Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in pictures

2012 at "the ZOO" in pictures.  We are so grateful for a wonderful 2012 and pray that 2013 is just as awesome.  Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sofia the First Princess party

Recently, one of my First Step moms shared with me about this website She explained that you sign up, then apply to host these various house parties. They send you goodies and all you have to do is have people over to share in these goodies. I know what you're thinking, too good to be true. But it isn't! We (Keeley and myself) hosted a Sofia the First Disney Princess premiere party.  I invited my friends and their daughters (and son) over to watch the movie premiere of Sofia.  House Party sent these awesome cinch sacks to hand out along with other goodies.  The girls had a blast! Not to mention, I got to see and visit with some of my oldest friends :).  Thanks ladies for coming!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Public Education

This lioness is going to get on her soapbox, and tonight I have one burning question.  When did teachers become public enemy #1??!!  This question has been nagging me for a while and quite frankly it makes me really mad.  God didn't bless me with the patience of a teacher to tolerate 30 some children in one room from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 5 days a week.  Do you have that kind of patience? If you do then you are probably a teacher, because I know no other human who could do that. And I feel fairly confident in this next statement...teachers don't work for the awesome salary (can you detect the sarcasm??).  According to the National Education Association, the average salary for a beginning teacher is 32,761.  So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that teachers truly get into this profession to change lives, help children, and educate.  Once again I ask, when did teachers become public enemy #1?  It seems that our state superintendent of public instruction, one Tony Bennett, believes that our teachers in Indiana are worthless.  Especially those that are in the "public" school system.  He belittles and degrades them, and bases their effectiveness on standardized tests. I don't know about you, but I stink at standardized testing.  Give me a test about communication disorders and I'll rock it.  Give me a test asking me to solve mathematical equations that I will never apply in daily life, I'll bomb it!  That would be my first point in all of this.  If you aren't a teacher, related to a teacher then you probably have no idea what kind of treatment they receive from Tony Bennett.  I would strongly encourage you to vote for Glenda Ritz for state superintendent of public instruction.  She is a teacher, which is who should be in charge of public instruction.  Not someone who has never stepped foot into a classroom.  If you want to read up on her here is the link

It appears that we have become a society where we like to play the "blame game".  It is always someone else's fault.  Never ours! I urge you parents out there to start being accountable for your children's education and hold your children accountable.  Teachers now a days do the best they can with what limited funds and resources they have.  Classroom sizes nationwide are no longer 15-20 children per classroom.  They are now 30-35 children per teacher, some even bigger.  Because of budget cuts, aides in classrooms have been cut back to almost none.  Compliments of Obamacare, teachers will no longer be able to write off expenses for their classrooms out of their pockets.  Also compliments of Obamacare, some school's insurances have increased from $8 a paycheck to $80 a paycheck.  Some schools have even quit carrying insurance simply because their corporation can longer afford it.  I think it is time that parents step back and appreciate what teachers do and the stress they are under.  Are there some bad apples in a school corporation...of course.  There are always bad apples in any profession but nobody is perfect.  Are you??  I firmly believe that YOU GET OUT OF EDUCATION WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT!!! If you don't study, don't try, aren't actively involved, then you aren't going to be that successful in school.  If you put the time and effort into your education, then you will be successful. The National Center for Education Statistics states that 49.8 million children will attend public and secondary school in the United States.  I graduated from public school and managed to graduate high school, college, and receive my masters (not to toot my own horn but to make a point that I'm not the most academically inclined, I have to work at it).  So lets all stop playing the "blame game" and start being proactive in our children's education.  Teachers are not the enemy.  They are underpaid, under appreciated people who take all kinds of crap from everyone including their administrators.  

Will my children run into teachers that they will struggle with?  Absolutely.  Did I? Absolutely.  It is a life lesson that everyone needs to learn.  In the real world it isn't all kumbaya and hold hands.  It is a good life lesson for children to face adversity and realize they aren't always going to like co-workers, bosses, neighbors, etc.  In conclusion, it is high time we start giving teachers their due.  Appreciate the fact that they are there for the right reasons, and are occasionally cleaning up society's mess (the parents who choose not to be present in their child's life).  And this is all coming from a speech-language pathologist, not a teacher.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Perfect fall day

2 weekends ago, the Zoo headed to Apple Works.  If you are ever in central Indiana, you HAVE to stop here.  It is amazing! Apple Works is an apple orchard located in Trafalgar, Indiana.  Here is the link for more info

We had the best time.  Nick and I started this tradition when Keeley was a baby. We all head out to Apple Works to pick pumpkins, buy a bag of apples, and Nick gets to pick out several different treats for himself.  They have all kinds of differents salsas, jams, and unique eats.  Like I said, if you are ever in the area it is a must stop :)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Hello Fall! There are so many things changing at the Alexander house.  The leaves on the trees, the weather, middle school tennis season almost complete, and Reece Alexander is on the move! If you don't believe me watch this little gem

As much as I want him to reach his developmental milestones (therapy Mom coming out in me), I want him to stay a baby just a little longer.  However, I love this time of year and all the changes that are coming with it.  I attempted a new Pinterest recipe in celebration of these cold mornings.  Baked oatmeal. 
It was super yummy.  Keeley didn't like the texture so she only ate half of hers.  Fine by me because I finished the rest of it :).  I loaded it up with strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. Imagine this with a cup of coffee...
Here is the link to the recipe

Happy Fall everyone.  Next recipe I will be attempting in honor of this season, pumpkin and white chocolate chip muffins.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

This is my second Mother's day and I have to tell you they get better each year! I was very blessed to have a wonderful mother growing up.  Did I like my Mom when I was 16? Absolutely not and I'm sure the feeling was mutual.  However, she did a fantastic job raising 4 children who turned out pretty darn good.  Are we perfect (I'd like to think I'm pretty darn close HAHAHA just kidding) but so far we have turned out to be decent people.  The only thing that my Mom failed at as a mom was taking time for herself.  I never saw that woman spend one second of any day to take time for herself.  From sunrise to sunset, she was constantly being a cleaning lady, cook, chauffeur, shopper, avid sports fan, devoting every second of every day to us.

