Monday, January 31, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
She writes in chapters the love story of her and her husband. I sat and read the entire thing early this morning while I was feeding Trace. I was captivated! It's such a great story, and she's not done writing. (Whitney, get writing!! :)) It got me thinking that I should write down my story with Dave. If for no other reason than I don't want to forget. Rory and Trace can have a record of what happened long after we are both gone. You should all
do this...then send me the link so I can read it. I am a sucker for a love story! I apologize in advance for my long, wordy, over descriptive entries. My history, my way I guess. :) So...without further adieu, I give you Chapter One.
In high school, I had a really serious boyfriend. We dated for almost 3 years. We started dating when I was a sophomore and didn't finally end things until I was in college. It was, to put it kindly, a trying relationship. I was entrapped in the idea that I had to have a boyfriend. I equated a relationship with success, looking back. I measured my level of high school success by how long my relationship could last, regardless of the really not so nice stuff that was going on. This is the root of my ongoing battle with depression. I am winning now, I certainly wasn't then.
I was, for all intents and purposes, the poster child of a Type A High School Girl. I was Class Vice President, Spanish Club President, wrote for the school newspaper, member of National Honor Society, on the Science Olympiad team, plus took dance class three nights a week and taught 10 classes a week at the studio. I waitress-ed at the Country Club on the weekends. I choreographed the community musical. Type A, controlling, over involved, stressed out and ready to crash.
This is important to know, because I relied too much on the boyfriend to make me feel worth something. I really didn't have time for a boyfriend but refused to go that route because I saw being in a relationship as one more sign of success. My thinking was so far off.
I broke up with my boyfriend in the spring of my senior year. I just couldn't take it anymore, so I thought. The Prom was coming up and I went with my absolute best guy friend, Andy. He was part of my trio. He, myself and my best girl friend, Allie, were inseparable. Andy and I had all 4 classes together that spring semester. He and Allie were gifts to me. (They still are. :)) I remember so clearly a few nights before the prom, the ex-boyfriend (ex at this point) calling me and accusing me of cheating on him (ex boyfriend, remember) by going to the prom with Andy. Excuse me, but he's my best friend. We were like brother and sister! We were going with a group of friends for fun. The route of the issue was the ex-boyfriend was terribly insecure and couldn't deal with me going to the prom with someone else. I had the best time at prom, with Andy and all of my friends. Relaxed and fun, just like a prom should be. (I wish I had pictures scanned in to my computer, my dress was so HUGE AND PUFFY!)
After the prom, a bunch of my friends went back to my house to relax and guess who showed up. Yep, the ex-boyfriend. I felt so bad for him that shortly after, we ended up getting back together. We stayed together through my senior dance recital and on in to the summer.
We broke up again during the month of July and stayed apart for a while. He showed up, unannounced, at the opening night of my summer musical. Thankfully, my mom was the director and my sister was in the show so there was no chance he was talking to me! :) I didn't see him again until he came to visit me at college one night. No details, but after that night at college, I never saw or spoke to him again.
My freshman year of high school, I "dated" several guys, one or two dates max. Nothing serious, all just fun. I had missed out on this part of high school and I was determined not to be tied down. I had a group of guy friends that I hung out with at school that prevented me from getting too serious. I liked my friends so much more than any of the guys I went out with, so in the end the friends won. ;)
Freshman year ended and I was happier than I'd been in a really long time. I loved college, had made some fantastic friends and was really looking forward to returning in the fall. Our summer musical arrived and well...umm...I don't know how to put this kindly.
(Godpsell, 2004...I'm on the far right, in a black dress)
Oh goodness, I can't even go there with what went on this summer. hahaha It's too much, it needs it's own entire blog. Let's just say I had a showmance.
Summer ended, my heart was once again ripped in a million pieces, trying to leave part of myself at home, trying to be excited to go back to school. I was so DRAMATIC about the whole thing. (An open apology to all my friends and family who had to deal with me at this time, special shout out to mom and Jesse. Sorry about that. Ugh.)
History part 2, tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
My dance studio is on the second floor of a huge, old building in my town. It used to be a department store and I have the entire second floor. The first floor houses an eye doctor, run by my landlord and the top floor I rent as storage and a scene shop. It's a wonderful set up, but the building is OLD. O. L. D.
