Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 236: We've Outsmarted A One-Year-Old

We've kind of avoided restaurants lately because Nico is in that stage where he is, shall we say, an absolute dinner guest nightmare. Ok, so he's not that bad, but our time out as a family of four isn't exactly relaxing. Tonight, neither Chris nor I had the energy to cook so we decided to take a gamble and meet up at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants with the kids. This time, though, we had a plan!

Chris and his engineer, Todd, were there ahead of us, so I called shortly before our arrival and Chris placed our order. It was a perfect fall evening, so we had a table outside; ideal for the occasional squeal and fist banging. Our food arrived within 5 minutes and we all dove right in. About 15 minutes later,  I suddenly realized that we had actually been enjoying our meal and our time at the restaurant. We even had time to chit chat a little before the kiddos got antsy and we had to make a stop at the giant painted cow on the way back to the car.

We honestly had a really nice night. I absolutely love spending quality time with my husband and kids on evenings like this. The fact that Nico participated as superb party guest was just icing on the cake!

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 235: Proud Mama & Papa

When I picked Sofia up from school today, her teacher pulled me aside to tell me about a little incident that had taken place during the day. I had no idea what to expect. She proceeded to explain that a group of kids had told Sofia she could not play with them and that she got upset. After taking a minute to calm down, color a picture and explain to the teacher what had happened, Sofia decided to try again.

With her chin held high, Sofia went and told the three kids that how they had acted had really hurt her feelings and that their words were unkind. A few minutes later, the three kids came and found her over by the teacher, apologized and asked her to play. Her teacher told me that Sofia was so thoughtful and sweet and immediately said, "It's okay, guys! Sure, I"ll play with you!" and ran off.

I'm not sure that I have ever been more proud of my little girl. Being at a new school can be really hard in so many ways and negotiating the path of new friendships can be especially difficult. The fact that she knew to handle the situation in a way that was so mature way absolutely blew my mind and touched the heart of her teacher.

Chris and I am one proud mama and papa tonight. And for this, I am thankful!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 234: Ramen in a Beaker

This morning, I woke up thinking about work. I went to the grocery store at 4:30 this morning to buy plastic cups for a DNA lab. I stirred my coffee with a pencil (on accident). I heated up my Ramen noodles in a 600 mL beaker (left my bowl at home). I sat through student meetings, parent meetings and co-worker meetings. To put it frankly, this was a day where every thought and action was work oriented.

And it is done now. I love my job but I also love days that have a little bit more balance. Tomorrow is a new day that will run at a little bit of a slower pace. And for this, I am thankful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 233: Yup, I Flooded My Classroom

It's true.

Tomorrow the kids will be doing their first major lab and so we had to review safety standards. This included me showing the kids how the chemical shower and eye wash station worked. I typically just talk about it and move on. But not during 7th period. Not today. In a moment of epic teacherness, I pulled the lever and let the water pour out.

And it kept pouring.

I suddenly realized that it wasn't stopping! So I climbed up on top of the counter to reach the piping and manually close the valve. By the time I looked down and across my room, the entire floor was covered in about half an inch of water. Once I calmed all the kids down, I made the necessary calls to get the room taken care of and took them out in the hallway to finish class. What I thought was a huge disaster, the kids thought was awesome and I was instantly catapulted into "coolest teacher ever" standing.

While today certainly wasn't one of my finest moments of my teaching career, there were definitely some amazing people and memories to be thankful for. Our building engineers were so kind and helpful, the kids quickly and flexibly relocated AND I have a drain in my room. I lovely, big drain that allowed for all that water to be cleared quickly despite the floor sloping in the wrong direction.

What can I was my first day back and I like to make an entrance. Oh, and my students will never forget how to use the chemical shower! :)

Day 232: Easy To Do 'Do

On Friday before I spent the better part of my day at the DMV, I stopped by my hair salon for a cut and color. After the really fantastic two week stretch we had at our house, I honestly was looking forward to my time in the chair with Kiko more than ever before. I always leave feeling so good!

Two days later, I am still feeling grateful for my time at the salon. As women, we all know the dreaded feeling of standing in front of the mirror at home after the first hair wash post salon 'do. I'll never be able to style it like they did at the salon! Thanks to Kiko, this is not a worry. And, as a Greek woman who has hair with a mind of it's own, this is a seriously big deal.

