Tuesday, December 23, 2014

She is 6, going on 16

Precocious children are precocious.

Especially precocious 6 year olds.

Penelope has been reading independently since before the end of TK, but she's always still enjoyed being read to and reading with her brother and me. Until recently, when she discovered the joy of 3rd-5th grade chapter books that are well within her reading level/stamina. While she still loves Harry Potter, we're on Book 5 and those chapters are loooooong and the print is small, so she's not quite ready to read them all on her own yet (soon though, so soon). Instead she devours books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Nancy Clancy, and Neverland Stories (or something like that). She read 2 DoaWK books in 2 days - which is pretty much what I do with books.

Today she spent a good 4 hours reading either the Marvel or Wolverine Encyclopedias. Seriously. The ENCYCLOPEDIAS of Nerd-dom.**

So now she doesn't read with us anymore. She sits on her bed and flies through chapters as Bubby and I make our way through Sneeches and Green Eggs and Ham for the 1 millionth time.

I guess I can't blame her, if I could read a new book almost every night I would too.

Griffin claims he'll always want me to read to him, even when he's 30 (he also claims that he'll want to live with me then too, and help me cook). But I can see the end of this snuggle time fast approaching as well. He's already got a handful of sight words, about what Penny had at this age, and is starting to "read" the books he has memorized. I will not be shocked if he's reading by the start of Kinder in August. Maybe he'll need more time than that, but he'll definitely be reading before he's 6.

At least the baby will still want to read with me... I should probably get us some new books. But by that time, Bubby & Sis may want to read *to* the baby. Then what will I do with myself?

Maybe I should get myself some of my own books.

**Speaking of Nerd-dom, Penelope has decided to forgo the cute apricot colored skirt and shirt we bought her for Christmas and instead wants to wear the dark wash skinny jeans and Wonder Woman t-shirt her brother bought her for Christmas. I brought this upon myself, and I can't say that I'm all that upset about her superhero obsession (because I think it's awesome), but it kills me how pre-teen she is already at 6.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Penelope had a birthday party

And I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to.

But that's ok, because it was fun. And I have these, which are fun too.

The table set up with the photo shoot area in the back.
We found tea cups, saucers, and tea pots at various thrift stores, along with doilies, lace things, and a pink-ish lacy curtain that was our photo shoot backdrop. I made the cupcakes look like flowers (which was crazy easy, thanks youtube!). They also had mason jars as glasses for lemonade.

All the tea was fruit tea (peach, blueberry, etc) and they actually drank it.

The food table: fruit, rice krispy treats, lemonade, cheese & crackers, candy dipped pretzels.
I briefly thought about making scones and mini cheese sandwiches and then had to reign myself in. She's 6, I'm pregnant. This was just fine. I liked the fancy punch bowl, provided by a friend. It was a nice touch.

Table + wall and ceiling decorations
The wall garland was super cute, I wish I had gotten a better shot of it. I do still have it, but I'm not about to drag it out of the kid's room just for a picture. The pom-poms hanging from the ceiling are still up in the house. We'll see how long it is before someone finally gets annoyed with them and takes them down. They're just tissue paper, and easy (but time consuming) to make. My dad & Bryan made half of them while mom and I prepped food the night before. Proof that my dad and husband are pretty freaking awesome.

The hat decorating station
So THIS is where I went overboard budget-wise. The girls each got a hat and a feather boa. They could add ribbons & flowers to their hats to make them super-fancy and tea-party ready. I had to ship the damn hats express to get them here on time because I suck at planning (well, I just got busy), so they were much pricier than I had originally planned. BUT they turned out insanely cute, see:
Birthday Girl in her fancy hat, boa, and party dress.
And then there's these:
My mom, who is awesome.
Penelope, blowing out her candles
I have more, mostly of Sissy and her friends or of her friends posing with the background, but since I don't have permission to post those I think I'll hold off. I'll print them for each girl though and we can include them in her Thank You cards.

I was pretty exhausted by the end of the party, and it was only a 2 hour gig.

Now to start planning Bubby's 5th. I think he wants a Robot theme. Hello Pinterest!

Fun with Old Wives Tales

So the other day I came across this site which lists 10 Old Wives Tales for baby sex prediction and I thought it would be fun to go through them all and see what the Old Wives have to say and then compare once baby Tre gets here.

So, here we go!

Old Wives Tale (OWT) #1: How you carry
Apparently one carries girls high and boys low. So based on this post I think it's safe to say I'm carrying high, which means that this OWT predicts a baby girl. Although if you look at all the pictures, I carry high in all of them and Griffin is most definitely a boy.

