Breakfast for Dinner

I killed the microwave last night. I was cooking some turkey bacon to accompany my omelet. I put it in and cooked it, but when I checked it, it was still flimsier than I like. So, I decided to put it back in for 30 seconds. I closed the door, pressed the ‘3’ and then… the digital screen went black. I opened the door. The light did not come on. I unplugged and re-plugged the whole microwave. Nothing. I pushed the “Reset” button on the wall. Nothing. I checked the breaker. It wasn’t broken. The microwave is dead.

We just got this one, too! Less than 2 months ago! So, I have yet another reason to visit WalMart. We didn’t actually make it there yesterday because Hula Girl had such terrible naps and I had to try to force her to take a third nap. It was unsuccessful. But now I have more on my list anyway. We’ll have to go when Jonathan gets home so he can help lug the evil dead machine.

I just realized that “breakfast” is what broke my microwave… fast. Hm.

It was really nice and warm here today. I took the covers off the windows in the nursery and let the breeze blow through. Hula Girl and I enjoyed it very much! I have decided I need to start nursing her in different environments since we’ve got our trip coming up in a couple of weeks. I don’t want her to be hungry the whole day when we’re traveling because she’s too distracted to eat. The open windows did not prove to be a distraction this morning. We’ll see how she does in the living room this afternoon.

Hula Girl will be one year old in 10 weeks from today. Unbelievable.

What’s your favorite breakfast-for-dinner option?

10 in 10

Well, I’ve done it. I have sent my letters of intent to enroll Hula Girl in Kindergarten in 2015.

Yes, I know it’s a bit early. I also know that I’ve spoken with many of you and have told you that I think homeschooling is the best idea for us. However, that will just not be possible.

As I mentioned previously, I viewed the film Waiting for Superman the other night. If you’re not an educator, it’s probably not the choicest film for you. But as a teacher, it really struck a chord. It rekindled a fire in me and reminded me that I have to be in a classroom. That’s where I am meant to be. I don’t feel like I reached my full potential in the short three years of teaching that I was able to do before Hula Girl came along. In fact, I am 100% positive that I can do so much better, so much more.

Therefore, I sent in the paperwork and emailed the directors of the two schools I would consider sending Hula Girl to in the future. (I will admit there might be other schools I’d consider; however, this was all done on a whim and without much time to research, these schools are the only two I could identify off the top of my head.) One is the school where I was employed for those three years; the other is in a college town north of where we used to live, where Jonathan is currently applying to work as a counselor for the university.

Yep, he’s applying. I found this really awesome counseling job the other day while I was doing a short search online. I am always looking around for potential job opportunities for Jonathan. We do not want to stay where we are forever. In fact, Jonathan will be eligible to apply for his license in December; we’ll probably try to move away from here around that time. It all depends on jobs, cost of living, and just how quickly paperwork can be processed.

This job seemed really great, and when I showed it to Jonathan, he got really excited about it. He thinks college-aged kids would be great to work with. (I feel really old after writing that sentence.) He knows there is so much change happening in their lives, and he can see himself in a supportive role for people going through those types of changes. The application is due April 1, so we’ll have to really work hard on getting it in on time. I did just find the job the other day, and Jonathan is working a bit extra this week because of the training he’s part of at work. It will be a mad rush tomorrow night to make sure everything is filled out properly and all references are listed correctly. But it could be a really good opportunity!

I would be pretty excited to move to the town where the university is located. Anything is better than where we are. Anything with a Target, at least. I am really tired of having to go to WalMart for all our household needs. It’s fine if it’s a choice. But when it’s the only option, the excitement really fades.

Speaking of WalMart, Hula Girl and I have to visit this afternoon to get some cabinet and drawer latches. She’s getting really adept at pulling them open, and I’m getting slow at catching her. It will be a much greater problem when she starts walking, which is just over the horizon.

I also had a minor freak-out earlier today when I realized she will be one year old in 10 weeks and 1 day. That is far too soon. She’ll be 10 months old in 10 days. That, too, is far too soon. I am not ready for this.

Given the choice, do you choose to shop at WalMart or Target?

