Thursday, February 21, 2019

Seven Questions

Such a good question! The biggest suggestion that I give my own students as well as their parents is Youtube!  Youtube can be a WONDERFUL resource for reteaching and refreshing (either for you or your student).  Typically you can search by an assignment name (i.e. "area of irregular figures" or "Pythagorean theorem with missing leg", etc,. etc.) and DOZENS of videos will pop up.  If you sort your search results by "view count" it will usually bring to the top a few reputable channels like Khan Academy, That Tutor Guy, Mathantics and yaymath to name a few.  

Sometimes all kids need is a little "refresher" when they get home and Youtube is perfect for that. 

Youtube disclaimer - I am NOT a fan of kids having access to Youtube. There is SO MUCH JUNK on there that they don't even realize they're stumbling upon so if you're going to set your kid up with YouTube for homework help, I'd make sure that it's in an area where you can monitor.

Our boys are pretty much exactly three years apart (3 years and 2 weeks) and here are the pros and cons of their age gap...

PRO: Luke was VERY self sufficient and he could be helpful when Mason was a newborn.  He could do things like bring me a diaper when I was changing Mason and get his own goldfish crackers and juice while I was nursing.  He could also occupy himself well (whether it was with playing or watching a show) while I was nursing (Mason ate ALL THE TIME as a newborn so this was HUGE!).  

PRO: Luke could be trusted to walk independently (holding onto the stroller or shopping cart) and I didn't really even need a double stroller (except for longer outings).  

PRO: Luke "understood" things like the need to be gentle, why we had to be quiet during naptime, why he couldn't sit in my lap while I was feeding the baby, etc.  There really wasn't a lot of jealousy because at three we could explain things and for the most part he understood.

CON: Part of this is their personalities and part of it is their age gap - but playing "together" has presented it's challenges.  Luke has always been the "leader" and felt the need to be "in charge" of play.  Luke was into little legos when Mason was still pretty "destructive" (he loved to break Luke's creations - lots of tears!) and Luke would often complain that Mason was "too little" to play things with him.  In the meantime, Mason IDOLIZED Luke and would do pretty much anything to get his attention ;)  I feel like this "gap" is narrowing the older they get and when they do play together it's the BEST.

Mason and Griffin are exactly two years apart (two years and 1 day) and here are the pros and cons of their age gap...

PRO:  They are 100% playmates and have been from a super young age (except for that first year - hahaha).  They both love imaginative play and really enjoy playing "with" each other without anyone having to be the boss.  Which actually leads into a con...

CON: As well as they play together they can fight JUST as well.  Because they're so close and play together so often we have our fair share of "hug it out" moments.  

CON: Mason turned two and Griffin was born the next day and it BLEW HIS MIND.  He was too young to really understand things like why I couldn't hold him 24/7, why I couldn't get his snack RIGHT NOW while I was in the middle of nursing and he was still at an age where independent play was more of a challenge while I was occupied putting Griffin down for a nap or feeding (this got MUCH better over time, but it was initially a shock for his little system).  Not being able to understand some of the things mentioned above led to some jealousy issues which was understandable given how young he was and how "rocked" his little world had been.  (It didn't help that Mason got strep throat the day we brought Griffin home from the hospital and we were scared to let him near her or me for fear of either or us getting sick... I feel like that situation exacerbated some of the feelings he was having).

CON: Mason was still a toddler (I mean - he was pretty much a baby) when she was born and could NOT be trusted to hold onto a shopping cart or stroller while we shopped, walked into the store, etc.  This made errands a challenge and I became best friends with my double stroller REALLY quick.  

CON: Mason wasn't potty trained... twice the diapers :) 

Luke and Griffin are exactly five years apart (five years and 2 weeks) and here are the pros and cons of their age gap...

PRO: Luke was EXTREMELY helpful when Griffin was a newborn. He could hold her (while sitting on the floor) or watch her laying on a blanket while I ran to the restroom, he LOVED to push the stroller, etc.

CON: Luke and Griffin really don't play together.  He'll play "with" her because he's sweet... but it's just that... to be sweet... he's not really playing (I hope that makes sense).  For example, she'll ask him to decorate her dollhouse with the furniture and he'll oblige her but he's not really playing.

PRO: Given that they're not really playmates they RARELY fight.

To answer the part about which was the hardest transition - I really think the absolute hardest was going from zero to one kid, but each transition had it's challenges.

