Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My TiVo is empty.

Yes, my 80 hour TiVo is empty. Seems that the broadcast networks aren't showing any new episodes of the THIRTY FIVE or so shows that I am actively recording. Some start up in January, some run only in the summer, and some are on holiday break. But not a single new show inthe past two weeks? I have a 2004 episode of Monk recorded, several hours of the Paralympics, a few old episodes of Robot Chicken and South Park, but nothing else. Where did the rest of the TV world go? They are really leaving me in the lurch here - having to watch Robot Chicken and South Park are really making me stretch. Where is my Law and Order? Where did CSI go? Where is anything Sci-Fi, murder mystery, or comedy? Are there any dramas left? Anything suspenseful? I guess that it's off to Blockbuster to rent last season of Dexter (one of my favorites from that channel that we don't receive). Oh well, guess that when January rolls around I'll have plenty to watch. In the meantime I'll sit here and drown my sorrows in college bowl games.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hamentaschen for Santa?

We love you Santa - here are some JEWISH cookies for you!
Hope you enjoyed your Hamentaschen as you dropped off our Christmas gifts! ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Xmas Cards - a Family Affair

In years past the Xmas letter, card, or whatever we sent out, was all put together by me. Tom and I created something cool, and I was in charge of stuffing, addressing, and stamping, not to mention the dreaded licking and sealing of the envelopes. Occasionally I could trick Tom into helping, but not generally. Well, this year we took all kinds of steps in the right direction. I got paper that was pre-scored, so anyone could fold it easily. I bought self adhesive stamps, so anyone could stick them down. I bought self sealing labels so anyone could close them up properly. And the most important thing? Well, I started working on them while the kids were here and slightly bored. You see, in years past I've done this all when the kids were asleep or at school, but this year I figured what the heck - might as well give it a try. And it worked.

I sat down three or four days before Christmas and put out all of my supplies on the couch. I roped Max in first - he offered to help without any prompting. Then Ian wandered over and wanted to fold the letters up. Then Sam wanted a job because everyone else was helping. Soon I found Lucy in my lap as she had woken up, and we were all putting our holiday letter together happily. It took a whopping 15 minutes and they were all done. Tom came home right as we were finishing up, and I had him snap a picture. The amazing part is - we send out about 100 letters per year, and usually it takes me a long, LONG time to get them all done. Fifteen minutes and the kids not only enjoyed themselves but also asked who folks were and saw names they recognized and had fun - pretty cool if you ask me. Now to figure out how to get them to do it again next year...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Napping Cat

We all know that cats love to find little hidey holes to park themselves in, but this was a new one for Bunsen:

He found the perfect little spot to nap, until I closed the door and then he wasn't so happy...

Friday, December 26, 2008

This is what it's all about!

Xmas Day 2008



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas from our house to yours!

Christmas Day 2008
Clockwise from left: Suzie, Max, Tom, Lucy, Ian, and Sam

Ian, Max, Lucy, and Sam

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Weird Boys

Not sure if it's just a boy thing, but they certainly thought this was cool. The picture is also titled "Things to do while waiting for your food at the world's SLOWEST Chili's."

Them: "Look, we have five fingers."
Me: "But you have five fingers to begin with."

I obviously missed the cool part of this. Then again I'm a girl and I don't get half the stuff they do.

From left to right: Ian, Max, and Sam

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Talk about a minivan party

How many kids are these folks picking up???!!!!

Is this what every school Kiss and Ride line looks like?

Or was I just in the minivan only line last week?

Monday, December 22, 2008

16 Degrees

A few weeks ago Max lost the outside of his cool two layer winter coat. You know the kind - fuzzy on the inside, wind and rain resistant on the outside - perfect for those winters like we have here when it warms up as the day goes on. Anyway, he lost the outside of his coat and now he's lost his light jacket. And did I mention that it is 16 degrees outside - feels like ONE DEGREE? He was layering his light coat over the inside of his new jacket, but since that's gone too, he just going to be cold today. Hopefully since it's Monday and a short day he'll just stay inside and not freeze. But man, it's off to the store to get him coat #2 for this year. Yikes - hope he hangs onto this one or this could get expensive. One thing for sure - I'm not getting him a fancy coat where the inside zips out.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Missing Teeth

In case you are wondering, here's the latest lost tooth count from Max:

Max 0, Tooth Fairy 8

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scoring Mom Points

I was going up to the school on Friday to bring Max's class some cookies for their Holiday party. Honestly next year I'll just show up as they had WAAAAY too many snacks there and about half of the cookies came back home. Anyway, I was a few minutes early so I sat in the car and sang to Lucy (who doesn't seem to mind that I'm basically tone deaf these days) and then finally wandered in. Well, did I totally score some mom points by walking in at just the right time. Sam's class, along with two others, were singing carols and wandering the halls of the school spreading holiday cheer in Spanish. I got there right when they were up at the front office, so I not only heard them signing, but Sam saw me and gave me a HUGE smile. Couldn't have had better timing if I'd planned it.

