Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a belated twenty five months letter

Dear Joshua,

I completely forgot about writing your twenty-five month letter last week.  I was wrapped up in getting out of school for Thanksgiving and grocery shopping and all other such things and I just forgot to write the letter.  I'll do better next month.  I promise.

For now I just want to note how proud of you I am.  In the past week you have transitioned to a Big Boy Bed without any hiccups.  You even took at nap there this past weekend and you kindly wait in the bed for us to come get you up in the mornings.  Now you constantly go around saying, "I a big boy!"  Indeed you are, Brother.

You've also stopped crying when I drop you off in your two-year old class at school and you've pee-peed in the potty no less than three times.  (It seems that a lollipop can convince you of a lot.)  Your new teacher at school loves to tell how she'll sit you on the potty and you'll say, "It just can't come out!"  I couldn't be more delighted at the progress you're making though.

You're growing up fast, but you'll always be my baby.  I love you more than you'll ever know.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

here comes Santa Claus

I kept debating when we'd go to the mall so the kids could visit Santa and I was also dreading the crowds and the pressure to buy some crappy photo package. So naturally when I heard that Santa would be visiting our Krispy Kreme on Saturday (the original Krispy Kreme) we got fancied up and headed on over.  I mean, who needs an excuse to eat a hot, melt-in-your-mouth circle of goodness?  Not me!

Josh was not thrilled, not thrilled at all to be there.  He continually buried his head in Jonathan's neck and every time I said, "Let's go talk to Santa" he would make the most horrible pouty face.  Fortunately, Mrs. Claus was there too and she talked to Josh for a while before we could convince him to go stand with Santa for a photo.  He told her he wanted a basketball.  He never would talk to Santa though.

Julianna, of course spoke to him plenty.  You could tell she was nervous, but she told him she liked Pokemon and he told her to do three things for him.  He said she should be kind and considerate to others, hug her mom and dad, and clean up her room since a couple of elves had told him they'd been tripping over things on their last visit.

Christmas is indeed, the most magical time of the year!  Especially when you don't have to make silly trips to the mall.

For reference:
we obviously didn't take Jules to see Santa in 2006
Visit with Santa 2007
Visit with Santa 2008
Visit with Santa 2009
Visit with Santa 2010

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

what I'm reading... with only five and a half weeks left this year...

I've tried to keep up my reading for fun despite my busyness and I've finished a few books lately including The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Shanghai Girls, I Am Number Four, The Power of Six, and Winter Garden.  My goal was to read at least forty books this year (a little less than one a week) and I think I'm going to fall just short of that goal but we'll see.

The lemon cake book was rather strange.  I enjoyed it, but it's not much like anything I've read before.

I was totally hooked on the Pittacus Lore series after the first book, but the second book made me mad and I'm not raving about it all that much anymore.  Even so, I WILL see the movie and I absolutely cannot WAIT for the Hunger Games movie to come out in March.  Have you seen the trailer?  Also, this past weekend my sweet husband took me to see Breaking Dawn and I just knew it would be delightful.  I was not wrong.

Sorry.  I went off on a little tangent there.  Winter Garden was pretty good.  It reminded me a lot of Kristen Hannah's other books though and Shanghai Girls was decent.  However, I'm sure a lot of people have already read it.

Next up on my agenda is Sarah's Key, Unbroken, Feed, and Divergent.

-Have you seen Breaking Dawn?  Love it? Hate it? Forget about it?

-What is the best book you've read recently?

-Have you ever been to the movies and had a couple sitting next to you making out the whole time?  We did just this past weekend and the theater was packed of course, so we couldn't move.  It was so gross and they didn't seem to mind all of the looks we were giving them.

*all pictures of book covers are from

Sunday, November 20, 2011

playing catch up

I realize I've left a lot of things open-ended lately.  This post is just for playing catch up.

For Halloween, Jonathan wore a hat and godawful overalls and called himself a farmer.  Julianna dressed as a devil while Josh and I were a big witch and a little witch.  We decorated the house with monster posters we copied from an idea on Pinterest and we had our annual neighborhood weenie roast before trick or treating.

Intimidating, aren't they?

