Friday, September 19, 2014

My Nana and Getting More Organised

This is in 1977. Me, my grandmother and my uncle who is only two years older than me.

My grandmother passed away this week.  We're about to go up to where I'm originally from in upstate Pennsylvania for the viewing and funeral.  My Nana lived a full life, so I can't say I'm sad.  She was 83 years old, had two marriages, three kids and four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren (all of those were from me).  She had a great sense of humor, wanted to be like Elizabeth Taylor (didn't they all from this generation) and was very old fashioned as she was from a time when women worked only until they became wives.  She was my last living grandparent, so this is an end of an era for me.  It was my mother's last living parent and it makes me think of how odd that will be when I'm in that situation.  However, my parents are still young, so I think that will be quite some ways off.  They think they are old, but 61 and 65 are really not that old.  At least I won't think it's old when I get there, LOL.

Before I received this news on Wednesday afternoon, I have made great strides in getting areas of our house organized.  So far since the beginning of the school year at the end of August, I have organized the boys' clothes (except their pajama drawer, I still need to do that), the boys' bookshelves, two coat closets, under the kitchen sink and the homework/craft supplies.  Whew!  I'm doing all this as part of my friend Marcia's Live Organised Community.  She's really helping me keep on track!  This Saturday is her "Get It Done Day."  I'll be busy with the funeral and traveling back home; however, I plan to have Sunday as my "Get It Done Day."  I plan on tackling the boys' pajama drawer and my husband's office, which is also where we share office supply and filing cabinets.  I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Menu Plan - Week of September 14

The boys seem to be on the mend again and went back to school today!!!  However, Tom started feeling sick on Sunday and Phoebe stayed home sick on Friday and today.  Last night she was running a fever, but not today.  So the continuing trying to keep illness away, we had soup on Sunday's dinner and we have some leftovers we can have during the week for lunches as well.  We also have some cantelope cut up in the fridge we can finish and I need to cut up a watermelon.  I'd also like to make some gluten-free blueberry muffins and some roasted tomato salsa.  Let's see if I can get any extra time in the kitchen to do that!

Homemade ramen noodle soup, steamed Chinese greens

Crispy chicken thighs (Liam's name for them, they are just baked with seasoning on the skin until the skin is crispy), roasted potatoes, roasted carrots

Leftover pork chops and butter beans casserole, steamed green beans

Stuffed mini peppers (stuffed with sausage and feta cheese), tomato sauce, pasta (angel hair or rigatoni)

Thursday - soccer practice night (5:30 to 6:30)
Turkey club sandwiches, tortilla chips

The weekend we're playing by ear.  Not sure yet if we'll have company or what our exact plans are.  Will decide as we get closer to the weekend and plan for what get's finalized.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quarantine and Disinfect

Here are my new best friends.  The boys and I were hit by strep throat ....  Hopefully, Tom and Phoebe are not going to get it.  I'm looking at Phoebe's throat all the time.  I still sent her to school as she looked fine this morning.  The boys and I are home, all on antibiotics.  My job now, other than attending some work calls from home, is to obsessively wipe down every surface of this house and push healthy foods on the boys like homemade soups.  Hopefully, everyone will be feeling better tomorrow as it is picture day at the boys' school.

I also need to rally myself as other than cleaning, I've got some areas of this house that need to be organized.  Right now my main areas of concern are:  boys' craft/school supply cabinet, the coat closet and the boys' pajama drawer.  I also know I need to buy the boys some more pajamas, but I want to take an inventory of what they have and what they need.

I also have a lot to learn at work with my new role.  I want to spend some time today organizing my thoughts of what I've seen so far and what questions I have accumulated.  I've been learning a lot of new acronyms and the lingo of the area, but as I hear new ones I look them up or ask someone on the team.

Our menu plan this week has been very fluid.  We have certain meals we knew we had things on hand to make, but didn't plan a specific day to make them.  Things like turkey club sandwiches, pork chops with butter beans and soups from the freezer.  This is mostly as even before we got sick, we had evening things to do with kids' school and activities every night this week.  Two of the nights were back to school nights (the last ever one for Phoebe - I'm assuming high school next year doesn't do this anymore) and tonight though the boys won't be going to soccer practice, Tom needs to go as he agreed to help coach the team.  He's doing a great job with that.

