Thursday, February 28, 2013

Still Around

I have about 30 posts started, but i just can't seem to finish any of them. I haven't been online much these past few weeks, but I am still around. I have been a little sick, a little tired, a little busy, and a little discombobulated, but I am back on track now. 

My house is cleaner than it has been in quite some time and I am currently working on a simple cleaning schedule and I am hoping if I can get the small everyday stuff done with 1 big task then I can get into a good routine. My schedule right now goes a little something like this: I am loading dishes in the evening after cooking dinner, unloading in the morning and letting the super wet stuff air dry then when I get home I put all of that stuff away. I am sweeping and spot moping daily, vacuuming every other day, and then you have the packing lunches, setting out clothes, loading diaper bags, and of course cleaning up after the trail of disaster the munchkin leaves in her wake so I guess you could say I have somewhat of a schedule, but having a visual that I can check off after each task is complete will make things even easier for this busy mama

The things that I am really making a schedule for will be the tub, toilet, baseboards, things I sometimes forget about until it is pretty evident that they need a little TLC. After a full day of work, manning the munchkin, and cooking dinner, getting all of this done everyday eats up the last bit of energy I have, but my house has never looked better so I guess it is worth it. 

So I am here I haven't gone away especially since I haven't finished Mckinley's 19 month update. I will hopefully finish a few of the posts just sitting on my sad post list.

For now I please enjoy this collage of my wild child at the zoo this past weekend.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

19 Months

I am having a mama moment right now. I am supposed to be getting ready for work, but all I can think about is the fact that my sweet girl was born exactly 19 months ago. So much has changed since then and I am not sure who or what I thought you would be like at this point in your life, but you are so much more than I ever expected. You are a wonder to me my little girl and you make every moment of every day so much more exciting. You are sweet, independent, loud, energetic, smart, talkative, curious, colorful, strong willed, hard headed, loving, squishy, messy with a love of cleaning up spills.

Elmo is still your one true love thank goodness because your birthday theme is still looking like Sesame Street.

You go crazy for balls and can throw a football like a college quarterback. We are still working on getting as close to the person you are throwing the ball to  and chunking it at their face. You love your picture books , but won't sit still long enough for me to actually finish reading you an entire story, but you love learning new words and you will point to a picture over and over again so I will name it for you. You also love pointing at something interesting and saying "Look!" You also love going "Night Night" or making me lay down with you in your crazy corner (corner full of blankets, pillows, and every stuffed animal you own) where i have to cover you up then uncover you then cover up your baby Stella and change her diaper because she has in your words "poopy yuck." You have developed a slight obsession with bubbles, stickers, and crayons which we have to constantly have to take away from you because you will start coloring nicely and then we hear "Yuck" and you are spitting out chunks of blue crayon  you would think you would learn that crayons taste nasty even after tasting at least 5 different colors, but you just aren't satisfied unless you give each one a taste. You haven't tried to eat any bubbles yet, but we do have to hide them from you and I may or may not have hidden the bubble gun from you and I now can't remember where I put it.

You are still hit or miss on the potty, but I am digging not having to spray out multiple poopy diapers everyday. I just think you are lazy and don't like stopping what you are doing to go and sit on the potty for the extended period of time it takes you to do your business. I ask you most of the time if you need to go to which you answer "No!" and run away, but lately I have started telling you it is time to go potty instead of asking you. Pottying is really more work for me because you expect to be entertained while you are sitting. We sing songs, look at books and name pictures, make animal noises, and lately you have started touching and counting the 4 little nobs on the side of the counter or pretending they are food that you want to pull off and hand to me to eat. you get very made when I don't want to eat your pretend know food.

You have discovered your new favorite food shrimp! We had shrimp stir fry the other night and you were shoving handfuls into your mouth like you were never going to eat again. You are also a glutton for some good pineapple and watermelon these days. Thankfully summer will be here soon because I foresee many trips to the Farmers Market  for fresh produce to keep up your habit.

The number one thing I am loving these days is your new love of cuddling. We have a new game where we will hug and I will pretend to squeeze and hug you really tight and grunt. You think it is SO funny and you love throwing your arms around my neck and squeezing really hard. you also love it when I Squeeze your arms, legs, and all over you. I will start with your head and squeeze all the way down your body squeezing each body part. I think it is like a little baby massage. Getting tickled is also a favorite past time. I will lift up your arms and tickle you and if I stop you will lift up your arm point and say "Dis" (This) for me to do it again and again.

