Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jedi Training, Part 2

On Saturday we had Alex's birthday party at the park. It was a trite windy and cooler than usual, but a perfect day for Jedi Training! We started the festivities by having each guest don their special Jedi-in-Training apparel (basically capes made out of felt with a hole for their head, tied with rope around their middles).

For the light sabre dexterity training, we cut pool noodles in half and wrapped one end with duct tape, and the kids paired up and used them to toss a balloon back and forth. Then we did some agility rescue drills (i.e., egg and water relay races), followed by a rousing game of balloon tag, which is almost as fun to watch as it is to play.

And cake, of course we had cake - in the shape of R2D2 no less, one of Alex's favorite characters. All in all, a fun day!

Memories of Last Year's Ice Storm...

In December 2007, a terrific ice storm hit our area (ok, the area where we USED to live). We lost power for several days (did you know that if the indoor temperature of your house is 44 deg. F, goldfish will NOT survive), but fortunately everyone was okay. The aftermath was magnificent - ice encased branches and limbs that sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight. And COLD... wicked cold. This year, it's a bit of a different story...now that we live in a desert! Though it did get a bit nippy today, it only hit about 57 (ha ha ha ha ha ha.....)!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

3:02 AM....

*YAWN* It's 3:00 in the morning. I'm tired but somewhat wide awake. This is what happens when your child comes into your bedroom noticeably upset (at approximately 2:43) because he threw up. And boy did he. The bed. The floor. The wall. I took sheets duty, daddy took the floor. And the wall. Meanwhile, my sweet boy, who has had a dry cough the past 24 hours and is running quite the fever, laid quietly on the floor. I've seen uglier and more violent. But this one threw me for a loop. I had the hardest time I've ever had cleaning up the sheets before throwing them in the washer with more bleach than is recommended by the manufacturer. That disturbs me. Not the fact that I am walking on the wild side with bleach quantities but that I had a hard time cleaning it up. Moms don't have that problem. I [normally] don't have that problem.

So then I got to thinking, perhaps it's the fact that we haven't sold our house in MO in 10 months. That the home we are renting went into probate in October. That the home we are renting is also now in pre-foreclosure, because the decedent's estate has no assets to pay the mortgage. Which means we have just a couple of months (maybe) to find a new residence. Oh well, things could be worse. After all, there are so many folks who have so much less than we do. We're just trying to find a new house so we don't get that "you have 48 hours to vacate" notice. It would take me 48 hours just to take down the Christmas, which I haven't taken pictures of yet to post! There are people who have lost loved ones this year, who are going through painful divorces, who don't have a roof over their heads or shoes on their feet. People who can't find enough to eat. Yeah, things could be so much worse. So no, I didn't have a hard time cleaning up the mess because of all of that. It was just one of those things. And truly, all is right with my world, once my little boy is feeling himself again.

My little boy is sleeping quietly now. No coughing, and hopefully no more "other stuff". I just want him to feel better. Then I will feel better.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The holidays are officially upon us! Following a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with our dear friends, we spent the weekend spiffing up the house in holiday splendor. I have no idea where to put all my stuff. I had it all figured out two years ago after we remodeled and then I crazily agreed to have it on the Christmas Tour of Homes for our town (what was I thinking?)...but since we moved this year...well, I had to start over. I've got the main floor done. I'm thinking the upstairs won't get much this year. I still have to do the bannisters and such for the staircase, and I'm not sure if I have enough garland so I may have to improvise. Photos to come as soon as I clean up all the remains of boxes and crates where I store all this stuff (where do people put theirs???).

We started a new family tradition this weekend to kick off the holidays - we went for a ride on the Polar Express! It was absolutely wonderful! We drove up on Sunday, checked into a cabin in the mountains that I found that was absolutely delightful and cozy, and then went for our train ride. The boys were bedecked in their jammies and we enjoyed cookies, hot chocolate, and caroling...topped off by a visit from Santa! He gave all the children bells....Alex happily exclaimed, "We ALL got the first gift of Christmas!"

Ryan and Alex get the first gift of Christmas from Santa!

Rich and his little buddy

Waiting to board the train! Our cabin in the woods -is it cute or what? It was very small and rustic...perfect! We played games, had hot chocolate, and the weather was so nice the kids played outside!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Snooze Button Addict

Ok, I admit it. I am a snooze button addict. I need to get my fix daily. I get wigged out if I can't hit that button at least once. I don't know why! My husband (Mr. Logical) doesn't get it either - why not just wake up when you really want to and have that extra few minutes (it ranges from 9 to 27) of uninterrupted sleep? I seriously do not know the answer. But for some reason, it's so gratifying to hear the alarm, look at the clock, hit a button and hide under the covers for 9 more minutes. It drives him bonkers.

