Saturday, December 31, 2011


Being on a 3 week break has some pretty major advantages. Traveling (well, that isn't necessarily and advantage at times), catching up on TV shows, gorging on sweets until you gain 3 pounds, working on the but-shaped dent in the couch. Ah yes, break.

It has also given me an opportunity to craft. So here are some of the projects we've been working on...

These were Christmas gifts for the family - puzzle coasters. The kids drew on 8x8 pieces of paper and I cut them up in fours and mod podged them onto while title. After they dried, I sprayed them with acrylic spray, and super glued cork board onto the back. Voila! A fun set of homemade coasters.

We also made a homemade gift for my Aunt for her birthday. This required less active work on the part of the kids, but it turned out to be SUPER cute.

The trunks are the kids' arms and hands. It's mod podge (again, that stuff is so versatile!). I want to make a larger on to hand on our wall but haven't quite gotten around to it yet. It's actually rather time consuming to cut the leaves and paste them on, but I really love the way it turned out.

I've also gotten back into crochet. I made some beanies, but then tried out an owl hat. Here's my 1st try.

And Bubby's

And Sissy's

I have a few different types of hats/hoods that I want to try before I go back next week, we'll see how many actually get done :)


I have Christmas and traveling blogging to do, but today is our anniversary so I'll start with that and work my way back.

4 years ago tonight Bryan and I were married - we had a wonderful wedding that started at 9pm NYE and ended at 2am New Years Day with only a brief interruption to actually get married shortly after the stroke of midnight.

The day we got married was a pretty nice one. Cold, but sunny and no sign of rain.

Today wasn't too different, just warmer. And so to celebrate, we went to the beach. And now you're jealous. You should be, it was awesome. In fact, it was the only time during the day that Penelope didn't whine, maybe we should go to the beach everyday...

So Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband - here's hoping for many, many more!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Crafts

I realize that posting this will spoil the surprise for anyone that receives these gifts in a few days, but I am quite proud of them and have a hard time keeping secrets so I will post it anyway.

This year is a "thin" one since for most of the year I was unemployed. I've been trying to figure out a way to give all the people we love meaningful gifts without breaking the bank. A friend of mine posted a link on how to make home-made coasters. The blog post used holiday napkins as the decoration - but I decided to use the kid's artwork instead.

So I gathered up supplies (white 4x4 tile, mod podge, cork backing, acrylic spray) and had the kids color (which was quite the ordeal once we got to the last few pieces of paper - turns out that making two toddlers churn out artwork is harder than it sounds).

I then cute, pasted, layered, sprayed, and glued.

And Viola!

They were pretty easy to make, but rather time consuming.

I have a boat-load of Hod Podge left over and a bunch of craft ideas, so maybe I'll start work on those when we get back from our bi-State holiday tour.

Baking with the babies

For Penelope's birthday we make cupcakes for daycare and cake for our pizza-party. Penelope helped with both (and actually helped). Griffin watched.

It was actually a lot of fun. Prior to this event, Penelope's "helping" has been less than helpful when it comes to cooking. But this time she was able to count out scoops, stir without making a mess, and didn't try and stick her hand into the batter.

Plus, she looked super cute while baking.

The Bubs

So my mom gets off my back :)

For the last two days my mom has been pestering me to post these pictures of our cookie decorating party this weekend. I have a lot of posts to catch up on, so posting this now isn't quite right chronologically, but I'm sure y'all will be able to figure things out.

So yes. Cookies.

It's a tradition in our family to bake an army of cookies around the holidays and invite people over to decorate. My parents recently uncovered a significant amount of video from Christmases past of all of us, plus many other family and friends, decorating oodles of cookies. I have many, many fond memories of cookie decoration parties. In fact, most of my Christmas memories are of cookie parties.

I have learned many things from my years participating in cookie parties.

1. Bake the cookies beforehand.
2. Wax paper the heck out of your decorating surface.
3. Keep sprinkles out of the reach of anyone under the age of 5.
4. Bake about a dozen cookie (or slightly less) per participant.

The reason you "only" bake a dozen cookies per participant is that the younger kids lose interest about 2 cookies in (and eat those anyway), the older kids decorate about 10 before losing interest, and the adults usually end up making a dozen "fancy" cookies before just slathering on some frosting and sprinkling it with whatever is handy. So a dozen per person means less 'grunt' work at the end of the party and you still get enough cookies for everyone to eat a few and take some home.

This year my parents were 3+ hours away and I considered not doing any cookies. It was the end of the semester, I was exhausted, Bryan was busy with work and school, and the parties can be a lot of work. But because I have such fond memories of cookie parties I decided to have one anyway and invite some of my coworkers.

And I am so, so, SO glad I did. We all had a wonderful time - the kids (well, Penelope) still talks about the cookie party, so I know that she's starting to form the same kind of memories I have about the holiday season. And I love that we're establishing traditions for our family. We don't have religious traditions (since we're Atheists) but we still feel that traditions are important, so the cookie parties give us an opportunity to create/maintain some secular holiday traditions that we can enjoy every year.

Also? We have Star Wars cookie cutters. So the party was extra awesome.

