Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Nutcracker and Me

I have decided that I want to have fun with my kids on a more regular basis. I should also do some girly mommy and me things more often with my daughter, and so I took her to see a local production of "The Nutcracker Ballet". It was fabulous, and we had a great time. She even sat really well. There was a 15 minute squirmy period in the middle, but she seemed to love it, and now whenever she hears the Nutcracker music, she goes all wild and says..."That's the Nutcracker Mommy!" Yes pretty girl it sure is! This is us, all dolled up in front of our gigantor real tree that the kids decorated, so I don't want any lip on how it's not all neat and organized and themey and it looks a little Charlie Brownish. I love all those handmade, glued up and glittered ornaments. Every one!
After the ballet we went out for a special mom and me dinner. Just a local place for some chicken nuggets and a french dip, but still. I wouldn't have traded the time for anything. And I can't wait until next year to do it all again!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pageantry at Its Finest

It has been a busy week for us. Between Christmas pageant rehearsals at church, Nutcracker sightings and today heading downtown to view the Christmas around the World exhibit we have been running like crazy....in a good, good way.

Saturday the little ones had Pageant rehearsal. Jack refused to do it, and I won't force him to 'perform' if he doesn't want to. I contend that he would have been pretty awesome at it though.

This is the tree in the Sanctuary. Not exactly the look I was trying to capture, but it turned out alright. I can't wait until Easter to explain what this means to Nate, what with his 'death obsession' and all.

Nate was a dragon/dinosaur in the pageant. There was almost a prehistoric smackdown because another little boy was also a dino, and as Nate clearly pointed out to us, "There was only ONE dinosaur when Jesus was alive." Well, then, okay. During his battle with the T-Rex, he was warned by our WONDERFUL Christian Ed director Miss Bethany that if they continued to 'fight' they would have to be sheep in the play. No 4 year old boy willingly puts on those sheep ears (even if they ARE too cute) and so the boys worked out their territorial differences and lived in Bethlehem as peaceful dinosaurs.

This is my Pageant Penguin. She was soooo stinking cute. EVeryone loved her. She practiced hard all day Saturday, participating in the songs and hand motions and everything. And then, come performance time....there were PEOPLE in the audience! Horror of horrors to a very shy little girl. She was escorted in by another mom (I opted out of helping her at this point because I knew she'd get super clingy to me and so I ran and hid), and went up to the front, turned her back to the PEOPLE and sat through the entire performance. When it was all over she said, "I Don't wanna be in the pageant anymore mommy." I promised she was all done....until next year.
It was a great show. The kids did a great job. Even Mads, who begged to be in the show and then got a serious case of stage fright (Whose genetics are those...certainly NOT mine, to be sure). I'm so proud of my little Dinosaur and Penguin!!! They know all about the Birth of Jesus now. Waddle waddle waddle..... ROAR!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nate at a Wake

My friend's grandmother passed away, so I hauled all 3 kiddo's to the wake, sans hubby since he had to work late. The kids were remarkably well behaved. Truly. Until they got in line to view the body.

Me-Boys, what are you doing?
N-We're gonna go see Grandma!
Me-Okay, well come up here to the front with me.

Pause pause pause

Nate: Is this it? All it is is a DEAD PERSON?

Me-Yup, that's all there is at a funeral/wake. Dead people.


From Nate

N-'Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!"
N-Who's going to get Baby Jesis?
Me (thinking of the pageant on Saturday)-Well, honey, I think we may use a doll.
N-No mom. Who is going to get Jesis?
Me-Uh, from where?
N-From Heben. Who is going to Heben to get Jesis?"
Me-Well, Nate, he is going to stay is Heaven forever, because he lived a long, long time ago.
N-And what, he got DEAD???!!!
Me-Yes, he got dead. That is why we celebrate Easter.
Me-Yup. That is so totally cool.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Christmas Countdown Begins!

Every week at church our pastors have been stressing the REAL meaning of Christmas. They are urging us not to be so stressed out over the little things. And while I'm totally with them on these points, I don't feel overly stressed about this holiday. I'm nowhere near getting my shopping done, I haven't planned my holiday dinner menu, and I've barely started on my cards to send out. But I love Christmas so much, it just all doesn't seem like work. It is my favorite holiday, and I love all the components that make up a "busy holiday season". Could be why I got married a week before Christmas, eh?

