Friday, November 30, 2007


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

wrapping paper. I obsess about it all color coordinating with the living room, the tree, and of course, be fun for lex. I also LOVE bows with real ribbon. OCD much?

2. Real tree or artificial?
I grew up with an artificial tree and swore when I could have my own tree, it would always be real. Well for the past 10 years, I've had a real tree...This year, I thought about what I dislike most about a real tree: the stress of finding the perfect tree and cutting it down; putting on 8 million white twinkle lights just so (ask Bran, I had him redo the lights last year b/c they were not wrapped around individual branches. the mess of the needles everyone. Briggs drinking the water. So, this year I caved and bought a gorgeous "faux" Spruce, prelit 7.5 feet tall tree. I'll just spray some fake smell around.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Tonight! November 30th!

4. When do you take the tree down?
Weekend after new years

5. Do you like eggnog?
I'll do a sip, but usually no. do you know how many calories are in eggnog? Like 8 million!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
My cabbage patch kid preemie--Caitlyn

7. Do you have a Nativity scene?
Not a full nativity scene. We have a baby jesus in a little manger/bed. Last year, lex was very concerned that the baby jesus was cold and would cover him up with a tissue. It was just about the cutest thing EVER.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My brother

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Alexa..I could buy out the store for her.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Hmm, i think a candle holder with jesus bleeding on the cross from my ex mother in law.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Another peak at my OCD. Christmas cards are mailed. The stamps need to be christmas stamps.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation---My favorite movie ALL YEAR ROUND.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? This year, I started early..around the end of October for Lex.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No, haven't recycled, but have returned things.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
snickerdoodles, shortbread cookies, hot chocolate

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
white, always

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee. Followed by It's Christmas Baby, by U2, Followed by Santa Claus, by Harry Connick, Jr. I LOVE christmas music. We have it playing NON stop in my house right now.

18 Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Used to be travel, but now with Lex, my rule is that she needs to be at home to open her presents. It's hard b/c not only do I have inlaws to visit, but we need to coordinate with Lex's dad.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and of course, Rudolph. I just had to sing the song to name them!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve with Bran, everyone else on Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Crowded stores and my ability to Clark W. Griswald everything (I.e. wanting the perfect, unattainable holiday!) This year, I'm doing all of my shopping online so that I don't have panic attacks...

23. What is a holiday tradition you have?
Ever since I can remember, my mom made my brother sit on the stairs to get our picture taken before we were allowed to go downstairs to see what Santa brought. I've kept that tradition with lex. Another one, is that we always leave cookies for Santa and oatmeal for reindeer food in the yard.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Where oh where has November gone?

Ever since my birthday, time has been flying for me. I've been travelling the past two weeks back to back trips to Scottsdale (where I got sick on the plane in front of everyone on the flight home!!!) and a trip to Richmond. On top of all that travel, my final proposal for grad school has consumed every waking moment of my time, plus we can't forget Lex's activities and an ear infection....Life is BUSY!

Where to start...Lex has been an absolute doll these days and the 6 month pendulum is up lately. She's ultra creative making up stories and is very dramatic. "Death" and "bleeding" seems to be brought up a lot and I don't think she gathers what these concepts mean exactly, except when one dies, they go away.

Case in point, the other night we were reading in bed, and she got close to the edge. Lex tells me very dramatically, "Mom, if I fall out of bed, I will diiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee." I respond with a "no lex, you might get hurt, but surely you won't dddddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie." Lex replies: "But I will bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbblllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed." God help me when she's a teenager.

She is also such a singer. She knows the words to so many top 40 songs and her current favorites:

  • All these things that I have done by The Killers or as Lex calls this song: the soldier song.
  • Hello Good-bye, by the Beatles
  • I wanna hold your hand, by the Beatles
  • Getcha Your Head in the Game, from High School Musical
  • Hey Yaa- by OutKast

It is absolutely hysterical to see her dancing, rock star face when she's singing along.

It amazes me the things she knows. Yesterday we had a conversation about air and how air comes from the trees and wind and leaves. I got into science mode and taught her about photosynthesis. Tonight, we were discussing bones and lex told me that if we didn't have bones, we would be squishy. Maybe, I have a little performer/scientist in the making?

