Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Hello, friends.

I know it's been awhile, but the holiday just had me beyond busy. I've been off for five days, and holy cow, I already can't wait for next weekend.

We had a grand old time at The Lakehouse. The weather was beautiful, and it was nice to wake up somewhere where someone else makes the coffee. The only downside was that B and I had to sleep in twin beds. And, I'll be honest, we both enjoy snuggling with Baby B between us and we do this frequently (often with all of us falling asleep). One morning, when I got up at 5:30am to nurse the little man, a jealous B croaked from across the pack-n-play between our beds, "I wish I had the Manmary boob that was on Meet the Fockers." He he he.

Anyway, our three days in Cumberland were spent eating, watching True Life on MTV, playing Tribond, hottubbing, watching True Life, sleeping in, and watching True Life. I don't know if we watched it because we're cable-deprived at home, uber-interested in the crazy lives of strangers, or because my mom accidentally DVRed 27 episodes of it. Either way, I am so glad I'm not in debt, a yo-yo dieter, or a single mom.

We also shot our family Christmas pic. Unfortunately, I cannot preview it here because many of you will receive it in your Christmas card from my parents. The Babbling family will shoot their own Christmas pic, but to tide you over, here's a pic of my little Grinch - who is probably the most non-Grinchy Grinch there ever was. Love him.

Oh, and there are MANY MORE pictures. I shot 197 pics over the past 5 days, so I'll upload some more eventually - like of the boys deep frying the turkey, Mom cooking, Soph resembling Ellen DeGeneres, me and the boys hottubbing, and Aubz snuggling with Baby B. They don't call me the Abb-aratzi for nothing ;)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Non-Nap


Here's how the story goes...

I decide that in the hour window between the time I get home from school and the time Baby B needs to be put down for his afternoon nap, I am going to make a quick run to Walmart for some last minute Thanksgiving day staples. So I snuggle the little man into his seat, zip over to the giant food mecca, strap the little man into the man pouch, grab a cart, and I'm off and running coupon binder in hand. (Yes, I'm now one of those women.)

I love the man pouch for multiple reasons. A) Baby B loves it. B) We both stay snuggly warm when I wear it. C) It's great for your back muscles.

However, it does tend to put the little man to sleep. And despite my best efforts to talk and bounce him awake, he wasn't having any of it. His eyes were fading just as we hit the dairy department, so I sped to the check-out hoping that I'd be able to keep him awake until we made it home. No. Such. Luck.

He slept in the car on the way home and then I ever-so-carefully placed him in his bed, still asleep. Score one for me.

And then, not 10 minutes later, he's awake. Jabbering away about how he wants to get out of bed and come downstairs and prevent me from accomplishing anything on my to-do list. And several trips up the stairs later to re-insert his paci in his mouth, I think I'm going to surrender. He's awake.

Probably because he keeps thinking about how much fun it is to sit in his new high chair.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Picture Montage Numero Dos

I'm not in the mood to post anything clever or witty today. So, just take a moment to enjoy our weekend in pictures.... We just know that those choppers are going to pop in any day.

Walker's Mommy, Al, Hobbers (now Howard!), Me, & Dr. Allen

These two are going to conspire against me in the near future. I can just see the practical joking and scare tactics formulating in their brains now...
My cute lil boy.

Precious, just precious.
This is what happens when I actually do the laundry. I find babies underneath!
Me and my BFF, Allison.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

210 looooooong minutes

Twenty-one ten-minute conversations later, and I'm officially a parent-teacher conference professional. Or so I'd like to think. I survived one of the longest days of a teacher's life. Most days are long for teachers, but this one was especially long. And I like to talk, but 210 minutes straight of talking and talking and then some more talking was pretty excruciating.

{Sidenote: B and I are watching Grey's and it's just getting weirder and weirder and weirder. What the heck is going on with Izzy and Denny? Is he alive or what? I'm so confused. Then there's the crazy new interns who like to remove each other's body parts. CREEPY. Just thought I would throw that in.}

The 30 Days of Nothing has gone, well, let's be honest - we're totally ordering pizza tonight. In fact, if Donatos isn't here in about 5 minutes I know a crazy hungry kindergarten teacher who might go postal on an unassuming delivery person. I. AM. STARVING. All that talking has left me famished. Doorbell just rang. Big. Fat. Garlic breadstick. In my mouth. Mmmmmm.

