Thursday, December 31, 2009
Time spent with family was definitely the highlight of the year. From basketball games with my parents to family birthday celebrations to our traditional 4th of July trip, we saw lots of family. Even a funeral brought the family together. A week-long trip to the in-laws capped off the year. We saw hubby's side of the family more this year than we have in a long time since we are spread from Iowa to South Dakota to Colorado to California.
Hubby's highlights include sporting events. He went on a much-talked about, finally-taken "guys" golfing trip to Nevada. They four guys even got to re-live one of the golf courses on a Wii game over Christmas. It was fun for them, but I guess you had to be there for the "Remember on this hole the wind was from the northwest" type of stories they told. Hubby was also able to go to a Cardinals baseball game in St. Louis which he has been wanting to do for a long time. Now I just have to get him to Denver to watch the Broncos play. He also went to most of the Cyclone football games this year--wish we could've been there tonight in Arizona to watch them win the Insight Bowl. Hubby got to play softball this summer which he loves to do and hasn't done for many years.
For me, I did a few new things. I trained for a 5K and beat my previous time by a good 10-13 minutes. I expanded my cookie and cake repertoire and even made (very) little money. Maybe that will be something to continue in 2010. Like I said, I lost and gained the same 10 lbs which is frustrating. Must be something about being 30 and having had 2 kids--I try every year with the same result. I just read a Facebook update of a guy who set and reached his goal of losing 50 lbs this year. Wow.
Emma also had a very "sporty" year. She did soccer in both the spring and fall, softball in the spring, and swimming in the summer. I think she is great at all of them, but she thinks she needs a break from soccer. We'll see about that. ;) I can no longer spell out words in front of her because she is too smart for her own good. She is growing her hair out and becoming more mature.
Leah was my greatest cause of stress and also one of my greatest sources of joy. Sometimes it is hard to know what are "typical" health issues and what should we be concerned about with her. Thanks to 3 CT scans this year, multiple x-rays and other Dr visits we met our deductible once again. ;) She has the cutest voice and a smile that will make you light up. She continues to go down the path of princesses, Barbie, ballet, and all things girly. New territory in our house.
What will 2010 bring? I hope more family time, continuing to find new adventures, and another year of watching the girls grow and learn. Maybe lots of new blog followers and posters (although I'm not sure why!) A few less pounds would be good, too. ;)
Happy New Year, everyone! May 2010 be a great year full of promise and good things!
Friday, December 25, 2009
- noise--10 adults, 4 kids, multiple TV's, pianos, Wii games, and other things all going on at once
- food--too. much. food Snacks and treats and goodies galore
- drink--we've polished off a few bottles of wine, more beer, and even some Vodka
- presents--no one is leaving empty handed. Presents from Grandma/Grandpa, aunts/uncles, cousins and of course Santa. Only a few have to be returned/exchanged. Good thing Best Buy and Target carry the same things Santa brings.
- snow--all the Christmas songs have come true: "Let it Snow" and "White Christmas" could definitely be used to describe the weather outside. We've gotten at least 12" of snow and it is still snowing. The two main interstates that run through the state are both closed. The airport was closed all day today and was supposed to open at 10am tomorrow (Sat) but that may not happen either. Not good news for the Californians here in the house whose flight was at 6am tomorrow. The earliest they could fit them on a flight was Tuesday. The brother/sister-in-law from Colorado will also have a hard time getting out West. Even we will have to wait and see when we may be able to leave.
- fun--there has been golfing and bowling and poker and light sabre fights and progressive rummy and trivial pursuit. And the little kids played games, too. ;) Hubby, Grandpa and Uncle took the girls sledding (before most of the snow!). We decorated sugar cookies.
- family--it has been great having everyone home from this side of the family. It is a rare occasion and now with the snow our time together may get extended even more.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
When we travel, our mantra is "If there is room for it, pack it". Which means we will each have multiple pairs of shoes, coats, and clothes that will never get unpacked and worn, but by golly we have the option if we need it. It also means a full day of packing before leaving and at least half a day to round everything back up at the end of the trip.
It looks like the weather for the trip tomorrow will cooperate. We'll have to wait and see where this next storm dumps during the middle of the week.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Presents for my side of the family--check. We celebrated Christmas on Sunday with our traditional dinner of soup and rice pudding for dessert. New toys were received and envied by siblings. Kids puked (not mine, thankfully and not at my house, bless the lord).
- Goodies made--check. Poppy seed bread for the teachers, Buckeyes for the family and for cookie exchange, rolo pretzel treats, sugar cookies, and 5 dozen ginger cookies. We'll make more cookies at Grandma's house to leave for Santa.
