Saturday, December 26, 2009

Time to Relax

At least I hope so. This has been a very busy couple of weeks for us.  Yesterday was wonderful.  The only thing that could have made it better was if Ronnie had been off work.  He was supposed to be, but some things happened at the hospital and he needed to go in on Christmas Day.  And Christmas Eve, but we already knew about that one.

Yesterday morning we had a family brunch with Aunt Wii and Unc, and their 3 boys, 1 daughter in law, grandson, and Aunt Wii's Mom.  After sampling a bit of everything Ronnie got ready for work and Paige and I left to go visit family.  We had a 45 minute drive. Paige watched her new Snow White DVD on the way.  First stop was my parents house.  Paige opened her Princess dress up trunk.  She immediately started taking off clothes to get dressed up.  She was half naked (only panties & a turtleneck on) when she realized she didn't have any shoes.  She looked at Grammy and said, "But what about the shoes?"  My child must have shoes for everything!  We told her to just put her clothes on and get dressed, that we would worry about shoes later.  Next she opened the matching shoe boutique.  Life was good.  We left Grammy & Grumpy's house to go to Granny's.  (That would be Mom's Mom.)

Let me tell you about Granny's Christmas tree.  It's been up in the living room, which we only really use on Christmas, for 10 years.  It's decorated with ornaments, Mardi Gras beads, and Easter eggs.  I walked into the living room this year to find it gone.  In it's place was a tree put together by Aunt Glennis and my cousin Stephine.  It was beautiful.  A pre-lit, revolving tree decorated with bright colored squares.  As I got closer, I could see that each square was filled with a picture.  Lots and lots of pictures.

A picture of my grandmother at 21.





My grandfather's going hunting in his Caddy.




My graduation from Army Basic Training.




Granny & Paw Paw's 25th anniversary pictures.  I'm the cute blonde in green.




And their 50th.  Wonder why they weren't holding me and Nancy this time.





My Aunt Shari who was killed less than a year after this picture was taken.




Pictures that were amazing to look at.  Each picture was printed in black and white.  Kleenex should have been placed next to the tree.  My favorite gift this year?  A CD of all the pictures on the tree and more.  The gift exchange and gumbo that came after were good.  It was nice to see Paige have a Christmas like I remember it.  In Granny's house running around with my cousins having a great time.  I want her to have memories like this when she grows up.

Our final Mississippi stop was to see Ronnie's parents.  They got a new dog from the pound for Christmas.  He was in doggy prison for eating the chocolate covered cherries at his last house.  Paige brought him some treats so that he could eat something a bit more appropriate.  We spent some time with them then headed home.  We finally made it home well after Paige's bedtime.  In fact, she was asleep before we ever got to the interstate to drive home.

Today Ronnie's older sister Connie stopped by for breakfast.  She brought her husband and daughter as well.  We ate, then watched the 2 girls play Wii for a bit.  Connie wasn't feeling well, so she headed home.  We had a good visit though.  I'm sure you were probably expecting pictures of our Christmas.  I'll blog those when I finally download them from my camera, including telling what Santa brought.  For my Facebook friends, you can see all of the pictures  in the Old Family Pictures album if you want.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why?

Why do I do this to myself?  I know it's the holidays and I'm busy, so why do I make it worse?  I know the reason, I just can't say no.  And I really want things to be nice.  This week has been really busy for us.  Actually, the last couple of weeks have been.  The start of the craziness started with the Relay 4 Life team I'm part of.  We're working on fund raising, even though the event isn't until April.  Each week we have a bake sale.  Someone brings in baked goodness and the office pays to eat it.  The past three weeks have been all me and Ronnie.  We've been bringing in cupcakes: peanut butter chocolate one week, cookie dough the second week, tiramisu cupcakes this week.  We get next week off, Kelli's Mom is taking over and making cookies.

Another part of our fund raiser is Wednesday lunches.  See, each Wednesday we play trivia as an office.  Before trivia we meet in the training room and eat together.  Each week someone makes lunch, and the rest of the office pays $5.00 each for lunch.  Last week Ronnie made cheddar broccoli soup, salad, rolls and sweet tea.  Today was chili, mini corn muffins and sweet tea.  Except I forgot the tea.  Kristi told me I was fired, everyone else says I'm not.  The chili was gone within 20 minutes.  I think there was a couple of corn muffins left, but I'm not sure.

Daycare is having their party this week.  That means I need to put together some sort of gift for Paige's teachers.  She really only has three teachers, but there are others that help out.  I can't leave out the director, or the teacher who helps out in the morning.  I've been making chocolate covered pretzels like a mad woman.  Also this year I found a mold for candy canes with a chocolate candy on it.  I've had to make 7 sets of candy for daycare.  Then I offered to make 2 more sets the above mentioned Kristi's kids to take to school for their teacher.  Each set is 2 candy canes and 4 pretzels.  Pretzels are finishing up in the fridge now.  I still need to make 3 more candy canes to be done.

Then there's the usual stuff that needs to get done.  I spent last night wrapping presents.  Have I mentioned that the roof was leaking?  Yeah, that needed to be dealt with.  I've also had to make gingerbread cookies.  So technically I didn't have to make them. But I love them.  So I made them.  I'm participating in 2 Secret Santa exchanges, so I've been working on those.  Our office does 1 gift a week for 3 weeks (snack, ornament, reveal weeks).  Ronnie's been working late and I've been super busy at work learning a new concept.  And I went back to the doc today for a check up.  Carpal tunnel is doing better, but he still wants me to consider the surgery before it gets too bad.  And I've lost 13 pounds in the past month.  I'm getting closer and closer to my goal weight.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Too Smart

There are some days when I think Paige is too smart for her own good.  Today was one of those days.  We stopped by Target to pick up a few things.  While we were there I looked in the toy department for something Grammy wanted to get Paige for Christmas.  I actually spotted it and decided to go ahead and get it, even with Paige there.  I know, not the smartest move, but it couldn't be helped.  It was just the 2 of us, so I couldn't get Ronnie to distract her.  And last time I  didn't get the gift when I saw it resulted in my searching 3 states for 2 weeks to find it again.

As I picked it up I told her Ms K (a lady I work with) wanted it for her little girl, KJ.  Paige thought that was OK.  Then she saw what I was holding: a Disney princess dress up trunk.  Complete with an Ariel outfit among other things.  (Mom already found the matching shoe boutique, so we're set.)  Paige realized what I was holding and thought about it for a minute.  She started petting the box like a cat.  Then looked up at me all innocent and said: "How about we get one for Daddy's little girl, too!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Early Christmas Gift

Our family got an early Christmas gift from Dr. B, my Dad's cardiologist.  On Wednesday it was decided my Dad needed to have a heart cath.  My parents met with Dr. B on Thursday, yesterday.  It was scheduled for today.  He has been having irregular heartbeats.  The EKG's indicated 2 to 3 blockages.  Because of other medical conditions Dr. B decided to tackle this in stages.  Today was stage 1.

Stage 1 was exploration.  Dr. B would do the heart cath, and see where the blockages are.  Stage 2 would take place on Monday or Tuesday where any repair work would be done.  This would allow Dr. B to use a minimum amount of die, which is bad for your kidneys.  He would map the blockages, then use the maps next week and not be required to use the dye.  This would be best on the kidneys.

Stage 1 took place at 10.  At 10 AM Dr. B kicked us out of the prep area.  He said they would finish up prep, and do the procedure, that we should expect it to take an hour.  Imagine our surprise when just 30 minutes later we were called to the consultation room.  Granny (Mom's Mom) and Uncle Little Erie (her oldest brother) were with us.  Mom said she felt it would be good news, I wasn't so sure.  Dr. B walked in with the absolute biggest smile on his face.  He said it took half the time because there were no blockages to map.  None.  Dr. B's exact words?  "His arteries look better then mine.  I have more blockage than he does."

