Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Merry Christmas!


Okay, not quite "Wordless" --

The boys and I went to the mall yesterday so they could see Santa. We were trying to decide if this was a Santa Helper or the Real Santa while we waited.

When we got up there, Santa told the boys to "Be good so they would STAY on the Good List."

Josh was so excited because Santa told him he was on the Good List!!! He said,
"Mom, this must be the REAL Santa because only the Real Santa knows who's on the Good List!"
Today we're busy getting ready for the "Big Day!" We're Tracking Santa all day and then off to see "The Tale of Despereaux" this afternoon. We read the book and are so excited to see the movie. The book has made it up to one of our all time favorites! Hope the movie doesn't disappoint!

Merry Christmas everyone!

More Wordless Wednesday here!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Five Minutes of Fame

My big television debut was this weekend.

The folks over at The Savvy Source lined it up for me. I was on CW69's Focus Atlanta. The segment was taped two weeks ago and just aired this week.

One thing that made me feel a bit better was it was a taped segment. I had visions of making all sorts of goofs and laughing or saying, "um...." a lot. Thankfully, I didn't.

The host of the show (and CW69's Public Affairs Director), Keisha Lancelin was very friendly and warm and did a great job of making me feel comfortable.

They did put the wrong website information up though. They have "" and there is no "www" in the front. But all is not lost. The web address brings you to Savvy Source Main Page, just not directly to the "Atlanta" site.

Before we get to the video, let me just say it's really weird watching yourself on T.V. I could go on and on with all the things in the video that bother me, but, I'm not. I'm just going to say I think I did pretty well.

So, here we go....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Don't Know What He Calls it Then.....

Sam and I had a great time this week. He ended school on Tuesday so Wednesday we decided to take it easy and not do much.

I dragged the Pirates of the Caribbean MegaBlocks toy we have downstairs for him to play with and he played with it all day. I did some stuff around the house while listening to him play. It was really sweet!

I also had the TV on and every so often I'd look up and see Sam watching TV.

At one point I said, "What are you watching Sam?"

Sam: "Imagination Movers. It's good."

Me: "Oh, is it teaching you how to move your imagination."

Sam: "No, I don't have any imagination."

Oh really?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Edible Ornaments

I think I mentioned already I got the "Hello, Cupcake!" book this month. I'm having lots of fun with it!

Today was Josh's class party and he wanted me to make the "ornament" cup cakes pictured here:

Picture from book

This is a picture I took of the picture in the book.

I learned something from making the snowmen for Sam's school. That is, you can't really do much ahead of time. I did make the cupcakes on Tuesday and then froze them. And I tried to make the little "tops" of the ornaments early -- I put the black liquorish laces into the gum drops. That was a bit FAIL -- the gumdrops split and broke. Luckily I was able to save them -- for the most part.

Anyway, I knew I would be pressed for time. Sam had a dentist appointment this morning at 8:30. And since I could be out by 9:00 or 10:00 because the dentist is a total zoo, I was a bit worried. Luckily we were in and out quickly (no cavities) and home by 9:30.

I spent the rest of the morning decorating the cupcakes and here is the result:

My Edible Ornaments

Edible Ornaments

It was a bit more "fiddly" than I thought, but it was lots of fun. I think I cut too big a hole in the plastic bag that I was using to pipe the frosting on the cupcake (for decorating), but it still worked out.

And the kids loved them! One boy in Josh's class told me they were "Smack your mama good" -- whatever that means!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: "I Wrote My Name!"

I wrote my Name!

The "S" was difficult so he followed my finger to make it. But the rest he did by himself! And "S" is a hard letter! I remember Josh having difficulty with it as well.

More Wordless Wednesday here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Toaster is Toasted.

So our toaster died this weekend.

I'm quite bummed as we've had it for 6 years. We have a 2-slice one that we've had for as long too -- but the 4-slicer packed it up this weekend.

So my mission was to find a new one. Our old one (and the new one) is a Toastmaster. It worked great and wasn't too expensive. I bought it at Target so that is where my search took me.

No luck. They had two four slice toasters so I opted for the Oster. For some reason I just can't bring myself to buy Hamilton Beach. Bad experiences I guess. Well, I got the toaster home and it didn't even hold a piece of bread. It had extra WIDE slices, it was too small length and depth.

Then we started looking at toaster ovens. I decided to try it out. Again. No luck. It just seemed there was too much work involved to just "make toast." So back that went.

We looked on line -- do you realize some toasters cost over $100? I don't know, that just seems a bit excessive to me! Is it worth it?

I've given up my search for the time being. Who knew it would be this hard to find a toaster? Thankfully I have a back up with the 2-slice.

Any recommendations on toaster vs. toaster oven or what makes are good would be greatly appreciated!

