Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday traditions

This year Alyssa was able to be an elf at the Christmas sing along with the bigger kids.  She was so happy and even though I was exhausted when we arrived, when she came out singing and skipping with a look of pure joy on her face my long day was forgotten.
Here's a holiday tradition that my mom started when my husband and I first got married. She would buy us a lenox ornament every year for our tree.  We have continued buying and now have enough to fill a little tree.  It makes me feel like she is still a part of our Christmas tradition but it makes me miss her too.
This year we made it the Fantasy of Lights.  It's not a very good picture but you get the idea.  My girls were amazed by all of the displays.  Honestly, I was too.  I've never been before and it was worth the trip.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A real tree and pinterest

After much debate we decided to get a real tree this year.  The plan was that we were actually going go and cut it but that never actually happened.  We were all feeling a little sick this weekend so a fresh tree that was precut was the best we could do.  Although a fake tree is not as messy I missed the smell when I walk in the house.  It smells like Christmas in my house this year.

Also are you on Pinterest?  If you're not then you should.  Just leave your email below and I'll send you an invite.  I have been obsessed inspired lately.  So many great ideas!  My latest finds have been homemade gifts for teachers at school and church, daycare providers, Secret Santa and whoever else is on your list.  Here's just a few of my favorites that I'll be making.  Go get inspired!

Holiday pretzels

Friday, August 5, 2011

Check out her moves

This video makes me laugh and I just had to share. It is very clear that I am going to be in so much trouble during those teenage years. Either that or I have a super star on my hands.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Puppies and parties

I was at the vet's office this morning picking up medication for my dog. As I waited a lady walked in with her dog and the receptionist greeted her with, "Do you have an appointment?" The woman answered with yes, our last one ever. I wasn't expecting that and I felt my eyes starting to water. I tried to pretend like I was looking for something in my purse. As I left I couldn't shake the sad feeling so I let it out and cried for half my ride home. I know this may seem so silly but a few weeks earlier we had a scare with our own dog Sonny. He is fine and we just had to make adjustments to his medication. He's to hoping for many more years with my sweet boy and I just wish that I could have said something to comfort that woman. Some people may think it was just a dog but any pet owner knows that they become so much more.
On a happier note we've celebrated my daughters birthday at the zoo and it was a fantastic time!!! I love all the personalities in these pictures and the real friendships that she is starting to make now that she's in school. Not just tagging along with friends of mine who conveniently have kids. I have actually met some wonderful women who I am proud to call my friends through her. I love it!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Birthday at the zoo

Gillian celebrated her 7th birthday at the zoo. We had a great time and so did all the kids.Check out the girl to the left. I'm not sure why she's not happy but she's ruining my birthday photo, I'm kidding~well, kind of.Everyone got four rides on the carousel. Probably more since the lady checking them wasn't collecting them. All the kids loved this part. Then everyone got a free pass to the zoo to go check out on their own.
Plenty of cute photos. This was the easiest party by far. I don't know what I'll be in store for next year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gillian's 7th birthday interview

What is your favorite thing to do?
I like to draw
What do you not like to do?
I don't like to do homework.
What did you learn this year in school?
How to read.
What's your favorite...
Cats and Dogs verses Kitty Galore
This Land is Your Land
Rainbow Fairy books
What do you like to do with your mom?
Play games
Your dad?
Play video games
Your sister?
Play squinkies
What will you be when you grow up?
Will you get married some day?
Yes but there will be no kissing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Old friends are the best kind of friends

There's something about an old friend. Someone that knows all your secrets and really knows where you came from. No matter how much time passes you never feel awkward and you just start up right where you left off. They make you laugh till you cry thinking about memories and things that happened, mostly good but even the bad doesn't seem so bad anymore. So say what you will about facebook and even though I don't love everything about it. I do love that reconnected me to a good friend that I have really missed. I'm loving that our girls are getting along so well and developing their own little friendship through days at the zoo, playdates at the house and next up the children's museum. It makes me happy! Sorry the picture is a little washed out but aren't they cute.

Also I know it's only July but I feel my summer slipping away. Being a teacher I am so lucky to have my summers off but I work for it during the school year. I really think teachers need the summer to recooperate and be ready for another class. I've been enjoying summer by trying to make a dent in my book list~I've read The Help, Room and now I'm starting Firefly Road. Any other suggestions.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My first garden

I have been enjoying every minute of summer with my girls. They get along well and when they don't I'm finding the key is to keep them busy. So today we are off to go swimming but first I have to share some garden pictures. I am so excited that things are starting to appear in my garden.

Hopefully those flowers will be turning into squash soon.

A little longer and I'll have enough romaine lettuce for a salad.

Do you see there are actual green beans growing there. I have to say that I am pretty impressed. I've never grown a garden before.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Party Like a Rock Star!

