Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is It Tomorrow Yet?

Today has been one of those days wherein if I don't laugh, I will most certainly cry.  It all started when I went to move my blender so that I could make the smoothies for the family breakfast.  I dropped it.  The blender.  Onto the tile floor.  Guess who won that battle?  Not the blender.  It broke into lots and lots of pieces.  The silver lining there is that it did not hit my naked toes, which were very close to the point of impact.

Luckily, I have a food processor, too.  So I used it to make the smoothies, which are banana, blueberry, yogurt and spinach.  The spinach is a secret.  Don't tell the girls, or I will hunt you down.  Not that it matters to Juli.  I presented the smoothies to them, alongside a piece of warm homemade banana bread slathered with butter and fresh strawberries.  Breakfast of champions, right?  I was feeling ok about it.  Abby ate it like it was her last meal - savoring every bite and issuing compliments with every exhale.  Juli turned up her nose at the whole thing.  Fine.  She eats a second breakfast at school anyway.  Time to get them out the door.

As I lock the inside of the doorknob and pull the door shut behind me and head to the car, I realize that my keys are not in my purse.  Where could they be?  I ask Juli, who was the last one who had them, where she put mommy's keys yesterday.  "In your purse," she replied.  "But they're not in here, Juli." I answered.  "Not that purse, Mommy.  Your browwwwn one," she singsongs back.  I am currently carrying my coral one.  Great.  I dig frantically, only to discover that Dan's spare key to the minivan is somehow in my purse.  Thank goodness!  I will just drive the kids to school and call him along the way so that I can pick up his house key.

Yeah.  About that.  Remember the phone call this morning?  The one where Mom called to talk about the girls' Christmas present (a LeapPad 2!!!)?  Remember where I put the phone when I was done?  Yep.  On the kitchen counter.  Soooo, I am locked out with no way to call anyone.  Fabulous.

Priorities.  Gotta get Abby to school on time.  I drive her to school and then proceed to Goddard.  On the way there, Juli announces that she is hungry and would like a snack.  I explained to her that, as she forwent breakfast, she would not be getting a snack from me and thank goodness she gets breakfast at Goddard.  Why did I feel like a bad mom?  Why?  I shouldn't feel bad, right?  I offered her a wonderful breakfast.  She did not eat it.  Her problem, right??

Anyway, I get to Goddard and drop her off, where she starts to explain to her teachers that I would not feed her this morning.  Really???  I felt obligated to explain the entire morning to them so that they did not call CPS on me.

Then I go to their office so I can call Dan at work.  After explaining everything to him, he states, "I don't have a house key on me."  Seriously??  Then he rummages around and finds one.  Of course, though, his morning is filled with meetings so he can't bring it home until after lunch.  I offered to come and get it, but I would need directions to his office, as we just moved here and it is three towns over and I just. don't. know. how. to. get. there.

His reply?  "Use the GPS on your phone."  Helloooo!!!  I don't have the phone, which is why I am calling from the Goddard School office.  I don't have the GPS, which is in the phone.  As I am exasperatedly telling him this, the director is sitting behind me, frantically typing on her computer.  She manages to pull up not only directions from Goddard to Baxter, but also directions from Baxter to home.  Bless. her.

Off I go to Baxter to pick up the key, and then home.  Thank goodness.

So, I am finally inside.  Laundry going.  Dishwasher going.  Blender pieces in the trash can.  I am going back to bed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Homeschooling and Lunches

Tonight, along with our nightly bible story (Story of Abraham - Genesis 12), we read this book:

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
This is a cuuuuute book.  Tomorrow night, we will practice dropping different items into a metal bowl to hear the sounds they make.  We will also talk about the color blue and, of course, we will be eating blueberries!  Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying these lessons with Juli??  Abby benefits from this too, because she sits in on the lessons.  They are below Abby's grade level, but she is enjoying the reading portion - who doesn't like to hear stories?? - and I am loving the time with them.  They are going to be grown before I know it and these are the times that build a strong foundation for the later, harder years that are ahead of us.

