Monday, December 31, 2007

Quick Footnote

To follow up on the post about Maddie going to the Doc, she currently weighs in at a hefty 19 lbs, 5 oz. She still sits backwards in her car seat, at almost 17 months because you have to be 20#'s to sit forward. She got some good genes from her dad's side, his paternal grandmother in particular who was cute and tiny.

Her betrothed, my future son in law, was born at the end of this past May and already weighs over 20 lbs. He is the cutest, fattest, happiest baby I have ever seen. They will make a great couple someday, but he'll have to learn she wears the pants and although she's tinier than he is, she's like a freaking mighty mouse. I hope he stays as easy- going as he is. With her temperament and her midgety kung-fu like skills he's going to need a sense of humor.

I will extrapolate later on the fact that I have already arranged a marriage for my daughter. Couldn't have asked for better partners in the inlawing business. It's really all about us mothers in law to be anyways.....(Oh, and the garbage disposal 5 gallon margaritas don't hurt in the planning process either!).

The confusing gets Confusinger....

Last week while running on the treadmill (almost 4 miles in 1/2 an hour thank you!) I had the "pleasure" of watching Oprah play "Deal or No Deal" on her show. Ultimately, she was trying to win an audience member 75K. In a case of "How Many things are Wrong with THIS picture" I ran, listening to my iPod, reading the close captioning, entranced.
Here we have a KAJILLIONAIRE trying to win pennies for someone in her audience, and FREAKING OUT as the higher numbers were eliminated. Um, hello, Oprah? If you want to give someone 75 grand, just do it. Write it off on your taxes somehow and feel good about yourself. I truly, truly failed to see how stressful this situation was for her. If it was moi, well, 75K, That's a big deal. Not so much for the richest woman in the milky way galaxy.
I'm hoping it wasn't just me going "What the Hell" and thinking that if I wasn't at the gym working out, I'd never watch this crap. Oprah sweating over money just pisses me off.

Best News Ever

After almost a week of snot,drool, coughs, and 102 degree fevers, Madilynn's boogs FINALLY went from clear to yellow, so John took her in to see the Doc. Sat. and she has an ear infection in BOTH ears!! Yay!

How is that good news? Any parent with a miserable, feverish child knows a doctor will say clear snot and a croupy cough is viral. "Nuthin' we kin do about those viruses!" Once that snot changes color, all bets are off and there are medications out there to fix the week of sleepless nights.

Thank god.

Now, it's Nate's turn. Just waiting for the snot to the mean time, if anyone needs to chat at any given point in the middle of the night, give us a call. I'm probably up, consoling somebody who feels like crap.

This shit's worse than having a newborn baby, and having had 3 of those in 3 years, I think I know what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

OH, and boy did the FAT MAN come!

Santa made quite an entrance this year. All three kids are into ripping and tearing the heck out of their presents, glancing at it for about 3 nanoseconds, and then moving on to the next big thing. So, here we are Christmas morning, opening our first few.

And here is the aftermath. Note that Madilynn is playing with a dinosaur from Nate's new collection. Forget dolls. She likes things that go RARRRR!

All Jack wanted for Christmas was Star Wars stuff. Star Wars guys, movies, Bideo games, and he's been saving his chore money for a 'light saver' just like Anakin. Super Oma got him this pretty rockin' costume. Everyone who knows Jack knows he loves to dress up, and when he opened this with the SPRING LOADED LIGHT SABER he was so excited he was shaking. That alone was worth the exhorbitant amount of money my mother spent on this costume. It was pure joy, excitement, and such a supremely innocent expression of emotion. THAT is what Christmas is about. Seeing so much happiness....

This is what makes Nate happy at holiday gatherings....

Opa and his girls, Maddie and Brooke. Brooke was in her 3rd outfit of the day and her Jammies. Maddie just lost the pantyhose and shoes and kicked it hillbilly style. They're checking out the train around the tree. All the kids got a big kick out of it!
Merry Christmas everyone...I hope you all got what you wanted from Santa!

A Chicago Christmas

Chronologically, the pictures are WAY out of order. We took the kids on a weekend "ACASHUN" to Chicago, and on Friday visited the Museum of Science and Industry. The boys got to see the Star Wars exhibit ( and Maddie and I checked out the kiddie area in the basement and spent some quality time with the new U505 exhibit, which was so incredibly amazing, I made John and the boys go after lunch. After that, we chilled out at a hotel, and checked out the zoo lights at Lincoln Park zoo. We tried to get into a real Chicago pizza place, but the wait was over an hour and a half so California Pizza Kitchen it was.

Saturday, we went to the Chicago children's museum at Navy Pier. It was a 9 block walk from the hotel and a free trolley ride back to get our car. The kids had such a great time!!!

At the Children's museum there's this huge Curious George exhibit. The kids got to climb a rocket, and then go down a slide. Nate really liked this part!
Such a scary likeness, isn't it? She may look like a Fraggle, but poses like a cartoon monkey.

Probably my favorite moment of the ENTIRE trip caught on digital film. It doesn't get any better.

This is on the ride home. The end of the trip. Total burn out. FABULOUS quiet time.

