Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Countdown is On

New Year Comments

Happy 2009!! I know that it's a little early but we're heading out to our annual new years eve party at a friend's house tonight so I will not be able to get to the computer until tomorrow. I hope that everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Hannah

**Sorry that there are no pictures but our computer is breaking and we're waiting for our new one to be delivered before we put up any new pics**

Today is Hannah's 6th birthday. The family came by for cake over the weekend and today she had a friend party at the play area in the Community Pavillion not far from our house. This is the second friend party that she's had and boy, did it go better then her first friend party!! First of all, it wasn't in my house (so it's automatically superior to last year because I didn't have to clean up) and secondly, all of the kids played nice and were completely occupied for 2 1/2 hours and I hardly had to do anything!! She had 21 friends there and while that is a lot of kids, it was a huge success!! Hannah was happy to be with her friends and they were all so polite and kind enough to get her some really nice gifts!

Since it is her birthday, I have been thinking back to the night/morning that I had her. It amazes me that the day is still so fresh in my mind. I'm sure that I have forgotten a lot of that day but it still feels like it was just yesterday. I remember just staring at her after she was born, she was 5 1/2 weeks early and just so little (not even 5 pounds) but she was just so amazing to me.

Six years later I am still staring at her in amazement - she is so beyond anything that I thought she could possibly be. She's smart and funny, she loves her family with all of her enormous heart and looks after her little brother as if she were his mother, even though he drives her crazy! She's always willing to help and is compassionate to those that are sad or hurting. She's grown so much as a person in just the last year alone that it's a little unbelievable at times but I can't wait to see what the coming year will bring for her. Happy Birthday Sweet Pea, we love you so much!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Exhausted!

Happy Black Friday everyone! For those of you that were out in the crowds, way to go and for those of you who weren't well, I can't really blame you for staying home!! I have gone shopping on Black Friday for several years now and today was no different. I was out the door and on my way to the stores at 3:30 am. I normally start at Target and work my way around from there, usually only hitting 2 or 3 stores but today I decided on a new plan. I started at Carson's (whch opened at 4 am) and picked up new pillows for the family and some flannel sheets for my aunt. Carson's must have opened the doors a little early because I was standing in line waiting to get into Toys R Us by 4:20 and I know that I was in Carson's for at least a half an hour!

Anyway, this is the first year that I'd gone to TRU because I always thought that it would be a madhouse but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The line went from the doors, around the corner and all the way to the end of the building by the time they opened the doors at 5 am. Fortunately I was near the front and I got in pretty quickly. I have say that TRU was very organized and I will definately be going back there! They gave out numbered tickets for certain "big" electronics but you had to actually be in line to get a ticket and it was first come, first serve which I thought was really fair. Another thing that I absolutely LOVED is that there were employees standing outside making sure that everyone that stood in line got in before all of the people that stayed in their cars and tried to just sneak in once the doors opened (I hate when people do that, I think it's SO rude)!! They were also very organized when it came to standing in line to check out and even taped arrows to the floor so that people knew where to stand to wait in line. The staff was fantastic too! I had to check out in the electronics department because I had some stuff to get there and the employees would actually get your stuff for you while you waited in line - it was great!!

After leaving TRU, I went to Target, Macy's, Costco and the Carter's outlet. I wasn't planning on going to the Carter's store but I had some time to kill before Costco opened so I decided to stop in and boy am I glad that I did. The whole store was 50% off and an employee at the door was handing out additional coupons at the door so everything was 80% off!!! I got the kids at least $500 worth of stuff for next to nothing and that totally made my day!!

After 6 stores and 7 hours of shopping I finally made it home, cold and hungry and ready for a nap. The kids were excited to see me, which is always nice and Bill was glad that I didn't come home battered and bruised! I ended up putting off taking a nap so that I could (sort of) help Bill finish putting up the Christmas lights outside and make lunch. I fell asleep on a wing chair in the frontroom around 2:30 and slept til about 4:00. Bill was kind enough to keep the kids from disturbing me (although really I'm sure there could have been a reenatcment of D-Day going on in front of me and it wouldn't have woken me) and he also unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, threw in some laundry, folded the mountain of laundry that was in our room and got us dinner. He may have done more but I'm still a little fuzzy about this afternoon.

This year the stores didn't seem as crowded as they have been in the past and I managed to get in and out of stores in a decent amount of time. I'm pretty sure that I've finished all of my shopping for the kids which is a huge relief and I even picked up a few things for others who are on my shopping list. And even though I am ready for bed again now, I'm glad that went out today. It's such a good feeling to know that you've gotten something accomplished. I think it's a great way to kick off the holiday season and I'm (sort of) looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sending a Little Holiday Cheer Abroad

I've added the "Let's Say Thanks" application from Xerox to my blog so that anyone who wants to can send a message to a soldier over seas for the holiday. I know that not everyone was in favor of this war to begin with but that does not change the fact that there are thousands of men and women who are away from home and fighting for our country so why not take a minute to send them a greeting and to let them know that someone back home is thinking about them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's That Time of Year Again

No, I'm not talking about Christmas or Christmas shopping exactly, although I am planning on starting that very soon! It's time to start posting stuff on Ebay! I sporatically sell things online throughout the year to earn extra money for whatever we need (for example at the end of last year I sold enough stuff to pay for our trip to Wisconsin Dells!). Anyway, evey year I go through the kids clothes and toys and sell them around Christmas time. It's a great way for me to weed out the stuff that they not longer use AND get extra cash to buy them new Christmas presents. I know it sounds silly to get rid of stuff just to bring in new stuff, but it's like a circle of life thing so I go with it.

