Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dare I say "Done"?

With my Christmas shopping, that is? No, not done, but done with everything that we need to mail. Yay!!! The fact that that only includes three families does not diminish my joy. I still have tons to do, but mostly this is going to be an Internet shopping year. Moving on December 20th means all our presents need to be at their destination when we get there. No way am I going to waste valuable suitcase space on presents, if I can help it. So, Gramma Sharon & Papa Ray and David & Family in California, and Adam & Family in Denmark, your gifts will be at the post office tomorrow. Everyone else, I'm working on it!

What if Christmas didn't require giving gifts? Would it still feel the same? In a word, no. But that's not necessarily bad, just different. I have to think that Christmas would still be a wonderful, peaceful holiday. Maybe more like Thanksgiving, all about family and friends celebrating together. I love having a reason to get gifts for people, but that does overwhelm the day. What I am really looking forward to this year is being with family and watching my kids enjoy themselves. 25 days 'til Christmas, people! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oy, I'm getting old

And creaky. I used to laugh at Jason and all his popping, cracking, creaking parts. But I really need to stop, because I'm starting to pop and crack and creak too. So, I asked my blog pals: How old would you say you are, if you didn't actually know your age?

Truthfully? I think I would guess pretty close to my actual age (which, for blog purposes, we will call "early 30's"). I've always had friends that were older than myself and I've always felt older than my actual age. But these days, I feel like I fit. Like it's right to be a stay at home mom with two kids entering school. Like it's okay to be exploring new hobbies and ideas. Like it's appropriate that we're getting prepared to sell our first home and buy a newer (hopefully bigger) one.

And the creaking? Yeah, I guess it's about time for that to be showing up, too. Although maybe, just maybe, if I would get up out of this chair more often and get a little exercise, there wouldn't be quite so much noise.

Now, the ages of the rest of my family? Let's see. If I didn't know better, I would guess George (3) to be about ohhhhh, three; Emma (5) to be at least ohhhhhh, fifteen; and Jason (slightly older early 30's) to be at most ohhhhhhh, twelve.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Thanksgiving Diary

6:00 am - The alarm rings. I roll over and go back to sleep.
6:15 am - I realize that I should get up RIGHT NOW if I want to enjoy a cup of coffee before the preparations begin.
6:50 am - We have begun! I'm chopping onions & celery and eying the naked turkey in my sink. Time to go diving for giblets.
7:20 am - Completely bite Jason's head off as I empty every kitchen drawer and cupboard, looking for the turkey lacers (to hold the stuffing in the turkey).
7: 39 am - Return from grocery store with new lacers to discover George at the breakfast table with his oatmeal and an obvious head cold. Excellent.
7:56 am - Stare at turkey quizzically, wondering why it doesn't look right.
7:57 am - Turn turkey right side up in roasting pan.
8:01 am - Close oven door and begin the first of many kitchen clean-ups.
11:10 am - Deviled eggs made (only one lost in the process) and potatoes peeled (only one lost in the process). Boys out driving to keep George distracted and Emma watching Sesame Street. Is it the calm before the storm?
12:45 pm - Turkey is out and looks wonderful. Four cups of drippings for gravy, and more still in the pan. Green bean casserole is in the oven. Everything is going way too smoothly. Still nervous.
4:00 pm - So. Stuffed. Can't. Breathe.
11:00 pm - We ate an excellent meal at 1:30. I finally had room for a small piece of pie at 10:30. Good day, good meal, wonderful friends and conversation. One of our favorite Thanksgivings ever. Time to go sleep off the mass amounts of food, good night all!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Unusual Holiday Traditions

Well, I have successfully completed my personal holiday tradition. I have cleaned out the refrigerator. Now that's not to say that I only clean it out once a year, mind you! But really, before I start all the Thanksgiving cooking, I have to make room for left overs!

It isn't the most fun tradition and it's not one I feel compelled to scrapbook, but it brings its own level of satisfaction. It almost makes me want to go purge some closets and scrub out some cupboards. Almost.

Tomorrow, I'll bake two pies (store bought, sorry) and hard-boil a dozen or so eggs, in preparation for deviled eggs. AND, make the family and friends fan favorite, 24-hour salad. Fruit, marshmallows, and sugar. Is there anything better than that?

Two of our good friends, Mike & Teresa, will join us this year. They have been following us around the country ever since Mike joined the Army shortly after Jason and I married, and we're so excited to resume our tradition of sharing the Thanksgiving meal. One of my favorite aspects of being a military family is sharing Thanksgiving with other couples or singles that are far from home. It brings a level of thankfulness and community to the table that can easily be forgotten in hectic gatherings and preparation.

