Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays

Hi everyone. We've had a great Christmas and as usual, we've been really busy. The day before we were scheduled to leave, we changed plans and decided to go to SC first and make sure Bee was doing ok. We got to visit with him and Grandma and Papa a bunch and celebrated Christmas Eve with the usual crowd. Ellie had tons of Uncle Time and it was great. Santa visited us there and was very generous. I will post pics of Ellie with all her cool stuff when we get home. After Santa's visit, we came to TN where Santa has also been very nice to us. We've been able to see everyone we love and that's really the best part of it for me. Yesterday Ellie and I went with MeeMaw to Target and took advantage of the 50% off sales. I still managed to do some damage. I think we are going to take her to the Aquarium this afternoon. There is a penguin exhibit right now and I think she will love it. Time to go sort through some presents. Thanks to everyone for everything. We miss those of you in SC and AL and FL and CO and WI and hope you had a great Christmas. Happy Birthday to Becca yesterday and Papa today and Tyler (and me!!) on Saturday and Austin on Monday!!!!! Hope to see you all again soon. I'll be in my 30s the next time I see you:)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sugar and Spice and Mostly Being Nice

Just wanted to post one more time before we leave for the holidays. Here's what we've been up to.

Cookie Cuttering

Cookie Frosting

Praising the Cookies

Eating the cookies

Screwdrivering with Daddy


Playing at Jazzercise

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Family Time

Yesterday we had some (mostly) quality family time. Brandon joined a range that is really family friendly. It's one price for a year long membership and you can shoot, picnic and even camp out. Brandon needed to sight in some rifles for hunting and Ellie and I didn't want to stay home. The weather was nice- not too hot, not too cold. I packed us a picnic and we were off. While Brandon was shooting, Ellie and I went "splorin". We found mushrooms, berries, rocks, and the outdoor potty. We also found a really giant hole that was obviously the doorway to something's home. I quickly encouraged Ellie to go get Daddy and ask him what lived there. I was relieved when he said it was probably a turtle hole. Apparently they have ginormous turtles on the property. I hope he's right and that we get to see one next time. If it wasn't a turtle hole, I hope we NEVER see what lives there. While on our adventure, Ellie took her signature extreme closeups of the scenery and I took pics of her (shock!) Good times were had by all.

Helping Brandon set up.
Not loving the hearing protection (or headphones as she calls them).
We found berries- don't worry, she knows not to put them in her mouth.

And lots of mushrooms. The orange ones were cool and there was even a pink one. She also knows not to eat these.

This one was not as pretty, but Ellie had to give each one a shot at fame. And the toe of my shoe apparently.

Playing on the giant rock pile.

Slipped into black and white mode again by accident. I still don't know why or how.

And then it went back to color- this is at the picnic table and my hint that picture time is over.

After eating we went over to the pistol range so I could shoot some, but Ellie was getting tired and it was getting rainy so we left. We'll go back again soon, though.

Green Girly Gift Guide and Giveaways

Check out Crunchy Domestic Goddess and her awesome gift guide and giveaways! There are lots of good ideas for people on your list and you have a chance at one of 4 fabulous prizes. I want the HP Photo Books, but several of her ideas are going to be great for the last couple of people on my list. Good luck and happy shopping!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Today I learned...

1. That my camera takes pictures in black and white.

2. That I kind of like the B&W pics because they make it look like I know what I am doing.
3. That I have no idea how to get it back on that setting.
4. That I am way too lazy to actually get out the manual and read it.
5. Ellie has no trouble making herself at home in other people's houses. ( We went to a party at the home of a fellow Jazzerciser yesterday)

6. Ellie still likes to have her picture taken with large inanimate objects.

7. Anything that lights up will mesmerize a 2 year-old.

8. She will sit in Santa's lap.

9. She is not completely comfortable about the whole thing.
10. She did NOT want a book from that Santa. (I think she thought he was going to have the Barbie Jeep, Aquadoodle and all the other things she has been asking for with him today at Brandon's work Christmas party)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WHY me?

Ellie's new favorite word is "why". I was hoping we'd make it through the twos without it. Everything I ask, tell, or say to her is answered with "Why?" or sometimes "Why, Mommy?" Even the simplest things.

