Tuesday, January 27, 2009


flu (floo) n. Influenza. an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease.

Contrary to popular belief, the hot dogs did not get the best of me. However, the flu did... and then it got Bro (but didn't get DH or Lulu yet). I promise to be up and running soon. Well, up at least.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Black-eyed Susan Book Award

What is the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award program? The Black-eyed Susan book award program was created to promote reading and literacy for Maryland children. The award honors outstanding books chosen by students in Maryland. Awards are given for books in four categories: picture book, grades 4-6, grades 6-9, and high school.

What does this mean to me? Each year, soon after the new year, our school libraries start promoting the book program. This year is no different and children from Lulu's school who read 6 or more books will be awarded... an invitation to an ever-popular ice cream social. Gee, the hoops that one will jump through for a scoop of ice cream with some toppings.

Lulu wants that ice cream social invite, of course, and has vowed to read her six books. You can chart her progress on the sidebar of this blog. Is anyone else reading books from this year's list of nominees? Wish us luck.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts on February 13 and lasts through the 16th. This would be loads of fun for you or your family and you only need to watch birds one time for 15 minutes to participate. Then, you log your findings on The Great Backyard Count website. If you live in the United States or Canada then you can participate. You should also check out The Great Backyard Bird Count site for kids. It has games and quizzes for the whole family. Can you identify some common birds by their song?

My family did not participate last year, but we will get out our binoculars this year for sure. Please let me know if you participate and if you find any cool birds!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame...

Take me out to the ballgame so that I can get a decent hot dog to eat. I say this because I ate a 3-month-old hot dog over the weekend. Yep! The hot dog expired 3 months ago. And, I lived to tell about it.

What happened was that DH came home with some hot dogs and buns and ate them. Unbeknownst to me, DH put the extra hot dogs in the freezer so that they wouldn't go bad. The next day, Lulu and I (yep - she had one too) found some hot dogs in the refrigerator and assumed that they were leftover from DH. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and we ate the hot dogs; she had one and I had two.

DH came home and asked, "What happened to all of the hot dog buns?"

"We ate them with our hot dogs," was my reply. DUH-UH!

"Uh, what hot dogs?" he asked and then the story unfolded.

Is that gross or what? He grabbed the hot dog wrapper from the fridge and noted the "best if used by October 2008" date. Bluck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

I found this picture which was taken right after Bro came home from the hospital. So, I took a similar picture last night. Oh how fast they grow. Here is baby Bro: then and now.

Much to my dismay, it is very difficult to get this little guy to smile when I have a camera on him. It is soooooo frustrating. I swear, he does smile!

Actually, we are experiencing some technical difficulties at my house. Thus, picture #2 was grabbed from a flip video recorder. Not too bad, huh?

Also, I put together a little slideshow below, because I just couldn't help myself. Friends and family might like the short overview of the last year trip down memory lane - for the rest of you... it's not that interesting, just another baby.

Happy Birthday dear Bro!
Happy Birthday to you!

Click to play

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Creative Solutions – Finding Solutions to Everyday Problems

As you may remember, Lulu is earning her Creative Solutions Girl Scout badge. The next problem to solve is:

Shipwrecked on an Island.

You are shipwrecked on a tropical island and have no idea when you will be rescued. The island is uninhabited but there is a stream of fresh water. If you could have one person and five items (but no boat) with you, who and what would you choose? Why? What choices would your friends and family make? Are they similar to yours?

Here is what we came up with.

Mom's answers

Person: Dear husband, of course. He knows exactly why I would bring him. He would get the coconuts, build the shelter, fish, make the fire, and so much more. I also think that this is rather funny because I would NOT want to be stranded on a deserted island with MYSELF, but DH hardly has any choice but to choose me. I got the better end of this deal for sure. tee hee hee!


Laptop. This island has wireless.
Good shoes. Shoes that will protect my feet.
Blanket. Sleep is important to me and I will need a blanket.

