Wednesday, April 29, 2009


That is what my weight loss is this week.

I am EXACTLY where I was last week. Which is to say-176.8.

I was feeling bad about that until I read this. Seriously. I love this girl's blog. Especially today.

So, I am focusing on the long term. I will just try to keep making healthy choices, and getting in my torture sessions with the sadistic Jillian.

And I do feel way more toned, and that I have more stamina. So even though I hate shredding, I love shredding.

Here's to a fresh start tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He Sure Doesn't Act Like MY Side of the Family!!!

Charlie is amazing his teachers and me with the creative ways he is thinking of to be naughty at school. They all have a slightly disgusting twist to them, which I am sure is an extra special delight for his pregnant teacher.

His latest installment today involves a toilet. When picking him up from school I heard the words every mother dreads when picking their child up from daycare, "Do you have time to chat a bit about Charlie's day?" Which is polite teacher speak for, "I am SO glad you are here to take this kid home because he was NAUGHTY! And he is making me crazy!!!"

While Charlie was using the restroom today, he thought it would be a good idea to stick his head into the toilet and lap up the water like a dog. And maybe I should clarify here that this idea struck his crafty little brain AFTER he had done some business in the water.

His teacher obviously has super powers, as she managed not to ralph into the same toilet Charlie drank out of. My pregnant stomach would not have been able to handle that.

I wasn't even sure what to tell the teacher after that one. Should I mention that he doesn't do that at home? I am sure she is thinking we have GREAT manners here at Casa de la Kleffman.

Sometimes being the mother of boys is just plain baffling. I mean, what in the world possesses you to do such a thing? When I pleaded with Charlie to tell me why, he looked thoughtfully at me for a moment and said, "Well, there was water there. And the toilet was open. And my tongue told me to do it." Right. Why didn't I think of that?!

He must take after his father's side of the family.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rocks in His Head

Today promised to be a big busy day at school. It was Grandparent's Day, a morning when student's bring their grandparents to school for a special church service and-what else- a rousing round of BINGO! My class had the job of being the service ministers, which means my kiddos sang in the choir, read the readings and intentions, and were greeters. I was scheduled to hostess at the BINGO event, and then in the afternoon I had several meetings lined up. Before school I sent a silent prayer heavenward that everything would go according to schedule. Apparently, God thought that was pretty funny.

Partway through Mass, I saw Charlie's teacher appear at the back of church. She caught my eye up in the choir loft and started trying to mime to me her issue. She pointed to her nose, and then to Charlie's nose, who was holding her hand. I looked down at my devious little tyke, who looked decidedly uncomfortable. I frowned back. "Sinus infection?" I mouthed to her questioningly, all the while thinking, "Why would she come to tell me about boogers during church?" She shook her head, then used sign language to spell the word ROCK. (Teachers have a myriad of ways of communicating in front of, around, and behind children so they won't know what we're talking about-who knew it would come in handy this way!!!) I gasped. Right up there in front of the church, where I was standing with my class in the choir loft. I signed back ROCK- in his NOSE?!!!! She nodded rapidly, pleased I had gotten the message.

Crap, I thought. I hope I didn't say it out loud.

After church, I ran down to daycare where I discovered that while in the library where he was supposed to be listening to the teacher read a book, Charlie instead found a rock and shoved it waaaaay up. The school nurse had taken a look, and could see it, but couldn't get it out.

Long story short, we flew to the doctor, who graciously got us in. Dr. B was just barely able to remove a rather large rock. We were very lucky it wasn't completely stuck, or in his sinus cavitiy. Charlie was traumatized, but at least it's out.

Moral of the story: Next time I will pray for the strength and patience to take my day as it comes, instead of being on schedule. I don't want to leave myself open to any more heavenly practical jokes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Little Things

Today was so relaxing. It thundered and rained all day long, a perfect day for curling up and reading a book.

Even though I had to take a break from hibernating at home to run Evan to church for choir, I feel so warm and cozy. Nothing special happened today other than laundry and homework, reading and snuggling, but that is the best kind of Sunday in my book.

We had roast for dinner that had simmered all day, tempting us for hours with it's robust scent. It was so nice to see the faces of all my family at the dinner table. I love it when Jeff is here to join us at meal time. I love treating my family to a special dinner.

One of my favorite parts of being a wife and a mother is the little things. Putting clean clothes in their drawers, a yummy dinner, making popcorn as a before bed time treat. It was a wonderful day to spend doing nothing but the little things.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


My brains were mashed this morning from 7:45 until 11:00. The test was the hardest exam I have ever had to take.

