Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of 2008

I have to say it has been a banner year. The kids are all great and family and friends are relatively healthy. Work has been busy, but I have been successful. I lost about 37 lbs (give or take), had some great family vacations, an awesome girls trip to Paris, celebrated an awesome Presidential election, ran another 5k, loved taking the girls to Disney, and totally enjoyed our home addition. My only new year's resolution is to get back into a regular routine for exercising and family dinners.

Here's to 2008, and an even better 2009!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a while I do something and think "I'm so glad we did that". One came this Thanksgiving while we were in MA visiting my Dad. On Thanksgiving day, K started to spout out all she had learned about the first Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims, etc. When she finished talking, I turned to her and said, "you know, Plymouth Rock is only about 40 minutes from here." She said, "IT IS??!!! CAN WE GO??" So we did. The next morning we all hoped in the car and headed out to Plymouth Rock. We saw the rock, the Mayflower II, and the exhibits. And we took pictures and saved brochures and stuff for K's teacher. On the Monday after Thanksgiving she brought everything in. Her teacher let her do an impromptu show and tell to all her classmates about Plymouth Rock AND let her make a display on a bulletin board for the whole class. (How cool a teacher is that?!!)

She was so proud. And I was so psyched we just did it - instead of thinking "uh..its 40 minutes away, and its cold, and I don't feel like going, etc". We just did it and it was so worth it.

I love when sometimes we are spontaneous and just DO IT!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Present? What Present?

So a few weeks ago we went to play Rock Band 2 at a friend's house. The kids loved it and immediately wanted it for Christmas. We had already talked to Santa so they were worried he wouldn't bring it. We suggested we could ask Nana or Grampa or someone else for it. About a week ago they told Nana she was bringing it for them. lol. On Christmas eve they mentioned it several times and said they really hoped they would get it.

Well, Christmas morning comes. Nana had brought Rock Band and we just covered it with a blanket. They opened everything and were happily playing all day and never mentioned it. We asked them several times if they got everything they wanted and they assured us they got every last thing. Finally last night, DH and I wanted to play it. We asked again if there was anything they didn't get. Nope. I said, really? Like a game you wanted us all to play together? blank stares. Finally K says "Hey! we didn't get Rock Band". We said, are you sure? We had pulled the blanket off it hours ago and nobody had noticed. They walked around a big and finally saw it. So we got in a few games last night. It really is a blast. It will be great when the girls learn more songs than just "we got the beat".

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmastime Is Here

We have been being very Christmasy for the last few days.

Over the weekend I took the girls to a local production of the Nutcracker. It was a big step up from the very streamlined production we saw last year. This had scenery, and all the acts, and gorgeous costumes. We all loved it.

On Tuesday I found this great website that lists local houses with over-the-top christmas decorations. It was awesome! We went to about 6. The best were the house with probably 150 inflatables and a porch full of decorations. We got out and were able to walk all through it - very cool. Then the most beautiful house I have ever seen. SOOO tasteful! They even broadcast on their own FM station with synchronized music. We got out and stood in front for about 15 minutes. Truly spectacular!!
Then on Wednesday, we went to see the Water-skiing Santa. Oh yeah. There was a Frosty in a dinghy that got chased by the Grinch on a waterski. Then some elves, and a penguin (and a panda?!), and finally the reindeer leading Santa (all on water skis!). Really funny.

Then of course, we went out for Christmas dinner, and to church (where the kids were great). Before bed we called Norad and talked to a very nice elf who assured us that Santa was presently in South America but would arrive in Arlington, VA in just a few hours so we needed to get to bed ASAP.

We had a fabulous Christmas morning and day with family and friends. And then last night we all went down the National Christmas tree so the kids could throw pennies in the trains that run around it.
All in all a perfect Christmas holiday. Hope you and yours had an equally delightful time!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Little Boy

Everyday at daycare we get a summary of what the kids today. One day last week, we got the best one EVER.

"Today Big Man and his lady friends had a birthday party in the housekeeping area. They each had a piece of birthday cake, a cup of tea, and celebrated with their babies (dolls) on their laps."

hee hee. Lady friends. I love that. My DH said he agreed it was cute, until he got the baby doll part. Hee hee... i love that.

