Thursday, February 26, 2009

Family Game Night

Do you have a family game night?
We used to - regularly on Friday nights. Then Robinson Crusoe started on NBC and it turned into family TV night. Which was bad since Saturday was already family movie night!
But then Crusoe moved to Saturday nights. We were bummed - because that screwed up movie night! But, that meant we had our game night back!
Of course, it took a few months for us to get back to it...but we're getting there.
Here's My Boy's 1st choice for game night - Monopoly...

Not just ANY Monopoly game - it's the one from England (so we all have to remember to demand our payments in pounds instead of dollars).

And of course, you gotta have dessert on a Friday night (tonight's choice is chocolate pudding).

Of course, this was LAST Friday's game night...and this Friday My Man and I will be in Florida....without the kids...on a couples-only weekend. But that's a blog for another night.

BTW, I highly recommend instituting a family game night. I think it's even more important than family dinner. Because it's the only time you know for sure you have everyone's attention (at least that's the way it is in my family!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

6/41: Grandma Snookie

I didn't get to know my Grandma Snookie as much as I would've liked. She was born Willie Velma but was given the nickname Snookie as a baby. She once told me it was from a cartoon because when she was born she resembled Baby Snookums. I've searched for a good graphic to share - but this is all I could find online!
It's very common in the south (I'm guessing) that you have a nickname growing up. My Grandma was "Snookie", my Grandpa was "Peedink", my mom was "Punkin", etc. Given the choice - I'm not sure if I'd want to be known as Snookie all my life.

This is a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day (or was it their first date? I can never remember!). When they met and married they were older than most newlyweds at that time. Almost immediately my Grandpa went off to war. So he never even met my mom until after she was born (I think she was 2 years old by the time he came home).

I grew up in PA/OH but we would travel to my mom's home in Texas almost each year. I remember Grandma telling me once that my mom couldn't claim to be a "Texan" anymore because she lived up north too long. She was a character my Grandma.

So my senior year in high school we finally moved to Texas to be closer to my mom's family. I say finally because we kept saying we'd move but then change our minds. We even sold our house once...and then moved 2 streets down and stayed 8 more years!

In the Fall of my senior year my Grandma became ill. She died about two months before my graduation. I didn't get enough time. I do cherish all of our vacations at her house. She doted on my cousin and me. She took great care of my brother and I while our parents enjoyed some couples-only time.

I remember she always wore a housecoat - I think they only time she got dressed was to go have coffee at the White Elephant (a local truck stop where "everybody knows your name"). I remember that she had a cordless phone when they first came out - she used to carry it around in her pocket until the battery died (which back then prolly didn't take much). We always took a family photo on the front lawn before we'd go home (to Ohio). And she was always wearing that housecoat! :o)

She taught me how to play Scat (a card game). She taught me how to get rid of a headache without meds. She was a strong, loving woman that I wish I had more of chance to get to know better.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Treasure Chest

I don't know if it's just My Girl or what, but she thinks her pillow is some kind of treasure chest.
So she sleeps on a Hello Kitty pillow that seems too big for her little head. And for quite some time she wouldn't use it - she was too used to sleeping flat (from her crib days). But now, she likes her big pillow.But I think it's for something more than sleeping. Let's see...we have a semi-naked doll (her clothes are there too), a doll brush and mirror, sleeping mask (because it does belong UNDER the pillow) and a book. Also a Happy Meal-Hello Kitty watch. Is it just me? I would not sleep comfortably on all that stuff!

Loads of Laundry (& I do mean LOADS)

I loathe laundry. It is the bane of my existence. I used think dishes were the worst chore - but I've decided I kinda like it. It can be mindless. You can get lost in the bubbles. The sound of the water running drowns out the rest of the family noise (and why can't they seem to remember I.Can't.Hear.You.If.The.Water.Is.Running?!). It's kinda like yoga...but productive. Anyway, I digress.
My poor husband likes to joke that his pool table is called the laundry table (as this is where I dump all of the laundry for folding). Yes, I do have a laundry room. Yes, he did build me a nice built-in washer & dryer with a counter on top of them for this very purpose. No, he has yet to install a t.v. in there (which is a required accessory to laundry IMHO). Anyway...this is what the table looked like tonight when I transitioned from house cleaning, dinner, bath time and kids in bed time.

Yes, that is a styrofoam plane and a bunch of used dryer sheets under the table. Like Pioneer Woman says - I'm keepin' it real (I did almost move that stuff before I took the photo!)

