Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Ice Storm of 2008

This is a quick post to let you all know that I am still here......the ice storm has left me without cable and internet until January 5th! It is small potatoes compared to what some people are going without right now. We were very fortunate to only lose power for 48 hours (we live close to the police and fire station and apparently share the same power grid). It was a long 48 hours (more on that later) but it was nothing compared to many of my friends who lost power for 8 1/2 days and there are still people I know who will not have power until after Christmas! It is so sad.....especially at this time of year.

The ice storm has really helped to slow life down. Many of our parties, playdates and other events were canceled and not having the internet or television has really helped me to focus. Z and I had a fabulous week of making crafts, baking, going on special outings and enjoying all that the season has to offer. Many of my friends who lost their power for a week or more, have lost their Christmas spirt. I feel so badly and wish that there was something I could do to help them restore it....unfortunately time is running out.

We are at my mom's tonight helping her prepare for the big Christmas Eve Bash and wanted to take a few moments to wish you all a Happy Holiday! I will try to post again during the Christmas week but we will be very busy preparing for my sister's wedding!

Happy Holidays!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December Madness.....

I am so sad that this month is so crazy that I do not have enough time to do the things I most want to do!!! Why do we let ourselves get so crazy this time of year? I hope to calm down a bit and hopefully enjoy the fun things happening this month. If I don't slow down a bit, I know the month will be over before I know it!

So here is my own version of the 12 Days of Christmas and I will call it the 12 days of December Madness...here we go :)

On the 12th day of December my busy schedule said to me...start work on all the gifts you are making and lose those 7 pounds so that your bridesmaid dress will fit!!!!
On the 11th day of December my busy schedule said to me...buy a Yankee swap gift and make an appetizer for your holiday party.
On the 10th day of December my busy schedule said to me...make 40 song books and organize a caroling party at your local nursing home and then drive to 90 minutes for a playdate.
On the 9th day of December my busy schedule said to me...clean the house for your holiday playgroup and then go out for drinks with your BF.
On the 8th day of December my busy schedule said to me...stuff 48 Christmas stockings for the needy children in the area.
On the 7th day of December by busy schedule said to me...attend the bridal brunch and drive home from the wedding.
On the 6th day of December my busy schedule said to me....get your hair and make-up done, look pretty in the wedding.
On the 5th day of December my busy schedule said to me...get your nails done and then drive down to the wedding!!!!
On the 4th day of December my busy schedule said to me....go to a Polar Express Party and then drive 45 minutes for a spray tan.
On the 3rd day of December my busy schedule said to me...organize and run a Preschool Fair for your town after finishing up your holiday shopping.
On the 2nd day of December my busy schedule said to me...have Park the elf make his big debut, wrap all of your presents and pack up for the weekend.
On the 1st day of December my busy schedule said to me....get presents for the elf to give, attend a very long meeting and make sure all the Christmas cards are mailed.

Okay so I know that wasn't even close to the real song ;) I am sure we all have crazy schedules like this (maybe even crazier). So please remember to enjoy the season and take time to have fun with the little stuff.

Monday, December 8, 2008

He Did It!!!

I want to start off this post by saying....my son is AMAZING! Not only did he steal the show in his little black velvet sailor suit....he made it almost all the way down the aisle by HIMSELF. He was the last person to go down (before the bride) and he stood at the back of the church in shock. Despite the hundreds of eyes looking at him, he started off, pulling his little wagon down the aisle. He stopped to "fix" a wheel (he thought it was stuck) and then had a hard time getting back up to continue his journey. S went down to help him and he pulled his wagon very quickly down the aisle. It was adorable and I sobbed (as did many people) through the entire thing. It was sooooo cute.

The whole wedding weekend was a blast. My mom and dad were so helpful and I am so appreciate of all of the work that they did (my mom did the most). Z was well cared for and had so much fun with Chi Chi and Neene! My mom brought Z back to the hotel alone and managed to get the luggage and Z safely inside. Dad then drove S and I back to the hotel :) Thank you so much mom (and dad)!!!

S and I had a great time attending the rehearsal alone and even got to go out on a date after the dinner :) Saturday was a blur of hair, make-up, getting dressed up and then pictures. I am a very simple person. I have naturally curly hair and don't wear any make-up. The only reason I own make-up is because of my wedding. When the hairdresser asked me what I wanted...I told her about my typical wedding look. I always have my hair half up and then the rest of my hair curled to help with the curl that is already there. When the hairdresser asked to straighten my hair before she curled it...I was a bit worried.

It took 90 minutes (I have a ton of hair) but this was the first time that anyone was able to successfully straighten my hair!!! I looked like a different person, people kept mistaking me for my sister (that is a good thing). I felt like I had been on a make-over show (did I mention that I also had my nails and my first spray tan done...love spray tans!!!) and loved the many compliments I received on this new look. Unfortunately, I do not have 90 minutes everyday to straighten my hair (or the ability to do so) but I told S that if we ever come into big money...I am going to hire her to do my hair once a week and then have the make up artist do my make up.

The only problem with this new look was that my son did not know me! He saw me in the church and called me "Auntie Water" (my sister) and then after the ceremony everyone was trying to convince him that I was his momma but he kept calling me "Auntie Water". It wasn't until about 20 minutes into the reception that I held him and talked with him that he finally realized who I was. It was soooo weird!

The whole event was wonderful and I want to thank my sister in-law for including us. She and her mother are probably the only people who could pull off an ocean themed wedding at Christmas time. It was amazing! No details were left undone and everyone was so impressed. A and A...I hope you are having a wonderful time on your honeymoon! We love you!!!

