Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Pictures

Here they are. The Christmas Card pictures of 2006.

Taken in a total of like five minutes because I decided we weren't going to deal with all the drama like we did last year.

Watch for yours in the mail to see which one we used.

First Day Jitters

Today is the first day that I've had both Chloe and Cecelia here together for the whole day. They've been here together at the same time for half days before, but never a whole day. I have to admit I was a little nervous this morning because starting in another month Cecelia will be here full time.
So, are you ready for this? It's gone so well today! I must have been nuts, because when Bret's mom called last night and asked if I could take her to the doctor this morning, I said, "Sure, why not?" So the babies and I piled into the minivan and off we went. They did great! We spent over an hour in the waiting room, complete with double stroller and an overflowing diaper bag and Sally and all of her bags. (What a sight we must have been walking Two bottles and two dirty diapers later we were leaving with two of the best behaved babies ever. It's like having twins, but I thrive when I'm busy because once I sit down, I'm done and tired.

The girls like each other very much. Chloe was all about trying to get Cecelia's attention. She's become so social in the last week or so.

Chloe, trying to get Cecelia's attention.

Game on, though. Chloe saw Cecelia's purple blanket and just had to have it.

Cecelia didn't seem to mind too much.
"Got it!"
Before heading off to school this morning, Ryan introduced Chloe to Sponge Bob. He informed me that she likes it very much.


This is what happens when your kids leave the outdoor sand and toy boxes open and then freezing rain fills it up. I should make them chisel it all out with spoons.

Before I could even take this picture I had to pry the frozen screen door to the deck open.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Man's Man

If you ask my 6 year old son what he wants for Christmas, he'll tell you this (he calls it the muffin man cooker.) and this (must be because the dog really poops.) His dad is so proud!

Diabetic Coma Anyone?

The kids rushed in after school today, excited to decorate the cookies we baked last night. A total of three cans of frosting were used for two dozen cookies. Any bets on what the time the kids will finally fall asleep tonight?
* * * *
Ryan dangles a cookie in front of Chloe. She wants it, but 4 months is a bit too young for cookies. Wait a few months and we'll sneak you a few bites, Chloe.

Ryan couldn't get the frosting to come out of the can so we had to decorate them for him while he instructed us on what to do.

The final product. The kids have each already wolfed down 2 each, already.

And....did anyone see the change in our forecast? 6-12 inches of snow predicted by tomorrow night. Woo-hoo! We could live without the freezing rain tonight, though. Which would be why our family fire drill is being postponed - even if Ashley still wanted to do it in the freezing rain. Sorry, honey. You're on your own with that one.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How Do These Subjects Come Up Right At BEDTIME?!

As I'm putting Ryan to bed tonight, in my last ditch effort at trying to talk him into staying in bed, I tell him that he can't get out of bed if he wants to help frost and decorate the sugar cookies Ashley and I made earlier tonight when he gets home from school tomorrow.

He then asks, "What if I have to go to the bathroom?"

I say, "Okay, you can only get out of bed if you have to use the bathroom, you're sick or if there is an emergency."

I should have known. What have I unleashed now?

He asks, "What's an emergency?"

Uh, oh. I tell him that an emergency would be if the house was on fire or something really important like that. (I wasn't going to give him more examples because the minute I said "fire" I knew I wasn't getting out of there anytime soon.)

The questions started. We've talked about all this before - many times but Ryan can talk about these things until he finally passes out from exhaustion. I didn't want to make too big of a deal out of it because I didn't want him scared before bedtime.

One of his questions was about getting the window open. I figured it was probably as good of a time as any so I showed him how to open the window and take the screen off.

At Ryan's request, we will now be having a family fire drill when Bret gets home from work tomorrow. We'll be making sure that the kids can get their windows open and screens off and climb through without breaking any bones. (Thank, God we live in a ranch!) Ryan actually has it pretty easy because his window is right along our front porch. Ashley, on the other hand, will be landing in the bushes. (Sorry, I know I shouldn't be laughing right now.) Can you guess which window Bret gets? (he he he - not the one with the porch - that's for sure.) (Or maybe we'll have him squeeze through the little kitchen window.)

So if you see us climbing out of our windows tomorrow evening and then running across the street to our safe meeting place, don't be alarmed. We haven't lost all of our marbles yet.

