Tuesday, December 30

Why Christmas of course

I guess I'll quit dragging my feet and tell you about our Christmas already. I've been a bit of a Grinch this year and was really ready for the holiday to be over, but we're just barely getting back to a routine and cleaning up the mess associated with Christmas.

We did have a really great Christmas despite my attitude. Now that Jeremy's parents live in the same state as us we got to spend Christmas with both of our families, which made it even more special.

This Christmas will be known as the Christmas of cheap and used toys. My kids were extremely inexpensive to shop for this year. We got Ty a basketball hoop for $3 from the classifieds and Alexis this old school Barbie set that came with a million things (including little toddler barbies!) for $10 from the classifieds. And they love them both. And I don't feel the tiniest bit bad about giving them used toys for Christmas. I may do it again next year. Maybe.

And in case you hadn't heard, Alexis asked Santa for a spider-man dress-up (we're not allowed to call it a costume). Which she got. And then hugged ever so sweetly. Then exclaimed: "I knew Santa would hear me!"

She told one of her little friends that she got a spider-man dress-up, to which the girl looked at me with concern in her face and asked, "Does she mean spider-woman?" No, she means spider-man.

Tyler also got this cheap truck/trailer/four wheeler set and was so excited about it we couldn't even get him to look at the camera. If you thought he was cute before you should see him play with this thing. And if you don't think he's cute with or without the truck I'm surprised you're still reading my blog considering how much I talk about his cuteness.

I think this is the only picture taken of Jeremy. He's opening a hydraulic jack from his parents. Which I suppose is exciting if you like those sorts of things. And he does.

This picture below is a true Christmas miracle. That's Ty-guy and his cousin Dallin who used to not want to have a thing to do with Tyler. And you know what Tyler does to people who don't want him around? He follows them around annoying them. But recently things have changed between Dallin and Tyler, and they are now best buds. They laugh at each other and chase each other and even WRESTLE. You really have to know Dallin to see why this is a miracle, but I'm very happy about it because now Tyler can spend a lot less time in time-out and I can spend a lot less time yelling at him.

Now on to New Year's, which really I'd prefer to sleep through, and then life will be normal again. Luckily for me Jeremy has the rest of the week off, starting Thursday. I really like having him around, he's pretty good company!

Saturday, December 27


Does anyone else love two-year-olds like I love two-year-olds? Sure they can throw a fit for hours, but it is so worth it for everything else you get. I am of course talking about a specific two-year-old here, but any two-year-old you know is probably pretty great.

Here's what I love about two-year-olds:
-The way they know how to turn on the charm and the cute when they are up way past their bedtime.
-Their dimpled elbows and knuckles because they are still half baby (this is what I refer to as their "babyness").
-Their little diapered bums and protruding tummies.
-The imagination that has just emerged, and the way they can now talk to themselves for hours.
-The way they have no idea what's going on half the time but they've learned how to fake it. See below picture of Tyler taking a picture of someone else, but the lens of the camera is actually pointed at his eye.

-The way they can make a word like "sweatshirt" sound like "swashwarsh".
-The way they make you feel so loved by the reactions they give when you enter or leave a room.
-Their wet kisses and tight hugs.
-Their determination, their excitement, and the way you can see every emotion they feel.

Two-year-olds are really great!

*Christmas post to come, I've just been reminded over and over again how much I really love this stage Tyler is in, so I thought I'd share!

Wednesday, December 24

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Tyler needs your help picking which shoes go best with his diaper. He's coordinating for our Christmas Eve festivities tonight.

Monday, December 22

a LOT of Christmas craziness

'Twas three days before Christmas
When all through the house,
Every creature was stirring, most especially the mouse.
The stockings were hung by the stairwell with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would know how to get in our house through the back door.

I wished the children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Because visions of chocolate and a bath dance in my head.

Finally Alexis in her kerchief and Tyler in his cap (??)
Settled down for a long (I hope) winter's nap!

When up in my room there arose such a clatter
Thankfully no one moved from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the bath I flew like a flash,
Turned on the water, and jumped in with a splash.

For the last 5 hours (and days!) there's been nothing but snow,
It's been enough to make my mind go.

When what to my hungry mouth should appear?
But a glass of soda and a giant sized Mr. Goodbar,
With calories and peanuts and chocolate,
I knew in a moment it would hit the spot.