"Ellie, put your shoes on."


"Because we have to go outside."


"To get to the car."


"So we can get to Jazzercise."


and on and on and on.....

Why do we have to stop at red lights?
Why do the ducks stick their heads in the water?
Why does she have to sit in the back?
Why can't she sleep in our bed?
Why, why, why??????

I wish I had a dollar for all the times I've said, "Because I said so." in the last few days. I remember my mom used to say "Because I'm the mom, that's WHY!" I'm saving that little gem until she's a little older.
The best is when she asks me why about something that I really have no idea about and I tell her I just don't know. That throws her for a loop. When she asks why I don't know, I have a very hard time not throwing a sarcastic and not very nice reply back. I know all this questioning is actually good because it means she is inquisitive and is just discovering her world. But it's wearing me out. My brain is turning to mush.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Baby Doll Explosion

I forgot to post this proof that Baby Doll Bombs do exist and can go off in much less time than the average adult would think possible.

Royal Paynes

Yesterday I had to be the prince. I was not allowed to be the princess. Or the queen. I tried to negotiate for that spot, but my offers were turned down. Finally when Brandon got home, I was relieved of my position and he was the prince. Whew! It is exhausting catering to the whims of a princess.

Today we went incognito and didn't wear our crowns in public. We went to Jazzercise and tried to have playgroup at the indoor PlayRoom, but it was randomly closed today. So we hauled ourselves to the park and then to lunch. Ellie had fun playing with Carys, Savanna and Conrad. Lunch was a little nutty as all she would eat was grated Parmesan sprinkled on her plate. It's one of those days. She was looking mighty cute in the shirt I made though. (and matching hair clip) Now she is napping. Hopefully for a nice long time. I have a lot of chores to do/ TV shows to watch. heehee

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wood Nymph

We went to the woods with Brandon to walk around this morning. Ellie had a great time. She does not get the whole "quiet in the woods" thing though. She blurts out everything she sees and hears. Really loudly. And I made the mistake of showing her a deer track and praising her when she found on e on her own, because then she had to announce EVERY one she saw. And there were a LOT of tracks. Apparently it's a really go place to hunt. There is a little creek off of the road that we were on and Ellie had a great time throwing leaves and sticks into it. Here are some pics of her playing. I took them with my phone so they are a little blurry. I forgot to take the camera with us.

At first she was all about walking like a big girl. She even had to wear a hat like we had on.

Then she was busy playing and throwing stuff in the creek. It was really cute. There were a couple little waterfall places where the water was really moving and she liked watching the leaves float downstream.

After that I carried her for a long time on my back and in my arms, but it was killing me. So once we got back to the road she let Brandon carry her. The hill we had to go back up was so huge, I would've never made it. She was so tired, she was falling asleep on Brandon's shoulders. She really did walk a long way.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

100 Things About Me

Yay! This is my 100th post. I haven't been doing this very long, so that must mean I spend too much time here. Oh well. Hope you enjoy it and it's not too torturous. Be sure to read the whole thing!

