Archives for March 2014

Cate {2.5 Years}

Dear Bug,

I was putting you to bed last night when I remembered for the second short moment yesterday that it was your ½ birthday.  You are officially on your way to three which is unbelievable to me.

For some reason, out of nowhere bedtime has become hard and you wake up even more upset.  Milestones may be the reason but last night you just couldn’t settle in. So, I came up and you said “wrock peas for a minute” and I happily sat down with you.  And before I could even settle in the slow, rhythmic motion our glider provides, you had burrowed your hands under your belly against my chest and you were sleeping.  The shallow breaths allowed me to smell you and take you in yet when I placed you in your crib you awoke and said “good night” and I remembered just how big you are getting even though you felt so small in that moment before.  I think it ‘s because I know your sleeping in a crib is the last piece of baby left and I just want to hang on for a bit.

What you lack in physical size you have in personality.  You are bigger than life sweet girl and it is incredible to watch.  Like I said, you are oh so little.  Eating like crazy and gaining nothing. People comment on it and your dad and I just laugh.  Your little bird legs are adorable now but I’m guessing a few years from now they will make your daddy gray quicker than ever.  You are fiesty and fierce.  And you know exactly how to get what you want.  And just a few weeks ago you got glasses.  I guess we should have known since your eyes profusely water at night but we in true fashion, thought it was just you being different, unique as I call it.  But, no, you actually have some real difficulty seeing and so glasses it is for now to help.  I was terrified as your mama- worried that you would be teased, kids would laugh knowing how cruel girls are but everyone including your daddy and your teachers knew you would be great.  And you have been. We put them “night-night” when we sing before bed and “wake them up” in the morning.  And just recently, we convinced you that big girls not only wear glasses but ponytails and those two things might just be the cutest combination ever. And undies. But well, we haven’t tackled that yet.

Your vocabulary is incredible and your voice is always heard. I am amazed at your memory.  What I am in awe of the most is your love for your brother.  He sees it as an annoyance, but your daddy and I watch you so frequently and smile at the little girl you are becoming.  Deeply worried about him, always offering and asking to play and conceding to cook with me when he says no.  Keep trying bug.  Keep taking care of him okay Cate? He needs it.  He’s sensitive, shy and passive.  He’s going to need you as much as you want him right now.  He is your gentle in the fury.  And you are his protector.  You are so differnt yet so similar and I think you have already taught him a lot. Your fearlessness is teaching him it’s okay to try and his rule following keeps you aware of what dangers are around.

I love you sweet girl.  I love you so stinkin much.  Stay little big girl.







Currently Vol. 2

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about the toes in my sand in just over a week and that feeling that sets in a couple days after I get to Florida that allows me to unplug

loving: the sun setting later and the feeling in the air that spring is coming. I am a sucker for sunshine of my face and the warmth it brings

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and of course the NCAA tournament

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.

quoting: nothing. My brain is on overdrive right now so I just keep telling myself to get to next Friday. Nothing else matters.

thinking: about our upcoming kitchen renovation and everything that isn’t done, decisions that aren’t made and things that need to be purchased.  I am terrified of the dust, the lack of working kitchen with small kids for so long and all the hiccups we may encounter. I am excited to see the final project put that doesn’t calm any of my fears.

eating: nothing fabulous since we are leaving on vacation and trying to eat thru what is in our fridge and pantry with our reno also starting

drinking: coffee with vanilla creamer and some sugar, diet coke and lots of water with fresh fruit

craving: a glass of reisling, lemonheads and buffalo chicken dip (random right?)

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and just singing, no shouting it in my head on repeat

Happy Friday! What are you up to?


