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Friday, August 31, 2007

Under Construction....

My technical departmentRich has been hard at work helping me with my new look. One of the perks of being married to a computer geek genius!

I'm still not done yet, but I really wanted a new header and columns on both sides without looking cramped. I'm also looking at adding some -/+ drop down menus for some things.

The picture at the top was taken in one of those photo booths this summer. My mom and I are trying to hold the boys up -- boy was it cramped! But, I think you can tell from the picture, they thought it was lots of fun!

But, since I have limited time to work on what I've got here, it may be a bit slow to finalize.

In the mean time, let me know what you think and check back often for updates!

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Love Thursday

It's Love Thursday over at Maya's Mom!

And just as I was wondering what to post about, I get an email from my dad. Here it is:

Hi Mimi,
I just have to tell you again how much I enjoy reading your
blog.
It makes me feel closer to you and the boys.
Mom gets back here tomorrow. Can't wait to see her and hear about her adventures.
Lots and lots of Love, Dad


How sweet is that?

I love you too Dad (and Mom)!

And I too can't wait to hear about your adventures Mom! (She's been in Iceland for a week or so riding Icelandic Ponies and sight seeing!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Moment Wednesday

It's My Moment Wednesday over at Maya's Mom.

Every night (okay, every other night we have eczema issues) after dinner and before bed I give the boys a bath. And since I have 2 kids to bathe, I give them a bath together. I'm sure you can envision the total chaos that descends on our house about 5:45-6:00 as I'm attempting to get the kids stripped and in the bath. The term "circus" does not do it justice.

Since Josh's been back to at school he's been coming home FILTHY!!!! Hair plastered to his head from the heat and sweat. Disgusting. So he's needed a bath every day.

Yesterday Josh took a shower all by himself for the first time.

He was so proud of himself.

Today when he took his shower (while Daddy watched to make sure he did it properly) I was giving Sam a bath in an other bathroom.

I was glad to only have to bathe one child, and I think Sam was glad to have the whole bath to himself -- Josh usually treats the bath as his personal whirlpool and gives Sam barely a corner to sit. The circus element was really contained to a slight "party in the hall."

However, as I was washing Sam, I was really sad. I realized that Josh is growing up right before my eyes. He's turned into a wonderful boy. Not little boy, a boy.

I know the novelty of the shower will wear off and soon enough it will be me nagging him to either "get in the bath" or "get in the shower" and the circus element will return to town, but still, it made me a bit sad because my little boy needs me a bit less!

So, before he went to bed today, I made sure to give him an extra long cuddle on the couch.


I took this picture from my new phone! I'm so excited about it! It's the little things that keep me amused!

118 Days Until Christmas!

So it's 90 degrees here in HOTLANTA and my pimp Elizabeth over at Table for Five had a Christmas Meme going. While she didn't exactly tag me, she did open it up to those that want to do it.

And since I'm hot here, I thought I'd do it now to start getting me in the mood for the holidays -- perhaps cool me off a bit too.

Here are the questions (and answers) --

What is your favorite Christmas gift? Last year I got a laptop. That was the best gift really. And one year my mom and dad got me a new refrigerator. I really loved that too (my old one was broken). I love getting presents that I can tell the other person is excited about. If someone takes the time and finds a gift that makes them excited to give, then it's a great gift in my book.

What is your best memory of Christmas? I have so many fun memories of Christmas time. When I was growing up, we never went anywhere. My Gramma or Grandmother & Grandfather always came to us. There were some times when it was just the five of us and that was great. And after I got married and had kids, the one where Sam was just 6-weeks old was pretty special -- it was our first Christmas where we went nowhere and no one came to us. And last year spending some time in Perdito Key was pretty cool. I guess my best memories of Christmas all revolve around just being with your family and spending some time together.

Depending on where you live, do you have a hot or cold Christmas? Well, I'm in the South so it's not cold like Michigan cold -- which can be very cold!!! But it's not hot like Brisbane hot. I guess for me, Atlanta has the perfect mix of not too cold and not too hot.

