Saturday, January 31, 2009

KK's first drawing of a face

Two weeks ago KK drew her first face. I was so impressed and thought it was cute how she colored the eyes in. This is a picture of Daddy she said and she drew Daddy's hair. Yes, Daddy is starting to grow his hair out and actually has a beard now but we will help KK learn how to draw facial hair on another occasion.

Subbing Day 10

Wow, what a week. I was called three days to sub this week! Now that is a big deal considering I am usually only subbing one day a month! Today was casual Friday in the classroom too so it was pretty easy and it is obvious the children love casual Fridays.

There were a few eventful happenings that left me a bit bewildered. They all centered around a little boy in the class too. The littlest guy in the class, we will call him Chase for privacy reasons had a few incidents that could cause some concern. The first thing that was a bit alarming is that he wore pants that were 2-3 sizes too big for him so they kept falling down to his ankles. Of course a few of the kids would tattle saying, "Chase pulled his pants down!" We all know this is not good and I fear what they may have gone home saying to their parents. The truth of the matter is they were just way to big for him and they kept falling down. Now I did try rolling them at the waist and I rolled them three times! I hope that gives you an idea just how big they were. Towards the end of the day one of the other students was mad at him and actually pulled his pants down on purpose!

Now the worst thing that happened in my opinion! Poor Chase, while playing on the playground, another students stuck tan bark in his ear and it went into his ear canal. I sent him with a note to the office to call his mom in case she wanted to take him to the Dr. to have them remove it. Fifteen minutes later they sent him back to class and his mom was just going to have him ride the bus home and she would check it when he got home.

Other than that the day was great. I sure felt like a working parent this week! It's funny because I can see the pros and cons of working v.s. staying home with the girls after such a busy week like this. Guess what next week holds? Yes, I already have a sub job for Monday but this time it will not be Aly's class. I will be subbing in a K/1 combo. I look forward to it too although I am sure I will have a difficult night's sleep the night before as I always have a little anxiety the night before subbing especially when it is an unknown environment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Subbing Day 9

So today was my ninth day of subbing this school year for Aly's teacher. For this year I will probably only sub for her teacher since kindergarten is on a modified full day and they get out an hour and twenty minutes before the rest of the school. Since I don't have anyone to watch Aly if I am subbing in first grade and up I will only be able to sub in kindergarten. That only leaves me with one other teacher to sub for. She is rarely out and already has a favorite substitute so you get the idea....

Anyway, it has been fun to sub in Aly's classroom. Not only do I get to see her as a student, but I also get to know all of her classmates and friends. I also get to see what she does in school each day. I really enjoy this part. While it can be difficult to sub in her class due to hard behavior from one of the children, I have enjoyed getting to know all of the class both academically and socially. Today I was able to give a math assessment to half of the class. I know it sounds really geeky but I really enjoy doing assessments. I enjoyed it when I had my own classroom too. It just really helped me to know the students more intimately academically and help to see where they need to grow and learn and what mistakes they may be making.

Today was a good day subbing. I was quite busy with the children and the behavior problem only had issues during free play time socially. It makes it much nicer not to have to deal with behavior problems during instruction.

I have to say I do really miss teaching. Too bad it will probably be a long time before I have my own classroom!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random things about me...

Okay.....Here it goes...

1. I absolutely love SUGAR!!!! It is my downfall and what causes me to need daily treadmill exercise!

2. I have two beautiful daughters which I love more than anything in this world and never knew I could love so deeply!

3. My husband cried at our wedding and I didn't. I rarely cry.

4. I love to play basketball but am sad that since moving from the Bay Area there is no women's basketball leagues in hick town.

5. I was baptized Lutheran, confirmed Catholic, switched to Episcopalian, and took Mormon lessons, I am now a very confused person religiously.

6. My very best friend is Amy Glanville and even after she moved to Montana we talk daily and have maintained a very strong friendship.

7. I don't like living in the country. I wish I could live within 10-15 minutes of a city.

8.I am happy having two children, my husband wants four...who do you think will win that one...LOL

9. I took the California Proficiency exam my junior year in High School and passed. Instead of going to my senior year in High School I went to junior college and was admitted into their honor's degree program.

10. As painful as it was I put myself through college working full time--many times two jobs at a time--and attending school full time. I had no time for much of a social life.

11. I have achieved all of my childhood dreams--at least the ones I remember having..

12. I wanted to be a teacher my whole life and love teaching young children. My favorite age to teach is kindergarten/first grade as I love teaching children how to read.