I am searching for some better pictures of Z. For now...this is all I have. Sorry for the quality but we are trying to protect our identities :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wedding Number One

As many of you know we have two weddings this holiday season. My sister in-law's is this weekend and my sister's is the weekend after New Years. Z is in both and I am a ball of nerves! Thankfully my mother is taking him today so that we can go down to the rehearsal alone. She and my dad will bring him to the ceremony, get him dressed and I will not see him until minutes before the wedding begins. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Z has been to the church, practiced rolling his little wagon down the aisle and did just great. I just don't know what Saturday will bring. He has been a real mommy's boy lately and after not seeing either of his parents for 24+ hours....he may be glued to my side and want to be held. I guess if that is what he wants...that is what he is going to get.

My other fear is the reception. He will be there as long as he can (since he will have not napped that day) and then he and my mom will head to the hotel which is about 15 minutes away. I have a feeling that this good-bye will not go well and know that this mama won't be able to really enjoy the open bar until Z is in the crib fast asleep ;) There is a good chance that I will be going back to the hotel with them, putting him to bed and try to get back before I miss all of the good stuff.

Many people have told me not to worry. "He may surprise you...", "He will be just fine...", "Whatever happens it will be adorable..." and I am sure these people are right but let's face it...two year olds are unpredictable and I want to be prepared for everything!

Have a good weekend everybody and wish us luck!!! I will post pictures and stories on Monday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And So the Honesty Begins...

Yesterday Z and I were at the post office when we ran into a nice man from church. We said "hello" and Z kept repeating a phrase over and over. I laughed about how difficult it was to understand him sometimes and then we said "good-bye". As we were walking away, Z continued to repeat the phrase and pointed to the nice man from church. I then realize what he was saying..... "That's an old man". I couldn't help but laugh (I know, the wrong response). I immediately called S to tell him about this and we both wondered where he had heard the expression "old man". Maybe his grandpa J had said it over the weekend? We have no idea!

In the next store, we were checking out when Z started up again. He looked at the cashier and said, "Your a big man" over and over. I looked closely at the man and realized he was very tall and thin and said to Z, "Yes he is a tall man." The man did not even smile and I realized that Z was now unintentionally insulting people.

What to do? You want to foster this new classification skill, yet need to teach them to keep these people observations to themselves. I am open to any advice :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Great Weekend!

This past weekend was so jammed packed with family, fun and tradition.....it is hard to put it all into one blog post. So I decided to give you the top 8 highlights of our Thanksgiving weekend :)

1. I not only made it through my four mile (uphill) race but did okay :) My future brother in-law didn't make it to the race due to the fact that he was in the ER getting stitches from his 6AM Alumni hockey game (he got a puck right between the eye...which will make for great wedding photos in a month!) but I managed without him.

2. My husband, other brother in-law and dad came in 3rd in the traditional golf tournament they play on Thanksgiving. This brought them so much joy and excitement caused them all to be in bed by 8pm on Thanksgiving night ;)

3. My mother cooked a wonderful meal and we had a great time sharing it with my uncle, aunt and cousin. I was most thankful that Z slept through dinner and S and I were able to really enjoy ourselves!

4. Our visit on Thanksgiving night to see my Noni was nice. She was talkative and in a fairly good mood. My uncle left Christmas music playing for her in her room and I went out and got her some twinkle lights for her window. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas there.

5. I was able to leave my mother's home with some Christmas Cheer and then went on to do the same at my mother in-laws. I know they both really appreciated the effort I went to.

6. S, Z and I had a nice time decorating our tree. We had music playing, egg nog to sip and Z only broke one ornament. It was fun to see his excitment about all of our decorations.

7. I had a wonderful pre-bachelorette dinner with my two sister in-laws on Saturday night. My youngest sister in-law gets married in less than a week and we had so much fun talking about our men, the wedding and other fun stories. The food was delicious, the wine was perfect and I am so lucky to have them both in my life!

8. Z loves his grandparents so much. He not only got to spend two days with Neene and Chi Chi but then two days with Mimi and Grandpa Jeff. The child was on cloud nine with all of the attention, donuts, pancakes, walks, dancing, playing with trains and most importantly...all the love! It was a perfect weekend for him.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We have a crazy week ahead and then our first wedding of the season (my sister's is after New Years). I am looking forward to it all :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Z's Version of the Nativity

Friday, November 28, 2008

Deck the Halls

While most people are digesting their Thanksgiving meal (sleeping off the tryptophan), I am all abuzz decorating my mom's house for Christmas. I put up the tree (artificial due to my pine and mold allergy), force my sleepy dad to string the lights and then put up all of the other holiday decorations. Once my mother's house is done, it is on to my own. The Friday after Thanksgiving, I am busy once again, decking my own halls. After I finish at my house, I move onto my Noni's (this year I will be decorating her nursing home room) and then on to help my Mother In-law. It is a busy weekend and I am known in my family as the "Christmas Elf". I love to spread Christmas cheer.

This year, I decided to start a little early. My sister and I took Z and G to see Santa the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We did this last year and it worked out great. There are no lines, Santa and his staff are in a good mood and then we can pass the pictures around at Thanksgiving. Last year we got a great shot, this year....well let's just say that my sister and I are in it :)

After our visit to Santa, I was in the Christmas Spirit. Z and I listened to the Chipmunks sing "Jingle Bells" the whole ride home and I knew what was going to happen that afternoon :) Z looked at me oddly as I started rearranging furniture and vacuuming up a storm. Once he went down for a nap, I put on the Christmas music, poured a small cup of light eggnog and began hauling boxes up from the basement. In the three hours that he was asleep (thanks Z for the long nap), I had the entire house decorated. When Z came downstairs, he was shocked to find his house "Christmafied". He spent the entire night running from room to room shouting "Christmas tree", "baby jesus", "santa" and it went on and on.

