Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, it's time for new beginnings and all that - and time to reflect on the old. It's been a crazy year - full of fun, challenges and craziness. Frankly, I can't believe it's already 2010. I think this last year was the first year I came to terms that I'm very much closer to 40 than ever before - and . . . I'm aging. I truly am. I'd like to be above all that - but I'm not. I have to admit I'm not loving the crows feet and the neck wrinkles and the slower healing - and the creeping of the weight (the wrong way). I remember after I quit nursing I was the skinniest I've been in a long time - and it was nice! Unfortunately, those days are well behind me and all the size 6 jeans have been given to those luckier, smaller friends. I'm not saying I'm fat - but if I don't do something soon I could get there.

So on to the new year's resolutions:

1) Get more SLEEP! I hope to be in bed by 11:00 unless I'm doing something really fun or productive! No more vegging in front of the t.v. or computer past 11:00.

2) Write more - whether it's on the blog or elsewhere.

3) Organize my life. Get a better routine going so this house doesn't look like a hurricane hit all the time. Tackle the office.

4) Spend more quality time with the hub.

5) Better meal planning and try more new recipes.

6) and what almost everyone says right after the holidays - get in better shape. I know I won't ever be a gym rat - but I need to get more exercise!!

7) Start a team for the LiveStrong Challenge this June (and train for the bike ride - that would help #5 too)

What are YOUR resolutions? Yeah, I'm talking to you!

P.S. If you want to join our LiveStrong Team - let me know and I'll hook you up. You can run or ride and they had a few distances last year so there's something for everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby Steps

Months ago I blogged about a clock that we purchased in hopes of getting Monkey to let us SLEEP! It's a handy little invention that has a built-in night light that you set to turn green at a specific time. This is supposed to let the kiddos who can't tell time when it's okay for them to start jumping on your bed - and when it's not. Well, it stayed in the box for a lot longer than I'd like to admit but a while back I finally got it out (after Monkey spied it) and set it up. He was pretty excited about it and helped choose the color to personalize it. It comes with rings you pop onto the clock face (blue, pink and yellow) and he chose pink - just like Santa spider.

It is also a learning clock - it has a mode where it asks questions and you can set it to show digital or analog or both. If you push a button it will tell you what time it is too. All in all a pretty cool product. But the green light - that's the ticket (or so we hoped) for sweet, sweet sleep.

You see, Monkey has never been one of those fab sleepers (that many of my friends are lucky enough to have birthed). He didn't really sleep through the night until he was two. He's pretty decent now but does like to wake up at the crack of dawn (or pre-dawn) and come in for snuggle time. For a while that was fine - he'd usually go back to sleep and it was really hard to muster the strength to get up and put him back to bed. But interrupted sleep adds up after a while - and the end result is a very cranky mommy. Thus the need for adhering to the green light!

I'm happy to report that this morning - green light nirvana was achieved! He must have been up and waiting because he came in at 7:01. After the requisite snuggle he said, "Mommy, I have to show you something - come see!" and on the shelf/headboard of his bed were all his sea creatures spread out. He had woken up, seen his light was yellow and played quietly until it turned green. (Something we have talked about ad nauseum when brainstorming on what he could do before his light turns green). I can only hope that this will continue (and I am prepared for the worst) - but what a great morning!!!

This picture was taken during "quiet time" at our cabin on Vashon.

Update 12/19: 3 days in a row he's waited for the green light! I shouldn't even type this as I might jinx it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa Spider

We stood in the living room, surrounded by boxes scrawled with chicken scratches: "Tree", "Lights", "Garland", "Misc". I looked around the living room and the last vestiges of Monkey's Halloween crafts were still up. We agreed to take the jack'o'lantern pictures off of the window but decided to keep up the leaf collage (he made an excellent point that it was still Fall). We were almost cleared out and ready to bring out the holiday bling but then I reached up to take down the spider (made at preschool out of an egg carton, pipe cleaners and some googly eyes). That's when I heard the screech, "Noooooo! I want it to stay forever!" At first, I just couldn't understand (and I was tired and not really wanting to understand a crazed four-year-old). It could have easily become a power struggle (I mean I was REALLY tired) and then I realized - why can't it be there "forever"? In the big scheme of things I think a little spider (did I mention it's pink?) isn't a big thing. So we decided to make it a Santa spider. So I made a little hat, Monkey decorated it with his favorite thing in the world (glitter) and we glued a puff ball on the top. Santa spider now lives on the garland on the mantel - forever.

Photo credit goes to Monkey.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Mania

So I haven't been as organized with the advent calendar this year (thus the cups in the first place). Last year I typed out cute little activities for almost every day ahead of time. This week I was lucky if I stuffed the cup before he woke up. This morning I had to distract him during breakfast and do a little surreptitious slam dunk with the loot. I caved and stuffed it with dinosaur tattoos as I didn't have any activity inspiration (or time) today. But yesterday was inspired (or so I thought).

On the first day we took out all the holiday books. We had a lot of fun reading all of them. Monkey will sit for hours listening to books. We read "If You Take a Mouse to the Movies" over and over and over and over. Monkey is enamored with the mouse since we saw the theatre version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" a few weeks ago. In the book, the mouse strings a popcorn garland so I thought it would be fun to make one too (there's also one with popcorn and cranberries in "The Littlest Christmas Tree" so he wanted to make that). I didn't have any cranberries and Monkey didn't have any interest in going to the store so we kept it simple with just popcorn. We also don't have a popcorn popper so we went old school on the stove top. Well, let me tell you - stringing popcorn that's cooked on a stove ain't as easy as you'd think. The kernels are still stuck to most of the popcorn so it makes it really hard to get a needle through - and they're dry so there's a lot of breakage. Luckily, as with
any project, it's not about the end result to Monkey (and I had to remind myself of that when I was wanting to swear at all the broken popcorn). He thought it was really cool and enjoyed eating the popcorn just as much as making the garland. We finished a little over a foot and he decided (hallelujah) that it was long enough for the birds. So we donned our coats and hung the sad little thing on the tree out front. We plan to watch and see how long it lasts with birds, critters and weather. Tomorrow the activity is "go to Grammy and Grandpa's for the weekend and watch the Santa parade". That will be a big hit - and give me some time to come up with some stuff for the next few weeks (or maybe I'll put that off and nap) . . .

Update: This morning we watched as the crows devoured the last of the garland.

P.S. thanks to Kids Craft Weekly for linking to my little advent idea. I got 500+ hits the other day - craziness! If you haven't checked out her stuff out you should.