SheHe has a preference for sugar cookies and chocolate milk.
- Presents for hubby--check. He bought
himselfus a PlayStation 3 on Black Friday. Because of the Blu Ray, you know. So we can watch family movies like Batman and Transformers and the girls can watch him play educational games like Grand Theft Auto. I did buy him a few clothes for Christmas as well, since that is about the only time he gets new clothes. I have requested that he not buy me anything, and if he does it had better be a moderately large piece of furniture for my living room. ;)
- Helping Santa with his presents--check.
- Christmas cards--I'll give myself a 3/4 check on that. The picture cards are stuffed into addressed envelopes and the letter is ready to be printed off. I need to get paper and hope the printer lasts for the number of copies I need.
Anything else I need to do? My week is also full of things like class Christmas parties, oil changes, returns, and cleaning/packing. Merry Christmas!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Once they came back in, they wanted to turn the fireplace on and have hot chocolate. The living room was lit by the Christmas tree, and there they sat in front of the fireplace. Emma had gone and got a Christmas song book she has and read "The Night Before Christmas" to Leah and then they sang Christmas songs. It was truly a heart warming sight! Ah, to be a child again and find the wonder of the season in the little things.
Friday, December 4, 2009
So I've been shopping for myself this past week. We have one Christmas "party" to go to, a cookie exchange, and then Christmas itself. Since I stay at home I tend to wear things like jeans and thermal shirts or even fleece pants and slippers. I don't think I can show up to hubby's supervisor's house wearing slippers.
The search for decent clothes began, and I quickly became discouraged. After trying on 6,492 pair of black/dark grey pants at Kohls I was ready to throw in the towel. I managed to find a pair that were okay at Old Navy, just to have a pair.
Then I went shopping at Younkers. I'm not sure how far-reaching the Bon Ton department stores are, but here where I am we have Younkers. They usually have decent sales and then coupons on top of sales. When I went to try on a skirt and one more pair of black pants, the person in the dressing room before me just happened to leave a few behind in my size. I tried one on and . . . . they fit! Of course since I am short, I will have to hem them. Comes with the territory.
As I was checking the price on the pants, I spotted a cute sweater on the clearance rack. This picture doesn't do it justice, it is cuter in person and falls open more. It is actually a cardigan and snaps together up at the top.
I thought about wearing it with either a white or red fitted long sleeved t-shirt underneath. I got a couple of chunky, longer necklaces with red/black/grey in them to wear with it.
So then it comes to the shoes. I had bought a pair of zebra flats from Target, but they aren't doing it for me right now. I saw these on the clearance rack and thought they would work with the sweater. Can you wear sling backs in the winter?
I also have this shirt that gives me another option. I had it on with a pair of dark wash jeans and the shoes and thought it looked dressy enough to wear to the Christmas party. What do you think?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Now I just need to move some presents around and should actually start wrapping them. There are some things in the way back of the van that I need to get out. Tonight I noticed Emma was looking back there (hopefully she couldn't see anything) and then she started talking about Santa. Hmmm. She is a believer, although there are a few kids in class who may not have the same thoughts. Tonight she told me, "That's okay, some people just have other traditions". I think she was thinking more along the lines of the Jewish holiday rather than the belief that Santa doesn't exist.
Next up this week is baking. I have a friend who wants me to make her some cookies that look like the Nutcracker since she and her daughter are dancing in a local production and wanted to give some out as gifts to the cast. That is my weekend project. My sister has completed our photo card for this year (Thank You!) and I have an idea rattling around my head for a fun Christmas letter, so that is well underway.
Meanwhile, Leah is reminding us all that Jesus' birthday is Christmas--something we need to step back and remember when all the craziness is getting to us. It isn't about the lights, the garland, or lame decorations. It doesn't matter if your kids are getting battery powered rodents or the latest, greatest video games. We can learn a lot from the four year old.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I fought for over an hour with stupid lights and garland. I have a small tree that is very pathetic that I should put up downstairs, but I have no desire. I have a beautiful nativity set and no where to put it--we have no mantle or any where else I can display it.
There are too many other "wants" on the list to even worry about putting money into decorations. I would love to get at least one of the girls' rooms decorated. But that means first painting (which I don't do) and then putting up the bunk beds. In order to put up the bunk beds, we need a new bed so our bed can go to the guest room and the guest bed can be the bottom bunk. I want the bunk beds up because I have wall decals to go up (have had them for 6+ months now) and want to know where the bed will be. And when I say we need a new bed, I want all new bedroom furniture. Buying cheap 12.5 years ago was fine, but I'm over it. And then of course there is always new living room furniture. And oh, how about a media console for the living room so we don't have our nice tv sitting on the coffee table that is also 12.5 years old. I did ask for that for Christmas, so we'll see. Everything can't happen at once so I'm stuck with what I've got.
