What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Here!

Happy Christmas Eve to anyone who happens to stumble across my little blog today. I'm still a little in denial that it's here, but I guess I'm ready for it. I made pumpkin bread last night to bring to work today for our Christmas lunch and a pecan pie to take with us tonight. We will be spending the evening with our good friends and having homemade pierogies. It's their family tradition that we were invited to 4 years ago, and now we wouldn't miss it. My favorite pierogies are stuffed with potato and sauercraut and then toppped with caramelized onions. They are so yummy! We do a gift exchange with them, then we'll head home. We always put out milk and cookies for Santa and then the kids will probably head to bed. I've got a couple more gifts left to wrap for the kids and then after they are sleeping soundly, Santa can do his magic. I never know what time the kids will get up. They've never tried to get us up super early, but last night my boy asked what time he could wake us up. He thought 6 sounded like a good time. I'm not so sure. I told him that if he got up really early, he could bring his pillow and blanket in our room and camp out on the floor for a while. I'd like them to wait until we are all up to go downstairs, as I *think* Santa is going to bring them something really great this year. Not sure if they'll be able to resist the temptation though.
I hope I get to leave work early today. The last couple of years I've been able to leave around 3ish, and while I'd be grateful for that, I'd really like to leave earlier if possible. I forgot to plug my camera battery in to charge this morning, so I hope it has enough to get us through tonight.
My sister and her family are driving from Missouri today and should be here this afternoon sometime. They are staying with my parents tonight and then will head over tomorrow with them for gift exchange and dinner. Then they will stay at our house until they leave on Sunday. I can't wait to love on my niece. She's 21 months old and when I saw her in CA this summer, she was having quite a bit of stranger anxiety, so I didn't get to enjoy her as much as I wanted. My sister assures me she's grown out of it now, so I'm hopeful. I'm going to love on my nephew too, but he's 13 and sometimes harder to hold on to!
Writing in this blog has been interesting and I'm finally becoming more comfortable with it and with reading/commenting on so many of yours. Thank you for reading mine and especially for the comments. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukkah/ Happy Kwanzaa, etc. I look forward to reading about all of your holiday celebrations and especially look forward to hearing about the arrival of this Wee One. I will pop in and update my blog when I can.
I hope you are all surrounded with love during this time of year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This does NOT help my Christmas spirit

U.N. divided over gay rights declaration

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly split over the issue of gay rights on Thursday after a European-drafted statement calling for decriminalization of homosexuality prompted an Arab-backed one opposing it.
Diplomats said a joint statement initiated by France and the Netherlands gathered 66 signatures in the 192-nation assembly after it was read out by Argentina at a plenary session. A rival statement, read out by Syria, gathered some 60.
The two statements remained open for further signatures, the diplomats said. No resolution was drafted on the issue and there was no voting, they added.
The division in the General Assembly reflected conflicting laws in the world at large. According to sponsors of the Franco-Dutch text, homosexuality is illegal in 77 countries, seven of which punish it by death.
The European Union-backed document, noting that the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was marked this month, said those rights applied equally to all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
It urged states "to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention."
But the opposing document said the statement "delves into matters which fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of states" and could lead to "the social normalization, and possibly the legitimization, of many deplorable acts including pedophilia."
"We note with concern the attempts to create 'new rights' or 'new standards,' by misinterpreting the Universal Declaration and international treaties to include such notions that were never articulated nor agreed by the general membership," it added.
This, it said, could "seriously jeopardize the entire international human rights framework."
Muslim countries have for years opposed international attempts to legalize homosexuality.
U.S. officials said the United States had not signed either document. They said the broad framing of the language in the statement supporting decriminalization created conflicts with U.S. law, but gave no further details.
But Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen told reporters it was a "very special day at the U.N."
"For the first time in history a large group of member states speaks out in the General Assembly against discrimination based on sexual orientation," he said. "With today's statement, this is no longer a taboo within the U.N."
Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told reporters sponsors of the statement had "cornered" other members by springing the declaration on them.

What the h*ll is wrong with this country?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What a weekend!

