Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our Christmas

Christmas Day was great at our house this year. I've already mentioned that my parents were here -- making it really special to share it with them.

Aside from the early wakings, I really don't think we could have had a better day!

We did not put all the presents out for the kids. We saved 5 presents each back for "Boxing Day" (December 26th). We always do this and it's really nice because it makes Christmas last a bit longer. Plus, it's bringing some of Rich's traditions into our family traditions. The presents aren't big -- just books or puzzels or DVD's -- but it's still nice.

Anyway, we kept five each back for boxing day and we kept 5 each hidden downstairs for "later" in the day.

And this was still how crowded our tree was!

Santa does not wrap his presents at our house. He gives one present and leaves it out. This is another "tradition" we've carried over from England. When Rich was growing up, Father Christmas only left one present and left it out unwrapped.

It's nice because the kids can see their big Santa present and play with it!

Both boys were really excited! Sam got his "Big GeoTrax" that he's talked about over and over since Thanksgiving! He loves it! It's a fantatic toy -- he loves trains so this is perfect! It's not Thomas, but it's "Trains"!

And remember how I said Josh asked for the Pokemon Battle Dome that was $59? And got HORRIBLE reviews? And we talked him out of it? Well about a week before Christmas, Amazon had it on sale for $10.99 plus free shipping. I can handle $11 for a crappy toy to see the look of surprise on his face. And after that boy in his class told him there was no such thing as Santa, this was a great way to put that belief right back there!

And it is a very poorly made toy, but he likes it. So does Sam. And oddly enough, this is the only picture I have of Josh with it on Christmas day -- I have lots of Sam playing with it (and I have lots of Josh playing with the GeoTrax) -- I guess Josh likes his new Nintendo DS Lite better!

But he told me that night he was really happy he got the Battle Dome from Santa. And even though we'd told him that he had to think of something else to ask Santa for, this was what he really wanted. So it was worth the $11 in the end!

It took us quite a while to open the presents. The kids wanted to stop and play with the things they had already recieved, then when the tree presents ran out, we brought a few others up and they were just as excited about the DVD or PJ's or whatever the "minor" present was at that time.

In the evening, we played some games and ate more food and had a great time! We were all tired when it was time to put the boys to bed, but the adults persevered! We watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on DVD (a Christmas present from the boys) and then went to bed fully content and happy!

My parents were supposed to be here through Boxing Day, but after a consultation with the Weather Channel, they decided to leave on Boxing Day and avoid the snow storms that were coming over the next few days. So, they packed up their car and left about lunch time on Boxing Day. It was sad to see them go, but it was nice to have them here for a week too!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Eve Recap....

Okay, so Christmas was three days ago, I know... I've been really, really, really slack.

My parents were here for Christmas. It was really nice having them here. The last three Christmases were "just us" so it was nice to have some family to share the holiday with again!
It's always fun when my parents come. I love going out to sushi with my mom. She knows what to order and the company is always fun! My dad sometimes comes, but he doesn't like it as much as we do! Anyway, we went out one day before Christmas (my dad and Sam came) and had some sushi! Yum!

We also discovered the most fantastice ever wine shop near us. It's just opened and it has the largest, and most reasonably priced wines I've ever seen. Rich and I actually went there on a "date" the Saturday before Christmas -- my parents babysat and we went out and spent an hour in the shop! Rich actually stopped the manager and thanked him for opening the shop near us! We found wines from Australia (like Grant Burge) that we have not seen since leaving there! And at reasonable prices. Plus, some of the cheap stock standard usual wines were about $2 cheaper than at the grocery store. We're going back tomorrow!

Anyway, Christmas Eve we did the usual -- we went to dinner and then drove around looking at the Christmas Lights in our neighborhood.
The best thing was watching my dad and the boys have dessert. We didn't have our cameras with us, but we did get some from the mobile phones. It was seriously a commercial moment!
Sam was sitting on my dad's lap and Josh was next and they were all three sharing the chocolate mountain of cardiac arrest!

I have to tell you, my dad was in seventh heaven with the boys there sharing with him!

When we got home, the boys wrote their letter to Santa, then spread out the reindeer food and it was off to bed!

Luckily, they both fell asleep quickly! And they slept for a long time too --- hahaha! Right!

Josh was up at 1:00, 2:30, 4:3o and 5:30. I made him stay in bed until 6:00! But more on that and Christmas Day tomorrow... or later...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ten days?

I can't believe it's been 10 days since I posted something! I guess the Christmas Season really made me lose track of time!

I promise to post more about our Christmas later -- an update and pictures from my NEW camera (hooray!)

But for now, a bit of pre-Christmas pictures!

We tried to keep the kids occupied and busy before Christmas. So one thing we did was get out some older toys that we don't play with much -- mostly because they take up room or need to be put together or both!

One of their favorite things to play with is our Thomas the Tank Engine train set. We play with it quite a bit, but normally don't put the whole thing together. We did this year. It took up our whole living room!
This picture doesn't show the whole thing. We added more so it would go around the tree -- it really did take up the whole room!

At one point we were all down working the different switches on the track and trying to keep all the engines running. It took all of us -- including my parents (who were here for Christmas) to keep things flowing smoothly!

