Monday, December 15, 2008

A Visit from Santa

I finally got my kids' pictures with Santa Claus! Right before Thanksgiving, I took my kids to the mall in Hagerstown because I knew that they had a Santa already. I thought that I would get a picture of them with Santa, until I found out that it was gonna set me back fifteen dollars for one measly four-by-six inch photo. Is that ridiculous or what?

However, Santa decided to make a stop at our subdivision on a fire truck! We were very excited! The kids had a blast, and they even got to sit in the fire engine. Andrew was absolutely ecstatic about sitting in the fire truck. I guess we have a future fire fighter in our family.

The problem that we have faced as our kids have gone around visiting Santa, is that all they seem to want for Christmas is a "Handy Dandy Notebook." This is a problem, because they don't make them anymore. They each got one last year for Christmas because we were able to find them on Ebay for about ten dollars. But this year, the cheapest I have been able to find is twenty. So that would mean forty dollars plus shipping for NOTEBOOKS. I made them notebooks for Halloween, but it was a huge hassle that I am not willing to go through again. I keep trying to explain to my children that there are no Handy Dandy Notebooks for sale, but they just say, "But I want a notebook for Christmas, just like I got last year."

Another problem is that last year, they had torn the notebooks apart within a month. They have wipeoff pages, so it's not like the pages would get all used up. It's just that my kids destroy everything. They seriously ripped out all of the pages. So, I am not paying forty bucks for notebooks that they are just going to destroy in seconds. I'm a little nervous about Christmas this year, though. I really hope that my kids will be too excited about all of their other presents to be concerned about these notebooks. But what if they aren't? How do I explain to a toddler that Santa can't make him a notebook? How am I supposed to handle a toddler who doesn't want any of his other presents because they aren't a Handy Dandy Notebook? EEeek!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Please Tell Me That This Is Just A Phase!

It has come to my attention that my last post may have led some to believe that I may be pregnant! I could not be further from being pregnant. "Pogchap" is just someone Joseph has apparently added to his list of imaginary friends.

Speaking of imaginary friends, Joseph has an imaginary friend named "Gokagaddy." I am not sure if this is how you spell it. I spelled it phoenetically. Where does he come up with this stuff? My guess is that he misses his friends from Morgantown, so he had to make up a new friend. This friend has been hanging out at our house since we moved. I just wish I new where he got these strange names from - Pogchap and Gokagaddy.

Also, I am a little tired of my kids calling one another Steve (Joseph) and Joe (Andrew). When is this phase going to end?

I made the huge mistake of making my kids Steve and Joe costumes (from Blue's Clues) for Halloween, and ever since they have refused to go by their real names. For a while they would only refer to Brad and I as Diego and Dora, because that was what we dressed up as. They still call us that occasionally, but this Steve and Joe thing doesn't seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. Everyday when they come home from school, the first thing they do is rush to put on the costumes. They have a fit if the costumes are dirty. You should see these things - they are ragged! They have been worn, literally, every single day for over a month. They have to wear their brown dress shoes every day, because that is what Steve and Joe wear. All I do is draw pictures of thinking chairs, Blue's Clues houses, handy dandy notebooks, and crayons all day - yes, I even have to draw a crayon to look like theirs! The whole Blue's Clues addiction used to be kinda cute, but it has just gone way too far. I have to ween them from Blue's Clues. It's fine for them to like this show, but I just want Joseph and Andrew back - I did not give birth to Steve and Joe! Has anyone else ever gone through an obsession like this? I will gladly accept any advice...

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Funny Things My Kids Say...

Sometimes my children say the most hilarious things. Here are some of the things that Joseph and Andrew have said in the past week:

  • Joseph: "Daddy, I went to the pretzel store to buy these pretzels."
  • Brad: "Oh really. What was the store called?"
  • Joseph: "Pretzelvania."

  • Joseph: "Daddy we're going to have a new baby."
  • Brad: "You don't say."
  • Joseph: "Yeah, his name is going to be Pogchap."

  • Andrew (very sweetly): "Daddy, I kill you." (We finally figured out that he said this because Brad is always saying, "You guys are killing me.")

  • Joseph (as Brad was putting new batteries in one of his toys): "Daddy, batteries aren't included. But now they're included."

  • Joseph: "It's time for Blue's Clues. It's nine-eight central."

  • Me (as Andrew passes gas while I am changing his diaper): "Andrew, are you letting stinkers?"
  • Andrew: "No, I had stinky farts. Two (and he holds up two fingers) stinky farts!"

  • Joseph: "Mommy, get me a tissue. There are too many boogers in my nose."

I'm sure that there have been other funny things this week, but everything they say is so funny that it's hard to remember them all!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Break

We have been waiting for weeks for Thanksgiving! I'm sure that everyone has. It's always nice to have a little time off to relax with your family. The problem is that usually you don't end up relaxing. But at any rate, it's nice to be with family.