He is all boy (give him a toy and the first thing he will do is smash it to the ground), but man enough to play with the ladies and their dolls. I love my Big Man.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yes Dear, Welcome to the 21st Century

So I finally have used Craig's List. I am a HUGE freecycle fan, but have never used Craig's list before. I have looked at it, but never participated.

Well, last night I bit the bullet and bought something. Last year when we did our addition, we added this big open window between our kitchen and great room. I love it, but the problem is we used to have a large pot rack hanging on the wall that now has the window. So for the last year all of our pots and pans have just been hanging out on our countertops. And it drives me CRAZY!!!! After all the cooking/baking I have been doing in the last 2 weeks, I had had it! So I went on Craig's list and started looking at buffets. Actually I started with Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn, but wasn't prepared to spend $1500 to get what I wanted. Yesterday on Craig's list someone was selling this:

Actually they were selling it along with a dining set, that I do not need/want. So I emailed the guy and asked if he would sell just the buffet. He said yes, for $100. $100!!!!! It is not the right color wood for my dining room (which is all dark wood), but for $100 I couldn't turn it down.

I went to get it last night. This sucker weighed a ton! The guy helped me carry it out, but I seriously thought I was stretching my arms from the weight. I called DH on the way home and told him I could NOT help get it in the house. Luckily our neighbors were still up.

It works great. Holds my pots and pans perfectly with extra space. I am so happy. I wish it was darker wood - but love the pattern. Would I lose that if I stained it? Or would the lighter parts stay lighter? Any suggestions? I guess I could also tape off the different squares. Hmm..

Anyway, I have finally joined the rest of the universe and embraced Craig's list. Great first experience.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who is this Crazy Cookie Lady?

In the last 5 days we have made:

1) Glazed Lemon Cookies
2) Rollo-pretzel Turtles
3) Sugar Cookies
4) Muddy Buddies (snow pillows)

Its been a little crazy, but fun. Highly recommend all the above recipes. Easy and great! And if you think you know sugar cookies - the Pioneer Woman's are awesome! And the egg glaze she uses to color them make for really pretty cookies!! This weekend I hope to make her chocolate candy cane cookies and my mom's favorite - buckeyes!

I usually make one of the above, and that it is. Not sure what has gotten into me. But the girls have been having fun. Even Big Man helped with the muddy buddies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Its Pajama Time

Last week K had "spirit day" at school where she got to wear pajamas all day. In the morning she had a panic attack that she would be the only one in pjs when we got to school. I promised her that other kids would be wearing pjs - and even the principal. She thought that was hysterical that the principal would be in pjs. Then on Sunday, K and B were in their Church pageant. B was playing a "pajama kid". It meant she got to wear pajamas in the play and she was very psyched. Then B had "pajama day" at preschool. She was bummed that she couldn't wear her footy pajamas (I said she had to be able to wear shoes), but loved being in her nightgown all day. Luckily it was 60 degrees here today and they even got to play outside in the jammies.

I wish I could go to work in my jammies one day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me!

Yayy! I got my Christmas ornament(s!!!). Julie was hosting the 2nd annual ornament swap. Last year was so great, so I was excited to do it again.

About 2 weeks ago, I got an adorable little pear ornament in the mail. No letter, nothing. Then I got a comment here from my secret santa saying more was on the way. Well, the rest came yesterday. Kristen was my secret santa and she sent me the coolest stuff! Not only did I get my pear - but I got a cute green snowflake and a gorgeous acorn. My kids LOVED playing with the bubble wrap - and point to the pear when the sing the 12 days of Christmas (which is CONSTANTLY!) The acorn also came in a GORGEOUS box that I will be immediately wrapping a gift in and passing on! Also, she said most of the stuff came from Etsy, a site I ADORE! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Go check out the ornament exchange - some great new blogs to read!

