Monday, January 30, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Best and Worst

Seeger's worst - sharing at school, every time he did a move the students started talking
Natalie's worst - lots of class work to do this weekend
Mike's worst - stupid department head
Nick's worst - got Thomas out during knockout
Seeger's best - getting ice cream with Meesha
Natalie's best - almost the weekend and Mike is feeling better
Mike's best - that he's feeling better
Nick's best - if IU wins it will be that but if IU doesn't win than it's almost the end of the week

Random Thought Thursday

1. I just received an email from Seeger's teacher. She really enjoyed his sharing presentation. He wrote about his tae kwon do moves and demonstrated them for the class. She said he had nice moves.

2. My students had to hand in a project yesterday and overall I'm impressed with their work. The assignment was less academic paperish and more real world presentationish and I can tell they semi-enjoyed the work.

3. In writing the syllabus for this course, I did my best to spread out their work throughout the 8 weeks. However I screwed myself. This weekend I have to grade all their projects, write the final assignment, and write the midterm I'm giving on Monday.

4. Last Saturday we had friends over for dinner. There was a treacherous ice storm Friday night so our driveway and street were covered in ice. Couple 1 arrived Saturday and parked with no problem in the driveway. Couple 2 turned on our street and promptly slide toward the yard, stopping a foot away from our mailbox. We had to push their car out of the way (a difficult task when your feet have no traction). We thought we were going to lose the mailbox because their car wouldn't go anywhere in reverse. Luckily we got it straightened out and Couple 2 finally got back on the road and parked for the evening. When it was time to leave, Couple 2 drove down the hill of our street and turned around in the caldesac. Then we had to push them up the hill to our cross-road. When Couple 1 tried to leave, they couldn't back up our driveway. They were able to get their car turned around but even going forward, they couldn't get up the driveway. They tried driving in the yard but we still had to push them up the hill. The Polack and I finally made it to bed around 1 am and when we woke up our mailbox was gone. It had been taken out some time between 1am and 8am.

5. In addition to needing a new mailbox, we are having trouble with our fireplace and hot water heater. Homeownership rocks. Seriously though, it's all good since everything is still under warranty. And we do love our house.

6. I am not a good plant owner. My poinsettia at work is dying and my houseplant at home is dying. The houseplant was outside all summer and it did so well. As soon as I brought it inside it lost half of it's leaves. I'm trying to salvage it but I'm really tired of picking up dead leaves every day.

7. Nicklas loves the lava lamp he received for Christmas. He likes to leave it on all the time. Seeger has been playing a lot of board games with Meesha. She's so good about hanging out with him when she's home.

8. The boys were sick last week and then they got me sick and then I got Mike sick. Yesterday was the first day I felt fully recovered and hopefully Mike can be all better by the weekend so we'll all be done with sickness for awhile.

9. My friend bought a puppy before Christmas - a Burmese Mountain - and she's now 3 months old and weighs 30 lbs. She's going to be huge and she's so gosh darn cute.

10. Things on my to-do list... Get caught up with class/teaching stuff. Take Freddy to vet and groomer. Schedule Dr. appts for the family. Schedule eye appt. for me. Call about water heater. Buy birthday present for brother-in-law. Open savings accounts for Nicklas and Seeger. I'm thinking I should take the day off to get all this accomplished. I'm pretty caught up at work so I can feel good about one part of my life.

Sorry if this is a really boring post. I'll have to come up with some entertaining stories this weekend. Happy Thursday everyone.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Best and Worst

Seeger's worst - Nicklas didn't pick Jiffy Treet after getting his orange belt
Natalie 's worst - feeling sick today
Mike's worst - everybody feeling sick except him
Nick's worst - has a cold
Seeger's best - getting a new app thats really fun
Natalie's best - Friday night dinner with the family
Mike's best - Nicklas got his orange belt and good report cards from the boys
Nick's best - orange belt!

Nicklas is an Orange Belt

He's more excited about it than he looks. I think he was just annoyed by my picture taking.

Speaking of...

I have been terribly neglectful of my poor Polish blog lately. Partially because my computer and iPhone still hate each other and I can't edit my photos. But also because I've been busy reading and quilting and prepping for class and lots of other things. Let's see... some things going on in the Kubatski life....

Meesha officially moved in. The boys are in love with her, especially Seeger who always wants to know where she is and when she'll be home. She has two jobs on campus, she's an assistant for a class, she's taking two online classes for her MPH, she babysits two days per week, she's volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club, she's volunteering for the Red Cross and she's joined two student groups. So we don't see her much. When we do, it's nice to have a happy, cheerful person around.

Speaking of happy people... I have been in an exceptionally all around good mood lately. Despite some not so great things that have happened in my life, I've managed to stay positive and go with the flow with a smile on my face.

