Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Review - Goodbye 2010

It just wouldn't be right to not do a reflection post on New Year's Eve.  So much has happened this past year - some good, some bad, all meaningful.  I have no idea what the new year brings, but I do know that this year has been one hell of a ride - so it's time to take a look back....

New Year's Eve 2009:  I was about 297lbs.  I ate.  I drank.  I was merry.  I didn't have a care in the world.

January, 2010:  Something snapped in me to start losing weight.  I was done with the crazy diets, yet I tried using weight loss pills.  I started the Alli plan. I can't bad mouth it.  It helped me jump start my weight loss - but it really made me realize that I couldn't depend on them to help me lose the weight and keep them off.

February, 2010:  I started blogging about my weight loss journey.  I was bad at it.  I look back at the posts I made and I know damn well that I fudged the numbers.  I claimed to have lost 17lbs on Alli - I did.  What I failed to mention was that the weight was back (most of it) by the end of February.  All of my exercising was from using a video game... fun, but not entirely beneficial.

March, 2010:  Weight loss is making progress, but I see that I still continued to lie about the numbers and success I was seeing.  I'm not sure why I felt the need to lie.  I was making progress, maybe not as fast as I hoped for - and needed to see some motivation in the story I was portraying.  It's very difficult to read the posts from March.  I remember the party that I posted about.  I, indeed, remember searching from store to store looking for a formal gown that I could wear.  I remember being frustrated that I just couldn't find anything to fit.  I remember feeling happy about going into a store that carried "plus size" formals - and finally fitting in to one.  I was happy that I had dropped from a size 24 to a snug size 20.  That was huge - why I felt the need to claim that I was in a size 18 is beyond me....thank goodness I'm over that. 

April, 2010:  What a momentous month.  I completed my first 5K, and I found my true passion for running.  I finished the 5K in 48 minutes, and that was with a bum knee.  I was so proud on that day.  My post says that I weighed in at 230 on that day..maybe I did...that I can't remember.  I know that April was a turning point for my journey.  I finally kicked in to realizing that I was doing what I had wanted to do for so long - stick with it.  I was succeeding!! 

May, 2010:  This is when I really took off with my blogging.  I kissed the 2 posts a month goodbye, and started my hardcore posts.  This is when I actually went down to a size 18 - from a 24.  Very happy about that!!  My weight fluctuated a little, mostly staying in the 240 - 245 range.  I had a total lost of about 50lbs since January, and I was happy.  The last time I was able to fit into a size 18 was my last year of high school.

June, 2010:  My hardest month of the year because I pushed myself harder than I ever had before.  I started fitness boot camp.  What an amazing, horrible, incredible, painful experience it was.  I did things I never thought I'd be able to do, and it was only the first half of the camp.  I started out the camp not being able to do a single push up, 10 sit-ups,  and it took me 15 minutes to run (walk) a mile.

July, 2010:  I finished boot camp!!  I finished stronger, faster, healthier.  During my last work-out, I did 9 REAL push-ups in a minute, 23 sit-ups, and RAN the entire mile (in 100 degree weather, I might add) right at 14 minutes.  I was bummed by that, because I had been running a mile in about 12 minutes but because of the extreme heat that day, it slowed me down.  No biggie, it was a very great month!  I managed to get down to 235lbs, losing a total of 62lbs since the start of my journey!

August, 2010:  Wow, this month was tough.  I started another round of boot camp, only to quit halfway through.  I had to.  I started school, my internship, and the crazy of life hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had so much going on - and trying to fit everything in was just too overwhelming.  The plus side to August was going down another dress size - yep, I was officially "snuggly" in a size 16. 

September, 2010:  With the stresses of school and work playing on me, things were slowing down in the weight loss department.  I had reached my all time lowest weight - 206lbs!!  I was trying with everything I had in me to keep a routine of eating right, working out, working, taking care of kids, doing homework....and it was weighing on me BIG TIME!!  I was still determined to continue, although I could feel my motivation starting to dwindle.

October, 2010:  My blog took a turn in a different direction.  No more was I posting about the successes of my weight loss, but instead went about posting about life in general - and there was plenty to talk about.  I had started a weight loss competition at work, but it wasn't driving me like I thought it would.  I was sleep deprived, over worked, under paid, and knew that I was heading up a road to disaster....of course, I wasn't about to admit it.  Not yet, anyway.  I did have another moment of sheer delight, however, with the purchase of a pair of knee high boots.  I haven't been able to zip up a pair in, well, about 10 years..and I was finally able to do it.

November, 2010:  It was finally time to admit defeat, well not really defeat - more of needing a break.  I hadn't lost anything, I just had too much going on to focus on weight loss.  I put my "Eat, Pray, Love" plan into effect, and decided I was taking the rest of the year off from trying to lose weight.  I had so much going on - more than I could handle, really - that the last things I needed to worry about was meal planning and working out.  I accepted the fact that I would gain weight - but was determined that it wasn't the end.

December, 2010: What a whirlwind month it has been.  In a year I have lost 70lbs.  I actually lost 91lbs.. but I've I've gained about 20lbs of it back. Things have changed.  I have changed.  I feel the sense of excitement and motivation that came to me back in May when I was more determined than ever to look fantabulous by the end of the year.  I have a plan in place.  I have goals I want to achieve.  I want 2011 to be the year I walk in to Onederland, as I drop my weight below the 200 mark. 

So, there's a year in review of this crazy fat woman.  Sure, I would of loved to have given a year of going from fat to fabulous, but I'm not done yet.  Half of my journey is over, the other half WILL happen this year.  I really didn't want to put numbers to my goals, but the more I've thought about it, the more I want to have something to target myself to.

Goal weight for 2011:  145lbs. 
Goal dress size: 10
Running time:  10 minute mile
5K time:  30 minutes

Those are the only numbers I'm going to focus on.  They are doable - easily. Bring it on, 2011, I'm ready and waiting for you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  To all of my faithful followers, my friends.  Can't wait for the journey to begin, and to take you along for the ride.

Till next year.  ;)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Had to Do Something Productive

This morning's post bothered me.  I whined and moaned about being bored, so I went about finding something productive to do.  I just couldn't leave that post being it for the day - so I now come with more upbeat news...exciting news, to me anyway.

This morning, I found a new iPhone app that I can't wait to try out.  It's called LogMyRun.  You might have noticed the new widget that is now showing up down the side of the blog.  I know, it's empty right now...but get ready for it to be filled with RUNNING!!!
So, this new app.  It's not just any ordinary app.  It's a full weight loss/ running/ exercise of all kinds interactive log - and I'm already in love with it.  The best part?  It's 100% FREE!!! No, I have not been paid to promote it - I just wanted to share.

I downloaded the app just because I found it browsing for an iPhone pedometer.  I have a trail that I like to run, but I have no idea how long it is.  This app promoted being able to log miles - so I downloaded it - having no idea at the plethora of other goodies it also includes.  The app also comes with built in training schedules, an option to create your own schedules, weight loss tracker, graphs, tips, articles, videos...you name it, this thing has it!  Another great bonus?  It automatically logs my stats after my run - so I don't have to manually enter anything!!  It's kind of like a BodyBug, but without costing me $250!!  It will track the calories I'm burning while I'm working out, the miles I've ran, updates my training schedule...yes, folks, I am in LOVE!!!

At any time, I can go online and check on all of my accomplishments, the total number of miles I've ran to date, and add other activities if I want - such as swimming or bike riding.  I plan on starting my "official" training program on Monday, but you can bet I will be out on Sunday trying out all the fun gadgets and gizmos.  I don't think I've ever been this excited about a weight loss/ exercise tool in my life!!! 

Everyone keep your fingers crossed that it's as awesome as the first impressions imply!! 

Now I feel better - much better blog post for the day.

Till next time.  ;)

Be Careful What You Wish For

You know how I've complained for months about needing a break, wanting some time off, and tired of being so busy?  Well, I got my wish...and it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!

Yeah, I said it.  I'm done.  I can't take another day of doing nothing, going nowhere.  I'm going insane!!  For three days I've sat on the couch, cleaned, watched movies, taken a quick shopping trip - and I'm going out of my mind with boredom!  I know I'm going to regret saying this, but:  I miss being busy!

Yesterday was a rough day.  After posting my blog about not being able to go to my mom's cause Jelly was sick and hearing some bad news about the blog swap - the phone rang.  It was my father-in-law telling me that my brother-in-law was in a nasty wreck.  He was driving his motorcycle, went off the road, hit a tree, and ended up breaking his leg and shattering his knee cap..OY!!  That was three pieces of bad news before 11:30.  Those things come in threes, so I should have expected something else - I was expecting something else.  I was so ready to go back to bed and not wake up until this morning.

