Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday

Where does the time go?  You stole a bit of your daddy's best qualities and are more like me than I would like to admit! Little Bro Man, you are such a blessing to me... so much more than I could ever hope for.  Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Counting Down to a Birthday

I am very excited for Bro's birthday tomorrow and he is too!  Today, he is sick at home with Daddy so let's hope that he feels better tomorrow.  I know he will!

I am most sad that his birthday falls during a very busy time at work for me.  No one is granted any leave from mid-Jan to mid-April unless it is an emergency.  Thus, I will miss his school party.  Luckily, one Fairy Grandmother is here and able to attend the festivities in my absence.  I do not know what I would do if I didn't have her!

It was great to snatch Brody from the house on a mother-and-son trip to get his cupcake supplies.  He was so excited for just the two of us to pick out his special cupcake supplies.  It was nice to be alone with him for a change.

He picked out Toy Story toppers for his cupcakes, along with Toy Story plates and napkins. 

The cupcake wrapper has trucks and cars on it! AH... life with a little boy!

I had to purchase the tickets to the Monster Jam because I accidentally mentioned Monster Jam in the car one day when I was talking to Lulu while Bro was sitting in the back.  I finally remembered he was back there when I heard a little voice say, "What?  What's that mom?  What's that about Monster Jam for a birthday?  Did you say that mom?  What?  Did you say Monster Jam?  Huh, Mom?  Did you say that?"  Oh - I was soooooooo busted.

I finished shopping for his birthday gifts.  We didn't really get him much since the Monster Jam tickets are his main gift.  However, he saw this pack of Monster Jam trucks in the grocery store (of all places) that he was just drooling over!

After all of this, he is still asking for a butterfly birthday cake!  tee hee hee!  Can you believe it?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Conversation Cards

Now that we have the icing dilemma out of the way, we are back to conversation cards.

As many of you know, my family likes to use conversation cards to spark dinner conversation. This started because my daughter didn’t want to (1) listen to my husband and I talk about work or (2) talk about her day at school. So, Mommy purchased some conversation cards.

Love them!!!!!

Our first set of cards was very popular.
Then we bought another set, which I can't find online anymore, but it was fine.
Now, we have Chat Pack.  

Santa found these Chat Pack cards sitting in the closet from last year gave Lulu a set of Chat Pack Cards. These are our favorite cards ever. Chat Packs questions are fun and unusual… but not too unusual.

I have to share our answers to last night’s questions.

You ready?

Question: If your name were given as the description for any one word in the dictionary, behind what word would people find your name? (Example: HILARIOUS: John Smith.)



DEDICATED: Dear Husband


My family was surprised that I selected SUCCESSFUL.  Successful doesn’t have to mean rich. I think that one of the best things that you could hope for in your life is to be successful… successful in whatever you are setting your mind to. We are all trying to achieve something, right? What is better than success?

Next question.

Question: If you were writing an autobiography, what would be the book’s title (besides your name)?

Lulu: My Life in Glitter

Dear Husband: My Journey to the Edge and Back

Mommy: {{hmmm…}}

Since I couldn’t come up with a title for my book, Lulu thought of one for me… ahem… The Husband, the Dog, the Three Kids, the Yard. I’m NOT kidding… she was smiling and serious… as if this was brilliant! That is the name that my tween suggested for my book title. Is that horrible or what? Really? She gets My Life in Glitter and I get The Husband, the Dog, the Three Kids, the Yard?

Run, don’t walk, to get your set of Chat Pack conversation cards.

Please Play Along

If your name were given as the description for any one word in the dictionary, behind what word would people find your name?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Today’s post WAS going to be about our latest and greatest pack of conversation cards. Instead, it’s going to be about cake and icing.

Cake and icing?

In short, my kids don’t get cake with icing until their first birthday. This started with my oldest daughter, and quite by accident. I fed her only healthy foods, as every new mom does. When her first birthday rolled around I gathered up a lifetime supply of cake-making stuff and I made her first birthday cake. It was a teletubby cake and it was gorgeous, in my opinion.

