Monday, December 27, 2010

Be careful what you wish for

as it may come true. In my case, wintery weather has arrived in Dixie! Snow on Christmas (!), crazy cold weather yesterday & today.

Last night we went to Callaway Garden's Fantasy in Lights & froze our tails off in the 30 degree weather (somewhere my Northern relatives are laughing that I've gone "soft" living in the South). We brought a blanket, dressed in layers & snuggled close to one another. I kept taking off my mittens to take pictures as it's hard to press that button w/ them on!

Sunshine fell asleep at the tail end, so we decided to skip the hot chocolate & sweet treat afterward & just went home.

I think next year we might have to go earlier in the season just in case we have another cold snap.

MIL/FIL called this morning & are on their way to see us (as well as Hunter's aunt in ATL)!! We'll be going to see The Polar Express at the IMAX theater on post when they get here on Thurs.

Today is cleaning from the weekend & a trip to TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, etc for post-holiday sales.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas!

We were at a neighbor's house when her son in law came in to inform us that it was snowing. What a wonderful way to cap off a wonderful Christmas! And how awesome that it snowed twice this year?!!

It's been spitting snow all day, which is nice. Sadly, it's not enough to stick, but it is pretty to watch.

Tonight we're going to Fantasy in Lights with a friend & her 2 girls. I'm anxious to see if they cancel as this morning her youngest lasted 15 min. playing outside before deciding it was too cold & could she just sit by the fire & have some hot cocoa? You can drive through in your car (realllly slow, but warm) or ride the trolley. Obviously our tix are for the trolley, we'll have to see if it's just the three of us or whether our friends come with us!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As the song goes, have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Note to self

Dear Self~

Kudos to you for getting your decorations up Thanksgiving weekend. And hey, all that volunteer work in Sunshine's class & in her school? Good job! Let people mock SAHM's, PTA volunteers & Room Moms all they want, but giving your time & energy allowed a lot of kids make keepsakes that their parents ( who weren't able to be in the classroom) will treasure for years to come. So much for SAHMs not contributing to the "greater good"

And the smiles & looks on your neighbors' & mailman's faces when you dropped off their pumpkin breads? Awesome. It's always nice to feel appreciated.

However. . .

the fact that you waited until the 22nd to mail out your family's gifts? Not.good. Yes, yes, I know you overnighted them, but still. I know your nephews will be thrilled w/ gift cards, but come on. Overnighting gifts smacks of amateur shopper/gift buyer/sucky out of state relative.

Let's get it together for next year, shall we?



Dear Me~

Thank you for your kind words of praise. I really felt good (and tired!) after my crazy time at school & am so glad I've gotten "involved" & turned into one of "those" moms. The hugs & cries of "Mrs. C!!!!!" that I get when I go into the classroom really make me feel good about what I'm doing. And when a parent who normally can't volunteer makes it into the classroom, the look on their child's face is absolutely priceless. Their face lights up & their energy is palpable. Suddenly that parent is elevated to superstar status in the eyes of the classroom.

I really should know better than to have to overnight anything. And you're right---so amateur. We've been thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into Christmas with FIL having the flu. The ILs were coming, then they weren't, then they're going to let us know. We started flirting with the idea of driving to VT. The logistics began to mess with my head. When would we leave? Where would we spend the night (not wanting to expose anyone to the flu, least of all me as a diabetic--very dangerous)? What gifts of Sunshine's would we bring? Would we tell my mom or would we just show up on say, Christmas Eve? How long would we stay? What? How?

We decided to stay here & that's when I started debating sending out gifts *after* Christmas, but that's just really sucky. And amateur.

So I apologize for the overnighting action. Next year's goal (should we not go to VT) is to have gifts for my family purchased by 1 December (if not earlier) & shipped out shortly thereafter (if not earlier).

BTW, tell your husband to get the leaf blower out & do something about the leaves in the backyard. They're starting to bug me.

And have fun tonight w/ the girls at dinner/drinks. You've earned it!!



Monday, December 20, 2010

On the 3rd day of Christmas Vacation

I spent quality time with my stove. Bacon-wrapped artichokes to bring to an Ornament Swap/ Dirty Santa tonight. I was #14 & snagged #12's pretty glass poinsettia ornament.