We all had fun playing with it!

I'll be trying to catch up on all my posts and reading over the next few days! I hope everyone had a very Happy Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Time to Brag

I'm going to brag about Josh again. Sometimes I feel funny about it because so many people have issues with their kids and how they struggle with school. But I'm so proud of him I just have to "brag!"

Josh came home from school yesterday with a note in his backpack saying he was accepted into the "Gifted Program."

I have no idea what that means, other than he starts next month going once a week to a special class with other "Gifted" first graders.

He was a bit too cool...

Me: Wow Josh! You've been accepted into the Gifted Program! That's fantastic!

Josh: Yes Mom, I know, I went last week!

Me: What? You had your test? Why didn't you say something when I asked if you saw Mrs. Gifted Teacher's Name?

Josh just shrugged and started mowing down the Cheerios Snack Mix we got in the mail (review coming soon, but let me just say, YUM!)

So anyway, Rich and I are very excited for him. I mean, we knew he was smart, but this is fantastic. Apparently, they focus on "the process" rather than "the result" in problem solving. And they have quite high expectations placed on them. We have an "Open House" in January so we can meet Mrs. Gifted Teacher and find out more about the program.

Josh really likes going to Mrs. Gifted Teacher (he's had to go several times for tests) because he says she has fun problems for him to solve.

I don't want him to be overwhelmed, but I do want him to be challenged. Something that is clearly not happening in the "regular" first grade classroom. He is still learning, but he just picks up on things so quickly that sometimes he gets a bit bored with the repetition.

So, we'll see how well he does in the Gifted Program. He has to "qualify" every year -- keep his grades up and such.

So, that's my brag for the day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Getting Out of The House

Well, there's only 8 more days left until Christmas and I'm now starting to feel like things are under control! Rich was sick this weekend so he stayed in bed for most of the weekend. Poor guy had a horrible sore throat and awful cough!

After a boring day at home on Saturday, the boys and I went to the Botanic Gardens with a friend on Sunday. It was not a very nice day outside -- it rained all afternoon -- but we were lucky enough to get there in the morning before the rain! We did get caught in it a bit on the way to the car, but we'd done what we wanted to do!

Before hand, we took the boys to Dunkin' Donuts. Sam enjoyed his. Can you tell?

Yummy Donuts!

The "Big Boys" rode in the back and played with their Pokemon Cards. Of course you can see traces of donuts on their faces too...

Goin' to the Botanic Gardens...

Here the boys are standing outside a fountain that was turned off. I just blogged about going to the Botanic Gardens last month. I think I mentioned there how the Gardens have turned off all their fountains to conserve water during the current drought we have here in Georgia. That's why the fountain is turned off.

At the Gardens

We rode the train... again...

Goin' for a ride....

We only rode it once because the line was really long... and while we were waiting in line it began to sprinkle ever so lightly. They will not run the train in the rain (that sounds like a Dr. Seuss book...) or even if it's sprinkling. Luckily, the sprinkles were short lived and we got to ride. I think there would have been at least one very upset three year old if we didn't get to ride it!

After the train ride, we went to the Children's Garden. This place is wonderful! All sorts of interactive displays and fun things for the kids. Josh and the other two played "explore" with my friend Sherry (the "other mother") running after them. Sam wanted to go all over the place and I followed him around. His favorite part was the Vegetable Garden. Here he measured himself
against plants,

Look how Tall I am!

rode a cow...


And rocked on the front porch:

Sam's Rocker

This is an actual conversation with Sam we had while here.

Sam: This is my house Mommy!

Me: It is? I like it!

Sam: Yes, I have cows in my back yard.

Me: You do? Cows?

Sam: Yes, cows and chickens.

Me: Well that's cool. Should we feed them?

Sam: Yes! (Then he hands me some pretend food and we go out back to the "animals")

Me: Should I feed the duck or the sheep?

Sam: No Mommy, they are already eating! (and they were -- they had their heads down in the dirt). Let's feed the chicken some eggs...

Hmmm... Something tells me a chicken would not want to eat an egg. But I'm no farmer, what do I know?

After Sam and I played in his house we went to find the others. They were giving a performance at the Ampitheatre.


I never did figure out what the play was about, but I know it had something to do with Pokemon.

Of course.

And on our way out, we even managed to run into Santa again! This time it was a "Garden Variety" Santa.

Garden-Variety Santa

And *phew* Sam asked for the "Big GeoTrax" again!

And that was the most fun we had over the weekend! I'm glad Rich is on the mend because it's one thing to tell the boys they can't play with Daddy when he's working, but it's much harder to tell them that when he's sick!

Friday, December 14, 2007


It's amazing how much there is to do this time of year! I have been so busy doing nothing that my head is spinning!

So, this week Sam and I had a Christmas Party with one of the Mom's Groups I belong to. It was lots of fun. I picked him up early from school and brought him over.

He was so busy playing that I had to force him to sit down and eat some lunch! Thankfully, there was Pizza there -- I think that may be his most favorite food ever! I can always get him to eat that. And grapes.

Anyway, the party was lots of fun. Mary did Story Time...

She's going to kill me for posting this!