13. I HATE cleaning.

14. I like to cook but don't like the clean up.

15. I buy all of my girls clothes off the 75% racks and by them a year ahead. I pay an average of $2-$3 an item. I have even been known to find them shirts for .50 cents!

16. I am very frugal and enjoy it.

17. I don't like purses or shoes. In fact I think I only have two pair of shoes that I wear regularly.

18. I maintain a small circle of friends but invest a lot of time in those relationships. I prefer to have less friends with deeper relationships than lots of casual friendships.

19. Being a parent is ten times harder than I ever imagined but 100 times more rewarding than I could have ever dreamed.

20. I traveled in Europe for 30 days, visited 7 countries and felt like it was one of the best experiences of my life.

21. My father passed away just months before my second child was born. I think about him everyday and still have a hard time with his passing.

22. I hate onions!

23. I wish I lived closer to family.

24. I am ready to go back to teaching full time, unfortunately with all the budget cuts and declining enrollment it could take years for me to get a job. In the meantime I will have to be happy with subbing.

25. I am a coupon queen and carry them with me everywhere. I save a lot on our grocery bill and have coupons for most places we eat out.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Busy unplanned day

I had another one of those days where everything that happened was last minute and unplanned. While I did know that I would be picking up Aly's friend Nathan for school, the entire rest of the day was a surprise. After picking Nathan up for school I discovered Aly forgot to bring her backpack with her lunch in it. I didn't have enough time to go home and get it so I told her I would have to bring it to school at snack recess.

After getting Aly and Nathan to the bus stop in the nick of time I had to take KK to preschool--at least I remembered her backpack! Then it was off to bring Aly her backpack to school. Once arriving in her classroom her teacher asked if I could sub half day today. After agreeing to I had to race home to take a shower and dress reasonable for my sub job. Of course before getting clean my step-mom asked me to try and buy Fleetwood Mac tickets for her on the Internet.

As soon as I finished getting ready to sub I raced to the school and spent the rest of the day in Aly's classroom. Then it was off to pick up KK from preschool. Once getting home I needed to spend quality time with the puppy and make sure she had a big enough break outside to go to the bathroom. Did I mention my house was freezing too at a mere 55 degrees? So I had to start a fire to warm up the house. Wouldn't you know it, we had no kindling and I had to go outside to get a bundle of firewood.

Such a long day and I am glad it is over. I am such the planner so it is always an adjustment for me to have a day where I must readjust to the new schedule!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rough Night, sick girl

Everything seemed fine at bedtime, the routine was normal, it took awhile for KK to get to sleep. Around 1 a.m. she came in to our room and climbed into our bed. For the next hour she was tossing and turning and kicking her feet. I didn't know what was going on. Then all of a sudden around 2 a.m. she coughs and throws up all over me and her. Poor thing. She handled it very well. She stood there shivering as I changed her jammies into clean ones and waited patiently for me to come back to bed and take care of her. I managed to wake hubby up for help getting a bowl and to help with Aly who was awaken by the noise.

For the next two hours I would lay in bed awake wondering if KK was going to throw up again. Every little squirm and sound she made I swear I lept up and grabbed the bowl! Lucky for me she slept the rest of the night and didn't throw up again.

She awoke around 8 a.m. and I gave her a sippy cup of juice since she had been able to hold down water during the night. Within 5 minutes she downed the entire sippy cup. Next time she coughed and while sitting on my lap she threw up again. Yes, know we are both wearing throw up for the second time! I clean her and I up and start to run a bath. During this time I am wondering, does she have the flu or is she throwing up due to her cough from this cold she has had for 8 days now? So I decide to call the doctor and make an appointment so they can listen to her lungs. Her cough is very deep sounding so I figure I better take all the precautions I can as I don't want her to end up with pneumonia.

After seeing the doctor he tells me that she has bronchitis. We are sent away with two prescriptions, and antibiotic that is more gentle on the stomach and an expectorant to help her cough up the phlegm. The doctor said it is common to have some vomiting with coughing during bronchitis.

So hopefully she will start to feel better soon. Hopefully Aly's current cold won't turn into bronchitis! Wish us well!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let the acting begin

My girls can be so funny sometimes. The other day they both thought it would be funny to throw pretend fits! Yes, you read right, they wanted to throw fits on the floor and see who could do a better job. Well, Aly wanted to see who could do a better job, KK just thought it was funny. So I decided to capture it on video. Take a look:


video

Here was KK's attempt at a fit.


video

And for the finally, Aly's fit!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I bought my puppy's name!

