Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Serial posting...

Seriously, I ask again, what is wrong with this kid?

Shall we review the things I find hilarious about this particular choice of outfits?
And of course the attitude!

30 seconds ago...

Me: Why do you smell like cocoa butter? Are you wearing sunscreen?
Skyler: Yep.

WTF? This child is so bizarre.

End of Year Questionnaire...

One of my favorite bloggers, Linda, who writes All & Sundry, has posted an End of Year Questionnaire. I figured it'd be fun to give it a whirl. I preface posting it with the comment that I'm having a bit of a memory problem lately (doc's appt tomorrow) so my answers may be more than a little boring if not entirely inaccurate:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I met some of my internet friends.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I can't remember for sure if I even made any last year. I'm going to guess that I was all "I'm not bothering to make a resolution this year". I do have a few resolutions for this year, but I'm keeping them to myself for now. I'll discuss when I've got a handle on them.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My SIL Jessica and her husband Jeff had beautiful Madison in April and several of my lovely internet friends had babies. Special mention goes to my BFFs, Mike & Amy, who adopted the adorable Nate.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Crazy and LooneyTania

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Peace of Mind

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 4th, the Presidential Election.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

This isn't a personal achievement but I'm very proud of Zack and how he's doing in school.

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No more injuries than the usual bumps and bruises. I fear I'm suffering from Hypothyroidism now and it's affecting everything else.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Christmas treats...

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Matt's for putting up with me and my crazy moods.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own.

14. Where did most of your money go?


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Visits with family.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
I can honestly say that I don't associate songs with years. I don't usually know who sings what or when they sang it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise (who DOESN'T wish that except maybe Linda?)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worried. It gets me nowhere.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent it with friends and family in the snow, more pictures to come.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I did. I fell in love with Nate as soon as he was brought home and my niece Madison when I finally got to meet her.

22. What was your favorite tv show?
I'm such a tv whore. I think my favorite show is House or Big Bang Theory or maybe Chuck. I can't decide.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? {sigh} I think I hate President Bush more now than I hated him this time last year. I really wish I didn't have to say that.

24. What was the best book you read?
Seriously, I read TONS of books. There's just no way I can decide on a best. I did enjoy the last book of the Twilight series but it wasn't the BEST book I've read. If I read The Time Traveler's Wife in 2008 then that was the best book I've read, but it's possible I read that in 2007.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I'm musically lame. I wouldn't call anything I listen to a discovery.

26. What did you want and get?
A new President.

27. What did you want and not get?
The desire and effort to get off my ass.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
WELL, I so rarely go to the movies without kids. I think perhaps Religulous was my favorite of the ones I saw.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I don't remember and 29+5

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Financial security.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? "Do These Pants Button"

32. What kept you sane?
UH, who told you I was sane?

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I was oddly interested by Angelina Jolie this year when I've never particularly liked her. I wasn't interested in her career, more as her as a mother.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh dear FSM, do you read my blog? I was slightly obsessed by the Presidential election.

35. Who did you miss? I missed my MIL, Lu, because I didn't talk to her as much as I used to. I need to get over my phone issues.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.Feeling like shit all the time is NOT normal. Is that a life lesson? It should be.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Can we refer to my previous statements about my lameness where music is concerned?

So that's it. I think I was right when I predicted that my answers would be lame. If you would like to take the questionnaire and post it on your blog, I'd love to read your answers. Post me a linky wouldya?

Snow storm awesomeness...

My SIL, Lashelle, just sent me this picture. How awesomely perfect is it? That's Matt and Skyler walking through the snow to pick out a Christmas tree. Lashelle posted a bunch more snowstorm pics on her blog, check them out.


Last night I was snuggling up with Skyler watching Tinkerbell and I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thoughts of all the wonderful and thoughtful gifts our family and friends showered us with this season. I will be the first to admit that I was not in the spirit this year. I was overwhelmed with our trip and haven't been feeling well. Last night the wonderfulness of those who are in our circle of loved ones hit me. Thank you to all of you for everything you did for us this Holiday Season. Individual and personal thanks are coming privately.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Braving the weather for pictures...

