Monday, December 28, 2009
We got back last night (with a completely exhausted mommy) and all I could do was lay on the couch and watch The Sound of Music in a semi-comatose state. The 5 of us got up this morning ready to hit the highway so that we could visit Ikea... I've got a bee in my bonnet about re-doing our bathroom and getting some storage units for all this new Christmas crap. HAVE YOU BEEN TO AN IKEA?? Oh my word... the walking. And the free kids' lunch. Too good to be true. Currently, Steve is assembling storage containers, floor lamps and a shoe rack. Oh, the Christmas joy keeps on giving.
Did I mention I got my hair cut today too? I went from blond to brunette as well. Call it the winter blues, who knows, but I needed a change. Shorter was too permanent. Blonder was too summery. So brunette it is. Its a nice change.
Pretty much this whole post is drivel. But it is a summary that is my life. Pictures to come. More drivel to follow.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
So, there are fun pics, a surprise date last night to celebrate 7 years ago Steve asking me to marry him. But now its time to carry a boat load of presents down from the attic, eat some cookies/carrots and reflect on some sweet memories of a Christmas Eve with little ones that may not have gone according to plan, but was one I want to bottle up and savor nonetheless.
Merry Christmas to you and yours! Here's to a barf free Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We've gotten a ton of compliments on this family photo. And you know that Steve and I and the kids always stroll the neighborhood and smooch along the way. That's just who we are and how we roll. I do have to say, the fact that Shannon caught O looking up at us is PRICELESS! There is not a sucker big enough we could have bribed her with to get that shot. It must have been the Lord :)
Last night Steve and I took the kids out on what I plan to make a Christmas tradition. I loaded up 5 plates of cookies, signed a few more cards and bundled up the kids for a walk around the neighborhood to deliver the treats. It was a cold night but we didn't go too far. And each kid got "paid" with a cookie to join us.
It was really fun to knock and see the surprised neighbors' faces. No, we did NOT sing, because then I'm sure the look of delightful surprise would have turned to horror. We're not exactly what you would call a musical family. Talk about surprised, you should have seen the lady who had the "incident" last month when she opened the door. I'm pretty sure everyone in the neighborhood is keeping their distance from her right now. She thanked us for our prayers following her house fire and the incident and even asked where we go to church and said she might like to join us some time.
A new young couple moved in across the street, so this was a good excuse to go meet them and welcome them to the neighborhood. It turns out the husband cut most of his finger off last week on a home project. Hopefully, Steve will be able to pop over again and see if he needs anything.
The guy who lives with us (we have a one bedroom rental unit in our house) was surprised and even embarrassed to see us at his door. "But I don't have anything for you guys." Well, Jim... that's not the point!
We got home and warmed up and Olivia said, "But nobody gave us anything, mom." YES!!! What a perfect teaching moment for my little three year old. "I know, Olivia. The thing about gifts is that you give them not to get something back. You give them to make the other person happy." She looked at me and then thoughtfully said, "Yeah. We've got enough stuff around here anyway." Ahhh.. I wonder where she's heard that one before?
All in all it was a sweet family memory that I hope to re-create many more times in the future. So, I guess all of the baking really did pay off. Not to mention, I'm glad to be getting all that temptation off my back porch (which has been my temporary freezer since there wasn't enough room in my real one.) Next time you're in the neighborhood, swing by and help yourself!
Monday, December 21, 2009
We went to church Saturday night and then Steve and I got to business. I wanted to get all the wrapping out of the way. In theory (and in retrospect) a great idea. In the moment... pure back breaking (literally) hell! Luckily, Elf was on. Elf makes all things better. THREE hours later, we are nearly done. I still have Steve's gifts to wrap and there is a certain Disney make up table that has yet to be assembled. You just know that thing is gonna be a bear. Thankfully, not my job!
Sunday, I did just a *bit* more baking (its the last, I swear, unless of course, its not.) We were suppose to have our small group from church over for a ham dinner. I baked an 8 lb. ham and then found out that only 8 people (which included one vegan) were coming. Oops. If you're in the mood for a ham sandwich, come on over.