Among the various things that I've got to sell this year I've also got some combo sets that I am selling like Hannah's Dora house (and the million little pieces that came with it), Alexander's Diego Rescue Center (and it's million pieces) and possibly a Bitty Baby crib w/ bedding, diaper bag and high chair, oh and the actual Bitty Baby that Hannah hasn't used probably since she got it. I'm hoping to get a decent price for them, so cross your fingers for me because here I go!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Catching up with Plenty of Pictures!

I've had so much going on around here that I haven't had any time to post. I've been wanting to put up pictures from Halloween but I keep putting it off. Today I figured that if I put it off any more that I'm going to be posting Christmas pics along with the Halloween ones and that's just something that I cannot do so here goes!

A few weekends before Halloween we took the kids to a pumpkin farm. We normally go to Bengston's in Orland Park but this year we decided to try a new one. We ended up at Cottonwood Farms in Crest Hill and it was great! All of the attractions, except for the pony rides, was included in the price of admission which was really nice because at Bengston's everything is separate (and expensive)! The kids had a blast going through the haunted barn, riding the train and playing in the 3 play areas. Bill and I even got to go on a train ride with them, they had a train that was big enough to fit adults!

Slide Races in the play area

On the train

Playing on the firetruck

We always pick our pumpkins out of the field instead of picking from the ones that they bring up and put in piles all around the farm, so after playing for a while and grabbing some lunch we got on the hayride to be taken out to the pumpkin fields. Now most "farms" just place pumpkins randomly in a nice neat field and replenish them as they need (I'm pretty sure that they don't actually grow them themselves but who knows) so imagine our surprise when we get to this field and see that it is an actual pumpkin patch with pumpkins still on the vine!! Even though I have been going to pumpkin farms my entire life I had never seen one like this - I was pretty impressed!

A genuine pumpkin patch!!

Alexander didn't want to take pictures but I was lucky enough to get this one

The whole family

We ended up spending most of the day there and it was well worth it, we will definitely be going back there! The kids had so much fun that they passed out in the car and did not wake up until the next morning!! They ended up sleeping for about 14 hours!

After the pumpkin patch

She was too tired to take her coat off after walking in the house!

The Saturday before Halloween we carved our pumpkins. The kids wanted to draw their own faces this year so we gave them each a marker and they went to work.

Alexander and his "happy" pumpkin

Hannah and her "Scary" pumpkin

They wanted to carve their own pumpkins this year too. We had bought pumpkin carving safety knives and they gave it a try. Unfortunately they are still a little small for carving pumpkins and it's still a little too hard for them so they ended up giving them over to mom and dad.

Trying to cut the top open

Trying to just get the knife out

Bill being silly - can't you just see why I love him!?!?

After the carving was done we put them in the living room and the kids took pictures with them.

The finished products

After much anticipation, Halloween finally arrived. Both kids had parties at school and I was lucky enough to be able to help out at both parties. There was a costume parade before lunch that the whole school participated in and then the big kids were off to lunch while the preschoolers got to go home for the day. Bill came to the parade and took Alexander home afterwards. Since I am a room mom for Hannah's class this year I headed back in to help with lunches and to get her party underway after that. Let me tell you, I have a new found appreciation for teachers!! After spending 2 1/2 hours with 36 kindergartners I was exhausted!! I don't know how teachers do it but they've got to be the some of the bravest people out there!

After taking a short nap (yes, I napped!) Bill and I took the kids trick or treating. We ended up walking around with one of our neighbors and her 2 kids which was really nice.

This year the kids were a witch and Batman

Getting the goods

After about 3 blocks Alexander was done so Bill took him home to pass out candy. Hannah was just getting started so she and I and our neighbor and her kids kept going. We ended up going about 5 more blocks before Hannah's bag hit capacity. Her bag was so heavy that she couldn't carry it anymore and I ended up lugging it back home. As soon as we got home, Hannah took over as "official Novak family treat giver". Every year she stands at the door and waits for trick or treaters so that she can give them candy (and will not move from her post to save her life) and this year was no different. She eventually got tired of standing at the door so my smart little girl dragged over her Dora chair and sat in front of the door waiting. She finally passed out her last piece of candy at 8:00 and we made her close the door. She was a little upset that she had 9 pieces left but was happy when I told her that she could keep them for herself and her brother. We spent the rest of the night hanging out, playing board games and watching t.v. I thought that we had a great Halloween season this year and I can't wait for next year.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Now I Remember Why I Don't do Spring Cleaning

This morning I decided to clean out Hannah's closet. It had been a while since I had done it and believe me, it needed it. I was feeling really ambitious and figured that since I has a few hours before I had to pick up Alexander from school I could straighten it out and get the bulk of my cleaning done and out of the way - What a mistake that was!!! It took me an hour to finish her closet alone (there was a lot of crap in there)!! But that's because I decided to go through all of her clothes (and she has tons of clothes) to see what still fits her and what doesn't and to rearrange the stuff on the shelves, which is mostly clothes that ALL needed to be refolded because they were all in wrinkled piles!

