Monday, November 30, 2009

Wishing for Griswold-like Lights

The Hottie LOVES to put up Xmas lights. Don't let him fool you. He may say he doesn't...but, he's like a kid in a candy store during this week of EVERY year.

We put our lights up the weekend following Thanksgiving - just like about every other person in America. Our lights take several days to complete. You'd think we'd end up like the Griswold's. Not that the Hottie doesn't dream about that...we just don't have that many lights.

Every year we talk about getting more...but, who wants to spend money on more and more lights??? Especially when what you have is sufficient?

A few years ago our neighbors (that we don't know) had these candy cane-like, sparkle stakes. Not like the standard ones you see....WAAAAY better. We admired them for years. Then, two years ago...after Xmas, they placed them out in their bulk garbage pickup.


I made the Hottie go get them and bring them home for the next year. He reluctantly did just that. Well, guess what?? We tried to use them last year and they were broken. I guess that's why they were at their bulk pickup. I guess that's what we get for trying to steal our neighbor's trash.

Today, I was at Walmart (my fave) and I found the standard (but, still lovely) yard candy canes. For $2.50!! It was a sign. I scooped them up and bought them. The Cuties were excited. They know their daddy is not satisfied with just a little bit of lights. And, of course they want our house to light up the entire neighborhood.

Brady noticed he could make a heart by placing two candy canes together. The Cuties waited for the Hottie to get home and yelled..."Surprise!! We love you." The Hottie was thrilled. And, he can't wait to put them up. Hopefully, this will hold him over until next year.

But, you gotta admit...the most festive houses are the best houses.

p.s...not that you're surprised, but the Hottie has a diagram of where each strand of lights belongs...with pictures. And, each strand is carefully rolled up, taped, and given a letter to correspond with the diagram. Don't you totally think we were seriously made for each other??

New Moon

Yes, of course there was bound to be a post on New Moon.
Remember how much I love this?
If not...remember me here?
Well...we've taken it to a new level.
We saw New Moon.
Opening night.
Midnight showing.
At the Cine Capri.
Yes...we purchased the tickets months ago.
Yes...we waited in line for perfect seats.
Yes...we're nerds...
(or at least the Hottie thinks so)
Was it everything I thought it would be and more?
Sadly, no.
Was it good?
Do I finally understand how books
are SO much better than the movie?
No worries...I'll still be there opening day for Eclipse...
just maybe not at the midnight showing.
That was tough! be fair...
I do fall asleep by 8pm every night,
so midnight was certainly a struggle.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Traditions with the Tree

In our family, we have a tradition - the tree goes up right after Thanksgiving. Decorating the tree is one of my most favorite holiday traditions. This is how it goes...

1. The Hottie pieces the tree together

(yes, we have a fake tree. A Costco special. We love it. But, I do miss picking out the perfect tree each and every year.)
2. The Hottie locates the Christmas boxes.
3. We put in Christmas Vacation...can't decorate the tree without this favorite Christmas movie.
4. I unwrap every Christmas ornament as the Cuties and the Hottie scoop them up to find a perfect location on the tree.
5. The Star on the top completes the tree.
6. We finish the movie and admire the tree.

This year, the Hottie wanted the job of unwrapping the ornaments. So, the Cuties and I did most of the decorating. Once the middle and the bottom of the tree were looking mighty festive - we needed the Hottie's help for top. So...we switched tasks. I love unwrapping the ornaments. Something about unwrapping each one brings back memories of every single ornament....where did we get it? how long ago? was it made? awwww....LOVE IT!!

Growing up - our tree was filled with an eclectic assortment of ornaments. All different, many homemade, many crafted at school with beads and construction paper and pictures. I remember thinking how when I had my own tree it would be beautiful with matching ornaments....just spectacular. And, now many years later, although those matching trees are beautiful - nothing beats our own very eclectic, some homemade, some school crafted tree. Every ornament has a meaning and I love it.

When the Hottie and I were married we worried about what ornaments our tree would have. The first year we had about 12 ornaments, many of which were decorations we saved from my bridal shower. Today...the ornaments are plentiful and I love it.

Before the decorating begins...

Our tree is very athletic, but of course we have a favorite team...

But, we don't play favorites - you just won't see us with a Yankees ornament!

Gotta love the home team and my Alma mater...

Some of our collection...

Some that were gifts...

Some that the Hottie made as a kid...with a little Celtic flare...

Some with our first "child"...

