Picture it - a three year-old boy that has been fighting a cold for about 4 days. You know, the nice snotty, boogery nose kind of cold. Got that in your head?
Now, picture yourself walking down into your family room and seeing said three year-old on the couch laying on his back.
Now, picture big brother sticking his finger up the three-year old's nose trying to "clean things out so that he can breathe."
I guess they do love each other.
This is the time of year when I start to stress about the annual Christmas Letter/Photo. I love receiving them - hate writing them. The last two years I haven't written a letter. We did a family photo in 2007 then in 2008 it was just a picture of the boys. I have no idea what this year will entail.
Do you (or your significant other) write a Christmas letter?
Do you do a family photo or just one of the kids (if you have them)?
Growing up, our tree was always real. I remember a few times going out as a family and finding the perfect tree. As I got older and too cool to hang out with my family, I'm guessing my dad would go and cut it down as there weren't tree lots that I can remember. Especially in northern Minnesota.
Now that I have my own family, we have the debate every year. Mike prefers fake while I prefer real. Mike's won out for the past 7 years. I really haven't put up much of a fight though. This year I'm putting my foot down. We are getting a real tree.
Well, we put up our fake tree today. And we're getting a real one tomorrow. I get the real tree upstairs to decorate as Martha Stewarty as I possibly can. The tree downstairs is decorated ala Colton. He picked out the light combo - white lights, then colored than white than colored. I let go of my control issues and let him put the decorations wherever he wanted and didn't move one when he wasn't looking. The only thing I did was put the breakable glass decorations up at the top.
What kind of tree to you have?
I picked up a movie for the boys tonight because I knew that I'd have no energy for playing. Got them all set up with popcorn mixed with M&Ms. They're in heaven and momma's happy too!
Right now I'm flipping through the ads coming up with a plan of attack for shopping tomorrow.
I had a hot topic for my Thoughts for Thursday, but all save that for tomorrow....
As Brett says, "Thank you for Happy Thanksgiving."
If I can just keep my house clean between now and 1:00 tomorrow......
- ooohhhhh pretty
- sweet, look at that one mom
Obviously the kid has an older brother.
About a month or so ago, Colton went through bout of forgetting his planner that is supposed to be signed every night. We told him there were consequences if this continues. Well, last night he forgot his planner. Tonight he had to write sentences. As he was sitting at the table, I heard him ask his brother to come over. Here's what I overheard.
"Here, what you're going to do, is write this letters."
"oh, man, you don't even know how to write."
Here's a picture of two of us at the very first store we went to once we checked into our hotel. Priorities.
We planned our days out well. We'd be up pretty early, eat breakfast at the hotel because it was free and then claim our spots on the beach and just slather on the baby oil and bake in the sun until lunch. In an effort to save our money for more important things like entry fees to the clubs, we'd go buy some snacks and a couple big bottles of water for lunch.
He's got a sweet tooth. Anything with sugar in it and he's all over it. Wonder who he gets that from? He does not like getting his picture taken. Usually I have to bribe him or catch him when he thinks I'm taking pictures of something else. He's usually telling me "put your camera away mom, geez."
Brett gets the first post. Being a second child, he rarely gets to be first at anything.
He is a silly boy. He loves to laugh and make you laugh. If you tell him he's funny, his usual response is, "I know."
Here's my "Friday Feature". It's another blog. A very funny blog that my co-worker introduced me to.
Check her out.
I don't really get stressed about much - if anything. I'm pretty easy going and don't spend a lot of time worrying about things that I can't control. Therefore I'm a little bit baffled about my constant anxious/nervous feeling that I've been having for the past week and a half. I can't put my finger on it though which is starting to annoy me. Since I've been spending time trying to figure out what I'm so anxious about, I have no idea what to blog about, so instead, I'll answer the questions that I've seen on a few blogs and sip my glass of Cabernet.
2. What kind of car did you drive? first a chevette and then a Plymouth Sundance
6. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Band - played the trombone and lip synced my way through choir
7. Were you a nerd? I don't think so
9. Did you get suspended/expelled? No.
10. Can you still sing the fight song? Of course!
11. Who were your favorite teachers? Mr. Kaiser and Mr. Koster
12. Where did you sit during lunch? In the cafeteria with whomever else didn't go home to eat lunch
14. Did you go to homecoming, and with who? We didn't really go with dates, it was usually a group thing or with my best friend Leah.
