Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anna joins the whole numbers.

November 29th! It arrived bright and early...as do all days. All Hufford days.

Anna wanted her usual oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast. It helps her hair grow.

The rest of the day we spent just cleaning at puttering around. We made her birthday cake and she hung out in her birthday suit. She gently requested that I not do the same. 

I thought I would make a cake in the shape of a big pickle, because Anna doth love her pickles so dearly, but it seemed we were plum out of green food coloring.

We settled on the BERRIES!

Laney was pretty excited.  She is no stranger to the berries herself.

While I loaded the dishwasher, Anna kept herself busy comparing apples.....

To oranges...

The day passed quietly (as days often do when the rowdies are at school) and soon we were seated for the Birthday dinner. Isn't she so sweet sitting there in front of her "Breakfast for Dinner"? I'm sure you think I'm going to give her little nibbles of scrambled egg an strawberries off of my plate, don't you?

Wrong! ARRR! (That's a carnivore sound effect.)

Does any 1 year old know how to blow out a birthday candle?

Also the first time she'd been allowed a fork of her own.

Yeah, baby! Cake is good!

Quick wardrobe change..... and on to the presents!

Anna is no stranger to destruction. She majored in paper ripping.

Grandma sent a Twilight Ladybug. She had an inkling that there would be some brutal weaning in this little one's near future.  A little sparkly comfort may be needed.

Then the boys went upstairs to retrieve her gift from Mark and me.

She loved it. It came complete with 4 slaves that push her around the house on command.

She played with it for a solid 57 seconds before it was upstaged by the 1 dollar Walmart ball. 

 But seriously....it's purple!

Anna, I LOVE that you are finally one! Don't get me wrong...you were a sweet baby, but now we are talkin!  Let the games begin!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time to decorate

So, as I have said many times before...decorating the tree, I feel, is one of the best things about Christmas. I love all the funky, school-craft ornaments that come home. The ones that Mark and I both brought with us from childhood and the kid's own ornaments that they have picked out each year.  I try really hard to quell my inner coordinator and allow them to choose the ones that they love...which is why we have a sparkly brown armadillo hanging quite lovingly from one of the upper branches.

This is our first Christmas in this house, so we decided to put the tree up in the "dining room". For one, there is no dining of any kind taking place there...unless you count the contraban cookies I greedily consume when I cut through there at night on my way from the pantry to the computer after everyone goes to sleep. The floor in there isn't as squeaky and I decrease my chances of getting busted if I go that way. Also, it has a window that faces the front and I love a good sparkly tree seen from the road.

We tried to get the ornaments out in an orderly manner, but Anna wasn't really feelin it.

So then we started whipping them out and slapping them up all willy nilly. There were hands everywhere!

I think it took a couple years off my life.

Mark hurried up the step stool and secured the star.

In the end, Anna started to see the tree as her own personal plaything and she cheered right up.

I asked her very calmly if she would be gentle with the crown ornament..as it was a Three Kings gift from a good friend. I thought I handled the situation with finesse.

She very patiently replied, "Mom...I was only going to lick it. Chill."

And so it begins.  (Is that a blue T-Rex ornament I see by her knee? Doesn't that look better up by the armadillo?)

Friday, November 25, 2011

True Blue...through and through

Okay, who am I kidding? I am a die-hard blue personality. A rule-follower to the end.

I must blog about Thanksgiving before I can open the crazy Christmas photo flood gates.

Let the gratitude begin!

I am thankful for pie. Lots and lots of pie.

I am thankful that Mark makes excellent mashed potatoes and doesn't listen to me when I nervously ask him to "go easy" on the pepper. 

I am thankful that I am never bored in our marriage. Never bored. Afraid of too much pepper? Yes. But never bored.

I am thankful for my breadmaker. 12 years and going strong!

I am thankful for the deliciousness that is created when one combines grape juice and 7up. The sum is greater than it's parts.  This is Blanchard tradition and a nugget of truth.

I am grateful for Target tablecloths.

I am grateful for Pinterest and all the crafty little tidbits I glean from it daily. 

I am grateful for good friends

and sweet kids at separate tables with their own butter and jam

I am thankful for time to hang out in our socks and laugh

and then go back for fourths.

But mostly I'm thankful for my pups

And the fact that brown eyes can produce blue eyes....5 times in a row.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Help from above.

There are days when I realize that someone is helping me to avoid a few major blunders that would scar my children.

I got a note home in late October reminding me to RSVP to the "Thanksgiving Feast".  Our school invites the parents to come and have a turkey dinner with the kids at lunchtime to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Let's just put it out there that
a) this is going to be nasty, at best.
b) my kids are going to throw most of it in the trash
c) it's stupid expensive
d) all 3 of my kids eat at different times and I either have to eat with one and risk crushing the souls of the other two, eat three times, or opt out completely.

I opt out.

Every time.

Yes, I have guilt.

So, now you can see why I threw this note in the trash along with the 8 other reminders I had received from each of the kids in the preceding weeks.

Unfortunately...the "Thanksgiving Feast" is not the same thing as the "Thanksgiving Lunch".

The "Thanksgiving Feast" is the first grader's big event/program for the year. They practiced songs and made costumes and prepared food and made personalized placemats for their moms who RSVP'd (you see where this is going, right?)  This is the kind of school where EVERYONE shows up. You don't show up, it's noticeable.

I didn't RSVP.

I threw no less than 4 reminders in the trash.

But there is someone "up there" who loves my little first grader very much and somehow managed to get me to that school at the precise time the program was going to take place (I had signed up to help with a fundraiser project for Ethan's class...which I never do because I have two little kids to tote along). I peeked in the gym on my way to his class and got that sick feeling. You know that sick "am I missing something?" feeling?

I assumed that there would be no placemat for me, even if I did want to sneak in and listen, but some wise teacher/aid/mom had her make one anyway and it was placed on the end of the table that gave me enough room to sit with all three of the little girls.

I checked in on Ethan's class and found that I was not needed at all, raced back to the gym and sat at our placemat and started clapping when Megan walked up to the risers with her grocery bag indian vest on.

We smiled and took grainy pictures with my camera phone.

And I breathed a deep sigh of relief. A first grade heart was not broken today.

Thank you, to whoever got the job of working this mess out, I seriously owe you one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Carving 2011--just in case you thought I was all caught up.

"Yes, of course I want to hold you while I use this little plastic fake knife to cut my single hole into the front of my pumpkin."

"Thank you for not allowing my to use the steak-knives, as requested. I still have all 10 fingers. And we will not be spending the night at the ER after all."

"Umm...No thank you."

"Nobody is paying attention to me. I will now use scissors."

"I am thinking of all the ways I can incorporate these seeds into my next craft project."

"This is the year...this is the year mom is actually going to toast these seeds. I just know it." 

"There is nothing in this sweet universe that can make me wash the nasty off of that bowl of slimy pumpkin seeds and toast them up so the kids can spit them all over the living room floor."