Monday, November 29, 2010

Visit With Shirley

Yesterday morning I pulled out all of the Christmas toys for the boys. They had a blast playing with all of the animals that play music and sing. Ben was not very excited at all.

Around 9:30am we left the house and headed to Annapolis. We were meeting some of my family at the mall for lunch and to hang out. Chelley, John & Madelyn were there which the boys were excited about. The whole reason for this special trip was to see Shirley who was in town from NC for Thanksgiving to see family. The boys were really excited when Shirley have them some Toy Story figurines to play with! After having lunch we took the kids to the play area for a while. We also met up with Natalie, Christine and Roy for lunch. While we were at the mall we stopped by the Lego store to see if my grandfather was working and he was. The boys had fun walking around looking at all of the Legos with him for a few minutes, they especially enjoyed the Toy Story ones!

Today the boys and I made a trip to BJs, Target and WalMart. I needed to get a few things for meals along with some new sheets for the boys' beds and my bed. Now that is it getting colder out I wanted to get a set of jersey knit sheets for my bed since the regular cotton ones are pretty chilly when the bedroom is only 60 degrees! Ben left for TN and will be home very late Thursday night. He will be off on Friday which will be nice after having him gone all week. Ryder has school Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday mornings and we are going to have dinner in Annapolis with Colleen and the kids on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, today has been very long because I woke up with a headache and have had little to no patience with the boys. I have discovered that 3 is a very trying age for both parents and kids so I try my best to remain calm even when they have pushed me over the edge which ca be extremely difficult sometimes! This phase shall pass just as all of them have, right?!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Decorations

As soon as I got up this morning I put together everything in the crock pot to make Turkey Rice Soup using our leftover Thanksgiving turkey. After about 8 hours in the crock pot it was ready for dinner tonight. It tasted really good!

This morning Ryder and I went out to fax some stuff to Sylvania (will explain later in the post) and stop at Kohls to get some new pillows for the boys. While we were out Zak & Ben were supposed to get the tree set up and light put on it. I got a call from Ben while I was at Kohls saying I needed to stop at WalMart to buy new lights. Apparently, most of our lights were not working. Once I got there and priced everything out we decided to buy a new pre-lit tree since it was only a few dollars more than getting the lights. I got a 6.5 foot pre-lit with clear lights for $38. Once we got home from our errands Ben & I put up decorations and set up the tree while the boys played upstairs. After a while the boys came downstairs to help put up some stuff on the door handles and walls then it was lunch time. This afternoon we decorated the tree which the boys were extremely excited about! Before the boys could get to work I had to go through our huge Rubbermaid of ornaments to figure out what would go on the tree this year. We have so many ornaments that not all can go on every year. I always put the personalized and sentimental ones on and then go from there. Below are a bunch of pictures. I didn't post pictures of our personalized ornaments because that is what I did last year, but you can click here to see that post and the pictures.

Look at his facial expression
he was so excited!
This ornament is special to me because it
reminds me of my dad. Not sure exactly
why, but I remember it going on the tree
every year as a kid and playing with it.
After the tree was decorated it was time for dinner. As I said before, we all thought the soup was delicious! I wanted to post a few pictures of Robin with the boys because she is so good with them and they love her!

Now, I will explain the fax to Sylvania. A few weeks ago we discovered out Blu-Ray player which is built in to our TV was not working. It would play DVDs, but would not play the Blu-Rays which it did do in the past with no issues. While out shopping yesterday I picked up a Blu-Ray player, but then decided not to buy it since I had not talked about it with Ben ahead of time. Well, yesterday we tried to figure out what was wrong by looking through the manual. Nothing seemed to help so Ben called the customer service number. After being on the phone with them forever the end results came down to if we had the receipt we would be able to get a replacement (as long as it was still under warranty which it should be since we got it February 2010) or we could go to a local repair shop and pay to have it looked at and fixed. Unfortunately, we got rid of the receipt once we got home and knew the whole thing was working. Last night I decided to e-mail BJs Wholesale customer service to see if there was a way for them to look up and send us old receipts. They immediately wrote back saying if we provided certain information they could send us the purchase history. So I sent the info back and we received the purchase history. We called Sylvania back and they said to fax that to them and in 1-2 business days we would get a call letting us know if it is under warranty and go from there. We are really hoping ti will lead to us getting a replacement so we can play our Blu-Ray movies!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

