Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Fucking Christmas!

Chris and I were up half the night with River, who had a tamp of 101.7, watery eyes, runny nose and she seemed to be holding her ears. She was also crying like crazy! This is a kid who never cries. I was actually at a loss til I noticed she was holding her ears. My kids didn't stay up too often screaming their asses off so when it happens, I kinda feel like a new mom.

I was able to get the after hours service who suggested I take her in today. That was our plan. However, when I woke up this morning, I knew immediately I'd end up in the emergency room. I had the tale tale pain in my left side. I tried to ignore it and tell myself it was something else, like I did for the last two weeks when I got the pain in my side and the other 7 times I had this issue but I knew it wouldn't go away. I decided to get dressed and drive myself to the ER while I still could. I was able to get River a Drs. appointment for this morning so I knew I would be driving myself. Chris would take the kids to the doctor.

I have the same conversation with a triage nurse every time I go to the ER for this:

"What seems to be the problem today, Jackie?" Nothing unnerves me more than someone I don't know, giving me a nickname I didn't ask for. It's presumptuous and annoying so it always starts off bad.

"I have a kidney stone," I said.

"yes, but what are your symptoms?"

"I have the symptoms you have, when you have a kidney stone"

"and what are they?"

"I have left flank pain, my BP is up, I am sweating and it is hard to breathe or speak. How I got to the hospital I don't know. My left side is sore to the touch and I feel like I am going to throw up. I've had 7 stones so I know the pain"

"Sounds like you have a kidney stone, Jackie!"

"No shit, Jen!" I figure since we're making shit up, I can call her whatever I want.

"My name is Brianna"

"Yeah, well my name is Jacqueline"

After she got the point I was making and left, the doctor came in and sent me for a CT scan. I've had them so many times, I feel like we're old friends and it's so much easier than an MRI. For an MRI, they ask you if you're claustrophobic and then cram you into a tube. I just hate them! Turns out I have a kidney stone that is over 9 mm. That's huge! The smallest they try to let you pass on your own is 5 mm. I asked why I keep getting them and the Dr said if you get a kidney stone once, you're 80% likely to get another one. Yay, something to look forward to. I wonder if they have frequent flyer cards?

There was talk of admitting me but I was prepared to do whatever I had to do to make sure that didn't happen. I started to cry and make promises and they relented. I have some other kidney problems so when I have a stone, it really is worse than a normal person having a stone. I don't really have normal kidneys. Truth be told, they should have kept me and if it hadn't been Christmas Eve, I wouldn't have asked to go home so bad, I felt that shitty.

I go home with percocet and something else to take hoping the pain won't return until Monday when my Urologist's office opens after the holiday cause I never get this issue on a Tuesday, it's always at the end of the week, right before a major fucking holiday! I knew then that the chances of that happening were pretty slim but I went home with the hopes of being able to celebrate Christmas with my kids. It's River's first Christmas so I didn't want us to miss it. FAT CHANCE!

I wake up early on Christmas Day! Yay, full on pain in my side that the percocet couldn't even touch. I woke my husband up to share the good news and suggest that we get the kids up while I can still move to open some gifts and shoot fake footage of Momma smiling :) We did just that. I sat like in a coma while opening gifts that I asked for but haven't touched since. They're all great but the thought of bending over to pick them up now, is just too much to handle. It was nice to see the kids open their gifts and play with them a bit before we left for the hospital to miss all of Christmas. Go Momma! I damn near waited too long to go to the hospital. I almost couldn't get up to get to the car. My favorite part of the trip is having to stop and throw the door open so I could throw up the OJ and slice of cheese I had when I took my percocet in hopes it would help me to not get sick. Nothing like whistling beef on your neighbors lawn on Christmas morning!

So we go back to the hospital but this time I was prepared. I took the gift I opened on Christmas Eve, a box set of the hardback Twilight books (Thanks Chris!) and packed for a stay. I just knew they would admit me, which they ended up doing. The pain was much worse this time so I know something had to be done. I had hopes of them removing it then or even the next day but that was not to be. In my dilauded fog, I was able to ascertain that the on call Urologist was coming in to see me. Once he got there he said something about a stint and getting OR time. All I heard was, "We're putting you to sleep," which is just a nightmare for me and my first question, as always was "I will need a tete a tete with the anaesthesiologist, when can that happen?"

