Monday, December 29, 2008

This will probably be a long one, so I'll apologize now.

But last night, we went to my in-laws' for lunch/dinner. I say "lunch-slash-dinner," because it was at four. So either it was a late lunch, or a Seinfeld's early-bird dinner. Either way, it was delicious.

My father-in-law made his barbecued pork ribs, which he knows is a sure-fire way to get me to his house to eat, pronto. Not to be outdone, my mother-in-law made her unbelievable mashed potatoes (she has a gift), pasta salad (oh, heavenly days! pasta salad!) and THREE CHEESE! biscuits. THREE CHEESES, I'M SAYING! It was a feast.

I stuffed myself silly.

Humiliated myself, really. But only because I set a personal record. I only ate one (ONE!) rib. But these were MAMMOTH ribs. Think the rack of ribs the waitress puts on Fred Flintstone's car just before it tips over. No joke, this thing was eight to ten inches long, and a good three to four inches thick. I don't know where FIL finds them. But I love him for them! Oh Lord, I gotta get on with this story, because even now I can taste them.

So I was watching the platter of ribs fairly closely. See, we always take the leftovers home with us. My in-laws just don't eat leftovers, and I LOVE ME SOME RIBS, so that's just the way things work out there. And even though the two eatenist men alive happened to also be there (truth be told, I wasn't expecting there to be any leftovers) the platter was half-full once everyone rolled themselves away from the table. Luck was smiling on me, my friends. Yes, she was.

The evening wore on, and I found it within myself to help my MIL out by eating the rest of my sister-in-law's Christmas cookies (dear God, Kelsey, next time give us all BIG BUCKETS of cookies! I ate all of ours on Christmas Eve; even stole one off Santa's plate. I figure by the time he got to us, he wasn't really tasting them anymore, anyway.). We realized it was getting late, and we had to go to the grocery store before heading home, so we quickly loaded everyone up and said our goodbyes.

As I was putting the groceries away a few hours later, I realized I had made a grave error: I FORGOT TO BRING HOME THE LEFTOVERS!!!

Hubs and I got the kids bathed, brushed and in bed, and then it was my turn. I filled the tub with sweet-smelling bubbles and steamy hot water, and sank in with a good book.

After I read the same paragraph four times, without knowing what I read, it hit me: I MUST HAVE MORE RIBS!!! AND PASTA SALAD!!! THE BABY NEEDS RIBS AND PASTA SALAD!!! THE BABY, PEOPLE!!! And, if it's not too much to ask, A FEW MORE THREE CHEESE BISCUITS!

Hubs was working on an online test, so I didn't bother him about it. Once I got out and dried off, and he had finished his test, I asked him:

"How much do you love me?"

He smirks, but says, "Very much. Why?" (He knows me.)

"Because I forgot to bring home the ribs and some pasta salad from your parents' house and now I'm craving it really bad and it's all I can think about and if you really, truly love me, you'll drive out there and get some for your pregnant wife to satisfy her cravings that are only coming as a result of carrying your third-born child."

He drags his hand down his face, looks at the clock, and says, with that snotty smirk still in place, "It's 11:30. They're old. (I PROMISE I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP! HE SAID IT!) They're asleep. I can't drive out there and wake up old people. I would do it for you, but I just can't do that to old people."

So. There you have it.

He doesn't love me anymore.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Here's the Christmas card that Myra of Moon & Back Studios made for us:

I think she did an AWESOME job!!! Obviously, I put "Hubs" over his real name, so that's slightly different!
I didn't place my order until December 16, so she got them done and shipped super-fast. We got these in the mail on Tuesday at noon. I got them addressed, sealed and stamped, and back at the post office by 2:30!!!
We've been trying to clean up the carnage from the gift-fest in the living room... and watching the kids play with all their new stuff. It was a lot of fun. Now the turkey's in the oven, and torturing me with its garlic-buttery smell!
I hope you all enjoy the day with your families and friends.
I didn't sleep well last night. I woke up a lot. Each time I did, I was impressed with the magnitude of today. I just kept thanking God for the gift of His Son so many years ago.
I'm so thankful that Mary was open to sacrifice. She was about 14 years old when the Angel of the Lord appeared to her. She could have said no. But she didn't. She was obedient, and knew there was a bigger picture than inconveniencing her for a time. Joseph could have divorced her when he found out she was pregnant. But he didn't. He also was obedient to the Lord's calling. I don't know if I would have said yes. But I'm thankful they did.
Let's all remember to take some time to think about what today is really all about.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Critter Conga by Parents