"Cascabel, cascabel
Música de amor..."

Friday, December 19, 2008


"Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make you very sick." -Webmd.com

Yeah, and Ian discovered this the hard way. While the rest of the world reads about illnesses, he tackles this one head on. Ian has had bouts of coughing on and off for several months, but they always clear up. This time though he was waking at night and nothing we gave him seemed to make a dent. So, off to the doctor we went and she diagnosed him with a mild case in one lung only. Whew! Mild. But still pneumonia. After four days off from school, and three days of antibiotics under his belt (and one good night's sleep!) we sent him back into the trenches. He had a ball. After saying on Day 2 of his "vacation" that he liked being sick because he got to stay home, he said on Day 1 back to school that he really missed school and he actually LIKED to go to school. Whew! Guess those *yawn* boring days at home changed his mind. But Aunt Ray was here for most of his little vacation, so she too got some rest!

Needless to say the antibiotics are starting to kick in and the coughing at night at least has subsided. He's on the mend and will be able to have a Christmas free of hacking, coughing, bag under his eyes, and falling asleep mid-sentence (he really didn't so that but it sure looked like he might a few times).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wanna stay up ALL night? YIKES!

I'm not sure whether to be impressed or scared that someone thought to put all this stuff together and sell it as a kit to gamers. Guess the college market was saturated with Red Bull and the likes, or that the gamers were not so keep on just energy drinks - they wanted more variety.

Regardless, this "Gamers Kit" contains all the sugar and caffeine (Mad Croc Energy Drink, 80 Hour Energy Spray, Mad Croc Energy Gum, Jack Links Jerky) that you'd need for a good night's worth of butt kicking on the old Nintendo (yeah, I know they don't say but kicking, and I'm fully aware that the Nintendo's aren't called that any more...). I just can't throw myself behind something that encourages folks to stay up all night. I did my share in college (sort of - always tended to fall asleep - reason generally took over at some point), so I'm not saying that you shouldn't stay up all night, but geez, you really shouldn't. And this coming from someone with an infant - someone who is definitely a night owl living in a world of early risers. Anyway, back to this "gotta stay awake so I can play more video game" kit. Some clever person really did a good job of hitting those gamers right where they are vulnerable - instead of candy or toys in the check out lane you see these kids - all nicely packaged and ready to take home. Crazy, crazy thing this is.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's time for rice cereal!!!

Lucy ventured beyond the bottle for the first time today - and complained that I wasn't feeding her fast enough! She was grabbing at the spoon so we gave her one of her own, but she ate a TON of rice cereal and is now completely camped. She wasn't really sure what we were doing - feeding her on the kitchen table? Why did she have a bib on? And what the heck was the white stuff that I was mixing up? But after the first taste she took off and never stopped. She fussed a bit when I went to get another spoonful, so I took smaller amounts and fed her quickly. She was quite satisfied when all was said and done - this feeding thing is a piece of cake for her (and hopefully that will continue).


Our kids do chores (that's a real chore chart folks over there<-). They not only do their chores, but they do them daily, and they generally don't complain about them too much. Take tonight for instance. After being told to do their chores, and after a few minutes of almost doing their chores, then being reminded that dad was sitting right there in the living room monitoring them not quite doing their chores, they were off.

Occasionally we change the chores up - adjust them if one set takes too long for all the kids, or remove some seasonal chores and add more appropriate ones. We also have moved the chores away from things like getting dressed and brushing one's teeth as we figure that they no longer need that extra easy chore (one that they already do and will certainly accomplish that night) and replaced them with things like unloading the dishwasher and clearing the table (things that they often don't accomplish correctly). It's good to strive for better...he he he...

Anyway, our kids have responded very well to our very high expectation that they would earn a sticker each and every night for the three chores each that they have to do. and of course, the cat thanks them for being fed - most nights at least. But when it come to allowance I realized that I am way behind the times. Not only have we failed to keep up with inflation, but we've also not given them ANY raise, NO increase whatsoever since we started this whole allowance thing. It's almost as if the chores are wholly unrelated to the allowance - they do all of their chores each week and they are supposed to get allowance for it. But somewhere along the way we decided that they were ready for more responsibility, but not more money. Bad parents (not losing the Xmas list bad, but still). So how much should we be paying them? I talk about it more here, but we'll let you know what we end up doing and how the kids react.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


While sitting at dinner the other night
Max asked if the cantaloupe
(in a bowl in front of him, mixed in with pineapples and grapes)
was a kind of animal...