And now - finally - here are the pictures:

Star Wars batch

All the baked cookies

Griffin "decorating"

Two of Penelope's cookies and one of mine

With the Bubs

Sissy with her crown (which she got at the $1 bin at Target for being brave and peeing in the bathroom there - which, BTW, is loud and scary)

Apparently I have not learned rule #3 well enough

Heather, Andrew, & Chrissy - A&C teach English at SHS. H is a SPED Aid and is married to A. H&A have two girls (6 & 16 months).

All of us, sitting in the front are Patrice and her son Connor. C came because of the Star Wars cookies ;)

Some of Connor's "masterpieces"

More cookies!

As you can see, we had fun. So much fun that we forgot to take video. This will definitely be a yearly event so next year I promise video.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"I don't wanna be 3"

Yesterday was Poe's birthday and to celebrate we went out to pizza. I invited a few colleagues from work and we had a small, but very fun, party. Penny had so much fun with her friends Maggie & Sophia (daughter of the Principal & Activities Director, repectively) that in the car on the ride home she said:

"Mommy, I don't wanna be three. I wanna be two."

"Why sissy?"

"I have another birthday party and see my friends!"

So I guess this means I need to be proactive and arrange a playdate.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Getting to Three

I was planning on a picture montage of Penelope from birth to 3... but it was about 30 pictures. So instead I'll TRY and choose just one from birth, 1, 2, & 3. Try.

Happy Third Birthday my Love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've had about a dozen blog posts marinating around in my head for what seems like ages and what is probably more like days. And now that I have a few minutes to post I am drawing a huge, predictable, contemptible blank. D**n it. So what follows may not be coherent nor well written but hey, at least it's a blog.

Bubby is, perhaps, the most snuggly child in the entire world. They come in frequent yet short bursts of burryhisheadinyourchest bear hugs. It is absolutely one of the best things in the whole world. Sissy is also very snuggly, she likes to snuggle in next to you to read or watch a movie... but Bubby's snuggles are of a very unique variety. While Sissy's are sweet and almost tender, Griffin's feel like he's embracing you with his entire soul.

He's so fracking adorable.

But he's not a baby anymore. BIG HUGE SIGH. He's *almost* slept through the night for the past 4 nights and he is more vocal everyday. He's almost 2 for goodness sake. TWO.

Speaking of no-longer-a-baby. Penelope turns THREE on Monday. W.T.F.

She's doing really well with potty training. We had one accident yesterday but that's been the only once since Saturday. We're very proud of her - and she's very proud of herself. She had her birthday party the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was a skating party and overall, it was a lot of fun. I think some of the kids were still a smidge too young, but they have to start sometime, right? I need to get the pics off my mom's Facebook page so I can post them on the blog. There's some video of P & G skating as well. Griffin actually loves it (for about 10 minutes, which is pretty good for a 1.5 year old). I think B is looking forward to when the kids are a bit more proficient so they can all go out and race :)

For her actual birthday, I think we'll just go out to dinner and keep it low-key. I might see if some of my coworkers can make it out, a few of them have kids P's age so it would be nice to socialize with other families.

It would just be nice to socialize :) We're into a rhythm with our schedules, but we haven't really made the time for life outside the four of us. Not to say that we're hermits, but regular playdates, dinners, nights out, or date night just haven't made it onto our list of things to do. There are just 2.5 weeks left of the semester and one of those weeks is Finals week. So I have just a little over a week to finish up curriculum and prep for our final.

In my Frosh classes we're actually conducting a trial (similar to Mock Trial) putting Odysseus on trial. The prosecution will try to prove that he isn't a hero and the defense will try to prove he is. We have attorneys, witnesses, court reporters, jurors, a bailiff, and a judge (me!). I'm really looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun - for the students and for me. At least, I hope it is.

Speaking of work, I have some to do.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Potty training

I have in previous posts mentioned how much I loathe potty training. I don't hate it as much as teething, but it comes in at a pretty close second.

The reason I despise the PT is mostly because I hate the constant questioning and bribing. We don't have a backyard that's kid friendly AND it's freezing outside, so naked training is out. And she refuses to be naked anyway unless she's taking a bath. She wants to wear underwear until you pull it out and then she cries that she wants a diaper "like Bubby". She never says she has to pee so you end up asking every 20 minutes. Exhausting. And confining, we end up spending lots of time indoors close to a potty and I get cabin fever LIKE CRAZY.

So we hadn't really done much in the way of potty training except having her sit on the potty before bathtime.

Until now. Friday when I picked her up from daycare, she told Miss Monica and I that she was ready for underwear and that she wasn't going to wear diapers anymore "because I'm a big girl, not a baby like Bubba."

So we jumped in. Saturday morning we pulled out the pull-ups (after a mini tantrum when she demanded a diaper because she was "a baby, mama, I'm just a baby" - this ended with the promise of stickers). I think I already blogged about Saturday's accidents (just 2) and today we just had 1 (pee) which means she pooped on the potty. Not willingly, I saw her "assume the position" and so I carried her into the bathroom while she protested. But she did it and was very proud of herself.

She's going to hate me for writing this post when she's older.