The rest of Christmas is fine. I'm almost done buying gifts, I just need to get to wrapping them. I'll bake a few things and we're looking forward to our trip over Christmas to see hubby's family. The girls are excited and we'll go see Santa in the mall soon. Give me some good Christmas songs and I'll sing along.
Hopefully some of my Scroogeness will pass by morning. It doesn't help that I'm coming down with whatever germs are floating around the house these days. And if I wish hard enough, maybe the elves will come over night and decorate my house. Just maybe.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Usually my first stop is Kohls. They have the best deals on toys and a few other random items. I did not get there bright and early at 4am when the doors opened; 5:45am was early enough to get what I wanted. Now I do know that Kohls inflates their regular prices just a tad to make you feel like you are getting great bargains. "Look, this bath wrap was supposed to be $29.99 but you got it for $6.80! What a steal!" I will say that I had a coupon for 15% off your entire purchase, plus the Kohls cash you get when you spend $50 or more so it was worth the trip for me. Now I have to go back sometime next week to spend that $20 of "free money" and so they can say "Ha, ha, gotcha to come back!" By the time I found what I wanted, the lines were short and the trip was painless.
My longest wait was at Old Navy. Now I really didn't even need anything at ON, but again--the power of a bargain. While I at the mall I hit Target, Justice, Younkers and (another) Kohls all in one shot.
I got quite a few things knocked off the list. I struck out on a couple things, but nothing earth shattering. I am thanking my kids today that they haven't asked for Zhu Zhu pets or for wanting anything from that insane asylum they call Toys R Us. While I was buying a few things at Target, the cashier mentioned someone came through his line and bought 9 GPS systems. Either he gets lost very easily or he is going to try and re-sell them on e-bay. Your guess. Hubby was also behind someone who bought 3 itouch for just under $300 a pop. You got a $30 gift card with purchase, then $10 for every $100 you spent so that guy came away with around $150 in gift cards.
Before he went out shopping, hubby asked me if I even had a list. I said, "Didn't you read my blog?" Obviously not. ;)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Maybe a cute scarf like this
An itunes gift card. We need some new tunes on the ipod, preferably before our 4 hr car ride to South Dakota for Christmas. ;)
I checked this book out from the library and I think it is a keeper. I already have some recipes bookmared with sticky notes, but don't think I'll get to try them before the holidays.
Another cookbook I have my eye on is the one from The Pioneer Woman. She is a "famous" blogger who has wonderful recipes. Yes, I could look them up online but I am a visual learner and prefer to have a copy in front of me.
This has been on my wishlist since this summer, and of course everyone is going to have one now because The Pioneer Woman (mentioned above) recently posted a site called The Vintage Pearl
which has hand stamped jewelry. It may have to be moved to my birthday list. Of course I would order one with my own children's names on it. ;)
Again, I've been contemplating them for over a year but just can't seem to part with that much money in one shot for a pair of boots. Yet everyone I've talked to just loves them. I know there are cheaper knock offs, but I haven't found a pair of those I liked. They may just be a "wish" for a long time, until I decide to finally get some and then they will be long out of style.
I also may have gotten a few things last week that can be considered early Christmas gifts. I've been looking for a new purse forever and haven't found one I loved. Although I wouldn't say I'm absolutely in love with this one, it seemed to be close enough and I was ready for a change. Hubby should be glad I can retire my corduroy "hobo" bag. Not hobo as in hobo style, hobo as in it looks like a vagrant should be carrying it from train to train. Isn't he nice.
What I liked most about the bag was the cute lining inside:I found a red wallet to go with and now I'm set for a few months.
My other early Christmas gift was this:
I had heard a lot of good things about these coffee makers, and I think it lives up to the hype. I just got the simplest model which I think fits my needs just fine. I can't even count the number of cups of coffee I've already made, and that doesn't include other hot drinks like apple cider and hot chocolate. So now I can add to my Christmas list a sample pack of coffees/chai tea/hot chocolate from a site like Big Cat Coffees.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The girls had been bowling before a few months ago, but I couldn't tell you the last time I went bowling. Somewhere between my last year in high school (we would do bowling for gym class) and last night--probably closer to 1993. The alley we went to you can set up to have "bumpers" come up for individual bowlers, so of course Emma and Leah got bumpers. They also have a metal ramp to push the ball down, so Leah used that. Emma used it for a frame or two, otherwise she just used the "chuck the 6 lb bowling ball instead of rolling it" method. Any guesses on the family winner? If you said hubby, you would be right. He scored an amazing 106. Emma was next with 78, then Leah with 75, and me rounding out the pack with 74. I couldn't even break 100 or beat my 4 year old. And the bumpers may have malfunctioned and that included the advantage of one spare by bouncing the ball off the bumper. Wow, I suck.
