Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Perfect Angel


I called my girlfriend the other day to ask for help. She's known in these parts as Preschool Super Nanny. She's even thinking about creating a hotline for hopeless preschool moms. Like me.

Todd took Austin to preschool on Monday. The report to me went something like....

Me: How was school today? Did Austin sit in Circle Time?

T: Maybe for a minute or two. Then he got up and ran to the middle of the circle and started clowning around. When I went to get him, he ran out the other side of the circle. As I came around the outside of the circle, he ran back through the middle.

Me: OMG. Did you catch him???

T: Well, then he saw a trash truck drive by the window and he started yelling, "Twash twuk, Twash, twuk" as he ran for the door to go outside.

Me: I'm sorry.

T: Helpless.

I called my friend. She started asking me all kinds of questions about his social situations, etc.... and I realized - He is perfectly fine, just a silly, outgoing, at times non-compliant boy. But he is so sweet. And it didn't help that Carmen gave him doughnut holes for breakfast.

So, today, I went with Todd and Austin to preschool. Santa was coming today. Santa had a present for Austin. We walked in the room, straight over to the circle and I sat down. I put Austin on my lap and told him Santa was coming. We sang the first song, danced the dance and then sat again as Santa arrived. Austin sat on my lap until his name was called to go up and get his gift. He looked at his book while Santa handed out the rest of the presents. Then we made a bag to hold all the other treats Austin was going to receive this morning. We decorated a picture frame with our picture in it (which will go in Todd's stocking), and made one other craft. Outside Austin listened and played on the bikes. We came in for the last circle time, and Austin participated. He did great today! Yeah!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I'm not a video game player. I wasn't really into Pac Man. I don't play Play Station 2, WII, or Guitar Hero, even though we own all of them. I am surrounded by gamers.
However, I have found a game I'm thoroughly enjoying; It's called Farmville, and it's on Facebook.

First, you have to be on Facebook. Second, you go to the applications button and click on the corn icon. Then you can begin to create a farm.

I think I like it because I always felt I was a country girl. Yes, I like having a housekeeper, yes, I like sleeping in clean hotels, yes, I like buying my food in the grocery store, but every time I pick a tomato off our plant, I feel good all over!~

Farmville is my way of having a farm and living a little in the country. Many of my friends from high school have become my neighbors. It's fun to fertilize their crops, send them gifts, and stay connected. IF you begin to have a farm, or already have one, let me know so we can be neighbors!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Penne with Broccoli, Panchetta & White Beans

Pretty simple and pretty good.

I started by boiling water for my penne, and I always drop my broccoli on top of whatever pasta I'm cooking in order to blanch it quickly.

In a large saute pan, I put in about 1 T olive oil and 5 chopped slices of pancetta browning it for about 2 - 3 minutes. I added 1/2 chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic chopped, and some left over sausage (kielbasa) from breakfast yesterday. I got that nice and caramelized and added 1 can of white northern beans. I drained the can of liquid first and then just dumped in the beans. I love adding beans because it's an instant thickener. I removed the broccoli from the boiling water and added it to the saute pan. I sliced about 8 grape tomatoes and added them as well. I tossed everything, added salt and pepper. When the pasta was done, I tossed that in as well. I also added a couple of serving size spoonfuls of pasta water to loosen it up a bit. I stirred gently (really kinda folding all the ingredients) and plated. Last, I topped it with shredded Parmesan.

Served with a salad, it was light, fresh, and tasty.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I wuv you too, Mom

Austin is at that sweet age when I say, "I love you, Austin", he snuggles up next to me and closes his eyes, sweetly in a soft voice says, "I wuv you too, Mom". He's a little like a kitten rubbing his face and hair on my neck while he says it. If my day is busy, hectic, stressful, monotonous, all I have to do is replay those words in my head!

The bright spot today was completing my report cards (actually about 3/4ths), finishing progress reports, planning all December holiday crafts, scheduling all parent/teacher conferences, meeting with my Valet Parking crew (over 60 kids strong:)), and planning the rest of this year! Whew!

Now I have my office at home to tackle... This is when I start to replay, "I wuv you too, Mom"........

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bring it On....

The lights are on the house. The mantel is covered in garland and white lights. The tree is in place. Cinnamon is in the air. Let the season begin......

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The turkey is in the oven, rolls are on the counter rising, stuffing is made, and the table is set. At 3:00, I will begin the mad rush to get the mashed potatoes done, glazed carrots sauteed, corn pudding in the oven, rolls baked, and turkey finished. The cranberry sauce will be put out, along with the desserts on their own table.

Until then, Todd is over at the shop cleaning. Austin has said, "Shop?" approximately 3,489 times this morning. He's over there lifting and closing the garage doors, looking for the stray bunny, and helping to sweep the floors.

Kalie and Jeremy are watching "Without a Paddle", laughing and chatting to friends on their phones. Ashley is now on her way home. She just applied to be a dog groomer at Petsmart. She's an art major in school, but I think she would be a great vet! She loves animals:)

I will go read a little: The Friday Night Knitting Club. Easy reading for a relaxing day. So much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trains and Trash Trucks

Two of Austin's greatest life's pleasures are trains and trash trucks. He has a Thomas the Train set out in the garage; providing hours of fun for him and his friends. He has a Thomas the Train set downstairs in our family room; providing hours of fun for him and his dad. He also absolutely loves, above all else, trash trucks. Every Tuesday morning, he is up and dressed, ready to jump on his bike and follow the trash truck around our neighborhood! Everywhere we go, he is on the look out for trash trucks, and when one is spotted, he promptly and excitedly yells, "Twash twuck, Mommy, turn, turn!":) Sometimes I do, Sometimes I don't. I have been known to follow a trash truck through an unknown neighborhood just to delight him.

