Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year to all of you!!
May the year 2009 bring us all amazingly good things.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Here

Or maybe I'm there. I'm not sure at all because life seems to be spinning a bit out of control at the moment. I'm sure I will find my groove again and settle in but I have to say, the snow, the water damage in the living room from the ice and snow spilling over the chimney flashing, a broken washer and then Christmas really has tossed me a curve ball (or two).

Dakota headed back to work today for the first day in two weeks. But don't think this week will be kicked back and smooth sailing for me. We just got back home from visiting my family late yesterday afternoon and I'm still trying to get a handle on the Christmas gift chaos (including a gift the kids gave Dakota which requires sd memory cards. It's so much fun!)
in the living room because tomorrow I begin the process of taking stuff down and putting away the decorations.

This afternoon the appliance repair guy was here to deal with the struts on our front loading washing machine. He was kind enough (HA!) to inform me that we will probably get 2 more years max from the washer and to repair it would be silly since it can be replaced for a mere $100 more than fixing it at today's prices. Add this to the fact that we know the dryer lifespan will be about the same. It's a full-sized stacking unit - which is what we need for the space it is in. And oh - let's not forget that the under the house venting for the dryer line should be replaced and brought to code with smooth metal venting instead of the corrugated stuff that is under there. Let me bring your attention to the fact that we replaced the vent line two years ago for $270. Sad for us, they replaced it with corrugated line instead of the proper stuff. Niiiiiiiice. Like I would know what the proper thing to do would be. Do I look like a dryer specialist? Umm...that would be a huge NO! He gave me a number to call and talk with a guy he would highly recommend.

Umm...yeah. I'll put that on my to-do list for later down the road. It's not a safety issue - more of a long drying time/cost issue at this point. At least it isn't a safety issue.

Tomorrow we have DirecTV coming out to install new service and remove the Dish Network stuff from the house so we can call and cancel that. Now mind you, I would have been totally happy to stay with Dish but when they lost their contract to carry Fisher Broadcasting/ABC in our market, they kind of sealed their fate with us. They apparently are still in negotiations to get ABC back but it's been two weeks and I'm tired of missing The View and all my ABC shows start up next week and I really don't want to miss them through no fault of my own (not to mention that they are known to go long time periods (years even) without bringing stations back due to contract issues). So - we're jumping ship. If you live in my town and are planning to do the same thing, let me know. I have a deal that could save us both some money. :)

Then there is New Years Day. I'm not sure what the plan for that day is because I'm hoping the Christmas decorations will be down by tomorrow night. If they aren't...then that's the plan. Not that I'm ready for them to go away - but I have a rule about them being put away by the new year. Stupid rule, really. But whatever.

Friday Dakota will be at work again and it will be Kelton's last day of Christmas break. I'm not ready for him to go back to school but, as it does, time marches ever forward.

I have tons of photos that need to be downloaded, organized and posted (and yes, sister of mine. Copied to a CD and sent to you. I didn't forget. *grin*) and I have stories to share.

It seems overwhelming from where I sit right now but I keep remembering the riddle of "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." So step by step I know it will all get done.

Stay tuned. I'll be back soon. :)

I hope you are all enjoying the last few days of 2008.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Photos of the Past Two Days

Kelton pulling up chunks of the ice on Sunday.

Kaylen and her ice chunk on Sunday.

Kelton on the front bench that he removed all the snow from. This bench will show up below but it will look much different.

This next set were taken this afternoon:

And now - the scenery:

This bench was completely free of snow (thanks to Kelton) on Sunday evening. This is how much snow fell overnight.

The roof over the entry. Yikes!

A plant in the backyard this morning.

Ice on a plant Sunday morning.

I love this! It's ice on the branches of a tree int he front yard. So pretty!

Snow, Ice, Snow, Snow, Snow!!

We have 12 inches of snow in our backyard. 12 inches. I've heard that the record for snowfall in the month of December stands at 15 inches. Any guesses on whether we will break that or not? It's still snowing.

