Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Definition of Busy Used To Be Different

Lately, I feel like I am habitually behind on everything. I seriously don't remember ever being this busy in my entire life. Thing is, once upon a time, I thought I was busy. It was nothing like what I have felt in these past few weeks. And to top it all off, I have been having a rather difficult time getting into the holiday spirit which is in a large part due to how busy and overwhelming this year feels (and the fact that as a result of holiday hussle and bustle several people lost their lives on Friday).

We had a nice enough Thanksgiving holiday. My father and his mother visited for the long weekend. My 90 year old grandmother was having a very difficult time breathing and had forgotten her medicine at home, on top of that my father, her caregiver (if you can call it that) was not very considerate of all. Her hearing, eyesight and mind are almost gone and he treats her like a small child who keeps asking "are we there yet". We all did the best we could and survived the weekend. What a difficult balancing act family can be. On one hand I love my family and get excited when they are coming to visit but sometimes, after they get here, I count the minutes to their departure and then I wind up feeling guilty afterwards.

One of the most endearing things I witnessed this weekend is the flowering friendship between our children and their nephew, the X-man, who is 8 months their senior. On Thanksgiving they were basically playing hide and seek behind furniture at my aunt's house and it reminded me of playing that same game in that very same house with my cousins 20 years ago. It's a trip to live vicariously through one's children. On Friday, the three of them were chasing one another around on the Little Tikes cars at our house and by Saturday Bailey had developed what her father calls a 'cousin crush' on the X-man, for she followed him everywhere at his house. Our children try to walk like him and he gets down and crawls with them.

In case you were wondering, some of us did go shopping on Friday. Actually, some of us skipped Thanksgiving dinner entirely to set up camp outside of Best Buy on Thursday afternoon. Then some of us brought hot cocoa and doughnuts for those crazy enough to stay outside all nate in the late November cold weather for other people's gain. What do I mean other people's gain? These particular people waited outside all night to gain tickets for laptops for other family members. Gosh they're sweet, and I hope some of you liked the cocoa, and thank you. Some of us were waiting outside of Toys 'R Us at 4:15. And some of us, well we slept in with the kids. I will let you all figure out who did what. I know lots of people don't agree with the Black Friday shopping, but I really enjoy the experience. I love having a plan and I love shopping, so it's like Black Friday was invented for me, however, I wasn't the one who camped outside of Best Buy in the cold.

Ward was a tremendous help on Friday afternoon preparing dinner. He peeled vegetables so that I could keep my fingers, he diced, he chopped and fried and washed pot after pot. It was the least stressful of all the dinners thus far, after seven years maybe we are getting a knack for this. Everything was ready at 6 p.m., when our invitations said dinner would begin, our guests however, some of them were not here until after 6:30. My aunts and uncles and even a few cousins (who had never seen the kids) made it by and with over 20 people here it was one of the most uncomfortable dinners we've had. The 'turkey' bread was a hit however and was gone long before I ever thought of taking a picture of it, sorry.

I have some real stories to tell, and how I wanted to get some blogging time in over the weekend, but I will have to wait until tomorrow because I am far too busy to get into them today. But I hope each and every one of you had a happy thanksgiving and are gearing up for the holidays.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Second Customer...well sort of

On Friday a friend of mine and her little girl came over to have some photos taken. As usual, I was extremely nervous and wish I had a ton more confidence, props and backgrounds, maybe in the new year? We had a hard time getting her to smile but we got a good number of shots to work with, I haven't had much time to work on them but she wanted some to take home with her to show family for Thanksgiving so here are a few.

This weekend, Family Christmas Pictures.

Gearing up for...Turkey Day?

Have you noticed recently the new name pegged with the fourth Thursday of November? More and more people are referring to it as 'Turkey Day'. I know it's a harvest celebration in which we focus mainly on food but 'Turkey Day', really? Is it really the only day of the year when the 305 million of us in the United States eat Turkey? People hate when Christmas is shortened to Xmas, well I hate when Thanksgiving is slanged Turkey Day, maybe it's the vegetarian in me.