Sometime during the closet cleaning I apparently lost my mind and decided to go through the toys in both kids rooms and get rid of some stuff. I just did this more or less, in Hannah's room a few weeks ago but I figured that there was more stuff that I could move out that she really wouldn't miss. I didn't take much more out of her room but I did decide to get rid of her Dora kitchen (which she no longer plays with), and a few other Dora toys that she no longer has any interest in. I wanted to get this stuff out of my house ASAP so I put them up on Freecycle and they will be picked up today - yeah!!! If you don't know what Freecycle is, it's pretty much a listing of things that people are either looking to find in hopes of someone else having it and wanting to get rid of it or are getting rid of and are offering to anyone that wants it and the beauty of it is that it's all FREE!!

Anyway, Alexander's room was a comlpetely different story. I hadn't really went through any of his toys so there was a lot of little stuff to get rid of. Fortunately, I asked his teacher if she was interested in any of it for her classroom and she gladly accepted. I was really happy that she would take it because now Alexander can still play with the stuff and I know that it will be put to good use, but mostly because it's out of MY house!!! I also found a lot of stuff to put up on Ebay once I find the time to put it up there.

I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to get done but I got a good start. Of course, since I've been going through stuff my whole house now looks like a tornado went through it and it's going to take me days to get it back to even semi-clean. Now is when I wish the maid would come in and clean up my mess but, unfortunately I AM the maid so I should probably get off my behind and get back to work!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Proof That I AM In Fact Getting Older

My 10 year High School reunion is next month and I'm still a little shocked by the fact that it's been 10 years already. I swear that it was just yesterday that I couldn't wait to get out of high school and here it is 10 years later. How the heck did that happen!?!?

Over the years I have lost touch with all of my old friends - there isn't even one person that I have kept in contact with. Of course, I was such a different person then (and by that I mean that I was pretty mean and awful to just about everyone) that I'm sure they would be completely thrown off guard by the person that I am now!

Thanks to Facebook and their "Ten Year Reunion" group I have talked to some of the girls that I knew from back then. It's been nice to hear from them and to find out what they have been up to. Of course since the invitations went out the question that everyone is asking is "Are you going to the reunion?" and my answer to that question is always the same "I don't know." Don't get me wrong, I liked high school and I've got a lot of good memories from back then but I'm not sure that I want to go. There are a few people that I'd like to see but that's not really enough motivation for me. Well, that and the fact sooner or later I'm sure that I'll run into probably every girl that I graduated with because I can't go more then a few months without running into someone from then. I swear it's crazy the number of girls that I run into around here!!

So here I sit flip flopping between weighing the pros and cons of going to see a bunch of women that I haven't seen in a decade and having flashbacks of 1998 (which I assure you is a very scary thing!). I'll have to come to a decision soon because the deadline to buy tickets is quickly approaching but for right now I'm just stuck and a tiny bit depressed that apparently time is marching on without me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lord Give Me Strength!

I'll admit it, I'm obsessed with chocolate. I mean really LOVE it. It can make a rotten day better and it can calm down like nothing else can. Chocolate is my friend. I'm sure that there has been a time when I have considered trading one of my kids for a chocolate fix. I can't resist it - it just calls to me - and there are 200 World's Finest chocolate bars sitting in my kitchen right now. I don't know how I'm going to keep out of it!!! So far I have managed to avoid it but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get the shakes soon because my will power is just that weak when it comes to that milk chocolaty goodness.

So if you hear about a crazy woman in Oak Lawn that OD'd on chocolate you know that it's me. Pray for me and my (lack of) will power - and for my behind because I'm pretty sure it's about to gain 20 pounds!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The ABC's Remix - Updated

I know that this video is really dark and that you can't see Alexander but I love how he sings his ABC's. It cracks me up every time I hear it!! I'll try to get him to do it again for me but this is as good as it gets for now!

** Okay, I think I fixed the video so you should be able to see it now**

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alexander's First Days of School

Monday was Alexander's first day of preschool. Whenever we asked him about going to school before Monday he'd either be really excited about it or totally against it depending on his mood so we weren't quite sure what to expect on the first day. I'm happy to say that he did great!! we introduced him to his teacher and he didn't hide from her at all (which is what he normally does when meeting someone new). Bill and I got to walk him into his classroom, help him hang up his backpack and find his seat but he was completely calm the whole time. Fifteen minutes after gong to his class he was still okay and coloring a picture at his table so Bill and I decided to leave. We gave him hugs and kisses and told him that we'd be back later to get him. I did get a little teary eyed but I managed to keep them in, yea me!! When we picked him up he was happy to see us and proceeded to tell us all about his day. I was so relieved that he was happy that I was totally blindsided by his reaction to school on Tuesday!!

