Saturday, December 27, 2008

141 Christmas in Dixie

Definitely NOT a white Christmas down South this time! It is 75 degrees as I type this, and it has been hovering around that for a few days. Even in the South this is unheard of!! We have brown Christmases quite frequently, but not short sleeve Christmases! Hard to get in the mood when you are sweating.

Well, not so hard when you have an excited 6 year old. She sure doesn't care what temperature it is. As soon as Grammy walked through the door with wrapped presents Katie wanted to open one. We do open one present on Christmas Eve, but it was hard to convince Katie that she had to wait. She talked about it non-stop from that point on. And then we had to tell her she could not open it until right before bedtime. That is the main reason that I did not wrap her presents early. She would have been unbearable! And Connor would have ripped them to pieces.

Mom and I did get to do some junkin'! Tuesday we hit the new Goodwill Clearance Center in Hernando. WOW! These huge bins of clothes, book, and junk! You have to dig through them to find your treasure, and we were not as zealous as we could have been. As soon as we walked in I spotted this wonderful wreath! And a great Santa dish for our gingerbread cookies. I sifted through the book bins and came up with a few good finds. But the true FIND of the day was in the back of the store. I was looking through one row of furniture when I saw it, a wonderful old chair! Only one problem, another woman was already looking at it. She had her grubby hands all over it! She was turning it to the sides, testing its stability, and checking underneath. I walked behind her, barely glancing at the chair. Can't let her know I am interested! So, I pretended to be looking at the crud that was around us. She set the chair flat, she stepped back from it, and she took a few steps away. I GRABBED THAT CHAIR SO FAST!! I still had books in one hand, and I was trying to fit it in our cart, but I was so excited I dropped the poor chair! Who in their right mind could have passed up this chair for $12.50!!?? (the Rockband Guitar came later)
I also found a really nice wool sweater from Old Navy that will fit Katie next year. Altogether I spent $19.69!! Not bad at all :) And that chair, it tended to be the favorite spot to sit when we had the whole family here. And it is the perfect chair for the drummer in Rockband!! Of course, I bought it to take pictures in, but I think it can pull double duty for now. We did go to the Salvation Army (or the Sally as it is affectionately called by the junking community), but we only found a few little things. They did have a whole collection of owls that were adorable, but I did not want to go overboard. And since I could not decide which one I liked the best, I just let them all stay there. Katie got an old pair of metal safety scissors for 59 cents. Connor did find his own outdated Christmas bell. Katie got one a few years back from a junk store in Atlanta, dated 1997. Connor's is dated 2000.

We also stopped by Walgreen's to pick up some nail polish to give ourselves manicures (which we never did). We also got a face mask to do, but Katie is the only one that did it, and she only did about half of her face before she started complaining that it burned. Apparently she is not a believer in the "no pain, no gain" school of beauty. She was content to play around most of the time, so we never got around to painting our nails. I will be taking our fabulous selection of nail polishes to Atlanta. We have hot pink, blue, and purple. We will be STYLIN'!

Wednesday, Katie and Daddy had a date. They went to see Desperaeux and do a little shopping. I think that might get to be their little tradition. They both love going to the movies, and it will give me time to do some last minute stuff. Hopefully Katie will let Connor join in when he is older. Mom and I went to Kohl's. It was not as much of a madhouse as I thought it would be on Christmas Eve. We found Connor a winter coat. And my Mommy bought me a couple of tops. Thanks Mommy!! And, we decided that since we did not have enough to do we would look for an apron. I have a horrible tendency to fling food upon myself when I am cooking, so you would think I would have an apron, but I just have never gotten around to buying one. And of course, there was not one to be found. For awhile Hancock Fabric had a TON of them, but they were all out. We did buy some fabric to make our own. The kind with the apron already printed on it, and to be really crazy we bought enough to make three. Then we decided to make them reversible, so we bought three panels of another pattern. Yeah, we are pretty much nuts!

