May 2018

May 2018

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Wardrobe

When the kids were in elementary school, I heard about a women who bought all new clothes twice a year.  To make room, she sold her current season's wardrobe from the previous year.  At the time, all the other moms thought her husband was a prince.  And, as I remember it, the woman did not shop at the discount stores.

After shopping last Saturday, I decided it was time to take a good look at my own wardrobe. In doing so, I realized that I've become a bit like the woman envied all those years ago.  I suspect a big difference, however, is that I'm not spending nearly as much money.  Another difference is that I do still wear some items that I've had for years.

But I like to stay current with my wardrobe.   And, even if my weight stays the same, every season I discover pieces in my closet that used to work but don't anymore. Plus I'm all for embracing trends that flatter my baby-boomer body.  It often seems that my generation drives the trends.  Several years ago, the three-quarter length sleeve showed up that's great for covering underarm flab.  This year the longer-length tops that cover the sagging, expanding tush are in vogue.

In all honesty, however, I couldn't afford to replace my wardrobe every season if I needed a lot of pieces.  But I no longer need work clothes in addition to casual items. Nearly all of the pieces in my wardrobe work for every circumstance or event in my life.  Plus, I don't shop at high-end stores and rarely buy anything that's not discounted.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

*13 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Same Old Same Old

My sister sees mom once or twice a year.  Every time she visits, I hear about how animated mom was. How she was able to remember things we thought were long forgotten.  And how well mom responded and conversed.  Nancy visited last Thursday and it was the same story.

Dad and I visited today, just three days later, and mom was back to "normal."  She was nearly falling asleep in her chair and didn't seem to recognize us.  The little bit of talking she did, that we understood, was negative as usual.

Week after week, it's the same depressing visit.  There is absolutely nothing fair about Alzheimer's disease.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aching Bunion

Today I met my "shopping buddy" at the Galleria.  We literally "shopped 'til we dropped."  I don't know what it is about shopping, but it's more tiring than 125 jumping jacks!  I think it's the hours of basically just standing.  And now I can add bunion pain to the misery.

My right foot has a frozen joint, but the bigger discomfort is the bunion on my left foot.  At home I live in slippers.  I minimize wearing enclosed shoes as much as possible.  My feet are much happier during sandal season.

It was still great to see Tracie and we had a good time nevertheless.  We always start our shopping dates with coffee and a chat.  That morning chat is getting longer every time we meet.  Thank goodness we keep shortening the time we actual shop!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Counting Down

Let the count down to spring break begin!  There are 14 Grandma Daycare days until break, which is six weekdays long.  Including four weekend days, that's ten days of freedom.  

By the time it arrives, I will have each day of break planned.  For my own sanity, I need to take full advantage of my Jonah-free days.  I imagine some thorough house cleaning, including the home office, which always seems in disarray.  And weather permitting, I would love to clean up the yard and prep the flower beds.

Plus, if business isn't too crazy by then, it would be nice to get away for a couple of nights. I'm thinking Kansas City to see the Princess Diana Exhibition.  That would be of no interest to Jim, but I'll thank him by finding some good BBQ joints.

After break, I hope spring will have sprung.  I'm running out of ways to entertain Elliott indoors on Fridays.  It's pretty bad when a five-year-old says he's had enough screen time!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Call Me Four Eyes

Jonah was late getting to grandma's today, because his dad lost his contact lens.  I'm sure he has back up, but the problem was the lens was hiding somewhere in his eye socket.

This episode just reminded me of the problems with contact lenses.  I had worn contacts for nearly 25 years before switching to glasses in fall 2009.  That summer I went in for my yearly exam, complaining about discomfort in my left eye.  Turns out I've always had slight astigmatism in that eye, but it never bothered me before.  Over several months, I went through the frustration of trying many different brands of lenses before finally giving up.

There are times when I think I'd look better without glasses, but not often.  Certainly not often enough to give up the comfort and convenience of glasses over contact lenses.  No longer do I suffer from dry eye or need to squeeze my eyes shut to adjust a contact.  I also like not having to make room for liquid cleaners when I travel.  And, best of all, I no longer have to mess with readers.

