Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It sounds so gratuitous and non-rational, however you must understand that Jenna is REAL tricky about getting her picture taken. The first time we gussied the girls up into their Christmas Outfits, made an evening appointment so Dan could come with me, and hoped for the best. Jenna took one look at the photographer and absolutely refused to have anything to do with her. (She was kind of a train wreck, and the pics she took were not that great so I really don't blame her.) Michaela got some done which turned out okay. I asked the manager to recommend a gentle, quiet photographer and made an appointment to return a few days later.
And that's when Mindy entered our lives.
(Is that dramatic enough??)
Mindy took fabulous pictures... she made Jenna laugh and took wonderful candids of Jenna looking sweet and gentle and relaxed.
So, like any other mom who sometimes has too much time on her hands, I made another appointment for Michaela to be photographed by Mindy.
We went last night and Jenna felt so comfortable that she jumped into the pictures and we got great shots of both of them. Heaven. We bought lots for Christmas gifts and 3 black and white pictures to put in a triple- opening frame in our dining room.
In other news, I finished my cookbook project- all 128 pages of it. I think it turned out really cute and now many, many family recipes are in one spot to be passed down. I am in full Christmas mode- shopping, returning, ordering on line, decorating, planning, etc. I of course have wild fantasies about baking lots of cookies with the girls, making gingerbread houses, and having Magical Memories. We'll see what actually transpires... and I will, of course, blog about it all.
Friday, November 23, 2007
What a wonderful Thanksgiving Day we had! My parents hosted us and Dan's Dad and his girlfriend Ann and we had a perfectly delicious day. The girls were great and even allowed us to take this picture for my parents' Christmas card. They spent the whole day eating, playing and watching the DVDs we bought them for "Thanksgiving presents"-ridiculous, I know, but it was only one gift each.
Michaela was most excited for the cinnamon rolls we had for breakfast... and they did not disappoint. We watched some of the parade as the girls started bouncing off the walls from their sugar rush. We even saw some of the dog show and I rebuffed Dan's attempts at convincing me we should get a puppy. In the afternoon, Jenna took her nap and then Paga and Ann came. We visited for a bit and then headed over to my parents'. The girls loved the pigs in a blanket we ate for an appetizer and could not shove them into their mouths quick enough. We sat down at about 5 for a wonderful dinner and then stuffed ourselves with pies, cookies, brownies, and candy. At one point Jenna, who was dividing her time between eating and playing, said, "What are we having next?"- just bring on the next course!
We got home at about 9:30, got into our pjs and watched a little Ratatouille, stuffed and happy. It was a chaos-free, warm, lovely day. I joked with Danny about hitting the stores at 4:30am but as you can tell by the time stamp here, chose to blog and work on my family cookbook project instead. But the morning is still young... I may get out there before 10am.
Hope you all had a peaceful, yummy holiday.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Have a wonderful day!!
Success! They fit decently and Jenna really, really liked them... so much so that she refused to take them off and unroll the pants. As my mom said in Target, "Sometimes she is soooo... two."
Here is the picture of her in Macy's in all of her patent shoe glory:
You may also notice that the tag is still on them, Minnie-Pearl style. And she's holding a fruit-flavored not-found-in-nature-blue Twizzler in her hand that made me gag every time I smelled it. And she's smiling because she knows we're going to McDonald's for lunch when the shopping is done. What a life.
Friday, November 16, 2007
In the spirit of Flashback Friday, I am going to tell you a semi-famous family story from when I was in sixth grade.
First a little background: When I was in fifth grade, I went to a very good elementary school that had a rural segment of its population. One of the girls I became friends with was named Karen. (I will not disclose her last name to help her remain anonymous. Heehee.) She was a very nice girl but it was clear she was poor and had limited resources of every kind. But she was fun and sweet and a bit dramatic, as most fifth grade girls are. She invited me to her birthday party that year, and my mom tells me it was the most nervous she's ever been to leave me somewhere. Her home was a glorified shack with a broad, unfinished front porch- just a plywood platform-and she had various animals roaming around her property. I'm not sure if she had a dad and her mom looked pretty marginal. I distinctly remember that at the birthday party her mom wore a see-through shirt with no bra and I was both fascinated and horrified at that. Her mom also wore a '70s style floppy fedora hat, which to me now indicates that she thought she had it goin' on back then. I was also quite shocked by their fishtank, which was so filled with algae that you literally couldn't see the fish in it. The most memorable part of the story was that one point of the party, a goat was walking around their living room. In the house. Yeah.
Oh.. and noone was screaming, "Ahhh! Get the goat out of the house!! The goat got loose from it's pen and somehow came inside the house!" It was more like, "Move over, Goat, I can't see Karen opening her gifts." So you get the picture.
Let me share one more piece of info critical to this story: for those of you who read my blog but are not familiar with this area, there is a small city about 30 minutes west of Albany called Amsterdam. It is not a prosperous city and it has a large Hispanic population and a large poor area. I'm sure there are nice parts of it, but I don't think at any time it would be heralded as a jewel in the Capital District.
