Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i want to keep believing...


...My kids saw Santa Claus the other day at our neighborhood Sleigh Ride. They were very happy to sit with him and tell them what they wanted (all things they did not ask for before by the way) but they said he probably was just a helper.

The other day, my mom came to visit and take the boys (and I) to the Nutcracker ballet for their birthday. She drove with my grandparents so they could visit my uncle who lives close by me. Sunday, my uncle brought them back to my house so they could leave with my mom. Anyway, my grandmother was talking about my uncle's step--granddaughter writing a letter to Santa and she asked, "Does she still believe in Santa at 9 years old?". Grandma was sitting right by Rhett and Noah was close by.

My kids didn't bat an eye.

Which begs some questions from me: Are my kids too gullible? Too naive? Trying to hard to keep some magic? Pretending right along with me? Or just not ready to stop believing?

In Rhett's 8 years, he has yet to question the existence of Santa Claus. He has had some questions on how it all works, yes, but never, "Is he real?" He tells of kids in his class that does not believe but he is actually sad for those kids. Will they get presents, he wonders? He truly believes in the magic of it all.

Lately, however, he does have to try harder. It is like I was. His mind was really starting to question things but he doesn't want to address all those doubts quite yet.

He thinks he knows why Santa can get to every house on Christmas Eve, for instance. The earth rotates to the right. Santa travels to the left; therefore, time stops. That is why Christmas Eve is the longest night of the year.

Noah has had questions in the past, but not this year. This year, he just believes. He wants a bell from Santa's sleigh like the child in The Polar Express. He is very worried that he is going to get a jar of tears from St. Nick (like my brother did once but that is not a story Casey likes to remember I bet) and when I get on to him for having a bad attitude right before Christmas he straightens up right away.

Noah is 6. I remember two years ago I thought Rhett's last year of believing was upon us. That is when his cousin that is his same age, stopped believing. But Rhett still believes. And I really think that he will be heartbroken when he finds out the truth of Santa. I actually can see Noah heartbroken as well.

I guess for now, though, we will enjoy Christmas looking through the eyes of a children who still believes in magic with their whole hearts.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

it is Noah's day

...I can hardly believe my baby is turning 6. Six is such a big number. It means big things. No more little. Except that you still love to cuddle. And you still are a mama's boy (much to daddy's dismay).

This day could not have come any slower for you. For months you wondered how long it would be until your birthday. Even last night, you asked at bedtime, "How many more hours until morning Mom?"

Grandmom is here to take you and your brother to The Nutcracker on Saturday. Friday, though, is your day. You are going to take 3 of your friends to lunch. At Burger King.

"Burger King?" I asked. "Really? Why not Red Robin?"

"Red Robin doesn't have toys. I want a toy."

"You just want the dinky toy?"

"It is my day." you answered with a smile.

You are right. It is your day. You know you are special. :)

Happy Birthday bear. We love you very much!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 years old and one day

...Here are some photos of yesterday:
Rhett, opening presents in the morning. He first opened a big package and it's a coat.
Then he opens another package with shirts. I can tell at this point he is faking his happiness over the presents. But wait for it, wait for it-
Yes! A true smile! A Wii Football Game! Exactly what he wanted. Excellent!
This photo is of their little get-together after school with neighbors. Actually, it was the best non-party I have ever thrown. The kids all played well, they loved the snacks (popcorn and hot chocolate) and they all enjoyed the cakes. There were just a couple of presents to open afterward but it wasn't a big deal. Everyone had a great time.

Rhett said he had the best birthday ever. Why? I think it had to do something with the fact that his teacher gave him no math homework. That just made his day. :)

Just 3 more days until Noah's birthday. More excitement to come!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

to Rhett, on his 8th Birthday

Remembering.
The night before your birth, I was nervous you would not want to come out. The move to a new town was just mere days away and I really needed you to come. We went to the hospital and the doctor said he would induce the next day. We called our parents. "No need to come right now" we said. "We would be just fine."

The morning came and the nerves got the best of me. We called back and told our mothers, "Mommy, please come!" The doctor did his thing and we were told to wait. Your daddy was hungry so he went to your favorite restaurant, Subway, and sat down to eat his no-doubt delicious footlong sandwich.

Meanwhile, you decided you were ready. Kind of. I think you thought you were ready and then decided maybe not. Two hours of pushing was not fun for your mom and as we have told you before, the doctor had to use a vacuum attached to your head to pull you out.

I think about your personality and it totally fits you. You get so excited about things, so ready for them to happen and then your nerves hit. Maybe you don't want me to leave you alone at the birthday party. Maybe wanting to be Joseph in the Christmas program was a bad idea.

However, you forge ahead with a little push from us and you shine.

The second you entered the world, your daddy and I started to cry. The new rush of feelings for such a small thing was strange but wonderful. You were beautiful. So much hair, such chubby cheeks. Beautiful.

You changed our lives. We were completely and totally in love with you.

Celebrating.
Today you are 8. I can't believe it. You are supposed to be that little baby that we brought home, so sweet and sleeping so soundly. You hardly cried. Hardly made a fuss. That is so you. You wish to make everyone happy and feel bad when you are angry with us. You do not throw fits and rarely did when you were little.

You are a happy child with many friends. Your friends think you are hilarious. You love this fact. I think you think you are the funniest person you know. Which cracks me up.

You love watching football and want to play in the pros. That is if your parents ever allow you to play.

You know exactly how to push your brother's buttons to make him mad but I know there is no one more loyal than you. Even when you try to goad Noah, you do so half-heartily because you hardly have a mean bone in your body.

You love rules. You hate when people bend or break the rules. Fairness is very important to you.

You are so smart. It frustrates you when you can't get something right away. I think that is why guitar was not for you. You love reading and I just have to let it go that your favorite books right now are the Captain Underpants books.

I love being your mother, Rhett. I love every minute of it. I am so proud of the person you are becoming. I love that you worry about people when they are sick and want to take care of them. I love when you tell a nonsense joke and giggle like it is the funniest thing in the world. I love your hugs and I love that you want to look your best in the morning.

Happy Birthday sweetie. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas memories

...I am not as good as my sister about remembering things from our childhood. Let's just say that I wasn't the most observant child and I was also pretty self-absorbed. (Many times, one could find me in front of the mirror, admiring myself). But I try, especially around Christmas, to think back on all the traditions and memories that made the holiday so special to me.

Crafts.
I take after my mom. She is the one who started the Christmas craft tradition. One year she bought wooden letters in our names, pink ribbon and hot glue and viola! we had--names on a ribbon that we hung up by the tree.

Another year we fashioned wire hangers in a circle and tied hundreds of yarn bows to make a wreath. I remember getting tired of that one quickly. Each time I thought we got close to finishing, my mom would squish the bows together and there would still be so much wire left to cover. We gave them away as gifts.

Open House.
Each year, we would go to Winona's Flower shop for her open house. It was just a mile or so from our house so it was easy to get to. There would be punch and cookies and that is why Casey and I went. We would look around at all the plants and flowers and eat cookies and punch. I remember Mom buying a red mailbox with greenery that opened and closed to music one year. We liked that one.

Luminaries.
Each year Mom would remark how much she liked luminaries. Each year we would not get them. Of course, Dad was right when he said that no one would see them because we lived in the country.