Last Monday we piled up 5 kids and 7 adults and head out into the slush and snow to have the kids' pictures taken. I was pleasantly surprised at how uneventful it was. The kids were very well behaved and we got some cute shots. Yes it did help that I ran and bought a box of candy canes and waved them in the kids' faces in exchange for smiles. Here are a few:

I'm just noticing the enormous bags under Skyler's eyes, poor kid. I think perhaps her mother was letting her stay up too late playing with her cousins. We need our beauty sleep, that's for sure!

Home again home again jiggity jig...

14 1/2 hours, 8 states, 4 tanks of gas, 5 movies, 3 driver changes, 2 fast food meals, 4 potty stops, 7000 toll booths, 3 horrendous traffic jams, and 1 giant giggle fit later, we're home. My ass aches every time I even walk close to Matt's car. I've got Post Traumatic Driving Trip Syndrome.

I must say, for the record, that even though the return trip took FOREVER, the kids were absolute ANGELS. I had more of a fit than they did. They got along, played quietly, took a nap, and were basically the best thing a stressed out traveling parent could hope for. Thanks kiddos!

I don't think we topped 10mph through all of New Jersey.

Pretending to sleep.

Still had a smile on his face.

I've got tons of pictures and lots of vacation details to post. I'm working on it...

Monday, December 22, 2008

New toy...

My Mom got a fancy schmancy new camera that I've been playing with. It was fun taking pics of my kids with their cousins today:

My nephew Noah outside in the snow.

Skyler after FINALLY coming in from the cold.

The adorable Bryce!

Matt rocking sweet baby Madison to sleep.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

The weather outside is frightful...

It's been snowing for three days! The kids are giddy with excitement. As soon as we got to Grammy's house they were excited to put on their snow gear and head outside. I stomped through the snow to grab a few pictures and then promptly head inside where it was warm so I could take a nap.

I love looking at their rosy cheeks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm still here under the pre-Holiday prep mess...

I know I haven't been around much this month. I've been crazy busy with all the Holiday activities that having two school age children brings. They've also each had birthday parties to go to every weekend for at least the past four. I feel bad for kids who have December birthdays so I've made sure not to decline any but hot damn does that take the wind out of the sail that is my day.

Anyway, I'm trying to get it all wrapped up by Friday when I officially start vacation. Hopefully then I can spend more time just taking pictures and think for two seconds. I'm sure that will inspire some blog posts.

For all of you other blog writers out there, I AM still reading and I'm enjoying watching you get ready for the Holidays too.

I'll pop my head up from the ribbons and bows and bags and paper soon. Wish me luck with the hot glue gun!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MORE whining but this time with shotguns...

Do you ever have some pain at night and rather than waking up to relieve said pain, your brain just incorporates it into a dream (and hey brain, how is THAT helpful?)? Last night I had a long vivid dream that I had been shot by a shotgun in the shoulder. I FINALLY awoke to discover that at some point I had raised my arm up over my head. I have a bad shoulder and up-over-my-head is not a position that this shoulder likes for any reason and lying there for hours (??) was painful indeed. How it got up there in the first place is a mystery to me since I rarely lift it that high when I'm awake. At some point I woke up and thought "OWWWW" and had to use my other arm to move that arm down where it was comfortable. Thankfully there were no bullet wounds. "Go to the doctor you say?" Yeah I've been there and done that and here we are again.

So, my shoulder hurts a bit more than usual today...

Oh there's another recurring dream I have when I'm having an asthma attack in my sleep. I'm either drowning or so out of breath I'm gasping for air. Again, how is it helpful to incorporate this into a dream? I awake at every intake of air that Matt has yet I'm about to die of an asthma attack and NOTHING. "See a doctor" you say? I'm sensing a theme with you...

Some whining, and it's not from the kids...

