Sunday, August 30, 2009

School Daze

Ohh this getting up at 6:30am is for the birds! I liked my sleep-until-8am-or-until-Bella-woke-up gig I had going over the summer. This just bites. I've been trying really hard to be in bed with the TV off by 10:30pm so that early morning alarm doesn't bother me quite as much but you need to give me a few minutes before you ask me anything. I don't do coffee unless it's a Starbucks Frap (Grande caramel non fat, no whip, extra caramel or java chip non fat, no whip just for future reference. You know in case you feel like bringing me one, one day heehee).

So the boys have finished their first week of school. Logan seems to be adjusting fine to 1st grade. His teacher seems like she might be tough. I'm getting a totally different vibe from her vs. our Kindergarten teacher whom I loved. We'll see how the year progresses though. He has his 1st ever test this coming Wednesday. It's a spelling test and I know he'll be fine. The words are very basic right now. The part where he'll have issues is the sentence they have to write with correct punctuation and capitalization. He's forever capitalizing letters in the middle of a word or forgetting a period. He just sees it as writing the letter though and not that it's a capital letter per se.

Ian is loving his Pre-K classroom and teachers. I've had no bad reports from the teachers although he did come home one day and said 2 boys called him a name. Ugh. So far he seems to making a few friends though. He gets out of the car fine in the morning and comes home sweaty but happy. He's made me a few things already and even wrote his name. Progress already! I love it!

Bella is adjusting well to the fact her brothers aren't around as much anymore. She plays by herself and comes to me when she wants to. She's been happily playing with a cup and spoon all weekend. She stirs it and pretends to eat. Too cute! She has caught a cold though. It probably came from one of the schools. She's not exactly a happy camper. It's just a clear runny/stuffy nose but it makes it difficult for her to suck on her fingers for comfort. She woke up at least 4x on Friday night/Saturday early, early A.M. That is so completely unlike her so I know she was having issues. Her appetite hasn't been quite as robust either. She seems to be coming around though and knock on wood, noone else is showing symptoms. Lots of hand washing and hand sanitizer!

As for me, I'm loving the peace and quiet. No fighting, no screaming. The only part I'm not a huge fan of is the in and out of the car all day. Bella isn't so keen on that either and I have a feeling she may hate her car seat by the end of the year! LOL I'm not getting the WiFi signal I was getting last year so my netbook has done me no good in car line. I do have a DS to play though (and a new game!) and will hopefully start hitting up the library for some new books. Yes my dear friends, I said library. You can pick yourselves up off the floor now and close your mouths. I'm actually going to set foot in one for the first time in oh....15 years or so. Mama needs some new books and has no moolah, money, coinage, etc to go buy some. Plus I just don't know what to get everytime I set foot in a bookstore.

That's our first week update. I hope everyone else's week turned out as great as ours and for those just starting- good luck to you!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pudding baby!

Mmm chocolate pudding. I made up some No Pudge brownies tonight and a batch of Jello chocolate pudding. Layer pudding with some crumbled brownie on top and add some gummi worms and you have Worms 'N Dirt. The boys love this stuff when we go to Mimi's Cafe. (Yes, I know the *dirt* is usually chocolate cookie/Oreo crumbs but I didn't have any and who doesn't love brownies?)

I gave Bella a taste of pudding earlier and she loved it so when I gave her some in a bowl tonight I knew she'd go to town. First thing she said which surprised me was "Mmm"! Who knew?! She's a smart little thing! I knew this would make a great photo op. She went straight into the bathtub afterward!

This was partly my fault. I was trying to get her to grip the spoon lower and ended up getting it on her lip instead of in her mouth.




Is it all gone?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

♫ ♪ It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! ♫ ♪

School is in! My big boy went off to 1st grade this morning and my little man went off to VPK (Voluntary Pre-K). Getting up early this morning wasn't as hard as I thought but maybe that's because I was tossing and turning all night. You'd think I was the one going to school this morning and getting all anxious.

Ian was ready to go at 7:30am. He told Logan I was dropping him off first which would be impossible since his school starts an hour later so I had to disappoint him in that. We did head out around that time though to take Logan to school. I really hate back to school traffic. It backs up due to the new light they installed at the end of the last school year. Then you add in allll the parents walking their kids in for the first day that won't usually walk them and it's a madhouse. Thankfully it will calm down in the next few days. We ended up parking at the recreation center across the street and walked over. Logan walked right into his class, found a seat at a table of all boys (the other table was all girls!) and was right at home.



A little while later it was time to take Ian to school. He walked in and started playing. He was a bit shy at first with his teachers but he did what they asked. He had no issues with me leaving him there either. :( My little boy is growing up! At pick up time he got a good report and I was able to squeeze a few tidbits about his day out of him.



We picked up Logan after that (told you I'd be spending a lot of time in/out of the car!) and he had a good day as well. He attempted to tell me about some of his day but Bella wouldn't let him get a word in. She was singing in the back seat. LOL

So our first day is done. We're going to go out to eat tonight to celebrate and have some family time and we'll be back to the grind first thing in the morning.

