Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolve to resolve

I know that, for a lot of people, New Year's Eve is about a great big party. This was the case for me for years and years. But a few years ago I started getting into New Year's Resolutions. Not so that I could resolve to loose the same five pounds every year. But to use the opportunity to do things I've been putting off doing, to become more the person that I would like to be. I now work out on a regular (kind of) basis. I bring canvas shopping bags with me when I buy groceries almost every time. I have become SO much better about limiting TV time. I haven't made Hamburger Helper in YEARS. My house is rarely a disaster area, I am still slowly replacing regular bulbs with those twirly low energy ones (even though they are horrible to dispose of), and I am continually going through my things and making ples of things to give to goodwill... even if they sometimes take a long while to get there.



I try not to make too many resolutions, because then they become too hard to keep. And the goal is to set them, keep them, and keep on keeping them, right? And there are some that are personal, and that I would rather not share with you. But here are the ones I am comfortable broadcasting to the universe:

FIX UP MY HOUSE - My house isn't exactly falling apart, but there are quite a few rooms that could use attention. There are holes in walls I have simply moved furniture in front of, or hung pictures over. Some rooms are still wearing the paint they had on when we bought the place - not horrible, but I hate a lot of it, especially when I can see where the previous homeowners hung their pictures on the walls. I have already developed a schedule of what rooms I will be painting and doing over this year, and when. I've already purchased a bunch of new paint, rollers, and even some tinted primer. And I am also proud of knowing about tinted primer, and when to use it.

QUILT MORE - This is rather obvious, don't you think? It's just that I have so many ideas, and want to do so much, but rarely do I actually get anything done. I need to set aside some time each week to do it.

DON'T GET SO WOUND UP - I have a hard time knowing when it's appropriate to get all bent out of shape. But instead of getting all worked up and shouting at the kids because they woke up at freakin 5am, maybe I can relax, and find a way to sneak in a few extra minutes of shut eye. After all, yelling will only wake everyone up more, right?

See? These are completely reasonable. You'll notice I didn't put anything down about caffeine intake, cooking with butter, or my closet.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stuff and Fluff


I usually try and avoid posting about my husband or family members or either of my friends. The idea is that I usually post in good spirits, but something I feel is funny or harmless, such as "We saw Anne-E today. She has hair. Then we got stuck in traffic and it was such a pain" will come back to haunt me. Anne-E will reply or call me. "What do you mean it was a pain? Don't you like coming to see me? The traffic wasn't THAT bad. And what do you mean I have hair? What's wrong with my hair?" So I usually just skip it, unless it's my Mom, because she HAS to love me.

So it's understandable if I don't usually post about arguments that Steve and I have. But today I am making an exception.

Joke gifts can be funny. Sometimes, in fact, they can be VERY funny. But more often than not it leaves the person on the receiving end with something they did not want, do not need, and probably has no use for. For example, during the Yankee Swap we did this year I got the booby gift, and ended up with a giant burlap tarp, a beer holder, and something resembling a giant cheesecloth for wrapping around deer once they have been killed. The gift was funny! But I have no idea what to do with the... um... deercloth.

Regardless, when a person gets a gift from a Yankee Swap, I feel that person should take the gift home with them. One of the gifts opened this year was a bag of coal, funny, but not useful. Not for us, anyway, living in this particular century and with oil heat. And we didn't even open it, someone else did! Yet here it is, on my kitchen counter.

"Do you mind if I throw this out?" I asked Steve this morning.

Steve looked at me. "Why would you do that?" he asked.

"Well... were you going to use it for something?"

"Is it BOTHERING you?" he asked. And of course I want to say "NO," because the way he asked the question made it sound that to say "YES, YES the bag of coal is bothering me!" is to be INSANE. And to tell the truth, the bag isn't bothering me. Yet. But I hate to leave things just sitting there. And Steve can just let things sit on the counter for years until one day, when we actually NEED a bag of coal, he goes out and buys one because the one sitting in front of us has become INVISIBLE.

