Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jamies Favorite Toys

Jamie will be four in a week! Can you believe it?! She has very distinct likes and dislikes and here is a list of some of her favorite toys.

New Fondness for Stuffed animals - Currently a green TY bunny, a Pink Princess Bear, a TY kittie she got off my desk on Black Friday and of course the loveys - Waddy, Car Waddie, School Waddy, Toddy, Yaddy, and Angel Waddy. (Yes she has Five Lovey back ups - all of them little bear heads on 10" square blankies; but Waddy is the preferred comfort object).

Necklace - I know this isn't really a toy but this girl just loves her necklaces, she has a silver heart with a pink 'jewel' and a 'J' necklace. She had a couple of rings but they were too big and slipped off to get lost.

Puzzles- She is good at these and about to move up to the 70 pieces from the 24 and 48 piece puzzles. (Oh lord more pieces to lose!)

Barbie Dolls- she got a Princess Barbie at Christmas, her first brand new one which joins about 8 she already had.

Vtech motion - this is new from Christmas. we got her 4 additional games. Some are a bit over her head yet, so hopefully this game will be good for a few years.

Coloring - she has coloring books and crayons, and colored pencils. She also has color magic, those pens that only work in the books (which can get expensive!); and a color Explosion which is a light board with pictures to trace with magic markers; and some white board coloring sheets with white board markers. (I think they stopped making these - you can use them over and over, so it's not good for company profits!) Also a white board Princess table she can draw on she got for Christmas. I am so glad my girl colors! I enjoy doing this with her.

Books - she truly likes her books...and she has plenty. we read together every day and she calls out for her favorites. We also always have at least a dozen from the library. Faves include Fancy Nancy, John Lithgow, Broommates (and others by this very talented author I can't recall the name of), and just recently Barbie books.

Clothes. I know this isn't toys but she favors skirts and boots right now. As well as Princess and Tinker bell embellishments on everything from Hoodies down to her panties.

DVD's Again, not toys, but important to her nevertheless. Current faves include: Barbie's Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Eloise - a little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel (thanks April!); oh and Calliou on On Demand.

Cutting - This is a new favorite passtime, Her teacher suggested she does this more often to hone her Fine Motor skills. So she now has access to a bag of catalogs/magazines and blunt nose scissors she can use to cut with. She did cut one thing she wasn't supposed to once, (One of the cards to the game Candyland) but seems to understand that she stays with the stuff in the bag.

Games- This is a new one. She started playing 'Hi Ho Cherry O' about 2 mos ago, and got Candyland and Chutes and Ladders for Christmas (thanks Cinda!). I hope to morph her to Eurostyle strategy games soon. (may have to buy Cataan for kids.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

7.5 hours into the journey

Ok we are so done with being in the car. I am tired of hearing “we wish you a Merry Christmas” and “I want to go to a restaurant!” The first from a Christmas DVD we are watching for the 3rd time; the former from my daughter who is miserable and wants out of the car. So do I.

This journey should be 9 hours but we will not be making that mark as we are in stop and go traffic on I95 southbound through South Carolina. Why in the world is I95 only 2 lanes in each direction!?%$U#_$()#

Anyway as I type this we are leaving South Carolina! Maybe Georgia has an extra lane to help open up this jam. Why the heck is their a traffic jam on the Wednesday after Christmas anyway? I could see the Sunday after, but the Wednesday?

Or is everyone in the North making their way down to the warmer Florida climes? We left at 10:30 am and it was 33 degrees. It is now 6pm and its up to 58 Degrees…

Aahh the minitue of our travel details…

Back to “I want to go to a restaurant….I want Waddie…I can’t hear my movie…”

And we are back in the land of three lanes!! Traffic has opened up at last. Thank you Georgia! South Carolina get with the program!!

Things that bug me about my daughter:

She pulls her necklace up on top of her nose straining the chain. I have warned her enough, it is breaks she will have to pay the natural consequences as I will not be fixing or replacing it any time soon. (I started this list as she was doing this, and giving me a sidelong glance to see if I would try to stop her).

Her constant whining at times.

She is as messy as her father and I and reluctant to do the work to put things back in order.

An emergent wise guy ‘tude’. I hope it’s just a phase and we are able to nip it in the bud, but I fear she has a strong personality like her parents and I wince when I hear myself yelling at her. Durnit.

