Saturday, December 29, 2007

Printer mystery

I picked up my phone a little while ago and saw an email confirming my order from Amazon for a new printer. I did not order a printer. I was looking at printers yesterday (or maybe the day before), but never even added one to my cart. Ethan says he did not order a printer, and even if he did, why would it show up under my account?

I open my computer for the first time today and find in my history that I have in fact visited Amazon today and it looks like I have bought a printer. Ethan suggests someone has hacked into my account, but seeing as how the order was placed from my laptop, it seems a little strange.

And then light bulb in my brain turns on. Evan was downstairs this morning by himself, eating breakfast and watching the Disney channel. I ask him if he was using my computer and he confirms he was trying to send a message to Nicholas. Apparently he bought us a printer instead :-)

Fortunately it wasn't too expensive and we have free shipping. Unfortunately, it's not one that we want, so as soon as the box arrives, I will be shipping it back to Amazon. Not sure how to handle the problem of Evan randomly clicking on my computer when I'm not watching him...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Now that Christmas is over...

...the Valentines Day and Easter stuff is already out. I just about fell over when I was TJ Maxx (picking up some 1/2 off Christmas items) and saw shelves full of hearts and bunnies. Don't these people know how much chocolate we have in our house at this very moment?? I had to take the rest of the Halloween leftovers into work just a few weeks ago! And after all those weeks of shopping and wrapping, I'm not ready to deal with Easter baskets yet.

On the up side of post-Christmas shopping, I am happy to say that I will not need to purchase any gift wrap for next Christmas (and probably the Christmas after that). The jackpot was so big at Walmart that Ethan sent me back to get some more already-decorated gift boxes because he's, well, gift wrap challenged. And let all my readers be witnesses, he has promised to only use scotch tape on these boxes (not masking or duct or any other kind of packing/painting tape), and he will not use excessive amounts so that the boxes can actually be re-used.

Tree is un-decorated and waiting to go outside, the toy corner has been put back together, and the trash men finally came to take away a weeks worth of trash that spanned almost the entire width of our house. Clearly Santa needs to get a trash truck to attach to the back of his sled instead of leaving all the boxes at our house ;-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Things that make me laugh

I'm cleaning out my digital photos (started at 4100 about a month ago and am down to 3700) and this one just cracks me up...I love kids and their imaginations!

Vacation

It's 9:15 and I'm still in bed...this is the life. Okay, so I did get out of bed from 7-8 to help get the boys up and out the door, but I did not actually have to go out the door myself so it's all good. I've made a few blog updates, caught up with what everyone is doing on MySpace, written a few emails, and caught up on my Tivo'd soap operas. All from my nice warm bed and in my pajamas.

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's ooooo-ver

And just like that, Christmas is over. Months of shopping, weeks of decorating, wrapping, and baking, and FOUR DAYS of presents and chaos, and now it's done. I wouldn't mind some peace and quiet, but Ethan is talking (very loudly) on the phone and Evan keeps summoning me to his room (once to tell me a new shirt is not in his drawer and again to cut a string on his pajama pants). But I have a whole week until I have to go back to work, so there's plenty of time for peace and quiet in the next couple of days :-)

I lost my blogging mojo because of all the interruptions...maybe later. When it's quiet ;-)

Christmas notes

No particular rhyme or reason...I just don't want to forget :-)
  • Evan singing "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" during Christmas Eve mass when no one else was singing. Luckily he was pretty quiet about it.
  • Eric letting out one heck of a scream during the opening prayer while I frantically dug through my purse with a free hand for a pacifier. Thankfully I was not saying anything out loud while I did this, the frantic words all stayed in my head.
  • Evan waking up at 7:02 (after going to bed over an hour late) because he "just wanted to check and see if there were any presents under the tree." He discovered there were "a hundred"
  • "Santa" calling on Christmas Eve and Evan saying "Hi Pop-pop!"
  • Cole leaving some presents under the tree for us when we got home from Christmas Eve dinner. They were not good presents. Cole spent Christmas Eve outside watching for Santa and the reindeer.
  • Eric telling Ethan "Daddy, get down!" because Ethan kept sitting in Eric's new chair.
  • Evan putting Buck's bone in the refrigerator while they went to take a nap (guess he was worried it would go bad like a glass of milk?)
More later...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mommy's Little Santa Helper

Can't blog much, as Eric is on a mission to dismantle anything he can get his hands on (nightstands, Kleenex boxes, toy bins, Tupperware cabinets, spice racks already) . Decided to bake some more goodies and "made" Eric help me.

Are we having fun yet?

Amazing how a cookie batter beater makes everything better!
And now Eric is chasing Cole around the house with the Christmas bell napkin rings--how long until Ethan and Evan get home?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just the way it goes some times

Ah, vacation...plenty of time to relax and watch soap operas and put my feet up and eat bon bons. Ha! Not! Okay, yesterday wasn't too stressful...dropped the boyz off at daycare, did a little shopping, and met a few friends for lunch. Came home and wrapped presents for what seems to be like the hundredth time and had just started to settle in for a blogging when daycare called to say Eric was sick and had a fever. Fantastic. So I go pick both kids up and we come home where Eric proceeds to demand Pedialyte and then promptly spew it back out. Right in front of the toy bins (splashing half the toys). And then again while sitting on my lap (I don't know how I escaped, but somehow I did). Luckily that was the end of it, but that was enough. Had to deal with more screaming while the rest of us ate dinner, but I think the ringing in my ears has finally stopped.

So this morning we head back to the doctor who very clearly said to come back if he wasn't feeling better by Friday, and camped outside the office for clinic hours. Clinic opens at 8; we were #3 in line at 7:40. Amazingly enough, same doctor is there (and having a much better day), so at least I didn't have to re-explain things too much. Bottom line is, even though he's on antibiotics, Eric has developed an ear infection in the OTHER ear. So we get some heavy duty drugs (let's hear it for the Z-pack!) and are on our way home.

Eric on the way to the doctor
Ethan and Evan are headed to Hershey Park, so I think Eric and I are going to take a vacation afternoon/evening and watch some crap TV, order a pizza, and have a glass or two of our respective purple juices before the busy pre-Christmas weekend gets underway!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

He's a mean one, Mister Grinch

Evan and I watched the original Grinch on Friday night (not the Jim Carey version) and it's interesting to see how he (Evan) develops from year to year and how the little wheels in his head turn. He had a very worried expression on his face throughout the show, and I explained that the grinch was mean, but later becomes nice, so he sat through it and seemed happy at the end. We talked about how you don't need presents to have Christmas, and as long as you have your family and friends, that's what matters. Seemed to go over well. Until bedtime.

Evan: But if someone stole our Christmas, we would be very sad

Me: A little, but you would still have all your family and friends, so you wouldn't be too sad. You'd still have Mom and Dad and Eric and Grandma and Pop-pop and GG and Grampy and Aunt B and Uncle Tom (I'm sure there was more)

Evan: And my cousins?

Me: Yes, and your cousins.

Evan (with a big grin): Oh, okay. Yeah that would be good.

Saturday night we were coming home from a party and again Evan brings up the Grinch and the fact that he steals Christmas, but everyone is still happy because they have their family. And Ethan tells Evan not to worry, because no one is going to steal his Christmas. And I ask Ethan what he would do on the extremely off-chance our hose was robbed on Christmas Eve. Ethan suggested maybe we shouldn't watch the Grinch anymore.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nooooooo

Got a prescription for antibiotics, because one ear looked kinda gooey and because of the other symptoms. Not a real re-assuring visit, but we'll take our antibiotics and run with it. Unfortunately, the doctor thinks the main cause is asthma kicking in...nooooooo...I was really hoping that was a one-winter deal! But here we are, armed with inhalers and nebulizer goodies to help get us through the winter. Ugh.

Our appointment was with our favorite doctor...she joined the practice around the time Eric was born and she was the on-call doctor when he was in the hospital with jaundice and extremely calming and helpful, which is why we like her. Also a very funny lady; she's like a female version of Ethan and normally I have trouble following her random train of thought during a visit while Ethan knows exactly what she's talking about and why. Anyway, today seemed to be an 'off' day for her and during the course of the visit she opened a drawer 3 times to look for the prescription pad that was sitting right in front of her (and she had been writing on), put one prescription back in the drawer (still attached to the pad) and threw another one in the trash. As she got up to leave, I asked her for the prescriptions and she looked at me as though I was nuts, until I mentioned maybe she had thrown one away (I thought she changed her mind about what to give him). Poor lady, she apologized numerous times and re-wrote the one that fell in the trash even though it was sitting on top of Eric's drooled-on tissue on the top of the pile.

Oh well, doctors are people too!

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

It's the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse...

