Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sam is throwing a tantrum because he wants to plug the lights in, and Eric isn't ready yet because he's still putting them on the tree. Sam saw lights up at the Lodge today, and wanted to touch them. He was beyond excited when he saw Daddy getting out some lights to go right in our living room. Can you imagine how excited he'd be if we lived in a city with a real lights display? Posted by Picasa

Hooray, pretty lights! Eric plugged in the lights and Sam got to help us track down the bad light. Then they all lit up and looked pretty! Posted by Picasa

Here we're taking a break from the tree to read some Christmas stories. Sam and Awyn both liked this one, where there are shapes to sort and drop into the pages of the books as we read the story. Posted by Picasa

See my spaceship? Sammy loves Star Trek, and since we do a combo theme for Christmas, he's loving it. Every year we do red white and blue, and Star Trek. So our tree and other decorations include red, white, and blue ornaments, and we have Deep Space Nine, the Defiant, and the shuttlecraft Galileo, with Mr. Spock wishing us happy holidays. Posted by Picasa

Wish list continued...

We can keep adding to our list, especially since I didn't list anything for Eric and myself. We were putting up the tree last night, and decided that we really need stocking hangers. You know, those heavy weighted things you can put on a shelf or the like. We have two different pieces of furniture that would be great for hanging stockings, and we don't really want to put tacks in them. There are four of us, and sometimes we hang stockings for grandparents or visitors, should we have them. I think they usually come either individually or in sets of 4. We'd like six, but 4 would be just the size of our family.

Sam would like me to add to his list that he wants a truck that can go in his sandbox and scoop sand and also an indoor truck to chase his sister with. He also loves DVD's. We actually have a limited selection of kid friendly videos. Sam was raised so far on Star Trek, Signing time, and Star Wars. We have a few video cassettes, like baby einstein, but the attrition rate is high on those and they didn't last long. So I don't know if this gets added to Sam's list or ours, but a Scratch repair kit for all those damaged DVD's would be nice. He can't watch Toy Story 2 anymore. For the most part, the sky's the limit on movies.
He'd probably like things like Shrek 2, Brother Bear, and any educational genre would be fine. If you think we might already have it, just ask first, and we'll let you know.

Awyn is oblivious to the Christmas stuff surrounding he, but Sam is currently roaming the living room, going from decoration to decoration exclaiming, "Ooh, pretty!, Ooh, Lights!" and generally having a lot to say about the whole thing. My favorite, for now, is, "Ooh, MINE!"

I think I'll have to keep presents in the closet until Christmas, because something tells me he's going to get that part about unwrapping presents this year. So bring it on, this little boy is ready for Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dear Santa,

I’m writing to you on behalf of my children, Sam and Awyn. Both are too young to write themselves, and if I let them try, I don’t think you’d understand the jumble of letters. Both have been good kids this year. Sam is drawn to anything related to Trucks, Doggies, and Bugs. Neither of the kids really knows who theme characters are, other than the Incredibles and Toy Story. They don’t watch TV, only movies. This means they don’t know who Dora is, or Bob the builder, or Blue or Magenta, or Captain Feathersword. Sam’s contact with these shows is limited to our stays in motels with cable and our willingness to put that stuff on for him. His babysitter never watched those shows either.

We are looking for bunkbeds that can be separated out, twin over twin. This means we’ll need frames, mattresses, sheets, and blankets, all in twin size. The kids will be sharing a room for a while, but I’m not picky about themes having to match. Awyn already sleeps best on her brother’s toddler bed, so I would imagine she’ll spend less time in a crib than he did. While we don’t own any beds yet, the extra trimmings like sheets don’t come cheap, so they’d make good presents.

Sam wants/needs:
Pants, 3T
Shirts 4T
Socks (he wears a size 10 toddler shoe)
Pajamas 4T
Big Boy underwear (hey, we can dream, and I think this present would be more for mama and daddy)
Sam picks out his own clothes from time to time, and will choose anything with a truck, doggie, frog, or bugs on it.
Books for his little touch leap-pad (he already owns Where the Wild Things Are, Stella Songbird’s world music, and One Bear in the Bedroom.)
Sam has a lot of toys. In fact, he has more toys than he can even wrap his little mind around and doesn’t play with most of them. We’ve put multiple boxes of toys in the garage to try and scale back on his available selection. We understand that buying toys for your relatives is a fun thing to do. Sam will probably love the first toy he unwraps, and like a good kid, not care much about the clothes.