Six loaves of pumpkin bread for some of our neighbors. And a dozen pumpkin muffins for us.

Tomorrow we'll deliver our breads as well as make 2 more (mailman & one more neighbor). I need to wrap some of Sunshine's gifts. Santa doesn't wrap his presents, so it's how we differentiate what's a Santa gift & what's from Mommy & Daddy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Woo Hoo!

I made it through the last two weeks & *knock wood* appear no worse for wear!

I managed to get Miss Linda's scarf finished & have CO another one for Sunshine's Para pro. I managed to make a big batch of chocolate dipped pretzels & white chocolate/cranberry cookies for the other moms on the path. A few more glitterific ornaments were made as well. I also got 3 dozen chocolate cupcakes made on Thursday!

AR Celebration Week was a success---the kids were psyched for Treasure Chest, Face & Hair Painting were very popular & I have to admit, really fun. I'm not terribly artistic, but managed to rock out some Auburn & UGA logos as well as flowers & holiday stockings. The hair painting was a lot easier than I thought it would be & holy cow, do these kids LOVE it! I was talking to Kristine (our super cool librarian & a wonderful friend) about having the mid-year Cel. Week in January next year rather than December. The kids will have more time to accumulate points (they trade points earned by reading on the Celebration Week treats: Hair/Face painting, a special movie, hat day, etc) & we won't be so strung out busy.

Our class party was lots of fun & it's so nice to be on vacation! We're waiting to see if FIL's health will allow him to travel to see us for New Year's. Keep your fingers crossed!

This morning I had a wonderful wake up call from Kristine & went to knit with her at Starbucks. Complete with a Peppermint Mocha & Pumpkin bread. Yummy! This afternoon it's raining & damp so we're staying in & taking it easy.

Christmas is one week away so Sunshine & I will start our baking for our friends next week. I need to make 6 loaves of bread & a few batches of cookies. But first, some DVR'd tv & knitting!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Carol Ann, go into the light!!

I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Let's just hope that like Carol Ann, I don't get covered in all that ectoplasm or whatever that was.

Today's list of accomplishments: 7 gingerbread houses & 5 extra ornaments in Sunshine's class. I snuck in lunch (sushi!) with a fiend for some much needed girly venting time. I managed to get white chocolate chip & cranberry cookies made to go with yesterday's chocolate dipped pretzels. I picked up 2 gifts for Sunshine that I really didn't need but reallllllly wanted to get for her. I also picked up an ornament for an ornament exchange that I was invited to next week. A load of laundry was also done! Phew!

I also finished my Two Weeknights with Warrick scarf. What's that? Oh sorry, I said I also FINISHED my scarf! I know, I'm quite proud too. It's currently blocking & drying in the guest room---let's just hope it's dry by tomorrow afternoon as I'm hoping to give all my "path" friends their goodies then.

Tomorrow is Face Paint day for AR Celebration Week & then home to bake cupcakes for the class party. *Knock wood* I'm feeling good about the next two days & probably need to keep quiet about it as I'd hate to jinx myself.

But my beautiful Noro Cash Island scarf? DONE, baby!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I can't relax, 'cause I'm a Boinger!

(admit it, you miss Bloom County too! Who didn't love Billy & the Boingers?)

We're in full blown craziness here people. Today involved dropping off the popcorn (very generously donated by a local movie theater) at the library, quick meeting w/ Sunshine's teacher about the gingerbread houses we were building that afternoon, running home to knit a bit & then getting ready to leave. I ran to Winn Dixie (It's okay---I didn't need to go to the deli), grabbed a diet vanilla coke (a girl's gotta have some yumminess every day) & then got to school by noon. Two volunteers didn't show up.

I understand that people's time is very precious, especially at this time of year. I understand not everyone has the luxury of staying home (and yes, believe me--I realize it is a luxury), but you don't volunteer to show up to help in your child's class & just not show. It's not cool. It's not cool to the teacher who's expecting you. It's not cool to the other parents who are there helping all the kids. It's especially very NOT cool to your child who is watching the door, wondering when you'll come through.