When S got home after his guys night out...he couldn't believe that I had the entire house decorated already. I smiled and told him that I wanted to have our house decorated before I went and spread my Christmas cheer to the rest of the family.

I always enjoy pulling out the boxes of decorations and reminiscing about all of the past Christmases. I have some of Noni's decorations, my mothers and have collected quite a few of my own over the years. There are still a few boxes downstairs and we will pull them out when we decorate our tree on Friday with Z. It will be fun chatting with S about where we got the different ornaments and I know Z will be very into decorating the tree this year.

As you can see, he also has his own tree. This is a 3 ft tree that I picked up at Walmart for my classroom. We gave him this tree last year and he decorates it with plastic balls and unbreakable ornaments. He knows that it is the only tree that he is allowed to touch and truly treasures it.

So now I have decorated two homes and I have two more to do. I so enjoy being the Christmas Elf! So if any of you out there want some assistance, let me know! I would be happy to help you deck your halls this season!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm So Thankful

This week I have read many great "Thankful" Posts and I thought about how I could be a little bit different. So instead of sharing all of the wonderful things that I am thankful for, I decided to share with you what Z said he was thankful for.

A few weeks ago, we made these turkeys. I asked him what he "loved" and then I wrote it down on the feathers of his turkey. Here is what he said:

1. Daddy
2. Mommy
3. Chi Chi and Neene
4. Mimi and Grandpa J
5. Thomas and trains
6. "Z's House"
7. Apples (they were sitting on the table)
8. George (as in Curious)
9. "Auntie K, Auntie W, Auntie K and Auntie A"
10. "Dum B, Uncle M, Uncle M and Uncle A"
11. "oh and G" (his cousin)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
It will be a happy Thanksgiving for me if I make it through my 4 mile uphill race today :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dental Anxiety

Yesterday morning I woke up and when I came out of my sleepy stupor a feeling of dread came over my body....it was time to go to the DENTIST! I had put off this appointment for two months (I had to cancel it once before because S had a meeting) and I knew there was nothing I could do to get out of it. Feeling sick to my stomach, I forced some breakfast down, brushed my teeth and got into the car.

I hate the DENTIST (not personally...he really is a wonderful man)!! As a child I use to love going to the dentist. It was a fun experience and he always told me what perfect teeth I had...I never had one cavity as a child :) Well as an adult my feelings have changed and I avoided going to the Dentist for three years (so embarrassing). When I finally went to my current dentist, two years ago...he found all sorts of things that were wrong :( I had to have my first 4 fillings and even had to have one of my wisdom teeth out! Now every time I sit in that chair, I wonder what they are going to find.

This trip was to have a mouth guard fitted (I grind my teeth really badly at night) and have two small fillings done (cavity 5 and 6!!). As I pulled into the parking lot, I thought about making a run for it ;) When I finally got in the chair, I really thought I was going to be sick. I adore the dental assistant and we chatted away as I pretended to be anywhere but in that chair (I am such a wimp when it comes to my mouth). The dentist came over with his big needle of Novocaine and I told him I would be listening to my I-Pod during this whole ordeal. He laughed (as he always does) and pretended to be insulted that I didn't like his classical music. I told him that this was my running mix and it would block out the horrible drilling sounds.

If I had remembered what it was like to have a mouth guard fitted, I would have never agreed to it. I have the worst gag reflex and this procedure was awful. They laid me down and put this seaweed jello like substance on a metal tray and stuck it in my mouth for 2 1/2 minutes. Do you realize how long 2 1/2 minutes is??? Bits of the stuff was floating around the back of my throat, my mouth was numb and I was trying not to gag. I made it through the first tray but when he went to do the second tray, a big chunk of it broke off and headed straight to the back of my throat. When I went to swallow, it got stuck and I started choking. They quickly sat me up, banged on my back, water was squirting everywhere (this device has water hoses), the dentist could not get the tray out of my mouth...I thought I was going to die! He finally got it out of my mouth, I choked up the big piece and begged for the assistant to suction out the rest of the hardened jello in my mouth. It was AWFUL. They then decided to have me sit up for this procedure and we had to start the long 2 1/2 minutes all over again.

After this procedure, the fillings were a piece of cake. My next appointment for a cleaning is in May. I vow to start flossing and rinsing everyday so that I don't have to get anymore fillings! From now on, I would like to see my dentist for cleanings only :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Bargain of the Day

Z and I were at TJ Maxx today, searching for a hair straightener (for those of you who know me...it is not to straighten my curly locks....just a few stray pieces :)). Z calls this store the "truck store" and as always we had to check out the toys and books. At Christmas time, the number of toys in the store doubles...it is fun to hunt around and see what they have. All of the children in my life are all set for Christmas (I finished my shopping for them awhile ago) but it is still nice to see if they have anything for birthdays that may be coming up.

Z found the toy pictured here first....and it was perfect! It brought together his love of trains, my love for Christmas and the story, The Polar Express. This toy is made by Brio and I had seen it before but it was around $30. This set was only $9.99 and it was the only one...my heart started beating fast as I tried to figure out how I could buy it for Z for Christmas without him knowing :) He would not put it down and kept pushing the button to make the tree light up. I knew that the only way we could add this to his train collection was to buy it for him as an "early gift".

In a few weeks, we will be riding the Polar Express train with my parents. I thought that this set was the perfect thing to get him excited for that journey (not that it will take much). It would have been ideal to wait until that day to give it to him, but as I said, it was the only one and I risked it not being there if I went back to buy it later. I then hoped he would forget about it once we got home...no such luck! As soon as we walked in the door, he started to cry out "play trains, play Christmas Tree trains" :)

It is so adorable and I am so glad that we got it today. At the end of the Holiday season, we will carefully pack it away and bring it out again next year. I do think it is something that we will be able to hold onto for our grandchildren to play with (just as my parents saved all of my sister's Brio trains for Z and G). If you have a train lover in your life...check out your local T.J. Maxx...they have tons of great Brio items :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Potty Talk

Here is a conversation that I had with Z today. I am sure that all of you with kids have had a conversation similar to this one before :) For me, it was a first.