This tradition continues year after year.

Then, Bro was born and he had his first taste of cake and icing on his birthday… a winter birthday with a snowman cake.

Unlike my other kids, baby Bri is in daycare. And I’m surprisingly fine with taking her to daycare. She loves it there and lights up when she sees Ms Rachel and Ms. Betsy. Fine.

Well… ahem… when Dear Husband dropped off the kids this morning one of the moms in Bri’s class said that she was thinking about bringing in cupcakes for her baby’s birthday. She asked my husband if Bri would eat cake. He told her that Bri will eat cake but that I (Mommy) don’t want Bri to have cake and icing until her birthday.

It gets worse.

At that point, one of my coworkers was in the room also dropping of her kid. Her kid also has a birthday coming up. She said that she would talk to me about the cake and icing issue.

Dear readers… I hate to be this way but I am going to have to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream like a baby about this issue. I’m sorry… Bri does all sorts of things that I don’t get to see… the caregivers share all sorts of food with her. I come in and they say, “Bri really likes to eat [fill in the blank with whatever the ladies are eating that day]. Updates also include, “Bri has teeth; Bri is sitting up” and so on.

Ugh. No. No. The answer is No. No, she cannot have cake and icing. NO!

I tried to think of a compromise. You see, Bro has a birthday on Friday. Maybe Bri could have some of Bro’d birthday cake? But, somehow, this isn’t fine with me. Her cake and icing experience on her first birthday needs to be special and memorable because she is special and memorable. It’s what we do. It is our tradition.

I know that I might sound crazy… but I really want to make her first birthday cake and I really want her cake and icing experience to be special…and memorable… on her first birthday!

I’m not going to get over this.

Can you think of some way to make this better?
Should I just let it go?
Stand my ground?

Speaking of birthday...

I want to make this pillowcase dress for her birthday. 

A little complicated, I know.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Fashion Update

Lulu has dropped the hair bows in exchange for:

Photo taken in Florida while vacationing with her dad.
Glasses... but not just any glasses.  These are 3-D glasses with the lenses taken out. 

Yes.  She wears them to school.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Read or Not To Read

We are reading Girl in Translation for my book club.  On Monday, Lulu and I were waiting for an appointment and I was frantically reading my book so that I could finish it for book club.  Our conversation went something like this:

Lulu:  Mom, what are you reading?

Me:  I have to have this book read by Thursday because we have our book club meeting on Thursday.

Lulu:  Oh.  {{look of confusion}}  Well, you don't have to read the book.  You could watch the movie, read a summary or... {{look of excitement}} join an online book club and see what everyone else is saying about the book.

You could be done in an hour!

Me:  Oh thanks.  {{What happened to just reading the cliff notes?}}  But I want to read the book.  I like to read.

End of story.

We all had to read books for school.  The teachers would always assign the book and say, "You can watch the movie or read the Cliffs Notes but the questions on the test are going to be from the book ONLY.  You won't be able to get this information from the movie or the Cliffs Notes.  If you just watch the movie or just read the Cliffs Notes then you won't know what is on the test because that information comes from the text."

Often my friends would only watch the movie or, most often, ONLY read the Cliffs Notes.  I always, always, always, always read the whole book.  The teachers were wrong.  All you had to do was read the Cliffs Notes.  I waited and waited and waited for the time that I read the whole book and there would be questions on the test that were ONLY from the book.  What a sweet victory that would be... an "I told you so - you have to read the book."  Duh! Alas, this sweet victory never came.  In fact, I actually think I might have performed better on the tests if I had read the Cliffs Notes because I was reading the book and trying to take it all in while the Cliffs Notes gave a summary of the book as well as highlighted all of the important details, no matter how small.


How about you?  Are you a book reader or a Cliff's Notes reader?
Be honest - we're all friends here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ring! Ring! Ring!

