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.