Friday, July 27, 2012

new in the shop ~ ipad pouches

Today I added a new item to my shop ~ iPad pouches/sleeves. 

There are a few different looks ~ some with pockets on the outside, some without. Which do you like the best?

Except for the one with the cycles, these pouches/sleeves are big enough to fit iPads that have the covers like Snugg or Case Crown. Even though you might have one of these covers that conveniently puts the the iPad to sleep when it closes, doesn't mean you can't have something pretty (& padded) for your iPad. Right?

The one with the cycles is a bit smaller and is best for just the iPad alone.

As always, the inside is just as interesting as the outside with a different, coordinating fabric.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a day at the dentist

Yesterday was dentist day.

I didn't realize when I scheduled Heather's appointment that Greg had a cleaning the same morning ~ different dentists, different sides of town. Maybe I should have looked at my calendar, huh?

Nevertheless, the timing worked out fine.

Greg has to have two fillings replaced next week. Good grief.

Heather's was the big appointment of the day. The dentist has been talking about this for a couple of years now, but kept telling us to wait and see if the situation resolved itself. Which I guess sometimes it does. In December we were told it was time, but we wanted to wait until summer. Heather needed a frenectomy. She had too much tissue connecting her upper lip to her gums.

Find a mirror and check yours out. I'll wait.

She also had extra tissue between her two front teeth at the gum line. This has caused her to have a significant gap between her two front teeth and could cause future adult teeth to be crowded.

Since she is a child, the dentist begged for recommended a conscious sedation. Stephanie had this once when she was about 3 when she had to have some silver caps done. The experience at the dentist's office was not bad, but she wigged out on me at home. Bad. It was a good thing I had taken Heather to the sitter that day.

Because of my previous experience, I scheduled it for a Tuesday and made Greg go with me. Heather was a little anxious about the procedure and she was hungry because of the required fast. But when she got the sleepy shot, she was drowsy within seconds and giggly. That made it much easier for her to go into the procedure room without me ~ we weren't allowed to watch.

Probably a good thing.

The procedure didn't take long & the dentist brought her into the recovery room to begin our wait for her to fully wake up and be ready for the ride home. Let me tell you, it was a good thing Greg was there. It was a strange sight to see her eyes open at about half mast, but she was not seeing, not awake really.

But then.

She started screaming as she was coming to. Unconsolable screaming. She had double vision still and was unable to make her mouth say what her mind wanted. This scared her even more I think. She made strange noises and did strange things with her mouth. Greg wanted me to video her. I gave him a dirty look and found some of her favorite "sweet music" on his phone to help calm her down. To be honest, for a brief moment I was scared silly that something went wrong and this behavior was permanent.

As she became more conscious, it alternately heart-breaking and hilarious. She said some really funny things. She was pretty l~o~o~p~y still. She asked numerous times how she got there. She asked why we were in my brother's living room. Then she wanted to know how that was possible when he lives in a different state. She wanted to know why we were in our neighbor's living room, then the library. She wanted to know who gave her the "lame-o" toy that came out of the procedure room with her. She tried to play with said lame-o toy. She wanted to know if she cried during the procedure. She told us that she didn't feel anything during the procedure. She demanded to get up and walk many times. She demanded to go home many times. She would be calm, then she'd freak out all over again. She told us she loved us frequently and wanted many kisses. It was serious work calming this child down.

During all of this, she still bled in her mouth quite a bit and her lips became a wet/caked dry bloody mess ~ which made the kisses she wanted pretty tricky. When she was much more awake and very calm we asked her if we could clean her up. She wouldn't let us do it until she saw what her lips looked like. The front office lady obliged her with a hand mirror and a giggle. I told her we do our best to be entertaining to those around us (trying to make up for that screaming).

She also told us that she wished she was more awake during the procedure so she could see it. That's Heather ~ interested in the procedure even if it's a little gross. She was not happy that I put a kibosh on Greg's suggestion of videoing her earlier antics. Later when Stephanie got home, she was not happy about the lack of video evidence. I told Greg maybe we should have shot some footage so when she is a teenager we can show it to her to scare her out of drugs for sure. So maybe the veto of the video was not the smartest idea.

We spent the rest of the afternoon with a more normal child, pampering her with chicken noodle soup and ice cream, taking naps, and watching t.v.