Tally: Girl: 1  Boy: 0  No Result: 0

OWT #2: Body clues
Acne = girl
Dry hands = boy
Cold feet = boy

I have both acne and dry hands. No cold feet though, just cold hands.

So this one is a tie. No winners here.

Tally: Girl: 1  Boy: 0  No Result: 1

OWT #3: The Ring Test
You take your wedding ring, string, and see if it swings back and forth (girl) or in a circle (boy) over your belly.

Result? Back and forth. So another OWT for a baby girl.

Tally: Girl: 2  Boy: 0  No Result: 1

OWT #4: The Drano Test
You're supposed to mix your pee with Drano. How many old wives actually had Drano?
Not doing this one, counting it as a no result.

Tally: Girl: 2  Boy: 0  No Result: 2

OWT #5: Heartbeat!
If baby heartbeat is under 140, boy. Over? Girl.

We've heard it both under and over 140. So another no result.

Tally: Girl: 2  Boy: 0  No Result: 3

OWT #6: Cravings
Sweet cravings are supposed to mean a girl, while sour means a boy.

I don't actually crave much, just food. I want sweets after a meal, but I wanted that pre-pregnancy too. I do really like spicy foods when I'm pregnant, but then they give me wicked heartburn. I can say that I definitely do NOT crave anything remotely sour (except in the first trimester when pickles were one of the only things I could eat without throwing up).

So I guess this one is a "no result" as well.

Tally: Girl: 2  Boy: 0  No Result: 4

OWT #7: Chinese Gender Predictor
This is all based on mother's age at conception, or something like that.

Anyway, it says girl.

Tally: Girl: 3  Boy: 0  No Result: 4

OWT #8: Husband Sympathy Weight
If baby's daddy is gaining along with you, then you're having a girl. If he's not, then it's a boy.

Bryan doesn't gain weight. Bastard. So this one says boy.

Tally: Girl: 3  Boy: 1  No Result: 4

OWT #9: Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is supposed to indicate that you're having a girl.

What it really indicates is that evolution is an asshole.

Tally: Girl: 4  Boy: 1  No Result: 4

OWT #10: The Key Test
So you take a kay and if the pregnant person picks it up by the pointy bit, then girl (can you feel me rolling my eyes?) but if she picks it up by the rounded part then boy.

I pick up my keys by the keychain. Also, this one is stupider than the other 9. I'm calling it a "no result."

Final Tally: Girl: 4  Boy: 1  No Result: 5

Alright, so the Old Wives are just as blind about this whole thing as I am. While girl does win out over boy, No Result takes the cake and proves just how silly these things are.

Although I do kinda think it's a girl.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

26 weeks

The last time I posted comparison belly pics, I was 20 weeks... I didn't have a 20 picture of my Penelope pregnancy, so I used the 26 week picture. But now that I'm 26 weeks, I have pictures of all 3 pregnancies.

So, to refresh, here's 26 weeks with Penelope
Also, I like my arms in that picture. That *never* happens.

And now 26 weeks with Griffin:

And finally, 26 weeks with baby 3:
Note: Photobucket was being a jerk and the text is on there twice. I'm too lazy to fix it.

Other than the fact that I should NEVER go without bangs again (because good lord my forehead is huge), I think I'm much rounder this time around. Other than that, they look the same to me. I'm terrible at this stuff. I still have NO idea if it's a girl or a boy and am 1,000% ok not knowing.

While this weekend was my 26 week "milestone" - it was also Penny's 6th birthday. We had a tea party and I have pics to post as soon as I can find the cord to upload them. Sissy and her friends had a good time. I still can't believe she's 6!

Friday, December 5, 2014

20 Questions for the Birthday Girl - Age 6

Here are the answers for age 4, and age 5
1. What is your favorite color?   Pink
2. What is your favorite toy?  Frosty, my American Girl doll
3. What is your favorite fruit? Are tomatoes fruit? (me: I think they are)
4. What is your favorite tv show?   Dora and Friends: Into the City
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?   Peanut butter and jelly
6. What is your favorite outfit?   My birthday party outfit (note: she hasn't actually worn this for a day yet, it's for her tea party themed birthday tomorrow)
7. What is your favorite game? Sorry
8. What is your favorite snack? Goldfish I guess
9. What is your favorite animal?  Giraffes and owls (note: giraffes have been on the list for 3 years in a row now)
10. What is your favorite song? The More We Get Together, it's a nice song
11. What is your favorite book?   Harry Potter
12. Who is your best friend?  Lila
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios (note: Honey Nut Cheerios)  
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?   Go on the trampoline
15. What is your favorite drink? Water
16. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas! (said without hesitation)
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?   My white tiger
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  I already answered that question (note: cereal, Cheerios)
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  That soft bread, and we could have some chicken with it (note: she means sweet French bread)

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?   An actor (note: she's recently really gotten into plays and musicals).