I know that this is old school, but every night, I am reading a little of this book to Abby right before bed:

What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch
Abby is still eating good lunches.  Sometimes, it is hard to make them unique, but she is liking them.  Here are a few she has had recently.

Day 22
Ghost Peeps - a favorite of hers
Motts Pear applesauce
Rice cracker mix
Krinkle Sticks
Deli chicken
Apple cinnamon rice cakes
Tropical Orange Fruitables juice
Colby/Jack cheese stick
Pretzel sticks with cheese sauce for dipping
Chewy chocolate chip granola bar
Raspberry Buddy Fruits Pure Fruit Bites

Day 23

Rice cracker mix
Harvest candy corn
Krinkle Sticks
Pear applesauce
Chocolate and vanilla swirl pudding
Honey baked ham and muenster cheese croissant
Mange fruit strip
Yogurt covered pretzels
Sugar snap peas with ranch for dipping

We are still going strong on the whole foods plan, too.  Here have been some of our recent menus

 Day 10:

B: Granola cereal with blueberries and milk
L: Organic peanut butter and fruit spread sandwich with pretzel sticks
D: Scrambled eggs, bacon and toast with butter

Day 11:

B: Granola cereal with blueberries and milk
L: Hummus and mozzarella cheese in a whole wheat pita with a carrot and an apple on the side
D: Whole wheat pizza (I made the dough) with marinara, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and black olives

Day 12:

B: Plain oatmeal flavored with honey, raisins and milk
L: We went out to eat for lunch - I split a California BLT and sweet potato fries with Dan and the girls each had a corn dog.
D: We had sauteed cod, steamed sugar snap peas and baked potatoes

Day 13:

B: Homemade whole wheat crepes with maple syrup and cantaloupe on the side
L: Hard boiled eggs, sesame whole grain crackers, homemade taztaki sauce (a Greek yogurt sauce), carrots and cucumbers for dipping and raisins on the side
D: Roasted veggies that had been marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce (yellow squash, onions, green bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini) and quinoa that had been cooked in organic chicken stock

Day 14:

B: Granola cereal with strawberries and milk
L: I ate at Target - rice krispie treat - not my finest moment but it was sooooo good.
D: Quesadillas in corn tortillas with mozzarella cheese, leftover roasted veggies and black beans and steamed broccoli

The restaurant where we ate on Day 12 was 545 North Bar and Grill.  The service was great and the food was great, too.  The owner was sitting at the bar when we walked in - he was watching the game with his patrons.  Very nice and laid back at the same time.  I would recommend it.  The California BLT is to. die. for.  It is a BLT served on Texas toast with shrimp and avocado.  People - don't doubt me on this one!

545 North Bar and Grill

Have a wonderful night.


Monday, October 22, 2012

We Are Reading...

Juli is going to learn to read while she is four years old.  Crazy, but true.  It is happening.  She knows the sounds that the letters make, so now it is just a matter of putting them together.  She spends time on Starfall several times per week.  I can't get her off of that program.  Her sisters are readers.  Her mommy is a reader.  She is heading down the same path.  I am a little surprised by this, since she is so different from the rest of us, but this past year has strengthened our bond immeasurably and she is starting to take after me.  I won't apologize for this - I want them to love books.

Yesterday, we read this:

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Then we practiced walking and quacking like ducks and played Follow the Leader as ducks.  Then we talked about how a story can be told only through pictures and we retold the whole story just by looking at the pictures and not looking at the words.  She is loving this homeschooling thing.

This girl - she is going to be a reader. Soon.


This weekend was fun.  It was busy.  It was even slightly productive.  Life here in Libertyville is starting to feel a little normal.

Friday night, I went out with our neighbor, Hilde, and some of her friends.  She runs this group that goes to musical theater productions every other month or so.  First, we met for dinner at a local restaurant called Firkin.  I had a cheeseburger made from grass-fed cows and french fries. Not exactly what we have been eating at home, but what a treat!  Yum!  I would give this restaurant a 3 out of 5 on the food, but a 2 out of 5 for atmosphere.  It was too small, too crowded, and too noisy.  I would go again, but only if it were on a weeknight - not again on a Friday.  Whew.  Anyway, overall, I would recommend it.