I explained to the anaesthesiologist the main two things I needed to explain and for once I didn't get an ass, I got someone who listened. He needed to know that I get sick when the wind blows so give me something for nausea as soon as they're finished butchering me and DO NOT put anything over my face (IE: oxygen) until I am asleep. I kicked someone in the face when I was 5 for doing that and I will do it to you too! I appreciated that he listened to what I told him. That way if I DID get sick, I didn't have to aim for his shoes like during my C-section. That bitch deserved it.
After I sat in recovery for a while, they released me so I was able to come home but the damage was done. My husband, who stayed with me all day, and I totally missed Christmas. We weren't even able to give Owen his big gifts because they're frozen in the shed and the house looks like a Fisher Price bomb hit it! I don't know how we'll ever recover.

Best part of the day was when Momma called during my dilauded haze and offered me her kidney. Unless I was dreaming......

I took all of 8 pictures on Christmas morning and they all look like they were taken by a 5th grader. Anyone who knows me knows that is unheard of. I'm known for throwing my kids in the backyard on any given Tuesday and taking 400 pictures for no reason so 8 pictures on Christmas morning is ridiculous for me. Luckily, my In laws were here to help so I know there are others. At least I got one picture of my poor sick daughter in her "Team Edward" t-shirt!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I don't read. I mean I really don't read. I use to love it but I just haven't done it in so long that I think I forgot how to do it, but I've read more this month that I have in the last 10+ years combined. These Twilight books are amazing and now that I've read the first three, I don't know why everyone isn't reading them. They really, really hold you. The fact that they're written for young readers is a plus for me and helps me keep my dyslexia at bay.

I am so worried that I'll be sad when I'm totally finished reading all four books that I reread Twilight and New Moon before I started Eclipse, just to drag it out. I also spent a lot of time in the hospital this week and I didn't want to start the new book until it had my undivided attention. I hate reading a whole chapter only to realize I wasn't paying attention. It's bad enough that when chapter is really, really good, that I read it again just for shits and giggles.
I only have one book left and I'm feeling bummed about it. I will start it tonight after the kids go to bed but I just know once I finish reading Breaking Dawn that I will start with Twilight all over AGAIN. I'd probably be better off if I didn't because these books are all encompassing and I have an addictive personality. A lethal combination if you ask me.
I went with some girlfriends to see New Moon the other night and I thought it was great. I didn't think it was as good as Twilight, but the book wasn't either so I wasn't shocked. I will still own it when it comes out so no worries there. I almost want to wait and buy them all after they've been released cause you know there will be some groovy box set but I can't wait for that. My addiction runs deep.
Also, whenever I blog about Twilight (and I'm sure I will continue to do so) I will always post a picture of Edward Cullen. He's so friggen hot that I can't stop myself. Forget a prince on a white horse, I want a vampire in a shinny Volvo!
I'm diggen me some Edward!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Let me start by saying this, I'm one of those people who either totally loves something or completely hates it. There is generally no gray area with me. Sometimes I watch something only because it is the opposite of what I hate. Like I'll watch a football game if one of the teams is the Patriots or the Eagles, cause I hate them and want to see them lose, not because I care even the slightest for the other team.

I have been making fun of Twilight and the people who read it for what seems like years. I mean I said it was for twelve year old girls and I questioned the sanity of people who read books about vampires. I saw Salem's Lot. I know how it ends. A vampire love story seemed even more absurd to me. What’s the point? He’s dead, right? I mean why are these people so up in arms over this crap? I also didn’t get the whole Rob Pattinson thing. He is just awkward looking and not as amazing as all these people seemed to think. Taylor Lautner was even worse. I mean, I think that guy is 5’2”, in heels so I was just missing the whole thing.

