Monday, June 30, 2008

New Dress, new shoes...let's party!

It was so nice to be an adult this weekend. We had a wedding to since I realized my standard wedding-wear has been well documented in everyone's wedding photos over the past several was time for a new dress...and I had to get new shoes to go with it.

So, we got all dressed up and left the really tired kids with my parents and went off. Well, how lovely it was to talk to other adults, eat adult fancy food, and dance all night. I did take some time to boogie down with an adorable 3yo. After the wedding, we went out to a bar/bowling alley. Finally, it hit and we headed home around 130am!

It was a blast...and despite the fact I don't drink, I felt a bit worse for wear the next day (I can't imagine how all my drunken friends felt the next day...although most of them didn't have to wake early with cute little faces next to their beds). And my feet still hurt but it was worth it.

Only a few more weddings to go this season!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dinner Blues

It is leftover night here (going out of more food to be produced this week)....luckily this week we had two different kinds of cheers for everyone. The two little ones won't eat it because it has sauce on it...the hub decides to change the litter box and take out the garbage (not that I can really complain) as the kids sit down to dinner. Complaints everywhere...I don't want this, I want this, I wanted to do it myself....

Things that I think I said....
If you want that you should live in a restaurant.
I don't always get to eat what I want, so either should you.
Fine, don't'll be hungry.
Please don't drink the pickle juice.
Fine, just eat carrots for dinner.
Just eat it!
When you are finished eating, put your plates away (and don't let me see what you didn't eat).

After being irritated that no one was eating, and realizing that I rarely get to eat what I wanted for dinner...I told my husband I had to go out for a few minutes. After a drive to our newly opened Wendy's (I hadn't made it there yet)...came home with a cheeseburger (I resisted the fry and frosty craving)...which is exactly what I wanted for dinner. I enjoyed it with a salad (I made at home with our first tomatoes of the season and Annie's Natural Goddess Dressing (my big splurge at the grocery store last week)). I didn't get anything for anyone else. It was very enjoyable and I feel much better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Media Fun!

Here are two things I watched this week that I found highly entertaining...

*As the announcer says "People risking bodily harm so we can point and laugh." Wipe Out! is a new show on ABC...let's just say...I laughed out loud...a lot. People have to compete in a series of ridiculous obstacle courses for money. The commentators' cheesy scripted comments and contestant nicknames are actually funny. It is American Gladiators meets America's Funniest Home Videos.

*Disturbia is a movie starring cutie Shia LaBeouf that is now on DVD. Although no one in the 'special feature making of' mentioned is a remake of the Hitchcock classic Rear Window with a modern twist (no broken leg but home arrest...and sadly no Grace Kelly). The use of modern technology is kind of cool (although, of course, when a possible murderer is chasing them no one has a cell phone). It is funny, a bit romantic (in an 18yo way), and a good thriller (I actually gasped a couple times). I recommend it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Morning Quickies...

*Its been a couple days that we had decided to enact our rainy day plan (see Kung Fu Panda)...and then the sun comes out!

*Caught Miss Green's Puppet Show at the CPL on Saturday. My 4yo thought it was hilarious...I thought it was entertaining for 4yos (nothing really exciting or new...I thought she was a bit annoying, honestly).

*11yo sleepover! They were up until 130am!! Makes a lovely day 2.

*I LOVE the new Madonna song, 4 Minutes, from her new album Hard Candy. Not sure what it is, I think.

*Playdates this week!

*TV is pretty bad right I feel like I want to read but I don't have a good book right now...any suggestions?

*We opted out of the Taste this weekend...too pricey to eat there (I'd rather go out to dinner at one of the restaurants) and since hub was working this weekend, I didn't want to bring the little ones alone.

*Summer bugs are here! The boys in the house are covered in bites. I heard that tying a dryer sheet to your pants (or sticking on in any way) is supposed to help. I hate covering in bug spray just to sit outside after the kids go to bed for a couple minutes...but the bugs love me...I'm just so sweet.

