Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's Trash Man!


Here is the Dandilion sporting his new cape (made by Grandma) and demonstrating his strength by lifting an empty diaper can.

I know the picture isn't perfect, but it captures the moment.

Fit

OK - I have a new addiction... hopefully a helpful one though... I stayed up late into the night last night trying all of the games on our new Wii Fit. Since I know how I am with video/computer games (must beat the best score - even if it is my own and I just set it a minute ago!), I thought the Wii might be the perfect way to get me obsessed with exercise in the New Year. We'll see how it goes, but I look forward to deflating my "puffy" Mii character.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Summary

Well, that pretty much concludes the "December Daily" journaling. Now to turn it into something useful! :)

Politeness

The Dandilion has really been working on his "Ps & Qs"

Please - "Peeees"
Thank You - "Dahk Yoo"
You're Welcome - "Yah Wehka"
Bless You - "Beh Yoo" (yes, he says it when you sneeze!)

Most of the time he uses them in the right context, with the following exceptions

1- When he wants something and doesn't know what it is called, he just yells "Pees...Pees...Peeeeees"
2- When someone else says "You're Welcome" to him, he repeats it.

Catch-up Time!

Well, the holiday craziness is mostly over, so I can finally catch up on some stuff! There is lots of organizing to be done for sure, and lots of pictures to upload, and lots of laundry to do, and lots of projects to start/finish, and I still have to finish my "Christmas" cards... and I have a few resolutions to make too!

Home Again!

We finally made it back home to our Christmas mess... wrapping paper, packaging, toys, suitcases, laundry, Oh My!

I guess everything really caught up to me, because I fell asleep on the couch before the kids went to bed. I don't think I ate dinner either.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Ah Dah Mahn"

The Dandilion has a new phrase... "I'm the Man" as best as we can tell. He says with lots of confidence and assertion - and a huge smile on his face. I think we all went back & forth with him, with us saying "Whose the man?"/"You're the man" and him "Ah Dah Mahn" for about 10 minutes while we were getting dinner ready. So funny!

Bills vs. Pats

Well we tried to give the Bills a boost by going to Western NY, decking the kids out in all of their Bills gear and gathering more Bills fans to watch the game. My sister's boyfriend & his family joined us for the game bringing the "fan count" to 10:1, but no such luck...

In Mommy's shirt...

Ups & Downs

A trip home (hmm, I guess home is where I live now, so I mean a trip to where I grew up) usually means multiple visits with family. Today we had brunch with my dad's family. The kids behaved well, although I didn't get a good picture of them in their cute matching outfits :( Maybe my mom did.

With the highs come the lows, because after dinner our "one night" stomach bug got the other kid... poor Grandma & Grandpa were up with her most of the night as she was sleeping on the floor in their room.

Friday, December 26, 2008

More Shopping?!?

Yup- after breakfast we headed out to the stores! The girls headed to JoAnn Etc for a little bargain hunting with our gift cards, then to the mall for lunch and ornament bargains at Hallmark. The guys hung out during the Dandilion's nap and then wet to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings - they brought me home some too :)

Christmas #3

After two Christmas mornings, the long drive yesterday afternoon, and the late night with the extended family, and the Dandilion not sleeping well in new surroundings - we were all pretty tired by this morning. Once again, we were up somewhere around 7:00 to "come down" to open presents. Grandma and Grandpa had made lots of special things for all of us... here are a few samples...

"Super Man"


"Alison" (as in Alison Wonderland) - with a matching one for the doll

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas #2

The Tumbleweed came in to get us around 6:45, but since the Dandilion wasn't up we told her we would have to wait... and wait she did, because when he did wake up around 7:00 we had a serious mess. Clearly he had gotten sick at some point in the night, but he didn't seem too bothered by it, so we did the laundry and disinfected the crib and then we were able to go see if Santa came... boy, he sure did.


I think this was the "Roller Coaster Christmas" - the kids both got roller coasters - and there were lots of ups & downs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas #1

Christmas Eve was our first "celebration", the Tumbleweed put it. We got up around 7:00 all headed down for madness & mayhem. The Tumbleweed was truly into it and loved ripping open packages, and since the Dandilion didn't really "get" opening yet, she opened all of his too.

We had a nice dinner (yesterday's ravioli with homemade sauce) and relaxed for the afternoon before we headed home. The kids weren't as sleepy as we had hoped and were awake when we got home. It delayed some of the prepping we needed to do for Santa's arrival, but it did make it possible for the Tumbleweed to set out cookies and chocolate milk (with a pink bendy straw) for Santa and for both kids to enjoy the bedtime stories together.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tradition

The Tumbleweed was able to help Papa make the ravioli for Christmas dinner. The process has truly simplified in the past 5 years and was much less time consuming (and easier for a kid to help). Dozens of cheese & meat raviolis were prepped and ready to go for Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Party

Despite the one hour snow delay, the Tumbleweed's class had their Holiday Party. It was pretty laid back, so we were actually able to see how the kids play together and which "centers" they enjoy in the classroom.


After the party, I had to head home to wait for the UPS man to bring the final holiday package. Fortunately he came around 3:00, so we were able to get to the inlaws before dinner :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Sighting!

Santa was in Millbury tonight! He was scouting the route on the top of a fire truck. We were a bit confused at first, hearing sirens and all. When we realized it Santa was right in front of our house! We got up from our dinner to look out the window.

About 10 mintues later we heard the sirens again! Santa had turned around and come back down the street - this time we carried the kids outside to wave.

Just goes to show you - you never know when he is watching!

(I got a lousy picture, but I'll share anyway)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Day

The Tumbleweed says to me just before dinner, "Mommy, we didn't go anywhere today." Pretty unusual for us, but the snow has us changing plans every few hours. I think we have about 12 inches right now, and 5"-8" coming in tomorrow.

The Tumbleweed had fun playing in the snow - making snow angels and then "snow fairies", catching snowflakes in her mouth, and playing on the slide.

Still Decorating

I finally got my Department 56 North Pole Village display up on the mantle. I really love how perfect it looks on our mantle (of course I did think of that when we designed the mantle).

It had taken me so long to get to it this year I had been debating about putting it up at all (and I am still deciding if I am putting up the family room tree). At this point, I don't think anyone else will see it but us, since all of out parties & playgroups have already passed. Although last year I left it up until February...

Friday, December 19, 2008

White Christmas

It looks like we are going to have a White Christmas! We are snowed in watching the white stuff fall. I think there is about 6-8 inches right now, which isn't too bad when you are home doing Christmas-y things.

This morning I ran around like crazy trying to get everything done before the storm rolled in... which was supposed to be around lunchtime. They canceled the afterschool program at the Tumbleweed's school, which I had specifically signed up for today so I could get all of my errands done. So we left early and did a few before school, and then I did the "secret stuff" after I dropped her off. We came home at noon and settled in for the night.

I still have lots of projects to do, so I hope my head cold doesn't hold me back too much.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Now can you say E-le-ven?"

The Dandilion loves to count. He points at things (randomly) and says his numbers. He usually counts to five and then goes back to two and repeats, but a few times he has continued on... "Va, Too, Fee, Fo, Fi, Sih, Seweh, Eht, Non, Teh". At first I thought it was a fluke, but he did it while video chatting with my mom, so I have a witness (other than the people who live here).

Apparently 10 isn't high enough for the Tumbleweed because every time he gets to ten she says "Now can you say E-le-ven?"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My computer is back!

Woo-hoo! I don't have to read e-mail in the cold basement anymore! My computer is fixed and back on my desk, which I completely cleaned off yesterday. I can't remember the last time I did that, but it is nice to have room on my desk to open a book next to my computer!

Now, to catch up on downloading pictures, e-mail, blogging, and other stuff I couldn't do without my computer!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In our own beds...

All of us enjoyed a good night's sleep in our own beds last night. After 3 nights of the kids waking throughout the night while we were displaced, we were thrilled that the kids slept really well last night. Both kids slept so soundly I had to check on them periodically.

Everything is getting back to normal after the ice storm. We still have to clean out more of the refrigerator and toss some of the things that got wet in the basement flood, but otherwise we are getting back to life as we know it - on the go all the time, hosting playgroups, and preparing for Christmas...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Concert

The Tumbleweed had her first holiday concert this morning... very cute.

She was so excited about it, but deep down I was hoping it was canceled. With all of the weather problems, that was possible - and it would have made life a bit easier. But that was not the case, so we had to drive two hours to get there, since we spent last night at the inlaws due to the power outage. On the way we stopped at Target to get some festive clothes, since all of hers were in the dirty laundry at home.