Tomorrow, life gets busy, so I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to spend it with people who make you feel at home, no matter where you are.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekly Catch Up

Let's see if I can capture some of the highlights of last week.
Emma and I traveled to Ocean City, MD, to meet my good friend, Beth, and her daughter, Kate. Beth is a designer for DSP, and we've been friends for about a year. We finally found time to actually meet each other before I head back west. So yes, I spent a weekend, in a hotel, with a stranger that I met over the Internet!!! Egads!

She's really very nice, not a scary psychopathic killer at all. I lucked out.

And yes, we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. We now know everything there is to know!

Emma and Katie got along wonderfully, but by far the biggest highlight of the weekend was the Hot Dog car parked outside our window! We finally saw it drive away Monday morning. What do the people inside it do when they're not driving?

The weather was lousy, a huge storm showed up Sunday (we were there Saturday afternoon through Monday midday), so we spent many hours in the hotel. Luckily, we chose a hotel with an indoor pool, so the girls got lots of swimming time.

Yes, this is a picture of a bridge.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel, to be exact. And yes, I took this picture while driving across it. But you know, at twelve dollars each direction, I felt entitled to do so.

Long bridge+bad weather+large toll=cranky traveler!

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. I'm so glad I got the chance to meet one of my favorite virtual friends and to spend some special time with my daughter. Good deal!

We returned home Monday evening. Tuesday morning, Jason had his surgery. That has all gone well and he's healing much quicker than expected. Thursday was a big frightening, due to an allergic reaction he had to the pain medications. Luckily, he already had an appointment for that afternoon. There they realized that his foot wasn't swollen at all and he had virtually no pain, so there was no reason to continue with any pain medication anyway! He's now walking around quite easily on crutches and is BORED!

George started pre-school Wednesday morning. That day was VERY hard on me, I spent much of it crying. But, he did well, as expected. His teacher said he cried off and on for about an hour and a half, but recess distracted him and from then on he seemed to enjoy school. Thursday, I dropped him off at speech therapy and his teacher picked him up from there. This transition went much more smoothly and he had a great day!

All weekend he's been bringing me his backpack to put on. He seems to be excited to go back to school! We'll see how it goes tomorrow!

By the way, he has a new word: Dinosaur. He says it very clearly, "didosaur". What a change from this summer, when the only clear words were "juice" and "side" (for "outside/inside")!

Okay, I think I'm up to date. The weekend has been VERY boring, so absolutely nothing to report there. Tomorrow, we head to the store for the final bit of Thanksgiving shopping. I just pray we don't get trampled. Hope all of your weekends have been good ones!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

For my DSP Pals

For any of you that have attempted "real" scrapbooking or even hybid, you must read this blog entry by a friend of mine.

I am needed

How do I know? This little bugger tells me so:

(Being the kind, wonderful people that you are, I KNOW you won't mention the horrendous mess surrounding the alien detector on my desk.)

I will post weekend memories tomorrow, but first an update for family and friends on Jason's surgery. It went well and he is currently laying in bed surrounded by, propped up with, and drooling all over every unused pillow we had in the house. He is on some STRONG drugs and firmly admonished by the doctor to USE THEM!! He'll be on bed rest for the first couple of days, until the end of the week when he'll be able to use an air cast to keep his ankle from moving.

I realized that I never explained here what surgery he was having. It's called Plantar fascia release, and basically is his body's way of saying, "Enough jumping out of perfectly good airplanes already!"

So anyway, I'll spare you a picture of my loopy husband. Just know, when the little red dots on the alien detector multiply, I'm hearing, "huuuuuunnnnnnnnnnyyyyyyyyy!" (In the most pathetic, drug-addled voice EVER!)

(Anyone catch the signs reference? Jason is completely freaked out when the little red dots multiply!)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fabulous Friday

Hmmmmm, I've been getting teased a lot about my lack of posts. So let's see if I can get better at this!

What is fabulous about today? It's beautiful outside and Jason is off of work, so we're getting lots of pre-winter yard work done. And.....

....tomorrow I head to Ocean City, Maryland to meet up with my good friend Beth for the weekend!! She's bringing her daughter and I'm bringing Emma and we're having a girls only weekend at the coast! Life just doesn't get better than that!

So Glynis and Magdalene, you are not allowed to tease me about not blogging until Tuesday! I'll be too busy!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thirteen Things about TODAY

1. Today, Jason jumped his last official Army paratrooper jump. He was the only one in the sky when he jumped and it went perfectly (except that he landed across the street from the drop zone). I missed it by five minutes. :(

2. Today, I received the packet of paperwork that enrolls George in preschool and moved the final meeting up by several days. He'll start next Wednesday.