I love it. Still. Though I am hearing frustration from other people. I know people who are waiting to fly out for Christmas and I have friends trying to drive to the coast for the holiday (and another friend who is scheduled to leave the day after). I know people who are starting to complain of cabin fever and I have heard people who grew up in heavy snow areas asking where the snow plows and sanding trucks are (my guess is out on the freeways and arterials. I've never seen a sanding truck in our neighborhood. And in all my life in Seattle, I never saw the trucks in neighborhoods there either. Cities here don't seem to have the trucks or manpower for that. Snow is a rare thing - and this much snow, even more so.).

I have heard from people still needing to do shopping (and I feel bad for them. That's big stress.). I know that Dakota's sister was forced to cancel her big annual holiday bash. It's a mess and from the looks of it, it will be for a few more days at least.

We're supposed to leave town on the 27th to go up to my family but unless the roads between here and there are clear, we won't be going. We'll have to wait until things clear. It's the only smart thing to do because it just isn't worth it to risk our lives. It's not just my driving I worry about (and trust me, I worry about my snow/ice driving) but I worry about the crackpots who *think* they can drive on it. I don't care how good of a driver you are, ice is ice and there is plenty of ice to be had under the new 6 inches of snow that fell last night.

So my recommendation for all those with cabin fever? Give into it. Surrender, Dorothy, surrender. There is nothing you can do about it. Ditch the jeans and pull on the comfy clothes. Build a fire if you can, pop in a movie, maybe make some popcorn and just settle in. Maybe find a book you have been wanting to read. Maybe spend time figuring out what a Slingbox is and whether you could use one. When you (or the kids) get antsy being inside, pull on the warm clothes and go romp around the yard or take a walk. The fresh air will make you feel better and when you are good and cold, go in and have some hot cocoa.

The snow will melt and life will go back to it's crazy state - consider this week a gift. A forced "slow down, look around and be thankful for all you have". It's only here for a few minutes in the grand scheme of things so do what you can to make great memories for your kids because in doing so, you're making great memories for yourself!

Happy snow!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Morning: 8AM

This is a sampling of what was taking place here.

What were you doing? :)

Winter Wonderland!

The snow is falling and we officially are living in a white covered world. It's beautiful!!

The kids (well - mostly Kaylen) are (is) itching to go outside and play but the mean mommy that I am says we wait until the sun is up and at least a few of the neighbors are awake. Call me a kill joy but I think 5:30 this morning was just too early to be outside playing in the snow. It's 7:18 now and I can see the beginnings of daylight. It won't be long before I unleash them on the crisp, beautiful snow.

It's snowed!! It really, really snowed!! And the best part is; it is Saturday and we have no where we are supposed to be and nothing we are supposed to do. Ahhhhhhh! Bliss!

(On a not so blissful note, it appears that Kaylen has come down with whatever Kelton had last week. She has a sore throat and a fever though at this point, it's lower than Kelton's was. She woke me up with these words "Mom? My throat is hurting a lot." Poor baby. :( A little Motrin though and she is acting like her amazing little self. I hope she is all better soon!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Give it 5 Minutes....

...because it's that good.

Christmas Break Arrives Early

We woke this morning to news of school closure which means the Christmas Break has officially begun! Two weeks of fun-filled holiday time sprinkled with sibling arguments and refrains of "I'm bored!". Maybe that is actually the opposite of what it will be because as you may or may not know, we've already been on a break for two days (well - and add to that Kelton was home sick last Friday....).

Let's recap the week....Monday was my birthday and even though there was some of the ice and snow on the ground from the weekend, school went on as scheduled. Dakota had the day off to spend the day with me. Tuesday Kelton went to school but since Dakota works high on a hill in one of the worst snow-hit areas, she stayed home and worked a bit while caring for Kaylen while I worked the afternoon shift at the Christmas store at school. Wednesday we were supposed to have a big storm and district announced closures the night before. Dakota stayed home. The storm never arrived.

Thursday Dakota left for work as usual and the kids and I had our regular morning. I was working fast and furiously to get the three of us ready for a day away from the house as I was to be at the Christmas store all day. I had even arranged with Kelton's teacher from last year for Kaylen to join her class if she became too restless. While I was doing breakfast dishes I looked out the window and thought "Huh. The grass looks so white. Weird." It was still mostly dark outside. But then....oh but then....the flakes grew so heavy that it would be impossible not to notice that it was snowing. A lot.

