Showing posts from 2011

Glimpses of Christmas Morning...



So, Chewy did the almost impossible and was able to surprise me with a Birthday Dinner last night.

We went to a Japanese Steakhouse (which is our tradition on Christmas Eve) for a birthday dinner. I was thinking it was a bit early (3 p.m.) for a dinner, but that was when he had it scheduled. Little did I know it was so that everyone could coordinate to be there! I was surprised to see family and friends there to greet us!

A great time was had by all!

Everyone awaiting the food!
I love Willow's reaction to the fire...
Willow just being cute...
Getting sake poured down my throat was not exactly what I thought I would be doing that night...

And friend Ana surprised me with a PERFECT Cake for me!!
Yay, Zombie Cake!!
With chocolate hands and worms and eyeballs!!

Willow was also impressed!
Michael wanted a hand!
Willow eating an eyeball!
Photo from HERE. (Hmmm...I will have to look into this for next year!)

MERRY CHRISTMAS to Everyone from our house to yours!!!

Pre-School Gift

What I love about getting gifts from Preschool....

I love that especially in Pre-school, the care givers know how important the little trinkets are, especially with their photo on them! It is so nice to have this keepsake, with the date, her picture--and those cute little hands!

Willow is off Pre-school until Wednesday. Right now we are having yet another viewing of Rudolph (her favorite x-mas character/story so far)--so appropriate, considering the frame above. Before then, we played a "Hello Kitty" Matching Game that Ana gave her as a present last night. (We liked playing it a lot!)

Let the Latkes Begin!

Our first night of Hanukkah Latke Dinner was postponed by one day because of Michael's holiday concert at school.

So, tonight, the second night of Hanukkah, we had some friends over and had a great time making latkes and enjoying the Hanukkah lights. Ana came by with a couple of her furry pals.  Willow enjoyed playing with Rykka and Jule, German Shepards that she has known all her life.  Our friends Paul and John rounded out our table.

We had apples and caramel dipping sauce, LATKES, pot roast and vegetable medley. Some jellied filled pastries and gelt finished the meal. It was fun, especially when Ana took over the latke making part--she did a great job!  (Meanwhile, I left a plastic spatula in hot oil--and fried a spatula to death!)

After dinner, we had a game of Driedal.  Michael won (which is only fair, as the children usually get all the Gelt anyways!)

Willow has a sweet tooth like you would never believe.  As soon as she got home she wanted chocolate from the advent calend…

Angel Chimes - Updated

I remember them very well. My Grammie would bring them out during the holidays and as I got older, she would let me help her set them up and light them. Each and every time they were lit, I would be entranced with the spinning angels and the bell chimes. I loved watching the patterns of the metal and light on the ceiling, dancing light. And then, when it was time for birthday cake--she would switch the angels out with dancing clowns with a horse on top.

I remember them and yet I have no idea why I haven't bought any until now. You would think I would have wanted to have this tradition as soon as I had my own family. But somehow I think it was HER tradition for so long...that I could not bring myself to make them mine.

This year, I felt the need for them.  I bought a cheap set--I have no idea if they will last this season.  At least they come with the clowns, so I hope to bring them out for birthdays, just as she did.

This evening, we had them burning while we ate dinner.  A…

20 Questions - Christmas Style

20(ish) Questions - Christmas Style
I am stealing sharing this from from Kristen...feel free to also steal share

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  I prefer wrapping paper, although I am not the best wrapper.  Bags are good for big presents though.

2. Real tree or Artificial?  Artificial.  I can have it around longer, I have a Black Thumb and I don't need more chaos in my life.  So, the nice hinged tree unfolds and I am happy.

3. When do you put up the tree?  Per my family's tradition, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Originally, when I was a girl, this was a practical choice.  Now, it is the tradition.

4. When do you take the tree down? Per family tradition, on New Year's Day.

5. Do you like eggnog? I am the only one in our family that does.  I LOVE it, and especially like making french toast with it.  Yum!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?  Kinda hard to pick one...I remember the Barbie Townhouse, the Barbie convertible, the race track...and numerous bikes!

7. Do you have a …

Five More Days; Ten More Days...

It seems that the older I get, the quicker the seasons seem to go...the faster the holidays approach and then they are gone.

I was surprised with Halloween and then totally lost track of time with Thanksgiving.

And now, as the kids opened their chocolate Advent calendars today...the rhyme mentioned that there are only ten more days until Christmas.

There are only five more days until the start of Hanukkah.

I have all the presents and the decorations, I have listened to many a holiday song...haven't gotten to viewing all our favorite movies/shows but we are working on them. (Yesterday, Michael and I watched the MST3K Santa Claus--it was hillarious as ever--picture me laughing and then coughing and then laughing some more)

But I still don't feel ready for the holidays! Maybe part of that is because I don't have all the food items yet...maybe. Or maybe it just has been sneaking up to me again. I always think I have more time than I do.