Stage 2 has been cancelled.  Dr. B said that this is our Christmas gift.  He also said he feels much better about his family vacation to Bethlehem now knowing that everything is good.  Being the person I am, I had to ask about the irregular heartbeat and what is causing it.  Dr. B says it's probably his heart trying to keep up with other medical issues and some infections.  Now that he knows there are no blockages, he can control the heartbeat with medicines.

When Dr. B left the room we immediately pulled out cell phones and started calling the rest of the family.  Mass text messages were sent out.  Our family has had our first Christmas gift.  I know, you aren't supposed to open them early.  I hope you'll forgive us the faux pas.  But I can promise this is one gift that won't be re-gifted.  I hope your Christmas gifts are as wonderful as ours.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grammy Sews

My mom makes great children's clothes.  She goes to one craft show a year and spends time making the outfits all year long.  I'm sure you've seen pictures of Paige in some of the clothes on here.  All the smocked stuff Mom made.  I sat down today and started her an Etsy shop.  It's a work in progress, so I hope you'll be kind.  Please take a look and let me know what you think.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Traditions

One of the great things about having your own kids is starting your own traditions.  We've started some traditions for Christmas that I thought I would share.  Hopefully you'll find something you like and get to start it for yourself.  This way you'll have time to get prepared.

First is our Christmas countdown. Very easy to make, and rather frugal too.  (Frugal is my new word.  It sounds so much better than cheap.)  Get toilet paper rolls and cut them in half.  You'll need 12 tubes cut in half.  You can also use the tubes from paper towels.  Paint half red and half green.  Hot glue onto a piece foam board, in the shape of a tree.  Cut out the tree.  I get treats at Dollar Tree.  I'll get a bag of Christmas chocolates and a package of stickers.  Fill each tube with 1 or 2 treat, cover each one by stuffing with tissue paper.  Each day starting December 1st, Paige gets to pick one tissue paper to pull out.  Our own homemade Advent calendar.  The best part is it's reusable year to year.  I made ours last year, and I'll be stuffing it tonight to use this year.



Second is our letter to Santa.  I know, that's nothing special, most kids write a letter to Santa. Our twist is how our letter is delivered.  I didn't like the idea of mailing a letter to end up in the dead letter office.  I wanted Paige to believe that Santa really got her letter.  My solution?  Our special letter garland.  I made this from foam Christmas shapes on a plastic cording.  We write the letter to Santa, then place it on the tree with the special garland around it.  The special garland tells Santa he has a letter ready to pick up.  Santa then leaves a letter in return.  I found the foam shapes on clearance at Oriental Trading last year for 97 cents a package of 500.  (I love to clearance shop for Christmas around Easter time.)  The plastic cording came from Michael's, also on sale.  You could make your own from popcorn or by making a red and green paper chain.  Or maybe you can find some foam shapes at your local craft store.

Third is our matching jammies.  Each Christmas Eve Santa brings us an early gift: matching jammies for Mommy and Paige.  To pull this one off you need to shop early.  Target has a great line of Nick & Nora sets.  You can usually find a few sets that come in toddler, little girl, and Mommy sizes.  This year we're getting this one. Santa will bring them early that day, and we'll put them on after nap.  We wear them while we complete the next section of traditions: snacks for Santa and the reindeer.  Santa is easy, we make him cookies.  Our Santa doesn't drink milk; he's lactose intolerant.  And he hates the taste of milk.  Our Santa drinks Coke.  We set out cookies and a Coke for Santa.  For the reindeer we make reindeer food.  It's simple and easy to make.  Grab a large mouth bowl.  We use our popcorn bowl and it's perfect.  Mix in some regular oatmeal and mix with either sugar sprinkles or glitter.  I like the sprinkles best because they'll melt away with a rain.  The glitter stays in your yard forever.  Once you have it mixed, spread it on the ground where you think Santa will be stopping in the yard.  this way the reindeer can eat it while Santa delivers the gifts.  The sprinkles helps the reindeer to find the oatmeal.  Our squirrels eat the oatmeal and the sprinkles melt away, so it's good for the animals.  If you're feeling extra generous, fill that empty bowl of Reindeer Food with water so they'll have a drink also.

Our suggestions may not fit into your family at all.  That's OK.  You can create your own traditions that are right for your family.  Come up with something that the kids will love and you'll enjoy doing with them.  Have fun with it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After

Yesterday was a day full of family and food, two of my favorite things.  We had a lunch with Ronnie's parents, an afternoon visit with my parents, then dinner at my uncles house.  With the size of my family I won't even tell you how many people were there.  I'll leave it up to your imagination.  I will tell you we filled up the 2 car garage with tables, then overflowed into the dining room, eat in kitchen and the bar separating the kitchen and living room.  Kids were running and playing and having a blast.  Paige and Andrew (her cousin who's a few months younger than her) were inseparable.  That's what I love about holiday get togethers: watching Paige play with her cousins like I played with mine.  I'm very proud to say that I stuck pretty well to my diet.  I ate small meals and didn't stuff myself.  I took only 1 bite of dessert and gave the rest away.

Today was a major lay around the house day.  Even Paige slept late for her.  She's usually up at 6, but slept until 7:15.  We finally got out of jammies around 2 this afternoon.  I've been playing on Facebook off and on today and reading the updates from my friends who went out Black Friday shopping.  They said it was fun but the crowds were horrible.  I guess that's a good thing for the economy, right?  We didn't go out shopping this year.  That would mean getting out of that nice warm bed and putting on real clothes instead of jammies.  Breakfast and lunch have been close to fend for yourself.  Can't really do that completely with Paige since she can't make her own lunch yet.  But there's been no organized sit down to the table meals.  Maybe tonight.  We'll have to see.  The most exercise I've had today is letting the cats in and out.  I didn't eat much turkey yesterday, but I feel like that typical Thanksgiving afternoon turkey triptofan lazy hangover.  Hmmm. Maybe it's not the turkey.  Maybe it's just the overload of family and food that does it.

I hope everyone had a good day with family and friends yesterday.  This 4 day weekend is shaping up to be a relaxing one for us.  Tomorrow we break out the Christmas tree and start decorating.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day to spend off the computer and with your family, so this will be short.  Take time today to stop and call someone you haven't called in a while.  An old friend or family member you've lost touch with.  For me Thanksgiving doesn't have to be the traditional gorging on food that we've made it.  It should be a day to spend with family.  For the first time in several years we'll be going to visit family today instead of spending it at home.  For the past couple of years we've celebrated with our friends at the house instead of going to see family.  Shake things up this year, do something a little different.  We're having tacos instead of turkey!

It's also a day to build up your strength for Black Friday Shopping.  I won't be participating this year as I've already finished my Christmas shopping.  A lot of you are probably going out shopping.  Have fun and be careful.  Some of those people are crazy!

If you get a chance stop by Beth's blog.  She's doing her 2nd Annual A to Z countdown of things we're thankful for.  Add your own, or just read everyone else's.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Results

I've been at this whole exercising thing for a week now.  I've done really good.  I did miss Saturday, but I had a good reason. I spent the day at my parents helping them. Both of them are sick at the same time, and they just needed some help.  By the time I got home, I didn't have the energy to workout.  I'm OK with that.  But there are results to report this week.

Sunday is weigh in day.  I lost 3 pounds last week.  And I moved my belt in a notch.  When Aunt Glennis saw me Saturday the first thing she said was that I had lost weight.  So other people are noticing it.  I'm definitely feeling better about myself.  Let's be honest, my scale is showing me numbers I've only seen while pregnant.  I've got to get smaller numbers on that scale.  Ultimately, I would like to lose 3 pounds.  I don't know how reasonable that is. I'm going to start with a smaller goal.  For the holiday season, I would like to lose another 10 pounds.  Considering all the family meals, meaning the whole family of 40 plus people, and parties we have coming up, I think another 10 pounds by the end of the year is reasonable.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Too Early

Yesterday morning, at 5:59 am, we heard a knock on our bedroom door.  Just before that I could hear the door between the living rooms open.  Nothing uncommon.  Lots of time Wendy will be up before us and let the cats in.  The knock at the door was different.  Ronnie thought we had overslept.