There were six sections, and all six were situational essay questions that had several parts. I had only 30 minutes to answer each section. I've always felt like I am a good standardized test taker, and I've always finished timed sections early. NOT so today. I went right up to the deadline every time.

The test I took was for early childhood educators, and two of the sections were on topics that I would never teach to a K-2 student. I am not sure that I agree with the questions asked, but I did my best to answer them. These two topics were so off the wall, and what I consider to be too advanced for my level of student, I haven't ever taught them, or even really thought about them since college. So, I am not feeling terribly confident about how things went. Three of the sections I feel great about, three I am worried about.

The kicker? I found out today that I will not find out scores for my exam or the portfolio I submitted in January until DECEMBER 31st!!!!

I guess I need to work hard to put this to bed and not worry about it. Easier said than done. The good news? I AM DONE!!!!! No big projects over the summer, except lazing in the sun. I can't wait!

Nervous Wreck

In about 20 minutes I am off to take my National Board exam for teachers. I am a nervous wreck.

Luckily, my awesome husband let me go to bed at 7:00 last night. I don't know why, but I was so COMPLETELY exhausted and tired yesterday I felt dizzy.

At least I am refreshed this morning! Let's hope it helps.

I can't wait to be done with this whole process. Only 6 more hours and I am home free.

More later-wish me luck!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

The weather here has gone from 62 on Monday to 89 today. It was HOT! We have our air conditioner humming, the birds are tweeting again in the morning, and every child I come into contact with during the day (which on average is about 45) is full to the brim with effervescent energy.

The bird family that have tried for the last four summers to build a nest on the underside of our deck are back. Every spring, they valiantly try to create their home, despite the fact that we have knocked it down for the last three years. I wish I had that kind of persistence. I actually thought it was great the first time they showed up. I had visions of showing the boys cute baby birds and watching the eggs hatch. Instead, we ended up with copious amounts of bird poop all over the hot tub and patio, which my talented toddler then proceeded to get all over him every time we went outside. Which has meant an eviction notice for the birds ever since.

There is always a great congregation of wasps who try to be the bird's neighbors under the deck. They move in every spring, terrorizing my kiddos as they try to play in the back yard. After dinner, I tried to shoo all three boys outside to swing while I did the dishes (and make 20 pb&j sandwiches for Charlie and Sam's preschool group to take to the zoo tomorrow). They were all overflowing with spring time giddiness, and I desperately needed them out from underfoot. I knew spring was here in earnest when they all ran back in the door not five minutes later shouting about the "bees" chasing them. My valiant husband headed out at dusk with a can of wasp killer to chase them away, thus beginning the weekly spring and summer ritual of extermination.

The countdown is up on the calendar in my classroom, proclaiming that as of tomorrow we only have 19 days of school left. I have cocoons germinating away in the corner, with tadpoles next to them on the science shelf.

But the best part of spring? For me it is that the promise of summer is right around the corner. Long, warm, lazy days to spend with my kids with nothing better to do than be together and take the day as it comes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday: WARNING! Whining Ahead

It's Wednesday. The dreaded weigh in day.

I am flat out-TOTALLY-discouraged.

This week I worked my butt off. I exercised harder, and more consistently than I have in years. I drank loads of water each day. I ate salads galore. I didn't cheat. I shredded and shredded and shredded. Jillian Michaels totally kicked my butt. And for what?!

A measly loss of .5 pounds.

I truly did everything right this week. For a payout of nothing.

This is exactly why dieting and exercise are excruciatingly difficult for me. When I try my very hardest, and give it my very best nothing happens. I know I screwed over my metabolism when I was anorexic in high school, but it's been almost 15 years. Shouldn't it be getting back to normal? I can't even tell you how this makes me feel. I also have an urge to maybe cut out a meal or two. Or do something that I know would get me into trouble. But I'm not. I learned that lesson long ago, but oh boy the temptation to starve at times like this is terrible. It is like being in the worst of nicotine cravings.

So here are my terrible numbers.
Last week: 177.3
This week:176.8


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't Miss Out

I wanted to tell you about a wonderful give away being held at one of my favorite blogs with Christy from Real Life Adventures.

Christy is offering a chance to win a print of one of Beth's awesome photos (Beth writes over at the blog I Should Be Folding Laundry). Beth just opened a new Etsy shop here. Check out her awesome photography! (And if you aren't yet a reader of her blog, go check it out. She is a wonderful person, blogger, and mother. She inspires me daily.)