I told hubby I never got to do anything like that when I was a kid. The closest thing we had in town was Stanley's Pizza with a lone Pac Man game. There were kids running around last night with tons of tickets trailing behind them. Someone had left a receipt in the game card machine for the $50 they put on the card. Seriously? $50 worth of arcade games? I wonder how many parents drop their pre-teens off at the door and say "See you in a few hours!" Luckily my girls can be pleased with small plastic trinkets that are way over "priced" in ticket terms. I saw kids running around with Nintendo DS games that they had won. How much did that cost you? I can get the same thing at Target for $20 or so.
It was definitely a fun night. Now I just hope the girls don't expect to go there more than once a year. ;)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The thing is I'm a bit of a bargain shopper, as is hubby. I have been known to return/re-buy things to save a few bucks. I've seen some things on the shelf that I was tempted to buy already, but am waiting for a lower price. Will it be lower in the next few weeks? Who knows, but I'm hoping it will.
The only thing wrong with this strategy is that I've also learned if you see it, buy it then because it may not be there when you come back. This method is not conducive to bargain hunting, but saves on the sanity. I picked up shoes for the girls to wear at Christmas because I found what I wanted in their size at Target. Lord knows if I waited until a few weeks before, inevitably the size I need will be gone from the shelves and then I will be calling all my relatives to hit up their Targets looking for a size 9 red glitter shoes.
Being the bargain shoppers that we are, hubby and I are traditional Black Friday shoppers. Yes, we are insane but usually we have pretty good luck. He has been stalking the BF ads (that would be short for Black Friday) for about a month now and I have my eye on a few things as well. Our problem this year is we don't know where we will be for Thanksgiving. The past 4 years we have gone to his parents near Sioux Falls, so we head out at an ungodly hour to shop while everyone else is still sleeping. Grandma watches the girls and we shop until we can shop no more (until the next day, when we usually go in and do some returns/exchanges). This year we aren't going to their house until Christmas. We will decide if we want to do our BF shopping in Mason City or Des Moines and play Thanksgiving accordingly. Crazy, I know.
I may have already done some shopping for myself. I'll post about that later when I give my Christmas wish list. I've also figured out that I think I've past the point where I can shop with the youngest kid in tow and quickly try and hide gifts in the cart while she isn't looking. I'll have to do all my shopping as a solo operation I'm afraid.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
In no particular order, I am thankful for:
- My husband, who gets up and drives 45+ min each way every day doing something outside of his area of interest/expertise to provide for our family. Love ya!
- My two girls who are bright and funny and fun and make me laugh everyday, which helps to cancel out the times they make me want to cry in frustration.
- My family, both the family I came from and the family I gained when I married hubby. They are always there for us whether we need a babysitter, free beef, cooking advice, or more. I just can't comprehend those with in law issues because I really lucked out in that area.
- A nice house that has heat, electricity, running water and all other modern conveniences. After losing electricity for an hour last week (gasp!) I realize I would not be cut out to be an Ingalls. I like to dry my hair and have clean clothes and make supper in a crock pot.
- For friends near and far, those who I know and those who I pretend to know.
- For the ability to run to the grocery store when I need odd things like a head of lettuce and a container of cool whip. I assure you, they weren't served together. Today's trip is saltines and kool aid.
- For our freedoms we have as Americans.
- For medical care.
I could go on--I have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes you just have to stop and take a minute to realize just how blessed you are.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
One of Leah's latest obsessions is Barbie (so help me God--I was hoping to avoid it for a few more years). I knew my mom probably had some of our old Barbie things, so I dug out a tote that had a couple Barbies, Barbie's horse, Barbie's canopy bed, and other assorted Barbie necessities like a pool table, pinball machine, and popcorn machine. Apparently Barbie had a pretty cool pad in her day, and although her house has been foreclosed and demolished, she was able to hang onto a few prize possessions.