Once we were at the nursing home, she happily danced around the room to get out some of her energy. Then the teachers rounded them up, painted whiskers on their faces and stuck little red dots on their nose, assembled them in rows, handed out jingle bells, and got them to sing. They did great.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

5 Years

Happy 5th Anniverary to us!

I had planned to post a nice wedding photo here... but no computer = no pictures. (Note to self - add picture later and pretend like power outage & computer failure did not happen)

Yeah - it wasn't quite the anniversary we had planned... if you had asked me a week ago what we were doing I would have answered, "We are taking the kids to my in-laws and spending two nights in a nice quiet hotel by ourselves"... if you had asked me three days ago I would have said, "My mother-in-law is coming over to watch the kids for a night while we get away for a good night's sleep"...

What did we really do? Well, we spent last night at my inlaws with the kids, as the house has no electricity (heat,water,etc). The two of us took a trip back to the house to check on things... still no power, but the water in the basement had receeded a bit. We turned off all of the water so the pipes wouldn't freeze and grabbed a few forgotten items and headed back for another night at the inlaws. We did manage to have our traditional anniversary Hawaiian Pizza for dinner.

When we started having Hawaiian pizza for our anniversary it seemed like a nice tradition to start... In Cambridge (1st & 2nd anniversaries) we had numerous places that made Hawaiian pizzas, so it was an easy way to celebrate a weeknight anniversary (Then we would go out on a convenient night). When we moved here (3rd anniversary), we had to find someplace that had Hawaiian pizzas on the menu - not an easy task, but we managed. Last year (our 4th) we had a blizzard roll in at 1pm. I knew it was coming, so I got all of the ingredients to make a Hawaiian pizza at home since I knew we weren't going out to pick one up. So I guess it was no surprise that for our 5th we were displaced by an ice storm the day before and again had to search for someplce to get a Hawaiian Pizza. I am not sure what to expect for our 6th!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snap, Crackle, Pop

That's what it sounds like at our house today. The snapping, crackling and popping sounds are coming from the trees covered in ice from last night's ice storm. We are hopeful that no more trees will come down with tonight's winds, that the pipes won't freeze with the cold temperatures, and the power will come back on soon so the sump pump can pump the water out of the basement.


I hope to get back to my "December Daily" posts and be able to post pictures again soon... but we'll see. My computer was supposed to go in to be fixed this morning but with the ice storm we didn't take it in :( Until it is fixed - the pictures will remain on my camera.

Anyway, this storm brought back some childhood memories of the Ice Storm of 1991...

~No power (and heat) for a week ... also no school
~Playing games at the neighbor's house because they had a wood burning stove and we only had electric baseboard heat
~Moving our mattresses onto the floor of my parent's bedroom to share light & heat
~The cool photos my mom took of everything covered in ice

MOMS Night Out

Tonight I was able to get out for a holiday party without the kids! It was nice to have civilized conversation with some wonderful ladies. It is amazing how much you can talk about when you aren't constantly getting interrupted!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kitchen Decorations

I am slowly plugging along at getting all of my holiday decorations out. Tonight I got the kitchen decorations out. This year I put out the baking ornament display in the window, the reindeer ornaments on the chandelier, the holiday towels on the oven handle, and a few holiday scented candles around the room - my current favorite scents are "Holiday Sparkle" by Colonial Candle and "Christmas Eve" by Yankee Candle.

"I counted to 100!"

The Tumbleweed was SO excited tonight and came running in from the kitchen to show me how she could count to 100. A few little mix-ups here and there, and almost stopping at 96 to go potty, but she did it.

She had wanted to learn how to count to 60 earlier in the week after asking "Mommy, how long is a minute?" and getting the answer "as long as it takes to count to 60". We had worked on it a couple of times and she was starting to really get the hang of it this afternoon. So tonight as she was showing Daddy how she could count to 60, he told her how to go all the way to 100. Boy did she think that was neat!

She followed that with "Mommy, how many is a zillion?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Party

This morning we had our first holiday party of the season - the Annual MOMS Club Holiday Party. We all had a great morning celebrating with our friends! It is fun to look back at the past year's parties to see how much the kids have grown...

Pouty Snowman - 2006

Two kids - 2007

My little artist & my little climber- 2008
(too busy to be photographed together!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Puzzling

One of the few times I actually make the time to do a puzzle is at Christmas time. I have always loved puzzles, and now the Tumbleweed does too. All of my holiday puzzles are 500-1000 pieces, so the two of us are working on one together. Fortunately, I have a roll-away puzzle mat from my grandmother that makes it possible to tuck the puzzle away during the daytime because this is going to take us a while!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

aka Peanut Blossoms. The Tumbleweed was thrilled to see the first Christmas cookies of the season sitting on the counter, exclaiming "Can I have a Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie?". She got a small sampling before I swept them off to my first cookie swap of the season.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Escape Artist

The Dandilion almost executed the perfect plot to sneak down to "Santa's Storage" this afternoon.

The Tumbleweed had just come in from helping put up the outdoor lights, but I was still outside talking to the Eagle. I had let her up the stairs and left the gate open knowing that the gate was still up in the family room keeping the Dandilion in. I closed the front door to keep the heat in while I stepped outside to discuss dinner. A few short minutes later, I see through the door that the Dandilion on the landing.

I panic. How did he get to the landing? Did he fall? I run in and catch him, just as he is turning to go down the rest of the stairs to the basement on his belly. Phew. He has been learning about stairs over the past few months, but I am not close to trusting him on them. It seems as though he knows more than I thought.

So, now that the Tumbleweed can "un-babyproof" the house by herself, I have to double check everything. It's always something, isn't it?

Lighting up the Night

The Tumbleweed and the Eagle set out to decorate the house this afternoon. After a lengthy trip to Home Depot they returned with numerous strands of multicolored LED icicle lights and three lighted trees to brighten up the neighborhood.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Holiday Cards

Today I made 12 cards for my scrapbooking Book Club card swap. It didn't take long, but I don't think I will be planning to make all of my cards any time soon.


Actually, I am terrible at sending out holiday cards. I think the last time I sent out a card & Christmas letter to all of my friends was 2002. Since 2005 when I've ordered holiday portraits, I've ordered enough to send to everyone... and most of them are still sitting in the envelope. I have enough boxes of holiday cards to send at least 3 to everyone I know. I even have a few boxes of New Years' cards from the year I thought I would send cards out "just a little bit late". My apologies to everyone who should have received cards from us in the past. I hope to get my act together this year.

I am still searching for a method to get my cards out. Most of the time I get hung up on the addressing, rather searching for addresses. Yes, my organizational skills are not what they used to be. I used to have an address book sitting next to my computer, on my clean desk, where I would record new addresses as they came in e-mails or on envelopes. Not so much now. These days, I go searching for a pile of last years Christmas cards and hope I saved the envelopes... or I just wait until someone sends me a card and copy the return address. Not really an efficient way to operate for sure.

So here are my 2008 Christmas Card Goals:

1- Make list of people to send cards to - 12/8
2- Search for addresses & make a master list - 12/9-12/10
3- Address envelopes - 12/11-12/12
4- Sign & put photos in cards - 12/14
5- Send cards to people who I have addresses for - 12/15
6- Send additional cards as people mail us cards (and remember to write down address on master list) - until 12/22
7- Computerize master list - by 1/31/09!

Better get started.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Claytime

Today we went to the local pottery painting studio to make some holiday keepsakes. The kids had lots of fun painting - but it was a little nerve-wracking having such fragile things all around us! I know this trip will be even more fun as they get older.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Toys for Tots

Today the kids took some toys for the Toys for Tots bin at GLC. The Tumbleweed was at school, but the Dandilion helped me put them all in the boxes ... and then several of the kids in the class took them out. They're too little to understand.

Presents under the Tree

I finally had a chance to sort through some of the bags and boxes of Christmas presents hidden (not so well) in the basement. It seems like there is more for the Tumbleweed than the Dandilion. I don't think he'll notice, but I think that I will save some things for the Tumbleweed's birthday anyway.

I still haven't quite decided which things are from "Santa" and which are from us, so I didn't want to wrap too much, but I really wanted to put a few presents under the newly decorated tree. I wrapped 6 things for each kid.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Calendar

The Tumbleweed is finally old enough to do an advent calendar this year. She knows all of the numbers on the calendar, but gets stuck a little on the difference between 12 and 21. Other than numbers she is learning patience - as waiting all day to open the little door for the day is quite difficult, as is not being able to open all of the doors at once!

Fun

or should I say phone...

The Dandilion was playing in the family room this evening and climbed on the couch to get one of the portable phones. He didn't seem to be pushing buttons, so I let him keep it for a bit and this is what transpired...

