December 30, 2009

Holy toys, Batman!

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying this, but my house is covered from top to bottom with toys!  I didn't really feel like the kids got all that many toys (compared to previous Christmases) but apparently I was wrong!  The good this is that K is still young enough that I kept half of his toys in the boxes and will bring them out as he gets a little older and bored of his current toys.  Not so much with M though, each toy had to be taken out of the boxes immediately so all of the dolls could be introduced to the millions of other dolls in the toyroom.  Do you have any idea how many "Molly's" we have in this house?  It seems to be her favorite name.  Or "Sarah."  She doesn't know anyone with either of those names so I'm not sure where they came from.

So, I think I have figured out what each of the kids' favorite toys are so far.  K's is....none of them.  He is only interested in remote controls, straws, and socks.  Seriously.  He LIKES all of his toys, but only for about 30 seconds.  But the remote controls hold his interest for literally hours.  M really likes all of her toys, she has spent a fair amount of time playing with each and every one of them.   I think her favorite is the Step 2 roller coaster that we got for her (thanks Grandma!)  It makes her other toys more exciting as well, watching Zhu Zhu pets and K's cars roll down the coaster is almost as much fun as riding it.  We are fortunate enough to have a large playroom that fits the coaster well but I am very much looking forward to taking it outside to try it out in the yard.  Here's M's first trip down the coaster:

(Oh yes, and I've been told that I'm not allowed to post the picture of my wonderful husband riding the coaster, but I think you can picture it in your mind.  It goes without saying that he exceeds the 50 pound weight limit of the coaster, but those are just "recommendations" right? )

Jason and I got so many wonderful gifts, I can't even begin to list them all.  I think this was probably the best Christmas yet as far as gift-giving and receiving goes.  It seems as though everyone was really happy with the gifts we gave and we, of course, love all the gifts we received.  It was also a wonderful Christmas for us because we were able to make it to see my family this year.  The past two years have not been as-planned due to weather and K's birth, so it was nice to finally get a "normal" Christmas this year!  And even better, this year I wasn't 7 days into recovering from a c-section at Christmas!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and made it to their destinations!  I love this time of year but I admit I am so happy when it's over!  This quote says it best:

Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.  ~Kin Hubbard

December 24, 2009

The day we've been waiting for.. finally here!  Merry Christmas everyone, I hope each of you have a safe, happy Holiday Season!

December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to my little man!

I can't believe it's been a year!  One year ago I was prepping for a c-section!  Little did I know when I went in that I would miss his birth.  The spinal blocks and epidurals did not work (after 2 tries of each, OUCH!) so I was completely under.  Looking back, that was probably a good thing.  I didn't get to see him for several hours after he was born, and I was pretty high on pain pills most of the time, so the wait didn't seem so long!  He was born at 36 weeks, technically a late-term preemie, at a whopping 7lbs 15ozs!  The nurses said that he was the biggest preemie that had seen in awhile!  Of course I have to share some "then & now" photos!

Just a little bit after birth.  Jason took this photo so I could see him, since he was in the nursery for breathing issues and I was in recovery.

Just a few months old and he loves to smile!

And here he is today! (well, a couple days ago!)  He certainly has changed in the past year!

Happy Birthday baby boy!!!

December 13, 2009

Code for FREE photo book

One of M's gifts this year was the new Strawberry Shortcake movie "The Sky's The Limit."  VERY cute movie!  Inside it came with a code for a free photobook.  The code is pretty generic so I'm going to assume that it's not a unique code.Go to

and enter code STRAWBERRY at check-out for a FREE cover-photo clutch book, with 20 pages.  I haven't redeemed mine but I redeemed another code from them a few weeks back and the book was beautiful!  Great quality and it's FREE!  It does say that it doesn't cover shipping & tax, but I can't imagine that would be more then $6 or so.

Oh yeah, and the book is NOT at all related to Strawberry Shortcake so those of you with boys or looking
 for gifts, don't worry, it won't be pink & red!

Code is valid through 9/30/10, limit one per customer.  Maximum value of book is $16.95.

December 12, 2009

My mailman is a mind reader!