In the house I grew up in, things sat on the counter for AGES, or until my mother threw everything into a bag because we were having a party. And fourteen, fifteen, a hundred times a day the household would be thrown into an uproar while everyone stopped to look for something. "Where is INSERT ITEM HERE!" My Homework. The Opera Tickets. The Banjo. The Keys. The Tax Return. Who knew? Everyone had seen it there at some point. For months. It had just been SITTING there. And then I guess someone moved it. Or it got buried in jam. And while I feel that putting things away right away would have fixed things, others would argue that if you'd just leave things where they ARE, then nothing will accidentally THROWN AWAY.

My point is, clutter gets to me. But I know it irritates Steve when I keep putting the lunch meat back in the fridge when he's trying to make a sandwich.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Stories

To avoid getting up too early, Steve and I decided that we'd all go downstairs together at around 7am. Of course, the kids are too young to really grasp this concept, and as soon as I heard them talking Christmas morning I ran in to distract them with books. But I could only do so much. I was three pages into the first one when Nate tapped me on the shoulder. "I'm just gonna go get my present! I'll be right back!" And he shot into the hallway. He was halfway down the stairs when I caught up to him, screaming with the injustice of it all.
There were a lot of gifts, more than there should have been, ahem ahem, not that we're not all grateful to Santa. But there were a great number of gifts for three small boys to unwrap. It's a lot of work. And panic set in - MY panic - a couple of times, when I thought the process would stretch out until late afternoon. The gift opening began with the stockings, which held battery powered toothbrushes for Nick and Nate. And every five minutes from that point on, Nick asked if it was time to brush his teeth. Each time I presented Nate with a wrapped gift he asked if it was his Wall-E toy, and eventually stopped opening them altogether in favor of riding around on Andy's ride around Rocket. Andy did not unwrap any gifts at all, and had to be bribed to stay in the room with french toast toaster sticks. Nicholas was willing to unwrap anything, thank goodness, or we'd still be there.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back On Track

I know I haven't posted properly for a while. I know I haven't posted any photos. Sorry.

Things have been crazy here for the past few weeks, what with the power outage and then jumping headlong into Christmas. I haven't hopped on the treadmill in weeks, and I think it's really affecting my mood. Today I lumped around the house, trying not to eat leftover brownies and cookies, unable to focus on any one thing or project. Not sleepy, but not really feeling like DOING anything...

But Monday everything will change. The boys will go to school. I'll get a chance to work out and also to put away some of the toys they got. And I'll stop feeling this nudgy, I'm not doing a good job feeling.

So just stay with me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Boxing Day?

It should be called "Recuperation Day."

I had a Happy Christmas, as we all did over here. However, it takes a lot out of you, and my brain isn't up to speed yet. So here are some random observtions:

Next year I am not wrapping any of the kids gifts. Why? Extra work. Not the wrapping. I love the wrapping, actually. But once the gift is opened the paper goes on the floor. Then the boxed gift is handed to Mom or Dad who then has to rip it out of super enforced cardboard and undo the kabillion wires that hold the toy to the box. I swear they must spend more on the packaging and the "theft protection" than they do on the actual TOY. By the time to toy is removed from the box, the wires and the box bits need to be collected and thrown out with the wrapping paper, but the child has moved on to some other gift. Next year, instead of wrapping, I shall simply remove the toys from boxes and scatter tham around the Living Room.

We now own every Wall-E toy in existance.

There really is such a thing as too many gifts for Christmas. Especially for small children.

I don't know how long it's going to take me to clean my house.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!



May This Christmas Bring You All
Peace, Joy, And Cheer...







And May You All Get Gifts
You Treasure This Year!




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow Babies




I don't think I really need to say anything here, do you?

.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pssst - Larissa!

This is a rebuttal post. Kind of.

Yesterday, Larissa wrote this post on her blog, about how Seattle came to a stop after a whole three inches of snow.

Hey, Seattle folk. That ain't snow.

I'd post better pictures, but I haven't ventured out of my warm, dry home. Note the swingset in the last photo, and how high the snow is on the swing and the see saw.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let It Snow!

video

Nicholas had a touch of a stomach bug or food poisoning or something.

I feel bad, mostly because he was whimpering and complaining for awhile before we realized he was sick. With Nick it's sometimes difficult to tell.

This morning I took the boys outside to play in the snow. It took forever to get them into their snowsuits. Nick complained and was slow. Nathan ran around and wouldn't listen, putting everything on in the wrong order (boots first, pants second, etc.).