Dear Husband's answers

Person: Me – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


Endless supply of toilet paper. Seriously, we are stranded on a desert island and he wants toilet paper?
Working radio.
Gun with endless ammunition.
Endless supply of rum.
Suntan lotion. Did he mean sunblock?

Lulu's answers

Person: Daddy – of course – always Daddy!


Phone (with service).
Fishing pole. (She watches enough Survivor to know that she will need this.)

What about you? Who and what would you bring?

Monday, January 19, 2009


How much do I wish that I had been in D.C. yesterday? Instead, the family went shopping to buy some b-day gifts for our baby boy! Lulu got to use some of her gift cards too! So, it was fun for all of us. DH wants to know when Bro can have a go-kart. Gulp!

Anyways, here is a youtube video of U2's Inauguration performance. It's worth it to watch it just for the opening and the pan of the crowd. Very cool!

Disclosure: In my effort to remain non-partisan, I am asking my co-workers who may be reading this blog to either stop reading this post at this time or to disregard the rest of this post.

So now I have another question. Is it appropriate for a public school to promote a certain political candidate? First, I need to disclose to my readers that I am an Obama supporter/fan and I am very excited to see him become President. Having said that, I have an issue with how Lulu's school has been handling the upcoming inauguration. Just the other day, Lulu was singing a rather hip/cool song about Barack Obama. It has a very cool and catchy tune. I asked her where she heard the song and she said that they play it on the loud speaker at school, after the morning announcements, every morning. Then she added, "Apparently, we are a Barack Obama loving school mom."

I like Obama. I want the man to be President. However, for some reason, I am very uncomfortable with a public school endorsing (for lack of a better word) this person for President. What about the rights/beliefs of those who are not Obama fans? Is this appropriate? What am I missing here? Why do I feel so icky about this, even though I support Obama in my home?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Earning a Girl Scout badge

Lulu has roped DH and I into helping her earn her Creative Solutions badge. Really, she hates to listen to us talk about work at the dinner table so she has chosen to turn the conversation around to something that she would be more interested in. This badge requires more talking and thinking, rather than doing, and has been fun for us all.

First up…

Local, National, and Global Problem Solving

Come up with a list of 10 local, national, or global problems. Then, select one item from your list and come up with three different ways to help your community (or the larger society) deal with that problem.

We took turns and came up with these problems:

1. Trash in the community pond. (DH)
2. Bad behavior in school. (Lulu)
3. Polluted Chesapeake Bay. (Mom)
4. Too many home foreclosures. (DH)
5. Some animals are becoming extinct due to overhunting. (Lulu)
6. Hunger in poor countries. (Mom)
7. Gas prices getting too high which is making things expensive. (Lulu)
8. Global warming. (Mom)
9. Deforestation and destruction of the rain forest. (DH)
10. People are losing their jobs because businesses can’t pay them. (Lulu)

We used a voting system to narrow the list down to one problem to solve. The list was wittled down to polluted Chesapeake Bay and trash in community pond. Trash in the community pond finally won. Our solutions ideas were:

(Lulu) Tell people not to litter. Make a sign and put out a recycle or trash bin next to the pond.

(DH) Put trash cans around the community which gives people a place to throw trash. Even if a walker wants to pick up the trash, there isn’t a place to dispose of it unless you carry it back home with you.

(Mom) Go get the trash out of the pond ourselves.

What about you? What 10 problems would your family come up with? How would you solve one of them.

Coming soon: If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring one person and 5 items, who and what would you bring?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Am I living with Michael Jackson?

You may or may not have noticed that Lulu is now sporting a new look. It is this glove, pictured here.

I hoped that wearing the glove was a short, passing phase. Turns out that it is not. She says that wearing the glove is cool. She wears only one glove. She wears the glove to sleep, eat, and to school. She has been wearing it for a week or two now. It has not been washed. Blah + Yuck = Bluck!

I think that tonight I may try to wrestle it away from her so that it can get a bath.

