Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dreary Day But At Least It's Not -20 Degrees

It is a very dreary day here today. Grey skies and rain. It kind of sounds like Michigan - at least the grey sky part. A total 180 from yesterday, since we had sunny skies and almost 70 degrees. Even with the up and down weather, I am thankful to not be back home in Michigan where the temperature this morning was supposed to be NEGATIVE 20 DEGREES. As of last night, my parents had received six inches of snow.

I miss the snow in December. I miss the first snowfall when the still green trees get dusted in pure white snow that glistens. It's more than just comparing it to diamonds. The first snow fall brings a once blah landscape to life. You recognize things forgotten and see things for the first time. The biting cold weather doesn't even bother me because the whiteness is beautiful. But now that it is almost March, I'm grateful that I don't have to chisel away the ice that has frozen my car doors shut or wait 10 minutes for my car to warm up. I'm grateful that I'm able to walk outside without my eyes instantly tearing up from the bitter cold. There is nothing worse than being chilled to the bone. Even the warmest quilt and cup of hot cocoa can't cure that feeling. You feel like you'll never be warm again.

One of my favorite young adult books is The Watson's Go to Birminham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. If you've never experienced the cold - REAL COLD, then I invite you to read the hilarious first chapter here to see what it is all about.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Etsy Finds

For the past five minutes, I have been perusing Etsy looking at all the homemade baby items. I'm in love with so many items.

Check out Blue Jean Mama's pixie hats for newborns. Or the Tiny Toppers for newborns. I love the ones that drape down the baby. Or how about the baby cocoons from Beachwalkphoto? And if you haven't seen the adorable baby tutu's then check out Trinity's Tutus who is just one of the many tutu makers.

Wouldn't these all make adorable pictures?

I also found a christening dress at Bewitching Stitching by Joanne.

Inspired by Mama Kat, I found these vintage aprons at Boojiboo.

Okay, I must end my Etsy looking for the night. Enjoy and maybe sometime in the spring you'll find my little girl wearing some of those adorable knitted finds.

Mama Kat is At It Again

It's time for another apron giveaway on Mama Kat's blog. I have yet to win one, but it sure is fun getting to look through another Etsy shop. Check out the my possible winnings at Carrie's Etsy's Shop. Aren't they cute?

Since Mama Kat started her weekly apron giveaways, I have been looking at some of the Etsy shops. Hopefully, I'll have a post showcasing my favorites shortly.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Baked Apples and Chocolate Chip/M & M Cookies

What do those two desserts have in common?

Matt made them from scratch this weekend. YUMMY! He used the version for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies I usually use, but I think his turned out better, much better.

Instant Sleep

I've never been one to have issues falling asleep. I can sleep anywhere: the car, a recliner, an airplane, a blow-up mattress, etc. Anywhere. And at any time of the day. Lately with this pregnancy, I've noticed I'm requiring more sleep. I expected to be tired again. So far my sleep needs are nothing compared to what I was like the first couple of months. I was a mess. By the time we dismissed the students at 3:23 I was ready for at least a 2-hour nap. When Matt got home, I was usually on the couch, and would go to be around 9 or sometimes before 9. I remember going to sleep at 7:30 p.m. one day. Anyway, what I am noticing lately is that as soon as I hit the pillow, it takes me about point two seconds to be sound asleep. Completely out. Today after my excursion to Kohl's, Barnes and Noble, and Harris Teeter (oh, crap...I just realized I forgot to buy lunch meat.) I came home a mess, took a seat on the couch, and was out for almost two hours. I know this is normal, but it is just crazy how I can fall asleep so fast.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top 5 Reasons Why I Need a Tide To Go Pen Mini

5. The wonderful TSA officials at the airport in Green Bay threw mine out the last time I flew. Apparently, they are a banned substance.
4. I am constantly spilling food on myself. I think it is in my genes.
3. I'm going to have a baby girl soon. I know that kids make messes.
2. Teachers need coffee. Well, at least this one does. Coffee stains on a white shirt don't make for a wonderful day.
1. I'm currently pregnant. And with this comes an increase in clumsiness. This not a good combination with my #4 and #2 reasons. It's just a mess.