Some school crafted favorites...

One that has a special meaning to Bryan and his late Grandfather...

One of our favorites...a wedding gift...

One that although it is several years old, takes a whole new meaning this year...

Some personalized faves...

We don't have many traditional "ball type" ornaments, but this is one of our favorites...

Some that are not really ornaments at all, but bridal shower packaging decor...I received tons of these at my shower and have saved two that we use as ornaments...(our first year - the tree was FILLED with these)

And, of course a snapshot of the empty tissue paper after unwrapping all the ornaments...(I guess I'm a little neurotic, but are you really that surprised?)

Finally, the Cuties proud of their tree...

I will say that this year was surprisingly and uncharacteristically calm. No crying fits and lots of smiles. The Cuties must be getting older.

How I love this season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Me Thankful - Monday

Do these look familiar?

Well...these are the looks I get from others
when I discuss my baby name choices.
Not everyone likes my choices.
I now understand why people keep
their name a secret till the big day.
Maybe I should try it.
But, would I seriously be able to keep that a secret till May?
Yeah...probably not.

Guess what I'm thankful for?

It's my turn to pick the name.
My choice.
Me likey, me picky.
So...if you don't like my name choices...
suggest something else for consideration please!!
Muchas Gracias!

p.s. I'm sure most of you are wondering how in the world I let myself...1) be photographed looking so absolutely beautiful and 2) actually had the guts to post such gorgeousness on the public blog...yep, 100% me - take it or leave it!!

UPDATE: The Hottie wanted to make sure that I mention he gets full VETO power. That he does!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Me Thankful

Yes, it's been awhile.
I've been sleepy.
And lazy.
And trying to catch up on hours of DVR.
And looking at the Toys R Us BIG book with the Cuties.
I am soooo far behind in blogging.
And...I've got a list of "To Do" blogs.
Do you know what that looks like?
Scribbles and scribbles and scribbles of ideas.
That seem to add up...
but very few ever make it to the blog.
Today - I am focused on Thanksgiving.
This week actually, I am focused on being Thankful.
And, thankful....I am thankful for so many things.

Today, I am thankful for SUNDAY NIGHT DINNERS. This kind of weekly tradition started several years ago. I am not quite sure how it came about. It was kind of by accident. We all started going to my parents for a good 'ole home cooked meal. It just happened we always went on Sundays. Then...we continued with the next Sunday. And, the next. And, the next. And pretty soon....we called it Sunday Night Dinner. I love it. The Cuties love it. And the Hottie especially loves it.

Tonight was the best kind of Sunday Night Dinner. Why??? Because it involved my very favorite meal. French Dip. Deeeeeeeeeeeelicious. I do not know anyone that makes French Dip like my mom. I love it. And, tonight seemed especially delicious. Ooohhh and to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, my mom even had pumpkin pie for dessert. Mmmmmmmm. I was literally in heaven.

Sunday Night Dinner is very casual. And, really anyone is invited. The best part is just the family time. The catching up. The gossiping. The boys watching sports. The girls chatting and chatting. The kids laughing and playing. Tonight we were joined by MaryLou, Bart, Aunt Karen, Robin, Aaron, Lincoln, and London. It was extra special and extra fun. The more the merrier.

Thanks Mom and Dad - I really, really love Sunday Night Dinners. Yes, of course I love the meal...but, I love the company more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Totally Shocked,

Completely Ecstatic,

Freaking Out,


Jumping for Joy,

Believing in Miracles.


yep, expecting #3.

EDD 05.30.10


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cardinals Tailgating

Today, I was formally introduced to Cardinals Tailgating. Not just any tailgating...but, tailgating on the GREAT LAWN. Wow....can you say A-MAZ-ING!

We met up with my cousin Jessica and her husband Jeff and several of their family members for the real tailgating experience. We met them in the middle of the GREAT LAWN. is GREAT! Hundreds of canopies...people with set-ups better than Zipps...and waaaaay better than my living room. Of course, the Hottie was in HEAVEN. You name was there:
Grills Galore
Free Stuff (and I love free stuff!)
BBQ food
Breakfast burritos (that's what we had....DELISH!)

Basically, people set-up their space better than a living room. It was amazing. I loved it!! Of course, we left feeling like we NEEDED to have season tickets and NEEDED a parking space that included the GREAT LAWN. But...considering we have neither, and those lawn seats are based on tenure...I'm thinking that possibility is WAY out of our means. Oh was nice for the afternoon!

