Stanley The Hamster and #The23DayProject

It all began when I saw snaps of snapchat artists and their drawings. I was in aww of their playfulness and use of doodles in real life. I wanted to do that too.

August last year I was unpacking boxes in my new classroom. As I looked at the boxes I had left to unpack I suddenly an idea. What if my classroom had a pet. It would need to be something fast and easy to draw…what about a hamster. I picked up my phone, used the drawing option in snapchat and drew my very first Stanley the Hamster.

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My First Digital Drawing Challenge

The tweet flowed through my stream.

Anyone up for an Easter weekend “Digital Drawing Challenge”?

“ooooooo I don’t know?!! Maybe I could?!  I’m not the artist these people are.  I don’t draw like they do.  I don’t know…but what if?  What if I do?  It could be a lot of fun!  What if my drawing turns out ok? What if it’s awful compared to theirs? What if its fun?  What if I do ok?” the thoughts, the words of doubt, the possibilities and the battle for bravery flowed through my head.

“I want to do it ,” I tweeted excitedly!

The link to the challenge came through my twitter stream later the next week.  The prompt was inspired by the Wreck In Journal.  We would have to digitally create:  “figure out a way to attach these two pages together”.  Ideas and thoughts for it danced through my head…”Oye, it also had to be digital.  I still can’t find my comfort zone handwriting and drawing more complex pieces digitally…yuck.  I stink at them.  Pages…two pages joined together…hmmm.  Maybe I would get my daughters to pick a page from their favorite book and I would find a way to creatively join them.  Maybe I’ll just take two pages and join them some how…hmmm.  Hmmmm.”

So as  fantastic creative peeps and artists (and can I just share how incredibly warm, friendly, supportive and just as nice as a new artist could hope to find in this space) shared their imaginative creations I peaked in on them when I could and I spent time enjoying…. A sister’s night, a birthday and an early easter celebration but even with all that wonderfulness…it left me with plenty of time to come up with an idea and very, very little time to draw it.

When the days finally slowed and time for me finally appeared, I sat down and digitally drew my interpretation of “attach these two pages together”.   I decided that my joining of two pages would be inspired by me…be inspired by the me I have been working to embrace all year.  I decided to join the part of me I have known for sixteen years, known I have wanted to be since 5th grade and still love to my core doing and being everyday  and the part of me that is new, that I am learning to embrace equally and learning to allow it to enhance, infuse, electrify and color my life and my teaching more then it ever has before.

My interpretation of “attaching these two pages together”

#TodaysDoodle: Join Two Pages Challenge By Carrie Baughcum

I had so much fun creating for this challenge.  While I love to draw, I generally only just draw my characters on the iPad. This challenge gave me a push to create it all on the iPad.  I learned that it is more time consuming than my pencil, paper and sharpie creations, that I need to maintain more layers for easier editing later and that I need to (like all things that need practice) create on it more and continue to practice my lettering and lines.  Most of all I am so proud of this super fun, colorful joining of the two pages of me! 

If you would like to check out these amazingly kind, welcoming, supportive, talented and  inspiring artists you can follow them on twitter via the #TodaysDoodle hashtag or here on their Twitter accounts:  Marc Bourguignon, Rob Dimeo,  Tracy Levasseur,  Lilpeanut,  Mauro Toselli, Dr. Makayla Lewis and Monica Lopez

A Moment in My Classroom: Let’s Create

A Moment In My Classroom
This seems to happen each year…this type of moment in my classroom.  Fresh off the ICE conference and well into a routine with my students.  I suddenly feel inspired to start changing things.  This year was the same as last.  The change meant it was time for my students to start blogging.

Student blogging is nothing new to me.  My class blogged last year too.  It should have been something that I started right at the beginning of the school year, but with a new group of 6th graders and a brand new Reading and Language Arts curriculum, it left me little time for anything considered extra.

Three quarters of school and more the six months into school, me and my students were ready…ready to start blogging!

A Moment in My Classroom: Let's Create By Carrie Baughcum

….as eyes lit up and smiles of inspiration took over faces, I wondered why they heck did I wait so long to do this and I knew that I would never wait this long ever again!!!

 

You can check out other Moments In My Classroom here!

