Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old...

And in with the new! Yesterday I took down my Christmas decorations:Biscuit was very helpful (you can see) and supervised very nicely from his spot on the couch. My parents always make sure to take down the decorations before New Years because it is supposed to be bad luck to have the decorations up as you welcome the New Year. I have continued this tradition the past 4 years (it's kind of crazy to think this is the 4th year I've had my own tree! I'm really a grown-up I guess).

The only problem is now my living room looks empty. I moved the console table out of the bay window and onto the wall across from the couch to make room for the tree. But now I like the table where it is. So now I have a huge empty spot in front of the bay window. Any suggestions? I'm thinking two cute chairs would be nice, and add seating to my living room.

Happy New Year to you all! I'm celebrating tonight with friends and going out downtown. Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year and I will see you again in 2011!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Biscuit!! (I changed his name, Chip just didn't suit him. He is much more a Biscuit). He is adorable and sooooo sweet! Here is in chillin' in his crate with his lion:Here he is pulling on the leash not wanting to go for a walk:
Rolling around in the grass (aka, not wanting to walk on the leash):
Basking in the sunlight in the kitchen:
With his toys:
He blends in perfectly with my carpet!

What do you think?? He is so adorable and already making big progress. This morning after he ate, he barked so I took him outside and he peed! Small things like that just make me even more excited to have him. Can't wait to teach him fun tricks and go meet cute boys at the dog park ;)

Latest home purchase

Since I knew I was getting Biscuit (formerly know as Chip), I knew I would need to spruce up my home cleaning closet. I had a broom, Swiffer, and a few cleaning products. But anyone who has a dog that spends any time inside knows, that would not be enough. So I headed to my favorite place in the world to see what I could find.It's a little hard to see in the picture, but this is the Libman Freedom Spray mop. It is the coolest thing! You fill the reservoir with whatever cleaning product you would like (mine has regular Pine-Sol and water), then the trigger sprays it directly on the floor. It's like a Swiffer wet jet, but the pad is removable, reusable and washable AND you get to use whatever cleaner you want. So fun! I know, I sound like a total weird-o raving about this spray mop. But seriously, it is so easy to use and gets the job done.

This leads me back to sweet little Biscuit. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and was trying to go back to sleep when I was thinking "do I smell dog poo?" YUP. A bark and a few minutes later, I stumble downstairs to see that Biscuit has gotten himself out of his crate and pooped all over the place. I was sort of relieved because he hadn't pooped since he had gotten home and I was a little worried. But then that feeling was soon overtaken with a "what the f! how do I clean up all this poop?" feeling. Luckily I just whipped out my Libman spray mop and all is well! And I'm prepared for the next time. In the time being, Biscuit's crate has now been wired shut so he can't escape :)

**disclaimer: I was not contacted/compensated in anyway by Libman for this review

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My new baby

Is this little guy:His name is Chip. I found him on while we were out of school for snow days. Instantly, I fell in love. Isn't he precious??? He's a 10 lb. toy poodle. So adorable! He's coming on on Tuesday and I can't wait!!

This is where he'll stay:
He's all set up. Crate (with cozy bedding), food and water bowl. I didn't take a picture, but naturally I bought the cutest boy collar/leash available. Having a boy will definitely save me money- the boy dog clothes are not that great. This guy will be going au naturel!

Here's a close-up of his toy basket:
He's got a squeaky turtle, tug rope, some catch and release toy (it said it was good for bonding) and a squeaky lion. The lion is my favorite. Hopefully he'll love them!

I'll be crating Chip while I'm at school, then rushing home in the afternoon to take care of him. I know it's going to be a lot of work, but I'm super excited. Do you all have any advice? I've been around dogs my whole life but this is my first venture into "parenting." I can definitely use your advice!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What flavor pop-tart?

Another super funny thing happened at school today, so of course I have to blog about it. I know you all love reading my crazy school stories. Admit it. It was a half day today because they are expecting ice/freezing rain/sleet later in the afternoon. Half days are usually crazy because they're long enough that the kids start getting crazy, but short enough that we don't really get anything done. I basically feel like I'm babysitting on half days. Today was really no different.

After brunch, I took my kids to the gym so they could run around for a bit. My friend and fellow teacher Hannah also brought her class. She teaches special ed, so has a much smaller class and my kids are very good with her kids. They were all running around, shooting baskets, having a great time. One of her kids, I'll call JJ, was hanging around us constantly saying "I want a pop tart! I want a pop tart!" Not in a whiny or demanding way, more of in a I'm playing a game with you way.

So I played along and said "I don't have a pop tart silly. Where would I get a pop-tart?" His response: "your nose."

umm, okay, why do I have a pop tart in my nose? Again, remember this kid has intellectual disabilities, but he knew he was being silly.

Still playing along, I pretended to give him a pop-tart (from my nose, ew) and gave it to him. "Yumm!" he says, "so good!" I then naturally ask what flavor it is.

His answer?


Wow, how was your monkey flavored pop-tart there JJ? Too funny!! Hannah and I both burst out laughing. It was so funny. Hopefully you find it funny too and not just strange. Maybe you had to be there, but trust me, it was hilarious!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Do you use Ebates?