Time to go tackle the day!  Hope everyone has a good one!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Menu Plan Week of 9/1/2014 - Being Kind to Myself

If the September goals list looks like I've got a lot to tackle, keep in mind, I'm also practicing being kind to myself and our family.  We're going to be very busy in September with the boys in Kindergarten and starting to have homework.  They also started soccer and my husband has agreed to help coach the team.  Phoebe is back to school with 8th grade and has field hockey practice daily after school until 5PM (she's the only 8th grade goalie!).

This month we are focused on learning our new routines, keeping the calendar up-to-date and menu planning.  I'm still exercising but it may not be longer than 40 minutes.  I'm working on keeping up with the routine to work out, rather than focusing on a specific goal.  A friend wanted me to do a half marathon this fall, but I told her it would be a bad idea when I knew the craziness we would be going through this month.  I'm very glad I said "no" now that we are going through the mad rush of back-to-school.

It's also very warm this week here, which is odd.  We've had such a mild, cooler summer, but now that we're at the end of summer and the kids are in school, it's been very hot and humid.  This leaves us to have dinner options that are not very hot and steamy like soup, which is one of our favorite go-to easy meals in the fall.  We'll have plenty of time for that as we get into the cooler fall weather.  Enjoy the end of the summer and be kind to yourself!

Monday - Labor Day
Grilled chicken sausages with feta and spinach (from Reading Terminal Market in Philly - very yummy!), baked beans, corn on the cob and Caprese salad (mozzarella, tomato and basil)

Tuesday - everyone back to work and school
Shrimp kabobs (shrimp, onion, red and yellow peppers and zucchini) and brown rice

Bacon, lettuce, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches (bacon was also from Reading Terminal Market), leftover baked beans and corn on the cob

Thursday - Tom taking boys to soccer for 5:30PM
Hot dogs, french fries and other leftovers

Friday - thank goodness for the weekend!
Falafel, pita, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and yogurt, dill and garlic dressing

Saturday - boys soccer game during late morning, running errands in afternoon
Homemade pizza, salad

Sunday - boys have a birthday party from 1 to 3PM
Not sure yet but something grilled and easy!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

September 2014 Goals

Some of these goals for September have already been completed, as they were helpful to do last weekend before we got back into the day-to-day school year schedule.  I look forward to getting more done.  Here's the paper calendar we keep on the refrigerator mentioned as #5 under "Family". This is also updated online.

  1. Menu plan weekly - plan out healthy meals and keep eating out to a minimum 
  2. Organize Phoebe’s room before school starts this year - Phoebe actually did this herself! 
  3. Work with Phoebe daily on her organization this school year – both homework and activities 
  4. Keep the boys organized with school; make sure we understand what homework and activities they have with school 
  5. Keep the family calendar online and on paper up-to-date.   Did this yesterday! 
  6. Keep the boys signed up for sports with the YMCA - The boys are in soccer this fall. 
  7. Document/start chores for kids before school starts and make it fun! I didn't get this done before the school year, but I will get this done soon. Right now, we're trying to get into the new school schedule with everyone out the door early in the morning. The bus comes for all three kids at 6:45AM. 
  1. Learn new responsibilities and exceed expectations for the rest of this year 
  2. Blog 3-4x per week on this blog
Health and Fitness
  1. Begin working towards weight goal for year end
  2. Cardio 4x per week
  3. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  4. Eat healthy – build default diet
  1. Keep our checkbook and online file up-to-date of expenses
  2. Look for reoccurring expenses and if some can be canceled
  1. Declutter coat closets downstairs and setup launch pads for people to start their day right
  2. Organize boys bedroom/school clothes/closets - Completed this over last weekend!
  3. Begin decluttering the guest room so we would be able to begin painting during the fall
  4. Immediately – plan out garden seasonally and harvest/weed daily - I weeded and cleaned up the garden over the weekend.  Need to plant radishes and lettuces that will grow during the cooler fall weather and keep up with the weeding
  1. Begin learning basic conversational French
Fun, Recreation & Social
  1. Trip to Paris with Coni in Fall 2014?  This is also depending on what Coni can arrange
  2. Continue to meet up with friends 2x per month  - Already have two different Saturday nights setup.  Might have a third as well.
  3. Plan “Funday Sundays” in the fall – invite lots of fun people

Friday, August 29, 2014

Exhausted! AKA - Thank Goodness for Long Weekends!