She knows SO many words that sometimes I just can't believe the things that come out of her little mouth. My favorite right now, is when she uses the past tense and says things like, Mommy, I miss-ed you. I'm trying really hard to correct her, but sometimes it's just too cute.

Tuesday this week, I received a phone call from Mr. Charles at school and Lex had thrown up. She was acting fine so she remained at school. When I asked her about it later on, she said all excited, "Mommy guess what? I FROWED up in Math and Science. All my friends said "ewwwwwwwww Lexie frowed up. I ate something bad. It was a blueberry muffin." So now, Bran and I cannot help but say "frowed up". Yesterday, Lex also informed me if you dance too hard you will frow up. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where's Waldo??...

Or should I say where's Jen?

Last week I was in Scottsdale Arizona for business for three days (Wed-Friday). This week, it's Richmond, VA from Wednesday through Thursday night. Hmm, if I had choose between the two? I would say Scottsdale :) Cannot wait to be stuck in VA for a while!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Deceptively Delicious

When I was in CostCo on Friday, I picked up the Deceptively Delicious Cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. I couldn't resist: it's pink and green and SOO cute, plus, I've been trying so hard to get Lex to eat vegetables besides corn.

This morning, I was up and out of bed by 8 am and made Applesauce muffins (with carrot puree). They're super yummy and both lex and Bran like them.

I spent my morning pureeing broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes and had flashbacks from 3 1/2 years ago when I used to make all of Lex's baby food....which brings me to the dinner story. I made the Deceptively Delicious Macaroni and Cheese (hidden cauliflower and reduced fat cheese) and homemade chicken nuggets (breaded with japanese panko and sweet potato puree) for dinner. It was all very yummy, except Lex tells me: "These aren't real chicken nuggets, Mommy." My poor child, who only had breastmilk and organic, homemade fruit and veggies, only knows chicken nuggets from Chick Fil A. :) Too funny! Anyway, she ate them and had a muffin for desert so the book has been a success.

The Past Four Days!

I've been on vacation since last Wednesday and it was wonderful! We did a bunch of things starting with Halloween.

Lex has a Halloween parade at preschool and the kids march through the hallways and then meet in the gym afterwards for more pictures....Here's lex with her teacher, Ms. Chanelle.Here's Lex, Ms. Katelyn (lex's other teacher. Lex thinks she looks like Cinderella), Olivia, and Jenny.

On Wednesday evening, we had our friends, Olivia and Andrew (and their Moms and Dads!) over for pizza and trick or treating.

Lex was afraid of any house that had fog, skeletons, scary monsters, shadows. Then she tripped and fell...Needless to say we got off of on rough start with Lex, but after a while, she got her trick or treating groove on.

The kids made it to a bunch of houses and you can see how much candy they received!

On Thursday, Lex stayed home with me and we walked around the lake in Ashburn Village, watched Meet the Robinson's, and went to swimming lessons, where Lex floated on her back for 20 seconds unassisted! YEAH!

Friday evening, We went with ALL of our friends to see the Bee Movie. The kids talked about it all day at school and even invited more friends from school so we had three 4 rows of people we knew. The kids had a great time and the movie was very cute! Lex explained to my mom today that the Bee Movie was funny because "Barry the Bee talked to peoples and EVERYONE knows that Bees can't talk to peoples!"

Anyway, after the movie, 9 adults and 6 kids (Me, Bran, Lex, TAG, Dan, Olivia, Amy, Colin, Andrew, Steph, Marc, Hannah and Ashley, Hav, and Samuel) headed over to Ledo Pizza for dinner. We were quite the scene and took over the entire restaurant with a low roar from the kids and the adults. We had our fair share of tears from each kid for a handful of reasons (thankfully, no parents cried hee-hee), and we were far from quiet... We kept saying that everyone in the restaurant probably wished that had picked a different place to go...Well, we go to pay the bill and find out that a man eating alone in the booth next to us (who had already left), paid for our tab. He told the waitress that he thought it was a good thing we were doing!! We're all not sure what it meant, and only Marc and Hav saw him, but we were all ready moved by his act of genorosity. It was a really sweet thing to do!

Saturday, morning, we headed over to Trace-Ann, Dan, and Olivia's house for pottery painting and our christmas photoshoot with Steph (check out her AMAZiNG work here:

Thanks Trace-Ann for hosting the melee and for Steph for sharing her talent!