Would you prefer to try the opposite weather at least just once? Well, I've had Christmases all over -- from cold in Michigan, Germany, Norway to HOT in Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand and in between, like in Atlanta. When I lived in Australia, it was really strange having Christmas in the summer. It just didn't feel "Christmasy" -- but it was nice to try it out. And I think Michigan winters are just too cold. I prefer the nice compromise I have here in Atlanta!

What do you prefer in a tree? Fake or real? I like the fake ones. I don't remember the last real tree we had.

What is your favorite Christmas Carol? I like a lot of Christmas carols. I really love "Oh Holy Night" and "The Hallelujah Chorus." But, we have a CD called "The Best Christmas Album in the World, EVER" and it is. My favorite song on there is "A Fairytale of New York" by the Poags. Love it!

And, my very least favorite: "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." Gives me the heebie jeebies...

What is your favorite Christmas Dinner? Turkey, stuffing, a small bit of ham, sausages wrapped in bacon (from the English person in the house), beans and peas and gravy. Complete with Christmas Crackers, silly hats and jokes.

Do you wear a Santa Hat at Christmas? No. But I do have them for the boys who like to wear them around.

Have you ever seen Santa delivering your gifts? No. And I don't want to lest he disappear never to return.

How does Santa get to all those houses in just one night? Well, I don't know but he does it because we watch him on the NORAD TRACK SANTA website every year.

Okay -- go out and cool off and do the Christmas Meme! Get yourself in the holiday mood! Josh already has his Halloween costume and has started his Christmas list!

I'm tagging those that want to spread the Christmas cheer early and those that want to be Scrooge!

PS: I'm in the midst of changing the website around. Look for changes and I may steal some ideas from your blogs so watch out!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Great Baggy Pant Debate

An amendment to the city indecency ordinance was introduced in Atlanta this week to ban baggy pants in the city of Atlanta. City Councilman C. T. Martin, the sponsor of the bill calls it an "epidemic" causing "major concern" around the country. Here is the Fox 5 News report on this story and a brief (no pun intended) excerpt:

Martin says he doesn't want young people thinking that being half-dressed is the way to go.

The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. The proposed ordinance states that "the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments" would be unlawful in a public place. It would go in the same portion of the city code that outlaws sex in public.

Martin says the penalty would be a fine.

As you can imagine, this has caused quite a bit of controversy. Some are saying the style is a disgrace and should be banned, others are saying it's not the city's choice what they can and can't wear.

The ACLU is even getting in on the action saying it's racial profiling as it was originated "by black youth culture." Martin, who is black is standing by his amendment.

While, I would prefer when contractors show up at my house they are dressed appropriately (oh yes, did I not mention that the satellite installers showed up with his underpants hanging out?), and I abhor the look, I also think this is a ridiculous law.
This is nothing more than a government enforced dress code. I mean, what's next? Are we going to be forced to have our shorts and skirts at or below the knee? Will tank tops, t-shirts with certain slogans be banned?
Why would we allow the State to dictate what we can and can't wear?
But, on the other hand, being a non-smoker, I'm all in favor of smoking bans and isn't this just the same thing? The State moving in and telling us where we can smoke and what we can wear? It's all dictating our behavior. Although, as far as I know, baggy pants never caused cancer, asthma, or emphysema.

So, what do you think? Good law that is needed or bad law that forces us to conform? Am I missing something and is it racial profiling? And is it the same as smoking bans or something completely different all together?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cool Mom Picks is having a give away...

Cool Mom Picks is a really cool website with lots of products that kids (and moms) love. Right now they are featuring back to school supplies with cool shoes, back packs, apparel and more.

They are having a give away. All you have to do is post their button on your website (see button on left) and email them back to be entered in a $200 Goodie Bag Drawing.

So, go check them out!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Love Thursday: The Anniversary Edition

Yesterday was our anniversary.

