Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools

For April fools day tomorrow, I am going to tell my students that it is not April 1st, but really March 32nd. If they try to argue, I am going to tell them it is a leap year and that April Fools is Saturday! I have a large fake spider to put on my daughter's pillow! The Family Fun magazine also had some cute ideas. What do you have planned?

single, married and in between

I read an article the other day about a lady whose husband worked all the time starting up a restaurant, and she stayed at home and pretty much raised the kids on her own for a few months.  She called herself a "single married mom".  Lately, I have seen this term popping up all over the place.  And I have a problem with it.  First, if you have a husband, you are NOT single.  You have someone who is with you through thick and thin, who you can talk to when things are challenging, even if it is only on the phone.  You have someone who has your back, both financially and emotionally.  Really, I am flattered that now even the married moms want to call themselves single, but stop being disrespectful to your husband and call yourself what you are, married.  Because until you have actually been a single mom, you would not understand.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

conversations with an 8 year old

This morning:
Daughter: (calling upstairs) Mooom, I need some toilet paper down heeere!
Me: (calling downstairs) I will be right there in one minute- hold on!
Daughter: (45 seconds later) Nevermind!
Me: (thinking...) Still thinking about it now...

This afternoon on the way back from swimming riding in the car:
Daughter: I love my life!  Even though it is not perfect!
(Gosh, I love her.  Man, she gets it!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

to do lists and car tires

Like everyone else, I always have so much to do.  Sometimes it is hard to keep up with it all!  Usually I take care of one errand every day before or after work, but lately it has been wearing me out not getting home until late, or doing too much before I go in.  This weekend I decided to make a to-do list of all the little things that I needed to do, and knock it all out in one day.  That way I can just go straight home from work this week without having to stop off anywhere.  So, I packed up my daughter and her DS in the car, and we started off strong, heading out about 9:30 dropping items off at the church yard sale, returning overdue library books, stopping at one pet store to exchange a recalled aquarium heater, and another one for more coral for our tank.  Then we hit a roadblock- the car place.  I had never been there before and had some great coupons, but they were slammed.  It sucked about an hour and a half out of our day, wore us out, and added another 2 items to the list!  Apparently, when you get new tires, you should get an alignment as well.  I could barely afford the Z rated tires I got last spring, so I declined the alignment.  Apparently it would have paid off, because I ruined 1 front tire and the other one isn't looking so good either!  So, here is the moral to my story: Don't bother trying to accomplish all of your errands in one day, more errands will only arise, so pace yourself.  Oh, and rotate your tires every other oil change!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fill In Friday

This week seemed sooooo loooong! Even though I only worked 4 days, it still took a lot out of me. I guess that is normal for this part of the year leading up to spring break. There is just so much trying to bring me down, that sometimes I feel like I am literally weighed down with it all. I am just trying to keep my priorities in line and have a little fun every day. Like now, with my Fill in Friday questions~

1) I can’t help it, but every time I see _my daughter, the water, or my daughter in the water____ I smile. I am such a Florida girl! Just spotting the bay as I am driving along in my car makes me smile.

2) Every time I smell _vinegar and Old Bay_____ I am immediately transported back to my childhood. Even though I am a Florida girl at heart, I was born in Maryland, which means that I could pick and eat a blue crab on my own from the time I was 4 years old! My birthday is in the early fall which is when you can get the best crabs, so my parents would always throw a crab feast on my birthday and steam up a bushel of blue crabs. The smell of them cooking in vinegar and Old Bay always brings back memories- and makes my stomach growl!
3) When I was little I wanted to be a __Teacher________. I always think it is funny that I always wanted to be a teacher since I was in the 2nd grade, and that is what I am!
4) If I had to eat only one meal for the rest of my life it would be _ice cream_____. That was about the only thing that I wanted to eat when I was pregnant with my daughter. Nothing else looked good or tasted good~ only ice cream. I would not count that as a weird pregnancy craving though, since I have loved ice cream all of my life! I love chocolate peanut butter the best, with orange ambrosia as a runner up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Girl dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids

