Monday, November 30, 2009

Everybody needs a helping hand

Two days before Thanksgiving the aerator on my kitchen faucet decided to blow out. The day before Thanksgiving I dragged the four to Lowes to look for 1) a repair part or 2) a new faucet. Did you know that one-size fits all replacement parts stink? Very leaky, splashy. Mommy got a new faucet for Thanksgiving! (Almost). Matt was in the process of changing them out when I rounded the corner and discovered he had a little buddy helping him. Sort of.

Poor Matt- Jason was so intrigued by what he was doing & really wanted to be right there in the thick of things. Of course, wrenches walked off and had to be hunted down, but Matt's really very tolerant of 'help' when it comes his way!

Did my new faucet get installed before it was time to cook Thanksgiving dinner? Of course not. Every project requires at least 2 trips to your local hardware store. Sort of Murphy's Law of DIY projects. Matt braved the crowds on Black Friday morning to get what he needed and I was loving my new faucet by lunch time. Thanks Matt :)

To those who've wondered if I take my 'doll' with me everywhere, the answer is no - he hangs out on my kitchen window sill & keeps me company while I cook and clean up. Because a Harried Mom spends lots of time in the kitchen, and at least he doesn't pester me for things or make a lot of noise. He's just quietly supportive. I like that.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Got leaves?

October, Halloween and the birthdays have all come and gone and Thanksgiving quickly approaches. You know what that means? LEAVES. A TON of them. We are lucky enough to have a few old (and I mean 100+ year old) oak trees in our back yard, and our lot backs up to woods that have yet to be cut down for houses - selfishly, I'd like them to stay forever but we'll see. The leaves on these oak trees are some of the last ones to fall and so usually on Thanksgiving weekend, while everyone else is out shopping or eating Turkey leftovers or visiting with family, we are spending the weekend raking leaves and cleaning up. It bums me out every year when we're outside working and the neighbors come home with their Christmas tree on the roof of their car!

Leaf boy

This year, thanks to some wind and rain (thank you Ida!) the yard work is ALL DONE. Matt mowed a couple weeks ago which really cut down on the amount we had to rake, and after some hard work yesterday - thank you WILLIAM, you did an AWESOME JOB! - we are all finished. I am looking forward to a long weekend after the holiday & maybe putting out my Christmas decor!

William hard at work in the yard - what a trooper!

Everyone working hard while Sarah kicks a ball around

Evie posing

Sweet Sarah

In other news, you may or may not have heard about a certain movie that opened this weekend? It had vampires and werewolves or something in it? I may or may not have taken a 7" plastic action figure to said movie Thursday night for the midnight showing of this movie. It's hard to tell, as we were in a hurry to get a good seat, but I think that's him that jumped in front of my camera when I took this picture of the marquee.

This may or may not be Pocket Edward...

Me and my friend Cindy. I may or may not have small bottles of Cabernet in my purse.
And that has to be one of the worst pictures of me ever, but there you go.

Michelle, Kerri, and Megan, who may or may not also be nuts about vampires;
one of them may or may not have also had some wine :)

And finally - I've been the lucky recipient of several awards over the last few months, and have neglected to post on them. I can only say thank you, I haven't forgotten, and I'm going to try and post each of them after my future blog posts until I've gotten through them all. Truly, I appreciate you all thinking of me when passing them out! Today's post is:

Della from Della Grace's Life passed me this one last week, she's a sweetheart who really makes a terrific bang with her shopping bucks, and is super-creative - go check her out!