Then I saw the movie. My husband ordered it on Netflix for me. I never thought I'd enjoy it because I usually hate movies and TV shows about vampires. I decided to watch it for one reason. I wanted to see if watching this movie would make Robert Pattinson attractive to me because I was just totally missing the infatuation people seemed to have in this guy. I was home sick with strep throat and my husband set me up in our bed and started the movie. I watched it alone because Chris was A/ downstairs with the kids and B/ not even remotely interested. Once I watched it, I had but one thought. Wow, I'm the asshole!

I loved that movie so much that it shocked me. I loved it so much that the next day while my family was gone visiting my in laws, I watched it again. When I saw my husband sliding the movie back into the red Netflix envelope to return it, a part of me wanted to run across the kitchen and lunge for it. I think I even said to him, "what are you doing with that?" Like he didn't have a right to have it. I immediately told him I wanted the movie and the books and made sure they were on my Amazon Wishlist before sun down, less there be any confusion.

I think the biggest shock was that I actually understood what people saw in these characters and I get the Robert Pattinson thing now! He's actually beautiful and kudos to him for being really good in this movie because he's sort of like sweet, misguided Benjamin on "Felicity" ( a reference that will be lost on you unless you watched Felicity ~ Which you should cause it's excellent) to me now. Whatever he does from now on, I will see. That's how good he was. I Googled him and he has some really good movies coming out soon that I can't wait for! Sighhhhhh...Edward.

I'm reading the first book now and I'm loving it. I haven't read a book this long since I read The Iliad and The Odyssey (literary comas) in high school and I'm pretty sure I lied about reading those, which means Cliff's Notes. Because I'm dyslexic, I thought a 500-600 page book would take me months to read, but in less than 24 hours, I'm almost 300 pages in and I can't wait to stop blogging to dry my hair and continue. My husband just caught me in the tub reading it and laughed at me, but that's OK, I can deal. If the movie hadn't gone back to Netflix, I'd be watching it again. I just hope I can read the next book before I see the movie. It just came out last month so I'm hoping to beat it's release to DVD. Something two days ago I would have told you was impossible. This book is holding my interest like no other book I've ever read. I mean I love Duran Duran but I've been reading a biography about them for months and I think I'm on page 40. Maybe they need a vampire. Sighhhhhh.....Edward.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Swine Fever!

This morning, for what was my first outing since Friday, we took the kids to the County Health Department for their H1N1 boosters. I was a little iffy about going and my husband was a little iffy about taking me but I knew it would be tough for Chris with both kids and he's been so good to us all week long so I wanted to help out if I could.
We got there at 10 AM to a pretty large line that was already moving which makes me believe it started at 9 and I just read it wrong on their website, but it didn't really matter. The line moved very quickly and we really didn't wait all that long. I was actually shocked at their efficiency. They had the County police there for crowd control, which freaked me out a bit thinking they were expecting even more people that I saw, but that didn't happen while we were there.
Once we got to the door of the building, Chris made me wait outside, because I'm sick. I missed the part where he took both kids, filled out their paperwork, watched other kids totally freak out when it was their turn and then my son lose it when my husband turned to him and said "Come on Buddy. I can totally visualize it and even hear the scream in my mind, but I missed it. Chris said River cried for 10 seconds and that was it. They were both completely fine when they came out of the door. Owen seemed doubly happy because he got his sticker and River's as well. "We got there just before 10 and were back in the van by 10:44. With the paperwork and screaming kids, that really isn't that bad. When we got home, I remember saying, "God, I'm so tired. I'm gonna lay down for a minute." I think I woke up two hours later. Amazing how exhausted you get when you haven't really eaten in four days.

The best part about the whole morning was my son running around yelling "Swine fever!" We got this from a skit on SNL that we think is hilarious. I posted it bellow if you're interested. Also, when I came across the picture that I posted above, I laughed out loud! Make sure you click on it so you can read it. Tres, tres funny!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Typhoid Michelle

Oh my God, I am so f'ing sick! Not sick, but sick sick. I feel like I fell out of a very tall tree and hit the ground on my throat. As I sat at my computer on Friday night, I turned to my husband and said, "My throat hurts." Forty minutes later, I was in bed, in the fetal position, shivering like I was laying on ice and completely unable to move.