Ah, well. The season is upon us...rea…

General Chaos--with Sore Throated Goodness!

It started Wednesday night. I thought it was a cold. Seemed to get better. Although almost called off a babysitter on Thursday because I was still feeling kinda "eh". Sore throat on and off this weekend. ALMOST went to the doctors on Friday, but thought I was feeling better...and now it is Sunday night and I am still with sore throat. So, I guess tomorrow I will be going to the doctor's office. I assume I have strep. Ugh.

The weekend was a bit off because when I am the sick one, all organization and planning goes to hell. But things still needed to be done. The kids needed to be out of house on Friday evening for daddy to do some work. So, off we went on a planned outing to see the holiday lights at the zoo. It was really fun to go to the zoo, see the animals, see the lights, etc. Willow especially had a great time seeing the little holiday displays.

Saturday I plunged into things that needed to be done and a lunch that I already had planned with a friend. …

Ice Skating

I loved Roller Skating when I was a kid. Skating and biking and then biking and skating. I loved being on wheels.

I have never done Ice Skating. But, being a good New Englander, I have given my kids opportunities to learn it.

This was Willow's second lesson. We shall see if she is interested enough to do the seven week course (if she is, I will have to buy her some used skates).

She was not as confident as she was last week. And she found that if she fell, she could then slide along on her legs and crawl (now that this week she had snowpants on).

I asked her afterwards if she wanted to do it again...and I got a tepid response. Luckily, classes do not restart until after I will gauge her enthusiasm later this month before signing up.


Searching for another CD, I found it. I knew it was there somewhere, a thoughtful gift that I thoughtfully put away.

There was dust on it. And I suddenly felt like I needed to hear it. I had forgotten what time of year it was recorded. Christmas messages for someone in a foreign land.

I initially took it out and played it in the car as a novelty for the kids--for my son who would appreciate it. There are other tracks on the CD that I knew would interest him more. Some old college audio projects, his mother interviewing his father for a project. (Now I listen and realize where I made mistakes and how I could have done it so much better. Lessons learned from time and experience.)

Later, I keep the CD in the car. And as I drive alone I replay the first few tracks. The tracks that were not meant for me. I was not yet born. Although I was mentioned and thought of. I listen to voices and realize what I have lost. What I have found.

I listen to a woman I did not know at all. And…

Grammie's Fudge

He couldn't read my Grammie's cursive handwriting...

One of my favorite parts--opening the evaporated milk. McDonald's bag from Breakfast--we had a sleepover and the kids wanted it. Muppets Christmas album with John Denver on in the background.

We are all still in our pajamas...lazy Sunday morning.

And the rest is YUM!

Birthday Cake!

Michael, Willow and I went to Kirsten and Lorelei's Birthday Party today.

My nieces enjoyed their cake as only one year olds can. It was fun and a bit bittersweet to see them playing with their cake. I was remembering as I videotaped them how not too long ago I was capturing my own daughter on her first birthday.

And then. I was brought back to reality.

And the need for me to go get her some water.

Happy Birthday!

Piglet: How do you spell love?
Pooh: You don’t spell it, you feel it.

"It's so much more friendly with two." -- Winnie the Pooh

The more it snows (Tiddely pom),
The more it goes (Tiddely pom),
The more it goes (Tiddely pom),
On snowing. And nobody knows (Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes (Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes (Tiddely pom),
Are growing.

-- Winnie the Pooh

Happy 1st Birthday to my nieces, Lorelei and Kirsten!

It has been amazing to watch you two grow and to see my brother and sister-in-law grow into the role of parents. That first year is tough for all...but you guys have made it and now the real fun of being a family begins!
Every story and picture, every new milestone...reminds me how quickly it goes and how wonderful it is to be a part of your life. Thank you for being my nieces!
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday for your party!

30 Posts in 30 Days - Day 30

In the first novel and radio series, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer, Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. The Ultimate Question itself is unknown. -- Wikipedia re The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I will be 42 in less than a month.
I thought I would know more than I do at this age. But the longer I live, the more I have learned that the ultimate answer is not necessarily 42. I think it would take me 7 1/2 million years to really understand how the universe works.
Right now I am in a kind of limbo in my life, mainly because of my job (or lack thereof) situation.
Yet another prospect has told me that I "set the bar high" that I was "exceptional" but I was their second choice.
Unfortunately, in my head I had alre…

30 Posts in 30 Days - Day 29

I have decided to once again participate in November. To read more about NaBloPoMo please click HERE.

