Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (School Updates)

I was going to do this post in mid-Oct after I had the older boys' parent teacher conferences and when they got their first quarter report cards.  But I decided to wait until after I also had Zak's parent teacher conference at the end of Oct so I could update about all 3 at once.

AJ is doing great in 3rd grade!!  We all struggled a little at first with a lot of changes this year, new school, gifted class, 2 teachers instead of only 1 all day, lots of homework, riding the bus, etc.  But after a somewhat bumpy start we are hitting our groove.  I ended up having conferences with both of his teachers and they both said he's doing really well.  He is extremely smart and is doing great academically.  He is still struggling a little socially but they both said not to worry about that right now, that it will come eventually.  And he does struggle a little during transitions but they have found some work arounds for him and will document it so we can update his IEP as necessary going forward.  He finished the first quarter with all A's and B's which we are all thrilled with since this is also the first time he is getting letter grades.
Daniel is thriving in 1st grade!  He is handling the transition to full day school like a champ.  He really enjoys having 2 recesses and specials at school now, although I think he would prefer to come home for lunch.  He is doing great academically, right where he should be for his age.  And his behavior is fantastic!  He often clips "off the chart" for his great behavior during the day at school.  He already has his clip on the "Hall of Fame" in the principal's office, he's one of only 5 students to do that so far this year.  He was a little bummed that none of his friends were in his class, but he had no problem making new friends in his class this year.  He also won a special award at the end of the 1st quarter for Outstanding Achievement being Respectful.  He was very surprised to get the award and I am SO proud of him!
Zachary is also doing fantastic in his first year in preschool.  His teacher is very impressed with his behavior and what a good listener he is.  He is right where he should be for his age academically.  His favorite things to do are make crafts and go outside for recess.  He is also doing really well socially becoming friends with the other kids in his class.  His teacher said he was a little shy at first but the last two weeks he has really come out of his shell and let his personality shine.
I am so thankful that all of the boys are doing well in school so far this year, despite some very big changes for all of them.  I am also thankful that they have amazing teachers!  I know none of this would be possible without them and how hard they work.  I can't wait to see how the next 3/4 of our school year progresses!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Halloween - Part 2)

After our busy weekend, we continued celebrating Halloween all last week.

We started with Zak having a Halloween party at his school on Wednesday.  He enjoyed lots of Halloween snacks, came home with a whole book bag full of treats and made a few crafts.  He wasn't allowed to wear his costume (who wants to help 8 3-year olds go to the potty in those costumes??) so he wore his Minion shirt instead.  And the class "dressed up" for us for pick up time.  We walked in & they all looked like this:
Welcome to the pumpkin patch!!
Then we did our third and final trunk or treat on Wednesday.  It was another rainy day and I was thinking about not going because I figured since it was inside it wouldn't be super crowded.  But a friend said it usually isn't very busy so we decided to go.  She was wrong.  It was CRAZY!  But Daniel, Zak and I made the best of it and had a great time!  AJ had to miss this one because he had hockey practice.  I was so busy having fun, I forgot to take pictures this night.

Then Wednesday night we got a little off track when AJ and I both came down with a stomach bug.  Thankfully AJ woke up on Thursday feeling fine but mine hung around a little longer and I was down until Friday morning.  Thursday we cancelled our busy day and spent the day relaxing and recovering.

Thursday night was trick or treat in our neighborhood because for some reason Columbus doesn't want the kids trick or treating on a weekend night.  I was too sick to go but Adrian took the boys out for about 90 minutes.  They were joined by their friends and my brother, sister in law and niece.  Everyone had a great time and came home with a ton of candy!  Again, no pictures since

Friday we stayed low key since I was still recovering and we were really trying to have everyone healthy for actual Halloween on Saturday.  We watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and then watched the Mets win.  Saturday started early for me with a tough Zumba class and then AJ had his first hockey game of the season.

After we got thru all of our "have to's" on Saturday, then we were on to the fun part!  We headed out to our friend's neighborhood to trick or treat since that town was doing it on actual Halloween.  That neighborhood was great!  There were so many houses that were decorated fun and every one was giving out handfuls of candy.  Everyone was super nice and we had a blast.  We were only out for around an hour because it started to rain and we really had enough candy.

Our last stop on our Halloween tour was to Chipotle for their $3 Boo-ritos.  You had to add an extra to your costume to get the deal so we brought the boys in their costumes and AJ added a TMNT to his back, Daniel had sunglasses & a wand and Zak had a sword.  I also wore Zak's minion googles on my head just to ensure we got the deal for all of our burritos.  Adrian & I got our usual wraps and AJ tried and enjoyed a steak taco.