Firkin of Libertyville
After dinner, we headed to the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire to see this show.

Oh my.  Oh my, yes!  You must go to see this.  You. Must.  Powerful voices, incredible cast, no bad seats in the house.  Wow!!  I would strongly suggest, if you are in the Chicago area, that you see this show before it is over.

Meanwhile, at the homestead, Abby has continued to eat her healthy lunches and Juli has continued to be homeschooled a few times per week.  Also, we are still on our whole foods kick.  For instance, tonight's dinner was zucchini, yellow squash, onions, green peppers and mushrooms marinated in a homemade teriyaki sauce and then roasted in the oven, served with quinoa.  This was our first experience with quinoa, and it will not be the last.  I soaked it for 15 minutes beforehand to get rid of the bitter coating, and then cooked it in organic chicken stock for 30 minutes. Yum!  A versatile and healthy alternative to rice or couscous.

I will leave you with a picture of this sweet girl.

Abigail in driveway

This is a picture taken by Dan's phone, so the quality is not extraordinary, but this is what he came home to on Friday.  She was waiting for him.  So cute.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Keep Swimming...

Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?  I luuuurve that movie.  Dory speaks to me in so many ways.  I am terrible at remembering names, for one.  Secondly, I feel like I am swimming against the current most of the time.

This week, and maybe last week...or perhaps the last year or seven, have been so busy.  Life just keeps going, whether I am ready to move on to the next thing or not.  Craziness, yes?  Anyone else feel that way?

So, I am going to try to catch up on a few things here.

In Juli's homeschooling adventure, we have read several chapters of Genesis - we read about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and Noah's Ark so far.  She is very interested.  The books we have read otherwise are these:

Baby Says by John Steptoe
 This is a really cute book and the cool thing about it is that it only uses seven words to tell the whole story.  They are just repeated over and over again in different patterns.  Really great for working on sight words or word recognition.

The next one we read was this one:
Noah's Ark by Peter Spier
This is the same familiar tale that most of us know, but it is told almost entirely in pictures.  There are really only words on the first and last page.  Really thought provoking and it encouraged a lot of discussion in our house.  Nothing is sugar coated here, people.  The ark was full of poop after awhile and people and animals did die.  I was uncomfortable with this at first (not the poop part, but the dying part) but then I realized that if a child is to fear sin, then they need to know what the consequences are.  Great book.  This is one that Juli has chosen to read over and over again since we first explored it a week ago.

The next one was a little more light-hearted:
Seriously, one of the cutest children's stories ever told.  Also a great way to look at cause and effect.  Finally, a great excuse to bake cookies with your child.  This has inspired Juli to want to help me in the kitchen, and I am loving that time with her.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Lastly, tonight we read this:
George Shrinks by William Joyce
I love the illustrations in this book.  It is about a boy who dreams that he shrinks and then wakes up to find that he has.  He has a list of chores to do, though, while his parents are out and this book details the adventures he has while trying to take care of his baby brother, brush his own teeth, etc.  Cute, cute, cute.

The Whole Foods Adventure that this family is on is continuing and, I think, going really well.  For those of you who don't know, we are basing this loosely on the 100 Days of Real Food challenge.  I say loosely because sometimes we just like to go out to eat and not every restaurant that we want to try does the "whole food" thing.  We don't want to miss out on new things for this experiment, but we are still sticking to it 90% of the time or more.  Following is what we have been eating:


This was Juli's birthday, so we ate cake after dinner.  It was store bought.  It was good and we did not feel badly about eating it.  Other than that, though, we ate:

Breakfast:  Whole wheat banana pancakes, real maple syrup and a sliced pear
Lunch: (just me - the kids eat at school (and you have seen what I send in Abby's lunch) and Dan eats at work)  Plain yogurt drizzled with honey and topped with blueberries
Dinner: Wild caught cod, baked sweet potatoes and fresh steamed green beans

Day 2:

