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


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:


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


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.