Friday, May 30, 2008

May I have that in a sentence, please?

It is that time of year again....Scripps National Spelling Bee! During the day, it is on ESPN and the final round is on ABC. It is amazing. I don't know these words and these are jr. high kids. Unfortunately, it is too late to start training my soon-to-be middle schooler...but the 4yo is ripe for the spelling.

Check it out and learn some new words to wow your friends with!
There are a couple kids from Illinois!

In Spelling Bee related information...
*Watch this episode of Psych...The Spellingg Bee.
*Listen to the soundtrack of 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee (not appropriate for all ages) features our friend Celia (who sang at our wedding...and is now a Tony-nominated Broadway star). Or find a live show!
*Did you know that most kids don't have spelling in school anymore? I guess spell-check has taken that over.
*I was in 1 school spelling bee...I got out on my first word.
*Test your vocabulary and save the word at Free Rice.

Fitness Friday!!!

Drink more water!

We all should drink 64oz of hydrating liquids each day (caffeine and alcohol don't count). Water is the best choice.

You should drink more if you exercise to the point of sweating (weigh yourself before and after you exercise and drink the difference (if you lost 1lb during exercise, drink 16oz of water)).

Now that the lovely summer humidity is starting, make sure you and your kids drink even more. We like to have re-useable water bottles for each kid and make sure they drink throughout the day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Any ideas?

As many of you know, we lost a friend last week. Even after the funeral, we are struggling to find some kind of closure. Our group of friends is thinking of a fitting way to remember and honor our friend. Commemorative bricks in his favorite places, dedicated trees, party to raise money for his memorial scholarship fund....

Does anyone have any other good ideas?


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So cute...

Last week, the boys are upstairs playing, laughing, with the door closed...I leave them alone (I sit for a quiet minute). Eventually I check on them....

I open the door and see puffs of white smoke...."Look Mom!" followed by a huge plume of white, dusty baby powder being gleefully squeezed out by my 4yo. They were so happy and excited to show my their new game...I couldn't help but laugh. But really...we actually had just cleaned up the room earlier that day and now there was baby powder EVERYWHERE!! Probably still is...but the room smells nice.

My husband took a bit of video and photos to document. Besides the task of trying to clean it was a nice funny thing to break the sadness in our house.

But those two are going to be trouble....cute trouble.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Music in the air

In the midst of all the chaos in our house right now...we have be able to enjoy a lot of wonderful music.

On Sunday, we headed to Hessel Park. We sat on the grass and listened to the Edison Middle School Bands. They are amazing. Far better than I was in junior high...right Mom? The jazz bands are wonderful and a great local treasure. It was really nice to sit outside on a nice day...before the heat, humidity, and bugs take over.

Yesterday, our daughter had her first band concert. Well over 100 kids, I think, sitting in a "C" as my 4yo said. They played for about 20mins. They were really good. Of course, we had the standard When the Saints Go Marching In...but several other songs. They were especially wonderful since they had only 1 rehearsal all together that morning.

Unit 4 School does a really great job with their music program.

Tonight, we hope to head to Mike n' Molly's for Daniel Beahm to hear some live tunes. He is great!

Remember that now summer is upon us, there is lots of live, free music to be consumed!

Monday, May 19, 2008

It sucks...

I found out today that one of my dear friends died. We are not sure exactly what happened and probably won't but nonetheless 30yos aren't supposed to die. After sobbing on the phone with my mom and trying to find time to hug my husband...I made some calls to deliver the news. This is when email can't do it. The same calls I made 10 yrs ago when our friend died quickly and unexpectedly of cancer. I hate calling my friends after a few months without talking with sad news. It just sucks.

So, I played with my kids a little, watched Dancing with the Stars, and ate chocolate chips and breadsticks dipped in butter for dinner.

I am sorry for all those other bloggers that have recently lost someone, it seems way too many right now.

Peace and love to everyone.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekend Plans!

I usually don't like to double post but I wanted to make sure that you all know that there is so much going on in CU this weekend...and it might not rain on Saturday!