I have another awesome product to tell you about today. This one is probably my favorite so far.
It's the Critter Conga by Parents.The Critter Conga is a colorful safari-themed percussion set. It features ten different instruments, designed to look like different animals and spark a child's imagination.
There is an antelope slide whistle, giraffe maracas, a crocodile clacker, a monkey rain stick, an elephant whistle, a toucan water whistle, snake drumsticks, and a few other cool instruments. Then there is the Leopard Conga Drum, which holds all of the pieces inside... LOVING that! The lid lifts off and is a really festive-sounding tambourine.
I had the open box on my bed, and Cullen climbed up, looked inside, and immediately started saying, "Open! Open! Open? OPEN!" So I did, and he was off! He loves this set!

He especially loved shaking the maracas and beating the snake drumsticks against the tambourine lid.

Parents will love that all the pieces store neatly (and easily!) inside the large leopard drum. And that it's not one of those hideously annoying toys you'll want to hide the second your kid puts it down! It's really fun to play with (even for adults!) and pleasant to hear.

Either that, or my boy is just exceptionally gifted with plastic instruments.

Parents' philosophy is, "When the toy does less, the child does more." This toy set lives up to that philosophy. The child can make music, play with the animals, learn their names and distinguising characteristics (I was so proud when Cullen looked at the rain stick and said, "Monkey!"), or just explore the sounds each piece makes.

The Critter Conga is age-appropriate for children 18 months and up. It retails for about $30, which isn't bad for so many toys held inside the large drum. It's available at Costco.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Did I forget to mention...?

Any good "C" names?

We're having a creative disagreement over this right now!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I need 3 days of uninterrupted sleep.

Because last night, I didn't get any.

Yesterday morning, Christian was coughing a little before school. I gave her some cough medicine and sent her on her way, with instructions to call me if she felt worse later.

At noon I got the call from the school nurse: she was nauseated, not wanting to eat her lunch, and coughing and wheezing.

I picked her up less than five minutes later, and gave her a breathing treatment when we got home. I asked her if she wanted anything to eat. First it was pizza, then hot dogs, then she finally settled on mac'n'cheese. So I didn't think she was super bad. I made her take a nap, and when she got up, I gave her another breathing treatment. That was close to four. By 7:30 last night, she couldn't breathe at all.

I took her to the after-hours children's clinic. They tested her oxygen saturation, and it was at 91. (The nurse told me as we were leaving that she freaked out at that point, and was ready to have her admitted to the hospital.) Her former pediatrician (who was her doc since she was born up until this past summer) was the doctor on call, and remembered hospitalizing Christian for these same symptoms when she was three years old. She gave Christian 3 back-to-back breathing treatments, using a stronger, fast-acting medication, then one more treatment of another formula. She said that if her body didn't stop "tugging" or "retracting," after the treatments, that she would have to go to the hospital for round-the-clock oxygen and treatments. Her body was working so hard to take each breath, that you could see her entire rib cage and her trachea. That's the "tugging" and "retracting."

After the three treatments, you could no longer see her ribs, but her trachea was still visible. She was still breathing very fast and shallow, but her skin and lips had regained some color. So the doctor let me take her home, as long as I gave her a breathing treatment every hour. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

We got home from the clinic/pharmacy near 11:30. We were in bed around midnight, after the first treatment. I woke her up at 1:00 to give her another, at which point she started throwing up all over herself. We cleaned her up and put her back to bed. I woke her up at 2:15 for the next one. It went well. I don't think she even fully woke up for it. I was just afraid she was going to start vomiting again. Ugh.

The rest of the night was uneventful. If you call waking up every hour (I swear, it was worse than having a newborn!) uneventful.

I called her doctor's office first thing this morning (which her former doc wanted me to do) and they wanted her there ASAP. We were there 30 minutes later. And home by 10:30.

