Friday, December 29, 2006

A new family favorite.

S: What would you like for supper, James?
J: Grease. And peas. Yup, grease and peas.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thank God for Target

For real! There is a certain joy in the air when I announce we're going to matter who I'm with. haha. (It seems like that's true, though.) So, our trip went well, if you can't tell from my buoyant tone. James stayed in the cart while I got most of our list items then I let him out to walk as long as he stayed close and came immediately when I called his name. He did really well, I was proud of him. It's not very relaxed with him free but letting him out after I had gotten what I needed helped...I knew I could pack us up whenever he misbehaved. So, anyways. There is something I didn't mention. He wore his helmet the whole time we were there. The whole morning, actually.
Here's a look:

Ruby's all set

So is James

On the way

"So this is what they're really for!"

"He's silly."

See, the helmet came in handy here.

(they recommend no standing in the carts)

Just chillin on the way to the mini

She remembers...

"I remember going through that with Mason."

"Mason always has a harder time napping in the winter because he doesn't get as much fresh air or exercise."

"I remember Mason also going through a phase when I could not find a consequence for him that worked..that was a terrible time, but eventually things began to matter to him."

What an encouraging email I got from Jolee today. It's always so good to hear that someone else knows right where you are and has some good advice, too. Thanks, Jolee. My mom also listened to me go on and on about my struggles yesterday. Thanks, Mom. :)

(I didn't post about it but James & I had our biggest battle ever (I think) yesterday afternoon.)

Yup, he's a boy.

As Patrick is preparing to leave this morning:

S: Drive careful, honey.

New Christmas Traditions

Here is James at the video store on Christmas evening. He was so excited to be out of the house - we all were! What a looooooong day. :)

Just wanted to say a quick good morning. Today we are going to Target and then to check out the new library in Verona. I guess they have a wonderful childrens' area. Rubles is still asleep. She was wound up last night and was up until 8:30...then slept until I woke her at 7 to eat! She went right back to sleep so I got to read my new devotion book for the 2nd morning in a row. Hooray for quiet morning time! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Never turn your back on your little sister

or your unopened presents!

Inspired by his new kitchen,

James announces, "I'm making lunch!"
"What are you making?" I ask.
With a flourish he replies, "Supper!"

Of course.

He got lucky...

and only broke his ankle playing volleyball while in Vietnam. Thank God. (Isn't he cute?) Love you, Dad.

eta: Oh, how I love old b&w photos. Send me more, more, more!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Highlights

We started out the weekend with a spaghetti dinner on Friday night. Ruby doesn't quite have the pinser grasp down but did her best. She always wants to eat what we're having so we oblige her when possible. Later on Patrick asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year. I was telling my Dad the next day and he joked about him being a last minute shopper. Uh-uh! That was early for Patrick. :)

On Saturday morning I went to the bookstore for a few hours and it was really relaxing. The place was packed but noone was in the cafe so there was no line for coffee and lots of comfy chairs to choose from. Patrick went out that afternoon to finish (okay, let's be honest, start & finish) his shopping. After we put the kids to bed we watched Akeelah & the Bee (very good in the heartwarming way that you would expect), drank some Very Merry & wrapped presents. Patrick had pretended that he didn't get a movie when he had gotten home that afternoon so it was a nice surprise that he actually had - and one that I had mentioned. (awwwwww)

We started out Christmas Eve morning with a family picture. (note to self: practice with timer)
After that I headed to church in the next town over (glaze over parental spat here...just imagine me yelling at Patrick to GET OFF THE COMPUTER SO I CAN GET DIRECTIONS FOR CHURCH while James watches, filing away that church is stressful! and frustrating!) and became the focus of the pastors' attentions that morning. It was a very small (less than 50 people in a smaller room) church and I was an obvious newcomer. He zeroed in on me (especially during the call to be saved) and I was almost sorry I couldn't fulfill his quota that day. :) It was a nice service, I was so glad to go, but I don't think I'll go back. (Tune in for more church hunting stories, I'm sure.) On the way home I called Patrick and all was forgiven. It was a gorgeous day so we packed up the kids and hit the park. James put up a stink about wearing his jacket but gave in when I let him take a couple pictures. I think he has real talent.

After the park we dropped some gifts off for our friends and headed to Cub for a ham. Ruby was asleep so James and I went in's amazing how easy it is to take just him. Anyways, we joined the throngs of people stocking up because the stores were about to be closed for ONE WHOLE DAY. My gosh, what if we're stuck at home with no jelly?!?! $65.00 later we headed out to the mini and went home. At home the kids had a nap and Patrick and I wrapped our gifts for eachother. When they got up they had a snack and waited patiently for the gift opening.

We said a short prayer and reminded James why we were celebrating. (ha! nice try, parents.) Ruby was barely hanging on but managed to play with her new peek-a-balls for a little while.
James opened his gifts at a nice pace, passing some to Patrick and I when he could. He actually paused and looked at things for at least 30 seconds, which is 30 seconds more than we thought he would. We opened the gifts from family & friends and a few from eachother this night. James didn't get many toys so there wasn't a whole lot of screaming and being thrilled, but there was some. And it was really fun.
(note to self: do whatever it takes (buy more toys, within reason) to get more screaming and being thrilled...we loved that.)

