Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions to Forget About in a Week

Uhhh... blog more. Do you think I have any idea whatsoever of what has happened in my life in the last year? Not a freaking clue. MUST. Write. Things. Down. (Or type, I guess)

Get a freaking bedtime routine (and TIME!) for that stinkin' kid. The baby has one. It's great. Now I just need to convince the 4-year old. Mommy needs some Mommy time!!

Re-evaluate relationships in my life. Let go of the long-dead, toxic ones to make room for the ones that need some additional work and attention.

Pay attention to birthdays. I always feel so guilty when I watch one approach and then a week (or more) later think, "Ah! Crap! I totally forgot!!!"

Think things through. Organize. Plan. Schedule. PAY ATTENTION. Try to have some semblance of knowing what the heck is going on in my world.

Take a picture every day. And organize the bajillion I already have on my computer.

Make time for ME things. The baby is getting old enough to entertain herself or play with her sister. I want to dig out the 8 million projects I have in the basement and actually do them. Also, keep a list of the projects I do want to do so that when I have time I am not left wondering what the hell it was I had been wanting to do when I got a minute. (See above!)

Make healthier (physically and mentally/emotionally) lifestyle choices. My kids learn from me. Right now I am completely dissatisfied with what they are learning. Change my habits to change and create theirs.

Try one new recipe a month. And make that husband of mine actually walk away from his computer long enough to eat it WITH the family. That, or kick his butt. I'd probably have more luck with kicking his butt..... But hey, I'm a dreamer, remember?

What? You think this is a lot? Too many to actually focus on and have any real luck doing? Well, here's my theory - create so many that by default, I'm bound to accidentally fall into one or two.

What are yours? Share! I need more to add to my list and I know you have better ones than I do!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.
1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
My holiday wish for my family is that we can enjoy (and survive) spending it at home, alone. With the exception of the time we were in Virginia, we have always gone to Vernal to spend the holiday with our families. But now that the kids are getting older, I think it’s important for them to have Christmas morning at their house. For now. I am sure that will change as they get even older… and we can afford to spend Christmas elsewhere, you know, like Disneyland! So instead of trying to hit everyone’s houses and make everyone happy in a day this year, I hope we can just enjoy the time together with just the four of us. (Who am I kidding??? I’ll be ready to take the kids back to day care and get back to work by noon!!!)
2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
Nightmare Before Christmas playing in the background while we open presents. Crepes for breakfast. Making huge messes with wrapping paper and not really caring to clean them up. I have a feeling this will be the year that the REALLY early mornings start from the excitement of little kids. Before, we’d been able to put it all off til 8 or 9 or so. I’m not looking forward to the 4:30 AM, “Has Santa come yet??????” So maybe we’ll have to create some “traditions” to help stall the kids!
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
A trip to Paris would be lovely.
But really? A week spent here would be absolutely divine. And unlike the selfishness of Paris, the whole family would enjoy it. But no one more than me! Seriously – LOOK at that bed! And the bathroom!!
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
Putting Nightmare Before Christmas on repeat. Making silly, crafty kid things with the girls. Listening to Christmas music and trying to do nice, simple things for friends – making cards, baking goodies. (From stuff I already have, not spending money to buy new stuff of course. Especially since this year, that’s just not an option ;) )
5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
I don’t really remember playing games around the holidays. As I got older Dominos was a big deal with my family for a while. I think I should start considering that as a holiday tradition for my family. Especially before the girls are too old and think games and family have cooties!
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
My parents used to let us open one gift on Christmas Eve and it was always a new pair of pajamas. I have done the same with my kids. We also used to watch some version of The Nativity but we have replaced that with reading The Night Before Christmas with our kids.
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
See question #1 and #3. I think there is a theme here. Disneyland. Hands down. Someday I might consider venturing to Disneyworld but I will always be perfectly happy with Disneyland. Disneyland, my family and Christmas… nothing is a better “feel good” combination in the world.
8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

A Nintendo DSi Pink, of course. Xbox Kinect. And Personal Trainer: Cooking for the DS. Yeah… I could live with those….

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mommy and M's Day Out

Last week I left work a little early and took Miss M over to Gardner Village for a Witchy mini-manicure.  She was so cute about it. She barely breathed the whole time we were there and was so quiet and shy. It was a little strange for that one!

This was her "Mom, you are such a DORK!" expression when I told her to smile for her first salon manicure. 

She chose a skeleton sticker for one hand.

And a ghost for her other.

The best part - she chose red for one hand and purple for the other. She wanted each fingernail a different color. But in the interest of sanity for the poor salon-girl, I convinced her to narrow it down a bit. She was very proud of them after the fact. She LOVES having her nails done. I think she especially loved the stickers.

After her manicure, we went to the bakery and I let her pick a treat. She chose a YUMMY mini-cinnamon roll and then had a terrible fit because she wanted cheetos two bites in. (No, she didn't get the cheetos.)

