Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snovember 2014

Okay I know this post is a bit late but I realized that I really need to write about our epic snowstorm this year.  As I watched the forecast for the worst blizzard anticipated to hit the east coast this week, I thought I really need to write about the once in a lifetime storm we endured. 

So on November 17th we were forcasted to get some snow as I left snow there was a dusting on the ground.  I was half way home and realized I forgot my iPad at school and when I picked up the kids at my moms I asked them if they wanted to go get it or if we could live without it for a day.  Sara said go get it and Evan said we could live without it.  Little did I know we should have traveled to get it.  So it began to snow later that evening and our plow service came around 10pm, I heard him again around 3am and looked out the window, our driveway was down to pavement and it was a clear winter night.  Well when I woke up it started snowing, schools were closed at 5:30am, and it continued to snow.  Marc was in NJ and I attempted to clean the driveway.  We have a very powerful snowblower and I do use it in between plows.  The snow was heavy and sticky and the snowblower kept getting stuck.   We also had another snowblower at our house that we had planned to sell to some of our adoption friends that weekend.  Well that did the job a little.  Our street quickly filled with snow and no plows came through.  After snowblowing for an hour some neighbors and there two sons came over and the four of us cleared the driveway.  Our driveway could probably fit around 14 cars, 7 in each lane, and its on an inline (the kids can sled down it).  The kids came out to play because it had cleared out and they made it back to their swingset well as I was shoveling I wandered back to find them and Sara was back there with no hat, she had lost it in the snow and couldn't find it.  Needless to say I sent them in the house.  I later trekked back there to find the hat and couldn't and the snow was so deep I was huffing and puffing for a 150 feet walk! 

Marc made it to a friends house about 30 miles away with his car carrier.  His friend planned on driving him to their terminal and they finally arrived there almost 1.5 hours later after finding roads closed or impassible only to find Marcs truck so buried in snow that they never could have uncovered it since there was no where to put the snow.  Well his friend was kind enough to bring him home, another long trip but he made it home around 7:30 on Wednesday.  In the meantime a neighbor made a trip for gas and luckily I sent a gas can along and he filled it for us.  Little did we know later that all the local gas stations ran dry! 

Well the driveway was filled with about 4 feet of snow again the next morning and still no sign of plows.  We watched as a few neighbors skied or snowshoe out of the neighborhood.  Marc and I worked for hours to clear the driveway each day.  One of us literally had to knock down a few feet of snow and the other had to snow blow it off the driveway, a very tedious way to clear the snow.  Finally by Friday afternoon we had our driveway cleared.  We had plenty of food in the house but the kids were crazing pizza and French fries.  Marc and I set up the deep fryer in the garage and made French fries which Evan rated a 5 out of 10.  I found some Pizza Hut breadsticks in our freezer and those made him very happy.  On Friday the snow lightly fell but we were able to travel across the street and even down to my moms.  The snow in the street was still 5-6 feet deep.    So there were little paths through the street and I pulled the kids in the sled to Grandmas house.  Our neighbors ended up at our house on Friday the kids were sledding in the driveway and all the parents ended up here.  We sent all the kids in the house (around 12) with some middle school girls and let them play.  Honestly at this point all of the parents needed a break.  So the kids played and we had happy hour in the garage and turned on some propane heaters.  I put out a ton of Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts and the kids had a blast.  The boys played video games and the girls loved being with the big girls.   It turned into everyone raiding their cupboard and freezers for mac and cheese and frozen pizza, bags of chips, cheese and crackers, and drinks. 