Speaking of trends, Lulu is starting a clothing line. She is learning French and has learned that joli is the French word for pretty and has decided to make joli the name of her clothing line. She has had her clothing line name embroidered on a few shirts (as seen in the picture above). Currently, she is in the design phase of creating some t-shirts for friends and family. I am sure that I will be advertising her online shop within the next few weeks. Lucky me!

She thinks that she wants the cute and swirly letter j to be her logo. However, we are a bit confused on which spelling of joli to use for the clothing line. I do not know anything about the French language, but I see that there are two accepted French spellings for pretty: joli and/or jolie. Does anyone know what the difference is between the two? What is the French word for pink? I think that might be a better name.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today's Show is Brought to You by the Letter S

If you are not reading Mim’s Muddles then you should stop by and take a look. Mim (extremely cool and down to earth) was recently tagged by a friend to come up with a list of 10 things that she likes that start with the letter B.

Then she tagged me to come up with a list of 10 things that I like that start with the letter S. So… here goes… in no particular order:

1. Sweater sets: I am always cold, unless I am pregnant and I am a sucker for sweater sets. My husband joked with me about this recently because I have been trying to make myself look presentable for work. He joked that I am trying to impress someone at the office. Then he said, "no if you were trying to impress someone at the office YOU would start wearing more sweater sets." I am such a dork.

2. Sleeping: I love to sleep. I don’t have a problem waking up in the morning, but I really, really, like getting into bed and covering up with the blankets, and putting my head on my pillow… it’s so wonderful! Naps? Even better!

3. Strawberries: Love strawberries. Love strawberry shortcake. Love strawberry jam and strawberry lip gloss.

4. Squidoo: Yes, I squidoo. I’ve even made some money for myself and for charity off of a few of my lenses. The page that gets the most hits is my page on Eric Violette (the guy from the free credit report.com commercial). Eric’s page gets several hundred hits a week.

5. Spring: Winter is tough and summer in the Eastern US is h-u-m-i-d! Spring is perfect, absolutely, positively perfect.

6. Sunsets: Everyone loves a good sunset. Usually, I am inside cooking dinner when the sun goes down, but it is always nice to enjoy a sunset. This sunset picture was taken while we were out on the boat with my parents.

7. Spaghetti: Spaghetti has been my favorite dinner since I was a kid. I’ve often said that if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be spaghetti. I like it fresh or cold or leftover or in a sandwich. Delicious!

8. Sugar cookies: I could eat them by the boxful. I’d prefer them over chocolate chip any day (but they aren’t better than oatmeal raisin). I am a lover of ALL baked goods.

9. Star Wars Lego for the Wii: DH and I spent the better part of our late night hours playing Star Wars Lego over the Christmas break. Shhhh… please don’t tell anyone. We had a great time. Two people can play at the same time and it takes a bit of teamwork. I am sure that a therapist could tell a lot about our marriage just by the way that we work together (or not) at this game.

10. State House: I work for our State legislature at the State capital. Our State House is the oldest State House in the country that is still in legislative use. I like the State House because it is old and historic, it is a symbol of our State (I am a proud Marylander), and it is the symbol of our legislative process (which I am blessed to be part of). This picture is a pewter State House ornament which I got from the Governor's Christmas Party employee open house.

So, I’ve come to the end of my list. Leave me a comment if you want to play along too and I will send you a letter.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dear Nintendo:

Dear Nintendo:

We have enjoyed playing the Wii for years now and love your Wii Fit Balance Board. However, I have a few complaints/questions that I just CANNOT hold in anymore.

Why do you weigh in all of the players before every time they use your machine? A few weeks ago you told my (healthy and slim) tween daughter that she was fat and on the verge of being an overweight adult. Just today, you told her that she had gained weight and asked her to justify that with a response that she can choose from your list of responses, which (by the way) did NOT include an appropriate justification for her weight gain. Did you NOT remember that you asked her for her age? Did you NOT remember that she is a freakin' tween for crying out loud? Do you know that my daughter is supposed to gain weight and that social services will come HAUL ME AWAY if she doesn't. Come on!