Despite our reluctance to acknowledge this Thursday as Turkey Day we will be having our annual Black Friday/No Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner with a twist this year. We will be having turkey,

not a real Turkey, but a Turkey nonetheless. Ward is so excited about it, can't you tell?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving we will also be reading this wonderful short story to the children about a group of students who visit Farmer Mack Nuggett and his eight Turkeys who are about to be made into Thanksgiving dinner when the children get a better idea. I don't believe this book is 'leftist crap' or 'anti-farmer' as many amazon reviewers suggested. It is a light, funny, make believe story that is a nice twist on Thanksgiving, especially for vegetarian families like ourselves.

Oh, and let's not forget some of the things I am thankful for today:

1. Sunshine.

2. Naptime.

3. Coffee.

4. My Nikon D80 and all the things I have been able to record with it over the past 8 months.

5. Washing machine and dryer. I can’t say that I love them, but can you imagine life without them?

6. Bubble bath, good books and an hour to myself.

7. My wonderful husband who does everything for me and who turns 34 today.

8. Being able to stay home with our children.

9. That my mom, dad, brother, sister and mother-in-law called me yesterday.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm Thankful. Very, very thankful.

I haven't had a lot of things to post about this week. I have been chasing around two foot tall treasures and busy at nap times with holiday planning with a very busy four day weekend coming up ahead. I have had several ideas but before I have a had a moments chance to post the thought has escaped and I haven't chased them down.

However, this morning we were having a lazy morning with Banana-Pecan waffles and coffee for us and regular waffles and milk for the kids when I thought about the holidays coming up and how much Thanksgiving is just brushed over, at least in my famiy. It just feels like any other day most of the time, like we are just pushing through so that Black Friday and Christmas can be upon us. I want to take back Thanksgiving, give it some meaning.

So for the next few days I am going to focus on all of the things I am thankful for, little or huge, in no particular order, starting with:

  1. Ward, Cooper and Bailey. Thankful seems like such a small word for how lucky I feel to have these people as my focus, my center, my core.
  2. My friends and family. I won't take time to list everyone, you know who you are.
  3. Our roof. And by roof, I mean our shelter, our home. We have a roof over our heads that we often take for granted when we really shouldn't, especially in a year when Americans are losing their homes at all time records. And yet many of those people are still far more fortunate than millions of other people in the world, without a roof or shelter of any kind.
  4. Bread and cherry coke.
  5. That my Father who turns 70 tomorrow is still alive, that his mother, who turned 90 in April is still alive and that my maternal grandmother who is 80 can still keep up with us at Potomac Mills.
  6. That I am finally a mother.
  7. My children's laughs.

Ok, I could go on and on, and I probably will as the week progresses but I have to start thinking about dinner and grocery lists so I should log off. But I encourage all of you to take time this week and reflect on all the things you are grateful for.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

Click here. Then come back.

OK, are you back? Am I the only person that finds a Hollywood's Hottest Toddlers List tacky? Am I the only person who thinks this seems more likely a story in Star or Us Weekly or People but not Forbes?

And Suri? Really? Number 1? Shiloh definitely trumps Suri, right? And where is Violet Affleck?

But seriously, isn't it enough to grow up in thier highly successful parent's shadow and yet in the spotlight all the time. I can't get over how many lists these toddlers appear on. The cutest. The most fashionable. I think it's disgusting, personally.

But doesn't Matilda Ledger look just like Heath Ledger? So sad.

36 and counting, at least some of us are.

Last night we went to Target as we'll probably do at least four times a week until January 1st, when we will ground ourselves from going out shopping. We have decided to make gift baskets for the harder to shop for people on our list so we were strolling through the Christmas isles when I saw a sign that said 36 days until Christmas. At first I thought that seems like a lot of time, and then I thought about all of the things to do between now and then and I just know it will fly by.

