Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Birtday.

I am taking a break from party planning to jot down some memories from this week.

Yes, I idolize my child and he is at the center of my life and we hang images of him throughout our home to honor him and sing praise songs to him every day.  Why do you ask?

So, back to my break from Jonah to tell you about Jonah.  He started preschool this week and we couldn't be happier with how it's going.  He loves it, and we love it so much that if he didn't we would second guess him before the school.  It's that good.  

Aside from trying to solve the mystery about who Abigail is and why he should be nice to her, I heard the sweetest recollection from him about his day.  Last night as I was putting him to bed I was going through the events of the day with him (he loves this and gets really still and pays close attention) and when I got to the review of snack time and the lesson at school, he pointed to himself and said, "My name Jonah."  Then he pointed to me and said, "My name Mama."  


They've been talking about names and family this week and I hadn't even brought that up in our review of the day.  I think Mamas and Papas are the best teachers, so to hear that he is learning and growing even though we're apart during the day washed me over with peace.

I'm prepared for the peace to be fleeting if his made-up girlfriend Abigail dumps him tomorrow.

Howard and I aren't back at work yet so I've been working a little on decorating my classroom and a lot on Jonah's birthday party (ies).  It helps to work out the missing of him.  I'm about to go make 'healthy' cookies for his school party tomorrow but before I do, you have to know that I was working so hard on this chalkboard sign this morning.  I got carried away and had so much fun representing all the things Jonah likes.  Howard even so sweetly surprised me with my favorite lunch because he saw the sweat I am pouring into a 2 year old's birthday party where he'll only care about the M&Ms.

I was proud and took pics.

Before the addition of Larry the Cucumber:

Larry was added:

I went and did some other things and walked back through the kitchen again, and it hit me. 

I misspelled "Birthday."


I'm not redoing it.  

Jonah tells people all the time "Happy Birtday" as a sign of affection.  So there you go, Jo.  Happy Birtday.  

It's probably best you have other teachers in your young life, after all.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Big Hug, Summer!

The day is done and summer too.

So much we saw and did (and threw).

A trip to Tulsa and twice to the beach, to the pool and swim lessons where we learned to kick feet.

Frozen yogurt and cookies and popcorn galore.  Every day was an occasion.  Don't forget s'mores!

Lots of firsts this summer did see, like riding rides at the toddler park and the start of climbing trees.

Now it's off to school, but when our days are through, we'll meet again for playtime, for snuggles, and for YOU.

(In case the above wasn't clear, the snuggles are for Jonah - not you, the reader.  Please don't come to our house asking for snuggles.  That would be really weird. Thanks.)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Now & Later Lasagna


1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 16 oz jar Tomato Basil Pasta sauce (I like HEB brand)
1 package oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 package sliced mozzarella 
1 package grated Italian blend cheese

Ramekins or non-paper oven safe cupcake liners and muffin pan

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with non-paper cupcake liners (I used Reynolds foil liners).

2. Brown and drain the sausage.  Keep in pan and set aside.

3. Add a spoonful of sauce to the bottom of each liner.  Add the rest of the jar to the sausage and stir over warm until heated through.  Cover and set aside.

4.  Break up noodles and start layering noodle, 1/4 mozzerella slice, grated cheese, sausage mixture, until all ingredients but a little grated cheese are used up.

5. Top with remaining grated cheese and bake for 30 min at 350.

6. Serve some now and freeze the rest!  Reheat later in the oven or pop out of liner to microwave.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Dance at the Dienger

Today we visited the newly restored cafĂ© in town, the Dienger, and had a ball...quite literally.  After being drawn to a particular "pitching hat" in the men's clothing section, Jo and I found an excellent book (a Mark Twain board book adaptation), exchanged warm hellos with friends, and then made our way to the bakery counter where Jonah picked out a chocolate croissant (decisively, I might add - it's genetic), and then proceeded to take both of my hands in his.  Flustered from trying to order and pay and keep my almost two-year old from practicing batting swings on the glass display windows, the glass serving pitchers, the glass trinkets and doo dads, and the glass everything all of a sudden seemed to be made of, I decided to divert my attention from the cash register all onto him, because, after all, if he's taking both of my hands he might have a sticker poking him or have just made a mess somewhere, or have seen an important dog or airplane.  

But no.

It wasn't about a mess

or a dog 

or a plane.

He took my hands because he wanted to dance.  Yes, dance.  Not the silly way we dance to the seasons song on Baby Einstein - no - actually dance.