I'm also super blessed with a fantastic landlord. Her daughter used to dance with me and she's just plain great.
The building is old (remember?) and it has it's issues. The roof leaks hardcore. The electrical wiring isn't the greatest. The floors creak and there are straight pins in the cracks in the one dance room from when they used to do all the tailoring in that area of the department store. Nothing too big of an issue and all certainly dealable, because the space is much bigger than any other place we could find in town.
Tonight the heat went out.
The big heater just stopped working. This heater heats my office, the changing room, the bathroom, the lobby, the senior assistants' "lounge" and our large dance room. All freeeeeeeeeeezing cold. Thankfully, the small dance room has it's own heater so that room is usable. I had to cancel 2 classes tonight and will have to cancel 3 more tomorrow. UGHHH.
Say a prayer, please, that it gets fixed quickly. I need that heat. I have too many little kids and they can't be freezing cold. Someone will get sick. Someone will get hurt. We have too much to do!!
Join in over at Girl Talk! It's a great group blog on all things women! I'm guest posting there sometime next week too...soooo...:)
This week's blog hop topic is things you swear by! I've got some good ones...
1. Herbal Essence For Color
If you color your hair or highlight it, this stuff is NECESSARY. I swear to you it makes my color stay brighter and last longer. It's the only shampoo-conditioner I use. It smells great too!
2. Ziploc Green Fresh Express Bags
Umm...hello! These make all my veggies stay fresh so much longer!! It's a real money saver because I'm not throwing away half eaten bags of lettuce since I'm the only one in this house whom eats salad! :)
3. Playtex Drop Ins
Oh Drop Ins, how you simplify my life!! I am a bottle feeding mom and these little babies make my life SO much better! When I have to wash bottles, it literally takes two minutes. Quick scrub and rinse of the bottle and the ring, a little scrubbing of the nipple and DONE. No messy bottle to clean out, only 3 parts. Easy! Yes, this is slightly more expensive because you have to buy drop ins but when you are a working mom with 2 under 2, convenience and ease has no price limit. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
What do you swear by?! Join in at Girl Talk!!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Chicken and Dumplings
Cooked and cubed chicken breast (I shredded mine, because that's I like it)
1 bag of Frozen Mixed Veggies
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed (I used 3 mini potatoes because that's what I had on hand)
3 1/2 cups of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 Tbs of Vegetable Oil
2 cups Bisquick (WW use Low Fat Bisquick)
2/3 cup of milk (Save meaningless calories by using low fat or non-fat milk!)
In a dutch oven, heat 2 tbs of oil. Add chicken, sprinkle lightly with salt and a little pepper. Cook on both sides until cooked through. Remove from dutch oven, set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled, cube or shred chicken.
In same dutch oven, brown onions, carrots and celery. (No need to do carrots here if they are in your mixed veggies!) Once they are tender and onion are brown,
add chicken broth and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender. (About 10 minutes) Add in mixed veggies and chicken. Heat through.
Mix up biscuit mix with milk, according to box directions. Spoon on to top of chicken and veggie "stew." Cover and let cook, about 10 minutes.
I lowered the heat and let it all simmer and combine for a half an hour or so after the dumplings were cooked. Be careful not to burn the bottom though, because you can't stir it once the dumplings are on top.
Super easy and my house smells DELICIOUS. This recipe made a huge pot of stew and it will make delicious left overs tomorrow for everyone's lunch. It really was easy and hey, its good for you too! :)
This is my first "So What Wednesday?" Join in with Shannon!
So What If...
-I've listened to Black and Yellow all morning. Rory even says "back and ello" with me...everything I do, I do it big...And yes, it is about the Steelers! The video is filled with Pittsburgh awesomeness.
-I changed Trace out of his pajamas and into another pair of pajamas this morning. It's too cold to care.
-I have a to-do list a mile long and I just don't care about getting to any of it.
-We are watching the Princess and the Frog for the millionth time this morning. It makes Rory happy so there you go.
-I am dreading cooking for dinner tonight but I refuse to eat out more than once a week.
-I am counting down hardcore until our Florida trip. 43 days, in case you are curious.