Friday, December 12, 2008

A curious lawn

These folks have a relatively large front yard. I guess it could be a NICE large front yard if they'd only realized that they planted half of their lawn with grass that lives in the summer, and half that lives in the winter. I can't imagine that they made a decision to plant winter grass on half of their lawn and regular grass on the rest- where's the logic in that? Sure, it doesn't look completely dead in the winter, but it looks goofy all year round. This picture is from early December - only a few short days ago. Some folk are just plain odd.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forgotten Decorations

It seems that every year it gets later and later when we actually put up our holiday decorations. Last year we had an issue with a moldy tree (welcome to the humid state of Virginia) and so that held us up by a day or two, but we were still cutting it close. This year we are two weeks out and only a single decoration has gone up - ONE. Maybe this means that next year we will barely get anything up (or take a vacation over the holidays so we aren't even here when we'd make use of them!), and then hit the reset button. For some reason I'm starting to dread putting up the decorations. Not sure why - they really do make me feel festive. Maybe it has something to do with me considering that everything that goes up must come down later - and that I'm feeling a bit lazy this year (and last for that matter).

I guess the good thing here is that we are within the window of NO college football games, so I actually have time on the weekends to do things other than watch football. While that brings me no delight on the football front, maybe this weekend will be the kick start I need to get things up around here. Then again maybe that's something we can do as a family when the kids go on break from school...on December 24...sigh...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Things Kids Say #8

We've ventured into a whole new realm of possible conversation now that there's another girl in the house - and one that occasionally appears nekkid to boot (in the baby bath or while getting a diaper and clothing change).

Ian: Mommy - Do girl parts tickle like boy parts?

(No comment from me after that - that's WAAAY too much information for my ears. He's almost six and I can't think of ANYTHING that's appropriate at that point.)

And so it all begins.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dear Santa

I can't believe that I'm writing to you about this, but I need to let you know that I lost my kids Christmas lists. I was hoping to write to you letting you know what they wanted this year, as they were GREAT and made lists VERY EARLY. I just had to mention the holidays and they were on top of it unprompted. And the best part was that their lists were reasonable - you know - not full of $300 items. Yikes. Soooooooo, I am writing to you HOPING that you are indeed that very special man that remembers all of those wish lists even though they never make it to your door, or that somehow they were entered into the central Xmas database for my kids, because I have NO IDEA what they want this year. I vaguely remember books, puzzles, blocks, bikes, Pokemon (of course), but who wanted a Pokemon stuffed animal and who wanted more cards? Who wanted the USA puzzle and who wanted blocks? Geez. I guess for this one I can claim my Mother of the Year award. Or, I can ask the kids what they asked for and tell them the truth - I lost their lists...sigh.

Thanks Santa for listening - I promise to do better next year, but then again...

Sincerely, Suzie

Friday, December 05, 2008


Now here's something that not everyone admits. I was a "bowhead" growing up. After my elementary school Dorothy Hamil cut, and then the scary "tail" in the very early 1980's (thankfully that trend passed before anyone ever took a picture of me), I wore my hair BIG and up in bows. Yes, I lived in Texas at the time...no big surprise there. Even went off to college with the big bows. So you can imagine my delight when I realized that I can wrap my daughter's hair in bows now - AND LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS!!!

And the best part is that she left it in and SMILED for me!!!! Can't ask for anything more. Now the boys, well, they never took kindly to the big bows (he he he...or hats for that matter), so I'm holding my breath that Lucy will grow to appreciate them. And yes, I know things have changed and that the styles are much more subtle these days. But if I ever find myself back in Texas with a child with the ability to not only wear a bow but pull it off with style - well, you bet she'll have a bow in her hair!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

For lack of a smaller dictionary

Poor Max. He has to use a GIGANTIC dictionary that my mom gave to Tom years ago to do his homework. I swear it weights about 15 pounds. Not a big deal - he's willing to lug it up and down the stairs when he uses it. But having to look up the words in the definition so he can understand what they mean? That's a big much for his third grade brain. Then again some of those words are a bit much. But I'm not complaining - anything to make him stretch and grow - and he's really digging the challenge! But I think this year we're getting him his very own dictionary for Xmas. Seriously - he shouldn't have to pull a muscle (brain or arm) to get his work done!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I guess Playdoh never gets old

