Friday, November 30, 2007

Just a Quick Glimpse at My Day

The kids had picture day at their school and so we got them all dolled up and took them to their little nursery school. We ended up at the end of the line and it took forever. So when it came to my turn, Lucy started crying and Asher started pulling ALL of the berries of the prop sled. It was only slightly amazing that they made it out of their alive. I actually threatened a spanking to Asher in front of the school's director. That's classy.

Since we were all dressed up and in terrible moods, what does that call for? Going and sitting on the lap of the scariest man in the world of course! I got EXACTLY the picture I was looking for. Lucy is screaming crying and Asher looks like he has the fear of God and Mommy on his face. In reality, I had just given him his first ever Cinnamon Tic Tac and he was trying to figure out a way to slap that taste out of his mouth.

Doesn't it make you want to visit us during the holiday season?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Real Thing

I just saw this on the back of my Diet Coke 12-pack:

"Refreshing. Uplifting. Hydrating?

It's true. Research shows that all beverages contribute to proper hydration. That means whether it's your first can of the day or your afternoon pick-me-up, Diet Coke helps you stay hydrated all day long. So stick with the Diet Coke taste that you love. Your body will thank you for it."

Your body will thank you for it. Really? Is that what it is doing? Seriously, cut it out Coke. As much as I LOVE Diet Coke, this is an ad ploy that goes WAY TO FAR. And just to let you know, I feel exactly the same after I drink three Diet Cokes as I do when I drink water. Except that I can clean my carpets, paint the house and do amazing zig-zag drawings all in under half an hour because three Diet Cokes=speed in my body and makes it so I can't settle down the entire day.

But, I mean-at least I am hydrated right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So Do You Think...

that my daughter has News Anchor Hair?

Monday, November 26, 2007

My sentiments exactly

I just saw this on Mama and it mirrors my thoughts on the holiday season perfectly:

Poo. The Gift That Keeps On Giving...

So, the Christmas buy, buy, BUYing frenzy has started with a vengeance. I always get a bit of a thrill when the first decorations go up and the spirit of Christmas future is still soft-focused and filled with hope. This is about the time of year that I make lofty plans to make home-made tree ornaments, hand crafted cards, and generally get all Martha Stewarty. Relaxed, magical in the kitchen, a proper mummy to my children. This year will be different...

Then reality hits, and it's two days before Christmas, and you're wondering who the hell came up with the idea of Stockings for the Grown ups. Before you know it, you're purchasing something with 2 seconds of laugh appeal from Spencers. Something involving Homer Simpson and a beer bong. Dad'll love that.

In Britain, the national charity Oxfam have cannily tapped into this tendency to buy the ones we love something especially, especially trivial and stupid at Christmas. They have launched their campaign to Speak Out Against the Horror of Rubbish gifts. The t.v. commercial features famous-types like Helena Bonham-Carter, Helen Mirren and singer Will Young (you might not recognize the name on that one, but he's the lush young one near the beginning... link to the ad after the jump...)

Instead of lumbering your loved ones with unwanted kitchen gadgets and singing fish, this year you can go to Oxfam Unwrapped and choose from an alternative gift range, and buy fertiliser, a toilet, condoms, essential medicines and school books for communities in developing countries.

Considering the serious message underpinning the commerical, the whole campaign is delivered with real humour, with a satirical take on the typical fundraising commerical (Sally Struthers, anybody?)

While my family will be getting something under the tree this year other than a toilet or two, the campaign has made me seriously look at what I *do* chose to spend my money on--there's definitely room in the budget for some fertiliser and a bog, as long as I resist the jiving santa, that is...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Most Unbelievable Video I Have Ever Seen

I know it is eight minutes long, trust is worth every single second. WATCH ALL OF IT

Saturday, November 24, 2007

To Santa or Not?

Matt and I are in a discussion about whether or not we tell our kids about Santa Claus. I say discussion and I mean it. Neither of us are passionate in either direction, but we both have misgivings about indulging in the Santa fantasy as well as not comfortable with dispelling it either.

My suggestion is that we just don't make a "thing" out of it. If people talk to our kids about Santa, they can give the dumb, "I have no idea what language you are speaking" look to those adults. Or they can choose to go for it. But we won't perpetuate the myth or tell stories about being good and getting presents. I mean, basically our problem is not so much with Santa as the idea of flat-out lying to our kids about something that we just don't care about.

