Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE 2012

We've had a wild and crazy night over here...NOT!  We were invited over to a friend's house but the timing was just not going to make things go smoothly so we stayed in.  It was probably a good thing we did - crabby-kid-syndrome hit by 7 o'clock!

We pretty much laid around doing nothing all afternoon.  College football was on in the background.  I dozed off on the couch.  Nothing too exciting.  We never really ate dinner - just snacked on crackers, cheese, summer sausage and a baguette with brie.  

We played with blocks for almost an hour.  We built Amelia a pretty cool castle!

Joey played with his new soft blocks from Christmas:

Before bed Jason snapped a picture of me and the kids :)

Once they were in bed he made us something to eat...

...Caesar salads and New York strip steaks!  Probably not the best thing to eat past 8 o'clock but it was good!  We really had a simple, relaxing night. 

2012 was a good year.  We had some ups and downs, happy and sad times but we made it - we always do :)  I am looking forward to a fresh start in 2013!  

Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Weekend

Friday night Joe and I wore matching pajamas!

Amelia and I wore these same ones back in 2010.  They were a little big on him but by next year they will be too small so we just went with it :)

Saturday morning I went into work (on my day off) so we could get going on next week's work.  With having Christmas Day off there was some wiggle room with our hours so we used that as an opportunity to get ahead.  We have a very busy couple of weeks ahead of us getting the store back to normal after Christmas.  I really didn't want to go in, however, I am on a team.  If they are going in, I am going in.  That's just how it works - we're a team.  

Saturday outfit - I don't think she'll be winning any fashion awards!

Saturday afternoon I went and saw Breaking Dawn part 2 with my mom and sister - finally!  I enjoyed it and they enjoyed it much more the second time around they said.  I got home just in time to say goodnight to Joe who was finishing off the last of the frozen breastmilk.

For some reason we have had four bags in the freezer forever.  I just couldn't part with them for some reason!  We put in a bulk order with a butcher in my parent's town and I picked it up Saturday which meant we needed to organize the chest freezer.  Jason said we were using them or throwing them - so we used them.  

Daddy and Amelia doing the robot before bed :)

Saturday night we stayed up way too late watching movies with our friend, Leigh!  We haven't had a movie night in a few weeks so were overdue.  We ordered pizza even!

Today we've had a rough, crabby day.  The morning was tough and that set the mood for the rest of the day and we've had a hard time coming out of it.  Tempers have been short and patience has worn thin.  I can't wait for a fresh start tomorrow!

We watched football most of the day.  Both of our teams won!

Both games were very, very close which made them fun to watch - but a little nerve-wracking at times!  As a result of the wins today, Jason's team (MN Vikings) is headed to the playoffs!  I am a little sad that them going means the Bears are not but it's really ok!  I just couldn't bring myself to cheer on the Packers today as they played the Vikings - I'd rather the Vikings (or anyone...) beat the Packers, even if it pushes my team out of the playoffs :)

Joe and I had some fun practicing with HI and BYE this evening.

They are his only two words so far and he is starting to use them all the time.  When anyone comes and goes from a room, Joe tells them hi or bye.  If he walks away from you he will tell you bye.  It's so cute!

Time to get Amelia to bed and hit the sack myself!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Doing the Dishes

Amelia is in a phase right now where she LOVES to "do the dishes."  Really all she is doing is running (cold) water over them but we praise her for her willingness to help and let her "wash the dishes" for us.  Our friend, Lisa, gave Amelia a bath toy set for Christmas that is dishes, in a drainer (with suction cups), that are dirty and come clean in warm water.  

Perfect timing!  I suctioned it to the kitchen window and made it a kitchen sink toy instead of a bath toy!  Now when she gets the urge to "wash dishes" she can wash these instead of the real ones!  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Eee-Bee Hoop"

Amelia has really started to like the PBS show "Martha Speaks."  It is about a dog who eats alphabet soup but the soup doesn't go to her stomach, it goes to her brain and as a result she can talk!  It's really a cute little show.  She watches it at 5:00 p.m. while I get dinner ready and we found it on Netflix so she has started choosing that as her end of the day show.  (after Joe goes to bed she gets to watch one "Netflix" so she can settle down and also so Joe can fall asleep better.)

Awhile back my dad got her some Sopa de Letras - "ee-bee hoop" to Amelia.  All letters and numbers are "ee-bees" to her (I am assuming this comes from ABCs...) 

