Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Talking lions can help your child settle down for bed...

Recently, I decided to try a new bedtime routine with V. I have tried to read with her at bedtime before and it never works because she just talks the whole time and interrupts the story and frustrates me and wounds her up instead of winding her down for bed. However, she is getting older, so I decided to try reading a chapter a night out of a book series. I was also more clear about my expectations while we were reading. So far, it has gone really well! We started with "The Magician's Nephew" from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. She ADORES the book and starts asking after her shower if we have time to read each night. Of course, there are nights where she goofs around and doesn't shower quickly and we don't have time to read but I really try to get to it each night if possible. It's so nice to end the night with cuddles and reading rather than just quick hugs and tucking and fussing to stop talking and go to sleep.

So what do your kids like to read at bedtime? We have a while before we finish Narnia (it's a 7 book series) but I would love suggestions for what to read next.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Can't you feel the burn? As I am typing this, my legs ache, my arms are stiff, my back feels like someone pounded on it, and my butt hurts. I am trying to lose weight and get back into some kind of shape other than round and flabby, so I tried "The Biggest Loser 2" DVD tonight. Sweet Lord...I am in terrible shape. The sadistic girl in the video kept smiling and saying, "Can't you feel the burn? Aren't you working up a sweat?" Yes, cute skinny girl with flat abs and a perfect body. This fat girl with a jiggle roll and granny arms sure can feel the burn. I HATE to sweat - and I had to shower afterwards because I was so sweaty. It sure is more fun getting fat than trying to get it off. I want some ice cream SOOO bad...thank goodness Tim is working late so I can't indulge my craving. Pray for me!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

She is also available for consults if needed...

The other night I was tucking V into bed. We had our hug, our kiss, our "goodnight", our "sweet dreams", and I was walking out the door. She calls out, "Mommy, hang on. I need to tell you something really important." V has been really bad about stalling lately, so I said, "It better be important - it's time for bed." She assured me that it was. It had been a long day and we had been to the pool, so I already had my pj's on - a cami and some knit shorts. She looked at me and said, "You really shouldn't wear that sleeveless shirt to bed - you might get cold and it's not very fashionable." Oh really? Thank you so much for the advice. I guess it wasn't fierce enough for her... :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Witty Visms (guaranteed to make you giggle or your money back!)

My sweet V. How she loves to talk! If it were an Olympic sport, she would have more medals than Michael Phelps. However, as much as she likes to talk, she pronounces certain words so hilariously that you cannot help but laugh at her. She also comes up with the wackiest things! Let me share some of my favorites from the long weekend...

Me: (Friday afternoon on the way to the dentist) How was school today?

V: Good. We have this new girl and she's from another state and she had a fit at school today.

Me: Oh, my! What happened?

V: She got mad and said she hated our school and she hated our TEACHERS (said very dramatically because that's the worst thing you can say in 3rd grade, I believe) and that she was going to call her dad and tell him to move her back where she moved from because people in the South are just ig-nore-ment.

Me: Did she mean ignorant? (snickering under my breath)

V: Yeah. I just couldn't remember how to say that word she said when she was being so mean to us.

Well, if this kid thinks the South is ignorant, at least V is doing all she can to change her mind. HAHA!

Tim, V and I were watching the Today show on Saturday morning and the reporter was interviewing people about how they are cutting their budgets this summer. All of the people were in New York City and were talking about how they were going to this state and that state for vacation. Tim and I were amazed because hello! You live in New York. You have tons of places to go and do things without even leaving your city. We started talking about our ideal dream vacation. V jumped in...

V: If I could go anywhere, I want to go to China.

Tim: Why would you want to go there?

V: So I could see where all my toys are made. Every single toy I have says on the bottom "Made in China." I bet they have really cool toy making places there.

Monday morning...

V: So Mommy, what are you remembering today?

Me: Huh? What do you mean?

V: Well, today is Mem-oral have to reMEMber something.

Hope everyone had a great Mem-oral Day weekend! :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 10 ways to know you are ready for school to end...

I hope those of you who teach will enjoy this! :)

10. You are so tired, you now want to answer students' questions with "Shut up!"
9. Your friends call to ask how you've been and you immediately scream "Stop asking me all these questions."
8. Your garbage can is now your "INBOX"
7. The next kid who asks you for a pencil is going to hear "Don't you ever have anything? Do you see Wal-Mart tattooed on my forehead?"
6. You fantasize about how relaxing it would be if you were in jail right now!
5. Your recess jumps from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
4. The only thing in your classroom to eat is chocolate with a soda chaser.
3. Math lesson consists of "calculate how many days we have left, hours, minutes, no wait, seconds..."
2. You find yourself saying "This is May, you should know the rules by now" way too many times a day.
1. You start turning the teachers of the next grade level into big scary monsters who "will NOT accept this kind of behavior at all next year!"

7 days left....can you tell I am getting excited?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5 Reasons I'm Thankful to be a Mom...

1. Unlimited any time. God gave me a huggy little girl!
2. An awesome husband who is the best dad in the world. Even when things are going horribly, he can always find a way to make me laugh!
3. I get a whole day off where I don't have to cook (not that I do that a whole lot anyway) or clean (ditto). I sure enjoyed eating out TWICE today :)
4. Sweet homemade gifts - V worked ALL day yesterday on bead crafts. :) I now have a beaded cat magnet and a beaded portrait magnet. You gotta admit, it's got to be hard to make beads look like your mommy!
5. Cards...I am such a Hallmark target. I love getting sappy and funny cards - and Tim and V did a great job with both!

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Diffendoofer Day

If you have ever read "Hooray for Diffendoofer Day" by Dr. Seuss, you know exactly what my title means. Here's a brief recap of the book...

Diffendoofer School teaches what it wants. The teachers teach frogs to dance and pigs to put on underpants! However, they soon learn that all students have to take a standardized test to prove the worth of the school or it will be shut down. The teachers, who obviously take such a different approach to learning, get nervous. Will their students do well? Will they "make the grade"? Miss Bonkers, the main teacher in the story isn't worried. She says, "We've taught you that the earth is round, That red and white make pink, And something else that matters more- We've taught you how to think."

In this testing era, I feel sometimes that we test kids to death. There are times of the year where we literally spend more time on testing than teaching. Standardized testing for my 2nd grade babies starts tomorrow. And I start questioning myself....have I done all I can do to prepare them? Are they really ready for this? And - most importantly - have I taught them the things that matter? Have I taught them how to think?

I pray that I have. I pray that my students do well. It's easy to let an end of the year assessment overshadow the day to day learning that I have helped facilitate all year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A day that will live in teaching infamy

Well, Tim got home safely and we were both so glad to see him! I think we almost knocked him over with hugs. :) However, I didn't sleep well the night he was gone. I never sleep well when he's not home. may explain for what happened at school the next day.

My kids officially have spring fever. They are counting down the days and when I told them I knew they were going to read this summer since they weren't going to be in school, I got a verbal list of 38 things they could do instead of read. Well. It's obvious I have done my job well.

During writing Tuesday afternoon, we were talking about dictionary skills. We have been reviewing guide words (the key words at the top of the dictionary page) and how to sound out words to find them in the dictionary to make sure they are spelled correctly. We even play this game called "Dictionary Detective" where I challenge them to find something in the dictionary and whoever finds it first gets a jellybean. The power of sugar... Anyway, I was chiding them about being lazy during writing and just writing a few letters for a big word instead of writing all the sounds they hear. I told them, "You guys know the word favorite. Well, what sounds do you hear in favorite?" They sounded it out with an f - a - v- o- r- i - t. Pretty decent for 2nd grade. Next, I said, "But guess what? That's not what I see you write when you are drafting a story. You just sound out some of the letters like f - a - r - t." The ENTIRE room immediately burst out into the loudest laughter I had ever heard in my classroom. That's right...the teacher wrote fart on the board. I looked at them and said, "What? You guys write it! Any time I see favorite on your papers it looks like fart!" to which I got louder laughing and one child actually fell out of his chair.

Great. I have busted my tail all year long, shared classic literature, heard struggling readers sound out words, watched lightbulbs go off above heads during a difficult math concept....and probably the most vivid thing they are going to remember about 2nd grade is the day they got to go home and tell their parents Mrs. P wrote fart on the board. Let's just hope the lazy spellers don't tell the principal.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I will survive....