But Andy was by far the most difficult to get ready. First of all, he has no ability to put on his own clothing. Secondly, even if he did, he has no interest in going outside. Thirdly, even if the outdoors appealed to him, he has no idea why he's need the coat. Finally, as soon as I get anything on him, he makes it his primary goal to get it off.

Once we did get outside, Andrew was perplexed. He walked around a bit, and then ended up crawling, which wasn't ideal since the snow was deep and he had it right in his face. Nick and Nate decided to go sledding, and they each went down the hill twice. I went down once with Andy, with him on my lap. He didn't cry, but he refused to crack a smile.

Nicholas ended up crying because his hands were cold and running inside. Nathan cried because I made him go in. And Andy walked inside of his own free will, but oddly began crying as soon as I took off his coat.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fancy Vs. Cool

One night during the power outage, Steve and I were both giving the boys a bath, as the darkness made things spooky. As usual, Steve and I kept up a stream of constant chatter, and as usual, I steered the conversation toward the holidays, and eventually, Christmas Eve and who will be there.

"And Grammy, and Nancy!" I said. "Fancy Nancy!"

Now, I didn't mean anything by this. Nancy is Lillian's sister, and Fancy Nancy is a little girl who has her own book series that is kind of funny. But the Real Nancy isn't what I would call 'Fancy.' She's a super duper lady, but 'Fancy' isn't one of the words I would use to describe her.

"Is Aunt Nancy fancy?" asked Steve?
"Yes!" said Nathan.
"Is Grammy fancy?" I asked.
"Yes!" he said again.
"How about Gramma?"
"Yes, Gramma's fancy."
"What about Mommy?" Steve asked.
"Yes, Mommy's fancy," he said.
"Well... What about Daddy?" I asked.
"No! Daddy's not fancy. Daddy's COOL!"

DADDY is cool.

But after a few more questions, I noticed a trend.
Mommy is NOT cool, nor is Grammy, Linda, Aunt Anne-E OR Aunt Emily. We are all Fancy.
Uncle Winston is not Fancy, he is cool, as are Mark, Uncle Jamie, and Grampa.

See? This impressed me, as Nathan still says things like "Grammy is going to get a new room in HIS house, and we should call HIM."
So he notices gender differences, even if the reach doesn't go as far as pronouns.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting In The Mood


This photo is from Andy's Birthday. See how the big brothers are poised to gently remove the toy from the baby's arms?

Now that we have electricity back, I'm in a MUCH better mood. I only hope they get it back today for the rest of the thousands of people still in the dark.

I love Christmas, and sometimes I can't help but try and get the boys excited , too. SO the other evening I got down on the floor with Nate. "What are you going to get me from Christmas?" I asked him.

He didn't hesitate. "A Wall-E Toy."

"But Nate, You're the one that wants a Wall-E Toy. I don't want a Wall-E toy. You should get me something that I would like, like a picture, or a hair clip."

Nate got really excited. "Yeah! I am gonna get you a hair clip with Butterflies on it!"

I smiled and nodded. "I would love a hair clip with butterflies on it!"

But he went on. "Or I'm gonna get you a hair clip with Mommies on it! And you can put it in your hair!"

"Mommies on it?" I asked.

And with no less excitement he said. "And I can get a hair clip with Nathans on it!"

I laughed. "Nathans?"

"And I can put it in my hair!" He placed his hand delicately on his head. "And then I can be like a Nathan!"

"What are you like now?" I asked.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

"I'm Nathan!" He said.


Oh, of course.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And God Said...

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

And there was.

And then I danced around the kitchen with joy and turned on every single light in the house.

So... I guess I've been a little depressed. This power outage is really bringing me down. I realize some people may be sniggering about my earlier posts about disliking the city, thinking this is soe sort of either retribution, or what you get for living in the boonies. And I could accept that, if I did indeed live in the boonies. However, it took me half an hour to get the boys to school on Wednesday due to traffic. There is not traffic in the boonies. This is a suburb, and should be thought of as such.

I guess I'm a little bitter. I check the PSNH website and find out that 75% of the state has restored power! And all I can think is to ask why oh why we had to be in that remaining 25%. Maybe I'm more bitter when Steve comes home and informs me that our street has power until two intersections away. How did that happen?

