Saturday, August 16, 2008

Eighteen Freaking Years

On August 17, 2008 at 3:15pm PDT, my eldest daughter, Paige Johanna, will be 18. Eighteen. Eighteen... She will be embarking on her 19th year of life. I don't know where the time has gone.

(October 2007)

Paige came into this world at 6lbs8ozs and 18 3/4 inches long. I nursed her, held her and absorbed her sweet baby smell; we slept in the same bed for almost 5 years, and she was always rubbing my ear. It was an unusual comforting technique. We grew a lot together, and she has become a remarkable young woman. I love her immensely, and I can't believe she's eighteen and a senior in high school.

Happy Birthday, Paige.

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's starting...

The school year, that is.

Actually, we don't start until September 3rd, but damn if that isn't coming up really quickly!

I have so much on my plate this year, and I'm already stressing out.
  • I am the class rep for Maya's 1st-2nd grade co-op class, and we have a new teacher who hasn't worked co-op before. She and I are kind of like the blind leading the blind at this point. As the class rep, I am her right hand woman, and I will help pretty much with every aspect of parent-classroom relations. Oy. The upside? I won't worry about meeting my minimum volunteer hour requirement.
  • A friend and I have decided to lead a Brownie troop this year. At our homes. We'll meet twice a month on Fridays after school. We will transport the kids from school to the meeting. Sus and I met yesterday to plan out our entire year or Girl Scout meetings, and I feel a sense of relief knowing that one task is done. If the dang service unit would get going on our paperwork and stuff, we could actually proceed further. We'd like to have our parent meeting the end of September, but who knows if all our ducks will be in a row by then.
  • I will still be teaching once a week, and I am considering teaching out of a local birth center. Other Bradley teachers and I are considering co-teaching at the facility, but I am also very interested in teaching somewhere other than my home. I'd also like to do more births.
  • Maya has begun swim team in a town nearby--about 15 miles from our home. It's 3 to 5 days a week, but we will start her at 5 days a week (the exception: GS weeks). I think her practice is at 5pm. Ugh. That is such a sucky time. We won't get home until 6:15-6:30. It takes a long time to travel 15 miles when one lives out here. We think we will have her stop ice skating until after the beginning of 2009; she loves it so much that I hate for her to have to miss it, but we need to see where this swim thing is going. We have our eyes on the 2016 Olympics, you know :-)
  • I will be getting a job. For sure. I haven't had to juggle job, kids and home since, oh, 1999? To say I'm stressed out at the idea is a major understatement. I'm hoping to work as a para at Maya's school, which would really be helpful considering I have to transport her to school because we are off the bus route. Plus we carpool with a friend, and I want to help make things easy for her.
I think that's all I have in my plate this year, though.

Luckily, Paige is licensed to drive, so I will probably have her help me get Maya to swim on Mondays since I teach that night, and Wayne often isn't home before my class begins. Class and swim conflict, so it will be up to Paige to get Maya to swim once a week. I'm sure I'll hear about it plenty.

Brittani will be licensed in January or February, so there's even more help. She drove for the first time today; Wayne said she did really well and that she seemed confient. She even drove across Meridian!

We have our trip to Disneyland in February, and once we get that out of the way, we'll plan a trip to Mexico, I think. Just me and Wayne. Iguess we'll go to South Carolina this next summer, though. Maybe in 2010 we can get to Mexico. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday: Creamy Pesto Pasta con Pollo

So, I'm cooking dinner last night, even though I really didn't want to. Well, Wayne and I cooked, I should say. I wanted a bento box from the Japanese place up the street, as did Wayne, but our super tight budget (gas is KILLING us) couldn't be fudged with even for one night of dinner out. Plus, it was 90 degrees outside. Who wants to cook when it's 90 degrees outside.

Thank god for a/c because then we can have pasta for dinner. No one without a/c would even consider hot pasta for dinner on a 90 degree day.

So as I'm cooking, I think, "I have been cooking this recipe for forever. It is the easiest dinner to make when you, say, just walked in the door from running your kid(s) around all day. I need to submit this recipe to What's Cooking Wednesday." I am a What's Cooking Wednesday Weirgin no more.

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken
(I double this recipe for my family of 5 and will usually have one serving left over)

12 oz penne pasta
2 boneless chicken breast halves
4 tsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 T oil
1/2 of an 8oz pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup dry wine ( I use white cooking wine)
1/4 cup snipped parsley
1/3 cup water

Boil pasta. Drain. Keep warm.
Cube and saute chicken in oil until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet cook basil and garlic in drippings (or oil) for 1 minute on medium heat. Reduce heat. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese and parmesan cheese. Heat and stir until fairly smooth. Stir in wine, parsley and water. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add cooked chicken. Serve over hot pasta.

When we eat this, we buy a bagged salad and some veggies to add to the salad and a loaf of garlic bread. The whole meal takes less than half an hour for prep and cooking.