Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Have I mentioned that I s*ck at flash photography... well I do. Here's the best of what I got tonight...

Are you ready for this???

Here are Clara's curls! LOL!

Monday, October 30, 2006

nothin' good

Nope... nothing exciting here.... except that our house has never looked better! LOL! I am such a pack rat but I have been getting rid of stuff left and right. Maybe it's the laziness in me but right now it is more appealing to get rid of it than to have to find a place to put it once we move. It's actually somewhat disturbing how much we've taken to Goodwill since Friday.

I have a major cold and I'm not happy about it. Actually Alex and I have both had something going on since we got our flu vaccines on Wednesday. His was intense but short lived (high fever, bad headache and just a total lump on the couch for about 12 hours). Mine hasn't been intense but it has been dragging on for some time now. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that it happened right after we got the vaccine but it was weird how Alex was acting just like he did last year when he had the actual flu.

No pictures today but hopefully I'll have some tomorrow. You won't believe this but after her bath we put Clara's hair up in the little sponge rollers. LOL! I can't even imagine what her head is going to look like tomorrow... her hair is so short that she may end up looking like a ball of fuzz! Sigh... this is what happens when the girls are left alone while the boys go to cub scouts.

Well... I'm off to take a shot of cherry flavored nyquil and call it a day!


(Hi Kathy, Hannah and Rachel!)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

just a couple of my girl

I'm supposed to be up here setting my fantasy football line-up for tomorrow. Thought I would throw in a couple of pics I took of the girl today...

Okay... setting my line-up now... let's see if I can hold onto the number one spot in our league for a second week. LOL!


Friday, October 27, 2006

a silly girl and superman

Tonight the kids had a Halloween/Birthday party to go to across the street. It was amazing! I wish I could have gotten in there in advance and been able to take pictures of their super cool decorations. For the entertainment, they had a Mad Scientist group come out to do all kinds of fun experiments. They loved it.

Just a couple of quick pics... snapshots really. You all should know by now that I have issues with flash photography. I struggle with it so much. I bought my 550EX speedlite over 2 years ago and have barely used it because it scares me. However, I bought the DVD Guide to the 580EX (there wasn't one for the 550) by Blue Crane Digital a couple of months ago and finally watched it. I can't say that I have used the DVD to it's fullest yet, but it at least gave me the confidence to start using my flash again. Especially since we are entering the season where I will be using my flash more. Anyway... the first one is straight on with an Omni Bounce on the flash, the second one is bounced off of the ceiling (with the omni bounce still on). Oh... I shot in P mode. I've got a long ways to go, but I'm glad to be gaining some confidence.

Oh... btw, these aren't the kids' official Halloween costumes for this year. Clara's is the clown costume I bought to shoot her circus birthday invite last year and Alex's is actually pj's that I bought to shoot his Valentines from a couple of years ago (the Valentine, I think you're super ones). They had a bounce house and an inflatable slide at the party so I was afraid they would totally trash their official costumes (Clara - Forest Fairy and Alex - Darth Vader).

Well... off to scrub face paint off of Clara's face!


well... that didn't go as expected

We finally told the kids about our move this morning. Alex, my hyper-sensitive, emotional child was all smiles and bouncing up and down. Clara, my happy-go-lucky, roll with it type was an emotional sobbing wreck. My goodness... it was all I could do to not start bawling right there with her. Her main concern (at 5 years old) is that she won't have any friends and that she'll have to leave the friends that she has here. Thankfully last night I had talked to a friend of mine who lives in Chicago... I had told her that the kids would probably be concerned about friends so even before this happened, she had told me that she would round up some of the kids in our old neighborhool (in Chicago), take a picture of them and send it to me so I could show the kids that they had friends ready and waiting for them. Hopefully that will help. I knew the kids would be troubled somewhat by the move, but I expected the emotional outburst from Alex, not Clara. I think this is one of those things that we'll just have to limit how much we talk about.... kind of like Lilo and Stitch 2 - Stitch has a Glitch. For some reason for over a year after we watched that movie, you couldn't even mention it without her face turning red and tears forming in her eyes. She gets that same look anytime you mention Chicago right now.

Sigh.... now we need to do some school (Friday is test day in our house.... plus fun stuff day, with the hope that the two counter balance each other)... then we'll start cleaning closets. Fun!

Okay... I feel like I need to include a pic, but I don't know what to include so I'll just sign off for now!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

an announcement....

here's your hint...

