Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tiresome Thursday


Whew!!!! The week is drawing to a close. Clinicals were full of drama, life continues, and a family wedding for which Alanna is the flower girl will occupy most of this weekend. Not much more to add..
Shoes? Check!
Tights? Check!
Dress pressed? Check!
Hair appointment confirmed? Check!
Clothes for mom? Check!
Clothes for dad? Check!
Tired? Check!
Need sleep....................................CHECK!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Photo Shoot #2

As promised...photo shoot #2.....

I have a confession to make... I love taking pictures of my daughter, especially when she is wearing clothes from my favorite store for children, Gymboree! I am addicted to this store. Yes, I think it is extremely overpriced but with great coupons, sales, and a new outlet store near by, I can't go wrong!


I think that Alanna had a good photo shoot day







Life certainly goes fast... As I look at these pictures and try to find the right words to say I am in awe at how big my little girl already is... While I think she is my baby, she is quite the little princess!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Return to the Blogging World

It's quite refreshing to be back into the blogging world. I wanted to share these photos with everyone! They are quite hilarious! Alanna has taken a liking to posing for the camera... We will call this photo shoot #1. There will be another one this week... It never surprises me to see how many pictures it actually takes to get one with a normal smile....



Got it!!!!


This week is almost the end of school for me... I have finished my final paper (what a bear that was), I have three days of clinical remaining, one more test, and one clinical journal due... I can see the end of this semester. The whole concept of women's health interested me but the pediatric clinicals have really depressed me... I can't wait for it to be over!


I am trying to figure out some fun things to do with my time while I am on Christmas vacation. I have to start planning early to ensure that I get them all in... I am on break from December 11th until January 14th... I am open to suggestions!


One thing is for sure, reorganizing and cleaning the house is definitely on the agenda... Yes, I know this is not exciting but it must be done...


Well, I hope all is well with everyone. More later!






Sunday, November 25, 2007

Birthday Dinner









For my Birthday, Lara and Amber treated me to a dinner at a Japanese steak house in Tinley Park called Hamada. It was very tasty. I have never been to a Japanese steak house so this was quite an adventure...It was a dinner and a show at the same time! It was fascinating to watch them cook the food right in front of you. (Not to mention enlightening to see how BAD everything really was for you!)


The meal started off with Japanese soup, followed by salad. Alanna loved this part and was able to use the chopsticks like a pro in no time...


Next, we witnessed first hand how chicken fried rice was made, yummy noodles with veggies, and finally, shrimp, chicken and steak.


I have to say this was probably one of the best meals I have had since Disney, lets face it, they know how to cook and set high standards once you are spoiled with the dining plan. I recommend this place to anyone and will definitely go again.


Thank you Lara and Amber for the dinner adventure!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Almost December??? Where have I been!

Well, I have taken quite the break from the Blogging world. Much longer than I ever anticipated or wanted, that is for sure. It seems that blogging is very therapeutic for me, and it gets me behind the camera again. I capture moments that I would never have captured before. The past month flew by... While I was not blogging, I was taking lots of pictures that I will share over the next few weeks. The first ones that I would like to share are from my Daugther's preschool Thanksgiving program. I have to say, this was the first program I have attended and it was really cute... Alanna was a pilgrim, but she was also surrounded by lots of indians! The children were all excited to perform the "Turkey Pokey" which was a twist on the Hokey Pokey... Here, Alanna put her waddle out!


Then, her right foot... (I think she wanted her right wing out also)

Next... You put your tailfeathers in

And you do the turkey pokey

Whew! That was an adventure! We also had a wonderful time at lunch with my sister Charlene and my niece sister. It was my birthday lunch and we celebrated at Aurielios...my favorite pizza place. My sister created a wonderful post about it... You can find it here... Thanks again for a great time! Youre the best!!!

