Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Past

We are done celebrating the birth of Jesus, but it still seems like Christmas to me. I know that in a couple of days the season will have "worn off", but for now I am still reveling in the Christmas Spirit. Griffin loves his Thomas the Train -- the trains and the huge track that covers a large portion of floor when it's all laid out, the blanket, the movies, and everything he got related to Thomas Himself. Sammy is having fun playing with everyone's new toys... his own, Griffin's and even Mommy and Daddy's when he can get his chubby little hands on them! I guess it's just anything anyone else is interested in... because we are all so cool, and he wants to be in the club!

Mike gave me the movie "The Devil Wears Prada", and I have watched it three times since I unwrapped it. It has got to be one of my new favorite movies. Right up there with Sabrina and Anne of Green Gables. Well, not nearly on par with Anne, but it's up there somewhere. Mike also gave me cash, which might not seem romantic, but was actually a huge blessing because I really didn't know what I wanted and this makes it fun for me! I got a pair of shoes to wear at the gym, and I'm going to find a fun little towel that I can take there and maybe a couple of shirts to work out in. I'd love to have a little MP3 player, and Mike says he thinks he has one somewhere, so I'm pretty excited about that too! Mike got a big bag of dried fruits and nuts, a Far Side daily calendar for his office, a big box of candy bars (not the healthiest, I know, but he loves them and can restrain himself, unlike me), also for the office, and some gift cards to FuddRucker's, some of which we used tonight to enjoy a meal out with the boys. My little boys (yes, they are mine when they are behaving!) were SO good, and we had such a pleasant experience. It was really a fun night! Then we came home and the boys got to play "Bathketball". They actually ended up getting two of these sets from different people, which works out perfectly for us because now there's no (well, not much) fighting over whose basket is whose, and there are plenty of balls, too. Griffin wanted to go take a bath for a long time once he realized that he actually got to play basketball WHILE taking a bath, two of his favorite things to do.

Cleo is still healing from her declawing, and is limping around a bit and falling off of the couch because she forgets that her claws aren't there any more. Miles quickly learned, though, that she isn't quite the threat to his safety that she used to be, and he is taking full advantage of that fact.

I guess that's all for now. I actually have a lot more to say, but I really don't have the brain power to do it right now, and I have library books I need to finish reading before they are due. Have I mentioned that I LOVE the library? I like to use the online catalog, and put the books I want to read (or movies to watch) on hold, then just waltz in and give them my card and waltz out with what I asked for. Sure, sometimes you have to wait a couple of weeks for the good stuff, but it's so totally worth it!

Oh, you all should really watch "The Devil Wears Prada".

That's all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Plans

We are "celebrating" four times this year. Tonight we will be going to Mama G's house to open presents with Mike's family. His sister and her children will be in town, but they have to leave before Christmas day, so we're opening presents tonight. Then after the boys go to bed Mike and I will set up Griffin's Christmas present: a huge Thomas the Train set we picked up for a bargain the day after Thanksgiving. We can't wait to see the look on his face when he comes out of his room tomorrow morning! The train will be set up right outside of his room in the loft on a table (so that Sammy can't bother Griffin while he's playing... yet).

Tomorrow morning, after Griffin has played with Thomas for a little while, we'll open our presents to each other, just the four of us, and then have some breakfast. Bonnie and Caleb will come over some time too, which will be fun! The boys love to see them, and Mike and I really like spending time with them. It's great to have good friends. :)

Sunday morning we'll go to church. The Kid's Life director has planned a special morning for the kids. They'll rotate between three rooms, one where a lady will be reading the Christmas story, another will have VeggieTales "The Star of Christmas" playing, and another one where they will be able to make a craft. Mike and I will watch any of the babies who aren't old enough to be interested in the goings-on. I just love working in the nursery!

Around two o'clock on Sunday, we'll head over to my parents' house, where we'll open presents with my family and extended family. Grandma got to come over yesterday and spend a couple of hours hanging out with us at lunchtime. Then Christy stole her to take her to see Charlotte's Web with the girls while I watched Miguel (8 months old)... er, uh... took a nap with him. My babies don't really cuddle too much anymore, but Miguel is still quite the little cuddle-bug, and he was quite willing to hunker down and sleep so that I could get a nap in too while I held him. It was nice to spend time with Grandma and with Miguel!

Monday we'll go back to Mike's parents' house to spend Christmas Day with them. I'm sure there will be yummy food involved! I'll have to watch that I don't over-indulge and negate all of the exercise I've been doing lately. Which is where I need to go right now, I'm meeting a friend at the gym. Her son is Griffn's age, and they enjoy playing together. Or at least Griffin enjoys playing with him. He is kind of the "wild child" of the bunch whenever we're in a group of kids, so I'm never sure whether the other kids like him or are afraid of him.