Oy, with the Poodles Already!

The title is a quotation from my favorite TV series, Gilmore Girls. They took the funniest words they could think of and combined them to make a phrase. Well, the phrase seems to fit today. Except, replace the word “poodles” with “TEETHING” and you’ll have a great idea of what’s going on around our neck of the woods.

Yes, teething. Apparently I am raising Hula Girl to be a sissy when it comes to pain and sickness. She just does not handle them well. I will give the girl a little bit of credit. She IS getting four teeth in at the same time. Four. All four top center teeth. I think they’re called the incisors? She already has the bottom two teeth, and has since Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why she’s decided to sprout four more today. It seems like they’ve been a long time coming and that they could stand to wait a few more weeks, until after our trip to California. But perhaps Hula Girl’s genetic disposition for tooth growth follows the “when it rains, it pours” idiom, and since she’s been so sick, it’s time for teeth!

Regardless of the reason for the timing, they’re here. Well, almost. I can see all four of them, just sitting there, right under her gums, waiting to pop out at any moment. In fact, the right center tooth has poked through- a smidge. Actually, less than a smidge. About a half of a half of a half of a millimeter is sticking through. That’s about an eighth of a millimeter of pure tooth. And an eighth of a millimeter of pure tooth equals a lot of pain for Hula Girl.

She’s been very good during her wake times. She’s played well, crawled happily, and pulled herself up heroically while grasping her teething ring and flailing it around like it’s some kind of prize she’s won. (Short anecdote: after briefly munching on her teething ring this morning, she decided to share it with me by whacking me on the nose with it repeatedly. This elicited peals of laughter from said whacker. Thank goodness her drooly little gums melted it a bit before the whacking commenced.)

However, sleep has been fitful at best since last night. She first cried out around 7:15, or 30 minutes after I put her down. Very strange timing, indeed. She then proceeded to moan in her sleep about five or six times during the night. (I only know because I was awake coughing-still!) Then she woke at 6:00 a.m., crying as if something was wrong. Of course, teething still didn’t occur to me at that point- I was thinking it must be a diaper issue related to the antibiotics. Jonathan dutifully got up and changed her… not poopy… diaper. He put her back down, but she was up at 6:45. I figured 15 minutes early wasn’t going to kill our schedule, and she most likely would make up the missed sleep during her first nap, as long as I got Tylenol in her first. She didn’t make up the sleep, but she did take a good nap.

Her second nap, however, just started… an hour and a half after Jonathan put her down. Those teeth.

Last night I watched the documentary Waiting for Superman and I realized I absolutely must get back into a classroom. It’s where I was meant to be. More on this topic later.

Would you rather go to the dentist or get a flu shot?

Pull a Rabbit out of the Hat!

Today has been a pretty nice day so far! I have actually been well enough to play with Hula Girl, which I haven’t done in about a week. I know, bad mommy skills on that one, but I have just been so run down. However, today I had no choice- Jonathan went back to work so I would have had to pull a rabbit out of the wellness hat somehow even if I were still feeling so icky. Fortunately I did not need to become a magician.

Hula Girl and I spent the morning playing with her clean diapers. She likes to “help” with laundry, so we play a lot during that time. This morning was super fun as she’s been really into laying on her tummy and laughing for no reason lately. So while she did that funny little dance, I piled all her diapers on top of her and let her giggle. Then I reached through those microfleece layers and tickled her little toes. Oh, how she loves “Tickle Toes!”

Our next adventure involved looking at the Mommy and Baby on the car seat box. Yes, it’s still sitting in my living room, even though we got the car seat installed on Saturday. We’re sick, all right?! We’ve been busy gardening! I don’t really think I need to make an excuse. It’s only been 3 days. Anyway, Hula Girl has been very into noses lately. She likes to point out noses whenever she sees them. Animal noses, human noses, cartoon noses, you name it. If it’s a nose, she points to it. So cute!

After nap time and lunch time, Jonathan came home to visit. Hula Girl was very excited to see her Daddy. After all, it had been, what, five whole hours since she saw him last! I can’t say that I blame her. It is very exciting to have him home at lunchtime. Since he’s doing training for his job this week, it will be a week-long event! Something to look forward to every single day!

