Thursday, December 31, 2009

You can't win the war if you lose every battle

Any battle of wills ultimately comes down to who wants it more.


Unfortunately for me, Emma Jane's will is clearly stronger than mine.


She is easily the most strong-willed child I have ever met.


Probably on the planet.


And she has been this way since birth.


I think she is still paying me back for forcing her out of the womb when she so obviously was content to stay there.




Have you ever heard your pediatrician say that a baby won't starve them self and will eat when hungry? Well I am hear to tell you that that doctor never met daughter! She really should be studied in universities across the country.




When she was an infant, I had a really hard time with nursing her. Not only was she just not very good at it, but Libby was beside herself with jealousy and the two of them were just stressing me out. So I decided to wean Emma Jane. I left her with my mother for the weekend fully expecting to pick up a happy, bottle-fed baby 36 hours later.




Not so much...


Emma Jane was so pissed that we were trying to poison her with that nasty formula, that she went on a five day hunger strike. She wouldn't even eat baby food. She got so lethargic that she could barely lift her head to look at me. So I crumpled. Rather than take her to the ER for an IV (which is what the next step was) I started popping fenugreek like it was candy and resumed nursing her. And continued to do so until she was 16 months old. Emma Jane, not I, decided when to stop nursing.




She is still very particular about what goes in her mouth. Now, most preschoolers I know are picky eaters. Libby is a picky eater too. Both of my girls would eat nothing but waffles and pop tarts if given the choice. Since allowing that would knock me out of the running for Mother of the Year, I require a little more variety. Libby is rule follower, so I made dinner time rules. She has to eat at least one bite of everything on her plate. So I know that Libby is going to get at least one bite of a vegetable everyday. (And usually she discovers that Mommy actually makes pretty good food and will eat more than one bite.)




Emma Jane, who is still secretly fearing poison not a rule follower, feels no need to try any food that looks questionable. She can't be bribed either. EJ would rather watch her sister eat a cookie for dessert than get one herself by eating the freaking green bean!




We have now reached the potty training age.


And I am becoming more and more convinced that she really is trying to slowly drive me to insanity!




Last week, we travelled to my mother's house for Christmas. It is an 8 hour drive each way. Emma Jane wore the same diaper for the entire trip.




Because she kept telling me that she needed to go potty. And every time we stopped, she did.




When we got back home, I told her that since she was such a big girl in the car that we would start wearing big girl panties and using the potty everyday. She seemed really excited at first.




And then I guess she changed her mind. After her 5th accident yesterday...And I use the word "accident" lightly!...After the 5th time she peed on my carpet just two minutes after getting off the potty...After the 5th time she smiled at me while doing it...I lost it! I know you aren't supposed to punish children for potty accidents but I did. I put her in time out. And I yelled at her.




So I am thinking that not only do I have the only child in existence that will actually starve herself, but I also have the first mentally competent child that will in fact go off to college wearing Depends.




I don't know what to do with her anymore. Her desire to win clearly outstrips mine. Somebody please potty train her for me! Because I really just can't do it myself.


I will have to be committed.
She scares me, people!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

8 months

John is 8 months old today. At this time he:

weighs 17 lbs

is 28+ inches long

wears 9-12 month clothing

reaches for Mommy when he sees me

takes two naps a day

has two teeth

detests baby food and prefers to feed himself

is too easily distracted to nurse

has been on formula for less than 24 hours but is taking it well

is therefore my most compliant child!



He also:


started crawling forwards!

Oh look, Captain Distracto found some fringe to play with!




tries really hard to sit himself up!


had his first fever :(



sleeps with his mouth open



has curls (sort of)




can pull up in his crib.