C'mon, you know you are singing the lyrics in your head as you read that title. :) Tim is out of town until tomorrow it's just me and V. I planned tons of fun things so that she wouldn't miss Daddy at all (since he is the fun one, as she likes to say!) We went to the book fair after school, got McDonalds for dinner, rented movies, and snuggled at bedtime. My devious plan worked gloriously until bedtime when she got the sniffles and pleaded me to lay with her "for just 5 more minutes." Of course I did it - I'm such a sucker. From the numerous texts and Facebook chats, Tim sounds like he's having a blast and I am glad he is enjoying himself - he never does anything like this. We can't wait to see him tomorrow!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Just in case you don't know enough about me....I stole this off Facebook. :)

Today at 9:50 pm

What is your salad dressing of choice?
Ranch...bad for you but oh so good

What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
Shoguns or Applebees

What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
McDonalds or Chick-fil-a

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Japanese....yum yum!


How many televisions are in your house?

What color cell phone do you have?


Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
adenoids and wisdom teeth

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
My niece Madison...that kid is a chunk!

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
Once, in college, my roommate and I were goofing around and I hit my head on the radiator. We didn't have any ice and it was really late at night, so my roommate gave me a Diet Coke to put on it! I didn't technically pass out but I got a nice little concussion.


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I love my middle name of Elizabeth and would love to change my first name to it.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?


How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?
Oh crud....I can't even think. Probably 6 or 7? I ADORE flip flops. :)

Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
Never...I avoid them!

Last person you talked to?

Last person you hugged?
V - it was bedtime


Spring and summer

Christmas (I love wrapping presents...there needs to be a support group or something)

Day of the week?

March :)


Missing someone?
My family in MD

Tired and sick (allergies are driving me nuts!)

What are you listening to?
Tim watching TV

The computer

Worrying about?
Lots of things...the list goes on and on! I am a worry wart...I need to be better.


First place you went this morning?

What's the last movie you saw?
At the movies - Hannah Montana: The Movie! (I scored major mom points for that one). At home - The House Bunny. It was one of those stupid funny movies.

Do you smile often?
I try.


Do you always answer your phone?
Not if I am busy or we are eating dinner

It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
No one! You are not my friend if you text me at 4 in the morning!

If you could change your eye color what would it be?

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
I really don't go to Sonic that often...and when I do I just get Diet coke.

Do you own a digital camera?
Yup - love it

Have you ever had a pet fish? several...they just don't live long enough. My favorite was a beta named Eeyore...he was a cool fish.

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
Hmmm...something we have been working on for a while. :)

Can you do push ups?
Are you kidding?

Can you do a chin up?

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Excited...and nervous. I wonder if I am doing the best job I can as a mom to prepare my girl to be an adult one day.

Do you have any saved texts?
A few sweet ones from Tim :)

Ever been in a car wreck?
I got hit by an old lady once and it wrecked the car, but V and I were fine.

Do you have an accent?
Haha! I might. :) I pick up accents really easily. I think I started saying "ya'll" like the first week I moved to SC.

What is the last song to make you cry?
"Skin" by Rascal Flatts

When was the last time you cried?
Tonight.. a huge rock hit my new windowshield and cracked it and completely freaked me out

Plans tonight?
Had to save my sister's butt and babysit at the last minute, then ate dinner at home and now we're just chilling in the living room.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?

Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
allergy medicine for V, a Diet Coke (noticing a theme here?), and Zaxby's for dinner

Have you ever been given roses?
Of course! Tim is so good about remembering my white roses.

Current hate right now?
standardized testing

Met someone who changed your life?
A few

How did you bring in the new year?
Tim and I toasted with sparkling cider and then woke V up for a few minutes to see the ball drop and then we all went to bed

What song represents you?
"How to Save a Life" by the Fray

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?

Does anyone love you?
They better! LOL

Would you be a pirate?
Argh, me matey :)

What songs do you sing in the shower?
Too tired to sing in the mornings - V can usually be heard belting out some Hannah Montana though

Ever had someone sing to you?
my mom, V

Do you like to cuddle?

Have you held hands with anyone today?
Of course

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
V :)

What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school?
I really can't remember...that's just sad! I do remember that my cousins and I put a NKOTB poster in our clubhouse. LOL!

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?

Do you like pulpy orange juice?
Eww! makes me gag!

What is something your friends make fun of you for?
My absentmindedness

Have you ever ridden on an camel?

When is the last time you ate peanut butter and jelly?
The other day during lunch

What were you doing 12 AM last night?
trying to breathe and sleep at the same time....allergies! ugh!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evidently it just wasn't feeling in the mood...

Tonight we had an awards program at V's school. She received a "Stellar Writing" award for her excellence in writing. Go kid! We were so proud of her. During the presentation, they mentioned something about each student and V's said something to the effect that she shows her personality and uses her voice in her writing. Her stories were very entertaining. MY KID? Nah. She's just boring. LOL!

On the way home, she was tired and wound up after all that excitement! and talking with friends! and turning around during the program! so Tim was talking firmly with her about how she needed to behave during a program the next time she went to one. She was being her typical 8 year old self and arguing and backtalking, so it became necessary to pull the car over. Yeah, nothing good ever happens when that event occurs. Tim had an even firmer talk with her and we headed back on the road to get home.

About five minutes from home, the arguing and backtalking started again (don't you just love the age of 8? Evidently about 2 minutes after you turn 8, your parents turn into idiotic morons and you know everything. Just a warning for you parents of 7 year olds out will soon be stupid). Here's what happened next...

Tim: V, I have already talked to you several times about this sassiness and if it continues, I guess my hand will have to have a talk with your bottom.

V: (very serious and polite) Oh, no sir! It really doesn't feel like talking right now.

I almost DIED laughing!!! I am sure it was not helpful for the whole parenting thing, but it was a stress reliever that Tim and I needed. We looked at each other the rest of the drive and kept cracking up. That kid of's a good thing she's so stinkin' cute.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mars/Venus (guest post)

School is winding down and I am getting ready to start standardized testing with my 2nd graders, so needless to say, things are hectic and really busy this time of year. I hate to disappoint my blog readers (all 3 of you!) by not posting, so I thought I would invite a close personal acquaintance to guest post. I hope you will enjoy...

"Why girls are better than boys" by V. Patterson (age 8, 3rd grade)
Boys and girls can be different sometimes but sometimes boys and girls can be the same. Here's some examples why I think girls are better than boys. Girls are as sweet as sugar and boys are as mean as a tiger. What are little girls made of? Little girls are made of sugar, and all of the nice things. What are little boys made of? Little boys are made of snakes and spices and lemons and other mean things. Girls do good things like clean their room, share their toys with everyone (even the mean boys)! Boys do gross things like leave their room messy and get dirty with dirt all over them and scare girls. Boys like to play with dirt and trucks while girls like to play with pretty dolls and dress up and they also like to play on swings and slides and some girls even like to read everywhere, even in bed like my mom did when she was a little girl. My opinion is that girls are better. But sometimes boys and girls can yet be the same in some ways.

**Reprinted with permission from the author.***

I wonder if she will still feel the same way when she gets married...hmmm? :) I think God needs to send someone a little brother. Haha!

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Try and fail" policy (otherwise known as bring your own tissues)

I recently got a new insurance carrier. Why, you ask? Well, I adored my old insurance carrier. Their name may or may not rhyme with "Pigna" but they were wonderful. They had super co-pays, they covered all my medicines, but there was one tiny problem - they literally doubled their premiums last year. So, because I don't have an additional $160 per month to spend on insurance, I had to switch. My options were kind of limited - I could go back to Green Cross (not their real name of course) and have a deductible that I never met because I don't get sick that often or I could try their new HMO version, Green Choice where you get to choose your health plan! and choose your own doctor! and have co-pays! Plus, they were the same price monthly that I was paying with Pigna so I switched. That was back in January.

I have been a happy Green Choice customer. I have had zero complaints...until last week. If you aren't living under a rock, you realize that the allergy season this year has been one of the worst ones ever. In SC, we had a late snow. While that meant we got TWO snow days (woot!), it also means that the grass and the tree pollen are blooming at the same time instead of being spread out. It's been pretty stinkin' miserable around here. V and Tim and I could be the poster family for an allergy commercial - sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat...the whole nine yards. I take a WONDERFUL allergy medicine that I love but I don't need it all the time so I already had about 2 weeks worth. It still had 5 refills, so when I ran out I called it in to the pharmacy and went to pick it up. The pharmacist informed me that I had to get "prior authorization" from my doctor before my insurance would pay for it. I have had that happen before once or twice with Pigna, so I wasn't worried. I called the doctor first thing the next morning and asked them to call the insurance and authorize it so I could get my medicine. A few days pass - no word. The nurse finally calls me back and tells me that Green Choice will not approve my allergy medicine. HUH? They have a policy - it's called a "try and fail" policy. Here's how it works: they ask the doctor to write me a prescription for an over the counter allergy medicine. I have to physically take it to the pharmacy and get them to fill it so it shows up in their records. After trying that for 21 days, if it is not working, the doctor can write a prescription for my old allergy medicine and they will pay for it. I believe that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Only an insurance company would get away with that. I know I couldn't go into my school and tell a parent, "I know the reading method that I am using is not teaching your child to read. However, I have a a try and fail policy. If the method doesn't work for 21 days, then I will try a reading program that will work. Have a nice day!"