This past weekend we went to Goat Hill in Fairview Park. It is a place where young and old labor with love over trains and tracks. Every 3rd weekend are free train rides. I'm on my daughter's computer, so I have no way of downloading the pictures of this adorable site. But, we sat for two rounds of train rides (each about 20 minutes) while my son watched so intently the tracks and wheels moving the on the train. If every weekend was riding trains and following trash trucks, life would be grand!

I am just now finishing my coffee, ready to get dressed and out the door to take Austin to preschool. Today is our Thanksgiving Feast. Hopefully all will go well, and I will be thankful!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So much to write about......

I will do brief summaries of our life for the past month in hopes of permanently marking in history this time in our lives. Someday, I hope to cut and paste these into Austin's album..... yeah, right.

Halloween was a blast. We had an easy Saturday, brought home a pizza for dinner then dressed for the evening. I was a little behind as neighbors started coming over before Austin was transformed into Bob the Builder. A few treats from our doorway later, and we were off. We left about 6:30 and visited our immediate neighbors. Austin was very apprehensive at first, slowly following me up to the door where I coached him into saying, "Trick or Treat". He would get the Treat out and stand there waiting for something.... what? he wasn't sure. But the first drop of candy into his basket and he was sold. No problem. He was anxious to get to the next house, and the next, and the next. Finally, I told Todd, "Go back home and get the car, he'll never be able to walk back!" So with our faithful driver, we meandered through our streets and stopped at our favorite friends' houses. We picked up Grammie along the way and visited her friends as well. We got home at 8:00 (1.5 hours of "Treats") and Austin fell happily into bed clutching his basket full of goodies.

I went to an awesome conference a few weekends back at our church, Cottonwood. Some may know my pastor, Bayless Connelly, from his TV broadcasts. He's amazing. Such a great man of God. Well, the conference was exceptional. The theme was "Connect" and the speakers all talked about building relationships with each other. One challenged everyone to give 15 minutes a day to someone that needed help, to be noticed, complimented, encouraged, etc.... He said 5 minutes is easy, but 15 minutes goes into the uncomfortable realm of, "What did I get myself into? Do I really have time for this???" Try it...
The good news was that Austin stayed in the Preschool room the whole time Sunday morning of the conference. I've been wanting him to attend, but the minute worship was over, my buzzer would be going off and he'd be hysterically crying. He did cry a little, but not for me. He wanted to play outside with the balls longer. He's still getting down transition times! So, breakthrough! Austin is going to church with me now!!

We are going on a field trip to the Santa Ana zoo. A sweet, little zoo in a neighboring city. His preschool does a field trip each month. I took the day off work in order to go with him. We went to Knott's Berry Farm last Saturday and it wasn't totally successful. Austin is still learning how to WAIT in line, and how to exit a right gracefully. He tends to say, "MORE, MORE" and not get off. I drag him kicking and screaming while smiling and waving at all the onlookers pitying me. It's ok - I've been here and done this before. It doesn't really bother me. Now that I have adult daughters, I know what to pull my hair out over - not getting off a ride is not one of them!
So, today, I will bring a stroller, lots of dollars for the train ride, sandwiches and fruit and hope for the best!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's New on the Homefront...

Dear Journal,
I'm sitting in my classroom, and all the children have left for the day. We just started our Cell to Organisms diagram, and I think/hope they will all learn the five steps: Cells become tissues which become organs which become organ systems which become organisms. How simple is that?? Are we really all that complex? JK

Kalie got her job at the hair salon. She came home with a new color and style: Black and sassy. Looks cute! Ashley ran over and got herself a new look: strawberry blond and Victoria Secret curls. Oh my.

Today was preschool. Only 10 minutes on the yard before we came inside. We painted pumpkins, glued faces on pumpkins, and made a book sequencing how a pumpkin is grown. Very fun! Austin did about 3/4 of it. Or maybe 1/2. Really he just liked the painting part. I've decided to hang his artwork from preschool on the wall in the kitchen for the week that he does it, take a picture of him in front of it, then we can toss the artwork. That might sound callous, however, having raised girls already and knowing how much they can accumulate, besides hating clutter, I think this works best. If he creates a masterpiece, we'll definitely save it!

Dinner tonight will be a favorite pasta dish with fresh tuna that Todd makes. Yum. Somehow it tastes even better when I don't cook it. I think the weekly planner will become a daily look in the freezer for what to make.

Everything else seems to be moving along just fine. We are planning a trip to the Pumpkin patch this weekend. We'll end the day with a Oktoberfest evening. They have a great festival not to far from our house. Hopefully I'll show pictures, Todd somehow lost our Kodak Easyshare program, so I'm a bit at a loss.

Oh well,
Until next time.....


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Preschool Update...