Is such a happy baby!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Morning (AKA "Wretched Excess")

Despite Libby's lamentations that Christmas was neh-ver.going.to.get.HERE, it came and went too fast for me! We travelled to Alabama to spend the holiday with my mom and her new husband and despite the trauma of spending 8 hours in a minivan with 3 kids, we had a wonderful time. Dan is fitting into the family very nicely, if I do say so. The kids had a great time with "Pop" and I love seeing my mom so happy.
We went to church on Christmas Eve. The nursery was closed, so the kids joined us for the service. My mother goes to a very contemporary church and it was a total hoot watching as Libby jammed out to the electric guitar version of Angels We Have Heard on High. After church we had dinner and got ready for bed. (I really wish I could use the "Santa won't come until you are asleep so you better go to sleep quickly" line every night!) Here are the kids decked out in their matching jammies before bed.
We didn't get the cookies made in time, so this year Santa got Christmas cupcakes instead. (Daddy busted into those as soon as the girls turned their light out. The reindeer's carrots ended up back in the fridge!)
In return for the cupcakes, Santa left them this:
And this:

This is Libby doing her happy dance when she saw the goods!
Emma Jane, whom I fully expected to be totally into the blocks, went straight for the easel and stayed there for the next two days. The markers are already mostly dried out thanks to her!
John knew right away which gift was for him:
He also got some sports balls and a tonka truck in his stocking. He was in little boy heaven!
Libby unloading her stocking. If I do say so myself, Santa totally took it up a notch this year in the stocking department! The girls got tons of cool stuff, mostly of a scientific or artistic nature (Santa apparently shops at Lakeshore Learning Store!) They also got a little candy and a Disney princess "goblet." The only item that would fall under the "fail" category would be the giant pencils they received. While a fun idea in theory, in reality these had to be quickly confiscated after becoming weapons of mass destruction!
Here is Emma Jane playing with her mini etch-a-sketch.
My mom and Dan gave the girls each a sleeping bag. Aren't they adorable?!
Emma Jane had to test hers out right away. And Libby slept in her on her bed that night! After all of the Santa hoopla, we still had to open gifts. Libby, who is completely her mother's child, had already staked out the tree and new which gifts were hers. She almost had to be physically restrained to keep her from diving into all of them at once. In my family, we pass out gifts one at a time and make sure everyone gets to see everyone else unwrap theirs. Libby had a meltdown every time more than two gifts were opened without one being for her!
Emma Jane, on the other hand, was content with just one gift. She opened up her first gift, which was from my sister, and proceeded to play with that the rest of the morning. She couldn't be bothered with the rest of her presents! But really, who could blame her...Aunt Catie did give her the coolest gift: a pink pencil box, new crayons, glitter glue (thanks, sister) and a TON of stickers!

And John didn't open any gifts...he just wanted to play with the ribbons!It was a great day!
But thank goodness there are 361 days before Christmas comes again!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

We are the Snellings children of Lutz, FL and we just wanted to take a moment to clear the air. Despite any reports you have received to the contrary, we have been very good this year.
You may have heard that Emma Jane has a habit of unprovoked hitting. These are really more of "love pats." Strong love pats. And you may have also heard that Libby can't speak without whining. Whining is a strong word in our opinion. Perhaps Libby is a little repetitive in her speech but really, we just never know when Mommy might change the rules, so we have to keep checking.
As for John, he is really just an angel. He never misbehaves. Of course he protests his naps...what baby doesn't. And as for Mommy's complaints that he is under the impression that she is hiding a 24 hour buffet in her shirt...again, what does Mommy expect from a growing boy!
So Santa, based on this new evidence, we are certain that you will secure our spots on the Good List. And if you still have any doubts, just look at our faces.
Merry Christmas! We will be waiting for you!

Sincerely,
Libby, Emma Jane and John Snellings

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Grinch

Christmas is easily my favorite holiday! Some of my favorite Christmas memories were spent with my extended family. My mother is one of six so I have lots of aunts, uncles and cousins! We have so much fun together and I really just think that my family "does" Christmas right.


One of my favorite family traditions is The Grinch. The Grinch doesn't show up every year, but when he does it is always fun! Basically one person in the family designates themselves as the Grinch and provides gag gifts for everyone else in the family. These gifts are usually things that are found around the house like old tennis shoes or used charcoal briquettes. The year I started teaching kindergarten, I received from the Grinch a truly heinous pair of Christmas tree light earrings that I am pretty sure my Aunt Martha actually wore when she was teaching kindergarten circa the mid-eighties. The year I was the Grinch, I wrapped my brother's gift so completely with tape that no paper was exposed and he had to cut into it with a knife. I think there were rocks inside the box.


