Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gifts in the Mail

So I took part in an ornament exchange hosted by Abbily Ever After. A few days ago, my ornament arrived and it is PERFECT! Truly! There were actually two ornaments - the main one was a GORGEOUS blue butterfly. The cool thing about it is that my Mom LOVED butterflies. She passed away about 3 1/2 years ago, but every time I see butterfly stuff I think of her. So this is a perfect ornament on my tree to remind me of my Mom. The second ornament looks like a piece of that ribbon candy, that I happen to love. So cute! The ornaments came from Ice Cream Mama, who, although I don't know at all, managed to pick something perfect. Thanks!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Who Knew?

Who knew that a trash can is useful as both a food source and a toybox? Big man, that's who. My little guy loves going through the trash, finding "yummy" treats to eat, and lots of fun stuff to play with. Ewww. If you come to visit you may notice all our trash cans up on top of tables or other surfaces. Now you know why.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Betty Crocker I am Not!

I am one of those women. I admit it. I am one of those women who buy cookies and pass them off as homemade at a bake sale. I didn't mean to be one of those women, but here I am.

Our daycare has several bake sales per year. Being in a federal building, they have lots of hungry workers and we always make good money. I always participate. I think there are three kinds of contributions to bake sales -- truly, from scratch, homemade goods; boxed mixes that you bake, and store-bought stuff. I have always been in that second category. I buy the mixes from the store - add eggs, oil, water, whatever.and I always throw in something new - different chips, candy bars crushed up, nuts, etc. Then I figure it was kind of homemade.

This year my friend's daughter was selling cookie/brownie mixes as a fundraiser. I figured it was perfect. I could help her out and use these for our bake sales. So our bake sale is this week. Sunday night I go to the freezer to get the mixes out and am surprised by what I find. First, the chocolate chip cookies are already preformed - ready to just pop in the freezer. I felt a little bad about not adding anything, but hey - whatever. So I started those cooking.

Then I looked at the brownies. They were in a aluminum pan and the directions say "thaw and serve". What? Thaw and serve? Oops..these are cooked brownies that were just frozen. I turned to my DH and explained what it said. He starts laughing. I say, "if you think I am above cutting these up and packaging them for the bake sale you are so wrong". He keeps laughing. So I did. I let them thaw, cut them up, and packaged them for my bake sale.

Do I feel guilty? nope. They taste awesome! And this afternoon some federal worker will be happily enjoying it. Besides..I THAWED them all by myself.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My own litle sugar plum

So about a week ago I took the girls to the cutest version of the Nutcracker. It was only 50 minutes long, and in a very informal setting. It was perfect. It was actually at a storefront in the mall, only sat about 30 people in folding chairs, and encouraged the kids to clap for the dancers and boo and hiss at the mean Mouse king.

In preparation, we read the Nutcracker story and I explained repeatedly that there would be singing or talking - only dancing. They were so excited to go. We get there and sit in the second (of 2) row. K sits on my left, B on my lap, and Nana on my right. They were excited and a bit nervous about what was going to happen. The show starts and they are captivated. Then B starts to speak.

I've talked about how B is a very verbal child. Now, at 3 1/5, it is like my life is retold in running commentary. B started talking about the show - "look mommy, they are dancing and not talking, just like you said. You said there would be no talking and there is not, just dancing. Look at that pretty lady dancing, she is dancing and holding the nutcracker. She is very pretty and she is good dancer..." on and on it goes. She wasn't shouting but she wasn't exactly whispering either. Luckily the people around us found it cute. The best part was when the nutcracker was doing a solo. B says "mommy, why is that boy dancing?" I said he was telling his part of the story. She says, in a not so quiet voice "well, I just think he looks silly. Ballet is for girls not boys." At this point the room cracks up and I am certain the poor 17 year old who is playing the nutcracker can totally hear her. Hopefully he took it in the right spirit!

The favorite part for the girls were the costumes on the sugar plum fairy and other sweets. Afterwards they got to go take their pictures with the cast. Of course, they would go nowhere near the mean Mouse King. They loved it and immediately started asking when they could go again. B constantly talks about how she loves ballet "but not that mean mouse king".

Monday, December 3, 2007

Can't judge a book...

So I've had this personal little boycott of JC Penney going on for about the last 5 years. Why? I HATE their commercials. Over the last 5 years the majority of their commercials have revolved around the woman who needs to shop and the incompetent man at home who either can't take care of the house or can't take care of the kids without the woman. Really annoying, so I decided I just wouldn't shop there.

Fast forward to our house addition and ALL THOSE WINDOWS! I needed to get drapes and was having a very hard time finding ones that weren't $200/panel. I found these that I loved at JC I had a coupon, so I decided to end my personal boycott. Since then I couldn't be more pleased with my experiences. Although my drapes were on back order, they were very good at keeping me updated about when they would be coming. They arrived and were gorgeous. Then on black Friday I went there to buy my curtain rods for the same drapes. They had great ones on sale, I opened a credit card and got another 10% off, and the lovely saleswoman offered to group all my rods into bunches of $75 so I could use the stores $15 off $75 multiple times! I ended up getting them all for about 1/2 price! I was so psyched. About a week later I get a sweet note from the saleswoman thanking me for working with her - despite the fact that she knew I lived 400 miles away and wouldn't be back anytime soon!

A few days later I went to hang the drapes on the new rods, and I realized they had only sent me 14 when I ordered 16. I figured I was sunk since I they had been delivered about a month ago. But I called and they didn't question a thing. Refunded payment on the two that never arrived, and said they would charge it again when they shipped out the two.

I couldn't have asked for better customer service. I guess you never know!