Saturday, September 24, 2011

what I've been up to...

Hello Blogging Hiatus.

The past week and half was all about non-stop parent/teacher conferences (after teaching all day, in 90-degree weather, in our non-air-conditioned rooms.) Hello Indian Summer at its finest.

We have found time for a little fun in between. Here are some highlights. Sadly, a lot of them involve TV. Hello, new Fall Season!

My girlfriend Beth hosted a Favorite Things party, where you bring a favorite item, and people yankee swap them. Lots of laughs. I walked away with a Starbucks card. Boo-yah. But seriously, someone brought a garlic press. Is that really your favorite thing? I love garlic, but c'mon. Great theme for a party, though!

My class is AWESOME. (quick, knock on desk.) It has been such a DREAM teaching them. I also have some great parents and have been really feeling the love. It it nice to feel appreciated!!

The only exercise I've done is yoga, which is just what my achy muscles need at the end of the day. Paige, on the other hand, has been very inspired by our favorite show The Biggest Loser, which we just watched on Thursday (tivo'd from Tuesday.) Yes, Paige cross trains while we zip through commercials. I'm talking jumping jacks and skipping back and forth across the room as her 'cardio.' For her 'strength' she does a very odd push that looks like a downward dog in motion, along with some kind of sit-up.

Last night, we treated ourselves to a showing of Dolfin Tale in 3D. Paige proclaims it, 'the best movie we ever saw.' At $41 for the three of us, it better be.

Throw in some hysterical laughing at Up All Night and Modern Family and you have my week!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

After school snack - banana bread

I do a thing with my kindergartners that just cracks them up. Whenever one of them solves a challenging math equation or completes some other amazing feat (like sitting perfectly quiet), I faint. The kids go crazy.

On Friday afternoon, after school, I literally collapsed.

Into bed that is. I was suffering from a migraine and 'female issues.' I slept for two hours!

But not before I hosted a play-date and baked Banana Chocolate Chip bread with Miss P and her sweet little friend. Recipe adapted from The Family Kitchen by Debra Ponzek.

1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with butter.

Whisk together oil and sugar in large bowl. Add bananas and eggs and mix well with spoon.

In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well, and then add banana mixture. Stir in milk and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into greased loaf pans. Bake about 65 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Girls Night!

Relaxing, venting, and 'pouring' my heart out with college besties at our 'quarterly' get-together at Underdog Wine Bar in Livermore.

First Soccer Game, or "the one where I need therapy"

Meet the Pink Piranhas!

These little girls won 4-2 yesterday. It was an awesome victory, as we practiced all summer, and were given tons of help from another experienced team and their generous coach. Ed has teased that alongside that team we have been a bit like the bumbling Bad News Bears. Not yesterday though, when our girls dominated. It was a little bittersweet for me, as I felt all the girls but Paige really did their personal best. (She kicked the ball once.)

Paige has made good strides in her dribbling and passing. Yet she is not a fast runner, and holds on to a fear of getting hurt. (This is a big trend in her bike riding, as it took forever for her to ride WITH trainin
g wheels, now we are working slowly on weaning her off of them.) The other day at practice, there was a drill where a parent would lob a ball out, and two girls would chase it down. Whomever got it first would turn it around toward the goal and try to score. The other girl would automatically be on defense and would have to book it back toward the goal. Every time in this drill Paige was second to the ball and had to zip back to defend. This time, she was trying her best, but she thinks too much which slows her down. My heart broke a tiny bit as she really pushed and fell over the other girls' feet as she went for the ball, hitting the ground. Ed and I insisted she 'pop' back up and keep going. And after some brief sweaty tears she did. We were really proud. She got over it and did well the rest of the practice.

I'm always the positive, relaxed mom (I think?). But such a tiger has appeared and taken my place with soccer. Both Ed and I have had to work on giving limited 'pointers,' and focusing on what she has done right.

Anyway, Paige is still enjoying soccer and I think it is character-building for her to fall down and get back up again. (Literally and figuratively.) Apparently, it is also character building for me. The blessing in all of this, is that Ed could care less, and said he was on the bench a ton during his sports career, and it is what it is. We sure are a balance!

Here's to the next game, and me chilling out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the gals are back!

Which story do you want to hear tonight?

1) How my ridiculous co-worker tried to snare new student paperwork out of my mailbox (because I am getting an apparently coveted new girl)?

2) How I successfully navigated my 27 kinders through their first full day, including lunch, with only one bloody nose?

3) My fabulous karaoke performance at 6:45 tonight at the school social?

4) Paige's karaoke wonder performance at letsgetthelloutofhere o'clock?

5) The early demise of another goldfish, (upon arriving home full of ice cream) and ensuing meltdown? (Paige was sad too.)

I don't want to hear about those either. I do want to hear from these ladies though. Can you blame me from wanting to turn my brain off a little?

I'm even going to watch Kate plus 8!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mealtime Monday - Happy Labor Day! Pancakes

I love breakfast. Especially on the weekend, when I want to sip, my coffee, read and indulge. However, I can sometimes be lazy when it comes to preparing it (read: Starbucks run, anyone?) When Paige wakes me up looking for 'breakfast and a show,' I've often made the sleepy trip down the street to my neighborhood 'bucks for coffee and scones while she happily watches 'yard crashers' on HGTV on the couch. Today I've reformed myself with Peas and Thank You's Apple Cinnamon Pancakes. Here's the recipe, which for me, made 8 medium sized pancakes.


1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups organic milk
1 medium organic apple, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)


Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

Slowly add in milk, whisking just until batter is combined. Gently fold in chopped apples.

Coat a large skillet or griddle with cooking spray and heat on medium. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes until pancake edges start to brown. I like to use a perfectly round 1/4 measuring cup for nice even pouring. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

Repeat with remaining batter. If desired, put pancakes in the oven set at 200 degrees on baking sheet to keep warm. Heat maple syrup on stove. Serve with syrup and butter if desired.