Tuesday after walking Hannah to the main doors so that she could go to class, I walked Alexander to his class prepared to give him a quick kiss and be on my way. I was not prepared to walk into his class and practically fall over the crying screaming little boy that was clinging to his mother's legs and fighting the teacher. Alexander took one look at the little boy and said "I want to go home". I told him that he had to stay in school and that he was going to have lots of fun but he didn't want to hear it - he wanted to go home. He was calm about it until the little girl across the table from him started crying when her mom got up to leave. He instantly started crying and grabbing my leg while begging me to take him home. His teacher was still trying to calm the other little boy down so eventually his tacher's aid cam e to my rescue. She gave him a hug and started talking to him as I inched toward the door. I said goodbye to him as the TA held him and I walked out closing the door behind me. As soon as the door closed I heard him crying and calling for me and my heart broke. Leaving him was really hard to do but going back in there would have made it worse. I came home and thought of him for 2 1/2 hours wondering if he was okay until it was time to go and get him. When he came out the door he was fine. He was happy to see me and said that he'd had fun at school and told me about his day. Boy was I relieved!!!

Last night we talked about going to school and he said that he liked it and wanted to go and that he wasn't going to cry anymore. I was hoping that he meant it and held my breath this morning as we walked up to his entrance. He asked me to stay with him for a few minutes and I agreed. He looked a little scared and didn't let go of my hand the whole time we waited for the doors to open. Once is teacher came out I walked him into the hall. I stood there with him while the rest of the kids got in line and then I gave him a kiss and told him that it was time for me to go. He said okay and gave me a hug. He did not cry when I left and was fine waiting in line with the rest of his class (I stood outside and peeked in to make sure that he was okay). Again when I picked him up he was happy to see me and told me about his day and all the fun they had.

He seems to enjoy school. I'm hoping that Tuesday's episode was brought on by the other crying kids and that there will not be a repeat performance. I don't think I could handle doing that again!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hannah's First Day of School

Today was Hannah's first day of kindergarten. She has been talking about school for weeks now and even had a countdown going and was really happy to start today. I was not at all worried about her first day, I knew that she'd do great. She'd already had 2 years of school so today was a piece cake for her. We got her up early so that she could have breakfast and get ready and before we knew it, it was time to go. Bill actually got to take the day off and be there for her first day which was really nice because he'd never been able to take her to her first days of preschool. Anyway, as soon as we got out of the car she made a beeline for her class and quickly found a few of her friends from last year. She spent the time talking and laughing with the girls while they waited to go into their class. Somehow the kindergarten parents got to head into the building with the kids so we got to see her classroom and her table even though I'm sure that Hannah would have preferred to have had us leave her at the front door! Bill, Alexander and I finally left her but not before she gave her brother a big hug and kiss which I thought was just the sweetest thing!! She was only there for 3 hours today and when we picked her up she said that she really liked her class and that she had a good time. I am glad that she has adjusted to school so well in the last 2 years. I am so proud of my big girl - and of myself because I didn't cry, not even a little!! Of course, my real test will be on Monday when Alexander starts preschool!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Phase One Complete

Woo hoo, I've got them cleaning the house!!! Now all I need is for one of them to be a little taller so that they can drive the car to run my errands for me and start making their own dinner!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Being "Stalked" by the Jehovah's Witnesses!!

About a month ago, I was stopped on my driveway while getting out of my car with the kids by two older Jehovah's Witnesses ladies. They asked for a minute of my time and proceeded to read to me a passage from the Book of Revelation and tell me about the signs that "the end was near". Now being Catholic myself, I have read parts of the Bible and I am familiar with it's teachings (although I'm not as familiar as I should be) but, I do appreciate people's faith in God and their love of the Bible so I politely listened to what they had to say and even took the pamphlet that they offered to me and went in the house.

I should probably tell you that this is standard procedure for me with anyone that comes to my door trying to sell something (or talk about religion in this case) or calls the house asking for donations. I listen to what they have to say and then politely decline - I just can't bring myself to be rude!

Well, last weekend while Bill was in the shower two different women came to the door and again read me a passage and gave me two more pamphlets. Again I listened, took the pamphlets and said goodbye. I was glad that Bill was in the shower when they showed up because he HATES solicitors of any kind and tends to get a little nuts when they contact us in ANY way.

I didn't think anything of the women ringing our doorbell until today when they showed up AGAIN! I had just gotten out of the shower and was not dressed enough to answer the door so they left me some more pamphlets inbetween the doors and went on their way. I think that I have unintentionally encouraged them and I'm not exactly sure what to do now. I still don't want to be rude to them, I try to keep my level of rudeness to an absolute minimum but I'm at a loss for what to do next. I'm sure that I'll think of something but in the meantime I hope that if they do come back they are not unfortunate enough to have Bill answer the door!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kids Love the Craziest Games

It always amazes me to watch the kids play with Bill. He chases them, hangs them upside down, knocks them over - and they can't get enough of it. Now when it's just the two of them and they play this way one of them is guaranteed to come to me in tears because the other won't leave them alone, but with Bill it's the greatest thing ever. It's cute to watch because they work as a team against him and one will always rescue the other. I've gotten used to how they play and normally it doesn't faze me at all but yesterday I watched in awe as they played a new game.

