The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Flurry, part one

This year I was out of town for so much of the Christmas season (which begins the day after Thanksgiving, by the way). It kind of felt like the Christmas season wasn't really here because I was only participating in the season on the weekends. I missed out on at least two Advent by candle light teas that I usually attend, Christmas parties at the kids' schools, and other holiday events that I surely would have been invited to had I actually been in town.

So, when I returned from my business trip late late Thursday night, early early Friday morning (12/21), my life has been a nonstop flurry of Christmas activity. I had to catch up on all that time when I wasn't home to celebrate the season.

It started on Friday with some shopping downtown with Kev. We got ourselves cool new phones, called the Mogul by HTC, and eagerly retired our ancient relics. Boy, have we had fun playing with these new toys! We also bought Jordyn an updated cell phone for Christmas, the Rumor by LG (apparently LG stand for Life's Good, and truly it is) and she has been texting NONSTOP!

While we were waiting for our phones to be activated, we had an hour and a half to kill, so we walked around downtown. Now if I can digress for a minute...a year or so ago, when a tacky Wireless Toyz appeared on the corner of our quaint downtown and un-quainted it a bit, a few friends and I were not pleased. But, when it came time to buy our new phones, we went to the tacky Wireless Toyz store and during our hour of down time, we spent it in our oh so quaint downtown. We dined at Victoria's, we went across the street to the OWB for some vino and chocolates, we went to the Embroidery shop for some school spirit wear (more Christmas shopping). Long story short, I have a new found fondness for the tacky local Wireless Toyz. If it had us walking around downtown and patronizing the local shops, imagine how many other people on which it has had the same effect.

But back to the Christmas flurry...Friday late afternoon took Kev, Jordyn & I to Nee Nee's daycare Christmas party. The kids exchanged presents. The parents imbibed in some cocktails. And then the kids put on the cutest gosh darn concert that I have ever seen. Maybe it's because they only sang 3 songs. Maybe it's because of those Santa Hats. Maybe it's because they had made their own microphones out of wads of tin foil. Or maybe it was the wine. All I know that it was absolutely adorable. That, and, American Idol is SO in Liam's future. Either that or Backstreet Boys (Justin Timberlake style, not Lance Bass).

Friday evening took me to the Glenmoor Gals' annual ornament exchange. Mindy hosted this year and it was so much fun!! I forgot to wear pants (not really, but that's how the story has come to be known!) Renee was my driver (since she and I are no longer technically residents), which means I got really sauced. I think I told Mindy 700 times that "I loooooove me some Mindy!" (which I do, of course but she and Larry probably think I'm completely nuts!) The appetizers were delicious. I brought the super easy to make that everybody loves white chocolate popcorn (that I also refer to as CRACK), and it was were Patty's legendary bacon wrapped water chestnuts (click here for the recipe).

Saturday started at Big Boy with me, Kev, & the boys for breakfast. During which we got a call from Kev's mom that his cousin Shannon's husband (who is a pretty young guy - not even 30) had died in his sleep the previous morning. This made us oh so sad. My heart just broke for Shannon. We had just been to their wedding not even two years back and they had recently started talking about trying to get pregnant. As Kev and I were talking about this tragedy, Liam was asking us how you die in your sleep. I told him that sometimes a person's body just stops working. To which Liam replied, maybe his dream killed him. Now, if you recall the bedtime prayer I posted recently where Liam asked God not to bring him any dreams at all, this is a big fear of his. He hates having dreams. He doesn't want sweet dreams. He wants no dreams at all. So, by his 6 year old logic, dreams killed Shannon's husband in his sleep. I assured him this wasn't the case (we're still not certain what the cause was).

