Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Nonetheless, Saturday night we put Bro to bed and settled down to watch Tinker Bell. She came busting down the stairs with her Tinker Bell ears
which were signed by Tinker Bell herself.
For some reason, we could not get the movie to come up on Comcast and a call to Comcast rang forever. Dear Husband, being so wonderful, told Lulu that he would drive her up to Blockbuster. So they went to Blockbuster, like this.
Tinker Bell was a very fun movie. It reminded me of a cross between Little Mermaid and a Bug's Life. Lulu is hoping that Santa brings her a copy of the movie for Christmas. Don't you know that it just killed Dear Husband to rent a movie that may be sitting in front of our fireplace in just a few more days.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
In defense of the lots-o-gifts tradition, my family buys gifts for all of the children as well, despite requests for a name draw. Can I just say... and I know that some of my readers will NOT like this... drawing names is the way to go! There. I said it!. I'll say it again. "Drawing names is the best way to exchange gifts."
Drawing names is best for several reasons:
Gosh - there are so many so I'll consolidate them into categories...
1. Buying the gift is more fun. No longer am I scrambling to buy loads of kid gifts that I am hoping will not sit at the bottom of the toy box. It was so fun to pick out my gifts for E: Operation game and Captain Underpants books. If you haven't shopped beginner chapter books for little boys then you are missing a world of fun with the Capt. Underpants series. Dear Husband
2. Giving gifts is more fun. This year I was not staring at a sea of children opening gifts with paper flying everywhere. Seriously, we do not let our children get THAT out of control, but six kids in a room with a dozen presents each is a bit much for anyone's tastes. I was wide-eyed with excitement when E opened his Operation game and ran to his mother just shaking with excitement about his game. His was soooooo sincerely excited about his gift which was really fun for me to watch.
3. Playing with the gifts is manageable. Inevitably, the kids want to play with the gifts, not just stare at the boxes. So, we played with E's Operation game. Then, we played with L's train set. Then, we got out P's Tonka truck. And so on. This was just much more laid back and enjoyable for all - including the kids (probably) even though they won't admit it.
Other highlights from the McFamily Christmas:
Dear Husband tried to determine which ball is the fastest ball?
Lulu opened this great shirt from her Brother.
Bro did his best to let us know that he wants a race car set too!
I ate too much and broke the couch. Seriously!
On another note: I can't get the camera to work well inside. My pictures turn out blurry. Sometimes I use the "inside" function (which activates the flash) and other times I use the "action" function which has a fast shutter speed to capture fast moving children. Neither seems to work well. Any suggestions!
Monday, December 22, 2008
How great is this? Fairy Grandmother provides the houses (which she pre-assembles), candy, and icing (and a great breakfast this year). The girls provide the creativity.
Rumor is that the girls were so excited about decorating that they decided to delay present opening so that they could keep working on their houses? Hmmmm....
Of course, no tween gathering is complete without showing off some mad texting skills. Note to self: I don't want to hear any comlpaints when it comes time to type out that next report. Those typing skills are just fine - as we now see!
Gator's brother, Jay Bird, stopped by to share in the excitement. What a cutie! Fairy Grandmother promises that next year Jay Bird and Bro are going to decorate houses too. OK - maybe in 2010.
We all have holiday traditions, but this is a special one for the girls and Fairy Grandmother. When I was young, I swear that Grand Matriarch used to let me open my gifts Christmas Eve, saving Christmas Day for the Santa presents, but she doesn't remember it that way. Do you have any special traditions that you shared/share with your grandparents?
Friday, December 19, 2008
1. Napmom got a sinus infection. It IS a sinus infection – I don’t care what the doc says otherwise. I did not fall off the face of the earth. I have been very ill for days now. Yikes - here is what else we have been up to lately.
2. Bro dressed up and went to see his sister’s chorus concert. The theme was “Holiday Around the World.” Lulu’s school staff is really trying to celebrate the diversity of their students. I didn’t know that there are 16 languages spoken among the faculty, staff, and students at her school. Cool huh?
3. Napmom attended a cookie baking class in the kitchen seen here (got this one pic and then my camera battery died – argh).
4. The teacher gifts came in. Just look at these cute note cards for Lulu’s teachers. I purchased them on etsy.com from peaseblossomstudio. This transaction could not have been better. Peaseblossom answered all of my questions via etsy conversation and was so kind to put the note cards in the mail quickly so that I would have them for Lulu’s teachers before the holiday break. Then, the note cards arrived and they were wrapped and packaged so carefully. Peaseblossom went so far as to place bits of packing material in the bow so that they wouldn’t get squished during shipping. How wonderful!!!!! I would definitely purchase from peaseblossom again.
At the time of the writing of this blog, the teachers have been given their note cards and they were a big hit. It did not go unnoticed that the cards were in the school colors with the school mascot (not pictured - but the starfish was in there)! Yeah!
5. We put up our Christmas tree. Typically, I do this the day after Thanksgiving, but Lulu was at her dad’s house that day and I wouldn’t dare set up the tree without her. In a stroke of luck, Bro will NOT touch the tree. It is quite hilarious actually. He practically ignores that fact that this lifesize glowing structure has moved into our living room. Well, when he first saw the tree he went to touch the tree and one of the other branches bumped/scratched his forehead. He immediately backed away from the tree and has not attempted to touch it since. Awesome!!!!!