It always seems like the really good stuff just flies by, you have to be really focused to catch it. I can't count how many days and hours I have put into an event for the party to last a measly 3 or 4 hours, it hardly seems worth it except that the party is usually so good and the memories so warm that I do it all over again the next time. My point is, that those 36 days are probably going to fly by, especially with Bailey and Cooper around.

This morning I turned on a Christmas Music Radion Station on Rhapsody and have been listening all day as I play with the kids, bake Banana Bread and address Cookie Exchange Invitations. Ward came home at lunch and said, "No, not already." He meant the music, not the holiday. I love music anyways, but Christmas music is just a nice background noise to keep me merry and festive for the next 36 days, poor Ward. I am, of course, working on a Christmas Playlist, so if you have any suggestions, send 'em my way.

I feel silly going on and on about Christmas, but it's already in the air, and it's my favorite time of year. So unfortunately for you, dear readers, I fear it will be a lot about Christmas between now and January, when it will be all about First Birthday Parties. Speaking of parties, this year we actually have a couple of parties we're invited to, I am looking forward to parties at somebody elses house!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Just Saved A Bunch of Money...On My Photo Order

As you can probably tell from reading or viewing my blog, I love pictures. I love to take them, I love to look at them, I love to decorate with them, with the exception of actually being in them, I love pictures.

I also love to give pictures. For Christmas this year I am giving people several photo gifts that I have worked very hard on (taking, sorting, organizing, uploading, you get the picture right? Ha, ha, funny huh?). I had several projects on Snapfish I was working on when I woke up this morning. Calendars, albums, books. When I checked my email this morning I had a Free Shipping all day coupon. I had to rush during nap times to get my books and calendars ready but I made it and I just completed the order. The total was very expensive but I saved $50.44 on shipping!!!

That in and of itself is like an early Christmas Gift to myself. These are gifts I would have been purchasing anyways and I saved that much money. Usually snap fish photos aren't any cheaper than Ritx Pix because of the difference in shipping but I got my photos for 8 cents a piece and didn't even have to leave home.

Ah, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

We were out of town over the weekend shopping at Potomac Mills. It was a wonderful trip but we are all still recovering so that we can be ready for next Friday!

So I wanted to share the wealth, if you have photos or photo gifts to order you can go to Snapfish and use the code SHIPALLFREE until midnight tonight to get free shipping.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Wish You A Merry Christmas, I Know It's Early But Some Of Us Were A Little Late Getting Here To Begin With

I have been known to go a little overboard at Christmas, and I don't just mean in what I consume on my plate but in my planning, spending and decorating, amongst other things.

It's no secret, Christmas is my favorite Holiday and I treat it that way. I love garland, cookies and Christmas Vacation. I have been known to drink cocoa at Christmas, and I hate cocoa. I enjoy, and I mean thoroughly, wrapping presents. I enjoy trimming my steps even though it takes hours. I laugh at my scale while I inhale another Lindt Truffle with a side of Sugar Cookie.

For the past few years Christmas around here has been escalating. The trees got bigger, the presents more numerous, the parties grander and grander. Two years ago my very best blunt friend told me that I was trying to compensate for not having children in our home over the holiday most focused on little ones. I didn't deny it (remember, I skipped straight to anger), in fact I saw it for what it was. The simple truth.

Not only did I not have my own children but all of my nieces and nephews live out of the state. I was filling stockings and making iced sugar cookies for a bunch of people who have been around since before the first Bush's administration. It was sad, but everyone played along quite nicely. I bought Christmas hats for the dogs and made Ward climb up on the roof to display one billion lights like the Grizwalds. I baked Snickerdoodles and watched How The Grinch Stole Chirstmas and Rudolph all by myself.

When my sister got pregnant in 2006 I was so excited that in less than a year I would finally have a neice or nephew to spoil throughout Christmas. On December 26th, 2006 as I ran through Target with my three carts full of 50% off merchandise I bought up everything I thought my nephew would enjoy the following year (Sorry, not kidding, I had my brother and sister each manning a cart and had to have Ward meet me at Target to help me carry my loot home, it's a wonder no one killed me, they all just sighed and shook their heads. In an even sadder footnote, all that merchandise went home and was carried by my entire family, pregnant sister and all into our very empty Nursery.).

