***

***

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas, In Review.

We had a quiet, all-day-pajama-wearing kind of Christmas yesterday. 

The kids were excited to open their gifts, and proceeded to play with each and every toy they received throughout the course of the day.
After a couple of hours, it looked like Toys-R-Us had vomited it's contents onto our living room.
Nerf darts were whizzing past my head, a basketball was bouncing off the ceiling fan, and Snow White was having a tea party. All at the same time.

If you don't think I have enough children to make all of those things happen at the same time, think again:

Ahem.


Derek. My sweet boy. It was nice knowing you.
I don't know why you have fallen so hard for some plastic hippos, but I am glad you have found your one true love.
I never knew a game meant for more than one player could keep a 3-year-old's attention for hours on end.

Alex has been gifted with every piece of art paraphernalia known to mankind.
 We might already be running out of paper.


Boppa stayed to watch the "opening ceremonies" but then needed to get on the road.

You know what they say, out with the old and in with the new also old.
Yep, today your good friend and mine, Pat the Bunny, was on her way.

Unfortunately, this happened overnight:

And PtB's flight was canceled.
Boo!
She wasn't able to get on another flight until Tuesday, which is a bummer.
We were looking forward to a longer visit, but sometimes things just don't work out the way we plan, I suppose.

And to think, I had stocked up on a full week's supply of paper towels.
I have mentioned PtB's affinity for paper towels, have I not?
I'm not exactly sure what she does with them, but you will never have a roll disappear as fast as when she is around.
This visit, I plan to hide a camera near the paper towel roll and see just what she's up to.
I will keep you posted, naturally.

We took the kids outside a couple of times today, since you can't count on a snow like this falling every winter in North Carolina.



When we got back in the house after our first romp in the snow, we realized that we had lost power. The recording at the electric company said that the crews were working on it, and it should be resolved by midnight.
It was noon.
The temperature in the house was starting to drop, and we were starting to think about locating matches, candles, and flashlights just in case.
Or should I say, Josh was starting to do those things.
After having spent the whole of Christmas day in my jammies, and not having made it to the shower yet, I had my priorities.
And they involved not having smelly armpits.

I was concerned that electricity might be necessary to keeping the hot water tank, well, hot. So I jumped in the shower as fast as I could and thankfully there was plenty of warm water.
I would hate to turn into a human popsicle under any circumstances, but being frozen and stinky was too much for my little mind to contemplate.

Once I had my shower, I was feeling more a like a pioneer out on the prairie, with nothing between me and the blizzard by my thin blanket clasped around me, and wearing all the clothes I own on my back.

Except, not in a log cabin. And with thick blankets. And too many clothes to wear at the same time.

Oh, leave me alone. I loved Little House on the Prairie when I was growing up.

Go ahead, ask me anything. There's no episode I haven't seen multiple times. You cannot stump my LHotP knowledge.


Then the power came back on.
And I didn't feel so much like a pioneer anymore. Which was okay, because I had a hankerin' for a cuppa hot tea. And I needed my microwave.

That is all.
Hope you and yours had a merry little Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas Eve

I have a present or twenty to wrap still tonight, so I shall be brief.
Just wanted to share with our faraway family some pictures from Christmas Eve.

It has, of course, been a busy week. Among the regular Christmas hustle and bustle, I made my visiting father in law install a new ceiling fan, watched Derek break a fall with his lip (didn't pan out so well), gained a new roll around the middle because Boppa likes to eat out (and maybe because I don't like to cook), and I tried to wrap a few gifts at a time in the evenings to avoid the up-all-night-on-Christmas-Eve scenario (yet to be determined if I was successful).
But today was a mostly lazy day around the house. 

The kids and I baked and decorated cookies for Santa.

They turned out better than my pancakes, thank you for your concern.



Alex looks a little devilish here.


Probably because she was about to dump an entire bottle of red sprinkles over one cookie.



Later we headed to the Christmas Eve service at church, where I was reminded how grateful I am for Sunday School classes during regular services.
The are distracting little boogers.


Poor Derek didn't really have a Christmas outfit per se, so I just threw some things together from his closet.
Not sure he could quite pull it off.