So, today is day 3 of 21. So far, I'm still pretty miserable - in addition to the allergy medicine that doesn't work, I got a sinus and double ear infection during the week that I didn't have any allergy medicine, so I'm on an antibiotic as well. Fun fun stuff. In the mean time, here's my theme song...

From Snacktime (kids album) by Bare Naked Ladies

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My hypothetical response (LOL!)

A few days ago I posted about a situation we had with the neighbors and a little boy playing with them who lives down the street. For more info, read this. Here was my response:

First off, we called V inside and had a big talk with her about what happened. She was very adamant that it was an accident and she was very sorry about the toy getting broken. However, she had been told several times before that she was not supposed to stay at the neighbor's house when the little boy from down the street came over because he tends to get rough and is not very nice. We told her that if she had obeyed, none of this would have happened, so part of it was her responsibility. While we were talking to her, Tim caught the kid from down the street and our neighbor's son listening at our window!!! I guess they wanted to see if they were going to score their $50 or not. I walked down the street and asked to talk to the little guy's parents - of course they were not home and their teenage son didn't know when they would be home. Nice, huh? I told him I would come back at 8 pm to talk with his mom if she was home then. When I got back home, I told V that I understood that it was an accident but even if something is an accident, if it is your fault, you are responsible for replacing it. I reminded her of when I accidentally dropped a coffee cup in Wal-Mart and we had to take it to the register and pay for it. So...she brought her wallet with all her money ($23) down and then we ate dinner and I put her in bed. Tim and I had already agreed that if this mom really pushed the issue, we would pay to replace the gun since we weren't out there and didn't see what happened and it had gotten broken - but we weren't happy about it.

8 pm rolls around...I see another car is at the house. I walked down the street with the now glued back together gun in my hands (Tim tried to fix it with epoxy - have I mentioned what a super guy he is?) I talked to the mom and filled her in on the situation and she called the little boy over to talk to her. He LIED to his mom and said he never asked for money - he just came to tell us that V broke it but he told us we didn't have to replace it. WHAT???? The mom kept reassuring me over and over that he didn't have the real air bullets - she throws those away as soon as they buy those things. Lady, I don't really care - what I care about is that your kid accused my kid of breaking something and then demanded money from me. I was so flabbergasted that the kid lied to his mom in front of me I didn't even mention the scratches and punch marks- it probably wouldn't have done any good because he would have just lied and said he didn't do that either. Ugh. She finally got past the bullet issue and said that she saw him going out with that and she shouldn't have let him take it, and so it was her fault, so we didn't need to replace the gun since it glued back together ok and she was sorry. Moral of the story: if V wants to play with the neighbor's daughter, they are coming to our house from now on.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What would you do?

Here's a hypothetical situation for you. Your child is out playing at the neighbor's house, in their yard. You are getting ready to call her home for dinner when the doorbell rings. The neighbor's big brother and his friend are at the door. They are holding a humongous assault rifle - play, of course, because who wouldn't give their school aged kid a huge toy gun. (Note the extreme sarcasm here). After you breathe a sigh of relief that you are not being held up in your house, you ask what's going on. The children claim that your child (who doesn't even OWN a toy gun) threw the gun on the ground and it broke. They are claiming that the gun costs $50 and are demanding that you pay for it. Your child says she accidentally knocked it out of the neighbor's tree house and shows you the scratches and punch marks the neighbor's friend left on her after the gun was broken. How would YOU respond?

I'll share my response tomorrow. My hypothetical response, of course. :P

Monday, April 13, 2009

Apparently the economy is not as bad as we are being led to believe...

Due to nighttime bedwetting issues, we always get V up in the middle of the night to help make sure she is still dry in the morning. She is not an easy kid to get to sleep, but once she is out, she is OUT! When you wake her up to go potty, she walks like a zombie and can say the funniest things. Here's a little snippet of our potty conversation last night...

Me: V, get up. It's time to go potty. (Here's where I have to take her hand and lead her to the bathroom or she blindly walks into the playroom, down the stairs, in our bedroom....)

V: Hey, Mommy, guess what?

Me: What baby?

V: I just got a job!

Me: (giggling under my breath) Really? That's great. What are you going to be doing?

V: Oh, you know. Job stuff.

Then we walk back to her bed, I tuck her back in, and I crack up laughing. That girl is a hoot, even in her sleep!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


So I have been a complete blog slacker this week. I joked to my adoption forum friends about updating their blogs and then I didn't write a single post all week! Sorry, girls! :( It has been spring break week here at the P house and we have been living it up all week long. For the first time, Tim got to work through his spring break so he could be off for ours, and it has been so nice to have some dedicated family time. Here's a quick recap of our week so far...

Monday - a trip to the Greenville Zoo and Cleveland Park where Tim spun Veronica so fast on this twirly seat thing that I thought she was going to puke but she kept telling him to go faster! Haha :) We also took M (my 9 mo. niece) and had fun teaching her all about the animals.

Tuesday - this day wasn't so fun. I woke up SICK and didn't move off the couch all day long. Poor V had to make her own lunch (PBJ sandwich and grapes) but was so proud of herself. She also made me drink lots of water, took my temperature, and asked if I was ok every time I coughed or sneezed. What a sweet girl! Tim spent the day getting my car aligned so his day kind of stunk too.

Wednesday - I got to clean my house! I mean, really clean the house! Like sweep and mop and dust and super vacuum. I love being off and having energy to clean it all at one time.

Thursday - went on a mini-vacay to Charleston, one of our favorite places to visit. Ate dinner at Bubba Gump's with some good friends who drove all the way down just to eat with us. Got a good night's sleep in the huge king sized bed. :)

Friday - finished our Charleston adventure with a great breakfast, 2 hr. and 45 minutes in the indoor pool, and lunch with one of the greatest Christian musicians in the world. Oh yeah, and a large gelato at the candy kitchen and a new phone for Tim at the apple store - gotta love Apple's warranty!

Saturday - tried to sleep late (didn't work because of my barking DOG!), finished a really good book, watched the very last episode of ER (cried and sniffed all the way through it), ran some errands, and sat in the yard and read while V and the dogs played outside.

What a great week....I really don't want to go back to work. At least summer will be here before I know it!!!

What do you like to do on time off?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I am THAT mom

First of all, the play that line from my last post came from was "Macbeth." The true line was "Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under 't." Kudos to you guys for trying to figure it out!
When I was in high school, I worked in an educational toy store. One of the amazing things our store offered was free gift wrapping. The store was in the same shopping center as the Chuck E. Cheese. You probably see where this is going. Every Saturday, you would get the mom with the kids in tow popping in to grab a gift, pay quickly and have it wrapped before the party started at good ol' Chuck's. I always wondered why they waited until the last minute to buy a gift. I am the kind of person that likes to think out a gift that I am going to give...spending lots of time making sure it is just the right thing for that person. I usually get a gift several days or even a week ahead of time - that way I have time to wrap it (my favorite part!) and have it ready before the big event.

Today, V had a birthday party for a little boy in her class. I ran into Target about 15 minutes before the party, grabbed two Bakugan toys, a 99 cent card, and a gift bag (I brought my own tissue paper in the car!) and rushed back out to the car. V signed the card while I wrapped the gifts and I realized - I am THAT mom now. When did that happen? I only wish that Target offered free gift wrapping because - I would have SO taken them up on that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Look like the flower, but be the smoker underneath

Last week, one of my students gave me this beautiful origami rose. It was folded and fashioned with this sparkly, shiny silver paper. I oohed and aaahed over it and put it on my bookshelf, promising my sweet student to keep it forever. Today while my kids were playing on the playground, that same sweet little girl came over and was chatting with me. Here's a recap of our conversation...

Student: "Mrs. P, you know the flower I gave you for your birthday?"

Me: "Yes, of course! I love it! I still can't believe that you made it. You are very talented!"

Student: "Well, actually, my Nanny made it for you but I helped."

Me: "Well, that was very sweet of you both."

Student: "Want to know how we made it?"

Me: "Sure!"

Student: "Well, you know the shiny paper inside a cigarette box?"

Me: (hesitating, not sure where this is going): "Uh huh..."