For about an hour and a half Hannah and Alexander ran around laughing hysterically as Bill tried to hit them with a ball. I know that you're thinking it was dodgeball but it wasn't. It was just Bill hitting them with a ball as they climbed up the slide or tried to hide under the picnic table or just ran into the garage. And it was just a small, soft, squishy ball - not anything that would actually hurt them (so don't think we were abusing them or anything!) The thing that shocked me most was that they WANTED to be hit. After Bill would throw the ball one of them would bring it back to him and taunt him! After a while I couldn't help but laugh at the ways they "tried" to get away or hide because it was just plain funny. I love watching all three of them play together but I'm a little scared of what they will come up with next!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Secret to Being The Best Mom Ever

Tonight I have been deemed both #1 mom and the coolest mom ever by my kids. Apparently the 5 years I have spent bending over backwards for them were all in vain. All I had to do was make them their favorite dinner and surprise them with ice cream sandwiches. Who knew that it could be that easy!?!!? I'm a little disappointed that winning these titles weren't more challenging but at the same time I'm glad that I can now stop jumping through hoops for them. Yep, it should be smooth sailing from now on....right? RIGHT?!?! Guys? Hello? Anybody...?

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Countdown is On

The first day of school is about a month away and I have been busy trying to get the kids ready for it so that I am not one of the crazies running around the night before they start fighting for the picked over school supplies with the other procrastinator parents. Hannah only needs 2 more things and she is all set - and let me tell you she reminds me of this EVERY DAY! Alexander on the other hand still needs most of the things on his list but it's silly stuff like Kleenex and zip lock bags. He's only going to be in preschool so all that's really required is some crayons, a change of clothes to keep at school (in case of an accident) and cleaning supplies to help with all of the messes that 3 year olds tend to make.

To keep with my "Early Bird" mind set I took Hannah for her school uniform the other day. This is the first year that Hannah will be in a uniform and I wanted to get it so that we wouldn't have to worry about it later. Bill thought that I was insane for going so early but after spending 12 years in one private school or another I knew that waiting til the last minute to get a uniform is just about the worst thing that anyone can do. I remember sitting in one of these shops for HOURS waiting to be waited and then to be told that the last minute rush has depleted their stock and yours will have to be ordered and will (hopefully) arrive before the start of school. Of course this is a worst case scenario but I know that it had happened a few time to either my sister or myself (yes, my sister suffered through 12 years just like I did).

Anyway, we were in and out of Schoolbelles in about 25 minutes (which was great) but not without a few tears and for once they didn't come from me!! After grabbing a few shirts and jumpers Hannah, Alexander and I headed into a dressing room so that Hannah could try on her uniform so that I could decide what sizes to get her. As soon as the shirt went on Hannah started to freak out. She didn't like the shirt and wanted to take it off. She thought that it was ugly and didn't want to wear it. Then I put the jumper on her and the tears started. I tried to explain to her that all of the bigger kids had to wear uniforms and that only the little kids got to wear their regular clothes because they were still learning what school was like. She told me that she was still a little kid and should be able to wear her regular clothes too and then I had to explain what kindergarten would be like and why she's now a "bigger kid". She still thought that the whole thing was ugly and tearily told me "Everyone will laugh at me". With that I just had to hug her. I then began to reassure her that no one was going to laugh at her because everyone in her class was going to be wearing the same thing - to which she informed me that boys could not wear dresses. Alexander then provided comic relief by saying "Eww, I NOT wearing that!!" which made Hannah and I giggle. She eventually calmed down after I told her that I had to wear uniforms in school and that I'd show her some pictures and then she was really okay after she remembered that all of the bigger kids had to wear uniforms too.

After we paid for her stuff and went home she was very excited about having a uniform. She couldn't wait to show her dad and has been talking about it nonstop - she has even pulled it out of her closet and looked at it everyday. I'm relieved that she's okay with it now and I just hope she feels the same way when she starts school.

I'm glad that I'm getting all of this done now. That way the only thing I have to do the night before they start school is give myself a pep talk and remind myself not to cry!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

When in Doubt Check the Dryer

Alexander has slept with the same blankie since the day that he was born. He loves this thing and can not sleep without it. I have actually driven down to my parents' house (about 25/30 minutes away) to pick up his blankie after it was forgotten there just so that the child would stop crying and stop with the massive breakdown that forgetting the blanket caused. What can I say, he has attachment issues! It's starting to look a little ragged but he doesn't care - as long as it's somewhere that he can get to it he's okay.

Anyway, as I was putting his laundry in the washing machine this morning I decided that his blankie needed a washing and threw it in with the rest of his clothes. Alexander didn't notice that is was missing until the machine was already started. This is the conversation that followed:

A: Mom, where's my bwankie?
M: I'm washing it.
A: But I need my bwankie.
M: Sorry Bud but it's not done yet.
A: Okay.

He then walks over to the dryer, opens the door and says:

A: Bwankie? You in there? You all done? Bwan-kie? I looking for you!! Where ARE you?!?!? HELLO!?!?

Alexander and his blankie

It was so darn cute that I couldn't help but laugh! Of course it wasn't in there because the washing machine wasn't done yet but I thought that it was great that he thought to look in the dryer - even though that means that he didn't believe me. I just love watching him to see how his mind works. He's such a clever little boy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's Outta There!!