My husband helped me by turning up the heat (it was already 75 degrees) and putting socks on my feet. He gave me his sweatpants but I couldn't do anything to put them on. If the blanket moved even a little bit, it actually hurt my skin, not to mention the wind it created that felt more like an Arctic chill. I was shaking so badly that at one point in the night, I threw up. My stomach muscles were spent. My joints hurt so bad that even today when I do feel a little better, I am limping a bit because my knees and ankles hurt so terribly.

I probably should have gone to the doctor on Saturday. I know this but I put if off because I am petrified of a throat culture. Petrified! I have some claustrophobia issues and someone being all up on my face and shoving something down my throat, I don't handle it well. One of my biggest fears in life is to be intubated. I have dreams where I wake up with a tube down my throat. I haven't had a successful throat culture since I was 10! Back when I got my gallbladder removed, I had to get a bunch of tests done. My mother told me to suggest an upper GI. I made the mistake of looking it up online and made a pact with myself that I would NEVER mention this to the doctor and did not. I'd rather have someone shove something up my ass than down my throat!

Being this sick sucks when you don't know why. I haven't grabbed my babies and kissed them since Friday night. I usually do that 50 times a day. I feel like there is fur growing in my throat and I don't want to share that with the family. Until this morning, I hadn't showered since then either which was just vile but when you can't stand, it's out of the question. My husband was very good about it. I wanted to take a bath but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get out, once I got in. I think this was a fair thought.

I was able to get into see a Dr in my Doctor's office this morning. My regular doctor was booked so I saw the other one who I think I might like better. We shared a moment and she wasn't an ass about it, which was nice, but we'll talk more about that later. We waited in the lobby for only about 15 minutes and Owen played around. Once I checked in, I thought they might make me wear a mask because I have some flu symptoms. I was thankful they didn't because its another one of those things that I have trouble doing. I went back and waited for the doctor, thinking the whole time about the throat culture.

She finally came in and talked to me for a bit. Understanding me is tough because I can barely talk. She checked my ears, lungs and then my throat. I was upfront about the amount of pain I was having as I know lying to her so she doesn't do the culture is just stupid, but don't think it didn't cross my mind. She said "I'll be right back." I knew where she was going but tried to trick myself into thinking she was doing something else. Maybe she wanted a consult because there was something amazing in my throat. Maybe there really IS fur growing in there! I actually said that to myself out loud. She came back into the room with a handful of swabs and said, "I'm gonna swab you to death!" When she turned to look at me, I was already crying.

I tell people that I am petrified of throat cultures and no one ever really gets it. How could they? I'm an adult and should be able to just do it. I'm so glad my kids weren't there because it was a low moment for me. I didn't even know what to say to her. I was so embarrassed that I didn't speak until she said "what's wrong?" I said this to her, "I know I'm almost 40 years old and I should just be able to do this, but I can't do a throat culture, I just can't. I really want to be able to and I'm embarrassed to be saying this to you, but I can't do it." Now at any point she could have looked away and rolled her eyes (some have and that's why these women are my new doctors) but she did not. She said, "some people have a deep visceral reaction to a throat culture and just can't help it." It was such a comforting response and I was impressed. Nothing impresses me so when it happens, I'm always shocked.

So in the end, she said that I either have the flu or strep throat. I let her do the swab of my nose, which was nothing. Owen made it look awful so I was worried. I should have known the kicking the pediatrician in the balls was all for show! The results will be back later this week and if I don't have the flu, then the antibiotics I'm on are already doing their job. My highest temp was 102.7, I think and that was Friday. I don't even have a temp anymore, so I'm obviously on the mend. Maybe it's the salt water gargle which is horrific if you're curious.
I posted a picture of my husband above because he's been so good to us this week while I was down. He has taken care of the kids all by himself and hasn't complained once. He's BadAss!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Apple Loaf

I am often asked for this recipe. It is something I've made for years and people seem to really enjoy. I figured I'd post it here so those who might want it can have it. It's really good bread and worth the effort. I can not stress enough not to skip the first step. It's very important and the bread will not be as moist without it.

Before I had kids and had time to play with, I'd make 40-50+ loaves a year and give them to friends and family. Everyone seemed to love it so I kept doing it. Last year I was 9+ months pregnant and that was out of the question. I laid on my couch while others made dinner in my kitchen, which I hate so I was obviously in no condition to make 50 loaves of bread, but it didn't stop people from asking.