I couldn't go back to bed, though, because I had a sick three year old to take care of.  She had a really rough day.  Her fever stayed at 103 all day.  She didn't move from the couch, except to go to the bathroom - which I had to carry her to, because she didn't feel like walking.  I kept her hydrated, and she slept on and off most of the day.  Other than the fever and a runny nose, she really had no other symptoms - but I could tell she felt like total crap.  It was worse last night.  She woke up about every thirty minutes, crying - and a couple of times I was about ready to rush her to the ER.  She would wake up crying "it hurts" but wasn't able to tell me what hurt.  She was still mostly asleep.  I would hold her, and she would fall back to sleep.  This continued all night, until about 5am.  At 5am, she woke up and asked to go to the bathroom - and she was back to being the same ol' Jelly.  Her fever had broken, and she was in a good mood.  Right now, she's back to her normal self - running around the house and driving the other two kids nuts.

I'm exhausted, but I'm to tired to be tired.  I'm tired of being in the house.  I'm tired of having nothing to do.  These past few days have made me realize why I could never be a stay at home mom - because it would drive me completely around the bend.  Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids.  Being able to spend some time with them has been great - and I know I'll be whining and crying about not spending enough time with them in about 3 weeks - but I'm getting antsy.  I'm the kind of person that likes to be on the go...things to do, people to see kind of gal. 

Luckily for me, I have just one more day of doing this.  Tomorrow, come hell or high water, I'm going to my mom's.  I'm going to my mom's and I'm going to have a good time.  I'm going to have a few drinks, play a few games, belt out a few songs, and enjoy spending time with my family.  I need it - for my own sanity.  Saturday, I will come home, and then I can start my big plans for the next leg of my weight loss.  That will keep me busy - that and getting all of my lesson plans ready for next week.  I've deliberately procrastinated on doing that - just so I'll be kept busy on Sunday.

I feel kind of selfish and bad about complaining.  I know that there are lots of people out there that would love to spend more time with their families.  I get given the chance, and I complain about it - Mother of the Year award recipient right here, I tell ya. It's not the kids, though.  It's the house.  It's the lack of having anything to do.  I know my kids are feeling the same way.  Peanut and Butter are both ready to go back to school - they are also tired of sitting around the house.  Yes, before you say it - I could find somewhere to go...but everything requires money - and that is something I'm a little short on right now.  It's too cold to go to the park, and that's about the only free activity around here.

So, I sit for another day.  I sit eating, getting fatter, feeling sorry for myself.  I'm going to work on making my new year resolution list, today.... number one on that list?  Stop being such a downer!!  I complain too much.  I want to stop that.  I want to be happy - I am happy.  I just have a bad way of showing it.

Till next time.  ;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Thing After Another

Wow, I have never had to delete a whole post and start over because so much has happened while I'm writing it.  Fifteen minutes ago, I was writing about how excited I was about going to my parent's house today.  I was supposed to be going to see my cousin and his family that arrived Sunday night from England. 

The plan was, I got up early this morning so that I could head to my parent's house for the day.  Then I woke up late.  I woke up late because I was up half the night with, what I thought, was just a cranky three year old that was having a hard time sleeping.  I started to get the kids ready to go to my parents, only to discover that cranky three year old felt a little on the warm side...uh oh.  I ran for the thermometer.  A little warm is an understatement - the poor baby is running a 103 temp!!  So, no trip to my mom's for us today.

To make matters worse, I just received an email from my swap partner telling me that she never received the package I sent to her for the 12 days gift swap.  I sent it three weeks ago!!  I don't know what to do.  I didn't get a tracking number for it - my mistake - and even with the holiday postal service, it should of made it there by now.  I feel so bad for her - she sent me the most wonderful gifts, and she has nothing in return.  If I had the money, I'd replace all of the gifts - but I don't.  Now I'm super bummed.

I really despise "downer" days like this.  I get so excited about something, and then something happens to break the excitement.  Of course, it's not my poor baby's fault.  She had no control over getting sick.  It's just the double whammy.  I can live with one piece of bad news - but why do I need to get two in one day?  It's only 10:30 in the morning, for goodness sake!!  Should I just curl up on the couch and hope that nothing more happens today? 

On a brighter note, I did manage to get out of the house for a little while yesterday.  Peanut and I went out for a bit to do a little shopping.  I wanted to go to Border's and use some of the gift card that I got for Christmas.  I picked up, what looks to be, a great book on meditation.  I have a couple, already, but this one comes with a CD that I can play while I'm meditating and different techniques to try - so I'm excited to start reading it.  At Wal-Mart, I also found a huge make-up set marked at half off.  I'm not really into "Wal-Mart" make-up - but I'm woman on a strict budget, gotta do what I gotta do! 

After our little shopping trip, the kids and I curled up on the couch to watch a couple of movies.  We started out with Beauty & the Beast, which Jelly got for Christmas.  She only watched about 15 minutes of it before falling asleep.  After that, we moved on to The Blind Side.  I've owned this movie since it was released on DVD, but have never had the time to watch it.  It was really good.  Such an inspirational movie.

OK, I need to wrap this up so that I can go and take care of Jelly.  Poor little thing is all curled up on the couch.  She says she's cold - not a good sign when running a 103 fever!  Now I have to hope and pray that nobody else comes down with whatever it is she has before Friday.  We're spending New Year's at my mom's and that could be the only time I get to see my family from England while they are here.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me.

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time to Prepare to Return to My Journey

Christmas is over.  The new year is just four short days away.  That means it's time to start preparing for getting back on my journey of losing weight, looking fabulous, and living healthy.

I know, I know, hold your applause.  Admit it, you're a little tired of hearing about my personal, boring life and you're ready to start hearing about what this blog is supposed to be about....my weight loss.  Well, congratulations!!  It is time.  Before you start cracking out the champagne bottles, I will forewarn you.  Even though I'm starting my journey, again, and I'm starting it guns blazing at full throttle - I won't necessarily be posting about my eating and my working out and my training and my calorie counting (or lack thereof) every day.  This is a diary of a mad, fat woman, and there is/ will be more to my life than just the weight loss aspect of it.

OK, now that's out of the way, let's get to a few things.  I'm going to start off with my plans for the new year.  I'm really going to be hitting it hard starting Saturday, so here's what is in store for the beginning of 2011:

1.  Couch to 5K. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, but never really got around to.  As I type this, I am downloading the podcasts from 5k101.com.  It's an 8 week program, so a little slower pace than other C25k programs and I'm OK with that.  The podcasts are upbeat, and will help with my training - I'm excited to start using them!

2.  Yoga.  This is not for working out.  I will be starting the practice of yoga - for meditation, de-stressing, and strengthening my muscles.  I really want to start getting on a more spiritual platform with my lifestyle - and that will include the practice of decluttering my mind as I declutter my body.

3.  Meditation.  This goes hand in hand with the yoga.  I will do a yoga flow first thing in the morning, and then ending my day with 30 minutes of meditation.  I used to be very "into" meditation a while back, and I really want to get there again.  I am not a religious person, but I used to be very spiritual...I want that person back to help guide me through my journey.

4.  Balanced diet.  Duh, right?  Can't lose weight without a proper diet.  Not the 'D' word that I hate so much - but wholesome, clean, foods.  I will remind you all that I'm not "dieting" I'm changing my diet so that the foods I prepare and eat will be with me forever.

5.  2:1x6.  This goes with the diet, but I wanted a list of 5 things.  I, unlike many of my weight loss journey friends, do not count calories.  I base my diet on portion size and a ratio of two servings of carbs to one serving of protein at each and every meal.  I will also go back to eating six times a day - something I haven't done in far too long.  I will eat my three 'square' meals a day and three snacks - but all of the meals will have the 2:1 ratio.  Lots of veggies fall in to my carb quota...that and my all time fav: brown rice.

OK, so there's the first 5 items on my to-do list.  This isn't something I'm going to ease myself in to.  Starting Saturday - yes, January 1st, everything goes in to full-speed ahead, complete change over, I get my life back!

You may recall that I mentioned a few weeks ago my "Eat, Pray, Love" mentality that I wanted to experiment with.  That included me spending the months of October - January eating basically whatever I wanted.  I stopped exercising, and focused on school - which was taking every spare minute and every other minute of my life.  My body has paid the consequences of that hiatus - let me tell you - and now I'm more motivated and pumped than ever to step into the next phase: Pray that I can make up for the lost time.