We finally renewed our zoo passes and I am so glad we did because you absolutely loved it last time we went. I think you are finally old enough to understand and enjoy it. You called everything a doggy and barked at all of the animals and you took a strange liking to a rogue chicken. I have a strange feeling that there will be many trips to the zoo this summer.

I have always enjoyed dressing you up in cute outfits, but you are really starting to get an opinion about not wanting your hair done even though I still do it because you look like a ragamuffin otherwise. Your favorite game is how fast can I pull my hair out, but thanks to Mrs. Julie we are now the proud owners of hairbands that are almost impossible for you to pull out. You are also obsessed with shoes especially my running shoes and their laces.

In only a few short months you will be 2 and I am not sure this Mama's heart can handle that. I can't wait to spend all summer with you and create even more memories.

I love you Punkin Head

Saturday, February 23, 2013

PreK Days {Ms. U & U.S.A}

{Weekly Wrap Up}

I am DYING for next week to get here because Dr. Seuss week is one of my all time favorites during the year! But since I am so behind in my PreK Days posts I am going to start with our most recent week and work my way backwards. 

Last week we celebrated President's Day and learned all about the United States of America. We also met our newest letter friend Ms. U. We learned that the letter U can make two different sounds. We didn't get into the long u short, but we learned that Letter U either says -you or -uh. 

I have really gotten into creating my own Smart Board lessons because I feel like I can't ever find exactly what I want for my uber smart babies. They are only 4 and 5, but they have such a thirst for knowledge and I love  giving it to them. We of course learned about The first president George Washington and the 16th presidents Abraham Lincoln since they are the whole reason we celebrate President's Day. Then we couldn't leave out our current president Barack Obama. I love hearing my kids say his name because no one can say it right and it is just so darn cute. We also watched 3 short videos about Ole George and Abe.

Even though we had a 4 day week this week we still worked on jobs with an extra friend or 2 at each table we were able to get all 4 rotated through everyone.

We created our very own American Flags by tearing paper (great fine motor skill).

We matched Cherry Trees. This was actually a job from our Apple Lesson, but it went perfectly with this weeks lesson.
(Gotta get a picture of those)

We created Presidential Portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (I will have to make sure to take a picture of Ole Honest Abe. not sure how I forget to get a quick pic of him). Notice George's beautiful eyelashes. My kids ahve a fascination with drawing teeth and lashes lately.

After learning about Abraham Lincoln the next day we played a game called "What's Under Lincoln's Hat?" I showed them then hid 5 different objects under the hat and then removed 1 object and they ahd to guess what was missing.  After everyone got a turn we drew self portraits of ourselves in tall black hats and transcribed what we would hide  under our hats.
Part of our Presidential Smart Board Lesson was looking at the different coins each president was featured on so we Sorted Some Coins. I meant to bring real coins for them to sort along with the work sheet, but I had a true teacher fail and forgot them. I can admit when I screw up and my kids will remind me over and over and over and over and over each time I forget to do something.

We couldn't forget to make our Umbrella U.

I had everything ready to make Ole Abe's Log Cabin, but a 4 day week really cuts down our craft time. I would rather not have these random days off and just go to school because I feel like we don't have enough time as it is to get everything done as it is. I still think we should get rid of nap time. Just think of all the craft time we would have!

We talked a lot about who could be president one day and to top it off we made our own President Masks.
They were a little top heavy, but still super cute.

This week flew by, but we had a bunch of fun learning about our beautiful country. I can';t wait to share the fun stuff we cooked up for next week. Get ready for some Seustastical  Fun!! Be on the look out for my Pippy Long Stockings costume!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Miles Go By

Just in case this doesn't happen again for a while I wanted to document what I think is a pretty big milestone!
Mckinley woke up dry this morning after sleeping from 8:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.!!! We have been so hit or miss with pottying these days that i was shocked to take off a non pee soaked 20 pound diaper. She is actually wearing the same diaper again tonight and I am hoping since she peed so much in the diaper I changed her out of and then peed on the potty right before going down that she will once again wake up dry as a bone. 

One more thing I just had to write down before I forget it how much I love it when she says Thank You. We have really worked on her saying please when she wants something and not screaming to get what she wants and then saying thank you after. I love that I rarely have to prompt her to say with now, but it is her little "Tank You" that just melts my Mama heart. She is wild, but she is wonderful.

One last brag on my girl because as a preschool teacher one of my main goals is to prepare my babies to be successful in Kindergarten and writing is a big skill we teach. It amazed me that my girl just naturally held her crayons correctly. I honestly believe those giant crayons and markers are crap and they are what screws up kids grip. So from a preschool teacher who teaches handwriting the smaller the writing utensil the better. Go out and get your kids some crayons and break them in thirds and then let them color because that will teach them the correct grip because the smaller the piece the lower they have to hold the utensil and they have to use their fingertips and not their fists.