Yes... we're moving back to Chicago! Jeff has a new job that doesn't require so much travel, so soon we'll be a real family again, living in the city we consider "home". Although, being in Texas for four years has probably thinned out my blood a bit so moving back in the thick of winter in Chicago is probably not the best situation, but we'll be just fine. Yay!

Other than that... things have been pretty crazy normal around here. Today was Clara's 5 year check-up... she's doing great. Alex went with me to have a couple of warts (that word just makes me cringe for some reason) frozen off and we were all getting flu shots. When the PA came in she told us that if we wanted to we could do the nose thing for the flu vaccine instead of the shot. I was all for that... I don't like shots and Alex is a beast to deal with when it comes to shots. So after Clara's exam, the PA froze Alex's warts, however, she didn't have the little plastic cone thing tight to his skin around the wart so the freezing stuff ran all down his finger.... his whole finger was turning white!!! It was numb so he didn't feel it at the time... but it started to sting about the time they came to do our flu vaccine. When the nurse came in I noticed a syringe... apparently the cost of the nasal vaccine is different than the shot and since I had already paid, I was getting the shot (the kids' vaccines were covered under the co-pay). I got to go first and have a nice little Daffy Duck band-aid to show for it. Clara was next... she stood right up and got the vaccine without so much as her eyes watering. Now.... we come to Alex who was already starting to freak out seeing me get a shot, plus his finger was stinging. He totally lost it... I mean totally lost it. He was a total wreck. As a mom, I was so torn right then... part of me wanted to tell it was okay and we didn't have to do it... but I knew we should (Alex and I got the flu last winter and it was HORRIBLE, plus Clara has a history of breathing problems... so we need to stay healthy in our house). He sat on the floor, grabbed onto a chair and refused to move. I had to pick him up while the nurse pryed the chair out of his hands. We finally got the vaccine in him and he just blinked and said "that didn't hurt". Well... duh! That's what we had been trying to tell him. Clara kept trying to comfort him by telling him how easy it was and even at one point turned her head away from us and closed her eyes. I had no idea what she was doing, but when she turned around she told me that she had just prayed to God to make her big brother brave. She can really surprise you sometimes.

Anyway... if you don't like nastiness... don't look at this pic... it's just a shot of my poor boy's finger from where the freezing stuff got out of control. Have you ever seen a blister like that?

Well... after my day of 6 year old boy wrestling... I'm tired and ready for bed.


Monday, October 23, 2006

i need help

I seriously need an intervention here. I know it has only been a couple of days since Clara's birthday party but I am totally addicted to the little Webkinz she got. I had never heard of them before she got them from a friend on Saturday. They looked like regular stuffed animals but they had a tag with a webcode on it.... you go to their website, log-in, name your pet, get your adoption certificate and then the fun begins. Your little webkinz have a life of their own online... they have a room, which you get to furnish, they need to be fed, bathed and put to bed. You have dollars to spend to buy the things you need... which you then have to replentish (quite often if you have a child you *must* have the funky flower toliet for 350 in kinzcash). To replentish your money, you can play trivia games, go to the arcade or find a job for your Webkinz. Totally, totally, totally addictive. So far we have bought beds for Uni and Piggy (which are, you guessed it, a unicorn and a pig), toys for their playroom, a yard (1000 in kinzcash... yikes!), a pool and a trapoline (a healthy webkinz must get exercise), a toliet, a bathtub and an incredible amount of food. I find myself obsessing about why Uni's happiness meter isn't at 100% when she's been fed, excercised, had a bath and taken a nap... we've even told her that she's a "good pet" and taken her to the arcade! Like I said... I need help.

Today is officially Clara's birthday. We're not doing much today... yesterday was her big birthday outting with just Jeff and me. She really didn't *need* anything for her birthday so we decided to take her on a birthday "date" instead. After lunch, Alex stayed with Grandpa and Grandma while we took just Clara to the mall. We asked her what she wanted to do and she knew exactly what she wanted... to go to Build-A-Bear. She had been there before... once over two years ago for a birthday party and again last year to make a bear to send to their new baby cousin. So, she had never had free rein to make something just for herself. She picked a pink poodle to make... we had a good time, but man, that place was a zoo!!!! After that we did a little clothes shopping... she loves to try on clothes. And for some reason her favorite store in Talbot's Kids. She picked out two jumpers to try on... one was a gorgeous black velvet jumper, the other was an adorable pink jumper with embroidered dots that reversed to green with patchwork looking dogs. She ended up picking the reversible jumper. It is really cute.... plus it was on the clearance rack for $29 with an additional 25% off. I was secretly hoping she would pick the velvet one because it was gorgeous.... but I guess I should be glad that she didn't... she'll get more good out of the one she picked.