The wonderful thing about this give away is that all sales from Beth's shop until April 30th will be donated to Team James and Jake March For Babies Team. Beth lost her precious twin boys, James and Jake, at 19 weeks gestation. Beth and family and friends will be walking this weekend to raise money for the March of Dimes.

Good luck in the giveaway! The March of Dimes is such a wonderful organization, and one that helps families to continue on after the heartbreak of loosing a baby.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Until last night, our family had only been to church with all members present once. We tried at Christmas Eve Mass 2007, when Sam was just a little over a year old. It did not go well. Charlie spent most of church with Jeff in my classroom, and Sammy and I hung out in the foyer. Luckily Evan was in the choir, because nobody was left in the pew.

Charlie has been going to church regularly since he was about 20 months old. Despite being my kiddo who throws a world class tantrum, he has always had a great command of "the whisper voice" (a must for church going children) and he's always done very well sitting still and entertaining himself during the service.

Sammy, who is in most other situations very calm and well mannered, goes nuts as soon as you put him in a church situation. He has one voice level, and it is nowhere near a whisper.

We thought we'd throw caution to the wind last night though, and we all went to the less formal Saturday night service. True to form, about 25 minutes in, Sammy was talking loudly, trying to run from the row we were sitting in, and was trying to steal colors from the children in front of us. I took Sammy back out to the van where we had a "come to Jesus meeting". He was enraged about not being included on something Charlie and Evan were doing, so I took him back in for one more try. Luckily, he let me hold him for the rest of the service, and he didn't say another word.

Even though it was interrupted, it was so nice for us all to go to church together again. It's been so long!! I didn't realize just how much I'd missed it until last night.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Do

I spent a chunk of my Saturday with my uber talented hair stylist Katie, who worked magic on my hair. I have been working so hard on my physical health and appearance lately, I thought that it might inspire me further to get out of my mommy doldrums to spice up my hair and put a little pizazz in my appearance.

So, I did something I have never done before...I turned blond!!!! After all, blonds have more fun right?! Here is a close up of the color:

And the total effect:

Please be a good friend and ignore the pile of laundry in the background. It's hard to frame a photo you are taking of yourself, no?

I feel so spicy now!!! I am so glad I made a change. Let's hope my stomach muscles follow suit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shredding in Prrogress

I've just finished Day Two of Shredding with Jillian Michaels. Yesterday, I started with the Level 1 workout. Afterwards, I felt like I had put in a good workout, and my muscles felt warm, and a bit shaky. But this morning, I didn't feel a thing! I was expecting, even looking forward to, being sore. There is something a bit rewarding in a weirdo way about feeling it the next morning. Let's you know you did something! So I was disappointed. But after I thought about it, not being sore made me feel good about my past 15 months of exercise. Although I didn't see a ton of weight loss, it turns out I got into better physical shape.

So tonight I threw caution to the wind and did the Level 2 workout even though it was only my second day. I definitely feel like it was more my speed, and I worked harder.

I love that the workouts are only 20 minutes long. It's hard to fit exercise into a busy mom's schedule, but these are great. Hard, but quick, and hopefully effective.

Here's to shredding off my 10 pound goal!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday

Today was a depressing weigh in at The Sole Woman.

I gained 1.5 pounds, which I fully attribute to the stupid rabbit who goes around leaving four large baskets of candy on my kitchen counter to tempt me all day long. I didn't gorge or anything, but I did munch on some chocolate here and there. Apparently enough to gain a pound and a half.

I am really bummed because I was SUPER good at Easter dinner, where I only ate salad and a small bit of turkey.

As for Shredding, I must have chose the option "Please deliver by Pony Express" at Amazon, because I just received my DVD late yesterday afternoon, after I had already worked out for the day. So today will be my first day of shredding, and I am really hoping it will take off that extra pound and more.

Last week: 175.8
This week: 177.3

Blech. Here's to a clean slate this week and NO MORE CHOCOLATE!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lazy Blogger

I realized this morning it has been three days since I posted, which is mostly due to the whirlwind of the holiday and the amount of errands I tried to pack into our time off from school.

Charlie was evaluated by the public schools for speech yesterday. My big concern is stuttering, which is getting worse everyday. He wowed the ladies by telling them his colors in spanish, with the length of his sentences, and with the complexity of concepts that he was able to converse with them about. Which nixed him for the special ed preschool where speech therapy takes place. However, they said to keep an eye on the stuttering since there is a family history, and to call them back in 6 months. I guess you can't qualify for services for stuttering until you are a late three, which Charlie is not. It was nice to have an outside opinion on how he is developing cognitively, which I have been watching like a hawk after everything with Evan. They said he was above average in all areas, which is a relief.

