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 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 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 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 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) 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 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!

Did You Really Deserve That Tip You TOOK???

Okay Dunkin Donuts Girl, let me ask you this....when someone orders a bottle of water and the total is $1.72 and they give you $2.02...don't you think they want their change back? Was my order of a bottle water so challenging that you think you deserved a tip? The least you could have done was ask me if I wanted my change!!! I know having that co-worker hand you that water and then you having to hand it to me was really exhausting for you....maybe you really do deserve that extra 30cents!

I know I am ranting over 30cents but that is not the point! This is the third time that a Dunkin Donuts employee has done this to me. One time it was 76cents that the kid tried to keep by throwing it in his tip jar. When I asked him for my change, he was so annoyed that he had to pull it out of the jar, that he threw my straw at me! Can you believe this??? The other time it happened it was only 20cents...but still. Tips should only be given for exemplary service and if the patron feels that it is deserved.

I hate that we live in a society where people think that tips are owed to them. I am a little more understanding when it comes the professions where they make most of their money based on their tips (waitressing, hair dressing etc.). I don't think the girl at Dunkin Donuts who handed me a bottle of water deserves a tip! I rarely tip at those types of establishments (call me cheap) but money is tight these days and I should be the one to decide who gets my money!
I am a change person, I save my change all year and then at Christmas time I bring and cash it in for gift cards that I can use to buy gifts.

S asked me why I didn't ask the girl for my 30cents....I was honestly too shocked by the force with which she threw my change into the jar and by the fact that she missed that I had given her the extra 2cents (so she would give me a nice nickel and quarter) that I couldn't speak.

I am finally so fed up that I plan to write a letter. I am sure it will get me nowhere but I can't take it anymore. Who knows, maybe they will send me my 50cents ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Well...It Was Memorable!

The game last night did not disappoint in terms of being memorable. However it would have been nice for it to be memorable for a good reason. The final score was 13-4....our guys did not bring their A game and when you face a team as good as Tampa need to be come out strong. It was already 3-0 when we first found our seats...poor Wakefield gave up 3 runs while S and I were still in line getting our pizza and beer!

Despite the early blowout...S and I refused to leave. I would guess that 1/3 of the stadium left the game before the 7th inning. Another third was gone after the 8th. That left the few loyal and faithful fans....the true fans of Red Sox Nation :)

S and I had a good time last night, even if they lost. We were out on a date at one of my favorite places and it was nice to be able to have a conversation in between innings ;) We also got a lot of laughs when those fans left with us in the bleachers got very silly!

The TBS booth was above our section of the bleachers in Right Field. We got to see them all (Ernie Johnson, Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken Jr and Harold Reynolds) getting ready for the broadcast and these two kids in front of us made sure that they all saw us ;) They all waved and shouted down to us. But the highlight for me was during the 8th when I was looking back and staring at Cal Ripken Jr. I was in awe of how close he was to me and remembering how I had loved to watch him play (infact, I saw his last game ever at Fenway Park and saw him play 3 times that year at Camden Yard). As I was staring at him, he looked down at me....smiled and WAVED! Cal Ripken Jr. waved at me. It was awesome!!!! I think I will wear my Ripkin shirt today to celebrate our moment :)

Well boys...we have been in this situation before in the ALCS.....I know there are a lot of injuries but you can do this! Let's show this Tampa team what you are made of.

BTW...I saw ONE Tampa Fan last night. I don't think I have ever seen a Tampa fan at Fenway was weird.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Goodbye Lake....

It seems like just yesterday we were driving up to the lake on Memorial Day weekend. Z squealed with delight as we pulled up and he saw the familiar pine grove, beach and cottage. It had been 7 long months since we had last been there and we were all thrilled to be back.

The lake means a lot to my family (those of you who frequent this blog have probably figured this out by now ;)). My uncle bought the property in the 60's and since that time it has become a huge part of my family's existence. Our lake is not only a place where we go on is our second home and so many important life events have happened here (both happy and sad). Happy life events include, my parents honeymoon, my first birthday (well most of my birthdays), my first summer crush, my middle sister got engaged on the beach and my baby sister will be married on the lake this winter. And two very sad uncle who bought the lake had his funeral here and was buried on the grounds and my grandfather (one of my most favorite people) passed away on the dock while fixing a boat.

I have been going to the lake since I was a few weeks old and from that time it has become a part of me. I am so blessed to be married to a man who loves this place as much as I do and does not mind spending most of his vacation time there. We now love watching our son fall in love with the lake and giggle with delight whenever we mention going there.

