Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Music!

Now that it's officially the Christmas season (being that Thanksgiving is over and Advent has begun...) I started listening to Christmas music! I usually gift myself one Christmas album, but I'm not sure yet what it's going to be. I am enjoying the Glee Christmas songs, some of them...any other tips? What are your favorite songs/artists for Christmas?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Moon Over the Midwest

The moon here lately has been really cool looking! I snapped a few pictures from Bug’s house- they have a perfect sky view!
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Turkey Day! Judging from my last few Thanksgivings, this is what I’ll be doing…

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And hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in a little of this as well!

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I offered to take my younger sister and her good friend Black Friday shopping. I’ve never been before and neither have they..however, judging by how I’m feeling as I type this on Tuesday morning, the only thing that sounds good is a bed, for a very long time!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I am going to be working on getting all of my crafty post ideas in one place. I’ll try and tag them all and then see if I can re-post them somewhere new just so they are all organized. This is probably more for my benefit as the kids and I search for stuff to do. I know that through my years of teaching we did a lot of neat things and I *think* I posted most of them. We’ll see!

(for now, the link to the label “crafts” on the right side will work. Eventually I will add in seasons/holidays I hope!)


On Monday, the Derek and I started off the morning by making some simple handprint turkeys. Of course, being that he is three, his page turned out to just be handprints. Laney got into it a bit more, and I was just fooling around with my page…but hey, it kept them busy for a while!


Of course, when I went upstairs to put Tobin down for a nap Derek decided that gave him the freedom to pretty much spill everything…




Monday, November 22, 2010

Idea Boxes

Earlier last week the kids and I made idea boxes. Because I have my car and two carseats for Derek and Tobin, one box is ideas for when we can go places, such as the zoo & indoor play places. The other box held ideas of things we can do in the afternoons in the winter when we are stuck inside (making cupcakes, movie afternoon, I bought a few crafts at the Dollar Tree…)
We used this youtube video to help out, although I had made the boxes before so it was more of a refresher course for me. This was also helpful on Saturday when I was taking care of nine kids and we desperately needed something to do! As an added plus, the kids can decorate them which takes up extra time Winking smile 

So, yes. Very simple but hopefully it will help keep us sane during the winter. We used some of the ideas from this post but I think the kids came up with some of their own (grow our own animals, those foam ones in capsules?, paint, play-doh, etc.)

Just Another Manic Monday

Monday, 7:30 am...another Monday, another workday. Even though it is Thanksgiving week, I'm still doing my crazy first three days of work, sleep, work, sleep, etc. The only difference is that I get to spend tomorrow night packing and Wednesday after work I'm heading out of town! I am soooo looking forward to eating delicious coffee cake on Thursday morning while watching the Macy's Day parade...oh wait. Mom, if you read this do you guys still not get the station? Oh no! Well, I guess there is always the food to look forward to. Have a good Monday everyone! The kiddles are waking up and my work day has begun....

P.S. Oh man, I will be disappointed if we have to watch the parade online. It's just not the same! :(

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Run, Forrest, Run!

The good: I just wrote a huge post.

The bad: it's gone. I don't know where.

The good: By some miracle all three kids are asleep.

The bad: it is guaranteed that at least two of them will wake up grumpy

The good: I have a lot of babysitting this week

The bad: that was four nights in a row- Wed- Sat

The good: I agreed to watch NINE KIDS tomorrow

The bad: I agreed to watch NINE KIDS tomorrow

The good: that is a lot of extra money but by the end of the week I will have watched 18 different kids, 9 of whom I'd never met before I went to babysit.

The bad: I am worn out.

The good: Thanksgiving is Thursday!!!!!!

The bad: I still have to babysit nine kids tomorrow. Need ideas so that they, and I, survive...

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keeping Sane in Winter

There are a few parks within walking distance of my job but we aren't able to venture there anymore due to the weather. So that we don't go insane I am trying to compile a list of things to keep us busy during these long winter months. Can you help me expand it???

When I have a car/mornings when I have just the boys:

- Paint your own pottery place
- ice cream shop/mcd's playplace (indoor)
- mall playplace
- library
- science center
- zoo (ours has a fair amount of indoor exhibits)


- build a fort
- make a cake/cupcakes/brownies
- crafts (any websites to suggest??)
- make edible playdoh/ play with playdoh
- movie afternoon
- play games (the kids are young but we can play Break The Ice, Candyland, Tumblin' Monkeys, etc.)
- hide and seek
- book reading afternoon

Keep in mind the kids are 5 and 3..I'm sure I'm missing a lot but this was just off the top of my head. I want to make sure that we don't get too bored haha!

