Tuesday, December 29, 2009

P's class party

We are recovering from Christmas and our Tahoe trip! P is playing across the street at a friend's house. We have a fire going, E is dismantling the tree and I'm trying to make sense of our laundry, etc. E just entered our room, and said in mock shock, 'Ack! I can actually move around!'

Before I tackle the big day, I want to commemorate P's class holiday party. I was across the way, leading my own class's 'snowman celebration,' so I missed the whole thing. I thought I'd be more sad. But you know what, I was fine. E was there as the requisite parent, so I was happy. It's interesting, I think its a combination of the fact that I know P's teacher and her party routine pretty well, and I've done so many playgroup celebrations with P, that it is almost a little 'been there, done that.' I was thrilled to get the pictures though!!!

Here's our girl on the right with a couple of friends. There is such a fun group of kids in this class.
The class. P's class is a rainbow, with Chinese, Hispanic, French, Scottish, and Indian students. Miss P is mostly Irish. I'm sure I'm leaving out some other ethnicities as well.

Game time.
sweets, treats, and coloring.
Ho, ho, ho. Kindergarten is toooo cute!
Kids did a version of a yankee gift swap. (No stealing allowed!) Miss P gave a fab Melissa and Doug Grinch puzzle with those nice, thick pieces. She 'got' a nice fleece snowman blanket. A fitting end to the festivities.

I left my classroom cleaned up, but still halfway in holiday form, in my eagerness
to get outta town and start vacation! Came home and promptly went to sleep on the couch. We had my family's holiday get-together and then E's over the weekend, hosted my brother and sister-in-law and their kids one night. Monday and Tuesday we caught up with friends, wrapped gifts, made our trip to-do lists, and shopped for snow gear, and did laundry.

Coming up- Tahoe!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a bit of holiday fun

Last weekend in the midst of the holiday busies, (is that a word?), my mom, E and I had a fun day/evening. We saw this much anticipated movie (I'm talking, we've been waiting about a year for it!), and did dinner out at Pizza Antica at Santana Row, with some shopping in between. All of our favorites!

Today is a big day. We have ski clothes shopping, wrapping, packing for Tahoe (leave tomorrow), and host our awesome friends tonight for gift giving and fun. (Hosted other awesome friends for dessert last night!) 'Tis the season....

Friday, December 18, 2009

sometimes, you just have to rock it...

So this is, what, maybe the second night this week I've been up until the wee hours? Christmas preparations are taking up every minute, but I love it! I'm doing my 'general December holiday' thing for my classroom, and all the christmassy stuff for our family. Let me toot my horn a bit! Above and below is the 'joy journal' my students made for their parents as gifts.

Now, here are maybe half the gifts I had to make, prepare, and wrap for colleagues, parent volunteers, student teacher, etc., etc.

A peek into my classroom...our little Christmas tree and Hannukah menorah and dreidels

I'm very proud of my Kwanzaa wall!
Cute handprint menorah...
I'm 95% done with my personal shopping, and just have the wrapping and card mailing to handle.

I have a post in my head I'm mulling over about my experiences working this year. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to feel proud for pulling off the 'full-time' working mom thing! School is out tomorrow, but our days are already plotted until the 28th. Yikes! I am dreaming of a massage.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A bit on Thanksgiving

I feel like I have to touch on Thanksgiving before I can move on! Our day was pretty mellow. It started with a girlfriend and I going for a walk to get starbucks. Back with the fam, we lounged and watched the parade. It was a bee-you-tee-ful day, so E and I coerced our 'inside girl' miss P out for bike ride. Fun! The day ended with us heading to a restaurant for a 'dishes-free' dinner. We strolled a little bit afterward, and then my mom and stepdad visited us to cap off the night. I fell asleep next to the fire! Not a bad holiday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Happiness is singing a duet of 'O holy night' with my dear miss P. In my old age, I find myself so much more caught up in purely the religious meaning of the holiday. What a song that says it all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I heart magazines.

In our house, magazines are referred to as 'pretties,' when they arrive in the mail. As in, 'ooh, we got two pretties today!' (Bills are referred to as 'uglies.')

When the pretty arrives and I have a free moment, I indulge in my little savoring ritual. I cozy up in a comfy spot, often with a drink of some sort in hand. Blanket, or fire in the fireplace is a plus! I look at all the headlines on the cover and rate how interested I am in each feature. Then, I go through the whole 'zine and pull out all the ads and perfume inserts and recycle them, until the magazine is nice and clean. At this point I go line by line through the table of contents and figure out what I want to read first.

I love to read, and when I'm tired and don't want to think much, the short and snappy pieces in magazines are just right. I enjoy all the glossy photos as well, although I don't give a flip for the fashion pieces. I have been known to eat chocolate while reading health magazines and perusing the workout routines.

