Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday. Even when you're sick it can't change the beauty of Christmas- that Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind was born.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Last weekend we went to Maple Row Christmas Tree Farm in Connecticut for our annual cutting of the tree. Every year we head up there, take our tractor ride out to the fields, find our perfect tree, cut it down, ride the tractor back, and enjoy hot cocoa and donuts as we wait for the "tree-pick-up" guy to haul our tree down from the hill and beautifully wrap it in twine for us, ready to be strapped to the car. (Actually I should note here, that since our car does not have a roof rack, among a host of other nice modern features, that our friends the Schmidts strap our tree to their handy car as well. Thank You Michael!) Either way, it's been a great tradition and every year I have loved my beautiful fir tree.
Not this year.
Somehow we were dropped off by the tractor in the land of the Blue Spruce. First off, I've never been very partial to the blue-tinged tree. Instead, I prefer a really lush, dark green. But no matter how far I foraged in this field there was none to be found. To top that off, every tree that we found that was "good enough" ended up having a crazy twisted trunk. (That is a"no-go" if you want to avoid a battle of engineering to get your tree to stand up straight).
After searching long and hard, we finally just gave up and picked the only one we could find that didn't have scoliosis.
We got that over with, assuring ourselves that it would be beautiful once decorated, and heading back down the hill for the much anticipated cocoa and donuts. Guess what? They were sold out! (Karma is not on my side this year) Luckily for us, New Yorkers are obsessed with their Dunkin Donuts and they are on every other street corner.
We got the tree home and quickly learned that a Blue Spruce is not only very blue but full of killer needles, that we have now dubbed "torturous blades of pain." The simple act of hanging ornaments requires one to wear gloves. It hurts so bad, and being the control freak that I am in regards to the tree decor, it was all my pain to suffer! Why would someone breed this type of tree? It's painful nature steals the very spirit of Christmas right out of the person trying to "Deck the Halls!"
I suffered the pain, and the tree actually looked pretty nice. Then came last night.......CRASH! The entire tree fell over- dumping it's ornaments, ribbon and needles of pain everywhere!
That being said- before I sign off for a few more weeks, once again ( I'll try and get back to posting after New Years)- I wanted to take a quick moment to post a few of our happenings.
Last week Stanton and I went to the Chris Daughtry concert in Manhattan with some friends. So much fun! I love my boy from American Idol! Here's some pictures of Daughtry in action.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
"And please bless Great Grandma that she'll have fun in her coffin today."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am a big fan of Allrecipes.com. If you have not yet discovered it, then stop now and take a look. My favorite feature to the website is the Reviews. As a general practice I only bother to make recipes that have atleast 100 or more positive reviews. This way I can avoid wasting time with something that will be more enjoyed by the garbage disposal than my taste buds.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This is the year! The year that I will get all my shopping done early. The year that I will be so relaxed and carefree that I'll have all the time I desire to revel in the holiday season with my family. We are going to bake and sing. We are going to read scriptures and stories about the True meaning of Christmas and we will do random acts of service for each other and our fellow man!
This is the year........I hope.
This is my plan every year. Most of the time I fail miserably, (my procrastinating nature sneaks up me no matter how hard I try to check off my lists in an orderly fashion and I end up a stressed-out freak!). But not this year! I am feeling positive. I'm feeling upbeat. I'm feeling ready to tackle projects-- And that, my friends, is what every mom needs to survive the Holidays and come out with any sense of "peace on earth and goodwill towards men." (especially when that Mom is also in charge of her ward's Christmas party. Lucky me!!)
This year I have a game plan for joyful Christmas success:
Number 1- Unlike most years, this season I have forgone almost all homemade gifts. Most of my relatives already have a quilt or purse or something "Amanda-esque" to call their own, so I figure they shouldn't be too disappointed if their gifts are lovingly handmade in China this year. There will be no late nights at the sewing machine for me. I am happily going to purchase gifts and try not to feel too guilty about it.
Number 2- I am doing all the before mentioned purchases online, thus avoiding crowds and the lengthy amount of time it takes me to get anywhere around here. (If you have any unusual online stores that you frequent for great gifts- I would love to hear about them.)
Number 3- We have in acted a new policy in our home. This year we can only talk about what we want to give others. No more long lists for Santa, constant drooling over catalogs, and the incessant "Mom, I want...." and so ons.
And last, I am reducing quantity. Each of my kids will be the lucky recipient of just a few gifts- instead of the endless pile of things they will soon forget about anyway. In addition, I have told my children that they can only make each other presents this year. (I figure my "no-homemade" presents rule does not need to extend to them) I was surprised by their enthusiasm. In fact, they could hardly wait to get started. Last night was a creation extravaganza with tin-foil, paper, glue and tape. Tustin couldn't wait to give me my present so now I am the proud owner of a lovely new tin-foil hair bow.
I will wear it proudly as I shop in my pajamas!
Good luck to all on your own "Christmas To-Do lists." May the Crazies pass over your house and leave you with the joy and peace this season should bring!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Me: Laura, Do you want to use the potty?
