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Monday, November 30, 2009

Home Is Where the Heart Is - Christmas!

I love Christmas! I love that cozy feeling, I love the traditions, I love the sweets, and I love decorating! Here are few snapshots inside the house. I really enjoyed decorating this year because I was able to take my time and, since we've been living here for a few year, I now know what works and what doesn't.

Mimi passed along Nana's handmade stockings this year and they look great in the living room!
A new creation - with a monogrammed "S". What do you think?

Dining room table - that is usually just for storage!

Top of the china cabinet - one of my favorites!

My 99 cent poinsettia in an antique bowl

Christmas lights in a jar - so simple, so cute!
Oops! Forgot the Hershey kisses for the advent calendar! Note to self - ask Daddy to stop on his way home is December 1st!

Going up the stairs!

Don't you just love this basket? It's from the 1600's (according to Mimi!) and so neat...still thinking about where to use it

And I know this isn't Christmas but Tater made the apple at school and I framed it and just love how it looks!

One of my favorites that I snitched from Nana - not really! She shared!

The mantle

The tree minus decorations - maybe sometime this week!

Daddy thought it was funny that I even decorated the mud room/diaper changing room!

Powder room - I added the candle for lighting!


As Daddy was carrying his new compound miter saw down the basements steps ($69.99 at 6 am on Black Friday...yes I was in Home Depot that early!), Bruiser told me:

"We need this - Daddy and me. We need this to build."


Driving home yesterday, Daddy insisted that I take a turn behind the wheel (although I didn't do it very willingly!). So he had to take over the job of "cruise director" and entertain the troops. He started writing words and letters on the MagnaDoodle and letting them yell what it was...yeah, not Mommy's kind of game! Then Daddy progressed to pictures. At one point he drew the outline of the United States and held it up for Tater. She got all excited and announced, "It's a cow!" Poor Daddy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving ReCap!

We traveled to Mimi and Papa's and Pop-Pop and Memaw's for Thanksgiving this year. After the SEVEN hour drive on Wednesday - during which no one napped and there was miles of unexplained traffic! - we arrived to enjoy a few nights of good sleep, lots of yummy food, and hours of fun with family!

We went to Papa and Mimi's first...they are 40 minutes closer and we didn't want to drive another second! Then we headed to Pop-Pop and Memaw's for Thanksgiving, cousins, Wii, and lots of Miss Wiggles' cuddles! Thanks to a built-in sitter Friday morning, Daddy and I headed out to the stores at 4:30am and found a few great deals (saving for a later post!). Family pictures with the cousins followed and then lunch with Pop-Pop (Memaw had to work :( ).

Can you guess where we ate?

Then we headed back to Mimi and Papa's for a hockey game! Both Tater and Bruiser had been before but Bruiser was too little to remember. He LOVED it...and Tater loved it until the treats ran out!

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday with Papa and Mimi and the aunts and uncles...after Papa took the two older ones to the grocery store by himself! and Mimi and Mommy did some more shopping.
Today we headed back home...only six and half hours this time!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Talking to Jesus

Last week we headed out to the mommy book club at our church - finally!!!! - after a month of sickness! I was so excited to have adult time and the kids couldn't wait to see their friends. We were the first to arrive, went in the church and I sent the kids to the basement to find the toys. As I followed Bruiser down the stairs, I could hear his chattering voice around the bend in the stairs. Out of curiosity, I asked "Who are you talking to, Bruiser." His simple answer? "I talk to Jesus!" And at the bottom of the steps? A portrait of Jesus! What a sweet moment from a sweet boy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Preview

We started our Christmas decorations this weekend. It's still a work in progress but here are few pictures!
Our doe drinking from the stream. Don't you love the leaf bags in the background?!

Re-purposing the birdbath

An attempt at all three by the Christmas tree - why do I bother?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fall Photo Shoot...

...right before we hung up Christmas lights...on a day that felt like spring!

Daddy's "action" shot

About as good as it gets!

Daddy working hard...maybe!

Fall fun!

Pretty Leaf Princess

Break time!

Miss Wiggles loves the leaves!

And this is why we are not doing a Christmas picture of the children this year!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Wordless Wednesday Wideo"

And a Tater-ism:

"I love to feed my baby sister...because my mommy and daddy don't!" - And it's so NOT the truth!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Mimi and Papa!

What I Learned This Week

Within the past few months, our church has begun the long road of starting small groups. I am a part of the pilot group and am currently leading a group devoted to parenting. We began our group by reading Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages of Children. We've gotten off to a slow start due to illnesses and schedule conflicts, but I think we are finally getting back on track...just in time for the holidays! LOL!

Anyway, I was nervous about starting this group. I am a teacher and I love "leading" a group of 5-year-olds. But a group of adults? About a topic I am no expert on? That was a bit out of my comfort zone! Luckily the wonderful people who joined the group are also wonderful friends who are going through all the same trials and tribulations that I am going through!