Solutions to this problem:

1. Allow an option on your setting menu that allows users (parents) to toggle off the weigh-in process.

2. Don't weigh-in users who are under the age of 18.

3. Add an "I am a kid and I am supposed to gain weight" option to your weight gain justification list.

Is the Wii Fit Board Fun? Yes. Am I the only person with this complaint? No.

Use some common sense people!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


As noted in this recent post, Lulu has a fairly healthy self-esteem. I had to laugh when we had this recent conversation.

Setting: Mom is feeding Bro his bedtime bottle in the rocking chair. The lights are dim. Lulu is sitting in the room, keeping mom company. Lulu, who has recently become a cousin AGAIN (congrats Aunt B and Uncle M), is lamenting on being the oldest of all of the cousins (first cousins, step-cousins, cousins once removed, and so on, you get the point).

The conversation went something like this.

Lulu: I am the oldest on BOTH sides. (Uh, she's the oldest on EVERY side.)

Mom: (Always wanting to make my baby girl feel proud) You make a great oldest Lulu. You are older than cousin G, cousins R and J, cousins E, L, and P, et al.

Lulu: Yeah, and I am older then neighbors A and B. And I always help out at birthday parties...

Mom: ... and you are such an example and helper for the little ones AND you were the oldest on your cheer squad this year and such a helper to your coach. It's like you were born to be... destined to be... the oldest.

Lulu: (drum roll please) ... or just born to be FIRST! (sweet pixie pose and matching smile)

On another note... I bought Lulu some new underwear. You know, the Fruit of the Loom girl stuff. I asked her to try on the underwear so that we could see if it fit. She pulled the underwear out of the package and announced that the underwear was HUGE! Admittedly, it did look much bigger than her current size. Nonetheless, I told her that her current underwear is too small and to try them on anyways. I can't even believe that I am telling you this. She dutifully tried on the underwear, but only pulled them up as far as slightly above her hips because that is how she wears her clothes. Needless to say, she had some droopy drawers which she pointed out to me. I told her to pull them up... and so she did. She hiked them up so far and said, "Look at this MAWM! Is this how you want me to look? Is this what my life has become? MAWM! You cannot make me wear my underwear like this... 1960's... fashion... wreck. I mean really, LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE BECOME! This is NOT my life!" And, she struck a pose and she seriously looked exactly like this...

I am NOT kidding and it was freaking hilarious!

Note: I asked her if I could blog this story and she said that it was fine with her. Too cute!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do You Snow Shoe?

Recently, Lulu went snow shoeing with her Girl Scout troop. I'll post the picture here (without guilt) since it was posted publicly on the ski resort website.

Can you see Lulu? She is wearing pink, of course, and is lying down, in the front, with the big cheese smile on her face.

Lucky for me, Lulu was with Daddy Warbucks for the weekend because snow is more his thing than mine (as Grand Matriarch can attest to, but I won't show you the pics to prove it)!

Also this weekend, Lulu's Girl Scout troop held their Winter Court of Awards ceremony. Here she is collecting her awards, with her brother in hand. My favorite badge that she completed this season is the Sign of the Star (which the troop leader describes as a super badge). The purpose of the Sign of the Star is to engage the girls in activities that promote a healthy self-esteem and really make them fell good about themselves (which comes oh so naturally for Lulu). As part of the paperwork to demonstrate that she earned the badge, Lulu had to list the items that she completed to earn the badge and answer the question, "What did you learn from this activity?"

Want to know what she learned from these self-esteem boosting activities?

Activity #4. Complete 2 activities from the It's Great to Be a Girl chapter.

What did Lulu learned from the activities (in her own words): "I am even MORE MAGNIFICENT than I thought I was!!!!!" ummmm... no self-esteem issues HERE

Moving on... (my personal favorite - not)

Activity #5. Participate in a council event. (Lulu participated in the by-invitation-only gag me ice cream social for girls who sold more boxes of cookies than should legally be allowed 500+ boxes of cookies.)