I had the opportunity to go to an awesome restraunt in Orland with Lara, Amber, Alanna and my wonderful husband Matt... It was great! I will share some photos of the excitement on a later post... Following all the excitement... Alanna got sick... I totally FREAKED! You would think that me, the nurse, would have better control of myself... Not me. My child was not even holding water down! Fortunately for me, my sister came to my rescue... She is the experienced one that will eventually be my receptionist....

More later...But I will leave you our attempt to take a family photo for one of Alanna's school projects.... Very interesting to say the least!










Saturday, November 3, 2007

Yes... I am still alive


Sorry for the break... Will post more later. Life has been busy and I needed a bit of a break from blogging the past few days. I missed it though! Husband, children, school and life has happened the past few days... I think my daughters face says it all... Not to mention the movie she is holding is Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang... Looking forward to the extra hour of sleep tonight. It is the only day of the year you are actually blessed with an extra hour in it. (Notice, I am using it to sleep.)

More later

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Menu Monday....Late again

Okay... The whole concept of Menu Monday was to eat at home, NOT out... I will be honest, we haven't been doing to greatest. In an attempt to fix this major glitch, I decided to go to Sam's club to stock up on some meat and other necessary items. Here is what was in my cart: print cartridges, economy pack of hot dogs, tortilla chips, salsa, bottled water and a bag of frozen veggies...The only meat? A bag of frozen tyson chicken breasts... Can you believe that they were out of the other meat I was looking for? How dare they.... Or, was it a sign that I shouldn't cook?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

In preperation for things tonight, we were going to eat out again. Ironically, I had to stop at the grocery store for an item and instead, I got stuff to make dinner for the rest of the week.. GO ME!!!

I can do this... I think that my sister and I are going to do the cooking for the month thing... That sounds like fun...

I will post my menu as a side bar now....

Hope all is well...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Feeding the Horse



Alanna enjoys playing by herself. It is amazing to see how much her imagination has taken off the past few months. While we were at the orchard, she started to pretend to feed the fake horse with hay. She could do this all day long if we would let her! Definitely cute!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Take a picture of me Mom!!!!

Alanna: "Take a picture of me Mom!"

So I did.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's Thursday... and I'm still tired!

Well, here is another fun shot from our trip to the orchard... Alanna loves playing in the kids farm. She could stay there for hours. Ahhhhhhhh... I love fall. Although, I have to say that it is going too fast. The leaves changed colors overnight. One week the air conditioning was on, and now the heat is on. At least the electric and gas company is happy!

I have not done too well with the cooking challenge. EEK! Tuesday, we ate out. Last night, we managed to stay at home and Matt and Alanna ate out tonight while I was at work. I really need to go to Sam's club. I guess I will add that to my to do list. I would love to go to a meal prep center... The sad thing is that I don't even have time to do that right now. I am in need for some good crockpot recipes... If you have some, let me know!

Alanna is learning her letters right now... I have to laugh, she is a bit confused. I think it is cute... "KA KA KA...D!" she says with great excitement tonight. So cute.

I think the mind of my daughter is fascinating. Always thinking... Always learning... Always growing.

She is such a bundle of energy. I just wish I have an ounce of it on days like today.

More later... I'm tired again. There must be something about Thursday's.........

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Corn Field Maze


On Sunday, we spent some good quality time at County Line Orchard. Our first stop... the corn maze. We had alot of fun there. Alanna was determined to get to the other staircase which was on the other side of the maze. Thank goodness for Matt's navigational skills! He was able to manuver us through the maze without any difficulty. About an hour later, we emerged. Thankfully, we did not get lost! I suddenly have a new appreciation for corn fields. The sound of the wind through the corn stalks was amazing. It could relax even the most uptight person, me... Seriously, have you heard the wind through the corn stalks before? If not, I encourage you to do so sometime.


Menu Monday (Late!)


Okay...It's late, but here it is. (Yes, there are alot of repeats from last weeks menu... Matt made frozen pizza and other encores a few times since I am home so late. Hopefully we will do better this week!)