Both of our parents told us about Santa, but I don't think that my parents carried it very far. It might have just been a "theme" of the season as opposed to a real person. But, Matt said he was really devastated when he learned the truth about Santa and just doesn't want to do that to his kids. My feeling is, just don't look at it through the eyes of a jaded adult. But let it be what it is, fun. Don't make it into a big deal, but you simply play and have fun with the season. I mean, we can't make Christmas morning be the morning of dreams coming true simply because 1) we don't want to and 2) we can't afford to. By simply not indulging in that, you would think that the truth of Santa making all of your dream come true would come out eventually.
Of course, you can't control what your kids do or don't believe.

Last year, my friend gave her kids a new swing set for Christmas. She had EVERYONE she could think of go in on it. Of course, they spent the night at their grandparents house and the swing set was installed at the kids house. So on Christmas morning, they had nothing to open. Their mom told them, "You have an amazing present at home. Everyone went in on it and you will enjoy it all year long!"
Her son, Sam was seen pouting a short while later. My friend asked him what was wrong. He said, "I know what my present is and I don't want it! Cause it's LOVE and LOVE is boring!!!"

What are you thoughts on what we should do about Santa? Pros and Cons of the Santa story? Help us out!

Also, if you get a chance, please check out David Sedaris' Six to Eight Black Men story about Santa Claus. It will make you fall apart with laughter! Click here to listen

Shopping Cart Research

I have recounted my story of Lucy in the runaway shopping cart to many people in the last two weeks. I even went to the scene of the accident and spoke to a manager of the grocery store. He listened very politely, but basically said, "Tough." I wanted to look on the internet and see if there were ANY grocery carts that have brakes installed on them. The only ones I found have to do with preventing theft of carts, not as a safety feature.

Upon further research, I found several articles which site the American Association of Pediatrics recommending that children never be placed in grocery carts. Which is impossible! But their reasoning is that, many grocery stores don't maintain the straps and so many carts are suspect in their safety mechanism. I can totally attest to that! I mean, I can't tell you how many times I have been to a store and the strap is broken, torn off or the buckle doesn't work. They also say that the center of gravity on the cart makes them able to tip over without much work. Since a child is actually buckled in on the tipping point, that makes them extraordinarily dangerous. I have to admit, I have never thought of these issues before.

But a majority of the articles admonish parents to never let their kids stand up in the carts and recommends not shopping with them. Well, whoop-dee-do. Who wouldn't rather shop without their kids? You think that I love taking my child to a location where it is open season on what a bad mother I am because I can't control my kids? Or, I get stopped every aisle by a grandma who wants to play peekaboo? I would LOVE to just run in and run out. But that is not the luxury that I have these days.

What does a grocery store offer for me? Nothing except for a freak accident to occur. But it isn't so freakish. Over 24,000 kids are injured in shopping carts a year. 24,000.

So they suggest using a stroller, a backpack, bring a extra set of hands, or use the carts with a car in front. Wanna know how many "car carts" we have at our grocery store? Zero. More than that, they only have those double seat carts where Asher is afforded 3 1/2" of plastic to sit on and to be strapped into the cart by two suspender-type belts which he slips out of faster than I can buckle him in.

I think the only thing that I can do from now on, is force someone to unload my groceries while I deal with my kids. I just hate making the guy do that cause it is 12 degrees outside and I am not allowed to tip him.

I can't believe that this is not a bigger issue and that no one wants to make grocery carts more safe.

Best Part of the Weekend So Far?

The garbage men came a day late and picked up our 17 tons of garbage that was produced by Lucy's birthday.

That's not saying much for this week, I understand that. We have had a lovely time, but that garbage needed to go. We literally couldn't even shove a single DIAPER into the Herbie Curbie.

Thank you garbage men for working on a Saturday to pick up my kids poopy diapers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lucy's Birthday

Yesterday was Lucy's official birthday. We gave her a proper family breakfast birthday party and then spent the rest of the day not paying attention to it being her day. But tonight, we had a joint birthday party with Knox Troyer. His mom and I spent EVERY SINGLE DAY pregnant at the same time, except that Lucy evacuated my body two days early.

So we decided upon a joint party at our house tonight and after this past weekend's activities, it about killed me. I am so seriously tired right now, I can't believe it.

But it was really fun, we ended up having nine kids, 13 adults, four pizzas and a weiner dog all crammed into my living room, along with EVERY SINGLE TOY WE OWN on the floor.

