Archives for January 2015

Friday Randoms V.4

­­­­­­­Happy Friday! Oh my gosh this week has just been brutal. I don’t know what it is but I have to tell you I feel like I am just off. I am just not feeling it. I’m tired, grumpy and just feeling funny.  Maybe it’s been the start of a new semester, the weird schedules, and Cate being up a lot of nights this week.  I started to wonder if I was even getting sick maybe but I think I am just in a funk right now. Wah… I don’t know what it is but as I told Glenn I feel like I could complain for hours but I really have nothing to complain about.  Ugh…

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this. There is something so special about my Brady James.  Unprompted he showed this to his teacher and said it was a note for me.

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We have a lot going on this weekend but it should be fun stuff which makes me happy. Glenn and I are going to see American Sniper tonight and tomorrow he and I have date with our sweet girl while Brady is at a birthday party extravaganza. And then of course there is the Super Bowl. I am dying to make this Supreme Pizza Dip. I have a feeling it will be a hit!

I shared this article on my facebook page.  As an educator, I just don’t agree with PARCC testing.  As a parent I am teriffied.   I am soon going to become the mom of a kindergartner and the standardized testing world is problem my biggest worry if we navigate the public education system.  The only hope I have is this our school district.  This letter gives me some confidence that public school systems will join forces in eliminating our testing system.

Food for the Week

Monday- Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake (it was delicious and even better as leftovers)

Tuesday- Sushi (Our cleaning ladies come and I refuse to cook in a sparkling kitchen)

Wednesday-  Skinnytaste CookbookSanta Fe Crockpot Chicken  over Rice

Thursday- Glenn was working late  so the kids had breakfast for dinner since they beg for Paw Paw’s pancakes and loved this new gadget!

Friday- Hmmmm…

Have a great weekend!

 

Project 52 Week 4

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36 Quetsions and Some Answers

Over the course of the three days our students take final exams, I find myself crazy productive.  Seriously, I am in my office all day and usually take care of the lingering things I have been meaning to do all semester and I’m able to get ahead for the first few weeks of second semester. And, I go a little stir crazy.  And truth be told, I also get a chance to do some reading in educational journals that I hoard, online at the WSJ and all those crazy things I have bookmarked along the way.

I read this article about “36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together”.  The article said if you ask and share the answers to these questions with your significant other it will bring you closer.  But, it even references that you could do this to be closer with your friends, co-workers, family or just a way to get to know someone better. I’m actually going to use it as an ice breaker in my classes I think this semester.

So, I thought why not? Why not think about big things, little things and everything in between.  Why not answer them and ask you? I’m going to try to answer six questions each week for the next six weeks.  I’m dying to know what your responses would be and I am going to see if I can get my best buddy (that’s you Glenn) to answer them as well.

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? So, as you might know, I am not big in to history or politics. I am sentimental and traditions are something I hold in high esteem.  Family is huge to me and I think if I could I would put my both sets of my grandparents at the dinner table. My paternal grandfather died before I was born and I wish I could have known him just to say hello and see him with my grandma.  My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather both died when I was college.  From junior high until they passed away, I was so self-absorbed in my own world that I now realized I missed out on a lot of memories and stories.  Like I wish my maternal grandma would have told me and taught me how to bake bread (Maybe she still can?).  The traditions, the history of our family.  That conversation would mean so much to me.  I would love for my maternal grandmother to cook a huge Italian feast and to be able to just sit and listen.
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way? In all seriousness, I wouldn’t. Not for one single minute. If you know me IRL, you know that even though I am social, a teacher, and write this blog that at my core I am an introvert.  I tend to like to be in the mix but never the center of attention.  I like being at home.  I like my intimate circle of friends.   I think I would hate everyone trying to talk to me and knowing my doings.  I’d be  insecure about going anywhere about my physical appearance.  The biggest reason is that I don’t want to be famous is that I don’t have a thick skin and my feelings would be hurt constantly when you see the way celebrities are treated in the media…even the nicest ones.
  3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why? Well, professionally yes. You have to remember that when I am on the phone with a parent it’s about THEIR kid and the last thing I want to do is upset them. So, yes, I rehearse what I am going to say to ensure my point gets across and I say it in a constructive manner.  Personally, no way.  No filter here folks.
  4. What would constitute a perfect day for you? Wow! We are going to pretend it is a kid free day. Mkay? A perfect day… well first it involves waking up at a decent time to sunshine pouring in the bedroom and the windows open. (This means after 7am).  First up, would be a great workout or an hour of yoga.  Next, it would be coffee while I read the paper.  Next, I would love to go to the spa.  For a long massage.  After that was over, I would love to take a quick shower and get dressed for the day. I would love to stroll Southport, Armitage or Michigan Avenue with no real purpose and eat some sushi outside somewhere before going for a bike ride on the lakefront or just a long walk. I would then shower and get dressed and head to dinner with my main squeeze and eat a perfect filet with a big glass of red wine.  Cap the night off with a rooftop drink somewhere and hit the pillow before midnight and I would consider near perfect.  (Not to specific right? Or solitary for that manner?)
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? I sing to Cate most nights and Brady is obsessed with the “Star Spangled Banner”. And every single time he starts singing it, which is like 100 times a day, I find myself and singing along and finishing it even when he doesn’t.
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose? I actually don’t know if I can answer this one. The immediate response is my body. I was pregnant at thirty so I don’t necessarily want that exact body but being physically active is really important to me and doing physical activity takes a lot of time that I think would I enjoy still having that freedom when I am 90. So many elderly people are in poor physical shape that I have to believe I could work on the mental right? At 30, I think I was still so naive about life and love I’m not even sure I mentally was in a great place.