Much of the day Sunday was spent packing and preparing the cottages for the long winter. It was hard to believe that the summer was over and it would be 7 long winter months before we were back at the site (my sister is getting married 20 minutes away). I held in the tears (as I always do in October) as we said goodbye to all of our "lake friends". I then turned to Z and said, we need to say "good-bye" to the lake. He looked at me and said, "NO". He rarely says no (believe it or not) and this took me a back. He looked away and stared out at the water....this is when I started to cry. I hugged him and told him how blessed we were to have such a beautiful place in our lives. I told him that we would be back before he knew it and in the meantime we have lots of beautiful pictures to look at and memories to share. I picked him up just as S came over to us. We had a family hug and turned to walk up the hill to the car.

I know May will be here before we know it but I don't want to rush the time away either. So much can happen in 7 the meantime I will work on Z's scrapbook so that he can remember all of his big summer buddies and his most favorite place in the world...The Lake!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have You Been Boo'd???

Two years ago my best friend L called me and told me that she had been Boo'd. She explained that someone in her neighborhood had left a bag of Halloween Treats with a note. The note explained that they were to hang the paper ghost on their door to let the entire world know that someone cares about them and that they had been Boo'd. They then had to go and Boo someone else in the neighborhood. I thought that this was the cutest thing :)

Last year, my friend C and my sister also got Boo'd in their neighborhoods. This made me want to get Boo'd! But we live on a pretty busy street and our neighbors have children much too old to care about being Boo'd so poor Z (and his mommy) were out of luck. That was until I decided to go out on my own and find someone to BOO :)

My friend K lives on the same street, although she lives about 5 minutes away. I decided that Z and I were going to Boo she and her daughter A. Now a typical BOO contains candy and other Halloween goodies. I decided that since A was only one, her boo should be appropriate for her. I put together a bag of pasta and sauce (her favorite meal), cheerios, candy for mom and dad and some other Halloween toys and treats. Z and I pulled up to their house, I ran to the front door, rang the bell and then ran back to my car (I looked like an idiot). Her husband saw me through the window and the look on his face was priceless. He had no clue why I rang the bell and was running away from their house :)

Well a week later, Z got Boo'd. His fabulous package was designed just for him. At the time he hated baths and so the bag was filled with bath toys and other fun treats :)

It is that time of year again...this year we have our BOO already for K and A. We have decided to include our friend J and her twins A and O this year, they too live on our street. The bags contain no candy, just fun things to keep 2 year olds busy :) We have also decided to include the children this year in the actual BOO process. The mom will know when we are coming so that the child can answer the door and find the fabulous BOO gift :)

If your neighborhood participates in the BOO....enjoy! If you have never heard of it, this might just be the year to go out and BOO someone. It is lot's of fun!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gaga's Is Going Out Of Business!!!!

I am so sad about this :( This website was an amazing concept and I have used it many times. For those of you know have no idea what I am talking about....Gaga's was a website where you can rent formal wear for children. I wrote a blog post about this site back in March and so you can read more about me going gaga for Gaga's website here.

Z is in two weddings this winter and both my sister and sister in-law had picked out outfits on the Gagas site. Well as sad as I am about them going out of business...the good news is that you can now buy the outfit for the same price that you would have rented it. I just spent $50 on their site (if you spend $50 you get free shipping) and bought Z a tux for the weddings, socks and a nice charcoal suit in a bigger size for next years formal events.

If you have events coming up or just want to stock up on cheap formal is your chance! I would act quickly because things are starting to sell out already. I wish that the site had worked was a brilliant idea! Sorry Gaga's!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weigh In Thursdays.....

Okay blog readers....I need your help. I have 2 weddings coming up and 12 pounds to lose so that I fit into my dresses!!! My 1/2 marathon training made my Weight Watchers program go out the window and after waisting money on it for 3 months...I really can't justify starting it up again. So that is where you come in (don't worry you don't have to do anything..... :)).

Every Thursday at 4pm (or as close to 4 as possible) I will weigh myself. I will then post how much weight I either gained or lost. Think of yourselves as those nice cheery ladies at Weight Watchers who stand behind the counter and smile as I sweat and shake on the scale :) I hope that by having to post my progress each will keep me motivated.

