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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Can my 1 year old read?

Have you ever noticed how some things are meant to be? The stars align, paths converge, and the plans you have work out so seamlessly that you have to look twice and pinch yourself to make sure that you aren't dreaming.

About a month ago I wrote “Potty train baby” on my calendar for the week after Christmas. Baby has always hated a dirty diaper and she notifies us the instant it is damp. In addition, she has been very curious about the toilet for the past 2 months, so the slow week after Christmas seemed like a perfect fit.

Then we had our entire family hit hard by a virus and 3 of us had subsequent infections, including my poor little baby. So, in the interest of keeping life balanced, I decided to give her a break and postpone my plans.


Monday morning (yup, the same morning with the words “Potty Train Baby” written on the calendar - you'd think the kid could read) baby toddled up to me and signed diaper, but said “Potty” loud and clear. She then grabbed my hand and started running toward the bathroom. Who can say no to that?

That was several days ago. She has been diaper free (during awake hours) ever since, and is doing great! We have had to mop up a couple of puddles, but nothing really to speak of. In fact, she has been dry for the last 18 hours and is now napping in her big girl panties, but just for the record, I emptied the washing machine expecting that she will wake suddenly and I won't be able to move fast enough for her.

If this was my first child I would say that I have the entire potty training thing figured out. THANKS GOODNESS she is my third. This is her game, not mine. She is the one potty training herself. I'm just along for the ride. (not a bad ride so far)

Gotta’ love a girl who knows what she wants . . . and one who does it on Mommy’s schedule is even better.

I'm still wondering if she peeked at my calendar though.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Warm Comforting Friendly Chocolate

If someone offered you free chocolate you'd accept. I know you would. Don't try to tell me any different. I wasn't born yesterday.

Hershey recently sponsored a cookie exchange promotion - and they sent me free chocolate to share with my friends. I know! Everyone wants to be my friend now! Chocolate is the best!

Check out the fun time we had! The kids made some gingerbread aprons to wear to the swap. You just have to have the proper attire for such an event don't you know.

We put cute little stickers onto the recipe cards that Hershey included and gave them out as invitations. Then we spent a fun afternoon baking up these yummy chocolate-spice sugar cookies. The picture doesn't do them justice. They tasted better than that. I promise.
We set up a few games and a craft area for the kids. They loved these simple paper bag gingerbread houses. Not only was it a fun craft, but the finished product made great gift bags to fill with cookies and deliver to neighbors later on.

We got together to swap and chat, but most importantly - EAT. All those yummy cookies had to be sampled. Our neighbors in the karate studio, mortgage agency, and fire department were all pretty happy with our "left-overs" too.

Christmas cookies have got to be one of the greatest traditions ever. What other holiday has people busy baking for days on end with the specific intent of giving away most of what they create?

So now, that I have spent so much time baking and thinking about chocolate I am completely distracted with the thought of going on vacation this summer. I know - totally off topic - but it will make sense in a minute, I promise.

My husband's cousin is getting married in PA this summer and we have already decided that we will take a family vacation at the same time. Hooray! (Cue tinkling memory music) I remember taking a family trip to PA when I was a kid. We visited the Amish country, saw deer (deer! Deer! DEER! - family joke, sorry) and went to, what will forever live in my memory as the greatest amusement park ever, Hershey Park. Now, I know that most everyone will say that Disney is better, but I don't know anything better than Hershey. The town has street lights shaped like kisses, lots of fun rides, and it smells like chocolate - honest, the whole town! Since that trip years ago, anytime I smell chocolate (like while I was baking those cookies above) I think of our fun time at Hershey Park and get that warm smushy feeling inside. Sooo...
I can't wait to share my love of Hershey with this little one and her big kid siblings. Candy stores, chocolate museums, amusement parks, zoos. What's not to love about a town dedicated to chocolate?

I wonder if Hershey will have a vacation promotion? If so, I'm signing up!
* Full disclosure - As I stated above, I received supplies from Hershey, but they did not require my promotion of their product and no other compensation was received. It's just simply hard not to talk about free stuff - especially chocolate. Yum!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Silent night - and day too

I have come down with a nasty virus that has left me with laryngitis. I can't speak.
I can barely squeak.
My poor husband needed to know that it was bedtime for the kids so, knowing that my voice is weird, I tried to scream it at him - he didn't even turn around. When I got up and walked the 4 feet I needed to cross to get to him I still had to speak in my "screaming" voice. He cocked his head and looked at me with a big question mark hanging above his head. His expression then turned to sympathy - then laughter. He understood what I needed, but I obviously looked like a crazy lady hollering in his face without making more than a whisper of a sound.

This is not the time of year to loose your voice.
  • I can't sing carols in the car with the kids while we bustle about finishing up our holiday errands.
  • I can't read all of those wonderful christmas books that we save for just this time of year.
  • I can't participate in choir at church, which is performing on Sunday. So not happening.
  • I can't do all of the wonderful holiday devotions that we started at the beginning of Advent.
  • I can't teach - which the kids don't seem to mind.
  • I can't even say an intelligible "thank you" to the cashier at the grocery store.
Maybe God is telling me something.
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

Being still is not something I excel at. Sadly, this is especially true at this time of year. I am more of a mover, accomplisher, organizer, and planner. Hmm... I guess the best way to say it is that I am a controller. I think that the more I can get done on my own, the better life will be. No, I am not still enough. God is in control and I am not. He has plans that are better than mine and right now his plan is that I will have more time to practice listening to him for a while.

So if you see a crazy lady turning red from exertion and mouthing something in your direction, lean close. You might hear me whispering you a very heartfelt "Merry Christmas."

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This little independent soul cracks me up. Honestly, I think he may be the funniest person I have ever met - or at least a close second to his daddy.

He dresses like this on a regular basis; lots of accessories; neatly pressed and matching; too cute. Now, just to keep things real, he also dresses like a mess at times too, but his general preference is to create an attention grabbing "look" of some kind. Often this includes a tie - more often it includes two or three ties and several additional accessories. This trend started well over a year ago and it has only gotten snazzier. I have caught him holding his socks up in his closet trying to find just the right green shirt to match them, or digging frantically through his underpants drawer because "these just aren't my style." Not that anyone else will be seeing his underpants, but to him this is important anyway.

His independent nature is beginning to show itself beyond his clothing now and he has begun to develop a young entrepreneurial spirit. Working all the angles to come up with a way to make money (to replace the $10 he lost after intentionally poking holes in my screen) is his new pass-time. Right now he is working on becoming a professional light bulb changer. He has asked permission to borrow his daddy's ladder, and is constantly on the lookout for jobs from family & friends. He hasn't yet found a customer beyond me, but he has figured out that lightbulb changing isn't lucrative unless there is a "minimum charge" (his words) and then a per/bulb "additional fee" (again, his words). I guess all those commercials that he recites word for word have rubbed off.

This guy is dangerous with advertising. We don't allow much TV, but any commercial that he sees is immediately memorized and believed hook, line, and sinker. Just yesterday he woke up and came downstairs complaining of back pain. I immediately turned into crazy protective Momma and started asking him all sorts of medical questions. "Did you fall down?" "Where does it hurt most?" "Can you bend like this?" Well, 200 questions and a heart attack later I finally got to the bottom of his medical mystery when he started quoting the commercial for a sleep number bed and saying that we needed to buy one so that it could "eliminate" his back pain. My reply, "Uh, no. No new bed for you, but good memorization skills kid."

He really is quite the self motivated and unfettered child. This funny boy is going places, but where that is, I just can't imagine!