Sunday, November 29, 2009


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


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


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


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


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.