Today I had to run out during my Monday babysitting time to finish up some last minute Christmas errands. Now I SWEAR I'm done. I wanted to scratch my eyeballs out at Michael's. The line was ridiculous and the funny thing was that most people were checking out with Christmas decorations in their baskets. I found it odd... since all the clearance stuff will be next week and this is Christmas week. Are people just late? Or early? As for me, I needed a roll of art paper and some chalk for an easel that O is getting.
Next stop, Target. Promise me that if you find out I've been to Target any more before Christmas day, you will reach through the blogosphere and slap me silly!! Honestly, my car is on autopilot to the big red bulls eye at this point.
Then I was off to Wallgreens (I felt like I should be wearing a scarlet letter as I cheated on my beloved CVS) for some cheap chocolates and some picture re-prints. I'm worn out! Tonight after dinner, there is a family drive planned. We are going to cruise some neighborhoods to look at lights. One of my favorite nights of the year. The boys are super into ooooing and ahhhhing over lights right now too. Which could prove to be really cute or really annoying... we'll see.
Despite the whiny attitude of this here post, I really am enjoying the holiday season. Just don't make me shop or bake anymore, k? Thanks.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I know I've mentioned that Olivia's school experience is not exactly the same as most of our friends'. She attends a school where we are probably one of the more financially privileged. The other week the school sent home a flyer about Toys for Tots. I got excited because I love buying toys for others (especially since we are up to our eye balls in stuff around here) and when I read it more closely, I realized that it was explaining how we could be a recipient from Toys for Tots. Oh my, what a reality check. Some of O's classmates surely qualify.
There is a sweet little girl, Li'Asya, in O's class. She and her mom walk to and from school each day. Her mom and I usually arrive to pick up the girls at the same time each day. I've had a chance to small talk with her mom, Lee, for the past few months. I know that she just moved here from Cincinnati over the summer. She has custody of her nephew. And I'm not sure if there is a dad in the picture. I have enjoyed getting to know her.
Today it was 17 degrees out when I arrived to pick O up from school. Lee and Li'Asya were about to walk home and so I offered them a ride. They said sure and I drove them home. It was just a few blocks but I whine and complain when I have to walk to my garage when its 17 degrees just so that I can get in my luxury vehicle with a bun warming feature in my leather bucket seat. (Gag!) I dropped them off at a pretty shabby yet sweetly decorated home for the holiday. As they got out, Olivia screamed wildly out the window, "BYE, LI'ASYA!!!!!" My heart smiles that Olivia and Li'asya are friends. She mentions her nearly every day.
I thought of Jesus today. NOT because of my measly action of driving 3 blocks out of the way. But because I realized, once again, how the real meaning of Christmas is that a GOD of infinite power and love, humbled himself to a lowly state of becoming a human. But not even just a human, a human of poor and humble circumstance. He didn't live in a palace fit for royalty (which he certainly would have qualified for!) He didn't even live in a nice suburban home with a finished basement and a large yard. He probably lived in a shabby house, sweetly decorated for a holiday. He probably lived on a side of town that I would not in my normal life visit. He rode on a donkey, and NOT the XLE model, either. And my Jesus chose that situation.
I'm thankful that God gave me Lee and Li'asya today. I don't know why they walk to school every day. I don't know if they have a car and just choose to walk. To make assumptions would be judgemental and elitist of me. Instead, I'll just keep offering them rides and try to get to know them and love them. Because they are my neighbor. And THAT is the true meaning of Christmas.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
While I was in my car last night (alone... my personal Christmas miracle!) I saw a sight I've never seen in my whole long 37 years. I jumped on the highway last night in the midst of rush hour traffic to hit Sam's club for a couple hundred diapers, tons of chicken pot pies and a rotisserie chicken (don't laugh, its delicious!). As I was cruising along at nearly 65 mph I looked to my left and I kid you not, I saw a lady PAINTING HER NAILS ON HER STEERING WHEEL, while driving- in rush hour traffic.