But possibly the most memorable Grinching is the year my brother was The Grinch...and I was the only one he Grinched! (Enough time has passed that I am able to look back and laugh. At the time, I think I cried.)


This particular Christmas morning, my brother, sister and I were at my parent's house and it was just the 5 of us. We were sitting around the tree in our jammies, opening gifts and drinking coffee. My dad handed me a gift from my brother and opened it to find a box full of torn up tissue paper. I laughed. Everyone else laughed. My bro picking on me is sort of a family tradition in itself, so no biggie!


We all open a few more gifts and I get another package from Philip. I opened this one to find another Grinch gift...I think it was pebbles. The laughter this time was a little more stiff but I am a good sport so I shrugged it off.


The third box from my brother came around and I was sure that this was a real gift. Because surely he wouldn't Grinch me three times in a row! I opened it up to find some twigs from the back yard. And crawling on one of those twigs was a big old spider. I freaked out and threw the box, spider and all, at my brother and then spent the next several minutes twitching and feeling spiders crawling on me. (I really don't like spiders.)


The spider was unintentional. Philip just didn't notice it when he grabbed the twigs. Even he realized at this point that the joke had gone too far and he retrieved my real gift from its hiding place behind the couch. It was a really cute sweater, so I forgave him for his trickery. Sort of. It was all in good fun.


(Okay, so I realize that my bro comes off sounding a bit like a jerk in this story, but he really isn't. We have spent our entire lives picking on each other like this and it is never with harmful intentions. I actually find my brother very funny. Except when spiders are involved.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Re-Gifting

I have done very little Christmas shopping online this year. So as a result, my kiddos have tagged along for quite a few outings to the mall in the recent past. These outings have ranged from absolutely delightful and productive to a complete waste of the five minutes it took me to unload everyone from the car.
Emma Jane, being struck particularly hard with the Christmas spirit, decided to do some Christmas "shopping" of her own. I saw her the other day walk into the playroom with her toy shopping cart and then a few minutes later, head through the kitchen towards the sunroom with the cart overflowing with toys.
After seeing her do this a few times, I followed her out to the sunroom and found this:

I am not sure if these "gifts" are for her family or just toys that she wants for herself. Either way, I think she is taking the concept of re-gifting a little too far!

IckDonald's and Trash TV

I think sleep deprivation is causing me to hallucinate.
This last week has been brutal, taking care of one sick kid after the other. Emma Jane turned out to have a bronchial infection as well as an ear infection. Then just as her medicine starts to kick in, Libby spikes a fever.
Brad and I left these two pitiful children with my mother and Dan while Brad and I traveled to Kentucky for his brother's graduation from seminary. I thought this would be a break from night time interruptions...I was wrong. John decided to have growth spurt while we were away and instead of waking up his usual one time a night, he woke up four times.
We came home, just as tired as when we left, but to a much happier Emma Jane! My mother filled me in on the weekend, which included making cookies (and eating them all), a trip to the park and a special trip to McDonald's. Or as Libby calls it: IckDonald's. (Libby doesn't understand why Mommy laughs every time she says that!)
The best part of a trip to McDonald's is always the toy. Usually the toys are not terrible. Recent happy meal treasures have included miniature My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake notepads. So I was a little surprised when Libby showed me this thing:
What the heck is this?
At first glance, it appears to be a horse albeit a thestral-ish looking one. What really threw me off was the legs. I'm not the only one that sees six, am I? Is this creature the star of some really cool new cartoon that I don't know about and that my kids wouldn't be allowed to watch even if I did?
Speaking of cartoons my kids aren't allowed to watch, my mom admitted that Libby convinced her to let them watch Sponge Bob Squarepants while we were gone. It took less than three minutes for mom to realize that was a mistake and turn it off. But later, she overheard Libby telling Emma Jane she was going to "kick her butt." Mom jumped all over Libby for that one, so hopefully we won't hear that again.
Thank you Sponge Bob and Nickelodeon, for making my child ruder and more violent in less than three minutes. That is some quality TV you are producing there!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Away in a Manger

Last Sunday, the children's choirs performed at our church's Sunday night service. This was Libby's first time to sing in church. She was so excited about going into "big church."
In the days preceding the concert, she practiced her songs for me over and over again.
And then she sang some more.
To her sister.
Her stuffed animals.
The TV.
She was taking this seriously and wanted to have her part down perfectly.
I think she succeeded.