Basically, she picked up some virus, and he wants me to continue the treatments and medications the after-hours doctor prescribed. Except I can reduce the treatments to every four hours!!! Yea!

So that's been our night and morning so far.

I'm trying to get someone to call in an IV for me... of pure caffeine.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Cullen!

Cullen turned two yesterday, and we had his party at the kids' museum. I love having it there. No pre or post-party clean-up!

Here's the Birthday Baby (I can say that. He will ALWAYS be my baby. ALWAYS.) playing with the trains in the Education Station.

Christian and my nephew, Colton, playing in the "Doctor's Office" part of the museum.

Her cousin, Savhannah, waits for her baby to be treated.

Is this why it always takes so long at the doctor's office? Are they just in their private office talking away?

This is my niece, Caylee, on stage in the theater area. They have a wooden stage with a curtain and rows of chairs for the audience. Behind the curtain is a ton of dress-up clothes and puppets.

Here's my nephew, Cayden, playing in the mercado. They have a whole 0ld-Mexico area, with baskets of fruits and vegetables "for sale," old wooden tables where the kids can pretend to grind corn with a mortar and pestle, or make tissue-paper flowers. There's also lots of old-world Mexican decorations and artifacts.

Here's my brother, my sil (who's too skinny. I hate her. While we're on the subject, my other sil is too skinny, too. I also hate her.), and their oldest, Colton, playing around in the science exhibit. Okay. I don't hate them. I love them. I just hate that they're super-skinny and beautiful. Makes me want to crawl under the covers and suck my thumb. But I digress.

Apparently, the saddles in the country exhibit were a lot of fun.

For kids of all ages. As my brother and dad can attest to.

Here's a picture of my brother, posing with my sil's "Mini-Me," a.k.a. Caylee. Isn't she beautiful?

My personal, "Oh Dear God!" moment of the day. I wonder how many kids with snotty noses put that in their mouths. (For the record, Cullen was not sick at all when this picture was taken. Please pray with us that does not change.)

Him's my wittle baby. My baby love. He has the yummiest cheeks, ears and toes. And, oh, his hair! I could just feast on his hair!

I'll post more detailed pics of his cake later. It turned out pretty cute! I felt so bad because last year he got the simplest cake I've probably ever made. So I had to do something a little more dramatic this year.

And finally, his most favorite toy. He loved it so much, he couldn't wait until we got it out of the box to ride it. It was so sad, the way he would scoot that box along the floor, deperately whining, "Open! Open!" Finally hubs took pity on him and got it out. He loves this thing!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christian's new look

Last Monday we went to a Thanksgiving party at Hubs' office. Christian got some raw carrots, and I noticed she wouldn't bite them with her front teeth.

So I asked her about it, and she said they hurt.

Thankfully, we already had a dentist appointment scheduled for that very afternoon.

When we got there, I whispered to the secretary that I wanted the dentist to remove her top front two teeth. You may remember this:

I can't find any pictures showing it, but one of them turned gray. He said it

was full of blood, but still alive. They were loose, but she wouldn't wiggle them. I was wondering how much longer I was going to have to look at those dark teeth! It just looked so sad.

So he took them out. She didn't feel it. There was also one on the bottom that was just hanging there (ugh!) so he just popped that one out, too.

At one point he told her, "Christian, you're going to make some money tonight!"

After he was finished, he told her to have a happy Thanksgiving, and that I had something to tell her!

She sat up and asked if he had taken out all her teeth. I asked, "What do you mean?"

She said, "Did he take out these top two in front?"

I told her that yes, he had.

She said, "So I have three teeth gone?"

I told her yes.

She said, "I AM going to make some money tonight!"

Unfortunately, the tooth fairy only had a ten dollar bill and a one dollar bill with her that night. She didn't think one dollar could cover three teeth, especially after oral surgery, so she left the ten, hoping she could get out and get change the next morning before Christian woke up.

No such luck.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why I Hate Black Friday... and Wal-Mart

So Hubs and I wanted to get Cullen a power wheels jeep for Christmas. Wal-Mart was going to have them for $88 on Black Friday. We paid about $200 for Christian's when she was his age, so it's a pretty good deal. So we got there at 4, only to find the whole store roped off.