Charlie also had his first trip to the dentist late yesterday afternoon. He went back all by himself, did exactly as he was told, and allowed them to polish his teeth and apply a flouride treatment. He proudly came back to the waiting room carrying a new Lightning McQueen toothbrush and proclaiming how proud his Daddy would be since he was so good. Sometimes I look at this newly independent child, who will calmly follow directions, and I thank God from the bottom of my soul that he is past the terrible twos.

Evan is gone camping Monday and Tuesday with the guys of the family, including my Dad, and I have been feeling like my right arm is missing. I miss that kid down to my bones. I'll never be able to send him off to college.

My favorite part of Easter was singing in the Easter choir. I love music. I love to sing, and I love to play an instrument as part of a group. In high school I was in choir, and glee club, band, and marching band. I love performing, and I love making music just for the pure joy of it. I miss it. A lot. And so, being able to lift my voice with others at church was a pure joy, especially since it was on Easter. Unfortunately, our pastor hasn't yet given the go ahead for our choir to be year round (our church is a new parish, and we are still operating out of an elementary school so some things are not yet established) so I am out of my music fix now that Easter is over.

I got a lot of piddly stuff done like getting the toddlers some new summer pjs and shoes, grocery shopping, and above all, a lot of napping. I don't know what is wrong with me lately but I could sleep for days. Literally. It is a struggle to get out of bed each morning, and by 12:30 I am ready for a nap. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday all involved three hour naps. And I could have slept longer but the toddlers woke up. I am starting to feel like I should go to the doctor.

I am longing for summer. Only 26 more school days until I can take up napping on a permanent basis.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Piece of Cuteness

I took this picture this morning of my adorable toddlers...

Aren't they delicious?!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Meet the Clampetts

About 6 weeks ago, our next door neighbors moved out, and a family they had rented their house to moved in. Frank, our original neighbor, was nice enough. We did have the occasional wordless argument about where our front yard boundaries were, which we tried to establish by mowing over on the other person's side a bit. But it was all a friendly battle. They were a friendly family who pulled Jeff's car out of a snow bank once, and took care of their home and yard.

Unfortunately, in an effort to move in a hurry, Frank found Larry to lease his house to. We not very affectionately refer to Larry, his wife, pack of 5 rowdy kids, and their two hound dogs as the Clampetts. Here is why:

This is what their backyard looks like. It is also now the view out my bedroom window. Notice the 2x4s balanced on the fence for no apparent reason. The large piles of dog crap everywhere (yesterday was somewhat warm here, and let me tell you-the smell was not pretty). The old carpet mounded up in the lower corner. The trash spread around. The screen door which they have removed for some reason and which is now sitting against the wall. It's nothing short of disgusting. Their front porch serves as a collection site for old computer parts, the shells of computer towers, old muddy shoes, and rusting lawn furniture.

My only consolation is that they are renters. I hope they have a short lease. Can you imagine putting your house on the market and having to show it with these people next door? I hope they are gone before we have to do exactly that.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday

It is week 2 of my Shrinking Jeans challenge, and time for my second weekly weigh in. Here are my results:

Start Weight: 180
Last Week's Weight: 177.9
Today's Weight: 175.8

This means I lost another 2.1 pounds this week, for a total of 4.2 pounds! I am speechless. Not only because the number 4 is really exciting, but also because I cheated! I had a donut for breakfast on Sunday, and a brownie on Monday. This next week I am going to really try and NOT cheat, and see if that can kick things up a notch.

My goal this week was to drink lots more water than I usually do. I am totally addicted to diet pop! A good friend suggested that whenever I get the urge for pop that I drink a glass of water first, and then if I was still thirsty I could drink the pop. This was an awesome idea, as more often than not I didn't want to drink anything else after the water. I also noticed I didn't want to snack quite as much when I was careful to get my water intake for the day.

Next week my goal is to start something called "shredding". Shredding is an exercise program on DVD by Jillian Michaels that many of the bloggers over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans have been talking about. You do a segment of the video for 20 minutes a day for 30 days, and supposedly it will make a big change in how you look and feel. Not sure why it is called shredding (what will I be shredding? Muscles? Patience?) as I think the name is scary, and maybe a little overwhelming. Perhaps "Shedding" would be better? As in shedding pounds? Whatever it is, after Beth's rave reviews at I Should Be Folding Laundry, I am ready to try it. I ordered the DVD last night from, and it was only $11, with S&H. Another positive! I guess even if it turns out to not work, at least I only spent $11. As soon as it arrives, I will begin shredding my weight loss!