And true to form, things did NOT go as planned... but at least Rich's work was not to blame this time!

My morning was great! At breakfast, before Josh went to school he whispered across the kitchen, "Hey Dad! After Danny Phantom, let's go get Mommy some flowers!!" Of course I heard. He "whispered" so long I think the guys in the space station heard him. But, Daddy told him to "shh!" and they put their heads together and came up with "a secret!"

Of course Josh had to tell Sam the "secret" and let's face it -- 2 year olds are not exactly Fort Knox when it comes to keeping "secrets!" Sam immediately ran to me and said, "Mommy! I have a secret to tell you!" I managed distract him long enough for him to forget... And that's not difficult either... "Hey, where's Thomas?" usually does the trick.

It was Sam's first day of school so I met a friend at a coffee shop and just gabbed the morning away until it was time to pick him up. It was refreshing to be without kids for a few hours. So that was nice.

We got a new HDTV last week and the satellite people were scheduled to come today between 1:00 - 5:00 to install the new HD equipment. They had a four hour window to get here. We made plans so we would be here for the four hour window. At 5:30 they called to say they were "on the way." Guess what time they showed up?

7:15!

We still had not eaten, we were waiting for them to leave so we could enjoy our evening. They left at 8:30 and not everything was done adequately, there was trash all over our drive this morning, the old dish was left on the drive, boxes all over, cigarette butts all over, the old dish bracket is still on the roof along with trash. Trash. On. The. Roof.! We were on the phone to the satellite company about 3 times last evening trying to get the stuff "set up." But we're good now and trying not to dwell on what idiots those guys were.

Anyway, I digress... Before the boys ate dinner, they ran out to Publix for "the surprise." When they came home, the boys were both holding on to some yellow roses for me -- they had to do it together! And according to Josh, they looked for tulips but couldn't find any! Awww... He knows they're my favorite! And, they bought a few slices of cheese cake (Publix has great cheese cake!).

And after they left, I made dinner and we had a nice evening -- on the phone to the satellite company for some of it -- we started watching a new DVD -- Hot Fuzz. Very funny, but it was getting late so we'll watch the rest on Friday or Saturday.

So, although the satellite ordeal put a bit of a damper on the evening, all three of the boys made it a great anniversary. The joy and wonder and excitement that Josh and Sam had were all I needed. The look on their faces when they gave me the flowers reflected all the love I have for them and their father, right back to me.

And I have a babysitter for Saturday so we can celebrate again!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Official! I'm NICE!

Elizabeth over at Table for Five (who shall hence forth be known as my pimp for all the awards she gives me), has given me another award! This is a good one... and it's pretty too! She gave me the Nice Matters award! How sweet is she?







And look how pretty it is? It was designed by Genevieve over at Bella Enchanted. She has a beautiful craft blog with pretty things she's made and/or received at craft swaps. Very pretty! This is her description of the award:

This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world


So, thank you Elizabeth!

Okay, so now, who do I think is nice and deserves this? Well, there are so many nice people out there, not all bloggers, but so many nice people.

The one that came to the top of my head first was my Maya's Mom friend, Kimkimeri. She always has something nice to say to about my posts and to everyone there, she truly deserves a "Nice Award!"

Next, Sheila over at My Memories. And her sister CherCroppin. Not only are they sisters, but they always have nice things to say to others and each other. I can tell they are friends and sisters.

There are so many more that are deserving, but I'm stopping at just these three. Now, each of you, go forth and spread the niceness to those you find deserving... and link back to Bella Enchanted too. She's got a great site and it's well worth checking out!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dog Days of August

Things have been slowly getting back to "normal" lately, and by normal I really mean "controlled chaos" as usual.

Josh is settling into his first week of school and we're gearing up for Sam to start next week. It's been a strange sort of twilight zone week. Nothing bad has happened. We had some colds and sore throats and Josh missed his 2nd day of school, but you know, nothing really weird. It just feels a bit twilight-y around here. It's like getting ready to finish a chapter in your book and start on the next one.