Christmas Cookies.
Chocolate Crinkles, Spritz, Sugar Cookies. So many good cookies. For many years, our church would hold a Cookie Walk and my mom would go on a baking frenzy and the one thing we hated was we could not eat the Chocolate Crinkles. Then the day of the cookie walk, since my mom helped, we could not get a box of cookies until after it was over. And guess what? The Crinkles were gone! We were so disappointed. But, Mom would always make another batch for us. She must have loved us or something.

Advent Calendar.
The beloved felt Christmas tree with the pin-on ornaments. Beautiful and lovely, hung up on the wall beside my parent's bedroom. Casey and I would conspire on how to work it so that me (or him) would be the one who got to pin the star on the tree on Christmas Eve. We never forgot to do it. Now in a new house, my mom still hangs up the calendar and my heart rejoices when I see it.

Christmas Eve.
Getting dressed in our Sunday best (even better, more sparkle) and going to church for the Christmas Eve service. My favorite service of the year. There were candles that we lit at the end. The lights would go down, we would light the candle in our hands and sing "Silent Night." As a child, I knew this was what Christmas was all about. Everything else was fun and nothing would be the same without it, but I knew it wouldn't be Christmas without Christ.

After church we would go to Granny's. So much family, so much laughter and fun, so much good food. One year I received a big doll and Casey received his first golf clubs. My doll had a beautiful pink dress. Another year all the great-grandkids received hand-knitted slippers. Mine were yellow. The thing about my great-grandparents house was they had a huge, white church all lit up in their front window. I loved looking at that. Another reminder of why we have Christmas.

Christmas Morning Photo.
As you probably have seen if you read Krista's blog, my mom would make sure and get a photo of us on Christmas morining, looking very sleepy. She was great at getting those shots just like she was great at getting shots of us blowing our candles out on our birthdays (cheeks blown out, eyes closed). All lovely memories now.

I wonder what my kids will remember about their childhood Christmases. Whatever they remember, I hope those memories are just as happy as mine and remind my boys that Christmas is about being with your family and celebrating Jesus. And creating fun and eating. That too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

the end

...On the 12th Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:
a countdown to their birthdays,
a dead battery camera,
a book read by Noah,
a sneaky look at presents,
handmade ornaments a plenty,
a reindeer named Scout,
one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5,
a happy birthday wish,
a decorated house
and
a plate of sugar cookies!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

are you READy for this?

...On the 10th day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:

a book read by Noah!
on the first snow of winter,
a sneaky look at presents,
handmade ornaments a plenty,
a reindeer named Scout, one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5, a happy birthday wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.
Yes, my baby can read! He wanted me to read Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess to him yesterday morning and I told him to give me a few minutes because I was cleaning up and he must have gotten tired of waiting because the next thing I hear is him reading, "Pup Up. Pup is Up. Pup Cup. Pup in Cup." I am so proud of him and he is so happy.
Yesterday afternoon we had real snowflakes. Not freezing drizzle (which we had all day prior to the snow) but snowflakes. I love snow. I don't love the wind and icy roads that come along with it, but the snow itself is beautiful and magical.
Yesterday was a great day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

ooh, shiny

...My laptop internet is not working, so I cannot post pictures of the 8th and 9th day of Christmas, but that is okay because some of those were handmade gifts.

Here goes: (As a mental exercise, I try to do it all by memory. Did you know that?) :)

On the 8th and 9th Day of Christmas my two boys gave to me,
a sneaky look at presents,
handmade ornaments a plenty,
a reindeer named Scout, one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!,
a trip to Firehouse #5, a Happy Birthday wish, a decorated house
and a plate of sugar cookies.


Noah so far has found a webkinz and some legos. I take the blame for him finding the webkinz because I didn't hide it well. But the legos were in a closed box. I had already told him not to look in any boxes! He did it anyway. Right in front of me. He wasn't sorry he did it either. I could just tell. ;)
The ornaments are another story. Saturday we braved the crowds and went to Hobby Lobby to buy some things so they could make ornaments for family. Rhett picked this box of styrofoam balls, sequins and beads. I really didn't think about what that meant until we got home, opened the box and I saw hundreds of sequins, beads and straight pins. Yikes. Rhett got into it for awhile but he soon grew tired of the threading the bead, sequin and pushing it into the ball. I am determined to finish the box so that is what I have been doing. And boy is it fun! (I hope you could tell the sarcasm in my voice). Ok, I admit, it was fun at first. But I too am tired of this craft. In the end, many family members will find beautiful, shiny ornaments under the tree and even though I did most of it, at least pretend the boys did it. Because they really tried.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Noah's dear Santa and my hair

I am a little late on Dear Santa Friday but here you go:

Dear Santa,

I want a Nintendo DS, some Webkins, Pokemon toys, Batman Legos game, and one more stuffed animal and I want, I think, a new ornament. That's it.

I am gonna give Mrs. Claus a cookie. Do you really have bells on your sleigh, because I don't really know. Do your elves have pointy, long ears? One more thing, what is your phone number and address on the North Pole? Have I been a good boy?

Love, Noah


****
A note on my hair: Thank you for the compliments the other day, Christy and Holly! I actually did do something a little different. I colored my hair a darker shade and had just gotten my hair cut and my stylist fixed my hair so that is why it looks so good in that picture. I told her I wished she fixed it everyday.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

all of the other reindeer

...On the 7th Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me

a reindeer named Scout,
one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5, a Happy Birthday wish, a decorated house, and a plate of sugar cookies.

There is a book called Olive, the Other Reindeer which is about a dog who helps out the other reindeer at Christmas. I thought of that book the moment Rhett put those silly antlers on Scout's head. He bought her those at the school's holiday store. (They can bring money and buy gifts for family. The gifts can range from whoopie cushions to floam, both my favorite things) Scout does not like the antlers much but she complied long enough for a photo. Can't you see the joy in her face? Ha! I am thinking that Santa will probably not ever ask her for help. Oh well.

Friday, December 05, 2008

lost and found tooth

...On the 6th Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me

one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5, a Happy Birthday Wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.

Thursday morning, at 4 am, Noah woke his daddy and said he had just lost his tooth. He had pulled it out all by himself. I think the last time was so tramatic for the boy that he really didn't let on how loose this tooth was to anyone. Fast forward to Thursday afternoon. He came home and wanted to see his little tooth. He tried to shake it out of the envelope the tooth was placed and shook so hard it fell into the carpet. Panicked, he came and got me. We searched for about 10 minutes and couldn't find it. I could tell Noah was getting upset so I told him we would call Aunt Krista because she would tell him all about her lost tooth that fell into the carpet, never to be found again. I wanted her to tell him that the Tooth Fairy came anyway because he really did not believe me.

We called but she was not there. Bummer. But! when I walked back into Noah's room to check one last time---there it was! Exactly the place I had searched over and over again. I guess I needed fresh eyes. So Krista, you helped anyway! :)

So one lost lost tooth was found again. Noah was happy and all was right with the world. Until this morning.

Noah, coming into my room, holding his dollar bill from the T.F.: Mom, next time, can I just keep my tooth? And why didn't the Tooth Fairy leave a note?

Sigh. Never completely satisfied, this child.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

sing it out now

...On the Fifth Day of Christmas my two boys gave to me:

Silly Webcam Photos!
A trip to Firehouse #5, a happy birthday wish, a decorated house, and a plate of sugar cookies.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

the fourth day

...On the Fourth Day of Christmas (yes, I realize it is Dec. 3, not the 4) my two boys gave to me:

a trip to Firehouse #5,
a happy birthday wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.

