Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Whew I guess time flies when you are having fun! Christmas was great. On Christmas Eve we drove around and looked at Christmas lights with the kiddos. They went right to bed when we got home which made Mr. and Mrs. Claus's job much easier! We took big bites out of the cookies Kim decorated and Jeff and I stacked up gifts around the tree before we drank spiked egg nog and watched 'A Christmas Story'. :) That movie will *never* get old for me.

Christmas morning was magical. The kids really do make the holiday worthwhile...their excitement was palpable. I love Kimberly's Baby Alive doll. She is a little scary but I have this obsession with babies and she feels very real. Oh, and she poops! It's so gross but so funny. Kennen is loving his new tiny acoustic guitar. Jeff and I have no idea how to tune the damn thing but Kennen actually makes pleasant sounds with it. It cute watching a little blonde boy walking around with a guitar strapped onto his body. :)

The kids got a ton of presents this year, thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Geno.

Here are some pics from Christmas morning:

Kennen is just getting started:
What is that buddy? "uh-tar" A what? "UH-TAR!"
Kimmy-girl rockin' the bed head.
Her American Girl doll made out pretty well this Christmas!
Me and my girls. I swear I'm not choking the dog.
Oh boy.

This new years is going to be really fun!
We have the beginning of our arsenal of fireworks because I got Jeff a bunch for Christmas. He saw the big wrapped box and was kind of annoyed. He is a simple man. He said there is nothing that he wants. On his birthday last month, I bought him a dart board. He thought it was totally lame even when I told him he and his buddies can drink beer in the garage and play darts. He kind of nodded and smiled but he was so unimpressed. For Christmas I really wanted to surprise him with something he would actually like and use. He is jewish and has the whole, 'I'm the only kid on the block without a christmas tree' syndrome and he is a little jaded about the whole Christmas thing. I think it's just because he hasn't felt the magic himself. I took it upon myself to really make sparks fly! I mean, I really want him to be like, Ka-boom! Cool gift! Okay...enough with the sad attempt at puns.

Ch-check out the video below of Jeff opening his firecrackers! Ladies and gentlemen, this is 'surprised and happy that my gift doesn't suck Jeff':

My little baby is a firecracker!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Today we had our first annual neighborhood gift exchange! We created this gift exchange because last year was so incredibly over the top. Jeff and I bought gifts for every child and every adult in each household that we were friends with. Ka-ching!

This year we did it right. Me and my friends all left the kids at home with the dads to orchestrate the super secret gift exchange for the children. Basically we got dressed up and went out for margaritas. We each made 6 ornaments and we exchanged them and we each came home with a handmade treasure from each of the the families. For the kids we drew names to buy $10 gifts. For the Dads? Well, they each got delivered a drunk wife at the end of the night, so make of that what you will. :) Except for Kempy. She is incubating Baby D right now so she stuck to water all night like a good Mama.

Tonight Laurie put together the soiree and it was really fun! There was a buzz in the air that only kids anticipating Christmas gifts can create. It *almost* filled me with Christmas cheer. But the food, wine and company were great! I'm looking to many more SBHL/RFL parties in the future!

Before we went to Lauries, we were buslting about the house getting ready. Kimberly and I went into my bathroom to do our hair. Kimberly said, "Mom, Kennen went into the closet (where the presents are tucked away) and I made him get out and I shut the door." This is where I used my scary stealth investigative skills and gasped, "You PEEKED at your presents!" She shook her little head (pony tails shaking too) and said, "No it was Kennen!" Then I said, "Kimberly..."

With that she hung her head and big fat guilty tears fell down her face. She saw a pink princess castle alarm clock that my Mom had sent for me to wrap for her. Oops, I guess I should have hidden it better. I kept drilling her to see if she saw anything else and all my crafty girl said was, "I don't want to remember. I forgot what I saw. It will be a surprise." Little love. I knew she was beating herself up more than I could if I punished her so I chalked it up to a lesson learned. I think she saw another big thing my Mom sent...a toy scooter for an American Girl doll to ride. She has been wanting this for a long time. I hope she didn't...Kimberly wishes she hadn't seen it. We both want to have a magical morning so our story is, "What scooter?"

