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T minus 18 hours ...

Rsztree3 until we're on the road. great.

no, seriously, i'm glad we're going. it'll be fun to watch the kids celebrate a big, noisy, family holiday. it'll be closer to the christmases of my youth, when all the aunts and uncles and cousins got together and played games and were loud and crazy and laughed and ate for three days straight. this will be sort of like that. we just have to get there first.

i broke my cardinal rule: no new toys between halloween and christmas. i had to. i figure a new magnadoodle and board books about dogs for harper and a new leapster game for henry would go a long way toward a peaceful trip. at least for a little while. and we take what we can get on these treks. so i'll pull those out tomorrow when needed, the dvd player is ready to go, the movies will be pulled together tonight, and i'm off to pack as much as i can while harper naps. because after an hour, she's finally asleep. but not until after i went up to settle her down and found her completely naked, trying to climb out of her crib, saying "bye bye, doosh" over and over. cuz we'd been at mall of america today and saw some fish ("doosh") and now her little mind is stuck on that one fact. so she's been redressed in clothes she can't take off, given her plugs and blanket, and that seems to have thankfully worked. except now we'll have to go get henry in 90 minutes. nice nap.


i'm so worn out it's not even funny, and the christmas spirit is all but vacant right now. there is a glimmer, though. it's in the thought of watching these two beautiful kids enjoy the spirit of the season ...

Rszhenry_1 Rszharp_1

can't wait.

in closing, have a very happy holiday season, enjoy your loved ones, eat all the cookies you want cuz the gym can wait until next year, and travel safely!!

happy christmakkuhwanzayule!

preserving the holiday mood

... is gonna be tough over the next seven days.

see, marc leaves in, oh, 90 minutes and won't be home for the next 144 hours. that's six full days. and then he'll be home all of sunday, then bam ... gone all day monday, from sun-up to sun-down. and who knows what tuesday will bring. and then wednesday we leave for our 600 mile experiment in torture trip to indiana.

i finished most of the xmas shopping yesterday ... just have three toys to buy for nieces/nephews, and a couple of projects to finish, and xmas cards to address and pop in the mail, and then i'm done ... so that stress will be gone. thankfully. cuz i wouldn't want to finish with kid(s) in tow.

and harper's decided that her pitiful eating habits weren't pitiful enough and is now attempting full-on hunger strike, which could explain why she's also not sleeping and is totally crabby and whiney all day long. such fun. can't wait to deal with it by myself 24/7.

and because we won't be home for xmas, i've been sort of half-assed about decorating and getting in the spirit. feeling rather bah-humbug this year, truth be told. marc says i'll get my groove on once we're with family and can relax. i hope so.

i've tried a few attempts at creating holiday spirit. put up a little white tree for all my barbie ornaments (long story. layout to follow soon to explain everything.), took the kids to the dayton's marshall field's macy's walk-through story downtown - mary poppins this year, and just fabulous - and to visit santa. and we have a 10' tall vision of beauty in the living room. so things aren't completely grinchy around here, but it's close.

must get more coffee. stayed up till 1 a.m. folding laundry and watching "40 year old virgin" and then miss harper decided to get up at 6. and no, marc didn't offer to get up with her to give me a break on my last day of possibly getting one. so need more caffeine. and now henry's asking for lunch, so i guess i better go make something. sigh.

here ... i'll leave with a few pix of holiday loveliness. maybe that will redeem this crappy downer of a post.