Hannah lost her first tooth today!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Day to Celebrate!

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

We're Getting into the Really Hard Questions Here

A few months ago we gave Hannah an old radio/CD player for her room. We figured that since she had all of her Hannah Montana and High School Musical CD's that we should give her something to listen to them with. Bill even made her a special CD with other songs that she liked on it. It was mostly songs from movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Enchanted and Chicken Little. She thought that having her own radio was the greatest thing ever and now listens to music in her room almost everyday. She has even gotten Alexander into it and most days you can find them in her room dancing around and singing along to whatever's they happen to put on.

A couple of weeks ago Hannah watched Hairspray (the new one with John Travolta) with me and absolutely loved it. She enjoyed it so much that she batted her eyelashes and asked Bill to make her a CD with the soundtrack on it. Since Bill rarely says no to anything this child wants (she has SO got him wrapped around her little finger) he quickly downloaded it and made it for her and it is now her favorite CD. She and Alexander listen to it ALL the time and they are starting to sing along more and more. It's really cute to see them so into the music.

Well anyone that knows Hannah or has heard anything about her knows that she's full of questions and last night was no exception. As I was putting dinner on the table Hannah comes out of her room and is sitting down when askes up "What's negro day?" One of the songs is about the Corney Collins (dance show) and makes a comment about one day a month being "Negro Day" on the show. Bill and I looked at eachother with that Oh Crap look and tried to figure out how to explain segregation to a 5 1/2 year old. We were speechless for a second or two and I was a little surprised at the question. I don't know why I was surprised - she asks surprising stuff like this all of the time but it's usually about babies or death or the differences between boys and girls or things like that. I didn't expect to have to answer things like this until she learned about them in school. Shame on me for underestimating my smart little girl!!

I guess that Bill and I did an okay job of explaining it. We told her that negro was a term used a long time ago and that while it wasn't a bad word it isn't a word that's used anymore because it's rude. We told her about how whites and blacks weren't allowed to do things together and how people who thought that everyone should be treated the same fought to stop the separation and eventually won. Then we reminded her that we shouldn't judge people by the color of their skin or where they live or how much money they have, etc. and how God created us all equally and that we are all the same on the inside.

Other then the talk I had with Hannah about love and why some people are married and some are divorced (yes, she asked about that too) and the death talk, I think that this is one of the most serious talk we've had with her. As usual, once it was over she looked at us and said "Okay". I made sure that she didn't have anymore questions and that was that. I'd like to say that this is the end of the conversation but I know that she's just procssing what we said and she will bring it up again when she is ready or when she thinks of a question about it. Then it will start all over again. Hopefully we will be able to help her understand more once that time comes. But I'm not going to worry about that just yet. For now I am just trying to prepare myself for the next outrageous question that she throws our way!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Little Tree Hugger

When I was about 13, my parents took me to an Earth Day fair at Grant Park. I'm still not sure why they took me there - maybe they got mixed up and thought that it was some other fair that they actually wanted to be at or maybe we were already downtown for some reason and they just decided to walk over to see what was gong on or maybe they were just bored that day and decided to head downtown in hopes of finding something to do. Either way, there we were wandering from stand to stand and listening to everyone talk about how important it was to save the planet. It was something that I had never really thought about and it made my young and impressionable mind reel. I got a "Save Endangered Animals" t-shirt and I tried my first vegetarian hot dog that day and I was transformed!! I suddenly had a purpose in my life - I was going to SAVE THE PLANET!!!

After that day I constantly preached about the evils of aerosol cans and styrofoam and about the CFC's that were destroying the ozone and how fur was murder. I raged when I would see aluminum cans in the garbage can instead of in a separate recycling bag. I begged my parents to only buy recycled anything - toilet paper, napkins you name it and I asked for it!! I also tried to get them to be better at recycling in general (which was near impossible in the early 90's)!! At first they tried to do some of the things that I was asking but after a few weeks they just ignored me. I think they thought that I would lose interest in the planet but I held strong - at least for a while.

By the middle of high school I had pretty much stopped the constant lecturing and begging. I still didn't use aerosol cans or styrofoam and I recycled when I could, I still believed that wearing fur was wrong (and nearly "killed" my mother when she heard that I turned down the fur coat that my grandma offered to me because of my "beliefs") but I had lost the urge to push everyone else to change. Now that I am older, I still believe in all of those things and I try to live as "cleanly" as possible but I am a far cry from what I was all those years ago. I hadn't thought of any of these things in a really long time but Hannah has brought all of these memories rushing back.

Back in April Hannah celebrated Earth Day in school with her class. they talked about recycling and wasting water and littering. She came home full of questions and looking for answers. Since I was the only adult home at the time, I had to explain why wasting water was bad and how garbage can hurt the earth and loads of other things. When we were done talking about everthing she ran off to play and I thought that I had probably confused the poor girl or that it was in one ear and out the other like normal. Boy was I wrong. Hannah remembered everything that I told her. When we were brushing her teeth while getting ready for bed that night I had left the water on and she turned it off and scolded me for leaving it running. When we were outside a few days later she reminded me to throw away our garbage instead of throwing it on the ground and "hurting the earth".