Much like I was unable to pull off a decent picture of the two of them together. Low lighting and two wired up kids made it a little tricky.


Once we got home, they were allowed to open one gift, traditionally a new pair of jammies to wear for the opening of gifts in the morning.

I tried again for a picture, but they were busy impersonating the monsters on Derek's new pj's.


Is it weird that my 5 year old still loves footie jammies? Cause she does.


And that was our Christmas Eve.

Just for fun, I went back and read the post I wrote last Christmas. Josh was in Korea, the kids and I were in Michigan, and I was busy chronicling Pat the Bunny's Gone with the Wind ornaments and just generally poking fun at her.
It was a good Christmas, but I'm so thankful that this year our little family is all together.
I hope you all have a Christmas that is Merry & Bright!

So thankful God's most precious gift to humanity, in the form of a tiny infant boy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: Update

All is right with the world.
My e-mail is functioning.

Thank you for your prayers.

Now.
It is 5 days before Christmas. No one has time to blog or read blogs, so I shall keep this short and sweet, and helpfulish.

LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS: 

If you're like me, and your idea of a creative gift is to switch from an Olive Garden gift card to Red Lobster, you may be able to use some last minute gift ideas-- so here you go.

For Him:
This shower gel dispenser.

For Her:
Gift card for the newest rage in spa treatments-- the vaginal steam bath.

You're welcome!

A Case of the Mondays

A tragedy is in progress this morning at my house:

My e-mail has been down for 43 minutes.

I don't know about you, but I'm not quite sure how to start my day without checking my e-mail.
So I will continue to sit here at the keyboard with my hot tea, wearing my black and white arguile woolly socks pulled all the way up, purple capri pj bottoms, and a scowl on my face.
It's a pretty picture, isn't it?
The kids' morning show is about to end and then they are going to expect things.
Selfish things.
Like breakfast and help going potty.

I cannot do these things without knowledge of who may or may not have e-mailed me.

What if I'm desperately needed to help a friend who doesn't have my phone number? What if my husband has e-mailed me to tell me how cute I was drooling onto my pillow as he left for work this morning?
What if I've been tagged in an ugly picture on Facebook? I must know so that I can untag!
What if the Loft is still having their 40% off everything plus free shipping?

Anything is possible. And here I sit uninformed.

It's been 50 minutes now.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chirp.

In a sad turn of events, the vomit comet landed on our house yesterday and remains smoldering in the living room.
Currently illness has been limited to the pint-sized humans, and I'm hoping it remains that way.

Being up in the night cleaning puke got me to thinking. It would be awesome if someone would invent some sort of disposable bag that could be attached to childrens mouths to catch spontaneous vomit, without obstructing their breathing.

Do you know what happens when someone throws up while laying on their back?
I do.

If human beings were more practical, we wouldn't allow our sick children the comfort of blankets and pillows when ill. We would just crank up the heat and make them lay naked on a bed made of plastic. It would make clean-up so much easier.

Anyway, let's move on.

******Public Service Announcement: 8 days until Christmas******

My father in law is in town. He's probably wishing he weren't, what with the whole vomit comet thing going on.
Here's a story for you--

On Tuesday Derek, Boppa, and I went out to lunch. When we got home, we noticed that one of the smoke detectors in the hallway was chirping.

This particular hallway is home to 3 bedrooms, each of which has a smoke detector, plus an additional detector in the hallway.
What can I say?
We're safety conscious people. We have signs posted all over the house.

                                                                          Safety First. 
  
Falling objects can be brutal if you don’t protect your noodle

                                                         Safety glasses: All in favour, say “Eye!”

However, 4 smoke detectors in the same hallway makes it a little difficult to figure out exactly which one is chirping, especially since the chirping was rather sporadic.
So we go about our day, and after several hours of hearing the chirping, we decided we should probably try to figure out which one it is.
First, we try standing in the hallway. Still no luck being able to tell exactly which one it is.
Then we take turns taking each of the removable ones out of the bedroom and into the living room with us, thinking we'd hear it for sure that way.
It wasn't any of those, which made it seem obvious that it must be the hallway one wired to the house.
Eventually after Josh got home from work, the three of us were staked out underneath that one, waiting and listening.
*Chirp*
Nope. Not it.
Seems to be coming from the guest room. We confirm with Boppa that he has no electronics hiding in there, he assures us that no, he does not.
We don't believe him.
Because he is old.
(Hi Boppa! Just kidding about that!)
We enter the room, and I immediately see in his "electronic-free" zone, a cell phone.

