Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reese's Birthday Week: Day 1

In honor of Reese's birthday on Friday, I will be posting a picture of her each day with something I love about her. Feel free to comment about her too!!
One of the best things about Reese is that she is cuddly. She loves to snuggle up with me on the couch and play or she lays her head on our shoulder when she is feeling shy. She conks out in our lap while she rests her hand on our chest (similar to the picture). She could sleep for hours just cuddled right up to us. Sometimes she will halfway wake up and look around and see that she is being held and cuddled tight. She always meets my eye and lays her head back down. I like to think she is thinking, "oh, it's Mom, thank goodness, I can go back to sleep now." Our cuddle time is one of the best things about her, I just LOVE it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Baby

In a few short days my baby will be one! One! I can hardly believe it myself. A whole year of this crazy kid has gone by and I can't believe it happened so fast.

In this short time I have learned a few things. Maybe I should say a LOT of things but a few that stand out the most. Mostly I just learned that my baby will always be a baby in my eyes.
She will always be my baby born 6 weeks early who ate from a feeding tube for 10 days. I just can't help it she will always be.

I have also learned that the work really doesn't lessen but it most definitely increases. Wrestling a baby into a pair of tights and Mary Janes while avoiding knocking all the items on the changing table is no small feat. Keeping her from standing up in a slippery tub or drinking the water that she probably peed in is like an act of God.

I have learned that if we make a mess there is a compass inside her brain that leads her directly to it. Pumpkin goo, overflow from a backed up drain, paint, it all finds it's way on to her hands, feet, and clothes. A bathtub with two inches of water in it, can still pack a pretty good splash. And don't even think about food with sauce on it, white or red every inch of baby will be covered in it...don't forget the ears!

I know now that fingers smash, lips bust, and heads bonk faster than anyone can grab an arm shield the fall. That thinking, "oh there's nothing in there she can get to" is a sure-fire way of making something messy appear from out of thin air. And that even the sturdiest things can tip over with surprisingly little force.

I also know that watching my baby kiss her bunny because she loves it so much is beautiful. That the maddest you can absolutely be will ultimately provoke the cutest grin and chuckle which in turn causes Daddies to melt like butter. Watching a little girl clap her excitement or point to something that makes her happy is like a small present each time. Witnessing a first moment of discovery is priceless.

Yep, I've learned a lot this year. And thank goodness I have a lot more ahead of me. But boy, they better slow down, this first one went a little quick for my taste, that's for sure!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Summary

I finally got the chance to sit down and upload all of my pictures from my trip to New Orleans. I tried to summarize what I thought of as New Orleans. It was a lot of boozing, a lot of great seafood, and a lot of beads, masks and t-shirts. I couldn't be happier to have had the opportunity to go to this conference, especially in such cool city. It was a learning experience on a lot of different levels.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Who Dat?

These Nawlin's people, they lead a different life then little ole me. I saw a billboard that read: "You can call mama'n'em for less." For real. They put "Who Dat?" on every T-shirt that comes out of this place. There are billions of Saints jerseys, beads, signs, really anything in your wildest imagination there. This place is just unreal.

And I highly recommend a visit if you like the smell of B.O. and urine.....just sayin'.....

But in all honesty, this has been an amazing week. I've never been to such an eye opening conference. I've learned so much from the work of Richard and Becky Dufour on Professional Learning Committees that I'm incredibly excited to get back to school to share all my good stuff with my friends there. We had a really good team meeting to discuss how we want to go forth with our information and I really think that we will be making some good changes at our school.

At night we were able to go eat and see the sights of Nawlins. There are tons of great places to eat that are not chains. We dined on shrimp, fish, po-boys and tons of chicken. We were able to walk the river walk, ride their trolley, eat some pralines, and buy a couple t-shirts. But most of all we sucked up the culture of the French Quarter.

