Today is My Day!

Today is my birthday.
I love birthdays and I love to celebrate. So, I have taken the day off of dieting and stressing and anxiety and I am just enjoying the day!
My students brought me precious and thoughtful presents and my favorite chocolate chip cookie cake and we sang and celebrated during homeroom. I felt much loved by all of them. A couple of highlights are a very awesome “teacher” sign and a few simple gifts from Bath and Body Works which I love. But what I treasured the most was their genuine excitement for my day. I love what I do and it is days like this that remind me of why I chose to be a teacher in the first place.

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Megan and Tyler fittingly got me two balloons and two bouncing balls, princess and Buzz Lightyear. It is the thought that counts and they really thought that I would love those gifts and I do.

I was going to make a list of thirty things that I have done so far in my thirties, but that is going to have to wait. I am busy with baths and bedtime…such is life at this season. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Yes, I think the best year of my life is yet to come!

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So Busy

I seriously cannot find time to blog. I hate when people say they are “so busy” because I just think it is annoying…but I am SO. BUSY. OMG!!!!!!

I feel like I don’t have a moment to do anything during the day or night. I am studying for a big test (more on that when I find time. HA!) and I am working with my students on a two big productions, one which they perform tomorrow. In the evenings I am going to the gym, making dinner, bath time, bedtime, and done…I have no energy for anything else since the time change.

We had a fantastic weekend. It started with the circus and ended with a carnitas burrito from Chipotle. What could be better, really?

I have a few picture from the circus and St. Patrick’s Day events. I have decided that no matter how hard I try I cannot capture the moment to save my life. Oh well, the memory is in my brain and I guess that is all that matters.

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MIA status

I have not intentionally been MIA…it has just sort of happened. Like every spring when the clocks move ahead and leave me totally behind and stressed and running like a chicken with my head cut off.

My scale is still missing, but I am plugging along. I hope to buy a new one this weekend. Weighty Wednesday will be up and running again next week come He!! Or high water.

Other than that, I will keep up with my frantic pace and hopefully find a little bit of down time to write in the next few days. Wish me luck…

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my mother-in-law turned 69 and we celebrated with a HAMBURGER CAKE. awesome.

Snow Day

This is the weirdest thing. I went into the laundry room this morning to do my weekly weigh-in and my scale is missing. I have looked all over the house to no avail. So I guess Weighty Wednesday is going to have to wait until if and when I find my scale. So strange.

In other news, like the rest of the mid-west we had a killer snow storm last night. My school system is notorious for not calling snow days, just delays. When the phone rang at about 11 last night I thought it was going to be a 90 minute delay (not complaining) but to my delight school had been closed. Hallelujah!!!!!

We took it easy this morning and then bundled up for some driveway shoveling and neighborhood snow hiking. So.Much.Fun. One thing is for sure, unexpected snow days are the BEST days ever!

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Remember when you were a kid and actually loved shoveling? Yea, not anymore.

The best part of our morning was coming inside and continuing a tradition that my mom and dad started a long time ago…hot chocolate with big marshmallows and cookies in our Peter Rabbit mugs.

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Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing.

The End of an Era

When Megan was eight months old she refused breastfeed. It was like one day she loved it and the next day she didn’t. I was also pregnant at the time and I am pretty sure I hit a hormone surge and the milk started tasting different. Megan HATED formula so I called the pediatrician and asked if we could try whole milk (she was off the charts in everything) and he said that would be fine. She became a milk lover right on the spot and has been ever since.

Tyler nursed like a champ from day one. He latched in L&D and was an efficient eater from the start. I know this is not how it is for the majority of breastfeeding women, but it did come very naturally to me and I was never stressed or overwhelmed or anxiety ridden about it. I never had a goal of how long I would nurse him; I just decided to nurse as long as he wanted to.

…I should preface this post by saying I am not a crunchy mom nor am I a Ferber mom or a by the rules mom…I just do what I feel is best for my kids. Every child and every parent is different and I feel strongly that we are all just trying to survive and looking for our children to thrive in whatever stage they are in. All moms are doing their best and that is all anyone can ask for…

So, when a year passed and Tyler was still nursing, I was fine with it. We had cut way back (two “feedings” per day, morning and night) and he was eating solids and drinking cow’s milk. He nursed more for comfort than anything else…once in the morning and once before bed. Ty is a cuddly little guy and I know he loved to nurse just to be close to me; the boy loves his mommy!

When I went to camp last year with my school I thought the day I left was the last day I would nurse him. I was convinced that in three days away my milk would dry up. When I got back the first thing he wanted to do was nurse. The same thing happened with Washington DC in May; when I came back he wanted to nurse. Moving forward to his second birthday approaching I started to feel uncomfortable about nursing him. At this point he was asking to “NUR!” and that sort of weirded me out (I promised myself I would NEVER EVER EVER nurse a child after they could ask for it!!!!!). At this point he was down to once a day, before bed, and there was no nutritional value for him.