Not waking up to your alarm clock is one of my biggest pet peeves, especially when you share a room with another person.  If you want some extra sleep in the morning then set your alarm clock for the last possible minute so that you can get as much sleep as possible.  It is absolutely positively unacceptable to set your alarm clock, let it go off, snooze, and repeat... while someone else is in the room trying to sleep!

Let me share a story with you... one that I am NOT proud of... to help you understand.

Once upon a time, I was in college.  And I lived in a house with lots of other ladies.  And, I slept in a room referred to as a quad.  That is, 4 people shared the room (but there were some closets that separated us).  Nonetheless, while the closets were a visual barrier, I could hear everything else going on in the other side of the room.

Goodness me, I cannot believe that I am even sharing this publicly.  Please do not judge me.  I need my sleep people...  I don't know what to tell you.

OK... moving on...

One of the girls (Anne - not her real name) on the other side of the room had an 8:00 a.m. class.  {{Who does that, by the way???} She would set her alarm and it would go off... and she wouldn't hear it... YES... it would scream into our area FOREVER and she would not hear it.  It was blaring INTO HER EAR... and she would sleep right through it.

Step 1:  the rest of us in the room talked about her behind her back... talking about how rude this was.

Step 2:  her "roommate" approached her about waking up to her alarm.  Anne's nicely explained, "I cannot hear my alarm.  I can't even get up for work in the summer.   My mom has to come wake me up.  There is nothing I can do about this."

Step 3:  Not believeing this excuse I calmly confronted her about the alarm thing and asked what we could do to help.  She again very nicely explained, "I cannot hear my alarm. I can't even get up for work in the summer. My mom has to come wake me up. There is nothing I can do about this."

This is where it gets interesting folks. 

Clearly, she could not hear her alarm.  Clearly, she needed some help getting up in the morning.  Right?  I decided that I was going to help her get up in the morning.  I would help to make sure that she got up in a timely manner and that she was not late for class.  My methods also made it so that we would not all be awake all morning long listening to a siren going off in our ears.

{{Again, this is not my proudest moment, but I need to demonstrate how much this bothers me.}}

The next time Anne's alarm went off... I waited... and I waited... and I waited... and then I... walked into her side of the room... stepped onto her bed... started jumping up and down as high as I could... and started s-c-r-e-a-m-i-n-g "Get the f*** up!  Get the f*** up!"... over and over again.

Oh yes, I did.

When she asked me what I was doing, I calmly explained, "since you are not able to get up with your alarm in the morning then I am going to do this every morning to help you get up."

Do you know... Anne never said a word about this, ever again... and she was always able to get up with her alarm clock from that day forward.  Amazing!

How embarrassed was I when facebook came along and I got a friend request from Anne.  OMG!  How embarrassing?  But she's totally normal.. married... with kids.  Totally cool!

I tell you all of this because I married someone just-like-Anne.  This situation was horrible when we were first married and both needed to to get up in the morning for work.  Finally, he got a job as a real estate agent which meant that he could get up later than me.  Now, he is still a real estate agent, but I am about to hit my crunch time at work and he will be ending his day early to get the kids and prepare dinner and stuff.  Well, you can't start your day late AND end your day early.  So, he is starting his day early with me.  

Our nightly conversation goes something like this:

{{Keep in mind that my cell phone doubles as the alarm clock in our house and his cell phone sits on the kitchen counter all night long.}}

Dear Husband:  What time are you getting up tomorrow?

Me:  6:30. 

Dear Husband:  OK, wake me up at 6:15.

Our mornings go something like this:

6:15 a.m.

Me:  Hey, it's 6:15.

Dear Husband:  Huh?

Me:  It's 6:15. 

Dear Husband:  {{rolls over}}  OK.

6:30 a.m.