So, yep it was just me & another girl's mom. Crafts with kids are not only fun, but they're educational as well. You get insight into what each child finds attractive. How their minds see the finished object, or whether they're just flying by the seat of their pants. Whether they're elaborate in their decorating or whether they're a minimalist.

It's educational because unless you've done the same craft with 20+ children, you have no clue on how to get it done in the time allotted. I've learned that, whenever possible, you ALWAYS label with the child's name before you begin. If your craft is an ornament with 2 pieces of felt that need to be glued together & the directions say to glue the string/ribbon to the back, throw out the directions, put the string/ribbon between the two layers & glue away. And when making 20+ gingerbread houses, the trick is to hot glue the graham crackers to the milk boxes prior to starting the project. Of course, we learned that little tid bit at 230 after the kids were done with school & we were planning for me to come back tomorrow morning with Sunshine to finish them w/ the 7 remaining kids.

Of course, if those other parents had shown up we would have finished on time, but I'm not bitter or anything.

So tomorrow is the day to finish up the gingerbread houses. And knit.

Thurs is face painting in the morning. And hopefully be done knitting so I can block the scarf. And make cupcakes.

Friday is hair painting followed by Sunshine's party at lunch time. I have all of my cupcake decorating stuff together & ready to go to school.

Saturday? I'm not doing a blessed thing!

I am proud to say that I managed to get my Christmas cards done on Sunday. Mailed out too, so that's one less thing to worry about. And I managed to find a gift certificate to a restaurant for my mom that needs to go into the mail ASAP. Which will probably be Saturday at this point.

Off to watch a little tv & knit before I crash.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saying aaaaahhhhhh

After a long week & a dinner gone wrong (we went with a friend & her kids refusing to behave & began dragging Sunshine down with them), I received a phone call this morning from Kristine who claimed to have a knitting emergency. I discovered she was in dire need of a pattern as well as yarn to supplement her project. We found the pattern online & I started to search through my stash to see what I had that I could offer.

It turns out I have NO Noro Kureyon. I have a fair amount of Silk Garden & Cash Island that I purchased last summer @ North East Fiber Arts Ctr in VT. I've come to realize that I'm not going to use all of this yarn. Please, I'm never going to use all of my stash & have debated selling some of it.

I told Kristine that I'd be happy to give her the yarn for her project. Arrangements to meet up
were made & next thing I knew, I was sitting at Starbucks, Peppermint Mocha (RED CUP!) in hand, knitting in bag. She had yarn for her project, I had pepperminty goodness & a few hours of girl talk, knitting talk & just a nice relaxing afternoon. Just what I needed! Sunshine was bummed she didn't get to see Mrs. M (Kristine is the librarian at her school) but had a fun lunch with daddy & was happy to see me when she got home. We had a nice evening at home & now I'm thinking it would be a good thing to hop in bed.

Another opportunity for me to say aaaahhhhh!

Friday, December 10, 2010

1 crazy week done

1more to go.

I'm nearly crafted out people. I think I have tacky glue in my ears. And if I see another box that says Oriental Trading Company, I may have to kick it on sheer principle.

Next week is AR Celebration Week & the last week of school before Christmas Break.

Monday I need to pick up popcorn for movie day

Tuesday I will be in Sunshine's class to help build gingerbread houses.

Weds: NOTHING! I don't have to be at school. Maybe this would be a good time to work on Christmas cards as I haven't had time to do them. Every year I buy cards after the holidays b/c they're on sale & oh so cute. The next year I find myself going "OMG, I need to SIGN these things!!!". Maybe there is something to ordering picture cards on snapfish/shutterfly.

Thurs: Face Painting for AR Week. Bake cupcakes for Sunshine's class party on Friday. I got smart & bought frosting w/ the decorating tip so I can bring them up to school & decorate them there. I need to pick up some sprinkles or something to add to the top. Or maybe crush up some starlight mints to decorate them with.

Friday: Hair Painting for AR Week & then Sunshine's party in the late morning.

Friday afternoon: collapse.

I managed to order 2 more presents online today & thankfully am done w/ Sunshine. I still need to buy & send presents to my family in VT. Luckily my nephews are teenagers & happy with cash/gift cards. My mom is playing the "don't buy me anything---I don't need anything" card. I know she doesn't "need" anything but she certainly deserves something.