3. Today, Emma is wearing a purple shirt, brown peasant skirt, multi-colored striped tights, and sparkley red shoes. She looks fabulous!

4. Today, I'm having a good hair day. Hey, believe me, that's worth mentioning!

5. Today, I need to make some kind of casserole with some leftover cooked chicken. Any ideas?

6. Today, I challenged my blog pals to do the Thursday Thirteen. I didn't realize how challenging that was until I started to write my own!

7. Today, I WILL do the three loads of laundry that really need to be done!

8. Today, is a gorgeous day and I really want the kids to be outside, but it's been raining for the last couple of days and the ground is muddy and everything is soaked and I really don't feel like dealing with the mess. (Whew, English teachers must love my sentences!)

9. Today, having been home less than an hour, George has dumped out onto the playroom floor two toy boxes of blocks, his entire collection of Thomas trains, and assorted Fisher Price people. He's currently sitting up on the couch playing with a shoe.

10. Today, Emma made me walk her into the school building instead of using the drop off lane. But, after parking and crossing the parking lot with her and George, she saw a friend and ran off with a casual "Bye Mom!" Sigh. Glad to see I'm needed.

11. Today, after Jason left the house around 4:30am, Gracie (the dog) felt the need to join me on the bed. She's nice and warm, but she hogs the covers.

12. Today, I need to call my cousin and get a new picture of her beautiful baby, so I can finish a Christmas present for our grandma.

13. Today, I will make a new list of blog prompts, so I don't ever feel the need to use this one again! Who knew that 13 would be such a big number?!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Don't hate

I created and ordered our Christmas cards yesterday. They'll be here within the week. I could, conceivably, send them off before Thanksgiving. Ahhhhh, one less thing on my list!

For those of you that also like to make your own cards, Winkflash is offering a 40% off coupon right now. Good deal!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Magic Eraser Warning

For those of you that use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers or similar products, check out this blog for a scary story: Kerflop. Important information if you let your kids help you clean.

Mr. Clean, I'm ashamed of you!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Huh? Relax?

I came thiiiiis close today to the possibility of a house to myself. I met with the school officials about George and as of November 20th, he will be in the Special Education preschool, three-year-old class. Four days a week. From 8 AM to 1:50 PM.


Almost six hours a day. With no little guy to play with, cuddle with, struggle with, keep entertained, or talk to. Tears well up every time I think about it. I know it's the right thing, a GOOD thing for him. But I'll miss him. I was expecting them to say maybe a couple of hours, three times a week. Nope, full time!

So, I thought, I'll be able to get some stuff done around here! Pack, clean, relax, read, design, listen to MY music (not the ever-running soundtracks of various little people videos). Then I remembered. Jason has his surgery on November 14th. And will be on convalescent leave through the holidays.

Lose one kid, gain a bigger one, right?

I asked my blogging buddies what they would do or want if they were Queen for a day. My answer? Um, duh! I would do nothing because I would have SERVANTS!!!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More pictures

Okay, I know there are a ton in the post below, but I have two more cute ones for you!

Here is my little Captain Feathersword this morning!

He wore the hat all morning: eating breakfast, playing outside, taking Emma to school, going to the commissary (grocery store)! The little blue haired ladies that go early like I do got a kick out of him! Eventually, the chin strap drove him crazy and he took it off, but he carried it around a lot throughout the day.

Then, Emma came home with her school picture, and I had ordered a digital copy, so here it is:

She's entered the awkward smile stage, and the kindergarteners didn't get their pictures taken until 12:30 that day, so it's maybe not the best, but I still love it!

(And yes, there are plenty of copies for all family members!)

Can I just say here that I love living in the digital age? I sure don't get any complaints from far off family about not knowing what their grandchildren/niece & nephew/friends' kids look like!

Halloween Fun

It was just me and the kids this year, but somehow it all went smoothly! I was so surprised that George not only let me put the hat on me, he wore it all night, and is wearing it again this morning! I'll be putting up some "Day After" photos later!

Emma had a blast. We trick-or-treated for an hour, until she said she was ready to go home. She's so good at knowing when to stop. George mostly just rode in the stroller, but seemed to enjoy watching everyone. We all slept REALLY well last night and were dragging a bit this morning, but it was worth it! What a fun evening we had! I wish Jason could have come with us (he's on a recruiting mission this week), but the kids were great for me and it was fun just being out. There's something about walking around in the dark that's so different and exciting! Emma says that next year she wants to be Bat Girl (the runner up costume this year) and George can be a pirate again since he loves his hat so much! We'll see what happens!

Hope you all had a good time, too!