I fed Lucy before everyone arrived because she is cranky when she is hungry and not getting fed. It turned out, she is also cranky when she is NOT HUNGRY and people keep giving her food like cake because she melted down and cried nearly the entire time the cupcake was on her tray. So we quickly moved on to presents.

She received some really cute books, along with a new winter hat and another doll baby. It was really fun to have so many people in our house, but when everyone left; I just sat on the couch for an hour.

So I made it. One year with two children. We have made it! I have loved this year, but I think that I have been in survival mode for most of it. I am just starting to come out of it and enjoy my kids more rather than just surviving them and their moods!

Those are tough words to right, but true. It is really hard when you have two kids who are just developmentally different to be in opposite places at all times. For example this week, Asher is getting potty training while Lucy is learning to walk. Can you get more diametrically opposed?

I am sure that those lines on the side of my eyes were not there this time last year. I dedicate those to Lucy, Asher and Slappy. Matt has his own...and is losing his hair. He doesn't need my help with that.
Anyway, we have made it through one year. Many more to come? I sure hope so!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Recap

This was one of the most festive weekends we have had in a LONG TIME and in order to properly honor this weekend, I dedicate the longest post I have ever written to those of you who will actually read it all.

Matt officiated at a wedding for close friends of our, Jenn Wisecarver and Kyle Murphy. So Friday night, we had the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and then a lingerie shower for Jenn after that. It was great fun, mostly because I got to spend the night with my closest girlfriends helping to prepare another girlfriend for her marriage.

I got home at 1:30am and of course the kids woke up at 7am. Which was not a terrible problem, because I had a full-day planned. I was meeting some friends at the J Crew distribution warehouse. We don't actually have a J Crew here in Asheville. What we have is the ACTUAL warehouse where all orders are shipped from. So once a year, J Crew has a Sample Sale. They sell all of their leftover items, sample items and catalog photshoot leftovers. The rules are really strict. The doors open at 10am, they hand you a price sheet and a garbage bag as you enter the warehouse. If you put something in your bag, you are pretty much buying it because you are not allowed to sort items until you are in line to check out. You can't try on an items. If you do, you will get kicked out. They don't care if you have hundreds of dollars of items, they kicked out three ladies for going through their bags! Seriously. They just had a huge warehouse, full of boxes which were full of clothes. It created this insane frenzy of a shopping experience. I have never been through anything like it.

This is me and Becca tailgating at the sale.

Yes, this is the line at 9:55am.

We got to J Crew at 8:45am. There were over 100 people already there. By 10am, the line was around the building. We got inside in the second group and I bought A LOT OF CLOTHES. For insanely cheap. I actually bought a Cashmere Car Coat for $15. In my size. In my PERFECT size. I also bought a lovely dress for the wedding for $15. Both of those items retail for over $300 combined. I spent $30. Amazing.

So after the J Crew Sale, I came home and got my house ready for Matt's parents to arrive. They were near town due to a funeral service that they were attending and they graciously offered to babysit for us so that we didn't have to hire a babysitter. So I left for the wedding and it was beautiful. Matt did a great job marrying the now Murphy's and we had a great time with our closest friends at the reception.

Me with Robin Plemmons

Me with Sarah Spooner

The last time we were all together at a wedding, we were all HUGE with babies in our bellies.

Ahh the reverand...

During the reception, Matt's parents called and told us that somehow Asher got locked in his room once he went to bed. We didn't realize that the door handle into Asher's room actually has a REAL LOCK on it. And we don't have the key. So after we got home, we tried to convince him to get out of bed and open the door. But instead, our two-year old totally freaked out because "oh-my-gosh, there are people yelling at me outside of my room and I will just cry and panic instead," makes total sense. So after an hour, Matt put his foot through the door a-la "Heeeere's Johnny" and unlocked the door. Then we played with Asher until 1am.

Then we woke up this morning to Lucy's birthday! Hooray, we made it through a year! I can't even believe it. Matt's parents brought her all kinds of presents. Her most favorite was a Corolle doll baby. When she saw the baby, she actually squealed with delight. It was adorable. She spent the morning pushing the baby around in its stroller.

