Friday, December 31, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Things

While there are many perks to being a teacher, none of the least of which is the time off at the holidays. I have been able to give my little girl as much attention as I possibly have the patience for and I have really enjoyed her this break. Thus fore, creating a monster. But that's a whole other blog.....

What I did love this break was getting to spend some time with some of my favorite people. On Monday, when I came back to the city, I brought my niece, Maggie, and my sister-in-law, Halee with me. They were so full of giggles that I thought my sides were going to split open before they left. I can't say enough how glad I am that Reese has two female role models like these girls, she will always have an excellent example of strong women and I am so thankful for that.

While they were here we visited Chuck E. Cheese where I kicked every one's butt in skee ball. We ate pizza, slid in some slides and left with a pile of junk that makes kids so happy. I didn't get any pictures but I did get a video of the girls doing the Chuck E Shuffle. It was too long to download but it was very cute. I was very proud of them for having the courage to get out there.

The next day we went shopping at Oak Park Mall. Really this was just an excuse for me to go to the American Girl Doll store. But while we were there the girls made Build A Bear dolls for themselves. It was fun to watch them pick out dolls and name them and eventually settle on an outfit. They both had so much fun.
The girls and I had a great couple of days and I really can't say enough about how sweet they are.

After that, I got the privilege to spend some time in Marceline with my favorite little guy in the world, Deakan. My sister had to work most of the week so I asked if I could kidnap him one day and spend the afternoon with him. He and Reese and I hung out Thursday and we really enjoyed tickling him. Several times I caught Reese sucking her thumb with her head in his lap. He is one giggly little boy and not much phases him. He rolled with the punches and the endless attempts at snatching his pacifier and I think he had a fun day with us too. I accidentally left my camera in the car that day so I didn't get any good pictures to put on here but I promise he was as adorable as he could be.

So, when I make a list of all the things that I love, I have to count great vacation time. It makes me so happy that I can spend my break with all my favorite kiddos. Especially since they are going to get old so fast, I want to just bottle them up right now so I can remember the sweet giggles!

The Highlights

This is the first time I've been on a computer since Christmas morning. I haven't missed it much but I have missed the downtime it takes to sit and relax and blog. So, I apologize for missing Wordless Wednesday but I have lots to share to make up for it.

Christmas morning we wholly expected little to no reaction from our little pumpkin head. In fact, we were thinking of letting her eat breakfast first before even introducing presents. We brought her out and her eyes were like magnets to the beauty of Santa Claus. Her words exactly were, "eh?" This I translated to, "Holy Shit, Mama, is this for me?" It couldn't have been more perfect and I can't even describe how great Dustin and I felt at that moment.
After that we loaded up the car and made the trek home, arriving in Meadville first. Watching her, Halee and Maggie get so excited over there gifts was priceless. She adored her tricycle and we are really looking forward to some nice days outside so she can shoot some hoops with her new basketball goal. But Mama's favorite gift was the cheerleading outfit. She's just a few short years away from shaking it with some pom poms!

We spent the night there and got up the next day to head to my grandma's house for lunch at noon which has been the tradition for years upon years. We made a glorious mess in her living room of wrapping paper and tissue and ribbons. Having two babies to buy for made everyone's list a little more exciting. Reese got a bean bag and just loved rolling around on it. She also got a little play table that will be promptly removed from her room because she loves to climb up on it and fall off. We are DONE with that.

Next we convened at my mom's to have our Christmas with Terry's kids and grandkids. Here Reese got some amazing books, seriously, The Monster at the End of the Book really is the best one written ever. She got some cute clothes and (wait for it....) AN AMERICAN GIRL DOLL!!!!! I'm not sure if that was more for her or more for me but I almost peed my pants! That was the best! Dustin informed me tonight that we should keep it in the box for the time being and that we really should let Reese be the first one to play with it. I pouted for awhile before agreeing.

There were a few downers about Christmas, nothing I'm going to get in to especially because they come at great personal embarrassment to me (can we say learn when enough is enough Lindsay?). But overall this was the very best Christmas I've had in years. I enjoyed each and every moment and I know the joy and magic is going to keep getting better. I feel so thankful for everything and I hope everyone had a very merry holiday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Break

This week has already been a blast. I am going to have a hard time going back to work in 2 weeks. Today we didn't do much out of the ordinary, got up, played some peekaboo, went to Wal-Mart, and ate a lot. I did probably say "no" 13 million times. But I have a pretty obedient child for the most part.

This break has been good for us though. We are always so cranky and worn out and hungry when we hang out. Sometimes we read a lot, sometimes we read a little. But this week Reese is taking great naps and she never goes hungry so we've both been in wonderful moods. It is so much fun to watch her play, it seems like she's learned so many new tricks.

For starters, the girl is going to take a step any day now. And the best part is, I think she's going to do it during this break. (Please say a little prayer that she does, it will kill me if I'm not there!) She scoots around on her dinosaur and is really standing on her own with confidence. Another fun thing to watch is her language development. She was kind of a late talker and well she definitely is not in any hurry about much of anything but her talking has exploded lately. She is starting to name things and I try to get her to say "up" before I pick her up. She's doing great with this and I really love to hear her say it.

