Sharing the Couch #sol14

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThis is how I spend many nights. After everything is done for the day (including our last walk), I sit on one side of the couch, Chris gets comfortable on the other side, and the dogs fill in around us while we watch TV.  Last night we finished season 2 of House of Cards so tonight we’re catching up on some DVRed shows from earlier in the week.  Bailey was laying near my feet and eventually ended up putting her head on my ankles and falling asleep.

But Dublin?

He likes to curl up as close to me as possible.  That usually means standing in front of the couch and whining until I realize what he is asking for.  At that point I squish myself into the couch so he can jump up and curl up on the edge of the couch.  The nice thing is that during this cold weather he keeps me warm.  But he is not good at sharing!  He takes up way more space than you would think he would and he frequently readjusts his position.

It’s a good thing I like him. :)

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Breakfast for Dinner! #sol14

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Happy Fat Tuesday!  I actually forgot that it was Fat Tuesday (probably because I spent all day thinking it was Wednesday) until I was getting ready for dinner.  I couldn’t think of anything to make for dinner and then I remembered that it’s traditional to eat pancakes on Fat Tuesday.  DONE! Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?  I could practically taste the bacon already.

I decided I wanted something a little more interesting than pancakes and I had a loaf of French bread to use up, so I started googling.  Within minutes I was on the Pioneer Woman’s blog, an old standby for me, and discovered her recipe for Baked French Toast. The photos left my mouth watering, so I began to scan the ingredients.  Yes!  All of them were in my cabinet and refrigerator.

Mixing, slicing, cubing.  I placed the bread pieces in the casserole dish and added the topping.  Into the oven it went and I crossed my fingers it would taste good.  There seemed to be an awful lot of liquid and I feared the end result would be a soggy mess.  But I closed the oven and enjoyed the sweet scent that took over house.

An hour later, I had the most amazing dinner (complete with leftovers for breakfast tomorrow).  The baked French toast melted in your mouth and the cinnamon added a nice dose of sweetness.  The brown sugar and butter crust was divine.  The egg mixture soaked into the broad just like it was supposed to. A little bit of maple syrup and some whipped cream topped off the meal.  Perfect for Fat Tuesday!

Routines and Dogs #sol14

There are certain routines we follow in our house.  Most of them are self-imposed by the humans.  But a few?  Those were decided by the suspects below:

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Sure, they look sweet and innocent.  “But they can’t talk!  And they aren’t as smart as humans!” you might be thinking.  If that’s the case, you probably aren’t a dog owner.  Because these two have the humans of the house completely trained.

See, we feed the dogs dinner around 6:30pm.  Usually, though, it’s just that- around 6:30pm.  It’s convenient for us because the dogs are otherwise occupied while we are eating.  But our dinnertime varies depending on when I get home, when Chris gets home, and what I’m making for dinner.  But Dublin knows when it’s 6:30pm.  And as soon as the clock hits 6:31pm he is standing in front of me, barking.  He will even herd Chris or me into the room where the dog food is kept, as if he is reminding us that we have to feed him and Bailey.

“Feed me, human!  You are one minute late!”

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hBut that’s not the only nightly routine the dogs have decided.  Chris and I walk the dogs every night after dinner.  It settles the dogs down for the night and gets us another nice walk.  The time varies but we rarely miss the evening walk.  The dogs don’t remind us about this very often, though Dublin or Bailey will sometimes let us know they need to go out to the bathroom. This one is a human routine.

After the walk it’s usually time to relax.  I freeze Kongs for the dogs to have a few nights each week (smart dogs need to work for their food so they get tired!) and we supplement with bully sticks and other chews.  At some point, both of them realized that the night went like this: dinner, nap, walk, TREATANDCHEWYTIME!

Now?

As soon as we walk back in from our walk, the dogs herd me towards the closet or the freezer.  They want their treats!  And if Chris or I dare to take a moment to take off our shoes?  Oh no.  Not happening.  We get herded into the kitchen!

Like clockwork, the routine happened tonight.  The dogs have had their bully sticks and are now napping, content on the couch.  Saturday night they didn’t  get a treat, because I am trying to teach them that there is no routine (so they stop bossing us around and expecting a treat every night).  But tonight? They got their frozen Kongs and they are satisfied.

A Day of Relaxation #sol14

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Unlike yesterday, I was able to hang around and do nothing today.

And it was glorious.

Chris and I did some shopping (not food shopping, though.  Too many crazy people at the store, preparing for the snow that doesn’t seem to be coming).  We walked the dogs a few times.  I slept late.  Did I mention that I slept late?  Most Sundays I teach an SAT prep class at 9:00am so I am up and out the door by 8:30am.  Today I had a reprieve and it was much-needed.