Student: "Well, my Nanny saved all of those from my Papa's cigarettes and taped them together to make that flower for you!" (said with this big beaming smile)

Me: (biting lip HARD): Thank you again...that was just so sweet of you.

**Bonus points given to whoever can correctly identify the Shakespeare play that I grossly misquoted my title from (Tim, you are out since you helped me!)**

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And I'd like to thank the academy...

Or really my awesome friend Crys for...

this great blogging award!

Crys is a super adoptive mom who went from 0 to 3 kids in a few months, so her blog is always filled with humor and great kid stories! :)

So...I am passing this award on to:

Hope this brightens your day like it did mine! Here's what you need to do...

1. Copy the above logo and put it on blog or post.
2. Nominate blogs that show attitude and/or gratitude (Those who add sweetness to life and/or inspire you by making lemonade.)
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on a post.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Today was an interesting day. We are in the middle of a serious issue with V. After worry and tears, Tim and I have decided that she needs professional fact, we staged an intervention. Because of this, she is currently enrolled in a detox program. What in the world could an 8 year old be addicted to, you may ask? Well... she is afflicted with severe "spoileditis." It was made much much worse by the weekend at Grandma's where she got to stay up late and choose where to eat for dinner and watch TV in her bedroom and just generally get to call the shots, so we are working her through her "Grandma detox." Please pray for the poor must be horrible to be back home and actually be asked to do *gasp* chores! or *gasp!* speak with a polite tone to your parents. Poor poor kid...

The Big 2-8

On Wednesday, I celebrated my 28th birthday. It was kind of a hard one since I feel like I am close to 30, which was my official "old" age when I was younger. However, my sweet husband and cute daughter worked hard to make it the best birthday ever!

I was woken up at 5:45 am by Silly String being sprayed on me and two people screaming "Happy Birthday!" at the top of their lungs. V had never used Silly String before and successfully got it all over my hair and even into my mouth when I was screaming. Needless to say, we had to wash the sheets afterwards but it was so funny! :) Tim gave me a beautiful Lisa Leonard necklace and V gave me the Pinocchio DVD and some premium mint M&M's. Yum!

During the day at school, one of my student's moms had made cupcakes and bought drinks so we could have a party at school. She is so sweet - I have never had a parent do this and it just made my day! She also gave me an ADORABLE bag with my initials and last name monogrammed on it - it is soooo cute!

After school, we went to my favorite pizza restaurant, the Mellow Mushroom, to enjoy some pretzels and "mighty meaty" pizza for my birthday dinner. To top off the night, we enjoyed some cake and Ben and Jerry's.

What a wonderful way to celebrate the day - I am so blessed to have such an awesome family and sweet friends!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Daylight savings time...

Anyone else think this is a terrible idea? I mean, why do we even do it? Is there an evil plot against mothers and teachers everywhere? Does everyone want little children and adults alike to be grumpy and nasty because their circadian rhythms are all screwed up? I just don't understand it.

Today my child slept in until almost 8 AM. If that isn't proof that she is tired from daylight savings time, I don't know what is.

In class this week, I was literally JUMPING up and down to demonstrate changing verb tense from hop to hops to hopped to hopping. My kids didn't even crack a smile because they were all trying to stay awake.

Let's hope everyone gets some more rest this weekend. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Girl's night

Tim had to work late, so V and I officially declared a girl's night! Here's the equation for successful girl's night:

McDonalds+rented kiddie movie=lots of mommy daughter snuggles and together time.

How do you like to spend one on one time with your kids? :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Girl drama

Today V brought home a less than desirable grade from school. For some reason, third grade has been challenging for her and her attitude about school has been far from enthusiastic, which is a surprise considering that she adored school until this year. She wasn't happy when I discovered the quiz grade in her papers - she told me she hoped I would "forget" to look at them and just sign. Yeah, that's NEVER.GOING.TO.HAPPEN. Sorry, kid.

So, anyway, I told her that I was very disappointed about her grades and proceeded to look at the errors she made. All of them were careless, sloppy errors which just showed that she was in a hurry and didn't take her time. This isn't the first time this has happened this year, so she knew what was coming next. I told her she was grounded from all things electronic until her grades came back up. would have thought I told her that she would never see the light of day again. She turned around, stomped out of the kitchen, stomped up the stairs, stomped into her bedroom, and proceeded to throw herself onto her bed and wail pitifully like a hurt animal. I almost started laughing - did she really think that would make me change my mind? She usually tries to talk her way out of it but I guess she thought she had a new trick up her sleeve. I walked upstairs and told her I would be happy to talk to her once she calmed down but I didn't want to hear her screech so I was shutting her door. She yelled down the hall, "Well, I really don't think it's fair that I am grounded for just ONE grade!" I told her again I would be happy to talk to her once she came down.

Once she calmed down and realized her huge overreaction, she of course apologized and morphed back into her normal, sweet self. Of course, she did say that she was glad the dog loved her because she didn't ground her because of grades. Heaven help us in a few years...teenage V looks like she is just going to be LOVELY. Please start praying for us now.

Tim seems to think teen years are going to be (his words exactly) FUN. Say an extra prayer for the dear boy, please. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Further proof of weather weirdness

V and I got sunburned yesterday. Not badly - but sunburned none the less. How weird is that???

Also, why do we have to go on and off daylight savings time? I HATE springing forward. I wish we would go on and never go off. My students are going to be so tired tomorrow morning...I better wear tennis shoes because I am going to have jump around and do handstands to make phonics interesting tomorrow. :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Global warming or fluky weather?

Remember all that snow I blogged about earlier this week? The snow that we had enough of to cancel school for TWO days and have a delay on the third? Yeah, well, here's how we spent today.

It is 78 degrees here today. Who wants to explain THAT for me?

Friday, March 6, 2009

This blog is brought to you today by the number 2 and the letter V

Great Sesame Street reference there, huh? Yeah, that's how I learned to read. I still adore Sesame Street and would watch it right now if it was on.

Recently I learned a sad, sad fact. My child will never follow in my footsteps and continue the female teaching tradition of our family. I know you are dying to know why. Here's the story...

V LOVES her name. Mostly, she LOVES her first letter. Any time we see anything with a V, she gets so excited and points it out to us. Recently, we started yelling out "V!" whenever we watch "Wheel of Fortune" because it cracks her up so badly.

The other day I was watching my niece M. She is almost 8 months old and is very vocal, so we were driving in the car and she was singing in her little baby talk. I told V she should sing back to her. She wasn't sure what to sing, so I suggested the ABC song. Here's how she sang it,

"A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P"
I was pretty proud at this point because she distinctly pronounced the L-P part which I am a real stickler about. It stinks to have a teacher for a mom. Then she started the next part:

The V was sang in this high pitched squealy, "Oh, I just love myself!" kind of voice. Here is where I had to bite my lip (see yesterday's post if you don't know what I am talking about.)

"W, X, Y, and Z. Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me."

I just cannot in good conscience let that girl go out into the world and teach kindergarteners their alphabet like that. She doesn't want to be a teacher anyway...she wants to work with her daddy on computers at "his college." I guess she will follow in one of our footsteps.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Biting my lip...

I recently read a great book about teaching that said teachers have to bite their lips a lot. Basically, we hear all kinds of funny things (because as you know, kids say ANYTHING!) and of course we don't want to laugh AT them, so we bite our lips and share later with fellow teachers after school. :) Parents, if you are reading this, you probably know the 1/2 rule about teachers and kids. I tell my parents, "I'll believe about 1/2 of what they tell me about you if you believe about 1/2 of what they tell you about me." Haha! My daughter is one of those who tells EVERYTHING about her day at school and her teachers. I know all of their kids names, what they did on the weekend, what their favorite things are, etc etc etc.

Anyway, today V did something that made me bite my lip because of how completely blond she can be sometimes. She is doing a writing assignment because they are starting standardized testing and they are practicing for the test. The assignment is to write a letter to the principal stating why you think they should or should not have to wear uniforms. V's reasons against uniforms were that they cost a lot of money to buy at the costume shop and if you wore your police or nurse outfit to school, your uniform could get dirty. YA'LL - she thought it meant PROFESSIONAL uniforms.

I am going to pause and let you crack up laughing.

I had to explain to her that the assignment meant SCHOOL uniforms and what school uniforms were like and then she had to re-do it because her reasons didn't make sense (of course!) She is still anti-uniform. Her major reason why: because God made us all different and He wouldn't want us to all dress the same.