Hubs is very sneaky, and found where the jeeps were, so we went around all the ropes (without violating any Black Friday etiquette!) and stood directly in front of them. With about 20 other people. They were wrapped in black plastic, and apparently the rules were that at 5, the plastic would be ripped off, and insanity would ensue.

We realized very quickly the odds were against us. There were two pallets of jeeps, with 8 jeeps on each one. FOURTEEN were Barbie jeeps, and TWO were blue/boy jeeps. TWO. Out of FOURTEEN. Most of the people there were hoping for a boy jeep (we asked) but I don't think they realized there were so few. Hubs continually walked around the stack, comparing unit numbers, to reach that conclusion. One guy on the opposite side of the stack from us quite rudely and belligerantly announced to everyone who came near that "I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE 3 AM AND THAT BLUE JEEP IS MINE!"


Before I left the house, I checked online. Jeeps were available at the sale price, but they weren't offering free site-to-store shipping on it. This was about 3:30.

So Rude Guy mentioned that the jeeps were available online. I responded that the shipping costs were close to $30, with tax on top of that. He adamantly disagreed, saying he looked at 3 am (from his place in line?) and they WERE offering free site-to-store shipping. Whatever. Are you telling me that you could have ordered the jeep at the sale price with free shipping from the comfort of your own home, and yet still decided to brave the crazies??? Sure. Of course.

Anyway, 5:00 rolls around and people go nuts. Three people elbowed me out of the way. FOR A TOY! Of course there weren't enough boy jeeps. I found an employee and asked if there were more boy jeeps somewhere. He calls someone on his super-high-tech-earpiece-radio-thingy (sorry about the technical terminology; I'm geek like that) and gets the response that there ARE more jeeps being brought out right then, and they were on their way from the stockroom. He told us where to go to intercept them, and we went. No jeeps. We found the assistant manager to inquire further. She looked at us like we were crazy, and said EVERYTHING was out already. Thanks.

So we hurried to a nearby small town, hoping the majority of their shoppers had headed to us, since we're the metropolis in the area (HAHAHAHA! HOHOHO! HEEHEEHEEHE! HAHA! HO! HEE! HEE!). Sorry. I'm ready to continue.

Their jeeps were gone, and their lines were almost out the door. It was just as bad as it was at our Wal-Mart. Maybe a little worse.

So we turned around and headed home, deciding to just buy the jeep online and pay the shipping.

We got home around 6:30, only to find the jeeps out of stock online (as well as the camera I wasn't crazy enough to stand in the line that wrapped around the ENTIRE store for). Nice.


TODAY, they're available online. For $135.

Do they really think I am so stupid as to believe they sold out of them on Friday (and were still unavailable Saturday and Sunday) only to magically have more today? For almost fifty dollars more???

And while I'm ranting, what genius shipped two boy jeeps out of sixteen to our store?

I HATE Wal-Mart.

I LOATHE Wal-Mart.

I'm NEVER going there again.

Unless, of course, they get me a boy jeep for $88.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You won't believe this, but...

You know that contest I've mentioned once or twice? The Christmas of Dreams contest hosted by MomDot?


I didn't win. The person who did really, super deserved it. As did every person who entered, really. But she doesn't have a baby, which a lot of the prizes were geared towards... so... they picked a second runner up... ME!!!

Look what I won:

2nd Winner Runner Up: Tracye & Tracyes Husband
Prizes Awarded: Value Approx: $450
Uncommonly Cute Baby Shirt, Kuster High Chair, Natitys Design baby cart cover, Mutsy grow up chair, Lets Go Strolling JuJuBe Diaper Bag, DaBib 1 bib, Sassy Baby baby toy, Organic Blankees Snuggle Blankee, Georgie Tees Maternity Shirt of Choice

I also won Glow Mama drinks, and a nursing cover from Chic Covers during the blog party.

I am so in shock right now, you just can't believe it! I read the post, on their blog, and just couldn't believe what I was reading. I called hubs in here to make sure I was reading what I thought I was reading!

I just can't believe this! You have no idea how in shock I am!

