wasn't time there wasn't anything they would do for me.  We arrived at the hospital around 2 A.M.

I was taken to a room, and they came in to examine me.

I was between 6 and 7 cm dilated.

Turns out, I am NOT a wuss.

And then I promptly requested my epidural.

I was definitely not a person who had a specific birth plan in mind.  My mindset was to deliver a healthy baby in any way necessary.  I was open to whatever needed to be done to ensure we were both happy and healthy.  The only thing Scott and I were not open to was the use of forceps to get him out.  I wanted to wait as long as I could before getting an epidural, and I was pretty proud of myself.

When they admitted me and got things started for pain relief, Scott called my parents.  My mom answered, and he told her I was in the hospital and the baby was on the way.  She said, "Ok," and hung up the phone on him.  A moment later, she called him right back. In the surprise of a phone call in the middle of the night, things didn't quite register with her right away!   She, my dad, and my brother got ready and arrived at the hospital.

My mom and Scott were able to stay with me as the time came to get down to business. It didn't take too long to get to 10 cm dilated and begin pushing.  I pushed for awhile, and though I was doing a good job (their words, not mine! haha), we weren't getting anywhere.  We agreed to let the doctor try to suction him out, which she tried twice.  That wasn't successful, and so I was taken to have a C-Section.

They got everything ready, and we got down to business (again) to deliver our baby boy.  Scott was able to be in the room, and very quickly, a beautiful baby boy was born!

Ryder James
May 20, 2017
11:26 A.M.
8 lbs 4 oz, 21.5 in
Proud Daddy with his baby boy
with my brother, mom, and dad

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Books

It's been a slow month for reading around these parts, but the good news is that I'm 5 books ahead of schedule for my goal of reading 25 books this year.

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French ParentingBringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun and funny parenting book. I also found many things quite informative. I loved the author's take on the differences between American parenting and French parenting. In truth, I think the French are doing some things WAY better, and I plan to use some of their methods when our baby arrives!

The Winter Sea (Slains, #1)The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! At first, I didn't like switching back and forth between Carrie's story and the story she was writing, but as the story went on, I wanted to hear more and more of both of them.

For the record, these were both audio books from Audible,  I am just so lazy at home lately that I'm lucky that I even make dinner most nights.

The Complete Book of Breastfeeding: The Classic GuideThe Complete Book of Breastfeeding: The Classic Guide by Sally Wendkos Olds

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was given to me by a friend who breastfed both of her children. I am planning to nurse my son, and this is an AMAZING resource. While I ultimately didn't read every single page (I skipped the chapter for dads and skimmed the chapter about special circumstances), I found the information I DID read to be very helpful. I feel much more informed about my decision, and I may have also dog eared pages for quick reference later.

If you are pregnant and considering breast feeding, I would HIGHLY recommend this book!

View all my reviews

I borrowed an eBook from the library this month called The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes, and despite my love for all things English history, I just couldn't get into it.  I was basically forcing myself to read at least one chapter a night.  When I realized I was forcing myself to read it, I gave up.  I still wasn't halfway through the book.  I just don't think I enjoyed the author's writing style as much as I have other authors who write similar historical fiction (i.e. Philippa Gregory or Allison Weir).

What have you been reading lately?

Monday, April 3, 2017

March Books

It was a slow month for books around here, but I got a couple in!

The Baker's DaughterThe Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was good, but it wasn't a book that I had a hard time putting down. I liked the characters, and I particularly enjoyed the parts of the story that took place during WWII. The story could have stood up on its own without the other plot of Reba and Rikki in the present. I almost feel like their portion of the story was unnecessary.

America's First DaughterAmerica's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! As we all know, I love historical fiction, and I haven't read a lot of historical fiction based in America! haha I really enjoyed this story told from the perspective of Patsy Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson's daughter.

There was a lot of insight into the life of one of our founding fathers as well as the political and historical events of the time. I listened to this on Audible, and I looked forward to each listening session!

View all my reviews

What did you read this month?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Because I Haven't Blogged in awhile....

I bring you a survey I stole from Kristin because I'm tired, and I don't feel like during work that I should be doing. I started this over a week ago, and today, I'm home sick with a cold.

1. What are your nicknames? What you do like to be called? Since my given name is Rebecca, and I like to be called Becky (although I don't dislike my given name at all...), I would say that Becky is my nickname.  Rebeck is technically a nickname given to me by my brother and cousin who meant it as a form of "reject," but I actually like it and it forms my user names and the name of this blog.  So take THAT!  People also call me Beck from time to time.

2. What books are on your shelf begging to be read? I have the second and third books in The Land of Stories series that have been sitting there for awhile, but I'm just not into reading them.  The first one was good, I just don't know if I'm ever going to read the others.  I need to decide so I can add them to my classroom library.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like? I really don't doodle.  I'm not much of an artist....