A Day in the Life

I always find other people’s daily lives intriguing.  On Clickin Moms they feature a photographer every week on their blog who documents a day.  I love seeing little glimpses in to other’s day.  I can’t fathom picking up my DSLR camera to document a day because I am still struggling to use it.  So, I used my iPhone.  But I can tell you that for me no day is the same and it is pretty jammed packed being a working mom with two small kids. So, here is a glimpse in to our/my daily life (if you’re interested)…

6:00ish- Usually the pitter patter of Brady’s feet wakes us up and he comes in to our bed.  We snuggle for a few minutes then I get up and hop in the shower.  Brady usually watches TV and Cate wakes up closer to 6:30 and joins him in our bed demanding the iPad.   Glenn starts to get them both dressed and takes them downstairs for a breakfast snack and some juice.  He makes me a cup of coffee while I finish getting ready.  (Did you read my breakup story?)

7:00- We are off to daycare/school and Glenn starts to get himself ready for work.  My first stop is the daycare at my high school. It’s on our freshmen campus and is a Bright Horizons.  I don’t teach on this campus but it’s still convenient.  It’s about a mile from our house.  And three miles from the other campus where I work.  Cate usually gets dropped off first in her room and then Brady.  Before Brady starts his day, he has to answer the question of the day and sign in.  Let’s process what this is like every morning for the parent when you are trying to get to work.  Hell. It’s a battle with the clock and with a 4 year old.


7:40- In to school with my bags and ready to start the morning which means I am catching up on email, voicemail and talking to parents, students and teachers.  This usually when my secretary and I talk about my day and what’s on the horizon.  She is the only reason I survive at work fyi and is my work mom.

8:15-8:40- Advisory with my 23 girls.  Hands down the best part of day.

8:40-9:25- I usually spend this time putting the finishing touches on my classes for the day (running copies, uploading documents to our learning management system and grading) and eating something for breakfast. I usually do oatmeal (the instant kind) or a zone bar.

9:30-10:10- TEACH

10:15- I head back to the freshmen campus for a meeting that occurs weekly. The going back and forth takes a lot of time out of my day especially since I am a department chair who also teaches.  Some days I call my mom or Glenn and other days I just drive in the silence.


12:05- Meeting over and headed back to the campus I work/teach on.  And I am hungry and looking for lunch.  I try to bring my lunch and I rotate from salads, sandwiches and Lean Cuisine meals.  I usually bring some kind of chips and cheese as well as some fruit to add to it.  We have a subsidized staff dining room but it is still expensive. I’m sure most teachers in most districts would be amazed at the offerings but I am all about sitting at my desk and bringing mine from home.

1:15- TEACH

2:00- Class is over and this where I attempt to get some grading, lesson planning, observation write-ups or other administrative thing done.  Some days I have to observe teachers but at least half of the week I have this time free.  I have a love/hate with this part of the day because it is not when I am most productive but it is always when I can usually get something done.


3:23- I try to sneak out of school two minutes before the bell rings and head to the other campus again. This time it is to get a quick workout in before I pick up my kids.  The workout facility on campus is great and I usually run out in the forest preserve when it’s nice out.  This happens maybe three times a week because after school equals meetings for department chairs like me.


4:30- Daycare pick-up.  Glenn and I have a pact that unless it’s completely unavoidable we always have the kids picked up by 4:30.  By one of us.  Usually me because of proximity.  It’s important to us and it kills me when my kids are the last ones there which has happened more than I care to admit.

5:00- Home.  Both kids are usually begging for juice and a snack depending on what was for lunch and whining.  I try to get them settled and then get going on dinner.

5:30- We try to eat around 5:30 if we are all home.  I try to menu plan but sitting around the table together is pretty important to me even if I am not eating and heading back to work.

6:00- Bath time every single night. Our kids thrive on routine so they get a bath every night and I also would like to think it is a germ killer too!

6:45- Milk, books and a little TV time.  Usually Cate plays on my iPad and Brady on Glenn’s.  Sometimes they watch tv but usually it is Toca Boca, Angry Birds or Puzzles for them.

7:15- Cate goes to bed after some singing and rocking.

