Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gift giving simplicity

Simple Mom's Blog About Gift Giving

I check out Simple Mom's blog occasionaly and watched this video about her holiday gift giving tradition for her kids - 3 gifts.  One hand made gift, one book and one toy.  Oh my!  What a wonderful idea, but how do I actually execute that??

Just yesterday I was thinking about MY version of simple gifts, one major gift per kid like a dollhouse or train table.  Hardly "simple".  I have been wondering if I am spoiling my kids too much (I am) and making them unappreciative of what they DO have.  If Gwen has 15 princess dolls, does she really appreciate them?  If the kids play with anything a lot, I tend to think MORE would be even better, but I don't think that is always the case.

Just some food for thought today.  I have gone totally overboard the past 3 Christmas seasons, I don't expect this year to be any different. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Oh my!  What a week, I'm still recovering.

Saturday - depart for Florida at 7am.  Found out Madeline gets car seat to the point of throwing up and that Jack really doesn't like to sleep in his car seat.  Driving through Louisiana before the LSU game was poor timing.  John was a trooper driving most of the way and the kids did pretty well. 

Sunday - arrive at Grandma's 3:30EST.  Oye!  We all crashed and slept for a few hours then hung out at Grandma's house.  Madeline met the love of her life - Mr. Bojangles, Bo for short, Grandma's dog.  She followed that dog the entire time we were there and he tolerated it as best he could.  We headed to the Tiki Bar for lunch and met up with John's brother and his family.  The 9 of us headed to the house we rented, had dinner and put the kiddies to bed.  Sharing a house was great, the kids enjoyed spending time together and it was a nice place with it's own pool.  We also got to eat our usual breakfast at home every morning and had a place to relax in the evenings. 

Monday - Sea World!  The kids LOVED the dolphin/acrobat show, after that it was down hill.  Note to self: next time plan something shorter for the first day after an 18 hour road trip.  In the afternoon we got to meet Jake, our newest nephew.  What a cutie!

Tuesday - Disney's Magic Kingdom.  What fresh hell is this?  Note to self: next time don't try to do 2 theme parks back to back with no naps.  Today I learned my lesson about ever picking up the kids.  Poor John had to peel somebody off me at least twice and remove them from my presence because of a major shit fit.  We did have some fun between the tantrums, but it was a long day.  My favorite part was when everyone raced to get into the stroller as we headed for the car, I made them all walk and let the bags ride in the stroller instead.  No one was happy with Mommy.

Wednesday - I managed to get an early morning run in.  9 of us went to T-Rex for lunch in downtown Disney.  This place was pretty cool, a brand of Rain Forest Cafe, totally done up with dino's.  The kids enjoyed it and I had a margarita.  We had dinner at Grandma's - delicious ribs and birthday cheesecake for me!  Thanks for all the lovely gifts and cards!  Gwendolyn made me a beautiful hand painted box, so cute!

Thursday - Did my own Turkey Trot in the morning and started out the day by celebrating Christmas in the morning!  Since John's family isn't usually all together for Christmas, we celebrated early this year.  The kids got lots of cool gifts they immediately tore into.  Madeline continued pursuing Bo and succeeded in getting him onto her lap.  After naps, it was time for the Thanksgiving Feast!  Wow, 2 turkeys, hams, all the fixins and desert. It was quite a meal and a lot of fun with the family.  The kids did amazing and had fun with their cousins. 

Friday - we took off at 7:45am and arrived home at 1:30am Saturday morning.  Same as the ride there, Maddy gets car sick and Jack does not like sleeping in his car seat (or Mommy's lap or any where else).  We were all happy to be home and in our own beds. 

Saturday - recovery day.  The kids were up at their usual time (ugh) and up to their usual antics.  They seemed happy to be back and enjoyed tearing up the house today.  Gwen was a little moody, but it was her turn to have a bad day I guess.  We are almost unpacked and back to normal.   I don't feel very 'rested' from our 'vacation', but it was a good trip overall. 

Now - on to decorating for Christmas and the next holiday!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


She didn't like to hold it here, cause "my boogies get on it"

Mmmm chocolate pizza at Double Daves

Hiding from Mommy to avoid a diaper change

Count down

Things I'm counting down to:

Thanksgiving - also coincides with our first family vacation in about 18 months, several hours in the car, turkey and my birthday.  I'm counting down to this with excitement and trepidation. 

Christmas - really going to try not to go overboard this year for the kids, but I have a hard time being frugal when it comes to my kids.  My sister will be spending the holiday with us if she can tear herself away from the cat (seriously).  Aunt Jenna has also procured tickets to take Gwen to her first ballet - The Nutcracker.  We know that she will love it!  And of course this time of year brings all the holiday decorations, movies, cookies and traditions that I love!

New Year's Day - I'm working on my "Happiness Project" plan that will start January 1.

Austin 1/2 Marathon - races are fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

More travel observations

1. Limes, lemons & oranges from the bar are full of germs. Makes sense but I dont care.
2. 2 blue moons make Amanda ... Not sober
3. Delayed flight means I can't pick up the kids. So I'm sad. I knew that before the 2 beers.
4. Not checking work email makes me nervous.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Notes on business travel

1.    If a piece of paper is still on the note pad and has things like phone numbers and addresses, IT IS NOT TRASH.  (I’m looking at you cleaning lady)

2.    Traveling with the sales guy is awesome.  Apparently they don’t have a budget.  Or at least not the budget measly people like me have. 

3.    Every city in America has the same exact restaurants, strip malls and coffee shops. 

4.    We ate at 2 Texas themed places this week – in VIRGINIA. 

5.    I have a low alcohol tolerance. 

6.    Watching live TV is ridiculous, where is the DVR?

7.    Some people are WAY too technical.

8.    Running on the treadmill is incredibly boring

9.    I miss my babies!