With this thought heavy on our hearts, we spent the day with more Christmas prep. Shopping, wrapping, readying the house for Christmas eve, and then dinner and a basketball game with Kev's brother Brian and his wife Tara. We went to Kruse & Muer on the Lake (it's actually across the busy street from the lake) but the food is always yummy, and then we were off to the Palace where we watched the Michigan State vs Texas basketball game. It was a lot of fun. When we got the Palace Kev said, watch us run into Ginny (insert last name here), a former co-worker of ours when we worked at Delphi. She's a huge MSU fan and alumnus. As we were leaving the game, who should we run into? GINNY! All decked out in her green and white MSU santa hat and all. Fun! Here are Tara and Brian making their debut on my blog (that they were oh so impressed that I have)

Sunday was more Christmas prep (and laundry), I had to get the house ready for Christmas Eve to be held at our house on Monday. Bailey spent the night and she and Jordyn were a huge help in this endeavor. Around 9pm, Kevin and I crashed our friend's Amy & Joel's family Christmas party. It's always fun to hang with them and their family...heck, they ARE family!

More Christmas Flurry fun to come...stay tuned

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Tomorrow, my baby girl turns TWELVE! She has long since surpassed me in height and shoe size, but she's still me little girl.

Tomorrow, she will receive a bouquet of flowers delivered to the Middle School (how cool is that?!) with the poem below attached (how NOT cool is it for your mom to write you a poem and send it to you at school?!). And who really cares that I opted for the cheaper carnations over the pricey roses?! I'm sure she'll be thrilled just the same. Right? (Beware, this is all cheese and corn, sappy and sweet)

A rainbow of carnations to celebrate the day
You came into my life and took my breath away.

Twelve special flowers, for you, my special girl.
You’re more lovely than these blooms, more precious than a pearl.

I love you more than life, in case you didn't know
I stand in awe and wonder, as I watch you learn and grow.

If I could give a reason for each stem in this bouquet
Just why it is I love you, this is what I'd say.

One: You are more beautiful than I ever dreamed you'd be.
Two: You're very honest, the truth shall set you free.

Three: You are hardworking to achieve the goals you've set.
Four: You are forgiving, you forgive AND you forget.

Five: You have such patience, when all is lost on me.
Six: You're quick to smile, a sight I love to see.

Seven: You are so kind, you wouldn't hurt a fly.
Eight: You're truly funny, sometimes it makes me cry.

Nine: You're mine! You're mine! A fact, of which, I'm proud.
Ten: You are authentic, living life out loud.

Eleven: Your generosity, you sure have plenty of.
Twelve: Your curiosity, I ask, "What's not to love?"

~ Jordyn ~
Happy 12th birthday!
I love you,

I can't believe it

Someone else won my jackpot. Two someone else's, actually.

My Mega Million pot had climbed to $163 million! All of those millions, with which I had earmarked to do so much good, have gone to some other (surely less deserving) souls.

Each time I played the game in the last 2 weeks, I increased the number of tickets that I purchased. The first couple of times, I just bought one (that's all it takes, right?). Then I bought two - 1 easy pick, 1 pick my own (my numbers have GOT to be better than the computer's, right?). Then, yesterday, I went all out -just a little crazy- and bought THREE - all easy picks.

And most of the tickets have been miserable losers. There should be a prize for the most tickets purchased with out hitting a single correct number. I'm a shoe-in to win that contest.

To be fair, one of my tickets from yesterday's drawing was, indeed, a winner. Do you know what 1 normal ball and 1 mega ball gets you? Gets me?

Drumroll please…


That's right,

Three big ones
Tres dolares
Three hundred pennies
30 dimes
12 quarters (that would keep my kids occupied for about 15 minutes at BW3's)

At least I covered the cost of my last wager.

I could re-invest my winnings in the next Mega Million drawing, but like I said before, who wants to play the game when the jack pot is a piddly little $12 million??

I'll try not to spend yesterday's winnings all in one place.

Monday, December 17, 2007

NYC with the fam, DAYS 3 & 4

Sunday we had a very welcomed lazy morning. After sleeping in for a bit, we went to a local IHOP here in NJ. The weather was very rainy and sleety so we were thankful that we didn't have any set NYC plans on the agenda.

After the yummy breakfast (man, those pancakes were good!) we went to see Alvin!!!! at the movie theater. Good movie, but it's certainly not Enchanted good or anything.

We returned to the hotel where Kevin took the boys for another swim while Jordyn and I cleaned up the hotel room (boatloads of crap spread everywhere in a very small space literally makes me hyperventilate and I just can't relax).