I would really love for her to be able to *tell* me when she has to go. Hopefully that will happen by her birthday... hopefully.

Who's iPad?

Not mine, apparently.

Both children have decided that Mommy's iPad is actually their iPad. And I can't really blame them, it's loaded with apps designed just for them. Our current favorites are "The Monster at the End of this Book" (thanks Lorena) and Elmo's ABCs. But they can both find the Netflix app and access Calliou or Yo Gabba Gabba without any assistance. I'm surprised Griffin hasn't ordered something or e-mailed someone yet.

And we've eliminated diapers for Poe. Yesterday was day 1 and she had 1 accident and then refused to poop on the potty. But she did pee on the potty 4 times, so it was a good first day. Today was harder since we went to the aquarium and she refused to pee there... so she is in a pull up for naps and I can bet she'll pee during her nap.

It's a process.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I left the adoption meeting tonight both well informed and a little sad.

A little sad because based on what I learned today, it doesn't look like we're ready to seriously start the process. That doesn't mean we won't ever be ready, but it's not going to happen now. Or even next year.

The major road block is that opposite gendered children can't share rooms. And while we have a 3 bedroom house, one room is Bryan's office/TV room, one room is our bedroom, and the other is for Poe & G. So while their bedroom could hold another bed (especially if we went with bunk beds), it won't work for foster-adopt requirements for space.

It also looks like the best option for us is to adopt a school-aged child... 1st grade or so. And neither one of us is ready to do that until P & G are a little older.

So things are on hold. For now... and we'll see how things progress.

I knew it wasn't going to be a quick process. I knew that it would be awhile before we actually had a child placed with us... but I was hoping that we could at least start the process. So I'm a little sad that we're not even ready for that - and that I don't know when we will be ready.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Monday, Monday, Monday!

So Monday is the informational meeting at a local adoption/fostering agency. I am both excited and a tad apprehensive.

I want to adopt. I feel that our family has the love to give. I feel that it's the socially responsible thing to do.

But oh boy am I nervous.

Lately the kids have been... challenging. Griffin's sleep is still erratic, Penelope is testing boundaries, potty training is a headache, and we're all stressed out. So the idea of adding another child into the mix is occasionally overwhelming.

But it's not overwhelming because of the adoption aspect, it would be just as overwhelming if we decided to get pregnant (perhaps more overwhelming that way since the newborn phase is incredibly taxing).

It's just a very different mindset, this choosing to have another child. With Poe and Griff I spent most of my pregnancies in a quasi state of shock. There was no "Is this the right time? How will this affect our family dynamic? Can we afford a child?" - we just coped because, well, we had to. And it was ok - while the babies weren't planned, they were most certainly loved and we cannot imagine life without them. I honestly wouldn't change things (I know I'm supposed to say that), I mean, I would change some things. I would change Griffin's sleep habits. I would change Penelope's desire to potty train. I would hire a maid if I could. But those are little things (ok, the sleep thing is kinda big, at least while we're in the thick of it), but you know what I mean.

And I know. I know that when we've finished the adoption process; when we have three beautiful children; when we've all adjusted to life as a 5-some; when we're all reading together before bed, or opening presents on Christmas morning, or having breakfast together, or singing songs in the car, or making another of the 1,000,000 memories we'll share that B & I will know that what we did was the right thing for us, for our family, for our kids. We'll know that the hoops were worth it, that tantrums in surround sound are fleeting, that our life is best measured in hugs rather than in account balances.

We'll get there. We're close to being there. But we're not quite there yet.

Also? My baby girl is not a baby anymore:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Was a 5 (or was it 6?) wakings night... But they all were relatively short lived and he went back to sleep with some shushing and patting. Better. Not great.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Last night...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Well, we survived the Rapture

In case you missed it, the Rapture was supposed to happen a few weeks ago. So congrats, you survived. Or maybe, sorry you're still here?

Anyway, updates.

We have a new daycare provider (DCP). We liked our old day DCP, but she moved and it was the perfect (albeit stressful) opportunity to find something a little more structured. And we did! Monica's Daycare is run a lot more like school-prep with plenty of outside play, arts and crafts, and... potty training! We actually haven't started Poe on the PT wagon quite yet, but we will soon.

She, of course, loves her new daycare. She loves making new friends, she loves spending all day with kids her age, she loves the structure and the learning activities. I honestly don't know if there's anything she doesn't love. She wakes every morning with a cheery "Good morning Mommy! Good morning Daddy! Good morning Bubba! Good Morning Harley!". She calls strangers in parking lots and grocery stores her "best friend".

This isn't to say that she's always this cheery, friendly, and lovey. She has bad days. But overall? She is my sunshine.

Our favorite game is to ask each other "guess what?.... I LOVE YOU!"

She's also taken to asking us about our days over dinner. It is adorable. "Hey B, how was your day?" is perhaps the sweetest and funniest thing I hear her say every day. Or "Mama, how was your sleep?" Or "Bubby, did you have a good nappy?"

Speaking of the Bubs, Monster has been regressing with his sleep, which SUCKS. I mention this because he's now awake and I have to run and get him.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I know, I know

It's been ages. Well, at least it feels like ages.