Her son Jack and Sam played together very nicely. Of course there were several photo ops of them playing really well, but as soon as I got my camera, they broke up. Here's the one picture I did get.


The only thing that tore them away from that toy was a visit from "The Big Guy."


He looks a bit "shy" in this picture, but he was really excited. He ran right up to Santa and stared talking to him and asking him for his "Big GeoTrax" (which today he told me he no longer wants.... too bad kid!)

Jack then decided to entertain us all with some Karaoke...


He's a trip! So funny and cute and he rivals Sam for "Pickelpotamus" status! It's no wonder the two of them get along so well.

Yesterday, Josh came home from school and announced that a kid in his class doesn't believe in Santa!!!! He told Josh that the Mom's and Dad's put the presents out and pretend to be Santa. He couldn't believe this boy would tell him that!

He said, "But Mom! We know Santa's real, don't we?"

I said, "That's right! Poor (boy's name) he won't be getting any presents from Santa because Santa only brings gifts to who believe."

Josh: "Yeah, and do you know HOW I know he's real? The Santa Tracker on the computer!"

I have to tell you I was so upset after this conversation! I mean, I know he's a smart kid and I know this is probably the last year for him to believe, but I was hoping it would last just a bit longer!

I think he wants to still believe this year so he does. Next year I think he'll start to have his doubts.

It's so much fun to see how excited the boys get about seeing Santa and writing him letters and leaving Reindeer food out on Christmas Eve. And to see how their eyes light up on Christmas Morning when all the presents are under the tree...

I guess this year we'll just have to enjoy it and hope next year we can keep the magic alive... and keep it going for Sam as long as possible.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Several things are piling up so I'm going to get rid of them here.

First (and most importantly) Elizabeth at Mom Reviews is giving away a "My Friends Tigger and Pooh -- Super Sleuth Christmas Movie" DVD.

And, I know I've mentioned before that Sam LOVES Winnie the Pooh I would love to win this for him, just in time for the holidays! He's got a little Classic Winnie the Pooh stuffed doll he carries everywhere. He says, "It's my best."

Anyway, getting back to Elizabeth -- she's having a give away. If you are interested, go visit her and leave a comment (for one entry), either fave her, blogroll her or subscribe (for 2 entries) and/or post about the contest (for three entries). But the contest ends Friday, so be sure to be quick!

Okay, next order of business. I keep getting tagged for meme's. I'm a bit behind so I'm doing two at once here.

First, Shannan at Mommy Bits tagged me for a middle name meme. I was tagged for this on Maya's Mom last month already. Here's the post if you're interested.

I don't think I'll do it again, but I will pass on that Shannan has THE BEST Cookie recipe EVER!!!! Sam and I are making Shannan's Cake Mix cookies today and HOLY COW! They are delicious! And super easy!


We made some with holiday M&M's this time. I have some German Chocolate Cake mix that I plan on trying out with Heath Bar Toffee Crunch and I have a Carrot Cake mix that I'm going to try with raisins and white chocolate. Just for something different

Finally, I was tagged for another meme by my friend Cheryl at Maya's Mom. This time it's an either/or meme. Here goes.

Coke or Pepsi? Diet Caffeine Free Coke -- but really it's water or red wine.

Sweet or Salty? Salty

Night Owl or Morning Person? Morning -- I have to be, my kids get up too early. But I am anyway!

Bath or Shower? AM or PM? I prefer Showers in the morning, but I'll take it when I can get it! Don't like bath's at all!

Apples or Oranges? Apples

Algebra or Geometry? Neither. English

Left-handed or Right-handed? Righty

Cook or Bake? Cook, but I like to bake too -- see above.

Fruits or Veggies? Both

Mayo or Miracle Whip? MAYO. No contest. The other stuff should be outlawed.

Butter or Margarine? Butter, Unsalted.

Handheld or electric toothbrush? Handheld

Crest or Colgate? Crest for sensitive teeth

Deodorant: Roll-on or Solid? Solid

Do you call them Sneakers or Tennis Shoes? Depends on the mood. Boys are usually sneakers, girls tennis shoes.

Do you call it a Pocketbook or Purse? Purse

Do you sleep to the Left or Right of hubby (or significant other)? Depends. What ever side is closest to the bathroom. In our house now, I'm to the left of Rich.

Toilet Paper: Over or Under? Over, but as long as it gets changed I'm happy!

In what order: Sock, Sock, Shoe, Shoe OR Sock, Shoe, Sock, Shoe? What ever I feel like at the time.

There. I think that's it for now. I'm not tagging anyone, but feel free to do either the middle name or the either/or meme if you wish!

Now, I'm off to eat more cookies!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Parades, Leaves and Results

It was a warm, sunny weekend here in Georgia. And the whole week looks to be that way too.

It's a nice break from the cold to have the warm sun on our faces and no jackets, short sleeves and shorts on for a bit! That's one reason we live in Georgia!

Perfect weather for Parades and Yard Work -- which is just what we did. Okay, so really you got me there. There is no such thing as "perfect weather for Yard Work" but still... it had to be done.

Our town had their annual Santa Claus Parade. Normally we're all bundled up and running around to keep warm. Not this year, though. I did make the boys put on a fleece when we left the house -- silly me! But in my defense, Saturday was a bit overcast so it hadn't quite warmed up to the mid to upper 70's yet.