Okay, so now you know a little more about me.  How about you? Gonna answer one? Some?

 

Friday Randome v.3

Bad habits sure are hard to break! Almost went a whole week without posting here. Darn it.

Happy Friday folks! Hope you had a great week! With no school on Monday, this week felt really short and fast and I am still so looking forward to the weekend. We don’t have a lot going on this weekend which is just what I need.  Well, I am solo parenting but that’s not a big deal…

This week I reconnected with my yoga mat which I have really missed. I am not sure what it is but I walk out there in a better place mentally which is worth just about as much as the physical benefits to me.  Glenn will tell you the hour in yoga is cheaper than therapy and while he may not get it, he supports it because I come out of there with a clear head.  I am all of a sudden a fan of this Lucy tank- long enough that it covers my tush and lightweight. I snagged a couple on sale at Dick’s of all places.

I had the pleasure of jury duty this week which is just dumb. And inefficient.  I can’t believe the amount of sitting I did, was highly annoyed we were given a 2 hour lunch hour, forced to return for another hour and then dismissed for the day. So inefficient.  I am all about being a good citizen and doing my civil duty but good lord it was long day with no wi-fi.

I really have enjoyed this infographic. So interesting and I keep going back to it.  Maybe because all of a sudden food is becoming more important to me.

We had some good meals this week and after our outing to The Social Table, which I highly recommend, and I am inspired to cook.  I am not quite ready to start the #whole30 bandwagon but at least I am committed to getting home cooked meals on our plates and trying new things. I haven’t weighed myself but this is the best I have felt in a while about my body…

Sunday- Buffalo Chicken Wings on the Big Green Egg (the only wings I’ll eat now btw)

Monday- Maple and Mustard Glazed Salmon with Roasted Vegetables (so easy)

Tuesday- Tacos

Wednesday Night- Chicken and Potato Chowder and Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

Thursday- Ordered OUT

Friday- OUT

Have a great weekend. I am looking forward to sipping coffee, playing with my kids and maybe just maybe getting down some of our Christmas lights!

 

Friday Randoms v.2

Happy Friday friends! Another week in the books and honestly, I don’t mind that January is moving fast because it is cold and wet  with a lot more to come I am sure.  It’s really hard to be happy when every day is gray and slushy but the countdown to spring break is on- 10 weeks.  If we could just see the sun, I would be thrilled at this point.

Brady has a rash that has put us both in prompt care and in our pediatrician’s office this week. Our pediatrician is convinced it is viral but Brady is healthy as can be albeit itchy…really itchy.  Poor kid. On top of it, Brady was just referred to ENT for his darn tonsils and adenoids. That makes a tad nervous.

What I’m Reading: Why US Women Are Leaving Jobs Behind  Such an interesting read about what the US is doing wrong with maternity leaves. I am not sure if I have a strong opinion either way but I get the point the article is making especially after getting the summary of our daycare costs this week.

Dinner- We had a couple of really great meals this week. I have fallen in love with the Skinny Taste Cookbook. I feel like the recipes are not only healthy but easy to follow for someone like me who is not a great cook.

