Clearly, we weren't all looking at the same camera in this picture....I think we were all looking forward to our next cocktail.
Some classmates and their significant others (for those that brought them)
Leah, Leah and Leah. Can you believe in a class of 37 that there would be 3 of us?
More classmates and their significant others....
Class of '97 - it was a good time.....I'll see most of you in 10 more years!
I also have my class reunion.....I'll be sure to fill you in on that.
We'll be back on Sunday and then will be spending Christmas Eve with Mike's side of the family and Christmas Day with my dad's side of the family. Yes, my children think that having 3-4 Christmas's is what everybody does.
Oh, and did I mention that I have a week off from work?! LOVE IT!
With that, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!
Brett wasn't into the crafts as he preferred the sugar cookies and a quick visit to see The Grinch and CindyLou Who: (Colton wouldn't go anywhere near the green guy - can't say I blame him - he does look quite creepy)4. Sunday was Colton's Sunday School Christmas program. He did a fabulous job signing. He just looks so handsome if I do say so myself
If you live around me and want location info, shoot me an email. I highly recommend him.
And Kristen with her new game. How convenient that she just so happened to leave it at my house. Don't worry, I'll bring it to you.
But my question to all of you out there.....do you write a Christmas letter to go with your photos? I started this tradition about 5 years ago after Colton was born. I try to avoid the whole brag letter, but sometimes that's harder than you think.
I love love love when I get letters from others (hint hint). I started the 2007 letter, but am stuck. I can't really even remember what happened this year. I think it's time to bring in my husband's creativity. I'd love to something a little more creative than just a paragraph of what each of us have done over the year, so any of you with fabulous ideas; do share. Please. Seriously, I need some help.
Here's the entryway - the white stuff is the before: Here;s the finished product - the picture is a little dark, but you get the idea.
It went well. We ended up with 12 people and tons of delicious food. Mike's parents, my dad and step-mom, the 4 of us, Bruce, Susan and Maison (our neighbors) and Bruce's dad. Our neighbors were on their way to Michigan Wednesday afternoon. They made it about 2 1/2 hours into their trip when the hit black ice and rolled their Trailblazer four times into oncoming traffic. Luckily there was some helpful travelers on the road with them. They think about 5 people helped the 3 of them get out as the car started on fire. Even more luckily, they all had their seat belts on and nobody ended up in the hospital! Lots of stiffness and bruises though. On Saturday we headed down to Steph's house where my mom and step-dad were for a fish fry and family Christmas pictures!
Hopefully you all had a great Thanksgiving and that your pants fit as tight as mine now!
Oh - and day one of my five days off was wonderful (other than the doctor visit)!
We took Brett up to get his first haircut on Thursday evening. It was a challenging start, but we worked through it! Colton came over to Brett's chair after he got his hair cut, he looked at Brett then looked at me and said, "Mom, he looks so handsome!" Indeed he does.
Tonight was my first experience at Parent/Teacher conferences. Mike had already met Colton's teacher during orientation, however this was my first encounter. I really wasn't nervous. It was more of a surreal feeling....I couldn't believe that I was attending a meeting with my child's teacher.
So, we walk in and there was she was - the teacher who Colton thinks is pretty cool. She is just the cute, young stereo-typical kindergarten teacher. I could probably fit her in my pocket. She was just adorable. Okay, back to the bragging part. She raved about Colton (now keep in mind this is my perception and the adjectives may be a little exaggerated, but you get the picture). She said he is very mature and seems older than he really is.
They do these tests throughout the year to measure their growth. Come to find out, his reading skills are above average, she had to cut him off at 30 during counting as she had other kids to 'test.' He can look at a picture, sound it out and tell you what letter it starts with. She also said that he is very popular in class and all the kids really like him. Not that being popular is important, but it is better than being picked on right? She ended our meeting by saying, that we have nothing to worry about and that he is doing just great.
Mike and I walked out of the room with big smiles on our faces, high-fived each other and said, now, if we could only get him to listen to us!
Oh, and don't let the name throw you off....it's not X rated.
I was at an Employment Law seminar all day on Friday (by choice believe it or not). There is a law firm that puts this on every year and it's fabulous. Anyhow, they brought in a guest speaker, Dr. Michael Johnson, to talk about dealing with difficult people. He was absolutely hilarious. I could have listened to him for hours, but unfortunately, he only had forty-five minutes. This was focused more towards HR professionals, but like he said, the family holidays are coming up and this could be used in the same way. ;)
There are six 'types' of difficult people with characteristics that could cross types. I've listed them below with some of their characteristics and the best ways to deal with these types of people. Dr. Johnson said, "keep in mind, these types of people act on the facts of the moment, what they perceive is happening."