I did not get many parade pictures, but it was a good one. Lots of music and floats -- there was a distinct lack of candy this year, which I don't mind, but some of the folks around us kept commenting on it! Josh saw lots of friends from school there and we all had fun.

Here is Sam enjoying a Blue Candy Cane....


Sam had been sick and was still not feeling well. Poor kid had the worst cold ever! It seems to be better now -- he actually went to school today so I got a break from him clinging to me that was good.

Josh with his second Candy Cane of the morning...


Finally, Santa and his reindeer...

It's Santa!!!!

I think that must be Santa's brother herding the reindeer, because Santa's in the sleigh!

Santa and His Reindeer Arrive

The boys were very excited! They kept yelling, "Hi Santa! Hi Santa! Merry Christmas Santa!!!" It was really cute!

Since the weather was so nice, we decided to spend Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday raking leaves in our yard. The final leaf bag count for the year.... 91 bags.

Here is half the garage filled up with the bags. The other half is just as full....


And finally, I mentioned in my previous post, that Sunday was the final weigh in for the neighborhood Biggest Loser Competition I was in.

Well, I did well.

I lost 14 lbs for a total loss of 8.6983% .

I came in second. I won $100. Not too bad.

However... I missed out on the top prize by 0.0031%.

Yes folks, that's right 3/1000 of a percent gets me $100 instead of $275. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a wee bit bummed out -- more than 0.0031% even. But oh well -- I guess that's the way the fat burns. They are starting another one next month and running for 16 weeks. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to join that or not. I just think 16 weeks is a VERY VERY VERY LONG TIME. I guess we'll just have to see how much weight I gain over Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Busy Body's, Updates and a Give Away

Lots of little bits and pieces today. Just some general ramblings.

Sam is still under the weather. I brought him to the doctor today since he's had a temperature and cold for 3 days now. It's just a cold so there is nothing we can do but give it time and cough medicine. He is not too happy about the cough medicine. When we got home from the doctor I tried to give him some and he cried, "I'm tired and want a nap!" Then promptly ran upstairs, got in bed, put his covers on him and fell asleep -- where he is now.

Anyway, you may recall I mentioned yesterday that Josh had his musical yesterday. It was "The Little Bell Who Would Not Ring." It was very cute. Josh did really well. He said his lines clearly and loud enough to hear. He was Mr. Fidget up there though -- he played with his hands, his nose, his costume... everything. And to top it off, he yawned several
times on stage. While he was supposed to be singing. I think the excitement got to him.

I did try to get some video -- but there are lots of people in the way. A friend of ours was in the front row and promised to make us a copy of the video they took.

This weekend is shaping up to be a busy one. We've got our local Christmas Parade and we're planning on bagging up more leaves. It's going to be about 70 degrees here so it should be good to be outside getting some fresh air. It's also the last two days of my neighborhood weight loss competition. I
am so ready for that to be over.

Finally, the folks at Maya's Mom gave me a copy of the Busy Body Book to review. I have the review up on my Maya's Mom Journal. Go check it out. I'm giving away an extra copy of the BBB, but you must be a Maya's Mom member to win.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yesterday -- or I can't think of a title....

Yesterday Sam had his first ever dentist appointment. He did really well. Better than I expected. He didn't like it much but he didn't cry and he let them clean his teeth and look in his mouth. He was sitting on my lap for the cleaning/polishing so that helped.

He was very excited about his new "Mater" toothbrush though!

I was really proud of him! Extra proud because he was coming down with a fever. As the day wore on he became clingier and clingier and his fever went up and up and up. We spent most of the day cuddled on the couch.

He wouldn't take any Tylenol. Rich had a brainstorm. He got his cell phone and started talking to Santa. Santa told Rich to tell Sam to take his medicine so he'd feel better and then Santa could bring him his "Big GeoTrax" for Christmas.

Stroke of genius! Worked like a charm!

When I was putting him to bed last night, he was asking me where he got the sick from. Poor kid looked so little and sad and asking such grown up questions...

He feels better today -- he still has a horrible cough but he's eating and talking and watching TV.

Josh had dress rehearsal for his school Musical yesterday. They performed it for the kids at the school. We go tonight to see it. I'm very excited for him. He's "Bell #6" and has 2 lines. No, they are not "Ding" and "Dong" -- they are proper lines! I hope to get it on video, but I don't know what the set up is going to be like so we'll have to wait and see.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Light at The End of The Tunnel

About 9 weeks ago -- 8 1/2 actually -- I signed up for a neighborhood weight loss competition. You pay $25 to join and then weigh in 3 times over the course of the nine weeks. The participant who looses the highest percentage of their body weight wins the money -- actually, there are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

I haven't been very good and diligent over the 9 weeks. It was quite easy to get motivated in the beginning, and then we I got sick and couldn't work out and sort of lost my momentum, then we had Halloween, Sam's birthday and Thanksgiving! How's a girl supposed to live through all that on a diet?

Anyway, after the food fest that was Thanksgiving, I decided to take the last two weeks of the contest seriously. Our last weigh in is on Sunday morning.

