Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas programs

The boys had their Christmas program on Monday night and Hailey's Kindergarten show was on Tuesday.  I look forward to these every year.  It is so cute to see the kids all dressed up in their Christmas duds singing their little hearts out.
 Evan is on the third row of the risers this year.  Next year when he is in fourth grade he will be at the top!

The show this year was cute.  It was about animals trying to teach other animals about Christmas and other holiday celebrations.  Spencer played the part of a Super Badger.

He was pretty comfortable up there and had been looking forward to the show.

The Super Badgers take off to find somebody to help.

Both of the boys did great with their parts - speaking or chorus - everyone is important.  As you can see, Evan's eye is still Chalazion-riffic.  I wish it would go away.  I am so tired of people asking me what is wrong with it.  I am sure he is more tired than I am of that.

Hailey and two of her friends hanging out in the hallway before the start of the Kinder show.  So many people comment to me about how my kids know how to strike the perfect pose when the camera comes out.  I tell them that it comes from years of training.

She was a little apprehensive looking up on stage at first.  She kind of moved her mouth, but not along with the words.   I don't think she had seen where we were sitting at this point.

Once she found us, it was eyes on us the whole time.  After a song or two, she started to warm up and get the hang of it. 

All smiles after a stellar performance! 

I am off to the school this afternoon to help out with their holiday parties!  They were sort of hoping for a snow day tomorrow, but now it doesn't really look like it is going to happen.   It always seems that way - they predict a huge storm and then it never pans out.  I don't really want a storm, just some snow to make our Christmas merry and white.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I had a hard time sending my kids to school today.   I watched them get on the bus and I felt more choked up than I did on the first day.  My mind goes back to Friday morning and I wonder if parents in Newtown kissed their children goodbye and put them on the bus not realizing that they would never see them on this Earth again.  I can't think about it for long.  I can't watch the news.  I can't see the faces of those sweet little babies. 

I have had a pit in my stomach since Friday afternoon.   A feeling that doesn't go away.  It just stays there and reminds me of the horror that happened that afternoon.  It is a similar feeling to the one I carried around with me for a long time after 9/11.   When I had a three month old baby that was mine to take care of in this world that had suddenly become unsafe.  When I shopped for canned goods and duct tape and plastic sheeting to make a panic room.  Whatever it took to keep my little boy safe - I was going to do it.  Though the canned goods are long gone,  the plastic is still up in my closet.   Every once in a while when I am digging around in there I see it and remember. 

I know that horrific things happen in the world everyday, but this one hit me so hard.  I think because I can picture it so clearly.  I have spent a lot of time in Hailey's classroom over the last month and I see the faces of her classmates on those little children who were killed.  I can see them lined up with their" hand on their hip and finger on their lip" listening to the next direction from their teacher.  The way they will come up to me and hug me while I am helping in the classroom.  How they are so excited to tell me about their visit to see Santa or that they spent time with their cousin over the weekend or that they have a dog named Milo.  They all have such a full life ahead of them and to think about what happened to twenty other little children just like them is completely devastating. 

My thoughts and prayers are with the families in Newtown. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Craft fail

I saw these self portrait ornaments a while back on a blog and thought it was the cutest idea. I had a couple mini canvases tucked away that I was going to use for a different ornament project that I have long lost the link to.  It was in the days long before Pinterest existed to help me organize.

As per the usual, Evan was the only kid that put decent amount of effort into his.  I told them to fill the canvas with their head and shoulders, do your personal best, use color and detail.  They were thrilled that they got to use my special scrapbook markers.  Hopefully they weren't dried up.

They didn't really turn out how I envisioned.  Evan's was most like what I had in mind.  Though he got a little crazy at one point with the flying hot dog that he turned into some kind of a hat.  They looked kind of messy too.  I had them sketch their idea with pencil first and the pencil seemed to get all over and make them look dirty.  Plus the markers tended to bleed and run a little.  Paint probably would have been better, but I don't know how detailed they could get with paint.  I wish I would have saved the instructions from the example and not just the picture. 

Spencer's got super pencil dust on it.  His detail was good, just kind of small.  I don't know how much it actually looks like him, I think I could count the times he has worn a baseball hat on two hands.

Hailey went with the scene approach.  She is normally much better at drawing and coloring than she was the day we did this.  The three of them together were a little hyped up while they were "creating" and I think that was part of the problem.  I probably should have done it with them individually. 

So not what I had in mind, but treasures none the less.  At less than a dollar a canvas, who really cares what they do with them as long as they had fun. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

December weekend

We woke up on Saturday morning to find our neighborhood covered in a wispy layer of snow.  The kids couldn't wait to get on their boots and snow gear and head outside to play in it.
This weekend was the kind of December weekend that I LOVE.  We had no commitments, no plans, nothing that we had to do besides hang out together and do whatever we wanted.  We usually only have one weekend like that during the Christmas season and we try to soak it in.

It was quite warm outside, so the snow was quickly melting.  Perfect snow for packing snowballs or snowmen.

Hailey and Spencer were determined to sled, but found out that once down the hill pretty much turned their path back to grass.

The first snowman of the season was made.  His head had melted off by later that afternoon.

On Sunday we decided to put together our gingerbread house.  I think I picked this up on sale a couple of years ago and it has been in the basement ever since.  Hailey spotted it while we were getting out decorations and has been relentless in her pursuit of building this thing. 

Spencer was dying to eat it.  In the past the kids (mostly Hailey) have picked candy off of the finished house to eat but have never shown any interest in the gingerbread.  Spencer was begging to eat it.  He was coming up with argument after argument saying that the reason gingerbread houses exist is to eat them.  He didn't buy my "only if your name is Hansel or Gretel" excuse.  Even when I told him how old the kit was he wasn't swayed claiming it was all packaged so it would be fine.  I appeased him by agreeing to make gingerbread cookies one of these days that he could eat.   I still think I am going to come downstairs some morning to a house with a bite out of it.