I guess I'll base how good our preschool day is on how many tissues I need to wipe the sweat from my brow. Perhaps the room is just hot.
Today we got to school, and you walked so nicely to your classroom. You always say, "back pack" as we pass by the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms with their belongings hanging on the hooks outside. You then usually say, "Park!" when you see their playground!
We have been at preschool a total of 4 times! You now come into the room, play a little on the floor before venturing outside. I remind you that it is Circle Time, and you really could care less. Then I remind you that we are suppose to be inside, and I wait. The wait is getting shorter. Today, it only took about 4 minutes for you to come back inside! You play "near" the circle, but haven't yet sat down in the circle!
After Circle Time is our crafts. Today is Autumn theme. YOU LOVE TO PAINT. Today when I showed you what Mrs. Nakayama was holding up to paint, you screamed with delight! You then ran over the the squirrel table to start your craft. We glued brown yarn on the squirrel for his tail, glued an acorn on his paw, and you were basically fascinated with the hole puncher the most.
We then went to the wreath table to glue on autumn items: leaves, turkeys, squirrels, acorns, on to our paper plate wreath. You could care less about this craft.
Then let the painting begin. You sat so nicely to use all the colors for your leaf!
We used a sponge that was cut up to dab on your leaf; browns, oranges, yellow & red filled the leaf to capacity!
It only gets better, because after crafts is OUTSIDE PLAY! Your very favorite thing to do!! You now like for me to hold you while you hang on the bars! You also like to ride the tricycle and swing!
When the bell rings, you are usually the last one in the room for snack time. Today you ate your pound cake first, then grapes and a few goldfish!
Everyone cleans up and returns to Circle Time. Not us. That is when you point to the door and tell me "all done". So, we usually leave 15 minutes early.
Today, though, I only wiped the sweat off my brow with 4 tissues! A GREAT IMPROVEMENT!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Day of Preschool

My darling Austin,
Today was your first day of school. You woke up at 4:45 AM to start the day, and no amount of coaxing could get you back to sleep. So, we met Grammie and her friends at It's a Grind for coffee at 6:00 AM. We came home and had eggs and cream cheese on toast for breakfast, and you did a great job eating your eggs. Soon it was time to stand in the infamous spot in front of our house for the "first day of school" picture. My brothers, myself, Kalie and Ashley have all had our pictures taken in the same spot since I was in Kindergarten! (Unfortunately, I am unable to download my pics, so that will have to wait until later)
We got to preschool and you loved it. You played on the floor with toys and others for 30 minutes. One little girl was crying almost the whole time. This was registration day, fill out all the cards day, sign up for snack day, etc... so I'm sure she was just trying to adjust to all the noise and people.
You, however, did great! Soon we were able to go outside and you played like crazy. Toward the end of outside play, you noticed the swings. Lately, you want me to push you for at least 40 minutes on the swing. Well, after about 5 minutes, the bell rang to call us all in for snack time. You did not want to go. I talked with you, but you still wanted to spend more time outside on the swings. Finally, I pried your fingers from the chains and got you off the swing. It was all downhill from there. Once we got in to snack time, you washed your hands and sat down to your goldfish and string cheese. You were finished long before the other 25 children had time to wash their hands. You wanted to go back outside. Out of 27 children in the class, you were the only one crying and pitching a fit. I held you in the back of the room, wiping the sweat from my brow, as I bounced you, spoke to you, and walked you from door to door. You continued crying for at least 20 minutes. During this time, children ate their snack quietly while Mrs. Nakayama spoke to the parents about our roles and responsibilities. I heard about 30% of the speech.
Next was Circle Time. Once again you started to make a big fuss, and this is when I said, "Why am I still here?" I said good-bye to the teacher 30 minutes before class was over and took you to the car. We talked about what fun we had at preschool and how excited we were to go back on Wednesday. I put you in your car seat, turned on the engine, turned around to tell you that I loved you, but you were sound asleep.
Poor baby. Quite a first day at preschool!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

6 Things

1) We had a blast up in Big Bear the first week of September. It was perfect. The weather, the balcony which I sat on while I watched fish jumping out of the lake, the laid back tone for Todd, Austin & I, and the leisurely way we approached each day. Nothing more than laying around watching TV, boating on the lake, swimming in the pool, throwing rocks in the lake, and eating out! Perfection.

2) The night we came home from Big Bear, Austin came down with a high fever. Great. The fever lasted three days; the rash broke out soon after. I called the doctor and was told he had Rosiola. No problem. The rash would last 3 - 4 days while he played and acted totally like himself.

3) I started back to school on Wednesday, 9/9. My classroom is such a wonderful place to be. I worked all summer and then some to create a fun, energetic, clean, happy, bright, wonderful place to spend the day with my students. I think it paid off - everyone comments on how much they like the room. I'm so glad. What a blessing to go to work and love it!

4) Ashley and Kalie both started back at school, both are "in love", and both are working more than one job. It is precious time that I spend with them since they are both so busy!!

5) I cut my hair off! Jessica, my hair stylist, did a new look for me yesterday. I was so ready for a fresh look. She chopped off about 5 inches off the back. It's that new V line look - a little longer in the front and shorter in the back. When I take a picture, it will be posted.

6) Austin starts preschool tomorrow - and I'm going with him! He'll go two days a week for 2 hours each day. I have a wonderful friend that will sub for me in my classroom so I can attend each week with Austin. I'm so looking forward to this wonderful time with him!

That's it for now.....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sick Again :(

I can't believe it's been less than a month and Austin was back at the doctor's office. Poor kid. We approach the building and the wailing begins. By the time we are headed down the hall towards the actual room, Austin is frantically doing the "all done" sign language sign. I don't blame him. Every time we go there, he ends up with a shot, blood drawn, chest x-ray, or God knows what. Now, when the doctor goes to check his ears or listen to him breath (both painless) he cries bloody murder.

I refuse to go alone with him again.

I can't take it.

I'm weak.

He is doing better today. He's been sleeping a lot, playing a lot, and staying out of the pool. We leave for Big Bear on Monday. The plan is lots of rest so we have no throwing up on our way up the mountain. That's a memory I would like to forget.

