Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Side tangent to inquire why I am always the one who puts the stuff together? I think someone is taking advantage of my need to control the process.
Anyway, despite the help I got it put together (which was a fascinating process- you end up kind of zipping the whole thing up in a slipcover) and out on the lanai it went, at least until we do some rearranging inside. The girls happily played out there until it got dark. I was cooking dinner and missed the whole "sun going down" thing, but suddenly a panicked sounding Elizabeth sprinted into the house shouting "Come see the forces of darkness! Come see!" Apparently, while to me the corner we had stashed the "ice cream store", as they were calling it, looked like this:
To Elizabeth it looked more like this:
We later determined she was actually saying "Forest of Darkness", which is a quote from the Backyardigans and involves singing a song that goes "Gotta be brave, gotta be brave, gotta be brave in the cave".
It was lot more fun when I was out on the lanai looking for the "forces" of darkness.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Here's the sharing of the food. A bite for me, a bite for you. I was getting better with my angles. It's an experimental process you know, this taking pictures without being able to see what you're pointing at. Also pardon the red eyes. I only remove those through Snapfish. Anything stored on my computer is only available in its natural glory, and both the girls and I have red eyes in every picture that involves flash.
Oh, let's see if you can guess what she's saying in this picture?
David would like me to insert at this point that she only does this because (we're ignoring the normalcy of this age-related behavior again) of Elizabeth's habit of realizing that Lilli is playing with a toy that she was previously ignoring and zooming over and ripping it out of poor Lilli's hands. He would like me to tell you that it is a defense mechanism.
But seriously, don't mess with Baby Belle.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This one is called the 25 days of Christmas. I saw it on one of the blogs I read regularly, and liked it and decided to do it, but when I went back to the site the next day to get started on it, she'd taken it down. Maybe she didn't like what she'd written, I don't know, but I was like, "HEY!!!". You know who you are...
I still wanted to do it though, so I've made the joyous discovery that if you google "25 Days of Christmas meme", that's exactly what you get. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Thanks Grasp the Love for being number one on my Google search! I hadn't read you before, but now you have both helped and entertained me, and I will be back!
So, here we go as I have fun:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I normally consider gift bags a pretty cop-out or the wrapping of last resort, but this year I'm actually doing some. I'm sick of fighting with metal ties and things that are screwed to the box with a toddler trying to "help" me because she's so anxious to get at whatever it is. So as I've been helping Santa I've pre-opened some of the toys while I have the time and a reasonable amount of patience. All those little pieces? Right into a gift bag. I should also add that this year I'm cheating on gift tags and to save my hand cramping up I created stickers of the girls faces on Snapfish and I'm just slapping them on. And I'm just doing the stick-on bows this year, no pretty ribbons. Yes, I know, I'm no kind of mother. Except maybe a relaxed one.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I'm not really a fan of pine scent. Although I like to visit other people's real trees. Also, we have three cats and I envision them climbing right up so they can munch on the needles. They are greenery munchers.
3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving or close to that.
4. When do you take down the tree? Sometime after January 1st. We try to have it down by Easter.
5. Do you like egg nog? I like the first couple of sips. Then I remember that it's too thick for my taste. What I like is Nestle Very Vanilla milk. Partially frozen into a slush. And I'll eat that at any time of year.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I'm torn between two. One year I came down to find an unwrapped present for the first and only time. It was a stuffed Benji dog. I loved that dog. I'm sure it's still around. Another year I received a play set that was an ice cream shoppe. Complete with a little hat and an ice cream freezer that had a place to put the ice cream cones. Hmmmm. I think that was probably my favorite. I have an unhealthy fondness for play food. Every time we go down that aisle I invariably see something that makes me say "When I was little I would have killed for that." Quite frequently now if I even pause at something that catches my eye, say a complete plastic birthday party, David will say "Yes, I know, you would have killed for that". Takes all the wind right out of my sails.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have several. I sort of collect them. Just not rabidly. Normally I put them all out, but for some reason I wasn't motivated this year. Oh right. Because I would have had to clean off my breakfast counter since that's where they go.
8. Hardest person to buy for? One of my friends who shall remain nameless.
9. Easiest person to buy for? The girls, of course. The hard part is stopping myself.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail all the way baby. What else am I supposed to do with this Christmas card holder?
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? It was probably my freshman year in college when I received laundry detergent, a huge multi-bar pack of Dove soap, and socks from my grandma. It was well meant, but quite a depressing come down from the days of stuffed animals and ice cream shoppes.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? The 1991 TV movie "All I Want for Christmas". Possibly due to Thora Birch's rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside". I don't really know. I just know I love it. And for some reason I don't own it. I will have to see if I can fix that. I'll also tell you my least favorite Christmas movie: "It's a Wonderful Life". I hate that movie with a passion. Except maybe the Buffalo Gals musical number. But all the rest of it is pure misery.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The day after the last Christmas.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but I keep meaning to.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? HoneyBaked ham. I have to have it. Have to.
