Random things I learned today


After all the craziness with the kids’ schedule over the past few weeks, it was so nice to finally have the house to myself again today. It was the first “normal” day we’ve had around here for a while.

On my normal, uneventful day I learned:

1.Honey flavored yogurt is not for me. I like yogurt and I like honey, but when I tasted them together I was not impressed. Lately I’ve been following the Greek yogurt craze. I get that one claim to fame of Greek yogurt is that it has less of the sour flavor of regular yogurt. I definitely like that. But…when you add an overwhelming honey flavor on top of the semi-sweet Greek yogurt, it was just way too sweet for me.

2. I find Thin Mints to be rather repulsive. I know…repulsive is a strong word…but they’re just not my style. I know that as one who dislikes Thin Mints that I am in the minority. However, in my house I am not. We never order Thin Mints because none of us like them….until this year when my son expressed an interest in them. So, as I sat here today and opened the box for him, I actually found myself kind of disgusted by the smell. Tommy, on the other hand, LOVES that he gets the whole box to himself.

3.If I ever had to go on a diet that involved restricting my carb intake, I would die. Ok…so death is a bit extreme, but it would really suck. Today when I was at the grocery store I was drawn to the bakery section by the smell of freshly baked bread. (Of course, it didn’t help that I skipped breakfast.) I bought some bread to go with the soup I’m making tonight, but I also bought another small baguette-like bread. When I got to the car, I put all the groceries in the back except for that baguette which I took up front, tore a chunk off and proceeded to eat it right there in the parking lot. What can I say? Carbs are my weakness!

I love that today was so utterly uneventful that I had time to notice, ponder and smile about these little things.

Need for routine


I think I’ll just cut to the chase with this…

I hate when the kids have too many days off of school.

When they have a Friday off, I have to try to get more things done earlier in the week so that I don’t have to drag them around on all of my Friday errands. It disrupts my exercise routine as well. This also means that I miss out on my “me” time. I’ve learned in the past few months just how important my “me” time is for my overall well-being. Even if it is just a mere 20 minutes to sit in the house, alone, and do whatever it is I want…I really need to have “me” time. When they have Monday off, I don’t have that last day to finish up my own homework for Tuesday. I also miss out on my “me” time there too. I typically end up saving my grocery shopping trip til Wednesday, which totally messes with the menu for the week. When they go and give the kids a 1/2 day Thursday, off Friday and off Monday, then that messes with everything.

My daily routine at home is all out of whack. Their daily routine at school is all out of whack. Not to mention that this weekend we were visiting my in-laws, so I have a whole weekend of housework that I’m behind on. So yes, I was happy to send them off to school this morning. Even though I had school as well, at least they were re-entering their routine. umm…no. This was just enough of a break that it is going to take them the rest of this week to readjust back to the routine. That means a week of poor home to school communication, lost papers, forgotten belongings, etc.

The first 3 weeks back from winter break were all short weeks (4 days, 4 1/2 days, 4 days). They had 2 entire 5 day weeks before having last week and this week all messed up again. Maybe it just seems worse now, but I don’t remember their schedules being so choppy in the fall.

We’ve known for a long time that Tommy needs structure and routine. Now I’m starting to see that Anna and I need it nearly as much as he does. On days like today, I feel like someone pushed our reset button and we lost “unsaved information”.

A note from your beloved dog


Dear Mommy,

Thank you so much for taking me on such a nice long walk today. It was just what I needed after being stuck in the house while you were at school yesterday. I know you didn’t want to go out on such a gloomy, dreary day but I’m really glad you did. Thank you for taking that fall to avoid stepping on me when I ran right in front of you. Thank you for brushing yourself off and continuing the walk instead of turning around and taking me home. I’m sorry that I wrapped us around a tree while I was barking at those dogs in their yard. I tried to be good…really I did…but I just get so excited when I see other dogs.

I know you thought that 3.5 miles was enough to wear me out, but I don’t really feel all that tired right now. Will you please consider taking me on an even longer walk next week? I hear that my friends walk 4-5 miles every day.

Your favorite pup,


Difficulty following directions


OK…so some might think that this post is going to be about one (or both) of my children. It’s not.

I found a new lasagna recipe today. Actually, I should be careful about how I say that. Yes, it is a new recipe to me, but it’s not like I have some tried and true recipe that I always use to make lasagna. Truth be told, I haven’t made lasagna in years…unless it came out of a box in the freezer.