What to do now? I called the school to see if they were going to start late, dismiss early or close all together. I finally got through only to be told "We don't know." Lovely. More snow falling and accumulating than in the prior days and they don't know. Granted, high school was already in session and middle schools where just about to begin.

I load the kids and all the stuff in the car and start out the driveway...only to slide completely down the driveway incline. Yikes. I put it in drive and start out. The back end slides and I'm barely moving. Hmmm. Not great. I am not a good snow driver and I know this (unlike all those who think they can and then end up wrapped around telephone poles or smashed into other cars). I go down about two houses and think better of it. I turn around and get back into the driveway. We aren't going anywhere. My car is nothing special and certainly doesn't have any fancy performance parts for snow driving.

We go in the house and I start making phone calls and sending emails. Dakota, at this point, is already on her way home. She arrives home and says "Except in the neighborhood, the streets are just wet." I decide I should try to make it into the school for the store. At least I can help pack it up when the call an early release. I leave the kids with Dakota and go over to the school. She is right, the main streets were ok.

The snow is falling like crazy. Still. I am positive early dismissal is coming. They even cancel PM kindergarten and all afterschool and evening activities.

I end up working the store until the end of the day. Several of us were there and we got kids in and out and gifts were bought. Around 2pm we started boxing things up. We were sent 15 boxes of merchandise and we are only sending back 3.5. I'd say the store was a huge hit! And I know there were many, many happy children.

The snow was all but melted by late afternoon.

I got back home and found the kids and Dakota had been having a great day! They even made a snow Mickey Mouse in the yard (which later lost its ears and became a snow squirrel. I feel a little bad about Kelton missing school but then, I am a firm believer in enjoying snow. It doesn't happen often here and it should be experienced and enjoyed!

Right about 5, the snow started falling again and the yard returned to its glory of the morning. Everyone tumbled out to play some more.

Last night we went to bed knowing that it could freeze and possibly snow a bit more. I had hoped there would be school today because I know it was supposed to be a fun day with a sing along assembly and tons of art projects and celebrating. Kelton had a card and gift to give to his teacher. Sadly, Kelton didn't get to have his "fun at school" day but don't feel too sorry for him - he had a blast in the snow this morning. :)

Rumor has it (well the weatherman are saying it but I'm beginning to think of them as rumor mills....) it should get really cold again and snow more tomorrow. And then on Sunday we'll have an ice storm.

And again, I say "We'll see."

And how is all this family togetherness going? Let me again repeat "I was hoping there would be school today." and I'll add "And work." I love my family and I love being together but it's been a long, stressful week and I could have used a day to recenter and have a little down time. It's a lot to have all four of us together for days on end. And I know Dakota is feeling the same way.

No rest for the weary though; next up is Christmas! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Winter Storm....

...that wasn't.

Oh yeah - that about sums up today. Winter storm my behind. More like "a smattering of snow". Nothing significant but that doesn't stop the news from running all day long to keep us up to date on the "rapidly changing storm". *snort* I do not think they needed to pre-empt The View; A Day of Hot Topics with photos of grass sticking through snow and reporters sipping their hot cocoa saying "It's cold out here, Joe. It's cold."

I want snow. A lot of it. So much that it warrants closing the schools today and ruining the Christmas shopping for all the students (which was ruined for what appears to be no good reason). So much that the kids are begging to go back outside after we herd them in to save them from frostbite after 40 minutes of tumbling in the snow, eating the snow and doing face plants in the snow (that would be Kelton's specialty). So much that we build a fire for the fun of it and watch it as the snow continues to fall late into the evening. So much that it creates the "magic" that is snow.

I want snow.

And this? This is *not* snow.

Their promises of dropping temps and more snow before morning is falling on deaf ears. I do not believe them. Fool me once and all that.

They suck. The hyped us up for days over the gigantic storm coming and now they wiggle their way out of their incorrect predictions with terms like "unpredictable warm winds from the south pushing the cold air out". and "We seem to be in a warm bubble area - snow all around us but not falling here in the expected amounts."