Don't you think these are reason enough to WIN one of these pens? Check out Laughing Through the Chaos for Sera's giveaway. Also, go ahead and check out her blog. It's hilarious.

Toss Up

It's that time again....Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. This week I decided to write about my biggest pet peeve. Below is the actual prompt.

What's your number one pet peeve? Develop a punishment for anyone caught in the act.

This was a tough one. I had a difficult time narrowing it down to one pet peeve. Stupid people? Parents who don't parent? Southerners who can't drive in the rain let alone the snow? Text messaging while driving? Students asking me a question that I have answered already over three times? Cell phones that ring during church or at the movie theater? Do you see my dilemma?

In my quest to pinpoint my own pet peeve, I casually asked Matt about his. Instantly, he responded - stupid people. Duh! I should have known that was coming. This is coming from the man who said if he ran for president his platform would be to sterilize everyone at age 13. In order to have children, one would have to apply to get the sterilization reversed. Do you think teaching at an alternative high school had any lasting effects on him?

Anyway, back to my pet peeve. After much consideration...drum roll number one pet peeve...would have to be.....

Let's talk about church shall we? It's church. CHURCH! However, if you need more of a reason, our choir director begins Mass by asking everyone to please place their cell phones into silent (I REPEAT silent) prayer mode. Cheesy? Maybe, but even the cheesiness doesn't get people to respond. Come on people. It's not like you forgot about the cell phone you carry 24/7. They're practically attached to the side of your heads. You know you have it, so turn it off.
Even the movie theaters ask you to silence your cell phones. You can't see the previews until their message is flashed across the big screen for at least two minutes. I believe the word is SILENCE. Not turn the volume down or whisper as your finish your phone conversation or place another call. Better yet, when it rings how about actually turning it off instead of answering the call and striking up a conversation. If you are going to talk on the phone or text during the entire length of the movie, they why oh why did you pay $9 to WATCH a movie?
If you are so addicted to your cell phone, that you can't turn that piece of plastic off for an hour or two, then you should pray my punishment never becomes a law. There is no fine for a first time offense or an increased fine for a second. There isn't jail time or a special class for cell phone addiction. In fact, your only punishment is that NEVER, NEVER AGAIN will you have a cell phone. You simply lose your phone...forever. Hand it over baby!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Where You Find Love

I recently read an article in which a woman described how she kept her husband's corsage from their wedding day in their refrigerator.....for over 20 years. I remember in my Grandma's bedroom, she had a two-layered glass covered bowl that contained two different dried flower corsages. These momentos aren't love, but they represent love. Just looking at these items can bring a smile to your face or bring back special memories.

I believe I am a very sentimental person. I treasure items from my families past. I treasure handwritten letters. I treasure things that connect another human being to another. Maybe this is why I am a packrat. Everything means something. With that being said, here is where I find love in my house.

1. Within the arms of my husband
2. On my dresser, I have a crystal vase of dried flowers. One set is from the flowers my Dad gave to me on my wedding day right before the Daddy/Daughter dance. The other set were flowers from my Grandmother's funeral.
3. On the same dresser, I have a little ceramic dish containing the rose petals from the first rose bouquet Matt ever bought me....our first Valentine's Day. It was like one month after we met in 2002.
4. A handwritten letter I found in my Aunt's house written by my Dad to her right after I walked for the first time.
5. My Grandpa's army trunk. This baby is chalk full of goodies. My grandma's handmade aprons, pillowcases, tableclothes, antique maps of Chicago in the 1940's, and a lot of military mementos from WWII.
6. A handmade blanket that was made by my Grandmother but given to me by my Aunt for our little girl. It is now sitting in a wooden doll cradle that was mine when I was a little girl.

Love is every night and every morning hearing the words I love you, a kiss on the lips, helping with the household chores without thinking twice, and feeling our little girl kick or feeling her hiccups.

Love is a blessing.

Love is just one more thing to be we can thank God for each and every day.

