Thursday, December 30, 2010

And The Loathing Continues

I woke up in the middle of the night due to the pain in my arm from the shot. Unfortunately, once I am up, I am up. So I wondered around the house for a bit, worked on the puzzle my brother bought AJ, and surfed the web. When I happen to walk past a mirror, I was in for a bit of a surprise. My left eye was nearly swollen shut. Nice.

I called the health clinic at the school in the morning to let them know of my reaction. They wanted me to drive out there so they could check me out, but I talked them into letting me go to a doctor down the road instead of having to drive across town. He put me on steroids. Not only is my eye swollen, but my arm is red, painful and there is a huge knot in it.

The school has decided that I don't need the other shot after all. Since my blood test showed some immunity, they figure I am good. Something about them being afraid I will have an even worse reaction next time and stop breathing or something. I am sure that would not happen. I can breath just fine. I just can barely see out of one eye. That is completely different.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MMR, How I Loathe Thee

In order to attend grad school, I needed to show proof that I am immune to measles. I figured that this small detail would be the easiest part of the application process. I was so very, very wrong.

My first plan of attack was to call my OB since it was my understanding that you are tested for measles when you deliver. The first call to the office was unproductive as I was told they had lost my lab work. My next call was to my OB in Minnesota, since that is where I had AJ. I spoke to a nice man on the phone who said my records would need to be retrieved since I hadn't been a patient there in some time. I gave him my fax number. But after two days, and not hearing anything, I called back to check in. The order was never done, the release was never faxed and I had just wasted two days.

I decided on a whim to call back my current OB and speak to someone else. Sure enough, they found the test results. The only problem was that I had not been tested for the type of measles the school was concerned about.

I call my mom to see if she had any official record of my immunizations as a kid. There are few guarantees in life, but with two parents in the medical field, I was absolutely positive I had had all my shots. Sure enough, my mom had the dates for me, although no official record.

I didn't think this would be a problem. I merely had to go to the Student Health Services and get tested. The nurse their was nice enough to give me a 5 day waiver so that I could at least register while we waited for the official results, after I assured her I had been vaccinated. But a few days later I got a call from them saying that there was a problem. That because of my age, the first shot that was given to me was not as potent as shots in later years. Basically I was immune, but not immune enough.

So I found myself driving back to campus again (an hour drive if you are keeping score at home) to get a brand new MMR shot. Yippee! And the best part is that I get to go back in 30 days and get another one! Double Yippee!

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we went across town and had some dinner with Shawn's mom and grandparents. She made a yummy dinner of lasagna, salad and bread. And it was so nice of her to include my family in the festivities. I don't think we had all been together since Shawn's graduation from law school.

All of these pictures were taken with my Mom's iPhone. In case you missed that, my mom has an iPhone. My mom just lapped me in the technology race. How did that happen? No worries, I will be getting one soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Other Scenes From Christmas

The garbage disposal (which we had been warned about) decided to choose Christmas to explode. Luckily Shawn got it running again without too much problem. And since we had to empty the cabinet under the sink to get to the U joint, it is now completely organized!

The kids loved their presents. AJ got a Ripstick, Chris Angel's Mind Freak Magic Kit and a Pillow Pet. Charlie got his very own (super cute) scooter, a Pillow Pet, and Legos so he won't have to steal his brother's.

All in all, it was a great visit with the family. The kids were in heaven having so many people around to play with. I have to say the funniest part of the visit was that Charlie, when told that my mom's name was Gran, christened her Miss Gran. Hey, he was only trying to be polite.

Phase 10

This deserves a post all its own. Phase 10 is a card game that my mom introduced to the family a few years ago. And I am pretty sure she is deeply, deeply regretting it. AJ is obsessed with this game and will play morning, noon and night if we let him. My family is pretty tolerant, and usually takes pity on him and plays. I am simply not that nice. Jeff made a comment about how much AJ loves the game and asked if we played it all the time. When I told him that we only played it when they came to town, it became a bit clearer why AJ took every chance to con someone into playing with him. Basically, the opportunity only happens a few times a year. I know I sound mean for not wanting to play, but the game is called Phase 10. There are 10 Phases. If you get more than 3 people playing it can last a very, very long time.