(Libby is in the back row with the white hair bow.)
Oh, and when Libby watched this video, she said, "Why is that girl just frowning and not singing?" She couldn't believe not everyone was as serious about the performance as she was!




PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Word Vomit

Also titled "Conversations with Libby"
I spend a lot of time talking to a preschooler. Actually, I spend a lot of time being talked at by a preschooler. Libby's daily word quota is very high.


Luckily, my bff has also been blessed with a talker so we are able to sympathize with (and laugh about) the sheer volume of word vomit chatter that is spewed directed at us daily.


Here is an example of some of Libby's most recent word vomit conversation with me:
Let me set the scene. We were sitting in the sunroom this morning. I was having my coffee and Emma Jane (who is still sick) was curled up in my lap and alternately coughing and moaning.

So Libby says to me, while wearing her very best sad face: "Mommy, why is Emma Jane just keep being sadder than me?"
Me (suppressing a huge eye roll): "Libby, Emma Jane is not sad. She is just very sick."

Brad pipes up and says, "Has she ever been this sick before?"

Me: "Not since the ski trip from hell she got the stomach flu at my sister's.

Libby: "No Mommy, that was ME that got sick at Aunt Catie's house!"

Me: "Actually Libby it was both of you."

Libby: "Remember when I was frowing up at Aunt Catie's and I had to frow up in a pot? That was silly!"

Me: Actually I remember you missing the pot..."

Libby: "Yeah, I just did a lot of frowing up. I wonder were Aunt Catie's house just is."

Me: "It's in New Hampshire." (Just like it always has been!)

Libby: "I just haven't gone to Aunt Catie's house in a thousand weeks. It snows there. And is really cold. Mommy, do you think Santa is going to bring me any princess stuff this Christmas? It is just almost Christmas time and I really want some princess things. Pleeease!"

Me: "I am sure Santa will bring you some princess things."

Libby: "I only have three Princess Aurora pull ups left. I need to get some more. Will you buy me some at the grocery store?"

Me: "yes, we are going to the store today."

Libby: "I wonder if there are any princesses besides just Princess Aurora. Are you going to get me some other princess pull ups? I did stay dry all night a couple of nights ago but then I tee teed in it so I still need to wear pull ups at night."
(At this point I have stopped responding because she is not so much talking to me as to the universe in general.)

Libby continues: "Emma Jane still wears diapers so she doesn't need any princess pull ups. Did Emma Jane pick out a present for me at the Disney store yesterday? Can I have it for Christmas? Don't tell me what it is! I told Emma Jane about her present, but she won't amember so it is okay."


And this monologue continued for at least another ten minutes. It ended with Libby saying "Mommy, why does your head hurt?"
I wonder...

Monday, December 7, 2009

There's a Plague upon my Household

It has been a rough week for us.
First John was sick with a cold.
Then he passed his cold to me, bless his little punkin head.

I thought we were going to get out of the woods without the others falling ill.

And then last night, Emma Jane brought the Black Death into our lives. She was up all night barking like a seal. Which of course, means Mommy was up all night with her. And since this circus act took place in my bed, which she had crawled into at midnight, now Daddy is feeling sickly as well.

EJ has been pitiful all day. She has done nothing but sleep and snuggle her hot little, fevered body on Mommy. Hopefully the worst is behind us, because I don't think she can take another day like this.
She certainly isn't going to put up with Mommy taking anymore pictures of her misery.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Law & Order: MVU

That's the Maternal Victims Unit.
Their most recent case involved an incident of domestic violence at the Snellings home.
The Perp:


The Weapon:


The Damage:

It may not look like much, but trust me, you do not want to be whacked with a tea spoon!