Awyn needs:
More pink princess clothes, monogrammed with “pussycat” across her butt or other inappropriate place; excluding any item from the Disney Princess line.
Cell phone with camera
Prada handbag
Her own bedroom
Seriously, Awyn wears a 6-9 month size, and isn’t growing all that fast. She has some but not tons of winter clothes and could use some tights, pants, long sleeve shirts. She has sweaters and jackets and shoes and socks and some dresses, and a ton of onesies. 9-12 month fits over the cloth diapers so far. For summer, she’ll probably be in 12-18 month clothes, but if she hits a serious growth spurt and makes it above the 25th percentile, she’ll possible outgrow any clothing purchased for summer. Due to extreme generosity, she isn’t lacking in lightweight clothing. Winter here is mild and short. Today it was 60 degrees out.
A larger sleep sack would get her through the winter. She’s currently in a 0-6 month sack, and could use the next size up.As much as I dislike the color pink, she does look good in it. Her eyes are blue, and her hair is probably dark blond, like her father and brother. So shades of blue and purple are great too.

Sam was helping me with laundry. He's reaching for the things at the back of the drier. He had some difficulty grabbing things over the door, so he just hopped right in. Posted by Picasa

Awyn models her cookie monster outfit. This was Sam's. His Grandma Joyce bought this for him, and it's just one of the cutest outfits ever. Posted by Picasa

This is what Awyn really thought of her Cookie Monster outfit. It was way too big, and way too warm. She hated it all day long. Posted by Picasa

I couldn't resist this picture because Awyn's just so happy in it. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 26, 2005

TV Success

I went TV shopping online yesterday and finally decided on a nice 30 inch TV from I think I found a great deal on a TV, and the shipping was only $1 as they were having a holiday special on shipping. I decided against getting the credit card to save 5%. Our new TV should ship soon, and take about a week in transit.

As you can see from the picture I just posted, Sam got into a bit of trouble early today. Luckily I have lots of baby cereal, as a friend gave me several boxes and Awyn doesn't eat that much of it. I'm not too into the baby cereal. I'd rather she ate more veggies and the like. Did you know that in Europe they don't start with the single grain cereals, they start with veggies and quickly move to meat and fruit. The new wonder fruit/veggie is avacado, which was gaining popularity when Sam was a baby. Also, Gerber has introduced a new line of baby foods, Recetas Latinas. They use mango, zucchini, papaya, and guava, and in combinations with meats. It is available throughout most of the southwest, including Texas. Baby food changes constantly. When Sam was a baby the organic baby foods were a new thing.

Sam got too quiet this morning during breakfast. He'd been throwing a tantrum because I wouldn't give him goldfish for breakfast, and I should have known he was up to something when the screaming stopped. He dumped a nearly full box of baby oatmeal on the floor, and ate quite a bit of it. I guess he picked his own breakfast after all. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday Sales

Or whatever they're called. I've been shopping online to see what kind of a deal I can get on a new TV. Yesterday taught me that I really do need a new one as soon as possible. I was hoping to find that kind of sale price you get when you wait in line to get into a store at 5 am. No such luck. Well, I did find one super great online deal, but it's a little out of my league. For only $899 I can get a 54" widescreen flat panel HDTV, with free delivery. It's a whole $900 off retail price. Not only is that a little out of our budget, they don't deliver to our area and the kids would kill it in about 6 months or less. For those of you in the market, it's at Best Buy. I'm also being perhaps a little too picky. I want a set for under $300, and I'd prefer it to be at least 30 inches, because that's what we have now. Really, I'd like a 35 inch widescreen TV, but that would run me anywhere from $400-800. Not counting shipping, which is averaging $50-300 depending on the merchant. And most of the online specials are for monster TV's like the one at Best Buy.