This was right after the complete and total meltdown. But I still think it's a perfect little picture of M's Mommy time. She doesn't get a lot of it anymore without the evil little sister in tow. So it's nice to be able to spend some one on one time with her. Even if a large part of it is spent trying to CHILL her out because she can't always have every stinkin' thing she wants the cery second she wants it. (SPOILED)

Cutest little girl. From Angel to Demon and then back again in .5 seconds...

All in all, we had a great time roaming Gardner Village and looking in the shops and finding the crazy witches. It reminds me how much I absolutely adore that little girl. When she is good, she kills me with her sweetness. When she's bad, well, I think the witch in the picture with her kind of sums that up perfectly.......

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haunted Hollow

My sister brought her kids down Monday night and we all went to the Haunted Hollow at the park. They had games, food, characters, crafts, pumpkins, face painting, pumpkin drops and all sorts of Halloween fun.

Elena was fearless. The other kids were a little hesitant when Frankenstein came up to hand them candy. Not the baby. Oh no, she was trying to jump out of her stroller to get to him. 

I let her out to walk around a little later and she made a mad dash to the witches at the other side of the park. 

That was pretty much her theme of the night, "I'm free??? WOOOOO I'm going to run as far away from Mommy as I can!!!" And given there were so many people and none of them paying attention to the fact that I am chasing after the baby escaping WAY up ahead, she just kept getting farther and farther ahead. Thank heavens she is still not a master-walker because she'd fall down every few steps and I'd make up some distance that way!

She also had her face painted for the first time. The obsession with that must be genetic or something because she FREAKED out trying to get to the chair and then when I put her in it, she sat very still for the girl to do her face.

They were just kids who were doing the face painting and they were using the acrylic craft paints so that was a little interesting. But the kids loved it.

They got some of those silly vampire teeth and M hasn't been able to part with hers since.  

It did eventually get pretty stinkin' cold but the kids were troopers and had a great time. Even if they did wake up sicker than they already were the next morning....

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Think I Went a Little Crazy

This weekend was pretty lazy and yet really productive. I think I kinda like those types of weekends. There was a lot of cleaning. A lot, a lot. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more.

Get that? LOTS of cleaning. I even did dishes by hand. I *don't do* dishes by hand. And I think I cleaned the toy room at least 847 times. But between the cleaning we did a whole lot of other stuff.

There was pumpkin carving.

And cookie making.

And craft doing.

And treat putting

And to prove to a few people I really did put up some decorations this year, I am documenting that here as well.

Apparently Miss M paid a little too close attention to my pumpkin carving on Friday night. Sunday night, when her little, evil sister destroyed the tent she made in her toy room, her response was, "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!" Which was very much my sentiment at about pumpkin 2. But she had fun digging the guts out and once I was done with the carving and the cussing, they did turn out just fine.

We made sugar cookies from a new recipe I got from a friend. Which was very, very bad because oh they are so very yummy!!!! I planned on bringing them in to work so I wouldn't eat them all. Ummm... they're just about gone anyway. M was very excited about making Jack cookies and very serious about having black frosting for them and orange for the pumpkin. "Get it, Mommy? They have to be right." Yes, ma'am! So it was a trip to Michael's for some black frosting and then a pretty crappy attempt at *creating* some orange from the gels I had in the pantry since they were out of the orange. Next time, I'll just go check another store!

They got to paint some pumpkins in addition to the ones we carved. E got to use Crayola finger paints since I was pretty certain she would just try to eat it. (I was not wrong.) And this year, I went a little nuts and tried some tempura paints for M. The Crayola paints just don't show up well and they don't really dry well either. So they got to go crazy for a bit.

M was doing the cutest little polka dots on her pumpkin but then saw what her sister was doing and decided that was a much better and more fun (and MESSY) idea. So she just slathered it on...

E LOVED it. She had a ball! She poked her fingers in the paint and then tapped them to her pumpkin. Then she just dove right in. She sat there for a good half hour painting her little pumpkin.

This is what happens when you take that pumpkin away from her. She was NOT happy about that part. I went to take it and she snatched it away from me and hugged it up against herself in hopes she could just keep it a little longer. Not a happy baby.

M got to make some cute little Halloween jewelry. She had fun making it but she only wore it for ohh..... ten seconds. It made it's way on to her stuffed dog because "it was scratchy."

But it was really cute while it lasted!

We put together a bunch of treat bags for M's class for their Halloween party on Friday. They turned out really cute. And I thought I had the perfect idea for E's class but then realized what I thought I had bought was not at all what I had bought so now I am back to square one and have no idea what on earth to give to one-year olds that is not homemade. I get that rule, but my, how I hate it. So I made a silly little box to put the suckers in and will probably take them in to work or hand them out for Trick-or-Treating candy. Silly little box, made with all kids are supplies but hey, I was bored.

Somehow, Miss M got it in her head that she had a haunted gingerbread house to make. No idea where she got that idea, we had never even discussed it. But as she was digging candy pieces out of the pantry, I figured we could improvise a little and pretend.

So let's talk about what's going on here...