Yeah whatever.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a job where you can be wrong so much of the time and still collect a paycheck?

I want snow. And yes, I'm pouting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

'Tis the season, I guess, but wow am I a busy girl this week! I've played in snow (pitiful amount though it may have been), frozen but behind off (it's 23 degrees right now), I've gotten older (jury is still out on the "wiser" part...), been taken to lunch (twice!), gone shopping and worked at the Christmas Shoppe at Kelton's school. All this and it's only Tuesday night!

Rumor (and the Weather Channel) has it that another snow front will be arriving around 7AM tomorrow. It will turn to freezing rain by mid-day and then back to snow. We have the potential of getting up to 6" of snow though honestly, I would be thrilled to have a solid 3" which would be perfect for building snow people. :) (And yes, I know for many people this doesn't sound like a big deal weather wise but for this area, it's huge. And honestly, I would much rather live in an area where snow (and for that matter clear blue skies *grin*) are special events worth savoring and enjoying. I love that the busy lives we all lead slow down and we take time out from the same ol' same ol' sameness of life. Call us weather wimps if you must - I call us lucky. Lucky it isn't commonplace. Lucky because we get so have life come to a halt for a few hours or days while we enjoy the snow. )

The down side to that is the whole "I've been working at the Christmas Shoppe at Kelton's school" part. Tomorrow is supposed to be the big shopping day for the students. We secured gifts for everyone who had money today in anticipation of the storm but many of the kids are planning on shopping tomorrow (or Thursday). I would love to be able to get them taken care of before the snow falls and school close for the holiday break but it doesn't look likely. Time will tell.

In the meantime, while I am running around like a chicken with her head cut off (and can I just say "GROSS!"), here are a couple pictures to oogle over. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To Do or Not To Do

Kaylen and I were waiting at the bus stop tonight for Kelton. When the bus pulled up, the driver motioned to me and then pointed to her cheek. I had no idea what she was getting at until Kelton stepped off the bus.

His cheeks were blazing red and he looked worn out! Poor buddy! I immediately reached for his forehead and found it very warm.


I swear he was not feverish when I sent him to school this morning. He told me his throat felt much better and he seemed pretty darn healthy to me. Healthy enough to run around and play (and fight) with his sister just like every morning. He ate a good breakfast and was compliant getting ready for school. He even did 20 minutes of reading.

And he was right in front of me. Ugh.

We came in the house and my phone was ringing. It was the PTO president to talk about all the stuff we had to do tomorrow to get the room ready for the start of the Christmas Store that opens Monday. I talked with him but then had to break the news that I had no idea what tomorrow holds since Kelton is looking and feeling feverish.

I got off the phone and located the thermometer. I placed it under his tongue and before he closed his mouth it was already past 100 degrees. I know under 102 is considered low grade for kids but it still scares me to have it over 100 degrees. I gave him Mortin and settled him in my bed with a Christmas movie.

He doesn't seem incredibly sick (I've seen worse without a fever) but he is sick enough to have bought himself a day of rest tomorrow. And I have bought a day of feeling incredibly guilty for not being able to help during this incredibly busy time at the school. I was supposed to be there at 9 to get the fliers into the teachers hands, then head to playgroup and then back to the school in the early afternoon to setting up the store. People are were counting on me and while I know it will all get done, I still feel guilty for not being able to help.

This is when I wish I could easily clone myself.

But really? It's a no brainer. My children come first and he clearly needs to rest. *sigh*


I'm cold. As in *really* cold. Our thermostat is directly outside the laundry room which means when the dryer is running (almost constantly today) the thermostat thinks it is plenty warm and doesn't allow the furnace to kick on. Let me tell you - the only place it is plenty warm is *inside* the laundry room. Heck - today it just might be inside the dryer itself.

