We made it!

TGIF!!!!!!!!!!! (exclamation marks x infinity!) This has been a loooooong week!

My goal this weekend is to start (and finish!) my Christmas shopping. There’s nothing like a looming deadline to suck all of the joy out of a joyous holiday.

Tom and I have been obsessed with American Horror Story Coven on Netflix. We stay up way too late watching it. Who is the Supreme??? Don’t tell me if you already know! I love Kathy Bates!!! and Stevie Nicks!!!

Yesterday, Littlest had an event at school and had to wear a tie. There’s just something about little boys in ties. What is it with my kids and bed head? I swear that he went to school with his shirt tucked in and his hair combed.

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Positive things today:
It’s Jeans Day.
I finally got through a gajillion (slight exaggeration, but not by much) emails.
I love my family.
Tom got exciting news at work.
I was very productive.

Life is good.

Lone Wolf

Hi Blog.

Here we are again at the start of another week. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve struggled with Sunday nights. They always seem to have a sort of melancholy to them, something about an old week ending and a new one beginning.

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Lately, Sunday evenings just feel overwhelming in that brace yourself, here we go again kind of way. I usually don’t sleep so well on Sundays as my lists of to-dos and can’t-forgets and i-don’t-wannas swirl through my head. Sunday nights are tough.

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On a different note, I owe you a cross stitch update.

This is coming along.

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It’s definitely a bigger project than I anticipated, but super enjoyable. I’ve been working on the border and haven’t had to use the chart at all, because it is so mindlessly symmetrical. It’s great not having to bother with changing colors and just stitch away. The variegated threads keep it from looking too bland.

I had a lot of stitch time this weekend while waiting for the boys at their various activities. There was a good solid 45 minutes at Taekwondo and a whole 1 1/2 hours at tennis so yay for that! There’s a Mom at tennis who spends the entire time knitting while I sit a few feet away cross stitching. We don’t talk to each other, but one of these days I may work up the nerve to ask her about her knitting. Friend making is not one of my strong suits.

I was driving alone with Biggest this weekend. It was quiet in the car, because we are both quiet people. I broke the silence to  ask him if he sometimes prefers to be alone instead of around people, and he said, “almost always.” I often encourage him to be around people because I worry that he’s lonely, but his comment made me realize that maybe he’s just happy being alone. I’m not sure why it took me so long to come to this realization. Guess I’m kinda dense. I suppose it’s hard to see yourself in your child.

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Friday?

Imagine my surprise this morning when I realized that it’s FRIDAY today and not Thursday! How did we lose a whole day?

I am really itching to work on some cross stitching or other creative endeavor. I haven’t picked up my project even once this week (except to move it from one pile to another). It will have to be on the high priority list for this weekend.

Good things today:

My office is clean.

It’s Friday! (That one is really obvious.)

I saw 2 fat cardinals out the kitchen window.

And THIS! Also captioned as “How I would dress my cat if I had one.”

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Maybe it’s good that I don’t have a cat.

Enjoy the weekend!

Midweek Ramblings

Le sigh. Long week.

Today is an exciting day because we are getting cable TV installed! We have been surviving on just Netflix streaming for years, so this will be new and different. I foresee my evening productivity levels plummeting drastically.

Life lately has been draining. I just figured out my vacation days for the rest of the year and am looking forward to some time off at Christmas. I know we just had Thanksgiving break, so I have no business complaining, but there you have it.

Good things today:

Discovering that there is a cappuccino machine in our work cafeteria (How did I not know this all of this time?)

Late night talks with Tom (which may be why I need the cappuccinos in the first place)

New makeup (Thank you MAC counter girl for helping me finally find that elusive not too red/not too pink,/not too blah/not too bright lipstick shade.)

Lying in bed, cuddling a sick boy (The sick boy part is bad. The cuddling part is good.)

That great Christmas tree smell (which reminds me that we haven’t watered it since we got it. Blergh!)

