Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas! We're in Rhinebeck with my parents and are having our first white Christmas in years! I'm thrilled, to say the least! I've been dreaming of a white Christmas for years. And I really wanted one for Braeden's sake. All he knows is NC snow. I want him to know NY snow. And this year I finally got my wish. He hasn't been out in yet, but tomorrow is going to be our snow day.

Mom bought him boots, snow pants, and a new Carhartt jacket. She also knit him a hat. He should be all set. We're looking forward to making a snowman, having a snowball fight, and going sledding. I'll admit to having an idealized vision of how snow play will go...I'm not naive enough to believe it will be perfect, but I'm hopeful that Braeden will have fun!

We had a fantastic Christmas. Kind of slow and lazy, actually. Not nearly as frenzied as the ones I remember from my childhood. We opened stockings this morning, and I think Braeden would have been content with just those things. He got a tiny garbage truck he's wanted for months, a smal combine, and a Unamog matchbox plus some candy, a toothbrush, and a snowman Pez dispenser. Then we had breakfast and put Gage down for a nap. And it was finally time to move into the sun room and open presents.

I've got pictures, so I'll post those tomorrow or the next day. Abi and Jeremy got here around 2-ish and we opened more presents. We ate dinner--roast beef, yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas--around 6:00.

Like I said, tomorrow is snow day. I think one day we might take Braeden to see the Tale of Despereaux. This is a big deal because we've never taken him to a movie. A couple of his friends have been, and I've talked to their moms about it. I thought it would be fun to do it with MeMa and P-Pa. One day mom, Abi, and I are going to do something. A girl's outing. We haven't decided at the outlets in Lee, MA or a trip to Trader Joe's in Danbury, CT. The big joke this year is that all the presents came from Trader Joe's. Silly.

Anyway, it's past time for bed especially since Mat and I have slept like crap for two nights now thanks to Gage's third ear infection in a month's time. Poor kid.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're still here!!

I know it's been a while (bad blogger!), but things have been more than a little crazy around here.

Both boys got sick at the same time. That just shouldn't happen. One of them should be considerate enough to wait until the first one is done, right? Well, no. Apparently they didn't get that mommy memo.

Braeden had a bad cold. Lots of coughing and congestion with a sore throat. He coughed so much at school one day he threw up. Gage had a very yucky nose and was running a low temp. I took them both to the doctor (and learned that 2 boys + 1 appointment time = 2 copays or $50!!). Braeden just had a cold. $25 to have that confirmed. Huh. Gage, on the other hand, had his second ear infection in the same ear as last time. It was early, so we weren't seeing any symptoms of it like last time.

Gage finishes up his 10-day course of antibiotics tonight. We used the probiotic again for a few days and he had no yucky side effects from the amoxicillin. Phew.

We told Braeden that being sick meant he could watch lots of cartoons, so we've been hearing that for the last week or so. "Sick kids get to watch a lot of cartoons." You try telling Braeden he's not sick any longer. See how far you get! :)

As the kids were starting to feel better, I got sick. It never fails. Sore throat, headache, and fever. I had to leave early on Thursday after our office holiday luncheon. Came home, changed into my jammies, and took my temp. 103. I felt like such crap I couldn't even bring myself to care. I sat in the dark living room on the couch under a blanket with NCIS on the TV. Whatever I was watching ended, NCIS came on, and I couldn't bring myself to change the channel. If that's not a sign of how sick I was, I don't know what is.

I stayed home Friday as my temp was still high in the morning. I felt a lot better by the end of the day, though.

Saturday we celebrated Christmas at Mark and Jenn's townhouse in Charlotte with Mat's parents. Mark and Jenn did a great job entertaining us and the two kids. They made mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, green beans, and a really nice salad for the grown-ups. I was really impressed with the thought they put into the menu. And they even seemed not to care when Braeden spilled an entire glass of juice on the table or when Gage threw mac and cheese everywhere. :)

The boys got some really good presents, and it was nice to spend the day together. Pete and Carol leave for AZ after Christmas, and we'll be in NY starting tomorrow, so we won't all be together again until the spring. We gave Mark and Jenn a gift card to PF Chang's for Christmas. It's what they asked for, and who are we to disappoint. They laughed when they opened it, then handed me our present. A gift card to PF Chang's. As soon as Mark told his brother that's what they wanted, he groaned remembering they had already bought one for us. Silly.