What Lulu learned from the activity (in her own words): I need to sell MORE Girl Scout cookies!!!!! please... somebody... anybody... buy these cookies

Sunday, January 11, 2009

day care

We have a nanny coming to the house to watch Bro 3 days a week. Dear husband, Fairy Grandmother, and I watch him the other 2 days a week. I will not be able to watch Bro on my days because session is starting and no one is granted leave during session - no matter what - unless you have a baby - like I did last year - which is frowned upon - but things happen.

So, we need full-time care for Bro. Our current dear nanny goes to school on Tues/Thur and cannot take over the other 2 days. Thus, we have turned to day care. Bro will officially start day care on his birthday, but we kinda needed some temporary care recently and they said that he could go for the afternoon. Whew!

Dear husband said that it was hard to drop Bro off at the center. Luckily, Bro didn't cry and was very distracted by the toys and new friends.

As luck would have it, we know one of the managers of the center (well, Dear Husband knows her from college). Apparently, she can tell some crazy stories of his late night antics. I wonder what she thought when she saw him parading in as a new father.

Either way, this college buddy is also the soon-to-be sister-in-law of my co-worker. She checked on Bro during the day and texted my co-worker to say that he was doing great! So thoughtful!

When I picked Bro up at the end of the day, I worked my way through the Fort Knox-like security and dutifully took of my shoes, as instructed, before entering the infant room.

... but not before I stopped to watch him from the other side of this two-way mirror.

The lights were dimmed because some babies were sleeping, but Bro was awake.

He didn't want to leave and hardly let me hold him - a good sign, right?.

We collected all of our goods including this nice "gift" bag (but it's PINK for crying out loud) and a full report of his day, which was reported to be as wonderful as I had hoped.

I am very excited for him to start at the center on a more regular basis. Our nanny has been a blessing and I would highly recommend her to anyone, but who am I to stand in the way of her education and we do need care for him Monday-Friday. My wish for her, if she is not a stay-at-home mom someday, is that she will have caretakers for her children who have been as wonderful and caring as she has been. I will miss her and I hope that she can continue to babysit for us as Dear Husband and I try to plan some date nights (what's that?) in the upcoming year.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Let them eat cake: more birthday dilemmas

Now onto another dilemma.

Am I going to make and decorate Bro's birthday cake or buy one?

A bit of history here...

I make all of Lulu's birthday cakes. Yes, I have my own cake decorating kit and I make her cakes every year - without fail. It's not as hard as it seems; if you can paint-by-number then you can make one of these cakes. I have asked if Lulu would like me to purchase a store-bought cake for her and she has been adament that her birthday cake is ONLY MADE BY MOMMY! Lucky me!

This "tradition" started because Gator's mom made Gator's first cake and told me that this was what I was supposed to do too. (Gator's mom: if you are reading - I love you!) (Read about Lulu and Gator here - you'll have to scroll down a bit.)

Making the cake is fun but is also very, very time consuming. I am wanting to buy Bro's cake because he won't even know the difference anyways. However, that mom-guilt is tugging away at me.

These are my choices, as I see them:

1. Make Bro's cake and Lulu's cake... until they go away to college.

2. Buy Bro's cake but still make Lulu's cake (which may start to make feel Bro left out in years to come - however, he is a boy and my husband said that boys don't care about cakes).

3. Buy Bro's cake and buy Lulu's cake from now on (it was fun while it lasted).

I am thinking about making this cake for Bro, if I make one.

It's easy enough to make. I won't have to buy a special shaped pan or color a bunch of icing and apparently the snowman is made out of rice krispy treats. Can I buy those sugar cubes at the grocery store? How am I going to make the hat?

What do you think? Buy the cake or make it? Do you buy or make at your house? Do you have a tradition that you stopped once you added more children to the mix? Please share.