It's been really hard the last two weeks to "Just say No" to that Latte, or blueberry muffin or slice of pizza at Costco, or whatever. But, when I weighed myself this morning, I was encouraged! It's paying off! As of this morning, I've lost about 10 lbs. It's a bit difficult to tell since when I weighed in the first day, I was almost 5 lbs heavier on "their" scale than I was on mine (I was also fully clothed and had eaten breakfast), so if I go by what I weighed on "my" scale, I've lost 10. If I go by what I weighed on "their" scale, I've lost almost 15, which may put me in contention!

I'll let you know the final results later. Rest assured, I'll look for my lightest clothing for the final weigh in. I may even go "bra-less" that thing weighs a ton!

But I can tell you this, we're having pizza for dinner on Sunday night! Hahahaha!

Monday, December 3, 2007

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

We've been having some sleep issues in our house lately.

It seems the boys don't want to sleep past 5:00/5:30. And the problem is, if one gets up, they make noise and it wakes up the other. It's a really quite tiresome and both Rich and I are ready for this little "phase" to end.

Sam has been known to wake up at 4:30. This makes him tired and cranky all day so we put him down for a nap. He'll sleep for a couple hours and be refreshed and wonderful. He'll go to bed a bit later (about 6:45-7:00) and lay awake in bed. Quiet, but awake. And he still wakes up early.

If he had NO nap, he's just tired and cranky all day and goes to bed early -- as late as we can keep him up but it's still 6:15-6:30 ish and he STILL gets up at the crack of a sparrow's fart!

And when he sleeps, Josh wakes up early. I swear, for a smart kid, he has NO common sense! He will come in at whatever time and ask us questions about the most ridiculous stuff. I really don't need to be woken up at 5:30 by a 6 year old asking which Pokemon do I think can beat Spiderman in a battle!

I hope this is a phase. I seem to remember Josh going through this "early morning" stuff when he was about Sam's age. Once he was old enough to read the clock and we could tell him to not get up until it was 6:00, things got (sort of) better (on occasion).

Anyway... I'm just waiting for the grandparents to come for Christmas so they can take the Early Shift and Rich and I can sleep!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Survivor Badge

Look what Fussy made for those of us that survived:

Ding Dong

Josh is a bell in the school musical this year. He's very excited. The performance is next week at the PTSA Meeting.

I had to make his costume. Here he is modeling it before we brought it to school yesterday.

And today is the last day of November which means NaBloPoMo is over (for me) after I hit the "publish" button!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Off to see Santa

We went to see Santa on Tuesday. The boys have been very good this year and wanted to make sure Santa knew exactly what they wanted.

Sam's been very excited and has been asking for the "Big GeoTrax" ever since we saw them at W-mark a few weeks ago. What can I say. He loves trains. And goodness knows you can never have too many! Right Grampa?

On that same visit, Josh found this: The Pokemon Battle station. He's been very excited about it and can't stop talking about it. There are a few things here, that need to be noted.

First off, if you look, you will notice it only has 1 star from customer reviews. Granted there are only 3 reviews (on this site) but all of them talk about the poor quality of the product, how their children were disappointed and even one mentions they took it back. I found similar reviews on other sites.

So normally, if the quality is a bit poor and it's something that the boys really like and the price reflects the workmanship, I may "give." But this? It's $50 (almost)! I have no problems spending money on Christmas presents for my kid but this combined with the poor reviews, I cannot justify "Santa" bringing this for him. He's already getting a DS Lite and Pokemon Game (from us), which was about $200 all up.

So now, we have to figure out a way to "Change his mind" about the ONLY thing he's asked Santa for. I think Rich will be able to change Josh's mind. He's good at reasoning with Josh. I just don't want him to be disappointed in that toy. It looks cheap and from the reviews, apparently it IS cheap!

Anyway, here are the pictures of the boys meeting Santa. Sam, you will notice, is carrying his Winnie the Pooh. This is his favorite thing at the moment and will go nowhere with out it. My Aunt Mary & Uncle John gave it to Josh when Josh was born. Josh never really cared for it but Sam LOVES it! Thank you Aunt Mary & Uncle John!


Sam was a bit nervous.

Telling Santa What We Want

They had to take about 8 pictures of the boys before they were both looking. This was the best of the bunch! Feel free to laugh!

santa picture 2

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Future Echos

Several years ago, I gave Rich a Dave Barry desk calendar. One of the days had the following:

We Parents need practical advice on how to handle real-life parenting scenarios: Say you are driving. Your toddler is riding in the back, strapped into her car seat, which you have probably installed incorrectly. Suddenly, your child receives one of those transgalactic radio signals that children get from the Planet of Random Thoughts, and declares: "Birds don't have eyebrows." You agree with this statement. Your child then says: "But I have eyebrows." Again you agree. The backseat is silent for a moment. Then there is a loud wail of anguish. "What's wrong?" you ask. "I CAN'T FIND MY EYEBROWS!!!" the child wails. "It's OK!" you say. "You have eyebrows! On your head! In the front!" "BUT I DON'T FEEL THEM!" your child wails. You can't pull off the road. Your child is getting hysterical. you are starting to wonder if your child did, somehow, lose her eyebrows while in your care, in which case you sill be in serious trouble when you get home.