Things I love about my daughter:
Her delight in all things Christmas.
Her love of music and songs.
Her love of the written word.
Her sparkling eyes and happy nature. (most of the time!)
Her social nature – she has so many friends all ready and they are so important to her!
Her exhuberant greetings. (She runs to you and says “MOMMMMMYYYY!!!” at the top of her lungs…or “Grandma’ Or “Daddy”…you get the picture).

Well it’s now after 9pm and we are still on the road. Mike went ahead and took a 20 mile detour on a state highway that runs along this interstate and we were actually moving…when the highway crossed back over the Interstate we could see things were moving again so we reented I95 and are sailing along finally. This has been the longest journey btn N.Carolina and Florida I can ever remember. Hope we are home by ten. (crap that’s 11.5 hours!!) I’m telling you I don’t like to travel at all during the holidays!!

What is going on? Is everyone and their mother on the road this evening?!

North Carolina Post Christmas

Christmas was wonderful, we are just now leaving Mike's brother in laws house near Roxboro North Carolina. As I don't have Wifi in the car (yet) I am typing this up to post later. Jamie is entranced with a new Eloise video and the sun is shining though it is cold as ice here.

We had a very nice visit with Jamie's uncle and grandma and also saw Mikes' aunt and uncle. I still wish there was more of a connection to her other kin when we go to visit to North Carolina as this is Mikes' childhood home. All of his cousins and aunts and uncles live there still, but we rarely see them. I didn't push for a visit to his fathers side of the family this time. I wish Mike felt it was as important as I do...but I guess he doesn't. We spend the entire visit with his mom and brother and that's what is important to him. Jamie was showered with love and presents (one of them a near life sized bowling alley- oh my where in the world will we set that up!?) and Mike and his brother had a riot with the Wii. They especially liked the Madden Football and the Golf that came with the console. I am so glad Mike likes the Madden as it was $50 just for that game alone!

All of the games I bought at the company auction were a bust, except for Excite Bots racing game. One of the games didn't even work - the Word Mah Jong that I thought would be fun to play with my mom and girlfriends; so that was disapointing. The other games - 6 Flags, some sort of zoo game, Cheerleading, and another I can't remember got the worst reviews online; but Jamie may enjoy...We will see. At least that auction was for a good cause, United Way. Companies send games, movies and books to be reviewed by the newspaper I work at, and every year we have an auction to sell them and the proceeds go to charity. I paid about $60 for 6 Wii games and thought I had a great deal, but turns out, not so much.

Meanwhile I would like to get the Wii Fit, one of the Mario brothers games, Zelda and maybe this game that is only on the Wii channel called Blob. (that got some fabulous reviews online). Did you know the Wii comes with internet access; a nifty photo viewing channel and a channel with downloadable Nintendo games?

So the Wii ends up being a Money pit as we already bought the extra controllers and numchuk and two wheels...We are into it for well over $300 already and have at least $200 earmarked to buy more for.

But it's a blast so it's worth it.

We will be home in time to get things in order around the house and get ready for going back to work on Monday. I guess I am ready. I feel much more relaxed despite my back up person Facebooking me with questions/problems with my accounts on Monday and Tuesday. I am sure it was my fault he didn't have all the answers, but that is the way it territory is complicated and alot needs to be done every week. I just had to prepare as best as possible and let go and go...I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about work so let me change the subject now!

As I was saying we had a nice restful visit. My mother-in-law had prepared a HUGE dinner for Christmas (which we weren't there for) but we got to eat the left overs the next 3 days. I overpacked, I brought the stuff to make soup or chili with, leftover Veggie Beef soup from Christmas and 5 Bean salad, so our cooler is almost as paced as it was when we arrived. So although I did alot of dishes while we were there, I didn't have to prepare any food and basically relaxed on Facebook. :-)

Looking forward to getting home, unpacked and seeing my kitties. Will probably do the same thing we always do on New Years Eve - stay home. We are such homebodies!

What are you doing for New Years Eve?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Great untraditional Christmas

We are hanging out playing the Wii while Jamie is napping. Last night was just a casual meal of soup and salads with good friends and my mom. We went to church and sang great Christmas carols while Jamie and Emmie alternatly spazzed out. (I got a great video of them tussling with each other during the 'Children Come up Time' at the beginning of the service...