I've given up. My child must actually enjoy her smelly self, because she couldn't care less about sitting on any porcelain throne around here. I, on the other hand, am very sick of dealing with her wonderful "gifts." I've tried all the tricks and incentives that eventually, after weeks of sweat and tears, worked for my boys --to no avail.
Everyone told me that potty training a girl would be "so much easier" and that she would probably even start the process BEFORE she turned three. I was really looking forward to the "walk in the park" I was promised- just by giving birth to a female. Boy was I fooled.
My own daughter has swindled me out of toys, stickers and candy. She'll do what I want to get her reward. Then as soon as she's got her mother's praise and gifts, she returns to her old smelly ways- and she's pretty smug about it too!
So, I'm taking the hands off approach and have delegated this responsibility to her older brother. He's spent the last 5 minutes or so reminding her how sad Cinderella will be if the flowers on her Pull-Up get wet. Now, she looks up at me with her big blue eyes and says, "Mom, we don't go on Cinderella's flowers, we go on the potty!"
Whatever honey! Talk is cheap- and I've heard it all before. I am immune to your charm! The sticker/candy/toy bank is closed until I get some action around here.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
She and her friend Ezra were born 5 days apart so we had a shared birthday party with a small group of their friends. It was one half "Thomas the Tank" themed for him, and one half "Princess" themed for her. It was great fun. We blew up the bounce house, (one of our better purchases from Costco a few years back. If you ever think of getting one, I highly recommend it. We have gotten a lot of mileage out of ours.) had some face painting, and enjoyed some fun castle and train engine cakes.
So- goodbye to another year- it was a great one. We love you so much Laura!
(Laura's Castle Cake- I've learned that a world of cake-baking mistakes can be camouflaged by a lot of candy!)
(Ezra's awesome Train cake. He has a very talented Mom. Shout out to you Rachel!)
(Doesn't every mother love the "cheese" face? So attractive!)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
One of the best things about Halloween is carving Jack-o-lanterns! I love the smell of freshly cut pumpkins. I love digging in with my hands and getting elbow deep in the goppily-goo, and I especially love pumpkin seeds! What could be yummier that a batch of seeds sprinkled with a little season salt and toasted in the oven until they are crispy and warm? (It's just a bonus that they happen to be good for you as well.)
It's too bad that this day only comes once a year. I get pumpkins, my kids get candy- everyone's happy. And I can always use a little more happy.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
(This picture isn't very good of the kids, but it is the ONLY one of me. (such is the fate of the family photographer- we never actually get any film time ourselves.)
(Laura, my little buccaneer!)
Monday, October 22, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Anyway, once I'd gathered my kids, they expressed their concern that they had to leave their backpacks and precious belongings. This gave us a good opportunity to talk about what really is important, and we agreed that getting ourselves and our friends out of danger was more important than things. People matter because they cannot be replaced. Material things do not matter because simply, they can.
I thought we were all on the same page with that.... Yet, as soon as we had finished this meaningful discussion, my five year-old looked up at me with his big blue eyes and shared his deep, deep thoughts....
..... "But, Mom, if you're in an emergency and you have to choose between friends and food, you should choose food right? Because if you don't have food you would die."
There you have it. Let this be a warning to all of Kimball's friends---If it comes down to you and the Chef BoyarDee, Kimball will choose the canned goods every time. A kids got to eat right?
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
A savvy friend of mine ( shout out to you Rachel) was able to procure 3 tickets to the "So You Think You Can Dance Concert."- It was awesome! I've always been a big fan of the show, but seeing the dancers live is pretty incredible. I'm not even sure how some of the moves they pull off are even possible! They are pretty inspiring.
Now, I do have to say that lately every time I go to an event like this I feel a little pull on my heart and I find myself fighting the blues. I'm getting so old! Once upon a time I called myself a dancer... Where is that girl? I'm not even sure I could pull off a decent triple pirouette anymore. How did this happen? Motherhood and life took over, I guess.... Still, it is mildly depressing for me to realize that that label of "dancer" I once wore so proudly has been sitting under a dusty pile of "non-use" for so long that I'm not sure it could be brought back to life if I tried.
I could mull over this one for many a worry-filled night, but I'm not going to. I think I'll just start from scratch and sign up for a local class. I'll just enjoy myself and never mention to them that I actually got a degree in the art form- that would be too humiliating!
So, this brings me to the next dilemma- finding a decent, and local, adult class. (because there is no way I'm going to stand in front of a mirror next to a bunch of perky teenage girls. I generally feel good about myself- but no one woman should have to take on that trauma whilst trying to maintain their self-esteem. Seriously- I'm practically three-quarters of the way to menopause!)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Oh that they would make one big enough for me to be completely enveloped in like this. I am so jealous! That would be yummy. If you have never seen or heard of a Love Sac, check it out here. They are so fun. We opted to have one in our basement, instead of a couch because it seemed to fit in better with the free-form play/catch-all room. The kids have often turned it into a giant "island" that protects them from the wildlife and crocodiles. So fun! And so cozy!