*Our 11yo has been attending College of Kids at our local community college. She is taking a science and baking class and a TV production class. She loves it. We got financial assistance so it is a great opportunity.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rockin' Camp Rock!

If you have someone in your life between the ages of probably were well aware the the new Disney Channel movie Camp Rock staring the Jonas Brothers premiered this weekend. Those clever Disney people played it on Disney Channel, ABC, and ABC Family (so everyone, regardless of cable-package could see it).

I and 2 pre-teen girls watched it...the prolonged version on ABC (they stretched it to fill 3 hours...the 90min movie plus lots of 'exclusive' peeks at lots of Disney movies/projects). Overall, it was very enjoyable. The girls said it was better than both High School Musicals.

The plot revolves around a music summer camp at which Shane(Joe Jonas), a member of a pop group, Connect 3, is one of the camp staff. The main character Mitchie, played by a rockin' Demi Lovato, gets to attend camp only since her mom heads the kitchen of the camp. However, in an effort to fit in with the popular group, she lies about her family, etc....of course, over the course of the movie and musical numbers, Mitchie realizes that she shouldn't have lied about who she is and everyone should be nicer and truer to themselves. Complete with a camp talent show...the film is predictable but a good message all pre-teens should hear loud and clear.

Besides the fact they are at summer camp yet wear jeans and sweaters all summer...and the music is painfully obviously pre-recorded with lots of is a fun musical to watch with the kids (better without so many commercial breaks). The Jonas Brothers are just so adorable and actually ok actors, the best acting coming from eldest Kevin (but unfortunately has a small role).

For those band/theater/dance/music camp Camp (appropriate for teenagers and older).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Weighty Battle

Ever since I had my boys, I have kept some weight on. I actual lost all the baby weight at one point (like for a day)...but not really. And now...its official that I should probably lose at least 5lbs, if not 8-10. Overall, my clothes fit well, I feel good, I exercise, I eat relatively well...but I have to admit that number is important...and I don't like that number right now. I also tried on bathing suits last week...that was bad. And when I look at photos, I think...yes, I need to lose a couple. (And then there's the shrinking brother who can't keep weight on).

Yes, I teach fitness classes but I actually work out far less than I used to. I really only work out while I am working...which over the summer is only twice a week. And I often use a good work out as an excuse for an extra treat. So...that is goal #1...more and more balanced exercise.

Overall, I eat well. Lots of fruits and veggies...lots of water...a good balance of proteins. But I love junk food...especially sweets. Did I mention my daughter is taking a baking class and brings home treats to sample everyday! So goal #2 is to cut out most of the treats (but allow some reasonable bites once in awhile). Summer is a good time for this since I hesitate to turn the oven on. But grapes and baby carrots really don't substitute for chips and cookies well enough...but I am trying.

And finally...more rest and relaxation. Turn off the TV and go to bed. Don't worry about the mess and play with the kids. Maybe even go on a date with that man that lives here...what's his name again?

So back to Sparkspeople to track my nutrition and activity. I even took some measurements (I was ordering a suit online). We'll see.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fitness Friday!

Fuel for your workout!

Here is an article from msnbc about what to eat for a workout. I, personally, like to eat about 30-60mins before a big workout (e.g. kickboxing)...but I often throw something in my mouth on the way to the gym. Afterwards, I make sure to drink lots of water and eat a well balanced meal. I also opt for a glass of OJ, cow or soy milk instead of Gatorade.

I like...
*whole grain fig newtons
*Caramel Nut Brownie Luna Bars (I buy them in bulk from Amazon or on sale at Target)
*1/2 PB&J
*Handful of almonds
*Shredded wheat (non-sugared minis)
*Smoothie (but only 8oz and at least 30mins before)
*Nutrigrain or granola bar
*Hard boiled egg (I make some each week and leave them in the frig)

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a weekend!