Another Etsy Apron

Maybe one of these days I'll find the time to puruse Etsy to find my own must-haves. Until that day arrives, you will be treated to the finds of Mama Kat. Mama Kat has had three apron give-aways that I have not won, but I'm enjoying the walk through of Etsy. This week's apron give-away comes from Tinder Designs. Maybe I'll win and maybe I won't, but isn't it worth it to give it a try? Plus, wearing an apron while baking just makes clean-up that much easier, and you get to look cute in the process. Chocolate chip cookies. Here. I. Come.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's that time again....Mama Kat's Writing Workshop Thursday. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm doing this a day early, but I have something after school tomorrow, and I feel like writing tonight. Usually I respond to one of the prompts, but I must say I just can't pass up the prompts this week. So guess what? You're going to get three from me. Well, you were going to get three from me, but that was before my stupid computer deleted EVERYTHING I wrote in the past hour. Now I just want to cry or maybe throw the computer on the floor and stomp on it for a bit. Sorry, but now you are going to get one because it took me forever to write because my 7th grade self didn't write the artists of the songs and also didn't even right the correct title of the song half the time.

1. What was the first CD (or record or cassette) you ever purchased? Write about the way that particular album made you feel then. Write about how it makes you feel now.

I've been trying to think about my first cassette, and I just can't remember. Could it be Richard Marx or Roxette? Maybe Garth Brooks? Since I can't remember the first, I'm going to share a tape that my friends and I made the summer before 8th grade. Good 'ole mixed tapes. The summer before 8th grade was spent roaming the neighborhood for the possibility that one of the 'guys' would be outside. Stalkers? Yeppers! What middle school girl isn't spending her summer walking endlessly day and night just hoping for that special guy to finally step outside. We walked and walked around the "hood" as we called it. I haven't listened to this tape in forever, but I can't get rid of it, because it makes me laugh. I labeled it Depression/B-Ball. Depression songs are written in red, and B-ball is purple. Could this have been the start of my OCD color coding? Seriously, this tape has just about every genre of music on it. Are you ready for the most random playlist ever?

  1. Miles Away by Winger
  2. More Than Words by Extreme
  3. I Will Be Here For You by Michael W. Smith
  4. Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx
  5. The Sign by Ace of Base
  6. River of Dreams by Billy Joel
  7. Jesse by Joshua Kadison
  8. Now and Forever by Richard Marx
  9. Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks
  10. Glory of Love by Peter Cetera
  11. Whole Hearted by Extreme
  12. Don't Cry by ? (maybe Gun's N Roses)
  13. I Love Your Smile by Shanice
  14. To Be With You by Mr. Big
  15. The Way That I Am by Martina McBride
  16. Don't Take the Girl by Tim McGraw
  17. Sadness Part I by Enigma
  18. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss by P.M. Dawn
  19. O.P.P. by Naughty by Nature
  20. Let's Talk About Sex by Salt-N-Pepa
  21. Now That We Found Love by Heavy D.
  22. 3 A.M. Eternal by The KLF
  23. Playground by ? (real name of song?)
  24. Baby Got Back by Sir-Mix-A-Lot
  25. Finally by Ce Ce Peniston
  26. Real Love by Mary J. Blige
  27. Jump Around by House of Pain
  28. Whatta Man by Salt-N-Pepa

I bet you all want to return to 1993 now don't you?

I actually think my first cassette was Debbie Gibson.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Must. Check. Out. Etsy.

Etsy is place online for you to buy or sell anything homemade. This is the place to find some really awesome gifts or goodies for you.

One such Etsy entrepreneur makes aprons. And like last week, Mama Kat is holding another apron give-away. I hope I win this time. Want to check out this week's cool aprons? Click here.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hello, Little Debbie

Say hello to my newest MUST HAVE!

If you grew up without tasting one of these delicious little pies, then you must drop everything and head straight to the grocery store. After buying a box today, I ate two immediately after bringing them into the house. Matt wanted to know how many of these babies I planned on eating today. Hmm...let me many as baby and I want. I actually told him to not plan on the box being around come Monday morning.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Always On My Mind

Mama Kat's Thursday's Prompt: Write a list of ten things on your mind this week.