The only down side I've found so far is that I can no longer snorkel on our yearly trip to the Riviera Maya.  I'm sure it would still be possible if I invested in prescription goggles.  Or, I suppose if I really felt the desire, I could suffer through wearing an old pair of contacts for a short excursion.

So, for me, there really isn't a down side to choosing glasses over contact lenses.  Plus now I have another fashion accessory!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30-Day Shred -- Completed!

I've never been an advocate for working out every day.  I've always felt the body needs rest. But I now feel differently.  I'm certain a lot has to do with the program itself, but exercising daily has energized me.  As a result, my intention is to workout at least 30 minutes 5-6 days a week, even if it's just walking the neighborhood.

I also plan to do Level 1 of the 30-Day Shred at least 4-5 days a week.  I've noticed an overall firming that I never got from any other routine.  And I seem to be moving closer to no longer hating jumping jacks.  During the last couple of workouts, I've noticed they are slightly less excruciating.

But definitely the biggest benefit of this routine has been improved mobility.  The chronic pain in my right knee is nearly gone.  And I no longer feel and look like an old person when getting up from a chair or the floor.

Over the years, I've done a lot of different exercise routines, including treadmills, stationary bikes, yoga, weight machines, and Pilates.  But I've never felt the overall benefits the 30-Day Shred has given me.  And it's basically just old-school calisthenics.  

I know life will sometimes get in the way of my good intentions, but right now I'm determined to make daily exercise a priority.  To that end, we've decided to convert the downstairs bedroom into an exercise room.  It's a nice-sized room with a big window.  I'm very excited!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I've never needed tons of friends.  In fact, whenever I hear something like, ". . .wedding was attended by 200 of their closest friends and relatives," I'm extremely skeptical.  Honestly, how can a person have 200 "close" friends and relatives?

Maybe my definition of "close" is different from others.  To me a "close" relationship takes effort and time.  And with all the demands of my everyday life, I can only manage a few "close" girlfriends.  At this stage of my life, I have two.

Tonight I'll have dinner with one of those friends.  We met as room mothers when our children attended the same grade school.  Considering that my youngest child is 32, we've been friends for a long time.  Candy and I had other mutual friends, but she's the only one that's stayed constant in my life.  We're the same age and have been married to the same husbands for nearly four decades.  In addition, we each have two children nearly the same ages.  We also still have parents alive who are often not well.  Throughout the many years of our friendship, obviously our shared experiences have strengthened our relationship.  But we still wouldn't be close if we hadn't taken the effort and time to do so.

My second "close" friend I call my "shopping buddy."  We met in 1992 when we worked in the same office.  Tracie lives in Edwardsville, Illinois.  We've remained friends by meeting nearly every three months at the Galleria.  After almost 20 years, I'm glad we both still look forward to our shopping dates.  Our next one is this Saturday.

I'm grateful for both of these "close" friendships.

(Day 29 of 30-Day Shred:  Can't believe I'm just one workout away from finishing the program!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

February Me Day

Jim worked from home today while supervising the foundation work.  That allowed me to leave the house and have a fun Me Day.

I started the day with my annual mammogram.  OK, that wasn't fun, but I was in and out in under 30 minutes.  It's so refreshing to experience a well-organized healthcare facility.  And one that makes the patient feel extremely comfortable.

Next stop was Kohl's where I shopped just for me.  Usually at Kohl's I mainly look for bargains in the children's cloths and toy sections.  But today I stayed in women's cloths and jewelry.  I found four tops on sale that will transition easily into spring and summer.  Plus I got three necklaces from the clearance rack which were 80 percent off.  I used my $10 Kohl's Cash and 15 percent coupon.  I honestly don't know how Kohl's stays in business!