Me: Z are you pooping?
Z: Yes pooping....change diaper?
Me: Do you want to use the potty?
Z: No.....BIG poop coming out the hole.
Me: Does it hurt?
Z: No, oh....it's STUCK.......ahhh all done poop. Change diaper?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who Says Boys Can't Have Tea Parties?

Tonight I was craving a cup of tea, Z was running all about and my aching body just wanted a nice warm drink. Friday night is now movie night in our house but we were still 45 minutes away from the start of the flick (Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving was tonight's feature), S was still away on his business trip (he has been gone since Monday)...what to do?

Me: Z, want to have a tea party?
Z: tea potty?
Me: Yes, we will drink tea and you can have a few cookies.
Z: OKAY....coffee, drink coffee? (he means water in his coffee cup, we often have coffee chats in the morning)
Me: No, it is too late for coffee...we are going to have tea.
Z: Okay

Z climbed into his chair while I prepared the tea. I brought out the big bucket of tea, two mugs and a plate of cookies. As I looked through the tea bucket, I asked him which I should have. Z picked out a nice mango tea for me and as I opened it and placed the teabag in my cup, I noticed that he was watching my every move. It dawned on me that this was probably the first time he had ever seen tea being made. My tea is often prepared it in the kitchen while he is off playing, making tea fascinated him.

I sat down and was about to take my first sip when Z started to reach across the table for the tea bucket. He wanted his own tea bag and I knew we would not have peace until he did :) I asked him which bag he wanted and he picked out the mango tea as well. He took the bag and copied my motions of dipping the tea bag up and down. We said "Cheers" and began to sip our tea. I expected him to hate his tea flavored water but he gulped it down! We shared cookies, Z had two cups of "tea" and we talked about our day. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again soon :) When we were all finished, I asked Z if he liked the tea party.

Z: Tea party good! Tea party good!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adopt an Elf

I just found a great blog today and she seems to be more into the holidays than me (who thought that could be possible?? :)). She wrote all about adopting an elf and so of course I checked out the Elf-Magic website and ordered one right away! Our elf is due to arrive in our home on December 1st but we will start putting our our crackers and water on November 29th (to entice the elf to live with us for the holidays). I can't wait!

I have seen Elf on a Shelf and almost got one a few weeks ago but I am glad I held off. I love the story on the Elf Magic website. First you write to Santa to see if it would be okay for an elf to visit your home for the Holiday Season, then you put out your crackers and water to entice them to live in your home and then there are so many more fun things you can do once your elf comes to live with you (check it out on their website).

I will update you about our adventures with our new elf once he gets here (have to work on a good name for him...if any of you have any suggestions...please share :)).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Christmas Music Has Begun....

Well...I hate to admit it, but it is true :) Usually I wait until Thanksgiving to listen to my Christmas music and that is the only think I listen to until December 26th. This year we had to break out the Alvin and the Chipmunks a little early and I have had the privilege of listening to this CD over and over since November 9th ;)

You see it all started in Home Depot....Z was drawn to the Christmas display and the very large inflatable Thomas. We explored the area, when, what to my wondering eyes should appear....but an animated Elmo stocking! Z had to hold the stocking and I made the mistake of showing him that if you pushed his hand, he started to sing "Jingle Bells". Well this stocking went all over the store with us (it actually allowed me to shop) and now every time we are in Home Depot (which is a lot lately)...we must find the stocking.

Since discovering this treasure, Z has been obsessed with "Jingle Bells". He calls it the Elmo song and requests S and I to sing it.....over and over. I was a little tired of singing this song when I decided to search the internet for this great Elmo hit. I am sorry to say that I could not find it anywhere. So I decided that the closest thing I owned to Elmo was my Alvin and the Chipmunks CD. I found the song on my IPod (yes I keep my holiday music on there year round) and played it for Z. The look on his face was priceless...what was this unique sound coming from the IPod? It didn't sound like Elmo but it was the "Jingle Bell" song. It didn't take long for him to fall in love with not only that song but many of the other hits from that album. He loves for us to put it on and he dances around the ottoman...it is really cute.

This past weekend we were driving back from our friends J and R's house and it was waaaay past Z's bedtime. He was very cranky and insisting that he get out of the car. It was an hour drive and nothing pleased him. I turned on the radio and searched for the station that is already playing holiday music. I asked S what the odds were that they would be playing the Chipmunks....it was a commercial. Z continued to cry from the back, desperately I started searching through a few CD's that I have in the compartment between the seats. In the last case I opened...what should I find?? Alvin and the Chipmunks!!!!! I popped it in and Z stopped crying and his face lit up. He was so happy to hear that "beautiful" sound.

Well since that night, that is the only thing we listen to now. We were in the car for two hours yesterday and that is all Z wanted to listen to (Bob the Builder is welcome no more). Now I do love Christmas and I love the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas album but I have to admit, it starts to get old. But as long as Z is happy...I will sing along with Alvin, Simon and Theodore...all season long!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kisses for Mommy

Z just got this new Clifford Thanksgiving book from my mom and he loves it :) S reads it to him every night at bedtime and even though we think it is a very silly story...he thinks it is great.

The premise of the book is that Emily Elizabeth leaves town for the Thanksgiving holiday and Clifford is lonely. He decides to go to the city to spend the holiday with his mom. The book is all about his adventures in getting to his mom.

