Saturday, December 11, 2010

We're Here! We're Here! We're Here!

I feel like a Who trying to convince all of Horton's jungle friends that we are indeed here!  This last month has proven to be insanely busy and draining.  People often comment on how I have time to get everything done that I get done...and I'm not sure how I do it.  Apparently, I haven't been able to juggle everything seeing as I haven't updated this blog in over a month!  Not to say I haven't been blogging a few times a week on my book blog and my school blog.
As I write this I am hearing loud crashes and the shuffling of things upstairs...but no crying yet, so I'm not intervening.  Chad and Jordan have lots of fun wrestling and tagging each other.  Oh, there was an "Ow, ow, ow, ow!" from Chad...and a bang...and a laugh...I think this is the life I have been dealt considering I now have three boys in my household!

At work, I hosted a senior practicum student from ISU which was a lot of work this time around.  I think it was particularly stressful because I had only been back to teaching for three weeks before she came.  I was barely in my own rhythm and trying to help her figure out her teaching.  The last two weeks have been much better.  I am ecstatic that my students are reading and sharing their reading with me.  I also have been super busy on Twitter with my teaching-Twitter friends.  It is so much fun to chat with other like-minded people!  It reminds me of being in high school when I used to go to chat rooms all the time on AOL.
Jordan is 3 1/2 and Danny is already 5 months old!  I love seeing Jordan give Danny toys and give him kisses...although he is not willing to share his eehee and will snatch it away if Danny tries to grab it.  Danny is rolling all over the place and has started some baby food.
The Christmas tree is up!  We actually have lights outside this year, too.  Jordan has been asking us to make projects with him at home (see why I'm so busy?) and today we made a reindeer by tracing and cutting out his hands and foot.  The boys went to see Santa before Thanksgiving and actually did really well!  We got a stellar smile from Jordy!
Overall, things are going well.  I like the snow but I love being cozied up inside our house when it's cold and blustery out.  Lucky for me, Chad is willing to play outside in the snow with Jordan!  (I did hurt my knee back in the end of October and I've been out of commission when it comes to fun, active!)  
I remember when we first got married our house seemed like we didn't really live here.  It was like we were just pretending at being married and living in our house, but now with kiddos, decorations...and more often than not a bit of a feels truly like a home. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Remember These?

Does anyone remember these sticker collecting books?  I had to call my mom as soon as I found them because I vividly remember these from my childhood.  I had a Care Bears one!  It's a sticker book that you have to buy these sticker packs for, then you have to stick the stickers in just the right spot.  They are all numbered.  I can't wait to give Jordan his and start's for Jordan, really!
 See the little Panini logo with the knight?  Major memories came flooding in when I saw that!!!!
 Here's a page, you can see all the squares where you fit the stickers in!!!!!  How many days until I can break into these things????
Do you have memories of these or something else from your childhood?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sore and Sick

This might the the weirdest last few days I have ever had...well, you could even include the last week.  Last weekend I felt like I had a cold, I had a runny nose and had chills but then also had a fever and ended up with mastitis.  I've been on antibiotics all week...then on Friday morning I slipped at the bottom of the stairs and fell.  I'm really thankful I only hurt my MCL, which is the ligament on the inside of my knee...but I did still hurt my knee and walking, sitting down, standing up is not fun right now.  My shoulder hurts form the fall, too.  Saturday night I got a little tickle in my throat and then woke up to another runny nose and sore throat.  Here's the best part though, this morning I decided to stay home just to really let myself get better.  The second I made the decision, Jordan came downstairs and threw up at my feet.  Great.  I thought maybe he was just sick and would feel better after he got it out of his system, but no such luck.  He's been throwing up on and off all morning.  He's sleeping now.  He's definitely sick...he's sleeping during the day. My poor baby.
It's not fun being sick, but I feel good knowing I'm home with him and comforting him while he's sick.  I know when I'm sick the only thing I want is someone to sit with me and hug me.  I've definitely been able to get lots of snuggles in with Jordan today.  Poor baby.  He's so sweet.
I've been working some on a new eehee (blanket) for him, too.  My mom has made most of his eehees, except for one.  He wanted a blue one and I wanted to try to crochet something more than a coaster so I'm working on it for him.  I can't wait for it to be done...although it's kind of slow going!  What makes you feel better when you are sick?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Need a Good Laugh?