I'm at home today, if that wasn't obvious. Work is quiet (finally), but not so quiet that I've decided to start watching the Disney Channel over the internet :-)

Eric and I are at home, as his cold has finally reached the point where he shouldn't go to daycare. Maybe an ear infection, but unfortunately the first appointment the doctor's office has is for 3:30 this afternoon. I guess potential ear infections don't rank that high up on the list to get the earlier appointments...oh well. In the meantime, he is being a super sweetheart and snuggling in our bed with me watching TV while I do a little work.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday notes

We did not lose power last night, which absolutely amazes me. I use a battery powered alarm clock anyway, but I didn't notice any other clocks blinking this morning so I think it was all good. And every time I woke up because of the howling wind, the heat was running. Can't wait to see our next electric bill :-)

Ethan said he went with a pre-cut tree for the sake of our marriage...if Eric and I had not been waiting in the car, he would have dragged Evan across all 7 acres looking for the perfect tree. Uh huh...my money says they would have made it 1/2 an acre before Evan convinced him to turn around :-)

Including today, I have THREE working days left this year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Chocolate Cheese Fudge

It's so darn good, it needs it's own post...thank you Emily! I was a doubter, but have seen the light and experienced an unspeakable level of joy while having a small heart attack at the same time. I skipped the nuts and spread this delicious concoction into a shallow pan instead of rolling it into balls, but here's the original recipe:

Chocolate Cheese Fudge
Paula Deen - Ellen Show from Friday

1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, sliced
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Two 16-ounce packages confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup cocoa

1. Melt cheese and butter together over medium heat in saucepan.
2. Remove from heat, add vanilla and nuts.
3. Sift together sugar and cocoa in large bowl. Add cheese mixture. Use hands for final mixing!
4. Remove candy from bowl with hands and roll into balls. Add skewers.
5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy!

And if you don't like it, then something is wrong with you. I'm not a big sweets eater, but I have to take this stuff into work just to get it away from me!!

The winter storm that wasn't

We've been preparing all week for what was supposed to be a horrible winter storm...people were leaving work and thinking they weren't going to be able to make it in on Monday. I went to Giant on Saturday and had to circle the parking lot TWICE before waiting for an incredibly slooooow man unload his cart so I could have his parking spot. Surprisingly, inside of Giant wasn't too bad, but then again, I was only there for steaks (half price) and Velveeta (to make Cheesy fudge which turned out to be AWESOME). We debate our plans to go out Saturday night, not wanting to have to drive home in a sleety mess.

Saturday afternoon - nothing

Saturday night - zippy

Sunday morning - rained for a while

Sunday noon - sun comes out

It's currently dry, but very windy and we're fully prepared for the power to go out because 1) it's blinked several times and 2) our power always goes out when it gets really windy even though the people down the street from us never lose their power.

So we wait and see...

Oh Christmas tree...

Ethan made the surprise announcement the other day that we would be going to cut down a Christmas tree this year. Huh. I'm not really a cut down your own tree kind of girl. My best tree experience was the year I picked one out in the parking lot of my apartment complex and then delivered it directly to my door. So I was more than a little hesitant about this adventure and pretty much envisioned National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where they bring home the biggest tree in the forest and then get stuck under a tractor trailer. Go ahead, laugh, this is the sheltered life I have led.

Saturday morning we set out on the tree cutting adventure. Ethan is wearing Evan's Lightening McQueen hat because he can't find any of his hats (somehow he always directs this comment to me as though I have something to do with the missing hats). We all get our coats on and wait for Ethan to clear out the back of his truck. And take the covers off the truck. And look up directions to the tree farm. As I'm ready to strip off coats, we finally leave and Eric promptly falls asleep. A little while later, we arrive at the pumpkin patch, put instead of pumpkins, there are trees. Already cut trees. Hmmmm...while Evan pushes buttons from the backseat, Ethan madly searches on the Treo for the magical forest where we will cut down our own tree. Luckily, it's not far, and we arrive before Ethan and I both lose our minds.

I'll shorten the rest of the story to say Eric and I had no patience to walk around 7 acres of trees to find something and ended up going back to the truck to eat animal crackers and Cheerios. Evan and Ethan returned a little while later with a beautiful tree that they did NOT cut down themselves.

Maybe next year :-)

Dear Santa

Never ask a 4 year old what he wants for Christmas when you have already finished shopping. And, if you do make the mistake of asking, do not continue to encourage him to add more items to the list (I didn't do this, by the way...I know better). But here's the list:

  • A "Mr. BuhKing toy" (I hope this means the 'King' from Cars, because that's what he's getting)
  • A new bone for Buck (dammit! again?)
  • TWO tattoos (this is not my fault, he actually witnessed Ethan getting his tattoo)--one of #36 Brian Westbrook, and one #80 for Kevin Curtis
  • A really cool race car book
  • A really really really REALLY big jet--and a rocket ship
So, it seems Santa has a little more work to do. Although Eric is getting an airplane toy, so maybe that will qualify as the really big jet??

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Meme

I was tagged by Emily

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Bigger fan of using (and re-using!) gift bags, but I use both.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Real...love the smell!

3. When do you put up the tree?
Early-mid December (it's not up yet, too much partying this past weekend!)

4.When do you take the tree down?
Around New Years...no specific date.

5. Do you like eggnog?
In very small quantities...too sweet for me!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Tough one...I don't know if there was a favorite, but the one I remember the best was a robot.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Thanks to cousin Teresa, an adorable Little People one showed up this afternoon.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
The little boyz

9. Hardest person to buy for?
My mother!

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I have never been a victim of the pink bunny pajamas, thank goodness...

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Mail...how else will I use all the return address labels?

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story. I watch it once on Christmas Eve and at least twice on Christmas Day.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Whenever I see something that would make a good gift but it's after the person's birthday.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Maybe.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
For dinner? Steak!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Christmas Shoes

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay at home. And no visitors until after 12.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. And Rudolph, of course. Did I get them all?

20. Angel on the tree top, or a star?
Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
1 or 2 on Christmas Eve, depending on how persuasive Ethan is being :-)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Traffic around the mall

23. What I love most about Christmas?
Christmas morning and seeing everyone excited about their gifts and the fact that it's Christmas!

24. Church early or late Christmas Eve (midnight or 7pm service?) or not at all?

Christmas Eve afternoon

25 Have you ever NOT burned yourself when doing the candle thing at church?

Candle thing?

I tag Beth, Petra, Bri, and anyone else that reads this. Maybe some of my silent readers will even post :)

Yeah...so...

I just realized I'm wearing 2 different colored shoes today. Finally, my insistence at owning identical pairs of shoes in brown and black has bitten me in the butt. Luckily:

1. I have no meetings today that cause me to spend large amounts of time away from my desk
2. The shoes are very dark-colored
3. My pants are very long
4. I was thinking of leaving early anyway to pick up Eric because he looked absolutely miserable last night and this morning

I normally take my shoes into the bathroom in the morning just to make sure I have a matching pair, but for whatever reason that didn't happen today. Lesson learned :-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Party wrap-up

Saturday night concluded a party-filled weekend (for me) as we hosted a little gathering at our house to celebrate the winter holiday season. What a blast, especially once Eric went to bed (okay, that sounds a little mean, but this child is fighting a cold or something and was a constant crying weight on my hip until I finally put him to bed at the very early hour of 6:30 PM. And he slept until almost 9 AM).

Anyway, after happily finding all of my party supplies at Costco on Friday, Ethan "made me" put lights up around the house (I actually love doing it, but the 2 nights of partying had me a little run down) and Evan was so excited about it that he convinced me to put up lights inside too. Amazing how the energy of a 4 year old can spread to others--if only there was a way to bottle it!! So the house looked lovely, I had all of my favorite foods (crab dip, salsa dip, meatballs, smoked salmon, to name a few) and some reliable party beverages. And the stories begin.

Apparently my co-workers thought the 'green stinks' translation of my license plate meant I was some sort of anti-environmental person. And, even funnier, some of our neighbors thought that Ethan's 'go green' meant that he was all for doing things the greener way. In his gas-guzzling truck. So it made for a funny story when all the pieces fell into place and everyone realized our license plates have nothing to do with the environment.

Ethan should sell coffee machines, or at least get commission for his sales job of our Keurig. One person bought one on Sunday morning and another is planning on purchasing it as a Christmas gift. Seriously, commission. And even though I don't drink coffee, I know this thing rocks because it keeps Ethan from spending mass quantities of money at Starbucks on a daily basis :-)

We received a gift of an awesome smelling basil (I think) candle. I'm not a big candle person, mostly because I always have to remember to blow them out before leaving the house, but I do enjoy them from time to time. Ethan LOVES candles. It ranks up there with chocolate and ice cream, I think. He likes the basil canlde so much that he was rubbing his fingers through the wax and then sniffing them. He tried to compare it to ChapStick--ChapStick!! Anyway, since he's standing here distracting me from writing, I needed to include something to embarrass him.