What I'm really afraid of is that we'll draw the short straw and be one of the 5% who doesn't get power back by end of day Thursday. In which case I might seriously crawl into bed and ignore the world until I can once again shower and pee in a lighted environment. And I won't feel ridiculous 30 times a day because I reflexively flipped a light switch that should work by now, gosh doarn it!

Anyway, my attention to the power outage is also taking away from reporting on all the cute things my kids are doing and saying. So I apologize. I know I'm depressing and boring and what can any of YOU do about it, anyway. Enough. I shall crawl into my cocoon of darkness alone and send only happy thoughts out over the airwaves. Wither, wither, moan moan, alas, alak... and someone send me brownies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Andrew!


Today Andrew is officially one year old. It probably means nothing to him. We already celebrated the event on Sunday. Today is just like any other day. It's cold. It's dark. We have no power. Oh! But it is Snowing!

Yesterday I found a timeline of when power would be expected back, town by town. They had us down for Thursday. Which will make a solid week of running of our precious generator. This is assuming, of course, that we fall into the 95% they need to consider a town "power restored" and also assuming the snow doesn't slow them down at all. Let's all hold our breaths, shall we?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Powerless

We're going on day five of running on the generator.

Sunday we had a little party to decorate the tree and to celebrate Andy's birthday. We picked up a pizza and Lillian brought cupcakes. I was only a little sad I wasn't able to make them myself. The stuff is still sitting in the cupboard.

Yesterday I went to Lillian's and did 4 loads of laundry - at least she did. I helped fold. It should hold us off for the next few days.

I realize that we are lucky. Many people in our situation have no heat at all, no lights at all, no running water at all. They are wrestling with frozen pipes and trees that are in their driveway. They are in hotel rooms or sleeping on couches. We're in our own home, with heat all day, with lights in one room, with computer access, even!

I'm just a bit tired of trying to figure out how to cook dinner without an oven or a stove. Of leaving dishes in the sink because it's too dark to tell when they're clean. Of trying to shove everything I need to do into the daylight hours.

But the Gymnastics place was open today, and I was SO HAPPY to be able to bring the boys somewhere to work off that extra energy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Punch and Gravy

I know the bopping bag is broken - it never bounces back up.

Check out Nate's cool outfit - PJ's, winter boots, santa hat.

Yes, Nick is shouting "Gravy!"

I am tired today, still have no power, so this is all you get.

video

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Waiting For The Light


We're still powerless... so to speak.

Yesterday I simply could not take it anymore, and had to leave the house to do some holiday shopping. And it wasn't until then that the full impact of the storm hit me.

I expected the store to be out of gas cans and flashlights. I expected it to be crowded. What I didn't expect were the trees.

By now the roads are mostly clear. But there are gaps where trees used to be. Some front lawns on my street look as though the residents went wild with a chainsaw in their front yards. Raw tree branches stick out oddly where limbs were torn off in the wind of by the weight of the ice. ice slivers and spots of greenery spot the road every few yards, marking yet another location a branch fell and blocked the street.

Our town has no traffic lights. Crew members can be spotted lifting felled poles and fixing wires. And every once and awhile you can see a huge branch or tree leaning on wires.

Last night we had Chinese food from our favorite Asian place, which also happened to be without power. The dining room was closed, the employees in sweaters, and the generator powering the kitchen. The bar was busy.

Anyway, driving there in the dark, along the winding roads sprinkled with ice and wood splinters, I got a little spooked. And then, from out of the darkness, lights. Blinking lights, traffic lights, store lights, neon lights... it was like landing at night in Vegas. Suddenly I was so distracted and excited I almost missed my turn.

Maybe the lights will come on now? Now? no. Ok.... now?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And The Band Played On


Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. In the afternoon, the sun came out, and all the ice glistened. I went out to get the mail and realized it had actually stopped raining, and that the rain sounds I was hearing was coming from the stuff falling off tree branches. The floor below the trees looked covered in smashed glass from the ice that fell there.

And then it got dark, and then it got cold.

Today we still have no power. Yesterday evening I visited PSNH's site, where they did due diligence in covering their backsides. This ice storm is SO BAD, it will take days to clean up the mess and restore power. Some say this storm is as bad as the one in 1998, and back then many people were without power 7 to 10 days.

