Monday, February 28, 2011

How do you solve a problem like Maria (insert the name: Samantha)?

Many comparisons can be made

The Song: "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"; From the movie, "The Sound of Music":

Many a thing you know you'd like tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand

But how do you make her stay?
And listen to all you say

how do you keep a wave upon the sand?

Oh how do you solve a problem like Maria (Samantha)?
How do you hold a moon beam in your hand?

When I'm with her
I'm confused
 Out of focus
And bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather

She's as flighty as a feather

She's a darling

She's a demon

She's a lamb

She'd out pester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest

She can throw a twirling dervish out of whirl

She is gentle
She is wild

She's a riddle
She's a child

She's a headache

She's an angel

She's a girl!!

How do you solve a problem like Maria (Samantha)?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria (Samantha)?


I think this sums up perfectly how I feel.  I have a problem.  I need to solve it.  She drives me crazy and makes me love her so incredibly much, all in the same instant.  She gets me dizzy to the point that I don't know if I am coming or going.

It's not fair to Samantha.  I yell at her way too much.  She doesn't deserve it.  I don't have any patience left when dealing with her and am quick to lose my temper.  This just isn't me or my parenting style and I don't want it to become the norm. 

I think some kind of action is needed.  I am working on a plan.  I don't want to feel like pulling my hair out at the end of the day or counting down the minutes until Jeff comes home and rescues me.  Not to mention that I've identified a huge reason I am fat and not losing weight any time fast -- every time Sam acts up, I make a beeline to the closest comfort food I can find and stuff my face until I am feeling numb from a food coma.  And you know what, it helps me momentarily feel better, but Sam is still out of control and we still need to deal with each other.

Stay tuned.....I've got some plans in the works and will share with you in my next blog.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two hour delay = 3.5 hours of ridiculousness

On Tuesday, February 22nd, Fairfax County, where we live woke up to less than an inch of snow.  I nervously looked at the news first thing in the morning, scared I would see the schools were closed.  I mean, the county has closed the school for much less happening than what we had on the ground. Fortunately school was still in session, but was going to operate on a 2 hour delay. 

You know what this means to me?  Let me share with you my schedule:

11:30am - drop Sam off at school
12:40pm - drop Ian off at school
1:30pm - pick Sam up from school
3:00pm - pick Ian up from school

I was able to take the kids and get to the gym before the above craziness started.  Getting a 5 mile run in helped put me in a better mood.  Funny enough, I ran into a fellow preschool mom while leaving the parking lot of the post office.  I had exactly 45 minutes to myself and wasn't going to hang around catching up.  I had things to do!  I can move 3 times faster without two kids in tow.  After going to the bank and the post office, my time was up and I had to head to Sam's preschool for pick-up. 

While I am more than pleased that a few hours of school is better than no school, I have to question this 2 hour delay and wonder why the preschool needs to follow the same schedule.  Sam's school starting at 9:30am is late enough that we are not getting in anyone's way on the roads.  Next time I am going to secretly wish that school is cancelled altogether.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Even SUPER Mom-Mom has her limits

My mom is the of the best moms in the entire world.  You would do very well to be raised by her.  She is caring, loving, fun, and always has an ear available to listen.  She also has tons of advice.  TONS!  My mom is never without a few words of wisdom on what you should do differently or how to live a better life.  And this advice extends to child-rearing.  I've lost count on the endless amount of things I've been told I could be doing to have a better behaved little girl.  She refuses to take "Mom, she's being 2.  This is how a 2 year old acts" as an excuse.   According to my mom, my sister and I NEVER acted like this. And therefore, Sam shouldn't either.  My mom thinks if it doesn't get nipped in the bud now, then she will become even more difficult and challenging to be around at age 3, 4 and so on. 

According to SUPER Mom-Mom, all you have to do is talk to Sam in a reasonable, calm manner and explain to her that her behavior is unacceptable and how she should change her ways.  Her big thing is "get down at her level".   My mom has met her match!