Rules after accepting the award are:

  1. Tell 7 things that you don't already know about me.
  2. Name 7 other blogs to receive this award.
  3. Leave a comment on each of the blogs I nominated.
  4. Thank the person who gave you the award.
The seven things you may or may not already know about me - hmm, this is hard:

  1. I have cold feet - like ICY cold. Except when I'm hot, then they get all swollen and red and I want to stand in a bucket of ice water. Weird. I don't wear slippers or socks around the house because then they get hot. I'd rather them be cold.
  2. I can read and follow directions; that, however, does not give me the ability to be an expert at something, much to my dismay. Jack of all trades, master of none am I.
  3. I procrastinate. Terribly. Why do I do this?
  4. I love coffee - just kidding, you already know that - but what you don't know is I don't like flavored coffee, unless it's a Pumpkin Latte from Starbucks. Otherwise, give it to me with just a little sugar and half and half.
  5. Someday I want to travel the world with my sweet hubby without the kids. Think that will ever happen?
  6. I like to self-diagnose using the internet. Which is terrible, because I'm a hypochondriac.
  7. I prefer to Christmas shop online because I don't have to leave the house or haul my kids around, and I know whether stuff is in stock or not. And getting packages makes me happy :)
I now pass the Kreativ Blogger award on to:
  1. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row
  2. Kate @ Centsational Girl
  3. Vivienne @ The V Spot
  4. Jen @ Tatertots and Jello
  5. Mrs. Jones
  6. Jenny @ Jenny Kate's Spot
  7. Connie @ The Young and Relentless
All of these ladies are incredibly talented with crafts or words so if you don't already, go visit them. And to those I haven't mentioned yet, I have a TON of awards to pass on so stay tuned :)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Sooner than we imagined, or were ready for, the boy's bunk beds have arrived! About 4 weeks early! But hey, I'll take it. Now Jason doesn't have to sleep on a crib mattress on the floor - not that he seemed to mind :)

It's really hard to get pictures in the room, and we do not have the beds made up with matching bedding yet (if ever, William still seems to love the quilt I made for him a few years ago) but here they are. Matt worked SUPER hard this weekend moving pictures and shelves, repairing the walls and touching up all the paint for me. We also had to take down a ceiling fan so William doesn't get knocked in the head with it. All in all, a lot of work so THANK YOU MATT! I know it's not your favorite thing in the world to spend the better part of your weekend on chores, but now it's done - I promise not to ask you to move anything else - at least not in their bedroom...

The boy's new full/full bunk beds-
they can be separated down the road into two separate fulls

And dresser

The desk and shelves in their final home, where we used to have the crib - and a tired little boy

Sarah now has the bed we had originally bought for William, and she couldn't be happier in her new big girl bed!

Now of course, being that this is the house of Harried Mom, nothing goes without a hitch here. William's lava lamp, which we've never had problems with before (Evie has one too) managed to leave a heat mark on the BRAND NEW DRESSER. (Enter your favorite expletive here). I was not a happy chappy. I currently have it smeared with mayonnaise & covered with plastic wrap - did you know that fixes heat/water marks? - at last check it seemed to be helping. Also, William managed to have a bloody nose on the cover of his new mattress that he hadn't even slept on yet - all par for the course here. And also good reasons to not spend a lot of money on stuff while your kids are growing, because it will manage to get damaged before you can blink. One of these days I'll show you what they did to my sofa :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Digital Overload

Now I know where Sarah gets her curls from!

That's me, in all my 2 year old glory. My Dad emailed me this picture yesterday after reading my post about Jason's birthday. He's been working on scanning all his slides from when we were kids, which got me to thinking about family history, pictures, and life today in a digital world.

I remember playing with the trays of slides in my parents' closet. They were great for stacking, making walls, playing with Little People on. I remember waiting impatiently at the top of the stairs Christmas morning while Dad went down to get the cameras ready and the sun gun turned on (did your Dad have a sun gun? You know, that blinding light that made it possible to film Super 8 in the house?) I remember poring through old photo albums and getting a kick out of my skinny Mom with her frosted hair and my Dad who could have passed for a member of the Bee Gees.

Dad had hair like the one in the middle

I have some pictures from high school and college, and Matt and I have some albums from our 'early' days together. Back in the days of film and pre-kids, it was easy to keep up with getting your film developed & into an album. They're neatly ordered on a shelf in my closet, ready for viewing. And then in 2001 we bought a digital camera. And all that went to hell.