Now, I don't mean to complain. We've got a generator. We're warm. We've got running water, a fridge full of food, and electricity. But it's all in moderation. We've got one outlet in the kitchen that works, and we rotate it between the coffee maker,the microwave, the toaster oven, and a lamp. I can't do laundry the way I used to, so that's building up. I can't run the dishwasher, but I'm optimistic enough to keep stacking dishes in there, thinking that as soon as I wash them by hand the power will probably snap back to life. We skipped baths and showers, and I'm feeling grungy - power or no power, we're washing tonight. And a little TMI, but we've become very relaxed about flushing. We have been listening to the radio, but the TV - one of those flat screen babies - takes WAY too much power, so far rivaled only by the toaster oven(?) and the water pump. Not to mention that the generator goes off at night, so the house gets cold, the baby endsup in our bed, the boys wake up crying because "It's Dark!" and they are scared.

And it's only been one day. And we have a generator.

I somehow think that, if I could just know when the power would turn ON, or if I could just figure out HOW LONG it was going to be, then I could figure stuff out, do the dishes, make things a little more permanent. But as for now we're in a kind of limbo.


As a side note, we were planning on celebrating Andy's first birthday tomorrow, Sunday (even though it's a bit early.) This is funny 'cause the last time we lost power for a number of days was on Nathan's first birthday, and we had no heat or water or electricity at all, and ended up at Lillian's. Coincidence? Or is it the coming of age of little demons that create ice storms? We'll never know.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Huge Ice Storm






We're in the middle of quite an ice storm up here. Our power is out, but it sounds as though a third of the power is out in all of NH. The schools are closed, and they are asking people to stay put. Not so much because of the roads, but because falling branches have blocked off many streets, and people then turn around to find the way they just came has become blocked with large tree branches, and they become trapped.

So we're stuck at home. Thanks goodness the LAST time this happened we were motivated to purchase a generator. We have electricity to the furnace, the well pump, the fridge, and to the living room. We can run the radio, and even watch TV. Steve even managed to hook up the wireless.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here's why

I know there's no photo in this post. But there's a reason. Today we will be using our imaginations to create our very own individual mental images, and we can carry these around with us anywhere.

Today was the second wet, cold, rainy day in a row. The boys took what I can only describe as a very short nap, and when they woke up I gave them each a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk. Then I dug around in one of the Christmas storage boxes and pulled out two santa hats.

Nathan LOVES the Santa hats. He put his on right away, then started his usual afternoon routine, which is running around the house like a maniac, occasionally stopping to ask me if it's TV time. I was folding laundry, and I didn't catch it when he ran upstairs. I did notice him when he returned, however, because he had pyjamas with him.

Nick used to love changing into pyjamas in the middle of the day, too. But Nathan doesn't ask. He just changes. Which is what he did today. Only being Nathan, he didn't change in his room. He ran upstairs, got some pyjamas, and ran back down the stairs. He then proceeded to strip off his clothes until he was naked. All except for the Santa Hat.

This would be funny in and of itself, right? But wait.

Instead of then getting into his pyjamas, the ones he carried downstairs, he decided to put the clothes he took off into his hamper. Which is upstairs. So he picked up his clothing and ran upstairs, naked except for the Santa hat. And I went to grab the camera.

I got a shot of him on the stairs, mid step, Santa hat on head, clothes clutched to his chest.

But I do not post photos of my children unclothed on the internet, despite taking them for my own personal future prom date moments. So you will all have to make do with that mental image.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Man With The Bag


We went to see Santa.

The first year I took Nick to see Santa, he sat on his lap for exactly three terrified seconds - long enough for the lady to snap his picture - and then cried when I wouldn't let him play with one of the teddy bears they had around Santa's Lair as decoration.

The next year he flatly refused to go.

And last year I got both Nick and Nate to go.

Why do I do this? Why does ANY parent do this? No three year old decides she wants to walk up to Santa and sit on his lap and discuss her behavior and how much she deserves a pony or a Bratz doll. No. A three year old takes one look at Santa and his long white beard, remembers all those songs about how famous he is, and turns around to walk the other way. So what is the point? Why do parents think that taking the time to haul out to the mall, stand in line, and force their child to interact with a scary red guy is a good idea? I will never know.

