Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Chillin' with some tunes

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh, that's right, the Edaville post

I just realized I never wrote our Edaville USA post.

This year I wanted to try and make it to Edaville with the kids. For those of you not familiar with this place, during the holidays they set up a Holiday lights display. There are plenty of kiddie rides and Santa is also there for you to visit. We happened to get tickets at Meghan's Family Fun night so we picked a day to go.

I think we may have picked one of the coldest nights ever. It was absolutely freezing out. And very damp. Meghan managed to fall into a puddle after only the second ride. So she spent the rest of the time without any gloves. I don't think it bothered her much. She had a blast. Sean even went on a few rides.

Sean did not want to sit still on the train.

This family loves photo, can't you tell?

Ohh, pretty lights.

Sean got to ride all by himself.

Daddy gets to ride the spinny ones, Mommy does not do spinny rides.

I have no idea.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Popping in to let everyone know we were not buried by presents (yet). Hope everyone got what they wanted in their stockings.

Christmas here went pretty much as I expected it would. Meghan came out not at all excited about the presents that appeared under the tree and instead wanted to sit on her chair to wake up a bit. It took Sean forever to open his gifts because he had to stop and play with each one. Meghan is more interested in Sean's gifts than her own. And somehow I only managed to take a handful of pictures.

But Santa did bring us a Wii and Wii Fit. And I got an iPhone. So all is well.

Christmas 2008

XMas 2008 - 1 from Dorene on Vimeo.

XMas 2008 - 2 from Dorene on Vimeo.

XMas 2008 - 3 from Dorene on Vimeo.

We will have Christmas - Part Deux when my parents arrive on Friday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Mesmerizing Display

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange '08

Welcome to my stop on the Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange '08.

Welcome everyone! And Happy Holidays!

This was the card we chose this year. I am always amazed when the photographer actually captures the kids smiling. It was only for like a split second.

If you would like to join in the fun, click the button below for all the details.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How many days left do I have to wrap, and bake cookies, and finish shopping, and....

What happened to December? I was doing so well back in November. Only had a few things left to do. Or so I thought. I think I slacked off for awhile. And now, here it is, December 17th and I have a list of things still to do.

Not tonight though. We took the kids to Edaville USA and I am still defrosting. More on that later.

I will leave you with a preview. Tomorrow I will be participating in the Great Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange of '08. You can come back here to see the card we sent out this year (if you have not already). Want to join in? Click the button below to get all the info.

Updated to add "Uh oh"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meghan's Gallery: Gingerbread Man

"Gingerbread Man" by Meghan

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Now Reading

After taking the better part of a year to finish my last book, I decided I wanted to read something I could breeze through next. So I chose Plum Lovin' (A Between-the-Numbers Novel) by Janet Evanovich.

The Stephanie Plum series is one of my go-to books when I need something new to ready. I usually end up laughing out loud.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finished a Book: "Shutter Island"

Way back in April I started reading a book. There were a few false starts. And then summer happened. I carried the book on vacation with me and then again back home. Never picking it up.

About a month ago I finally got back to it. Fearing that I'd forgotten all of the characters, I started from the beginning. Again. This time I finished.

Even though it took many, many months to get myself going, I did like the book. My reason for choosing this one was because I wanted to read it before seeing the movie. I enjoyed the movie interpretations of Dennis Lehane's other books but had never actually read one of the novels.

My intent of these posts is not to turn in a book report or even a book review. So I will not go into many details about the story itself. You can read that on Amazon. I will say that once I got far enough into the book to become invested in the characters it was a pretty quick read. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story which kept me guessing until the end.

Shutter Island

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How much fun can we jam in before nap time?

We have lived in this town for years now but never attended the town's holiday celebration. Most years we were traveling somewhere or had other plans, others we just never made it. This year I wanted to take the kids to at least some of the activities.

It was a very cold day here on Sunday. Plus there were flurries. But I bundled the kids up and we headed out. I was not sure how it would go. Everything started at noon which was dangerously close to Sean's nap time. My plan was to visit Santa first and then see how things progressed from there.

We arrived at Santa's location not long after noon. It was not crowded at all. The line moved pretty quickly. Although Meghan was excite4d to see Santa she seemed a bit unsure when we got there. But, she did say that she asked Santa for a dolly-doll. When I asked her what Sean wanted she looked at me like I was nuts. "Sean can't talk, remember?"