18. Were you in any clubs? NHS, Riverwatch, Envirothon
19. Have you gained some weight since then? I have
21. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? I did - it was a good time
I went and got my hair colored tonight. I'm back to a much lighter color in case you cared.
I've been "seeing" Kinsey now for about 2 years. There was one period in this 2 years where she was unavailable and I need some hair help STAT so I just picked whichever stylist was available.
I felt guilty that whole time and had my fingers crossed that she wasn't working that day and would see me with somebody else.
So I asked her tonight what goes through her mind when one of her clients is "seeing" somebody else. She was very honest and said, "my first thought is that they couldn't get in to see me, but my second thought is oh, crap what did I do wrong last time, but there are some clients that I'm totally okay with them not being my client anymore."
Are you faithful to your hair stylist or do you just go to whomever is available - do you keep going to the same place or do you mix it up?
I'm so thankful to be a part of such a cool family.
If my memory is correct, I made a deal with a boy when I was in the eigth grade that I would go to prom with him his senior year. I held true to the promise. We double dated with another couple and had a great time.
Here we are dressed in white. Please take note of the pile of hair on the top of my head and the tails on his tux. Good stuff for the spring of 1995. Moving on to Spring 1996 and my junior year. My date was my boyfriend at the time. If you check out any of the blogs I visit, the guy in the photo below is about to become her brother-in-law.
There are a couple of things that I remember quite vividly from this prom, but I'll only share one. If you notice in the picture, I'm standing sideways. Want to know why? Well, let's just say that it isn't a good idea to touch up your nails about 10 minutes before your date arrives. Why you ask? Well, because you could spill almost a full bottle of nail polish right onto your satin dress. I'm just sayin' it could happen.
Back in the day, we had gone on a few camping expeditions with our friends. This was before they all had kids and we only had one. We'd bring games to play during the day, but during the evening, we turned to the book of questions or something similar. Let's just say the last time the book came out, it wasn't pretty for all of us and I haven't really touched the book since.
As I was dusting today, I came across the book "If (Questions for the Game of Life)" and thought I'd open it up for you. Don't worry, I'll keep the questions G-rated.
1. If a photograph of one part of your body were to be used in an advertisement, which part would you want to be used and for what product or service?
2. If you had to name the dumbest purchase you've ever made, which would it be?
3. If you could be a contestant on any game show, which would you like to be on?
4. If you could have been told one thing that you weren't told when you were a teenager, what would like like to have heard?
5. If you could have any music group that no longer exists play at your birthday party, who would you want?
What is your favorite store to shop at?
It all depends on what I'm shopping for. If it's work clothes, I like to frequent the Ann Taylor Factory store at the outlet mall just down the road. I do really enjoy Target for the day to day stuff.
Tell us about your date nights, if you haven't gone on one for awhile, where would the two of you go if given the chance?
Mike and I try to have date nights every now and again. To be totally honest, we had one a couple of weeks ago and neither of us wanted to go anywhere or do anything. We were both just exhausted from a long week. The kids were at grandma's and we just sat on the couch, drank some Coors Lights and chatted about how guilty we felt for not doing anything.
Do you like your job and do you think you'll stay in HR forever?
I do really like my job, but like everybody else, there are parts that I would like to not have to do, like sit in on terminations. The nice thing for me is that the company I work for is huge (23,000 employees) so I don't have to do recruitment which I did before and just didn't really dig. As far as staying in it forever - I don't have any plans for a career change. It would be pretty awesome though to own my own store somebody. I have no idea what I'd sell or what services I would provide.
If you were granted three wishes what would they be?
Other than the happy, healthy, world peace etc wishes, I would wish for:
1. Metabolism that allowed me to not have to think about what I throw down the hatch
2. The money and ability to travel the world with my kids
3. And at this very exact moment, I would wish for my children to get along with each other for more than 10 seconds during an entire day.
What is my favorite room in my house and why?
The family room. I like the paint colors, I like that it is big enough to have a lounging area and room for the kids to play. It just suits us well.
Where did you meet your hubby?
Mike and I met at St. Cloud State. We had a mutual friend who worked in my dorm my freshman year. We met a few times before really hitting it off the fall of my sophomore year.
What is your favorite thing to cook for dinner?
