The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's not my bed time yet

Usually, on the weekends, we let the boys stay up until 10:00 or 11:00. It just depends on what we've got going on.

Well, tonight we had nothing going on. But, they had a late night yesterday spending the night at their cousins' house and tomorrow is going to be a long party day for the Superbowl, so I put them to bed around 8:30, and by the time we were done reading books, it was about 8:55.

Not even 5 minutes after I kissed them goodnight and left their bedroom, Owen appeared in my office to explain to me that it wasn't their bed time yet. His visual explanation cracked me up, so I recorded his closing argument for all of you to share. (his original argument did not have all of my "prompts", so it was much funnier the first time around)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not God's House

Owen- Mom, da chapel upstairs at tool is not God's house.
Me- The chapel at school is NOT God's house?
Owen- No, it's not God's house.
Me- Well, then where is God's house?
Owen- Da whole entire eart. Actually, outside a da eart.
Liam- You mean outerspace?
Owen- Yep, da entire space. All of it. Dat's God's house.

Wow, this kid thinks about God a LOT.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More God Questions

Owen - Mom, Why did God make police officers and bad guys?
Me - Uh, I don't really know, sweetie.
Owen - God just shouldn't have made the bad guys.
Kevin - But then there would be no police officers.
Owen - Oooohh.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A little birdie kawinkydink, er I mean Quinkydink

I have had birdseed in the bird feeder outside my office/scrap space window forever.

It was such a joy to watch birdies come and go all spring, summer, and fall. I literally filled up the feeder every couple of days between April and October.

And before it got really cold, I made sure to fill the feeder up so that the birdies wouldn't be hungry all winter. Poor little birdies.

Now, I know that here in Michigan, birds migrate south in the winter. But, I also know that not ALL birds get the heck out of frozen dodge during the winter which is why I have found it so very odd that I have had no feathered visitors to that feeder since late October.


The feeder was just as full in January as it was in late October.

Until yesterday.

The birdies came back. Oh, boy! Did they come back!There were easily 30 birds in and around my feeder nearly all day and they ate nearly all the seed!

I was so super excited about this (exciting life, I know, don't be jealous) that I grabbed my camera and started snapping pics. The birds, I had decided would become that day's picture for my Project 365.

I was so super excited, in fact, that I took over 30 pictures.
Which is why, when I opened my fortune cookie from our lunch time Chinese carry-out, I thought it was a wild kawinkydink Quinkydink that the fortune had a Learn Chinese section and my Chinese word to learn was "Birds". Xiao-Niao. (Don't even try to read the fortune itself, that made no sense to me.)

Just a bit of a kawinkydink Quinkydink , don't ya think?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Did Santa make God?

A quick Saturday morning conversation...

Owen- "Mom, did Santa make God?"
Me-"Uh, Nooooo."
Owen-"Oh. Did God make God? Was God already made?"
Owen-"Does God go pee?"

Now, really, how do you answer that one?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

That was TOTALLY Sick!

We were driving in the car today when, out of the blue Liam busts out, "That was TOTALLY Sick!"

"Mom, Do you even know what that means?"

Does he think I'm an idiot?

"Yes, Liam, it means it's good."

"Yep! It was totally Sick! Totally Wicked! Totally Rad!"

Who is this kid?

A minute or two of silence, and then out of the blue, this.

"We missed the Rocheter lights this year."

OK, Liam, that was last month, and this is the first time you mention the fact that we didn't go to Rochester to see the light show is today, near the end of January?!?! "I know we did. We'll go this year."

"Mom, I wish I had a remote control that could rewind time and we could go see the Rochester lights right now."

"Now THAT, Liam, would be TOTALLY Sick!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Usual

In between interviews today (yes, less than a week of being laid off, Kevin has already had 2 face to face interviews and several phone conversations with various people....there IS hope!) Anyway, in between interviews today, Kevin came and picked me up from work to take me to lunch rather than go home in between the interviews (both of which were in Southfield, so it didn't make sense for him to drive all the way home, anyway.)

Back in the day when Kevin and I both worked at Delphi, we used to go to this restaurant at least once a week. Orchid Cafe, yummy Thai food. And every week, I would order the same thing.

C9 Chicken Medium, minus broccoli, plus white onions.

I ordered it so often, that I'm surprised they didn't just change the menu to my specifications.