Today was "cleaning day" at our house which means I spend the day going up & down the stairs, throwing in a load of laundry (when I can remember) while at the same time trying to scrub the kichen, yell at the kids to stop playing with legos and finish their rooms so we can "swiffer" them, sweep, sweep, sweep (durn cat hair) and swiffer & dust (not necessarily in this order). Meanwhile, My Man had an eye appointment so he cleaned our bathroom and then split. Now, don't think ill of him - he did do ALL the shopping today (cleaning products from Walmart, groceries from Aldi, Meijers and Eurofresh...or was it Caputos today? who knows!)

So after all of this was done and the kids were in bed, I retreated to the basement to fold all those loads of laundry I kept tossing onto the "laundry table" all day. This means I got to watch the Oscars - I never watch because I never get to see any of the movies before the awards (as a matter of fact, I usually don't get to see them until they've been on video for at least 2 years!).

So after 2.5 hours of folding, I finished with four heavy packed baskets (of which, two of them got filled up again once I emptied them upstairs). That one on the left was really dense - bend at the knees when picking up laundry!! Of course, I'm still not done, I currently have two loads going of towels (one in the washer & one in the dryer). Hopefully I will get the rest done before our trip to Florida at the end of the week.

Really, I do try to do stay on top of the laundry pile...but all you have to do is have one weekend away and it gets all backed up (oh crap, I'm going to Florida, that'll screw me up for another week!). It's not like I have a huge family - I don't know how those bigger families do it. But my family of four can go thru laundry like crazy (or so it seems).

I do come by my bad habit (of delaying laundry) honestly. I grew up in a home where all of our clothes were clean...but they were in a basket...somewhere. I can't even remember having matched socks in a drawer - they were always clean and in a "family sock basket". Because of that I do have my own weird laundry habits: I wash ALL socks & undies in their own loads and I try to wash the kids clothes separate from the grown-up clothes (makes for easy completion of a dresser-full of clothes).

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning when I won't have to walk to the basement to pick out my clothes before taking a shower. When I won't have the kids whining that they don't have any socks in their drawer. Or My Man asking me to go get him an undershirt...again. It feels good to have the bulk of the laundry done and put away. If only it could last more than one week at a time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Clutter Monkey

I am a total clutter monkey. I used to say "magnet" but "monkey" is just more fun (and the kids get a kick out of it too).

Anyway - clutter just seems to collect around me. It's at home. It's at work. It's even in my bathroom for pity's sake!

I just read this blog post by the Organizing Diva. It's 6 tricks for getting started.
My problem is still just "doing it". Every now and then I get my monkeys (that would be my kids) to participate in a "10 minute clean-up". This is when we set the kitchen timer and see who can clean up the most in the least amount of time (because for some weird reason, we can't do anything in this house unless it's a contest).

One thing I finally did after many years of "saying" I would is to take all of the manuals out of my "junk" drawer and put them in binder. I used sleeve protectors in a really big binder. Now all I need to do is organize it by location (ie: kitchen manuals vs living room/electronics manuals, etc).

Now all I need to do is tackle the rest of the house!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Christmas Letter 2008...revisited

So I'm in a bit of a quandry. Yes, I did finish my Christmas Letter 2008 last month...but I never mailed it. I know, I know, I'm awful! I am the QUEEN of Procrastination Nation.

My first thought (back in early January) was to email them. Then My Man says "what about the people we don't have email addresses for?" (mainly our British family). My response should've been..."well, we'll get out what we can via email & mail the rest." But my response instead was "oh, well, I guess I'll mail them all." But did I? (well, obviously not, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this post!!"

So what to do??? I guess I can just send TWO letters out next year. But for pitys sake, I had family photos done! It took two years to get around to doing that and now they're going to waste!

Ugh. It's February already! What to do. What to do. Any advice? (I ask this even though I know NO ONE is reading this! LOL)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm supermom!

I killed a spider.

My daughter starts crying for me that there is a "bug" in her room. We (the boy & I, dad is working late) turn on her light to find a big black spider on her wall. Body & legs it prolly measured the size of a quarter. It was u.g.l.y. And I looked at those big tears streaming down her face and I, well, squished that sucker & flushed him.

For the record, if spiders will stay in the corners of the wall/ceiling or in a window, they live. You come down the wall, crawl across the ceiling or on my're just asking to be squished.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ooops - was that a traffic light camera?