1. I am the oldest child in my immediate family and of my generation in my extended family.

2. Sometimes the position of eldest stresses me out.

3. I am usually the youngest of my friends at any given time.

4. This also stresses me out on occasion.

5. I hope my children will be smarter than I am.

6. I hope it doesn't happen too soon.

7. I started this list when I only had 80 posts because I was afraid it would take me forever to think of 100 things.

8. I am now afraid that no matter how much time I have, I still won't be able to think of 100 things.

9. And if I do, that no one will read past 20 or so.

10. I HATE putting away laundry- it's my least favorite chore.

11. I like vaccuuming once everything is out of the way.

12. Christmas lights are like uppers for me.

13. I hate taking down the Christmas tree.

14. Catalogs give me great joy.

15. I can not do a Moderate level Sudoku puzzle without cheating.

16. All the easy ones in my book are done.

17. I read incredibly fast- when it's a good story.

18. I can't get anything else done when I have a book to read.

19. I love buying purses and shoes because they always fit.

20. I never throw a purse away.

21. I love collecting seashells.

22. My car is always dirty- inside and out.

23. I have an addiction to crafting supplies.

24. I make a list of things to do almost every day.

25. Most of the things on the previous day's list roll over to the next one.

26. I LOVE marking things out on my lists with a dark black line.

27. I always thought I wanted a sister, but now realize brothers were (and are) better for me.

28. I do love my 2 (fairly) new sisters-in-law though :)

29. I blame Project Runway for my new obsession with learning how to sew.

30. I still have not chosen a machine....I want to get the perfect one.

31. I am afraid that I will be terrible at it.

32. I will make Ellie wear what I make- no matter how uneven the sleeves are.

33. I take much more time in choosing her outfits than mine.

34. I only played organized sports for one season as a child.

35. It was t-ball and I obviously wasn't any good.

36. I did play Powder Puff football 2 times in high school.

37. I never had a clue what was going on in the game.

38. I just had to block the other team.

39. I love sticky notes.

40. I still have some that I have been hoarding since I was teaching.

41. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are my favorite.

42. I don't follow any sports.

43. I will decorate for any holiday.

44. I enjoy almost any kind of sale or coupon.

45. I believe that is an inherited trait.

46. As is #43.

47. And it doesn't get any better than buying holiday decorations on sale.

48. I would love to have lots (4) children, but I doubt that will happen.

49. I have toys, books and clothes from when I was little that Ellie plays with and wears- Thanks Mom.

50. I don't like to be in charge of anything.

51. Confrontation of any kind stresses me out- even on TV. I have to change the channel.

52. When I think someone is upset with me, I am physically ill.

53. I never raise my voice- at adults.

54. I lost my wedding ring in my car last week and I still haven't found it.

55. I don't eat many cooked vegetables.

56. I used to have all my credit card information memorized.

57. Then I quit working and couldn't use them to buy stuff online as much.

58. Now I keep the info on post-its near the computer so I don't have to get my wallet.

59. That is just one of my time-saving (laziness) tricks.

60. If I was really into saving time, I wouldn't be writing this insane post.

61. I can't believe I have actually gotten this far.

62. I love getting emails and especially regular mail.

63. Pink carnations are my favorite flower.

64. However, any flowers that I didn't buy for myself are great.

65. I love good surprises and would rather not know what presents I am getting.

66. As a result, I NEVER snoop at Christmas.

67. I get mad when I accidently find out about something I am getting.

68. I have a hard time keeping presents a surprise from other people though because I want to give it to them as soon as I buy it.

69. I also enjoy wrapping presents. I want to be a gift wrapper at the mall when I grow up.

70. I do not enjoy unpleasant surprises.

71. I hate to be late.

72. Since I became a mom, it happens way more than I'd like.

73. If I could go to school for free and have free childcare, I'd go back- because I'm just that nerdy.

74. I'm not sure if I ever want to go back to teaching full time.

75. I wish there was more part time work for teachers.

76. We have 15 people coming over later and I have no business sitting here on the computer.

77. I am mostly ready now, but as usual I need more of something from the store so I am waiting on Brandon to get back.

78. I really love Christmas- not just the presents.

79. I also enjoy Halloween almost as much- not just the candy.

80. My youngest brother and I have the same birthday.

81. We are 11 years apart so I was never jealous.

82. I HATE marschino cherries.

83. Real ones are ok, but the pits are, well, the pits.

84. I drove 9 hours today and I am very tired.

85. I love singing along with the radio.

86. No one else enjoys my singing. Well maybe Ellie.

87. One time, I accidentally called my mom from my cell phone while I was rockin out in the car and even she doesn't like it.

88. I hate to be hot when I sleep. I keep the A/C on almost all year.

89. I can't drink regular cokes any more. Too many years of diet.

90. I still collect dolls. Call me Super Nerd if you want.

91. My name is not really Katie.

92. I don't really like yogurt. (I'm running out of things to say and really just want to get to 100)

93. My first car was older than me. 1976 Ford Granada. We called it the Grenade.

94. I had a pickup truck once and as a true redneck girl I really liked it.

95. I love to Jazzercise and practice the moves at home by myself with my I-Pod on.

96. I danced for most of my life- from 2 until I was in college. And also some as an adult. Tap is my favorite.

97. I want to be on the Rachel Ray show. Just to get the snack of the day.

98. I may have repeated myself on a few of these because I didn't write them all in one sitting.

99. I am not sorry that this is almost over- I am sorry for making you read it.

100. I will be adding a new tiny member to playgroup, Jazzercise and our family sometime in October. SURPRISE!!!!!

Christmas Preparations

This week has been busy and it's not over yet!