My big girl loves to color at her big girl desk. And then she loves to tump over the entire desk and throw all of her crayons on the couch to watch them bounce.
Fun times. Fun times.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Road Injuries

I never thought I would miss bloody ankles, 
Yes, when I run I somehow kick my ankles. I don't know how and I don't know why, but I also dig grooves in the side of my shoes. It is a true talent. 

I got in 3 miles today and I even went the hard route (up hill at the end) and I didn't die! I had to walk once or twice going up that last hill, but I finished in 45 minutes! Now that I have accomplished my first goal of 3 miles I shall next conquer my old 5 mile route I used to do with my old running buddy. I still can't believe we got up and ran 5 miles twice a week before school! We were in some awesome shape and I plan to get it back! After I hit 5 miles I want to get back into some trail running with my 6 mile trail at the Farms and then who knows  maybe 13.1 in December. I've done it once I can do it again dang it!

I am loving working out right after school be it at the gym or on the streets (that sounded better in my head) because I don't have to worry about waking up any earlier than I already do at 5:00 a.m. and I know I won't do it after I pickup the monkey. She makes working out so much fun and the best part is she lovingly hits her witching hour between 4-6 every night. If you aren't a parent you might be wondering what the witching hour is. Well my non baby friends this is a phenomenon known to many parents when their sweet precious child becomes a monster and nothing makes them happy no matter you give them and  no matter what you do. This this just happens to be right about the time we get home and I am cooking dinner every day before Brent gets home and then add in working out on top of that and she is a mess. And this my friends is why I will not have another child for quite some time. It is all I can do to handle this wild child of mine and until she is a bit older and a little less wild don't ask me when we will have another small wonder.

I might even try for 4 miles tomorrow. We'll see how everyone sleeps in our house tonight. If I can do 3 on 1 hour hopefully I can go a little farther with hopefully a little more sleep. You would think when you run around like this all day long you would sleep ALL NIGHT LONG!

What We Ate and Why My Husband is A Weirdo

Mckinley and I LOVED our new recipe tonight. Daddy, not so much. I honestly thought he would like it except for the brussel sprouts which we were all trying for the first time, but I was completely wrong and misjudged my husbands adventurous taste buds. Thankfully my child loves food like her Mama and gobbled hers up. I pray she always eats like a champ and still eat fruit like candy 

Since I am trying to eat clean these days I wanted to shake things up and try something new. I was determined to try something with brussel sprouts and I picked up a few at the store last week and every time I open the fridge they just stared back at me begging to be cooked. I couldn't bare to let them go bad so I had Brent pick me up some fresh chicken last night from Fresh Market so I could make this
Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Apple Skillet
I am now in love with brussel sprouts and will be roasting some next week for a side dish instead of my usual broccoli, asparagus, or squash. They kind of taste like tiny cabbages with a crispier texture. I highly recommend this recipe because it was very easy to make and very easy to clean up since I only used 1 pan. I will definitely make it again for the girl and I when daddy works late.

I am planning on starting my bi weekly meal planning starting tomorrow because I miss being prepared ahead of time and not having to scramble to make something delicious and nutritious  I am slowly working on a little kitchen cooking and cleaning command center and hopefully when  I finish I will have somewhere to keep up with everything and I won't feel overwhelmed.

Now, if only I could get these 2 giant stacks of papers filed away and my office/dog room organized I would be able to feel like I can breath. Can someone loan me a maid for a day?? It would probably only take her an hour or two to clean our tiny little house.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mind Dump

I am typing as I enjoy my second glass of Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay boxed wine. It has 4 bottles of wine in it's funny looking box!! 4 bottles people! As a college Franzia connoisseur I know a little about boxed wines and this my friends is a keeper at $19.99. I spent a long hard half day of work hanging out with my precious babies and a few parents after some Parent Teacher Conferences. I might have also done some clothes returning and purchasing things I didn't really need, but this dietary change is really working and I just wanted a few new pieces to revamp my wardrobe.  I am such a sucker for anything with polka dots and anything in a mint seafoamy green blue. The house is almost too quiet now that my mom and dad both stopped in to visit and  my dear sweet sweet in laws have picked up the Kitten for a slumber party. I think I will just sit here in the quiet for a minute and enjoy the quiet.