Spoiled? Maybe just a little...

I think I could be the mom in the Mazda CX-9 commercial...the one where the daughter gets in the car and says "Mom, what does 'spoiled' mean?"

"Spoiled?" the mom asks. "Why, did somebody call you that?"

"No," replies the daughter, "somebody called you that."

And then mom and daughter both have a very satisfying look on their face as they cruise along the road. This is me.

I haven't entered a cold vehicle in over a week now. If I realize I have forgotten to warm it up, I find something else I need to do in the house just so I won't have to go sit on a cold leather seat. I am so darn comfortable driving to work that I had to crack the window and turn up the radio so I wouldn't fall asleep. My children are happy in the car and have not shed a single tear when in it (even though Eric has been feeling miserable). Yes, I am spoiled. And proud of it.

Zoom zoom :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Friday doctors and comparison shopping

I'm a little behind on my blogs...it was a busy weekend :-)

After Thursday's party adventure (if you play the video on this link, you will see 3 shadowy figures on the right side of the screen when they're doing the interview--one of those is me!! http://www.wusa9.com/rss/local_article.aspx?storyid=66131). Totally lost my train of thought.

Friday I had to start the day by parting with my beautiful new truck (no longer held hostage in a Silver Spring garage) to get the new radio installed which stunk because it was icy and rainy and they gave me a tiny little car to drive. I met up with Ethan and Eric at the doctor's office where we waited for close to 2 hours to find out Eric does NOT have another ear infection, and the endless crankiness is probably just a cold. Thank goodness for infant Tylenol and the fact that his recurring allergy/eczema problems gives us a permanent antihistamine prescription which makes sleep possible. So Eric gets shuttled back to daycare and I take my crappy (but free) loaner car to test out a trial membership at BJs.

I love Costco. BJs was a horrible experience and I hope to never have to go back again. The people were mean, they didn't carry the necessary ingredients for my crab dip, there were no free samples (at noon on Friday!) and their cash registers are as mean as the people. After 1 1/2 hours of shopping and browsing, having a checkout lane shut down literally before my very eyes and a rude employee telling me I should "take my chances" using it again, I left a cart full of refrigerated/frozen items and told them I was going back to Costco. I was in and out of Costco in 30 minutes with everything I needed and the cashier even wished me a Merry Christmas. I love Costco.

I returned to the dealership to stalk them for my truck and am happy to say I will never need to go there again (there's another dealership closer to my house, not that I use them unless it's warranty work). The service manager was swarmy...he was more swarmy than the guy who SOLD me the truck.

The day ended on a good note though...I had another party with some different co-workers and things were much quieter and the only time I had to go outside was to get in my beautiful truck at the end of the night. I love my truck...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Now THAT'S a party!

Phone call to Ethan around 6:15 PM: "Hi, honey? I'm going to be a little late getting home because we've been kicked out of 2 bars and my (brand new) truck was impounded."

After the hysteria wore off and I finally stopped laughing, I was able to tell the whole story. While having a fantastic time socializing with my co-workers at our holiday party at a local Irish pub, the owner came around to inform us the building was being evacuated. No, seriously, put down your drinks and get the hell out. But not before you pay your tab (which I didn't realize I had since the waitress was just delivering beverages right and left, thought one of the managers had picked up the tab or something) and no they will not give us "to go" cups for the drinks we ordered 3 minutes ago (hey, it was worth asking!). Another mom and I wander outside, a little miffed that our night off (from being moms) has been cut short, when we find some other co-workers who direct us to a restaurant up the street. A decent crowd from party destination #1 has migrated to party destination #2, but after a few people get drinks, we are informed that this building is also being evacuated. Sunova! And my brand-new lovely truck is parked in the garage attached to the street that has been blocked off!!

Some quick thinking results in party destination #3, a Mexican restaurant that has less than great service during happy hour events and they give some lip as 10 of us pile in there asking for a table. Attitudes quickly change when we say the entire downtown area has been evacuated because of a 'suspicious package' and this is the closest restaurant. They kindly offer us their private room which we happily take (thankfully, a manager has picked up a round of drinks by now, seeing as how some people have purchased 2 drinks they were not allowed to finish). The party continues and was, I think, even better since we have bonded over 3 bars and a 1o minute walk in the cold. There is a 'boom' at some point which we learn (thanks to an adventurous team member) is the bomb squad blowing up the suspicious package/bag (I kid you not, it was on the news!). I was finally able to get my beautiful truck out of the garage and enjoy the rest of the night.

How's that for an interesting party??

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Snow

It's 9:09 AM and I'm currently sitting at my dining room table because I can't get to work due to the stupidity of other people. I don't know why, but at the first sign of snow, people just go dumb around here. I do not live in the south, so snow is a pretty common thing...happens every winter, usually more than once. And the current snow is barely sticking to the ground, let alone to the big highways that have had cars driving on them all night and are nothing more than wet. But here I am, waiting for Google maps to show me something other than red on my entire route to work so I know whether or not I can get there for my 11:30 meeting. And do you know what? I think aiming to get to work by 11:30 may be setting the bar too high today...

Update: I finally left the house at 10:15 and got to work around 11. Drive was okay, but the worst part is I had to leave my truck with the valet in our parking garage and I better not find any scratches on it when I get back!!

**The valet is for the physical therapist office in our building, but when there are not monthly spaces left, we also have to use it. I am not so spoiled that I use valet parking on a regular basis ;-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Loving the truck, but not the wind!!

I love my truck (who's going to virtually smack me first?). I love that I can hit a button from the kitchen window and it is all warm and toasty by the time I walk outside. And today I figured out how to use my phone through the bluetooth. AWESOME.

So last night I was somewhat convinced my children had switched bodies. Evan was all fidgety and complaining he didn't like meatballs while Eric sat perfectly happy in his high chair eating all his dinner. True, he was eating it with his hands and making a horrible mess, but at least he wasn't screaming and trying to throw himself out of the chair. Evan went to his room to think about things after laying his head on the table with his eyes closed and tongue hanging out of his mouth, and thankfully came back 'normal.' And then he asked if we could have steak, mashed potatoes w/cheese, and salad for dinner tomorrow (today). And I would like to do that because it sounds like a wonderful dinner but it's too windy to grill!! Not to mention I love steak and mashed potatoes and salad ;-)

Sidebar: it's really not too windy to grill, but Ethan does all the grilling around here and he would have needed to be home 15 minutes ago to have a chance in heck of having steaks cooked by dinnertime with all the wind out there.

So we're stuck with lasagna out of a box and hopefully tomorrow will be a grill-worthy day. But my new truck handles bee-yoo-tee-full-y in the wind and I barely even noticed. And I could talk on the phone and that person couldn't tell either.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Why must there always be another option?

I need to start the blog by saying I love love love my new truck. And if you call it a car or a minivan, I will not hesitate to run you over with it. And I won't miss, because I have one of those spiffy little cameras that shows me what's behind me!! Seriously, it's one bad ass vehicle...did I mention I love it?

I'm starting to think that men did not have to take multiple choice tests in school. Because, if they did, then whenever I said "do you want option A or option B?" they would not suggest something else!! And this is not limited to my husband, I frequently run into this situation at work as well. I've even slipped and said something to the effect of "typical man" when one of my clients requested something that was not one of the original options, but thankfully he was in a good mood that day and responded with "hey, I could have asked for ALL of the options."

Woo hoo! 9 hours until I drive again!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Zoom zoom!

After almost a week, I have returned. It was a busy week. My boss has been out of the office for 2 weeks and his boss was also out last week, so a lot of extra work rolled down. And I have a full time job without having to pick up pieces of their job, but I guess this just proves that it takes one woman to do what 2 men can do, right? ;-) And I know my loving husband will bite his tongue on that one because he has felt as much pain this week as I did...especially the night I came home and went straight to bed because of the 3 day headache that was pounding through my skull. Amazingly enough, it disappeared shortly after I got home Thursday night and has not returned (I was off on Friday).

BUT, the week did close out on a fantastic note. After months of researching and drooling and a week of haggling, I got my new wheels!! No pictures yet, because Evan is literally hanging onto my arm right now, but I love it!! Maxda CX-9 in a beautiful shade of Stormy Blue with all sorts of bells and whistles. Did I mention I love it? And we got a great price? Last day of the month is a great day to buy a car!!

All the bosses are back next week, so I should have some time to post :-) And I have to go because apparently I'm messing up the quacks (according to Evan).