Towards the late afternoon, I rallied the troops to head back into the city, even though there was nothing on the agenda. We went to a cool restaurant for "linner" called the Brooklyn Diner (even though we were in Manhattan) where there wasn't an official kids' menu so the waitress suggested some things for the kids, one of which was this cheese pizza. Uh, yeah, like a 6 year old can eat this whole thing.

Then we walked to Rockefeller Center to see the tree all lit up at night time. Jordyn decided that she likes NYC better at night. NYC is truly something special at night, that's for sure.

We watched the skaters again and took some pictures in front of the famous tree. Here we are in front of the tree,

Then we walked to Saks Fifth Avenue where we enjoyed the snow people window displays and the ginormous snow flakes on the side of the building.

The kids wanted to hit the Nintendo store, which we did and it was pretty cool.

Back at the hotel for some more swimming. The kids really can't get enough of that. They even did some more swimming Monday morning.

Monday was a very low key, non-NYC day. We went to a mall here in NJ for lunch and we walked around a bit. Due to the winter weather here and in Michigan, Kev & the kids' flight is already on a 2 hour delay. We're chilling at the hotel until it's time to head to the airport. Jordyn was disappointed to learn that her school had a snow day today. She feels like she "missed" it.

Anyway, here's hoping that once I get Kev & the kids to the airport tonight that they don't have any more delays. It's hard enough dealing with airport delays on your own, let alone with 3 kids in tow.

We all have had a great time in the Big Apple. What a treat!

I'll miss Kev & the kids being here. Fortunately, I'll be coming home late Thursday night and then I'll be home through 1/7 (at least). Yay! As fun as NYC was, there's no place like home. :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

NYC with the fam, DAY 2

Phew! Everybody felt better today! The only one not feeling 100% this morning was me, thanks to the nearly ZERO sleep I got last night courtesy of Sir Snores-a-lot (a.k.a. Owen).
But, come on, we've got tickets to see the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular this morning, AT Radio City Music Hall, so even a sleepless night won't keep me down!! Even though it IS a 9 AM show!! Here are some shots of my most favorite Christmas show ever! As you can see, I love the soldiers and the rag dolls. Spectacular really sums it up.

After the show, we went to Rockefeller center and had a snack as we watched the ice skaters on the rink outside, where Kevin spotted a marriage proposal in the works. What fun to witness this young couple get engaged while skating at Rockefeller Center!

We proceeded to the top of the Rockefeller Center, 69 stories high, where we saw a bird's eye view of the city. That's me and Jord with the empire state building and a shot I took of Central Park.

We headed back to Times Square, by foot (sev-er-al blocks), for lunch at a Mexican restaurant and another trip to Toys R Us. On our way, we passed some fun break dancing street performers. We also visited the M&M store, which was way over priced and over crowded. (yes, I do realize we're in NYC, I just think we were all getting tired and cranky.)

By this time it was after 3pm, and we were ready to head back to the hotel where Owen and I enjoyed a nap while Kev and the others went swimming. Afterwards the kids enjoyed getting room service for dinner. THIS is the stuff memories are made of.

As Liam put it in his good night prayer...

Dear God,
Thank you for Jingle Bells and the Rockettes. Thank you for moms and dads and brothers and sisters and friends and family and grandmas and grandpas and room service and for Jordyn helping me with the Tarzan games. Please make Owen not snore at all tonight and please make me have no dreams at all. Amen

Amen, Liam, Amen.

Friday, December 14, 2007

NYC with the fam, DAY 1

Today was day one with the family in NYC. This goes with out saying, but OH, what FUN!

I circled LaGuardia airport 77 times waiting for Kev and the kids to arrive. Their plane landed on time, but then they got stuck on the tarmac (typical).

We took off from the airport (sans GPS) to Times Square. Kev read the map and did a great job navigating for his first time in the Big Apple. It probably took us longer than what it needed to get there, but we didn't mind, we're on vacay in NYC, for Pete's sake, and Times Square is kind of hard to miss.

