Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You've come a long way, Baby!

Today is Scarlett's first birthday. A year ago today, Nate and I held this darling little bundle of newborn warmth in our arms and fell in love. She was a mystery to me at the time...I couldn't wait to get to know her. Her dark hair and eyes reminded me of her father, and it felt strange to know that he and I created this life. I couldn't believe that we were a family of three. Sometimes when I reflect on the past year, I can not believe it was only a year--so much has happened and my little newborn bundle has grown into a darling little toddler. (Considering the amount of sleep I lost, I was probably awake for an extra three or four months!) But today, I feel like time has flown and in the blink of an eye we are celebrating a birthday. I know that she will continue to grow and change at break-neck pace, so I am just going to hang on for dear life and treasure every single moment. When we say our prayers tonight, I will definitely thank God for Scarlett.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One last Blow Out

Well it is a good thing that Nate made this wonderful feast of oysters on the half-shell, mussels in white wine sauce, and my very favorite--civiche...

Because I won't be enjoying any raw fish until about mid-July! Woohoo!!

We are very excited and thank God for another blessing!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A new career

This year, returning to work was especially difficult. After having the summer off and spending so much time with my family, the fall became like torture. Each and every single day my heart felt heavy and I did not feel like I was where I should be. Time began to grind to a hault and the idea that I would have to keep up the pace of work until June made me feel depressed. I began to fantasize about not doing it. Now, I have always thought about not working while working, but this was different. Now the wheels were turning and creating something other that a fantasy--dare I say it, a plan...
Meanwhile, God has placed a very dear friend in my life. We have become close over the past year through our similar outlooks on so many things--parenting, relationships with God, balancing work and family, and even a similar sense of humor (embarassingly low brow--gas and people falling bringing tears EVERY time). I knew shortly after I met her that God had placed her in my life on purpose--we have been able to help and support the other through so much in the past year.
While spending time with her, I began to talk about how much I did not want to be teaching and away from my kids, and she was feeling the exact same things. We started just talking about what we did want, and our vision was undeniably the same. With tons of prayer and the support of our awesome husbands, we have put our plan in motion.
We have decided to open our own preschool. With each question and challange, a solution has become quickly evident. We are currently wading through a sea of buracratic rules, regulations and hoops to jump through. Our original plan was to begin next fall. Now so many doors have swung open and events lined up, it looks like we might begin even earlier. (Don't tell our boss yet, though!)
When I wake up in the morning, I am filled with a new energy and joy. I have tears of love and excitement when I look at Scarlett and know that I will spend my whole day with her.
I can not wait to take these next steps!
No more pencils...
No more books...
No more teachers dirty looks!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

laughter really IS the best medicine

Scarlett and I both have that really bad kind of cold where you feel like your nose has become the primary part of your body. You know--the one where you can't breathe through your nose, so you have to breathe through your mouth, which makes your throat sore. Yeah, that one. It keeps you up at night and makes your voice sound like either a squeaky mouse or a gravely old man. I hate colds so bad and the past couple of days at work have been tough--I can't even make my voice loud enough to be heard over the din of thirty squealing pre-teens. I really thought about calling in sick. But I didn't.
I took the little darlings to the computer lab to do some research, and the students who finished early were allowed to go to one of the county-approved educational websites. About two minutes before we wrapped up, one of my students looked red in the face and alarmed. When I asked her what was wrong, she said. "Mrs. Smith, I just went to the science page and looked up how babies are made. Wow--that was wrong on so many levels...don't you have a baby Mrs. Smith?" Now all of the students are looking at me expectantly, and I feel as if I am standing in front of them nude. At first I was horrified by the whole thing, wanting to wring the neck of whichever county cirriculum "expert" chose that page as a great one for 6th graders. Now I can laugh about the whole thing. In fact, every time I think about the ridiculous things these kids say and do, I feel a little better. Maybe laughter really is the best medicine. Or maybe I am just glad that I am no longer a pre-teen. I don't know why for sure, but they really are great people.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween

It is so awesome to have small children--you finally get to go trick-or-treating again!! And Scarlett is still young enough that she doesn't yet eat candy. I can take care of that little issue...
The three of us dressed up for a costume party in Pittsburgh over the weekend and had a very good time with some friends from college. The host couple is expecting their first baby on Christmas day, so they were watching Scarlett with interest. I think reality really sunk in when Scarlett was up at 6:45am. I didn't have the heart to tell them that Nate and I considered that sleeping in!! They will be great parents though, I am sure.
And now it is Friday and Nate and I are not going on any trips. This is such a rarity I still keep looking around for my suitcase and trying to figure out what I need to pack. I will be going to WV on Sunday for Layla's 2nd birthday party, but only for the day. It will be nice to be home for a little while. Of course the leaves need raked, the laundry needs washed and grades are due Tuesday, so I will have plenty to keep me (and Nate) busy while we are here. With any luck I might even get to put my feet up for a minute!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm back baby...

So I haven't blogged in awhile...
Sorry. Would you like to hear a few excuses?
Naa. Me neither (although I will provide a list for those that insist)
We have been enjoying every spare second of this many travels and adventures. They would have made great blog entries (I have composed so many in my mind). Alas they shall never be...but do not despair. I'm back baby...

One of my best excuses would definitely have to be getting back to work. It has been SO hard to go back this fall. I am four weeks in and already looking to see when the next holiday is. (Thank goodness for Jewish holidays or it would be Thanksgiving!!) I hate leaving Scarlett. She is so much fun now. Way more fun than my students (I can't lie).

This year I am teaching a Special Education reading class. I have only taught advanced classes before, so it has been a huge challange so far. I am only just now starting to feel like I am doing something remotely effective. For the first time today, I did not run out of time for the lesson. In fact, today I had 10 minutes extra at the end of class to play a game. Of course this was made possible my the "There's a new sheriff in town" speech I had to give this morning. I was so stern I even worried myself. I practiced it three times in the shower, all the while channeling my father, who can lecture about naughty behavior like no other. The kids gave me very worried looks and I even got some nervous laughter. I was feeling so mean. But then they got right to work and were so cooperative that we had way more fun than usual. I just need to remember that some people really like to be bossed around--they respond very well to knowing exactly when, where and how things will happen. I am not one of those types, so I have trouble understanding it, but I do enjoy being the decision maker. Let's face it--I love being the boss.
So cheers--it is Friday, the weather's great, I'm back in the blog-o-shpere, and I'm the boss...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Too much on my mind

I had intended for my next post to be about my trip to France, but I haven't been able to sleep--there's been too much on my mind. Recently, there has been so much heartache in my family. My Nana died while we were in France, and it has been so sad. My sorrow was that I wish I had known her better. I also felt great sadness for my father and his siblings and his father. What must it be like to lose a mother? Having so recently become a mother, this parent and child bond resounds to me as one that carves out so much of who you are. My youngest sister, who shared with Nana the pain of dealing with cancer, had her own sorrow in losing her grandmother. And I don't know what it must be like for my grandfather to lose his love and his partner. And now it seems that there is so much anger in this family. All my life, family was the place I went for shelter from the storm--for comfort and unconditional love. If that was not there... I couldn't even imagine. I just know that anger is so corrosive, wearing away at the hearts of those who give and receive it.
My prayer for my family is that we can find peace. None of us are perfect and God chooses to love us despite this, I hope that we can do the same. I hope that Nana's legacy can be a family that knows this love and peace.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ciao bebe!