Our visit went really well yesterday. We were concerned that Hula Girl might be really nervous and crabby- she’s got a pretty marked case of stranger anxiety. However, she cried only once, when a man in glasses approached her, but then she was fine the rest of the time. She even went and played with the girls’ fingernails (painted hot green) and hat tassels (who wears a hat indoors in spring!? Middle schoolers!) and chewed on some Tupperware. It was great to see those girls!

All in all, I’d say our outlook is improving as we are getting over this mondo-illness. Thank goodness!

What’s the best magic trick you’ve ever seen?

I Smell, Like, Soap!

Today started pretty early- Hula Girl woke at 5:00, made some noise, and went back to sleep. Then we heard her at 6:15. Since she’s been on this antibiotic, she’s had really large, very frequent, very smelly (Jonathan tells me), very loose stools. TMI. I was really concerned that she might have had an early-morning bowel movement, and since she’s never really had diaper rash in her entire life, I didn’t want today to be the day. So I had Jonathan go check her diaper- nothing. But instead of putting her back down and coming back to bed until our normal wake-up time of 7:00, he just sat in her rocker and held her while she slept. So precious!

She has been in a great mood all day long. Smiling, giggling, squealing, bouncing up and down, and waving her little arms around have kept us all quite happy. Let’s hope her attitude stays great for this afternoon. We’re receiving some visitors from where we used to live!

Yay, Spring Break! Our visitors are not coming to our house (too germy) but we’re going to meet them somewhere. It’s a great family, whose eldest was in my class two years in a row (I taught her in 4th grade and 5th grade) and whose youngest is probably the kindest, most compassionate child to walk this earth. I “nannied” for this family a couple of summers ago, and it was a blast! The girls are so easy-going and pleasant. They are very well-mannered. Even though I’m sure they fight sometimes, I never even witnessed one squabble.

As I was showering in preparation for this  visit, I was steaming up the bathroom as much as possible (did you know sinus congestion can give the sharpest headaches known to man?), and I had a revelation: I could smell my soap. After a week of not smelling anything, it was the best smell ever. However, it was fleeting. But I am holding out hope that it is the forerunner of many wonderful sensations to come in the next few days.  I WILL kick this sickness.

Jonathan dug up the roots of an old tree in our garden this morning. It was very manly of him. I am so glad we get to share this project together. Gardening is turning out to be a lot of fun (even though I haven’t really participated beyond research and shopping for seeds yet). I’m looking forward to having something exciting to do while Hula Girl is sleeping this summer. She naps twice a day and goes to bed by 7, so we’ll have a LOT of time.

Here’s hoping I can smell something (or taste something) by tonight! What is your favorite smell?

Who would have Thought One Needs to Pay for Poop?

Well, we did it. We started our garden.

Jonathan woke up in major project mode this morning. So before 10 o’clock, Hula Girl had new window coverings in her room, the garage was cleaned out, and the garden was started!

Hula Girl’s new, improved window coverings are removable, so I can open her windows when it’s nice outside. But they’re still completely light-blocking, so she’s got her cave to sleep in during naps and nights.

The garage was just getting to be a mess. Any time I’d say, “Please take this out to the garage,” Jonathan did just that. He’d take it to the garage… and put it down just inside the door. We ended up with a very untidy “tunnel” of boxes, odds’n’ends, and furniture. Jonathan tackled that one all on his own. He moved a lot of boxes out of the garage into the chicken coop. Yes, we have a chicken coop. Not to raise chickens; rather, we use it to store unimportant belongings, like our TV. Then he reorganized our garage into sections- gardening, garage sale, movies and games, tools, painting stuff, et cetera. I am happy with the results!

And the garden. Oh, the garden. It’s going to be monumental. Yesterday we went out and bought seeds for 21 different varieties of vegetables. Then we made a planting calendar for our seeds and seedlings. We’re going to start a few seeds indoors (hence the garage clean-out) and we even get to sow some seeds today! I have been doing a lot of research about our soil type, our zone, what our plants will need, and general “how to” information on each of our plant choices. This garden will be a lot of work. But I’m sure it will be worth it.