Monday, November 26, 2007

From Cole to Ethan, with love

I'm convinced at this point that Cole (aka Fatty, Fat Daddy, Newman, Colie Rolie, and Dole--Eric doesn't quite have his C's down yet) just lives to spite Ethan. He's around 16 now (got him on Christmas Eve of 1991, my Mom loves to tell the story of missing her work Christmas party to drive to Bel Air to get him) and at every annual vet visit, Ethan and I hold our breath to find out if this will be 'the year' that the vet will finally advise us to send him to a better place. Granted, we our holding our breath waiting on different outcomes, but it's a suspenseful couple of days just the same. And, in the end, you can see Cole practically laughing at Ethan as the vet calls and says things are fine, especially considering his age.

Anyway, so off we go to our annual visit and things seem to be okay. Vet calls a few days later to discuss some 'unusual' test results and in the midst of playing phone tag, Ethan and I discuss how far we are willing to go to keep Cole alive. I mean, let's face it, he is 16, and he's grumpy (mostly to Ethan), he has trouble with the steps some times, trouble with the litter box a lot of times, and there's only so much you can do for him even if we did have an unlimited kitty fund. So we have our discussion and agree to what we are willing to do.

Finally talk to the vet and it's a continuation of last year...Cole's kidneys are continuing to shut down. Levels are not where they're supposed to be, his weight is down, his appearance shows he's losing his appetite and ability/desire to groom himself...I start preparing myself for the medication recommendations.

Last year's recommendation: prescription cat food (not much more than regular food)

This year's recommendation: Pepcid AC

I think this about sums up what Cole would 'say' to Ethan, if only he could:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How do I find these people?

We had a very profitable craigslist week, and managed to unload a stroller, wine fridge, and refrigerator cart (used to hold the wine fridge). So I guess I've answered my own question about where I find these people, because clearly my ads have some subliminal message that says "come tell me your life story when all I really want is to regain some storage space and put a few bucks in our fun money fund."

Stroller lady was not bad, since the weather was so nice on Wednesday, I just met her outside and all was well. Day before Thanksgiving, maybe she wanted to get home and get stuff done...who knows.

Wine fridge guy calls me Saturday morning and says he's headed to the gym "for a few hours" and shows up at his promised time. Probably about my age, covered with many tattoos, but still sticks around while Evan and Eric are trying to see who can play the drum louder and talks about how he plays the drum and he wanted the wine fridge because he lives on the 22nd floor and the fluctuation in temperature is killing his wine, but he didn't really feel he needed the 18 bottle fridge...blah, blah, blah. And we only let him as far as the dining room because that's where the fridge was plugged in.

Cart lady was the best/worst. She actually wanted to come by on Thanksgiving, which was fine, except we didn't get home until after she had left the Virginia area. So she came back today and while her husband is looking like he wants to poke his eyes out with the car keys, tells me all about some organic wine with a weird cork and when they opened it there was plastic in the wine so now she's getting a free case of wine, which is nice, but she's not really a big wine drinker, so...blah, blah, blah.

But I have space in my house and money in my pocket :-)

Is it Monday yet?

Remember when long weekends used to be relaxing? And now, with kids, they are downright tiring!! And everyone was on reasonably good behavior and healthy!! Late this afternoon it came crashing to a halt and I made the mistake of mentioning male PMS which earned a very evil look from Ethan (hey, bad mood after watching football all day and the Eagles haven't even lost--I mean, played--yet?).

At one point, the boys were being very sweet with one another, sitting in a chair looking at books together. I thought I would use this opportunity to get some updated pictures of them and here's the best that I could get:


Okay, in the beginning they were actually being calm and cute, but absolutely refusing to look at the camera:


And then, in an effort to 'help', Evan started bonking Eric which is great because it gets him to laugh and show his ginormous teeth, but then I very quickly lose any control I may have had and eventually have to intervene before concussions start happening:


Guess that's what I get for having boys ;-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy **Tired** Thanksgiving

This will be short, because I am exhausted. I did minimal cooking, cleaning, or anything else, thanks to our lovely host and hostess, but I am still exhausted. I am also thankful...

  • thankful for my family, immediate and extended, near and far
  • thankful for my friends, the ones that I see often, and the ones that I hardly see, but still feel incredibly close to, thanks to the wonders of technology
  • thankful for a job, a job that I have, that is secure, and that--despite some downfalls--I really do enjoy going to every day
  • thankful for a warm home on a cold day, with the ability to watch football on one TV and Grey's Anatomy on another
  • thankful for SLEEP
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What's the weirdest Christmas present you've ever bought?

I don't know what made me think of this today, but I think the strangest thing I ever had to buy was a plastic bone for a stuffed dog. Last Christmas, when anyone asked Evan what he wanted Santa to bring him, the answer was "a new bone for Buck." I thought this would wear off at some point, but lo and behold, I found myself in Giant a couple of days before Christmas buying a pack of nylon bones for Buck. And Evan was thrilled...he carried a bone around with Buck for a good couple of months (eventually we had to make them disappear because Cole kept getting hold of them and chewing on them).

Evan and his beloved Buck


So, what's the weirdest gift you've had to buy?

Sometimes I feel more productive at home than at work...

I got a lot done today, and am very impressed with myself. Granted, I didn't have to do tons of Thanksgiving prep, but still. Dentist, grocery store, CVS, dry cleaning, haircut, a little Christmas shopping...I'm happy! My blogging suffers, to which Ethan tells me I should get a government job so I will have more time to work on my blog. Good to see he still has his sense of humor now that he's one of 'them.'

So, today's adventures...kicked off the day by kicking Ethan out of bed 20 minutes before his dentist appt, rushed the boys through breakfast so I could get Eric to daycare before Evan and I had to be at the dentist. Decided I will no longer participate in the Wed morning family outing to the dentist. Ethan thinks going first thing in the morning is the greatest thing ever...until it becomes socially acceptable for me to have a glass of wine at 9 AM at work after my dentist appointment, I don't think so. I don't like going to the dentist (although ours is great), much less first thing in the morning. Still, everyone sailed through with no cavities or anything like that. Yay!

Stopped in the dollar store just to see what was there and came to the realization that this is a great place for stocking stuffers!! Picked up a few things for the kids and was even more exciting to realize it's stuff they will think is cool, but then use (toothbrushes with Spiderman on them...oh to be 4!)

Giant was an entertaining place to be the day before Thanksgiving, but when you need milk, you need milk (and Ethan makes fun of me because I buy 3 gallons at a time). Wasn't as bad as Lydia's Whole Foods experience (I have had a similar time picking up a pre-cooked dinner at Balduccis the day before Thanksgiving in the RAIN), but I was incredibly grateful to get my 5 things and roll out of there without getting run over by some little old lady or smacked with a cane!!

I had to return a busted DVD player to Best Buy and was amused by a sign reading "No returns on Friday until after 2 PM" Who would go out on Black Friday to return something????? I have no plans to set foot in a store period, let alone just to return something! That's why I was there today!! :-)

So, you see, not a very exciting day, but productive nonetheless. And a lady just came by to pick up one of our old strollers and put a few bucks in my pocket! Yay!! Not ready to part with any of the other 4 though ;-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas keeps getting earlier and earlier...

I realized yesterday that the Christmas season is here and in full swing. I knew it was coming as the Christmas trees and decorations gradually started taking over the Halloween aisles of Michaels and Target. I realized it was getting close as the toy catalogs started arriving in the mail. But yesterday...yesterday it seemed to fully arrive. I realized that the soft rock radio stations had converted to 24 hours of Christmas music (seriously? it's not even Thanksgiving!!). And I especially realized it as I spent 20 minutes going through the 2 traffic lights that get past the mall. Yes, for me, the start of the Christmas season is when it takes longer to drive than it would to walk somewhere in our area. So, just counting the number of working days (I have) left in the year, there are 16 chances that:
  • I will spend well over an hour driving the 1 mile route home from daycare
  • I will leave the car at daycare and pile the kids in the stroller to walk home (note to self, put double stroller and tennis shoes in the truck)
  • We will eat Blimpies for dinner, since there is one in the same building as daycare
  • I will have to pay 50 cents to exit on the toll road because traffic will be so jammed at the next exit with people trying to get to the mall
On the up side, I only have 16 working days left in the year!! And that includes today!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

And on the seventh day, she made pie

Yep, that about sums up the accomplishments of today...I made pie. Okay, I did a little more than that: Evan and I went to church (he refused to sing during church, but launched into the Eagles fight song the second we were out the door), watched a little football and visited with some friends, and also made up a batch of spaghetti sauce. Not my best, but it got rid of the 17 pounds of tomatoes that were taking over the fridge. But let's get back to pie.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I figured I would do the hard work of the pumpkin pies today and make the filling. It was an entertaining day and Ethan realized after about 3 minutes that he should remove himself and the children from the same floor as the knife-wielding crazy lady (that would be me). Oh, I guess I should mention the pies get made from real pumpkin, not the canned variety. Here's how it went.