My sweet, sweet blond girl.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

That's right - SC got snow... in March!!! That is just crazy for this area. We NEVER have snow past January so we were excited to see all the white stuff coming down. We finally ended up with almost SIX inches! :) V had never seen so much snow in her life. She was enthralled with it and didn't want to come in for anything! We had such a fun time playing outside in it...V used a trash can lid for a sled, we tried to make a snowman but decided we needed lessons because it was a disaster, and the dogs just had fun trying to eat it all. Check out Tim's flickr page...I know he will be adding more pictures as he has time. It was a fun long weekend! :)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Calling all elementary school teachers!

I recently got a letter in the mail from school in Utah inviting my class to participate in the "Great Mail Race." Basically, you get your students to write 2-3 form letters inviting schools around the United States to fill out a survey and mail it back to you. The goal is to get surveys back from each of the 50 states. I think this is a great way to help my students (who live in a very rural area) learn more about the world around them. So...

If any of you out there are interested in helping our class complete the mail race, please leave a comment on my blog with your name, your school's name, and your school address. My 2nd graders appreciate your help! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The poor treatment of foster kids in our economy (guest post)

A good online friend of mine recently adopted two girls through the foster care system. One would think that she would have been given as many advantages as possible to help get these girls out of "the system." NOPE! Instead, she has gotten the biggest run around between her state and the girls' state about who is going to cover their medical expenses. Here is her story....

(reprinted with permission to post)

Economic Solution for Foster Kids
By Ali Bond-Smith, 2/26/09

I’ll never forget the first time I saw my new foster daughters. I’d left my husband and three kids back in Oregon and flew all the way to Arizona while eight months pregnant to pick them up. There standing in the lobby was 5-yr-old Sadie with her dark brown features and 3-yr-old Jamey with her tempting squishy cheeks and missing tooth. Arizona DES hoped if they could get the judge or birthparents to terminate their parental rights we could adopt them. There young drug addicted birth mom was my second cousin making the girls second cousins twice removed and though it’s not an actual relative and we haven’t spoken since I was 11-yrs-old I thought she’d consider doing what was best for the young girl’s by getting them out of a distant foster home, knowing James and I have adopted before and are capable of loving them as our very own.

Their caseworker promised their medical records, foster care records, social security numbers, and birth certificates were all in the mail to me so I’d be able to enroll them in school, take them to the doctor, and get state insurance to cover the cost till we could adopt them, if we could adopt them. Seven months later we’re still unable to enroll Jamey in the special classes she needs for her emotional difficulties, Sadie is threatened by the school every trimester for not being able to provide proof of age or immunization despite an Oregon caseworkers letters, and our family of eight is still paying cash out of pocket unreimbursed for emergency doctor and dentist appointments despite the fact that our self employed business is directly tied to the failing real estate market. Sadly after using a 401k account we still can not afford the mental health services the girls require to deal with their mounting anxiety and attachment issues. Jamey’s breathing machine, prescriptions and treatments sit at the pharmacy waiting half a year later because the cost is too great for us combined with the emergency dental treatments they’ve required. Our health insurance company won’t accept responsibility for the girls because they are not our kids. Oregon Health Plan won’t place the girls on Medicaid because we don’t have the social security numbers, proof of naturalization, and as it turns out one of the girls has a different legal last name even their Oregon caseworker was unaware of. Finally Arizona ICPC office prompted a caseworker visit to our home yesterday to inform us the state is out of money due to the economy and our options as foster parents are to continue to pay out of pocket or send the girl’s back to Arizona.

The government seems to feel that in times of economic stress children can be thrown away, “sent back” or disposed of.

If you know of anyone who could help her with this situation, please leave a comment and I will pass the information along to her. It is a shame that a family has stepped forward to adopt these girls but are being denied the benefits they were promised. After talking with numerous caseworkers, they were given the option to send their girls "back" like they were a piece of furniture or item that could be returned. Things like this are what makes me thankful we are done with the DSS system for now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hopefully, the 3rd time's the charm...

Well, the mommy radar was alive and working well. V woke up this morning with a fever of 102.2. I was terrified that she had the flu or strep. She has already had 2 rounds of antibiotics since the end of January - when is this poor kid going to get well? After making an appointment and sitting in a full waiting room, we learn that V does not have strep and does not have the flu. The doctor thinks she has early bronchitis. LOVELY. We got ANOTHER round of antibiotic, ANOTHER kind of cough syrup, and hopefully a well V will be re-emerging at the our house soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Invasion of the body snatchers

Tonight something really creepy happened. I got home from my graduate class and was greeted by my girl running and screaming my name. What a way to come home! :) Anyway, I had picked up Chick-fil-a on the way home for dinner. Usually by the time I come home, Tim and V are both starving and V LOVES Chick-fil-a, so I figured she would eat quickly and we could have some time to read before bed. About 15 minutes BEFORE her bedtime, after playing around with her food and generally just being really silly, I told her she could finish her dinner or go to bed. Without an argument, she got up, hugged both of us, climbed into her bed, and closed her eyes. She told me she was really tired. I can't remember a time that my child has EVER uttered those words. Then she told me her head hurt and she was cold - despite wearing thermal pj's and a sweatshirt and our house temperature being set at 68 degrees. She also started coughing. One of two possible things has occurred at my house tonight.

Option 1- Body snatchers have come, stolen my child, and replaced her with this zombie creature. She sure is obedient but she lacks the spunk and personality that my V possesses.

Option 2 - Sickness is about to afflict this househould. Considering V told me that her teacher didn't take them out to recess because it was cold and her class is recovering from all their "diseases", this is definitely a plausible option.

Heaven help us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tag - you're it!

I hear those words during recess about a million times. I finally got tagged too!

Crys tagged me on her blog so I just HAVE to participate. I think the rules are that you go into your pictures and click the fourth folder. Then you click on the fourth picture and write about it. I don't have my pictures organized well - they are all in one hugemongous folder called "Personal Photos." LOL! I did click the fourth picture and it was a picture of a dog we had to find a new home for, and I thought that would be kind of depressing, so I clicked the fifth picture. It's our house!

This is actually a really old picture of our house. This is before we re-landscaped (ok, TIM re-landscaped) the front yard. Where that ugly potting soil is, we have marble rocks now. We have a bench and several pots with flowers in them in the marble rock. It is really pretty and very low maintenance....just my style. We just re-painted our door (I have to blog about was hilarious!) so it is more of a New England cottage blue now. You see our cars - my Civic and Tim's CRV. Both of those beautiful Hondas are no Civic was totaled by an old lady running a stop sign at the grocery store and the CRV got traded for my Pilot after it hit 180,000 miles. Now we have the Pilot (for me) and the Element (for Tim). We are still a 2 Honda family, so that's all that matters!

What makes me smile about this picture is I remember the reason I took it was for our homestudy so that we could adopt V. I remember walking around and snapping shots of our house from the front and the back and just being so excited about adopting our sweet girl. Now she has been here for over 2 years and I couldn't imagine life without her.

Crys, thanks for the tag! I am tagging Tim, Jerilyn, Melissa, and Crystal . Have fun!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The changes of a week

One week ago...I was looking forward to going to the doctor to confirm what I was pretty positive of. Today I am grieving the loss of the addition to our family.

One week ago...I was thinking about names and color schemes and where we would put all V's toys when we converted the playroom into a baby's room. Today I just wish the playroom was clean.

One week ago...I got sick to my stomach at any given moment but didn't care because it would all be worth it. Today I ate whatever I felt like and wished I had that sickness again.

One week ago...I was trying to figure out how many sick days I had and if I would have to come back to school after leave before Christmas break. Today I just wished I didn't have a faculty meeting because I wanted to go home and sleep.

One week ago...I was full of excitement and hope and anticipation. Today I am just tired and moody.

I am slowly starting to feel more like myself. This weekend, I laughed a lot, cried a little, and enjoyed the company of my fantastic husband and sweet daughter. Family is very important - and I am so grateful and blessed for mine.

God, let me never take them for granted. Thank you for my blessings and help me to see that you have a plan, even in the hard times.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cryptic Valentine card

One of my sweet 2nd graders gave me this Valentine on Friday. It was a beautiful card, hand-made with felt and silk flowers and jewels. The kind of card that every elementary school teacher dreams of getting. The kind that you get warm fuzzies from because you know that child made (MADE) a card just for you. I just beamed over that card. In all my years of teaching, I have never had such a sweet, hand-made card. The outside said "Happy Valentine's Day" in purple marker. The inside read, "Roses are red, violets are blue, you're the greatest teacher I ever knew!" That card just made my day....until I got home and started talking to Tim about it. I raved about the card. I read it to him. He looked at me and said, "I'm going to miss you." I looked at him like he was crazy. He smiled and said, "She said you were the best teacher she ever knew. You must be going to die soon." I thought, "Huh???" He laughed and said, "She said you were the best teacher she ever in past tense."