Well we are mostly packed and are ready to go to France!!! I couldn't get to sleep last night at all because I was so excited. It has been almost a year since I have seen my sister and her family... I can not believe that I am finally going to get to hug them! They haven't met Scarlett yet, so I am looking forward to showing her off. I went through her closet to find her very cutest clothes. Her Great Aunt Julie has given her some really adorable outfits with French phrases on them that I hope I am translating correctly and do not say something like "I hate the French!" Nate has planned tons of great activities while we are there, and I am trying to be a good sport about it, but I really just want to hang out with my family (and go to the Louvre, of course!) For those of you who have watched as much Full House as Lane and I have, we have been refering to this as Nate's clipboard of fun!! We've been listening to a French phrases CD to learn useful questions like, "Excuse me, where is the train station?" Most of the time I end up just making sounds that remind me slighly of the French language and moreso like a stroke patient. What I wonder is, how useful are these phrases if you can't understand a thing the person says back to you?!? Luckily my brilliant sister will be doing all of the talking for me, else I will probably just try to act out the question--I am pretty good at charades!
I plan to completely ruin my diet with this French cheese (Kirk, I am counting on your #3 best reason to live there-- a new one for every day!!!!!). Also I am looking forward to the pastries. In fact, I am excited for so many new and exciting things to eat. Well alright, I am pretty much excited about everything at this point....I'll be sure to post pictures of our adventures!

Monday, July 9, 2007

All in the Family

After a week at the beach with my family, we spent the weekend with Nate's family. Scarlett got to meet her Great Great Aunt Claire for the first time and see her Great Grandparents for the first time since Christmas. We also had her Aunt Sarah and Uncle Wes visiting for the 4th. Scarlett's little feet barely touched the ground as she was constantly being enveloped in hugs. She smiled and enjoyed all of the admiration. She showed off her new teeth, babbled her favorite sounds, and continued her determined attempts at crawling. All the while we discussed who she looke like. There were so many theories about which parts of her took after which parts of family members (looking like me seemed to be one of the least favored theories). It was agreed by all (mostly me) that she was simply adoreable.
What a great gift that Nate and I can share all of our loving, fun, and unique family with our daughter. I just kept thinking how cool it was that Scarlett so many people in her life that love her so much.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Scarlett enjoyed her first hike on Sunday. She rode in her pack on Nate's back and seemed amazed by the trees above her. She also liked being able to grab on to her father's hair. She would look around a little puzzled when he talked, wondering where he was. We had a very nice time, even though we got a little lost and followed the wrong trail for a while. Nate had a new appriciation for his parents' heavy load on the AT after our short trek with Scarlett. She mostly wanted to taste the leaves that she could reach and occasionally turned around to be sure that I was still there. I was just glad to see that she was excited about our newest adventure!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sun, Sand , and Smiles

Scarlett and I have been enjoying every minute of the beach so far! The weather has been perfect--the sun shining and the water perfectly blue and refreshing. Scarlett was a little afraid of the waves at first, but has now begun to enjoy them. She mostly wants to play in the pool with her cool cousin Layla and eat sand. I am trying to be cool and not freak out when the sand reaches the lips. Today, while Scarlett napped on the beach, I rode around in the kayak with my sister Margie and thought about what an amazing time this has been already. You won't find me getting anything accomplished, but you will definitely see a big smile on my face.
Now if we could only get her daddy here!.....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The race is on...

Recently Scarlett has been babbling with consonants. This results in sounds that verge on sounding like words. Now we know that it is a coincidence when these do actually come out sounding like words, but still there seems to be a little bit of a competition beginning...
When Scarlett starts chatting, I am sure to throw in a bunch of "Mama" sounds and am Bob-Doling it (you know, refering to myself in the third person all the time). I have noticed that Nate has amped up his game and gives her a lot of "Dada" sounds.
Considering that Mama is harder to say, this will make the victory even sweeter when we hear Mama first!!
Here are some of her first babbling (excuse the grunts--nature called!)