Katie finally got to open her one present. She was so excited. But we needed to bake cookies for Santa first. I love the picture that Mom took of our hands! I especially love Connor's little head as he ran around.We even made her eat dinner and take a bath before she could open it. I am pretty sure she thought we were just trying to torture her. I tried to sidetrack her by wrapping a strangely shaped package, but she ended up choosing the big package from Grammy.

The we just had to get the kiddos to sleep! Katie and I went in the front yard to put out the Reindeer Food. In the distance we could see a really bright light headed our way. Santa was on his way and Katie needed to get in bed FAST! Connor did not want me to tuck Katie in first. He was screaming and bawing. So, I took him upstairs. Katie crawled in bed with Grammy. They were all out like a light ... including Grammy. I just let her sleep. I had to make her stocking anyway! I finished it up, and we got all the presents out and wrapped, stockings filled. We were in bed at 4:30. Then I was the one out like a light!

Three hours later I was awoken by Katie "Mom, is it time to wake up?" She said it was 7:58, but when I looked at the clock it was 7:28 ... I went and woke up Connor and Daddy, then I let her come into the living room to see what Santa had brought! Is there a better feeling than being a kid on Christmas morning?? Well, until you have kids of your own. It was all going great. Katie was opening presents. Santa brought a PS3 and Rockband. She got her Nintendo DS and games. She got a bunch of other stuff ... then the inevitable happened. Katie ruined Christmas. She started crying because Santa had not brought her the 6 makeups she asked for!! CRYING!!! She got a ton of other stuff, but those 6 cheapo make-ups she wanted just ruined it. Oh the joy I have to look forward to every year from here on out!! I must have done the same thing as a child (Mom, backs that one up) and I know my brother Geof did. One year he returned EVERYTHING he got because he did not get the car radio he wanted. She did eventually calm down. She helped Connor open his presents and the rest of the day went much better. We cooked and cooked. Mom and I made my apron, the other two are still in panel form. Chip's parents made it out in time to eat. A few hours later his sister Lauren and her two youngest showed up. Katie LOVES her cousins, especially Tori. We had a great time playing Rockband and hanging out.

Lauren and Tori ended up spending the night so that they could do some shopping the next day. Now, I love my in-laws. I love Katie spending time with Tori. I love them being here, but it is extra stressful. Connor is used to having Mommy to himself, pretty much. The house was too loud and he couldn't sleep. We finally got him down, for a bit, and then he would be woken up by dishes clanking or laughing. Finally, all us girls got out and rode by Graceland to see the Christmas lights. We made it just at midnight on Christmas night.
Merry Christmas from Dixie!!
That is enough of an update for now. I am headed to Atlanta tomorrow, so I will be computerless for a week. That should be enough pictures to hold ya over! Happy Holidays!
Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

140 Disappearing Act

I was doing pretty good. Blogging along at a normal pace, then the Christmas Crunch came. You know, when you are agonizing over what to get, and did you get enough, and should you buy just one more thing. Katie, fairly easy to buy for. Narrowing down what to buy is the hardest thing. Connor, so very hard. He is 14 months, just at that age where he is between stages of toys. And it does not help that we have a ton of Katie's old toys that are perfectly boy appropriate. Katie loved blocks, and Matchbox cars, and play tool sets. So, we have to get him stuff without duplicating or flooding him. Yeah, I know he does not care about Christmas, and he doesn't get the whole "gift" thing, BUT Katie does! This might be her last year to really believe in Santa and I am not going to ruin it by trying to tell her that Santa knew Connor had too many toys. Santa wouldn't do that!! And I have to remember not to let her see me buy anything that goes in his stocking.

Mom came in town on Sunday. We have done a little shopping, but nothing crazy. Well, tonight/today we did go to Walmart at 1:30 in the morning. We had to wait for Chip to get home to be with the kiddos, and I did not want to go to Walmart during normal people hours. I want to keep SOME of the Christmas Spirit! And I think we are pretty much done. Thank Goodness!!! I hate shopping, and I really hate shopping with 5 million other people. I do have one more gift to buy ...