Part of the reason I haven't posted is because I (we) are crazy-busy. Homecoming just wrapped up this weekend and as Frosh class adviser I spent a fair amount of time dedicated to the whole process. Not nearly as much time as some other staff members though - yeesh - Homecoming is a time consuming monster.

The other reason is that blogger is blocked when I'm logged into my school e-mail. So even at home I have to switch G-Mail accounts in order to access this page. Not a super big deal, but with me being a. busy and b. lazy, it really hampered any serious blogging.

Not like I'm going to get into much serious blogging anyway - it's almost 9:30 and I have my plans finished, have half of my grading done, and I'm exhausted. My bed is seductively calling my name, but I wanted to get at least a few things down first.

Griffin is 18 months old - a whole year and a half! He's been celebrating this by sleeping slightly better (thankyouFSM), adding a few new words to his vocab (remote, moo, sorry), and climbing. On everything. I posted his growth charts to Facebook, but he's 95% for height (as always) and 50-ish% for weight (as always). He's tall and lean - just like his Daddy. His curls are coming in quite nicely and he's very close to rockin' the Billy Cyrus mullet. Still haven't gotten him a haircut and I'm not planning on it anytime soon. I love his mop.

Poe is fast approaching 3... going on 18. She's into the back-talking phase (although if she's anything like her mother that's not really a phase). She is also the nice police. Bryan and I have a habit of playfully smacking each other on the rear. Penelope does not like this and will often say (mostly to me, since Daddy is her favorite). "Stop that. Be nice and no hitting or you will sit in a time-out!" So now we sneak in our love-smacks while she's not looking.

We also tattle on each other to her. Which just goes to show how incredibly mature we both are at all times. :) She enjoys scolding us I think.

She is also big into singing now. She's seems to be constantly singing... the ABC's, some Princess song, The Wheels on the Bus, and Itsy-Bitsy Spiderman... it goes like this:

The itsy bitsy Spiderman went up the water-spout
Down came the rain and washed Spiderman out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy Spiderman went up the spout again!

So hilarious.

I briefly mentioned Homecoming above - and I want to revisit it at some point because Pen got to be in the Homecoming parade. G and I were in it as well, but it was just so we could sit with her and the other Princesses (Disney theme). She dressed as Belle and had a grand time waving to everyone and shouting "hello people! Happy Homecoming!"

She was supposed to be in the halftime show with the other girls, but it ran too far past bedtime and she had had enough. So we bowed out and she went home and fell asleep about 2 seconds after she lay down.

I have lots of pictures and I promise to try to post them soon.

There is really so much more... but I now that I'm actually sitting down to type I can't remember any of it.

Hopefully things settle down a little and I can find more time to post. I miss chronicling all that the kids do.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lets talk for a minute about schedules

I've been complaining a lot on Facebook about BTSA. It's a program for new teachers that is supposed to support new teachers. Sounds good huh?

Well, it's not. It is, in fact, the one thing that is stressing me out to the point of tears. Mostly because it is incredibly time consuming... your first year of teaching is time consuming anyway - what with all the planning, grading, adjusting, evaluations, working on things like classroom management and effective lesson planning, trainings, and that little thing called a family (and this is the short list). Add in mounds of paperwork (the relevance of which is not entirely clear) and mandatory meetings and seminars, and you have one time-sucking program.

I have an "assignment" due on the 7th. In addition to some collaborative logs which were due Friday that I didn't complete. The logs are apparently due every month, but that was not made clear at the beginning of this whole process. In fact, little was actually made clear at the beginning, which is why I find the whole thing so stressful and supremely annoying.

Here's my daily weekday schedule. Let's see if we can find some time in it where I should have worked on BTSA instead of something else.

5:30am - wake up, shower, eat, dress, make lunch
6:30am - leave for work
6:45am - arrive at work, grade, respond to e-mail, make copies, write objectives on the boards of my multiple classrooms
8am - school starts
10am - prep period: make copies, grade papers, input grades, respond to e-mails
12:05pm - lunch: eat, grade, respond to e-mails, attend the occasional meeting (at least two a week), give make-up tests, pee
2:50pm - school ends: meet with students, meet with teachers, check mailbox, respond to e-mails, organize my rolling cart for the next day, pack work into my satchel to take home.
3:30pm - go home (or supervise a Freshman flower party), pick up the kids
4pm - spend time with the kids, play outside, run errands
5pm - start dinner, do dishes
5:45 or 6pm - eat dinner
6:30pm - bath time
7pm - winding down with Kipper
7:30pm - reading time with Penelope, Bryan rocks Griffin
8pm - kids in bed, grading, responding to e-mail, updating grades, lesson planning, having a conversation with my husband
9:30pm - go to bed

So what do I do? Not grade? Not plan? Not spend time with my kids? Stay up until midnight and wake up at 4?

This month I have TWO seminars. Plus I'm supposed to use prep time to observe classes, have weekly meetings with my support teacher, and work on the next "module" which is an assessment of teaching. THE SAME THING I DID IN MY TEACHER CREDENTIALING PROGRAM.

I do not have any TIME.