It's nice to have a hairstyle that is easy to do and still makes me feel young and stylish. Thanks, Kiko!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 231: Passports Please

It's a standing joke with our friends, Matt and Stacey, that they live so far away we need passports to get to their house. Truth is, they really don't live that far. They just aren't down the street like they used to. Regardless, we were able to go spend some time with their family and a group of people to watch Ohio State play Colorado on tv as the as the "we-know-you-didn't-go-to-OSU-but-still-went-to-a-Big-10-school-and-we-like-you-anyway" family. In short, we've made a great group of friends through "The Skimmy's" who are all major OSU fans and tons of fun to be around on a warm, fall Saturday afternoon.

I love college football this time of year. Spending the day with great friends who we don't get to see very often due to distance was the perfect way to spend the day! And for this, I am thankful.

Oh, and Michigan State won too. :) Go Spartans!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My First Step in Glass Heels

This morning my first article was published on Glass Heel. If you haven't had a chance to check out this amazing site for women, you should!

...oh, and while you are there, you can read my article too. :)

I will be contributing each Friday to the Daily Motivation section of the site. My first  piece was on taking the time to say "thank you" out loud. Enjoy!

***Logo courtesy of Glass Heel***

Day 230: Marvin and the DMV

Is there ever a quick trip to the DMV? I'm not so sure and I always dread having to go. Today was no different. Having to purchase new license plates for my car due to a freak highway semi-truck tire versus my minivan exchange, I was hoping I wouldn't have to spend too much time in the most comfortable waiting room in the world. But when I discovered there were nearly 100 people who had numbers to be called before me, I kind of lost all hope of being able to enjoy any part of the rest of my day off.

I found a chair, pulled out my iPhone and began reading one of my favorite online newspapers. The elderly man next to me sighed and I looked up. I knew from that moment I would be OK with waiting when he leaned over and said, "I know I told my wife I'd grow old with her, but I might just age next to you instead." I laughed and what ensued was a 2 hour conversation where we shared stories of everything from our spouses to children to careers and even travel. It was absolutely delightful and a great reminder that unique, kind, wonderful people can be found in nearly every corner of our world -- even the DMV!

Today, I survived what could have a long, unbearable afternoon thanks to a gentle spirit named Marvin. I will never see him again, but that's ok. It was a nice afternoon. And for this, I am thankful.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 229: The File

Today I got an email with the subject that looked like this:

Attached is a file I saved on my work computer titled "Meg a roo" - I'm not kidding

I immediately knew I was in for a treat from my friend Christie. There are few people on this earth who can make me laugh like her. Her file, which was a letter composed over what seemed like a few days, did not disappoint. It even came with pictures! 

I laughed and I laughed hard. It felt so good! Thank you, Christie, for the hilarious and heartfelt letter you sent to me today. I am SO thankful for you as my friend. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 228: It's For Real!

Recently, I was offered an incredible opportunity to share my thoughts about gratitude in a weekly format. A new website geared toward woman and the 10 million hats we wear has asked me to contribute a articles focusing on finding daily motivation based off of this blog. I am seriously pumped! My first article will appear on Friday! I hope you'll find a moment to jump over to The Glass Heel and check it out. :)

Learning to open my heart and live each day with intention has forever changed my life. I am so grateful that I will be able to share some of my thoughts and stories more in depth to a whole new section of readers. Here goes nothin'!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 227 - Home (again!)

Daddio writing here for our favorite exhausted blogger who is all medicated and about to drift off. Today we are thankful for healthcare and getting home...again!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 226: Preemptive Strike

This may be a long shot, but I'm going for it. Last Monday, before my surgery, I got a HUGE dose of antibiotics. I'm assuming this was for preventative measures. And I'm hoping these preventative actions are still going strong...

Today was my first day back at work. My students were unbelievably kind and my co-workers  offered overwhelmingly to help wherever and with whatever I needed. I really felt loved. :) But at 10:00, my phone started ringing like crazy -- first Sofia's school and then Nico's daycare. Both kids were sick and blowing out both ends. Ugh. My poor kids...and on my first day back. Crap. Literally.