The firehouse was a great place for boys to go. This one was the newest one in Edmond, so it didn't have traditional things like the 2nd floor bunkhouse and the firepole but it was still cool to see how fireman live when they are on their 24-hour shift.

First they told the boys about how they work 24 hours at a time and Noah looked at me and said, "24 hours! Woah!" Then when the tour was over, Noah looked very disappointed. He asked, "Mom, is that it?" I said, "Yes, the tour is over now." He answers, "But it hasn't been 24 hours yet!" He thought we were going to stay the whole 24 hours too!

The firemen were so nice and said we could stop by anytime. One of the guys showed the boys how fast they could put on their suit (36 seconds). Then he put on his oxygen tank and mask (another 36 seconds) and talked to the boys with all of the gear on. That was neat because he told them not to be afraid of him when he looked like that because a fireman is one of the good guys. He also told them that he could go in the fire because no skin was showing and he was protected. Good lessons.

Have a great day!

PS-Yesterday was not only Mallory's birthday, but it was Abbey's too! So, Abbey, I hope you had a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

on the first, second and third day

...On the first day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:



A Plate of Sugar Cookies.

On the Second Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:

A Decorated House and a plate of sugar cookies.

On the Third Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to {Mallory}:

a Happy Birthday Wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.



Happy Birthday Mallory!!


to be continued...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Rhett's dear Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Rhett. I am a boy and I am already 7 years old!! I live in the great city of Edmond. Of course, that's in Oklahoma, United States, but I'll bet you knew that!! This year I've been so good that my halo is just a teensy weensy bit crooked!

Santa Claus, some things I might like for Christmas this year are:
-Nintendo DS;
-I phone; and
-Wii football game.

Santa Claus, I almost forgot to say...Have you hit your head on the north pole?

Love, Rhett

(This letter was written at school and by email on emailsanta.com. Santa even replied to him. Very cool).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

...I hope you all have a wonderful, thankful day!

I am very thankful for my family who lives with me.

I am so thankful for the rest of my family, who aren't here with me today, but I am thinking of and wishing I was with you.

I give thanks for my friends, close and far away. Know that I am giving you cyber-hugs here at my computer.

Love you all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

misadventures at the post office

...I just haven't had time to take a picture of my decorating, so it will probably be after Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I went to see Noah's Thanksgiving program. They sang cute turkey songs and then had a big feast.

I also went to the post office. This is how it went. I took the package that needed to be mailed (my niece's b-day gift!) and went straight to the Automatic Postal Service machine. Love those things! I got all the way to where I had to enter the zip code and realized I forgot the address in the car. I had to cancel the order, go back to the car and get the address. I decided just to leave my purse in the car and just carry my wallet in with me. I resumed my business and when the label printed out, I realized I had no pen with me. No pen was anywhere near the APS so I had to go back to the car. I wrote her address and was going to just mail it in the mailboxes outside, but realized I couldn't go that direction (curb). By then, I had to go to the aforementioned program, so now the package is sitting in my car, still unmailed.

Oh, and later that day, I find out that a letter I had also mailed at the post office with a deadline coming up had the wrong zipcode on it.

I was frustrated beyond belief. It seems like that whole trip had been a waste. I have learned now that I will not go to the post office when I am in a hurry anymore. It is not worth it.

Today the boys have no school and I hope that we can run some errands (like to the post office!) and hope I can clean my house.

I am thankful for the time off of school. We all could use a rest.

Monday, November 24, 2008

dad, i'm sorry

...I started decorating for Christmas today. Before Thanksgiving.

I can see my father shaking his head right now. I am sure he is wondering if I learned anything from him.

:)

I'll have pictures tomorrow of something very cool that I did. Yes, it relates to the decorating for Christmas.

I could make excuses but he wouldn't care to hear them. I could say that I haven't gotten the tree down yet and I won't until the day after Thanksgiving. But that probably doesn't matter either.

I can remember when we would get a real tree and my dad would spend so much time trying to get that (insert word that any man would be thinking) tree trunk to fit into the tree holder. Then he would listen to us say, "It's leaning." over and over again. Then he would put the lights on the tree. And by now, he was in a not-so-jolly mood. My mom would have The Osmonds playing on the record player and I'm sure he wanted to run away screaming. But he didn't. He stayed, did his part, then let us finish decorating the tree without him. I think Mom might have made him caramel popcorn at times.

One year, our lovely leaning tree fell over, completely decorated. A few ornaments broke. And my dad had to put it back up. It was by our lovely wood-burning stove and I am sure my dad wanted to shove the whole lovely tree into the fire by that point. I don't know, I am just guessing.

When we got an artificial tree, I was a little sad. I know my dad wasn't.

I asked Seth the other day if we could get a "real" tree. I can't be sure, but I think I saw the same expression my dad had on his face when my mom mentioned it was time to get a tree.

I promptly dropped the subject.

See Dad? I did learn something.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

'tis better to have one than none at all

...I missed posting yesterday. I have done pretty good but not as good as Krista. Anyway, I have a topic that closely relates to my sister's posts from the last two days. It is about Christmas gifts.

The boys each want a Nintendo DS Lite (the hand-held gaming system). They have wanted these things for a long time but Seth was against it (just another thing to buy expensive games for) and I was a little wary (would they bury their little heads into those things and never come out) so after a long discussion, we came up with a compromise.

Ask for ONE Nintendo DS Lite.

Just one. They will have to share. We explained that this would be better: there would be limits on the time played on them anyway, those things aren't exactly cheap, the games cost money and if they had one they would at least still talk to each other.

Rhett understood. I think he was just relieved we were letting him ask for one.

Noah was a little sad. "Now I am going to just cry more!" he said. Then he asked why they couldn't ask for one from Santa and one from us, the parents.

Seth said that although Santa must be rich to buy all those presents for everyone, we can't ask for lots of expensive things because that isn't fair to the other children in the world.

I think, in the end, Noah understood. He still wasn't exactly fired up about the idea but that is okay. Like Krista said, they have to learn not to expect the world for Christmas. It is not about the gifts you get anyway.

Whenever I talk to one of my friends about Santa gifts, she always laughs. Apparently, her two kids (5 and 3) think Santa just gives cookies, candy and maybe one or two little dollar store gifts. That is it. So they don't even ask for things for Christmas.

I am sure my kids have other friends who do get the world for Christmas (or at least to my boys they do). Their parents wouldn't think twice of getting two DS systems.

I think both ways are fine. I am glad we are trying to be more in the middle though.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Santa Friday

...Real Simple Magazine had a feature in December's issue that gave me an idea. There were several writers that wrote Dear Santa letters at different ages in their lives. Most of them were hilarious but some were very poignant. I decided that on Fridays until Christmas, I am going to write my own Dear Santa letters. There is a lot I want to say to Jolly Ole St. Nick. Here is the first one:

Dear Santa,
I first want to say that I am sorry I haven't written in so long. It wasn't because I stopped believing, althougth there were a few years that you existing was doubtful to me. Let's call those, The Dark Years.

You know the ones. The year I wrote left you milk and cookies and I must have told my mother that I really hoped you wrote me a letter in return. That was the year I started questioning. My brother had already made up his mind. I remember my sisters and mom trying so hard to convince him you were real. He just wasn't buying it. I tried to, but was wary. What if you weren't real? Did magic not exist?

Anyway, I did get a letter that Christmas morning and my heart sank. I tried to conceal my disappointment and even hung the letter on my bulletin board, but the more I looked at it, the more it became clear: My mom wrote that letter.