I think it's the summer winding down. We had a great summer! Full of lots of trips, meeting lots of new people, swimming, riding bikes and all sorts of fun. August is nearly over and with it the summer is coming to a close. And with it, a bit of normalcy returns.

Josh is really excited about school and Sam cries when the bus comes everyday because he wants to go to school with Josh. In fact, Sam has to wear his backpack to the bus stop too. Next week Sam, next week!

I'm anxious for cooler weather and the fall. We'll be able to go outside and play at the playground after school -- something that is always fun for us all! The weekends we can go back to some of our favorite parks and the State Park that is just up the road from us.

Forget the New Year. The start of school and September always brings to mind the hope of what will happen this (school) year. It's like starting all over again in the middle of the year! What will the kids learn? How will they like school? Will their teachers be nice, strict, fun? And their classmates? What will they be like?

Who knows? But I'm excited to find out!

Here's to a happy, healthy, full of fun Fall and school year for both the boys.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Love Thursday: Brought to you today by Sam



Today is Love Thursday over at Maya's Mom. I thought I'd share some funny Sam-ism from just today...

While playing in the play room with the Shake & Go Racers and other toys, "No Doc! Be careful! There's an elephant on the track! AAAHHH! Crash!!!"

While in the car driving, he had his stuffed dog (named Tess after my parents' Gordon Setter), "Mom, is this Tess's butt? Yes? No... this is Tess's butt! Hahahahahaha"

Going upstairs to have a nap, "Mommy I have boogers. I need a tissue. Did you have boogers when you were a little boy?"

After his nap, cuddling me, "Mommy, I'm a picklepotamus." (yes he sure is!)

After he was put to bed for the night, "Mommy! You need to come quick! There are monsters in the room... They're over there.... no, over there... quick, they need to go home!"

Now, tell me, what's not to love about that little picklepotamus?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Moment Wednesday

It's My Moment Wednesday over at Maya's Mom where we are encouraged every week to take time for ourselves. Our moment.

This week has been kind of tough. First week of school. Josh was home yesterday sick so the boys were, of course, at each other most of the day. Plus, I have had an awful sore throat, so that didn't help with my disposition (the sore throat seems to be better today though...)

We bought a new TV this weekend. So my moment has been after the kids are in bed, Rich and I have been watching movies we have and so on and so forth on it. I don't think I've been to bed before 10:00 since we got it -- and that's late for me!!!!

Last night we popped a U2 video in -- it was like a concert!

I'm surprised Josh didn't come down to tell us to "turn it down!" (He's done that before!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Day of School

Just a quick post.

Josh had his first day of First Grade today! He did really well and seemed to like his teacher and classmates.

His teacher seems really nice. She's been a teacher for several years, has 3 children of her own and is very, very nice! She even called this evening to tell us that Josh had a great first day and to see if we had any questions! I was very impressed!

It looks like he's going to have quite a bit of homework... well, bits and pieces sent home but he is expected to read four times a week and do flash cards and review work at home as well.

The best thing is, he seems excited about first grade and I just want the enthusiasm to continue throughout the year!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family Fun

This week over at Maya's Mom the Weekly Photo Challenge is about Family Fun!

Josh has decided to NOT play soccer in the fall but to try Coach Pitch Baseball instead. He's very excited about it! So last week we went out and bought a bat and ball for him to practice.

Here are my not-quite-All American boys playing our National Past time in the backyard!

Like how Josh is wearing a Liverpool FC shirt while playing Baseball?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Love Thursday

Today was very exhausting!

Yesterday the boys and I went to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. (There are pictures up on Flickr) It's a really cool place and even with the "New Georgia Aquarium" just down the road from us in Atlanta, we still opt for the one in Tennessee. It's got a nice flow, it's not crowded and we're members so we've already "paid" to get in! LOL!