If you aren't using Ebates, you are losing money every time you shop online. This site is awesome! You sign up totally free, and then anytime you shop online just log on to Ebates first. You get a percentage of cash back for each purchase made, plus they list all the current online coupons. I saved my dad over $65 when he got a coat for my sister because I used 2 coupon codes from Ebates. So awesome! Check it out!

Simon & Garfunkel chicken

This is a favorite family recipe that I thought I would share with you. It gets its name because it has "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" in it (like the song, get it?!?). You start by marinating chicken in buttermilk. I like to poke some holes in the chicken to really help the milk soak in. You can do this a few hours before, but it is best several hours. I usually put the chicken in the buttermilk in the morning, throw it in the fridge, then it's ready to go when I get home. Then you mix together Italian breadcrumbs, add in some sage and rosemary. I like to also add some parmesan cheese to make it just a bit cheesy, then you also don't need salt. Coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, bake at 375 until done. Sorry I don't have a more definite time for you, but it totally depends on the size of your chicken (you can see from the picture, mine tonight is HUGE), the thickness, etc. You can tell its done when you press on the thickest part and it does not really go down a whole lot. Apparently it should feel like the palm of your hand, or something like that.

Enjoy! Like I said, this is a favorite recipe and one I make all the time. The leftovers are super yummy as well!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Day!!!

This is what my driveway looked like at approximately 3:30pm:Since then, it has continued to snow! There's about 2 inches on the ground and school is cancelled for tomorrow!! Snow days are even more fun as a teacher, because you get paid to be at home. My plan for the day? Bake chocolate chip cookies, work-out (those 2 things don't necessarily go together, ha!), and work on my kids' christmas presents.

Is it snowing where you are? Don't forget to "follow" my blog so that you get updates on new blog posts!!

Happy Holidays!

This is the view from my living room couch. I would go outside and take a picture, so you can see how beautiful my tree looks from the outside, but it is currently 15 degrees outside. So you'll just have to take my word for it!

The tree went up promptly the day AFTER Thanksgiving. I don't believe in celebrating Christmas until all earlier holidays have passed. So that Friday morning, I woke up and eagerly pulled all my decorations out of the closet. Turns out, I have quite a stash! My house is looking quite cheery and bright these days. I've baked Christmas cookies, made some peppermint bark and have a good stock of homemade soup in the freezer. Martha Stewart would be so proud!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The secret to my success

We have had a rough couple of days at school. Nothing horrible, just the kids have been very "tattle-y", arguing over little things, and forgetting simple procedures. All of a sudden they stopped writing their names on papers. The rough days this year would have been good days last year. But this group of kids is so different, and for the most part things have been going along fabulously. So again, not horrible, but just not our usual greatness.

I remembered someone telling me, the secret to a well-run classroom is organization and planning. So I looked back at my plans. They weren't great. I had to take a step back and realize, ok Ms. H, the reason things are not going well is because I am not well planned. So I stayed a little later yesterday and got things in order. The result? A better day today!

I realized it doesn't take a magician to make us have a good day. All it takes is a little extra effort on my part and a little more planning. When the kids know what to do and how to do it, they behave. They want to do well. They want to succeed. And I want to help them do that.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

snow day!!!

Okay, not really. But our city did get it's first "snow" of the season this weekend. It snowed on Sunday but did not really stick to the ground. But oh boy, were the kids talking about it Monday morning! Then during our morning work, one of my kids shouted out "Ms. H, it's snowing!" I thought, no way. It is not snowing. I rolled the shade up to prove that it was in fact, not snowing.

Insert foot in mouth HERE.

IT WAS SNOWING!! Unfortunately, we didn't have time to go out in the snow before lunch. I was praying all during lunch that it would keep going so the kids could go out in it. Luckily, my good snow thoughts paid off. We bundled up and headed out into the "snow."

Turns out the playground is even funner in the snow! We of course had to have a little mini-lesson on not picking up the snow, not eating the snow, and not making snow balls (not that there was enough, but I wanted to cover all the bases). It was so much fun to see the kids running around in the fluffy white stuff. You can see from the above picture that it melted under their feet, but it was still pretty fun. I guess it brings out the kid in all of us.
The slide is SUPER fast in the snow! Seriously, the kids were flying on this thing! They would come shooting off and land about 2 feet from the bottom. I was a little scared someone was going to get hurt but they just laughed and laughed. So sweet.

I hope it snows a little more so that we can make some snow angels and even a snowman. Those are educational, right? I mean, a snowman is make of spheres...

Last year, I discovered that snow days are even more fun as a teacher. You get paid to be at home, drink some hot chocolate, and lounge around in your p.j.s. But there can be too much of a good thing. Last year we had TOO MANY snow days and had to make them up by adding time to the end of the school day (7:45am-4:15pm is no fun with Kindergarten!). This year I'm hoping for exactly 5 snow days, the time our calendar has "built in". What would you do on a snow day??

Friday, December 3, 2010

A quick glimpse...

A quick glimpse inside my classroom right now and you would see 15 (2 are absent) children playing at their "centers." Some are playing with a marble track. Some are playing trains or puzzles, or are at home living. And some are playing with the same giant cardboard blocks that I played with as a child.

In just a second, the clean-up music will come on and they will clean-up; time to pack-up and go home. But for right now they are all playing sweetly. And it is awesome.