Yup, it was me, I got caught! By looking at the photos you'd be sure I stopped (see the brakelights?) but they actually had a video of it so I now know I didn't (unfortunately I wasn't able to download the video).
I always believed I stopped on right-turn-on-red stops - but apparently, in the early hours of a Saturday morning, I slowed down, checked for traffic and when I didn't see any, I started back up again. Yes, I'm a safe driver. No, I did not make a full and complete stop. Man was my face red when I saw the video (because with just the photos, I was swearing I did stop!).
You can bet I'm back to making sure I stop e.v.e.r.y time!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Holy Scrap!

I had my semi-regular scrapbooking weekend w/ my BF this past weekend. I actually moved up the clock a bit and arrived at her house shortly after lunch on Friday (as opposed to dinner time like last time). I swear, next time, I'm leaving right after My Boy is on the school bus!
We spent the afternoon/evening watching movies and prepping food for the next day's full day scrap event.
First we finished My Fair Lady (we didn't get to finish it during our last scrapping weekend together in November). Then we watched Paris - When It Sizzles with William Holden and Audrey Hepburn. It was an okay movie - we were pretty distracted and had to finish it later (I was happier with the ending than I was with My Fair Lady, which annoyed me). I was bummed we didn't get to watch the other Audrey Hepburn movies we had planned...but after watching her & William Holden together we're really looking forward to watching them together in Sabrina someday soon.
So on Saturday we got up fairly early, packed up our scrapbooking supplies, the yummy breakfast strata that my BF is known for and the potato soup we concocted for lunch and set off for McHenry for the all-day scrap. We arrived at 10am (an hour behind schedule) and got busy. We had a fantastic time and I got 16 pages done (all from our England vacation last Christmas/New Years 2008).
We left to go back home around 10:30/11 PM and boy were we tired. We even saw a coyote run across the road as we were leaving the "rural" area. By the time we got to the house we both collapsed into bed & conked out cold. We had a leisurely morning on Sunday and then I high-tailed it home to my family.
It was a great time and I wish we had more time....will definitely need to work my way up to an earlier Friday! I highly recommend every mom take a weekend off to do something they enjoy...even if it is to just sit around and read and veg for two days straight. It's totally worth it!
I almost forgot - I got the title for my post from a pair of sweatpants one of the other scrappers was wearing...we decided we totally gotta go to the scrapping expo in August and get us a pair of those - what a riot!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Found Money

Hmmm, I'm thinking of starting a new blog (as if I remember to post on this one regularly)...maybe it's something I'll start later (afterall, I am the Queen of Procrastination!). Anyway, I found this blog and thought this would make an interesting family hobby - change hunting (she has links to other ppl doing the same thing). Of course this family is doing the noble thing & donating it to charity once they save up $10K (which will take awhile, they're still under $2K). I guess I could commit to doing something noble like that...but I'm thinking 50/50 as we're always so broke! Wonder if I could get My Man (the frugal-ist man I know!) to get on board with a hobby like this! hmmmmmm

5/41: My Girl

My Girl is the bravest lil girl I know. To this day she amazes me.

She was born April 27, 2004. When she was 1 day old we found out that she had a congenital heart defect (CHD). She had a hole in her heart (we eventually found out that she had two). For her first year we hoped and prayed that it would heal on it's own. But in May 2005 we were told it would need to be repaired as it was causing problems with other parts of her heart.

She had open heart surgery on July 22, 2005. You can read all about this on her carepage (registration is required). I'm also planning to create a scrapbook/diary for her (I did keep a diary during this event).

This is a picture of her with her brother after she woke up from surgery...and then 3 days post-op. It's amazing to me how fast she recovered.
It seems that ever since this experience - even though she was only 1 year old, she can withstand just about anything.
This is not to say she doesn't get scared. She doesn't like to go into a dark room. She's not crazy about being alone in a room (other than her bedroom). She gets scared when a movie is scary.
But she is brave.
We went to Six Flags this year (for the first time) and My Boy could not wait to go on a rollercoaster. It was ALL he talked about. But once we get to the front of the line...or sometimes just seeing the ride up close...he would have nothing of it. But not My Girl - she was game (& she's only 4 for pitys sake!). As long as I was holding her hand - she was a brave as a 4 year old can be.
I've given it a lot of thought and I think it is a matter of trust. I'm not sure how much of her early hospital experience has affected her psyche - but she's very trusting and knows that I won't put her in a situation I don't think she can handle. And she trusts us. It's a great feeling to know that she is so brave and feels safe. Man, I love That Girl!