Notice how no-where in that schedule is there time just for me. I check Facebook/Proboards/my personal e-mail in the morning while I shovel down my toast or in between grading essays. I do not exercise. I do not read for pleasure. This is why I haven't updated consistently since I started working. We recently joined the YMCA and I will be fitting in some exercise time at least once a week. We do have our weekends for family time - and I REFUSE to give that up for BTSA. Refuse.

My schedule is balanced for my job as a teacher. It will get better as I get further into teaching - there will be slightly less lesson planning and I'll become more efficient with my grading. But adding the paperwork for this "support" program into the mix throws it all off kilter. It means I give up my precious weekend time. It means I spend less time with my children. And I am not ok with this.

Nothing better

Than singing loudly and dramatically to Disney Princess songs with the Poe.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I can't find our camera

Not like I'd use it anyway, but our camera has been MIA since the move. It's probably in a box somewhere and FSM only know where the battery charger is.

I do have a camera on my iPad, and I've been using it really inconsistently to take pics of the kids and of life out here in sunny Salinas (and it has been sunny recently, today is as clear as a bell and in the mid 70s, it's gorgeous).

So I feel bad about the lack of picture posting but not bad enough to actually do something to remedy the situation.

Today we went to a health faire that our insurance put on - and got some free flu shots (not the kids, they didn't have the pediatric shots there or some other such nonsense) and picked up a bunch of fliers, half of which I promptly recycled when I got home. Half were actually useful though, so that's pretty good for a health faire.

I did the "free health screening" which I thought was going to be a bunch of nonsense but was actually marginally helpful so score on that front. My blood pressure is so low that the health technician looked at the cuff like something was wrong with it until I told her that I have always had super low blood pressure. Usually it's at 110/80 which is on the low side of normal, but today is was 98/60. It was like that all through my pregnancies (and no, I am NOT pregnant) and my midwives always asked me how I was able to do things like stand, let alone run after a toddler. All my cholesterol and blood sugar levels were in the excellent to normal range and the woman reviewing my paperwork gave me an "A+". My BMI is almost exactly where I wanted it to be. I'd like to knock off a smidge more, but I'm just happy it's back into the normal range.

This is an exciting post, isn't it?

On to the kids.

I have recently decided that Griffin is more wild animal than human being. He's taken to rolling around on the floor and attempting to scale the walls. He's part dog and part monkey, perhaps. However, his vocabulary is coming along quite nicely so I know that there's still human in there somewhere (underneath the layers of dried yogurt and oatmeal). There are hyenas that are neater than he is.

He goes in for his 18 month check up in less than two weeks. I can't believe he's already a year and a half old! And Penelope will be THREE in two months. WTF? Yeah, yeah, yeah, time flies, blah blah blah. I know. But holy crap.

My babies aren't really much of babies. And this is why I only feel the tiniest bit of guilt for enjoying the last time Griffin was sick because he would actually snuggle with me then. Don't judge. 99% of the time he's a blur of activity, so I try and enjoy the rare times when he's lovey... I should clarify. He's lovey a lot - the child loves to give hugs and kisses. But he does so with speed and he leads with his head. So while you get lots of kisses, you also get black eyes and bruised arms. Sick Bubby is a sunggly, gentle Bubby. He's also clingy and whiny, but hey - at least I get my snuggles.

Poe is... Poe. We have a new favorite game. She says "guess what?" I say "what?" she says "I love you!" - it is the

She's also started really singing. The Little Mermaid song, the theme from Aladdin, the Spectacular Spiderman theme song... I promise we don't actually watch that much TV. Unless I need to do something like dishes or cleaning... ok, so we watch an hour a day. Which is more than I had planned on before they were born, but that always happens - you make grand plans and then they all go to pot. We could always move the TV to the garage, but I like winding down with Kipper every night or watching Spiderman on Saturday mornings. I like the occasional family movie night. I like being able to pee by myself. So the TV stays.

I think both kids are due for a tandem growth spurt. Griffin always eats like it's his last meal, but Pen has recently joined him in the "shovelinallyoucan" buffet. They took a three hour nap on Friday and then actually slept for almost 11 hours last night (not straight, Penny was up once and G was up twice). But that's still pretty good...

Griffin's sleep has been better, but he's still up at least once a night. I'm really looking forward to when that stops, but I'm not going to hold my breath. It'll happen when it happens.

I just looked at the clock. I should really start grading essays.


My students are not going to be happy with me on Monday. Some of them wrote decent papers but didn't address the prompt and I am slashing those grades. If you can't answer the question it doesn't matter how great your grammar is, KWIM? Ok, time to be productive.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The next chapter

