Apr 17, 2014

An Ode to my Mother #TeachersChangeLives



Teachers Change Lives

A statement that could never be more true.

I am a former teacher that is staying home with my two little munchkins.  I have seen first hand what a little extra help, supplies, and care can do to make a classroom come alive.  I was very fortunate to be at a school that had a very active group of parents that would make sure that each classroom had the necessities- Kleenex, paper, markers, pencils.  Even so I usually paid $150-250 dollars a year in supplemental products to help aid in my teaching.

 
The night before Valentine's Day, my husband, co-workers and I covered the school with chalk paint symbols of love and encouragement.


Bomb Shelter, Mock Trials, Complete Election Campaigns, Real-World Monopoly- I loved the opportunity to make learning an adventure.

My mother is the best teacher that I know. And I am blessed to know many, many wonderful teachers.  No, I am not biased. This is just a simple truth.  I do not know anyone that cares for her student's as much as my mother.  She genuinely cares about their learning, their future, and ensures that they are able to meet their goals in HS and on to college.  She is an eighth grade science teacher.  

But she is so much more than that.

She is the teacher that turns those kids(you can know those kids), the ones that hate life, take light on the fact that ruining a class isn't a big deal, the ones that even in eighth grade have decided that continuing their education-even in HS-is not worth their time nor their consideration- and turns them into gentlemen(and gentlewomen).  The ones that are a loss, as other teachers just decide to throw them out of class day after day.  I have seen firsthand how many lives she has changed, how many people she has saved, and how successful they have become because she took the time to care when they were in eighth grade.  She has taught long enough that her students are off in life, in college, and come back year after year to stop in and talk to her about what they are doing with their lives.

She is the science teacher that all students want.  The ones that the parents love.  The teacher that is remembered year, after year, after year.

Science can be a daunting adventure into the unknown, full of facts to be memorized and laws to be explained and learned. 

Science can be explained much easier with visuals-labs in particular.  My mother completes labs with her students weekly.  The set-up, take-down, and overall prep-work for completing labs in itself is why some educators do them sparingly.  My mother blows things up, lights things literally on fire(like hands), uses gas, Oobleck and all of Newton's Laws to essentially bring science to life in her classroom.





In the spring time time, she heads out to a local farm to collect eggs, and incubates them in her classroom- making sure to bring them home each weekend.  She uses food coloring-one that does not harm the soon to be chickens-and inserts them into the egg.  Through this process the chicks hatch with bright down feathers that eventually fall out when they mature into full-grown chickens.  The students are there for every step of the process- and she makes sure to never miss an opportunity for a teachable moment.  Every ounce of science is explained and better yet- the students get to bear witness to the creation of life!  The chicks are kept in the classroom until they are strong enough to make it back at the farm.  The students learn a valuable lesson on caring and being gentle with such young creatures- something surely many eighth grade boys need to remember from time to time.  







Before Coke and Mentos were popular she used the formula to explain laws of physics and chemical reactions first hand.  Students were able to bring soda and mentos to class and use her tool to see what the perfect combination of candy and soda would be to get the highest reaction.  

FYI: A 2 Liter of Diet Coke and Five Mentos is the answer.

When students are involved in their own education, and out there "in the field" making observations and essentially making scientific facts and theories come to life- that my friends-is where learning takes place.  Every theory, every law can just be words or numbers on the white board.  A truly great teacher takes the time to explain and SHOW  her students exactly what those theories and laws mean.  

My mother spends hundreds of dollars a year for her classroom to be equipped with the materials needed for her labs.  She believes it is a necessity and without a science fund account-budget cuts- she takes it upon herself to make up the difference.

Office Depot is enabling you to help fund fabulous teachers like my mom.  Your donations go to the classroom of your choice and will directly impact the students you have chosen to support.  Education comes first.  But you need a teacher with the knowledge, tools, and supplies to ensure that our future generations are successful.

Another teacher that is surely worth your time and attention is Jeffrey Wright.

Jeffrey Wright is a physics teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. His classroom is full of experiments from plasma balls, to hovercrafts. He teaches students to apply what they learn to real life. A big part of science is failing, and he teaches students that it's okay to fail but to keep trying. He believes you have to give back to make the world brighter.




Please take a second out of your day and send this information to a deserving teacher- there are many out there that could surely use your help!

    • How to Register Your Classroom as a Teacher
      1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website
      2. Click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
      3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

Remember that teacher that took the time to explain that theory another way?  The one you could count on in school?  We all have that one that made an ever-lasting impact.  Please take the time to donate.  Every little bit helps!

    • How to Donate to a Teacher
      1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website 
      2. Click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box on the Teachers Change Lives website, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
      3. Follow the corresponding steps from there
An important message from Office Depot:
  • Teachers spend money every year out of their own pocket, especially in underfunded areas.
  • Teachers are doing innovative things in the classroom and you can help them do more by donating
  • You can donate to the teacher highlighted in the video, or a teacher in your local community
  • Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students
  • Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students

#TeachersChangeLives




I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Apr 15, 2014

Em: 8 Months Old








Dear Em,

You are our sunshine! You are a little spitfire!  

You can crawl so fast now it is scary-and I mean that in the best possible way... I can completely understand why cats have bells on them-you sneak up so fast I have been terrified on more than one occasion.  And there you would be, at my feet, climbing up me, a mere fifty feet from your previous position.  Perhaps I am shocked at your speed because your brother only crawled for such a short amount of time(carrying his 30 lbs of chub with him) before he started cruising.  And little one, you are there!  You crawled much faster than your older brother-months faster- albeit you had a much better reason to move so much quicker-you just adore your older brother and attempt to keep up with him all day.  You give yourself quite the workout and the two of you can entertain each other even without any toys.