Holding up candy peppermints in front of your eyes was the big hit of the whole experience.

Spencer quickly grew weary of the construction (probably because he couldn't eat it) and went to watch TV or something while the littlest elves began to decorate.  If you couldn't tell, we also called Sunday a Pajama day.

The best part about being finished with the gingerbread house is getting to lick the leftover frosting.

It was a fun, full weekend which also included a book signing, Christmas card envelope stuffing and a Christmas craft which is a post in itself. 

Friday, December 7, 2012


What is this blog coming to?  Did she seriously just post a picture of deodorant?

Yes, I did just post a picture of deodorant.  It is sort of a monumental purchase. 

It all began yesterday when I was cleaning Spencer's room and trying to discern between clean and dirty clothes by doing the all important mom skill - the sniff test.  On some of his dirty shirts, the pits smelled a little like BO.  At first I was a bit taken aback, but then I realized - I guess he is eleven - his pits are supposed to start to stink. 

So today while out running errands I saw the deodorant aisle and decided to buy my first born his first pit stick.   The funny part of the story is how long it took me to pick it out.  Let me preface it by telling you that when it comes to deodorant for Trent or I, I buy whatever is on sale - always less than two dollars and I sometimes get crazy and mix up the scent.   In picking out deodorant for Spencer, I didn't know what to do.  I didn't want anything super scented - I didn't want him to smell like he was wearing cologne - the Axe line was definitely out.   I was a little nervous about the chemicals in the deodorant.  I am not nervous about them for Trent or me - just another example of how you want better for your kids than yourself. 

As you can see from the picture, I went with the Tom's.  The natural part of it made me feel good about it, but at just under five bucks, it was super pricey in my opinion.  I justified it by thinking that since he is little, it should last him a while.  Let's be honest here, most days he probably won't even put it on.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Table setter

Every evening as I am making dinner, Hailey will run off into the dining room so she can start getting the room ready for our dining experience. 

She will move around things in the room and gather things from other areas depending on the decorating whim that is driving her that certain day.  Last night it was Santa hats from the kitchen and piggy backing a decorative tree from a side table onto the undecorated candy tree in the corner of the room.

I have to be honest, this room takes a beating.  You would think with it being the first and only room people see when entering our home we would try to spruce it up a bit, but no.  Most days the table is covered with various piles of junk and usually a kids craft project or a LEGO contraption.  It needs some help.  My vision includes ripping up the ceiling leak/cat destroyed carpet in favor of a fake hardwood and painting the furniture. 

She always finds a clothespin that she uses to clamp our curtains shut for ambiance.  I am sure the neighbors are intrigued by what on Earth we are doing in there as they drive home from work in the evening.

Candles are always a must.  Even if they are about fifteen years old like that lovely three wick baby you see or not so safely contained like the two tapers hanging out precariously in that vase.

Finally, there are always place cards and she insists that you sit where she puts you.  This can cause many a heated word with her brothers, but our stance is that if she takes the time to set the table without being asked, they will sit where she wants them. 

I realized yesterday that we are having a party next weekend. I thought I had an extra week in there, but was sorely mistaken, so today I am going on a cleaning frenzy.  I woke up ready to work and now that spirit is waning quickly.  I better get going before I lose it completely.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Doctor, doctor...

...give me the news.  I got a bad case of lovin' you!
Spencer had his eleven year old well check up last week.  Due to me forgetting to make an appointment for him years ago and insurance making us only have one well check per year, his yearly check up is almost six months after he turns that year.  I guess on the bright side, we will eventually get back to July.
He is in perfect health.  I wasn't sure if my big eleven year old boy would still want me in the room with him or not, but thankfully he did.  He was most worked up about the fact that he was due for an booster vaccination.  Oh the tears in his eyes!  I felt bad for him, but not that bad.  He has survived many a poke without a tear - he was going to be fine!
Eleven years old!  The doctor asked him if kids he knew smoked or did drugs.  Thankfully he said no.  It seems like just yesterday we were talking about not having small toys on the floor that he could put in his mouth and now cigarettes!  Holy moly!
The doctor suggested that he get a cholesterol test because they are recommending them for preteens now.  Spence didn't like that suggestion much,

In fact, he tried to come up with every excuse in the book to sway me from walking across the building to the lab.  It turned out that the nurse that took his blood was the parent of one of his Daddy's former students.  She was a big fan of Trent and was so nice to Spence - explaining to him how everything was done and what it would feel like.  He got his blood drawn and realized that it was no big deal.  He was so proud of himself afterwards!  It was pretty cute.  He went to Trent's school to help him work on a show and was telling all the kids about how brave he was.

As we were leaving the office, I thought to myself how it had been a long time since we had been at the doctor's for anything.  I should have kept my mouth shut.  Fast forward to a week later and we are back - this time with Evan and his poor little eye bump.

I noticed it about a month ago, but it wasn't that big.  It wasn't something that I noticed every day and then last week it started looking big again.  After a quick google, I thought it might be a clogged oil duct and started the warm compress therapy that they recommended.   After a week of compresses, it still wasn't going away and if anything seemed more noticeable.  So yesterday we were back in the doctor's office waiting for two hours for him to tell me that in his opinion it was a clogged oil duct and that the warm compresses were exactly what we should have been doing.   The medical term for it is Chalazion - sounds kind of scary.  The doctor also prescribed some cream that I have to put on his lower lid to help if there is an infection.  If it doesn't show considerable improvement in a week, we will be back in the office for the trifecta.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that doesn't happen!