So in honor of my second mother's day, for once I will not follow in my mother's footsteps and start taking time for myself.  I have decided to get healthy and invest more time in my mental and physical well being.  There will be days that the house will not look spotless, dirty dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor.  There will be days when I will not cook dinner and we will eat leftovers or freezer meals already made.  There will be days when I will not devote all my time to my children.  I am going to take at least 30 minutes of my day to run, walk, do some form of exercise.  Because I feel I can't be the best mom to my kids if I'm not healthy and devote some time to myself.  I am also going to take at least 10 minutes of each day to read my bible.  Amongst many of the amazing things my Mom did, she did a fantastic job of raising us with some form of relationship with God.  I want that for my kids.  He has truly blessed us and I want my children to have a relationship with him.  How can they have that if right now I don't invest some time into my own relationship with him.

Here is to all you Momma's out there! May you have some "me" time whatever that may be for you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hail Purdue

This past weekend, Purdue University held their annual Spring football game and family funfest. Every school hosts an event, the football players interact with kids at different stations while they participate in football drills, and hold their spring football scrimmage. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative and all we were able to do was the drills with the football players. The kids had an amazing time! And even though the weather was uncooperative, we still had a great time.

I have vivid memories of visiting Purdue when I was little for football or basketball games. My Mom would pack lunches and we would picnic on Slayter hill before a football game. I have always loved being up at Purdue which was why it was a no-brainer that I would go there after high school. No words can describe how exciting it is to share that same love with my children. Keeley could say "boiler up" at 18 months and can sing parts of Hail Purdue at 2 years old. This is one proud mommy :).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oreo Cake

I have to say I am writing this as a very depressed Purdue fan. My Boilermakers experienced a gut wrenching loss last night to Kansas in the round of 32. So close yet couldn't close the deal. Such is the life of a Boilermaker fan. Anyways, this loss made me want to eat (I didn't but wanted to) and all I could think of was the Oreo cake I made for Keeley for her 2nd birthday. I thought I would share this super tasty recipe which is perfect for any Oreo lover. Here is the link to the recipe

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I have a 2 year old WHAT?!

My sweet little girl is 2! She is a St. Patrick's day baby, which was fun to think about until we realized she will turn 21 on St. Patrick's day most likely on her spring break! Uh yikes. My brother Matt's solution is to load up in a van and go on spring break with her. I'm sure she will love that idea when she is 20.

The next Tommy and Erin. What do I mean by this? Long story short, my youngest brother Tommy and my cousin Erin were and still are inseparable. At family gatherings they were always together. I believe Connor and Keeley are the next "Tommy and Erin".

Friday, March 9, 2012

Some exercise, some shop, I cook.

Stress I said, some exercise and shop. I on the other hand cook. I love to cook and bake. All the worries of my day go away in the form of casseroles, muffins, cookies, salads, pancakes, and any other meal you can imagine. Today, I was not stressed. I simply wanted to try a new recipe. Since Keeley eats almost anything (her favorite foods are any beans and fruit) I feel comfortable trying all different kinds of recipes. Today's exploration in the kitchen was Chocolate banana muffins. And let me tell you, they are DELICIOUS! Even my husband, who is not a sweets or banana kind of guy, loved them. Here is the recipe for your enjoyment...
3 1/2 ripe bananas mashed
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tins or grease muffin tin. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Then add egg whites, bananas, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and blend on low until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and bake for 30 minutes.

Super easy, tasty, and these little gems won't bust your diet. Enjoy :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dress Up

As most of you know, I am not a "girly" girl. I am most known for my sweatpants, hoodies, and tennis shoes. As my husband says when I wear jeans, "dressing up are we?" It appears that my daughter as of now is not following in my footsteps. She LOVES dressing up in her dress up clothes, shopping in her closet, and wearing "pretty" shoes. I have to say it is kind of fun to dress her up but lord help her if she ever wants to wear make-up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sleeping at the Zoo

Let me preface this with I have been truly blessed with children who love their sleep. There is no denying that either of them love naps and bedtime.

I had a very interesting night last night. Reece decided he was going to boycott bed for at least 3 hours. He has made this executive decision for the past few nights. Keeley came to this conclusion the second week of her life and it almost drove me to a nervous breakdown from sleep deprivation. So taking what I learned from Keeley, I applied that to last night. After feeding Reece, changing his diaper, holding him, rocking him for over an hour, I laid him down and walked out. A Mom can only take so much! I closed his door, closed our door, and turned down the monitor. At some point I fell asleep and so did he. And then it came flooding back to me..."oh yeah, it isn't the end of the world to let him cry himself to sleep." Low and behold we each slept 5 hours straight and it was WONDERFUL. To all you Moms out there that sleep on your child's floor while they cry, stay up all hours rocking, walking, and singing, have easily gone 3 days without sleep, don't! Lay that baby down and go to bed. There is no shame in letting them cry themself to sleep. It won't hurt them :) just mostly hurts you to hear them cry.