Here's hoping her Valentine isn't an omen for the future. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A long few weeks...

It has been a long and emotionally exhausting few weeks. I really don't want to say much other than we thought something was happening and were excited about a new possibility, and then realized that it was not to be. I know that God has a plan and I trust in that, but it is still hard to anticipate something and then have it disappear. Add hormones and emotions to the mix and I am a bit of a mess. Hang in here with me...I promise I will be back to normal soon. It's just been tough...and I sure hope it gets a little easier.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back from an internet break

It has been so busy around here lately with work and school and V...I took a little break. I have also been so tired that I haven't been awake long enough to stay up and surf after I get my grading done. Haha! So...what has everyone been up to lately? Hope you had a great week and a restful weekend!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Parenting/teaching reminders from a little mouse

Today V and I went to see "The Tale of Despereaux." If you haven't seen it yet, you need to check it out when it comes out on DVD - we saw it at the cheap $1.50 theater, which usually means that it's not at the local theaters anymore. was a great movie about a little mouse who saves a princess that he loves from danger and a king who learns to forgive himself and love again. We have been listening to the book on CD in the car on the way to and from school, so V and I were pretty familiar with the story and enjoyed (for the most part) the way that Hollywood adapted it. Throughout the movie, I kept being reminded about important things I need to remember as a parent. I thought I would share my insights....all from a little mouse.

The main character, Despereaux is born very tiny with great big ears. Everyone made fun of him but he was super cute (V thought we needed a mouse now...that's not happening!) I used that moment to talk to V about small people doing big things - if you know V, she's one of the tiniest people I know. She barely hits 4 feet tall and just tipped the scales at 51 pounds, so she's a petite little girl at 8 years old. She loved seeing how such a little mouse could help so many different parts of the story!

The part that hit home the most with me as a parent and a teacher was the way you saw Despereaux's character develop. He was born with his eyes open, unafraid of anything in the mouse village. He wouldn't scurry, he wouldn't cower, and he (worst of all) didn't follow the mouse rules. In other words, he refused to conform. Later on, this served him well as he was the only one brave enough to rescue the princess from the rats. I started thinking about how I emphasize to V the importance of listening and always obeying. My personality is very different from hers - I am one of those people who doesn't really question things and if you tell me not to do it, I won't. That's just me. V on the other hand is a questioner - she wants to know why - she wants to see what happens if she does it. I get so frustrated with her sometimes and honestly wish at times that she would just obey without the constant questioning and testing. But then I started thinking about this little mouse. If he had done exactly what his parents said without being "Despereaux", the whole story would have fallen apart. I think so many times adults try to force kids into a mold without seeing their potential for greatness because of our desire to have them "obey" and "fit in." PLEASE don't get me wrong - I am NOT advocating for unruly children who don't obey any rules - that is the farthest thing from the truth. I do, however, want to be more conscious of kids' uniqueness - qualities that make them who they are. As a teacher, I see so many kids who are labeled "ADHD" or "Oppositional Defiant" because they don't blindly go along with what others tell them to do and don't fit the mold of the "traditional student." The movers and shakers in history all "bucked the system" - I need to be more aware and recognize those traits in both my own child and those that I teach and help mold them into the leadership qualities and positive personality traits that they can possess. Just wanted to share what a little mouse helped me realize today. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009


So, who are you rooting for in the big game tonight? We don't usually cheer for NFL teams, college is much more Tim's style, but we LOVE Kurt Warner, so...


We are watching the game at home just the three of us. We are having hot dogs, chips and fruit with dessert waffles for dessert. Fun fun! :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lazy day (aka random ramblings)

Today was one of those wonderful lazy days that I ADORE. I didn't get out of my pajamas until after 5 pm (I should be embarrassed but I am NOT - you know you would do it too if you could!) I got up early to start our taxes and found out that the IRS is revising a form that we need to claim the remainder of our adoption tax credit from finalizing V's adoption last year. So...we won't be able to file until mid-February!!! That is just annoying - who revises tax forms DURING tax season??? After that, I made a big breakfast and took a nap. I woke up, ate some lunch, and took another nap. I have been sooo tired this week - it was heavenly! V has been sick this week with a double ear infection/sinus infection so she just wanted to play in her playroom with her Polly Pockets. Thankfully I think she may be over the worst of it - she is the grumpiest sick person EVER! (Besides me...I admitted it). Tim is on his 2nd round of antibiotics, so hopefully all of our house will be well soon. :)

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mommy guilt

Today was not a good day with V. She was super slow getting ready for school this morning, so I had to fuss and hurry her along all morning. After school, she accidentally erased a file on my computer and got my overhead transparencies all wet. It's not completely her fault - she has a stuffy nose which is making her a real grump. She is NOT a nice sick person - I wonder who she gets that from (Tim, don't say a WORD!). :) However, when we got home, I had just had enough. She had argued and been sassy and complained and fussed. I told her she needed to cut it out or she was going to have some serious consequences. She continued with her lovely 8 year old mouth so....consequences happened. She didn't like them, she didn't want anything to do with them, and what happened next wasn't pretty. Needless to say, Mommy won - consequences happened, but then later the "I should have" or "What if I had done..." start creeping in. I think moms beat themselves up so much and worry so much about being "the best" - I know I am guilty of it. Right now, V is tucked into bed, hopefully asleep and getting some rest, and I am sitting here wondering what I could have done differently. I know she needed some consequences - her behavior was awful - but yet I feel bad for giving them to her. Does anyone know what I mean? Thankfully tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be better than today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm going to open a pizza place when I grow up

Today V was sitting next to me on the couch playing on Webkinz World while I was watching a rerun on America's Next Top Model. I was kinda sorta watching the show and kinda sorta watching V play - she is all about the Webkinz. If you don't know what webkinz are, you have to live under a rock. Seriously! Really, they are cute little stuffed animals that come with a secret code. You take the secret code and register them online. You name them once you have "adopted" them and make a room for them. V has several Webkinz and they are all named after princesses - Ariel the bulldog, Cinderella the white cat, Snow White the bunny, and Sleeping Beauty the white seal. So, anyway, V was playing this arcade game on Webkinz world. It is called Pizza Palace - you basically are the owner/manager/server at this pizza restaurant. You have to go back and forth cooking all the pizzas for the animal customers and if you don't make their pizzas fast enough, they get a black cloud over their heads and leave. It looked like fun, so I asked V to let me have a turn. She was amazed at how fast I could cook a pizza and told me I should "open a pizza place when I grow up and quit teaching." That girl of mine cracks me up!

To tell you how much fun I had at the Pizza Palace, I went back on when V was in bed and played for over 2 hours. LOL! She is going to be so surprised the next time she goes on Webkinz world and finds all the money I earned for her. The best part is - Tim was laughing at me about getting so into it until I let him have a turn and he got hooked too. Right as I was getting ready to get off, I found a new arcade game called Bamboo Break - it is like Tetris set to Oriental music. I am in deeeep trouble....

Friday, January 23, 2009

'Cause cyber pets are so much easier...

V LOVES her Nintendo DS. I am probably the meanest mom on the planet because I am so anti-video games. We have a wii, which is fun, because we can all play together. However, I never had ANY video games growing up so I really limit her time with the DS. She pulled her grades up from the slump they were in, and she got all A's for the 2nd nine weeks, so she has gotten her electronic privileges back and she is all about the DS. She got a new game for Christmas that basically lets you create a cyber kitten - you get to name it, play with it, clean it, the whole nine yards. Forget the fact that we have two LIVE cats and LIVE dogs - she loves her cyber kitty Amber almost as much as the real thing. After school yesterday, she was telling me that she had a "cat show" so she HAD to go on her DS because she would have to pay money (fake game money, of course) if she didn't go to the cat show that day. V, the sweet little persuader that she is, told me that the last time she had a cat show that she came in 2nd place and earned $10. Here's our conversation about the cat show...

"Want to know how I earned $10 for the cat show, Mommy?"

"Sure, V. Tell me all about it!"

"Well, I fed my kitty and gave her a bath and watered her and loved on her and cleaned up her litter box."

"Wow! That sounds awesome! Why don't you do that for our kitties at our house?" (She does feed the cats and loves them to death - sometimes too much. It's the litter duty that I was most interested in).

"Mommy! These are FAKE cats, not real cats. All you have to do is move your stylus over the poop and it magically disappears!"