I'm sure you've seen the laughing babies who won America's Funniest Home Videos.  They are so cute and their laughter just makes you laugh, you just can't help it.  That was us this afternoon laughing at Danny laughing.  He's so smily and has been laughing with us, but this afternoon he finally had a real laugh.  We couldn't get enough of it.  If you need a smile, you've come to the right place!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An Oxymoronic Week

     I have basically survived my first week back at school!  We have a school improvement day tomorrow so I'll be at work, but in meetings and not working with students.  Yesterday it felt like the longest week ever, and today it feels infinitely even longer.  It seems like Monday, my first day back, was an eternity ago.  To think that last week I was just beginning my day-long cry-fest over having to leave my baby is insane.  At the same time, it doesn't feel like tomorrow is Friday and it actually went really fast.  It's already almost time for the weekend when I can be with my boys!!
     I do have to say being back at work is okay, I love my job and that has made all the difference in being able to go back to work and feel good about my life.  I have enjoyed seeing all the friendly faces from colleagues and students.  I have a few new students and in these last four days I've already gotten to know them and can tell it's going to be fun to work with them.  I can tell that there is a definite energy to my teaching after having such a nice, long break.  It feels great!  
     I also have to say I so miss snuggling with my baby and cooking and being able to go to the library and watching TLC.  It so weird to love and hate having to go to work at the same time.  In the end, I know it's healthy for me and the kiddos.  I love being busy and productive and I love that my sons get to go to daycare and be around other kids and paint and play and have their own busy days.  At least at the end of the day I get to come home to them and "they" do say fondness makes the heart grow fonder, right?  
     I'm loving this baby a gazillion times more every day!
And how awesome is this?  There has been a lot less TV and a ton more reading!  It's pretty awesome.
Danny, Dad, and Jordan

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rock That Body!

We went to the mall with Kathy and Maddy the other night and while Maddy was getting her hair cut (her's is exactly the same as mine, except she has straight hair!!!!) Chad wanted to look at the sports store next door.  Jordan apparently got the urge to dance and found himself the perfect stage.  I couldn't get enough of his dancing!  He has never been a big dancer so I'm not sure where this is all coming from, but I love it!
I fell in love with the song and had to go buy it!  They are actually a band from Canada, Marianas Trench, and the song is Cross My Heart.  Emily, have you heard of them????!?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Donating My Hair!

I'm still kind of in shock that I actually cut all of my hair off yesterday...but I did it!  It's hard to get used to short hair again after having long hair for soooooo long.  I cut my hair the week I had Jordan to be really super short and then I have been growing it out since then, just getting trims here and there.  So it's been over three years since I really had a crazy haircut that someone would notice!  

I mentioned to Chad that I was thinking of getting my hair cut and he agreed that he had looked at my hair the other day and thought how long it really was.  Then I started thinking about how long my hair was and realized it might be long enough to donate.  And guess what?  It was!  I chose to donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths because the donated hair is made into wigs for women who have lost their hair from cancer treatment.  I have an aunt who has survived breast cancer and another aunt struggling with a brain tumor right now.  

Of course, I had to take pictures!  Here they are!  This is my long hair!  I had to blowdry it straight so I could measure it easily.  
In the chair!  Getting ready to chop it off!
 Gone!  Unfortunately even though it was still fairly long after this, I had to cut quite a bit more off to make it look normal my hair is curly...
So this is how short it ended up being!!!!  I feel kind of like a little kid, but that's okay!  I like it.  It definitely feels light.  It's going to take some getting used to, but it will grow back and hopefully someone else can enjoy my hair!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Roasted Garlic Hummus

When my mom was over yesterday, I brought out a plate of Triscuits and Sun Chips with hummus on them for her to try.  As she was eating one, she had to stop and make sure I knew hummus was made from chickpeas...because it's pretty well known that I am not a chickpea/garbanzo bean fan.  She was surprised when I told her I actually liked it!

