Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February Break

I am not a fan of having a week of in February.  This week has been frigid.  We started with a cold day last Friday the wind chills in the AM were 20-35  below zero.  It really hasn't warmed up enough to do anything outside. 

I took the kids for lunch to Red Robin, Evan had a free meal from his birthday.  We were planning on going to Jim Kelly's Hunters Day of Hope on Saturday and it was cancelled.  We went to Outback with Marc's dad and my mom on Sunday.  Monday we didn't even leave the house.  Tuesday the kids wanted to spend some gift cards and it was a balmy 12 degrees.  I took Evan to the Ralph to go to the Bills Store.  He told me he wanted to live there.  It really is a beautiful store but we were the only customers in it.  He purchases a mini Lego Fred Jackson figure.  From there we went to Toys R Us since they had buy 1 get 40% off a Lego.  We needed to pick up a birthday gift.  Sara bought a diaper bag for her doll and Evan picked up a Lego Movie set.  They both used gift cards but I was disappointed we weren't able to combine it with some coupons we received for their birthdays.  They have recently added lots of exclusions to the coupons.  Lego's are usually cheaper on Amazon or Target and I don't buy them as Toys R Us unless there is a deal.  I treated the kids to McDonalds.  I am able to buy a Mighty Kids meal and an extra fry and they will each eat 3 McNuggets and be filled up.  Fortunately they are no longer interested in the prize. 

Today my best friend growing up came over .  She was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  So we caught up for a bit and then Sara and I had hair appointments.  We  both had trims and I had toner put on to combat some of the brassiness that occurs from the highlights. 

Evan my non-eater came home and asked for two waffles, and then two more.  This was around 3:30.  I figured the kids wouldn't really want dinner since Sara joined him and ate 2 pancakes.  Around 5:15 Evan said he was hungry again.  So I made him spaghetti and Sara cheese and crackers.  Although some days he is eating much more he still isn't gaining weight.  He never sits still.  He loves to play Madden on his xbox.  He doesn't sit still though he jumps and runs around the entire time.  At his well visit last week he weighed in at 42 lbs clothed (1%) and 47.5 inches  ( I didn't ask what that was but when I checked the charts it looked to be around 45%).  Our pediatrician has no concerns he is just so slender.  We still struggle with pants that fit.  He hates adjustable waist pants.  This week he is going to have to wear his slim uniform pants.  I had elastic waist pants that he had worn for 2 years.  The were size 4 but they are finally way to short.  The size 5's are huge on him.  So he will be wearing 5slim's this week and it will not go smoothly.  Evan does not do well making changes.  He has always worn pull on pants so changing to zipper pants will be a struggle for the first few days and then he will accept it. 

I had the chance to run around a bit without the kids yesterday.  I went to Marshalls, TJ Max, Sears, Target, and JC Penny's.  I picked up some new shoes for me ( I am not a shoe girl the more comfortable the better.  Earlier in the year I splurged on a black pair of Coach loafer's I found at TJ Max and love the.  I found a brown pair on clearance at Marshalls unfortunately clearance is what I would expect to pay for 2-3 pairs of shoes.  Well I bought them and will be happy!  I picked up new play dough for Sara, a few short sleeve shirts for Evan and a shirt for Marc. 

We are headed to Niagara falls tomorrow. It is supposed to be -4, with a wind-chill of -35 .  I highly doubt we will leave the hotel.  It has a Keg restaurant ( a really good Canadian Chain steakhouse), a big pool, and views of the falls.  We also received vouchers for a Family Fun center that may be fun to do when we check out on Friday.  Although Niagara Falls is less than an hour away we have only taken the kids to the American side once.  It is so hectic with tourists.  Hopefully this summer I will take them for a day trip. 

When Marc and I were dating we would go to Clifton Hill each fall to go to the haunted houses, for drinks, and walk around. It was never that busy.   Once the casinos came the entire atmosphere changed.  It is not crazy all year long.  On the other hand the American side is dead.  Government bureaucracy has prohibited positive growth! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

7 Years Old

I am starting to feel like I blink and the year disappears.  We had a very busy Saturday.  Evan originally invited 6 friends to see Spongbob and to the movies and then added another, well it turned out we invited all the boys in the class and two from another class.  He ended up with ten friends here.  It was crazy but the boys had a blast and our house survived.