Sunday- Kale and Chicken Sausage Pasta (via Skinnytaste cookbook)

Monday- Wildfire Salads

Tuesday- Chili

Wednesday- Bertolli (NEVER AGAIN)

Thursday- Open Faced Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches (via Skinnytaste cookbook)

And tonight I am so excited to be going out my girls! I could care less what we eat or drink- I am just grateful for a night with the two women that I can kick my shoes off and be myself with even if the week has been long! This weekend is going to be filled with adventures in sledding for the first time this winter season and a night out with friends at The Social Table to celebrate a birthday! Cooking, eating and drinking with friends sounds like a perfect Saturday night to me!

 

Project 52 Week 2

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So You Wannt Know About Cate

So You Want to Know About Cate.

Happy Birthday four months late to our little big girl! Almost 3.5 years old and some days I swear she is a teenager.  I can’t believe that we sang happy birthday to Cate for the third time already. It seems like yesterday we were driving to Prentice at 5am in 90 degree heat to bring her in to this world and here we are three and half years later we have a little girl who has no baby left in her.  Not one little bit no matter how hard I try.

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In the past year Cate has grown more than I ever thought possible. She is verbal, so verbal that some days it is scary.  She finishes our sentences, remember things from weeks ago and can predict what we are going to say before we even say it.  She asks to go back to Santa’s Village at least once a week even though we have only been there once and it was in July.  She recognizes all of her letters, can write her name and will “read” stories to herself daily.  She is observant about everything and asking questions like, “Why do you smell good or why do you not have your jammies on” on nights I have to go back to work. Cate loves to sing with “Shake It Off” being her current favorite.

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This past February marks the beginning of glasses. Thank goodness for Miss Patti who was in my ear enough that I finally broke down and took you to the doctor.  And those glasses for Cate have been the simplest thing we have done with her. She loves them… she wears them; she asks to put them on in the morning if we forget and Craig is her friend since he fixes them so frequently.  I was so scared that she would be teased but her daddy wasn’t worried. She is strong willed, fierce and a leader and I should have known that it wouldn’t faze her.

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Cate has an intensity that is new for me. Everything she does is at 100%.  150% for that matter.  She laughs louder than anyone when her daddy chases her or picks her up upside down.  She cries harder when we tell her no to one of her many requests.  She negotiates the hell out of anything. One more minute.  One more jelly bean. The negotiating is exhausting and complicated and Glenn and I both know that someday this will work to her benefit.   Cate loves with little fear of rejection. Her kisses on my neck when I get her out of her crib are intentional and her hugs are stifling when she is willing to give them.  She is stubborn and strong willed. She makes simple things at times really really hard.  She is as much a girly girl as I still am a tomboy.  She loves to play with princesses or your make up table and anything art related will widen your smile.

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In the past year, Brady has started to see her as a play mate more and she has found a way to idolize him more than before.  And Cate does anything to get her brother’s attention even if it gets her in trouble yet she always make sure we know when he plays with her toys and or isn’t “making good choices”

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Cate’s obsession with Peppa the Pig is scary.  She cares for her baby dolls like they are her own and she rarely can be found far from the Play-Dough table.  Art is her new obsession- scissors, glue, markers and crayons and the mess is where you are happiest.  Cate loves to shop with me and will go anywhere I want as long as she can come.

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As fierce as Cate is, she is sleepy and snuggly and sweet and funny. This little girl has a piece of her daddy and I’s heart that I didn’t know existed.

Cate Frances, I love you more than the policeman and the best and most. Stay fierce but stay little big girl.

 

 

Friday Randoms v.1

Happy Friday Everyone! Off of school for two weeks and we come back to a weird week where the freaking cold kept us out of school for a day.  We should have gone to school but oh well.  As a teacher, I actually dread having days off. What kids just don’t get is that we have to make the days up which means we lose our grading day after finals and the schedule gets all mixed up. It really is more of a pain than a cool event. Promise. Not to say I didn’t accomplish a lot on Wednesday (wink wink for those in my inner circle

~We were supposed to be celebrating my FIL’s 60th birthday this weekend but illness caused it to be cancelled. So, we are going to use the babysitter and try Guild Hall just north of us. I hear it’s good and I’m excited to try it.