Luckily, I was able to get coverage for my last two class periods and head home with the kids. Chris made his way home too so that he could help. On the phone, we decided that he would stay home tomorrow so I wouldn't miss any more work. But, when he walked through the front door, I knew he wouldn't be staying home just for the kids. Flushed, feverish and hollow-eyed, he would be taking a "sick day" too. 

I definitely went through a pity party moment tonight. I mean, let's be honest: the timing of all this couldn't be worse! My sweet kiddos and husband all sick and I can't help them. At all. I can't lift my children to comfort them. I can't cook and clean and carry little trays of food to Chris or Sofia. I can't be the caretaker that I love being so much. Not to mention, Chris is swamped at work and I've already taken five and a half days off! Seriously?!?! Seriously.

But then I remembered the antibiotics and what my job really is for the next 24 hours: stay healthy. That's it! Stay healthy for 24 hours. I can do that. I am hoping and praying that those antibiotics are still in my system -- even if it's the tiniest, tiniest bit to fight off whatever nastiness is floating through this house. By staying healthy, I can be the one to smile and laugh for my family. I may not be able to carry things or do things for them, but I can love them and love them happily by not being sick. 

Alright antibiotics. I'm thankful for you tonight. Don't let me down! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 225: Little Dreams

Today, Sofia said things like, did you realize and specifically and I was thinking about...

I suddenly realized that my little girl is turning into a little person who thinks and dreams and wonders. It's quite amazing to witness and I'm so thankful to all of the people in her day-to-day adventures that are helping to cultivate these new passions. I'm so excited to see where her little life will take her!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 224: Welcome, Mr. Wood!

Last night, two of my dearest friends gave birth to their first child. It was so much fun participating in the series of texts, Facebook posts, photo exchanges and phone calls! Actual "birth days" are such an exciting time and to be able to share in those moments was especially meaningful.

There's something about a new little life that can put everything into perspective. During my visit to the hospital today, I didn't care about my pain or my own worries. Watching my friends smile and look at one another in ways they never have was absolutely wonderful. Beautiful and perfect in every way,  I couldn't think of two more deserving people to be this little man's new parents.

Congratulations to Dawn and Chad! Welcome to to parenthood and a lifetime full of thrills, happiness and endlessly falling in love. 

Being witness to such joy... for this, I am thankful!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 223: Dry Run

It was almost like I was 16 again; buckling my seatbelt in the driver's seat for the first time in 5 days. Here we go! Today was my first time behind the wheel, my last day off on medical leave and the kids needed to go to school and daycare so I could rest.  My neighbor met me upstairs to carry Nico out to the car and Sofia was in charge of her backpack (a very important job!). Everyone was in place. I was ready. I could do this! I had a slight tingle in my fingers as I turned the ignition. I'm actually driving again! 

And then I made my first turn. And hit the first bump. And slowed down suddenly in heavy traffic. OUCH! 

So my first driving experience wasn't the best. In fact, it was quite horrible. I'm seriously not a wimp but today's adventure sure made me feel like one! I absolutely cannot believe how much this 1-inch incision in my abdomen has affected my life. But it has and I need to focus on how I can use it to work for me and not against me. 

Despite the pain and the feelings of wimpiness, I'm definitely thankful that I was able to do a dry run and practice getting out of the house. Monday is a big day and my nerves have certainly lessoned now that I know what to expect out of my new morning routine. Oh, and now I know I should wear an ice pack on my stomach while I drive! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 222: Addition

Today was a day filled with tiny moments -- moments of quiet snuggling with my daughter, quiet conversation on the couch with my mom, phone chats with friends and cat naps. It was just the right kind of day to be stuck at home recuperating. It's these kinds of moments that are important to remember when I'm feeling overwhelmed and anxious about returning to "normal" life. All these little moments sure add up into something grand.

And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 221: Mama's Girl

Sometimes you just need your mom. Even when you're 31 years old. Yesterday, my husband got on the horn and was able to figure out a way to get my mom here to help out while I'm out of commission this week. By dinner, she was here and already takin' charge. I love that about her. :) Mom was so helpful today and didn't allow me to move a muscle -- which was helpful considering every single muscle in my entire body hurts!

