Saturday, December 29, 2007

Last Ornament Post, I Promise least until next year.

I received two each of these. They are also Shiny Brites but they are made of plastic. These are the ones I remember the most from childhood. Probably because it had shiny stuff and a hole that I could poke my fingers in and play around...and err, um, anyhoo, here they are.




Friday, December 28, 2007

Bah Hum Bug and the Year Legos Took Over.

I took down all my Christmas stuff today and I actually started feeling better. I think I am going to break our tradition of putting up the tree right after Thanksgiving and wait until after my birthday on the 11th. Maybe having it up so long detracts from the excitement.
Maybe it was because it was 70 degrees outside or because we told Pete about Santa.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad we had that talk. We also didn't play it up with RePete like we did all those years with Pete. We just made a quick reference to the fact that he needed to go night-night so Santa could bring him a present (notice I said "a") and we could all open presents when we woke up.
Maybe it was the fact that nobody wanted to watch Miracle on 34th Street with me or that we didn't set out cookies for Santa. They wanted to watch Star Wars (again!) and when I mentioned the cookies to BN after the boys were tucked in, he said he still wanted me to set some out for him. :-) So I got up and made peanut butter cookies for him before wrapping all the boys presents. Tasty. And so were the cookies.
Pete woke up and asked BN, " oh my goodness, Dad, did you see all the presents?" like BN wasn't up with me wrapping them all night. Almost as if he still believed in Santa after all. And RePete really got into it this year. After opening each present and seeing the contents, he would raise one hand like a cowboy riding a bull (in the yeehaw kind of fashion). He was really excited.
Have I mentioned the Legos? Oh Lordy the Legos...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Robinella's Craft Corner

I saw these on Dallas' blog and fell instantly in love. I had to make them.

Problem: I don't know how to do embroidery!

Solution: The internet. Don't cha just love that you can click click click and whammo, you know how to embroider. So here's my little birdie. I made these for family and friends and they loved least that is what they said to my face.


And I commented on somebody's blog about making reindeer ornaments as a kid and they asked about it, so here it is. I took this photo over at my sister, Doodah's, this weekend. It is from our Mom's tree, I think she stole it! just kidding, and we made these when we were kids. I can't believe one survived all the moving we did. We also made toy soldiers using the same clothespins but unfortunately, they all died in the moving battle. We enjoyed looking at this and reminiscing so much that we've decided next year, we'll get together and have our boys help us make more.




Remember when I mentioned Shiny Brite ornaments? The same ornaments my Mom had on our trees growing up? I loved those little baubles. Did you check out D.U.M...err, ummm, maybe acronyms are not appropriate here?

Anyhoo, I went on ebay and started bidding, well actually started watching because the ones I really wanted didn't end for five days. One ended in 3 days and I patiently waited and waited and waited and woohoo, won the auction. It only costs me a total of just over $7 and here's what I received.


and this...

and this...

and...oops, Pete stuck his thumb through the fourth one. Thankfully, no boo-boos to mend.

The ones I really really wanted ended two days later and I forgot about them. I was out shopping and Pogo calls me and says, "hey, there's only 20 minutes left on these ornaments, and someone else has placed a bid. Do you want me to bid for you?" I said, "thank goodness for friends like you and YES, bid, bid, bid." (I have a problem - that whole bidding and winning process is intoxicating) So she did and we won! And at just a few cents over $3, I was ecstatic. I won't get my hands on those ornaments until later this coming week and will post them then.

This really is my last transmission. Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!!!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Tradition


(circa 1976)

Okay, there's a couple a things wrong with this picture. First, my Mother cut my hair and she was not trained to do such things. Secondly, even though I was never a "sleep til noon" kinda kid, I at least wanted to sleep until the sun came up. In this photo, my baby sister was an early riser and so on Christmas morning, we were all dragged out of bed. My Mom thought it funny to snap photos of me. She did this every Christmas that I can remember.

So now, I do it to my sons. This was Pete on his third Christmas. Whoo boy, bustin' a gut here!



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Geminid Meteor Shower

Pogo and I should not be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

One of us gets an idea and that's all she wrote, as my late stepdad used to say. Actually this story has nothing to do with heavy machinery, but we are spontaneous women and there's no telling what would happen if we were behind the wheel. Beware any who makes women driver jokes!

This year, Pogo, whose sign is Gemini, tells me about the meteor showers. She only pauses for 2 seconds when I blurt out, "we should get together and see it" or maybe she blurted it, whichever. She then tells me the story of a few years ago that she and her family and her sister and her husband drove out to BFE to watch another meteor shower event. It's about 45 minutes from my house and it is in the middle of nowhere. She talked about how it was pitch black and so many stars twinkled. She also mentioned the twinkling eyes of critters just beyond the clearing.

It's obvious to us at this point that we need to drag our kids out into the middle of nowhere, in the pitch black, during hunting season, with critters eyeballing us in the distance. That's right, folks...another k1d k1ll1ng spree Adventure of Pogo and Robinella.

