Monthly Archives: November 2014

Sunday, the day of projects

Wow, did we accomplish a lot today! First, my Christmas project.

We had the large tree that was growing over our deck taken down a few weeks ago. In the process, the tree guys took down my garden fence, which was already struggling. I decided this meant that the garden needed an overhaul. With more light, this also meant more garden space! So, as my Christmas present to myself, I am transforming our 12×12 garden into a 25×20 space with a more permanent fence. Here is my partner in crime as we collected our needed supplies.

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Here is what the current veggie garden looks like with the deer netting removed (oh and a ton of leaves!)

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Check back later in the week for updates. The materials totaled $180. A bargain investment to double the garden area. Wish me luck!

We also put up the Christmas tree. Where to put it was the big question. Normally it goes in the corner of the living room where Smooch’s crate lives. We tried moving her crate to our bedroom last year, and that was an epic fail. She shifts and repositions herself throughout the night which means not a lot of sleep for mom and dad during the month of December. Since Smooch *loves* her crate and it is not going anywhere anytime soon, we debated other locations for the tree. Rahul suggested the guest room (we could see it from the living area but Smooch could not get to it). And that suggestion led to our new location, which I like best of all…. the sunroom! I love this location. A little room totally devoted to the holidays!

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Tomorrow means back to work and school. At least for a few weeks 🙂

Kristan

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Thanksgiving

We are in Maryland for Thanksgiving. It was nice to have turkey and everything else prepared for us. All we had to do was show up. With the winter storm Cato hitting the east coast, that proved to be a little more challenging than we anticipated. Snow all along the upper north east Wed. Thankfully by Thursday morning the roads were fine and we headed out super early.

Today we headed to one of the kids’ favorite spots to play – the outdoor skating rink in Rockville Town Square. Check out the 2 people I am most thankful for right about now….

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Samantha was convinced that I could not ice skate, and I debated proving her wrong thinking I would surely need to visit the chiropractor if I gave it a try….but in the end, I laced up some skates and gave it a try.

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I did not fall down once, but could not keep up with Aidan (and did not try 🙂 ) Instead I skated with Samantha and Uncle Nik’s girlfriend.

Tonight Rahul and I will have a special date night, just the 2 of us, then we head home tomorrow. Driving on the Sunday after Thanksgiving is not an option. Just thinking about it feels painful.

Crossing my fingers that Fireball is ok. We have a new pet sitter, and he would not come in for her last night and was not on the front porch this morning. He is the least trusting kittie cat I have ever known, but also the most loving once he trusts you. I hope my giant fluff ball is holding his own while we are away!

Both kiddos said that they were the most grateful for their school and our Thanksgiving feast.  Oh, and Aidan said he was also thankful for his best friend Sam. Rahul and I are also super grateful for Carolina Friends and glad we found this amazing school for our children.

PS – how could I forget our Elf Yourself video…..check it out for some laughs.

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a few kid updates

We received Aidan’s first trimester report. 10 typed pages about all that he has learned in the first part of middle school.

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I cannot fully express in words how amazing the middle school experience has been for our entire family. He does all of his homework independently, only had one missing assignment for the entire trimester (and if you could see his book bag, that in it of itself is amazing) and has learned so much. It was clear in reading the report which teachers he has connected with. When he trusts you and knows what you expect of him, he will perform off the charts. This was most evident in math (woo hoo). Leon, the math goddess….yes that is really her name, and she is just that, really gets Aidan and he has done some great work in math. The goal we want to help him set for the second trimester is doing that same level of work in classes that are not as interesting to him. A good goal, and one that most grown ups have to work on from time to time, right?

So, it may take moving mountains to get him in the car and to school on time remembering to do all of his morning expectations, but school itself is going really well. He wants to please his teachers and do well, all we have to do is help him get to school with his shoes on…. I will take it!

Now for our Samantha. She gets a giant report at the end of the year, but she is in the advanced math skills group and doing really well. This from a gal who got really behind in math last year to the point that she needed tutoring over the summer. Just shows what she can do in the right environment.

Samantha announced a few weeks ago that she wanted to learn how to play the ukulele (apparently her music teacher played for her class recently). It is a small instrument with 4 strings, which seems more doable to her.  Fast forward to today. I took her along for Aidan’s regular guitar lesson. His teacher said he could show her a few notes and be to tell whether or not it would work. She picked up 2 notes quickly and decided she wanted to learn to play Ode To Joy. And…bam she was hooked!