Every night during the reading of this book, Z comes to get me at the part when Clifford finds his mom. I can hear him at the top of the stairs calling, "Mommy....Mommy" and so I run up to join he and S in our bed. When I get there, S reads the part where Clifford's mom gives him a big kiss and Z immediately looks at me and gives me a big kiss. This kiss is so sweet, wet and wonderful :) We then cuddle in for the rest of the story.

Today at naptime Z asked me to read him this story. As I read it to him, I began to daydream about all of the things I had to do while he was napping. All of a sudden, Z climbed up on top of me and planted the most wet kiss on me. It startled me at first and then I realized that we were at the mommy kiss part :) I giggled, smiled and gave him a big hug and a kiss. It was so cute! We then snuggled in and read the rest of the book.

These are the moments that make being a mom so special!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weigh In Thursdays....

I'm down a 1/2 pound. I had one dress fitting the other day....not too bad. The scary dress fitting is this Thursday! I have been running and working out again...so that is good :) I also cut down on my drinking of wine this week. S and I both need to do that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Addicted to Facebook!!!

Okay, I thought I could handle the world of facebook...but now I am starting to second guess myself. It is so addicting! I only started a week ago, so please tell me that the newness will wear off and I will be able to get on with my life :)

Here is a look into my brain for a typical facebook session...."I know I have laundry to fold but let me log on really quick to see if anyone wants to be my friend or if anything interesting was posted. 45 minutes later.....Oh before I log off...let me try find that person. Is it them? Maybe...let me send them a message. Oh look who just popped in and wants to be my friend...they have 4 kids!" And it goes on and on until Z's entire nap is over and I have done nothing!

If you asked me 2 weeks ago to join facebook, I would have laughed in your face. I was not going to be apart of any social networking program. Then my best friend L told me to log on and play around with her account, before I knew it I had my own account and was on facebook for 2 1/2 hours (Z had a long nap that day). I now have S hooked (he also swore he would never use it) and have had a blast hunting down all of my old high school, college, study abroad and grad school friends. I have reconnected with folks I haven't spoken to in over 13 years! It has been so much fun seeing who has kids, where people live and what people do for work. I know, I know...who cares? Well I guess I do. I am also hoping to use facebook as a venue to deal with a person from my past who I upset many years ago. We have not spoken in 13 years and I would like to apologize for whatever I did (unfortunately I still don't know what I did ) to make her so angry with me. Maybe facebook will help us to put the past behind us and help us to move forward. Who knows???

I do know that if I want to live in a clean house, I need to set time limits for myself :) Link

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Husband...The Hero!

**Warning...this post might not be for the weak of heart :) **

This past weekend was the first time, since May, that we spent the entire weekend at home (not traveling more than 5 miles away). Z had a high fever (reaction to his MMR shot) but other than that it was so nice to be home and able to attack some projects that have been in the works for a very long time!

Our Master Bathroom has been under construction for over 2 years!!! When we had the issues with rot, we had to move out of our bedroom. Once the bedroom was complete (a year later) we moved back in and began work on our bathroom. I started by taking down the wallpaper. Then almost 6 months later, we plastered the walls and this past weekend S sanded, primed and started painting :) I have to finish painting today and then we can hang the new light fixture :) We then need to caulk the shower, put up molding, change out the faucet and then we will at least be able to use it ;) We then plan to do the floor this winter. What a long process it has been.

The reason this project has taken so long is that we get distracted by other projects (yard stuff, painting the downstairs, new light fixtures etc.) and we travel around so much. We are very busy people and always on the go. This makes home projects tough to finish.

While S was up painting the bathroom, I was doing my least favorite chore....LAUNDRY. Once I finished, I went into the bathroom closet to pull out some ingredients to make my all natural cleaning solutions. I brought the supplies into the kitchen and noticed that there was something weird on the outside of the plastic bag that had been holding the supplies. I threw it away and went back into the bathroom closet to investigate. There (next to all of my dish towels) was the mouse that had been locked in our bathroom a few months ago!!! We thought it had escaped but instead it decided to die in my dish towels!!!! YUCK!!!!! I screamed, ran upstairs and told S what I had found. He was just as grossed out but we decided we couldn't do much until Z woke up (we figured it would be pretty loud).

After nap, S got into his "hazmat" outfit (gloves, goggles, mask, old clothes). He had our indoor/outdoor vac, heavy duty cleaning solution, paper towels and garbage bags. He told me he was going to have to throw out all of my dish towels and that I could go and get some more...fine with me! As he explored the situation, he found MAGGOTS!!!! Tons and tons of MAGGOTS!!!! All throughout my dishtowels (thankfully I had been using the new dishtowels that I got for my anniversary and haven't used that closet in awhile). SO GROSS!!!!!!!!! He worked diligently to remove all of the disgusting materials, washed the area clean and removed it to the garbage. It was disgusting and I hope poor S doesn't have to do anything else like that for a long time. As for me...I am so relieved to have him in our life! What would I have done??? If I had had to clean that up, my gag reflex would have kicked in and there would have been double the mess to clean up.

S you are our HERO! Thanks for working so hard this weekend and cleaning up that horrible mess. We love you!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bob's Rock Video

Weigh In Thursdays.....

Nothing gained...nothing lost. Another blah week. I was toooo busy for my own good :) I am looking into starting boot camp though...that will kick my butt into gear :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Friends Thanksgiving

As I mentioned in my post about the train, we had our 7th Annual Friends Thanksgiving this past weekend. Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays and so to be able to celebrate it more than once a year....AWESOME! The tradition started 7 years ago with our friends J and R. S and I invited them to our first apartment and asked that they bring their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. S and I made the turkey and our favorites and we sat down to a nice, quiet dinner. It was wonderful.