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Monday, November 15, 2010


Can you figure out what the kids' neighbor was for Halloween? I think it's clever!

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I was glancing through Bug's parents' baby name book the other day. They are due with a girl in March and I was curious what kind of names they were considering. I am on board with a lot of the boy names, because I can see them using more of them. The girls ones just shocked me...I will be back with my commentary later. I will say that the name they ended up using for Bug is on the list...any thoughts?
































Reilly/ Riley/


















































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Thursday, November 11, 2010


This post is (kind of) a follow up to this one..

Or at the very least, you'd have a better idea of what I'm talking about, I guess. 

My roommate Hope's friend is close to death. I'm not sure HOW close but all of her college friends have begun to flock to Maryland and say their goodbyes. If nothing else, they are beginning to reconnect with each other. Hope's been trying to figure out if/when to go and how to make it happen...fly, drive alone, drive in a caravan, etc. 

In a pretty last minute decision, we decided to go tomorrow. I'll go with her (as it happens, I have tomorrow off, perhaps a God-thing?) and probably drive a lot of the way and all/most of the way back. We're taking my car and it's about an 8 hour drive each way. We'll be back either late, late, late tomorrow or sometime Saturday, depending on if we go there and come all the way back in one day or not. As one of my friends said today, it's good that I can go so I don't feel helpless, which is true but it will still not be a "fun" roadtrip and prayers would be appreciated for safe travels and for my roommate, her friend, and his whole family as they navigate this difficult path. 

My friend Jessie also needs some prayers. She just found out that her older brother died in his sleep. Their family just lost Jessie's older sister less than a year ago and both deaths were unexpected. Please pray for Jessie, her husband, and their three children, ages 4, 3, and  less than a week old as they travel about 15 hours+ to get to her family. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is It Friday?

Does it feel like Friday to anyone else? All day I've been convinced that we are at the weekend already. Of course, part of it could be that the last three days have been completely non-stop for me. (Yes, Mon/Tues/Wed always are but this week has been even worse.)

To begin with, I'm counting down until Thanksgiving! I will be heading out to my parents' house for a day and a half or so and then (weather pending) going out of town for the rest of my long weekend. So, I think that is adding to the anticipation! I haven't seen my little sisters in way too long and I miss them!

Anyway, Monday at work was fine, and afterwards I went to a local sports bar to watch a football game. Even though I don't follow football the food there is yummy, but I didn't get home until after 11. Way late for a weeknight for me!

Tuesday during work the baby went to the doctor and it was discovered that he has croup. He had to get two steroid shots and later in the day Tobin pried them off his own legs and tried to swallow one. Sigh.

In addition his big sister Laney "forgot" that there is no paper on the carpet in her bedroom. Enough said.

Last night I went to a Beth Moore bible study and it was very, very good...but suffice to say, going from work to events has me home just to sleep.

Today was a weird day of work. I only worked 9a-2p but it involved an airport run, a Subway meltdown by Derek and a grandparent arriving. Just strange. I am taking some quiet time hanging out with my friends and their boys up north before heading back to BC tomorrow ...which is somehow still not Friday...
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Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Usually I am fine when my roommate Hope talks about school-related things. Every once in a while she'll come home and start taking about one of my "favorite" kids and I just can't handle listening right then, so she's good about being understanding when that happens too.

This morning almost ruined it for me though. For some reason I'd been up since about 530 and jumped in the shower and got ready from work. I usually leave for work at 7ish, and just a few minutes before, Hope walked in the door from one of her morning runs. Since I hadn't seen her yesterday at all, we used the next few minutes to catch up.

As it turns out, one of the ladies in the back of the school (my old room) has gotten ill and decided that finishing out the school year wouldn't be in her, or the kids' best interest.

Bam. Man alive. I almost got mad, not at my roommate, but definitely over the whole situation last year.


Except for one small detail. This lady is not Jessa. While Jessa chose to sabotage my career at the school by making the fact that she can't manage kids, couldn't make it to work even two days of the week, somehow out to be MY fault, this woman recognized that she was unable to fulfill the commitment she'd made to the school and the kids and gracefully backed out.

Why couldn't I have worked with the lady from this year instead? I'd still be at the school, with my coworkers and the kids I've known for years. :(

I'm not mean-hearted, I swear. I just don't understand, still, what happened last year, and it makes me sad. Why are some people so mean?