Well, just know that conferences are over and went well. No complaints, some nice compliments, and I can finally sleep easy. I'm throwing a P-p-p-party tomorrow in celebration of the letter P. We will meet the principals, read The Paper Bag Princess and watch the movie, make paper bag costumes, eat popcorn and drink purple kool-aid. Dontcha want to come to school tomorrow?
PS. If that picture doesn't make you happy, then I don't know what will.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three chocolate chip cookies and a Diet Coke later...

...is all it takes to take the edge off of my Wednesday. And the coke was warm and the cookies were made from a bag. But, oh how that combo of chocolate and caffeine can totally settle one's brain. And since the coke was calorie-free, I figure that cancels out at least one of the cookies I ate. Right?

Anywho, I'm coming down off of one of those crazy days where you have 497 things to do, but can only accomplish 14 of them, so you feel a bit scatterbrained, or discombobulated if you rather. (I should probably spell check discombobulated for fear that my spell-checker-of-a-friend, Allison, will call me out again. I wouldn't want to disappoint her ;) If you know me in real life, then you know how I can be a little mental at times. Like hyper-mental. Like talking 99mph, running around like a crazy chick mental. Sometimes I just have to take a deep, cleansing breath and realize that life will go on even if I can't use the fine-tip Sharpie to sign my report cards with. Yes, I'm a bit of a writing utensil connoisseur. Any college roommate of mine will tell you to STAY AWAY FROM HER MARKER COLLECTION. Seriously, I think I almost lost friends due to my stingy obsession with Bics, Pentels, and Crayolas. But that, my dear, is a whole other post.

Moving on...

The Little Bear is snoozling upstairs, so I've got a houseful of chores to attack, not to mention parent-teacher conferences to prepare for. I already spent an hour writing down four things I love about each child so that I could give it to their parents along with a cute pic of them. And we made the most DARLING turkeys today to hang in the hallway, so that their parents can be amazed by their creative genius. And the activity correlated with core content, so I'll just pat myself on the back for that one.

Okay, au revoir. And stay warm. It's ch-ch-chilly out there today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Insert your own title here...

Sorry for the lag in posts. I'm a bit busy prepping for Cycle 2 internship observations, parent-teacher conferences, and the holiday next week. It's only quarter til 10pm and I can barely hold my eyes open. I am looking forward to being able to sleep in for five days straight starting next Wednesday - even if that means only until 7am. I'll take what I can get these days.



I remember being pregnant, coming home from school, and crashing until B got home from work. Nevermind that dinner wasn't ready when he came home, I needed my sleep! I was busy growing a human being! Now, I come home from school, and my second job starts: taking care of and entertaining that human being. It's hard work being a momma. Especially a workin'-outiside-of-the-home momma, even if I'm only parttime. Baby B has decided that he rather spend the entire afternoon AWAKE, so I'm getting very little done. And that warm dinner that's supposed to be waiting for my dear husband when he gets home? Yeah, that's not even getting into the oven until 7pm when he's home to occupy Baby B. Thank goodness he wouldn't care if dinner wasn't ready until 9:30pm or if he's dishing up a bowl of Lucky Charms.

And by the looks of Baby B, at least someone is eating well around here ;)
Here's a cute pic of my niece and mom. Soph will be a big sis in about 2 months!
Nana K & Soph Having Tea

Friday, November 14, 2008

E.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d.

Ay, ay, ay.

I can barely keep my eyes open. And I really want to keep them open for about 30 more minutes so I can watch Ba-ba-wa Walters grill the "pregnant" man on 20/20. Can you believe (s)he is having ANOTHER kid? Not because (s)he's really a woman or anything, just because I personally cannot fathom being pregnant AGAIN so soon after giving birth. I'm pretty sure (s)he just gave birth around the same time I had Baby B, and I definitely do not want to be pregnant again any time soon.

Anyway.

After making chicken fried rice for dinner, we headed to the neighbors to watch the Cats lose to VMI. Sad face. It was a dissapointment, but it was fun to catch up with Josh and Beth (who we tend to lose touch with during the colder months, despite the fact their front door is literally ten feet from our own). I came home to put Baby B to bed and B is still hanging out with Josh. Actually, he just walked in the door, empty Tanquerey and Tonic in hand.

The weekend will be uneventful as we gear up for the holiday travelling we'll be doing starting next weekend. We'll be in Pikeville for Sarah's wedding...Cumberland for Thanksgiving...and then Christmas the second week of December in Michigan. December 25th will be here in NO TIME.

Hopefully Baby B will sleep through the night. I could use a good night's sleep.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why I Heart My Husband Reason #472

Bet that pic caught your attention, huh????