Then it was time for lunch.  But before I picked up Jim, I got a nice surprise.  Since it was raining, I pulled out a coat I haven't worn in awhile.  When one of the buttons fell off after leaving Kohl's, I stuck it in the right pocket.  And that's where I found my favorite earrings!   They've been missing for at least a year.  I used to wear them nearly everyday.  They're small sterling-silver elongated beads on shepherd's hooks.  I've looked and looked trying to replace them, but no luck.  I'm just so happy I finally found them.

For lunch we had a calorie splurge.  Candicci's is a little Italian restaurant just down the road from us.  Everything we've ever had there is delicious.  Today I got noodles with tomato meat sauce and a large meatball.  After their yummy salad and bread, I ended up taking most of my meal home.  In fact, there was so much sauce left over that I plan to add more noodles and some broccoli for a dinner later this week.

After lunch I headed to the spa.  I finally used the gift certificate Jim gave me for my birthday back in October.  I had such an indulgent facial that I scheduled another one for spring break next month.  A monthly Me Day?  Sounds like a plan!

(Day 28 of 30-Day Shred:  Added 20 more jumping jacks.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finding The Silver Lining

After years of putting it off, tomorrow the foundation repair begins.  I believe they'll be installing nine anchors.  I've requested they finish under the bedrooms tomorrow since Jonah won't be here.  I think he'll be able to nap if they're on the other end of the house by Wednesday.  (It's a three-day job, but they won't be here Tuesday due to the funeral of a family member.)

For the last three months, we've been preparing by moving stuff ten feet away from the front foundation wall.  Thank goodness we don't have nearly as much as most people do.  And the best part of this project is that we now have even less!

Another positive is the reorganizing of our storage room.  Since we moved in nearly 30 years ago, we've worked with the really bad homemade shelving that was already in place.  All of it had to be ripped out for the repair.  So now we'll build something that works better for our needs. Plus I've finally got Jim on board to seal and stain the concrete floor.  That'll make it so much easier to clean with no more concrete dust.

I guess it's true -- there's always a "silver lining."

(Day 27 of 30-Day Shred:  Decided to sleep in, so worked out late afternoon.  Mornings are definitely better for me, but it wasn't too bad.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Signs of Spring

As I gathered some fallen branches today, I got a nice surprise.  My daffodils are peeking out!

Nearly 25 years ago, I planted several bulbs in our front yard.  Now every spring, we have a nice crop of yellow daffodils.  They're the only flower I have that I can cut for large indoor arrangements and still have a nice outside show.

Of course, if daffodils bud too soon in Missouri, there's always a concern they might freeze and never bloom.  And several times I've had to cut all of my daffodils in full bloom, saving them from an early demise due to frost.

As always, I'm hoping for the best this year.   And I know the full show is many weeks away.  Nevertheless, just the thought of all those beautiful yellow blooms is warming my soul.

(Day 26 of 30-Day Shred:  Just four more days and jumping jacks are still tough!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Three-Day Weekend

Finally a weekend with no obligations except mass and a Bethesda visit to see mom.  And it's a three-day weekend!

If the weather remains warm, I plan to clean up the yard a bit.  All the snow and ice caused a number of branches to fall.  Trees look great and provide nice shade, but they're also a lot of work.  Between cleaning up branches, seeds, and leaves, they keep us busy year round. Come to think of it, that's probably a big reason we never have time or energy for annuals.

Maybe we'll see a movie.  I'd like to see The King's Speech.  We used to see a movie nearly every weekend.  But now we're good staying home with our 40" HDTV, especially since we have Netflix and Roku.  It's just better at home.  Jim can stretch out on the couch. We can pause any time.  And we're not tempted with unhealthy theater popcorn.  I look forward to the time when we can get just-released movies at home.

Whatever we do -- TGIF!

(Day 25 of 30-Day Shred:  Lost two pounds. . .probably mostly due to no more cupcakes and chocolates!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wedding Mysteries

Apparently I have two first cousins once removed getting married this spring.  I've come to this conclusion based on clues.

The first was an invitation to my cousin Gayle's daughter's bridal shower.  It was the first I'd heard about her getting married.  Maybe we won't be invited to the wedding. Is it weird to be included in the shower but not in the wedding?

