Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good ole technology

I picked Anna up from daycare today, and we hit Walgreens so I could pick up a photo for work. (Jack was sick, so Steve stayed home with him.) Once I got there, they told me that they had no record of the order.

Argh! I've done this with Walgreens before. They have this dumb system where you basically have to double confirm, and I forget the second one. I was so annoyed. It was snowing and cold out. I didn't want to have to come back. Then it occurred to me...I have an iphone! I love my iphone. It's so great. I'm great at text messaging now. And I can look something up online anytime I want.

I whipped out my phone and told the photo tech to hold on because I was going to resubmit the photo. It took a little bit (waiting for the Web pages to load), but I went online, logged in to my Walgreens account and then resent the photo. A few minutes later, they printed my photo and I was on my way.

I am so cool. Just like one of those young kids! :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The joys of NOT living in a small town

Steve and I always knew that we wanted to live near a larger city. But I only recently realized one of the truly great things about this.

You don't get recognized (for the most part)! I'm talking about those trips to the grocery store or wherever when the kids are being little terrors. Yeah, it's hard to believe that my angelic kids have terror moments, but they do. In fact, they are now at the age where they team up. I can handle one, but when they are both in feisty moods, there's trouble.

Yesterday we were at the grocery store and I bribed them to sit in the little car cart by getting them miniature balloons. I figured it was better than candy. It was fun alright. We went through the whole store with them bopping their balloons all over the place. And, every person that passed by, they shouted out, "Hi lady. See my balloon." Those were Jack's words. Anna tried to mimick him by just shouting out to random people, "bawoon, bawoon!"

By the time we got through the line, Anna was getting up and just being trouble with a capital T. I ended up carrying her out the store with her screaming and wiggling around like crazy. I know I should have felt embarrassed, but I didn't care at this point. I was just glad I didn't know anyone. I don't mind being the anonymous, "mother with crazy children."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

So we're back from Disney World, the self-proclaimed, "Happiest Place on Earth."

We did indeed have some great, happy moments. But traveling with a 2-year-old, we also had some yelling and crying moments. That girl...when she decides she does or doesn't want to do something, she can get a little finicky.

But overall, we had a very nice time, and we're glad Grandma Vicki and Grandpa Jeff could join us. I think our kids are the only ones who think Cinderella's Castle is actually Mickey's house. According to Jack, that's where Mickey lives, but he lets Cinderella stay there sometimes and do some work. Hehe. :)

Here are some pictures from our trip. Thanks to Aunt Maggie, we had our Einstein gear in order when we had breakfast with the Little Einsteins (newer Disney characters that the kids watch). We also had a great time swimming and playing in the water fountains at the Curious George Playland at Universal. And finally, you might spot a picture in there of Steve with a big bass. He and Jeff went on a fishing excursion one morning, and they must have been doing something right because they caught a lot of fish!

Oh yeah, the best picture of the trip might be the one of Anna with Piglet. Piglet is giving her a hug while Anna is chomping on a nice sausage link!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Part of the family

We're back from Disney. And while I'll have more on that later, I'm afraid we recently got some bad news. Steve's grandpa, Grandpa Jake, passed away a few days ago. This wonderful man had so many great traits. He always treated me like one of his own grandkids, which I loved. Since I'm away from my own family in Oklahoma, it's always been nice to have Steve's family here. They have always treated me like part of the family, and Jake did that, too.

I was never blessed to meet Jake's wife, Muriel, but he talked about her often. From the sound of it, they lived many years in mischievous marital bliss. Jake was in his 80s when I first met him, but you wouldn't know it. One of my favorite memories is when we went up north to the cabin, and Steve and I went golfing with Grandpa Jake...just the three of us. Well, someone had a bright idea to golf 18 holes, and I was dragging BIG TIME toward the end. By the 17th hole, I was groaning and moving slow. Meanwhile, Jake is off in the woods, looking for golf balls and never missing a beat.

I'll miss Jake this next summer. "Up North" won't be the same without him. I hope he and Muriel are now being mischievous together once again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Brrrr

So we woke up this morning, and it was about -10° today. I was going to go to Target, but I thought better of it once I felt the chills coming in from the windows.

We were all hanging out in our family room when Steve made a comment about the cold. It went something like this: "This is the kind of cold that freezes your boogers while your outside, waiting for the bus. I should know. I grew up with this."