Just hilarious

I have recently begun to hate everything on television (which is great, since I have no time to watch it!) Now there are a few things that I look forward to every week: American Idol (sorry, I can't help it!) Project Runway (makes me wish I could sew) and The Office. A couple of weeks ago, though I stumbled upon this gem of a show that originated on the BBC and now has an American counterpart. It is called Creature Comforts and takes real interviews and adds in claymation. I love this!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


This week in my garden, my green beans reached more than half-way up the trellis, the tomatoes opened a few yellow blossoms and the cucumbers leaves are enormous! My little babies that I put in as seed are now growing even closer to a delicious salad. I even ate a little lettuce that I grew myself for lunch! Of course the cat dug up half of my hollyhocks and my lilacs look like they are not long for this world, but that's fine--they can't all be victories, right?
I have to take the same perspective with my students. With just a few days left, the temptation to be naughty is just too much for a few of them. My patience runs thin as I try to cram in the last few nuggets of knowledge before they burst out of the door and into their summer vacation. I just focus on the ones who I can look at and know that I made a difference in their lives, they ones who got something out of all of the hard work that we put in this year. And the others--well, I will just tell myself that they are acting out because they are thinking about how much they will miss me. Yeah, that's it.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Three more days and I can put away my chalk and forget my code for the Xerox machine for the whole summer!! What a year it has been. I have learned very much from my students this year--I only hope they have also learned from me!! So many of them have had to deal with issues that I can't even imagine. So many of them I will never forget, not just the naughty ones but the thoughtful, helpful and full-of- promise ones too. Even the annoying ones that say your name 84 times in 86 minutes. I am sure that they will come and visit me next year, and I know my inbox will be full of cryptic e-mails that have abbreviations I have no hope of actually decoding. LOL. And the summer is just long enough that by next fall I will actually be a little excited to set up my classroom and learn 100 new names and start the whole process over again.
This year I took on role of "working mother." My principal has been so supportive with working part-time that I think I was able to strike a great balance. I feel very proud of my work this year, at home and at school. Leaving Scarlett has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do--but I just treasure the moments we do have and revel in her smiles.
And in the blink of an eye it will be summer vacation and I will make a conscious effort to have absolutely no idea what day of the week it is. And I will not attend a single meeting, supervise a detention, sharpen a pencil or distribute a hall pass for weeks on end. It will be Scarlett and I--adventure girls--wohoo! (Oh and Nate of course, when he's not working...)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Play dates

Yesterday Scarlett had a playdate with her two buds Connor and Peyton. And yes, I admit that these are often more for the adults than the children....but fun was had by all and Connor discovered his inner rockstar!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


One advantage of having a large family is that there is always someone to play with. On Sunday, we celebrated Kelly's graduation and Scarlett got to hang out with her cousins Layla and Aysha. Scarlett loved laughing at her cool older cousins crawl and walk all over. This seemed to instill in her a wanderlust. She laughed and smiled at her and even practiced her own little method of travel (I call it the "inchworm"). She has been working on this move, and has used it to get herself out of her car seat and closer to her favorite toy--the cat. While she seems elated at this newfound ability to get somewhere other than where she is, I have come to realize that I am going to be chasing her around soon! That seems like fun now... At least I have a little more time--right now her locomotion is still pretty easy to keep up with. She will just arch her back and push off with her feet and slide upside down. She generally runs in to something before she gets too far. Today during nap she scooted herself all the way in the corner of the crib, it was so cute that I had a good laugh, although Scarlett thought it a little less funny that I did. Hopefully she does not do this tonight and will be sound asleep until morning...

Friday, June 1, 2007

maybe I'm simple...