Nope.  He asked who it was. There was a little voice saying "It's Paige!!"  Yes, I could hear the exclamation points as she said it.  Just as he opened the door, the alarm went off.  Yippee.  Paige crawled in bed with us for a few minutes before we got up to start the day.  We should have said something to her then.  Did we?  Of course not.  We were too busy laughing about it.

This morning, at 5:15 the living room door opened, and there was a knock at the door.  You guessed it, she was back.  At the age of close to 4 Paige has realized she can actually get out of bed, open doors, and crawl into bed with us.  She laid back down with us and we tried to sleep until 6.  Of course, that didn't happen.  Paige is a wiggle worm, bed hog, cover steeler.  And the 3 of us in a queen size bed just isn't very comfy.

Off and on today, as we could, we had a chat with Paige.  She now knows what will happen in the morning.  If she wakes up before we do, she can play quietly in her room.  She is to play in her room until we come get her.  Paige does have a really cool room.  She can play in the Princess Fort or build on her Bob the Builder Workbench. There's always the baby dolls, stuffed animals, and doll house to play with.  Let's hope we get a full nights sleep tonight.  Today there was some grumpy Mommy and Daddy walking around.

Monday, November 16, 2009

30 Day Challenge

I'm embarrassed to admit how long it's been since I last used my Wii.  I got Wii Fit when it first came out.  And I used it, but I got bored with it.  Same exercises over and over and over.  When Wii Active first came out I got that one too.   That seemed more my speed.  A dedicated trainer who worked out with you giving you a specific set of exercises to do.  I need more guidance.  Left up to myself I only played around and didn't get much out of it.

Active has a 30 day challenge feature.  Each day the trainer gives you a full workout. Some days are more aerobic than others.  Each day is a full workout.  You work out 2 days, rest 1 for the full 30 days.  Starting each challenge gives you the option of easy, medium, or hard.  You set goals as well based on the number of calories you want to burn, number of workouts you want to do, and number of hours you expect to complete.  It's a great tool, if you actually use it.  No, it's not the same as going to a gym and working out with a real trainer.  I know myself well enough to know that I won't use a gym membership, even when my company will pay for it if I go 8 times a month.  This can be done in my own living room, a much more appealing thought.

Today I started a new 30 day challenge.  Once again I'm repeating the easy challenge.  Even the easy challenge gives me a workout.  Less face it, accountants don't get a lot of exercise at work.  The only part of me getting a good workout is my hands and fingers, as my carpal tunnel shows.  I've been slowly changing my lifestyle.  I started with my diet.  We've been eating healthier and watching our portion sizes.  Today started the exercise portion.  I didn't want to start too much too fast. I knew I wouldn't keep up with it.  This way, hopefully I will.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Injured

We've had a few injuries around here lately.  First, Ronnie's computer didn't get injured so much as it died. It was 6 years old, it was probably time.  That's like 90 in computer years, right?  That's why my Halloween pictures are so small, I had to take them from a Facebook posting to get them on the blog.  I couldn't download pics for a few weeks.  His motherboard went out and we finally got it replaced.

My left wrist is injured as well.  I was told about 10 years ago that I had tendentious in that wrist.  It would hurt from time to time, but for no more than a week at a time.  At the most.  It's been hurting for close to 6 weeks now.  It's carpal tunnel.  I have a wrist brace that I have to wear all the time.  And I'm taking a high dose anti-inflammatory.  I hope that it works.  I go back in a month.  If it's not better I get to see an orthopedist.  My doc said if I go see the ortho, he expects me to have the surgery.  That the surgery is really the best way to fix the problem long term if the less invasive way doesn't work.

I write with my right hand, but do most other things with my left.  Wearing the brace is a major pain.  It hurts if I wear the brace or not, but I'm wearing it to give it a try.  I'm trying to learn to do things right handed.  Like brush my teeth and eat.  Both are very hard for me.  But I'm trying.  I do try to not let it affect most things.  It's hard to type, but I still do it. Today we're going to play with Bob the Builder again.  Then go to Chick Fil A for lunch.  It's in the mall, so I think we'll do a bit of shoe shopping.  Paige needs a pair of winter boots.  She loved her boots last year.  And technically it is winter, even if we are still in the upper 70's.  It's too cold for her to keep wearing flip flops all the time.  Time to replace one favorite pair of shoes with another.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

They're heeerrrrreeee

When I got home today, I saw this on the door between the two sides of the house.





Yeah, not exactly what I was hoping to see either.  Wendy was kind enough to warn us at least.  I've changed up a plan for Saturday so we don't expose anyone else to the flu germs.  So far only Marc is sick and we want to keep it that way.  It's the regular flu and Paige has already had her flu mist, so I think we're good.  She's also already been closely exposed to the flu and swine flu and she's not caught it.  Let's hope it stays that way.  I can handle being sick, but do not look forward to a sick baby girl.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Patience

What I need right now more than anything is patience.  Paige has been horrible today.  And I don't mean just a little bad.  I mean in bed 2 hours before her usual bedtime because she's been so bad.  Daycare told me they've never seen her this bad, and she's been bad there before.  She was so bad that before we left daycare she had lost TV, computer, and snack privileges.

Today's issues?  Standing on chairs and sticking out her tongue at her teachers.  Or how about telling her teachers no all day.  Or coloring her arms and legs with orange markers.  She looked like an Oompa Loompa.  Those were just a few of her transgressions.  We talked about it and she understood that she would not be getting any treats today.  We also talked about her not sticking her tongue out and how it wasn't nice, all that great stuff.  Sounds good right?  Yeah, you don't have a 3 year old.

We got home and went straight to the bath.  I wanted a little girl, not an Oompa Loompa.  As she was getting undressed, Paige started sticking out her tongue.  I told her to stop before she got a time out.  She laughed at me.  She got a spanking and a time out.  Then she got a bath.  As Ronnie cooked supper he and I watched Top Chef, which we love and she hates.  Evil Mommy and Daddy, huh?  She still wasn't listening so Ronnie told her that if she kept not listening, she would go to bed early, with no stories.

You guessed it, she didn't listen.  Our kitten Ronan got fixed last week and Paige isn't allowed to pick her up.  Paige picked her up, then fell with her.  Ronan is fine, but I do like to be careful of her stitches.  Paige was sent to bed at 6:15.  Her usual bedtime is 8.  She's called us a couple of times.  I went in once, Ronnie went in once.  Now we're just ignoring her.  She's fine.  She's safely in her bedroom with her flashlight and book, laying in bed.  I can hear her moving around.  I know she's safe, but I'm also not going to feed into her little need to procrastinate and push our buttons.

It could be the weather.  At least I'm hoping that's it.  We're being hit by Tropical Storm Ida right now.  Sometimes weather can affect people.  I've had a headache from it all day.  Paige was stuck inside all day and didn't get to play outside.  She would live outside if we would let her.  She may be getting a bit stir crazy and acting out.  Could just be she's 3 and hates to listen.  Whatever has caused it, I hope it goes away soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Girly Night

Ronnie is working late tonight.  This happens every couple of weeks or so.  Most nights all I heard was "I want my Daddy."  I got rather tied of hearing that, so now we have Girly Nights.  When Daddy works late we do something special and girly, just for us.  It can be something simple, and can be done with things around the house.  No special prep is required, and I don't have to go buy anything.