Afterwards we came back to our neighborhood and joined a 'Haywagon' ride. This new neighbor who completely outdoes us all with his great light displays for both Christmas and Halloween; (and inspired alot of us to put up lights this year) had a rigged 'haywagon'. It was a four wheeler with a trailer with a Small lit Christmas tree and lights on it filled with haybales. He took us all out on a trip around the neighborhood on it to see the lights, then we went to the big display several miles away where over 100 homes had lights strung up in 75 foot trees...It was so crowded with cars snaking through there, it was like being on a slow moving train.

Then back home to sleep and get up and open presents...for almost 2 hours! Jamie was so much fun this year. At first she wanted to linger over each and every gift...then she was rushing from one to the next.

Good times.

Then just now during naptime (Love this kind of where to go nothing to do, no food to make (lots left from last night!) just rest, relax and laugh with my family. I am so lucky - anyway I was reading (catching up) on my favorite blogs. Yondalla over at Thoughts from a Foster Family recommended this very untraditional Christmas song. It is performed by Tim Minchin an Austrailian Songwriter/Pianist/Comedian who is a bit of an agnostic.

Go take a listen. - it just may move you as it moved us..let me know what you think.

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday too.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gift Cards? Guess I am a Grinch!

Ok I was on one of my favorite blogs just now and she mentioned that you are 'supposed' to get gift cards for each of your child's teachers/helpers. I never heard that before. Like I just commented on Lauri's blog
Leap of faith, I just never knew about this 'rule' before! Mike is a high school teacher, I didn't see any gift cards coming from his 100 plus kids! A couple of Christmas cards is what he got.

I got my child's teacher and teacher aid each a box of Chocolate Mint covered Cookie Bites in a tin. I feel that was sufficient, but maybe I am wrong.

As far as I am concerned really, Christmas is for kids, not adults. I just don't see the point of trading gift cards back and forth...or bath salts or knick knacks.

I give my mom and mother-in-law generous checks, because they are both on fixed incomes, and we did for a friend or two that is really strapped. Other than that we buy for Jamie and some of her little friends. And a bit for each other. This year we got 'the Wii Bundle' and some Wii games I got at a company Auction for about $5 each. Mike is getting me a charm (I think) of a little girl, and I may get him the Madden game for the Wii.

That's it. That means I don't run from store to store wondering what to get everyone, freaking out and shopping late at night in exhaustion. I really hate the malls and not too many folks would appreciate my thrift store finds. And yes, all of my friends know...let's just not buy for each other emkay?

My Christmas is much less stressful this way, and it's best for everyone for Mom not to get too stressed.

So am I a big Grinch? Doncha wish you could do it (not do it) too!?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Up all night

We went out to dinner this evening and when we got back we put Jamie down to sleep and I followed immediately after! In bed lights out and asleep at nine pm! So now I am wide awake at four am, and have been since two am.

I will pay the price tomorrow at work. Only this week and next and then I have the holidays to myself and my family. Funny thing is the holiday events we have planned around her school and dance classes all occur this week and next. Good thing I have a job where I can slip away now and then...Too bad I lost our smaller instant camera, it had a video function and I would really like to tape Jamies' performances in her two dance 'recitals' this week.

ONe is a true performance, the Saturday class she takes is doing a real routine, so cute. The littles (only 3 of them, all 3 yrs old) dancing to 'Rockin around the Christmas Tree' It needs work but it shoudl be cute. The other class that she does at school (which is more of a ballet focused class) is just inviting us parents in to see the progress the girls have made.

Am I crazy? I looked into a third class, this one offers a ballet/tap combo. I just really think Jamie would love tap. I think tap looks like a blast, wish I could join her!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Facebook ate my Post!

Ok I have to admit, since getting embroiled in Facebook and all of my new farms, cafe, fish tanks and wars I am running daily I just don't get to my blog as much anymore.

I am a huge gamer and have a bit of an addictive personality. Combine that with Facebook - not only a social networking site, but land of the games and it doesnt leave much time at night for other activities. It's also cutting into my all time favorite online game - a version of Settlers of Catan.

So I just need to go to FBanonymous or something...

On a more positive note, despite feeling a bit blue lately I feel a bit better this week for some reason. Maybe it's knowing I have TWO WHOLE Weeks off work!? or knowing that this Christmas is going to be amazing with Jamie...

Work seems to have maybe eased up a bit stress wise, this is always a slow time and I think my new boss is maybe getting more relaxed.

And I am at 10 lbs lost since September. It feels so good but I do need to keep on. I don't want to be this big anymore, I want to have the energy to go and do with my girl.