The second was my dad assuming we got a Save The Date card for my cousin Tony's son's wedding.  I had no idea he was getting married either.

I have no problem not going to these weddings.  When Emily got married, we did not include any of my or Jim's cousins.  Extending the guest list that far was not in the budget.

All of this wedding talk has made me grateful.  I'm glad we're through college tuitions, weddings, and mortgages.  Now we can focus fully on the pipe dream called retirement.

(Day 24 of 30-Day Shred:  Warm enough to open the patio door for a fresh-air workout.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring Fever

We've had several days of warm sunny weather.  I'm starting to get a bit of spring fever. Whenever this happens, I start to think about adding annuals to our yard.  But when spring actually comes, we get so busy that all those good thoughts are abandoned.

Besides the usual rush of business, last spring we were also busy with a new grandson and a bathroom remodel.  But this spring should be less hectic.  And since right now I'm stronger thanks to my daily workouts, I'm feeling more positive than usual about those annuals. I've got Flower Power!

(Day 23 of 30-Day Shred:  Added 10 more push-ups.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Remembering Paris

Three years ago today, Jim and I flew to Paris.  We spent a week in the City of Lights to celebrate 35 years of marriage.  It was amazing.

Paris is a beautiful city that's perfect for walking.  That is if you don't have feet issues.  I had no idea how destroyed my right toe is until that trip.  We pounded the pavement every day and I was nearly in tears every evening.  I was so afraid that the only thing I would remember about Paris was the pain.  Fortunately, that didn't happen.

The temperatures were near 50 degrees the entire week with a good deal of sun.  That's almost unheard of for Paris winters.  We stayed at the Hotel de Vendome, which is in a prime location near Ritz Paris.  Our suite included a large sitting area, king-size bed, and big bathroom.  An advantage of winter travel is the greatly reduced rate at high-end hotels.

My favorite Paris memories are the lunches we had at the Royal Madeleine and Nicholas Flamel.  Each meal cost us over $100, but they were so worth it. We had wine, starters, entrees, coffee, and dessert. If we ever return to Paris, I will budget for more authentic French meals.  I now believe the only way to truly experience a different culture is to eat what and where the locals eat.

Merci pour les souvenirs Paris!

(Day 22 of 30-Day Shred:  Getting deeper into the squats and my tush is feeling it!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Elliott!

Today I now have a five-year-old grandson.  It's tough to grasp.  Even tougher is the fact that Elliott will be in Kindergarten next year, which brings a number of challenges.

The closest grade school to Elliott's house is Woerther.  However, because that school is full, Ballwin Elementary has been designated as the grade school for Elliott's subdivision. Ballwin is twice as far as Woerther and much further from grandma's house. So Emily submitted a transfer form to get Elliott into Westridge, which is near our house and where she went to grade school.

Then there's the issue of full- versus half-day Kindergarten.  Since Elliott is already in full-day preschool, he would have no problem with full-day Kindergarten.  But there are only 25 openings.  So, in addition to hoping for Westridge, we're also praying for full-day Kindergarten.

If Elliott ends up in half-day Kindergarten, I will be watching him half-days next year in addition to Jonah all day.  If Elliott ends up at Ballwin, I will be picking him up every day. We've been told there's a good chance that Elliott can take the bus to grandma's house if he goes to Westridge.

Therefore, next school year could be a tough one for Grandma Daycare.  However, I should have only a couple more years.  In two years both Elliott and Jonah will be in full-day school.   One in grade school; one in preschool.  I'm finally beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel!

(Day 21 of 30-Day Shred:  Going into the home stretch cardio is still the toughest part.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birthday Party Day

Today was Elliott's birthday party.  He'll be five years old tomorrow.  It was a Lego party and I made the cake.  I don't claim to be a cake decorator by any means.  But, per Elliott's request, I've made several of his birthday cakes.  At least in his preschooler eyes, grandma makes "cool" cakes.