Below, Sissy at approximately 10 months. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Family Pictures

Today we go for our annual family pictures, which is something that Penelope and I enjoy but Bryan and Griffin participate in solely to make me happy.

I thought I'd go back and look at the last few years of pictures before today, and they made me cry, so I decided to make a post out of it.

But before that, quick updates. I'm 23 weeks pregnant, 118 days to go. Everything still looks good. Penny had her 1st Kinder parent/teacher conference and she's doing really well (on track in some areas, above grade level in others - everything assessed in Spanish). She's bossy and popular (she only gets one of those from me and apparently none of those from Bryan - or so he says). She's writing sentences in Spanish (unprompted) and is reading at a 1 grade level in Spanish (4th grade in English). She loves math and is quite good at it. She's still taking piano and still loves it.

She wants to be an astronaut or a jungle scientist, depending on the day - but she's very much into science and art and loves Harry Potter (we're in the middle of Goblet of Fire).

Griffin doesn't get p/t conferences in preschool, but we did get to chat with his teacher and he is doing well in school. He talks in both Spanish and English in class, often responding in English to a teacher's questions in Spanish. He's always singing Spanish songs at home and exclusively names his colors in Spanish. He, more so than Penny, is excited for the baby and he often talks to or "hugs" the baby. He wants to help me do *everything* - he insists on helping me put on my shoes so I don't have to bend over. He helps me cook, he helps Bryan with dishes, he helps sort socks for laundry.

The kids are only about a pound apart in weight. Sis is tall and slender (like her daddy) and Bubs is tall and solid. He's strong and can quite easily overpower his sister.

Work is fine - just got back from taking 7 girls to Washington DC for a student journalism conference. That was a trip (in all the ways that phrase implies). It's been almost a week since we got back and I'm still recovering. But it was fun - for all of us - and I'm glad we went.

Ok, so pictures. I don't have all the years scanned in, so maybe I'll revisit this in a few days and add in the ones I scan.

2009: Penelope's 1st birthday and I'm 20-something weeks pregnant with Griffin
Also, one of just Sissy because it's adorable
2010: In my parent's backyard, not professional. We did end up going to JC Penny later, but I can't find those (probably because I hid them because I hate the way I look in these, but whatever. I had birthed two children in as many years)
2011: At a park in Sacramento, Griffin's 1st birthday pics.
Also, one of the kids together and one of Bubba separately, because they're fricking adorable.
And then one of my brother teaching Penelope how to blow a dandelion because it's also totes adorbs.
2012: I don't have digitally, will have to try and scan.
2013: Griffin's 3rd birthday, on the beach in the Aptos area

2014: That's today! 2015 pics will be after baby is born.

I love seeing how much bigger they get each year. Also, my husband is HOT (and apparently doesn't age).  ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halfway point - 20 weeks

Today I am officially 20 weeks pregnant with the Third Musketeer.

Comparison pics are below if you'd prefer to skip the text update.

Everything looks fine thus far. Genetic testing came back clear, ultrasound came back with nothing but good news (baby is measuring on schedule, is 50% for weight, all organs in place and looking good, pretty much a normal healthy baby from all that they can see). My uterus is measuring exactly where it should. My vitals are good.

Baby's heartbeat today was between 125-130, which is in the normal range. It's lower, so my midwives now think it's a boy; but just 4 weeks ago it was in the 160s so they thought it was a girl.

I think it's a human. Pretty sure I'm right.

We had a girls name picked, but Bryan found another he liked so we've opened up the list. Still no consensus on a boy's name. We do agree on middle names though. Claire for a girl and Vernon for a boy. So at least we agree on something.

I'm ok if we just have a list of names at delivery time and then choose that day or a few days after. Seemed to work with Griffin.

And now for the pictures.

20 weeks with Baby #3

20 weeks with Griffin

26 weeks with Penelope

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Comparison Pics

It's been ages since I did a true update, but school is in session and I don't have time for much of anything. Besides, I go to bed at 8:30 lately so there's not much updated happening.

But I DID (finally) find time for this. Belly comparison pics.

Things to note.

1. I was TINY with Penny, but she was my first so duh.
2. My arms get bigger, why is that? I'm not growing a baby in my arms.
3. My belly is rounder this time, IMO.

So here's 19 weeks with Penny:

And 16 weeks with the Bubs:

And now 16 weeks with Baby #3:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer and reading

This post is mainly to write down some updates so that I don't forget these things later. No pics this time around, just an informational post.