Open House- Take 2

Logan's Open House was last night. It was short and sweet. We met his new teacher who seems very nice and talked to her a bit. Logan knows four of the kids from kindergarten so he already has some friends to begin the new year. After picking up MY homework (all the paperwork and forms) from the teacher we stopped by his Kindergarten teacher's new room to say Hi and see how her summer went. She was happy with who he got for 1st grade and said it would be who she would pick for her own children so I'm happy about that.

I can't believe he's off to 1st grade!

He and his buddy Jaden.


The Last Hurrah- A Day at the Zoo

Since Monday was our very last day of summer vacay we decided to head to the zoo. For a FL August morning it was beautiful out! Low humidity and not too hot. There was even a slight breeze. It didn't last too long though so by noon we were getting pretty darn hot and we busted out the Squeeze Breeze fans and bought some yummy Hawaiian Shaved Ice to cool us off. All three kids had a blast playing in the water play area too. Here are a few pics!

Can you spot the rhino?

Oh there she is! She blends right in. I think she's waiting for her baby who was not on exhibit today.

Meet the llama. Such soft, thick fur. They actually save it when they shave her down to make wool!

Peekaboo! This is not an exhibit snake- just a little Florida Black Racer who came out to greet us along the pathway.
I'm coming to get you wet Mama!

Friday, August 21, 2009

VPK Open House

I forgot my camera, please forgive me. I won't forget it come Tuesday morning when school starts!! (excuse me while I do a little WOOHOO dance)

Ian had Open House today at his Pre-K. He's going to the same school Logan went to (and Bella will go to) and has the same teacher Logan had as well. It's a small Christian school. The staff are wonderful there. It really feels like family. Dh came home to stay with L&B so just Ian and I could go over. We walked in and saw his teacher waving at us down the hall (and I dropped my keys and broke my car remote while waving back- ugh) and got a hug when we walked in. I saw my neighbor/friend Debbie and Logan's ex-preK teacher Mandy whose dd is also in Ian's class and met a couple of the other parents. From there we left the kids in the classroom and walked over to the Chapel for Orientation. Ian was fine when I left him. He was happily playing. We had talked about what would happen though so I'm sure that helped.

After orientation we walked back over and Ian was still happily playing by himself. He's kind of a loner without his brother around so hopefully school will bring him out a bit more- just not the wild side he has at home I pray! He says he's excited to go back and I know he'll be fine. I think he's ready for this next step. And it will be nice for Bella to get some just Mommy time too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Girl's Night Out

It's been a long semi-lonely summer without my besties (that's best-ies, not beasties just in case you read it wrong). One had a baby, two others have been in and out of town, another has been working all summer and the last one has just kept her kids busy, busy, busy this summer. So when I got an email asking about a girl's night out I jumped at the chance!

A little background- We're a bunch of friends that have been together for several years now. I think I've known Jen and Julie the longest (almost 6 years) followed by Holly, Scarlett and Amy. When we get together we have a few serious discussions but mainly we laugh. We laugh until we cry. Name a topic and I'm sure we've talked about it at some point.

But we aren't decision makers. The only thing decided beforehand for GNO was that we were going to see the movie Julie & Julia and we're going to go eat afterwards. Where are we going to eat? What movie time? What do we want to eat? Apps? Dessert? Dinner? These are all questions that go in circles during our emails back and forth and even after the movie as we were standing outside the theatre. I knew it was going to happen. What can you do though? That's just us.

So only four of us went to the 6:45 showing of J&J. The other two couldn't make it tonight. Decent movie- had some funny parts, but was very long. It feels even longer when you have to pee. And I always have to pee by the mid-end of a movie. It's just inevitable. Not a movie I'll be buying on DVD by the way.

After the movie and a quick bathroom stop we went outside to mull over all the restaurant choices we had and finally decided on Mimi's Cafe. Jen rode over with me and I don't know how but Julie and Amy beat us there. I think Julie must drive really fast because I know I don't drive really slow. We basically closed the place down. I'm stuffed like one of Julia Child's ducks at the moment. The food was good but I think Julie and I were missing the aioli on our croissant sandwiches. What would Julia Child say about that?!

And of course we talked. We had our serious discussion and we had our comedic moments. Jen was crying at one point and Amy was snorting (or was it Julie snorting?). I always have a great time when I go out with my girls and I don't know what I'd do without them. Love you ladies!!

Amy & Julie

Jennifer and Me

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Veggie Pot Pie

I decided to share this with you not only because it was good but because I have absolutely nothing else to write about right now. Hehe. This is one of those "wingin' it" recipes by the way. I kind of make it up as I go along. We ate part of one pie last night and dh had the leftovers for lunch today and the other whole pie made up tonight's dinner with leftovers for lunch tomorrow. My kids ate it all too with glowing reviews!