Monday: Chicken and Dumpings (done)
Tuesday: Lasagna Roll-ups
Wednesday: TBA (Probably Matt's Choice)
Thursday: Crockpot Chili
Friday: Chicken and Rice


Here we go again!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Suddenly Saturday

Okay... I am still alive (barely). I was supposed to work midnights tonight and suddenly, the phone rang at 0440 in the AM... Yes, I said AM. Ouch. They wanted to to come in and work days. Did they even check the schedule to see if I was already on it? NO! Why would you want to do that? It only makes sense. Matt was not to happy. I thought he was going to scream!!!
Well, after being awake, I decided to point out how I couldn't work for 24 hours straight.. Hmmmmmmm.... I wonder if they would have let me? I offered up a trade and worked days instead. This was a much better deal all around. SO, Saturday happened very SUDDENLY... I think I should take the phone off the hook tonight so Sunday doesn't follow this trend as well.
What to do next... Sleep, study, write my paper or blog more... Life is to short and I need more hours in the day. I have to do a paper now. More later

Jess

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's Thursday... And I'm tired!

It's official... This is Alanna's first picture taken without me around... It is her preschool picture. She looks scared to death! I still think it is cute. What a prep!
Today is Thursday.. I have had a super busy week... (and its not going to get any better!)

Sunday: work 12 hours
Monday: clinical 10 hours
Tuesday: class 8 hours
Thursday: clinical 9 hours

Plus... cooking, cleaning, studying, writing papers, playing with my daughter and spending time for my husband... Whew! This multi-tasking queen is wore out! I do not know how some people can do this all the time. Seriously! I just want a nap!

The rain is here now. It is great! I love a good thunderstorm with lots of lightening and thunder. Should be good sleeping weather tonight.
Well, we have eaten at home all week long... Really we started all of this on last Friday. I have stopped craving french fries and hamburgers now. I will admit, we have not stuck to the menu. My husband finds it frustrating to try to prepare a meal and "wait" for me. He is preconditioned to eat at 5:30pm each night. I have not been getting home until 6-6:30. Hmmm... More crock pot meals next week for us I guess! I reminded him of the numerous times I have sped up or slowed down meal preparations in according to his ETA home... It didn't phase him. Frozen pizza last night was the menu and bosco bread sticks tonight. I had the left over pot roast from Monday night. (I have never eaten leftovers this far out... hopefully I won't regret it later!)
I'm proud of both my sister and I for sticking to our guns... we so totally rock!!!
More later

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fire Alarm

Okay... Its official.. It's Tuesday again and now, instead of the school bell... I want a FIRE DRILL!!! Trust me, I am tempted to pull it. Just to get a few minutes out of this class. A few weeks ago we did have a disaster drill. Most universities are doing this as a result of the Virginia Tech massacre last. I guess I should be careful what I wish for...

The class that I am in is Healthcare policy and procedures... It is actually interesting, but slow. The professor has very good insight and knowledge on healthcare and makes you think. However, I can never seem to give him my undivided attention! I would be diagnosed with ADD and placed on medication if I was in elementary school! On the bright side of things, I have sat here for nearly six hours and their is only to more to go. Whew!!!
Things that make class go by:
IM my sister and niece
Daydreaming
Working on assignments that are pertinent to my education
Blogging (duh!)
I have to say that the cooking challenge is off to a good start... We like the pot roast. Tonight is pulled pork sandwiches... Yum! (I think I might be a bit hungry!) I think that I might actually be able to do this. I still think shock will set in soon, time will tell.
Well, back to class... More later








The cooking challenge






Okay, so my sister Charlene and I have decided to have a challenge. While this may seem silly to some, it is reality for us. Reality is that we do not cook enough at home, especially for dinner. It seems to have escaped our daily life. Eating out has become our norm.. To be truthful, I am sick of it. It is pretty bad when you can't decided where you want to "eat out" because you have had it all....

Our challenge? To cook dinner at home Monday thru Friday...AT LEAST... This means no matter what. It means preparing and planning... It means sticking to our guns.