Update: Our family fire drill has officially been postponed until freezing rain and 6-12 inches of forcasted snow passes. Why? Because you can bet yours truely would end up getting stuck in pile of snow and someone would most likely be there with the camera. Uh, no - not happening.


I'm going to say it and everyone is going to freak out. Where is my snow? It's almost December and I'm ready for it! You know, so my neighbor and I can build another snowman while the kids shovel the street again. Just like last year when the kids finally realized that the snowman was more for us than for the kids and then they moved on to the next best thing - shoveling the street because it's just so helpful.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ryan's New Lego Table

Bret and Scott spent the day in Scott's garage building this Lego table for Ryan. Maybe Santa will be bringing more legos for Ryan this Christmas. He was definately running out of room before. Now I just need to paint it so it blends in with my livingroom. We would love to have stuck it all downstairs, but then you can bet his legos would never stay together if we weren't around to supervise.

No One Said It'd Be Easy

It's not very easy to put Christmas lights on your bushes when the leaves have all fallen off. Not sure if I should have bothered, however they do look better in person.
The left side of our house...

I wasn't going to put lights on the bushes this year, but Bret never did get up and put them on the gutters, so I had to do something with them. Besides, the neighbors are all lit up, too. Can't let them have all the fun, right?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It Figures

It just figures that some of the best pictures of the kids taken this weekend would be at the rest stop on I55 on the way home from Chicago. (I'll be adding them to the Thanksgiving Weekend set on Flickr.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Downtown Chicago

For some reason today, we decided to bravely join the masses of people in downtown Chicago. The weather was unseasonably warm, which made for a perfect day to be outdoors.

Our day started out in the parking lot of the train station, with the kids correcting Grammy's parking payment mistake.

Because, honestly? I guess she didn't see the red arrow pointing to the slot for that particular number. Yes, she paid for someone else to park there all day.

The kids always have so much fun on the train. Other passengers probably got tired of them switching seats every couple of minutes, though. (Ugh, freaking tourists!)

Then you have this guy we decided to call "Most Wanted Santa". He jumped in next to Ryan while we were trying to get a picture. He kept walking around, handing out postcards and then asking everyone if they could spare some money for the homeless. A couple of hours later we saw him in McDonald's, counting a huge wad of cash. Hmm...all I can say is, "Get the (bleep) away from my little boy!!!"

Ryan wasn't too impressed with the Sears Tower Sky Deck. He just wanted to move on to something else, like a cab or bus ride or maybe the Macy's Christmas tree.

Ashley had a good time up there, though. She definitely got the award for best behaved kid today.

Ryan finally gets to see the big Christmas tree. It was pretty impressive.

A few attempts at getting our family Christmas card picture.

Still another attempt at that family picture, but in all reality we were lost. Looking for the train station, we had walked for another 25 minutes after this picture when we ended up right back in this same spot. Guess where the train station is? Right behind us and across the street.

Ryan got pretty wet playing near this fountain. Good thing it wasn't freezing out today.

We waited while Bret took Ryan into Chase Manhattan Bank to use the bathroom. When they got back, this is how they found us - just about passed out. At one point, some foreign lady came in and asked us if we were protesters. What?

We did make it back in time to to catch the next train out of there.

This was the second time we've done this after Thanksgiving and I think the kids really enjoyed seeing such a great city.

There will be more pictures at Flickr when I get to it.


is. so. very. old.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wrong On So Many Levels

At 7:30am this morning my mom comes in while we're still in bed and tells us that we're meeting my Grandma for breakfast. Or we can stay here and make our own. That is just so wrong. So much for sleeping in.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And We're Off. . .

Heading out to my hometown for Thanksgiving. A few things on the agenda:

  • Thanksgiving Dinner with my family.
  • Taking the train to downtown Chicago to see all the Christmas window displays and the huge Christmas tree and then maybe taking the kids up in the Sear's tower.
  • My (gulp) 30th Birthday on Friday.
  • Three hours in the car each way with two kids fighting over which movies to watch in the van.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Take ME Away

Remember those old calgon commercials they use to show on TV where the mom is having a bad day and she says, "Calgon, take me away"? I use to be scared of those commercials when I was a kid, thinking that "Calgon" was going to take the mom away and the kids would never see her again. I was always everwatchful for the feared calgon bottle in our bathroom - ready to dispose of it should it appear.

My kids have only been home from school for less than two hours and I have two kids fighting - one laying on the basement stairs crying and now a flute and a trumpet being practiced in the basement. All this after having a somewhat rough afternoon with a baby who didn't really want to sleep or eat.