And Kev almost always ordered

C9 Chicken Medium (no special requests, because that's way too high maintenance for him. He doesn't share the Burger King philosophy that you can have it your way....not even AT Burger King!)

And almost every week, the same waitress or two would wait on us and they came to know what we wanted. All they would have to say is "The Usual?"

Well, we haven't been to this restaurant together in almost two years. But today we went. And there was the same waitress.

And she said, "Haven't seen you two in here in a long time. The Usual?"

It had been so long, that I had kind of forgotten what the usual was. So I was looking at the menu and located C9 just as the waitress was saying "C9, Chicken Medium, minuuuuuus broccoli, plus white onions."


Yes, the usual.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some Owen Funnies

I know I've said this before, but Owen cracks us up constantly. Here are a couple of snippets of conversations...just from today.

O-"Dad, do you have snowpants?"
K-"No, Owen. I don't have snowpants."
O-"Do you have a snow board?"
K-"Nope. No snow board."
O-"Well, do you have a sled?"
O-"Do you have a house?"
K-"Yes, Owen. Two of 'em."
O-"You have TWO houses?!?!" maniacal giggles
O-"That's right, the OLD house and the NEW house."

Now, I can see the transition from snowpants to snow boards to sleds, however, I'm not sure how the leap to houses was made. Such is the train of thought for a four year old.

As we were driving to Red Knapp's for dinner tonight, we passed Kalloway's, a local restaurant that recently closed down due to the economic shit storm we're currently in. Now, Kalloway's was always one of Owen's favorite places to go because they make a mean peanut butter and jelly sammich, so he is well aware that the venue has shut down. As we passed the restaurant today, a car pulled into its parking lot.

O-"WHAT is that car going to Kalloway's for?!?!? Don't they know it's CLOSED?! (slight pause)They must be robbers and they're going to steal everything...BWAHHHAAAAHHHAAA!!!!"
Liam-"Maybe they're someone who wants to buy the restaurant." (pretty smart idea for a 7 year old)
O-"Maybe they're just really hungry and they want to go eat there, but they don't know it's CLOOOOOOSED. BWAHHHAAAAHHHAAA!!!"

I guess the funniest part of the whole Kalloway's exchange was once again Owen's maniacal giggles. If I could just bottle up his laughter and take a sip from it every time I'm feeling down or pissed off, all would be right with the world. The money I could make selling his laughter to other people. It truly is infectious.

While we were at dinner, the subject of smoking came up. I'm not sure why. I think Kev was joking around with Jordyn and asked her if she and her friends had been smoking all afternoon. Jordyn was aghast and exclaimed "Ewwwwwww! No WAY! Smoking's grooooooooos! I'm NEVER going to smoke!" Liam echoed her sentiments, "Me neither, that's disgusting!!" Owen was smiling (and giggling) and proceeded to say (somewhat to himself, which made it all the more funny)..."I'm smoking. I'm smoking all the time." And you know what? If any of our kids is gonna get drunk before they're legally allowed to, or high, or smoke, it will be Owen. He's the kid that likes to spin around and around and around and around to make himself dizzy. He LOVES that feeling.

Our maniacal, infectious Owen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On the Road Again

Heading over to Grand Rapids today for a post-Christmas Christmas party with Kev's mom's side of the family, Owen took my camera out of my computer bag and started taking pictures.

I think he was getting bored because the drive took longer than usual due to the extremely poor driving conditions (we saw TONS of cars in the ditch, one was even turned upside on its roof, scary).

O - "Mo-om, say chee-eeth!"

O- "Mom, it's your turn."
Mom- "Owen, say chee-eese!"
Mom- "Your turn again, O."

O- "Wia-ahh, say chee-eeth!"
O- giggle giggle giggle "Your turn, mom."

Mom- "Daa-ad, say chee-eese!" (he didn't say cheese or even look at the camera, and I was totally OK with that)
Mom- "Jordyn, say chee-eese!"
And that's how we passed our time on the way to GR. What I love about these pics is that they truly capture how we pass the time during the long drive.....

.....Kev driving. Liam playing DS. Me reading a scrapbook magazine. Jordyn listening to her iTouch. And Owen being a sweetie.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Times

Every time I hear about someone getting laid off, I sing the Good Times theme song in my head. I can't help it.