Most of Elliott's gifts were Ninjago Lego sets. Papa and I gave him Garmadon's Dark Fortress last Friday. We never give Elliott his gift on party day.  I prefer that he be able to focus on what we give him. Plus, it gave him something to do on grandma day. Elliott loved it.  He told me today that he played with it nearly all day yesterday.  I have to admit -- Legos are "cool!"

(Day 20 of 30-Day Shred:  Got up early on a Sunday to workout before a busy day.  That's dedication!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stupid Junk Mail!

I guess I'm doing a type of hibernating.  I realized today that for the last two weeks I've only left the house on the weekends.  I haven't even been getting the mail.   Jim's just doing it while he's shoveling snow or moving trash cans.  But apparently we both forgot about it since Wednesday.  Today I pulled three days worth of mail from the box!

There was once a time I looked forward to getting the mail.  It didn't matter if most of it was junk and bills.  I just found it exciting to see what was in the box every day.  My life was simpler then and didn't include the internet.

Now dealing with the six-day-a-week delivery is mostly a chore.  The most annoying part is sorting out the junk mail, which quickly fills the recycle basket.  Once it's filled there's the bagging and hauling of the junk mail to the curb or recycle center.  The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get.  Stupid junk mail is taking up too much of my precious time!

Unfortunately, I don't see an end in sight.  We did reduce some of the junk mail by joining LifeLock.  We no longer get several credit card offers every week.  But there's still plenty of other junk.  Maybe I stumbled on to the only answer for now.  Deal with snail mail only once or twice a week.

(Day 19 of 30-Day Shred:  Got the job done, but it's tough finding time on weekends.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Toddler

Jonah began taking steps several weeks ago.  But until today, whenever he lost his balance, he would just take off in a fast crawl.  He couldn't stay upright for too long because his legs weren't strong enough.

I don't remember Jonah crawling at all today.  And he acted like all new walkers, just walking and walking.  He would walk from toy to toy, taking little time to play.  Instead, he tried to carry toys on his walkabouts.  As a result, Jonah was happier than usual today, which I didn't think possible.

Jonah is one happy kid.  It's easy to make him laugh.  He appreciates and enjoys simple pleasures.  For example, he used to try to touch his shadow.  Now he just looks down and laughs.  And it's rare for Jonah not to bounce when he hears music.

Elliott is a deep thinker and extremely sensitive.  Currently he's having bouts of sadness about growing up and turning five.  I'm afraid life will be tougher for Elliott than Jonah. Maybe Jonah can teach Elliott how to more often just live in the moment.

(Day 18 of 30-Day Shred:  Added five extra jumping jacks, which makes a total of 105 per workout.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


One of Elliott's toddler toys was the Little People Fischer-Price Barn, which he never really played with.  Now it's Jonah's and he plays with it every day.

Jonah's favorite part is the cock-a-doodle-doo sound it makes when you slide the rooster.  Several weeks ago he began trying to mimic the sound.  At first I thought he was whining, which is unusual for him. But as soon as I slid the rooster, he smiled ear to ear.

So, in my book, cock-a-doodle-doo was Jonah's first word.  To commemorate the milestone, I decided he should get a stuffed rooster for his first birthday.  I googled stuffed rooster and voila! There's now a Gund Plush Rooster that cock-a-doodle-doos on its way to grandma's house.  Again, the internet is awesome!

(Day 17 of 30-Day Shred:  Apparently I wasn't doing squats properly most of my life.  Now that I've corrected my execution, there's no more knee pain but a soreness in the lower part of my tush.  A tighter tush?  I'll take it!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Free Printable Valentines

It's amazing how much free stuff is offered online. I recently was lucky enough to find  The publisher is a graphic artist and stay-at-home mom.  She sells her digital designs, but also offers a lot of them for free.

With my computer, color printer, and white cardstock, I was able to print this free iPhone Valentine.  Each image, when folded, fits perfectly around a 1-oz box of Brach's candy hearts.  Elliott will be using them for his class room exchange.  So cute!