Mommy: "Who is on the phone, buddy?"
Dandilion (proudly): "Gmmpa" (new word)

He walks around behind the couch with the phone to his ear and I can hear him saying "heo" (Hello) a few times, followed by:

Dandilion: "Gmma" ... "Gmma"...."Heo" (another new word)

Then he brings the phone to me and says "Gmma?"
Mommy: "Sorry buddy, Grandma and Grandpa aren't on the phone right now."

So cute! I am glad he is finally feeling better. I love the new word stage :)

More Toddler Talk

A few more funny words from the Dandilion...

"Dink" = Drink
"Mik" = Milk
"Cut" = Coat
"Shut" - Shirt
"Fun" = Phone
"Tare" - Stairs
"Mohkee" = Monkey
"Geor" = Curious George
"Wow wow wow" = Wow Wow Wubbsy (TV show)
"Mingkee" = Minnie & Mickey



And --- he'll answer a question...

Question: "How are you?" -- the Dandilion: "Goo" (Good)

Christmas Books

When I dug out the decorations I found the very heavy box with the kids' holiday books. Boy we have managed to accumulate a lot of books in 4 years! Both kids enjoyed the book with the attached piano for a while, but then the Dandilion saw the Dora book and that was all he wanted.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ornament Hooks

Every year I have the same problem --- I get the tree mostly decorated but get stuck because I have new ornaments (and even a few old ones) that have no hooks. And I can't find the hooks in my 15 boxes (?!?) of Christmas decorations. Last year I had to buy hooks, so they had to be somewhere!

Tonight was no different - I thought I was nearly done - only a few ornaments left to hang - and the hooks were nowhere to be found. After about a half hour searching through bins in the cold, dark part of the basement - I found them! The ornaments are hung, the garland is added and the bows are tied ... the living room tree is complete (and behind a gate)!

The good thing about artificial trees...

I have lots of memories of Christmas as a little kid regarding the Christmas Tree --- some years we cut one down, others we bought pre-cut, a couple years we even took one from our back yard. Often they had snow on them and had to sit in the garage for several days to melt. Then my dad would bring them in the front door stand it up and cut the strings off. The girls would decorate while listening to The Beach Boys Christmas record and a few others (which we would set up in the record player to play concecutively by dropping the next record when one had finished). Then for the rest of the holiday season my sister and I would take turns watering the tree or vacuuming the needles.

These will not be my kids' memories... first, we don't have a record player and second, we don't put up a real tree. With all of our allergies, the Eagle and I decided a long time ago that investing in an artificial tree made the most sense. We weren't home enough to water it, we were both allergic to things associated with pine trees and one $75 tree would last us longer than getting one for $60 every year (the cost of a tree in New Jersey in 2001). I am glad we decided to do it, because we still have that tree and it still looks good!

I also liked that this morning, when the Tumbleweed learned that it was December, and said "Can we put up our Christmas Tree today?" I could answer "yes". And that is just what we did... I got the top started while she was at school, and she helped with the bottom when she got home. It doesn't have lights or ornaments yet, but I am sure it will soon.

She is so excited about Christmas this year. It is going to be a fun month!

Rotavirus

So it was a good thing that I sent the Eagle out for diapers the night before Thanksgiving --- I had forgotten to pack any to take to my inlaws house and only had about 5 from the diaper bag. Five diapers might have lasted through an average day, but why chance it I thought... That was a good thought as the Dandilion started going diapers and clothes like they were going out of style. On Thanksgiving the Eagle had to go out and get Pedialyte and Diaper Rash cream for the poor little guy who couldn't even handle eating toast. Friday, I talked to a nurse at the doctor's office and she said "it sounds like he has Rotavirus", to which I responded "wasn't he vaccinated for that?" (This is one new vaccination that the Tumbleweed didn't get). Apparently, the vaccination helps it be less severe and for less time and there is nothing they can do for it unless he gets too dehydrated... So with a new stack of diapers and constant laundry, we are on the 5th day of "bananas, rice, applesauce and toast" and no relief is in sight. Poor kid.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday!

Woo-hoo! Yes, I am one of those crazy people who loves Black Friday. The Eagle and I have been going out shopping on Black Friday since the first year we were dating and he invited me to Thanksgiving (I also dragged him to Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower that weekend, since his parents lived one town over and I had never been -- the whole family thought I was nuts for wanting to go.)

So anyway, this was the 10th year that we scoured the papers on Thanksgiving and made our lists and checked them twice... and planned our route. Some stores we deliberately do together so we can divide and conquer, and other stores we split up so we can be at two different places when they open. Well, this year was different, as the Dandilion was sick a stomach bug and we didn't want to leave my mother in law with the sick kid... so I was left alone to do the shopping.

So off I went at 3:30am... I was at Kohl's for the 4am opening (got what I needed) and then stood in line for the Target 6am opening (I was about the 30th person in the door). At Target got most of the things that I wanted, but didn't bother with the electronics department because I couldn't get my cart even close (this is where I missed the Eagle). I had a 10% my entire purchase coupon so I got several things that weren't on sale as well and cover most of the people on my list.

My only negative issue (which I have never had any of the other years). The Target checkout was packed and since they have double checkouts, everyone was waiting in one line and feeding into both registers. Suddenly a preteen girl darts through and jumps in line at the front register -- and her whole family follows. Grr. So a few minutes later this other lady comes along and tries to do the same thing but can't fit her cart through. She said "Excuse me", and I responded, "Oh Sorry. We're all in one line". And boy she got all huffy! She said back to me "Well Merry *&*%# Christmas to you too! I didn't see you yell at those people" and started to back up. Grr. I didn't dignify her with a response to that but heard her comment to other people in line a few other not so nice names. I wish I had said back to her "You may think I am being rude to you, but I think you are being rude to all of the other people at Target this morning who have waited their turn. Merry Christmas to everyone who you didn't just cut!"

So after that put my Target stuff in my car and brought my cart back into the store and happily handed it to someone who needed one (they were all in use by then). That made me feel a little better and I continued on to three more stores with early morning discounts and headed home by 8:30.

I didn't get as much this year as I usually do, but I didn't need as much of the things that are typically on sale on Black Friday (electronics, small appliances, popular toys). I have lots of my stuff done, but there are a few things left for Cyber Monday...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkeys can fly

We had some special visitors on Thanksgiving morning. All five turkeys flew across the pond so the kids could get a closer look.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Photos

We got our holiday portraits done at Sears again this year. Usually, I am pretty happy with the shots they get, but this year it was a lot harder to get all four of us smiling and looking nice. The individual shots of the kids are good, and they got a nice shot of the Eagle and I (for our 5th anniversary later this month). The family shots, I can live with, but I don't love. Maybe they will grow on me.

After the portraits, the kids went to see Santa, in their nice clothes. The Tumbleweed absolutely LOVED talking to Santa (there was no line) and went on and on telling him about things she wants for Christmas --- the cutest was when she first walked up to Santa, who asked "What do you want for Christmas?", and she said "Well, my brover (gesturing at him) wants a train". The Dandilion was not so keen on the whole Santa experience and screamed from the time he was set down on Santa's lap. Oh well - I think Santa will still get him something :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

If you live nearby, be sure to drive down Greenwood Street when it is dark out. The "house with all the lights" is decorated again this year. They were hard at work around 2:00 yesterday when we went past. The front yard was full of lighted statues, and they still had half the garage full of stuff!

On the homefront...

~we have not started decorating yet, but considering that I never even took out the Halloween decorations maybe I should get started! I still have to decide if I am putting up both of our trees this year - or if the family room tree is just going to be another tempting climbing structure for the Dandilion and I should skip it this year. Jury's still out on that one.

~I am preparing for my annual "Black Friday" shopping trip. I have lists going of places to go and things to get... now we just have to see what's on sale!

~I made our Christmas portrait appointment for this Tuesday at Sears and ever since I have been trying to find the remaining pieces to the outfits we are going to wear. This morning I picked up what I thought were the last three things, and then realized that the Dandilion doesn't have shoes to wear (we are wearing black and he only has brown or navy). Oh well.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Drive-thru Cantaloupe?

Why isn't there a place that I can get a drive thru cantaloupe? Why, you ask? Because this morning I needed to get one for the Tumbleweed to take to school and I didn't remember to get it yesterday. So I left the house 5 minutes early (not enough, but all that I could manage) and headed to the grocery store with both kids. It wasn't quite "In and out" but I thought it was close until I went to take the Dandilion out of the cart and put him in the car and realized that he had swiped a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup package while we were in line. So back in we went and handed it to the first store employee I could find.

