Sunday, November 30, 2008


I'll admit, I wasn't expecting much from Thanksgiving this year. The big get-together with the Aunts/Uncles/Cousins was the Sunday before, and then I figured it would just be the three of us for the actual holiday. I was gearing up for a low key, uninteresting, and possibly slightly depressing holiday in The Rental. But happily, Brandi (our niece on Jay's side) and David decided it might be fun to drive the 6 hours from Nebraska, so we had them and their two super great boys with us for the whole break. It was really cool to have them here and have enough time to really hang out. I, for one, ate way too much, stayed up way past my bedtime, and had just way too much fun.

Lincoln is an extrodinary, smart, handsome boy with a sweet and gentle heart. I love his enthusiasm. I love the way his eyes light up when he gets excited. I love his love of bowling :o). I loved watching he and M play together, especially when Brandi was setting off alkaseltzer rockets in the driveway! Lots of running and screaming involved. I'm looking forward to the two of them seeing more of each other and being excellent cousins (once removed, right? or something like that). Sweet Lincoln, I'm sorry you're allergic to Kali's kisses. Thank you for loving her, anyway.

Henry is quite possibly the best baby ever. He pretty much never fusses, and seems quite content most of the time. He's one of those aware babies, that you can just see is thinking about things. Really thinking about things. Probably mostly about that he's going to start walking... like quite possibly tomorrow! He's also dangerously cute. Dangerously. Yes, I believe I'm more than a bit smitten with little baby Louie.

Brandi and David, aside from being excellent house guests and very cool people, are also highly skilled players of Hoopla (Jay's game of choice for our evening entertainment). I learned much from them. I learned that if we really work together as a team, we can make a 15 minute game go into double overtime. And that fuzzy dice are smaller than soft, and bigger than seven. Thank you, David, for helping my husband fix the dishwasher door, and for all the great pictures and info. Thank you, Brandi, for showing me how to make tutus, for bringing Pin the Hat on the Turkey, and all the great conversation.

Meeting "the kinfolk" in Tulsa for dinner on Saturday was a must, and there were about 30 of us. It happens that Dan and Tina decided to drive up to stay with Uncle Louis and Aunt Cindy for Thanksgiving, so we met them at a bowling alley at noon and got to spend some extra time with them, which was lots of fun.

So, a fun, family-filled holiday, after all! And now I think we've had more company in our three and a half months at the rental than we had in a full year at any of our more permanent residents. I hope we can keep up the momentum after we move into our new place. Yes, that's right! We close on a house in mid-December. Woo-hoo! Bring on Christmas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sick Day

Our little coyote stayed home Thursday for her first sick day of the school year. Wednesday her teacher said she just hadn't been herself all day, and seemed very tired; almost falling out her chair, tired! I kept an eye on her, but she seemed well enough, if a bit extra sassy. She had fought going to sleep the night before, so I chalked it up to less sleep. I was disabused of that notion around midnight, when she woke us up with hysterical crying and being quite ill... all over her bed. I took sicky girl duty, and my most impressive husband took bed clean-up duty. This is the usual arrangement. I am a LUCKY girl! Especially since he had to catch a 6:40a.m. flight in the morning. What a guy. Our sweet girl was miserable for about an hour, then was back to sleep in the living room with me. In the morning, she was pretty much over it. No fever or anything. I kept her home anyway. Turns out something is making the rounds of her classroom, and even the teacher got hit. She's been out two days now. Sounds like we got off pretty easy. Plus, we got it out of the way before Thanksgiving! Yay!

Anyway, the point of this post was to show off the fun projects we did during our sick day at home. Since one of M's best buddies was scheduled to get his tonsils out, we decided to make him a bouquet of flowers to take over when he's up and around a bit. And I finally got around to making a skirt out of a pair of M's jeans that had a blown out knee. I saw the project in a magazine some time ago (probably FamilyFun) and thought it would be cool.
For most of the day we were also playing "Spy Girl" (or sometimes "Spy Pet"). M decided she needed some spy goggles, so we whipped up a pair, and she wore them all day. I admit, I really miss having a few "stay at home with Mommy days", now that she goes to school 5 days a week. And I know it's only going to get worse. Dang this whole growing up thing, anyway!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Okay, I know this post is out of order, but with all the jet lag and then being slammed with Halloween festivities, I put it off. So!