We went to lunch at Planet Hollywood, snagged a new hat from a street vendor for Jordyn, then hit the 5 story Toys R Us where we rode the indoor ferris wheel in Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine, we bought each kid a toy, and checked out the enormous Lego renditions of the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Captain Jack Sparrow. After a quick trip to Starbuck's, Kev and the boys were ready to head back to the hotel (they had gotten up by 3 & 4 am, after all).

We went back to the hotel in NJ for a quick swim in the hotel pool before heading to a nearby mall for dinner at Legal Seafood and a quick birthday shopping trip at Macy's for Jordyn. By Kevin's standards, 35 minutes is not a "quick" shopping trip. Considering I bought her an entire outfit to wear on Saturday (dress, tights, AND shoes), plus another shirt, and a new coat, he's right... it wasn't quick, it was superquick.
Owen keeps asking when we're going home.
Back again at the hotel and Kev is throwing up while Liam has the runs, and we're in a hotel room with one toilet. Not a good situation. I'm staying away from both of them (as far away as one can when in a cramped hotel room).
Please pray that they are both recovered tomorrow...I've got $500 worth of Rockettes tickets that I am NOT going to waste. I mean, I knew Kev didn't want to go to the show, but come ON, puking to get out of it?
Of course I jest. I know his condition is genuine. And I feel horrible for him. Shoulda skipped the sushi.
I'm hoping to have a better report tomorrow....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Half way to 70

Today I'm half way to 70…dear GOD, when did I get so old?

I still feel like I'm 27, and my dh (the lovely liar that he is) sent me an email today telling me I still look 25. That's about how old I was when he and I met, 2 kids and 25 pounds ago.

Last night Jordyn found a Glamour Shot of me when I was 25 (yes, a GLAMOUR SHOT). She told me how pretty I was in that picture and how she thought the picture was of me when I was in high school. She put it in her binder to show everyone at school today. God bless her. Everyone should have a Jordyn in their life. The other day, when I became totally excited that my Hip Hop Abs DVDs had been delivered (which I LOVE, by the way), she said to me, "Mom, you're NOT fat". I told her thank you, but that it wasn't a question of being fAt, it was a question of being fIt, which I'm not.

Anyway, I don't know why 35 is such a difficult birthday for me, but it is.

Maybe it's because I'm now closer to 40 than I am to 30. (I know, I know, 40 is the new 30 - blah blah blah.)

Maybe it's because while I feel like a 27 year old, the numbers on my driver's license prove that I'm not.

Maybe it's because I still can't cope with (and can't seem to change) this middle-aged body that I have. Two chins and a cottage cheese arse? Lovely. (The three birthday donuts I've eaten today hasn't helped that situation!)

At least I'm fortunate to not yet have any gray hair (knock on wood). I attribute this to either: having good genes in the aging department (my dad could easily pass for someone 12 - 15 years younger than what he is) or it's because I visit Di every 5-6 weeks to have my hair highlighted. It certainly isn't due to a lack of stress, since I have PLENTY of THAT.

Hopefully this will be the only year that I have difficulty accepting my true age. I can't imagine what it would be like to feel this way year after year from here on out.

Actually, what I hope is that I don't ever start to feel my actual age. I hope that I always feel like I'm 27, even when I'm 67, and when I'm 87, and 107. They say you're only as old as you feel, right?

So, I guess I AM 27. Forever 27.

As bummed as I am about getting older, today is still a day of celebration.

I want to celebrate my parents, who after trying for 5 years to have their own biological children, they wanted to be parents so badly that they decided (at the old old ages of 25 & 26) to adopt my sister and then my brother, and after 7 years of marriage I was conceived by them and born (I'm glad they continued trying!)

I want to celebrate my mother, who went into labor and then waited at the hospital (while in LABOR with her breech baby) for my dad to return to the hospital so he could sign the papers giving authorization for my mom to have a c-section which, by the way, left her with a scar down the middle of her stomach the likes of which would surely cause a lawsuit if that type of procedure was done today.

I want to celebrate my mother for never, EVER, complaining about that scar. (at least not to me!)

I want to celebrate being alive and able bodied.

Happy Birthday to me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How Can This Be?!?

Are you as shocked as I am that I didn't win the Mega Millions lottery jackpot yesterday?!