We spent this past Sunday discussing the first two chapters of the book. The first chapter talked a great deal about unconditional love and filling your child's love tank. And this is what I learned:

Every weekend we try so hard to accomplish so many errands and tackle so many projects. Then we spent the time wondering why the kids are so off-the-wall crazy! One of the women in the group mentioned that they child would act up whenever they needed a bit more Mommy or Daddy time, and it all clicked for me! Obviously the kids are trying to tell us to stop and enjoy time with them! So this next's all about family!

For more "What I Learned This Week" entries, hop on over to Musing of a Housewife!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


It's been a slow week...I know, rare at this house! But that explains my lack of posts...I was sick (in bed...couldn't lift my head off the pillow...touch of our piggy friend?) on Thursday, spent Friday catching up, and was busy today with errands, chores, and projects. Anyway, here are a few random things...

Bruiser was expressing his "free spirit" of fashion tonight...check out the soccer jammie shirt, sagging diaper, and Tater's pink sherpa boots. Daddy was REALLY proud! (Oh, and he's standing on part of Miss Wiggles' crib...because we were moving things around...AGAIN!)

This is the really BIG news! Miss Wiggles discovered how to drink out of a cup! The other two were completely off bottles by their first birthdays...a feat I am very proud of...and I think it is justified as we do struggle with a few other issues! Now, Miss Wiggles LOVES her bottles. She refused to even touch the cup...until tonight! And she is so proud of herself!

This picture is for my two siblings who have yet to have children. This is my basement...where I spent my day off on Wednesday...organizing. These are bins of clothes that my children have outgrown...three rows deep! I have girls (birth to size 6) and boys (birth to size 3) and all the stuff that you think you need (car seats, strollers, bouncers, bathtubs, etc.)...all waiting for you to make me an auntie...and get it out of my house! Just a thought!

And this is the Craig's List pile that no one is interested in ... I think it might be heading to charity this week...I can't stand the clutter!

And, finally, this is where my creative side stepped in today. This was old and white and beat up from being in our bathroom. Now it's chocolate brown and yummy, and a great place to store little toys and stuff in the living room. It's amazing what a bit of paint can do...because this was almost on the curb earlier today!

And speaking of my creative side, I'll have to share a bit in the near future about my neighbor and I and these creative kicks we get on! We've been making our girls' hair bows for the past year (you know, the curly-Q ones like Gymboree?) and now we've ventured into beaded bracelets...and I think we are decent, if I may say so myself!
Well, on that note, enjoy the rest of your weekend...we are planning to!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #2

Play Time with Daddy X3!

Miss Wiggles' In the Spotlight!

Miss Wiggles has decided she has to help with dinner...and she is SO helpful!

Wordless Wednesday

This is what can happen to your four-year-old when... try to feed them all natural, gluten-free rice from Trader Joe's! I guess we should just bring on the preservatives!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I Learned This Week

We spend a lot of our time figuring out what our children are saying! So for my What I Learned This Week, I'm taking a clue from girlymama and write a decoding dictionary of sorts. I figured it would be helpful as we approach the holidays and more frequent visits with family!

Tater Speak:

"vitar" = guitar
"giguana" = iguana
"ard sale" = yard sale
"sire" = her nickname for Bruiser Boy

Bruiser Boy Speak:

"een" = Lightening McQueen
"Momas" = Thomas
"facts" = tracks
"suit" = soup
"fars" = cars
"pumpum" = pumpkin
"Sissy" = Tater
"ight" = light
"wind" = fan
"frash" = crash
"sool" = school
"fends" = friends
"I fi (long i!)" = I'm fine!
"fon" = down (that's a tough one that I don't always get!)
"I do!" = I can do it myself (and it must be screamed at top volume!)

Miss Wiggles' Speak:

"night, night" = bedtime!
"ma, ma" = more
"ahhhhhhhhh!" = pay attention to me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Time to Celebrate!!!!

We got it! We got it! We got it!

That's right...Tater will be getting her H1N1 shot on Wednesday! Her kidney doctor called today and they are having a clinic all day Wednesday...but we're not taking any chances! We'll be there at 8:00am!

Time Out for Mommy!

Did you ever have those moments where you just want to go curl up under a rock and hide? Since becoming a mommy, I've had more of those moments but I think they effect me less! Not much embarrasses you as a mommy!

But I did cringe last week when my neighbor brought home an announcement from Tater's preschool. You see, I had made the dutiful call Monday morning to report that she had been diagnosed with H1N1. I also told them that she had been in the school on Friday for about fifteen minutes while I met with her teacher for a conference. I knew for a fact she had played with the Mr. Potato Head set and that they should probably clean that toy specifically. Now you need to know that when I took her school on that Friday she only had a cough - no fever, no breathing problems. I figured she and my other two would be the only children there during that fifteen minute window...meaning she wouldn't share any germs and she would be less likely to pick up any germs. Again, let me say, she wasn't showing any signs of H1N1!!! In fact we had kept her out of school that week to reduce her exposure to the other kids!