B: Homemade granola cereal (so easy to make!) topped with blueberries and served with milk
L: Organic peanut butter (just peanuts and oil) and spreadable fruit (blueberry for me) sandwich on whole wheat bread, 1/2 of a banana and some raisins
D: Vegetarian fajitas on spinach tortillas served with  monterey jack cheese, sour cream, avocado and cilantro

Day 3:

B: Plain oatmeal (bought in bulk aisle), topped with honey, cinnamon, raisins and milk
L: Another organic PBJ with banana and raisins
D: Quesadillas made from leftover fajita veggies

Day 4:

B: Granola cereal with blueberries and milk
L: Abby and I met Dan for lunch.  Yippee!
D: Baked chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted garlic & roasted onions (only for me)

Day 5:

B: Oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, raisins and milk
L: organic PBJ with triscuits
D: Peanut butter and butternut squash soup with triscuits

Day 6:

B: Leftover defrosted banana pancakes with real maple syrup and pear
L: Leftover butternut squash and peanut butter soup and triscuits
D: We put the leftover baked chicken into whole wheat tortilla wraps with cheese, tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and sour cream.

Day 7:

B: Whole wheat waffles (using a Belgian waffle maker that DeDe and Craig bought us a while back) and honeydew melon
L: Organic PBJ and pretzel sticks
D: Rotisserie chicken enchiladas with sour cream, red leaf spinach and cheese

Day 8:

B: Oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, raisins and milk
L: Leftover chicken enchiladas and honeydew
D: Farmers Market stir fry with bok choy, mushrooms, carrots, homemade teriyaki sauce, and leftover chicken served over brown rice - yummo!  No leftovers here, people!

Day 9:

B: Granola cereal with blueberries and milk
L: Organic PBJ and pretzel sticks
D: Homemade whole wheat macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs on top and green peas on the side.

I have not been good about taking pictures of these meals, but they are good - trust me.  If you want the meal plans or recipes, just go to 100 Days of Real Food.  I tweak them a bit for my family (some people don't like onions, sausage, etc.) but we try to follow it for the most part.  I think I am dropping some pounds, which is a nice bonus, but not sure because I have not unpacked the bathroom scale yet.

That's it for now, folks.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Busy Weekend

Hello friends, family, stalkers, and lurkers (the last moniker I recently learned has a real definition in the blog world – thank you Wikipedia).  The administrator of this blog has asked yours truly to guest post today’s entry.  Since it has been 2,229 days since I last wrote, and it just so happens to be our 7th wedding anniversary (and I am hoping for some cheap brownie points with the Mrs.), here goes…

The weekend is over already?  It happens every Sunday evening: we get the kids coerced into bed, then plop down on the couch, look at each other, and recount the events of the last two days.

This weekend, like last weekend, and as will be for several weekends into the unforeseeable future, involved a great deal of unpacking.  Don’t get me wrong, Mindi has done a tremendous amount of work getting us to where we are today: eating off Nana’s china and with kids’ plastic zoo animal utensils – that’s no joke, we haven’t found the everyday dishes and silverware yet.  We’ve got about 50 boxes still in the house and a 2-car garage full of more.  If we have any plans to park at least one car in the garage before the Chicago winter starts... ugh, don’t even want to think about it.

So I won’t.  What else did we do this weekend? 

Saturday’s highlight, for the bookworms in our family, was getting our library cards.  Thank you Cook Memorial Public Library.  The kids got complimentary tote bags, and saw to it that they were filled up with books, music, and movies before we left.  Mindi and I chuckled as both kids checked out at the librarian’s counter, each in their own unique way.  Juli first, took each article out of her bag, one by one.  Then, with purpose, slapped her library card onto the counter as if to say, “ok lady, here you go, let’s keep this moving”.  It was much funnier to see in person than I can explain here. 

Then Abby steps up, places each piece onto the counter one by one, much like Juli, but at 1/2 the speed.  And during the entire time, Abby’s carrying on a full blown conversation with the librarian, telling her how we just moved here from Indiana, how we went to the Pumpkin Festival in Libertyville earlier that day, what she had for lunch, her favorite color, her sister’s name, etc., etc.  I’m just glad that both the girls love books as much as they do.  Thank you, Mindi, for encouraging and promoting such behavior.

