Sunday, January 29, 2012

Melissa, Clay, & Baby Adelyn

I was honored to be asked to take my friend Melissa's maternity photos yesterday. We had a really great time! We learned that those little blocks are super hard to balance on your belly (especially when you're laughing), Pinterest has amazing ideas you can steal from, and that talking about sweet little babies can NEVER grow old!

Here are just a few photos from our day...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why I Heart Blogging...

A few days ago, I took some photos with the sole intention of updating our lives on the blog. I went ahead and put a few on Facebook, and one very sweet band mama wrote this comment under one of my photos:

    • Sweet days with our little ones! Days that come only once! ...I'm pretty excited that you cherish each one SO completely Ms. Crutchlow! 

Wow! Was I really doing all of that?!?! I didn't even realize!! 

I think this is a great side effect of blogging. Blogging does help us remember the stories of our lives, and I love looking back at my old posts to see just what was going on at certain points over the last few years. Pretty cool, huh?

Cool Kid


On Sunday evening I was cooking dinner. I had just put the meal in the oven when I turned around and saw that Grayson had brought a chair to the counter and was quickly climbing onto it. He told me that he needed a bowl (I had just used one... go figure). He said he was going to "Make". 

So, I picked up the camera and snapped a few shots. I can't believe how fast he is growing up... 

Singing... or fussing... one or the other. 


Inspecting his work. 

Grayson and Jason just watched and laughed. :)

Week 1 Results

Jason- 6 pounds
Alicia- 4.2 pounds

Last week I told you that I'm working towards a big event. The big event is Region Band! I've been asked to be the guest clinician for Region Two's Junior Concert Band. This is a huge honor and something that I've always wanted to do. 

The next few weeks I'm working to prepare a great clinic for these talented students. In addition, I'm working to prepare myself... I want to make sure that I look okay at that concert! :) 

So... even though dieting is tough, I'm sticking to it. It will be worth it when I'm looking and feeling my best at the end of February! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Baked Potatoes Recipe

I found this recipe online and absolutely LOVED it. I'm saving it for the next time I need a low carb baked potato fix.

16 ounce package frozen cauliflower
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
8 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 pieces bacon, chopped and fried until crisp
Paprika, optional
Cook the cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes; drain very well and break up the florets a bit with a spoon. It's also very good if you leave the cauliflower a little chunky. Put in a greased 8 x 8" baking pan or a 2-quart casserole. Mix in the cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, salt, pepper and bacon. Dust the top with paprika, if desired. Bake at 350ยบ for 20-40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Or, microwave, loosely covered, for about 40 minutes on 50% power, turning the dish after 20 minutes.
Makes 6 servings
Can be frozen
Per Serving: 324 Calories; 27g Fat; 15g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs

Monday, January 16, 2012

Random Thoughts

Two things:

1) My house is getting clean!! I've spoken about FlyLady several times before, but I'm excited to say that it is actually working!!! I'm decluttering, developing routines and enjoying the house. The top 5 things I've learned on FlyLady so far:

  1. I start a load of clothes almost every single morning before I go to work. When I get home, I put them in the dryer and then put them away. By the time the weekend arrives, there is NO laundry to do. :)
  2. Before we go to bed I start the dishwasher (if it is full). As soon as I get up, I unload it. Now we always have a place to put the dirty dishes instead of letting them pile up in the sink. 
  3. Have two sets of sheets. Store the other set under your mattress so that it doesn't take up room in your closet. How easy is this?!? 
  4. You can do anything for 15 minutes. I usually clean for 15 minutes in the morning, right before I get Grayson out of the bed. It is so nice, because I can get the entire downstairs looking great before I leave, and it still looks that way when we get home!
  5. When you cook dinner, fill one side of your kitchen sink up with hot soapy water. That way you can drop things in the water as you're finished with them so that they can pre-soak before going into the dishwasher. 
2) Jason and I are back to the low-carb lifestyle. We couldn't stay away long... and we both really want to lose a few pounds. I have a HUGE event coming up at the end of February (probably the biggest event of my career so far) and Jason promised his wellness nurse at work that he would lose 10 pounds before his next check-up with her in March. 

