August 30, 2009

Fun Weekend!

We had a great weekend! Spent time with some friends on Saturday and went to End of Summer Days Festival at church last night (inflatables, carnival games, crafts, food, and a praise band concert!). The boys had been looking forward to the festival for weeks! We had a great time. I got a couple of good shots I had to share. Today I had a little nap and am making a new recipe for dinner that no one is excited about but me. I'll share the recipe if it is any good. It's called Vegetable Chili. My allergies are awful right now and I spent almost the entire day outside yesterday which pretty much made me miserable by last night. I'm trying to avoid outside right now which stinks since it has cooled off!

August 25, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

On Saturday I promised the boys we would make some homemade icecream. They had been wanting to all summer but it just didn't happen. I looked through Annie's Eats and found the recipe I knew we'd all enjoy. Luke requested chocolate! This was very yummy. The dutch processed cocoa really made it rich and chocolatey. It was so easy too!

2 cups half and half
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder ( I found mine at Whol*e Foods)
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural, our favorite!)

Whisk together half and half, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly blended.

Chill mixture thoroughly. Then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. We ate some then and froze the rest. The next day it was fozen completely just like icecream you buy at the grocery. Yum!

Source: adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, Ten Speed Press, 2007.

News around here.

* Last night I laid down with Luke at bedtime for about 5 minutes. I started rubbing his arm and next thing I knew he was rubbing my arm...until he fell asleep. He is such a sweetheart. He thinks about others so often before himself...not always!! He has such a sweet little heart.

* Tonight Wilson was sent to timeout before supper because he was acting crazy. Next thing I know he is asleep sitting up leaning against his headrest in bed. Could barely get him awake enough for dinner.

*Tyler's top right front tooth broke through the skin Saturday night. So he officially has 3 teeth now! Today he realized he can climb up the stairs! He is rather slow but I know that will change quickly.

* I had a really stressful day. At lunch I told Jenn I was really trying to not burst into tears! She felt the same way. It was a rough morning. I came home and said "I just need a few minutes AWAY from kids! I am with kids ALL the time. I'm going crazy!" Andy reminded me that would happen at bedtime...then he dealt with the next several behavior problems at home. That helped. I'm going for a run now. Maybe then the feeling that I can't get a deep enough breath will be caused by running and not because of my stress and anxiety. I can't believe it is only Tuesday.

August 22, 2009

Looking for Balance...Maybe...

So my heart is torn between being with my boys every second I'm not at school (45+ hours a week) and finding some time for myself. Or finding time for date nights with Andy or even time out with friends! Going back to work after having children was tough from day one because I didn't want to leave them. It did start to get easier as they've gotten older but then came baby #2 and baby #3, making it harder all over again!! So when I'm invited to do things on the weekend I have a hard time making a decision. I can't decide if it is ok to leave the boys AGAIN to go do something without them. I know in my head it is ok to make time for myself blah, blah, blah. But it hurts my heart to be away from them even more. Believe me I could use the break every now and then and I know it would be good for me. But how do you get over the leaving again? It just causes me anxiety thinking about it and trying to decide. Andy and I hardly ever go out alone - sometimes we go out after they are in bed. Not just because it is hard to leave again but also because it is expensive to hire and babysitter and pay for a night out! So I need advice. I need to hear your stories and how you balance kids + work + time for yourself . In theory I understand how it SHOULD all work. It is just hard for me to carry that out and be OK with being away. I have been running and that has been my time - it's nice. Hopefully that will motivate me to KEEP running!!! It will get easier as Ty gets older, right? Only a few weeks left of nursing! I have to say it is NICE to not be pumping on my lunch break this school year!!!

Ty hearts bathtime!

Ty loves his bathtime with his big brother Luke! When I put him in the tub he is all smiles and loves wiggling around and splashing with his hands and feet. He is so cute in the tub! Andy got the camera and then he was really smiling big for picture time! Ty has started pulling up, he's such a big boy!!

How cute is he?!?!

Teaching is Tough!

So I've survived my first two weeks at school with students. I have a great class, 23 second graders. I am getting to know them and love them quickly. Back to school is hard - there is SO much to do to be ready for a new group of students. I won't go into the details but I spend about 2 weeks setting up and getting ready for the first day. Now that the first two weeks are complete my team is starting reading and math instruction, with trading kids etc. on Monday. This is big because we group our students based on their assessments and form groups. We usually aren't ready to start this early in the school year but we are there now! Yesterday I worked from 7:30-4:30 with no students and still didn't get everything done that I needed to for MONDAY! My to do list is always long. I cross one thing off and add 3 more. Teaching has changed so much in just the 8+ years I've been at it...the rigor of school is so different now. So as of Monday we're in our full schedule with reading, writing, math, and social studies. AHHH!!! Yesterday I had a lot to do for my reading room - I'm teaching a new level this year. It was very overwhelming this past week as I wrapped my mind around all the components and got materials ready. I still have new things to add but I can only do so much at one time! I work with the best team of teachers and couldn't do this job without the support we give each other.