Works for me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Murphy's Law

I have been shampooing my carpet over the last two days. I borrowed Keikicakes carpet shampooer and it rocks! It's big and it's a hoover...that's all I know about it. My carpet actually stands up again and is soft to walk on. I didn't realize how 'crunchy' it had gotten over the last year and a half. Yes, I hang my head in shame...I've not had my carpet shampooed since we moved in. In my defense though, the main living areas are wood and tile and it's just the bedrooms that are carpet. Still though, it was time.

So I get everything clean and all the stains out and literally within hours, The dog peed in the gameroom, Kimberly spilled chocolate milk in my bedroom, and then I woke up at 5:00am to the dog squirting diarrhea all over the floor and barking frantically! I was pissed off at first but then I saw her sad little doggy face. She was so scared she was in trouble but you could tell she was just not feeling well. :( Poor puppy.

So I cleaned it up and OMG! So fucking gross. I guess that's what I get for thinking that I am a person that is capable of having clean carpet. :D

I have a few more things to do before my in-laws come but I am getting there! This weekend I am going to bake cookies and then Monday is Christmas Eve and then on Tuesday the paper flies! Yipee!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Preschool party!

Well I pulled it off. Kennen's preschool party was organized and fun and went off without a hitch.

Oh, and there was a Mom there that had a boy in Kennen's class, plus a 10 month old boy and they were both crying and clinging to her and she looked like she was about to shot-put them both across the room. I, being the baby hog that I am, took the baby boy and introduced him to the toy kitchen on the other side of the room. He stopped crying and was infatuated with putting food in and out of the microwave and feeding the baby in the highchair. Once the Mom got the bigger boy to calm down, she came and sat by the baby and said, "Thank you" in a way that said, "You are dismissed, now get your paws off my baby."

Gah, I guess this means I need to have another baby of my own and quit borrowing other people babies. Or not...I just can't decide.

The best part was the music program that the kids performed for the parents. I am shocked that nobody cried and made a beeline for their Mom. I'm even more surprised that Kennen not only didn't cry, but he participated and knew the choreography to the songs.I took some videos of Kennen doing his thang at the preschool x-mas program...he sang "God is BIG", Jesus made my fingers, a classic rendition of Jingle Bells, and my personal favorite...a Wiggles song!

I know that nobody else cares to watch my sons preschool video but it is short so please humor me. Isn't he the sweetest little soul?

This is for all you Wiggle fans out there!

p.s. I don't know why I insist on shrieking and cackling on video but apparently I can't help it.

Preschool Christmas Program

Monday, December 17, 2007


Don't you just hate it when you look at your calendar for the day and it says "9:00am" in the square for today but you have no idea who or what was supposed to happen at 9:00am that day?


I'm so groovy

Well, here come the holidays again and I have been completely stumped on what to get Jeff for Christmas. Why is it that we have been married just a month shy of 6 years and I have no idea what to get this man. He is my best friend...why am I so completely clueless about what would really make him smile on Christmas morning? I could tie a bow around myself and wake him up with a smile, but seriously after 6 years it's kind of like, been there...done that. I want him to know he is appreciated. I want him see a gift under the tree for him and feel surprised and excited while opening it...and not be disappointed with what he gets.

There is really not any 'thing' that he wants other than more fishing shit. But there are only so many Bass Pro gift cards I could give him. Oh, and another thing is that a gift card is so lame coming from me to him because he makes all the money.

But the other day, it hit me. The PERFECT gift. I'm soooooo excited, tee hee! But it's a secret and I can't tell you. Here are a few clues though. First of all, have you ever read that book, 'The 5 love languages?' Well, I'm a nerd and I have and Jeff's love language is 'acts of service'. (the other love languages are gifts, physical touch, something else and mine which is quality time.) And he shows love and appreciation with acts of service too. This perfect gift that I've chosen for him will make his face light up like a roman candle on Christmas morning and plus, it is something that he will be able to share with his friends and family. I totally rock. :D

Oh, I have another car related story. I went to the mall yesterday and I stopped at the ATM to pull out some money. As I was driving away, I went to roll up my window and I BROKE the little switch, like I pulled up on the lever and something snapped and the tension went slack on the window roll up button. I, in true Stella form, started to cry. Then I remembered that my car was just a machine and it wasn't personal so I put on my big girl pants and dealt with it. I left a note on my steering wheel that said, 'Please don't steal me,' and I took the kids to the mall anyway. Jeff looked at it when I got home and told me to just take it to our mechanic in the morning. Then this morning I was driving and it is bitterly cold out. Without even thinking, I tried rolling up the window and it worked! How about that? I think it's my cars way of saying, 'Merry Christmas'. Oh wait, it's just a machine right. Cars don't say merry christmas.