What is the saying...children and fools are easily amused? Well count me in!
No matter how many times I see his facial expressions, I have to laugh out loud. I love all of these commercials, but this one makes me laugh just thinking about it. I am not afraid to admit that I am practically frothing at the idea of a show based on these commercials!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pure Joy

My heart has been heavy recently. My youngest sister, Grace has had some bad news about her kidney function. She will require dialysis very soon and will probably have to have a transplant. She has had to deal with serious health issues since she was a baby and had always seemed to be unfazed. But now she is a teenager, and can see how her body is failing her and can worry about her own future. This breaks my heart; she deserves to have a carefree childhood without this worry. I can not imagine having to go through the treatments and procedures that she has. She bravely faces each new challenge. I find myself not just praying to God, but begging and pleading with God for a miracle. I keep asking that this could all just disappear and she could be 'normal' whatever that means. The more powerless I feel--what can I do to help her?--the more I find myself looking to God and asking, "Why Grace?" It seems like she has already had to deal with so much. Today, in my reading, I found this and it stopped me in my tracks:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perserverence must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4. I do believe that Grace is a gift from God and that he intends to use her for great things. I will continue to pray for a miracle for Grace because she is such an amazing aunt and sister. Her sweet nature, love of music and gifted touch with babies are all things I want to have around forever. But now I will also strive to see her obstacles as training for a greater purpose that God has chosen just for her.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not as easy as it used to be....

Nate and I are travelers. We seem to spend more weekends away than at home. This slowed down for a short time, but now that Scarlett has gotten a little older, we are back to our old ways. On Saturday, we went to Philadelphia to stay with Nate's Aunt Julie and take Scarlett to her first music festival (our favorite thing to do). I got up at 6 to clean and pack. I have to leave with a clean house. I guess this is so that the robbers will not think less of me, I don't know. Anyway, I can usually do this in 2-3 hours. By noon I was still scrambling and Nate was helping out. Then I was shocked at the HUGE pile of gear we were taking for two nights. But it all seemed essential (and 90% of it was Scarlett's!!) So we get on the road and I am picturing us strolling around downtown Philly when suddenly I remember "the stroller!!" So fifteen minutes later we have the stroller and are leaving town again. Now Scarlett whimpers. This means she has dropped her binky, so I do the usual reach back to re-bink. Only when I grab the bink, I feel something funny. I bring my hand back, and all I can say is CRAPAMUNDO. Earlier we had giggled at her grunting a little bit, but little did we know the floodgates had been opened. We pulled over at the McDonalds to assess the damage. This was poop tsunami-style. Nate just kept asking "What should we do?!?" while I tried to throw diaper wipes at the problem. He was holding her under the armpits while I was decontaminating and trying not to puke. Meanwhile Scarlett has this grin on her face as if she is a little proud of the whole thing. I really feel so bad for the poor McDonald's bathroom cleaner!!
Hours later than promised, we did show up in Philadelphia. Scarlett had a fabulous time with her Aunt Julie. The day of music was excellent. Scarlett made friends with another baby there (as well as charmed just about everyone who walked by) and giggled with enthusiasm while dancing and playing in the fountain. She fell asleep rocking in my arms while we listened to the Wailers sing "Stir It Up."
I have realized that the days of picking up last minute to drive all night to some week-long crazy festival may be behind us for now, and it may take several tries to get out of the door, but there are still many more adventures ahead of us. Only now they are even sweeter as we share them with Scarlett.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I am a new woman today! Last night I put Scarlet to sleep at 6:30 and she did not get up until 4am!!!!!!! It was awesome. I slept so hard I drooled and dreamed. I haven't slept like that in so long, that when I woke up I had no idea where I was. I don't even care that it was probably because she got her shots yesterday, I am just going to be happy. I feel like I could run a marathon or something. WOOHOO!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wedded bliss and Aunties

Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary with my husband. Unfortunately he is out of town for business. But I am not all alone--I just finished rocking Scarlett to sleep and marveling at this most precious product of our love. Could it really have been two years already? I am so glad that I married my best friend. It hasn't been boring for a minute!
While Nate has been gone, my three youngest sisters, Kelly, Achley and Grace came to keep me company. We shopped, bowled, watched scary movies and laughed a lot. All three girls were constantly finding ways to help me--doing dishes, straightening up, carrying in groceries. They even babysat Scarlett before Nate left town so that we could have a night out. I saw my first movie in a LONG time! I had so much fun with my little sisters but the best part was seeing how much they love Scarlett. I'm sure the highlight of their weekend was Guitar Hero or even having TV (not available at home) but just having them around made me and Scarlett so happy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is anybody listening!?

