Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Crazy Week in Pictures

So.....last week was insane.
I thought I'd review it for you in pictures!

Well I need to back up for a minute to start with the fact that a couple weeks ago I burned myself with the hair dryer. Because I was drying my hair while reading my book. Because that is the one of the few times I have to read! I was taking care of it....but it wasn't healing. So after a few weeks I finally went to the doctor. That was an ordeal in itself but I finally made an appointment with the office where my mom's doc is because they could get me in and I had a good recommendation. It was painful...and itchy...and just gross.

I saw a doctor who I didn't so much like. So we will pretend this is her picture:

She diagnosed me with Cellulitis (a bad skin infection) and put me on really strong antibiotics.

But because the farm calls, that night Amy and I planted our whole vegetable garden. We are a little late this year with the veggies because of my two classes but it will be OK. We will just have lots of veggies in the fall not the summer! We planted: two types of carrots, two types of tomatoes, green onions, sugar snap peas, 3 types of cucumbers, yellow onions, zucchini, yellow squash, watermelon and cantaloupe.

Also that night was the start of "Antpocalypse". Random ants showing up in our living room! One at a time every few minutes in different places. WTH???

The vegetables started growing a few days later:
(Update: as of today, everything is coming in!)

My dad was out of town for the week and my mom had the idea to redo his office as a Father's Day surprise for him. We were really excited about the idea! It has had a bad paint job for years and my dad has a lot of neat Chicago and sailboat pictures that weren't really being displayed to their best potential.

So that Saturday as soon as he left for the airport my uncle and cousins came over and we moved furniture and started painting! The next day was Father's Day so we didn't get anything done because we hung out with Adam's family and worked outside at our house.

Adam had also planned to help all week with the project, but he's been crazy at work and had to work both Saturdays and late every night during the week.

Monday started preparations/set-up for the annual fair at my church! Amy and I co-chair the ice cream/smoothie booth. I have been chairing the booth for over 11 years now! Monday and Tuesday we set up and the fair is Wednesday through Sunday. During that time we practically live there. We are there until 11:30 or 12:30 every night!

Oh yeah...and that week I was still teaching summer school to my preschoolers!

Tuesday night during the last night of set-up, we were working hard to get everything ready and then a bunch of family drama happened that made me focus on that instead of getting ready. Luckily Amy is awesome and she got everything ready.

As we were finishing up setting up and dealing with family drama the tornado sirens started going off! PSA: I HATE tornados!!! Because we were outside on the church grounds, we decided to drive to my parents house across the street instead. Luckily they didn't last TOO long. But they still freaked me out.

This is a picture I took during storms happening during the day that week:

While waiting at my parents' house for the tornado sirens to stop, Adam and my mom were conferring because my infection wasn't getting better even on those super strong antibiotics. It was even spreading. They decided, after reading Cellulitis should clear up after 3 days, I should go to the ER. I agreed to call the doctor on call and he agreed I needed to go then....at 10:30 at night....instead of waiting until my appointment the next day. I didn't FEEL like I was dying of a terrible infection that could go in my blood, but they were very worried. So I went.

At the ER, when I finally got seen, the nurse and the doctor both immediately said it was shingles. Shingles?!?!? Not a terrible skin infection?!?! After learning what shingles is all about (you can't catch them from someone else, they can just come out if you've had chicken pox before, you can't give shingles to someone, you can give chicken pox to someone who hasn't had them), I got a new prescription and went home and slept for a few hours before waking up for school.
Wednesday was school, nap and the fair! (And of course working on Dad's office every day!)

Thursday was school and then a call from our tenants (we rent out my townhouse since it is worth half of what I bought it for now). Sewage was backing up in the sinks and overflowing onto the floor. This is not the first sewage problem there. The builders were ridiculous and the sewage pipes from another unit are connected to the sinks in my townhouse. In November they backed up because the people there were flushing baby wipes. STUPID! This time they were flushing womanly products that apparently got stuck. YUCK! GROSS! EWWW!!! I went over there Thursday to help them clean up and get the situation taken care of. Thursday night was of course...the fair!

Friday I also went there to meet a cleaning lady to get it all cleaned and disinfected. We also had a restoration service come out to assess damage. LUCKILY, they said if we put a dehumidifier in there it would dry it out enough.

After that I went to a follow up appointment with my doctor. But I was stupid and confused the time. So I had to see another DIFFERENT doctor. This doctor asked me about stress. I said when the burn happened it was the last week of school and since I am a teacher it was crazy. He said, "A lot of alcohol and partying?". Ummm....no. Like burning CDs and DVDs and finishing portfolios and parent/teacher conferences! Another doc on my "do not see" list.