That statement made me laugh so hard I got tears in my eyes. If only it was that easy in real life... :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No new post tonight

No blog tonight because LOST is on....'nuff said. :) Catch you tomorrow!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sugar cookies, take II (or V's latest obsession)

V and I were off from school today because of MLK Jr. Holiday (thank you, Rev. Dr. King!) so we decided to bake some sugar cookies. Remember my earlier debacle here? I definitely learned my lesson, so this time we started with some pre-made sugar cookie dough (thank you, Pillsbury!). We had to make the cookies today before we went back to school because they had BOX TOPS ON THEM. Do you all know about this wonderful program??? (I hope you are detecting my complete and utter sarcasm here.) Certain foods you buy have these little box tops on them and they are worth so much money. V takes them to her school and turns them in to her teacher. For each 5 box tops they bring in, they get a "spot" on their giraffe (they have a wildlife theme at their school this year). The class with the most spots gets....a pizza party at the end of the year!!!! I swear, my child would go out and eat worms if you promised her a pizza party. It's not like we don't eat pizza here at least once or twice a week. But promise her a pizza party...and she will do anything!

Back to the original story....V has become obsessed with box tops. If she is anything, that girl is competitive! One day I went into the pantry to pack her lunch to find all the tops cut off my boxes...because they had box tops on them. While I was cooking breakfast this morning, she had gone through the fridge to find any box tops on refrigerated food. She stalks us when we bring groceries home from the store to see if we purchased anything with box tops. One day, I am going to find a dead horse's head in the pantry surrounded by boxes with no tops. (Bonus points if you can tell me what movie that's from!) So, after reminding me about ten gazillion times to remember to cut off the box top from the cookie tube, I was really tired about hearing about the blessed box tops. We just started this program at my school so I threatened her if she reminded me one more time about that box top that I was going to take it to MY school and try to win MY class a pizza party. I know, I know, I am a horrible parent, but she quit pestering me every five seconds. I finally cut the box top and gave it to her after we finished decorating all the cookies and you would have thought I gave her a million dollars. "Oh, Mommy, thank you SO MUCH!" (We definitely have a flair for the dramatic around here, if you can't tell by now.)

By the way, the sugar cookies turned out MUCH better this time around. We were actually able to cut them with cookie cutters and roll them with a rolling pin and I didn't have a temptation to say bad words one time because everything worked like it should. We even decorated them with sprinkles and chocolate chips and had a great fun time. :)

PS - if you have any box tops, feel free to send them our way. V would be eternally appreciative. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Babe?" "Yeah, babe!"

Tim and I are so goofy. We get in these moods where we joke around with each other and it just goes on and on and on - this little private joke between the two of us. Today it was the "babe" joke. If you ever watch Saturday Night Live, there is a running sketch about this married couple who are up each others' behinds but so obnoxious that no one can stand being around them. If you don't know what I am talking about, click here. Tim and I started doing their signature "babe" at the end of each sentence this morning and we kept it The funny part was that V sensed she was being left out of the action and she started doing it too. Haha!

So, what do you do with your husband to joke around and not feel like just a parent all the time?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite Ingredients Friday - Pie Edition

Today is Overwhelmed with Joy's Favorite Ingredients Friday. :) If you haven't visited her blog before, she hosts FIF every Friday and has lots of great recipes. I am not one for complicated recipes, but I LOVE baking, so when I saw it was a pie day, I knew that was right up my alley! The recipe that I am sharing is one from my grandmother (who passed away when I was in high school). She was a special lady and I remember eating this every Thanksgiving and Christmas we celebrated at their house. Now we enjoy it at my house!

Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz. cool whip, thawed
1/2 c. peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. milk
9 in. graham cracker crust

Whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and peanut butter. Slowly add milk. Fold in cool whip. Fill crust and freeze for several hours.

This is really rich, so you can cut small slices! Also, if you want to make it a little lower in calories, you can use fat free cool whip and low fat/fat free cream cheese - it doesn't taste any different at all. Hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I have a dream....about colored sweaters

I used to be the Target queen - I LOVED Target. I loved the short lines, I loved the selection, I loved the cleanliness - I loved everything except the prices. However, when I am pinched for time or just need a few things, Target is my place to go. I am also a big supporter as I got several Target gift cards for Christmas and promptly spent them all. However, lately, Target has started to get on my nerves. I am sure many of you have heard of their stunt they pulled with the Britax car seats (for more info, read here). That would have made me really mad if I thought I was getting a car seat for a steal and then get a notice that they made a mistake, sorry. Uggh! Then tonight I got even more irritated with my good shopping friend. I had to run in and grab a birthday present for a party V is going to tomorrow. I noticed that they had some of their winter clothes on clearance, so I glanced quickly to see what they had. I saw some really cute cable knit sweaters normally priced at $20 marked down to $12. Great deal, I thought! The only thing was, only the black, gray, and green sweaters were marked. The other colors were not marked, so I figured they just didn't mark them. After all, they all were the EXACT. SAME. SWEATER. I grabbed a black one for the price tag and a cream one to buy. I was so excited because tomorrow is a teacher workday and I get to wear jeans, so I thought the new sweater would look so cute with my jeans. I got up to the register and explained that I wanted the cream sweater but it wasn't priced correctly, so I brought the black one for the price. The register girl rudely informed me that "only certain colors are on sale." This was after a long day, so I just looked at her for a second and said, "Are you serious? They are the exact same sweater." She just looked back at me and said, "I know, it doesn't make any sense." I asked her, "So you are basically telling me because I want the cream colored sweater I have to pay $8 more? That's crazy!" The lady behind me rudely said, "That's just retail." I handed both of the sweaters back to the girl to restock, paid for the birthday present and card, and walked out. I heard the register girl apologize for making the lady wait as I left. ARRRGGH! That is ridiculous - I think you could call that discrimination. Maybe I should call the ACLU or the NAACP and organize a protest to make all the colored sweaters the same price. It is the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day after all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Single Parenting

I have known for a long time that I would be a horrible single parent. Tim is hands down, far and away, the better parent in this relationship. He is super patient and the "fun" parent - once V told me I needed to be silly and goofy like Daddy. :) He also has an identical personality to V - which is kind of scary since they are not biologically related. He "gets" her sometimes when she is being challenging in a way I don't. So...on nights he has to work late it is just weird around here. This week I have been staying up too late and having to get up and work as normal, so by the evening I am exhausted. This afternoon I laid down for a quick nap because I felt like I was going to fall asleep on my feet. Tim called a bit later and said he was going to be stuck at work with a computer issue - so I napped a little bit longer. V was being great, just playing in her playroom and coming to check on me every 15 minutes or so. I called Tim around 6 to find out when he was going to be home and found out that another problem had happened on top of the original problem, so it was likely he wouldn't see V and we needed to go ahead and eat dinner. Want to know what wonderful dinner I made? I cooked noodles, threw some alfredo sauce on them and cooked some chicken strips. TADA - chicken fettucine alfredo! I was going to run to McDonalds but I was still tired. It is so pitiful - if I had to be a single parent, I would probably never cook. I didn't do anything "fun" with V - we just ate dinner, went over her spelling words, watched TV, and then she went to bed. She has already told me she can't wait until Friday when she has her daddy to herself ALL DAY LONG (it's a teacher workday). I just can't compete...and I don't think I should try. Seeing her with her daddy and him with her....melts my heart in ways I can't describe.

So....what do you do when you are a "single parent" for the night????

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Hi, my name is Erin.." "Hi Erin."

I have a confession to make. I have a serious issue. I ...(taking a deep breath) HATE taking Christmas stuff down. I LOVE putting it much so that this year when I was kind of dragging around and didn't have it all out the day after Thanksgiving, I think Tim wondered what was wrong with me. I was tired and worn out and ready to be on Christmas break, but we got it all up and I was so happy. After Christmas though...I was not so happy. I HATE putting the Christmas stuff away. It is so nice to see the house all decorated and pretty and Christmasey. Not that my house isn't decorated and pretty normally -it is. I have a great husband who helps me with all of that and has fantastic taste. I love my house. I just hate putting the Christmas stuff away. It literally depresses me. I am in a bad mood the whole rest of the day that I do it (just ask Tim and V and they will tell you!)