A few weeks ago, when we were at our local (and favorite) farmer's market I picked up some pitas and a little tub of roasted garlic hummus.  I decided I was going to brave and try it.  It's healthy, right?  I'm all about healthy lately.  The woman at the booth recommended the roasted garlic because most people like that one.  Turns out, I loved it!

Earlier this week, Chad and I had lunch at a cute little cafe where I had a veggie sandwich that had hummus on it instead of any other kind of condiment and it was awesome!  I was so excited.  I knew I had to try and make hummus myself!

Looking online led me to this awesome new-to-me blog that I found!  Food Loves Writing features tons of recipes and they're all made with healthy ingredients.  It's not a vegan site so everyone should check it out!  I followed her recipe for roasted garlic hummus and it turned out so great!  My mom even commented that she wanted the recipe because it tasted way better than any store-bought hummus she's ever had.  This time I used canned chickpeas but I'll try dried chickpeas next time!

Let me know if you try this recipe or if you have a favorite hummus recipe.  Or if you are scared to even try hummus...which you shouldn't be, especially if you try this recipe!  Sorry I don't have any pictures!

Friday, September 17, 2010

1,000 Vegan Recipes

Most Recently Read Book:
1,000 Vegan Recipes
By Robin Robertson

This might have to be a vegan's dream.  When I decided to become vegan there was definitely a pause when Chad asked me exactly what I could eat.  So far my philosophy has been to eat vegan when I'm at home and to attempt to eat vegan when I'm out, in the end if I'm out somewhere and they have an amazing veggie sandwich with hummus and Mediterranean lentil soup how much can I worry about there being eggs in the bread or other hidden foods?  I've been looking up what is vegan when I go out to eat but so far I'm not getting mad at myself if I make a mistake...on the same not, I'm not out there downing cupcakes "pretending" there aren't eggs in those!  

So, when it came to really figuring out what I would be making myself to eat as a vegan, this book was exciting because it has tons of options.  In fact, almost too many options at this point in my life.  There are no pictures but there are pages upon pages of recipes just listed back to back to back to back.  I think it's a great resource, but for now I'm going to stick with some of the other books I've read with vegan recipes just because they don't seem quite as daunting as this one.  I have no doubt in the future I'll be ready for these 1,000 doubtless yum recipes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Vegan Table

Most Recently Read Book:
The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion
By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

I first read/heard about Colleen Patrick-Goudreau when I listened to Fat Cat in February/March.  I mostly credit Eating Animals to helping me make the decision to become vegetarian, but I read Fat Cat right around the same time and it definitely had an impact on my decision as well.  At the end of the audiobook there was an interview with author and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  She is a cool chef who makes vegan food.  She has a whole website and other books besides this one.  I really enjoyed The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion though because it has pictures!!!!!  So many recipe books I've seen don't have pictures and that drives me crazy. She doesn't have a picture for every single recipe, but there are lots of pictures.  I made homemade pizza dough on Friday night; the boys had regular pizza with cheese and veggies and I had a pesto pizza with garlic and tomatoes.  I loved it and can't wait to make it again.  I'm starting to make a list of vegan cookbooks I want to buy to have and this one is definitely going on it!  

American Idol Tour 2010

We almost didn't get tickets to go to the American Idol Tour this year, but at the last minute we were able to get backstage passes from a cousin of a friend so we thought it was so worth it to meet the Idols - especially Lee!!!  It was really the first time Chad and I left both of our boys.  I had to take my pump into the United Center with me.  It's a little bit of an inconvenience but it does crack me up to see the faces of security guards or first aid staff when I tell them I need to pump.