Well we decided to spend the weekend in Chicagoland visiting as many people as possible. We always say we need to make more time for friends and this weekend, so we hit two birthday/housewarming parties plus fatherly fun.

First of all, my friend and his girlfriend have the most beautiful condo. Besides the amazing view of the Chicago was expertly decorated. It was so mature (go figure no toys in every corner?). Great conversation.

Next was off to celebrate Father's Day early with my dad, visiting from Colorado, and grandmother. Although I had my taste buds set on a lunch at Portillo's...she stuffed me full of Polish delights. After a nice visit and a trip to the park and the ice cream to another party. This was a surprise party for our friends that recently moved back to Illinois. It was a fabulous day out and we sat outside, talked, and ate for hours. The kids played in the yard (and trampoline...big hit!) until we realized that it was almost 9pm.

Day 3....Father's Day brunch with my step-dad and hubby, of course. Yum, yum! The kids made him some pictures, a trail mix for his long nights at work, and a homemade cd of Songs of the Ambulance (a mix they decided he needs to listen to while driving around town). Then off to the zoo with my father-in-law! The 4yo was super crabby most of the day....spending 30min screaming about a water bottle in the Children's section. Then back to my mom's with some very tired children for dinner and the Tony awards (Way to go Steppenwolf!!).

It was a long but delightful weekend full of love, family, friendship, food, and fun! We are super-duper exhausted (especially since we had to double back after being on the road for a bit to retrieve some forgotten items...and then a couple potty stops).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!
Spend the day enjoying fatherhood in all its sweaty glory!
We love you all!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fitness Friday!


Who isn't spending those hot days at the pool?! Swimming is a great exercise for every age group! It is very easy on the joints...great for those with asthma...and super fun!

*Tread water while your kids show off their tricks
*Run in place in the water
*Hang on the side of the pool and tuck your knees in and out
*Use your arms and legs to paddle faster around a lazy river
*Race laps with your kids or spouse
*Lay on your tummy in the water and walk with your hands with your little ones
*Pretend you are a synchronized swimmer (think Martin Short/Harry Shearer from SNL...I can't find that clip anywhere!!)
*Practice diving
*Go to the pool without the kids and swim laps (or take turns with another adult)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Paying to Party

There is a trend going on for the past few years that I just don't understand...paying to go to a party at someone's house. One of our friend's had a New Year's party and the cost was $35/person. Someone is having a dinner party at their house and it is $10/person. Now I understand parties at bars often charge money but when I am invited to someone's home, I don't feel like I should be charged an entry fee. Yes, it costs money to throw a party but if you decide to have a party, you should take on the costs. BYOB or a potluck is something different (I would much rather actively contribute to the meal).

Maybe its a brilliant idea but I don't really like it. We just choose not to go to those parties.

Anyone else experience this?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The chore of chores...

Like everyone else...the house is always a mess and there is always some kind of chore to be done. After trying lots of is our new attempt at family clean up.

I made a Chore Chart. It lists specific chores for each child for each day. Our 11yo has 3 each day, the 4yo has 2, and 2yo has 1. Nothing takes more than 5min. These are in addition to anything we ask them to do (e.g. pick up anything they took out, put meals away...). Somedays they luck out...there is no dishwasher to be rained so no watering needed...Dad swept the floor already. And sometimes we give them credit if they helped out some other way. If they didn't do something, they have the week to make it up.

If, overall, they did a good job and most of the things got done...special dessert on Sunday! (this week, they picked Jello!)

My 4yo helped me make it...listed chores that needed to be done, cut it out, taped it, decorated it. I made a week-list on the computer and printed several copies (a new one goes up each week). The first week, we had it up and talked about it but didn't actually start it. This week was the first week that we really used it. It went really well.

It has really helped me out, I feel like I have more time to relax and play...and we all feel like we have a collective responsibility to the house...our 4yo loves being a good helper...and we think our 2yo has even caught on. Our 4yo is also really into learning the days of the week.