SO, my menu??? Well, that is interesting. I hope to try new stuff and am up for some suggestions. I found myself so inspired that I bought Rachael Ray's new magazine for some ideas...


I am really stuck on trying to find stuff to make in the crock pot or prepare ahead meals. Hopefully, I can build a collection of these... I have a few (most of which will be pulled out the first few weeks of this challenge).

I am going to get creative... How about Menu Monday???

Here it goes...


Monday: Pot Roast and veggies in the crock pot


Tuesday: Pulled pork sandwiches

Wednesday: Lasagna Roll-ups with garlic bread

Thursday: Garlic Shrimp, veggies and rice

Friday: Paprika Chicken and potatoes




Whew... While it is not gourmet, it is a start....

I think my family is going to go into shock! (At least my husband might)

My daughter will probably go through McDonald withdrawal, we will see....

Hope all is well with everyone!

More later









Sunday, October 14, 2007

My 1st MeMe


Well, I am going to do this.... And I promise to pass it on when I make more friends in this blogging world!!! (Man... I feel like a loser sometimes!!!) Just kidding... Charlene was tagged already and Marilyn sent it to me... So, here it goes:

It's about Fours....

4 Jobs I've had:

Library Page

Arby's worker

Nurses aide

Resgistered Nurse

4 Films I could watch over and over:

Bad Boys 2

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Mary Poppins

Pirates of the Carribean (Any of them)

4 TV Shows I watch:

Greys Anatomy

CSI: New York

Private Practice

CSI: Las Vegas

4 Places I have lived:

With my sister and her family---in a house

Indiana University---in a dorm

In an apartment with my husband

In my first house with my family

4 Favorite Foods:

Pizza

Popcorn

Pickles

Chicken Fried Steak

4 Favorite Colors:

Brown

Green

Burgundy

Orange

4 Places I'd love to be right now:

In Disney

On the beach...anywhere

sleeping...anywhere

On a sabbatical in Europe


Saturday, October 13, 2007

The many faces of Alanna


It seems that in a three-year-old's mind they are cute when they make silly faces when seeing a camera. I give up! I can remember when she would smile! Now, it seems like we are in this phase of expressive smiles and only Alanna thinks they are cute.

(Okay, maybe I think that they are cute too...)

Finally, after much encouragement, I was able to capture a few cute shots. All I can say is that I am so grateful someone invented digital cameras. I would have had to develop 48 pictures just to get these!!!!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Why on earth would I want a dog?


I am not sure why I decided to look at dogs the other night... I think I scared my husband and was on the verge of making a HUGE mistake...At least, at this point in our lives. Now, I have had this fascination for weimaraner dogs since I was in college in Bloomington. This stems back almost ten years. I think that they are a beautiful breed and would be great pets...At least I thought they would.



I was so interested, I even called a rescue in Michigan for information on adoption. The woman I talked to was really helpful. I even have the application on my computer partially filled out. Keep in mind, this was even after she told me that a weimaraner would do an entire couch in within 20 minutes... I didn't even blink!



Then, I realized what an idiot I was. What in the world was I thinking? Like I need a dog right now! (Plus, I would kill it if it ate my couch right now!) I began to think about it more and realized that if I wanted a dog, maybe it was time for another child. While the two are completely different, they fill a mothers need to nurture and love. Not to mention, I would much rather have a baby than a dog!



Whew! It was a close one. I can't say that I won't completely stop loving the weimaraner dogs though. I still would like one some day. Who knows, maybe when my couches are older!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sandcastles

Sandcastles are sculpted usually at the beach. They are made from loving hands, sand, water, buckets and anything else you can get your hands on to make it "perfect".


I think that my family is very similar to a sandcastle. With a few exceptions of course.... After all, my family is built with much more than the components of a sand castle!!!



According to http://www.ehow.com, there are nine steps to making a sandcastle. The ironic thing is that these nine steps directly parallel how we build our family.