I love hearing about other people's traditions during this Holiday Season. Not only is it interesting, but it gives me ideas for new traditions for our family. A tradition that I find very nice is new pjs for Christmas, where on Christmas Eve children (or the whole family) receive new pajamas. I like the fact it is something practical and also something that can make your Christmas morning photos more fun. I did this last year for the first time and both kids loved it. (In fact, the pjs I got Michael is one of his favorites).

This year I went overboard (there was a sale) and I not only bought special pjs for the kids for Christmas Eve, but also new pajamas for now...

Modeling her Holiday Pjs.

Perfect Moment Monday - A visit with Santa

On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on December 26.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

Follow Write Mind Open Heart.

Between the Sunday night before and the Sunday night after, write up your own Perfect Moment.

Use LinkyTools on her website to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.

Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Despite the fact that I am all into the Santa part of Christmas, I have never been one for the photo with Santa tradition. I just found it too forced or too annoying for me to stand in line for my child to be "processed". I am sure that it is not that way everywhere, but my limited experiences had shown me that it was more often than not, an experience I could easily do without. Michael did not seem to have the need …

Day 27 - I guess I cannot escape it...

the Holiday Season is upon us! And I am finally starting to get some Holiday spirit along with that. I have most of my shopping already done (hey, Black Friday--I scoff at you in September)!

Yesterday we watched Rudolph and Heat Miser (aka Year Without A Santa Claus) and then went into the the town center for the big Holiday festival that is held annually. This year we were pleasantly attired and were quite warm. Last year we were freezing ourselves silly.

This year we did the hay ride around the town square, and watched the ice sculptures being made (quickly or else they were going to melt) and had some clam chowder from the Cub Scouts and fried dough from the Lion's Club. Willow and Michael feed llamas, goats and sheep at the petting farm. Oh and a glimpse of Santa Claus (Willow wanted to gate crash instead of standing in a long line).

A girl said "Hi Michael!" and Michael silently skulked away saying that he hated her. And Chewy noted that that silent "Ange…

Day 26 - Decorating the Willow Way


30 Posts in 30 Days - Day 25

I have decided to once again participate in November. To read more about NaBloPoMo please click HERE.

Because we have a lot planned this weekend, we are putting our decorations up today. Our tradition is usually for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but a day earlier is not a biggie.

The weird thing of it is...well, usually I am all hyper about getting the decorations up and getting going on it first thing. And well, I came home from Thanksgiving dinner at our friend's house...and promptly saw my T-day dinner in a bucket (ahem).

So, slow start to the day. I think I am fine (at 50%) but considering the most we are doing is going to the Muppets movie...I am fine.

Started off late on the decorating. And then some friends of Michael's came by. And then they wanted to go off to the park. And since we want to encourage Michael's social skills/connections as often as he went.

So that left me and Willow and reluctant Chewy. Willow and I have dug into one of the b…

Turkey Day Reflections

This year has been full of ups and downs. Low points and high points. I wish I could say the turbulence has settled down, but it has not.

Sometimes I like the roller coaster. But sometimes I would like things to just be like they are on Thanksgiving weekend.

We all are relaxed, we are all together. And, except for a couple of sniffles (me), we are all healthy. We have each other.

I am thankful that we are at ease with each other. That my children have had the benefit of having me at home with them these past few months. That we have friends to celebrate the holidays. That I have on-line friends who help me through the day, and lift me up when I am down.

That we have a home. That we have cuddly pets.

That we have we.

That I have you.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Day 23

This day before Thanksgiving is a bit unusual for us. Normally, we would both be at work, Michael would have a half day and then go to after school program, Willow at her daycare. She is the only one having a normal before T-Day day.

I will be having a job interview this morning; Chewy has decided to take a day off--which is good, considering the hours he has been working since September!

Chewy will pick up Michael after school. And I will meet up with them after my interview. And we will pick up Willow last of all, later in the afternoon. We don't have to travel far for our Thanksgiving get together, so this evening is our own. I think we will spend it relaxing and low key.

We have a big, long weekend of plans and today is the calmest (well, for some--I am nervous/anxious about the job interview).


Change is something we struggle with in our household. Michael likes schedules and I am an organizer and I do not like things that screw schedules up.

But change seems to be all around us.

The doctor that diagnosed Michael has moved us on to a psychiatrist for monitoring of his medications. Yesterday, his long time behavioral therapist called to tell me that she is being moved onto adult patients only. Which means that tomorrow is our last appointment with her. We will have to consult the psychiatrist as to what therapist he would least that person should be closer to home.

And of course there is the issue with after school care for him. Which may have to be dealt with sooner rather than later--as I may be getting the ultimate change, a new job.

So, the next few weeks, months are going to be tough for all of us. But the one I worry about the most is Michael because he has had many many changes to deal with recently.

I hope that we can transition smoothly to whatev…