Saturday, November 29, 2008

trimming the tree

Today we started the first phase of holiday decorating. The tree! I had some little helpers that did a great job of clumping the garlands and decorations in a 10 inch square radius(is that an oxymoron?). Aiden got bored and went outside to help the guys with the Christmas lights. Amelia, Grandma and I applied the finishing touches.

Friday, November 28, 2008

happy birthday/thanksgiving day

Yesterday I celebrated by 33rd birthday by cooking a turkey. It wasn't as bad as I made that sound. I was surrounded by family, ate delicious food and had a perfectly wonderful day. Many thanks to the sweet friends that dropped by, sent an email or called. All three of you (just kidding). We had a fun day of watching the parade, eating homemade cinnamon buns, opening presents (just me), eating turkey and playing games. I was absolutely spoilt by Dale who surprised me with a big girl camera. I guess my incessant whining finally wore him down. Now I have many many hours of learning how to actually use such a fancy camera but it should be fun. Here's a few pictures from yesterday but keep in mind I haven't even opened the manual yet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

game day

Sunday, Orville and Dale headed to the Seahawk's game. Too bad they are having such a terrible season.

Monday, November 24, 2008

bonding time

Dale's parents are visiting for the next 3 weeks and it's really giving the kids some time to get to know their grandparents. Amelia is having a ball being doted on each day. Playing tea party, reading books and generally being the center of attention while Aiden is in school. Aiden loves the extra adult to kid ratio as well which helps me out too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

pop quiz

what has more sodium, celery or chocolate?

answer: celery! (125mg) chocolate (50mg)
maybe this low sodium thing won't be so bad...

Friday, November 21, 2008


This morning I went to an ENT specialist about my dizziness and vertigo. He thinks it is most likely an 'atypical early-onset' of Meniere's disease. After my MRI next week to rule out a tumor or MS I'll be starting a lovely low salt diet and a diuretic prescription. This isn't the end of the world but I was a little disheartened to having to be watching my diet so closely (it is really restrictive and you can't fluctuate your salt intake or it makes it worse) and taking a diuretic makes me feel really old. Happy birthday to me next week, old lady.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the 'hor'

Yesterday, I had Aiden's parent teacher conference. Everything is going well in school and his teacher was excited to show me a picture Aiden drew. Up until a month ago, it was extremely difficult to get Aiden to draw a picture or write any letters. Overnight the light switched and I now have numerous skateboard pictures floating around the house and his name written everywhere. The picture he drew was a horse and he sounded out the word and wrote the letters " H O R". I was talking to Aiden about it later telling him what a good job he was doing, sounding out words and writing the letter. Enthusiastically I said, "you spelled out 'hor' that's fantastic!" As I was saying it I realized what it sounded like. Hopefully he doesn't go around bragging that he knows how to spell 'hor'.

chicken enchilada casserole

6 tortillas
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp oil
4 oz can green chilies, chopped
1/2 cup red peppers diced
10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 - 1 cup grated carrot (I use a hand blender)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups grated mozza cheese
1 cup salsa
3 cups cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces

Cut each tortilla into 6 pieces
Saute onion in oil
Add carrot, peppers, soup and half the grated cheeses
Cook slowly until the cheeses melts
Line a greased casserole with half the tortilla pieces
Cover with 1/2 cup salsa
Layer with half the chicken, then half the cheese sauce
Repeat layers
Top with remaining cheeses
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes
(I make a double batch for more than 4 adults)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My in-laws arrive this afternoon and I am frantically trying to clean the house with you-know-who two steps behind me. Besides the standard empty every draw, throw everything around the room and general messiness. Today she's pulling out the big guns: dental floss booby traps, putting 20 (seriously) wash clothes in the bathroom sink and turning on the water until I track down the sound of running water, removing her diaper every time I turn around (I am fearing a surprise on the floor)and tearing apart her brother's artwork.
* update: Just went into the powder room where she has pulled a roll of toilet paper from the roll, put a bunch of wipes in the toilet and put her diaper in the garbage can with her stuffed monkey underneath.