Now I just have to remember to never roll down my window again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Strongest fish ever

Yesterday I was freezing so I took a long hot shower while Kennen was watching cartoons. After my shower, we played in my room for a little while, then he told me he was hungry.

We went to the kitchen and I made 2 burritos and then went to feed the fish at the same time. Apparently Kennen had tried to feed the fish too. Or maybe he was just trying to kill them. He was a little fuzzy on the details. He had poured half a bottle of Wesson vegetable oil into the bowl and then topped it off with a few scoops of flour(!). Then he stirred the whole concoction up with a 9 inch chef knife.

I am absolutely amazed that the fish are still alive. They were swimming at the bottom of the bowl where the water was still a little clear. I scooped them out into fresh water and now they are doing well. Those poor fishies! It makes sense now that a little girl was the mortal enemy in Finding Nemo.

The good thing about this is that when I yelled at my son he didn't cry hysterically. He just glared at me with this look that said, 'Are you done yet?' Then he hugged my leg and gave me an insincere "Sorry Mommy." Operation toughen up my son is apparently working.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dancing Jews

Yesterday Jeff came home with a hallmark card that played some song about menorahs, latkes and dancing the horah (sp?). The kids loved it and that darn card became the toy of the night.

Watch at the end of the first video as Kimmy-girl goes bouncing by...that kid cracks me up!

Check out the videos below, but please turn down the volume...Mama gets a little bit shrill. Hee hee.

Kennen talking, Kim being a goofball

Notice the dog walk by in the background...yes she is wearing a blue shirt, thank you Kimmy-girl.

Interpretive dance?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Preschool Christmas Party Activity

Okay, I'm actually using my blog as a journal right now to organize my thoughts. This next dull post is in no way meant to entertain you. You have been warned.

For Kennens preschool Christmas party, I think I am going to have the kids do a gift exchange. I was thinking of asking the each parent for $3 for pizza or happy meals, but those two things dont really say 'Christmas' to me. Presents say Christmas to me. That and baby Jesus. 8lbs 6oz baby Jesus.

Instead of pizza, I will have the teachers send home a note with the kids that says 'Come to our Christmas party on Wednesday and bring a wrapped $2-$5 gift for your child to exchange with their friends.' I will also go in a few days before the party for the kids to make homemade 'wrapping paper' with paint and handprints on paper lunch bags. These lunchbags will hold the picture ornaments that I made with popsicle sticks and starlight mints. The kids can then give these 'wrapped' gifts to their Mommy on party day. Oh, and I think for the gift exchange, I will have the kids do musical chairs and each child that is 'out' will get to choose a gift from the table.

Here are some pics of the ornaments that I made:

I didn't like the way the gold turned out in Kennens ornament, so I made the rest of them red. The ornament below is going to be filled with a picture of one of Kennen's classmates, but I need to re-order the pictures from Walgreens. Kennen took the prints I had and chopped them up into tiny little pieces. Tell me how you really feel about your little friends buddy!:

I thought about taking the wrappers off the mints. But I know how Kennen tries to eat everything...even if it's hot glued down, so I decided to keep 'em wrapped. Cute, huh? Who is a totally crafty suburban Mom? This girl!

Because it's her favorite color?

Ugh, Kimberly has pinkeye again. AGAIN! Oy vay!

Bad news is that I'm scared I'm going to get it. Ewey eweeeewwwwwwwwwwww! Good news is that she is here to keep her brother occupied. :) And I am going to send them upstairs to clean their rooms. I really don't have much faith in it being 'clean' but maybe they will surprise me. It's time to toss out more toys anyway to make room for Christmas presents.