Aren't sleeping children the best? Sometimes I think the reason for this is simple- they are NOT awake. Other times I'm less cynical and it is because when they are asleep they are so peaceful and beautiful and snuggly. No matter how old they get (or how much whining and fighting with their siblings they've done that day), when they are sound asleep they are my babies all over again. My warm, lovable little ones all over again.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Yesterday was my husband's birthday. He's not one for presents or parties, but since he married me, he gets them anyway. I actually intended to obey his wishes and NOT have a party and NOT invite anyone over- but at the last minute I just couldn't help myself! (thanks to the Schmidts and LaBelles for quickly coming over to share the cake and, in my opinion, making his birthday celebration a bit more exciting. The LaBelles even brought their dog Delphi who shared with us his own rousing rendition of "The Birthday Song!"--Thank you Stanton for being a good sport about it!-- I think you even enjoyed yourself despite all your "birthday scrooge" talk.)
getting birthday hugs!
What can I say about someone so incredible? Not once in eleven years have you ever said an unkind word to me. You are an amazing father, friend and husband. Thank you for being who you are and for being all mine! I love you.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Tustin is now in third grade and my heart pulls a little when I see how grown up and independant he is already.
Where has the time gone? I no longer have any babies, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.....
Friday, September 07, 2007
I have a good friend Denise( shout out to you!) who is one of those great ladies who always seems to know something or someone just when you need it! She just happens to have a friend who is a police officer here in the Village of Mamaroneck (which also makes him a colleague to my own "friendly" officer.) and she spoke with him in order to get a better idea of what I might be facing in court. It turns out that I don't have to go to court after all!!! If I want to plead "guilty" I can mail in my ticket and a judge will "peruse" the case and then send me a bill for whatever fee he deems fair, based upon my sins. If I want to plead "not guilty," I can show up to court and meet face to face with Officer I Like to Give Big Lectures To Well Meaning, Yet Sometimes Overwhelmed Mothers, and hope that I can escape with a lesser fine/sentence.
I am going to happily take the chickens way out, plead guilty, and hope my fee isn't too exorbitant.
Like most experiences in life, I have learned a few things from this one:
# 1- It is illegal to leave your car running, with keys in the ignition while unattended. Who Knew? So if you are on the way to swim lessons and as you pull out of the driveway your child yells, "MOM!- I forgot my goggles!" you must, in fact, turn off the car and remove the keys before you run back into the house to retrieve them. Otherwise you are a criminal! ( Even more interesting- it is NOT illegal to leave your children in a car unattended while you run into the post office/preschool/7-Eleven/dry cleaners. But, if you do, you will generally be considered an awful, no-good person, so beware.)
#2- For most small crimes- the government will be happy to let you go your way, as long as they can have your money. Are we surprised?
#3- I love my kids (of course, I didn't just learn this) but I REALLY love them! I'm overwhelmed by that love whenever I take a moment to look at them or just think about them. They are the joy of my life. I am so grateful they are mine. This experience has made me want to cherish them even more, be more patient and kind with them, drive slower when they are in the car, take more time to read and play games with them, and just in general make the minutes, hours, and days more full of laughter fun and time together building memories that we can hold onto for the future. ( This is where I feel I should quote one of those well-loved mormon commercials, "Family- Isn't it about Time?" :))
Thanks Again to all of you for your emails, blog comments, and phone calls of support. You are the best friends and family a girl could ask for. These things called "Life" and "Motherhood" would be so much harder without you to share it with!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The only problem with finding great stores like this is that I've lost my excuse to make Laura's outfits myself. (I originally sewed her clothes because one- I love to sew, and two- it was way cheaper to do so. The kind of clothing I like was previously only found in over-priced boutiques.) Well now, all that has changed and I'm seeing cute stuff everywhere! In fact- it's cheaper than what I could make it for. As much as I love buying this great stuff- it has sort of stolen my thunder at the machine. I mean why go to all the effort if "fancy", and "sassy", and "ultra-cute" is now mass produced and shipped from China?
I guess I have to find a new hobby....
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This last weekend, some friends and I threw a surprise baby shower for one of our amazing fellow moms who is having her fifth child this coming August. (shout out to you Denise!) Now, I love any chance I can get to do a buffet table. Although usually, the food is an after thought for me because I mostly enjoy the "decor" part- that is, the table cloth, boxes, baskets, fabric and various items to make nice levels and eye catching, theme-going stuff. It's a real problem have--amongst many.....
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Our second milestone is a very exciting one for me. I have waited for three years, (impatiently and some times desperately), for this to happen.-- I finally was able to gather up enough hair on Laura's head to insert a hair clip and have it actually stay! Yippee!! Woo-Hoo!! Hallelujah!!
FINALLY! - This brings me much peace as a mother.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Marianne and I enjoying our souvenir 44 oz. VIRGIN strawberry daiquiris! So Fun!!