While I was putting Ruby to bed the boys set up James' new Leapfrog TV game system. We then proceeded to read all of his new books, play with his K'nex from Natalie and watch him spiral out of control. Haha, not really, but it did get to be too much for him. We got the milk and cookies ready for Santa (I only want just one, mom)

and he went off to bed with a few cars and played quietly until around 10. I went to bed shortly after and my favorite little elf cleaned the whole house while I slept! Patrick brought Ruby in at around 1:00am because she was up and gassy so I laid with her and she nursed on and off for an hour. After I put her down I went down to find the house spotless and Patrick working on James' kitchen assembly. He gave me his special smile and asked why I hadn't gotten a gift with a few more thousand pieces. hahahaha. Out of guilt, I helped him turn a few screws and we both finally got to bed at around 3:30.
*This post has taken wayyyyyy too long. I will continue with Christmas day highlights later on, hopefully blogger will be faster. I'm sure it's slow because everyone is trying to do the same thing I am. :) xoxo

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Month of Meals

I am a few meals short of a month. (hahaha, isn't that obvious?) I have about 23 dishes that are easy to make, safe for James (no dairy, egg, or peanuts), and we like. I'd like to have a full 28-30. Do you have any to share? This is what I've got so far, with links when I can.

  • Beef : Beef Stroganoff
  • Ground Beef : Tacos, Sloppy Joes, Meatloaf, Hamburgers, Hamburger with Rice & Veggies
  • Chicken: Chicken Pot Pie, Zataran's Black Beans & Rice w/Chicken added, Chicken Tostadas
  • Turkey : Turkey Breast, Turkey Wild Rice Salad
  • Pork : Pork Tenderloin, Pork Chops, Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • Soups : Black Bean, Chicken Noodle, 5 Hour Beef Stew
  • Italian : Meatball Subs, Spaghetti w/Italian Sausage, Individual Pizzas
  • Fish : Salmon
  • Misc : Brats, Deli Meat Sandwiches, Pancakes & Bacon

I'm obviously lacking in the fish department. There is a baked cod that I want to try but haven't yet. I would also love some more vegetarian options. Kate just reminded me about Black Bean burgers (frozen) that I will probably get. They are very yummy, good for you, and easy.

Any other suggestions? (please?)

I'm feeling a little fragile today.

And have been for a while! What is up with that?? I think I need to make a few changes in my life (something more for ME, aside from being a mom, and a sitter to have more time with my favorite Patrick) but I also think my hormones must be going crazy or something. And, it's Christmas! And, I just love everyone! I am so blessed by all my friends and family. I got pictures of Cherie's daughter, Jayla, and Janelle's kids, Lily & David, (still waiting, Jolee) (haha)and they just got me all choked up. I can hardly believe that here we are, 15 years later, and we're all moms. I want to scan in some pics from one of our first Christmas' together. Remember our apartment? I think I got Cherie the new Shanice cassette. hahaha.

And then there's my family. Oh jeez, don't get me started. Backyardigans is only on for another 10 minutes.

Look at us, so young and innocent...

Well, except for Jolee, because she's knocked up. HAHAHAHA! (kidding, of course) I just found this from October of 2002. She is pregnant with Mason, her first son. I can't believe that little buddy is in her tummy!

Jolee, her husband Craig, and Mason just got back from a few days in a cabin up North. It sounds like they had a wonderful time and I'm so glad.
Merry Christmas, Jolee-Boy! xoxoxo

Run, Dad, Run

I've always liked these shots of my dad running. I took them in December of 2000 with my first digital camera that he had given me. Look what he started! ;)

I'm dreaming of a white


So, last night I had this dream that James got kidnapped. Patrick and I were sitting in a gas station parking lot with him and he ran off around this little building in the lot. Patrick said to let him go, he was fine but cars were coming around the far side to go into a car wash. A minute goes by and James never came around the other side. We waited another minute, me getting very nervous, and finally got up to go get him. Of course, he wasn't there. We immediately (finally) started checking the cars in the 3 stalls. The first car had a family in it. The woman looked nervous, the kids in the back scared, and the greasy dad in the front was on a cel phone and had bills all over (like financial bills - money trouble - get it?) (I was setting up the motive, see.) I asked if they had seen a little boy. The man just shook his head no, cigarette burning in the corner of his mouth. (all bad guys smoke) Something was wrong here, I just knew it! That pile of jackets on the floor looked suspicious. I yelled James' name and reached my arm through the window (now I'm strech Armstrong) and yanked the jackets! There was my boy! Safe at last.


Now he's up. More later. xo, skg

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A nice quiet dinner

A new day...

thank God for new days, you know? Even new moments.

I met Kate last night for a beer and then the bookstore. I had so much fun! We talked about everything and I felt much happier on my way home. Thanks, Kate.