Alyssa had a wonderful fourth birthday celebration this weekend, complete with a CD's for everyone to take home. We sang a little karaoke and just played in the backyard. We lucked out with beautiful weather and I think everyone had a great time.

There's our little rock star's. Please notice that she has on two different shoes which I asked her to change several times but I think she was trying to make a statement.

Such a fun day filled with great friends and fond memories!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daisies and Cakes

As the school year comes to a close so does Daisies. I am so happy that Gillian decided to be a part of girl scouts this year. She met so many new wonderful friends and it really gave her a sense of community. Next year she will become a Brownie with the same fantastic group.

It's also birthday time. It was my dad's 70th and my cousin Heidi's 40th. I bought my dad's cake. The other one below is Cake Boss Cake. You know that show on TLC. It was crazy to even see this cake it was probably the best cake I've ever eaten...definitely the most expensive too :)

So for me six days left to summer vacation and being able to spend some time with my girls. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Almost there

I can't quite explain how hard this year was at school but I am so close to being done I can taste it. I had a rough crew in my class and a group that would not stop talking EVER no matter what I said, threatened, or took away.

Don't get me wrong I love every single one of them and they will all have a special place in my heart individually but as a whole I will not be sorry to see them move on to third grade. Maybe I'm sounding harsh but it's just how I feel.

So I just have to hang on until June 21st and it will be done and this is where you can find us :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

He's not my baby brother anymore

My baby brother has graduated from UCONN last weekend and I'm so proud of him. This was the first time that my girls had been on a college campus and it was fun to answer those questions of what do you do here. Gillian said will,"I go here?" I wondered. What will they decide to do when it comes to college. I know it seems so far away but I can tell you right now that the past 6 almost 7 years have gone by in a blink. Before I know it I'll be dropping them at their first dorm room.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wait for me!

We've been taking advantage of these beautiful few days and getting out on the bikes. A quick ride through the park, playing on the playground and than home for dinner. My girls have really gotten comfortable on their bikes since last year. I think that Gillian might be ready to go without training wheels. She is very speedy and even though I know sometimes she gets annoyed...

She always waits for her sister to catch up. I love these moments!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm pouring my heart out

This is year number 10 for me of teaching. So what I'm trying to say is I've got some experience under my belt. I have mentioned
before that I teach in an urban school district so really
not a lot of things surprise me anymore. This one did.
I have a student that I have been struggling with all year. Well actually I have several but that's not the point. He is constantly out of his seat, talks back and at times can be quite disrespectful. For this student I have tried it all and have been working with the parents all year. Which is why when I entered a meeting with the principal, psychologist, special ed teacher and social I was surprised to see two unfamiliar faces. They were introduced as his godmother and a friend. Then they went after me. They blamed all the struggles this year on me. At least that's how I felt. It went like this. Why have you not recommended extra help if he's struggling? You always send notes home about bad behavior? He hates school and tells us every single day. He is not in the right classroom. You are not mean enough to him. My answers were...I have, it's a communication log and they are not always bad, he doesn't seem like he hates school when he's here, there's no where else to put him and I'm sorry. After which they said we are not attacking you so why are you so defensive sitting there with your arms folded? I just apologized again and put my hands in my lap.

So then they asked we want to help what can we do? Again this time trying not to be so defensive I said, "Remember our discussion about the possibility of ADHD I still think it's a good idea to speak with the pediatrician." The guests at the meeting had no idea about this conversation. Also the reading sheets that I send home twice a week are still not coming back signed. It would be helpful if I knew that he was reading the sight words and stories that I send home. After which I shook hands left the the room and headed back to my classroom. I locked the door and cried. I'm sure I was defensive because I felt attacked. I have tried to reach this student and a really felt like I was working with the parent. I guess I was wrong, very wrong.

The next day the special education teacher who was in the meeting with me brought me flowers. At least now I know I'm not crazy and that they were going after me. It made me feel a little better.

Please go visit Shell and read some other stories of people pouring their heart out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Excuse me while I brag a bit

My daughter Gillian makes me so proud. She is such a smart girl and loves to read. It is amazing to me that this has happened. When did it? The change from kindergarten to first is incredible. She can pick up unfamiliar books and read them with confidence. So this morning when she picked one up and started reading to her little sister I let getting dressed wait a little longer. It may be partly because I am a teacher but I love it! And then there's the homework. Where did these complete sentences come from? She's always thinking and rereading her work to make sure it makes sense. I'd like to take credit for it but I can't. Although I know my support and reading to her has helped as well. I will always remember her first grade teacher fondly. She is the one who helped her learn to love to read and become a writer with all those journals that I've saved in a special spot. Thank you Mrs. McDermott!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This land is your land

