Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fencing...not interesting to the 4 year old

Apparently Amber has been learning some fencing in P.E. at school. (Don't worry, they are using swim noodles.)

So, Dave has decided it would be a great idea to bring our swimming noodles into the house and let the girls practice "fencing" (Don't worry that we do have a Christmas Tree, but nothing has been broken, YET).

As always, Amber is very serious about teaching us what she has learned. Which is fine as long as she is talking to Dave or myself. She holds her noodle in very straight posture and shouts "HONOR POSITION", and then proceeds to show us how to gallop across the room in the stance that I am sure is exactly like her P.E. teacher has shown her and explains to us that we can only score is we touch her in the chest or belly.

Of course, her seriousness on the sport is lost on Amy and boy is that frustrating for Amber. Amy thinks fencing is a great sport because she can run through the house whacking anyone that might get in her way. Meanwhile, Amber stands in the middle of the living room screaming very impatiently "HONOR POSITION" in her very straight posture waiting for Amy to return and listen to the remainder of her instruction. Of course this ends in tears because Amy just won't listen to her.

Last night Amber and I had a very intense conversation, where I explained to her that there is a reason you don't learn fencing in preschool. She finally did recover from her impatience when we told her that if they did teach fencing in preschool it would involve chasing one another and whacking each other with a noodle. She thought that sounded OK, so the evening was saved. Such a rule-follower, that girl.

Since today was a P.E. day, I can't wait to see what I learn about fencing tonight!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

St. Charles Christmas Traditions

I have to start by saying that I have never heard of this happening on Main Street in St. Charles, but apparently it has been going on for years. Dave and I saw an ad a couple of weeks ago about the Christmas Traditions in Old St. Charles and thought, "that might be something fun to do with the girls". I am so glad we decided to go. Everything was SO festive and just right for getting us all into the holiday spirit.We knew that there was going to be a parade of Christmas Characters on Main Street, but what we didn't know is that the characters were walking up and down main street "in character" giving the kids collectors cards. One of the Santa Claus even came up to Dave and totally wrapped him into a huge hug. For anyone who knows Dave, I, like you was not sure how he would react to this. He took it all in stride though and hugged back with a grin of embarrassment on his face. I loved it. In case, you didn't know, I am the outgoing one in our family. Don't laugh! Someone may not know that! Dave is VERY reserved. A lot of people that meet us say that he is SO quiet because I am SO not. But whatever, I enjoyed every minute of him being teased by this Santa. Too bad I didn't have my camera ready at that point.

After collecting cards for a while, we found a place to watch the parade of characters. Amy didn't like the spot that we chose for some reason, so she pouted for a while.
She finally gave up when we offered to let her take a few pictures with our camera. She loves to take pictures of crazy things. We had several of the license plate on the car we were sitting next to. But beyond being crooked, she did get a good one of Dave and I. After a late lunch/early dinner, we took the girls down to the riverfront where they had an outdoor skating rink set up. Amber and Amy have only been ice skating one other time and that was last year in Ohio. It started out a little rough, because they both wanted to skate with Dave. I don't blame them because #1, he is a better skater than I, and #2 he will hold them up, where I just cushion their falls. They both did really good. Amy was her usual kamikaze self...she really has no fear of getting hurt. And Amber was skating by herself, not fast, but on her own by the end.

We ended the evening with hot chocolate for the car ride home. It was a great time and something that we will definitely do again next year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gingerbread Tradition

Since this is our last year of Gingerbread Houses with Parents as Teachers, I've been thinking about a way we could continue the tradition of building the houses to prepare us for the holidays. I love tradition and I don't always feel like I am passing on traditions from my childhood. I want to have some traditions that Amber and Amy can pass onto their children.

A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I were invited to a gingerbread house making party. (Dave was invited too, but opted not to go.) The concept was very much like a home show type thing, except you knew what you were going to buy. All we had to do was show up. The houses were already built by "the gingerbread lady".
The gingerbread lady brought bagged icing and had a tray of candy and you could decorate your house any way you wanted. The girls had a LOT of fun. They LOVED squeezing the bagged icing.
And you can see they turned out quite a masterpiece.

So now that there is are options out there, I will have to decide how to carry on our gingerbread house tradition. Have a party, or make my own?

Friday, December 4, 2009

I knew this would happen...

I would get behind and get overwhelmed, but I am still plugging away. I think the holidays were just a bad time to start this blog. We have been busy doing lots of holiday things, so I am hoping to catch up.

One of our favorite holiday traditions is attending our Parents as Teachers, Arts and Crafts with Santa. We have gone to it since Amy was an infant. Since Amy will be in Kindergarten next year, this was our last year. Besides cute and easy crafts, one of the favorite things that we love to do is build a graham cracker gingerbread house. The girls concentrate very hard on the exact way they want their gingerbread houses to look, but every once in a while you have to take a taste.

Of course, Santa is there, and the girls were both willing to sit on the strangers lap this year.

I always love to hear what the girls will tell Santa that they want for Christmas. Tonight, Amber told Santa she wanted a Three Musketeer's Barbie (which she got for her birthday in October, by the way???). Amy told Santa she wanted a Barbie...nothing specific, just a Barbie.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

UGH! Christmas Pictures...

