Archives for January 2011

Disaster Day- A Thursday and a 15 Month Appointment

Thursdays. The craziest day of my week hands down EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.

Maybe it is the meeting on the other campus but for some reason Thursday is hurried, rushed, busy and chaos.
Maybe it is because it is towards the end of the week so my patience is already a bit thinner than it is on say a Monday.
Maybe it is all in my head but after you read my day, you will agree Thursday’s never end well.

So, last Thursday was no different. I didn’t even get a thankful post up the past two Thursdays. Last week, I was in a meeting from 10:30-12:45 on one campus. I drove to our other campus and had to teach at 1:15. I taught until 1:55. I had to be back in the city for a 3:00 pediatrician’s appointment. So, I find my car keys, yes I thought I lost them, grab some water and get in my car.

At this point, in my car, I realize that I have not had lunch. Awesome.
At this point, I realize my husband is not coming with me. Awesome.
At this point, I realize I have had a ton to drink, nothing to eat, and I have to pee. Awesome.

I get to the office at 2:40 and I am waiting for Anne, our nanny, to arrive with Brady. I am standing outside talking to my ma about how badly I have to go to the bathroom. I am debating if I have time to run in the office, pee, and get back outside to grab Brady from Anne’s car. We (yes she helped me make the decision) decide I do not. Anne shows up. She tells me she had to physically wake my napping child up to bring him to the doctor. Awesome. See where this is going…

After he recognizes me in his sleepy daze and gets out of the car, we walk in the lobby where the fish tank is located. He takes one glance, one look at it, and starts wailing. Why? Pretty sure he knew exactly where we were. Awesome.

I check in and ask if I can use the bathroom. I then realize I have a choice. Leave my crying child in the lobby with the nurse or bring him with me. Keep in mind it is cold here in the Windy City. I am bundled up, so is he and I am lugging his diaper bag full of goodies. I decide the best option is to bring him with me. Besides work, I rarely get to pee privately anymore so its not a big deal. So, I get my coat off and start to pee. Brady at the same time manages to walk under the SUPER LOUD AND POWERFUL hand dryer and triggers it to start. It does. I jump and create quite a mess. But not as far as he did. He screamed. A scream that was so loud and awful I forgot I was going to the bathroom. Awesome. Pee everywhere and a toddler who is standing stoically underneath the SUPER LOUD AND POWERFUL hand dryer wailing with real hot tears flowing down his face.

We emerge from the bathroom and everyone is staring. I have wet hands because I was not going to start the SUPER LOUD AND POWERFUL hand dryer again since my toddler was still crying. No sooner do we emerge but they call us back. The nurse tells me to undress him down to the diaper. I do. The crying becomes wailing. All I can think about is that I still have to pee since I did not finish. I take him to the scale in the hallway. Crying continues. I mean at this point, the crying is deafening but almost white noise.

30 pounds exactly. 33 1/2 inches.

Wow, my toddler is truly growing up before my eyes. The nurse tries to measure his head. People, you would have thought she was cutting a finger off with a butter knife. The kid was not having it. The crying was so bad as we waited for the doctor, I called in reinforcement.

Step 1- Call husband. Who is trying his best to calm Brady down over the phone. But the problem is he, like me, can’t stop laughing but Brady is doing the whole hiccup/sigh thing he is so worked up even though he is not even crying anymore.

Step 2- Get out Annie’s Fruit Snacks. The crack food for toddlers. They are $4.69 for five packs. And they are WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY. Yes, they are organic. Yes, I think they are tasty. Most importantly, my kid likes them so much he focuses on eating each one. So, I was rationing them. And, trying to figure out what to do when they were gone.

By then, the doctor came in. It was short and sweet and Brady cried through most of it as Dr. P kept saying “typical toddler behavior” and smiling. So, we moved on to the dreaded shots.

Every time so far, due to my child’s ridiculous teenager-type strength, two nurses come in and each poke at the same time different legs. Not this time. It was Thursday. Need I say more. One nurse. Three freaking shots. ONE PAINFUL POKE AT A TIME. Brady wailing through all of it. Refusing to even look at me. Swatting at my face as I am holding him down watching the tears roll down his face. The nurse leaves me alone to pick up the pieces. I get him dressed pick him up and I go to check out.

The last thing I hear is “Here is your order for blood work to check for lead and anemia”. All I can think is not on a Thursday and no way I am doing this one. Glenn’s turn. Don’t you think? I am just hoping with the “snowstorm of the ages” coming this Thursday gets a bit better. Is that too much to ask?