Other than that, Kalie might have a full time job which is one step closer to her getting an apartment, which is one step closer to me not getting woken up at 1:00 AM when she comes home. We're hoping for the best! Oh, just a side note, Kalie was in the ER yesterday for an eye infection in her other eye. I am now personally welcomed and recognized by all employees at our local ER room.

Ashley has started school and is taking 5 classes. As an Art major, she is busy drawing, painting, and making jewelry this semester. How much fun is that! Why on earth was I a Sociology major? Oh yeah, I can't draw.

Todd is working too much. I'm not sure it can be too much after 8 months of no work, but he sure is tired. Tonight I'll make an Italian sausage, broccoli and pasta dish with a light salad on the side. Some crusty garlic bread and wine should round it out nicely.

Here's to rest, relaxation, and a bottle of good wine!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


An old thing happening with blogs is sidebars that make you money. If you agree to advertise on your blog, and someone clicks on the advertisement, Google will send you a check depending on how many clicks you got. I'm experimenting with this. So if you see random things occurring between posts, don't worry it's just clickable advertisement brought to you by our friendly Google team.

Tasty Kitchen

Because I love cooking, watching cooking shows, and mostly eating, I have a great new site for you to find recipes: Tasty Kitchen. If you click on The Pioneer Woman link, you will find Tasty Kitchen as one of her top tabs. Click on it, and behold, society at large submitting tried and true recipes cooked in the average home. I love it!
Happy cooking!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yesterday and Today

We got up and headed for the beach. Kalie and 5 of her friends joined Ashley, Austin and me for a day of sand and surf. Except there was no surf because we were technically at the bay. A perfect spot for children under 6 to frolic, swim, build sand castles, and generally get into little trouble. I ran into a friend from work who brought her 3 year old, so our kids had fun running around and splashing in the water.
Everyday in the afternoon we swim. So when we got home from the beach (bay), we jumped in the pool and jacuzzi. A nice BBQ'd steak dinner, mashed potatoes, peas and bacon, and my famous broccoli salad was enjoyed by all.

I've been chasing Austin around the house for a couple of hours. Kalie woke up with an eye infection, so we're off to the doctors office soon. Afterwards, I'm taking Austin to a park we used to play at quite a bit. It will be fun to revisit it. Tonight is Coqu Van (a chicken dish with burgandy wine) for dinner and the last concert in the park.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Update

Well, I suck. Now I have to rely on my memory to recall facts about what fun we've been having this summer. Oh my.

First, Austin's birthday party on July 27th. On Sunday, the 26th, we had family and friends over for a swim party. Everyone had lots of fun eating, swimming, and singing Happy Birthday to Austin. It was easy, relaxed, and delicious. We served the typical summer fare: BBQ'd hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, chips and lemonade. A nice long dessert bar finished off the meal; my mom made special ice cream cone cup cakes for the kids.

Then on the 27th we reserved a cabana for our family at Wild Rivers and spent the whole day playing in the pools, on the slides, and laying in the sun. Austin's eyes could not have been bigger when we walked into the wet and wild wonderland! He is now swimming without a jacket, completely on his own, so he was free to run, jump and splash at will. Ashley's boyfriend, Sean, came with us, as well as my sister, so our total number was 10. Jaycie had a friend meet her there, so everyone had someone to keep them company on the vast number of water slides. For dinner, we all headed over to Ruby's for their $2.70 combo meal in celebration of their 27th year! Our Ruby's is at the end of our local beach pier, so after Austin played in the sandy playground we all headed down the pier for dinner. Quite delicious when you throw in chocolate shakes!

Since his party, we have had play dates, art classes, library story times, trips to Cabrillo Beach tide pools, park time, and friends over for swims. Last weekend, Kalie, Ashley, my best friend, Kalie's boyfriend, and mom all went to Vegas to celebrate Kalie's 21st birthday. All I can say is "Thank God I'm not 21 anymore". I did win $200 on a slot machine, stayed up and partied with Kalie until 2:30 AM, even though she and her boyfriend lasted several more hours, and had an all around fun time!

Austin has now found my lap once again, so I'm off to take him for a walk.
Until next time......

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ok, so it's been awhile....

It's not that I don't think about posting everyday, it's just that I forgot how much WORK it is to have a 2 year old. He's napping right now (fade to Hallelujah chorus sung from the front porch...)

We have been having a wonderful summer. I have lots of photos to share, stories to tell, and adventures to write about, but right now I need a nap as well. So this short, but sweet, note is to relieve my guilt about not writing, let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth (would you really care??), and to say, I am hoping to post a better version later tonight. Which really means sometime next week.

Until then,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Busy Summer Days....

I love summer. Usually I love sleeping in, but that won't be happening again for another 10 years or so. Todd is still in the routine of kissing me goodbye at 6:30 and bringing me my coffee. Austin usually sleeps until 7:15, so I have 45 blessed minutes of laying in bed, sipping coffee, and watching the morning news.

We have been very busy - Sea World, a visit from in-laws and cousins, library story times, friends over to play, the beach, the playground, Adventure City, and on and on and on...... Everyday, I try and plan an outing that will take a few hours. So far we have had success!

Today my family is coming for a BBQ. I've made it a potluck so we are only in charge of the meat portion. This morning on The Early Show I saw the "Chef on a Shoestring" segment. He butterflied a whole chicken, sprinkled it with salt, paprika, and olive oil and grilled it for about 40 minutes. First skin side down to brown, the flip it over, put the lid on, and let it go! I think that's what I'll be serving!

