March 31, 2008

Horton Hears a Who(LE lot of Money)

Saturday afternoon (after yet another morning spent at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party) hubby and I took the girls to see Horton Hears a Who. It was only the second movie they've seen in the theatre (the first was Shrek the Third) and I tought they would enjoy it since they're a bit older now. So we piled into the car and arrived at the movie theatre, their eyes wide with wonder and anticipation. It was such a blast watching them get excited about every little thing: their Kids' Snack Pack; the theatre seats, the big screen, loud sounds, and Chatterbox asking me every 5 minutes when "the man was going to turn the DVD on/off."

The movie was cute, I appreciate the kid movies that throw a few jokes in there for mom and dad too, and the kids enjoyed it...for about 45 minutes. At that point, they were ready to go home and asked us as much multiple times. But really, I didn't expect them to be able to sit still for more than that anyway. After a bathroom break, one crying outburst, and some sweet-talking, I felt much better (heh heh) and we managed to stay through until the end.

It wasn't until we got home that hubby mentioned just how much our afternoon adventure cost. Just about $50! Between tickets and refreshments we'd pretty much blown our weekend entertainment budget. Remember when the movies used to be an inexpensive place to go?

Until we're certain the girls can sit through and enjoy an entire movie, it's all about DVDs and OnDemand. After all, as cute as the Mayor of Whoville was, Mommy would much rather a tasty meal at a restaurant than a box of Raisinets and an ICEE.

March 28, 2008

To Camp Or Not to Camp...

That is the question.

It seemed like it was never going to happen, but with the mild days we've been having lately it appears that summer just may come this year after all. And with that means, for the first time, that I have to decide whether to sign Chatterbox and Giggles up for some sort of summer camp or activity. I was discussing the issue with J. Ny and our friend A. when we were out last weekend for our Girls Day Out and we all agreed that growing up, summertime was simply a time to hang out at home and enjoy the lazy, hazy days of the season. So why do I feel compelled to register the girls for some type of activity? A lot of it is because I have a serious fear of them being bored. I really do. As if them being bored means that I'm being a bad parent or something. It's precisely for this reason that I have endless stashes of board games, books, craft ideas and the like in the closests at home in case I ever see them looking desperate for something to do. And I know that "they" say that it's good for kids to be bored sometimes. Besides every child needing downtime, they learn to be creative and entertain themselves. So lately I've been telling them to "go play" and that's been fine. Chatterbox's new favorite pastime is "teaching" a class (of her teddybears). She'll line them up, give them names, paper, pencils and (MANY) instructions about what to do. It's fun to watch.

But summertime is the time to be OUTSIDE. Shouldn't they be out swimming? Playing soccer? Sliding? Learning about insects? And since I work, I feel pressure to enroll them in a structured program where I know they'll be outside and active on a daily basis. Our nanny is fabulous, but I'm thinking that she can only do so much. (Though this week, for Chatterbox's spring break, she took the girls to a playzone, the park where they had a picnic and went on a train ride, a children's program at a museum, and today the library). So maybe I'm worrying for nothing and they'll be fine with no scheduled events.

After all, they've got the rest of their lives for that.

March 26, 2008

HOW Many Months??

Ok, where did the time go? It seems like I just found out I was expecting again! And I suppose I've just been so busy with Chatterbox, Giggles, home, moving/not moving to Atlanta, work, and well, just life that I haven't been in "new baby thinking mode" at all. So imagine my surprise when someone asked me how far along I was the other day and instead of my usual response of "oh, about 6 months" I actually stopped to think about it and realized that next week I will be 7 months pregnant! Meaning three months to go. What!?

I know that July will be here in no time. And, knowing me, the baby will come early and so, ladies and gents, we are looking at sometime in June. So it's time to hunker down and start thinking about our little baby boy's arrival...Starting with the baby nursery. Since we're not moving anytime soon, we've decided to move the office to the basement and make that room into baby's. I found my decor inspiration for the room in BH&G, so we're on our way. Next, we'll need some furniture. Though we bought a nice crib for Chatterbox and were able to use it with Giggles (who never actually slept in the crib anyway), it's about 4 years old now and a little rickety, so a new crib is in order. And hubby agrees, which is a miracle in and of itself. The baby will also need a chest of drawers and, I'm thinking, an armoire of some kind since that closet is currently housing the overflow from our master bedroom closet (which is teensy). So furniture, new carpet, and new paint and we're good to go on the room.