When we showed up to visit Santa, a boy was crying because he was so frightened, and we had to wait until his mother calmed him down enough to get a good picture. The next little girl didn't cry, but she planted her feet and refused to go into the little - er - den, where Santa keeps his big visiting chair. She also refused to turn around and face the camera, because apparently Santa is scary, and if she turns her back he might bite her.

I was worried about my kids. Because they are all different, and each one might decide at any given moment that the visit wasn't a good idea. I saw crying, tantrums, frightened clinging to my person, and small bodies flinging themselves on the floor. Not to mention the destruction Andy would do to Santa's decorations.

Well, the boys walked right up to Santa and started talking. They told him what they wanted for Christmas and smiled. Except for Andy, no one showed any hesitancy at all. And even Andy was able to sit on the little chair and pose for a picture. You can't see me, but I'm hiding off stage left because Andy kept wanting to get up and take down the decorations.

As we left, the little boy in line behind us began to cry.

.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Shopping shopping ARGH

I don't think I have ever had a Holiday shopping season which hasn't involved time spent at THE MALL. When I was young, I did most of my Christmas shopping there. This was the Garden State Plaza, which was huge, but which grew considerably as soon as I left home. To get around in it, you needed a MAP and I am not kidding. Parking during the holiday season meant a long long walk.

When I worked in Cambridge, it was next to a mall. I ate in the food court, and when I could afford it I parked there. So shopping there during lunch was almost inevitable. I need stuff for gifts, the mall has stuff for gifts, easy.

The malls here are much smaller. And yet, when I attempted a shopping trip this weekend, I spent twenty minutes circling the parking lot before giving up. Today I showed up with Andy forty minutes before the mall opened, and walked around with a bunch of elderly people and women with infants. Apparently a lot of people do this to get exercise in the winter, when they can't walk outdoors. Although how they do it without stopping for a donut at the food court I will never know.

Going to the mall (or to other stores) is now second to online shopping for me. However, online shopping also has its drawbacks. For one thing, you can't SEE what you are buying. What looks like a perfectly good item may arrive a different (and unacceptable) color, or three times smaller than you'd imagined. Not to mention shipping charges and the trouble you might or might not run into having to remember login information - every time I order stamps online I have to dig up this old login and password and I JUST WANT STAMPS! Why the heck do I have to have an account to do this?

Anyway, it's only for a few more days. Because then I'm going to have to wrap, and then I'm going to have to figure out how to get these things to the correct people.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Silence

I'm not ignoring you, internet. I just have a lot to do these days. What with holidays and shopping and wrapping and all. Not to mention all the other stuff.

Friday, December 05, 2008

cereal killer


Today after nap I took a good look at Nathan, who happened to be popping out of size 2T jeans, and I noticed how slim he looked to me. Sure, he's still little and has this round little face, but his body is stretching, and he's starting to look more like a boy and less like a toddler.

"Nathan, you're getting to be such a big boy," I said.

"Yes," he replied, "And maybe when I'm gonna be big, I'm gonna get a KNIFE!"

?

He has made comments about knives more than once over the past few days. At first it frightened me, too, especially given his excitable and hysterical and rough nature. Because I pictured a large, sharp, pointy hunting knife. And I thought "No way in hell."

But then I realized he was talking about getting a knife AT THE DINNER TABLE. See, up until recently we didn't give the kids knives. Because we had a hard enough time keeping them from killing each other with the forks. But in the interest of table manners, and also having kids that can cut their own food, I have started setting Nick's place with a knife. And Nathan noticed.

Tonight we threw caution to the wind and gave Nate a knife. We had to take it away once because he was playing with it, dancing his fork and knife together on his plate and letting them have some sort of conversation with each other until he knocked over his milk. But when he got it back he started using it. We had to teach him to use his fork to hold the food while he cut it, because he kept aiming for his fingers. But he learned how to cut up beets very well.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wishin' and Hopin'

Today we went to the mall and visited Santa.

This post isn't actually about the Santa visit, so the only comment I'll make today is that both boys asked him for Wall-E items. Because they both LOVE Wall-E A LOT, just in case you haven't heard.

