Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Love Your Babies

I read a couple of other people's blogs and enjoy the idea of peeking into other people's lives. Most of them are women in the same boat as I am, raising young children, trying to find creative outlets, and weathering the ups and downs of being a stay-at-home mom.

One of them I want to tell you about today... and it's awesome. AWESOME.

It is not, however, for the faint of heart.

It is written by Sheye Rosemeyer, a mom and professional photographer living in Australia. She was living her life, taking tons of amazing pictures of her children and tragedy struck their family: their three year old daughter, Ava, died. She went inside the family car in the summer and overheated and passed away from the effects of the heat.

The blog entries that follow this horrible accident are heart breaking.

I found Sheye's website through a series of about five links and the last one linked to her. I at first marvelled at her photography and then realized she was writing about one of her children being gone. I stayed up for another hour reading her blog and just cried. Nothing, nothing, nothing I have ever read is like this.

Sheye does a beautiful job of sharing her joy about Ava's life and her longing for Ava. It is a glimpse inside what it is like to lose a child and live with it everyday. It is a celebration of Ava's life and the love she brought to her family. It is filled with gorgeous pictures and memories of Ava.

Most of all, it makes you want to hug your own babies and never let them go.

I admire Sheye for sharing this gaping hole in her heart. I admire her spare, elegant writing. I admire her enormous talent for taking pictures that are both dream-like and terrifically real at the same time. (Who else could make a picture of their two year old going potty for the first time look so good?) I admire her ability to go on living for her other children after facing unspeakable loss and grief.

Reading her blog makes me desperately want to reach inside my computer and hug her and sit with her and hold her hand.

If you are ready for a life-changing moment, go to: http://www.sheyerosemeyer.blogspot.com/

If this is not for you, just say a prayer for Sheye and her family and go hug and love your children.

Hug and love and kiss them in honor of Ava.

Monday, January 28, 2008

On Playing Babies and Being Cool

Some things I have observed while playing babies with Jenna:
1. Jenna told me the other day to "Teep an eye on my baby, otay?"
2. There is a specific way to hold and pat the baby's back, preferably while saying, "It otay, tweetheart."
3. Babies love to go to the doctor, which is kind of ironic since Jenna does not. Usually they go because they have a tummyache.
4. No matter what the ailment, the baby's yo-tion (aka lotion) saves the day. It's 21st century penicillin, I guess. Slather that baby up and she's good to go.

Meanwhile, this is the exchange I had with Michaela while picking out her clothes for the next day.
Mommy: If you are wearing your jeans, how about wearing this shirt?
Michaela: No, I don't want to wear that.
Mommy: Why not? You look great in this shirt.
Michaela: That shirt is pretty... I want to wear something cool.
Mommy: Oh.
Mommy thinks for a minute and says something she will probably say countless times in the next 15 years:
Mommy: Let's look at the shirts Aunt Jaime bought you!

Problem solved. Coolness reigns. Well, for Michaela at least.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Flashback Friday

I am longing for a sunny, warm summer day, so here are some flashback pics of when we went to Great Escape Amusement Park in June of 2006. It is hard to believe how much the girls have grown up in such a short time. I love them to pieces!

Lil' Gimpy Arm

My sweet little Jenna is doing alright... we had our followup appointment yesterday afternoon (at 2:30pm... right in the middle of naptime) and she does not have a fracture. She has one more followup with the orthopedist in a week to make sure everything is healing correctly. She was issued a little sling which she could wear if she wanted to and has chosen not to. She is mostly leaving her arm hanging at her side and is clearly favoring her left arm to do anything. She was totally pooped out last night and went to sleep at about 8:30pm, which is about an hour earlier than she usually does and about three hours earlier than she was falling asleep two months ago. I am very thankful for that.
I think we are all okay here... ready for the weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I can't handle all this excitement...

