Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm Down, but NOT FOR THE COUNT!

February 27, 2010 marked a new era in my life.  I reflected on my life with a new found sense of honesty and hope.  A few days prior to the beginning of my life as I now know it, I was worried about a myriad of things.  For instance, I knew that I was swiftly approaching thirty-seven and we definitely want to have more children.  My semi-serious health issues shook Bob and me--to the core.  Coming to the realization that it was time to take control of all aspects of my life and put myself on top of the priority list provided me with some understanding of who I was and who I wanted to be.  With this in mind, I decided to join Weight Watchers.  So many other "diet" fads hadn't worked and the lack of results discouraged me.  But, now I am totally in the HEALTHY ZONE and absolutely LOVING it.  I'm down over sixteen pounds but definitely not for the count.  Check back to see my progress!

HMP: Peanut and the Chex Mix

Ornery.  Resourceful.  Determined.  All three of the previous adjectives encompass the personality of my little Peanut.  He is tenacious and perseveres through almost any situation.  Often times, Walnut gives into his bansheelike scream or his crocodile tears.  Much to my concern, most people find him too precious to set behavioral boundaries.  He has a little devilish grin and the cutest dimples.

Bob, Walnut and I were in the boys' playroom exercising our minds with a few board games.  Peanut headed upstairs-we thought-to get his blankie.  As I was beginning to fold a mountain of laundry, I heard what sounded like small pebbles hitting hardwood.  I figured that Walnut was playing one of his games with many small pieces.  After a few moments, I walked upstairs to find Peanut seated in the middle of...CHEX MIX.

He must have spotted the open bag of chex mix on the kitchen counter, went to get his step stool from the bathroom, climbed up on the stool and pulled down the chex mix.  Much to my chagrin, chex mix was EVERYWHERE.  I had just cleaned the kitchen floor and Peanut was sitting a pretty significant pile of pretzels, cereal, peanuts, cheese crackers, etc.  Yet, he was very content while eating an assortment of delicacies from the kitchen floor.  Some would say that he's self sufficient as he continued to feed himself for the next twenty minutes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Walnut, Lover of Baseball

Walnut tried indoor soccer at age 3.  He wasn't the most cooperative of players.  In fact, he clung to my leg at every practice.  So, when the opportunity for Andrew to play--it used to be called t-ball--baseball, we were concerned.  Would we have a repeat performance of our induction to the world of indoor soccer?  Walnut was quick to jump into baseball.  And, I was excited that it would be a new experience for him athletically and socially.

Practice began on a cold April Monday.  Bob was upset because he was out of town for the first OFFICIAL day of his oldest son's spring training.  Andrew and I traveled to the field.  During the short car ride Andrew and I discussed his few fears.  'He seemed ready.'  Yet, I didn't hold my breath.  I just waited.

HE LOVED HIS FIRST PRACTICE.  He participated with the entire group.  He listened to his coaches.  He enjoyed the other children.  He learned some things about the game of baseball.  To say that I was relieved would be an enormous understatement.

After two weeks of practice, his grey team's first game of the year and of his career was approaching.  Andrew was equipped with all of the ecoutrements for THE BIG GAME.  T-ball, at least as I have always known it, is dead.  It is now truly a beginning baseball experience.  He hit three pitches at three different at bats and ran the bases.  He also fielded two times.  AND, he had quite a fan base:  Mommy, Daddy, Peanut, Nana, Pap, GrandJay, Granny B and Aunt Carly. Walnut and his best friend, J, had a great game!  I can't wait to watch him hit one out of the park!

the Diaper Cake Boss and the Baby Shower Hostess

The W's, our friends, our expecting a baby boy at the end of May.  When Heather told me that they were going to have a baby I immediately thought, 'Diaper Cake!'  Diaper cakes are adorable.  However, my ability to create the perfect gift for my dear friend was questionable.  I turned to google and Youtube and countless existing diaper cake websites to find the best method as well as best goods to go with my creation.  


I HAD A BLAST!  Making the first one was a little time consuming but a whole bunch of fun.  Walnut helped me with the final product and I appreciated the bonding experience with my favorite four-year old.  

The diaper cake that I assembled had: an assortment of sizes of diapers, bottles, bottle brushes, receiving blankets, onesies, variety of OTC medicines (Little Tummies, etc.), pacifiers, wash clothes, stuffed animals and much more.  I utilized a Carter's safari theme that Heather had selected via her Babies R Us registry.

The diaper cake was a big hit at Heather's shower and much conversation surrounded the idea.  Yet, the most interesting discussion about the gift included my mother-in-law and me.  She suggested that I start a business making diaper cakes!  I pondered it...and that was the end of it.


My friend Melissa and I were in charge of Heather's baby book shower.  As educators, we truly value literacy.  Before I started teaching in my building, a rite of passage had been created-the baby book shower for first time moms.  I will always be grateful for the dozens of books I received when Andrew was born.  Also, the giver of each individual book writes a small greeting for the new baby and his family.  I so, enjoyed selecting books and creating a wonderful package for Heather, Jason and Baby W.  Take a look !

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scrapbooking Retreat '10

My dear friend, Ang, organized a scrapbooking retreat at the Biblical Life Institute near Freeport.  It was an amazing weekend for camraderie, girl talk, scrapbooking, meeting new people and crafting.  I had gone on day crops but never spent an entire weekend away from Bob and the boys.  I was really looking forward to "getting done" with quite a few things.  I have gotten away from scrapbooking because of lack of time and energy.

Recently, I decided that I need to have my favorite hobby back in my life.  I have changed the way I think about scrapbooking: chronology of the pages, events, how many photos, detail of the pages, etc.  For a while, after Peanut was born, it became more of a task rather than for entertainment and enjoyment.  My role could have been "collector of paper" rather than "chronicler of memories".  I spent countless hours looking at scrapbooking magazines and materials but I wasn't using them.  Something was missing.  Reaquainting myself with my tools, papers, embellishments and pens was so very necessary.

My least  favorite thing about going on a scrapbooking retreat or a crop is trying to order the photos ahead of time.  Life gets in the way.  The date creeps up on me.  Unfortunately, I had to resort to 4x6 and 5x7 photos from the local Walgreen's.  However, I did have older photos that were printed from Scrapbook Pictures that I absolutely love.  If you haven't checked out their website-you're missing out.  And, another great site is Nation's Photo Lab.  Getting back to the mundane task of getting the photos ready...I decided to start making the pages instead of worrying about the pictures.  With events and photos in mind, I have purchased many different kits from Scrapbooker's Dream and my Mecca-Scrapbook Super Station.  During the retreat, I put the pages together and completed five different two page kits so that I can order the appropriate photos for the pages.  I found that to be clever and less time consuming than trying to get everything ordered before I go away.  Resolution to problem!


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