We met Kate & Natalie this morning at Madtown Twisters and that was fun, too. It is raining buckets here but we really needed to get out of the house. As we were getting ready to go James ran out the first doors and into the foyer. I was buckling Ruby in and had just told him to stay by me. I got SO MAD at him and dragged him over to this stair while he was yelling and acting like an animal. I raised my voice as well. I felt embarrassed about doing that in front of people but every mom there (and I'm glad there were only a couple at that point) has had to have experienced that before. James & I need to practice him responding to my call. It's such a new level of anger when he doesn't listen and I have Ruby, too. I can't just go trotting after him. In this case, he was one door away from the parking lot. Not cool. I think I need to be more specific with him. Not just "stay by mom" but "STAY RIGHT HERE." With severe consequences if he doesn't listen. Two nights ago I saw a little girl almost get hit in the Whole Foods parking lot. Her dad screaming her name seemed to make the whole parking lot fall silent. Thank God she was okay. That stuff can happen so fast, it's scary. BUT, my main point is (finally) that I was feeling embarrassed and angry in the van afterwards but realized I had to let it go. The day was not ruined, I didn't need to stay mad at James. It was one awful scene but it was over. Thank God.

(Why is it that I have to have these same realizations over and over.
Why can't I just learn it once?)

Jan 2003

What is prompting this walk down memory lane, you ask? Well, I have no new pictures and not a lot of time. :) I loved these days spent up the North Shore and at Canal Park back in January of 2003. I had just had my miscarriage and Patrick and I had been sososo sad. For whatever reason the icy cold weather felt really good to me. I spent a day up there alone with Patrick...I remember leaving my mom's that morning with a thermos of hot chocolate and we stopped and climbed on the rocks next to the frozen lake. Then we spent another day with Annie, Mom & Jon. (remember the fish shop, Mom? I'm sure Jon does.) HAHAHAHAHA.

Can't wait to see you guys! (not Jon.) (nothing against him, of course) hahaha

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This is a picture of my mom's Christmas tree from 5 years ago. Those are all vintage ornaments on there and I think we knocked off and broke 5 or 6 of them that year. AHAHHAHA...sorry mom. (she did put it right by where you put on and take off your jacket. duh.) hahahha.

As a special gift from God, James fell asleep. Instead of blogging about cookies I'm going to go up and take a nap. xo Posted by Picasa

Is it Friday yet?

First, a little photo cuteness for the grandmother. Well, today is an interesting day. For some reason I just feel like crying - but over both good and blechy things. I think I am really freaking tired. Here's a list of what's on my mind. Maybe if I get it all of my chest I can focus on the good stuff, because I can feel it in there, just under the surface.

Patrick can't take this Thursday & Friday off. boo.
He will probably be able to take next Wed & Thurs off. Yay!
We delivered our fudge to the library and they were thrilled. Yay!
When I made an additional lap around our block James yelled so loud the neighborhood dogs started barking. boo.
This stupid blog won't let me make a bulletted list. boo.
I don't know how to spell bulletted. boo.
Ruby is sleeping peacefully. Yay!
James is still thumping around upstairs. Boo.
I get to go somewhere tonight. Yay!
James does not have strep! Yay!
James took unncecesasary antibiotics. Boo.
I am too lazy to use spellcheck. boo. (but who cares, really?)
Patrick is removing the children from the house on Saturday so I can wrap gifts. Yay!
I forgot to call my Grandma on her birthday. boo.

Allright, I'm sick of this. I'm going to end this post and write about something fun like Christmas cookies. xo

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Hookers

"Look, Mom, a hooker!
I will hook this onto this and it will be a beautiful ornament hooker!"
Posted by Picasa

Number One (in a series)

I got James some Pampers Feel & Learn Pull-Ups. The idea is that they turn chilly when your child pees so they will feel the chill and learn what having to pee feels like. What a wonderful product, right?!

What I learned, on the other hand, made me feel very angry. And, so begins my list of things my sister should remember when raising her children:
  1. DO NOT put Pull-Ups on your child when they are taking antibiotics.

My little helper

 Posted by Picasa

vintage Rubles

Well, we did get a tree! I love it, it's small and cute. James & I decorated it yesterday. He has a mild case of strep. I have lots of little stuff to write, hopefully I'll get a chance later. xoxo Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cute Idea

I found this on another blog last week and thought it was adorable.
I have a plain red felt tree skirt and may try to add some buttons sometime.

HAHAHAHAHAHA - yeah, right! I'll get to that right after I organize my photos.

(but it is really cute.)
 Posted by Picasa

Back in the sling again.

I love this sling and for a long time Ruby wanted nothing to do with it. She didn't seem very comfortable in it and much preferred the Bjorn where she could feast her eyes on James wherever we were going. I tried this again the other night while I was making dinner and she was kind of fussy. She settled right in and hung out there for over an hour, watching everything I did. I had her shopping on Saturday morning and only had the Bjorn with...I wished I had my sling so much so I could feel her little body against me but not have the bachache that the Bjorn leaves.

Isn't she so pretty? Posted by Picasa

Elfin magic

(crazy red-eyed, yellow-teethed elfin magic,
but elfin magic none-the-less.)
Posted by Picasa


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