At the time, Josh was about 2 or 3 and we thought this was hysterical! It's been on our refrigerator for years. When ever I need a chuckle, I read it.

Little did I know that Dave Barry, is clairvoyant. I had the following conversation with Sam yesterday while we were in the car:

Sam: "Mom! I don't have any eyebrows!"

Me: "Yes you do Sam. They are right above your eyes. They are very light and hard to see. Can you feel them?"

Sam: "No!" he starts crying that fake cry of his, "I don't have any eyebrows!"

Me: "Yes you do Sam. I'll show you later."

He calms down (for a bit) then starts crying about something else.


Later we went to see Santa at the mall and we were on the way home. He was playing with his prized Winnie the Pooh stuffed toy.

Sam: "Winnie the Pooh has ears. I have ears too. Winnie the Pooh doesn't have eyebrows."

Me: "Ooookaaaay.... Did you find your eyebrows Sam?"

Sam: "No. I don't have any! I can't see them!!!"

Me: "I'll show them to you when we get home, okay Sammy?"

Sam: sounding a bit worried... "Okay... Mom, are you going to take my head off to show me?"

Needless to say, I laughed so hard I cried.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Life Lesson for my kids -- part 1

I'm calling this "Part 1" because I'm sure there will be more.

Josh has been super grumpy lately -- especially when I tell him we are going someplace that he doesn't want to go -- mainly because it will take him away from his beloved GameBoy and Pokemon game. Which I've had to put a time limit on!

Anyway, he just does NOT WANT TO GO! He stamps his feet and says, "I'm NOT GOING!" and then "Harumphs!" and crosses his arms. Hahaha -- like he thinks he has a choice! Hahaha...

I'm have started telling him that he does not always have control over what happens to him, but he does have control over his reaction. He is in control of whether he chooses to be UNHAPPY and MISERABLE or if he wants to face what he has to do and be HAPPY about it.

I do believe this is true not just about going to Target or the grocery store... but what happens to you in life. Be happy and you'll enjoy life more!

I think I'm going to be reminding BOTH the boys of this quite often!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Genius At Work...

Mommy Bits put me onto this site that will rate your blog's readability. It's called CriticsRant. You type in your blog URL and it will give your blog a score.

cash advance

I think either it's mistaken or I've watched to many "Baby Einstein" DVD's and they've rubbed off.

At least now I know why I don't have many readers but the ones I do have are Top Quality!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How We Spent Saturday!

It's that time of year again. When the leaves pile up and we have to spend our weekends raking up the millions of leaves that seem to make their way to our back yard.

Most of the day we spent around the house -- Rich watched Liverpool beat Newcastle 3-0 in the morning. He was quite happy with that considering England's elimination from Euro 2008 earlier this week. And Manchester United lost yesterday, so that was good too!

We went out in the afternoon for about an hour and a half and raked up more leaves. Friday we raked up about 11 bags, Saturday we raked 14...

Bags, bags, bags...

The boys had fun "helping" us --

Josh & Sam

In the evening, Josh was invited to a movie with his friend Cade. He came home about 7:30 all hopped up on sugar and McDonald's and popcorn.... It was very funny. He would start talking in a "normal" voice, but then his voice would get louder and louder until he was SHOUTING! It was hysterical! He was very excited and had a lot of fun.

But anyway, we're not looking forward to next weekend when more leaves will fall -- last year we had over 100 bags of leaves over the course of 2 weekends. We're up to 27 (25 from this weekend plus 2 from earlier in the week -- just the front which needs to be done again!).

How many more to go?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday's Photos -- The Botanic Gardens

We went to the Botanic Gardens yesterday.

They have a wonderful Children's Garden there that the boys like to run around and play in. Josh and Daddy played "Treasure Hunt" -- when you walk into the Children's Garden there is a big, colorful map and they would look for a "destination" and then try and find their way there by passing different places in the garden. It's not very big, but they had a great time finding different places on the map and exploring the garden.

It was quite interesting to see it right now. They've emptied most of the ponds and fountains because of the drought. It's amazing really that a place that REQUIRES water for it's plants can survive the drought we've got. It must be very difficult for them. But, they are doing it. I wouldn't know if the garden has felt any ill affects from the lack of water.

They had a little train the boys could ride. I only had $4 in cash and the tickets were $2 so they only got one ride. Sam was free.

Cheese Mommy!

All Aboard! Here they go....

All Aboard!

After they were done Sam wanted to watch the train so the boys sat down and "watched." After a bit, they decided to play tag and we ran around the field playing. It was quite cold out so it was nice to run around in the sun trying to warm up.

Watching the Train

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

I hope everyone had a good day yesterday. Ours was nice and relaxing and the boys had lots of fun!

We got up and had our "traditional" holiday breakfast -- Eggs DayAhead (sausage, scrambled eggs, cream of mushroom soup and cheese -- yummy!)

We'd had some rain Wednesday night - early Thursday morning but it cleared up after breakfast. Normally, we try and go to the park on Thanksgiving morning, but it was not nice enough. We did go out though. We decided to go for a "Family Walk" and train for next year's 5k so we went around "The Circle" (where we live there is a circle that connects neighborhoods together -- it's about 3 miles from our door, around the circle and back to our door -- it's pretty close to the race route).