While they are doing that, i'm going to wrap presents and oh, get this! I am literally one load away from completely slaying my laundry monster! I'm doing a happy dance as we speak.

I'm going to sweep, mop and vacuum the floors today too. Isn't my life totally fucking fascinating?

Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah and then Christmas is only 14 days away! Yipee!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bung Chow

So I have major writers block and every time I sit down to write, I draw a blank. I think I'm too stressed out about the holidays or something. To find inspiration, I perused through all of the pictures I have saved on my computer. I found pics from a party we had a few months ago when my good friend Patty was in rare form. She is too cute to keep these pics private, so here they Bung Chow!

She is a mother:

A friend:

A, um...wife...get a room you crazy kids!

And just an all around fun girl!

And she even tolerates my husband that nick named her Bung Chow.

I'm really not sure where or when she earned her nickname. But it's her moniker and even Kennen calls her 'Chow'. She is a great friend and a great neighbor. She can always be relied on for a cup of sugar...or a beer. She keeps a well stocked fridge. :) She is a giver and always puts others first. Patty you so totally rock!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Am I too sensitive?

Tonight was gymnastics night for Kimberly. I had Kennen with me and he was being a stinker. Actually he was being well behaved for a 2 year old but he got hurt and was upset about that, and then he was upset that I wouldn't let him eat teddy grahams off the floor. Anyway, whenever he gets upset his speech regresses. I have finally been able to get him to use proper consonants but tonight he was a whiny ass vowel using boy. Uh eeeeeeiieieii uh uh oooohhh. I tried correcting him the way my SLP taught me. I break down the word, I delete a consonant if there are two next each other, for example he needs to say "dow" for down. But he was saying "OW! Owwwwwwwwww!" So annoying. I wasn't going to force the issue while I was trying to keep him quiet during Kim's class so I just played sodoku and ignored him as he went off on his vowel monologue.

As annoying as this was, there was a lady next to me that kept trying to talk to Kennen. She would smile at him but he would just scowl and look away. Ugh, lady please leave him alone, he is in a mood tonight. I didn't say anything, I just minded my own business in hopes that she would mind her own business. Instead she started chatting up the lady next to her about how she went to a seminar this weekend about autism spectrum disorders. It was FASCINATING! She learned so much about Speech Language Pathology and the Kaufman method! She was sooo relieved to learn that her son didn't fall into the autism spectrum. He made eye contact and had interpersonal relationships! Oh Lordy me.

I was pissed. Maybe she just so happened to remember that she just learned everything there is to know about developmental delays, but maybe she was judging my son speaking in vowels. Maybe she tried to make eye contact to diagnose autism. Maybe she spoke loudly of her newly found wealth of information to pique my interest and find out what was wrong with my son. I took some deep breaths and let my frustration fade. I know my child. I have worked my ass off for a year jumping through hoops to try to get him to talk. Now we are even adding occupational therapy, which by the way has really helped him with new words. My child is beautiful and I don't have to explain his 'issues' to a stranger that notices them.

It's cool though. My son is potty trained and her son was older and in pull-ups. >:)

I'm so excited!

I just bought tickets for Kimberly and I to go to the Nutcracker this weekend! She has no idea and I can't wait to surprise her with it! Tee hee, it's moments like these that I'm glad I have a daughter. Or, I guess it's moments like these that Jeff is glad we have a daughter, otherwise I would drag him to the Nutcracker. We are sitting in the first row of the balcony. Apparently these are the 'cheap seats' but I love sitting up high. I think it adds to the experience and I think it will be fun for Kim to be able to see everything and be able to look over the ledge. My cousin once took me to Phantom of the Opera in AZ and we had first row balcony seats and I really felt like I had the best seat in the house. Anyway, tickets were only $12/person so now I will have a little extra to buy Kimmy-girl something in the gift shop. A little Clara holding a nutcracker? An evil mouse king for Kennen?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Tonight at sundown Hanukkah began and we (I) made latkes and we (I) ate them. My Mom called while I was trying to feed them to my kids. I had to speak loudly over their whining, but I did manage to apologize to my Mom for ever having turned up my nose at any meal she prepared for me. She told me that I was a good kid. And that I was potty trained at 18 months. :D I think she chooses to sprinkle fairy sparkle dust over her memories because I was punk to her when she came home from working a long day and I wet the bed until I was 6. Okay, 7.