When I bought my ticket on the way into the office in NJ on Tuesday, the cashier asked me - "Cash or Annuity?" Well, I know the difference between these two words, but her question caught me completely off guard. When you buy a Mega Millions ticket in Michigan, they don't ask you any questions except for maybe "Easy-pick or pick-your-own?" So, before really processing the baffling cash or annuity question, I responded with a highly intelligent, "I'm not sure what you mean by that." I guess when you BUY your ticket in NJ, they want to know up front how you want your pay out. In Michigan, you make this decision after you win. I picked cash, of course.

As with every time I purchase a Mega Millions lottery ticket (which is only occasionally since I don't see the point in playing when the jackpot is anything less than $100 million… I mean $7, or $12, or $38 million can hardly be considered MEGA millions, maybe MULTI millions, but the name of the game is not MULTI, it's MEGA). So, as I always do, I convinced myself that I was the winner. And now that the state of New Jersey already knew how I wanted my pay out, OF COURSE the numbers picked would be mine and mine alone.

I envisioned my reaction and how I would share the news with my husband (and family, friends, employer, and enemies). The jury is still out on how anonymous I would remain. I think that I would want to remain fairly anonymous, but when I am truly excited about something, like my Coach Sample Sale, it is VERY hard for me to keep it a secret.

Of course, I had already spent countless hours (mostly ones when I should have been in deep slumber) imagining how I would distribute my fortune … mortgages paid for ourselves, our parents, our 7 siblings, and a handful of friends... college tuitions paid for our 3 kids, our 15 + 1 on the way nieces and nephews, and a handful of friends' kids, and maybe even some sort of college fund for the underprivileged.

I started locating and decorating the various residences we would own - we'd keep the house we have now so our kids could maintain some sense of normalcy (of course we would finish the basement, decorate & landscape it professionally, install a hot tub, and have a full time staff of at least 5 to maintain it -
1. Housekeeper (who does laundry & windows)
2. Landscaper
3. Maintenance/Handy Man
4. Cook/Nutritionist
5. Driver

We would have to get a loft in downtown Detroit to use during the spring/summer/fall when we go to our beloved Tigers' games. Should we also buy a place in Tampa for the fall Sundays when we fly down there for the Buccaneers' games? Surely a mega millionaire could get season tickets to the Bucs, even if there is already a 3 year wait list. Or should we just stay at a posh hotel when we go to Tampa? Definitely a place in San Francisco, a vineyard in Napa, and the empty lots on either side of our house, plus another 4 or 5 new houses on our lake so that some of our friends and family could live even closer by than they already do.

I could see myself doing anonymous and abundant and completely selfless good deeds - funding the local community water splash park (Should I have it tiled with my name like Kid Rock did in Clarkston?), installing a pool at the nearby country club for the community to use, founding a Random Acts of Kindness organization at the Middle School, supporting the arts in every possible way, buying up all of downtown that's currently for sale and developing it into a very hip and affordable place for kids, teens, adults, and seniors to hang out and commune.
I envisioned myself as an old and very well dressed lady telling my very fortunate and adoring grandchildren the story about the day I won the Mega Millions jackpot.

And then, they read the numbers….27, 30, 25, 6, 45, 46

What? Those are NOT the right numbers. Not even ONE of them matches my ticket, my one winning ticket. And you asked me how I wanted my payout and everything…..

How can this be?

Oh well, Tuesday's jackpot was only worth $115 million, this coming Friday's jackpot is worth $137 million. The powers that be must realize how much more good I could do with an extra $22 million in my winning jackpot.

Off to the store to buy the winning ticket for Friday's drawing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Brothers Forever. Friends for Life.

My boys are best friends and worst enemies...and driving me to the nut house.

Big brother loves to push little brother's buttons and make him scream, laughing all the while.

Little brother looks up to big brother and idolizes everything big brother does, only occasionally calling big brother a doofus.

I took the kids to lunch on Saturday (what? me? cook? don't think so). And big brother was just being an absolute pill to EVERYONE. He was combative with me, with Jordyn, with Jordyn's friend Kayla, and, of course, with his little brother.