In the end, the store took about 12 minutes. Combine that with the 5 minutes early, and the 5 minute traffic buffer that I usually allow for, we were only about 2-3 minutes late to school (and not the last ones either).

But drive thru would have been much easier.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crayons Everywhere

Apparently our artistic children have been giving the crayons a world tour. Yesterday I found some crayons in some places I didn't expect to.

1- In the Tumbleweed's hamper. Just one lonely yellow crayon was hanging out with the clothes... fortunately I noticed during the sort!

2- A handful of crayons in the washing mashine with the adult dark load. Not sure where they came from, since no kids were present during the load process to try "washing the washable crayons". Fortunately no negative outcome.

3- In my bra. The one I had on all day. Not sure how and when it got there, but it clearly fell out as there is a "blue-green" spot on my bra. Too bad it wasn't money :)

I think the crayons need to sit in time out until they learn boundaries!


Related cute Dandilion word... "Cowa" = I want to color

Monday, November 17, 2008

Phone Calls

Today was a day of phone calls. It isn't often that the kids cooperate and both take naps at the same time, allowing me the ability to make important phone calls without being bothered, tugged at, or having some kind of unsupervised disaster occur. Today the naps aligned, and I made some phone calls I had been putting off for a while. (Remember, I HATE using the phone)

1 - Car Insurance Co. - still trying to sort through the medical bills from the car accident. I think she had forgotten about me. Hopefully everything will get taken care of soon.

2 - AAA - to finalize the details of our Disney Trip. We are are all set with the hotel rooms and park tickets :)

3 - Disney Dining - Checked in on the reservations we made for the trip --- so far just Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, Princess Dinner and Pre-race Character dinner at the Garden Grill for 10 people... more planning needs to be done!

All three calls in one day - amazing!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas Music

Too soon? No way! I love Christmas music, and why should I only listen to it for a month? So, since Santa is already at the mall why not start enjoying it now. Yesterday I put one of my favorite CDs in the car, and today I remembered that there is a radio station that plays Christmas music all day long... "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..."

Here is the real question, can I start putting my decorations up yet? I know it is early for that, but considering that I didn't have time to put the Halloween decorations out (yup - 3 boxes never opened this year), maybe I need to get started with the Christmas decorations now. I still haven't decided how we are baby proofing the trees though :(

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Ca" & other new words

The Dandilion used the word "cah" to describe a car, instead of "Vroom, vroom". Another funny "new word" is "gooey" which means cookie. "Beh" is also a new one = bed or blanket (when he pulls it up to his tummy).

Also new this weekend, is va, to, fee, fo, fi (1,2,3,4,5). When he is babbling, he says "va, to, fee, fo, fi, to, fee, fo, fi, to, fee, fo, fi....." He has really been babbling up a storm lately, sometimes non-sensical, but sometimes he gets a word or two in there.

I am sure I have already forgotten some of the new words, but someday I will be glad to have any list and I won't care if it is complete.

Silent S

Someday soon, the Tumbleweed will start to pronounce her "s" sounds and we will forget how cute the "Silent S" phase was. Here are examples of some of my favorite examples of the "s" she drops off words with "s" followed by a hard consonant:

"tory"- story
"pecial"- special
"tepping tone" - Stepping Stone
"top" - stop
"trawberry" - strawberry
"hnack" - snack
"tore" - store
"tairs" - stairs
"cool" - school
"tick" - stick
"kunk" - skunk
"kwirl" - squirrel

And my personal favorite.... "crapbook" - scrapbook

There are more but I can't think of them right now... I will add to this later :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kid of the Week

The Tumbleweed was chosen as the first "Kid of the Week" at KidsCanScrap.com. She loves to scrap with me, as long as she gets to use the "good paper". She really liked seeing her pages up on the computer - and loved that I let her type the e-mails to submit her projects. I love to see her learning about shapes, colors, and letters while practicing her fine motor skills.

Here is one of her pages:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Independance is Messy

The Dandilion feeds himself yogurt...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Growing Up

The Dandilion is getting so grown up. Two signs of this have surfaced this week:

1- Tucking himself in under blankets... on the couch, in the crib, climbing into the Tumbleweed's bed - he just loves to sit and pull the blanket up. Really cute.

2- Using a fork... yesterday I was putting food on his tray and using a fork to move it from the plate I had cut it on. Well, he wanted that fork! So I let him have it (it was a kid fork) and figured it would end up on the floor momentarily, but that at least for a few minutes he would be happy. Well, he surprised us. He held on the the fork - and used it to pick up every last bite of food - for more than a half hour. He did it again tonight with amazing success.

I guess I have to give him more credit - he is always more capable than I think.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November Scrapbooking Goals

I have finally gotten a chance to look at my schedule for the month of November and make a plan for the things I want to accomplish this month. Last month I was able to be quite productive by giving myself deadlines for projects, so I decided to continue that for this month and I have quite a detailed calendar grid sketched out with topics, plans & deadlines. I am sure someday I will laugh at the effort I put into this, but I look at Mike's exercise training plans and figure that this just my version.

Anyway it boils down to...

Finishing 3 mini books - 1 that is already started
20 new layouts
5 layouts already in progress
12 cards (for swapping)
3 kits (for page swap)
and planning my projects for December's NYOBC.

and... since the kids are napping I better get to work!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Too Big for Baby Proofing

Well, I guess 3 years 7 months and 24 days is how long it takes to figure out how to get past baby proofing. In the past hour, the Tumbleweed has figured out a cabinet lock (proudly showing me how she did it) and the pressure gate across the door (which she attempted to remove secretly, but couldn't put back the way it was).

Ugh.


** update - she figured out how to put the gate back before naptime...

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Second Blog

I am expanding... I have started a second blog for displaying my scrapbooking & other creative projects. I didn't want to complicate this blog with my layouts, so "Scrappin' Mom" will stay as is - my thoughts, ramblings, journalling and milestone records.

If you want to check out my first project post on the new blog --- here's the link: Scrappin' at Naptime

New words

The Dandilion has a couple of two syllable words (other than the repeated syllable kind):

Ba-Duh = bottle
A-puh = Apple

I know, we are supposed to be taking away the bottles (as the doctor reminded me for the second time at his visit a few weeks ago)... it's about 50/50 bottles and cups right now and that is mostly because it is easier to clean the bottles than the sippy cups, darn valves. I guess I should just stop being lazy and switch him... but he's so cute when he says "Ba duh"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Final Count

So with my new Scrapbooking Plan, I have managed to get a ton of pages/projects done this month. In the past 4 weeks I have done:

5 mini books - (4 birthday gift books & Disney 2007 purse album)
19 layouts - (10 layouts were done during crop time at CKC, 9 since then)
1 album - 8x8 holiday journal - Book Club project for this month

and I have several "Works in Progress"

3 mini books - (Peek into my Week is SO close to done)
9 layouts - (between page swap and CKC I have a bunch of layouts that just need pictures!)

There have been several late nights, but I love that the creative juices are flowing. It feels like "work", but in a good way - I have a purpose, objectives and a direction. Now, if I could just figure out how to not make a mess when I scrapbook :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chemistry Set

I just got a Chemistry Set from the UPS man! Happy Halloween to me!

OK, it isn't real chemistry set. It is a set of scrapbooking paper and supplies from a paper line called "Chemistry" (by Cosmo Cricket) . And I got it for free! Yup, I was the random winner on the Cosmo Cricket blog - and they sent me a surprise :) Gotta love free stuff.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Keyboard

Thanks a wonderfully eventful morning, I am now typing this on a new keyboard.

The day started off quite normally. I ate breakfast, poured myself a glass of ice water and sat down to read e-mail. I got up and got the kids dressed, but got a little hung up looking for pants to fit the Dandilion. He is growing and the weather is changing so I was searching through a box of clothes to find something that would fit. I am sitting on the floor in a pile of clothes when the Dandilion comes in grinning like a Cheshire cat and putting something in his mouth. When I said "What are you eating?" he started running, and when I caught him I discovered it was an ice cube! Think fast... "Where could he have gotten an ice cube? My glass of water! Oh no - where did I leave it?!? Ahhhhh, my computer desk!"

The rest wasn't pretty, and despite my best efforts to dry it out, my keyboard did not work when I got home this afternoon :(

The new one is nice though...

No more drinks at the computer.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not Once, But Twice

The Tumbleweed walked in front of the swings not once, but twice today! The same swings. I would have thought that the first time she got hit would have been enough to remind her why we don't go near swinging swings, but no. Oh well, she learned the hard way - double hard. She didn't seem too worse for the wear, just a lot of crying and a bitten tongue.