So now I have to ask . . .

Calgon, can you take ME away?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Six Months

It's hard to believe, but it's been six months since Ryan got his hearing aids. Today we had him fitted for new ear molds because his ears have grown so much in the past six months. All we've been hearing for the past couple of weeks when he moves his head is high frequency whistling.

Six months ago...

He was making great progress immediately after getting them and over the summer, but now he's no longer pronouncing letter sounds that he was able to a couple of weeks ago. I believe the reason for this is because the school isn't providing adequate speech services. First we found out that he had accidentally been dropped from the speech list. Next it was because the speech therapist had been hospitalized. Now she's back in the hospital having some kind of surgery. I don't blame her and wish her the best, but shouldn't the school have a back up plan for this kind of thing? What gives? Who does this affect? Ryan. We moved to this school district three years ago to benefit our kids. The educational aspects of it have been great, but their special education therapy services have not been up to anyone's standards. He's so far behind in the amount of hours that the school is required by law to provide that I'm not sure when he will be caught up.
I didn't want to have to do this again, but it looks like we're going to have to call up the speech therapist that we paid out of our own pockets to pick up the slack before and have her add him back to her case load.
Am I frustrated? Yes!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Five Year Long Christmas

I really don't want to do it, but I'm heading off to the great outside to put up our Christmas lights. (As soon as I finish my spaghetii o's.) If this year follows last year, it'll be freezing cold and blizzard like here over Thanksgiving and the cold won't let up until right before Christmas. Who would want to be out putting lights up during that?!

Bret says he's not getting up on the roof to put lights on the gutters this year. That may be a good thing, seeing as he put them up the first year we lived in our old house and didn't take them down until we put the house up for sale 5 years later. Yes, (shamfully hiding face) that was us.

I wonder if we rolled up all of the strings of lights when we took them down last year. Guess I'll find out, won't I?

Friday, November 17, 2006


This is what happens when things are going too smoothly. This box is not my friend right now! Dumb (Almost forgot that this is a sensored blog due to my ten year old reading it.) box!!!

Would it be wrong just to leave the mess there till morning?

Tree Trimming

It's done. Here's the before my kids got home shot.

Here's them "helping". Ha!

And then we have the after shot. I'll be redoing it on Monday! JUST KIDDING!!!

Now I'm on to the hundreds of boxes of Christmas decorations that I pulled down from the attic.


I promised Ryan last night that if he ate every bite of his dinner, I'd put up our Christmas tree today. Guess who didn't think he'd eat it? He ate it. All of it. Guess what I've been doing for the last couple of hours? (Sigh.)

* * * *

If any of you are following BJ's struggle over at Atomictumor, it's not looking good. Please send your thoughts and prayers their way.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ashley's New Blog

Well, we're going to see how this works. Ashley has been begging me for her own blog for awhile now. I've set up one for her, but because of her age, I'm putting certain precautions in place. Only family and friends that her dad and I approve of will be allowed to view her blog. If you've received an email inviting you to view her blog, you'll have to sign up for a google account (easy to do) using your email address as your user name. Then you'll be given access to her blog. If you've received an email, congratulations - we trust you. If not, and you're wanting to be added to the list of emails that can have access, please let me know.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Great - You found us!

I've changed the address of my blog to one that doesn't include our last name in an effort to make us a little bit more anonymous. As of right now, the blog appears at both the old address and the new one. The old address has just a basic note that tells you where to find the new blog. I wasn't too thrilled that people could track us down by our last name. Got to keep the kiddos safe!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ryan Will Be Ryan

My kids are now the proud owners of over sized fold up cots to sleep on with sleeping bags at Grammy's house when we head on up to Chicago to visit. However, Ryan says he is still sleeping in his toddler bed. He's now six. He's taller than the bed. Yep, that's Ryan.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Never Saw It Coming

So I had plans last night to go out with Teri for my birthday and got the mother of all surprises. First she took me to Kohls to pick out a birthday present and then we headed on over to Alexander's Steakhouse for a yummy dinner. As we turn the corner, I see a table full of my friends and my mom yelling, "Surprise!" They managed to keep a secret from me - all of them! I can't believe it. Even my mother didn't spill the beans. I have Teri to thank for all of this. She was the one who has been planning this for over a month now. I never even thought that there would be any kind of surprise party - not a single one of them have acted any different than they normally do this past month. I am so blessed to have friends that care about me so much.
Here's me, coming around the corner, totally surprised!