Tonight we ate a most unhealthy dinner.  I went through the deep freeze and pulled out stuff we like that we hardly ever eat, or only eat in moderation, and made a full meal of it.  Tonight I served french fries, pizza rolls, egg rolls and garlic bread.  To make it better we ate at the coffee table watching TV.  This was a huge treat as it's something we've never done.  We always eat dinner as a family at the table.  And we ate on paper plates.  Something else we don't do.*

After dinner we took a shower together.  Paige did a good job of washing Mommy's back and helping wash my hair.  We put on robes and moisturized our legs.  We sat at the vanity and blow dried our hair then put on lip gloss.  Now we're sitting on the couch watching Go Diego Go.  We'll be snuggling pretty soon.

*Mommy disclaimer:  I don't feel so guilty about dinner.  Just before I started heating the fries Paige ate her Flintstones vitamin and ate 2 fresh picked satsumas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Water water everywhere

And not a wall is dry. Over the weekend a pipe burst at daycare. It messed up the kitchen as well as the staff bathroom. That was easy to fix. It's the 2 inches of water throughout the school that's caused the problem. Yep, 2 inches of standing water. The walls were soaked, as well as anything on the floor. Servepro has been out since Monday trying to get the school dry. You see, they can't reopen as long as the walls are still wet. The longer they're wet, the more likely mold will grow, and the kids will get sick.

Huge industrial fans have been brought in to dry the walls. They're also using the directional blowers that blow concentrated air. Today they added dehumidifiers. They've also removed the baseboards and drilled holes in the wall. This way the air can get into the wall and hopefully dry things out.

Daycare has been closed all week. We're hoping it reopens tomorrow. Ronnie took off Monday, I took off yesterday, and Aunt Wii took the first half of today. I worked an early 6-12 shift in order to take the afternoon off. If they're closed again tomorrow it's Ronnie's turn again. I'm just waiting for that email telling me they're open for business as usual tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween

The party was an absolute blast! We had about 15 kids here, and plenty of adults to help out. Ronnie and I took off work Friday so we could start getting ready. He built a graveyard where the garden used to be.

Some lattice work intended to go around the shed became a haunted house. We used these things and a few others to create our scavenger hunt.


We started our afternoon with painting pumpkins and making hand print bats. Then the kids ran wild in the backyard playing on the swingset and with the outside toys. We had a fun round of Pin the Heart on the Bat. Then finished off with the scavenger hunt. We got creative with this. Instead of assembling goody bags to give each child as they left, we used the goody bag items as prizes. When the parent and child found what they were looking for, say the graveyard, they got a stretchable skeleton and added it to their bag. Once they found each place, they had everything I was going to put in the goody bags.


By the time the party was over, the kids were getting a bit tired. Paige and Jude relaxed on the swing with their cupcakes.

We ended the evening with some great Trick or Treating. This year we dressed as pirates. We let Paige pick the theme, then we all dress the same.

We set out to do some serious candy grabbing around the neighborhood. We planned ahead and got the stroller from the attic, just in case. Daddy manned the stroller as we hit the houses.

By the end of the evening, we had one already knocked in his stroller.


We had a lot of fun, and I wouldn't change anything we did. Now that we're recovering, things are getting a bit more normal around here. Well, as normal as they can be with daycare closed for 2 days, but that's another blog.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Think back to your childhood. What was your favorite toy? Not just on Christmas morning, but the one you could always count on day in or day out provide hours of entertainment. It had to versatile. It needed to be able to change from a fort to an airplane almost immediately. You didn't have a toy that did that? I did. And so does Paige. It was easily replaced when lost or damaged. It may not be her favorite toy, and I'm not sure it was mine for long periods. But there were times when it was my absolute favorite toy. What can be so many things?

Here is Paige's boat:


And a few minutes later it was a train:




Very easily adapted to whatever you want to play. Use your imagination and let it run wild. A few months ago we had one decorated like a car. Have fun with it. If you don't have a car/train/fort/boat in your house, you're missing out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getting Ready for the Party

Paige asks me everyday if it's time for Halloween Party. Every day I show her on the calendar how much longer we have. Each day she asks why it's so long away. The more her friends at daycare say they're coming to her party, the more excited she gets. What she doesn't see is what Daddy and Mommy are doing after she goes to bed at night.

Our party has evolved over the weeks since I first posted what we plan on doing. The scavenger hunt has grown larger. Instead of pulling a number to show they found the item, the child will pick up a prize. This will be the last game played, and each prize is a piece of the goody bag we intend to give the child. The kids get to find the scavenger hunt items and put together their own goody bags. One less thing for Mommy to have to do. The scavenger hunt will be set up on Friday. We'll make the scavenger hunt lists and get everything ready for the kids.

I have made bat faces to attach to the hand prints each child will make from black foam. The faces are made from different color foams with googly eyes, pom pom ball noses, and sharpie drawn mouths. I need to cut the foam into squares to make it easier for the kids to trace their hand prints. Next on my list is the hearts for pin the heart on the skeleton.

At some point I have to get out all of the decorations and things that we've been picking up here and there to get it organized. There is so much to do that we have both taken Friday off from work. We need to clean the house and decorate. And a trip to Sams to pick up food. And Party City to get the balloons. And Staples for the scavenger hunt lists; or Walmart for more black ink and card stock. I can make them. Never mind. Out comes the scrapbooking card stock and the markers. Add one more thing to my list.

There's also a pumpkin to decorate for work. And a couple to decorate for home. There's cupcakes to bake. Daycare is having a Halloween party on Thursday as well as trick or treating. I'm taking off work to go with them. Expect lots of pictures soon as we have a busy week ahead.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ummmm.....

Paige was holding a small trading card of some sort this morning on our way to daycare. She bent it and couldn't get it to straighten back out. She wanted that crease line to go away. I tried to explain that it can't go away. That once you fold paper, the crease line will stay there. She thought about it for a few seconds.

"It's OK, Mommy. You can fix it with your glue gun when we get home."

So, does that mean Mommy uses the glue gun a bit too much?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bob Pictures

Ronnie brought his laptop home tonight. For you that means pictures from Bob the Builder. We started by seeing Bob and Pilchard before the exhibit opened.


Paige liked playing on the vehicles. Benny:



Muck:


Dizzy- And one of my favorite pictures of the day:


Jay Jay's Workshop:


My little builder ready to go:


We fixed the shelter for the vehicles:


Bob needed some help in his trailer as well:


We ended our time in the Bob exhibit by meeting Bob in person. He wasn't very talkative. Daddy said Bob was just shy.


And our time ended with getting to build something. Lowes is doing building classes during certain times. Paige got asked to participate. We made a ball toss.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bob was Awesome!

Bob the Builder was everything we hoped it would be. Paige had been looking forward to this for a while. Mommy and Daddy were looking forward to this as well. We got the flyer announcing the exhibit about 6 months ago. It finally opening has been exactly what we were waiting for. There will be many pictures to come, as soon as they are downloaded from the camera. That could be a few days unless Ronnie brings home his laptop from the office tomorrow night.

We played for probably an hour or so in the bob exhibit. We got to "drive" preschooler size models of Lofty, Muck, Rolly, and Dizzy. There was a Scrambler with Bob and Pilchard on it, but we couldn't drive that one. There was a shelter that we got to finish building. Jay Jay's workshop had lots of tools and blocks for building. Farmer Pickles needed help with his water pump. We put balls into one side of the pump, and run to the other side to turn the taps and watch the "water" come out. We fixed the sink in Bob's trailer. But Paige's favorite part was planting Wendy's garden. There are flower beds and a vegetable garden that need to be planted.

Paige doesn't know it yet, but she will be attending a special Bob the Builder brunch in a couple of weeks. We've reserved a table that seats 6 for the event. Bob will make a special appearance for breakfast. She and Daddy will have a blast at that. I have a previous promise to keep on that day, so no brunch for Mommy. But that's OK, hopefully Mommy will be eating the best donut in the world that day- a TatoNut Donut. That's a whole different blog though.