Temporary lay offs. Good Times. (just this part)
Easy credit rip offs. Good Times.
Scratchin' and surviving. Good Times.
Hangin in a chow line Good Times.
Ain't we lucky we got 'em Good Times.

So, when Kevin was told on Wednesday that he would be laid off effective Friday, I sang this song in my head. (just that first part) And I couldn't believe I was singing it about us.

Not like a layoff is by any means shocking these days, and since he's been on the bench since October 1, we kind of expected it to happen sooner or later.

Turns out it was later than what the HR department had wanted, they wanted it to take effect on 12/30 but his direct manager got an extension hoping some work would materialize, (but it didn't).

It also turns out that it was sooner, considering the lay off took effect on Thursday (today) instead of Friday.

I had to give Nee Nee (our daycare lady, dear friend and the boys' second mom) a two week notice that our boys wouldn't be coming there any longer. (trickle down effect)

That phone call was really hard for me to make and I unexpectedly broke down in tears when I told her about our situation. She was the first person to whom I verbally delivered the news (I had already emailed a couple of people with no emotional melt down). But saying it out loud brought it into sharp reality.

We were feeling a bit down and out of sorts about the situation yesterday.

But today Kev found out he gets 4 weeks severance and nearly 3 weeks of vacation.

Good Times.

Then a former co-worker told him about a potential 6 month gig in the central US for which Kev would be a perfect fit, and he forwarded his resume.

Good Times.

Things were looking up.

Then I got this news from Nee Nee (our daycare lady, dear friend and the boys' second mom - in case you forgot).

She went to the local psychic here in town and whether or not you believe in that kind of stuff, you have to admit that the following exchange she had with the psychic was eerily coincidental.

Psychic - You work with children.
Nee Nee - Yes I do.
Psychic - What exactly do you do?
Nee Nee - You're the psychic! You tell me.
Psychic - It doesn't exactly work that way.
Nee Nee - I have a daycare.
Psychic - And "something big" recently happened there.
Nee Nee - Yes.
Psychic - Don't worry. The boy's father is very VERY good at what he does and he will find another job within the month. That little boy will be back in your care very soon.

Good. Times.

Ain't we lucky we got 'em?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fixin' ta

Hey, did you know that Barack Obama is fixin' ta assume the presidency of the United States?

That's what George W. Bush said in his LAST press conference as President of the United States yesterday...

(referring to a lunch he had earlier with Carter, Clinton, Bush Sr., himself, and Obama)... "we've all experienced what it means to assume the responsibility of the presidency. And President-Elect Obama is fixing to do that."

Yes, he used the phrase fixin' ta. In an official presidential press conference. His LAST presidential press conference. Fixin' ta.

Except the transcript of the press conference on was kind enough to add the "g" at the end of fixin' and to spell the word to with an "o". But I listened to it on NPR, and there was definitely no "g" in use by dubya, and he did not say to, he said ta.

Not that there's anything wrong with the southern phrase fixin' ta. Heck, my own roots is in the south, and I'm no stranger to the saying (not that I use it).

I just didn't expect to hear it in a presidential press conference.

That's all I'm saying.

Did I mention it was his LAST?

Now, if ya'll will excuse me, I'm fixin' ta scrap.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Birthday Deals

Do you or does someone you know have a birthday coming up?

My mom found this list of restaurants that give away free stuff (and who doesn't like free stuff?!?) on or around your birthday. Too bad she sent me this list 23 days after my birthday, so I can't take advantage until the very end of this year.

Personally, I think December birthdays should be eligible to use these perks in May, because December is so gosh darn full of, baking, kids' plays/concerts, ornament exchanges, cocktails with friends you haven't seen all year, family parties, etc. Who has the time/energy to go out and do much else in December? Even if it is free.

Hopefully you see this post before your birthday and you can take advantage very soon.

Some offers may require you to sign up for their birthday club in order to get sent a coupon/email of some check the website first.

If any information in this list is wrong, blame Bonnie. :)

Happy Birthday!