More rapid than eagles the sugar rush came.
And I whistled and shouted, and wrote a poem, so LAME!
Now, Sugar! Now Peanuts! Now cocoa butter and palm shea!
On, chocolate! On, Milk! On Sunflower and Vegetable Oil!

Sorry, my creativity (if you want to call it that) ends there. I've concluded that the whole anticipation of Christmas is what's driving my kids batty--which in turn drives me extra batty (as you've just witnessed). So really, I'm ready for Christmas to be here and be done already (is that bad?), and then maybe we can all go back to normal. Or as normal as we get around here.

I know it's snowing everywhere, but it's now been snowing for the last 5 1/2 hours and we got probably 3 -4 inches of new snow outside. That's in addition to the snow we already had. I don't really mind it, but I know the longer it goes the harder it will be for Jeremy to get home tonight. And also, I do get slightly crazier when stuck in this house all day.

Because of the snow day I decided to make bean bags with the kids and let them help me on the sewing machine. Good idea, right? Well, kids have a way of making the best laid plans unravel. The stipulation was that their rooms had to be clean before we could make the bean bags, which really is not too hard or unreasonable. But you would have thought I'd just asked them to take down the Great Wall of China stone by stone and rebuild it 10 feet over, stone by stone. The instructions I gave Alexis for cleaning her room were: Pick up the first thing you see, decide where it goes, and put it in it's place. Then pick up the next thing you see and decide where it goes, and put it there. But in her mind it must have sounded like: Figure out how to get to the airport. From there figure out how to get to China. Once in China find the Great Wall. Then find some tools and figure out how to tear apart the wall. But make sure you remember which stones go next to each other, keep them in order or you'll never be able to rebuild the wall. Move everything over ten feet. Use a measuring tape if you don't know how much is ten feet. Now rebuild the wall. She simply could not do it.

Sometimes a little insight into the mind of a four year old would really be helpful. Maybe what I asked was too overwhelming. I mean, she does have the attention span of, well, a 4 year old, and every toy she picks up she seems to have a million ideas race through her head of how to play with it and what to do with it--but not one of those ideas is to put it away. Funny how her creativity can cause me to love her so much, yet also drive me to pull my hair out. I'm thinking the old phrase about women applies to kids too.
Children: You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em.

Alright, enough craziness for now.

Sunday, December 21

hair capades

Alexis got a haircut too! She got about 3 inches cut off. She was very disappointed today when I told her we still had to fix her hair. I think she thought getting a haircut meant she was immune to combing.

And Tyler got a Sunday style courtesy of Jeremy.

Pretty soon Tyler will have the longest hair in the family.

Thursday, December 18

of late

Sorry for not posting a Wordless Wednesday yesterday. I know you all get up and check for that first thing in the morning, but I've been in project mode for few days and nothing gets done but projects. Which means you should have seen my house this morning. And my children.

I am LOVING my new short hair! You should see me in the shower...well, you shouldn't really...but I hardly use any shampoo, plus it's short enough that I can make fun shapes out of it when it's all lathery from the shampoo. And the drying time? Like 5 minutes. Really, why did no one clue me in on this sooner? I may never go back to long hair. Except I know that's not true, but I really really like it this way for now.

Also, the kids seem to have become possessed with evil spirits. They used to play together so nicely, and now they are mean to each other all the time. I really think a lot of it is the weather, they are just bored and tired of being inside. But also Alexis has been just plain rude lately. She talks back to me, says mean things, and screams over just about everything. What do I do?

The snow has come, and I've been okay with it. I've had to change a few plans and today I drove, well inched really, ourselves to gymnastics in it, but I haven't really gotten upset over the snow yet, which is really a miracle. And today Jeremy only worked a half day (because he's in project mode too) so we took the Rhino out and towed Alexis on a sled behind it. She loved it and kept telling him to go "super duper duper fast". I think she gets her daredevilness from Jeremy's side of the family.

Tonight we're headed out to do the last of our Christmas shopping. Also we're returning the Baby Alive doll Santa got Alexis because now she wants a Spider-man dress-up. I'm glad Christmas only comes once a year because I cannot take the stress of Santa disappointing her! Fortunately we've found a Spider-man costume, now all I need is some sort of toy that shoots webbing out of her wrist because Santa can't bring one without the other. So no one ask her what she's asking Santa for because I'm afraid she'll change her mind AGAIN and then I'll be stuck with a Spider-man costume. By the way, we're going to Wal-Mart to do our shopping...please pray for us. I haven't been there in months and hopefully won't be there again for just as long after tonight.