This year I have had a hard time with Thanksgiving. I was really ready to just skip over it, but wasn't really sure why. Possibly because I knew things were going to be different from out "normal". For me Thanksgiving is lots of family all hanging out, eating lots of food, and looking through Black Friday ads. I really miss those days of having everyone together. This year Chelley, John & Madelyn went to VA, my mom is in FL (has been for a few years), Mum Mum was not here, my father is not here (passed away a number of years ago), and nobody in Annapolis really seemed motivated to make plans. I feel like Thanksgiving will never be "Thanksgiving" to me again since so many things are changing so I know I need to change things up and make our own "Thanksgiving" so the boys have something to look forward like I did as a child. Chelley and I did talk the other day about the possibility of her, John, and Madelyn coming to our house for Thanksgiving next year. So Ben and I decided to buy food and make our own dinner for the four of us. Our meal would include: turkey, stuffing, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, gravy and apple pie.

On Thursday morning I went out to buy a newspaper so we could look through the Black Friday ads and then we watched the Macy's parade on TV. (Side note: Crazy that I was in that parade 13 years ago!) We put the turkey in the over just before the parade started and then made the rest of the food after it was over. While making the sides Ben and I made a spur of the moment decision...we took the boys to see a movie! We put everything in the oven to make sure the cat didn't touch it and headed to White Marsh to see Tangled. It was a really good movie and all four of us enjoyed it. When we got home we finished up making food and heated it all up then had dinner. After dinner the boys went to bed and I rested for about an hour in preparation for Black Friday shopping.

I headed out around 8pm to get in line at Toys R Us. I arrived there just before 8:30pm and was happy to see the line was not as bad as I was fearing. However, as it approached 10pm (opening time) the line was insane with people actually standing on Pulaski Highway! I started talking with the couple in front of me and a few girls behind me. We had some action occur while standing line though. As it got closer to opening time lots of cars were driving around looking for parking and led many to driving through the line of people in the parking lot. There was one woman in a car who was being very rude and because of this nobody was letting her through. Long story short, she pushed her way through the line. She ended up hitting the girl behind me (not hard, but the car did touch her) which led to some people getting upset. The woman in the car then got really mas and threw a wine cooler bottle out of her car and it hit my on the butt! We ended up calling the police, they showed up and found the woman in the car and pulled her out of line. I have no idea what ended up happening with her, but nobody was hurt in the end. After I was finished there I came home (got home around 11:30pm) to rest for a few hours.

I left the house around 2am to go to Kohls. I then went to Target and WalMart and got back home around 5:30am. I didn't go out for any big ticket items, but was able to get some good deals on things. I laid down for a few hours and then was up for the day. In the afternoon we decided to go to Towson Town Center to go to Build-A-Bear. They had their Moose dolls on sale for $5 (normally $18) so we chanced it to see if they had any left. We got there and didn't see any, but after asking an employee she found 2. They told us they were broken (antlers light up), but we could still have them. Well, the employee pulled them out and we discovered they worked just fine once the battery pack was turned on! So we were very lucky to get the last 2!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week In Review

I have been slacking with updating the blog as well as taking pictures of the boys to post on the blog. With the holidays coming I am hoping to take more pictures and post on the blog more regularly as well.

Sunday: We went to Bass Pro Shop at Arundel Mills to look around and see Poppy at work. While there the boys played with the various toys they had set up in Santa's workshop area. Then they got to sit on Santa's lap because there was no line. At Bass Pro you get a free picture!

On the way home both boys fell asleep. Ryder had put his Bass Pro sticker over his mouth before falling asleep. He tends to always put stickers over his mouth.

Monday: Ben headed to VA for the week for work early in the morning. The boys and I didn't really do much exciting. Once the boys were in bed I went through our Christmas decorations in the basement to see what we have for this year. I was exhausted because I had been awake since 4:30am when Ben's alarm went off, but unfortunately I was not able to sleep at all that night. I tossed and turned until about 5am.

Tuesday: I only slept for about 2 hours before the boys were awake and calling for me. Ryder went to school. Zak & I had to run a quick errand and then we went to Ryder's school because it was Education Week and parents were invited to visit the classrooms. Zak and I ended up staying for almost 2 hours, but he had a blast. I loved getting the chance to watch Ryder at school because he is so verbal and social while there unlike at home. I got to see him do many things he doesn't do at home! His teacher and I talked trying to figure out why he was doing so much better at school than at home. Ryder had a major meltdown at bedtime and it took a while for me to get him calmed down and asleep.