I'm not someone who enjoys wearing glasses. It's not that I mind how they look. It's that the weight of them gives me a headache. You know the headache you get from wearing a headband or a hat? No? That's just me? Ah. Could explain some things. Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that I tore my last contact lens on Saturday. I didn't even realize it was my last pair. I've since ordered EIGHT boxes of contacts (overkill much?) but *insert whiny voice here* THEY WON'T BE HERE UNTIL FRIDAY! *pout* I can't stand wearing my glasses for three more days. My head is killing me. I'm currently sitting here with no glasses on and the monitor to my computer pulled up practically to my chest. (and before anyone mentions it, yes my glasses are the correct prescription, I just can't stand wearing them). So there's that.

The kids are excited for Christmas. Skyler is currently on the naughty list. She got in trouble at daycare on Monday for kicking another kid when he gave her a compliment. When I expressed my outrage she said "well I wanted him to change his mind". I'm guessing maybe this child likes her and she would like him to stop liking her so she thought kicking him was a good way to go about that. He probably likes her more now. She was grounded from watching any television for three days. I caught her in the living room while her brother was watching tv. In true Skyler fashion, she was sitting backwards on the couch, staring at the wall, thereby not actually WATCHING the television. How do you keep a straight face for that one? Zack has the fear of Santa in him and has been good as gold (this week).

We're right in the middle of school Christmas projects, gift giving list checking, and other various loose ends that have me all wound up. I'm looking forward to having the week of Christmas off!!!

What are you up to?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sometimes you should just hide under the covers...

Ways in which this weekend and the Office Christmas Party sucked:

* I tore my last contact lens which required me to wear my glasses to the party.

* I spent a stupid amount of time searching for a magic outfit that wouldn't make it look like I've gained 15 lbs - but I couldn't find one.

* ALL the skin on my face conveniently decided to flake off on Saturday morning (WTF?).

* I had a giant "blemish" in the center of my forehead.

* The more make-up I put on my face, the more my skin flaked off.

* I looked like a three-eyed skin flaking whale Saturday night.

Some days you should just go back to bed...

Ways in which this weekend rocked:

* Skyler read to me.

* I had fun with Mike & Amy and Matt at the party (there might be pictures later).

* I got to sleep in Sunday morning.

Some things make up for the fact that you should have stayed in bed.

We have ANOTHER Reader!

It wasn't that long ago (April 6, 2007) that I wrote a post about Zack reading his first entire book to us. He's continued to excel at reading and now his sister is right behind him.

On Friday she mentioned that she read the book Hop on Pop! at school. At first, I thought we had the book, so we spent an hour or so searching for it on all our bookshelves. I was thinking that it was also the first book that Zack had read to us, but seeing the post I wrote above, his first was Go Dog Go! Eventually I promised that we'd get it at the library. By then it was too late to go and I didn't have time on Saturday despite Skyler asking me every 35 seconds. We FINALLY made it to the library Sunday afternoon and hunted down their one copy of Hop on Pop! which she read to me in line checking out, sitting waiting for Daddy to pick us up, in the car, while I cooked dinner, and to Daddy while watching football twice. We are SO proud of her and she checks that information by asking us every 35 seconds "Mommy, are you SO proud of me that I can read?" I AM so proud of her. I'm actually fairly shocked too. She got every word. I need to ask her teacher if they've been reading this book everyday or if she's really reading as well as she seems to be. Either way, she's well on her way to a love of books which makes me giddy!

Go Skyler Go!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wrap rage...

Does anyone else find the amount of packaging involved in children's toys absolutely ridiculous? This has been a pet peeve of mine for years now (my kids are 7 and 5). Two years ago I came across a display in Home Depot with an item that has proved to be INVALUABLE in dealing with Christmas packaging. I bought one and have showed it to anyone who has come to my house for a gift giving occasion. But they disappeared. I couldn't find them in stores or online anywhere. Then recently I picked up the most recent copy of Family Fun Magazine and there was a review for this heavenly item in their Holiday section and then I saw a review in another magazine and I thought "YAY now others can have them too". SO, without further ado HERE is the Parent Must Have Christmas Item:

It has a sharp snipper that can cut through that plastic mold they put over everything. It has a screwdriver for the screws they use to hold everything in place inside the package. It even has a blade for when you say "Oh FUCK it" and want to rip right through. Oh and there's a lock so the snippers don't stay open and get caught on little fingers. I LOVE THIS THING. I found them on Amazon. If you have a kid that gets toys as gifts, you need one of these.