I collected the pumpkins and started the process of hacking them into small pieces to be boiled. I think, if I do this again, I need to invest in a chainsaw, or at the very least a large meat cleaver. At one point, I did contemplate putting each pumpkin into a bag and throwing it out the window onto the pavement instead of hacking into it with a giant knife. For the sake of those outside my immediate family that have to eat the pies, I did not do this.

After hacking, boil the living daylights out of the pumpkin (see, even if I did throw them out the window there wouldn't have been any germs left after the boiling). Then, puree using the neighbor's food processor that looked like it was older than me. It had no power button, so you had to load some pumpkin, plug it in, and pray not to electrocute yourself. It worked though, so I'm not complaining. And Ethan's smoothies will not have a pumpkin flavor for the next month like they did the last time I did this and used his blender.

Then comes the real messy part, which only pictures can describe (and I was cleaning as I went along):

I think I count 3 measuring cups, 2 mixing bowls, a colander, a food processor, a hand mixer, and 1 bottle of wine (which I did not drink while making, but it adds to the picture)


A pot of pumpkin goo, seeds for roasting (excellent with ground garlic and salt), another mixing bowl, and many towels. Notice the little pumpkin that was spared hiding behind the pot...I really did need a chainsaw to try and hack through that thing!!


Everything but the pumpkin (my mother sent me the recipe because apparently the 'new' Betty Crocker cookbook recipe just isn't the same as the old one and why mess with something that tastes so good?)

And now the pre-mixed filling is safely packed into Ziploc bags to be baked on Wednesday. I am baking one to take into work tomorrow to try out on my guinea pigs. Last time I used them as guinea pigs, they sent me home to bake more of these. Hopefully the pie goes over just as well! Anyway, pumpkin pie...easy enough right? Whew...

And a random picture I found when uploading the pie making adventure. Eric and I were going 'bye-bye' one day and when I turned around from getting my coat on, I found a miniature bag lady (boy).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If Thanksgiving originated in 2007...

...we'd be eating pizza and cupcakes!

Daycare does 'Thanksgiving Dinner' aka 'Family Pizza Night' in mid-November every year. I'm not quite sure what the relation is to Thanksgiving other than the fact that it's November (no cute shows/poems or anything like that), but there's definitely family and pizza involved. I met up with the boyz for this special treat and I think it's the best time I've had at this thing. First year I didn't really know any kids/parents, last year it was during Ethan's hospital stay and probably the only meal I ate for a week, so it was nice to watch Evan and Andrew being goofy and have Eric insist that I clean his hands only to dip them in the chocolate icing all over again :-)

Warm fuzzies turned cold

I'm pretty sure Evan talks as much at night as the average person does during the day. At 1:00 AM, he had a crisis because the soap dispenser was empty and I'm pretty sure he was telling me I needed to fix this, but I can't be sure. I managed to get enough soap out to convince Evan that he could wash his hands and go back to bed and no I was not going to snuggle with him. Whew.

So I'm doing my morning hair/makeup routine this morning and Evan comes in to chat as I have little dots of foundation all over my face.

"Mommy, you're putting that on so you feel nice?"

"Yeah buddy" (getting a nice warm fuzzy at him being so sweet)

"It smells funny"

And the warm fuzzy moment is over.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forgot about Monday

I went to work yesterday to let Ethan enjoy his final day of unemployment, hopefully the last one until he retires. He calls me at work around 9:30 and I hear the boyz in the background. And I laugh. My dear hubby did not realize that daycare was open yesterday and he did not need to have a grand plan to entertain them by himself yesterday. Ha ha!!

Since I finished all my tediously boring tasks, I left working and figured I would 'enjoy' the rest of the holiday at home. Ethan was engrossed with doing his new company paperwork, so I figured I would catch up on some yardwork. Yes, this is really bad, since our yard consists of a teeny-tiny garden and a small yard in desperate need of more TLC than I am capable of giving it on a wet Monday afternoon. Still, when the ground is wet, it's a good day to pull weeds, so I did. Then I tackled the mess that grows around the base of our fence. Then I pulled a dead bird out of the fence and decided I was done with yard work for the day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fly, Eagles, fly....

Evan has gone to his first Eagles game today (Redskins play the Eagles in DC). I've heard the Eagles fight song so many times this morning, I could probably fake my way through it in a crowd at the game. And the song ends with the chanting of E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!! which has become part of everyday conversation with Evan. They've been gone for 2 hours and the damn song is still going through my head.

Since sleeping is still a hot topic of conversation, I'm happy to say Evan slept until 7:30 and Eric until almost 8:30 this morning. We got home late last night from PA, and both kids fell asleep (late) in the car on the way home and barely noticed as they were carried to their beds. Evan was a little confused at 4 AM when he woke with his clothes on and then wanted to brush his teeth since he 'forgot' to do it before he went to bed, so it wasn't exactly a peaceful night, but better than some others.

And I'm sympathizing more and more with my Aunt Keri as Eric now seems to make a habit out of barfing in the car after a meal on road trips.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ay yiy yiy...

Things I've learned today:
  • Our bar refrigerator is capable of making beer ice cold
  • You can freeze beer in a refrigerator
    • Most likely to freeze: Rolling Rock
    • Least likely to freeze: Sam Adams Octoberfest
  • Frozen beer is not fun to clean up
  • Almost frozen beer tastes AWESOME, especially after a ridiculously bad day
  • Meetings suck, especially when they are in 2 different buildings in the cold rain and every other meeting is in the other building
  • If you do not refrigerate a prescription that you are supposed to refrigerate, CVS will not replace it for you unless your doctor calls to request another prescription
  • The doctor is not as nice on the phone at 7 PM on Friday night when you put in an 'emergency' call to get a prescription called in because someone left the original one in the diaper bag all day
  • If you get the same prescription twice in one week (or in our case, one day), insurance will not pay for it
  • If insurance will not pay for the prescription, the pharmacist, cashier, and some other random CVS employee will all feel the need to relay this information to you. Twice.
  • Throwing the unrefrigerated prescription at the CVS employee is a bad idea (okay, I didn't really do this, but I did have to recite it over and over in my head as random employee decided he also needed to tell me I would have to pay for the prescription because insurance wasn't going to cover it because there was not enough time between refills)
  • I get a headache when the vein in my forehead has been bulging in anger for too long
  • Ice cold beer is good

Funny what turns it around...

I woke up this morning to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I'm mad at my husband. REALLY mad. Eric was up at 6 am bawling his little eyes out (at top volume) and sounding like he has a bad cold. Ethan is taking him to the doctor just in case, but we're both thinking it's just a cold and this may be the kick-off to nebulizer season. Evan was also up at 6 am (tough to sleep through the crying) and after I caught him picking at something he shouldn't be picking at (waaaaay worse than the nose), he added his own screams to the mix. Which he re-started when I told him his penalty for picking was that he couldn't take a toy to daycare for show and share. Repeat screaming when we had the conversation AGAIN just before I left the house. Did I mention I'm mad at my husband? It's going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

And then I read Emily's blog from yesterday...and while I've been proud of her for a while for all her hard work to look awesome again, I am incredibly happy that complete strangers will also get to be proud of her and hopefully inspired to get themselves into better shape and have long, happy lives with their families too. So thank you for sharing your excitement and giving me something to be happy about on what I was sure was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day :-)

Update: Eric has an ear infection. Good that we can fix it with medicine, but not good that this is his second ear infection in as many months!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just a good day...

Some days are just good...nothing special, nothing planned, but everything just turns out right. Today was one of those days (and I didn't do any shopping!).

It was my co-worker Jen's birthday (same girl who webbed my cube on Halloween), so it was time for a little payback fun. Over the course of the day, she had her cube decorated, 'happy birthday' sung by a group of 60+ people, a surprise cake, and some margaritas to close things out. Good times.

After a stop at home to talk to a contractor about some potential kitchen/bathroom renovations and kiss all the boys, I headed back out to meet my mom for dinner. Can't go wrong with a little crab soup at Legal Seafoods!!

Sometimes dinner with mom is dinner with MOM, and sometimes it's like dinner with an old friend...that was tonight, which was nice. We chatted about work and cars and Christmas and other things we both like to talk about :-) And when I came home and checked in on Evan, he asked "Mom, did you have a nice time with GG?" Awww...no tantrums about not being able to go, he was just as adorable as can be.

Today was just one of those good days!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Whose child is this?

At dinner, Ethan offered Evan some pickles with his cheeseburger and Evan requested 3 (they were just little pickle slices, although I don't doubt that Evan can eat 3 full size pickles in one sitting). Ethan scooped 3 pickles out and Evan said "no Daddy, I already had 1, so I just need 2 more." Clearly my child with his brilliant math skills already kicking in!!