So here we are at the start....12.2 pounds to go. It will be tough to eat well with all of the delicious fall food and keep up my running as the weather gets colder but I am going to try my hardest :) However, I am going out with my BF tonight for maybe I will start tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Pirate Party to Remember

Last week Z and I had the honor of being part of a very special Pirate Party! One of the mom's in our Mothers Group had thrown the party for her son's 4 year old birthday and decided to do it one more time for the group. It was so much fun!

Z was a little young for some of the activities but he loved them all anyway :) He got to play a fun pirate ship running game, walk the foam plank, dig for treasure, eat snack on a "pirate ship", pop balloon cannons for prizes and take part in a fabulous pirate obstacle course.

Z had such a great time and he could not stop talking about it for two days. He kept saying "Arrrggghhh" and walking around with his new pirate hat and pirate telescope. It is so much fun to watch Z in action and see him experience something for the first time. I was super proud of my little pirate! Thanks C for a great party and so many great memories.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Red Sox Did It!!!

Well they beat the Angels last night and are off to play the Rays in the ALCS. Red Sox Nation is psyched to be that much closer to returning to the World Series :) Tampa will be tough competition (I never in a million years expected to write those words) but hopefully our boys will pull it off.

In 2004, I attended game 3 of the ALCS against the Yankees (very expensive bleacher tickets). It was the most brutal game of the series and they lost 19-8. I stayed until the end (probably only 1 of 1,000 people to stay until the brutal end) and will never forget that night. It was so cold and we were shocked to find out that they did not sell one blanket in the stadium (After telling my class about this game, one of my students came in the next week with a Red Sox blanket that he had bought for me! How sweet is that?). We went home that night utterly depressed...the phrase, "Wait Til Next Year" going through our minds. The next night the Sox shocked us all and went on to win after 12 innings. This then started a winning streak and they went on to win 4 straight games against the Yanks. They were the first team in Major League Baseball history to win an ALCS after being down 3 games!

After this incredible series they went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals (sorry A Buns Life) in the World Series. That was the most incredible October I have ever lived! The energy around New England was incredible (despite all of the lack of sleep). It had been 86 long years but that team (those dirt dogs) pulled it off!

In 2007, S and I were lucky enough to get bleacher tickets at face value ($75 each) to see Game 7 of the ALCS. We wondered throughout that whole series if we would even get the chance to go. I remember secretly cheering for Cleveland for a few games (I know I am selfish) just so I could get to game 7 and see them clinch. Well we did get to game 7 and that night was unbelievable. We sat next to two teachers from NJ who drove all the way to cheer on the Sox (and then they were going to drive back and work the next day!!). Well they won and Fenway Park was on fire! It was so much fun to be part of that special night. The Sox then went on to sweep the Rockies and win their second World Series in 4 years :)

Well guess who got tickets again?!? Thanks to my dad, S and I are going to see the Sox in game 4 of the ALCS :) I am so excited, I am shaking right now ;) I don't know what the outcome will be or what is in store for us. I am just so happy that I will be sitting once again in the bleachers with my Red Sox blanket....cheering on my boys in the ALCS! Go Sox!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Perfect Play Date

In my two years of play dates....I have never ever experienced one quite like the play date I had the other day with my friend K and her daughter A. I have had many great play dates where the children all get along and play nicely side by side. What made this play date different from all the rest is that Z and A actually PLAYED together! They not only played together, they chatted with one another and made up games together. It was unlike anything I have ever seen :)

K and I were in the playroom chatting and could hear the two kids in the family room having a conversation! We came around the corner to find them "talking" about Z's birthday. A wanted to sing to him and they were going on and on (most of it not English) about his birthday :) was so cute. They then played with lots of different toys together. The final thing that absolutely amazed us was that they started their own chase game! They were running after one another in fits of giggles. It was too darn cute :)

K and I were actually able to visit and have a conversation!!! Something we haven't really been able to do since the children were born (except for at MNO's :)). It was sooooo nice!