Remember how I wrote back on January 14th, "It's good to be in the month of January", somehow implying that the hustle bustle craziness of the holidays was behind us?
That was before we added two Lip Sync practices and gymnastics class every week to our schedule, I added a new monthly meeting for church into my schedule, a new baby was born into our family and Jenna falling and almost breaking her arm last night.
Yes, our excitement for yesterday was whisking Jen to the ER (a first for us as parents) after she fell quite awkwardly right in front of me while Michaela was finishing up her gymnastics class. Jenna landed on her own arm onto a concrete floor and immediately started crying. When I tried to calm her down, she started saying to me, "I can't raise my arm!" and started really guarding it with her uninjured arm. We came home and Dan and I immediately brought her to the ER, where she was seen by a PA and got xrays taken which thankfully were negative for a fracture. She was such a trooper- she was stoic through most of it but did ask me, "Can we go home now?" about twenty times. She got a splint for her arm- it appears it is the forearm that bothers her most- and it was wrapped in an Ace bandage. We got home at around 11:30pm and Jenna laid on the couch for a few minutes and then went to sleep in her crib. She slept well last night and played with me a while this morning before settling in for an early nap. We have a followup appointment this afternoon with an orthopedist and are bringing the xrays for him to look at as well.
While I am glad it appears to not be broken, I frankly am shocked that it's not. The way she's holding it and the positions that seem to hurt her the most to me scream that she has a broken bone. But as the whole world loves to say, sometimes a sprain is worse than a break. I am very happy to have the followup today and am so, so, so very thankful that what ever the injury is, it is minor and very fixable.
Please keep Jenna in your prayers for a speedy recovery!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jenna's 4th of July outfit... in January

Jenna got this beautiful dress from Judy and Bryan for her birthday but unfortunately was going through a "I refuse to wear dresses" phase. Yesterday for playgroup Jenna wanted to wear a dress and our only choices are the last two years' Christmas dresses and this one. She was thrilled to wear it but refused any sweater... "I don wan da dweater!! No dweater!" So here she is at playgroup:

And here's the closeup so you can see the adorable pigtail action:

Today she wanted to get dressed all by herself. Here she is struggling with her pants after getting her own diaper on:

And here's the finished product... proud as a peacock!

Tonight we are off to gymnastics class (I'll post a picture of Michaela in her leotard and tights soon!) and tomorrow Jenna and I are visiting her new preschool for a test run. We're very excited!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Boots and Bread

My mom and dad were kind enough to buy Michaela an awesome pair of winter boots this fall... really cute, really warm, and really easy to get on and off. They are wearing like iron (though Michaela's not really too hard on clothes or shoes) and it will be fun to pass them down to Jenna.

Every morning when I am helping Michaela bundle up like Randy from A Christmas Story ("I can't put my arms down!") with these glorious boots, a funny memory from my year as a first grader floats through my head.

Mrs. Taranto was my teacher and I loved her. We would all struggle with our snow gear in the winter... ripping off all our stuff in the morning only to put it all back on seemingly a few hours later. We got minimal help since we were supposed to be learning how to do it all ourselves. A boy in my class, Peter, always seemed to struggle a little more. He was a thin little boy, with a slightly high-pitched whiny voice and was always worried about something. I generally liked him because he was gentle and not too rough.

His mom inflicted upon him something I was soo glad mine didn't: she sent him to school with the plastic bag that bread comes in slipped over each foot. I'm assuming this was to improve the water-tightness of his boots. Every day he struggled with those bags- getting them on, pulling them up, putting his boots on over them- and even I, with minimal knowledge of fashion, knew he looked ridiculous with those Wonder bread bags halfway up to his knees.

I giggle every time I close the velcro strap on Michaela's boots thinking about this.

So thank you, Mom and Dad, for both buying Michaela these awesome bagless boots and for saving me the humiliation of wearing bread bags.

See, you did do lots of stuff right!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kate Elizabeth!!

Have you seen the pictures of our new niece? Well, click on over right now to their blog- www.bandbdavies.blogspot.com -and check her out!! Isn't she the cutest? We are so happy for them and share in their joy.

I have had fun remembering the first few days after Michaela was born, with all the excitement, anxiety and sheer thrill of meeting our new baby after a long nine month wait. The rush of love and protectiveness I felt every time I looked at her... and thinking she was absolutely the most beautiful thing we'd ever seen. (Heck, I STILL think she's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!) Such special times... and it only gets better!!