This year, we decided to bring my sister, Stephanie, to our home for Thanksgiving. She goes to college in Philadelphia, and for the last two years in a row, she has had to spend Thanksgiving alone. We decided it would be a fun adventure for our family to retrieve her from her scholarly surroundings and bring her to a more relaxing environment, free from the hustle and bustle of big city living.

Our trip started out great:

Here is the happy driver! This picture was taken about two miles into our journey (hence, the happy face).

We saw this lovely autmobile (in Hagerstown, about five miles from our house). That's sure to make you smile!
And, our boys are happy because they are eating McDonald's!
All was well and good until we reached this sign. Stinking Delaware!
This sign is a sight that is sure to make anyone unhappy! Five dollars? And that wasn't the only toll that we had to pay!
And then we spent the next two-and-a-half hours looking at this. Yep, it took us two-and-a-half hours to go eleven miles. So, our trip turned just a little bit sour. A three hour drive turned into a six hour drive. Fun FUN for everyone!
But the boys were too excited to care! Aunt Stephanie is here! They spent the entire car ride home talking her ear off (mostly about Blue's Clues) and made her draw a thousand pictures for them. She even brought them new notebooks and crayons. This picture pretty much sums up how Aunt Stephanie spent her Thanksgiving break. Hopefully she didn't mind too much, because she is forever a hero in her nephews' eyes.

The Sci-Fi nerds spent the entire break talking about comic books and movies that I have never heard of.

Aunt Stephanie and her homeboys.

And the beautiful feast that I prepared. My house may not be unpacked yet, but at least I dug out my china so we could dine in style!

Friday was spent decorating the Christmas trees. This is the grown-up tree (which explains why the grown-ups are standing next to it).

We may have had too much sparkling cider...

Andrew with the kiddie tree. I swear, this is the cutest face I have ever seen!

And this one is pretty darn cute too!
And so our Thanksgiving break came to a close with a trip back to Philadelphia, and hours more spent in Delaware. Not exactly a relaxing trip, but like I said before, it's nice to be with family. And what's more important than family?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What a Crappy Day...

Today was an exceptionally bad day. I couldn't sleep last night for several reasons:

1. I HAD to finish Twilight. It was too amazing. I couldn't put it down.
2. I have this huge zit on my forehead that was (and still is) throbbing like a migraine. What the heck is that all about?
3. I had the most insane heartburn. I can't remember the last time I had heartburn, but it was probably when I was pregnant.

The heartburn issue probably could have been solved earlier by taking a couple of Tums at 8:00 when it started. But I refused to put my book down to go get some, so instead, I didn't take any until midnight, when I finally decided to go to sleep. The heartburn was so bad by that point that it took a good while for the Tums to kick in. I ended up starting a new book (Bridget Jones' Diary) and didn't go to sleep until 1:30. Also, in this time period, I was busy convincing myself that my arm hurt, and that I was having a heart attack (instead of heartburn). You know, because paranoia and anxiety help you fall asleep easier.

So imagine my surprise when I was awakened at 6:30 by my kids chattering away in their bedroom. 6:30??? What the heck? But, they seemed relatively happy, so I went back to bed. Not for long, though. At 7:15, Andrew was screaming his head off because Joseph was sitting on him. Grrrrr... So, I begrudgingly removed myself from the bed. When I went to change Andrew's diaper, it was completely dry. Ok, so they were awake way before 6:30, because Andrew has never in his entire existence woken with a dry diaper. This means that Brad must have changed his diaper before he left. Brad leaves the house at 6:15 (I later learned that they were awake at 5:00, when Brad woke up). So, it goes without saying, I had mega cranky kids all day.

For some reason, it seemed like a good idea to take my kids to story time at the library. On a normal day this is a difficult task. So today it was pure torture. Joseph and Andrew just wanted to make a mess all through the library, and touch everything but the materials for the craft. We have this awesome little library, and Dana, who does story time is great. Once I finally got the kids to sit down and do the craft, everything was ok. But this didn't happen until after Joseph screamed about going to the bathroom, ran out into the parking lot ten thousand times, stole Jane the Librarian's calendar off of her desk, and tried to break her bobblehead bear. I did manage to get a few cute pictures in, though:

Andrew always goes straight for the puzzles when we go to the library. This kid loves puzzles!

Joseph joined in the puzzle playing. Because, you know, who wants to listen to a cool story when you can play with the same puzzles you've played with a million times

Finally Andrew sat down and made his turkey napkin ring. Very cute. Thanks Dana!