1. The Hostile Aggressive
- Sherman Tanks - these are the bulldozers; they come at you strong and in full force. Do not take them on in front of a group - that's what they love. Be assertive, but polite. They are interrupters - be sure to call them on it when the do it. Don't argue with them about who is right. Never tell them that you understand why they are unhappy - instead tell them you respect that they are unhappy about the situation......
- Snipers - these are the people that take pot shots at you behind your back. They feel in control when they are undercutting others. When they make their rude remarks, as them, "(insert name here), do you really mean what you said?" Chances are they will back pedal or say, can't you take a joke? Smoke them out - don't let social conversations stop you from dealing with the problem at hand.
- Exploders - these people throw adult temper tantrums. They launch fearsome attacks filled with rage that appear out of control. They make you feel both threatened and bewildered at the abrupt and horrifying change in their behavior. Maintain eye contact with them. Attempt to isolate them from others. Give them time to 'run down' and regain their composure. Don't argue or fight back.
2. The Complainer - pretty self explanatory. They manage to find fault with everything and don't see themselves as whiners, but as powerless, prescriptive and perfect. They see themselves as warning others about things, situations or other people that need fixing. As them specific, information seeking questions and what their plan is to solve the problems.
3. The Clam - They are silent and unresponsive who won't or can't interact. Maintain positive eye contact. Don't fill in their silence with your conversation. Ask them a question, smile and wait for a response.
4. The Negativist - Again, pretty self explanatory.They are very infectious. They want everybody to be as miserable as they are. Don't let them bring you down. Keep your sense of humor, your confidence and your perspective. Don't take their behavior personally - it's not directed specifically at you.
5. Know-it-all Experts - They want you to recognize that he/she knows everything there is to know about anything worth knowing. They can be condescending and see the ideas of others are irrelevant. Don't confront them - twist things around and tell them that you appreciate their advice however, you would like their help with x approach.
6. The Indecisive Staller - They consider themselves very helpful. They don't want to cause conflict. Refuses to let go of anything until it's perfect - which means never. Be sure to listen attentively and help them surface their reasons for stalling.
So all in all, remember that:
1. Difficult people act on facts of the moment, what they perceive is happening.
2. They are driven by an abnormal need to control the behavior of others.
3. They feel righteous anger toward those who do not act as they 'should'. The 'should' being how they (the difficult person) thinks others should act.