I'm getting a super bad case of homesickness & am still having 2nd thoughts about not going to VT this year. Last year was hard as it was our first Christmas in our house, but also the first Christmas without my father. I wanted our family to wake up in our own beds, in our own house & not have to worry about packing up clothes, toys, presents, etc for a 22+ hr drive. But at the same time, I wanted to wake up in my own room, in my old house & eat the same Christmas dinner that I always have at my parents house. I made my Memere's meat stuffing for our dinner here, but it wasn't the same as I wasn't fighting with my brother over the leftovers. We had a green Christmas & really, I don't like green Christmases. I don't dream about a green Christmas & I certainly don't like looking out the window & not seeing snow falling as we open gifts. Darn it, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.

So, here I sit, homesick for my old home, but wanting to be in my new home, with our little family's traditions & not being tired from a long drive & worrying about bad weather while we drive. Not worrying about "how are we going to fit all this stuff in the trunk on the way back???" There is something to be said about a stress free holiday.

I'm looking forward to baking with Sunshine during Christmas Break---breads, cookies & chocolate dipped goodies. And finishing up our shopping together. And sleeping in late. In our own beds.

But if it snowed in Georgia?

I'd be the happiest girl, ever!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pet Peeves

I know it's the Christmas season & we should be all thankful & joyous, but these things have been bugging me & I need to get them off my chest.

I don't like when the bottom of footie pajamas wear out before the actual pajamas themselves. This has bugged me for years! There is nothing worse than having to cut the feet off because really, the whole point is to have on the pjs, not just a zip up union suit.

People who use the British spelling of things (favourite, humour, etc). If you were educated abroad, great. If you're a UK citizen, rock on. If you grew up in Wisconsin, give me a break. It's pretentious.

People who think it's acceptable for their children to run around in a busy restaurant. Especially school age children. We went to dinner Friday night w/ Sunshine to a Japanese steak house (Sunshine's all about the miso soup & rice). We were seated next to a family of 4 whose children were still in their fancy private school uniforms. The daughter could.not.sit.still to save her life. We know people whose children attend this school. Their standards are high. Children are expected to behave & I'm willing to bet it goes beyond the classroom & spills out into home life. Did the parents say anything to her? Nope.

We already know about my feelings toward the deli dept. @ Winn Dixie.

And people who don't return phone calls/email.

I'm also amazed by the gall of people who claim to "support the troops", yet have never sent so much as a card or care package to anyone serving overseas.

People whose dogs have no manners. I work with Smitty so that he's not "that dog" --you know--the one jumping on you, barking incessantly, letting them jump on my dog. Pulling your dog off someone & telling them "no" isn't mean. It's what your dog needs.

Moms who volunteer to come in to their child's classroom to help out, but leave after their child's project is done. Yesterday we had a mother do this. Sunshine's teacher turned down other offers from parents because she thought 3 parents would be enough. And it would have if this mom had stayed to help EVERYONE's child. I understand wanting to help your child with their project. When we do certain crafts at school (decorating t-shirts), I want to help Sunshine. But I also help a good amount of other children before helping my own.

This week is our Secret Santa Shop at school. I volunteered for 2 shifts as I've got Room Mom obligations (Monday was the only day I wasn't in Sunshine's class) & AR Celebration week next week & honestly, I'm wiped out. Yesterday I was at school for 4 hours, today for 6. 2 1/2 of which were courtesy of the mom who blew off everyone else yesterday. Tomorrow is a "short" day---only 2 hrs. Phew!

Off to make some ornaments with Sunshine---we're addicted to the glitter on the inside ones!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

January Redux?

I'd like you to go back & read this blog post from January. I'll wait.

It seems 2010 is going out the way it came in. ER visits for both Sunshine as well as Hunter. Last Sunday evening I had Sunshine in the bathtub when she started telling me things didn't feel right, were hurty & answered my questions about her general health. We decided an ER visit was in order. Four hours later we were on our way home with a prescription for Bactrim for a UTI.