I fully plan to get some pictures uploaded and make a synopsis of my trip for you but right now I am sitting on the floor of the airport so I will just share a snapshot of my trip. I tried more, but the signal is pretty shoddy. I would also like to add here that of all the places one goes, and all the things a person can see, there is nothing like the feel of a bed from home, and there is nothing better than the face of a beautiful baby.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Conference Day 1

Last night we arrived in New Orleans. We got in late after a layover in Memphis and a shoe checkpoint for me because I had on two different black flip flops by mistake. I was on their radar because of it and I felt like a complete idiot. We were super tired when we got here. But, the minute we walked through the door we were energized. This place is amazing! I've never seen anything quite so fancy.
Here is the view of our room. There's even a TV in our bathroom!
For lunch we went to a really cool place on Bourbon Street and I ate fried green tomatoes for the first time in my life! I thought that was pretty cool!
Tonight we are going to walk around and look at the sights. I'll post some more pictures later.

***And for those of you who are wondering, we are doing a lot of working. I've been to 3 different speaker sessions and done some great work that I'm excited to bring back to school.

Wordless Wednesday: New Orleans Style

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Big Easy

Tomorrow I leave for New Orleans for a Professional Learning Community conference. I have some mixed emotions about the trip.

To start with, stressed. That's my first and foremost emotion that is for sure. There is a lot of work to be done to leave a family, a home, and a classroom for 4 days. I can't even tell you how many trys it has taken to get a deep breath today.... I had such a bad day that one kid in my class asked if I had a rough day, I told her yes it had been. She asked me if I was going to go home and have some wine. Kids are hilarious sometimes.

I am feeling sad also. I might have the cutest baby girl on earth and I really hate to leave her for a few days. She is so funny right now, she just screeches and gets so excited about everything. She bangs on pots and pans and trys to stand up when she gets really excited. I just wish I could stow her away in my carry on.

With that being said, I am also feeling very excited. I'm not a big traveler and I've never been to New Orleans. We are staying at a really cool hotel and right by Bourbon Street. Everything is in walking distance and I'm looking forward to seeing some cool stuff. I'm also looking forward to learning some cool stuff. There are some cool breakout sessions during the conference that I can't wait to attend. I have a feeling I am going to learn a lot.

So it's off to New Orleans tomorrow. And don't worry, I'm not planning on missing Wordless Wednesday. And tune in for details on my trip; hopefully I won't disappoint you!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Two Years

Yesterday was our 2 year anniversary. 2 years, I can't believe it! We have so much fun together that 2 years has gone by very fast. Okay, okay some times it goes by very slow, like when it's bedtime and he suddenly remembers the "gift" he got me that day, usually a goose or a tickle which totally defeats the purpose of quiet time before we get in bed. Anyway, we have come a long way in 2 years. Here are a few of our highlights.


Our wedding day



Meeting Reese

And our greatest highlight of all

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Today we decided to go to Papa Charlie's Pumpkin Patch. It was a great time. The girls were able to do all kinds of fun things there. There was a maze of hay bales, a big slide, miniature tractors to ride on, a train, a pumpkin bounce house, swings, a hay ride and so much more. It was nice that there was really something for everyone. We all were able to pick out a pumpkin to take home and we enjoyed the beautiful sunshiney day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


For those of you who follow Pioneer Woman the way I do, you might find this funny that both of our posts today are titled this. Mine is somewhat titled that because of her's but also because of me too.

You see, Saturday, we took this picture of Reese.

And all I could think that day was, "Damn it feels good to be a gangsta." You know, from the movie, Office Space. It just popped into my head and I thought it was funny and she looked a little ghetto with the open zip up hoodie and the hat.

But then, Ree, over at the Pioneer Woman, quoted that exact line from the movie and I just thought it was too much of a coincidence not to mention it. I NEVER quote that movie or even think of it for that matter and twice in two weeks! Well, it must be a record.

So, I thought I would leave you with my little "Gangsta" today for you to enjoy. She looks pretty cute and this was a great excuse to blog.

Monday, October 4, 2010


My parents have a couple of apple trees that are ripe right now. Everybody and their brother has been there picking apples for pies and apple butter and whatever else. They're REALLY good apples so I wanted to do something with them too and Marsha, Dustin's sister, and I talked about making and canning applesauce so I decided to try a test run to see how it would turn out.

How they turned out was delicious! Wow were they good. I was quite a process but definitely worth it. Plus right before they turn to applesauce they are just the right texture for a baby to chew up without teeth. Here's the process, I totally recommend you try it yourself!