Lately, I have taken extra solace in my simple downtime habits. What's yours?

Thanksgiving update coming soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving vacation has commenced and I'm ready to make the most out of it! Last night a friend and I went to see The Blind Side. Awesome!

This morning, we are hosting a playdate. (You know you are falling down on the job, when multiple friends of your child ask you, when can we come to your house)! I plan to likely work on report cards with a Starbucks while the two girls gallivant around the house. At 1:00, we meet E for the frame walk of our new house. I'm hoping to squeeze in a run late afternoon, and then we host another playdate tonight so that our friends can have a date night.

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving we are going to relax like crazy, go for a walk, and then go live it up for dinner here.

I so need the time off. To re-organize our eating habits and routines after fall-out from the move, to do report cards, enjoy some family time, and just find some balance. I'm also looking for some quiet time to just be thankful and contemplate life.

Think I can get that done in 5 days??

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little slice of Heaven

It's a beautiful, warm afternoon. Miss P has been giggling with her friends (who we are now across the street from!) for the last 4 hours. They haven't argued, complained, or even needed anything (they rarely/never do). Today we set up some shelves in the kitchen and some play tents and a basketball hoop in the backyard. Every day this little house gets a bit more functional, comfortable, and cute.

The feel here is so small-town, old-fashioned. Kids running back and forth across the street, playing at each others houses. The mailman has introduced himself to me, and asked my preferences on delivery. The neighbor next door has already been over a bunch, offering help, and saying 'hi.' This is what I've always wanted. It's bittersweet as we will be moving in about 100 days. I'm wondering about our new neighbors. From what I hear, there is a Stanford swim coach and former Olympian, a scientist, another teacher couple with a new baby, and a family with eight year old twin girls. Sounds interesting, but you don't get the same kind of feel in a new neighborhood.

I've had to come to terms with the fact that there is a lot of great things about the new house, and that we will enjoy it a bunch too. And someday, perhaps, we'll move back to this neighborhood. Meanwhile, we are heading across the street for dinner in a few minutes - spaghetti with homemade meatballs -

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Where have I been? Moving! We've spent the last week making the first of two moves for our little family. It took us 6 days to get everything out of our condo, get it professionally cleaned, and carpets steamed. Meanwhile, we are in a cute little rental house, across the street from our good friends which is very fun. However, the house hadn't really been lived in for a long time, so there is no garbage disposal or dishwasher. The washer dryer hookups needed 'tweaking', as did cable hookups, the shower didn't work, and the toilet was questionable at best. In the past week, we've handled those charming details (except for the kitchen, which we'll just live with). Whew! In early March, we'll move to our new house.

I'm so glad to be out of our condo. There were some nice things about it, but it definitely wasn't the right home for us. We were on the second floor, and did not have any 'green space.' I'm sure no one reading has ever been in that situation with a child, but the affect it has on your quality of life it pretty wild. There's nothing like being able to send your child outside to just run and play. It kind of just trumps everything.

Work has been crazy, so there hasn't been much of a chance to breathe, and probably won't be until Thanksgiving. I have not been taking care of myself, and it shows, so my plan this weekend is to relax and catch up on things. I actually would love to stay in my pajamas both days! I'm planning to kick up the workouts and healthy eating as well. I'm in need of a cleanse!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mordern day corsets

I may or may not have on 3 support garmets underneath my outfit for tonight's revelry. And no, I am not, going as any kind of 'sexy maid.' I'm wearing jeans and a top.

Edited to add: OMG. 2 out of 3 support garmets removed within 3 minutes. Still don't look bad! Oh, but feeling nauseous. Breathe, sister, breathe.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Look I'm loving for Autumn

At tonight's school Halloween Carnival, I saw a fashion 'look' that inspired me. I've been tooling around with this 'fashion' post in my head all week, and finally decided to come home tonight and do it, despite the fact that I'm beat and have a long day tomorrow. Ahhh...the things I'll do for the blog. Anywhoo...

I have a hard time usually defining my fashion style, but here is what I've been loving. Well-fitting simple tops in a neutral shade (black, white, charcoal), dark jeans, and ballet flats. Then, I throw on an eye-catching necklace, or a well-tied scarf, and wa-lah! I have my look. I may also add either a headband or earrings (but never both), as an extra touch.

The woman I ran into tonight (a parent at school) was wearing the following: dangling, super cute earrings (from Chico's - the store E and I make fun of!), hair back in low pony, black tank top, long fitted black cardigan, cute nicely tied gray scarf, dark jeans, and simple flats. It inspired the collection above.