Up until today, the boys knew Wall-E existed in film, in video games, and on cupcakes. But until we walked into the Disney Store they hadn't realized they could ask for anything more. The Disney Store had an entire Display dedicated to Wall-E. There were stuffed Wall-E and Eve's, there were big robot Wall-E's, little Wall-E and Eve figurines, and even additional robot figurines. There were Wall-E T-shirts and B&L hampers and even a life sized Wall-E robotic arm. There were Wall-E sneakers.

The boys thought they had died and gone to Wall-E heaven. They wanted everything. They asked for everything. And I had to keep repeating over and over that we weren't there to buy anything for ourselves today. All the while I was cursing Santa, how early he drops everything off at our house, and the limit I asked him to put on toys for the boys this year.

I'm not mentioning this to hint for any holiday gift ideas (but seriously, if you haven't gotten these boys anything, go there.) No, what I'm actually trying to describe is what I was feeling at that moment.

Because I wanted to buy that stuff for them. I wanted to buy them every single Wall-E item in that store. All of it. Without a thought to price, to where we'd put it, to how good it would be for them. I wanted to give it to them. To dazzle them with the glittery princess shoes and sneak the saleslady my credit card number so that come Christmas morning our house would be taken over with tiny robot figuringes.

Why? Well, I suppose because they are my children, and I want to see them happy and give them what they want. I think most of us feel this way about anyone we love when we see their eyes light up. The boys were SO excited it was just too easy to get caught up in it all. It would have been so easy to boy them each one thing...

But I didn't. And as of yet I have no intention of returning to that store. Because as much as I want to give them everything, I know that it isn't good for them, in the long run. Because life isn't like that. Be that as it may, I just want to say that I understand the impulse to spoil children. I understand how and why this happens. It's harder than you think to say no.



but seriously, you guys can spoil them all you want. get them a Wall-E.



.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Move it!


I took a break from working out over Thanksgiving. And to be honest with you, my workouts before Thanksgiving week were not what you might call "regular." No. "Sporadic" might be a better word. "Occasional" is another. But the workouts themselves were good ones (mostly) and I gradually increased the distance I was running.

This week I finally reached 5 miles - no, not a grand total, a workout total. I think that's quite a distance, even on the treadmill. Not only that, but today makes the first time I've worked out three days in a row in... since I can't remember. (Technically, Tuesday I only ran 5K. But give me a break - I was still in recovery from the day before.)

So... hooray for me!

In honor of me working out, enjoy the photo of Winston doing the dishes.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Baby Clothes


Today I went through Andy's clothes again. I was adding the 18 months clothes and putting away the 9 month stuff and the smaller 12 month stuff that's been through the dryer too many times.

Doing this I realized just how many clothes the boys had when they were little. Andy has dozens of outfits in his dresser right now. Not only did I buy him clothes, but everyone else seemed to want to buy him clothes, too. Because toddler clothes, like baby clothes, are very cute. And then when Nate got to be that size he got a few items, as well. These days Nick and Nate have just enough clothes to get them through the week, and there are some days - if I'm behind on laundry and there have been a few costume changes - where I end up stuffing someone into a pair of pants one size too small.

Putting Andy's things away made me kind of sad, though. Because once I get all of those little clothes into storage I will probably never need to look at them again.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Evil Inside

The only thing better than being an evil mother is listening to your kids relate to each other about how evil you are. For example, this afternoon Nathan, who had not napped, ran up to me and asked me for an orange. "I'm sorry, I had to throw the clementines away because they were rotten," I said.

Nate persevered and said "Then I am gonna have an apple."

I shook my head. "I'm sorry, but I didn't get any apples today." How rude of me.

Nathan was overcome with frustration, and ran away in tears. I then heard him talking to Nick in the next room. "Mommy said 'No, Apple, Nate!' Because she didn't get any!"

I laughed to myself because... well, it's just funny to hear. Here he is, telling on me and my harsh mother like rules, such as " you can't have what we do not have." And then Nicholas said - in the tone of voice that clearly meant his brother was SO LAME "Then just go get a banana."

"OK!" Nate exclaimed cheerfully, and came back out to get a banana, which we had plenty of. He finished it before his tears were dry on his cheeks.