Zero to One: Dave and I both felt like our world had been LITERALLY turned upside down.  I remember sitting on the couch one night and our house was a mess and I was a mess and we were trying to watch a movie (which we had always loved doing when he got home from work) and we had paused it or like the 11th time to do something with Luke and we both just looked at each other and cried because WHAT ARE WE DOING?!?!  We loved Luke with all our hearts (duh!) but in that exhausted moment we realized that our lives would never be "just ours" again.  I know that this sounds dramatic - but it literally went from being all about "us" to all about "him" (and yes... as we've grown as parents we've learned to shift our focus... but that's hard with a newborn!) and it was a shock.  Throw in there some crazy postpartum hormones (I cried at 5:00 p.m. and had some pretty crippling anxiety) and it was a lot for two 25 year olds.

One to Two: This was probably our easiest transition.  We felt prepared and "seasoned" and we knew what to expect.  I was about 7000 times more confident in myself as a mom (and we lived about 8 houses away from my parents which was AMAZING with a newborn!).  I felt comfortable nursing in public (which I NEVER would have done with Luke), I felt confident going out with the boys by myself and Mason was a GREAT sleeper from day one.

Two to Three: While I definitely felt the most relaxed with Griffin, having two active boys to entertain WHILE going through the newborn phase was a lot.  I had no problem nursing on the bench at the park if I needed to BUT the issue was that Mason was running toward the street or teetering on the edge of the play structure.  I had no problem getting her to nap on a schedule but then I'd have a birthday party to get Luke to and we needed milk before dinner and had to make a grocery run, etc.  I will say the very best thing I EVER did was hire a "mother's helper" to help me during this crazy season.  She was my lifeline and a HUGE help during this season.

(This picture was when Mason met Griffin for the first time - look at his face! This was pretty much his face for her first year of life) hahaha

This is a hard one because I feel like there are different favorite verses for different things/times (know what I mean????)

I really love Psalm 46:10a "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God" because I feel like it's applicable to me in so many different scenarios.  I tend to be a "doer" and a "fixer" and sometimes it's good to have a reminder to just Be Still.  The other part of the verse that I love is the "and know" part... not "and believe" or "and have faith that"... but KNOW.  It's reassuring and confident and I love that verse.

Griffin was 2 (she turned 2 in April and started dance in August) when we put her in ballet and it was mainly for the experience of following directions, etc.  We switched studios and classes (she now takes a Jazz/Hip Hop combo) this past August and she has learned SO MUCH!!! If you're not in a rush to get them into class I feel like 5 is when she really started absorbing and learning from classes.

This was her first week in a leotard ;)

YES!!! Everybody Always would be FANTASTIC!!!  I read it this past summer and here's what I said about it in my Summer Reading Recap...

The last book I read was  Everybody, Always by Bob Goff  (affiliate link) and y'all... it was SO GOOD.  A friend read the book and couldn't stop talking about it.  The next thing I knew my own copy was sitting on my doorstep :) 

Bob Goff is an incredibly energetic storyteller (yet, somehow not annoying - hahaha) and in each chapter he wrote about experiences he had with his family, friends and acquaintances that had me looking to Jesus' example as how to love others well.  My highlighter was out CONSTANTLY and I found myself "amen-ing" throughout.  This book was inspiring, thought provoking and (without trying to sound too cliche) life-changing.  I'm actually re-reading it now and somehow finding "nuggets" that I missed out on the first time around.  If you read one book out of my review make it this one - even if you're not a big reader!  I promise!!!

AAAH!  I have been SO INTO podcasts lately!  Here's what I've listened to...

Dr. Death - SO SO SO good!  But I wouldn't listen if you or someone you love is about to have surgery.

Dirty John - I loved this one!  Super entertaining and did NOT end like I expected.

American Scandal Season 1 - This was all about the BALCO steroids scandal in sports and I really enjoyed this one as well.  

Broken Harts - this was about the Hart family (they're the family who drove their van off a cliff) and while I liked it, it was hard to listen to and I didn't love the last episode.

Serial Season 1 - I was pretty immediately into this one.  A high school senior disappears and her boyfriend is arrested for her murder.  He says he's innocent even though he can't remember what he was doing the afternoon he was killed. This all unfolded while I was in high school and I found it intriguing from beginning to end.

S-Town - Fair warning... S-Town is FULL of profane language but there were so many twists and turns and I felt like the story was told SO WELL.  It was heartbreaking and eye opening and unlike anything else I've listened to.

I'm currently listening to Up and Vanished and here's what's on my list to listen to next...

Atlanta Monster
Serial Season 2
Over My Dead Body
The Dropout
Root of Evil

This question cracked me up and the answer is yes - but I really think it's just because of the bangs.  I get Zooey Deschanel a lot  - mainly when I wear my glasses...