Maybe the all around positive feelings are a result of all the quilting I've managed to achieve lately. I spent two weekends ago hanging around the house and I finished a quilt top while watching the first half of the first season of Gilmore Girls. (Never underestimate the power a Gilmore Girls marathon.) I also spent last weekend at Quilt Camp where I managed to quilt and bind the top I completed the previous weekend, quilt another quilt that's been sitting in queue for nearly a year, and start two new projects that I'm excited about. I spent the weekend with my quilting friends and managed to relax and take it easy (a massage helped with that) and I even treated myself to a gorgeous bundle of beautiful fabric. I also got to better know a new addition to the quilting group. Her name is Betty and she's 83 and a pretty amazing person and I want to be just like her when I grow up. (Never underestimate the power of hanging out with people who share a common interest/passion.)

So the smiles and general good mood has continued - through several great IU basketball win's and now even some losses. Speaking of IU basketball, I have two tickets for the game on Sunday.

This has been a busy week for Nicklas. He spent Monday and Tuesday in Detroit with his Papa where they cheered the Redwings on to a 5-0 victory. On Wednesday, he had his first Strings Concert and we enjoyed watching him and rest of the 161 fifth graders play Mary Had a Little Lamb and Hot Cross Buns. The concert also featured the sixth graders, the middle school orchestra, and the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic (orchestras from both Bloomington high schools.) I thought the evening would be long and boring but it was really cool. I enjoyed hearing the progression of skill with each group and was amazed at how well the high school did. Despite the issues we've had with transporting the cello, I do hope Nicklas continues to want to play. (The director of the high school program also mentioned that the group goes on a tour each year during spring break. They are playing at Carnegie Hall this year and they've also gone to Hawaii and Paris and so you know, that helps entice us to keeping Nicklas with it.) He's getting better at reading music and it's so good for his fine motor skills. I asked Nicklas if he liked the cello or if he wished he played a different instrument. He said he likes the cello because it's big but he can still sit with it (unlike the bass players who have to stand).

Back to his busy week... We didn't get home until after 8 last night because the family took me out for my birthday dinner (hibatchi!). Tonight is his tae kwon do test for his orange belt promotion. Saturday, he has rehearsal because he's in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr., then he's going over to a friends house. Despite all this, we haven't felt stretched too thin with all the running around. Hopefully he doesn't feel that either.

Seeger is a little less busy though he had a friend spend the night on Monday (the kids were out of school Monday and Tuesday), he's also going to TKD and a friends out tomorrow, and tomorrow evening, we're having our friends over who have a boy Seeger's age and I'm know they'll be excited to play together. Seeger has been drawing so much lately. He loves his art desk and he's really in to drawing robot dinosaurs. He's also been playing Life (the board game) with Meesha and his Mimi and I promised that I would play with him this weekend. Two weekends ago, it was nice enough outside that I taught him how to shoot his BB gun. He enjoyed trying to hit the soda can but now he wants to buy actual targets.

In other news... I'm teaching another class this semester. Like last semester, this is only 8 weeks and fortunately, it's the first part of the semester. I have a few more students than my last class and it's a 300 level (versus 200 level) and I'm pushing them a bit more with assignments. Their first one is due on Wednesday and I have high hopes for what they'll turn in. I may be overly optimistic.

Random thought.... I have my favorite music on my iPhone and often when I'm getting ready in the morning, I listen to it on shuffle. I'm always happy with what it plays (afterall I wouldn't have a song on my playlist that I didn't like) but it seems like the iPhone plays Gettin' Jiggy With It EVERY TIME. I don't mind some Will Smith mixed in here and there but I think I'm going to have to delete the song from my play list because I'm tired of hearing it nearly every morning.

Speaking of music, Fitz and the Tantrums are playing in Superbowl Village next week and I really want to see them but it means A) making a trip to Indy, B) fighting the traffic and crowds while actually getting to Superbowl Village, and C) it's outside and a concert in freezing temps isn't that appealing. I still may try to go through.

Product updates... The Polack bought my a Soda Stream for Christmas and I wasn't convinced I wanted to keep it. (He told me I was more than welcome to take it back to the store but I wouldn't have felt horrible about returning a gift he put so much thought in to.) Turns out that I love it. It's so easy to use, the flavors are available at several stores, and we've been able to adjust the recipe to how we like (less sweet and more carbonated). The one down side is that it's hard to be consistent with the recipes but overall it's a great product. I want to purchase a few more liter bottles for it and I want to get some of the flavored water drops so the soda consumption gets cut down a bit but I can still have a carbonated beverage.

I purchased a beauty product from Sally Hansen and it was TERRIBLE. It didn't do what it was supposed to so I sent an email to the company about my dissatisfaction. They responded right away and sent me a comparable product that's much better. Yay for great customer response.

I also sent an email to Lowe's to express my displeasure for pulling advertising from TLC's American Muslim tv show. It's been a month and I haven't received a response. Boo on Lowe's. (For the record, I'm not upset with Lowe's for choosing not to advertise; I'm upset that their decision came after receiving threats from the ultra conservative Florida Family Association.) This behavior on the part of Lowe's means the Polack and I won't be shopping there anymore. (Super bummer because it's also been our go-to home improvement store.) Our boycott business list also includes BP and Chick-fil-A. (Neither are as inconvenient, but still a bummer.)

Sometimes you gotta take a stand, yo.