When my nephew was born in April 2007 and I got pregnant the same month, I was overjoyed that finally after all these years we would have three children to celebrate the holidays with. I expected, as described in my very first blog post, to give birth early to mid December. What happened instead was house arrest through the week of Christmas and New Year's. I didn't get to have our annual Christmas party or cook or bake (but Ward took up the slack and baked EVERYTHING for Chirstmas Day). I didn't get to go to Christmas Eve dinner at my aunts but stayed on the couch with false contractions and self pity instead. It was sort of a bummer of a Christmas really. I was hoping the babies would be here but knew that the longer they stayed with me, the better. But I still shopped and went over the top, as usual. When I couldn't go anywhere I just shopped on-line.

Every year for the past six I have kept the reciepts of my holiday spending, sort of a form of torture I suppose. I compare them with the previous year's spending. But unfortunately I don't do this until the end of the holiday season. Every year the number grew and grew, when last year the number reached an all time high.

It was all very crazy and stupid, I know that now. I really was compensating for the hole in my holiday. I am so excited about Bailey and Cooper's first holidays I can't even describe it. It's a little sad to me that we've really no money to spend, but at the same time we can shift our focus from 'things' to where it needed to be all along. I know I had and have a wonderful support system and extended family. Their spending the holidays with us was wonderful and I don't want anything about that to change. But the addition of Bailey, Cooper and Xavier to our holidays, well that really is the best present of all. It's amazing how someone's existence, the simple fact of them being around, can mean so much.

So I guess I'm trying to say that there will be no GPS systems this year. That there will be fewer packages to unwrap. That there will be less cocoa around. But what I hope to have found in it's place is what should have been the main focus all along.

I know that this first Christmas is really all about me and Ward and the Grandparents but I can't wait for Reindeer mix spreading in the lawn, and readings of A Christmas Carol, The Gift of The Magi and The Polar Express. I look forward to holiday family portraits and hanging stockings. Letters to Santa and the trips to see him that follow. Cookies and milk left for Santa by the fireplace (and the explanations that follow about our ventless unit). Songs sang by the well lit tree. A new ornament each year. Watching Rudolph, It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. Hiding gifts where we can. School made ornaments proudly displayed at the front of the tree. Children begging us to wake up at 4 a.m. on Dec. 25th. The looks of excitement on their faces as they see the things that Santa has left for them. Baking and icing cookies together. Train rides in the mall. The Nutcrakcer. Christmas Music. Snow on the lawn. Lights in the yard. Candy cane in their hair. I know it won't all be like Norman Rockwell painted it. But then, it doesn't have to be to be absolutely perfect.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Morning...

I am suffering. No, really I am. I am having an identity crisis. As you can tell from my blog re-design I am trying to overcome the crisis, but I've a feeling I'm not there yet.

Last night I was lying in bed, unable to sleep yet again. I had a post all but written in my mind, but then sleep took me and I awoke hours later without even a clue as to what that post was even about. It was probably the solution to the crisis in which I find myself but I guess we'll never know. But I did know one thing. I am not the cutest blog on the block, so why was I pretending to be? I had to fix the problem, here all around you is the current result.

I am listening to Fleet Foxes, The Raconteurs and The National on shuffle on Rhapsody. I need a little music going on right now. It's like a little added oxygen. What a beautiful tune can do to my mood.

I finally finished that not so interesting novel I was reading, Nefertiti. I hate when reading feels like work. I am now reading The Book Thief, this month's book group selection. The writing is different and I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

So the identity crisis. Well, once I figure it out I will try and explain it. I figure if I could explain it I wouldn't be in crisis. I don't even know if it's a crisis, not yet anyways. It's more like identity confusion.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Why I Loves Scarves.