I used to believe that Playdoh got old. You know - once all the colors mixed together it was time to open a new can of it. But apparently I was wrong. In the midst of a sea of unopened colorful canes of Playdoh:
the boys chose to continue using the nasty old stuff. They squished, rolled, cut, molded, and even stamped the old brown/black/green/nasty colored stuff into all kinds of shapes. I offered several time to open new jars, and they finally let me open one small (tiny tiny small) pink jar. Sam made hair from it, but for the most part they used the gross stuff. I explained that they could open as many jars as they want, and that when it gets old it makes it really really hard to make turtles, give the chicken hair, and even cut, but they insisted on using the old stuff. Oh well, I guess as we get older we lose our appreciation for that well mixed pile of Playdoh.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Secrets of the night

What he heck is growing inside of the BOA sign? Look closely - it is definitely inside the sign, and it grows more full each passing day. Must be one very happy plant - hiding during the day and coming out at night.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What a sad state

No, I'm not talking about Virginia - we're pretty happy right now in that respect (well, except for the cold temps that are FIFTEEN DEGREES below normal for this time of year but that's for another day). I am talking about the sad state of my toe nails. If you've ever met me and seen my toes, you will notice that they are always nicely polished. Even at 15 months pregnant with twins my toes looked nice due to my loving and very helpful husband (for the record I wasn't 15 months pregnant, just felt that way). And if you don't know me or have never peeked at my toes, well you are just going to have to take my word for this. Now here's the problem:
My toes have lost their way - they are terribly lost. My nail polish remover just made it's appearance two days ago, but there's no polish to be found. I have it all stashed away together, but when I was out of town in early October for a bit, and my rooms were flipped, the polish made it's exit. i might have to *gasp* buy more nail polish. I hate to do that because I have, ahem, several bottle of the stuff already, but what's a girl to do? I guess the one good hting here is that it is cold - very cold - and there's no real chance that my poor toes will be exposed. Off to hunt up that box of polish...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!

Seems that Max gets all the baking goodies, but that's just timing for you! This go round his class gets Turkey Cookies! I'm taking them in tomorrow then heading over to Ian's Thanksgiving Feast. Max has 40 kiddos in his combined class (two classes share two teachers - it's a Spanish Immersion thing), but poor Ian is having his feast with two other classes, so I wasn't about to offer anything up for that feast. Sam's class is doing something December 4th, so maybe I'll be back up and running for that party, but for now the baking shop is closed. And look how cute these turkey turned out!
And in case you are wondering where the rest of the cookies went, well I decorated those too:

Monday, November 24, 2008

THE most patient dog EVER.

I guess everyone has those days too...

Sunday, November 23, 2008


So this time I wasn't just sitting at home - in the comfort of my WARM home - and cheering for the Seminoles. They came to MY neck of the woods, so Tom and I headed out to watch the game in person. Problem was - it was really , really cold out:

Yes, that really does say feels like 23 degrees. First column time, second air temp, third "feels like temp," etc. So we were out in the cold watching our Noles whoop up on those poor turtles (Maryland has an unfortunate mascot).
And here we are at the beginning of the game. By the end of the game we couldn't feel our fingers enough to snap any pics, and we couldn't get back to the car fast enough. We sat amongst fellow Noles and everyone, including the two not so bright guys who took their shirts off in celebration, had fun. Well, everyone except for all those poor, sad looking Terrapins. Oh well.

Thanks guys for making our first football game in YEARS such fun! A 37-3 victory was well worth the trip around the beltway.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Look at me!

I'm four months old now and I can hold my head up during tummy time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Following in my footsteps

One of the best days in life is when your kiddo takes an interest in something you hold near and dear to your heart. In my case it's politics - and here's my little election junkie. From a few days before the election where he couldn't wait for the day to come, to the actual process of voting (which was probably a total let down as we didn't have to wait at all and it took me all of thirty seconds to vote) to the results which started rolling in just before bedtime, Max was hooked. He is fantastic - simply fantastic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cats are gross.

I say that with the most loving tone I can generate, but cats really are gross. Aside from everything else they do that isn't quite what I consider hygienic, they eat bugs. At least my cat does, and we find evidence of it regularly. I guess the good thing is that we don't see that many bugs - I always assumed it was because the bug guys come every three months and spray, but now I wonder how many the cat catches and digests. Here's the evidence - you be the judge:

Those sure do look like cricket legs to me - and I found this in the basement a few days ago. I guess that our Bunsen has some hunter in him still - the good life hasn't taken all of the cat out of him. And good thing he's cute, because seeing this might just send me over the edge if he wasn't.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yea! SHHHH....Yea!