We'll be leaving around 4:00 tomorrow morning for Rhinebeck. Maybe I'll post from the car. Maybe not. We'll see how the trip goes. Braeden will be great. It's Gage we're worried about. Hopefully he'll do a lot of napping!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In the holiday mood

If you're not interested in Christmas decorations or my arts and crafts then just stop reading now!

We are really into Christmas this year. And I think we owe it all to Braeden who is sososo into Christmas this year. We put our tree up right after Christmas, and it's really beautiful this year. I've had to come to terms with Braeden's constant redecorating, though. He LOVES taking ornaments off the tree to play with them. Every night I find a handful in different places that I return to the tree. And every couple days I reposition a bunch of ornaments so that the tree is more evenly covered. It sounds anal, and I suppose it is, but I think I'm being really relaxed about everything. :)

Mat tried to let Braeden put the star on top of the tree, but Braeden was too afraid he would fall from up there. I snapped the picture quickly before Mat lowered him to the ground and put the star up himself.

We hung our stockings in front of the fireplace and decorated the mantle with candles and a few of my favorite things.

Braeden really liked helping me decorate. Sometimes it was tough to think of ways he could, but this was the perfect project for him.

Remember the sleigh Braeden and I bought? Here it is filled with pine cones.

This is the mitten garland I've been working on. These felt mittens are so easy to make and so very sweet. I love them!

Braeden loved playing turkey fields at Thanksgiving. Now he plays Christmas fields.

I finally ordered our Christmas cards. Needless to say they'll be going out a little bit late this year. I had some crafting to do before I could take the pictures. I should have gotten it done in November so that I would be ready as soon as we put up the tree, but then it wouldn't be me.

I'm in the middle of a great project that I think will make really wonderful gifts. And that means I can't say anything more about it here. I'll try to remember to post pictures after Christmas!

And it wouldn't be Christmas without some holiday baking...I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies today. I'm bringing most of them in to work tomorrow. I'm going to my first cookie swap Wednesday with some of Keno girls. I'm planning to make raisin molasses gems for the swap. I need to make 6.5 dozen!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Random nonsense

Since I'm at work and pumping, there are no pictures for this post. And I doubt the post will be very interesting. How's that for a lead-in?

I just put some of the pump parts down and realized there's dried breast milk on my desk. And on top of the milk? Dried mocha that must have been on the bottom of my travel mug this morning. I chuckled, mostly because it totally doesn't bother me. Then I remembered to e-mail Mat and apologize for the mocha mess in the cup holder of my car. :)

This is the first Christmas that I'm knee deep in Christmas crafting. I've never really been crafty before, so this is huge for me! Unfortunately I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach. So to speak. I have one project only half done that MUST be completed TODAY. I don't want to give it away because it relates to my Christmas cards. Cards that haven't even been ordered yet. And instead of finishing that project up, I've been making felt mittens. I'm totally in love with them! I'm working on a mitten garland to hang on our bookcase. It's going to be adorable! And I've been waiting to take pictures of our Christmas decorations until I finish the garland. I also have dreams of making balsam sachets. I've got the fabric. And the balsam. All I'm lacking is the time and follow-through to get them done. A big handicap for the project I MUST finish and the sachets is that they involve sitting at the sewing machine in the morning room. I can, and do, work on the mittens in front of the TV. It's not hard to see why the mittens are winning the craft war.

Braeden and I went shopping Sunday morning. He hates getting left behind, so I've decided it's easier just to plan to take him with me. And I'm totally incapable of saying no to that boy. And he totally knows it. :) We went to JoAnn's first for more mitten-making supplies (I broke two really old needle threaders trying to get embroidery floss into a too-small needle eye!). We bought a present for MeMa, gDiaper inserts for Gage, and something for Mark and Jenn. We stopped on the way home for coffee and donuts at Dunkin Donuts. Braeden is always happy to stop there or at Starbucks. He's like my partner in crime with this stuff!

One of the places we went was Costco. Braeden loves to go there and expects to find samples each time. Yesterday he got a cookie and a cup of hot chocolate. He also sang Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the top of his lungs throughout the store. I thought it was cute and never once thought about shushing him. It was so loud in there anyways, what's one more voice. Most people thought he was cute, and anyone who didn't needs to get in the holiday spirit! I was just impressed that he sang most of the words correctly. Not all songs come out as well...he has a hard time with Jingle Bells especially the one-horse open sleigh part. The other couple of songs he's great at singing are Frosty and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I really ought to get some video of him singing...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why I don't pump my own gas

So last night I stopped in to get gas on my way home. All the pumps were filled which surprised me. And there at least 12 pumps at my gas station. Gas was the same price it had been that morning. It wasn't Friday, or the start of a long weekend. As far as I knew there was no scare about rising prices.