Saturday we listened for the plow all day and finally Marc had a call that he needed to get his truck out since they anticipated flooding.  Luckily a friend nearby had his street plowed and picked up Marc.  He was able to get his truck but couldn't get home with it.  The end of our street was a 10 foot pile of snow.  The night before we were making jokes about who would have a domestic or fake a medical emergency just so we could escape.  Not funny, but it was in sarcasm.  Well it was around 2pm, Wegmans had reopened that am, so I sent Marc with a very long list.  During that time Rochester came in and plowed the entrance to our street.  Marc was able to park at my moms house and we picked up the groceries on a sled and brought them home.  A few hours later a plow came through and we were determined to escape.  We told the kids we were going out for dinner and Evan didn't want to go.  I felt like after 5 days of being confined in the house I need an outing.  So we went to Applebees the only place that was open.  We ended up with 7-8 feet of snow, 6 days off from school.  During the months of November and December my kids were only in school for 23 days! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mommy

Sara still calls me Mommy sometimes I think its been more lately than in the past.  Evan rarely calls me anything except Mom.  He seems so grown up and she is still my little baby.  Many times throughout the day I hear thank you Mommy, or yes Mommy.  I know that my days being Mommy are limited but I am going to embrace them as long as they last.

Today the kids got dressed for Buffalo Sports Day and while I was doing Sara's hair into a pony with a new red, white, and blue bow I made, Evan noticed her outfit.  He was speechless!!  He said I wish I was a girl so I could wear that.  For my little future quarterback it really made me laugh.  He kept telling Sara how good she looked in her cheerleader outfit.  They even posed for me this morning.  Sara loves to have her picture taken and Evan always tries to do an action pose or a tough guy face. 

It is Regents week at school which is a time when some state exams are offered at the high school.  Typically I proctor 2-4 and then have the remaining time in my room.   Today I proctored an English Exam and a few kids stayed the entire 3 hours. (Ugh... says every teacher when this occurs).  For the next three days I have Portfolio interview's.  For these my students come in and present a portfolio of their business skills to a community member.  It sounds good until I admit I have 54 students and there are a total of 83 of these happening.  So getting anything done will be impossible.  I will be greeting community members, calming down my students, all day long!!  I am dreading this.   There are only so many kids because of a major screw up by a former superintendent. 

Tomorrow my kids get to walk to the local movie theatre to see Wreck it Ralph.  The theatre is less than a block away.  Sara is not excited about the movie choice.  So I filled her pockets with Sour Patch Kids.  Evan will be happy with popcorn.  Sara told me she chose water and when I asked Evan he said he chose Pepsi.  I think he didn't know Sierra Mist was the same as Sprite (which we don't make a big deal about but he sometimes has when eating out).  He has probably had a few sips of Pepsi when Marc drinks it but has never had that much caffeine.  It should be interesting! 

I tend not to make a big deal out of sweets and candy and my kids don't gravitate towards them.  I wish I could say the same.  We still have a container of Halloween candy, I brought most of it to school in November but saved their favorites and it is still almost full.  Sara will occasionally take a piece but they usually ignore it.  We have had the candy dish filled with candy since before Christmas and the kids don't touch that either.  Evan likes cookies or cupcakes, Sara prefers candy or gummies.  She buys a snack at school frequently.  I put .75 cents in her lunch and some days she buys a fruit roll up or a bag of popcorn.  There is plenty of food in her lunch but she likes to buy something.  I think its an excuse to get up during lunch.  Evan on the other hand has never asked to purchase anything and I used to give him money and he never used it.  I mentioned it today and he acted like he could care less.  He loves to socialize with his friends at lunch to the point he forgets to eat his lunch.  I despise packing lunches!!  I rarely pack my own, I run home, run errands, or eat a yogurt for lunch.  I think when I worked as an accountant we went out most days and then I skipped dinner or just snacked I would be much happier with that arrangement again.  Luckily I can run to Wegmans or Tops on my lunch. 

We saw Disney Princess and Heroes on Ice this weekend.  It was adorable all of the princesses were in it and the last 45 minutes was all Frozen.  We avoided buying the overpriced toys, but bought popcorn, French fries, and hot cocoa instead.  $10 parking, almost $20 on snacks and $120 on tickets, ouch!!  Today I bought a groupon for a Niagara Falls Canada hotel overlooking the falls, it included a pass for the family to visit a fun center, and a $30 vouch to the Keg (which I haven't been to in years but used to love).  A mom I met through Evan is coming with us she has kids the same age.  I am not sure if Marc or my Mom will join us.  Marc would have to take 2 days off of work to go. 