Paige had such a good time that she decided she would like to have her birthday party with Bob. Her birthday is January 23rd. The last day of the exhibit, and last day of the parties, is January 3rd. I called today and booked the final party of the Bob the Builder exhibit: Sunday, January 3rd, at 3 PM. These birthday parties are amazing! All we do is show up. They provide everything, including the invitations. Those are being mailed to me tomorrow. I can complete them and send them out at my leisure. They even provide goody bags and a cake from one of the best bakeries in town. All I'll need to bring is the diet drinks for the diabetics in attendance, and ice cream if we decide we want it. The price is comparable to what we would spend on a party at home once you factor in everything. Paper supplies, goody bags and food really add up.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chilly night

Yesterday we had a high of 78 and a low or 67. It wasn't too hot finally to get out and do things. The mid 70's are a good range for me. The best part of living in the South is the weather. I like warm days. Not the too hot of 100 degree weather all the time. I had enough of that living in Central America. I like to be able to get out and do stuff, not spend all the time under the air conditioner. Yesterdays temps were perfect for me.

Today we had a high of 71. And I saw that temperature this morning when I went to work at 6 am. It just got colder from there. Our low tonight is 45! We had high winds and the temperature just dropped as the day went on. Now I sit here wondering how cold it's going to get in the next couple of weeks. I know, many of you are already getting snow. To you my high of 71 would feel like summer. To those of you, I say move on down here! The weather is good. But 45? Already? Shouldn't we get that around Christmas? I want it to stay a bit warmer for a little longer. It was such a nice day that Paige and I got to play bubbles and chalk on the back patio this afternoon and I was able to open all the doors and windows and just air out the house.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Netflix & Redbox

I've been a member of Netflix for 7 years now. In that time I've rented hundreds and hundreds of movies. It's a very simple process to rent a movie. You browse the selection online, put the movies you want to see in your queue, and wait for them to arrive. I mailed back a movie today, and will have another one in it's place Thursday in the mail. All I have to do is walk to the mailbox and get it. Very simple, easy movie rental. No late fees and I can take as long as I want to watch and return a movie. I just rented a movie and didn't have to get out of my jammies. And all for $18.57 a month, with tax.

There are some days when you just want to watch a movie right then. You don't have time to get it from Netflix, you want it now. Thats where Redbox comes in. You can go to their site, and reserve your movie online, then pick it up later. Redbox are only $1 a day. There are 2 Redbox sites between daycare and home. One is at a grocery store and the other is at a drug store. If you sign up at their site for text messages, you can get a free rental a month. The first Monday of each month I get a text with a code for a free rental that day.

Between the two, we get to watch movies when we want, with a great selection. Netflix has everything I've ever searched for. Whether it's an old movie, TV series, or an out of the way foreign film, it's always been there. We've watched entire series like Deep Space 9 or caught up on the beginning of shows we've more recently started watching, like NCIS. I did try Blockbusters mail rental when it came out. It took longer to get movies and longer to ship them out after they got a return. They could have improved since I tried them, but I certainly can't recommend them. But Netflix and Redbox have been nothing but great for me. Give them a try!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bob the Builder

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know Paige has a thing for Bob. Last Halloween she dressed as Bob, I was Wendy, and Ronnie was Bob's Dad. We have a Bob the Builder work bench, tool belt and hard had. Good news here is that Bob the Builder is coming to our science museum! That's right, Saturday morning we will be there when they open. Paige is very excited about this.

We've had some backsliding lately with using the potty. Paige has been too caught up in her playing to stop and go to the bathroom. Some of you, those without kids, are wondering how these two topics blend together. See, I believe in bribing, um, I mean giving incentives. That's the word I was looking for, incentives. If Paige can go all week without having a potty accident, we will go see Bob the Builder on Saturday.

I haven't told Paige the super good news yet. The first weekend of November there's a special brunch. At this special brunch, the kids will get to actually meet Bob the Builder! That's right, Paige can have yogurt with Bob. How super cool is that? That day she was supposed to go to an art festival with me and my parents. Mom has realized that she's being pushed to the back for Bob. It's her chance to meet Bob up close and personal. And maybe share some OJ. I couldn't pass that up for her.

Hopefully my little bribe, or incentive, works. You see, Mommy is pretty excited about this too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Party

Halloween is Ronnie's favorite holiday. We've been waiting for it to fall on a Saturday. We've been planning our party for a couple of months now. No, it's not a party for adults, it's one for kids. Our age range is 2-8. Trying to find games and acitivities for all of these kids has been a challenge. Now that I've got some good ones lined up, I thought I would share. Hopefully this post is early enough in the month for you to plan a party of your own.

First, our party time is 2-4:30. This gives us the best part of the day to have fun. Many of our friends have set plans for trick or treating each year. They will have plenty of time to play at the party, then go home, get dressed, and still get to their normal plans on time. Our party is candy free. The kids will get more than enough candy that night, so they don't need more. We won't be doing prizes for each game. I don't want anyone to feel left out. Instead, we will be giving out goody bags at the end.

Our games include:
1. Pin the heart on the skeleton. I got a 3 foot neon green skeleton and have cut out a black heart from foam. I'm cutting out red hearts from construction paper. Each child will have their own heart to put on the skeleton.

2. Scavenger hunt. We live in a cul de sac of older neighbors and some, well, aren't so neighborly. Even dividing the kids into teams with an adult, I'm not comfortable with them bugging the neighbors. Instead I have inflatable decorations and yard sticks. Each one will have a number on the back. The list will be pictures. The kids will pull a number off the back of each item they find. Less to carry and it's all in our own yard.

3. Bite the bat. This replaces bobbing for apples. Too many parents are freaked out by swine flu and germs to do that. Each child will have their own bat cookie with their name on it. We hang them from strings just above the childs head. They place their hands behind their backs and eat the cookie.

4. Handprint bat. I have purple and black foam for this one. I'll use the purple to make bat faces with googly eyes and a mouth. The black foam will be used for each child to have their hand prints cut out and used for bat wings. Glue the wings to the pre-made face and you have a bat to take home.

Goody bags will have Halloween themed items inside. Also, I have little extras here and there from Paige's birthday parties and goody bags for school. I'll be getting rid of some of these by using them in the goody bags. Kids won't be opening them until after they leave, so they won't know if the one they have is exactly like the next one.

Refreshments will be light snacks: pizza rolls, mini egg rolls, chips, dip, and drinks. There will be some guests staying late to trick or treat with us. We'll have a quick dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs since we'll mostly be full from the rest of the party. Two blocks over from our house, still in our neighborhood, starts the best trick or treating in the city I think. Block parties, themed houses and tons and tons of candy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Snow White Coupon

Snow White comes out on DVD and Blu Ray tomorrow. If you go to this site you'll be able to print a coupon for $10 off. Since Toys R Us, among others, is offering it for $19.99, you can get it for half price. Yes, the site is legit. In fact, the coupon is being offered by Disney. Coupon expires on Saturday. I wasn't sure we would be getting this one. But, for $9.99 Santa has a gift already in the closet.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekends

You say you would like a play date? Maybe a cook out while the kids play in the yard. Sounds great. When? Um. Let's see. I think I can fit you in the 3rd week of November. Is that good for you? Oh. You wanted something sooner? I can put down that you would like an earlier date in case of cancellation you will be notified.

The weather is getting nicer here and that means we can get out and do more things. Summer months are just miserable. It's 95 degrees with 120% humidity. No one spends time outside unless they're just weird. We may be weird, but not that weird. In the coming weeks we have scheduled a trip to New Orleans to visit Ronnie's sister, the opening of the Bob the Builder exhibit at the local science museum, a trip to a corn maze, and a Halloween party. That gets us through the rest of this month. Next month we have more trips to the museum with other friends to play with Bob and his crew. By the time our schedule dies down from this great fall weather, we had a high of 85 today I think, we'll be in full Christmas swing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fun at Work

I'm sure most of you would never think accountants would have fun at work. We sit and work with numbers all day. Most people yawn just from hearing what I do. Yeah, not the most glamorous job in the world. I get it. Really. After all I work with the stuff every day.