PS- Go Giants... please don't break our hearts...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

From the "I may have a new cousin, but it's still all about me" File

So most of you know by now that Baby Davies has indeed made her arrival...we are beyond happy and excited for this new beginning for their family.
We have had two funny moments in the Libutti house in the last two days as a result of our new niece's arrival... one of which perfectly captures the divine self-centeredness of the normal 6 year old's brain.
I promised Jenna I would buy her Cheetos (it's a long story and involves a terrible tantrum at Walmart- So Fun!- that ended with Jenna taking her shoes off in the car and throwing them at me in the front seat... I have already started praying for her preschool teacher...) the next time we went grocery shopping. Jenna was kind enough to offer to get some Cheetos for Michaela as well, and both girls were pretty excited. At the same time as all of this Cheetos wrangling was going on, I was getting phone calls from MI that Beth was in labor and in the hospital. I was explaining to M all of what was happening: the baby would be coming out today, we'll know more when she gets home from school, we should think of Brian and Beth and the baby and pray that everything goes smoothly, etc.
As I was sending her out the door to get on the bus, I said to her,"It's going to be an exciting day!!" and she turns back to me and completely straightfaced says,
"Why, because of the Cheetos?"
"No," I answer,"because a NEW BABY is being BORN INTO OUR FAMILY today!"
"Oohhhhhh!" she answers and starts laughing.

Jenna meanwhile is just thrilled at all this talk about babies in general. She is obsessed with her babydolls... it is almost all she plays with all day. I told her this morning after I spoke with Brian that Bethie and Brian's baby had come out and this was the conversation we had (I have re-inserted all the S's, C's and K's that she left out) :
Mommy: The baby is out!
Jenna (wide-eyed and with her arms thrown up in the air): Yay! The baby is out!! Wait. But when can we see the baby and hold her?
Mommy: Well, the baby is very far away from here in Michigan.
Jenna: Oh. How do we get to the Michigan?
Mommy: We can fly there or drive in the car, but it is a very long ride.
Jenna: I know! We can go to the Michigan in a super plane with its wings out like this (puts arms perpendicular to her body). Then we can see the baby!!

I loved how she called it "The Michigan", like she has any idea what that means. I also loved how she comes up with semi-imaginative stuff like a super plane. Michaela, though brilliant in many, many ways, does not have an imaginative (she is highly creative, but not imaginative) bone in her body. She's the most completely concrete person I know.

When Jenna finally does get to see the baby and hold her, she'll probably show us all the correct way to hold her. (See previous post!)

All our love goes out to Brian and Beth and their daughter. God has truly blessed you beyond measure!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back and better than ever

Ahhh... Dan is home. Michaela is back in school. My throat feels normal again. Routines are back in place. It's so good to be in the month of January.

I am also back from my first- ever Crop 'til I Drop-12 hour-9 to 9 event! What a blast I had... and I finally finished Jenna's baptism album, which was a monkey on my back as well as an outward sign of how far behind I am in my scrapbooking. It was a wonderful day away and when I returned home, Dan said the Very Magical Words that I was so hoping he would say: "We were fine... anytime you want to do that again go right ahead." Oh, I so love him.
My friend Gina, who is brilliant in every way and is half of the Doullina Designs team that held the crop, told me this fabulous story. Her husband has to travel for business and while we wives realize it is not a Vacation, the travelling men do manage to get out to dinner, do some fun things and generally get to escape from the normal grind for a few days. Gina's husband always says to her, "But honey, it's for work!"
So my crafty (in both the paper/glue/embellishments way and the sneaky way) friend decides she may want to go to a weekend event- either a scrapping convention or scrapping weekend, I can't remember which- and she tells Scott, who's about to protest her leaving him with their two boys for three days: "But honey, it's for work!"
Brilliant, right?

Michaela is going to be in a lip sync event at her school in the end of February. Her Brownies troop is going to work on it together. They are singing a song from High School Musical and are going to do dance moves and have costumes and everything. Her first rehearsal is this week. The school has to use the high school auditorium for the performance because 35 GROUPS have signed up to do it, each with at least five students in each group.That's 175 kids all with eager parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. to come watch them perform. We can't wait.

Jenna was pretending to talk on her play cell phone today and exclaimed, "Oh my Dod!" and when I started laughing at her she shushed me and said "I talting on da pone, ok teehard (sweetheart)?" She has been instructing me often about how to properly hold her baby dolls. "No, like dis. Like dis." Because clearly I have no idea what I'm doing. Clearly I didn't hold my own children until my arms were falling off.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I haven't posted in a few days because Dan went away on business and I was SuperMom all week. Usually I don't mind when he goes away, though I do miss him terribly, but this time was a little more eventful and I was SuperHappy to have him get home.

I haven't really felt well since New Year's... I have had a killer sore throat- you know, the kind that feels like you're swallowing razor blades- and my ears were really aching. I went to the doctor on Wednesday and it turns out I have a sinus infection. So I got some drugs and now I'm on the road to feeling back to myself.