Loving his Buffalo Bills Football cards
 











We saw a 12:20 movie and then didn't return here until around 2:40 and the party ended at 3:30.    My saving grace was a Minecraft BINGO game I found online and printed.  It kept them completely engaged for about 20 minutes, we had cupcakes, opened gifts (they could have cared less)  and they played in the basement for a bit.  My observation is that boys with brothers are much more wild than my children.  There was many attempts at wrestling, some jumping on my couch, and some wildness.  Girls are much easier!!  Evan received a few Lego's he had already had and some Minecraft figures he had already.  He also received Battleship, a PacMan game, and some gift cards.  I returned some of the gifts to Target on Sunday and he said he barely received any presents.  The concept of gift cards hasn't hit yet.  Marc did take him to Toys R Us where he had $70 in gift cards and he didn't find anything he wanted.  He wants these little NFL lego figures that are very pricey.  I told him with the $40 he received from a friend and the $10 Grandma gave him that doesn't need to go in his bank account we could go to Ralph Wilson Stadium's store and pick up the figures.

The stadium went through some massive renovations this year and we drive past it every time we go to Target.  The retail store looks amazing and never seems to be busy.  While we are off next week on our February Break I will take him.  I asked him what his favorite gift was and it was the boxes of vintage Buffalo Bills cards (Jim Kelly era) and the Riddell NFL tracker mini-helmets  (to me they look like the helmets we could of bought in a gum ball machine when we were little).  We used a mine craft theme and I had no idea what to do for a cake and did one on a whim and I ended up impressing myself. 

One of the most exciting parts of turning seven has been a surprising change at dinner the past two nights.  On Sunday I cooked pork chops and Sara asked if she could have Spaghetti so Marc made her a separate meal.  Evan started eating pork chops, buttered noodles and peas and looked over at Sara's and told us that looks pretty good.  Then he asked if he could have some.  Whoa... this is a big deal because he never offers to try anything new.  We gave him half of it off of Sara's plate which didn't make it look that attractive and he tried it and then proceeded to eat all of it and told us it was pretty good.  We felt like we had won the lottery!  Tonight I made cube steaks for the Sara and put it on Evan's plate, he has eaten these twice before and said they were ok.  Well he didn't say a word and ate all of it along with mashed potatoes and broccoli and pineapple.  He then asked if tomorrow we could have spaghetti again.  Wow two new meals to the repertoire added in two days I am giddy and they are both easily made. 

I wish I could figure out a way to easily add the pictures and video's from my iPhone to this blog I haven't been using my camera that much lately and my close up vision has been changing (Thank you 40's) and if I am not careful I often get blurry pics!  Any advice??

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Another sick child

Sara can't seem to stay healthy after being out for 4 days prior to Martin Luther King day, she was out two this week.

Thursday at 1:15am, she woke up and I argued with her for a few minutes and told her to come sleep with me.  Well at 2:45 she was still up and I became very short with her and told her to go to bed enough was enough, she started crying and said she was going to "puke up".  True to her word she threw up in the toilet.  I calmed her down and let her fall back to sleep watching Caillou on her DVD player.  She woke up again at 4:45 and threw up again.  At this point I was panicked since I had 30+ kids coming in to interview with a business professional.  I asked Sara if she could stay with Grandma and she said yes.  She woke up around 7am, and threw up again.  She was running a slight fever.  Evan went off to school and Sara went to Grandmas.  I called home a few times and my mom said she had thrown up a few more times and was only taking small sips of water and ice chips.  She was also asking for Mommy.  I asked my colleagues to cover for me and came home at 11:30 to a very sick little girl.  She was exhausted and threw up one more time at 12:15 and then started to keep some water, Gatorade, and a freeze pop down.  I was able to get some Tylenol in her before bed but she woke up twice before midnight having hallucinations.  Luckily Friday Marc was able to stay home and she was on the road to recovery but still only drinking. 
     Finally today she asked for watermelon and a chicken finger from Wegmans.  I was so desperate to have her eat anything that I ran to a very busy Wegmans to pick it up.  She actually ate it.  Evan had a birthday party today so Sara had a quiet day to recover.  I certainly hope this is the end of her illness.  The rest of us have been lucky and have only had minor colds. 

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