~Did you see that the Walkman is making a comeback? I guess I don’t get what is so great about it. But, Sony unveiled it at the CES in Vegas this week and it is making big rumblings on the internet

~We got back in to menu planning this week and I think it is safe to say, it is has saved some fights and confusion in the transition back to work. I planned for four meals this week and it looked like this. Not bad right?

Sunday- Salmon with Onion Potatoes

Monday- Beef Tacos

Tuesday- Chicken with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

Wednesday- Beef Elegante in the Slow Cooker

The rest of the week was a mess of me working one night, us going out one night and probably going to the basketball game tonight so who knows. 4-5 nights at home is pretty average for us but January is brutal from a scheduling perspective so I am giving myself some grace in this department.  I am also strangely surprised (totally jinxing myself) the things my kids are starting to eat. Thank god because the food wars were wearing on me.

~I am usually not a fan of ecards but this one I saw one Hanging with the Hewitt’s made me chuckle.

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Happy Friday All! Stay warm!

Project 52 Week 1

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So You Want to Know About Brady

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We have a 5 year old.  Actually almost 5.5 year old.  Literally, I ask myself daily, how do I have 5 year old when I feel like he was just my sleepy newborn in his footed jammies?

I hate when people say it but it really is true that raising kids seems to go by just so fast.  The days are long at times but the years are just flying by.  When I was pregnant with Brady, I remember lying awake at night wondering what he would be like.  And now I feel like I have this person who has opinions, will have conversations with me, who I am starting to understand and see what he is at his core before friends and choices mean something and yet still is young enough to need me.

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From the day he was born, he has been and still is really laid back.  He will do just about anything anyone asks him and if the right person is involved he almost always says yes.  He is naturally happy once he wakes up and has some orange juice and snuggles in our bed.  He will stay in his pajamas all day if you let him and his love for watching sports could keep him on a couch or around our tv all day.  One of the thing  he hates is going to the grocery store.

But food, food is Brady’s friend. At his five year appointment he came in at 48 inches and 49 pounds.  He has grown an exceptional amount this past year and has had true growing pains in his shins.  Aching legs that cause him to cry, force us to motrin him and rub them until he can fall back asleep.  He is lean and always hungry.  He is a meat and potatoes kid. He loves plain pasta, pizza, bread of any kind, cheeseburgers and fruit.  He literally eats his plate clean daily and usually asks for more at every meal.  And man does he have a sweet tooth…

His love for sports makes me smile. And the amount of information he knows is frightening. He can tell you who is playing on any given day and what division a team is in.  You will never see him without a piece of sports equipment.  A baseball glove or a football is always in his hand. His Christmas requests were a Chicago Bulls Jimmy Butler jersey, an Oregon Ducks hat, a set of NFL football helmets and a Tom Brady jersey.  His sports obsession has become fairly obvious. He even loves WWE.

With that being said, he is naturally athletic.  He hated hockey last year because it was “too slippery”, but held his own playing baseball, soccer and tennis.  He wants to play football in the worst way and loves to shoot hoops and play basketball. He is competitive at his core.  If we aren’t kicking punts to him, we are throwing batting practice or playing P-I-G.  I swear the kid never stops moving.  He even mastered the monkey bars finally…

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Junior Kindergarten has been okay for him. I love his teachers but I think he is overly ready for kindergarten with his October birthday.  Besides being so much bigger physically than his peers, he’s mature and reasonable and academically right where he should be.  He’s on the verge of reading, sounds out most words and is doing simple addition and subtraction.  From what I hear, kindergarten will be a breeze.

On a softer note, he still loves to snuggle with us on the couch, will almost always let you hold his hand in a parking lot and is pretty sensitive.  He is gentle in his demeanor when he isn’t on a field. He worries when we are sad surprises us with his compassion daily.  He knows when someone is sad or when you just need a hug.  He really is my gentle giant.

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He tolerates Cate when she really just wants to be his best friend.  He can make her laugh when she is upset and irrational.   Cate loves him so fiercely that at times I think it gets overwhelming for him. She  just wants to be near him, playing with him and doing what he is doing.  That’s a lot of pressure for a little boy who just wants to play but he handles it with grace; and tends to more often than not compromise to keep her happy.

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Five years later, I’m in awe of my first born and what he has become.  Brady James, I love you to the moon and back.

(All images courtesy of Heidi Peters)

(Don’t mind this is oh something like 4 months late)