We were outside working on the garden (well, Jonathan was working. I was sitting in a chair in my pajamas with a blanket wrapped around me, a tissue box on my lap, and my phone in my hand- I am sooo sick still) this morning and our neighbor came over to give Jonathan a hard time about working so hard while I watched. She found out what we’re going for and then she offered to get us some free fertilizer! Score! I knew those chalky melty super delicious cookies were a good idea! I love neighbors like ours. Seriously. Then she saw Hula Girl’s diapers pinned out on the line, drying in the sun, and she offered me some more clothes pins. I turned down her offer, because I really don’t need more clothes pins, but it was a sweet gesture.

Anyway, free fertilizer will be great for our garden, because we’ve got some pretty sandy, clayish dirt. I am guessing it’s probably void of many key nutrients for good plant health. Probably anything we do to improve it will make a drastic difference in the life of our first little garden.

Jonathan is also working on expanding our gardening area. Our entire front yard is covered in rocks. (I guess that was our landlord’s way of not having to deal with a lawn at a rental- my parents did the same thing before they sold their rental house!) However, there is no insulating layer under the rocks- it’s just dirt. So, Jonathan got out the rakes this morning and raked away about 100 square feet of more garden space! Now I can grow my winter squash mix and my watermelons!

Here’s a list of plants we’re going to grow:

Kale, Snap Peas, Jalapeno Peppers, Rosemary, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Thyme, Green Onion, Oregano, Summer Squash, Winter Squash Mix, Basil, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Chives, Corn, Green Beans, Watermelon, Zucchini!

We’ve also got some tulips that have started to poke out of the ground and a wildflower mix that we’ll use to fill in some extra space (if we have any).  Stay tuned for great garden pictures!

Do you have any great gardening tips or advice you’d like to share?

Practice Eggs

Well, I think we’re finally on the tail end of this week-long nightmare. Jonathan is feeling about 90% healthy today, Hula Girl seems to be functioning at about 80%, and I’m back to 50%. I’m not sure why, but I definitely had this waaaaaay worse than Jonathan or Hula Girl. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been sick in so long? No matter the reason, it really knocked me off my feet. Literally- I’ve been in bed for days.

As I typed that last sentence, Jonathan walked in and surprised me with a plateful of pancakes and turkey bacon and a cup of chamomile tea. How sweet!

Lately I’ve been thinking about my old school and my students a lot. I checked out the website this morning ,  and I found out that this school is doing amazing things this year. They’ve grown into a school that does fundraisers, family nights, principal’s coffees, before-school “jam sessions” in the music room, before-school “mileage club” with the PE teacher, after-school sports, student government, and parents curriculum-training nights. They’ve truly developed a sense of community, and I am so proud that I was a part of establishing that environment. Congratulations, Vanguard Classical School! I miss you!

We don’t know where we’re going to end up once Jonathan is finished getting his license. We will be able to move away from the place we live now by December. If we move back near where we were living, I want Hula Girl to attend Vanguard once she reaches Kindergarten. Therefore, I called and asked the front office to send me a letter of intent. Am I planning too far ahead? I don’t think so!

Speaking of planning ahead, I went ahead and did some practice eggs for our Easter Egg Contest.

Love 'em!

Oh, my poor sister-in-law. She never really stood a chance against my Easter Egg spirit. I wonder if I should tell her how I did such an awesome job, and give her a fair shot?

Do you have any fun holiday traditions in your family?

View from the Top

Well, we’re all still here. And we’re all still sick.

Jonathan has a fever again, along with nausea, dizziness, and headache.

My throat is sore sore sore, my nose is running/congested, and I am coughing.

Hula Girl is adorable but coughing.

Yesterday she managed to climb up on her toy bin. I had turned it upside-down so that she could use it as a play center, instead of always playing with her toys sitting on the floor. She has enjoyed that in the past. But yesterday, she took the opportunity to climb up on it, STAND UP, and bang on the window. Smartie pants. She’s a daredevil like her daddy!

That’s really all I can manage today, as I’ve literally never felt this sick before in all my life.