Anyway, I thought I would share a Samism with you....

We were eating breakfast and he was not sitting down.

Rich: Sam, sit down and eat your breakfast -- and chew with your mouth shut.

Sam: Okay. There is a button on my bum and when I sit on it my mouth chews. Watch!

Crazy kid.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rainy Days

I have to say this has been one weird week.

Monday I had my TV interview. It went really well. I think. I did manage to get all my points across (except one) so that was good. Of course the first question she asked me was something I was totally unprepared for, but in hindsight, a fairly good question.

The interview was set up by the folks at Being Savvy as part of my involvement over there. It was for a local Atlanta TV show called Focus Atlanta and the subject was "Stress Free Travel with Kids." She asked me, "What's better, traveling by plane or driving?" Of course it threw me a bit, but I think I managed okay.

We'll see when it airs. If you live in Atlanta, it's on 12/21 at noon on channel CW69.

Josh was home sick on Tuesday. I don't know what was wrong, but he had a 102 temp on Monday night and it wasn't gone on Tuesday morning so I kept him home. Seemed like the right thing to do and he was fit as a fiddle yesterday so off to school he went. But when he got home, every little thing made him upset and cry. Really too many to mention. I hope it was just tiredness, but boy he was not happy yesterday.

Yesterday we had rain. Lots and lots of rain. Not a slow drizzle, but heavy downpours all day long. From the time we woke up. Of course I had to run out and do errands.

Sam changed his mind on the gift he wants from Santa. We got him the Playmobil Pirates to go with the set he got for his birthday. He saw an advertisement for the Playmobil Knights and Castles and decided that is what he wanted. So... I had to go return what we bought.

I knew that set was cheaper at Target so I went to Target. They didn't have what I wanted, off to Toys-r-Us to return what I had and pick up what he wanted. Of course they didn't have it either. Off to Wal-Mart. No luck there either.

I traipsed all over Kennesaw, in the pouring rain and couldn't find it. It was EVERYWHERE two weeks ago. So I came home, checked Amazon and there it was -- on sale as well.

Sam's Christmas pageant is today so when I came home yesterday I made the snowmen cupcakes. Big mistake. The "hats" all fell off over night.

So, woke up this morning, still pouring rain mind you, and had to try and fix all the snowmen's hats. I think they'll be okay. Of course they probably look cuter than they taste, but who cares. They are adorable!

SnowMan Patrol

I really hope the rain lets up just a bit. Rich is supposed to be going in to the office today and I hate when he has to drive in all that yucky weather. Of course his phone's just rung so it may be a day when he "plans" to go in, but never quite makes it!

I'm off to get ready for the day. I'll let you know how his pageant went. He was quite excited, but he may be the kid that decides he doesn't want to do it when he sees all the people. I don't know whether to hide in the back or be front and center!

Cheesey Grin

We were watching "Dennis The Menace's Christmas" and Dennis the Menace was wearing that same sweater. There was something about Dennis that was just so Sam-like.

This weekend we'll try to get the leaves finished -- we're up over 60 bags now. And we have our annual Santa Parade downtown.

And then more rain expected all week next week.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Santa....

After I wrote the post about Josh and the Santa Dilemma, I was contacted by a Macy's representative telling me about the Macy's Believe program.

This year Macy's wants everyone to embrace the holiday spirit of love and charity.

Macy's stores all over the country have special mailboxes for letters to Santa. All you have to do is have your kids write a letter to Santa, affix postage and address it to Santa at the North Pole. Macy's will deliver the letters and donate $1 for every letter received up to $1,000,000 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

I know what I'll be doing with the kids this week!

I really love this idea, even more so now with Josh "on the brink." We can write a letter together and then post it at Macy's. I know Josh will have fun writing the letter -- I've already found several little "Dear Santa" notes around the house. And supports a good cause!

The site is pretty cool too. You can download stationary to write your letter, read the famous letter from Virginia to the Editor of the New York Sun, and his wonderfully, beautiful reply (something I need to keep on hand to help explain things when Josh starts asking again).

There is even a "Be Claus" feature where you can upload your own photo and turn yourself into Santa Claus! I tried to do it, but my first picture was too big and my second too small.

I'll give it another go and try again. If I can get it to work, I'll repost!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I bought the most amazing book the other day.

The book is Hello, Cupcake! And it is just way too cool!

Both the boys love it too! I picked it up at Costco the other day and the boys have not been able to put it down.

So, we had to make some cupcakes this weekend. I have several school functions for both the boys that I need to "provide" something for and this is just perfect.

After looking through the book, several times... we found some that we thought would be okay. I loved the snowmen family but thought it may be a bit ambitious for a first timer.