So I should really, really, really, really, really be finishing my sub plans for tomorrow. But I'm not. In part because ohmyholypasta that is boring - I've written way too many sub plans already this year for trainings and seminars and I'm tired of writing them. Luckily for my sub, my LAD kids are taking the CELDT and my Freshmen are typing in the library. Easy peasy (hopefully). So it's not like my plans have to be magically detailed. But I'm still not motivated to write them. The larger part of my reluctance to be productive is that I sooooooo owe you all a blog. It's been AGES since I posted last. I can't even remember what my last post was about. Probably about how weird or disgusting the youngest child is, because he's really weird and disgusting (in that sweet, endearing way). But you all deserve a real update and I have one to give you. We're adopting. Not today. Or even next week or next month. But today I talked with someone from a local adoption/foster agency and in November I'm going to attend an informational meeting so we can start the process. Ideally we'd have a new little Rodgers by *next* Christmas. So Poe will be 4, Griff will be 2.5, and NLR (new little Rodgers) will be...??? Our ideal age range is 3 or younger. So we'll see what the universe has in store for us. This has been something Bryan and I have talked about for awhile. And I don't want to put it off anymore - we have the love and the room (well, we need a bigger car, but that's an easy thing to fix). I've always wanted lots of kids, and three is our compromise. I also hate being pregnant with a passion of one thousand suns... plus I've finally lost all my baby weight. So this allows us to grow our family while preserving my sanity and my waist. My PPD with Griffin was pretty horrible, I don't want to go through that again. I also don't want to take off weeks and weeks of work. Obviously I'll take some time off when NLR joins our family so we can all have time to bond, adjust, and enjoy each other. But there's no "healing" time involved in adoption. No breastfeeding woes. No pads the size of life rafts. I'm sure it will come with it's own unique set of challenges, but I'm looking forward to facing those challenges as a family. I asked Penelope if she wanted a new brother or sister and she said "ummm... yes Mommy, I would please" Griffin just headbutted me. I take that as a yes. I'm really looking forward to it. Since both Poe & G were unplanned I never got the opportunity to anticipate or plan. We rolled with the surprise and were happy - but the intentionality of this process is a whole different animal. And the organizer in me loves it. So the process will not be fast. And I'm sure it will be stressful at times. We don't have any race/gender preferences. We do only want one (so no sibling groups), and for a variety of reasons we can't take a child with significant health issues. But we've made the first step, and I'm so very glad we have.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Boys are disgusting

Exhibit A:

The other day I was taking a shower and G-Man was in the bathroom with me. I hear an odd splashing sound and peek out to see Griffin dip Bryan's toothbrush in the toilet and then brush his teeth with it.


Exhibit B:

Griffin tends to spit up. Especially since he is in a constant state of motion even after he eats. This morning he spit up on the rug after having done a somersault about 2 minutes after eating. Immediately after he pukes he sticks his hand in it.

Exhibit C:

He routinely lifts the lid of the potty seat and either puts his hand or his foot in the pee-catching receptacle.

Gross. Boys are GROSS.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A difference of opinion

Griffin and I don't always see eye to eye.

Case in point:

My idea of brushing his hair is sitting down (mostly still) for 10 seconds.

His idea of me brushing his hair is wiggling out of my grasp, crawling around on the floor while laughing hysterically as I mutter obscenities under my breath, shrieking with delight when he is recaptured, then flailing around like some sort of Pentecostal as I attempt to brush, and finally it ends with me giving up. This lasts about 6 minutes.

I have a feeling this won't be the only thing we disagree about as he grows up.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No time, you get this

Things are i.n.s.a.n.e. in the Rodgers household.

Mostly because I don't think I really grasped just how many meetings teachers are required to attend. There are even more your first year (although heaven forbid you become Dept Chair b/c you have a crazy # of meetings then). I literally have meetings twice a week. At least. Some at lunch, some afterschool. Today I had two. Tomorrow I have one. Tomorrow is also Back To School Night. Friday I have one. Oh! I forgot, I have two tomorrow since I have one before school AND at lunch.

Now, approx 25% of these meetings are my fault... i.e. I called them. And it's because I'm meeting with counselors/intervention specialists/SPED aids/students to work with those who are falling behind. I know, it's only week 3 (4?) but there are a few students who already need to play catch up. I want that to happen NOW instead of December 1st. So I bring a bit of this on myself.

The rest of the meetings are required but MOST of them are productive. So at least something is being accomplished or I'm discussing events/information that is relevant/directly impacts my teaching practice or my students. So thank goodness for those kinds of meetings... because I've been in useless meetings and they make me want to pull out my hair.

In kid-related news, I have decided that our children are geniuses. GENIUSES. Griffin can point to #s 1-9. He also has about 10 signs and 3 spoken words. And other than the fact that he's still not sleeping through the night and can throw a tantrum which can be seen from space, he's the sweetest boy child I have ever known. I'm totally unbiased.

I'm actually pretty impressed with his number recognition skills. I need to work on letters.

Penelope recites books from memory. Not joking. If she's NOT reading by her 4th birthday I'll be shocked. I wouldn't be surprised if she read much sooner than that. She can't throw a ball (she throws it behind her) but she'll read very early. Since she is my child, no one should be surprised. Bryan might argue that I still cannot throw a ball. (He'd be wrong. I can throw. Just not accurately or with any distance.)

Let's see... what else?

Poe has taken to saying "be careful with my body" when she is being roughhoused (is that a form of that word? Is it a verb or noun? Meh, whatever). It's pretty funny. I've taken to saying it as well, it's a good phrase.

Weaning is going ok. We nurse once a day - usually at 4am. I'm hoping that soon we'll give that one up (because hopefully he'll soon be sleeping at 4am). He's getting better with sleep as long as I'm NOT the one to put him to bed. Stinker.

