Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

Ah, the new year with a fresh start. And in that time honored tradition, I hear by resolve:

1) To diversify my workouts. I run and lift weights but I really need to branch out.
2) To eat less refined sugar. My chocolate intake is truly alarming. And on the same note...
3) To eat more fruits and vegetables. Really, who doesn't need more?
4) To read more to my kids.
5) To lose my patience less. And lastly,
6) To become a more aggressive poker player. I continue to finish 2 or 3 often but rarely 1st. More aggressive play needed.

Hope the past year has brought you as much joy as it has us. Happy New Year!

PS New pictures added in the top Flikr badge.

Long, Long Days

We have reached day 4 in the five days of hell. Tim is at work for the 4th day in a row from 7a-7p. The good news is that I've been able to get a head start on my New Year's resolutions as I have been using my full 2 hours daily at the gym! Would have loved for Tim's parents to have stayed but I can see why they wanted to get home. There is little peace around here. When Doug was in the shower, the girls invaded and informed him, "Three people can fit in this bathroom. You in the shower, Maggie on the potty and me [Morrigan] washing my hands." Just what we all want, a bathroom entourage.

We had some good weather yesterday so we went to the park and rode bikes at home. No such luck today with rain. The girls asked me to move my car out of the garage so they could ride bikes in there. Lasted all of 5 minutes.

I decided that this morning was when I would wash Eion's puppy & blankie. Great idea as they were very mangy but I forgot to put them in the dryer. Brilliant. He was less than impressed with the substitutes I found and I left him yelling "Want blankie! Want puppy!"

When Maggie & Eion are napping, Morrigan & I have been watching the Star Trek Voyager marathon I Tivoed last week. She calls it "Space" but seems to like it. She asked who the "guys with the camera eyes" were & I told her they were the Borg. Then she said "The Dorks?" No honey, that's the people watching it.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Claw

After its 18 month residence in Roanoke, we have successfully passed the Claw to Tim's parents. For those not familiar with the saga of the Claw, let me bring you up to speed....

Christmas 1994. Tim & I just got engaged. For Christmas, his parents bought me the Claw which is a cheap knock off of the Club (remember that?) From then on, it began the rounds. At first, you could just give it as a gift. So it was a staple for many birthdays & Christmases. But soon it morphed into a game much like hot potato: the last one left holding it was stuck with it until they could pawn it off on someone else.

One of my personal favorite Claw moments was when Tim's brother, Pat, snuck it into their Dad's golf bag. He didn't find it there until he was back home on the golf course. We have been unable to get rid of it for months. Tim's family has really gotten good at subterfuge. Our last attempts to put it in Pat and Doug's cars were thwarted.

Over Christmas, Tim's parents never let their keys out of their sight. But not being ones to give up, Tim & I tied it under their bumper. The best part was they knew we had hid it in their car but they couldn't find it! They stopped a few houses up as they were exiting town to look one last time in the hopes of "declawing." Victory is ours!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Tim returned to work today officially marking the end of our holidays. He is working 7a-7p for the next 5 days. Mercifully for me, Arlene came today so I have some much needed down time. We had a wonderful Christmas with Tim's parents coming to visit. They arrived on Friday night. We took the whole clan downtown to the Science Museum on Saturday and out to the Market Building for lunch afterwards. While there we ran into a friend who asked if we would be coming to her parents' house on Christmas night. I told her yes, but we would leave Eion at home. She didn't understand at the time but when we saw her on the 25th, she commented on the huge scene Eion made when we left the market. She said, " It sounded like he was calling for help." Indeed he was...

The girls were very excited about Christmas this year. They got to open one present each on Christmas Eve. Arlene came by and had a gift for each of them so it worked out perfectly. She gave each of the girls a doll. They were the same except one had a blue bottle and the other was pink. Morrigan opened the blue one and immediately started trying to get the pink from her sister. She started with the "Let's trade or I won't be your friend" line. Maggie, a veteran of her sister's techniques, didn't fall for it. Her next line of attack was "Sharing is caring." Priceless.

But minor territorial battles aside, they were very good & had lots of fun. Morrigan kept telling us it was "the best Christmas ever!" Maggie was thrilled to open Eion's gift as well as her own. He didn't want to open anything but was played with the toys once they were out. The big hits were Rescue Pets for the girls. They are stuffed puppies that make noise & you can feed them a bottle. Eion liked anything that made noise and was especially fond of the fake leaf blower and the play laptop.

The girls are old enough that we were able to do some crafts too. We made pinecone birdfeeders that we hung on the tree outside the family room window. We tried to make salt dough ornaments but in spite of the fact that every preschool teacher on the planet can make these things, I botched it. Oh well.