Fortunately, I don't need too many new baby gear items but I do need a few. The stroller and infant carseat have seen better days and things like the baby monitor and Boppy cover need to be replaced. And of course I need to get boy clothes! What a concept. I figure this is also my last chance to try out cool baby stuff, so frivolous items like the Bebe Au Lait nursing cover, the Patemm pad, and a Henry Brown diaper bag are on my wish list.

In terms of "stuff," I should be covered. Now, being mentally prepared for delivery, nursing, and sleepless nights all over again? That's another issue.

Did I mention I only have 3 months to go?


March 24, 2008

The Day After...

Note to self for next year: You HATE Easter grass.
Really, the picture here doesn't do the mess justice. There was Easter grass everywhere. In their beds, in our room, in the kitchen, in the living room. And you can't use the vacuum to get those bad boys up. Oh no. They'll get stuck in the brush roll. So what you end up having to do is get on your hands and knees and use the hose attachment. Or the hand vac. All while the kids dance around with glee because they figured out that the grass sticks to their feet and helps them to slide across the tile floors. The whole process is LOADS of fun for Mom and puts you in a way cheery Easter-y mood.

March 20, 2008

I'm baaaaaaack!!!!!!

I would say that I've been M.I.A. but I don't think that accurately describes my lack of presense. Back from the dead is more like it! It's been a roller coaster ride over the past few months and that's why I simply have not been around.

First, I have been dealing with some marital issues - which incidentally still have not worked themselves out as yet. J. Fergie suggests seeing a therapist and I'm all for it. Hubby is actually on board as well, but I simply don't know where to find the time. I'm looking for one and hopefully I'll find a therapist in the area who has thought of offering simultaneous daycare. That will solve both problems and we'll all be better for it:) has been driving me crazy. I mean really stressed and tired all time. I feel like I work for a law firm and I'm being short-changed. Since December my office has been working on drafting a law to provide some sick and safe (i.e. for domestic violence victims) leave for workers in the District of Columbia. I was so over-worked by this particular piece of legislation that I was "sick" of it - get it? Anyway.... It's been a hard-fought battle, but I am proud to say that our bill passed a few weeks back and hopefully the Mayor and Congress does not do anything to overturn this protection.

Because that effort was so tremendous, I ended up getting the flu and then getting it again about 10 days later. Yup, you heard me the flu twice in a three week period. It was horrible. The last time I had the flu (which was about 10 years ago) I at least lost some weight! This time...nothing!!!!! All the experience did was show up the dark circles under my eyes even more than before - horrible, I tell you...horrible.

Then a few days after the flu I went on vacation (my boss was not at all thrilled). My family visited the fine state of Arizona. It was a welcomed break for me and the weather was absolutely beautiful. I took no pictures, but I did get a little tan.

I am trying to get my act together now. I have promised myself not to work as much. I actually placed a sign in my office stating "5:30" as a reminder that I have to get out of there by 5:30 as much as possible. I am starting to take vitamins for some more energy and J. Fergie and another girlfriend has planned some girl time for the upcoming weekend. Yes....girl time. No baby. No husband. Nothing but us ladies. I am hoping to do this more often too because life becomes too overwhelming otherwise.

LIT will be back next week ... and hopefully I will be able to post then.

LOVE IT! Thursdays: Sippy Cups

Today I thought I would give an ode to a staple in our household that we use, multiple times, on a daily basis...

The First Years Take & Toss Spill-Proof Cups.

I can't even remember when we started using these. I think it was when Chatterbox was completely off of the bottle and we needed something to give her milk in before bed. I'm not sure why I picked these up instead of just using her regular assortment of Dora sippy cups, but I did and we love them.

The funny thing is that even though they are meant to be very disposable, these cups are surprisingly durable and last for weeks on end. The only thing that might need replacing are the tops, which Chatterbox loves to bite while she's drinking her milk. Giggles loves them too and they both must have their bedtime milk in these cups of they're all out of whack. The cups are dishwasher-safe (almost nothing in my house isn't!), are stackable (which is fantastic given the amount of counter-space kid stuff occupies at my house), and microwaveable (shhh!).