In an effort to keep to liven up the mood in the office we're now doing some fun things. Wednesday is trivia day. We break into teams and compete against each other. The team with the most points at the end of the month gets lunch on the company. Each weekly winner gets a candy bar. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, my office is all about the food. The day I started and they found out I married a chef, they were super excited!)

Friday is Fun Friday. This was the 3rd week of Fun Friday's. Our first week was bingo. It was fun. We all won something. Last week was character dress up day. I was Cat in the Hat. Our first place winner last week was Little Red Riding Hood. She brought a basket of chocolate to bribe the voters with. Today my team had the pleasure of coming up with the fun. We put a lot of thought into it. And came up with 2 games we played and enjoyed as kids: scavenger hunt and pin the tail on the donkey. Only we didn't have a donkey. We played Pin the Tie on the Accountant.

It was hysterical watching our coworkers run around like mad trying to get everything. We made it more interesting by assigning points to each item, some were large, some were negative. Some of my favorite items were the red stapler, a la Office Space (it was on my desk), the desk chair, many used it to carry their stuff which was why it was worth negative points, and the 5 pieces of toilet paper with pink highlighter letters spelling out the company name. Everyone had a great time. And now the standard has been set. The next team has to come up with something to top us. Let's see if they can. If they do, we all have fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are several slogans floating around these days to get people more involved. I've seen "Save the tata's" but I think my favorite is "Save Second Base." That's the funniest one I've seen. Then there's the ever present "Feel Your Boobies." I see that one a lot. Pink ribbons are everywhere this month too.

I do have a friend who recently went into remission from breast cancer. She was diagnosed when she was 6 months pregnant with her daughter. She postponed treatment until she was almost 9 months. She delivered her daughter 3 weeks early because she couldn't put it off any longer. Once she was diagnosed she had one breast removed. She put off chemo as long as she could. Once her daughter was safely here she had the other breast removed. She discovered her lump herself by doing her monthly self diagnosis. That's why it's important to do this monthly. Had she waited, her outlook would not be as good as it is. Today she's a first time Mommy to a little girl. Had she not discovered her lump she could be in more serious trouble. She had a fast spreading breast cancer that would have gone past both breasts before her due date had it been left unchecked.

Doctors recommend that women have a baseline or screening mammogram around age 35. I'm now 36. I slid past my doctor last year. Not this one. He told me I would have one before I saw him again. I trust my doc, so I called to make an appointment. I celebrated the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with my first ever mammogram. Honestly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. For those who haven't had one, there's pressure when it's being done, but after that, you're fine. There's no long lasting side effects. Although I did talk Ronnie into sushi and flowers for surviving my ordeal. I'm good until I'm 40. At least I hope so. I'll have results in a week or so.

If you don't usually do self exams, you should start. It saved my friend and her unborn daughter. If you've been putting off a mammogram because you're afraid it will hurt, it's not that bad.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mama is tired!

Tonight was the night. The night I had to work at the consignment sale. In order to shop early, you must volunteer to work. It's how you "pay" for your early shopping privilege. I worked my regular work schedule at the office, leaving 15 minutes early in order to make it to the sale on time. I got to the consignment sale at 5, and my shift ended at 9.

This time I worked at the front door. Just like leaving Sams, you must show your receipt to leave. And I ask about large ticket items, things like cribs, strollers, high chairs, large bulky items you can't really carry around with you. If you have none, out you go. If you have large items, I have someone pull the item for you while you move your vehicle up to the door. The very nice men outside then load it for you.

Tonight's shoppers were for charity. Each person paid $5 to enter, 100% of that money went to the charity of their choice. They could pick from the list we had. Then, upon checkout they were once again asked who they were shopping for, 10% of their total sale goes to that charity. The second half of the night is set aside for first time parents and grandparents. We sell lots of larger items during this sale. Lots of people buying high chairs, swings, cribs, everything.

My 4 hour shift was over before I knew it. Now I'm sitting home with my feet on the coffee table. My feet and back hurt from standing for the past 4 hours, but I'll survive. I'll just wear comfy shoes tomorrow to work.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Consignment Shopping

We have a twice annual consignment sale here in town. I'm sure there are other sales during the year, but none stack up to this. This one totally rocks. There are 850 consignors. Each consignor is allowed to place up to 150 items, and no more. Each item placed is closely inspected for any stains, tears or missing buttons. Those items are immediately rejected. A lot of the clothes are name brand. My best find last year? Purple Ralph Lauren stripped sweater, looked brand new, for $5.

Yes, I'm a fan of this sale. I look forward to it each year. As quickly as Paige grows, I just can't see spending $50 for a Ralph Lauren sweater for a 3 year old. I'm more of the $5 crowd, than the $50 crowd. My bank account can't afford the full price for Polo. There's a fall/winter sale, and a spring/summer sale. Usually by the time the next sale rolls around, Paige needs all new clothes. That's what happens when nothing from the year before still fits. At the age of 3, Paige is in a size 4. She needs it for the length since she's so tall, but her little waist is more of a 3T still. Last winter she was in a 3T. Last years pants are closer to a capri than a long pant. None of the shirts fit.

I volunteer to work at the sale, meaning I get to shop early. I also consign at the sale (this is my first sale to consign) so I get to shop early for that as well. I shopped today on my volunteer ticket, and I gave my consignor ticket to Aunt Wii to shop tomorrow for her grandson, Xander. The sale opens to the public on Wednesday. The doors opened at 4pm. I was in line at 1:30. Preparing for this sale is easy: go through Paige's closet to see if anything still fits, grab a laundry basket for shopping, a book for reading while you wait, and sit and wait. Lots of people take chairs to wait, that's too much effort for me. I don't mind sitting on the ground. I waited 2 1/2 hours in the heat to be one of the first in line. I was about number 75 to 80 in line. Number 1 in line got there at 11 am.

I did well at the sale. I got 1 toy box (bin style retail $6o, paid $30), 6 pairs of pants, 3 skirts, 2 dresses, and 15 to 20 shirts. Total spent? $117. Probably my best find is a pair of Children's Place pants, size 4 with the adjustable waist, cute little butterflies appliqu├ęd down the side, tags still on. Retail was $19, I got them for $6.50. The person who consigned them got them on clearance for $12.50 at least.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I loved this book when I was a kid. We moved into a house where the previous tenant had left a few boxes. Either stuff they didn't want or stuff they forgot. I was happy to discover they had left books. This was one of the books they had left behind. I carried this copy around for me for quite a while. Still not sure what happened to it, but I've lost it somewhere along the way.

Today we decided to try and take Paige to another movie. She did much better this time. We got popcorn and Sprite, a treat in itself, and settled in to watch the movie. We didn't see the 3D version, thinking she may not be ready for that just yet. I'm happy to report Paige sat through the entire movie, and seemed to really like it. She did get bored for a bit by the end, but she stuck it out and enjoyed it overall.

Now, I'm laying on the couch blogging (sorry to ruin any glamorous ideas you had about me) while listening to Ronnie read bedtime stories on the monitor. Paige picked the sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh, as her story tonight. If you haven't read the book, get it and read it to your kids. The movie is a great adaption that had to be greatly changed to make a 20 page children's book into an hour and a half movie. I think they did it justice though. Pickles to Pittsburgh isn't too bad either.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chores

I'm not some Super Mean Mommy that makes her 3 year old do a lot of chores. But, I do like for Paige to help out. And most of the time, she's willing to help us. Her chores aren't hard, but they are something she has to help with.