After living the dream for a was time to head over to my work tailgating event in the East lot. It was nice. It was fun...but, it was no GREAT LAWN. I am certainly very thankful for the tickets that my work provided, but...maybe it was the energy the GREAT LAWN provides - I'm not quite sure, but even the game wasn't as fun as the tailgating. As for our seats - everyone is right...there really isn't a bad seat. And, considering we were about as high as you can get in the very corner of the stadium - I would know. Thanks Prog for the tickets - you're the best! And...Jeff and Jess - thanks for much for the most delicious burritos EVER...if we ever have great lawn seats - YOU'RE TOTALLY INVITED!

Damn Leotards...and I'm Fired.

Saturday night at the campbellcutie household brought us lots of family time. First, it was spent garage sale-ing at the then, finally campbell cutie family time. The kids were itching to get out we went.

We surprised them and took a ride to Yogurt Jungle. Might sound like no big deal to you - but, to'd of thought we surprised them with a trip to the zoo. They loved it. All the flavors. All the gazillions of toppings. Yogurt at it's finest. And...pretty cheap, too!!

I was able to snap a picture of the cuties sitting at their table eating their yogurt. Mmmmm....delicious!!!

p.s. yes, I know - if this was a job...I'd be fired. I've certainly not meeting 30 in 30 expectations!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Melting Heart

Lily has been making my day lately.
She is constantly telling me,
"I love you're so pretty."

My heart = melting.

It doesn't matter if I'm wearing comfy clothes or if I'm all dolled up for the night...she sees me and says those same words.

Seriously...just gotta love her!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Piggy Back Rides

When I was little...I would sleep walk. But, not anywhere dangerous, or scary (like outside) just to my parent's bedroom. I seriously did it every single night until I was like 20. Just kidding...probably like the 1st grade.

My parents hated it. We'd all do it. All 4 of us did it at some time or another in our lives. Sometimes when we would try to enter...the door would be locked. That would not discourage us in the least bit. We'd just lay down right there outside the door in the hallway.

Somehow...I've passed on this sleep-walking gene to the Cuties. Thankfully...they just walk to our room and not anywhere else. But, sharing a bed with a 2 or a 5 year old S-U-C-K-S...big time! We take turns (or the Hottie mostly takes the turn) returning the Cuties to their room. Thankfully, it's not an every night occurrence. But, it happens often enough that it is super frustrating.

The Cuties tend to have a hard time going to bed, too. They're scared of monsters. The Hottie has taught them to make forts with their pillows to "block" out the monsters. And...for the last several months, they have been escorted to bed via piggy back. They love it. And, it somehow makes them forget about the monsters. So every night, when bedtime arrives - the Cuties make the decision as to who gives the piggy back ride that night - Mommy or Daddy. It's exciting. They love it...and it works.

But, I guess...who wouldn't want to be carried to bed by piggy back? Right? It certainly makes bedtime fun!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Have You Ever Laughed So Hard???

That you looked like this?

My favorite picture as I was browsing some old ones.
Kids laughing = best sound ever...

Friday Night Costco Trip

Wow. I am certainly feeling old tonight. Life with kids makes Friday and Saturday nights relatively calm. Most of the time. That's okay - I enjoy it. Even our Friday Night Costco Trips.

I'm out of space on my camera chip. I have 3 chips. They're all full. Unbelievable. I guess it's been awhile since our Costco dinner night out. Hopefully, we're not the only ones in America to take the whole family out to Costco for dinner. You can't beat feeding a family of 4 for $7...and that includes a churro.

Friday Night Costco Trips start out like at the photo center while the Hottie and the Cuties browse (and dream) the TVs. After uploading 500 pictures....I find the rest of the family and we head off to walk the store. This is my favorite time of the year. Costco is all decked out in Christmas and the Cuties happily run through the aisles of toys wishing for every one of them to be under the tree. After we pickup a couple snack items for Brady's school the checkout we go. Then....dinner time. Yes, pizza, hot dogs and soda. What else could you want? Yes, not the healthiest....but, certainly delicious and cheap. We return home and put the Cuties to bed...8pm. The Hottie and I lay on the couch watching TV for the rest of the night.

Yes, it is a Friday night.