We spent a short but sweet weekend just before Halloween in Banner Elk with my grandmother.  Mama Lou fed us popcorn, bananas, and country ham.  I got to take my kids out in the paddle boats that I fondly remember going out in with my dad years and years ago and enjoy the beautiful views of Grandfather.

I was reminded a few weeks ago that my teaching license is up for renewal in June.  This means that I have to have a lot of CEUs by then.  The requirement was just changed so that we no longer get credits for our years teaching but we still have to take professional development classes for credits.  I have spent two Saturdays and two Tuesdays sitting in classes for renewal credits.  This has included creating lesson plans for subs and all that goes along with that (read: lots of work!) not to mention lots of drives to Greensboro and the bad part is that I STILL need around 3 CEUs (or 30 hours) of professional development by June.  I guess that's what I get for not taking classes those few years when I stayed home with Jules.

Questions of the Day:  

-Read any good books lately?  Seen any good movies?  
I still haven't seen The Help although I read the book ages ago and was excited to see the movie.  I've got a reading catch-up post coming up as soon as I can get it written.

-Does your job require any kind of continuing education? How do you keep up with it?

-Did you dress up for Halloween?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

why I love Pokemon

I'm sure I've mentioned a time or two that Julianna loves Pokemon.  We humored her for a while and thought it was a silly phase that would pass.  It's actually come to be something she's loved for over a year now and here's why I've come to love it too.

  • We've long since credited her desire to read to the PokePark Wii game she's played for the last year and a half.  When the dialog boxes pop up on the screen she got tired of asking us to read them to her and she eventually started trying to read them herself.  At first she would follow along as we read.  Now she breezes through the game on her own, rarely prompting us for some help with a difficult word.
  • You should see the sorting this kid does with those Pokemon cards.  One day she'll have them sorted by type (rock type, electric type, fire type, etc) and the next day they'll be sorted by HP (health points).
  • She doesn't even really know how to battle with these cards, but she does now how to trade.  We've gone to several events at the library where they host a Pokemon Club and have all the kids come and trade cards or battle with them.  Julianna really enjoys going and doesn't notice that most of the kids there are older than her and almost all are boys.  She also enjoys trading cards with my cousin's son whenever we get together with them.  It's given her a great deal of things to talk about with other kids and I certainly think she's learning social skills through conversation and negotiation over Pokemon cards.
  • She's memorizing.  The wealth of knowledge about Pokemon that she has stored in her brain is amazing.  I know I've mentioned that she made a Pokemon Database.  She's five.  And she's made a database.  Whenever we go to any kind of family event Julianna wants to make a "Pokemon Quiz" where she comes up with multiple choice questions and drills our family members.  Sure it's a little annoying to always be discussing something most of us know nothing about, but my family humors her and then she entertains us with facts about Pokemon.
  • Pokemon has encouraged her to take responsibility for her toys.  Ever since baby brother was born she has been learning the importance of keeping her stuff put away.  This has been extremely important with regards to her cards because they get bent and torn easily.  It has taken a long time, but I finally think she is to the point where she takes personal responsibility for her Pokemon cards and the majority of the time she doesn't leave them lying around.  She has even been known to share a card or two or three with Joshua.
  • Pokemon has sharpened her math skills.  Not only does she add and subtract all the time when she has one Pokemon attack the other and take away it's HPs but she also is learning to multiply because some of the cards say that do two times the damage and we keeps going over with her what that means.  She has a long way to go before she knows the whole multiplication table, but again, she's five and she can already quickly tell you that 7 times 2 is 14 all thanks to Pokemon.
  • Julianna was introduced to ABC order a week or so ago and she quickly decided to alphabetize her Pokemon cards.  At first she had them in groups of As, Bs, Cs, and so on (see sorting above), but then Jonathan showed her how to fully alphabetize by looking at the second letter and then the third, etc.  In less than an hour she had done the whole set of Pokemon cards in full alphabetical order by herself and she has over 100 cards.
  • This one would definitely apply for any toy that your child collects, but another reason I love Pokemon is that it has taught Julianna money management skills.  She knows exactly how much a pack of trading cards costs and she calculates how much she has left to save before she can get another pack.  
  • Also, although I hate to admit it, Pokemon has been a great "tool" for bribing encouraging good behavior.  "Jules, if you'll help me carry the groceries in I'll see if we can't go look at Pokemon cards at Target later" or "Jules, if you don't quit talking back you're going to lose your Pokemon cards for 24 hours."  The power of Pikachu is no joke.