Old Country Buffet/Ryan’s/Fire Mountain –
Birthday Offer – One Adult Buffet Meal Free w/Purchase of One Adult Buffet Meal
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after birthday
(You also receive the same offer immediately just for signing up for cClub)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers –
Birthday Offer – Free Gourmet Burger of Choice
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after birthday

Culver’s –
Birthday Offer – free one-scoop sundae
Offer good 7 days before and 7 days after

Dairy Queen –
Birthday Offer – Free 16 oz. Blizzard w/purchase of another 16 oz. Blizzard
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after birthday

Mountain Jack’s –
Birthday Offer - $10 off Dinner for 2
Offer Good for 7 days before and 14 day after birthday

Famous Dave’s –
Birthday Offer – Ranges from free dessert, appetizer, free meal or BBQ Feast (code on e-mail determines what you get – currently B10 is free dessert, B08 is free appetizer)
Offer Good 7 days before and 23 days after birthday

BD’s Mongolian
Birthday Offer – Free Stir-Fry Meal
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after birthday

Topz Healthier Burger Grill –
Birthday Offer – Free Meal
Offer Good for 7 days before birthday

Cold Stone Creamery –
Birthday Offer – Free Love It size Signature Creation
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after birthday

UNO Chicago Grill –
Birthday Offer - $10 off Dinner for 2
Offer Good for 7 days before and 14 day after birthday

Red Lobster –
Birthday Offer - $5 off two dinner entrees
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after birthday

Zehnder’s in Frankenmuth
Birthday Offer - Free Family Style or 3-Piece Chicken Dinner (also free ornament from Bronner’s and discount coupon for Zehnder-owned stores)
Offer Good for month of your birthday

Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth
Birthday Offer – Free Family Style Dinner w/purchase of 1 Family Style Dinner
Offer Good for month of your birthday

Baskin Robbins –
Birthday Offer – Free 2.5 oz scoop plus discount coupon on cake
Offer Good five days before your birthday

Buddy’s Pizza -
Birthday Offer – Free 4-square cheese pizza or credit on bigger pizza(also $5 coupon for signing up)
Offer Good – month of birthday

Johnny Rockets –
Birthday Offer – Free Hamburger w/purchase of another sandwich, starter & drink Offer Good for 30 days after your birthday

Qdoba Mexican Grill –
Birthday Offer – Free signature burrito w/purchase or burrito or entrĂ©e
Offer Good for 7 days before and 7 days after your birthday

Macaroni Grill –
Birthday Offer – Free piece of Chocolate Cake
Offer Good 7 days before and 30 days after your birthday

Tropical Smoothie Cafe –
Birthday Offer – Free Tropical Smoothie
Offer Good 7 days after your birthday

- To protect your main e-mail address, sign up for a free Internet-based e-mail account (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) to use for commercial offers
- Go to web site and look for sign up for eclub, birthday club, etc.
- Some sites also send wedding anniversary offers


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Jesus Could

Today was our day (after the Christmas frenzy) to overhaul the playroom.

Four trash bags, a paper box full and some odds and ends for the garage sale (that we always say we're going to have and then never do) and another trash bag full of trash.

For the last several weeks, the play room closet (which is a walk in, and which is where most of the toys should stay corralled but never do) has smelled like piss.

With the holiday hoopla, my sickness the day after Christmas, then Kevin's sickness from New Year's Eve until a couple days ago, we haven't had the energy nor the time to investigate the stench.

As we were doing the overhaul, I found the lid to one of the kids big storage bins (you know the ones that are about knee high and about 2 feet wide by about 3 feet long), well the lid had some sticky weird science experiment on the top of it....that smelled like piss.

AH HA! The source.

Surely it was just some fermented juice, right?

I sprayed it down and wiped it clean. There. That's better.

Until I dumped the contents of the bin and still smelled the piss.

There, at the bottom of the bin was a bigger crusty mess and upon inspection, the contents of the bin (power rangers, rescue heroes, star wars figures, transformers) all smelled like piss and some were slightly coated.

This was not fermented juice. Someone took a leak in the boys' beloved heroes bin.

Sorry guys, this whole pile of toys has to be pitched. I am not gonna go through it and figure out which toys were peed on and which ones weren't.

They were a little sad but understood...and they certainly didn't want to play with pee toys.

I was wracking my brain trying to figure out who could have peed in one of our toy bins. All of the kids we have over are either big enough to know better or too little to know how to pee outside of their diapers.

I tried asking Owen if he knew who could have possibly peed in the toy bin? Did he do it?