Every time my mom gave me advice leading up to her visit this past week, I replied with "good luck with that.  I hope it works out for you."  I eagerly awaited my mom to arrive, put me in my place and reform Sam to become the sweet, mild-mannered toddler I know she has in her. 

I guess Sam never got the memo that this was when she was supposed to comply and be good.  And somewhere along the way, my mom totally gave up and threw in the towel.  At one point, my mom focused her efforts back on me and insisted I take parenting classes.  She even upped the ante and said she would pay for the class and swing for the babysitter so that Jeff & I could both attend.  My mom had a field day looking at all the classes Dr. Renee Hackney offers and settled on "Managing Tantrums and Whining", with the offer that we could also do "Calm Parenting:  Ways to Manage our Frustration, Anger and Upset" if we wanted.

I think my favorite quote from my mom all week was:  "She is as bad as she is cute."  And, at one point, Sam was in the middle of a fit over something or other and my mom exasperated said, "You're just being MEAN!" 

When I saw how events were unfolding, I started getting concerned, very concerned that my mom was going to take back her offer of having the kids for 2 weeks at the end of June.  Fortunately my mom can not be scared off that easily and is still planning to come back to get them.  Let's hope by then, Sam gets the memo on how she needs to behave.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SWEET (and sour)

My mom and sister came to town this past week.  We hit the road and did a quick weekend trip to Hershey, PA.  It is after all, National Chocolate Lover's Month.  And what a better place to celebrate than Hershey itself.

I had done research beforehand and planned what I thought would be a fun-filled day taking in what Hershey has to offer, that would be entertaining to the kids and fun for my mom, sister and me.  We left Jeff at home to have some quality alone time.  Our trip started Saturday afternoon and we came back late on Sunday evening.  It was an easy drive - approx. 2 hrs, 20 minutes each way.

A few highlights:


Make your own chocolate bar - this was totally fun.  You can't help but get excited picking out the ingredients and watching your own candy bar get made right in front of your eyes.  And, while the bar is in the process of drying, you get to design your own wrapper.  I really think this was everyone's highlight of the trip. I know it was mine.  What a great souvenir. 

Ian watching his candy bar get made

The finished product

Dinner at Chocolate Avenue Grill on Saturday night was perfect for our group.  It was voted #1 out of 46 restaurants on TripAdvisor. We had a party of 7 (my sister's college roommate, Jen and her 4 year old cousin joined us on this trip) and was told there would be a 40 minute wait for a table.  When I told the host that we had 3 small kids with us, he did what he could to get us a table much quicker.  We were sitting down within 15 minutes!  And this restaurant was very kid friendly without needing balloons and tvs to offer kids.  My mom ordered the Gnocchi with white chocolate cream sauce.  OMG!!  I can't think of two more perfect foods for me coming together in one bowl.  This was one time I had to say "to heck with it on the Celiac disease" and try it.  Yum-O!

Chocolate World - besides the make-your-own-candy-bar (which deserves it's own separate shout-out), this place rocks!  We liked the ride showing you how chocolate is made, the Really Big 3D show, and the parade that goes through the lobby.  How can you not be in a great mood watching big pieces of candy (think milk duds, Reese's peanut butter cups, Hershey bars, kisses, chocolate syrup, etc) all dancing to music being played by a marching band?   And the shop with all the sweets/chocolate/candy, gifts is way too intoxicating.  You can easily forget any sense of balance and go crazy!!

Can the street lamps in the town be considered a "great"?  We all got a kick out of the Hershey kisses covering the street lamps.  It definitely got us all in the mood driving to the hotel and realizing we had officially arrived!

THE BAD:You can take the 2 year old out of Burke, but you can't take the 2 year old out of the 2 year old.  Travelling with Sam was not a whole lot of fun.  From not wanting to wear the hair net (it's a rule when you make your own candy bar) to not wanting to give up her stroller (another rule) to throwing a complete temper tantrum and removing her shoes & socks at multiple restaurants we went to, it was like we had a ticking time bomb waiting to go off at any moment.  My mom said if she knew then what she knows now, she wouldn't have gone to Hershey for the weekend.  Really?  Like my mom didn't believe me multiple times a day when I told her on the phone how bad she is and how hard she is to be around?  My mom naively thought that a change of scenery would help Sam behave better.  Ha!