-I need coffee. Pronto.
-My house looks like Toy-R-Us exploded in it. I will only have a 21 month old and a 3 month old one time in my life.
-I still haven't finished Trace's nursery. The kid has no wall art and no door art, like his sister. Good thing he's a boy.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
What gets to me though is that no one is teaching these girls respect. I try to teach my students that they are to be respectful of other studios in the area, complimenting them on things, being polite and supportive if they go to a recital, that kind of stuff. I'm not crazy, I know my girls probably gossip and bad mouth other studios at school but it doesn't happen
Respect is a big part of my dance studio. I try to teach them to respect each other and respect themselves. I've gotten on my dancers cases before for being rude to their parents (you would not believe how I've heard some kids talk to their moms!), rude to each other, rude to me. They need to speak with respect and learn to communicate their problems. I know that teaching 140 girls and 2 boys is, of course, going to lend itself to drama and gossip, but I'm trying each day to teach them to, if nothing else, think before they speak.
Respect for themselves...that's such an interesting point. One of the HARDEST parts of being a dance teacher is choosing modesty in costumes and dance moves.
I'm sure you've seen the video this screen cap above came from. 5 little girls (ages 7 to 9!) dancing to Single Ladies. Great song, lots of potential for a great dance. These girls are AWESOME dancers, super talented and extremely technically correct. The problem though...the costumes! What?! "Burlesque" is a very lenient description of what they are wearing. The moves are totally inappropriate for elementary kids. Little girls should be dressed like little girls. End of story.
Modesty is a dying trend. I'm not asking my students to be "prudes," I'm just asking them to cover up the important parts. (ha!) They all wear body liners under their costumes. That's a flesh colored leotard that covers them so no matter where they have to change or what costume malfunctions might occur, they are safe. :) We don't do bikini style costumes for lots of reasons. The biggest one is I'd have angry dads chasing me down if I put my girls in that type of costume. Bra tops are NOT dance costumes, people. I also am very conscious of my dancers' body types. Not everyone is able to wear bra tops and look good. I never would have been able to in high school because of my large chest. I would have been so embarrassed if my teacher had picked an outfit in that style. ALL my dancers who are in middle and high school have body image issues. Putting them in a skimpy bra top and tiny shorts or a skirt is only going to enhance those issues. They will spend more time worrying about how they look and if they are "jiggling" then thinking about their dance.
It's not okay to put kids on stage in less than a bathing suit. It's not. A dance teacher has a responsibility to her students to choose appropriate costumes. It's is my job to demonstrate that they can look pretty and dance beautifully in modest, appropriate costumes. It is unprofessional and irresponsible for me to choose anything less. I owe it to my students and to myself.
Monday, January 17, 2011
And hopefully the next three WEEKS.
Did you hear that click click click? That's the sound of people unsubscribing. hehe
I'm one of those overly annoying Steelers fans. Steelers fans are hardcore. People either love us or hate us, there's absolutely no middle of the road. I've always been a Steelers fan, sans 2 years in high school when I cheered for the Titans. (Who doesn't do stupid things in high school? :) To say we're devoted in this house is an understatement. The huge Steelers logo painted on our basement wall is a good indication...;)
Just an FYI, I'm not so blinded by my Steelers affection that I think Ben Roethlisberger is hot.
I'm just saying...he's not.
He, on the other hand, is...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Scrub a dub dub two kids in the tub! One loves it, one hates it.
Like my editing? hehe It made me giggle. :)
Trace, post bath. Once again, I just missed the full smile. Isn't he handsome? Looks just like his daddy in this one!
And I saved the best for last...Rory's new angry face. Totally giving an Aunt Chelsea face.
I love when you post great pictures on facebook that you KNOW people are going to comment on. That last picture of Rory yielded so many comments yesterday, I was cracking up. If only people realized that's the typical face of an almost 2 year old. Constantly mad at me for something! haha (And, since I don't know most of your last names, find me on Facebook! I'll give you my last name in a riddle: take the opposite of both parts of this word: oversneezer. Make the "ough" o-f-f too! ;))
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Our (wonderful and amazing) PA spent a long time with us, figuring out what to do best. I hate to jump right to medicine, but that's what we have to do. (Combined with constantly running his humidifier, sucking out his nose every few hours and about 10 other things to help his symptoms.) Fine, okay. If Trace feels better, that's all that matters. Right? Right!