The other part this year that is a new challenge is having Wilson with me before and after school. I love having him at school for kindergarten, believe me! It is so fun to see him in the hallways and know his teacher and hear lots of things about his day from many different people! I love it! But it is hard to have a little guy following me around in the morning and after school, talking to me and asking when we can go home! It's definitely an adjustment - he plays legos, gets on the computer, and sometimes watches a cartoon which all allow me to work. We'll get used to it I'm sure. Andy picks him up a couple days a week to help me out so that is good. It's just a big change! I'm with kids from 6:30am-bedtime. Some days that can make a girl crazy! ;)

August 18, 2009

Laundry Room & Ipod!

Andy fixed my Ipod! He shaved down some needle nose pliers so they would fit into the headphone jack. Then he used a tiny drill bit to shave off sides of the piece stuck inside my ipod. This created a taller piece in the middle. He used superglue on the pliers and stuck them to the piece stuck in my ipod and it finally came out! He tried so many creative ways to get it out and his perseverance paid off!!! Last night I got to run with my ipod instead of my watch. I'm 1/2 finished with the C25K!! I plan to run in a 5K on Sept. 26. Thank you so much baby!!

Here is Andy before the door to the laundry room was cut out, you can see the outline.
Here he is with the new door in place! Just needs to be primed and painted.
In other news, I have a working washer and dryer!!! You do not know how exciting it is to be able to do laundry at home again. After 2 months of my fabulous Maw-ma and Paw-pa picking up dirty clothes, washing clothes, and folding them I know they are thankful our washer and dryer are working too! Thank you so so so much Maw and Paw. We couldn't have survived the summer without your help!! Mom, thank you so so so much too for the help you gave with our laundry as well. We appreciate you all! I plan to have you all over for dinner soon as a thank you! The dryer isn't in the laundry room yet, but just on the other side of the framed wall. So we've been doing "loads" of laundry around here and are all caught up. Yea! He keeps on working away and finding more plumbing problems as he goes. Whoever the plumber was that helped when the house was built either didn't care about the job or had no clue what he was doing. The hall and downstairs plumbing for the toilets were done incorrectly. They sloped the wrong way making the toilet have major problems with flushing etc. Thankfully Andy is fixing everything along the way. Thus causing for the project timeline to be longer- but it is all for the good of our new home!

Here is our laundry room! Still has a ways to go...imagine shelves, tile, paint, walls, etc, etc, etc!!

August 15, 2009

My ipod :(

A couple weeks ago when we went to CCH we took my ipod in the van to listen to it through the AUX outlet. When we got home I pulled out the cord and brought my ipod inside, thinking everything was fine. Well the next time I went to run I couldn't plug the headphones into my ipod. There was something in the way. Andy realized that the tip of the cord for playing it in the car had broken off in my ipod. I was so mad. He has tried several different things to try and get it out but it won't budge. So I can't use my ipod. I love my ipod and don't know what to do. My ipod was only 1 1/2 years old, the nano. I was using it for my Couch Potato to 5K Podcasts. I've had to know the podcast and just use a watch to know when to run and walk. It is so frustrating. Any suggestions??

August 13, 2009

11 Months Old!

My baby is 11 months old! I can't believe he will be ONE in 4 short weeks! Time flies! Tyler is doing so well. He is crawling and getting into everything! This boy still loves his food - though he doesn't drink out of a sippy cup. He loves to nurse and eats 3 times a day- morning, when I get home after 4, and before bed. He refuses to take a bottle before I get home. He loves to play with toys and watch his brothers. He also loves to be outside! To trim his nails I have to take him outside so he will sit still long enough! He just has two bottom teeth so maybe more soon. He is absolutely precious and a big time mama's boy! I've missed him SO much while I've been back to school - but it is fabulous to no longer be pumping on my lunch at work :) . Time to start planning his birthday party!

First Day of Kindergarten!

Ready for the first day of Kindergarten!

His daddy made him his favorite breakfast - pancakes!

Wilson had his first day of Kindergarten yesterday! He had a wonderful first day! I am so blessed to be able to take him to school with me where I work. He has a wonderful teacher and is surrounded by my fabulous co-workers who all love him already just because he is mine! Andy brought him to school so I could go early and be in my room to greet my new students. My dad came over to watch Luke and Ty so Andy wouldn't have to bring all the boys so early. Wilson did well going into his room. Andy said he was a little clingy but no tears! I saw him in the hallway a couple times and we waved and smiled at each other. It is so neat to have him at school! Then he came to my classroom at the end of the day and was very talkative and excited. I could tell that he loved his first day which is so wonderful! He chose to buy chicken nuggets for lunch and enjoyed recess and library. His second day went well also. He chose to buy his lunch again today (and tomorrow!). He rode with me to school today and again got a little clingy when I brought him to his room but he had another great day. He's been worn out in the evening but seems to love big school!

