Thursday, December 31, 2009

And Baby Makes Glee

Ten years ago this New Year's Eve, the year 2000, as a television news reporter I was sitting on a platform at the World's Fair Park in Knoxville, TN.  For the occasion I wore my ice green shiny silk shirt, way too much makeup, and ample hair spray ready to herald in the New Year 2000 live for our viewing audience.  My hubby of one year was in the crowd as well as a throng of revelers who wanted more than anything to be on camera for the new millennium.  When the studio anchors threw to us throughout the night, my co-anchor and I would banter back and forth about the excitement, the thrill, of the year 2000 only minutes away.

I remember the moment I saw the girl.  She had that look in her eye, the look probably fueled by some "liquid courage"...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Webkinz Christmas

My little guys are dreaming of many things this year under the tree, but a common theme is Webkinz.

If you don't know what they are, I want to know how you have avoided them. They are those cute plush stuffed animals with magical tags on their arms that have codes to register them online. When you register you have an access pass to a cyber wonderland.

Once in Wenkinz World your little animal is animated. You can...

Monday, December 21, 2009

11 Year Anniversary Warranty

People warned us about getting married at Christmastime. Some said our anniversary would get lost in the Christmas shuffle, holiday parties, and seasonal stuff. For some of our 11 years as husband and wife that has been the case, but not this year. We had a weekend long celebration that not only reminded us of our special wedding day 11 years ago, but also reconnected us to who we are as a couple, not just Mommy and Daddy to three bouncing boys.

My hubby...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tidings of Comfort & Joy

Amid the hustle and bustle, many turn to music to sooth the hurry and stress we sometimes feel during the Christmas season.

On the radio I heard one such song soother. I love the song God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and I especially enjoy this version by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. This song and arrangement always speaks to me and puts me in the right frame of celebration.

My little one loves this song too and tries to sing along, except the lyrics are interpreted differently in my little man's preschool musical ear.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Great Santa Scare

You know the suspect, big man, white beard, wearing red and white, sitting on a throne, sometimes jolly, sometimes not...depending on the mall crowds or the timing of his break. Of course, you guessed it, Santa Claus.

My three little guys have always met Santa with a mixture of awe and severe distrust. He is a bit scary if you think about it. We have cycled through the years where one of the boys is always missing from the Santa picture. In past years you can see me smiling in the picture and sitting on Santa's lap holding a toddler near tears. Oh what we will do for Christmas traditions.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sad Day at The Zoo

Photo Courtesy of Tom Gillespie

During my job as a freelance reporter/producer I often get to see interesting places, people, and from time to time animals. Last month along with photographer Keith Blatz, we shot a television story involving the gorillas at the North Carolina Zoo.

Give Oprah for Just $5

Jimmy Kimmel calls her our queen and whether you love her or change the channel at the very sight of this Media Royal, a deal is a deal. Face facts, someone in your life loves Oprah, or reads her recommendations from Oprah's Book Club, or loves her list of Oprah's favorite things. I'm just saying...

Mommysavers shared this fabulous deal on O Oprah Magazine. Get one year subscription for only $5/Year. It's a deal! On the Mommysavers Forum other Mommies were talking about how they are starting year three of Oprah for the $5 subscription fee. Would make a nice gift for teachers or the Oprah fans in your life. Thanks Mommysavers.Magazine Steal of the Week: O Oprah Magazine Just $5/Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When a 4-Year-Old Cuts Your Hair

It was without warning. A sneak attack if you will, from behind, no doubt. My sweet little 4-year-old boy's venture into the hair styling business. I still can not believe he did it, but as my friends and my hubby have told me it makes a great story.

I bent down on the floor to attend to my youngest B's daily duty and without warning I felt...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Mommy I Met on Facebook

You may feel bombarded on Facebook with ads that really don't seem to make sense to you and your life. Many of the ads on my Facebook page encourage Moms to go back to school to get their degrees. Well this new ad on my page will make you laugh. The ad is encouraging Moms to go back to school, but instead of a lovely Mommy the picture bares a striking resemblance to a very distraught disheveled man, think Joaquin Phoenix's appearance on Late Night with David Letterman.

This is what happens when robots take control of advertising. Trolling the internet for key words and phrases to pop up ads that you might click on. The formula is a bit surreal. You might see some facebook ads pop up with something totally unrelated to your life. One of my friends tried to take certain ads off of her profile. She could not change it and didn't want people to think she advocated the products. I told her it was what her advertising robot chose for her and others would have their own ads. So if you see this scary Mom on your facebook far, far away.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Daddy's Diner

We are blessed at our house to have a Daddy who loves to cook. Tonight my hubby Sam cooked up one of his newest recipes that I wanted to share with you. Sam's Vegetable Lo Mein is out of this world and kid approved. The boys like to eat the trees (broccoli) and the shot puts (carrots) You can easily add shrimp or chicken to make it just like the restaurant add on. (And we won't even charge you a dollar up charge.) Sam uses buckwheat noodles, but you can use regular spaghetti noodles to make it a pasta dish with a twist at your house.