1. Feeding the cats. We keep the cat food in a cheapie plastic storage bin under the shelf where the bowls are. Paige pulls it out, takes of the lid, scoops a coffee cup full into the bowl and closes the container. When it's full she can't push it back onto the shelf, but she will ask for help. Mommy still gives the cats water since that's very messy.

2. Putting away her shoes. My shoe fiend child would leave shoes all over the house. Where they came off is where they stayed. Not anymore. One of her jobs is to put away her shoes when she takes them off.

3. Pick up her own toys. This is where we have issues. Today I got Paige early from daycare (I get off work 2 hours early on Friday.) When I picked her up I told her she had to pick up her toys. My living room was covered in them. What should have taken 5 to 10 minutes took an hour and a half. There was a timeout involved. She does not want to pick up her own toys. She says it's "too hard" or they are "too heavy." Funny. They weren't too heavy when she was playing with them. Maybe Fisher Price should look into lighter toys.

That's it. Three chores for a three year old. Maybe when she turns four in January I'll add something to the list. For now, we're doing good with the chores she has. And SHHHH! She doesn't know the word allowance yet.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Procastination

I'm not much of a procrastinator. I'm more of a "let's do it and get it over with" kinda girl. I don't know what's gotten into me lately. There's only the typical issues going on in my life, nothing out of the ordinary. Paige has been saying and doing lots of funny things, but I still put off blogging.

Saturday we were killing time at the mall while Ronnie's car was getting an oil change at the Honda dealership next door. We did our usual rounds of the stores we like to look in. As usual Paige wanted a lemonade from Chick-Fil-A. After all, they do make the best lemonade ever, but I digress. We left The Disney Store and I walked down the mall to get the lemonade. I met back up with Ronnie and Paige, with Paige looking proud of herself. Mommy got a new ring. Ronnie saw a ring being advertised on a sign outside of Kay Jewelers, and thought I would like it. He and Paige picked it out for me.


It's very pretty, and yes it does look like something I would wear. Ronnie said he got it because he doesn't buy me enough pretty things. He likes to buy me pretty things. I do like pretty things, but I'm also very much a gadget girl. A new iPhone or flat screen monitor are very exciting to me as well.

When Aunt Wii said something about the ring, Paige put her hands on her hips, cocked out a leg to twirl on and said "I picked it out. All by myself. Because I know how to pick out rings." OK then, all credit to Paige. Daddy just saw the sign, asked about the ring and paid for it. And in case you're wondering, there was no occasion. My birthday is in April, and our anniversary is in June.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Paige's Stairs

The thing that sold me on Paige's big girl bed is the stairs instead of a ladder to get to the loft. I just think that's the neatest part of it. And to make it better, each stair has a little drawer that you can pull out and store special treasures in. When Ronnie put it together, he left the drawers empty so Paige could fill them with what she wants.

Yesterday, she used them for the first time. There are 5 drawers. She decided last night that they are now beds for her animals. Nemo got the top drawer, pink puppy got the second, and Lenny from Wonder Pets went into the bottom drawer. The other 2 remained empty. This morning she got Nemo out and brought him with her. The others are taking very long naps in their little drawer beds.

I know this is just the first of many things that she will put in there. And really, finding a pink puppy stuffed into a drawer is probably the most normal thing I'll find as she gets older. One day I'll look back and think it wasn't so morbid to stuff your pink puppy into a drawer that reminds me of a vampire going to sleep in a coffin. I'll wish for those days as I find more and more interesting items in there I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Post Vacation Stuff

I'm having a hard time getting into the swing of things in my post vacation world. There's been things going on here and there, but nothing to keep me away from here. You'll be happy to know things are progressing here the same as they are in the rest of the world. Halloween is approaching. We will be a family of Pirates this year. Paige picked the theme, and we found matching costumes. Yes, I've already bought them. I like to shop early. I'm planning a Halloween party for Paige's friends. So far I've got a few games lined up. My favorite is pin the heart on the skeleton. It involves a 3 foot neon green skeleton and hearts made from construction paper.

The large twice a year consignment sale is coming up soon. This is my first time selling clothes. Each sale I can consign 150 items. So far I have 31 tagged and ready to go. I have a lot more tagging to do this week. All clothes must be dropped off Saturday morning. At 10 AM. I'll be out there early to drop off. The last weekend of the month is when I get to shop. I'm hoping to make enough from selling my clothes to pay for what I buy this time around. Absolutely nothing from last year fits this year. Paige is in a size 4 for length, but needs probably a 2T or 3T for her little waist. Adjustable waistband is my friend.

I promise to try to do better. I have ideas rattling around in my head, I just need to get them out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Paige's Big Girl Bed

We're home. I think the travel update and pictures will have to wait another day. The big event was revealing Paige's new bedroom to her. We've been planning this for a little over a month now. That's how long it took to get the furniture special ordered. We fell in love with this loft bedroom set. The top is a twin, the bottom a full, the left side is stair with a drawer in each stair, and the right side is a dresser. We don't need the full bed setup now, so Ronnie converted that area into a Princess Fort. Every kid needs a fort in their room. Ryan and Jeff want one now.

Here's a before picture. Her crib converted down to a toddler bed. And would have gone to a full bed had we wanted to do that. The closet has no doors, and the windows are covered only by blinds. Ronnie called this his Trading Spaces Workout. And if you ever need a Trading Spaces partner, let us know. Ronnie would totally rock!!!

Her chalkboard wall.

Ronnie started by painting 2 walls pink. He also moved shelves from above the bed to above the chalkboard wall. The closet and the blinds have matching sheers over them now. He moved the baby furniture into the attic. Well, except for the dresser, that's in the closet and actually holds her clothes. The new dresser has blankets and dress up clothes. He had help from Ryan and Jeff to move the big girl furniture into the room and putting it all into 1 large piece.

Once he got the loft in place the real work began. That's when Daddy had to put up the shelves. And create the Princess Fort. To create this, Ronnie actually sewed the curtains for this. Then he moved in the doll house and lots of stuffed animals. But it didn't seem quite finished to him. To play on the floor like that she needed some throw pillows. So he made them. That's right folks. Ronnie builds furniture (one day I'll post pics of the computer desks he built), he paints, he sews, and he draws. He's a natural for Trading Spaces.

Here's the final results.


The big reveal.


Taking off shoes to get up into her bed.


Showing Daddy the pillows match.

She couldn't wait to crawl into bed and read.


Paige loves her new Big Girl Room as she calls it. Ronnie did an amazing job of transforming the room while we were gone.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Having a blast

We have been going non-stop since we got here! Of course getting here was an ordeal in itself. Paige did great on the flights. She loved watching the take-offs. And being above the clouds was wonderful. She got so excited about that. On our first flight there was a family behind us: Mommy, Daddy, 1 year old boy. If the flight had been any longer I would have come off it in handcuffs. The entire flight that insert not nice word for a woman here talked very loudly in her very whiney, nasely voice about how scared she was of flying, how much she hated it, and how scary it was. Wonderful. Here I am flying with my 3 year old for the first time. Every time she got really loud so did I telling Paige how much fun flying is. I even started telling her how Uncle Ken jumps out of airplanes. She decided he's crazy.

We had 1 hour in Atlanta to go from terminal A to terminal D. Or so we thought. We were delayed taking off from our departure airport. We had 25 minutes to make our connecting flight. We just barely made it. Thanks to lots of running and the Atlanta tram we made it just before they closed the door.

There's a lot more to tell and lots of pictures to post. We've been to Myrtle Beach, played around on the Boardwalk and are getting ready to go out on the boat. As soon as Paige wakes up from a nap that is. First once since we've been here. She's been exhausted most of the trip. She just can't seem to stop herself from going, going, going. I think we may need a vacation to recover from our vacation! Expect more tomorrow or the next day when I've recovered a bit. We fly back home early tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And We're Off!!!