I don't (and never did) blame my mother. She has excellent penmenship and I know how hard it is to write differently (especially because I now have to do it myself to my kids). But I was so sad to know that you weren't real. It was all just a story.

Flash forward a few years. In junior high, each homeroom class had to decorate their door for Christmas and the best door from each grade would win the contest. (Isn't it sad that contest probably isn't even allowed anymore?) Anyway, my class chose to put the letter, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" and when I read that letter, wrote those words down on huge paper to cover the door, my heart rejoiced.

You became real again. And at Christmas, I became a child again.

Now, I am a mom. I have two boys and one is reaching the age I was when I stopped believing there was magic for awhile. While I wish it wasn't so, I know that soon, he will not believe that I heard reindeer hooves on the roof. He will study his letter from Santa and know, just know, that I wrote it.

I hope though, that when I read him the letter, written way back in 1897, he will know that you do still exist. Maybe not in the way he once thought, but in an even more real and special way.

Until next week,
Aimee

PS- For the letter, and a neat background of the editor and Virginia, click
here:
And click
here to see a scan of the original letter in the newspaper. Just for fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

let us all eat cake as much as we want

...It is officially less than a month until Rhett's and Noah's birthday (they are counting down!). I am really not wanting to have a party this year. But how? how? do I tell them? This is what I am thinking: on the day of their birthday, they can choose where or what to eat. We'll have a cake at home (Yes, I am making two. My mom always made two for Casey and me. It is only fair.) Then maybe the weekend after their birthay (or before) they can choose an activity (Science Museum, bowling, movie) and choose a friend to go with them. Then we will eat more cake.

I am just tired of the whole birthday party scene. Tons of toys from tons of kids, the party bags (Oh the party bags! Who started this little tradition?), ect. We don't need that! Who is with me? (Trust me, I am going to need a lot of support on this!) :)

Speaking of cake:
Today, I am thankful for:
1. chocolate desserts. I have a yummy recipe that I am making for Thanksgiving dinner! It is called Cinnamon-Caramel Ganache Layer Cake and the recipe can be found here.

I am even going to do the chocolate shavings. I'll let you know how it tastes. But I am sure it will taste delicious!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a good question

...Noah: Do you want to know what my bad dream was?

me: Sure.

N: Well, I wish I had a picture of it. Let me look for it.
(a few minutes later)

N: Ok, I can't find a picture of it. But I'll tell you, it was a very big, very hairy spider. You know, the one in the toy magazine?

me: Wow, that sounds scary.

N: And I kept telling myself that it was just a bad dream, but I couldn't wake up!

me: I hate when that happens.

N: Mom? Why is it when you have bad dreams, you can't wake up and when you have good dreams you can't stay asleep!? I always have this dream that we are about to go into a toy store to get really cool toys and right before we walk in the door, I wake up! I don't know why!

me: I don't know either.

N: Yeah, me either.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

free to be

...It is early (at least for me) and the boys are not awake yet. Noah ended up in our bed last night because of a bad dream. I will have to wake Rhett in a few minutes, but I wait, happy to let him sleep just a little more.

There is a list of 13 things that I need to do today but I know it won't all get done. Only 1 or 2 really have to get done, so I have circled those things. I have the ability to put things off that really need to be done and do the fun things instead. It is a gift. ;)

It is Tuesday and I can't believe in a week and a half it will be Thanksgiving. Two of our neighbors are going to spend it with us and we are excited about that.

Today, I am Thankful for just being me. I am not perfect; my house is never clean; I am a wishful organizer and I am not a phone-talker and I can't remember names. But I also think I am a pretty happy person; a glass is half-full kind of a person; loyal and kind. I am thankful for my strengths and weaknesses because that is what makes me who I am.

I hope you are thankful for just being you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

because your card is still in my purse




...Happy Birthday Mom! Thank you for everything you did for us growing up, and everything you dor for us now. We love you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

i'm getting a lot out of this really

...So our preacher has been preaching a sermon series titled: Advent Consipracy. It is about how we should spend less this holiday on less meaningful gifts and material things and give more of ourselves. It is a great concept. But is it bad of me to think, "Our economy is so bad, we need people to spend more money during the holiday so things might get better." Even if that is not necessarily true, I still think it when he preaches.

I am planning on giving meaningful gifts this year. But I think I do that every year.

I do know the point of this series. It is to remember that Jesus is the reason. Spend time with your loved ones because that is what really matters.

This all sounded better in my head.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

a tiny hint

...Nana and Grandmom: You are going to love your Christmas gifts from the boys this year! I am so excited for them. What they are doing is making me want to dive right in and do one or two too. :)

Just thought I'd give you two a little tease on this Saturday morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

this is why I do laundry

...This morning, Noah has a new favorite thing:

Warm and toasty clothes from the dryer.

Mmm. It is perfect on a cold morning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

o Christmas cards

...o Christmas cards, how much do the boys hate to take them? A lot apparently. Actually this was after I made them smile "pretty." Then I told them to make a frowny face for fun and Rhett's was a fun frown but Noah's was a little too realistic. Can you tell he really knows how to pout?

The whole Christmas card thing is bothering me. On one hand, I love getting cards and also giving the cards to show off my boys. On the other hand, I dislike having to address them. On another hand (pretend I have more than 2 hands), I could just email out my holiday greetings this year because it creates less waste. On yet another hand, there are those who would not get them then. And also, I received less cards last year than the year before and am wondering if giving cards is just too big a hassle for people. Would anyone care if they didn't receive a card from me this year? (Well, I know one person: My grandmother's friend who just loves Noah wondered where her card was this past year and even asked my mom about it. I forgot to give her one). So what to do?

Really, what do I do? Or better yet, what are you going to do?

***
The one thing I am thankful for today is this little gem found in Oprah's magazine:

Barn's burnt down-
Now I can see the moon.
-Masahide (17th-century poet)

Certainly makes you see things in a different way, doesn't it? Everything has a reason, everything has a lesson. Good things come out of bad things, you just may have to look deeper.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a short list

...My Favorite Things Today:
1. Chocolate Caramel Popcorn from the Boy Scouts. Yummy.
2. My friend Cathy
3. My Clean Bathrooms
4. This weather
5. My sweet boys
6. Seth

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

thanks anyway

...As I was cleaning dog poo off of a neighbor kid's shoe this afternoon, I thought, "Today hasn't been my favorite day." I guess some days are like that.

So here is "Even though it's been bad day here are some things I'm Thankful For" Thankful List:
1. My New York City photo book came in the mail-finally! Although I noticed a couple of errors (sorry girls), I think it turned out pretty good.
2. I may see both my sisters after Christmas this year! Who-hoo!
3. Seth took both the boys to cub scouts and I am all by myself right now. A good time to catch up on laundry. Oh who am I kidding? A good time to catch up on blogs.

Bye!

Monday, November 10, 2008

bet you didn't know

...I went to Longview this weekend with Seth and the boys. No, I didn't get on the computer once. I found the "post options" feature on the blog that allows you to put the time you want to publish your blog and then I wrote this weekend's blogs all at once.

Awesome!

I hope that didn't ruin your blog-reading experience. :)

Anyway, it was Scott's birthday and so we went to help him celebrate it. We had a good time. The tall trees were just beautiful there--so colorful. They have this walking path behind their house and it cuts through the trees and it was so gorgeous. It reminded me of all the beautiful stories about children walking through the woods, discovering amazing things (The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Teribithia, Spiderwick Chronicles).