This summer we enrolled both kids in a summer reading course. Griffin is in the 4-5 year old pre-K class and Penelope is in the pre-2nd grade class. For the last few months she's been reading independently and her reading level quickly progressed - the child always has a book in her hand (or a marker, she's also slightly obsessed with drawing).

It reminds me a lot of me and I've had to tell her the same things my parents used to say to me.

"Please put down the book and eat."
"Please put on your seatbelt before you start reading."
"Please close the book while you walk across the street/parking lot."
"Please close the book and go to bed."

I love that she's a bookworm, but it can be a little exasperating as a parent. She's reading everything - the baby books, the level 1, 2, & 3 books, chapter books (like this series of Nancy Clancy books), and together we've read Charlotte's Web, started the Harry Potter series, and are going to read Island of the Blue Dolphins.


She also started piano lessons today with a hilariously crazy and wonderful Russian pianist. It's going to be a great fit.

Griffin will wait another year for piano - he wants to play the drums, but we're going to have him learn piano and how to read music before we get him drum lessons.

Other than that and the disastrous swimming lessons (which we quit midway through, FTR), we've been hanging out a home. Between the trampoline and everyday errands, we keep pretty busy.

Bubby's new 2 wheel bike came in the mail the other day and we're just waiting on Sissy's. Then we'll add bike riding lessons into our daily routine. Ideally they'll be able to ride to school once the school year begins (with my Dad, of course).

We went to Wyoming again this year for B's grandma's 80th birthday and that was a mostly good trip. I have some pictures I'll try and post later in a longer post. The kids had a blast and it was nice to see some of his family that we rarely see, even when we're in WY.

That's all I can remember for now. Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


This whole Hobby Lobby decision makes my head and my heart ache. Especially combined with all the recent restrictions on Planned Parenthood clinics; this past year has been a bad one for women's health.

So I feel the need to tell #mybirthcontrolstory so that maybe people who don't understand why these issues are so important will start to see what the fuss is about. It's about people, it's about health, it's about an individual's rights.

And this one is about me:

I had been on various forms of hormonal birth control (think "the pill") since high school. The pill, for me, was much more about regulating my period and getting rid of my awful cramps than actual pregnancy prevention, but as I continued into my 20s pregnancy prevention became much more important (although I still used the pill as medicine because horrible periods don't just go away once you turn 20).

When I had health insurance, I would get my medication from my doctor. When I didn't have health insurance I would visit Planned Parenthood. They were a godsend, I could get an exam (which screens for cancer & STDs) and get the medication I needed at a price I could afford. I don't know what I would have done without them, because birth control isn't exactly cheap. I tried a variety of methods then - the pill, the ring, the patch - trying to find the medication that worked best for me.

Shortly before Bryan and I got married, I started having these dizzy spells and weird "floaters" in my vision. I went to see an opthamologist and after the exam he said (with grave concern in his voice):

"Are you on birth control?"

My answer was yes... there was a pause, and then this "You need to see your doctor. Today."

So I called. I couldn't get an appointment (this was campus health insurance, I was a student at CSU Sacramento and didn't have employer health insurance). The nurse who took my call told me, without mincing words "Stop taking your birth control until you see the doctor. It could kill you."

So I stopped.

During my appointment, my doctor informed me that my symptoms - which were more numerous than the dizziness & vision problems - meant that I could never take synthetic hormones again without putting myself at risk for stroke. My birth control options shrunk considerably.

So my doctor and I decided on a diaphragm. I was getting married and we wanted kids at some point, so the IUD was out.

B and I married 2 months later. Penelope was conceived 3 months after that. So much for effective birth control.

After Penny, our insurance situation didn't improve. I had graduated, I was working as a nanny (no insurance), and the insurance Bryan got through work was terrible and limited. The diaphragm was out, we couldn't afford an IUD, and I couldn't take hormonal birth control.

Hence, 7 months after Penelope's birth, we got pregnant with Griffin.

I know at this point, some people would say things like "well, that's what happens when you have sex" or "if you didn't want a baby you shouldn't have had sex." I don't understand these perspectives. A part of a healthy marriage (and a healthy relationship) is sex. It is normal. It is natural. Yes, sometimes pregnancy is a result, but as it's my body and my marriage, I should be able to make decisions about when I want to get pregnant. Birth control allows me to do this.

Griffin was born 9 months later.

I do not regret having my son (or daughter) even though both were unplanned. But having 2 babies so close together was difficult. I suffered from PPD, I lost my job because of my pregnancy... I was lucky to qualify for WIC (which was both helpful and a sometimes humiliating experience) and the kids were able to qualify for MediCal (neither B nor I could).