Over the weekend as a family we tossed out some name ideas for our new puppy. Some of the ideas were Daisy, Sadie, Sister, Montana, and Sunny. Daddy really wanted Sunny, Mommy wanted Sadie and the girls wanted Daisy. So it appeared that the girls won, by Monday we let the girls choose Daisy. However, this name just didn't sit right with us as we felt like she would be such a big dog and needed a stronger name. My friend Annette suggested the name Shasta to go with the geography theme of our current dog named Nevada. I liked it. I was wanting to pick an S name since our last dog's name was Sierra. So I suggested the name Shasta to hubby. He liked it too! He said it was a very strong name for what will be a large dog. When I suggested it to the girls they both still wanted Daisy. So I called Sticker Grandma and asked her to try and convince the girls that Shasta would be a good name. No luck, they weren't going for it.

As I sat on the couch thinking of ways of persuasion I decided to offer to buy the dogs name. I asked Aly and KK if I paid them each $1.00 could we name the dog Shasta? Aly was excited and right away agreed to the terms. KK just agrees to whatever Aly wants so it worked great. The girls were excited to get $1.00 and I was thrilled to change her name to Shasta! So Shasta it is all for the low cost of $2.00!

Here are some video's we have taken. The first one is of the girls reaction to the new puppy.


video

The second video is of both of our dogs, Nevada and Sierra.


video

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our New Puppy Pics

Well Daddy picked up the puppy Friday night! He left work at 4, got the dog at 5, and got home by 7. The girls were eagerly awaiting their surprise. I was able to capture it on video but was surprised that their reaction wasn't bigger than it was. Aly told me she actually thought the puppy wasn't real when she first saw it. The girls were thrilled though and Aly was in heaven! She acted just like the Mommy! The good news is Nevada loves the puppy and is awesome with her. It is amazing to see how awesome Nevada is with her and how gentle she reacts to her.



Here is puppy shortly after bringing her home!



Today I had Aly take a picture of me with the puppy. The second picture is of Aly and the puppy watching TV.



Check out how good Nevada is with the puppy!



Nevada would totally let Nevada pull on her tail. The second picture shows the puppy trying to nurse Nevada. Of course Nevada has no idea what the puppy is doing and is very confused!




Here are some great pictures of puppy playing around in the backyard. She loves playing outside!



Shhh, don't tell Daddy the puppy is chewing his plants!

I will post some videos I captured of the girls reaction and some of Nevada and the puppy playing together either tonight or tomorrow.

Have any name suggestions? If so comment here and let us know!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shh, don't tell the girls, it's a secret!


Tonight the girls are in for the surprise of their lives. Yesterday I picked out a puppy that will be joining our family and hubby will pick her up tonight. We picked her out from an ad on sacbee that had a web link to view the puppies and the parents. I fell in love and went right over to the house to pick out our new little girl. Chloe, the mommy was a very gentle, sweet dog that was very loving and a great mother. Chloe had 10 puppies altogether! She had seven girls and 3 boys. I am telling you the responsibility to pick out a puppy was very hard. All of the puppies were totally cute and I couldn't really decide. I finally picked the cute girl I am holding in my arms. She seamed to be the most mellow and loving.

Hubby will pick her up tonight after work and bring her home. I am going to video tape the girls reaction so tune in tomorrow to see the video!

BTW you know what was funny? Yesterday KK says to me, "Mommy can we have 15 puppies?" I said, "15 puppies, that is way too many how will we take care of them all?" She said, "We will just feed them and take care of them, it's o.k. Mommy!"

The girls have been wanting a puppy for a long time but as far as they know we won't be getting one until their birthday in June!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recent Family Pictures



Here are some pictures of Great Grandma with the girls and their cousin Davis. Great Grandma has always loved reading to all of her grandchildren and now that we are all grown up she is enjoying reading to her great grandchildren.



Here's Great Grandpa getting in some snuggling time with Aly. Aly had just woke up from a quick cat nap in the car so she was very sleepy. Great Grandpa didn't mind cuddling was great for him.



Here is Sticker Grandma with the girls. They were very excited to see her. The second picture is cousin Jeffrey trying to teach KK how to play Wii bowling.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Goals for 2009

I know many people make New Year's Resolutions but I have never been very successful at that. A few days ago I saw a blog where someone had wrote down their resolution for 2008 and had actually came back to that post and updated it to their progress. I thought that was a great idea so I am going to try it with my goals for 2009.

I have thought about my goals this past week and wanted to center them around improving myself, my relationship with my family, and family improvements. Here are some of the goals I came up with:

1. Work on strength training 2-3 times a week to improve my over all body health.

2. Work on introducing healthier foods to the girls and incorporate a family meal where there is nothing special prepared and everyone eats what is made.