I watched Farrah's story last night on Dateline. What a beautiful woman inside and out. It was such a tragedy. She fought so hard against her cancer. Yesterday while I was driving home, a girlfriend of mine was driving in front of me. She lives in Chicago, but she was driving her mom's car. I honked and followed her the couple of blocks to her mom's house. She told me she was in town because her mom had breast cancer. She had her breast removed, but complications arose. She's been here 3 weeks nursing her poor mom whom I've known all my life. After I left, I counted all the CLOSE friends I know that have personally had cancer: 4. Then all the acquaintances I know: 10. 14 people in my circle of friends. Too many.

I praise God for my families health. It is a reminder to cherish each day, cherish each person, and make positive choices.

This week, I've lined up breakfast, lunch and dinner dates with girlfriends, my in laws will be back on Wednesday (we'll go to the tide pools), and I need to look for a new SUV. Concert in the Park starts on Friday night! Hallelujah, I love summer!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Creative Puns for Smart Minds

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s Round Table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated in an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, “You stay here, I’ll go on a head.”

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, “Keep off the Grass.”

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, “No change yet.”

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

20. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

21 A backward poet writes inverse.

22. In a democracy, it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism, it’s your count that votes.

23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

24. Don’t join dangerous cults, practice safe sects!

*Taken from Pioneer Woman's Ga Ga

Friday, June 5, 2009


Field trip today.
Walked to a swim center.
Walked to eat lunch.
Got back to school, and bell just rung.
Leaving now.
Good night.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ralphs and Walgreens are now off limits.......

Being a creature of habit, I tend to drive the same way to the gas station, my work, the grocery store, or Target. But, recently I've noticed that Austin gets really excited when we pass any Ralphs (local grocery store on almost every corner) or Walgreens, even Walmart or Target.

Yesterday, I went to get gas and had Austin along for the ride. As we passed Ralphs, he held out his arms and began to make sounds like, "Stop the car, for goodness sake, we're about to pass Ralphs". I just quizzically looked at him in the rear view mirror, smiled, and replied, "Now now, honey!"

Then I pulled into the gas station. Across the street was Walgreens. The entire time I pumped gas, my darling angel looked out the window across the street crying. He had his hand raised as if the Lord himself was going to come down and unfasten his seatbelt. When I was through, I merely started the car and put on some loud baby tunes.

But, yes, we had to pass Ralphs again on our way back home. A smart woman would have veered to the right and left of that obstacle, but this well trained woman stayed on the straight and narrow and ventured right past it. What a mistake. I thought my baby would become unglued. I called my mom on my car phone so I wasn't alone with all that shrieking. Also, so I would have a witness if anyone in cars within a 3 mile radius heard his screams and reported me for child abuse.

We made it home. Instead of promising him ice cream after dinner tonight, I think I'll take him to Ralphs.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Just another typical day in the ER for me and my girls. When I was growing up, I was definitely a tomboy. I was in the ER every other minute - broken arms, fractured kneecaps, dislocated collar bones, dog bites, hit by a car, too many to count stitches, and on and on and on....... My poor mother. I was only one of 4 rough around the edges children. She wasn't there just for me....

Well, I believe in Karma. I have been to the emergency room with my daughters no less than 5 times in the last month. Asthma attack, two stomach cramps (possible ruptured cysts), thought it was a broken foot - but thankfully just badly hemorrhaged - and something else I've forgotten.

Today, was the foot.

But the good news is, while I was studying medicine for my RN certificate, Todd was signing a job!! Yahoo!! We are on our way to our favorite Tokoyo Hibatchi to celebrate with sushi!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day Two....

I'm stuffed. I just threw a pizza party for my students at school, and guess who is eating all the leftover pizza. I actually feel dizzy.
We are celebrating learning our parts of speech: nouns, verbs, pronouns, conjunctions, etc.... We made a pizza out of tagboard and construction paper and then each slice was a part of speech. As they learned each one, they chose four words to represent and wrote them on their toppings (olive, pepperoni, mushroom, & sausage). Being that I am at school now, and have no way of getting a picture, you'll just have to imagine the cuteness! Anyway, we topped it off with our own pizza party, and this is why my pants won't fit for the afternoon session.

I've decided to post on my lunch break since I sit in front of a computer, I have time on my hands, and I'm not one to snub a commitment - except for dieting and working out.

Today, Todd took Austin to the doctors. The cold is in his chest, and he has quite a cruppy cough, but thank God it isn't in his ears. So, Tylenol for a few more days, and hopefully we will be swimming again soon.

I just finished reading two good books; a series, if two books constitutes a series. The first is Daughter of Fortune and the second was My Life in Sepia. The first takes place during the Gold Rush, and it's about a young girl living in Chile. She falls in love and when her man leaves for the fortune in California, she stows away on a ship to track him. Easy reading, nice historical information, fun fiction. Book two is told from the granddaughter's perspective years later.

Not much else. Just trying to plan a trip to San Diego soon for some Sea World action. What are you doing for summer travel this year?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A New Commitment

Workouts, dieting, saving money, patience, kindness...
these are the things that I almost daily try to commit myself to doing. But, alas, today I'm going to add "Write on your blog daily to keep a record of Austin's growing up" to the list. I tend to do better when there is a reason for doing something.

So, in an effort to make good on my new commitment, here goes....