Food, shelter, health, love (so much to appreciate!)

Only two more days until the weekend! (Yay!)

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Tis the Season.

6 days off from work = really hard to get back into the swing of things this week.

We had a our first snow fall the day before Thanksgiving. The boys and I were snug at home so they bundled up and went outside for an adventure. All of their adventures these days seem to involve Nerf guns.

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Littlest and his friend built a snowman. It was pretty cute until they kicked it over immediately after this shot was taken.

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I did a lot of sewing while I was home, and my little buddy was a great help.

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I’m kinda a one trick pony when it comes to sewing, so guess what I made… more pajamas pants!

Some really BIG ones…

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And some really tiny ones…

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Because doesn’t every Elf on the Shelf need pajama pants?

Speaking of elves, we had quite a fright on Thanksgiving Eve when we couldn’t find Timmy (our elf who was expected to arrive on Thanksgiving) anywhere! Yipes! Tom made a mad dash to Target to look for a suitable replacement. He found several different elves but none that looked like our Timmy. He brought one home, thinking that the boys wouldn’t notice a switcheroo, but I wasn’t so convinced.

Well, thank God for Christmas miracles because who should appear stuffed in the very back corner of my closet but TIMMY himself! What a close call!

And for the record, here is ORIGINAL Timmy next to IMPOSTER Timmy. See the difference? Why do manufacturers insist on causing trouble for parents of missing elves? As if we don’t have enough problems already.

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The excitement doesn’t end there! We got our tree! Wheeee! And decorated it!

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My favorite ornaments are always the homemade ones.

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Apparently inspired by the Christmas spirit, this virtuoso put on a show for us. He only knows Jingle Bells and the Dreidel Song so it was a short concert.

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Which turned into a jam session.

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Then I learned how to make lattes at home! This was monumental.

Here is my latte shown next to a char sui bao which is, in my opinion, the perfect food.

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Littlest was uncharacteristically quiet one day, and then we figured out why.

A Christmas list as tall as he is!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Did I forget something?

Today is a pretty good day. Why? Because it’s the last day of work before Thanksgiving vacation.

Tomorrow I have a gynecologist appointment and it doesn’t even bother me, because… vacation!

I am starting to get in a Christmas-y mood. We refuse to get a tree before Thanksgiving, but this weekend I did drag out an animatronic Santa that Tom and I found in a house that we bought. Biggest thinks that he’s creepy but Littlest thinks that he’s cool. I think that he’s a little bit of both.

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It was really cold but really sunny so we spent a lot of time outside. The boys and their friends discovered how fun it is to jump on a trampoline full of leaves.

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It was all fun and games until Sammy went missing. We walked all over looking for him. You would think that a tiny black dog in a red sweater would be hard to miss, but no one had seen him. The positive was that we met two new neighbors. The negative was that we were really upset and worried. It turned out OK because we eventually found him. Can you guess where?

INSIDE THE HOUSE! Under a blanket by the heater vent! Sammy!!!

I guess I don’t blame him though. Inside was pretty cozy.

We lit our first fires of the season and I made a batch of these Homemade Shower Soothers. They smelled really good. I put extra Rosemary in ours because Rosemary is supposed to be good for memory and mental clarity and some people in our house are very forgetful. I’ll let you know if they work.

Thumbs Up.

I still have a major case of the anxieties, so I’m going to list a few things that make me feel happy…

a clean kitchen,
finally learning how to use a flat iron,
listening to Tom and Littlest read Dragonbreath together,
Pad Thai and Shrimp Toast,
hilarious friends,
cleaning all the old receipts out of my wallet,
thrift store browsing when no one is rushing me (and finding treasures),
fleece leggings (if you haven’t tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing!),
old Fleetwood Mac CDs,
and my blog (thanks for coming around here and reading my nonsense).

I’m glad that next week is Thanksgiving. Tom’s Mom does the cooking so all we have to do is show up and eat. If I were texting you, I would end that sentence with the giant “thumbs up” emoticon. How did we ever convey emotions before emoticons? That’s a mystery.