Yesterday I decided I was going to knit night @ Panera. I haven't been since late summer as Hunter had a class on Monday nights. I know I could have brought Sunshine with me, but it's not easy to keep an eye on her, make sure she behaves & knit. Plus, that's MY time with friends.

We helped Sunshine with her homework for the week & I went into the kitchen to start winding a skein of yarn for a project for the crossing guard on The Path (the rear exit from the school leads down to a street). Hunter had left dishes in the sink from Sunday evening & with being so busy yesterday, I didn't get them done. When I asked if he was going to do them, he jokingly replied "but that's women's work"

That Karma, she's a . . .

As I was arranging my skein of Koigu to find the beginning, Hunter started to wash the dishes. Suddenly there was a cry out, obscenities followed & the dance one does when one is hurt. We realize that he's practically cut off the tip of his finger. I'm panicky & queasy all at the same time. Phone calls are made to arrange for someone to watch Sunshine while we go to the ER. Luckily, the ER is slow on a Monday night.

Hunter was taken back almost immediately & he sent me to get something to eat (I hadn't eaten as I was planning on some yumminess from Panera). I find him in the ER & it's decided that I'll be more comfortable in the waiting area, so off I go to knit. And people watch.

There are some incredibly sad stories in the ER, like the couple from Sunshine's visit who had a 2 day old baby in need of a spinal tap. And last night's couple who was 5 wks pregnant & experiencing complications. I admit to crying & praying for both of them. All the while wanting to give them hugs.

Then there are the ones that make you go hmmmm. There's always a group of basic trainees who are so used to not having to think for themselves that answering the most basic of questions is a hardship for them. Bless their hearts---so many of them are babies--18 & 19 yr old kids who are away from home for the first time. Suffering from their first stomach bug away from mom's loving care, or a really bad cold w/out the comforts of their own bed.

Last night, a woman & her teenage daughter come in, having been referred by the local doc in the box. The daughter's got a headache, chills, sore neck, aches all over & mumble mumble mumble (I can't hear this part from where I'm sitting), they want her tested for Meningitis.

I realize there are very sick people in hospitals. I also realize Meningitis isn't contagious just by sitting in the same room as someone who has it, but I'm not taking chances! My sister died from it in 1970. Not the illness I want to be exposed to. And if you were the mother of a child who just might have it, wouldn't you walk to the far end of the waiting room? Far, far, far away from other people??

Then, there was the crazy lady. I'm not being mean--this was the woman who ran a running commentary on my wife & kids, or whatever show was on. Like a discourse with the characters. The best part was when she got up to ask the receptionist if she could please call back to the ER to see if anyone back there smoked & if so, could she please bum a ciggie from them.

Let that sink in. ER. Bumming a smoke. From the staff.

Amazingly enough, she got one. I thought about getting up & asking for a cocktail, but didn't want to press my luck.

About 3 hours after we got there, we left. Hunter has roughly 10 stitches & a follow up appointment on Weds to determine whether the flap (so icky to say) of skin will survive. There's a 50/50 chance it won't & they will have to (ick) remove it. (ick)

Today we're making Glitterific ornaments in Sunshine's class. I'm excited! I finally found the Pledge with Future Shine floor wax after going to 4 or 5 stores. I also made a prototype yesterday with little success. When I couldn't find the Pledge, I tried the ornament with Joann's Tacky Glue & glitter. Mess. More ick & lots of ugly. Neither the glue nor the glitter would spread inside the ornament. Did I mention these are glitter ornaments where the glitter will NEVER rub off on your hands???!! Love! This!

So, then I try glitter glue. Pour a generous amount into the ornament & start rolling, swirling, twirling. Nothing. Lumpy, barely moving glitter glue. At this point I'm getting panicky. I texted AM to find out exactly where she found the magical Pledge, because you know, she lives on the opposite side of the country so of course it'll be at the same store here. It was---Kmart. And I got a military discount (woo hoo!)

When Sunshine got home from school, we took ornament 2.0 out to the sun room. We spread some paper on the floor, plopped down & started the ornament making process. Pour floor wax into ornament. Swirl around to coat entire inside. Pour excess back into bottle. Pour glitter into ornament. Swirl around to coat entire inside. SUCCESS!!!!! We have a beautiful red glittery ornament! I'm running to Michaels to get more ornaments & some pink glitter. Sunshine's all about her pink! So, the week before Christmas, we'll make more ornaments. Hunter's suggestion was to mix the glitter colors. I think he might get in on this craft too---if he's healed up a bit.