Which I believe I already mentioned!

Thank you, thank you, thank you MomDot!!! You have blessed us more than you can imagine!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Feed with style and FLAIR by Boon

That delightful site that I'm addicted to, MomDot, is hosting another contest... one that we really need to win. It's for the Boon Flair. The Flair is a pedestal high chair that is one of the most amazing (if not THE most amazing) high chairs out there. It has a pneumatic lift, a seamless seat, and the ability to glide smoothly in all directions.

Our current high chair has been through a lot, and we love it for that! But its time has passed. It held our two beautiful babies as they were nourished, until they were (um... are...) big enough to sit at the big table. It's seven years old, badly stained, missing its cover, bulky, and hard to maneuver. Every time I try, I gouge my ankles on the casters.

So MomDot is hosting a high chair decorating contest! The prize is a brand new Flair high chair! I (and the new baby!) would love to get rid of this:

We just got a new digital camcorder, and I'm (slowly!) figuring it out, which is why the still shots are grainy. I forgot about the flash... oops!

He loves it decorated! Probably because it's so ugly without all its Christmas frou-frou finery! We set him in it to take a picture, and boy did he throw a fit when we got him out! We had to take all the (breakable!) ornaments off and just let him sit amid the garland, lights, ribbons, bows, pinecones, table runner and tree skirt... whatever makes them happy... and quiet, right? ;)

And lastly, Baby Christmas in his Christmas High Chair, trying to eat the ornaments.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did... although Wal-Mart is the devil and Black Friday is aptly named. I will NOT be out on this day next year!

More about that when I can talk about it with a smile!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 12

I’m thankful this year because…

We have two healthy children, and another on the way. We have everything we need, and many things we don't. We have a God Who loves us, and has plans for us; plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.

Today's question is brought to you by Georgie Tees and Mutsy.

To see what other people are thankful for, visit MomDot.

Today is the last day of the blog party. It's been a lot of fun, and has really gotten me into the holiday spirit.

Tomorrow, it will be back to regularly scheduled blog programming... right after I get back from Black Friday shopping... and sleep for 19 more hours!

MomDot Blog Party-Day 11

If you could only eat ONE food on Thanksgiving Day, what would it be?

I refuse to answer this question. It is completely un-American. (but it would be my Gramma's cornbread dressing.)

Do you have a homecooked meal for Thanksgiving or do you go out to eat?


Does your family dress up?

Sure. In clothing. Usually fit for the public to see, but not always.

Today's question is brought to you by Shishu Style and Mimsi Bags.

Head over to MomDot to see what others are saying.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 10

Do you decorate for the Holidays? Do you have a themed Christmas tree? Share pics! Do you think there is such a thing as OVER decorating?

Who doesn't decorate for the holiday? Scratch that. My mom doesn't. She usually gives some load of bull about not being at home to enjoy it, blah, blah, blah, since they're usually at Disneyworld at Christmas, blah, blah, blah, life is so hard, feel sorry for me, blah. ;) Love ya, Mom!

Yes. I decorate. No, I don't have a themed Christmas tree, although it is fast approaching that. I buy framed ornaments from Pottery Barn each year. This year we'll be up to 11. Adding three a year (starting next year) will very quickly make our tree a photo tree. Which I'm okay with. It's fun to look back at all the pictures as I hang them on the tree, and choose which one to add this year.

I don't know about over decorating. I just love Christmas. My Gramma used to even decorate her bathroom. I remember a toilet seat cover she had, that when the lid was down, showed Santa smiling, but when the lid was up, he was covering his eyes! I always got a kick out of that. When I was little, my mom had boxes and boxes of Christmas stuff, and decorated everywhere. I had my own tree in my room, too.

Today's question is brought to you by Organic Blankees, Huddy Buddy, and Baby Legs.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 9

Today's questions are:

What is the most unusual gift you have received? Best gift? Do you re-gift?

Ugh. Asking me to remember again... gifts... gifts...

I got nothin. Sorry.

Best gift? The matching Tiffany necklace and bracelet Hubs got me a few years ago. I just about died. He even had a friend who works at Dillards wrap it in a larger box, in Dillards wrap, to throw me off. It worked!