Well, my darling, precious son, whom I could eat up with a spoon because you are so full of sugar, today you are home with your sister, Kalie, watching you. Your daddy is busy now! Yahoo!! Being out of work for more than 7 months makes for stressful times!

You are getting over a cold, but unfortunately our swimming pool and waterfall are your most favorite places on the entire planet and you really want to dive in! Yesterday, you turned 22 months old, and already you swim with only a light vest on. You jump by yourself off the waterfall and diving rocks giving your poor Mama quite a scare. But Daddy encourages this. You absolutely LOVE it.

With being sick and all, you stand at the back sliding door and beg for someone to turn on and off the waterfall. Thus, you are now learning these two words. At this time, you only say up, Mama, Daddy, and a resounding "YEEEAHHHHH". Now, you say "off" like a German clearing his throat. A lot of guttural sounds in it. This is not to say that you don't speak. You chatter non stop! And, you know what EVERYTHING means.

You still love going to Grammie's house and having everyone hit the wind chimes. You can now crawl up onto her planter box and walk along smacking a few of your own. This and opening and shutting her kitchen door are the favorite things to do their now. We go for walks daily, and you know all the houses that have flags, wind chimes or other paraphernalia hanging from the front porch before we even get there!

You are precious beyond words. Your sisters are about to enroll in summer school at the local college and try to knock a few more classes off their list. Kalie has spent much time watching you, but her and Ashley both work for the same company and log many hours there as well. Perhaps they will be moving out soon.....

Last night, Todd made some delicious BBQ'd ribs, and we had sweet potatoes on the side. I think we will have left overs tonight, but I'm going to make an apple tart I saw on Pioneer Woman's site. Look on my sidebar and click on her blog for some wonderful recipes, photography, homeschooling ideas, and her everyday life in the country. She won the Blog of the Year Award last month!

Anyway, that's enough for now. Tomorrow, I will start to gather free summer ideas and post a few! Only 2 1/2 weeks of school left. Can I hear and AMEN, and excuse the noise, that's me singing the Hallelujah chorus off my front porch!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Some days are better than others.....

I like a hot summer day or a nice rainy day over a windy day..
I like lazying around reading magazines (I subscribe to Rachel Ray, Family Fun, and More)
Other days I love cleaning and making sure my house is spic and span...
Today is a shopping day! Another winner!

First, I'm getting my nails done (long overdue), then I'm taking Austin, Ashley, and Kalie to pick out wind chimes for their grandma's backyard. My precious mom has wind chimes hanging all around a back covered patio, and Austin LOVES them. EVERYTIME we are at her house he runs to the backyard first. We need to hit each one (a time or six) and make them ring. Unfortunately, some are down to one chime hanging there all by their lonesome as they are old, falling apart, and apparently not suppose to be hit so often. So, for Mother's Day, she is getting 3 new wind chimes!

Yesterday, Todd gave me a gift card to Home Depot for Mother's Day. He knew I wanted new flowers to plant in our beds, so I'm off to gather some new plants! Yahoo!!

Then, after all the shopping, planting and sweating, I'm getting my hair done at 4:00. I think I'll arrange a babysitter (Kalie) and take my husband out for dinner to top off the day.

Tomorrow I'm having my family over for brunch. I'm making a baked french toast with blueberries. It's made with Hallah, so it should be nice and light. It's from At Home with Giada, if you watch Food Network! I'll serve sausage and bacon, scrambled eggs with melted cheese, and fruit on the side. Perhaps Mimosa's would be nice for the adults - but I think I'll check out Sandra Lee's cocktails for a more inspiring drink.

Whatever you do tomorrow, I hope it's wonderful! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Laid Out Flat

My back is acting up again. Two years ago, I herniated a disc in my back - 1 cm. It took awhile of physical therapy, shiatsu treatments, and lots of TLC for it to work its way back to normal.

This is my Spring break week! And boy, was I excited. I had been putting in 10 - 12 hour days at work, and I was so looking forward to catching up on a few things at home and playing with Austin. Sure enough, the beginning of the week was overcast. Perfect for cleaning out the medicine cabinet, calling to reduce our interest rate on our mortgage, and trying out a few new recipes.

By Wednesday, I knocked everything off my To Do list and was feeling awesome. Except for an occasional tweek in my lower back. Waking up Thursday, I knew it was all over. My back was stiff and I couldn't lift Austin out of his crib. Thank God for my 76 year old mom who continually amazes me with her unbounding energy and love.

She is over EVERY morning at 6:30 to play with her precious grandson when he wakes up. It is so special for both of them. Well, she helped get him up, and she played with him for an hour before she had to leave for work.

Todd was already gone, and of course, both girls were sleeping. So I slowly got Austin a book to read and played for awhile. Then we went to do a couple of errands, which began to make my back feel a little more strained.

I needed to make a choice though, on the way home. Do I lay on the couch and let my son ran rapid through the house, or should we go to the park and let him play on the swings and slides. I chose the park. I felt walking slowly around him was a better choice than demolishing my house and running after him anyway.

The park was beautiful. Lots of kids, moms and children, and gorgeous weather. But my back stiffened more. By 12:00 we headed home, and thankfully Todd was there to put Austin down for his nap.

I went to the chiropractor at 3, got a small bit of relief and now I'm making dinner. I just popped in to get the Parmesean crusted fillo dough recipe which is stuffed with asparagus. Someday, I'll post my menu again.

Hope your days have been productive and pain free.....

Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

My sister in love is walking for this great cause! If you would like, help support all the struggling babies fighting for their chance to thrive! God Bless!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cross this off my list......