I am watching the weather channel and am giddy that it is not us getting this storm!!  We have had 7 snow days already and if we have anymore we lose days from April break.  Something I do not want to do even though we don't have plans. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Football Stars and Princesses

I finally took a trip to the new outlets in Niagara Falls.  It is only 30 minutes from our house.  Over 60 additional outlets opened at the end of October and I hadn't had a chance to go there during the holidays.  I decided to go up quickly Saturday morning.  I left at 9:30 arrived before it opened and then at 11:15 Sara called crying that she wanted me home.  After being home sick for 4 days, I knew she really wanted me so I came home. 





     They have a Disney store now and I lucked out and it was an additional 25% off sale items.  So I had planned to get something that lit up for Disney on Ice this week but there wasn't much to choose from.  I bought her Elsa shoes, and found a Belle costume, tiara, shoes, and wand.  The total for all of the Belle things was $26.  I also found some great birthday gifts, a beautiful plush Sophia blanket, a Star Wars art kit, and some pajamas for upcoming birthdays.  This is the beginning of the birthday season for Evan's friends.  The gifts are non-stop for a few months now. 

I have a supply of summer clearance toys in the basement but needed a few more things for the winter season.  We sent out the invites for Evans birthday. He decided to have 7 boys join him to see the SpongeBob movie.  Its not cheap to go the the movies, but we learned to bring our own drinks, candy and bags for the kids popcorn.   If we buy large popcorns we get free refills.  Going this route we don't have to do pizza and everything else either.  Evan wants the kids to return to our house for some games and playtime afterwards.  Crazy me is inviting our families over that evening too.  I figured one long crazy day and it will be over. 

I am so excited we ordered a sectional  couch  in November and it is getting delivered on Friday.  We purchased a Broyhill couch in 2007 and it is falling apart.  I will never purchase that brand again.  My cousin is a single mom with two kids and only has a loveseat so she is excited to take the couch.  The bad part is Marc and I will be delivering it next weekend. 

Sara has recovered after having a fever of 105 on Wednesday night.  She still has a cough but other than that she is back to her smiley self.  Evan talks about football nonstop.  He reads the newspaper, online articles, football cards, football books, anything he can.  Well he hates Tom Brady and the Patriots.  So Sara and I always tease the Tom is so handsome and we want to kiss him.  Well the doorbell rang on Wednesday and there were flowers in there with a note from Tom Brady (aka Dad) telling her to feel better and he would try to score a touchdown for her.  Well Evan figured out it was from Marc but didn't tell Sara.  She is still talking about it and part of me wishes he would have told  her it was really from him.  I can just imagine what she will tell everyone. 

Tonight we went to dinner with my Mom, 2 Brothers, Sister in law, and nephew and she proudly told them about her flowers. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Germs have hit

Well Sara woke up crying last night that her throat hurt.  She sounded very croupy.  Luckily she fell back to sleep and I had to wake her for school this morning.  She started the day with a freeze pop.  Had a little breakfast, but didn't seem to bad.  Well my phone rang at 1:15 and the nurse wanted me to pick Sara up.  So I called the peds and had a 3:15 appointment.  She has swollen glands and very enlarged tonsils.  She was very whiney and teary.   They did a strep swab and it came back negative which shocked me since we had it twice last winter.  The think its a virus and suggested I give her Motrin.  I wanted to hold off as long as possible to have it last through the night.  I finally gave her a dose at 5:30 and she then ate pretzels, pancakes, an ice cream cone, macaroni and cheese, and strawberries.  She was starved every half hour she asked for something else.  The Motrin seemed to work very quickly with her. 

I am hoping she will be better tomorrow but made sub plans just in case.  Evan also spent some time at the nurses today, he slammed his finger in the classroom door.  When it rains it pours.  Its been a few weeks since they have visited the nurse.  Early in the year it seemed like Sara was there daily.  I felt so bad for the nurse that I sent her a Christmas gift!  Evan is fine and was genuinely concerned for Sara.  He gave her a few hugs went and found her beanbag, pillow and a blanket.  I had promised her a small stuffed animal for being brave at the doctors.  Strep tests are like torture for Sara.   So Evan asked if he could give it to her. 