If you read my election day post, then you probably know that I voted for McCain. I wasn't that thrilled with him or Obama, but McCain's values align more closely with my own so he took my vote. In the end, I'm kinda excited about our new president and I look forward to him taking office. Regardless of his party, I know he needs our support. (I'm only telling you this so that you can understand the rest of my post, and hope that my readership isn't based off of political affiliation. )

Anyway...

I ended up going to school last night from 8pm to 10pm to finish up report cards and get my room ready for today. Don't worry - I already got the lecture from my mom telling me how unsafe this is. I was talking to B as I came home and as I'm pulling in the driveway I notice that there is a sign in our front yard.
MY MCCAIN/PALIN SIGN HAD BEEN TURNED INTO AN OBAMA SIGN!!!!! Now, mind you, the sign had already been sitting by the garbage can for days. Since I am still talking to B on the phone, I'm like HAVE YOU BEEN OUTSIDE?! He says he hasn't, and I'm all ripping out the sign only to discover that there's paper plastered all over I front door too. YOU HAVE TO COME OUTSIDE, I declare. THE NEIGHBORS HAD TO HAVE DONE THIS! (You know we have a very joking bunch of neighbors.) So I'm carrying the disgrace of a sign to my front door when I realize that the papers on the door say this:
HA HA HA. I was laughing hysterically only to find the culprit waiting all a-smile behind the door. It was much needed comic-relief after a very long day, and I so appreciated his effort to cheer me up. It was pretty funny.

Thanks, B. Love you :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A little off balance

First of all, thanks to all my new BFFs (that would be Blog Friends Forever) for posting on my site! I am sooooo excited and flattered that you read. You can never have enough friends, right? And to all the family members and friends that I already knew read, thanks for leaving me some love too :)

Second of all, I know that many of my readers must be shy. Using my site meter, I can tell all of the locations where my readers are from. So, curiosity is totally killing the cat here - who's reading in Honolulu, Indianapolis, Brockport, and Minneapolis? Come on, just tell me!!!! Okay, well, you don't have to, but I'd love it if you would!

So, let me update you on my week. Now, I am so totally an optimist. A glass if half-full kinda gal. Unfortunately, my optimism isn't doing much to help out my crummy week. I hate to be a whiner for even a second (especially since I spend my morning with a room full of them), but I just can't seem to get shake off the blahs. I'm going to blame them on report cards. Maybe I'll feel better about life in the morning when I click "post grades" on the computer.

I think that one of the reasons I feel so supercalifragilistically crazy right now is because I can't devote all of my time and effort into my job. I am a perfectionist and organizational queen when it comes to school work (you wouldn't know it by looking at my house), but I have more important things on my mind these days. Namely, this little creature:
When I first started working, I created a little mantra to help keep my priorities straight. BCF = Baby B Comes First. I really do repeat that to myself. So, if it comes to school work or a clean desk/house or perfecting lesson plans, I'm going to opt for the Little Man over any of that. His happiness and well-being are the most important thing to me, so I would rather devote 110% of my attention to him. With that, though, I'm left feeling only half perfect at my job. Which really isn't perfect at all. And that bothers me. A lot.

So, if you didn't know before, I'm a bit Type A Personality-ish. It's a great thing to have at times, and a major flaw at other. It doesn't seem that you can balance home and work because then you'd probably only be doing a mediocre job at both. Either you're heavier on the home side, or you're heavier on the work side. And I guess I'm out of balance in favor of my family. I'd rather be known as Baby B's mom than recognized as Little Miss So and So's teacher.

Well, I don't think this post solved any of my working woes, but I feel a little better. Sigh.

Baby B and Daddy having a moment when B got home from work.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A case of The Mondays

Yes, I am suffering from a bad case of The Mondays. It was a two-Diet-Cokes-by-9am kinda day.

The day started off with me unable to find anything to wear. This is too tight. This is too muffintop-ish. This is too black. This is too big. This shouldn't be worn after Labor Day. This is from 2001. This is inappropriate. This makes me have unnecessary cleavage. This isn't clean. I think Baby B spit up on this. You get this picture.

947 outfits later I decided that anything warm and clean would fit the bill, and I left the house in a sweater and skirt that I borrowed from Katie Allen for Keeneland when I still lived in Lexington three years ago. (Katie, if you're reading, you can totally have the skirt back. My sincere apologies.)

Since B was taking Baby B to his mom's, my goal was to be at school by 7:30am. The clothing disaster had me leaving the house at 7:30am and then arriving at school 22 stoplights later. I caught every darn one. Not even kidding.