So here is a typical day:

4:46 am, Alarm goes off, hit snooze
4:55 am, Alarm goes off again, hit snooze....again
5:04 am, See above
5:13 am, Ok I better get up now
5:14 am, Hit the coffee button. YAWN.
5:23 am, I'm in the shower. I can't account for the 9 minutes between coffee button and shower. Oh well.
5:55 am, I'm about done with the hair and makeup thing, time to get the kids up and dressed
6:30 am, We're out the door
6:40 am, Kids dropped off at the school before-care program, I head off to work
7:25 am, Arrive at security checkpoint
7:30 am, No luck finding a parking spot anywhere close to my building. Park in dirt lot. Start 10-15 minute walk to my office.
7:45 am, Arrive at office, staff waiting to talk to me about whatever the latest is
The next several hours are typically a blur of meetings, coaching sessions, observations, more meetings, phone calls, fire fighting, crisis solving, and general mayhem.
6:08 pm, Finally time to go home. Begin 10-15 minute walk back to my car.
6:58 pm, Pick up the mail
7:00 pm, Walk in the door, drop briefcase on ground, stash mail somewhere. Greeted by jubilant 6 year old. That SOOOO makes my day!
7:05 pm, Sit down to dinner (my husband is the GREATEST), talk about day (school, baseball games, Tae Kwon Do....hubby leaves for work before I even wake up so he's able to get home a little earlier and cart the kids around to their activities).
7:25 pm, Help kids finish up homework (I'm militant about this), try to do some dishes
7:45 pm, Time for baths and finish cleaning up kitchen
8:10 pm, Prayers and story time. Kisses and hugs too!
8:30 pm, Go through mail, do laundry, clean up the house a little bit (I SWEAR the laundry reproduces if you leave it in a basket for too long). Sometimes I iron.
Somewhere between 10:00 and 11:30 I go to bed.

Ok, I want to talk to the person that says you need 8 hours of sleep and ask them how to fit that into my 27 hour day.....but you know, I bet if I could actually get 8 hours of sleep, I wouldn't be such a snooze button addict!!! :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ryan's 9th Birthday: Jedi Training

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, a boy was born...his name was RYAN and he is strong with the Force. He celebrated his 9th birthday to begin training as a Padawan, and invited his friends to join him by learning the ways of the Jedi at the Jedi Training Academy (aka Tae Kwon Do)! The kids' Tae Kwon Do (TKD) academy does birthday parties, and since Star Wars is as big as it was back in the day, we thought it would be fun to have a TKD party...I mean JEDI TRAINING....for Ryan's birthday! (It's the first birthday I didn't "run"...which is very strange for a Type A Control Freak such as myself. Nonetheless, the kids had a blast, and I got to watch and take pictures.)
Rich was in charge of the coup de grace....THE CAKE TO END ALL CAKES......The Death Star cake! I was thinking of Costco but hubby decided that simply would not do....and thus the Death Star. I have to admit, crazy investment aside, this is wicked cool, seeing as how I grew up when the original Star Wars came to being. Our kids love this stuff as much as we did when we were kids (you should have seen Alex's face when we found the shoebox that had Rich's original action figures from the 70's!).

The kids in their "Jedi Training"...

As the Birthday Boy, Ryan got to be a Black Belt for the day!

Ryan kicks the board, Jedi style!

And Ryan gets the traditional SPANKINGS...including one from DAD!

Certificates we gave out to the kids. Am I a geek or what?

Halloween - Superhero Style

No Hannah Montana or Cinderella here. No, we have boys. And boys dress up as cool things that have big guns and otherwise eradicate all evil from the planet earth and beyond. And so we have Optimus Prime (Alex) and Captain Rex (Ryan), saviors of the universe. For those that don't know, Optimus Prime is from "Transformers" and Captain Rex is from "Star Wars - The Clone Wars."

Monday, October 27, 2008


Today marks an historic moment for me as a mother. After much vacillating, I agreed to let my boys ride their scooters to school. Without me trailing behind (which is not to say I have a scooter, mind you). We're in the city now and it's not like our old town, where I could see the school from my kitchen window. So I reluctantly sent them on their way. And being the paranoid mother that I am, I gave it about 2 minutes before I decided I needed to check on them, slyly of course. Do you know how hard it is to be covert in a suburban? Not so much! Fortunately, they weren't embarrassed. They just waved to me with "See, told you we'd be okay" smiles. They're growing up, despite all my efforts to prevent it.