Meet Philipa

Meet Philipa By Carrie BaughcumIt always makes me giggle when I think back to how or why I was inspired to draw or create something.   A giggle that makes my stomach flutter and my mouth curl up in a smile.  A happy giggle that always makes me feel lucky to be inspired and to be able to do something that makes me so happy.

I have been inspired to draw this wonderful, girly hippo named Philipa (pronounced Phil-e-pa) for quite some times.  Don’t laugh but she was actually inspired by a combination of the stuffed elephant in the Junie B. stories and a stuffed hippo I bought on vacation last summer. Named Philip Jonny Bob he is Junie B.’s best stuffed elephant (I just loved the name and am totally and completely in love with that crazy Junie B….she just makes me laugh out loud) and the stuffed hippo I bought was a gray and pink tutu wearing cutie.  I knew…just knew I had to do something with this inspiration.

There is nothing like a little extra time (yes, that does really exist) to allow inspiration to go to work.  Off on Spring Break I was finally able to focus on this girly hippo and make her come to life.  Add 4 inches of snow (yes, snow during Spring Break) and it was justthe right amount additional inspiration I needed give her words and added personality.

Philipa and Snow By Carrie Baughcum

Philipa And The Snowman By Carrie Baughcum Philipa and I hope that you are staying warm where ever you are.  And if you could spare some sun and a few degrees…that would be super!!!

The Women In My Life

A few weeks ago my husband was out of town for work.  Not a huge deal…well it does mean I do it all alone.  When he is out of town, I am in responsible for morning wake up, breakfast, getting my girls ready for school, getting myself to work just on time, working a full day, picking my girls up, taking them to their activities, dinner, showers, bedtime…woooo oye! just that alone makes for one very exhausting week.  If that was not enough fun my oldest decided it would be a great time to get a fever and a horrific chest cold.  Add on missing three and a half days of work to care for her.  I just about lost it!

Then this happened. In between the lack of sleep, all my mommy responsibilities,  ugggg household responsibilities, a sick daughter and juggling work week this happen….a text comes from a friend checking in on me to see how I am handling it all, a friend sends me home with a dinner for that night, my sister shares with me a super awesome dream she went after, a friend helps with morning school drop offs, a friend listens through all my tears about a family problem and  gently and honestly tells me the words I needed to hear.  Through all the crazy, through all the stress, through all of what could have been a very lonely time, I was reminded of how very, very lucky I am to have these amazing women in my life.  I was reminded of the gifts they give and share with me everyday!

The Women In My Life By Carrie Baughcum

SIT Conference 2015

My friend told me about it,  conference for students by students.”You totally should come. Tricia is finally old enough to attend. Tech and kids…it’s a fantastic day,” she said.
Trusting her and her knowledge of great things and things my daughter would love (bonus: our girls would be able to hang out together and well the promise of technology…no brainer).  I signed my daughter up to attend the Buffalo Grove SIT Conference 2015.  Then I decided why should she have all the fun and I signed up to be a volunteered at the conference!

Bright and early on last Saturday morning my daughter and I drove to Buffalo Grove. There we would join hundreds of other 3rd-12th graders for a technology conference for students by students. To top that there would also be four other SIT Conferences going on the exact same day and time as ours throughout the state of Illinois!!!

At check in I was amazed at every detail that had been noticed. Every procedure and process had been put in place and thought of  to make sure this conference for students by students was safe for kids.  It would allow this all the students to be as independent as they wanted to be and have a real conference experience.

As quickly as the keynote started she was off with her friend to the sessions they had selected.  The conference had started and to say it was a beyond awesome experience would be an understatement…

SIT Conference #SketchnotingLife

At lunch Tricia barely got a bite of food in as she talked non-stop about all that she was experiencing and learning she had done.

I honestly had never heard her talk so much in her life.

SIT Conference 2015

As we drove home from this fantastic event,  I looked in the review mirror to see Tricia’s head leaning on the window… she was sound asleep.  I smiled.  I knew in that instant that we will forever support and be a part of this incredible day!!!

The Art of Embracing Mistakes

I hate making mistakes….there I said it.   Some are small and leave no ripple.  Oops and on life goes.  Others cause pain in our hearts and hurt more deeply.   Sometimes the memory of a mistake even lingers and holds on.  It whispers and tugs and makes us think less of ourselves and lies to us.