Josh did really well -- he ran for quite a bit -- just shy of a mile, then he'd walk to catch his breath and run again. He was pretty worn out by the end! Rich carried Sam on his shoulders the whole way and lightly jogged for most of it and he was "in the lead" for most of it. I tried to jog as much as possible. I'm really out of shape! I have some work ahead of me if I want to run next year! Anyway, it took us less than an hour (56 minutes) to go door to door. I was pretty impressed!

After we got back we all needed baths and showers and we had a little rest and a small bite to eat. Then Rich and Josh finished putting up the lights outside (while Sam had a nap) and got done just as a cold front came through. Once Sam got up, the boys put up the new Christmas tree in the basement and I cooked dinner.

Since it was just the 4 of us, we didn't go "all out" -- I only got a turkey breast instead of the whole bird. We also had stuffing, green beans, gravy and roast potatoes. It was really good! Sam loved the turkey and gravy, but nothing else. Josh loved it all!

After dinner we gave the boys the movie Ratatouille and we watched about half of it (we're watching the rest now). We also finished decorating the "basement" Christmas tree.

After the boys went to bed, Rich and I pulled out a puzzle to start, we had some "left-overs" for supper and watched a bit of TV.

The day went quickly, yet we still had time to relax, the boys played, we had some family time -- it was a GREAT Thanksgiving!

And as a bonus -- the boys slept until 5:50 this morning! It was like sleeping in!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

May your hearts be filled with Love and Thanks today!

We are spending Thanksgiving with just the four of us. It's times like this when it's both a blessing and a pain to live so far away from our families.

It's nice to not have to "keep a schedule" and try and figure out how to entertain a houseful of people (not to mention cleaning the house before and after). And it's nice to spend the day with just the four of us as a family. Especially after Rich's crazy work schedule earlier this month.

But on the otherhand, I do miss our families on holidays and wish we could see them more often -- or that it wasn't such an ordeal to go visit. Eventhough we can't be together, I am still thankful to have them in our lives!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shaking the Tree

The boys think if they can shake the tree, the leaves will fall off faster.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Story Time Today

I bring Sam to Story Time every Tuesday at the local community center.

It's fun. He is normally quite subdued and sits and listens to the story and then he insists that Ms. Mary play Winnie the Pooh/The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers by Ralph Covert over and over and over again (she will indulge him and play it ONCE!). And then he goes up and helps her sing it. He stands by her, looks at the floor and sings it as quietly as he can -- and when it gets to the Tiggers Bouncing part, he jumps and smiles and then stops and looks down again. It's quite funny actually!

Today's Story Time was a bit unusual... Mary brought her youngest (no school) and Sam and Jack love to chase each other. They were in rare form.

I'm afraid "The Real Sam" came out today!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Today I Love...

I'm late with my Wrapped Emotions Post this week!

The challenge this week:

With Thanksgiving being next week everyone begins to ask the traditional question..."For what are you thankful?" This week let's put a little twist on that thought.

What do you love today?

.... begin listing the things you love today...or whatever day you do the project.No typing on the computer and printing words. It should be done in your handwriting. Make it neat, make it sloppy, make it uniquely yours. Doodle the words, fine line print, bold line print, scribble. Write horizontally, diagonally, backwards, upside down. Give the page some color and pop...paint the page first...collage the page first...color the page with marker. Do not be limited by these suggestions. But WRITE the typing and printing. What is important is that you know what you love today.

One more a creative way include a wrapper from one of the things you love today (or the day you do this).

So, here's my page... It's a bit blurry (sorry) and the "wrapper" is Josh's froggy blanket. He loves it to death and so does Sam.

This was nice. I realize this is just a short snapshot, but I also know I am very blessed to have so much "love" in my life!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lazy Sunday

We had a busy day yesterday. The James R. Sargeant Lung Cancer Survival 5K Legacy Run & Walk was yesterday.

We had a great time. I helped at the finish line with the timings and Sam ran around playing with his friends. Rich & Josh were at a birthday party having fun! The birthday party was at our local community center in the gymnastics room and Josh has now decided he wants to do gymnastics. I was thinking of signing Sam up anyway so now they both do it.

Today we had no plans. We went to do some pre-Christmas shopping -- we got more lights for outside and we got a few Christmas decorations for around the house. I went grocery shopping while Sam had a nap and the boys are working outside. It's a beautiful day! Rich is getting ready to put up some lights. We normally do it over Thanksgiving but it's so beautiful today he thought he'd at least start getting things ready and start stringing some up.

Josh helped for a bit. But his favorite part was playing in the leaves.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not much to say, so here are some pictures....

I don't really have anything to write about -- well, I do, but I'm tired and can't really think at the moment. So, I'm posting some pictures of the boys.

Sam with his banana on the way home from the 5k today.

Pictures from last weekend -- toasting marshmellow's on the back deck.

Toasting Marshmellows

Toasted Marshmellow

Sam's oven mitts

Friday, November 16, 2007

Busy Weekend Coming up!