I don't know that I have a favorite thing I like to cook, but the first thing that jumped to my mind was a go to recipe that is quick and easy and that my kids also like. I take a box of penne noodles and cook them - drain and put back in the pot over low heat. Then I add a bag of spinach, 4 or so Roma tomatoes, olive oil (I have no idea how much, enough to keep things moist) and a carton of sundried tomato feta cheese. Stir it all up so that the spinach cooks up and the cheese melts a little. That's it.
What was your best vacation and why?
Hands down our 1 year anniversary trip to Maui. It was amazing. It is just beautiful there and smells so good. We were lucky enough to have friends that lived there so they were our tour guides and showed us all the ins and outs that we may not have discovered on our own. Mike keeps asking when we can go back.
Are the elementary schools the easiest so far of parenting?
That's a tough one. Colton has always been a good kid. He's just been really easy going, he does really well in school, but, the past six months or so have become a little more challenging with him. You can tell he's influenced by his friends and other kids much more now than ever and he's only in 2nd grade! Brett's not quite in the elementary phase yet, but has really begun to calm down over the past few months which has been lovely. I don't really think I've answered your question as I think it's yet to be determined.
Tell us three things about you that I don't already know and that many others wouldn't either.
Yikes this ones got me thinking.
- A girlfriend of mine took the hit for a house party we had in St. Cloud. At the time I lived with 7 other girls and we were having a party. Not a kegger, but just friends over. Within an hour or two the cops showed up and wanted to know who lived there. "T" lived there, but so did I and I didn't confess and she didn't rat me out. She ended up with a minor consumption and my record went untarnished. Still feel a little guilty about that one.
- I was on the Envirothon team in high school. My team actually made it to state one year. I really didn't know anything to add value to the team, but did my part to be able to label trees, water insects, etc.
- I can't stand play-dough and I secretly throw it out when I'm helping the boys clean it up to the point that we no longer have any play-dough in the house and hopefully never will again.
That last one was pretty lame, but I can't spill all my juicy secrets!
Jenny - I'll send your prize home with my mom next week so she can drop it off.
First feature - it's a fantastic musical group that I've talked about before. Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons. The group was featured in a Rolling Stones article in the October 15, 2009 issue along with five others as "a new crop of acts paying homage to their Woodstock and Laurel Canyon predecessors. Sounds like Springsteen with gospel organs, strummy guitars....." Check them out. If you are in the Minneapolis area on Tuesday, November 17th, you can check them out at First Ave.
Second feature - Bath and Body Works new scent - Twilight Woods. I happened to go to the store during the sneak preview. I ended up buying the lotion, a candle and the wallflower. It's a good one.
Last year was the first year I actually had a spending budget for the boys. I tracked everything I spent on them and stopped at a certain point - I can't remember how much it was, but not a whole lot. Our boys are blessed with so many gifts that there is no need to spend lots and shower them with toys that end up getting shoved in the closet.
Part two is what I'm really interested in knowing what your take is. Let's say your budget is $50 on your family gift exchange. Do you spend $50 on that person, or do you buy a gift or two that is valued at $50? For example, you find a sweater that is regularly priced at $50. It just happens to be on sale for $35. Do you spend another $15 or do you consider your $50 budget is met because that's how much the value of the item is?
I tend to lean towards the value versus actual amount spent but have to admit I'm not consistent in my approach.
Talk amongst yourselves and post a comment to share.
Oh - don't forget to leave a question in my 11/11 post for your chance to win a fabulous prize. As of 6:03 on Thursday, your odds of winning are pretty good!
All you need to do is leave me a question that you would like me to answer in the comment section. You have until midnight on Friday - winner selected randomly by a three year old. See? It works for you - chance to win a prize and it works for me - gives me some content for a post on Saturday.
Oh, if you don't have a google account, you can leave an anonymous comment, but be sure to put your name in the comment so I know who you are if you win.
- I bought $76 dollars worth of M&Ms tonight. Why must people make a comment when you buy a lot of one item? Things like, "oooohhhh, you must really like M&Ms" or "you must not be a dentist" or "you must have a daycare". Really? I just didn't have the energy to explain to them that I'm making 100 cookie jars to raise money for breast cancer awareness. I just smiled and said, "yep."
- I've done the math and the average age of those that have the same color and make of my car is 61. Perhaps it's time for an upgrade or maybe just some spinners.
That's all I've got people. That's all I've got.
Here's the boys checking out the turtles. Brett was so confused. He truly thought we were going to go into the water and not just underneath. He kept asking, "when do we go in the water?" Here's a picture of some creepy looking fish.
