Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm moving!!!

No, not me or my family. Just my blog. My dear, sweet hubby has finally gotten the family website almost done, and has created a tab for me to use for my blog. I'll have more control of the content and who can or cannot comment (which will alleviate the spam issues we've all had from time to time) so I'm hoping that this move will be a good one! You know, no one likes change...but, I'm giving it a shot and trying to keep a positive attitude :)

Now, some points of importance:
1. You do not need to have a registered account to go to my blog, or to post comments.
2. You do have to have an account if you want to access the entire site, including the photo gallery.
3. Hubby welcomes comments and suggestions on how he can improve the site and make it more user friendly. There is a 'contact us' link on the site, so post your suggestions to that and he'll be sure to get them.
4. I really want to see you all there, so please, please, please click on the link below and say hi!!!

So, that said, here's the link to my new blog - or actually old blog, but new blog location:'s Blog

Please make a mental note of the change and if you've listed my blog on your favorite links section, make a point to change the link to this new address. Hope to see you all there!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Is Christmas Over Yet?

Just wondering if you guys are feeling the same way? It's been a very hectic Christmas for us this year, and we stayed in town!!! We didn't travel this year, but instead decided that staying home would be more 'relaxing' and 'less stressful'. What a joke! In hindsight, I'm thinking that maybe we should have traveled to someplace - anyplace - just so that I wouldn't have had so much to do around here!!!

It all started on Friday when I decided that we needed to finally get the house picked up. And, when I say 'picked up', I'm not just talking about the casual stray toy or messy bedroom. This house looked like a full-blown war zone! The kids (Alex & Morgann) had their birthday party's last weekend (the 17th) and raked in the toys! I just knew Santa was in a panic at this point because they had gotten almost everything they'd asked him to bring for Christmas. It was totally unexpected that every child that came to the party would bring a gift for both kids. I figured that Alex's friends would bring him a present, and Morgann's friends would bring her a present - maybe I should have mentioned that on the invite, but too late now! So anyway, after the birthday party, my dad & his wife asked if they could come over with the kid's Christmas presents so they could watch them open them, which we did. ALL of them! By this point, I was beginning to feel a panic attack coming on because it was going to fall to me to find a home for all of these new play things! I started making mental notes of where certain items might finally land in the playroom or bedrooms, but it was a mystery to me as to how I'd go about getting those rooms cleaned up enough to add to the stacks & piles already there!

So Friday morning, mommy became a cleaning tyrant. My kids probably thought that they'd died and gone to hell. When I clean, I CLEAN. We get trash bags out and start filling them up - either for the trash gate outside or a local charity. No one was allowed to stray from the task at hand, and the spanking spoon was never far from my reach. The kids knew that mommy meant business, and that if they ever wanted to see the light of day again, they'd better hop to it. So, they did. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to clean the playroom, Morgann's bedroom and the boy's bedroom, clean the bunny's cage, and to vacuum all aforementioned rooms. Once that task was conquered, we had to move downstairs to start gathering up all of the toys from the office, entryway, living room, laundry room, dining room, and yes, kitchen. We spent another 2 hours piling all of the toys up on the table, throwing all of the new kitchen toys (Morgann got a play kitchen for her birthday with a full set of food, pots & pans, and dishes) into an empty diaper box that I discovered had never been thrown out, and finally vacuuming all rooms downstairs. Then the time came for us to lug all of the downstairs piles upstairs. More fun!!!

Needless to say, we managed to finally finish the cleaning chores by around 6PM. Poor daddy had been banished outside to mow and clean up leaves as soon as he'd gotten home, so we were all totally exhausted. I'm happy to say that we did allow the kids some outdoor playtime - daddy raked up a huge pile of leaves in the backyard and the kids giddily jumped into them over & over again. After putting the kids to bed, I still had many items on my list that had to be completed before I went to bed - make deviled eggs, sweep & mop the kitchen/breakfast room floors, vacuum the living room, and make sure the jeans had been put into the drier so we'd have clothes to wear on Saturday!

But, alas, our busy weekend was just beginning!