I have an issue (as in the almighty dollar and saving as many as possible) with kicking up the heat and manually over-riding the preset day temp of 68 degrees (I can actually hear my mother's voice saying "If you're cold, put on a sweater!"). I know lots of people keep their preset temp lower than that - and kudos to all of you. I can't do it. I think about pushing it down a degree or two but I just can't do it. Maybe when the next electric bill arrives. :)

Mom would be proud though - I'm bundled up. More so than usual. But I'm still cold. I don't do well in the cold. My whole syringomyelia really seems to act up in the cold temps which make my nerves misfire and, in general, makes me miserable. (I'm guessing when Dakota reads this her first thought will be "Excellent! Let's move somewhere tropical!" No dice, love. I, like you, am Pacific Northwest born and bred and I love it here. Even when I'm cold and miserable. Sorry. We can revisit it next year though, ok? :) )

The simple thing (Simple? Maybe not but logical, yes.) would be to relocate the thermostat. Maybe to our bedroom since it's like the freakin' arctic in there (which is great at night - I love cool temps for sleeping)! But that means holes in the wall to take care of and calling someone in to do the actually relocating. Maybe some day. When we're rich. HA!

For now - I'll just freeze and fantasize about curling up in the basket of warm dry clothes that I just took out of the dryer.

PS...Stella? Is this what you meant by my having a "unique perspective"? *grinning*

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A New Coffee Pot!

I have a new coffee pot. Well - technically new. It's been sitting in a box in the garage for the past three years but this is the first time I've used it. I had a cute 10 cup Krups pot that I adored but lately it started leaking as it brewed. I put up with it for as long as I could but when it started leaking half the pot on the counter I knew it was time to bid it farewell and move on. I mean seriously. In my world it's a crime against nature to mess with my caffeine.

And so dump it I did.

I located the box with my "free when you purchase Gevalia coffee" coffee pot and unwrapped it. It is stainless steel and actually quite pretty. It has a clock, auto-brew and auto-shutoff but the most important feature it has? A bigger pot! Bigger by TWO CUPS! I'm in freakin' hog heaven!!

So this morning, when Dakota started the coffee to jump start her final, I didn't have to think unkind thoughts about her drinking up "all" the coffee - there was plenty to share. Twelve glorious cups of the magic stuff.

Makes me wonder why I never bothered to open the box before now. :)

Coffee anyone? I have enough to share now.

Day or Night?

Kelton isn't feeling great today. He woke at 2:30AM asking Dakota for Tylenol because he had a sore throat. She gave it to him and tucked him into bed with her (I had already moved into Kaylen's room). He couldn't settle down and sleep for the longest time and she finally moved him back into his room. He still couldn't sleep so he came into Kaylen's room and slept in the toddler bed that is in there (she sleeps in a queen bed...don't ask. It's all very complicated but it works for us). At 4AM, he bounded into our bedroom and excitedly said "It's 6! Time to get up!"

Uh no. Get back into bed. He did but I doubt he really went back to sleep. He still had a sore throat, poor guy.

And poor Dakota. She had an 8:30AM final (which frankly, was a blessing since she still had enough energy to take it as opposed to waiting until 6:00 tonight). When I asked her why she didn't just send him to me to take care of, she said she didn't know. Typically, my nighttime child duty is Kaylen and hers is Kelton (though 9 out of 10 times he sleeps clear through the nights now - thank goodness!) but I would have stepped in to make sure she got enough sleep for her test. I actually didn't hear a thing - not even when he came in and got into the toddler bed next to my head.

Anyway......he was ok enough to go to school (besides a sore throat and mild congestion he was acting totally fine) and it was a half day so off he went. I just knew he would be exhausted by afternoon.

And no surprise - he was. Around 3pm he turned off his computer game and went back to our room to snuggle under a blanket and watch TV. Kaylen and I watched with him for a bit and then I left to take a phone call. About 15 minutes later, Kaylen came to the front of the house. I asked "Is Kelton awake back there?" She said he was.

I went back about 10 minutes later and he was sound asleep. It was 3:40. Yikes.

I decided to just let him sleep. Maybe he'd sleep through the night (though he would need to be changed out of his sweater and jeans and into jammies).

I have to say, the late afternoon hours with only one child is a breeze! The house was so quiet and calm - and actually lonely feeling without the afternoon chaos happening. I caught up on some things and then set about making dinner for Kaylen. As I had the pasta cooking, Kelton wandered down the hall. He looked at me with big confusion all over his face and said "What are you doing up and where is Mom?" I said "Mom is at work and I'm cooking dinner."