Really?  Yes, really.
 Zoo America - So incredibly not worth the money and a big disappointment.  We pre-registered to see the animals paint with chocolate.  Ha!  In reality it was a skunk being led through paint and given a treat after walking on a canvas.  Whatever!   The whole "zoo" was a big waste of time.  And I really don't think it was because we went during Winter.  All over their Website, they say to come in Winter because that is when the animals are most active.  Now I am thinking this is to drum up business.

The Hershey Theme Park was closed for the season.  I am not a big fan of roller coasters and didn't feel like I was missing anything by not being able to visit this attraction.  Maybe when the kids are older and would want to go to the theme park, Jeff can take them and I'll hit the Hershey spa.  There is still so much more to do and see.  But we got a "sweet" taste of what Hershey has to offer.  Chocolate Lover's Month is a good time to go!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hear and Observed XX

On a regular Monday morning:

Sam:  Why Mommy wearing that?
Me:  Because we are going to the gym later this morning.
Sam:  Sammy have school today?
Me:  No, Sammy have school tomorrow.
Sam:  Sammy want school today!  Sammy NEED school!!  SAMMY GO TO SCHOOL!!


Friday, February 18, 2011


Ian talks non-stop.  He doesn't stop when he is at the kid's club at the gym ("I just love listening to Ian speak", the childcare worker reports back to me).  He doesn't stop when he is around other parents ("Wow, Ian speaks so clearly",  I'll hear from the fellow moms).  And, he doesn't stop when he is in the house just hanging out.  I'll be walking by him when he is in the middle of a wii game, Ian will pause the game and say to me, "You know, the water is 45 degrees when the contestants fall in on Wipeout."  Or, "It's going to be ladies night on Minute It To Win It tonight."

When I drop Ian off at school each day, he is quick to converse with whoever is standing next to him in line waiting for the teacher to come collect them. 

Ian is never at a loss for words and will strike up a conversation about anything to anyone.  It's all day and all evening, right up until he goes to sleep each night.

SO you can imagine Jeff's and my surprise when we had the following conversation with Ian at dinner one night:

Me: Ian, have you ever gotten a red card at school?  (Red cards are given for bad behavior, green cards are for good behavior.  I had just heard of a child in Ian's class getting some red cards and it made me wonder if Ian had gotten any).

Ian:  No, I only have all green cards and one purple card.

Me:  Green cards?  That's great.  How did you earn them?

Ian:  Because I am so quiet in class.

At this point, Jeff and I looked at each other and our mouths dropped open.  Ian telling us he is quiet at school was the last thing we thought occurred during his short day at kindergarten.   Wow, now that was a surprise.  Really?  Really. I am still in shock. 

What wasn't a surprise was finding out how Ian got the one purple card he was given.  It was because he was extra helpful.  Way to go Ian!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Shining Light

Last week, Ian had a SPECTACULAR 7 days.  To say that I am proud would be a very big understatement.  Allow me to kvell (Yiddish for: be extraordinarily proud, delighted) a little.

Because we live so close to the school, Ian doesn't get the chance to ride the bus.  Every day, I drop Ian off and then come back at the end of the school day and pick him up.  Ian had a playdate scheduled with one of his classmates, Eric and had the opportunity to take the bus home with him.  Whoa baby!  This was new terrirtory for us and I was nervous about Ian taking this big step on his own.  I briefly debated following the bus and making sure Ian got on and off at the appropriate places, but I trust Ian and wanted him to know it.  I told Ian that I'd like him to call me as soon as he got to Eric's house.  I was like a girl waiting for a boy she liked to call looking at the phone, willing it to ring.  Within 5 minutes of the expected time, Ian called!  I was so proud of him having this responsibility and rising to the occasion. 