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On being a Mom.

This week has been a challenge. The work BS, parenting obligations, and internal angst are taking their toll. I try really hard to stay positive, but sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me.

I can usually manage to tune out the work stuff once I leave the office, but the parenting stuff… MAN! I feel like I worry constantly about the boys… Are they happy? Are they learning what they need to in school? Am I over scheduling them? Am I giving them enough encouragement? Am I too negative? Do they have enough friends? Are they warm enough today? Are they getting teased? Are they teasing other kids? Why did that jerk kid call my kid fat? The worries go on and on. It’s overwhelming. Parenting is really hard.

Besides walking around in a constant state of high alert angst, we have had some highlights so far this week.

I took off work on Monday to go on Biggest’s class field trip to see the Philadelphia Orchestra. As a working mom, I don’t get to go on a lot of these, so it was a real treat. We had a great day together and we both LOVED the orchestra. It’s funny because I have never been a music person, but lately there has been so much “music” around the house, that I’ve really started to enjoy it. I think that we might have to plan a family trip to see the Orchestra again.

Me and my boy at the concert

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We had great seats.

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Speaking of culture (not), last weekend, Tom and I went to see Artie Lange with two other couples. We had dinner first which was a lot of fun, but the show… ick. We didn’t enjoy it at all. I guess we’re not really his target audience.

Littlest has been falling behind on his reading lately, so we’ve been encouraging a lot more book time. Everyone knows that reading is more fun when you do it in a fort with your dog.

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Here’s a bigger boy reading with his dogs. Some things never change. (And I’m glad!)

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I am a disco guy.

I have had a really frustrating day.

First, I went to the hospital to get an ultrasound of a lump in my axilla (ARMPIT!). Hopefully it is nothing, but a harmless lump.

Then, I had beaucoup drama about Cub Scouts. Seriously… Cub Scouts. It is very frustrating to put so much time towards something and then have people pissed off at you. I am slowly learning that you can’t please everyone, but it’s a very hard lesson for me, because I am a total people pleaser.
Deeeeep breath.

What I really need to do is spend some time with my guys… in my house… relaxing. Just thinking about that makes me feel better. Ommmm… happy place.

Other things that make me feel better are:

I went to the gym twice this week so far. Baby steps.

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I worked on this project from Embroidery Club.

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I started Farmer Boy, which is actually one of my fave Little House books. Love that Almanzo!

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Littlest’s Turkey in Disguise project totally cracks me up.

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I am not a turkey. I am a disco guy. My body is a disco ball and hunters can’t see me. I have gold shoes and they are uncomfortable. I am wearing sunglasses so that you do not know who I am. 

I have a pair of gold shoes and they are uncomfortable too. Smart Turkey!

RIP Fin

Hi Blog! Today is 11/11! I love those crazy number days.

Our weekend was great. We skipped out on our plans Friday and STAYED HOME! and ATE LEFTOVERS! and PLAYED THE GAME OF LIFE! It was fun.

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Biggest has gotten really good and really enthusiastic with his violin. He said that he plans to practice 1 hour and 20 minutes every day, except when he is “too busy” watching TV. Check out that crazy bed head.

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The only problem that we’re having is that Coal is TERRIFIED of the screeching violin. Whenever it comes out, we find a shaky dog underfoot.

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On Saturday night we went to a Punkin Chunkin’, basically a big party on a farm with a bonfire… and a giant catapult for shooting flaming pumpkins. It sounds a lot more redneck than it actually is. Well, maybe not.

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Sunday was a busy day. We had friends over,

played tennis,

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stitched during tennis,

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and buried our fish.

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He had a short but happy life. Goodbye Fin. May he rest in peace.

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This lone cool rider rode off in dramatic tribute.

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Then we ate sushi and fried rice (my current obsession).

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And then it was Monday.