My mom has been incredibly busy in her own adventures lately. For her to drop everything to come and take care of her grown daughter is something we are truly grateful for. Thanks Mom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 220: Mr. Fix-Me

My husband has been the most incredible caretaker today. I don't think either one of us realized the pain or recovery involved with a broken bellybutton...err umbilical hernia. My ice pack stayed full, he kept track of my medication schedule, groceries were gathered, the house picked up and he even arranged for my mom to fly into town to help out (YAY!!!!). He has simply been the best support I could have ever imagined. 

I am truly at a physical low and my husband has been a rock the last 24 hours. I am one lucky girl. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 219: Are you there, God? It's me, Meg's bellybutton.

I never thought that when I left my house at 6:15 this morning that I would return at 11:45 pm after having an unplanned operation! Needless to say, this won't be long as the powers of prescription pain killers are taking deep effect as I write. 

Long story short: I had a really bad stomach ache with ridiculously painful shooting pains. Worried about appendicitis, my doctor's office told me to skip them and go right to the ER. The result was not appendicitis, but an umbilical hernia. I seriously thought only babies could get those! The ER doc could not push the hernia back in and I was whisked away to surgery for repair. 

Before I knew it, I was coming to in the recovery room where I was blessed with the most incredible recovery nurses to take care of me. The pain was out of this world and Rhonda, Anya and Blake anticipated and took care of my every need.

There were so many factors that went into today's successful surgery from my teammates covering my afternoon classes at the drop of a hat to the swiftness of getting into surgery to the exemplary care of the docs and nursing staff at the hospital. 

Today, many hands, hearts and minds were at work to ensure my health. And for this I am unbelievably thankful!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 218: Never Forget

September 11 weighs heavily on my heart each year. Like most, I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I discovered a plane had crashed into the first tower. It is a feeling I will never forget.

Today is always a day that I am grateful and honored to be an American. To those who have defended our freedom and continue to do so, we are deeply indebted.

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 217: Anywhere

Chris and I have just returned from a date night where we met up with some friends and were able to celebrate my birthday. We had so much fun! While we were out though, I couldn't help but think about the kids and wonder if they were able to settle down and fall asleep at our neighbor's house where they were being taken care of. My worry was irrelevant. After nearly a year of traveling between two cities, my kids can sleep anywhere and everywhere. They are champs. :) We arrived home to find both kiddies asleep and happy. Sofia is finishing out the evening in slumber party fashion at Hayley's and Nico is comfortably in "high hiney" position in his crib.

It's nice to be able to have an adult evening and not worry about our kids. And for this, I am thankful.

Day 216: A Listening Ear

I've never really known what signal beams out from my forehead that notifies people that I will listen and help them. Maybe it's because I'm a mother. Maybe it's not. This week, however, this signal was in full beacon mode as I felt more like a counselor than a teacher, wife, sister, friend or mother. It was simply wild and by the time the kids went to bed tonight, I was pretty well spent. It wasn't but a few moments later that it hit me how lucky I am that people trust me to listen and help with challenges they are facing. It really is an honor and one that I will always be grateful for.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Day 215: They Say It's My Birthday

Today I am 31. Geesh, that feels old! I was especially reminded of my wiser years when I explained in detail to Sofia this morning why we would be driving the extra block down the street to make our turn at the light because it was safer at that time of day. Yes. I really did that. What has happened to me?

Aside from my old geezer moment, today has honestly been one of the best birthdays to date. The kids woke up cheery and even though Sofia was very concerned that we did not have balloons and cake in the house, she was eventually convinced that my birthday could still proceed. My students "surprised" me in two class periods by hiding under the science tables and turning off the lights as I stood outside the door pretending I had no clue what they were doing. It was priceless. They were so proud of themselves for pulling one off on their teacher. My husband began and ended my day with coffee: my morning cup and my very own Keurig as a gift this evening! I've been dreaming of one for years, so I was sooooooooo excited about it. :) And, I hadn't even asked for it...definite points on the "Good Listening Husband Card".

Friends stopped by my classroom, I talked to family, I was overwhelmed by kind thoughts on Facebook and had a quiet (and second) dinner with Chris once the kids went to bed. I am 31 years old today. If this year is anything like the moments that were strung together today, I can already tell it's going to be a great year.