A was 2 in June and I guess Z just digs older women ;) He also loves to play with my BF's daughter N. However some of the younger women in his life (A and G) he is either hot or cold is very strange. He is going to have to get over this hot/cold reaction to the younger women or else he is going to have a very hard time finding a date to the prom :) Z will be one of the oldest boys in his class so he better start to love the younger ladies or he is going to be in big trouble ;)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Wonderful Fall Day

I have said it before and I will say it again....fall is my favorite season (well at least right now it is :)). I love the food, the Oktoberfest beers, apple picking, falling leaves and that fresh crisp air :) I love taking out my sweaters for the first time and curling up with a good book and a nice cup of hot cider :) I LOVE fall :)

Today was the perfect fall day. S had a very busy week (traveled much of it) and had plans to play golf this afternoon with my dad and brother in-law. We knew that our time with him was limited and so we tried to make the most out of our beautiful fall morning. We got up at 8am, dressed in our running garb and went for a beautiful run along our local trail. I love to run in the fall because of the cool air and the scenery today was just breathtaking. After our run, we hit one of the local restaurants for breakfast. It is the cutest little place and we all had a very delicious, laid back meal. It was so nice to spend some quality time...just the 3 of us!

When S went off to play golf, Z and I went to the local fire department Open House :) This was so much fun and I am so sorry S had to miss it (I think he was sorry too). I don't think climbing in fire trucks will ever get old for Z :) He had a blast!!! He got to sit in every fire truck that our town owns and the ambulances too :) They had mini firefighter gear for the kids to try on and Z felt so super special (and was so cute) wearing it. There were balloons, free food, free activity books and tours of the firehouse. Z spent a long time with one firefighter getting a personal tour of the truck. It was so well done and Z was in heaven :)

After the firehouse we went to TRU to return a birthday gift. Z was in heaven once again as he got his Jeffrey's birthday club balloon and crown :) He then got to pick out a new train (he picked Toby) and play with the train table. After about an hour at the store, it was time to go home for lunch and nap. He just finally drifted off to sleep...he spent about 20 minutes talking to his "friends" in his crib about the firetrucks and firefighters he saw :) What a special day!

Later, we hope to head to the park for some afternoon fun on the slides and then S will be home for dinner. It was the perfect day for a little boy, his mom and dad too (I mean I am sure S misses us but he got to play 18 holes of golf on a very private course...what more could a guy ask for??? :)).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Preparing for the Cold Winter

Like most people, S and I are really worried about the coming winter. Oil prices are sky high and our house is not the most efficient when it comes to heat. We have been working hard at figuring out cost effective ways to heat our home so that we don't spend a fortune on oil this winter.

Our first project is to make sure that we have curtains on all of our windows. We have five very large windows and we know that by just having curtains over them at night, we will keep some of our heat inside. We also plan to put plastic over the skylight and the large windows upstairs. Our next project is to install thermostats that have timers. This way they will know when to heat the home and at which temperature because I often forget to turn the heat down during the day. The third project is to call someone to have our furnace maintained and cleaned. We used so much less oil after doing this last year.

We then plan to move Z's bedroom. Our guest room is the first bedroom on our heat zone. We stayed in that room one winter when our bedroom was under construction and let me tell was a real sauna! We figure that if we put Z in that room then we can keep the heat lower and it will be nice and toasty for him and S and I can just use an extra down comforter :)

Our last plan is to figure out a way to heat our big family room. It has many windows and cathedral ceilings with a skylight. It also has a space that opens up to our upstairs and this room is very hard to keep warm. We have a fireplace but it may as well be outside because it does not throw off that much heat. We are debating between investing in a wood stove insert which would have a blower and heat much of our downstairs or the much cheaper option of an infrared space heater. They supposedly don't get very hot (there are pictures of cats laying on them in their ads), run off your electricity and they say they heat up to 1,000 square feet. This one seems to be the popular one. If you have heard anything (good or bad) about them, please let me know.

We would welcome any other tips you have for preparing for the winter. According to the Farmers is going to be a VERY COLD one :) :(

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The "Birthday Duck"

Z was given this duck in the hospital by my sister K. She gave this duck a lot of love as she sat in the hospital waiting room, anxious to find out if she was going to have a new niece or nephew (it was her first time becoming an Auntie). This duck then became a big part of Z's life (as is his Auntie K). Every month (from 1-12) we would pose him with the duck and a sign that said how old he was. Once the month "birthdays" were over, we switched it up to years. He now poses with the duck every year on his birthday and will do this until he is 18 (yes it will probably require force after while :)). Here are a few of the shots we have had over the last two years :)

We got this brilliant idea from my friend K and her daughter A. My sister L now does it with my niece and a stuffed lion that my sister K gave her in the hospital :) I highly recommend it to anyone with a new baby! Another twist on this tradition is a pair of jeans. I gave my best friend L a pair of 18 year old girl jeans when she was pregnant. She then takes pictures with her daughter wearing the jeans on every birthday. It is very cute ;)

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