Monday, November 17, 2008

clean car, messy face

Yesterday afternoon I decided to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Once outside with the kids I noticed my neighbor washing his car and decided to do the same. By this time Aiden had drummed up a play date with a neighbor and I just had Amelia outside with me. I let her climb around the inside of the car, buckling her teddy bear in her car seat, trying out Aiden's booster seat, waving hi to me, all very cute. I was thinking to myself on how easy it was to finally get something done and not have to worry that Amelia was undoing my work. I was scrubbing the tires and popped up to check on Amelia and she had found an old lipstick buried in the bottom of the console. I tried to open the door, which she had locked so I ran inside to grab my keys (and camera). She was a little disappointed that I wanted to wipe it off so quickly and kept repeating "pretty, pretty.."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dear Dale:

I hope you have enjoyed your four day trip away from us, we sure have missed you! As you enter the house through the laundry room after midnight tonight please notice the coat rack that has fallen off the wall and the pile of coats stacked on the floor. Now as you enter the family room please don't turn on the stereo, the speakers are blown. Looking up to the ceiling you'll notice the giant hole above the pot rack where you took down the sheet rock due to a leak last week. Speaking of ceilings one of the recessed halogen lights in the basement bathroom is hanging from the ceiling. But before you leave the kitchen, do you hear the strange ticking sound the fridge is making? Oh, and speaking of strange ticking sounds the toilet in the master bath is making a weird sound. We are so glad you're home and can fix all these nuisances!
ps: your parents arrive the day after tomorrow! Better get busy.

nfl teams according to Aiden

the 'Clegeland Blacks'
the 'Brown Bay' Packers

Thursday, November 13, 2008

easy gift tags

Today I started to wrap some Christmas gifts. I haven't made any gift tags this year but then I came up with quick and easy idea that had me excited to use of some old supplies. I just punched a circle out of cardstock with my 2 inch circle punch, chose the needed letter for personalization from one of my many half used alphabet sticker sheets and voila, cute tag! I wrote a message on the back of the tag and punched a hole to thread the ribbon through.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

rememberance day

I know it's Veteran's Day in the U.S. but I took a quick day trip with the kids to Canada. My Grandpa was in a Remembrance Day ceremony and I was so thankful I went. The kids were quite well behaved during the one hour ceremony and I was touched to see Aiden pick Amelia up and have her sit on his lap. My Grandpa looked so handsome and dignified and I really wish I had remembered my camera (or anyone else in my family). Afterwards we went to my grandparents for lunch and had a nice visit. The kids enjoyed playing with Gram's jewelry and getting a bonus day with Grandma and Auntie Ashleigh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

nice fall afternoon

Dale and Aiden did a little fall cleaning for me last night. This morning I was inspired to finish the job. I find the month of November I feel out of sorts. Halloween is over, there is Thanksgiving but I'm feeling done with the fall decor. I like to prepare for Christmas this month but it's all hidden. I redid the dining table and family room mantle and I now feel settled until December. I found Amelia laying on the coffee table at 3:30p so I thought we would try again for a nap. She can't give them up all ready! Now Amelia is asleep in her crib, Aiden is feeling under the weather and is resting on the couch behind me and I am enjoying a gingerbread latte and a piece of pumpkin bread. Nice and quiet.

littlest hobo

Amelia loves to sit on the dryer while I do laundry. She put this hat on and started digging through the garbage can. Too cute.

quick and easy

I left these ones on the dining room table for a few days and now they are curled up and dried out. I'll grab 10 more leaves today , write on them with a paint marker and press them under a book until Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 7, 2008

wardrobe wars

Yesterday seemed like an infinite battle with Aiden to get dressed. Usually I lay out his clothes the night before and most days he wakes up and gets dressed no problem. Then there are the days he wants to pick his own clothes and usually that means a favorite dirty shirt out of the hamper (I remember having these same battles with my Mom in high school{isn't that gross!}) He wanted to wear a sweater vest with no shirt underneath (I desperately wanted to ask him if that was to show off how 'thin' his arms were but I refrained). He was willing to wear a shirt over top of the vest but not underneath, which just looked ridiculous. Finally he consented on a button up shirt under the sweater vest, jeans but insisted on dress shoes. The dress shoes are two sizes too small but he insisted and by that time I was only thinking 'let this be a lesson that Mama knows best' and you go right ahead and enjoy those blisters on your feet. After a five minute struggle to get the shoes on his feet it was time for outerwear. He doesn't like how 'puffy' his winter jacket is and thinks his fireman rain coat 'is too baby'. The kids are supposed to dress for outside recess regardless of the weather but Aiden showed up at school yesterday all spiffed up with his too small dress shoes and a light fleece jacket. I'm sure his teacher thinks I'm an idiot. In the time Aiden and I were 'discussing' his wardrobe choices, Amelia had pulled a pair of his spiderman underwear overtop of her pants and was running around looking hilarious and I so wished I had gotten a picture of that!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

male eating disorders on the rise.