I don't look as polished as I'd like every day (far from it). I've only just realized the proper respect that accessories deserve. : ) Spread the word...I think this will make birthday and Christmas shopping for me much easier.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The H1N1 fairy has hit our house. P has been down since Thursday afternoon. We missed our big playgroup Halloween party as well as three (going on 4) days of school. She's doing OK, and I'm hoping she'll be well enough to come out and celebrate this weekend. (And here's hoping E and I don't get it during our move...)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Packin' our bags

Movers have been booked, rental house is secured...it's happening! We move November 7 to a 'fill-in-the-gaps' house, and then again in late Feb/early March to our new home. We are trying to pack when we can. P having the flu and Halloween are in the mix just to keep us on our toes!

Friday, October 23, 2009

First homework assignment

P receives her homework assignments on Monday, and then they are due the following Monday. (So us parental working folks have extra time on the weekend to assist in the completion.) So, when do you think P completed her first assignment? Sunday, the day before, of course, keeping in the great tradition of students before her. She got to choose from an array of activities and decided to learn her address and draw her home with the house number visible. She did a beautiful job, adding the welcome mat and the pumpkin on the porch, and filling in all the background space.

We are more on top of it this week. P has already begun her homework (woot woot!) which involves collecting various buttons, counting and sorting them. Good thing, too, as she is home today with a high fever. Sadly, this forced mellow PJ day is one of the best times I've had all week!

She's crafty

Last Christmas I got rolls of brown craft paper which I tied it with a red/green plaid bow trimmed in gold. As P and I were preparing for her to wrap gifts last weekend for friends' birthday parties, we thought, why not have P design the wrap herself. Pretty cute!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Club

So our family is reading P's first chapter book. Before you get too excited and pronounce her genius, let me tell you we are reading 'to' her. We are reading The Princess and the Frog: Tiana's Dream and are currently on chapter 4. It's a great fantasy story and we really love it. It's a great change from some of the Barbie fairy stories that I've read millions of times and are putting me to sleep instead of P! I'm a believer in exposing children to a variety of books (good literature and fluff), and then letting them make the choices, as long as they are reading. However, maybe I'll try and steer 'a little more' to books we find interesting too at bedtime. We can't wait for the movie!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy/Sad and a Milestone

It's a weekend of firsts for Miss P. She's been invited by another family in her class to attend a play at the Sunnyvale Children's Theater, and then have a home playdate after. This is the first time she's gone anywhere like this without E or I. (We have seen one show before together - Beauty and the Beast, so at least I'm not missing the first theater experience.) Up until now, all of our playdates and outings have been with us in attendance, or P's been with our really close friends or grandparents. The family is really sweet, and as a teacher, I kind of have 'the goods' or the history on a lot of the families, so I feel safe and comfortable. Just a little sad she is growing up.

And then tomorrow, another 'big leagues' moment - she's been invited to her first 'drop off' birthday party. Yikes. I'm thinking I might offer to stay and help the mom. I'd love to observe all the little girls in the class cavorting about. I drop by their lunch table everyday, and now they are primed waiting for me. The English learners shouting 'mom of Paige!' 'mom of Paige!' or 'Paige Mom' 'Paige Mom!' I'm so glad that I know all the kids and they know me. I had planned to be volunteering regularly before I went full-time. (I will do my first volunteer stint this Fri - yay!)

Some more happy and sads:

*Happy it is the weekend!

*Sad E is proctoring an exam today.

*Happy some friends have offered to come over and help pack!

*Sad that I still feel kind of overwhelmed.

*Happy that I know that feeling will pass!

*Ooh, and Happy that Hilary at Pulling Curls gave the blog some love. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lumps and bumps begone!!!

The Yummy Tummy tank. Wear it under all your fitted tops. Pricey. Worth every penny!

Monday, October 12, 2009

What does your family focus on?

I had some really interesting conversations during conference time with my students' parents. A few wanted to know - just how hard should they push their kids? These are all students who are about the middle of the pack, or maybe upper middle. My answer? I basically told them it was up to them as a family. I said, as long as your child can write his/her name well, draw recognizable pictures, has mastered most of the letters of the alphabet (and hopefully sounds), and is strong with letters 1-10, I am happy.

As I think of my friends' families, and get to know the philosophies of my students families, it is so interesting (in a good way) how people choose to spend their time and what they value. One family I spoke with both work full-time in demanding jobs and have two children. My tip for them - follow your son's lead as far as trying to teach him to read, and just enjoy each other during your downtime.
I know families who really push academics from a young age. I know families who also really emphasize sports. Another family I know spends a huge amount of time teaching their children (through words and example) about being polite, kind, and loving, respectful people.

I asked E what he thought our family's focus was? He thought briefly and gave the exact same answer that popped into my head : "Having as much fun as we can!" Although I later reflected that I'd like to add: building our relationships, since that is a lot of the reason we focus on having fun together.

Case in point. P had a 7 hour playdate on Sunday! I desperately needed some new things (see shoe post below), P was not in the mood to come, and didn't feel like shopping alone. Friends offered to watch her at their house while E and I ran to the mall together. Then when we picked her up, we returned the favor and took their son J back to our house. There is a pumpkin patch with a play area boasting 4 slides and bounce houses, so we indulged the kids for an hour.