Her smiles and giggles are plentiful and she has taken to curling up in my lap with a book or to play with some thing. It's fun to cuddle up with her and have no place to go. She is one wonderful little girl and I am really glad I'll be able to think back to this break with a thousand smiles to remember.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here is a little sneak peek of what Reese and I whipped up for our baking tradition. Cake pops! After a friend brought me one last week, I've been hooked ever since!

Another Christmas Tradition

Today I did something pretty brave. I took my stranger-anxiety-ridden daughter to see Santa. I knew she wasn't going to like it. And I was right.

Something in my wanted to go see Santa really bad though. It kind of feels like a kid HAS to go see Santa before Christmas. I don't really have any need to get a big fancy picture I just thought she should go see what it was all about and I really like the thought of starting another tradition.

But anyway, back to today. We got to Zona Rosa and we were behind another little family in line. It was a little boy so I strapped Reese in since she has been having a little trouble with keeping her lips to herself around boys these days. They had a little set back so they let us go on ahead in line, giving us the #1 spot. We walked in to two cute little elves and I made sure to give them a head's up that we had a screamer here. No one seemed at all surprised (they indicated that it happens a lot) and they tried to make Reese feel at ease.

I walked my dear daughter on over to the big fat guy and her grip grew tighter and tighter. And when I sat her down and walked away the screams rang through the air. It simultaneously broke my heart and made me laugh out loud. But they quickly snapped two hilarious pictures of a screaming baby and we were done. One candy cane, an elf stuffed animal and a priceless keepsake later, and we were out the door. It happened so fast I couldn't hardly believe it myself.

Now we have our first Santa picture and we can say we went. And I will forever look back at this day and laugh at that beautifully frightened face!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Tradition

Reese and I are going to start a new Christmas treat tradition next week. We are going to create a Christmas treat that is all ours. Not a hand-me-down recipe or an old favorite but a new favorite of our creation. I'm not sure yet what that will be, but I am looking forward to trying something new and starting out on our first big Christmas adventure.

While we are at it, we are also going to make a big pan of Chex Mix like my Aunt Shirley makes. I called my grandma tonight and asked her if she would call Shirley and ask for the recipe. She was just certain Shirley wasn't going to give it up but she said she'd give it a shot anyway. Grandma called just a few minutes ago, chuckling, saying that the recipe was on the box! Ha!! As if it were some secret family recipe! But I can handle that and I know my dad used to make it the same way. It just sounds like Christmas to me!

If you have a little something special that you think is worth a try, leave a comment, I'm definitely up for suggestions! I am just hoping to find a just-right recipe that people will be able to expect from our family each year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Two Things to Share

First things first, a good, good friend of mine, Amy, had a housefire over the weekend. It was completely devastating to her and her fiance and they are in need of many things. They lost many clothes and personal belongings and are having a really hard time right now. I wanted to pass a link on of a place to donate to their cause if you know her and would like to help or if you just have a Christmas donation that needs a home. Please keep her and her fiance in your prayers.

Chip in for Amy and Mel

Secondly, West Englewood had a Talent Show on Friday. Some of the teachers danced in it and it is now on YouTube. Lucky me! Anyway, here is the link to that as well if you'd like to watch us shake it on stage to Men in Black. Enjoy!!

WE Teachers in Black

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sick Day

My life has been wrought with sick days lately. I myself had 2 last week and today, Reese decided to call in sick as well. Maybe she didn't get the memo that I have been gone from school 4 days in 2 weeks, maybe she just didn't care. But I did.

Not to mention that taking a day when you have a sick baby feels a lot like playing hookie. Even more so than when taking one for yourself. It's bad enough thinking all day, "am I really sick enough to stay home?" "Could I have just sucked it up and went?" But when it is a sick kid and Mommy feels just fine the guilt just oozes from the pores.

Then on top of that, sub plans. Arrangements have to be made before a teacher can just walk away. Something is always forgotten or left off and then the guilt cycle repeats. So the baby's sick day just made me about sick to my stomach all day.

On a positive note, because she didn't feel the best, Reese was as cuddly as a teddy bear today. Her fever spiked pretty high at one point and all she felt like doing was laying her head on my chest. I was able to sit on the couch and enjoy my baby all afternoon. Definitely the only bonus of the day, but it was a good one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't forget about me

I promise to start blogging regularly again soon. I have really felt like the days are running together and I'm having a hard time getting to all those things I want to do before I collapse in bed. I've been running a One Woman Show these days and let's just say that I've seen better performances.

Just now I took a look at a pile of laundry to the ceiling because the spin cycle on my washer went out and it takes 2 hours or more to dry a load and it's not really all that worth it to me to worry about it. I saw 3 remotes in the middle of the floor which may or may not have batteries in them. I chased a beagle down with a wooden spoon, cleaned up after a lab with an attitude and a leg to hike, found spaghetti hanging from the back door and applesauce all over the back of my shirt. I have 2 unfinished books going right now, piles and piles of Christmas presents to wrap and it probably wouldn't hurt to shave my legs one of these days.

And I'm not even going to tell you what my toilet looks like.....

But anyway, back to my point, please don't forget about me. I promise to get back in a routine soon. I'm adjusting and getting my bearings and I will be back in the habit of writing before you know it. Thanks for giving me a hard time about Wordless Wednesday too, it helps me remember because I am pretty sure I had no idea what day it was when I woke up today. What am I saying? I didn't know what day it was after I worked all day and got home tonight! Thanks for being loyal readers, I hope not to disappoint you!

Wordless Wednesday