Yesterday I was cooking up a storm, with Sam and Awyn both being very helpful. My stove decided to go bonkers and turned itself up while I was baking the rolls I'd been working on for the last 4.5 hours. In just 8 minutes I had a house with 3 feet of smoke on the ceiling, and I do mean the entire house, the alarms blaring, and little black bottomed hockey pucks. At least our fancy new sprinkler system is heat activated, or I'd really have been in trouble. As it was, I couldn't turn off the electric smoke detector in the living room, and we had to endure some serious ear damage until I could get the house aired out enough. Sam helped me make a molded cranberry jello salad, and then got in the way and I think I was starting to lose my voice from yelling at him. He just wanted to help, so I was trying to be patient, but the hundred or so times I told him to put the knife down or to leave the water off, and other things, I did start to lose my grip on things. We took lots of breaks to go play, but that still wasn't enough.

Taro root soup is pretty good. I've never had Taro root before. I really hadn't planned on trying it anytime soon either. I thought I was buying a horseradish root. It was in the bin marked 'horseradish' and it looked like horseradish, but when Eric came back in from outside with his two tablespoons of horseradish and his sinuses weren't bleeding, I had to go look at the grocery receipt to see just what I'd purchased. Taro root, $5/lb, I think. It wasn't a cheap little root. Also, a tip for those in the market, horseradish isn't usually dipped in wax, but taro root is. I called around, and we drove in to the Terlingua Springs market and bought their last bottle of horseradish.

And now the picture you've all been waiting for. Me posing with my hair. Posted by Picasa

Eric and Sam are making Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish. They used an old fashioned meat grinder to grind up the onion and cranberries. Then they mixed in the horseradish, sour cream, and a little sugar. The horseradish has a story behind it. Posted by Picasa

This was so cute I had to grab the camera. Sam was reading the book out loud, and even seemed to be getting the right parts with the right pages. Posted by Picasa

Awyn is enjoying the story Sam is reading to her. Posted by Picasa

Awyn is all bundled up because we went to a going away party that was held outside. It got a little cold. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Requiem for a Television

It was a good TV, for as long as it lasted. It mostly showed what we wanted to watch, and it did help keep Sam entertained when I was feeling like being a bad mom. Perhaps I should have titles this, "feed the idiot box." As we do not currently have the funding to purchase a new television, we will be what might be called 'sans television'. Last night we got home from our trip to Midland/Odessa for shots and shopping, and spent all of our money. The TV died as Eric snoozed in the recliner and I was typing my last blog entry. I started to catch a whiff of hot electronics, you know, that new appliance/dying appliance smell. I sniffed all over the bedroom, afraid that some wiring somewhere was too hot. Alas, my nose led me to the living room where I discovered the DVD player running, but no image on the TV. The TV was humming faintly, that high pitched sound that irritates the heck out of me, but it looked to be powered down. The smell of electronic death was strongest near the TV, so I unplugged it. It has not spontaneously turned itself back on, as it used to do. I also am hesitant to leave it plugged in for any amount of time over a minute, as I think it might have been trying to burn up. Poor Sam has been in withdrawal all day, and I'm sure I'll be insane when trying to make supper and I have no boob tube to babysit my darling addicted son.

As all of you are aware, we are a long ways from a store to purchase a set from. The best deals are in Odessa or Midland. We are not planning another trip up north until January. The deals in Alpine are pretty sad, so I'd rather not have to settle for an overpriced midget set. I'd rather do without TV for a while. We just got a Netflix movie too, now we can't watch it. That's life! Anyone know a great place that will ship me a free widescreen TV?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

6 Month Stats

I forgot to have the doctor write down Awyn's measurements, so the only thing I remember is her weight. She has gained one pound, for a 'hefty' 15 lbs 15 oz. This means that she has finally doubled her birth weight, which is the general goal for a 6 month old. She is in the 25th percentile, which puts her bigger than 25 percent of other babies, and 75 percent smaller than other babies. Sam was by this time in the 100th percentile, which means they rarely ever get larger than he was. It is so much fun having babies that are so completely different. While I've been packing up the 3-6 month clothes, she can still fit some of the newer larger stuff. Tomorrow I'll try to remember to call the doctor's office and get them to pull her chart and tell me her measurements. I would like to know how long she was.

