Monday, November 28, 2011


Design from Jaborandi Grove


I've posted about my love of Thanksgiving before. This year was wonderful, too, and I'm continually amazed at the blessings in our lives.  Unfortunately, my SIL's BFF's mom passed away suddenly this week. My SIL had not planned to come home for the holiday until she found out the funeral was yesterday. Wednesday night, S went with my FIL to pick up Auntie E from the airport. I think E was glad as her presence lightened the mood. They ended up having a conversation about what DH wears to bed. (Not sure how that subject came up. Not sure I want to know.) Anyway, here's the general idea:

S: Daddy sleeps nakeypants.
Auntie E: What do you mean? Does he where a shirt?
S: No.
Auntie E: Does he wear shorts?
S: No, just panties.

DH about died, and I cracked up when we heard about it. Can't blame S for not knowing that shorts are boxers or briefs, but clearly we need to have a conversation that explains the nuances of underwear terms.


I always enjoy going to DH's family's Thanksgiving. It's his dad's side of the family, and about 30 of the 50 or so relatives were able to be there. Now that the cousins are having kids, there are little ones around to play with. S didn't want to leave when it was time to go because she was having too much fun. Love that!

The best part was when we said Grace before dinner. Everyone held hands in a huge circle that wound through the kitchen and dining room. I was holding Baby R so put her little hand in her teenage cousin's. DH's aunt began to say the blessing, and Baby R whispered "God is great, God is good, mumble mumble mumble food, Amen. God is great, God is good..." So sweet!

That night, Auntie E came over and chatted. We drank way too much wine and hung out with the neighbors for awhile by their fire pit. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I stumbled to bed around 2am. Oy...


In the morning, as expected, I was regretting my bedtime as well as the bottle and a half of vino I'd consumed. Small children have no ability to sleep in. Plus I needed to start baking since my family was coming over for Thanksgiving Round 2.

I realized I was missing an ingredient for the pumpkin pie, so I took the girls to the store for the fastest yet longest trip in my life. We walked in, I put them in the cart, and literally in front of me was the evaporated milk I needed. It was all I had come for, but decided to swing by the in-store Starbucks as I was in desperate need of some caffeine. While in line, the girls whined for apple juice which we had at home, and since we were leaving right after getting my coffee, I told them no.

And it began.

Huge tantrums by both of them. I finally got S calmed down, but then when it was time to get out of the cart, Baby R threw herself on the ground, kicking and screaming. I wasn't angry or embarrassed. I simply didn't have the energy to care.

I started walking toward the door and tossed a nonchalant, "Bye-bye!" her way. If it had been S, she would have come running. But Baby R didn't buy it. I stood by the automatic door, the heater blowing to push the cold air back outside, and looked at her for a minute. A cashier came over and asked if she was all right. I said, "She's fine. She's two. She's having a tantrum." I wanted to let her work it out, but I knew the employees didn't need to deal with it, so I snatched Baby R up and headed out.

For those of you who've never tried it, I don't recommend walking through a parking lot holding a hot cup of coffee, a grocery bag, a purse, the hand of your 4YO and a thrashing toddler. I'm just thankful none of the coffee spilled on the girls.

Thank goodness the Elf on the Shelf is back; S didn't remember her at first, but now that we've re-read the book and reiterated the correlation between good behavior and Santa bringing presents, she's back on board. Hopefully we can avoid a repeat of Friday morning.


Nothing too exciting. My sister and BIL had spent the night with us Friday, so we had breakfast and then left for STL. It would have been nice if they could have stayed longer, but they had had a rough week. Their cat was hit by a car, my sis had a terrible week at work in NYC and was stuck on the runway of her return flight for a couple of hours, and she had to go back to NYC today. I don't blame them for wanting to get home and relax for a little bit.

DH and I finished cleaning up the house. I went in to my PT job for a couple of hours to make up being gone for the holiday. I did a little bit of work for Jaborandi Grove as it was the biggest shopping weekend of the year with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday as well as Cyber Monday coming up. It was hard to coordinate stuff for Etsy with the family stuff, but I'm still a small enough shop that it didn't matter much.


Today we missed church as we had brunch with my in-laws for one last hurrah with Auntie E before she heads back to Cali tomorrow. We also drew names for Christmas presents. Tonight we put up the Christmas tree and some of the decorations. We all napped this afternoon so we were a bit late getting around to it. We'll have to finish up tomorrow.

It's fun to watch S start to remember things and see Baby R really take it in now that she's bigger. Though S is getting tricky with her questions about Santa already. Not sure how well I will do answering them.

While I did the dishes after supper, S was "talking" to Auntie E on the phone. She said she was sorry we hadn't invited her over to eat, but it was too late now. She chatted a few more minutes and then told me after she hung up that C (Auntie E's boyfriend) didn't want her to come back to Cali tomorrow, so she was going to stay with us tomorrow night and go back Tuesday. So funny!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sleigh? Santa Rides in a Minivan

Saturday DH took the girls to have breakfast at Chick-Fil-A with Santa. S was super excited. She wanted to know if she could see his sleigh. I had to be quick on my feet.

"Well, honey, it's probably too big to park at Chick-Fil-A. Their parking lot is pretty small."

"Oh," she said, disappointed. "How will he get there?"