Throughout the week we also had to keep up watering the veggies. But it was super exciting they kept growing. Especially so soon!

Saturday we busted our butts to finish the painting. My thoughts on painting? I would like to never paint trim ever again. Ever. Ever ever ever. It is so monotonous! But we did finish up the painting!! And I have to say....I did a kick butt job.

Then I was like the graduation party fly-by guest. I stopped at 2 graduation parties and spent about 15 minutes at each one before running back to the fair to see my brother-in-law perform. He did really well!

After a really late night at the fair, we got up Sunday morning to finish up the office! We were super excited about it!!!!!! Here is the almost finished room (blinds weren't up yet). Sunday we got new outlets put in, and hung all of the artwork that we got framed during the week. We also put everything back.

Sunday morning I woke up and had hives all over my body! WHAT?!?!?!?! I called the doc and got a different one. He said, "You should go to the ER" and I said, "I don't have time for that." So he said to stop taking my medicine and take some Benadryl. I went to the fair and when it was getting worse, I took the Benadryl and went to my parents house for 2 hours to take a nap. It didn't get any better.

But.....Sunday was an AMAZING day at the fair. Amy and I realized we didn't take ANY pictures. We usually do some sort of photoshoot of pouring smoothies, getting ice cream, hanging out, etc. Erin and her family did stop by though and I got a picture of them!
My dad came home Sunday evening and LOVED the office! It was an awesome surprise!!!

We stayed at church until 12:30 tearing down the entire fair and woke up again for school early Monday morning!

So...that was my crazy week in pictures! Overall through work, fair, cellulitis, shingles, sewage, family drama, doctors, hives, vegetables and tornados.....we had good sales at the fair and my dad was really excited about the surprise!! So it made it all OK!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Brownie Cake Balls

At school we celebrate "0" birthdays with cake (30, 40, 50, 60, etc). It seemed like a really good idea at the beginning of the year in order to boost morale and have some fun. Now that I have gained a bunch of weight, it doesn't seem like such a good idea! I do think we had an overabundance of 0 birthdays this year, so I hope next year is lighter on big birthdays!

The point? Since I had made cupcake cake pops for another co-workers birthday and a Salted Caramel Chocolate cake for Erin's 30 and half birthday (she was on maternity leave on her 30th) when it was my good friend Bridget's 30th I figured I should do something special.

She is a huge Chicago White Sox fan so I decided to go with the black and white theme. I thought I would try Brownie Cake Balls dipped in black and white candy melts. Inspired by Inside BruCrew Life, I figured if she can make cookie/brownie balls, I could totally make brownie/cake balls! I thought the brownie/white cake combination would fit in perfectly with the black and white theme!

Things I learned:

-Don't make the brownies the night before. They cool too much and don't smush well.
-Don't try to dip dark brownies in white chocolate. You have to do it several times to cover up the brownie.
-Don't try to use the Wilton frosting food coloring to color Wilton Candy Melts. They have a different kind of food coloring for a reason (not just to sell you something else like I thought). It makes the candy melts hard and not good for dipping. As you can see they are a bit chunky.
-They are delicious!

How did I do it?

-I used my regular cake pops recipe and also made up a brownie mix.
-I made the cake balls smaller than usual and then put them in the freezer.
-Then I tried to smush the brownies around the cake balls. It wasn't working so well so I put them in the oven a bit to try to make them mushier. That did help a little.
-Then I put the big brownie/cake balls in the freezer again.
-After that I dipped half of them in black chocolate and the other half in white.
-Lastly, I write "SOX" on some, the SOX logo on others, and colored some "socks" on others.

They turned out super yummy. They just weren't my prettiest baking project ever!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome Grady and Happy Birthday Layla!

Not only did I have a fun birthday week because my sister was in town, but my friend Kristin welcomed her new bundle of joy on my birthday!

I was very lucky to be able to visit him on his second day on in this world. I visited them in the hospital and got to hold the incredibly sweet baby Grady. I just wanted to eat him up! Holding a tiny baby like that is just pure joy!

And of course it was wonderful to see big sister Layla as well! She was pretty proud of her new little brother.

Welcome to the world Grady! I am happy I got to meet you!

In other news, big sister Layla turned 3 at the beginning of the month! Her party was last weekend and it was a wonderful Pinkalicious celebration!