I also went to the eye doctor on Tuesday and brought Jenna with me, thinking I was just going to be in and out and How Bad Could She Be? Oh, I am still such a rookie mom sometimes... I had to get my eyes dilated and it was naptime and Jenna did not understand at all why the lights were turned off in the exam room. Thus the perfect storm emerged of being in a dark room with an unfamiliar doctor with a tired, scared kid and I am blind as a bat. It turns out I have inflamed oil ducts in my eyelid (who knew?) and I had to get medicine for that.

Michaela had her first gymnastics class on Wednesday. It went really well, once I zipped home from the internist, microwaved some hot dogs for dinner (I used to swear I would NEVER give hot dogs to my kids... "It's a lazy mom's dinner!" I used to say quite self-righteously and then I realized they're quick, they're cheap, and they are guaranteed to be eaten with minimal negotiation or questions. I do, however, limit how often we fall back on this crutch of a dinner.), got Michaela dressed in her new black footless tights and snazzy leotard I had bought for her on an earlier outing to Target, bundled up both girls and headed out. The place is quite fancy and there were tons of kids of all ages doing amazing things. She is in a class with about 9 girls and the coach kept her moving the whole time. I was really proud of her because several times she literally fell on her face and she just picked herself back up and tried again until she got the gist of it. No whining, no crying, no giving up. She loved the bars and jumping on the trampoline.

After gymnastics class, as we were walking out, Jenna saw a display of lollipops and decided to throw one of her Top Three Temper Tantrums of All Time unless she got one. She didn't. By the time we got to the car, she was screaming, arching her back so I couldn't buckle her in the seat, and kicking and hitting my face. Ohhh, Jenna. My sweet little sprite. It's just so hard to be two sometimes. We finally got things settled down (she's got an iron will but I'm still stronger than her) and headed to the grocery store to get my prescriptions filled. I will not bore you with the details of this trip but you can imagine what Fun we had.
Besides the extra doctor appointments, new classes, I'm also taking care of all the regular Mom stuff- getting ready in the morning and at night, packing lunches, doing laundry, making meals, and keeping the house in decent order.

Of course my outlook on life while Dan is gone is a bit skewed since I get no sleep at night because I am CONVINCED that someone is going to break into our house and kill us all. While that seems ridiculous during the day, at 2am I can practically hear the invaders breathing outside my front door. (You may think this is a mom/protector thing, but when I was in high school I was so worked up one night that I crawled on my bedroom floor to go pee in the middle of the night because I was certain that snipers were outside my window and would shoot me if they saw shadow and movement. Maybe I watch too many action movies.) I was really panicking about this on Wednesday night until I came up with a semi-decent plan of grabbing the girls, pushing our armoire in front of our bedroom door, shattering our window and tossing the girls out to safety. I wrestled for a good twenty minutes that night over which girl to grab first in my plan... Jenna is lighter and easier to move but Michaela may be able to walk on her own quick enough that she could head to our room while I was grabbing Jenna. It's a tough call. It's ridiculous to think about. On Thursday night I was able to tell myself that we have lived in this house for almost 8 years and there is no reason tonight would be the night that something happens. I did settle down and slept pretty well.

Do you see why I'm happy that Dan is now home? We are safe, getting healthier, sleeping better, and back to normal.
I am OFF DUTY for 12 hours tomorrow, attending a 12 hour scrapbooking crop organized by the fabulous Doullina Designs. From 9am to 9 pm, it'll be paper, pictures, goodies and visiting with my friends. Heaven!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Holiday Stories, Part 2

This isn't so much a story, but rather an ode to the holiday programming on one of my favorite channels, QVC. Do you watch QVC? Do you order anything from it? Do you wonder, like I do, who the 2,278 people are in America watching QVC at 4am and ordering scented candles?

I love to watch QVC but have never ordered anything from it. I am fascinated by how they market the items to the masses. After several hundred hours of viewing, I have determined several things:
1. Scarcity is king: "We only have 400 of these left!" Does America not hate scarcity? We will do anything, it seems, to not be left out of a great deal. I was watching a show on QVC all about holiday decorating- trees, wreaths, garland, etc.- and the hostess admonished us right off the bat: "If you want the 10' tree, you need order it NOW! We will be SOLD OUT! You will have to wait until NEXT YEAR to get another one!" And later in the show, when they indeed had sold out, she stated matter of factly, "I TOLD you to order early! Now you'll have to wait until 2008!"