My parents are coming back in April. So, I have until then to find AJ a new game. I think "Putting The Dishwasher Away Correctly" or "Doing Your Own Laundry" sound fun. But, I am guessing they won't have the same appeal.

Christmas 2010 Photoshoot

You will notice that these pictures are far from professional. But, we wanted some family pictures done and since my photographer is abandoning, me and moving to Ohio, I had little choice but to take them myself. Cue violin.

These were taken in the town green by the ginormous Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Rainy Side Note

Rain has always been a good omen for our family ever since it rained on our wedding day. And when I say "rain" I mean torrential downpour. There was talk about having the ceremony on an ark. Since then, if there is something big going on and it rains, it seems to mean that everything will work out. This has played out again and again with job interviews, tests and health issues. It would be a bit freaky if it wasn't so darn cool.

Last night's orientation seemed a bit daunting after I looked at the actual schedule. There will be a lot of 12 hour days only to be followed by studying and the writing of papers. My program will be one year long, followed by 2 additional classes to complete my Masters. Basically, it will be quick and very much not painless.

However, as I was driving home last night it was pouring. And it never pours in AZ. And not only did it pour rain, but it poured for most of the night. And I realized that has hokey as it sounds, I was comforted. It will be ok.


Went to my orientation last night. I will be starting the program off running on Jan 3rd. And I will be in a classroom, with a mentor teacher, the following week. I will be taking 18 credits in the spring semester. My day will be divided into working in classrooms on a rotation, and being a student myself. I guess when they said "accelerated" they weren't kidding.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Know How He Feels

Charlie's teacher told us today that he was walking around the classroom with a sad expression on his face. When his teacher asked him what was wrong, he replied: "I just need to color"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Charlie's Note Of The Day

Charlie was taking care of the dolls. He wrapped them up, fed them bottles (with a peg from the peg board), and gave them a bath.

In Other News

After not being able to return to my job teaching art due to my surgery, I decided I needed to explore other options. Since I had so much fun teaching, I decided to look into going back to school to get my masters.

ASU has a program that allows you to get certified to teach and get a masters all at the same time. I just found out on Friday, that I got in! I am pretty excited about starting something new. And hopefully will have a degree that will allow me to, you know, get a job at the end of it.

Student of The Month

AJ got Student of The Month on Friday at his school. Each teacher picks two students each month for the honor. He gets a certificate and gets to stand up in front of the entire school to be recognized.

But the best part of the whole assembly was that the principal had all the 5th graders dance. I am not sure where AJ learned these dance moves, but he rocked it. In fact he did such a great job dancing he got extra stuff from his teacher when he got back to his room. I did get it on video for future blackmailing purposes. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stuffed Chicken

I got the bones for this recipe on However, as usual, I had only about 1/2 the ingredients. So, below is my take on this yummy dish. It is pretty simple to make, but has a lot of gourmet flavor.

Stuffed Chicken

1 gala apple, finely diced
1/4 C shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 C sliced almonds

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
2T butter
White wine to taste
Onion powder- a few dashes

tooth picks

Combine the stuffing in a small bowl. The measurements are approximate, so add more or less as you see fit.

Place two boneless, skinless chicken breasts in between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound until thin. Place the stuffing mixture on top of the flattened chicken breasts and roll the chicken up. Secure with toothpicks.

In a skillet, add about 2 T of olive oil and 2T of butter. Brown the chicken for a few minutes on each side. Once browned, remove the chicken to a baking dish. Add some white wine and onion powder to the chicken pan and swoosh the pan around to combine. Pour over the chicken breasts in the baking dish.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

At about the halfway mark, I added more wine to the baking dish, because it looked like the sauce was sticking to the pan. And why would I use water if the wine is already opened?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Is Coming!