After church, we headed up to our favorite holiday of the season: Plungiving. Pioneer Plunge is a rustic village outside of Windy Gap that kids camp, build and hike at in the summer. So every year at Thanksgiving time, we have all of our friends (in town and out of town) all hike/drive up to Plunge, fry turkeys and everyone brings thanksgiving sides. It is a FEAST! Three years ago, we announced our pregnancy with Asher at Plungiving. It was really fun to be up there this afternoon, just take a look at the pictures.

So it was a FULL weekend, we need this week to recover! But instead, we will be hosting a birthday party tomorrow night for Lucy and Knox Troyer since they were both born this week last year. Deep breath. Sleep will be needed soon.

A New Day?

I am so much to update you on and I will be working in the next day to talk about this past weekend, which was amazing. But, I have something else to tell you.

Asher has begun potty training.

Yes, that is right. I have no expectations that this will actually work and I am sure that this is going to become the most frustrating portion of my life. But, I could tell that we had a window. He has been talking about potty's in the past month and seemed interested in the last few weeks. SO...last week, both kids had colds and they sounded like (once again) they have both been smoking since they were born. I didn't feel like getting kicked out of the YMCA because my children infected everyone with their colds, so we stayed home for the entire day. That never happens. We all get cabin fever, so I try to keep them moving a lot of the morning typically, so staying home was a big deal committment. Since we were home, I just decided that we were going to give the ole potty a try.

So, I pumped Asher FULL of applejuice for a good hour. If he didn't have his sippy cup in hand, I was hounding him about it. "Where is your sippy cup??? Can you drink that for me please? Would you like more juice???" He drank and drank until he was about to explode, which is when I took his diaper off and put underwear on him. He wet through those and one more pair. I finally wised up and didn't let him out of my sight. I asked if we could read books while he sat on the potty. We read books for like five minutes, when he started peeing! Yes, that is right. My son peed three times in 30 minutes.

Then about every 7-8 minutes after that, we made regular trips back to the potty. By noon, he had peed three times in the potty and even pooped! I was feeling very accomplished.

I didn't want to make it a high pressure situation, so I put a diaper on him for his nap and we were done with the potty for the day and the rest of the weekend.

Tonight, he took a bath with Lucy and played in the living room naked for about 40 minutes when I saw him doing to pee pee dance. He has never even come close to doing this before. He knew that he should go sit rather than just let it go! That was big time! So we went and sat down and I read a book and he peed just a little. I mean BARELY. And he knew that he could get away with asking for an M&M. So I caved, but I kept trying to get him to sit back down. But he was losing it and I didn't want to make it a rough situation. So I let it go. But about four minutes later, I knew he needed to go back in there. Matt took him this time and he pooped and peed again!

I have no idea if we will keep this up. But since we are going to be home this week, I think that we can make more of an effort than if we were on the road somewhere. I am really excited, because believe me...the cost of diapers adds up. And Asheville guilt makes me feel terrible about all of the diapers going into the landfill, cause you know that crap ain't disintegrating. We might well be in diapers for the next year with Asher, but feel free to keep the loving thoughts coming our way, cause I would LOVE for those days to be over.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For Those of you looking for unique kids presents

Check out: Cool Mom Picks Holiday GuideThe Cool Mom Holiday Guide. I stop by this spot pretty much every day and love EVERYTHING on their site. I am constantly trying to figure out something to make that would end up here! Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Scariest Moment So Far

I had to run to the grocery store this afternoon for three things. I debated just leaving the kids in the car and running in, but I decided against that since I don't like being arrested for child endangerment. So I took them in. I let Asher just run alongside the cart and pushed Lucy. It was actually enjoyable and fun since both kids were in great moods.
After we left the store, I put Asher in the car first and threw the groceries in the front seat. I, of course, bought more than three things. But anyway. I slam the door and come around to the rear of the car where Lucy is seating in the buggy. But she isn't there and neither is the buggy. It is literally running away from the car by itself going downhill and picking up speed.

It is NOT moving slowly and the look on Lucy's face I am sure mirrored the look on my face. It is picking up speed and I am talking about at least 15mph and she is getting further away from me, at least 15-20 yards. The parking lot is sloped pretty significantly away from my car and I can't catch up to the cart. The cart veers and finally smashes into a parked car and then turns over sideways which is when I finally catch it before it smashes into the ground and breaks my daughters neck. I got all bruised up because I pretty much ran through the cart to grab Lucy before she hit the ground. Lucy was banged up pretty good too because she was facing the opposite way when the cart hit the car. I haven't moved that fast since I played soccer in college. I didn't even wet myself, which is another minor miracle.