I chose this recipe in particular because my son loves lasagna, but he hates meat in his lasagna. So, here I have the recipe for “Easy Meatless Lasagna” that I found at BettyCrocker.com. Given the source, I really thought this recipe would be easy to follow. But apparently, Betty doesn’t write her online recipes quite the same way as she writes her cookbook recipes.

According to the recipe, this lasagna has just 3 steps. I can see how, in a broad sense, that is true. (1) Preheat oven and prepare cheese mixture. (2) Place various layers of sauce and cheese and noodles in pan. (3) Bake. Easy peasy, right? Nope. Not when step 2 reads as follows:

Spread 2 cups of the pasta sauce in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches; top with 4 uncooked noodles. Spread ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Spread with 2 cups pasta sauce and top with 4 noodles; repeat with 2 cups pasta sauce and 4 noodles. Sprinkle with 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spread with remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Seriously…that should not be all one step!! The first time I read this, I knew there was a chance that I’d mess it up. After each layer, I checked and double checked. Somewhere in the middle though, I thought I had it down and I stopped checking. I got to the end of my 2nd jar of sauce and it was still telling me to add sauce. So then I repeated my layers back in my head and realized that the mozzarella cheese is in the wrong place too. Then, I started doubting the whole thing. The only thing I know for sure is that I got the bottom 3 layers right. After that it’s all a big blur.

So…my sad attempt at lasagna is in the oven now, and I have no clue how badly I messed it up.

Guess I’m still on my soap box


Oh I had planned to put this to rest for a little while…I really had. But, I just can’t seem to do that yet.

It’s snowing today. I just knew that I’d see some crazy stuff when I picked the kids up from school today. When there’s snow coming down, people drive like idiots and don’t always make smart decisions about where to put their cars and how to get their children to these cars. Sadly, what I saw didn’t fall into that category.

Texting while driving…anywhere…is against the law. Cell phone usage in a school zone is against the law. Put the 2 together, and I’m sure that’s a hefty fine. What did I see? I saw a parent, on her way to pick up her child, TWD in a school zone while it was snowing.  Seriously…does anyone NOT see why that is a dumb and dangerous thing to do??

Of course, while I was parked and waiting my turn to enter the parking lot, a village snow plow  whizzed by and appeared to be going over the posted school zone speed limit. Guess maybe it’s time for a phone call to the village about that one.

School zone common sense


Some of the parents that I encounter in the drop-off line at the children’s school seem to be lacking some common sense. Lets think about this. There are 400+ children arriving at school each day. I’d guess 300 of those children are arriving by bus and the other 100 or so are being dropped off by parents (either driving or walking). Doesn’t this seem like a place where one would want to exercise caution while driving?

I’ve been dropping Tommy off at school for 2 1/2 years now, so I’ve seen quite a bit. I know that when it rains there are more parents driving and they don’t all know the parking lot procedures. I know that when it is cold, the number of cars goes up as well. I have come to expect these things.

That being said, I’ve seen my fair share of things happen within 2 blocks of the school. Some are just annoying, others are downright dangerous.