4. They value confidence and problem solving.
1. I was born in MN
2. I am a mom to two boys
3. I am addicted to diet soda
4. I don't drink coffee
5. My high school graduating class had a total of 37 students
6. I couldn't even tell you how many hundreds of people I graduated college with
7. I've been married for 5 years
8. I've walked 60 miles in 3 days to raise awareness to breast cancer
9. I love the summer
10. I have discovered some gray hair on my head
11. I am not allergic to anything
12. I love shoes
13. I may have tried every diet that has ever existed
14. I love the smell of my children after they have a bath
15. I prefer white wine over red
16. I can't stand mashed potatoes
17. I don't know what my natural hair color is
18. I went to the second edition of Woodstock in NY
19. I love all my boys - my husband and my kids
20. I work full time
21. I like to scrapbook
22. I don't care for politics
23. I didn't realize how hard it would be to come up with 101 things
24. I like to play my son's Mario Bros game boy game
25. I avoid having to play playdoh
26. I have the best intentions of going to church on a regular basis
27. I have one brother, 2 step brothers and 3 step sisters
28. I have been told that I'm easy-going
29. I wished I liked to clean more
30. I know how to drive a stick shift
31. I am afraid of heights
32. I would eat ice cream every day for all 3 meals if I could
33. I prefer white Christmas lights over any other color
34. At my house, Santa doesn't wrap his gifts, but he does assemble
35. 2007 will be my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner
36. Maui is my favorite vacation spot
37. I am right handed
38. I love to watch Desperate Housewives
39. I love my Beezatch get togethers
40. I do not have any pets and am very okay with that
41. I've gotten a flu shot every year for the past 5 years
42. I don't take a daily vitamin
43. I like to be barefoot
44. I don't know how to do my hair
45. I don't really like to watch movies
46. I love to go out to eat
47. I really like Mexican food
48. I've toilet-papered houses before
49. I worked at the school store in high school
50. My first car was a Chevette
51. I have delivered two babies - one with drugs and one without. There are pros and cons to each way
52. I think Valentine's Day is overrated
53. I have a pet peeve of slow drives in cruising in the left hand lane
54. I don't like to grocery shop
55. I love the smell of fresh cut grass
56. I have a best friend who has the same name as me
57. I played basketball and volleyball in high school and was a football cheerleader
58. I can still remember some of the cheers
59. I like my job
60. I haven't gotten a speeding ticket since I was 18
61. I would like to live on a lake one day
62. I get annoyed with people that don't set down their blackberry
63. I like to dance with my kids
64. I think sleeping babies are one of life's most precious sight
65. I wish all people would be nice
66. I never received a minor consumption ticket
67. I'm a freak about making sure my checkbook balances
68. I'm a list maker
69. I love to plan parties
70. I got married in the fall
71. I do not have a green thumb
72. I dislike going to the dentist
73. I wish I had a fourth bedroom in my house
74. I have swam in Lake Superior
75. I have been to Mexico and Canada
76. I have been a patient in an ambulance
77. I was a waitress all through college - great gig!
78. I think Dog the Bounty Hunter is a freak
79. I wish I had more time to read
80. I love the sound of rain on the windows
81. I will be attending my 10 year class reunion in December
82. I love love love email
83. I wear a size 6 1/2 shoe
84. I can barely stand to be in a car for more than 2 hours
85. I listen to girl talk radio on the way home from work
86. I want to get my teeth whitened
87. I can remember a lot of what I did in Kindergarten
88. I am going to my first parent/teacher conferences next week
89. My kid thinks I am a good singer (I have to get his ears checked)
90. I have never been a nail biter
91. I wish I had better posture
92. I am addicted to the blog world
93. I have a husband who handles most of the dishes duties
94. My kid loves to dust and vacuum (hmmm it must skip a generation)
95. I love flannel sheets
96. I usually drive over the speed limit
97. I don't like conflict
98. I love taking pictures
99. I consider myself well organized
100. I love to go to happy hour with my work crew - too bad it rarely happens
101. I'm extremely happy that I'm done trying to think of things about myself!
I chatted with her about my poll on my blog and asked what her recommendation was. Oh, by the way, she knows all about my lack of skill when it comes to hairstyles, colors, cuts, etc. and she still takes my appointments....gotta love that. Maybe it's just the amount of money I pay her. Oh well. Whatever. Back to last night. She informed me that I still have a lot of blond in my ends and that "we should just do a partial highlight pulling through the darker color and a little of the red that we have underneath your top layers." Wow. OK, you're the expert - sounds good to me. I think it looks darker than it did before I walked into the salon, but there's more red in it which is kind of fun. I wasn't going to get my hair cut as I'm trying to grow it out, but she said that we really needed to get rid of about 1 1/2 inches to freshen it up. She also put in rounded layers so that when I leave my hair down (opposed to the only other style I know - the ponytail) it will lay nicer. Oh, she's good.
I'll have to post a picture soon.
I tried to take before and after pictures of the bathroom, but they didn't really turn out. ....guess you'll just have to stop over to see for yourself.
We got "official" word from our President that managers and exempt staff that don't provide patient care need to take the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas off (or some variation to be off for 5 days in a pay-period)! Sweeeeeeeet!
Oh, I can't stop thinking of all the things I can get accomplished over Thanksgiving.....cleaning my house, organizing the kids bedrooms, Christmas shopping. Oh, and I don't feel guilty about sending my kids to daycare while I stay home. Just think of what a happy mom they'll come home to!
I'm a huge fan of the crock pot - especially during the fall and winter.
Here's what I made for dinner tonight and it was a big hit with all 3 of my boys.
Crock Pot Ham and Potatoes
1 ham - I used the big 'loaf' type ham that was pre-cooked
8-10 med sized potatoes peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cans cream of celery or mushroom soup
Cut ham in servings size portions. Put half of the sliced ham and potatoes in crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grated cheese. Repeat with remaining half of ingredients. Sprinkle with Paprika. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Colton took a bite and his first words were, "Mom can we have this again tomorrow? This is so good." For those of you that know Colton, the only dinner foods he will eat without causing a stink are pizza and steak.
So there's my good dead for the day - sharing a dinner with 6 ingredients and it's ready for you when you get home from work. Does life get much better?!
Needless to say, when anybody spun my hat, the yellow circles were off limits! ;)
Anyhow, this time we went prepared. My purse was loaded with a full sippy cup, cookies, a nuk, you name it, I had it. We also selected a more family-type restaurant to ease our nerves. Brett was hysterical for the full hour and a half we were there. There was music bumpin, he was jammin, and he ate from the time he sat down to the time we left. Cookies, popcorn, breadsticks, 1/2 a full size cheeseburger, beans, corn.......the list goes on. He was just laughing and having a good ol' time. Heavenly.