Daycare is going well, the kids still like Stephanie and she's been teaching them Spanish and phonics. I'm glad it's working out... just one less thing to worry about.

Bryan is still working, the house is good, we're all ok. We had a fever scare last week that landed us in the ER but everyone is better. I turn 30 in 13-ish days (eep!) and will hopefully spend the weekend before my birthday on the beach.

More later. Maybe. Probably. I've been neglecting the blog and haven't been posting as often in some of my forums. I will be giving at least one up, I just don't have the time... and when I do have downtime I really need to spend it sleeping or spending as much time with B and the kids as I can. From what I have heard from many experienced teachers is that you need to find balance or else you burn out quickly. I'd like to retire as a teacher so I need to start pacing myself.

I'll start next week. Next week is better for that. M'kay?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where does the time go?

So we have all survived an entire week of work and daycare. In fact, most of us enjoyed the week and the new routine... Although we would all enjoy it a lot more if Griffin would decided that sleep is a worthwhile endeavor.

I haven't nursed him since 4am this morning, so we'll see. He hasn't asked to nurse yet, but since he prefers to nurse at night I'm expecting a few protests tonight. I have no idea if I will cave or hold firm. At 4am, nothing is certain.

Anyway, a full week has passed - already! Next thing you know it will be Labor Day, then my birthday, then Winter Break, then Spring Break, and then the end of the year. Ohmygoshyouguys the year is almost over!

This year I turn 30, Penelope turns 3, and Griffin will be 2. Bryan will also age, but since he looks perpetually 23 it doesn't matter if I post his age since no one will believe me. (he'll be 38)

So my question is, where does the time go? We celebrate our 4th anniversary this year. FOUR. I know that's nowhere near my parents 31 years, but I feel like we just got married. Now we have two kids and a car payment.

Speaking of weddings, I can officially fit into my little black dress from our wedding. It doesn't fit quite the same, but I can zip it. hooray! I don't think I can quite fit into the wedding dress though, I still need to lose 5ish more pounds. I'm 2 lbs away from having lost 40lbs since G's birth so I'm feeling pretty good about that. I could probably be doing better if I'd excise once in awhile. I think a few of us SHS staff are going to get together once a week for yoga, so that will help. It will also be nice to do something just for me and to cultivate some deeper friendships out here.

Speaking of work, I should head to bed so I can attempt as much sleep as Griffin will allow before work tomorrow. But before I sign off, here are some pictures of our trip to the aquarium this weekend.

And then one more of Sissy since I didn't get a ton of her at the aquarium

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How you know...

So, how do you know when your toddler has seen "The Little Mermaid" too many times?

When you're out to eat and the first thing she does upon sitting down at the table is exclaim "Look Mommy, a dinglehopper!" and the proceed to comb her hair with a fork.

Also overheard today:

"Hi, my name is Penelope and that is my mommy Jessica and I am two. What's your name?"


"Mama, you're big and daddy is big but Bubby is little. (pause) And I'm little too"

Ok, so how did YOU wean?

Last night was awful.

Griffin nursed to sleep at 8; woke up at 9:30 and nursed; woke up at 12:30 and I tried rubbing his back, rocking, singing, shhh'ing... it seemed to work at first, his eyes were still closed and he settled back down for a moment. But then? Then it was terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad. He screamed and flailed about like a child possessed. *sigh* Bryan took him at that point and gave him a bottle. He had a few ounces and eventually fell asleep. Then he was up AGAIN at 4:00, 5:30, and finally at 7:15.

I nursed him each subsequent waking for about 20 minutes - not like it helped since he woke up each time cranky, whiny, and on the verge of screaming. Which is what he's been like every night for the past.... 16 months?

If I would have nursed him during the Abyss (as I have taken to calling it) he would have fallen asleep, but he would have stayed attached for anywhere from 20-40 minutes in order to stay asleep. This is not ok. He is not an infant anymore and I cannot sleep while he nurses.

So if we're counting, that means that Bryan and I got less than 6 hours of sleep and no stretch longer than 2.5 hours.

The whole situation pretty much sucks.

And B and I are very much looking forward to next week when we'll be in Sacramento and my parents will have the kids for a night.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


That is one daunting title, isn't it?

For the past few days, Bryan and I have been tossing around the idea of weaning Griffin. I've been thinking about it for a few weeks, but not seriously... and I think it's time to get serious. Griffin's sleep is terrible. It's not getting any better and I am at the limit of my ability to cope. I can no longer afford to sleep in until 7 or 8 after a difficult night, I'm up at 5:30 and go to bed at 10. I need him to sleep.

Also? He's become a bit of a monster. Tantrum throwing, banshee screaming, balled fists, crocodile tears, hyperventilation.... all when I leave his sight or when I tell him that it's not the time to nurse (since we don't nurse on demand anymore).

I know some of this tantrum throwing can be attributed to recent changes - the move, daycare, etc. And I know some of this tantrum throwing can be attributed to the age. Tantrums are pretty common when children can't express themselves fully - heck, I see it in high school when teens don't have the language/vocabulary to adequately express their emotions/opinions. They don't throw tantrums, but they certainly act out and get defiant and angry.