Gillian's music teacher is retiring this year so he put together a concert and this is the first that she's done so it exciting for me. The video was done on my iphone and it's jut a few minutes so it's not super but you get the idea. I feel like this week got away from me and I didn't do any of the things that at I wanted to do. Next week I will do better and I'm setting some goals and making a list.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Couch built for two

These girls love eachother to pieces, well at least most days and this is one of those days. We have this little fold out couch that they love to snuggle on together. I'll be so sad the day that they won't both fit, pop some popcorn and watch a movie. Perfect for afterschool on a rainy day like today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Girly Moments

I love having two girls. I'm sure if I had two boys or one of each I'd be saying the same thing too. I have so much fun with them and life is good. This weekend was a quiet one which I love since during the week can be so hectic for us. I was made to be a girl mommy. Here's a few of my favorite girly and some not so girly moments recently. I love that they call each other sissy. I always try to do their hair but the fight me everytime and usually win. We have contests playing Just Dance on wii. They are developing their own styles and picking out their own clothes~Gillian is sparkles and glitter but comfy. ~Alyssa loves dresses and to accessorize. I have such fun doing Zumba with them. Their fashion shows and tea parties make me smile. They still love going on these silly rides together.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mindful Monday

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in your own sunshine.~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote really made me think. Sometimes I just need to get out of my own way and really hear the compliments and enjoy the good things in my life.

We have recently had a lot of visitors at my school. I had at least 15 principals from NY city watching me teach a lesson. We are an NUA (National Urban Aliance) demonstration school. We have been a part of NUA for a while so these strategies are just part of the way I teach. All these principals were coming to see what we have been using that works. It was overwhelming but we got such positive feedback about how impressed everyone was by us. We also have a new reading program and more people were coming in to watch and make sure we were doing it properly. Gone are the days that teachers just close their doors and are on their own. The woman actually leaned over in the meeting and said that there are great things going on in your room. That same day the director of reading was in my room taking pictures of student work to show other schools and told me how impressive the work I was getting from my students was. The next day I got a note from a parent telling me that she was so happy that her daughter was in my room and that she wanted me to know that her daughter told her that I inspire my students to learn. I think that was the best out of all of the comments that I'd received. As a teacher I rarely get feedback. It really feels good to hear that you are doing a good job.

Then I had a wonderful weekend with the family just spending time together. Can you tell they are related? Which ones are sisters? In fact, there are twins in the group too. I often think they could all pass for sisters. My weekends have been helping me unwind and realize how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family. They are my sunshine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm shreding

On Saturday my husband were out separately at the same time. We both came back with the same item for me. It was the 30 day shred. I've wanted this for quite some time now and he usually doesn't buy my anything to do with losing weight for fear of insulting me so I thought I was safe buying it. I guess great minds think alike. This is only day three for me but I can do twenty minutes of anything. Let's see if I am still saying that on day 20.

I've also been doing weight watchers now for four weeks and I am happy to say that I am down 11 pounds. I am really loving their new points plus program. I mean look at Jennifer Hudson. She looks amazing. It really does work!

I have always struggled with my weight but after having babies it became even harder. Yes I realize that my babies are now 3 and 6 but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Is anyone else shreding or want to join me? We can cheer each other on :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Valentine's Day plan

Since we are stuck inside again I figured it might be kind of fun to get started on our valentines. Between school, daycare, girl scouts and I'm sure there's more, we have quite a few valentines to give out. I couldn't decide between the two so we'll just do both. Check out the links on the pictures to see the instructions. I also started thinking about what else I have planned for that day at least the food part. Come on now that is the most important part. We are starting the day with pink pancakes.
I'll pack a heart shaped peanut butter and jelly for lunch.

Not sure about dinner but for dessert we'll do heart shaped brownies. I really think that everything tastes better when it's pink or shaped like a heart on Valentine's Day

What are your Valentine Day plans?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A letter to my mother

Dear Mom,
Happy Birthday! You would have been 64 today and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. Sometimes it's with a smile when I think of a special memory which I find seems to happen more often now. I can talk about losing you to people without breaking down every single time. I am grateful for every minute I had with you but I still get so mad when I think about how many more we were supposed to have. I see you in my girls, in how they act and what they say. I wish you had more time with them because I know becoming a grandma was one of the happiest and proudest moments...both times.
I worry about dad and know that he misses you just as much as me and probably even more. I try to invite him over and he comes but he never stays very long. I wish he would. I also try to watch out for my brothers and know that you are watching over them. We will be celebrating a college graduation in May and I'm so proud of him. I know you would be too. I always feel that you are with me in my heart. I think about your words of advice and hope I still make you proud. I like to share pictures and stories with my girls and let them know the person that you were. That is what makes me saddest is that they lost their grandma. They will know you through me.
Love always,