Wednesday, December 31, 2008


My New Years resolutions are the standard ones: get more organized, take better care of myself, spend less money, blah, blah, blah. This is the first year in a many that I've even made resolutions because I hate that they never hold up. But I'm making them this year because I feel like my life just isn't where I'd like it to be right now, and I need some goals in place.

Goal #1: Exercise (actually-break-a-sweat exercise) once a week (makes me go eeewwww just thinking about it- am I the only person that HATES to exercise?).

Goal #2: Hem my 6 pairs of too long pants, so I can wear them instead of sweats, a few times per week.

Goal #3: Plan, a full month at a time: dinners, the kids' meals, my lunches, and an activity with the kids for each weekday

Goal #4: Shop Costco once a month, and major grocery shopping once a month, with weekly trips for spoilables.

Goal #5: Update my checkbook and budget worksheets once a week.

Ok, that's 5 very specific goals. I should definitely be able to manage them. We'll see how the year goes.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas '08

Our few days of Christmas... a very. long. post.

I've always been an everything should be saved to open on Christmas, except one gift on Christmas Eve, kind of girl, but after hearing what my mom was doing with the boys I loosened up a little bit and let Madeline open gifts from friends as she got them. Next year, I think I'll let her open more, earlier, so she'll get to enjoy more of them one on one.

We started Christmas Eve out with breakfast at the Omelet House- always yummy. Then Madeline decided that she wanted to take her new puppy & carrier (one of her early gifts) to Petsmart, so Thor took her to get Sophie a present, even though we had decided that Sophie's life would be her present this year (she's been sick, and costing lots of $$).

Maison took his nap and when Madeline got back we frosted cookies for Santa with GG and the boys. I tried not to get worked up when they licked the frosting off their knives. It was kinda nice that they all got bored after about 6 cookies and me & gma got to do the rest while they went outside and chopped down the lump of snow that used to be our snowman with a play broom. Their cookies all looked nice and yummy. And some of them even made it back to my mom's for Santa. Gma's and my cookies were definite works of art, if I could say so myself.

I believe these were Ian's masterpieces...
Notice the "carrot" nose (GG's design)...
Then we had dinner over here with just us, my parents, Grandma Forrester, and my grandparents. It was nice and quiet. The boys went to their dad's to do their Christmas. My mom brought Miss M a puppy dog that grows a little bit every day. You hook it to the computer with a USB cord and program in the kids name and what the kid names the dog, and those details are worked into what the dog says. Toys these days.

Soph had a little too much eggnog...

Christmas morning was fun. Because of the dog and Maison, we couldn't put any presents out until Christmas Eve, so when the kids got up in the morning there were lots and lots. The opening went a lot slower than we thought it would. Maison was more interested in his old toys than in opening the new ones. And Madeline wanted to play with every single thing as she opened it. We took a break for breakfast at about 9:00, then went back to opening and finished at about 11.

Maison really likes his bowl (thanks, Ang!)...

Among lots of other things, Madeline got a kitchen and some dress-up clothes from Santa; lots of new clothes, a game and a kitchen tools set from Omi, Oma and Roy; and some books, dog and dinousaur figures, and stuffed animals from mommy and daddy. Maison got a spinning top toy and some cars from Santa; lots of clothes, blocks, a neat stuffed horse and a little piano from Omi, Oma and Roy; and some puzzles, sippy cups and bristle blocks from mommy and daddy.

Here's the new Hannah Montana...
After naps we headed over to my parents house for dinner and more presents. The hit of the evening was the Nerf dart guns my nephews got that morning. All of the kids and grown men were shooting at each other all night.

And, of course, Wii music kept us entertained in between, and during, Nerf gun battles.
The highlights of the evening, gift-wise, were: for Madeline, an awesome trampoline and baby doll stroller from my parents, a pretty ladybug bracelet (just like GG's), a treasure box, and a great big Sophie dog from my grandparents, and a cute princess radio and some really nice clothes. For Maison, lots of musical instruments from my parents, including a guitar that Madeline likes to "rock out" on, a super cute riding lion from my Grandparents, and an Elmo phone, a book, and some really nice clothes.

As for me & Thor, we scored big time, too. I got the small camera I wanted and a photo and wireless printer, a Fiesta pie plate, a rockin' dust buster, and books. Thor got some CD's, PS3 games, gift cards and gun stuff.

I love Christmas time, but like vacation, it's nice when it's over.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'tis the night before christmas

'Tis the night before Christmas and I'm sitting alone

Babes and hubs are in bed, the cookies are gone

The kitties are staring, wanting to be fed

I should be wrapping, but I'm bloggin' instead

The kitchen's a mess, we had a great meal

Lasagne and cookies that were frosted with zeal

I'm excited for morning, M's going to have a fit

When she see's all of the gifts left by St. Nick

I better get wrapping and then run off to bed

Santa's a coming, I think I hear his sled.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Polar Express

Our trip was great. The weather forecast for Williams, and the drive there, got worse and worse as our departure date drew closer, so we decided to leave as early as possible to beat the storms that were forecasted for the afternoon.

We left at 9:30 and didn't hit any bad weather until about 11 miles before our hotel. The worst driving conditions were in the hotel parking lot because it wasn't plowed.

We arrived at about 2:00. Checked in, dressed for the snow, and waited for our friends to arrive. Madeline and Thor went out and threw snow balls at me, while I stayed in and took pics through the window because I was afraid to get snow on my camera.

Then we decided to go get some food. We were warned about the buffet that was included with our package, but we did it anyways for times sake. It was edible, but we didn't go back for breakfast.

The train ride was at 6:30. We changed into our PJ's and headed out to the depot. It was snowing and freezing cold, but just a short walk away.

