Monday, November 24, 2008

Dance Party

"Ring, ring doorbell ring, it's house party time ..."

Dan didn't tell us it was time for a dance party, but I just knew that my crabby boys needed some sort of distraction. (I'm not sure who loves Dan more - Mitchell or me. My money is on me!)

So, I grabbed my iPhone, hooked it up to our stereo and started playing songs.

It started innocently enough with "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel. Mitchell was playing the drums, and Noah was just happy being a part of all the noise.

Then it moved on and the dancing got underway. Before long, we were going around the living room, doing our best "Walk Like an Egyptian." Then we started to "Wang Chung." I'm still not even sure what that means, but it didn't hold us back!

There was "Big Yellow Taxi" at some point, because it's Mitchell's favorite (the Counting Crows cover, not the original). There was almost "Take a Chance on Me," but Mitchell has apparently outgrown his love of Abba.

At one point, I was tickling them every time it said "The eye of the tiger." I knew at that point that we were all really done!

So, we put our two exhausted boys to bed, hopefully to have good sleeps, as we prepare to drive 4+ hours tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Happy Birthday, KimChee!

First, let it be know that I've hit 200 posts! Chardonnay all around!

Now for the real post ...

Today is my baby sister's birthday. Happy, Happy, Kimberly!

Here are a few things about Kimberly that will embarrass her and make her tell me to "Shut up" while waving her hand at me ...

  • Kimberly can dance like Axl Rose like it's nobody's business. Seriously, this girl can swivel those hips and swing out those legs just like she's in the "Sweet Child O'Mine" video.
  • Kimberly is shorter than me but her legs are way longer than mine. It's really disgusting - my whole life, growing up with this little sister with these fantastic long legs (and no saddle bags - and her thighs don't rub when she walks).
  • Kimberly has gorgeous naturally blonde hair and blue eyes. Yeah, I was always the odd kid out - both sisters and my brother had blonde, wavy hair. Here I am with board-straight brown. Even when my mom got me a perm, you could tell it just wasn't right.
  • Kimberly can pass gas like it's nobody's business. No lie - this girl can share it with the whole room while spinning around. If that's not talent, I don't know what is!
  • Kimberly gets so easily embarrassed that I would never in a million years show her this post. She just may drive four hours, hunt me down and fart on me. Oh wait, I'm safe - she has the worst since of direction ever!
  • Kimberly can give you a really obnoxious nick name and you never complain. Just ask Paulie Pops.
  • Kimberly was convinced that all my high school and college boyfriends (and all our brother's girlfriends) were Chinese. For the record, none were.

So, happy birthday KimChee, Kimberfoo, Kimbulee ... I love you!

What's in a Name?

Does this sound like me?

What MaryAnna Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic “Type A” personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crafty Momma: The Inside of the Turkey Cards

I finally got inspired for the inside of my turkey cards for Thanksgiving.

I like to mix typefaces, so here I used Trebuchet and Amelie. (You can purchase Amelie at

I distressed the edges, added some little snaps in the corners then signed our names. I prefer to hand-write the names in instead of printing them - makes it a little more personalized, I think.

(Oh, I took step-by-step photos of distressing the edges because I've had friends ask how to do it. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll post them.)

Side note: I know I've got brass eyelets somewhere in my craft room, but since it's pure chaos in there, I figured I'd just use the snaps since I knew where to find them! It will forever bug me that they are shiny silver and not something that matches better with the feel of the card. I'm weird; I know!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crafty Momma: Thanksgiving Cards

I love to do crafty stuff, but combining kids and paint (and my furniture!) terrifies me! Today, though, I sucked it up and made handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving cards.

We have turkeys of all types, including one with a mohawk, ones that's missing a few tail feathers (poor guy!), one with a strange growth on his head (might want to see a doctor!) and a few that came out just adorable.

This one was my favorite!

Fun Fall Fotos

We've been enjoying not-so-hot weather the past few weeks, so here are some photos of the fun we're having this fall.

You can't read it too well, but his shirt says "Captain Adorable."

Mitchell showing me his muscles.

More Mitchell muscles.

Noah likes to sit in his giant Tonka dump truck.

And, of course, Mitchell likes to dump him out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I was Tagged (Again!)

Jen tagged me for a photo tag. It was supposed to be something like the fourth picture in your fourth folder. That was too boring (especially since you've seen that picture already!).

So, I went to my Shutterfly account and pulled it from there.

This was Mitchell the day after he was born, just before we left the hospital. See how tiny he was? He weighed just 5 pounds, 12 ounces. He had all these wrinkles because his skin was so baggy! The outfit I brought to bring him home in hung off of him - and the socks just swallowed up his tiny feet.