The same day I found out that Ian was going to come home with report cards.  OMG!  I had no idea they give report cards (progress reports) in kindergarten.  And to think this was the one day I wouldn't be seeing him until 5:00pm when it was time to pick him up from Eric's house.   More anxious waiting on my part!

Ian's report card was exactly where I hoped it to be.  I am proud of my son for taking school seriously and not using it as an excuse for a 3 hour playdate (2 hours on Mondays). 

The next night, we were eating dinner and I made a dish of baked chicken over angel hair pasta.  It had a mushroom sauce on top of it and we served it to both kids.  Ian ate a few bites and said it was delicious.  I told Ian, what he was eating was called a mushroom sauce so that he knows now he likes that.  His reply was one that brought tears to my eyes.  "I'd like to try musrooms now."  Wow.   

And the other big news happened when getting to volunteer in Ian's class for their Valentine's day party on Friday.  I had been wanting to go into Ian's class for some time now and it seemed like an exclusive club of mommies that were allowed and I didn't have membership.  Finally I got in!  I showed up and stood in the back of the class until the teacher was ready for the volunteers to help the kids read their valentines.  I could see Ian, but he didn't know I had arrived yet.  The teacher was reading the kids a story and a minute or two goes by and Ian raises his hand and paitently waits for the teacher to call him.  "I lost my tooth", Ian says!  Everyone starts cheering and yelling, "Yay!"

I got to be there for it!  It was very exciting.  This now makes me want to be present for all of Ian's teeth when they fall out. I just need to be prepared to lurk in the background of Ian's class, religious school, birthday parties, sporting events, etc whenever his tooth is very loose.  Now, here was the super cool part of his tooth falling out when it did.  The kids just got done writing in their journals about losing teeth.  I kid you not!  How is that for timing!?!?!?

And, can I say the Valentine's day party at the school was very fun and I loved getting to see all the kids interact.  I have a feeling that the exclusive mommy club that ALWAYS volunteers in the class better be prepared for one more member.  
Ian's Valentine Day Mailbox in action!

Ian reading his Valentine's Day cards
The icing on the cake was when Ian was named the "Superstar Student" of the day, earlier in the week.  Woo-hoo!!

In addition to all of the above, Ian has been extra fabulous on the day to day dealing with Samantha and her many, many meltdowns.  He is so paitent with her and does what he can to calm her down.

Yet, there's more!  On Saturday, Ian had his last session of basketball.  He is one of 45 kindergarteners and first graders learning the basics and playing a very rudimentary game.  Ian is either the shortest or one of the shortest in his group.  He is definitely at a disadvantage when it came time to practice playing the game; no one gave Ian a chance with the ball.  That is, until the last game this past Saturday.  Ian got to do it all!  He passed the ball to another kid one time, another time a different kid passed the ball to him, and Ian also got to try making a basket.  He hit the rim.

I love the little person my big boy is becoming.  He is my shining light and it is getting brighter every day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Crazy in love

If given a choice between being with Matt Damon or spending a completely ordinary day with my husband doing nothing extra special, I would without hesitation choose Jeff (husband).

Yes, I know this seems like an easy way to answer given that my chances of actually getting to meet Matt Damon (let alone spend the day with him) are a gazillion to one, but let me explain.

I fall in love with Jeff more each day with just the little things he does.  It can be a look, or asking if he can make me lunch, or a funny remark about he much he wants me (when I am feeling like something the cat dragged in).   Calls at least once in the middle of the day to see how I am doing and at dinner, always asks how my day was.

Jeff gets me.  He makes me laugh.  He drives me crazy.  He takes planning and carrying out the details to a whole new level, that I've actually gotten more laid back.  He is smart, brilliant actually.  Ok, maybe not with gadgets and how to work them, but I can ask him anything about current events and he can explain to me what is going on in the world in a way that I can understand it and almost care about it.  And, he doesn't make me feel stupid in the least for not knowing what is going on.

Jeff is one of the best people I know and is the first to help out a friend in need and do whatever is necessary. He is quick to donate and support co-workers, friends, and me.  He backs me up 110% in all my crazy ideas and encourages me every step of the way.