Sam and I got haircuts. I donated mine to Locks of Love. Well, I will donate it. I have to mail my hair in. Right now it's in a baggie waiting to be mailed in a padded envelope, per website instructions. Any of you with seriously long hair should consider doing this. Many shops will give you a free haircut, but most charge a little if you want your hair cut and styled, or if you want something other than a blunt cut. And you should still tip the stylist. Sam didn't like his haircut so much. He's also not so sure of my short hair. He keeps rubbing the back of my neck and playing with my hair. He's since he's had a hair fetish, he'll miss soothing himself to sleep by playing with one or several of my hairs at night.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Awyn's first meal. Posted by Picasa

Trouble with pictures

I am having trouble posting pictures lately. The server that I send them through is currently having issues. I've been online for 2 hours today trying to post one picture. Since I have other things that are much higher on my priority list, it'll have to wait until Wednesday if it doesn't happen this evening. Awyn has started eating cereal, but she won't eat it unless it is mixed with mama juice, as Sam called it. Sam would eat it no matter how I fixed it, and he would eat as much as I offered him. Whenever I asked how much to feed him, I was always told that he'd tell me when to stop. Not Sam. He'd eat until he threw up if I let him. Awyn on the other hand, will eat only so much, and then she's done. She closes her mouth and turns her head away. She does like to eat though, and has been trying to get us to feed her solids for over a month. On pediatrician's orders, we waited until she was six months old. The picture I'm trying to post is Eric feeding Awyn her first cereal. Sam is trying to climp up onto my shoulders even as I type, so I have to stop.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Awyn the sailor girl. I put her in this outfit on a whim, because it is supposed to be a 3-6 month size, and I'm putting all the 3-6 month clothes away. She's finally outgrown them. She's actually wearing clothes that are sized to her age. Posted by Picasa

I wore Awyn out taking pictures. She took a nap shortly after this picture was taken. Posted by Picasa

Sam playing his guitar and singing on one end of the couch, while I am taking pictures of Awyn on the other end of the couch. Posted by Picasa

Poor Sammy, he didn't want to take a nap today. He fell asleep up against the door, and I couldn't open the door to move him to his bed. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Awyn is Six Months Old Today

I was planning on posting some pictures today, but unfortunately something is wrong with the software or connection that I use for posting pictures. Awyn had an uneventful day. I did dress her up in one of her brothers outfits and I took lots of pictures. I put her in his sailor suit. This just demonstrates how different these two children really are. Sam outgrew his sailor suit when he was just over 2 months old. It fit Awyn at six months slightly better than it had Sam at 2 months! It just brings back memories, and wow, was Sam ever a big baby. I truly didn't appreciate just how big until I had Awyn. She's not a petite baby, but she's so very much smaller than Sam. I'm so glad that I have them both, and they are such different babies!

Sam was playing his guitar some more today. Eric took it with him at lunch to have a co-worker look at it so we can get new strings. If Sam continues to show interest in music and the guitar when he's a little older, we've found someone to give him lessons.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A morning seranade from Sam. Posted by Picasa

God Bless the obsessive/compulsives! Sam spilled a cup of milk, and also wiped it up. For those of you who think I'm a mean mother, he went and got his own towel. He throws a fit if he isn't allowed to wipe up a spill. Posted by Picasa

This morning Eric, Sam and Awyn played with legos. Awyn mostly just wanted to eat them, and Sam didn't really want any help. Posted by Picasa

More of Awyn helping build stuff with legos. Posted by Picasa

Legos are fun! I couldn't resist posting this picture because of the tongue! Posted by Picasa

Snoopy is a Cow

Sam thinks that Snoopy is a cow. He's seen the Charlie Brown Christmas special a few times, but not really since last Christmas. When we put the Great Pumpkin in, he pointed to Snoopy and mooed, and said, "Cow!" Now it took me a minute to understand what he meant. As you should already be aware, when they are starting rehearsal for the Christmas play, Snoopy shows that he can be all the animals and makes all the animal noises. As far as we can tell, this is why Sam thinks Snoopy is a cow. We have a few other things with Snoopy on them, and he still points at Snoopy and moos.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Eric took a group up to the South Rim on about a ten mile hike. He had a great time, but arrived home with some sore legs and feet. Sam and Awyn stayed home this time. Eric has taken Sam on the South Rim before. I'm posting these pictures because I think they are fantastic examples of hiking the High Chisos in the Fall/Winter season. Ah the perks of living in a national treasure... Posted by Picasa