Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ramblings: His Royal Highness

In case you were wondering...

His Royal Highness requires 600 thread count sheets and a velvet pillow for naptime. It's only upon this throne that he can achieve total comfort in his "freeze dirtbag" body position, arms thrown skyhigh like he's being arrested by the SWAT team.
I prefer not to think that it's the comforting squishiness that reminds him of the squishiness of my midsection as I snuggle him.  But I'm pretty sure it is. Oh well. It'll be around for awhile.
Doesn't he look GIANT for a 6 week old? Yup. Today's the prince's 6 week birthday. And now he's requiring his supper.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Raves: Last year's Christmas faves

Every year about this time, I panic because I've got to think of things to get the kids for Christmas. Things that will actually get used--not just stuffed in some closet or abandoned in the garage.  So looking back to last year, I'll give you my faves and their faves in case you're stumped too.  But I will require some ideas in return! Help a sista out. Anything that can be purchased online instead of having to drag children into stores where they will beg and whine and throw tantrums gets brownie points.

1. For kids five and older (given to Alex--although coveted and occasionally stolen by Aidan):
The Razor Rip-Rider. Cheapest at amazon. The back wheels spin completely around so that you can go really fast and then turn and spin and do all sorts of cool and semi-dangerous tricks. Alex has almost completely worn the wheel down in a year's time becuase it's gotten so much use. Three reasons I love it: it's an outside toy, it's exercise, and it's not electronic. That last one is really difficult to fulfill because it seems all toys and gifts geared to a 10 year old are electronic games, gaming systems, gadgets for those games, etc.
2. The toys that the boys have played with the most: Fisher Price GeoTrax. We got both the railroad and the airplane tracks. They link together so you can be running the trains and the airplanes at the same time. Which in my house = less fighting over the remotes. Super fun, although they take up some significant floor space. We usually have them out and running for a couple of weeks at a time, then they get put away for a break. Fun part: you can buy all sorts of different tracks and trains to add to the set to change it up. So far it seems that ToysRus gets the biggest variety around Christmas, though you can find them on Amazon and at Target as well.
3. Fun for all: Arcade style basketball. We actually got this awhile after Christmas, but it would've made for a great Christmas morning gift. Avery has to tip toe to reach the ball return, but that doesn't slow him down. It took Jeremy about a year to assemble, but after all the effort, it was worth it. Even adults have thrown down some serious competitive shooting on this thing. It keeps score, will time you, and is great for indoor play.  We got ours on the Costco website but you can find it other places too. Minus: Serious area required for this bad boy. We had to rearrange our big playroom to fit this in the back corner. Fits fine, but plan on it being bigger than you thought. Also could be used in a garage if you don't live somewhere where the summer's are like being dropped into a pot of boiling lava. 

4. For ages 3 and up: Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie set. Given to Maddie but played with by the boys also. The different pieces velcro together so you can stick them to the pan and then change up the decorations on top. You can pretend to cut the dough that velcros together and slides in the tube. She also got an Easy Bake Oven which she loves, but this is something she can do that is great for creative play and there's no mess or parental involvement required.

That's all for now, but I'll add to this if I think of more later! Any good ideas for me? Let me know!

And just for fun: **Much too expensive and NOT available at stores near you**
Trace says hello.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ramblings: Making Dad Proud and other random stuff

Overheard from the very back of the minivan where the twins have been relocated.

Aidan: Hey Avery, pretend I'm a transformer.
Avery: Your mom is a transformer.

In other news...the big kids came home with their school pictures. Not too bad as far as those uber-staged, "tilt your head at this exact angle" photo sessions go.  Maddie got her hair chopped the night before. She keeps trying to inch it shorter and shorter every haircut. Grandmas--your copies will be in the mail soon.

My birthday is next week and Jeremy's is the week after so we're sneaking away for a couple days this weekend. Once again we drugged the drinking water in these here parts and got Grandma to agree to pinch hit (or get pinched and hit) while we're gone. The bigs will get to go spend Friday night at their favorite getaway in the world--Uncle Greg and Aunt Brooke's--where the candy and cupcakes flow like a river and there are two bulldog bellies to scratch.

Trace will tag along with us and we'll reminisce about how easy it is (and was along time ago) to  travel with only one. Still trying to decide what spa items to choose while we're at the resort...I'm pretty sure no matter which one I choose, I'll fall asleep and miss the entire thing.