And now the pictures:

Alexis being pulled by the Rhino
Tyler really can't handle the snow for very long, he was cold and tired of it at this point.
Warming his hands
Look at his sweet face
The first picture Tyler's ever taken. Notice the orange hue? That's because he had his fingers on the flash.

Monday, December 15

a little christmas wish

Dear Santa,
This year for Christmas I don't want anything you can buy in the store or that can be made by your elves. This year I want something only my children can give me, so maybe you can work something out with them. Cut a deal of some sort.

I want sleep.

That's all. I want them to stop coughing in the night, stop coming in my room because they're scared, stop waking me up to tell me they have to use the bathroom, and stop asking for milk at 3 A.M. I want to go to sleep at 11 and not gain consciousness until 8. Not 7:15, not even 7:56. Eight o'clock. I don't think this is an unreasonable request (at least not too unreasonable), so please see what you can do.

p.s. This request is also for my husband.

p.p.s. Also, if our fire alarms could pick anytime other than 4 A.M to let us know they need their batteries changed that would also be awesome.

Thursday, December 11

something different

12 inches gone. 12 inches! This is probably the shortest I've ever had my hair.
By the way, I really hate posting pictures of myself like this, but I wanted to show you people what I've done. But let me say, it's cuter in person.

Wednesday, December 10

Monday, December 8

gonna be a long day

It's not even 8:30 A.M. and Tyler has already been in time out a few times, hit the Christmas tree with a bat, and spilled a bowl of cereal while throwing a fit. I think that new supply of patience I got this weekend isn't going to last long. And I think I'm not going to survive his terrible twos.

On another note, I've created a monster. Last night we drove around looking at Christmas lights, which is something I love to do, and my kids so far have seemed to love it. But after about 10 minutes of driving last night Alexis started yelling that she was bored and wanted to go home and watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". When we refused to go home her wailing became more persistent because she was really worried about missing Extreme Makeover. And when I told her it was already done...oh boy. I thought kids weren't capable of ruining family togetherness time until they were teenagers! However, I have no one to blame but myself and my DVR.

Below is my Christmas present to you people. This treat is my FAVORITE dessert. I don't make it very often, though, because I'll eat the whole pan in 2 days. But I did make it yesterday, so you know what I'll be doing today. Enjoy!

Raspberry Delights

1 1/4 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1 egg yolk
2 T. milk
3/4 c. thick raspberry jam
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
5 T. melted butter
2 1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 1/2 c. sugar

Sift flour with salt; add 1 t. sugar and baking powder; blend in butter; add egg yolk and milk. Pat into buttered 11x7 pan. (I actually use 9x13 because I don't have a fancy 11x7 and it works fine) Spoon on and spread jam on top. Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored then beat in 1 1/2 c. sugar, vanilla and melted butter. Add coconut. Spoon over jam. Bake at 350 for 35 min. Cool and serve. (I think it's way better a day later, but I can never wait that long to break into it.)

Friday, December 5

spreading a little christmas cheer

One of the best parts of Christmas, in my opinion, is getting Christmas cards in the mail. Now I know lots of people think they are cheesy, but I absolutely LOVE them. Perhaps it's my fight against technology changing the world, but I still love to get real paper mail, at least when it's not bills. So every Christmas I look forward to cards coming in the mail and then I tape them up on the inside of my front door. That way I see them often and look at all the pictures over and over and over. It's not weird, I just like pictures, alright?

So far I've received three Christmas cards in the mail (Thanks Bri, cute card!) and guess who two of them are from?? On two different days this week, we have received identical cards from our mortgage banker who set up our home loan over three years ago. And I have to say, it sure is nice to hear from him. I've really missed him. (Are you catching the sarcasm? Cause there's more coming up!)

The same amount of love I have for Christmas cards from friends (A LOT!), is the same amount of hate I have for Christmas cards from companies. And to get two from the same guy really makes me mad. Make a list, dude, and check it twice (if it works for Santa...) so you don't send me a card twice.