Moving along... I was relishing the fact that we don't have any upcoming weekends where we're traveling anywhere which translates to weekends spent at home chilling BUT we do have friends coming over Saturday, we may go visit friends in Indy next weekend, and we have another group of friends visiting us the following weekend. So my time to chill is slowly diminishing but I'm not complaining about this, just stating a fact. I'll take my being with friends time over chill time. I just wish I could have both. Darnjobthatmakesmeactuallyhavetoworkinsteadofchill.

Last thought and then I better end this rambling post.... I've really started to enjoy reading young adult literature. Luckily, I do so under the guise that I have an 11 year old and I can read what he's interested in so we have some common things to discuss. (Since, you know, everything with him is about sports and I can't hold an intelligent sports conversation.) In reality, I've read more of his books than he has but hopefully he'll catch up soon. My current book is H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden. Nicklas is reading it for his school book club; I'm reading it for fun.

Hunger Games the movie comes out in March. HOLLA!

P.S. I changed the title of this post after reading how many times I wrote "speaking of".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top 10 Highlights from the Holidays

I would love to have photo's accompany this post but for some reason, my new iPhone camera and my work computer hate each other. Half of the photos I download are turned sideways and I can't figure out how to flip them. It's very frustrating and means I either have to post from my phone (which is easier now that I have the Blogger app but still a pain in the) or from my laptop (which I keep at home so I don't have to lug it around) or I have to post sideways photos (and no one wants that). Any words of advice for fixing this problem?

(I really don't want to save each picture to a photo editing program. Nor do I want to buy a new camera that gets a long with my phone.)

Anyway, back to the top 10 list. I might get around to posting photos some day but for now, you're stuck with just text.

1. Of course the highlight of the holidays is being with family and friends. Blah, blah, blah. You all know that in a it-goes-without-saying sorta way. I still gotta mention it though. We saw nearly all my aunts and uncles and cousins. Actually after some calculation, I can confirm that I visited with 92% of my family (including the Kubat's but not the Polack's extended family.) Not bad.

1a. I got to hold baby Quinn for like a whole hour. Maybe less but he is so sweet and cute and precious and beautiful so any amount of Quinn time is fabulous.

1b. The week after Christmas, my niece and nephew and my older brother stayed with us for a few days. Uncle Bill and Girlfriend Tracy came for dinner one night too. They brought poppycock for the kids. (I love to say Poppycock.)

1c. We spent New Year's with some of our Lafayette friends and I got to wear a costume which always means an automatic good time in my book.

2. I received a SodaStream for Christmas and it has slowly climbed to the top of the best-present-I-received-this-year list.

2a. I received a kickass winter coat and some pretty awesome sweaters and scarves that are also on my best-present-I-received-this-year list. So are the gift cards and cash. I feel like I scored this year.

2b. I also love my Gallogly calendar from Aunt Carolyn. She included a lot of photos from the past so I get all weepy, nostalgia when I look through it.

3. The Polack (with a little help from me) painted a large portion of the white walls in our house. We still have a long way to go but the hard part (the stairwell and foyer) is finished.

3b. While we had the scaffolding that we rented (that's a story in itself), we hung the two extra globes for the foyer lighting fixture. We love it even more.

4. Work was really quiet last week so I got a lot done and I only worked half days so I felt like I was on semi-vacation.

5. I read a whole book. It was the new Jennifer Weiner that was a last minute rental after I breezed past the 7 day express section of the library.

6. The Polack and I watched the Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest (the Swedish version) and the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo (the American version) and we also had an impromptu date at 9Irish Brothers.

7. I felt extra special for having yesterday off work while the poor Polack had to work. I accomplished a lot in terms of cleaning and errand running and friend visiting so that was nice. The boys got much needed hair cuts. (I wish I would have taken them before Christmas but we were too busy.)

7b. Side story, Nicklas got an upgraded haircut because the establishment is new to Bloomington. So his cut included a hot towel, a shampoo with scalp massage, and a shoulder/neck massage. HE. LOVED. IT. It was the first time he'd had some pampering like that and he was so excited afterward.

8. Quilt camp is in 9 days. I have my projects planned out and I want to be organized for this camp. I have so much I want to accomplish.

(I know this wasn't a holiday happening but I'm exciting about the upcoming event so I felt compelled to include it.)

9. I signed Nicklas up to be in Thoroughly Modern Millie and I signed Seeger up for Saturday art classes at IU.

9a. I also decided to probably take my mom up on her offer to maybe go to Florida with her during the boys' spring break. Except that it coincides with the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament so Nicklas would rather stay in Indiana than go to the beach. We haven't officially decided anything yet but it's weird to think of Seeger but not Nicklas going with mom and I.

10. I spent a few hours almost catching up with Kourtney and Kim Take New York. It's not that I like the Kardashian's (actually I like Khloe) or that I believe the show falls in to reality tv. It's pretty obvious that the story lines are developed and the characters sorta act them out. But I'm entertained by the show and I waiting to see how they spin this whole Kris Humphries thing. (That guy didn't know what he was getting himself in to.)

10a. I also watched the entire season so far of Up All Night. I love G.O.B. Will Arnett so I've been wanting to see this show for a while. NBC has the whole first season online so it's well worth the investment to catch up.