And for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Day 214: Exactly

I've mentioned several times before that I hoped this blog would touch the lives of the people who needed it most. Recently, I've received some incredible feedback about Adventures Out West and I couldn't be more thrilled. It only took me six years, but I think I've finally found my niche.

It feels good to be thankful. And for this, I am thankful!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Day 213: So Apparently I'm Not Perfect

At some point, something is destined to slip through the cracks...

Let's review:

A few months ago when I enrolled Sofia at her new school, it was up in the air as to whether or not she would continue in preschool full time or move into kindergarten. You see, Sofia is in the special group of kiddos that will forever be difficult to place in grade levels because of her birth date. Long story short, last I knew, preschool it was!

Until today.

Today was the first day of school and as I held down the lump in my throat and kept a smile on my face, I overheard the teacher introduce Sofia to her classmates as "their new friend in the kindergarten class". Say what?!? Sofia was now scheduled to spend her mornings in preschool and afternoons in kindergarten.  We hadn't event talked the slightest bit about kindergarten with her! How did I miss this detail? I seriously felt like such a schmuck.

The first day of school, real school, is supposed to be a milestone marked by skips to the front door of the building, chats about what the day would hold and a big, cheesy grin just before entry. Yes, we had our talks and Sofia was excited to go, but when it came time to mark the occasion, this is what I got instead: a "No thank you!" in response to my asking to take a photo of her first day. Perfect.

Needless to say, the first day of school went off without a hitch. My little master chameleon fit right in with her new classmates and routines. She was all smiles when I picked her up and ready to go back again tomorrow. In the end, this is all I can hope for!

And for this, I am thankful.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Day 212: Weekend Grading

No. I am not thankful for having to grade over the weekends. But, I am thankful that I can grade in the evenings on the couch with my husband sitting next to me. Occasionally he'll offer to help with reading off scores as I enter them into my online grade book which typically ends with us in hysterics as he mispronounces one thing after another (While C is a brilliant mathematician, names and science are not his strength. :) ). Needless to say, I love that we can spend some quiet time in the evenings on couch with an occasional giggle. It is a great way to end a weekend and begin the week.

An evening of laughter while working. For this, I am thankful.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Day 211: Salon de Daniel

Before we moved out to Colorado, my hairstylist cousin showed me how to cut Chris's hair so that we could save a few bucks in our new city. Six years later, I'm still cutting Chris's hair....and Sofia's, Nico's and 3 of our neighbors.

Tonight, Sofia sat on the island stool watching Shrek as I gave her her back to school cut. She looked adorable. It's always a fun, bonding time for her and I when we're playing salon. And that's worth way more than the money I save by doing it myself. :)

And for this, I am thankful.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Day 210: Round 2 Is Always Nice

Today I got to go to Ikea not once, but twice!

It seemed that no amount of prepared snacks, drinks, toys or pleas could prevent our children from melting down in the Swedish mecca. Thus, after about 15 minutes inside the store, we made a quick decision to exit as quickly as possible. I was so sad. Having waited a month to go and as well as having saved money aside to perk up our bedroom, I was seriously bummed to have to leave.

Long story short, Chris suggested that I call a friend and go back to do my shopping as a girls' afternoon sans kids. Ding ding! Off I went and I had a fabulous time too!

I really appreciate that my husband is flexible with our time together and also knows when something (that might seem stupid to others) means a lot to me. I love looking at home design stuff and dreaming up ways to make it all work in our home. Today, I got to let my imagination play and have a little girl time too!

And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Day 209: The Couch Bed

I love my couch. I love my couch so much that I can often be found on a Friday evening sleeping sitting up. Whether that sleep takes place early or late in the evening is up to you to guess. (I'm not aging myself that badly!) Regardless, it's nice to have a place that I can cozy up, relax and completely rid my mind of stress from the week.

I love my couch. And for this, I am thankful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 02, 2011

Day 208: BTSN

Back To School Night is done.

There's a lot of pressure that surrounds this night. There is a simple fact that if parents do not feel inspired by the teachers, there will be no way on God's Green Earth that they will believe that their children will learn a single thing while at school.

My job was to inspire. And I think I did.

For this, I am thankful.