Live & Learn (I hope!)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

16 months

I finally made a doctor visit with just the Dandilion! It is always so hard to take both kids, as the Tumbleweed always wants attention and acts up.

He measured in at:
21.2 lbs - 10th percentile
30.75 inches - 25th percentile

I don't know what the head measurement was but it was 50-75 %ile

He got one shot, which was red for a good 24 hours.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

TAG, I'm it!

My friend Ali tagged me, and since I love a game of tag that doesn't involve running... here it goes...

The rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you 2. Post the rules on your blog 3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself 4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs 5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. 6. Let your tagger know when your entry is UP.


Fun Facts about Me:

- I live in creative chaos most of the time. I always have ideas for projects swirling in my head. I am very good at starting things (or buying the supplies to start), but not so good at finishing things. Scrapbooking, quilting, decorating, baking --- I start it all and leave a messy trail in my path. When I run out of space to work, I spend a week cleaning and start over again.

- I nominated myself for "What Not To Wear" but didn't get on the show. They did call to find out who my accomplices would be, which got my hopes up, but I never heard anything more. Oh well. Three years later and I still have no "style" and love my sweatpants! If they came today I would probably turn them down and tell them to come back when I lose 20 lbs.

- I enjoyed working in retail (and would go back if I had time). After college I put my engineering degree to good use --- I worked at a Hallmark store. And I loved it and eventually managed & merchandised the whole store. I don't live near the store I used to work at or I probably would have gone back part time. Now I get my retail fix through shopping.

- I love a good deal! I clip coupons and wait until things go on sale just to save an extra 50 cents. I go shopping the day after Christmas to buy things for next year at 50% off. I will "stalk" an item at a store waiting for it to go on sale. I spend too much time shopping!

- I listen to oldies and 80s music. I haven't listened to any "new" music since high school. Well, except for The Backyardigans.

- I watch a lot of TV. Well, sometimes I just listen to it, but I like to have the TV on. In high school I did homework in front of the TV (don't tell my kids). When I lived alone in college, I played tapes all night long to keep me company (no cable). These days the TV keeps me company while I do dishes & scrapbook.

Now, since I don't know six bloggers, and I can't send it back to the person who sent it to me... Amy- tag, you're it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yipppeeee!

Creating Keepsakes Magazine is going to publish one of my layouts :) Apparently challenging myself is a good thing! One of the layouts I sent in is going to be published in the March 2009 issue. Talk about motivation - now I can't wait to scrap again!

Now to figure out how to get it there in one piece.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two Peas

I just created an account and posted for the first time at Two Peas in a Bucket. Most scrapbookers are quite familiar with this site, as it has been "a home on the web" for scrappers for a long time. I just have never gotten around to uploading images, posting, etc.

Well, today I broke the trend and spent a little time on the site. I saw a challenge posted that I had already done a layout to fit, so I posted it. Now, this wasn't really my reason for checking the site, but I did learn how to post stuff. I had actually gone there looking for inspiration... next time I will spend more time looking for something that I haven't done already.

Hmmm... maybe I should stop looking for ideas and start doing pages...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Good Game

The Tumbleweed is finally getting the hang of soccer - well as best as a 3 year old can anyway.

Today she had a great game. She started out as goalie - which she often does. I think she likes playing goalie because every time a kid misses a shot she gets to do a goal kick - with no one interfering.

Later in the game she had a couple of chances to dribble the ball down the field. She did a great job of getting the ball away from the other kids and turning it around. She never did get a chance to take a shot at the goal, but she was totally thrilled to have "had the ball for so long".

Only two more games to go, thank goodness. Boy is it cold out there on Saturday mornings.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Field Trip

Today was the Tumbleweed's first school field trip. All of the moms and kids went apple picking. I carried the Dandlion in the backpack to make the trip more manageable.

The Tumbleweed impressed me (and a few other people I think) by already knowing that you are supposed to twist the apples off so you don't get the stems. She told the woman "You can't pick the [s]tems, 'cause then apples won't grow next year." Good memory from our apple picking trip a few weeks back! I imagine that most of the other kids hadn't been apple picking before, nevermind already this season. It is great that the kids get exposed to so many things through the MOMS Club.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Swimming?

Today was the Tumbleweed's last day of fall swimming lessons, or so I thought. She was so sad that they were ending, I decided she could continue for next session. She has really been making progress this session, and while she isn't quite ready for the next level, she is really starting to get comfortable in the water. Hopefully she won't give me a hard time in the cold weather.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Procrastination

Why do I always procrastinate? Despite knowing when I have to get things done by, I am always doing things at the last minute. I clean the house until the very second the doorbell rings. I start dinner when I had intended to be serving it. I stay up late finishing projects that I had intented to have done weeks in advance.

I was hopeful that my new scrapbooking "training plan" would improve this bad habit, but I think it might have made it a little worse... how could that be? Well, now that I am giving myself deadlines and goals for my projects, I have more to do. I am getting more (a lot more) done, but I am staying up a lot of late nights to do it.

My next task is to figure out how to steamline the rest of my day so I can get things done without staying up really late.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cartwheel

The Tumbleweed has figured out how to do a cartwheel :) Mommy is so proud. She was so excited to practice them during "her routines" tonight during Dancing with the Stars. She is so cute dancing along with the TV. I don't know what she will grow up to do, but she sure loves to put on a show.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christmas is coming!

Yes, I am one of those people who loves Christmas. And, after spending several years running a Hallmark store, I start shopping early. In my Hallmark days, Christmas shopping always started in July when the new ornaments premiered. Well, since we were on vacation for Ornament Premiere this year, I waited until October to get my ornaments. I am already behind!

Every year when I go get my ornaments I miss working at Hallmark. I loved decorating the store for each holiday, rearranging displays to feature the latest promotion, helping people find "just the right gift" and wrapping presents. I guess what I miss most is the human interaction. From coworkers to sales reps to customers, I had numerous conversations with adults everyday. I don't think I fully appreciated it at the time.

Now, when I go in a store barely pushing my double stroller between the aisles, I have to refrain from asking if they need seasonal help. Oh well, it is fun to think back to my life before kids...

Bring on the Christmas decorations --- I love the holidays :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Great Toilet Incident of Yesterday

I'm sure every parent knows this one...

The Eagle had just gotten home and we were discussing the dinner plan. Huh, that's funny it's been quiet enough for us to talk for a while, better check on the kids. The Dandilion isn't in the family room. Not in the living room either. And as I walked down the hallway, I hear splashing. Not good. I run to the bathroom where I find im up to his elbows dunking one of the Tumbleweed's shoes. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

So gross. He went straight in for a bath. And the shoe went right into the trash. It took me all night to get over the disgust.

From now on anytime I find the bathroom door open all I say is "Remember the Great Toilet Incident"

Scrapbooking "Training Plan"

Since Mike has recently started his marathon training plan, I decided I needed a calendar with my scrapbooking goals on it. So I spent this afternoon making the first month of my plan. On it I included several mini-projects, finishing up existing projects, making page swap kits, regular layouts and two new things. The first new thing is participating in "Calls" for pages on some of the scrapbooking websites. The second is I decided to sign up for "Not Your Ordinary Book Club" or NYOBC. This is a group that all starts with the same kit each month, everyone works on their projects, then everyone gets together to share their projects & ideas at one of the local stores.

So, today I got right down to business and called the store to sign up for NYOBC. I have to pick up the kit tomorrow, but the first meeting is 11/2. Excited about that :)

I also checked the CK website and picked a contest to participate in - turns out it is ending Friday (tomorrow). Nothing like giving yourself a deadline right? Well I got right to work on a page that I have been meaning to do for a while - since Spring 2007. What a great feeling to get it done! I stayed up late (nothing new there) and finished the page and sent in my entry.

So far so good --- getting lots of projects & pages done this month!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Groceries

I don't like grocery shopping when the store is too empty. I feel so rushed when I get to the check out and there is no one in front of me and and I can't put the groceries up as fast as the checker is scanning them. I like to organize my groceries into frozen, fridge and other on the belt.

Yes, I know how that sounds, but I do it because I have two "cold bags" and I prefer if they fill each of those with the items that need to be cold and then use the regular bags for the rest. I am pretty sure it doesn't actually make a diffence to the food for the short trip home, but it does make it easier to unpack when I get home. I have two bags of "must do" and the rest I can put away a little later.

Why wait until later? Well, I often grocery shop with the kids between activites (to save time and gas, I do things while I am out), and I sometimes have to run home, drop things off (putting the cold stuff away) and then head back out the door. I have it down to about 1 hour/1 hour 15 minutes from the time I enter the store until the time I leave the house after dropping things off.