One of the only things I dread at this time of year is getting a picture of my girls for our Christmas Card. I wish I could say it was easy every year, but it is most definitely not. One year we even resorted to "photoshopping" two pictures together. I know that is totally cheating, but at some point you just have to give up. I wonder why both girls cannot smile at the same time for ONE picture. It would be so much easier on everyone. In light of my attempt at the "perfect" picture, I thought I'd share a few attempts from Christmas past.
Amber, 2 years old, Amy 7 months.
Amy, 19 months, Amber, 3 years
One of my favorites...insisting on being in a laundry basket.
I am hoping for an easier time this year! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Courage from behind the glass

Anyone that knows Amber and Amy also know that they are terrified of pets. Not just dogs, but cats, birds, turtles, you name it they are literally terrified. Like that running to me, holding on for dear life and whimpering kind of afraid.
Last week, Amy did not want to go to a store that I wanted to see. So, I bribed her, like any good mom does, right? I told her that we could go in the pet store, right next store if she went in this other store with me. I used that really excited mom voice that you get when you are trying to talk your kids into liking something. She agreed and we spent at least 45 minutes in the pet store before she was ready to go. She liked it so much that she has been BEGGING for me to take her to the pet store again ever since.
She has been begging so much that Amber started in on it as well. So, since Amber was off school today, I took them both. I am not kidding that we spent no less than an hour in this store.
It is so funny to see them interact with these animals the way they do, with all the courage they have, from behind the glass.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

AHHH! You can imagine that this was not my idea...including getting out the air mattress in the first place. We have for the past two weekends had "movie nights" on Saturday night. We get out the air mattress and load all kinds of blankets on top and then the girls and I climb in and we watch a movie of their choice. I usually nap, but that is beside the point. As with anything at my house, the air mattress was still out on Sunday afternoon when Dave decided he would make it a mountain by getting on all fours and letting the girls climb up. This obviously got old quick, so he propped it against the couch...when all of the following broke out...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Me, Myself and I

So, I guess I'll start by telling a little about myself. Doesn't everyone love to talk about themselves...HA! I promise I'll keep it short.

I was born on July 17, 1972, that makes me 37 years old. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, at the old St. Anthony's Hospital that was down in the city. I was raised a South City girl. I lived in the same house until I was 18 and then my family moved into my grandparents house. I went to Kindergarten and 1st Grade at a city school called Windsor. This was at about the time that they were starting the desegregation of the city schools and the teachers went on strike for about 6 weeks in the middle of the school year. That was also the end of my public school tenure. I then attended St. John's Lutheran School, also in the city. As every St. Louisan is dying to know, I went to high school at Lutheran High School South. I was not an athlete. The only thing I really enjoyed doing was singing. I sang in the choir in high school, and also my first year of college. My singing voice is not great, but I can get by with singing out loud in public...HA!

My first year of college I went to a small college called Blackburn College. I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but decided, at 19 years old, there wasn't enough money in that career. Little did I know then that the rewards that you receive in teaching cannot be assessed with a monetary value. I transferred to Southeast Missouri State. I LOVED my college experience there. I joined a sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and met and lived in a house filled with my best friends. When asked, this is always the period in my life that I wish that I could revisit. I started as a nursing major, but after failing Anatomy and Physiology the first time, changed my major to Health Management.

I finished my college career in 5 short years, and came home thinking I knew it all...little did I know. I worked at several places before I finally settling down. I started at Nutri System. Then I got a job as a Fitness Center Supervisor at the Charles Melvin Price Support Center. I loved that job! But the government decided that money would be better spent elsewhere and decide to close the army base. I then got a job as a Fitness/Wellness Program Coordinator at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, now called NGA. That is where I met my husband, Dave. I am going to dedicate a day to everyone in my family, so more about Dave later. I worked at NIMA/NGA for 5 years, to the day. I worked full-time until I had Amber, then part-time until I had Amy. I met some very dear friends there, that helped me through some really rough patches in my life.

Fast-forward to today, I have two beautiful daughters, Amber is 6 and Amy is 4 1/2. Everything I do today is for them. I stay home with them and only work when Dave is available to keep them. I am fortunate that I have been able to do that. I remember thinking when Amber was very young and about to start daycare, I am not sure anyone can do this as well as I can. I know that sounds selfish, but I truly believe that Dave and myself are the best caregivers for our children.

I thank God for putting me where I am today, in my life and in my mindset. Even though I have had a lot of trials over the last few years, I know that it is all a part of God's plan for me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's the Start of Something New

I am really trying to figure out why I am starting a blog. I must say that I LOVE to read the blogs of others, so maybe I think someone might be as interested in my life as I am of theirs. What does that say about I really that nosy? I have been addicted to my cousin Carrie's blog for probably almost a year. She is an excellent writer, and I LOVE reading stories about her 3 beautiful children. I often think, "I could do that", I have cute kids, and I love to talk. I am sure my writing will probably not be nearly as good as hers, but hopefully for those who know me, you will be able to hear my fast-talking, loud, VERY detailed storytelling voice coming through my blogs. So today, two of my facebook friends "advertised" their blogs and it got me thinking. Should I, or shouldn't I??? Of course they egged me on, because I don't get to talk to them very often in person, so they don't have to hear my stories...HA! Maybe they really miss that. So I decided to give it a shot. Maybe it will give Dave a break from hearing me talk as well.