The tone in his voice was clear. He didn't have to say anything. I could tell he was thinking, You Oklahoma girls don't know anything about the cold.

Come on! I know I didn't grow up here, but doesn't 7 years count for anything? This is the girl who went to school at the University right by Lake Michigan. I used to drive and park at the marina and then jump on the "Park and Ride" bus to get to school. I was out there in single digit and below zero weather, my teeth chattering as I waited for the bus. I'll never forget the time where we were all waiting for the bus while the brisk lake winds whipped across our raw faces. We saw the bus coming around the bend and all breathed a sigh of relief. Then, the bus swiftly passed us by because it was full. Pft! Like I don't know frozen boogers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Shoulds of the World

I'm a little overwhelmed lately by the "shoulds" in life. Though I do have a busy life, it's not really related to being a working mom. I handle that well, and the kids are at the age where they enjoy and learn at daycare. Besides, all moms and women are faced with shoulds. But honestly, there seems to be a million "should do this" and "should do that" things in the world. Here's what I mean:

  • You should read with your child 20 minutes a day.
  • You should exercise 30 minutes a day.
  • You should brush for at least a full minute twice a day and floss once a day.
  • You should have 8 glasses of water in a day.
  • You should have 3-4 servings of milk in a day.
  • You should have a combined 9 servings of fruit/vegetables.
  • You should put money into retirement.

The list goes on and on from things you should do at work to time you should take for yourself. Seriously? After all those shoulds, you're supposed to take extra time to yourself, too?!? Now I do pretty good. I exercise on the elliptical pretty regularly, I eat pretty good, I mostly drink water and I spend good time with my kids. But there's always the shoulds, hanging out there. Just this week, I was told by my new dentist that I should floss because I have deep gum pockets (!?!), and the nurse at my "woman doctor" tells me I should consider a calcium supplement and Vitamin D pill to keep my bones nice and strong.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter. These are good shoulds, but sometimes I just want to be satisfied. This is why I figure there should be some other shoulds on the list as well. Here's my list. I should hope that you try one or two of them out.

  • You should watch Project Runway (or whatever your TV pleasure is) without feeling like you need to do something productive at the same time.
  • You should let your kids (if you have kids) blow off dinner and just eat popcorn, toast or whatever...just for the giggles.
  • You should call an old friend and just chat because honestly, aren't those the things that make us smile?
  • You should buy something frivolous for yourself. Not for your kids (that's what I tend to do), and then enjoy it!
  • You should not take work home. Trust me, it doesn't go away.
  • You should buy yourself a special treat instead of waiting and hoping that your significant other will take your hints.
  • You should built a chair fort out of blankets with your kids (or nephews, nieces, etc.) just for the sake of doing something silly.
  • You should find a way not to worry about body image as much...and if you find a way, please let me know about it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Did someone say Prom video?

You can't really make people understand your high school or college experiences. Even if you had the most hilarious friends or crazy dorm roommate, no one really "gets it" like the people who lived through it with you.

So here's a video from my senior prom. It's me, my good friend Amber, and our friend Megan. We were the "entertainment" for the prom. We were tired of seeing the same old stuff at prom, so we thought it would be brilliant to put together our own music mix and choreograph it. Of course, it helped having the senior class president as one of our good friends who could pull the strings to get us on stage. (By the way, it's long.)

Now, I don't expect this to be funny to that many people. Actually, it's kind of silly in parts. But I'm posting it for a select few, who I know will enjoy and appreciate it.

By the way, do you notice the long blond-haired boy at the right, popping up to take a picture every once in a while? Yeah, that's a story for a different day.

And thanks to my lovely husband for digitizing the original VHS version.

video

Sunday, January 13, 2008

All About Jack

So it's been a while, but now it's the "All About Jack" posting now. And while I don't have a dancing video to share, I do have some good stories. (Warning: These are totally random. If you don't feel like cute kid stories, I suggest you stop reading now.)

Jack is my little organizer. He likes things in order, and he likes his routine. He got a set of Pixar Cars for his birthday, and I think his favorite thing about them is the carrying kit that came with it. He promptly brought it home, and completely filled up each space. I don't really see him play with the cars that much, but he sure likes having them.