While waiting for our food to arrive, big brother said to little brother, "You're not my best friend anymore." It was as if he had literally punched Owen in the gut. The tears (the real, big tears) that began to stream down little brother's face as he cried to me through his sobs "Liam said I'm not his best friend anymore!" were unbelievable. This statement caused little 3 year old brother some real pain.

I had already had it up to here with Liam, and didn't really want to get into yet another combat with him, so, rather than insist he apologize RIGHT NOW or Santa won't bring you any toys, I simply looked at Liam and said, "You.just.broke.(big pause)'s.heart. " That's it. That's all I said. And I looked away.

Within 15 minutes, (as I was ignoring Liam - well, not really ignoring, but rather, not playing into his woe is me, everybody's mean to me so I have a right to behave badly attitude), within 15 minutes, Liam sidled up next to Owen, put his arms around him and apologized. Sincerely. From the heart. They looked into each other's eyes and Liam said "Brothers Forever. Friends for Life."

As this exchange occurred, I pretended not to notice. Tears were welling up in my eyes. Jordyn asked me if I was going to cry. No No No. Well, almost. I was just so touched, and so proud of big brother for making up with little brother with out being FORCED.

Then, on Sunday, the boys were at it again in the playroom. God only knows why. I simply went into the playroom and sat each boy upon my lap. They each were thrusting fingers in each other's faces, practically up each other's nose, saying (OK, screaming), "He started it! HE started it! He STARTED it!"

I didn't even know what IT was. Nor did I care.

So, I calmly said to my boys. "I really don't care who started the fight. What I want to know is who's going to finish the fight?"

Liam shot his hand up in the air.

"OK, Liam, how are you going to finish it?" I asked, proud that he was so anxious to put an end to this nonsense.

"I'm going to throw him to the ground and scream in his face!" Yes, that really was his reply.

"Hmm, can you think of a different way to finish it?"

"I'll tackle him and punch him in the nose."

"OK, Liam, those are examples of how to perpetuate, or continue the fight. How about an idea on how to FINISH the fight?"

And then he hopped off my lap, put his arms around Owen's neck, apologized, and off they went.

Brothers Forever. Friends for Life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I choose JOY!

After the week from HELL that I've had to deal with at work (and hopefully have just emerged from), it was so nice to stumble upon this quote on Ali Edwards' blog tonight to remind me of something I've always believed.

Earl Nightingale : Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

I have always thought that we are each responsible for our own happiness. Not my parents, not my spouse, not my children...ME. I am responsible for my own happiness. It is a choice that I make. And when I allow another person's infuriating and unfounded actions to take away my happiness, I am surrendering control of my joy to this antagonist (interpretation - unbelievably annoying a$$hole) at work.

And since the stress-induced cold sores are completely out of my control, I have decided to regain control of my happiness.

I choose JOY!

I'm a big fat slob...

Back before there was the major motion picture Strangers With Candy, it was this little known series on Comedy Central that Kevin and I used to watch ALL the time (during the courtship phase of our relationship), and we would crack the heck up at the outrageous antics of Jerri Blank, the 46-year-old ex-con, ex-junkie, high-school freshman at Flatpoint High. In one of these twisted episodes, Jerri says over and over in her Jerri voice as she's rubbing her hands up and down her Jerri body in a freakish and disturbinf way, "I'm a big fat slob. I'm a big fat slob." But the WAY she said it, was more like, "I'm a big fat slooooooob." Hysterical. Maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, this particular line of hers has been popular for my husband and I to repeat on occasion... for instance after we've overindulged in a decadent meal (AND dessert) or when one or the other catches sight (accidentally, of course) of the other's bare flabby (and in the case of my husband - hairy) flesh. That's when we bust out this line. And it always causes the other person to crack up.

However, at the moment, I'm feeling down about my weight and the fact that I keep losing and gaining back the SAME 8 pounds. I'm just really frustrated. And for that, all I can say is "I'm a big fat sloooooob."

And I'm not laughing about it.

Mostly because while I know I'm not really a big fat slob, I still feel like a failure for not being able to reach and maintain my fitness goals. I was a Jane Fonda work out ADDICT in high school. The picture of fitness. What happened?!?