After dinner, I went to run some errands and Ethan tried to convince Evan to take an early bath..."if you take a bath now, you can have a long bath. If you wait, you can take a short bath." Evan responded with "I want a medium bath." Clearly Ethan's child with his ability to take 2 distinct simple choices and choose something else.

And I just need to mention that Ethan's feet smell awful. Hopefully Evan doesn't get his foot odors.

Wow!

The shopping gods are smiling on me lately...I wonder if I can get all my Christmas shopping done before it runs out :-)
  • Ebates is having a double cash back day at Target...8% cash back just for going through the ebates site first.
  • Found a coupon for 10% off my order at Target and toys had free shipping, so I did all the toy shopping for the boys without even leaving the house (oh right, I'm at work) and almost 20% back in my pocket.
  • I bought 2 of these cute cups the other day, but the straws were missing (explains why they were severely discounted)...I emailed the company yesterday and they are sending me 4 new straws! The cup is awesome by the way...I tend to leave drinks laying around for several hours and after FOUR hours, my iced tea still had ice in it!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Yet another reason I don't like Hair Cuttery

I was traumatized in college by a guy who attempted to make me look like one of the character's in Friends. Looking back, it really wasn't a bad haircut, but at the time it was awful and I hated. Who wants hair that you have to style when you're in college? Land of the throw your hair in a ponytail and run to class? So that's where the dislike started. It increased over the years when I was desperate for a haircut and figured 'how bad can they mess up a little trim?' and instead came out missing several inches.

I know some people have great luck with Hair Cuttery, I am just not one of them. And now neither is Evan. They're hit or miss with Ethan, which is really bad. I mean, how can you mess up that haircut (sorry E!).

Anywho, we've tried various efforts of getting kids haircut, including doing it ourselves at home (Ethan mans the clippers, I have no skill in this area). Doesn't turn out bad, but it doesn't turn out great, there's a huge mess, lots of crying, no one really enjoys it. So when Cartoon Cuts opened in the mall by us, we were immediately enthralled by the movies, video games, bubbles, and the elephant that washes your hair. I am not so enthralled by the $15.99 price tag (plus tip) for the 'shampoo and haircut' especially since I have 2 boys with no need to get their hair washed and seem to need a haircut at least once a month. And you've already heard the shoe story. So this time, we decided to send Evan with Ethan for a haircut, and since Ethan is man of leisure for another week, they went to Hair Cuttery at the mall.

Ethan came home with a pretty good haircut.

Evan came home with what looked like a hair cut. As in, maybe one hair had been cut. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but honestly, it looked no better than the mess he had going on before he went in there. From the muttering and twitching Ethan was doing, I gather it was a painful experience for him and he just needed to get the heck out of there instead of waiting until it was done right, which I have complete respect for. Sometimes it's better just to leave and call it a day.

Sunday, Evan and I and the receipt marched back into Hair Cuttery and very nicely asked that they fixed the unacceptable disaster they had left on top of my son's head. Pretty sure I used those exact words, and repeated them again when they brought the woman over who had done the handiwork on Saturday. Suddenly she became very kind and sat Evan in a chair and chopped about an inch off the top of his hair, saying she couldn't do it 'right' he day before because he was sitting on Ethan's lap. Now, I've been the lap for a lot of haircuts and this is the first time I heard this excuse, but hey, she's got sharp pointy things next to my son's head, so I'm willing to behave. We finish the haircut and I realize...
  1. We will not be returning to Hair Butchery anytime soon. I'll pay the extra $6 to go to Cartoon Cuts and get an adorable haircut with happy children
  2. We really need to give up on the idea that Evan can even get haircuts and just send him in for a buzz. The kid has a cowlick that runs the entire top of his head on one side, even after the lady removed an inch of hair.
  3. Sometimes it feels good to go in there and tell someone they screwed up and make them fix it!! And I did it without swearing, raising my voice, or even losing my temper...maybe I should take Evan with me everywhere I go :-)
How do my blogs get to be so long?

So close...

I just realized Lydia did the same title on her latest blog...too funny...I swear I thought of it before I wrote this!!

I had a near perfect shopping weekend, and I'm proud of myself, so I want to remember it...
  • I had 3 things to return at 3 different stores and I returned ALL of them
  • I had to use a 40% off coupon at Michaels by Saturday and I did (and crossed another godchild off the Christmas shopping list)
  • I needed a new red sweater because I shrunk my old red sweater (apparently 'fine merino wool' will shrink even when you follow the instructions, but 'extra fine merino wool' will not shrink). Even though I bought the 1st red Sweater at Filene's Basement, Marshalls came through on red sweater #2. Still need a light gray one though...
  • I replaced my broken sunglasses. I even bought 2 pairs because the price was good and I had a coupon!
  • I bought SIX new pairs of work pants, all Calvin Klein (which I love) for less than $200...if only I had realized you can buy brand new clothes off of ebay for dirt-cheap earlier, I would have spent even less money (4 pairs from Filene's Basement, 2 from ebay)...
  • I bought one new pair of jeans...okay, here's the 'almost perfect' part. I actually bought 2 pairs of jeans, but one of those pairs is a size 10 and I don't know how I missed that fact. But even funnier that Lydia mentioned buying size 10 pants in her blog, so maybe she wants the pants :-)
  • Both boys got haircuts (although Evan's will get it's own blog later...what a disaster...solidifies my hatred of Hair Cuttery)
  • I did not get to make my return trip to FYE, but looking at everything else, I'm okay with that!!

Early mornings

Sunday morning went amazingly well with both kids sleeping until almost 7 (which would have been 8 the day before). I think it helped that I changed the clock in Evan's room after he went to sleep, so if he woke up and saw 5:10 AM, he would know it was waaay to early to get up. I have some good mom-smarts some days, and Saturday night was one of those days!!

This morning...yikes. My alarm went off at 5:30 AM and about a minute later I hear Evan singing in the bathroom. And he doesn't really know how to sing quietly. After a lengthy discussion about being quiet when everyone is sleeping (there's no such thing as a short conversation with Evan), I then argue with him about going back to bed. I show him the numbers on the clock and tell him he needs to go back to sleep until he sees 7:00 (this has backfired on us in the past where, as soon as he sees a '7' anywhere on the clock, he claims it's 7:00). I check my email to give him few minutes to settle down (our bathroom shares a wall with his room, so he will hear the shower) and, surprisingly enough, he stays down until about 6:15. Well, once I"m up and dressed, there's no fooling him, so when I left this morning, he was watching Stanley with Ethan sleeping beside him. Hopefully Eric slept for a while!

Sharing a computer

Up until Friday, Ethan and I were both lucky enough to have company-provided laptops, which is pretty darn nice. We also have a laptop at home which is about 3 years old and incredibly slow. One of the Best Buy $400 deals...good at the time, but barely runs now. Anyway, Ethan had to return his company laptop on Friday, which makes sense since he no longer works for that company :-) Unfortunately, I don't think the new company is going to provide him a new laptop, which means he keeps trying to sneak onto my nice laptop. I'm sure he'll swear he hasn't done anything, but I've noticed the following changes:
  1. I keep getting logged out of yahoo.
  2. When I go to pages that I've been going to everyday for the past 2 years, I have to actually remember my login name, because it no longer automatically appears for me.
  3. Applications keep closing when I am away from my computer. And they're not saving before they close.
  4. I seem to have acquired a new interest in fantasy football, as there were multiple tabs open on this topic yesterday.
Santa, if you're listening, maybe Ethan needs his own computer for Christmas??? I mean, what good is a Wii when they don't even have Tetris?!?!?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Things I've learned this morning

And it's only 7:20
  1. We're out of milk (okay, I knew this yesterday, but didn't realize the implications until just now)
  2. Eric does not like oatmeal. Not even when I put Cheerios in it to make him think it's a bowl of cereal.
  3. Evan talks a LOT.
  4. Evan is going to be awake at 5:20 tomorrow morning. Nooooooooo.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Resisting the urge

I really want a Pepsi and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Instead I'm having oatmeal and a big glass of water. Someone remind me why I need to eat healthy? Having trouble remembering.

And if the darn kids weren't up every hour, I might not need the Pepsi so bad! Evan goes through phases where he suddenly becomes unable to pull the covers up over himself so he either 1) screams from his room "can somebody come puts the covers back on me?!?!" or 2) actually gets out of bed and comes into our room to make this request in a much quieter voice. Either way, it scares the crap out of me and I have to get out of bed.

At least it's Friday...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or treat!