I kid.  In all seriousness, the second phase is to connect more on a spiritual level to my weight loss.  I truly want my journey to be a life long event - something I always work for, something I always maintain.  In order to do that, I need to connect with the lifestyle.  My goals with haven't changed.  I'm not just doing it to see a smaller number on the scale.  My goals are: lose weight, become healthier, stronger, and athletic.  Losing weight has to be the biggest part of it right now because I'm overweight.  Once I get down to my "goal" weight, I want it to stay there - which means never stopping, always fighting, always living a healthy life.  I feel like including yoga as a practice and meditation, I can help drive away the negativity that often becomes a road block to getting the results I'm seeking:  too much work, not enough time, stress level through the roof.  I truly believe that taking a small amount of time to deal with those issues EACH and EVERY day will help.  Let's hope, anyway.

OK, enough for today.  I have some errands to run and more preparations to make.

Till next time.  ;)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Unwrapping Christmas

What a whirlwind the past couple of days have been.  You prep, buy, wrap, and bake for days, weeks, even months before the big day - only for it to fly by so quickly.  I say the same thing every year, and it seems as my complaining about it still isn't doing any good.

I'll do a quick recap of the festivities, cause I'm sure you're all dying to know how my Christmas went, right?  Well, Christmas Eve was a lot of fun.  We all went to my pseudo mother-in-law's house for lunch.  She put out a wonderful spread of cheeses, meats, veggies, deviled eggs, crackers...very yummy.  After lunch, the kids got to make their own reindeer cupcakes.  They were so cute - I even made one.  I guess it's the teacher in me.  We enjoyed a good visit while the kids played. It was so nice to catch up.  We haven't seen her in too long - something to make sure doesn't happen this coming year.


We left my pseudo MIL's around 3 and then we stopped by the in-law's for a quick visit.  The kids dropped off their gifts that they had bought for their grandma and grandpa, and we chatted for about an hour.  The visit wasn't very long, because Jelly was getting tired - and I did NOT want her falling asleep in the car.

We successfully made it home with no kids falling asleep around 5.  The kids and I baked cookies for Santa and then sat down to watch Four Christmases.  Jelly was the first to fall asleep, followed by Butter, and then finally Peanut went off to bed.  I enjoyed a few cups of Irish coffee, did my "Santa duties" and then went to sleep.  The next morning, the kids were awake at 5am!!  There was no way I was letting them out of their rooms' that early - so they sorted through their stockings and played with that stuff for an hour.  Then, around 6, I finally decided to let them out.

The kids had such a surprise waiting for them when they walked in to the living room.  For weeks, I've been telling the kids that they are going to have a very small Christmas - well, they had no idea that there would be so many presents under the tree.  I think the count was about 13 presents each.  It took them about an hour to open all of the gifts - being that I made them open one at a time, one person at a time.  After all of the unwrapping, the kids couldn't decide what they wanted to play with first.  I played with Jelly for a while and some of her new games, Butter tried out his new Paper Jamz guitar, and Peanut went straight to playing with her new MP3 digital camera.  After a couple of hours of trying out the new loot, it was time to get ready to head to my mom's house.

Dinner at my mom's was wonderful.  My grandparents were there, and it was nice to spend some time with them.  The kids got to open more gifts, and they played until it was time to eat.  The food was fantastic.  My dad, yes, my dad, did a great job of dinner.  After dinner, we spent the evening having a couple of drinks and laughing.  It was a lot tamer at my parent's house this year.  Usually, it's full-blown party mode Christmas night - but this year, it was very mellow.  A lot had to do with the fact that my cousin wasn't here from England like he was supposed to be.  He was supposed to arrive last Monday, but because of heavy snow his flight was cancelled until last night.  That meant that he had to miss Christmas with us, and my parents were pretty upset by it.  Now that he's here, I'm expecting that the family will make up for the lame-o Christmas party next weekend when we celebrate New Year.

OK, I've recapped enough.  Hopefully you all had a great Christmas, too.  Today, I need to get my house organized and cleaned.  I'm not taking the tree down until Friday - I like it up too much.  I also have some work I need to get done today, so that I'm not worrying about it this coming weekend.

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, December 24, 2010

On the Last Day Before Santa Comes!

I don't know about you, but I was really getting tired of titling my posts after the days of Christmas so I figured I'd change it up in celebration of Christmas Eve.  What a day we have planned - family, food, cooking....but first, I want to do a little ode to my Christmas shopping experience yesterday.

You better watch out
You're going to cry
You're going to go insane
And I'll tell you why
Crazy people are shopping in town!!

They're finishing their list
They're checking the price
They're hunting for a deal and
They're not very nice
Crazy people are shopping in town!!

They see you stand behind them
But they don't seem to care
They push you right out of the way
And then they take forever to stop and stare

You better watch out
You will definitely cry
But there's no time to pout
And I'll tell you why
Crazy last minute shoppers are in town!!

Yep, that about wraps up the experience I had yesterday.  For some reason, the "Christmas spirit" seems to fade in people when there's only two days until Christmas - and they still haven't finished their shopping.  People had no courtesy - they were relentless.  They blocked the aisles with their carts, gave dirty looks when I tried to go around, even running through the store with a 3 year old that needed to pee didn't phase anyone.  My constant "excuse me's" feel on deaf ears and I literally had to plan a strategic course to get my poor Jelly to the bathroom on time.  It was even more annoying when people turned to look at me, could see I was in a hurry - with a toddler - and then moved maybe an inch.  Don't worry, folks, I'm not trying to take one of the 800 bubble bath gift sets you're having such a hard time deciding on!!

OK, so all you can see, not the best day yesterday - but it's alright.  My Christmas spirit is still in tack.  What a fun filled day we have planned for today!  After finishing up here, I have to make Bacon & Swiss dip to take to a family lunch we're having at my pseudo mother-in-law's house.  We'll eat, chat, and the kids will play for a couple of hours (burning off energy step #1).  Then, we're off to my real in-law's house for another small visit (burning off energy step #2).  After all the visiting, we're coming home to bake cookies for Santa.  It's become a tradition in my house to bake Santa's cookies.  After the cookie making, I'll help the kids track Santa with the NORAD Santa tracker and then we'll all sit down and watch a Christmas movie.  After the movie, it's more Santa tracking and then I'll spend about two hours trying to get the kids to go to sleep.

I will probably be worse than the kids tonight.  It's always hard for me to sleep on Christmas Eve.  I get so excited about seeing the kids' faces when they wake up.  We have a fun tradition in my house - fun for me, anyway.  There are NO gifts under the tree until Santa comes on Christmas Eve.  The kids' will hang their stockings in their bedrooms.  Santa fills their stockings and brings all of the gifts.  When they wake up in the morning, the kids are allowed to open all of the gifts and goodies that are in the stockings, but they are NOT allowed to come out of their bedrooms.  I will get up, make coffee, and then make the kids sweat it out while the coffee is making.  I then set out the cookies - chocolate cookies - that are our traditional Christmas day breakfast.  Once I have all that taken care of, and the camera ready, the kids are allowed to come out of their rooms to see what Santa has left.  I then hand out the gifts, one child and one gift at a time.  I'm getting so excited just thinking about it!!! 

OK, time to post the last gift of the 12 days of Christmas blog swap.  What a fantastic experience it's been.  I've loved every one of my gifts - and have loved opening...urm, well watching Jelly open... the gifts.  THANK YOU, Danielle!!! You have really brought me so much joy this Christmas.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me....

All the tools I need for a mini mani!!

Yesterday I got the pedi set, and now I can finish it off with a mini mani too!! Something I will need once all this holiday polava is over with. 

Well, folks, I will not be posting tomorrow or Sunday - cause of going to my mom's for Christmas dinner and we'll be spending the night.  I will fill you all in on my holiday excitement on Monday.

Have a very merry Christmas!!

Till next time.  ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas...

I can feel the pangs of excitement rushing through my body.  My insides feel like a Nascar track.  Today is the last day before all of the Christmas festivities commence - and I can barely control myself.  Isn't it funny that I'm this excited?  Here I am, 28 years old, and anyone would think I was 10 with how excited I am.  Tomorrow will seem to last forever, even though I have some fun things planned to help the time go by. 

Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day.  I took Jelly for her 3 year check up.  She's now 3'3" tall and weighs 38 lbs.  She ranks in the 90th percentile for height and weight.  Not sure where she gets her height from.  I'm 5'6" and her dad is 5'11".  Maybe I have a supermodel in the making!  After our hour long visit with the doctor, we headed to Wal-Mart for a few things then it was back home to the comfort of my couch.  At Wal-Mart, I picked up some new yarn to start a new blanket.  They didn't carry the baby yarn I was using, so I had to scrap the baby blanket.  I'm now working on a hot pink and purple striped blanket for Jelly.  She's very excited and asks me every 2 minutes if I'm done.