Yesterday we did get outside with our snowshoes.  Both of the kids had a blast

Friday, January 9, 2015

Another snowday

This is officially our last snow day before we have make up days.  Well, we did have two makeup days the week of Christmas.  All of the Thruways were shut down and Marc is home too.  Yet, it really isn't that bad out.  We are all still in our pajamas.  I have been cleaning, washing bedding and playing with Sara.

We baked pretzels in the easy bake oven this morning.  She told me the ones at the mall are better.  I would never recommend this toy.  It comes with one mix.  I bought 10 more mixes for $15, but did find recipes online.  One mix makes about 10, dime size cookies!  We also stared a 500 piece puzzle, I could be happy working on this all day. 

Marc and I cleaned the basement a bit more this morning.  We have lots to purge on the storage side and I came up with two more boxes to donate and two bags of garbage.  Meanwhile Sara is pulling out old baby clothes for her dolls.  Yep, another mess to clean up later. 

I stopped at Hobby Lobby yesterday and they had Christmas 90% off and picked up some replacement bulbs, the prelit tree we have keeps burning out lights.  Since Marc was home later I ran to Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens.  Rite Aid had pillow pets I grabbed one for a birthday gift, Walgreens had Christmas 90% off and I picked up some tags and gift bags and CVS I picked up some root touch up (the joy of being 40!)

Sara was chosen to do a reading at church on February 6th.  Each grade takes a turn celebrating Mass on Fridays.  Well she has a difficult reading to memorize.  It will be  our task over the next two weeks.  It does work out well because its the day I would have brought treats to school for Evans birthday so I  will take the morning off drop off the treat and then I promised to bring them lunch too.  Hopefully they will stay healthy and I won't have to take a ton of sick days this year.  I love being able to use them for fun events!

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Goals

I am not one to keep resolutions but I am trying to keep our house neat.  Over the Snovember storm and Christmas break I have managed to do some major cleaning.  After taking down the Christmas tree I even cleaned all of the blinds and washed the window treatments in our Family room.  We ordered a new couch during Thanksgiving and anticipate it arriving in the next month. 

I am determined not to let the clutter catch up with me again.  So my new goals include making the beds every morning before school.  I have been trying to do this the past month and it does make the upstairs look much neater.  The kids are getting better about taking the dirty clothes out of their rooms.  I like all dirty clothes to instantly go the laundry room so I let the kids throw their clothes over our bannister and then take them to the laundry room.  I bought Lysol Tap Tops on a deal at Target and love it in the bathroom.  I have been wiping down the counters every morning.  Something I also have been a slacker about.  Some mornings it is crazy getting out of here on time. 

We cleaned the basement that has all of the kids toys in it.  I brought 3 garbage bags of toys and stuffed animals to Goodwill.  Unfortunately there are still many toys to part with.  I will sell lots of them at the next Consignment sale in March.  My Christmas is all put away, but the storage portion of our basement still needs to be purged and straightened up.  Our storage side has a ton of decorations, supplies, and extra pantry items.  I really need to get this under control this winter.  The kids are starting to be so much easier.  Evan is happy to play with Sara or play on his xbox, he loves Madden 15 and football.  Sara is happy coloring and doing crafts and they both will occupy themselves for long periods of time.  It makes life so much easier to complete the little things.

Today we all returned to school.  As tough as it is to leave the house, I think we were all happy to be back.  I am crossing our fingers that we can all stay healthy.  I came home today with a slight stomach bug but it seems to have passed already.  Sara was exhausted and crying and whining by 7:30, she was fast asleep by 8pm.  Evan and I just finished reading Junie B. Jones, we are half way through the series.  As silly as it is I find myself laughing out loud to it.  He wanted nothing to do with it when I introduced it last summer, but once his teacher read the first book he was hooked.  Sara is reading Biscuit books and Sophia the first books.  She hasn't fully caught on to sounding things out and rushes through her attempts and often guesses at the words.  She knows many sight words but her attention span after a full day of school is a challenge.  I remember Evan being the same way in Kindergarten, he hated homework and fought me many evenings.  This year it almost seems to easy and he is done in less than 5 minutes with his math and spelling.  He is supposed to read ten minutes each night.  He likes to read the sports pages in the paper, any articles online about football, and can read anything I put in front of him.  So we don't consistency read together each night.  His spelling and reading are way above grade level, so I have no concerns with him. 