Today we unearthed what was left of Barbie's closet. Most of our Barbies were from the mid-80's and boy do her clothes show it. She has quite a few gold lame outfits, a Coca Cola sweatshirt, and even a one armed sweatshirt ala "Flashdance". Emma found that quite disturbing--"Why does it have only one arm?" And speaking of arms, we sent a few Barbies to a permanent vacation who were missing more than one limb. RIP. And don't even ask about Ken who was simply a head and a limbless/headless body. That poor man was much abused by his harem of eight or so women.
Anyway, Barbie had many homemade clothes made by my mom or Grandma. Then she had a bunch of gems that we think my younger sister designed by going through my mom's fabric scraps and making clothes herself. There were dresses made from left over material from various prom and formal dresses I had. I sorted through all her clothes and only kept those that would maybe pass for fashion if Project Runway was doing a "rejected 80's hand-me-downs and slutty Barbie clothes" show.
Many of the Barbies are also sporting hideous haircuts thanks to the budding hair stylist that was my younger sister. One of my Barbies used to wink (how coy!) but somehow her eyelids have been ripped off. Even the poor horse was missing a hoof--an accident I seem to remember happening many years ago.
The girls have kept themselves entertained with all the Barbies, clothes, and accessories that are all new to them but have me remembering all the times I played Barbies. I have a feeling that Barbie will be making an appearance on Leah's Christmas list and I'll be seeing much more of them.
While we were home I was also able to meet up with a childhood friend for coffee. She was my "bff" in high school (after we got over fighting because of boy issues) but once we went to separate colleges we didn't stay as close as we were. But it seems like anytime we are able to get together, we can pick up like we left off. It was good to see her today and talk about the good old days and also have similar views about life in our 30's.
Since it was beyond beautiful out, the girls were able to go play at the elementary school playgrounds. The equipment has changed, but I told Emma that where they were playing was where I went to school K-4th grade. I even showed her our "warming" corner where we huddled when it was cold out. She has mentioned a few times that at recess they have their own warming corner they go to. Funny how some things never change.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Not much going on around here after the big sugar fest. Neither one of the girls have school on Friday due to parent/teacher conferences so I'm trying to decide what to do. We may either go visit my parents or maybe go to the science center. We'll see.
Leah wins the "most improved" trick-or-treater award. Last year she went to about four houses and was done. This years she was out for 2 hours straight and didn't want to go home. She was so cute--she would report what she got as soon as she turned away from the door. She even had a running tally of how many of each type of candy. This was the first time I went out with the girls; usually hubby takes them out. I did the leave the bowl full of goodies on the front step thing and ran back home to re-fill it one time. I should've thrown everything we had in there because it was empty when we came back home.
Emma also survived her first sleepover party. There were reports that some of the girls started falling asleep after 10pm, and the last ones nodded off somewhere after midnight. I'm sure Emma was closer to the latter. I told hubby that these sleepovers when they are young are probably better than the ones when girls get a bit older--you remember what we used to do. Talk about those who fell asleep first, try to freeze (training) bras, put sleeping people's hands in water to try and make made them pee, fart on people's pillows. The seven year old crowd is pretty innocent still. Emma did come home having learned how to do the "Sprinkler" dance move and had some rhyme about "Kirby Puckett stepped in a bucket, what color was his poop". Huh?
Off to parent teacher conferences. Leah's is today and Emma's is tomorrow night. Hoping for good reports! :)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Our local Harley Davidson shop has a mascot named Chopper. Emma just liked him because he was a dog. ;)
(I still haven't seen the movie--the DVD has been sitting in a drawer for the past six or seven months)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
After an hour of construction, I came up with this
I was very impressed with myself and thought they turned out very nice looking. Only after I had them up and was patting myself on the back did I re-read the site I got the idea from that said "This will last approximately 5 days". Of course, why didn't I think of that? You are poking holes in pumpkins and eventually they are going to rot. Five days? Seriously? It was only about the third week of September.
Well my pumpkins hung on. I had to shimmy the one on the right a few times with well placed rocks, but they held. That was until this morning when I went out and found the great wall of pumpkins had finally fallen.
It was nice while it lasted. Yes, I could've used fake pumpkins but that just wouldn't have had the same feel. And at the time, real pumpkins were cheaper than fake. Those hallow plastic pieces of orange styrofoam go for $20-$40 a piece! Crazy! Even getting them 50% off they would've cost a lot.
This week I will go in search of the great pumpkin(s) again. I promised the girls we would carve some for Halloween and my time is running out.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
And last night when we went to the ISU volleyball game, they were giving out raffle tickets if you wore pink since it was their "Dig Pink" match for breast cancer awareness. The girls and I wore our pink and got three raffle tickets. The person right after me was one of the winners. :(
I guess I'll keep at it, the odds have to go in my favor one day, right? That type of perseverance was rewarded this week when the ISU volleyball team won for the first time ever in Lincoln, NE beating the #4 Huskers. And then the Cyclone football team beat Nebraska at Memorial Stadium for the first time since 1977. Sweet victory. Go Cyclones!