Today, I'm featuring two blogs that I frequently visit. I'm not sure about blog etiquette. Was I suppose to ask permission of these people first? Oh well, guess I'll find out sooner or later.
The first one is All & Sundry. This gal is hilarious! She has two young boys, is a fabulous writer and just tells it like it is. I've laughed out loud several times reading her posts.
The second is Free Sample Freak. Who doesn't like to get free stuff? I have received free granola bars, cereal, chapstick, energy drink coupons, magazines....all kinds of good stuff.
I'm curious to know if you have a spouse or roommate if you each have specific chores that you do. At our house we kind of do.
We've never sat down and wrote a list of who does what because from what I hear, that doesn't add a lot of positive energy to your marriage and besides, I know that my list would be a lot longer than by dear hubby's.
Here's an abbreviated breakdown of who does what at our house - oh and let's not call this a list either. Oh, and let's go ahead and agree not to tell Mike that this exists. Deal? Deal.
I take care of all the bills. Not that Mike hasn't offered to do it. I kind of have a wee bit of a control issue and need to remain in charge of this. This did come back to bite me when I spent two weeks in the hospital and Mike had to take over. He was a bit overwhelmed and didn't realize that people actually pay bills online.
I do the grocery shopping. Mike also has offered to do this, but I prefer that he stays home with the kids so I can have a mental break and compare spiral noodles to penne noodles. Oh and I always love to see my % saved at the bottom of the receipt.
I make 90% of the dinners and Mike does 90% of the dishes. I hate doing dishes. He doesn't really know how to cook (other than grilling, so that is his 10% contribution to making dinner), so this works out great for us.
Mike does most of the outside the house work. You know, mowing, weed whipping, shoveling, that kind of stuff. I like to mow, but apparently, don't do it as good as he does. Whatevs.
I also do the laundry which I don't mind doing. Mike's bright enough to offer to help fold when I drop the basket down in front of him while he is watching baseball. He's such a smart man.
Mike is the picker upper and I'm the duster.
OK, my list that isn't a list is long enough.
Care to share how it works in your household?
- I am hosting Thanksgiving this year. I love it. Actually, I think I enjoy the planning part the best. I'm so type A. I've got my spreadsheet started. It includes the invite list, the menu, the need to buy list, the what in the world ingredient is that list, and the need to clean list.
- I heart Kemps pomegranate and vanilla swirl frozen yogurt. Delish.
- I am glad that I found Paul Newman's southwestern salad dressing at Super Target yesterday. Now, that's some good stuff.
- Am I embarrassed that my first three bullets are about food? Not so much.
- I found out that my oldest child has been asked to practice respectful listening at school. We've got a plan in place to nip that in the bud. Let's just see if he can remember it.
- I ordered Pioneer Woman's cookbook and it's scheduled to arrive on November 9th.
- Marilyn and I have 61 cookie jars to get crackin' on for our Christmas pre-orders. There's still time to order yours if you are interested - just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- I need to get my window coverings ordered. Our basement is open for any and all to catch a glimpse of our wild and crazy life.
- This 30 posts in 30 day thing is going to be a lot harder than I ever imagined. It's only day four. Ugh.
Me: Did you have fun at Tami's?
Me: What did you do?
B: I don't know.
Me: Did you make some new friends?
B: Yes. Five.
Me: What are their names?
B: Scooper (Cooper) and little Josh.
Me: Was there any girls there?
Me: What are their names?
B: I don't remember.
Me: Did you learn about colors today?
B: Yes. Purple. Daddy's favorite color.
Me: Did you have a snack today?
B: Yes. Crackers.
Me: Did you play with the puppy?
B: YEAH!! I ran round and round and round with the puppy and then bonked heads (he just laughed and laughed about this one.)
Me: Do you want to go to Tami's tomorrow?
The kid almost fell asleep during dinner. He. Was. Exhausted. I consider this a successful day at a new daycare.
For my Monday Memories, we going to take a trip back to fall of 1996 - my senior year.
For some reason, we always had to take a picture of our team in a pyramid form. We did this for basketball, cheerleading and volleyball. Weird, but apparently we thought it was the thing to do.
I'm the gal on the top with the sweet bangs and the ribbons in my hair.
I'm hoping the girls on the bottom are laughing and aren't really screaming in pain.