Since then her love of the earth had grown by leaps and bounds. She has asked me if leaving her toys in the back yard will hurt the planet like garbage does and she is doing a better job of putting things away now for fear of it. She is constantly reminding all of us to turn off the water if we are not using it so that we are not "wasting it". She has even started picking up random garbage that she sees while we are out (and we've had to put a stop to it) and is getting upset that people are littering.

I am glad that she has taken an interest in cleaning up the planet. It is nice to see that she takes this very seriously and it shows me that she is paying attention to what is going on around her. I know that she is still young and as time goes on there will be other things that interest her but I hope that she hangs on to this one - but I hope that she isn't comsumed with it like I was. I don't think I could handle a "Melissa Jr." harassing me every five seconds. I don't know how may parents did it because thinking back on it now I'm sure I wold have smacked myself!!

Monday, June 2, 2008


Both Hannah and Xander are officially on summer vacation now. They each had their own graduation ceremony and they were so darn cute!! They are now happy to be home and that summer is here and they cannot wait to go swimming.

Alexander "graduated" on May 22nd from his park district class. They had a small ceremony where they got to show off how much they knew about shapes and colors and also got to show everyone how well they could sit still and listen (which is a HUGE accomplishment for my little guy!). All of the kids in the class got diplomas too. The teacher took turns calling out their names and let them stand under a crayon arch for each parent to take pictures.

Xander and his teacher under the "arch"

Kiddie Krayons Class of 2008

After the ceremony we all went back to his classroom for snacks. The kids had each drawn a picture on the chalkboard to help decorate the room and so there was this huge mural up on one wall. Some of the kids got really creative too. There was a ceiling fan, Superman, a dinosaur, a lamp, a truck and quite a few more.

Xander's contribution to the mural was Tyrone from the Backyardigans - I think he did a pretty good job!!

Class ended with singing the rainbow song (which was sung at the end of every class) and a final goodbye to everyone. I had tried to explain to Xander that this was the last class and that there were not going to be anymore classes but he didn't quite understand. He's still occasionally asking me if we're going back to "Mrs. Jacky's" but I think he's slowly getting it. We keep talking about how he's going to go the the "Big Kid" school next school year with Hannah and now he's getting excited about that. I just hope he's this happy and excited about it come August!

Hannah graduated on the 29th from 4 year old preschool. Their ceremony was a little more organized then Alexander's but it was just as cute. They sang 4 songs for us, which included Yankee Doodle and a hip hop version of the ABC's (that I am still laughing about). After that all of the kids went to the back of the hall to wait for their name to be called so that they could walk up the isle to get their diploma. Some of the kids had to be coaxed down the isle and some of them ran, but Hannah did neither. She calmly walked down to get her diploma and quietly walked back around to wait with the rest of her class.

Shaking Hands with Father Mark

Getting her diploma from Miss Gross, the principal

Our new Kindergartener

The ceremony ended with the teachers saying a few words and then it was time for refreshments. It was a nice little celebration for the kids and they were all happy to be together. Hannah and her friends posed for lots of pictures and had a good time running around together, some for the last time. Some of her friends will not be back next year so we gave her some extra time with them before heading home. All in all, it was a good day.

I am still a little amazed at how fast the school year went. I'm even more amazed that both kids will be in the same school next year. I mean, Alexander will only go for a half a day for 5 days so he'll still be home with me some of the time but Hannah will be there all day AND she'll wear a uniform! They are getting too big too fast. Next school year will be an adjustment for all of us but that is still a few months away so I'm not going to dwell on it now. For now I am going to try and enjoy as much time as I can with them this summer and just worry about having fun!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Evil Thy Name is Banana Cream Pie

Lately I have been doing really well with eating right and for the last 3 weeks I've been going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I can see a difference in my body and I feel great!! I haven't had a problem with not eating junk food either. At first I was really craving junk food and I had the shakes because I really cut back on my carbs but it really doesn't bother me anymore - at least it didn't until Monday.

Monday was my birthday and I requested a banana cream pie in lieu of cake this year (because there are 5 birthdays from May 20th to June 2nd and by the last one I'm usually all caked out). I told myself that I was only going to have a tiny slice and that was it. Well, you know what they says about the road to hell!! I had a huge chunk and let me tell you - it was GOOD!! I probably could have left it at that except for the fact that my parents don't like banana cream pies so they sent the rest home with me.

I avoided it all night Monday and most of the day on Tuesday but every time I opened the fridge it taunted me. I finally broke down and ate some around 8:00 pm and I had to throw the rest away (sorry mom) because I was on the verge of eating the last 1/4 of the darn thing!!

I was defeated by a PIE and to add insult to injury I've gained 3 pounds!!! I am now back on the wagon and back at the gym but my will power is bruised and battered. I curse you Baker's Square and your wonderfully wicked pies!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Xander!

Yesterday was Alexander's 3rd birthday. I know that this should have been posted yesterday but I had too much going on the post anything! Anyway, we had him a smaller party this year then we have had in the past years but it was nice and the day couldn't have been better. The day started off with him opening gifts from us just about as soon as he woke up. I'm not sure how this tradition started but we alway open gifts first thing in the morning!

