Teacher Appreciation Week {Bruegger’s giveaway}

Happy first full week of May! And May means for most kids, the winding down of school & thus taking the time to thank the teachers who have helped teach & care for your children this year.

Lucy & Zach moved up to the late 2s/early 3s room at their daycare a couple months back, so these teachers they didn’t have last May or over Christmas. Making this week my time to tell these ladies a big THANK YOU! For keeping L & Z happy during the day, for making sure they eat, nap, play nicely with their friends & each other, for learning & for getting Lucy almost completely potty trained (probably another post, another time)!

In the age of Pinterest, it’s easy to find images & ideas other moms have done for Teacher Appreciation, but as a non-super crafty, overly-tired, working mom of two almost-3 year olds, I leave the Pinterest projects to someone else.

I’m relying on my trusty favorites: food & gift cards! You can’t go wrong there right?! I figured I’d stop by Target after work & grab a lip balm & little gift card for each of their 3 teachers. I won’t have specialty printed paper, but I figured I could write “You’re the balm! Love, Zach & Lucy” as my nod to the crafty moms.

And for food, no question, the Bruegger’s Big Bagel Bundle. This way I can not only give breakfast to their two morning teachers, but show my appreciation to the whole staff with 13 bagels & two yummy cream cheese tubs! A handwritten note of thanks & quick stop at Bruegger’s Friday morning is simple yet perfect! & Bruegger’s is always a delicious hit in my opinion!

Because Bruegger’s is so awesome, they’re providing me with not one, but TWO $10 gift cards to give out to TWO awesome readers. Just leave a comment letting me know What have you done or are you doing to show appreciation for the teachers in your children’s lives?! If you don’t yet have children, leave a comment with what you think is a fun idea!

And I’ll pick two random comments ~ Congratulations Elana & Crystal! Y’all won! I’ll email you both for your addresses!

In exchange for this post, Bruegger’s is providing me with gift cards for me as well as the ones for the giveaway, but my thoughts & opinions are all my own & not swayed because of their generosity.

Two Year Photos

Before I get into a fun & poignant week of birthday week posts, I didn’t want to leave out sharing a few of my
favorite photos from Lucy & Zach’s two year photo session with my lovely & talented friend Steph, the photographer behind LilyMae Photography.

Lucy & Zach 2 year

Lucy & Zach 2 year family

Lucy & Zach 2 year family B&W

Yep, this is our life ~ laughingly wrangling toddlers & doing whatever it takes to make them smile 🙂

Lucy 2 year

Lucy girl!

Zach 2 year chair

Lucy 2 year chair

Lucy’s smile {finally!} is thanks to her Daddy’s tickles!

Zach 2 year eyelashes

Eyelashes, thanks to his Daddy. 🙂 Curls I’m putting off cutting, all Mommy 🙂

Lucy & Zach were just about over photos when we changed them into their birthday outfits. But Steph & I were determined to get a few sweet shots of them together. Thanks to Annie’s fruit snacks, these were accomplished!

Lucy & Zach 2 year with mommy

So proud to call them mine & TWO!

Lucy & Zach 2 year kiss

This shot is so them ~ a mix of sweetness & side eye!

Big thanks Steph!

The End of Co-sleeping?

It started due to sickness. One had a bad cold/ear infection/stomach bug/something. And to prevent the other from getting it & waking up while their sibling coughed/sneezed/vomited, we bought Zach in bed with us. And it worked. Once well, L started sleeping through the night in late November/December {after some not welcomed 10-midnight wakings led to successful modified CIO sleep training}, and Zach would wake to nurse still.

So having him co-sleeping meant just rolling over when he said ‘mommy’ & tugged up my top. As I’ve said for almost two years, we do whatever works. Whatever gets us the most sleep; letting nay-sayers be darned. So what if he wasn’t “sleep trained”? We were getting by & he was getting the extra milk I thought my lil guy might need in the middle of the night.

Well a couple weeks turned into months & months. And co-sleeping became our routine. We liked the cuddles, the convenience for dream-feeding, & being close after away from him all day. We talked about transitioning him back to a crib via baby steps into a pack-n-play in our room or the guest room so they still wouldn’t wake each other. But then we didn’t. And then L was sick again, then it was Zach’s turn, then his surgery & stomach bug.

But my turn at the stomach bug last Thursday night was kinda a line in the sand. Vomiting your brains {& dinner & lunch} out then your son wanting to nurse & sleep on your pillow was rough.

When we went to GA & Jason’s parents’ house last weekend {post to come!}, we did their bedtime routine in our shared room, then put both L & Z in side by side pack-n-plays. I’ll be honest, Jason & I went to bed just after L & Z, fully expecting to be up most of the night with Z {& maybe L too} awake due to being in strange bed. And he slept til 4 before crying & us pulling him up between us!

The following night, L & Z went down to sleep fine & both lasted til 515a when the husband’s forgotten alarm had us all awake then snuggling in the queen size bed.

With those sleeping successes, we discussed trying Z out in his bed when we returned home. But I had a work conference Sunday & Monday, & I fully did not expect changes from our routine made while I was gone.

To my shock, my Dad & husband did a modified CIO with Zach that Sunday night & within 20-30 minutes of tears & fussing that first night, Zach was asleep in his crib. And even cooler, Lucy had gone & stayed asleep while Z was carrying on! When he woke up in the middle of the night, Jason did bring him into our bed to co-sleep til morning.