This past weekend wasn't at all what I anticipated it was going to be. The only plans we had were:
  • Get our Christmas tree Saturday around noon. Put it in the stand with water and let it sit
  • Hair appointment for Shell & our girl at 1:30
  • While they are there, take the boy with me to finish up buying Shell's gift
  • Sunday it would be snowy and cold, so spend the day decorating the tree, doing laundry and finish the Christmas cards for mailing on Monday

What actually happened:

  • Shell's car got a flat tire sometime late Friday, so she took my car to work that night. We figured we'd just drop it off at the shop before heading to pick out our tree Saturday morning.
  • Neither of us could get the lug bolts loose enough to put the spare tire on. Called my dad to come over and help. He was already waiting on a call from us to pick up our tree, so he headed over, loosened the bolt and went to run an errand.
  • We got the spare tire on and Shell headed to the shop. Me and the kids went to the grocery store and found a really great looking tree. And it was only $30! Called my dad to come pick it up, picked up Shell and met dad at home to put the tree in the garage.
  • Dropped off the kids with my mom so we could hopefully get the rest of our shopping done. We shopped for a couple of hours, had CiCi's Pizza for dinner and then went back to pick up the kids. They were in the middle of watching a movie, so we went home to put the tree in the stand. Picked them up a little later, went home and collapsed into bed.
  • Got about 4 inches of snow overnight Saturday and it was very cold on Sunday. Was very surprised to see that the tree didn't drink any water since being in the stand. Not a good sign. Stared outside willing the snow to melt to no avail.
  • Drove to my parents house to borrow a saw from my dad so I could saw a fresh cut on the trunk of the tree. Pulled the tree out of the stand and carried it back out to the garage, while it dripped water across the floor. Sawed until my back hurt, then Shell took over and finished it off. Took off a few more bottom branches and then took it back inside. Wished with all our might that our beautiful tree would drink lots of water and not die.
  • Took Shell to get her car and I took the kids to the grocery store. Needed to get ingredients so the kids could make Edible Cells for their science projects. DUE THE NEXT DAY. Gotta love the prior notice...
  • Got home, threw some laundry in the washer. Shell & I worked on making dinner while the kids took their showers.
  • I finished the Christmas cards and got them all addressed and stamped.
  • We were elated to see that the water in the stand was considerably lower, so the kids and I put all the lights on the tree before we ate. Dinner was the most amazing chicken noodle soup ever. Every time we make it, it gets better. After dinner we put the ornaments on the tree, the kids worked on and completed their projects and were in bed at 10:45. An hour and 15 minutes later than should have been, but everything got done. Whew!

Here are a couple pictures from the tree decorating.

My girl hanging ornaments

Joe sniffing in the ornament box
My boy hanging ornaments

Willow in the way... as usual

Used the flash to emphasize the green in the tree

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I can not believe that Christmas is in two weeks. I wish that we had another month (at least) before it was here. Definitely another paycheck would be nice too. We're about half done with our shopping, and it looks like we've barely started. I did mail off my nieces' gifts today, which accounted for some of it. But still.

It's very weird to not be sending anything to my best friend. We had agreed that since I bought his ticket to see Madonna, that would be his Christmas gift. And to be honest, it was more than I would normally spend on his gift. It just bums me out to not be sending anything to him.
And I'm being kind of pouty that I won't be getting much this year either. See, my ticket to see Madonna was my Christmas gift as well. I was totally okay with it too. But now I'm sort of sad that the only gifts I get will be from my parents. I think that my kids will probably make something for me which I will love, but nothings coming from Shell. She is a master gift-giver and always gets me the best gifts. So I'm mourning the loss of that. I know it's awfully selfish of me to think this way, since I know there will be many people sacrificing their own gifts in order to be able to afford ones for their kids. And I am totally on that bandwagon. I really wish we could afford to do more for our kids this year, but we can't. And I need to stop the "poor me" pity party.

I took pictures of the kids last weekend in hopes of choosing one for our Christmas card. There were a few good ones to choose from, but we made up our minds, ordered them and I picked them up today. They will start going out in the mail tomorrow. I had hoped to get them out by the end of this week, so I am pretty happy. Here are the ones we chose from:

So you can see my dilemma. My kids are SO FREAKING CUTE, that it was very difficult to make a decision. I really wanted to use the last one, but the sun shining on my boys face really washed him out. Same with the second one. I'm not going to post the one we used just yet, since my best friend is actually getting the card and I'd rather not put it here before he sees the card itself. I'll put it here next week for sure.