The hubby and me on our way to meet the Idols!
Lee!!!! Definitely deserved to win this year, I love his voice!
(Let's just not talk about the fact that I complained to him about how he tweets and kind of made him feel bad...)
Here we are with all the Idols!  
(This is the part where I apologized profusely for being mean about his tweets...and he said it was okay, then gave me a little arm squeeze AND WINKED AT ME!)
Overall, I can't say that this was anywhere near the best season of Idol, but their performances were good on tour and Lee was as good as ever.  I'm glad we got to go to the concert and have a little time to ourselves AND MEET LEE!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Kind Diet

Most Recently Read Book:

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet
By Alicia Silverstone

When I first got home from the hospital after having Danny I watched a lot of TV (didn't you know you're supposed to always have background noise on during the day) and, of course, I got some Oprah in.  I saw her interview Alicia Silverstone about her book and I had to check it out.  After becoming a vegetarian, I've been looking for more ways to be healthy.  This book talks about what we're eating kind of like Eating Animals did, but it is written in a little more friendly way and the entire book isn't all about eating animals.  Alicia talks about flirting with being a vegetarian/vegan, being a vegan, and being a superhero.  This book easily convinced me to give being vegan a try.  It's not easy to just go vegan but I've done a pretty good job and I feel great.  I felt like I had a lot more energy when I first gave up meat, but I feel great while also having much softer skin and less sinus problems, believe it or not!  I love how Alicia wrote this book and I love her philosophy about eating.  She encourages people to even just try giving up meat for some meals. She also has lots of different recipes for the different "levels" of eating.  It's not just for vegans or superheroes, it's for everyone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Random Ramblings About SAHM Life

Yesterday was my first day home with just Danny!  I felt like an official SAHM - stay-at-home least for the next four weeks .  I have always said that I would never want to be a SAHM just because I love being busy and organized and working on projects...but I had never really tried the whole SAHM thing until now...and now I kind of like it!  My life as a teacher is weird because Chad is a teacher, too.  That means that any days I'm off for school Chad is usually off, too...except he gets some Jewish holidays off (lucky).  This is my first go at being home alone with just my little string bean.  Isn't he just a doll?
When Jordan was born, Chad stayed home for two weeks and then I was home with Jordan for 2 or 3 weeks before Chad was off for summer vacation.  After squeezing that ten-pound baby out of me, I basically wanted to just be a lump on the couch.  I did go for a walk around the neighborhood in the mornings and that was about the extent of my day.
Now that I'm home with Danny it's a totally different experience because he's already two months old and I'm feeling much more like myself.  Chad is at work, Jordan is at the sitter, and I'm free to do what I want to do with Danny!  This morning I got a ton of cleaning done while he took a short nap, then after he ate, I loaded him up and made my first shopping excursion to Trader Joe's.  I have to say I felt uber-cool because I had him all snuggled up in the Moby while I shopped (I so wish I had a picture...).  We made it home for lunch and a quick nap before his 2-month doctor appointment.  I seriously got so much accomplished today, even Chad noticed how much I was able to get done around the house.

This baby is 15 pounds!!!!!  That's the 97% for weight...sheesh.
I did have tears in my eyes when Jordan left with Chad because I love spending time with him, too...but I had to tell myself that he would have fun playing with his friends at the sitter's (and he did, of course!).  It's hard to explain the connection I have with Danny.  My love for Jordan grew (and still grows) everyday.  It was hard work having a baby the first time around.  I hated leaving him at the sitter's when I went back to work but I miss him so much more now when he goes to the sitter's because I have such a stronger connection with him now compared to when he was a baby.  It's still hard having a baby the second time around, but it's a different experience.  I'm laid back in so many ways because I've done it before so I feel like I already have such a strong bond with Danny.  It's hard getting up in the middle of the night and being tired during the day but it's not hard as far as knowing what to do and just loving my baby.

Now I just have to NOT get too used to this SAHM business in the next four weeks because I have to go back to work whether I like it or not!!!