So fast forward to sixth grade. We students who attended our small little rural school have stuck together pretty well, and I am still good friends with Karen. Just before lunch that day, Karen calls home on the pay phone (how quaint!) near the cafeteria and her mother gives her terrible news... they are moving in a few weeks. She is very upset at this and of course we, her friends, comfort her and feel sad that we will be losing our buddy.
That afternoon, I am recounting the events of the day to my mom, who would listen to HOURS of me discussing and processing my days at school. I tell my mom, quite dramatically, that Karen has received this devastating news: "Karen is moving... to the Netherlands!!"
"Say that again?" my mom replies.
"Karen called her mom and her mom said she's moving to the Netherlands."
Clearly confused, my mom says to me, "Tell me exactly what Karen's mom said to her."
"She said they are moving to Amsterdam."
Ahhhh... this makes much more sense. Now as an adult I realize how absolutely hilarious it is to think a rural girl with a braless single mother who had a goat in her living room during her birthday party would have the resources- both economic and intellectual- to move to a liberal European nation. I am also impressed with my knowledge of European geography.
Anyway, Karen moved - to Amsterdam, NY- and I never saw her again. But I laugh everytime I think of this story.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Michaela and I are in her room, picking out her outfit for the day. (Generally we pick it out the night before like all the "helpful hints for a smooth morning routine" tell you to, but sometimes we just don't get around to it.)
I lay out a nice pair of new sweatpants and a matching shirt, both from the Gap.
I say, "How about this?"
She says, "Well... today is Friday and I have music with Miss Hannah. That outfit is kind of ........sporty."
I snort as to not laugh directly at her. She's really sensitive about that.
We end up agreeing on a new skirt and top with tights and her mary janes.
This conversation revealed two things:
1. Michaela's fashion sense is a bit more advanced than I thought.
2. I underdressed for music class for years.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
In other news, Jenna is feeling much better and the color in her cheeks is back. Michaela had her second swimming lesson yesterday and loved it. We had a fun day being with her- she was off for a teacher's conference day- and we went to our little playgroup (M was the big shot)in the morning and then stopped at McDonald's for lunch, along with every other stay at home mom and their kids in Delmar. Michaela was pretty punchy by the afternoon so the swim lesson helped her blow off some energy.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
We had a nice weekend. Saturday I woke up early to go to the Hallmark Open House because I'm both a freak about their pre-made scrapbooks and a model American consumer. They did give me a nice VIP gift bag full of beautiful ornaments so it was clearly worth it. Then my mom and the girls and I went to a local craft fair to support our friends at Doullina Designs - custom scrapbooking- and of course bought a little Thanksgiving Day chipboard scrapbook that is so adorable I couldn't stand it. I am such a dork that this thought actually crossed my mind: "The papers they used will match the Thanksgiving Day outfits I bought for Michaela and Jenna!" Sad, I know. But it will look cute when it's done.
Saturday afternoon we went to our niece Olivia's first birthday party, which was a lot of fun. We saw all of Dan's family and Olivia looked adorable as always. I love first birthday parties- the noise, the celebration, the gifts, the overstimulated one year old. It's awesome. Someone at the party asked me if I thought Olivia knew what was going on and I answered, "I can ASSURE you she has no idea, but is having a good time anyway!"
Sunday Jenna and I stayed home from Sunday School and church and rested. Dan went to a car show after church- we are on the lookout for a new car next year- and then we went to my aunt's house for the Annual November birthday dinner for Dan and my cousin and his wife. My aunt is an awesome cook so it's always a delicious and fun evening.
Monday morning I got up a little early in case the girls were really off from the Daylight Savings Time change (they adjusted remarkably well) and Dan asked me, "What are you up to today?" and I answered not much... Jenna and I will hang around the house. When Michaela got up, she asked me if today was November 5th and I answered yes. She exclaimed, "Oh goody! Today's the day you come to school with me!!!" Yikes! I had totally forgotten that this is National Education Week or something like that and the parents are invited into the classroom and I had told Michaela somewhat vaguely a few weeks ago that probably I could go. So at 7:45am I had to start scrambling to get ready, find childcare for Jenna (no preschoolers allowed), and replan my day. It all worked out great and I did go to school and saw the class do "station work"- all literacy/language arts activities broken up throughout the classroom, went to her art class (right up my alley!!!!), played on the playground at recess, and ate almost inedible cheese raviolis with her at lunch. Her teacher is awesome and she has a really nice class of kids. Jenna stayed with Judy and had a blast with the Strauss boys... they are all so in love with each other.
Today I am off to playgroup with both girls (Michaela is off for Election Day) then we're hitting McDonald's, voting, and coming home for naptime. Tonight is the unveiling of the school's redistricting plans so maybe I will get some insight on where M will be going to school next year. It should be a fun meeting... filled with over educated and anxious moms and dads- what a blast!!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Monday was a bit of a letdown.
I did five loads of laundry and gave Jenna an enema (soooo fun!) and she pooped four times. Those events were literally the highlight of my day. That is the rhythm of the stay at home mom... some days are really, really fun and some are just filled with poop.