Rszharpwtree_1 Rszkidswsantavert Rszmarypop Rsztree

damn those 'christmas shoes'!

have you heard that "holiday" song ... christmas shoes? i have no idea who sings it; basically whoever wrote it is the nicholas sparks of music. overtly trying to tug at the heartstrings and make people cry. for those who haven't heard it, basically the song is the story of a little boy who tries to buy a pair of shoes for his mommy on christmas eve because daddy says mommy will probably be dead by morning. or something like that.

now, first of all, tell me how this is a holiday song. do you want to sing it while decorating the tree? do you want to hear it wafting through speakers as you wrap presents and drink cocoa? does it make you smile as you reminisce about christmases past? i don't think so. whose brilliant idea was it to write a friggin' holiday song about a mom dying?!

which brings me to point number two. the stupid song DOES make me cry. i'll be listening to the All Christmas All The Time radio station, singing along to "santa baby" and "white christmas," and then boom. "christmas shoes." all of a sudden my happy thoughts of christmas are replaced by the thoughts of dying and leaving my family. on christmas. how cruel!! why would this guy choose to write a song about a ruined lifetime of christmases? the kid will never want to celebrate the anniversary of his mother's death with tinsel and reindeer on the lawn! and for me, it gets me thinking. what if i died? i can't bear the thought of not being with my children or marc. no matter how much they push me, they are my life. and the idea of them going on and living life and  not having mommy there ... it breaks my heart.

the selfish side of me can't bear the idea of my kids every hugging some other woman or, heaven forbid, calling her mom. i can't stand the idea of marc touching and kissing another woman. i should be the one laughing at harper's silly faces, hearing her say "mama," snuggling her up and kissing her neck. i should be the one henry looks for with a smile on his face when it's time to bow to the parents at taekwondo. i should be the one who makes marc wink and growl. no one else.

but then the realistic side of me says of course the kids need a mother. of course marc needs a companion. i've seen him in action ... this place would fall apart without a woman running things. they all need the love and warmth of a mother and wife to make their lives complete. but i don't want it to be anyone other than me.

and these are the thoughts that pop into my head and push out all visions of sugarplums when i hear "christmas shoes." nice going, idiot songwriter guy. how about a holiday song about a meth-addicted dad next? that'd be awesome.

a black belt, sir!!

he did it!!!

Rszblackbeltpractice Rszblackbelt1 Rszblackbelt2 Rszblackbelt3 Rszblackbelt4 Rszblackbelt5 Rszblackbelt6

pretty darn cool. he did his form quickly but correctly, he broke his board on the first try with a knife-hand strike and on the second try with a jump front kick, and he sparred like a champ.

the kid was just beaming with pride ... it was a pretty great thing to see. two years is a long time to work on something for a kid who isn't even seven yet. i remember when we started, and miss gleisner told us he'd probably be a black belt by seven. i thought no way. but yup.

he has loved his instructors - miss gleisner, mr dominguez, mr dexter, mr coles, mr probst - and the other parents have become our friends. what a fun thing to be involved in! now we see if he wants to keep on keepin' on or try something else. so far, though, he's excited to go to his first black belt class on monday. we'll see how that goes!

just random stuff

here is it, december 1 already. yeegawds.

got (part of) my prize goodness from memory makers yesterday. 68 pounds of stuff. tons of papers, cardstock, ribbons, adhesive, chipboard, etc. etc. ... my mind is whirling and i can't wait to play! obviously, harper couldn't wait to play either.


little miss had me cracking up today ... a couple of stories for you.

1. while changing harper's diaper this morning, marc had a little, um, "morning gas." harper very seriously looked at him and said, "toot toot, da da."

2. she wanted the chocolate-covered christmas tree pretzels in a big way this morning and was throwing a little fit. amazingly, she did what we always tell henry to do when he gets frustrated - she used her words. "popo!! (pretzel) popo!! mama! dada! sheshe! (henry) mama!! popo!!" hysterical that she ran through her list of family names to express her deep irritation at not being able to have those li'l treats.

she does hilarious stuff every day ... i should post more often.

oh, but today is henry's day - kiddo tests for his black belt tonight!! wow! after two years, his day is here. and he's ready. it's been a struggle, but he's really pulled it together this week and his form looks great. wish him luck!! photos to come tomorrow, obviously. ;o)

until then ... happy friday!