Then, I watch The Biggest Loser and my jaw drops in awe at these people who have lost 60, 90, 120 pounds! Surely if they can lose an entire person's worth of weight, I can manage to take off 10 pounds, keep it off, and then go for another 10, right?

So, why is it that when I'm down 8 pounds (like I was at the end of the summer and into the fall), and when I'm feeling great about the fact that my clothes are fitting me much better, and I can see more muscle definition, and my libido has increased, why, then, do I become complacent and stop exercising for 6 weeks, gaining back every ounce, rather than continue to work towards losing more weight to achieve my goals?!?


So, this week, now that I'm back to my previous starting point, my heaviest non-pregnancy weight, I've decided to get back on the fitness wagon by working out regularly again and trying to make the best food choices possible (I have a little problem with LOVING, and indulging in food & wine regularly, which doesn't help).

I'm going back to being a YBB Goddess. The Joyful Warrior, battling the winter weight bulge.

Although I really enjoy my Yoga Booty Ballet DVDs, I just ordered Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs. Hopefully this new work out program will help keep me motivated, and I can always switch it up with my beloved YBB DVDs once in a while.

The thing I like most about YBB, besides the dance-y ballet part of it, is the reflection and positivity yoga part of it. When I first started doing it, Jordyn asked me if I was joining a new religion. There's a lot of moodra-ing, and mantra-ing, and setting intentions - See your intention...BE your intention! Spread love, shine brightly, aspire upward to the heavens, love honor and cherish your unique self. Which is all very cool and refreshing and uplifting to practice this positive self talk. Namaste.

I've heard tons of great things about HHA from my fellow YBB goddesses on the YBB message boards. So, I'm going to try it. I hear that HHA, like YBB, is very dance-y (hence the Hip Hop). And until I can spend 8 hours in the dance studio with Maksim training for Dancing with the Stars, this new HHA DVD series will have to do.

Speaking of Dancing with the Stars, can I just say that I have the most ginormous crush on Julianne??? What a CUTIE! I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Anyhow, wish me luck. I want to be the BIGGEST loser!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Santa Breakfast & Jamming with the fam

Saturday was the annual Santa breakfast at the kids' school. Well, actually, now that Jordyn is in Middle School, I should say that it was the annual Santa breakfast at Liam's school.

In years past, I had volunteered in the kitchen pouring and flipping pancakes during the Santa Breakfast, but this year, I didn't volunteer for this event, and you know what? I didn't feel guilty about it at all! Shocking, I know! I usually have volunteer guilt because I like to volunteer, and feel like I should (where does that come from?). But do I really like to volunteer? Maybe I just like the IDEA of volunteering, because when it comes down to the volunteering, itself, it always seems like a chore and I have to coordinate everything with Kevin so he can "enjoy" the event with the kids while I'm volunteering.

So, since I wasn't volunteering and didn't need Kevin's assistance with the kids, and since he's with the kids all week with out me, and he had other things to do that day (like put the chains on the wheels of our tractor which turned out to be too small for the tires and since chains don't stretch he wasn't able to), I gave Kevin a get out of Forced Family Fun free card.

We purchased five tickets ahead of time, so in his place, I brought Jordyn's friend with us. Jordyn said, "Mom, I don't HAVE to sit on Santa's lap, do I?" Well of course not, just go over and talk to him and I'll take your picture. Oh, such embarrassment for a sixth grader!
Then it was Liam & Owen's turn to talk to Santa. What a treat! Santa, Open your eyes!! Of course Owen wants a big huge train box and a big huge car box. Whenever you ask him what he wants for Christmas, this is his response, with out fail. Liam on the other hand, busted out a new request than what we had heard and discussed earlier in the season. He wants a remote control motorcycle. Ack!

After visiting Santa, we ate a nice rubber pancake breakfast. Then Liam made crafts in Santa's workshop. Jordyn was never interested in making the crafts when she was little, but Liam really enjoyed it. Not surprising, though, since he also likes to stamp cards & candles and scrapbook with me. Here he is making an adorable reindeer craft. He knew what to do without me even explaining it to him!