Did I mention that we didn't even get Bro a Christmas stocking this year? Pathetic or what?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I wondered into Lulu's room, recently, and came upon this Polly Village.

I was curious about what had happened to the houses with the “wraps” on them. Are they tents? Are they being renovated? Neither. I was matter-of-factly informed, by Lulu, that these houses were foreclosures and that the Pollys had taken up residence in other homes “until they can afford to buy their houses back.”

Also of interest, the Pollys (as seen piled up below) are all living in the house that has been designated as the President's house.

Eeeeee gads! Hard economic times have hit the world of Polly Pockets too. It seems that nobody is safe from a crushing housing market.

Where does she get this stuff? Can you tell that she lives in a world of real estate agents?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas: a large family gathering

Once upon a time, my great-grandmother held her first annual Christmas party for her adult children (a dozen or so) and their families. Each year since, we all gather together at the local church hall for good food, family, and fellowship. Great-grandma has passed away, but the tradition continues.

I really look forward to this family party. It is so wonderful to see family from all parts of the country and the State and to catch up new family news. At this Christmas party I can always expect to: see a new pregnant mom, stare in awe at kids who I don't recognize because they seem to be growing like weeds, relive (even for a moment) my college days by swapping stories with those young-ones who are just back from their first semester away from home, receive the warmest hugs of the year from my aunts and great aunts, and more.

One of the most cherished and favored parts of the party is the "production" of the annual Christmas play. Yes, the family is soooooooo large that we always have enough children and willing adults to put on a play of the Nativity. Someone brings the costumes, musically inclined aunts play the piano and violin, we all sing along with Christmas carols and so on.

Here are some pics and comments from this year's production.

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem - Setting the stage... the star, the rolling hills, the manger.

Behind-the-scenes - All of the kids check out the costumes and decide on their parts.

Angels We Have Heard on High - Bro got lost in a sea of angels.

"Places everyone!" - All of the players lining up awaiting the start of the play.

"Come they told me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum" - my favorite Drummer Boy

Away in a Manger - Each year the youngest baby is chosen to play the part of baby Jesus. Since Lulu was not present (visiting family in Florida) she was relieved to hear that there was a baby younger then Bro at the party and that Bro would not be called to duty this year.

"Me too" - Bro decided that he's going to be a Drummer Boy next year.

Picture disclaimer: I have given up trying to get the camera to work properly inside under less than ideal lighting. Please excuse the blurry pictures. One day, I will get better. The upside is that the pictures were blurry enough to allow me to post pics of group setting without feeling guilty that I was posting a pic of someone elses child on the web.

Are you lacking 100+ willing participants for a personal Nativity play each year? Not to worry. Even a small group can pull off a great production, like D-Dawg's family did here.

Have you...

Have you entered to win your dream home today?

Read the rules carefully. You are also agreeing to a background check and can be disqualified if they think that you are a shady character. Yes, they really wrote that in the rules.

Also, winners will be notified "ambush style" on or about March 15. Yep, they really wrote ambush style in their rules and they really put it in quotes. Hah!

The Grand Prize is the home in Sonoma, California AND a doggie dream home for the winner's dog. We all know that Dale needs a doggie dream home. Maybe the winners will have pity on my family and let us move into the doggie dream home - that's not too much to ask, right?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Birthday dilemma - vegetarian entree needed

Baby Bro is turning one soon. We have some scheduling conflicts with the families and so we are going to have two small gatherings (under a dozen total guests per party) for him so that everyone gets a chance to watch him eat cake!

Here is my dilemma. His nanny is a vegetarian. We are all meat eaters. I don't really know what to make for a vegetarian. Because each gathering will be so small, it won't really be worth it to make two whole meals (one with meat and one without). I was thinking of making baked spaghetti or grabbing a spiral ham from Sam's club for the meat eaters, but then what about a meat-free option. I don't want to be in the kitchen for the whole party either. I should be able to make most of the food ahead of time and enjoy our small birthday gathering each day.