But, it is about 90 miles away so that's about an hour and a half in the car each way. It's not a bad drive, but still, it's a full day! (And for once, Sam did NOT fall asleep in the car! Pooh!)

Anyway, this post isn't about that! So, we had a full day yesterday and this morning we had to get up nice and early (ish) to go meet Josh's First Grade Teacher! EEEE!!! How Exciting!!!

The meet and greet is from 8:30 - 10:00 and you can take the bus or drive. We opted for the bus since parking is a pain. But with the bus you have to wait and stay for the whole thing and really, meeting the teachers and whatnot takes about 45 minutes (by the time you add in catching up with people, joining PTSA, getting your gear, etc...). So that left us 45 minutes to kill.

Then after we got home we had a quick bite and ran out to Target to pick up the extra bits on Josh's supply list that we just found out about today! So everyone was at Target picking up the "extra teacher requested bits..." Fun. But, no Nap for Sam... Two days running!

And did I mention Rich's got a deadline tomorrow so I'm a work widow this week? He's a zombie living in the basement barely showing his face for meals.

So it's all me with the kids this week. So today I was spent. Absolutely Exhausted.

All I wanted to do was order Pizza and open a bottle of Red -- but I have that silly "trying to loose weight thing" going so Monday - Thursday I try not to drink. Thankfully, tomorrow is Friday! I was able to think to myself, "I'll wait until tomorrow and feel like I've earned my glass of vino!"

Okay, I digress... Anyway, as I was putting a very, very tired Sam to bed, I just kept thinking about all the stuff I needed to do still. My Maya's Mom inbox was full and I hadn't even checked my Google Reader to see what blogs I needed to catch up on... after being "out" for 2 days, there were a few! Plus, I was so tired but knew I had to do a run because I don't want to have to do one tomorrow. I want to enjoy Friday evening without that hanging over my head.

So, I'm putting Sam to bed, thinking about all this stuff I want to do and for goodness sake, he's tired why is he being like this? Oh, yeah, he's tired and 2. And he wanted long cuddles.

Then, I remembered it was Love Thursday.

Then, I remembered he's only 2.5 and he won't be this way for long.

Then, I asked him if he wanted tummy cuddles (he likes to lay on my tummy and it usually really relaxes him and if he's being difficult it makes it easier to get him to calm down).

And I lay there on my back with my sweet little angel laying on my tummy completely content and relaxed and I enjoyed the cuddle. Knowing days like this and moments like this are far too few to be rushed and savored.

Happy Love Thursday Everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My Moment Wednesday

I know. It's not Wednesday. But better late than never!

Things are quite exciting around here this week. School starts on Monday and today we got Josh's class/teacher assignment. He's excited because he knows several people in his class and one of his best friends from the playground is in his class too! He's very excited!

Today we went to the school and met his teacher and his class. It was all very excited. The buzz in the air as we visited with old friends, visited his new class and even dropped by his old Kindergarten class to say hi.

I belong to a local mom's group and the message board has been very active with "First Time Kindergarten" mom's. I read their posts about what is going on and what to expect and it's all so familiar to me. And in the halls today, the new Kindergarteners and their parents were easy to spot. So full of excitement like everyone else, but a different kind of excitement than those who have "been there" before.

I remember not knowing anything about Josh getting on the bus last year. How the initial days of school go, what to bring, what to expect, how does this happen, or that happen... so many questions for first time kindergarten moms! And so much excitement, not just for the kids but for us, the parents too.

When your oldest child goes to Kindergarten, it's like the parents are starting Kindergarten too. There's a whole Freshman parent thing going on. You rely on the other parents who have been there before to help out, show you around, appease your fears.

And as a sophomore parent this year, I do my best to help out, answer questions, allay the fears and anxieties of the other parents.

But I know no matter what, I can't take that anxiety away from the Freshman parents. Nor do I want to. It's a great feeling when you discover they will be okay and so will you.

