Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Brown Bagging It

 Of course I'm not actually bringing in a brown paper bag every day for lunch. What a waste! And I know that the most green thing to do is use what I have instead of buying a new lunch bag. But, my current lunch bag (left) leaves MUCH to be desired. As you can see.

Since I am using a TON of restraint to not eat lunch out every single day at one of the literally hundreds of cafes, restaurants and lunch spots--including a plethora of DC food trucks--within a few blocks of my new office, I do think I at least deserve a cute new lunch bag.

I'm sure you agree! RIGHT?

But, which one to get? Decisions...decisions!

This Koko Cristy lunch bag looks adorable! It definitely takes the cute factor. But, I'm a bit concerned it would be too small for my lunch and snacks. ($15.98 on Amazon)

I'm a big fan of Built NY (and also black, apparently!) and love this Built NY Getaway. Reviews assure me that it would be big enough and I know from experience that the neoprene stretches and also is easy to clean. ($17.15 on Amazon)

I'm seeing So Young's lunch boxes in all the back-to-school round-ups but how about this lovely large cooler? It is quite tempting....but do I love it as much as $36.95? Hmmm....

What do you think, friends? Or, do you have another favorite I should consider?

Here are some more great lunch box inspirations:

Apartment Therapy's Cool For School: Lunch Bags for Older Kids

Apartment Therapy's Cool for School Lunch Bags for Toddlers and Young Kids

Swistle's Milk and Cookies

Oh, P.S., I'm not even close to being sophisticated enough on this blog to have an Amazon affiliate program or anything like that so those links above are just links, nothing more.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The DC Moms

Did you mourn the loss of DC Metro Moms? Then head right on over to The DC Moms and you'll find some familiar faces and meet some awesome new ones--back and better than ever!

I'm excited to be up with my first post about recent recalls and eating local.


Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 22, 2011

1st day of Kindergarten

Lucas was so excited this morning! From the moment he woke up, he was raring to go.

He was in his classroom, had his book bag hung up and was sitting in his seat before Abel, Nathaniel and I could even get into the room.

Immediately before I left, I heard him introducing himself to one of his table mates and asking her if she wanted to be friends.

I'm pretty sure this kid is going to thrive this year. And I'm so excited to watch it happen!

{Yeah, the apple is for his teacher! It's a fun little tradition I started last year with his nursery school teachers. It has a brown paper leaf on the stem that says, "Happy First Day of School, Ms. T!"}

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Prep (for) School

Lucas's kindergarten orientation was Thursday morning--we found out his teacher and got to spend some time in the classroom. I couldn't be happier about his teacher, and neither could he.

His school supplies are purchased and uniform shirts and shorts are neatly folded in his room. He's thrilled about his new book bag and his beloved and very durable (going on 2.5 years of use!) lunch box has been given a good wash and his name re-applied in Sharpie.

We're all set for Monday morning!

On one hand, Lucas's first day of kindergarten can't come soon enough. On the other, I think it should still be a few years away!

{Do you also get a school day report of approximately five words? Check out this adorable--and useful--School Notes Free Printable from Living Locurto. I'll be printing several copies this weekend!}

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Told you he was crazy!

I've mentioned that this little guy is crazy, right? This pic is from last weekend. A ball rolled under my parents' Honda Pilot and he went right in after it...the ball kept rolling and he kept going! That's Abel's arm on the left: he was a little stumped about what to do. My mom oh-so-helpfully pulled out her phone and snapped this pic! (But, seriously, thank goodness she did: I'll treasure this always!)

Luckily he crawled out the other side!

Oh, Nathaniel, how you keep us on our toes!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Did you prefer Steve over Joe?

Any and every mom (or dad!) who has sat through an episode (or 1,000) of Blue's Clues while your child jumped up and down and your brains melted out of your ears MUST listen to this segment of the Moth Radio Hour with Steve Burns, the original host of the show. Seriously. Click now.


If you've never listed to the Moth Radio Hour, I highly recommend it. 

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Drum roll, please

In my last post I left a big teaser about life changes. Well, here it is: after 5 years as a part-time work- outside-the-home mama and then 18mos as a full-time stay-at-home mama, I've gone back to an office...full time!

I just finished my second week--and received my first paycheck, woo hoo! (Though it only reflected four days of work so was tiny.)

This is a huge change for our entire family. Right now, Abel is home with the boys full-time. (More on that later...apparently I can't tell an entire story in one post!) They are doing great. I leave at about 8am every day and take the Metro downtown (SOOO fun to be downtown in lots of action!) and get to the office by 9am. So far I've been leaving at 5pm and home by 6pm, but as work picks up, my day may lengthen a bit.

There are great things about going back to work--a paycheck, a sense of professional fulfillment, fun lunch spots (though that isn't really in the budget!), running into friends on the Metro, new colleagues who may become friends.... And there are really hard things--only seeing Nathaniel for usually less than two hours on weekdays, having Lucas ask me to stay home, missing all three of my boys, having less time for my volunteer activities....

But as with any big change, I know it will just take some time and then we'll all be used to it and in a good routine. I'm so grateful to have found a job quickly when we really needed the income. And I can tell you one thing, you can be assured that you won't ever find me in the middle of a "mommy war" debate--I've now been on ALL sides of the stay-at-home v. work-outside-the-home mom debate and I can assure you, they are ALL tough!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Weeks to Go!

I can hardly believe that my baby boy will start Kindergarten in THREE weeks. How is this possible? I'll admit that I was excited for this day for months but now that it is almost here, I'm getting a little nervous and weepy at the thought. He was in a full-day nursery school for two years so this really won't be much different. And yet it IS very, very different.

Honestly I think my weepiness has more to do with the big change in my life than this upcoming change in his. (Yes, that is a total teaser for a future post!!!)

I'm in love with this morning checklist FREE download from Children Inspire Design (one of my favorite Etsy shops and the source of the adorable counting cards I enjoy daily in Nathaniel's nursery). It won't really work for Lucas because he can't read...yet...but I think it would be fun to display nevertheless.
Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!