Check out the NG calendar as well as both park districts (Champaign; Urbana) for the weekened events!

My pick...the 17th Annual Kids' Building Fair on Sat. from 11am-4pm in the Orpheum's parking lot in downtown Champaign. This is a great event for the whole family...tons of hands-on activities. This year they are also offering Historic Building Walks of Downtown Champaign.

Also, if your kid is into theater, the Urbana Park District is holding auditions of the summer musical Suessical, the Musical on Saturday and Sunday. This is a great program for kids 9-18yo. Everyone who auditions receives a part. The cost is fairly low as well (a script and costume fee, but financial assistance is available). If you child is younger 6-9yo, they offer a junior performers program as well.

Fitness Friday!

Set a concrete goal...

10 mins a day
10,000 steps
try a new activity each month*
break a sweat each day
exercise 4 days a week
do 1 physical activity with your kids weekly

Avoid weight-based goals unless you have talked to your dr, weight loss center, or personal trainer about realistic and healthy goals.

*Summer is a great time to find new activities in your community...check out park districts, city programs, newspaper calendars, etc. for special events, programs, 5Ks.

Share your personal summer fitness/health goals with us!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What Teachers Make...

I got this from my aunt, who is a teacher....and just thought it was great.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I'm a bit late getting this out...I forgot it was coming up so soon but....

Here is a great way to kick start your spring...and get moving!

Join the Women and Girls Out Moving Across the Nation (WOMAN) Challenge! All you have to do is create a goal for yourself and commit to making it! For example, walk 10K steps each day or add 60min of exercise to your week, or 10min of any movement each day...whatever you want. With each step and minute of exercise you can virtually travel across the country.

No money, no meetings...just a way to kick your butt into gear!

Check it out. Join my team, if you want (the Choco-Ladies of Champaign, IL (even though we are from all over the country...and some of us are men!)) or start your own...or do it on your own.

The End of an Era

Well, it is official...after more than 4 1/2 yrs plus some with my daughter...I am done breastfeeding. My 2yo, although still asks, has finally stopped nursing. Its been slowing down for a few months...I finally decided that it was over.

Initially, when he started skipping a morning here and there, I was a little sad..not so much that I was done nursing....but that my baby was a not a baby anymore...and this will most likely be our last baby. He still climbs into bed every morning to cuddle...but that will eventually stop too.

They grow up..and that is ok.

In other kid news...the boys spent the night sleeping together in a cardboard Blue's Clues house in the their room. It was super cute.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stop using your hip...

Ok, that is what my dr told me after I have injured my hip, in addition to other weeks of rest (no exercising, no standing on my left leg, carrying my kids or laundry baskets). I never realized how much I move...just doing regular stuff around the house...2 hours go by and the pain starts again. In short, take a break. I am really bored. I've read a couple books, caught up on some movies and tv shows, started the big toy sort...listened to my kids play our new drum set (yes, we now have a drum set in my dining room...delightful!) and played the piano again.

*New version of Halloween by Rob Zombie...terrible but I watched it all and the extras (which was followed by a chunk of time online learning the history of the series)
*Meet the Robinsons...very enjoyable, good Mother's Day movie
*Extras (HBO's series with Ricky Gervais....very British but funny, Kate Winslet, ha ha!)
*Music and Lyrics...adorable
*Caught up on CSI, How I Met Your Mother, Cold Case, Women's Murder Club, The Office, some Arrested Development (love you Hulu!)
*Discovered some reality shows on Bravo (which have a preview of this month)...Work Out and Step it Up
*Read the new Robert Parker's Stranger in Paradise (ok) and Darkly Dreaming Dexter (good but not as great as the series)

Please give me some ideas of things to do!

I have been surfing the net more...I don't really spend too much time online anymore but this week I have re-entered the interweb!