Again, Planned Parenthood came to my rescue. I was finally able to get an IUD at a price I could afford (free).

When I finished my Masters program and got a job in Salinas, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. We were all covered. My insurance covers any form on birth control I need. We are lucky.

But so many women, who are just like me, are not so lucky. They don't have the family support in place to be able to handle unplanned pregnancies, their state may have enacted legislature that forced the closing of Planned Parenthood clinics and thus they cannot access the birth control and annual exams they need, they make work for a company like Hobby Lobby who uses belief instead of science to make decisions about what is, and is not, appropriate medical coverage.

These women deserve better. They deserve a government who doesn't infantalize them, but rather allows them to make informed decisions for themselves. They deserve an employer who keeps their noses out of their employee's health care decisions.

They deserve better.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Irony is, perhaps, my favorite thing to teach.

I have often used stories like "Lamb to the Slaughter" or "Oedipus" to teach students about dramatic, verbal, and situational irony.

Now I have a new story. That of the Swim Lessons.

You see this year, after a 3 year hiatus, both children have been enrolled in swim lessons at the Y. Which, in and of itself, is not ironic.

So I must begin at the beginning...

My children were born at home (warning, the 1st link contains birth pictures but no vaginas). Penelope after an 8 hour labor, and Griffin after only 7. (side note: I rediscovered my old blog).

The births were rather similar- same midwives, same room, same pants, same pig-tail french braids (thanks mom!), same portable horse trough filled with water. That's right, both babies went directly from my womb into lukewarm water before I pulled them out and held them in my arms. Both children swam before they did anything. At all. Ever.

Which is why THIS:

Baffles me. It is Griffin utterly refusing to get in the pool.

A number of people have attempted to get our recalcitrant rhino into the pool:

  • His swim instructor, Matt, who has the patience of a saint.
  • The lifeguard. All 3 of the ones we've had on duty throughout the week.
  • Me. Using a combination of logic (failed), bribes (failed), and passive aggressive threats (triple failed).
  • His grandpa.
  • His dad.

And this is as far as he's gotten:

Actually, that's not entirely true. I encouraged Matt to just bring him in. This is as far as he's gotten:

Don't let his smirk fool you, he was in tears about 5 seconds later. Big old crocodile tears.

Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? A little too ironic...

What drives me nuts is that all he can talk about the next morning is "when are we going to the pool?" and "is it 3 o'clock yet, can I go swimming now?"

In less-ironic-but-still-semi-frustrating-news Penelope will get in the water but is terrified of it and tenses up the moment she's asked to do anything other than stand.

See, she'll jump in, but only if she's holding her instructors hands (who used to be a Freshmen of mine, FTR), and then only because when she does jump in she never gets anything more than her chest wet because she's over 6 inches taller than the 3.5 foot shallow end.

For children who were BORN IN THE D**M WATER, I just do.not.get.it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Few of Their Favorite Things

So we have about and hour and a half before our flight leaves to take us back to California (currently in Denver after a short trip up to Wyoming to visit Bryan's family).

I have a limited number of pictures of the trip, and I might have more time to post on the flight - provided the children find ways to keep themselves occupied that don't include my laptop.

But since I have some time and since the kids are currently busy reading (Penelope) and playing math games (Griffin), then I can recount this conversation we had in the car a few days ago.

Bryan was off playing golf with his dad and the kids and I were headed to Casper's Science Zone after having made a very essential pit stop at Starbucks (because altitude sickness sucks and Starbucks makes everything better... seriously about the altitude sickness though, I get it EVERY time we come up to visit and it makes me pretty miserable. I could deal with the nausea, but the headaches are crazy and are only dulled with pain meds).

So. In the car. Driving through Casper.

Penny: I love this day, it's my favorite! (she says this about every day though)
Griffin: No, it's not my favorite. (he was already homesick)
Me: So Bubby, what is your favorite?
G: (without pausing to think) Lego Batman!!!!!!!
M: Penny? What about you?
P: Art. I'm obsessed with art just like Bubby is obsessed with video games.
M: He sure is... so what do you guys think is Daddy's favorite thing?
P: Golf:
G: Hockey!
P: No, I don't think it's golf after all. I think his favorite thing is tickling us.
G: Yeah, that's his favorite.
M: So what do you guys think my favorite thing is?
P: Reading!
G: Snuggling.
P: Yeah, Mommy you like to snuggle a lot.
M: That I do... what about Grandpa, what's his favorite thing.
G: Watching us.
P: Yep.
M: Granny?
G: ummmm.....
P: Giving us kisses.
G: Yes, kisses and hugs.
M: What about Great Grandma Barbara?
G: It's when we visit her.
P: Yeah, she likes that a lot.
M: Harley-Quinn?
G: Seeing us. (which is partially true, but the dog's favorite this is really seeing our babysitter Alexis)
M: Granny & Grandpa's dogs?
G: Seeing us, they love to see us.
M: Really? My guess would be eating garbage.
P: Gross!

