November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Well, did you go out? Brave the crowds and stand in line? Or did you sleep in, at least until your regular waking time? Bonnie and I were going to go out early this morning, but last night around 8:30 I backed out on her. My reason? There wasn't anything I HAD to get, but mostly because I didn't want to wait in ridiculously long lines. Or so I thought. At 9:00 I paged through the Toys R Us ad again and realized their sales were INCREDIBLE. I found 2 or 3 really good gift ideas for each child, plus birthday and Christmas gifts for one of my nephews. Since they were opening at midnight, I thought that would be easier on me than getting up in the middle of the night--so I decided to go.

It was a really interesting experience. I definitely underestimated the crowds--there was a line of people waiting to get in that snaked from the front door, past Office Depot, and all the way to the street. Most had planned on waiting in line: they had layers on, hoods, and many were wrapped in blankets. Employees were passing out tickets for electronics, and a lot of the people lined up appeared to be college-age. I walked back to my car and sat in the dark warmth for 30 minutes. At midnight I walked to the area in front of the entrance and got swept up in a growing crowd slowly inching our way toward the door (yes, basically weaving ourselves into the line of established "wait-ers"). At 12:10 there still didn't appear to be anyone entering the store, but the crowd was surprisingly patient and well behaved. I got into the store about 12:20, took a cart, and began working my way through the crowds to find everything I had put on my list, around 14 items. It was tricky; most people that I saw at first did not take a cart, instead opting to pile stacks of boxes in their arms so as not to be slowed down navigating a shopping cart. However, everyone was patient and courteous; I didn't observe any fighting, rudeness, or anything of that nature. Thankfully, I was able to find EVERYTHING on my list!! Amazing. By 1:15 I was ready to get in line.

THIS WAS THE LONGEST.LINE.EVER. It snaked across the front of the store, through the every aisle across the front half of the store, and then through 2/3 of the aisles in the back half of the store. I had no idea I would have to wait so long to buy my items. The one advantage to the line was that I got to browse almost every aisle. I was so hungry that I contemplated taking a can of Gerber fruit puffs to snack on and paying for them at the counter, but I was too embarrassed to do that. I only saw three people I knew, one mom from daycare, and Hope's daycare provider and her 22 year old daughter--they were shopping for all the children in her daycare. So, when do you think I arrived at a checkout lane? 3:30am. Yep. It took two hours and 15 minutes to get to the front. I loaded my car, got home, had a quick bowl of cereal, and curled up into bed at 4am.

Was it worth it? I think so. I found wonderful toys at amazing prices, and I have almost finished all the Christmas and birthday shopping (between my children and the cousins there are 5 birthdays between Dec 5 and Jan 3, in addition to Christmas). Would I do it again next year? Maybe. But maybe I'll I might just choose sleep over shopping.

November 19, 2009

My boys are so weird!

Tonight, Kris asked Grant to use the mid-size vacuum w/hose to vacuum around the perimeter of the kitchen. Grant did a great job, but as he was working he started "exploring" with the vacuum hose. First, he smucked it to his cheek. He looked like Buddy the Elf in the scene where Buddy sticks his face against the mailroom tube and says, "Oh, it's sucky. It's VERY sucky!" But Grant didn't stop there. The next time I glanced his way he had lifted his t-shirt and smucked the hose to his chest--right over his nipple. "I'm sucking my boobie, mom!" He thought it was hilarious, and he laughed even harder when I tried to give him my best 'judgmental mom look.' After that, I just gave up and let him vacuum his boob.

Last month the boys stayed at my mom's for dinner while I attended some meeting. I don't remember if they stripped naked and started running around, or if they were taking a bath and talking about their penises, but mom HATES the word penis. So, she told them to stop showing off their "dangling participles." Well, ever since that night, Ross and Grant have taken sheer delight in gleefully saying, "Look at my dangling participle!" whenever they're naked. Especially Ross. He says it a. lot. Like tonight when he was zipping up his sleeper he said, "I gotta be careful not to zip my DANGLING PARTICIPLE, mom!" He says it with an impish grin that just makes me shake my head and laugh every time. So, thank you, mom, for teaching my boys a super-fun-to-say phrase that they think is a bit of a risky phrase. I can't wait to see their reaction in 7th grade when they realize it's just a grammar term.