Speaking of Jelly, she has developed quite a knack at insulting me.  I don't think she's intentionally doing it - but it packs quite a punch when she does.  Try not to laugh too hard as I share her little "observations". 

So, she's helping me fold laundry on Tuesday.  She's handing me my clothes so that I can hang them in the closet.  She hands me a shirt, and I walk into the closet.  Then I hear "Mom, these are the biggest pants I've ever seen!"  I step out of the closet to see her holding up a pair of my sweat pants.  I feel my cheeks begin to heat up - I was blushing.  That NEVER happens to me!! My three year old daughter had made me feel embarrassment.  It didn't stop there, either.  She let out the same exclamation each time she pulled out a pair of my pants.  Out of the mouths of babes, right?  Geez.

Yesterday, on our way home from our errand run, Jelly is singing away with the Christmas music.  All of a sudden, completely out of the blue, she says "Mom, you're old".  Butter, who was in the car with us, couldn't help but split his sides with laughter.  I laughed, also, just because of the spontaneity of the situation - but my goodness, child...lay-off me!  I asked her how old she thought I was.  Her response?  "Just old, Momma".  Nice.

The old comment doesn't bother me.  I'm 28.  Not exactly time to start worrying about retirement or anything.  In Jelly's eyes, I am old - compared to her.  She's 3.  The pant comment hit a little more closer to home.  I know that I'm determined on starting over with my weight loss journey in January, but knowing that I'm under the watchful eye of my toddler makes things a little more important.  It really got me thinking about how much damage I've done to myself in the past two months.  I feel my clothes getting tighter.  I see the weight coming back when I look in the mirror.  I feel the fatigue that the weight brings, the lack of motivation...it all makes me want to scream out loud - yet, I still do nothing. 

Then I realize, that this is OK.  Knowing that I am bothered by the situation is enough for me, right now.  It has motivated me to start working on my "game-plan" for January.  I've already started making my own list - and checking it twice.  I've started planning my work-outs.  I've started thinking about the foods that I'm going to eat.  Come January, 1st, I will stand on the scale and prepare myself for the shock.  I will use that shock to fuel my fire, spark my motivation, and propel me into the year of getting to my goal weight.  I know that I will have a further road to travel, with the weight that I know I've gained - but I'm ready to make the journey.

OK, enough about that until January - it's CHRISTMAS!!  Time for presents!!  This morning, I opened the second to last gift from Danielle...

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me...
Some great stuff to keep my feet soft, warm, and cozy!!

She did it again.  I can now check something else off of my "want" list, and that would be a pair of moisturizing socks.  I've seen them, I've heard about them, I've wanted a pair for myself - but put off buying some.  Now, I can give myself a well deserved mini pedi with these amazing socks.  They are warm, cozy, and lined with Shea butter to help smooth out the.. urm..well..roughness that has been brought about by the winter.  To go along with the socks, she included a couple of body butters - to really help with the moisturizing process.  I plan on trying them out this afternoon, as soon as I get home from taking the kids Christmas shopping for the family.

Well, folks, I have to get ready...the kids want to go and buy gifts for family so I'm going to have to deal with the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers - YEA!! *insert sarcasm*

Everyone have a fantastic Thursday - Christmas Eve Eve.

Till next time.  ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On the Tenth Day of Christmas...

I know it's a little early to be thinking about New Year's resolutions...maybe it's not, I don't know...but I've got one that I really need to make this year.  I need to make the resolution to get more organized.

I used to think I was a pretty organized person.  Used to up until yesterday.  I was trying to find my small crocheting loom - something I've seen around the house a gazillion times in the past 6 months.  Do you think I could find it the day I actually needed it?  Of course not.  While turning the house upside down in the hunt for the missing loom, I found my change purse that I've been trying to find for the past two weeks.  The sad thing?  It was right next to my desk.  I had emptied every box, searched every shelf...but I couldn't find the darn thing and it just shows up in my hunt for something else.

While getting frustrated with all of the searching, it occurred to me how disorganized my stuff is.  I'm not sure if I'm unorganized, or I just have too much stuff...but I seriously have to work on doing something about it.  In my change purse, that I haven't seen in two weeks, were mine and Jelly's social security cards....not exactly items that should be getting lost.  Finding them caused me to panic about where Peanut and Butter's cards are.  *SIGH*

I am the world's worst person about putting something somewhere - thinking it's a good place - and then it's almost impossible for me to remember where I put it when I need it.  It's about time I went through all of this junk and categorize, organize, declutter even.  It's now on my to-do list...for 2011.  I know, I should try and get it done while I have a few weeks off...but do I really want to spend my vacation time organizing and declutter?  Urm...no.

Despite spending a couple of hours hunting down my crocheting loom - with no luck - I finally decided to crochet with a regular crochet hook.  I found some baby yarn and started working on a baby afghan.  Baby blankets always come in handy - there's always someone I know that's expecting - so I figured it was a good project to start on.  I was going to make some scarfs or beanies..but the yarn I have isn't really for that type of stuff so it looks as though I'll be making blankets...I'm OK with that.  It was so nice to sit on the couch and crochet.  It took me a whole 3 seconds to get my rhythm...and about a quarter of the blanket is already done.  Of course, I didn't get the cleaning done that I wanted to...but that's on the list for today.

Today, I'm taking Jelly to her 3 year check up.  I'm hoping and praying that it doesn't involve shots.  She's been doing so well with her potty training the past couple of days, the last thing I need she needs is to have needles jabbed into her arm.  I'm curious to see how much she's grown in the past year.  I would know this information already, if I was a good and organized Mommy - one that keeps track of measurements and stuff. 

Jelly had a really good day, yesterday.  She used the toilet all day - and I was one proud momma.  The only downfall came early in the evening - and I'm not talking about an accident.  Jelly's reward for using the toilet was a small piece of chocolate EACH time she went.  Well, the kid used the toilet A LOT yesterday.  By dinner time, she was looking a little pale.  All of a sudden, up came all of the chocolate...all over her, the couch, her blanket and pillow...it was a mess.  I got the couch and stuff cleaned up while Peanut threw her in the bath.  After she was clean, again, she was feeling fine - but she wasn't interested in anymore chocolate.  She kept using the bathroom, she just chose to give Peanut her pieces of chocolate instead...LOL

Speaking of chocolate...it's time to get to my 10th day gift!!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me...
A box of all my favorite candies!!!

All I can say this morning is YUMMY!!!  Jelly's chocolate mishap couldn't of happened on a better day...because she totally wasn't interested in the gift she opened this morning.  Too bad for her, awesome for me.  On the top of the box, there are a handful of Godiva chocolate gems.  Under them are my two absolute FAVORITE kinds of chocolate...Ferraro Rocher and Coconut M&Ms.  Again, Danielle only knew that I LOVED chocolate...but she managed to send me my favorite chocolate.  She truly is amazing.

OK, time to get ready for the doctor.  Everyone have a fantastic Wednesday...we're almost to Christmas!!!

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the Ninth Day of Christmas...

Can you believe it? Just 4 more days till Christmas!!  I can finally be excited because I'm done with everything that I need to do before the big day gets here.  Santa has all the gifts wrapped and ready for delivery Christmas Eve so I can now sit back and enjoy the rest of the week.

Today, I'm going to be cleaning the house a little and then do something I haven't had the time to do since last Winter...I'm going to do some crocheting!!  Crocheting used to be my all time favorite hobby.  I could knock out a scarf in a couple of evenings, and sometimes a beany in one evening.  Year before last, I bought myself some really cool crocheting looms that helped me make some really nice stuff.  Then, of course, life got in the way and all of my crocheting stuff was put away....until NOW!!  I might find that I'm a little rusty - but I'm sure I'll get my groove back in no time.

Last night, I did something I don't usually do - I made dinner for the family.  Yes, I know, that may sound odd...but I'm not the cook in my house.  I am lucky enough to have a man that LOVES to cook.  I cook on occasion, but usually nothing fancy.  Last night I went all out.  I made a Swiss and bacon dip with Melba toast and carrot sticks as an appetizer.  (I was trying out a recipe I got for a friend that I'm making for Christmas Eve.) With that, I made baked chicken spaghetti and garlic bread.  I also enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner - another rare treat.  The dip was awesome!!  The chicken, urm...well, needs some work.  It was OK, though.

