22 July 2007

Weekend Update (continued)

I finally caught one of the street painters out this summer! Unfortunately I've never seen this guy before, and he's no where as good as the guy who normally sets up shop farther down on State Street.

Otto's cousin, Steven, happened to be in town for day and we had a chance to hang out with him! We headed over to the Great Dane Pub for lunch and some games of pool! We had a blast!!!

Then later on one of Otto's co-workers brought over his fiance to hang out for the rest of the evening! We talked for a while, then decided to have dinner at a place called Arbat. It's a Russian Restaurant not too far from where we live. It was very tasty! I had something that starts with a G... like Goltubsti... er... Golubsti! It's meat, rice, carrots and spices inside a huge piece of cabbage in a lake of tomato paste and sour cream! It was awesome! And I also tried to a Russian Beer with dinner. It was very different, yet tasty! If you're even in the area it's worth the time to eat there!

My friends Chris and Jess had car problems on Friday and we ended up going to eat pizza at Di Roma's, before heading to Blockbuster to rent the new Pirates game from the Wii. I had a blast with the sword fights in the game!

Today, Sunday, we signed up for new phone service with Verizon. I wasn't happy that Midwest Wireless was bought out by Alltell... so I opted out of the rest of my contract and Otto and I opened a family plan today. We got some super sweet phones though!!! I got a red one, and Otto picked out a black one! Eventually I hope to call everyone on my contact list and give them my new number, but in case someone is reading this and gets left out you will need to email me or message me to get the new number!
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Weekend Update


This weekend State Street had a massive sidewalk sale called Maxwell Street Days! I thought it would've been bigger, but it was fun none the less! I ended up purchasing two ankle bracelets from one vender... and I love them!

We walked all the way up State Street to the capitol where the Farmer's Market was still taking place. We were told by some friends to try Spicy Cheese Bread! It was absolutely yummy!!! And you purchase it warm from the oven! We basically found a spot on the lawn and started digging in!

Otto was enjoying his Mocha and Spicy Cheese Bread during our little break near the capitol!

I was sipping my mocha and playing around with the camera!
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20 July 2007

Day 28 + 29

Pro: (Kerry is going to be jealous) All around the facility I work in we have structures connceted to the walls that dispense hand sanitizer! It's the coolest thing! I am definitely going to use it to its full potential when the cold and flu season starts! I even use it now!
Con: Kids waste so much food! More than half of the time it ends up on the floor or all over them, instead of in their mouths! I get extremely frustrated because FIRST-There are people who could use that food, SECOND-If they don't eat it then they complain they're hungry, THIRD-I have to clean it up! I just wish they'd eat it!

I saw the funniest thing the other day. While on a bus to a field trip destination we drove past a gas station, and connected to this gas station was a tanning salon. Hmmm... I'm sure people drive up to fill their gas tanks, and realize how pale they look, and of course they need to fix that problem immediately! So, I bet they park their car, check thier watch, realize they have time before they need to be at work, and enter the tanning salon! People here are so weird!

This a is a picture my friend Heather took when I first moved to Madison and we visited the Botanical Gardens! I eventually will develop the roll of film from that day as well!
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18 July 2007

Day 27

I'm starting to introduce sign language into my classroom! I've waited to start because I wanted to be more comfortable in my classroom, take a chance to know my kids, and work with Bubbles so would could be on the same page. I created my first sheet to send home with the parents yesterday. The signs we started with are very basic (sit, stand, eat, drink, play, bathroom). I made sure these were signs the kids could start using at home. Now, I just have to begin using them in class.

I am so frustrated with the UW Health Care System already, and I haven't even been apart of it for a week! For my job I need to have a physical done; seems simple enough, right? Oh, you're so wrong! I called into a clinic yesterday and immediately they jump down my throat, "Who's you're Primary Care Physician?" PCP? Yeah, that sounds like a great name, by the way. I am going to love referring to my Dr as PCP. Either way, I just moved to town, I don't have one of those, but I guess I need to get one... So when I ask to make an appointment to get one they tell me they can't schedule me until JANUARY! Are you kidding me?! I just need a stinking physical!! I come from small towns where if I need to go in to see a Dr about something I just call up the clinic, and I can basically get in later that day if not the next day... obviously that's not the case in Madison! This just tells me that I can't get sick cause I'll never get a chance to go in to actually see someone! Although after talking to some co-workers I found out that after you get a PCP getting in isn't as hard, but it's getting that "in" to actually see one! Well, I called around and it turns out that I can see a "student dr", but not until September 4. That's much better than January, but I was assured that I could come in almost any time to have my TB test done. At least I found one nurse who was willing to try and help me out yesterday. Oh, and along that same lines... My Specialist from Gundersen gave me some names of Dr's to look into in the Madison area. While checking out my new benefits I found out that 1 of the 3 names was within my HMO, so I looked up the Dr, and it said they were accepting new patients! I called up and was crushed when I was informed that this Dr was in fact not accepting new patients... :( So, I called up my Specialist again in hopes of finding someone new, or trying to convince them to call up this Dr to take me... Hopefully when she gets back from vacation she can help me out!