Insane, I know - but there is something fun about trying to "beat the clock". Can you tell I am a competitive person?

Space Cadet

Yet another Mommy Moment.

I dropped the Tumbleweed off at school and took the Dandilion to his gymnastics class. After gymnastics we head to the Y for swimming lessons, so I hurried to the car. I unlocked it with my key in the driver's side door (the only one with a keyhole) and hit the automatic door lock button. I opened the driver's side back door, set the Dandilion in the car seat and buckled him in. I climbed into the car, turned it on, and turned around to check for cars. Huh!?!? The Dandilion's car seat is empty. Yup - I buckled him into the Tumbleweed's seat. I turned around laughing and looked at him, he was still so stunned he hadn't tried to wriggle out. A few seconds later, he looked at me and smiled so cute (I took a picture of course). He is getting so big. But not big enough to sit in her seat, I moved him to the other side and we were on our way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Motivation

Well I have been resisting the mini-book* craze, but after this weekend I am jumping on the band wagon. No, I am not giving up my usual 12x12 albums for the family and the kids, but I am going to work to use up my existing supplies to make gifts for friends and family. I am starting with the kids that have invited the Tumbleweed to birthday parties and making small albums for them to put about 6-8 pictures in. We'll seee how long that motivation lasts, but for now I am making progress and completed the first of 5 albums.

* For non-scrapbookers, mini-books are small scrapbooks about a single theme. Usually they fit 4x6 or smaller photos and have about 8-16 pages.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The CKC diet

Yup - I found my ultimate diet plan. OK, not a sustainable one, but it is a good jump start.

Here is the plan:

1- Plan a long scrapbooking weekend, with lots of fun classes & crops
2- Pack lots of things you might need for such a trip
3- Pack a few extras, just in case
4- Choose a convention far away from restaurants
5- Take granola bars, snacks, fruit & sandwiches with you
6- Attend weekend of fun
7- Get so wrapped up in classes you forget to eat (shocking!)
8- Shop for more goodies so you have more weight to carry
9- Volunteer in your extra time so you don't have time to get meals
10- Schedule activities in the rooms farthest from each other

I lost 3.5 pounds - and did a ton of scrapbooking :)

Growth Spurt?

Well, I don't have an official numbers but I am pretty sure that the Dandilion must have doubled in size while I was gone. It was only 3.5 days, but he seemed huge when I got back from CKC. Perhaps it was because I had been working on pages with his ultrasound images and baby photos while I was away. I think it is time to clean out the 12 month clothes and switch him to 18 month clothes. Ugh. I guess it is also cold enough to pull out all of the summer clothes too. I'll have to start looking for a sale on Rubbermaid Bins...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Crazy Busy

I am in Tazmanian Devil mode trying to get everything done at the last minute for CKC. I have pictures to pick up at CVS, numerous things to organize, MOMS Club stuff to drop off, plus I am trying to finish my record of "A Week in the Life"... oh and I have to clean the house and get the laundry done and clean out my car for everyone staying behind...

Off to do my own thing tomorrow at 6:30am! Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ball

The Dandilion said "Ball" today :)

Another favorite phrase over the past few days "vah, to, fwee" - that's "One, Two, Three" or "One, Two, Whee" - usually said when he has climbed on top of something and wants "a ride" down.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A week of dinners

I am happy to say that my resolve to plan better for dinners went well this week. Since the Dandilion joined the family and truly disrupted our sleeping habits for nearly a year, I am always super stressed when it comes to dinner time. I usually have a bunch of ingredients in the house, but no plan of what to make each day. For the past week I have been working to do better at planning meals before going to the store, taking food out in the afternoon to thaw and getting food on the table around 6:00. It hasn't been perfect, but it has been significantly better. Everyone has been much happier :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rained out - again

What a wet weekend. The Tumbleweed's soccer clinic on Friday and game on Saturday were both rained out, again. The Eagle's Triathlon still went off as planned though, so it was just the kids and I for most of the day.

A couple of highlights from today...

1- I got the OnDemand Function to work on the TV - I don't know why, but I have never been able to access the free OnDemand Kids programs to work before. For some reason it worked today.

2- We attended one of the Tumbleweed's friends' birthday parties. She had lots of fun at the Backyardigan's themed party and with her first pinata.

3- Stayed up late packing for CKC. So much left to do - make page kits, write journaling, order photos, shop for food, do laundry, pack, pack, pack....

Gone, but not forgotten

Well, much to the Tumbleweed's dismay, I had to remove the coloring table and chairs (and the peek-a-blocks turtle) from the family room. The Dandilion is so into climbing on top of everything it isn't safe right now.

The Tumbleweed has taken this personally, as she cannot color at the table or use the chairs to get everything on the "high" shelves. Each time she wants to use one, I get a whole sob story about how she NEEDS them. How she is having a "Terrible Day" because of me. Oh the drama.

I hope the Dandilion figures out how to climb down on his own soon, or I am going to have to take almost all of the furniture out of the house!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Week of My Life

Inspired by one of my favorite scrapping blogs, I decided to document a week in my life. And I decided to do an untraditional week -- Thursday-Wednesday, since next Thursday I am going away to CKC and it won't really be a "typical" week.... OK what is a typical week anyway?

So my first assignment is the easy part --- take photos during my day (duh-I do that already), write down the day's routine (Well, I sometimes do that), and save "artifacts" from the day (do I ever throw anything away--NO!) I am going to give it my best shot.

The hard part comes later when I try to assemble them. Yet a another project on the "Started" List. I hope to finish this one. I have a whole bunch of photos from a week in August 2006 I never did anything with...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What did I get myself into?

Today was the Dandilion's first day of gymnastics class. He had to be 15 months old to start. I think moms must have to be under 25 to keep up with their toddlers running across the room around obstacles. I was pretty sure he would have fallen off of every (padded) surface in the gym if I didn't catch him. Maybe I need to let him fall, because he certainly isn't learning how to get off of things with me catching him all of the time. Despite my exhaustion, he was pretty cute learning to jump on the trampoline, hang on the rings and do forward rolls down a wedge mat. What a workout!

15 months old

The Dandilion is 15 months old today... he weighs in at 20.8 lbs... he likes to climb on everything... he is learning to get down, sometimes by falling or calling for help... he still likes to be fed baby food from a jar, yet is capable of chewing lots of table food if he wants to... he doesn't listen to "no", rather thinks you are playing a game with him and runs further and faster... he has a funny little "stomping" dance with "swimming" arms when he hears music... he throws temper tantrums by laying on the floor screaming and kicking... he mimics a lot of words once, but pretty much says "Mommy" to mean just about anything... I don't trust him to walk anywhere holding a hand as he is very good at slipping his hand out of mine... he can climb up the stairs, but not down... he wears mostly 12 month sized clothes, but is starting to wear 18 month clothes because that's what size I bought the warm clothes in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Say What?!?

The Tumbleweed is sitting on the potty just before a bath and says to me, "Mommy, I wish my bottom was as big as yours." Not quite sure what to say to that, I waited. "Because then I would fit on the seat." With me still formulating how to respond, she continued. "How long does it take to get bigger?"

Oh to have a three-year-old view of the world.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A 6 Layout Day

It is not often that I get a chance to scrapbook on a "regular old weekday" but today was an exception. I had Scrapbooking & Playgroup this morning - and managed to get a complete layout done! Sometimes during this group I start a page but don't finish, sometimes I just search through my supplies and don't even try to start a page... but not today. I had spent much of last weekend organizing my scrap space, so I wa able to find what I needed and get my layout done for Tuesday's Page Swap. No last minute cramming this month!

I also got out for the night, to the local scrapbook store, for a 6 hour crop. While I did forget some key components of a few layouts that I intended to work on, I did manage to get 5 more layouts done for my Road Trip album. Now I only have 15 to go, I think. Maybe I can find a little more time this weekend to finish it up? We'll see... I'd really like to be able to call it "finished" before I go to CKC.

While I was at the crop I won a free crop - now I just have to find time to go back :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Two Weeks to CKC!

I am so excited that my weekend of scrapbooking is coming up quick! I have lofty goals once again, but hopefully I will get a lot of pages done. I am getting more done now than I was a year ago, but I definitely don't seem to scrap as frequently as the kids have milestones.