Because I am a nuerotic creature, I keep lists. I have lots of lists and even times put next to them. I know, it's scary.

This has been on my list for some time - write blog entry.

I know there is much to write about:

*the baby shower I threw at my house last week for a neighborhood friend. So much fun and lots of little surprises along the way....

*my last day of school before Easter break let out and the fun we had making tye dyed Easter baskets

*or my little bunny that came home from his Tails and Trails class

*my kitchen, which is looking quite beautiful, I might add. Anything other than plywood counters can't be half bad...

but, now that I'm listing all these things I could write blogs about, I'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed. So, before these get added to my already long list, I'm signing off.

PS For dinner tonight I'm making Mac n Cheese, Corned Beef, and a yummy salad. This relieves a little of my lack of posting menus......

PPS Good grief.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Day Off....

and I'm lovin it! I look forward to "free" moments throughout my day, but I'm beginning to miss Austin more and more when I'm free~

The other day we went to visit my sister's horse, Paisley, in hopes of getting Austin used to the sights and sounds of horses. We're hoping to get him to ride someday...

He went from shying away from all the horses to running in the field where Paisley was let loose. Finally, he began stroking her mane and even sat for a few seconds bareback. It is a fun trip to the stables!

Yesterday, we went to Carlsbad and drooled over the "Flower Fields". A mass of over 250,000 ronoculas (I have no idea how to spell that flowers name, but try it phonetically and it should work). Yellow, pink, red, white, multi-colored, grown in masses, and picked into beautiful bouquets. It was Kid's Day, so many children ran through the fields, had fun planting and face painting, played in the snow (trucked in for this event), and saw a Ronald McDonald show.

Today, Austin is with his daddy at a race car event. A friend of Todd's is trying to qualify his time in a certain category. Austin and Todd will cheer Justin on and marvel at all the loud sounds and fast cars. Meanwhile, I will wash linens, menu plan, watch cooking shows, finish Rachel Ray's magazine, and maybe look for bar stools.

Hopefully later today, I will, for the first time in a VERY long time, post a menu for the week. Not that anyone really cares, but I do take this accountability thing pretty seriously.... Not.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Queen Mary and St Patrick's Day

The past couple of days have been loaded with fun.

First, Austin and his dad went to their class at the Nature Center, and a cute little leprechaun showed up at my house!

Yesterday we went to the Queen Mary.

Anyone who lives in California could board the ship for free between March 1 - March 15. We put it off until the last minute, since we boarded the ship at 4:00 on March 15th! But, 1.5 hours was just enough time for Austin to have his fill!

Carnival Cruise Line was taking off a few feet away....

We met friends there, and overall it was a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Kitchen I Can Be Proud Of.....

I'm posting this a little prematurely, because I still need to download the pictures. So they will follow shortly. But, I can say, the counter is in! The sink and faucets are in! Which means the dishwasher and garbage disposal work! The backsplash is in! A few accessories are up!

Still missing...... Cabinet fronts, my 4 drawers on each side of the sink, flooring and window treatments. All coming soon. Remember, I lived like an outdoorsman for over a year now!

Oh to cook where there is no plywood! I am a proud mama!

All this is because Todd is still not working. I should say "working and getting paid", because he is working plenty! He is taking care of Austin 5 days a week, cleaning the house like he's a bald headed Mr. Clean, and having his employee paint our house.

So, all in all, while life isn't perfect, for me it's coming along just fine.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Raising a Toddler is NOT for the Faint of Heart....

A few weeks ago, I took Austin to Story Time at the Library. It was our first time. It happens on Thursday mornings from 9:00 - 10:00, so usually I am at work. But, because we are FINALLY completing our kitchen, Todd needed to work that day on it, and I happily played hookey from work.

I got Austin all ready, making a big deal as I told him where we were going, and hopped in the car for the short drive. Once there, I walked in and the room was pretty empty. Only two other moms with their precious babies. Austin wanted to walk around the room and check stuff out, so I pretty much watched him and chatted with the other ladies. The room began to fill up quickly, and it was definitely time to find a spot on the rug. Austin didn't really want to, but it was time. So, as any good mom would do, I gathered him up and sat him on my lap.
He began wiggling.
The librarian welcomed everyone.
My son started squirming.
She began the story.
He started arching his back.
I held him down and told him, "Look at the dinosours, Austin"
Yeah, right.
I was as persistent as he was. I'd remember my girlfriend, the preschool teacher, saying that you have to be stronger than your child.
He would settle down, then start to try and get up.
This went on throughout the story time.

Finally, it was time for the parachute. This is hands down Austin's favorite game. A huge nylon parachute laid out in a gigantic circle. Parents hold the ends and lift and lower it over the children. Usually songs are sung as this is going on. Well, Austin saw the parachute and ran and sat on top of it. After all, this is what he does every week at his trails and tails class at the Nature Center.

How were we to know that you are never suppose to walk or sit on it??

Everyone looked in our direction as I scooped up my excited boy and explained that he needed to go under the parachute HERE. Once it began to lift, Austin got so excited he actually began squeezing the backs of other kids. They began to cry. Holy Mama. I scooped him up again, and I took him out of parachute time. I tried to explain firmly, yet lovingly, NO HANDS! When I felt adequate time out had sufficed, I let him go back. He tore across the rug, knocking over a few kids as other moms quickly began snatching up their young ones before mine made contact. It really was just a problem for him maintaining his balance. He didn't mean to create a human pinball machine under the parachute.

The games were last, but by then, I'd had so many looks that I took Austin outside to the playground where he jumped, played and frolicked to his heart's content.