I can say it out loud now -


Living in Redskins territory really is a bummer sometimes...


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cornhole anyone?

Can't believe that I'm actually writing about this, but when I heard about it a year or so ago all I could do was laugh. Well, it seems that while this slipped out of my mind completely, while I was looking for a t-shirt yesterday online it all came rushing back:

Bet that you didn't know that tossing a bean bag into a hole on a board was called Cornhole, and that there's an organization dedicated to maintaining order in the activity, as well as places where you can buy your supplies online. Yikes. Unfortunately the more widely know definition is not a sport that children should be playing, and that's all I'll say about that. Look it up if you aren't aware of that definition, but only if you are up for an adventure. Anyway, the bean bag toss has taken on a whole new meaning - and who knew that I made my kids do this a few years back:

Isn't Ian cute tossing that beanbag into that hole in the board back in 2005? So terribly sorry for bringing it up and subjecting you to a not so wholesome activity (the more commonly used definition if you looked it up - not the game), but that darn t-shirt made me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Little Fingers, Little Toes

These little fingers and toes are getting bigger by the day. She is growing and exploring and learning more and more each day. Her toes are searching out the fun as her fingers have been doing for several days now. Lucy is well on her way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Brother, Little Sister

What more could you want?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Cool Samhawk

At school the kids have Crazy Hair Day in June. Last year Max had stripes, and Ian and Sam both looked longingly at his cool do and wanted one of their own (the preschool did NOT have Crazy Hair Day and that would have caused a big old ruckus if we sent them in with crazy hair). Ian says that when HIS crazy Hair Day comes around he wants to get stripes or circles painted on - in wild crazy colors. And Sam? Well, he wants a mohawk. Easy enough you'd think, but I am NOT the master of the haircuts. I am perfectly capable of cutting the boys (and Tom's) hair with a pair of clippers, #3 guards all the way around. But that and the hair spray type color is the extent of my skill set in regards to the whole hair thing.

Then I tried something new. Sam had really, really long hair and was in need of a haircut. I started cutting with the clippers, trimmed him up, and left the middle part long. There was a mohawk in my son's hair and I did it all by myself. (Yes, I know I sound like I'm three years old, but geez, it was a big accomplishment!)

So here, in all of his glory, is Sam's cool mohawk:

It is tough to photograph a kiddo's crazy hair, but you get the general idea. We let Sam keep his cool do through soccer practice but cut it off before he went to school. Not really sure what the rules are regarding hair styles, and we're not really interested in getting our kindergartener sent home for a hair faux pas. But we are totally set for Crazy Hair Day next year - everyone is ready.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A little home maintenance...by the kids...

My kids are not plumbers, and they know this. So the other morning when the toilet overflowed they did the best they could to clean it up so that there wasn't water everywhere:

I definitely appreciate their effort at not destroying our house, and their attempt at getting this not-so-much-their-fault mess all cleaned up. But should I be offended by the note they left?

In case you can't read it, it says:

Daddy only

Daddy, the tolet overflowed twice. There is something worng. Can you fix it?

Love, Max

Did I mention that Daddy happened to be out of town when the boys so lovingly wrote this note? Obviously Daddy is the one in charge of overflowing toilets, so what did I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing, that is, until Tom came home and I pointed out that they boys left him a note. Fortunately he arrived home later on that evening, so we didn't have a sopping mess and broken toilet for long. Love those kids...

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Election

Word clouds are cool. Hopefully this one will stay up for a bit as it's a really cool idea. I don't talk much about politics here - I could honestly go on forever about that as I'm a dyed in the wool policy wonk - but I'd like to keep this blog positive and steer clear of anything really controversial. Well, at least steer clear of those things that I consider controversial. Anyway, the Times has created a word cloud that represents what folks are feeling today. You can click on the supporters of either major party and see where they are at, and you can see the mix if you click on everyone. But what a cool idea to really get a sense of where people are the day after a major shift in our country's path has occurred. Here's the link, so enjoy.

And after you are done playing around with this, go take a peek at where my day after the election newspaper went to here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I love this man

Not always sure why, but I do love him.

P.S. - He didn't actually put the horns up for this picture willingly. I had to beg to take his picture with them up - just like he had them five seconds earlier. And yes, they are football uprights. The boys made them at Home Depot Kids Workshop - pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My babies

This is what happens when you leave the baby toys out in a house full of big boys:

Then again, some things never change:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

So did you buy a donkey cookie or an elephant cookie today?

Seems there are quite a few of the elephants left around in the case. Time will tell...