The outcome:

The motive for the attack seems to have stemmed from the victim's denial of the perp's request for yet another snack. The victim briefly considered retaliation, but possessing a healthy fear of incarceration, she refrained from throwing the perp across the room or locking her in a small, dark closet. She did count to 10 and then deposit perp into her bedroom before calling daddy the authorities for back up. The perp is currently serving a life sentence of no TV before bedtime. Attempts at an appeal have been thrown out.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Karma

We have always struggled to find babysitters for our children. We don't have family close by nor to we have friends with teenagers. And I have stopped short of stalking teenage girls at the bus stop for fear of being arrested.
This year, we hit the babysitting motherload. Through various circumstances we have been blessed to find not one, but three reliable babysitters! They range in age from 14 to mid-20s. Seeing as I have an infant, the one I am most comfortable with for all three children is the oldest and I tend to call on her the most. For the rest of this story, we are going to refer to her as Mandy*. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
Now Mandy is wonderful! She is very energetic and fun and the kids love her. Other than the very small issue of her being a Florida fan (Roll Tide!) I have found no flaws with her.
Earlier this week, Mandy was watching not only my 3 but also Libby's friend, Logan while Brad and I were at Logan's house for our weekly bible study. When we returned home, Mandy tells me that the kids were good as usual but that Libby was saying some unkind things earlier. She had tried to talk to Libby about it, but Libby got embarrassed and upset and wouldn't talk about it or apologize. I asked whether Libby was being unkind to Emma Jane or to Logan and Mandy tells me that Libby was actually being rude to her.
Oh crap!
I assured her that I would speak to Libby about it. Because I seriously don't want to lose a babysitter because my daughter is being a brat. So as I was helping Libby get ready for bed, I mentioned that I heard she was being unkind to our babysitter. Libby, in true girl fashion, immediately started to cry and said "I just can't talk about it!" Oh, well, we are going to talk about it, girlie!
I let her go to bed, because trying to talk to a tired, unreasonable 4 year old is fruitless. The next morning, I resumed the conversation with her.
Me: Libby, were you saying unkind things to Miss Mandy?
Libby: yes
Me: What did you say to her?
Libby: I don't know.
Me: Libby, did you know that what you were saying was hurtful?
Libby: yes. But I didn't mean to hurt her feelings.
Me: Sometimes even when we don't mean to, our words can hurt other people.
Libby: (her face screwed up in pre-outburst concentration) But Mom-my! She is fat!
Do you hear that sound? That is the ton of bricks falling on my head and burying me.
Oh, Libby.
Really?
You told her she was fat!!
The mortification I am feeling on behalf of my daughter is so great that I have actually broken out into a sweat.
And all I can think of is my own sister.
Because when I was only a little bit younger than Libby is now, I looked my sister's very large swim teacher in the face and said, "My but you are fat as a pig."
My sister has never quite forgiven me for that humiliation.
If only my three-year-old self had known how that comment would come back to bite me in the butt someday.
We made a special trip to visit Miss Mandy later that day and apologize to her.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hey, Jealousy

When Emma Jane was born, Libby didn't really take the intrusion very well. Her friend Jack Powell said it best (in reference to his own little sister): "Mom, when are you going to take the baby back to that hospital where she lives?"
Her jealousy manifested itself in destructive behavior and tantrums. It was the worst when I was nursing and Libby knew I could not immediately jump up to get her. If she ran out of sight while I was feeding the baby, something was most likely being destroyed. I think Emma Jane was over a year old before Libby stopped viewing her as the usurper to the throne.
Or at least by that time, she didn't remember Emma Jane not being here anymore and she just got over.
I was prepared when John was born to deal with the jealousy from Emma Jane. But it never came. No (unusual) tantrums or destruction. In fact, she really seemed to adore John right from the start. I was thrilled by this unexpected turn of events and just assumed that the lack of jealousy was due to never having been an only child.
And then one evening while having dinner with friends, my friend Tammy says to me, "I don't know how you do that. Every time I see you nursing John, Emma Jane is sitting on your lap too." I thought about that statement for a minute and I realized that she was right. 9 times out of 10, when I sit down to nurse the baby Emma Jane is right there trying to crawl into my lap too.
Huh. Interesting.
"I guess you are right. I have never really thought about it."
And then my friend hits me this: "She is probably just jealous of the attention John is getting."
Um, duh!
Could it have been more obvious?
Of course she is jealous! I just didn't realize it, because it was manifested differently than with Libby. And the more I thought about it, the more examples I found.
Emma Jane never took a paci as a baby. Never! But shortly after John was born, she claimed own of his as her own. She doesn't suck on it, but she likes to carry it around in her mouth and sleep with it in her bed. She also climbs into the baby gear, such as the swing, exersaucer and bumbo. And even though she was never a snuggly baby before, she wants to snuggle all the time now.
She just wants to be the baby again.
Someday Mommy will have to teach her the benefits of the center spot. One middle child to another.