Actually, we were saved from certain doom and hunting misfires by a few things.

  • lack of sleep
  • clouds
  • lack of enthusiam
  • big hunkin' husband

The day of the big event, we were to call each other and finalize our plans. When we finally got a hold of one another, Pogo informed me that her astronomer source said it wouldn't be as great a show as was predicted. We'd still see "falling stars" but at only the rate of 1 per minute. Both of us being stay-at-home Moms, we were pooped on a Friday evening and the sky was clouding over. So, after much hemming and hawing, we got our second wind and decided to go for it, but on a smaller scale.

Instead of driving 45 minutes to risk seeing a cloudy sky, we decide to drive 20 minutes to a local park (it's in the country so darker than most areas). Pogo's hunkin' husband decides to come with and act as our protector - he's six feet something and he's a man - and that's what our men do - protect us from ourselves. The sky is only partly cloudy and they are moving.

We found a pretty dark spot to park near a radio tower and we all hunkered down in the back of the pick-up with blankets and Cheetos. I've got my new camera and unbeknownst to me, the fiddling my sister did with the buttons, probably wasn't good. I couldn't get a steady shot. I had my tripod but some of the shots I wanted were straight up. I've had this tripod for 5 years but have never taken a straight up shot, so wasn't able to adjust it properly in the dark. The standard preset for pictures in the dark and the steady shot button should have helped, but I think the button fiddling was too much to compensate for.

And no, I didn't get any meteor shots because they happened so swiftly that you recognized out of the corner of your eyes that it was flying past, but they were too fast to focus on them.

Here's my lame attempt at taking photos of the night sky.

The brightest star of Canis Major (I think):
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The belt of Orion:
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ps "BFE" = Surry County (Just an FYI - it's close to where a certain dog fighter home is currently being auctioned and someone set up an SPCA donation bucket during the auction *snicker* Nobody would bid high enough, so they closed the auction with no sale. Now he's going to list the house and maybe remove some of the dog houses *jerk*)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Adventures of Pogo and Robinella

At least once a year, Pogo and I try to mame or otherwise k1ll our k1ds. Not on purpose, mind you.

Last year, I discovered Letterboxing and shared my enthusiasm with Pogo. Luckily, she is as romantic as I am and we decided this is something we'd like to do and drag our kids along on the pretense that is all for them. The adventure. The discovery. Yeah, right, more like the whining!! So we picked the hottest day that summer and picked the longest hike - 5 miles - to search for these stamping treasures. Her children drank their water supply rapidly. Pete watered the thirsty flora with ours. About 2.5 miles into our trek, the whining began and the water well was dry. We made the decision to keep on moving as it was 2.5 miles back to our cars backwards or forwards.

The whining increased, RePete starts to look drowsy. Now RePete still took naps at this point and it was high noon (actually it was 3pm but high noon sounds more dramatic) and his little sippy cup was empty. I started to panic at this point because I am not sure if he is just sleepy or dehydrated and ready to pass out. So, I grab his street stroller and run. Poor baby was on the ride of his life - tree stumps, tree roots, man-made steps, you name it made our path out. I reached the buildings at the entrance of the park - pretty sure I ran 5 minute miles - and the first one I came to was an office building and it was almost empty. I searched until I found a kitchen and an employee and explained that I just wanted to use the sink to fill our water bottles. Instead she raided the employee fridge and handed me several water bottles and a Diet Coke - the choice of dying people everywhere - and RePete and I were on our way back to meet up with the rest of our crew.

They were coming out of the clearing, red-faced, sweat-stained, dragging their feet.

We passed the bottles around and Pogo and I decided to wait until the Fall to restart our adventures in k1d k1ll1ng Letterboxing.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Poetry Monday

Why, writing poetry couldn't be any easier than this--it's a simple formula. The only problem is, after a little investigation, I realized there are multiple formulas for writing cinquain."
dark, moonless
shooting, flying, falling
warmly wrapped in darkness

blurry, zigzags
shaky tripod teeters
frigid fingers need some warming


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cooking with boys is a joy...

especially when then boys are mine and we are making cookies. I read on another blog (forget where now) about these cookies. Pure genius. Who woulda thunk to paint the cookies first. I don't know who first decided this was a good thing to do, but if you do, please pass on my thanks.

To think of all the time and energy spent making all the different colored icings and having them get all botched up in transport, you know stuck to the cellophane or each other. Not anymore. This egg paint dries in the oven.

First you roll and cut the cookies. Then paint and in our case add lots and lots of little sprinkles. Lots and Lots.

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Then you watch them carefully whilst they cook. "Look mom, they're getting poofy."

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Find your special plate. We made this plate using Pete's hands (he was 4) and RePete's foot (just a few months old).