I would have loved having that behind my house when I was a kid. But I did have a cool backyard. We lived on a farm and there were lots of things to discover.

My Backyard Thankful List:
1. The barn: This barn was empty enough for us to play tennis inside of it. We had to be careful though because if we hit the ball too hard or too high, it would go inside the barn walls never to be found again.
2. There was a junk pile of used metal and such that my brother and I made a time machine. I think we were channeling Doc and Marty McFly's time machine when we put the junk together. We had such fun playing there.
3. Beside the junk pile was a huge climbing tree. I loved going climbing it and writing letters or reading books. It was peaceful.
4. For a long time, we had an empty pool in between our house and my grandmother's house. It even had a pool house. I think it was one of our (meaning my brother and cousins) place to play when we were together. One day we decided to clean out one of the "dressing rooms" which was full of junk and we found an old letter jacket (either belonging to my dad or aunt-I've forgotten which). We loved sweeping and cleaning that pool house. Maybe we did it in hopes that our grandparents would see how neat it was and refill the pool. Nevermind that the reason they emptied it in the first place was because it leaked and brought water in their house.
5. We had a huge yard. It became even bigger when Dad would mow it and we would have to rake it. I hated raking the yard. But I passed the time by pretending the grass was rice and we had to rake it all together so the hungry could it. It did help to imagine I was doing it for a good cause (other than the grass would die if I did not rake the grass).

I could probably go on but I am in a baking mood. It is rainy and cold and I want to make some muffins. Have a great day.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

observations from where I sit

...I am sitting at my table with a witch decoration hanging on the chandaleir above me. I haven't returned the Halloween decorations to the closet yet.

Across from me are the photos of my family, from 2 years ago during Thanksgiving. I look at my nephews and nieces and sons and marvel at how fast time goes. All the children in the pictures look so young and chubby-faced.

Behind me are my cluttered shelves; stuffed full of crafts, scrapbooks and books about the environment, education, taking care of our bodies and gardening. There are many magazines where I have dog-eared pages that have gift ideas. On top of the shelves are things I love--Noah's "Van Gogh" artwork that he painted in art class, Rhett's portrait of me from Mother's Day last year, two drawings from both the boys that I framed, my tiled mirror that my mom surprised me with one Christmas and my LIVE sign which reminds me to be happy.

I am surrounded by clutter on my side of the table-my camera, stacks of school papers, my date book and the current book I am reading. There is a blue and green bowl where I house my keys and sunglasses. I have a water glass by my side at all times because I always have a dry mouth. Should that be something I look into? Hmm. There are two framed pictures of our beach vacation from this summer. I look at these pictures and see fun and peace.

The boys' side of the table only has a toy magazine and a green marker on it right now. Noah has taken after me and marks what he likes.

Noah's chair has stickers on it. Many "n" s. These stickers will probably be hard to take off and I will probably be annoyed while doing that but for now I smile.

This room is our craft room. Once a dining room, my sweet husband went to Ikea with the boys and bought tables and chairs and shelves and we transformed it into our all-purpose crafting, homework, computer, ect. room. I may no longer use it much for what it was intended (scrapbooking)but no doubt I use it everyday. The boys love this room too. They can be found here first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It is never clean, always cluttered with things and there is always trash on the floor. The other side of the table near the windows has stacks of magazines and a box of potato chip bags (remember the purse?). So now there is trash in boxes too. But I don't want to change one thing. I love this room. I am so thankful for it. From this room, I can hear the music that my husband goes to sleep to in the living room. From this chair, I can see the boys play the Wii from the family room or talk to them across the table while they are working on their latest project or homework.

That is why I love this room.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

running in the leaves


...Aaahhh. Fall is here. The leaves are falling from the trees and collecting in piles around our yard. I love the rustling sound. I love the sound of two boys running through them.
I think Noah and Rhett ran through these leaves about thirty times before they claimed exhaustion. They decided to just throw them up in the air instead:
I absolutely love these boys playing in the leaves, making my day. Making my beautiful fall day.

Friday, November 07, 2008

a Keats poem for you

...The weather this week was warm. Too warm for November. Yesterday and today, however, was perfect autumn weather. The following is a picture I took at a pumpkin patch back in October but I thought it was fitting with the following poem. Enjoy!
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
-John Keats
Ode to Autumn.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

TGIT

...Growing up, Thursday was always my favorite day of the week. It was because it was the day before Friday. The anticipation of the last day of the week before the weekend was great and nothing could ruin that.

Thursdays brought clean sheet day. Every Thursday without fail, my mom would have us strip the sheets and by the afternoon, we would have clean sheets. I hated re-making the bed but I loved getting in between clean sheets. I don't wash sheets on Thursday now and a part of me wishes I did. (I do it mostly on Mondays, sometimes a little later)

If I looked into why I liked Thursdays, I would probably find a connection on how I live my life. I love the expectation of something. I love the moment before the surprise is unveiled, the present is unwrapped, the moment before you open your eyes in the morning. What will it be? (It being the surprise, the gift or what the day brings)

I admit sometimes the moment after or the day itself is a let-down but the anticipation never is.

So, I really had something profound to say about all of this but phone calls, lunch for the kiddo and having to hurry so I can take him to school has left me quite distracted. I will leave you with this:

I love Thursdays. So that is what I am thankful for today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

family ties

...Seth and I have a little Alex P. Keaton on our hands. It was no surprise to me that Rhett voted for John McCain in his 2nd grade class or that McCain won in a landslide victory for the grade. (This is Oklahoma. We are a Red state through and through) Rhett has been saying that he wants McCain to win ever since Clinton lost to Obama last year. (Yes, you read that right.) Anyway, this morning he came into my room and said:

"The election! What happened Mom? Who won?"

I told him Obama would be our next president.

"Aww. But Mom, he is going to raise taxes! And that includes your taxes."

I tried to tell him Obama won fair and square, that I am sure he would do good things in his presidency, that McCain was so gracious in accepting his defeat, that we should all be like that.

Rhett sighed, then said, "Crud."

Maybe his aunt should have a talk with him. ;)

Now that I am more awake than I was this early morning, I will tell him that Obama becoming president is historic and watching Rev. Jesse Jackson cry tears of joy really says it all.

Furthermore, I will tell him that I am thankful that Rhett already cares so much about his country. Very cool.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

i voted!

I Voted glittering comment from FLMNetwork.com

...How exciting to be an American today! We are voting on such a historic election and that will be true whomever wins.

Today, I am thankful that we live in a country where we can vote on who governs it. I am thankful for the checks and balances our forefathers created. I am thankful that we will now have either an African-American president or a woman vice-president. It is about time. I am thankful that we can each have our own opinions on who is the right person for the job.

I am happy I voted. I hope you did too.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.--Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 03, 2008

i'm thankful again

...I remember two years ago I posted things that I was thankful for during the month of November. Since I am going to try to post every day this month, this is a good time to do something like that again.