He held my hands in his and said "dance, mm hmm," and he led me in a ballroom like sway right there in the middle of the Dienger, right in the middle of our order, right in the middle of a wonderful life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Same Song 42nd Verse

I've written this post before.  It's the one where I lament about my lack of time and energy and mental clarity but also say I wouldn't trade anything for the intentionally spilled milk at the end of a long, thematic learning day including an astronaut suit and a matching cookie from the bakery even if it means changing my clothes and the sheets just when I thought I was about to punch out my timecard after a 12 hour shift and 1 private bathroom break and the pool being closed because someone (I will hunt you and I will find you, and then I will lecture you) brought glass into it and it shattered and I got the sweetest hugs and heard the sweetest mispronunciation of words and felt a huge victory at figuring out "baby toes" means a request for "Veggie Tales" and a huge defeat at learning vegetables think the people of Ninevah slapped each other with fish and trying to read the correct version of Jonah to my son of the same name and feeling defeated that my not-even-two year old had a much stronger preference for Jamberry but remembering my swelling pride in the achievements he reached earlier in the day and wanting a break but not wanting to be away but feeling like I'm never alone because I'm never alone, and trying to lose the baby weight from aforementioned almost two year old and wondering if I should start faking a late-announced pregnancy and sudden birth and carry around a baby doll to act like it's baby weight from a more recent baby but knowing that plan derails when said baby doll doesn't get any bigger, or move, or gets left in the hatchback while I run into HEB for the FOURTH time since Sunday and we still are low on milk and I wonder how is that even mathematically, physically possible but figure it's due to the fact that I can't start using my new planner until Friday so I have things written down on my phone and my old planner and August dates in my new one and no, you may not throw a real baseball down the stairs and yes, I am sure we will get a dog someday because we all seem to need something else to take care of and we might as well test out those awesome vinyl floors we are saving up to get because I decided I love real wood too much to put hand scraped Tobacco Road Acacia in a track house that is storing what was originally the genius idea of Christmas in July to make the fall semester easier on Santa but is now a bunch of Amazon boxes of Daniel Tiger paraphernalia when I am the only one here now who likes Daniel Tiger.

Yes. It's that post.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer 2015: June Edition

June is almost over and one of my many summer plans was to blog more, but I am a slow learner when it comes to life and time with a toddler!

Our precious mess has been on the go.  We have had some really tough challenges in this stage and a whole lot of fun.  It's like I always say:  parenting is just intense.  It's intense highs and intense lows - it's everything, intensified. Because you're dealing with a person! 

Per usual, my photo situation is hard to access because of computer overload issues.  I'll include what I can get to.

We've had a magical Boerne summer so far.  We've hit up Longhorn, Jonah danced till he dropped at the German band concert, we ate gourmet popcorn and watched The Lego Movie in the park, we've been to the pool every day we've been here and it's open (and not storming), we've ruined and fixed one car in the heavy rains we've had, are group swim class drop outs and semi-private lesson victors, said goodbye to dear friends, we've been to McKenna Children's Museum, the La Cantera playground, Chik Fil A, and lots of Library days, we've read, read, read,  blown 1.4 million bubbles, patted 19 dogs, counted 17 windmills (and watched the DVD about them an equal number of times), thrown 72.5 two-year-old size tantrums, discovered the joy of a flashlight, eaten frozen yogurt, had an absolute blast visiting the "beesh" with Oma and Opa, (I) listened to a great audio book from the library, made plans to write a book about how life is (probably) still worth living without wood floors, and, lest you have been living under a rock and think teachers don't do anything in the summer, done some school work.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Favorite Things: Books Edition

Here are a few of my favorite books right now:

Seeing as how it took me a full school year to get through one book (Elizabeth the Queen), I am having a thrill ride gobbling up as many books as I can.  

Here was the first chow down, and it rivals Lewis.  Need I say more?

Then I landed on a delightful rendition of a Scottish myth by my favorite, Alexander McCall Smith.  Thank goodness for the toddler I naively brought with me to the second, quiet, studious floor of the library (who discovered if you push books they fall out the other side of the shelf), or I might never have decided to grab it (or have worked up a sweat in the library).

The book above on the right, Jesus Outside the Lines, is my current read, recommended by a pastor friend, and it is nothing short of fantastic.  It is challenging and apt.  I love when someone is gifted with truly shedding light on a facet of our culture and our selves, and Sauls does that here beautifully and not in the tiring way often used to critique our world, but in the very manner he proposes: that of truly loving the recipient of his message and first understanding and empathizing with where he or she is coming from.

Next on my favorite reads right now is this gem - another refreshing call to clear thinking.  I like to keep a book on my Kindle phone app for unexpected waiting times, but apparently lines around Boerne have been quick (or I've been too busy shielding all the M&Ms in the checkout lanes from aforementioned toddler) because this screen shot from my phone says my reading speed is 1%.

And for Jonah, we have loved what seems to be a bigger selection of board books from our library recently.  He's been excited for new books, which has been fun for us (I know - two teacher parents happy for reading enthusiasm.  It's shocking, I realize).  That's really just our cover, though.  The truth is, Netflix is a huge flop right now so that's why I'm all about reading.  Aside from the four episode delight I found called "The Brian Boitano Project" about a home restoration in Italy, it's all mere distraction. 

(No, home restoration stories are not mere distraction.  They are true stories, and mirror our own spiritual journey of alone to claimed, of empty to inhabited.  They are redemptive and inspiring.)

(Yes, I just justified watching HGTV with biblical concepts. I would do it again.  I can do the same for any meaningless purchase - just call me.)

Yet in all seriousness, perhaps there is a time and place to slow down on reading and start to focus on some other skills.

Really, I can only assume I've been using a mouse the wrong way all these years.  Happy summer!