Furthermore, Jeff warms up to my ideas a lot faster these days. Either he has thrown in the towel or trusts that I know what I am doing when I come up with some new plan.  We work great as a team and can face anything together.

I love my husband so much and can't think of a better best friend to spend the rest of my life with.  We've had 7 Valentine's days together and I look forward to spending them together when we are 77.

Sorry Charlie, my heart is
already taken.
 So if Matt Damon rang my door bell today and said he was mine, all mine for Valentine's day, I'd have to turn him away and say I've already got the best Valentine there is.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Are you sure they are related?

It doesn't get more different than this between Ian and Sam.

SAM in the morning:

Sam:  I pick out my clothes myself.
Me:  Let's put this on.
Sam:  No, I pick it myself!!
Me:  Sam, would you like to wear this top or that one?
Sam:  No, I do it myself.
Me:  Ok, Sam whatever. Here are clothes.  Pick out what you want to wear.

Sam then proceeds to carefully consider all her options and picks something to wear.  (Now this is a good day when she has decided to take her pajamas off and get dressed in regular clothes).

I see Sam struggling and offer some assistance. 

Sam:  No, I do it myself.  GO AWAY!  (And slams the door shut after I've walked out of the room).

About 5 minutes later, Sam opens her door and proudly exclaims the following:

Sam:  Look at me!!  Sammy did it!!  I dressed myself.

IAN, the same morning:

Me:  Ian, here are your clothes to wear today.
Ian:  Ok.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's all good

It has been brought to my attention that my previous blog about Samantha "I do it myself!" was a little on the harsh, aggressive side demonstrating how feisty she can be.  In fairness, it is not all chaos and mayhem with the youngest Toppall team player, and I feel the need to even out the score card a little.

When she wakes up ridiculously early in the morning (we let her out of the room starting at 5:00am), we bring her into our bed and attempt to get a few more minutes of sleep before our day has to officially begin.  Sam will curl up right next to and literally mold her body to mine.  She somehow fills herself in all my nooks and crannies and we lay like that for a good 25 to 30 minutes.  She loves to cuddle and it is very sweet to have her quiet, still and feel her warm body next to mine.  Other than it being an obscene hour in the morning that she has woken up, it is a wonderful way to spend time with her.  I can't help but the start the day on a good foot with her when she is like this.

Every now and then Sam will ask me if I am alright.  "Are you ok Mommy?"  I am not sure what I am projecting (either physically or mentally) that is giving her an indication I might not be ok, but it is one of the most considerate things about her.  She is genuinely worried and concerned about Jeff, Ian and me.  If Ian is upset or hurt in anyway, Sam will comment and say, "Ian crying.  Ian not happy.  Ian need tissue."   And, when Jeff is getting dressed in the morning, she makes certain he remembers everything he needs to put on.    "Daddy put pants on?"  "Time for belt Daddy."

Sam loves to draw.  She'll work on a picture for a good 10 minutes and then excitedly take the paper and run to me saying, "I made this for your Mommy.  A present for you."  She gets a big kick out of putting her artwork on the fridge and hanging her drawings with magnets. 

Another favorite activity of Sam's is to take care of her baby dolls.  My mom got her this one doll that pretends it is sick.  It coughs, sneezes and you can take its temperature.  Sam is an excellent caregiver and makes sure the doll doesn't have a fever. She'll wipe its nose, put it down for a nap.  Tuck the dolly in under the covers and read it a bedtime story.  The cutest thing is to listen to her "read" her doll a story.  It usually starts with "Once upon a time"...then she'll flip through some pages and go, "the end."  Sam will ask me to turn on the white noise machine, turn off the light and put up the gate for her doll's nap.  This usually occurs at least once a day.  As Sam leaves the room, she'll look at me and whisper, "Time for baby's nap.  Shhhhh."  Or, "Baby has fever and needs nap.  Shhhh."