I nearly had a heart attack. What the? I slowed down and thought I might try and get her attention and shake my finger at her and mouth, "are you crazy? shame on you!" I live with the king of "teaching people lessons" and am always scolding him because you never know whose high, drunk or packing heat (do people still say that?)
Instead, instincts kicked in and I decided to step on the gas and get the heck out of the way. Boy am I glad I did, I looked in my rear view mirror and about 10 seconds after I got plenty ahead of her she wove into my lane and back out. Now, I've never been one for multi-tasking. Its just not who I am, but I deeply admire those who can/do. This, however, is not admirable. Its just STUPID. C'mon lady, like a second coat couldn't wait 'til you got home?!
Then, not 1/2 mile down the road something else odd happened. A large Canadian goose had been splattered all over the side of the road. Whatever. The sadness of the actual death was not what was so weird to me, but rather, how did it get hit? Then about 5 seconds later, another bird was dead on the side of the road. Within 30 seconds more there were TWO more birds dead on the side of the road. 4 birds in a mile. Weird. I live in Ohio and its not surprising to see a deer here or a stiff raccoon there. Even an opossum or a skunk are fair game. But a bird? and FOUR OF THEM? Weird!
Anyhow, you can imagine I was all too happy to get with in the safe walls of Sam's club and snuggle up with a sample of bean soup and a bite of chimichanga! That's its own brand of disturbia, but it's my kind.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
You actually got lucky! There were 192 to pick from
It's going to be SO FUN to have these more "real" shots of the kids as they grow up.
So anyhow, a big shout out to Shannon. If you're in our area, I'd highly recommend you looking her up. And a shout out to YOU too for humoring me. If Simon Cowell were here he'd probably call me "self indulgent," which reminds me.. the countdown to American Idol is ON! What a glorious time of year. Even if it is a bit pitchy.
Oh my goodness, what a fun and exhausting day. And for the sake of keeping it interesting I thought I'd re-cap in rewind mode.
At the end of the rainiest Christmas on Campus, EVER, we ran into these girls. Our intention was to see them on stage, but due to some typos (or something) in the schedule, the hour got late and the rain got harder, so we were making our way back to the car. Just when these young ladies were about to take the stage. Olivia got to meet them (which was probably better than watching them dance.) She got all shy and stuff but talked about them the whole rest of the night. "Why did those ballerinas want to be so nice to me and take their picture with me?" So sweet.
Because we wanted to be on campus when things got started, we left our house at 5 and skipped dinner. Pretty much, Olivia's entire diet yesterday consisted of sugar. In various forms. Candy, cookies, hot chocolate and punch. Don't judge me. What can I say? I'm a firm believer in 'tis the season.
Our friend, Katie, who is a senior this year (and follower of this here blog... hi Katie!) joined us as we walked around campus. It was fun because along the way we picked up 4 other of our student friends and had quite a little entourage for some of the night.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
But this is my friend, Anne, she won the contest with this dress she made herself. It was a doozey.
We always do a white elephant gift exchange at the party. With college students, you never know what you're gonna get. This year the hot ticket item was a hobby horse. This freshman guy became the *lucky* owner. Its always a good chance for Steve and I to unload some crap from our attic. This year was no exception! We really need to move so that we can get rid of some of the stupid stuff we've accumulated over our lives. Either that or have a Christmas party with college students every week!
This afternoon I'm having 20 student girls over for appetizers and a cookie exchange. It's going to be super fun but I need to clean, set up, prepare appetizers, pick Olivia up from school and get the boys lunch all before they get here at noon. Yet, here I sit blogging. Ahhhh... priorities.