Friday, October 23, 2009
After awhile she says, "Mom, I didn't play anything electronic today!" Gasp! Let's see, what did you do? Worked on a story, traced and colored a picture, did some homework, took a bath---and you survived.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Now with the age of blogs and internet giveaways, I still feel a bit of optimism when I leave a comment. I just know that random generator is going to pick my number. Um, yeah . . . not so much. Most are just small blog giveaways--$50 Target gift card, a free Martha Stewart book, credit at online stores. I persevere, but no winner yet. It doesn't seem to matter if I am one of 3,278 comments (no lie) or one of 12 comments, I still can't win.
I recently read this book
This woman supported her family of 10 on her prize winnings from contests in the 1950's and 60's. Just when they would find a great need, she would win a prize to help keep them going. One of her last big prizes was being the 1st place winner of a Dr. Pepper contest to be able to pay off the bank for their 2nd mortgage (the alcoholic husband took it out without her knowledge). This was all back in the day when contests were looking for new slogans or testimonials, not just random comments on the internet. There were books and social groups dedicated to "contesting". If they knew who the judges were for the contest, they knew how to write to please those particular judges. She would send in multiple entries for contests under all variations of her name--she could come up with at least 50--and also entered under her husband and kids' names. She would often win small prizes, all which were used by the family in some way or another. One year she stashed all her prizes in a closet that was off-limits to the kids and was able to provide a wonderful Christmas for 8 kids on winnings alone.
I don't necessarily want to win enough to support my family, all I'm asking for is a win more than once every ten years. Wish me luck!
ETA: So after I wrote this, I did my normal blog
stalk walk through my daily sites and came across a giveaway from Clemson Girl and the Coach. She is so much fun to read and along with some of her favorite bloggers have me intrigued by the Southern lifestyle. Which is way different than things are up here in the North, I tell you. Anyway, go check out Clemson Girl (but don't necessarily comment for the give away, that would only lower my chances of winning) ;) Off to see what I can find on Little Birds Boutique.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Mom is always there to help with the new babies. She came to our house to babysit Emma when she was just a few weeks old so hubby and I could go to the Dixie Chicks concert. Here she is snuggling with Emma.
And when Leah was born, Mom was the first person to be there. She had come down to watch Emma for what we thought would be a night or two in the hospital. Little did we know she would stay the next two weeks with Emma while Leah was in the NICU. She did get to come and visit Leah as well.
These are my Mom's 5 younger grandchildren, whom she will babysit whenever we ask. Just last night she had four of the five. Our girls have barely had a babysitter who wasn't a grandparent.
Have I mentioned that my mom sews? She has been sewing for many, many years and is always there to help make whatever we come up with. She helped make the curtains for Emma's nursery and also some wicker baset liners.
She has also helped make various parts of many Halloween costumes including a black kitty, a vet, and a dog. When she was here this past weekend, she whipped up a vampire vest for Emma--she just makes it look too easy.
She also makes things like bridesmaid dresses. These were for my younger sister's wedding (all the other dresses she made were pre-digital camera and I don't have a scanner). Let's just say that among three girls she has sewn dresses for 4 weddings.
My mom also made at least one of my prom dresses and other formal dresses when I was in high school. Because of her I can sew, although I don't like to do it without her there to guide me.
I can also trace my cake madness back to her. When I was getting ready to make Emma's 1st birthday cake, she loaned me her frosting decorator and tips. Needless to say, she hasn't gotten them back from 6 years ago.
She was a Home Ec teacher and I am always calling her with questions like "How long should I microwave a squash?" or "If I forgot to put my eggs away six hours ago, are they still good?" She always seems to know the answer.
I could go on and on about my Mom. I only hope my girls think of me the same way when they are moms themselves.
And I can't forget to say Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law as well. I lucked out in that department as well. Happy Birthday, Betty!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
- Yesterday I was out shopping at Target (imagine that!) while the girls were in school and I got a phone call. "Hi, this is Kris from the office and we were just calling to see how Emma was feeling today." Ummm, isn't she there? You tell me?! It turns out that with three Emma's in the class, the wrong Emma (mine) had been marked absent. Since Emma was out sick a few weeks ago, they thought maybe she wasn't feeling good again. I thought maybe they were calling to check up on sick kids to see what their symptoms were since there is H1N1 in the school, but they probably called since I hadn't called/e-mailed. Usually they know ahead of time if Emma would be gone. She did call down to Emma's classroom to make sure she was indeed in class. Right where I thought she was.