Wednesday: Ryder had school in the morning. My plan had been to go to the gym with Zak, but he was misbehaving so badly that I decided not to reward him by going to the gym. So instead we stayed home and cleaned. Zak helped me vacuum and do some other various cleaning around the house. After Ryder got home from school I actually got the boys to nap because I laid down with them. Once they woke up we did go to the gym for a bit. It felt really good working out because I had not been for a while due to illnesses and what not.

Thursday: The boys decided to wake up at 5am and start calling for me. I told them they could either lay in bed with me, get back in their bed, or play with their toys...they chose to stand in their rooms and cry. So we were up and ready for the day way too early. Ryder had school again and was in a very bad mood by the time the bus got here. All afternoon the boys were in such cranky moods so I was very happy when 7pm rolled around.

Friday: I was pretty much at my breaking point with the boys and Ben being away by this point. The boys were pretty cranky so we were all happy when Ben got home in the afternoon. Ben and I talked and decided we are going to make our own Thanksgiving dinner next week. I am hoping it all turns out good since I have never made a turkey before! In the early evening we took the boys to Rich & Laura's for a sleepover which they were very excited about.

Saturday: Ben and I went to see the new Harry Potter at the White Marsh IMAX at 9:15am. I was surprised when we got there 30 minutes early and the whole place was packed already. I think the movie was really good, but not the all-time best Harry Potter. I am now extremely excited for Part 2 which comes out in June 2011 though.

Today I made a trip to the grocery store and also went to the gym. The boys and Ben stayed home to play and watch some football. I did get a chance to take a few videos of the boys playing football with Ben. We have known for a while that Zak has a good arm on him for throwing. His YMCA coach has told me more than once how good of an arm Zak has and today Ben was the one who got to discover this as well. Zak was beating Ben up pretty bad with his throws!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bedroom Change

I have not updated the last few days and not really sure why. Not much really went on. Ryder had school Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Ben and the boys have all been battling with a cold.

Today we had a busy day though. This morning we went to Rich & Laura's house around 9am so Ben could help out with some stuff there. I decided to take advantage of some time without the boys to get Christmas shopping done. My first stop was Target which ended up unsuccessful. I am in search of the last two Hot Wheels Toy Story 3 cars, I have found all of the rest of them. I then went to Toys R Us and was able to get almost everything I went for. My mom had left money with me while she was in MD to use to buy the gifts for the boys from her so that is mainly what I got today at Toys R Us. I then made a stop at Tracy's house to pick up some stuff from her. I spent some time there playing with Kyle...

After I left Tracy's I headed back to Rich & Laura's house to pick up Ben & the boys. We left there and went to get lunch since it was close to 1pm at that point. After that we went to WalMart, but did not find anything there. We made one last stop at another Target, but walked away with nothing as well.

Once we got home we started working on the big part of the day. We have decided to put the boys each in their own bedroom. Sleep has been an issue recently so we are hoping this will help. We were concerned since the bedrooms are incredibly different in size as well as where all of the toys would go. So today we made the big move. Zak's bedroom is their old bedroom and Ryder's bedroom is the old playroom. We moved some toys into Zak's bedroom and re-arranged Ryder's bedroom. Ryder's room is significantly larger than Zak's, but not much we can do about that.

The boys got to make signs for their bedrooms which they had fun doing. Once it was bedtime something happened that we were not ready for. Zak went to bed and had no problems at all. But Ryder went into a major meltdown. He was screaming, crying and just freaking out. We put a little light in the room because he said something about being scared, but that didn't help. He was repeatedly saying he wanted to go to the other room, he didn't want to lay down in the playroom, and he needed to go to Zak's room. After a little while we decided to just lay him in bed and walk out to see if he would calm down. After a little bit longer everything was quiet so Ben checked on both boys. Zak was asleep in his bed and Ryder was asleep on the Toy Story couch thing which is right next to the bedroom door. At least they both were asleep within 1 hour of being put the bed!

We had anticipated Zak being the one that would have an issue because he always wants to share a bed with Ryder. He really surprised us! What we hadn't thought through was the fact that Ryder generally doesn't do well with change. He likes to have structure and schedule without much change. As he was freaking out in his new bedroom I started to feel horrible once I realized he just wasn't handling the room change well. I am happy he was able to calm down and fall asleep. I am hoping it will get better each night.

The next few days we will see how this whole set-up works out. They now both have toys in their bedrooms which they have not had since we moved into the townhouse (1yr 8months old). The long-term plan would be once they are out of toddler beds they would get bunk beds and move back into the same room. That way they could have a playroom again and we could use a corner of the playroom to put desks for school stuff since we don't have any other place to do that. But we will just take it one day at a time and see what happens.