On the 26th, we had a holiday leftover potluck & bad gift exchange. Everyone brought their kids and chaos ensued. But it was lots of fun & we, along with our cohosts Ann & Hans, plan to make it a tradition. And of course the best part of the whole weekend was we were able to pawn off the Claw on Tim's parents. But more on that next time!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Science Museum

We took the kids to the Roanoke Science Museum on Saturday. It was surprisingly good! The kids were having such a good time that we didn't even make it to all the exibits. Perhaps over enthusiastic, I bought a one year family membership (it was only $55) so we can go back more often. It had tons of hands-on stations that the kids loved. Even Eion was manageable as he endurance tested everything. And there was really only one thing I thought he was in danger of breaking.
The museum is downtown so we had lunch in the Market Building which has a food court of all independent operators (no chain restaurants.) I got to eat Cuban while the kids snacked on burgers and fries. While there, we ran into our friend Christy and her girls. She told me that her son, Jack, played against Morrigan at chess club last week. He was very complimentary & said that Morrigan would say "good move" to him and even after she lost said "good game." Made me very proud to hear she was a good sport. His other comment was that she was very chatty. Can't say I am surprised.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maggie's Christmas Program

On Friday Maggie's preschool had a Christmas program. She had been belting out the songs at home. She knew every word. Then when they were on stage she got very shy and looked like she was mouthing the words. But she didn't burst into tears like a few of the kids. Maggie was a bit disappointed that she was a star rather than an angel like the 4 year olds but she got over it. She did like Mommy as a star and instructed me to wear the headband at the reception afterwards. Sorry, no pictures of that!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yup, those kids are mine.

When I picked up Eion today, his teachers looked exasperated & said he had been "very bad." When I asked for details, they said "He was pushing other kids, throwing toys and stealing things from other kids. He was basically being Eion." Nice.

Morrigan came home and said she had to take a bath because she smelled like a boy with whom she had fought today. She said that he was 2 years older and there was pushing, hitting, kicking and scratching but it was ok because no teachers saw. Very nice.

At least when I picked up Maggie, her teachers said she had a great day as always and was very sweet to her classmates. Still I think the ratio of bad to good children is less than stellar!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ho Ho Ho!

Much to my amazement, Maggie never got sick! Must have known I was done with puke! To the children's delight, we were very busy this weekend & they had many babysitters. Friday night we went to Tim's work Christmas party. (see photo above) I love office parties. Especially Christmas ones. Lots of people with nothing but work in common. And there are generally several women picking this occasion to wear clothes tighter than they would ever wear the rest of the year. We missed the inappropriate behavior as we were off to a cocktail party in the neighborhood. They had pomegranate martinis as the evening's signature drink. Yummy!

Saturday the country club had their children's Christmas party or as I like to call it, the "$10 glass of chocolate milk" since that is all my kids ate there. But I got a great picture of the girls with Santa. Eion was not cooperative at all for any pictures. He generally was causing a commotion wherever he went and had to be carried to the car yelling "help!" That night we went to see Borat. Unbelievably funny. I was in tears I was laughing so hard.

Sunday was my 35th birthday. The girls were very disappointed that I was not having a party. But we did get a cake and some balloons (at their request) and that seemed to make up for it. That night we had a birthday dinner with friends Greg and Ann (who also have December birthdays) and their spouses. Much fun had by all leading to a splitting headache at tennis this morning. I'm off to bed early! New pictures in the upper block on the right.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm Out

That is it. One more kid pukes on me & I am out. Morrigan stayed home from school on Monday with a cold. She seemed in pretty good shape all day & I really thought I had been over protective. Then I heard her hacking cough in bed that night & found her covered in vomit. A change of clothes & a relocation to my room quickly followed. Then she threw up on me. One more round of new pjs & it was off to a crappy night's sleep.

She stayed home on Tuesday as well. Wednesday afternoon Eion wasn't himself. He didn't nap at all (the kid normally takes a 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon.) That night he wouldn't stop crying and coughing. So I moved him into bed with us. Two rounds of vomit and new pjs later, we settled in for no sleep at all. Tim, E & I were all up all night. Today he was in Jack Bauer mode but finally fell asleep after having been up for 30 hours. I'm at about 39 hours and getting giddy. Maggie is sure to get sick next but I've washed all the pjs so I am ready.

Decorating the Tree

This week we put up our tree. The girls were really excited about decorating it themselves. We have plastic ornaments so I let them have at it. They are mostly all hung in one area in the front but it was worth it to see them so excited and singing Jingle Bells as they worked. Eion mostly tried to undo what they did. The girls didn't let that dampen their holiday spirits. They just saw it as a chance to hang more ornaments!

Monday, December 04, 2006


We all went to the grocery store this weekend. Eion was being, well, himself as we were trying to check out - screaming & running all over. I told Tim I would take him to the car & wait there. Maggie wanted to come too. After they were in their car seats, Maggie wanted her window open. She opened it and proceeded to say "hi" to all the passersby. Eion, on the other hand, was yelling "Help!"

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sesame Street Live!

I was lucky enough to get to see Sesame Street Live twice this weekend! I bought the girls tickets for the Saturday show ages ago. The day after I bought the (nonrefundable) tickets, Maggie's school sent home a note that they were going to the Friday show. So I went with Maggie on Friday. She was completely underwhelmed. It was not as bad as the circus but she informed me she wasn't going the next day. I told her we would meet Elmo on Saturday but no dice. The girl had made up her mind!

Luckily, Morrigan's friend Riley was able to go in her place. Compliments of Uncle Dominick who works for the production company, we had a "meet and greet" with Elmo. The girls were thrilled. This was the 5 year old equivalent of backstage passes at a rock concert. Then Jeff, a friend of Dominick's who works on the show, hooked them up with toys, programs and cotton candy. What they liked even better than the toys was the confetti that shot up in the air. After the show, they both insisted on collecting a bag of it. So I delivered Riley home, all fueled up on sugar and popcorn, toting a bag of trash. Morrigan even shared her haul with her siblings. The favorite item was, you guessed it, the confetti.