Christmas Eve morning arrived and my day was underway by 7AM. All of the kids were awake and begging me for breakfast, so I quickly provided them with toast or cereal bars. While they ate, I started making my Chicken Alfredo Lasagna which we would be eating for Christams Eve Dinner with Michael's family. After getting it all put together and into the fridge for storage, I quickly dressed myself and headed out for a 10AM nail appt - my only relaxation time for the next 3 days. Upon my return home, Michael & I tag-teamed each other to get the kids each bathed & dressed, fed some lunch (I don't even remember what we ate) and then to get ourselves showered & dressed before family started arriving at 2PM. The plan was to have dinner around 3PM, but those plans were changed due to the very late arrival of a few of Michael's relatives, who shall remain nameless. So while waiting on those tardy guests, Michael's mom & grandma helped us to fold & fill-up our luminarie bags. We'd never done luminaries before, but it's something that our entire subdivision does, and we didn't want to be the only house to not have them! It turned into a fun event with all members of the family participating - while grandma & great-grandma folded the bags, the kids poured sand into them, and Michael & I took them to the front yard and lined the sidewalk and edge of the yard with them. We finally ate around 5PM. After finishing up a yummy dinner, we all went outdoors to light our luminaries, and greet a few of our neighbors. We ended up down the street helping another family light their luminaries, having a quick drink and just visiting and having a wonderful time. As we walked home, Michael & I were commenting on how much we love this neighborhood and hope that we will be here for many years to come :-)

After getting the dinner dishes washed and the excess food put away, it was time to open gifts. This is another event that takes several hours to complete because each person, beginning with the youngest, opens 1 gift. Everyone "ooohs!" & "aaahs!" at the present, then the next youngest has their turn, and so on. I think this year took about 2 1/2 hours! Once the gifts were opened, we attempted a quick clean-up and then sent the kids off to dreamland. It took some coaxing and many reminders that Santa would skip our house if they didn't hurry up and get to sleep, but I think we managed to get all 3 down for the night around 10PM - 2 hours passed bedtime. MIchael & I waited for a bit before assisting Santa with his duties, then finally getting to bed ourselves around midnight.

Sunday morning, we were startled awake by Alex who came dashing into our room with the announcement "Mom & Dad, Santa brought me exactly what I asked for!", then he was gone as quickly as he appeared. We heard the pitter-patter of footsteps heading upstairs and into his sister's room to startle her awake with a similar announcement. Then about 30 seconds later, we heard them come downstairs again and begin their own "ooohs!" and "aaahs!" as they yelled & waited fairly impatiently for MIchael & I to drag ourselves out to the living room. While the kids dumped out their stockings and played with their new toys, Michael & I could think of only 1 thing - getting back to bed for at least 1 more hour of sleep. We managed to crawl back under the covers, but sleep never came thanks to the frequent questions and queries from our little ones. So, after another hour, I decided that it was indeed time for us to get up and begin getting dressed for the next round of family members slated to arrive around 11:30. While Michael worked on getting the kids all bathed & dressed, I headed to the kitchen and began working on a platter of Cheese Enchiladas, my contribution to the Mexican-themed Christmas Day meal. My sister & her husband, our cousin and her fiancee' arrived and while the women worked on getting the rest of the dinner cooked, the men played with the kids in the living room.

After dinner, we headed back into the living room for more present-opening, done in the same manner beginning with the youngest and moving on up the age-ladder. About an hour later, we were finished, but still had more family to see. This time, however, it was our job to go to them, so into the cars we piled. We spent about 30 minutes driving, 2 1/2 hours visiting, then another 30 minutes driving home, at which point it became painfully clear to all that we needed to figure out what we'd be eating for dinner. And, since I wasn't about to cook again, we decided that a Christmas Day Cheeseburger was in order. So, after writing down everyone's orders, 2 of the men went to a local fast-food eatery to bring dinner home. After stuffing our faces with cheeseburgers and fries, the kids went to bed and the grown-ups played games for about 2 more hours. I think Michael & I made it to bed around 12:30 this time!