The Great Christmas Tree Debate


Brad and came into our marriage with very different ideas about how Christmas was to be celebrated. We came from very different families with very different traditions. One of our biggest debates over the years has been about the tree. I grew up with a fake tree. Brad considered that to be outright blasphemy.


So like a good, submissive wife, I gave in and we got a real tree for our second Christmas together. (The first Christmas is a whole other story for another time.) And I complained about pine needles and sap so much that I managed to convince Brad that real trees were the root of all evil (good and submissive, like I said) and we bought a prelit fake tree on sale that same year. Since he was giving up the pine fresh scent I compromised on another area of disagreement and let him buy a tree with colored lights. I prefer a white Christmas, but it was a small price to pay to not have to vacuum everyday!


So the fake tree worked out well for all of one year. The second year with our fake tree was a bust. We put it together and plugged in the lights and only half of the tree lit up. We never could find the burned out bulb that was the culprit. In a fit of disgust, we tossed it out with everyone else's real tree after Christmas that year.


So last night Brad and I are having a discussion about decorating for Christmas and I said, "Well I guess this year we should buy an un-lit fake tree."

Brad replied, "Why? We had a real tree last year. I thought we were done with fake."

Me: "No. The fake one was thrown away last year."

Brad: " I am pretty sure I remember you complaining about pine needles last year."

Me: "You are wrong! We only had that fake tree TWO years and we have been in this house TWO years!"

Brad: "Okay, crazy lady. I'm wrong."


So later I was on my computer working on a blog post about Christmas traditions and I came across this photo from my Christmas 2008 folder:

Interesting.

I'd say it is pretty clear which of us was wrong.

But I don't see any reason to tell my husband that...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Seven

At seven months, John:


weighs 16.2 lbs


is 28 inches long


has more hair than Emma Jane had at a year


exclusively breastfeeds (i.e. no bottles)


loves touching Mommy's face and hair (especially while nursing)


eats several different foods (his favorite is mango)


"talks" constantly (when his sisters let him get a word in edgewise, that is.)


wiggles all.the.time!


hates being confined in the exersaucer, swing, bouncy seat, bumbo, etc.


can roll front to back and back to front


scoots forward army style


stretches for objects that are out of reach


is trying really hard to crawl


loves playing with toys


can do 150 push ups


is f.i.n.a.l.l.y starting to get teeth!!


is totally surrounded by girls


but is definitely all boy!


I love you, little man!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Letter of intent - the tooth fairy's evil twin

Letters of Intent

For more Letters of Intent, check out Foursons



Dear John's First Tooth,

We have been waiting for you for a while now. Almost three months actually. You first started dropping hints that your arrival was eminent when my sweet baby was just 4 months old. At the time, I thought that was a little premature, but what do I know. I'm just his mother.


As time went on, the hints got heavier. No longer was it just the buckets and buckets of drool and the biting. Now his gums were swollen and red and he wasn't complete without something in his mouth to chew on. Then came Niagara Falls out of his nose. Surely you couldn't be far behind. And yet day after day, week after week goes by with no sign of you.


Now I love a snotty nose rubbed on my shoulder as much as the next mommy, but really...enough is enough! It is one thing to be fashionably late but it is entirely another to RSVP and then just not show up. My son and I do not appreciate being stood up!

As I have comforted my baby these last weeks, assuring him that it isn't him, it's you, I have come to a conclusion...

Either you are just a sadistic creep that enjoys torturing my son with buckets of drool, swollen gums and a runny nose

OR

you have been kidnapped by the tooth fairy's evil twin and are desperately sending out an SOS.

So which is it...do you need me to send out a rescue team or am I just going to have to kick your butt? Either way, I am coming in with a pair of pliers if you don't show up soon.