O-It wasn't me, mom. It wasn't me.

Me-Well, then, who could have done it?

O-It could have been a baby.

Me-A baby? Like what baby? I asked, thinking maybe he knew something.

O-Jesus could.

Me-Jesus could? You think the baby JESUS peed in the toy bin?

O-Well, he could.

Somehow, I'm thinking not.

Connected to Kevin, Signal Strength Excellent

Our home wireless network is called Kevin.

When I really looked at the connection status on my laptop this morning it made me smile at how very true this is...

Connected to: Kevin.

Signal Strength: EXCELLENT

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pink rabbits and rainbows and ponies

Liam is a very dramatic child.

He gets worked up so easily over the littlest of things, constantly making mountains out of mole hills.

  • Dad locked me in my room all day! (Kevin sent him to his room once, for about 10 minutes)
  • Everybody's yelling at me all day long! Everyone hates me! (Me telling him to get his pajamas on. right. now. in the calmest of voices, albeit not in the most pleasant of tones)
  • Nobody gets it! Nobody understands! I AM trying my hardest to be good. I AM! You just don't get it. (this screeched in the whiniest of all whiny / screechy voices with his face all scrunched up and his hands flailing about)

So, he put on his pajamas and I got into my comfy clothes.

Maybe we don't get it. Obviously I don't get it because I never know what's going to set him off, and he goes off a lot.

Maybe this kid just needs a little one on one time tonight.

I went into his room, sat crossed legged on his bed and said, "What do you want to do?" He was a little taken aback and didn't get what I meant. "Me & You. Let's do something together." His first suggestion was to make some cards and practice his letters. HUH? "We could do that, or we could play a game." That sounded better to him and he suggested Battleship. "Yes, I know how to play Battleship." He went to the game closet and returned with Connect Four because he couldn't find Battleship. We easily played 20 rounds of Connect Four before switching to Junior Monopoly.

Just me & Liam.

And it was really nice. He wasn't whiny. He wasn't screechy. He didn't get worked up over anything (even though he lost every single game, and usually he's a sore see, I am NOT one of those parents who "lets" my kid win - unless they're four, and even then not very often).

After the games we discussed how nice it was for us to just play and that we should make family play dates more often. I definitely want to do more of that playing thing.

He was such an angelic child for the rest of the night.

As I was tucking him into bed, though, he started to tell me about a kid at the bus stop who always has to be first in line and takes cuts and it's not fair and getting worked up and up and up. Over nothing. So I told Liam in my wispiest and hippiest of all voices, "You know what man? Just let it go. You need to learn to just let it all gooooooo. Ain't no thang but a chicken wang, man."

And that's when he said it. "Yep, You know what? I will let it go. I will let it go to Wonderful Land ... full of pink rabbits and rainbows and ponies. I'll let it go to wonder land with pink clouds. Yep, that's where it can all go."

So, I'm not sure if I should be happy that I was able to diffuse his quickly shortening wick or if I should be worried about the pink rabbits and rainbows and ponies.

At least he's got someplace where he can send all of his troubles. Wonderful Land.

Just let it go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blogging Saved My Scrapbook Page

Yesterday I started working on a layout of Jordyn's 12th birthday - Dec 2007. And tonight I finished it. YAY!

I'm working on a birthday album for each kid, and I'm working my way backwards through their birthdays. Since I haven't scrapped any of their birthdays, I've got a lot of work to do!

As I was putting the page together, I remembered that the family came to visit me in NJ / NYC a couple of days before her birthday, and they went back to Michigan before her birthday. I remembered that I wasn't home on THE DAY of her birth nor was she in NJ / NYC with me on the day of her birth.

Surely scrapping a page about us shopping and theatre-ing in NYC would suffice as her birthday layout, right?

It didn't feel right. There had to have been something more to her birthday celebration ON her birthday.

And there was!

Blogging saved my scrapbook page.

Birthday in New York (pardon the flash on the photo).


Project 365 Giveaway

Like thousands and thousands of scrapbookers around the world, a couple of my friends desperately wanted to purchase the Project 365 kit of the month. Unfortunately, the kit sold out in record time, crashed the company's servers (or whatever), and thousands were sadly (and sometimes very angrily) left empty handed and disappointed, unable to order a kit (my friends included).