Re-gift? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that term.

Today's question is brought to you by jaC Jewelry, Cutie Covers and Sassy Baby.

To hear what other people are saying, join the blog party at MomDot.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Review

Just in time for your holiday shopping, here's another review! It's for childrens' books published by The Secret Mountain. They publish absolutely beautiful storybooks, and each one comes with a CD full of music that compliments the story.

I received Dream Songs Night Songs: From Belgium to Brazil, A Duck in New York City, and Down at the Sea Hotel.

I have to say, the books are beautifully illustrated. They're bright and bold, and the pages are very thick and durable high-quality paper. These are definitely books that will be passed down from child to child.

Dream Songs Night Songs: From Belgium to Brazil is filled with page after page of beautiful rustic illustrations, and words written in English, Spanish and French. The CD features lullabies from around the world in many languages. It's a very soft, soothing collection. Down at the Sea Hotel is a really sweet bedtime story, with an awesome CD. Don Henley, Steve Earle, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Billy Joel (and others) wrote the songs featured on the CD, so you know they're going to be great!
My favorite was A Duck in New York City, which chronicles the adventures of a duck following his dream to perform his ducky dance on Broadway. This book's pictures are especially unique. They are part photograph, part painting, part illustration. The photographs are made up of found objects like wires, buttons, and straw. They almost look like a child's collage.
Christian loved these books and their CDs. She goes to sleep every night with a CD playing, so now she has some new music to fall asleep to.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 8

Today's question is:

Do you shop on Black Friday? What time do you start? Do you finish all your shopping on that day? What’s the best deal you have found? What’s your shopping strategy?

I do shop on Black Friday. I always say I'm going to start really super early, but I rarely do. I don't usually finish on that day, because there are always gift cards to buy, and for whatever reason, I usually wait until the last second to buy those. I don't remember any really great deals. I know I've found them, but I don't remember them. My shopping strategy is this: get in, get done, get out, get home, get more sleep!

Today's blog party question is brought to you by Koshas, Leapfrog and Soda Club.

To see some actually useful Black Friday tips, go to MomDot.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pretty Ugly Week

It definitely hasn't been the best one yet.

So I had that very unpleasant procedure last Friday. The doctor said it looked okay, but there were other issues... yay! So we're working on those.

Saturday night (look away men!) I started very light spotting. I called the office, and the nurse said to take it easy and monitor it, but it was probably from Friday.

I stayed in bed ALL. DAY. LONG. on Sunday. Sunday night brought lots of bright red blood. Great. So I went to the ER, and had all kinds of tests, and came home around 3 am Monday. My mil took Cullen, so I stayed in bed all day Monday, too. They still think it was from Friday. It was a very scary couple of days for us.

Flash-forward to today. I had just gotten dressed this morning, when Cullen fell, hitting his temple on an iron piece that sticks out from our bed. He immediately starts screaming. I'm about three feet from him, so I grab him and notice A DENT in his temple! I just about hyperventilated. I grabbed the phone, then dropped it between the bed and the nightstand, and decided not to waste time trying to get it. I ran into the kitchen (pregnant, sore, supposed to be taking it easy, holding Cullen, both of us hysterical) and grabbed the other phone and called Hubs at work. I can hardly breathe. Cullen stops crying (less than a minute after he hit) and starts yawning and rubbing his eyes, which are rolling back in his head. Did I mention I was FREAKING OUT??? I tell Hubs what's up, and then call the doctor. They say to rush him up there. I call Hubs back and tell him to meet us there.

We get there in record time, the doc checks him out, and says he's okay! We're supposed to watch him for the next 24 hours... vomiting/lethargy-bad. Bouncing off the walls/annoying everybody-good. So we're good.

It's amazing how resilient their little bodies are.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 7

Today's question is, "Who is on your naughty list and who is on your nice list? Why?"

Well, I don't really make naughty and nice lists. I will say that last night Christian was talking back quite a bit. So later when we were quizzing her over this week's spelling words, it went like this:"

Me: Spell "toy". Christian is not getting a single "toy" for Christmas.
Her: Is that a joke? That's a joke, right?