After leaving the doctor, we headed to Wal-Mart to get his prescription. While there, I was pretty ticked by the behavior of some of the people in the areas we were at. A few open letters...
Dear Woman at the Wal-Mart Pharmacy Yesterday,
I was speaking with the pharmacist, not you. I didn't appreciate the heavy sigh and the eye rolling you sent in my direction when you heard my son was only 11 weeks old and on his second prescription. My son is sick and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make him feel better. I apologize that this apparently offended you, but mind your own business. I'm sure your children are perfect and therefore never get sick. Mine aren't and they do get sick. I certainly hope the disapproving looks you were giving me, the sighing and the general nastiness that was oozing out of your eyes in my direction aren't picked up on by the adorable little boy that was sitting in your cart.
A very tired mother of two who just wanted her kid's medicine for which she waited an hour and a half.
Dear Family in the Baby Aisle at Wal-Mart,
Yes. Trace drinks formula. Stop looking at me like I am alien. I am not crazy, I am not a bad mother. Trace is perfectly healthy...he weighs 14 pounds already for goodness sake. I can't do anything about the fact that my kids have to be on formula. You can take that one up with God, because He's the one who decided that fact. Get over yourself. We use formula and disposable diapers. We vaccinate. My kids also cry it out and sleep in their own crib. Does that make me a bad mother? Get a life. Of course not. I'm not judging you because you make different choices than me so PLEASE stop making me feel inferior. I'm raising my own kids the way I think is best for them and for our family. It wouldn't work for you, regardless of either of our choices, because we are different families made up of different people with different needs. Stop rolling your eyes and nudging your husband. I see that smirk.
A mother who is just trying to survive this insane time in her life
Dear Retired Couple at Burger King,
I'm not sure you realize how awesome you are. I was at my wit's end by the time I got to Burger King. I was facing another hour wait for the stupid medicine and I had two hungry, tired, crying kids with me. Thank you for holding the door, grabbing Rory's cup when she dropped it twice on the way to the table and helping get Rory situated in her seat while I got the baby's bottle. Taking an almost 3 month old and an almost 2 year old everywhere gets hard and frustrating and your kindness made my entire day better. It's clear to me that you have kids and grandkids and I know you are fantastic parents/grandparents. You helped out a tired mama when you didn't have to and blessed my entire day! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I hope you enjoyed your lunch.
Thank you a million times,
A mom whom needed a huge cup of coffee with two kids whom needed lunch
Dear Rory and Trace,
When people are just plain rude as we experienced at Wal-Mart yesterday, don't worry about it. God will put people in your path that will remind you of the good, no make that great, people out there. You must try every day to be the kind, good people like the older couple we met yesterday. Hold the door for people, let someone go in front of you in line, bring someone a napkin when you see they have their hands full, help an older woman carry her tray...and those are just things you can do at a fast food restaurant! Remember, my little chickens, God wants us to be examples of His love. Live your life to help others before you help yourselves. Don't be quick to judge, quick to anger or quick to laugh at someone. You aren't better than anyone and you don't know their situations. Help when you can, especially when you aren't asked, and live a life of kindness.
Love you lots,
Your Mom, whom is just trying to make the best life she can for you.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Which by the way is how old he is today. WHAT! Practically driving. ;)
His digestion is so much better, though. We went all soy all the time for him and he's a totally different baby. Last week, 3 nights in a row he slept from 9 pm until 7:30 am. That is what we in the baby world call a HUGE BLESSING. :) Then his cold got worse and we aren't sleeping at all. I can't let him "cry it out" like I usually would (don't get mad at me, it's the only way he will learn to just sleep. It works and he never gets to the point of making himself sick!) He can't cry it out because when he cries he gets all mucus-y and nasty sounding and then he can't catch his breath again. It's a vicious cycle!