Apple Bread

Makes 2 Loaves

4 Cups diced peeled Apples
2 Cups plus 2 tsp Sugar
2 Sticks (1 C) Butter
3 Cups all-purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla

1. Mix apples and 2 cups sugar in a large bowl. Leave at room temp for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!
2. Heat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
3. Melt butter, let cool.
4. Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon: stir into apples. Stir in butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pour half into each pan: sprinkle each with 1 tsp of sugar and a little cinnamon.
5. Bake 1 ¼-1 ½ hours until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool (in pans) on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, December 11, 2009

There's a World Outside Your Window...

Every year I do the same thing. I wait to "feel" the Christmas season begin until I hear one song. I usually hear it in late November or very early December, but I finally heard it tonight for the first time while my husband was in 7/11 buying a grape soda.

I have the song on cassette, CD,DVD, iTunes and even vinyl but I refuse to play it until I hear it on the radio. I don't know why I do that but I do. This song reminds me of a time when even though we didn't have a lot of money, we were OK. I was happy when I had my jazz shoes and Duran Duran buttons. I was happy with my bangs coloured blond because that's how John Taylor did it! I was happy buying every magazine that I could get my hands on, only because Simon LeBon was on the cover. dreamy.
"Do They Know It's Christmas" has become my favorite Christmas song. It surpassed "I'll Be Home For Christmas," which I also love. I get the warmest feeling the first time I hear it every year. The first time I hear it is almost magical. I don't care where I am when it comes on, I stop what I'm doing and I sing. I sing out loud with glee and I'm not embarrassed or feel like I need to apologize. I think it reminds me of the fist time I realized that no matter what I had or didn't have, I should be proud of it and feel lucky because the things I take for granted are things that some people can't even imagine. As I sit here listening to the song now, it sounds as fresh as it did in 1984. Has it seriously been 25 years? I also find it interesting that it was then and remained until 1997, the largest selling single in UK chart history. Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" surpassed it when Princess Diana died.
I posted a picture of myself above from the 7th grade. My clothes are just horrific (I'm wearing my Power Station concert t-shirt) and I''ve got tons of Dippity Do in my hair. Also, I'm pretty sure that's a mullet, but good times.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Baby's First "Date"!

We'd planned to go Christmas shopping tonight with both kids in tow, cause that's what you do when you have two kids. Paying a babysitter to watch your kids while you go out and spend money is no fun so we take them with us. It makes it tough when you have to buy a gift for the kids and they see it. It can turn into a nightmare quickly.

As we were getting ready, the phone rang. it was out friends Laura who was taking her daughter to see the Christmas lights at one of the local parks. I guess you drive through and the kids can see them from their seats. I've never been but have passed something similar in Howard County. She asked if Owen could join them because having one of her friends along might make it that much more fun for Alexa.

They stopped by to pick him up and once we loaded the car seat and Laura found her keys, they were off! From what I hear, he didn't cry at all! I thought he might tear up by the confused look he had on his face as they pulled out of our driveway, but apparently he didn't. Laura said they had a great time and sang lots of songs while being chauffeured through the lights.
We did out Christmas shopping and were even able to grab some Pho on the way back. Dinner out with a 10 month old is a whole hell of a lot easier than it is with my little 2 1/2 year old angel. We haven't had Pho since the last time we took Owen with us and he screamed for most of the dinner. We ate that soup so fast I though it would scald my soul. We just wanted to get out of there, pronto!
We went and picked Owen up from their home and he was obviously having a great time. Owen can be a bit of a hellion and he was so peaceful and calm when we walked in. I was impressed. Laura has that affect on people so I shouldn't have been surprised, but it was nice to see.
On our way out the door, Owen gave Alexa a good night hug. It was so sweet! Thankfully he didn't try to put them moves on her. I wonder if there will be a second date?
The picture about is Owen and Alexa October 23, 2007 when they were both super chunks! Oh how they've grown!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa Totally rocks!