August 9, 2009

The Project Continues

Framing for the new wall to divide the laundry room/garage.

All the supply lines and what not that Andy has spent HOURS on.

New concrete from the jack hammering to cover up the new PVC pipes. Just ignore the sawdust.

So, two months ago I showed you pics of my garage with the jackhammering and rusting pipes. Then I showed you pics of the new PVC pipes in the garage floor. Well, Andy has been diligently working on The Major Project. Here are some pictures to show you the progress 2 months in! You know I haven't had a washer/dryer for 2 months, right? Well last night Andy had the washing machine hooked up. The dryer is hooked up in it's old location b/c he is still working on the electric. We were so excited to do laundry at our own house to find out that the washing machine won't complete the spin cycle. It drained the water but didn't spin the clothes dry. Nice. and WHY??? Washing machines are supposed to last forever right? Like at least 20+ years or something! We've had this one for about 8 years...

WV Guy Campout/Girl Trip

Cousins, ready to hike!
This is fun! Check out Wilson's first pack.

A great outside adventure.

Taking a break from his 10-lb pack.

Eating his trail mix! There were several pics of Luke eating his trail mix!!

Luke got to go on the guy's campout this time!

Worn Out!

A backpacker just like his daddy.

Love this picture of Ethan and Wilson hiking!

The girls who stayed back at the house!

Towards the end of July we went to Snowshoe, WV with The M. Clan. The men and kids who are potty trained went camping and the girls and non-potty trained kids (+ Lily who doesn't like backpacking!!) stayed in a nice house on Snowshoe Mountain! It was a great few days. I had fun with my sister in laws, mother in law, and Nanny. It was a nice break to only have Ty to take care of at the house. The girls played games, went for walks, got in the hot tub, made cake pops, watched a movie, stayed up late talking, and really just enjoyed being together. The men folk had a great time in the Wilderness! Enjoy the pics! We did this a couple of years ago too. You can see those posts here and here. Sorry for the delay, with back to school I've not had much time for the blog.

August 4, 2009

Another visit to CCH

For our checkup to CCH this time we took the whole family - it's not cold and flu season and we wanted to do other things while in Cincinnati. The boys were going to go to Eden Park while Ty and I were at the appointment but it was raining the whole day! So they came in and hung out in the waiting room with Andy. Ty's appointment was very uneventful, which is my opinion is a very good thing! No new information other than we don't need to go back to the hemangioma unit for 1 year! Yea! They are pleased that nothing has changed with his port wine stain (color, size) and feel that he is meeting all the developmental milestones. The main areas that need to be watched closely are with ophthamology and nuerology. We go back in November and December for each of those appointments.

After we left CCH we went to eat lunch at The Works. It's a brick oven pizza place in the building of a 100 year old fire station. I thought I had found the one I ate at with my family as a kid but alas it wasn't the same one. Maybe there is another one in Cincinnati somewhere... Then we ventured to IKEA and did some shopping for about an hour. The big boys were willing to go in the play area! Wilson agreed after Luke talked him into it so that gave Andy and I 1 hour with only Tyler to shop. We picked up a few small things- veggie peeler, new cutting board, step stool for the boys, a new pillow for Andy, and rope ladder for the boys treehouse and an organizer cart for school. Andy's pillow is really cool. It came in two parts. You choose the inside based on how you sleep (back, stomach, or side). Then you choose between down and synthetic for the outside cover. I hope it helps him to sleep better! We tried to find something for organizing toys in the playroom but we don't really know what we want yet and didn't want to spend $ when we weren't sure. I really like going to IKEA but wish we had a whole day to go without children so we could really look around and get ideas. Maybe next time!

August 2, 2009

Tyler is crawling!

Tyler crawled this morning and has been crawling a lot throughout the day! He is so cute crawling around. Wilson woke up and said "I can't believe my baby is crawling!" The big brothers are soo proud of Tyler!! We've got the baby gate out now. This is the first time we've had steps with a baby I will take a video of Ty crawling on my camera and post it soon. I'm glad he reached this milestone...all in his own time! He wasn't in any hurry!

In other news I had a great day with the boys. (After a FULL night's sleep! Ty is finally sleeping past 4:30-5:30 for his first feeding. I slept until 8:40!) This afternoon we made two batches of cookies, went swimming for an hour, and then went to my parents for dinner. It was a great day!

August 1, 2009

Great Giveaway!

Like shopping at Old Navy? You should enter the contest at Chic Shopper Chick's website! Go here to enter yourself to win $100 of clothes from Old Navy for only $25. You get $75 of free clothes! That sounds like an awesome deal to me! Fingers crossed!