Goodbye September..

September was a bit of a ride for us this year. Two brain surgeries for the boy in three weeks, recovery times, anxiety… it was a lot. We did have some good times wedged in there though.

Wyatt had his first day of kindergarten, and we started picking books up curbside from the library. We missed all the books!

We harvested peanuts (we grew maybe like 15, but still exciting!) We also visited the orchard with Chrissy and my niece.

We took a mosquito laden walk around the grounds of the Henry Ford Estate, went on a picnic and hike, and attended a backyard fire with my brother and his family. And then last week I had cake with my friends at one of our distanced gatherings.

And now we welcome October, usually my most favorite of all the months!

Just Ask Me About My Gecko

So.. I realized something this week. If you ask me about my gecko, I will tell you everything I can think of about her and about geckos in general. I should come with some sort of warning label, like ask me about my gecko and you may be forced to listen to my answer for an hour. I am not sure how this happened totally, but I am ok with who I am.

We got Harry in July, but I started thinking about adding a new family member (NOT a baby lol) during the longest months of lockdown. I needed a project, and a new little creature I guess. I was thinking rabbit for a long while, but landed on gecko. Wyatt really likes the Daniel Tiger episode where he finds an anole, and I have always thought that lizards were sort of cute. In July, we adopted Harry (a leopard gecko) and we all adore her. We started with the Leopard Gecko Kit from Reptizoo, and as the months have gone on and she has grown, we upgraded her to a bigger, bioactive tank with live plants and lots more room.

I am not alone in my love for small creatures though, this year – two of my besties are also in the same boat, with their little toad friends. Chrissy has a toad named Cupcake, and Kelly has two toads, Theodora (Teddy) and Betty. We actually sit around now and discuss our bioactives, clean up crews, substrate, isopods, and have tossed around the idea of breeding crickets. All over glasses of wine. They are just as obsessed with their littles, and Kelly and I actually send each other photos of Harry and Teddy and Betty. Who are we now?

This is Cupcake’s abode. She likes to hang out in her little house.

And this is where Teddy and Betty reside. You can see them sitting in their water bowls waiting for breakfast…

Kelly also added two more amphibians to her menagerie as well, two axolotls named Pearl and Faye . They give her more grief than the toads though, and technically belong to her tween..

All in all, they make us happy. Harry is like a cat, and I tell people that leopard geckos are apparently the reptile version of felines. She loves to be pet under her chin, she can be a little moody, likes to bask in warm spots, and is a cute hunter, shaking her tail when she is about to strike. She also honestly was put out with me when I got home after staying in the hospital with Wyatt, much like my cats, giving me the cold shoulder for a day.

These little critters, which we thought would be a nice distraction, turned out to be so much fun and sources of happiness. We just love our Harry! (or as my mom says, we are just wild about Harry!) And if you ask me about her, you might get more than you bargained for!

How about you? Did any of you develop any surprising new hobbies this year?

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week we kept things low key, and then Friday I had a social distance night with my friends – where we had cake and celebrated Kelly and Chrissy’s birthday. It was lemon raspberry and so delicious! Then Saturday we had a much needed distance picnic with my brother and his family, and my cousin and his girls. I haven’t seen my cousin in months, which is not the norm as we are as close as siblings, but..2020. So it was really good to be able to sit and chat with him again, around the chatter of all the kiddos. We finished with a small hike in the woods and said we would have to do something similar again soon.

Read Last Week:

I really loved this book, but then I usually enjoy Goodman’s work. I love a school setting, and she layers modern life against classic works in such clever ways.

Reading this Week:

I feel like reading some Gothic books this season! All that atmosphere is perfect for the moodiest season. I would love any suggestions that you have!

Posted Last Week:

My Autumn 2020 Bucket List

Homeschooling: September

Watching:

We finished both Wild Bill and Father Brown and are still searching for their replacements. I miss Father Brown! We are still watching Cobra Kai, and started the new Great British Baking Show as well.

And that is it from my corner of Michigan! Stay safe everyone.

Homeschooling: September

It’s been a month. From starting homeschooling to Wyatt’s surgeries, it’s been busy. We are using the Blossom and Root curriculum, supplementing with Chickie and Roo’s Kinder Nature Beginnings, and I am also throwing in my own stuff as well. It’s a lot to sort and juggle, but it is worth it. We read Aesop’s Fables and Stone Soup this month so far in Blossom and Root, and did some fun activities to accompany the readings.

We started September by studying apples, then moved on to red foxes because I love them, then ended the month with a two week leaf study. We didn’t get to everything extra I had planned but that is ok.

And frankly, this month has been such a roller coaster I can’t recall most of the resources I used for the first two units of extra study. Our leaf study though at least is fresh in my mind!

We discussed the parts of a leaf, played with a leaf ID puzzle, traced and colored leaves, worked on leaf IDs, did a My Leaf report page, and painted an autumn tree. We made a leaf squirrel after being inspired by Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, as we also read a bunch of books. My favorite was our leaf rubbing day, where we sat outside in the sun and read and created.