Me: Spell "happy". Christian is not going to be "happy" when she doesn't get anything for Christmas.
Her: Come on, Mommy. Are you kidding?

Me: Spell "joy". There will be no "joy" on Christian's face when Cullen gets lots of presents and she gets none.
Her: Mommy! Stop it! You're joking!

Me: Spell "silly". It is really "silly" of Christian to think she's getting anything except a lump of coal for Christmas.
Her: Mommy! I'm NOT getting lump coal!

Me: Spell "boy". Cullen will be a very happy "boy" when he's the only one that gets any presents on Christmas.
Her: It's not funny! Tell me you're joking!

Me: Spell "funny". Christian won't think it's "funny" when she doesn't have anything to open on Christmas.
Her: I AM going to have something to open!

Me: Spell "toys". Cullen will get all the "toys" for Christmas.
Her: He will not! I'm getting some, too!

Me: Spell "candy". I really wish Christian's teacher did not teach her to spell the word "candy".
Her: Ha! Ha! I know how to spell it!

Me: Spell "soy". The only thing Christian will get for Christmas will be a "soy" burger.
Her: What's a soy burger?

Me: Spell "puppy". Christian won't get to play with the new "puppy" Cullen will be getting for Christmas.
Her: Stop it! You're joking! I know you're joking!

I promise these were the words on her spelling list!
Shouldn't there be some sort of test before they let you have kids? 'Cause I really don't think Hubs and I would pass.

Today's question is brought to you by Sillymonkeez and My Baby Bump.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 6

Today's question is: What is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood?


I must confess, I have the world's worst memory.

I'm trying....

Okay, here's something: I do remember wanting a Cabbage Patch Kid really badly. We visited my mom's mom for Christmas that year. Mom, Gramma, my brother and I were going to visit another family member in the same town, but Dad stayed behind at Gramma's house. I think he was unloading our car. I remember turning around and seeing him holding something up and kind of waving it around, but then when he saw me looking, he quickly shoved it back into the trunk. It was my CPK! I had to pretend to Mom that I didn't know what he was holding up, but she knew I saw it.

I don't remember this, but my mom does: She says that they stored all the Christmas loot in an empty apartment next door to my Gramma's. Gramma managed the apartments, so she had keys to them all. Mom says one day she and Gramma left to do some shopping/visiting, and when they drove up, Dad was leading my brother and me out of that apartment. He had sneaked us in there to look at all our stuff! To this day Mom is angry about it! She says he stole her pleasure in seeing our faces on Christmas morning.

For more Christmas memories and bloggy fun, go to MomDot.

Today's question is brought to you by Flying Colors Baby, Uncommonly Cute and Lollipop Book Club.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 5

Today's Blog Party theme is describing what you do to give back during the holidays. Do you volunteer your time? If so, please tell us where. What do you do to teach your children the true meaning of the holidays?

We don't volunteer much, except at church, in the nursery. We donate one or two toys to the Toys for Tots or Blue Santa.

I am the only person in our family that is honest with Christian about Santa. I have explained to her that Santa Claus was a real person, who lived and died just like everyone else. He was very generous, and gave toys to children who couldn't afford them.

Does she believe me?


Just the other night, she found the North Pole on Google Earth, and got so excited that she had found where Santa lives. She asked me, "Isn't that where he lives, Mom?"

I told her, "Christian, why do you even ask me anymore? I've told you, there's no such thing as Santa." (That looks really cold, all typed out! I promise, it wasn't!)

She adamantly said, "Oh, yes there is!"

We always include books about Jesus' birth during the holidays. We read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve, but we also read from the Bible.

Christian (and soon Cullen) knows exactly what Christmas is really all about... but she likes the benefits of believing in Santa!

Day Five Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Baby Pop and Chic Covers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 4

MomDot's Blog Party continues!

Today's question: What is your favorite holiday recipe? Describe your holiday table. What is your biggest holiday cooking disaster?

It's just not the holidays without my Gramma's cornbread dressing. Bake a batch of cornbread, crumble it up extra fine, add two stalks of chopped celery, two chopped hard-boiled eggs, and a can of chicken broth. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. It's unbelievable!

