Mid November catch up

November 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I pretty much let Yelp take over my blog for a while there, but regular life was also happening in between all of those fabulous events. I was dumping all of those non-Yelping photos into a file as the days went by and this morning there were over 250 photos in there. Here are some of them (stuff that happened in the last two weeks):

Lots of walking to school.

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Mack is such a trooper for posing for these silly pictures on our walk every morning.

Lots of other school stuff happened, like volunteering the past two Mondays and today.

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Three Monday lunches at school with the sweet potato.

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Cal’s school had a mandatory PTSA meeting (like PTA with an S, and they are all mandatory) one night…

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and it was also a spaghetti dinner.

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Mack participated in a multi-school gifted competition called the Creativity Olympics, held at Perkins Elementary.

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His team didn’t score in the top three, but he talked about it for hours afterwards and kept saying how much fun it was.

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He got the coveted “Participant” ribbon.

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Mack got to see a bunch of his friends from his old elementary school, and I did too.

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The kids had school on Veteran’s Day and the car line was lined with flags.

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Very nice.

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My attempts at fashion and bathroom mirror photos over the past two weeks…

Volunteering at school outfits:

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Yes, that is a dress covered with purple giraffes. So what?

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A Yelp night outfit:

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Another Yelp night outfit:

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Showing off some of the beads that I made at Painting with Fire Studio:

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Gearing up for The Urban Bike Adventure with Team Wonder Wheels in downtown St. Pete this weekend (yikes):

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Ugh. Ok. Enough with the horrid selfies. What else?

I noticed on my various shopping trips the past couple of weeks that it is obviously full-on holiday time. I love it.

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I don’t love this so much:

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Why?

I was excited to stop by a new to me fish store a week or so ago.

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There were about a dozen people loitering around outside both of the entrances, but sadly, despite the next photo, they were not open.

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Some lady was pretty upset because she was supposed to pick up her crab. I hope she got it.

I went back to the doctor.

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More on that in another post most likely.

Chewie, the boys, and I went to Largo Central Park one Sunday.

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They have the Christmas lights up! We love coming here to see all the lights during the holidays.

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Best playground in Pinellas County.

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The boys play while I walk laps with Chewie.

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Last week I went to a Ladies Night event at The Trek Bicycle Store of St. Petersburg.

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I have been missing my friends at the Trek Store since I haven’t ridden my bike very much in the past six months. But next weekend is The Urban Bike Adventure (yikes again), so I took this opportunity to take Star the Trek in for a tune up.

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They had some good food…

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giveaways…

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and a speaker from Trek Women as well as a lady who spoke to us about commuting by bike.

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I was happy to see my friends Meghan and Tori there!

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You can barely tell in the photo above, but I wore my shirt from the Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon last March because Southeastern Guide Dogs was also there and gave us a great presentation.

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Duke pretty much stole the show.

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I won a giveaway!

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A set of tire levers…thanks Trek Store of St. Pete!

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Thank you to Anne and her team for another fun event!

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And thanks for the tune-up for Star…

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and her new sticker which was hard to photograph.

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On Saturday we went out to the beach to have some family Christmas card portraits made.

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And Sunday we rested.

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Or at least some of us did.

So now I’m a little more caught up, but that was not 250 photos, so more to come.

Cya.

Mid-week catch up and Sawgrass Lake

October 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Monday we walked to school, but I didn’t take a photo. It looked like this:

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Later I went back to school to volunteer. Here’s my OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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At school I cut paper…

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put together homework packages…

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and hung out with Mack while he had lunch.

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I can’t remember what else happened on Monday, but the next pictures I have are from Monday night when we watched The Walking Dead and I made a cocktail.

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That is the dregs of a NorCal margarita: tequila, club soda, lime. It’s really good, low carb, and I think it’s my new favorite drink.

I took these photos some time on Monday because Chewie looked so sweet in his spot of sunshine.

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On Tuesday I drove Mack to school because we were going on a fieldtrip that started early in the day. OOTFD (outfit of the fieldtrip day):

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I love this top from Gwynnie Bee. It’s these same flowers that grow in our neighbor’s backyard and spill over into ours…like these that I took photos of at Sunken Gardens on Sunday:

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The top is totally sheer, so it was the perfect thing to wear on a fieldtrip to a county park and environmental center on a 90 degree day with 90% humidity. Fall had not arrived here yet as of yesterday.

On the school bus:

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At Sawgrass Lake County Park:

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I have been to many (many, many) fieldtrips to this park, as well as many playdates there when the boys were little, but it is a gem.

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The kids first had to take a pre-test…

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then they learned about all of the data we were going to be collecting that day. The kids had to break up into teams to test the nearby canal’s pH, turbidity, and oxygen levels, as well as air temperature and a couple of other things I’m sure I’m forgetting.

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They also had to record observations found in the environment and use fields guides to identify plants and animals that they saw.

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I got teamed up with Mack and his friend to test the canal water’s pH with a testing pen.

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The kids really got into the data collection. They were loving it.

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After the data was all collected, recorded, and discussed we went on a short hike around the park.

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Our teacher/guide for the day was fabulous. Here she has the kids demonstrating weathering, erosion, and deposition.

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Some of our observations…

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My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-43Apple snail shell. These are invasive to Florida and get their name because they are the size of an apple, or fist-sized. This one was empty, but these huge things are everywhere out there. People use them in aquariums so that’s how they ended up in our local waterways.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-40Fieldtrip shoes. The kids love them, so don’t judge.

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Our teacher/guide asked the kids how many stripes they thought are on the back of a six-lined racer, a type of lizard. It was disheartening to hear many of them yell out, “Three!” Luckily, most of them answered, “What do you think a rat snake eats?” correctly. Maybe there is hope for the future.

Once we got back into the classroom the kids took a “post” test (and improved their scores tremendously, as our guide gave them all of the answers throughout the day) and got to check out all of the animals and other interesting things on display.

Grady the rabbit roams freely in and out of the classroom. They just leave all the doors open, even the ones leading to the outdoors. He’s obviously pretty happy there.

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Mack got to hold a snake.

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I learned that the term “aquatard” is not an insensitive name for me during the first leg of a triathlon. It’s actually part of the water cycle in Florida.

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The fieldtrip was great, but it was also LONG. It took up the entire school day.

Last night my friend Amy invited me to come hang out with her out at the beach. We were going to get drinks and watch the sunset but then it was raining. So instead we went to a place in Treasure Island called Middle Grounds Grill for dinner. I didn’t photograph my food, but the seasonal salad and New York strip steak with veggies were excellent. I would definitely recommend this place!

I did photograph my drink. I was going to order a NorCal margarita, but then I saw this on the menu which was just sort of a fancier version of that.

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We both got one without the agave nectar, and it was delicious. I definitely want to recreate this drink on my own some time. Thanks for the invitation Amy!

Luckily last night’s rain brought a cold front, and it was so nice out this morning on our walk to school. It was still shorts and tank top weather for me, but the humidity had noticeably dropped and I didn’t break a sweat. This is Mack chastising Chewie for filling FOUR poop bags on our walk:

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He missed his evening walk last night because of the rain and he pretty much refuses to poop in our yard unless it’s a dire emergency. He is spoiled by his morning and evening walks.

Today I stayed home all morning doing laundry and catching up on some things. The afternoon has been the usual run-around of picking up boys at various places and taking them to other various places. Time to go make dinner.

Cya.