Off to the gym!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Trip to Goodwill

I love Goodwill! I always find a treasure when I go there, and usually it's something I've been looking for for a long time that the retail stores just don't have quite the right one of. Today I found:

A picture to go above our bed. Isn't it just adorable? And the boy has brown hair and the girl has red hair... couldn't be more appropriate! I think they even look a little like Mike and I did when we were growing up. -- $12.97

A big pile of red ribbons. Mike has been patiently listening to me talk about my favorite Christmas decorations, and I must have mentioned that I love Christmas-type greenery with red bows on it, oh... maybe 20 times. Now I can use them instead of just talking about it! -- $2.98

A Christmas present for a friend. She's gonna love it! -- $.99... that's cents, not dollars!!

Two little backpacks for the boys, because Griffin mentioned tonight at dinner that he wanted to carry a purse, and we thought we'd better steer him in a different direction. -- $8.48

A whole bunch of books for the boys. I found some fun ones! -- .49 or .99 each

A "Kitchen Prayer" to inspire me when I get bogged down in the day-to-day. -- I have no idea, it wasn't marked.

A blue jumper dress with little aqua flowers stitched around the waist -- $4.95

A pretty new floral print nightgown (I think it is supposed to be a dress, but it is stretch cotton and looks like a nightgown to me!) -- $4.95

Total cost of everything -- $47.00

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Today I took Cleo to the vet to get her stitches removed. She was spayed and declawed last week. Poor, poor kitty. But Miles couldn't be happier! He was tired of being chased all over the house. Now they just sit on the couch and lick each other, and only have occasional "cat attack" moments.

I also did my Christmas shopping for Mike. He's going to be a happy camper! I got him... oh, yeah, you thought I was actually going to say it, didn't you, Mike. HA! And then I was just reading some other women's blogs about buying secondhand Christmas presents and living frugally (I'll have to figure out how to put links to other peoples' blogs on here, they were awesome!). I felt so guilty! I could have just gone to the Salvation Army, or made him something... but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'll study up on the art of frugal living this year (that is one of my goals for the new year, that and living a healthy lifestyle, we'll see if those two lifestyles can coexist!) and maybe next Christmas I'll have it all down pat and will be able to put more thought into what I get him. But isn't that what everyone says every year? I can't be the only one who does this! Every year I wait a little too long to decorate for Christmas, or buy Christmas presents, or send out thank you cards for birthday presents, or call people back when they've left a message on my answering machine... maybe I should work on procrastination next year!

Some of the websites I found inspiring were found on www.hillbillyhousewives.com. She has a blog (at the top of the web page is the word "blog", just click on it), and has other blogs or sites listed on the right-hand side of the page. I didn't look at all of them, because Mike called me an internet "junkie", so I thought it appropriate that I spend at least a little while away from the computer. So I threw a load of laundry into the washer (which I now need to throw into the dryer, as it is done washing) and sat down with my day-planner on the couch with him -- he was reading an R.A. Salvatore book I picked up for him from the library; he loves his Sci-Fi.

I wrote down everything I could think of that is coming up in the next two weeks, and then about 20 minutes later when he went downstairs (to play a sci-fi game on the computer, most likely) I got back online to post my blog. *grin* Maybe I am a junkie, but I like to think that I am "bettering myself" by learning how to be a better wife and mother when I read blogs by people who have been doing the whole "stay-at-home-mom" thing a lot longer than I have. As long as I don't spend time on the computer that I should be spending with my family, I don't mind checking my e-mail during the day and surfing the web to find good, fast, up-to-date information that can make my job easier. Who wouldn't want that?

And now I am going to attempt to make a meal plan for the next two weeks. Yikes! It might be a little too much for me to handle, I might end up with a one-week meal plan, but it'll be better than nothing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

He's a Walker!

Sammy is now officially walking! He took his first tentative steps a few days ago, and has been gaining momentum ever since. It's not quite as fast as crawling, so most of the time he'll only walk somewhere when he's not paying attention. As soon as he realizes what's going on, he drops to the floor and crawls to where he needs to go. It is very amusing to watch him toddle across the floor while he's holding a toy. His full attention is focused on what is in his hands, and when he ends up on the other side of the room he looks around like "How did I get here?!"