My holiday table at Thanksgiving is empty! I don't remember the last time we held a Thanksgiving dinner here. We usually go to my brother's house, where there are about 30 or 40 people. At Christmas, it's just the four of us, but I cook enough for triple that, at least!

Thankfully, I don't think I've had a holiday cooking disaster... yet!
Day Four Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Bottlewise and Glow Mama
Day 4 is sponsored by:

Friday, November 14, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 3

Here is today's question:

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Do you budget for the holidays? Do you always stick to your budget? Share with us any budgeting tips you may have!

Actually, I usually start shopping on December 26. I always go shopping that day, and if I see something I think someone on next year's list would like, at a great price, I buy it. I also buy throughout the year. If I'm out looking for, say, socks, and I see a book my friend has been talking about, I'll go ahead and get it then. It's easier for me to remember things people have mentioned they want if I buy it soon after they talk about it. If I wait until October or November, I'll be lost!

We do budget for the holidays, and it's probably a lot less than most people do. I just don't think that Christmas Day is the day when you make everyones' dreams come true. It's not realistic, and it's not what the season is all about.

We usually go over our budget! Not by a lot, but it's rare when we stick to it. We (and by "we," I mean "I") write down everyone we have to buy for, and ideas for gifts. We usually spend a set amount on each person on the list... except for Christian & Cullen... they get a little more! ;)

If you want to see other holiday budgeting tips and experiences, head on over to MomDot!

Day three blog party question is brought to you by Appledonia, Hippos Toes and My Bag.

Fun With Food

How does $500 for groceries sound to you? Me, too.
Which is why I'm posting this picture of Christian baking her first cake. 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a "Fun with Food" family photo contest, and the prize is $500 worth of groceries! I'll let you know when to vote for me... assuming my picture makes it to the finals!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 2

If any of you did it yesterday, you know it was a massive success!!!

Today, I'm going to tell you about our family holiday traditions!

For Thanksgiving, I *love* going to my brother and sister-in-law's house. They have a bajillion family members and friends over, and if you go hungry, it's your own fault! After everyone eats until they're miserable, the tables and chairs are put away (oh, yes, we have to have folding tables and chairs to accomodate so many people!) the ladies start making Christmas crafts. Last year we made decorative Christmas reindeer. I put mine on my front porch, but I didn't get a picture. The year before we made beautiful wire and glass bead crosses. This year, we're doing two projects: painting gourds and... I forgot what the other one is! But it's always super-fun to craft after dinner. The men usually meander around or watch football or help cut wire or drill holes or whatever we need them to do. They make themselves useful, and ooh and ahh appropriately over our projects!
Last summer, I decided to teach myself how to decorate cakes. That Thanksgiving (FOUR MONTHS after I began practicing!), Hubs asked me to make a cake for his work Thanksgiving party... so I did this:

The day after Thanksgiving, I go shopping... although I like to be mostly finished by then! Sometime in the next week we'll get our Christmas decorations up, but it's not a set date.

Christmas Eve, we usually go to mine or Hubs' parents houses; sometimes both. That's probably the most difficult part of Christmas. They each live about 30 minutes from us, but an hour from each other, so working out schedules and get-togethers can be tricky. My brother works shift-work, so that's gotta be planned for, too. Christmas Day is just for us--we never go anywhere! We used to open one gift on Christmas Eve when I was little, but my grandparents lived really far away. Our parents live close by, so we've already opened a lot by the time we're home that night! Christmas Eve I don't cook, because we're usually stuffed from a family gathering. Christmas Day, I put homemade cinnamon rolls in the oven as soon as we wake up. We open gifts, and then stuff ourselves on cinnamon rolls. Hubs just can't have a Christmas Day without those rolls! After the living room is trashed, we clean up, and I start the meal. It's usually ready around 1 or 2. For the rest of the day, we watch 24 hours of A Christmas Story and play with all our stuff! Christian usually spends 10 or 15 minutes playing with one toy before she moves on to the next!

I absolutely LOVE Christmas! It's my favorite time of year!

For more holiday traditions, check out MomDot.

Today's theme is sponsored by: LaPlates and Lets Go Strolling and Natitys Design.