After hours of chirp-searching, the truth is revealed:
Boppa had a new text message.

I hope it was a good one.


This just in:
 As I was typing this post, my children, who have been spoiled rotten since feeling ill, and are spoiled in general with the conveniences of modern life, just had a hairy conniption because a commercial dare interrupt their viewing of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Alex looked around from her spot under 2 blankets and holding a bucket, spotted the remote control across the room, and asked Boppa to fast forward through the commercials.
Boppa, not being located anywhere near the remote control, told her that he didn't have the remote.
Alex, always polite and respectful of her elders replied,
"You have feet, Boppa, can't you just walk over and get it?"

Nice.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve. And may the puke bug not find you.

Or me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Comments for Christmas

Today, because I haven't blogged since Sunday, because you probably can't stand any more of my lame "I'm too busy" excuses, and because my father-in-law is snoring on the recliner across the room, I am going to participate in Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge.



I like Joyce. I don't know her in real life, but she reads my blog. And that makes me like her.
It also makes her a charitable sort of person. Because I know those of you who read here are just doing it to be nice to me.
And that's okay.
I'll take you however you come.

But Joyce takes her charity a step further. She leaves me comments.
Oh, comments.
They are like the whipped cream on my latte.
The meatball on my spaghetti. 
The motrin for my headache.
The gas-X for my flatulence.
The bun in my oven.

I'm getting carried away here, aren't I?

What I mean to say is that comments are what I live for.  

Okay, not really.
But I do like them a lot.

PS. Joyce, don't feel as though you need to comment on this post now.

But if you don't, I'll just keep checking my e-mail every ten minutes until you do.
No pressure.

Back to the Hodgepodge-- Joyce lists some questions, anyone can jump in and join by posting their answers.
Let's begin!

1. What does it mean to have the 'holiday spirit'?

Here's a little exchange from my house last night, to give you an idea of my holiday spirit. 

Me: If I have to lick one more envelope, my tongue is going to fall off and I might die. 
Josh: Why aren't you using a sponge? Don't you watch Seinfeld?
**We hear Derek crying from his bedroom.**
Me: Would you go and check on your son? He's crying about having boogies and probably needs a tissue.
Josh: It's your turn to check on him.
Me: Yes, well I gave them baths tonight and wiped a lot of poop today.
Josh: But I'm doing work.
Me: Oh, you're doing work. And what is it that I'm doing?  Do you think salivating on all these envelopes is fun? I AM JUST TRYING TO SPREAD SOME HOLIDAY JOY!
*keeps licking, husband eventually does the checking and necessary boogie wiping*

2. What's tops your tree (s)? Why?

This one of a kind angel made by an up-and-coming artist who now moonlights as a kindergartner.

We once had a star that we had bought as a tree-topper, but it turns out that our $14.99 fake tree from Big Lots circa 2001 couldn't hold up it's weight.
Do you know that if you buy a tree for 15 dollars and use it for 9 Christmases, that you only pay $1.66 for your tree each year?
I should have majored in math, I think.
But this year, we bought a new (fake) tree. It's pre-lit, so you see we're moving up in the world.

3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?

Probably when I managed to find The Best Christmas Jumper Ever.


Which I am considering instituting a new tradition of wearing every Christmas morn.


4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?

My sixth sense.
I see dead people. They're everywhere.

Not really.

How about my sense of injustice?

Me: Why do I always get all jiggly in the middle at Christmastime? Why aren't all of these treats calorie free? Oh the injustice!

5. What is there too much of in your kitchen?

Do you remember this picture?

Well it just so happens that on this very day, I took many a plastic bag to the recycling area at The Walmarts.
So now I will have to go with:

Oranges.

Multitudes of oranges.