When I got to school I was greeted by a blinking light on my phone indicating a voicemail. Another indication that The Mondays were coming on. The parent was on her way to school to meet with me. I should have just left sick at that point.

So, I conferenced with a parent for 10 minutes (which may not seem like a huge amount of time, but when you're a teacher every precious nanosecond counts). Fortunately, said parent wasn't a tyrant and we had a very nice convo about her child.

Moving on...

Then came the addition of the new student to my classroom. Plus the other new student I got last week. Plus the student that comes from first grade to my room every day. I now have 25 students. And it's crazy how one tiny person can change the whole room dynamic. They've gone from a manageable bunch of eager learners, to a hyper bunch of whiners. Is it the time of year or what? So, nevertheless, I pretty much need to reorganize EVERYTHING about my classroom to accommodate new students, new behavior, and generally the chaos that is my classroom from 8:15-11:41am every day. Are you allowed to muzzle kindergareners??? Totally kidding. And where am I going to find the time for these alterations?

Oh, and the copy machine was out of order, report cards are due in 72 hours, conferences are next Thursday, and my house is a hot mess (big surprise there, huh?). I swear I cleaned this weekend, but I just can't seem to prevent the clutter from spewing everywhere. I'm not even a pack rat. We just have lots of stuff. Everywhere.

The best part of the day so far is that Soph and Baby B are both snoozling. I should be cleaning, but Soph's spot is on the couch in the living room where most of mess is. Arggggg....

You know what would make my case of The Mondays go away? (Well, besides hired help and some extra hours in the day...) I would love to know that you actually read BabblingAbby. Even if I don't know you in real life. Just leave me a little comment that tells me who you are and where you blog at so I can come visit. Please? My ego could use the boost :)

Oh, and here's the boy child at 4 months old. Love him, love him, love him. He's the cure for the chaos.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tweet, tweet!

To the left, to the left...

Yup, look over there. In the corner. I'm twittering.

That's where I'm going to tell you what I'm doing. And because you're nosy you'll be constantly refreshing my page to see if I'm doing something different.

Ugh.

It's the end of the first grading period at school. And you know what that means?

REPORT CARDS.

And you know what that means?

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES.

And you know what that means?

I HAVE LITTLE TO NO LIFE FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

Ick. Ick. And double ick.

Being a newbie, I'm expecting the worst - long hours spent hunched over my compter entering non-grades into the dinosaur of a program we have...coordinating schedules with demanding parents...time spent away from Baby B since I can only access the report card program from school...overtime without pay...the general crankiness that comes with spending too much time away from home...discussing "issues" that parents are in denial about...you get the picture.

Sigh.

The good thing is that I will still love my job in the end because I am, in fact, doing what I love. I will come out alive.

In other news, the 30 days of Nothing is going well. I like spending cash rather than sliding my card all the time. I'm a more conscientious spender when I sit and think about how much I'll have left after I make a purchase.

This past week I spent $37 on groceries, $5 on a prescription, and $27 on gas for B's car. Oh, and then the random $25 last night on a new coffee pot. For some reason the $60 new age machine we got for our wedding decided to spit out liquid energy that tasted like mildew. Ewwww. And this was after I ran vinegar through it twice.

I was actually going to use some of our grocery money to hit up Starbucks last night, and then I realized that two grande whatevers would probably cost half of what a whole new machine would cost. So, instead, I did the smart thing and went to Walmart at 9:30pm. B and I were both pulling late-nighters last night on various work projects, so we needed the caffeine boost.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

10 Fun Facts about the Babbling Family

1. I am addicted to Diet Coke. B is addicted to milk. The man could consume an entire cow's worth in a day, I kid you not. We would be wise to invest in a Bessie or Annabelle. I, on the other hand, am probably rotting away my insides by consuming excessive amounts of phenalalynine by 9am every morning.

2. I heart, I mean HEART, Ugg boots. I don't care if the trend expired with shiny lipgloss and Amy Winehouse, I could wear them every fall/winter for the next 50 years. Not even kidding. I own two pairs - a classic tall sand colored pair and a classic short brown colored pair. They are so comfy and warm. I could wear them with skirts. I could wear them with jeans. I could wear them on a boat. I could wear them with a goat. Sam I am, I could wear them anywhere! Whoa, the kindergarten teacher in me was coming out...