So while this isn't the most exciting product review I could have given today, I definitely wanted to give a shout out to the First Years Take & Toss Spill-Proof Cups and urge you to try them. Oh, and did I mention that they're dirt cheap? You can't beat that with a stick.

I give these cups:

4 gavels: "Liked it. I would definitely recommend it!"

March 17, 2008

Da Weekend

But first: Happy St. Paddy's Day!

It was just another ordinary weekend for the Fergies. So naturally this meant a lot of running around, errands and the requisite birthday party to attend...

Friday I left work early to run home and tidy up/stage the house for the first of three Realtors that was coming over to give us a valuation to help us determine what price we should list our house at. The appointment was for 6:30pm, and of course he was early and rang the doorbell at 6:15pm, and, you know, in a house with two toddlers, the extra 15 minutes of cleanup time is crucial. But the Realtor was a good sport and ignored the
enormous slide in the living room, assorted WonderPets paraphenalia strewn across the hallway and assortment of ladybug rainboots in the entryway. After a thorough 45-minute presentation, he toured our house and gave the sad news: we have put in so many upgrades into our house that it does not compare with other comps in the neighborhood. For example, the two other rambler-style homes that are currently on the market in our subdivision are substantially dated inside and therefore are listed for at least $100k less that what our house should list for. The bottom line? Our house is too nice to sell in this market, in our neighborhood, unless we give it away. How crazy is that? That was something we were totally not anticipating. Here we were working away to upgrade and make sure that our house was "designed to sell" and as it turns out, we designed it not to sell. Go figure. So we are very bummed. But, I will say that the whole thing has made me feel better about the house generally. Am I boring you yet? Not yet? Well then, let me move on to Saturday.

Saturday was all about distracting Chatterbox and Giggles for the better part of the morning since all they could think about about was THE BIRTHDAY PARTY! AT CHUCKECHEESES!! That was starting at noon. I had to show Chatterbox the digital clock (it was 8:00am) and tell her that when she saw the "12:00" it would be time for the party. So we played Diego Dominoes, listened to a few
TJ Bearytales stories, colored the birthday's boy's card and watched a couple of episodes of Franklin before it was FINALLY! time to get dressed. And off to the cave-o'- germs we went. The girls had fun and the host mom was very nice to allow Giggles to join in the fun even though she technically wasn't invited. The cake cutting couldn't have come fast enough for me though. And the girls either, apparently. I kid you not - even Giggles said she wanted to go home and Chatterbox was covering her hears because "it's TOO LOUD in here, Mommy!" I couldn't have agreed more. The place is awful I tell ya.

Next stop was to a playdate at a fellow
Mocha's home. It was just what the doctor ordered. A chance for the mommies to relax and catchup and for the kids to play outside in the gorgeous weather. It was was lovely. The girls had a blast and had to be bribed to get into the car to go home. On the way back home, we passed a beautiful new development that was calling my name (can you tell I'm just itching to move somewhere??) And so we pulled into the driveway of our house, picked up Hubby who had just gotten back from football, and went back to check out the model home. Which was fabulous. Then we stopped to the local bakery for cookies and finally made it home. We were all beat, but all in all it was a fun day.

Sunday we jumped out of bed and went to IHOP. The place was beyond packed and we abandoned that plan fairly quickly and headed to a
family-owned restaurant for a country-style breakfast. There was no wait and the food was delicious. The only mishap was that they only had booster seats - no highchairs - and the regular chairs didn't have arms. So poor Giggles managed to fall off of the chair, not once, but TWICE. She was quite fine though and ate all of her french toast and bacon. Then we drove to Hubby's second favorite store to look for a special football referee whistle or something or other. We ended up having to pull over and call OnStar because, well you know, Hubby was driving and was a smidge lost. This caused Chatterbox to say repeatedly throughout the rest of the day: "Daddy has to call OnStar AGAIN!??" Which of course made me laugh over and over again. Anyway, we all came home and the girls took naps and Hubby and I were able to rest. Then, an elder from my church came over and brought us dinner! She had heard that I was having trouble getting around because of the pelvic pain associated with my pregnancy and wanted to do something for us. I was so touched by the gesture. Later that evening we took or mandatory trip to Target for various odds and ends, where I am pleased to say I also accomplished about 90% of our grocery shopping for the week. Oh along with 2 adorable Easter dresses for the gals. Gotta love that place.

