Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Early Thanksgiving...

Hopefully at some point today we will get on the road to Myrtle Beach for Thanksgiving. Audrey decided last night was a perfect time to throw up snot all over my pillow and she continues to be congested and snot filled today. Luckily, we still have some steroids left over from her last bout with a cough/asthma/snot issues, so Ray is giving that to her this morning while I work a few hours so that I don't have to take any leave.

We are coming back on Saturday so we can spend Sunday putting up decorations and getting in the Christmas spirit. There are multiple houses already decorated in our neighborhood, and it didn't dawn on me until this morning how late Thanksgiving is this year.

We will do the Christmas Wreath tradition again this year where I have a piece of paper for each day of December with activities on it. Each morning, we will pull one off of the wreath and do that activity. Here is my list this year:

Go look at Christmas lights
Bake Cookies
Get ice cream from Sonic
Watch a Christmas Movie
Do a time capsule letter or drawing to be put away and opened next year
Play a board game
Go to the dollar store and buy one item
Watch a Christmas show
Open one gift early
Make marshmallow snowmen
Make a Christmas craft
Go to the library for a Christmas book
Draw a picture for a family member and put it in their stocking
Draw a picture and mail it to a relative
Do a Holiday coloring page
Make a Christmas Cracker
Dance to Christmas music
Make smores
Make an ornament for the tree
Play Christmas Bingo
Pick out a favorite Christmas card received already and put it on the tree
String marshmallows or popcorn for the tree
Make a gingerbread house
Make a paper wreath using cutouts from drawing of hands

We are also doing that Elf on a Shelf thing this year. I had a coupon for Hallmark and bought one there. Ashley is completely intrigued by the whole thing as I have told her on Sunday Santa was going to send an elf. This should be interesting...

Have a Happy Turkey Day everyone! Anyone going to be in Myrtle, I am going to the outlets at midnight!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Post #700....

I don't normally look at the number of my posts. I do enough blabbing on this site not to even remotely pay attention to the post numbers. But I just happened to notice when I logged in this morning...700 posts in almost 3 years.

Anyway, onward towards Thanksgiving. Ashley's last day at school for the week is today. I have to work tomorrow (I am negative in my leave balance, such is life), so the girls will stay home with Ray in the morning. I am going to leave at lunch time tomorrow and we will head to Myrtle.

Next week is Ashley's last week at school before she tracks out. I have a question for all of those parents of school-aged kids - do you get presents for all the teachers (spanish, art, music, pe)? I already gave money to the room Mom for Ashley's teacher and assistant teacher. I thought maybe making some peppermint bark for the other teachers, but I didn't know. And then what about the bus driver? Can you tell this is stressing me out?

Monday, November 24, 2008

I need a radio...

Last week, Ray took our van to the dealership to get an oil change. We had a coupon, otherwise we would have just taken it to the local oil change place. While there, they decided to do an update to our computer system. I think I failed to let everyone know that back when we got our new van, we ended up with the Chrysler Town and Country. The deal the dealership gave us was beyond what we expected, and nothing even close to what we could have gotten at the Honda dealership.

So computer system upgrade. Let me just start with the fact that I still haven't figured out our GPS/radio/DVD/computer system thing. Supposedly we can upload music and stuff in our van. Plus, we get satellite TV (Disney Channel, Nick, Cartoon Network) and satellite GPS which tells us where there is traffic. The kids LOVE the Disney Channel...we hardly ever watch movies in the van anymore because they would just rather watch tv.

The dealership attempted an upgrade, froze the radio, couldn't get the radio to turn off even when the car was off, so they had to take it out. They are giving us a completely new radio when it comes in.

I am so tired of talking to myself on my way to work. I need a radio.

But I will say this - it has actually been really nice not having the tv on in the van all the time. The girls have been chatting with us or coloring or sleeping. We may institute a no tv rule for certain trips in the van whenever we do get our radio back, which better be before our trip to Myrtle on Wednesday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Pictures I do not have

And I should have some pictures as yesterday was Ashley's Thanksgiving feast at school. I braved the cafeteria turkey, Ray did not. And I say I should have pictures, but I forgot to bring my camera. We did take video from Ray's new flip video recorder thingy, but he has yet to download the video for me (total slacker).

It was cute, there was food to eat, yummy desserts, and the kids sang songs at the end. Ashley didn't really sing the first few, but seemed to wake up at the end.

Instead of pictures, I will give you some funny things the girls have said the past few days. If I don't write them down now, I will forget them and I won't be able to remind them when they are 20 of the cute things they did or say.

* Audrey and Ashley were laying in my bed this morning waiting for me to finish getting dressed before going downstairs. Audrey blatantly hit Ashley in the leg (Ashley didn't even notice) and then immediately looked up at me and said, "I did NOT hit my sister".