First you must wash and peel the apples. This is by far the least fun part but it actually goes quicker than one would think. Even chasing my beautiful helper around it only took about 20 minutes.

Here she is "assisting."

And here are all the peeled apples.
Then I cut them all up in chunks, nothing fine cut about it. Just big hunks of four. I threw them in a medium low pot with some cinnamon, allspice, vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar. Delish!

Then comes the cooking. It really takes quite awhile, but it is low maintenance. Just put the lid on them and stir every so often. It probably took a couple of hours, but it is soooo worth it. When the apples break up just by stirring, they are done. It is pretty easy to tell. I just took them off the heat and let them cool enough to put them into plastic bags.

I put in about 4 ladle fulls in each bag and let them cool completely. Then you can put them in the freezer and have applesauce all year long! And trust me, it is worth it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A few Things about our Weekend

Can we just say: Separation Anxiety? Wow! That kid is going through a phase in a major way! We traveled to Brookfield/Meadville this weekend and Reese wasn't quite sure about all the people we saw. We hadn't been home for quite awhile so she wasn't used to all the faces, even the faces of the people who love her most. This I know is pretty typical but stranger anxiety is still a new revelation in Baby Reese's world. That child hung on to my shirt for dear life, she wrapped her legs around me as tight as they would hold and she cried anytime she was separated from me with more than a five foot radius. But the good news of this was she was extra cuddly and extra sweet with her head on my shoulder. It's nice to be loved.

We also were very excited to see Deakan, my nephew. He is getting so big already but he is becoming cuter by the day. His hair is starting to come in and it looks like it is going to be pretty light. He's really filling in and his adorable little outfit just made him look like a hunk! I am looking forward to seeing him a lot in October.

While we were home we also attended the wedding of an old friend. While we sat there a special friend of mine walked in. He is a friend with Down's Syndrome and there was a time when we spent a lot of time hanging out. I miss him very much and I almost never see him nowadays so when he walked in I saw him look over and recognize me. He kept glancing back to see if I was still there so I walked over to introduce Reese to him. He hadn't seen me for awhile and he was a little shy but I could tell he was happy to see me. Almost as happy as I was to see him.

As a little sidenote on my friend, I have a great story about him. When we were younger (he and I are the same age), I tried to teach him to say "I Love Mommy" for Mother's Day. I kept saying to repeat what I say. I would say, "I" and he would repeat, "Love" and he would repeat, but at the end he always ended up saying "Linsseey!" He never did learn to say I love Mommy but every time I said "I Love" he would end it with "Linsseey!" Nothing ever made my day quite like that. It was good to see him this weekend and I was glad to introduce my baby to such a good friend.

Overall it was a good weekend. Both of us our beat tonight. And we have several more to go this month. But, it's fall and hunting season, so if I'm going to be a hunting widow I might as well be around family!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flash! Friday

Today is picture day. The girls are all spruced up in dresses and curly hair. They are excited about the colored chapstick their parents let them wear. They are ready to tilt their head and smile pretty. Little do they know that one day their 3rd grade class picture will be one they laugh at and are embarrassed by. It doesn't really matter how trendy you try to look, in fact, the trendier now the dorkier later. Elementary class pictures are just terrible in 20 years no matter what you do to prevent it.

Now the boys on the other hand are a little different. Mostly they are in their usual jeans and a t-shirt attire. I have one in a cub scout uniform but then I have one boy who came in wearing a shirt saying: "You can email me at:" This is the conversation that he had this morning.

"Hey, did you know it is picture day?" Boy 1 said.

"Yeah, I know, I got a hair cut." Weird shirt boy replied.

"What's up with your shirt then?" Boy 1 said back.

"Oh I don't know, I didn't even look at it." Weird shirt boy said.

He worried about it enough to get a hair cut yet he wears a shirt saying that? What were they thinking this morning? I don't think he is too worried about how he is going to look in 20 years.

I would leave you with a little snapshot of me in 3rd grade, (it's sitting right here on my bulletin board because I always put up my class picture of the grade I teach) but apparently I didn't get the side ponytail and big bangs will be dorky in 20 years memo. Oh such is life.....