Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spartan's Win!

Ashley played a great game on Saturday. She made some really great plays at first.

Ashley at bat.

We have one more week left of school ball and then sadly, the softball season will be over. We've really enjoyed sitting through all of her games. We couldn't be prouder.

Cold or Allergies?

I'm still trying to decided, but all I know is that whichever it is, it's gotten me really good. Please send some Vitamin C my way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday - Week One

I figured with everyone else so gung ho to get back into shape that I better jump back on the bandwagon. I've now put on twenty pounds since quitting smoking over 8 months ago. It's time to get back to it. (Now if I could just muster up some enthusiasm.)


  • I worked out 2 times this week.
  • I did 20 minutes of cardio this week.
  • I did 4 hours of brisk activity this week.


  • My new goal is: to make it to the gym at least 3 times this week and to eat out less.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Family Day

It turned out to be a gorgeous day today, so we took the kids to a Peoria Chief's baseball game this afternoon. The Chief's are a Minor League team owned by the Chicago Cubs, are managed by Ryne Sandberg and located right here in Peoria.

Still has a big gaping hole in his mouth!

There's Ryne Sandberg.

Ryan was fascinated by the mascot.

After the game (sadly, the Chief's lost) we went out for dinner and then stopped at a nearby park. We walked down to the little lake and fed the fish some bread and then let the kids play on the playground.

Almost home.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Schedule: Empty

As I went about preparing for my day this morning, I sat down and checked my calendar on my cute little smart phone. Let me just say that I am totally spoiled by this thing! Any moms (or dads for that matter) that have school aged children that are involved in what seems like every activity imaginable shouldn't have to live without one of these things. I'd love to snatch one up for my husband so that I can put my Outlook calendar on it for him. Then he'd never again be able to tell me that I didn't tell him that we had such and such planned tonight.

In fact, after a nightmare drive to a softball game that was an hour away with wrong directions on Wednesday night took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there -only to have the game end 5 minutes after I arrived - I decided to copy the directions from the school website for each away game left and put them on my phone. It was super convenient and I made it to yesterday's game that was 1 hour and 15 minutes away right on time - only to have the game called for lightning in the 4th inning! It's OK though - we were looking at a brutal loss.

So, now that I've gotten completely sidetracked (are you still there?) I'll come back to where I meant to go in the first place. I checked my phone this morning and was excited to find that other than working at school for 2 hours, my schedule is completely empty today! As soon as I get home from supervising 5 grade levels of recess, I'm going to finally be able to get something done around here. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Days (Updated)

Monday was the big day as the kids went back to school. Monday and Tuesday were half days and today will be their first full day - as well as my first day at one of the grade schools as a Lunch and Playground Supervisor. The kids took going back to school fine, but I have to admit that I'm a little nervous. I'll be working with 3 other moms and let's face it - moms can be mean! They can be more click-ish than their kids sometimes. I don't know a single person at this school except for the principal who happens to be our neighbor. I do know a handful of the kids that Ryan went to preschool with, but that's about it. Should be interesting.

Ryan waits at the bus stop with his friends on Monday morning.

Onto the bus my baby goes.

And then he's off.

Ashley has been ready for school for awhile now.

Out the door she goes.

And this would be as close to the bus stop as we are allowed to go!

Update: My first day went very well today. It's a bit chaotic and very busy with 5 grades on staggered lunch and recess schedules, but the other moms were all very nice and friendly. I worry too much. :-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last Summer Day

While Ashley is excited to start 7th grade tomorrow, Ryan is a little lacking in the enthusiasm department for 2nd grade. I'm hoping all will go well tomorrow, but for now it was one last carefree summer day...

Birthdays and Make Overs

Today we celebrated Ryan's 8th birthday with family over at my father in law's house. His birthday isn't until Tuesday, but with school starting I thought it would be best to get everyone together before school starts tomorrow.
Looks like we have another Wii game for mom to play when the kids go back to school tomorrow. Ha.

He has been wanting this since he saw a picture of it in the Playmobil catalog and didn't have a clue that my mom, Grandma and brother were getting it for him. It may be a week or so before I see the white's of his eyes again.

After Ryan's little party, I took Ashley to get her hair cut and was surprised when she told me that she wanted bangs and to get her eye brows waxed. She looks so grown up that I had to do a double take. Next thing you know her eye teeth will be in and she's going to come out of her room with all kinds of eye makeup on. Her dad and I just may have to lock her away for the next ten years!

Why do they have to grow up so fast?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Every once in awhile one of my kids' games will pull me in, leaving me with no choice but to step it up and kick their butts in it. This happened last night with their Wii Mario Kart game. Everyone was gone and I was home alone -a rare occurrence that I savored every moment of - so I took advantage and gave it a go.

We had bought the game awhile back for Ashley when she had to have 4 teeth pulled to make room for the adult teeth that were coming through (that's 8 shots!). I had been wanting to try it out myself and finally made the time for it last night.

I tried my hardest and even got some pointers from Ashley. I've even practiced a lot today and think that I'm now ready to take on my 3 year old nephew! It's his absolute most favorite game on the Wii.

Can you believe that they actually gave me a driver's license? We won't talk about what an hour or two of playing Mario Kart does to your real driving skills when you immediately get behind the wheel after playing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Grand Bear Pictures

We had a great time during our annual Grand Bear trip last weekend with Bret's brother's family. We did lots of swimming, played mini golf and spent a lot of time in the amusement park.

The indoor water park was definitely our favorite part.

Ryan has other ideas when it comes to playing mini golf.

They keep getting bigger every year.

If you dare to wear a speedo and not cut your hair in 20 years - be forewarned - you will be blogged!