Kristin, ever the hostess and party planner, had all kinds of adorable and cute touches. Unfortunately I don't have ANY pictures of the party! I helped Kristin out by taking pictures on her camera so she could enjoy the party with her new big girl 3 year old while also worrying about her tiny little guy. I didn't mind because I LOVE playing with her fancy camera.

I would love to have me a nice camera like that. Our plan is to get one when we have kids so that we have the latest and greatest technology for a camera crazy girl like me! For now, I will "help" Kristin by taking pictures when she needs it while enjoying the fancy camera myself!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Birthday Week and Missing My Sister

During my birthday week in May, my sister and her boyfriend were in town. She was home for a few days after she finished her semester. Then she flew to CA to visit our grandparents and her boyfriend Wael (who lives in Egypt) met her there. They spent a week there and then came back here together for a few days before heading back to Egypt for the summer. She is there all summer and then goes back to NYC to finish her last semester of Grad School. After that? Who knows! Somewhere abroad I am sure.

Since my sister will be gone all summer for her birthday, we decided to have a birthday celebration together. It was hard to pick a place we both agreed on. Indian was her choice. Italian was mine. So we compromised on Japanese! We also thought it would be neat for Wael to experience a Japanese "chop chop restaurant" during his second visit to the US (his first being our wedding).

Our Chef

The Family

We also went to a Cubs game that week because we wanted to give Wael that experience as well! After much arranging and planning of transportation and meeting spots, all 6 of us ended up in Chicago for the Cubs game.

It was a REALLY warm day and I ended up being COMPLETELY underdressed for the cold evening. I just had a lightweight sweatshirt and super thin rain coat. I was one chilly girl. Luckily my mom had a heavier sweatshirt and a winter jacket, so she shared the sweatshirt with me.

The *drunk* guy next to us really wanted me to take a picture of his nachos

Unfortunately....or fortunately....
The game got rained out. It ended up raining for several innings, but in the top of the 7th they put the game on hold. We didn't even get to sing the 7th Inning Stretch! Poor Wael....he missed a fun tradition. Don't be too worried though. My mom, dad, and sister sang it for him. We had quite the debate about how long to wait to see if the game resumed. But considering it was already after 9:00 and an employee said it takes 30 minutes to roll up the tarp IF they decide to resume it....we decided to head home.

It was a fun game and a fun night with family even if it did get rained out. I was lucky enough to see my sister one more time before she headed to Africa for the summer. The night before she left I had parent/teacher conference until 8:00 and was just beat. She and Wael stopped by for about 30 minutes after my conferences just to hang out and see them one last time.

Rumor is he may come back for a visit for Christmas so I am excited to have an opportunity to spend more time with him. She won't be back in the country until school starts in August. And we won't see her until September. Insert sad face here. But the awesome thing is that she got a Blackberry to carry with her abroad and we can BBM any time we want. Well...not so much ANY time we want because there is a 7 hour time difference. But it is super awesome!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our New Neighbors

I'm back! Though I am slowly attacking my Reader.

I opened it up 2 days ago and it said....


So I quickly hit the red X and logged onto Twitter.

But I am going to try to start attacking it little by little. Sorry for any "Marked as Read" that I just have to do!

I started putting these photos and videos into a slideshow about a month ago, but then got distracted by the craziness of the end of the school year and taking two classes at once. Which by the way are done. YAY! But I still don't have grades for 3 projects or the final grade. They better all be A's!

Anyway...this post is about our new neighbors.

We came home after a friends birthday party about 2:00 am one night in May to find a Mama raccoon and 3 babies scurrying up our Oak tree in front of the house. They were obviously frightened by us. The babies were really little! It was neat to see the Mama Raccoon come down the tree and carry her babies up one by one. The video, however, is too dark to make out.

The next day I was doing homework at home when I heard something on the front porch. There was the Mama! It was still light out and yet she was out scouting for food. I was intrigued by watching her interact with her babies. I took far too many pictures and way too much video....hence the 3 minute slideshow below. But I do think it is something neat for my preschoolers to see and I am going to show them this week at summer school.

If you are interested in watching a Mama raccoon interact with and protect her babies, enjoy the slideshow!

The raccoons are bold! I thought raccoons were supposed to be nocturnal? Maybe it gets late too late for them now. Because they wander around long before the sun goes down. They are pesky and destructive...but the babies are oh so cute!

So for now our new neighbors are the raccoons living in the tree right in front of our house. Until Adam gets fed up and decides to put them in a better place....I'd prefer the trap them and drive them 50 miles away method myself. But we shall see....
As long as they stay out of our attic, I'm not too upset!