November 18, 2009

Quotes I like

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. ~Harold Hulbert

Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. ~Not Your Average Dictionary

The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four - of secondary importance is to prepare for being five. ~Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985

A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to. ~Robert Brault


November 8, 2009


In my quest to lose that last 10 pounds I've held on to since before Ross was born, I am struggling to stay motivated. It takes such DISCIPLINE to not only eat "on program" but to also fit in rigorous--or even moderate--exercise. I did fairly well today on the eating, until after I put the kids to bed. Late evening is my absolute worst time for snacking. I brushed my teeth before coming back downstairs and wasn't even feeling hungry and I STILL ate. I have indulged in cheese and chocolate, along with three glasses of wine. Anybody out there have any great suggestions to avoid this bad habit? Because it has, in the past, and could again, turn into a habit.

Kris has been gone hunting all weekend and won't be back until Wednesday. The kids and I had a great weekend. I enjoyed an afternoon with my dear friend J, whom I hadn't seen since August. We tooled around all afternoon and then enjoyed pizza and playtime with our kids. I led children's liturgy of the word as mass this morning, and there must have been close to 50 kids! I was really pleased by how well it went--the children were engaged in the discussion, and I think we all enjoyed ourselves. Grant came with me to church, and although he pissed and moaned about it like he does every week, he managed himself very well during mass, especially considering it went 75 minutes today. He even had some really curious questions about communion and the body and blood of Christ. We had a successful "study session" this afternoon working through the Parent and child Reconciliation lesson for the week ( he's preparing to receive this sacrament on December 5), and Grant has now memorized his Act of Contrition. All the while, Ross didn't interrupt us because he was watching a movie. So all in all, it was a super weekend. Hey, I even got all the laundry washed, folded, and put away (well, except for the last load waiting to be folded upstairs in the basket).

Didn't do any grading, but I will this week. For now, my students will just have to wait a little longer for their exam grades. Hope your weekend was a good one.

November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Carving pumpkins Wednesday night...

In our costumes for Lincoln's Family Fun Night...

Grant the Football Player

Football Player, Butterfly, and Ninja!

Our little Butterfly...

This was the best Halloween our family has ever celebrated. Everything seemed to line up perfectly. Friday Night, Grant's school hosted a Family Fun Night where families could come, eat pizza, play board games, and dance to a DJ. Grant and Kris played Battleship while Ross and Hope roamed between them and me (I was at the PTA table selling school clothing). Even though the weather was wet and rainy all week, Halloween itself was a cool, dry, not-too-windy day. We joined up with Aunt D, Uncle Mike, Aunt Andy, Uncle Grant, and cousins Kori, Paige, Piper, and Jacob to visit the Not Too Spooky Haunted House at the El Zagal Shrine. They had the haunted house, inflatable games from Games Galore, and kids' carnival games for the little ones. Very fun! Then we all met back at our house to eat dinner. Afterwards we all went trick or treating around our neighborhood. I WISH I had taken our camera along for that part (we forgot it in the van and didn't go back to get it b/c everyone else was taking pics, too) because I could have taken video of Hope toddling down the sidewalk! She LOVED trick or treating!! She waddled along in her butterfly costume--with an added scarf, leggings, mittens, and hat--with her treat bag hanging from one arm and a glow stick dangling from the other. It was quite a sight! Ross and Piper led the crew to each house, and everyone had a blast. Afterwards, we all came back here to eat lots of candy. The kids played until abou 9:00 while we grown ups visited and watched them in their sugar-induced glee. It was wonderful.