I love how much you love each other.

You stick out your tongue when you think you are funny.  You now click your tongue-just like when I cook- and your brother and you have your own "click" language at the dining room table that you communicate with and crack each other up.  Hilarious!

You are a lean, mean, fighting machine and don't hold any punches when you tackle your brother.  And I mean tackle.  You are rough and tumble and we are working on getting your brother used to using evasive maneuvers because frankly if he sat on you, you'd be toast.

You are the instigator, the little firecracker, and goodness knows you revel in the attention.  

You are such a good eater!  You eat 4+ bananas a day, loads of pureed veggies, beans and other pieces of our dinners end up demolished when we put them on your tray.  You are still being exclusively breastfed 4-5 times a day.  And are waking up once a night- please start sleeping through the night-your mother's bags under her eyes are massive.

You covet any of your brother's toys and it appears that almost all "baby" items just don't cut it when it comes to the "coolness" factor- nothing beats a Tonka Truck- nothing.

We love you with all our hearts!

Love,

Mom & Dad

Apr 14, 2014

Nuby Foam Bath Animals Review {& GIVEAWAY}

Nuby Foam Bath Animals

Language, pairing, memory, colors- the teacher part of me is just loving these foam bath animals!  The Toddler has had this pack for over a month and I am happy to report that they are a beloved part of his tub time fun!  We work on pairing all of the animals- talk about the different parts they have(eyes, shell, legs)- discuss the color variations and if we have seen them before at the zoo or aquarium.  The learning that has taken place makes my heart go pitter-patter.  


When the learning takes place with toys... it doesn't just feel like we are practicing skills... he is enjoying the little moments of play.  Using voices for each animal- completely adorable! The shark is usually the bad guy when he does independent play.... but sometimes the crab gets cranky too.


I definitely recommend this darling set for young toddler's!  My little Em loves them too-but just as chew toys(totally not recommend).  I love the quality of this set and am excited that one of my readers gets the opportunity to have one of their own thanks to Nuby!

The Nûby™ foam Bath Animals bring underwater creatures to your little one’s bath time! The characters float in the water and when wet will stick to the bathtub wall providing countless hours of bath time fun!  The fun colorful characters will delight and amuse your little one while stimulating their senses. 

GIVEAWAY

Now YOU can know how marvelous this set is!  Nuby is giving away one set of the Nuby Foam Bath Animals!

There are two total possible entries for this giveaway.

1.  Leave a comment on the bottom of this post on why you would want to win the Nuby Foam Bath Animals. Please include your name and email in the post so that I can contact you if you are the winner!


2.  Like As Cute as a Bug's Ear on Facebook and comment on the bottom of this post saying you did.

Winner will be chosen by Random.org and emailed.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends 4/26 at 5PM Mountain Standard Time.




Available at these fine retailers: 
  • www.BuyBabyDirect.com
  •  www.amazon.com 
  • www.echildstore.com 
  • www.diapers.com 
  • www.bedbathandbeyond.com 
  • www.buybuybaby.com / buybuy Baby 
  • Tuesday Morning 
  • Meijer 
  • Bealls 


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Connect with Nuby on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest to stay up to date with all of their new products and promotions.

*Disclaimer - I was provided a product for review as a Nuby Mommy Blogger. No other compensation was received. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.

Apr 9, 2014

Trip to the Zoo with Nana

























Zoo Membership has paid for itself already and we just renewed last week!  This will be our third year as members and we have been to the Zoo at least 85+ times.  I take the two little ones, twice a week, until it gets too hot.  Then we just go super early in the morning- 7AM- and head to the splash pad once we really start sweating.  

Nana went to the zoo with us on Monday and both little ones had a blast!  Splash pad- animal farm- carousal- monkeys-statues- snack breaks.  Both little ones had the longest naps in the books after we got home.  

Toddler and Baby Approved.





Apr 7, 2014

Weekend Update


Our weekend started out right at our local mall.  The weather has been quite lovely and we are soaking up all of the time we can be outside before the heat really sets in.  The Toddler LOVED going on the train for the first time- squealing with delight and laughing hysterically.  Em loved watching the fountain and the kids running around.  We picked up a Prius full of food and paper products at Costco on the way home!



Saturday morning The Toddler and I were off to a Starbucks date and then to the Home Depot Kid's Workshop.  He was such a little gem at our coffee date.  He opened the doors, held them open, said, "please" and "thank you".  I reveled in some quality one on one time with my little man.  He really didn't want to put on the orange apron and had a bit of a minor panic attack-luckily a bunch of other dad's and I were able to calm him down and he enjoyed immensely being able to use a real hammer all by himself just like all of the big kids.  Adorable and hilarious.  We made a bird feeder that is now proudly hung up outside for our two little sets of birds that are currently nesting in our palm tree.  We have two(what I would like to call doves) and two hummingbirds that are nesting- we LOVE having birds that return year after year to our house.


Sweet Em



After our workshop date, The Toddler and I went home and got ready for swim lessons.  Beautiful day with two lovely little ones!





After we got these two down for a nap it was time to go pick-up Nana from the airport!  So excited that we get to spend the next week with her!  




Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

We are off to the zoo this morning- to visit the giraffes, splash pad, and the monkeys.