So, this is part of the letter the school sent out...

"We want to inform you that we have a child at XXXX with a confirmed diagnosis of H1N1 virus. The child was in school Friday afternoon during the 15-minute conference time, but had not been in attendance during the school week. The parent informed us of the diagnosis on Monday morning."

Doesn't it sound like she had been sick all week and then I brought her into the school on Friday anyway? Ahhhh!

"We have removed and cleaned/disinfected the toys that the child used on that day. They have not been reintroduced to the classroom."

Now, I know this is a serious virus...we've had it!...but could they make it sound any more like she has the plague? Really!

So, moral of the lesson? Even those parents who try their best to do the right things can find themselves in situations where it looks like they were negligent! So I guess you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Bit of Indian Summer in November!

We spent the warm afternoon outside "getting ready for winter" as Tater likes to say. Kind of makes us feel like squirrels collecting out acorns!
Sibling Love!



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I Learned This Week

The theme for this week is illness...particularly of the H1N1-type!

I have learned...

...when your child struggles to breathe, you head directly to the emergency room and stare intently at the machine that tells you your child's oxygen levels...and prayer for numbers in the high 90s, not the 80s!

...when you walk into said ER with your own mask and share that your child is immuno-suppressed, you get to bypass the 6 hour waiting room wait!

...but be prepared to withstand the glares and dirty looks from all the parents who can't skip the wait.

...Motrin and breathing treatments can make a sick kid feel MUCH better! is possible to be awake enough at 1:00am to drive from pharmacy to pharmacy in search of Tamaflu...and you are so thankful that you live in an urban area that has lots of 24-hour pharmacies!

...people will take two steps back when you share that your child has been diagnosed with H1N1. is really hard to be the parent that goes to work when your sick little ones stay home with the other parent. I was definitely not at 100% today. was super-sweet and sad at the same time to hear Tater say that she had fun going to the hospital because she got Mommy all to herself.

...there is nothing scarier than a child who can't breathe right and not knowing which direction their health is going...and then having to wait if we relapse and get worse.

...even when they are sick, there is nothing better than having a little one to cuddle all night...and that's where I'm heading right now!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Mommy Day...Much Deserved!

So, in spite of Tater's H1N1 status, I managed to get in a much-deserved Mommy Day! What started out as an annual trip to a local tag sale, turned into a full day of shopping with lots of exciting venues!

A good friend and I left the house at 7:00am (I know, crazy!) so we could hit Starbucks before the tag sale. The best part of the tag sale? You get to pay $5 and get in an hour earlier than the regular shoppers...well worth the five dollars!

I found some good bargains and some cute outfits. We decided the price had gone up a bit from previous years, but you still can't beat the deals!

I came away with several wooden Melissa and Doug puzzles for $2 a piece. Here is where this one has been since it came in the door!
Here's a great NOISY one! Obviously, I wasn't thinking clearly at 8:00am!

This was my best find - and I left many jealous Mommy's behind...isn't it too cute?

Anther bargain...$20 for a box of Fisher Price Rescue Heroes...Bruiser is thrilled!

We left the sale and panicked because we thought it was 10:00...who spends 2 hours in a tag sale! Then we realized that the clock in the car did not reflect the time change! So we headed off to...

...and arrived 10 minutes before it opened. When the ropes opened, we headed through the children's section and down to the Marketplace. I could spend a small fortune at that place! Here are a few of mine finds...

The best storage containers EVER! Wheels, plastic and lids! Oh, and they stack!

I was thrilled to buy an art light for my entry way...makes me feel fancy! Daddy saw and asked how that was going to work...didn't you have to plug it in? I gently reminded him that he had just put an outlet in my entry way...perfect!

I added these blue cube boxes to my IKEA shelf that I already owned for a punch of color!
Then we took a detour to a fancy mall and visited some much-drooled-over stores. Few purchases were made but we had fun "window shopping"!

If only I could outfit my kids in these clothes! I settle for hand-me-downs and tag sale finds...and I have found these hidden treasures! In fact my friend walked out of today's tag sale with two set of Hanna jammies!

All I can say is...WOW! And then when we were leaving, we witnessed 10 10-year-olds climb out of a stretch limo for a party at the store! Unbelievable!
We ended the day by full-filling a life long dream and visiting this store...

...and I felt like I had died and gone to heaven! But my only purchase is below...and I do love it!

When we got home, I borrowed my friend's wagon to pull my purchases to my doorstep...I wish I had gotten pictures! What a sight!
Thank you Daddy for letting me have a great day and for dealing with the trials of our little ones! I think we should make this a weekly event!