My snoring father in law sends us boxes upon boxes of oranges each winter. Which is lovely.
Know what I finally thought to obtain just this very day while recycling plastic bags at the Walmarts?

A juicer.
Come tomorrow morning, the OJ will be flowing. 

6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big meal? Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it?

Ummmm.
Is Papa John's open on Christmas?
Let me get back to you on this one. 

7. What is the best thing about winter?

Sweaters cover a multitude of sins.
Also, leg shaving requirements are null and void.
Unless of course, you actually desire to feel feminine and attractive. Then it would be wise to shave every once in a while.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I have watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas more times than I can count this season. (The animated 30 minute one, not the movie.) The boy has taken a liking to it and requests it every time he gets to watch a show. (read: every time I want him to leave me the heck alone)

Those little Who's in Whoville will grow on you after a while.
I think I'm even up to some more envelope-licking tonight.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Proof is in the Pictures

Here is some photographic proof to follow up on my 1-minute post.

1) Derek loving him some PizzaPizza.


Nothing but the best for our little guy. Little C's hot-n-ready for his first pizza experience.
We didn't want to start him off on Papa John's right away, or we'd set his standards too high.

2) Alex at dance class. (in the black top)


She is an adorable ballerina.

Which is good.
Because she is lacking in the talent department. 

In her defense, she apparently wasn't feeling very well.
Which makes me feel a little bad because mid-way through the class I took her into the lobby, showed her the picture of her recital outfit, and explained that if she didn't wipe the pout off of her face and act as if she liked dancing, she wasn't going to be getting one. 

Seriously. They are $59.25. And if she doesn't enjoy dancing, then I can think of fifty nine and one-quarter reasons not to buy that outfit. 

Turns out that she does enjoy dancing. Only not when mom and dad are in attendance.
Is she fourteen, or what?

But good news! Her cartwheels are becoming more recognizable as such. Before they were more like a somersault vomiting.

video

3) I won second place in the Ugly Christmas Sweater competition at the squadron party. I guess that's what I get for telling everyone who didn't win the leg warmers that they were losers

Because as the No Fear tee shirts used* to say, Second Place is the First Loser. 

(*Unless you are Taylor. In which case, they probably still say it. Because she probably still wears them. Because she uses the word "sike" which indicates living in the past.) 


You have to give me an A for Effort. 
 I was wearing a Christmas print jumper. 
With pockets. 
Underneath a hideous sweater. 


And check out my hot date w/ the semi-ironed pants.
He pulled off a double ugly sweater combo, with a vest over a sweater.
Classy. 



Oh, and the piece de resistance?

The socks. 



Let me tell you, those jumpers are ten kinds of comfy. I could have made 3 more trips to the buffet at least. Roomy. 
I told Josh I'd be keeping it around for my bloated and/or hungry days.
And also in case I homeschool. I'd like to look the part, you know. 



Just kidding my homeschooling friends! I know you don't all wear jumpers. 
But if you'd try one on, I think you'd all agree that you should. 


Did I mention it has pockets?


4) My zitstache has cleared up. No zooming in on those pictures to make fun of me.
I already made fun of myself, so it's really not necessary.



5) Public Service Announcement: There are 12 days 'til Christmas. So If I'm not around much, just picture me licking envelopes and searching through 2,359 e-mails to find addresses that people updated me with throughout the year and I just left sitting in my inbox. 

6) Sometimes it's hard to be me.



Friday, December 10, 2010

1 minute post

I have been totally neglecting my blogligations this week. I have no time to blog now, so I shall keep it under a minute.

Here are the things I would blog about if I had time:

We fed Derek pizza. On purpose. And he didn't die.
Alex had parent watch-day at dance class yesterday. It was an experience.
Tonight Josh and I are going to the squadron Christmas party. It is an Ugly Sweater party.
Pictures will be forthcoming.
My house is a disaster of epic proportions. Laundry, laundry everywhere.
Also everywhere-- dust and dirt.
I have to iron Josh's pants for the party tonight.
I haven't ironed since 2002.
I used a creamy lotion under my nose because it was raw from blowing it a lot from my recent cold.
It made me break out.
I look like I have a Hilter-esque zit mustache, also known as a "zitstache."
I bought some concealer, and am hoping for the best, because as I mentioned, party tonight.
If you see me tonight, and I need to reapply the concealer, just say "Heil Zitler" and I'll get the hint.
I have to go now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This, that, and a cougar.