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Now enjoy!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

He was a Jolly Old Soul

When BN and I had Pete, we talked at great length about Santa Claus. We debated whether to even bother with the ruse, because we didn't want to lie and we worried about Pete, being very intense from day one, having a meltdown when he found out the truth. We went back and forth, and forth and back until Pete's first Christmas. He was 10 months and the Commercialized Christmas Spirit that we both knew and loved overcame us.
We took him to sit on Santa's lap. He was not happy.

Per BN's wishes, all the presents were from "Santa" and not us. Everything had to be wrapped in special Santa paper, etc. etc. From that day forward, Pete has been asking all the right questions. How does he get down the chimney? How does he carry toys for everyone in his sack? Are the elves paid for their work? Are the reindeer girls or boys? Can I go to the North Pole for a visit? And each year we've dodged and hemmed and hawed and the fibs kept mounting.
This year, Pete made his list (the boys sit down with scissors, glue, one sheet of paper and the store ads and cut and paste the pictures on the paper for their list) and I swear if you added everything up, it would have been close to $4000.00. He loves Legos and wants them all. So I said he needed to pick a few he really, really wanted and circle them. He did this but then added that he wasn't worried about the rest because Santa would be sure and get them all since it doesn't cost him anything.
That was when it hit me that we made the wrong decision or at least we went about it the wrong way somehow. We should have put limits on what Santa could bring, or maybe only given 3 presents from Santa and the rest from us (I was overruled on this in the beginning). So I told BN this story and asked him to let Pete down gently. I am very matter of fact about things, but BN has a softness about him when it comes to his boys and he just always says things the right way. I knew Pete would feel less hurt by the lies if BN handled it. And he was.
I think he already had an inkling about the truth anyway, but like the Tooth Fairy, wanted the magic to stay with him a bit longer. It's funny now because he doesn't seem to mind at all and it's even better for us because he knows WE will hold the old "You Better Watch Out" bit over him even if Santa let it slide. We'll be doing things differently with RePete now that he's curious about Santa. He still doesn't have a clue who Santa really is in this charade we call Christmas Spirit, but he's catching on.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Could it get any better?

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea today would be THE day. I always wake up thinking it'll be a good day, but today...Whoa!

EVERYTING was going along as normal until I tried to print my family photos for our Christmas cards (I dragged my family down to the boat slip and pier yesterday). For whatever reason, our printer wasn't cooperating so I went online and uploaded the digital prints to Ritz, our local camera shop and also the store where I purchased my new camera. They have one hour photo developing and I figured I'd just run in on my way to taking the boys to the park.

When the boys and I arrived and I gave the girl my name for pickup, she became all apologetic because..

She said, "I tried to call you at the home number."

Me, "Oh, why? Is something wrong?"

Her, "Well, we have this release form you have to sign due to copyright laws."

Me (all confused), "Copyright laws? For my own pictures?"

Her, "You took these? Not a studio?"

Me (getting all giddy cause I'm loving my new camera), "Yep. I took them with the new camera we just bought from you guys."

Her, "Well, these are great! Let me get them printed up real quick for you."


THEN this evening after I drop Pete off at gymnastics, I ran to the store to pick up picture hangers (since I had 11X13s printed of the boys) and then I stopped by Taco Bell to grab a drink. When I drove up to the window to pay, she said, "no charge", me, "no charge?", her, "Nope." me, "well, have a great evening and thank you."


THEN as I was catching up on the Fun Monday posts, I read Nikki's who stated that Dirty Uncle Mark stole her ornaments. So I clicked on his blog to see these stolen ornaments and my breath caught in my chest. He had some of the same vintage ornaments that I remembered hanging on my Mom's tree, but were now all broken, except the two I have packed away. He even had a box with the name of the manufacturer. So I looked these up and am bidding on a few that were particularly amazing to me as a kid. I want my kids to see what I saw each year on the tree.

I couldn't be any happier. Oh, and it's my birthday in a few hours.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's been a good day.

Things that made it that way:

  • I finally finished reading all the FM posts. Phew, I'm tired. THANKS to everyone who stopped by and who played.
  • I finally mailed the package I tried to mail yesterday - and there are no fist fights to report.
  • I finally cleaned my bathrooms after I think a month of not cleaning them. Because of course, nobody else in this house would even think about it.
  • I finally swept under my washer and dryer AND swept and mopped the kitchen floor. Again, the month thing is feeling familiar.
  • I got to talk to Pogo without too much commotion in the background. She's my crack.
  • My boys have gotten along really well today. Minimal fighting.
  • Pete and I completed the math and reading assignments I meant to do yesterday and he didn't complain. He also got the math concepts right away AND read faster than previously. Because of this stress free school session, the fact that he seems to have over active saliva glands and most of the words started with "sp" or "st" or "spl" and he "sp"otted up the table and book, didn't bother me at all.

The pessimist in me is saying, "yeah, but it's only 4pm and they don't go to bed until 9pm".

The optimist in me is saying, "ahhh, but I feel so relaxed and it's been quite awhile since I've had this euphoric feeling".

I'm going to ignore the pessimist and go vacuum or something since they are playing outside so nicely.