3. We have a tea kettle sitting on our stove. Do I make tea? No. But doesn't every stove just need a tea kettle sitting on it to look complete? I do, however, use it to boil water for hot cocoa and instant coffee. My stove also complained that he needed a decorative trivet to mask his Harvest Gold hue. Hate to tell you Stove, but nothing can hide your 1970s good looks.

4. B works for a company that manufactures centrifuges. Don't know what they are? Maybe you should Google it in the search engine to the left to find out.

5. We have family all over the country - from Vermont to Arizona. My parents each have 6 brothers and sisters, plus spouses and children. B's mom has 10 brother and sisters and his dad has a brother and a sister, plus spouses and children and children's children. Isn't that so fun? Family reunions are the best.

6. B and I scored Red Wings tix for March. Woot, woot! At the Joe, lower bowl, row 11. Hotdog!

7. B drives a VW Jetta. I drive a Nissan Pathfinder. Neither are new, and we will drive them til they die because we're all Dave Ramsey-ish like that. I'm up for a new car next. I want a VW Passat Wagon.

8. B has the most incredible sweettooth ever. His faves - Hot Tamales, Sour Patch Kids, and Lemonheads. I prefer chocolate, chocolate, and occasionally chocolate.

9. We never make our bed. Ever. Not even when company comes over. Maybe some day I'll grow up and it will be a priority. Made or unmade, the bed still sleeps exactly the same.

10. Me, B, and all of our siblings have attended at some point or are currently attending the University of Kentucky. They should name a scholarship after our loyalty.

Wasn't that fun?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Go vote!

Don't worry, I'm not about to get all political on you, but the frugalite in me just had to encourage you to go vote tomorrow. Not only is this the most important election since I've been alive (this is only the second election I've been eligible to vote in, btw), but all those who vote are entitled to a FREE cup-a-joe from Starbucks. So, whether or not you really care who becomes the next President of the United States tomorrow - and you TOTALLY should - at least go vote so you can hit up Starbucks afterwards.

B, Baby B, and I will all be out to do our civic duty bright and early. We're talking 6am early. Supposedly the lines are going to be out of control since our state wasn't eligible for early voting, so this is really the optimal time for B to get to the polls since he won't be home from work until after 6pm. Being his loving and supportive wife, I let him persuade me to vote before the sun rises. And, it's quite possible that Baby B will have me up for his a.m. feeding, so why not go vote anyway?

Whoever the winner tomorrow might be, my only prayer is that the right candidate is put into office and that he will serve our country with dignity and honor for the next four years. May God bless his term in office and our country.

I totally just went political on you, didn't I?

:)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Did you make it out to the stores this weekend? Did you see the CHRISTMAS stuff piled EVERYWHERE?! Halloween was 48 hours ago and they're already ready for a holiday that is still two months away. Crazy.

The only good thing about the quick transition from one holiday to another means that all the Halloween goodies are now on clearance. I bought 5 Pumpkin MagnaDoodles that I intend to use in my classroom at a center (to practice proper letter formation, of course) for $2.50 a piece. This is an easy way to be green too, since it doesn't involve wasting paper. It's also much more fun than using plain old pencil and paper, right? I, personally, could doodle on a MagnaDoodle for hours. But that's just me and doodling brings me infinite amount of happiness anyways - Magnadoodle or not.
In preparation for the holidays, B and I have decided to participate in "30 days of nothing" - as inspired by Owlhaven. (This woman fed a family of TWELVE on $200 a month!) Basically, we will spend money only on our necessities: monthly bills, gas, and groceries. We will have $300 in cash from which we will pay for our gas and groceries. No pulling out the debit card for frivolous expenditures. Which is mostly difficult for me, as I can't help but buy goodies for my classroom or a cute outfit for my darling child on a regular basis.

Why do this, you ask? Well, first of all, we want to increase our savings. Secondly, we want to have a little extra to spend during the holiday season - custom Christmas cards designed by MEllen, the Festival of Lights at the zoo with Baby B, gifts for family and friends, a trip to Michigan for the weekend, etc. Also, we want to be able to give. Last year, with the help of my parents, we were able to provide Christmas to a family who may have not had one otherwise. It was very meaningful and we really want to do it again this year.

So, for the month of November, we're going to be a little more creative with our cash. No splurging on Skinny Lattes at Starbucks, no trips to Target, no Donatoes on nights I'm too lazy to cook. So wish us luck and keep us accountable as we give this our best shot!

In other news, somebody's found his tootsies....and lost his hair! We miss it, but he's still the cutest follicly-challenged four-month-old we know!