The camera has not been put to use lately. You would think I would take more pictures while my Mommy is here, but no. I know she hates it, so I try not to go crazy with the camera. Plus, it is my time to relax and enjoy time with my Mom. We will take some pictures. Probably on Christmas, and after. I want to do another "make-up" picture! I love the one of us from a few years ago (March 2006) when Katie did our makeup. She still loves makeup and I have a feeling she will be getting some more to add to her collection on Christmas.

I did get a few pictures when Katie stole the "70's Dress" when I was showing it to Mom. She was stumbling around in it. Falling over the hem, repeatedly. She tried to tell me that I could not take pictures of her! AS IF! I have told her before, if you don't want me to take pictures -then stop being cute! She has yet to stop being adorable, so I get to keep taking pictures!

too bad she was laying on my gnarly floor! Grrr, Construction Grade Carpet!! If you have the chance to upgrade when building, DO IT!! Better yet, go with wood floors!

Its 4:30 in the morning and I am babbling even more than usual ... so I am going to go now. YAY, sleep! Sweet Sleep!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

139 Our Visit with Santa ...

was totally ruined. Connor did not scream at all! I have such wonderful pictures of Katie with her face turning redder than Santa's suit, but could Connor oblige me?? NO! I remember at the time being upset that Katie's Santa pictures had her crying (and by crying I mean - bawling hysterically), but now those are my very favorites. Maybe if Connor had to do it on his own he would have broke down, but he had his Katie right beside him the whole time. What a lucky boy to have a wonderful sister like that! He did think about crying when I handed him over to Santa and stepped back, but he calmed down pretty quickly. Poor Katie had a "sleepy mouth" as her dentist calls it. She had the last of her crowns put in today, and I was hoping her mouth would have thawed out (Chip hates that I say thawed, but it seems frozen to me so it fits) by the time we got to Santa. We gave it a little over three hours, but we did not want to push it too much longer in the mall. When we left a little after 4 o'clock it was just starting to gear up. We did hit Toys'R'Us before we went to the mall and it was pretty busy, but they had all the cash registers open so checkout was pretty easy.

Back to the Santa visit. The kiddos did not want to look at the camera at the same time. Connor definitely was not thinking about smiling. Katie, she tried so hard to smile, but her little mouth was numb. I did my best. I was standing by the camera, literally jumping up and down like an idiot. They were both looking, kinda smiling ... she was about to snap the picture ... and then Chip spoke! Connor's head whipped to the side right as the camera clicked. Chip was lamenting his lack of camera to capture my idiocy. So, back to jumping I went, but they were totally on to me by then. We ended up going with the very first picture they shot for our package. It was the least bad of the bunch. I think I might have caught a few that were better, but you can't take your own pics unless you buy theirs.

After the pictures were done, Chip collected Connor so that Katie could tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. As we were walking away from Santa, Chip asked her what she told Santa. Four make-ups and a Nintendo DS. That girl can't get enough make-up.
Connor enjoyed his candycane, as evidenced by the candy drips on his vest.Katie picked out her special ornament for this year. Amazingly, not the Hannah Montana ornament either! She chose the Barbie "A Christmas Carol" ornament. She has been asking for that movie for Christmas since we learned it was coming out, so it is a very fitting ornament for this year. Yes, we did try to buy the movie for her early, but she insisted that she wanted to get it on Christmas.

And, what ends a day better than popcorn and a movie? Katie picked out "Barbie in The Nutcracker" for our family movie. I popped and buttered the corn. Connor stole the corn! He popped the first piece in and chewed away, so I gave him his own little bowl. When he was done feeding himself, he decided to help feed Katie. Such a thoughtful little man.