After struggling with "failure to thrive" at the beginning, he pulled through and has always been a trooper. As you can see from the photos today, nothing has held this kid back!

Here's a photo taken just minutes after he was born. Look how tiny his fingers are as they're curled around Paul's finger!

And for grins, here's a photo of Noah, a few minutes after he was born. Notice how much chubbier he was! He was 6 pounds, 11 ounces - almost a full pound bigger than Mitchell. It's amazing the difference four weeks can make! (Mitchell was born four weeks early.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Teachable Moments of Kindness

Friday, I dropped off Mitchell at preschool, ran a few quick errands and came home to start cooking supper for our friends Glenn and Irene and their family.

You see, Glenn has Multiple Myeloma, a bone marrow cancer. Adding insult to injury, Glenn went into kidney failure and spent six days in the hospital. He's home now and had to undergo dialysis to help his kidneys. He's also going to chemo treatments twice a week. Next week, he starts rounds that will possibly cause him to lose his hair.

So, I came home and made salad, pork loin, fresh green beans and a pumpkin crisp. I also picked up some mashed potatoes (which I don't even make for my own family!). I picked up Mitchell from preschool, and we drove out to Glenn and Irene's home to drop off the supper. The boys played with their four kiddos for hours! It was great to spend time with them, even if it did take almost two hours to get home. Gotta love that rush hour traffic!

Saturday, Mitchell and I went to a birthday party and stopped on the way home to pick up a hamburger for Paul. I ordered a cheeseburger in case one of the boys saw Paul's and decided he needed a burger too.

As I was getting Mitchell secured in the car, I saw a homeless man walking through the parking lot. For an instant, our eyes met. I watched him walk around the corner from the burger joint and sit on the steps of a tire-change place.

I drove my car around the corner and rolled down my window and asked if he was waiting for someone. He said no. Then I asked if he'd like a cheeseburger. He lit up and walked over and accepted the cheeseburger from me. The weather was going to be cold Saturday night, so all I thought of the rest of the night was this gentle-looking man in his thin jacket, out in the cold.

This afternoon, after church, we went to lunch with a friend and their two kiddos. The restaurant was crowded and we couldn't find two tables close enough to push together. There was a dad there with his two teen-age sons. I asked if he'd be willing to move to another table so we could push his table together with an empty one so we could all sit together. He kindly said yes.

I hope that all three of these instances help teach Mitchell that we can be kind to people we know and people we don't know who need our help - and that people will be kind to us too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Snapshots 1.5

I completely forgot the one that inspired me to start my "Snapshots!"

When Noah hears the toaster ding (or the microwave beep or the can opener work), he comes running into the kitchen and eagerly waits for me to hand him something. If you don't give him something, he follows you around and gibbers something.

Snapshots 1

My girlfriend Jen does a great job of documenting little snippets of the silly stuff her kids do throughout the day. She calls them "Bits and Pieces." I always love those glimpses.

So, I've decided I'm going to totally copy her but call mine "Snapshots."

Here goes:

We were at the grocery store the other day and parked next to a really sexy sports car. Mitchell said it was a Hot Wheels then asked what kind. I told him it was a 350Z. He gets down on his hands and knees and looks under the car and says "Yep, it's a Hot Wheels." (For those of you who don't know, Hot Wheels have the logo and the make on the bottom.)

Noah loves to help put things away. At Kindermusik, we sing a song about putting our toys away. While he's putting things away, he sings, "Thank you, thank you" in the tune of the song.

Noah also loves to throw things away. He'll take a few bites from his waffle then walk over to the trash and throw it away. What's worse is a few hours later when he's walking around with a waffle!

Mitchell likes to name things. Our fall and Halloween decorations all had names. For instance, there was Mr. Punks (our artificial Jack o'Lantern), Mr. Scare (the scarecrow), Mr. Seed (the weird thing on the scarecrow - I think it was supposed to be corn on the cob but I'm not sure) and Mr. Bones and Mr. Teeth (the skeleton decorations). I think it's odd that they're all misters.

Noah wants to draw and write really badly. If he finds a pencil around, he'll grab it up and then start looking for paper (and vice versa). I saw that he even drew on the bottom of one of my laundry baskets.

Mitchell likes to say goodbye to Max as we're pulling out of the driveway. He says "Goodbye sweet kitty girl. Have a good day." Now, Noah waves and says "byyyyeee" as we're backing out. So cute!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Silly Pics from the Weekend

Noah hasn't felt well this weekend (fever, runny nose, congestion, screaming for hours at a time in the middle of the night), so it kinda scrapped our plans of going to Wurstfest yesterday. But, we make life fun wherever we are, so here are some silly pics of the boys from this weekend.

