Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Okay, so I totally suck at uploading video. I think the last one was corrupted, but I hope to redeem my ineptness with this cute video of Cousin Paisley giving Baby Sam a drink of water. She says to him, "Goood boy!" Yah, right before she spills it all over him - she just turned 1. ;D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pet Peeve

Can I just say here how annoyed I am that Christmas has come earlier and earlier? It's in the stores - and has been - for quite some time! When I was girl, (yes, I know I sound old already), the Christmas rush did NOT start until after Thanksgiving!

Kids could THINK about it all year, but the trees and tinsel weren't in the stores until AFTER you were done taking your Thanksgiving nap.

Now that I'm older, I resent the huge build up to that one day. It is a stress to moms. Well at least this mom. I was on the phone to a friend who is already putting up her tree. And when I gave a snide comment about a house that was already bedecked in faux icicles, another friend replied, "Ohhhh, yes, I know the house, it always looks so beautiful." It's NOVEMBER! Aren't there people in Scandinavian countries who cut the tree the evening of December 24th, then huck it back out on December 26th?

Yes, I would love a magical Christmas for my kids, and I am totally in line with the joy of the season, but the season is now starting to bridge over two-to-three seasons! So, feel for my children. Mom is a Scrooge and will only allow 29 days of madness.

I know that there isn't much I can do about it, but gripe, but there you have it, that's why it's a pet peeve. And the worst thing about it?! Those cute holiday plates at the Smiths...

Friday, November 14, 2008

White House Memories

Here is Baby Sam's Christmas Ornament from the White House - this year it's a Christmas Tree and it says:

The 2008 White House Christmas ornament honoring the presidency of Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), the twenty-third president of the United States, was inspired by the Harrison family’s Victorian Christmas tree, the first documented tree to decorate the President’s House. The ornament, presents the White House as a family home.

Christmas stands out in White House memory as a special time for the Harrisons. Accommodations were tight with six adults and three grandchildren sharing the second floor family quarters. The president doted on his grandchildren and went to great lengths to amuse them. He said, “We shall have an old-fashioned Christmas tree for the grandchildren upstairs, and I shall be their Santa Claus.” To the delight of the children, the tree was laden with decorations and innumerable toys and treats. Mrs. Harrison had made sure each member of her husband’s staff was remembered with a personal token and all of the domestic employees were called in to receive gifts from under the tree.

Ohhh, and I love the flags on the top! So cute. I have wanted my children to feel connected to their country; to feel a part of this wonderful nation and understand their part in it. So, as a tradition, I have done two things:

1. Official White House Greetings for each child's birth (Free) and
2. The White House Ornament from the year they were born. (NOT Free)
(They look small here, but they actually fill the palm of my hand...)

The White House has put out some truly FANTASTIC ornaments, and they are SO beautiful. I am envious of the Bush year's, in particular.

Since the program didn't start until 1981 (and man, those first couple are laaaaaame), I have missed out on my own White House ornament, but it has been a such a delight to get them for my children. On the right is Benjamin's 2004 ornament.

Here is Abigail's 2000 ornament (the middle spins). We got our first two at the Eisenhower Presidential museum, and it has been so fun to put them on the tree. This year, I just ordered online: I think I will save my pennies and get the 2005 commemorative one, but until then, I'll be waiting for Sam's lil' piece of history.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Accessing the Heavens

Today was one of those days where I really wanted to have a one-on-one information download with God. Due to the recent move, I will need to get a Christmas letter out before the end of the month to announce that ONCE AGAIN, we have MOVED.

This spawned a whole litany of questions about how life has turned out, how did I get from here [random childhood point A]to here [present insanity]. How am I going to "spin" this one, and really, should I have to? Am I on a path of enlightenment or is it all just one huge cosmic joke?

I tried to get all of the elements in place for true communication - well as much as is possible for a mom with two kids at home. I set up Sam in the excersaucer, and put on "Dexter's Labratory" for Benjamin - then went to take a shower.

As all of my experiences and crisis of the past washed over me, and a whole lot of thoughts of "WOW, that's not fair... " or "What did I do to deserve THAT?" or "What in the HECK was the purpose of going through THAT?" And I'd pause every now and again to allow God to answer for Himself. (I try to be courteous to the Almighty).

I've heard of people having true revelations of thought and inspiration. I felt that I was due, and I could certainly use some divine explanation. So I thought I'd just wait and listen - patiently, and be in that spot to hear, or FEEL what in the heck is going on in my life. I pulled out all of my pondering, searching, and inspirational reflexes. Trying to reach beyond this mortal world of cares and shortsightedness and stretch my soul enough to tap into the eternal purpose of my life. Straining to hear, trying to not run through my laundry list of "to do"s and focusing on that still small voice, that seems to be ever on "mute," I sat and thought. And thought. And waited. Then decided that maybe God was on another line, and I should just have a sit. *waiting, waiting*

After laying down and staring at the ceiling for a long while, and feeling the water turn from warm to tepid as I waited for said inspiration, I just said, in a very deliberate, exasperated, and loud, "WHAT!?"

Well. God didn't answer me. But my toddler did, "What are you doing Mommy?!" Scared the life out of me! If I had been a cat, my claws would have been on the shower ceiling. I jumped so bad. "UH! HI! I didn't see you there! Uh, Mommy is taking a bath, and ... I washed my hair, but I'm all done now. Is your show over? OH KAY, time for you to get out now! Let's get ready to go to the store..."

So I left my sanctuary, none the wiser, but definitely scared out of my wits! What wisdom can I pass on to you, fair reader? How 'bout, "Be careful who you ask for direction, because you never know who will answer!!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

For the Grandparents...

Yes, I know, I have already posted my idyllic pictures of my kids for Halloween, but my dad called yesterday from New Jersey. After watching the munchkins out there in their neighborhood go from door-to-door, he requested some "out on the street" pics of his grandkids. OH SURE!

It was not my favorite Halloween, to tell you the truth. I think Abigail's and Sam's costumes got left at the photo shoot, so Abigail wore her reversible cape to school. She later told Matthew, "I had the worst costume in my whole class! Just regular clothes and the [stupid] cape mom made me, plus another girl had one just like me..." OH SNAP!

So, she went reluctantly as Bat Girl. With no mask, because a plain black mask is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to find. Then it started to rain, and she had to wear the ONLY slicker that this desert-residing family owns, which is a Winnie the Pooh rain poncho. That makes three costumes for her in just one Halloween. I put Benjamin's Superman pajama top on Baby Sam and just called it good. Not my year for a fantastic mom. Oh well.

I redeemed myself by getting up SUPER early to take the kids to the Home Depot for their free kids project. My stock went up in Abigail's eyes, and Benjamin is oh-so-proud of his accomplishment. YEAH. Now I know why they call it "All Saint's Day," it's for all the parents who survived dealing with their kids the night before!!! Oh, I need a drink....

P.S. My two favorite costumes this year:
1) Guy wearing a sweatshirt with those tiny boxed cereals (Froot Loops/Apple Jacks/Frosted Flakes etc.) stuck to it, each with a fake plastic bloody knife stabbed through it. "I'm a cereal killer...."
2) Kid robot who's mom used dryer vent hose for arms and legs, and those glow-in-the dark necklaces side-by-side to resemble a light circuit board on the tummy and back. [lllll] *can you imagine it from my typing characters?* It looked really awesome after sundown.