Apparently I just had to talk about it on my blog for it to happen!  I got Alexandria's ornament in the mail yesterday.  The picture isn't great but I think it's good enough to read the saying.  The bottom part is engraved with her name and dates:

The company that I ordered it from, New England Ornaments, is on my list of places I will definitely buy from in the future!  I always love companies that take the time to write a little personalized note on my invoice!  Here is a picture of it from their website, you can see it better:

So I mentioned that this came from the USPS, but I have to say that I'm really disappointed in UPS.  I ordered several things and two of the items were to arrive here Tuesday, via UPS.  Because of the storm they were delayed, which I understand.  But they easily could have delivered Thursday.  I got notice on Friday that they were loaded up and "out for delivery."  By 8:00 pm I had not gotten them and checked their site.  Both items were taken back and unloaded from the truck and are again delayed do to "weather or natural disaster."  Seriously, all of the roads here have been cleared since Wednesday!  One was a gift that I was planning on giving at a Christmas party today.  The other was something I needed to finish a project for the Christmas party today.  I'm also slightly disappointed in USPS.  I ordered stamps online on December 4th (I wanted pretty holiday stamps) and I still don't have them!  We only had one day without mail delivery from the storm.  So I still have not sent out Christmas cards.  If you haven't gotten one from me, don't think I forgot you!

December 11, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We FINALLY are returning to normal today! After 3 crazy days of snow and wind, Jason is back at work today and M is back at school. I don't know how much snow we ended up getting but it was probably around 15 inches. And the snow was followed by crazy winds that blew the snow all around. And just when we thought we had ourselves completely dug out....the snow plow goes by and shoves it all back in our driveway...twice! I really do like snow though, most people think I'm crazy. I don't even mind driving in it, unless the kids are with me.

We enjoyed our snow days though. I'd be lying if I said that the kids didn't drive me crazy, being trapped in the house for 3 days straight, but we still had fun. We watched some movies, had some homemade hot cocoa, played some "retro" video games, and just relaxed....other then shoveling snow about 8 times. M was sad that she didn't get to try out her new snow pants in the huge drifts, but the temperature here was below zero, or close to, most of the time.

We have our first Christmas party of the year tomorrow, and I think we are all pretty excited. Jason's family is having it early to plan around work schedules and other Christmas parties. It is kind of nice spreading them out though, it seems like the kids spend 4 days in a row ripping open presents, and then it's all over. This year it's kind of like having Christmas twice! We are starting a new tradition this year where we will all open a present from each other on Christmas eve. None of us have any patience and lack self control so it's a wonder that the presents are still under the tree as it is!

Still on the topic of Christmas, I finally got around to ordering Alexandria's annual ornament. In the past I've ordered from Personal Creations and Lenox. I love Lenox and their stuff is so nice, but it's also so expensive. This year I feel like I searched forever for the perfect "memorial" ornament. They are hard to come by and the sayings are not usually appropriate for a baby. Things Remembered has great ornaments, especially their Make-A-Wish line....but they charge WAY too much to have them personalized.  I finally found one at New England Ornaments. Never heard of them before, so I have no clue how it will turn out or when I will get it. I will post a picture of it here and on Alexandria's website when I get it. Here are the ones that I've bought for her first and second Christmas.

1st Christmas
The back is personalized with her name and dates

 This is my favorite so far.  It's so pretty and feminine.  The picture doesn't do it justice but it's from Lenox if you want to see it. (Update:  It is out of stock at Lenox)

December 6, 2009

I love this game!

I'm going to spill the beans about a present that we are getting M for Christmas.  I figure that even if she was clever enough to somehow log on and find my blog, she couldn't read it anyway. :)  I was a little concerned about getting her a video game for Christmas, because really it isn't all that exciting for a 5 year-old to open and let's face it, she has a short attention span! Video games are not cheap.  The game we wanted/got is EyePet.  I cannot put into words how freaking adorable this game is!  It doesn't come out in the US until April so we ordered it on eBay from the UK.  Surprisingly, after converting it to US dollars, it was only 3 dollars more then it will be when it comes out here.

The main idea of the game is that you get a new pet to play with.  You watch it as it is born and you take care of it, completely.  You are responsible for feeding it, cuddling it, cleaning it, etc.  It probably sounds like a typical virtual pet, but this thing is so cool.  It uses the EyeToy, which is pretty much a web-cam that hooks up to the PS3 and puts you in the game.  So you see your living room on the TV and when your pet is on the screen, it looks like he's in your living room.  When you put your hand out and "pet" the animal, the camera notices your movement.

Another thing that's really cool is that you can draw a picture of whatever you want, within reason, and hold it up to the camera.  Then your pet will draw it, and it will come to life on the screen.  Oh yeah, and you can teach it to sing!  Jason's pet can hum to "Smoke On The Water." :)  It really is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.  Plus, if you already own the EyeToy like we do, the game is only $39.99 when it comes out, which is cheap for the PS3.  If you don't have a camera, it's the typical $59.99.

