Friday, February 29, 2008

leap year

I substituted in Ella's kindergarten class this morning. There are fourteen five and six year olds with lots of very important information to share. We did calendar time, read and wrote a story, and did show and tell. We talked about leap year and lion's skeletons and had an overall wonderful time. I stayed for their music practice, and they sang about trees and a song about making a significant difference almost made me cry. I heart that peace loving school.

We had Ella's parent teacher conference this week. She has already achieved the reading goals for kindergarten and has strong math skills. Her teacher said that she is responsible, well behaved, and a pleasure to be around. Sometimes I wonder who she is at school? Apparently she is neither sassy nor demanding.

I heard something a few weeks ago that reassured me one hundred percent about the school choice we made in the fall. In the public school the student teachers are being used to tutor the middle fifty percent of classes in "bubbling"--filling in the scantron sheets for standardized testing. They are also learning test taking strategies such as which answer to bubble in when you do not know the answer. The lowest achieving twenty five percent is not tutored and neither is the upper twenty five percent. Someone thinks that this strategy is the best way to achieve the goals set forth by No child Left Behind. Ella's day is filled with reading, math, spanish, science, social studies, music, writing, and even just plain playing outside. There are no report cards or standardized testing, units are theme based instead of skill based, and the teacher is always open and available for questions or concerns.

On thursday the lower grades went to the middle school classroom to "experience" their giant 3 D model of an atom. Ella is not completely sure than she didn't shrink down to Alice in Wonderland proportions to actually enter the atom.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

just looking

1896, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I realized that Ruby will probably be here in thirteen or fourteen weeks. I'm not really thinking about moving, just window shopping.This old farmhouse, albeit small, has a lot of the things that I've been waiting for, chicken friendly, the porch, the high school, the garden, the view, the clawfoot bathtub, and the proximity to school and work. Right now I'm more concerned with cleaning the piles off the top of the refridgerator and organizing the drawers. Of all of my unfinished projects, I have to do three years of scrapbooking very quickly if Ruby is to ever have a baby book.

The past two weeks have been a blur of fevers and mucus, pbs kids and mint tea.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

mateer paneer

1 large onion, quartered
11/2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic
1 15oz can tomato sauce ( I used fire roasted diced tomatoes)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 ten oz package of frozen peas
3 tbs reduced fat sour cream
1/4 tsp sugar
1 8-oz package of paneer ( 0r a pound of firm tofu)
cayenne pepper or green chili pepper to taste if you aren't serving this to little people

1.Puree onion in food processor
2. heat oil over medium heat. add mustard seeds, cumin, and bay leaf. cook one minute.
3. Add onion and garlic and saute until gently browned. stir in tomatoes, coriander, garam masala, tumeric, salt, and paprika. Simmer ten minutes or until sauce thickens. Add a bit of water if it is too thick.
4. Stir in peas, sour cream, and sugar and cook until peas are heated and then fold in paneer or

Top with chopped cilantro and serve with basmati rice or naan.

oya baka

oya baka, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

A few days ago I had a little talk with John about how he was going to be using the toilet before his baby sister was born. I also told him that he was going to spend the whole night in his own bed and that he was going to be getting the big boy bed. While I was upstairs getting the pajamas last night John took off his diaper and peed in his potty. Ella was sitting in the tub and says, "Mama, apparently he has been listening." Even stranger, he called from his crib about four times last night for sips of water but stayed in until seven when he called out, "DAY".

Thursday, February 21, 2008

no pox

The nurse's first word was "measles". Then "strep rash".

Luckily the doctor breezed in saying "drug allergy". It was the Augmentin she was taking for last week's ear infection. It was her last day of a ten day course and suddenly the majority of her body was covered in a red itchy rash. The most dense areas are on her hands, feet, knees, and face. She spent the afternoon in a benedryl haze watching Snoopy Come Home. When it ended she claimed that she hadn't seen it and we started it again. She is a little irritable, but I think that she would like to go to school tomorrow to show off.