Jack isn't afraid to say what he thinks, either. The other day, we were at the grocery store and this old man was looking at Jack. Actually, he was kind of staring at him. And Jack said, "Hey! You man! Stop looking at me!" I did the motherly thing and told him that it wasn't very nice to say that, but all the while, the man is still staring. Jack repeated his warning, "Stop looking at me!" I promptly went in the other direction because honestly, I was wondering why an old man would provoke a little toddler like that. True, I'm sure this was my motherly instinct kicking in, but it was a little creepy. Though, this is my same little boy who at 2 scolded an older man in line at the grocery store. "Hey Grandpa!" he said. "It's our turn to check out!"

Just this weekend, I painted Anna's toenails, and Jack was dead set on having his done as well. Now, I'm all about gender equality and not stereotyping kids to be too boyish or girlie. But I was feeling a little strange about putting nail polish on my son. I tried to tell him that girls usually wear it and maybe we could put stickers on him instead. That alternative lasted for about 30 seconds before he ripped the stickers off and demanded polish instead. I checked with Steve, and he told Jack he could have it only if we took it off in a few days. Jack agreed immediately. He's no dummy. He knows how to agree to anything to get what he wants. So Jack has glittery blue polish on his toes, and he's thrilled. And you know what, I'm glad. In another few years, he's going to be surrounded by that boy/girl stuff that kids tease each other about in school. Right now, he can be a kid. No one is going to see his toes anyway.

And finally, my little sweetie sure is polite. I'm not sure where he got it, but twice this weekend he said something like, "This sure is a great dinner you put together Mommy. It's very nice."

I'll take any compliments I can get. And here's a picture of Jack and Anna with the gingerbread house they made with my mom. She said that Jack did the meticulous decorating while Anna ate it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Best Birthday Present Ever

So I had a pretty uneventful birthday today. But I do have to share with you my favorite moment and gift of the day.

We had some dinner, and we were kind of hanging out afterwards. Well, Jack looked at me all serious, and he said, "Mommy. I'm not going to toot on you today because it's your birthday."

It just doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Who needs Santa when George is around?

This posting is all for Anna this time around. Jack will get his turn in a couple of days.

Anna is quite a funny little girl. Her favorite phrase these days is "I do it! I do it!" She is asserting her independence, and she wants to do everything by herself. She had a great Christmas and visit when my mom was here. It was actually nice at Christmas because she and Jack are now at an age where they play and have fun together. I remember the baby days where you can't leave their side for an instant. This year, they were playing, giggling and having fun together. (And fighting some, too, but who wants to hear about negative things on a blog?)

Anyway, back to the title of this posting. On New Years' Eve, my mom and I took the kids to this Curious George event at the Children's Museum. You actually got to eat breakfast with George himself! I called ahead of time to get tickets, and the person informed me that they set a 200 child limit for the event. (Yeah, 200 children WITH their adults.) Needless to say, it was nutty. But, like the smart mother that I am, we went upstairs 5 minutes before the "photos with George" started. Only 1 family was in front of us, so we got to see George right away! Anna was thrilled! She sat on his lap right away and smiled nice and pretty for the camera (which she rarely does). Then she gave him a kiss, high five and told him "bye-bye" about 10 times. She wanted to go back for more, so we had to quick get her out of sight. After the event (there was a lame balloon drop at 10 a.m. for the New Year), we went down the stairs to try to get close to George one more time. He was the midst of dozens of crazy kids. Well, Anna found herself a little corner and blissfully danced along with George and the music. Of course, his back is turned to her and he had people surrounding him, but Anna didn't notice or care. It was so cute, I had to put a little video of the event here.
video

Back to more Anna stories. We got her a big girl bed recently. She loves it and is doing great. Don't worry, she is sleeping on the bottom part. And, because of my recent Ikea finds, I organized her closet, and I just had to put that picture in here, too.




Here's my final Anna story. Recently, we were eating dinner when Anna starting screaming and crying. It sounded like she was in pain, and I was sure she had bitten her tongue or something. We noticed that she was pointing to something on the table. We looked down and found a spider, crawling near her hand. She was so upset. It took us a long time to calm her down. Even later that night, she didn't want to sit at that spot because of the spider from earlier. It was so strange. This is our brave and fearless little girl, but she crumbled when she saw the spider. We've seen spiders before and no one in our house is afraid of them. All I can think of is to blame her Uncle Scott. :)