To get ready to go I have been putting together kits of supplies for the crops, catching up on some journalling, and next I have to order pictures. At some point I will have to start packing my tools & supplies, oh and maybe some clothes :)

Yeah for girls weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Wicked High"

The Tumbleweed is picking up the local slang. After spending some time on the playground today, she asked me to push her on the swings. After a few pushes I heard, "No, Mommy. Higher! I want to go wicked high!" How New England of her :)

Another cute "new word moment" happened over the weekend. We were eating chocolate birthday cake when the Tumbleweed said to her brother, "You are so accusting" His face, hands and much of the floor were covered in chocolate. After a few minute of assessing the situation we discovered she meant "disgusting", but we won't tell her for a while. It was pretty cute.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Ticket

It is football season again, and as is normal for this time of the year, ESPN is on all morning counting the minutes to the days games. This morning hearing the theme song jogged some memories of when the Eagle and I lived in New Jersey - pre-wedding, pre-kids, pre-house.

We were both living outside the "TV market" for our football teams, so the games were not regularly on the network channels. This prompted us for three seasons to head to the local TGIFridays to watch NFL Sunday Ticket. We sat across from each other, watching different TVs, rooting for our teams. We also kept close track of all of the games, hoping that our picks would "win" or "cover", as we participated in the Pigskin Pick 'Em with friends across the country.

We would stay for the entire game (yes, before "eat as fast as possible to get out before the kids melt down"). We started with drinks when we sat down - mine was a "Strawberry Shortcake". We ordered appetizers (Sesame Jack Chicken Strips or the Jack Daniels Tower) when the drinks arrived. With 5:00 to go in the half, we ordered our meals - so they would arrive to eat at halftime. As the third quarter wrapped up we would decide if we wanted dessert (Ice Cream Oreo Cookies).

We earned lots of free appetizers with our Fridays gold points card every fall. And, watching all of that football paid off - I won the Pigskin Pick 'Em for two years in a row, the Eagle won the third year (I was second).

Ahhh - the simple life :) Go Bills!

Name that Object

The Dandilion is so cute sometimes. He is working on talking and has developed his own lingo. He uses the following words to name objects we use on the daily basis. (Hint: we say these words while using the object in question)

Name that Object:
1. Ow (ouch)
2. Che (cheese)
3. Hi



Answers -
1. Ow = brush or comb... the Tumbleweed still makes a pretty big stink about getting her hair done each morning. Anytime the Dandilion gets ahold of a hairbrush, he walks around the house banging it on his head, smiling, saying "Ow. Ow. Ow."

2. Che = camera (although it can also mean cheese)... I guess Mommy takes too many pictures :)

3. Hi = phone... after months of coaxing, the Dandilion says "hi" when you put him on the phone. He also enjoys playing with real or toy phones, holding them to his shoulder or back of his head and saying "hi."

There. Now you will be able to translate (and months from now I will remember this cute little stage).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The First Soccer "Game"

Loosely speaking, the Tumbleweed played in her first soccer game today. It was cute, chaotic, frustrating and victorious all at once. To recap:

1 orange shirt with the #1 on it
4 kids (we had to borrow players from the other team to let our kids rest)
3 goals scored by "our team" (2 by the borrowed players)
2 potty breaks on the sideline
6 periods (we ran out of time to play 8)
2 shots blocked by the Tumbleweed (she liked playing goalie!?!)
0 goals scored against us

getting to play on the swings afterward - priceless!

Friday, September 12, 2008

He learned from the best

The Dandilion has learned some new skills in his 14th month. He seems to be following in his sister's footsteps when it comes to climbing and getting into things. Here are a few photos for comparision...

The Tumbleweed on Moving Day from Cambridge (5/31/06)


The Dandilion last week while Mommy tended to the Tumbleweed (9/8/08)


The Tumbleweed stands up on the new table from Ikea in our new house (6/20/06)


The Dandilion proudly walks on the coloring table (8/10/08)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why, why, why?

Now, if you have a two or three year old you probably think this post is going to be about my daughter asking "why?" all the time. It isn't. If you have heard my son "talking" over the past few days you probably think it is about his latest words. One of them is "why", but it isn't about that either.

It is about all of the things I said to myself while I did the laundry today, which happened to be "kids laundry day".

1. Why is the pile so big?
2. Why does EVERYTHING have a stain on it?
3. Why does the Tumbleweed always eat tomato sauce while wearing white?
4. Why won't the Dandilion keep his bib on?
5. Why would the Eagle let the Tumbleweed wear her brand new back-to-school clothes for the first time to play in the backyard?
6. Why are there toys in the hamper?
7. Why did I buy a white shirt for my 1 year old?
8. Why do they bother making white kids clothing?
9. Why don't I just have the kids eat naked?
10. Why didn't the stain come out?!?

And finally --- after all of the pre-treating, washing, re-washing, drying... why can't it fold itself?!?

I can't believe...

Recently I have seen some new commercials that have had me saying "I can't believe..."

1. I can't believe they thought this would sell jeans. I believe it is Lee that is running a commercial for comfort fitting jeans, with a tummy compressing panel and "no gap" waistband. Sounds good right? Now - given the qualities stated in the commercial I would think - "hey, maybe I should try a pair of these jeans," but then I saw the people wearing them and thought "oh, those jeans are for really skinny people" So they might be great, but I would have liked to see women in the commercial who would actually benefit from these jeans. Instead they had beautiful, skinny models who have probably never had a "tummy" and probably can find a hundred pairs of jeans that would fit them perfectly. So either they screwed up, or I wasn't their target audience...

2. I can't believe they make "odor-eating" paint. Yes, that's right. Dutch Boy makes paint to paint your walls with that will eliminate everyday household odors (it has baking soda in it). I can't decide how this makes me feel. On one hand, I don't like smells so it would be a good thing. On the other hand, household smells usually mean something needs to be cleaned.

3. I can't believe they are airing commercials about how "good" High Fructose Corn Syrup is. And, boy they are playing them a lot! Basically the corn farmers are trying to change people's opinions that High Fructose Corn Syrup is bad for you. Well, I am sorry, it is bad. So are cigarettes. Just because it isn't illegal to make something doesn't make it good for you, moderation or not. It just means that the government isn't stepping in to tell us what to do, we have to think for ourselves!

From the Book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes... "Sugars—sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically—are particularly harmful, probably because the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates." The book has a lot more of the science behind this, but there are a lot of reasons why we should watch out for sweeteners in our diets.

Unbelievable.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sound of Silence

I hate thunderstorms. They scare me. I'm sure it is just a phase, maybe I will out grow it when I am old enough to turn off my hearing aids and take off my glasses. I will admit that daytime storms slightly better than nighttime ones on the fear scale... but not when the power goes out in the middle of "Diego".

Yup, that's what happened today. Just after the storm blew through, while Mommy was putting the Dandilion down for his nap, we lost power. I guess this must have been the first time in recent memory that it had happened because the Tumbleweed just could not understand why Mommy could not "fix" the TV. "But why, Mommy? You can do it. I know you can." (quoting "Little Quack")

Since it was almost naptime for her anyway, I convinced the Tumbleweed that it was a really good time to sleep. For some reason she decided to listen to me (a rarity at naptime) and for the first time in nearly a week she actually took a nap!

With the gift of two sleeping kids, I put my feet up on the couch and listened to the rain. No kids talking, no TV, no baby monitor, no computer, no fans, no phone, no dishwasher, no nothing! Very relaxing. I even caught a nap myself :)

Thunderstorms & power outages might not be so bad after all

Running Group

A new activity for parents of very fast & sneaky toddlers. I went to a particularly challenging one today. Here's what it takes to hold your own running group...

1. Location, Location, Location --- be sure to find a place with many things a toddler should not touch/use. Things such as stairs/steps are my favorites. Toilets are good too.

2. Obstacles --- these are things that can block the view to your toddler, making it easier for the toddler to escape and harder for the parent to catch. People (and lots of them) make good obstacles.

3. Distractions --- something the parent can do while giving the toddler a head start. Talking is a good distraction.

4. Toddler --- child who can move quicker than the speed of light and has no common sense.

5. Parent --- person who wants a good workout and is the person responsible for catching the toddler.

Like I said, I attended a challenging one this morning. We all survived, thankfully, with some help from friends :) Both the Dandilion and Mommy needed a nap afterwards.

*Activity not recommended if you can avoid it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Is it really raining Mommy?"

The Tumbleweed must have asked this a dozen times today. She was hugely disappointed that her first soccer game was cancelled. We were all dressed and halfway to the car when we got the call... and at that moment, it was not raining. Sure it rained a lot before and after, but at the very moment I had to break the news, it was not actually raining. Obviously this was very confusing to the three year old mind. She did have a cute suggestion... "We could all wear our raincoats and boots! Then we won't get wet from the rain!"