I was amused - mostly because everyone's favorite things seemed to revolve around them.

They had a good time in Wyoming though. And altitude sickness aside, it was a nice visit. Short though - but it's hard to find the time to get away and go out there. The plane ride to Denver isn't that bad, but the 4 hour car ride to Casper is exhausting. We might go out again this summer for Bryan's grandmother's 80th birthday.

We are all ready to be home though. Today was the Denver Museum of Natural History & Science with some friends that we haven't seen since we moved to Salinas (they used to live in Sac too, in fact Kim used to babysit the kids when they were little and we would often have playdates with them). It was really nice to see them - I miss so many of that group. We got to see some of the other regular play-daters when we were in Sacramento last weekend too. While I don't miss the city of Sacramento, I do miss the friends we had there.

 More later, I hope. I'm not teaching summer school this year so I'm hoping that I'll be able to blog more often than I have been. Hopefully we'll fill our summer with swimming lessons and trips to the beach. I'm looking forward to a real break.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day Ramblings

I haven't written in a long while because forces outside of my control (ok, not really) have conspired to keep me so busy I don't have time to vacuum my floors (unfortunately true) let alone blog.

But it is spring break, I've filed my taxes (ouch), and have had a celebratory glass of wine. My youngest child turns 4 tomorrow (cue tears) and I absolutely REFUSE to do any work (not true, I'm e-mailing people in between writing sentences for this post).

Griffin's birthday makes me sad because he is my baby and I have to face that there really is no baby left in him. He's a big kid. A very big kid... and I desperately miss the chubby cheeked baby stage where they actually FIT on your abdomen when they snuggle (G tries to fit... he does not). There are things from the baby stage I don't miss (say, teething... or the half a dozen wake ups from Sir Griff) but I genuniely like babies and I do miss the baby wearing (which really means I miss having complete control over their whereabouts).

Has anyone else noticed my propensity to use parenthesis as my inner monologue? Have I always done that?

Anyway. Kids.

Are big. LE SIGH.

Penelope is reading. READING. Like, all by herself! She reads everything you put in front of her and delights in reading to herself and to anyone willing to listen. It is, I noticed, mostly whole words with a generous sprinkling of phonics. I had assumed that early reading would be more phonics - but I'm not a reading teacher so what the heck do I know? All I know is that she is reading and enjoying it. Her "report card" was very positive this trimester and she still loves school... which is good.

Griffin loves to pretend to read and while he's warmed up to school, he still doesn't quite love it with the same enthusiams as his sister. His new obsession is Lego Batman (don't get me started, not my idea).

When discussing his obsession at lunch today he asked what "obsession" meant. My mom asked him "what do you think it means?" and he said:

"When you really want to do something and nothing else."

Yup. Sums it up quite nicely.

The positive is that since he can only play for a limited amount of time each day and he has to clean up in order to earn video game time, that the house has remained remarkably picked up over the last few weeks. So that's a plus.

Oh, softball! Penelope started softball and she loves it. Bryan is coaching and I'm the manager and I love it less than she does, to be honest. It's not the playing, it's the actual managing that is pretty much awful. I won't do it again. I'll chaperone, I'll even coach, but I will NOT manage.

I'm glad she likes it though, she's made some friends and her coordination is improving, so that's good. I think we'll sign Griffin up for T-Ball next year and keep her in softball... who knows. I guess it all depends on what they like and how much time Bryan and I have to shuttle them to various practices and games.

The rest of our lives are work, which is boring to talk about. I'm so thankful it's Spring Break because I needed it. My students did too. All work and no play makes us all a little loopy, so I'm looking forward to having some (hopefully) reenvigorated students next week. We really only have 5 weeks of school left before summer, which is practically nothing. I have to finish Romeo & Juliet, go through the Greek gods, and teach Oedipus Rex in 5 weeks. Eep! We'll get it done, I have some pretty awesome students this year.

Ok, time to sleep. Maybe I'll have the time and/or energy for a blog post before the school year ends (doubtful) but since I've already said I'm not teaching summer school I may actually get time this summer to blog (or, better yet, to finish the damn novel I started over a year ago).

Happy Jackie Robinson Day!

4th Birthday Questions with the Bubs

It's that time again - birthday questions! Here are Griffin's answers from last year.