Hopefully it will help another two pounds to disappear this coming week!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Over the weekend, Jeff was playing around with my new cell phone (It's pink! I love it!) trying to figure out some of the new features. Somehow, without me knowing, he changed the sounds and settings that occur when you get a text message or an email.

Fast forward to Monday morning. I keep my purse in a locked desk drawer at school, that happens to be directly underneath my computer. All throughout the day I kept hearing these beeps and tweets. I could NOT figure out where it was coming from. At first I thought it was the computer, but then it kept happening after I turned the computer off. I hunted all through my desk for a stopwatch or something else that could be tweeting like a bird.

Finally, in desperation, I began to talk to myself. "What in the WORLD is that dumb noise?!"

All 30 of my students turned to me with derision dripping from their eyes and voices, and said almost all in unison "It's your PHONE Mrs. Kleffman. You are getting a TEXT. DUH."

Oh. Right. I knew that.

Monday, April 06, 2009

How do I know that my 4th grader is studying electricity in science class?

Because today when Evan caught Sammy plugging and unplugging an air freshener into an outlet he told him, "Sam, you really shouldn't do that. You are a conductor for electricity. Not an insulator!"

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Can I Still Think on My Feet?

I just spent the last hour preparing for my upcoming testing session for my NBPTS certification. They have an online tutorial that you can do ahead of time to prepare you for the format of the test, which is on computer. Unfortunately, it doesn't give you any sample questions.

There are several sections to the test, in which they apparently give you situational essay questions to answer, with a 30 minute time limit for each section.

I never felt nervous taking standardized tests in high school or college. I felt secure in my ability to take tests and to remain calm during testing. I usually passed the first time around with a score I was happy with.

It's been so long since I have had to do anything like this though, that the closer it gets, the more nervous I become. Do I still have what it takes? What if I have no idea how to answer one of the questions? I am a little nervous taking this as a private school teacher. Because we don't have the funds available to public schools, I don't get to go to a lot of continuing education inservices or opportunities like I did when I taught for the public schools. I don't feel like I am on the cutting edge of the education field anymore. I am terrified I will get asked about something I haven't been exposed to because of where I teach. Can I still bullshit my way through an essay?

I wish I could somehow snatch up my 20 year old self and transport her to the testing center on April 25th. I'd feel a lot better if she were taking the test.

Friday, April 03, 2009


This was the week from heck. Two nights this week I had to go back to school for evening activities. I hate not getting to spend the evening with my family. I know it's part of the job, but sometimes I feel like as a teacher people expect me to be available all the time, and that my classroom should come before my own family. Argh.

My students had their music program at school this week, which was adorable. They did a GREAT job. But, it mean that we had three different performances during the school day, so our schedule was totally screwed up. When you mess with the structure of a 6 year old's day, it causes kids with TOO MUCH ENERGY. Which mean their teacher has NO ENERGY.

We have tons of end of the year (only 29 days to go!!!) deadlines looming and no time to accomplish everything in.

So. I'm pooped. I am looking forward to a weekend with my kids, hubby, and my couch. And my bed and sleep. And that's it. The end.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday

Today is my first weekly weigh in for my Shrinking Into Summer Challenge with the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I am REALLY excited to announce my numbers. Here goes:

Start Weight: 180
Week One Weigh In Weight: 177.9
Total Loss: 2.1 pounds!!!!

The Good: I met my exercise goal for the week. I exercised 4 out of the 7 days of the week. I am really proud of myself for this, because it was hard to be consistent after my month long exercise hiatus. Several nights I was very tired and SOOOOO tempted to go to bed early instead. But I didn't. I am also loving my water pilates class. Some great toning is going on with this!

Remember those pants that were tight? They still aren't back to normal, but definitely feeling looser.

The Bad: Eating healthy while cooking for your family is hard. Especially when your husband is really picky. I try to use very healthy cooking methods, but some of the things I serve because they are easy/quick and cheap (like tater tots) are probably stuff I shouldn't eat. I am going to try and substitute a salad for myself on these days.

The Ugly: It was my brother's birthday on Sunday, and I ate a piece of peach pie with whipped cream on top. And yesterday? I ate an M & Ms monster cookie. Argh. I felt SO guilty afterwards. On the other hand, when I totally deny myself foods, I tend to binge later. So I am going to try and just move on, and focus on my two pounds that ARE GONE!

My goal for this week is to up the exercise to 5 days. I can't "weight" to see if it helps!

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