No restaurants, no clubbing, not even a beer. Just the 4 of us browsing Costco. Not what I imagined...better. pictures...remember - no space on the chips??? And, I haven't made it to Costco to pickup the pictures. And...I'm the wacko that won't delete them until I know for sure I have them safe and sound on a disc. Me = FREEEEAK! Here's an oldie that I love...

p.s....sorry I missed last night's post - but, I fell asleep while lounging on the couch with the Hottie. surprise. surprise.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Field Trips = Exhausting

Several weeks ago, I volunteered for Brady's first official field trip. He's taken field trips before with school - but, the parents all HAD to go. There was no option. In Pre-K, we met at the field trip bus involved. So...considering that this time there was only a handful of parents, a gazillion kids, and a bus to and from...this was a REAL field trip.

When I signed up for the field trip - I was really looking forward to it. Seriously. I'm not sure what type of magical experience I thought I would have...but, I must of thought that it would be pretty special. At first, Brady told me he did not want me to much as it hurt - I was okay with it and was ready to NOT volunteer. Luckily for my self-esteem, he changed his mind as I was filling out the permission slip., was the big field trip. We went to Superstition Farm...a family-owned dairy farm near my parent's house. We've been there before - once with the family and once with Brady's Pre-K class.

I arrived to the school ON TIME. Yes, I was proud. I was quickly given my "nurses pack" which was basically a sandwich baggie filled with the following supplies: rubber gloves, tissues, alcohol wipes, gauze, and bandages. Luckily I had a wipey case of wipes in my with those included, I was a walking first aid kit. I was given a small piece of paper with a list of the 6 kids in my group, one being Brady. I really didn't think he would be assigned to my group...don't most kids listen to other parents better than their own?? but, he was. After handing out name tags to my group, we lined up and headed to the bus.

The bus was chaotic. For most kids, this was their first ride on a school bus...Brady included. They thought it was AWE-SOME!! They couldn't get over the fact that they did not have to wear seat belts. It was rather entertaining. After watching the teacher's aide continuously yelling for kids to sit down (as the bus was driving) I joined in on the "discipline" and kept my 6 in line. Well...I wouldn't call it keeping them in line...more just constant reminders to sit down.

Upon arrival to the farm...our bus stopped and parked within 50 feet of a cow giving birth. Yes...the kids watched a cow birth a calf. Most of them had no idea what was happening. The maternity area was busy at the farm today...5 babies were born...2 while we were there, if you can believe it.

We headed into the "classroom" which is more or less a garage with bales of hay for the kids to sit on. Can you say SNEEZE?? That's pretty much what we heard the entire time the farm hands were talking about the cows, type of cows, milk, cow tags, medicines, and farm tools used.

Once the classroom time was over, we were split into 4 large groups. The entire Kindergarten grade was there...4 teachers in all, so there was a loooooooot of kids. My group started at the goats. They loved it. They even got to feed the animals, pet some bunnies, and if they wanted, hold a chicken. Right away...I lost a kid. He wondered over to another group and luckily...he was only gone about 1 minute. Whew. That was close. After lots of sanitizer, we moved over to another "classroom" type lesson about water. This took just about every ounce of patience the kids had to spare. It was long and draining and relatively boring. The kids are 5. I give them credit for this part. Next was flavored milk time. They lined up and put in their order for flavored milk. There was plain milk, chocolate, strawberry, melon, pistachio, cherry, vanilla, grape....and several more that I can't remember. Brady was last in the line of about 35...he wasn't happy. After drinking their ice cold milk...they ran over to a haystack maze where they found some baby chicken eggs. Finally...they were at the highlight of the trip - the tractor/haystack tour around the farm. They loved that part. After the tour, we met up with the other groups and ate lunch. Most kids were too overwhelmed to eat...but, they gave it a try. After lunch, it was back to the bus to head back to the school.

Thank goodness.

I was exhausted. I had counted to 6 so many times...I just couldn't do it anymore. The kids pottied, washed their hands, and loaded the bus. The bus ride home was much less eventful. You could see they were a little tired. But I'm thinking that was nothing compared to us parents!! After arriving at the school, the parents were given the option to take their kids home with them then...or come back in 2 hours at the end of the school day. Yippee!!! I was so excited to take Brady home early, pick up Lil and completely bypass rush hour traffic. But......wouldn't you know perfect-neverdoesanythingwrongjustlikehisdadkid, wouldn't leave before the end of the day. So, I quickly drove home...cleaned up...relaxed for a minute...and then drove back to pick up Brady from school.

