Madison High School

Last weekend, I stepped out into the cold and took some photos of my alma mater before they tear it down in March for a major renovation project. This is a big project that ironically the company that I currently work for is working on, and it’s going to change many lives. So I wanted to preserve the memory of the old Madison High with these photos.

I am so so SO glad that they’re getting facelift–they really need it.

The school has been in the same state of being ever since I went there. Cold tile floors, an old weathered gym, dark auditorium, flanked by broken lockers and even more outdated classrooms. And yet, this school was a special place for me. It was where I had my first kiss, met my best friends and my husband, and generally had a lot of fun. (Also, where the movie Twilight was filmed, in case you didn’t know). My only regret is that I wasn’t involved in a lot of different extracurricular activities — it might’ve helped me land a full ride scholarship somewhere. It wasn’t until many years later I realized that high school is what you make of it.

Can you guess the school colors? Yep–red, white and blue.

My first kiss was underneath those bleachers.

The track & football field

In case you’re curious, here is the architectural rendering of the new Madison High School.

Weekend in review: January 19-20

Last weekend was full of rain, indoor play, gluten, and more gluten! In case you’re wondering–yes, there was a lot of baking!

Prepping croissant rolls. It was my second time making them EVER.

Waiting…

And they turned out great!!

Pretty proud of myself

James’s room

Morning coffee

The living room, before the kids came out and made a huge mess

James

Lily

Silly girl

Wet days in January

…which is the more reason to bake!

Banana bread

More rain

Later this week, I’ll share some photos that I took of my old high school. It’s a special place that deserves its own post. Stay tuned!

Life with two

I’m sitting here sipping my afternoon cup of coffee after having put my son James down for a nap. Normally, he lays in his crib and babbles on for an eternity, sometimes as long as an hour and a half, before falling asleep. But today, he is surprisingly quiet right after I put him down.

After making my daughter her lunch (PB&J, cut into small cubes, and pretzels), I proceeded to finish the last eight pages of my book. Ten minutes later, I’m done, and I can smell the banana bread that I just put in the oven wafting its lovely aroma into my nose. Outside, I can hear the rain trickling down in small droplets. The house is quiet. This is our normal weekend routine.

As I sit here, my daughter is playing games on her iPad while she eats her lunch; the dishes need to be done and the laundry needs to be folded, but that can wait–I feel accomplished already. After all, I’ve gotten the kids out of the house, even on a rainy day, to the mall’s play area (our default outing location), and I’ve done some baking, took some pictures, and finished a book.

Come here, you
Random hugs

Several years ago, I never thought that I would be able to get this much done in a day, or even a weekend, because weekends meant that I was working nights. Four nights a week for almost a year. I’d get home at midnight and go to bed at 12:15 a.m, then around 5:30, my husband leaves for work, and by 6:15, Lily is up an running. Needless to say, I was very tired.

Perhaps because I was pregnant with James or because I was in the midst of the “terrible twos” I didn’t feel like doing much during the day. It was just my daughter and I, so normally we’d take a walk down to the park nearby. She’d throw rocks into the pond while the ducks glided by while I sat there, counting down the minutes until her nap time.

Back in the old days…

Back then, nap time was everything to me. It consumed my thoughts. Nap time was time for me to recoup, relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. However, at two and a half, Lily became less interested in napping, so much so that the only way I could get her to nap was to take her in the car (sometimes bribing her), and go on a drive until she fell asleep. Usually, this took about 25-30 minutes.

In the summer, it was tough. Back before we bought our current car, we drove an old Mazda that was not only a gas guzzler but had a broken AC. Thus, I rolled down the windows as much as I could. Then, when she finally fell asleep, I’d park the car in a quiet residential corner about five minutes away in my neighborhood and sit there…and wait.

Sometimes I’d marvel at the beautiful tall trees that loomed over the block. Other times, I’d wince at the thought that my bladder was acting up again (pregnancy woes), and I had to figure out how to relieve it without waking my daughter up.

Most of the time, though, I would sit there and read…or try to, anyway. I never finished any books, but finished many articles on my phone. Finally, at around 2:30 p.m, an hour and a half after I parked the car in the shade, Lily would wake up, and we’d drive home to greet daddy, who was usually home by 3:00 p.m.

On days I had to work, I’d leave at 3:15 p.m, and didn’t come home until midnight.

This went on for awhile until I had James. This little boy has surprised me in so many ways as a parent. For one, he is still napping at 2 1/2 years old. Besides his babbling tendencies, he goes down without much of a fight. He is the exact opposite of Lily in terms of napping.

That’s what came into my thoughts today as I’m sitting in the car and driving home with my kids in the back–how different can two kids be? I’m not just saying they’re different because they’re different genders; they’re different in so many ways.

You see, that is a revelation that I had today.

As obvious as it seems, it never occurred to me that the second (or subsequent) kid will be different than the first kid. If and when you have a second child, you should take whatever expectations you had with the first child and throw it out the window, because they will be nothing like each other. James, for example, will kick me in the face as I’m trying to change his diaper. He can be tough sometimes, but he gives me more hugs than I can count in a single day. Lily never kicked me whenever I changed her. She’d lay there quietly and wait until I’m done. I don’t recall any major struggles with getting a diaper on and off her.

Holding hands

Today, he kicked me as I’m trying to change his diaper. He also babbles incoherent words, which I assumed was something to do with the bottle that I promised him. As soon as he finished the said bottle, he grew so angry because I only gave him a 9-ounce bottle, and he was hungry. He screamed at me, asking for more. I managed to calm him for just a minute, then I asked him, “Can I pick you up?”

“Yes,” he said. So I did.

A few minutes later, he’s quiet. His head is resting on my shoulder. I’ve burped him. Finally, I asked him if he’s ready to be put down, and he replied, “Yes.”

And the house is quiet again. For a few hours anyway.

Weekend in review: January 12-13

Last weekend, as told through photos.

My little kitchen helper

My first time making cream biscuits — it was a success!

Did I mention it had cheese inside? Cheesy biscuits – yes please!!

Thumbs up!

James

James close up

Lily loves to draw

Showing me her drawing

My kitchen

This is the face of a boy who did NOT want his picture taken haha

Much better

Happy boy

And we’re still drawing…

Messy house. The usual.

Sadly, these biscuits were my first baking failure of the year 😦