I teach 6th graders, which overall is a fun job. But this morning, it took a bigger toll on me than usual. I said, "You will need your books for this, if you don't have one, please come to my desk to borrow one." Then when I found a student who was not working, I asked, "what's the problem?" He replies, "Oh, I can't do this--I don't have a book." This sarcastic being that dwells within me is busy working out several witty things to say to express my frustration. It takes all of my patience to repeat my instructions without said comments. Don't go thinking I'm so nice though, really I just figure "what's the point, they're not listening." Sometimes I repeat the same directions 6 or 7 times in one class, and then I will still have someone ask what to do. AHHH!

Then I come home and the dogs start barking. I tell them to be quiet. They go to another room to bark. (While they have not done what I have asked, they are slightly more obedient than 6th graders.) When Scarlett wakes up because the dogs are barking, I try to reason with her that it is still nap time. She does not agree. So I get her up to feed her, but Nate took her pears to the babysitter, forgetting that I asked him to take the cereal instead. AHHH!

Now I am thinking, alright fine, if no one will listen, than I will not even bother telling anyone anything at all anymore. But this is ridiculous for two reasons. First of all, I love to talk. So much so that I was never good at keeping up the silent treatment because I would forget about it until I was half-way through a good story or joke and it was too late to turn back. Second of all, I love telling people what to do, so giving this up would just not work. What a quandry.

This must be God's way of reminding me about how annoying I am when I do not listen. So God, if you read my blog...lesson learned.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Don't rock the boat

One of the hardest things about leaving Rhode Island was leaving behind our boat, The Irish Mist. It was nothing fancy, but it was our favorite place to spend a summer day. When Nate decided to buy another boat, I was against it (I was very pregnant and against a lot of things). It seemed like we were throwing our money into the harbor and would never get to use the boat. We got a boat. We are throwing our money into the harbor, but now we have made two successful trips out and are instilling weekly "boat night." Scarlett loved relaxing in the V-berth and looking out of the hatch above her. I liked using words like jib and halyard and calling Nate "captain." I forgot how infectious the feeling of the wind driving us forward becomes. I love the idea that boat time is "take 'er easy time" even when Nate freaks out about something. So I guess I am sold. Now we just need to agree on a name. Nate nixed my idea: Breakin' Wind, and I said no to Take 'er Easy Time" so now we are at an impass...thoughts?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Sat. night I threw Nate a surprise party. It was especially surprising because it was ten days after his birthday! We had a great time. It was great seeing his shocked face. He didn't cry, but it was close...Scarlett could barely stay up until he showed up at 8pm. The rain storm didn't dampen the hopes of a frisbee game in the back yard (although it did dampen the players). I tried to get people to dance, but to no avail...

And when all the guests were gone (except the ones sleeping on the couch) and we headed to bed (before midnight--we are getting old!) and I was thankful for another year with my guitar hero.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

like peas and carrots

The other day my girlfriend Marie and I took our kids to the circus. Actually we never made it IN the circus--we had three kids under two and were not allowed to bring strollers--but we caught glimpses of the animals while hanging' in the minivan in the parking lot. When I got home, my face hurt from laughing too hard. We have also shopped without buying anything and gone out to dinner and not eaten (note to nursing mothers: you cannot pick crabs one handed!).
You know that you have found a real friend when you don't really have to be doing anything at all to have fun. We talk for days--I dare someone to try and get a word in edgewise--probably won't happen. We can talk about anything and occasionally even think eachother's thoughts. I really knew we were tight we shared American Idol picks (Go Blake!)Husbands are awesome, but there is nothing like a girlfriend to brighten your day!