So we had another full weekend. Needless to say, I can barely walk today and, in fact, the secretary was mocking me as I limped in to the office this morning.

She'll get hers.


March 14, 2008

Today: In Chatterbox's School Cubby...

It's pizza for the whole school mind you. And here I only sent a few boxes of graham crackers for the class when it was Chatterbox's turn.


This Story Gets Better

I'll try to be brief, which is impossible for me, but I'll try. I had only four hours of sleep and I'm exhausted. Plus, I've got a zillion things to do so I have to stay on schedule.

As you all know, I had to get my car serviced on Wednesday due to the recent tire incident. So I get a loaner car, a cute little sporty car that makes me feel young and free all over again. Because I was in the loaner, I didn't have my garage door opener in my car and parked the car in the driveway instead of the garage, like I always do. Well, Wednesday night, at about 9:30, I remembered I had to go to Walgreen's to pick up a prescription. I tell Hubby this and leave. Our front yard was pitch black so I turned on our outdoor lights that aren't timed to turn on until a little later. Long story short, I return from Walgreen's to find the entire front yard pitch black. So I grab all my prescription and a bunch of junk that I left in the car (work bag, sippy cups, papers, and wallet, I think), and try to make my way to the front door. Hands full and annoyed, I ring the door bell because it's so dark I can't even put the key in the freakin' lock. Hubby answers the door and is all confused as to why I was ringing the bell, or outside and informs me he had no idea that I left the house. But did see all the lights on and couldn't figure out why.

So glad this guy listens to me when I talk.

The next morning, I'm searching the house for TWO hours for my wallet. I knew the first 10 minutes that it was gone, my gut told me so, but I persisted. I called Walgreen's, looked in the car, looked in the driveway, looked in the car, it was gone. I checked all my accounts, no transactions. Then I get a phone call from a neighbor telling me he found, 'what appears to be the contents of [my] wallet,' all over his front yard. He didn't know if I was robbed, or what, "but was concerned." Good thing someone was.

Wouldn't you know it, that I either dropped my wallet, or left it in the car that night, unlocked.
About half hour after he called, an unknown transaction appeared on my debit card. So I meet up with the neighbor and he handed over a big business stuffed with all my things. How the heck did I fit all that into my wallet??? A million receipts, insurance cards, state bar cards, about 10 pics of the kids, my Smoothie King card, gift cards, gym card, Costco card, etc., etc, etc. You name it, it was there. He had everything but my credit or debit cards, and licence, of course. Along with all my stuff, there were a few items from another neighbor and his empty money clip. (Why do women have huge overstuffed wallets and men just carry a tiny little money clip? I digress).

Thankfully, there were no problems with my banks or creditors for the fraudulent charges, but what a hassle. I had to go to all the banks, get new cards, get a new license, call the credit bureaus, etc. But in the midst of all this, I'm actually thankful that that's all I had to replace. I think replacing my other cards would have been very burdensome and I probably would not have remembered half of the stuff I needed until I was somewhere where I needed it. Like at the side of the road with a blown out tire and in need of my road side assistance card.


So that's my story. I am sad about one thing, my beautiful Louis Vuitton wallet was not in the business envelop stuffed with the rest of my life. That didn't show up my neighbor's yard. It was a gift two years ago from Hubby, to congratulate me on my new job. When Hubby called the store to see about buying a replacement one, he found out it actually increased in value. Who knew that my Louis was an appreciable asset? Ha, ha.

March 11, 2008

Mid-Week Traffic Report

"Traffic is slow due to a disabled vehicle in the left lane."

Yep, wouldn't you know it. That disabled vehicle was me, again. This time it had nothing to do with failing to put gas in the car. Nope, just a tire that blew out for some random reason. And wouldn't you know it, I was in my gym clothes that are meant to be worn at the gym and no where else. And who was in the car? Daughter. She was all excited about my tire "popping." The good thing I was actually getting ready to turn into the parking lot adjacent to Youngest's daycare so I wasn't driving fast nor was I on a bridge. Like last time.

When I pulled over to check on my tire, it had a big hole on the side, about two inches wide. Like if I was driving and someone slashed my tire while en route. Nice.