(Day 16 of 30-Day Shred:  Noticed just a touch of soreness in my shoulders after switching to three-pound hand weights yesterday.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Half Way Through 30-Day Shred

I have now completed half of the 30-Day Shred.  I'm very proud of myself.  It's not that I hate working out.  The problem is finding time everyday, preferably before noon.  Weekends are the hardest, especially Sundays.

There is definitely an improvement in my endurance.  And I no longer feel sore.  In fact, I'm finding that the knee pain I've felt for several years as I go down stairs is nearly gone. Perhaps the muscles surrounding my knees are stronger?

I haven't lost any weight.  But, to be honest, I haven't been counting calories.  Once the basement is back together after the foundation fix, I plan to add some time on the stationary bike.  Nevertheless, I know I need to cut calories if I want to lose 5-8 pounds by Memorial Day weekend.

Today I reviewed Level 2.  I was disappointed to find that I can't do 80 percent of the moves.  Who would have thought that the inability to bend a right large toe where it connects to the foot would be so limiting?  I'm doing my best to avoid surgery, which means not even trying to bend that toe.

Eventually, however, I might be able to incorporate some Level 2 moves into Level 1.  In the meantime, I upped the intensity today by trading my one-pound hand weights for three-pound ones.  Looking back to how I felt after the first day, that's an amazing accomplishment.

Monday, February 7, 2011

FoodNetwork -- An Education In Cooking

I started watching the FoodNetwork two years ago.  In the beginning, I was addicted.  I just couldn't get enough.  It was such an education in cooking.  I had no idea how ignorant I was on the subject.

Growing up, mom didn't share her kitchen.  Unfortunately, I continued that practice with my own children.  For mom cooking was a chore.  And that's how I felt about it most of my life. I did take Home Economics in high school, however, and remember liking it.  The first semester was cooking; the second was sewing.  But the cooking class was extremely basic and mostly about baking.

The FoodNetwork has changed how I think and feel about food.  I now love to cook.  (Of course it helps that I have a husband who will eat anything!)  I also have a greater appreciation for good food.  That's because I have a better understanding of what it takes to create a memorable meal.

I got to thinking about all of this as I made a big pot of Mexican Chicken Soup today, using my homemade chicken stock.  I've lost count of how many times I've made this dish.  It's an Ina Garten recipe, so I don't know how authentic it is.  Nevertheless, it reminds Jim and me of our yearly trips to the Riviera Maya.  Food can be that powerful. I'm glad I now enjoy the process :-)

(Day 14 of 30-Day Shred:  Actually starting to look forward to my 30 minutes with Jillian everyday.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gene Pools

Lunch at Bethesda is served at 11:30 A.M.  It usually lasts at least two hours.  Most of the residents need help eating, including mom.  Clean up is a big chore because food ends up everywhere!

We arrived at 1:00 P.M. today and found mom sleeping in her chair.  Mom and the five women she eats with were still sitting at the table.  For whatever reason, even if the other tables are cleared, mom's group lingers.  That means we have to talk mom into moving so we can sit and visit.

Mom can barely move now, even with a walker.  She can't get out of a chair without the help of one or two aides.  Mom's mobility is now diminishing as quickly as her mind his fading.

And then there's dad.

Dad is seven months older then mom.  He turned 80 last September.  When the weather got too cold for his daily walk, he joined Golds Gym.  Now he walks in the water and swims an hour -- every day!  Dad drives, takes care of a house and yard, manages his finances and healthcare, and cooks all his meals.

Life often seems unfair.  I just pray, for my family's sake, I pulled more from dad's gene pool than mom's.

(Day 13 of 30-Day Shred:  Haven't lost any weight, but feel a bit firmer.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who Should Shovel The Snow?

We woke to approximately four more inches of snow.  So, instead of running Saturday errands on my own, I waited for Jim.  After finishing work around 2:00 P.M., he cleared the driveway and cleaned off the car.  We then ran errands together and went out to dinner.