* As Ashley's reward for staying on green at school all week (which didn't happen, her mouth, she wanted to take a bath in my bathtub. And she wanted to turn on the guts. Yes, guts, in which I told her I think she meant jets.

* Audrey has taken up growling at us. Where at times it's cute and we laugh and she giggles, I am thinking this is not a behavior we should enforce.

* Audrey doesn't say the "y" sound, and it is so freaking adorable when we ask her if she is ready for bed, and we get, "not et".

There were more, but of course I can't remember them now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Holiday Spirit

This is a hard one.

I have only been at my current job for almost six months, so I wasn't here last year for the holidays. As a state agency, the holiday parties are low budget (especially since we had our budget cut 5% last week for the current fiscal year) which is fine with me. Good spirits, good food is all I need to make me happy. And supposedly the finance department does their own party with white elephant gifts, team building games, food and decorations.

And now we can't do it. There is a new employee in the department who is a Jehovah's Witness, and their belief is that all celebrations such as birthdays and Christmas have pagan roots, and they don't celebrate them.

So our holiday party is now a meeting where we can't have decorations, can't do any "holiday" related games or have holiday related foods. We can't mention the word Christmas or even call it a celebration.

Yea, this should be a blast. In the past, the team building included building a Christmas house out of marshmallows, or wrapping a fake present with one hand. Who knows what we will do this time.

I am not blasting the Jehovah Witness faith. More power to you for believing strongly in a faith, but COME ON. So the rest of the department, the other 13 of us have to suffer?

And I know this has nothing to do with faith, but at our Halloween party at work (which this employee just did not attend, why can't he do the same with the holiday party I don't know) there were things that offended me, but I kept my mouth shut because they didn't offend everyone. One of the employees dressed up at the president of Iran to make a political statement and another dressed up as Joe the Plumber and made gestures offending my political beliefs. So what, it was funny to others (and sometimes to me as well) and there were yummy empanadas to eat, so I got over it.

I am so going to wear the most obnoxious holiday sweater I can find (Mom, can I borrow one of yours?) for our meeting that isn't a holiday celebration but it is in December and is meant to be a holiday party but can't be and everyone will be thinking it in the back of their minds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barrelling through the Holidays....

The toy catalogues are in abundance in our house as the mailman brings at least one a day. I had the girls sit down the other day and look through those as well as the sale ads to make a list we could send to the Grandparents. It is actually quite fun to go through them with the girls with Audrey pretty much pointing to everything saying, "I want that." But I am sure Ray and I could wrap up a cereal box and give it to her for Christmas, and she would scream in delight.

Next week, we are actually going to have Thanksgiving Dinner with friends of ours from Virginia. We are still going to Myrtle for the holiday, but our friend's Mom lives in Myrtle as well, so we are going to be there on Thanksgiving Day. We absolutely refuse to drive to Virginia for Thanksgiving since the first year we were in North Carolina it took us 10 hours to get there when it is normally only about a 3 to 4 hour drive. Not fun. Sorry Family.

I am also going to run a 5K on Thanksgiving Day which absolutely gives me the right to eat more at dinner. I was going to run a 5K this weekend as well with a neighbor, but since the weather has turned unbelievably cold, we aren't doing it (that and registration closed last night and neither of us signed up for it).

Thursday, we get to go to Ashley's class and hear her sing some songs and eat the school's version of a turkey dinner. I am excited; Ray is a little worried about the lunch and says he can refuse to eat it if he wants. I told him I would make fun of him if he did that.

So after next week? It's Christmas shopping and decorating, cookie making and getting ready for the big day.

And I am not expecting any gift from Ray (nor my parents - do not buy Ray or I anything...), but I do have one wish item. A really big wish item. If you could have one wish item, what would yours be?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Year Rounds Schools

We are almost through to the second track out for Ashley in her year round school, and I have had many people ask me how I like it. And this is just my personal opinion, so please take it with a grain of salt.

I think it works for us. As the weeks go on and on, Ashley becomes more tired at school. Going to school for nine weeks and then having three weeks off seems to be the perfect timing for her. And it seems that her whole class is tired. The first couple of weeks back after tracking out last time, Ashley did great on her behavior. As it gets closer to tracking out again, her behavior in school seems to diminish. Ashley is actually now on a daily behavior report as she talks non-stop it seems (no idea where she gets that...). And now her whole class is having issues and they are on an additional reward system separate from the red light green light system.

She only has a few more weeks until she tracks out, and hopefully she will rest up during December and be ready to go in January.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Pictures - some old ones from Halloween which seems like 10 years ago...

It's raining here in Raleigh - a good enough rain to make getting Ashley to the bus stop, Audrey into daycare, and me into work with wrapping paper my coworkers ordered quite fun. Lucky for Ashley, she has rain boots, a rain coat, and mulitple umbrellas, so she was fine at the bus stop. I have a huge VT golf (do not talk to me about that football game last night) which kept me dry while standing out at the bus stop, but when I attempted to get back in the van with it? Soaked. Lovely.