Every month or two for the past year, I have gotten an American Girl catalog, and not thinking too much of it, I have handed them over to my daughter to look at- unknowingly feeding a new obsession- The American Girl Doll. Apparently, she has been saving all the catalogs and circling the dolls, clothes and accessories that she wants to buy. Two days before her birthday, she mentioned offhandedly that she would like one of these dolls for a present. I laughed and said, "wow, you better save your money". Why did I day that? Because, THESE DOLLS COST A HUNDRED DOLLARS! And apparently, all the little girls have American Girl meetings at the library, and they would know it if you had a fake one. When I was my daughter's age, I had the same obsession with Cabbage Patch Kids, so I can understand where she is coming from. I once stood in line at the toy store for an hour waiting for a shipment of the dolls to come in and they were handing them out to customers straight from the shipping boxes. You could spot a fake one a mile away. Anyway, by some miracle, she managed to get 100 bucks saved up from her birthday party and her piggy bank, and the other night, she brought it to me and told me to "order me a Kit Kittredge doll". She had decided that was the doll that most resembled her, and she couldn't wait to order one up, so I did. Everyday after school this week, I could barely get the car parked before she was running out to check the mailbox. Finally, TODAY IT CAME! She was so excited, and ran into the house to open the box. When she got her out of the box, she hugged her, looked up at me and said, "now what?" Um, you play with her?!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

crickets, cars and defoliation

Every time we go visit my parents house lately, my daughter has been finding these little baby crickets. She catches them and puts them in this "bug box" she has, then she lets them go before we leave to come home. Or so I thought. I realized the last time we visited, when we were halfway home, that she had 3 of them in her hand. (I figured it out when they started hopping around in the backseat of the car and she was yelling, "Drive faster, mommy!") I explained to her that the crickets might die if she brings them to our house, and that they would miss their little cricket home and cricket family. Plus, they could get car sick on the way home in the car. I thought she paid attention and cared for the well-being of the crickets. But no. This time she brought back 4 of them. And let them go in our garden. I just know that when I wake up in the morning, my new plants I just put in will be defoliated, UGH!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mr. Whiskers

Mr. Whiskers is a cat stuffed animal that my daughter's teacher is allowing each student in the class to take home with them for the weekend. While they have Mr. Whiskers for the weekend, they are supposed to write about what they did together. After the fun weekend he spent with us, I feel sorry for the next kid who gets him. I bet this morning he needed a biiigg bowl of coffee to get him going. And I bet he was sore from all the walking around Disney World that we did. He probably hit the snooze button twice this morning to sneak in some extra Zzzz's. Here he is enjoying a snack by the pool, getting slimed and hanging out in front of the giant dome at Epcot Center. I remember my cousins once bringing a Flat Stanley with them to visit us in Florida. He was way thinner than Mr. Whiskers!

Monday, March 21, 2011

slime, flowers and MAGIC!

The other day one of the "5 question Friday" questions asked if there was a certain place I like to go when I am happy or sad. Well, there is one place that can really turn any frown upside down and bring a little magic into your life and that is the "Happiest Place on Earth", yes Disney World. My daughter and I have been getting season passes for about 3 years now, and whenever we need a little magic in our lives, we take a little drive to visit Mickey. This weekend we stayed at the Nickelodeon Hotel, a total splurge for us, but I promised my daughter that if she earned 75 AR points for her reading at school, that I would take her there to get slimed. Once a day they do a "mass sliming" at the hotel pool. It is basically just green water that is dumped from a giant bucket all over the crowd below. So cool!
At Epcot Center right now they are having the flower and garden festival, so we went there to hang out today. They have these great playgrounds set up all around the park for the kids to play on. My daughter had a good old time playing, while I sat in a comfortable wooden chair in the shade and watched. They have a beautiful butterfly garden. The best thing they have, though, is the Kim Possible secret agent mission. You check in and get a cell phone that talks to you and gives you a secret mission to complete, where you have to find all sorts of cool little hidden spots all around the different countries. We had such a relaxing, fun weekend that I seriously did not want to leave. We already have our next trip booked!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

5 question Friday

Hi! And happy Friday! And it is a happy Friday for me because there is no school today FOR NO REASON! What makes it even better is that there is no school Monday FOR NO REASON either!!! A 4 day weekend just for the heck of it! Whatever will my daughter and I do with ourselves? I bet you can guess...

Here is my 5 question Friday for this week:
1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?
2. Do you still have your wedding dress?
not married- I have never even tried one on.
3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?
I love to go to the beach or lay by a pool. The smell of salt water or chlorine and suntan lotion just melts all my troubles away.
4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?
As a single mom, the only time I have to myself is after I put my daughter to bed, so I have never allowed her to sleep with me. Plus, I am a light sleeper and she kicks!
5. Do you watch late night TV? No, I am usually in bed by 10.

and then we jumped ourselves silly!