So, 2010----thank you for the ending that was the same as the beginning. Please tell your friend, 2011, that we have fulfilled our ER visits & he need not expect any from us!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm actually a little afraid

December is usually an incredibly busy month---shopping, decorating, baking, running around to see friends/family.

Then you add in volunteer time. When Sunshine started Kindergarten last year, I volunteered to be the Room Mom, something I did this year as well. I also got roped into being the co-chair of our AR (Acc. Reader) Celebration Week, as well as the co-chair of book fairs. There are 4. Book fairs, that is.

We had a Room Mom meeting this past week to go over what's on the schedule until Christmas & it's just busy, busy, busy. Lots of crafts, lots of volunteering. Class party on the 17th. I still need to run out to buy a long sleeve t shirt for a craft on Weds, some future shine wax for an ornament craft on Tuesday (thanks AM for the idea!)& then cupcakes for the 17th. Normally I'd make them, but out of the next 10 school days, there are 2 days I won't be there. I wonder if Sunshine would share her lunch card with me so I don't have to rush out to grab something to eat between commitments?

Today we went to see the Columbus Ballet perform an abbreviated version of The Nutcracker at the library. I think she was in awe of Clara & the Sugar Plum fairy. Especially Clara since she wasn't much older than Sunshine. Having danced in The Nutcracker millions of years ago (1980), I love the story as much as the music. Sunshine has my costume--yes, I saved all of my dance costumes from 1976 until 1989 & while it's way too big for her, loves to put it on & pretend to be a ballerina.

I have a project on the needles right now (Rickenbacker Scarf) for the crossing guard at "the path" & I'm hoping to get it finished before the 17th. She's one of my FB friends so I could always arrange to meet up with her during Christmas break, but I don't want an unfinished gift hanging over my head.

Off to do our AR reading for the night. Have a great week if I don't make it back!

Friday, December 3, 2010

But we didn't register for glad ware!

When you get married in the Russell County (AL) courthouse, you get a gift from them. Yes, I am holding up a travel size deodorant, toiletries, a single use of laundry detergent & have one piece of glad ware on my lap! Where do they think you're going afterward???

Hunter & I were married 8 years ago on December 4th, 2002. Ten days after he came home from 6 months in Kuwait & 34 days before he would return to Kuwait in anticipation of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I'm happy to say that we have spent more anniversaries together than apart (we were in the negative there for a while!) & had an amazing 5th anniversary trip to Paris (6 months after our anniversary as he was in Iraq for that one). I've decided that a special anniversary trip every 5 years would be great.

I thought the 8th anniversary (traditionally the bronze year, but also tourmaline (pretty!), and linens/lace for the more modern thinking couple) was boring as it's one of those inbetween years. Apparently I was wrong:

The number eight is considered particularly auspicious in Chinese culture because it sounds similar to the word for 'prosper' or 'wealth'. It is pronounced like "bah" in Mandarin (pinyin: bā).

infinityWe also like the visual aspect of the 8th anniversary because it is similar to the infinity symbol which is a happy thing to associate with the connection you have with your husband or wife.

We had a family celebration tonight----dinner out with Sunshine, followed by the evening out at a tree lighting ceremony. I remember the night before we were married--we had homemade chicken noodle soup with friends who were going to accompany us to the court house the next day. Funny the things you remember.

The next day we went to the court house for noon, went to lunch with our friend who was our witness/photographer and then home to celebrate our birthdays (Hunter missed them being overseas) as well as Christmas--we didn't know if he would still be home or not. We went out to dinner that evening & the next night had a small party with friends at our apartment.

Tomorrow night, Sunshine is staying over at a friend's house so we can have another date night (dinner & a movie). And Sunday morning to sleep in. Aaaah, heaven.

Happy Anniversary Hunter. I love you tons of gobs of bunches of oodles. You are my favorite & my best. And I'm so lucky to have you as my husband! xox