138 Pie is Good

Yes, I am still talking about PIE! I really really like PIE! In fact, last night when I was eating PIE I was noticing how beautiful the beads of sugary goodness were on top of the meringue. Yeah, I just had the PIE pan and a fork ... what of it??!! That pie is good. It is the perfect thing to cheer you up or calm you down. Oh, the beauty of PIE! And so you won't think that I have only been thinking of PIE, I will tell you about Connor's new obsession. CLIMBING ON THE COUCH! Oh my goodness does that boy love to climb. The moment you turn your back he vaults up onto the couch. He toddles his way to the arm, and he leans over, and then he begins to jerk any Christmas ornament he can reach off the tree. Thank goodness I have been making a bunch of new soft felt ornaments! You just have to make sure he does not climb over the arm of the couch! YIKES!

I don't remember Katie being this rambunctious! Sure, when she was older she would do rolling leaps off the couch, but at this age I don't think we were constantly worried that she would split her head open. Maybe I have just forgotten ...

So, here are the latest additions to the tree. The ones I have to pick up at least five times a day from the floor.

You know, I think I still have some PIE left in the fridge!

137 The Vidiots!

Monday, December 15, 2008

136 Christmas with Friends

Sunday we had a little get together with one of our groups of friends. The B's and the G's. They probably would not care if I use their last names, but I don't like to just throw everyone elses information out like that :) So anyway, we decided to cook a holiday meal and let the kiddos exchange their gifts before the real holiday crush begins. The kids were just excited that they would be allowed to open presents early! Katie talked about it all day, and the day before that, and the day before that. Pretty much from the moment I told her that she would be exchanging presents with Jaclyn, Chase, and Jacob she talked of little else. All day long she asked if it was time to go. Up until the moment we got in the car she was chomping at the bit. Not that her enthusiasm waned at all in the car, she just stopped asking if it was time to go.

What child would not be excited when confronted with this!!We all prepared a part of the meal, but poor Charity bore the brunt of the work since we held the dinner at her house. But, like she said, she has a husband to help her with housework! (Toya and I are thinking about sending our hubbies to Charity's Husband Training Academy) Dinner was delicious! Turkey and dressing, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, and rolls. We even managed to get the kids to eat some of it. Although it was accompanied by a discussion about whether or not Santa is real. They used the "hand raising method" but I was happy to see that no one raised their hands to "Raise your hand if you DON'T believe Santa Claus is real." PHEW! Connor had bites laid out on his tray, and he seemed to be enjoying his meal. The kids opted to wait on dessert so they could get straight to the presents ... big surprise, huh. Most of the presents were a big hit. Jacob loved his Nerf Ball gun, and he started using it immediately. Charity was very thankful for its addition to her house :) I am pretty sure she was saying "thank you thank you thank you" in her head right about now .... or something like that. Jaclyn was disappointed though because Katie got a Hannah Montana Magic 8 Ball. Which was a little funny to me since Katie was a bit disappointed that I had not bought her the same vase painting kit that Jaclyn received. I am sure they will both live. I will probably go back and get Katie the painting kit, and Toya might head back to get another Magic 8 Ball. It is amazing to me that slapping Hannah's face on something makes it the BEST THING EVAH! And Connor, well he just wanted to walk around the house, but we made him open presents anyway. If he knew how to talk, he would NOT have asked for the presents before dessert!! And Chase, he wanted Connor's front-end loader, too. I think he knew that his Daddy was planning on stealing his to play with anyway.We were not supposed to do adult gifts, but I brought Charity and Toya each a felt ornament I had made. Of course that did not come close to the Wii Game that Charity got both of us. Now, I just need to get Chip to hook the Wii back up to the tv!

Mainly, we just had a good time hanging out with each other, watching the kiddos play. We especially enjoyed watching them play with the Sears train that was supposed to be around the tree. It ended up chugging around the room though.

And then there was PIE! Charity made pecan and I made chocolate. I had a little of each. YUM!! Nothing ends a night better than pie! And it makes a pretty good breakfast, too!