I've been waiting for tonight since last year. I knew it would come and I hoped we'd be home to see it but since I wasn't sure when it was happening, there was always a chance we could miss it. In all my life, I've never seen a community do this and the first time we saw it after moving here, we knew (if we'd question it before) that we'd made the right decision.

Once a year, just before Christmas, the local fire department comes through the community with the Battalion Chief and two firetrucks with Santa on his sleigh. They make so much noise that you couldn't miss it if you were home. All of their lights and sirens are blazing and Santa waves and throws candy canes from his sleigh! It's totally cool and River seemed to really love it! She was laughing and giggling with the most confused look on her face.

Owen LOVES firetrucks so we thought this year, it would be right up his alley. He seemed to really enjoy it last time. He was filled with anticipation as we waited for Santa and the firetrucks and seemed pretty excited as he saw them coming down the street. I was shooting video with my Flip and I can see that as soon as the first firetruck was right next to us and laid on the horn, he jumped and ran. He didn't run far so he didn't miss anything but he could have done without the horn. The video shows more of my excitement than his, but that's OK. SANTA CAME RIGHT BY OUR HOUSE!

Since Santa waits for no man, I didn't have time to grab my good camera so I just used the point and shoot. That's why these pictures suck and why Santa looks more like a Jawa than a jolly ole' fella. But I digress.....
I knew Owen had a great time when he refused to go to bed without his favorite toy firetruck!
Also, I didn't get a picture of River with all the Santa commotion so here's a picture of her from dinner.

And Then There Were Four.......

The Ellicot City Mom's Group that we've been a part of since Owen was about 6 months old is our longest running playgroup. We started out with 7 (I think) moms and have slowly lost some to moves or other things. The kids are all almost three and have become pretty good friends. They don't see each other every day but when they do, they sure seem to have fun together!

Some of us have had second children, some only plan on having one while others are due any day! It's fun to see your child come from playing next to a kid, to playing and running around with that same kid. It's such a wonderful privilege to be able to watch them grow. We had a holiday gift exchange today and it went very well. We all brought a gift for one child and had a book swap for the younger ones. Owen loves his toys and is playing with them as I type. We all brought something to share so we could eat something while the kids play and then afterwards, we made a craft. It felt like I ended up doing the craft myself because Owen wanted to run around with his friends, but that's OK. We have nice little snowflakes with their pictures on them to hang in the window.

I'm glad he has such a good group of friends who are so much fun to be around. Their mom's are wonderful and the dad's seem to have such fun with their children. It sure makes a difference in a child's young life to have so many people that are absolutely crazy about them! I will always root for my kids and be behind them 100% but it sure is nice to have friends who do the same. It's nice knowing that these women have fun with my kids as I do with theirs. I know they'll always be in their corner and my kids will benefit from that. Such positive reinforcement is essential, but not everyone gets that. I'm honored that mine do.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meeting Great Grandma Marie!

We took the kids to my Mother in Law's house so that they could see their Great Grandmother! She was visiting from New York and River had never met her so it was extra special. We had Owen's music class that morning and our friend had been put on bed rest in her 9th month of pregnancy so we needed to stop on the way down and see them. Needless to say, we got to Grandma's house a little late in the day.

It was nice to see Great Grandma Marie and let her spend some time with the kids. River seemed to love sitting in her lap. I think they both had a great time meeting each other.

Owen was acting a little odd. He seemed a little slower than usual and since he was unable to take a nap, he sat on my lap and fell asleep. He only does this when he is exhausted and way past his nap time. As he laid on my chest, I could tell he felt warm but since I always think the kids feel warm, I let it go. By the time Owen woke, he was burning up. He woke, sat up in my lap and started throwing up. Owen went into the bathroom with Chris and I began gathering our things. Obviously we needed to leave immediately. It wasn't good for the kids, it wasn't good for Great Grandma Marie and poor Owen felt like crap!

As we drove towards the Interstate to come home, I said to Chris, "We should have taken at least one picture of River with her Great Grandmother." He agreed. With that, I turned the van around and did just that and I'm glad I did. We took a few pictures of the two of them together and they looked sweet. Then we got in the van and drove back home.