1. Baby Girl
I seriously can't wait to meet you. No need to rush though; keep on cooking because Mama's to do list is too long at this point. You just keep yourself snug as a bug in my belly until April. Plus, I don't want to cut short being pregnant. I know, I know....some people absolutely hate the whole being pregnant part of pregnancy, but I don't fall in that category. I love being pregnant. Now, I realize this love might be associated with the fact that I have not had any of the negative aspects (knock on wood) - except for the excrutiating pain in my hips. I could live without that.
2. High School
No, I do not want to go back in time and repeat high school. I've just been thinking a lot about crazy stories from high school ever since my sister and I blogged about weird teachers. I won't go into detail again, but if you missed my commentary, click here.
3. Landon
My poor nephew can't catch a break. He has been so sick lately, and it breaks my heart knowing that he isn't crawling around with a smile plastered on his face. Now he is on nebulizer treaetments 4x a day because of his cough. His surgery for getting tubes in his ears is also postponed because of this. Get Well Soon Sweet Baby!
4. House For Sale
I knew when we put our house up for sale it wouldn't be a quick deal especially with the economy. I was ready for the "nothing is happening" feeling, but my house has never been so clean, and I've never my our bed this many consecutive days. It's ready; I'm ready.
5. Maternity Leave
My poor subsititute! If I don't get my act together, she is going to have decipher my chicken scratch lesson plans buried under piles of who-knows-what. I need a few extra teacher workdays to get my classroom ready for the long-term substitute. On my last teacher workday, I managed to dig out my desk and the back table from all the piles I tend to form. Now, I usually know what is in all of these piles, but that is beside the point. The point is the piles are driving me insane. And they piles are right back to where they started. My lessons are sketched in my plan book all the way up to our state standardized test, but I need to leave her some detailed lessons that go all the way up to the last day of school.
I'm so grateful that this sub has worked with our team before and can handle anything, but I have to get ready for the baby at home and prepare for leaving my students at school.

Updated: Well, the above paragraph was written before my AP walked into my room today and told me that I was not getting the long-term substitute I requested. Now I have a lot more on my mind, because I have to get all the stuff together that my originially requested sub already knew. Why can't things go as planned?

6. Warm Weather
When is the warm weather going to return to Virginia? There is snow in the forecast again tomorrow (Wednesday). I wonder if they will cancel school again just because they predict the snow?
7. Allergies
I wonder how I'm going to survivie my allergy season - pollen. Since I'll be breastfeeding, I can't take my allergy medication or get my allergy shots. I don't even want to think about it.
8. Life After The Wire: Season 5
Matt and I are starting Season 5 of The Wire. We own all of Seinfeld, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Deadwood. I wonder what series Netflix will bring us next. Suggestions?
9. Tests
I wonder how many of my students will actually study for their test on our Poet of the Month: Lewis Carroll.
10. Preparing for my Baby Girl
All day long I think about what needs to be done before our little one arrives. My to do list grows with each passing day, and I realize I may add more than I cross off, but it gets overwhelming at times.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This Is Just To Say

Tomorrow after their test on Lewis Carroll, my students will be reading three poems by William Carlos Williams: "This Is Just To Say", "The Locust Tree in Flower", and "Between Walls". I usually write poems with the kids, so tonight I am going to share with you my poem modeled after "This Is Just To Say".

Dear Husband
I told you
I had no papers
to grade
but if
you saw my desk
you just might
find watercolor paintings
of haiku
Forgive me
for being
addicted to

Monday, February 2, 2009

Aprons Anyone?

Normally I do not use aprons. It's not that I don't have any. In fact, I have some very cute vintage aprons my grandmother made. I believe they are stashed in my grandfather's army trunk which at the moment is nestled in a corner in our guest room. I wonder why I don't use them. Could it be that I want to be covered in rice flour? If anyone cooks gluten-free then you know how dusty rice flour can be. It is worse the regular flour. Do I want to accidentally wipe egg whites down the side of my black pants? Maybe I just want to have the evidence smeared on me that I did something in the kitchen.

In all honesty, I have no idea why I don't whip out the aprons. They are cute and would save on clean up. Maybe if I had the Dorothy Apron in Red from Carolyn's Kitchen, I'd have to bake more often.

Wondering why all of a sudden I'm talking about aprons? Go check out Mama Kat's website for more information.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Friendship is not always sunny-side up."
from Eggs by Jerry Spinellie