Do you have any suggestions for a vegetarian entree? I don't want to make one large meat entree and then a small meat-free helping for one person because I think that would be awkward. We really, really, really adore Bro's nanny and want her to feel like we have included her in his day - not that we threw something together for her to eat as an afterthought.

Help! Thoughts? Suggestions for a meat free option for the nanny that doesn't seem out of place?

Christmas with Grand Matriarch

Christmas afternoon, Lulu went to spend some much anticipated time with her dad while Bro, Dear Husband, and I went to dinner at my parents' home. Grand Matriarch and Rick had arrived and I was very anxious to spend some time with them for the holiday. How many years has it been since I spent Christmas with Grand Matriarch? Too many!

We were also very blessed to have cousin Brian with us. He is autistic and we have to make special arrangements to have him come over to the house. It is always a pleasure to have him with us, especially during the holidays.

Dinner menu

Beef tenderloin

Lobster tail

Corn casserole

Mashed potatoes

Cranberry sauce


Squash soup

Green bean almondine (sans the almonds, oddly enough)

Dear Husband (of course) made sure that everyone had wine with dinner. Again, no seafood for little Bro.

There were plenty of gifts for everyone. Bro loved his new LIVE Elmo (from Fairy Grandmother),
but could hardly keep his hands off of his new activity table (from Grand Matriarch) long enough to open his other gifts.

Last but SO NOT LEAST, we had loads of baked goods for dessert. The dessert menu included: homemade cookies (from Fairy Grandmother AND my wonderful "Bakerella" aunt), strawberry shortcake, pumpkin pie, chocolate covered pretzels, and baklava.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Look who is living the good life! Lulu spent the second half of her winter vacation in Florida with her dad and his family. She loves, loves, loves spending time with her cousin G and is so eagerly awaiting the upcoming birth of his brother (her new cousin) who should be born any moment now!

She called me while she was in Florida to let me know that she had a great night out on the town in this vehicle...

(apple cider in hand, I'm sure)

and that the cops busted them lighting fireworks on the beach on New Year's Eve! Lovely!

Christmas at home

I was on hiatus from the computer during the Christmas break. Seriously, not more than 30 minutes of computer time for 2 weeks. That means, no facebook, no blogging, no google reader, no Girl Scout e-mails, no downloading and fiddling with the family pics... nothing. I didn't make a conscious decision to stay away from the computer, it just kinda happened that way and it was a surprisingly welcome break from technology.

I am back now. However, you might see a wee bit less of me over the next few months as work gets busier (for the next 90 days - but who's counting) and I start a college class to advance my education (way overdue).

For now, here is a small glimpse into my holiday break.

Christmas Eve dinner was crab cakes. Yum! Well, that is, three of us had crab cakes. Baby Bro had to suffice with leftovers from the night before because I did not want Christmas Eve to be the night that we discovered whether or not he had a seafood allergy. Does any know when I can feed him seafood? Or eggs for that matter?

Later, Lulu, Fairy Grandmother, Luvs2Boat, and I went to church for the candlelight service. This is my favorite service of the year and the first time that Lulu has attended with me. Dear Husband was home with Bro who chose Christmas Eve to be the brattiest child ever and fussed his way out of having to sit through the service.

You will see lots of pictures of our holiday, but one of the pictures that I cherish most is the one that I do not have a hard copy of. It is the picture in my mind of when I looked left and saw Lulu and over her shoulder Fairy Grandmother and Luvs2Boat with their faces glowing in the candlelight. Oh sweet heaven - "All is calm; all is bright."

When we got home, Lulu quickly put out her sign for Santa and the obligatory cookies and milk (and an apple for the reindeer).

The next morning, Lulu and I were up way before the boys and she didn't waste any time tearing into her gifts from Santa. We thought that it was going to be a very Polly Christmas. Santa must have been watching us during the Disney trip and brought all Tinker Bell gifts instead.

Finally, Bro and Dad joined in the festivities.

What did we have for Christmas morning breakfast? The cookies that Santa didn't eat of course!