Don't these look great on my tree?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

High Kickin'

We took the kids (along with a bunch of our friends) to Baltimore last weekend to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. And I have to say it was. Very cool show - amazing stage design - nearly all the staging was done through this gigantic big screen that took up the entire stage, and provided all the backgrounds and some cool special effects. It was really very well done. Everyone enjoyed it. Even Big Man who kept yelling "Santa" every time he saw the big guy. Will be interesting to see how the breakfast with Santa at church goes this weekend.

We have been trying to plan a trip to NYC to see the Rockettes at Radio City for several years. Even though we started in April last year, it still didn't work out. We have 18+ people all together and the logistics are just insane. Maybe next year. But this traveling version of the show was really great - I highly recommend (and we were sitting literally in the highest row of the whole joint and it still was great!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Phil Collins - watch your back!

yes, I realize how much I am dating myself in the title!

So on Sunday we went over a friend's house to play Rock Band 2. Oh my gosh - I LOVE this game. Seriously, it is AWESOME. We have Guitar Hero already - but this is SOOOO MUCH better. The kids loved it too! I love the karaoke aspect..and I really loved the drums. ALOT. The drums were so much fun to play and I was much better at them than I expected. I played instruments when I was growing up (piano, violin, guitar, and finally trumpet for about 6 years), but never percussion. It was so fun playing the drums. K loved to sing and B liked the drums too. Big Man just wanted to do or "help" with anything.

We are really hoping Santa (Nana) brings us one this year.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things they know....

So one day last week when I went in to wake up the girls, K was talking and 2x in the course of a sentence called me "Dada". So I was joking with her and B that I was NOT Dada, and did I even look like Dada? So then we were going through all the ways I don't look like Dada - I don't have a beard or moustache, I'm not a boy, I'm smaller than Dada, etc. Closing out the list K says "you wear pajamas." LOL It still cracks me up. Yup - when discussing major characteristics of mom and dad, the fact that dad sleeps naked makes the list. Gotta love it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Disney - part 2?

So I have to take a work trip in January to Orlando. I was moaning to my friend about the fact that I was going on January 16th - the day BEFORE my birthday in the year that Disney is giving away free admission on your birthday. She looks at me and points out that Jan 16 is HER birthday. So now we are looking into both going. I will have to work some on the 16th, but if we stay over til the 17th we could both go and only pay for one day. Hmmm.... Disney sans kids - sounds like fun!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Christmas

So I am working with the kids to try and make their presents to family, friends, teachers, etc. So far we have made:

1) String Bowls. These are cool. You take colored yarn and drench it in white glue. It takes a LOT of glue. Then you blow up some balloons and attach them to a paper cup or bowl to stabilize them. Then you drape the strands of yarn all around the top half of the balloon. After it dried, we also painted more glue on so it was crunchy (I have also heard you can use fabric stiffener). When all that is dry you pop the balloon (which does this cool crunchy deflating thing), and detach it from the bowl. Waaalaa. Very cool. We are going to make more of these.

2) Felt Animal Pens. I saw these here. Basically they are just ballpoint pens dressed up to look like animals. We made a dozen or so over Thanksgiving.

We also plan to make:

1) homemade melted crayons - I have been collecting old crayons to make a bunch of these babies.

2) Rollo Turtles - These are soooo awesome. Seriously. Oh my GOSH they are so good.

Any other cheap and easy ideas?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Still Alive

So I caught a horrible cold on the trip back from MA from Thanksgiving. We had a great Thanksgiving visit with my Dad. Dad and DH played bridge a few times at the National Bridge Tournament that just happened to be in Boston while we were there. We went to see Plymouth Rock and Mayflower II after K went on and on about the story of the first Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims coming over to Plymouth Rock. So we were actually educational. I joined the crazy mobs on Black Friday morning. I hadn't planned to, but couldn't sleep all night and found myself wide awake at 5am, so I figured - what the heck. I am now done Christmas shopping for the kids. Oh yeah!

I have pretty much been a slouch since Sunday. I went to work on Monday, stayed in bed all day yesterday, and am back at work today. I feel like I am on the mend, but will be much happier when I am well.

On the plus side, this is helping with my weight loss. I started the carb-deplete cycle of my diet plan again this week, and being sick I am not even hungry!