We had it once a few weeks ago and she had fun with it and this week she asked for it again so she could be like Martha, ha!  Luckily he had gotten us two bags so we had one left!  

My favorite part about "ee-bee hoop" is this:

"Mom, what "ee-bee" is this?"

It's hysterical!  Both kids like this particular soup so it is an easy dinner for us!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had another great Christmas!  Christmas Eve morning I had to work so Jason and I didn't get to my parent's house until late afternoon.  Earlier in the day my family took the kids to see Santa at Macy's and they stopped in to see me at work which doesn't happen too often!  It was a nice surprise. 

Work was long and I'll be honest, it got annoying having to deal with the people who were mad at me, personally, because we sold out of wrapping paper over the weekend which is really odd.  (usually there are one or two pallets worth that clearance!)  I really like it when they get upset and then just stare at me.  I get the feeling that they think I'm hiding all the wrapping paper from them (to which I would ask why) or that they think I have the ability to magically make more appear.  I sometimes wish I could make more appear because I really do like being able to help people find everything they need vs. upsetting them - it's a much nicer feeling!

We left my family for about an hour and stopped in at a gathering Jason's family has at the marina.  On our way home we drove by a house in my parent's neighborhood...

...this photo doesn't do it justice!  Driving past this house (of a childhood friend) is a tradition for us and Amelia's reaction this year was priceless.  She said, "Mom!  Is this the North Pole?"  We told her it was ;)

Once we got back to my parent's house we opened gifts while dinner finished cooking.  Amelia was really into opening presents this year.  She was a maniac!  Joe on the other hand was content to play with a toy broom on the opposite end of the family room!

prime rib, baked potatoes and green beans!

After the kids went to bed the adults watched Home Alone.  I hadn't watched that, in it's entirety, in years - great movie!  

Santa came and filled our stockings and the kids got Wiggle Racers.  Amelia had a lot of fun with hers int he basement!

I am looking forward to the warmer weather when we can take them outside and Joe will be big enough to work his better!  We also played one of Amelia's new games - Alphabet Mystery Box.

Late morning we packed up and headed to Jason's sister's house for Christmas with his family.

Christmas dress

Brunch and presents happened to fall right smack dab in the middle of Joe's naptime...yeah, he was a bit grumpy!  We found things to keep him occupied but they were always shortlived.

"racing" and snacks

At one point we had Joe in a laundry basket with his wormy, glow-monkey and a blanket and I could tell he was so close to falling asleep but we didn't have a bottle/cup to put milk in for him.  That was seriously all it would have taken - I am convinced.  Note to self - keep an extra sippy in the car for emergencies!
Amelia checking out her new computer

We had wanted to get a group picture but between Joe's meltdowns and Amelia's meltdowns over wanting what Joe had we never even tried :(   

Amelia, Uncle Kory and Cashew!

Our car was jam-packed on the ride home and both children fell asleep almost instantly so we took a longer way home to let them get a little rest and recovery time.  We had a few things under our tree for the kids that we left for this evening.  Our friend Leigh got Amelia the My Little Pony castle and she was so excited!

We enjoyed an evening at home, finding homes for new toys and playing along the way.  There is still plenty to put away but I'm leaving that for another day and relaxing.

goodnight pictures with my sweet kiddos!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Silent Night

It is very quiet in our apartment - both kids are spending the night at my parent's house tonight!  We dropped them off and then headed to an early dinner with some friends.  Marie and her family are in town for the holidays and I'm glad we were able to squeeze in a little visit.

Jason made fresh, homemade salsa when we got home.  

Perfect snack for watching football.  I've been converted.  Store bought, jarred salsa will never compare to the fresh stuff.  YUM! 

Jason is in the championship for fantasy football this weekend and his opponent has one player still playing - and racking up points.  Currently, Jason is less than three points ahead and the third quarter just started.  So, there is plenty of time for his opponent to pull ahead and win.  He asked me to just remind him that it doesn't matter, no one cares and it's not a big deal - lol!  

I've got a long day at work tomorrow before we start our Christmas festivities so I think I might turn in before I get a second wind and stay up too late!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Well, looks like the Mayans were wrong ;)  Little Joe even wore a special shirt with a final message to everyone just in case the world did end:

This just might be my new favorite picture of him - ever.

We had catered food at work today from a local mexican place called Acapulco.  While having a second helping before leaving for the day a co-worker came up with this:

 We thought it was pretty humorous...