Today, after we came back from one of Abby’s classmate’s birthday party at the Blast Zone, the girls helped me hang a tire swing on the perfect limb in our back yard.  It really is a perfect limb for a tire swing, probably six inches in diameter, and almost completely parallel with the ground – unfortunately, it is twelve feet high.  Rain and cooler temperatures turned what should be a simple task into a somewhat unpleasant event.  This isn’t your normal tire swing.  This is a horse swing, a tire that’s cut into the shape of a horse.  And it came with directions that aren’t very clear and the fact that the rain soaked the paper didn’t help.  After making a quick trip to visit our new friends at the local Ace Hardware to pick up a slightly longer rope, we got to business: drilling boards, threading rope, tying knots, you name it.  This is a serious project and engineer dad is going to make sure said swing doesn’t fall down.  A refresher on knots was needed, and I resorted to the Internet (where else?) to see what knot I needed to tie, and how to tie it.  The knot of choice: a stopper knot.  Found a really cool web site that illustrates and animates the tying of any knot.

When all was said and done, and the final stopper knot was tied, Abby and I (Juli had left about 20 minutes earlier after getting tired of the rain), let the horse go, to see how it hung.  We looked at each other with somewhat disappointment as the bottom of the tire swing brushed the ground.  Without saying anything, Abby and I looked at each other and knew that we were going to have to finish this task another day.

Our family has a list of “to-do’s” on a giant scrap piece of packing paper duct-taped to the refrigerator.  Anyone can add a “to do” to the list, and they do.  From fixing the doorbell, to hanging a tire swing, to unclogging a slow drain.  For the moment, the list is growing faster than items are being checked off.  In time, the list will shrink, and we’ll settle into this place that is beginning to feel like home.  If you’re interested in helping on the “to do” list, whether you are a family member, a friend, or the lurker, please let us know, we’ll take your help.  We’ll even probably feed you and might, just might, be able to offer you up a bed (that is if we can find the sheets).  Heck, we’ll even let you take a turn on the tire swing!

In closing, the last time I wrote, you read about Abby’s new teeth, two on top and two on bottom.  All of those have come out now and have been or are being replaced by adult teeth.  Today, Abby lost a lateral incisor while eating a piece of honeydew.  The tooth was hanging on by a thread, literally, so it wasn’t going to take much.  We’re proud of Abby, she’s lost five teeth and has pulled out all of them by herself, sans the first tooth. 

Have a great week, and I’ll see you again in 2,229 days (November 21, 2018).  Or maybe sooner, if I need the brownie points again.


Friday, October 12, 2012

El Klutzo

This week went by waaaay too fast!  I hurt my back on Monday - just thought I had pulled a muscle on the left side.  By Tuesday night, I knew that it was worse than that because I could not stand up straight.  Also, any twisting movement was very painful and I could not reach my arms in front of me to do anything.  This was very inconvenient, as I was unpacking - trying to make this house more comfortable for us.

Wednesday morning, I called Affinity Chiropractic Center in Libertyville.  They got me in that morning and, through electric stimulation and an adjustment to my spine, I was able to stand up straight again and even cross my arms!  I was still in considerable pain, so Dr. Keith sent me to the Center for Pain Control, where I saw Dr. Hurh.  He set me up with steroids and some pain control medication.  I felt much better. 

Thursday, I fell down the basement stairs.  Not my best moment.  No sirree.

Today, Friday, I went back to Affinity Chiropractic Center and was told that I was going to need chiropractic, physical therapy and massage therapy for several weeks in order to get myself straight (literally) again.  I have a bulging disc and nerve compression.  Also, two of my discs (one of which is the bulgy one) are deteriorating.  Poop.  I really like my chiropractor and my anesthesiologist - but I wish I did not need them.

Kudos to both of these offices for getting me in right away and on the same day that I called. I would highly recommend both of these places, should you ever need chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture or pain control.  Really.