So here is my Thankful List for today:

1. The time change. I really felt less tired, if only for an hour.
2. The lovely weather. It is beautiful. Just nice enough for the boys to wear shorts, which is good because I haven't done laundry yet.
3. Amazing music. The symphony was great. I want to watch some Alfred Hitchcock movies now.
4. Good friends I can count on and relax with are a blessing.
5. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are #2 right now. For the first time ever. Wow. (I won't say how they became number 2 in the ranking because one or two fans of the other team read this blog) :)

Bye!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

costumes

...Here are the photos promised:
Noah was Jack the Beanstalk for his Storybook Character that he wore at school. He had a bag full of golden eggs too but that isn't shown. His only complaint was that I did not make the harp.
Noah the Ninja showed up for Halloween. He only looked this good for about 2 seconds. After many trips and falls (it was dark you know) his belt fell off, his swords were lost and he looked a little disheveled.

Rhett was a leatherhead, or an old-tyme football player. (Note that the number on his jersey is the date of his birthday) Of all the costumes I have ever done, I am most impressed with this one. Just too-small black sweat pants, Noah's soccer socks, Rhett's baseball shoes, an athletic shirt that I painted stripes and a "leather" helmet made out of felt. Don't you think his sports goggles were just the thing that made the outfit? Awesome!
By the way, Rhett did not share the Dove chocolate bar that he promised he would share. He ate the whole thing by himself, in front of me. Sigh.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

what krista said

...So Krista is doing a post a day all month long because it is NaBloPoMo (hee hee). So I told her I was doing it too.

The Good:

Today was Noah's last soccer game. These last two games have been great. Noah has really gotten after the ball and you should have seen his determination. He scored a goal last week and wanted to again, but we were so proud of him anyway.

Last night was fun. I will post the pictures tomorrow. (I promised my kids I would play with them so I can't do it right now). The kids got lots of candy and promised to share the Dove chocolate bar they received with me so I am happy too.

Tonight I am going to "A Symphonic Night at the Movies: Hitchcock" with a couple of girl friends. I think it will be so neat. I remember watching one episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and it was the one where the woman was buried alive. I don't remember all the details but I do remember that someone was supposed to get her out, so she wasn't panicked until she realized that that same person was in the box with her. EEEK! ;)

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

lessons learned from a half-day kindergartener

...Lesson #1: It is okay to eat lunch at 10:30 am. It is not okay to eat lunch at 10:27 am, however, at Braum's, because they do not serve lunch until 10:30 am. But it is okay to wait for 3 minutes.

Lesson #2: It is okay to like someone as much as you like God or Jesus, just as long as you do not like that person more than God or Jesus.

Lesson #3: Sad songs are the best but rocky-roll songs are pretty good too.

Lesson #4: Apparently, the only rocky-roll song Noah knows is "Who let the dogs out? Whoot. Whoot. Whoot." (as sung by Noah in the above mentioned restaurant)

Lesson #5: Limeade makes you have to pee.

Lesson #6: Pickles are the best vegetable because they make you strong.

Lesson #7: The one thing better than pickles? "You, Mom." (awww.)

Lesson #8: "If you take the BA from banana you get NANA!" Hi Nana!

Lesson #9: Just because you watched tv in the morning already but don't remember that, it means you can watch it again.

Lesson #10: Life is full of sweet surprises. (Noah did get to watch a little bit more of tv)

And the last thing is not a lesson, but a realization:

I am going to miss having lunch with Noah next year, when he goes to school full-time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

an update of sorts

...Hello! Remember me? I am the one that was sick with a sinus infection for all of last week. It really took a lot out of me. So blogging was not a priority.

Today: Red Ribbon Week starts at the boys school. I am not sure how dressing backwards is relative to kids saying no to drugs besides it being fun, but that is what today is: Backwards Day. Noah had some trouble with this concept, which is truly ironic because he used to wear his shirt backwards all the time because "I don't want anything on the front of my shirt!" I guess he thought turning his shirt backwards today meant that something would end up on the front of his shirt, I don't know. Rhett wanted to wear his head backwards. Something about strings and springs...

Coming up: Halloween, obviously. I don't remember if I've said but I really wanted the boys and I to make their Halloween costume this year. I am no longer spending over $25 on nylon costumes anymore. Rhett wanted to be a football player, so I talked him into being an Old-Tyme Football Player from the 1930s. We found a Red and Black shirt, painted stripes, found some sweats and made a leather helmet out of felt (love that stuff!) and he is now going to be a 1930s Texas Tech football player. It will be cool. The only problem is that I really couldn't let go and let him help much. When I do something crafty, I want it to look just a certain way and well, I just couldn't let him mess it up. I know that sounds terrible, doesn't it?

My terrible-ness gets worse:

But I did let Rhett and Noah totally be in charge of Noah's costume. Noah wanted to be Star Boy. I was giving him ideas and said he could be "Night" and we make his face a moon and then he have glow in the dark stars all over his shirt and pants. He said, "Why don't I just be Star Boy?" Ok...

First, we found no glow-in-the-dark stars. So they had to paint them. And, let's just say, the finished product looked like something that a little girl would wear to a dance recital. All different colored stars and glitter paint does not a masculine shirt make.

So, I made a decision. I really dislike myself for it but I told Noah that he should be something else. I gave him a lame excuse like "No one will see the stars in the dark" or "Everyone will keep asking you what you are" but inside I was thinking, "Every boy on our street, save maybe one who would probably want a shirt just like it (because he is creative and sweet), would make fun of my little boy." Especially since Rhett even admitted that the shirt was a little girly. (He said it as nice as he could)

Noah is now going to be Noah the Ninja. We are using his old karate uniform and I am making a black belt for him to wear. He even has ninja swords.

By the way, Seth saw the shirt and said "No way is Noah wearing that out of the house." Too girly indeed.

To be fair, he is really excited about being a ninja, so I don't think he is scarred or feels like I am stifling his creativity, so I feel a little better about the whole thing. I just keep picturing him years later, telling his children or therapist about how his mother wouldn't let him be Star Boy and it really hurt him. Or Rhett saying to his children that his mom would never let him make his costume by himself. But I guess there are worse things. So I'll let it go now.

And maybe next year, I will just buy the darn costumes from the store.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

double double


...Rhett lost his 8th tooth yesterday evening. Then, Noah decided to be brave and have his very loose tooth pulled when Daddy got home last night. (I told him it would save a trip for the Tooth Fairy)

When I say Noah decided to be brave, I mean he really had to gear himself up for it. Every other time we would start to pull just a little, he would squeeze Rhett's hand really tight and then scream, "AAAh! AAAh! AAAh!"

Seth told him it was ready. He said he could get it but it might hurt a little. Noah said no then okay if you think you can get it then you can try if you really think you can get it now then you can do it...

And then he screamed and cried. Until Seth showed him the tooth. Then he was all smiles.

Oh and Rhett? He is now such a pro he just pulled his tooth out himself. No big deal. :)

Note: The boys do have pajama bottoms on but no top. Just thought I would clarify that.

***
Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembering

...Today is National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. This includes miscarriage and still birth. I didn't know this until a few minutes ago but feel I need to blog about it.

I have come along way since my miscarriage. I remember thinking, when it happened, that I would never get over the heartbreak, that I would never feel the same. I kept a journal for weeks following first, because I went through a period where I couldn't sleep then because it was a tool for me to heal. And I remember writing one day that it was a good day. A "normal" day. Which for me meant that I got through that day without the terrible sadness in my heart. This day it just lifted. I am thankful for that time in my life though, because I started drawing again and writing poetry. Things I used to do but stopped for one reason or another. But these are things I love.

I do think about the baby I lost every once in awhile. I wonder things and allow myself to be sad at times. But I realize how lucky I am too.