This weekend, we get another shot at a nice visit. Grandma Marie is coming again and we're going down to have dinner with her and my husband's family. My husband's Grandfather died last Christmas Eve so I would think this would be a tough year and I'm glad we get to spend some time with her.

Oh Shit!

Today, we had to spend some time in the car. Owen had school, we needed to pick up a picture of River with Santa and I needed to do some Christmas shopping. Now, as I've admitted before, I'm not the world's best driver, but I'm not the worst either. I've actually made a concentrated effort to not be such an asshole behind the wheel. It's harder than you think.

Today, someone cut me off. I was totally in the right, but he cut me off. I was forced to hit the breaks hard and the whole car felt it. I didn't slam on the breaks, but it was enough to make our heads go forward a bit and then back into our headrests. Again, completely not my fault. I was at a red light going straight and the moron on the other side decided to turn left while I was going straight. The right of way was mine.

So, that wasn't my fault, what WAS my fault is the fact that my 2 1/2 hear old screamed out "OH SHIT!" before his head hit the headrest. While I know it's mildly funny, and I giggled a bit, inside, when I think about when and how often I say it, it's a problem.

If I drop a pencil, I say "Oh Shit!"

If I forget my phone, I say "Oh, Shit!"

If I forget something at the store, I say "Oh Shit!"

If I load the car and forget a kid, I say "Oh Shit!"

OK, I don't forget a kid, but you see where I'm coming from. I really say it over and over again without even thinking about it. I counted 7 times I said it after the incident. Why is that? I say "Oh Shit!" like I say, can you pass the salt? I've really got to work on that. It's a sickness.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

River's 1st Christmas Tree!

We went out today and bought our Christmas tree! I love buying our tree and always have. I love the chill in the air. I love the smell of burning wood from the fires the guys who work there are burning to stay warm and I love the smell of pine needles. But this wasn't just any tree. This was a special tree. It's River's very first Christmas Tree!

We loaded up to do some shopping and then head over to the volunteer Fire Department to see what they had this year. I tend to go where I think trees might be cheaper and Chris wants to always go to this Firehouse, very close to our home. He's loyal to the same places if the service and product for sale warrant it. I am more loyal to my wallet. Yin and yang.

Anyhoo, we get to the field of trees and look around. It was in the 30's so we couldn't really play around too much with both kids in tow. I put River in the Bjorn and zipped my jacket over her but I know she was still cold. Her little cheeks were as red as a stop sign! Owen liked running around the trees and helping us find the perfect one.

Once we picked out our tree, River and I stayed with it until Chris and Owen found a guy to come get it and cut it for us. He cut the bottom with a chainsaw that I think Owen was a bit afraid of because he wondered away in the middle of it and hung out by the tractor. I mean, maybe he just wanted to hang out by the tractor, but he seemed a little skittish. Also, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't mention the big ass scary, Stay Puff Marshmallow Man size snowman that eyeballed us the whole time we were there. I swear it's eyes followed us the whole time like he thought we were stealing stuff. You can see his creepy ass across the field of trees. He actually looks smaller in this picture than he really was. Creepy, just creepy.

Once the guy tied our tree to the roof of our car, we were off! We took it home and brought it inside to decorate. Uh-oh, this means we have to get into the attic to get all the decorations! We so should have done this weeks ago but as usual, we leave everything to the last minute. While the kids were down for a nap, we get the Christmas crates out of the freezing cold attic. We decorate the tree and were pleasantly surprised that this is the first year that Owen seemed interested in helping. Well, when I say "help", I mean until he found the train engine ornaments and then he just wanted to play with them. I haven't seen them since. He had fun and that's all the matters. This is also a "non tinsel year." My husband hates tensel and I love it so every other year we have it on the tree. I'm bummed. The tree always looks unfinished without tinsel.

Now our home smells like pine needles and burning candles. That's what Christmas smells like. I love it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tis the Season!

I skipped our regular weekly playgroup this week because River has been sick all week. I figure she's be fine if she isn't around other kids and pregnant women. She actually seems a little better today so I'm keeping my finger's crossed.