I have lots to tell you about - our first week of whole foods, the lunches Abs has been eating, and my first experience in joining a PTA.  Also, we WILL have a guest blogger - soon.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Jules' 4th Birthday...and Day 1 of Whole Foods

What a day!  Abs had the day off for Columbus Day so we got to spend a rare Mommy-daughter day with each other.  Yay!

We ran around all over the place running errands.  First, we dropped Jules off at Goddard.  She brought a special snack for her birthday, which consisted of the following two items for every child.

Yan Yan Double Cream snacks.  Ever try it?  Sugar overload, but yummo!

The ever-popular Pepperidge Farm goldfish cracker

Then, we went to Target so that Abs could pick out her own special gifts for Jules.  I gave her a price limit and this is what she chose.

Sunburst of the Pony Royale fame

Bloom of the Winx fairies
 These were a big hit!

This girl, my four year old Stinkerbelle all wrapped up in cuteness, was spoiled on her birthday.  She got lots of toys (she loves her new LaLaLoopsy hair doll!), a fun rainbow scratching art book, clothes, a cake and balloons.  What else could she possibly want? Truthfully, I think she was happy that we are all in one place and that we stayed home.  She is a bit of a homebody, this one.  Hard to believe that four years ago she looked like this.

Daddy with his littlest girl

Momma with her sweet baby chica

Today, we started eating healthier - now that I have found a few pots and pans and have been to the grocery store.  Speaking of grocery stores...this is the best one I have ever found, second only to Wegmans.  It is fabulous!  Lots and lots of produce, a bulk aisle, and a cafe that serves gelato.  Really??  If you don't have a Marianos, I am sorry.  If you do, then you know of what I speak.

Sooooo, I got up super early and made a whole foods kind of breakfast.

Whole wheat banana pancakes

Pure maple syrup - and this is the first time Abs did not have a reaction to syrup.  Hmmm...maybe she is over it, or maybe the real stuff is just better for you!

A fresh D'Anjou pear

Sorry about the butter - Jules was trying to saw it herself.

The pancakes were really good!  I got the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.  The link is above.  This meal had two fruits, which I like.

Then, for snack, Abby and I had this.

This is plain yogurt, sprinkled with granola, peppered with frozen blueberries and then drizzled with honey.  Heaven in a bowl, I tell you!  One dairy, one fruit, protein and some fiber.

Finally, for dinner, we had this

A baked sweet potato, drizzled with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (if you please)

Fresh steamed green beans with a dash of salt

Wild caught cod sauteed with butter and lemon juice

Of course, there was cake...from Marianos.  Wow!  It was super.

For lunch, if you noticed that it is missing here, Abby and I met Dan at J. Alexanders.  This was not whole food style and we enjoyed it anyway.  We are not going to miss out on fun stuff so that we can be strict "whole foods" people, but we will try to stick to the healthy stuff most of the time.

That being said, I am not doing the whole foods thing for Abby's lunches.  She enjoys what I send, so I will keep sending it.  It is kind of healthy, right?

Here is what she is taking tomorrow.

Pineapple fruit cup

Fruitables Strawberry-Kiwi drink

Celery stuffed with whipped cream cheese

Strawberry cream cheese and blueberry spreadable fruit sandwich on whole wheat bread

Krinkle Stix

Green grapes

Whole wheat Ritz crackers and creamy swiss cheese spread

A Russel Stover milk chocolate marshmallow pumpkin

and a love note

Until next time.


p.s.  I am not a photographer.  I don't want to be a photographer.  I just have fun taking pics with my iPhone.  Please don't think badly of me for my lack of photography skills.

Here Goes Nothing

So, tomorrow is Jules' 4th birthday.  Where has the time gone?  We will be celebrating with cake and presents and all things Minnie tomorrow evening.  Abs has the day off, so she will be running around with me so as to help get things going.

Other than that big event in our lives, Dan and I are going to liven things up a bit by focusing on a more "whole foods" way of eating.  I got the idea from 100 Days of Real Food - have you seen this blog?  It is inspirational, to say the least.  You have got to check it out!