I'm tired. I've spent the last five or six nights sleeping with my hand on one or the other forehead.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

from flu to pox

Ella went back to school today only to return home feverish and rashy. One of the boys in her class has the chickenpox, but the rash isn't classic. It seemed to start on her wrists and ankles and move to her trunk, back, hands, and face. I suppose I'll know by tomorrow. I discontinued her antibiotic just in case that is the culprit. (It would have been the last dose of a ten day course)

John was feverish this morning but by afternoon was merely drippy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


granola, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I made about four pounds of granola today after little John and I made a trip to the natural food store on sunday. He likes to shop there because he gets to push the toy shopping cart around the store. I didn't use a recipe but this one has rolled oats, molasses, honey, sea salt, almonds, golden raisins, apricots, dates, and cranberries.


pullup hat, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Ella has had a fever for two days and is especially pathetic when she wants her father to carry her up and down the stairs. She has been under a quilt on the sofa watching pbs kids all morning. I'm tossing things into piles in the playroom, and John is loving it. He has found all the toys he didn't even remember he had. I invited three families with kids over for dinner next saturday, and I am determined that they will actually be able to play in there. Since the Christmas onslaught it has merely been a toy storage area, a room I glance into and get angry, but by saturday it will be the puppet playhouse, ella::sushi restaurant, and happyplace once more.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

23 week crazy

So, I'm going to whine for a minute, and then I'm going to get it together and get on with the good stuff.

Yesterday two people told me that I was huge. Strangers. What do you say ?"Thank you!" or perhaps " Thanks, I'm 23 weeks pregnant, short-waisted, and I haven't pooped in two days!" I think I'm just tired enough to have very little patience with people. I feel like everyone is wagging their finger at me, and I just want to wag mine right back. One grandmother has made a fuss about Ruby's first name, and the other is making a ruckus about her middle name. I can't keep up with the dishes or the children's constant messes, and Ella has been sick and especially dramatic this week. Oh, the tears. By taking a fifth job at Ella's school I've determined that five is two many, but I'm not a quitter so I'm going to make it to the end. May 30 is the last day of school.

Alright, I'm going to do some dishes and do my hair and try to find something to wear. I'm going to see The Vagina Monologues tonight with some friends, so I should just be happy that I'm getting out of the house alone for a while. Just laugh. My pants are all either too loose or too tight. Ditto underwear.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

going out

John and I are going to Floyd to see the WIYOs tonight for an early Valentine date. Grandmarie is keeping the children, and we are spending the night in the country. I'm asking myself how in the world I'm going to stay up for the show.

My OB visit was pretty uneventful this week. Little John pretty much stole the show when he rolled in with a doll stroller full of his little buddies and books. He was so funny pushing it through the hospital. I knew the doctor had a patient in labor, and I thought we might have to wait. I've gained six pounds and my sore veins in my leg aren't a huge deal. He said that I shouldn't sit still for more than an hour, but how often does that happen. He looked over my last ultrasound and noted that we didn't have any pictures of Ruby's face or hands, so I am scheduled for a 4D ultrasound next month. Those 4 D pictures are almost too clear, and I'm thinking that the kindergarden class will really love them. I have my first gestational diabetes test in four weeks too. I take the test a few times since I had GD with Ella, and I would really like to have a smaller baby this go round.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

thursday kind of tired

I've been working at Ella's school for three days now, and today I had the second graders at lunchtime. I got some maternity jeans yesterday, so I spent the day with somewhat rowdy kids while my pants kept falling down. I started an extra job at the school this week for some extra tuition money, and I hope I can make it through May.

OB appointment tomorrow.

Monday, February 04, 2008

in case you were wondering

My lack of posts comes down to one simple fact. I can't stay awake. Ella and John go to bed at seven thirty, and I walk downstairs, brush my teeth, walk back upstairs, and go to bed. I have no choice. I have been asked what it is like to be pregnant at almost forty two, and all I know is that it is taking a lot of sleep. Food, on the other hand, is a little less interesting. I gained, lost, and gained and am now hovering at my exact pre-pregnancy weight.

Ella says that when she is eighteen she is changing her name to Mattie.

Friday, February 01, 2008

whole wheat irish soda bread

whole wheat irish soda bread, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

the buttered bread

the buttered bread, originally uploaded by ellajohn.