Snowflake Art

We had to make a family snowflake for Charlie's school. Please note the toddler glueing technique. "Less is more" is a pretty foreign concept. We decided to add buttons all over our snowflake. Charlie had a great time placing as many buttons as he could onto his masterpiece.

Cookie Exchange

The cookie exchange was a lot of fun. For those of you who have never been to one, basically each person brings a specified amount of one type of cookie. At the end, each guest collects and takes home cookies from all the other guests. It is a great way to get a variety of cookies without doing a lot of baking. Not that I'm promoting laziness. . . Ok, maybe I am.

Although the cookie exchange was fun I had apparently lost my baking mojo before the event. It took me 3 tries before I found a recipe that actually worked. But I finally went with Peppermint Twist Kisses. They were easy and looked festive.

Check out the spread! Everything was so pretty and delicious.

As you can see, we had a party crasher towards the end. The kid was in heaven. Cookies as far as the eye can see and hugs from one of his best buds, he was one happy camper.

I am so lucky to live by such a nice group of women. They were all a lot of fun. I got the impression that the party was a bit mellow. But I found out later that that was only because I was sitting on the wrong side of the room. I guess that conversation got quite colorful. I am sorry I missed it.

I am already looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Charlie's Note of The Day

When Charlie took his banana out of his lunch box, he pretended it was a dumbbell and said he was strong.

Computer Update

I should be able to post pictures tomorrow or the next day. I can't wait to get on my own computer. Pictures aside, nothing makes a woman feel like she has "man hands" like trying to type on a laptop keyboard.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tap Tap Tappity Tap Tap

That was Morse Code for "My computer has died." It has been a long few days. I am now on a laptop that we had laying around. One of the best things about being married to a techie is that there is always an extra computer laying around. And keyboards. And monitors. And power strips. You get the idea.

Shawn will be getting a new computer and I will get his old one. It's fine by me. But, this is the third time this scenario has played out since we have been married. And I am beginning to wonder if he's not breaking the computers on purpose.

My photo library is on the other computer. So, for now I won't be able to post pictures until I can get a real machine. Maybe my first picture should be of Shawn getting kicked out of the Apple Store because he is drooling all over the displays. Again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still Not Good at Waiting

The other three showed up at the door. They are Blue Winged Jewell, Ebb and Tortoise Shell. My parents actually got me the dragonfly one. What can I say? I have a family stock full of awesome gift givers. As you can imagine, I was very excited about the Blue Winged Jewell. I even entered a Haiku contest, given by the company, to try to win it. Yes, you read that right. When this year's ornaments came out, I literally squealed at the computer when I saw it. There is a red one too. But I am pacing myself. A person can only handle so much hand blown glass in one sitting.

I'm Not Good At Waiting

Here is the first of the ornaments Shawn got me for Christmas. And when I say "Shawn got me for Christmas", I mean he had nothing to do with it. When I asked him if he wanted to at least pick out the ornaments, he replied with: "Do you want to get something you like?" Point taken.

This one is called Snow Flurry.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Charlie figuring out that there are candies behind all the little doors. This picture was followed by a complete meltdown when I told him he could not eat the entire train.

Cookie Exchange Favors

Next weekend I am having a cookie exchange with some neighborhood women. Last year I made spiced pecans and roasted almonds for the favors. But, this time I am taking a different approach. I was at World Market today and found these gingerbread men soaps. How cute are they? Get it? Its a cookie exchange and they are gingerbread men? Martha would be so proud. Martha would have probably made the soap from a mold she forged in her back yard. But I don't have that type of time (or that type of staff).

So the plan is to wrap the soaps in the tissue paper, tie them with ribbon and hang a jingle bell on each package.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Charlie's Note Of The Day

While playing with the play dough, Charlie said he made cookies. He said his cookies were very hot, and not to touch them until he blew on them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Tree Is Up

The hired "help".

Charlie is obsessed with this train advent calendar. He just sits on the couch and will play with it forever. Wait until I start putting candy in it!