- Speaking of H1N1, this article has me just a tad bit on edge. It seems that H1N1 itself is bad, but the secondary infections people get with it are what knock them down. Even before this fact came to light, Leah's pediatrician said his only concern for her this winter would be if she would get pneumonia. Great.
- You know how in 2012 the world is going to end? (According to the movies and the Mayans anyway) Well, it seems that it is starting early. I mean look at all these natural disasters happening all over the world, now H1N1 and other deadly diseases. And snow on October 10th? Craziness! Our high temps right now aren't even getting out of the normal range for average LOWS. Last year on Halloween it was about 80 degrees. I'm a little scared to think about this year.
- As for Halloween, I think we have the costumes figured out. They are semi-homemade this year. Leah is going as Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street. I bought a headband that has her "hair" and her wand off e-bay, she'll wear her tutu from her birthday (I'm adding in some blue) and then a blue tank top over a pink turtleneck and leggings and she's good to go.
- Emma is going to be a vampire. I got a cape from JoAnn's along with fake teeth and some make-up. I told her she could wear that with black pants and a white shirt, and she said she wanted a black and white striped vest (I think she had seen that on other vampire costumes we were looking at online). My mom is coming this weekend so we'll whip up a vest. I didn't tell Emma I bought her some fake blood and black hair paint yesterday.
- After finding some mouse poop in the storeroom, we set up a bunch of traps inside and outside. We haven't caught or seen any more evidence from our furry friend inside, so I imagine he is dead and rotting somewhere among the boxes in there (gross, I know--I'm not looking forward to finding him someday). We have caught a few outside. What do you expect, we live yards away from a bean field.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Along with all the "stuff" we don't really need, we have all the kids' stuff. Each girl has a closet full of clothes and toys. Then there is the hall closet that has three shelves of toys/games/art supplies. And the whole toy room filled with toys. And the downstairs closet that has toys. And the three large tubs in the storeroom that have baby/toddler toys. Need toys, anyone? Don't get me started on the kids' books, either.
I have to partly blame my mother for that. You see, when my kids go to Grandma's house they get to play with toys that we had when we were kids. Cabbage Patch dolls, Sesame Street Little People (it is my goal one day to have one of these myself) and the schoolhouse, the books we read. So when I look at my girls' toys, I think of my future grandkids and how much I would love to have them play with the same thing. Hubby's mom is the same way. She has all of his sister's toys like the play oven, ironing board, and picnic table that my girls and the other grandkids use at her house. She also has hubby's original Millennium Falcon and various Transformers that were his. If I have grandkids one day, I'm sure they would love playing with the Little People barn, and zoo, and airport, and house, and school, and ark, right? So I can't get rid of them.
My goal for today is to get some of the toys/books under control. Or at least move them from three or four small boxes to one big tote I can put out in the garage. The storeroom is another project. Somewhere in the maze of boxes I am confident there is a dead mouse hiding out. I know I need to clean/organize and find the thing, but that is about last on a long "to-do someday" list. Maybe by next spring I can get on that and get stuff together for a garage sale. Maybe.
Here are a few toys that my girls love at Grandma's. The pictures are from e-bay. I guess if my mom ever gets desperate, she can put hers up for auction, although the potential money made will never replace the joy these toys have brought over the past 30 years.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Dear Victoria's Secret,
I was flattered to receive the e-mail about your model search. Unfortunately I do not fit any of your criteria. Please keep me in mind if you are looking for models who are almost 35 (with a couple of kids), are 5'4" on a tall day, and are doing a photo shoot in Iowa. Thanks!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I was trying to think about what 5 songs I would pick to really throw them off. What songs would say female, 30's, married, and stays and home and reads facebook/bakes cakes? What songs would totally throw them off? And what songs are on your ipod?
Song titles to follow . . .
Okay, so here are my five. My ipod is mainly for exercise and entertainment on long car rides, so most songs are up beat and Top 40 songs.
1. London Bridge--Fergie
2. Smooth Criminal--Alien Ant Farm
3. Wanted--Jessie James
4. Silent House--Dixie Chicks
5. 7 Things--Miley Cyrus
I also have quite a bit of Britney, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, and Gwen Stefani.
I should also send in some for hubby. We share the ipod so he has picked some songs to download as well. Do these shout male, 36, chemical engineer or what. ;) Probably not.