This event then became a tradition and grew in numbers. The second year we added our friends S and R and a few others to the table. Each person brought their favorite dish and we started the meal by telling everyone what we were most thankful for.

Over the years the tables have changed but the sentiment is always the same. Our first Friends Thanksgiving with children was a memorable one :) Z was only 2 months old and we also had 11 month old baby O and 19 month old N joining us for their first Friends Thanksgiving. O got to try mashed potatoes for the first time. He was the first to use Z's new highchair and managed to fill the entire deep tray with vomit :) Apparently the mashed potatoes didn't agree with him. My brother in-law, who was not use to being around children, could not get over this disgusting display!

Last year was the most chaotic of Friends Thanksgivings. We had 5 children ranging in ages from 2 months-2 1/2 years old. Our poor friends J and R who don't have children yet were a bit overwhelmed with the chaos. Gone were the years of sipping wine and playing a board game after dinner. We barely made it around the table to share what we were thankful for before the kids started to lose it. It was crazy but fun!

This year we decided to keep things low key. My friend S offered to host it at her house (we had always hosted it before) and I was quick to agree :) The plan was only our three children and then to invite two couples without children. We thought that this might help in keeping the dinner a little more calm and relaxing ;) My friend S bought an 18 pound turkey for dinner only to find out that one couple canceled the night before and the other canceled 40 minutes before! She was much calmer and more understanding than I would have been.

The four of us sat down to a table with food for 8 adults and started to laugh. We toasted each other, shared what we were thankful for and all agreed that even though there was a lot of food...we were so thankful that it was just the four adults and three kids....so much calmer than the year before :) Although we missed the others who have shared our Friends Thanksgiving Table over the years...it was nice to have a nice intimate dinner with good friends and fabulous food! Thanks S and R for a great dinner :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Z's View on the Election

This morning, I sat down with Z and over "coffee" (his was water) we had a political discussion. Here is how it went:

M: Today is a special day. Today we go to vote for a new president.

Z: blank stare

M: Our President is like the Mommy or the Daddy of our country. He or She take care of the people in our country and keep us safe. Today we get to vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama.

Z: blank stare

M: Well Z, which letter do you like better...O or M? You could vote for your favorite letter today.

Z: O.....M.....no vote O......no vote M.....vote for W!!!

M: Z we are voting today to get rid of "W"...he has already had 8 long years in the White House! So today you can vote for President O or President M...who would you like to vote for?

Z: O....vote for M.....no O.....no T.....no vote for XYZ!!!

M: Cheers to that Z :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Train Ride to Somewhere

This week Z and I were going to go with a bunch of mothers in my mothers group on a "Train Ride to Nowhere". One of our amazing mothers organized a trip for the train lovers in our group (most of them under 5) to ride our local commuter rail. The plan was to ride the commuter rail for a few stops, hang out on the train platform for a bit (eating snacks, reading train stories and playing games) and then return back to the original destination....BRILLIANT!

I was so excited about this opportunity for Z to take his first train ride until Saturday afternoon. That is when our weekend plans changed and Z and I had the chance to take a "Train Ride to Somewhere"!!! Because S missed his train on Saturday, he drove to meet our friends for a fun night on the town in Maine. Z and I stayed behind and visited with Noni and my family. On Sunday, we then took the train that S was suppose to take and we met him and our close friends for a wonderful tradition we have done for the last 6 Novembers, "Friends Thanksgiving".

When I first told Z that he was going to ride on a train his face lit up. He started to talk about how he hoped to see the "Conductor", the "driver" and "Sir Topham Hatt". He couldn't believe that he was going to ride on "Thomas"!!! I made the mistake of telling him after nap on Saturday so he kept asking about the train. I told him that when he woke up in the morning, we would get ready to go to the train station. He was so excited :)

Sunday morning came and we made our way to the train station. I packed light and we chatted about our journey and listened to our "Thomas" Soundtrack the whole way :) When we got to the station, we bought out tickets and then had the opportunity to see a train, going in the opposite direction. Z was awestruck! He has seen trains before but never this close up :) He just stared at it in disbelief and I think he was a little frightened. After it left he started to get really worked up and kept talking about the train and the conductor and how fast they went ;)

When our train finally came (it was delayed), Z grabbed my leg. He was a little timid about this new experience. We got in line (Z clutching his stuffed "Thomas") and he actually walked onto the train himself. The conductor greeted Z with a smile and said that he would be down to talk to us a little later :) Z and I found two open seats and he sat there wide eyed! The conductor came to greet him and chatted with him about how much he had loved trains when he was a little guy. Z stared at him, unable to speak :) When he left, Z started to chat away about the "conductor" and how he had his own train seat. He was so happy to be riding on that train.

Z and I spent our time on the train looking out the window, cuddling while reading a story, playing with both stuffed "Thomas" and wooden "Thomas" and of course...snacking :) With every stop, Z thought it was time to get off. When I told him we could go on another train ride, he said "Good". Towards the end of our trip we took a walk to the cafe cart...he thought this was very cool. We bought some pretzels and then returned to our seats for the remainder of the trip. I have been on many train rides before but this was by far the best one. It was so incredible to experience this for the first time with him. It is a memory I will always treasure :)

When we got off of the train, S was there waiting for us. It was nice to see him :) We then went to our friends, S and R for an amazing meal...more about that tomorrow :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where Did "Momma" Go??

One of my most favorite words to hear is "Momma". Z would say this and (most of the time) my heart would swell :) Well something happened when my baby went away last weekend with his daddy......he no longer calls me "Momma"...I am now "Mommy"! To some people this would not be a big deal but it makes me really sad :(

It took me a day or so to realize this switch. I knew something was strange but I really didn't put it together until Z called me over and over one morning.
"Mommy...Mommy...Mommy...Mommy.." he cried. It was then that it hit me...where did "Momma" go?