So it's cold here in Virginia now, at least some of the time. With highs of 47 and lows of 27 but an occasional 'hot' and sunny 75 being snuck in there for the pure torture of it. Thing is, I don't mind the cold as much as the heat. Don't get me wrong I would rather not be hot or cold, but just right, like Baby Bear Porridge, but if need be I would take bundling up in the cold over sticky and hot.

We have a lot of holiday functions at our house, from Black Friday Celebratory dinners, to Christmas Mexican Movie Night and Christmas Day Festivities. But in an effort to feed and entertain our guests, we don't turn up the heat.

A few years ago when we were building this house we were still living in our ranch in the city. In an effort to save money I decided I wouldn't turn the heat on at all until I absolutely couldn't bear it any more. About mid-November, after Ward had a run in with my frosty feet, he ordered me to go and turn on the heat, at least to 65. When we moved here we set our heat at a bare minimum to off set the higher electric bill thanks to Southside Electric Co-op. My sister always jokingly tells me that she has to bundle up to come to our house and often leaves her coat on for the duration of her stay at our house during the winter months.

Yesterday, we took some cookies over to our neighbors house and the husband was complaining about how cold their house was at 72, so he raised the heat to 74. I wasn't cold at all, but overly comfortable, I could have taken off a few layers. Then this morning I was on the phone with my sister who said she had her heat at 73 after inching it up from 71 where it was this morning. She then asked me what my thermostat was set at, I checked, 66 both upstairs and downstairs. She laughed at me and said that she would bundle up on Christmas in a big warm sweater.

Maybe it's my cold heart that allows me to be so content with the cold. Maybe I've gotten used to the cold because Ward doesn't like it to be too warm so it's not too harsh a shock to his system when he goes out to work in the cold (which the WIND makes the COLD much worse I assure you, I hate WIND as much as I hate being very hot, I am so hard to please). Maybe it's staying with my grandparents when I was young in their very cold house and hearing my grandfather talk about saving money and not having heat when he was young (after walking home from school ten miles no doubt). But I just don't seem to mind the colder weather. It lets me know that the holidays are approaching. It helps me get good use out of all those bulky sweaters taking up too much room in my closet. And who doesn't love to be bundled up in bed under a cozy winter comforter (yes, we have both Summer and Winter bedding around here).

My only concern is for our children. I don't want them getting frost bite in bed. So I will turn the heat up, a little more, between now and January (when it gets REALLY cold), but their drawers are well stocked with fleece pjs and we may finally get use of the plethora of blankets given to us for the babies at the shower last November.

And there are acorns everywhere. You know what that means right? A terrible winter.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to move to Alaska. Ever. But I don't know if I could handle the desert either.


Friday, November 7, 2008

My Last Resort

Whoever said it was all over when the kids start walking, man I hope they were joking. Our children are standing but not yet walking, at least not without the help of their Walk N Rides. But they are into everything. And when I mean everything I mean everything except their toy box. They are into climbing the stairs, they are into opening cabinets and taking out all of the contents, they are into jumping or lunging out of their cribs, but their toys seem safe and unharmed in the toy box.

I am trying to use my authoritative "No" voice when I catch them in the act, but they just stop, look at one another and head into some other off limits zones in the house. I am trying to be understanding. I let them crawl all over the kitchen table chairs, which I would never let my other friends or family do. I let them smear broccoli all over the place and rarely, if ever complain about cleaning it up, I would never let the other people I love do that without handing them a towel or washcloth. But I am about at my wits end. I haven't been anywhere since the polls on Tuesday, maybe I am just going a little batty. I don't know.

What I do know is that my authoritative voice is not working and the only thing my children appear to be afraid of is our vacuum. Whenever I turn it on (which is after every meal or snack and when I need to do some real vacuuming of rugs and the hardwoord) they crawl as fast as I have ever seen them crawl away from the loud, mobile monster before them, eating those bits of Puffs and Waffle hidden away in thier high chairs that they were saving for later. I am terrible, I'll admit. I think it is hilarious. They don't cry but they crawl like maniacs, sometimes I leave it running for just a second or so longer because it is just so funny to watch.