So today you get pictures from Halloween which I realize was a while ago, but I finally loaded them on my computer. This is really the only picture I have of Ashley in her costume, no idea how that happened.Audrey had a parade and party at school - even the owner commented on how well Audrey did waving to everyone. My girl loves a good parade.This is her buddy from school. His sister is in Ashley's class. I am so saving this and using it when they are in high school. Audrey is running from our neighbor Tom. Kind of scary, isn't he?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Okay, for those of you who saw the multiple "sent from iPhone" posts, I am sorry. I thought they didn't work as I got a message back that the email failed, and then I look here this morning, and there they were. Except no picture. Huh. I give up.

So no pictures from the iPhone until I can totally figure it out. Sorry for that..I would be annoyed if I had seen that...

If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen that I complained about this week going by so freaking slow. And then all of a sudden it's Thursday, and some of the projects I had on my list for this week are not completed. And what is even more shocking is how freaking close to Christmas we are. I just can't wrap my head around that. I have done some shopping and I even have some gifts tucked away already in the "gift closet", but I feel like I am behind.

I need to make some lists. I am good at making lists.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I need a weekend from my weekend

I have had that title before. But seriously, after doing this:

And spending my weekend here:And with these amazing women:
I need some time to catch my breath, go through the hundreds of emails, and do some work.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


This is going to be quick - I leave in less than 2 hours and I haven't packed, cleaned the guest bedroom, made a list for my parents and I still have to go pick up Audrey. GAH! We are headed to Gatlinburg, TN for a girls weekend to celebrate the 40th birthday of a neighbor of mine. Her husband is PAYING for us to go - to include the cabin and a spa treatment.

I tried to download a video of Ashley from cheerleading, but it isn't working. Instead, you get pictures. I will attempt to post some pictures this weekend from my trip from my iPhone, but considering I still haven't figured out how to change the ring tone, I am not sure that will happen.

I actually cried after they performed Tuesday night because a) I am a big sap, and b) the older girls took time from their practice to watch them and then did a "I am proud of you" cheer when they finished. Heck, it makes me cry now just thinking about it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


In the past few weeks, I have taken off more than a few of the blogs I read due to the fact I was called stupid, dumb, or any other version for the fact that I supported a candidate other than their own.

I realize I am not in the majority in the great world wide web, but I am still a person and just because I have a different opinion than you, doesn't make me stupid.

Ashley gets to vote today at her school, and we asked her who she was going to vote for. She knows the sign in our yard, but we realize that she can be easily persuaded by her peers. Ray gave a simple explanation - I won't give details as to not make anyone mad, but it was simple enough for her to understand the basic difference between the two candidates. And just to let you know, Ray voted for neither McCain nor Obama - so he was somewhat unbiased.

I voted last week - and from what I hear about lines, I am glad I did. But don't let lines deter you...go vote if you have not had a chance to yet. Let your opinion be heard.

Monday, November 03, 2008

This week is going to be crazy....

At least I voted last week, so I have that done. But seriously? This week is going to be crazy, and not just work or Ashley's class or traveling, but ALL of that.

Tonight, the Girl Scout Daisy troop I lead is having their investiture ceremony. Thankfully, we have a great group of girls and parents, and the parents have all volunteered for the cake, drinks, and snacks for the ceremony. Ashley is excited about finally getting her Girl Scout pin. At some point prior to this, I have to get some snacks to Ashley's school for Kids Voting day tomorrow.

Tuesday, Ashley goes into school 2 hours late. Ray is leaving for Phoenix that evening and Ashley has her final cheerleading performance and party that night as well.

Wednesday, I am giving a training class at work that my coworker and I designed. We did a dry run last week of it, and tons of changes were made. Kind of nervous about this one.

Thursday, I am volunteering in Ashley class first thing, and then I leave for a girls' weekend away later that day. One of my neighbor's turned 40 today, and her husband is sending her and her friends away for the weekend (I can't say where yet as it is a surprise to her and she sometimes reads here). My Mom and Stepdad are coming to take care of the kids until Ray gets home late Friday. I need to make sure my Mom has all the stuff for getting Ashley to school on Friday.

And it all started this morning. Ashley decided as the bus pulled up to the bus stop that she didn't want to ride the bus, and started crying. I just could not put a crying 5 year old on a school bus, so I told her I would take her. I honestly think she just wanted the novelty of being driven to school. Of course this would make me even more late for work, so another really great neighbor who was running out to do some errands offered to take Ashley to school. Ray and I will obviously get to the bottom of this tonight.

But other really, REALLY positive news? I will stay connected while away this weekend BECAUSE RAY BOUGHT ME AN IPHONE!! Wheeeee!!!