Each night after putting Sam to bed and leaving her room, she says, "Night night.  Sleep tight.  Bed bugs bite."  You can't help but smile hearing her say this.

When Sam enters her classroom at preschool, she'll walk up to Maya, wave her hand right in Maya's face and say, "Hi Maya".  It is super cute seeing her do this.  When it is time to say good-bye to Ian and me, she'll come up and give Ian the biggest hug and kiss good-bye.  It is incredibly sweet.

When Jeff comes home at the end of the day, Sam is the first one to run to the door and scream, "DADDY'S HOME!!!  DADDY'S HOME!!!"  If she sees there is mail waiting for him on the kitchen counter, she'll run, get it and hand it to him, "Here you go Daddy.  Mail for you."  Then Sam will run up to our room and pick out a t-shirt for Jeff to change into.

Sam is incredibly playful and loves to hide and play "Peek-y-boo".  She gets great fun out of going under the covers when she thinks you are coming for her.  Her giggling gives her away. 

And, she loves to eat whatever I make for dinner.  While Ian still needs to have something special made for him to eat occasionally, Sam will happily eat everything 90% of the time.  It is really cool to see her take a big bite and then exclaim "Deeeeeelicious!!"

Whenever I go to the bathroom, Sam is right there by my side, clapping her hands and saying, "Good job Mommy!"  Or, "Yay!  Mommy did it!".

If Sam spots a scar or scab on any of us, she likes to give it a kiss and say, "Sammy made it all better."

So there you have it.  Just a quick list of all the sweet and adorable qualities that make up my beautiful little girl.  I hope when she gets old enough to read this, she realizes it wasn't all scary and traumatic being her mommy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I do it myself!

Let me introduce you to my incredibly head-strong, fire cracker of a daughter, Samantha.

Most days she goes to school wearing her pajamas.  We've had mornings where I've taken them off her 3 times within 40 minutes, and only to turn around 5 minutes later to see that she has fished out last night's pajamas from the hamper and put them back on.

When driving in the car, she feels the car seat rules do not apply to her and therefore the arm straps just aren't needed.  Despite me pulling over several times to get her arms back in the straps and tighten them extra tight, she manages to get her arms back out before I can even get back in the driver's seat.

Several times taking Ian to school, which is just 1/2 mile away, Sam will not only take her arms out of the car seat straps, but also take her shirt completely off. Forget getting her to put on a coat and socks/shoes in 30 degree weather, I feel lucky if she is still dressed by the time we drop Ian off.

Sam's favorite hairstyle these days is the "white trash look".  Who can catch her and get a brush or barrettes through her hair?  The non-kept look goes great when sporting pajamas.

Her teeth are clean though!  Sam loves to brush her teeth, to the tune of 3 or 4 times a morning.  Sometimes you can even find her brushing her teeth at 3:00am.

Sam is very adept at putting her clothes on, not only with 100% accuracy (everything facing the right way) but in complete darkness too.  We usually find her the next morning wearing yesterday's clothing over her pajamas.

Sam insists on doing the dishes each night after dinner.  She brings her step stool over to the sink and then looks at either me or Jeff and tells us there is room to join her.  And, she has first crack at unloading the dishwasher too.  Her favorite thing is to put the silverware away, personally hand me the knives, and stack all like items on the counter (the bowls, plates, tupperware). 

At 2 years of age, Sam is definitely giving us a run for our money.  I haven't even touched on her sleep deprivation issues (lack of nap, waking up in the middle of the night) and the effect that has on her temperament.  She is a force to be reckon with.  It is a good thing she is so darn cute and that love is unconditional, because right about now, it is kicking in high gear to get us through each day.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Showing a little too much

Every Wednesday is Ian's show-n-tell day at school.  He has to bring in something that is not a toy to his class.  It can be a book, souvenir, story about a trip, etc.  After Ian speaks about the object for a minute, his classmates get to take turns to ask Ian questions about his show-n-tell.  Each Tuesday evening we walk around the house trying to figure out what Ian should do the next day. 

Ian came to me and asked if he could bring in this picture of him and Sam in the tub together.