Veggie Pot Pie
Makes 2 -9in pies

2 boxes Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts
2 cans 99% FF Cream of Mushroom
1 can Vegetable Broth
1 small bag (10oz?) mixed veggies (corn, peas, green beans)
16oz fresh (or frozen) sliced mushrooms
1/2 head fresh cauliflower (or frozen if you can find it), cut into small pieces
4-5 red potatoes, diced small
1/2 bag Morningstar Veggie Crumbles (optional)
butter/olive oil (or whatever oil you have on hand)
Rubbed dry sage (spice aisle)
garlic powder or fresh garlic, minced- whatever you have on hand

In a large saute/fry pan, saute your mushrooms in butter or olive oil on med high heat. If you use fresh garlic, add it now and saute with the mushrooms. Salt to taste (tasting always a must especially when using butter- mmm). Set aside.

Take the pie crusts out of the boxes so they can come to room temp.

In microwave, steam your frozen/fresh veggies until just tender. Potatoes should be just done and a fork should go in easily. Season to taste. If there's one thing I've learned from cooking shows it's that every layer needs to be seasoned.

Heat oven to 425.

Back in your saute pan heat some butter or olive oil (2 tbsp or so) and add your flour (prob. 2 tbsp or so- remember I don't measure) over med heat. Stir until combined and cook for about a minute. Add your vegetable broth and whisk together until you have no more lumps. Add both cans of soup and stir. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and also add a small pinch of your sage and about 3-4 shakes of cumin. (Add your powdered garlic if needed) Stir and taste. Add all of your (drained!!)veggies in. Add the meat substitute if desired and let it all heat together for a few minutes while you prepare the pie crust. (Mmm it's tasting good. Must keep spoon out of pan!)

Cut plastic and unroll pie crust. Place one pie crust in each pie pan, stretch a bit if needed so it comes up the sides. Spoon half of mixture into each crust. Spread it all out and taste again if needed (of course it's needed, must make sure it hasn't gone bad in the last 2 minutes). ;) Unroll the last 2 (one at a time of course) pie crusts and place on top. Pinch top crusts with bottom. Cut 3 slits on top to let out steam. Place on top of a cookie sheet in the oven just in case of spills. Cook for approx. 45min or until bottom crust appears done (I use glass pans so I can see it). If the crust edges get too dark you can use a pie shield thingy or use foil. Let them sit for about 15min or so before serving.

Okay, I think that's everything I did and hopefully I didn't miss any steps. Happy eating!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
I did not eat 2 servings of my homemade pot pie tonight because it was simply that good. I would never do that since I'm trying to lose weight. I did not restart a My Baby Can Talk- Baby Signs movie either so it would give me some extra quiet time nor did I put on a Baby Einsteins movie after because Ian wanted to watch it.
I did not drag my children to clothing stores at the outlet mall this weekend when all we were shopping for was shoes. And I did not buy anything but shoes while we were there (okay, this part is actually TRUE!!).
I did not buy myself some WW ice cream bars and hide them from my children. I also did not sneak some Reddi Whip from the can either when I gave the boys some (sour) blueberries with whipped cream. Who does that?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What we did on our summer vacation

Since summer vacation is slowly but surely coming to an end I thought I'd post a few pics of what we've been up to. Hopefully once school is back in I'll have more to write about.

And now I present some our summer staycation photos...dum da da da! :)

Cuddling with my oldest brother is always nice.

Playing outside in the sprinkler. She quickly learned she doesn't like it so much and got out.

I think we need a bigger pool. ;~)

Playing video games is a fave in this house. Ian has now joined in on the fun too and plays with his brother on the Lego games.

Let's play dress-up! I'm batgirl!

And Ian as a hybrid wild cat! (Vickie, recognize the costume?)

Drawing on our Magna Doodles. Getting 3 kids to look at the camera at the same time and smile is impossible! (forgive the bib, she's getting her molars and drooling like crazy and all my bibs are *boy* bibs)

Her first scraped knee.

Drawing with chalk


Only 2 weeks of summer vacation left! Then it's car lines 4x a day, naps and hopefully some fun times since it will be just Bella and I inbetween. I'm looking forward to cooler weather eventually and park playdates and just getting back together with all my friends I've been missing over the summer. But for now I'm hoping to get in a few more fun times and take more photos of our summer days.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Yummy New Dinner

For lack of better blogging right now I thought I'd pass on a recipe I tried out tonight. It was really good! It's veg'n (vegetarian) and even the kids gobbled it up.

Penne with Tomatoes, Capers and Olives

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursel

The only changes I made were the pasta (just used a 14.5z box of Smart Taste pasta instead of measuring it out) and the basil (had no fresh so I used the Gourmet Garden *fresh* in the tube kind that I keep in my fridge). It was really, really simple to make. In fact the longest part of the process was bringing the water to boil and cooking the pasta!

And here's a little hint for you when mincing garlic- to get the papery skin off really easily, take the flat side of your knife and use it to push down on the clove. I found a photo on the interwebz so you can see what I'm talking about. I think I learned it on Rachel Ray many moons ago. And when you're done and your hands smell all garlicky, rub them on the sink or on the kitchen faucet. The stainless steel will take the smell right off!