Step One: Draw a rough sketch (How often to we "dream" and plan what we want our family to do and to be like?)

Step Two: Choose a site (This is our home; the community we live in.)

Step Three: Dig a hole (This can be viewed in many ways...I think of it as my mortgage.)

Step Four: Scoop wet sand into the middle of it (This is the messy part...It is the part that makes you close. These are the trials and tribulations that you have as a family that make you stronger. They make you better parents, spouses and people. These are the things that build your character.)

Step Five: Work fast, so the sand stays wet (I think this is the journey of life...It's always fast!)


Step Six: Build towers (Finding your "Strong tower", faith and the beliefs to keep your life in line and to live with a purpose. After all, we are not in this for nothing!)


Step Seven: Build walls (This is what makes you stronger as a family...the foundation of the castle becomes sturdy.)


Step Eight: Shape the tower (The values and beliefs that you hold shape your family, their actions and everything that they represent.)


Step Nine: Dig a Moat, protect from invaders (ADT security and prayer....need I say anything more?)




While we dream of what we want for ourselves and our families, and spend many years "sculpting" ourselves and our children, we must never forget how intricate and fragile life is. One wave can change the stability of a sandcastle, and our lives. The important thing is to remember to prepare and strengthen the castle walls and each other to survive the wave(s) of life.

The Life


Sometimes it feels as if our worlds are constantly spinning... Never stopping. The reality is, there never is a dull moment in my life, and probably not yours either. While the alarm clock reminds me of the start to a new day, I can't help but think about everything else I would rather do than arise from my bed and do what needs to be done. Vacation and relaxation are always much more appealing than school and work.



I wonder if we lived a life that was all rest and relaxation if we would look forward to work.



It's kind of goes along with that thought of winning the lottery...If you won it, would you ever work again?



This picture was taken at Brookfield Zoo. I think that this racoon has the life. It was actually sleeping upside down in the tree stump. I am still contemplating if the blood rushed to its head or not. One thing is for sure, he looks like he has the life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

There are no bells anymore

I dropped Alanna off at preschool today and heard the sound of the school bell. It brought back memories.

Now, as I sit in class today, I am thinking about how the school bell used to ring when I was in elementary school. It was the most joyous sound a kid could here. It always meant recess or the end of the school day. I can't help but thinking how awesome it would be for a bell to ring in college as well.
After listening to a professor for three hours, I can't help but smell the smoke escaping from my ears. Not to mention, I have to do it for two classes, each three hours in length. They need to give us bells so that we can use the toliet and get snacks... I think that would make classes easier.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love to learn. I guess my mind is just not as young as it used to be. I think that writing on the blackboard was fun... Listening to professors read directly from power point slides doesn't do it for me anymore. Challenge is essential, especially at a Graduate level. Hands on time in clinicals is where I learn best, perhaps this hands on talent came from me using chalk earlier in my education. Who knows... I just wish that the bell would ring when I'm there! It never does.......

Monday, October 8, 2007


Happy Birthday Charlene!
















I have been inspired to take on a huge undertaking...starting a blog. This inspiration has come from my sister, Charlene. Today is her birthday, and her life is only just beginning. She is such a great person. I have been amazed at how diligent she has been with her blog. It really helps me stay connected with her. When I don't talk to her, I check out her blog. I always know a little bit of how she is feeling or what she is doing. Even if it is just washing her face with a dirty rag!






My sister and I have an interesting and amazing relationship. While we are so different, we are very similiar. It is almost scary sometimes. This is especially true since we never really grew up together. Shopping for a birthday card for her is always an undertaking. "Remember when I used to pull your hair out?" cards just don't suit us! It makes me appreciate the special relationship we have!


One thing is for sure, family is special. Regardless of how "normal" or "dysfunctional" and individual feels theirs is, I have come to decide that no ones is perfect...family is only special.


(No, I'm not talking about riding the yellow short bus special either!)









I am blessed to have such a great sister!