Oh, and Colton ate his whole kids pizza as Grandpa bribed him with a dollar to go play the shooting game if he ate all his food. I must mention that he's got a good shot. One moose and seven turkeys. He was jazzed!
A pleasent evening out. Halleluja!
Anyhow, I met Mike and the boys after work. Brett was in a great mood to start. Then he took a turn. A sharp turn. One might call it a nose dive in the wrong direction. He wanted nothing to do with sitting in a high chair. Nothing to do with his sippy cup. Nothing to do with the crayons.
We tried to entertain him....anything we gave him, he chucked across the room. He didn't just drop it on the floor, it was an all out throw. Thankfully they had a pumpkin on a hay bale and some lights and some gourds by us. That kept him busy for all of 3 minutes.
Luckily our lovely waitress put a rush on the boys' food. Then, not so luckily for us, Brett had about 6 bites and was ready to move on. Loud squeels, thrown food, embarrassed parents. Ugh.
Mike and I ate in record time while Colton waited paitenly after telling us he was full after one chicken strip. We apologized to our waitress, left a good tip and commented that we were those parents doing what we said we'd never do.
I have a feeling life will be full of these types of moments.....us being parents doing what we said we'd never do when we have kids.
PS - for any of you readers that dined at Maynards last night.....I'm sorry.
My belly always hurts the next day from laughing so hard. These girls are hilarious!
- Thank you to Leah (not me) for hosting this last one! Your lasagna was a hit!
- Jill, my sliver of garlic bread was to die for!
- Jaci, thank you for reliving the dance move of the night at Marilyn and Neil's wedding - hope you didn't pull a muscle.
- Lynn - I can't wait to see your new hair cut...be sure to blog about it!
- Marilyn - Thank you for letting us feel your belly. I still think it's a girl!
Over the past 3 months he's gained 3 lbs and is now at a whoppin' 23lbs. (25th percentile)
He's grown 1 1/2 inches and is a striking 31 1/2 inches (55th percentile)
And his head circumference is almost off the charts 19 1/2 inches (96th percentile)
Oh, and he's got a double ear infection to boot. Dang.
Apparently, Lawndale road is 40 mph...the WHOLE way. At least that is what the lovely police officer informed me of today.
It was 6:43am.....I was driving on a road that I've only taken once before when a car was coming towards me in the other lane. The red and blue lights flashed on, the car turned around and I looked down at my speedometer and remember something to the effect of 55 mph. I immediately pulled over and shut the car off knowing that those lights were for me.
Mr. Office ever so politely asked me if I knew what the speed limit was. I politely responded back, actually, I'm sorry I do not. I've never been on this road before (white lie) and now with the detour......blah blah blah. I'm guessing it's 50mph?
Nope. Not so much. The conversation continued for a few more seconds, he asked about my history...no speeding ticket or other violations since I was 18.....he goes back to the car runs my license and comes back without a ticket.
Needless to say. I followed the speed limit all the way to work and on the way home this afternoon.
Thank you Mr. Police Officer.
Me: Colton, can you please change your shirt and put your vest on so I can take some pictures of you and your brother outside?
Colton: Mom, I DON"T like that vest.
Me: I'm not asking you. Put it on. You'll never have to wear it again. Ever.
Me: Colton, you can't just button the top button and leave the rest unzipped. It looks a little goofy. (Now as I'm attempting to zip it up, the fabric gets stuck in the zipper and I can't get it fixed.)
Colton: Good. (At this time Grandma is trying to keep Brett entertained and trying to get Colton's mind off the vest that he hates oh so much.....Grandma points out a worm on the ground. Colton picks it up and it poops on him - do worms really poop? - anyway - Colton gets all bent out of shape because we are laughing at him. He goes into pout mode and we continue the "photo session" with Brett.)
Here's some proof of Mister Poutypants.....
After a while, Colton came around as did the rain. However, Brett had had enough pictures, so here's the only one with the two of them that turned out half way decent.......
Here we are....out for a test drive in our new boat. We had a beautiful Sunday afternoon....lots of sun and minimal wind. Everything worked great which is always a plus! The boys (all 3 of them) enjoyed themselves. Colton kept wanting to go faster. We had to explain that a 25 horse motor doesn't go as fast as grandpa's boat! Brett just wanted to eat and help steer. Mike had a smile from ear to ear the entire time and I was just happy to be spending a gorgeous day with my boys.