I waited a few minutes, then pulled up to pump. Pumping gas is kind of a big deal for me. I don't do it that often. Mat and I have an agreement about the cars. He handles maintenance. And to me, that includes getting the gas. But I knew I needed it and I was getting home early, and since I drive right by the gas station on my way home it made sense that I stop.

So, I pull up to the pump and get all my crap together. We use speedpass, but it tends not to work at this station. Maybe it's all stations these days. Whatever. It's a pain in the ass. So I flip the switch to open the gas tank door. Turn off the car. Get my keys with the speedpass. Dig out my back-up credit card. Put my phone in my pocket. Take my gloves off. Realize I've parked awfully close to a post and very carefully ease my way out of the car. Then I watch a white minivan pull in to the pump next to me. My eye is automatically drawn to the front passenger seat.

Can you see?

That's a baby sitting on the lap of the woman in the front seat. Sitting on a pillow, actually. On the lap of the woman in the front seat. And you know what? The woman is wearing her seatbelt. She's buckled in but she's carrying her GodDamn baby on her lap on a pillow. In the front seat.

I had to take a picture. I didn't even hide the fact that I was taking a picture like I usually do. And then I considered calling 911. I honestly did. I was shaking I was so crazed about this.

After all this, I finally get down to business to pump my gas. And found out there was gas all over the handle of my pump. And now it was all over my hand.

And on top of that, the pump is running incredibly slowly. A woman pulls up behind me and I tell her I'm pumping a gallon every minute. The woman at the pump next to me lets me know it's not just my pump that's slow. Then I feel something whack into my leg.

A grasshopper has flown into my leg. And for some reason, he thought this was a good place to camp out. A grasshopper!

He didn't seem at all concerned as I tried not to freak out. The woman at the pump next to me leaned over to see. But the thought of a bug landing on her leg freaked her out and she had to go back to her pump. Me? I took a picture so I could post it on the blog. Then I used the napkin I was using to wipe the gas off my hand to shoo the grasshopper off my leg. And then, because I'm me and can't stand the thought of the little guy getting squished (even though he grossed me out by landing on my leg), I used my napkin to coerce him into hopping onto the platform where the pump is.

So, in case you're having a hard time following...first, there was the baby on the lap. Then my gas hand. And then the grasshopper on the leg. Fast forward 15 minutes, and my tank is now full. With 13.8 gallons. And I have to put the pump back in the holder. And that means getting my hand wet again. Yuck.

Amazingly enough I somehow have a couple wet wipes in my glove box with the Dunkin Donuts napkins. That's the one bright spot of my stop at the gas station.

And that's why I don't pump my own gas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Too tired for words so all you get are pictures tonight...

Speaking of tired, how sweet is this sleeping baby??

Bean burritos are soooo messy...

Gage drinking from his sippy.

Here's Gagey playing in the pantry while I make dinner.

Gage loves to play with Braeden's tool bench. He really loves to use the circular saw because it makes a loud noise and the fake blade spins around and around.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thankful for Turkeys

We had a good Thanksgiving this year. It's becoming my tradition to host my in-laws for the day. Last year was the exception when Mat, Braeden, and I did turkey day by ourselves. Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays, and it makes me sad not to spend the day in Rhinebeck. Because I love this day so much, I like to host it at my house so that I can have it exactly the way I want it. :) Well, if I had it exactly the way I wanted it, the turkey would be shoe-leather dry. But for Mat, I dp what I can to keep it moist.

Here's a picture of Braeden playing turkey fields with my centerpiece.

And a picture of my Thanksgiving table Carol took.

I really need to buy some nice trivets so I don't have to use all of my weird, mismatched pot holders. I wanted to put the butter in a dish, but Mat absolutely wouldn't let me. He thought I was nuts for even thinking about it. I also know I need a gravy boat...I used a bowl with a ladle instead. A gravy boat would have been much more official looking. Oh, and I should work on my father-in-law about not drinking his beer from a can at a formal meal like this one. Beer in a can is fine for pizza or sandwiches. But glasses should be mandatory for Thanksgiving. And tupperware cups like the green one? Yikes. Should have made Mat use a real glass. We do own them, even though I almost always use plastic. And Mat should too since he has a tendency to break the real ones.

But the best part of my Thanksgiving?