Postscript: Okay, so it didn't make me "almost mad". It made me mad. And I still am. Sigh.

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Monday, November 08, 2010


So, I never posted about Halloween. Around here, they had the Trick-or-Treating on Thursday (which was the 28th and makes absolutely no sense to me…) I had the day off and had promised my roommate I’d go to a Halloween party with her so I spent part of the day making my costume.



Do you know what I was?

In other news…I have a mini-vaca (as in, I have days off, not that I’m going anywhere) later this week/weekend. I still have two babysitting jobs but any ideas what I should do with my time? I have a feeling I’ll go crazy if I just sit at home!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lazy Weekend

I've had a fairly lazy weekend- got some things done around the house and caught up on tv shows and laundry and emails....we had a girls' night here last night with my roommate and friend Lyn, so that was fun.

The week coming up is going to be kind of random and busy. The mom of the family I'm working for is going out of town Wednesday and there are extra events happening Monday and Tuesday both. I'm actually getting a four-day weekend next Thurs-Sun and I am excited!!!!

Anyway, here are some photo snippets of what I've been up to-

Laney having a meltdown about picking up the pillows. It took her a good two hours to do her share while the boys and I were playing games and reading books...she reminds me of myself. Very stubborn!

A chilly day at the park we walk to where I work. The sun was seriously bright!

Horrible picture, but the sunset was amazing :)

Leftover Halloween candy while I was babysitting...I didn't even make a DENT

Halloween town!

Bouncing in balls at an indoor play area...the weather has been too cold to go to the "real" playground!

Are you having a good weekend? What were you up to?

(Also, can I just say that it is 3:30 pm while I'm writing this and it seems so much later? The sun is so low Crying face …)

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I try hard to stay in touch with extended family and friends. I do my best. I email, call and leave voice mails...but eventually when I hear nothing back from old friends, especially from college, I back off. After all, college was years ago, they have their own lives and we've all grown up and moved on. We're spread across the country- I have a friend in California working as a nurse, one overseas, a few in the DC area, central PA, another in Oregon...we rarely, if ever, see each other in person anymore. 

Years go by and while we don't forget our friends, it can be easy to forget about the good times years ago. 
New friends are made.
College seems like a dream, so long ago. 

My roommate received news of a college friend of hers who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. He'll be gone before Christmas, likely. She's struggling with it and what she can do to help him and his family states away. Visit? Send a card? Go the funeral? 

And it began to get me thinking about friends and the connections we have. Day to day life seems mundane sometimes, but those connections we have are vital. It's important to me to keep those lines open.

On Thursday my 80-year old grandmother drove a couple of hours to spend the afternoon with me, then drove a couple of hours back to where she is visiting family this week. She is helping to keep that connection alive, and it was great to see her and spend time with her. When I lived in Massachusetts I was only an hour from her and would sometimes go to her house for dinner or spend a weekend with her here and there. Due to distance I don't have that opportunity anymore, so the few precious hours we had were just that, precious.

Cherish those in your life.
Enjoy the times you have with family and friends.
Be thankful for the time, no matter how small, you are able to spend with them.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Pink Ruffles

I’ve never been much of a pink girly girl. This past summer though, I started to come around to it a little more, and as it turns out that’s a very good thing. I’ll be seeing a lot more of this come March…
photo from here and here

No, I’m not pregnant (did any of you really think it was me? haha) but Bug’s mom is and I just found out she’s having a girl! No name yet and it will be interesting to see how Bug transitions from a two year old only child to a big brother. I think that once he gets over the initial shock he’ll be just fine! I’m excited to see what adventures knowing his family holds for me in the next year or so- there’s talk of me joining them on a trip to their (not yet bought) vacation home in Tennessee or perhaps even Disney. Love ‘em and I’m so excited to meet the new member of my second family Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Earlier this week Derek walked downstairs at 7ish am and proclaimed, “Tobin can walk!”.

Seeing as Tobin is barely six months old, this came as quite the surprise to his mom and me both. We tried to reason with him but he kept saying, “Tobin can walk in the bookcase! I saw him during the night.” When I asked him if people usually walk in a bookcase in the hallway at nighttime, he admitted that no, not usually.

Yep, I’m pretty sure he’s had his first vivid dream! During the day, he constantly said things to me such as,

“Let him go, he’ll walk. You’ll see!”
”Why won’t you put him down. He’ll get up and walk anyway”

It was very cute though…

Photo from here