Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas 2006

That picture says it all :) It was a great Christmas morning at our home. Jaina had requested three presents: 1. A Princess Bike 2. A big pink doggie and 3. A Barbie laptop computer. I think she was surprised by the Dora Wishing Fairy doll and delighted by the Ariel sleeping bag. She also loved the presents that Gray picked out for her, namely the Birthday play set. Gray also made her a personalized pink pooh blanket that has instantly become her new favorite.

Jayce wasn't very interested in opening presents this year. Or last year, for that matter! Its been my experience that kids don't really get into the whole present thing until they are over three. He watched Jaina open her Barbie Laptop computer and immediately wanted it! We tried to distract him with opening a present of his own, but he'd have no part of it! He was MAD, with a capital M!

Anyway, we ended the day on a good note. I think for once in his life, Brian actually enjoyed this Christmas. He got the one thing he wanted (a MP3 player to take to the gym), a surprise present (a cell phone), and didn't have any major toys to put together :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Its almost Christmastime!!!

And Jaina is so excited! Not so much for the baby... he has no idea what is going on. He just likes to take ornaments off the tree :) We started decorating immediately after Thanksgiving, much to Brian's dismay. Poor Brian, he still pretends to hate Christmas, but secretly I think he likes celebrating this holiday with his family :)

I am running ragged. You know the saying, "Jack of all trades, but master of none?" That's how I feel. I'm trying to be mommy, wife, housekeeper, photographer, MOMS Club president, doctor, babysitter, and ME all at the same time. I'm giving small percentages to each job just to slide by. Not good. I really need to do some soul searching in January to figure out how to balance my life a little better.

One thing that I tried to be prepared for was Christmas cards. I had all my return address labels ready. I had all my contact information in my outlook program. All I needed was a cute picture to order cards with. I tried for FIVE days to get a picture of my children together in front of the tree. All I wanted was for them to be looking and smiling. I didn't realize it was such a tall order! I finally got one, but upon examining it on my computer, I realized it was blurry. The tree was in focus, not the kids. Damn my automatic focus on my powershot! I should have taken it with my 35mm Rebel, like I do every year. Or else get a decent digital camera! So, I finally just swiped a picture of our family from the Picture People (shhh!!) and ran to Walmart. Unfortunately, then my outlook decided it wasn't going to export my contact files into my hallmark program. UGH!!! I just now got my 100 Christmas cards out a few days ago. So much for being on time, or even early this year!

Jaina is doing well. I got to attend her Christmas program at Covenant last week. She played the handbells with her class very well! Singing, she wasn't as interested in. I have lots of video tape of her being a goof and singing to the ceiling of the chapel. Oh, and bouncing up and down. And twirling. And scratching her itchy tights. And jumping down from the risers.*sigh* But it was fun to hear all the kids sing and the handbells were a beautiful touch. I got to attend her Christmas party as well. We ate chips and cookies, sang songs, played games, and her teacher read us The Polar Express. Anyway, she has asked Santa for three presents: A bike, a barbie laptop, and big pink doggie. I am hoping she won't be disappointed with her laptop when it doesn't look exactly like daddy's from work!

Jayce.... wow, is he a topic all on his own! Before today, I would have said that he was getting better and his screaming was lessening. But I can't say that after today! He's gone to time-out like 5 or 6 times this morning! And I can't blame his vocabulary. Just in the past week, he's learned to say the following words: help, mad, slow down, stop, outside. I am sure there are more, but I can't think of any right now. He is slowly learning patience and phrases like, "not right now" or "jaina's turn" or "mommy does it first, THEN Jayce can". What can I say, he's not even two yet! I just could handle everything without his volume! Since he didn't want to sit on Santa's lap, Jaina made sure Santa knew that he wanted a train. "But," she said, "Just only bring him ONE present. I get THREE". lol

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's been a day


We just got home from attempting to take our Family Portrait, 2006. Didn't go so well. Jayce sure screams an awful lot. My ears are ringing. I just keep telling myself that it has to get better. Its a phase, right?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

To me, Thanksgiving dinner means eating roasted turkey around a huge dining room table, using nice china, surrounded by family and friends.

It is not sitting around my kitchen table, eating chicken, with just me, Brian, and the kids.

So, when I found out my step mom was not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. But, as she reminded me, this was the time to create some new holiday traditions with my family, not always rely on the old ones.

We decided to have Thanksgiving dinner at my Mother's new home here in South Carolina. Great idea, big problem though. She hasn't quite all moved in yet. And to top it off, she came down with some nasty virus that left her with a fever and aching pains. She was in bed for days before the big meal.