The game has a lot of downloadable content and it seems like most of it so far is free.  Just this past week we downloaded the Christmas pack, so we can dress our little guy up as Santa, a reindeer, or a snowman (complete with a cute little carrot nose!)  You can completely customize your pet, he can have nearly any fur color you want, you can make him polka dotted, you can make him short-haired or long-haired, and he has tons of styling clothes to pick from! :)

Here is the cute little guy:
Try looking at him without going "awwwwww!"  And here is a video of him in action!

Pretty cool, huh?? It comes with a "magic" card, so when that card is on the ground, it transform into whatever you choose. So when you see the jar of food or the trampoline, you would be holding the magic card.  I'm so excited for M to see this!  I know she will love it, and I can almost guarantee that she will have a cute little green pet, with hot pink clothes! :)

December 3, 2009

The story of my Nativity

I have to start out by saying that I've never been a very religious person, I consider myself very spiritual but I don't classify myself into one specific religion.  But that's a whole other subject that I could write pages and pages about!  This story is about my Nativity scene and how I acquired it.  I still get goosebumps talking about it.

I bought the Nativity scene a long time ago.  I believe it was around 1998.  I was living in Ames, IA and was doing some after-Christmas shopping to get a few 75% off bargains.  For anyone that is familiar with Ames, this was before the new Target open, it was a just a little hole-in-the-wall store over by JoAnn Fabrics.  As I was scanning through the 75% off Christmas clearance, I saw this Nativity set.  I had always wanted one but for one reason or another never bought one.  But I wanted this one, it was really nice.  I think it was around $3.00 for the whole set.  The box was torn open, the figures were all over the place...and that's when I noticed one big problem.  There was no baby Jesus in the set. Well what good is a Nativity without the baby Jesus??  I put it in my cart anyway and did more shopping, trying to decide what to do with it.  Downtown Ames is full of little gift shops and I knew that several sold the figures separately, so I bought it!  I finally had my Nativity, now I was on a mission to find a baby Jesus!

I can't remember if it was the same year or the next year when I brought my Nativity out for the first time, but I started shopping around for a baby Jesus for my Nativity.  I swear that I looked in every little gift shop in town.  They were all either too big or too small to fit my set.  It would look akward having a 2-ft tall Mary along side a 2-ft tall baby Jesus!

I worked at Kmart at the time, as I did for the whole time I lived in Ames.  I rememeber everything about this day perfectly, except the actual date.  I believe it was around Christmas time the year after I bought my set.  I was pushing a flat-bed cart back to our stockroom in the back of the store.  I was walking by the shoe department and remember watching a little girl playing with the snowboots while her mom was shopping.  She looked at me and we both smiled at eachother.  And as my cart was passing right by the snow boots, a children's snowboot fell off of the shelf and right in front of my cart.  I noticed something fell out of the boot, but at the time assumed it was just the paper stuffing that comes with new shoes.  I backed up my cart, picked up the boot, and I could hardly believe what I saw.

A tiny baby Jesus figure.

I stood there, with it in my hands, staring at it for a few seconds before asking the little girl if it was hers.  I just assumed she was playing with it.  She said "no" and ran to her mom.  At this point, I know I was still in shock.  I ran the cart back to the stock room as fast as I could and then hurried over to our Christmas department.  Surely the baby Jesus was part of a set that we sold at the time.  Nope. He was the perfect size, the perfect color.  He was plastic, where the rest of my Nativity was ceramic...but he was still perfect.

To this day, I have no idea how that baby Jesus ended up in a boot at Kmart, and what made it fall off the shelf at the exact time I was walking by.  Like I said, I still get goosebumps talking about this and sometimes I think that it's just a story that I made up.  But I have my Nativity and I have that little baby Jesus, and it's not just a story.  Here are are the pictures of it:

Here is a close-up of Mary and Jesus, you can see that Jesus is plastic and Mary is not.

I hope everyone reading this made it through the whole story.  And for those that have heard it before, I apologize for repeating it.

Merry Christmas!

December 1, 2009

Welcome to December!

I know we all say this every single year/month but I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by!  In just a few short weeks I will have a 1-year-old!  Seems like he was just born :(  Before I know it I will be sending him off to kindergarten too!

I've been sick with a terrible cold for a week now, each day it seems to get a little worse.  Because of it, I just feel like I haven't gotten a single thing done.  I haven't worked on the projects I am doing for other people, my house remains a disaster, and my poor kids have been stuck eating cold cereal every morning!  I also haven't taken the time to update my blog.  I have a wonderful post about my Navity and how I acquired it, and I can't wait to share it, but I just don't feel like it today!  So keep your eyes peeled for that, it is sure to give you a goosebump or two!