I've been fighting off a cold this week and as a result it's been a fairly quiet week.  Netflix has gotten a workout this week...

Tonight Amelia selected her "princess" jammies and wanted to dance.

So she we danced to "The Nutcracker." 

Jason and I finally figured out how to get Christmas shopping done early which weekend off will not be spent rushing around trying to get gifts purchased etc.  What a nice feeling! I'm not sure what we'll end up doing but I am excited to sleep in for a couple of days! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Goodnight Kisses

We made it to bedtime...


Holidays in Retail

I work retail and the closer it gets to Christmas the more "interesting" work gets - especially this year because I have been on the seasonal toy team since mid-November!  Some days things go smoothly.  You help the people find their toys or tell them it is sold out, answer a few (dozen) phone calls and rush around trying to make sure you get everything done that you can.  Other days things go not so smoothly.  You get your head bitten off because an item is sold out which "ruins" Christmas while others lecture you on how it is your fault the item they are seeking is sold out etc.

The kind people out there - thank you.  You are a joy to help.  The others?  I am thinking of this photo while you are yelling at me:

 (source - unknown.  Found on a friend's Facebook wall...)

Oh yes.  This one can always bring a smile to my face!

For instance, when I was getting yelled at the other day over a doll wardrobe being out of stock I just smiled - like Willy Wonka.  I apologized (several times) and stated (several times) that there was no guarantee it would come in again before Christmas and then I apologized - again.  When I was then lectured on how we should really stock up on these things I smiled and thought to myself, "yes, I should really tell that automated computer system that orders items based on the volume of the store, projected sales and the availability of the item from the manufacturer that my store is the only one that matters so send us 'em all!"

Legos during Christmas crack me up!  Legos fly out of the store - almost literally.  They are so, so popular and they are every year yet people wait to get them until days before Christmas when we only have the less popular sets left.  The "hot" Lego set this year was a mine set and we ran out - last month. apparently also ran out - last month.  Legoland in the mall isn't supposed to get any until after Christmas.  See?  Popular item!  We randomly got two in over the weekend and I was honestly shocked they were still there when I left Sunday afternoon.  They were, of course, gone Monday morning.  When Legos run out people are actually a little more understanding though.  They usually blame themselves for waiting vs blaming me which is nice.  Perhaps it is because it is well known that they are quick sellers?  Even though the Lego aisle is always packed with shoppers it is one of my favorite aisles to help people in!

So many times (a day) I am blamed for things being out of stock.  Somehow it is personally my fault.  Yes, I chose to have a limited number of (insert item here) because I just love having this conversation twelve times a day.  Getting yelled at is great ;)

 The thing that really gets me is that I even "have the power" to "ruin" Christmas for so many people.  With that "power" also comes the "power" to "save" Christmas.  These "powers" are all based on stuff.  When we are sold out of an item Christmas is "ruined."  When I am able to locate the item Christmas is "saved."  I am seriously told those things daily and it upsets me. 

I get so frustrated that the stuff seems to be the only thing that matters to most people anymore.  It is so hard to see parents, some near tears, because the only thing their child asked for is sold out and they are "picky" so nothing else will suffice.  I understand there are things that kids like and dislike but to be to the point of getting upset over a gift not being "the right gift?"  That I don't understand.  A gift is a gift and they are all given from the heart and should be appreciated!

I am all for giving gifts but it just seems like it has gotten so stressful on people as the years go on.  I know I am at a loss on what to get a lot of most people these days because, to me, it seems like most people have everything they need and I'm bad with the wants.  My mom says I am "too practical" for gift giving sometimes - which is probably true!  Jason balances that out though - he is a very creative gift-giver!

I only have one more shift (Friday) on the toy team and then it is back to business as usual!  Hopefully I can "save" Christmases vs "ruining" Christmases and end this holiday season on a "high note"  ;) 

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Tonight, at dinner, Amelia kept insisting on something.  I couldn't for the life of me figure it out.  I kept guessing wrong and she started gesturing with her hands - over and over and over.  Then she started repeating the same word (that I couldn't understand) and making the gesture - over and over and over.  

Finally, it dawned on me that she must be signing!  They teach sign language in her speech class because there are some kids that cannot hear all that well.  Each week they send home pages with the words they worked on and the instructions on how to make the sign.  I'm supposed to work on them with her and incorporate them into our lives.  (Confession - I don't do this even though I know I should.)  I started looking through all the pages they have sent home and finally figured out what she was trying to tell me!  

