Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Takes 1 & 2

Nolan had made it pretty clear that was having nothing to do with Santa this year. We got to the mall and he stayed true to his word.

Take 1
Reagan and Santa were singing songs and taking about the jingle bell necklace she had and how magical it is, etc.

Nolan laid down in line and refused to get up.

We decided to walk around and give him time to warm up to the idea, have a little lunch, ride the train (several times) and do a little (bribe) shopping.

Three hours later we walked back over to the Santa. Of course, he was at lunch. So we had to wait. Giving him more time to regret his decision to try again.

He reluctantly agreed to hold Reagan's hand.
....and eventually let go of my Mom's! lol

And then decided that Santa is not such a bad guy after all.
Success. Sort of.

And because I strive to be honest on this little blog o'mine, I have to mention this little story. Reagan was so excited to ride the train and see Santa a second time that at lunch she shoved two Chick-Fil-A nuggets in her yop at one time.

You guessed it.

She choked.

And then she kitty barfed. In the middle of the mall food court.

That would have been a good time to be the Wicked Witch of the West and just casually melt into the floor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time to Shutter.....Shutterfly That Is

You know me and pictures. I take them of everything. I like to share them. I like to design gifts around them. It is no shock that I design my kids birthday invitations and our Christmas cards every year.

I've already started thinking about this years cards, but when I started working on them on Shutterfly I stumbled upon some of our past Christmas cards.


Heritage Holiday Christmas
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.


Modern Wreath Christmas
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Where have those little babies gone?!

My current fave for this year; although I find a new one I like every time I go on the site: http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/cards-stationery/retro-kaleidoscope-holiday-card-5x7-flat?sortType=1&storeNode=93479

I really like Shutterfly's HUGE variety of cards, reasonable prices (they always have some kind of special going on this time of year too), and a very easy site to navigate and design with.

I've already created several versions of our holiday card and calendars and mugs, and well you get my point.....this year, but no matter which one I go with it will have the shutterfly logo on the back.

If you are looking for a personalized gift, they've got it. No, they've got several to choose from so check them out:

· Christmas photo cards www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards

· Holiday invitations www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-invitations

· Holiday photo cards www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery
· calendar www.shutterfly.com/calendars 

· address labels www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/address-labels 

· personalized mugs www.shutterfly.com/photo-gifts/photo-mugs

For writing this post, I'm going to get 50 free cards (puts a nice dent in the 120 or so that we send) and you can too. All you have to do is go here, fill out the little form and then you'll get an email about how you can write a little blog and get free stuff.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Three Tiers of Memories


Other than the kids toys, I don’t care for a lot of knick-knacks. I like to display pictures and a few things that have a deep meaning to me. Some of these things reside in my kitchen on a three-tiered shelf next to the sink.

On two of those shelves are mementos from my Grandparents houses; the third contains my very favorite picture of Reagan and Nolan when they were babies and a dish I painted on our honeymoon in Mexico.

On the second shelf are my Granny Pike’s measuring cups and spoons. They are metal and some parts of the spoons are so worn that they feel like they are about to snap. She was a good cook and I like to think she is standing beside me in my kitchen when I measure with her spoons. I secretly hope someday when I’m holding a measuring cup it is going to guide me through the kitchen allowing me to make her apricot rolls that I miss so much at the holidays. (Cut me some slack, I just saw Harry Potter. A girl can dream!)

Next to those cups are Pillsbury Dough Boy salt and pepper shakers. Those held a spot on my Grandma Neiman’s stove. They didn’t get used much because she didn’t like “spicy” things. I’m sure the salt got used for baking because she could make a mean torte cake and some tasty thumbprint cookies.

On the highest shelf are clear glass oil and vinegar bottles. The oil label has long since fallen off, but the vinegar one is there. It was made with one of those hand-held embossed label makers.

Dial, click, dial, click, dial, click.
My Pappy had one of those and would sit in his rocking chair and make labels for hours. Basically everything in their house had a label. Helpful things like the water valves on/off positions and then more basic things like “sewing machine.” I’m pretty sure his label fetish drove my Granny crazy, but that green label brings back mucho memories for me.