Jeff didn't eat any latkes because he is back at old faithful...the low carb diet. So it was Happy Hanukkah to me. I bought the kids webkinz because they came out with a Reindeer and a Penguin! The Penguin waddles! Too cute! And the reindeer came with Santa's sled. How fun is that? I do have to vent that the webkinz online menorah did not light tonight at sundown. Hopefully this is only from the confusion of the dates. Hanukkah is listed on any calendar as starting on the 5th, but really that means it starts at sundown on the 4th. Make sense? Yeah, I don't get it either but I am going with the flow.

I have an old book that my mother in law gave me called, "Across the Threshold." I love this time of year, because after I pull it out for the latke recipes, I love to peruse the pages. The Jewish religion, while full of deep traditions, is quite practical. There is this website called JewFAQ (which my sister in law thinks is hilarious btw) and it really gave me a better understanding of not only what the jewish traditions are, but why they do them. It really is a sensible religion. No vague and confusing, 'died on the cross for your sins,' talk. I really don't understand what a man dying on the cross 2000 years ago has to do with my sins. It just seems 'magical' and I dont get it. Judaism makes sense to me.

Ugh, I'm too tired to come up with a clincher for my blog. Oh wait, here's one...Peace out yo'!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Everything is bigger in Texas

including my Christmas tree. It was labeled a 7-8 foot tree, but I think it had an unfortunate accident where its pointy top was cropped. It is 6 feet in diameter and maybe 8 feet tall. It's roly-poly. And it makes my heart beat with holiday happiness.

I picked out my tree and I was so excited. It was so full and it looked huge for a 7-8 foot tree and even the guy there was like, 'Whoa'. After I got it home, I realized that my tree stand wouldn't fit my mammoth tree trunk so I had to go back to H.D. And then Kennen fell asleep in the car in the 3 minutes it took to get there.

Home Depot has their tree selling station in the parking lot, so I drove up, picked out a tree stand (that fits up to a 12 foot tree) and asked the lady if I could pay for it there. In the meanest, most hateful voice she could muster she said, "We don't have a way to take your money. You can pay for it in the garden center". Shit. Kennen was asleep in the car. I didn't want to wake him but I couldn't walk away and leave him. She sighed and turned her back to me and ignored me while I tried to get her attention to help me. Then some guy turned on a saw and my helpful employee walked away. Kennen was sleeping in the car so I just decided to drive over to the garden center. It's amazing the attention shoplifting gets you. I got in my car with the tree stand on my lap, preparing to drive 30 feet to the garden center and she came running over to my car, "MA'M! MA'M! I CAN CARRY THAT OVER FOR YOU!" That's when I told her I wasn't interested in stealing a tree stand and I tried to have her help me but she disappeared into the mini-forest of Christmas trees and that I just was driving to the garden center because my son was sleeping. She actually apologized profusely and smiled (!) and said she would be happy to help me. That must be part of their loss prevention training. 'Smile at the little deviants and pretend to give them the benefit of the doubt.' Bitch.

But! But this is where my story takes a turn! This is where I tell you that me and another lady both park right at the cash register of the garden center. This is where someone actually smiled, genuinely, and said, "We must have the same idea...get in and out and fast as possible." She already had a flat of yellow flowers in her hand. I said I have to keep an eye on my son because he is sleeping. Then she let me go in line ahead of her. Then we talked about flowers. And how gardening is good for your soul. Then, bless her heart, she gave me a $10 off coupon. It's funny how the kindness of strangers touches you. She was salve to my jaded soul and I wanted to hug her and say thank you for restoring my faith in humanity. But instead I paid for my tree stand and told her 'Merry Christmas'. Amen

So, my tree is phat. It has no point. But with a little scheming from my neighbors, I duct taped my star to an old broom stick and stuck it down into the top of the tree. It kind of works. :)

Here...see for yourself:

Ummm, this corner wont work because I can't get to the hallway.

Sorry they are so blurry, but have you ever taken a picture of a lit tree? The slightest movement causes all the lights to blur. Oh well. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...