Lucky me, a police officer was a few cars behind me. He pulls over as I'm trying to call my roadside assistance service and proceeds to tell me that I couldn't leave my car in the median even though he looked at my tire and poked his finger in the hole. I look at him and ask, "How do you expect me to move it?" And he says, "oh." Then I got back into my car because I was trying to give the road side assistance service my VIN number.

Then he stands at my window and asks if I was calling my husband to come and change the tire. HA! He doesn't know my husband. Pretty Ricky is not going to even attempt to change the tire on my bigger than life SUV that seats 8 adults and 20 kids, all at one time.

So I give him the, "hold on a sec" finger so I can finish my conversation with RSA, and then finally tell him who I'm calling.

After I got the police officer off my back, I did call Hubby and "kindly" reminded him about the last two oil changes I had and how at both oil changes the service person informed me that my tires needed to be replaced because the treads were wearing thin. Did the tires get replaced? Noooooooooooo, because Hubby was sure the service guy was just trying to make a quick buck and that the tires were better than fine.

So Hubby finally pulls up in his car with the rest of the gang so that we can all take part in the exciting adventure of the day. He proceeds to look at my tires, kicks the blown out one, and confirms what we already knew. "Yep, the tires need to be replaced. Better make an appointment ASAP, we don't want you getting into an accident on the highway."


March 10, 2008

High Roller

Have you heard of the Zooper stroller line? I saw a dad pushing a double one at the mall yesterday and I fell in love.

Then I came home and looked it up online...Let's just say my dream flew out the window real quick when I saw the price tag.

Next stop, eBay.

March 05, 2008

You're Two!

I can't believe you're two...

Waking up everyday and seeing your smile brings me a feeling of overwhelming love and joy. You are such a sweet, sweet bundle of love. (And I just can't get enough of those cheeks!)

Happy Birthday Sweetie Peetie.

March 04, 2008

Our Latest Assignment

The homework assignments keep 'a comin' I tell you.

After having us create a poster board for Chatterbox's "Star of the Week" presentation week before last, and then tie-dye a square for her classroom's Black History Month quilt last week, you would think the school would lay off of the homeworks assignments for a little while, but alas Friday she came home with an unassuming blue tote bag filled with goodies...and instructions for Mom and Dad. This one was easy enough though. Each student takes turns bringing home the "Dino Book Bag" and has to read the story and take a photo with the person they normally read stories with, and, of course, the stuffed dinosaur. By the time I remembered the assignment we were all (yes, me too) in our pajamas and ready for bed. So, here was our end product:

Good thing for digital cameras and HP printer paper!

March 03, 2008

Birthday Party 911

Ah, it's that time of year again.

Only this time, things are a bit different since Chatterbox has actually started going to school. Last week she got her first birthday party invitation from a classmate. She is so excited. It's going to be at everybody's favorite germfest, Chuck E. Cheese next weekend. I'll spare you the details of how fun it is telling her that the party is not for another TWO WEEKS and no, she cannot go to the party today, everyday when she runs into the kitchen to look at the invitation on the fridge. Here's my question - it's the very first party that she's been invited to that Giggles has not - can I bring Giggles along to the party too?

Hubby will have his football games that day and so she won't be able to stay home with him, not to mention that she and Chatterbox are rarely separated and if Chatterbox is running around singing about how she is going to "CHUCKYCHEESES!" that is not going to go over very well. At the same time, I know there is birthday party etiquette to be followed and don't want to show up at the party with an uninvited child. What to do? What to do? I could call the mom up and ask her, but that might be a bit tacky. And what is she going to say? "No, you can't bring your other daughter?" It would put her in an awkward position. Then again, what if that is exactly what she says - am I going to not go to the party and deprive Chatterbox of the fun she's been anticipating for weeks?

Oh the drama of it all.

On another birthday party note, Giggles turns 2 this week! And her birthday party theme of choice is the Wonder Pets (who I adore). Easy enough, right? WRONG. Nick Jr. doesn't license the Wonder Pets characters so, unlike Dora or Elmo, if you go into a party store you will find nary a plate, balloon or napkin with Linny, Tuck or Ming-Ming on it. So Mommy's been getting creative...let's just say, thank goodness for eBay. But if you're little one is set on a WP party, try to steer them in the direction of The Backyardigans or something and save yourself the trouble.

Oh the drama of it all.

March 01, 2008

Check Me Out...

I'm over here today.

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