But, even with those obstacles, we managed to pull it off. Mom cooked the turkey (I still have yet to tackle that... maybe NEXT year!) and I did the pumpkin pies, the chocolate pudding pie, the stuffing (um, stove top!), the mashed potatoes, the green beans, the corn, the rolls.

And to make it even more like a holiday, my brother Jeff drove all the way up from Atlanta to join us for our meal.

It felt like a real holiday :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Leaves are Falling All Around

Leaves are falling all around
On the housetop on the ground
Leaves are falling on my nose
On my head and hands and toes

The best thing about fall has to be the leaves changing colors! I remember the first fall living in Tucker, in 1990. I was amazed at how beautiful the scenery was, especially on the drive up to Clarksville to visit Kim's parents. Although I don't quite care for the cold, I love seeing the seasons change throughout the year.

Jayce loves to be outside now. He will slide down his little tykes slide over and over and over again until you make him go inside! Sometimes he'll take a break and go crunch in a leaf pile, as he saw his sister do the other day. He also likes to pick up a single leaf and watch it float back down. The other day, when I took most of these pictures, it was warm but windy. Jayce got so excited every time the wind blew all the leaves around! He did his little excited "happy dance" and squealed with excitement. He can also say "cold" now, and tries to shiver when he says it. At first he didn't like wearing a coat, hat, and mittens, but after we are out there a while, he doesn't mind anymore.

Jaina is learning all about Fall in school. She loves to see "naked trees" and loves to help me rake. We finally got enough leaves in our pile to jump in, which she practiced over and over again. Although she did mention that she didn't like the smell of our leaves for some reason? But that didn't stop her from jumping. The cold in the morning/hot in the afternoon is a little confusing to her and it results in switching clothes several times a day!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jaina's Class Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

On Monday, I had the privledge of chaperoning Jaina's 4K class field trip to a local produce farm. Unfortunately, there aren't many actual "Pumpkin Patches" in South Carolina. I have yet to go to one where there are still pumpkins on the vine from which they grew. Typically, each farm just gets pie pumpkins (the smaller size so the kids can pick them up) and throw them out on a field and then let the kids "pick" one out.

Despite the parents being dissapointed, the kids had a blast! The only bad thing was the weather... SUPER COLD! It was in the 30's and the wind was downright frigid! Because we all expected it to warm up to the 50's or 60's, no one had thought to bring hats, mittens, or coats. After getting riding the windy wagon pulled by a tractor, all of us had throbbing ears and ice cold hands. We grabbed our pumpkins, took pictures, then headed back to the farm house. The only place for the kids to eat snack was a picnic area in the shade. Ms. BJ decided to just have everyone load up and head back to the preschool instead.

Brian was a super sport about it, having driven all the way from work to spend just 45 minutes at the pumpkin patch before we left! Jaina was so proud to be the only student there with BOTH her parents present. Since siblings aren't allowed to come, we had to leave Jayce behind with Grandma, but it would have been to cold for him anyway, so he didn't miss much.

Tonight we'll go to a local church and pick out some big pumpkins for us to carve this weekend! We love halloween at our house!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Halloween Photo Shoot

Since starting a part time job at the Picture People portrait studio, I've probably only taken my kids in a handfull of times to get pictures done. One of the whole reasons I wanted the job was for the discount! But, you know how it goes. If I'm there all the time working, why do I want to be there when I'm not? Also, it doesn't help that Jayce *hates* getting his picture taken. I mean, HATES it. Screams bloody murder. Okay, so he's not screaming in this picture. That's only because he was trapped in the pumpkin and my manager was trying to make him smile. It was easier to take his picture then because he couldn't just walk off in the middle of our shoot. Jaina, on the other hand, did wonderfully as usual. She loves getting her picture taken. And she's really at the age where she can listen and follow more complex instructions like, "Tilt your chin down a bit" and "angle your body towards that light". But its hard getting a non-cheesy smile from her! As you can see, Jaina had decided to be Princess Jasmine, from the Disney movie "Aladdin" this year for Halloween. She seems to be keeping with the trend of years past.... Cinderella, Belle (Beauty and the Beast), and Tinkerbell. I realize, however, that I should not wish her to be done with Disney Princesses yet. I've seen what girls that are only a year or two older than Jaina want to dress up as. Believe me, I am fine with princesses. Since Jayce isn't old enough to have an opinion, Jaina got to pick Jayce's costume this year. He is dressed as a tiger... Rajah, Jasmine's tiger to be exact. My crafty mother was on the ball this year and made his costume in plenty of time for all of our halloween festivities. Jayce was just too cute dressed up as a tiger. I briefly thought about painting his face with a nose and whiskers, but nah.... too much work. Maybe for the night we actually go trick-or-treating.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fly Lady- Day 1

A year or two ago, my good friend and neighbor Cindy introduced me to a website that helps organize your house: I didn't think I'd like it, especially knowing that you get up to 15 emails a day. But two years later, I remember my friend Cindy and her always clean house, and I'm thinking I'll just give it a try.