It started out innocently enough, we wanted to go digital because we were about to have a baby & we live far from family. We could email pictures! Terrific! Of course, back then everyone had dial-up internet & pictures took forever to upload and download. Besides, I had a baby to deal with who took up increasingly more time. Then we had another baby. I was pretty good there for a while about getting prints made, making backup copies on CD's, and keeping things organized. Before we had Sarah I think I even got the albums caught up. That was over 3 years ago. I stopped printing the pictures 2 years ago when I filled up an entire tub with ones that needed to go into albums.

We now have 2 digital cameras, and Evie has her own. I have backup copies on disk in a fire safe that I'm 3 years behind on. Some of the pictures are backed up on the basement server which is a complete dinosaur to access. Some of them are on my hard drive (which thankfully gets backed up regularly). And the first 18 months of Jason's life? Sitting on Matt's desk in a ZipLoc bag on the hard drive we need to have recovered. That was an expensive mistake.

Back in the spring we bought a digital camcorder. I have no idea how to do anything with the video. I guess I'm in trouble when THAT gets full. Luckily, we're not videophiles, and the only time the camcorder comes out is when there is a birthday (which happens a lot in the fall!) or at Christmas. I can just imagine what it will be like to look at them in a few years - because, as you can probably imagine, it's really noisy and chaotic here at Christmas and birthdays - EVERYONE wants to be RIGHT THERE to see what's going on. Maybe someday when I have a minute (or really, more like 10 hours) I can sit down and figure it out. Maybe.

For now, I just keep snapping pictures and occasionally videotaping. That way when I'm old and grey (well, old - I'm already headed towards grey - or rather, white) I can enjoy looking back at my kids fighting on tape and be horrified at all the yelling I did. And wonder where all the time went. Assuming I can figure out how to go back and look at everything.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Jason!

Dear Jason,

Last but certainly not least, it's your big day! It seems impossible to me that 2 years have gone by already - where has the time gone? (Oh wait, I remember - lots of feeding/napping/changing/sleeping - for you anyway!) Some of the best things in life come at you from out of the blue, and you were certainly one of them - a nicer surprise could not have been had.

Jason, hours old.

Home from the hospital, snug in Grandmom's arms

All in all, you've been pretty easy since the beginning - a good sleeper, great eater, easy-going, as long as Mommy picked you up when you wanted. You're still easy-going, as long as I pick you up when you want me to. Srlsy, you're 2 - would you please ride in the cart at the store? You're not big enough to walk around yet, and you're too big for me to carry - so just relax and enjoy the ride already!

I'm getting a kick out of you lately, as you steer me around the house by my legs or grab my hand and drag me by my thumb to help you get something or do something for you, and I'm tickled to hear you starting to combine words & communicate thoughts.

You're Fun Boy - always ready to wrestle, play ball, or crawl all over Dad like a puppy, and you always have a kiss and a hug for me.

Happy Birthday, my Little Buddy - here's to many many happy more.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween has come and gone, and the in-laws are on their way back home after a fun-filled weekend. We carved pumpkins, dressed up, and were lucky enough that the rain held off long enough to finish setting up the haunt AND go trick-or-treating. It was a perfectly spooky night, overcast and just breezy enough to blow the leaves around. It's hard to believe it's over already & time to put it all away again until next year. Here's some highlights, and if you missed my last post showing you our full 'haunt', go HERE.

This year's addition, the Witch Doctor. The picture doesn't do it justice, as you can't see the red lights in the fire, or the purple smoking cauldron - it looked REALLY cool & turned out much better than we expected!

Pumpkin Edward in his place of honor in the foyer. The teen girls went C.R.A.Z.Y. over him :)

Jason, wondering what the heck is going on
Sarah, the sweetest little witch you've ever seen. She's still wearing her costume.

The whole gang - 2 Captain Kirks, 2 witches, a ninja (Evie couldn't find the mask in her room - BIG SHOCK THERE!) and Batman. Or Lego Batman, as William likes to say :)

And finally, after trick or treating was finished we had some neighbors and friends back to the house for drinks and dessert. This is what 13 kids aged 2 to 10 do to a room in 1.5 hours. I guess it could have been a lot worse!

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween as well! We have one more birthday to celebrate (Jason's 2nd), and then we can catch our breath before the big Christmas push.

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