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive? I have never been a person who has trouble sleeping...until now that I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy.  Sometimes, I just give up and turn on the TV or do something on my phone.  The other night, it was bad enough that I actually went downstairs, played on my phone for about an hour, watched some TV, and finally fell asleep on the couch until I needed to get up.

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it? While I do spend a lot of time alone, I have lots of entertainment at my disposal: books, phone, TV, computer, Netflix, etc.  So if I was allowed access to books, I could make it quite awhile, but if I have none of those things, I don't think I'd last more than a day.

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away? Letters...yes.  Especially these days.  I mean, do people even send letters any more?!  I did start making small albums of the photo Christmas cards.  I send them myself, so I know how much they cost!  I've always felt terrible throwing them out.  So I've started using binder rings and a hole punch to put together a little album of all the photo cards we get for the holidays.

7. What is your dream career? A professional singer

8. When making an entrance into a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost? It depends on the situation.  If it is a party with a lot of people I don't know, I will slip in and latch on to the first person I do know.  Otherwise, I like people to know I'm there.  haha

 9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be? I can honestly say that I don't know what my strongest sense is....maybe hearing since I'm musically inclined...?  I'm also going to be stubborn here and say that I wouldn't give up ANY of them. 

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror? I don't exactly count how many times I look in a mirror each day.  Sometimes, I do notice that even after several trips to the restroom at work, I didn't even give myself a glance in the mirror to be sure I still look like a presentable human being.

11. What’s the strangest thing you believed as a child? I honestly don't know...

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? TV

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know? My friend, Kim. 

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections? I don't read the newspaper.

15. Which animals scare you the most? Why? Snakes because EW.

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? I'm an avoider, for sure.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savored? That I look so cute pregnant; I'm getting to that point in my pregnancy where it's hard to keep that in mind, and it's nice to hear!

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will? My terrible housekeeping skills.

19. Are you a creature of habit? Yes, I am.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain. I don't think so.  I have a pretty laid back husband, and so while there are things I AM high maintenance about, there are others I'm not because I would go crazy if I tried.

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? I wish I could remember.  I've been pregnant for awhile.  These days, sometimes, walking up the stairs is pushing myself to my physical limits.

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why? Both. 

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others? I am more of a leader than a follower, so I suppose building my own empire.

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone? I'm not sure I have anything that fits this question. 

25. What do you think about more than anything else? Right now....my baby, about how annoying it is that I have to pee again, what to eat, and when I can go to sleep.

26. What’s something that amazes you? Pregnancy.

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? I appreciate people who tell it like it is, but there is a way to do that without being a jerk.

28. Where’s your favorite place to take an out of town guest? I've never had an out of town guest who isn't from where I live.  There's also really nothing that spectacular to do around here.  haha

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Clean 

30. Do you have a catchphrase? I probably do.  I know there are things I say a lot, but I can't seem to think of any right now!

31. What is one of your most cherished memories? Our wedding day

32. How and where do you prefer to study? I don't study these days, since I'm not a student.  But I prefer doing work from the comfort of my couch or propped up in bed.

33. What position do you sleep in? My side

34. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Scott and I have been to Dallas, Texas a few times to visit friends, and we LOVE it there.  

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new? Sense of humor, common interests, friendliness

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you? I'm a first born.  So I would say those characteristics are pretty accurate.  I tend to be bossy, a perfectionist, a bit type-A and controlling.

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? I'm not sure...

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be? I don't really think that I have any broken relationships....just some friendships where we have both drifted apart.  There are definitely people from high school and college that I wish I had more time to connect with.

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? I like my name, but when I took French in high school, we got to pick names, and I chose Michele (pronounced MEE shell) because of the Beatles song.  So I'd probably go with that!

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not? I think this honestly depends on the situation.

41. What do you consider unforgivable? The true and honest answer here is that nothing is unforgivable.  That's a basic principal of my Faith.

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Yes.  You can't live in the past.

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize? It certainly doesn't make it easier.  But sometimes, the person you are angry with doesn't even know that they hurt you.

44. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for? Yes.

45. What three fictional characters best represent you? Anyone who is a princess ;-p

46. In what area of your life are you immature? Housekeeping; as much as I like organization and order, I am just too lazy to clean up.

47. What was the best news you ever received? That I was pregnant

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular? I am more of a person who keeps my mouth shut unless I know that I am in like-minded company.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? My friend Kim and I became best friends practically instantly.  She started working with a student in my school during my first year in 6th grade.  We were drawn to each other like magnets!

50. When do you find yourself singing? The better question here is when DON'T I find myself singing? 

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