So we are determined to be consistent about it throughout the summer and then re-evaluate it.]

*List of chores
Toys in living room
Toys in dining room
Toys in kitchen
Clean up DVD/videos/games
Clean up books
Sweep kitchen floor
Mop kitchen floor
Wipe kitchen cabinets
Empty dishwasher
Water plants
Dust dining room
Dust living room
Clean mirrors/glass
Your choice

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Finding quiet time with my hub...

On Thursday, I had to go to the ER since apparently something, probably a small cyst somewhere in my reproductive system, ruptured (very painful, let me tell you...). After the initial hour of being terrified and in horrific pain...I was feeling better and just waiting for them to tell me what the hell happened. Well, in the total 3 hours we spent there, my husband and I got to just sit in a quiet place and chat about normal life, our careers, future plans, politics. Its probably that longest time we've had together to just talk in a while. We also spent an hour of the time with a lovely ultrasound tech...while we looked at my internal organs we talked about all kinds of stuff. My hub also got to show off where he works and the people he works with...everyone was very nice. He also forgot that our minivan does not qualify as a emergency medical vehicle despite who drives it and had to eventually move it out of the ambulance bay. He didn't get to give me an IV...although he really wanted to show off his time, honey.

I do hope we don't wait for for another medical emergency to sit and talk to each other.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New favorite thing

As previously (and continually) discussed, we have a pre-teen at home. We have found that we are in an in-between place with her media interests. Still liking Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place, she also love to watch Psych and CSI. She will only look for books in the teen room at the library and enjoys to flip through People Magazine. Although she still appreciates a good Disney flick, she has moved on to more mature movies. I feel like I can pretty easily monitor most of her consumption....I watch TV with her, she is not allowed to watch an 'adult' show alone (plus the only TV we own is in the middle of the house), I can read her book choices pretty easily, and our computer is in a community space and we monitor what sites she visits. least movies in the theater, are a bit tricker. Since the MPAA rating system has many flaws, we don't rely on those alone. Simply listing the reasons for the rating doesn't really tell you...does crude humor mean some fart jokes or Superbad? Although R-rated movies are definately out....PG-13 are not becoming common. I used to go and see questionable movies first, like Harry Potter...but we rarely go to the movies any more, I don't really want to spend money and time seeing a movie to see it again, or not.

So, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has a Parent's Guide section for each movie that describes exactly what sexual content, gore, profanity, etc. is contained in the movie. This is also a good for the G to PG move. It is great. You can make a better informed decision about bringing your kids to a PG-13 movie with hopes that that $30 you just spent will allow you to stay the 2hrs without covering her ears and eyes.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The end of another era

Our daughter had her 5th Grade Promotion ceremony its official that she is growing up. She will be in JR HIGH!! in a couple months. We are still in denial. She is also very close to being taller than me....she wears a bigger shoe size and we are borrowing each others clothes!

It also means that most of her friends are already taller than me and I blend into the group of preteens a little too well for my comfort level. It is true, despite my real age and life, I look like a teenager (stop right now...don't tell me I will love it when I am older...). I am obviously older than my preschoolers and when our now 11yo entered elementary school, it was clear that I was not a student there. But now....I am really dreading my daughter entering jr. high with a parent that looks like I could be her classmate. I will really have to work at getting to know the parents, kids, and staff so they know that I am not a student in and, in fact, a parent in my 30's who happens to be an educator.

Anyways....we are very proud of our little girl. She was nominated with 5 other kids for a special citizenship award and she was selected from her class to give a speech. We apparently have raised her in a very liberal perspective...her speech could have easily passed for a campaign speech for the Democrats...talking about the children being the future and having to make the right choices to save our planet and economy (she actually mentioned that we might be headed for another Great Depression). She is brilliant...and so well spoken. I hope I will be well rested enough to help her win the nomination in 25 years!

I guess its only 2 more years and all the little ones will be in school full-time....time flies!