I think I will be spending a lot of time over this long Labor Day weekend sleeping!!!  The past two weeks have been exhausting.  Last week we were on vacation from work.  We did some day trips with the kids to enjoy the end of the summer before school started andI think I will be spending a lot of time over this long Labor Day weekend sleeping!!!  The past two weeks have been exhausting.  Last week we were on vacation from work.  We did some day trips with the kids to enjoy the end of the summer before school started and we shopped for school supplies and clothes.

The clothes were mostly for Phoebe as the boys uniforms were ordered already, but the school supplies were for everyone, and boy did that ever total up to a hefty sum.  Back to school season must be to Staples, what Christmas holidays are for every other store.  We did also have to buy more stuff for the boys as I didn't know they could wear shorts in the beginning of the year and that they needed an outfit for gym class once a week.  Old Navy was completely out of navy blue shorts, but Target had six pairs in a size 5, which will be perfect.  I always do laundry mid-week as well as weekends, so they only need three days worth.  

But the fun stuff we did as a family was great!  We took them fishing off the coast of Cape May.  It was just a four hour boat trip, which is perfect for their attention level right now.  They also really needed a hair cut in these photos:

We also got the opportunity to see two bald headed eagles that made their home on the New Jersey shore.

Both boys did catch small sharks.  They needed to be put back into the water.

After fishing, we went into town (Cape May) for lunch

Mid week, we took the kids to a baseball game in Philadelphia.  It was the boys first baseball game.  They got to run the bases on the field after the game was over.

It was a fun week, but between the excitement of last week with stuff to do and this week with going to school, I'm exhausted!  I got caught up a little on sleep last night, so now I'm off to get my vegetable garden weeded and cleaned up!  I started this morning with the boys outside with me and it was tough as they kept getting mad at each other.  I'm going to try to leave them inside for some quiet time this afternoon and I'll go out and get the job done!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day of School - Kindergarten and 8th Grade!

Today was the boys first day of Kindergarten!!!  The level of excitement around these parts has been unreal.  There has been excitement, difficult sleeping (on the part of children) and complete exhaustion (on my part and my husband).  This morning, we dropped the boys off at their classroom, gave some supplies to the teacher and went down to the main office to give the nurse their updated medical forms and Tommy's Epi-pen (he's allergic to bee stings like his father).

The boys are going to the local Catholic school which is Kindergarten through 8th grade.  We made that decision for now as the public school, which is where Phoebe goes, only has 1/2 day Kindergarten.  I thought they were to have switched to full day by now, but they have not.  The Catholic school has full day Kindergarten and they share a bus with their sister who is in the public middle school, so that is very convenient.  There school is also across the street from hers, which makes it easy if we ever need to drop off or pickup at the school.  They wear uniforms and there is only one Kindergarten class, so they are in the same class.  The teacher did ask me on Sunday when we visited if the boys needed to sit together or if they are OK at different work tables.  I said different tables was fine as they both seem to have their own interests and don't feel the need to be completely joined at the hip.  They just like to know where the other one is sometimes.  The other funny thing is there are THREE sets of twins in this class!!!  Two sets are boys and one set are girls.  We're all very excited for the upcoming school year.

I really super love this picture!  They are ready to take on the world together!

Phoebe also started 8th grade on Monday.  I'm doing her second, not because she is second best, but because she's probably not crazy about me posting about her these days, LOL.  She's going girly in her wardrobe this year.  We bought all dresses and skirts for school.  I told my husband last night when she was asking if something matched for school today that I told him this would happen.  The bathroom is all face-wash, hair products and makeup!  

Dress, check.  Vans, check.  Cell phone, check.  The girl is outta here!

Hope everyone has a great school year!!!


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