Today they were getting into the Pyrex ware which is perfectly positioned at their level in the kitchen cabinets and I said "Bailey and Cooper, NO!" Bailey looked at Cooper and gave this 'should we listen to her or not' face. I then said "I'm going to get the vacuum." And they crawled off to play under the high chairs.

Thing is, I was only kidding, but now I'm realizing, maybe I am on to something.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ten Month Photos

Because I had so much fun yesterday and because I totally missed the ball on the nine month photos I decided to take Bailey and Cooper outside for a totally unposed 10 month shoot. One hundred and seventy-five photos later we decided to come in. I don't know if it is because I love taking pictures or because I find my own children irresistable, but I just kept on shooting.

This is Cooper on his knees which I just love, with our cat Sammy who just had to be in our impromptu shoot. Sammy loves people all of all sizes, but especially children.

Coop on those knees of his again, ah I just love it.

This is one of my least favorite from today, but I thought that the effect was cool with all of those bright crisp colors.

Sammy especially loves little girls.

But who can blame him?

Bailey clapping. Have I mentioned that I love Photoshop Lightroom? Thanks, Chris!

Um, Thank You, I Guess

My father just called me.

"I wanted to call and say Congratulations." he said.

Completely cought off guard and wondering if he's seen the pictures on my blog or something I replied, "For what?"

"Well you're the first person I knew to openly support Obama, you must be very happy and excited with his win."

"Yes, I am very happy and excited"

My father is not the Obama fan I am and only joined his camp after Clinton excited the race in June. He is a Democrat through and through though. I on the other hand really tried to educate myself and was won early on by Obama (though for a brief moment I was a Biden supporter and was happy to see him join the ticket in August). But I don't know if congratulations are in order.

Not for me anyways.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When Superman Stops In

A few weeks ago another mother from Playgroup sent me a friend request on Facebook before actually meeting me, when we met she asked if I had taken the photos of Bailey and Cooper on Facebook, she told me she thought they were very good and asked if she could bring her son Spencer over some time to have his photos taken. I was thrilled, secretly I would love to be a photographer but I know that I still need a lot more experience before I can really make that claim. Photography is one of those things that I have loved for as long as I can remember.

So last week she contacted me via Facebook and asked if I would take pictures of her son in his costume for Halloween, we couldn't get together before Halloween so we made plans to meet here today at 11 a.m.

I have been so nervous about this, I can't even begin to explain how nervous I have been, almost to the point of cancelling because I was so afraid that I wouldn't get any good photos for her. Our agreement was that I would take the pictures for free and give her a disk of my completed work in exchange to have permission to use the photos for advertising and promotion. In other words, it was my first job, but I didn't make anything.

All morning I was a wreck, worrying about the shoot and hoping that I wouldn't be a huge disappoint but she was very laid back and it went way better than I expected (I know I'm supposed to be working on my positive attitude but I fear failure). They were here about 45 minutes and I snapped away. My children were napping so I had a chance to work on a few shots right away. So far I have got a few I hope she will like. She likes the black and white stuff I did with the twins photos so I worked a lot with black and white.

I think it went so well because he is such a cute, photogenic kid.

The little boys Dad was away for work on Halloween so his mom wanted to get some shots of him in his costume for him, hopefully she will find one she likes!
In the next few days I would like to get outside and take some pictures of the twins, the fall foliage make for such a wonderful backdrop.

Today, I really am proud to be One.

I watched hours upon hours of television last night. I stayed up until well after midnight and I only forced myself to go to bed because I have a busy day today. But what I witnessed last night was so powerful that my thoughts were not lending me to sleep. I am so proud of my country at this moment. I was so worried that the race would be so much closer, that by today we would still not know the direction we were headed, but at 11:01 when they announced the winner, I was awestruck, complete with tears and goosebumps.