So, I signed up today. I am going to get my house clean and prove to my husband I can keep it clean. I will not let clutter overrun my house. I will show that I can keep this house clean so we can then talk about getting a bigger, better, newer house.

My first task was to clean the sink. Not just clean it, but scrubbed it.

How's it look?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jayce and the play house

So, we've had this plastic play school house for years now. It was given to us from a neighbor who's daughter had outgrown it. We kinda just put it on our porch and forgot about it. Every once in a while, I'll get the urge to bleach it and wash it off. Jaina's never really played with it. Jayce either, until now.All of a sudden, he loves this thing! He likes to crawl in, shut the door, open it fast and say, "Peekboo!" Its too cute! And he convinced Alli, our dog, to get in with him.And Jaina is sure being a good sport about it! She finds other things to do in our backyard and porch. Mainly run around and act like a goof!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Greek Fest

Did you know that Brian is 1/8 true Greek? His maternal grandfather was actually born and raised in Greece. And when Brian was a little boy, his parents took him to the Greek Orthodox Church and he even went to Greek School a bit.

So, every year, we attend our town's local Greek Festival. Its so much fun! And every year, Jaina enjoys it more and more.

We were so afraid we'd miss most of it this year due to my part-time weekend job. Luckily I was able to get an afternoon off, so we made it there an hour before it closed down. There was still food, still dancing, and best of all, no lines for the rides!

Jayce wasn't a happy stroller rider so I ended up letting him walk with his new harness. He doesn't mind the harness... just as long as you are still letting him go where he wants! At Greek Fest, he kept going into the parking lot for some reason. Maybe he wanted to get away from the crowd? At any rate, he LOVED sliding down the big slide. I went with him just to be safe.

Jaina convinced Brian to dance with her. Isn't that sweet?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blah week

I am so bored today. Brian is out of town and I am on strike with cleaning the house. I felt all motivated yesterday, but have absolutely no motivation today. I wish I could go somewhere and come back feeling all refreshed, but instead I have to work at the Picture People tonight.

I like working a part time job, but I wish it was more part time and less of a burden right now.

I have too much on my plate. I am so over MOMS Club right now. I just want to give the presidency to someone else and stop going. My baby Jayce needs sleep so badly right now. Makes me want to take Jaina out of preschool and just stay at home all day. This isn't like me at all, since I normally love being out and about.

Oh, and the picture of Jaina? Its posted because its cute. No other reason. I guess I should find one of the baby now.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Rusty Dilema

Here's the story....

TY, the beanie baby company, filed bankruptcy. To get rid of inventory, TY shipped loads of stock to non-profit and govt funded programs and groups. Our local library got a shipment, for example, and so did district 7's program for teen moms.

So, for Jaina signing up for the summer reading program, she got a free Beanie Baby. Rusty, the Red Panda, to be exact.

Jaina doesn't really play with anything that's not a dog or a cat (or pink!), so she just kinda tossed it aside. Jayce picked it up in the car and started loving on it, so she said, "Here you go baby Jayce... he's yours now. I'll give him to you."

He carried that darn thing around everywhere with him. And if someone (like another kid) came by and swipped it, Jayce would pitch a fit.

Then, he started purposely trying to find it before he would ask to nurse. And it had to come to bed with him.

He's since become attached to one of Jaina's old baby blankets, too. If he sees one, and not the other, he gets very upset. We try to keep both in his crib during the day so we always know where they are, but little stinkerpot knows how to drag his toy tractor over to the crib so he can stand up and reach his prized possesions through the bars.

I don't know when it was, but Jayce started chewing on Rusty's face. We kinda thought it was funny that he wanted to walk around with this beanie baby hanging from his mouth, so we didn't think anything of it.

The problem?

This is Rusty now

Jayce has completely chewed into the fabric/fur on the face and the plastic nose is hanging on by a thread. Its a serious choking hazard. I really don't know what's keeping the nose on anymore. Maybe glue? Which is also a problem if he's sucking on it.

If we just go on EBay and buy him another one for $10 includding shipping, I'm pretty sure he'd just do the same thing again.

I think we decided to let Gray take the nose off and fashion a new cloth one on there!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Click on the thumbnail to hear Jayce (and grandma) sing the song.

Jaina's View through the camera

Jaina took these digital pictures all on her own: