Monday, December 28


OK people, this is pitiful. 5 comments for my Dunkin Donuts Gift Card contest? I know its only ten bucks, but that is not even the point. The point is that everyone likes to win free stuff! For goodness sakes even Lindy commented and everyone knows she drinks Starbucks pretty exclusively (unless she is mad at them). So listen up, I am waiting until Friday, New Years Day and then I am picking a random winner from my FIVE loyal and wonderful readers. And everyone else you will just be sorry. Sorry sorry sorry. And thirsty I tell you, you know, because you won't have free coffee. So I guess you will also be tired without the caffeine. Yup, just a bunch of sorry, thirsty, tired people.

So if you don't want to be tired and thirsty and sorry, go here and leave your comment.

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas

It is just before 9 am on Christmas morning and I am the first one up. Yes, my kids are still asleep. They have inherited a bit of Dennis' late sleeper-ness (is this a word?) and they were up until 10:30 last night so by my calculation they will sleep for approximately 9 more minutes. In fact, I am quite confident that I will have to stop typing before very long and finish this post tonight, but for now I am enjoying the quiet. Santa has left his loot under the tree and filled the stockings and the living room looks so nice and peaceful, before the rush of the kids and the wrapping paper and those infernal bits of plastic that keep everything tied into place in their packaging. It is nice to just gaze upon it and take a moment to heave a sigh. Another year done, the shopping and wrapping and scouting for deals. The delving into the kids little minds to figure out which of the "I want that!"'s were important and which would be forgotten by the time the commercial was over. Buying for everyone and feeling that I found things that people would appreciate. More important, actually getting the chance to visit and spend time with everyone and enjoy all the hard work.

So now I have coffee brewing and cinnamon buns to pop into the oven. My brother slept over last night so he would be able to enjoy Christmas morning with us, so I'm sure he will be thrilled in 9 minutes when the kids wake him up. It is quiet and nice and I am looking forward to seeing the kids excitement and spending the day with the family, eating and drinking and being together.

Fast forward 12 hours later and here I am, almost 9 pm. The kids DID wake up right around 9 minutes in and the peace and quiet was gone gone gone. Oh and those delish cinnamon buns? I put them in and then we started unwrapping and I didn't check them and they burnt. I was really quite bummed. Then it was off to my cousin's for a great family day and now we are home. I'm tired but content, everything is unwrapped and it looks like a toy store blew up and we have trash piling up. Cardboard boxes and wires and ties, plastic everywhere. WHY do toys come packaged as if they will make a great escape if not fastened in by 43 pieces of wire? Why?

Ahhhh, big sigh. Merry Christmas everyone, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Monday, December 21

Proud Taekwondo Mama

Jack started Taekwondo almost 1 year ago. Actually, he started at the end of January last year because I thought it would be good for him to (a) learn some discipline and (b) get some exercise. I have to say that I am quite pleased with it on both counts, although while he listens wonderfully to his Taekwondo Instructor, I am still waiting for some of it to rub off on the home front. I am keeping my fingers crossed it will happen in time. Also, in the last 6 months he has actually lost 1 pound and grown 1 1/2 inches, and his doctor was very pleased. She was getting a little worried considering from the ages of 4 - 5 he gained 11 pounds, from 5 - 6 he gained 17 pounds and from 6 - 7 he gained another 10. This seemed to be a pattern that would put Jack at about 200 pounds by the 5th grade, so hopefully the Taekwondo and (slightly) better eating habits will continue to pay off. When we first started I remember thinking that he would never be able to learn all the moves, kicks, blocks, punches, and forms it would take to advance very far. Most of these moves are too difficult for even me to try to attempt, and the forms consist of a series of moves much like a dance that to me all look the same. But learn them he has. After only a couple of months he tested for his Orange Belt and we were quite impressed.

Then Summer came and he achieved his Yellow Belt.

Then he went for his Yellow Stripe.

Just this last Friday night, his achieved his Green. This was an exceptionally difficult test for all the kids (and adults), with the entire test board sitting for it and quite a bit of pressure. But they all did wonderful, although I spent the almost entire 2 1/2 hours sitting on my hands, with my feet icy cold with fear and feeling very, very nervous (you would have thought it was me out there attempting forms and snap front jump kicks).

Five belts in and he has learned so much and grown up so much and stuck with it, and we are truly proud.

Also, in case you missed it, look below or click here to see the details for my first ever contest. Don't forget to leave a comment telling me your favorite Holiday song for your chance to win a Dunkin Donuts card.

Friday, December 18

There When I Need Him

For all the bitching I do about my husband (well, not so much on this blog but plenty in real life) he really was there for me this morning. After I got Jack off to the bus stop I must not have closed the van door all the way because half an hour later when Abbey and I hurried and scurried and ran outside in the 4 degree air it would not start. Dead battery. With mounting aggravation because really, who needs THAT first thing in the morning, I got Abbey out of the 4 degree weather and back into the house. I figured I would have to kick at Dennis because he was dead asleep to the world and DETESTS and HATES and LOATHES getting up, but lo and behold he was already downstairs and on his way out the door. "I heard" he mumbled and went out into the cold to jump start the car. He didn't even give me a sideways look or a disgusted sigh when I admitted that I may have left the door open which could have drained the battery. Within 6 minutes we were on our way and later, when I warmed up, I realized what a disaster it could have been. If he didn't work 2nd shift and wasn't home, what would I have done? Called AAA (which I don't have)? Called a neighbor (who would be at work)? Flagged down the first car that drove by? All of these options were much worse than the reality, which was I stood in the warm house drinking coffee and watched my husband do his car thing. So he gets points for this morning, points that were subtracted when he wouldn't put Christmas lights on the outside of the house. And if you are asking, yes, I am keeping track of these points.

On another note, it is time for Napkin's first ever contest. I tried to think up a clever and extraordinary way to pick a winner, but my brain is tired from Christmas and Holiday paraphanalia so I will have to keep it simple. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your most favorite Holiday song is and I will randomly at random on a random day at a random time pick a winner out of a random hat. In case you were wondering, the kids and my favorite song of the moment is "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas." I'll give everyone about a week to leave their comment, since I am pretty sure that checking on my blog is not on everyone's daily checklist of things to get done!

Tuesday, December 15

A Bit Of A Milestone

Try not to faint at the fact that I am posting 2 days in a row. I just wanted to throw something out there acknowledging a little bit of a milestone. Nothing huge mind you, or life shattering, but I just noticed on my handy dandy little statistical counter that I have now had over 10,000 hits on this site. That is not to say and please don't be confused and think that I have 10,000 READERS (whoa, how cool would that be?) but merely 10,000 hits. Which means after you subtract the 8,345 times I personally have clicked onto my blog, I had quite a few devoted readers following along. So thank you devoted readers. Maybe I will have some sort of contest to commemorate this auspicious occasion. Yes, a contest. Stay tuned for me to come up with one. I can't make any promises but a Dunkin' Donuts gift card may be up for grabs.

Monday, December 14


Over the past week and a half there have been so many times that I have thought of a good blog post, but they never made it onto the computer. Like the day I felt like the only thing I ate was the bits and pieces of the kids food. Crusts of toast for breakfast. Crusts of ham and cheese for lunch. Leftover cold french fries and congealed mac and cheese for dinner. Then I almost posted about Abbey getting her five year immunizations. 4 shots, lots of crying and screaming resulting in a 102 degree temp and a day home from school the next day. Then I was going to blog about our Tumpka Timpka elf on a shelf and how already she has "forgotten" to leave our house and come back to a new spot the next day. This was subsequently blamed on the fact that Jack got a little bit too close to her the day before, and a bit of her magic disappeared for about 24 hours. So many times I have sat down at the computer and then been called away to do other things. Christmas things, party things, kid things, house things. Things. We even passed over the 1 year anniversary of the Ice Storm of 2008 without me blogging about it. The anniversary was actually last Thursday night into Friday morning since the storm itself raged through the night. In case you are new to my blog, or maybe you forgot and would love to relive it with me, you can read about our adventures in ice here and also here and here a see some lovely pictures here and also some more here. This Saturday the 19th is the actual anniversary of when the pipes burst rendering us homeless and rootless for a while until we moved into the comfort of that oh so lovely trailer in the yard. Oh brown paneled trailer of fun, how I do NOT miss you. Well hasn't this been a wonderful trip down memory lane! At least I can say that all of that madness from last year did result in new floors, new walls, new cabinets, some new furniture, and a new found appreciation for our HOME. All these many months later, it is still GOOD TO BE HOME!

Thursday, December 3

Tis' The Season

Well, it's here, it's here, it's here! Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! I LOVE Christmas, always have. The whole season. When I was a kid the thought of getting presents, having my whole family together, eating delicious food, well it was almost too much to bear. Now that I am an adult I still look forward to Christmas with as much excitement. There are family get together’s, presents exchanged, and of course delicious food to be eaten. I get so excited when I think of what will become my own kids Christmas memories. Will it be putting up the decorations and the tree? Making cookies? Visiting with Santa? Going to Mass on Christmas Eve? This year we even decorated a gingerbread house, which was kind of messy and a pain so we may not do that again. December 1st marked the beginning of the countdown for us, the countdown to the big guy. The kids have a calendar that they do every night, adding felt ornaments from little numbered pockets to the tree. Then they get to open up their Advent calendar that they get every year from Grammy and eat their little tiny piece of chocolate. Last year after the ice storm when we had to evacuate the house to spend Christmas at my parents I remember running through the dark and the cold, and 2 things I was sure to grab were that felt Christmas tree and their Advent calendars. Last year at my parents we also started a new tradition. Each day we are visited by Timpka Tumpka. This is a little Swedish elf like gnome that is much like the "Elf On A Shelf" that is popular. Timpka visits Santa in the North Pole every night while the kids are asleep to report on their daily behavior. Of course each morning you will find Timpka in a new spot. I have no idea how he does it!

So however you begin your Holiday Season, I am right now wishing it to be merry and warm and bright. You really do have to spend the whole month celebrating, because 1 day? Nope, not nearly enough time to get it all in.