So, here's where the day gets crappier. I had this brilliant idea to get my blog ready for Christmas. This brilliant idea involved getting a picture of my kids in front of a Christmas tree. But it's not even Thanksgiving, so I haven't decorated for Christmas yet. But you know who has? Wal-mart. They started decorating for Christmas before Halloween. And, they had two big beautiful trees right when you walk in the store. So, I decided that I would take the kids in Wal-mart and take a picture of them in front of the Christmas tree. Well, apparently I was not allowed to do that, and the manager came and very politely informed me that photography is not allowed inside of Wal-mart. I was just a little bit embarassed. Like, ten people felt the need to come talk to me about it. So, I put my screaming kids into the shopping cart and went to get the few things I needed. But of course my kids were mad, because they wanted to play with the Christmas tree. And here is my wonderful reminder of this embarassing occasion:

So, yeah, I had a crappy day...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giving Thanks

This is my backyard. You would think that it would be hard to feel anything but happiness if this was what you were looking at out the window at every day. Yet, I manage to feel more and more gloomy every day that I spend here. I am desperate for Morgantown! I never thought that I would be saying that.

I wish that I had been more thankful for Morgantown when I had lived there. All I ever did was complain about it. I couldn't wait to get out of there. I'm not sure why I disliked it so much. But it really is a great town, filled with wonderful people. I can't begin to explain how much I miss it, but I'll try.

Reasons I Miss Morgantown, WV:
  1. Friends. We had so many wonderful friends, who we had so much in common with.
  2. Family. We were relatively close to most of our family. Joseph and Andrew loved that grandma and grandpa lived so close.
  3. WVU. I LOVE WVU. I can't think of any school on the planet where I would rather get my education. Not to mention, who doesn't love seeing a flaming couch flying off a second story balcony.
  4. Cost of living. I used to think that Morgantown was expensive until I moved here. Even MILK is more expensive here. Everything is double the cost.
  5. Kids Korner. While we have found a really nice daycare here in Martinsburg, we will always love Kids Korner. Our kids had such a great time there, and they really miss all of their friends and teachers.
  6. Good doctors. Even though I used to complain about Ruby Memorial Hospital, I always knew that everyone in our family was getting proper medical care. It really is a great hospital, and it uses all of the most current technology and medical practices.
  7. Cooper's Rock. There is nothing better than escaping to Cooper's Rock for the afternoon. Great fun - for free!
  8. Parks. There is nowhere for our kids to play here. There is one really big park that is overrun with teenagers who have nothing better to do than hang out on playground equipment made for toddlers and cause trouble. That's basically our only option.
  9. An insect-free environment. I have been covered with bugbites from the second that we moved here. It is November. You'd think that all of the bugs would be gone for the winter. Nope - if it is above forty degrees, you get attacked by huge swarms of bugs here.
  10. Safety. I can honestly say that I have never been anywhere so scary. I am terrified of this place. You couldn't pay me to send my kids to public school here.

And so, on that note, we intend to move back to Morgantown next August. We need our family and our friends close by. We need to have good medical care and goods schools for our children. I need the University that I love, flaming couches and all. And most of all, we as a family, need to be able to afford to live. Morgantown, sweet Morgantown, I promise that I will never take you for granted ever again!

In the meantime, I know that I need to be thankful for all of the wonderful things that I have. I really have a lot to be thankful for. I may not be happy in this town, but I have a wonderful husband, who loves me and treats me like a queen. I have two beautiful children, and although they drive me crazy sometimes, they really are wonderful little boys and my life would be incomplete without them. So for the next nine months or so, I just have to remember to be thankful for all of the wonderful blessings I have in my life, and hopefully Morgantown will have me back!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Plan? What plan?

The fact that this bumper sticker is funny to me is somewhat of an enigma. If anybody who knew me ten years ago is reading this, they know why. It's funny how you think that you have everything all figured out and then nothing works out the way that you planned it.

Seven years ago, I was graduating high school. I had known since I was ten years old that I wanted to be a high school band director. It was the only thing that I had wanted to do my entire life. But apparently, God had a different plan for me.

I thought that art would be a good field of study, since it's something that I've always been talented at. Again, God had a different plan for me.

I thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom. Also, not in His plans.

I don't know why none of these paths was right for me. For some reason accounting is a perfect fit. I have had a million different majors in school, and finally one fits. Why accounting? It really is beyond me. All I know is that it makes me happy; it seems to make sense. Why couldn't it have made sense years ago? That would have made my life so much easier. I know I am definitely not the only person who has had this dilemma. It seems like some people know from the time they are born what they are going to do with the rest of their lives, and yet there are others, like myself, who feel like they could spend forever searching.

Accounting is seriously the last thing I ever thought would interest me, and yet I now find it to be interesting enough that I want to do it for a living. And on that note, I need to go study for the accounting test I have to take at 9 am.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

That's What She Said...