So, we've kicked off the season with our town's holday parade. It really should be renamed the "Boyscout Parade" because that's all whose in it. And 40 year old moms in short Santa skirts twirling batons. I swear to goodness that is true. And slightly icky.

For those of my out of state friends, just so you don't think we are all mean old Chicagoans here, we have John Deere tractors in our parades. Here's Jack in his uniform throwing us some candy. These parades are a great way to get rid of Halloween excess.

Nate and Maddie, enjoying the show.
Bryce is in there somewhere....

These two are getting ready to watch the parade. It's another tradition we now have. We go to church, head to Galati's Pasta for lunch (and primo parking), and watch the parade. I have eliminated the part of the tradition where we choose to go after the parade to get our tree. Standing outside for 2 hours is long enough in this cold weather for me!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Nate's Letter To Santa-As Dictated to His Dad

Dear Santa,

I want to say I love you! Can I give you some grapes? Can I please give you some candy canes? Or some Chili?

Santa, can you please give me some cars? Maybe a big Transformer? Can you build a gun for me?

I have tried to be a good boy all year. I have always wanted a Leapster. That would be great.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

This is What Happens When

You let the three year old do her own makeup.

O Tannennbaum O Christmas Tree!

We went on Saturday to get our tree. It was very very strange indeed. First of all, it seems to be tradition that we like to get our tree on the absolute coldest day of the year, through about a foot and a half of snow right when the tree farm is closing so that we are always running to hurry up, get a tree, and not miss the last sleigh ride back to home base.

This year, we barely needed coats. And we went early in the day. And we scrapped going for a super long drive and found a tree farm literally in our own back yard (out on my long weekend run I found this tree farm that is about a 5 minute drive from our house. Sweetness).

Practically every tree was in great shape, and the kids had an awesome time running the gauntlet. I think Nate only fell over the saplings once (maybe twice). Maddie really, really wanted us to get the Charlie Brown tree, because it was just her size. She did that with her pumpkins at Halloween too.

Camo-Maddie. Can you find the girl in the leopard print coat that's hiding?
I'm sure at this point he was just talking about something. Talk talk talk talk talk....just to hear his own voice. Sap. Not from our stump.

I'm pretty sure the simple direction I gave at this point was, "Everyone look nice for the camera. We need a Christmas card picture." This is what happens when you say those kinds of crazy things.

Uh...3 year old with a saw. For some reason daddy thought this was an a-okay idea. So while I had a minor heart attack, I took photos.

Oh yeah, this is scary stuff. But it was all good. Everyone maintained all their digits.

Jack playing Lumber Jack.

The kiddos, in front of the winner. Oh yeah, this baby is huge. I have pictures to prove it, but it's not quite ready yet. And I know people like to make fun of my tree because it looks like little kids decorated it, but so what. Little kids DID decorate it. I'm not trying to win any contests or sell in as a display. It's all mine and I love it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is officially over, which is a-okay with me. Let the real holiday begin. Some people feel like Thanksgiving gets a bad rap...a mini-holiday smashed between Halloween and Christmas and the meaning of Thanksgiving is overlooked. I agree. Sort of. I have had a lot of time to think about this, what with being delinquint and negligent with keeping up with the blogging and all.

I was at my spin class Wednesday night, and glad of it, because although the idea of running a 5k on Thanksgiving for the food pantry is a nice idea and I did it happily last year with lots of donations, this year there was snow on the ground and it was raining, and I DON'T DO COLD. So, I'll make an extra donation to the food pantry another time. Anyway, backing up from the stream of consciousness, I was at my spin class Wednesday and the instructor was all like, "You'll thank me for this tomorrow when you're gorging yourself on all your Thanksgiving food...blah blah blah."

And then it hit me. I don't really like Thanksgiving food. I know it's weird, but I don't.

Not that it's my mom's cooking, because it's not. She makes one helluva mean turkey. But I did look around yesterday and was all like, "Well, no, I don't like mashed potatoes ( I NEVER EVER EVER HAVE, my mom can vouch for that one), I don't like sweet potatoes (I've never liked those either), and we don't do that green bean casserole thing (my mom said she made it once when we were little and NOBODY in the family liked it, so that's not really me being picky, we just weren't none of us borned with them tastebuds), and I really can't stand either pumpkin pie OR pecan pie"-I've never been a fan.

I do rather enjoy the turkey (sans gravy. I don't like gravy either), and the cheesy veggie dish, and my ultimate favorite thing is the fresh cranberries my mom makes, which isn't really a sauce but I think can technically be labeled as a 'chutney'.