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Thankful on a Thursday- The People in My Life




Yesterday, a good friend lost her dad. To a evil battle with lung cancer. The cancer won. The cancer took him way to soon. Way too fast. She doesn’t deserve to lose her dad so young and her kids don’t deserve to lose their grandpa. And as I hugged Brady a little tighter, let Glenn hold me a little longer all I could think was “I am not ready for this. I am not ready to bury my friends’ parents. I am not ready to lose my own parents”. And today, between the fire alarm at school that was really inconvenient and a bizarre afternoon, I was sitting in the parking lot at Target reading her email she sent us about her dad I lost it. I needed to get it out. I needed to cry. And as I gathered myself, I reminded myself of my resolution, to be a glass half full girl. And so I started thinking about the good. What we have. What we have to look forward to. And what I am thankful for today. And more importantly who I am thankful for times two. I am thankful for…

101. my dad who is one of the calmest men I know regardless of the situation. Seriously, my dad has not and does not raise his voice and I think his quietness is that even more powerful.

102. my husband who seems to know the right thing to say when words elude me, emotions take over and my head is not clear.

103. my toddler who teaches me every day about life, lessons, and most importantly unconditional love.

104. my best friends. I may not see them every weekend. We may not have our crazy Saturday nights together any more. But dinner with them reminds me why girlfriends matter in real life and how much they mean to me.

105. my mama. I could write you a book people. I could tell you for hours why I am thankful for her. I could tell you about the tearful phone calls, the rescuing, the babysitting, the decortating, de-cluttering, the shopping or 1,000,00 other things she does for me. The reality is that she is truly my best friend and that says it all.

106. my brother and his wife and my sister in law and her husband. Glenn and I remind ourselves how lucky we are that we love to be with our siblings. They love our kid, they help us in a moment’s notice and they rarely deny our pleas for assistance.

107. my in-laws. They drive to work some days just to stop and say hi to Brady. They just want to spend time with him and that makes me feel good.

108. my mentor at work. She is a tough woman who has shown me some tough love but I can honestly say she is the first person I approach and I am better for knowing her.

109. my work friends. I am lucky that some of my closest friends are people that I have known the shortest amount of time. Being able to see someone at work that knows you, understands you and cares about you makes working easier.

109. the memories I continue to make with family and friends and my new little camera that is helping me capture them. There is something comforting knowing you will have things to look back on when you lose someone you love.

As you think about being thankful, remember the glass is half full.

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Three Generations

Three generations. Three different lives. The two most important women in my life.

The three of us are separated by almost sixty years. My grandma is almost 90. She looks great. She still read the newspaper, watches the news, and calls her grandkids on her cell phone. And my mama? Well, she is my mama. She knows me better than I know myself. She makes me want to be a better a mother, be a better teacher, be a better wife. She carries me when I am stumbling and is my biggest cheerleader regardless of the feat.

The three women in that picture above have lived through MAJOR moments in history. For my grandmother it was the Great Depression. she will tell you what life was like and it still shows in her today. My mother can tell you where she was the day, the minute, and the second, Kennedy was shot. And I can tell you where I was the exact moment I heard the news that the first tower crashed on that fateful day in September 2001.

That is what we have. Three generations of women. My mother, my grandmother and me. Three generations of females who resemblance is obvious, whose friendship with one another deeply rooted, whose loyalty is fierce and whose personalities are so similar that if you didn’t see us, you would be confused who you were talking to. Do we bicker? Yes. Do we disagree? Daily. Do we drive each other crazy? Always. But I am one of them and I am proud to be a part of them. I am proud to the third Pellegrino woman. And, I am grateful they are in my life.

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Crock Pot Debate

This all started with one comment by one hilarious blogger/tweeter over on twitter two weeks ago. @thenextMartha waged an outcry from people like me who love their crock pots. She implied that there is no good meal that can come out of a crock pot. Miranda and Katie immediately decided to start a blog hop to prove that there are amazing meals that come out of crock pot. I couldn’t help but join in since a) I use mine at least once a week since it is an easy dinner solution for a working mom and 2) because I really believe the crock pot is one way to make meat tender, juicy and perfect. I thought I would give you my two favorites meat recipes, Italian Beef and Chicken Cacciatore.

ITALIAN BEEF
Ingredients:
1 5lb rump roast (I use a smaller one since there is only three of us and keep everything the same)
3 cups of water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tsp basil (dried)
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 ounce) package of Dry Italian Style Salad Dressing Mix

Combine water with all of the ingredients except beef in a saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Place roast in slow cooker and pour liquid over roast.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 10-12 hours.
Remove bay leaf.
Shred beef.
Serve on French rolls with provolone cheese and enjoy!