7:30- Brady gets some time with us alone. It usually involves playing a game- Old Maid, Sequence, Zingo and Candyland are crowd favorites currently.

8:00ish- Bedtime for Brady. 2 books and in bed and then lights out. We typically have to sit on a chair in our master down the hall until he falls asleep which can be instantaneous or take an hour.  The whole 4 year old and nap thing makes me all kinds of angry.

9:00- Me Time. Him Time. Us time. If you call it that because we are usually exhausted and ready for bed by 9:30 or so.  I usually am grading on my iPad most nights or cleaning up email. Some nights I surf Houzz for our kitchen remodel.  Some nights I do nothing but play Quiz Up.







Workouts that Work

I have been really motivated to work out even though the scale isn’t moving much lately. But the good news is that I feel better, sleep sounder, and make better food choices when I exercise so that is enough for me for now.  I have realized that having a buddy (Hi Tork!) makes me accountable and when we don’t sweat enough we keep going until we do.  With that being said, I found a blog that I read consistently for workout inspiration.

The blog is PBFingers.  She is a trainer and something out her workouts just work for me.

Yesterday, I did her 25 minute treadmill workout which she adapted from another blog and I adapted because I needed it to be 20 minutes.  Here is hers and the original and here is what I did.

Time  Speed  Incline
0-5  min 6.5 1
5-6 3.5 5
6-7 6.5 5
7-8 3.5 6
8-9 6.3 6
9-10 3.5 7
10-11 6.1 7
11-12 3.5 8
12-13 5.9 8
13-14 3.5 9
14-15 5.7 9
15-16 3.5 10
16-17 5.5 10
17-18 3.5 15
18-20 3.5 8


For starters, I was super sweaty.  The continuous change in the incline and speed made the time just fly by.  I was sweating just in the 5 minute warm up if it’s even considered that.  After the workout, my legs were shaking and I felt like I had a great quick cardio workout.  Not to mention I burned a ton of calories.

So, there you have it. 20 minutes of cardio that works! Enjoy.

Got any workouts you love?


What’ Your App?

So, last week one of best friends emailed me asking me if I knew that our favorite printing picture site, that our photographer Heidi Peters recommends, MPix just came out with an app for the android.  I quickly replied saying, yes that there already is an iPhone app which she didn’t know.  So, it got me thinking… we all probably have different or our favorite apps.  But, I’m guessing my favorite or one I use the most may be one that is not even on someone else’s radar.  So, here I am to ask – what’s your favorite app? Let’s eliminate iMessage and email because we all know that we use those the most.  And I’m guessing it wouldn’t be most people’s FAVORITE app just necessary right?

I’ll tell you mine. (In no particular order)

Instagram- I love the pictures, the filters, the community and the microblog world that exists on this tiny piece of the internet.  Also, I love the connection it has with so many other sites for prints etc…

MyFitnessPal- Such an easy website to look up calorie counts or see where my fitness progress is or was at.  I don’t use it consistently, but I honestly really love it.

Chase- How can you not love the option to pay your bills from anywhere or to pay a friend thru the Quick Pay option.

Feedly- My go to reading space. I have every blog I read categorized on this app and it is user friendly which is huge for me.

Honorable Mention- Facebook, Pinterest, Waterlogue, Cartwheel and Rhonna…

How about you? What are your favorites?


Update on 14 Things in 2014- February

Well, hey there if anyone is actually there? I am sort of back. I have come to the realization that this space is secondary to a lot of things in my life since when I can write I will and when I can’t I won’t beat myself up about it.  Here’s a quick update on 14 things in 2014.  This month wasn’t great but I think it is a theme across our life so I will try again next month.

1.  Participate in either a sprint triathlon or a race that is 10K or longer. I just got these new pretties so I am thinking that is a good motivator to hit the treadmill.