1. What is your favorite color? Green and Blue

2. What is your favorite toy? Spiderman (his large Spidey figurine)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Apples

4. What is your favorite TV show? Ninjago

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Chips... and a jelly sandwich

6. What is your favorite outfit? (he points to the one he's wearing now, his Star Wars shirt that is graffitied to say "A Jedi Was Here") Pictured below:

Griffin at 4 photo 20140415_184923_zpsncgwe3hm.jpg

7. What is your favorite game? Lego Batman (Of course. Le sigh)

8. What is your favorite snack? Oatmeal Bar

9. What is your favorite animal? Lions! (said with gusto)

10. What is your favorite song? Frozen. The Let It Go Song (again, sigh)

11. What is your favorite book? Go Dogs Go (we haven't read that book in weeks. The one he asks me to read all the time is Paper Bag Princess and The Marvel Origins book, which is a compilation of all the origin stories of the Marvel characters)

12. Who is your best friend? Dash (from preschool)

13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? The scooters

15. What is your favorite drink? Milk (same as last year)

16. What is your favorite holiday? New Years (his first response? Snow. When I gave him a list, he chose New Years... when I asked him if he liked New Years more than Christmas, he said yes.)

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Octopus, because I love my pet octopus. (Which, for the record, is a stuffed animal that my parents bought him today at the aquarium).

penny & griffin 2014 photo 20140415_121106_zpsbup0gjss.jpg

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? I already said Fruit Loops (obviously annoyed with my question)

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? I can't think... chicken nuggets!

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? An astronaut!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I've alluded to this in other posts, but haven't really given it much time/space on the blog (mostly because I'm waaaaaaaaay behind on my blogging).

Shortly before I turned 32 I started running. It was entirely, 100%, due to peer pressure because in the 31.99 years prior to September of 2013 I hated running with every fiber of my being. I'd done spinning (love), pilates (double love), Zumba (meh), yoga (for 13+ years, j'adore), roller skating (used to love), rock climbing (miss that!), swimming (boring), and weight lifting (double boring). But never running.

In fact, I almost failed PE because I walked the mile. I think I passed the class because I always dressed down, wasn't a pain in the ass (other than my refusal to run), and my PE teacher just got tired of badgering me about the run and didn't want to have to deal with it again the next year.

So it's not really surprising that neither my husband nor my mother ever thought I would turn into a runner. I never imagined it would happen, although I was certain it could happen - if only because I suffer under the long standing delusion that I can do anything I want if only I try.

Anyway, Chrissy harassed me about it enough (ok, she didn't really harass me, but she was very encouraging) and the week before I turned 32 I bought shoes and went for my first run.

I ran a mile. I had to stop three times.

I ran inconsistently after that. Sometimes a mile, sometimes a mile and a half. Then I started getting up early and going for runs before breakfast. These were usually 2.5 mile jaunts. Sometimes stopping to stretch, sometimes stopping to walk for a block.

Then I pulled my hamstring after a 3 mile run and a particularly intense yoga class. I was sidelined for over a week and I started to realize that I kinda liked running.

I know.

Once I got the all clear to exercise, I started running more frequently. Taking breaks after tattoo appointments (because running with a new back tattoo is unpleasant) and taking breaks for holidays (although I did run on New Years Eve and New Years Day).

I've done one official 5K and have signed up for 1 more, plus a 10K, and I'm thinking about a half marathon in August.

If my PE teacher could only see me now. Ha!

I really do like running. I like running with someone best, because you push each other to go farther (ok, Chrissy pushes me, I'm not good enough yet to really challenge anyone). But running solo has it's benefits, it gives me time to think, which is nice. I take the dog on occasion, although she is more than a little annoyed that I don't run faster.

I will say this, I am SLOW. For the 5K I clocked in at just over 39 minutes - that's over a 13 minute/mile pace. I never stopped or walked, but it was uphill for the first half and uphill suuuuuuuuucks.

My average pace is a 13 minute/mile or just under BUT today I ran 4 miles and ran a pace of 11.28.


Yea me!

It would be awesome to run a 10 minute mile. Ok, it would be awesome to run an 11 minute mile. I'm still stoked that I ran almost a minute and a half under my normal pace.

I will never be fast, but maybe one day soon I won't be super slow.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The One Where I Turn Into My Mother

Everyone becomes their mother at some point.

Luckily for me, my mom is pretty freaking awesome. And every year I feel a little more like her - I find myself saying something she would say, or doing something I've seen her do a thousand times. Like cleaning house while blasting Bon Jovi.
We're both ridiculously adorable in this picture
But today, at the grocery store, I had a moment where I feel like I traveled back in time and inhabitied my mother's body. Or maybe she traveled forward in time and inhabited mine. Whatever, time travel gives me a headache.