There are more pictures uploaded at flickr. Click here for a slideshow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Changes Ahead

I'm still working on posting pictures from our trip to Grand Bear Lodge last weekend. I haven't forgotten. I was just waiting on getting the pictures that my brother in law took. I've got them now and will try to get to those tomorrow.

School starts on Monday and the kids are actually excited to go back. I think they miss being around their friends all day, even if it means that school work goes with it. Or maybe they are tired of me. Ha.

So. What to do with myself when they go back next week? I could spend maybe two weeks or so cleaning and organizing my house, but that would get old really fast. Since making the decision to stop babysitting, I've been trying to come up with a plan.

I've already committed to being Vice President of the PTO at Ryan's school and that will keep me somewhat busy - and yes that also means I'll be chairing Rock The House again this year. I've already had my first RTH related nightmare - and it's only August.

It just so happened that by word of mouth I was offered a part time position supervising lunch and recess at one of the grade schools in our district. I jumped on it because it gets my foot in the door if something else were to open up. The only downfall is that it's not at Ryan's school, but I've been told that I can be moved there if an opening becomes available. I'll only have to go in for about two hours each full school day. I'll be off when my kids are off or when they only have a half of day. And in that two hours a day, I'll be making close to what I was making each day when I was watching Chloe. Perfect - except that now I've gone from watching one kid to watching over 300 kids. Oh well - it'll buy some groceries or at least fill up my gas tank every week, right?

It's unbelievable how much you have to go through to work in a school. I had to have a physical yesterday, along with a TB test. Today I had to go down to the courthouse and get finger printed so that they can run a background check on me. I am now obligated by law to report any suspicions I have of child abuse to DCFS and then there is also a huge mound of paperwork to fill out.

I start work next Wednesday and will have just until lunchtime to myself on Monday and Tuesday while the kids are at school. I had all kinds of ideas of what I might do during the first two kid free days since the beginning of summer break and have decided that the minute they walk out the door I'm going to put my iPod on and sing at the top of my lungs just because I can. I'd like to apologize to the neighbors right now.

I've loved having the kids home this summer, but in the past week I've felt my patience thinning quite a bit. It's time for them to go back to school so I can whine about missing them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Right Back To It

We made it back safely from Grand Bear Lodge this afternoon and had a few hours to unwind before heading out for Ashley's first softball game of the middle school team. This is the first team ever to wear these uniforms since they are playing for the new middle school that will be opening it's doors for the first time next Monday. Sadly, half of her friends are going to the old middle school. She'll miss them, but luckily she still has a lot of friends going with her to the new one.
Dunlap Valley wins! Ashley is learning a new position over at first base now.

I'll post some pictures of Grand Bear once I have more time.
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Saturday, August 09, 2008


... and I didn't get much done yesterday. Could care less. Going to have a great, relaxing weekend at Grand Bear. See you all on Monday.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Chaotic Friday

It's madness, I tell you.

We leave for our weekend at Grand Bear Lodge tomorrow morning and my house is still a mess from redoing Ashley's room.

I forgot about the damn laundry in the washer and dryer. That's going to smell nice.

We're out of clean dishes. Lovely.

My aunt is having second thoughts about giving up her dog. My kids are heartbroken.

Today is our ten year wedding anniversary (Happy 10 Years, Honey!) and I have no idea what we're going to do. We usually go out for a yummy expensive steak dinner, but Ashley has a birthday party to go to this evening and I haven't made any arrangements for Ryan.

Ashley injured her back most likely during softball practice. That should make for an interesting time at a water and amusement park this weekend.

Did I mention that my house is a mess?

I checked out a new book from the library that I've really been wanting to read and I just can't find the time to sit down and read it.

I don't think we've even made arrangements for anyone to take care of Daisy (the dog we do have) while we're gone this weekend.

Guess I better go get busy.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

E 'finito!

Ashley is beyond excited at how awesome her room turned out! My sister in law is a creative genius when it comes to stenciling! She left work at 2pm today to come over and finish up the second coat on the stencils. Then we ran to a few places to get curtains and some other finishing touches and pulled it all together tonight. I am so happy with how it all turned out!
Ready? Here is a before picture...

...and POOF! Here is after!

I am now off to try and put back together my poor neglected house.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sneak Peak

It has been quite a day today. We had one of the worst storms ever roll through here at 4am this morning. All day yesterday it had been in the upper 90's and the humidity was so bad that you could barely breathe outdoors. Taking all this into account, we knew that any storms that reached us would be really bad. And they were.
Every single thing on our deck had blown over to the railing right in front of our patio door. Our only saving grace was that we had just stained the deck, so the floor of it was still pretty slippery which I believe helped our new patio set glide across instead of being hurled across. Our neighbors weren't so lucky. There table flipped over and shattered into a million little pieces. Our other neighbors had it even worse. Their children's brand new wooden play system blew over and broke. All throughout our neighborhood, the effects of this morning's storm could be seen.

With the outdoor clean up taken care of, I moved on to Ashley's room. I ended up removing all of the tape from around the brown wall and was upset when the tape took off quite a bit of the original blue paint. Guess what that meant I ended up doing today? With the help of Ashley and my sister in law, we repainted all of the three walls with the same color.

After getting the blue walls painted, we moved on to the stenciling. My sister in law is quite talented and did an incredible job. Ashley is beyond excited, but the squares still need one more coat of paint tomorrow and then we can move everything back in and put her new bedding on.

I still need to find window treatments for both kids' rooms, but need to look around and decide if I want to make them myself or just buy them. We'll see.

Check back tomorrow...hopefully I'll have her room all put together and final pictures posted. For now, I'm off to go collapse in bed.