Yesterday we had planned to lay around a bit more, which we did, but still had allot to do before having yet 1 more Christmas meal with more family. Let me just cut to the chase and tell you that after attempting a bit of after-Christmas shopping, driving over to Michael's office to fix a network problem, eating lunch at a nearby 50's style diner, and visiting with some out-of-town friends that wanted to drop by the house for a quick visit, we finally got to Michael's sister's house for dinner around 6:30, and ate around 7. From there, we all headed back to our house where we opened the last of our Christmas presents. The kids got to bed around 10 again, while MIchael & I crawled into bed around midnight.

Thankfully, today, we have no more Christmas meals or activities planned with anyone. Although I had planned to stay put today with the kids to work on laundry and finding homes for all of the gifts we all received, I have yet to get anyone bathed or changed out of their jammies. We're all kind of laying around, playing, and contemplating accomplishing anything at all. I'm wondering if I'll have the energy to go run a few errands that must be done - we're in need of toilet paper and bottled water, so I can't really put them off! But, I'm first going to have to muster the energy to go bathe my 3 little monkies and get them dressed. Once I accomplish that task, I'm not sure what the day holds for us. Oh yeah, did I mention it's already 12:01PM?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mommy, my tonkty huuts!

Now, before your mind heads straight for the gutter, this is the newest phrase used my 3 year old - well, she'll be 3 in just 2 short days. Tonkty is Morgannese for tummy. It's taken me a while to figure that out, but since 'my tonkty huuts' is always followed by 'I hungwy', it didn't take much for me to put 2 & 2 together.

It seems that my dainty little girl is going through some sort of phase, and testing my patience all along the way. She's a bottomless pit as of late. She's constantly eating, beginning around 3AM and moving through to bedtime around 7:30PM. It seems that I am apparently starving my child because she just can't seem to get enough to eat - until dinner when she announces "I full!" at the table, and then quickly dismisses herself from her seat. Then about the time we say "Everyone upstairs for bedtime", she announces "Mommy, my tonkty huuts, I hungwy". Too bad kiddo!

I, at first thought that this was a ploy to delay going to bed - which used to be her favorite time of the day! She NEVER gave us trouble - she was always the first one to her room, and was fast asleep for a good 12 hour stretch!!! Life was good, in those days. But now, we put her into her bed, say her prayers, discuss the fact that her angels are outside her window to protect her, and by her bed to give her sweet dreams (she's always tended toward having bad ones or nightmares, so we've found that if we don't pray for that bedside angel, she will inevitably wake up crying during the night), then within 5 minutes we can find her sneeking downstairs to tell us (again) that "her tonkty huuts" and that she's "hungwy". Never fails! This is the new Segulja ritual.

And, we've also discovered that regardless of whether we relent and give her that late-night snack before bed, or just tell her she'll have to wait for breakfast, she will still get up and announce that her tonkty must be filled with food or she will surely die! It's a battle to the death, but, apparently, not her's! She has recently taken up the newest habit of waking ME up somewhere between 2AM & sunrise, 'pot tot' (Pop Tart) in hand, asking to eat. Now imagine how well I communicate after only being asleep for about 3 hours. The fact that I can even tell which child I'm speaking with is a miracle in & of itself. But, to have the shiny metallic wrapper about an inch from my nose, and hearing the whiny voice of my daughter, makes my communication less sensitive and more irritated. Yes, I'll admit that I'm not a morning person, and being whined awake on a nightly basis doesn't contribue to my sweet-mommyness at all!!! And, what's a mommy to do when her 3 year old is begging to eat in the middle of the night? Relent, of course! One way or another, I always manage to toast the 'pot tot', get her a drink, and turn on a movie of her choice (usually 101 Dalmations, Patch's Adventure), then crawl back into bed until she wanders back into my room about 5 minutes later to ask me to turn on the downstairs bathroom light because she has to go potty. I can't tell her no because we all know where that might get me, so I'm back up and stumbling across the house to the laundryroom to turn on the light - which always blinds me. Somehow, through the spots, I always manage to find my bed again, and it's off to dreamland once more. If I were more awake, I'd remember to turn on the light when I'm waiting on the Tart to Pop out of the toaster. But alas, my brain just doesn't work when being jolted out of a sound sleep.