From there we went to the Cheesecake Factory to rest our feet, get something to drink and to have a piece of birthday cheesecake. Clara picked the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake.... it was so good. They brought it with a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday to her.

Our last stop was Nordstrom for a new set of PJ's for Clara. Why is it so hard to find decent PJ's for kids? There really wasn't much a selection anywhere we looked. The set we got was adorable though. This is basically the set.... but her's is pink and brown plaid with a pale pink cami underneath. She was desperate for pj's... she's really grown since last winter.

Well... that's it for me, for now... I have more to write about (especially my adventures in flash photography this weekend) but I've got to get the kids fed so we can get to cub scouts.

Here's one pic of Clara and Poodlie (although all you see is poodlie)....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

scenes from a sock hop

Just a quick little post with some pics from Clara's party.... it was so much fun!

More details coming... 'nite!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

hi... i'm still here

but my house has been invaded. Yes... my in-laws are here for Clara's birthday. My online time will be limited between now and Monday. Thankfully my office and the guest room are no longer one shared space so I will have significantly more online time than I used to when they would come to visit.

Tomorrow morning I go to the dentist... yippee. I'm on probation with my dentist right now. I'm really bad about finding new dentists/doctors for myself when we move so it had been about four years since my last trip to the dentist. No cavities, but I got a stern talking to and was put on probation.... I have to come in every three months until I prove that I am a responsible teeth owner.

Today Alex and I went to Clara's preschool to help out with their Hoe-down (or is it ho-down.... I really don't know). It was so cute. I took lots of pictures but I haven't downloaded them to see if they're any good. It was very dark in there and I hate the on camera flash so we'll see.

Well... I need to get back to the baseball game and see what happens.... GO CARDS!!!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

ahhh... the fall colors

All around things are changing colors... including my hair apparently.... sigh. I went in today for new highlights and came out a brunette. I know we discussed low lights for a warmer... fallish look but now my hair is very dark... and I'm not really sure its a good dark. Hmmmm.... maybe I just need to get used to it. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get a pic tomorrow... but don't count on it. :-)

Nothing really to report here. I am really struggling with the party favors for Clara's birthday party Saturday. I went to three places today with no real luck with finding favors that fit her "sock hop" theme. I'm really running out of time.

Speaking of running out of time... I really need to learn how to use my external flash by Saturday too. I keep meaning to watch the dvd I bought, but I just haven't made the time. What to do, what to do?

I did scrap one page today... that was a minor miracle. I've been trying to scrap for a couple days now... I even played with paper today as well... but I only managed to eek out the one digi layout....
details here

Well... I'm going to go. I love Tuesdays... we don't go anywhere on Wednesdays so I leave the dishes until the morning and we get to sleep in... love it!

Off to read my book! 'nite!

Monday, October 16, 2006

we survived!!!

Yay! We did it! We survived a weekend of camping! It actually was quite fun. Although I will admit, Clara and I only camped one night though. We got there about 12:30 on Saturday.... we didn't leave until after her soccer game (which they won and Clara scored her second official goal). The weather was perfect.... warm enough for short sleeves but not too warm. It was sunny with a nice breeze off the lake. The kids had a great time playing along the water with their friends. The campfire was a lot of fun with skits and stories too. However, it was after this that things started to go downhill a bit. Clara and I went up to the restrooms for one last visit before bed only to find out that the water had been turned off and all of the toliets were backed up. Okay... I will confess that I have an adversion to public restrooms under the best of circumstances but this was more than I could take. It still triggers my gag reflex just thinking back on it. Then, right at "lights out" time, it starts to rain and didn't really stop until about mid-day today! Thankfully our tent didn't leak one bit but that didn't stop me from worrying about it all night... plus I was obsessing about what in the world I was going to do about the bathroom situation come morning. Of course Clara woke up first thing in the morning having the desperately "go" so Jeff got the priviledge of taking her out into the woods in the rain.