3. Have a family game night on Tuesday evenings. I chose this night since hubby does volleyball on Wednesday's so the girls could have some quality time with him the night before.

4. Arrange a babysitter twice a month so hubby and I can have alone time and work on reconnect.

5. Make a cleaning schedule and divide the chores out over 7 days and stick to it!

6. Buy shelving and totes to organize the playroom. Once organized hold the girls accountable for cleaning it! (Any suggestions on management of cleaning?)

7. Teach every member of this household to pick up after themselves! (LOL o.k. maybe this is just really a dream.)

8. Work on my posture.

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What happened to Dr. Visits???

Just before Christmas we took the girls in to visit the Dr due to colds that were linger and Aly complaining that her ear hurt. The previous year KK ended up with an ear infection on Christmas and we were in the ER so I was going to make sure to take all precautions so this didn't happen again.

When we saw the Dr she looked in their ears and said they looked good. She did say that Aly had quite a bit of wax build up in one of her ears and that she could have her assistant clean it out. There was never any mention of an additional charge. They told us we could do this once a month at home in the future just by simply buying the ear cleaning solution at the pharmacy which is only a few dollars.

We let them clean her ear and we were on our way. Recently I just got the bill for this visit. Do you know they charged us for cleaning her ear. IT was a ridiculous amount of $53 too! I was ticked! Whatever happened to going in for an office visit and getting treated which was all included in the visit? So now I will have to ask anytime they touch my child if it will be an additional charge?

I called up the office to ask why they charged such a high amount and why I wasn't told it would be an additional charge. That was on Friday, they didn't return my call until Monday and that lady told me I would have to speak to the person in charge. Her name was Karen. I left her a message and have not received any return phone call. I am sure they are not going to let me get out of this charge and my insurance is not paying it!

I swear the medical industry is getting worse and worse in so many ways! Anybody else have problems like these?

They Don't Take Quarters!


It has been since November that hubby and I have had a date. So when I was able to arrange to get our babysitter over I was thrilled. We arranged to have her come over on Sunday from 4:30-8:00. That way since it is a school night she is still home early and we can get the girls to bed early ourselves.

We decided to check out the new casino they built just outside of town. It is called the Red Hawk Casino. I couldn't believe how packed it was!!! Where did all of these people come from? I swear it was the entire population of our town in that place! The main reason we wanted to go there was to check out the restaurants. They have 5 restaurants and our town doesn't have many good places to eat. We ended up deciding on their buffet. Hubby would have liked to eat at the steakhouse but the cheapest steak was $32 so it was not in our budget. The buffet was $17 each and included all food and drink. The food was reasonable, the dessert was great! Man if I didn't have to worry about my weight I swear I would have just skipped dinner and ate a whole plate of dessert! LOL.

After dinner we went to try and gamble. We went to the non-smoking gambling room first which was rather small. I had brought our quarters and dimes from the laundry room that I had found in hubby's pockets over the years. We found a quarter machine and were surprised to see that you had to have a card to play it. So off to the cashier we went. We were hoping to turn my quarters and dimes in to put money on a card. Do you know what was crazy? They wouldn't tkae my change!! Nope, not all all, paper money or credit cards only! You'd think money is money of any kind wouldn't you? So we didn't play! In fact we left. If they don't want my quarters then they don't need my money!!!

We decided to spend the remainder of our date at a local bar playing a few games of pool. Or should I say Hubby played and I got my ass kicked. It was more like me watching how it's done. In fact I was so bad I lost twice on one game. Yeah, I scratched on the break and we kept playing and then later I hit the 8 ball in. If you want to win at a game of pool, invite me a long. You are sure to be crowned the champ! We only stayed a half an hour as we ran out of time. Off to home we went to relieve the babysitter. The good news is that we have the babysitter booked for two Sundays a month now!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Improving my outer self step two

Awhile back I wrote a blog on my commitment to taking better care of my physical appearance. Since then I used my two Kohls gift cards and purchased two shirts and a pair of pants. I have also bought a home hair dye kit and lightened my hair back to a dark blonde. I am actually quite happy with the color of my hair and want to continue to keep it lighter. I think it looks better with my skin.

Here are a few pictures I took of myself in my new clothes and with my new lighter hair:



While I like my lighter hair I am still patiently awaiting it to grow out. It is in quite an in between stage and I am not happy with the style. However, I will have to wait until it grows out enough and try to get a better hair cut.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

KK warps back to the 80's!

KK was hilarious the other day. She got one of her baby doll headbands and put it on. It was totally cute. She even posed and asked me to take pictures.



Doesn't it look like she is saying, " Yeah, I know I am bad. Don't mess with me!"