  1. While in the drop off line, parents put their car in park, get out, hug and kiss their kid, and some even watch him/her walk to the door before getting back in the car and getting out of the way of others. This happens more often at the beginning of the school year, likely with Kindergarten parents who don’t know the system, but there are a few regulars even at this point in the year. People, if you or your child need this kind of send off, then park your car and stay out of the flow of traffic.
  2. The rules state that children are only to exit their cars on the passenger side. This is for safety reasons, and I think it is a pretty duh kind of thing. Nope…still have parents whose kids exit on the drivers side, possibly stepping right into the path of a moving vehicle. I don’t really know what is up with these parents. Do they not know the rule? Does this not seem like common sense even without a rule? Do they think that they are exempt from the rule?
  3. Once you have dropped your child off and are pulling away from the curb, you need to check behind you to see that you have clearance to do so. This should be the same as pulling out of a parallel parking space. Sadly, this is not 2nd nature to these people. I almost got hit today by someone who just pulled away without even looking over his shoulder. When people drive like this, it is even more clear why the rule in #2 is a necessity.
  4. When the parking lot gets full and the line is backed up out onto the street (as a result of car volume and made worse by #1 above), things become more difficult. It is a residential street (which is good), but traffic will back up in both directions. This becomes more dangerous because those just passing through will insist on pulling around this stopped traffic. Add to this, that some parents pulling out of the parking lot see all the stopped traffic and do not anticipate that someone might be pulling around. I’m surprised that his has not resulted in an accident yet, as I watched one nearly happen this morning. Oh…and did I mention that the entrance of the parking lot is at the edge of a curve in the road? This curve then becomes a blind curve when filled with backed up cars. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…accident waiting to happen.
  5. Another rule states that children are not to be dropped off on the street that the school is on. There are many reasons why this is the case. Nevertheless, you’ll still see parents pull up along the curb and dump kids out every now and then.
  6. Children are to cross at the crosswalk.  Another total duh kind of rule. Still…you see it from time to time. With all the traffic nonsense that I’ve already described, I don’t know how anyone in their right mind would think that letting their child run across the street in the middle of backed up traffic on a curved residential street with morning sun blazing in one direction…but still it happens. We also have parents who park their cars on the street and walk their kids across the street…and most of them do not utilize the crosswalk. I guess crosswalks are only for school children and not parents. After all…one might have to walk an extra block to the crosswalk and back.

These past 2 days, I’ve seen things that go beyond the “usual” antics. I don’t understand why people do these things. Are they really that concerned that their child might be late for school? Is it their own schedule and the possibility of being late for work? Is it a  failure to realize that they’re putting their child in danger? Sure, I want to make sure that my children aren’t late for school, but I’m not going to put their lives in danger to be sure that happens. Yesterday, for whatever reason, traffic in the neighborhood was backed up more than usual. Parents were clearly becoming impatient.

  • One parent let his/her kids out of the car while stuck in the backed up traffic. Those children then proceeded to run the remaining block or 2 to school.
  • 2 other parents pulled around the stopped traffic (on the blind curve), used driveways to turn their cars around and then let their kids out on the side of the street as well.

Today though, what I experienced really proved to me that some parents are putting their children in harms way. When I pulled up to the stop sign where the crosswalk is located, there was a minivan pulled up along the curb on the other side. It was halfway out into traffic and its back end was at least partially blocking the crosswalk. One would assume that a child was being unloaded. I came to a complete stop. I looked at the crossing guard. He did not raise his stop sign for me, but I could tell by the look on his face that he was concerned/confused about what was going on across the street. Without his signal for me to remain stopped, I looked for traffic and began to pull through the intersection. At the moment, a child (that had been dropped off where he shouldn’t have been, by a vehicle that was blocking the crosswalk) came running out from behind the minivan and across the street. The crossing guard barely had time to put up his stop sign (and FWIW the crossing guard did step out in front of my car) for me to stop before hitting this child. I was aware of the car, aware that a child was likely being unloaded, and that this was a bad situation. But I tell ya…watching the way others drive around school, I’m not so sure that others would’ve been so aware of what was going on there. So yes, I probably should’ve just stayed stopped until I knew exactly what was going on. The thought that I could’ve hit a child, in a crosswalk, right in front of my children’s school really upsets me.

The good news about all this is that I brought it to the attention of the principal yesterday and she was as concerned as I was. She called me this morning and we spoke at great length about the situation.


Things are looking up


When I finished my post about Tommy’s sleep issues the other day, I looked down to find him sound asleep on the family room floor…right there at m feet. So yes, the lack of sleep did finally catch up with him. Now, was his problem magically solved? No.

Saturday night and Monday night were both a bit rough. Thankfully though, he woke up Tuesday morning looking refreshed and eager to go to school. I can’t say the same about Anna, but that’s another story. Last night he only came out of his room once, which is a huge improvement. At this point I’d say that I am cautiously optimistic. Time to get working on that new and improved bedtime routine!

Another thing I’ve noticed is that Anna has been stirring up trouble at night. OK…to be completely honest, she’s been stirring up trouble for most of break, but at night it has more of an impact on Tommy. She gets goofy, starts acting up and that just pushes his buttons. So, as we revamp the bedtime routine it will definitely involve keeping them separate after a certain point. Tommy simply cannot settle himself if she’s running around like a goofball.

Its so nice to be returning to normal around here!