I was laughing at cycling when the instructor was going on about how we would thank her and explained how I don't really like Thanksgiving food to the guy next to me. He asked what kind of food I do like, at which point I had to tell him I could make do with a good burger and beer. And not a wimpy Miller Lite or Bud Light beer either. Hit me up with a good sturdy home brew and I am in heaven, and that is the truth. I think he thought I was going to say, "Oh, I'm happy with a salad" but that's not true...so when I expostulated on my burger fetish he said I was alright in his book. Well, that's good news I suppose.

And so what am I thankful for? Well, it's easy to be thankful for everything you're supposed to be thankful for, because if you're not you're just ungrateful. So the little things I am thankful for are:

* Morning Wii time. If I can squeeze in an extra half hour of sleep courtesy of the Mario brothers, I'm good.

* The fact that the kids can pretty much use the t.v. remote on their own so that I don't have to drop everything to find their favorite channels. Ditto on that for them knowing their numbers and which numbers to punch on the remote.

*A husband who likes morning coffee as much as I do. The fact that he's home drinking it with me 5 days a week is a plus too.

* My Binny's extra savings card. Comes in handy, yessiree.

*Kids who enjoy the outdoors. How many times can I yell "Stop running in this house and just GO OUTSIDE!"?

*No visits to the E.R. for the kids this year for stitches, broken bones, or any other war wounds they have inflicted on each other in some bizarre boy manufactured special capacity (and I am knocking on every piece of wood in this house for this one).

*Nyquil. There are just times when it's a good mommy's helper when you know you're all on your own the next day with all 3 kids.

* That first grade is a full day of school.

*That preshool is only a half day and I get to spend extra time with the little ones.

* Job security for the hubby. Nobody is sure what exactly he does for a living, but we're all glad that he does it.

And the list goes on. I'll add more as they come to me, for now I'm exhausted. We actually got up and braved the crowds this a.m. and got our deals on at the stores. We are almost done Christmas shopping!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

He Shoots, He Scores!

I think it rather unfortunate that it appears my children have inherited my athletic genes, or complete lack thereof. That being said, I was so happy and proud when Jack scored a goal in the last game of this fall's soccer season.

I'm even more happy that we get to have a little break from soccer. Soooo not interested in the indoor venue. Not right now. Not at all.

This is big man gearing up to get the ball. He actually did really very well his last game. Made some very smart moves. Lining up for his corner kick. I missed an actual photo of the goal because I was using my real eyes and not my camera eyes.

We have been busy, even post soccer stress disorder. Gymnastics, swimming lessons, day to day living. But it has been good. It's been real real good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Invisible Man Strikes Again

"I didn't do it mom, the inbisobol man did".
Great. Does he have a name, Nathan?
"Yeeeeaaaah. The inbisobol man's name is Nate, but don't worry, it's a differnt Nate, not me."
Right. I'm not worried at all.

And just to clarify for my neighbors' sakes, the invisible Nate put all the toys into the cul-de-sac. He also hit Maddie with a popsicle stick, messed up the toy room, and decidedly did NOT eat his dinner.

Not MY Nate. Never MY Nate. He's sooooo totally innocent.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All Hallows Eve

I'm a bit delinquint in posting Halloweenie photos, but here goes:

Okay, even my sister dressed as a pirate. But nobody gave her any extra candy. Just an "E" for Effort. At the end of the night, Bryce was enjoying being a pseudo-army guy.

He's like Nate...that thumb is in their mouths like cigarettes.

Here are all 5 kiddos. Brooke was Princess Jasmine, and Bryce was her pet tiger Raja. Or, if you want to relive "What's Happenin'" from the 80's...Rog.

Okay, this might be part of the Christmas card photo montage, so act surprised if it is. It IS a cute photo of the kids. Even if Jack looks like Robert Downey Jr. in that Tropic Thunder movie. Hmmm....

I only put this photo up to show that Jack was really in Camo. I mean, he totally blends with the black couch.

And there you have it. Halloween. And now, what to do with all this candy? Anyone who wants it can have it, since I put it away and am not even a little tempted. John calls me the candy Nazi, mostly because I will find Halloween candy to put into Easter Baskets.
Like the kids even know!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Inbisobol Man

This morning, as I was running out the door to get everyone to school on time (and by on time I mean within my 5-10 minute late window, which if I get anywhere within 5-10 minutes of an event starting it means I'm really on time and not late at all) the car horn starting beeping. Since the car was in the garage, this was an auditory menace to anyone in the house or anywhere within the neighborhood.