I'm no dummy, I understand why he sends it to us. He doesn't want us to forget about him (even though he long ago forgot about us) and wants us to refer him to our friends. So listen friends, if you are looking to get yourself hitched to a mortgage, I know a great guy--he fits all of the top four criteria that are important in picking a mortgage banker:
1. helps get a good interest rate
2. reputable company
3. easy to work with
4. SENDS OUT HOLIDAY CARDS! Two in one year if you're really lucky.

The thing I do feel a little bad about is that I only sent him one card this year.

Thursday, December 4

hide 'n' please don't make me seek

I like to consider myself as a fairly patient person. Well, except today I'm not. I ran out of patience yesterday and I don't anticipate getting a fresh batch in until Monday. But normally I'm pretty patient and I play a lot of the little kid games that can sometimes be annoying. You know the ones, pretending to fly a plane to get them to open their mouth for food, putting their clothes on wrong and pretending it's right, or racing each other to pick up the most toys. But lately Alexis has come up with a new game and it is driving me crazy. I can't find anything cute or fun about it, that's how crazy it drives me. At least now I've cleared up the misconception that I'm a perfect mom.

Here's what she does. I leave the room for one second, she hides. I tell her to put her shoes on, she hides--and she hides her shoes. I say "lunch is ready", she hides. Even if she has requested we play a game and I get it out and all set up, she hides. Now, lest you're confused, our house is not that big, so there's not a lot of hiding places. It's not like I spend all day looking for her and that's what's bothering me. It's that she hides behind the couch and refuses to come out until I acknowledge that that's where she is. I would almost prefer that she hide somewhere hard, because that might actually be fun. Instead it usually goes like this:

Me: Alexis, please go get a toy to play with in the car.
Alexis runs away quickly, totally ignoring what I've asked her to do, and hides behind the couch.
Me: Alexis, do you have a toy? Alexis, stop hiding and come out now!
Alexis: You have to find me mom!
I sigh very deeply and then think to myself, hmm, is she behind the couch or the table? Couch or table? Couch. Table. A serious mystery.
Me: Alexis, you're behind the couch. Get a toy now or we're leaving without one.

No matter how I try to explain it she does not seem to understand that when she talks it gives away her hiding spot. I picked her up from her friends house the other day and of course she ran to hide. Her friend went to get her out from behind the chair and by the time I got in the room she was yelling at him, "Don't tell my mom where I am! You are ruining my hiding spot", not even realizing that she's the one who gave herself away.

I have no clue why she thinks this is so fun, and I'm not even sure why I despise it so much. I think maybe once or twice I've pretended to play along, but every other time makes me want to pull my hair out. Do you think maybe that's why she continues to do it?

Wednesday, December 3

Monday, December 1

thanksgiving summary

What a good Thanksgiving we had, yes sir. Really, any day that has mandatory pie eating is good in my book. We spent the day eating with most of my family and carrying on some holiday traditions, and then we spent the rest of the weekend at Jeremy's parents house, where lots of fun and little sleep was had. I told Jeremy I wanted to go on the Rhino one more time before it got too cold, which he interpreted to mean I wanted to go out in this:

When will I ever learn? I was not wearing the right shoes for all that snow. And we along with several other four wheelers and another rhino, got stuck again and again and again. But still, somehow, it was fun.

The highlight of the weekend was when we put Alexis and Tyler and a cousin in grandma's "magical" bathtub that has jets. Oh, and we also put in some bubble bath.

I held onto Tyler's arm because if he went under that foam I probably never would have found him.

And what about Black Friday? No thanks, I'm more of a Cyber Monday kind of girl. And so is Santa (though the only thing girly about him is his velvet suit) because he just bought Alexis the much less creepy and considerably cheaper Baby Alive doll for a pretty good deal. Shhh, don't tell her.

And also this weekend I expected to get on here and have you all join with me in a moment of silence for the loss of my DVR (really the best invention ever), because we finally cancelled our DISH Network. However, I'm not sad! Anticipating the loss was way worse than the actual loss. Because now I'm more productive with my time and I allow much less TV watching for the kids. And the real bonus is I've got $60 extra bucks in the bank this month. So now instead you can have a moment of silence just because they are nice to have.

And that is my thanksgiving wrap-up. On to Christmas where I get to pull out my NEW nativity set that I've been waiting ALL year to set up, since I got it half off last year AFTER Christmas. Sometimes being cheap feels so good. Please don't misinterpret that last sentence.