The Scooby Gang is trying to solve the mystery of the missing Fred. Three Scooby Fruit snack bags and not one Fred. Very concerning.
We've got the little alien and Woody and Jessie getting into some shenanigans on the roof while Buzz is flying off to infinity and beyond.
Tinkerbell and a big ghostie are just hanging out in the sky.
Some BooBerry and Count Chokulas are hanging out in the yard while Mater is parked on the lawn because the Mystery Machine and Lightening McQueen are hogging the driveway.
Then you've got the fish swimming in the river out front of the little licorice house.
All glued down with really melty frosting. The kid was in heaven, I tell yah. And she even got to eat it throughout the day...

And here is the proof I actually put up some decorations this year. It's rare. But it happens.

So all in all, it was a really lazy weekend. But we sure did have a ton of fun!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekend before last we took the girls to Breakfast with a Witch at Gardner Village.  Not only had we never been to the breakfast before, we had never even been to Gardner Village before.  We had no idea what to expect.  So I wasn't entirely surprised when it turned out fantastically. 

Both girls had a riot with the decor and the witches were so over-the-top it was hard not to get into the spirit of things with the kids.  Miss M thought the witches were all so very cool and had to memorize the names of each witch she met and match the witch with her picture on the autograph sheets they handed out to the kids. She is still packing it around asking me to remind her of the names for each one.  Miss E just had a blast getting to run around and jam out to the music they had playing. 

Because we had no idea what to expect, we arrived a bit early and had to kill some time waiting for our seating time.  It wasn't too difficult with being able to entertain the kids with all the Halloween and Fall decor they had around the building.  And, as you can see from E's face, it was pretty easy to keep them happy.

They had a witch come out to greet everyone and welcome us in to the dining hall where they were serving a breakfast buffet. All the food was cleverly renamed into some spooky Halloween-themed description. It was all very yummy. Even the little one enjoyed it... Well, some of it. I think she enjoyed the big chair and the ability to get off more than the actual food.

The girls wandered around and got to meet each of the witches and have their pictures taken with them. Here they are with Mildew Rose.

And with Brazzilla. This was M's favorite witch because she had a big spider pet on a leash. And, of course, she was the flashiest of all the witches. 4-year olds... it's all about the flash.

Here is M giving a hand (and getting one in return!) to Crazy Cora.

After breakfast we decided to wander around Gardner Village and see what was there. Witches everywhere! It was pretty darn cool. Having not been there before, we had to check out the shops as well. We'll definitely go back! Cute stuff!

We weren't very bright and got tickets to the early session for breakfast. Which meant that by the time we were wanting to do anything else, both girls were crabby as could be. And the older one REFUSED to have her picture taken.  Needless to say, way cute picture opportunities but one really grouchy girl in them.

Every once in a while I could sucker a smile out of her. But they were rare. And awfully cheesy when she would...

We kept up with the face-painting theme (meaning the theme to this kid's LIFE!!!!). And she was very proud of her cute, little Halloween kitty. Til she threw a fit a few hours later and cried the whole thing off. Of course.

Even the little monster baby was willing to get in on the witchy fun. If it meant she got to manhandle the shiny, sparkly things.

The one thing I learned from the experience that I will definitely do differently next year is NOT go to the early morning breakfast. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Road Trip (Cuz we're fearless like that!)

A 4-year old and a 1-year old in a car for 12+ hours. Twice. Think we're nuts? So did we but we did it anyway. And you know what? It was awesome!! Both girls did spectacularly for being stuck in their carseats all day for a few days while we drove to Nebraska, drove around Nebraska and then drove home from Nebraska. Dan has family back there so we try to get back to visit every so often. It had been a while (since our move home from VA, actually) and we also discovered their "junk jaunt" that some of our traveling party had great interest in. So we piled in the car, armed with many snacks and endless amounts of movies, and made our way to the mid-west.

Of course, these were the least stressful moments. But the best moments were when they were both awake and giggling at who knows what...

We stopped at Fort Cody Trading Post after breakfast one morning and let the girls run amok in hopes of getting a puppy. What? This is what was posted on their door:
Miss Monster was not a big fan of the giant statues they had in the back but I'm pretty sure she's in the afraid-of-EVERYTHING phase anyway. And she had no problem at all with the two-headed calf (the baby was pretty sure it was just a dog anyway, or so she kept saying over and over and OVER again).
We spent the weekend with family at Cram's Cove and had a very pleasant time. I think it's something about how laid back and kind and generous they are, but something about being with that family makes it the most relaxing and comforting place. It doesn't matter who is coming or going or calling at what hour, you're all family, you're all welcome and we'll take great care of yah! It's not something you get everywhere, or from everyone anymore so it's nice to see a bit of that good friend, good neighbor lifestyle still out there.
The girls both had a great time and, for the most part, were very well-behaved. Miss M learned she is beyond terrified of any and all bugs and Miss E well... she just wanted to walk anywhere and everywhere she could and shove whatever she could find on her way into her mouth.