CHICKEN CACCIATORE
6 boneless chicken breasts
1 28oz jar of tomato sauce (or homemade)
2 green peppers sliced
8 oz of fresh mushrooms
1 sweet onion diced
2 tbsp. of minced garlic
Fresh basil (if wanted)

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Slice the peppers. Optional if you want to halve the mushrooms. Cook on low for 10 hours. Serve over pasta and enjoy!

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Thankful Thursday- And We’re Back

And just like that we are back to grind. Two parents working, one sick toddler, cold weather and busy schedules is catching up with our family quickly. I was actually okay with coming back to work. I needed a reason to get dressed and shower in the morning. I was getting back to the point of forgetting to shower and staying in my pajamas until way after lunch. I quickly reminded how much a schedule, organization and plans make my life, really all of our lives, so much easier. I am thankful for…

91. toddlers who when they are sick revert back to being newborns~ needing their mamas and wanting to be held.

92. a nice glider. It has gotten a lot of use in the early morning hours this week and as I rock back and forth, back and forth, the world stops as I listen to those sweet baby breaths that are heavy and my mind drifts back to when he was small and he barely fit in my arms and he would grasp my finger with his tiny hand.

93. for the Crock Pot blog hop. I love my slow cooker and as a working mom I rely on my crock pot more than I should. Now, I have quite a few new recipes in my repertoire. I just tried three packet pot roast and it rocked.

94. my first liquid love Diet Coke and its return. Ever since we got our Keurig, I am in love with taking a warm drink with me, yet I find that the Chai Tea just doesn’t have the caffeine punch my beloved Starbucks cup does so I am back. Back to drinking a Diet Coke to give me a boost.

95. my new running shoes. I am a loyalist to Brooks Running Shoes. Every Christmas I anticipate my new pair of shoes and every year I am ready to run. Ready to go. I am thinking the Soldier Field 10 Mile in May. Anyone interested? I need a goal and I think this is a good one.

96. friends that remind me that it is not the quantity of the time you spend together but the quality of the time. Some of my closest friends are not people that I see on a regular basis. I blame it on the working mom/life thing but that is not the best excuse. Regardless, my friends get it. They are okay with it and they still love me.

97. the kind words and thoughtful gift I received from a co worker upon returning from school. Those words are what keep me going on the days that I feel like the mountain is too high to climb and my limbs are too weary to fight the heights.

98. date nights. We have one next weekend and I am excited for it. After spending some alone time with my husband on NYE, I am reminded why we need the time as a couple and how much I enjoy him. So, the babysitter is booked and we are headed out.

99. this little article that reaffirms my belief that a mother’s instinct and trust in a pediatrician goes a long way in this world and that vaccinating on schedule is what is “right” for our family.

100. for this itty bitty blog that has allowed me to find a voice that did not exist a year ago. I may not have 1,000 followers and 200 comments but I have a place for my words and that was the purpose.

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Project 365 Or Something Like It

See that little 365 up in the menu bar. I have been inspired since I FINALLY got my own new shiny Nikon SLR camera I decided that I am going to attempt to capture daily life in pictures. It’s hilarious to me that I am trying to do this since if you look, I am 2 for 4 right now. Meaning 4 days, 2 pictures taken. I promise I will get better. I just need my toddler to start sleeping again and for the long nights at work to end. So, with that I say, check it out! Got any ideas what I should with all the images when 2011 is done? Photobook maybe?

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Steppin’ Out Saturday- Only It Was Friday and NYE

Us on NYE at my in-laws house. It is amazing how your hopes/wants for New Years Eve change when you have a kid. I wanted good food, good wine, and good company. We had a great dinner at a place in the “suburbs” :gasp: for all of you foodies who think the best food is in the city. Check out Dan McGees in Frankfurt. It was delicious and be warned, pricey!

What I’m Wearing…
Jeans- Paige Denim (Laurel Canyon)
Boots- Anthropologie
Tank- Banana Republic
Top- Splendid
Necklace- Allora Handmade
Purse- Vintage (my grandmas)

What He’s Wearing…
Sweater- Lacoste
Shirt- JCrew
Jeans- Seven for All Mankind
Shoes- Kenneth Cole

And the reason the wee one is not pictured is 1) it was way past his bedtime when we finally got ready and 2) we think he has the croup or bronchitis or something else positively icky.



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