I have tried to get him to switch back but it is no use..."Momma" is gone and "Mommy" is here to stay. I guess it is better than "MOM"!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

It's Here!!! Halloween is finally here :) I wish you all a safe and fun holiday! Make sure to check your kids candy, have them wear something bright (glow sticks, reflectors or carry a flashlight) and make sure they brush their teeth :) I am such a teacher.....

Here is our Halloween Gallery! All things were created by Z himself (well with help from me). Enjoy the day :)

Fun with Stickers




3-D Spider

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Weigh In Thursdays....

Well I stayed the same this week :) Considering what could have happened after my sister's bridal shower and the bag of candy pumpkins I foolishly bought for cupcakes (oh and the cupcakes!)...I love that I stayed the same.

I did start working out more this week, which I am very happy about. I also did a little better on the eating piece.

Next week my plan is to really focus on the diet portion of this challenge and work out at least 5 days!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bob the Pumpkin

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Well today Z and I made our cupcakes and we had so much. Z loves to help dump in the ingredients, mix the batter and put the muffin cups in the muffin pan. He is very good at his jobs. I had asked him last night what he wanted to do today (since we were banned from playgroup due to another runny nose) and he said "Halloweeeen stuff". I racked my brain and decided that we would make cupcakes, play our "hide the pumpkin" game and make more Halloween decorations. I will share our decorations (we have done a bunch) on Halloween.

Z and I love this holiday! He woke up this morning asking, "Halloween??" We love the songs, candy, making yummy treats, creating fun crafts and reading our favorite Halloween stories. Z knows every Halloween character (ghost, skeleton, jack 0 lantern..he calls them "drtanner" did you catch that K????) and loves to point them out everywhere we go. The other day I watched "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown"...the perfect Halloween movie :) I have the trilogy and although Halloween is my third favorite, it is still fun to watch. I might put it on for Z later (although he will probably be bored). I just love this holiday.

Halloween will end for us on Saturday night after a second round of Trick or Treating with a visit to my Noni and Z's Grammy J. We will then come home and pack up all of our Halloween decorations. I know it will be very hard for us to move from pumpkins and ghosts to turkeys and pilgrims but we will try. I have quite a few turkey books, songs and crafts up my sleeve....but if we have to read a Halloween book or sing a Halloween song now and again...that is okay with me!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guess Who Got Boo'd???

Z and I were busy playing "Neighborhood Sounds Bingo" (love that game) when the doorbell rang. We both looked at each other and then ran to the door. When we opened the door there was nobody to be found (except my friend J running away to her car :)) but our porch was filled with wonderful "BOO" items and a ghost sign to put on our door!

Z and I went out onto the porch (I waved good-bye to J) and examined all of the wonderful treats. There was a large plastic pumpkin filled with stickers, glow sticks and a matchbox car. Then laid out on the porch there was a pumpkin Magna doodle, a "Finding Nemo" color wonder activity book, a box of Halloween cake mix with frosting and a "Handy Manny" picture book. It was the PERFECT "BOO" for Z and he was so excited!

We hung the ghost on our door to show the world that somebody loves us this Halloween and we came inside. Z immediately started to say "Open". As we opened and explored each item, I asked him if he knew why he was given these wonderful treats. He said..."for Halloweeeeen". I said that he was right and that somebody thought he was very special. I then asked if he knew who had "Boo'd" him. He started to guess names....Daddy, Grace, Auntie Water, Marc, Neene....I then told him that I thought it was a friend of his, maybe someone from Kindermusik and Playgroup. I told him that we would look at all of our friends in Kindermusik on Wednesday and try to find out who "boo'd" us :) He smiled. We then called S and he giggled and squealed as he shared with him that he had been "boo'd" for "Halloweeeeeen".

This is such a fun tradition for both the kids and grownups. I think it is just as much fun to create and drop off a "boo" as it is to receive one. We have already agreed to do it again next year! Thanks J, A and O for a great "Boo" and Happy Halloween to you!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Weekend Alone

Let me preface this post by saying that I really did miss Z and S this weekend. I missed Z's smile, endless chatter and laughter and playing with him. I missed being able to talk and sip wine with S, watch TV with him and having him there to "protect" me. And as I write this on Sunday morning....I can't wait for them to come home!

But what a treat this weekend was for me ;) It took me quite awhile to really relax and understand that the only person I was responsible for was myself :) I slept until 7:30 two of the days and 9am on day three. Each day I laid in bed for 30 minutes, guilt free! On Friday I went for a run, ran errands, got my hair cut, went out to lunch with my BF and went shopping. In the stores I felt like a free woman. I spent hours walking around the store ...just looking! I then took many things into the dressing room to try them on (I can't do this with Z). I wasn't worried about naptimes, bedtimes, feeding times, someone getting restless...it was a nice break. Friday night I poured a glass of wine, put on Season 10 of Friends and worked on the many Christmas presents that I am making.

Saturday was devoted to my sister and her shower and it was so much fun. She really enjoyed the cocktail party theme and we had a good time putting it all together. We had a gourmet menu of cranberry and brie in puff pastry, mini quiches, spanakopita, a french cheese plate, bruschetta and many other h'orderves. We then had a Bellini bar which was a huge hit, with mango, strawberry and mixed berry nectars (which my mom made from scratch) and fresh fruit to top off the drinks. They were delicious and a big hit.

Saturday evening we went out with my sister to one of our favorite restaurants. It was an evening of wine, food and laughs with her closest friends and family members. We rented a mini van and my mom played DD so everyone got to relax and have a good time.