Showing Daddy his new Batman Jammies

He was very excited about the Hulk Toy that Hannah picked for him

After breakfast Bill went outside to finish setting up while I straighten up the inside. We ended up renting a bouncy castle (jumper, moon bounce - whatever you call it) and it was delivered on Friday night because the people had somewhere to be early Saturday morning so right after breakfast Bill set it up for the kids and they had a blast!

The kids getting an early start to the party

Having a Ball!

Coming down the slide

The party itself was fun too. There were 11 kids and they all played really nicely. We decided to keep everything as simple as possible so Bill barbequed and we just had some salads, some snacks and cake and that was about it.

He's such a Ham for the camera!!

He got some really cool toys including his very own bouncy castle from his godfather and lots of clothes (for which I am glad because now I don't have to get him anymore summer clothes!) but his favorite thing was Hulk Hands and the Hulk mask. He had been seeing them on t.v. and had been asking for them for quite a while so he was over the moon when he actually got them.

Hulk Smash!!!

The party ended a lot earlier then any of his other parties because it got really cold really quickly but i think that this was his best one yet.

I miss Alexander being a baby because he was such a sweet baby but I just love the little man that he is now. He's a ball of energy and he's always getting into something that he shouldn't be in but he's got the greatest smile that can get him out of almost any jam. He's full of curiosity and has questions about everything under the sun (just like his sister). He loves superheros and dinosaurs and playing eye spy and telling knock knock jokes and he can't seem to get enough of anything. He is full of love and is very generous with his hugs and kisses. He's a "Big Boy" and I think that he's the one of the greatest kids in the world! Happy Birthday Bud, we love you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some Flowers for You!!

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I hope that you all have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'd Do It All Over Again

Today is my 4Th wedding anniversary and each year this day comes and I can't help but be ridiculously happy and nostalgic. I pull out our wedding album and I watch our wedding video (or at least parts of it because some of it is really boring) and I smile all day long. I think about how I couldn't get to sleep the night before and how I was up at 5:00 am and singing rather loudly to the song that was playing on the alarm clock that went off to wake me for my hair appointment while my sister laughed at me and my mom yelled at me to shut up because I was going to wake Hannah (who wasn't quite a year and a half yet). I remember the looks on my parents and grandparents faces as they saw me in my wedding dress for the first time and how my godfather was overcome with emotion as he hugged me and told me that he loved me. I think about how Hannah absolutely HATED her dress and wanted nothing more then for either mommy to hold her or to get hold of the wedding flowers that were everywhere and about all of the silly poses the photographer put me in and how the videographer made me and my bridesmaids sing "Chapel of Love" for him. I now shake my head at how silly it was that I was incredibly nervous to walk down the aisle and how I hardly smiled at all while poor Bill probably wanted to shake me to get me out of the stupor that I'd fallen into and how happy and relieved I was when it was all over. I remember almost falling on my behind as I went to sit down because my dress was too puffy and pushed my chair away from me and and all of the kisses that Bill and I shared because our guests were a little too enthusiastic with the bells on their tables and dancing the hokey pokey with Hannah in her jammies.

I remember loads of special little things about our wedding day- way too many to mention here! - but I remember how I felt the most. I felt so lucky to have found the right man for me and so blessed that he loved me for me and understood me without me having to say a word. I was grateful that he was a wonderful father to our little girl and that we had stuck together through the rough times in our very rocky relationship to get to where we were on that day.

Four years later I still feel the same way that I did on my wedding day. Bill can make me smile like no one else can. He gets my humor and can make me laugh until I have tears running down my face and am begging him to stop. He's patient with me and the kids and there is nothing that he wouldn't do to make sure that we are safe and happy. I was made to be with him and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Anniversary honey, I love you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She was GREAT!!

This past weekend was Hannah's dance recital and she did fantastic!! Sorry, I don't have any video of it but once the DVD's come in I'll try to remember to put it up. Her dance was too cute, there was a little boy on a motorcycle and they danced to "Born to be Wild". The recital was two days so on Saturday and my parents and sister were there to see her and I was a room mom so I got to see her too. Bill and my MIL went to see her on Sunday so that she had someone to see her both days. It went much smoother then I thought it would and I didn't have to hurt anyone (even though one of the room moms was really annoying and I REALLY wanted to trip her or something!). Anyway, dance is now over for the season and we can now focus on other activities.

Speaking of other activities, Hannah also started spring soccer last week. Her first game was last Friday against St. Linus. Unfortunately, St. Louis (Hannah's school) lost 3-1 but I don't think the kids actually knew that and it looked like they all had a good time. I think the best part of the whole game was the popcicles that they got from Coach Steve when the game was over!

Running after the Ball

Going for a goal

Playing Goalie

So far she's really enjoying playing on the soccer team. I just hope it stays that way until the end of the season!! Poor Alexander is dying to get out on the field with the rest of the kids. He's really good at kicking the ball (probably even better then Hannah) around in the backyard. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to find some type of sports class for him soon just so that the poor kid doesn't feel left out. He can't wait to be able to do some of the things that Hannah is doing. I think that I'm about to get even busier with the kids activities then I already am. I may have to hire an assistant to help me out here - any takers?