What has been your sickest moment? Or, what did your child/ren do that scared you to death?

Happy Birthday, Momma C!

I remember being pregnant and feeling awesome all the time. I seriously didn’t have that much to complain about. I never got morning sickness. I never got (too many) cravings. I never got any swollen ankles. The only issues were SUPER-sleepiness during the first and third trimesters and a major pain in my hip and lower back during the third trimester.

I think I could be pregnant all the time. I could not, however, be a sick mommy all the time. This morning, poor little Hula Girl woke up from her nap early and was crying. Now, she normally sleeps just fine through all her naps, but with this sickness, she’s been waking early. To help her get back to sleep, I’ve been going in and holding her. It’s worked perfectly for both of us for the last few days. However, today, I was unable to do this because I feel like death warmed over and I’m coughing nonstop. I figured the coughing nonstop part would pretty much make me useless as a sleep-inducing comfort object for Hula Girl. Any time she’d fall asleep, I’d end up coughing and waking her. Therefore, I had to leave her there to moan and cough all by herself until nap time was over.

Of course she still smiled at me and laughed like crazy when I tickled her tummy. But that made me feel even more guilty!

On to brighter topics.

I am so excited because I’m anxiously anticipating the arrival of Hula Girl’s new car seat. Oh, it’s so pretty. Here’s a picture of it:

This image is from

Pretty pretty car seat!

We were going to go with a different one, but we decided on this one per a suggestion from my good friend Rachel. She brought to my attention the fact that it has the same safety ratings, a metal frame (the other one is plastic), AND this one is skinnier- meaning you can still fit another adult in the backseat! It’s not like we do a lot of driving others around. But it will still come in handy.

I also like this one because it has such high weight and height limits. Hula Girl can ride in this seat rear-facing until she’s 45 pounds. This is AWESOME to me- I want her rear-facing as long as possible. She can also use the seat forward-facing until she’s 80 pounds. A 5-point harness for an 80-pounder? I am so excited about this. This will be her seat for a long long time. It even has a carry strap so when we go to California in April, we won’t have to lug around her infant seat and base! And now it is clear why I am so excited for it to be delivered!

Speaking of California, it is my Momma-in-Law’s birthday today! Happy Birthday, Momma C.! I hope you enjoy your day and live it with all your wonderful 35 years of experience. 🙂 You were 7 when you had Jonathan, right?

Also speaking of California, my sister-in-law has foolishly accepted another holiday challenge. We are having an egg-dying contest this year. She’s going down. My sis-in-law is probably the greatest sis-in-law one could have. She humors me by playing Monopoly and many many card games whenever we’re together. Let’s just hope the Easter Bunny doesn’t lose an eye this year. May the best eggs win.


Well, Jonathan felt it for a while. Hula Girl obviously felt it for a while. Now I’m feeling it. Overwhelming sickness. Yesterday I wasn’t too put out by it. Today, on the other hand, I can barely make it through a shower.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being Hula Girl’s momma. But there are definitely days when I wish I didn’t have another human being totally dependent on me for… everything. Today is one of those days. It would just be so much easier, so much more restful, to be able to put on a movie and lounge in bed all day. That’s the fun part of being sick! But a baby forces you to have no fun whilst sick.

Moving on. I’ve been somewhat intrigued lately by all the communication coming out of the White House dealing with education reform. “Oh no, we’re falling behind!” “We need high-quality teachers in our classrooms!” “Parents, do your part!” While all of these sentiments are great and well-founded, I have a slightly different take on the matter (two, really),  which I plan to reveal after some research. Look forward to my ideas in a few months or so.

My mom and I are eagerly anticipating the start of our business. We’ve been somewhat delayed by circumstances outside our control, but the idea is catching like wildfire. Everyone my mom talks to (I don’t talk to anyone- Hula Girl and I are shut-ins) seems really interested in the idea. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

Snippets. That’s all my brain is capable of today. I’m going to try to catch some sleep while Hula Girl naps- let’s cross our fingers for a good nap this afternoon!

Do you have any ideas about education reform and how/why it will benefit our country?


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