So I guess the bottom line is, I don't love Pokemon.  I do love that my child is learning.  Who cares that her entire Christmas list is covered with Pokemon this and that? I certainly don't.

Questions of the day:

-If you have kids what do/did they collect?
-What did you collect when you were little?

a note from Jules

Dear Mamaw, Nanna, and Pap,

Thank you for coming to Goodies for Grands with me.  I was so excited about showing you my school that I had trouble going to sleep last night.  It was a lot of fun and I liked having you there.  Thanks for the money to spend at the book fair also.  I love my new books!


PS - please don't call me Jules anymore

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Julianna loves her music class at school and each day that she goes she always comes home telling me enthusiastically about the song she learned that day or the instrument that she got to play.  A few weeks ago it was a story/song/game about a tiger eye and it involved passing a stone or marble from person to person and having one student guess who had it.  She was trying her hardest to "teach" Josh and I how to play and she closed her eyes and told the two of us to pass it back and forth.  When she finished the song and opened her eyes she guessed excited who she thought held the stone.

"Mom!" she said.

I had sneakily placed the stone on the floor behind Josh's back as he sat there totally uninterested and playing with his Happy Meal toy.  I opened my empty hands to show her that I didn't have it.

"Josh!" she said even more excitedly.

I picked up the rock to show her she was right and then I asked, "Now what?"  She yelled, "I win!"

I said, "But Jules, you thought I had it."

She replied in that voice of annoyance only a child can have, "Moooommmm, you get three guesses!"

Like, DUH.


I had a Groupon for a local burger joint that we discovered had closed so we found ourselves with the need for a new plan.  I was naming all of the places nearby that we could go grab some dinner and Julianna was in the backseat shouting, "Moe's! Moe's!" Both Mom and I were kinda ughhh about that so I said, "What about Zaxby's?"

Julianna argued against it of course so I asked her, "Jules, do you even know what Zaxby's is?"  And she said, "No."

I told her it was a place to get chicken and she replied, "Well, I'm not really a carnivore."

If that wasn't funny enough in itself, then it was really funny when Mom asked her what she had planned to get when we were going out for burgers and she kinda sheepishly chuckled and said, "A cheeseburger."


Julianna:  Mom, upset not only means "to be sad about something" but it also means "to knock something over."

And there was nothing funny about that last one.  It's just that this kid blows my mind every day.  LOVE HER!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

only my child

Only my child could possibly be the one to hit the 500 ticket jackpot at Putt-Putt...

...and spend all 500 of those tickets on CANDY just a few days after Halloween.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

a letter to my son

Dear Joshua,

I realize that it makes you uncomfortable to have your hiney wiped as the temperature drops.  After all those baby wipes are pretty darn cold.  So I know you don't like having your man parts all exposed and chilled, but you know what?  You could JUST GO IN THE POTTY ALREADY!

Love you bunches,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

time keeps on slippin'

She sings, she dances, she blogs.  For six years.  Last month included the 6 year anniversary of the date I started blogging and it came and went and I didn't even notice.

It's funny how that happens.  I get so bogged down and stressed out with just LIFE and things pass me by.  Things that are important to me get forgotten and then I feel horrible guilt about it.

Whenever my therapist husband and I sit down and talk about how overwhelmed I am and he tries to help me figure out what I need to cut out, blogging always comes up.  At the end of the conversation I always come to the same conclusion and that is that it's not something I'm willing to give up.  Yes, I sometimes put it on the back burner and it's not always the first priority (or even second) but I enjoy it and I want to do it.  I like having the record of life for my own future reference.

Anyway, here I am again in a new month, having neglected this here little blog for a while and needing to catch up.  I can't believe I've been at this for more than six whole years.  I hope I can keep it up for six more.

So thanks for being here, friends.  Thanks for reading and "listening" and commenting.  It all means a lot to me.

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