I'm happy to report that Morgann will usually fall asleep watching Patch's Adventure on the couch, with a tummy full of pot tot. Granted Pot Tot's aren't the healthiest of food choices, and I actually buy them for the kid's weekend treat, but as of late, they've been the midnight snack and favorite breakfast choice of my 2 oldest children. I guess if I was a bit more conscientious of their health, I'd stop buying them altogether, but I figure the occassional sugar rush never hurt anyone - unless your a diabetic, in which case I'd recommend staying away from them. And, I do make sure my kids eat at least 1 healthy meal a day - usually dinner, which might be why Morgann is always 'full' and hardly touches her plate.

Hmmm...sometimes blogging can bring so many things to light to my sleep deprived mind. Note to self: Stop buying pot tots, and wear earmuffs to drowned out the sounds of the whiny children that find out there are no more pot tots in the pantry!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ho, Ho, Humph!

I'm not sure where to start this entry except to say that it took us only 5 short days to set up and decorate our Christmas tree, and since this is something that I thoroughly enjoy and make an event of every year, the fact that it took us so darned long to get it done really bummed me out. We haven't done any shopping yet for various reasons, and since money is kind of tight this year, I just haven't had much of an excitement for that one day that lies only 14 short days away! I've been searching for that child-like excitment that my kiddos have, but it seems to be eluding me at every turn. No sooner do I start to feel a twinge of excitement, than something comes crashing down and smothers it once again! Not only am I not feeling excited about Christmas, but I'm actually starting to dread it! I can't believe that statement actually left my mouth, but it's true! There's just something wrong with me and I need to figure out what it is so that I can fix it, or get it fixed.

Yesterday, I thought that I might finally, at last, find something to excite me, but things didn't quite pan out like I'd hoped. Let me back up by telling you all that since I am no longer working as a wedding and event coordinator every weekend, Michael & I decided that we'd take the day to have 'family time'. I don't know what exactly possessed us to do so, but we decided to go play in the snow. Snow, you ask? Well, yes, sort of. It didn't actually snow here in our lovely city, but someone brought the snow to us. Earlier in the week, we received an email from the Museum of Natural Science stating that they were going to have a FREE snow flurry day. They had several other activities going on there as well, but the idea of playing in the snow just sounded too good to pass up. Apparently, exactly 1/3 of our city's population thought the exact same thing because when we we arrived, the mob of people we encountered brought a shiver to my spine. We couldn't find a parking spot even remotely close to the museum., so we ended up parking and walking about 1/2 a mile to the place where all of the special holiday fun was taking place.

When we got to the 'spot', we found the line of people that were patiently waiting to enter the snow-laden grounds, but we couldn't find the end of it. So, we did what any normal, clear-thinking parents would have done. I stood by the stroller while Michael took Alex, a friend, and Morgann through the shrubs into the throng of snow-ball throwing children. Thankfully Michael's parents & sister came with us, so while Aunt Carrie crawled through a different set of shrubbery to find & help Michael with the 3 kids, Michael's mom stood on a block of marble (that is normally used for sitting) looking for the happy four-some to take a few pictures. It was ridiculous to think that we'd be able to see them in & amongst the other children (and by children, I mean any human being between the ages of 1 and 65), but I was determined to get a few pictures of my children playing in the snow with their father. After all, this was a once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment that I just didn't want to miss. I just knew that we'd capture that one specific special moment on film and my Christmas spirit would suddenly appear, angels would begin singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and I'd be happy and excited once again. But, alas, we couldn't even find the top of Michael's hat, much less see our 3 small children playing and having the time of their lives.

