Archive | August, 2013

The Nursery & Feeling Prepared

26 Aug

Well folks, Husband and I are entering the final stretch of our pregnancy countdown. There are only five weeks and four days to go until our C-Section date, and I’m finally now starting to feel like we are mostly prepared for this drastic change in our little family world. Part of my anxiety is work related. I won’t feel truly calm until the bulk of my sub plans have been compiled, just in case this little guy decides to come early. But, that being said, a large part of my trepidation was because we didn’t have the space ready for the baby to come home to. It’s hard to feel prepared when your nursery is in shambles. I’m happy to now say that at least that part of my worries is over (and my sub plans are coming along nicely as well).

If you know me, you already know that my vision from Day One was to have a Where the WIld Things Are themed nursery. Child #1s nursery was Eric Carle themed, and being the bibliophile that I am, it was important to me to keep our book themes going. When I first started getting ideas for our nursery and poking around at what was out there, these are the items that gave me my initial inspiration.

Mood Board

I didn’t want our theme to be too literal. The last thing I wanted to have where Where the WIld Things Are sheets, Where the Wild Things Are decals, etc. I wanted the tone and the feeling of Where the Wild Things Are without the theme being overwhelming or cheesy. I’m pretty proud to say that I think we’ve accomplished that goal. So, without further ado, PICTURES!

With Labels 1

1. I need to give credit where credit is due and confess that these amazing curtains were not my original idea, but rather one that I stumbled upon here at a blog about another Wild Things nursery (thank you Pinterest). Turns out they’re from Ikea, and very reasonably priced. They were about a foot too long for our room, but a little bit of a hem and voila. Perfect.

2. You can’t (imho) have a Wild Things themed nursery without the forest growing in the bedroom, and these stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils helped us do that. Again, I didn’t want to walk in and have jungle vomited all over me, so just a few leaves here or there did the trick for us.

3. We had a really hard time when it came down to picking bedding. In the end, we weren’t able to find a bedding “set” that coordinate with the coloring and the theme in our room; everything green had jungle animals or grasshoppers on it. When I was doing a search for “separate” crib bedding pieces, I found this gorgeous collection from Argington (most of the collection was available from Babies R Us) . It has the feeling of wilderness and abandon that I was going for, with an easy color palette. We paired it with a simple green jersey sheet so that the crib wouldn’t look too busy.

IMG_2925

With Labels 2

4. Part of what makes Where the Wild Things Are so great is the artwork, so to bring some of the characters and scenery into our room was essential. I was able to find this beautiful piece on Etsy here with custom sizing and formatting.

5. The other three prints I purchased were also from Etsy (seller here) and I was able to get them at a great combined price. I’d highly recommend this seller if you are looking for quality and custom work. Originally the blue monster print said “I’ll eat you up I love you so,” which bothered me since that’s not the original wording from the book. I sent a request to get the wording changed and it was done with no problems whatsoever.

IMG_2929

6. It’s not at all hard to find copies of Maurice Sendak’s book; they’re carried at every book seller you could imagine. What was hard to find were the plush monsters and Max to go along with it. I would have preferred the 15″ characters, but they weren’t to be found anywhere. Ebay had a few, but in used condition and outrageously priced. Thankfully I was able to find the 7″ plush figures through the Eric Carle Museum gift shop. I love, love, love them.

With Labels 3

7. While not the original mirror I wanted, I am more than happy with this mirror I acquired from Target. The ripples on the mirror evoke the waves in the illustrations of the books, which I adore.

With Labels 4

8. Yes, we are naming our son Max, but that was decided long after the theme for the room had been determined. It’s a happy coincidence that I love, almost as much as I love these custom blocks (another Etsy find).

With Labels 5

9. We can’t do midnight feedings without a lamp, and we found this perfect one at Ikea. The lamp light is just soft enough for those late night/early morning hours. My one issue is that I’m not sure it’s sufficient lighting for reading books by, but it would be easy enough to find another lamp to supplement this one.

10. Let’s just say that Etsy was my hero when it came to custom pieces. This is a light box featuring a scene from the book. Again, the light is too soft for much practical use (even too soft for a night light) but it is adorable.

11. The last piece of furniture that I NEEDED (I swear) to complete the feel of my nursery is this table from Target. On its own it looks a little Mad Men, but the textured drawer again brings out those feelings of adventure and travel that Where the Wild Things Are addresses so well.

There you have it! My dream nursery, nearly complete. Now the only thing that’s missing is our baby boy, but let’s hope he doesn’t arrive before my sub plans are done. 🙂

Advertisements

Constructive Criticism

20 Aug

This upcoming year will be my third year in the teaching profession. While I like to think that I am the best teacher ever, I understand that by anyone’s standards three years does not an expert make. I know that I still have a lot to learn and perfect before I would even consider myself close to being an established teacher.

In the spirit of professional growth and self reflection, I had my students last year fill out an anonymous (if they wanted it to be) end-of-year survey to evaluate how I was as a teacher in their eyes. I’ve been reading over these reflections now as I begin to prepare for the upcoming school year, and a lot of the information has been valuable. They’ve told me that they wished they had done more “projects” (interesting) and more writing (I could not agree more) and watched more movies (of course). They also told me that they hate root words (sorry kiddos, required by the district) and would prefer to sit in rows versus groups (not what I expected). Overall, most of these surveys will be very useful to me as I plan this upcoming year.

Emphasis on the word most.

As is to be expected, there were a handful of students who either didn’t get the questions or decided to be smartasses creative with their responses. Here are a couple that I thought were too good not to share.

IMG_0889

Ok, let me start by saying that a trampoline room sounds AMAZING. I’m not sure how conducive it would be to writing persuasive essays or holding literature circles, but yes, yes and yes. As to questions two and three, I did teach science for 2/3 of a school year, and I like to think I was good at it. Gym, though? Don’t be crazy. Lastly, I agree. I should spend more time on vacations. I’ve notified the school board and told them so.

IMG_0890

Here’s a perfect example of how sixth graders very frequently take figurative questions literally. I’m a little freaked out by this student’s feet growing larger than the rest of his/her body, though. I’m imagining clown shoes.

IMG_0891

Like I said, these surveys were anonymous, but I told them they could put their names on the papers if they wanted to. Honestly, I’m just impressed that there was a 12-year-old at my school who knew who Bob Saget was.

IMG_0892

I can’t help but think that there’s a cause and effect relationship happening here. Perhaps the reason this student got so good at “getting yelled at” is because of his/her affinity for sleep? Just saying…

I’d like to thank the students who wrote these responses. While I would have appreciated actual useful feedback, a good laugh is always an acceptable second choice.