A friend of mine had passes for this new place in town that has wall to wall trampolines, so the other night we decided to check it out. First, they have you sign a waiver (of course). Next, you put on these wide high top bootie/shoes; I guess so the trampolines stay clean or maybe just to make you look like a geek and no cute single dads come near you. If you are under 18, they also give you a helmet to wear. So, we all hurried up and got decked out in our gear, ran out to the trampolines, and proceeded to JUMP OURSELVES SILLY!!! It was really great. I guess my inner cheerleader came out because I was doing straddle jumps and herkies. I even did some roundoffs. Not bad for an old lady! Then my daughter wanted to play dodge ball, so we were jumping and throwing these cushy balls at each other. It seemed like we jumped for hours. But really it was only about 20 minutes before I needed to sit down and rest due to my heart pounding out of my chest and all. When our time was finally up, and we left, I noticed my ears were buzzing like I had just been to a loud concert. I thought maybe it was just loud in there, but no, apparently I really did JUMP MYSELF SILLY. Or maybe just the fluid in one of my ears!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

what happens when you try to do to much

My daughter's birthday was today. Which means that last night I was running around like a maniac and trying to do a million things at once. I even took off of work on Friday and spent time getting the party favors prepared and the presents wrapped. But somehow I was still running ar0und at the last minute last night. I finished packing up the car with everything to bring to the party in the morning and (finally) had come upstairs to get ready for bed. I was brushing my teeth when I realized I hadn't taken my allergy pills for 2 days. I figured that by the time I finished brushing, my mind would be on to something else and I would forget the darn pill (again!) so I ran down the steps real fast to get it with my toothbrush still in my mouth- and that is where it all went into sloooww mootioonn. I slipped down about 4 steps and just couldn't manage to catch myself, what with the toothbrush in my mouth and all, and slid into a heap at the bottom of the steps. I laid there for a minute thinking that I might have killed myself but then I realized how badly my butt hurt and realized I was probably still alive. So, this is why people buy those "help I've fallen and I can't get up"- LifeAlert necklace things, I was thinking to myself. My daughter did not even get out of bed to check on me. I said, with tears in my voice, "mommy fell" and she yelled down to me "oh, OK". So much for sympathy around here. And you would not believe the bruise on my butt! But at least I remembered to take that darn allergy pill!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

crafts, recycling and beer

My daughter has always been artistic and loves making crafts, but today I realized that her affinity for crafting has evolved into a full fledged addiction. There are a few signs that caused me to realize that this hobby has gone too far. The first is that she takes things out of the recycle bin quicker than I can put things into it. If I pick up an empty box or paper towel roll that I find laying around, she will scream like I make her eat worms or even broccoli, and beg me not to throw out her creation.
The next reason I know the crafting has gone too far is that whenever I am not watching, my daughter sneaks onto my laptop and looks at crafting blogs like this one or that one to get ideas for new creations.
The last reason I know that the crafting has gone too far, is that this morning when I came downstairs at about 9:00 with a slight headache and a need for a (large) cup of coffee, she asked if I could drink a beer "real quick" for her so she could have it for a craft she was making. Oh well, it's 5 o'clock somewhere!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Five Question Friday

This is my first "blog hop". Here goes my first "five question Friday" post. Feel free to join in!

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?
Have not seen it since college!

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?
I plan to relax and recover this summer like I do every summer. I get money deducted from my paycheck during the school year so I can have some money to pay the bills over the summer and that is about as much planning as I can handle.

3. What is your favorite meal to cook?
Chicken Picatta is my specialty
Lightly flour two chicken breasts and sear in 2 Tbsp oil in the frying pan for 2 minutes each side. Transfer to baking dish and place in oven 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Meanwhile, pour 1/2 cup lemon juice into pan and scrape, add 1/2 cup white wine and 1 jar of capers. Let simmer on low heat until chicken is done. Just before pouring sauce over chicken, swirl 2 Tbsp butter into it. MMMmmm!

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?
No, because I don't send them out either!