Now as a spectator, I was grateful not to have to sit in the rain at the game. But as a mom with nothing else planned for the day and a child moping around the house, I was not so happy. It took a while but I did manage to convince her that we would still have fun, and that she would get to play soccer again very soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mortified

It started as a simple errand - Drop off form to sign up for playgroup - but with kids nothing is simple. We pull into the parking lot and I hear "I have to go potty, Mommy". OK, we will all run in and you can use the potty inside. We do just that, but afterward Mommy starts talking to the director, who allows the kids to play in the playroom.

We are having a nice conversation until I turn around to see the Tumbleweed (who has been potty trained for more than 6 months), pulling at her underwear. Here comes the part that I couldn't believe... she pulls out her hand and wipes something on the play mat - POOP! Flabberghasted I whisk her off to the bathroom where sits on the toilet, poops, and tells me "I wanted to check to see if poop was really coming out" I should have followed that with "When you figured out that it was, why didn't you run to the bathroom?" but I was too stunned by what had happened. We cleaned up our mess, and got the heck out of there.

Ah, the joys of potty training.

Mystery Solved

Today was the Tumbleweed's 4th day of school (counting the first day when the parents stayed). After the last two school days, the Tumbleweed was proud to repot that she played with her "New Best Friend, Emma". Apparently they both like the slides. Now this sounds great - but there is no Emma in her class. Puzzled, I tried to figure out if another child's name might sound like Emma. I tried asking the Tumbleweed what "her best friend" looked like. And after that didn't work, I asked the teacher if there was an Emma that she could have playing with. When she answered, "No, there isn't an Emma in class", I told her that I suspected that she might have created an imaginary friend.

To put my theory to the test, I asked the Tumbleweed when I arrived to pick her up where Emma was. "Over there" she said pointing in the direction of all of the kids. "In the pink?" I asked, choosing a child at random. "No, silly" she says, as I see eyes start to peek over a bookcase, "that's her" and the little girl came around the corner smiling from ear to ear and they went off playing. So I turned to the teacher, and asked "who is the little girl in the flower shirt?" "That's Abby." Mystery solved - the Tumbleweed's "New Best Friend" (which says quite proudly each time) is a real girl named Abby.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My So-Called Stay-at-home Life

When the need presents itself, I check the box for Stay-at-home Mom. But I am hardly ever at home. I am on the go as much now as I have ever been. I drop off one kid at school, I take the other to swimming lessons. I take the kids to storytime, shopping at Target and spend an hour and a half at walking group all before naptime.

Today was no exception... I took the kids to a Backyardigans movie at the theater, headed to the Y for lunch and the Tumbleweed's Dance class (which was cancelled!) and then took the kids blueberry and raspberry picking. Too much - I thought maybe - but the Tumbleweed was so excited about the berries, I was really glad I added it on. She was so helpful during the picking and behaved really well. A stark contrast to her behavior when the dance class was cancelled :(

Good thing the Dandilion loves "singing" the Backyardigans' song "Go Go Go"!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A good day

With the passing of Labor Day, we have returned to our busy schedule.

Today I took the Tumbleweed to school, and headed to the Y with the Dandilion. It is nice to have a few moments just the two of us. He enjoyed most his swimming lesson today, although was SO ready to nap about 10 minutes before the end. He is developing such a cute little personality. He knows what he wants - and for 20 minutes this morning all he wanted to do was splash Mommy.

After picking up the Tumbleweed at school, I took her to her first swimming lesson since June. She didn't really enjoy lessons then as she was not too keen on getting her eyes/head wet. That is why I was so proud of her effort today. No tears, no arguing, no refusing. She listened, she tried and she even chose to blow bubbles and jump off the side.

And the last first today was the Tumbleweed's first soccer practice. She certainly looked the part heading out with her cleats, shin guards and hot pink ball. I think she had fun - although by the end it was late and she was too tired to discuss it - and that's OK.

It was a good day.

Wake Up!

I was dressed and ready to go this morning, when I made my last stop before heading to the car... I brushed my teeth. Clearly I was not yet awake. I picked up my brush, put the toothpaste on and into my mouth... Yuck! Oh, it's pink & bubble gum flavored. I had used Daniela's tothpaste. I guess it could have been worse. I was not sleeping anymore :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Mo-meee Da-deeee Ge Uh"

This morning we woke too the sound of the Dandilion yelling in his crib. Not the usual screaming his head off, rather shouting "Mo-meeee Da-deeee Ge Uh." Which I like to assume meant "Mommy Daddy Get Up." He said it over and over again. sometimes it was "Mo-mee Ge Uh" and sometimes "Da-dee Ge Uh". We found ourselves lying in bed waiting to see if that is really what he was trying to say, and waiting to see what he might say next. Clearly that wasn't what he had hoped for, as he switched to a much louder version of "Mommee, Mommee, Mommmmeeeee!" which woke up the Tumbleweed and forced us to start the day at 5:30.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

Today was the Tumbleweed's First Day of Preschool for the year. She attended preschool from January-May of last year, and has moved up to an older class this year. I am still not sure about the decision to move her up, but she seemed to do OK today. Several of the kids seem so much older. I know she can hold her own with older kids, but there were a few times I thought she looked so small... just yesterday I thought she looked so much older.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I shaved today!

Woo-hoo! I had time to shave my legs today. I know - it's the little things in life that mean so much. I can't remember the last time that I had time (and remembered) to shave both legs while I was in the shower. Here's hoping that it happens more regularly :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to walking!

We have finally managed to replace our double stroller, and it was on sale! So for the first time in nearly 3 months, I was able to attend walking group. It was bittersweet, as the Tumbleweed picked a flower that I was allergic to and insisted on carrying it with us - with me sneezing all the way.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Soccer Camp

The Tumbleweed attend her first sports camp this week. She went to Tykes Soccer camp every morning for an hour and a half. The experience as a little hit or miss --- there were a few good days and a few nots so good days. I think she did get a good introduction to soccer, but the fact that she wasn't the best at it got her a little discouraged at times and she would give up.

Only a couple of weeks until outdoor games start...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I went all "Super Nanny" on them

So, yesterday was so horrible I decided to re-arrange our life. The Tumbleweed whined from morning to night, complaining, refusing and being just plain difficult in any way she could. The Dandilion must of thought she made it look like fun, because when she decided not to nap - so did he.

After they went to bed, and I flopped on the couch defeated... I started thinking... Super Nanny comes into a house, hangs up a schedule, makes the family stick to it, and they all live happily ever after --- so why I can't I do that?

We now have a schedule hanging on the wall. It is as much to remind me as anyone else, but the Tumbleweed is starting to learn to tell time so she has taken a little interest in it as well. It has a lot less TV - which is a little hard in some ways, but easier in others.

I hope it makes us all happier.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Celebrity Wedding

The Eagle and I went to a celebrity wedding this weekend... one of our friends is a meteorologist on NECN and we attended his beautiful wedding on the coast of Gloucester on Saturday. It was truly beautiful and I wish we had been able to spend more of the weekend "escaping" from the kids. It was a great reason to get away. And the cake was devine.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Olympics are over :(

So sad that I won't have any Olympics to watch... although, I do need to get some sleep. I have been up late so many nights watching gymnastics on the edge of my seat. I am so glad Shawn Johnson finally got a gold - and it was so cool that a US man won a medal on high bar too. It really is a shame that it happens only every 4 years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Team Finals Tonight

Only a couple of hours until the Olympic Womens Team Final! Looks like anouther night of nail biting and little sleep. Last night's men's competition had me on the edge of my seat until the end and I am sure tonight will be the same.

Time to race to get the kids to bed...

Go USA!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The kids are away!

And I spent the day at the scrapbook store cropping... yay for me! Well, it would have been a bigger yay if had completed my vacation scrapbook, but I am 6 pages closer.

We also went to see a late movie tonight - Mamma Mia! Not so sure about Pierce Brosnan singing, but otherwise good. One day I have to get to Greece - it always looks so cool in the movies. I thought the same thing after seeing "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lazy Blogger

I have not been very good about getting back into a routine after the vacation. I have been grocery shopping on weird days, doing laundry only when I need to, and even staying home for entire days! I almost never do that. I guess that is what summer is for - being lazy. Well, I have certianly caught the lazy bug. I hope to catch up on my blogging soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

One Tired Family

Well, the new car has 3000 miles on it and we have returned safely from our 2 week road trip. I will be updating my blog with my thoughts recorded during the trip soon, so I will be able to scrapbook them later.

We are one tired bunch - although somehow no one slept so well in our own beds last night. I hope we can all get back on a schedule soon!