It was so nice driving around today and just having a little quiet me time. I am so lucky to have this amazing job and they will never be able to get rid of me! I can truly say I LOVE what I do and the people I work with and not many people will ever get a chance to say that. I am so blessed to be living this life.
 While driving around I passed one of our many private schools in town and yes I know I work at a private school, but this one is a little different or I guess I could say ours is different because it is a little smaller and closer to my everyday reality. I can honestly say I know nothing about this other school other then the visual affect the people and their babies have on me and just on the surface they are even more upper class then my homies. First off it costs your first born child to attend in and then you have to sell an organ on the black market every year just to pay for it. I was actually offered a job at this school way back in the day, but I couldn't accept the position because of the low amount of pay. It was only for an assistant position that could have turned into a teaching position, but I just couldn't swing it at that time. I know it was for a reason because I am absolutely 100% where I am supposed to be in my life, but it is always interesting to look into this world and think about how life would be different if I had jumped at my first opportunity. Would I have fit in? Would I say I loved waking up and going to work every day? As I sat and watched the moms coming and going picking up their own precious angels in their cute little work out outfits and realized how different their lives must be. It blows my mind to think that people can actually make that much money that they can actually send their precious babies to this school. I mean we aren't destitute, but we are definitely on the lower end of the middle class around these parts and I guess when you have it you just don't realize how different your life is or maybe it isn't any different. I guess the moral of my story is I love watching people and  wondering what their lives are like behind all of the stuff and give me a few glasses of wine and I can take things deep people. 

Now I am just sitting her waiting for my lovah to return home after a long day of work to enjoy a date night in with a pizza and a movie. We may not have celebrated Valentine's Day, but this was my month to plan date night and I think I have done a pretty good job. I wanted  to do a movie date night in so I picked up a natural cheese pizza (Lent and kind of diet friendly) and I rented Pitch Perfect from the Red Box.
Side note since this post has taken me 3 days to write Brent was kind of skeptical of my choice, but gave me mad props after the movie was over because it was Aca-larious! I knew he would like it also because it had one of the guys from workaholics in it.

SPeaking of not celebrating Valentine's Day, I thought I could escape all of the candy and junk. That was until my sweet babies so kindly gifted me with all kinds of delicious treats. I am thinking now about doing a cleanse starting this weekend after The Valentine's Day Chocolate Bender of 2013!!! After eating clean for a few weeks and then going off the deep end with 1 bunch of chocolate covered strawberries (at least they had fruit), 4 small boxes of heart shaped chocolates, and a laffy taffy or two, I am now fully committed to a life of healthy eating (with occasional trysts into the world of  carbs and sugar). I have finally discovered the loveliness of Agave Nectar and I will never go back. I enjoy eating clean, exercising, being healthy, and feeling good and hopefully I can bring the hubby over to the dark side of my world.

Now that Brent has confirmation from his Dr. that he needs to drastically change his lifestyle I am going to do whatever it takes to help him get healthy. We have already started with a few small changes for him like no fast food, a salad with dinner to help cut portion sizes, more healthy fish, lean protein, and veggies, and more water. I am also going to start a new routine for both of us. On the nights he gets home early I am going to already have a work out dvd all set up and ready to go and I am going to have all of his work out clothes ready to go and on nice nights the stroller and baby will be ready to roll. I might also try waking him early (I am kind of scared to poke the bear, but we will try it and see how it goes) to go ahead and get his workout over with and then he can't say he is to tired or just wants to destress before exercising and then not doing it. I know he isn't going to do it on his own so maybe if I push him a little he will start enjoying it. I also think this will play a major roll in combating his level of stress. What's better than getting fit and healthy with the person you plan on spending the rest of your life with. I know I will out live him, but I can hopefully keep him around for a little while longer because I kind of like him just a little.

We don't have school Monday and I think I already have my entire day all planned out. I am thinking a trip to the gym, a cloth diapering lesson, a trip to the park with a picnic depending on the weather. I know you are jealous I get to spend a whole extra day with my Little Lady. She is pretty fabulous!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This and That

I had a whole long post written out about how awful yesterday was and how I just can't do it all some days, but then I woke up this morning and it was a new day and no one pooped on the floor. 

It is amazing what a new day can bring and the new perspective it can bring.
I am allowed to have off days and I am glad yesterday is gone and I am ready to move on and celebrate good ole Valentine's Day. I don't actually celebrate Valentine's Day because I don't need candy and flowers are a waste to me so there will not be any grand Valentine's posts from this little lady. We will be having date night Friday because this month is my date month. We each plan a date night each month and mine just so happens to be February and Brent gets March our Anniversary month. I am thinking we will do a night in at the movies with pizza, popcorn, and booze.