"Maybe he'll park somewhere nearby and walk over?"

"Yeah, or someone can give him a ride."

"Sure," I said, thinking I'd dodged that bullet.

But then her face lit up. "He could park here and ride with us!"

"Well, honey, that is so sweet, but he probably already has a ride for today. But you could ask him when you see him if we can give him a ride next year."


Please let that elephantine memory of hers fail on this so next year we don't have to invent a reason why he didn't accept our invitation...

This is linked to a monthly meme with Not Just Another Jen. November's word of the month is "Give". Though not exactly used in the sense I think she was looking for, it does appear here, and it's a cute story. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pinterest Project #1

This title is a bit of a misnomer as I talked about doing some Pinterest-inspired projects on my Etsy blog, Jaborandi Grove. But this is the first one I've done here.

Baby R wanted a Winnie-the-Pooh birthday party, and when I saw this pin for Tigger Tails, I thought they would be a cute, feasible (ie, I could actually do it) alternative to decorating a cake (which is not my forte).

If you actually click on the link in the pin, it takes you to a site that talks about the best food at Disney, and it turns out these are caramel-coated large marshmallows dipped in orange-colored chocolate. I decided to make mini-cupcakes, line them up and frost them together. I think they turned out pretty cute!

I've decided that I've now completed enough pins to create a new board called "I Did It." It's pretty fun to see it grow...

This post is linked to several places: 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Baby R

My beautiful girl. You are so amazing. You insist on keeping up with big sister, of course, like most younger siblings. But unlike most babies of the family, you don't let her talk for you. You talk more than she does at times. I think to show you can do just as much.

You like to go for the reaction - pretending to be a kitty cat, pretending to be asleep when it's time for me to get you out of the car, screeching an earsplitting cry when you are unhappy, hiding under Blankie Boo for as long as it takes for someone to ask where you are. Most of the time it makes me laugh. Reminds me of your Aunt J.

And you are so very sweet. You say Grace at every meal - often times more than once. You say, "Sorry, Sissy," when S is the one who is supposed to be apologizing. You said your baby had a wet diaper and started to take yours off to use for her. You offer to help pick up your toys. (I'm sure that won't last, but I'm enjoying it for now!) As a general rule, you are very agreeable. You don't even mind going to bed (though lately, the stalling has kicked into high gear).

There are definitely Terrible Two moments when you throw a tantrum for an inexplicable reason and can't be talked into calming down. No matter what we say, you answer negatively: Do you want to stay? No! Do you want to go? No! The fit you threw outside on Halloween that the neighbors several doors down heard - inside - was a doozie. But it turned out you were getting sick. And you still managed to last through the whole trick-or-treating excursion, saying "Trick-or-Treat!" and "Thank you!" at every door, and carrying your green, monster bucket which was so heavy it was dragging by the end of the night. I offered to carry it for you several times, but your teeny voice piped up, "No, I got it, Mama!'

Sometimes I'm better at being patient with you because I've been there before. Some days I am less patient because I'm being pulled by your sister, too. It's difficult to treat you both equally, but I'm trying. I love you both so very much. I'm enjoying having a crazy schedule right now, because I get Tuesday and Thursday mornings to spend one-on-one time with you. It's been such a rare opportunity until now, and often we spend it running errands, but it's fun to listen to you sing along with Veggie Tales and Laurie Berkner.

I love you, my sweetheart. I wish you happiness and joy in the coming year. Happy birthday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baby Bullets: 4th Edition

Update on Baby R.

  • Counting some jelly beans: 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 
  • She was "reading" her Pooh & Eeyore book and said, "Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday" followed by some more counting, "2, 3, 7, 9"
  • That was about a month ago. Now she can count to five pretty consistently.
  • She also sings her alphabet, though she sometimes misses T, U, V.
  • She knows her colors.
  • And my favorite? She can put on her Dora Velcro shoes all by herself.
  • Baby R's new favorite is crawling around and meowing like a cat, and then saying, "Pet me! Pet me!" The funniest part is that she usually starts panting like a dog at some point during her cat act.

Update on S.

  • When DH or I leave the house, she says, "Be careful out there!" I feel like I'm leaving the precinct with the Captain ending roll call on "Hill Street Blues."
  • Now when I go to my part-time job, she says, "Don't get dirty! Don't get stinky! Have a great day!" I think it came from when I was playing volleyball this summer and she'd say, "Don't get any sand on you!"
  • She knows our home phone number. Yay!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stephen King's "On Writing"

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King ( Summary & Study Guide)On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King by BookRags

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was amazing! I have never read anything by Stephen King because I don't like scary/sci fi stories. But I do love these movies based on his work: Stand by Me, Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Stand and even Misery. After having read this one, I'm going to go back and read these stories. And maybe branch out into some of the scarier ones.

The first half of the book is memoir. It gives a brief glimpse into the events in his life that affected his writing. The next third is his advice about how to be a better writer. He's frank, informative, entertaining - and incredibly helpful. I checked this book out from the library for a book club, but will be purchasing it to reference.

The last bit was an updated biography - it was published around 2000 and he had been hit by a car while in the middle of writing it. At the end he included an update on how he was.

I had never heard of this until my Write On Edge group suggested it and I'm so glad!

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