16. Clear or colored Christmas lights? Colored. They're the best. And they'd better not be the blinking kind. I wish they still made the ones that had the removable plastic caps that were the same colors as the lights. I used to create my own colors on the tree by mixing them all up. It was fun.
17. Favorite Christmas song? "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem" or Faith Hill's version of "Oh, Holy Night". Which is a little odd since I'm not particularly into country music. But I appreciate talent in whatever genre it exists. And her version will give you wild chills up and down your spine.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I'd much prefer to stay home now that we have girls. I grew up going to my grandma's every year. The one year we had to stay home because my dad had bronchitis it didn't even feel like Christmas. But now I want to create traditions here at the house for the girls and don't want to lug...force Santa to have to try and find us with all the gifts...
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Of course.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? It has to be a star. I never understood the angel thing. And ideally the star should at least partially light up.
21. Open presents Christmas eve or morning? One Christmas eve, the rest in the morning. Tomorrow we're doing stockings when the girls first get up and then the rest of the presents when Grandma and Papa come over. Nana and Grandpa are coming the next day and we'll do it all over again!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? There are good sales and yet there is no place to park so it's hard to get at them. Also the fact that we have tried SEVERAL times to go visit Santa and the lines have wrapped around his little house or you've been required to go in the morning to pick up a pass so you can come back 8 to 12 hours later. So no picture with Santa this year. *sniff*
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Things that have some significance to us or that I just think are pretty. And as I said, always colored lights and at least 2 boxes worth of candy canes. The year you could also say the theme was "breakables at the top of the tree, unbreakables at the bottom!"
24. Favorite dinner for Christmas? Again, HoneyBaked ham. I will accept no substitutes.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I kind of want a Wii, but I will accept World Peace since I think that is easier to come by.
Anyway, there was an extremely interesting article in the January issue called "Step Outside Your Life". All about how women get caught up in day-to-day life and routines and forget to try new things and become creatures of habit (I'm sure you can see where this is going), and some ways to try and break out of that a little. Well, there was an accompanying quiz, and I've loved those since my Seventeen days. I was reading at the dinner table (no mom, you never succeeded in getting me to stop that, sorry), so David took the quiz with me. It was called "How Curious Are You?" I'd link you to it now that I have linking skills, but they don't have it on the website. I know because I checked. I'd put the whole text in here, but I'd rather not have the writer (thank you Ms. Renkl, I enjoyed your article) fuss because I'm sure I'd be infringing on something. If you also enjoy quizzes to an abnormal agree, you can find this issue on newsstands, or that's what the library is for.
So a sample question was : If I had an extra hour a week, I'd: A) Actually read the selections from my book club, B) Take a class- maybe learn Italian or try Kickboxing, c) Sleep.
Answers that demonstrate your quest for knowledge or new experience get you more points. At the top of the heap in the 25-33 point range were the Curious Georges. They pretty much throw caution and planning to the wind and go nuts. I congratulate them and think they must be secretly very stressed out. Then there are the Nancy Drews in the 16-24 point range. They seem to be hip to trends and a bit quirky and up on the gossip. They are encouraged, if they love sushi, to learn how to make it. I assume, knowing how these quizzes work, that this was the healthy answer that we should all strive to be like. Experimental, but not wacky in a jumping off a building holding onto a balloon type of way.
In the 15 and under point range are the Eeyores. I know we're Eeyores because I had 14 points and David had 13. This is what it says about Eeyores: "It seems everything you needed to know you've ignored since kindergarten. Maybe you're just stuck in a rut, or maybe you're too stressed to have a thought to yourself, let alone a question for someone else. But it takes only a second to open your eyes and look around- you'd be surprised at what you may find."
It's a bit depressing to know that after spending time striving for a comfortable routine to give our girls the stable foundation that will give them the confidence to branch out and become their own little selves, as recommended in a whole lot of parenting and psychology books, we have apparently stifled ourselves in sacrifice.
And we are very happy that way.
And that is something to strive for.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Well, apparently he didn't know. His mom had told me that, but never mentioned it to him.
So in one blow I managed to ruin a great mystery, taint a happy childhood memory, and crush his innocence. And that last one is a quote.
Not a bad day's work FOR AN EVIL PERSON. *sigh*
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I was trying to get her to sing again, but she thought it would be more fun to hide in her shirt.
For translation purposes, the things she liked to do were blocks, build towers, play the piano, books, puzzles and to play at the library. I should clarify that by "play the piano" she means "hit two different notes alternately and sing various songs to the plunking". It's a start, but she's no Mozart.