Maison really, really enjoyed the train ride. He kept staring out the window. He also loved playing over the seat with our friend's son. He's getting so big and really interacting with people these days. He nearly fell asleep by the end of the ride. It was past his 7:30 bedtime.

Madeline was enjoying herself too, but I think she was a little bit uneasy about what to expect. We worked her up pretty good about the North Pole and seeing Santa, and since this is really her first non-baby Christmas, she doesn't completely understand what everything means. Once she saw Santa and it was such a quick little visit and he gave her her gift, she felt better. She even sat on his lap for a picture when we got back to the depot. Although, she was a little bit perturbed that she told him she wanted a puppy (a stuffed animal) and he thought she said a Barbie.

The trip home was a doozy. We wanted to play in the snow for a bit, but decided to leave instead, due to bad weather forecasts. Thank goodness we did because it snowed ALL of the way home. Had we stayed for a bit longer, we would have been stuck in Boulder City because they closed the road into town not long after we went through.

I'm looking forward to doing the trip next year with Maison older and able to walk on his own, and hopefully with a little bit less snow so we can hang out and play more.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is that a snowman??

It is. In its own, deformed sort of way.

This was our inspiration. How'd we do?

We drove back from our Polar Express trip (which I'll post about next. I'm posting in the order of least importance- snow/snowman then Polar Express then Maison's 1st birthday. It just seems easier that way). Ok, we drove back from from our Polar Express trip, from up in the mountains of Arizona where it was all snowy and winterwonderlandy and somehow, as we got closer to home, the weather got snowier and snowier. By the time we were driving down the 95 right outside of Boulder City, we were in a blizzard (or what I'd imagine a very mild blizzard might be like). It was very strange. I felt like we were in a Christmas movie.

We got home to a white neighborhood and yard. It was so beautiful. If it could be like this for like a week out of the year, I'd be happy. By the time we got home it was getting late and the kids were tired and hungry, so we didn't have a chance to play. We played the next morning instead. Sophie's hoodie wasn't quite warm enough, so she ended up back in the house.

I had the grand idea to make a snowman. I had no idea how heavy wet snow was. I rolled a great big ball for the bottom, then a smaller one for the middle. I couldn't lift it at all, so I called on Thor and he couldn't lift it at all. So he broke it down and put it on and we packed snow on instead. We're not good snow packers, so we have a deformed snowman.

Our snowman is still standing pretty tall, 3 days later.

Madeline was much more interested in eating the snow than helping with the snowman. I just kept telling her to make sure there wasn't grass in it, but who knows what all she ate.

Yes, she is licking her boot.

Maison just cried from the patio because I couldn't lug his heavy butt around AND make a snowman. And the ground was cold, and the blanket wasn't helping, and he couldn't walk to where he wanted to be. And he probably wanted a cracker, or a drink of water, or something to chew on. Poor kid.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For this I blame her cousins

I don't know who else to blame.

I was standing at the kitchen counter addressing Christmas cards when she walked toward me and said, "I am toot on you."

I laughed and said, "what?"

"I am toot on you."

I just laughed. But then she came over to me, pointed her little booty at me, and tooted on me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We're leaving

for a little trip tomorrow. We get to go on the Polar Express train in Arizona. I'm super excited and Madeline keeps talking about the train. She requested that it be blue, but I warned her that it'd probably be red or brown. But maybe blue. Did I say I'm super excited? I am. I love Christmas time.

Downside, though... there's a severe weather warning issued for where we're going, all throughout our travel day tomorrow. Lots and lots and lots of snow expected. Chains won't fit on Thor's Denali, so we're crossing our fingers that our trip won't get ruined. If no one hears from us by Wednesday, please come looking...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little photographer

I have this old Sony Cybershot that I have never liked. When Madeline was born, the pictures of her were so awful that I decided to buy the camera I have now, which I love, of course. I've kept it, not knowing what to do with it. I think it's an ok camera, but just not what I wanted to take pictures of my kids with (I'm a spoiled brat). I thought I'd sell it on ebay and get $50 bucks for it or something.

But instead I handed it to Madeline's 2 1/2 year old self, to keep her busy for a few minutes while I cooked for Thanksgiving. I didn't think she'd be able to work it without help. I didn't think she'd have the coordination to hold it, frame, and push the button. Or be able to understand to hold still and wait for the loooong delay. Wrong-o. She works it just fine. She even knows how to turn it on and off and how to review the last picture she took. And can usually keep her grimy finger off the lens.

I let her take it to Thanksgiving. Her pictures are funny because she's so short they're all taken from knee height. And they are all a little blurry, much less than I'd think they'd be. Plus I think some of the blurriness is actually a greasy fingerprint on the lens. It's funny how much more comfortable people are in front of a camera if a 2 year old is holding it.

Here are some of her pictures. She's taken more pictures of me than have been taken in the past 2 1/2 years, since I'm the one usually holding the camera. They're not half bad...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More fancy standing

Maison has really started to play and explore. And he and Madeline are starting to play a little bit better together. Or at least play near each other. Sometimes. Kinda. Madeline always has a look like this on her face when he's nearby, though. And the "he's touching me!", "he's looking at me!", "he's starting to move toward me from across the room!" complaints have already started.

While they were playing the other day, Maison stood without holding onto anything 3 times. And this time it was all by himself. The last picture I posted of him standing, I had balanced him, let go, and snapped the pic really fast before he fell. But I though that was an amazing trick. Now here, a few days later, he looks like he wants to take a step. And today, for the first time, he'll walk with my fingers for assistance.

I think I'm going to be in big, big trouble. Really, really soon.

1 time...

2 times...
3 times...

And he's already a climber, too. Little booger.