Monday, January 12, 2015


It is never a good sign when you have to recover your password to log on to your blog.  It looks like it has been nearly a year since I've written anything.  That is pretty bad.  I do miss looking back and reading what I've written.  So here goes nothing! 

I'm taking a break from my Picture a Day plan.  I've been making a daily photo book since before the kids were born.  Lately, I haven't been too careful about a picture to represent EVERY day, but I still take one most days.  This year I'm trying a picture a week, that is attached to a prompt.  I'm using the prompts on this website:   

So far I'm two for two. 

Week 1:  Take a picture on the road that leads to your family's home. 
 Week 2:  What activities do you together as a family when you're at home?  Although I don't cook much, I do make this recipe at least once a month.  The kids were so excited that we were having chicken roll-ups because they can help. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


                “It’s a baby tiger!  Cheer, cheer.”  The sizzle of chicken in a hot pan.  The occasional bark of the dog.  “Mommy, its Christmas.  Not real Christmas, fake Christmas.”  Sounds of dinner.
It has been weeks since I’ve made dinner at home.  Stress.  It has gobbled me whole and has yet to release me.  I spend most of my “free” time grading, thinking about what I should be grading or feeling guilty that I’m not grading.  The next two weeks will be full of grading.  The end of trimester coupled with spring conferences have mixed to create the perfect storm, one that I wish I could just sleep through. 

Back to dinner.  S and E happily played while I cooked.  It was Christmas.  Then it was Papa’s birthday.  Then the dollhouse people were on a trip in a late 80s wood grain paneled minivan, scaling high mountains of silver stainless steel.  (The dolls from a more recent time had hitched a ride on the back of a GIANT green John Deere tractor.)  Their imaginations at work.  It was awesome to listen to their stories, much of which I was trying to remember.

Days like today remind me of how grateful and blessed I am to have a soundtrack of three year olds to listen to while I cook. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


(Since I did such a great job in May, ha!)
I'm starting with Day 3: Unsolicited Advice.
I spent my fair share of time sitting on the side of an 18 inch baby pool this summer.  While there I got to watch parents and their kids navigate the joy of swimming.  As a former swimmer (almost every day of my life from 8-18), lifeguard (3 years in high school at an indoor pool = year round) and swim coach (my sister and I were co-head coaches of our neighborhood team when we were 18 and 19 and our team grew from about 70 to nearly 130 kids in the 3 years we coached) I feel qualified to give some advice on how to teach kids how to swim.
So here we go:
  1. Don't make your kid spend every moment in some sort of floatation device.  The first part of learning to swim is learning to float and it sure is hard to learn when you are strapped into or stuck in a tube.  Buoyancy takes time and it feels a little weird, but kids need to experience floating on their own.  Also, telling them they can't swim without it will cause dependency.  (Yes, I know they probably can't swim without it, but look at number two.)
  2. Watch your kids like it is your job while you are around water.  BECAUSE IT IS!  I don't care if there is a lifeguard or another parent around, be aware.  There is nothing worse than having your child drown because of negligence.  Also, it is so super hard to erase that scary memory if your child has a near drowning, for you and your child.  The last time I was at the pool there was a mom there with a 3-4 year old and an 18 month old.  Her son older son made it out of the gated baby pool area to the big pool by himself and was standing near the steps for almost 5 minutes before she realized he was gone.  She also was not one of the 6 moms sitting on the edge of the pool and her 18 month old was pulled up out of the pool more than 4 times by other moms.  If your child can't stand up when they fall in shallow water you shouldn't be more than an arm's length away and your child shouldn't be in the water without you if they can't swim on their own.  (And I mean without a floatation device on their own.)
  3. Watch your reactions.  Your child goes under, you're close by so they aren't under long... celebrate!  Tell them how great they did and how awesome it is that they got their face wet and went underwater.  Even if you have to take deep breaths to control your racing heart.  Little people learn by watching us.  If you act scared that they were under water, they're going to be scared to go under.
  4. Teach your toddlers how to get out of the pool.  Make them climb up the ladder or out of the side of the pool. 
  5. Make sure your child knows the expectations and rules to follow while you are around water.  Two good basics that are non-negotiable:
    • Don't get in the water until I get in. 
    • Always give a signal for jumping in also.  (Wait until I say 3.  1, 2, 3...)
Most of all have fun with your kids around the water.  If you love it (or you fake it), they will too!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Micellany Monday