Now we're at the museum. This is the boys in the U505 exhibit pretty much drunk driving a submarine. They failed the 30 second test and were sent to the galley by the German Admiral.

This is us with the ComEd bear at the zoo. The glasses everyone has on made all the big globe streetlamps have a Santa or Frosty illumined halo. It sounds weird and made my head hurt so I took mine off.

It's just not Christmas without Charlie Brown.

Nate had to have a picture with his true bretheren, the gorrilas.
At the hotel, snacking on Shrek Cheeze-its, watching the magic glowing box and having fun eating in daddy's bed (I slept with Nate since the boys couldn't settle down together).

Okay, back at the beginning again. Team Ireland in front of the "Irish Tree" at the MSI. The trees around the world is pretty much my favorite exhibit ever, and they do it every year. I love all the cultural representations. Funny fact: Columbia's tree had little coffee bean ornaments!

Of course there was a Star Wars Tree. No star on top of this one. Those are Jedi Sabers.
Future techie geeks in the making for certain.

The cardboard cutouts didn't faze the kids, but according to John, neither of the boys wanted anything to do with the Chewbacca Wookie costume on display. It kinda freaked both boys out a bit.

But fighting with the "Yoda Hands" didn't seem to be a problem.

It was such an awesome trip. I hope we can do it again sometime, maybe hit the Field Museum and the Aquarium next time, who knows. There is always something to see and do in the Second City!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There is a Rumor...

That on Christmas mom's "borrowing" one of these bad boys from the neighbors for dessert. I may also "borrow" it indefinitely.
Oh, bring on the Christmas Nutter butters, coconut marshmallows, poundcake, oreos, and some fruit just to pretend we're being healthy.
I'm missing Omaha at the moment, my first experience with a chocolate fountain, as I REFUSE to ever try one in a public setting. I've seen double dippers! 4 women doing crafts is another story.... Doing a chocolate fountain with your brother and sister...sounds like an adventure!
Mmmmm....Favorite items to dip anyone? List them in Comments!

The Ones that Didn't Make it....

People are going to start getting their Christmas cards soon. It was a nightmare trying to get them done, and then I went and had to play with the coloring on the photos, so my kids look pasty and blurry. It was me, all alone doing gymnastics trying to get this to work, and well, what went out was the best of the bunch. Here were my other choices....

Merry Christmas, let us choke you!
Not quite the look we were going for....

Maddie, checking her nails, while sneaky Nate is trying to grab her hand and run. Jack looks just like his dad in this pic.

Yay, Jack and Maddie. Too bad your hillbilly brother couldn't get his act together!
There's a few more, but these were really the good ones. Maybe next year I'll put a good one and a bad one on the card. The strangulation hold is actually quite funny in retrospect. Wouldn't be my kids if there was a perfect photo every time!

Merry Merry!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vote Now...

Personally, I don't see the problem. We should all be so lucky, but this is a very HOT topic right now. And no one would care if she wasn't half famous. So, is she or isn't she?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My New House

We found our new house on a whim, not something we were expecting to go for so soon, so while we have already put down our Earnest Money, please pray for us that our current home sells. Jack's having a hard time, he doesn't want to leave all his toys and go to a new home. Since this house is a foreclosure, there is NOTHING there. All the toys are coming with, and when I say there is nothing there, there is NOTHING! No curtains, no fridge, no washer/dryer, etc. But it's fun that we get to take a 4 yr. old home and start from scratch. We need a deck. And doors on the den. And check out the side window on the right. We need glass in it. I think it broke when they roughed in the french doors for the den/office.

I took a lot of photos of our problem areas, so sorry that there isn't more to share. This is the front, in a "bump out" or cul-de-sac that isn't really a cul-de-sac.
This is my kitchen with the island you can eat at. Check out all that wicked cool cabinet space. There is also a Butler Pantry to the left leading into the dining room. Nothing spectacular, just a little hallway with more cabinets.
This is the downstairs family room looking out from the kitchen. I don't particularly care for the spaces above and next to the fireplace. Some homes put t.v.'s in there, but this is too narrow for a t.v. I think they had a stereo in there, if you notice the holes in the ceiling (surround sound) and the hole under the window on the right was probably a subwoofer. Check out the wires hanging down. Those were from the ceiling fan the previous owners took with them, but I found on a return trip that they left the ceiling fan remote.

My plan is to put our current entertainment unit on the far right wall. Not sure about what to do about the open spaces next to and above the fireplace. I guess wood can go next to it, but then what?

Here is the den/office/5th bedroom/whatever the hell you want to call it room. The kids really, really love the french doors, which is okay because they distract from the sliding glass door off the kitchen that leads to a 15 foot plummet to brick paver patio. We need a deck (you busy this spring dad?)

What I don't understand is why they put in just a roughed version of the doors. They aren't stained. Any ideas dad? Also, what goes above the doors?

This is the upstairs family/media room. By Jack, on the right hand side is a heating vent, so there is this "storage" shelf that you can't close off. Aesthetically, I am not sure what to do with this, but the idea of the room is pretty cool. This is next to my master bedroom, which also has a fireplace/sitting room. It's really my reading room, but don't tell John.