She was crying really hard, but settled down after a minute or two and no damage was done to the car that the cart hit. But two women appeared out of nowhere and couldn't believe that she was not hurt more badly. She has some bruises on her back from where the cart hit the car and her back was smashed against the seat rest. But that's all. I am convinced that it was only the grace of God. It was unbelieveably scary. My legs were still shaking an hour after it happened, mostly because my mind went to all the insane things that could have happened had she hit the ground. I mean, that's how you end up in Reader's Digest people. One day, you are doing your thing and then the next minute something insane happens to you and you get to freak out America with your tragedy. Well, we avoided it for today. Praise God.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Experts Agree

If you talk to a child development expert about how to best prepare your child for school, they would give you the advice of keeping a running commentary on what you are doing so that your child will have a well-developed vocabulary by the time that they enter kindergarten. Success in kindergarten=success in life. At least that is their theory.

I have ascribed to their theory pretty much since Asher was born. I would talk to him about everything that I was doing. Grill him on color, numbers and letters. The result? I now have a kid that talks about EVERYTHING. Not just what he wants to do, but about the chair and the mirror on the wall and Lucy's poo-poo and how he wants to watch The Wiggles. The Wiggles, wiggles mommy wiggles mommy. Until it completely exhausts me and I give in just because my ears can take listening to the Wiggles as long as Asher gives his vocal cords and my ears a break for twenty minutes.

Wanna know what happens?
Asher talks about the Wiggles the entire time it is on our television. He will say, "Oh NO!" and I say, "What?! What is it?" in a very panicky voice because what two-year old yells out "OH NO!" Then he responds in a very despondent voice, "Jeff fell asleep again!"

Then today, he got very upset because he wanted them to be singing a different song than the one that they were singning. And he kept insisting to me over and over again that they needed to sing, "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga" instead of whatever the crap it was. Seriously, he does not stop talking from the minute he wakes up until he goes to sleep. He actually told me to "scoot over" today. And it is all in his two-year old voice so it sounds like, "coot ova mommy!" And it is very demanding.

The solution?
I have no idea. When he talks like a person, I love it. When he just repeats everything a hundred times over like Rain Man, I just want to run out of the house screaming. Or give him whatever he want immediately so he will stop saying, "Apple. Apple mommy, mommy apple. Want apple. Apple please. Please apple. Apple mommy. Green apple. NO! Red apple. Green apple. Red Apple. Apple bowl mommy. Mommy no cut. No CUT IT MOMMY. Cut apple Apple. Apple mommy." And so on until I shove the said apple in his face and he is quiet until the apple is done. Then some other topic of conversation dominates.

Ahhh. Deep breath. I remember when I was so excited for him to start talking.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lucy's First Steps

This weekend, we are at Windy Gap while Matt does program for Raleigh Young Life. It is going really well-they are making me laugh! Which is actually quite a feat (i'm a snob). But the most exciting news of the day is that Lucy took her first real consecutive steps today from me to Matt in the County Seat (the club room). It was really fun to see and most exciting? She is doing it one week prior to her first birthday-the EXACT day that Asher took his first steps too. Isn't that crazy? A new day is here!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Why the Hollywood Strike Matters

I am a fan of television. Pretty much all of it.
I watch it all the time. But, I love really good TV; like The Office, Grey's Anatomy, ER, The Daily Show, Colbert Report. That is why I have included this little clip from YouTube that tells you why the writers from The Office are on strike. NBC has basically not been paying them for work that they charge advertisers for. That's called FREE MONEY. Or some call it stealing intellectual property. Hmph.

Check it out and see for yourself.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sadness and Relief

Today was going to be the day that I was running in the New York City Marathon (if I had gotten into the race!). I am a little sad I wasn't part of the festivities in New York. But then again, I would have had to run 26.2 miles in order to be a part of it all. Maybe next year huh?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lucy's Birthday Video

With Lucy's first birthday only 15 days away, I decided to make her a little video commemorating her first year of life. It might get removed from YouTube pretty quickly since I have music in it. So check it out!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Day After

One of the best things about the day after Halloween is the plethora of pictures of celebrities all over the interwebs. My favorites so far? See below:

Jamie Lee Curtis as the Ringmaster

Terri Hatcher as the Queen of Hearts

Britney Spears-seriously...what is this girl thinking about?