Poor Peanut wasn't feeling great last night.  She came home from school and told me that she'd somehow scratched her eyeball.  Poor thing could barely open it, and she was in no mood to help me cook (which was the original plan).  Instead, Hubby got her fixed up with an eye patch and she laid on the couch.  I fixed her some food, and after eating she promptly fell asleep on the couch.  She slept until close to 11 last night and was in quite a bit of pain.  I got her a cold press for her eye, and she laid down again.  This morning, you wouldn't be able to tell that she had such a rough evening.  Her eye appears to be completely healed, and she's running around the house like a chicken without a head getting ready for school.

That's one thing I love about Peanut.  She wasn't happy on Friday because it was my last day at work and she still had three days left of school.  Last night, I gave her the option to stay home from school and she told me she'd see how she felt this morning.  A lot of kids her age would of woken up this morning - regardless of how they really felt - and played it up that they still didn't feel good.  Not my Peanut.  She wants to go to school.  It's a blessing, really, that I have a child that loves school so much.

OK, so now it's the moment you've all been waiting for, my 9th day of Christmas gift...so here goes:

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my new friend gave to me...
The most beautiful pink clutch that I really, really need!!

This gift got me SOOOO excited when I saw it.  I collect purses, and that's something I don't think I told Danielle.  What makes this even more exciting is the fact that my wallet is on it's last legs.  I use a clutch style wallet every day.  I was going to wait until after Christmas to buy a new one - but now I don't have to!!!  What's even better is the fact that this one has a place for coins.  My clutch doesn't - and it was a pain in the ass to try and find a place for all my change.  I'm starting to think that Danielle is a secret agent of the North Pole - cause she has gotten me the most AWESOME gifts!!!!

OK, time for me to get to getting.  Lots to do...well, not really... but you know.

Till next time.  ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

Well, if this past weekend is any indication of what my next two weeks are going to be like....then my time-off is going to fly by.  Seems like only a few short hours ago, I was celebrating the beginning of my vacation - and now the first weekend is already over with.  Oh well, no time to dwell.  It's time to get things going for enjoying the time off.

First thing - ship all the kiddos off to school.  Yes, I even made the decision to send little Jelly to school today.  I wanted a day, just one day, all to myself.  I don't think it's too much to ask - and the kids don't seem to mind.  I wish I could say that I'll be spending the day relaxing - but I won't.  Nope, I will be making the final preparations for Christmas...the preparations that require no children be about.

I'm very excited about my day.  I get a day like this once a year - doing this stuff, anyway.  Hubby will be in bed, I will have the Christmas music on, and I will spend about 5 hours sorting and arranging and doing all of those Christmassy things that a parent needs to do.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night.  Not really sure why.  I got to read some more of Eat, Pray, Love - yes I'm still reading it *sigh*.  I even wrote a little in my other journal - my personal journal.  At midnight, I tried to go to sleep but still nothing.  Finally, I put on my White Noise app and let the calming sounds of waves crashing put me to sleep.  I've never really held much weight to those machines...but I guess I was wrong.  The noise definitely did the trick!

Alright, going to make it a quick one today - don't have much spare time.  Before I go, I must share the 8th day gift. 

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me...
Some things to help me not be smelly!

I know that sounds kind of rude - but it's hard coming up with these rhymes!!  My gift today is a set of soaps - very nice smelling soaps.  They look like they could be hand made or all natural - maybe both.  Either way, they smell wonderful, and I will be using one in the shower today.  Jelly's reaction was quite amusing.  She opened the package and thought it was chocolate.  I had to explain, and then let her smell the soap...I don't think she believed me..LOL

OK, now it's time to get ready for my very full day.  Everyone have a great Monday!!

Till next time.  ;)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

Last night I went to a Christmas party.  It was a Christmas sweater party.  Sanity and I had both been invited, and being that Sanity and the host were the only people I was going to know at the party...I decided to go with Sanity.  Despite the fact of not knowing anyone, I had a really good time.  We played some Foosball, enjoyed some yummy finger food, and had a great time laughing from great conversation.  I made my way home about 2am this morning...and didn't get my lazy butt out of bed until 10...NICE!!

Before I get to my Christmas gift for the day, I'm going to do another installment of "Dear..." just like I did last Sunday.  I had a lot of fun doing it, and I think I might make it a regular Sunday post.  OK, so here goes...

Dear Peanut...I know that you think it's unfair that I was finished with school on Friday and you still have 3 days left, but I didn't make your school schedule.  It's no good sulking around the house because of it - and it also doesn't mean that I'm going to let you "skip" the next 3 days of school..Sorry.

Dear Peanut..again...I didn't want to leave it on a negative note.  I am still very appreciative of everything that you've done the past few weeks.  I promise that the next two weeks to spend time with you..and we will have a lot of fun.  The evenings will be spent watching Christmas movies, and there will be baking and cooking and shopping to do - that I know you will love.

Dear Butter...I think it's great that you're having such a great time playing with your little sister, however, will you please refrain from games such as tag inside the house?  Especially when your father is trying to play his games...I'm tired of hearing about it.

Dear Jelly...That's right, there's no more diapers.  I'm not buying anymore.  You are 3 years old, it's time you were potty trained.  You can cry all you want - I don't have to get up early for work in the morning for the next 2 weeks...bring it on!!

Dear Retail Stores...I think it's pretty ridiculous that you're trying to rip people off when buying Christmas movies.  Why on earth would I pay $20 for a movie that was released 10 years ago??  Just because it's a Christmas movie doesn't make it an antique heirloom.  I will just wait until January, buy it for $5 and wait until next year to watch it!!

Dear Santa...I'm tired of you getting all of the credit for the hard work that I put into Christmas.  My kids have now been informed that it is I that pays for all the Christmas gifts you bring, and I am also the person that tells you which gifts to bring.  I think I should get some recognition - sorry!

Dear Weather...Please lay off the snow in England.  I'm waiting for family to come, and their flight has been cancelled due to the continuous snowfall.  If you insist on falling, I know I'd be more than happy to have a little of it...not too much, but a nice dusting would be OK.

Dear Self...Don't fret too much about having to move up a size in pants.  You are still able to get into the size 16s, they are just a little too tight for comfort.  Enjoy the next two weeks, and worry about it come January 1st.

Dear Money Tree...I don't know how you did it, but thank you for coming through for me this Christmas.  It seems that whenever I seem to have drained you to the last leaf, you always seem to have the power to bloom just a couple more leaves when I need them the most.  Not sure how, but you pulled through for me this year and I'm very appreciative.

OK, that's enough for today.  Now it's time to get to my 7th day of Christmas gift.  It was a great one, yet again. 

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me...
A selection of hot and iced flavored coffees!!

Jelly was excited, at first, because she thought it was hot chocolate...LOL  When I explained that it was coffee, she handed them over and said "they're for you, Momma".  Yep, they are for me...and I'm very excited.  I'm a HUGE coffee drinker - and having this nice little selection to sample this week is going to be delightful!!!

OK, I need to get myself ready to take some stuff to my mom's house.  Everyone have a wonderful Sunday!!

Till next time.  ;)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On the Fifth AND Sixth Day of Christmas...

This is it...the day has come...I am officially on Christmas break.  Yes, folks, for the next two weeks I don't have to worry about getting up at 4am, writing lesson plans, recess or lunch duty....well, I do have to do lesson plans for the first week back to school - but I'm not worrying about that this week!!

Yesterday went by so quickly.  I really thought it would be one of those days that would drag on forever... but there was so much going on, we didn't have time to stop all day.  At 8am, we took the kiddos down to the cafeteria to hear The Polar Express read by the principal.  It was nice.  The kiddos even got their very own "first gift of Christmas"...yep, they all got bells to wear around the neck.  You can imagine what the walk back to the classroom was like.  What has two thumbs and confiscated half of those bells before we even got back to the classroom?  Yep, this Scrooge did.  I couldn't help it.  I asked them about 50 million times not to ring them in the hallway because of the other classes working...but you know...it's not like they're going to listen to me.  I think by lunch time, only 5 kids still had their bells on.  Don't worry - I gave them all back at the end of the day...I'm sure the bus drivers and the parents were THRILLED.  Every kid in the school got one.

I made up for my Scroogey ways in the afternoon by playing a game of Christmas bingo with the kids, giving them all Hershey Kisses most of the day, and something I probably shouldn't of done..but did.  On Fridays, the whole grade does "Super Friday".  The kiddos get to pick if they want to do games, watch a movie, have an extra recess, or have an art class.  Each teacher is responsible for an activity and the grade breaks up into different classrooms.  My responsibility this month has been study hall.  Yep, I got the kids that didn't follow the rules all week and got into trouble.  They usually get to work 100 math problems while the rest of the grade enjoys their reward.  Yesterday, I just couldn't make those kids do the math problems.  So, I brought them into the classroom, swore them to secrecy....and then put on a movie for them to watch.  I just couldn't bring myself to punish the kids right before they left for Christmas break.  Of course, swearing a group of 2nd graders to secrecy is like asking them to not ring their bells in the hallway - but the other teachers weren't too mad.