Then I notice the current issue of Taste of Home Magazine has these cupcakes featured on them. And there was the perfect cupcake to start our cupcake decorating experiences with on the front cover.

I can't find a picture on line, so here's a picture of the front cover:

See those cute little snowmen at the bottom?

We made those. And they turned out great! Here are the boys showing off their snowmen:

Modeling Snowmen

Today was just the "test run" to see how easy or difficult they were. I have to bring something to Sam's school later this week for his Christmas Pageant. I think these are a go!

It was so easy, even a four year old could make them! I did frost each of the cupcakes and I cut the cookies for the hat, but the boys did the rest. I showed them what to do and they did it.

Our Snowmen Cupcakes

From left to right: mine, Josh's, Sam's.

In fact, it these would be a great class project for elementary kids. If you frost the cupcakes, and come with the supplies already the kids can decorate them and eat them!

The boys had a great time and we decorated a couple other cupcakes in a more "creative" way:

Here's Josh's creative design:
Josh's Creative Cupcake

And Sam's:
Sam's creative cupcake

These were so much fun to do together with the boys. It was perfect for today -- a bit cold outside, Josh wasn't feeling well this morning so it gave him something fun to focus on...

Oh, and in other news...

I'm going to be interviewed tomorrow on a local TV station. The subject: Tantrum Free Travel with Toddlers this holiday season.

It's going to air on Sunday 12/21. Once I know how things go, I'll post more!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Savvy Gift Guide and Giveaway

The folks over at The Savvy Source have a new Holiday guide. There are all sorts of great holiday tips, crafts, present ideas and more.

But best of all, they are having a daily giveaway starting December 9th and running through the 20th. There are all sorts of great prizes to be won.

And with so many of us on tighter than normal budgets these days, who wouldn't want to win some fantastic prizes just in time for Christmas?

Check these out:
Details on how to win these prizes can be found on the Holiday Giveaway guide site.

And their is a GRAND PRIZE drawing on December 22nd which includes:

  • A smashing "Capture the Moments" package with a Motorola MOTOZINE ZN5 camera phone,
  • an HP photo printer with Creative Studio software,
  • and a one year premium subscription to the photo-editing website Picnik
All you have to do to win the Grand Prize is help spread the word!

To enter the Grand Prize giveaway, simply add one of the badges on the Give away site to your blog or website, and then send an email to giveaways [at] with your URL enclosed and HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY in the subject line. All entries must be received no later than Midnight PST on December 21. We’ll draw one winner at random on December 22 and announce the lucky recipient on Being Savvy.

Unfortunately, since I write for the Savvy Source, I'm not eligible to win... but you are!

So head over and enter the give aways!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Santa Dilemma

Sam, at 4, is at the perfect age for Christmas this year.

He's old enough to remember a bit about last year; he's excited about all the lights and the decorations.... We watch Christmas TV shows and movies and sing Christmas songs all the time! And he's so excited about Santa.

Every thing he sees on TV, he's asking Santa for. We've had to do some serious expectation setting this year (for both boys). He's narrowed down his list, but still... It's exciting to see him so enchanted by the whole Christmas Spirit.

But, then enter Josh. He's seven. He's in the second grade. Last year someone in his class told him there was no Santa. He said this boys mom said "Santa" was the parents. (This is the same mom that didn't call me when Josh broke his arm at her house earlier this year so she was already not high on my list.)

Luckily, Josh didn't believe him because we can watch Santa on the computer! Thank you Norad Santa Tracker!

But this year, he came home from school and said there are more kids in his class that don't believe.

And he's talking about this in front of Sam.

We've been able to laugh with him about how ridiculous those kids in his class are and say, "Well of course there's a Santa!" I think he still WANTS to believe, but the time is coming... very soon... when he won't believe any longer.

I don't want this knowledge to ruin the magic for Sam. Realistically, you only have a handful of years, maybe 3 or 4, for the whole "Santa" thing with the kids when they really and truly believe.

Rich and I have talked about what to do and say to Josh. Do we tell him? It would crush him. If he brings it up again, do we pull him aside and tell him to stop talking about it in front of Sam? Because it's just not fair to Sam to take the magic away this soon. We can't ignore it and hope it goes away, because it won't.

This is our last year with Josh believing. I don't want it to be Sam's last either.

Monday, December 1, 2008

If Only He Got Paid For it...

The other day Sam and I went to the grocery store.

Sam did not want to go, he wanted to stay home with Daddy and Josh.

Me: But Sam, we're lucky. They're home working and we don't have to work.

Sam: But I do work!

Me: Oh yeah? What's your job?

Sam -- without missing a beat: Bothering people.

At least he's honest! And he does a great job at it too!
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