It was a great weekend. A chance to really unwind and enjoy being ME. Now that it is Sunday morning and I haven't seen my guys since Thursday night....I really am ready to be a mom and wife again! They won't be home until 1pm, so I still have a few more hours...my plan is to visit my noni (couldn't find her yesterday...she was in therapy) and go home and stain my new curtain rods :) Then I will wait for the sound of the garage door opening and a big "mama" from my little Z!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weigh In Thursdays....

A good week...I am down 2.4 pounds! That means 9 more to go. This week I started working out again and snacked less. This next week I plan to continue the working out and try to drink more water and less alcohol ;)

A Day Off !?!?!?!?!?

S decided to take Z to visit his folks this weekend because I am going to be so busy with my sister's shower and bachelorette dinner. His original plan was to leave Saturday morning and return Sunday. He found out the other day that he has a meeting scheduled on Friday and it is only 20 minutes from his parents house. Being the very smart man that he is, he realized that it would be silly to drive all the way to the meeting, then home and then back to his parents house the next day. So he asked if he and Z could move their trip and go down Thursday night and then come home Saturday night.

At first, I was confused....what would happen to Z during his meeting on Friday. He assured me that his mother would be watching him. I told him this would be fine and then a huge smile crossed my face....I was going to have a whole day to myself! What to do????

I have spent the last few days brainstorming all of the things I could do on Friday. I could get my haircut, read a book, visit my Noni (and actually have a conversation with her), go out to lunch with my BF, run, shop......I could do anything :) The endless possibilities have me very excited :) Yes, it will be lonely being alone both Thursday and Friday night and yes, I will miss S and Z very much. But I get a whole day to MYSELF :) Yipee :)

BTW...the last day I had to myself (over a year ago), S took my car keys with him to his parents house by mistake. I was stranded at home, in tears, with so many places that I wanted to go! I pray that this time, I get to truly enjoy my day :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Was It A Sign To Slow Down???

My sister's bridal shower is this weekend and I have been running around trying to get ready for it. My poor Z has been dragged from store to store as I try to complete the last minute details for the party. There is booze to purchase, favors to make, gifts to buy and I am also making 2 gifts for her....it has all been making me a little crazy. It is so worth it but I do feel bad for dragging Z around or ignoring him as I try to finish the favors.

This morning after Kindermusik, we had one hour to get to the mall, pick up K's gift which had been back ordered, drive through BK to get Z some healthy chix for lunch and then get home in time for nap. As I raced out of Kindermusik (without saying good-bye to my friends), I decided to stop for an ice coffee. As we waited in line Z was chanting, "doh-doh". I told him that there would be no doh-doh's today and handed him a cracker instead. The lady handed me my change and then my coffee. I tried to put my change away while still holding my coffee when......the coffee lid popped off and I was drenched in iced coffee!!! The girl tried to hold back her giggles as I looked down at my wet pants in disbelief. I handed her the empty cup and asked her for another and some extra napkins. When she returned, I was scooping up ice and throwing it out the window. I took the new coffee (which ended up being disgusting!!!) and smiled and said, "at least it wasn't hot coffee". She said good-bye and wished me a better day.

As I debated whether it would be better to go to a cheap store and buy a pair of cheap pants or just go home and call the store where the item was being held and ask them to hold it for another day....I realized that this was a sign! SLOW DOWN!!! So I drove home, changed my pants and spent the next hour and a half playing trains and eating lunch with Zachary. The store told me that they would hold the gift for a little while longer :) Thank goodness because we are both tired of always rushing around ;)

6 Hours Later....

Okay, so it was a sign to SLOW DOWN:) I dragged Z to the mall this afternoon (he hates doing things after his nap) and once we got their his mood changed from teary to pleasant! We did our necessary shopping and then spent time leisurely strolling around the mall and taking in the sites :) We had a blast playing in the Disney Store, rode the elevator two times and had a yummy snack (which I brought from home) in the food court. It was a wonderful afternoon and I am so glad we waited.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Own Little "Bob the Builder"

We had our town Halloween Parade this weekend. The weather was gorgeous, the kids were adorable...everything was just right. The parade was part of our town festival which I had volunteered to work. S and Z met me there because most of the festival was during Z's nap. Z arrived 5 minutes before the parade and when I first saw him in his costume my heart swelled.

About a month ago I asked him what he wanted to be. I gave him 3 choices....an elephant, a zebra or Bob. Well I was not surprised when he picked Bob :) I didn't want to go with the store bought Bob costume (too much money)...so I decided to put together my own. He got the most adorable overalls from by BF, L for his birthday, they have little tools on the front pocket :) A few weeks ago Z was give a hand-me-down Bob Shirt so that seemed liked the perfect shirt. Z already had a hard hat and tools but I really wanted theme music. That is when I found this! It not only has the hat and tools but it plays music too....it was perfect and Z loves it! The entire costume cost me $15 and he will use every part of it again and again....that made S and I happy :)

We have been building up Halloween and this parade all month. We have been reading books, creating Halloween crafts and singing Halloween songs. Z loves this holiday :) The day of the festival, I went to get him from S at the car. He was so proud to be finally wearing his Bob costume :) He was very serious and stunned by all of the other kids in their costumes. At one point, he and S were at the end of the parade line, they had been in the middle but Z stopped to take in everything around him :) Everyone was shouting out to him, "Hey Bob" and he really thought that he was Bob the Builder ;)

This was Z's first real Halloween. The other two don't really count because he was not cognitive of what was going on around him. It has been so much fun to experience this with him and I can't wait for Trick or Treating :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weigh In Thursdays....

I lost a pound...not so great but I will take what I can get :) I had a rough weekend at the lake...lots of food and drink :) Hopefully I can step up the working out this next week and try to eat even better ;) Wish me luck!