So, I have been pretty good this month all things considered.  We were in Lake Geneva for a weekend and I was sick for almost 10 days with a nasty cold that didn’t let me work out, but I am committed more than ever to eating better and taking care of myself.  And, yes I sold my FitBit Force and I am thinking I will by a Polar or Garmin but I am not worried about rewarding myself at this point. It just feels good to move

2.  Research, try and make a new recipe once a month.  So frequently we end up in a food rut in our house and I think with a little bit of effort we could try some new things.  And maybe, I could even share them here on this little blog.

We tried this recipe for Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps.  They were a little sweet for us but pretty easy to make. The upside is that there was a lot left over and in the future I could use it for protein on a salad

3.  Teach Brady (with Glenn’s help) to ride a bike. Our strider bike attempt was a bust so with some new Big Wheels for Christmas we are hoping that a bike is in his future.

Between the snow, wind, rain, polar vortex etc…I got nothing new on this one

4.  Begin a scrapbook project for our family that forces me to pick up my camera weekly.

Man, this one is not going well. I was so motivated to pick up my camera in January but this month not so much and I am have done nothing on a scrapbook front for 2014.  I’m afraid if I don’t get moving on this now, I won’t get it done.

5.  Read at least one classic. I am a voracious reader but I have never read a classic.

Work. Life. Mama. Busy. Repeat.  No fun reading this month.

6.  Find a spiritual place that works for our family. My faith has been on the back burner since we had kids and it is time to explore and nurture that part of me.

Nothing new on this one either.  I am thinking it may have to be the summer before we or I tackle this one.

7.  Learn Adobe Photoshop once and for all.

Nope. Dang, what the heck happened this month. Feels like I got nothing accomplished. But, the good news is that my school has a free membership for every teacher and student to and there are tons of great tutorials on the site which I can access from anywhere.

8.  Set a goal when it comes to weight loss and hit it.  No, I will not be sharing this one.  This has been a recent struggle for me privately and now you know so maybe it will hold me accountable.

This month has had some highs and lows. After selling my FitBit Force, I don’t know if it was the illness and travel this month but I am in a rut.  I feel like I am working out more and eating cleaner but nothing is happening. My clothes fit different and that feels good but the scale won’t budge.  So, I am planning and going to be really strict for a while and see what happens

9.  For the rest of the school year, pack my lunch at least three times a week. No excuses.

I am totally on track with this one.  I have actually started to enjoy packing my lunch and find even when lunch is served I don’t always eat.  I like knowing what and how many calories I put in my body and tailoring my daily food plan to my needs.

10.  Watch the entire Breaking Bad series. Glenn and I keep talking about it and we need to start watching now. (This will require me not to go to bed at 8:30 every night).

Haven’t done this yet, but… for the first time ever I watched the Big Lebowski. I just don’t get the humor or the story line but I did it.  And now Glenn is watching Homeland which makes me excited for us to be able “add” a show we can watch together.

11. Get Cate involved or signed up for something. Poor second child has been neglected and it’s her turn to do something… anything.

Nope. I looked at spring offerings and couldn’t find anything I loved so I am going to wait until summer or until she turns three and can swim.  Maybe, ballet? Did I really say that?

12. Call or send snail mail to my grandma once a month.

This is the one I feel the worst about. I didn’t do this and I need to. So, I am shooting for two times in March to make up for it.  Darn it.

13.  Finish decorating our main floor with the little things and big things. Shelves need to be filled and there are some walls that need love and at least one TV that needs to be mounted.

I got nothing here but will give you a reminder that we are starting a MASSIVE kitchen remodel in less than a month.  Hold me…the dust, decisions, and lack of a kitchen may just kill me.

14. Have a quarterly meeting with my two best friends. I miss them. Too often I find excuses about why I can’t so this year, I will organize and I say I can.

Well, as long as we stick to our March dinner we should accomplish this one.  I am so excited for wine, my two best girls and some time.  Where are we going? Don’t care as long as it happens.