So, tomorrow, while the girls dine on fish sticks and birthday cake, we will be eating sauteed cod, sweet potatoes and fresh, steamed green beans for dinner.  The girls will also have the sweet potatoes and green beans, but Jules requested fish sticks, so fish sticks she will get.

I am a huge Diet Coke addict fan.  Given my newfound enthusiasm for healthier eating, I am going to be cutting out the caffeine, too.  God help us all.

Hopefully, our guest will be writing the next post.  I gotta go to bed - am getting up the the "cracka" so that I can make the birthday girl some whole wheat banana pancakes for breakfast.  Yum!

Until tomorrow. 


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Where Did the Week Go?

This week has been a flurry of moving, unpacking, reboxing stuff for Goodwill, and discovering items we have not seen for four months, which makes us wonder if we even needed them in the first place.  It is amazing how children can outgrow shoes in four months.  Jules is into a size 8 shoe now, but she is still 26 pounds and turns four on Monday.  My baby girl is growing up.  She is so smart, too.  Today, I started homeschooling her.  She will still attend The Goddard School, but I will be supplementing with reading and bible study for 20 minutes five days per week.  We got our curriculum through Sonlight.  I love this curriculum.  It is customizable and it is (at least in the younger years for 3-5 year olds) primarily learning through reading stories and the bible.  I am not a bible-beater, nor do I even attend church every week, but I do want my girls to know about religion, particularly Christian religion.  I also want for them to learn about all of the other religions so that they can make an informed choice when they get older.  Ok, stepping off my box now.  Anyway, if you want to check it out, it is pretty awesome, in my opinion.

Tonight, as part of her lesson, we read Genesis 1 in this book.
Family-Time Bible in Pictures by Kenneth N. Taylor

Then we read this book.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
After I read it to her, we went back through it and found the mouse on every page.  Tomorrow, we will make a bowl of "mush" just like in the book.  Really, it will be Cream of Mushroom soup.

Speaking of food, Abs took this to school on Friday for lunch and snack.

Fruitables fruit/veggie drink in Tropical Orange (a big hit!)
Swedish fish
Fresh mozzarella
Whole wheat goldfish
Green grapes
Squeezers squashed bananas
Chewy granola bar
Turkey and whipped cream cheese roll-ups
Rice cracker snack mix
and a love note from Daddy.

Today, we bought our first HD flat screen TV.  We are so excited!  It is in our bedroom.  I feel like we are at the movies.  Yippee!!

Tomorrow, I am hoping to have a guest blogger.  We shall see...


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

Today was Wacky Wednesday at Goddard School.  My youngest child did a great job of picking a wacky outfit.  This is how she would dress every day if she could...wouldn't the world be a slightly better place if we all just wore what we wanted to all the time?

She is wearing a "polka dotty" sweater, her favorite zoo alphabet shirt, a pink tutu, giraffe pants/leggings (underneath the tutu), two different socks, her crocs and three ponytails in her hair.  This morning, as she was getting dressed, we had this conversation:

J:     "Mom, it is a wacky day, right?" 
Me: "Yes."
J:     "It's gudda (gonna) be so much fun, right?"
Me: "It sure will."
J:     "Cuz I gedda (get to) whack people!"

Oh boy.

Abs was jealous - no Wacky (or even Whacky) Wednesday for her.  But lo and behold, she got to go to her school library for the first time today and they had her favorite fairy series!  She checked these out:

 Abigail the Breeze Fairy by Daisy Meadows
Georgia the Guinea Pig Fairy by Daisy Meadows

Abs takes after me in many ways, but reading is the greatest of them.  This is the first time she has ever been allowed to check books out of a school library.  She is giddy. 

For lunch tomorrow, she is taking this

Fruitables fruit/veggie juice

Snackwells yogurt covered pretzels

Plum Organics Veggie Shredz



Pumpkin candies

Honey ham and Colby/Jack kabobs

Mandarin oranges

Motts Very Berry applesauce

and a love note

Have a great night.


Tuesday, October 02, 2012


Hello there!  