Good time traveling around the neighbors' houses, showing off Batman and our little rooster. There's very few kids in the neighborhood, so ours get spoiled rotten...as in 3 'regular' size bags of M&Ms. Each. From one neighbor. Another neighbor gave each kid a complete trick-or-treat bag, filled to the brim with candy and a couple of other Halloween treats. Life is good! And, after Eric went to bed, I went back down to a neighbor's for a little Halloween cocktail. Life is very good :-)



Defense mechanisms

I hate to stereotype, but sometimes some people just ask for it. Ever notice how, when a guy is clearly wrong about something, he gets overly defensive and comes up with horrible excuses instead of just admitting the wrong? And I'm not even talking about Ethan!

I have a monthly call that my 2 (male) co-workers are also supposed to participate in to report status of our respective projects. We got a notice a few weeks ago that the meeting would be on 10/31, and the agenda would be sent the week of the meeting. I immediately added this to my calendar so I wouldn't forget, especially because it's sandwiched between 2 weekly meetings and the guy puts up first on the agenda just so I can make it to my next meeting on time. Agenda gets sent out a few days ago, but I get on the call today and my co-workers are nowhere to be seen/heard. Not a problem, I can cover their stuff, goes off without a hitch.

I see them at my next meeting and ask that, if they can't make the meeting, at least give me a heads up so I can report their stuff. I said it with a smile, laughing, attempting to joke, etc.

"I didn't get the agenda" You got the meeting notice 2 weeks ago.

"Yeah, but it said the agenda would be sent out." It was sent out, they just weren't on it.

"See, so since it wasn't sent to me, I didn't know." Didn't know what? That there was going to be a meeting? Again, refer to notice sent 2 weeks ago.

Now, I'd like to think the average female would say "oops, I forgot, thanks for taking care of it." Yes? No?

Rules of trick-or-treating according to Evan

Most of these were prefaced by "Miss Carmen says." The second line is Mom's caveats to the rules
  • We don't go into people's houses
    • Unless Mom or Dad are with you and say it's okay. Because we'll probably go inside Miss Claire and Mr. Bill's house for a minute
  • And Miss Linda's house. We can go in Miss Linda's house too, right?
    • Yes, we can go in Miss Linda's house (note to self, call Linda)
  • We don't eat candy if it's already open
  • We don't eat candy we find outside. We have to go home, throw it away, and then we can go trick-or-treating again
  • If we see someone pick up candy outside and eat it, then we have to go home and throw it away and then come back out trick-or-treating
    • I have no idea where he was going with this one

Happy Halloween!!

I like Halloween...I don't love it like I do Christmas, but it's still a good holiday. Great memories of dressing up when I was younger and my mom spending lots of time and effort on a great costume. Usually a witch or Elvira-ish costume, since I already had the long black hair. Becky and I would go trick-or-treating in her neighborhood because 1. her neighborhood handed out some good stuff and 2. I think her mom knew everyone on the street so all the candy was 'safe,' even stuff people made. We still had to bring it back and let her sort through it all, but then Becky and I would go through and put together our 'trade' and 'keep' piles. Ahh, good times.

And it looks like the good times don't have to stop just because you grow up. I came in this morning to find my cube had been webbed. I can't even stand up, but it's pretty damn cool. I'm guessing my neighbor Jen was here a little late last night. Oh, and there's a can of Pledge on my desk as well. Nice touch.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FYE...certainly was entertaining!

I've been inspired by some recent blog-reading to clean out the clutter and maybe fatten up my wallet in the process. Posted some items on Craigslist this week and even sold my old Treo 650 already! If anyone is interested in a wine fridge, fridge cart, or Little Tikes climber/slide, let me know ;-) Next stop was the rarely-used DVD collection, which Ethan and I sorted through and pulled out a number of things we haven't watched in ages. I also took the opportunity to clean through the CD collection, especially since I have everything online these days. Piled the CD/DVDs in my handy Giant shopping bag and headed to FYE, where rumor has it they will pay you for these items!!

The first cashier looks frightened when he sees me and defers to 'Luis,' who is a tall, geeky, music store looking guy with glasses and a goatee. He starts stacking the CDs and informs me they only pay store credit for the trade-ins, despite the giant "WE PAY CASH" sign in their store window. I point him to the sign and he retracts his story a little, saying some stores give cash, and then proceeds to list the other stores in the area that give credit. I repeat the pointing to the sign action a few more times until he says he's allowed to give up to $50 cash. Sigh. I tell him to start with the CDs and tell me when I've hit $50...here's his commentary:

Backstreet Boys: "We just got their new album today!"

'The Bodyguard' soundtrack: "Ah, this brings back some memories"

No Doubt: "Are you sure you want to get rid of this one?"

At the end of the CDs, I'm only at $20-something, so I start handing over DVDs. Not long after he tells me 'Weekend at Bernies' is going to make a comeback, I hit $48. I hand over My Best Friend's Wedding...$0.50. Dr. Dolittle 2...$3.00. Seriously. Three dollars for that horrible movie? Did they stop making it because it was so bad and it became a collector's item?? At this point, I have exceeded the $50 cash limit ($51.25 to be exact), but my new buddy Luis tells me he won't tell if I won't. I pick up the remaining DVDs and tell him I'll be back in a few days for another transaction.

Notes (because I'm sure there will be questions):
  • I LOVE the wine fridge...I'm only getting rid of it because I bought a bigger one. Never go to a wine tasting by yourself with a 25% off coupon
  • Yes, I use a Giant shopping bag. It's probably the only nice thing I do for the environment, but I really do it because I can fit 6 plastic bags worth of groceries into one of these bags. And I can carry 4 of these at a time, which means I can unload my truck in record time. Plus I don't have 19,000 plastic bags hanging around the house until I remember to take them to daycare so they can send them right back home full of Eric's drooled-on bibs.
  • Yes, I like the Backstreet Boys. I actually struggled with getting rid of those CDs, but they play on Sirius enough that I think I'll be okay. No, I did not buy the new album.
  • No, I do not still sing along to "I Will Always Love You." Not the CD anyway.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Things that make you smile :-)

Ethan went to play paintball this morning, so the boyz and I hung out, ran some errands, bakes brownies, nothing too exciting. In the middle of lunch, I realized we had a friend hanging out next to the house...

We get deer visitors pretty often (usually 5+ at a time), but they're normally not so close to the house in broad daylight and they usually run when they see me going for the camera. So it was kind of cool to actually get a picture for a change (although the 2nd one scared the living daylights out of me when I went on the deck...she was RIGHT next to the fence).

After lunch and naps, Evan and Ethan holed up in the basement to watch the Eagles beat the Vikings--if the Vikings had won, I would have had a perfect football pick for the week so far. Eric helped me clean out my closet and get the Goodwill donations together...kind of funny what kept him entertained for the better part of an afternoon!


Anyway, despite a looooong dreary rainy week stuck inside with a sick kid, the weekend made up for it! Although I do have to go back to work tomorrow. Probably should work the entire week in the office too. :-(

And the sun shines again...

After most of a week with Evan, I was looking forward to a little escape on Friday night. Until our babysitter called out sick. Nooooooooo! Amazingly enough, one of the daycare teachers that both kids love was available and willing to come over in the pouring rain at the last minute. Hooray! We spent the evening with a few newly-parented friends also in need of a night out at Chima's, not realizing until just before going there that this was going to be a meat-fest...still, it was some good meat :-) Afterwards, we headed to Gordon Biersch for dessert and drinks...yum!

Saturday we woke up to more rain, and decided to skip the Boo Zoo and alternate plans (sorry Em, it was just a little longer of a drive than we wanted to do!), and enjoyed a movie until--surprise!--the sun finally showed its bright self again. Later in the afternoon, we had some family time with the Potomac crowd and hardly saw Evan until it was time to go...a definite sign of a good time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 3

We've watched Cinderella (twice), Cars, Aristocats, Little Einsteins Firebird Rescue (three times), various Little Einsteins episodes, and have now moved onto Lady and the Tramp.

The good news is that all the rest seems to be doing Evan good, and he's actually starting to get a little antsy at the end of a movie. The bad news is that I don't think I want to watch another Disney movie until 2010.


Maybe he'll be ready to go back to daycare tomorrow? At least for a couple of hours?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday...better than Monday? Not so much!

Not much sleep for most of the house, as Evan was up constantly coughing and just kind of crying and whining. Clearly, he is SICK, because he's never like this. He finally threw in the towel around 6:30 and came in to tell me he couldn't go to daycare and he needed to go to the doctor. Two phrases I have never heard him say, let alone at the same time, and I hope he never has to say them again. Luckily, we had his 4yo checkup scheduled for that afternoon, so no need to stalk the doctor's office as soon as they open. But I'll get back to that in a minute.