I did that detox diet the first week of January (well, actually the first 3 days of January). It was fine, I lost 4 pounds but went back to my normal ways and gained the weight back. YUCK. I have got to begin winning this fight! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Saturday!

My New Year's Resolution was to begin "FLYing" with FlyLady. This resolution has been going well so far, and I am excited to report that my house is pretty clean, our clothes are all washed, and I'm enjoying the peacefulness. 

Anyway, FlyLady has a theme for each day. Saturday is "Family Fun Day" so we all decided to take off to the park. We always have a great time, and today was no exception. After playing, with picked up lunch, went home to eat and then take naps. So far this day is turning out to be amazing! :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

School Story

Since last Sunday I've wanted to write this story into my blog...

I have a student you HAVE to know about. At the beginning of the school year, our Superintendent said that we need to start "testifying" and telling the community our stories about the great things that happen in our classrooms.

Here is my story. 

I have a middle school trumpet player who has been in my band for three years now. I only teach seventh and eighth graders. You can pretty much read between the lines. Every single Christmas, for three consecutive years, I think about that child. I hope that his day is a good one, and I always say a special prayer for him. In fact, I think about him on all of the major holidays. I just worry about him... a lot. 

Anyway, I have told him on numerous occasions that I would take him as my own. He tells other teachers (and students) that I am his mother. When they ask me about it I smile and say "Yes". 

He is in my class of 60. Every single day, that class begins a little chaotically. Every single day, amidst all of the chaos, he comes up to me and asks if he can teach class that day. Even though I tell him no, I secretly think that he would be awesome. I'm planning on saying yes one day this spring... just to see what happens. 

He does not own his own instrument. He uses a school owned trumpet that is probably worth $75. Most of my other trumpet players play on instruments that are worth much, much, much more. He plays on a plastic mouthpiece that I purchased for him for $12 last year. He wrote me a letter in his keyboarding class this year. He told me that band was his favorite class and that he wanted to be a professional trumpet player when he grew up. I honestly think he might accomplish his goal. 

This past Saturday he auditioned for Region Band. Despite all of the things going against him (including the fact that I didn't know if anyone would be able to take him to the audition) he made the band. Not only that... he was 5th out of 156 trumpet players who auditioned for Junior Band. 

When I decided that I needed to stay home with Grayson on Monday I was sad that I wouldn't be able to share this child's great results from Region Band with him. I asked another teacher to tell him, and hoped that he would be as excited as I was for him. 

I went to school on Tuesday. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, his bus was pulling in as well. He saw me as I was walking in and called out my name. I stopped and gave that child the biggest hug ever. I asked him if he was excited. He smiled from ear to ear. I told him that I was proud of him and he said, "Thank you!". 

Next Saturday, he auditions for All-State Band. If I can get him to the audition (it is 1.5 hours away), he just may make the band... all by playing on his $75 trumpet and $12 mouthpiece. Say a special prayer for him next week. This audition just may be the beginning of something great for him. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Post With One Photo Too Much...

By the way... this is one of those posts you may want to skip. It has one picture that just might make you sick, but I <3 to remember the good, bad and ugly... and this is UGLY. 

My sick boy this afternoon... getting better and better!!

Grayson has had a few rough days. It all began Saturday afternoon. I was judging Region Band, Jason was working, and Grayson was staying with Mom. I called her at lunch to check on him. She said he was being sweet but that his little cheeks were red and that he *might* have a fever. I chalked it up to the cold weather, teething, running around like a crazy guy, etc. His fever and red cheeks seemed to go away. 

Sunday afternoon he took his regular nap. When he woke up, he had a definite fever, red cheeks, and his ear was full of earwax. I was concerned. SO... I posted a photo of his ear on Facebook. Crazy?? I know... I've got to work on it. 