I need to get my post in early today. We're busy. I hope I have time this weekend to keep up.

First, Sam had his annual check up this week. He did really well! After only gaining 1 lb between 12-24 months, he out-did himself this year. He gained 5 lbs!!! And grew 3 inches! He's a big boy now at 32 lbs and 38 inches. That's about where Josh was when he was 4!

When the nurse was going through the milestone "check list" she asked if he feeds himself, and I answered "He CAN when he feels like it" and then she moved on to the next question.

"Does he speak in sentences and can he express thoughts?"

Before I could answer Sam piped up and said, "Yes! I can feed myself because I'm 3 now. I'm a big boy."

I looked at the nurse and in answer to her question said, "Hmmm what do you think?" Then we both laughed.

Anyway, moving on... This weekend is the James R. Sargeant Legacy 5K Lung Cancer Survival race in our neighborhood. Last year we had a great time! It was awesome to see Jim get up out of his wheel chair and cross the line walking, surrounded by his family and friends. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. It was incredible. I'm so proud of Mary and what she's done to ensure Jim's legacy lives on even now that he's passed away. I found pictures from last year on line. They are here.

Last year, Rich came in 3rd in his age group and 23rd over all. He was hoping to run again, but we're going to Linda Leigh and Andy's for dinner tonight and we're spending the night so he won't be as rested as usual. And Josh was invited to a birthday party at the exact same time as the race. Since I'll be helping Mary, someone has to bring Josh to the party. It's just not possible to do both. So Sam and I will go to the race and Rich & Josh will go to the birthday party.

The nice thing is there is always next year! This is such a fun family and community event. If you live in the area, you should definitely come down and take part.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thirteen Random Things...

I went to visit my friend CrazedParent and accidentally got tagged just by reading her "13 Things" post and since I'm desperate for content for NaBloPoMo so I guess I'm "it."

I feel like I've been doing these things quite a bit so I need to think of some new stuff -- I'm digging deep here....

1. I have flown around the world twice. Once in each direction.

2. The best display of Christmas lights I have ever seen was in Singapore in late November (I think I was there around this time of year.) It was AWESOME!!!!

3. I love popcorn. In fact, if left on my own, and I didn't have children to feed, I would eat popcorn for dinner more often than not.

4. I love anchovies and use them in cooking quite a bit. But I don't always "tell."

5. I often dream of winning the lottery but don't play very much because I am genuinely disappointed when I don't win. In fact, I don't think I've ever matched more than 1 number.

6. Charlotte's Web was my favorite book growing up. Sometimes I would finish reading it and reread it straight away. I also cried every time I read it when Charlotte died (oops, did I just give away the ending?)

7. I had a security blanket when I was little. I called it my "Daisy Blanket." I think the remnants are still at my parent's house. Apparently, it was yellow with daisy's but I only remember it being completely white (it was very well loved and worn). My mom must have had to sneak it off to the wash!

8. I also had a favorite baby doll named "Julie." She is still at my mom's house and Sam played with her when we were there last July.

9. I am notoriously bad at getting birthday cards in the mail on time. I only ever do the Christmas cards because Rich reminds me. Often.

10. I love sleep. I never pulled an "all nighter" in college because I'd never have been able to function the next day. And I always figured "If I don't know it now, being tired won't help!"

11. I have a BA in Communications, but I loved my History and Religion classes. I didn't major or minor in them because I didn't know what "to do" with them.

12. I'm really bad at math. Really, really bad. Rich says it's a good thing Josh does the math flashcards with me because then I can learn them too!

13. I love the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella. (ooo I just discovered that's just pseudonym she writes under!) They make me laugh out loud and I even convinced Rich to read them. I told him if he wanted to begin to understand how my mind worked, he'd have to read the books.

Okay that's it for now. And since I don't feel like tagging anyone in particular, if you're reading this, "Tag! You're It!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jumpin' Josh Flash

Today Josh has Jump Rope For Heart at school. The kids go out and get pledges and then jump rope to raise money for the American Heart Association. Josh's school has continually been one of the top schools in the Nation for JRFH. It seems every year they are the top K-2 school in the state, if not the nation. Last year they were 3rd in the state overall and 29th Nationally. Not bad.

One of the things they can do is jump in memory or in honor of someone. You don't HAVE to, but Josh really wanted to. But he just didn't know who to jump for. When I suggested he jump "in honor of all those that need the AHA" he balked -- because that wasn't for SOMEONE!

Then I suggested my maternal grandmother. She had open-heart surgery way back in 1976. Josh liked that idea -- so this year he's jumping in her memory. Here's his card, he even decorated it with hearts and him jumping rope ....

I'm really proud of him. He didn't reach his $1,000 goal, but he did end up raising $158.
He was so determined to raise money, he donated all the money he was saving up for a new Pokemon game. Granted it was only $6, but it was ALL his money.
And he was very determined to practice. Here he practicing.

Last night at bedtime he came down and said he was "too excited about JRFH to sleep." What a sweet heart!

I can't go see him do it this year. Sam has his 3 year check up today at the same time. Last year it was so much fun to see the kindergartners attempt to jump. Josh has come a long way since then!

Good Luck Big Guy!!!!!

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