Outside the building Frosty and some sort of Christmas bear were greeting the kids. Once again, Meghan was not so sure about them.

This is as close as she would get.

After Santa's visit we headed to a local farm offering horse drawn carriage rides. Sean was super excited to see the horses. He kept "neighing" the entire ride.

At this point we had been out for over and hour and my feet were freezing. I wanted to go back to the town common so the kids could see the ice sculptures and we could visit Meghan's preschool. Sean passed out on the way there. Okay, not awful, I could put him in the stroller and maybe we could walk around a but. But then, Meghan fell asleep as we were looking for a parking spot. I decided to call it a day and we went home.

Sean napped pretty late so we never made it back for the tree lighting at 4:30. I do think the kids had a good time and hopefully we will make it back out next year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - "In" the Kitchen

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Night of Preschool Fun

Last night Meghan's school had a Family Fun Night. It was our first one so we really were not sure what to expect. They had a silent auction to benefit the school, some food and entertainment for the kids.
We spent most of the time chasing Sean. He wanted to run (of course) and seemed fascinated by the cheese puffs scattered about the floor. I would have been more comfortable to let him roam a bit if he did not have the milk allergy. Basically we spent an hour and a half either chasing or holding Sean.

Ryan did a good job keeping up with our silent auction bids. We won 3 of them. Tickets to Edaville USA, Davis' Farmland and Southwick's Zoo. All things we plan to do anyway.

Meghan had a blast. She has never been much of a joiner. She usually wanders away and does her own thing. Or, she stares at the performance completely spaced out but not participating completely. But, apparently there is one performer that will hold her attention and get her up and moving.

She watched the whole show. Laughing and singing along.

Sean even stopped every once in awhile to watch.

Sean carrying his "safe" snack.

But what really surprised me was when it was time to get up and dance, Meghan got up and danced. You can just see she was having the time of her life.

Of course if you ask her about it today all she remembers is the giant cookie she was eating and then lost as we were leaving.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Meghan's Gallery: Progress you can see

Meghan brought home a new project from school yesterday.

"Heart" by Meghan

Which is very much an improvement over her previous attempts to write her name. Progress. Woo hoo!

More Meghan's Gallery posts.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Reindeer Games

Monday, December 01, 2008

So much to do, not sure where to start.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out what still needs to get done. Not only for Christmas but also just to get back to normal after traveling this past weekend.

Bags still need to get unpacked. Laundry is piling up. The house is a disaster because I think the kids pulled out every toy they own yesterday. I need to order our holiday cards today as well.

Also, it's Cyber Monday so I want to see if there are any sales on the things I planned on buying. I'd like to get my shopping done early this year. My goal is to have all the major stuff done by next weekend.

So I need to get back to my to do list so I can start to cross things off. But, I keep getting distracted with email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter. I may need to shut down the laptop for awhile.


Before I shut down.....

I'm thinking about participating in the Simple Mom book club starting January 1st.

I've added the first book to my Christmas list. I looks like a great idea and an interesting list of books.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Where will I be shopping tomorrow?

I plan on not leaving the house.

All my shopping will be done online

Did you brave the stores?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fevers and Coughing and Puking, Oh My!

I think this post is gonna be a quick summary of our last few days. Cliff notes style.

Meghan walked into a wall and got a bruise under her eye.*

Family picture day! I am always amazed when they manage to get a few shots of the kids standing still and looking at the camera.

Sean got a nasty diaper rash.
Meghan puked.
Sean started to get clingy.

I puked.
Sean got a fever. He did not want to eat much and was super clingy all day.

Meghan is coughing up a storm.
Sean still has a fever
I feel like someone has shoved cotton balls up my nose.
I can hear the cat trying to puke in the corner.
I've decided that going to Meghan's dance class is a bad idea.

We are pretty sure that Sean's general unhappiness is because of his teething. I'm trying to keep up with his diaper rash with frequent changes and tons of diaper rash cream.

Not sure if Meghan was really sick or if her issue was caused by not eating dinner the night before and then downing milk in the morning.

I don't know what the hell my problem is but I am hoping it will be cured by drugs and coffee.