Of course, I have my own too with Josh starting First Grade. The first real grown up grade with tests and grades and such. But I know he'll be fine because we made it through Kindergarten.

So My Moment this week was reveling in the beginning of the school year. Wondering what next week and next year will hold for all of us.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I've Come to the Conclusion....

.... that "practice" school schedules for "kids" are really for the parents.

School starts next week for us. That means we have to be up by 6:00 to catch a 7:00 bus.

I know so many people that start "practicing" for school early risings a week or two before school starts so the kids will be used to the early mornings and early bed times.

Not us.

In our house the "practice" is for me. The kids have been getting up between 5:30-6:00 all last week and this. I've been lazy and have not been able to drag my behind out of bed until 6:30/7:00 while the kids play in Josh's room!

I suppose I should start going to bed earlier!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Photo Challenge: Quiet Time

Over at Maya's Mom the Friday Photo Challenge is "Quiet Time."

I like this one of the boys. I took it the same day as our fishing expedition -- after we got home and Sam woke up from his nap!

Holy Monkey!

I'm entering a contest.


Amy over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess (and a Maya's Mom friend) is having a contest on her blog. She's promoting her new on line store Cute As A Bug. She's got some cute little t-shirts and such over there for little people as well as big.


I liked this one:



I don't know why, I just thought it was cute!

Anyway, to enter, I need to tell you about it -- mention and link to her blog/post and new store in my blog and let her know.

The little designs she as are really cute and well worth a look!

Go on over! You now you want to!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More Fun At Grandmother & Grampa's

So, as you all know from the previous two posts, the boys and I spent most of July with my parents.

Most of the time, we just spent hanging out doing fun summer time stuff with Grandparents. Not only did we go fishing and horseback riding we were very busy doing other things too!

There are so many really good pictures, I can't possibly post them all! If you visit my Flickr page, you'll see all sorts of pictures from our time there!


Of course, the first thing the boys did when we got there was check the fairy circle. Now, the Fairy Circle is in my parent's neighbor's yard (the neighbors are Abba Kate and Pappa Don). The fairies will leave all sorts of things for good boys and girls. Sometimes it's glow sticks, or goggles for the pool, other times it's snacks, you just never know. Some days, the fairies won't leave anything, but other days they may leave more than one thing.


We went swimming, a lot in Pappa Don's pool! The water was wonderful once again this year (but when is it not really?).


Josh learned to ride a 2-wheeler with no training wheels (he could do it a bit before but really got his confidence up and can really get going now!)


We played with a lot of Trains! Grampa has a really nice set with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy, and he has the Polar Express too! We sometimes mixed it up and let the Polar Express carry Annie & Clarabel! Crazy, I know! We went to Lionel Trains in Clinton Twp, MI (again) for a tour. Very cool!


The kids ran through the sprinklers more times than I can count! Sometimes, they even got to stay up late and run through them after their baths (which were few and far between while on vacation!)


They helped Grampa put up the flags, and take them down...


The learned to love both of Grandmother and Grampa's dogs, L.C. the English Setter and Tess, the Gordon Setter (and the neighbor's dogs too).


We met lots of new friends. And reaquianted ourselves with old ones. I don't have pictures of all of them. My parents have a neighbor with a granddaughter Josh's age who also LOVES Pokemon! They played for hours and we were sad to say goodbye to Haley until next year! I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth from Table for Five.


Two of my sister's girls came up for a week and we had heaps of fun with them. We did more of the above, swimming, playing, goofing off and general merriment!


My sister came with the rest of her crew (dog and all) the last weekend. We got to meet my youngest niece for the first time too! Sam fell in love with her and wanted to "pet" her every chance he got!


We had a great time with everyone together! My brother and his wife were not able to make it to the little party my parents had, but we did get to catch up with them earlier. The whole family seems to be doing well. We're all healthy and happy!


So, another trip to Grandmother & Grampa's was a success! We can't wait until next year when we visit Michigan again!


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