1. Unwritten--Natasha Bedingfield
2. Bring Me to Life--Evanescense
3. Paradise City--Guns-N-Roses
4. Viva La Vida--Coldplay
5. 7 Things--Miley Cyrus
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Like Monday when I had a killer migraine and could barely make it through supper and bedtime. The twenty pots and pans used for making lasagna didn't get washed. And now it is Wednesday and they are still on the counter, dirty. I was going to wash them yesterday after I got home from running to Des Moines, but then a friend needed help watching her son for a little while after school and it was too nice out to be inside doing dishes. And I thought I had supper all figured out last night (grilling hamburgers) until I realized the grill ran out of propane on Sunday. I almost just had Quiznos deliver a couple sandwiches, but decided to make mini-meatloaves. We aren't big meatloaf fans (or at least hubby isn't) but this recipe got rave reviews on allrecipes. So that was all fine and dandy until Emma decided we should practice spelling words while supper was cooking. The timer went off and we were still spelling, so the mini meatloaf got a little done. Hubby was so kind to call them meteorites. It didn't help that he called at 6pm to say he was running late and hoped to be home by 7:30 but it was 8pm by the time he made it home. So where is the routine in all of that?!
Then I woke up around 4am with the beginning of a sore throat, headache, and body chills. Hmm, wonder what that could be?! Great, just great. Some Advil and sleep helped some, but I think after preschool drop-off I'm coming home and going back to bed. And yes, that is me in my pj's in the drop-off line. So all my plans of washing dishes and putting laundry away and picking up the house a bit today are out the window again. To add to my already not routine day, Emma has an early dismissal so she will be home around 1pm.
See, a chaotic life is routine around here.
Monday, September 21, 2009
See how happy she is to bust out of that place?!
Outside in the "real" world for the first time. We had a two hour car ride home.
Elway says, "You brought another one of these things home? Isn't one enough?"
Emma is singing one of her songs to Leah (probably taught to her by Aunt Glenda). This is the first time Emma saw her in person.
Holding her for the first time. Emma still picks Leah up and tries to carry her around.
I'm not as eloquent as Cristin in describing homecoming. When we brought Leah home we had little to no knowledge of CDH and how long stays in the NICU could be. Six weeks seemed plenty long for us. We were running out of free childcare (thanks to Grandmas and Aunts!) and we were ready to have Leah home. Since we didn't know of her condition before birth, to prep Emma for a new sister we kept telling her "Mom and Dad will go to the hospital and come home with a baby". We never imagined that we would go to the hospital and come home with a baby six weeks later. C'mon, no 2.5 year old is patient enough to understand how that works.
It is funny how things work out. Since Leah was due in mid August, I had bought a summer outfit for her to come home in. I didn't think she would ever wear it considering she was coming home in late September. On the day she came home it was unseasonably warm--about 90 degrees. She did get to wear her outfit after all.
We no longer live in the houses that either one of the girls were brought home to as babies. It just goes to show that home is not the house, but the place where your family is together.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Not too much going on this weekend. We have the usual
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My sister has posted her entries to ihearfaces before, but I never felt I had anything that was too good. She is the better photographer in the family--I just point, shoot and pray. This week's competition is "Contemplative" As soon as I saw that, this photo came to mind:
We were on a preschool field trip to a pumpkin patch/farm, and I caught her from across the way. I love the texture of the fence combined with the colors and the look on her face. This was one of my first attempts at any type of photoshop editing: I think it helps draw attention to her expresion and takes emphasis away from the other child in the photo. I also have it as just a simple black and white on my photo collage wall. She must have been thinking about something else because here they were learning about sheep, and I don't think there is too much to contemplate about sheep. ;)
Monday, September 14, 2009
There is a hoax on Facebook where a chat box will come up (one of your friends, so someone you know) and they will tell you how they were robbed at gunpoint in London and need money ASAP. Well this time instead of my FB account being hacked, it was our e-mail. And hubby's hotmail account. And our e-bay account. And who knows what else. Thankfully my hotmail account has been okay so far, so I've been able to e-mail MSN about the problem. Thanks for the super-speedy response and wonderful help. . . NOT.
It is possible that all this can be traced back to the evil FB. I may have to re-evaluate my obsession and think about spending my time on there.
I just hope that no one the message went out to was gullible enough to fall for the hoax. I did get a couple phone calls to confirm it really wasn't us. But that e-mail account is about 10 years old and has many, many contacts including school, friends, and relatives. I guess it is time for a new e-mail.
So instead of enjoying my first day with 2.5 hrs of free time (ha--I sat in a Dr's office for almost that entire time as well as fielding phone calls) I've been dealing with this. Fun times.