Tomorrow is the much anticipated trip to Aunt Kim's in North Carolina. Paige is very excited about riding on a plane. Almost everything is packed. There's just a few last minute items for tomorrow morning. We'll be getting an early start, leaving here by 7:45 to make it to the airport in time. Paige and I will be back Monday morning.

Daddy has a few projects to do around the house while we're gone. The big one, OK the only one, is to change her room into a big girl room. The furniture will be delivered tomorrow afternoon. He has some ideas for painting and decorating. Pink will be a prominent color I'm sure. I leave it all up to him to do as he wishes.

This has been a very hectic week for us. Monday Paige saw the doctor for a rash on her bum and thighs. It's been there for a while and I've tried everything I can think of. Turns out it's a bacterial infection of the hair follicles. Don't ask me the name, I have no idea other than it's a long name. Very common. And nothing would get rid of it because we needed a prescription lotion for the bum. It's getting better.

Monday Paige had a little accident at daycare. She fell climbing the jungle gym ladder and got a bad nose bleed. They got the bleeding stopped, but she needed Mommy. The blood on her dress really upset her.

Grumpy, my Dad, went into the hospital Monday morning. Tuesday afternoon he was moved to ICU. Today is his birthday, and as a birthday gift he was able to move back to a regular room. He's doing much better now and looks like he'll be out of the hospital within a couple of weeks.

If I have time I will post some pictures while we're out of town. If not, I'll be back on Labor Day and hopefully I'll have some great pictures for you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A new haircut

We've been letting Paige's hair grow out some. She does great with haircuts. She had her first haircut at around 5 months I think. And we've been cutting it regularly since then. She has this bad habit of twisting her hair with her right index finger while sucking her left thumb. Daycare calls it the "Paige suck and twist." She does it mostly when she's tired or stressed.

I picked her up from daycare on Wednesday to find what appeared to be a 2 inch by 4 inch dreadlock on the right side of her head. Paige had discovered that after she twisted her hair into knots, that she could stick it in her mouth and chew and suck on it. Ok, let's be honest. That just grosses me out. It's super nasty. Ronnie had been talking about cutting her hair, I decided it was time. Trying to brush that mess was awful. There was lots of crying and screaming. And Paige cried too!

When we got home I went home and immediately made an emergency hair appointment with Aunt Wii for Thursday afternoon. Thursday morning I told my boss I needed to leave early for an emergency haircut. Once I explained it, she completely understood. Aunt Wii ended up cutting about 2 to 2 1/2 inches off.

Here's the before:


Please notice that she didn't chew her hair that day. Figures.

After:


After she looked in the mirror:



Paige was not happy with getting her hair cut. She wanted her hair longer. Must be some girly thing, I like mine super short. Aunt Wii was happy with it. Mommy and Daddy are happy with it. Until this afternoon if I ask her about her hair, she refuses to speak to me. But she does say she likes it.


*Please note the super cool mural in the background. Aunt Wii's brother painted that for her. Aunt Wii loves suns and moons.*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Travel Preparations

Our big trip is coming up in a week. I will be flying alone with Paige. We have 2 short flights, about an hour and a half each, and a 1 hour layover in between. A road trip I'm prepared for. We've done those together, just the 2 of us, before. I know how to keep her occupied, and how she'll react to things. Flying is a bit different. First, how will she like it? Next what if she screams the whole way? I have to think of the other passengers too. I had a few ideas, but turned to the flight guru, Beth, to ask for suggestions.

Beth was kind enough to confirm my thoughts and add a few of her own. I'll be checking the car seat as luggage (free of charge, thank you very much) instead of at the gate as I was planning. I'll be set with the laptop, iPod and iPhone, just as I had planned. I've also gotten a hidden stash of travel coloring books and colors, a composition book and some stickers. I'll pack some snacks and Crystal Light To Go packs.

We're flying Delta and we each get 2 carry ons. I'll probably only have 1 for myself, but it is a pretty big backpack. Paige will have 2. She'll have her small pink backpack that she packs her toys into, and her Pink, her teddy bear that she can't leave at home. Someone suggested I bring candy that she's not normally allowed at home as a special treat. Um. No. Paige doesn't eat much candy and when she does, she gets super hyper. I'm thinking peanut butter crackers, potato chips, things like that. And gum. Paige doesn't know how to pop her ears. If you have a suggestion on how to teach her to pop her ears, please let me know.

I'm making lists of things to take. I don't want to over pack, and Kim does have a washer and dryer. But I want to take enough for the trip without having to do laundry unless Paige spills milk all over the suitcases! I'm also trying to get away with just 1 large suitcase, less for me to deal with.

Monday, August 24, 2009

To those driving around me

I guess my driving is just getting worse and worse. I feel like I need to apologize to people whao have driven close to me recently.

To the driver of the white BMW SUV
First, let me start off by apologizing for the person in front of me. That driver was only doing 35 in a 40. There are certain laws of physics that I must obey, even if not obeying the speed limit. One of these says that I can't go any faster than the car in front of me. I'm sorry you felt the need to try and pass me in the left emergency lane that was ending. I'm not quite sorry I didn't let you back into traffic in front of me. I think it's safe to assume that after you got behind me, then tried to pass me on the right, that you decided to participate in some father-son bonding with the 7 or 8 year old boy in the backseat. How nice that your father-son bonding includes both of you rolling down your windows, flipping me off and screaming obscenities at me. My idea of mother-daughter bonding involves shoe shopping. I do hope my rolling down my window to blow you a kiss didn't upset you too much. From the look on your face it did. That wasn't my intention.

To the county worker trying to get on the interstate
There was a long line of bumper to bumper traffic. Being a county worker I'm guessing you've lived in the area more than a week. Going through a school zone to get to the on ramp, there's lots of traffic and lots of quick stops. Sorry that you couldn't squeeze your county van into the spot that disappeared when I had to slam on breaks. I must say that trying to cross the solid line and the cones was not your best idea. Cutting me off and almost hitting me was not a good idea either. I must say though, your supervisor was quite interested in that call. I do like the "How's my driving" stickers the county provides. Has he discussed this with you yet? If not, I'm sure he will. You see, he informed me this isn't your first complaint. Sorry about that. Maybe you should consider a course on how to manage your road rage.

And finally, to the little old lady driving the large Chevy pickup
I was happy to see you leaving the library in front of me. More people should use the public library. Seeing you turn left, just like me, I thought nothing of it. I do realize we had 2 lanes to pick from. I'm sorry that my honking scared you. For that mile that I was behind you, you couldn't seem to pick a lane, but rather liked to drift over into the center of the 2 lanes. You see, I'm rather fond of my van. I like it without dents. And definitely preferred not to spend my Saturday afternoon in the ER. I only honked to get your attention hoping to get around you. It did work. You got over into only the left lane, and I was able to pass you. Judging by the passenger side of your truck, this is a common occurrence for you. I noticed your side mirror was dangling, and there was different color paint on your silver truck. Mostly I noticed black, blue and red. I was happy to not add green to your collection. Oh, and while I'm pointing out things, may I suggest a phone book? Maybe then you could see over the steering wheel.

I feel so much better getting that off my chest. I've been thinking I must be a horrible driver recently the way people have been acting on the road.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Summer Gala Ball

We had a great time! The food was really, really good. They served sushi, teriyaki filet, a fried rice cake, and a yummy chocolate cake. The company at our table was nice. Most tables seated 10, but we were at table 1 and we only had 8. The extra elbow room was nice! Definitely something we'll do again next year.

Us about to leave the house.


The entrance.

The Grand Ballroom.


Table setting.


I just hope that by next year shoe fashions have changed. The 4 inch heel was a bit much. My feet hurt today. And that bum knee of mine? It's really unhappy today. But the rest of me had a great time!!