This picture pretty much sums up my entire week. That is how absolutely pathetic I am. My entire week revolves around The Office. Seriously. It is Wednesday and I cannot stop the excitement from welling up inside of me because I know that I have a date with Jim Halpert tomorrow night at 9 pm. How does a 21 minute show have this much power over me?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fuzzy Tongue

Today was probably the least productive day I have ever had. I seriously did nothing today but enjoy the fact that my husband and children were at home all day. I pretty much played on the computer and watched kids' shows all day. Apparently I passed the domestic feeling on to Brad because he washed and folded five loads of laundry today, did two loads of dishes, and he made dinner (fish sticks and macaroni and cheese, but I am certainly not complaining). He also cleaned out our garage. What a wonderful husband!

Maybe I enjoyed doing nothing so much because I was saving up my energy for what was to come later in the evening - haircuts! This is never a happy time in our home. It was absolutely inevitable that our children would have thick hair, because Brad and I both have extremely thick hair (although Brad's is getting a little sparse on top). Along with my thick hair, I have a double cowlick.

Joseph has the misfortune of sharing my DNA. If his hair gets longer than a quarter of an inch I cannot keep it from standing straight up. He also has the craziest widow's peak I have ever seen. Andrew's hair lacks the double cowlick and the widow's peak, but he has so much hair that he starts to look like a werewolf if I don't cut it often enough.

I face the problem of having to cut my kids' hair on my own, because anytime I have taken them to have someone else do it, they barely touch their hair with the tip of the scissors and then charge you a fortune. And, they way my kids' hair grows, I swear that they need a haircut every week. They have so much hair that it takes a long time to cut, during which my kids scream bloody murder because they are itchy.

Tonight, Andrew cried the whole time. As he was crying, he was rubbing his tears away which made the hair stick to his face and then he was wiping his nose and got hair in his mouth. He kept trying to remove the hair from his mouth, but instead got a tongue covered in hair. And I get to do this every month...FUN!

If you click on this picture so you can look at is full size, you can see all of the hair flying all over the place.

My handsome little boys with their new haircuts!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pam Gets Domestic...

Hooray! I am officially a blogger now! I have been saying for months now that I would start a blog. On Saturday night, I couldn't fall asleep, so I thought, "I'll finally start my blog." So, here it is.

I should start off by saying what a strange day it's been. I was feeling very domestic today. It's been a long time since I've felt that way. I got home from school today at 1:00 and decided I wanted to do something nice for my family. That something nice turned into two loaves of homemade bread, chicken noodle soup (from scratch, I might add), and brownies. Then I made a Family Home Evening lesson, and we sat down as a family and enjoyed all of these things. I am not sure what brought all of this on, but I kind of liked it. Before I went back to school, I was always cooking and cleaning and doing all kinds of domestic things. I forgot that there were some things about staying at home that I actually enjoyed. Maybe Heavenly Father was trying to reming me that, before everything else is family. Although my intention in going back to school has always been for the betterment of my family, I have to admit that it does bring out my selfish side. I get so caught up in school, that it tends to become the priority. And while it is important to do well in school, my primary purpose in being there is doing what's best for my family. I guess my whole domestic outburst today was just to remind me that sometimes I have to put aside the schoolwork and focus a little more attention on my husband and my kids.

And speaking of focusing attention on my kids, I have to mention that Joseph has become a fabulous artist. I am so amazed by his drawings. I'll spot him in a corner with his crayon and his notebook, and when I ask to see what he's drawn, it's always better than the day before. The subjects continue to become more recognizable each day, and as he practices drawing the same things over and over again, I notice that each time they become more detailed. I wonder what will become of this. My sister Stephanie had notebooks full of drawings like this when she was his age, and for anyone who knows her, we can only hope that he turns out to be half the artist that she is. Almost daily I go into Joseph's room and find new drawings on his walls. I've given up being upset over the crayon on the walls. I can always paint over it. But I don't want to stop what he is doing. His creativity is fascinating. In all the years I have been drawing, and with all of the talent that I possess, I felt that I have never been able to truly create. Sure, I can draw what I see, but I have never been able to just imagine something and then turn it into a drawing or a painting. If Joseph has that ability, I don't want to stop him. I know this might sound a little ridiculous; I am talking about a four-year-old. But if you could only see what my sister was doing when she was four, and then see what she does now, you would understand.

Shovel and Pail from Blue's Clues

Blue's Clues Thinking Chair

Another Thinking Chair, complete with the "yo-yos," as my kids call them

A self-portait

Steve from Blue's Clues (notice the striped shirt)

I think that this is supposed to be Joseph and Andrew. I love the facial expression of the person on the right!

Joseph ringing the doorball and opening the door. It says "open" on the door. Haha!

Riding in the shopping cart at Walmart.