Sam's Vegetable Lo Mein

Bring several quarts of water to a boil. Add:

1/2 LB Lo Mien or Spaghetti Noodles
1 TSP Salt

Boil noodles for less one or two minutes less than package instructions. Drain noodles and stir 1 TBLS sesame oil in the noodles and set aside.
Next, prepare the vegetables.

2 Stalks of Celery Chopped
2 Carrots Chopped
1 Broccoli Crown Chopped
1 half of an Onion Diced

Heat a saute pan on high heat adding 1 TBLS canola oil and 1 TBLS of sesame oil. Saute all ingredients on high heat, stirring continually, for five minutes.
Set the vegetables aside and add 1 TBLS canola oil to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the noodles to the pan with 1 TBLS minced ginger. Saute, stirring for five minutes.

1/4 CUP Hoisin Sauce
2 TBLS Soy Sauce

Add vegetables into the pan with the noodles and combine all.
To make it even better serve with chopped peanuts and mung bean sprouts.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Peppermint Mocha for the Soul

After picking up my oldest son from school, we decided to have a Friday treat. I turned Dora the Ford Explorer towards our neighborhood Starbucks for a little late afternoon pick-me-up. Dora the Ford Explorer knows the way to carry the sleigh because she has been there more times than I should count on here. Then we could do the math of how much money I could save by brewing my coffee at home. Anyway....the boys were pumped because they knew a Friday treat was on the way. This Friday it was hot chocolate, the kid's version 8 ozs, the perfect size, yum.

So, Mommy pulls up to the window and I usually get a Tall Cafe Americano. I know it is boring, but very economical and healthier. But on this Friday I am feeling festive, I don't know if it is the traffic or the 90 foot Santa in front of me or the fact that I don't know if I can smell hot chocolate in the back seat and not covet it. I ask the sale representative about the holiday coffees. She asks if I have tried the Peppermint Mocha Coffee, I tell her I have not, and so begins a new era in my Friday treat extravaganza.

Peppermint Mocha is so good! Why have you all not told me about it sooner? I don't even want to know how many calories are in it, that will spoil my Christmas cheer, but oh my goodness it is really good. What do they put in it? I only got a tall, but can only imagine what a grande would be like.

My special coffee was like a little Friday hug. (I know, You can roll your eyes now) The boys loved the hot chocolate, Mommy loved her festive coffee, it was a win, win as Dora the Ford Explorer drove out of sight, shall I finish the rest?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mommy's New Bauble

Every Mommy needs a little jewelry, right? With three boys, well really four...if you count my cute husband, my house is not much on the girlie side these days. Jewelry is something I can indulge my "I Feel Pretty, West Side Story, Maria in the white dress, being a girl" self in. For my birthday, my Mother and Father-In-Law gave me a gift to use towards my new girlie venture, a Pandora bracelet.

I just got my Pandora bracelet today and I love it. It is silver and has two clips and a little boy bead. As I gaze at my new bauble, I see the faces of my little boys trying to pick out the perfect charm. I realize my bracelet will more than likely be filled with beads in the shape of turtles, rabbits, and whatever other animal bead the store sells, but I am excited to think of the possibilities.

Just think of how easy I have made shopping for Mommy. It feels like an indulgence, but a rather cute one. Oh cute, another "girlie word" the boys won't let me say in my house anymore. My four-year-old son tells me now to substitute the word cute for the word awesome. Alright, it is a totally awesome charm bracelet and I look forward to watching it grow, just like my "cute" boys.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Elf on the Shelf

He knows when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake...

So the song goes, but some children do wonder how Santa monitors their behavior, especially when it's down to the wire. So some families have enlisted the help of a little pixie-elf who shows up usually after Thanksgiving to watch the naughty and niceness of the household.

You see this at the stores as a kit called The Elf on the Shelf. It has been around for years, the creation of a University of Tennessee graduate (Go Vols!) and mother of three and now grandmother, Carol Aebersold. Along with her daughter Chanda Bell, is the author of The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. It is a story of how Santa really knows who is naughty or nice.

Aebersold says she started the tradition for her own family when her children were very small. She says the first time the elf arrived at their home, her children officially adopted him by giving him a name. Each year he would arrive around the holidays and his sole responsibility was to watch the kid's behavior and report it to Santa each night. The next morning after her children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the North Pole and was now resting in a new and different place. The children would race each other out of bed and try and be the first to spy him in his new position.

Apparently, each elf has his own personality and depending on the house, the elf can get into all kinds of mischief. Reports of cookie raiding, silly string, and all types of holiday fun seem to follow the whimsical guy. It is always interesting to hear stories of what your family's Elf on the Shelf is doing this holiday season. Please share your stories if you have them!

So if your family is looking for a new holiday tradition this year, check out The Elf on the Shelf. I think our family is going to start the tradition this year and we will see if the elf can bring on the nice and quell the naughty. We shall see..