Last night Otto and I went to a Madison Mallards game! They are a summer league like the Rochester Honkers or the LaCrosse Loggers. Otto asked earlier in the day if I wanted to go to the game since the Mallards were playing the Honkers (basically my hometown team). I was excited! It was a 7:05pm game, so I knew we could make it if we left right after work. Their field was not as nice as the one in Rochester, but our seats were pretty decent! I took my score book (because I love keeping the score of the game), and settled in to watch rooting for my Honkers! And they won! 8-4! Haha! I was very disappointed in the Mallards. I was hoping they would be able to step up to the plate and impress me, but no! We plan on attending maybe one more game this summer, and I hope they learn how to play a little bit better by then...

I think Otto may be purchasing a Wii game soon. We rented the Transformers game this weekend and the more he played it the more he liked it! So, we may have a new game to fight over! hehe!!! We're not actually fighting over the games, but give us time! ;)
16 July 2007

Day 25, 26 + Weekend Update


Today our class took a field trip to the Madison Public Library! The children's department was on the second floor so we had to lead the kids upstairs and it was amazing how quiet they were the whole way!!! And then they did a terrific job listening to the book the Librarian read to them "The Cows Are Going To Paris", when they were given the chance to look around the department they were on their best behaviors! I even heard the Librarian explain that she loved groups like ours; the kind that aren't afraid to partake in everything they have to offer (toys and play areas)!! It was a great field trip! And they all fell asleep during nap time as well!!

They are about finished with all the construction on the beltline in our area! I'm so excited! That means I won't have to sit in the sauna of a car for 10 min. after work every day... And luckily the construction is headed East, which is away from us!!! I can't wait!

Gas prices are between $3.19 and $3.15 so far this week. I'm hoping that it goes down soon. But one can never tell. This weeked in Dubuque the gas prices were around $3.14. I was suprised! Iowa usually have cheaper gas prices, but not this weekend! We did fill just for the sake of filling though, mind you, this was after visiting the Cold Stone!


These are our friends from the next building, Anne and Ryan! They got married on Saturday! While they were gone this past week Otto and I got to take care of their kitties... well, Otto took care of the kitties while I stayed far away! Their wedding was beautiful, and alot of fun! Otto knew some of the people attending since they all went to the same college. We spent most of our time talking to them and jsut enjoying our time. Anne and Ryan got back last night and stopped by our apartment to get their keys, and borrow a movie! They leave for the Bahamas next week, and we might get another chance to take care of the kitties... er, I mean, Otto will get another chance to hang out with the kitties!

Tried a new recipe tonight for dinner. BBQ Meatloaf! It turned out to be extremely tasty! I made some green beans to go on the side. It was a hit!! Otto gave me the go ahead to keep the recipe and make it again!!!! It was extremely easy to make, but it does take some time because you have to basically cook the meatloaf after all the prep time, but I guess you could combine and form the meatloaf earlier in the day and just place it in the fridge until you're ready to put it in the oven. Could cut down on the time! Either way, definitely one you must try, especially if you like meatloaf!!!

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13 July 2007

Day 24

I got flowers from the child who scratched me yesterday, and an aoapology note. I appreciated it, but we still need to do something about this behavior. Any suggestions?

Gas dropped $.10 today... Seriously... it needs to decide where it wants to be and just stay there... and I'm hoping it decides to stay LLLOOOOWWWW!!!!