 Before I forget someone turned 18 months 2 weeks ago. Weighing in at 23 lbs. and 29 3/4 inches is our wild child. She gets into everything, climbs on everything, eats everything, throws fits, wants me to hold her at all times, loves taking baths and brushing her teeth, makes huge messes, loves going night night so she can get her paci, loves Elmo, loves cooking with her metal mixing bowl and spatula, kind of sort of potties on the potty, lives for broccoli and beans, talks to much and is really loud, but likes to whisper when you ask her to say a word, loves being outside and gets really pissed when she can't go outside (come on spring!), throws a ball like a pro directly at your face, loves wearing things around her neck like necklaces, my id badge, and monkey leashes, has a weird obsession with bubbles, will stop whatever she is doing and start dancing for no reason with absolutely no music, loves her aunt Jen Jen, Car Car, Nonni, Grandpa, and Ya Ya even if she won't say Nonni's name, loves her babysitter Julie and some days she won't leave and go home with me, waits for her daddy to come home so she can take his lunch box from him and makes everyday a little more exciting because you never know what she is going to hide in my house shoes. 

Life is crazier and a million times better because this Little Lady is in it. 
It doesn't get any better than this!

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Roxanne Got Her Groove Back

I feel like I am getting my groove back. Not completely, but I am almost there. 
I thrive on schedule and preparation, but I have been slacking lately and I am learning that when I slack it makes life suck. Tonight I gave myself a swift kick in the behind and got my stuff together. I sucked it up and  not only made dinner, but I started dinner for tomorrow night, made all of Mckinley's lunches for the rest of the week, made my lunch for tomorrow, and set up my coffee for the morning. I also finally put away the rest of my clean clothes and the rest of Mckinley's clothes. Putting away clothes might not sound like a big deal, but around here clean clothes can sit in a basket for quite some time.

I am starting my meal planning again and I have already made a few recipes I have been planning. Tonight I made This  Spicy Baked Shrimp. It was spicy and delicious! The Lady and I ate ours with roasted asparagus and asparagus (roasted in the oven with EVOO, salt, pepper, and garlic salt), home made sweet potato fries, and lima beans. 

Tomorrow night we will be having one of my all time favorite meals Stuffed Zucchini. This isn't the exact recipe (we use saltine crackers and we don't add the egg), but it is pretty close. I have all of the ingredients prepared and ready to cook tomorrow.

Wednesday I am thinking some tilapia, quinoa, and veggies sounds just right.

And Thursday I am thinking about throwing some of This  together.

I'm back and life feels right! Nothing a Giant Elmo can't fix!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pretty Good

Besides being a little under the weather I am feeling pretty good these days. I am thinking my clean eating habits and hitting the gym more are the cause of this. I am still not sure why it has taken me so long to get back to being myself, but I will never blame it on being too busy or being a mommy again. 

As for my dietary changes I decided to stop saying I was on the Paleo diet because so many people look at me funny. Instead I have chosen to say I am choosing to be healthier. My main food intake these days is fruits and veggies (fresh, cooked, and in smoothies), lean meats, nuts, and beans. Basically anything you can find around the edges of the grocery store I am eating it. I have had a few "treats" after eating clean for 2 weeks and I can honestly say I did not enjoy anything I ate. I have had some pizza (wasn't too bad) a doughnut, some California sushi rolls,  a few veggie straws, and a 2 slices of bread with my spicy black bean burger and I can honestly say I felt yucky after eating every single one of these items. Needless to say this Super Bowl Sunday should be interesting. I am not sure if it will be worth it to eat some of the things I was looking forward to eating and I am thinking I am going to change what I was going to bring as my offering (Buffalo Chicken Dip) and instead bring some 7 Layer Dip.

I have started working on my February Monthly Meal Calendar and I am excited about some new simple recipes I found on Pinterest shock and surprise. I will be shopping bi-weekly this time around instead of monthly because I was finding I had too many leftovers which isn't a bad thing, but it was starting to overflow and I absolutely HATE wasting food so this will work out better for our little fam.
I am excited to try some new recipes and I am even more excited to have my meals planned out again. After taking a month off of planning I missed knowing what we would be eating instead of scrambling around for something healthy to eat or not having all of the ingredients I needed.

This next 2 things i am about to pots have absolutely nothing to do with meal planning or clean eating, but they were so funny and actually made me laugh out loud and I just had to share.

Happy Saturday and I am looking forward to going to church tomorrow morning. We will be taking Mckinley to the nursery for the first time. We haven't been going because it was just too much of a hassle to get up and go with her, but I feel like I am missing something in my life and I think this is just the ticket.