Owen kept begging to go back and see Santa, so Jordyn tried to take him to do that while I was at the craft workshop with Liam. But, by that time, the line for Santa had gotten too long. When Jordyn & Owen returned to Santa's workshop, Liam was at the craft station where Jordyn's 1st grade teacher was volunteering. Now, when Jordyn was in 1st grade, it was this teacher's first class on his own outside of college. So, I thought it would be fun for him to see Jordyn and to take a picture with her (a member of the first graduating class that he will ever have taught, who are now 6th graders) and I was amazed at what I saw... Jordyn is like, girlfriend height next to him! Here she is next to her former 1st grade teacher, and she comes to his shoulder....and he's a TALL man! It was bizarre. He said he felt really old seeing her... uh, excuse me, but I'm the old one - I gave birth to this child who is now in 6th grade! How do you think that makes ME feel?
After the Santa breakfast, we saw another Santa at Meijer. Again with the remote control motorcycle...when DID Liam come up with this gift idea??? Up until Saturday, he had asked for a DS Lite, an electric guitar, a Star Wars I Lego DS game, and Rock Em Sock Em Robots (not the DS game version, he already has that, but the real game version). These were his 4 requests. And Santa only brings each kid 4 presents.
Later that night, Liam played with Kevin's electric guitar at home and remembered that his very own electric guitar was numero uno on his Christmas list. In a very concerned and worried manner he asked me "Mom, is that the last time we'll see Santa?" Knowing the reason why he was asking, I replied, "Why do you ask?" "Because I forgot to ask him for my very own electric guitar." I told Liam that we may see Santa again before Christmas, but even if we don't, we can write him a letter and tell him to forget about the remote control motorcycle, and to get an electric guitar instead. YES!
So, Kevin has an electric guitar that used to belong to one of his buddies. He's had it for a while now, but Kevin doesn't mess around with it very often. That, however, was before my dad delivered the baby grand piano to our house last week (another story altogether). So, Friday night, I started banging out some Christmas tunes on the piano, which prompted Kev to break out his electric guitar, and we had a full fledged jam session. Liam assisted Kev on the guitar, Owen sang and danced and kept asking "Where's my dance floor? Where's my dance floor?" It was hysterical! We sounded horrible! But we had so much fun.
The guitar is no longer buried in the basement collecting dust. It is now easily accessible alongside the newly delivered, needing to be tuned, baby grand piano in what I now refer to as our music room. I can't wait to get the kids started on some lessons!

Oh the things O says

Owen is at a stage at 3 1/2 years old where just about everything he says, and how he says it, just crack me up.

For example, the VERY first thing he said to me Friday morning was -

"Ma, you want iPhone for kissmas?"

He's not incredibly easy to understand, so when he says something out of the blue and off the wall like this, especially when I think he should say something more like "Hi Mommy! I missed you" seeing that this was the first I had seen him in a week, I usually reply with "What?" just so he'll say what I thought it was that he said again and I can validate the hilarity of it.

"Ma, you want iPhone for kissmas? And a purse? Just two things. You get two things."

Apparently, the night before, at dinner, Kevin and Jordyn were discussing some ideas on what to get me for my birthday and for Christmas, not even thinking Owen was paying attention to the conversation, and these were the things he zeroed in on (although, the iPhone was discussed, the purse was not, so he came up with the purse on his own).

A half hour later, Owen wanted me to replace some batteries in his toy train, but the battery box was all the way downstairs in the pantry, up on a shelf, where it always is, and so I made some comment about not having any batteries. To which Owen replied, "The batteries are in the pantry, on the shelf, I could climb, climb, climb, and get them, I saw them in the pantry with my blue eyes."

You saw the batteries with your blue eyes? I mean, he does have blue eyes, but what made him think he needed to be so specific? Of course, I didn't want him climbing the shelves of the pantry, and his comment cracked me up so much that I just had to get up off my rear to retrieve the batteries for him all the way downstairs.

The rest of the day with Owen, I must have thought "That is so funny, I have to remember what he just said," a thousand times, but of course the rest of his remarks have now gotten away from me. I may not have the best memory, but I do know that this kid cracks me up, A LOT.