Post Holiday Catch Up

I hope everyone had a good Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or other holiday of your choice 😉 The last few weeks have been insanely busy with work projects, and various holiday projects.

I was able to do the Hanukkah presentation for Rachel’s class with minimal problems. My plan to talk “off-the-cuff” as little as possible worked. I read a book. We sang a few songs (many of them the students already knew from previous years of my coming in there), I had the kids play dreidel, and then I brought in latkes. That was probably the biggest challenge. Due to health laws – I’m not allowed to bring in homemade food, so the latkes had to be store-bought. So the first challenge was finding a store that would make them. I convinced the local Harmon’s grocery store to make them for me in their deli department, but then at the last minute they decided they were too busy to actually do it. (I can’t even tell you how pissed I still am at them for pulling that stunt). The one good thing that came out of it was that they told me that they thought that Whole Foods might make them. Which was true – and I didn’t even have to twist their arm and beg. In fact, when I explained what I needed the latkes for, they offered to make up a special batch for me of “smaller” latkes for the kids (their “normal” size was HUGE – their “smaller” size is closer to what I would have considered “normal”). But the the problem was that they refused to give them to me heated up. And I wasn’t given access to the school’s cafeteria, so I had to heat them up on warming platters in the class. They were still on the “cooler” side, but they still tasted good. All the kids seemed really excited to try them.

Christmas went well too. The kids were spoiled rotten, although there were a fair share of present fails – I think Santa is beginning to look like an idiot. (Well, at least he’ll take the blame for a few more years until the kids figure it out). Rachel got a “designer nail” kit – which apparently was only an “add on” to a larger (more expensive) kit – which she doesn’t have. Oops. Zachary got a Wii game which is totally too difficult for him to play. He also got a computer game which doesn’t work on his computer. Oops. There were other presents that didn’t suck, thankfully – Rachel got a few Harumika sets, a Miley Cyrus CD (which she has been playing over and over and over and over again. Ugh.) Zachary got a few Bakugans and a marble tower building thing.

And me? Between Hanukkah and Christmas (and Thanksgiving) – basically a month+ of holidays and food… I am sitting at a good 5lbs heavier than when the holidays started. I know I’ve been “bad” – but the holidays are difficult on a diet. I wanted to enjoy them without worrying so much about every calorie. I knew I would gain, but the deal I made with myself was that as quickly as I could afterwards I would get it back together again. So here I am. Again. For the millionth time. But that’s what it’s all about.

I tried the LoseIt! iPhone app before – but I do like being able to enter stuff into the computer as well as the iPhone. Sometimes, if I have A LOT of stuff to enter, the iPhone’s interface becomes a real hurdle. So I end up skipping an entry… and one thing leads to another… and you get the idea. So I’ve signed up again with MyFoodDiary. It’s still a little overkill for what I want, and some things I still find annoying and wish I could turn off, but it has the main important features I want – iphone accessible (they have a mobile version of their site) and the ability to enter via computer as well. It’s too bad I don’t get a “referral kick-back” for the number of times I mention them on this site, but I don’t. I just like their service.

Our New Year’s is always quiet, so I shouldn’t have too much to worry about there – so today is my first day back on track.

Holiday Recovery

My parents headed back home this morning. It was great to see them and my mother cooked her standard fare for Thanksgiving (with some help from Rachel and I) :) We spent Saturday at the Treehouse Museum and Sunday at the Clark Planetarium. Both were fantastic. The Planetarium’s actual exhibits aren’t extensive (although what they do have is pretty cool), but their coolest feature is the dome and IMAX theatre. Free admission to shows in either theater for a year convinced us to buy a membership.

While they were here, my mom and I had a discussion about artwork. She’s been spending a lot of time creating water color paintings and was trying to encourage me to pick painting or drawing back up. I was saying how I think I hit my artistic peak just after college and really kind of dropped it after that. So she and I went out for art supplies. I didn’t want to get into the full expense of painting – I don’t have any of my old art supplies – so as a second choice, we picked up some water color pencils. I made two little “paintings” this weekend, and I really like the medium. It’s perfect for what my life is right now. It’s easy to clean up, it can be a fairly quick project. It’s flexible… I’ll have to update with my paintings now. :)

Happy Thanksgiving


I know, I already wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving… but I wanted to make another post. I just found a cool image plugin “freebie image” – that will let you search, and download photos for your blogs posts from within WordPress and wanted to make a post to test it out. 😀 Pretty Neat.

Anyway – so that’s (obviously) where the photo comes from.

Ok that’s all. Happy Thanksgiving. For real this time.

Trick or cute little useless toy?

I‘ve been debating for a few weeks about the possibility of getting cute little (useless) toys to hand out at Halloween instead of candy. On one hand, not buying candy means not having something very tempting in the house that *I* am very likely to eat (and really need to NOT be eating). As well, I feel guilty handing out food I myself am trying not to eat because it’s unhealthy. (Well, at least in mass quantities anyway) 😉

My one fear is that while I will not be personally contributing to the obesity problem in our country, I’m afraid the neighborhood kids might respond by deciding to contribute to the lack of toilet paper in the area around my house. Heh.

On the other hand, what would I hand out? I could hand out fruit or something – but what?? Or some kind of little prize/toy … which would surely end up in the garbage before too long and then spend the next 100 years in a landfill somewhere…

Maybe I’ll go middle of the road… and get little packages of goldfish crackers or something. It’s not sweets, it’s not THAT bad/unhealthy, and (except for the little package/bag it comes in) it’s mostly biodegradeable…

I know at least for my own kids – the real fun isn’t even the candy they get. It’s going around, showing off their costume, getting something (anything, they don’t even care WHAT) from all the neighbors. Most of the candy gets thrown out because they don’t even like it anyway. Zach usually has one bite of each thing and then spits it out. He’s a lot of fun to hang out with on Halloween! Very appropriate for the holiday: very scary! LOL! At least something like goldfish crackers… I mean, who doesn’t like that??