6. Napmom found out that she works with someone from her hometown. This is only so remarkable because my hometown is so small and simple and NOBODY has ever heard of it much less claimed to be “from this town.” For all intents and purposes, we will now refer to this town as Mayberry. Mayberry is most famous for the annual Pig Cookin’. Now that’s Good Eats! Nonetheless, I was sitting at work talkin’ ‘bout the Pig Pickin’ and this guy came out of his office and said, “Mayberry? I’m from Mayberry!” At which time I gave my typical clarification which is, “Mayberry, North Carolina – NOT the one in Rhode Island (home of a very famous town of similar name).” “Yeah – I’m from Mayberry, North Carolina,” he said. BOWL ME OVER WITH A FEATHER – NO WAY! He knows about Atlantic Beach and Highway 70 and the old skate rink and how built up it is now and the Marine base, and the pig cookin’, and the beach, and on and on and on. Can you believe it? I mean we’re practically family now! I don’t know about YOU, but I can honestly say that since I moved from Mayberry, I have never met someone from Mayberry. Shocking!
To put it in perspective here are some stats on my hometown and my current town of residence.
2000 Census Data
Mayberry/hometown: 831 families/456 people/7.4 square miles
6. Napmom was invited to do her part to help the State to save $34 million. Yep – that’s right. There isn’t enough money in the State coffers to pay the State employees their full salary so we were all furloughed (got a pay cut). I’m NOT complaining – I am more than happy to do my share to help the State in this economic crisis. The good news is that I don’t have to work for free. I will get a 4-day pay cut along with 4 days at home with my family!!!!!
7. The UPS guy keeps dropping off packages at the house. Lulu got these great light-up socks from the Grand Matriarch! ;-) They go great with the camo pants and pink shirt. Wink, wink!
8. Napmom had to cancel her Visa check card because someone stole my card number, created a new card of their own, and charged $500 worth of drugs on the card at a semi-local CVS. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I won’t be spending any money for the next few days.
10. Napmom took some great pics of
my children Lulu in front of the Christmas tree.
11 and 12. A few more things... my camera came in (which means that Fairy Grandmother can have HER camera back) and I haven't mailed out even one Christmas card (which breaks my heart actually).
What's new and exciting in your home?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We were headed to Hollywood again to see if we could grab an early seat on the Toy Story Mania ride before the crowd got there. Speed walking to get to the Toy Story Mania ride was similar to the running of the bulls. I was appalled that these folks were racing to get to an amusement park ride – then, I realized that I was racing to get to… an amusement park ride. Yikes! We (Napmom and Lulu) got to the ride and were numbers 8 and 9 in line.
Lulu practiced a voiceover and took a quiz to see which Disney character she is most like. Look in the background – we practically had the whole place to ourselves.
Then, we went in to the studio to try our hand at drawing a famous Disney character.
Note to Disney: Yes, the animator explained that there are no erasers on these pencils. Yes, he also explained that these drawings do not need to be perfect. Yes, he was very kind. However, there was more than one child who was crying because he ‘messed up’ on his drawing and wanted to fix it. I mean, we had sobbing kids in here folks. They wanted erasers and they wanted to fix their pictures. They wanted to opportunity to make it look better. For crying out loud – can’t you give us some pencils with erasers? Who gives kids pencils without erasers? Pencils without erasers – bad idea, very bad idea. Parents – this is a very fun experience and will be well worth it, but save yourself the tears and bring your own eraser.
We saw some more shows, ate lunch, and headed back to the resort so that we could catch the Magical Express to the airport.
This was my state of mind at the end of the day on Sunday. One Napmom can only handle but so much fun!
On the flight home, Lulu completed her class assignment. She was tasked to come up with a food item that she likes and is important to her culture. Unfortunately for us, her ancestral food does NOT include chicken nuggets or pizza. Her culture/heritage choices are limited to: Native American, Greek, and Irish. I almost had to make Greek Baklava with no nuts (nuts being the signature ingredient) because we are not permitted to bring nut items to school. However, Lulu settled for the Native American cornbread casserole instead. Whew!
Other tidbits and memories from our trip:
Our Top 3 Disney Experiences
1. Waking up Tinker Bell
2. Seeing Lulu cheer at Downtown Disney
3. Seeing the Osborne lights at Hollywood
Honorable Mention. The Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story Mania rides
Question that Lulu said we asked most during our trip:
“Where are you from?”
Where are we going on our next girls’ trip?
“Wherever life takes us” -Lulu
Lulu’s honest response to learning that there were Disney celebrities performing at MK while we were there: “I can’t be bothered with celebrities while I am at Disney – I just can’t be bothered.”
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Did I tell you that Daddy
After the makeover we headed to Hollywood. I don't want to forget to mention the bus ride to the park. Lulu, Fairy Grandmother, I were on the bus with... these guys.
We were advised not to leave the park before seeing the Osborne lights. Oh – they were magnificent!
Here is a picture...
and a video!
To be continued.
The right thing to do when you have a crush is:
Never show off too much
Don't be silly and goofy
Control your hyperness (cut down on sugar if you need to)
Make sure you have good friends who won't try to take the girl you like.
Finally, you have to be able to get over a crush if it doesn't work out. A crush is like a love disease. It can drive you mad.
Try not to let it get you down.
You can readl more about Alec here.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Lulu and I played at MK for a few hours while Fairy Grandmother went back to the resort.
Midnight: Caught a bus back to the resort. Very tired napmom.