Tuesday we had playgroup at our house. Conrad, Savanna and baby Abby came over. It was SO much fun. Ellie is really good about sharing her stuff. She never complained once. We had gingerbread cookies that Ellie and I made together and other yummy snacks. (Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms are delish! I bought them by mistake, but it was a good one.) And each of the kids made a gingerbread house craft. It was a great morning!

Yesterday was gymnastics which Ellie LOVES! But the best part of the day was when we finished our Christmas shopping. As in D-O-N-E. And all the out of town ones are mailed off as of today. Well, everyone is out of town for us, but the ones going to people besides TN and SC are on the way. And the Christmas cards are on the way too with a super cute pic of Ellie the elf.

Watching the "Abominable Snow Monster" part of Rudolph.

Tonight was the Christmas Tree Lighting on Ft Rucker. We met Brandon after work and walked down. It was fun. Ellie liked the singing and the lights on the tree. And Santa even made an appearance. We didn't wait in the huge line to see him though. Here are some pics of us there and when we got home.

Ellie next to SGT Ted E. Bear in his Santa suit. It's hard to see her, but she's the little speck at the bottom of the picture.

Daddy's Girl waiting for the tree to be lit. (The sweater was mine circa 1979/1980. Just proves some things never go out of style)

At home pretending to hang her stocking.

In her Christmas nightie (Thanks Gran Jan!!) enjoying some ice cream and "sprinklers" after dinner at Ruby Tuesday. Which Ellie called "Bunny Tuesday" because there is a cartoon she loves that has a bunny named Ruby.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Free Toys!

There is a great prize package from Parents Magazine being given away at 5 Minutes for Mom right now. It has a bunch of great learning toys and DVDs in it. So of course, I had to enter. Wish me luck! I have a subscrpition to the magazine and I've seen the toys at Target and the ones on the site look really cool. Take a minute to check it out.

Monday, December 3, 2007

She's making a list...

And checking it twice.

Have you been naughty?

Or nice?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December is Here!!!

I have to say that December is one of my favorite months. It used to be my only favorite, but now May comes close. I have been slowly buying presents all year and trying to find the "perfect" thing for everyone. I am so glad it's time to wrap them all and put them under the tree so I can actually see the floor and open the closet in the computer room. Besides wrapping presents, Ellie and I have had a busy week. We got back to town on Monday afternoon and jumped right back into our normal routine on Tuesday. We went to jazzercise where she played with all her friends, especially Madison...

...and then to playgroup at Savanna's house. Ellie really loves it and it's great to have time to talk to other moms. That night we went to the Christmas parade which I walked in to advertise Jazzercise. Too bad we were mostly chickens and didn't show off our moves. Carrying the banner was easier I guess. Brandon was a trooper and watched it with Ellie despite the cold. Wednesday was gymnastics and a trip to Wal=Mart where I finished (for real this time) shopping for Ellie. At one point on Wed. Ellie was dressed as a cheerleader/princess/bride, but I wasn't fast enough with the camera. Thursday we went to Jazzercise and then came home to finally get the suitcases unpacked and the house cleaned. We also put up the tree (but didn't decorate it) and some outside decorations. Friday we went to storytime at the library ( and met Savanna there)...

...and lunch with Brandon and finally put the lights and ornaments on the tree. It was the most fun I've ever had decorating. Every ornament that I took out of the box was like a treasure for Ellie. She LOVED it. And the tinsel might as well have been made of solid gold. She thought it was the coolest thing ever. If I had let her, she would've worn it around the house.

Yesterday we stayed in our jammies until very late (and Ellie did her impression of Carrie at Thanksgiving). She pointed to the ball and said "This is Chuck!"

and then went back to Wal-Mart again for groceries and some Christmas stuff. Today is all about finishing the decorations in and outside the house and working on Christmas cards. and wrapping more presents. I think my list is too long.
I hope everyone else is as busy as I am!