I decided to keep our appointment for Christmas pictures that I'd scheduled. I had the first appointment of the day with our favorite studio photographer. He's very patient with Owen who is just this side of a nightmare when having his picture taken. I thought this would be easier than photographs the day before with Santa, but it really wasn't.

River is a natural. She sits there in her cutest dress, staring at the lights while her eyes shine and Owen throws himself on the floor and whines about the sucker he wants from the backroom. I was shocked when Chris got a good picture of the two of them. I'm not posting it here because it's our Christmas card picture. The hardest part of the whole experience is picking out the pictures. I try to limit the photos he takes so it's easier on me. I go every three months and can usually double up on a holiday and a milestone appointment but River turns one in January and I obviously couldn't wait til then to do Christmas pictures and 10 months is too soon for 1st Birthday photos. So, I was there last month for 9 month photos and will be back next month for her birthday. I take so many good photos of the kids that can't justify going more than I do and while I know I spend a bit of money on this, I know it is one thing that I will never regret it.

The one question I have for photo studios is why do you still offer sepia? It's rare that this is used correctly and is usually only used when the quality of the photo is so poor that it makes it look "better", but who do you think you're fooling? Sometimes I see sepia and cringe inside. B & W, I get but sepia should be left to the Old Time Photos or 1972.

I thought River looked so beautiful in her Christmas dress that I decided to take a few pictures of her on the deck. She wears red well! I was able to get but one picture of Owen on the deck. I caught him throwing a ball to the dog. Baby steps. He's so difficult to photograph that I'm shocked I get the great pictures of him that I do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors......Santa Style!

This morning I took the kids to have their pictures taken with Santa. It is River's first Christmas so I wanted to make sure I had their cutest clothes ready and were in pretty good moods for the outing. We went straight from ballet and after a fun filled class playing with his friends, I thought Owen would be in a great mood for this. What the hell was I thinking?
As soon as he saw Santa, he ran for the hills. I have no idea what it is about Santa that freaks him out, but he wouldn't get anywhere near him. I had to sit on the ground and hold him up, which is much harder than it sounds. River sat quietly perched on Santa's lap like a little angel while I chased my little brown eyed hurdle jumper all around that friggen workshop!
I'm pleased with the pictures we got because my expectations were realistic. I knew River would be OK. I figured she'd just sit there and stare at Santa and was actually surprised she took her eyes off of him long enough to look at the camera. I also knew Owen would be a pill and he never disappoints! I can tell it's all for show. It isn't like he's afraid of Santa. If he had a real fear, I'd adapt to that but he just has a massive control issue and wants to not do what he knows I want him to do. He totally gets that from his father.
My friend Angie took the last picture. If my husband were standing in the back, it would be our Christmas card this year. It's a more realistic view of Christmas in our house. I love the zero expression on his face. He's too busy being a dead weight. The best part is how River is looking at him from above like he's an idiot. She totally gets that from me.

Naughty Shoes!

This morning was Owen's last ballet class. I'm kinda sad about it because even though he drove me insane on more than one occasion during the class, he really seemed to have a great time while he was there! He took the class with his friends and he always loves playing with them. It was always entertaining to watch Owen and Ayden pick up each other's bad habits and lead the other astray while Sydney told them to stop. They chased each other during class more than they did anything else, but that's OK. They're 2 year old boys!

When the class started, it was a nightmare. Well into the first class, I thought to myself "Why in hell did you sign him up for this shit? There is no way he or I will make it through the whole class!" After a few classes, I lightened up and admitted, that he's two and all I can expect of him it to have a good time, be respectful and occasionally listen to what I tell him to do. There were a few times that I had to take him out of the room and reassert these things but for the most part, he did OK. He spent most of the time running back and forth with Ayden, but that's what boys do.

At the end of every class, the kids are asked to thank Miss Suzanne. I think it was Owen's favorite part of the class and he almost always jumped up when I asked him to "Give Miss Suzanne a big hug!" Today I was able to get a picture of him giving her a big kiss, while we thanked her for the class. I think Owen had a great time and will miss not going every week. I think I'll be singing "Naughty Shoes" in my head for months!

I took many, many pictures of Owen in ballet but these are a few of my favorites. The first one, while not technically a good picture, really captures the essence of the whole class for me.