While I was home this weekend I got my fish tank back. My mom has been taking care of it since I moved down to Winona. So we moved everything to Madison with us. Here is what the tank looks like after we set it up:

And this is the massive Dinosaur fish! The picture doesn't do him (assuming it's a him) justice! When it came time to take him out of the tank for the trip I had a tiny little net that I had to balance him on... HE's MASSIVE! He scares me...
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12 July 2007

Day 22 + 23

Tuesday: Since this week is our W week I decided to plan with another classroom to have a Water Day! I had this brilliant idea to create a water slide!! I bought a black sheet of plastic, brought out some of ours tables (which were extremely heavy) and some of the chairs to hold down the edges of the sheet. This is what it looked like:
At first the kids didn't understand how to use it, although I kept trying to explain it to them. In the end I just took off running and showed them how to use it! It was a blast! Although as time continued I unfolded the sheet completely. In the picture I had folded the sheet in half, but we ended up needing the whole width! Some of the kids really used it to its full potential, while others wanted nothing to do with it. Will I do it again? Of course! Because I couldn't get enough of watching some of them sit down and scoot on their bottoms all the way to the end!

Wednesday: Anyone who says working with kids isn't hazardous has obviously never had a chance to work with kids! I was dealing with a child today... one who likes to scream at the top of their lungs, hit everyone (including teachers) and throws food. I told this child they needed to sit in the chair we have in the hallway until they can handle being in the classroom again. The child, of course, refused to sit in the chair. I pointed to the chair and said, "I need you to show me you can come back into the room by sitting on this chair." But before I could continue she lashed out and scratched me on the arm. I pulled my arm away, shook my head at and said I was sad that they treated their friends this way. I then walked back into the classroom and looked at my arm. I had some really nice scratches! Nothing drew blood, but my skin decided to react immediately!! I looked my arm over and took inventory of the number of scratches and the damage done. At the reaction I was getting I started getting worried. I quickly went over and asked the child if they had a cat (because I have bad skin reactions from cat). Luckily they didn't own a cat! But my arm still have some really nice marks that were refusing to go away. At least this morning I can't really see them anymore!

Gas prices jumped from $3.09 to $3.32 in one afternoon! I was astonished! And extremely angry!! Seriously! How can the price jump so dramatically in a matter of 4 hours! I'm not kidding when I say 4 hours, either. I went home for lunch, and when I came back to work it still said $3.09, but when I went home 4 hours later it had sky rocketed!!! Now, a day later, the price has slowly slipped down to $3.28... like that makes me feel better (oozing sarcasm). I'm really not so fond of Wisconsin gas prices.


We finally set up our Wii last night. We waited because we had a ton of things we needed to get done before we introduced another distraction into our environment. So, after dinner I got to put everything together and set it up. Otto was off talking on the phone with a friend, so I kept myself busy by trying out the game we rented! Eventually he got off the phone and we played games for a good hour! Tonight we'll probably play some more and try out some of the other aspects of the system!! I like how small the whole set up is!! You can hardly even tell we have it unless you're really looking for it!!!
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09 July 2007

Day 20, 21 + Weekend Update (Continued)

This is the view from where we were sitting. We could see nearly the entire orchestra! And the music was fantastic! They had a wide variety of pieces to please almost everyone in the audience! I estimate that where we sat, if we were to sit in the same position in the orchestra hall, would cost about $70-$80 per person to attend! If they ever come to the area again we would most definitely drive all the way back to catch it!

I almost forgot! I got to see Kathy Dunsmoor!! I worked with her for 2 years at Madison Elementary, and when we got the town on Friday night I had realized on the drive that I forgot to pack my phone charger, toothbrush and pj's... (I was just excited to come back to visit... so I forgot some things) So, we went to Target to find the things I needed, well who was working? KATHY! We stood and talked for abit! She admitted she reads my blog! (blushes) I'm so happy people take the time! But it was great to see her! I will definitely have to make sure when I come back to town I take the time to make a short stop to see her!!

Sunday I got to go home (Stewartville) to spend some time with family! I made Spicy Spaghetti! It's super simple!
1lb. Spicy Pork Sausage
1pkg. Pepperoni
29oz. Tomato Sauce
1 can Cheddar Soup
Spaghetti Noodles
Cook and crumble pork sausage. Drain, and put back in pan. Add tomato sauce, cheddar soup, and pepperoni. Heat through and then add oregano. Simmer for about 5 min. and serve! At this point it also helps to have cooked the spaghetti noodles, but if you want to eat them raw that's cool....