And now I have a little more of a reprieve.  We have a delayed opening tomorrow so I can sleep a bit later (no 5:45am walk!) but we will still get a day of school in.  Seeing as we have already lost two days of our spring break, I am quite pleased that we will be in school tomorrow.  It looks like the snow was pushed further south and we will only get 2-4 inches now.  Yay!

Now I am relaxing on the couch with Chris and the dogs, watching the Oscars.  I am waiting for my girl Idina Menzel to perform and I’m commenting on student Slice of Life blogs to pass the time.  Soon I will head to bed and the week will start anew.

 

Slice of Life-Year Seven

In typical fashion, I’m writing my Slice of Life post minutes before the clock strikes midnight. Like Cinderella, I need to get home because I have a deadline. Unlike Cinderella, I have a smartphone with the WordPress app. Thank goodness, right? My students are participating in this year’s Slice of Life Classroom Challenge and I warned them I, much like them, am a procrastinator. But I will get my 31 slices done!!

I guess I’ll explain why my slice is being posted at 11:45pm while I’m driving home. (I’m the passenger in the car. No worries). Last night I was at the HTHS House Cup competition getting teary-eyed over my seniors (who I am so proud of!). I got home late, went up bed, and woke up at 7am. I was out the door before 8am, on my way to my middle school science enrichment class field study. My colleague and I spent 3 hours at the park with seven students who observed nature, created Eco-art, and played games. As a result, my Fitbit tells me I walked almost 9 miles today!

I got home at 1:30 and Chris and I took the dogs to another park where we walked the dogs 2 miles. Dropped the dogs at home and did our food shopping, in an attempt up avoid the crowds before tomorrow night’s snowstorm. Grabbed dinner, rushed home, ate, fed the dogs, walked them again, then changed for the night.

Notice I did lot say we unpacked the groceries. Oops. They are still in the car. Thank goodness it’s freezing out!

Left the house at 6pm, stopped for coffee, and drive an hour to Moorestown. The plan was to surprise Chris’ cousin at his high school musical. Mission: complete! The musical was great, Chris’ cousin was awesome, and now we are headed home. Where I will walk the dogs and promptly crash.

Tomorrow I have nothing to do. Yay!

*post will be updated later with links/visuals.

Slice of Life March 31st, 2013 #slice2013

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I have been participating in the Slice of Life challenge since 2008 and it’s always one of my favorite blog-related activities.  Thank you to Ruth and Stacey for this awesome challenge!

This year’s challenge has certainly been different.  For the first time I had students slicing with me, and many of them sliced every day!  It’s been a pleasure reading their entries and comments this month and I am so glad I challenged them to participate (even if some of them dreaded it).

But this month has also been full of ups and downs.  Chris had surgery on March 19th, and the lead up to that was frantic.  The following week was spent in the hospital and he came home last week.  He’s been home a few days now and it’s such a relief to have him recovering here, instead of in the hospital.  The SOL challenge gave me some time to focus on each day and forced me to sit down and think of the things I am grateful for each day.  And I am grateful for the Slice of Life challenge for helping me keep my sanity this month.

I can’t wait til next year!

Slice of Life March 30th, 2013 #slice2013

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I spent a good portion of my day trying to get ahead (and caught up) before going back to school on Monday.  That means I graded a lot (trying to get caught up, to what feels like no avail), cooked a lot, and completed a lot of food shopping. Those tasks, coupled with getting Chris out of the house for a bit and watching Wreck-it Ralph resulted in a very tired Sarah.

Baked ziti

Baked ziti (Photo credit: dolescum)

Chris has a few more weeks of recovery at home so I wanted to get some meals in the freezer that he can use for lunches while I am at work.  Because he loves pasta, I decided to make my first baked ziti.  I know, I know.  What can I say?  I’m Irish, not Italian!  But I ended up making a double batch of ziti, so we have one pan in the freezer and one in the refrigerator.  I think we are set for a while!

Then, I made some baked eggs that we can use for breakfasts this week and some frozen crockpot meals.  That way, I can just toss the meals in the slow cooker before I go to work and I won’t have to waste time cooking when I get home.  As an aside, I can’t tell you how much I love Pinterest.  All those recipes I have been pinning for months have finally come in handy!

I’m not really a cook, but I can follow a recipe, so Pinterest has been a lifesaver.  And while it was tiring, I am glad that we have a bunch of meals already completed for the week.  It should make the transition back to school a little easier!

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