So, the resource round up!

Printables:

Kidsparkz Fall

Leaf Investigation Freebie

Wildflower Ramblings Leaf ID

Parts of a Leaf from Twisty Noodle

Books:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Pooh’s Fall Harvest || Fletcher and the Falling Leaves || Leaves || The Gold Leaf || Leaf Man || Hello, Fall || Illustrated Stories From Aesop || Stone Soup

Hello, Fall was a big favorite here – so adorable. And we always love David Ezra Stein, and the Fletcher books too. Wyatt is a fan of Winnie the Pooh so that is always a winner for him, but his favorite this time was the Flip-Up Fairy Tale of Stone Soup, which had lift the flaps and a CD.

Extra Materials and Links

Crayon Rocks – perfect for leaf rubbing!

Wooden Leaf Puzzle

Stone Soup Board Game

Next week we are learning about acorns and squirrels – it should be a fun week!

My Autumn 2020 Bucket List

Today I am linking up with Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After and her Autumn Bucket List challenge. I love autumn – the crisp air, the changing colors of the trees, warm snuggly blankets, boots, bonfires – just so much goodness in fall for me. I was born in November, so I think it is just in my bones.

I decided since we have had such a crazy month, to keep this list on the smaller side.

  1. Yoga! This has been on my list for months. I really need to make the time for myself to practice yoga. I always feel so centered and balanced after a session.
  2. Plant fall bulbs. Billy and I always say we are going to do this and always forget! This year though, it is happening. I want to experience the beauty of the spring flowers next year, and remember this season of life when we planted them.
  3. Ruthlessly purge my closet and start rebuilding my wardrobe. I posted my Fall Clothes Wish List the other week, and while it is just a few items for now, I want to make sure I add some cute things to my closet.
  4. I want bake more this fall. Bread mostly, but also some fun stuff too, like cookies and pies and cakes for my little sweet tooth boy. We did make this apple cake the other day!
  5. Start buying Christmas presents! I already have some ideas in mind for all the little people in my life and while Christmas is going to be different this year, I am still buying gifts for everyone. That is not changing.
  6. And of course, celebrate the season – enjoy the leaves, the tastes, the scents, read a few spooky books and cozy mysteries, maybe watch a scary movie or two. This is my favorite season after all!

And that is my little autumn bucket list. I already have some ideas for my winter one too… lol.

If you are interested in linking up, you can find the link up here!

My Sunday-Monday Post

So Wyatt is giving us the gray hairs this month! After being home two weeks recovering from his first emergency surgery, we were back in the ER then headed to the OR again for a repeat of the same surgery Saturday morning. The doctors explained that this is how it happens with shunt revisions sometimes, nothing for years then boom boom. It was another long anxious weekend but I am glad that my kiddo is home and healing again.

Read Last Week:

I started both of these books and am enjoying them both!! Carol Goodman never fails me, I love her work so much. And The Brave Learner is inspiring!

Reading This Week:

Just finishing up the above.

Posted Last Week:

My fall clothes shopping wish list – I kind of talked here about the sad state of my closet and how I hope to revitalize it a bit, but also thinking about what is needed right now due to staying closer to home

Watching:

Wild Bill, Father Brown, Cobra Kai – Johnny finally won me over!

And that is it from my corner of the world – hope all is well in yours. Stay safe everyone.

My Fall Clothes Shopping Wish List

I am going to be honest here – I am not a big shopper, especially for clothes. Books? Yes. Art? Yes. Clothes? No. I would like to blame motherhood but that is not it, not really. I have never been interested much, but yeah, I have let the wardrobe slide even further since I had Wyatt. I love buying him clothes but looking in my closet the other day I was like, ok, this is not good. Sure I am not going anywhere due to COVID but I need to do something about this situation. So many old t-shirts and ratty jeans, a few sweaters that were my dad’s that he gave to my husband but I stole because they were soft and comfy, a sweatshirt or two, and you have the contents of my closet, such as it is.

But what to buy, really, when I am not planning on doing much this fall? Well, I thought about that too. And, after seeing this closet reveal and how adorable Leslie looks, I was super inspired! I have a list, we will see how I do! (I need lists to survive..)

Gatherings this fall will be small, intimate, and (socially distanced) outside. And in Michigan, that means dressing for cooler weather. And fireside drinks! So this is where my mind went.

I totally definitely want this black Ivy Cardigan from tentree! It looks perfect for snuggling up in around a fire – plus it has a hood!! And the price is not bad either. I also love that they are sustainable and plant ten trees for every purchase.

And for those nights when I get together with my friends, hanging out by the firepit, sharing stories of homeschooling and parenting during these strange times over glasses of red wine, I think this sweater from H & M might help to make me feel a little less mom and a little more put together.

This shirt caught my eye..

And so did this one from United by Blue, another sustainable and ecofriendly company ..