Today's recommendation: Musings of a Minor Mennonite by my friend Dan...and his columns in Smile Politely.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all those mommies out there!
the soon-to-be moms, the new moms, the seasoned moms, the step-moms, the moms-in-law, the grandmoms, the great-grandmoms, the love-you-like-a-mom moms, the hope-to-be moms
you are all great!
Have a amazing day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fitness Friday!!!

Balance it out!

Cardio work is great for burning that fat but....strength, endurance, and flexibility are equally important. Try to mix up your workout with a good mix of cardio (anything that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat), strength (weight training, toning, pilates), and stretching (simple stretching, yoga, pilates).

When I used to be a regular gym member, I would go to the gym at 930am 4 days a week and take a different class each day...two cardio, one strength, one mix.

Also, allow your body rest time. Take at least one day off each week or take it easy one day (a nice family walk or yoga).

A balanced fitness routine will help keep your mind and body in the best shape.

*Note: I am taking the next 2-3 weeks off from teaching fitness classes...please enjoy the other great instructors!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This will be it...or not!

Each Tuesday, the news media says that this primary will be the end to the longest-ever Democratic primary process...and each Wednesday...nothing. Sure, I watched about 30min of my favorite CNN cutie talk about how nothing is happening but come on already.

What do these results say?
The Democrats can't decide on anything?
We should have co-presidents?
Is the primary process incredibly flawed?
We want more dirt on each candidate?
We want to give the Republicans more time to build their campaigns?
We want a new president but we can't decide who?
Who is the best candidate to beat McCain?
Will all those Clinton voters vote for Obama in Nov? (or not vote at all or go Green!)
Can Obama win those big blue states he lost to Clinton in the primary?
Are we doing this so the news stations can play with more visual toys and break records for the amount of laptops on one desk?
Can the super-delegates just decide today instead of waiting (neither candidate will get the nomination without them)?
Are we just making sure that each state and territory feels really included and important?

I'm done...pick one already, I'll be happy with either or both for that matter (hint, won't happen). I'm concerned that this ultimately will hurt the political process...what impact will it have on the general election (yes, we have to do all over again...but let's hope that only lasts one night...remember when you knew the probable election results before you went to bed?).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dinner: Impossible

One of my favorite shows is Dinner: Impossible on Food Network. A couple months ago, a story broke that Chef Robert Irvine had...let's say...embellished his resume. Now mind you this is the second time that Food Network has shown the need for a research person in the HR dept (the other being during the last season of The Next Food Network Star). Hello, DI was on for 4 seasons and no one checked his references? Regardless, he was awesome and made the show. I wrote Food Network to say so on March 4th.

Today, I received this:
Food Network has announced that Ohio chef Michael Symon will take over as host of the 'Dinner: Impossible' series, which challenges its chef to prepare meals under extreme conditions. Symon, who won the network's The Next Iron Chef competition in 2007 and appears on its Iron Chef America series, replaces Robert Irvine, who left in March following revelations that he'd exaggerated details of his resume.

Irvine had hosted the show for four seasons. Symon will begin taping 10 new episodes that will begin airing this summer. Also new to the show will be a one-hour format. 'I'm really looking forward to the challenges that are going to be thrown my way and nothing gets me more pumped than someone telling me that something is 'impossible,'' Symon said in a statementSymon, who is chef and owner of Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and was named by Food & Wine magazine as one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America in 1998.Best regards,Scripps Networks Customer Service

Its is nice to know that they took the time to email me back with something that is or will be on the entertainment news pages. (they also promptly emailed me back once when I asked if Rachael Ray was engaged when I noticed a ring on her finger during a show!).

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fitness Friday!!!

Dance, dance, dance!

I love to dance and so do my kids. After dinner, turn on a couple songs and dance your hearts out!
*Let each family member pick 1 song
*During a song, let each family member make up a move and have everyone follow
*Dance as fast as you can then in slow motion
*Make a theme playlist (HSM, trains, 80's, drums, songs that start with A)
*Use music from different countries and music genres

Just dance enough to work up a sweat...follow by some stretching to some quiet music and you have a great 30 min workout!