Here is what I posted... that isn't TOO terrible is it?? 

I heard from mommies, daddies, nurses, and one pediatrician. Everyone said I should take him to the doctor. I called my Assistant Principal and told her that I needed to work a half day. I thought I could teach through third period and then take him to the pediatrician. 

That night was AWFUL. I had forgotten what it was like to be a parent who never slept. Grayson just cried and cried. I almost cried. It was terrible. Around 4 a.m. he finally got to sleep. When my alarm clock went off at 6, I immediately called my Assistant Principal again and told her that we were going to need to beat the doctor to his office and that I needed to take a full day. 

The pediatrician checked him over (while Grayson screamed and cried) and said that both ears were infected and that one eardrum had ruptured. He prescribed him some antibiotics and said to come back in two weeks. He said that his ears would still run and that they treat ruptured eardrums the same as everything else. 

Monday night seemed just as bad. He had a hard time getting to sleep and I felt myself getting upset. Somehow, he managed to finally fall asleep and sleep through the night. It was glorious. 

I went to school on Tuesday. Jason stayed at home with Grayson. During first period I got this, EXTREMELY GROSS picture from Jason. He said this is what his ear looked like when he woke up:


I was concerned, but Jason said he didn't have a fever. He carefully cleaned Grayson's ear with a Q-tip and sent him on his way. When I got home he was back to his normal self. I was so happy!!

He'll be on antibiotics until the middle of next week, and then he goes in for a recheck. We're hoping to get a great report from the doctor. Thankfully this has only been Grayson's second ear infection (the first when he was only 6 months old) so we're not currently looking at having to get tubes put into his ears. 

This afternoon Grayson cried twice. Both times were when he decided it would be fun to jump off the couch onto his "thinking chair" but he missed the chair. His ears?? No complaints! :) 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Long Week

I just realized that it has been OVER a week since I've updated the blog. I hate to say it folks... I've been busy.

The big thing going on in my life last week was my research project. The first part of my Master's thesis was due tonight and I barely got everything done in time. Sure, I had enough time over Christmas break, but who wants to do coursework over break??? Not this girl!

The next big thing going on in my life was Region Band. Before last week began I had 50 students signed up to audition. Knowing that my students were like me (and didn't do any work over Christmas break) I knew we had our work cut out for us. Every day last week I met with my Region band students before school, during lunch and recess, and after school to get them prepared.

This past Saturday was the audition... I was there from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. listening to horn auditions. Tylenol was my friend. Lots and lots of tylenol.

Yesterday was paper writing extravaganza.

Anyway... today is Monday... the day my project was due. I finished just in time, and my instructor gave me permission to submit my project to my online portfolio (which means that it was good enough to earn a decent grade). My Region Band results ended up wonderful as well. Sixteen of my students will end up in Region Band or All-State. Seven earned the opportunity to audition for the All-State band on January 21st. I'm pretty excited!

So... now I can breathe a sigh of relief and relax for just a bit (as long as I can get my toddler with a double ear infection to rest... but that is another story). :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Just A Little Light

We're suddenly entering the "I'm scared of the dark" phase with Grayson. Of course... it could be that he says he is scared because he knows that it hurts my heart to hear him say that.

Lately, he has been telling me that he is scared as soon as we turn out the lights in his room. I've been leaving his bedroom door cracked, but I'm afraid that the downstairs TV might be making it difficult for him to fall asleep.

A few days ago, Grayson and I picked up a $9 night-light at Lowe's. He loves it. Every single night he wants to see his "fishies". He just needs a little light and he feels comfortable enough to fall right to sleep.

I was thinking about how being a school teacher is similar. I love that we always have a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now I know that I can make it these next two weeks because I have MLK day coming up in the near future!

Anyway... here is Grayster's light. It shines on the wall beside his crib and he absolutely loves it. :)