Aiden: look how thin my legs look! (while looking down at his jean clad legs)
me: pardon?
Aiden: look how thin my legs look, they're just so skinny!
me: oh (what do you say to that!!!)
I can promise you that phrase have never been uttered from my lips. Sometimes I tease Dale about his 'chicken legs' but I think we will be really careful about what we say in front of him from now on. Maybe he heard it at school? Scary.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am such a trend setter...





When I was pregnant, trying to think up a more original name that Aiden's (I had no idea it would be so popular) Amelia's name popped into my head one night driving home from work. In the beginning I couldn't stop associating the name Amelia with Amelia Bedelia or Amelia Erhart but quickly I got over that. I didn't know any other kids by that name and had not heard it uttered on the playground (unlike Aiden). Yesterday while online window shopping for big girl bedding I found the proof I needed that Amelia is becoming a very popular girl name. I can be quoted as saying " I know Amelia is a popular name when Pottery Barn names a doll or a line of bedding after it." And guess what I found? Yep, a line of bedding called 'Amelia'. I think it's a little too trendy being pink and brown but I thought I would put it out as a choice as well. I am drawn to the 'Penelope' bedding despite my mild-moderate bird phobia (birds=also trendy). Then there is the'Brooke'line that has trees (also trendy) but I love the reversible polka dot on the back and finally there is the 'Stella' line that I like but is green, blue and white with no pink and then the pink chandelier that I had to fight long and hard for Dale to put in her room really would seem out of place. So in the spirit of yesterday's election I am asking you to vote on your choice for Amelia's new bedding ( I am giving you 4 choices not 2!). No, I am not moving her into a big girl bed right now but I do like to plan ahead.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


master closet organization

All the summer clothes are packed away and I finished some last minute tweaking and cleaning of our closet today. I have culled my closet and aside from 3 or 4 pieces that I have until the end of the year to wear or give away I have a very bare wardrobe. Supposedly we only wear 20% of our wardrobe but I have probably gotten rid of 80% of my wardrobe over the last year so I don't have a lot of extra pieces taking up room. I am definitely ready for my Saturday shopping spree with the girls!
Here are a few of my closet organizing tips to share:
- hang up as many clothes as you can (it's so much easier to see your wardrobe)
- divide your clothes into categories shirts, skirts, pants, dresses
- sort your sub categories of clothes by color and hang this way in closet
- hang your shirts in order of sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, sweaters (is this OCD?)
- when you organize your closet hang all your hangers backwards and flip the right way when you wear an item of clothing (it makes purging fast and easy)
- edit your closet every 6 months
- when you bring one thing into your closet try to get rid of an item you don't really like or wear
After my little organizing and cleaning party in my closet this morning I made a little mending jar to store in the closet for fast fixes and hung a lint roller on ribbon behind the door.
While I was doing this Amelia had her own little party as evidenced by the mess in her room and hallway closet!

Monday, November 3, 2008

mini book mania

I am hoping I am possibly getting back into my scrapbooking groove (it's been almost a year). Today I finished up both kids Halloween books, my baby album, my sister's wedding album and my December album. It's nice to feel a sense of accomplishment (besides housework that gets ruined within minutes of completion).
** I just realized how lame I sound that housework is the only other accomplishment in my life. I'm sure I have lots of other accomplishments that I just can't think of right now...

childrens museum

Yesterday the combination of lousy weather and Dale gone to a Seahawks game all day made me a little stir crazy. I called up Heather we loaded the kiddos in the mini van and headed south. Not to Mexico but the Burlington's Children's Museum. It was neat to check out the museum and the kids loved it. It's hard to relax because you can't keep track of two kids in that place much less try and visit with an adult. Aiden loved the semi truck and Amelia loved to play dress up with a lady bug costume and tap shoes. Time seemed to stand still but after the obligatory 2 hours we left and headed home. It was straight to the bath tub for some defunkiying and degerming. Dale arrived home shortly after and we were able to have a little family time before bedtime.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

hello november

cold, dark, wet, rainy, windy November.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

halloween review

I thought trick or treating was going to be a disaster. Amelia wanted to be batman so badly, she kept peeling the 'R" of her shirt and tugging on Aiden's costume. We went out at 5:30p while it was still light out and not raining. Amelia loved going up to strangers doors and asking for 'canny' she wasn't afraid of anything! Aiden and Dale went out again once it got dark and Amelia and I stayed home to hand out candy. Amelia ate her fair share of candy and was bouncing off the walls and diving onto the couches and floor. When Aiden returned he let Amelia put on his costume and it was the highlight of Halloween for Amelia.


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