Friday, May 4, 2007


My 6th graders and I are reading "A Wrinkle in Time" in class and had a really interesting discussion about the main character. She is struggling with the disappearance of her father, and it was so sad to see how many of my students could identify with her. Many of them confessed to worrying about a father they had not seen in years. Others talked about fathers who lived nearby but were rarely involved in their lives. One even told a story of waiting for ten years to finally meet his father.

This week, my husband Nate celebrated his birthday and I reflected on how lucky I am to have him. I have a great husband! But now I am doubly thankful because Scarlett has such an adoring daddy who can not wait to spend time with her and brings a smile to her face every day!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Well Nate and I figured if we aren't getting any sleep, we might as well have fun while we are awake. We got a little reminder of home as we cheered the Red Sox on in their 6-1 victory over the O's! Scarlett was amazed by the first three innings and then slept through the rest. (This gave her just enough energy to wake for 2 hours at 2:30 am!!) Go Sox!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just a stage

Well I have composed so many cute blog entries in my mind that I have not posted. Man, they would have been great. I wanted to write about so many things, but I haven't.
I have not been accomplishing much lately. I have also not been sleeping much lately. Scarlett has been up about every two hours for a few nights. Naps are a thing of the past (thank the Jumpy seat for this entry!)
But I only have 1 more week of my first grad. class--I have finished my first research paper in years! My huge stack of ungraded papers is slightly smaller (with some help from an AWESOME sister). And best of all, 35 more days of school!!! I have been to the gym 4 times a week for the last three weeks (SO sore). I even left Scarlett with my mom overnight for the first time and went to a wedding and had a great time.
So my house is a mess--Scarlett's first pea-eating attempt: a tableau of green hilarity still evidenced in the kitchen, my luggage from the night away: vomiting all over the living room floor, mail: scattered, towels: unfolded, surfaces: undusted. Spring cleaning? Well lets just say that it has been a long winter!
I have come to the conclusion that a good day is one where I am patient enough with my students (especially the naughty ones) that they learn something, Scarlett has fun and feels loved, and Nate and I spend a few minutes together. Anything more is bonus!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Go Penguins

On Tuesday Scarlett stayed out past her bedtime to enjoy her first NHL game. Her favorite moment: the flashing lights. Least favorite moment: when everyone screamed and cheered. All in all she had a blast!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Luckiest girl in the world

Every Monday evening I have grad school and it is definitely not my favorite thing to do. Nate and Scarlett are hangin' out together, not writing boring papers, while I toil away. Last night, tired and hungry, I was amazed to see that Nate was preparing the most beautiful and delicious pizza I had ever seen. It was piled high with three inches of yummy Greek toppings and tasted like a 3 week Mediteranian vacation! He was able to prepare this despite Scarlett's bad temper (justifiably so--she just had her shots) and dangerously low kitchen supplies (still haven't made it to the grocery store). It put Papa John's to shame. I often tease Nate becasue he makes the most elaborate and tasty meals, but can take hours to prepare and the kitchen could be condemned afterwards. But I am going to shut my mouth from now on!! Gone are the days of Hamburger Helper!! (By the way, he may have made a mess, but left a spotless kitchen.) I am the luckiest girl in the world to have married Nate. Now if I could show a little self control and quit hogging the pizza, it'd be great. (I don't know how to quit you, pizza)

And of course it is time for another Scarlett picture...our big girl is now in the 95th percentile for both height and weight!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ahhh Spring

Yesterday I got so excited for spring that I began my garden! I started my little seeds in their trays and put some bright yellow Pansies on the front porch. Now I will water my little trays of dirt as I eagerly wait for the miraculous green sprouts. There is something so rewarding about watching a seed become a plant! Then when it bears fruit it is the best tasting food there ever was. This year I will have tomatoes, cucumbers and greens. I am already imagining that first salad of the summer when I can proudly say, "I grew those!"

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I just celebrated my 28th birthday. I still had to work. I still had to grocery shop and make dinner. I didn't get to wear a paper hat, feather boa, or a party dress.