Today she reports her pain as a zero (on a 1 - 10 scale) unless she laughs (which pulls at the incision) in which case it's a half or 1. We are trying really hard not to make her laugh, but with comedian parents she's sorta doomed. Her lip is puffy. She is still enjoying some indulgent ice cream, pudding, and soup. We just made some jello. We are taking it easy today. No need to get out of our jammies.

She will probably go with Greg to the dentist next week and hold his hand during his procedures. She's supportive like that.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

pin this ~ avocado tomato salad


Do you?

I avoided it for a long time. Then, I couldn't hide from it any longer. At first I used it to simply pin things that I was seeing on other peoples' blogs or along the interwebs.  Then I started looking at other peoples' pins and repinning. Now that I'm on summer break I spend all day hours many minutes a day perusing pins, pinning and repinning. I follow my friends and see what they are pinning.

I think it is such a valuable {and fun} tool to be able to get ideas and save ideas in one place for later use. I have pinned recipes, ideas for the classroom, ideas for our home, etc. The problem is that there is  not enough time to do all of the projects I have pinned, especially when I keep finding more. But they are there for me when I need them.

Let's talk about recipes. Just because it's on Pinterest doesn't mean it is tasty. The picture might look tasty. The mix of ingredients might seem like a good idea. But it could be a total fail.

But this is tasty, I promise!

This Avocado Tomato Salad is dreamy ~ that is, if you like avocados and tomatoes. If you don't, well, never mind.

Avocado Tomato Salad

2 ripe avocados
2 large tomatoes (beefsteak)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs chopped, fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Chop avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro. Mix together and add lemon juice, salt, & pepper.

Now, I used one roma tomato and half an avocado (but I should have used the whole thing). I didn't have fresh lemon juice, so I used bottled stuff. Cilantro has become a refrigerator staple in our house lately so I certainly had that. This made enough for a little side "salad" for me. Oh my! I wished that I had made more. I will be making this again soon and often.

What have you pinned and tried lately?


Monday, July 9, 2012

menu plan monday ~ july 9

Last week all the meals I planned were new. I've been including new recipes in our meal plan since I have extra time, but an entire week of them was a total accident. Here are my reviews of the recipes:

honey-rosemary pork chops ~ Yum. We will definitely have this again. And what else can I slather honey on to barbecue?

crock pot chicken cacciatore ~ Gross. There wasn't a lot of liquid and it tasted burnt. This dinner left me digging in the fridge for something else to eat. What a waste of food and money! I have fond memories of chicken cacciatore from my childhood. I'll have to find another recipe and try again.

three packet roast ~ Delicious. We will do this one again.

taco pizza ~ This was a hit. Easy.

This week we are having:
  • bbq chicken pizza
  • steak & twice baked potatoes
  • chicken pot pie
  • bowtie skillet lasagna
  • bbq ribs
  • garlic parmesan crusted chicken

Not as many new recipes this week, but I'll be sure to let you know how the new ones turn out.

What's for dinner at your house? I'm linking up with


Friday, July 6, 2012

between the pages

How do you choose a book to read? Do you rely on recommendations? Do you read the synopsis? Do you choose a book by its cover? Do you have favorite authors? Do you see a movie preview, then rush to read the book before you see the movie? All of the above?

I'm an all of the above kind of girl.

For those of you who like book recommendations, I'm going to help you out a little bit here and there.

Today I'll talk about two books.

The first is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Just recently, we saw trailer for the movie coming in out in December. When Greg and I watch trailers at the movies we tell each other whether we want to see the movie, not see the movie, or wait for the video. This was a must see for me. However, even though I'd almost finished an English degree before I changed my major to elementary education, I had never read this book. This book became a must read for me for more than one reason.

It's not a terribly long book. It did take me a while to get into the groove of his style of writing. It was certainly not a writing style that I am used to reading. I had to use a dictionary a few times, not that I mind that. In the end, I'm not too sure how I feel about it. While I liked the book, I somehow felt unsettled about it. The ending was tragically ironic.

I know there is another earlier movie made from this book, but I have not seen it. I still want to see the one coming up.

You should read the book before you see the movie ~ but that's what I always think.

I read about the next book on a blog (don't remember which one). It's 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Philip Done.  This is a book of vignettes that gives the reader a glimpse into Mr. Done's teaching life. As a teacher, I laughed and nodded my head frequently. Teaching is not glamourous and he tells it how it is.