Anyway, G turns into a different, less pleasant, child when I'm around.

Common denominator in all of these areas? Nursing.

And so I think it is time. I'm just not quite sure how to go about it. Cold turkey? Slow decrease?

Although perhaps Griffin will make the decision for me, tonight he only asked to nurse once and didn't nurse to sleep. I don't think that's ever happened before. So perhaps, perhaps, this process will be relatively painless for everyone involved. Perhaps.

But I'm not going to hold my breath.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


This weekend was truly wonderful - for a lot of reasons, mostly though it was because we were able to spend so much time together as a family. Last weekend we were still so busy unpacking, the weekend before was the move, and prior to that I was working at HLC at least day each weekend so we only had one day during the weekend to be all together. Bryan's been swamped too, so he's been spending as much time as possible working. This weekend, while he and I both did a little bit of work (him more than me), we spent a lot of time doing fun (and free!) family activities.

But before I get into the weekend (with pictures!) I wanted to talk about daycare. Friday was the kids' first day in daycare and it went really, really well. Stephanie said they were great and Poe had such a good time that she didn't want to leave. She actually asked me twice this weekend to go play at Stephanie's house, so I think daycare is a hit. I'm sure both kids will have days when they don't want to go, but we've found a good fit I think. This week will be their full week in daycare and I don't really foresee any problems. So that's nice.

On to the weekend!

Friday night after picking the kids up we headed back to campus for the Freshman mixer. I saw a lot of my students, met a parent, and the kids got to play with some other teacher/admin toddlers. My principal has a daughter a month younger than Poe (and a baby boy that's due any day) and the activities director has a daughter the same age as the principal's daughter. The girls seemed to have a really good time together. Penelope was wearing her Princess crown, so one of the little girls kept calling her Princess... as in "hey Princess! Come here Princess!" So cute.

Saturday G and I woke up early and took a mommy/son trip to Seaside for teacher appreciation day at Staples. It was nice to spend some time with him one on one and I think he enjoyed it as well. Afterward B and I talked about the beach or the Aquarium, but decided to get a small start on the backyard. Our backyard is basically an L shaped dirt run. Not super wide, but not super narrow. Semi divided in two. All dirt.

Since we live in the "salad bowl" I decided that I'd really like to start a garden. We're not planning on being in this place for years, but I know almost nothing about gardening and so am considering this my starter garden. When we own a place out here a few years down the line then my experiences with this garden will help me design my permanent garden.

So we picked a spot and got to digging. The plot will end up being 13' x 6' - so not huge, but decent sized. We got rid of all the top soil (like my handy dandy gardening for dummies website suggested) and did a bit of tilling. It took a little while to get the soil removed so we didn't till it all. We'll probably rent a small roto tiller in a couple of weeks and get the rest done. We're also considering putting sod on one side of the yard so we have a place to come out and sit/play, but I don't want to get too ambitious.

After lunch and naps we unpacked the office (finally). We also did an early dinner/bath so we could all watch a movie together downstairs. It was a nice homebody day. At one point Bryan took Penny for a bike ride and I took Griffin and the dog for a walk, but in general we stayed at home and just enjoyed being together.

Sunday we were more ambitious. The beach topped our list, followed by shopping, lunch, naps, a bike ride to the grocery store, dinner, the park, and finally baths and bed. Here's some beach pictures.

Ok, so this picture has to be explained... Griffin was digging trenches with his head. Yes, you read that right. I have no idea why. I have some video, will upload it later

So yeah, we had fun. Penelope was all about running up and down the beach. She ran with Harley and I for awhile and then ran for a long stretch with Bryan and Harley - that child loves to run. She also loves the beach, who can blame her?

Griffin and I buried each others feet and I made sand castles that he knocked over. He was all about immersing himself in the sand.

Neither child was brave enough to put their toes in the ocean :) I was! And Harley, of course, she loves the beach more than all of us combined.

I wish I had more pictures of the park, but we were too busy having fun. The kids spent some time in the swings, I swung... we played tag as a family, we climbed on the playground equipment. The park itself is small, but I LOVE having a park less than 2 blocks away. The library is also super close, less than a block. And I bike to school, it's only 1.5 blocks away. Love.

We did some light grocery shopping as well, just enough to fit in the back of the bike trailer. It is wonderful that I can take the kids to the grocery store on my bike. It is amazing that I can go days without getting into a car.

I do wish our daycare provider lived a little closer so I could ride my bike, but alas she does not. She's on the other side of town and while I could technically ride my bike, parts of that ride are just not safe for cyclists. Oh well. Even with that daily ride, we haven't had to put gas in the car since 8/5, which is a record for us.

Tomorrow starts the first full week of school and I feel ready. I still have some planning to do for the week and a few copies to make in the morning, but I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle my 6th period... I thought 6th period last year was an anomaly of energetic and... challenging kids, but apparently that's just 6th period. My group this year is a level up from last year's group (and I mean a level up in challenge). Things should get even more interesting when they shuffle schedules around after this next round of placement testing (long story). But I'm ready for them. Bring it on LAD B!

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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