lowercase letters
  1. Today was our first day back to work after summer break.  I have always struggled with transitions.  I LOVED my summer vacation with my little family. 
  2. My daughter, E, decided to push more than just "her" button on my keyboard.  (Her button is the HP sign on the bottom of my keyboard.)  Now my screen is super enlarged, but only the Internet.  I wish I could figure out how to make it normal.  Maybe she'll fix it.  I figured it out!
  3. Speaking of E... she is learning so valuable life lessons today.  I'm not sure I'm ready to discuss body parts with her but I guess that comes early with a twin brother.  I think she gets that girls, like mommy and E, don't have P's, as she was calling them today. 
  4. As well as starting a new school year I'm starting a new job at a new school.  I decided that after 9 years at my old school it was time for something different.  My new school is pretty different than my old school.  Larger, newer and with a much different population.  I'm excited, nervous and hopeful.
  5. One of the reasons we picked this house to move into last August was the neighborhood pool.  We didn't use it as much as I thought we would this summer, but we did use it pretty often.  I am amazed at my little swimmers.  I can't wait until I can get them into non-parent/tot lessons this winter.  S is really getting comfortable in the water.  He blows bubbles, likes to try to float on his back on his own and is loving the noodle.
  6. I'm super weepy this week.  Not sure what is up with that.  Back-to-School Blues?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Worst Traits

(A continuation of Blog Every Day in May, which I didn't do.)


1.  Procrastination

2.  Difficulty finishing stuff-- like blogging every day in May

3.  Lack of Courage  (I hate confrontation.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Miscellany Monday

lowercase letters
  • I'm in a funk this week.  Mr. P has surgery on his ankle on July 3rd and I've been nurse/stay-at-home mom for the last almost week.  It is exhausting!  I've never had a calling to be a nurse and I don't love taking care of people.  It is incredibly frustrating annoying not sure what it is but it isn't fun to be in charge of everything and have your right-hand man there but unable to do ANYTHING.  Ugh. 
  • We had a great 4th of July.  We went to a parade, took good naps and watched fireworks.  Mr. P was a trooper and even made it out.  I wasn't sure about walking in the dark, with crutches on the rocks but he made it!  E spent the show with her fingers in her ears.  She still doesn't love loud noises.  I think she liked the actual fireworks though.  The funny thing was when we made it back to the car she asked for a wipe.  Her whole hand was covered in melted chocolate.  I guess she spent the whole time with an uneaten M&M clutched in her fists. 

  • I took the kids camping over the weekend.  Not by myself though.  There were 21 of us in total, over half were "kids" although two are technically adults.  It was a great time but man, again, I missed my other half.  It was great to get out of the house. 

  • While we were camping we spent quite a bit of time throwing rocks into the nearby reservoir.  If you look close you'll see that S's clothes are soaking wet.  I encourage getting your feet wet, it is kind of my thing.  If you are close by you should get in, if it is allowed.  Well we all got our feet wet and S and E started picking up rocks while still in the water.  S lost his balance and fell.  He only fell to his knees and it didn't faze him a bit. 
  • Today is Mr. P's birthday... number 34.  I've totally failed on the celebrating this year.  I'm hoping to have a redo next month.  Maybe we'll be able to actually celebrate.  We did go to his favorite restaurant for lunch and got 1/2 price shakes at Sonic.  It was the first time he'd been out of the house since the 4th.
  • I decided today was a good day to try again with potty training.  S was doing great about 6 weeks ago but now has no interest in going on the potty.  E just wants the M&M, so she'll try as often as you let her.  She actually went first thing this morning and proudly wore her sticker all day.  I'm looking for any tips.  I bought big boy/girl underwear to try.  Maybe being wet will help them.  Any thoughts?  Should I give up trying to do both at the same time?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What Makes Me Really Happy...

Today I'm playing catch-up.  Here we go, Day 14 on Day 18, ten things that make me really happy:

1.  A good night's sleep or a much needed nap, especially in clean sheets.
2.  Sitting down and reading a magazine from cover to cover.
3.  Snuggling with my kids.
4.  Laughing so hard it makes my cheeks and/or my stomach hurt.
5.  Getting great deal on something I really wanted.
6.  Shopping with my mom and sister.
7.  Watching cheesy Christmas movies, under a warm blanket with a cup of Chai Tea. (This only happens during the holidays.)
8.  Helping my kids learn something new or when one of my students at work finally gets it or when they are engaged in what we are doing in class.
9.  Swimming.
10.  Being able to capture a special moment with a picture.