So here's the question of the day. When you are sick or your kids are sick, what makes you feel better? For me, it's a hot cup of coffee, a scarf around my neck and time to just nap and read in bed. Rory likes to lay on my lap and watch endless hours of Nick Jr. (fan-tas-tic. :))
Happy Monday! I hope your week is blessed!! Stay safe and warm if you are getting snow like we are. Pray for the people you least want to pray for. It's amazing what a difference it makes on your outlook. More on this later...Kate
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
In honor of my birthday, I'm going to do a couple lists of 26...
1. Rory and Trace. I am the best version of myself when I am taking care of them.
2. Dave. My best friend and lifeline.
3. My parents!
4. My sister :)
5. My family-in-law. I am really really really blessed in that department.
6. My senior competition students. Oh how I need that laughter every week! And they asked me to dance with them, which makes me feel super young and cool. ;)
7. Weight Watchers Online and the new JHud commercials. Motivation!
8. New tap shoes
9. My Droid. What the heck was life like before it?!
10. My aunts, uncles and cousins. And of course, Poppie. :)
11. My blog friends, of course.
13. My Keurig and Cafe Mocha Sugar Free K-cups. HEAVEN.
14. My car's seat heaters.
15. My fellow January Birthdays at Studio K
16. The promise of a Disney trip in 2 months
17. My DVR
18. Our loving daycare staff
19. Diet Coke <3
20. Marathons of NCIS, Law and Order:SVU and Top Chef
21. The power and comfort of prayer
22. The Message on XM
23. My husband's magic ability to swing the baby to sleep for his naps
24. My job and Dave's job
26. Zumba DVDs
26 Things I want to try/learn/do in my 26th Year
1. A quintuple pirouette (5 turns without stopping on my left toes with my right foot tucked in to my knee)
2. How to cook seafood better
3. Lose this stupid baby weight!
4. Have arm muscles
5. Re-learn more Spanish
6. Read at least 10 new to me classic books
7. Stage the Nut-Tapper
8. Make 10 new crafts and gift them to people I love
9. Buy a stranger's meal at a restaurant for no reason at all
10. Learn to change a tire
11. Grow my hair as long as possible
12. Stay up all night at the Relay for Life <3
13. Learn to make/decorate sugar cookies (Kelly, I'm looking at you on this one! :))
14. Watch 5 classic movies I've never seen before
15. Go on 12 date nights with Dave (1 a month)
16. Actually learn how to use my camera
17. Get a nice family portrait done of all four of us
18. Remember to make and send Christmas cards...oops.
19. Organize my studio office and make time to work there instead of at home.
20. Learn to format the studio recital program myself
21. Visit Kylee in Michigan this summer
22. Teach Rory to swim
23. Potty train and big girl bed train Rory
24. Learn to cook 15 new dinner entrees
25. Strive to be the best version of myself at all times
26. Praise the Lord in good and bad times
26 Things You Might Not Know About Me
1. Until a month ago, my husband never saw my natural hair color. I hate it. It looks grey to me. Imagine a ltitle mouse scurrying across your kitchen. THAT is my natural hair color. It requires at least highlights.
2. I used to wear blue contacts. Why? I just wanted a change!
3. I had my nose pierced and my bellybutton. I miss my nose ring and would LOVE to get it redone.
4. I could never get a tattoo because I'm much too indecisive.
5. My high school boyfriend still makes me sick to my stomach.
6. I didn't graduate college. Yet. I will.
7. I love my sorority (Kappa Kappa Gamma) My only regret about leaving college early was not getting to stay a part of KKG longer.
8. I watch a least 1 episode of Gilmore Girls every day.
9. I read every Harry Potter book at least twice, except the last one. It made me too sad when it ended.
10. I've wanted a daughter named Rory since I was in high school and I started trying to convince Dave of it when we started dating.
11. I took 6 years of Spanish in high school and I consider myself pretty darn good at conversing! Writing on the other hand...no way!
12. I secretly want to have my own show on the Food Network.
13. I love to recite movie quotes with my sister. She gets me. haha
14. I love musical theatre...a little too much sometimes!
15. I hate paying bills online. HATE IT.
16. I like when my toenails are painted crazy colors, but never my fingers. They are usually blank or french manicured.
17. I count down the days until my recital starting the first day of classes in August. :)
18. I have a black lhasa poo named Millie. She's named for Millie Dillmount in "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
19. I hate getting the mail. Most days, I let it sit in the mailbox until Dave gets home.
20. I'm convinced my dad is the smartest man on the planet. He knows EVERYTHING.
21. Once I had to make huge life sized puppets for a play my college was putting on it. They were so big I had to sit on them to sew them. It was quite a sight!