Right after the party I have a chiropractor appointment and then I'm turning around and heading back to campus for a super fun event I'm taking Olivia to. They call it Christmas on Campus, and it's mostly for inner city school kids. The college student *adopt* a kid and buy them a gift and then take them around campus where there are tons of things to do. Crafts, snacks, games, performances etc. They school bus the kids and then bus the kids back to their schools where their parents pick them up. The event is also open to people who work there and their kids. But they don't get to be taken by the college students. So I'm taking Olivia and some of our student friends/babysitters are meeting us to walk with us.
Then the week goes on with more parties and Saturday, the Nutcracker. Its a busy week, but filled with super fun things.
By the way, the pictures on Friday went really well! Shannon did a great job. I'll probably post a few of the pics here in a few days. We are using a few of them for our Christmas cards and have a few to use for our kids' portraits. Yay!
Friday, December 4, 2009
But you see, we are desperately behind on our Christmas card thing. Steve really wants to send out a picture card. I'm always a bit concerned. Are we really fridge worthy? I find it hard to throw away some one's Christmas card when it has their picture (or worse yet, just their kids' picture) on it. But lets face it, some people just aren't fridge worthy. Not YOU! No, you for sure are fridge worthy! I'm talking about other people.
Back to this afternoon though. We've had several attempts since Quinn's joined the family at getting a picture of all of us. Not a lotta luck so far. Forget the goal of everyone smiling. I'm over that one. I'm just hoping that everyone will be looking in the same direction. And that no one (and by no one I mostly mean Olivia) is screaming/crying/throwing a tantrum.
Here's hoping we get a decent photo, without a very large dust bunny rolling through the shot and that Sam's Club or Target or some equally large entity can print up our card in time for us to get 'em out by the first of the year. You won't mind getting it a little late, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Just be kind and don't tell me when you throw us out!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I almost didn't put these Thanksgiving day photos up because by the time the holiday is nearly a week past, it just seems pointless. But then I had a moment of clarity. It occurred to me that I am still making up for lost bloggy time. Even this morning I remembered that I hadn't checked in on McMommy and her family yet. I raced home from our weekend away to see how Kelly and Melanie had fared over their holiday.
My love for spying (its surely not voyeurism!) began in college as my roommates and I discovered an addictive little show called The Real World on MTV. I know you know it! There were Saturdays my roommates and I didn't even get dressed because we would be enthralled in a Real World marathon. If you don't know what that is (bless your heart) it is when MTV decides to own you for a day and show backtobacktoback episodes of the show *in case* you missed a few along the way. After 8 hours of tv watching, your mind becomes utterly useless and its time to go to the bars to help bring some clarity back.
Anyhow, I was reminded of my start to reality obsessions last night when Steve and I had some friends over.
THIS is what funny looks like!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Concurrently (oooo, doesn't that make me sound smart?) my second arrived (can't say born) son is up in his room yelling, "mama, mama, get down." I've turned the monitor down as low as it goes, but I can hear him when in the kitchen making dessert for dinner tonight. Sound proof walls, that's what I'll put on my Christmas wish list!
It's only 2:11 and I'm not ready for naps to be over. I've slowly been losing ground over the past month or so. And I'm fine to institute *rest time* rather than nap time. Good thing, since that's pretty much all I get from O these days. But I just need an hour and a half to maintain my sanity.
Which I'm pretty sure is gone, just like Turner's shoe and the Snow White Halloween costume. Shoved in a drawer somewhere. Sanity will turn up someday when I least expect it. Much like the shoe. By then both will be outgrown and I'll be loving my room at the funny farm.
If all I get is one hour of "me" time, is that really so bad? The challenge is to figure out what is my highest priority for that hour. (It used to be 2 1/2... ahh the good 'ole days.) Apparently, today's priorities included: cleaning my bathroom, putting away toys - the ultimate definition of insanity, they are bound to wind up all over in about 5 minutes-, make a chocolate/peanut butter pie and blog. Of course blog. Because the Internet is where sanity is found! Thank you for keeping me sane. It's a big job but some body's got to do it!
I'm off to discover which brand of funny is happening upstairs. Wish me luck.