Yesterday was also the joyful day when I got to take Eric for his flu shot. We left the house at 7 am and returned at 10am (to be fair, it's 30 minutes away). Things did not quite go as planned. I assumed we were going for the flu shot the way I go for allergy shots...they stick you, make you wait for a while, and send you on your merry way. We had to see a doctor for this (had I known, I would have requested the doctor we normally see), and the guy we saw spent 20 minutes trying to diagnose Eric's patch of eczema on his face. Hello...we were here 2 weeks ago and everything was fantastic. He's cutting yet another tooth and when he cuts teeth, his face looks as though someone has been using sandpaper to wash it. We have plenty of cream and antihistamine to use and we've been using it, can we move onto the flu shot please! They finally decide to do a quick skin test to make sure he's not really allergic to eggs (fine), but get all out of sorts when one of the tests doesn't seem to be working right. And then they remember he has taken an antihistamine the night before (isn't there a reason they ask all these questions when you get there??). Anyway, no egg allergy, we get the shot, wait for 30 minutes, and on our merry way. I drop Eric at daycare and come home so Ethan can head to work.

Poor Evan is just miserable. He spent the entire day on the couch watching movies and asking if it was time to go to the doctor yet. We finally go and, despite being sick, he knocks his 4 year evaluation out of the park. Tells the nurses about Buck (his stuffed dog), does the visions/hearing tests without me being there, answers all the doctor's questions (and interrupts me to correct me a few times)...he was great. Doctor starts checking him out, trying to see if we can find the cause of the nasty cough and general misery. I'm thinking strep (he kept telling me it hurt behind his tongue), maybe bronchitis, something along those lines. No, not my kid. He doesn't get sick often (he hasn't been to the doctor since his 3 yr checkup), but when he does, he decides to come down with pneumonia. Fantastic. Luckily, it seems like we caught it early enough to just treat with antibiotics, fluids, and rest, so that is the upside. We head home, with a stop by CVS, and tuck my miserable little guy back into his spot on the couch with another movie.

The boyz and I were all asleep by 8:30 last night. I'm hoping everyone slept okay, because the space shuttle could have lifted off of my pillow and I doubt I would have woken up. Evan was up coughing around 5 am, but seemed to settle down with a drink of water, so hopefully he sleeps in a little.

Maybe Wednesday will be a better day? Not off to a great start, since I had to sit in traffic at 6:30 due to all the rain-related accidents.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Whew...

Who knew a great day could turn into an awful night. More guilt that anything else...picked the boys up from daycare and Eric attached himself to my leg, started wailing, and pretty much didn't stop. Picking him up made it a little better, but makes it tough to cook dinner, so I made spaghetti and meatballs with my crying appendage. Ethan was running late, so the boys and I started without him. Evan picked out the meatballs and refused the pasta. Eric refused food, period, and milk. The wailing continued. I put him in his room for a little bit for some 'settle down time,' which seemed to help. Brought him back down and the wailing commenced. Evan continued to boycott the pasta. I declared bedtime for anyone who wasn't going to eat dinner, mostly because the wailing was starting to cause a ringing in my ears. Eric went to sleep pretty quickly, but Evan was awake (singing/talking/coughing) until his regular bedtime.

I hate being a mean mommy :-(

Thankfully Evan has his checkup tomorrow, so we can get the cough checked out (maybe time for new allergy medicine??). And maybe Eric will cut the last eye tooth, since I think that's the reason for all the wailing. Please don't let it be an early start to the terrible twos...

The Great Pumpkin (Patch Field Trip)

What a day...I am once again in awe of stay at home moms, teachers, nannies, anyone who spends the majority of their waking hours entertaining and educating small children. I love kids (especially my own), but I do not have the energy to keep up with them all day every day!! Whew!

Evan's pre-K class went to the pumpkin patch at Cox Farms today, and I went along as a 'chaperone.' Not a bad deal, I just knocked $100 off the tuition bill for the year, went to the pumpkin patch for free, and had some great quality time with Evan. And I didn't have to go to work on an absolutely gorgeous fall day. We went down the slides about a hundred times, yelling pickles and hot dogs (I don't know, Evan told me to do it!), went on a hayride, did the rope swing, ate some apples, and of course picked out a pumpkin. Somehow we managed to go the entire trip without needing to go to the bathroom, which is good since there were only porta-potties there, although it would have made me realize earlier in the day that Evan had his pants on backwards (saw it on the bus ride back to daycare).

Being silly on the bus...we started a frightening trend of boys wearing their mom's sunglasses :-)



Evan and one of his buddies acting goofy


Evan after the witches on the hayride scared the bjeebies out of him
(but it was pretty funny to watch him jump in his seat)


The little men trying out the rope swing...none of them were very good at it, so mostly they just jumped in the pile of foam underneath the rope. The moms got plenty of entertainment value out of watching them be silly though!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Never a dull moment!

When shopping, that is. I'm actually starting to think it might be me!!

Saturday, Evan and I went to Target to return a few birthday gifts and pick out some useful fun items. Kind of a fun trip, despite him insisting that we chant "Go Diego Go!" throughout the store. And he wonders why we returned the Go Diego game backpack. Anyway, we pick up some new things (Cars sheets and a new dinosaur to add to the collection) and head to the cash register. Total seemed a little high, but I didn't want to hold up the line behind me, so I pay, move out of the way, and look at my receipt. Seems we paid for TWO dinosaurs, even though only 1 is in the bag. I wait to get the cashier's attention and say "I think you rang up the dinosaur twice." She does not pause, blink, breathe, NOTHING before saying "No I didn't." Ummm...kind of rude, don't you think? Just because you're a Target cashier doesn't put you above making a mistake, does it? I hold up the bag with 1 dinosaur and show her the receipt with 2 dinosaurs, she makes the adjustment and we're on our way.

Today I had a marathon of errand running to do (Lowe's, Walmart, Costco, Target--yes, again, Total Beverage, CVS, and Michaels). Lowe's and Walmart were useless (didn't have what I needed at Lowes and spent more time in the checkout line than anywhere else in the store). I get to Costco and show my membership card and see the words "Replace Card" scrawled on the back with a marker. The last time I got gas, my card wouldn't work, and the lovely attendant put that on there so I would get a new card and not have to hunt him down the next time I needed gas. Kudos to him, as I immediately moved to the membership line to get my card. And there I waited. Apparently it was a popular day to sign up for new memberships with credit cards, which take a really looooooong time. I stand back a little bit so that people have room to walk, which leads people to assume I am standing there just waiting for life to pass me by and they should clog up the aisle and jump in front of me in line. I had the same conversation three different times:

Me: Excuse me, there's a line.

Idiot: Oh, I need to get a new card/replacement card/talk to the membership people

Me: So do I, that's why I'm in line

Idiot: Are you sure you're not in the line for returns? (I kid you not, more than one person made some version of this remark to me)

Me: I'm sure...the line for returns is over there. With all the people holding stuff that they'd like to return.

Idiot: Well I thought you were waiting in the return line.

Me: Well, I'm not.

How is it that some random customer thinks they know why I'm standing in line? I swear to you, I had the above conversation with TWO different people!!!! I was also nearly knocked off my feet by some lady desperate to buy a clock, but I was behind a very nice guy in line who moved my cart for me while I ran to grab a box of diapers (duh, Jessica, diapers are ALWAYS on the Costco list!)

And, to close out my shopping adventures, Eric and I went to CVS this afternoon to pick up one allergy medicine and get a refill of another (allergies are killing me this fall!!). We go to the prescription drop-off and wait. And wait. And then listen to a man in front of us yell at the prescription people because he had been there for an hour before finding out they were out of his prescription. And wait some more. And listen to a manager reprimand the employees for not telling that man about his prescription and how they should be more attentive to customers and treat them like people. Oh, and then I waited a little more. Someone finally comes to take my order and I think I would have rather waited longer for someone a little more, well, smart, for lack of a better word. Apparently I'm supposed to know the generic name AND spelling of the prescription refill that I need (Flonase, really, not that uncommon of a prescription these days!!). Someone else finally comes over and physically hands her the bottle of what I need. She tells me it will be 40 minutes. To slap my name on an already-measured bottle of nasal spray.

Eric and I immediately move to checkout, I figure I'll get the Flonase another day (have a few days worth at home, no big deal). Despite the fact that there are FIVE people working behind the counter, it takes 10 minutes for me to get to the front of the line (only 2 people in front of me). Eric is in one hell of a mood, and the guy in front of me is giving us evil looks while I try to distract him with high-fives, pounds, finding my nose, etc. The lady behind us is much nicer, thankfully. She said hi, which puts him into immediate shy mode, which also keeps him from being in a mood. Where was I? So we get to the line, spell my name 3 different times, and am informed the 40 minute prescription is also ready. I'd like to be irritated at the lady who said it would take 40 minutes, but hey, I just saved myself a trip back to CVS, so not worth it.

And that ends this weekend's shopping adventures!!