The good news. This week at Story Time and Tails and Trails, Austin sat perfectly still listening to the stories and songs. He only arched his back once, but I really think he was stretching. God is good, and so is each passing day :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Cow is Coming

Due to our economic state of affairs, I am racking my brain for anyway to get free money. Is there such a thing? My daughter told me last night that she goes to and she found a jewelry site that gives away jewelry for free - all you have to do is pay the shipping. She said it was for some "worthy" cause.
My sister emailed me a website or at least something like it, and she constantly sends me coupons for all sorts of stuff. So I guess the answer is "YES!", in our current state of economic upheaval, there are still some deals out there.

At our school, I thought it would be nice to try and help out with the financial crunch. We are having a Skate Depot night on March 18th, so I called the local Chick Fil A and asked them if we could get a percentage of sales driven by our school population. And, they were happy to oblige. All you need to do is (1) dine in and (2) bring the flyer that I will be creating. Simple enough. We'll get 15% of the sales totals from the flyers brought in.

I've even got the cow coming! He will stand below our grand marque (which of course will advertise the event)at school and draw lots of stares from confused parents. Hopefully, our student council members will be eagerly handing out more flyers to help make our "dine in only" event a success!

We are also doing "Box Tops for Education". Another great way to earn money. Each box top is worth 10 cents. If you go to their website, you can even get more coupons for the General Mills items needed to acquire the box tops in the first place. They have LOADS of products, and you can check out their website for their product list and coupons available.

Try these nifty ideas at your local school.. Anything to help in this current time of need :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Snack Sized

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to watch 2 Food TV shows. Oh, how I remember the days that I would spend 6 hours in front of the TV catching up on all kinds of recipes and techniques. That time has gone.

But, one of the shows I saw, Robin to the Rescue, had a great idea. This is the same Robin that does the Quick Fix meals. She was helping a man with his portions and food choices. He had gained a lot of weight eating in his car and frequenting fast food places.

One positive thing about this recession, I no longer eat much fast food! I have actually lost a little weight, to boot! Anyway, back to the show. She took him to the grocery store and loaded him up on nuts, dried fruit(apricots), whole wheat crackers, and beef jerky. When they got home, they divided up the goods into snack size ziplocks and tucked them away on "his" shelf in the cupboard.

She checked his progress a month later, and lo and behold, he had lost 10 pounds. It was really cute because he was excited to show her that his wife had turned him on to the "mixed" package of dried fruits! He had continued with his snack size portions and his "good" food choices.

Of course, I went out to a new grocery store here in our town called Sprouts. It is similar to Trader Joes, but has rows and rows of bins filled with trail mixes, nuts, dried fruits, oats, whole wheat, and on and on and on. I filled bags with chocolate covered cranberries, trail mixes, walnuts, BBQ'd corn nuts, veggie chips, etc.... And when I got home, I put a little of whatever in each bag. I showed the girls and Todd, and lo and behold, everyone is loving it!

It just feels good to eat healthy, smaller sizes, and save a bit of money. I'm looking forward to my next trip back. While I was there, I also got lots of great cheeses, produce and yummy frozen foods which I usually never make. If you have a Sprouts in your area, I highly encourage you to try it out, otherwise use your local grocery store and have at it! Whatever the case, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hello, Again!

I think this should be the name of my blog. And to be quite honest, does anyone really care? On the off chance someone does, I'll give a brief update since falling off the end of the earth.

First of all, everyone in my house is still eating. I know the menu has been the same for months, but I assure you - there has been variety. I am going to try and recommit to the whole menu planning thing. Lately, life has been hectic and I cook whatever my husband has taken out of the freezer in the morning. We have had some delicious meals, so I will post them in the next couple of days.

Secondly, I think we might get kitchen counters, a sink, garbage disposal, and install our beautiful new dishwasher that has been living in a box in the garage for I can't remember how long now. Yes, exciting times around here.

Austin is so much fun now. Todd has been working "lightly" lately with the economy in the toilet, so he has been on childcare for a month now. Sadly, Carmen is no longer with us. I truly believe we had a communication breakdown in which English and Spanish could not save. We hope the best for her, and who knows, maybe she'll be back sometime. As for now, Todd is taking Austin to the Nature Center every Friday for his "Tails and Trails" class. Talk about cute. They're starting "Story Time" at the library tomorrow, and I sure wish it was me going instead. They are bonding and Todd is in heaven with his little boy, so I guess it is all good.

Work has been challenging, fun, exhausting, marvelous, and time consuming. But, I love my school site and the people I work with. The students are great, and I'm still saying this in February. I started a Valet Drop off program that allows moms and dads to sit in their car with their hot coffee while a student opens the door welcoming them and assisting their child onto the sidewalk. They drive off, the child goes to class, and all is well.

The worst part about the economy is that I've had to give up my weekly shiatsu treatments. This is a deep muscle massage. Has anyone in cyber space ruined their shoulders due to picking up a 28 pound child over and over and over again?? It is painful. I'm on Advil, Biofreeze, and self inflicted massage treatments. I know. Sad.

Well, American Idol is on in a few minutes. It's down to the long walk towards the judges to see if they made the cut. Just being invited to the great mansion (who lives there????) would be pretty awesome. It's beautiful in a materialistic sort of way...

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Does anyone have any special things they will be doing, giving, or enjoying - I could use some fresh ideas!! I will be making "One Eyed Omelettes" in the shape of a heart on Saturday morning, along with sausages, potatoes with onions, fruit, and hot coffee.