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So good things all around at our house these days. 2 happy kids, learning and growing as little people. Makes a mom happy, for sure!

Kristan

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the holiday card

So every year at this time of year (mainly because my favorite holiday card website offers deals for early birds like me) I start working on our family holiday card. Not to brag, but my cards are always a hit and loved by folks other than grandparents. It is something I am proud of. Imagine my surprise when I realized that we had not one DECENT family pic from the entire year. Guatemala…nope. Two beach trips….nope. Multiple camping trips….nope. Sunday we tried to get all cleaned up and take some pics using the tripod. Epic fail. Not one pic with everyone demonstrating “real” smiles (Aidan is the worst for this….he looks manic/constipated when he “tries” to smile).

This was the best one….no joke. It is cute, but not how I want our family remembered for 2014.

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Rahul has not given up on the idea of one good pic for this year. Me? I am working on card ideas that have a collage like display. Maybe 2015 will be our year!

Kristan

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The morning routine

So this blog post has been floating around on Facebook this week. I laughed, and maybe because I was feeling the need to write, decided to write my own morning routine….on a day I was responsible for carpool, of course.

Pack 3 lunches and make coffee the night before. I could never accomplish this in the morning.

6am hubby wakes up.

6:30am Banjo meows to go outside. Let him out, get back in bed.

6:40am Fireball meows for breakfast. Go upstairs to feed him, get back in bed.

6:45am Samantha climbs in the bed with me. I ignore her hoping for 15 more mins of sleep.

7am alarm goes off. Take Aidan’s breakfast drink up to his room and wake him up….well start the process. Do not judge my friends.

7:15am get my first cup of coffee and wake up Smooch. This means I have to sit and give her lovies for 5+ minutes. Waking up for her is more of a process than for Aidan.

7:30am I am dressed in work out clothes that are at least 10 years old and my handy GOTR trucker hat. It is now time to start yelling upstairs to get Aidan downstairs. Samantha has taken a shower and is now in the process of putting at least 4 different products on her hair. She does this well, but rarely remembers to brush her teeth. Hair regenerates, your teeth do not. Sigh, priorities.

7:35am Aidan yells downstairs asking what time we are leaving, and he wants to know the *real* time not my “lying to him time.” We all know what that is, right? I back up the time to him so that he is actually downstairs when it is time to leave. We carpool and live 30 mins from school, so the natural consequence of not getting to school on time is just not an option.

7:40am Samantha asked if I have heated up her soup. Crap.

7:41am I feed Smooch and see her eating her poop on the deck. Damn. Have to deal with that later.

7:42am I am reheating my coffee and screaming at Aidan that we need to leave.

7:44am We are heading to the car. Aidan is carrying his shoes, half zipped up book bag, coat and lunch. I toss yesterday’s afternoon Starbucks out of the car cup holder and place my nice hot morning coffee in its place and we race to get Sam.

The next 25-27 mins are filled with lots of “dude that is a ______ (you fill in the kind of car on the road).” And the subsequent debate about said car. The daily radio trivia at 8:17am (which I actually got right today before any of the callers!)

8:22am One final reminder for Aidan to turn in his picture order and find his lost winter coat from lost and found.

8:23am Life is good. Well, maybe not good. Just more relaxed and my brain can actually focus on things other than little people.

Life with kids and pets….never boring, always interesting and fulfilling.

Kristan

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Happy birthday…..Smooch!

Smooch turned 2 years old today. She is still very much a giant puppy, but with each day she matures just a wee bit more. We love her to death and repeat our motto daily….”once in the family, always in the family.”

Happy birthday to our giant toddler. But really, every day is like her birthday 😉

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feeling stressed, time to move forward

So a lot has happened with me professionally over the past 3 years. First, my consulting position was cut in 2011. I found another professional outlet with Teach Social First, but that did not pay dollars….only professional growth. Then the administrator switch and the program was written out of the school improvement plan. But, in the end, Girls TALK was born in the fall of 2013. With 2 kids in private school this year, I have felt more stress to work for more than just for professional growth. My goal was to be able to work to cover one child’s tuition, and I have met that goal. But I still felt like I needed to be doing more. So I have been looking and looking, but have found nothing that will fit with my Girls TALK schedule and our family life. Today I was a little down after a part time job lead did not work out. Rahul was quick to pull me out of my funk with these numbers (damn, I do love this guy!). In just a year I created a non profit, tripled enrollment (9 to 28 girls), and went from one to three sites. These early non profit years are not easy on the budget, but he helped me see the importance of the work I am doing.

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