The funny thing is, each week I would get so annoyed with myself and say “just one more time.” Or, “he might be my last baby and I want to relish in this last baby thing.” Or, “it is no big deal, lots of people extend nursing.” When we went for his two year check-up I was embarrassed to say I still nursed and that is when I knew I had to stop. If I wanted to keep it from the pediatrician then it was time.

Camp was last week. On Tuesday night I spent a few extra minutes with Tyler. I knew in my heart it was my last nursing session with him. I knew that when I came back I would not offer anymore. I allowed myself to be sad about it and to feel the hurt of this part of his babyhood being finished. I knew that Tyler would freak out…and he has. But this is just one of many rites of passage that he is going to have to endure in his lifetime.

This is not a post about how society makes breastfeeding women feel…if I am being honest I was never embarrassed or felt uncomfortable nursing in public. It is also not a post about how long a woman should nurse (do it for as long as you feel comfortable, more power to ya, sister!) or that nursing is better (bonding happens whether the kids is feeding off the boob or not!) or anything along those lines. It is simply about my life and my feelings and since this is MY BLOG I will write what I want!

I know I have been rambling but I do have a point. My point is, I will never look at a mom again and judge her for the decision she makes. I will never say, “I WOULD NEVER DO THAT!” to any mom (either to her face or behind her back) when I see someone doing something different or unexpected. I am not about feeding into mommy wars or comparing my children to anyone else. I just love them and sometimes that is the best I can offer on any given day.

Tonight when I put Tyler down to sleep I will be a little less sad then I was the night before. I do miss the closeness of nursing, but I know there will be other things that will bond us in a different way throughout the years. I don’t know if I will have any more children, but I know that I will do my best and be my best for the ones I have.

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Dinner time: Taco Soup

I said it before and I will say it again, I am not a food blogger. But, when I fall upon something great I feel the need to share.

I had Shawn’s family over for dinner last night. Really, we invited friends over and they bailed due to illness at the last minute. Lame. HA! I had to call a back up because I had already made a huge crock-pot recipe and needed some mouths to feed.

My friendly friend Beth sent me this awesome recipe for Taco Soup in the crock-pot. It was by far the easiest recipe I have ever made…if you can open a can, you can make this soup! Side note, my can opener broke mid-soup making and it was a crisis. Then I fixed it and moved on. The original recipe came from Stephanie O’Dea’s blog “A Year of Slow Cooking”.

Beth made this soup for her brother’s going away party and Shawn loved it, so I knew if I got it right it would be a winner winner taco soup dinner!!!! I served it with some jasmine rice and cheese quesadillas on the side. It was great and filling and delicious. My father and law even commented this morning about how good it was. I have no pictures (of course) but if you head over to the link you will see pictures and the recipe.

This week is going to be a busy open, but short…we have off on Friday. I am looking forward to a day off and some quality time with my bed! I don’t feel like I have caught up on sleep since coming home from camp. I had so much fun last week but I missed home like crazy.

I will leave you with a couple of cute pictures of the kids just because.

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On Making Friends

One of my goals this years (besides weight loss, obviously) is to make some good friend in my neighborhood and in Cincinnati in general. I have always had a lot of friends. My core group started at age five in the “way back” of my mom’s station wagon on the way to kindergarten. Three of these girls were in my wedding. My other bridesmaids came along in high school and college. I also had a group of friends I met and meshed with the original core group through my early twenties. Now we are one big group with husbands and families but we still feel the same way about each other. The problem is, we are spread out through the east coast and get to see each other much less than I would like.

I have lived in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati for eight years. The first three years were spent in a miserable state of “what have I done?” I really hated my neighborhood, felt meh about my job, and was just getting used to the married life. Years four and five were spent making and having babies and losing a very sick parent. Last year and this year I have been working on extending myself and meeting new people.

You see, I love having good friends and I love being a good friend. I really never had to work at it, though. Making friends always came pretty naturally to me. I am a joiner and outgoing and enjoy trying new things. But making friends as an adult is a whole new ball game. People have commitments and kids and jobs and husbands and bills to pay and no one seems to have any time (including me). The one thing I know for sure is that in order to be a great friend you need to MAKE TIME to do so.

I found a couple of girls I really enjoy though work…we got out Master’s together and those rides to and from Xavier really were great for getting to know each other. I also think many of the wives of Shawn’s friends are nice and there is one in particular that I have been working on fostering a friendship with outside of our husbands. This summer I met a lot of my neighbors through hanging at the park, but it seems like I didn’t really work of the friendships correctly because after the fall they kind of fizzled out.

A couple of months ago I started seeing a lot of my neighbors at the gym. We started taking a little bit more and I found I really enjoy these women. They are nice and normal and easy to talk to. I also helped Megan put together Valentine’s for the little girls in our neighborhood (aka…in order to have friends you need to be a friend).

Anyways long story short, on Friday I went out with a few of these women and I had an amazing time. They are really cool people and we had so much to talk about and so many laughs. I would love to hang out its them more often, even with the kids and the husbands.

I feel like it is a good start. And I really hope I can continue working it out. I have come to love this neighborhood and we plan to stay here for a long time. It would be so nice to have a core group here…if only for a cup of sugar or some moral support.

How do you make friends as an adult? Any tips?