Teri & Scott.

Tom & Cat (baby Chloe's mommy and daddy).

Me & my mom. She's never kept a secret before in her life! I had no idea she was coming.

Jon & Em.

Kelly & Dan (baby Cecelia's mommy and daddy).

Bret & I. He kept it under raps the whole time. I even believed that he was dropping the kids off at his parent's house so that he and Scott could go catch a movie.

Isn't it great to have such wonderful friends? Thanks, guys!!!

More pictures over on Flickr.


I broke (trying not to cry) my pretty center piece pumpkin this morning trying to make room on the kitchen table for the newspaper sale guides so we could "Christmas shop". I believe that was a sign - time to put the fall stuff away and break out the Christmas. Whoopee!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Woo Hoo!!!

After three years of begging, I'm finally getting the storm door for the kitchen door that I've wanted since the day we moved in. (My early Christmas present from Bret's parents - Thanks, by the way!) Only problem is that I haven't seen it yet. Bret and his dad went and picked it out and are installing it right now and won't let me see it until it's done. (Should I be nervous?)

Now I can finally have a visual to the front side of my house.

The kids can play on the driveway with their chalk and I can watch them from the kitchen.

We'll see the school bus in the morning instead of having to strain our ears to hear it coming.

When friends come to the door they can see and hear me say "Come on in." instead of me finally having to get up and go to the door. (Laziness on my part there - I know!)

And most of all? AIR FLOW!!! There will finally be a cool breeze floating through my house on a nice day!

I'll just finally feel like I'll know what's going on in the front of my house for a change.

* * * * *

My new door in all of it's glory!!!

Don't even think about nosing it up, Daisy!

For Your Musical Enjoyment

Tonight was Ashley's Band and Chorus concert at school . I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised at how well they did. I took plenty of pictures, but none of them really turned out due to the lighting in the gym. You'll find Ashley in the middle of the front row. Click on the arrow to start the video.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Count Your Blessings

Need a good crying jag or a reason to appreciate what you have? Check out this blog that I found through Mom's Daily Dose. It's a daily journal written by a husband who's wife is in the hospital fighting for her life. Wow, does my heart go out to him. Makes me count my blessings for sure.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tried To Kill My Friend Today

You know how misery loves company? I talked Teri into trying Body Step at the gym today. Afterwards, she leaves me this comment on last Sunday's post...

"Ok, I'm waiting for more on your blog!!! =-) Must be old age that is slowing you down... Just wanted to say thanks for trying to 'kill me today'..."

I just wanted to let her know that, yes, I was trying to kill her, but I only succeeded in killing myself. Man, is that class brutal! I even made her do the 15 minute ab class before step began. We laid on the floor trying not to laugh during the hovers.

There is also the issue that I haven't had a new post on here since Sunday. All I can say is that I'm on baby schedule. I feel like a new mom three days a week - going to the gym and then sleeping when the baby sleeps. My life is now dicated by her routine. I better get my act together soon though because come January there will be two babies here during the day. Chloe and I are still trying to figure it all out. Some day we will have a schedule and it will be heavenly.

And yes, I'm turning the big 30 in a couple of weeks, but I'm not talking about that. Last year was my 29 and holding birthday. This year will be the second anniversary of my 29th birthday. Yep, no denial here.

Putting Forth My Best Effort

I want all of you to know that I am seriously trying to hold myself back. The leaves are gone from the trees. I'm tired of looking at my fall decorations. My kids have been busy circling all of the toys they want from catalogs that come in the mail. And, oh, all the Christmas stuff in the stores! Is it time to switch over to Christmas yet?

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I'm bored and my house needs cleaning. The only way I can get into it today is if I (gasp!) rearrange the furniture in my house. Ryan's room has already been done. Hope he doesn't have to get up in the middle of the night to pee. He might get lost.

Up next? Ashley's room because we will soon have baby number 2 (Cecelia) here during the day and their pack n plays are in the kids' rooms.

And then maybe the living room. I have to keep Bret on his toes so he doesn't succumb to early Alzheimers, so maybe I should rearrange the kitchen cabinets again.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Prom Night

Bret and Scott took the girls to the Girl Scout Prom tonight. Don't they look adorable?

Ashley, in a sea of pre-teeny boppers.

Aww, Bret's first prom!