I am about as tough as they come!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Apricot Squares

Here is the recipe for the yummiest cookies ever! BTW I use butter instead of shortening and I used more than 3/4 c. apricot jam. I didn't even measure the jam I just spread it over the dough and a reasonable thickness that I would like.



2 c. flour
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. apricot jam



Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly. Put dough in the fridge for two hours. Cut dough evenly into two parts. Spread first part evenly in the bottom of a cookie sheet. Spread jam over it. Roll out the second part of the dough into 1/2 inch strips. Lay strips criss cross on top of the jam layer. Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oil change


Four years ago when Walmart came to town I began using them for oil changes. At the time they charged $18.95 to change your oil. Within two years they raised it to $22.95. Now they are charging an unbelievable $30.00 for an oil change. What is even more comical is that they are charging $44.00 for a high mileage oil change which is any vehicle with more than 75,000 miles on it. Well, they have certainly chased me away from using their services anymore. I have actually switched to the car dealers. Funny too because I thought I never would. You know what though, not only are the car dealers cheaper, but you get more for you money.

I always check the clipper ads that come in the mail and both Toyota and GMC offer coupons for an oil change. Last time I brought my Corrolla into the Toyota dealer I got an oil change with my coupon for $24.95. Not only was it guarenteed to be ready in 30 minutes but they also gave me a free car wash and a free 31 point inspection. During their inspection they let me know a rear tail light was out which I was unaware of. They didn't even pressure me to have them fix it. Just a courtesy. They also let you know your tire tread depth, your break pad life, top off all your fluids, etc.

Well this morning I went to GMC dealer for an oil change on my Saturn since they are affiliated companies. This is my second time using my local GMC for an oil change. I had to bring the girls with me because we were having a play date at a friends house afterwards and it would have been an extra hour of driving to go back and pick the girls up. Anyway, the GMC dealer has a kids play section with toys and a TV. It was great! They also had free popcorn which the girls loved. You know they also gave me a free car wash. BTW my car was so dirty from the snow that they had to run it through twice! They also gave me a free 31 point inspection and topped off all of my fluids.

Walmart doesn't do any of that for you. Just a simple oil change for $30. The worst part is there is no waiting room with childrens toys and you pretty much just end up spending extra money shopping around killing time.

I am going to continue my oil changes and the dealers and enjoy the comfort and extra free services you get that go along with it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

R.I.P. Aunt Karen

The following picture is a picture of my Aunt and Dad in Burney Falls about 5 years ago I think? My Dad and my Aunt developed cancer around the same time. My Dad had stage 3 colon cancer and my Aunt had uterine cancer. My Dad fought cancer for the next 5 years along with my Aunt. They called themselves cancer buddies. My Dad lost his fight to cancer in March of 2005. My Aunt Karen still fought her battle strong. After 8 years of battling cancer my Aunt has joined my father in Heaven today.

My Aunt was an amazing woman that touched many people's lives. She was always giving to others and put other people first. She always made me feel a part of the family and would invite me on many family outings. She amazed me how hard she fought to beat her cancer. Her will power, strength, and courage were amazing. Her love and devotion to her family was admirable. I hope that as I raise my girls I can have as strong of a bond with them as she did with her children. They were always first in her life and she had contact with them daily. She was a loving mom, wife, aunt, and friend. She will be missed greatly by many.

My heart goes out to her family during this difficult time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Our New Year's Celebration!

The girls looked forward to our New Year's party all day. I told them we would be drinking sparkling apple cider, wearing special hats, and using horn blowers to celebrate the New Year. Aly couldn't wait for the party!

Shortly before celebrating we decided to play a family game of Memory. I have to say, Aly is very good at it. I don't even hold back anymore. I play the game to the best of my ability. She wins 70% of the time too!

KK enjoyed playing too but for some reason--I can't remember why--she threw a big fit! I just happened to have my camera so I thought it would be funny to capture her fit by taking pictures. I feel bad but half way through taking the pictures I just couldn't contain my laughter and soon we were all laughing at KK's fit. Here are the photos:



This is exactly how she looks when she throws a fit. Don't you find it funny?


By this time we are laughing which kind of makes her mad..sorry KK. She got over it pretty fast though.

I managed to capture our New Year's celebration on my Flip Video camera. This year I am going to try harder to use my camera more and include more videos for everyone.



video

We all enjoyed blowing the horns and Daddy even shot two confetti poppers! Both Nevada and Aly didn't really like the sound from the poppers.



Check out Daddy sporting the new beard!



The girls toast the New Year's in with sparkling apple cider. This was their favorite part!