So, I spent time with my family (Mom, Da, Tami and Gram) and then we had to take off mid-afternoon to make it back before too late. I ended up starting our drive back, my Da even called Otto to say I did a pretty good job taking off! (remember his car is a manual... and I've driven it less than a handful of times... and I still can't start from a dead stop going up hill...) I felt extremely proud! I'm getting better!!!

As for work today (9 July)... Bubbles and I have decided to start putting ASL into our lesson plans and create sheets to send home with the kids so the parents know what they're trying to say. So... this means I will be spending a good amount of time using our new printer that my AWESOME GRANDMA bought us since it has a scanner! I'll scan and cut and paste things to create the sheets! Much easier than trying to draw everything out... being that I'm a perfectionist-artist... I would take weeks for any page I could scan in under a minute!
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Day 20, 21 + Weekend Update (Continued)

These are my two best friends! Jeb (who I have already posted a pic of) and Jo (who lives and works up in the Cities)! Jo found out I was coming into town for the weekend concert and drove all the way down to spend the weekend with us! This is one point in which she stole the camera from me and was taking random pics of people and what not! They are the greatest!! Jed ended up taking almost all of her work hours over the weekend off! It was positively wonderful to get a chance to spend a ton of time with them!!!!
This is my other really, really, really good friend Ribbit (She's basically family... my mom even treats her like a daughter!) She came to join us for dinner at Perkins and decided to tag along to catch the concert! As you can tell there are tons of people at this thing. We were sitting in the middle of the crowd... Otto and I went to the spot earlier in the day to stake a spot with a blanket and some folded chairs! We had amazing seats!
This is Otto's little brother Alex. I had to post this pic because it ended up looking so natural. Well, I did just snap the pic without telling him... He came to hang out with us, but ended up leaving before the concert started because he had band practice. He plays in a rap band... which I wish was more of an alternative type band. I've seen him in concert a couple of times and we love the bass (which he plays), the guitar, and the drums... but we're not so fond of the vocals. It's just that the only thing you can understand is (grumble, grumble, grumble-GODZILLA-grumble, grumble-F.BOMB-grumble, grumble)! And I'm not kidding when I say this... We think all they need is some understandable lyrics!
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Day 20, 21 + Weekend Update

Friday: The kids convinced me to color more bubbles on the back playground! But this time they decided I needed to use more colors!!! I had a blast drawing them with the kids! (you can tell they were dying to help me out with all the scribbles around the bubbles)

I made some onesies for Teddy! I just bought plain ones and then used some permanent markers on them. I only wanted to do a couple, but you can only buy them in packs of five. So I had to try and find things to put on them... I think they are great! In case you can't read them they read: (from right to left) Busy Bee, Peanut, "Noob", iPoo, and Sweet Pea! As far as I could tell both Ed and Rachel thought they were cute... at least it's something for Teddy to wear!
I held the baby for the majority of the time, but decided I should probably share him, so I handed him off to Otto. As you can tell Mommy is supervising the feeding. Otto felt alittle awkward... he doesn't hold babies on a regular basis, but he did a great job! Although, funny story... Teddy ended up puking up the whole bottle one he finished it! Luckily no one ended up wearing any of that except Teddy himself!
On Saturday we ended up spending most of our day in Winona at the Blue Heron. It was way too hot to be outside for any amount of time. So we hunkered down in a coffee house playing cards and talking. But Becky showed up and bought a piece of cheesecake. She offered a bite to everyone, and Joanna and I thought it was amazing! So we went to go and buy our own piece! It was so good I had to take a picture and blog about it, but as you can tell we couldn't wait and took a bite out of it right away! If you ever get a chance go there and buy a piece! You won't be disappointed!!!
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06 July 2007

Day 17, 18, + 19

Tuesday: The day just flew by! And we all had a blast keeping the kids talking about fireworks. Sometimes they say the funniest things when they try to explain things!!

Wednesday: NO WORK!

Thursday: During snack time I was enjoying some of my iced coffee. One child, who we'll refer to as Soybean, asked me what I was drinking, then proceeded to tell me their Dad drank coffee every morning with breakfast. The child sitting next to Soybean looked really confused, and then blurted out, "Girls don't drink coffee. Are you a boy?" I was so stunned I chuckled and responded, "What?" I will admit that I've been mistaken for a boy before, but never because I drink coffee! That is definitely a new one for me!