She wanted me to SHARE my "black juice" (grape juice) with her!

Perhaps we will have to start actually working on the sign language at home...turns out it can be helpful!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Snow Fun!

This afternoon we got outside and played in the snow a bit!

Amelia had the best time!

I think she could have stayed out there all day and all night...

see the snowball she threw?  it's right above her head...

It sounds like we got 12-16 inches of snow yesterday!  To give you an idea here is Joey on a path that the neighbor cut through the yard between the two buildings with a snowplow...

It was above my knees in most places.  Yep, that's a lot of snow!

It got dark pretty quickly and forced us inside for the evening but we had a fun time outside this afternoon!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Football Date

This afternoon Jason and I had a date to the Vikings/Bears game!  He received tickets from his sister for his birthday a few months back and today was the day!  Oh, today was also the day that winter decided to show up - just our luck!  It snowed for about twenty hours straight today.  Twenty!  It's just now letting up.  We went from no snow to about a foot in a single day - crazy!

We paid a small fortune to park at a neighboring ramp because we were late (we missed kick-off) and it was snowing pretty steadily only to end up on the roof of the structure, ha!

We had a fun time!  The section we were in was probably about 85% Bears fans which made it fun!  At times the entire stadium was chanting "let's go Bears!" and our neighbor told us you could hear it on television - it was that loud!  The entire row in front of us was a family and Jason found a Viking friend amongst them to cheer with!  In the end the Vikings won and we spent a couple hours driving the ~45 miles home.

We are under a winter storm warning and I am a bit nervous for the drive into work in the morning.  They said that once the snow stopped the winds would pick up pushing some areas into blizzard-like conditions as the snow blows around.  Oh, the joys of winter in Wisconsin!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Amelia reading!

A quick note on this video:  When she gets to the yellow duck page she thinks it is Joe.  We were all Wonder Pets that evening and he was Ming Ming the duckling.  She gets to the turtle page and it's me, Tuck the turtle.  Then she looks for herself, Linny the guinea pig, before she can finish reading the book.  Also, from there on out, the yellow duck is simply referred to as a Wonder Pet.  Also, we recently read Panda Bear, Panda Bear What Do You See?  so now the brown bear is called "panda!"

So proud of her and how far her speech has come!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Candy Cane Goalie

Does he not look just like a hockey goalie?  He's got the "stance" down!  Maybe this is a window into the future...

Happy Wednesday!

Linked to "Wordless Wednesday" @ 5 Minutes for Mom!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Our day has been full of Christmas trees and football! 

We met Jason's family at the tree farm this morning to find the perfect tree for Auntie Liz and Uncle Kory's house.  We've had some warmer weather (it was 40 today) so we didn't have to bundle up and there was no snow - weird!

Amelia was so excited to find a tree - she led the way!

"Helping" Dad cut down the tree

"Hey guys, you forgot MY tree!"

We attempted to get a family picture for our Christmas card but this was the best we got:

It's growing on me but we aren't too sure that it is the picture we were looking for.  Uncooperative toddlers and babies who want to explore can make taking family photos challenging!

Liz and Kory came over and we had several frozen pizzas and buffalo wings and watched football.  Their team (Packers) played against Jason's team (Vikings) and it was close but in the end the Packers won.  My team (Bears) also lost today - in overtime.  Oh well!

This evening we put up our Christmas tree and a few decorations.

We don't have a lot in the way of decor and that's ok!  We have two small kids right now and we hope to get into a house sometime in the near future so we are happy to wait to get any decor to make sure it will work with the home we eventually have!

We have left our tree bare - only lights.  We aren't too sure how Joey is going to do with it this year so before we get it all decked out we want to make sure he won't be tipping it over every five seconds, ha! 

 It's starting to feel a little more like Christmas!  Now, if only we could get some SNOW!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Little Doctor

This past Thursday was the final MA (medical assistant) Day at my sister's school and, as usual, Amelia had a blast!

She wore a stethoscope pretty much the entire time we were there.  She got bandaged and bandaged others.  She practiced medical terms (with her own, hilarious pronunciation) with flashcards.  She checked her weight and height - sort of ;)  Auntie Kim showed her doctor tools and Amelia "checked" us all.

"checking" Joey's eyes...

Maybe we have a future doctor on our hands!