For my beautiful friends that have gone through this, know today that I will be saying an extra prayer for you and giving you {hugs}. For my beautiful friends that are going through infertility, know that I honor you today too.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

orange you glad I blogged today?

...This week has been a little busy so I haven't had the chance to blog. Or if I had time, I didn't want to sit down and organize my thoughts to write a post. But here I am today. This will be a little random so bear with me.

Projects:
Noah decided he wanted to repaint his room. He had outgrown the cartoonish feel of his room and animated superheroes. So we picked out paint together and made a plan and next week I will post the finished outcome. I am still waiting on the finishing touches. Seth said he was a little upset that I was repainting his room, yet again (it has been 2 years, I say), but he really loves the way it is now. It is a big boy room. Of course, Rhett has plans for his own room now. Never ending.

On and off, I have been trying to make a candy wrapper purse. I have figured out the process, but now I am trying to get enough chip bags and such saved. I have found that it is a frustrating project and can see why they are selling for $90 and above. Furthermore, I would fault no one for spending that amount on a bag like it.

Volunteering:
I am a Teacher PAL for the boys' teachers and am really enjoying getting things done for them. It is fun and I feel good knowing that I am helping them.

Though the Sunday School teaching experience started out rough, it is slowly getting better. I think the busier the kids are, the better. I have to say that Noah is one of the best in my class but I think he also knows "Mom's frustrated voice" better than the rest. ;)

Rhett:
Rhett is having fun at school and Cub Scouts. I ate lunch with him and one of his friends yesterday and he thought that was the best. I enjoyed spending time with him and thought his friend was very sweet (he offered to buy my water!) but I had a big problem with the lunch trays. Why? Because they were Styrofoam! And were being thrown away in these huge trash containers. Being a relatively green girl, I am a little appalled. What happened to the reusable lunch trays of my youth? Believe me, I am going to be looking into this. I am on the PTA, you know. (Hee hee)

Rhett is already too big for his britches and I mean that literally. I just bought him jeans in August and they are too short for him. His long sleeved shirts are 3/4 length now. Sigh.

He loves to make others laugh and he finds many things funny himself. He loves to read and play outside. He is very big into fairness--what is not fair, why it is not fair, this person did this and it isn't fair and they should know that it isn't fair and so on. I tell him to relax on many occasions because life isn't always fair. I know, it isn't fair.

Noah:
Given a choice, Noah would rather skip school but I think he has fun while there. He still gets upset very easily, hates waiting and if things don't go his way, watch out. But he is also still very sweet and loving. He loves to play video games and watch tv but he is slowly starting to like playing baseball outside with his brother and he really likes soccer.

Noah has a loose tooth and could not be more excited (until Seth tried to pull it out-then he could not be more upset!). I can't believe he is already getting loose teeth. Is he really that big?

He started an art class today at an Art Institute and he had so much fun but wondered why he was the only boy. I told him I didn't know but was proud of him for doing it. He drew his self-portrait and knows that Mary Cassatt was an artist who wasn't married and didn't have kids. Impressed? Me too.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

a little reward

...The other day I was folding laundry that was piled on the couch and when I reached the bottom of the pile, I found this:

A sticky note heart drawn by Noah. I am pretending it was his little way of saying "Thanks Mom for doing laundry and folding my clothes for me every week." But I guess I'll take the simple "I love you" too.

***
My kids are known as the "funny kids" at their doctor's office. I don't know why. Could it be that last February, Rhett wore his homemade George Washington wig to a doctor's appointment and when asked about it, he answered, "What? It's George Washington's birthday!"? Maybe. When I called this morning, as soon as I said their names, the receptionist cracked up and told me she remembers that. This is a big office too. I am glad my kids are so memorable.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

so long summer


...Last night we had a sort of Farewell to Summer Supper (about a week late). Corn on the cob and pasta were enjoyed outside and then we played until dark. It is funny how Summer barbeques are always talked about when Fall is really the best time to be outside. The weather is beautiful, not to hot, not to cold. Good times.

Here is a snippet of conversation from last night:

Noah: Why do flies always rub their front arms together?
me: They are plotting their revenge. Bwa Ha Ha Ha!
Rhett: They are excited to taste the food!
Noah: Yeah!

me: So Noah, are you learning about Germany this week?
Noah: Yes. I know how to speak Germany now.
me: Tell me some words.
...
Noah: Well, I can tell you a story. There was a girl and a boy and I really don't remember the name or what happened (and on and on this went in a vague sort of fashion. Admittedly, I tuned out).
Rhett: Mom, I know the name of the army from Germany. The Germans!
me: Well, if you are from Germany, then you are a German.
Rhett: Oh yeah. Well, the German army was mean and put many people in jail and the women had to cook their own food.
Seth: Yes, during World War II, there were many people jailed for unfair reasons.
Noah: Do you want to hear the end of the story?

Monday, September 29, 2008

but what is your favorite?

...Instead of halloween costumes, Noah's teacher wants the kids to dress as their favorite storybook character the day of the Halloween party. Nice idea in theory but that means 2 costumes that I will have to make or buy for Noah.

So, I have started talking to him about who he wants to be for his favorite storybook character. I thought it might take awhile. It will.

For starters, he is picking books like Fish Out of Water, which has no main character. (That is a rhyming book, like a Dr. Suess but not quite as good). Then he is picking books that he hardly ever wants read to him. Moosetache, anyone?

I have asked him over and over, "But is that your favorite?" "Oohh...no." is always his answer. Sigh.

He keeps going back to Yortoise the Tortoise. That is Yurtle the Turtle to you and me. (Short story: I bought him a stuffed tortoise at FAO Schwarz and he named him Cortoise the Tortoise. Now he confuses Yurtle with Yortoise.) However, I don't think Yurtle is going to be an easy costume to make. I guess, though, if it is his favorite...

Friday, September 26, 2008

my present to me

...This is what I wanted for my birthday. Yes, it is a water bottle. BUT-it is a BPA-free water bottle from CamelBak. As you may know, BPA is that chemical that mimics hormones in your body and has been linked to obesity and cancer. So I told Seth this is what I wanted for our family. I ordered 4 on Monday from amazon.com (the best place, I think) and they came yesterday! Noah and Rhett were excited because the package had something for them, not just for me. But they liked the bottles too. Although trying to explain leaching chemicals and hormones to your children was rather difficult and I gave up after many, many questions from Rhett. (What's a hormone? What do they do? Are they bad? and on and on)

I feel good though. I am trying not to buy anymore plastic water bottles from the store anymore. Convenient as it is, it just makes me feel guilty. I grew up without those things, so I can do without them again.

I also bought 2 of the CamelBak bottles for my brother, but I don't think he was that impressed. "I don't know what I am going to do with them." were his exact words. :)

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What color are you?

...Do you want to know what your color is? Just a fun little thing if you have time. Go to Colorstrology and find out your color for your birthday. I am Misty Rose. I am unusual, dynamic and clever. (Not sure if I am glad about the unusual part but I like the other two.)

"Your mind is sharp and clever. You appear strong and self-confident and you do not show your vulnerability easily. It is important for you to have someone with whom you can relate. Sharing and exploring life's questions is an important part of the journey. Your personal color eases irritation and connects you to love and passion."


So what is your color?

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22

...Today, I am 31.

This morning, I made pumpkin pancakes in honor of the First Day of Fall. I woke Rhett and told him breakfast was ready.

me: Happy First Day of Fall!
R: It's the First Day of Fall?
me: Yes it is.
...
R: (shyly) Happy Birthday Mom.