"Work? Already? It's only 5!" he said looking absolutely crushed.

And then it dawned on me. He thought it was 5AM! I explained that he had only taken a 90 minute nap and it was dinnertime. It took a few minutes for him to make sense of it - I mean, after all, it was pitch dark when he woke up. He rarely wakes at night anymore so he logically assumed he slept all night.

He never quite shook the sleepiness and gratefully went to sleep at 7pm. I hope he feels better in the morning. My poor little bug.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh sure- rub it in.

I have a birthday coming and while I love that I get to have another birthday because it means I am still alive and kicking, I am kind of bothered that I just keep getting older.

Which is why the following situation was a big hard to take.

In the previous post, I shared how we get bath stuff for the kids stockings. The night I was buying the things I was alone in the store. I placed my items (clearly child heavy) on the belt. The checker, in her mid-20's and pregnant, looked at my stuff and ever so casually asked:

"Are you getting ready to have the grandkids over?"


I stammered a bit before finding my ground and replied " These are for my kids."

She takes a long look at me and I can feel her calculating my (almost) 44 years. She says "Oh - I'm sorry."

Yeah. Yeah I'm sure you are.


Ok ...once I stepped back and could look at it without feeling incredibly insulted, I can see where she figured I was probably her mom's age. Which....if she was in her mid-20's probably means her mom is.....*drum roll please* my age. OUCH! It's been years since I have been asked if I'm the kids grandmother...and I will be happy not to have to deal with that question again for many more.

Happy (almost) Birthday to me. *sigh*

Pass the Geritol, please.


Most of the gifts have been bought (all but two) and I've started making a dent in the stocking stuffer arena. The kids are pretty easy; lots of bath and bathroom related items (bubble bath, bath paint, bath foam, toothbrushes, toothpaste) because they go nutty for that type of stuff and we don't buy it all that often (well - the toothbrush and paste we do. *grin*). I like getting this type of stuff for them because I know where I can store it and I know it will be used up and gone within a matter of weeks and months. I still want to find a couple fun things to put in there too - as well as the traditional M&M guys on the long tube of candy and a candy cane.

Dakota has me a bit stumped though. Last year we both, unknowingly, did the theme of hand and foot lotions, creams, etc. (Did you notice the theme we stick with? Things we'll use instead of small stuff that will linger forever.) This year, I'd like to get away from that stuff since neither of us have Plantar Fasciitis or anything of the sort that requires constant attention. But what does that leave?

Traditionally, and this year especially, we don't want to break the bank on stocking gifts. I'd rather stay away from movies and CD's since those add up quickly in cost. Books are tough because she doesn't have time to read for the fun during school time. that leaves me with what? Cold care? :)

So what type of things do you put in stockings and/or love to get in your stockings? I'm looking for ideas and I know you are just the group of people to provide them! :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Going to the Birds...and Squirrels

Kaylen and I have been tending to the wildlife in our yard - namely the birds and squirrels. The squirrels are a happy accident as we only meant to feed the birds. We're ok with it though - we both adore squirrels and it is quite funny to watch them hang upside down as they work to get the seeds from the feeder.

On this cold morning (Saturday - which happened to be our first frosty morning this year), the squirrels were happy to eat the seeds dropped by the birds. You can't tell from the photos but there were probably 10-15 birds coming and going from the feeder.

As it turns out, we are going through the seed much more quickly than I had anticipated. The photos show the feeder half full but by about 90 minutes later, it was completely empty.

The plus side of that is I know we have happy birds and squirrels as well as a happy Kaylen. :) It's also a lot of fun (and quite relaxing) to watch the activity.

What's In A Name?

Besides the usual terms of endearment, we don't have official nicknames for the children. We use things like sweetie pie, bug, doodle, etc. but we don't have shortened versions of their names.

I remember when we told people the name we had picked for Kelton. Many people looked at us as they absorbed it and then said "But what will you call him?"


"What do you mean 'what will we call him'? We'll call him Kelton."

"No nickname?"

"No. No nickname. We like his name and that is what he will be called."

The same situation repeated itself for Kaylen. Weird. I don't think I've ever once asked someone what else they would call their child when they told me the baby's name.