For all of our married life, there's never been a question of who would shovel snow. I now realize I've taken that for granted.  After talking to several wives, I've learned that many cannot rely on their husbands to get the job done.  It's crazy to me!

Even if Jim were physically incapable of shoveling snow, he would still take on the responsibility of hiring someone.  I believe a marriage can only last with a lot of give and take.  That includes a fairly equal sharing of chores.  And, as sexist as it sounds, snow removal is best done by the stronger mate.

(Day 12 of 30-Day Shred:  Definitely building endurance.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Picky Eater

With Super Bowl, Elliott's birthday, and Valentine's Day, I'll be doing a lot of baking.  Today I made Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes for a Super Bowl party.  Elliott enjoyed licking the beaters, but didn't like the finished product.  What disturbed him were the tiny bits of cherries.  He is such a picky eater!

As a new mom, Emily was extremely cautious about introducing Elliott to new foods, carefully watching for food allergies.  She was also nervous about him choking.  It didn't help that Elliott got his teeth late.  Whatever the reason, he is not a good eater.  Elliott does like most sweets.  But it's almost impossible to get him to try a new vegetable or protein.

Last summer, Emily and I decided to create a food journal for Elliott.  He got a sticker for trying a new food and for each time he ate it up to five times.  After five stickers, he got cash or a toy.  Yes, we were frustrated enough to bribe Elliott to eat better.  Mike was not happy about it, but the journal did help a little.  Nevertheless, it was abandoned by the time school started.

We're hoping Jonah will be a better eater.  So far, he's way ahead of Elliott at ten months. Unless he's not feeling well, Jonah will open his mouth wide for any food offered.  He's also interested in food everyone else is eating.  Elliott did neither of those things.  Maybe Jonah will help us coax Elliott into eating new foods.  Sibling rivalry used to our advantage.  I like it!

(Day 11 of 30-Day Shred:  Except for cardio, I'm probably ready for Level 2.  Will have to view it to find out.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Last Day of School Year Changed -- Again!

Today was another snow day.  That's three in a row and seven for the year.  Since the 2010-2011 school calendar only allows for five snow days, the last day of school is now May 31, the day after Memorial Day.

Needless to say, a lot of parents and students are irate.  Many people plan vacations around Memorial Day weekend.  In addition, public pools will open on Saturday, May 28, and count on students to fill various positions.

I don't understand the problem.  Unless we need more snow days before the season ends, why would it be a big deal to shorten second semester by one day?  In fact, second semester is already ten days longer than first semester!

I'm sure the Rockwood administration has not heard the end of this.  But parents should take note.  If a family has school-aged children, it's wise not to make plans for the first week of summer vacation.

(Day 10 of 30-Day Shred:  Had doubts about making it this far; cardio remains the toughest part.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sore Throat

Early last week, Jim came down with the congestion thing that's been going around.  He's just now coming out of it, so it's a 7-10 day illness.  It started with one of the office reps and one of the technicians.  Now the other office rep has it.  And late yesterday I started with it.

So far it's a mild sore throat.  I'm taking Zicam and AirBorne, hoping I can stop it in its tracks or, at minimum, shorten the duration.

I don't think there's been one day since school started that all of us (me, Jim, and the Jorgensens) have been well.  For that reason alone, I'm ready for spring.  We need to open the windows and let fresh air in.  Plus I believe the heater is a breeding ground for germs, which is why it's always so cold in hospitals and senior homes.  Thank goodness it's finally February!

(Day 9 of 30-Day Shred:  Little tougher today due to sore throat.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scrabble App Addiction

One of Jim's Christmas presents from the Jorgensens was the Scrabble iPad app.  Last night I decided to check it out.  I'm addicted!

After school was cancelled for today, I stayed up late last night playing.  And, already today, I've run down the iPad battery again.  I know the addiction will subside eventually.  But for now, Scrabble is a fun new filler for cold, snowy days.

(Day 8 of 30-Day Shred:  Must remember to "stick out my tush" so I don't hurt my knees.  Much less knee pain today as a result.)