Oh, and your mom is a transformer.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ramblings: Proof of Life

I've started about 20 posts and then by the time I get back to sit and try to finish them, they seem obsolete so I trash them. But I'm alive. I promise. No seriously. I am.  And here are some shots via iphone to prove it. They were taken in the spot I reside most of the day and night it seems. One of the chairs in my room where I sit to feed Trace--conveniently pointed directly at my DVR and tv for those 3 AM feedings. Because thankfully I only need to watch most infomercials once or twice before I'm amazed anyone would buy the bizarre products advertised in the wee hours of the morning. Although in my sleepy, half-awake stupor, I'm tempted to call and chat it up with whomever it is that actually takes those customer endorsement phone calls. I could spin them quite a tale...hey, a person's got to keep herself entertained, you know?

And how is it that I can inhale a pile of Halloween candy at one middle of the night feeding and not even realize it? First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas!? I picked a bad time of year to be attempting to shed ALOT of post-baby lbs. No, wait! Better idea! Does Santa own a liposuction needle?

So it's been a month...what have we been up to around here?
Lots of baby snuggling. Lots of baby feeding. Lots of me saying "DON'T TOUCH THE BABY! You are NOT clean!" (Mostly to the kids--only sometimes to Jeremy :)  Lots of me trying to figure out how to sit and feed the baby without the other hooligans getting away with murder. Lots of not finding a solution to that.
We also enjoyed spending an evening in downtown Dallas at the huge Diwali Mela festival that one of Jeremy's clients is in charge of every year. Jeremy pigged out on Indian food. The kids opted for Corn Dogs. The kids climbed a climbing wall all the way up but decided NOT to ride the elephants. Jeremy's got the pics on his phone--I'll have to add them later. Funniest quote of the day was by Maddie when we sat down to eat: "Mom. We are the whitest people here." And we were. And it was a fun time.

Then we enjoyed Halloween. (Trace wore this onesie from Auntie Brooke.)
Does it count as "carving" if you just stick in the parts? I got lazy and when the boys wanted to carve pumpkins, I decided a pirate Mr. Potato Head was the way to go. Plus, no stringy pumpkin guts to clean up, and our pumpkin will survive a little longer in the 80* weather .
We went to the firm Halloween party at Jeremy's office. It would've been way more fun if we wouldn't have gotten stuck in construction traffic--turning the 30 minute drive into an 1 1/2 long journey with the kids screaming every 15 seconds from the back "AUGGHH! How much longer? WHEN are we going to get there? Is there going to be any candy left?"  Aidan was a werewolf--but he was really annoyed that people kept thinking he was a bear. (MY fault--his costume was too big so it didn't fit quite right.)  He was really ticked that he lost his vampire teeth, because he said if he had sharp teeth then people would know he was a werewolf. Avery was a dragon "that shoots things from his claws." Whatever that means. Maddie was an Italian chef and Alex was Dr. Pepper. I don't think I ended up with any pictures of Maddie. (Mom of the year, I know.) Alex wore scrubs and a white coat with a nametag that said "Pepper M.D."  
Here we are in Jeremy's office. The boys raided the bowl that his nice assistant Natalie left for them in fear that all the candy would really be gone by the time we showed up.  I was marveling at how messy his office was--and now that it's bigger, the mess just gets more and more spread out. (Yup--that's his Ronald Reagan picture that's finally gotten a place on the wall after being stashed in his other office for five years. Right there above his 2, yeah TWO, computer monitors side by side that he feels are necessary for some reason.  Did anyone see The Office episode with Dwight's Mega-Desk?)

He looks so cute and peaceful, right? Little did we know that in five seconds after this was taken, Trace would perform his first poo-poo blow out. He saved it all up for dad's office.  And I, being Mom of the year, only had an extra onesie--no pants. So he got swaddled in that blue blanket and taken home without his "costume."

This past Sunday we blessed Trace at our church. I have to say I like the family picture better with an odd number. Six just looked off balance. Seven works much better. Until Trace is old enough to squirm and then picture-taking will get really interesting. We're all a little squinty in the morning sun. And I think the boys were being distracted by their cousin Sydney.
It's pretty unanimous among everyone he meets that Trace looks the most like Aidan. Especially now that his hair's falling out and his head is getting big and round and bald. Aidan loves it. I do too--because I was beginning to think Aidan may grow up with some sort of complex not looking like any of the other kids. Now he has a little buddy.

Off to pick up the boys from preschool. Trace has been good about being hauled to and fro in his carseat. His poor little bum better get used to it.