We love her anyway.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, my "big" video plans have been partially thwarted by my piece of poo camera, but that's not really going to stop me. Elizabeth will now sing what we call the "Canoe Song". We're teaching her the girl power thing early. Does anybody who went to Girl's Camp with me remember it? I realize that she's recently three, so what mostly sounds perfectly clear to me is probably pretty garbled to you. So I have thoughtfully provided the lyrics below the video. At least the lyrics as we think they are supposed to be sung. If we're wrong, well, you'll just confuse us by trying to get us to change.
Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe, with the moon shining all around
And as he dipped his paddle in, you couldn't even hear a sound.
So, they talked and they talked till the moon grew dim,
He said "You'd better kiss me or get out and swim"
So what ya gonna do in a little canoe
With the moon shining all a-
Boats floatin all a-
BOYS swimming all around!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
In retrospect I realize that, while perfect, it’s not a very clever name. I actually realized this the first time I spun for Jen and there was a long list of participants (all of whom I am now hooked on which is no good, no good at all!) and most of them said things like Casey over at Half as Good as You (no matter the origin of that name I'm still a fan), and HeatherPride over at Riding the Short Bus . And there, on the list, sticking out like a sore thumb, was The Ramblings of Rachel. It just didn’t fit in. No "Rachel of A Cleverly Named Blog”. Apparently nobody uses their actual name in the title of their blog except for me. This was a bit of a wake up call.
So I’ve been thinking, what else could I have called it? And a list comes to mind…
The Adventures of Tweedle and Lillibit
Burning Up (and other things one does in Florida)
Tales of a WoW Widow
The Podcast Hunter
Creatures of Habit
An Eggless Life (it occurs to me that most of you aren’t going to get that one since I haven’t done any posts on this. That’s okay though, there are so many mysteries in life, what’s one more?)
Two Toddlers Each Day Keeps my Sanity at Bay
Death by Children's Television
and my favorite:
All pretty decent, all going unused. You can bet that if I ever start a blog in another life it's going to be wittily titled.
But in the meantime, I'll just keep on rambling.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
1)The best ham in the world can be found at the Honey Baked Ham store, and
2) C is a veggie. Or what normal people call an ovo-lacto vegetarian.
...Me: and it is usually the ambrosia of the ham world
Me: you'll have to trust me on that of course
C: I must admit I am not a hamspert so what you say goes
Me: I like hamspert
Me: that is a great word
C: for your blog
C: I read horridious
Me: aha! yes, I make up all sorts of fun things by trying to talk too fast. But seldom are they even better than two actual words. Well, more descriptive better anyway
C: what triggered that word?
Me: a really bad joke on the radio that I can't even remember. It was both horrible and hideous.
C: not funny and obscene
Me: it was definitely unfunscene. Just horrideous
Me: I enjoy this
C: and this is how the english language is ever growing
Me: do you object to this conversation appearing on my blog?
C: so long as you use the usual discretion
Me: of course
Nothing like a blog post that does the work for you.
Which is a good thing since my video related "big plans" came to nothing tonight due to the fact that Elizabeth's cooperation quotient is pretty much negative when she doesn't have an afternoon nap.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Anyway, the hosts, Scott Johnson (who also does the ExtraLife Radio and ExtraLife TV [especially episode#7!] podcasts that I also love) and Randy Deluxe are holding a contest for their fans to spread their names far and wide over the interwebnetosphere in return for a chance at what can only be called phat loot. Well, I think you'll only call it that if you or someone you love plays World of Warcraft as you can see here that we do. (Seriously, Melissa, thanks!) But anyway I want it. So I'm shouting.
LISTEN TO THE INSTANCE!
FOR THE HORDE!!
BUT USUALLY FOR THE ALLIANCE!
Lilli: Pee! Peeeeee!
Me: Yay! Good job! Are you a happy girl?
Lilli: (Big grin) Happy!
Me: Ok, let's try 'Sleepy'. Mama's sleepy. Can you say 'Sleepy?'
Me: Yay! Good job! Are you a sleepy girl?
Lilli: (Big grin) Happy!
Monday, December 15, 2008
So here are the girls at our usual spot for Saturday lunch.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I'm not sure if I was trying to say that the joke we heard was horrible, horrid or hideous, but somehow they blurred together and I've ended up with one that is even more of any of the three.
It pleases me.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I am an only child and David has one sister who is 8 years older, so neither of us are very familiar with the apparent miraculous ability of siblings to push each other's buttons. And I can't say we've figured out how to deal with it. There was a lot of "Lilli, stop (fill in the blank) your sister", "Elizabeth, cut that out!" Seriously, the look of evil delight on Elizabeth's face as she yanked Elmo out of her sister's hands and waited for her reaction (naturally a piercing shriek) was frightening to see, and the glee with which Lilli was headbutting her sister in the face as they were pushed around Target in their shared cart made us fear for the future when they have access to things like scissors. This is new behavior for them that we need to figure out, and while generally they get along and play together beautifully, tonight they individually and in combination got on our last nerve.