Sincerely,


a mommy, not a chew toy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner: His, Mine and Ours

When Brad and I got married, we were told by our pre-marriage counselor that you don't just marry a person...you marry their entire family. For better or for worse, I have found those words to be very true.
I have also learned that you marry their holiday traditions as well. Hence the "for worse."
Brad and I have very different ideas about what "makes" Thanksgiving. For example: The first Thanksgiving of our marriage, we were with my family. My mother asked Brad if there was anything he especially wanted with Thanksgiving dinner. My husband replied, "olives." I know, it's random. And very easy. So we were happy to oblige.
In my family, we eat later in the afternoon, so there are always appetizers out early in the day for snacking. My mother put out a bowl of mixed olives with appetizers. By the time dinner rolled they, along with all of the munchies, were gone. When we sat down at the table, Brad looked around and asked where the olives were. Apparently in his family, olives are a part of the meal...lesson learned.
Another difference between us revolves around vegetables. Brad likes his Thanksgiving veggies creamed into some sort of casserole with a crunchy topping and virtually unrecognizable as vegetables. Now I realize that much of the country is with my husband on this one, but for me personally, green bean casserole makes me want to hurl. And that nasty sweet potato stuff with marshmallows...bleh!
So this year, it is Brad's mother's turn to spend Thanksgiving with us and our original plan was to travel to Nashville. And then I imagined what it would be like traveling with three small children during the busiest traveling weekend of the year. By car or air, the vision was terrifying!
So I suggested that his mom and stepdad come to us instead. I told Brad that way we still get to spend Thanksgiving with them, but we don't have to travel. Plus the added benefit of getting to make Thanksgiving dinner myself. To this point in my argument, my husband responded, "What do you care about making Thanksgiving dinner? You never eat anything but turkey anyways."
Um, yeah dude...that's the point! This year I am making a meal that I will actually eat because I like it, not because I am being polite. This is what I am making this year: (all recipes from Martha Stewart)
Simple Stuffing (which I will not be stuffing in the turkey!)
Basic Cranberry Sauce (sooo much better than that gross stuff from a can!)

So what are those dishes that "make" Thanksgiving at your house?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Irony is...

Driving past Chick-fil-A every day of the week without stopping and then waking up Sunday morning with an insatiable craving for the original chicken sandwich.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

PSF and New Moon

I love to read. More than just about anything else. And sometimes the line between fiction and reality gets a little blurry for me.

When I read New Moon for the first time (that's right, I said "first") I was 16 weeks pregnant with John. And just a little hormonal.

It probably wasn't the best timing.

I was spending the weekend with Emily for her son's baptism when I started the book. I was in bed reading that first night and Emily came in to say good night and see if I needed anything.

And she found me sobbing hysterically into my pillow.

Of course, she asked me what was wrong and I choked out the words, "I...I...I think...he...is...go...ing to...leave her."

And like any sane person trying to talk an irrational mess off the ledge good friend, she sat on the side of the bed and held my hand and asked, "Do you think maybe you are taking this so hard because you are pregnant? Because you know this isn't real."

"NO!" I (almost) shouted, "It is like he is leaving me!"

Did I mention the blurry line?

And I need to mention that at this point in time, Emily had not yet finished reading Twilight, so she didn't fully comprehend the magnitude of what was happening in New Moon. Two weeks later she was sending me frantic texts messages in the middle of the night about this exact same chapter!

I have heard others say that of the Twilight books, New Moon was their least favorite, but I disagree. I love New Moon. And I can't wait to see it played out on screen!


Go Team Edward!



PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Sue

It's the third Thurday in November


Which means that in just one week, 7 short days, it will be the fourth Thursday in November.


More commonly referred to as Thanksgiving.


While I realize that this is not exactly breaking news, it is something of a shock. To me.


Not that Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. That happens every year like clockwork. The same way that Christmas comes every year on December 25th.


What is shocking is that it is already Thanksgiving. Wasn't Labor Day like two weeks ago? I am completely unprepared for Thanksgiving. Which I will be hosting for my in laws this year.


Well not completely unprepared. I did pick up my turkey yesterday. All 16 and a half pounds of it! I ordered a 12-16 lb turkey and I got all of that plus half a pound. To feed 4 adults and 2 children.


Maybe I really don't need sides. There will be plenty to eat with just the turkey. In that case, I guess I am ready for Thanksgiving.


Whew!
Of course, I still have to cook said turkey...