So here it is, January 11th, and all my Christmas stuff got put away today. And that's only because Tim gave me a deadline. Because if I had to do it on my would probably still be up on Easter. When I am old and have an extra room, I will probably make a Christmas room and leave my Christmas stuff out all year long. I saw a show one time somewhere that someone did that and I think that is a fantastic idea. Please, please, someone sympathize with me - do you have the same dread? Do you puffy heart all your Christmas stuff? Do you procrastinate putting it away? Or do I really have a serious problem? :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Hoochee Book Club"

One of my favorite blogs, Chattahoochee Mama (written by Ainsley, a great mom of two boys and another baby on the way!), is hosting her monthly book club. The book she has chosen is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. She has just started this book club and so far I have really enjoyed it! Her book last month was a great read and I am looking forward to this month's as well. If you would like to get in on the action, you have until Friday, Feb. 27th to read it and post about it on your blog. After you post your review of the book, go to Ainsley's site and link your post to her blog. If you don't have a blog, just leave a comment about how you liked the book. I hope you join us! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The tale of the stinky girl and the polyester pajamas

Sounds like a fairy tale, huh? NOT! Let me start at the beginning of the story...
Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl named V. Her sweet great-aunt gave her a set of Hannah Montana pajamas along with a Hannah Montana singing doll. Add to that the Hannah Montana panties and we are just a walking advertisement for Miley Cyrus. Anyway... V's mommy noticed after going back to school that V smelled really sweaty at the end of the day. Almost like BO smell. The first day, V's mommy thought that she just didn't take a good bath, so she made sure she did that Monday night. The next day, V's mommy thought she had worn her coat all day so she made sure she took another good bath Tuesday night. On Wednesday, V's mommy started wondering if V needed to start wearing deoderant. This made V's mommy very sad because V is her baby and no one wants to think about their baby wearing deoderant at 8 years old. V's mommy even talked with some of the teachers at her school, taking a poll of sorts to find out if this was normal and at what age their child started wearing deoderant. Wednesday night when V's mommy got V up in the middle of the night to go potty, she noticed the same stinky the middle of the night after V had a bath that evening! V's mommy took a good whiff of V's pajama shirt...and it would make a locker room smell like roses and perfume. WOW! It almost made V's mommy pass out. V's mommy talked to V's daddy and they figured out that the pajamas (which are V's first pair of polyester pajamas) were making V sweat in the middle of the night and they didn't breathe well, so the sweat was staying on her body and making her stink. V's mommy changed her pajamas and put her back to bed. And the next morning V's mommy let her use two sprays of body spray to make sure she didn't stink at all. And everyone lived happily ever after...except for the poor Hannah Montana pajamas which will never, never, never, never, never be worn again.

Moral of the story: when surrounded by odor, suspect the least likely of culprits (like polyester). :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Eating the elephant...

One of my favorite bosses was this sweet lady that I worked for as a workstudy in college. She was the secretary to the head of the Education Department and I was an education major, so she was always so sweet to me. We had this huge stack of papers that never seemed to get smaller that I had to file. I told her one day that I didn't think I would finish filing that before I graduated (and I was a freshman). :) She asked me, "How do you eat an elephant?" I laughed and told her that I didn't know. She smiled and said, "One bite at a time."

Well...the holidays are over and it's time to start eating the elephant. I majorly pigged out all over Christmas break. Name a dessert - I probably ate it. I don't have a scale in my house for good reasons but I can guess I probably gained 5 pounds or more. To top it all off, I ordered new clothes from several places online and some of them don't fit or they don't fit well. I am MAD. So...when I couldn't sleep this morning at 5 am, I laid there until 5:30 and then decided to get up and go jogging. Yeah...those of you who know me personally are probably dead of laughter right now. I don't think I have jogged since high school but I just felt like doing it. Not walking....jogging! Who cares that it was raining at 5:30 this morning? I grabbed a hoodie, my sneakers, and my dignity and started jogging. I made it about halfway down the street before my jog turned into a brisk powerwalk. I made it three times through the neighborhood before my legs started aching and I realized that my pants were soaking wet. Now, here I sit on the couch with my legs hurting SO BAD and my back killing me. I did make it through the whole day without a dessert, which is a major accomplishment considering what I have eaten over the past few weeks. This elephant sure doesn't taste very good.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to school...back to reality

The past two weeks have been absolutely wonderful. Because I am a teacher, one of the perks is getting two weeks off from school during Christmas time. I had so many wonderful plans of things I wanted to accomplish...clean out closets, get pictures framed and hung, organize my house, etc etc etc. All the stuff that I am too tired to do during the school year. What did I do instead? Over the break, I...
1. Made horrible tasting cookies and a lopsided gingerbread train with my daughter but had fun trying to cook with her
2. Spent lots of money that wasn't mine going after Christmas shopping with gift cards
3. Played with V and Madison in the playroom - we taught Madison how to "Hokey Pokey" - all the babies at daycare are going to be doing it once she goes back. :)
4. Started a routine of reading a chapter book in bed with V right before she goes to sleep..(and sometimes snuggling with her afterward for a while if she talks me into it)
5. Watched waaaay too many episodes of "The Office" with my sweet husband and stayed up way too late after looking at each other and saying, "Let's just do one more..."
6. Visited with family and friends
7. Went to Charleston just for the day to eat lunch at Bubba Gump's and get pralines and gelato from the Candy Kitchen
8. Stayed in my pajamas surfing the Internet or watching old 90210 reruns past lunch time more times than I care to admit :)

I think what I actually did was way better than my goals, don't you???

Friday, January 2, 2009

"The Office"

Over Christmas break, Tim and I have been watching old episodes of "The Office". Tim has a knack for finding great shows that we both wind up being addicted to. Over Thanksgiving break, we got addicted to "Chuck" - now it's "The Office." I don't know if any of you have ever watched this show but it is HILARIOUS! Tim is dropping V off with my mother in law as we speak for the weekend and we have an Office marathon planned when he gets home. Popcorn, hot chocolate, and snuggling up on the couch with my cute husband sounds like a great way to spend the day. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I really CAN believe it's not butter

Tonight V and I decided to do some post-holiday baking. I found this really cute Gingerbread Train the day after Christmas for half-off, so we decided to decorate it. The only thing was - it was NOT pre-assembled. I struggled with that dumb thing for over 30 minutes, with V trying to "help" me the whole time. "Mommy, let me see the box - I think I know how to do it!" We finally got the thing together and then we started decorating it. I had some frosting left over and I hated to throw it away. So....I thought, while we are already so messy, let's make sugar cookies and then we can frost them! Of course V was super excited. She got this holiday baking set (I found it after Christmas 1/2 off too!) with cookie cutters, a little ban, a rolling pin, and a wooden "flipper." So I pulled out my cookbook and found a sugar cookie recipe. I am not usually a "cookie from scratch" kind of girl - cutting open the tube and slicing the dough is much more my style. But I thought we would give it a try! I looked over the ingredient list to make sure we had everything we needed. The only thing I didn't have was butter or margarine, but I had a big bottle of butter spray so I thought we would be good. I start doing the recipe...but the dough is really sticky, more like cake batter than cookie dough, especially sugar cookie dough. I kept adding flour hoping it would thicken up. Finally I got it thick enough to roll out but it was so hard to cut with the cookie cutters. V and I finally just made little round cookies with our hands. By this time, my patience was at a frazzle and I still had dinner to cook and the kitchen was a mess.

Fast forward about 2 hours - V went in the living room and gave Tim a cookie with this big smile. He tasted it and asked if I had tasted them. I took one bite and almost gagged! They were HORRIBLE! V insisted they were yummy and wanted to keep them until I promised to buy some more dough and let her use the cookie cutters again. Life lesson learned: use real butter instead of spray - it really ISN'T butter!

Another year is here....what will it bring?

Sorry to all for the negative post last night - I really am so thankful for everything that has happened this year. Here are some highlights of 2008....
** We adopted Lilly, our sweet and goofy English bulldog puppy. After a horrible bout with pneumonia and a cherry eye surgery, she is finally healthy! She is our baby and such a funny addition to our family.
** V started 3rd grade at a new school. Her previous school (where I teach) only goes up to 2nd grade as it is a primary school, so this brought some nervousness on both of our parts. Her first time in a new school AND her first time not at school with Mommy. However, we both survived and she is doing really well! She made "A" honor roll for the first 9 weeks so we are incredibly proud of her.
** Tim survived a crazy freak accident at his work where the roof was blown off and his office was destroyed. While he wasn't there at the time, it was a long few months while the roof was being repaired and he had to work in a makeshift office. Thankfully he is back in his office and able to get things back in order.
** We found a fantastic new doctor's group for V's ADHD. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was a huge help for our family. I LOVE her new doctor and psychologist and they have been a huge asset as we transitioned to the new school this year.
** My niece Madison Brooke was born in July. She is such a sweet blessing to our family! We enjoy spoiling her -- V loves being "the big kid" who gets to help take care of her. Plus, it's the best arrangement - I just give her back to my sister when she gets fussy or needs a diaper change. :)

So, that was our 2008 in a nutshell. What happened for you and your family this year? I am so excited to see what will happen in 2009!