Nearby is the photo collage I made for Papa Neiman to give to him for Father’s Day this past June. We never got a chance to give it to him. He left us a few days before.

As I dusted off each one of these special pieces, I started thinking about what Thanksgiving would be like if they were all here with me. There would be tasty apricot rolls (probably with a label on it), but more importantly there would be laughter and probably a little yelling if Pappy drank too much Rolling Rock, which would have been highly likely. Granny Pike would have been yelling “whoopee” an awful lot as the kids put on a show for her and got all wound up. Papa Neiman would be sitting there eating and eating and eating. And asking for a goodie bag to take home. His shirt pocket would have cookies stuffed in them. Grandma Neiman would be yelling at him to stop eating as she sat at the table smacking her lips (habit) with her perfectly coiffed hair (set every Friday at Beth’s Beauty Shop in Slavic Village), but she’d not forget to bring out the trays of thumbprint cookies with her special cream cheese frosting. But only after everyone was around the table, lest someone eat them all up before the others got a chance.

I can’t have them here, no matter how hard I try. They no longer walk this earth in body form. Their circle of life is complete. I can close my eyes and imagine though.

The people that are still here and can be here may choose not to be this year and that hurts me. Grudges and stubbornness may prevent that. It makes me sad, but I’ve decided that life is too short for those things and I can’t make people change so I’ll just go with it. I’ll make it the best day I can for my kids, because that is what I have to do as an adult. We’ll watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and cheer for the arrival of Santa. Then we’ll stuff our bellies with good food and wine and talk about the things in life we are grateful for and hope that next year there are more seats filled at our table with those we love; while we still have the chance to be together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Things They Say

I haven’t done one of these posts in so long. I guess the twinadoes have been talking for so long that I forget they are only 3 and say some pretty sophiscated things for their age. I am so lucky that they are both so vocal, well, most times I’m lucky!

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was on the radio in my van. I didn’t tell the kids it was the Beatle’s, yet Reagan pipes up with, “ But in Grammy’s car, the Beatles say HELP! I need somebody.”

Nolan requests the Foo Fighters, because he likes when Dave Grohl, “sings fast.” Nolan really is great about picking out a tune and humming along even if he doesn’t know the words. I plan to foster that ability in the future.

While walking at the zoo and looking elsewhere, Reagan ran into a plant. She said, “Oops, I ran into the koala’s bears food; bamboo!”

Reagan counting: 12, 12 14, 15, twelve-teen, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 17, 18, 19, 17, 18, 19…. Bill: 20!!!!

For Christmas this year Reagan wants, “a dozen donuts and a bag of candy.”

While reading a Dora book, I asked Nolan a question and he answered, “I don’t know. I’m not the map.”

Mommy: Nolan, say eggs in Polish. Nolan: “eggs in Polish.”

Nolan calls construction cones “pinecones.”

Nolan, “Mommy apply your brakes! There is a red light ahead.”

Reagan peering in a case at the West Side Market, “Mommy, I see a piggy made out of meat!”

Mommy to Nolan: stay in your own yard. Nolan: “that sounds like a plan, Mom.”

While driving, Nolan came out with, “Damnit! These people need to learn how to drive!”

Reagan (in a very proud manner): "Guess what Nolan and I were doing while you were in the bathroom? Jumping over the couch, like the cow jumping over the moon!!!"

While Nolan was hugging me one morning he said, "I love you, you little furball!" Thanks, I think.

Nolan's new favorite word: Mischiegous. Used in a sentence, "In the movie Cars, the cars that push Mac off the road are very mischiegous and naughty!"

Driving by a construction site in the rain, Nolan said, “Since it is raining, the workers are not doing foundations today.”

Nolan: where’s Mailman Tom.
Me: at home having dinner with is family.
Nolan: Yeah, with mailman mommy.

Mommy: You make my heart proud.
Nolan: And you make mine too.