I was standing in the personal hygiene section, eating a piece of beef jerky (which I grabbed from the aisle prior and had broken into because I was hungry - and also, beef jerky). I stood, one hand on my hip, the other on the cart, trying to find the razor blades for Bryan's razor. I was wearing my Sunday jeans (they have holes, but they are comfortable) and an oversided sweater. I had on no makeup. I said the following:

"Christ on a crutch, where are they hiding these damn things?"

And then the realization that I AM MY MOTHER crash upon me like a wave and at the same moment I realized that I OWNED that. It's like when Harry Potter stops being afraid of being the Chosen One and assumes the role like a badass. It might not seem like a watershed moment to most, but it was.

I am my Mother.

Voledmort should be very. f*cking. afraid.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Griff

There are some things about our Goofy 3.5 year old that must be chronicled.

Do not eat the cookies he decorates. You have been warned.
The child cannot be trusted around frosting. Or sweets of any kind. This holiday season he took to sneaking a candy cane off the tree and disappearing downstairs for a few moments to hastily cram the forbidden fruit into his mouth.

Of course, the moment he came back upstairs his sticky face and hands would betray his crime. Also, he would confess without even being asked a question. Do not tell him your secrets.

Too bad for him I won't actually let him play football while he's on our health insurance plan.
The child is silly. Like, seriously silly. Always. He has an overactive imagination that, on the one hand gives us this great game of Mama & Baby Penguin (explained below), but on the other hand contributes to his frequent nightmares and deep fear of the dark.

Mama & Baby Penguin
In this game (or reenactment, call it what you will), G rushes straight to his bed after his bath and curls up in a ball with his towel covering him. I come in and envelop him until he's ready to "hatch" and then he pops out of his "egg" and says "Hi Mama Penguin!" At which point I can now dry him off and he can put on his pajamas. This happens every night at our house and is partially based off of a book the kids have called A Penguin Pup for Pinkerton.

Mama's Boy, 1,000%
Griffin loves his Daddy, even though Bryan jokes that he's the last man on the totem pole with his son. But Bubby looooooooooooves his Mama. And I used to find that a smidgen frustrating when he was smaller and needier. But I no longer feel that way.

One day the scales will tip back. Mama is no good at throwing baseballs or playing tackle/tickle (his favorite game to play with Bryan), so I will take my dozens of kisses a day now and hopefully save the sweet memory of them until, many many many many many years from now, I get a grandchild who will love me with the same unconditional fervor. (Or a niece/nephew - hint hint Nic).

Speaking of kisses, G has taken to counting our kisses. I usually get 10 at a time. I think it's because he loves counting. LOVES. He counts everything.

I get flowers at least once a week.

If there is a flower on the grass, Griffin will pick it and give it to me. Without fail. Often, on the way home from school with the babysitter, he'll pick a few pretty weeds and have them in a cup of water waiting for me when I get home.

It is adorable. It is heart melting. It is awesome.

Little boys can be messy, dirty, and smelly. They can play rough. They often forget their own strength. They are quickly swayed by their emotions.

They are also sweet. And kind. And loving.

Because really? All kids are those things.

Resolutions 2014

For the last few years, I've written resolutions posts. Here's 2013, 2012, and 2011.

Common themes? Loose weight, go to the beach more often.

We actually did go to the beach a lot in 2013. So check.

The weight thing? Not so much. BUT I did a sigificant amount of stress eating and took up running (the running probably helped keep my weight gain in the single digits).

I do not want - or need - to lose a bunch of weight. I look fine. I don't feel fine though. And that has more to do with me needing to increase the healthy eating and less about me actually needing to use the D-word.

I will be stressed the rest of this semester. I will stress eat. I should stock my classroom (and house) with snacks that will either prevent me from stress eating or will not make me feel like the Pillsbury Dough-Boy after I am finished.

So I resolve to not buy the delicious but salt laden and high caloric bag of spicy crackers at Costco.

I resolve to run at least twice a week.

I resolve to enter in at least 4 races (5 or 10K).

I resolve to go to yoga twice a month.

All of these things make me FEEL better - the running especially. Which is ironic since I absolutely loathed running up until November of this year.

Our family resolution is to eat out less. (Note: I didn't actually consult the entire family on this one, as the kids are asleep and Bryan is working).

My work resolution is to LET IT GO. I cannot (and should not) take on anything else. Less is more.

So there we have it. My 2014 resolutions which I will hopefully remember because the next time I read this post it will be right before (or shortly after) the dawn of 2015.

Harley-Quinn and I getting ready to run on the beach 1/1/14

Popular Posts

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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