But my students made me a card and gave me a new pencil sharpener and a candle.

I got to talk to my mom, my sister and my best friend all in one day.

Nate gave me a chocolate cake, staple gun (that I asked for) and my favorite perfume--Chanel No5 (that I would never ask for). He also delivered a card from Scarlett that made me cry.

All in all I had a great day. Especially when I realized that soon I could plan birthday parties for Scarlett that involved paper hats, feather boas and party dresses!

By the way, check me out rockin' the Dorothy Hammil haircut on my Ronald McDonald birthday!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rolling over and other tricks

With great pride, I watched Scarlett roll over for the first time the other day. It had been a bad day, with my car not starting, tow truck driver getting lost, boss observing me in class (while my cell rang 3 times), arguing with service managers about why they should come pick me up at work, and spit-up down my dress. When I finally made it home from work with Scarlett, we just laid out the blanket and relaxed. My head was pounding and I was absorbed by the stress of the day. Then Scarlett rolled over, and I cheered and she laughed and did it again and again. She even did it for me on video! Instantly all of the pressure of the day was gone and remembered that my most important job--motherhood--was going just fine and the boss seemed pretty pleased. Watch Scarlett roll over!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

"Give Peace a chance!"

The infectious spirit of an earlier era takes over as Scarlett dons denim for the first time.

that elusive sleep

Scarlett......Happy to be awake!

I admit it, I am one of those moms that reads everything there is to know about raising a baby. Magazines, books, websites--I read it all. Part of it is because I have a lot of time when I am nursing--there's not much else to do at 3 a.m. The other part is that somewhere inside me I harbor the hope that there are "tricks" or methods to getting through things like sleep deprivation. You know it--when your eyelids are lead weights and thoughts swim round in your head like half-dead fish circling the drain.
Some moms tell you their child is 45 and still needs to nurse twice a night. These mothers depress you as you pray your child won't be like that. Other mothers tell you their children were sleeping through the night after a couple of weeks. These babies are such good sleepers that they actually gently caress their mothers to sleep each night. These reports are equally depressing as you wonder what you are doing wrong.
The hot topic these days is teaching your baby to self-soothe. This almost always involves putting your baby to sleep awake and allowing them to cry for some period of time. This weekend we tried some of these techniques. We failed. The best evidence being the fact that Scarlett is in my lap asleep right now. Its not our fault, really. She fell asleep nursing. So what am I supposed to do, wake her up to put her to bed? Also, I am weak. I am unable to listen to 10 minutes of her crying.
I think the articles should just be honest--your baby is going to deprive you of sleep for a long time. Don't get your hopes up. Appreciate the times when you sleep for 4 hours in a row and muddle through the times when 2 straight hours are all you are going to get.
I know a lot of adults who still can't self-soothe, so how is my little baby?!?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The First Boo-Boo

As a new mom, one of the most frightening things is your precious baby getting hurt or sick in any way. When my little Scarlett got her first shots, I had to fight not to cry. I told everyone that I was switching doctors. Of course I now see that she was just keeping my baby healthy, but at the time I couldn't believe that someone would make my baby cry like that.

This morning, I saw that Scarlett had given herself a little scratch on her nose, so I decided to cut her nails. She was sleeping and I trimmed them all. Then I decided that the pointer finger was not short enough. I was wrong. This time I clipped the tinniest little bit of skin off, and my poor baby awoke with a mighty strong wail that lasted and lasted. She had real tears springing out of her eyes and looked at me as if she would never get over this hurt.

I cleaned off the blood and soothed her and put on a band-aid that looks out of place on her perfect, delicate little finger. I cried and tried to tell myself that I am not the worst mom ever and that Scarlett could forgive me. But that big band-aid is a reminder.

Scarlett will probably get hurt many more times in her life, and I may even be the unintentional cause of more little boo-boos. SHe may not have a perfect mommy, but she does have one who will always be there to kiss her and tell her that it will be okay.