I get up and get into the shower.  Dear Husband pops up and wants to fight over bathroom space.  I'm not kidding.

hahahahahaha... this week he asked me to wake him up at 6:00 a.m.  Really?  I'm not getting up at 6 a.m. so that I can keep telling you to get up and you... keep sleeping.  Dude - I'm sleeping in.  Why torture yourself like this?  I just don't get it. 

Do you wake up with your alarm or do you keep sleeping?  Why set the alarm if you aren't going to get up?  Why do people do this?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Long story short...

Our neighbor is a little boy Brody's age and he has Monster Trucks.  Lots and lots of Monster Trucks.  And, my little man likes to play with these Monster Trucks.

What's a Monster Truck?  This is a Monster Truck.

And Monster Trucks like to drive around in the dirt and just generally be loud and dirty.

If you are so inclined, you can buy tickets to Monster Truck shows.

My little man is soooooooooo into Monster trucks.  He has never seen a real Monster Truck, but somehow he knows that he loves them.

Today, I opened the weekend section of the Washington Post and saw this picture...

with the announcement that Monster Jam trucks are coming to Washington DC!

After I stopped hyperventilating, I looked up all of the ticket information online!!!!


Please, oh please do not tell anyone I know that I am this excited about Monster Trucks!

Oh the things we do for our kids!

Have you ever been to a Monster Truck Jam show?  How was it?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

If I Were a Butterfly...

Someone we know... ahem... is about to have a birthday.

I don't have near enough time or energy to get as excited about this day as I should... but if you mention the word "birthday" he pipes up with an excited "I have a birthday in Jan-U-Airy."  {{How does he know this???}}

This guy is such a man's man.

He likes tractors and trucks and... climbing mountains.

I had planned a tractor cake for his birthday since he loves tractors... 

... and was a farmer for Halloween.

As luck would have it (and it was total luck that brought little Bro into this world) his birthday falls during session a very freakin busy time of year for me.

While I am in charge of all things baking-related in my home, Fairy Grandmother makes Bro's birthday cakes.  And he knows this.  He knows that she (not I) makes his cakes... so cute!

We asked Bro what type of cake he wants this year...

a tractor...

a train perhaps?

"I want a butterfly", he said, "a red and yellow and green butterfly."

Really?  OK.  A butterfly it is!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I made an infinity scarf as a gift for someone.  I slipped out of my jammies and into a black shirt so I could try on the scarf and take a picture.  Maybe that was a bad idea... as this is not the most flattering picture.  Hey - at least I took the time to close the shower curtain. 

Moving on.

It is really cute in person, trust me.  I test drove the scarf at work today to make sure that it sat right and didn't do anything crazy.... don't know what I might be expecting to happen... maybe I just wanted to wear it.  Yes... again... it is a gift.  She won't mind that I wore it, trust me!

You can make infinity scarves at any length.  Usually they wrap around two or more times but I wanted this to sit at just this position and not be too much of a hassle.  Again, I think that the recipient will appreciate these features!

If I get a better picture, I'll share it with you.  I'm really into making my own gifts this year - can you tell?

Do you ever give homemade gifts?

Monday, January 3, 2011

To-do List

Happy New Year!

I don't have an official New Year's Resolution but I am going to keep a running tally of things I want to accomplish over the year... kida like a bucket list but not really... just a list of potential accomplishments.

Here they are, in no particular order:

make homemade baby bibs from Bro's old tshirts (only the cute ones) (for the many babies who are coming);

eat more cancer-fighting foods;

create an alphabet scrapbook for Bro;

visit the Pathway of Peace trees and ornaments that surround the National Christmas Tree;

find more letterboxes;

make valentine shirts for the kids Bee Mine for the baby and a neck tie shirt for Bro;

Visit the U.S. Botanical Garden;

visit the National Arboretum and see the Cherry Blossoms (thus, skipping the crazy crowds downtown);

make a terrarium (since I already have all of the supplies anyways);

make a pillowcase dress;

make nativity block sets;

and more... so... much... more!

What are you hoping to accomplish this year?

p.s.  and make Christmas Stockings for the kids.