When I sat down to draw this weekend I knew exactly what word I wanted to draw.  As I began to draw I had no real plan.  I began by drawing my word, then I began to move around the paper doodling in separate spaces.  Finally, I added  lines, shapes and more doodles to connect them all together.  What I ended up with was a lot of different doodles….some good, some mistakes but all together it’s beautiful and not at all what I had expected.

Our mistakes remind us of our imperfections….we can listen to their whispers, give up or embrace them, learn from them and move forward and do better.

The Art of Making Mistakes By Carrie Baughcum

Cleaning Shout Outs…said no kid or mom ever!

Cleaning…chores….sighhhhhhh is an infinite battle in my house (I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about that lately haven’t I).  Well I can say we have reached a 80% no whining, melt down, do it because I am supposed to do rate but woooo momma that other 20%….lordy help me.

After years of battling and attempted “behavior modification” with my ever feisty and perpetually determined to make me crazy oldest I decided a few months back to take a route unfamiliar with me…I compromised with her. I decided we she would select the household chore that she could tolerate.  This all in the hopes that the tantrum, whine factor  and incessant battling over doing your chores would significantly decrease… and what do you know…it really did…well mostly…until last week.

“Go upstairs and separate the today’s laundry.”

{sighhhhh} overly dramatic grumpy face (because I didn’t already know how unhappy she was about doing her chores after say… years of tantrums and stomping and refusing) with a bit of mad stomping up the stairs for added effect.

“Hooowws the laundry separating going,” I ask from downstairs.

minutes later…..nothing…no sound….

I walk upstairs to see what is up (duh….I totally know what is happening)

“What’s going on?” I say looking at the rolled up mound of an unhappy child trying to make a statement that is way past very clearly being made.

“I hate this.”

…cue mom speech about responsibility, her job as a member of this family….you picked this chore blah blah blah…you know the speech (heck she knows the speech).

She stares back at me.

“Let’s try something,” I say, “How about every time you think something negative, something or some reason about why you don’t like doing your chores you scream at the top of your lungs a super silly no way it is possible true shout out about what you are doing!”

{Perplexed look}

{aahhaa moment}

{Smile}

Getting back to my chores I hear a my oldest shouting from upstairs at the top of her lungs …

“I just LOVE separating the families dirty underwear into piles! Nothing makes me happier” 

From the dining room craft room I hear my youngest shout…

“I just love cleaning up a million gazillion rainbow loom bands that someone left on the floor…oooo fun!”

and from the bathroom…

Cleaning Shout Out

…and in that instant the Baughcum Family Cleaning Shout Out was born.

WARNING: Teaching children the shout out method may cause rolling on the floor laughter during cleaning and may slightly….oh shoot really reduce the amount of cleaning that actually gets done! 

1/2 The Laundry…A Life Lesson

My daughters never cease to crack me up.  Their perspective of life…even the littlest moments, the ones that seem so routine, the so everyday can leave us in giggles.  So when I asked my daughters to put away some laundry, empty a laundry basket and bring it downstairs for me I couldn’t have imagined the on the floor belly holding giggles it left me in and a life lesson I felt compelled to share…one big sister to another!
Half The Laundry...A Lesson in Measurement

…see more #SuperFunDoodles here

Crazy Holiday Fun

Well that was fun!! I don’t know about you but I have a serious love hate relationship with Christmas. This year my procrastinating tendencies caught up with me and honestly I didn’t handle it oh so well. There may have been some anxiety and stress. In the end, as always we I got through it and I was able to look back at it all, laugh, smile and see all the fun we had!!

This is just a glimpse at some of the crazy fun I had!!
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Motherhood…Living on The Edge

Last week was one full of  those on the edge moments!  You know those moments you want to run out of your house screaming someone save me from this insanity.  Those moments you count down the time until your husband will be home from work so you can tag him…”you’re it”!  Those moments you filter so much, your families mouths would drop if they knew the things you really wanted to say.  Well…wrapped up in all that insanity there is awesomeness.  The you wouldn’t have it any other way moments of motherhood.

Last week was a smidge more on the am I going to survive side…
Motherhood...The Edge of Awesomeness and Insanity By Carrie Baughcum