I entertained the idea of buying the kit myself, but didn't log in to order it until 2 hours after the sale began....which was about an hour and 52 minutes too late.

That hasn't stopped me from taking a picture every day, though. Yeah, OK, it's only day 6, and so what if Monday's picture was taken at 12:35 am...which was technically Tuesday...I still counted it as a Monday picture since I hadn't gone to bed yet and my day wasn't officially over.

The concept of Project 365 is to take at least one picture a day to record your family's daily life and the kit has all sorts of gizmos and whizbangs to help you do that.

So, I thought I'd give this 365 photo thing a shot, even if I don't have the kit.

What's that you say? You don't have the kit either? Well, you have the chance to WIN one!!!

Would you believe that some generous person who was able to purchase this coveted kit of all kits, I'd dare say the HOLY GRAIL of kits, and she is GIVING IT AWAY in a contest on her blog instead of selling it on eBay for twelve thousand dollars?!?

Shocking, I know.

Check it out....and good luck!

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Scrapping Resolution

So, my only resolution this year was to scrapbook more.

My friend, Tina is going to start some sort of scrapbooking group / challenge blog type thing where everyone has to create and post one lay out per week. That might not sound like a lot to you non-scrappers, but to my Scrappin Sistas, you know how challenging that can be.

So far this year I've created two layouts. And I created two layouts after Christmas (before the end of 2008).
So, in the last 9 days, I've created FOUR layouts.
All of them are for my kids' birthday albums. I am WELL on my way to keeping my one and only New Year's resolution. (Pardon the poor photo quality, it's after 1 am and I'm just a wee bit tired)...


Sweet Thirteen...

Jedi Liam...

Private, this one I made with Liam. He picked the color card stock papers, he had the idea to use those "wave" scissors (but I tore the paper instead and he agreed it still looked like a wave), and it was his idea to cut out rocks to use as a border around the campfire photos at the bottom (to mimic our stone fire pit on the beach). Honestly, I'm not thrilled with this layout and I should probably do something to take it to the next level. But the important thing is that I've captured the memory. And that's what it's all about for me.

For some reason, my boys always want to scrapbook with me (or, "crapbook" as Owen calls it). I understand now why Kevin hesitates to let the boys go fishing with him. These are our own little hobbies that we each want to peace. I don't want to help you find your scissors or fix every rock that you just cut out or answer a bazillion questions. You're boys. Go wrestle, or something, and let me scrap in peace!

And here's the best part about 'crapbooking, imo...
Good thing I didn't have "get more sleep" as one of my new year's resolutions. Because "scrapbook more" and "get more sleep" can not co-exist in my world. It's nearly 2am and I have to be up at 5am tomorrow (so I can work out before going to work...the only reason "exercise more" and "get more healthy" aren't resolutions this year is because, supposedly, they are both already part of my lifestyle change that I embarked on this past August). Oy.
Good Night.

So What

On Friday some girlfriends from high school and I got a hotel room at the MGM Detroit for a night out on the town.

We arrived in the D a little after 3pm. There were only supposed to be 2 of us in the room, but they didn't say anything when all 5 of us showed up with enough bags for 12 girlfriends had to have multiple going out wardrobe options, don'tchaknow. Me? I brought one outfit. My trusty $17 dress purchased a couple of weeks ago at Kohl's. Thank you very much Daisy Fuentes.

As Lori was checking in, she told the front desk clerk that she was here to have a romantic weekend. The rest of us were all keeping our distance from the registration desk, lest we be discovered...except for Heidi. Heidi sidled up next to Lori, sporting a bottle of wine in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other, to give Lori the luggage valet tag. Lori was cracking up inside and Heidi was none the wiser. Had Heidi known what conversation had just transpired (about the whole romantic weekend), she probably would have kissed Lori on the cheek and squeezed her ass.

Not sure why the hotel room overnight maximum was only 2 people, though, since our suite was approximately 1,000 square feet.

Anyhoo, we relaxed in the room a bit before getting ready. Much laughter. A few beverages. Some dancing. Some pseudo-karakoeing. Lots of wardrobe changes and accessorizing. I may have only brought one dress, but I wore Aimee's necklace and Andrea's bracelet and earrings. I felt like we were in college or in our early twenties again.

We had 7:30 dinner reservations at Bourbon Steak, so we wanted to get to the casino for a little bit beforehand.