With all of the rain, we decided not to hang around and to just pack up and go. However, it was pouring so hard while Jeff was taking down the tent that it filled up with water as he was folding it up. So we had to pick it up by one end and dump as much water out as we could. The final thing was that the mini wouldn't start when we got ready to leave. The battery was dead. But my friend had jumper cables so we were on our way in no time. It poured all of the way home and I really did not enjoy driving in it alone.... in the car, which I'm not used to driving. Jeff was probably regretting that I had his number in speed dial on my cell phone because I kept calling him with paranoid questions about the car. To my defense... it was hard to drive with all of the rain AND a warning light did come on briefly. Regardless... we made it home safely... took showers and vegged the rest of the afternoon.

Anyway... here are a few pics of our camping trip. I really didn't end up taking that many. The first one is of Alex and his third tooth that he lost. It came out while eating a sandwich at lunch on Saturday. Then one of him walking right in front of where we camped... that used to be covered with the waters of Lake Texoma. Then just a couple of Clara.

I need to go clean up a bit... this weekend is the big birthday weekend at our house and I've got so much to do!


Friday, October 13, 2006

left behind

Look what was left behind today....

This is the first night in 6 years that my son, Alex, has willfully spent without his yellow blanket. Sigh... my boy is growing up! Now, he's not one to carry it around or anything, but he *always* sleeps with it. Today as I was up in his room finding sweat pants for him to take camping, he came into his room, hugged "yellow" good-bye, asked me to take good care of his blanket and placed it on his bed. Neither of us asked him or encouraged him to do this and with everyone having their own tents, none of his cub scouts friends would have even known he had it. But, he had decided, himself, that it was time to leave "yellow" at home. It seriously brought tears to my eyes when he put the blanket on his bed and walked away to go camping.

Okay... brighter note... once the boys were out the door Clara and I headed out and got pedicures. It was soooo nice. I haven't had one in months and I desperately needed one. Clara picked a sparkly pink polish for the both of us. She got flowers painted on her big toes, I didn't.

Nothing else to report here. First thing tomorrow morning Clara has a soccer game and then we join the boys at the camp out. It should be interesting. Clara is one to hear stuff and get scared so we're probably in for a long night.

Wish us luck!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

let's try this again

I've been a bad blogger this week but part of it isn't entirely my fault. I tried to blog last night but Blogger wasn't cooperating and I lost my post.

Nothing terribly exciting here.... just getting ready for the big cub scout camp out this weekend. That should be entertaining! LOL! We are such newbies on the whole camping scene. We had to go and buy EVERYTHING... tents, sleeping bags, a lantern, oh gosh... just plain everything. AND... the weather shows rain all weekend. Thankfully, Clara and I aren't planning on going up until after her soccer game on Saturday morning so if its raining, we might just stay home. Today Alex and I visited the brand new Super Target right by our house (it just openned over the weekend) to buy the camping food. I have a feeling we have entirely too much food.

The new Super Target is beautiful... love it! Great food section... Alex and I picked up some sushi for lunch... yum.

Have I mentioned that I'm struggling with getting Alex to read for "fun" versus just reading what I assign to him? Well... I am. He does read everything in sight... box labels, signs, t-shirts (that's not always a good thing), etc. but he doesn't read books outside of "school". So, I started this chart system and for each page he completed, he would get a special treat of some sort. That worked for the first sheet, he was so motivated that he read the 15 books to fill the sheet in about 4 or 5 days. It's now been about 2 months since he completely that one and only sheet and he's only filled about half of the next one. So, I upped the ante... if he filled all of the sheets in the folder (about 5 with 15 spaces per page) I would get him the hermit crab he's been wanting for a couple of years now. Not thrilled about a new pet but I was desperate. Still hasn't motivated him. HOWEVER, here is where the plan has backfired... it has motivated Clara to learn to read. Yes, I know, that is a good thing, but she has decided that if Alex reads those books and gets the pet he's always wanted, well then... she's going to also and she wants a BIRD!!! So, my darling daughter has been taking the Dick and Jane Treasury with her to bed every night so she can practice her reading and she's actually about 50 pages into it. Sigh... it looks like we might be getting Clara a bird long before Alex ever gets his crab. Clara even checked out about 4 books about caring for birds this afternoon at the library. I'll keep you posted.

Hmmm... other than that... I've actually done some scrapping if you can believe that. Just working my way through some pics from our fall break trip to Missouri...

details here

details here

details here

Well... I'm going to post this before blogger eats it again!


Monday, October 09, 2006

Hillbilly Golf Anyone?