After gorging ourselves on Chipotle and candy, we let the boys stay up as late as they wanted.  AJ had been begging to stay up to watch sports with us for a while, so we let him stay up to watch the Mets.  We knew with the time change Sun would be a nightmare anyway so we figured why not.  Zak passed out on the couch around 10:30 but both other boys made it past 11 and to the end of the game.  Everyone slept in on Sun and the day went better than any other time change day has gone ever.  Maybe after 8 years we finally figured out how to deal with the time change?

It was a super fun Halloween season for us!!  Now we have a slight break before the whirlwind that is Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We will be taking it easy for the next few weeks to get ready for all that we have going on for that month.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Halloween - Part 1)

We love to celebrate Halloween around here!  We started 2 weeks ago with Boo at the Zoo and had two other things planned that weekend that didn't pan out.  I always plan more than we will actually do so that when plans fall thru, we still have plenty left to have fun.

Last weekend was jam packed with Halloween fun!  It started with Haunted Happenings at AJ's school on Friday night.  We had a blast trick or treating in the hallways, playing games in the classrooms and visiting the book fair.  The highlight for the boys was sliding down the giant slide in the gym.  AJ did it during the day and the other 2 were so excited to do it that night.  It was also fun to see a lot of our friends, both for the boys and for me.  And we got some pretty awesome pictures there, the Minions one is seriously my favorite picture ever.


Saturday after we did our normal Saturday stuff, swimming, hockey & Zumba, we headed out to our first trunk or treat of the year.  We went to Stoneybrook Church in Gahanna for the second year in a row.  We had a blast there last year & this year was much of the same, even if the event had to be moved inside because of the rain.  We got to all of the "trunks" to collect candy, played games, made crafts, met a Minion and ate yummy food including Daniel's first ever cotton candy.  We had planned to go to our town's Halloween party this night too, but it was cold and rainy so we decided to skip it.

On Sunday AJ was invited to a birthday party for a girl in his class so he headed there in his Hulk costume.  He had a very fun time playing with everyone there.  While he was there Adrian took the other two boys to trunk or treat number 2 at TriVillage Church in Pataskala.  We go out there every year, it's one of our favorites.  I didn't go this year because the Jets/Pats game was on & I was sucked into that.  Adrian said it was very crowded but they had a great time!  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from that day since I didn't go to any of the events.

It was a Halloween fun filled weekend for us!  We also got a lot of stuff done around the house and rested up for a busy Halloween week!  Come back tomorrow to see how the rest of the week went.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 11/2 - 11/8)

Happy November!!  I didn't post my meal plan last week because it was honestly either leftovers, pizza and sandwiches every day last week.  We had something going on every night on top of our busy days.  I'm glad I had an easy plan since AJ and I were also struck down with the stomach bug in the middle of the week.  I was in bed most of Thursday and had to miss our town's trick or treat.  Luckily we had another one planned for last night and we all got to go together.

So my eating has been pretty horrible.  Seriously when I started to feel sick Weds night I assumed it was because I had eaten 4 pieces of candy before bed.  I need to reign it in some this month.  I won't be perfect, I have plans for dinner this Weds, then two different food trucks coming to town the next two weeks, plus Thanksgiving.  But I'm going to start with eating as healthy as I can other than these special things.  My weight loss goal always changes to "maintain" instead of "lose" from mid-Oct to early Jan for my own sanity...and that of those who love me.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Squashed Washington - I'm making this today so we just have to bake it tomorrow
Tuesday - Chicken Paprika
Wednesday - Potbelly Subs for a school fundraiser
Thursday - Chicken Fajita Pasta
Friday - Leftovers - I will be at the school all night setting up for a huge vendor/craft fair the next morning.  If we don't have leftovers, Adrian will probably do something on the grill and I'll grab something on the go
Saturday - Saucy Asian Meatballs over and fried "rice"
Sunday - Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

I also plan to make this black bean soup for lunch at some point this week.  Either Tuesday while the boys are off from school.  Or Thursday or Friday while I have a little lighter schedule.

Water Flavor - Pear.  This is another one of my favorites.  I also have to share that last week I did cucumber infused water, which is delicious on it's own.  However when I got sick I was using spearmint essential oil to help settle my stomach.  I added some of that oil to the cucumber water - delicious!!  That will be happening a lot!!

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!