Speaking of Amazon, they are THE BEST. Jeff Bezos is working to provide customers with Frustration Free Packaging. Read his letter about what they're doing:

Thank you thank you thank you Amazon.

And thinking of this reminds me of my very favorite Dave Barry column, "So, you think you've got troubles? Try being a Cinderella pinata" (applicable excerpt below):

In recent years the toy industry, after consulting its lawyers, decided it was too dangerous to allow children to come into contact with toys. So the industry went to the Institute of Defensive Packaging, which is the outfit that made it impossible to open an aspirin bottle without a hammer.

For toys, the Institute came up with a vicious system that involves attaching the toy to the package with dozens of nearly invisible twisted titanium wires, which are then covered with powerful adhesive tape, after which everything is encased in thick, weapons-grade plastic that, when you try to cut it with a knife -- and, trust me, you eventually will -- defends itself by turning into lethal shards that can slice through your arm like a machete through a Twinkie. And of course, while you're grappling with this packaging, cursing and bleeding, your child is in your ear asking "When can I play with it when when whenwhenwhenwhenWHENWHENWHEN?" Such is the power of child nagging that some parents are, incredibly, still getting through to the toys. So the Institute of Defensive Packaging is working on a new system: Soon, toys will be immobilized inside Lucite blocks, like giant paperweights, so the child can only look at them and cry while the parent checks the Yellow Pages under "Acetylene Torch Rental." Homes will burn down; people will die. But that is the price a society pays for safe packaging.

In conclusion, get the tool or shop at amazon.com. Heck, shop at amazon.com FOR the tool.

p.s. - as much as I wish they WOULD, amazon is not paying me for any of my love.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Last night as we were doing homework, Astronomer Jenn (not really an astronomer) called to tell us to look outside at the moon.

For a couple of days this week, for about an hour after sunset, you can see the crescent moon with Jupiter and Venus.

I wasn't prepared for night photography so this doesn't show well, but Jupiter was actually much brighter than Venus.

If you remember, step outside tonight and click here and here for some more interesting information about this planetary conjunction. Apparently it's fairly rare for them to be this visible in the evening. Usually they take place during times that are difficult for us to witness. The next time we'll be able to see Jupiter and Venus this close is February 16, 2010. Mark your calendars.

In other non-planetary news, we had a very lovely Thanksgiving at my Aunt Joyce's house. My cousin Jill's girls were there. The four kids had a great time playing chase, and hide and seek, and other things that involved screeching and giggling. They were all very very well behaved, even Zack. There was only one injury, guess who. Come on, you know... Skyler of course. Her two front teeth had a mad run in with her brother's elbow resulting in a very Angelina Jolie look for her. She screamed like her teeth had been knocked out and all I could think about was not getting blood on the white carpets while Zack repeatedly told me that he "didn't DO anything". It was entirely an accident. No I didn't get any pictures of that. I did get a couple of dinner (my camera is still being crappy, maybe it's just my patience):

The girls had a blast doing toasts with their little cups.


Friday, the kids and I avoided anything that remotely looked like a retail establishment. I can't remember WHAT we did, but we didn't go near those nuts with shopping carts.

Saturday, Amy and I continued our after Thanksgiving tradition of going to the big Craft Festival in town. I made the mistake of deciding that it would be a good idea to donate blood as we walked in. I hadn't been able to donate at my last drive and they weren't busy so I jumped at the chance. WELL, about an hour later I felt nauseous and dizzy. I know that most people wouldn't walk around a ginormous craft fair after giving blood, but seriously I've never ever had a reaction before and I donate every 56 days or so. I had to sit down and Amy got me something to eat. We continued on but I still felt woozy. Eventually I went home and got in bed and stayed there for the rest of the night and most of Sunday. My head was pounding and I felt dizzy every time I stood up. I just kept drinking water and figured it was flooky. Who knows? These things happen to me!

That's all the news that's fit to print. I'm off to pick up the wee ones!

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