Monday night, Z put himself to sleep in 5-10 minutes & lasted in his crib all night. My arrival in the mix of bedtime Tuesday meant a few tears & cuddles, but he still put himself to sleep within just a few minutes & slept through the night!

Y’all this might be a bit premature, but we’re on a streak of sleep here. For everyone! It’s wild & crazy. Who knew what 8 hours of straight sleep was like?! Not this momma for more than TWO YEARS!!!

Thanksgiving ’13

We celebrated another wonderful Thanksgiving down at OIB with my Mom & Dad & my Dad’s parents, Nana & Pawpaw. {We missed my brother & SIL in NY & my mom’s side in Charlotte!}

And their dog, Bocce was a huge hit with Zach & Lucy. Who needs toys when there’s a dog?! Even better that they’d just learned to say dog & woof woof & learned his name while we were there. Zach just followed him around & loved to pat him on the back & head. L liked to talk to him & look from afar & thought his fluffy tail was fun to pet. They were surprisingly gentle, & Bocce, who can be skiddish, did great putting up with them. I think Bocce’s a big fan of L & Z because he gets to do clean up floor duty after every meal & snack {bribery at it’s finest}.

Thursday morning, we made a chilly walk up for beach church on the sand. Rev John spoke quick because it was cold! Z ‘played’ with sand & had fun watching birds then got too cold even all bundled up. Lucy was snuggled into me & lasted in her owl fluffy hat & ruffle coat.

Thanksgiving was also my mom’s birthday! So we had birthday cake along with our Thanksgiving meal. 🙂

Dad enjoyed lots of books with L & Z including hallmark The Night Before Christmas which he recorded his voice reading. It’s so cool.

Thanksgiving Thursday

Friday & Saturday we shopped, ate & ate, played, L & Z had dance parties with Nana & their Cici.

Jason & I escaped for a day date to see Hunger Games Catching Fire & a quick Boj’s lunch. Our first movie since the weekend before I went on hospital bed rest.

Lucy & Zach took baths in Nana’s big garden tub. Zach loved it & I think he’s going to be our lil fish. Lucy liked a quick duck tub {within the tub} bath then to watch.

Saturday, OIB starts off the Christmas holiday with a bunch of events. L&Z were napping during parade time & we skipped the floatila bc it was dinner/bath/bedtime. But we made it to the fire station for cookies & meeting Santa. LOL. It didn’t go so well! Poor L was hating it!
Friday and Saturday Thanksgiving

Sunday, we went to my grandparents’ church {where we were married} & L & Z did great playing I the children’s room while we worshiped & listened to Nana in the choir. Afterwards we finally remembered to take a four generations photo!
Four Coggins generations

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Now onto Christmas holiday posts!

First Football Game

Zach & Lucy experienced their first football game last Saturday. And I’m not talking about a pee-wee or HS game. We started them out right- a home NCSU game!

We enjoyed years of season tickets pre-babies but didn’t make it to a game last year. I really hoped we could make it work for a game this year.

When my dad, as a former football player, received the info on their annual Varsity Club game weekend, we jumped on it. With the help of my parents & aunt, Lucy & Zach experienced our traditional tailgate {if you sub milk for beer :)}. Friends stopped by, they saw the band perform the fight song & cheered for the players as they got off the bus. L&Z tried Bojangles chicken for the first time {big fans}, practiced saying hi & loved walking around checking it all out.

We left one ergo in the van, so Mom wore Zach while my aunt & I took turns with L inside the stadium. Seeing it all through their eyes {when they weren’t napping through the game} was so awesome. I might’ve teared up as the players came running on the field while she clapped at the fireworks. Sharing something you love & have waiting so long to experience as a parent is just the coolest thing.

Zach-and-Lucy's-first-football-game

Arriving at CFS, Chi O friends with our babies & baby-on-the-way, Lucy & Zach taking in the tram ride, entering the stadium excitement, crappy pic of 3 generations of TOMS wearers.

I laughed with my friend Melissa that we had a goal of making til half time with all our kids. Not sure about her, but we were back snacking in our tent in the rain of halftime & the 3rd quarter.

We decided the day had been a success & made it home in time to watch the Wolfpack lose. So L&Z might’ve not been the good luck charms the pack needed last week, but it won’t be our last game for sure!

Pumpkin Patch {take 1}

With my parents in town last weekend, we headed to a local pumpkin patch Saturday morning. We’d had fun with tiny Z & L there last year for their first pumpkin patch experience & decided to go back.

Oh how pumpkin patch photo ops are different with running toddlers vs not-yet-sitting-up infants!
Zach-and-Lucy-Pumpkin-Patch

Saturday L & Z were all look at the dirt! & mud! & balls {aka pumpkins!} & trucks {driving by quickly on busy road}. And yes, we brought home 3 gourds because they wouldn’t think of putting them down!!

Lucy-and-Zach-Pumpkin-Patch-2013

There was lots of wrangling & smiles, but sadly, not quite the perfect family/group pictures we’d hoped for.

Pumpkin-patch-2013

Since we plan to go to VA & another patch this upcoming weekend, stay tuned for take 2 next week!