So, overall, yesterday was fantastic.  When I got home, Jelly wanted to open 'her' next gift.  (That's what she told me).  We found the gift for the fifth day.  Before she opened it, she knew what it was by the wrapping - but it didn't hide her excitement while she was ripping off the paper...LOL

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me...
A new cold drink cup in case I want some iced coffee!!

Jelly wasn't thrilled - I was super excited.  I use one of these cups at work, and I LOVE the idea of having one at home.  What fascinates me is the colors of this cup.  In the beginning survey, I told Danielle that my favorite colors are pink and purple.  She managed to incorporate both favorite colors into this gift- and I think it's amazing.

Being that I no longer have to get up at the butt crack of dawn for the next couple of weeks.  I decided that today I would catch up - so that I could post about the gift on the day it's opened.  To do that, it meant posting about yesterday and today's gift.  So, here goes for today.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me...

The cutest little candle I have ever seen!!!

Yes, it's a candle.  Isn't it the most adorable thing you have ever seen?  The candle smells like cream - the little cup fits perfectly on the little saucer - I LOVE IT!!!  Jelly thought it was for her, of course, and got very excited.  She wasn't very happy when I told her that it was breakable - and a candle.  She gave it up with no arguments, though...LOL

OK, so tomorrow, I will be able to post the 7th gift on the 7th day of Christmas.  Tomorrow, I will also be doing another installment of "Dear..."  I really enjoyed that last week.

Tonight I'm off to a Christmas sweater party...should be fun!!

Everyone have a great Saturday!!

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

What a fun day yesterday was.  It was filled with fun, parties, friends....exactly why I love Christmas.  Despite the fact that my 2nd graders knew we were having a Christmas party, they were so good all morning.  They didn't act crazy, they weren't out of control.  They did their work, they enjoyed their "educational" games, and they really made the day go by so fast.

The classroom moms did a great job giving the kids a fun time.  The kids got to make Rudolph ornaments, photo ornaments, decorate a cookie, and had a cool book exchange while being read How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  They also enjoyed healthy snacks of fruit and cheese.  That was something you don't see very often - and I was really impressed.  The teachers, on the other hand, were treated with HUGE muffins and hot chocolate...and they were delicious!!

After school, I had the opportunity to go and do a little shopping.  I had a Christmas dinner to go to with some friends later in the evening - and I didn't want to drive all the way home - so I took the chance to do a little shopping.  I went to Border's and picked up The Christmas Carol - the new one with Jim Carrey.  I've been dying to see it...but I'm tired of waiting for Netflix.  I had a 50% off coupon and $4 still left on my Border's gift card so I ended up paying $10 for it...not bad I don't think. 

Once I was done with my shopping, I headed on over to my friend's house for dinner.  It was such a great evening.  The dinner was for the interns currently at my school and our university liaison.  It was so nice to enjoy a glass of wine, a great meal, and a relaxed atmosphere.  We could laugh about our experiences, share touching moments, and really enjoy not having to worry about "being professional"....not that we weren't, we just didn't have to worry about it.  The food was INCREDIBLE!! We had the most yummy dip (courtesty of an intern) and carrot sticks for an appetizer, baked chicken spaghetti (courtesy of my liaison), Caesar salad, garlic bread, and the most amazing Death by Chocolate dessert (courtesy of one of the interns). 

After the great meal and conversation, we did a little Dirty Santa gift exchange.  I was very happy with what I ended up with....a Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper... LMAO.  It's a reindeer jelly bean dispenser that just so happens to dispense the beans from his...urm...well... you know.  It also came with a nice little 'pile' of brown and yellow jelly beans (coke and butterscotch flavors).  I think I'm going to pass it on to Santa so that he can give it to Butter for Christmas....it's definitely something Butter would get a kick out of.

I didn't get home until 9 last night, and so I didn't open my 4th day of Christmas gift until this morning.  I got to open the gift all by myself - because Jelly is still sleeping.  So...here goes...

On the fourth day of Christmas, my new friend gave to me...
A new cup for my coffee!!!

I tell you what, Danielle is AMAZING!!!  I LOVE these types of coffee cups.  I have a plastic one and almost bought another one last night - because I want one to keep at school and one for home.  This one is ceramic, purple (my favorite color) and soooo nice.  Danielle sure has hit the nail on the head every day, so far.  Even though the information she's received about me is limited - she portrays someone that has known me my whole life with the gifts that she's sent me.  THANK YOU DANIELLE!!!

This morning, I'm in my Christmassy PJs.  I get to go to school in my Christmassy PJs.  It's Polar Express day at the elementary I work in.  The kids (and teachers) come to school in their PJs and enjoy a reading of Polar Express and some hot chocolate - courtesy of the Principle.  I'm really excited...what a comfortable way to spend the day...in my fuzzy, warm, PJs and fleece robe.

Everyone have a FANTABULOUS Friday....I know I will.

Till next time.  ;) 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the Third Day of Christmas...

I had a WONDERFUL day at work.  Yesterday really pushed me into the final countdown for Christmas break...cards, gifts, cute, adorable first graders performing a Christmas program, and a moment I don't think I will forget - ever.  My class was good, for the most part, and by the end of the day I wasn't exhausted or frustrated.

Yesterday I received my first ever gift from a student.  I will say, it's a very touching moment.  What made it even more special was the fact that the gift was from one of the first graders I taught at the beginning of the semester.  I miss them everyday, and even though I love getting hugs from them in the hallway and in the cafeteria...I never really thought they would give me that much thought after I was gone.  Well, one of those precious first graders made me realize that she's still thinking about me - and that touches my heart.

She gave me the gift in the cafeteria and asked me to open it.  It was a cute little box, and inside was a vanilla candle, a pair of snowflake earrings, two mini bags of M&Ms and a Christmas card.  I fought back the tears, as I truly was so touched by the gesture, and headed back to my classroom.  Once I got back, I decided to open my Christmas card.  When I did, I was surprised to find a Wal-Mart gift card inside.  I was in so much shock that I think I stood there staring at it for a good two minutes before my mentor asked me what was wrong...LOL  I know this may sound a little selfish - and it's not meant to - but getting a gift card for an unpaid student teacher is like giving her a winning lotto card.  I was so happy and excited.

Two more touching moments happened towards the end of the day.  My class went to another classroom to do a "Christmas around the world" project.  Their craft was to make Christmas cards.  When I went to pick them up, about 6 students handed me their Christmas cards and told me that they wanted me to have them.  When I opened each card, they were all for me with little sayings like "You're a great teacher" and "I love you".  *SNIFF* 

The icing on my emotional cake occurred about 15 minutes before it was time to go home.  I had gone to watch the first grade Christmas program.  They were AWESOME!!!  It was after I got back to my classroom when I had to hold back the tears, though.  I have to give some quick background for the emotional effect to really sink in:  I have a student in my class that is...urm...well...a challenge.  He's defiant, overbearing, and every day I usually end up in some kind of behavior issue with him.  He's not affectionate - at all - from what I've seen so far.  He prefers to portray the persona of the "tough guy" and refuses to let anything bother him...including any trouble he gets in.  Well, I was standing in the hallway speaking to another teacher when out of the blue he walks up to me, throws his arms around my waist, buries his head in my stomach, and gives me the tightest hug that I've ever had.  Not tight as in cutting of my circulation - but emotional, affectionate.  I stood there for a second completely dazed - and then I threw my arms around him and returned the affection.  It was a very big step for him to do something like that - and it took me several minutes to swallow the tears that I had in my throat.

So, an awesome day at work.  I then get home and it's time to open my 3rd gift from Danielle.  Jelly, again, does the honors...and as she starts pulling back the paper I can see the excitement growing on her face.  That must mean there's something in the package that she likes.  I try to sneak a peek, but no chance...she's holding on to it for dear life.  Finally, she gets the wrapping off and I see why she's so excited.

On the third day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me....


A children's Christmas book that made me and Jelly so very happy.

I collect children's books, and Danielle knew this.  I couldn't have been more excited to add a Christmas book to that collection, as I don't really own that many of them.  Jelly was so excited, and immediately thought it was hers.  Luckily, for a three year old, she's really good with books.  I let her look through the book for a few minutes, and then I snatched it as quickly as I could.  I will be taking the book and reading it to my 2nd graders today...I know they'll love it as much as I do.

Well, today, I get to enjoy the Christmas party for the kiddos and then will be attending a Christmas dinner with the other interns at my school.  I'm really excited about today - it's going to be G-R-E-A-T!!