Thinking about it...field trips for teachers are easy. Maybe not easy...but, us parents are just not used to it. The teachers were not assigned a it was only us parents that were constantly counting to 6, chasing down "lost" children, and tending to their every need. During lunch, as us parents were opening wrappers and putting straws into the juice boxes...the teachers got to sit at their own table and...just eat. To be fair...they do spend all day, everyday with these rambunctious 5 year they do deserve it.

While I'm glad I went...I'm going to think twice about the next field trip.

p.s....a kid in one of the other classes had this adorable dog tag necklace. When you read was literally a dog tag - it gave the child's name, address, phone number, and parent contact information. That parent was NOT taking any chances. WHAT A GOOD IDEA!

p.s.s...while matching red shirts was such a cute idea...try tracking down your 6 assigned children amongst a sea of red shirts. The kids all looked the same. Can you say nightmare?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Yep. She has arrived.
The little girl that Robin and Aaron have been waiting for
arrived one day earlier than expected.

London Elizabeth Forrest
Welcome to the family, London!!
We love you!
p.s....isn't she just precious??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yellow Ticket Guilt

Doesn't it always seem like your children listen and behave for other people better than for you? I totally think so. This can be rough...but, I would much rather my children misbehave for me and be angelic for others. It always feels nice when people tell you how good and well-behaved your children are for them.

Brady's teachers (well, he's only had 2) have consistently told us how well-behaved he is. He was one of the only students to score Excellent on all "behavior" type elements such as listening, etc. Now, as his mother, if I gave him a report would not be filled with E's for Excellent. But, that's okay. Again, I'd much rather other people tell me how wonderful he is. I already know it, but it is nice to hear especially after a day full of timeouts.

Brady's current teacher has a ticket system. Green = AWESOME, Yellow = broke a rule, and Red = broke lots of rules. Each day the children are given a ticket based on their behavior. For every 5 green tickets...they get a prize from the treasure chest. My goodness - you'd think they won the lottery. At the start of the year, once you were given a yellow ticket for the day, you could earn back a green one if you behaved for the rest of the day. However...we are now at a time in the year where once you earn a yellow ticket for the CANNOT change it to green with good behavior.

Yesterday, when I picked up Brady from my parent's house, Brady ran up to me with excitement. Then, he immediately told me he got a yellow ticket. He was very upset and showed me the yellow ticket in his backpack that was scribbled with his wrong-doings....smacking kids on the bottom. No, the kids were not giving each other spankings, they were just playing a game...apparently. Needless to say, it was unwelcome behavior and earned several kids a yellow ticket. Brady was DEV-A-STATED. Seriously.

I went outside to say goodbye to the 'rents and when I returned Brady was at the counter with his head down. He was obviously sorry for his behavior. We packed up his things and went to the car. In the car, Brady said he was sorry for the yellow ticket...and of course, he wasn't the only one that got one. Looking at his face, it was filled with sadness and was plainly obvious how sorry he was. I couldn't even bring myself to punish him by any means...he had surely done that on his own.

When we pulled into the garage, he got out paper to write a sorry letter to his teacher. I helped him write the letter and he folded it and put it in his backpack. When the Hottie arrived home, I quietly whispered the yellow ticket situation...but, Brady quickly ran over to explain what happened.

Neither one of us could even force a timeout. It was all we could do not to laugh (I know sounds awful). The poor kid was sorry - he did not need us to tell him he was in the wrong...he knew it - that was certain. The kid is definitely like me. I punish myself more than anyone else could.

p.s. the Hottie said he wasn't sure what was so wrong with what Brady did...after all...they were just giving each other "good games." father, like son.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun

What a night. Normally - someone in our family throws a Halloween party. This year - no one had the urge. Well, the Hottie did want to have one...but...we didn't. We did; however, have a casual sort-of impromtu trick or treat gathering with food and drinks and socializing. Potluck style.

It was fun.

Chili and cornbread (yes, I cooked), cake, cupcakes, chili con queso, chips, cookies, fruit...and of course Halloween candy.

We started out around 6:30-ish. The kids were loving it. Of course anytime the cuties get to hang out with cousins - they are in HEAVEN!! So, trick or treating with the whole crew was their idea of awesome. Our neighborhood had a block party - and they certainly did NOT skimp by any means. There was a ride on train and food galore. I'm thinking that maybe I should pick up and move down the block to where the festivities were held...they certainly knew how to party!

It was a fun, family-friendly, food-filled night with lots of friends and family. Perfect.

Let's do it again next year!