About two weeks ago we flew to Seattle for my sister-in-law's birthday. A total SURPRISE! It was so fun! We hid around corners, ready to jump out at her about 4 or 5 times thinking we heard her driving up before she actually got home. We were a bit excited! Of course, I didn't know until after we surprised her that she actually hates surprises. But she didn't make us leave immediately, so I think we're forgiven. Her husband was in cahoots (is that how you spell it?) and probably took most of the blame. :o)

After she finally took in the fact that we were actually there, and there wasn't some tragic reason for our appearance, we had a really great weekend. Great company, great food, great weather. It was one of those perfect trips where everything went well, and the only bad thing was that it was too short.

The best part for me was seeing Little M just basking in the love from her Aunt and Uncle. What a wonderful thing! She got plenty of storytime with Aunt D, and was pleased to surpervise LouLou in the proper preparation and assembly of a peanut butter-banana-apple snack (it's important to spread the peanut butter smoothly on the apple, not leave it in a pile on the plate, apparently). Not having any family in town can be tough sometimes, and watching the little moments of M connecting with them was really important to me. Even though she doesn't see them much, they've made a big impression on her, and she loves them a ton.

Did I mention great food yet? Because trips are almost always about food, in my book. I love food. Aside from great meals out, we had some awesome bbq ribs, and Aunt M even made some amazing homemade cinnamon rolls. I didn't ask for the recipe or pay too close attention, because I really CAN'T afford to know how to make those! Besides, I'm completely confused by dough that gets kneeded or needs to be left to rise. They usually require instructions like, "let it rise until it doubles, then punch down" or "kneed it until if feels silky". Confusing! What if I stop when it feels like polyester, or flannel? Does it ever feel like a cotton/poly blend? How will I tell the difference? Well, anyway, I'm glad other people have this real baking stuff down. Someday I'll get adventurous and give it a shot.

Also, while we were there, we spent some time with our friend, Martha. Not enough time, as usual, but it was great to see her. We wandered around a Japanese garden after a stop at a coffee shop and a picnic lunch. The Fall leaves were gorgeous. It really was a wonderful, though way too short, vacation. Just what we needed!

If you want to see more pictures from the trip, they're here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Our Little Princess

So Halloween is finally done. Is it just me, or did it last for weeks this year? It seems like we did a ton of fun Halloween stuff before we even got to the real night of trick-or-treating. We got plenty of use out of M's costume this year, for sure. She was a princess riding a unicorn. The first unicorn was a wearable thing with suspenders. It was cute, but a bit cumbersome. M decided to buy, with her very own money, an alternate stick unicorn we found the other day at Dollar Tree, which makes a galloping sound and neighs. Pretty cool.

Two weeks ago we went to Spookarama, which is the yearly event at the Kiddie Park. Very fun, since the Kiddie Park is only open during the summer, except for Spookarama, so the kids are very excited. It's packed, though, and the lines are crazy. Still, tons of cute little ones in great costumes. We met up with the H boys there, who were dressed conveniently as her knights in shining armor. At least, we liked to think so.

Thursday we went to the "Pumpkin Party" at FUMC, and M played lots of games. They gave out little toys as prizes instead of candy, which was excellent, since we were already overdosed, and it wasn't even Halloween yet. They did have a cookie decorating center, so we still got plenty of sugar...

Friday was the class party, and this year is the last time she'll get to have a costume party at school, since they don't do those in public school anymore. They have "Fall" parties instead. The moms in charge of the party did a great job, and made these fabulous spider in a web cookies. Way to start the bar high for the rest of us! I didn't get a picture of it, but one of the girls in M's class was Little Bo Peep, and her little twin brothers were sheep. Super cute!

In the evening, we went to the H boys' grandparents' house for pizza and chili dogs, then "Nanna" took the kids around the block for some early trick-or-treating. Then we headed over to the other H Family's neighborhood and ran around a few streets with the girls, and then visited at their house for a while. So, we had quite a busy day, got lots of candy, lots of good company, and then finally found our way home. It was odd not being home and giving out candy at all, but we don't live in one of the "good candy" neighborhoods, so it would have been a slow night anyway.

My favorite part of the day was hearing M singing "Feliz Navidad" in the back seat as we were traveling between trick-or-treating venues.

So, now it's November, and the weather was so nice today that we decided to have a cookout at the park again for dinner. Very enjoyable. It still seems odd to have such warm weather this time of year, but it's nice. Makes it hard to believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner, though!