You only live once! Now, off to do Monday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


When your shoes do this...
it's time to bid them adieu...
and welcome these home!

Edited to add: I also threw away 2 other pairs of shoes (black and red), that were in almost as bad of condition! I decided to spare you the visuals. (Hence why I bought 4 new pairs!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is a bad...

....even for us! Was the quote of the weekend!

We celebrated E's birthday last Friday night at a good friend's house. They had kind of a 'Pearl Jam' theme, as that E's all-time favorite band. The backyard was set up very cute with lights strung over the tables. Very early Autumn evening dinner al fresco. Anyway.....our one job was to bring the food.

A friend had brought P over for a playdate after school. I was just fried. Our plan was for me to get P, E to get the drinks, and for us to meet at home, order the food, and the pick it up together (still hot) and bring it over. I know, bad wife, I should have done it all, (seeing that it was E's birthday celebration), but I have been pretty zapped some days due to issues at school.

So, after some false starts and stops, (we hemmed and hawed about the food and decided to get individual meals for the 8 people), we finally were in en route to our friends' house...when.....E realizes he forgot to order meals for 2 of the guests! We are already later than planned, with the last guests showing up in about half an hour. This is where the quote came in - "This is bad....even for us!" (Meaning this is worse than our normal semi-lame-ness.) We got to the party and I dropped off E and P and quickly headed back out to the food joint's second location to get the other two meals. All's well that ends well.

This week continues to be bad - even for us! I won't even share Sunday's craziness (which was fun and turned out OK - but I'm too embarrassed to post). On a good note, I am (in my humble opinion) rocking my conferences! I am very organized and prepared, and I think (again, in my humble opinion), really impressing the parents! However, I have a big scary one this morning (if family attends) involving a whole team of people. I have to bring P with me to school super early - her teacher kindly offered to allow her into the classroom. This week there is a different person picking her up every day, sometimes multiple people (Person A picks her up, then person B collects her from person A). P handles it great. We are very blessed to have so many good people to help out!

In other crazy news: we have a buyer and the clock is ticking! We have to be 'outta here' by November 8th. We think we have an interim place to move. Cross your fingers for us!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


So Miss P is constantly asking me questions, of the 'why is the sky blue variety.' A sampling of her latest:

"What happens for a person to become a skeleton?"

"What is a director? How can I be one?"

"Are you going to re-finance our home loan? Why not?"

When I asked her last night where a particular question came from, she answered, "Oh, I have many questions waiting. That one just happened to be on top of the pile."


Thursday, October 1, 2009

October thoughts

As usual, I am running around with my head cut off....here's some of what's been keeping me busy-

1) Old House/New House stuff - E has actually been taking care of all of this stuff. God Bless him! My role is 'listening' to the monologue of details at the end of the night as I try to keep my eyes open. Sometimes, we are in a total role reversal, and he is the 'wife.' We had a buyer come to see our place on Wednesday - which happened to be E's birthday, so he had the day off. His birthday gift to himself was to stay home and clean the house from top to bottom and then show it. What a guy! He's also had appointments to select options for our new place. There are so many details, balancing the costs and otherwise, and my brain has kind of turned off. Again, thank goodness he is on it!!!

2) What I am on is school. Good lord, am I busy there. My one especially *unique* student takes sooo much time, not just during the school day, but even afterward as I am making special accommodations for him and having informal meetings about him. Yikes! I have to say, juggling the mom role at school makes me not as efficient as well, as I'm trying to check in with P a little after school, talk with her teacher about her occasionally, and chat a bit with the parents. Gotta get a bit more organized!

3) Considered starting a Daisy troop (am I crazy or what) with some other moms, and after attending a meeting we decided to wait until first grade, as our little gals are all just getting used to school. (And I have our two upcoming moves on my mind). I had mentioned it to P a few times, to make sure she was actually interested, and she 'followed up' with me later to check on the "mom's decision," and was disappointed but OK with the choice.

4) Managed to pull a little birthday celebration for E on his big day. He had purchased a collage frame awhile back with the idea of filling with photos and putting it up at work. It's been sitting around for awhile, so P and I chose favorite pics and wrapped it up for him. After dinner out, he treated himself to an Old Navy shopping spree. Ahhh, the simple pleasures. Tomorrow night we have a little dinner get together with friends to complete the festivities.

5) My awesome girlfriend just had a baby, another is pregnant and went wedding dress shopping with my sister in law. Life events! I do love the babies!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch Trip

Dude, our camera sucks....
...but, between the free entertainment (haystack pyramid, beautiful weather, space to run, wheelbarrow rides), a picnic lunch, a little wine, and good friends, we had a great day!