Me:  Ian, you really want your friends to see you naked taking a bath?
Ian:  No, I want to show them Sam in the bath.  Isn't she cute?
Me:  Yes, she is cute and so are you.  But if you are showing them Sam in the bath, then they will see you too.
Ian:  Oh, then this is a bad idea.
Me:  Yeah, I think so too.

Whew!!  Poor Ian.  I don't think he realized just how bad the teasing could've gotten and how embarrassed he'd be by his whole class seeing all of him.  I am so happy we figure out what Ian will bring for show-n-tell together.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weight Watchers - Month 2 (Chugging along)

So it's been another month of following the program.  I'd like to blame so many things for my lack of progress in losing weight, namely: lack of sleep, being extra grumpy during the day, dealing with a miserable little girl 90% of the time, and generally having my defenses down.  Grabbing food that does nothing for you health-wise but gives you a sweet instant gratification immediately is what did me in this past month.  When it comes right down to it, there are no excuses that make it ok.  It was all me.  No one put a gun to my head and made me eat the countless Hershey kisses and mini tootsie rolls.  To my stepmother Rita, please stop sending the kids candy.  I try to limit the amount of candy they eat, but can't seem to do the same for me.

Fortunately my exercise has been stellar and I am proud of how I managed to stick to the running training schedule no matter how tired I was. And believe me, there were plenty of nights where I only got 3 hours or less of sleep. I credit the exercise from me gaining even more weight than I did this past week.

Here are the numbers:

Started out with wanting to lose:  36.4 lbs

# of pounds already lost:  3.4 lbs

Week 5 - lost 2.6 lbs
Week 6 - lost .4 lbs
Week 7 - did not weigh-in due to snow and center being closed
Week 8 - gained 1.2 lbs

Lost this month:  1.8 lbs


Total left to lose:  31.2 lbs

So there you have it.  I really enjoy the Weight Watcher meetings.  Each Thursday, no matter how good or bad I did that week, I leave there with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and the feeling that a brand new week will make everything better.  That's where I am at right now.  So what I gained 1.2 lbs this week?  I am back on track and ready to tackle all those challenges again head-on.   I am in this for the long haul and will keep chugging along.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Glue sticks, googley eyes, and glitter

It's been a while since Ian has been in school.  5 weekdays to be exact.  We had 3 "snow" days last week (Wed-Fri) and scheduled Teacher Workdays this Monday and Tuesday.  OMG!  It wouldn't be so bad if we actually got enough snow to warrant a big extended break, but I am pretty certain I could've gotten Ian to school safely and in one piece on Wednesday and Friday.  :)

And of course, every time Fairfax County Public Schools close due to the weather, so does Sam's preschool.  Really?  These kids aren't even coming close to needing to wait for a bus or use sidewalks to walk to school.  I can say with a 100% confidence that I could definitely make the trip to take Sam to school without any problems.  :)  I joke that the preschool makes sure its always open when it is time to collect tuition.

How did we spend our 5 day break?  Besides going to the gym and a few playdates, we tackled Ian's school project for Valentine's Day with gusto!

The instructions were for each student to bring in 24 Valentine's day cards and make a mailbox to receive Valentine's day cards from others. The teacher specifically requested that each child write the name of every student on their own.  And since this would take some time, make sure to start early and plan to do only 4 to 5 a night.

I came up with a crazy idea that we would make our own cards.  I know it would've been super easy to buy pre-made cards at Target (they have soooo many wonderful character ones too!), but what better activity for a SAHM to do with her children when you have pretty much nothing else going on.  FOR. FIVE. DAYS.

Here is our work:

Front of card

Back of card
Ian's Mailbox

Ian is very proud of his box.  I am very proud of him for writing the names of all the kids and not complaining once.  We even made two extra and wrote one for the teacher and the teacher's assistant.  This was Ian's idea.  On those the Valentine's message says, "It's great being your student."

We finished the project in plenty of time for when it is due at school.  Now we just need school to be open to bring it in.