Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy anniversary to me

Happy First Anniversary to Peanuts and Pumpkins!
(Can you tell they are excited about it?!?)

It's a bit hard to believe, but today marks my first anniversary of this blog. It's a bit funny to me that prior to one year ago, I never thought about whether parts of my life were"blog-worthy," and I certainly didn't have the creative outlet that I have found through blogging. A few years ago, I thought the word "blog" itself was a bit strange, and I falsely assumed that the people who had them must be somewhat self-important. I have since embraced term and the other blogs which I frequent have brought me both laughter and friendship throughout this past year.

So, in honor of my anniversary, I would like to thank each and every one of you who visit my blog. Whether you ended up here on accident, you read habitually and never comment, or you are one of my faithful commenters, please leave a comment if you are reading this. According to my Stat Counter, there are more visitors here than there are commenters, which is okay by me. I used to be a "lurker" myself and rarely commented on the blogs I read until I felt comfortable. But now is your chance! Let me know you were here and how you got here (if you remember). Feel free to also comment about anything else you want. Just comment! And if you have a blog, I promise to visit and comment, too. Let's see if you can beat the highest record of comments I have had on any one post: 13. I know you can! I have faith in my readers. :) And if you are a blog novice like I used to be, never fear. I have instructions on how to comment here.

Now let the comments begin! (And the thanks will most certainly follow!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Chipmunk

For your viewing pleasure, here is Pumpkin imitating a famous chipmunk. He is feeling much better now, thank you very much.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve*

*unfortunately, this is a true story

'Twas the night before Christmas Eve
When all through our house
Many creatures were still stirring
Daddy even caught a mouse. (Eeew!)

Little Pumpkin was sent home early
From his family daycare
And Daddy hoped that Mommy
Soon would be there.

For while the children were napping
All snug in their beds
Evidence of Pumpkin's illness
Was there on his threads.

On his clothing, his mittens
His coat and his cap,
We knew the stomach bug
Had lived way past his nap.

We tried to offer light food
When he wanted to eat
But he said it tasted funny
Even his very favorite treat.

After a bath and some books
Bedtime drew near
I sang him his lullaby
And said, "I love you, my dear."

A few hours later
I heard sad toddler chatter
I jumped up from giftwrapping
To see what was the matter.

Pumpkin sat up in his crib
And he started to cry
He had gotten sick once again
The poor little guy.

When I finally decided
To get to into my bed
I was feeling uneasy
"So much to do," I said.

But at four in the morning
I flew to the bathroom door
All of the sudden it just hit me
Thank goodness for linoleum floor.

I had to write lesson plans
Since I couldn't go to work
And Eric got a mop
While I felt like a jerk.

I'm no good with stomach bugs
The sight makes me faint
One more reason I am grateful
I married a true saint.

And I heard Eric exclaim
As he walked out of sight,
"I'm sleeping in the guest room,
Until you're all right!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Surprise! It's not your birthday...

Tim, Eric, Rick, and Ray

So, speaking of my husband (well, we were -- last week, anyway), I would never want you to think that I didn't bring my A-game for his big milestone day. I wanted to surprise him, but having thrown him a surprise 30th birthday party, I really didn't want to do the same kind of thing. Plus, we have two little children now, so I was not about to have a party here while they attempted to sleep. So I had to come up with something original, special, and out of the house. Not an extremely easy feat, I promise you.

It all started clicking when Eric saw that one of his very favorite comedians would be performing in our area late September. I told him I would take him to dinner and buy the tickets for him as an early birthday present and that I would ask his mom (a.k.a. Gemma) to babysit. As far as he knew, that was his big birthday bash. But he was wrong.

My husband rarely gets to see his best friends from high school and college since we don't live near them. All of them are scattered around several different states. That goes for his younger brother as well; he is the captain of a ship, so he is always traveling. We hardly ever get to see any or all of them, so to have them in the same place at the same time to celebrate Eric's big day with us would just be a wonderful gift, right? So, I invited all of them to meet us at the restaurant and come to the show with us. And after all, I was trying to do something memorable for his big day. Original? Check. Special? Check. Out of the house? Check.

I wish you could have seen his face when he saw his best out-of-town friends and his brother yell, "Surprise!" when we came into the restaurant. Especially since it was over two months until his actual birthday. But hey, that's a minor detail, I figured. Besides, getting everyone together in December would have proven to be much more difficult. So, surprise, Honey! It's your birthday party two months early. No wonder he never suspected a thing.

All of us at dinner
(Yes, I am making another rare appearance on my own blog.)

The show was one of the funniest I think I have ever seen. You may not know who Patton Oswalt is by name, but you may know him from television shows such as "The King of Queens" and from his voice-over work as the main character, Remy, in the children's film, Ratatouille.

Patton Oswalt

I had contacted the manager of the theater months in advance to set up a "meet and greet" with Patton, and after explaining the special night I had planned for Eric, she seemed on board to try and make that happen. My directions were to find Ms. Very Important by the stage right ushers when I got there to learn if Patton had agreed to meet with us. The manager seemed optimistic when she called earlier that afternoon, so I admit that my hopes were high. So you can imagine that I was a bit annoyed when Ms. Very Important said that Patton wasn't feeling well, but he would sign a program for Eric. Boo! I was truly disappointed and figured he was blowing us off because we were lowly Delaware peons. No, it turns out that he was so sick that at times he joked that he was coughing up different lifeforms. He even took his medication on stage because "it was time." By this time, he had totally gained my respect back even though he wouldn't see us; I was surprised that anyone would continue on with a show who was that obviously ill. And anyway, serious flu germs weren't on the list of items I had planned to get Eric for his birthday.

Outside of the theater

So, there you have it, folks. This was my big tribute to my wonderful husband's 40th birthday evening. Yeah, I am posting this a little late. But since I surprised him two months early, now that I am writing about it two months later makes it all even out, don't you think?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday: Christmas 2006

We parents all know the drill. Sometime in November, we find the perfect matching or coordinating outfits (or -- depending on your level of perfectionism -- the perfect outfit that is currently not in the dirty laundry) for our little ones, and then we proceed to act like complete idiots. And by we, I of course mean the fathers of the family. At least that's the drill in this family; I am the picture-taker and my husband is the smile-maker. However, I had only had to acquire "the perfect holiday picture" with one toddler before the one below. I realized I would have my work cut out for me with a three and a half-year-old and an eight month-old, but I had no idea. Most of the pics of Pumpkin had his ubiquitous drool dripping down his chin. And Peanut had no problem showing his boredom at the entire process after just a few shots. After this attempt, we did seek professional [photography] help. But I'm sure my husband would have agreed to professional help of the other persuasion if he heard me utter, "Just one more shot, Honey" while he continued his best monkey impression for shot #82.

Below is the cream of the crop from 2006. And frankly, after looking through all of the "rejects," I had no idea how increasingly difficult it would become to get good shots when they became their current ages of two and a half and five and a half. Even the ones we vetoed back in the below shoot look fairly decent next to the ridiculous faces Peanut has now decided are more fun, and the drool of Pumpkin's yesteryear has now been replaced by a constant runny nose (which is even less forgivable when captured on film). But thank heaven for matching sweaters and hats. Those outfits really do make all of the frustration of getting a semi-respectable picture worth the hassle.

Did you get a Christmas picture of your family or children this year? I'd love to hear about it. And by the way, those of you with more than two children who send a Christmas photo where all children are looking in the same direction immediately get my vote for sainthood.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Flashback Friday: My Hubby

Look at that cute little baby face. Today is a big day for that little boy below; it is his birthday. And it's not just any birthday. It's a milestone birthday. Most people would never believe it if I told them how old he is. I mean, look at that sweetheart. How old could he possibly be?

Well, I'll give you some hints: He is old enough to be married with two children. No help? Okay, he grew up playing Atari, he listened to AC/DC as a teenager, and he still loves the television show, M*A*S*H. He is also older than I am (sorry, Hon, I had to throw that in there). But it doesn't matter; he still has that cute baby face all these years later. I picture us walking hand in hand when we're in our eighties and people thinking I caught myself a younger man.

So go ahead and leave a comment and guess how old my wonderful husband is today. And if you wanna give him a birthday present, visit his blog and leave him a comment, too. I'm sure that would make his big day even better!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Define "gift"...

Since it is now the gift-giving season, I thought I would share with you a gift I recently received in the mail. Remember when you were a teenager and all of the mail came for your parents? Remember how exciting it was to get a real, honest-to-God letter addressed to you? Or better yet, a surprise package with your name on it in the midst of all those credit card statements and junk mail for your dad? That's how I felt when I found this adorable addition to my own bill-filled mailbox. It did not have a company name on the return label -- simply an address. But it came in such a cute floral and polka-dotted box that I felt sort of silly because I was so anxious to see what was inside.

I really should have known better. But after all, I am an optimist. I try not to be cynical. I should have noticed that symbolically colored dot in the exclamation point. But I didn't. I just curiously opened the package, awaiting my surprise and the fitting gift just for me.

And what a cute play on words! I'm always up for a good pun. Fit to be tried! Hey, that's punny, right? So, what is this surprise that I can try? New shampoo? Body lotion? Cute miracle trouser socks that will make my feet hurt less at the end of each day? I opened the package with anticipation. are kidding, right?!?!? THIS is what passes as a "gift" these days? I mean, I know that times are tough, but seriously? Hmmph. Well, I guess I won't be re-gifting this one. All I know is it truly is better to give than to receive.

And just in case you are feeling like you just can't find that perfect present for someone, you will know that -- unless you give the one pictured above -- your gift-giving efforts are bound to be more appreciated than this "gift" was.