I got into the car, and with a smile and clear conscience, I got this story from Nate.

"Mom! Mom! Did you hear the car horn?"
Yes, Nate I did.
"Well, the inbisobol man came and starting honking!"
The invisible man?
"Yes. He was right here. I saw him!"

Later as he told his story with embellishments to his father, we found out that not only did the invisible man sneak into the garage and start honking the horn, but that he also likes to use his elbows (insert Nate's visual demonstration here) when doing so.

Not to worry though. I just found out that the invisible man has left the premises for a little while. He may come back later. Hope he doesn't visit you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

For Witches Sands

Sorry it's so dark. You'll get the idea anyways.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Carving out a Niche for Ourselves

As usual we carved pumpkins that we bought from the church's overpriced yet do gooder pumpkin patch. Jack decided right off the bat he wanted the biggest one in the lot, Maddie promptly picked out one you couldn't even carve-because she wanted a small one, and Nate wanted a 'middle' one.

These are the precarving designs Jack envisioned. John actually let him wield a knife. Digging out the guts!

I cooked these puppies up, and they actually tasted pretty good. A little Olive Oyl and salt can work miracles on some foods.

Jack was actually REALLY into carving out the guts.

No -effort -Nate did maybe 2 scoops and declared himself done. He wound up not even carving a pumpkin, because that was too much work. He just helped big brudda clean out his.

Maddie didn't carve at all. She just utilized some stickers. Which was okay by me because when I cleaned my floor Saturday morning, there was very little pumpkin goo residue to scrub up.
He's such a good daddy....and she's not even paying attention.

Sticker Applique.

Part of the end result, although the entire thing is covered with about 7 different kinds of faces.

Here's Nate, getting in on the sticker action.

Mads and Jack built pumpkin towers.

Willis Towers has nothing on boy wonder here!

I never do get to participate in the carving, but I don't mind, as I'm taking pictures and preserving memories for the kiddos. I hope. Someday they'll probably just browse thru my files and wonder why in the world I took some of the shots I did. And when I'm old and senile and can say whatever I want because I'll be old and entitled I'll just remind them of what an awesome mom I was....watching them create Halloween memories.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Nate, The Cold Bug, and a Tiny Little "Life" Lesson

It's already very cold outside. I don't do cold well. I hate cold. We all know that. My kids don't seem to feel my pain. At all.

That is the preface for this story. Nate wanted to go play and harass the neighbor boy into playing with him. He ran out the door, and about 3 minutes later came back yelling:

" Mom! Mom! I found this really really cold bug by Erik's house. He needs to come inside and stay warm. We need to help him." I then had to inform him, that no, we can't keep the bug warm in our house. And then I got this face. He was so sad.

This is the upclose photo of the really "cold" bug. So cold he had rigormortis.

'Please mom, can't we help him?"

We have no pets for a reason. I'm not starting up with bugs at this point either. Enough said.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Farting Around With Fall

I'm so upset I haven't been taking a lot of pics lately. I'm VERY upset we missed our annual trip to the apple orchard, thanks to Jack having a nice little ER visit not too long ago to rule out possible meningitis and to get treated for pneumonia. Truth be told, he probably had this H1N1 thing, as it happens to be all over the schools around here. But we got drugs and we got better, and I got my camera out yesterday and got over it.

This smile here is so much better than his actual school picture. On his school pic, he was trying desperately to cover his missing teeth holes with his lip. And you got to see a lot of his ears.
She was trying to wave Bery fayast. You can even see the blur.

The cause of all my futre gray hairs. Each one will be named Nate.

Now the really fun photos. I just may try to name them:
Exhibit A: Skeletor

Exhibit B: Rotate it and it becomes: Scary 9 year old Scarecrow.

Oh yeah, while I was taking pics I got shot with a baseball bat. We also had pajama day yesterday.

Exhibit C: Unsalvagable Tomatoes.

Exhibit D: Crumpled Garden

Aaaand...more of Jack. On a scooter. In his army guy jacket and "storm trooper boots".

Quote: 'Look at me mommy! I'm rolling!"



Leaves on the mower path.

Sneaking brownies with a buddy.

Subtitled: More than a little trouble.