Anndddd this one, again from tentree..

And I will probably need to get some new jeans and leggings while I am at it. Pair these with boots and warm socks and I should have a few things for fall!

Since I don’t shop too much, tell me, what do you think I should get? Where do you like to shop?

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week I mentioned that Wyatt had to have emergency surgery – he is recovering well, and is acting more like himself, just with a few more naps than normal. We spent most of the week laying low, but then braved an outing out to the apple orchard for my SIL’s birthday. We had a nice although slightly damp time. Thursday night I also had a lovely socially distanced evening with my BFF Kelly, where I masked up and went in her house for the first time in 6 months to see her axolotls. Or rather, her daughter’s. I also saw all the new cool pieces that she has added to her home – she has excellent style. Then Saturday my family got together for a quick fire at my brother’s house – drinks and conversation were much needed for our mental health after our past week!

Read Last Week:

Nothing. I didn’t think I would get any reading done, but I tried. I picked up and started reading to DNF three different books. I blame me, not the books though. I did listen to quite a few podcasts though.

Reading This Week:

I am going to start The Sea of Lost Girls by one of my favorite authors, Carol Goodman. I am also hoping to read The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart which has been on my TBR for a while.

Posted Last Week:

A Misty Morning at the Orchard

Watching:

Wild Bill, Parks and Rec reruns (so much Rob Lowe in my life right now), Father Brown, and.. Cobra Kai. Which took me a minute to love but now I am all in with it’s 80s cheesy goodness.

And that is about it for now! We are leaving to go for a hike in a few minutes so I need to get ready. I hope to visit all of you soon!

A Misty Morning at the Orchard

Wyatt and I met my SIL Chrissy and my niece L. at the orchard yesterday, and I am so glad that we went. I was very nervous, it was 8 days post surgery and it would be our first outing too. I am glad I felt brave enough to say yes, because we had fun, despite the slightly damp day.

Chrissy and L. met us at the orchard at 11:30, and Chrissy masked up and headed into the store to grab out bags for picking while I stood between the cars and watched both kids. Then we headed back to the orchard, where they had row after row of apple varieties to choose from. Our little caravan of two headed all the way to the end before turning around and deciding we wanted to head for the honey crisp first. We parked and we put a blanket down as our base and went up and down the rows plucking the apples from the branches. The kids thought it was super fun! When we finished that area, we wandered over to the golden delicious and braeburn section, and added more apples to our bag.

Our bags were filling up and getting heavy, but we were not ready to call it quits yet. We had one more small section we wanted to check out, the winesap apples. I have to be honest, I am not certain what these apples are like but we liked the name. Wyatt was super tired by this point so I stuck him in the back of the Subaru to hang out with while Chrissy and L. explored the field across the way, looking at the pumpkins, looking so autumnal sprawled out in the dew among their vines. L. came bouncing back, filled with excitement and wanting to show me the baby pumpkin that she saw so Chrissy stayed with Wyatt while I followed L. across the little bridge to the pumpkins. And we saw some enormous pumpkins as well as some teeny baby pumpkins. I guess fall has arrived, at least to our part of Michigan! I joked with Chrissy too, that she looked like a character from a Jane Austen novel walking through the fields..

By this point all of our feet were soaking wet and squishy, so it was time to call it a day. I would have loved to have had a picnic among the trees for Chrissy’s birthday (did I mention it was her birthday?) but it was too gross. We loaded the kids up and headed back to the front, making a little stop at the pick your own flowers field, where we realized we had no way to cut a bouquet. I never realized that one day I would be standing in a damp field lamenting that I didn’t have a pocket knife, but there I was. (and I came home and added a pink Opinel to my Christmas list..I will never go without flowers again! Lol)

All in all, we had a great time. I am so glad that we went, despite my anxiety, because I really think being with family, a change of scenery, and the fresh air did Wyatt and I both a world of good. I am so happy that we were able to share in Chrissy’s day! And look at this happy face!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

It was quite a week. Wyatt had emergency surgery on Wednesday and since then it has been all about healing and recovery here.

Read Last Week:

I absolutely inhaled this book on Sunday and Monday. It was so good!! It actually freaked me out in parts and I loved the ending and the characters, and well everything really. Review soon. After that, I didn’t read at all, due to circumstances listed above. I did listen to lots and lots of podcasts!

Reading This Week:

I am not sure how much reading I will do. When I am anxious I tend to not be able to read very much. I did curbside pick up my grab bag of books for Wyatt at the library and my own library holds, so I have a few cozy mysteries to choose from. I may end up reading this. We will see!

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: The Conjurer

Currently..September

From Smiles to Stitches

Watching and Listening:

Father Brown, Wild Bill (Rob Lowe…), Teenage Bounty Hunters for our watch list right now. And the podcasts I am listening to like crazy are Casefiles, Redhanded the Podcast, Homemaker Chic, and Lore.

Stay safe everyone!