I recommend this book whether you are a teacher or not. Teachers will identify with the book, but I think everyone will appreciate the humor and realistic tales of the classroom. It's very easy to read and will take no time at all.

Philip Done wrote a second book, Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood that I hope to read soon.

Pick up a book and read!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

3 packet roast

I've been seeing this recipe on Pinterest, so I thought I'd try it. I followed the recipe here.


roast (one you like & fits in the crock pot)
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups water (see note below)

The roast was a beef chuck roast. We are using the last cuts of the quarter of beef we bought two years ago & this is what we had.

Put the roast in the crock pot and season with salt & pepper.

Mix the three packets with the water. Pour over roast. Cook for 8 - 10 hours.

Tada! This is after 10ish hours, maybe more. The great thing about roasts in the crock pot is you can leave them a little longer and they get a little bit better.

I used the juices to make gravy, but there wasn't as much liquid as I like & I had to add water to get 2 cups of liquid. I'm glad I didn't use the recipe I found that called for only a half cup of water. Next time I make a roast this way, I will use more water ~ probably 3 cups.


Greg, the kids, and our little neighbor buddy loved the roast.

We will repeat.

Try it with your next roast.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

and i'll say it again

The kids had their dance recital this past weekend. I know I've said this all before, but I'll say it again. I love their dance recitals. I am one proud mama sitting in the audience with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as they show what they've worked so hard on for the past year. 

Heather was in the tap/jazz class again this year. Her class performed two separate numbers ~ one tap and one jazz. That girl can really move those feet in a pair of tap shoes. This year she learned how to do wings.

And she has the highest kicks in her jazz number. Very limber, this girl.

Stephanie took ballet again. Their dance was a little more modern than it has been in years past.

But still.

Be still my heart.

She is the youngest and smallest girl in her class. Her teacher choreographed a lift into the dance, so she was the one they lifted.

She works hard to keep up with the girls who have had ballet more years than her. She dances with emotion and really feels the music.

Their separate classes really suit them. 

Side note: Stephanie and Heather were almost the same height at the beginning of the school year. Stephanie has recently shot up in height! So much that she got dress-coded in the last weeks of school because her skirt was too short. She was so mad about that!

Their gymnastics number was to the song "Welcome to the Jungle." Perfect costumes, don't you think?

Even though they prefer different styles of dance, they both love to take gymnastics. They also like being able to take this class together.

Aren't they pretty?

There are times when I complain about driving 50-mile round trip to the dance studio to sit on a hard bench for 3 hours at a time after a long day at work.

But really, it's been worth it.

The skills and confidence they've learned while dancing are immeasurable. The life lessons they've learned in the dance studio ~ especially that little in life comes easily ~ are priceless. The friendships they've formed with other girls and their teachers are irreplaceable. The joy I get watching them practice and perform is immense.

Some dance days end in tears because what they are learning is tough stuff. Some dance days end with, "Mom, did you see that?!" Some dance days end with exclamations about how much fun they had. Most dance days end with one or both of them falling asleep in the car on the way home. Every dance day is worth it and I'm pretty certain they feel the same way.

That being said, it's nice to be off for the month of July. They have a chance to get pumped up and excited for the coming year. I get to stay home and sit on my comfy couch on dance nights for a month. Win-win, really.

And here's an out take. This was supposed to be a sweet sister moment, but apparently Stephanie's kiss was a little too juicy for Heather's taste and left her cheek wet!



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

menu plan monday on a tuesday ~ again!

Ok, so last week's new recipe was cheesy chicken lasagna. It was pretty easy to make and everyone liked it. I think I liked it more than everyone else, though. The site said to use less lasagna noodles and I used even less. Three noodles made one layer in my pan, so all I needed was six noodles. I made it in the 9 x 13 pan, but next time I think I'm going to make it in a 9 x 9 pan for a deeper lasagna.

I also made chicken cordon bleu for the first time (that wasn't frozen in a box). Kind of a nightmare! The taste was good, but...nightmare. I have an idea of how to fix the nightmare & I'll keep you posted.

This week we're having:

  • honey-rosemary pork chops
  • crockpot chicken cacciatore
  • bowtie skillet lasagna
  • 3-packet roast
  • taco pizza

I just realized that every one of those dishes is a new one. Adventurous.

I'm linking with, as usual.