2. Bed linens must be massaged: Whenever they are selling bed linens, pillows, comforters, etc., there are ALWAYS two hostesses- one to talk about the item's thread count, washing instructions, available colors, and available sizes while the other woman's job is solely to massage the sheets and pillows. Back and forth, back and forth her hand goes over the cotton. That's the whole segment.

3. The power of suggestion: These sales people are brilliant at suggesting ways to use the item, why you should buy it, why YOU DESERVE the item, and why buying two is definitely necessary. "One as a gift and one for yourself!" My favorite line that they use over and over again during the holidays is, "Ladies, how many gifts have you bought for everyone else? Isn't it time you buy SOMETHING for yourself?!?" Another example of this is one of my most-quoted QVC stories. I was watching a segment on comforter sets (massage, massage) and thinking, you know, that's not a bad looking set. You get alot of stuff with it. And the hostess started saying, "Ladies, don't you want new, fresh linens on your beds? Don't you want to feel that sense of pride when you walk into your room and see this beautiful set? What about when you're giving tours of your home during your holiday parties? Wouldn't this been a show stopper?" And I'm thinking, "Should I be giving tours of my house during MY holiday parties? I mean, we just put peoples' coats on our beds and hope they can find a place to sit and eat! Are people hoping for a tour? I don't have a new comforter set! I have an old flannel set with snowmen on it that I bought online when I was pregnant with Jenna and blamed on my raging hormones! I need a show stopper!" But I eventually calmed down and resisted picking up the phone.

4. They've all got sisters in law named Betty in Florida: QVC loves taking testimonials from people on the air while they're hawking an item. Either you've bought the item before or this is your first time and they want you to say how excited you are, what color you bought, how much you love QVC, and so on. I personally get a little nervous when they take calls because I'm always afraid they're going to get pranked in some way. The format of the phone call goes something like this:
Host: We've got Shirley on the line from Oklahoma. Hi Shirley... what did you choose today?
Caller: I chose the eyeshadow kit.
Host: Yes, that is a wonderful product.
Caller: I love you so much and watch you all the time. You're so pretty!
Host: Why thank you Shirley... I'm glad you enjoy watching what QVC has to offer.
Caller: I love buying things from QVC and my husband is always wishin' I wouldn't watch so much but I can't help it!
Host: Well, thank you for shopping with us. (Her tone of voice at this point sort of indicates she's ready to wind down this conversation and move on.)
Caller: Yes, I just love all you gals. Can I say hi to someone?
Host: Sure, Shirley.
Caller: I want to say hi to my sister in law Betty in Florida. Hi, Betty!!!!
Host: Hi Betty! I hope she's watching.(Some of the hosts actually wave while looking at the camera. This blows my mind. What are the chances Betty is watching QVC? She's probably not even watching tv and here on national tv we're all stopping to wave at her.) Thanks again for calling us.
Caller: Thank you!!! Keep up the good work! I love you!
Host: OK, thank you. Moving on...

5. The Countdown Clock: They started in the end of November displaying the Countdown to Christmas Clock, which made me feel panicky every time I saw it. They loved starting a show with ,"Only 14 days, 11 hours and 35 minutes until the Big Day..." and no matter where I was in terms of getting things accomplished, I always thought, "Yikes! Only 14 days to go!! What am I doing sitting here watching a show about Gourmet Delights?? Time to get crack-a lackin'!" I think this is connected to the Scarcity is King idea.

6. Easy Pay and a dollar a day: They sometimes break down the cost of an item into two or three payments, called Easy Pay. This is clearly a desirable feature because they hawk the Easy Pay like crazy. "This lovely set will ONLY be on Easy Pay TODAY so call now!" They further crack me up by focusing on the cost per day of the item. Say an item costs $55 dollars. They break that down into two Easy Pay payments of $27.50. The hosts love to say, "You'll be enjoying this item for LESS THAN A DOLLAR A DAY!!" I don't pay my bills every day. I don't get paid every day (actually, I don't get paid at all...) We get money twice a month and I pay my credit card bill once a month. Who cares how much PER DAY I am paying? I'm not sending them 78 cents in the mail every day and thinking, "Wow! That's barely anything!" I know that they are trying to make it sound like it costs less than it is. Though I clearly am an easy target for most of their gimmicks (see 1-5 above) this one isn't as effective.