5. How did you meet your best friend?
We have known each other since I was 12 and she was 8. I would spend a few weeks visiting my grandmother every summer, and she lived a few doors down. My brother, her, her uncle, and I were all inseparable. We used to play LIFE in her uncle's basement, walk up to get snowballs at the snowball stand, swim in my aunt's pool and sit up late telling jokes and stories!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday, Baby Cakes and Lent

For those of you not raised Catholic, Lent is the 40 days before Easter in which Christians are supposed to prepare for Easter by repenting and confessing their sins. That is why Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday are the day before Ash Wednesday. So that after you party and eat lots of cake with babies in it, you can buckle down and get ready for Jesus. Traditionally, Catholics and other Christians go to church on Ash Wednesday and then give up something for Lent. When I was a little girl, it was usually meat on Fridays and candy. Now that I am older and know a little more about what's what, I know that rather than giving up candy or meat, you should choose to do something (or not do something) to help you to get closer to God. Something like attending church every week of Lent until Easter or reading the bible for 10 minutes each night would be a good place to start. Last year I decided that I would only listen to Christian music. So, I pre-set the Christian radio stations into my car radio and ordered a few CD's by Christian artists such as Beckah Shae, Manafest, KJ 52 and Francesca Battistelli and have still been listening to mostly Christian music even now. So, this year for Lent I decided to do a random act of kindness for one person each day, along with my daughter's help. Also, I have asked each girl in my bible study to choose a short study to complete on their own, and we will get together after Easter to discuss what we learned. I have chosen to finish Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild and then Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel. Last, I want to try to treat my body more like a temple. And temples like vegetables. I want to eat at least one vegetable every day. So if you have any good recipes for vegetables, feel free to perform a random act of kindness and send it my way! Happy Lent!

Monday, March 7, 2011

rusty swingsets and getting older

Remember the little aluminum swing set you had when you were a kid? You know, the one that jumped up out of the ground when you swung too high? The one with the two swings, teeter totter and slide attached? Like any good mom, I got one for my little one when she was about 3. Now that she is turning 8, I think it might be time for an upgrade. You see, hers is very rusty and home to a multitude of spider webs and lizards (I am too embarrassed to even use my own picture here!) I was thinking that instead of getting another swing set, we should get something a little more exciting this time. 
My backyard is very tiny, so I only have a very small area to work with.  I started doing some research, and I came across the idea of a tee pee, which would be so cool!  I also saw an idea for just putting a giant rock in your yard. It reminded me of when I was a kid and would go to my grandmother's house. My favorite thing to do was to walk up to the top of the street and play on these two giant rocks with all the neighborhood kids. We were drawn to that thing like it was magnetic (maybe it was!) Now the only problem I have is where to find a giant rock in Florida!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bad Chick Stuff

The other night I was watching Harry Potter and was thinking about how tough Hermionie is. She fights bad guys, punches Draco and has an amazing little beaded bag that holds everything but the kitchen sink. I was thinking how cool it would be to be such a bad chick.
Then I started thinking about all the things I have been doing lately. Things I never imagined that I would even know how to do, let alone be doing on my own. Things such as:
Pull starting a pressure washer, and pressure washing the entire back porch and walls of my house on my own.
Fixing my own fireplace with high temperature stove cement.
Caulking my entire stairway.
Grouting my bathroom.
Installing a new pull switch on a ceiling fan.
Hanging shelves and picture frames.
The list goes on. And no, it is not "guy stuff". It is bad chick stuff.
Especially when you add raising a child on your own and teaching classroomfuls of middle schoolers to the list, I realize now that I really am one bad chick. At least in my own eyes. And hopefully in my daughter's and student's eyes too.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to Get A Husband... According to 6th Graders

I have a boy in my class who just became a big brother a few weeks ago. We had a few free moments and he was proudly showing us her picture, and mentioned that her room is decorated in a monkey theme. I told the kids that my daughter's room was done up in bunnies, but if I ever have a baby boy, I want to do the room in red with cowboys. Well, they all looked at me and began freaking out: are you having another baby?! when?! what?! I told them to hold on, slow down, that I would like to be married before I even think about going and having another baby. Suddenly, one little girl piped up and said "Here is what you need to do. Get a friend to watch your daughter. Then get a pedicure. And you need to go shopping and buy some of those booty shorts. And get those fishnet things too. Then you go dance at the dance club." Then another kid pipes up, "I hear that Club S is really cool. Are you over 21?" By this time, I was trying hard to keep a straight face, and was not doing a very good job. These kids are so funny!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

delicious mini meatloaves

My picky daughter who won't eat anything told me tonight that dinner was "so delicious!" And she ate about 4 of the mini-meatloaves. Here is the recipe:
1/2 pound of ground turkey
2 tablespoons of Italian breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of ketchup
Mix all this together and place in mini-muffin pan.
Top each with a quarter of a slice of provolone cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes at 275 degrees.

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