I don't gamble. It's just not fun for me to lose money at a blackjack table that I'd rather use for, oh, I don't know...another glass of wine, perhaps. So, while Heidi & Andrea found a table (it wasn't easy, the casino was pretty crowded); Aimee, Lori, and I went to the Casino bar/loungey area.

Some stranger stopped our gorgeous Lori and asked her if he could give her some money to gamble with. Uh, no thanks.

Our dinner was FABULOUS. No one could really decide what to order, so we did things tapas style. We shared a bunch of appetizers...
MMM, I'm getting hungry just reminiscing about it. And, no, I didn't memorize the menu, I copied and pasted from their web site.

Then we all pitched in $20 for Heidi to play at the Craps table where she knew the pit boss guy. I had NO idea what was going on. I tried to follow what was happening, couldn't do it. How do you know if you won? How do you know when to let someone else roll the dice? I was utterly confused.

Fortunately, it didn't take her long to lose all of our money (shocking, I know).

By then it was time to shake our money makers (a brief stint at a couple of clubs) before heading back to the hotel where more merriment and dancing and uber silly goofiness occurred. I slept through most of the hysterical hotel room jackassery, however, (hello, it was 2 am people!)

Had a BLAST with these girls. Can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Do we start over tomorrow?

That's what 4 year old Owen asked me yesterday as I was taking down the Christmas decorations.

"Mom, is Halloween next?"

"Well, Owen, Halloween won't be here for a long time."

"Oh. (long thoughtful pause) So, do we start over tomorrow?"

"Why yes we do, Owen. We start over tomorrow."

And that's what today feels like. Starting over. Fresh and new.

A new year.
New chances.
A clean slate.

I took the kids out to dinner tonight and explained to them the concept of New Year's resolutions. I told them that they were like promises to yourself about changing things in your life for the better.

So, I asked the kids to tell me what some of their resolutions were, and I wrote them on the Chili's kid menu in blue crayon.

Owen didn't really get the concept of a resolution. So his ideas were things like...go to the store more, buy more toys, open presents from Santa, go to Walmart (he's NEVER even been to a Walmart!)

Jordyn came up with a couple. The first was to go to church. Since I'm not huge on organized religion and there's no way on God's green earth we'd ever get Kevin to go to church, I wanted to understand this resolution of hers a little bit better. OK Jordyn, so what church? How are you going to get there? Why do you want to go to church? I wasn't asking her in a "you can't have this as one of you resolutions" tone, it was more of a genuinely curious tone. She couldn't really answer my questions and then decided that the thought of going to church actually made her nervous (she couldn't explain why...maybe it was all my questions), so she decided not to keep that one on the list.

The second one was to save her money. She has been blowing through her babysitting money as soon as she gets it. So, I thought this was a very interesting and responsible resolution for her to make.

Liam had no shortage of resolutions ideas. As a matter of fact, he was the first one to come up with one....RECYCLE. OK, good start. It might be hard to get dad on board with that, but recycling is something I already do, and if he wants to be more on board and in tune with that, I think that's great! Once he realized that he could have more than one resolution, he added "be nice to my brother and sister" to the list, which Jordyn promptly complained that she was JUST about to say that. I explained that it was perfectly OK for them to have some of the same resolutions. Just because Liam has it, didn't mean Jordyn couldn't also have it.

He also added these resolutions to the list. Write 'em down, mom!
  • eat healthy
  • be thankful to God
  • clean up
  • help each other
Then I decided that we needed to create a couple of family resolutions that we're all going to work on.

First and foremost, a moratorium on the word HATE. We all over-use this word, and I'm probably the biggest offender. I hate these shoes. I hate this show. I hate traffic. I hate snow. I hate how my butt looks in these jeans. So, no more hate. POSITIVITY.

Secondly, MANNERS. I think my kids are already pretty well-mannered, but it can't hurt to zoom in on the importance of having good manners.

As for me, personally, my only resolution this year is to focus on scrapbooking. I need to make it a priority and my first goal is to finish each of my kids' birthday albums by Owen's 5th birthday on April 25th. Owen has 2 of 4 birthdays scrapped, Jordyn has 1 of 13, and Liam has 0 of 7. So, that's 21 birthdays that I need to scrap in the next 4 months.

I better get cracking!