Till next time.  ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the Second Day of Christmas....

Happy Wednesday everyone!!!!  I couldn't be more happy that it's hump day.  That means there's only a couple more days until my Christmas break begins...and I'm so excited.

Today is, realistically, the last day of doing focused academic work for my students.  Technically, they're supposed to be doing academic work all the way up to Friday - but I'm a realist.  I know that the thought of the Christmas party tomorrow, and being in their PJs on Friday isn't going to be the best way for them to focus.  The excitement for the next two days, alone, is going to be a struggle to get them to focus today.  It's OK, though.  I can't fault them.  I know exactly how they feel.  They're ready for the break just as much as I am.

Today is Jelly's first ever school Christmas party.  She has no idea.  None of the kids do.  The daycare owner is one smart cookie - she's kept it quiet this whole time so that the kids wouldn't drive her nuts.  A strategy I only wish could be applied at the elementary schools.  After work, yesterday, I went and picked up some things for the kiddos to enjoy at their party.  I bought gingerbread, frosting, and M&Ms...bet you can't guess what they are going to be doing today..LOL  I think the kids are going to have a blast. 

The daycare and my class, funny enough, are doing the same concept when it comes to gift exchange.  It's a pretty awesome idea - one I hadn't heard about up until a few weeks ago.  The kids are all to bring a book (either used or new).  The books will be wrapped and then exchanged with the other kids.  In my classroom, they kids are going to be read a Christmas story.  Each time the page is turned, they move the gift one person to the left.  At the end of the book, they get to open their gift.  I'm not really sure how they daycare is doing it - but it's a really great idea.  Jelly will be taking three little board books: The Snowy Day, Freight Train, and Goodnight Moon.  The perks of having a student teacher as a mother is the fact that I own HUNDREDS of childrens' books.  I own each of those books in paperback, so I have no problem handing over the board books. 

Speaking of gifts, yesterday was the second day for the 12 days of Christmas blog swap.  I was so excited to get home from work, yesterday afternoon, to open my next gift.  Jelly was equally excited.  I found the next package to open and Jelly did the honors of opening it.  What I got was very awesome...wanna know what it was??

On the second day of Christmas, my new friend gave to me...



Two foam ornament sets that made me so very happy.

Jelly was super excited when she saw the boxes - she automatically assumed that they were something she could eat.  When I explained to her that there wasn't anything for her to eat inside...she handed me the boxes and went back to playing with her "baby blanket" dishtowel I received yesterday.  I was much more excited.  I automatically thought about how great these ornaments will be to make in my classroom.  At first, I thought about taking them to school this week....and then I decided that I'm going to put them away and hopefully use them next year - in my OWN classroom. 

So, my new friend, Danielle, has given me the first Christmas activity that I can do with my own students in my own classroom - hopefully (everyone keep your fingers crossed that I get a job in the Spring) next year.

OK, time to get ready for work.  Everyone have a great Hump Day!!!

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the First Day of Christmas, My New Friend Sent to Me....

Yes, my package arrived yesterday containing my twelve days of Christmas gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Swap.  I was like a little kid on Christmas morning as I was ripping off the wrapping of the box containing it all.  Of course, Jelly was just as excited - and she wanted in on the action.

Once I got the box opened, and read the card inside - it was time to find my first gift to open.  Before I get to that, I'm going to share just a little about my partner.  My swap partner's name is Danielle and she's from New York.  I could tell, right away, that she put a lot of effort into the way she had planned the box.  Each gift is designated a letter A-L.  She sent a card with the instructions of the order to open and for which gifts went together, and she has also attached a little note to each gift.

OK - now on to the gift.  So, Jelly was super excited to see all of the wrapped presents - and it was quite a challenge to convince her that the gifts were not for her.  She started grabbing at packages, as I grabbed back.  We came to an arrangement where she could open the gift.  Not so much as an arrangement, more like she was going to open the gift regardless...I just had to control the gift she opened and quickly lock away that were for the coming days.  She immediately started ripping off the paper.  I think that no matter what was in the package - she would have been excited.  With this gift, the excitement was genuinely linked to the gifts - yes that was plural - that was in the first package.

On the first day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me....

Three reindeer headbands, two jingly hair ties, and a poinsettia dishtowel...as you can see.

I know, I know, on the first day of Christmas I should only have one gift...but I'm definitely not going to complain.  Jelly and I were very excited to see the gifts.   You would think that it would be the awesome headbands or the jingly hair ties that would catch Jelly's eye - but it wasn't.  She went straight for the dishtowel and said "a blanket for my baby!!"  She spent most of the evening wrapping herself and her baby dolls up in the dishtowel.  I was very excited for the headbands and hair ties - because now I have some awesome Christmassy stuff to wear to school this week.

I can't wait to open my next gift - but I promised Jelly that I'd wait until I got home from work...so she could open it with me.

This is so exciting...what a great idea.  Tomorrow, you'll hear all about my next gift.  Now it's time for me to go get on a jingly hair tie.  ;)

Till next time.  ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holy Nose Icicles, Batman!!

It's 12 degrees outside my house right now - and 56 degrees inside it....BRRR!!!!  My poor, old heating system...it's doing the best that it can, but it can't seem to compete with these frigid temps.  I'm so glad that I have a separate heater in my room - that heats my office, too.  I think I'm going to have to try and find a space heater for the kids' rooms - cause even though they are in their winter jammies, and piled with blankets, there's nothing worse than having to get out of a warm bed into what feels like a refrigerator.  Come on money tree!!!  Sure would be nice to get a bloom or two today. 

So, this is it, the twelve days to Christmas is here - and I couldn't be more excited.  It's possible my 12 days of Christmas gift package will arrive today, and if it does I will share my first present with you all tomorrow.  I have this week left at work, and then I'm off until January 3rd.  How exciting!!

I know this week is going to be super crazy at school - the kiddos are going to be excited, and I'm sure the last thing they're thinking about is how to subtract with regrouping or vowel digraphs or reader's workshop.  They're thinking about what Santa is going to bring them - period.  I can't blame them.  I'm having a hard time thinking about teaching subtraction and digraphs and reader's workshop.  Not really sure how I'm going to get them to focus, when I'll be struggling just as much as they are.  Guess it's a test on my teaching skills - I'm not allowed to just say "it's the week before Christmas, let's just play games and have fun all week"  - as much as I'd like to.  I really just have to get them focused today through Wednesday, because Thursday is the Christmas party and Friday is Polar Express day (the kids dress in their PJs and the principal comes around and reads the story and serves them hot chocolate...cute, huh?)  When activities like that are happening, it's just common sense that there will be no way to get them to do any real school work.

Shifting gears - what an amazing weekend I had.  Peanut and I had some quality Mommy & Me time, Butter had some quality time with Grandma and Grandad, and Jelly had quality time with both her Daddy and I.  I cleaned my office, watched movies, wrote out Christmas cards, drank hot chocolate...it was nice. 

I wrote my final paper of the semester yesterday, and boy did it feel good.  It only took me about an hour, and once I was finished I couldn't help but do a little happy dance.  I don't have any homework to worry about, now, until January - the middle of January to be precise.  Now that's what I'm talking about!!!

So, with all this Christmas cheer - there's one thing I'm noticing.  My pants are starting to get a little tighter.  I'm not really too worried.  I mean, I hate the fact that I'm undoing all of the hard work I've put in to getting into these size 16 pants...but I'm staying positive that it's just temporary and in less than a month I'll be back on my journey to losing weight and in no time I'll be bragging how my size 16s are too big.  As much as I hate knowing that I'm putting on weight - and I'm too scared to get on the scale to find out how much - I needed this break.  The fact that I am thinking about it tells me that I haven't lost sight of my journey - and that this definitely is just a break. 

To be honest, I've already started planning my "game plan" for January.  On top of that list is the Couch to 5K.  I miss running, and so that will be my first "goal" that I set for myself come January 1st.  My other goal will include daily yoga.  I've already downloaded some yoga workouts to start me off again.  See...I'm still in this...next year I WILL GET DOWN TO MY GOAL WEIGHT!!!

OK, time to get ready for work.

Till next time.  ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dear...

My dear friend Renee, over at Renee's Ramblings, does this cute blog post each week called "Dear...".  Being that I have writer's block this morning, I decided I would try doing it myself....here goes...

Dear Self...Quit worrying about the Christmas stuff.  You have one more week of work and then you have plenty of time to figure out what you still need to do.

Dear Dog...You are not allowed to eat chocolate.  When are you going to realize this?  I am tired of cleaning up your puke!!  I hide the chocolate for a reason - it is not a challenge to see if you can figure out a way to get to it. 