We have never been so glad to put them to bed.
And you know what's funny? As I've said more than once I listen to a lot of podcasts. And I recently sent a nice long e-mail to one I interact with fairly regularly on how having two children is just as easy as having one. If we had planned Lilli, we might have not gotten around to more since we were so happy with dynamic the three of us had, but when Lilli came along she fit into the mix pretty seamlessly. We'd already adjusted to the changes a baby makes on your couple life, like actually having to eat balanced meals at regular times, and we were used to carrying a diaper bag and coordinating every departure from the house with military precision. So it was easy. And Elizabeth never had any problems accepting her sister. None of the things I hear about where the older child asks the mom to take the new baby back to the hospital. And Lilli was such a sweet and good natured baby, content to go anywhere and do anything. But now that she's developed her own distinct personality that is quite different from her sister's, things are getting interesting. And, I have to say, occasionally exhausting.
That being said...goodnight!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I am baking some right this second for a friend's birthday and I want to climb into the oven to be with them, they smell that good. I know some of you agree with me and some of you don't (you know who you are), but I'm just saying...
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
What I do know is that I think I've discovered my dream career. I've never known what I want to be when I grow up, at least besides a stay-at-home mom which isn't practical for our family. So I've had some fairly diverse careers.
Today at work, while staring at spreadsheets and listening to podcasts all day, per usual, one of them had on a baby planner. Yep, you heard that right. A baby planner. Just like a wedding planner or event planner, but specifically and only for babies, and with much better hours. Or like being a personal assistant but without having to pickup dry-cleaning. Five minutes into hearing this woman talk and I wanted to work for her or with her or BE her. I have never heard of a job before that combines everything I love. List making, babies, baby showers, gift registries, birth prep, being around pregnant women, talking about pregnancy, researching baby gadgets, making things happen, did I mention LIST MAKING? I seriously love lists. You want a vacation packing list? I can whip you out a comprehensive one in 10 minutes. A To Do list for a move or party prep? I am so there. I flirted with the idea of becoming a doula or even a midwife since I love the whole process of pregnancy and birth, but once again, the hours...and the gore. Seriously, in the absence of the possibility of staying at home with my own sweet kiddos, talking with other woman about their impending little ones is my dream career.
It is a crying shame that I am a woman of more words than actions.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
So, we had a 3rd birthday party to attend for the son of our good friends. You will note that none of our friends or their children who were there are pictured. The whole "forgot to ask them if they minded" thing again. So if you see a child, they don't belong to our friends, so I don't much care what their parents think. Muhahahahahaha!
Anyway, the party was held at a gym-type facility called "Pump it Up". We've been there before and we liked it (I mentioned it several posts ago. The place that the army should hold basic training at? Remember?). Knowing how exhausting it is there and the planned timing of food (party starts at 12:15, food a couple hours later when typically my children should be napping), we stopped for lunch on the way. And Lilli achieved a milestone I'm not so proud of.
Her first Happy Meal:
Why what have we here? Oh yes! My darling's posterior!
Climbing the mountain:
Hmmm. This is an interesting study. On one hand, the bottle she isn't supposed to have. On the other hand, well, IN her hand, an entire slice of pizza.
And of course I'm sad, and the finality of it is especially getting to me. Another friend noted that I was talking about this like she was going to be dead. Which is of course not the case. And, as the other friend pointed out, there's e-mail and all these friendly technologies to help me feel like C is still just over on the other side of 82 instead of a couple hundred miles away. Which is what I'm pretending to help me deal. It's not the end of everything. But of course I worry that it is. Some of you who read this blog are very aware of just how cruddy I am at keeping in touch. This is not the first time I have strongly resolved that I will e-mail (write, call, whatever), and always before I have at first and then I just don't know what happens to me. I guess I get distracted and then I don't know how to explain my lack of contact were I to try it, so I don't want to call and feel stupid, so I don't... It's a vicious circle.
I'm a little bit hopeful that maybe I won't do my usual fizzle this time due to the fact that pushing 30 seems to have made me all nostalgic. Thanks to Facebook and the wonders of blogging I'm back in contact with people I haven't seen or talked to in years. And I missed them. Not that you would know it by my contact with them, but I did. So maybe, just maybe it'll be ok. *sigh*
C, you're going to have to help me. And I miss you already.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Lillian has a delightful habit of rubbing food on her head. Oatmeal, broccoli, pudding, bread, cheeseburger, whatever. In this photo she is demonstrating the remarkable "holding" properties the pizza bread stuff from Sweet Tomatoes has once it's been thoroughly rubbed into one's scalp.
She makes me feel so proud.