This morning, before I jump into the many things I have to do today I checked a few blogs and Facebook. I wanted to see the reaction of my friends and family to the election. What I saw was mostly what I had expected, the Obama supporters overjoyed and moved, the McCain supporters dissappointed and suggesting voters were 'drunk' when heading to the polls or that we are a 'stupid country' but aside from those negative, expected comments one Facebook users comment really struck me. A friend of mine from Germany commented 'we obviously can'. That she, being not an American, would look at this victory on our soil as "we" is so moving to me. It supports my belief that we are all connected, the entire world, that the world was looking at us, and that we made the right decision. Last night as I saw the footage of the people of Kenya jumping and cheering the same as the people of Chicago, my mind was swarming with the thoughts of the rest of the world and how we are a great nation, and once again I am proud to be part of this wonderful nation.

I know a lot of people are disappointed that their candidate wasn't elected, and I can understand that. But I hope in the days and weeks and months to come that they decide to support their new president so that we can come together and get this country moving in the right direction again. I hope that Obama will be as strong a leader as I think he can be, that he does not disappoint.

I could go on and on, but I really do have tons of things to do today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WOO-HOO, We Did It!!


We Voted!!

We got up early (OK, not really) and went for a run (yes, really) and went straight to the polling booths where we were voters 137 and 138 in our line, which was one of two. Roughly 300 folks have already voted in our precinct already today at 8 a.m. It it a pretty small precinct or so I thought. The last time we voted we were 67 and 68 and it was 6:45 p.m., that just goes to show that people are really turning out for this one. So get out and go vote no matter who you are voting for, it is your duty. We didn't vote for the same candidate (though we've tried mercilessly to change the other's mind these past few days) but we did vote as a family.



Alright, the polls around here opened up 10 minutes ago, so get you're lazy butts out of bed and go vote.

I hope that every one of you who would read this will vote today, and I hope that you will vote for the Candidate whom you HONESTLY THINK will steer this crazy country in a BETTER direction.

So, lets hear it for democracy people. Get out there and show them what you think. And let's all hope that Americans across the country can be civilized enough to get through this day with out resorting to violence, I know that it is embedded into out DNA, but lets try to rise above today.


Monday, November 3, 2008

I've Been Busy. Really. I promise.

I would love to tell you all that I have been away these past few days coming up with brilliant blogs and eloquently composing them in the late hours of the day and that I have several ready to post. Unfortunately, that would be a lie and I hate to do that to you, so I will tell you the truth. I have been busy and yet also very boring.

Lately, I feel like time is just flying by, I mean it's November already, my children are almost ten months old, how could this year have happened so quickly? Why can't I remember most of the first four months of this year? Will I ever get those memories back or is that some sort of defense mechanism set in place to make sure that we continue to reproduce? Earlier today when I posted that picture of little Coop, from several months ago, I couldn't even remember him looking like that. He transformed so slowly and right before my eyes that I don't even remember it happening.

I can remember that those first few months were hard, and I hardly slept, but I also yearn for those times. That they would have lasted longer, that we could return there again and soon. And yet, at the same time, I try to move to sippy cups, encourage walking and repeat the same word dozens of times just to hear their soft voices mimick me. I feel pulled in these different directions. I told the manager today that if they could all be like Bailey and Cooper I would have 50 more. And in some aspects, I really believe that.

At the same time, however, I feel like we are busy almost nonstop. At least there are times in the day when it's going, going, going, nonstop. It makes finishing a boring book more difficult, (at this time I cannot recommend Nefertiti: Book of the Dead by Nick Drake, maybe, if I ever finish it, I will change my mind and recommend it, but yesterday it put me to sleep in the tub). This morning I was running around trying to pay quarterly taxes, put kids down for a nap, laundry, my "4th" post, putting away Halloween stuff, and getting ready to meet my sister and Grandmother for lunch and I felt like my head was going to implode. It doesn't help that I have pathetic organization skills and I was trying to do all of these things at the same time.