He does get frustrated with us when we ask him to walk too much, though (see bottom picture). we'll set him down standing up and ask him to walk to us, and if he just wants to be held, he won't "perform" for us at all, he just flops to the ground and cries. It looks so heartbreaking, doesn't it? Yeah, I used to fall for it all the time. I hold him a lot, but this little one could be held all day and he still wouldn't be as close to me as he wants to be. I think he'd like it better if he were still attached!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cookie Cutter Christmas

Yes, those are cookie cutters on our Christmas tree. I had planned on not having any decorations, just lights, but was struck by a brilliant idea and decided to pull out the box of 100 Cookie Cutters that has been on a high shelf in the laundry room for a few years now. I had purchased it even before I had children in a fit of nostalgic something-or-other thinking it would be wonderful to bake cookies with such fun shapes, and there are shapes that can be used year-round (see the yellow flower on the front of the tree in the top picture? yes, that's a "W" beside it. And the faint orange ghost off to the right of Sammy in the bottom picture?). The tree turned out so cute, and even though the cookie cutters only stayed in their original places for about an hour or so -- there aren't really any ornaments from about 4 feet on down any more, they were all mysteriously knocked off -- it was worth it to see Griffin's face light up and watch him get so excited about helping decorate this Christmas tree he's been hearing about for weeks now!

I really wanted to put up the Christmas tree this year, since last year seemed kind of depressing and not very Christmas-like without one. I had reasoned that it would just be easier (Gordon's tail shattering glass balls, Griffin running around pulling off ornaments and chewing on tree branches) not having to deal with it and told myself that no one would see it but us, but without one it just didn't seem quite like Christmas. So this year I was very excited when it came time to decorate the tree and the house, even though I knew that some of my decorations had been destroyed in a flood we had over the summer (storage room, water coming from the ceiling, not a good thing!). I had my Rice Krispies treats (store-bought; Mom always made them from scratch), but I didn't make hot chocolate, so the tradition wasn't quite complete, but I did have Johnny Mathis playing on the sound system (it's not quite the same as the record player, but it'll do!) so I got to hear my "It's a Marshmallow World" and dance around like a little girl. I was one happy woman! It's such a nostalgic time of the year, and it's nice to be able to recreate a piece of your childhood after you've left home. I'm glad that Mom and Dad started such a simple tradition, because it is easy to carry it on now that I have my own home. And one year without it was more than I could bear, so I know it's something I'll be doing at least until the boys are gone.

The little tree is one I decorated with my ornaments from when I was growing up. The orange gingerbread man has always been my favorite. I can't explain why, but there's this huge feeling of nostalgia surrounding that little guy, and whenever I see him I feel good.

A Warm Bath in a Cold December

Sammy decided that he is too big for the baby bath. It was just too restrictive for him. He wanted to be wild and free, like Griffin! I love giving the boys their bedtime bath. All except for the part where I end up all wet because Griffin has splashed too big of a splash and I just happened to be sitting right next to the tub washing Sammy when it happened. It happens almost every time I give the boys a bath, and yet I still have this romaniticized picture of the whole bathtime/bedtime routine. I think we have a good punishment worked out for the splashing, though. If he splashes and the water lands on the carpet or the person giving the bath, he gets out. Griffin loves his baths more than I love giving them, so that's a pretty steep punishment for him.

That's actually what happened in this series of pictures. Griffin was being a little deviant, and splashed me really big (my pants were more wet than dry) and then proceeded to get Mike's back wet too, so he was outta there REALLY fast, and Mike was taking him kicking and screaming down the hall to his room. Sammy, of course, wanted to know what was going on with Griffin, since Griffin is one of his favorite people in the world, and leaned as far over the edge of the tub as he could without touching it with his belly, as it was rather cold on his warm little body.

Miles decided to come investigate the bath process, I suppose because the threat of his getting wet was highly diminished due to Griffin's recent departure. He loves to watch the crazy humans do things that he would never dream of, in the exalted state of existence that he lives in.

And that is the story of one warm bath on a cold, snowy evening in December.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Foods that Inspire... or Make Us Sleep

Sammy always gets tired when he eats his bottle in the highchair! He sometimes falls asleep while holding his bottle. The other day I was cooking in the kitchen and when I went into the dining room to check on him, I found that Griffin had taken the tray off of the high chair, and Sammy had his foot up and looked like he was truly lounging. Or maybe he would have been if he could have gotten the other foot up there before he fell asleep. He just looks uncomfortable to me!

