This #ExtraGumMoments shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
When we moved to Santa Rosa Beach, one of the very first things I did was research preschools. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to get Grady out of the house a few days a week so he could make some friends of his own and perhaps work on his significantly delayed speech. I had really high expectations because our preschool in Raleigh was absolutely fantastic, led by some of the most kind, blessed, and wonderful women I’ve ever in my life met. It was the type of place you walked into and just felt right in. I can’t describe it. It was like home. It was one of those places where you Give Extra, Get Extra. Know what I mean?
I was so nervous that we would come down here and be stuck with something like La Petite where my Houdini child would find his way out of the preschool and into a busy street to be picked up by an Alabama fan somewhere and taken back to a trailer in Tuscaloosa where he would be forced to wear houndstooth and crimson for the rest of his life. *Shudder*
I asked around and it sounded like quite a few preschools in the area were fantastic, so I began to sweat it a little less which is definitely a good thing because the Florida sun had me panting like a mule.
We decided on a great school and were so excited to meet Grady’s teachers when school finally started. One of his teachers, Mrs. Monique, is from Brazil and she has a beautiful Portuguese accent. His other teacher, Mrs. Andrea is from North Carolina which is where we had moved down from! As soon as we met them, we knew they were our people and we were amped for the year to start.
Mrs. Monique has been so great with Grady. He is about a year behind in speech, but has made some huge gains in the last six or so months. I was most worried that he wouldn’t really interact with some of the other kids because he has a difficult time communicating with them. The first few weeks were really hard for Grady and he didn’t like school at all. Waking him up every morning and taking him to school was physically and emotionally painful. He would punch and kick and cry and scream and do this super annoying thing where he lifts his arms above his head when you pick him up. Which serves no purpose other than to ensure you drop him so he can cry and scream harder than before, but with the justified “I’m calling CPS on you” look on his face.
You guys, it was painful in every sense of the word.
When Grady got his Celiac diagnosis, his teachers decided it might be safest for him to sit at a desk alone by himself to eat lunch, but Mrs. Monique couldn’t stand to do it longer than a couple days because he was so pitiful sitting alone by himself. Now he sits near the other kids, but not within arm’s reach of him. She has also moved him at nap time to be near some of the other boys, and lo and behold! Grady has made a friend! The first name I could understand that he said was “Dway-um”, or more coherently known as Graham. A little white-headed boy who has a sister the same age as Madilyn and a mom who went to Auburn.
This is winning, people. This is how you know you’ve found your place.
So as things were rolling along, Mrs. Monique told us she would be out for a month after having an invasive surgery! OH. NO! Yes, seriously – OH NO! We were so sad and Grady really misses her, so we went to Walmart and picked up a gift basket for her, filled with things to keep her busy, keep her mouth moving (since she doesn’t have a classroom full of three year olds to teach right now), and things to keep her cozy while she is recovering.
I know when I’m not feeling my best, one of my favorite things in the world is a pair of fuzzy socks to keep my toes warm. I also enjoy cuddling up with a good crossword or word search puzzle while I’m mindlessly watching TV, so we included a Family Fun Crossword that Mrs. Monique can do with her family. I don’t know many women who don’t like chocolate, so for an extra level of comfort, we threw some chocolate into her gift basket. We also included some yummy, fruity tasting Extra gum. She’s going to need something to keep those jaw muscles working for when she returns to her busy classroom in a few weeks.One of Grady’s favorite things in the world is gum and he really loves the fruity flavors which is great because he’s a complete fruit loop. He reluctantly put the gum in Mrs. Monique’s gift basket. Letting go of the package without getting any for himself was tragically painful.
I’m so proud I made it out with my hearing intact.
We also included some homemade “Scar Serum” in her basket because it is good at helping heal scars. We wanted to give extra, but we weren’t sure if she liked coffee or tea, so we kept it simple. The serum is really inexpensive to put together and it the smell alone is extremely relaxing. I’ve included the recipe for you below!
Comfort, healing, & distraction.
The three most important things to keep in mind when putting together a lovely gift basket for someone you care about.