Maybe it's true what I've heard, about this time in your life going by so fast. With the children's first birthday quickly approaching I wonder if all of the years when they are small will pass this quickly. If it will all be a blur. I am thankful for my journals. I start projects all the time, especially ones that are meant to chronicle this time in our lives. I am working on half a dozen Christmas gifts (one of them was actually supposed to be a birthday present for someone who was born in May and never got finished), several scrapbooks, photos in Lightroom, Thanksgiving invitations, and several blog ideas. I am trying to read several books a month and get up the courage or whatever it's going to take to run (yes, I quit after one week in June). I have (mostly) good intentions but my personality is fighting those good intentions and I am not sure who is winning.

As if the real things, the physical day to day things, aren't taking up enough time, I have recently decided to be a more positive, nice person. I had decided after some self-reflection that I am not always at my best and that I tend to focus on people's worse. I wanted to correct this and began right away with the mother in law as my first project. I have been trying VERY HARD, with some success. But then my Dad was in town this weekend and he does some very frustrating things, and I may not have been as nice to him as I could have been, but then he did call Ralph Nader an arrogant SOB in front of the kids.

With all the running around and being so busy I am finding that one of my flaws is just expressing itself more and more; I have been late on several occasions recently and where as I do have two small children, it would be a lie to say it was their doing and since I hate to lie to you I won't. I am late because I think I can do more than I really can in a the time that I have. I want to squeeze in more minutes, any ideas? It all comes back to the poor organizational skills. I will make lists all day and into the night but they never seem to really help me stay on top of things, but boy do I love to sratch things off of them.

In addition to everything else going on I have been fighting the urge to get whiny and depressed. I don't know if it's the election or the climate change but I have been having some ups and downs (mostly downs), which are only made worse by the fact that I don't want to seem down and out in front of the kids. As of this weekend, I am hopeful that things are on the up and up, that good things are coming, that I need to be in higher spirits. I have been hesitant to call it depression, but it is not a comforting feeling. It's the kind that lead to lying in bed for hours watching the time slowly change.

Speaking of time change, those of you who live in a state where you don't recognize daylight savings, be thankful, especially those of you with small children. Daylight saving sucks for children. They don't understand it, they want everything as before, by yesterday's clocks. It isn't the worse thing but it is yet another period of adjustment that we could do without. On the brighter side it is light when Ward goes to work. On the darker side, it is dark by 5:15. I always hated that when I was a kid.

Before I go, I must say something about trick-or-treaters. We put alot of energy into Halloween. We get dressed up, we put out a Graveyard and buy $10 of Dry Ice. Halloween is something we look forward to, that is why we put in all of the effort and buy bags upon bags of candy. This year however I noticed something I really didn't like. RUDENESS. Maybe it's because I have children now, maybe it's because we're in an economic crisis and I could have put the $20 in candy to good use elsewhere, but I couldn't get over the rudeness from the children who came by our house. I had ONE trick-or-treater whom I heard a 'thank you' from. I understand I am a stranger but these kids had no problem taking my candy. But I had a couple of trick-or-treaters who were down right rude, one of them was so nasty exclaiming "Hey, I only got one piece!" that I momentarily thought about asking for the one piece back. Maybe we live in a ruder part of the country, but I was really disappointed in the manners of most of our trick-or-treaters. It's as though many of these kids thought they were entitled to candy. I think it is a bad sign what I saw Friday night, some children are shy and possibly afraid of people dressed as Vampires and Witches, but some children appear to be completely without manners.

OK, I need to get off my soap box and let Nefertiti put me to bed. It takes at least two days to reach normality after the time change.


4th of 4th

I have been tagged by James, with a 4th of 4th photo blog posting. You may not know this about me, but I love to be tagged.

So I was supposed to go into my pictures and open the fourth folder and post the fourth photo. Well, I am using my laptop and I have only been putting photos on here since I got the Nikon D80 in March so here is the fourth of fourth:

We took this picture to email to his aunt so she could make him a cape. He looks so little, gosh they've grown so fast.

So I am supposed to tag three other people so I will make it easy and tag my three followers, Wesley's Mom, Boomer Gran, and Heather.

We have been super duper busy this week and I have a few things I want to post about and as soon as I find some spare time I will get a real post up.