That made my day.

R: I think Noah and me are getting you a gift.
me: That's sweet.
R: You know those fake gross teeth I got? I think I'll paint them all white and then give them to you to wear.
me: O-kay.
R: Well, maybe not. They probably don't fit you.
me: Too bad.

When we opened the door to say goodbye to Rhett, my friend had left a gift on the bench by the door. Noah saw it and asked who that was for. I told him it was for me because it was my birthday.

N: It's your birthday! Happy Birthday!
...
N: How long until my birthday?

Later, while he was eating breakfast, he asked, "Can I sing you the happy birthday about you smelling like a monkey? Or would you not like that?"

N: I can make you a cake.
me: You can?
N: Yeah. I'll make you a yummy cake too. Or maybe I'll make you pancakes. Or I could just make up another song for you.
me: That would be nice too.

So, happy birthday to me. I may smell like a monkey and wear gross, painted white teeth, but I think I am still pretty lucky.

***
Happy Birthday to my brother. Casey, as far as brothers go, and I know I only have you for an example, but still, you are the best. Rhett saw a golfer on tv yesterday and was so sure that was you. He knows that you are pretty special. So does Noah, so do all your nephews and nieces and especially your son. Love ya!

Friday, September 19, 2008

awareness and consumerism

...I have been thinking a lot about the environment lately, and my lack of helping it. I have really fallen short of a lot of goals for myself about becoming "green." So the other day, I bought a book to help me get back on track.

It was a great book filled with great tips and advice, plus some scary insights on what we put on and in our bodies. But most of all, it has inspired me to get back on the green bandwagon. Sophie Ulian, the author, gives resources, advice and most of all, lets everyone know that it doesn't matter what you do to help, even if you choose one thing, because every little thing helps. Even just being aware of what we do and what is bad for us is a first step. Believe me, I will no longer buy toothpaste with FD&C Blue 1 in it because that is a coal tar-based dye and that is a known carcinogen.

I want to tell you the first thing I have decided to do and what I am making my family do. Lately, I have noticed that when I go shopping, I buy things just for the sake of buying them. If I want new towels, I will get them because one, they are fairly cheap and two, I have become so wrapped up in consumerism that I have forgotten how to wait for things.

This isn't good.

What kind of example am I showing Rhett and Noah? That when you want something to go ahead and get it instead of waiting for a special occasion? That you should go ahead and get it even though it may be not what you really want in the long run? To keep adding to our piles of stuff at home?

So Seth and I made a decision. No more buying stuff just because we want it. If we see something we want or desire, I made some little wish list books (reusing paper we already had by the way) so we can write those items down. Then when it is time to buy ourselves a little treat (because let's face it, there are times we do deserve them) we pick something small from our wish list. When it is time for birthday and Christmas, we pick those things we really like. Maybe we will see that some of those things weren't things we really wanted in the long run. I love this idea. My kids have no idea what it is like to look forward to something. That is my fault. But we are changing that right now. Consumerism will not have a hold of me anymore. (Yes, I am aware that in New York, all I did was buy things but I am forgiving myself for that because it was vacation and it was fun). :)

It isn't going to be easy. I told Seth I may have to avoid going to Target because that store tempts me. But I am trying to help myself by thinking that maybe if I wait to buy towels I won't have to get the cheap ones. I can save for the really nice organic cotton or bamboo towels. Same thing for sheets or even clothes.

I feel good about this. Seth feels good about this especially since the economy has taken a downward spiral. Noah took this hard but he'll be okay. Rhett loved the idea. So 3 out of 4 isn't bad. :)

***
Also, Krista and I found these really cool candy wrapper bags at the M&M store in New York. They were so cute but they cost around $90 and above. Well, I found out how to make them! It won't be easy, but I am going to try. The one pictured below is from Nahui Ollin's collection. I will let you know how it goes. And Krista, if it looks as good as the one below, I'll send it to you!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New York- Day 3 and 4

...Today, this post will be photo heavy. On Saturday and Sunday, we saw some sites and we did even more shopping.

I wish I had Krista's explaination for this statue. I read the plaque, still didn't understand it, so she told me what it means in her own words. Basically, it is symbolic of good vs. evil and if Krista would like to tell you more, I'll let her. :)
The statue was a part of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and here is the church above. It was a beautiful church and being in the Upper West Side, it was also very peaceful. Not as many people and not as much traffic. We could actually talk while walking down the sidewalks and not have to walk one in front of another. That was a nice change of pace.
The church was nice but they were still fixing it after a fire in 2000 or 2002, I can't remember. Here I am at the American Museum of Natural History. The dinosaurs took up most of the 4th floor and they were amazing. There were also prehistoric skeletons of giant sloths, mammoths, giant turtles and horses with really skinny legs. I liked the museum. I think it made me miss the boys because I knew they would have enjoyed seeing those things a lot. I guess I'll have to come back with them one day.
This photo is of Central Park. I can see now why Central Park is such an important part of New York City. There aren't many trees anywhere else in the city, and this is also a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of things. We walked pretty much straight across the park to get to 5th Avenue on the other side.
Krista and I split up from Mom and Jana to do some shopping and when the two of us got back to the hotel, we had a near celebrity siting: Debbie Phelps, Michael Phelps' mom, was walking out of our hotel! "Krista, Krista, there's Debbie Phelps!" "She's here...because...Michael's here!!" we both shouted. Michael Phelps was going to host Saturday Night Live that night. Just 2 blocks from our hotel! I was so excited. I even thought about waiting in the lobby that night (or early morning) to see if I could catch him coming in, but I decided not to. That would have been silly. :)

Saturday night we went to Brasserie 8 1/2 for our birthday celebration (Jana's birthday was on Monday, mine will be this coming Monday). We had the most fun. The food was wonderful and the drinks were great but the company was the best. I really feel very lucky to have my sisters and mom. I am so glad we came on this trip together and hope we do more trips together.

Sunday:

We took the subway to downtown so we could see the Statue of Liberty and the WTC site. We came across this though on the way to the statue. There were many flags like this at Battery Park. They had the names of the fallen heroes from 9-11. It was a beautiful site. This is the spere that was in front of the World Trade Center buildings. It was damaged, as you can see, but they brought it to Battery Park for a temporary memorial. The eternal flame was lit exactly one year after 9-11. It was sad to me to see this in person.And this is the site of the World Trade Center. Not much to see obviously. It is hard to believe there once were two towers that stood so far above everything right there.
Every time I look at this photo, it makes me laugh. The duck is almost as big as the statue! That is about how far away we were. I didn't care though. I still thought it was cool to see. What a great symbol it has been for so many. Krista shot this photo of me trying to get everything into the one suitcase I brought with me. It was not easy, let me tell you!
The final photo is one of the four of us, ready to go to our Broadway show. I loved The Lion King! It was so fantastic! By now, our feet were killing us, they were so tired, but we put on our nice shoes anyway because this was our last thing we were going to do.

After the show, we walked down Times Square area and decided to eat at a diner that was across the street from The Lehman Brothers. There was a huge crowd and many tv cameras just watching the building. I have to admit, I had no idea what was going on until I asked.

Well, that was my trip. I loved every minute of it and definitely want to go back. Now I am back and this week has been a struggle to get back in the groove of mommyhood. Laundry, cooking, sports and doctor's appointments... But I was so glad to see my boys.

Later.