1) On Saturday, we took the kids to a base Christmas party. They had a box maze, games, and the largest bouncy castle I've ever seen.


Oh, and also a big 'ol F-15E in the background.


It struck me as we wandered around that the kids at the party really didn't even seem to notice the jet in the background. It's funny what types of things become part of a child's "normal."

Alex colored. (Also, do you ever wonder what you're caught doing in the background of other people's pictures?)

(I zoomed in to check. It was just a scratch.)


Derek decorated a cookie.

Don't worry, I brought his own cookie from home. The icing was safe for him.

2) Speaking of which, I've given him a few things to eat with milk in it and so far, so good. But then I watch him like a hawk and think that every sneeze or eye rub must be a sign that he's having a reaction.
It really is a weird thing to knowingly give him something we've tried to protect him from for 3 years.

3) Back to the party--

Obligatory Santa picture.

No way they would have gotten near him if it weren't for the candy canes.

4) My friend Heather, who shall be sailing the open seas with me in February, sent me a link to this article, entitled: "Another sexually charged cougar cruise on deck for weekend."

I kid you not, this is the same cruise line, route, and ship that we will be sailing on. Fortunately, it is not the same date.
I do not want to be mistaken for a cougar.
(If you don't know what is meant by the term cougar, then I applaud you for being in the world but not of it, and I will not pollute your mind.)

But feel free to google it.

Anyway, I have my own younger man right here at home.



Pat the Bunny called to congratulate Josh on his promotion, and admitted that she thought that he looked about 16 years old in this picture.
I tend to agree that he does not look old enough to be a Major.
I just keep hoping that the G's he pulls while flying will age him enough so that we still look like a couple. I'd prefer not to be mistaken for his mother.

5) Company! And lots of it. We haven't seen any of our family since PtB was here in July. But in the next several weeks, we're looking forward to visits from Josh's dad, PtB, and then my father.
Hope you guys like to cook!

Oh, I'm just kidding.
Kind of.

Keep your standards low and everything will work out fine.

6) Derek has some blood work drawn at his last allergy appointment and the results came back today. He had never been tested for inhalant allergens before, only foods, so they went ahead and checked to see if there might be something in the air responsible for his wheezing episodes.
The results were all negative, except for one which came back with a very high allergic response.

Cats.

Good thing we're not really pet people.
And good thing I'm not a cougar.

7) I got new cookware. Think it will help?
At the very least, I can stop killing my family slowly with the toxic particles from my old chipping teflon.
It's the little things that show your family that you love them.

Too bad the old stuff started falling apart in 2002.

8) I love Christmas music.


9) We tried to snap some family pictures on the windiest and coldest day of the season. My planning skills are lacking.

The best we could get was this wind-blown momma with a weird lump in her sweater and a cheesy looking boy with no hand.


10) I just got an e-mail about my 10 year college reunion.
Say it ain't so.
Surely it wasn't 10 years ago that I was hanging out in Ann Arbor with 40 thousand of my closest friends.
Maybe I should go to the reunion.

On second thought, it's a big school and no one will notice if I'm not there.
Just like they probably didn't notice that I didn't show up for graduation.

I was busy getting ready to get married.
And I was too cheap to buy the cap and gown.
Priorities, people.

11) I'm out of random snippets.
So here you go again:


You're welcome.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winner and Losers

It's time to announce the winner of the Baby Frills giveaway!

But first, have you noticed these days on children's teams that we are very careful to let all of the children know that they are winners? On Alex's first t-ball and soccer experiences, there was no score kept, and no losing team.
Whatever, I guess that's okay for 4 year olds. But then comes the end of season party, with identical trophies for every member. What's the deal with that?
I'm all about making sure kids know that they are worthwhile, valuable, and loved. But how do we really encourage someone who excells, and give the others something to strive for, if everyone gets the same trophy?
Alex got a trophy for playing soccer. She played in a month's worth of games and came into contact with the ball once. And it was incidental contact. We even tried to pay her to kick the ball, and that didn't work.
Did she really deserve a trophy?

