Second, fall is sort of maybe temporarily here. After bouncing back to the 90's for most of October, we hit the 70's today and though it looks like we're bouncing back upwards again, Cora did FINALLY get to wear some of the fall clothes I bought her weeks ago. The kitty cat shirt, with matching half-cat leggings (she spent a long time searching those pants for the other half of the cats on each leg), were a big hit.
A friend at work gave me a big bag of extra bows. They're giant and tacky and Cora ADORES them. Her recycled infant-headbands seem so demure by comparison and now nothing but a large head bow will do (in addition to the four hair bows and two ponies of course).
Landon loves them too.
Speaking of the big kids, report cards came out this week! Landon's was typically Landon and quite good.
Claire's was too, but what was particularly special to me was the note that came home from her music teacher. As I wrote a few posts ago, music just speaks to Claire's soul. Her music teacher is brand new to the school (and to teaching- it's her first year and she seems absolutely wonderful) and Claire only goes to music once a week, so I thought it was so special that her teacher picked up on how music just "clicks" with her. We are blessed with such amazing teachers at our sweet school.
The big kids went out with James for ice cream to celebrate.
Cora and I stayed home to wear bows and read all the books. Since neither of us particularly like ice cream, and since I had had this glorious creation for lunch, and hanging out with Cora is basically the best thing in the universe right now (she is SO funny and so sweet and SO chatty, there is no level of Cora that is too much Cora), it worked out well for everyone.
Pork Belly & Angus Chuck Patty topped with a Sweet Potato & Bacon Croquette, a Bourbon Roasted Apple Chutney, sitting on a bed of Fresh German Coleslaw with a Pretzel Bun
(also French Fries)
Since we're talking about food, we are eating more of it this week! It never ends.
Mon: Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros (SO GOOD), pita, various toppings (tomato, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumber), and the best dip ever- Trader Joe's Cilantro Chive Yogurt Dip (sort of like tzatziki sauce, but stronger and more delicious); these delicious Greek Potatoes. This was my favorite meal in a long time and even though all three kids included every toppings offered in their pitas, they all loved the DIY aspect of it all.
Tues: Lasagna Soup deliciousness, ciabatta bread. Cheese was the vegetable. (Changes because of course I make them: beef broth instead of chicken; 1 lb. Italian chicken sausage + 1 lb. ground beef; full small can tomato paste; and I generally use bow tie pasta and regular diced tomatoes.)
Wed: Turkey sandwiches on mini pretzel buns. Weirdly a kid/James favorite. Costco sells the BEST mini pretzel rolls and I just slice them open, add deli turkey and sharp cheddar slices, and put on a tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they're all warm and wonderful, then top with avocado, tomato, and balsamic or ranch dressing. Also chips, fruit.
Thurs: Chicken Sausage and Roasted Vegetables. New recipe and it was so good! I put all the ingredients in a big bowl to toss them before spreading them out on two baking sheets to roast (you probably could do one, but I wanted to make sure the veggies could get a little crispy). I used Trader Joe's Chicken Apple Chardonnay sausage and served it with pasta tossed with a bit of Italian dressing; will definitely make again.
Fri: Tamales (steamed, from frozen; TJ's are good), refried black beans, avocado, tomato, probably scrambled eggs because the kids think those always go with tamales now.
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Workouts: (new thing I'm tracking weekly; basically copying Sarah)
Sat: Barre (teaching!)
Sun: Bikram hot yoga
Mon: C2 Yoga
Tues: Orangetheory; C2 yoga
Wed: eating a giant hamburger
Fri: C2 Yoga
Orangetheory is still really working for me. It's still hard, every time, but it's always different and always goes by quickly. Wearing the heart rate monitor remains distracting and educational. I've noticed that not only can I run much longer and harder than I could before, but my heart rate actually stays lower. Sometimes it's annoying that my calorie burn numbers aren't as high as they used to be (it's like getting a report card each time), but I know it's because my cardiovascular health is so much stronger. It's a great feeling, like when I first started going to barre and saw physical changes in my body in the mirror. Obviously, it was superficially thrilling, but more than that, it was powerful. I had done that. Now I feel that way when I hit higher speeds on the treadmill with each new month and my heart rate monitor doesn't flash red like I'm going into cardiac arrest.
But yoga is the backbone of my workout world right now and I try to go 4x a week. I got to do a headstand with my arms outstretched sideways, palms facing up the other day and I didn't even know that was a thing. I LOVE finding new things that are things! And I continue to love CorePower. Their heated C2 classes are athletic, dynamic, and always different, and they still stretch and loosen me up like nothing else. My whole body feels better after a class; I'm sleeping better, my headaches are fewer, and I just generally love the balance it's providing me right now to connect my barre teaching (which I adore, but is intense and hard on me- I burn more calories per minute teaching than anything else I do) and OTF (also hard-hitting and intense, but has the cardio I need).
It feels like the perfect blend for me right now, and my ability to do it at all is why I continue to politely decline recruiter emails.
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And finally, Claire brought home a card today. I assumed she had made it, but she said, "No, mom, this is from my new other best friend Rachel. She draws the most beautiful butterflies."
And she does. And what a delightful way to be so earnestly and emphatically described.
(Also, throwback to another beautiful butterfly.