I do love QVC and my favorite hostess Lisa. She's real pretty and fun and just nice. I love their jewelry shows, the bedding shows and the bare minerals shows. Maybe in 2008 I will actually buy something.

Happy Belated Birthday to Brian!

Happy Birthday (one day late) to my brother Brian!
You are the best brother a girl could hope for and I love you. I also wish I had a really embarrassing picture of you that I could post.
Best wishes for a wonderful year!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Holiday Stories, Part 1

On the Friday after Christmas, our family gathered at my Aunt Kathy's house to celebrate together and exchange gifts. My aunt makes this awesome rolladin dinner- thin sliced roast beef stuffed with pickles and slow roasted- and we all scarfed it down. She is an inspirational kind of cook: everything she makes tastes so good and she's always trying out new things. Anyway, my cousin Eric and his family were there as well as his in-laws and my parents. I gave the Famous Family Cookbook to three of the women there and that was lots of fun. We also opened gifts from my cousin Len, who is in the Air Force and doing a 5 month stint in the United Arab Emirates. He sent Michaela a beautiful black and gold purse and Jenna got a stuffed camel. Jenna doesn't say the letter c so she calls it "my hamel." She loved it and hugged it (see above picture) and overall it was a big hit.

Later in the evening, Dan was playing with the hamel and noticed that there was a velcroed shut slit in it's belly. He opened it up and found a spot to put in some batteries. Aunt Kathy got out a few double A's and we fired it up. Out from the hamel came very loud, very Middle-Eastern sounding upbeat music with the voices of little kids chanting who knows what along with the music. Jenna's little face screwed up and she said, "I don't want the batteries in! Tate dem out!" It was wild. And rather catchy... I hummed the music to myself the rest of the night.

In keeping with the international theme, Dan's dad is over visiting today and we are heading out to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. The girls love sushi and we're going to sit at a Hibachi table and have them cook the food in front of us. I think the girls will totally groove on it.

PS- I signed Michaela up for gymnastics class... she starts Tuesday!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January Purge

I just deleted 37, 583 email messages from my "deleted items" folder in Outlook.
How's that for a fresh start?
Michaela is back at school. She told me last night before bed that she is looking forward to returning to school "so I can have some alone time."
Jenna and I are home in our jammies. It is -3 degrees outside so we have the fireplace cranking.
We are going out in the tundra later to mail Jenna's preschool registration forms for the fall. I am beside myself with excitement of two mornings a week to myself.
I want to sign Michaela up for some type of sport activity... she has chosen gymnastics as her next adventure. I think she'll love it. I am going to call around and look for a class today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Holiday Catch-up

Just like Brian and Beth, I am starting my blog post with a picture of our backyard... heavy with snow from a storm on Sunday night and today. All the local meteorologists went crazy with the "One- Two Punch" description of the back-to-back storms. "A Winter Wallop" was another alliteration they loved to use. I spent the last two days saying those phrases over and over to Dan in my best newscaster voice, and God bless him, he laughed almost every time.

Happy 2008!! I spent the day pathetically hung over from last night's dinner out with two other couples... we had such a great time and I had three glasses of wine (Whoo-hooo! Big Drinker!) and that turned out to be two glasses too many. I was sick all night and completely exhausted. This happened a few months ago when we went out to dinner and I had a few glasses of wine... I tried to pass it off that I had a bug or something, but the bottom line is that I shouldn't drink more than one of anything.

We had a cozy day at home. We made our first belgian waffles with Dan's new waffle maker that he got from me for Christmas, reminiscent of the waffle maker we used on our summer vacation in Plymouth. They were so yummy! Michaela worked on a kid's scrapbook that she got for Christmas and she and Dan made a snowman outside. Jenna took full advantage of my weakened state and tried to nurse every few hours. We took a monster nap together this afternoon. Dan whipped up a kid-friendly dinner of chicken tenders and tater tots, which the girls call blubber-nuggets. There was lots of burping, tooting and talk of farts at the dinner table. Jenna was a bit gassy and was able to fart on cue and she was so proud to contribute to the hilarity. Michaela does a very good imitation of a fake burp and that kept us amused as well. Dinner with a two- and six-year old: completely lacking any sense of sophistication.

We had a really nice Christmas week and I will be posting pics and stories in the next few days. We had a great holiday but I am ready for the return of mundane life, with schedules and structure and school. I decided on Dec. 26th that I'm going to sleep all through January.