Mitchell won these goggles at a fall festival, and he has to wear them during baths. He also calls them his super hero mask and his new "Wrestle Mania" nickname is the Masked Avenger. (Yes, he even wore them while wrestling with Paul, the Spectacled Spudado.)

Death by pretzels. He may not feel well, but the boy sure can snack!

My little helper. Noah brought me my cup of tea and dripped some on the carpet (very little though, which was surprising). I grabbed a wipe and started to clean it up when he took the wipe from me and started cleaning. Then, I told him to throw it away, so he did!

Closing the lid.

Notice the "necklace" - it's a Halloween headband with devil horns. Like I said, these boys know how to make even the must mundane of tasks fun.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things I Wonder (all in the last few minutes)

  • Why on earth did I think I could have pillows with tassels on my sofa?
  • When did I stop being "mom" and start being "referee?"
  • Do they really not hear me say the same thing over and over and over again?
  • What did Mitchell do this time to make Noah cry?
  • Why do I even have sofa pillows if they spend most of the time on the floor?
  • When will my chocolate chip banana bread be ready?
  • How'd Noah get that bump on his head?
  • Where can I hide that damn wooden recorder?
  • How long until 5 o'clock?
  • Is it wrong to want a glass of wine at 4:10 on a Wednesday afternoon?
  • Does Mitchell ask everyone what their middle name is because I'm constantly calling him by his?
  • Why does it take me almost shouting "Stop It!" for them to finally stop it (for second anyway)?
  • Does Mitchell really think that whining and hugging me after I fuss at him is going to make me less agitated?
  • What's the worse that would happen if Noah fell off the coffee table?
  • When will my chocolate chip banana bread be ready?
  • Is it wrong to want a glass of wine at 4:13 on a Wednesday afternoon?

Halloween Pic (Finally!)

The boys didn't cooperate too well, so I didn't get to take tons of photos on Halloween like I would have liked! Mitchell went as Batman, and Noah was a little monkey. (It's only appropriate that Noah was a monkey, given his jovial personality - he is our little monkey!)

Our neighborhood has houses with big yards that are spread out, so kiddos would be tuckered out after the third house. So, instead, we had a Boo Parade, where all the kids lined up and paraded down one street while the parents lined the curb and handed out candy. Then, we had a big neighborhood party, complete with pizza, all kinds of goodies and bounce houses for fun.

All in all, we had a great time. We're rationing out the candy, one piece at a time. (Though, Mitchell asks every 5-10 minutes!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the Vote!

The last time I voted in a presidential election, I was pregnant with Mitchell. (In fact, I wrote thank-you notes for baby shower gifts while waiting in line.)

This time, it was fun to take the boys with me. It even got me bumped to the very front of the line as we early voted.

Mitchell and I have been talking about what it means to vote and how we choose who we'll vote for. So, now he has his own informed political message.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Things I Can Do Without Everyday

Anna has inspired me to participate in her Monday List Posts. So, to start, my list is Three Things I Can Do Without Everyday, a photo list.

The whine

The digging through my cabinets
(especially the liquor cabinet and the china hutch, as pictured above)

The 3-year-old attitude.
(Here, he's instructing me to not take his photo.)

There is one thing I can't live without though, and that's my boys. I love them all.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Paul!

Yesterday was my dear hubby's birthday. He'll agree that it's appropriate that this birthday wish is a day late, after the day we had yesterday.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

  1. Paul has a great sense of humor. On the day we met, he tried to show me his underwear.
  2. He's a wealth of (mostly) useless knowledge. Well, he has a lot of useful knowledge too. As a kid he had a book of amazing facts, and I think he still remembers every single detail. Mitchell can ask the most absurd question, and Paul has an answer!
  3. He makes fun of me when I say something wrong. Believe it or not, this doesn't bother me. I know I say things wrong, and it's kinda funny. He giggles and corrects me. (You ought to hear me pronounce dinosaur names.)
  4. He loves food almost as much as me. On our first date, neither of us touched our food. I was glad we got over that quickly! Paul is adventurous when it comes to food, which is a good thing, as I like to try new things too. Heck, on our honeymoon, we watched as our waiter went into the courtyard and killed a chicken for our lunch. And, today, he's going to cook cabrito for his birthday.
  5. He cooks, cleans, does laundry and grocery shops. Yes, ladies, my man does it all. He also bathes kids, changes diapers, changes the litter box, takes out the trash, puts gas in my car ...
  6. He loves our kiddos more than anything. When they hear the alarm beep as the door opens when he comes home, they run to greet him and get scooped up for hugs. He reads them stories (complete with voices), plays on the floor and even does "wrestle mania" with them almost daily.

Happy Birthday, Paul. I love you. Looking forward to many, many more.