Dear Snake...I'm tired of having a rat in a cage in my bedroom - you need to eat!!!  It's been 3 months - that's insanity!!!  I know you don't mind sleeping while the rat is burrowing around in the cage - but it's annoying the crap out of me. 

Dear Weather...Make up your freakin' mind!!! I don't mind the cold weather - I just don't like it when it's warm one minute and then it drops 20 degrees in a matter of an hour.  My heater is tired, and can't keep up with you!

Dear Heater...I know you're old, but I don't have the money to replace you right now.  Suck it up!!  My family needs heat when it's 19 degrees outside.  The air you are blowing is luke warm - at best.  I know you can do better than that!!

Dear Jelly...I know you love to run around the house with no clothes on - who doesn't? But when it's 19 degrees outside, you have to put clothes on.  I know you don't think so, but I'm the boss - what I say goes!

Dear Facebook Gamers...I know I used to be an avid gamer - who doesn't love to live in a fantasy world online?  However, I haven't played in over 6 months - so PLEASE stop sending me those requests to send you gifts or to harvest your crops or to vote for you in a fashion show or to clean your fish tanks.  I haven't responded in 6 months - isn't it time to take a hint?

Dear people that shop at Wal-Mart:  It's the holiday season, which mean Wal-Mart is busy.  I think it's great that you bump into your friends and family while shopping, however if you insist on catching up - please move OUT of the main aisle to do so.  When you see five people lined up behind you in both directions it means YOU are blocking the aisle and we can't get through.  Oh, and the worst thing you can do is laugh and say "I think we're causing a traffic jam" to your friend - that will just piss us people waiting off even more.

Dear driver of the gray minivan that insisted on riding my butt all the way to town yesterday...If you hadn't noticed, we were on two lane highway - meaning you could of gone around me.  I am not going to move.  If you're in a hurry - YOU MOVE!!  One day, you're going to get behind me when I don't have kids in the car and I'm going to hit my brakes. 

Dear Mac or Microsoft...When are you going to come out with a computer that will type my thoughts? You would make my life a lot easier.  Trying to type papers for school is hard, sometimes I just can't find the right words - even though I know what I want to say.  You could help with this problem.  You can send my check for the great idea whenever you get a second.

Dear Money Tree...I know it's Winter, but it's the month I need you to bloom the most.  I know I have a brown thumb, but I need you to pull through this.  I really don't like it when you look all bare, brown, and dried up.

Lastly...

Dear Blog Readers...Thank you for putting up with my rants, pointless posts, never-ending whines, and attempts of humor.  I know there are far more worthy blogs out there that you could be reading - but you choose to read mine.  I'm not sure whether to thank you or feel sorry for you.  Once Mac or Microsoft comes out with the computer I suggested and my money tree blooms enough for me to buy it - maybe then I can give you some material you'll actually enjoy reading.  Until then, thank you for the support.  Not to ask too much, but a comment every once in a while would be nice - just to let me know that it's not Spam Bots that are getting their daily dose of crap from my blog every day.  :)


Till next time.  ;)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cleaning, Harry Potter, Christmas Cards and That is All

Today is one of those days I've been dreaming about for a while.  A Saturday that doesn't involve homework, lesson plans, or running errands.  A Saturday that is on my terms, doing the things I want to do.

I don't remember the last Saturday where I got to live carefree and not feel guilty for putting my family off for the piles of homework, or feel guilty about putting off the piles of homework for my family.  This Saturday, I can do whatever I want when I want - because I don't have anything holding me back.

So, how am I celebrating this amazing freedom?  First, I'm doing something I haven't done in a long time - clean my house!!!  Nothing too major.  I'm going to straighten up my office and pack away all of the school supplies that I don't have to see again until January.  Then I'm going to vacuum and straighten up the living room.  The kids and Hubby have been really good about keeping the house clean while I've been in Unit Lockdown - so there's really not that much to do.

This afternoon, I'm taking Peanut to see the new Harry Potter movie.  She's been waiting patiently for this day to arrive.  It has been our tradition, since the first Harry Potter movie hit the theater, to go and see the new movies.  Up until this one, we were two of those crazy people that stood in line forever to see the movie opening weekend.  Because of my crazy life, we weren't able to do that this time around - but seeing it a couple of  weeks late won't be so bad.  We won't have to deal with the masses of people or waiting in line or fighting to get good seats or deal with the rude people that insist on talking on their cell phones during the movie or the kids that refuse to shut up and watch and spend the whole time saying "Mommy, what's happening?" every two minutes.  Come to think of it, we may find that we actually prefer seeing the movie a couple of weeks late.

After the movie, Peanut and I are going to grab a few boxes of Christmas cards and then will be spending the afternoon writing them out.  I haven't written out Christmas cards in YEARS!!  Well, that's not entirely true.  I have written out the odd card here and there, but no more than...urm...probably 5 each year.  This year, I get to write cards to all of the amazing teachers I work with and the students in my class - not forgetting my awesome first graders that I miss so much.  I plan on making some hot chocolate, putting on some Christmas music, and Peanut and I will have some great Mom & Me time.

After dinner, I'm thinking we will all watch a movie.  We'll probably pop some popcorn and make more hot chocolate.  The movie on the agenda tonight is Grown Ups.  Hubby, Peanut, and I have all been waiting for a while to see this - and Netflix finally delivered (no pun intended). 

Doesn't my day just sound glorious??  I know, it does.  So, now it's time to get it started....

That. Is. All.

Till next time, ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Counting my Blessings

I really feel that I've done a lot of complaining, lately.  Not just lately, for the past couple of months.  First, I was complaining over not having motivation to work out.  Then I was complaining that I didn't have enough time.  Then I was complaining about the Unit and all my other homework.  Whine, whine, whine.  No wonder people have stopped reading my blog - I'm a total Debbie Downer!!

To help me get back to being the upbeat, no whining, no excuses, laugh out loud person that I truly am I figured I would do a special post today.  I think that when I get to complaining and groaning - I lose sight of the things that I'm grateful for.  I lose sight of everything that I've been blessed with.  So, today, I'm going to count my blessings...literally.

I know that I've been blessed....

1.  When I wake up in the morning.  I mean, come on, the fact that I'm able to wake up at the butt crack of dawn each morning has to be the first thing - right?  Just being given another day is a true blessing.

2.  When I can stand in my closet for fifteen minutes trying to decide what to wear.  I couldn't say that ten years ago.  Back then I owned about 3 pairs of pants, 5 t-shirts, and a couple of sweaters.  Knowing that I can now choose from a walk-in closet FULL of clothes is a nice reminder of how great my life is.

3.  Because I can still fit in to my size 16 pants, despite the fact that I've eaten nothing but junk food for the past month.  I know that I've gained a few pounds since I decided to take my "hiatus" from my weight loss journey - but not having to go up in pant size (yet) makes me a very happy gal.

4.  When I have junk food in my house - any food for that matter.  Despite having a full time job that pays absolutely nothing - I still have food.

5.  Because I have a reliable car to get me to work everyday and a warm house to come home to every night.  Again, luxuries I haven't always had. 

6.  When I have a man that absolutely HATES his job, but goes in every night and works his butt off just to keep this household afloat while I work my full time job that pays nothing.

7.  Because that same man, and the job that he hates so much, gave me the opportunity to go to school to pursue my career dream.  He was willing to do whatever it took to support me, help me, and pick up the slack that came with me quitting my cushy, well paid job to go to school. 

8.  When after a long, trying day, I have three beautiful children that can make all the bad fade away.  To see their amazing, contagious smiles puts a smile on my face.  Those same three children put up with mommy being too busy, mommy complaining about how much work she has to do, and not seeing mommy as much as they'd like - because they understand how important my schooling is to me.  They show the value of true, unconditional love.

9.  Because I have the most amazing and loving parents.  My mom is always a phone call away - day or night - to listen to my complaining and whining and grumbling...and never passes judgement.  She shows her pride in me, and supports me.  My father, although the quiet type, is always willing to lend a hand or do what he can to make life easier for me.

10.   Because I have friends - true friends - that know exactly what I'm going through...because they are dealing with the same.  I know that I am never "the only one" that's going through what I'm going through when I have piles of homework and not enough hours in the day.  I know that I can call on them when I need them - whether it be for help, advice, or just to kick back and release some stress.

I know that each and every day that I wake up, I have been given opportunities, a family that loves me, and friends that care.  My blessings are not measured by the amount of money in the bank (or the lack thereof).  Even though I complain - I always know that my life is great.  I am happy and thankful and grateful to have the life that I have - and would NEVER wish for it any other way.

Have you counted your blessings, lately?

Till next time.  ;)