First up - Sullivan is my absolute joy. I'll share with you that I was extremely apprehensive to be having another baby at 40. He was definitely an unplanned blessing. My pregnancy was rough, to put it mildly, and I tried not to think about his arrival because I was certain it would throw our lives all out of whack. I thought about not being able to take vacations for a while (or having to take them with an infant in tow - not fun!), sleepless nights and endless cycles of feeding, burping, and changing a crying baby. In fact, I didn't even buy anything for him until the last week of my pregnancy - and that was only when my older kids insisted that we needed to buy some clothes and blankets for him (his bassinet and carseat didn't get purchased until the day after he was born!). I knew I was going to love him, but I also thought it'd be a big adjustment. When we got to the hospital after my water broke and I realized that there was no stopping that train, I was almost in tears, thinking that this could be the biggest mistake of our lives. Starting over at 40 did not seem like the brightest idea!
Well, the instant the doctor held him up to me and I saw his funny face (he was a bit swollen since he felt it necessary to come out with his fist pressed against his nose) I fell totally in love. Yeah, I know, that's what's supposed to happen right? But, honestly, I didn't expect it. I had felt that love with my first 4, but I still wasn't prepared for that rush of absolute, total, pure love. Sullivan is absolutely the best thing in my life. Part of this is because he's such a sweet, adorable little guy, with a mass of red hair that makes him look like a little old man (seriously, we need to give him a hair cut already!) Part of it is because he has completed our family in a way that surprises me. I didn't realize he was missing until we had him. My oldest children dote on him - volunteering to change diapers, hanging around waiting for him to wake up so they get a chance to hold him, begging to be the one who assists me with his bath etc. So yeah, having a baby at 40 is the best thing that's ever happened to me (and since I just celebrated my 15th anniversary with my husband on Friday, you can safely assume that I've had a lot of good things happen to me in the last 15 years ) God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes He doesn't send us what we want necessarily, but what we need.
Alright, I'll try to refrain from waxing lyrical about Sullivan any more - although I can't promise that I won't sneak in updates and pictures now and then, just because I can't resist sharing the cuteness.
Another blessing in my life is my maternity leave substitute. Mrs. Edwards is a miracle. She helped set up my classroom (she did 95% of the work!) and has stepped up to the first weeks of class without hesitation. She comes in on the weekends to run copies and get the room ready, she presented my behavior clip chart system to the parents at Open House, she's set up conferences with parents and admin already for those students who need a little extra help/guidance and is an all around life saver. I went into school on Tuesday and spent 30 minutes in the room, just watching, wanting my kiddos to get a little bit used to me so the transition isn't such a shock, and I was so happy to see how well she's managing everything from discipline (man, I wish I had her voice - she's soft-spoken but firm and I have a tendency to be loud, even in normal conversations) to teacing the curriculum!
The third blessing came this week in the form of boxes from Amazon. I had signed up with Reddits Gifts For Teachers program and was thrilled to be matched with a lovely family. Their son did not require any school supplies this year as he's a high school senior, so they used the money that they would have spent on him to treat my class.They sent us wipes, crayons, scented markers, glue sticks, construction paper, oil pastels AND stickers! I cannot wait to bring them into the classroom this week and show the kids - I feel a special craftivity coming on!
I was also blessed this summer by Oriental Trading Company. They sent me a gift card to check out some of their products and I had a blast filling up my cart with all things cowboy! Here's some of the items I picked:
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These precut tissue squares are fabulous for crafts, and I can't wait to use these Western beads for some pattern necklaces!
We'll be using these Western stamps to make pictures to write stories about, as well as graphing with them.
I love these dry erase sleeves - especially since my principal wants us to cut way back on paper this year!
And of course, if you know me you'll know that I am unable to resist dice - these large foam dice will be gracing our math centers this year and I bet the kids will have a blast with them!
And, even better, Oriental Trading Company is allowing me to pass on this blessing by giving me a $25 gift card to give away to one of you! Just fill out the rafflecopter form for your chance to win!
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Thank you so much for being another blessing in my life - it makes such a difference to know that I can help other teachers and students out there - it really makes my heart happy to think that I can make even a small difference for another classroom!