Sammy loves to climb up all of the stairs and hold on to the bars at the top while jumping (bouncing, he doesn't really leave the ground) up and down and yelling like a baby caveman. In fact, that is one of his favorite daytime activities, because he knows Mommy will come running every time and "rescue" him. It is quite a long drop to the wood floor below, and although I think his chubby body couldn't fit through the bars, I don't want that to even be a remote possibility, so I'll go rescue him even though he thinks it's a game.

Griffin just loves to climb, and he is actually not allowed to do what he is doing in this picture, but he loves to be in pictures, so he ran and jumped onto the bars right as I was taking a picture of Sammy. *sigh* The little daredevil. He makes people nervous with all of his running and jumping and antics, but I suppose I'm just used to it, because it takes a lot for me to react and get nervous.

The last picture is the fruit that Bonnie got for me from Whole Foods when she took me shopping. It all looked so pretty that I just had to take a picture before we ate it all! It was so yummy, the kiwi was sweet and tart at the same time, the avocados were perfectly ripe and we at them up quickly, and the oranges inspired us so much that we have had oranges in the house ever since! They are our new favorite fruit. Not really new, but it's like we rediscovered them or something. The pears were so delicious and juicy, they were wonderful. And we always love bananas. My favorite way to eat them is with peanut butter for breakfast. So thank you, Bonnie, for the inspiration and the yummy food!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I Take It Back

Okay, I take back what I said about Griffin saying his alphabet. We went to church today and he got "schooled", and when he came home he sang them all perfectly as we sat eating our delicious, juicy barbecued chicken breast and peas. They have a video in the nursery that he absolutely loves, and pulls up a chair as soon as we get there (even if no one else is in the room, since we're usually the first to arrive). He loves the Alphabet Song, and The Wheels on the Bus (he flips out when we see a bus now, and starts singing the song). I feel bad for the nursery workers when the video is over, he probably goes nuts and doesn't know what to do with himself.

He's not into playing with the other kids too much yet, he's still pretty independent and sees the others as rivals competing for the toys, especially Thomas the Train. He believes that he is the only child who should have access to anything Thomas-related. We'll be working hard on the whole sharing thing before Christmas comes.

Mike and I were talking during lunch about how we can actually carry on a real conversation with Griffin now, and we have both noticed that he gets frustrated with us if we don't finish our sentences fast enough and will finish them for us if he knows what we're going to say.

Tonight is dinner at Union Station, a free dinner for the volunteers at church. In past years it has been $50 per couple, but this year they decided to just pay for all of the volunteers to go. It's so nice to be appreciated! I can't wait to get all dressed up and go out with Mike.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


So I sat down to do my SuDoku puzzle this evening... yes, it has become a nightly event (there's a great website, www.dailysudoku.com, that has a new one every day), and Mike sat down with me, still munching on his head of cabbage. "My idea is shrinking!" he said.

Griffin was also at the table sticking alphabet stickers onto a piece of paper onto which I had drawn a blank graph of a SuDoku puzzle. Getting him started early! :) He was saying his alphabet while he stuck the letters on. He kind of goes "aeee bee cee deee yef gee kay eliminohpee esss tee vee exssswhyzeee know my aybeecees next won't sing me". I love it!

I said "My name is Carody!" and he said "No, MY name is Bippin... GrrrrrBippin!" It gets me every time! I laughed so hard. When Mike came into the room I asked Griffin what his name was again so that Mike could get a good laugh too. I hear laughing burns calories, so I'm all over that. I love to laugh.

I got to go out today with Bonnie. She got her hair done, and it looks so great! She couldn't get exactly what she wanted to done, because she's trying to go from dark brown to light blonde, and apparently (I learned a lot about dying hair today) it has to be done in stages if you don't want to look like Ronald McDonald. But she's being patient and doing what the hair stylist told her to do, which is admirable. Many people would have run out and bought a box of Bodacious Blonde Bombshell hair color and retreated to their bathroom. Not that I'm poo-pooing dying your own hair at all, but it's all about patience, right?

Maybe that's what my New Year's Resolution should be, something about patience. That would encompass eating (WAIT for your dinner, Carody, wait for it!!), weight loss (don't get discouraged if you don't lose 20 pounds a week), money (You don't really HAVE to have that right now, do you?)... yeah, maybe this year should be all about patience. I'm sure the boys would appreciate that. I get frustrated so quickly with their little boy antics, and most of the time they just want to be played with, which means me on the floor (yes, losing weight would be good) building, rolling around, tickling, laughing -- hey, maybe it's a workout in itself!

Yeah, I'll have to work on narrowing down the resolution thing. In the meantime, I'll just keep laughing. That's what my name means, anyway. I finally found a baby name book with MY name in it! It is American in origin and means "humorous". Well, I try. :)