StephLove tagged me for a photo meme. Thanks, this one was really fun! Here are the rules:

1) Choose the fourth picture folder on your computer
2) Choose the fourth picture
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag four other people

My picture is:
My boy on Easter 2004. He is 5 years old and at my parents house. The assortment on the floor is what was in his bucket from them. My mom goes crazy buying stuff for the kids at Easter. We hardly get them anything at all because of it. The plastic eggs are his haul from the egg hunt.
I tag Karen, Teaberry, Vikki and Vee.
We will be getting our tree this weekend and will decorate it and put the presents under it. The rest of the house is decorated as is the front of the house. I don't put lights on the house, mostly because I've never done it and have no idea where to start, but also because I'm scared of being on the ladder. So we have two prelit trees in the yard, lights all around the railing of the porch and stairs, and a lighted wreath. It's bright and colorful, the kids like it and I didn't have to climb on any ladders to do it. Everyone's happy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November Wrap Up

Two posts in one day!!!
The last Saturday of November is kind of a blur. My boy woke up around 12:30am and threw up. Right onto the floor in his room. Carpented floor I might add. YAY! He continued to be sick pretty much continually through the morning. Though thankfully it was caught in either the trusty bowl by his bed or the toilet. It finally stopped around 2:00 in the afternoon. Needless to say, I slept when he did. The day was pretty much a loss. Which was fine, because I had nothing planned. I did take some more pictures that morning though of the snow. It was so pretty and it's much easier to appreciate it when you don't have to go anywhere.
Over the back fence

Another view from the backyard

Closeup of trees with snow on them

After my boy stopped throwing up, he made his way downstairs. The kids watched TV and just relaxed. It was a really nice, laid back day. I did a lot of laundry that day, but even took my time with that. The dogs got some extra attention with everyone being home too.

My parents invited us over for brunch on Sunday. It was so good. Then we left the kids there while we did a little shopping. Got my mom's gift, part of the kids' gift from Santa, a Christmas dress for the girl, and their Christmas jammies. When we got back, my parents' new TV had been delivered, so we stayed and helped them get it set up. And ogle it a bit.
Went home, watched some TV, Shell watched football, and we all grieved a little over the end of the long relaxing weekend. Can't wait to do it again for Christmas...

Turkey Day & Friday

We had such a nice Thanksgiving this year. Since we had the big turkey dinner with my parents when Eric was here, my mom opted out of cooking it again. So we spent it with Shell's best friend and her family. When thinking about what we could bring, I considered making a pecan pie. Now, I have never had pecan pie but always thought it looked tasty. My parents, Shell & my boy don't like pecans, so it never seemed to make any sense to make a pie that I might like, knowing that no one else would eat it. I asked Dana if her family liked pecan pie, which was answered with an emphatic "oh my god, we LOVE pecan pie! Can you make it?" I figured it would be worth a try. I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman Cooks website so I used this recipe for the pie. I made it Wednesday night so it could set up overnight. I was pretty proud of how it looked, but had no idea if it would taste good.
I don't know why it rotated like this, but here's how it looked.

Anyway, I also made pumpkin bread, because I know that one tastes delicious. Dinner was good, but it's hard to eat another family's traditional Thanksgiving dishes when the only ones you've ever had were from your family. I missed my mom's dressing and gravy a LOT. Theirs were good, just different. After we recovered some from dinner, I was anxious to try my pie. I ate the first piece and thought it was really good. They recommended having it with vanilla ice cream, which was really delicious. Luckily, everyone who ate it said it was very good. I was so happy. My girl thought it was yummy too. I hope I have a reason to make it again. I'm not sure if it's so smart to make a whole pie for two people to eat.

We got home around 7ish, checked out the Black Friday ads, decided there was really nothing that we HAD to go out for and were all in bed by 10. We missed not having any leftovers, but we invited my parents over for chimichangas on Friday and had plenty left over from that. I also made pancakes for breakfast on Friday. It was a very yummy day after Thanksgiving!

It started to snow fast and heavy Friday night. These are pictures I took a couple of hours after it started.
Dogs in the backyard
The tree in the front yard. You can see the snow falling.
View from the front of the house.