Anyway.....when Kelton was just a bit under two, and learning to say his name, he took to calling himself "Kelty". We, of course, thought it was beyond adorable but still would correct people who began calling him that. He could call himself that, yes. But others? No. (Well - my sister latched onto it and still calls him at time in play that and it's fine. Dakota and I still call him at every now and again, too. But no one else better dare.) He outgrew it in a matter of months and began using his proper name.

Kaylen, when learning to speak took to calling him Telton. Again, adorable. But only from her. In the past few weeks she has come up with her own nickname for her much adored big brother; Kelt.

Whenever she is talking with him I hear "Ok, Kelt?" or "Kelt? Will you play with me?" It's freaking ADORABLE!!!!! And he doesn't mind at all. When I asked him he said "Nah - it's ok. She's my little sister."


I love hearing her call him that.....but no one else better! :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

It's Not Just a Song!

Kelton really *does* want two front teeth for Christmas! :)

Tonight was a huge night around our house. For weeks now Kelton has had a pretty lose front tooth and tonight, in the bath tub of all places, it popped out (with a little nudge from Dakota).

Once that tooth was gone, it was quite apparent that the other one would not last the night so the two of them set to work on getting it out.

I must say, they were both far to happy to gross me out with the blood, not to mention that flipping of the tooth in and out, sideways and almost completely around. Eeeew!!!

They had a great time and within about 30 minutes that tooth was out! I have to say, the Tooth fairy better reward him well for losing both front teeth in one night. As Kelton said "This just HAS to be a record!" :)

Calling Aunt Lannon to share the good news!

My baby.....growing up so darn fast!

Happy Early Birthday To Me!

Yay! It's that time of year. It's almost my birthday and just look at what arrived in the mail for me! I cannot tell you how absolutely exciting it is for me to get a package in the mail - I swear I'm like a kid at Christmas when the UPS truck stops in front of the house.

And stop it did this week. Heidi, one of my long-time faithful reader and commenter touched me deeply with her thoughtfulness and kindness. I've never met Heidi in real life and except for a few emails exchanged over the past couple of years, the only contact we've had with each other is through the comment section here and yet - she sent me a birthday gift! And I have to say, she knows me well. :) We often joke that we share the same life (though she has 4 little ones and I have it easy with just two). She is the driving force behind my recent arrival on Facebook (she doesn't have a blog but she is on FB) and consequently, she is unknowingly responsible for helping me get back in touch with a few friends who found me on Facebook. So really, she has been very, very busy gifting me in many ways over the past couple weeks.

And this is just one more way. She sent a Starbucks custom made gift card and two Chicago series Starbucks mugs. So, so, so thoughtful.

Thank you Heidi! Really and truly - thank you!! I am deeply touched by your kindness.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Santa Visit #2

This time of year, you can hardly take two steps without running into Santas (or, as my kids know them...Santa's Helpers because everyone knows the real Santa cannot possibly be in so many places at the same time) so there are plenty of chances for Kaylen to work on her bravery skills and for Kelton to once again express his hearts desire for Christmas.

After three disastrous run-ins with Santa last year (and many close calls) I truly wasn't sure what to expect from Kaylen but apparently her Picture People Santa experience last month set the stage for a great Santa season.

We were in no way prepared for a photo with Santa this day. We were grocery shopping when Kaylen spied Santa and we learned of the free photo op. So we went ahead and did it (what was I going to say, no? "Sorry kids - you've seen Santa once. You're done." No, not likely. In fact, we stop and say hello to every Santa we see. Ti's the season and all. :)) I love how she will sit next to - but definitely not ON Santa's lap. And I am totally ok with that. :)

The Cheap Seats

Lately Kaylen has started playing a new game, of sorts. It's called "Movie Theater". She sets up seating in front of the television set, plunks a few babies in the seats, settles herself in and they watch a show together. Some days she has two rows of seats but today she only set up one.

It gives new meaning to the phrase discount home theater seating for sure but she is one happy camper.

Some days she will ask for popcorn but other days, like today, she is content to just sit and hang with her friends. Personally, I love this game because I love when she talks with her babies about what they are watching. :)