When Michael's father finally reappeared after a brief absence, he informed me that Michael had taken Morgann over to a different area designated for smaller children, so I'd probably have more luck at geting my coveted picture over there. So, off I went, camera in hand, on a true, life threatening adventure. I don't think I've ever been as crushed as I was trying to maneuver through the throngs of happy, angry, and even violent holiday-fun seekers. It was a mad-house and I was stuck in the middle of it!!! But, I was on a mission. I absolutely had to find my husband and daughter, and capture that special moment on film, at all costs. So, onward I pushed (and shoved) until I found several new lines of parents & kids. It took me a while to figure it all out, since there was absolutely no organization to this very big mistake of a day, but there was 1 line snaking around for the snow-grounds for the older group, which we'd already snuck into, one line for the snow-grounds for children aged 1-4, one line of parents & children waiting to visit with Santa & his reindeer Comet, and one line of people of various ages waiting to play some kind of game with a local radio station that had set-up a tent right smack in the middle of the action. I decided that my best bet would be to follow the line for the 1-4 age group, which eventually led me right to hubby & child. Ok, now that I've found them, I had to somehow attract Michael's attention so that he'd get to the edge of the snow-ground so that I could capture my special moment. He eventually saw me waving & screaming like a maniac and made his way to a small 2x2 clearing where he could set Morgann down safely. I was able to snap off a few pictures, but thanks to several other fun-seekers, I never did quite get that special shot. (I love digital cameras because you can see your pictures right away!) Most of the pictures that I snapped off were of other children that felt the need to walk right in front of my husband & child at the exact moment I pressed the button! The nerve of them!!! But, not one to be detered from my mission, I kept snapping and eventually got several fairly-decent pics, but not the ONE that I'd hoped for.

It was at this moment that another clever thought entered my mind. Leaving Michael & Morgann behind, I decided to go ask a few of the parents standing in line to see Santa & Comet about how long they'd been standing there. I found a nice looking couple close to the front to ask and was happily surprised when they said they'd only been standing there for about 5 minutes. I thought my ears deceived me, so I asked them to clarify. Again, they said about 5 minutes. I could hardly believe it! So, heart pounding, I raced back over to the smaller snow area and told Michael that he absolutely had to bring Morgann out, and that he had to, at all costs, find Aunt Carrie, Alex & friend. I just knew this would be THE picture I was hoping for. After all, what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to sit & chat with Santa for a few minutes? Once the 'group' was back together, we found the end of the Santa line and began our wait...35 minutes later, I was asked by a rather cranky hubby why exactly I wanted to stand around in this line? It was all I could do to contain some kind of civility as I answered, "Because you're going to take a picture of the kids with Santa, that's why!" I could see that he wasn't very happy with that answer, but it just didn't matter to me at that point. We'd been standing there with 4 children (Ian was back with us by this point) and, by golly, we weren't about to vacate our place in line now!!! This is Christmas and, gosh darn-it, we're going to have fun and wait in this supid line if it takes the entire day to do so!!! It didn't, but about 45 minutes after beginning our 5-minute wait, it was our turn.

While I carefully handed Santa my precious children, I instructed Michael to stand in front of the sleigh so that when I was safely out of the camera's eye, he could capture this special moment that would last forever. Alex was the first one up, and decided that he'd sit on Santa's right knee. Ian was carefully placed on Santa's left knee, and promptly bega
n screaming at the top of his lungs. Finally, Morgann was hoisted up onto Santa's right knee (after Alex was instructed to sit next to Santa), and she decided that what Ian was doing looked like fun, so she joined in. Michael snapped off the picture from the side of the sleigh, shook his head in disgust, and Santa quickly handed back the screaming children to me. Alex quickly gave Santa his 2 biggest requests, and jumped down. Finally, our task was complete, the picture had been taken, and I just knew my Christmas spirit was only moments away.

We found grandpa and decided that we'd had enough of the fun-filled holiday festivities. It was time to leave, but not before I looked at THE PERFECT picture of my kids with Santa. Here it is, reindeer antlers and all. To bad he didn't stand in front of the sleigh, away from those God-blessed antlers...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Coming Soon...

I have a new post I'm working on and will get online by tomorrow - God willing! Things have been wacky around here this week, so it's taking a bit of time to get it posted! Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays, so far :)

By the way, if you're looking for a few more Christmas gifts, go check out my personal website.