On the 4th we went to Concert on the Square... and I ran into this:Of course I made Otto walk over with me so I could get a picture of it! On the walk over I asked him if he thought they were doing their little contest where you have to sing the jingle... and then I contemplated singing if they that's what they were doing. Unfortunately they weren't, they just brought the vehicle to show it off because they were sponsoring the concert!

On Tuesday night I convinced Otto to go to Tranformers with me! I really liked it! As in, when it comes out I will most likely go out and purchase it immediately so I can watch it again!!!

When we got out of the movie Otto found a message from our friends in the next building, we'll refer to them at Ryan and Anne! They, some how, ended up with 2 Wii's... and they wanted to know if we wanted to buy the other one from them. We had a discussion about it, and decided we did! Come Monday we'll own a Wii!!! I extremely excited because it's not only a video game console, but you actually have to be up and moving to play the games!! Sort of a step above DDR!!!

Anyone who is interested in joining us we will be in Winona this weekend. The MN Symphony is playing a free concert at the Band shell at 7:30pm on Saturday, July 7th! We will be at the concert, and you should come too!! If you're there stop by and see me, if you can find me!
04 July 2007
02 July 2007

Day 16

We hardly have any kids this week... It's sort of interesting. The chemistry in the room has definitely changed!

Tonight some friends of ours from the building next to us called up and asked if we wanted to go bowling... uh, duh! I feel like such a slacker for not bowling more the way it is. So we went to this place called Badger Bowl. Not a bad place, and they sort of had a fun event. It's called Red Pin bowling. When the red pin comes up as the head pin, if you get a strike you get a free game. Each game you have two chances to win a free game. Out of two games (four chances) I won three games!!! I was alittle excited! But other than winning free games we had a blast! We're thinking of joining a league all together come this fall!

So I tried a new recipe tonight for dinner. Salmon in a cream sauce! We both really liked it! The salmon turned out fantastic, the sauce was very interesting (yet strangely yummy), but the rice was sort of watery. The thing with the sauce is this... it's a tangy sauce... and it didn't really thicken... But we both agreed that it was tasty! It definitely made up for the watery rice. It's going into the pile of recipes we have to make again!

I was going to make banana bread tonight, but then I realized we ran out of eggs. :( I think I may have to stop by the store on my way home tomorrow night. I plan on making two loaves. One regular loaf, and one chocolate chip banana bread loaf! I'll tell you which one is better, and probably post the recipe as well!

I am looking forward to having Wednesday off!! I will sleep in! Enjoy some time with Otto, and possibly catch another Concert on the Square!!
01 July 2007

Day 13, 14, 15 + Weekend Update

Wednesday: We had a blast playing "Over or Under" with the kids. Literally the game was having the kids decide if they needed to walk over or crawl under our staff. Simple game, and yet extremely entertaining!

Thursday: Our first field trip of the summer. We went to a place called KEVA! It was fun and all, but no exactly age appropriate for 3 year olds. Luckily I was taught never to just sit around when on a field trip, I stepped up and helped out their staff to make some of the games more capable for my kids to play. All-in-all... The kids had a blast!!!

Friday: I received a review from my boss of my lesson plan. I guess I must've done a very decent job, because my review was raving! At least I have something to model the rest of mine after in the future!

Wednesday night Otto and I went with some new friends of ours (well, new to me) down to the Capitol to listen to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra! They set up around the Capitol, and then there are food vendors from local places and tons of people (as you can tell from the picture)! We sat on a curb, watched and listened to them for awhile and then walked down State Street to eat dinner at Chipotle!! It was a wonderful evening, and we definitely are planning on attending more, since they play for free all summer!!!Rhythm and Booms!!! Our friends Heather and Newman came to hang out with us on Saturday. We hung out around the apartment until about 4pm, then we started making Fajitas... we packed them up picnic style! We parked about a 30 min. walk from the park (that was as close to the park as we could get at the time). After finally getting there we parked it at one of the stages to watch a local band named Bascom Hill. We ate our food and listened to some good music. Eventually we found a place to put our blanket until the fireworks started. They were amazing!!!
Here Otto and I are waiting for the fireworks to start.
On Sunday Otto's Grandpa and Dorthy came to visit. We took them to the Capitol to see the rotunda. They loved it!
Here they are at the rotunda! I think they'll definitely come back from another visit!!!

I'm sorry I didn't write much this week. It's been extremely busy week of running around in a million different directions. This week should be a bit better, but one can never tell. Either way, I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!!!