... and when Carly Rae Jepsen was popular years ago my students used to joke that I led a double life as her (bangs and Canadian... that was pretty much it.  

When I was a kid and Ramona used to be on TV I used to get told that I looked like the girl who played Ramona...

... but again I think it had a lot to do with the bangs :) 

Happy Thursday, friends!!!


  1. Ahhhhh!!!! I love all the pictures of those McAnally babies!

  2. Good questions. My favorite--about the Luke, Mason, & Griffin age gaps, of course--such well thought out answers, so honest. Will have to get the book, Everybody Always.
    One question I have is how you figure out what email questions you respond to & answer. If someone sends you a "gift" & they want to know if you received it, do you respond out of courtesy just to let them know if the gift arrived safely even if you don't know that person? Thanks, Andrea

  3. Okay, I never, ever, ever listen to podcasts, but I did start the Dirty John one the other day! It's going to be my first to listen to from beginning to end!

  4. Thank you for your honest answers! Those were awesome questions. I have never listened to a podcast, might need to look into your recommendations.

  5. 0-1 was SO hard for me! Lots of tears! Thanks for always being so honest. Love these posts!

  6. I love how you described the pro's and con's of the age differences between your kids. It is so accurate. My kids (now teens) are 18 months apart. The first few years (2 under 2) were a blur, but now I love having kids who are so close in age. They are such good buddies, even though they are a girl and a boy. And it is fun to see them go through similar stages together. As I mentioned, the baby years were hard, and I think the 2 years when they both leave for college will be even harder! Love your blog and IG!

  7. The Dropout is SOO good - definitely recommend that podcast!

  8. Loved this post!

    We just had our first baby in December and the transition has been TOUGH! I had those moments you were describing about it no longer being "just us" in the weeks leading up to his birth and it's been hard to figure out our "new normal". It was encouraging to see that the other transitions were easier for you because I'd love to have another, but right now, it's an overwhelming thought!

  9. Did you know they made Dirty John into a TV series? I think it's just 8 episodes, but it was so good!

  10. Skip Serial Season 2 and go to Season 3! So much better
    Here are some other good True Crime pods:
    Up & Vanished
    Someone Must Know Something

    And for your Bravo fix : The Daily Dish

  11. Love reading all the answers to your seven questions! I'm going to checkout the book "Everybody Always". Have a great day!!

  12. I love the age gap questions. I always get so curious. I’m about to have my third in June. My first two will be 6 and almost 4. I definitely agree that going from 1 to 2 kids was easier in a lot of ways than going from 0 to 1. My first two are almost 2.5 years apart.

  13. Good news about age differences/any tough moments or fighting moments - it makes for great adult friendships/relationships :) My brother and I are great friends as adults, but weren't each other's biggest fans growing up :)

    And I agree with the above comment about skipping Serial season 2 and 3!

  14. I loved reading your answers to these questions. I really like how you answered all the pros and cons of the kids age gaps and the transition. I agree, going from zero to one kid was the biggest transition. I also love that bible verse. Everybody Always was a great recommendation. Bob Goff is amazing!

  15. Here are the podcasts I'm currently addicted to:
    Big Boo Cast (Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle)
    That Sounds Fun (Annie F. Downs)
    The Popcast with Knox and Jamie
    Oprah's Master Class
    Ordinary People, Ordinary Things with Melissa Radke

  16. Great post!Love you with the bob, the bangs, and the bow!!! :)

  17. Loved this post! Thanks Andrea! :)

  18. You little is like little GRIFFIN WOW!

  19. The Dropout is so good! Listen to it now, HBO is releasing a documentary on the same subject in March. My husband and I have it marked on our calendars. And if it really intrigues you after listening, read Bad Blood by John Carreyrou.

  20. Add COLD to your podcast list. It's very good, but also disturbing.

  21. Also recommending the COLD podcast! Crime Junkie is good too!

  22. Such cute little ones! I used to get 'Don't I know you?' a lot when I was younger. It seems I looked like somebody everybody knew--even different races!

  23. So I'm catching up on blog reading and commenting almost 2 weeks later but YES, going from zero to one child was absolutely the hardest! I so identified with what you wrote. I remember thinking "OMG, how will I survive the next 18 years?!?!" I also cried every day, usually around 3:00 pm. My father also passed away 32 days before my first child was born and our entire family was still deep in grief. It was such a weird time of love and joy for a new baby and sadness and loss for my father... All that to say, yep 0 to 1 is the hardest!


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