I am very behind in laundry because of the puke incident which is going to make packing for our whirlwind Thanksgiving tour fun. I actually had a dream last night that someone told me we we going to Moscow*** and I had to get the family packed to leave in 30 minutes. I was panicking. In my dream. Ugh.

Meghan's supposed to go to preschool today but I plan on making the go/no go call in about 2 hours or so.

*Which is a totally separate incident from when she walked into a doorknob.

**My days are running together. I honestly cannot distinguish one from another.

***I am pretty sure this was influenced by "The Amazing Race".

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New favorite quote

"Street smarts is something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves."

- Darnell "Crabman" Turner from "My Name is Earl"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let Me Show You: Meghan's Telescope/Microscope

All Meghan wanted for her birthday was a telescope. That is the only thing she asked for.

I searched online for some type of telescope that she could play with, not too expensive and looked like it would be relatively Meghan-proof.

I came across the following at Amazon. It is both a telescope and play microscope.

Meghan really enjoys playing with this. She can take the telescope off (attached with a magnet) and go on her little adventures. Or, she can use the included slides in the microscope to learn about animals or space or an number of other topics. Once you insert a slide you enter the 3-letter code and it tells you about what you are looking at. She struggles a little with inserting the slides correctly so I help her out with that.

Oh, and a bonus, she can use her headphones.

So the telescope was a winner. Now I have to convince her that she does not want a "big drum" for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - One Year Ago


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Little Daredevil

Sean has no fear. I am not even kidding about that. He will try anything. Climb on anything. Jump off anything. I am constantly cringing as I see him flying through the air out of the corner of my eye. The other day I got some photographic evidence.

"Climbing? This is nothing. Baby stuff."

"I've been doing this for weeks."

"See no hands!"

"Aaaand JUMP!"

I don't know if it is just a boy thing or if this kid is extremely adventurous. But I do know that I am on the verge of having a heart attack.

Anyone know where I can buy a rubber room? Or a pair of footie pjs made out of bubble wrap? Size 18 months, please.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Found Money

Now that I am no longer bringing home a paycheck, I have been trying to find ways to save money. That included looking around for any previously forgotten funds sitting around the house.

Do you have one of these too?

Yup, that is a giant popcorn tin filled with change. It is where we dump change from coat pockets, wallets, cars, etc.

Our bucket o'change has been collecting funds for years now. About 9-ish years ago we went to a bank to count and cash our change in for "real" money. It was kinda a pain in the butt and so we have not done it since. So, there the bucket sat, collecting our daily crumbs of money.

Of course one of the first things I did when we decided I would stay home was look at that change tin. I really did not want to roll them all myself. Also, our local back did not appear to have a counting machine so I did not want to deal with the hassle of finding where I could take it and then spend the time there while it was counted.

Our local supermarket had a Coinstar machine but I had previously eliminated that option because I was not willing to part with a percentage of our money just for the machine to count it. But, I decided to go online and see exactly those machines did and how much they claimed as their own.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can choose to convert your change into credits for a number of stores. And, even better, there is NO COUNTING FEE if you chose that option. So you don't have to give up even a penny.

Now I understand that some people won't want this option but it really works for us. One of the choices for store credit was Amazon. I do loads of shopping there. Not only do a number of our family members keep wish lists there for birthday and Christmas gifts, but I also use their Subscribe & Save feature to buy things like diapers and wipes.

So now, every few weeks I take a container of change along with me on my grocery shopping trip. I usually get around $80 of credit each time I go. It feels like we have gotten diapers for free for months!! And, I am hoping to use these credits to get a good portion of our Christmas shopping done.

For those of you looking for a way to save some money this holiday season, perhaps you can "find" some money of your own.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Whoa!! Too Close!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Well that did not work

I was going to do NaBloPoMo. Where you post a new entry for every day of November. Um, I did not even make it through the first week. Oops!

So, lets just pretend that was never a goal. Okay? Okay!

I do have a few entries sitting and waiting for pictures and a few links here and there. Hope to get them out soon.

On an unrelated topic, last night we had sort of a family fun night. I made all finger food for dinner and set up our downstairs so the kids could sit on the floor and eat. We watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and then played Chutes and Ladders. Meghan won.

And, on another unrelated topic, our desktop computer is infected with about 30 viruses. So I may be busy for awhile.