Well not on my blog, folks!
In the real world, sometimes there are winners. And that means that everyone else is not a winner. Ergo, a loser.
So in order to keep things real around here, I would like to announce right now that if your name is not

Karen G.

then you are a loser.

(Not in life, but just in this giveaway.)

Don't feel bad though! You're in good company. I have entered countless giveaways at The Pioneer Woman's site, and I've been a loser every time. So cheer up!

Oh, and congrats Karen! The Random Number Generator at random.org spit out number 22-- and that's you! Simply shoot me an e-mail at eschore@hotmail.com with your full name, address, social security number, date of birth, medical history, checking and routing number, along with the location of any/all birthmarks, and your leg warmers will be on their way!

Ha.
Just kidding about everything after address.
(Unless you have a really interesting birthmark, and then you can go ahead and fill me in.)


Was I a little harsh earlier? I don't want anyone to leave here sad. 
Oooh. I have an idea! This will make you all happy. Even the losers.

Want to talk about losers?
I have recently come face to face with an image of myself from the 6th grade.

Do you recollect me telling you about my 6th grade self?
Think perm, braces, glasses large enough to correct the vision of a dozen people standing behind me, early 90's fashion, and an affinity for breaking out into sudden Steve Urkel impersonations.
It wasn't pretty.
But at the time I didn't know that.
I thought I was okay.

Maybe not super-popular.

But okay.




I WAS WRONG.


I was the furthest thing from okay.


But doesn't that make you all feel better?

Glad to help.

And now, for your good deed of the day-- share this image with a geeky, nerdy, fashion-impaired preteen girl that you might know.
Tell her there is hope.
Tell her one day she will get contacts. And then Lasik.
Tell her the braces will come off (although remind her to wear her retainer or she will be 31 and contemplating putting the braces back on.)
Tell her her hair will recover.
Eventually.
Tell her that she wont always be clad in denim.

And then tell her that one day, she too may find a hot fighter pilot to marry and with whom to make babies.


But tell her not to show him the incriminating pictures until after the ring is on her finger.


Merry Saturday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baby Frills Giveaway!

It's that time boys and girls-- today begins the giveaway sponsored by Baby Frills, an online shop specializing in handmade baby accessories.

Up for grabs is what you see below--  a set of ruffled legwarmers for girls, or cuffed ones for boys.


The giveaway pair are 13 inches long, which will fit a baby to the thigh, a toddler above the knee, and a child below the knee. Or you can use them as arm warmers too.

Alex has a pair of the longer style and loves them!
They wash and wear really well.
Sassy, isn't she?

Thanks to my friend Erin for donating this item from her shop for the giveaway!

Little known fact-- Erin and I lived in the same hallway our freshman year at the University of Michigan, but we hardly knew each other back then.
It was a long hallway.
And narrow too.
Like a cruise ship.

And the rooms?
Miniature.
Not sure how I survived.

Anyway, Erin later married a guy we knew from ROTC, and we went to their wedding.
Then they went to ours.
We lost touch for a while as they were stationed in England, and eventually we reunited back in Idaho for an assignment out there.

Now they are in New Mexico, and have FOUR children.
As in, one more than three. I'm good with numbers.
Crazy, I tell you.
Erin homeschools her two oldest, and apparently has time left over to start a business.

I knew I didn't like her for some reason, but I never could put my finger on it.
Now I know-- overachiever.
Makes me look bad.

To enter the giveaway, visit Erin's Etsy site here. Look around a bit, and then leave a comment on this post that you visited her site, or what your favorite item is, or that I'm an awesome person. A winner will be randomly drawn this weekend. 
Don't be lame! Comment!
Why?
Because I'm nice!
I'm friendly!
I'm hungry!

And no excuses-- you don't have to have an account to comment, just use the "anonymous" option. But sign your name at the end of your comment so I know who you are.

These make great gifts, so even if you don't have a little one at home, 'tis the season for giving gifts.

Good luck!