Today it was frigid and looks like it will be the same for the rest of the week.  We received snow shoes for Christmas and Sara and I ventured out last week. For having never done it before she put them on and grabbed her poles and was like a pro.  She fell twice and instantly used her polls to pull herself up.  Sara is very athletic  and agile.  She has already told me next year she wants skis.  There are two ski resorts close by and they have wonderful children's programs.  The cost of skiing is what has held up back.  Marc and I skied until we had children.  I wouldn't say we love it but it is something to do over the winter.  I am not sure we are ready to make the financial and time investment in it quite yet.  Sara wants to enroll in the next learn to skate session.  Evan claims he doesn't want to do it.  He did it 2 years ago and cried through most of it.  I really thought he would be willing to this time but he says no to it.  He will have to come along and watch Sara so I am still on the fence about signing him up.  Its $80 per child plus either skate rental or the purchase of used skates and a helmet.  Evan has a helmet and Sara can probably wear his old skates.  If both of them enroll it will be another $70-$90 for helmets and skates. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

5 Year Check up

I usually do checkups close to the kids birthdays but this year I am a month late.  Sara went today and I gritted my teeth the entire day there.  I am so nervous about this crazy flu going around.  Everyone I speak with says they have it over a week.  So we arrived armed with Clorox wipes, sanitizer and strict instructions not to touch anything.  Sara is such a good listener! She even wanted to sit on my lap because she didn't want to touch anything. 

The benches in the office are covered in fabric cushions and they just scream germs to me.  So I told her not to even sit on them.  Well she measured in at 37lbs fully clothed (28%) and 42 3/4 inches (52%).  She is completely healthy and her vision and hearing was fine.  Evans will be in a few weeks he is still only 41 lbs!  Finding pants that fit is still impossible and he hates adjustable waist pants. 

We had a busy day we started by taking my car in for some minor issues.  One thing that didn't get resolved is the hands free on my car is not compatible with the iPhone 6.  After waiting forever to get a smartphone I am really annoyed that it doesn't since with my Accord.  I do love the phone though, but it is a huge waste of time.  The kids asked if we could go for lunch and Sara chose Moe's.  We picked up a Wendy's chicken nugget meal for Evan and Sara had a cheese and lettuce taco and I had a chicken salad.  From there we headed for a haircut with Evan and had a long wait.  We came home for an hour and then I headed to the Pediatricians with Sara.   After that Sara and I went to Target to pick up a few Cartwheel deals and a few 70% off Christmas deals.  Sara is making crafts as I type that we picked up for $1.50.  We also bought Evan a few packs of Football cards. 

He is obsessed with football, he is reading the sports pages in the paper each day.  For Christmas he received a Buffalo Bills helmet, jersey, and football pants.  He has worn this everyday.  He had me put Jim Kelly's #12 on the back of it.  On February 14th, Jim Kelly holds an event in memory of his son, called Hunter's Day of Hope.  So we already have it on the calendar he is so excited to meet Jim.  My first accounting job our firm prepared the taxes of lots of Buffalo Bills and I had the chance to meet many of them.  At one point I almost dated one, but decided to stick with Marc!  Now  he is very bald and lives in the Midwest.  I would have never survived living that far from my family!   Evan loves to hear about the super bowl days of the Bills and what players we have met.  Orchard Park and Hamburg are a small community and we often run into players on our trips to Wegmans or Target.   I don't usually know who they are but there presence is obvious.  The diamonds on the wives usually stand out too! 

Evan is busy playing Madden 15 and building legos.  Sara is busy with crafts, playing school, playing board games and playing with Evan.  Yesterday they played so well upstairs with Evan's football cards he sorted 150 cards into the teams that I actually had an hour nap on the couch!  Progress in our household.