So, that's it with what good photos I have. Everything else is like, wires and open random space. No curtains, which means my favorite Auntie Eileen may be getting a very desperate phone call. She sews, I don't. She's crafty, I'm not. (Don't worry Uncle Bob, I think the carpet is okay for a while!! :-P )

We may close January 11th, and when I told Jenny she said, "Okay, I'll help you clean on the 12th". I replied, "I can't have you cleaning my house. I can't ask people to do that!" And she said, "You didn't ask. I'm telling you that's what I'm doing. That's what friends do." (paraphrased etc). And, last night at scrapbooking, the girls said, "We'll move you in and then have our Superbowl Party, it's perfect", and it is. You know you have good friends when you don't even have to ask for help. They just know when you need it and help you and give you every ounce of moral support you need, and they love you no matter what. I have said it before, but I am so blessed by the people I have chosen to surround myself with.

I can't wait until this is truly our home and I can invite friends and family over. I haven't been this excited since John proposed, and this is the home we plan to stay in for a long time. It's very close to the elementary school, and Junior high the kids will go to.

My home is and never will be "company ready", but it is always ready for those we love and care about and those who reciprocate. Anytime you want to come for a tour, let me know. The door is always open, on the new house, and the old!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

What a Beautiful Tree it Is!

We went after Thanksgiving to get our tree. It is a tradition to chop it down and then go for some hot cocoa. We went to a new place this year that was so much fun. The hose drawn wagon ride out to the tree fields was incredible, these horses were HUGE.

Here's Daddy and Nate on the wagon ride. Everyone on the wagon was super nice that day.
Me and Jack and Maddie. We sat opposite John and Nate.
Here it is! The tree on our left is the one we took home. It's a little shorter now but very, very, very full.

Oh, Griswolds How do we love thee?
Now that we have the tree I hope Santa is good to all of us!

Christmas Outfits

I have been mildly stressed with trying to find the boys' Sweater Vest of the Season and Maddie's Christmas dress for family pictures and of course the actual holiday.

This is how I torture my children: "Put on the Sweater Vest Dammit! Enjoy it! Stop Crying, you look good!"
Mads keep squinting when I take pics. She's still all smiley and cute, but her eyes are closed and squinty. Anywho, here is outfit number 1. She looks really cute as Ms. Santa.

Here is outfit #2. I also bought a furry stole wrap thingie to go on top of it. She looks good in red, what with the blonde hair and all.

This may be the look we end up with anyway.
Vote for your fave for M. on the left. Jack of course will match Nate.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Really, I'm just not that Interesting!

I keep getting these e-mails from various folks, so instead of doing more mass e-mails, I've just decided to post it here. I'm really not that interesting (remember, from a previous blog).

> 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I hate wrapping, irregardless of how it's done. Ask my friends from college. I'm just BAD at it.

2. Real or artificial tree? Nothing beats walking into the woods after a horse drawn sleigh ride, chopping down a tree and having the fresh pine scent in your home. NOTHING!

3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? After Christmas, sometimes right after New Years, but it all depends on garbage day.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yum, but fatty. If you add Brandy the calories don't count.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Maybe a bike...maybe a telescope. Not my Favorite? Oh, the time "Santa" left Bras and underwear hanging on the tree like Ornaments. What if my dad saw??? (Horror of horrors to a 12 year old).

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, and a Funk little Who-Ville Village that goes up. None of that icky country crap (sorry guys).

8. Hardest person to buy for? Nate

9. Easiest person to buy for? Probably my dad.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A Year long membership to Jelly of the Month... (he he he)

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life (Tradition w/my dad), and of course, Christmas Vacation

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? This year, I bought Brooke's present in AUGUST!!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Hell yes. I do it all the time. Teachers and Developmental Therapists alike get a LOT of candy that is just wrong to consume on your own. Not to mention, there are just some presents that mere words can not describe and so, they get sent on to some other unsuspecting fool....

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Filet and Lobster. My mom's dinner ROCKS

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored. The world is more beautiful looking thru a multi-colored lens.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night, at midnight service, with the candles. Nothing more peaceful on Earth.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Over the river and thru the Oma's house we go.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Donder, (Yes w/ a D, check the Night Before Christmas book). Blitzen..........Rudolph.............. and Olive, the Other Reindeer (cute kid's book)..

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I had an angel for a while, but she freaked me out in all her spooky "I look possessed glory" so we switched to a star very similar to the one my parents used to put on the tree 30 years ago. It's all about Nostalgia.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? John's side does the Eve, everything else is Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The fact that I'm trying to shop with 3 kids up my ass all the time. It just doesn't work well.

23. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Do I seem like the person organized enough to do a theme anything? Theme Charlie Brown maybe? Theme disaster? Theme, Oh look at all the kids ornaments that are only on the bottom 3rd of the tree while the top is sparsely decorated with lights and garland. Hmmmmm.....

24. What do/did you leave for Santa? Cookies and carrots for the reindeer and a bottle of booze. Something's gotta have incentive.