Today was cuh-ray-zee!!!  The moving truck came an hour early - good thing I drove past the house to take Abs to school or they might have been standing out there for awhile.  We are still living in a hotel but only for another night or two.  Then we will be living in our own private home.  Yippee!!

Note to self - when moving from a 3400 square foot home to a 1900 square foot home, it is advisable to get rid of some crap before the move.  We seriously filled up the 2 1/2 car garage from stem to stern and cannot fit another thing in there.  And inside the house?  We look like we belong on an episode of Hoarders.  Tomorrow, I will start on it.  Today, I just stared at it and tried to will it all to go away.  We did get the deck set up though.  That's nice.  We no longer have a grill.  That's a problem.  Also, the sofa is put together and all of the beds are, too.  So there is lots of room, so long as you are seated or laying down.  Walking around?  Not so much.  I will take pictures tomorrow. 

Here is Ab's lunch for tomorrow.  I know it appears to be getting bigger, but now she gets to eat snack at school - her last school did not allow them to eat snack - just lunch at 12:00 when school started at 9:15.  I did not think that was ok, but who am I?  Anyway, now I get to pack more goodies for my baby girl and she gets to eat in the mornings.  Yay!!

Yo Kids organic strawberry yogurt - I freeze this overnight and then put it in her lunch bag in the morning.  Then it is thawed (mostly) by lunchtime.

Whole wheat Ritz crackers

Creamy Swiss cheese spread

Green grapes

An individual, pitted prune

Swedish fish

Chocolate Teddy Grahams

Dried, diced plums

White cheddar Babybel cheese wheel

Annie's Homegrown organic shells n cheese (I make it the night before or the morning of and then heat it up right before I put it in the thermos in the morning.  She says it is still warm at lunch time.

Sweet apple slices

A granola bar

and the ever-present love note

An invitation:  if you are a lurker, please sign in and say, "Hi."  I would love to get to know you, if I don't already and I promise I don't bite - hard.


Monday, October 01, 2012

Alvin and the Bug Bombs

Dan set off bug bombs last night in our new place.  He even put two in the garage.  It needs to be noted that neither of us has seen any bugs prior to this, but hey, I married an engineer.  Get it?

Sooooo, today I open the garage door and shriek into the phone (Sorry, DeDe.).  Why, you may ask?  Because, sitting in the garage, right in the middle of the floor, was a chipmunk.  Sitting is actually the wrong word.  He was lurching, rather drunkenly, toward me.  Both of his eyes were glued shut and for a moment I thought he might be rabid.  As it turns out, however, he inhaled two bug bombs all night long.  This happened to me once - Dan set off a bug bomb right outside the open basement window while I was in there doing laundry.  I coughed up a lung and couldn't breathe without pain for a couple of weeks.  Bug bombs seem to be his M.O.

Anyway, I called Illinois Wildlife Control and they told me to call Best Friends Animal Hospital.  I called them and they told me to capture the chipmunk in a box and bring him to them and they would see what they could do.  So, I did it.  I drove two towns over with a shoebox beside me in the car, talking to a hyperventilating rodent.  Yep.  That's how I spent my birthday.

Both girls started school today.  I did not take pics with my phone.  I need to upload the ones taken with the "real" camera.  I will post them, I swear.

They both did great.  Abs loves her new teacher, Mrs. Nyland, and her classmates, even though she sits at a table full of boys.  Jules loves her two teachers, Ms. Christine and Ms. Linda.  Ms. Christine, sensing a jittery mommy, called me and sent me two pics of Jules today, to reassure me that she was fine.  I think I like her a lot.

Here is what Abs took for lunch today.

Sweet apple slices
Unsweetened grape juice
An empty container, which will hold a hard boiled egg tomorrow
Pretzel sticks and creamy swiss cheese wedge
Green grapes
LesserEvil Krinkle Sticks
Chocolate Teddy Grahams
Snap peas with ranch for dipping
and a love note.

Tomorrow the furniture comes.  Hoo boy.


p.s.  The vet called - Alvin made it and is back to his feisty self again.  He will be released into the wild somewhere other than at our house.