22. I once had the cops called on me because someone claimed I let my dancers destroy their property. It was humiliating and completely untrue. (You know me, you KNOW that would never happen!)
23. I had a dream in college about one of my students from high school standing on stage, wearing a jacket with my studio logo on the back with a crown and a sash. (As in, she won a big award for her dancing) This dream convinced me to open the studio. The girl from my dream happens to be a teacher at my studio now.
24. I have lost 3 really important friends this past year and I have no idea why. No fights, no disagreements...just stopped talking to me. It hurts me but I can't dwell on it. Nope, focus on Rory and Trace and it's all good.
25. My Grammie Bonnie was an amazing woman and every day I pray that God lets her look down on me and see how hard I'm working. She had brain cancer twice. The first time she beat it and had to relearn everything. How to brush her teeth, walk, make meatloaf...everything. What a woman!
26. I think daisies are the best flower. Simple and happy.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
If the clothes wasn't enough to remind me he's growing up...
Trace slept from 10:30 until 8:00 this morning. He woke up at 5 and fussed some but by the time I got up, went to the bathroom and got to his nursery, he was BACK TO SLEEP. I crept so quietly back to my room and then not a peep until 7! At 7, he started fussing and moving around some, but I let him stay in his crib until he was unhappy. I like him to get used to being in his crib on his own. It helps with our nap struggles. (Ugh.) He didn't cry until after 8:00!!!! He must have dozed off, I'm not sure because I was dozing off watching the Today Show myself. :) HALLELUJAH!! I don't expect this behavior every night for a while, but it gives me hope. Soy Formula has given me back our happy baby!
And one more step towards big boyhood...we switched to fast nipples today. When Rory switched, it took her a while to get the hang of the flow. Lots of spitting up and gagging occurred. Trace just looked up at me around his bottle and sucked the whole thing down, not one problem.
Goooooooodbye, newborn! Hellllooooo big boy! :)
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Day 2: Favorite Christmas/Holiday Memory
Hmmm...this is tough for me! I have lots of favorite memories because my parents made every holiday so special. I'll list one that is happy and sad at the same time. If I sat here and thought about it, I could list one from every year of my life, though. :)
My Grammie Bonnie (mom's mom) passed away the day before my 5th grade school year started. She battled brain cancer twice and was so courageous. She was an amazing woman and there's a huge hole in our family since she went to Heaven. That first Thanksgiving was just plain awful. Then a dear family invited my family over for a special dessert and game night on Thanksgiving evening. It was totally different and gave us something to look forward to that was in no way connected to my Grammie. (Does that make sense?) It was a happy little boost to our holiday. I hope I can add that same change of pace to someone's holiday when they need it most some year.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
I *love* these multi day blog challenges. They give me something to blog about each day without having to think about it. Nice for a tired mama like me! Kit @ A Step Into My Life is hosting this fun one! It just started today, so there's plenty of time to join in. (Thanks Neels for posting this! :))
Today's theme...New Year's Resolution
In sticking with the theme of 11 in 2011, I'll make 11 resolutions.
1. Lose weight! The most common NYR ever, but it's true for me this year. I'm done having babies and I want to be smoking again. (haha how's that for a little blogbragging?? :)) I like myself so much better when I can wear clothes I feel comfortable in but most importantly, I want to DANCE.
2. Cook dinner at least 4 nights a week. This is hard for me with my weird work hours, but I can do it!
3. Increase my savings.
4. Relax and enjoy our Florida trip for Lisa's wedding and not put expectations on the kids when we are traveling...aka be less Type-A about it!
5. Take my time choreographing Fix You.
6. Read 5 Classic books I have never read before.
7. Speak Spanish to Rory and Trace every day, even if it's just manner words.
8. Write a novella or a children's book.
9. Learn to cook seafood.
10. Add 20 new dinner recipes to my repertoire.
11. Stage the Nut-Tapper!