I had never heard of this game before we went to my hometown's fall festival a few weeks ago. My parents picked up a set that weekend.... and we played it on our fall break visit to their house. Now Hillbilly golf (or whatever you want to call it) is fun and can be played by any age... but any game combining Clara and projectiles is an adventure to say the least. Her first turn resulted in Clara hitting herself in the head with the ball. Thankfully no one else was injured during the game. Here are some pics...

We had a great school day today and had fun doing our Mexican Bark Paintings that came with our Spanish curriculum. I took pics but they're still in my camera and my camera is downstairs and if I go downstairs, I'm staying down there and getting in bed... so maybe tomorrow.

That's it... I'm tired and still out of it here... sigh... tomorrow's another day! Maybe that's the day I'll get my act together! LOL!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

tea party

I was going to post more pics from our trip but decided to post these instead...

Clara and Lauren (her baby doll) got invited to a very special tea today to celebrate her friend's 5th birthday. Both Clara and Lauren *had* to wear their princess dresses... Clara's dress is her "Belle" dress from her recital this past spring. It was so cute to see all of the girls in their princess dresses! The mom had everything set up so well. The dolls even had their own cups and plates AND she even made miniature versions of the food she made for the girls for their dolls.

Anyway... the weekend is ending so hopefully I will get my act together tomorow!

Oh... and it looks like I just might win my fantasy football game too! Woo Hoo!


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hmmm.... 5 wierd things about me

I've been tagged by Jennifer Pebbles so here goes....

1. I can pick things up with my toes. Honestly... I don't think this is strange at all, but my husband does. Actually, he's the odd man out in our house since the kids now do this too!

2. I'm usually not an neat/orderly person but I cannot sanely fly on a plane if the little plastic latch that holds the tray table up isn't straight up and down. Sadly, I noticed this summer that I have passed this illness on to my daughter. As a side note - I also have panic attacks on planes. My worst one was when we flew to Disneyland in February... I got my own row if that gives you any indication how much I panicked.

3. I eat any little colored candies in pairs by color.... skittles, receses pieces, m&m's, etc.

4. I love the band Little Feat.

5. I don't feel hot, cold or pain on the right side of my body. I was in a bad car accident when I was 14 and broke my neck. The injury caused a syndrome called Brown-Sequard Syndrome.... which left me weak on on my left side and without temp and pain sensation on my right. Although I got my strength basically back on my left, the sensation never returned to my right.

Hmmmm.... now who to tag...


Ack!!! In the process of tagging Kirsty... I just noticed that she has tagged me! I'll get to that tomorrow... I promise!

Anyway.... I spent the day cleaning out a closet and it has made me grumpy. I am such a packrat and throwing things away makes me very nervous. LOL!

Here's are a few pics from our first full day in Missouri last weekend. The kids, Jeff and my dad took my dad's little boat out to the lake. Mom and I just hung back, chatted and took pictures.

Okay... I need to run... it's time for a family game of Junior Monopoly!


Friday, October 06, 2006

frogs, deer and bats... oh my!

We're back and we had a wonderful week in Missouri with my mom and dad. I have so much to write about and so many pictures but I need to keep it short so we can get unpacked.

As you can tell... we came in touch with quite a bit of wildlife this trip. Alex and Clara befriended a frog in my parents' backyard. We got within a few feet of about SEVEN deer on walk at the nature center. AND... one rather unique experience with a bat on a trail at Ha Ha Tonka. We were just walking down the trail to the spring when I heard a loud noise and then Alex started screaming. As mom and I rushed closer to them we could hear Alex yelling... you're standing on it... get off! Clara, in her typical oblivious fashion, just kept saying "what?" over and over. She finally took a step to see what she had been standing on and she had been standing on a LIVE BAT!!!!!!!!!! Now how does that happen???? There was a parks maintainance guy coming down the path, so the kids ran to him and told him about the bat. He picked it up and assured us that although Clara standing on him didn't do him any good... he couldn't have been a well bat to begin with to be lying there on the path like that in the middle of the day. He told us that he would "take care of it" and we continued on our way. However, the kids "discussed" the matter for a while with Alex casually referring to Clara as a "bat killer" and Clara screaming back at him that "it was going to die anyway... it wasn't my fault!". Oh the joys of siblings!

Okay... need to do something productive! Pictures coming soon! And thank you all for the congrats and Jennifer... I will answer your questions later tonight.